by Colton Campbell
Shortly before graduating from the University of West Georgia, Diamonde Williamson added the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) to her cable package.
Now she wants to be the “Oprah” figure for millennials, and she’s on her way. The 2012 graduate has launched a digital media platform, Blossom, that showcases original and curated content to a targeted audience of women of color.
“I was watching a lot of content online while I was in college and after I graduated, and I noticed there wasn’t a lot of content focused on women of color,” Williamson said. “So I started with a simple YouTube channel, but I wanted to get more serious than that.”
The Atlanta native started working in the city’s booming television industry, first as a field assistant on the reality show “Chrisley Knows Best” and then bouncing around a few other reality shows filming in Atlanta. Then, she got a call to work on a series that airs on OWN – “Iyanla: Fix My Life” – but the job would require a move.
“So, I moved to Los Angeles and loved my time working on the series there,” Williamson said. “But while I was there, I realized two things: I loved creating this type of empowering content, but I didn’t want to do it on a major network.”
That’s where Blossom comes in.
“I wanted to make a place where I could create content, but also a space where women of color could deliver their content,” Williamson said. “We did some analysis and found that people want content that’s relevant to their interests, but they often have a hard time finding it.”
So Williamson decided to put it all in one place. Content on Blossom ranges from politics, music, food, healthy living, culture, parenting, sports and more.
Williamson, who graduated from UWG’s Richards College of Business with a degree in business management, said her time at the university taught her to connect with all types of people.
“Attending UWG taught me how to maintain relationships with the people I network with, as well as inspired me to do something big with my life,” Williamson said. “I didn’t go into college with a plan for my life, but I left with one, thanks to how innovative and forward-thinking UWG is.”
It was really just one class that “opened it up” for her, Williamson said.
“I took an entrepreneurship class, and I identified with those ideas so easily and so well,” Williamson said. “I have several family members who own their own businesses, so when I took that class, it really opened my mind to what I could do once I graduated.”
The team and creators at Blossom are all women of color. Williamson said this was no accident, but rather a key component of the network’s success.
“Every single person from the camera operator to the editor to the content strategist should be a woman of color,” Williamson said. “Working in the male-dominated industry of media production, you’ve got to walk the walk. You can’t just sit here and talk about diversity without practicing it daily. I wanted to use all our resources and exhaust all our options to use the women of color who can do these jobs well.”
Williamson’s vision for Blossom is for it to become a global platform.
“I wanted to connect with women of color around the world,” she said. “I want to show women how to always live in bloom, and I want the network to grow up with young girls as they become women. When you come here, I want you to feel validated.”
Right now, Blossom offers only a free service, but, later this year, the site will offer a more personalized TV experience in addition to its free offering. The premium experience will cost $7 per month and will include access to all Blossom originals and the ability to customize an entire library of content.
Additionally, the platform will expand to include mobile apps available in the App Store and Google Play so users can view Blossom content on their Apple, Roku and other streaming devices.
To learn more about Blossom or to subscribe, visit WatchBlossom.com or follow the network on all social media platforms @WatchBlossom.Posted on