Meet Alexa and Coco: Founders of Gold Hand Girls!A Women’s Empowerment Platform
Gold Hand Girls is an empowerment platform strictly for creative women, especially the music business. Founded by Alexa Ace and Coco Lahar, Gold Hand Girls seeks to prove that a woman doesn’t have to work under a man to be successful, we definitely #COSIGN that. Created to showcase talented women all across the globe Alexa and Coco use their platform to gain music business experience by hosting their own Gold Hand concerts in their local areas. Follow this super dope dynamic duo at @goldhandgirls and check out our Q&A below! #COSIGNLife
COSIGN: Where are you ladies from and how did you begin your career?
Alexa: I’m from Norman, Oklahoma. I now live half here, and half in London! Shoooot, career? Ask me that this time next year. For now, I’m a music business student co-owning a small business and interning half way across the world for different record labels!
Coco: I’m also from Norman, Oklahoma but currently live in Fayetteville, AR and go to school here. I began working towards my career a year or two ago when I decided I wanted to be in the music business and started seeking out internships and ways to gain experience. Currently, I’m co-running Gold Hand Girls and getting ready for an internship with a recording studio in NYC.
COSIGN: As a child, what did ya’ll want to be when you grew up?
Alexa: A rockstar, duh!
Coco: An architect, a forensic detective, a fashion designer, a novelist, a musician, a director, a social worker… it was different everyday but eventually I found my heart to be in music.
COSIGN: Growing up what were you into and when did you know you wanted to create a empowerment platform?
Alexa: I was introduced to rock and roll at a very young age. KISS & Aerosmith were my first concert when I was 8, and I give a lot of credit to that moment. Lots of sweaty men with worn tattoos and women in tight clothes. During the day I’d play with polly pockets, and by night I’d be at different shows. Although, I didn’t think anything of it until I furthered my musical passion into college. I realized a lack of women and knew something had to be changed. Short story, coco and I met up for lunch one day before interning for different sides of the music industry. We hardly knew each other, but somehow walked out co-owning a company together.
Coco: I wasn’t really raised around music and art and being the oldest child I had to find it for myself, and I guess I realized something was missing pretty early on. I had stacks of old Teen Vogue and Vogue magazines hidden under my bed and was obsessed with art and music in a way people around me weren’t really (until I made friends like me in High School). I got into music when I got into the Beatles (duh) in my pre-teen days and it became an obsession from there. I had no idea I would go down this (incredible) road of running a female empowerment platform until I got into the industry and recognized the need for it.
COSIGN: How did ya’ll create Gold Hand Girls?
Alexa: I’d say there’s been a lot of trial and error. We began as solely an Instagram page in April of 2016 and through social media we’ve learned how to reach our target demographic. We probably had 4 or 5 launch dates before our actual launch! Gold Hand then continued what worked- meaning we did simple things that would expand our knowledge on global women, and how to reach them. Hashtags, for example. They’re so basic and kinda silly but they really do help. From there, we’ve hosted shows in three different cities with women in the music business. Now, we’re about to launch a blog alongside nine other women who live throughout the US. Madness, really. Follow the light, not the path.
Coco: This whole thing sprouted from a casual lunch date between Alexa and I – but our mutual fondness for music and similar experiences being females in the industry brought the idea of Gold Hand to light and it has blossomed from there. We initially were going to have it be a year long project where girls host shows in their local area and gain experience. We are still holding true to that area of Gold Hand, and definitely want more shows in the future, but have most recently expanded into a blog that allows music minded women to collaborate and explore the industry through design and journalism. It’s pretty cool how the simple (or not so simple) idea to empower women behind the scenes in music has transformed into such a diverse thing.
COSIGN: Who inspires you the most in your industry?
Alexa: This is always the hardest question!! I’m inspired daily by so many different people. In my industry, however, I’d have to say Scott Booker. He’s the manager of The Flaming Lips, and a close mentor. If it weren’t for him believing in me, and me forcing myself into his office to get to know him, I know for certain I’d be no where close to where I am today. I’m very lucky to have someone so knowledgable within this industry just a couple blocks away.
Coco: My biggest inspiration comes from females who produce music (that’s my goal), so women like Claire Boucher, Alicia Bognanno, Lady Gaga… the production industry is 94% male so really any female who either engineers or masterminds behind the scenes stuff is super inspirational to me. Also people I’ve shadowed in the past like Chad Copelin at Blackwatch Studios in Norman, OK.
