We're celebrating Black History Month this year by shining a spotlight on the ✨ black girl magic ✨ that helps fuel Shine.

Marah (Shine's co-founder and CEO), Tiffany (audio strategist and voice behind your Daily Shine), and Martha (content strategist and human behind @ShineText on Instagram) answered a series of questions about themselves, their self-care practice, how they practice self-love, and so much more.

Meet Marah Lidey: Co-founder and co-CEO of Shine


1. What does taking up space mean to you?

To me, taking up space means less over-qualifying, over-thinking, or worrying that my perspective is “right." It means more speaking up, being in the room, asking for what I need, and trusting my gut.

Over the years, I’ve come to the humble realization that I’m the only one with my unique experience—and that inherently is worthwhile. It’s helped to stop filtering myself through societal standards of what I’m supposed to do, say, or look like. And it’s pretty freeing.

'I’ve come to the humble realization that I’m the only one with my unique experience—and that inherently is worthwhile.'
- Marah Lidey

2. How do you prioritize your emotional/mental health?

The biggest shift for me has come in realizing that my mental and emotional health isn’t something that can be “managed” separately from the other parts of my life.

There is no world where I go to work, and then I see my partner or friends, and then I prioritize my mental health. Nah. I have to prioritize my mental health every day through those interactions.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good morning self-care routine—gratitude, meditation, a little Oprah SuperSoul Sunday. But the best gift I can give myself is finding what energizes me about each moment of my life, no matter what I’m doing.

3. What is one of your proudest accomplishments here at Shine?

So many. But there’s no one milestone that compares to the feeling of coming to our office each day and feeling the energy of the team we’ve built.

The Shine team is a group of smart, compassionate, resilient creators from a vast wealth of marginalized experiences. Put those humans together to solve the problem of isolation around mental health struggles and it’s pure magic.

4. How do you practice self-love?

Self-love for me looks like journaling, reflecting on what I’m grateful for each day, prioritizing recharge time, and when I have a negative thought pop up—letting it go with love (instead of getting all judgey on myself).

5. How does community fit into your self-care practice?

Community is everything to me. There’s no way I’d be who I am without the people that have had my back. Over the years, it’s been helpful for me to understand that community for me is about belonging, about feeling seen and understood—but isn’t necessarily about constantly being in group settings.

I love a good group hang with my girls or other founder friends, but I’ve found that my community for me is a thread of a lot of powerful one-to-one relationships that have gotten deeper and more meaningful through the intimacy of prioritizing that dedicated relationship.

6. Who inspires you?

My Dad. He’s the first call I make when something good or bad happens. His guidance is priceless—he’s full of compassion, laughter, hustle and is always striving to make himself and the world better. His example is my motivation—no matter what he goes through, or has been through in his life, he always gets back up. Here’s where I get my drive, persistence and love for others. He’s just the best.

Meet Tiffany Walker: Audio Strategist and host of the Daily Shine


1. What does taking up space mean to you?

Resisting the urge to shrink. It's become my personal mantra!

My most formative years, college and my 20s, were spent in predominately white spaces. I was the "only" a lot and in order to not feel like the sore thumb that I knew I stuck out as, I did my best to blend into the background.

I didn't use my voice much as I wanted to and didn't hold myself with a lot of confidence. I moved to New York five years ago because I was tired of holding that energy.

I did the work to unpack those years and now take pride in all that I am, letting that lead me as I walk into every room. I speak way more freely and hold myself with a greater overall posture, being proud of who I am.

2. How do you prioritize your emotional/mental health?

I've never been shy about taking time for myself (proud introvert!) or setting boundaries in all areas of my life—personal and professional. I know how sensitive I am to expending energy and while I always strive to show up and be the best version of myself, I keep close tabs on how I'm feeling. If something feels off or I'm showing signs of being frazzled, I step back and regroup.

It can be tough when you're balancing so many things at once, so I make sure every Sunday is MY day. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I'm off the grid on Sundays. It's my day to recharge and replenish myself without exception.

I'm also a big champion of therapy and meet with my wonderful therapist every Monday. So on Sundays and Mondays, I'm usually floating, feeling my best.

3. How do you practice self-love?

Showing myself how much I matter to me is a great joy. You gotta celebrate your #1!

I take myself on dates whether it be to a restaurant to enjoy a nice meal or to the movies which is one of my all-time favorite solo activities. I speak kindly to myself. I've worked really hard to make my inner voice work with me and not against me.

