MOTIVATION: Not for Free!

As a creative freelancer, the talk of money is very sensitive. Creative folks are always discussing our need for money, but very few work toward establishing a set scale that will keep the bills paid. Consider your favorite creative person, and please understand, we don’t do this for free! From filmmakers, to writers & bloggers, to style gurus, creative freelancers, like myself, are the MOST underpaid employees in the workforce. (source). Guys, we need to ask for what we are worth and don’t be afraid to stand our ground.

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t ask for what I’m worth. That’s a BIG problem for me. You can reflect on last week’s MOTIVATION post – not asking for enough money is ANOTHER reason why I’m not as successful. Our society makes it difficult to ask for what your worth because we are so used to getting paid less. Even when I had my corporate job, I was always afraid to ask for a raise, when I KNEW I deserved it. However, if I don’t think I’m worth it, how can I make YOU a believer. Stop letting people book two-hour ‘pick my brain’ sessions for the price of a $5 coffee! You are worth more!

As a blogger and personal stylist, the info I provide isn’t necessary for daily living. You can go about your life NOT knowing the name of Beyonce’s latest bag of choice (It’s a custom Louis Vuitton), what to wear for your 20th Class Reunion (click here) or understand why using proper lighting for your selfies is a big deal. But when you do need that info, from a trusted source, you come to me or one of my stylish peers. You expect that I’ll know exactly what to say. I’m your Google. You need the 10 YEARS of info stored in my brain in order to guide you on your stylish way.

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Dress – ASOS, Boots – Torrid, and Bag – Jessica Simpson

Please, stop thinking a creative’s job is easy or we do this JUST because it’s a hobby. Those who are transitioning from hobby to lifestyle need MONEY to do so. Your stylist friend who helps you dress your family for your Christmas photoshoot deserves to be paid. The photographer that has to carry his gear around town in order to get the best photo deserves to be paid. The friend who is ‘helping’ you plan your wedding, deserves to be paid. The intern who is teaching how to use ‘the Instagram’ deserves to be paid. Even your homegirl, who does hair out of her kitchen, but can slang an amazing weave, deserves to be paid. And, if you don’t feel like that individual deserves to be paid, then you don’t deserve the luxury of their skills.

Since I’m about solutions, and you are about to be a better person, I’ll give you FOUR ways to compensate your favorite creative – in addition to giving them money.

  • Don’t Ask for the HOOK-UP! – Ask them their established rate before booking. Stop looking for a hook-up all the time. If the person chooses to give you the hook-up, that’s their choice. And even then, give them a tip (15%-20%).
  • FOLLOW them on Social Media – Most creatives don’t have big budgets for marketing campaigns. Most of the time, we use social media to share our work, new ideas, and sales. We need your follows, likes, and shares! It take 2.7 seconds to click that share/like button and you’ve done a lot more for people you don’t even know.
  • Spread the Word – Now that you’ve worked with your favorite creative, read her blog & it inspired you, or received the amazing photos from your shoot, it’s time to spread the word. Word of Mouth is the BEST way to support your creative friends. Don’t let those photos in your phone go to waste – show your co-workers & church members. Be the PR that we can’t yet afford.
  • Donate to the Cause – Feel weary about giving someone cash? Then ask your independent freelance friend what they need to move their business forward. Ask them if they need a finance session with an accountant. Could she need a new lens for her camera? Or something simple, like ink and paper for her printer. Oh, think outside the box . . . FREE babysitting so she can finish that song or edit that video. Think about it.

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For my fellow creative freelancers – let’s start knowing our worth and charging extra. For the supporters – thanks in advance for adjusting to our new rates. In the end, we just want to share our passions with you and give you amazing services, from a creative standpoint. Support us and your local creative community!

Thanks for reading!

VLOG | Follow Me to the Odysseo – Cavalia Show in Nashville

Y’all! Y’all! Y’all! Go see Odysseo – Cavalia! I have to admit, when I was contacted by the Odysseo team, I wasn’t too hype to see the ‘fancy horse show’. If you live in Nashville, you’ve seen the, almost, cryptic banners, posters, signs, billboards, and yard signs, telling you that Odysseo by Cavalia is the ‘GREATEST show you’ll ever see’. Seriously, I was over it. But then . . . GIRL, I saw the show! It IS THE GREATEST SHOW YOU’LL EVER SEE! Let’s talk about it!

Continue reading “VLOG | Follow Me to the Odysseo – Cavalia Show in Nashville”

SHOPPING: Confidence to buy a car

Sponsored Post

When I was contacted by Cars.com to do a post about using their website to buy a car, I wanted to make sure I kept it real. I’ve purchased a couple of cars in my lifetime and I’ve made a ton of mistakes. So, I complied a list of steps to help you get the car that you want with the help of Cars.com.

Make a Wish – The photo, above, is me standing next to my dream car, a Chevy Equinox. Well it’s not my DREAM dream car (that’s a Mercedes G-Wagon) but it’s the next car I need to push me forward. I love the Chevrolet brand, I need a crossover vehicle, and I want something that I can drive for a couple years. Make a wish fr what you want, it’s the first step to get you on the road to having the confidence to getting what you want.

Do your Research – After you’ve decided on you next dream vehicle, do your research. Cars.com is a great place to compare car prices on you next vehicle. The good thing about cars.com, is that they can tell you about cars that are right in your neighborhood. Within a 20 mile radius you can compare prices form several dealers. Doing your research gets you prepared for your next step.

