Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. – Les Brown
A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. – Winston Churchill
I dunno if you noticed but if you scroll down and look on the right side of this page, you will see a list of black-owned businesses that I support. I add to this list from time to time based on my own experiences and from recommendations of others who have patronized these businesses and want to spread the word. So feel free to click, click, click.
And if you are in Atlanta and interested in starting or growing your business, please check out this event. The Women’s Entrepreneurship Roundtable features a panel of successful business owners who will tell us about their journey and answer questions from the audience. It’s always a very worthwhile event, so come on out!
If you’re available and in Atlanta this Saturday, come out to my chapter’s economic security workshop about money and relationships. It is free and open to anyone who wants to attend (whether single, engaged, married, etc.).
For more information about this and other community events, please like us on Facebook!
And I’ll be back soon posting. I have lots of updates to share. 🙂
Last week, I had the pleasure of being a media guest at the Atlanta Swapnista Party, which was cosponsored by Pretty Girls Rock Dresses, a movement I support and has had me way more conscious of being girly girl. The premise behind the event is to take your gently used (or still new–you know some of us still have clothes with the tags on buried in the closet) and swap them out. I mean, why not? You never know what you can find. When you get done with an item, forward it to someone who may love it as much as you once did.
When I walked through the door, I finally met in person the infamously dress-wearing Dearroka. Then. I. Lost. My. Mind. Within 30 minutes, I had completely raided half of the black-owned stores that were vendors set up in this very cute Castleberry Hill space. First, I bought some ultra amazing beaded hoops from Nappy Rutz similar to these.
Then I walked to the next booth and bumped into some old friends that I hadn’t seen in years! What a pleasant rendezvous! (Hope your birthday was fabulous, Leah!!)
Back to the booth (since these ladies got some goodies, but didn’t quite lose their minds–I think because they knew what to expect and had already set a budget), I found these awesome clutches from Cupcake Diva Handbags. So very cute. I made myself choose though. And y’all know me. As much I love quirky, I love vintage even more, so I chose the 1940s clutch that I can not WAIT to show off.
Then, I made my way over to another booth, Funky Flair Boutique, and was told that everything on the rack was 50% off. What did she tell me that for? I ended up with 3 garments and a pair of earrings from there. Here’s one. I can’t wait to rock this somewhere. Hot mama!
After that, I headed upstairs because I just couldn’t even tempt myself at any more booths. For a full listing of the vendors, click on the Swapnista flyer at the beginning of this post. LOTS of great stuff. Upstairs, there was a makeup artist and masseuse giving free pamper sessions. Oh yeah, and I can’t forget the mimosas. Yum. Who can resist an innocent light libation on a beautiful afternoon? Finally, the moment we were all waiting for–the fashion show and swap session.
Now, I had no idea that WE were the fashion show. Luckily, before I left the house, I thought, “Self, if you’re going to a fashion event, you should make sure you’re fashionable.” Besides, I knew I’d see Dearroka, so I wanted to make sure I had on a dress! Who won the fashion show? You got it! Me! I’ll give part of the credit to that model walk I learned in 10th grade after I finally learned how to wear heels in time to participate in my first pageant. 😉
Guess what I won! A gift package from Carson Bryce Trading Company, another vendor that I wanted to visit but was worried I wouldn’t have any self control. I LOVE my sugar scrub and soap. They smell soooo wonderful.
After that was the actual swap. People were called by the number on their wrist band, and they went upstairs and searched through the racks for clothing and handbags they wanted to take with them. Everyone seemed pretty happy with their selections.
Overall, this was a wonderful daytime spring event. I met new people, found some new businesses to stalk (and add to my Black Entrepreneurs list over there on the right side of the page – yes go look at it!), saw some old friends, spent a little cash, and strutted my stuff on the impromptu catwalk. I highly encourage you to check out the next Swapnista Party! You won’t regret it!
Wednesday, I visited the Afrika Book Café, located at 404 Mitchell Street in my hometown Jackson, MS. This much needed black-owned book store is in the Fondren area and has books, African inspired jewelry, African clothing, music, incense, and oils at great prices. I had the fortunate opportunity to talk at length with one of the store owners Dr. Sizewe Chapman, who is originally from Jackson and wants to see and help the city of Jackson grow and prosper. After discussing economic development in Jackson, he recommended I read Black Labor, White Wealth by Claud Anderson.
