We first met Corinne Foxx when she made her modeling debut back in 2014. Since then, the 23-year-old has added actress, entrepreneur, and philanthropist to her résumé. She's also written heartfelt essays for Refinery29 both about being a celebrity daughter and about struggling with anxiety. This morning, she launched her labor of love: Foxxtales, a lifestyle and shopping platform created to support small, women-run businesses that was inspired by her travels around the world. We spoke with Foxx exclusively about the launch.
So what is Foxxtales?
"It's a lifestyle platform that got built on the initial idea of starting a blog. It's an online marketplace, as well as a place where I interview really cool people and talk about deeper things — not just, 'Oh, what am I wearing today?' [Ed. note: One of her first pieces is an interview with Demi Lovato about staying authentic in the age of social media.]
"I would love for Foxxtales to be the first place you go to when you want to shop female-run businesses. I want it to be a fully-functioning website that lives beyond me and that's bigger than me."
What businesses are you featuring on the website?
"For now, we are featuring three women-run businesses in the Girl Boss Shop: Sweet Dough, a subscription service for quality, artisan cookie dough — she makes everything in a huge industrial-sized kitchen in Brooklyn; Bumble & Bolt, a handmade-jewelry line; and Remedies Apothecary, a homemade beauty and candle line. They're super high-quality, a little bit more expensive, but these women are actually making everything in their homes.
"We're starting with just three, but we're going to grow from there. Twice a month, we're going to do a profile of a new business owner to showcase their work."
How did you choose which businesses to feature on Foxxtales?
"They're all my friends. They inspired the site — I was seeing so many young women start their own businesses, and I was like... I have a following of people who care what I have to say, so I want to link them to amazing businesses."
Are you the sole contributor to Foxxtales right now?
"The goal and the dream would be to have contributors so the site can fully function on its own, but as of now I'm the sole contributor to my website... I've had some assistance from family and friends, because I thought, I could start a business! I'm a millennial; I can do it all on my own. But it ended up being a much bigger process than I had thought."
What part of Foxxtales excites you the most?
"There's a section called Real Talk, a profile series that I'm doing on amazing people in my life — there's a woman who works with refugees, there's a sexual-assault advocate, there's a transgender model who talks about normalizing the trans community. That's the epitome of what I wanted — giving my fans and followers access to these amazing people I get to meet every day."
Who are some of your female-entrepreneur role models?
"Jessica Alba all day, every day. She's a big idol of mine because I'm also an actress and I do modeling, and seeing her transform into creating a billion-dollar company was so inspiring."
You've been doing a lot of advocacy work — can you tell us more about that?
"I am an advocate for Girl Up; it's a UN organization that shows young women how to support other young women — all the girls are high-school age. I've been working with them for a little bit now, and that's fostered my belief that women should uplift other women.
"I'm also an ambassador for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. A couple of weeks ago, we went to Washington, D.C., to lobby Congress on mental health, in the middle of all the discussion on the healthcare bill. We wanted to remind them to prioritize mental health, and share some stories. It was my first time in D.C., and I did an Instagram takeover for Refinery29 while I was there!
"I was also hoping to show young people how to advocate for causes they believe in, in different ways than marching. I think marching is fantastic, but there are so many other ways to get your point across. I wanted to show young women that you can go to Congress and get your point across."
Do you have advice for young women who want to get involved in politics?
"You can call your representatives. Also, I didn't know this, but all of their offices are public so you can walk in and talk to one of their aides whenever you would like, which was super-cool for me and for other young women to learn."
How do you maintain your confidence as an entrepreneur?
"Growing up in the public eye, you always have a little bit more pressure on you; you want to make sure that everything you're doing, especially launching your own company, is perfect. You're a little more thorough, since there are so many people who are going to be paying attention. When I was younger, it affected my confidence because I felt like everyone was judging me, but now that I'm a little older it feels empowering because I have so many people to help me."
What's your advice for young women who want to start their own company, but may not have all of the resources?
"Focus on creating a really great product. And then, there are so many resources online to figure out more logistical things... Don't let the fear of not knowing where to go stop you from doing it. I personally learned so much just by doing."