Meet the Woman Behind the Wildly Popular Instagram Account The Shade Room

Welcome to Second Life, a podcast spotlighting successful women who’ve made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief content officer at Who What Wear, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields. Subscribe to Second Life on iTunes, and stay tuned. 

If you’re one of the 16 million people (and counting) who follow the wildly popular The Shade Room on Instagram (which reports on celebrity news, culture, entertainment, and politics), you might be familiar with Angelica Nwandu. If not, allow us to introduce you. Five years ago, Los Angeles–based Nwandu had just earned a degree in accounting and was hired to do bookkeeping at a motorcycle company, where she was to work toward becoming an accountant. But her real dream was to be a screenwriter, so she began writing on the side.

After making some connections in Hollywood, Nwandu quit her job and was given a small grant to write, but it didn’t go far. Then came her idea to start The Shade Room. She had applied for a slew of odd jobs with no luck and thought, “Well, if nobody’s calling me back, then I have to create this opportunity for myself.” And given that she was her friends’ source for instant celebrity gossip, they suggested she start a blog. That night, she came up with The Shade Room and knew Instagram was the perfect place to launch it since she wasn’t particularly technologically savvy. 

The Shade Room rapidly grew to 100,000 followers in just a few weeks, and today, thanks to its over 16 million followers, it’s a media empire with a website and original programming in the works with Hollywood production companies. 

Head to iTunes to subscribe to Second Life, and listen to this brand-new episode to hear more about Nwandu’s inspiring career story and road to creating The Shade Room. Keep scrolling for a glimpse at the content that makes the account a must-follow for millions of people.

Next up, find out how Kelly Oxford went from stay-at-home mom to successful writer.

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