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How Shira Yevin Is Empowering Women in Music with Gritty In Pink

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

How Shira Yevin Is Empowering Women in Music with Gritty In Pink

In this interview, we delve into the inspiring journey of Shira Yevin, founder and CEO of Gritty In Pink and the INPINK marketplace and frontwoman of the punk rock band Shiragirl.

Shira shares how her bold actions and unwavering dedication to gender equity have revolutionized the music industry, empowering over 3,300 female and gender-expansive artists and facilitating over $300,000 in transactions. You can expect to learn about her challenges, strategies for community growth, and her vision for a more inclusive and diverse music landscape.

Shira Yevin

The Creation of Gritty In Pink and the INPINK Marketplace

SBS – Can you share the story behind the creation of Gritty In Pink and the INPINK marketplace?

Shira – Gritty In Pink started as a community, running All GRL Jams in LA with the best female musicians, including Eva Gardner (bassist for P!nk) and Kiki Wong (guitarist for Smashing Pumpkins). We launched the INPINK marketplace in 2022 to get more women hired and paid. I was originally inspired in this space to crash the male-dominated Warped Tour and create the Shiragirl Stage for 300+ female-fronted bands, including Paramore, on their first-ever tour!

Challenges Faced by Gritty In Pink’s Founder

SBS – What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting Gritty In Pink?

Shira – One of the most significant challenges we encountered in launching Gritty In Pink was securing funding. As a bootstrapped operation, we had to think creatively and exploit every opportunity to raise awareness and rally support. Marketing was also a substantial obstacle, particularly in the early days when our resources were scarce. We heavily relied on our existing network, social media, and event hosting to foster our community and showcase the value of our platform.

Another significant test was the need to pivot our business model in the face of the pandemic. We were forced to swiftly adjust and discover new ways to virtually engage our community, all while crafting a sustainable long-term strategy with INPINK.

The Impact of Crashing the Vans Warped Tour

SBS – How did crashing the Vans Warped Tour with a pink RV in 2004 shape your journey and vision?

Shira – Crashing the Vans Warped Tour with Shiragirl in 2004 was a defining moment that shaped my journey and vision for Gritty In Pink. It was a bold move born out of frustration with the lack of female representation in the music industry. By setting up our own stage and earning an official spot on the tour, we not only created opportunities for ourselves but also ignited a spark of change, paving the way for hundreds of other female artists to be seen and heard.

That experience taught me the power of taking action, being persistent, and creating your own opportunities when the traditional avenues are closed off. It instilled in me a deep commitment to advocating for gender equity in the industry and providing a platform for diverse voices to be amplified. It was also such an honor to be featured in the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame!

Strategies for Growing Gritty In Pink’s Community

SBS – What strategies have been most effective in growing your community of over 3,500 members interested in hiring female and gender-expansive artists/music industry pros?

Shira – Some of the most effective strategies for growing our community have been:

  1. Hosting events: Our live music events, both in-person and virtual, have been instrumental in cultivating a strong sense of community and showcasing the incredible talent within our network.
  2. Social media engagement: We’ve leveraged platforms like Instagram to connect completely organically with our audience, share content, and foster a sense of belonging and support among our community members.
  3. Partnerships and collaborations: Collaborating with other organizations, brands, and industry professionals has allowed us to tap into new audiences and expand our reach.
  4. Word-of-mouth: Our community members have been our biggest advocates, spreading the word about Gritty In Pink and INPINK through their personal networks and connections.
Gritty In Pink Event Group Photo

The Evolution and Impact of the Shiragirl Stage

SBS – Can you tell us more about the impact of the Shiragirl Stage and how it has evolved over the years?

Shira – The Shiragirl Stage was intended to be a groundbreaking initiative that provided a platform for female artists and challenged the status quo in the male-dominated music industry. Over the years, it evolved from a single stage at the Warped Tour to a movement that inspired and empowered countless women to pursue their dreams in music.

The stage’s impact was not confined to the artists who performed on it. Many have said it served as a catalyst, raising awareness about women’s lack of representation and opportunities in the industry. It sparked important conversations and paved the way for more inclusive practices, offering a beacon of hope for a more equitable future.

Today, the legacy of the Shiragirl Stage lives on through Gritty In Pink and INPINK. We are steadfast in our commitment to breaking down barriers and creating a more equitable and supportive environment for female creators and professionals, ensuring that the spirit of the Shiragirl Stage continues to thrive.

Future Role of Gritty In Pink and INPINK in the Music Industry

SBS – What role do you see Gritty In Pink and INPINK playing in the future of the music industry?

Shira – Gritty In Pink and INPINK play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the music industry by promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for women and gender-expansive individuals.

