Eternally Amber has a beautiful collection of mult-colored and pearlescent hand made combs that make styling hair look pretty. These make for perfect stocking stuffer gifts. I want all of them all!
How are you all feeling?
I feel confused. Unaligned. And distracted.
During this time it is easy to feel powerless, defeated, and anxious. And most of all fearful. But don't be distracted by the fear.
I refuse to be fearful, I refuse to feel powerless.
After we feel our feelings. After the shock and grief. After the dust settles a bit, I hope that we can take a moment to remember the light within us all to keep going, and to focus on what can be done. We can always be uplifting, we can organize and initiate. We can activate, we can create, we can speak, write, design, teach, demonstrate, listen, talk, help, hug, cry, pray, serve...
There is always something we can do. Every single little action counts.
So again, after the shock, after the grief please remember we are never powerless. We have the power to decide how to move forward: in fear or in love.
I can't remember exactly how Kaira Akita (of the new podcast The Inspired Interim) and I met but when we did it was an instant creative connection. Our career paths are so different, she's an actress/producer and I'm an illustrator/author, yet we have found so many parallels in our experiences as we continue on this creative journey. LA, this Thursday we are so exited to share with you our story, some advice, the challenges, and triumphs at a special Becoming Me launch event. Join us for a an evening celebration in the beautiful loft-space at A Toast 2 Artistry in downtown LA. Click here for more details and tickets and hope to see you there.
A little while ago my homegirl Hadiya sent me a link to a limited edition notebook created by Moleskine in collaboration with 40 Acres (and a Mule) celebrating the 30 anniversary of She's Gotta Have It. Being a fan, I was intrigued. So I bookmarked it with plans to purchase later. Then a mutual friend showed me her copy and I immediately went online to order one.
The notebook is a limited run of 3,000 and each copy sent by 40 Acres is signed by Spike Lee. AND you get a set of stickers with references from the film. This is a must-have collector's item and makes a great gift. Get yours before they are all gone, which I'm surprised they aren't already sold out!
Becoming Me comes out tomorrow, and I am thrilled to announce dates for the book tour. More information to come about each event, but please check out this link for some details. Los Angeles we have something special in store for you, this is a special ticketed event, so save the date. And Detroit, please be sure to RSVP.
Ten years ago today I started blogging. Ten years ago! Wow!
I was in my twenties, living in New York City and looking for a creative outlet beyond my 9-5. What started as a few posts a month, soon turned into a few posts a day. This space became my virtual inspiration board. Fly was my Pinterest page before Pinterest even existed. Here I could share all the things that excited me, and share in any way I wished. Which resulted in me exploring with writing, video, illustration, and collage. Creating content for Fly really pushed me creatively. And what was especially amazing was being able to create content that showcased the creative women of color I admired.
Throughout my years of blogging the question I'm asked the most is, "are you able to make a living off of your blog?" Which really means: is blogging your full-time job? Quite often the person asking would be disappointed with my "no, I have not made blogging my full-tme job" response. But I always followed up with this: Fly has afforded me a life I could have never imagined, which is absolutely priceless.
Because of this platform I've had some amazing opportunities. I visited the White House and met President Obama; had events like the 5th anniversary party at Anthropologie and the Pop & Fly Portfolio review; and collaborated with brands like Gap and Brown Betty. The blog became more than a place for me to share my inspirations, but also a place where my work as an artist and designer (and now author) could shine. Fly and its social media extensions all became my portfolio. I've done work with the Pan American Games, Lenny Letter, caribBeing, the BlackStar Film Festival, and USAID (among many many others) because of some connection through the blog. Which have all led to other opportunities like I Love My Hair and my new book out in October, Becoming Me.
So in actuality I am living off of the ten years of work I put into my blog. It took A LOT of energy to build a community over the years. And that hard work has connected me to my tribe—people who live this creative life and/or support it in some way. When I was a teenager and even well into my twenties I had no idea there were other brown ladies out there in the world like me. I did't know where to find that artsy, global, eccentric, eclectic, curious, and fun tribe. And if there was any small inkling that they were out there, I didn't know how to connect to them. But in 2006 I found a way. This blog has been that connector for me. A lot of the ladies I vent to, chill, brainstorm and share ideas with are ladies I met through Fly.
