Editorial-Shot-Credit: SoFinch-Photography

Punk Rock Singer and Entrepreneur Shira Yevin’s Push for Fair Pay and Gender Equality in Music through Gritty in Pink and InPink, a Women-Focused Job Marketplace

“Mama always said, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” I’m a big proponent of women asking for what they want and need. It can sometimes be intimidating or awkward, but you will reap the rewards.” – Shira Yevin

Shira Yevin, Gritty In Pink‘s dynamic founder and CEO, is a trailblazing entrepreneur and activist who has been shaking up the male-dominated music industry for nearly two decades. Her audacious journey began in 2004 when she crashed the Vans Warped Tour with her all-female punk band Shiragirl in a pink RV, boldly protesting the lack of female performers. This daring act led to the creation of the Shiragirl Stage, which showcased over 300 female artists, including legends like Joan Jett and Paramore, and earned a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In 2022, Yevin launched INPINK, Gritty In Pink’s flagship marketplace, connecting the music industry with a vibrant community of female creatives and professionals. INPINK has already facilitated over $300,000 in transactions and boasts over 3,500 female members. Backed by Live Nation Women Fund and strategic advisor Melissa Etheridge, who stated, “It’s been amazing to see the INPINK marketplace grow and provide much-needed opportunities for female creators,” Yevin’s fearless spirit and commitment to smashing the glass ceiling continue to inspire women to unapologetically pursue their dreams.

Takeaways:

  • Yevin emphasizes the importance of believing in oneself and overcoming imposter syndrome, especially for underrepresented groups in male-dominated industries.
  • She stresses cultivating a robust support system of mentors, advisors, and peers who share your entrepreneurial spirit and can provide guidance, encouragement, and accountability.
  • According to Yevin, it is crucial to maintain mission clarity and stay true to your core mission, even amid enticing opportunities and external pressures.
  • Yevin advises embracing failure as an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey and viewing it as a learning opportunity to grow and pivot.
  • Yevin emphasizes prioritizing physical and mental well-being through self-care activities to avoid burnout in the demanding entrepreneurial lifestyle.
  • Yevin stresses the importance of adaptability, remaining flexible and open-minded, and being willing to adjust strategies as circumstances change.
  • She highlights the necessity of embracing a growth mindset and continuously seeking out new knowledge and skills as an entrepreneur.
  • Gritty In Pink actively participates in initiatives to support and empower women, collaborating with local organizations, community centers, and charitable causes aligned with their mission of promoting inclusivity and representation.

Photo Credit: Jack Lue

“Remember, failure is an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey. It’s not a sign of weakness but a stepping stone to success. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot when necessary” – Shira Yevin

Can you start by introducing yourself and telling us, in your words, your inspiring story?

Hi! I’m Shira Yevin, Founder and CEO of Gritty In Pink. I’m also an activist, artist, and the frontwoman of the punk rock band Shiragirl. My story began at the Vans Warped Tour, where I didn’t see one woman playing an instrument on stage–so my band and I crashed the tour in our pink RV. We returned to create the official Shiragirl stage for 300+ female-fronted bands, including Paramore, and got in the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame! This set off my lifelong passion for advocating for women in male-dominated spaces like the music industry.

How did you market your business when it was brand new?

In the early days, marketing Gritty In Pink was all about leveraging my existing network and connections from my years in the music scene. We started building the community with a monthly music series, our All GRL Jams. I reached out to fellow artists, industry professionals, and media outlets, sharing our vision and rallying support. We featured the best female musicians in LA, such as Eva Gardner, the bassist for P!nk.  We also heavily utilized social media, particularly Instagram, to build our network and spread awareness.

Undoubtedly, one of our most impactful strategies was our ability to adapt and host events and shows, both in-person and virtual, even during the challenging times of the pandemic. These events not only showcased the incredible talent of our featured artists but also allowed us to expand geographically, connect with our audience on a deeper level, and demonstrate the value of our platform.

What is a typical day like for you?

As an entrepreneur, every day is a whirlwind of activities, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. A typical day for me usually starts with catching up on emails and industry news over a strong cup of matcha tea—fuel for the day ahead.

From there, I dive into meetings with my team to discuss ongoing projects, strategize for upcoming events or initiatives, and tackle any challenges that arise. Much of my day is dedicated to fostering relationships with our community members, partners, and industry professionals. Open communication and understanding their needs are crucial for delivering value and maintaining solid connections.

Additionally, I stay current with the latest trends and developments in the music industry and explore new opportunities for growth and innovation within Gritty In Pink. With all the work time,  I also try to hit my step count every day and get some exercise in, like Pilates. At night, I’m often off to see a show (I try to support our Gritty artists as much as my schedule allows) or a startup networking event. 

What are the three most important habits to be a successful entrepreneur?

Three Important Habits for Success:

  1. Passion and Perseverance: Entrepreneurship is a unique and challenging journey filled with highs and lows. I remember when I faced a major personal setback, but my unwavering passion for my mission and the perseverance to push through challenges kept me going. This is a key to success and a shared experience among entrepreneurs.
  2. Adaptability: Adapting to changing circumstances and pivoting when necessary are crucial for successful entrepreneurs and empowerment. By remaining flexible, open-minded, and willing to adjust your strategies, you stay in control and capable of staying ahead of the curve.
  3. Continuous Learning and Growth: The business landscape is constantly evolving, and as an entrepreneur, it’s crucial, but it’s also exciting to embrace a growth mindset and continuously seek out new knowledge and skills. Stay curious, learn from your experiences, and never stop growing. Each new skill and knowledge is an opportunity to excel.

