Last Updated on June 8, 2020
Edna ‘Chichi Stylxz’ Frenchwood is a driven, passionate and charismatic entertainer, producer and entrepreneur. In addition to her work in stand-up comedy and music, Edna founded MyChiChiTV in 2009 and has interviewed a variety of celebrities including Wiz Khalifa and Ginuwine, to name a few. In 2011, Edna founded Chichimovies which has produced 9 indie films and several TV shows, gaining accolades from institutions such as the African Oscars, Dove Awards and Indie Merit awards. You can learn more about Edna at chichimovies.com or follow her on Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background in how you got into stand-up comedy as well as acting and singing/songwriting?
So I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria born in the late seventies, gosh I didn’t want to give up my age, but I traveled a lot as a kid my mom worked for British Airways so everywhere we travel I picked up the accent. We used to travel a lot to London so I’d to be like “oh my sister don’t talk like that what’s wrong with you switch your accent up” so I was the crazy the one in the family. And then it just kind of picked up because then I just felt like I always had to sort of stand in front of people and do stuff and I found myself doing Indian, English accents all of a sudden I had eight of them.
I do weddings and all sorts of cool stuff so I act in mt films with it. Done a couple of movies so I was able to play roles in them and not just produce but actually take roles that were sort of difficult because they had either multi characters or things like that which was cool for me. I mean that’s kind of how I got into it and we sing for our films, [and I] sang in church growing up so [I like] the chance to write music and jingles for my clients now.
When did you branch out into influencer marketing and recognize it as a viable revenue stream?
Well I was actually digging online. Digging for some other ways to get more work out there and to have my clients be more visible when I ran into your site so that’s kind of how that came about. It’s just a way to help some of the clients that I work with just connect with other people and sometimes you need to be in an influencer position to be able to do that so that’s why I joined.
You’re a singer/songwriter, actress, producer, stand-up comedian, entrepreneur, influencer, and a best selling author. Wow! So with all your different ventures how do you structure your average work day?
Basically the night before. I do a lot of planning the night before so sometimes it’s a late night but I get up early, I sleep with affirmations so I’m reminded that I’m super powerful, I am a bible-believing kid I grew up believing the word. So I think of the master who gave talent to like the one guy that he gave ten talents to then he gave talents to someone that had one so I position myself like well he gave me talents to do ten things so I don’t have to do them all at one time but I do have to structure my life to where I am using all the talents I’m given at some point.
So I am the dance leader of a major national international church we have over fifty dances all over the US so I get to dance with all of them like once a year. I may not do it all the time but I use dance there, I do a dance fitness program in the fall, you know, I get fit with dance in the fall so I use dance there. I may not dance all the time but that’s how I use dance. Music, I sing in films or for jingles so I may do it all the time but I use it there, acting. So it’s always going to pop up the opportunity to use the talent and so just being able to manage it, balance it, planning ahead of time, and then, you know, taking one step at a time.
Can you tell us a little bit about Chi Fit?
So I lost over forty pounds a few years ago and I sort of – it took me awhile because I thought when I left Houston, I used to live in Houston I now live in Michigan, when I left Houston I went back to shoot my first film and I was this like overweight chick and everyone’s looking at me like what happened to you and I said i have to lose wight but over the years I found a way because in Michigan we all kind of binge eat in the wintertime because it’s cold so we are just like “oh my god where’s the food” it’s comforting, we eat a lot. So summertime came and my church went to this fast and doing the fast helped me. I started dancing more and then I found out well maybe if I do this and do this together it will work and I kind of found a way to lose the weight. So now I started a fitness section where we do dance fitness programs.
It’s almost like an afro dance fitness so it’s high powered African songs, you know, you got to move so it’s a lot of high energy and so we’re now dancing. We actually did a performance for a school this year. I have a youth group that I teach media and t teach different programs and they did a dance for Malcolm X and we had a standing ovations and I wrote the song for it and we got paid to do it, I’m like yes. So fitness now became something that I do because I love it and I dance the high powered dance they sort of go together. You can’t do that and sort of not burn fat it sort of goes together so we just decided to have that section to help those that want to join us in a class to have that African fitness available in out community.
What is your favorite brand collaboration to-date?
I just joined you guys last week so not yet but I’m definitely one of those influencers, I’m calling myself an influencer, that if I go anywhere I’m trying to tag, you know. I have over seven hundred reviews on Google so I’m like talking about the restaurant, I’m talking about the relationship I have, I enjoyed, you know, the place traveled to, Sheraton. And I’ve had some – you know, Sheraton followed me back and thanked me and have some celebrities.
Malik was in one of my films he’s from New York Undercover so he’s like, you know, chatted m e online. And, you know, people like the fact that you say hello to them when you come into their facility or eat their food and so I tend to try to do that with social media just to give shoutouts to the place I’m eating at or traveling or visiting and get shoutouts back. You know, tag other people who have even supported me either through photography studio used me as a model for their cards and so I tagged them last week on my page, on my business a page so little things like that help us to support our community.
What are some of your goals for the next year?
I really hope to bring my gifts to the table. The most important thing is to make sure that you continue to remain valuable. So it’s not so much about what I want but what can I give. I’m a big BNI member and ambassador actually so BNI is important to me because I come in there to give. So if you’re always in the mood to give you’re going to get regardless.
I work with clients in Dubai, London, I have a client who’s feed orphans and widows in Cameroon, she was our video post for the day, so we just have tons of people from all walks of earth that we’re working with. I would love to share what they’re doing to influence people. I hope to connect with bigger brands who can see some local work we’re doing but help us connect and make better, you know, sales and, you know, connections and just, you know, getting more people to know more about each other through your platform. I’m so excited.