Vanessa Simmons and Tee Tee Francis are back on our television screen for the fourth season of WeTV’s Growing Up Hip-Hop. The stars are navigating through their daily lives: Simmons is trying to revive Pastry, a business she created with her sister Angela Simmons in 2007. Francis, niece of Pepa from Salt-N-Pepa and cousin of castmate, Egypt Criss, is going through the motions of dealing with a family with strong personalities and everyone coming into their own and finding their sense of being.
Off the screen, Simmons and Francis are channeling their creative energy. Simmons –a mompreneur– is also a budding actress. She moved from New York City to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career. And Francis, a writer and producer, is creating her own scripts for the big screen.
During an interview with theGrio at Sundance Film Festival, Simmons revealed she landed a role on a scripted series and although she couldn’t give the details, she did share that it would be coming out later this year. Outside of booking roles, Simmons is also focused on her skin care line, ‘Sugar Me.’
“I am a mom on the go and I feel like my time in the bathroom is my solace,” says Simmons.
“It’s like my time where I get to woo-sah it out and just get to get away. But I also like to know that when I’m in the bathroom, I’m using products that are number one. Natural, cruelty free, not being tested on animals and that are actually doing something for your skin.[Sugar me] products are high performance and I’ve designed them after my favorite treat.”
As mentioned earlier, Simmons is trying to revive Pastry. One of the main reasons is wanting her five-year-old daughter, Ava Marie, to witness the brand and also get her into fashion. While the revival is still in the works, you can look out for her mother and daughter collaboration, ‘Glitter and Lace.’
Francis also dished on upcoming projects we can look out for.
“Growing Up Hip Hop is great but I’m also producing at the same time,” says Francis. “So I’m working on projects with like CNBC right now and then my own,like, passion project that I want to film in Jamaica is what I’m really trying to get going. So maybe next year at Sundance, tune in.”
When it comes to the Sundance experience, Simmons says: “If you’re into film, I feel like there’s just so much inspiration around in so many ways to connect in the film world. This is my first time, so I’m learning as I go every day and this is like literally one of the best experiences I’ve had.”
“ I think it’s just about like being around other creatives and seeing what other people are doing,” adds Francis. It’s also inspiring at the same time. It’s like being here and in that energy, it’s like yeah, my film could be up there one day, too.”
Catch Vanessa Simmons and Tee Tee Francis on WeTV every Thursday at 9:00pm/8ct.