Working on Fly has allowed me to live my dream. I know for sure these opportunities would not have happened without having this platform. And I wouldn't have been connected to you. Meeting all the amazing folks who have followed this blog or my work on IG, FB, or Twitter has made these past ten years phenomenal. I am humbled and constantly in awe of all the continuous love and support. Thank you so much.
On the last day of my visit back in January my beau's sister (and my homie) gifted me this lovely umbrella from Happy Sweeds. The brand has various options with different patterns to choose from. But I love the one I received with a sunshine image on the inside. Today it's raining here in Baltimore so I'll be putting this delightful gift to use as I get out to run some errands.
Here's a little of what I'm listening to lately.
1. Ego Death from The Internet is sooo good.
2. St Germain by St Germain has a lovely blend of global beats. You'll hear a glorious mix of sounds from Brazil and Mali paired with the blues.
3. I wasn't sure what to expect from Janet Jackson's Unbreakable but I have to say I'm really enjoying it. For me Unbreakable sounds like her Janet and Velvet Rope albums (two favorites of mine) had a baby.
4. A few Months ago a Fly reader sent a link to this Emily King video and I instantly fell in love with her music. Sadly, I think I deleted that email by accident and wasn't able to thank her for putting me on to this album.
Listening to anything good? Do share.
Have a great weekend!!
Have you seen this series from the black hair website Un'Ruly? It's called Pretty and the series highlights and dissects the concepts of "pretty" from the perspectives of ladies of color from around the world. I really hope they make a stop in Brazil. Here's a synopsis of the project:
"Pretty is a digital postcard from women around the world to women around the world as told through a weekly documentary series. It explores just how nuanced beauty can be by not only taking a look at how beauty standards vary from country to country but also how they might vary within a city."
Here's a look at the trailer, and you can watch all episodes here.
For Christmas, my home-girl gave me a delicious package of mint and lavender loose-leaf tea from Gullah Girl Tea. I handn't heard about the Brooklyn-based brand but was immediately intrigued. I did some poking around the site and learned Gullah Girl Tea was started five years ago by Charmaine Bee as a way to share the healing benefits of tea and the Gullah culture of South Carolina, where she's from.
I also learned that Gullah Girl Tea is in the midst of Kickstarter campaign. Gullah Girl Tea is close to their goal but with only five days left they could use our help to make sure the project is fully funded. If you're interested in good tea or would like to support a small business check out the site and their Kickstarter page here.
In light of recent events in Ferguson and around the country, today I am using this platform to support the Black Friday boycott, now known as Blackout Friday. During this boycott, consider only supporting independent black-owned businesses to make a statement about the power of the black dollar. If you're not black and just want to support this a great way to do so, black businesses are for everyone!
Change can come in so many ways. Yes protests, yes writing articles, yes making art, etc. All of which are necessary. But hitting the pockets where it hurts can say so much more when addressing a need for change. Inspired by my fellow blogger friend Afrobella's list, I decided to put together my own list in hopes that we can make our voices heard, create awareness, and highlight some amazing black-owned businesses, all for a cause. I know I'm missing some, but here are a few to get us through the weekend. And please feel free to share in the comments section any independently owned black businesses you don't see on this list. For more information about the boycott click here. And Happy Thanksgiving!
#Blacklivesmatter and #Blackmoneymatters too!
1. Mo's Bows
7. Boy Beads
1. Rachel Stewart
4. Asiyami Gold
6. Dpiper Twins
3. Yinka Iori
Silt, a debut album, by Alsarah & the Nubatones, takes you on a journey through East African sounds and influences (Alsarah was born in Sudan and lived in Yemen before moving to the US). I've been jammin' to this album for the last week and really enjoy every corner of Alsarah's voice and the layered tracks. Check out the video for the single "Soukura" below and also take a listen to the remixed album.