Millennial Moguls: Erin Bagwell, Director of Dream, Girl
We sat down with Sarah Bagwell, director of the new film "Dream, Girl," to learn more about her inspiring film and how she made her dream of becoming a director reality.
What does a girl with a blog and a lifelong dream do when she decides to change the world? She raises $100K in 30 days via a Kickstarter campaign and makes it happen!
Meet Erin Bagwell, Director of Dream, Girl, a new documentary film that tells the stories of female entrepreneurs and inspires the next generation of women to follow their ambition. Dream, Girl recently premiered in NYC where Erin lives and is currently setting the world on fire. We love to see women changing the world and can't wait to see what comes next for this #millenialmogul! Be sure to check out the trailer here and to follow @dreamgirlfilm on social media!
Check out our full interview with Erin Bagwell below:
The worst job you've ever had?
"The last job I had before I started Dream, Girl was pretty rough. I worked for a digital agency that was really afraid to be in the digital space. We didn’t get a lot of work so I was super bored and was being sexually harassed at my job. It was a pretty depressing experience but it pushed me to quit my job and ultimately focus on putting together a Kickstarter campaign to produce a film about female entrepreneurs called Dream, Girl. We raised $100K in 30 days and my life has totally changed. I now run a production company full time with three full-time employees and four freelancers."
The best job you've ever had?
"Being the CEO of my own company is a pretty incredible experience. I feel like I’ve had to grow so much in the last two years, it’s been really amazing to keep up with the momentum of our growth."
How did you land your first job in the industry?
"Creating a Kickstarter campaign in August of 2014 gave me the financial foundation to break into the film industry."
Is your career what you expected it to be? What you saw yourself doing in college/early years?
"To be honest with you, if my high school self saw me running a feminist blog and a production company, she would probably lose her mind. It’s been my dream since I was 16 to make a feature-length film, so I consider myself very fortunate."
To prep for an interview, someone should always....
"Meditate. Take a deep breath and be yourself. It always helps me to remember you are interviewing them as well, so it doesn’t feel like the pressure is all on your shoulders."
What is your favorite part about your job?
"I work with a team of really dedicated, passionate, and intelligent people who make my job much more enjoyable. It’s also really rewarding to build a team around a social impact mission—we are all individuals on our own path, but we are using our collective energy to uplift women and girls in the media."
Any words of advice for women who want to start their own company?
"Don’t wait until you have all the answers. Someone once said that being an entrepreneur is like building a plane in flight—and that’s so true. Things are always evolving, changing, and becoming clearer. Don’t wait until you have everything perfect; making it up as you go is part of the fun."
How do you handle setbacks—whether it be a missed opportunity, something not turning out your way, or disagreeing with a co-worker.
"I find that if I get easily stressed out about something, it’s probably because I haven’t put the self-care foundation to take on the day. Whether that’s yoga, meditation, a day off to regenerate—setting yourself to succeed is really important. So make sure you are taking care of yourself first, so then you can take care of everything else going on in your life."
What's the most valuable lesson you've learned from working/being successful in your industry? When where did you learn this?
"Something I always have to check myself on is ‘making the ask.’ I think often times, especially as women, we think people will read between the lines and decode what it is you want from them—or magically appear on your door or in your inbox. But the truth is if you want something, you have to ask for it. And sometimes more than once. And that doesn’t make you obnoxious, aggressive, or bossy—it makes you assertive, and you usually get what you want."
What was the biggest win or accomplishment you've had in your career? Anything you're most proud of?
"Well, we just finished the film, so I think that’s something that’s pretty top of mind right now. To think the culmination of the last two years has come to this finish line is pretty incredible. I feel really proud to be in this new phase of the filmmaking process."
What inspires you?
"I’ve dedicated so much time telling the stories of the Clara, Komal, Annie, Joanne, and Mariama, and all the CEOs in the film—so when I get an email or note from them cheering me on, it’s the most wonderful thing. It pushes me to keep dreaming bigger."
Watch the Dream, Girl trailer below: