Meet Vixely’s latest Girl Crush, Sonya Waterworth, Co-Founder of Yekra, and the quintessential L.A. girl-next-door.
Sonya’s first job out of college was working at CBS on the hit shows Entertainment Tonight and The Insider. She left ET to accept the opportunity to work for Clear Compass Media. There, she ran the social media initiative for the feature length documentary, THRIVE, which went on to become the inaugural success of her and her husband’s new company, Yekra.
Yekra is a new retrograde wave of innovation in the independent film world allowing filmmakers, community curators and consumers to interact in a way that creates a sustainable, fair, and evolutionary experience for all involved. Yekra’s film distribution technology platform equips content owners with complete back office capabilities to establish their own price and windows, territorial specificity, rental streams, digital gifting, and affiliate sales through affinity groups, offering these assets to the public directly from the filmmakers’ or distributors’ own websites and social media channels, as well as through affiliates around the world.
Learn more about Yekra’s unique platform, Sonya’s vision for the company going forward, and the two amazing women she considers true inspirations.
What is your name and the name of your company?
My name is Sonya Waterworth and my company’s name is Yekra.
What is your hometown? Where do you live now?
I am a born-and-raised Los Angeles girl. I never left.
What made you decide to pursue this path and start your own company?
Starting my own company and being my own boss has always been a goal of mine. It is a liberating feeling to be able to control your own destiny, and also a terrifying feeling knowing that the livelihood of others is also in your hands. It is the perfect Yin and Yang of responsibility and I am only answerable to myself and the people I love and work with, which is a much better experience for me that the normal corporate routine. My company feels like a family to me this way, which is ultimately the best way to feel about work.
How do you see Yekra evolving in the future?
I see big things. I think of the saying, “keep your feet on the ground, but keep reaching for the stars.” My ultimate dream is a day-and-date film release using our technology. Imagine being able to skip all the lines in the movie theater when the next big studio film comes in. Not having to pay the sitter, parking fees or over-priced popcorn and soda, and avoiding the old man blowing his nose behind you and the screaming baby. But you still get that experience of the premiere feeling. Getting to stay home with your high-end theatre system and cuddling up to your favorite snacks, kids tucked away in bed. Wait, do you hear that noise? Oh, no, it’s silence in the background. Plus, instead of opening to four thousand movie theatre screens on opening night, filmmakers can open to 400 million connected devices. That is my ultimate dream. (As long as everyone is using Yekra! Hehe.)
Who are your inspirations?
I have always been a big fan of Janis Joplin and Audrey Hepburn. Two polar opposites of women, but both equally strong, beautiful and empowering. They are women who helped shift generations.
What sort of women do you try to reach with Yekra?
All women. There is not one women more special or more targeted through our branding or content. WE LOVE THEM ALL, in every way.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Well, I used to tech Belly Dancing, and I have a black belt in Mixed Martial Arts in Krav Maga.
What do you do for fun? What makes you the most happy?
Recently, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my family. As work is so consuming, I always love to come back down to earth and remember what it is that I am working towards and what it is I want to sustain. There is nothing more important than family.
If you could invite anyone to a dinner party, dead or alive, who would be sitting at your table?
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Anais Nin’s Delta of Venus. Better than 50 Shades of Grey.
Last trip or holiday you went on:
My Honeymoon to Cancun. Wooo!
If you could give the 18-year-old version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
Nothing. I love every experience that I have been through. I wouldn’t have become who I am or taken the chances I did to get to where I am today had I changed a thing.
What is something you are the most proud of?
My Husband. He is the reason this company has come into existence and my partner. Everyday he surprises me by showing me there is so much more that can be done and experienced out of life. I am very proud of him and his never-ending supply of innovation.