That Momma Grind

One of the biggest aspects I love about having this platform is the spotlight. Not for myself but I can share the spotlight with others that have left a mark on me for the better. Below, I've interviewed 4 women who have (possibly unknowingly) helped & encouraged me this past year. Not only are they women of color but they also have personal side hustles, passions projects & are entrepreneurs following their dreams. Yes, I may have 'met' them all on IG but that's just another online platform meant to connect people, much like my blog. 

Feel free to follow, support or reach out to any of these incredible women & I hope you find them just as inspirational as I have. #blackgirlmagic

 

 

charlotte betts / pintsizefaith

 
Photo credit:  @chuckolualabi

Photo credit: @chuckolualabi

I first 'met' Charlotte when I stumbled across PintSizeFaith on IG - that Momma community is strong!! I immediately purchased her "Grace Mercy" T & the rest is history! Her clothing line was established in October of 2015 by herself & her husband with a focus on sharing the gospel through stylish apparel & accessories. All designs are created and manufactured in house and shipped by the duo to ensure quality and accuracy. Every shirt & accessory is unique to their brand & conceptualized with one sole purpose; to bring glory to God.

 

1. How did you decide you wanted to become a blogger/small business owner?

Growing up my father used to make us [ my brothers and I ]  write book reports during summer vacations and as much as I hated it, throught it, I developed a love for writing. Milk and Honee (my blog) was established shortly after giving birth to my first born as a means to share and document my journey.

At the time I wanted to share with women that motherhood is not a death sentence to "cool" ! I wanted young moms to embrace motherhood, let them know that contrary to popular belief, when you become a mom, you don't lose anything, you gain everything.

As for pintsizefaith, it started as a need. I was looking for faith based tees for my daughters but the only ones I came across were not reflective of my personal style. I was looking for something minimal, effective in its statement, stylish and affordable. 

What I couldn't find, I created. And it's been God led ever since our first design  ( JLM Jesus Loves me) was created in 2014 by my friend's husband and our official launch was October of  2015, a little over 2 years ago.

2. What is the impact you want to make on the world?

I want to live a life that represents my faith. I don't just want to say that I'm a Christian, I want to be a Christian, in my actions, in my thoughts in my speech, so that they see His grace through me. I'm not even trying to sound good LOL I just want to live in a manner that is representative of Him. That way when people see me, they'll want to get to know Him... That's the impact I want Christ to have through me.

3. What is your most proud/rewarding moment?

Becoming a mother, not once but twice. I gave birth to Neriah ( my oldest daughter) in 2012. In 2011 I had miscarried at about 5 months and was told that pregnancy was not an option for me. So giving birth twice, those are rewarding moments... times 2.

4. How have you embraced failure?

I'm not sure that I've embraced it just yet... tend to be a bit of a perfectionist which I know is impossible. But I do look at it differently. I see it as a chance to try again, I try to find the lesson, and move on.

5. How do you stay motivated?

Some days are better than others and I think that goes for everyone, but I think of the reasons why I do what I do, and that's motivation for me. 

6. What is your favorite aspect of being a woman of color?

Everything. What's not to like about this rich skin of ours?! All that aside, I like that perseverance is engrained in our DNA. We have a get it done attitude, a "by all means necessary" type of approach to life. We've got drive, and we do what needs to be done. The latter may cause us to burn out at times and that's why I'm an advocate for self care, but we have that je ne sais quoi that enables us to push forward. 

7. What is the message you wish to pass on to your girls?

Love Jesus, Love people, Do good and know who and Whose you are. I want their feet to be planted on solid ground, and that's done in knowing who they are!

 
Photo credit:  @lawrenceagyei

Photo credit: @lawrenceagyei

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Pintsizefaith

FB: pintsizefaith

Twitter: @pintsizefaith

IG: @pintsizefaith

Web: pintsizefaith.com

 

Milk and Honee

FB: milk and honee

Twitter: @milknhonee

IG: @milknhonee

Web: milknhonee.com

 

 

NICOLE ANETIPA / CAY + COL HAWAII

 
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I don't even know where to begin with this woman. Another gorgeous soul & we've become pen pal besties. I was drawn to her gorgeous Hawiian print bags & our friendship blossomed from there. I'm sure you've seen the banana leaf clutch or nude shoulder bag I carry everywhere - yeah, that's from her. Check out Cay + Col Hawaii because you need one. The brand is named after her 2 boys, Cayden & Colton, & they are her driving force. Seriously, preschool doesn't pay for itself.