We absolutely aim to help our community! Gritty In Pink is deeply rooted in the communities we serve. We actively participate in various initiatives to support and empower women in the music industry and beyond.

We collaborate with local organizations and community centers to support events and provide resources that inspire and equip the next generation of female creators and professionals. Additionally, we partner with charitable causes and volunteer efforts that align with our values and mission of promoting inclusivity and representation. Some of our favs that we’ve worked with include Keep A Breast, Headcount, and Sweet Relief Musicians Fund.

Every entrepreneur has a goal and problem they’re trying to solve. What was the inspiration that started your journey?

The driving force behind Gritty In Pink is my own journey as a female artist in the male-dominated music industry. I’ve personally experienced the hurdles and limitations that women face in terms of representation, opportunities, and support systems. As mentioned, my crusade really began when crashing the male-dominated Warped Tour. 

At Gritty In Pink, our mission is to dismantle these barriers and create a fair and inclusive environment for women and gender-expansive individuals in the industry. We strive to offer a platform that not only showcases their talents but also fosters connections with industry professionals, provides essential resources, and cultivates a supportive community that truly comprehends their unique experiences and challenges.

Photo Credit: Garrido Photography

“Actively celebrating and amplifying the voices and achievements of successful women can inspire and empower others to pursue their dreams.” – Shira Yevin

What initiatives or actions do you believe are crucial for fostering a more supportive and inclusive business environment for women?

Fostering a more supportive and inclusive environment for women in business requires a multifaceted approach and collective effort. Here are a few initiatives and actions that I believe are crucial:

  1. Mentorship and Sponsorship: Providing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities/resources for women can help them navigate challenges, gain valuable insights, and advance their careers.
  2. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion: Actively promoting diversity and inclusion within organizations, from leadership roles to hiring practices, can create a more welcoming and equitable environment for ALL women.
  3. Addressing Unconscious Biases: Raising awareness and addressing unconscious biases that may hinder women’s advancement in the workplace is essential for creating a level playing field.
  4. Celebrating and Amplifying Women’s Voices: Actively celebrating and amplifying the voices and achievements of successful women can inspire and empower others to pursue their dreams.
  5. Advocating for Policy Changes: Advocating for policies that support women in the workplace, such as equal pay, family-friendly policies, and anti-discrimination measures, can create a more equitable and supportive environment. And, not to be forgotten are women’s reproductive rights, a timely issue that can certainly impact women in the workplace. 

If I could go back in time and offer advice to my younger self or a new business owner, it would be this, based on my own experiences:

  1. Believe in Yourself: Entrepreneurship is a journey filled with self-doubt and uncertainty. Believe in your vision, abilities, and potential to make a lasting impact. As my advisor Arlan Hamilton often says, underestimated groups don’t have time for Imposter Syndrome- everyone else is questioning it, so we need to believe in ourselves.
  2. Cultivate a Robust Support System: Enlist the support of mentors, advisors, and peers who share your entrepreneurial spirit. Their guidance, encouragement, and accountability can be instrumental in your journey.
  3. Maintain Mission Clarity: In the face of enticing opportunities and external pressures, it’s crucial to stay true to your core mission. This unwavering focus will guide your decisions and steer you toward the impact you aspire to create.
  4. Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity: Remember, failure is an inevitable part of the entrepreneurial journey. It’s not a sign of weakness but a stepping stone to success. Embrace it as an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot when necessary. Every time I get a rejection, I’m thankful to be weeding out those who aren’t the right fit to work with to get closer to the ones who are. My former producer, Tim Gilles, used to say, “If you don’t fail, you’re not trying hard enough.”
  5. Prioritize Self-Care: Entrepreneurship can be all-consuming, but it’s essential to prioritize your physical and mental well-being. Make time for radical self-care activities that rejuvenate and energize you, like getting a massage. A new motto of mine: “Work hard, play hard, rest hard.” 

Which female leader do you admire, and why?

There are so many. The first that comes to mind is Kamala Harris. As the first female (and woman of color!) VP, she has a very difficult job and is under so much scrutiny, but I find her leadership so inspiring—it gives me hope for a long-overdue female presidency. 

Do you have a favorite quote or motto that inspires you?

Mama always said, “Ask, and ye shall receive.” I’m a big proponent of women asking for what they want and need. It can sometimes be intimidating or awkward, but you will reap the rewards. 

Conclusion

The driving force behind Gritty In Pink is my own journey as a female artist in the male-dominated music industry. I’ve personally experienced the hurdles and limitations that women face in terms of representation, opportunities, and support systems. As mentioned, my crusade really began when crashing the male-dominated Warped Tour. 

At Gritty In Pink, our mission is to dismantle these barriers and create a fair and inclusive environment for women and gender-expansive individuals in the industry. We strive to offer a platform that not only showcases their talents but also fosters connections with industry professionals, provides essential resources, and cultivates a supportive community that truly comprehends their unique experiences and challenges.

The Shiragirl Stage earned Shiragirl a spot in the Rock n Roll Hall Fame Warped Tour exhibit.

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All of these and more are part of our interview series spotlighting successful women in business.

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Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?

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