Halloween is coming sooner every year

 Originally posted 11/13/17

Man! When I tell you that  Halloween snuck up on me this year, it sure did! I am pretty ruthless with people that are surprised by events that happen on the same day every year. Maybe this was my punishment, for my lack of empathy all those years ? Instead of the Prince costume that I was working on, I grabbed a red dress out of my closet and found some fake blood from the year before. All in all it was a chill Halloween. I went to  a friend’s show. Her Band Noody was opening for Adore Delano, of Rupal’s Drag Race Fame. 

It was was super cool and I saw some awesome costumes. Don’t call me old, because I was snug in bed at 1am. There are 52 weekends in a year. I have ample opportunity to turn up. I earned my turn in. 

What did you wear for Halloween?

New York State of Mind

I had a crazy weekend! I went to New York for a little work and play. I will make another post detailing what I learned about sourcing in New York soon. Right now I want to reflect on my free time in the city.

I stayed in an AirBnb in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York, during the trip. While the subway trips to Manhattan were long, it gave me an opportunity to explore New York’s second largest borough. As a kid I definitely romanticized the hometown of my favorite rappers, but it had more depth then I imagined. Brooklyn is basically a city on its own. It  has nicer and rougher neighborhoods, shopping, museums, families, parks, singles, bars, an oddly large quantity of churches, public housing projects and beautiful historic brownstones. I don’t think you could call this place one definitive thing, other than stimulating. Brooklyn is not boring.  I met up with a childhood friend and he showed me the sights in Fort Greene, which he taught me was an actual fort during the revolutionary war. I shared with him  my teenage dream of going to FIT, working for BabyPhat and owning one of those iconic brownstones the neighborhood. Refocusing on those old goals help to remember my  reason for building my business.

Another experience that helped change my perspective was attending Spike Lee’s Bk loves MJ block party. The city honored him by naming the block where he shot “Do the Right Thing” after the film. For the last 6 years he has been throwing a Michael Jackson themed block party to celebrate Jackson’s birthday. Dancing in the street with beautiful Brooklynites as Sway Calloway and Spike Lee  joked on stage was awesome! And more importantly it didn’t happen overnight. 27 years ago Spike released the controversial film on a small budget. Today he can use his business and celebrity to bring joy to his neighborhood. The shit is going to take the time that it takes. When your done you can dance in the sun to “ Rock With You”. Hell, I would even advise dance breaks at the beginning and middle of the journey as well, but always remember that it is a journey. It might take a couple decades to be an icon.

Lastly the intoxicating cultural experience known as Afropunk. I bought tickets to the two day festival at Commodore Barry park and it was money well spent! Afropunk is  black, indie, inclusive, and creative. The loving vibes and amazing talent displayed gave me life. Below are some of the beautiful souls I met. If you see yourself pictured email me so that I can link to your work, Instagram, SoundCloud, whatever. Peace Brooklyn. Thank you!

 

When Life Gives You Lemons, LEMONADE, PTO and Dope LadyArtist friends……

beyonce

(photocredit : Frank Micelotta/Parkwood Entertainment)

Rebellious self care is constant work. I usually tell myself that I shouldn’t indulge in an activity because there is work to be done. And when I see an amazing opportunity that I want to be a part of, I beat myself up by thinking of all the things I should have done to be ready for that opportunity.
Well, that doesn’t work. I just feel bad. I don’t move forward.

Nowadays I try to keep things balanced. I stay focused on my grind and work hard, but I also fit in fun. I have been finding that the fun is replenishing my spirit in new ways. Not only am I happier, but I am super inspired as well.

Went to the album release party for SassyBlack‘s solo project. DOPE! Besides being motivated by her creative progression, I ran into a plethora of amazing women that I don’t see often enough.
Then I attended  the Formation Tour with my bestie, sister, the majority of my high school, all the women at my day job and half the black women in my county. No, we did not all have seats together, but we were certainly in attendance. The night was amazing!  The homie saw DJ Khaled! There were flames, and fireworks and confetti (not made from the teeth of side chicks)! Don’t take my word for it. Check my snaps:

 

Always inspired by Beyonce’s professionalism and work ethic, I was in awe by her joy. On stage wasn’t just woman at the top of her field, in full control of her career. We got to see the dreams of a little girl brought to fruition. You could tell she was having fun and enjoying the performance just as much as any fan in that stadium.

Picking up on that joy I was filled with the desire to create it in someone else.  I want to make someone’s favorite something! Knowing that I could create something to trigger emotion in someone else has been my dream since day one. The tour made me me long for it even more.

Networking is Awkward

Originally Posted 5/15/16

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 Why is networking so weird? I mean it’s like the first day of middle school, plus flirting in bars, plus any sort of public speaking; BUT WORSE. In those other situations, aiming for personal gain is frowned upon. I’m okay with that. I believe in building relationships and finding your tribe, but networking seems different. Some how you have to balance what you need, with the needs of who you are trying to network with. In that way this symbolic relationship is beautiful, like a dance. Unfortunately, I have two left feet.

Since I’m using this dance analogy, let’s say that I have committed to two stepping my way through the party. Instead of staying in my house, I have filled my calendar with events that connect me with other entrepreneurs, not just designers. I want to take full advantage of my city and meet people who will inspire and challenge me. Worst case scenario I have a new follower on Instagram ( are you following the line on insta? @p29:18 DO IT). Best case scenario I get a gem: an industry tidbit I didn’t know; a potential mentor; a sales lead.  Basically new dance partners can teach you new moves. So I’m gonna stay on floor long enough to learn something.

Okay, I know this dance analogy is getting hackneyed. I’ll stop.  

So who am I networking with? I attended designer seminars through Seattle Fashion Week lead by a buyer from Amazon. I have attended a number of local fashion shows. I joined two business incubators  Ventures and  Black Dot Union. Both have  helped me set up systems for my business even though neither are focused on fashion.

Maybe I’ll get good at all of this. My business card will be pretty and always in hand; my pitches professional and effective; and maybe I’ll even have a mentor or two one day. But that day is not today. I’ll just keep moving toward that put together, flawless moment.

‘Merica

I caucused for the first time, and it was great! Recently it seems that political conversations lead to bloodshed, but my neighbors politely shared their opinions on the candidates. I think this is the first real debate I ever witnessed. No intellectual pissing contest, just people sharing their beliefs and displaying their good manners. Maybe all ain’t lost. #Blessed

And the cherry on top? My neighbors are some snazzy dressers !

Conversations in the Nail Shop

Originally posted 11/16/15

The weekend after Halloween, I went to get a fill and color change. While I loved the pewter polish with flecks of bronze I rocked with my Freddy Kruger Costume on Halloween, it was time to freshen my nails. I choose an antique gold color and was placed at the dryer station next to a delightful man named Danny. Danny wasn’t old enough to be a silver fox, but he was well on his way to Anderson Cooper-ville, with his salt and pepper coif and warm, smiling eyes. He was waiting on his  mani and pedi ( midnight blue might I add)  to dry, while reading the October issue of W. Continue reading