Maybe American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” That adage could easily describe PhaShunta Hubert. In October 2013, Hubert started her own media company and website, MissPhaShunta.com, to jumpstart her career as a celebrity correspondent. Since then, the junior at Eastern Michigan University has gone from interviewing local radio personalities in her hometown of Ypsilanti, Mich., to blogging and covering red carpet events for companies like Disney, TVOne and BET. She has interviewed such notables as actress KeKe Palmer, Love and Hip-Hop creator Mona Scott-Young and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Recently, she worked the carpet for the 2016 Nickelodeon HALO Awards.
Hubert spoke with EBONY about her career, starting her own business, raising her 3-year-old and how family makes the best camera crews:
EBONY: How has your life changed since you started on the website?
PhaShunta Hubert: People are starting to see basically what I love to do. It’s more recognition as far as people reaching out to me to write about their clients, whether they are singers, rappers, models. There are more opportunities and I’ve been blessed to cover amazing events for Nickelodeon, Disney, BET, TV One.
EBONY: What is it like to have big media companies like Nickelodeon, BET and Disney recognizing your work?
Hubert: It’s a great feeling, especially since I had to reach out to them and pitch, and then they would approve me if they were interested in my company covering an event. There were times that I was denied, and there were times that I was approved. I think that’s a blessing. I’m learning more at each event I do. I look at my company and what I do as my very own résumé. It’s a great feeling when they approve me for events when I am at these events. I’ve worked very hard for this.
EBONY: What is it about being a celebrity correspondent that interested you as a career?
Hubert: I really believe in positivity. I believe that you can definitely get your word across without bashing other people. I always felt like I wanted to be that voice. I wanted to get the great content and get the great stories without digging too deep into people’s lives to bash them for a great story. We have those correspondents who bash celebrities here and there for their views. I like to be more positive. That’s just who I am as a person.
EBONY: But why start your own media company? Typically, college students go for internships…
Hubert: I did reach out to other people to shadow them, but I always heard, “not right now” or “we don’t have anything open at the moment.” That motivated me to create my own opportunities. I did find an internship while I was starting my company. It was a radio internship, here in Michigan. But in the middle of it I realized it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
EBONY: Did you always want to be an entrepreneur or is this a by-product of creating your own opportunities?
Hubert: I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. Growing up, my dad always owned his own… everything. I was around that a lot. Being around him made me the person I am. It was just something I always wanted to do.
EBONY: Does your family help out with the company?
Hubert: Actually, yeah. My little sister and my boyfriend, they help me. When I have events here in Michigan, they’re my camera operators. My little sister, she’s into camera operating. I wanted to keep it in the family.
EBONY: What about your studies?
Hubert: I try not to overwhelm myself. I don’t take a lot of credits per semester just because I do have a business. At the same time, I still want to finish my degree. If I didn’t have this company, I’d probably go full time. But I’m determined to finish my Bachelor’s degree. [My 3-year-old son is] gonna watch mommy walk across the stage.
EBONY: What’s next for you and the company?
Hubert: I would love for my company to offer more entertainment [coverage]. As I’m doing all of this, I hope that there are producers telling casting companies out there who work with me, “We want her for this.” My main goal is to work for a huge network like E!. I would love to reach more people. I want to be able to help people because I get requests often on “How did you do your website?” or “How did you do this and that?” I want to inspire more people.