Through our marketplace network, we aim to connect talented female creators with industry professionals, brands, and opportunities that may have been previously inaccessible. By providing a centralized platform and community, we’re amplifying diverse voices and making it easier for the industry to discover and collaborate with these artists.

Additionally, our advocacy efforts and initiatives that promote gender equity will continue to drive meaningful conversations and push for systemic changes within the industry. We’re committed to creating a more supportive and inclusive environment where talent, not gender, determines success.

Shira Yevin at Live Nation HQ for New York Tech Week 2024

Facilitating Over $300,000 in Transactions on INPINK

SBS – How have you managed to facilitate over $300,000 in transactions through your platforms?

Shira – Since our inception, Gritty In Pink and INPINK have facilitated over $300,000 in transactions through our platforms. This has been achieved through a combination of strategies:

  1. Strategic partnership agreements and events: We’ve strategically aligned with major brands and organizations to sponsor our events and initiatives, providing significant exposure and gig opportunities for our community members.
  2. INPINK hiring campaigns: Through brands and major artists like Joan Jett and Melissa Etheridge, we exclusively connect our INPINK talent with paid gigs, collaborations, and job opportunities within the industry.

Advice for Entrepreneurs in Niche Industries

SBS – What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to create a marketplace or platform in a niche industry?

Shira – For entrepreneurs looking to create a marketplace or platform in a niche industry, my advice would be:

  1. Immerse yourself in the community: Truly understand your industry’s needs, challenges, and dynamics. Engage with the community, listen to their voices, and let their experiences shape your platform.
  2. Build a strong network: Cultivating relationships with industry professionals, influencers, and potential partners can be invaluable. These connections can provide crucial insights, access to resources, and opportunities to expand your reach.
  3. Embracing adaptability: In the ever-evolving landscape of a niche industry, you must be prepared to pivot and adjust your strategies. This flexibility and openness to new opportunities and approaches will be your key to success.
  4. Focus on value creation: At the core of your platform, ensure that you’re providing tangible value to your community through opportunities, resources, or a supportive environment.
  5. Persevere and stay passionate: Building a booming marketplace or platform in a niche industry is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s about staying committed to your vision, persevering through setbacks, and letting your passion for the cause fuel your efforts. Remember, your determination and passion are your greatest assets.

Balancing Roles

SBS – How do you balance your roles as a business owner, frontwoman of a punk rock band, and an advocate for gender equity?

Shira – It has been a challenging yet rewarding journey. It’s a constant juggling act that I’ve learned to navigate through careful time management, prioritization, and a deep commitment to each aspect of my work.

As a business owner, I’m constantly focused on strategic planning, team management, and ensuring the growth and success of Gritty In Pink and INPINK. This requires significant time and energy dedicated to administrative tasks, meetings, and decision-making.

As the frontwoman of Shiragirl, I don’t just perform. I live and breathe music. It’s a role that allows me to connect with audiences, express myself artistically, and be part of our community of the very artists we aim to support through our platforms.

As an advocate for gender equity, I don’t just talk the talk; I walk the walk. I’m constantly raising awareness, fostering essential conversations, and driving initiatives that promote inclusivity and equal opportunities within the industry. For example, when Roe V Wade was overturned, I canceled all calls and dropped everything to head downtown and protest with other Gritty girls. Within 12 hours, we organized an emergency flatbed truck concert outside the courthouse the next day, featuring many fearless Gritty musicians.

I’ve learned to prioritize and compartmentalize my time effectively to balance these roles. I also rely heavily on my team and support system, delegating tasks and responsibilities where appropriate. Additionally, I prioritize self-care, ensuring I have the energy and mental clarity to excel in each role.

Key Lessons on Fostering Gender Equity in Music

SBS – What are some key lessons you’ve learned about fostering gender equity in the music industry?

Shira – Throughout my journey, I’ve learned several key lessons about fostering gender equity in the music industry:

  1. Representation matters: Having visible role models and platforms that showcase diverse talent is crucial for inspiring and empowering the next generation of ALL women/non-binary creators and professionals.
  2. Systemic change is necessary: While individual efforts are significant, accurate gender equity requires systemic changes within the industry. This means addressing and dismantling the institutional barriers and biases that prevent equal opportunities for all, from hiring practices that favor men to the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles and decision-making processes.
  3. Allyship is essential: Engaging men and allies in the conversation and efforts toward gender equity is vital and a testament to the power of unity. This battle cannot be won by women alone; it requires collective action and support from all corners of the industry. Your role as an ally is crucial and valued.
  4. Continuous education and awareness: Unconscious biases and ingrained societal norms can perpetuate gender inequities, but we have the power to challenge and change them. Continuous education and awareness-raising efforts are not just necessary; they are our responsibility. They are the tools we need to create a more inclusive environment, and they should motivate us to act.
  5. Celebrate successes: While there is still much work to be done, it’s important to celebrate the successes and milestones achieved along the way. These victories serve as inspiration and motivation to keep pushing forward.
Shira Yevin Representing Gritty In Pink on a panel at Live Nation for NY TECH WEEK 2024

Success Stories from Gritty In Pink and INPINK Artists

SBS – Can you share a success story from an artist who has benefited from Gritty In Pink or INPINK?

