“There is no competition; it’s a collaboration.” These are the words that Shantae “Sha” Menendez lives her life by.
The 28-year-old New Yorker believes that there is a greater deal of success to be achieved through collaboration instead of competition. It is with this idea in mind that Sha started Talent On Edge on Instagram.
Shantae Menendez is a model/ entrepreneur, having worked with and created contents for multiple brands. As a master of all trades, Sha also hosts a podcast, The Hot Topic, where she regularly invites guests to talk about pop culture, viral challenges, food reviews, and giveaways. Like most millennials, Sha is a native of the social media platform Instagram, where she regularly shares content with her 3,638 followers.
Instagram is arguably one of the best online platforms for young creatives to thrive. From up and coming models who are trying to get a booking for a show to digital artists trying to sell their artworks, everyone flocks to Instagram as their main avenue to put their work out there and get noticed. With 1 billion users and still counting, Instagram provides an audience greater than the population of 99% countries of the world.
The problem with trying to thrive in a platform with that big of a user base, however, is that in a bid to get noticed, one may find themselves sacrificing their artistry to participate in the ongoing popularity contest. Engagement is king, and soon enough, the only thing that matters is how much likes and comments a post can rake in. With that kind of pressure, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of trying to emulate whatever everyone else is doing in order to just keep up with the trend. The end product? A lineup of trend-followers, each as indistinguishable from the next ones.
This reality didn’t escape Shantae. But instead of trying to transform her way into the spotlight, she decided that she’d be better off creating a stage, where she and her collaborators can create an even bigger and brighter spotlight.
Enters Talent On Edge. With over six thousand followers on Instagram, the page first and foremost purpose is to lift-up fellow models, artists, and creators and act as a stage where their works can be appreciated and ultimately get recognized. The page regularly posts pictures and shoutouts to these individuals, while at the same time betting that they will get noticed, as a collective, by brands looking for collaborators.
Aside from managing a team of models to help them achieve success in the business, Sha’s ultimate goal for the company is that it can be a hub where brands can scout for their next talents– whether it’s for photoshoots, music production, designing, and many more. And a quick run through the page’s hashtag #watchtheclimb has proven that this is strategy has worked in their favor. To date, Talent On Edge’s models and talents have work with Dapper Boi, Stretypeco, Style for Queer Women, and many more.
While ultimately, it’s always about the bottom line, at the core of Talent On Edge’s belief is providing a space for artists and creators to collaborate and create something bigger out of their individual works. Securing brand deals is always the cherry on top, but at the end of the day, Talent On Edge is about lifting up fellow collaborators. To know more about Talent On Edge and Shantae Menendez, visit their Instagram page here.