Black Owned Business Spotlight: Memphis 10 Magazine

By: We Are Memphis/Brianna Smith-Herman

Throughout the years, Memphis has been home to the industry’s most successful artists and creatives, yet there is still a lot of migration to other cities in search of a breakthrough in their careers. 

This was the conversation that the late Benarl E Smith II, Publisher of the New Tri-State Defender Newspaper, was having with his daughter when the idea of Memphis 10 Magazine was born. 

In their discussion, their to-be magazine was meant to be a home for all artists to connect and promote their creativity. 

Mr. Smith did not live to see this day, but through his daughter Brianna Smith-Herman, Memphis 10 Magazine is finally here. 

‘Our agenda is to highlight local creatives, build their visibility and support them to connect and impact Memphis’, Brianna stated. 

The magazine will be looking to highlight the known and the unknown, so that together with the community, Memphis 10 Magazine can grow the talent with confidence and aggression. 

Brianna hopes that the magazine will represent Memphis’s creative industry and be part of the solution to the many challenges that have caused many talents to move away from the vibrant city. Memphis 10 Magazine will achieve this by working together with old and new artists, conducting research and interviews, hosting networking events and concerts, and supporting artists and creatives at all levels.

How would you describe Memphis 10 Magazine?

The magazine represents the interests of the creative minds of Memphis; It will be part of celebrations and solutions. Memphis 10 Magazine will eventually be a quarterly publication, it is an all-inclusive magazine with a specific focus on black arts, creatives, entrepreneurs and businesses in the 901. Although the print’s main focus will be to promote, support, and grow the creative industry, the magazine also looks forward to hosting great minds and telling stories that will inspire.

What separates Memphis 10 Magazine from other publications?

Memphis 10 is an experience from top to bottom. It’s colorful, the imagery is beautiful, and the stories are told from an engaging perspective. It’s an art, culture and lifestyle magazine, with a focus on the best in black of our city. It is not because we are biased that we have chosen our focus, but because we want to fill the gap and produce a print that will speak for the people that we represent. The publication has been thought out and produced by Memphis’s own and will be looking to bring informative and inspiring entertainment to the people of Memphis and beyond, creating a top-notch and competitive publication. 

What inspired you to create the Magazine?

I’ve been into interviewing and story-telling for as long as I can remember. Ironically, in 2013 my dad engineered a deal to bring ownership and operation of the New Tri-State Defender to Memphis, for the first time in the publication’s 70-year existence. In that opportunity, I was able to get firsthand experience in seeing how he ran and revitalized that publication.  I was able to write and interview about topics that interested me. I went on to matriculate at Clark Atlanta University where I obtained my degree in Mass Media Arts: Radio/TV/Film and buried myself in media, social, digital, print; I was into it all. My dad played a major role in me wanting to create Memphis 10 Magazine, he planted the seed years ago. Memphis has a major renaissance going on and as a journalist, I wanted to tap into it. I wanted to create something to expose it, to cater to it, to show appreciation to it and to the ones that are making it happen here. At Memphis 10 we hold a strong belief that people thrive best in their home ground and as such even the best can be better if they succeed from their roots; the magazine is here to support that agenda. 

What went into creating the first edition?

First, Confidence! When my dad passed in 2017, I struggled big time with adjusting to my new norm. I had always been a big dreamer and go-getter but I became a shell of myself for at least 3 years after his passing. In that time, I focused heavily on myself, my healing and figuring out how I wanted to move forward with my life. I moved back to Memphis from Los Angeles right before COVID and started trying to get back acclimated to the city. Fast forward a few months, I began working for Three(i) Creative Communications and that’s where a lot of the dots started connecting for me. 3i helped me gain a lot of my confidence back, it helped me tap back into my creativity bag. I began working on Memphis 10 Magazine in July of 2021 and was able to finally release the first edition in June 2022. Second, stay the course! The first edition was nothing but trial and error, but I saw my end goal and didn’t give up.  Three, finding the right people to help me push the vision forward. 

The first issue of Memphis 10 honors The Late Young Dolph. It also features 901 Movers & Shakers, such as The owners of Odds Atelier, Producer JP, Event Planner Cyntia Daniels, The King of Nightlife Curtis Givens, Director & Writer H. Lee Bell and the stars of Jookin, The Memphis Grizzlies, R&B Sensation J.Howell, Coach Penny and his Memphis Tigers, and The Beale Street Flippers. 

Readers can purchase a digital or hard copy of Memphis 10 Magazine at www.Memphis10Mag.com.

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