Essence Lauren Smith is a multi-hyphenate creative entrepreneur based out of Chicago, IL.
Her focus is to fuse brand partnerships with cultural moments through the lens of event production,
project management, consumer engagement, and community programming
– with an emphasis on celebrating and protecting black women empowerment.
Her previous work includes producing events and/or experiences for brands such as Wilson Sporting Goods, Ketel One Botanicals, Lululemon, Jon Basil Tequila, The DuSable Museum, Chance the Rapper and Giveon (just to name a few).
In addition to her production company, ELMS Event Planning and Production, Smith is also the Founder of ELMS Tennis Club, the co-owner of the clothing brand, “Black Women Are Essential” (BWAE), and serves as the Executive Director for SocialWorks, a Chicago-based non-profit.
ELMS Tennis Club (ETC) is a recreational tennis club founded by Essence Smith and powered by Wilson Sporting Goods.
ETC’s mission is to simply diversify the sport and build community through tennis. Programming includes monthly tennis “Link-Up” events, social tennis focused events and more.
ELMS Event Planning and Production aims to fuse brand partnerships with cultural moments through the lens of event production, project management, consumer engagement, and community programming.
Essence is the Co-Owner of the unisex life style clothing brand, Black Women Are Essential (BWAE). Within BWAE, Smith serves as the marketing and partnerships lead where she aims to uplift and celebrate her community by creating designs and curating safe spaces for Black Women.
Essence Smith is a founding board member and the Executive Director at SocialWorks. As a huge proponent of resource equity in education, she strives to achieve this through her position at SocialWorks. By producing branding strategies, orchestrating favorable content surrounding SocialWorks’ core initiatives, managing press relations, and maintaining the overall structure and positive image of the organization, Smith supports the non-profit in its mission to empower the youth of Chicago.