Save Your Money – Yup! There’s no way we are gonna get through a car-buying post without talking about saving money. I think that was my biggest mistake in buying my last car. I didn’t put enough money down in order to lower my car payment. Luckily, my job paid me a good wage, so I was able to make my car payments on time. Next time, I def want to put more money down to decrease my loan time, help me with my overall budget, and give me more financial security.

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Y’all, I can’t wait to get this car!

Take your time – I know, I know. You really want you car RIGHT now, and you might even need a car right now. But take your time. Once you’ve used Cars.com to find the car dealership to purchase from, go to the shop with confidence. Take your time, test drive your dream car, ask a ton of questions, and don’t be afraid to WALK AWAY if you don’t feel comfortable with the purchase. Remember, you will be responsible for this car for at least five years, you need to feel confident about your purchase.

Get what you want – Using the Cars.com website, you should feel confident to get what you want. Remember, this is your dream car. This is something you are spending a huge amount of money on. And, you need to feel amazing about your purchase.

So, I hope this helps you with your future car-buying experience. Ladies, be confident when you step into the building. Don’t let anyone pressure you into buying something you can’t afford or don’t want. Use the cars.com website to guide you into your perfect purchase!

MY LIFE: I’m on the ‘Mirror, Mirror’ podcast


I’m obsessed with podcasts! I listen to no more than 10 a week on a regular basis. So, when the team at the ‘Mirror, Mirror‘ podcast asked me to be on their show I was SO hype! I said, “yes!”, immediately! 

The Mirror, Mirror Podcast is: “A weekly podcast about the beauty routines and philosophies of remarkable women from all walks of life.” The team, Jessie (the host) and Allison (the producer), reside in Nashville. Their goal is to get women to share that one thing that ties us together, our beauty routines! It’s nothing like asking a woman, “what do you use in the morning?” to get her to tell you her life story. Like, there’s a reason I drink Apple Cider Vinegar every day; let me tell you my journey! Lol!


Oh yeah, and Allison got me to spill the beans on my life, why I blog, and my skincare routine! Above are some of my fave things to use to keep my skin looking FLAWLESS! Listen, you don’t take as many selfies as me, and not know a thing or two abt healthy skin! Wanna know why I get most of my products from the International Market? I talk about on Episode 15 of the Mirror, Mirror Podcast! 

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN


I tell a bunch of hilarous stories too! From the reason why I got into blogging and how I was a bootleg stylist when I attended undergrad! I know y’all are gonna love my episode and the Mirror, Mirror podcast! Put it in your download schedule, and tell me what you think! 
|photos by Ashtin Page|

YouTube: Happy Birthday – Faith not Fear!

Oh snap! It’s my birthday! To tell you the truth, I wasn’t so jazzed about this birthday. Admittedly, quitting my job has been the best and most difficult time in my life. Sometimes I feel like I did the right thing, others times, not so much. However, I talked to a couple friends, prayed, and counted my blessings. Things could be worse, and the aren’t as bad as it seem.

Ler me fix my crown AND my attitude!

So, after my birthday photo shoot, I decided to film a quick video to encourage myself, AND YOU to have FAITH not fear. The biggest thing I struggled with is the fear of getting old and not being as successful as I thought I’d be. But I have to remember, God gives you what you need, when you need it, and when you can handle it. Best believe, I’m blessed, but I can’t wait for more! Check out my video below:

Tell me how you conquer your fears in the comment section. Thanks for the birthday wishes. If you qant to give me a gift, check out my wish list, or donate to my Paypal! Love y’all, thanks for reading!

MY STYLE: It’s art for your body!

Excited to shoot at the Frist Museum

I love when an idea just comes together and the images created are pure joy! This year, I wanted to take the ‘Outfit of the Day‘ posts to the next level. I wanted to share some of my favorite spots in the city. This month, I’m focusing on The Frist Museum, one of my favorite museums and one of my favorite buildings in the city! Also, I’m rocking my favorite re-mixed shirt of ALL time! It’s like my own piece of art.

Want details? Keep reading . . .

Oversized sweatshirt – King Sized Direct
So, sweatshirts are a big deal for winter/spring 2017. The more oversized, the better (blame Kanye). But, when you are already plus-sized, it’s hard to find an OVERSIZED shirt. So my first step was to find an oversized design and I to head to the men’s department. Specifically, King Sized Direct, an online retailer for Big & Tall men. I needed to get a shirt that was not only big, but LONG. I found what I needed for only $29.

So, then I had to make the look my own. I combined two of my favorite trends: Oversized Shirts and African Print. I thought this was cool dedication to my Sierra Leone roots (that’s where my dad is from). I have tons of African print fabric in my closet that I use for head-wraps and all sorts of things. So I called my home, designer, Charles Lord to see if he could make my idea come to life.

I dropped the material off to Charles, and then came back to a masterpiece. When I tell y’all I love this shirt so much, I tell no lies. I get continued compliments on this look and I always say “thank-you!’. I was happy to use a local designer and material that is a celebration of my roots. Also, it’s like my very own piece of art. I always say clothes, are ART for you body, why not make something that is unique to your style.

Stay tuned for more of my art inspired looks this month, as I celebrate one of my favorite spots in the city. Have you visited the Frist Museum in Nashville? What’s your favorite spot in the city? Let me know in the comments.

Special thanks to the staff at the Frist Center and my photographer, Patrick Webster.