“Just being a local girl from the community that’s been able to inspire the masses to live their best lives. That’s been my greatest achievement thus far.”
Chardelle Moore is our final muse for 2015 and true to the meaning of the word, Chardelle is a definite source of inspiration. With a long list of accolades, that includes work with some of the world’s most prestigious media companies, she is a true go getter and lover of life. As we laughed and joked during our interview it became apparent that her impressive work ethic matched with a confident spirit and vibrant personality are the secrets to her success. Hailing from the nature island of Dominica, Moore’s love for the island and Caribbean culture continue to influence her business decisions, ultimately propelling her to success.
If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be?
Positive, driven, God-fearing.
Tell me about yourself and the journey that led you to your current career in journalism. Did you ever imagine that you would achieve so much in what seems like a short space of time?
I was born on the tiny island of Dominica, Grand Bay to be exact. My mom is of Kalinago Dominican ancestry. My family and I immigrated to the US when I was a toddler. Like many new immigrants, when we arrived we didn’t have much besides each other. I watched my parents work hard to provide for my brother and I. Slowly but surely my parents became educated professionals. Through them I learned the importance of hard work and persistence.
Currently I’m a full-time host, traffic reporter and producer for FOX45 Baltimore and I absolutely love it. I began my career in media and journalism as an intern and production assistant for BET. I got my start as an on-camera host for online Caribbean music show. From there I went on to host an entertainment show on The CW Network in Washington D.C. As far as I can remember I always loved media and journalism. I remember watching Oprah as a child and telling myself that this is what I wanted to do when I grow up. In elementary school I was the morning news anchor. People who truly know me, know that everything I’m doing now is what I’m supposed to be doing and is what I’ve always wanted to do. What I love most about working in media is the fact that you can use this medium to empower and uplift others.
I also have a passion for community, culture and lifestyle. I’m a firm believer in the power that comes from stepping outside of my comfort zone and keeping my culture at the forefront. When I entered the Miss Caribbean Metro USA pageant in 2009, I simply I wanted to challenge myself in an area I previously had no expertise in. Even though I doubted myself at times, my confidence and self belief ultimately counteracted those feelings. When I won that pageant I instantly gained a larger following which ultimately helped enhance my brand.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
Hmm. Good question. I can’t say that one thing stands out more than the other but I’d have to say the mere fact that I am a local girl from our community who’s been able to inspire others while making my dreams come true has been a real highlight for me. I can’t tell you how many emails I get from people and viewers telling me how happy they are to see my growth and how far I’ve come.
Best piece of advice you’ve received thus far…
“Anything done part-time, will result in part-time results.” After I graduated I remember juggling multiple things as I tried to find my way and figure out my next move. Even though I’d been hired by BET I honestly wasn’t making a lot of money. I eventually decided to leave the position at BET to pursue a job that was paying me a great salary at the time. Even though I enjoyed that job, it wasn’t my true calling. It was then I decided I would grind my butt off and focus solely on building a successful career in media and journalism. Between 2012-2014 I put my all into building my career and my brand. I made sure I was everywhere from hosting events, to making special appearances, to collaborating with various media platforms in television, radio and online. Now that I’ve been able to reap the benefits of that hard, intentional and focused work, it feels good to know that every day I wake up I’m living my dream and I always encourage others to do the same.
In your opinion what is the biggest issue affecting the Caribbean community in 2015?
In my opinion unity is our biggest issue. Right here in the Caribbean community of the Baltimore/DC area, sometimes I feel like the various islands each have their own thing going on which has resulted in so many separate cultural events. We need to come together. I believe we can go so much farther as a community if we join together as one.
As I did my research on you, one of the things that stood out to me was your love for Dominica and it’s unique culture. I loved the fact that it wasn’t hard for me to figure out where you were from (laughs). What are some of the aspects of your Dominican heritage that make you proud.
Nature is such an important part of who we are as Dominicans. Dominica is often referred to as the nature island of the Caribbean. We are also one of the few Caribbean islands with a significant indigenous population which makes me super proud. I also read somewhere that our people are considered to be some of the longest livers in the Caribbean. We have our own music called bouyon. The best way to describe bouyon, is that it’s just different. As with many things that represent our unique culture, it’s a blend of our African and Creole influences. Our national dress is called the wob dwiyet and I’m proud to say I have a number of these in my closet. One of the things I’m most proud of is the fact that even though English is our official language, the majority of our population also speaks Creole. My mother’s village speaks more creole than English.
Favourite place to visit when in Dominica;
I love to visit my grandmother’s house. It’s a place where I feel the most complete, I feel energized and I love the smell of the air. Something about being in Dominica makes me very emotional. I have a strong connection to the people, the food and the land.
Your words of wisdom for Caribbean women;
Follow your dreams and always maintain your culture. We are so beyond blessed to be of Caribbean descent. Our culture is a beautiful, rich and diverse one. We are a melting pot of cultures and energies and we should never be afraid to showcase that, especially those of us living in the diaspora. I’m also firm believer in creating and maintaining multiple streams of income. When I decided to leave a job that was paying me a decent salary to pursue my dreams full-time, one of the things that kept me afloat financially were the multiple hustles I had going on at the time. I’d also say keep pushing and keep representing and know that any progress is good progress. We all know life can be tough, but no matter what you have to maintain an energy, spirit and belief in yourself that allows you to overcome.
What’s next for Chardelle Moore?
I’m going to continue to enjoy this journey called life. I want to go international, as well as launch my media company while delving into entrepreneurship. I plan to take my time and work to build a solid foundation, which means learning as much as I can about the media industry. In the interim I’ll continue to do my speaking engagements and event hosting all while continuing to push community and cultural content.