Life for Vanessa Simmons was always going to be different.
Her father Rev Run is the legendary frontman of one of hip-hop’s biggest groups, Run-D.M.C., and her uncle Russell Simmons is the founder of one of hip-hop’s most successful labels and widely considered “The Godfather” of the genre. Then add in Kanye naming her and her sister the standard-bearers of beauty when he rapped he “needed one of Russell’s nieces” and the entire hip-hop community collectively agreed with him.
But despite all that, Vanessa and her sister Angela Simmons went on to build an empire of their own with their Pastry line. After much success, Vanessa stopped by to chat with Xilla Valentine about life and always having to be a “unicorn” for people who don’t recognize the hard work she puts in to be successful.
Vanessa also talks about her motto: “Don’t give up.” She says there will be highs and lows when it comes to building a brand, but lives by the message that you have to “persevere through it all.”
She references a piece of advice from her dad – “forget the rest and do your best” – and shares some words of wisdom from her Uncle Russell, who told her, “Only do shit you believe in.”
Later, she opens up about the joys of motherhood, being an aunt to her sister’s new baby, and much more. Check it out above.