Multi-talented media maven Rubye Lane has a lot on her plate, but she somehow manages to get it all done. The Chicago native is a mother, wife, mentor, content creator, and Emmy Award winning television producer among other things.
Her company, Mustard Seed Vision, works with everything from non-profits to million dollar companies to leverage their brands on multiple platforms. Clients have enlisted her help with media projects, marketing campaigns, promo videos, talent acquisition and press and publicity.
In addition to her various media endeavors, Lane puts together the annual “Walk In My Shoes” Girls Empowerment Luncheon for young women ages 12-17. Originally created as a way for Lane to share her story of hope and success to engage and inspire attendees, the luncheon has quickly blossomed into an opportunity to not only motivate young girls in the inner city, but to also provide them with positive examples of women excelling in various professions.
N’DIGO sat down with Lane to find out more about her career and the luncheon.
N’DIGO: Tell us, who is Rubye Lane?
Rubye Lane: I am a creative who is extremely passionate, sensitive to a fault, confident and not cocky, yet genuinely humble. I am a mom of twins and wife to my high school sweetheart. I am a television producer and content creator who loves coming up with new ideas and projects that are meaningful, educational and entertaining. Most importantly, I am a woman of faith who sees light even in the dark.
What is Mustard Seed Vision?
It is a full service production company founded in 2015 that produces quality content for broadcast, digital and social mediums.
Talk about the girls empowerment luncheon that you do.
I started it three years ago simply because I wanted to introduce young girls to women in various careers. It’s always been important for me to connect young girls with women who look like them, walk like them, and talk like them.
Many times our young girls see images of women on television, online or on social media and think that’s who they are supposed to be, which creates a false sense of reality. I am here to tell them otherwise.
So with the help of our sponsors – Larry Williams, Roger Kruel of State Farm and Maggie Baczkowski with Strides for Peace – we are able to provide a nice lunch and enlightening experience for about 40 young girls at Marchesa in Chicago’s River North neighborhood.
Why did you choose the theme “Walk in My Shoes”?
Because I want these young girls to know that they too can walk into their own destiny. They just need to find the right pair of shoes – maybe it’s the shoes of an attorney or a teacher or an entrepreneur. They need to know that they can be what they see.
Who are the young ladies being recognized this year?
We are recognizing some extraordinary young ladies. Seventeen-year-old Kimisha Moxley is an honor’s student at Lincoln Park High School and she is also the founder of Kim Products (www.kim-products.com), a clothing line she started a few years ago. Her items have been featured in several fashion shows and can also be purchased online.
The other two young ladies are 16 year olds, Sanjana Gangadharan and Nandini Arakoni, who attend Neuqua Valley and Metea Valley in DuPage County. They founded Side by Side Smiles (www.sidebysidesmiles.org), a non-profit organization that raises money to help children in other countries with cleft lip surgery. To date, they have raised over $20,000 by creating and selling jewelry then donating the proceeds to pay for the surgeries of some well deserving children.
My goal in honoring these young women is to show other teens in attendance at the luncheon that they don’t have to wait to start a business – they can start it now.
Has mentoring young girls always been something that’s important to you?
Absolutely! I was mentored by some fascinating women – my mom and aunts of course – but then other women at church and some bosses in this business, including Angela McGee with the Judge Mathis show and writer/producer Sylvia Jones. They poured a lot into me so that’s why I feel the need to pour into the next generation.
I don’t do this for recognition because I’m naturally a shy person. I do this because we are in a time where our young girls are threatened by other girls and this must stop. The only way it will stop is if we empower and uplift each of them and tell them that they are each special, unique and gifted. We must show them how to become strong women, but more importantly, sisters.
What your duties as a producer at WLS-TV?
I am a television producer at ABC7 Chicago, where I’ve been working in the Programming Department for the past 10 years. On a daily basis, I research, write, produce and tell stories of some pretty remarkable people. Throughout my tenure, I’ve produced segments featuring Sir Elton John, Common, and Gloria Estefan, to name a few.
And while those moments are memories I’ll never forget, the stories that really resonate are the profiles of the everyday people who are doing some amazing things like City College Professor Emeritus and historian Timuel Black, along with activist Brenda Myers-Powell from the Dreamcatchers Foundation. Those individuals make what I do so fascinating. They are the true heroes.
With so much on your plate, how do you find time to maintain it all?
I don’t have a balance. I am extremely driven right now. It’s as if a force has come over me. I make sure I keep a “to do” list and scratch things off as I finish them. I prioritize, but at times I procrastinate. When it’s all said and done, I get the job done.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
People would be surprised to know that I love hip hop and love rapping along with the songs. I am a fan of the ‘90’s music. If you put on some LL Cool J, Too Short, or Biggie Smalls, I break out into a whole nother person.
Music is universal and it’s an escape for me. I remember growing up listening to music in my bedroom that was playing on my blue stereo I had received from my mom as a Christmas gift. I would record the songs from the radio – then stop and play them back, rapping ever so softly because I didn’t want my mother to know that I was listening to music that I probably shouldn’t have been listening to. Sorry, ma!
Can you name one book that changed or really impacted your life?
The last book I read was Joel Osteen’s Think Better Live Better. I read that book at a time when I didn’t know if I was doing anything right. His words and the biblical stories spoke volumes to me. It motivated me and helped me understand life and my purpose.
Best advice to young women?
The best advice for young women is “just do it.” Do what you are called to do. Don’t let your current circumstances dictate your future. If you look at me, you’d never imagine that my life would turn out the way it has. My mother and her siblings grew up in the housing projects, her mom died when she was 17, I grew up in a single parent household. We were barely middle class but I never wanted for anything. I know if I can achieve this little bit of success, they can also.
Favorite quote or affirmation?
My favorite scripture is Matthew 17:20, which says, “If ye have faith the size of a mustard seed, nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
That scripture is my life! I’ve only made it this far by faith. I’ve had some amazing experiences, met some really interesting people and had some truly unbelievable things that have happened to me. Just last week, I was dining at a restaurant with some really accomplished young women who had graduated from Stanford University. One was a chief wealth strategist, the other a successful business owner, and then there was me.
On paper, I wasn’t supposed to be there because I was the girl who grew up in Fuller Park – whose mother could barely afford to send her to Northern Illinois University – but in reality, I was supposed to be there to show that through faith all things are possible. When I look back over my life, I’ve always had those “how did you do that, who do you know, is your name on the list” moments. Those experiences let me know who is ultimately in control of my destiny.
What’s next for Rubye Lane and Mustard Seed Vision?
I’m working on a new online streaming platform. Cre8sion Media, set to launch in July 2018, is a multimedia company that provides content creators with a digital platform to showcase their diverse catalogue of films, documentaries, and television projects for a larger audience and industry executives. The company was founded by Michelle Hayes, Lee Fuhrman and myself. Also joining on as Executive Producer of original content is rapper/actor “The Game”.
On top of that, I’m co-producing a documentary with Chi Girl Productions about women with nontraditional careers. Last year, I formed The Mustard Seed Group, a nonprofit organization that will provide yearlong programming for children and young adults in the Chicagoland area. We presently have a summer camp for young people ages 6-14 at the Monumental Baptist Church in Bronzeville.
I’m excited about the future because there is a shift happening in my life and it’s not about anything I’ve said or done; it’s about the God in me!
(For more information on Rubye and Mustard Seed Vision, visit www.mustardseedvision.com.)