From TMZ to E!, media personality Nina Parker has kept her foot on the gas when it comes to consistently elevating her career. With credits including her work on Being Mary Jane, Love and Hip Hop Atlanta, Dating No Filter, Nightly Pop, and Netflix's new show Buy My House, she is now breaking barriers and stepping into new creative pockets that expand her repertoire.
Parker sat down with EBONY to discuss how she keeps multiple endeavors in her back pocket and her latest projects:
EBONY: Nina, you take on a lot of roles. You are a journalist, TV host, moderator and fashion designer. Can you speak to the importance and gift of being multifaceted, especially as a Black woman?
Nina Parker: I learned to see where I wanted to be in my career by watching other people I admired in local news. Then I would see the network make a change and the person was gone. Because of this, I didn't want to give one entity the power to make or break my career. So very early on, I knew that I wanted to have multiple streams of income. I knew that I wanted to have things that were just mine that nobody could take away from me. That's really what made me want to do, not only multiple shows, but also just different things that I enjoyed and that were mine to hold on to.
What are your tips for breaking the mold, and always aiming to elevate and reinvent yourself?
I don't think anybody's destiny is beholden to one place. I think you can always pick up and start all over again, but it's important to have something that's yours. Whether you own it or you're just invested in something or you're involved in multiple things. I think that's very important, especially for Black people, specifically for Black women, as we have to work so hard to be seen. Therefore, a lot of times people make decisions that don't always assist us in moving forward and sometimes we have to take the reins ourselves.
Last year you became the first Black woman to partner with Macy's for a plus-size clothing line. What more can we expect from you and your fashion collection?
I'm really excited about what's coming for the fall. We're dropping every single month. Our August line just dropped and I'm really excited for September and October, which might just be my favorite months because I'm a big fall fashion girl. We had light jackets before but now the collection will actually have some winter coats for plus size women that are really going to really just help layer up a simple look. For example, taking simple items like a white tee and jeans and pairing it with our dusters and white Air Force ones or some heels. I think these drops are going to have so many plus size women turning heads in the fall, they're going to be so excited with the options, some of which I've always wanted that I've never seen before as a plus option. I'm super excited for people to see these.
Netflix just premiered its new show Buy My House with you as the host. How excited were you to join a show with such a unique structure?
I really love this show because it's really not celebrity centric. I love that it is about relatability. I think a lot of people, especially as we get older or even if you were just a part of the experience with your parents, you've moved before. You know what it's like to buy a house and look for a new place to live. So Buy My House is really exciting because the middleman has been cut out so these people are coming to present their homes to these four tycoons and get their house potentially purchased on the spot, sight unseen, other than photos. However they didn't know that the tycoons go to the properties. There's no commissions and some of these are all cash offers. So you can come in with a house and just might leave with money. It's just a fun experience. You get really invested with the homebuyers and you want them to win. I love all the tycoons, who are friends of mine now, but you're truly rooting for the underdog.
For those window-shopping for houses, what are some tips you may have acquired to find the right house from working on this show?
I think it's important to look at the "comps" in the area, what's comparable. There are a lot of people who are asking far over the price of the neighborhood so it's knowing what neighborhood you're moving into and being realistic about your expectations. It's also about what's inside the home because a lot of times they need upgrades. So if someone has to invest, $60,000 to $100,000 to upgrade your home, you're gonna get less. Things are always evolving and the home will have to be made modern, because most people don't want to move into an older home, or don't want to move into an old home that looks old. You want it to look good. There's all these things to consider. But, most importantly, I think you do have to make sound decisions and make whatever makes the most sense for you and your family and weigh those out.
What are some other avenues that you are looking to enter in the future?
I saw this interview with Jay Z where he was saying that you ultimately evolve or die. Often in life, you can get stuck in doing the same thing over and over again. For me, I'm trying to get involved in things that scare me a little bit. For example, I'm now starting to get into acting and seeing how I enjoy putting my toe in that. That's something that really terrifies me. It makes me want to literally run screaming from a room which lets me know I need to do more and try to hone in on it. The things that don't scare me are what I can already perfect. So that's something that I'm really interested in doing and expanding more.