Shira – An artist who comes to mind is Vashonda Sherra, a keyboardist and DJ of immense talent, who has reaped significant benefits from her role in the Gritty In Pink community and as a talent hired on INPINK. Vashonda’s journey with us began at our 2022 NAMM conference party, where she instantly was drawn into the Gritty Gang and, within six days, was playing in our Pride All GRL Jam amongst 50 other Gritty musicians. She had recently moved from Tulsa and was looking for a diverse community to join in LA, and she found that with Gritty In Pink.

Through her involvement with Gritty In Pink, Vashonda has not only gained exposure and opportunities to showcase her skills but has also become an integral part of our community. Her journey with us has seen her perform at numerous virtual and IRL events, collaborate with fellow artists, and, most importantly, inspire aspiring musicians. Gigs she’s been hired for include DJing the Gritty Stage at the Surf Rodeo Fest, DJing Arlan Hamilton’s “Your First Million” Conference at LA LIVE, as well as playing keys at the FairWell Festival and countless other fests and events.

Vashonda’s story is a powerful testament to the importance of providing a platform and supportive community for female artists. By creating spaces where talent can thrive and connections can be made, we’re not just empowering individuals but also making a significant contribution to a more diverse and vibrant music industry. This cause is urgent and necessary, and we’re committed to driving this change.

Staying Motivated and Inspired

SBS – How do you stay motivated and inspired despite the challenges you face?

Shira – Staying motivated and inspired despite the challenges I face is a constant effort, but one that is fueled by my unwavering passion for the cause. The tangible impact I see our work having on the lives of artists and the industry is not just a powerful reminder of the significance of our mission but also a testament to the transformative power of our collective efforts.

Whenever I feel discouraged or face setbacks, I remind myself of the incredible journey that led to the creation of Gritty In Pink and INPINK. From the early days of crashing the Vans Warped Tour, where my band was met with skepticism but also curiosity, to the present, where we’ve built a thriving community, each step has been a testament to the power of perseverance and belief in one’s vision.

I also draw inspiration from the many stories and testimonials I receive from artists and community members who have been positively impacted by our platforms. For instance, I’ve heard about artists who have gained opportunities to perform at major events, community members who have made lifelong friendships through our initiatives, and individuals who have developed the confidence to express their true selves.

My motivation is not only fueled by the impact of our work but also by my continuous learning and growth. I actively seek out new insights, trends, and best practices within the industry, ensuring that Gritty In Pink and INPINK remain relevant and at the forefront of driving positive change. This journey of self-improvement and evolution is a constant source of inspiration for me.

Lastly, I surround myself with a supportive network of mentors, advisors, and like-minded individuals who share my passion for gender equity and empowering diverse voices. Their encouragement, guidance, and collective efforts fuel my motivation and inspire me to keep pushing forward.

Future Plans and Evolution of Gritty In Pink and INPINK

SBS – What are your future plans for Gritty In Pink and INPINK, and how do you see these platforms evolving?

Shira – The future of Gritty In Pink and INPINK is exciting! We have ambitious plans to continue expanding our impact and reach, leveraging our distinct offerings in the music and creative industries.

For Gritty In Pink, our aim is to solidify our position as a leading platform and community for female and gender-expansive professionals working in all aspects of the music industry. We’ll continue to host live events, both in-person and virtual, fostering connections, showcasing talent, and providing valuable resources and opportunities, ensuring everyone feels valued and included.

INPINK, our marketplace, will be a major focus as we work to enhance its features and functionality using AI. This will not only make it easier for artists to connect with industry professionals and brands seeking diverse talent but also provide a unique opportunity for our partners to tap into a rich pool of creative talent.

Additionally, we plan to expand INPINK beyond the music industry, creating a comprehensive platform that connects talented women and gender-expansive individuals with opportunities across various creative fields, such as sports and entertainment at large.

Ultimately, our goal is not just a lofty aspiration but a well-defined path. We aim to become a driving force in reshaping the entertainment and creative industries, promoting inclusivity, equal representation, and a level playing field for all talented individuals, regardless of gender or background. We will achieve this through strategic partnerships, innovative platforms, and a relentless commitment to our mission.


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How Shira Yevin Is Empowering Women in Music with Gritty In Pink