Chantel Kelli is a veteran in the game of writing. As a child, she wrote at a feverish pace through numerous opportunities in her hometown of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. She never turned down an opportunity to put her pen to use, which led to her journey at The Shade Room. As one of the original members of the team, she oversees Black culture and throwback stories at one of the biggest entertainment platforms today.
She got her start at The Shade Room from a platform she created:
“I started my own [blog] in 2012, one year before I received my opportunity at The Shade Room. By the end of 2014, I wanted to re-brand myself. I was working three jobs and doing my blog. My blog turned into a non-profit organization and I’ve done numerous events around Pittsburg. I wanted to bridge the gap between community service and entertainment. I reached out to my little brother and told him that I wanted to do a live interview. He introduced me to a guy named Brian who worked for Sony, and he said that he had a client who was looking for writers. I started interning for TSR in March 2015 and I’ve been going since then.”
She helped form the “unapologetic” aspect of news through The Shade Room:
“There used to be a time where people were scared to write about certain things, but we’ve broken the mold at TSR. I am the Black culture enthusiast at TSR. I try to cater all my content toward us as Black people. We’ve created an environment at TSR where it’s easier to talk about certain things, so I’m glad I’ve had a hand in doing so.”
Even when she’s not working … she’s working:
“I’m always on social media looking for leads. I check other sites and I attack my stories that way. I haven’t come up with my best work yet. A lot of my stories and ideas are just seeds that are planted, which will grow into bigger things. Every day I get better, and I’m looking forward to growing as a creative.”