My greatest indulgence is my "Tops To Toes Day" which is every Sunday. It's the day I spend pampering myself literally from head to toe. I wash and deep condition my hair because as Black women, we know the important significance of our hair.

I'll do some sort of skincare treatment, yoga to get physically balanced, and make a really great Sunday meal. As a southern woman, Sunday dinner was always important to my family and I keep that tradition going even though I'm a New Yorker now.

4. What is one of your proudest accomplishments here at Shine?

At Shine, we don't shy away from talking about the difficulties of being part of a marginalized group. It was something that drew me to the company before I worked here, and it was on my agenda to further and deepen that work from my first day as a new hire.

There's an adage a lot of POCs are told as young children, but especially Black children: That you have to be twice as good to get half as much or half as far. I remember being sat down and told that by my mother at the age of 10. I was rocked by it but she was right—it's a hard truth.

I wrote and recorded a meditation called You Are Enough that speaks directly to that saying to give support to anyone who has ever felt that unfair pressure and to let them know their true value can never be determined by someone else. Having the support of my company and the space to make that work was so freeing. It was a proud moment.

5. How does community fit into your self-care practice?

I come from a long line of amazing women that know the importance of showing up for the people in your life, and I never take that for granted.

My friends and family fill me up. I would be lost without their support and guidance. I know they always have my best interest at heart and will show up for me when I need them. So I keep that door open and do the same for them.

I do my best to stay in touch regularly, making plans with those I'm in close proximity to because there's nothing like 1:1 time with your people or reach out to my long-distance community any time I can. I do so much walking in NYC that I always use that time to check-in with my loved ones via phone call or text.

6. Who inspires you?

My 6-year-old niece, Eden. She has a curiosity about the world and an inner strength and confidence that I've never seen in a child her age. And she's such a joyful spirit.

I've always looked up to her for being so true to herself even though I know that who she is now will change as she grows. But her essence is so profound.

She inspires me to live authentically, to find joy in the every day, to use my voice, and more than anything make sure I'm doing all that I can to be a strong role model for her—one she can always look to for guidance on her journey as a Black woman.

Meet Martha Tesema: Content Strategist

Martha Tesema

1. What does taking up space mean to you?

To me, a big part of taking up space means actively believing in your self-worth—and advocating for yourself constantly. It’s a hard thing to do, but it can manifest in so many different ways for me.

Sometimes that means adjusting my self-talk to be more positive and reminding myself that I belong in the rooms I enter, and other times it means building a seat at the table where there historically hasn’t been room for people who look like me.

2. How do you prioritize your emotional/mental health?

I try to prioritize my emotional and mental health constantly, though it can be hard when things get so busy! For me, that looks like setting boundaries when I know I need time to recharge (sorry to all those plans I have rescheduled!) and prioritizing my sleep.

As far as my mental health, making time to honor movement (whether it’s by biking or a gym session with friends) and practicing moments of mindfulness in my everyday (like when I do my skincare routine) have helped me stay grounded.

3. How do you practice self-love?

I’ve been working on developing my self-love practice for years and that’s what I love about it, it’s forever changing!

These days, my focus is on how I talk to myself. I started flipping my negative self-talk to positive, and it’s turned into a habit. When I do it, my mindset is so much better and my productivity soars–so integrating that into all the many ways I care for myself has been my practice as of late.

4. What is one of your proudest accomplishments here at Shine?

One of my proudest accomplishments at Shine was when we published the article "Why We Need To Talk About Representation Burnout."

It was so cathartic to write, and even more impactful once I read the hundreds of responses from people about how the article impacted them. I will forever be proud that we shed some light on an issue that so many people of marginalized identities face, and hope that even just naming "representation burnout" provided solace for some folks.

5. How does community fit into your self-care practice?

Community is a HUGE part of my self-care practice. Throughout my childhood, I witnessed how powerful it is to have a community to help you when times are hard—and celebrate the wins along the way, too.

While my community is spread across the country, I really value intentional time with family and friends, so a FaceTime session with my parents or a dinner date with friends really goes a long way for my emotional health.

6. Who inspires you?

As cliche as it may sound, my family is the driving source of inspiration for me.

As the eldest daughter of immigrants, I saw firsthand how my parents came to this country and created a beautiful new life for themselves and future generations.

The sacrifices so many people in my family have made are immeasurable, and they inspire the work ethic I have as well as my desire to make the world a bit better than I found it.