New Beginnings

Hey!

It’s definitely been a little while since we chatted. Life happens, and before you know it a year has gone by and you’re watching the seasons change and lipstick shades go from light to dark. In one of my last posts, I shared a bit of my story by way of an emotionally charged episode of Being Mary Jane, and truth be told, the downside of that is what has kept me away for so long. You can read more of that story, but in my time away I’ve made it a point to focus on what makes my heart smile again, and this little slice of personal literary heaven encourages that. I’m SO back, because suppressing passion is like a slow leak in a tire, and I have places to be!

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One step in the direction of growth and potential power moves was being accepted to LIM College in NYC! It’s the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising, but I’m assuming that in their quest for a “hip”, easy-to-remember acronym, they decided on LIM. In my running away from what I KNOW I needed to pursue, I applied to a program not even remotely related to business or fashion, and I got straight DENIED… by my alma mater, at that. Low blow for sure, but it was for good reason. I am so happy that happened because it caused me to really sit back and evaluate what it was that I really wanted.

I LOVE fashion. I LOVE business. I LOVE learning. Anyone that knows me (or has only been following me on social media for like 2 hours) knows this. I needed to follow my passion, and I am so happy that I went for it! I just started my first week in the Fashion Marketing MPS graduate program, and I couldn’t feel more in my element! It seems like everything is falling back into place. All of a sudden I’m getting invites to NYFW events, feeling inspired to write again, rocking my personal, distinct style (I definitely went through a sweatpants and baseball cap phase, and that was SO not me! Ughh… bad move).

Stay tuned for my coverage of some NYFW happenings, Philadelphia Fashion Week, and whatever else comes my way.

In any event, I’m back, and better than ever! Get ready!

 

With love,

SB

I’m Baaaaaaack!

Hey everyone!

I want to first apologize for being gone for so long, and then I want to tell you how happy I am to be back! Writing in any capacity is such a release for me; I’ve missed this! During the time I’ve been gone, I was busy doing some work on ME, and I’m happy to say that it’s paid off. I’m all done with undergrad, and I’ve earned my bachelor’s degree in business administration (I’m planning on starting grad school in Jan.), I am working full-time at a place that brought me so much joy as a kid (and still does) — the library, and I just moved into my first apartment!! At some point, we all have to do some soul searching, and although my journey is nowhere near over, I’ve begun and It has been a beautiful experience.

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With all that being said, I’m ready to get back in the trenches! I miss all the talk about fashion, beauty, life, event hopping, networking with all of you, NYC, and just the innate happiness it brings me to think about all of it. I miss my spark, my unapologetic spontaneity, and I’m so ready to get back in and make it happen! Any room for me in there? Of course I’m not really asking, just politely saying “MOVE OVER!”…ha. Happy to be back, and I sure hope you guys are still rocking with me!

I’m all grown up now (well, who ever really completely grows up?), I’m back with a new outlook, a new maturity, a new appreciation for this work and its contributors, and a new personal branding goal in mind. Bare with me, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Looking forward to picking back up where we left off, friends!

xo,

SB

Blogalicious 5!: Oh, Atlanta… Part 1

I made it!!! I made it alllllllll way to Atlanta, Georgia on a 17 hour Greyhound bus ride because of you! Yes, I really took a bus from Philadelphia to Atlanta and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, besides people wanting to have full blown convos at 3 AM.

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After being chosen to be a part of the official Blogalicious Social Squad (a fancy name for the beautiful group of social butterfly volunteers), I was excited and figured that I’d get my travel arrangements in order sooner or later. As time passed, school was coming to an end and graduation fees and other financial obligations surfaced, causing me to get stuck in a real rut. Thank God I have awesome people like YOU who donated to make it possible for me to book a roundtrip ticket, even if it meant I’d be on a bus instead of a plane like I’d originally planned (I secretly hate flying anyway).

