WOW! I can’t believe that I launched my blog exactly one year ago today. This year has been filled with so many ups and downs, life lessons, reality checks, and accomplishments. I have to admit I thought blogging was pretty easy until I started doing it myself. Boy, was I wrong! Not only is blogging not easy, but it is EXTREMELY challenging. It takes a lot of self motivation, time, money, and consistency in the face of constant no’s and little recognition. However, this has also been my most fulfilling year as my blog gives me a purpose beyond anything I thought possible. The BEST part about blogging is the genuine feedback I receive from you guys. Whenever I hear someone say I inspired them to travel for the first time, dress more confidently, schedule their annual exam, or apply for Midwifery school, my heart truly explodes. YOU all are why I do this. If I can impact just one life, then I have made a difference and it's my motivation to keep going. I decided to make a list of my top 5 blogging moments over the past year. I have been so critical of myself, so taking a moment to reflect on all the good that has happened will help propel me forward as I continue to grow my brand.
1. Voyage Miami Interview
A little over a month after starting my blog, I was interviewed by Voyage Miami! You can check it out here. I was amazed that such a well known publication chose to share my story with its audience. It was honestly my first time putting into words exactly what motivated me to start blogging and what my purpose was. I used to feel torn between my various interests and felt pressure to narrow down to a single niche. This interview helped me see that it is okay to display the different areas of my life: travel, fashion, and midwifery. It would not have been authentic to only talk about one facet of myself, as I am a multidimensional person with evolving passions. A year later, I am glad I stayed true to myself and didn’t constrain my blog to one topic.
2. Lane Bryant Fashion Show
It was always a dream of mines to walk in a fashion show, but as a chubby kid growing up, I always thought that goal was unattainable. I am so thankful to Lane Bryant Miami for asking me to be a part of their fashion show in July! Check out the video here. Not only am I glad I realized a childhood dream, but I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone. Before beginning my self love journey, I would have been too afraid to model in front of a room full of people. Blogging has increased my confidence significantly to where I am taking more risks and putting myself out there. I’m less concerned about what others think and more focused on what brings me joy. Guess I can add model to the resume!
3. The CurvyCon
Going to the CurvyCon in September was life changing! If you don’t know what it is, check out their site here. To sum it up, the CurvyCon is an event for plus size fashion lovers to connect with brands, each other, and be inspired through various panels and conversations. It was incredibly affirming to walk into a building dedicated to fashion in MY size with the ability to try on items and shop from different vendors. More importantly, I enjoyed connecting with other bloggers and making in person connections that have flourished this year. I’ve found my tribe, and its beautiful after decades of feeling like an outcast because of my weight. It also was another moment where I stepped out of my comfort zone by attending a 500+ person conference solo as an introvert! If you are an introvert as well and thinking of attending this fabulous event, check out my blog post here for tips.
4. Heat Free Hair Feature
I’ve been wearing Heat Free Hair since 2014, and they are hands down, my favorite company for natural hair extensions. The quality is superb and its amazing for a company to finally "get it" for us natural girls. We want the convenience of extensions without losing the uniqueness of our hair texture. I was pleasantly surprised when I was contacted to be featured on their website. Check it out here. It was another chance for me to share my story, discuss my brand, and talk about my journey from hating my hair to loving it. Similar to how larger bodies are ostracized in the media, black women’s natural hair are also seen as less desirable. It took years to look in the mirror and finally love the crown staring back at me.
5. Brand Partnerships
I honestly didn’t expect any brand partnerships during my first year of blogging, but I am so grateful to all the amazing brands I had a chance to work with! These collaborations have increased my understanding of the business side of blogging, which is an important aspect that many beginning bloggers overlook. I also turned down a lot of offers that did not align with my brand or offer quality products that you all would enjoy. I’ve learned that the relationship I have with you all is sacred and if something doesn’t offer value, I’m not risking my brand by featuring it on my blog. Here are some of the great brands I worked with and links to my content:
As I reflect on all of the magic that has occurred this year due to my blog, I become even more excited about this upcoming year. My goal is always to inspire, educate, and empower you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of! I’ve realized that as I am encouraging you all, I too am creating a life that I never want to wake up from. Cheers to year 2!
xoxo, Global Midwife