A serial entrepreneur is a person who continually starts new businesses and revenue-producing brands around new and innovative concepts. Rutgers Law School alumna (‘05) Lauren Craig definitely fits the bill, successfully navigating her role as director of marketing and artistic initiatives at Newark Arts as well as the many entrepreneurial hats she wears and has worn over the years.
Like many of her classmates, upon graduation from law school, Craig started a career as an attorney in her home state of New Jersey. Craig walked away from the practice of law, however, after 10 years in the profession.
“I came to the realization that life as an attorney was unfulfilling for me,” Craig shared. “I wanted and needed to pursue something for which I was deeply passionate.”
So, what did she choose to do instead? Ditching the world of courtrooms, briefs, contracts, and wills, Craig decided to earn a living at being fabulous or, in a word, “fab.”
Craig’s website, InaWordFab.com, describes the various aspects of her first brand. As the personification of InaWordFab, Craig writes and speaks about culture, the arts, fashion, architecture and other aesthetics, whether in blogs, via podcasts, or before small and large audiences. According to her website, “InaWordFab uses every color, fabric, and medium at her disposal to make a splash wherever she goes and reinvent herself as she sees fit.” No truer statement has ever been expressed.
Shortly after Craig moved to Newark, her second brand came to fruition. Seeking to make a splash in the Brick City, Craig harnessed her love of nearly all things Newark and proclaimed herself to be the “Glambassador” of the city, a moniker eventually made official by Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka.
One day while out and about, enjoying the excitement of Downtown Newark, Craig strutted into the offices of the Greater Newark Convention and Visitors Bureau (GNCVB), confidently introduced herself as Newark’s Glambassador, and unabashedly proclaimed that GNCVB should retain her as a blogger to write about the glitz, glamour, and awesomeness of the city. GNCVB agreed. For more than four years, Craig has written more than 65 articles, which are posted on GNCVB’s NewarkHappening.com website.
Craig’s blogs caught the attention of Reedy Press in 2016 during the 350th anniversary celebration of the founding of Newark.
‘’They were looking for something positive to commemorate the anniversary,” said Craig.
So, Craig compiled and edited her various blogs to birth her first book, 100 Things to Do in Newark before You Die, which Reedy Press published in 2017. Now on her way to becoming a prolific writer, Craig, who majored in English at Spelman College (‘01), is busy penning her second book, I Am the Table, a dating guide for strong-willed, independent women in search of confident, financially well-off men.
Craig is not ashamed to tell the world that she only dates wealthy men, as evidenced by her national television appearance during the “Ask Wendy” segment (at 3:00) of The Wendy Williams Show in 2018. When anyone, including Wendy Williams, asks for her justification for such a stance, in other words, what does she bring to the table, Craig brazenly responds, “I am the table.” Although her position has been criticized sharply by some, Craig remains unfazed and steadfast in her belief.
“Women should have high standards and the courage to enforce them,” Craig explained. “You need to impress me, not the other way around.”
In addition to inspiring a book, Craig’s I-am-the-Table philosophy also has spawned a dating movement dubbed the Global Goddess Movement. Grounded in empirical research and data, Craig advises followers on how to date confidently. It is a growing community of women some of whom are regulars of Craig’s Brown Girls Bar Crawl, yet another one of her brands.
“Brown Girls Bar Crawl is a wonderful opportunity for women of color to socialize, sip, and have fun while exploring the bar scene of intriguing communities,” said Craig, who negotiates group discounts with participating establishments. “It started in Morristown in 2015 and since then we’ve organized bar crawls in Newark (our largest with approximately 100 women), Jersey City, Harlem, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. I am planning an event in Chicago to coincide with an upcoming speaking engagement at the University of Chicago.”
It’s a new year, a new decade, which means Craig is likely conjuring up a new endeavor. Stay tuned…