On Saturday, I was blessed with the opportunity to serve as a panelist at the first-ever Boss Beauty Brunch and Workshop! The lovely Joyce-Lynn Williams of FYI Forever invited me to speak about my personal experiences in the fashion industry while also helping women to jump start their own businesses. My fellow co-panelists included jewelry extraordinaire Leonardo D’Almagro, celebrity stylist & entrepreneur Kenya Mills of the iconic K Mills Collection, social media guru Chakayla Taylor and master strategist & reigning beauty queen Rachael Yvonne Davis.
The BF and I made our way down to Tyler, Texas early that morning with the intention of making the road trip a straight shot. No stops. No breaks. Just the open road and Maxwell’s ultra-relaxing Pandora station. The three-and-a-half hour journey was quite refreshing and it was absolutely breathtaking to watch the sun rise throughout our little trek to eastern Texas. By 9:50 AM, we reached our destination. We stopped for a quick bite to eat via I-HOP and then it was time to head to the event venue.
Now, I wasn’t fully ready when I arrived at the Staybridge Suites (mind you, I wore sweatpants and an Old Navy tee for the lengthy road trip) so, my immediate stop was a nearby restroom. And, for all those critics who claim that blogging is this “glamorous” job where you get “paid to dress up” – enter my life! There was absolutely nothing lux or glam-worthy about slipping into my Topshop fuzzies in a space the size of my closet. Hence, no dressing room was needed, lol. After I stepped into my clearance H&M romper, I was almost set. To top off my travel-friendly beauty routine, I slicked down my edges, puckered up with some lip gloss, splashed on an ounce of creamy coverage and (boom!) I walked into the room full of anxiously awaiting beauty bosses. I was TOO excited!
Lite bites lined the brunch tables as the delicious mimosas flowed like honey, the entire ambience was devastatingly elegant. There were also a wide variety of up-and-coming vendors present including Divaology and Twenty 103 Sunglasses. With affordable prices and some pretty unique pieces, I immediately fell victim to pulling out my PayPal card. And the end result? A pair of lush, transparent lens sunnies and a Rosie Assoulin-inspired cotton wrap blouse. Don’t judge me, lol.
After sifting through the showcased merchandise, it was time to start the panel! I looked to my left and then to my right as I took a deep breath. I glanced out into the audience, slightly cringing. I was humbled to be in such a valuable position while being able to disclose any means of advice but, at the same time, I was scared shitless as to how the audience would respond to my answers. Ultimately, I threw caution to the wind while praying for the absolute best. My heart was beating faster than Usain Bolt’s feet sashaying across the Olympic race track yet I was determined to touch at least one life before the afternoon was over.
The discussion started off simple enough: Leonardo spearheaded the significance of a clear and concise business card while Chakayla urged the attendees to hashtag it up on social media to gain additional exposure. And then, you had Kenya spitting straight fiyah about the importance of staying consistent while representing your personal brand. I examined as my counterparts slayed every awaiting question so effortlessly and that just motivated me even more. When my turn was upon me, I held my head high and rapped whatever came to mind. I ended up shocking my own damn self!
The first question was the warm-up and, from that moment on, nothing could stop me…
I chimed in on topics that I was familiar with and I even learned more business-saavy techniques to enrich my own brand. But, it wasn’t until one of our boss beauties was in tears that it hit me: these types of events are so much deeper than just networking and looking pretty. The young woman revealed her internal struggle to discover her life’s purpose while balancing the role as a new mom – something I was all too familiar with. She expressed how grateful she was to have the chance to speak with the featured panelists and she continued to admit that our words solidified the decision to pursue her passion as a full-time career. At that moment, I, too, was weeping on the inside.
There are so many times where we take our platforms for granted. While Fashion Bomb Daily has played a major role in my growth as a fashion enthusiast and a journalist, I’ve never witnessed (firsthand), the mental and emotional effect it has on our audience. Never have I witnessed any one of our readers burst into tears over phrases I’ve drafted nor have I seen the impact our words have on this ever-changing society but, in that single moment, I realized that my life’s purpose is to encourage and motivate. The Boss Beauty Brunch and Workshop granted me a chance to extend my reach beyond the blogosphere. It gave me the courage to open my mouth and allow my voice to be heard on issues that matter to me. And, it was every bit of fulfilling.
I’ve discovered a hidden talent that I never knew existed and I can’t wait to see what other opportunities stem from this breakthrough.
Once again, thanks a million to Joyce-Lynn for believing in me and for giving me a chance to continue such delightful work. I’m so grateful. Also, I want to send countless hugs and kisses to ALL the entrepreneurs/attendees/girl bosses that came out to support such a dynamic event. You are everything!