A Croydon businesswoman has co-founded a leading entertainment agency for diverse influencers and celebrities across the UK.

Ruby Jade-Aryiku, from Croydon, is one of three co-founders of VAMP - a specialist digital talent and PR agency located in central London.

VAMP was founded five years ago by three black women, Christina, who is head of entertainment, Rumbi, who is head of talent and Ruby, who is head of publicity.

The agency works with black influencers and audiences, who are aiming to create a diverse, more inclusive experience for the next generation.

VAMP is said to have collaborated with a prestigious range of clients - ranging from Warner Bros, Disney, Universal Music and many more.

Your Local Guardian: Entire team of VAMP (images: VAMP)Entire team of VAMP (images: VAMP)

Ruby, 28, told Your Local Guardian: “I'm a black girl myself, my heritage is Ghanaian, and my parents are from Ghana.

“My business partners are also from Africa – one is Nigerian, and the other is from Zimbabwe, but we all live here in the UK.”

“Growing up, we didn’t see a lot of representation when it came to film and TV.

“We saw ourselves in football and in music, but when it came to other industries, and specifically in the digital age with black YouTubers, they weren't getting the same opportunity as white counterparts.

“It’s about making sure the next generation aren’t surprise when they see their favourite celebrities who looks like them on Billboard's - we want it to feel like the norm, just like our white counterparts and other people in the UK.”

Ruby, who was brought up in Croydon and now lives in Wallington, has had a passion for media since the age of 22, when she studied Media and Communications at university.

Your Local Guardian: Co-founder of VAMP, Ruby Jade-Aryku (images: VAMP)Co-founder of VAMP, Ruby Jade-Aryku (images: VAMP)

She said: “I never thought I’d own a business – I always thought I’d work my way up and eventually become a director.

“When I was studying for my degree, I did a one year placement at Universal Pictures and one of my current business partners was also doing a year placement in the same building for Google.

“We exchanged notes and started to work together managing one of our friends who was a YouTuber.

“We set up an email and contacted brands with opportunities for gifting or collaboration and was kind of freelancing.

“We realised there was a gap in the market for an agency who could support black influencers or influencers of colour and connect them with brands, but also an agency that could work with film and TV studios to make sure they're reaching a diverse audience.

“So, we worked from the likes of Girls Trip and Black Panther in 2017, through calling studios and asking what they were doing for certain campaigns.”

Ruby says she has worked with huge brand names – such as Netflix and Pretty Little Thing, as well as black celebrities and influencers, such as Mariam Musa.

She stated that most music and TV studios are keen to give influencers the “right opportunities” that they feel comfortable with.

Ruby claims the business couldn’t run without the three founders, as the team tend to lean on one another throughout the highs and lows in life.Your Local Guardian: The three founders of VAMP (images: VAMP)The three founders of VAMP (images: VAMP)

She added: “it really does help that we're friends – we’re actually in the 10th year of our friendship.

“So, for us, it's just it's so important because we can really support each other as women.

“There's been loads of instances over the past couple years where one of us is having a really hard time and we've been able to uplift each other.

“For example, one of my business partners got pregnant when we first started, so we were able to kind of hold the fort for the first year, and then vice versa.

“My dad passed away in 2020 and I took about six months off.

“I knew that I could do that; because my team are there for me and I for them.”