INTERVIEW: Angela Yee talks to us about her side hustle game.
Angela Yee definitely seems to be the member of The Breakfast Club trio with the most diversified interests and hustles. Charlamagne Tha God and DJ Envy limit their travel and side hustles for the most part, although Charlamagne is taking a cue from Angela with his foray into the book industry, not to mention both of her radio show-mates have their own podcasts too. Angela Yee’s been on the podcast tip way before many of us, and she also runs a business with Envy, Juices For Life in Brooklyn, she's got her book club, she just recently celebrated her own inaugural day in NYC - Yee Day - on August 28, for everything she does for the city (yeah, apparently there is even more). If you follow her on Instagram you know just how busy she is, by the frequency of her adventures: the most recent one taking her to South Africa.
The host has been tapped by AMP ENERGY Organic to help find other unique hustlers around the world. They're looking for five total, in their "Search for the Ultimate Side Hustlers." The contest is still running if you have a side hustle that's unique enough-- you have until September 16th to enter, they're accepting basically any and all areas of expertise: food, fashion, beauty, art, or music. Once submissions close, Angela Yee and the AMP ENERGY Organic team will review everything, and five finalists will be able to showcase their hustle at Power 105.1's Powerhouse in NYC, which goes down October 28th. For more details and to enter the contest you can head here.
All that being said, we wanted to get Angela on the line for short chat about her own hustles, how she came into them, and more.
And for the hustlers: we just released a list of podcasts that should help with your entrepreneurial dreams and desires earlier today, here.
HNHH: Hi Angela. How are you?
Angela Yee: I’m good. How are you?
Great. I just want to start off by saying I’m a big fan of your work. The Breakfast Club and everything, Rumor Report. I think it’s way better when you’re there. I think Charlamagne and Envy would agree.
I love that. Thank you.
I got to speak with [comedian] Andrew Schulz last week about his life and his career. People comment on how “weird” his career is, he was saying how careers and jobs are weird in the first place and I think that’s an interesting take. Sometimes you have to literally bring value to yourself and find a way to get paid. You are somebody that has many different side hustles and found a way to get paid for many different things, creating value for yourself in many arenas. One is your store in Brooklyn called JuicesforLife. So a lot of people are choosing the health aspect or trying to get paid on that side. How important is health for you, how did you get into that?
Yeah, I think for myself just because I have these early mornings every single day and it can take a real toll on you waking up at 4 in the morning every day. Sometimes we go so hard all throughout the day. We work on the weekends too, so it’ll be seven days a week of nonstop work and it’s just important for me to balance that out with being healthy because if you’re making bad food choices and not getting enough sleep and working nonstop, it’s definitely going to catch up to you. So, for me there are certain times when I know I’m not going to get enough sleep so that means today and tomorrow, I have to do my best to be as healthy as possible because that really helps my energy. It’s a balance of that and even with the juice bar, the main reason we have the juice bar in Bedstuy is because I live in Bedstuy and I would go out and I couldn’t find a juice bar if I was home and I want to run to the gym. I couldn’t find anything that was fresh fruits and vegetables, all made fresh with nothing added in and I was just like it looks like I have to open one myself because if I can’t find one I can just imagine other people can’t find one. It’s a beautiful place too, for people to feel like they can come in and we made it for them, they can stay and relax, I have a library in the juice bar, there’s a great playlist, I have a 65 inch screen TV, so people can come in, watch television, we have a sofa. It’s very comfortable. We have a backyard. I just wanted it to be a space for people to come in and get healthy. It’s a cool place to be. There’s people that have never eaten their foods and vegetables and now they come in and love it.
That’s great. It’s great to see you’re having a positive influence on people. I think nutrition is a great start because once you start eating better, you will start feeling better. Are you familiar with urban farming?
Actually, I have a fresh juice business and my partner is in the fresh juice business. I have a farm also. It’s a little further out so it’s not in the city, but we do have a farm also but it’s not an urban farm. They actually have these farms a little out of the city, I was at one of them and it’s great because they have these kids in the neighborhood that help take care of them and I think that’s great for them to see how that works and then actually use the produce at home and see how fresh it is when you make your own.
Yeah of course. You are a well-read person, you take your time to do your “googles” before an interview and to know who you’re interviewing. How important is education to you? I see you have a book club, is that a way of everybody teaching themselves?
I was an English major and I read a lot. Like I said, I have a library in the juice bar. I look at books like real works of art. I don’t even do E-books. I have to have a physical copy of the book because I just love books in general so much. But for me, I feel like there are so many authors who don’t have a platform to promote and people are under the assumption that ‘Oh we don’t read.’ So what’s the point because we don’t read anyway like if you want to hide something, put it in a book. So, I really want to prove people wrong and encourage people to read more and give them assets and recommend good books to them. Even if you come to the book club and you haven’t read the book, we just take topics from the book and talk about it. It really turned into a town hall meeting and the author chimed in and I think that’s really exciting for people. We had the actual author. We had Cecile Richards come, she was President of Planned Parenthood for twelve years and she wrote her book, Make Trouble and for them to have Cecile Richards come into the neighborhood. We had for Black Girls Rock, we had Beverly Bond, who does the Black Girls Rock award show and she has the whole initiative and she has a book out and she came and it was so exciting for everybody to see Beverly Bond and for her to share those stories. It’s just really a great affirmation for people in the community because the book club is in Brownsville, Brooklyn and I don’t know any other book clubs, and I know there are some but I just want to make certain things cool, we have a DJ, we have a bar set up and it’s a little mixer first and then we all sit down to talk about the book and there’s people that don’t miss it for anything. They’ve been there every single month and been doing it for over a year.
I like that idea. I don’t know of any book clubs around me. Charlemagne’s writing books...why can’t you? He, self-proclaimed, barely knows how to read, why aren’t you writing books?
[Laughs] No, I will write a book.
I see that coming. Who’s somebody more close to you that you admire just the way they switch it up and are able to find different side hustles. Like outside of Charlamagne and Envy. Just someone a little bit outside, that you admire?
One of my best friends, SantiGold, she’s an artist, we went to college together and I always admired the fact that if she said she wanted to do something, she had always done it. When we were in college, she was like, I’m going to teach drumming lessons and next thing you know, she’s teaching drumming lessons to everybody. She’ll be like, okay, I want to do A&R and next thing you know she’s working at a label and she has an artist signed to her, she wrote the whole album. Then she said, you know what, I don’t like writing for other people, I think I’m going to be an artist. She took singing lessons and learned how to play the guitar and now she’s an artist. I just love the fact that she can just make a decision, want to do something and make it happen. It could be anything, at one point, she was like, I want to be a masseuse, and then she went and got certified and took lessons and classes and she learned how to do massages and it’s crazy but I love stuff like that.
Okay, so you have a book club, the juice bar, you’re entertaining, but what do you think your calling is for? What are you building this all for? Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years?
Well, I’m really hoping that I have multiple businesses open and that within those businesses, there are things that are really helping people. I really want to deal with things that we have going on like child obesity and kids that are suffering from ADD and ADHD and a lot of it has to do with their diet. So what I want to do is make sure that as many people that I can, encourage them to be healthier, eat better, start their own businesses and I have this things that I do at my juice bar it’s called “Boss Wednesdays”, once a month where we educate people on financing and we have experts in different fields that come in and just talk to them so I would love to be able to just do things like that and help people out but I’m involved in it as well.
Thanks a lot. I appreciate what you are doing for our people, just educating us and making health and reading cool. Music was already cool, but you found that other things to make cool too. God bless you, Angela.
Thank you. I really appreciate you so much.