 

1. How did you decide you wanted to become a small business owner?

I've always been a creative person but I'd say that the one pivotal moment for me was when a woman I knew went into labor at 30 weeks. At the time, I was also 30 weeks pregnant so of course it really hit home for me. With hormones blazing, I made her burp cloths, blankets, and swaddles. I didn't know her that well but I just felt like I really needed to do something to help or at least make sure she knew she wasn't alone. So from there, I kept getting inspired with ideas of things to make and with my 2 year old and a second baby on the way, I really wanted to be able to work from home. I was still in college at the time, pursuing a degree that I can't honestly say I'm "passionate" about. Creating things and making people happy are my passions so I figured if I could do something that I loved and make money doing it, it'd be great!

2. What is the impact you want to make on the world?

Wow, that's a hard question. I guess, for me, I want to be someone that other young women can look at and think- "Wow. She went through all that and look at her now. I can do that too." I want to inspire people. I want to encourage them to fearlessly pursue their passions. I want to show other women that they can be great and show them just how powerful a woman's mind can be.

3. What is your most proud/rewarding moment?

My most proud moment...I have a hard time with this because I feel like I haven't gotten there yet. There are things that I've done and accomplished that I think are pretty cool but to consider it my most proud moment would be a stretch. I feel like that moment is still to come.

4. How have you embraced failure?

Hahaha...Failure. That's something I don't even want to talk about. I've completely changed my thinking and "failure" is not in my vocabulary. I decided to call them speed bumps because to me failure is when there's absolutely no hope left. Failure is when there is no other option and no possible solution. And honestly, I don't even think failure is a real thing. You can only get better if you acknowledge that you CAN get better. So a failure is simply just a speed bump telling you to slow down, reevaluate the situation, and keep going.

5. How do you stay motivated?

It's going to sound so basic but I look at my kids. I look at my kids and I think about myself when I was a kid looking up at my mom who also ran her own business. I remember thinking how cool it was that my mom was her own boss and that because of that, she could come to every single sports game, class event, and just about every field trip. She never missed a thing and because of that, I want to give that to my kids.

6. What is your favorite aspect of being a woman of color?

My dad would laugh if he read this, but it's my hair. That sounds super vain but what I mean is my hair is my identity. When it's big and bold, I feel the same. If I have it in a bun, I've noticed that it's in those moments where I don't accomplish as much. I used to straighten my hair daily because I hated it. I hated how it wasn't like everyone else and that it was harder to manage. Now it's totally different because I'm so proud that my hair sets me apart. I had a meeting with a retail store owner and the first thing she said was, "if your hair reflects your personality, I can tell you're a confident woman." That moment made me feel like I could do anything! So as a black woman, my hair is my crown and I will wear it proudly. Believe it or not, being black (with all the stuff going on in the world now) makes me feel powerful.

7. What is the message you wish to pass on to your boys?

I want them to know what hard work is. I'm not necessarily talking about "go outside and do the yard" hard work but the genuine hard work of life. I want them to know that even when you feel like you're at the bottom, it's just another opportunity to rise. I want to show them that they can accomplish anything they want. If they're anything like me, they are going to have a hard time deciding what they want to be when they grow up because they're going to love to do so many different things. So I want them to know that they can do it all and they don't have to settle.

 
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SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

cay + col hawaii

IG: @cayandcolhawaii

Web: cayandcolhawaii.com

 

 

ASHLEY SIRAH / BEAUTIFUL ME

 
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It was during my IG search of other Mommas of color & creating the concept of Melanin Momma when I stumbled across Ashley's profile. She came up as a suggested friend & it was her handle that intrigued me (@watermeloneggrolls). Since then, I've found her IG stories & posts extremely empowering. My favorite one: its a picture of her hands & she discusses how she collaborates with companies who shows diversity. MY GOD - reading that was like a light bulb in my brain. I have SO much control, it's insane. She's pretty much incredible!

 

1. How did you decide you wanted to become a blogger/ author?

I always knew I wanted to write and create, it started with my love for books especially Octavia Butler books. Then I fell in love with hip hop magazines and wanted to contribute to music articles. It wasn’t until I became a mother that I noticed the lack of multicultural books for children. I became passionate about creating content that my children could relate to.