Another book, The Polished Hoe by Austin Clarke, caught my eye, so I purchased those two and look forward to reading them.
Now I wish I were flying back to Atlanta so I could get started!
After browsing through all Afrika Book Café has to offer, I sat on the porch with the store owners (a beautiful married couple!) and Skipp Coon and his wife (another beautiful married couple! Black love lives!). One of the things I miss most about home is the simplicity but profundity of sitting on a porch learning from each other and talking about the world and what we can do and are doing to make it better. Skipp, Sizewe, and I talked strategy, history, our reality, and dreams. Sizewe, a former African history professor at Jackson State University, really inspired me to keep reading and finding historical significance and lessons as I move forward in trying to affect positive change in the black community. Skipp, who is a rapper who speaks the truth (and someone whom you should support!), and I finished a conversation we had awhile back about colonies, and we shared stories about our experiences as blacks traveling in Europe.
Lemme tell you, my visit to Afrika Book Café is one of the highlights of my trip home. If you’re in or near Jackson, I encourage you to check this treasure out. It’s still a new business, so let’s make sure it stays open, serving our community by providing educational and mind-expanding resources and a space for community interaction. Go support this small business! And while you’re at it, support Skipp Coon!
Sunday night, BET aired Black Girls Rock, and it was so awesome! It’s about time we see some positive, inspirational, motivational, strong images of black women in the media. BET did this one right. Working with Beverly Bond to give more exposure to the positivity her initiative exudes, this program did wonders for grown black girls and small black girls alike. If you missed it, I encourage you to watch it, whether you’re a black girl or not. You can catch it online at the link above.
So let’s spread some love on my page today. Share with me why YOU rock!
Why do I rock? I rock because I’m a risk taker. I dream and then I go after them. I rock because I’m a M.A.D. black woman–one who’s making a difference. I’m a change maker. I rock because even though I’m a rough and tough with my afro puffs at times, I’m versatile–I’m also a softspoken, sensitive southern belle who loves alliteration and all things vintage and frilly. I rock because I know my style and I love myself for it. I rock because I want to be an influence on those around me. As Iyanla Vanzant said Sunday night, I rock because I have no other choice.
As I excitedly wait for my Kindle to be delivered, I am happy to share the news that @faydra_deon will be hosting another Kindle giveaway next month! This time the winner will be picked based on who writes the best short story! So think about what you want to write, and enter! Never know, you could be the next winner!!
This afternoon, a friend of mine and I went to the Alliance Theatre and enjoyed a great production written by the great August Wilson called Jitney.
Set in 1977 in a jitney stop (car service) in Pittsburgh, this production explored a range of topics still relevant to the black community, including the disconnect between generations, alcoholism, the role of men in households and families, love and forgiveness, the importance of communication between romantic partners, the effects of war on young soldiers, the lack of support for small businesses in some cities, and the list goes on. This would have made for a great Reads and Reels discussion!
In addition to the great music played between scenes (classics like Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up”), I really enjoyed the light banter and surefire black lingo infused into the script. The characters were real to me because I could definitely hear my daddy talking like these guys were. Although the plot was very heavy overall, the production made good use of comic relief.
It made me smile to see so many black folk at the theatre, supporting the arts. If you haven’t seen it, make sure to put this on your list of things to do this month. Jitney runs through June 27.
A group of friends and I helped to paint this past Saturday night.
Perfect for date night or a group activity with friends, Paint by Numb3rs definitely made for a relaxing yet involved evening. My friends and I painted, talked, laughed, shopped for jewelry from a vendor set up in the gallery, and walked around and enjoyed the artwork on display. What I found particularly fantastic is that the paintings resulting from Paint by Numb3rs are donated to charity and are auctioned off as fundraisers. So, not only did we paint in boxes with numbers in them to let us know what color to use, but we also contributed to someone in need. Next time you’re looking for something different to do on a Saturday night, check out Paint by Numb3rs!