Too Much Melanin: 6 Brown Girl Entrepreneurs that are Bossing Up in Indianapolis

Too Much Melanin, Baby.

What started as “just a hashtag” and a photo shoot idea has transformed into a really important movement. Our goal was to create a campaign of stunning photography and video visuals that promote strong minority voices and entrepreneurs from Indianapolis, in very lux and sophisticated style. We also wanted to feature and promote hip places to dine and brunch - because, well, millennial. The result was a campaign featuring some of Indy's most prominent photographers, influencers and creatives called Too Much Melanin.

We featured six powerful women. They are business owners, creatives, mothers, photographers...all around bombshells. It was important to me to highlight these beautiful entrepreneurs, because our representation in branded partnerships and influencer opportunities is often minimized. This campaign was created in hopes of spearheading more opportunities for collaboration, networking and connections. All this melanated goodness is a force to be reckoned with and I want the community to see their value and be inspired by their works.


We partnered with The Garden Table and we can’t thank them enough for hosting us for a brunch shoot. I’ve said it a million times - brunch is my personal love language. Seriously, I wanted to capture all of us in that quintessential meeting place where we come together, vibe, fellowship and just have fun. Isn’t that what Sunday Brunch is all about? You can see the sisterhood jump out of these photos and that is precisely what I love about these ladies. It’s real, honest, sassy and sometimes - boozey. Indianapolis locals, if you haven’t visited The Garden Table, it’s time. They have the BEST fresh pressed juices and an amazing menu to pair with it. And yes, avocado toast.


We also value supporting other local creatives - so we hired the incredible duo Cliff Canon and Noelle Woods to capture the visuals. I’ve worked with Cliff multiple times for photography projects and his work speaks for itself. Get to know him. Noelle beautifully captured our vision for video and showcased each of us in an incredibly feminine and powerful way.

I personally would like to thank each of these women for contributing their time and investing in this project so that we can share and inspire our community. Learn a bit more about each below.

Sierra of EclecticKurves

A lipstick enthusiast and sucker for a great graphic print, Sierra Holmes is a plus size fashion blogger and creator of Eclectic Kurves. She lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is married and a mom of two.

A note from the blogger:

“Eclectic Kurves is a site that celebrates the differences that make us fabulously unique. As a curvy girl myself, I decided I wanted to have a safe place to showcase women of all sizes, colors and background. Being eclectic is not only cool, it's necessary. Style should have no size constraints. Join the Kurvy Nation!” Follow her on IG @eclectickurves


Marlena Banks

Marlena is passionate about helping other creatives see how God can support their dreams, which is why she wrote her book, @bigideafood THE devotional for entrepreneurs, side hustlers & dreamers. She was born in Akron, OH but grew up in Indianapolis. She went to the University of Cincinnati for her Bachelors degree in Interior Design - thats where she first fell in love with branding ( and her bae 😘).

Since launching Big Idea Food last year, she’s had an incredible amount of success growing her following and awareness of the book brand. She’s been blessed to have booked several speaking engagements, be interviewed on multiple podcasts, have her book shared by big name influencers & secure her first retail partnership (s/o @brickpopupshops ).

You can sign up for Marlena’s newsletter at and get a fresh new devotional to fuel your hustle every Tuesday.

Marlena Banks Big Idea Food

Tanisha Pinex

Tanisha is the creator behind Prolific Visuals. She left her 9 to 5 to do what she loves and help others who have the desire to be entrepreneurs, do the same. Tanisha saw a need to help others by developing + designing brands that would showcase their gifts, talents, and passions and speak to the entrepreneur within them. She’s a creative by nature and loves encouraging others to walk in their purpose.

She helps those who have a vision + passion to do what they love, SHINE by developing brands that speaks to who they are. She does it by designing, creating visuals, and capturing the very essence of people and their passions.

Stay connected with Tanisha on social @msrpinex.

Tanisha Pinex

Starla Kay Mathis

Starla is the entrepreneur behind the Creative Life. Mom + Wife. Starla’s creative journey started in video production. She received a Bachelors of Art from Ball State University where she was co-creator, host and executive producer of the variety television show, The MiX (that was Emmy Nominated within it's first season!). After graduation, Starla pursued a career teaching Indianapolis youth video production through the Youth Video Institute program of the Indiana Black Expo. Since, she’s explored her creativity through video, photography, design and content creation. When she’s not exploring her creative side you can find Starla relaxing with her husband and their amazing, talented children.

Fun facts: Starla goes hard for a good quote and she loves to plan and make to do lists (seriously, you should check out her IG stories because her Sunday productivity lists motivate me to get my life together every week lol!). Follow her on social @starlakaymathis

Starla Kay Mathis

Aisha Rose

Aisha is the Mom + Writer + Entrepreneurial babe that founded @strengthofshe. The Strength of She brand spreads a lot of love and inspiration for women of color, inviting them to live better lives and spread self awareness and self care. The group is all about empowerment, which is evidenced in the Strength of She’s educational conferences, events and the Shenanigans Podcast.

Aisha is based in Indianapolis where she puts her marketing and branding expertise to work. She is a marketing and communications professional with an intuitive knack for campaigns, strategy and storytelling. She’s a girlboss with a team spirit and an ambitious heart!

Strength of She

Martina Jackson

Hey, it’s me. I’m really honored to have connected with these women who inspire my creative journey (not to mention, so many others that I could not name here). I started Drea & Co. out of a desire to fulfill my creative passions in interior design and photography, after a successful career in the pharma industry. This pivot has been an amazing journey that I continue to learn from. It’s led me to developing a brand that creates amazing content, inspires and serves the Indianapolis community and abroad.

These days, you can find me providing photography and content marketing services to businesses and families alike. I also manage our home decor brand, Drea & Co. Home, where we provide interior design services and curate beautiful home decor products. You can shop Drea & Co. Home here. Learn more about Drea & Co. by heading to our homepage and taking a look around.

Martina Jackson

Please let me know your thoughts about Too Much Melanin! Leave a comment and share with a friend that may need to be inspired by like minded, powerful women and business owners.