Friday, January 6, 2012

Feature Friday - Woot.

**Steps out of bloggy box and onto sparkly pink soap box. No pictures, just words.**

My Christmas post is ready to go live but I put it on PAUSE because I've got some BIG news!  My friend, Daniella (aka Danithedreamgirl), wrote an awesome feature about me!

Dani has the heart of a country girl and the mind of a city hustler.  She started her blog as a means to document her journey to find her purpose.  I love her posts because she documents the good, the bad, the road blocks and the construction while paving her way through life.  She also takes a moment to highlight everyday people living ordinary lives in an extraordinary way. Check her out here.

I was honored when she contacted me for the interview.  Not just to continue building our secret little island's online presence but because she felt my story could serve as an inspiration for others.  Honored? Psh, to say the least.  Happy? Beyond belief.  Nervous? A whole HECK of a lot but what else is new?

She sent the questions and I felt like my responses weren't politically correct enough... Like my opinion really wouldn't matter enough... BUT I gave her what she wanted and I guess I didn't do half bad because the post is getting amazing feedback (a few listed below):

Erika Hayward: "Ur GF sounds Fabu Dani. Tell her 2 keep the party going and congrats. It's so nice 2 see a sista doing her thing!"

William Wells: "Yeah that is a great story. We see, hear, and read soooooo much about sisters losing there way and all there failures. In this world, we as black people are taught to hate ourselves, especially our sisters. I love that she is doing her thing and that you can bring her story to so many sisters that need some positive motivation. Thank you both for being black queens, in this world that's trying to destroy us!"

Haliya Roberts: "This is such an awesome example of what living in your purpose looks/feels like. Thanks for writing this! It was very inspirational! :-D"

Juana Diaz: "I absolutely love your posts. This definitely inspired me to get into what I always talk about wanting to do. Thanks so much for this!"

AND... Because you're my imaginary friends, I'm going to give you an exclusive to the exclusive (double randomness, I know).  Here's the transcribed version... Shh, don't tell anyone!

**Disclaimer: you can EITHER click her link above for the pretty and SHORT version or read my direct (unedited) quotes.  Be advised, it's long and I don't want to hear any complaints! Scroll at your OWN risk!**

1.      Growing up, did you have the same creative spark as you do now? 
I believe my creativity is a genetic trait inherited from both of my parents.  My father is a quiet, calculated man.  Behind his cold exterior, he disguises his amazing artistic talent… I’m talking the man’s sketches are mind blowing!  He’s like a mad scientist always concocting these amazing meals and finding ways to create his own twist on cultural dishes.  My mother has always been that crafty mom involved in everything from the Youth Ministry at church to the neighborhood mom.  She came up with cool cheers for my little league cheerleading squad, she was always requested to make the football banners because she’d go ALL out (like 3-D characters and glitter… O the glitter!!), she keeps my family singing around the house… Funny story, I remember when my hubby came over for his first family game night and was in shock at how my family will burst into song while sitting around the table… Phase10 with a side of gospel, is there another way to play? LOL.
Needless to say, if my creativity isn’t genetic it was definitely nurtured by BOTH of my parental units.  As a child, Dad would help me come up with the coolest Science Fair projects (yo, I hid cheese in like 10 parts of the house for weeks and Dad helped me photograph the rotting process… It was a smelly but AWESOME) and Mom would help me bedazzle my Science Fair board (my Science teachers always kept my boards as they were just THAT cool).  So, I feel like I got the best of both worlds – I’m a crafty yet calculated perfectionist who keeps it fun and sparkly – haha.
2.      How do you define creativity?
Creativity, in my opinion, is allowing one’s internal cheerleader to embrace one’s internal weirdo.  Anyone who has ever dealt with rejection of an idea can agree creativity is not always accepted or appreciated; it is often a self-celebration for doing something out of “the norm.”  Sometimes you have to listen for the whispering voice in your head that says, “you can do this… like Nemo, just keep swimming” to see it through.
3.      How did you begin molding your company, Embellished Affairs?
My business partner, Sheena, contacted me to express interest in partnering up.  Separately, we were the event planner for our respective circle of friends, family members and clients. After discussing our goals, however, we realized there was a natural partnership between us.  We came up with a business model that works for us, identified our target area/clients and stepped out on faith to execute successful events one detail at a time.  During our first season, nearly 4 years ago, we undercut market rates to build our reputation.  You can imagine our brides’ shock when 2 experienced, detail-oriented, creative women guaranteed a flawless event for next-to nothing (compared to our competitors, at least).  We worked twice as hard to prove ourselves.  We catered to our clients, maintained open lines of communication with venues, built relationships with vendors and left positive impressions with every wedding attendee.  Our high-quality service partnered with our social media and online marketing helped Embellished Affairs (EA) quickly earn the respect of our peers and even national recognition.  We have received’s Brides’ Choice Award every season since!
4.      Who is your target "audience" for Embellished Affairs (include the company website somewhere in your answer please)?
Our target audience is… everyone.  We help to make every event a success.  Many people assume event planning is only for weddings but we are working to prove every event can benefit from effective planning.  How many times have you gone to a birthday party or housewarming and thought it was missing something?  My experience has been that people don’t care about events until it’s time for their event.  When it’s time to celebrate your life milestone, your child’s birthday party, your graduation, who doesn’t want to make it flawless and memorable?  If I tell you, for the same amount as your ChuckECheese party, you can have a magazine-worthy event, would you pass it up?  Nope.  EA works within your budget to develop a timeline of events, assist with the layout and design and to help ensure the HOST has the opportunity to enjoy the event.  So for your next milestone celebration, contact Embellished Affairs (via facebook, twitter or our website, to bring your vision to fruition.
5.      What is Shipwrecked on Fabulous Island?
Shipwrecked on Fabulous Island is my personal online sanctuary where I can be as nerdy, eccentric, dramatic and moody as I want.  It's my place designed to revel in all things pretty, crafty, family and fabulous.
6.      How do you juggle family, company, blog site, crafting, etc. (if you can, list everything that you do)?
One of the biblical verses I keep in my heart at ALL times is I COR 16:14 “Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be
courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done with love.”
  I do what I love… I do family time. I do event planning. I do blogging.  I do crafting. I do PTO. I do Sunday School teaching. I do singing. I do baking. I do photography. Sometimes I feel like I do it all and, one day, it might kill me.  Then I remember I do it all in love and somehow I live to see another day.
7.      What do you think your God-given purpose on earth is?