2. What is the impact you want to make on the world?

I want to leave people with the desire to be better. To think more and speak less, to challenge what they’ve been taught and to learn that they don’t know everything. To remember that everyone feels justified in what they believe so it’s important to stay open minded. Mostly to just want to be better and make steps every single day to become a better person.

3. What is your most proud/rewarding moment?

When I became a mother at 23 and had a natural birth. There were so many times when I wanted to give up but my husband kept me on track with my birth plan. I just felt empowered and capable of doing anything afterwards.

4. How have you learned to embrace failure?

Honestly I took a step back and started realizing that there really isn’t failure in trying your best. Everything works out the way it is supposed to if you stay focused and determined to work hard. So when I fail I take it in stride because I know my greatest blessing will never be withheld from me. I continue to work harder and stay ready for things to fall in place.

5. How do you stay motivated?

My daughters are my motivation. They remind me to work hard and to accomplish my dreams. I want them to be able to do whatever they want in life. Knowing I have to support them mentally and spiritually keeps me on my toes.

6. What is your favorite aspect of being a woman of color?

Everything minus the consistent aggression and destruction this country attempts to put on us daily. I just love my skin color, my heritage, my natural ability to just exist with joy in this world of hatred.

7. What is the message you wish to pass on to your girls?

To always be themselves and to embrace the fact that people will always have an opinion of them. I want them to not be surprised and or affected by how some people move in hatred instead of love. To not be affected by how others view them and to focus on making themselves the best people they can be. To always move in love and to remember that if they aren’t helping or healing someone, then they should keep their mouth shut.

 
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SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

ASHLEY SIRAH

IG: @watermeloneggrolls

WEB: watermeloneggrolls.com

 

 

JENa holliday / SPOONFUL OF FAITH

 
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I first met Jena (Gina) through her business IG account. One of my fellow Momma's reposted a portrait of herself & her son & I knew I needed one of Jackson & I. She launched her shop Spoonful Of Faith in 2014 & it's be flourishing since. Between custom illustrations, devotionals & family portaits, she stays busy but blessed. You need one of her poratrits in your nursery or stairway - trust me.

 

1. How did you decide you wanted to become a small business owner?

I realized after becoming a mother that I wanted to live out everything I had dreamed of. I always wanted to own my business but I didn't know what it would look like or take. I started by just doing a little bit on the side and then it turned into a full business.

2. What is the impact you want to make on the world?

I want to inspire people to go after their God given dreams and use their talents in them. I want to encourage them to keep running this race even when things get tough, and I want to share diversity through my work to people across this world who need to see themselves valuable and worthy in this world. I hope to offer affordable art that is at their fingerprints and impacts through being shared, hung and displayed in their homes. 

3. What is your most proud/rewarding moment?

I can't call out just one thing, because I am often in awe of what's happening around me. I think every time someone takes the time to write me, email me, or text me because something I shared, created, or did really helped push them forward - those are the moments I take to heart. 

4. How have you learned to embrace failure?

I am still learning how to embrace failure. It can be tough. But my mindset has been to not call it failure - to instead see every opportunity as a learning experience. I believe if I go into something with the mindset of learning something and gaining experience, it opens my mind to gather more out of it - instead of focusing on will this work or will I fail at this. Because the people who see success, have just decided to learn from those bumps and get back up again. 

5. How do you stay motivated?

My kids, my family, my responsibilities motivate me to keep going. I also try to challenge myself sometimes, do I think I make this dollar amount or share my work this many times this week - that helps to keep the challenge and motivation in my heart. I also gain most of my motivation and strength from my faith, my community of other business owners, and am often inspired through others!

6. What is your favorite aspect of being a woman of color?

For me representing diversity within this world as well as within the community of women of color. I think their are so many facets to people that we can get lumped into groups, but even within the black community their is diversity. I love being a black artist and bringing a different perspective to the table. I used to hate being different, but now I love it. It is what makes me who I am and I embrace it!

7. What is the message you wish to pass on to your babes?

That they can be, do, create anything that they can have faith enough for. To live a life where they have compassion and love for others and for God. To be thankful for every living breath and every relationship they hold because tomorrow is not promised to anyone.

 
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SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

JENA HOLLIDAY

IG: @aspoonfuloffaith

 

SPOONFUL OF FAITH

IG: @spoonfuloffaithstudio

FB: spoonfuloffaith

Web:  spoonfuloffaith.com