The Tempest is a groundbreaking technology and media company aimed at building, amplifying and connecting innovative products and experiences for diverse millennial women. Launched in March 2016, The Tempest has exploded into the global conversation, reaching millions of millennials a month.
The Tempest is run by diverse millennial women, for the world. We’re empowering, disrupting and amplifying, all at once.
Combining user-generated content, original video and audio, and a custom-designed backend, we’re disrupting traditional media models and putting the power in the hands of diverse millennial women to own their stories and define global conversations.
From culture to policy, entertainment to technology, we connect the world with our multi-cultural creators, tastemakers and influencers. We’re not about consuming the norm. We believe that media can quite literally change the world – and that in providing a global community of diverse millennial women a seat at the table, we can transform it.
A NOTE FROM OUR FOUNDER, LAILA ALAWA
I’ve been asked the question a time too many: what made you decide to start The Tempest? It’s an answer that still takes me aback for a brief second, causes me to flip back through my rolodex of memories, fitting the right one into place.
There’s always a pause before I answer – but the funny thing is, my decision to start the company came without a second thought – it just was, and it began. The inception came with a question: why weren’t we hearing about the world and all of its intricacies from the vibrant, authentic and varied women from underrepresented backgrounds? Why is it so hard to push beyond what we’re expected to talk about, to what we truly want to discuss?
Figuring out what led me to that decision, though, always takes me back to being that awkward, slightly pudgy, verbose self that I was at fourteen years old. Always on the fringe of the social circle, I spent much of my childhood moving around the Northeast and struggling to find friends who accepted me for what I was: homeschooled, feminist, independent, and always coming up with the next idea to change the world.
I had a fire for figuring out the gaps in the market, which led to my starting a multi-location operation at local faith centers, selling craft supplies to the bored but voracious consumers while the adults attended spiritual lectures.
It was with that kind of “what if?” attitude that I approached every initiative I undertook. There were no limits, as long as I believed in the potential impact and had the fire underneath me.
There’s always a pause before I answer – but the funny thing is, my decision to start the company came without a second thought – it just was, and it began.
Yet there was a constant current running throughout: where would I find those who accepted me for who I was, quirks and all? As a teenager, I vowed never to allow those who felt out of place to sit alone once I was older. Too often growing up, I found my heart speeding up entering a center where I didn’t know if I would find someone who I could call a friend, a feeling I learned later in life simply to embrace.
But it wasn’t a feeling I ever wished upon anyone else. That lack of community, people who understood you, empathized with where you were coming from – if not with where you were going – all of those factors influenced the decisions I made in life. On top of that were the boxes those around me put me in: boxes that were difficult to break out of, but boxes that I simply refused to operate within.
Instead of speaking for diverse millennial women, we were giving them the chance – finally – to tell their own stories through writing, videos, audio and music, and the results have been inspiring – in growth and in reach.
It all led back to the question: why did I begin a media company that had now morphed into an international movement for diverse millennial women to be exactly who they wanted to be – themselves? Crazy as it sounds, I did it because it needed to be done. The Tempest began out of a lifetime of personal experiences, experiences that I saw reflected too often in those around me, time and time again. It was a battle getting the first submission – five weeks and a whole lot of pushing – but the responses from our audience were almost immediate. I knew, no matter what struggle lay ahead of us, that we’d hit upon the pot of gold.
Instead of speaking for diverse millennial women, we were giving them the chance – finally – to tell their own stories through writing, videos, audio and music, and the results have been inspiring – in growth and in reach. Rather than creating a set narrative and fitting different people into what we deemed “the right box,” we were giving them the ability to own their experiences, voices and stories.
Now, a year into the journey, I wake up every morning full of fire for something greater. With more than 600 writers in more than twenty countries, the content flowing out of our space is fresh, engaging and truly unconventional. Our content isn’t found anywhere else. Why?
Simple: we’ve tapped into a core of unmatched diversity, made up of a team of passionate, dedicated staff and writers telling the most impactful stories, creating incredibly authentic conversations, and representing the wide range of voices that make up today’s world. Rather than paying lip service to minorities, millennials, and women like many networks and media properties tend to do, The Tempest talks the talk – and walks the walk.
We mean business.
I think a lot about whether my younger self would befriend the person I am now. I believe she’d give me a chance.