Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Collective is a new incubator program focused on elevating female content creators. The inaugural cohort features 15 different women from a range of fields, from TikTok personalities and livestreaming stars to fitness trainers, musicians, disability advocates, athletes, and more.
Witherspoon co-founded Hello Sunshine in 2016 as a way to amplify female voices in media. The production company has been a smash success, producing such critically and commercially successful movies and shows like Gone Girl, Big Little Lies, The Morning Show, and Where The Crawdads Sing.
But producing content is just one of the company’s focuses, and the new Hello Sunshine Collective aims to open up the company’s extensive resources to more female content creators.
How The Hello Sunshine Collective For Female Content Creators Works
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the collective is a year-long customized mentorship. The Hello Sunshine Collective “helps entrepreneurial women take their brands to the next level through amplifying their unique and personal narratives, using support across Hello Sunshine’s vast network of resources in content creation, marketing, business strategy, strategic partnerships, and other advice from the company’s leadership.”
The inaugural class for the collective was announced at the same time as the initiative itself, and the official website doesn’t yet mention any specific criteria for which female content creators get invited to join. But given the wide range of types of entrepreneurs and the relative levels of those involved, it’s clear the incubator is meant to help take creators with a clear brand and vision to a new level of success. In Witherspoon’s own words, the Hello Sunshine Collective serves as “rocket fuel” for its participants.
The 15 women in the inaugural class already have a combined social media reach of nearly 60 million people. They are composer Emily Bear, musician Shiadanni, former WNBA star Sydney Carter, health and wellness coach Alex Elle, baker and cake artist Yolanda Gampp, fitness trainer Jeanette Jenkins, influencer Rachel Martino, The Cool Mom Co. founder Lizzy Mathis, The Korean Vegan founder Joanne Molinaro, disability advocate Sophie Morgan, Color Me Courtney founder Courtney Quinn, TikTok personalities Yasmine Sahid and Kat Stickler, livestreamer and entrepreneur Valkyrae, and Diary of an Honest Mom founder Libby Ward.
Why Female Content Creators Need Additional Resources
Not unlike most sectors of business and entrepreneurship, female content creators face an uphill battle compared to many of their male counterparts. A lot of the same factors that inhibit women across the globe in a traditional business environment carry over into entrepreneurship and content creation, too. Which is exactly why Hello Sunshine exists.
As the company’s head of direct-to-consumer Maureen Polo says, “To truly change the story, we need to change the storytellers.” As of 2022, only one in 10 of the top livestreamers on major platforms was a woman. The split is more favorable for content creators in general, but even then 44 percent of creators are women compared to 56 percent men. And as Wired discussed, even the terminology of “influencer” versus “creator” skews heavily gendered.
An incubator that focuses specifically on the needs of female content creators while also opening up a network (one of the primary things first-time entrepreneurs — particularly women — lack) is sorely needed. With any luck, more companies that rely on the creative output of individuals to succeed will follow Hello Sunshine’s lead and invest time and resources into not only leveling the playing field, but better serving a still vastly underserved audience.