I got to ATL 5 days before the conference was even to begin for the purpose of spending some time with my friend who recently moved there. My 1st impression of ATL was exactly this—> “Oh, no…. see I need a train or bus line or something because like… how am I supposed to get around if I don’t drive?! Omg, it’s nothing to do… I am going to die of boredom”. This was all before I realized that:

1. My friend lives in the Conley area of GA, which is south of ATL where not even natives seem to be familiar with it

2. You do in fact need a car if you want to get around ATL comfortably

3. There is PLENTY to do, you just need to know the right people who know the right places!

After a few days of stressing because multiple cab companies refused to drive to my friend’s house to pick me up and take me downtown to the conference, and having VERY limited funds, the gates of heaven opened and I found a very affordable hotel that was literally a 5 minute walk from the conference. Hallelujah!

My new resting place was a hotel in downtown Atlanta which definitely wasn’t 4 stars (maybe not even 2 and a half), but it was going to have to work. Now the stress was gone, I was within walking distance from the conference, and I still had enough money left to eat real food for the next few days.

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On Wednesday all the Social Squad members were to report for our orientation and to stuff swag bags (which were quite amazing I might add. Don’t worry, I’ll give the scoop on what was inside in the next post!). That day we all got to know each other, and I have to say that the afternoon shift set up a meannnnn assembly line filled with laughs and pandora. We were done those swag bags in record time! I have to give a shout to Ms. Jana, the Boss Lady who kept everything in order from start to finish, I don’t know how she does it!

The conference started the next day and as a Social Squad member, we were assigned to assist at specified panels each day, and then were free to attend any sessions and panels we wanted to! I have to say that I loved that set-up because we were getting the opportunity to get an inside look at the inner workings of how to run a conference, while also being able to enjoy it as an attendee. Since each of us were assigned to specific sessions, we knew well in advance where we had to be and what speakers we would be assisting. Ironically, I got chosen to assist Amy Dubois-Barnett, Editor-in-Chief of Ebony Magazine! Like, whaaaaa?! Since I found out that I’d been assigned to the keynote address, I’d started dreaming up what I’d say, exactly how I’d introduce myself, and how even a brief conversation would go if the opportunity happened to arise. When the day came, another panel was in session as Amy sauntered in quietly to take her seat and gather thoughts before addressing the audience. As it came time for the keynote to begin, I began rehearsing my quick intro in my head (total geek moment). Since Amy was already seated, Jana decided to initiate an introduction between us, and it took a little of my nervousness away. She was maaaaad cool, y’all! I totally felt like I was talking to one of you, she was so down to earth. As we explained to her that we would help her keep track of time, she asked if we could go with her in life to help her do that everyday.. ha. Now I can say thay I shared a laugh with Amy Dubois-Barnett, swoons. Our convo was brief, but memorable… at least in my mind.

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The rest of the weekend was filled with thought provoking panels on blogging and branding by some of my favorites, including Afrobella, Luvvie, Marie Denee, Lamar Tyler, and more.

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There were networking mixers where I got to meet dozens of bloggers from all over, I connected with the Digital Editorial Director of Ebony Magazine who recently spoke at my school, and I connected with fabulous brands like Pic Monkey, Heart of Haiti, and Friends Fun Wine at the pop-up-shop! This is the 2nd conference I’ve been to where I’ve felt a real sense of community and unity, all for the purpose of working toward advancement.

The season premeire Scandal party sponsored by Xfinity and hosted by Luvvie was AMAZING…… AH-MAH-ZING. Like, she came in her Olivia Pope BEST! It was a great time.

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The brand suites were fun, informative, and inviting. The Colgate Optic White Suite was lavishly LAID…

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ORS gave product samples and live demos…
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And I took a spin in the new Kia SUV! Well, I was a passenger.. tehee.

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Overall, I had a great experience at Blogalicious and I would definitely return for another dose! There’s so much more to say about this conference, so in another post, I’ll give you a list of the 10 best take-aways from Blogalicious 5 more photos, and all the deets of what was in this fab swag bag!

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Until then, click HERE for the official event photos
Sharontina B.