COSIGN: What has been your biggest struggle in getting to where you are now in your profession?
Alexa: I suffer from depression and severe anxiety. One day might be a breeze, the next might be my biggest challenge yet. When my head hits the pillow, however, I know that regardless of my state there’s no giving up.
Coco: Anxiety is also a big struggle of mine and something that can really fight against me.. My mom is a counselor and helps me out with some self care exercises that get me back on my feet. In my (future) profession, however, I get intimidated because production is filled with so much information and it can be intense. The culture we’ve created through Gold Hand honestly gives me confidence a lot of the time. Knowing I’m totally capable and not alone.
COSIGN: Did you have a “leap of faith” moment? If so, how did you decide to make the leap and what were the circumstances around it?
Alexa: Absolutely. The first time I moved abroad (London) I was scared out of my pants. I even told my parents to cancel my flight I felt so incapable. Shaking, I got on the flight when I was 19 and alone. It was on New Years eve, so I awoke not only with a new year, but in a new country entirely. There was no looking back- my life has never felt so fulfilled. London is the most magical, musical city in the world. I will live there one day successfully and no one can tell me otherwise!
Coco: I’ve had a few of these in my life that have helped me become who I am, 1) when I left home for the first time to go abroad on my Gap Year, and 2) when I moved to New York alone to pursue my first music internship. Both were scary, but worth it, and have given me a sense of fearlessness in my future endeavors.
COSIGN: What makes your Gold Hand Girls unique compared to others in your field/industry?
Alexa: Gold Hand Girls is unique because we empower women behind the scenes, not just those on stage.
COSIGN: How does your business or brand improve the industry you’re currently in?
Coco: It gives a voice and a platform to many women who are intimidated by their dream industry because of they are women. With the community of Gold Hand at their side, I believe we can potentially push a lot of girls towards following their dreams and give them a sense of confidence and support they may not otherwise have.
How has social media improved your business or brand?
Alexa: Oh, we would be very insufficient if it weren’t for social media. I live in Oklahoma, and Courtney lives in Arkansas. We communicate mostly through technology, and like mentioned before, Instagram has helped us to actually build something sustainable all while reaching women across the world. Due to social media, we have had the chance to hire women we’ve never met, obtain interviews, and above all we’ve ensured a creative platform that not only uplifts us, but anyone who reads it.
COSIGN: What has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
Alexa: Working for Rough Trade East in Wales last summer!
Coco: Interning for Electric Lady Studios in NYC.
COSIGN: How do you deal with adversity?
Coco: I talk to people around me and find support, having people around you who give you confidence is huge. I also read about, listen to interviews, or watch documentaries featuring people I’m highly inspired by who fought against obstacles and still made it to where they are. These two things keep me going.
COSIGN: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Alexa: It’s funny, I just recently had a job interview that asked this and I totally blanked. Now that I’m at a computer tucked away from the world I can honestly say that I see myself as a resident in London working for a major record label. I see myself more fearless than before, and hopefully in love- with someone, anyone, anything, and most importantly, myself.
Coco: I want to be living somewhere I love (NYC?) with people I love, working in a field that allows me to be creative. Right now, I hope this is music production or graphic design that somehow overlaps with music. I want to walk out of my (organized and carefully decorated) future apartment everyday with confidence in what I am doing, what I am wearing, and where I am going. I trust myself to know that 5 years from now, things will be good.
COSIGN: What does success mean to you?
Alexa: Success means being able to provide for my family. I’ve been raised by a single mother, and truthfully everything I do every single day is so that she can take a break. She deserves it more than anyone I know.
Coco: To me, success is having a life filled with people you love and being fully yourself in all that you do. My parents have taught me this and are radiant examples of this kind of success.
COSIGN: When it’s all said and done what do you want your legacy to be?
Alexa: It will never be said and done. Rock n Roll won’t ever die, don’t ya know?
Coco: I just want to know that I lived a life that inspired others to be themselves and confidently pursue their hearts. To follow their religion, dreams, fashion sense, whatever it may be, with reckless abandon.
We #COSIGN @goldhandgirls because they have created a platform to help women in the creative industry engage and empower one another.