I take every day as an opportunity to have a new God-given purpose. Is it wrong that I don’t want to say I have just one?  I know my ultimate purpose is to bring others to Him through influential service.  I would, however, be remiss if I didn’t speak to my passion to redefine the importance of family in our society.  Documenting my acts of love for my family, my stumbles along the way and even my coping with my daughter’s journey through little personhood helps me, of course.  I’ve learned that it also has the ability to help someone else be a better parent or to make time for their children.  My immediate reward is in the happiness of my family but my heart is warmed when I read notes of encouragement and inspiration from mothers and fathers everyday… They make my hot glue burns all worth it.
8.      What is your motivation?
My family motivates me… They’re like my fan club!  My husband truly believes there is nothing I can’t do; his confidence in me pushes me to do better.  My daughter’s amazing personality and imagination keep me on my toes; I see my shortcomings when she’s in the room.  My parents subscribe to my blog and, in conversation, will quote me… I have friends who are always requesting a tutorial or asking a craft question, I have fabulous fellow bloggers like yourself who think that what li’l ol’ me has to say is worthy of your readers… Honestly, my motivation is a never-ending to-do list!  As long as I keep something on the horizon, I’ll always have a reason to wake up.  It’s like a cycle.  Every day that I wake up is a reason to be thankful, I show my gratitude through my service, everything I do is done in love, I love a LOT of people and hobbies so I always have a list which makes everyday have a purpose, and every day I wake up… you get the point! It’s really enough to keep anyone busy!

10. How do you maintain the energy and poise that it takes to please your clients and your readers/fans, while taking care of your family?
I cannot emphasize how important it is to love what you do… Well, that and I treat myself to Starbucks and a monthly massage J

11. How does your religion line up with your career choices?
Rather than line my religion with my career, I make my life align with my religion.  Religion is nothing more than one’s habitual behaviors…  I view my faith as the key ingredient to my life’s recipe for success.  Professionally, so many people say, “my God will provide…” and then they sit back and WAIT on something to happen.  My bible says, Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and never succeed.” (Proverbs 12:24).  I give my 9-5 position everything it requires and then some.  I come to work every day prepared to prove myself worthy of the NEXT level.  I’m not afraid to say thank you.  I’m not scared to say sorry and I certainly, take enough pride in my work to stand by it.  So far, so great!

12. What would you tell the "younger you" given what you know about life thus far?
Don’t compromise who you are for the shallow promises of others.  Let your fear of rejection fuel you through your weakest points… Dark times are going to come… Times are going to get hard, your faith is going to be challenged, you will be tested but guess what, boo? You shine through every.single.time.  Smile at the thought that you are one of God’s miracle and his grace is forever raining on you… Feels good to know that everything you THINK won’t happen will… WOW! What if the younger me could read that from the “now” me? POWERFUL!

13. What is your ultimate goal?
My ultimate goal is to leave a legacy my children’s children brag about…

14. Do you sell your products?
Yes, No and not yet… Yes, EA can execute your next fabulous event. No, my DIY projects (where I thrift and transform) are not on the market ALTHOUGH, sometimes I think they should be!  AND the big not yet… I’m in the process of launching an online shop where my bows, crafts and other handmade goods can be purchased.  Don’t worry, Ms. DreamGirl, you’ll DEF be at the launch party!

15. Where can people go to keep up with all that you have going on? 
My blog,, is an online record of my life.  I post often and I hope you’ll take a moment check me out!
 Whew. You survived! Your dedication is to be commended... Have a great, happy, pleasant, AWESOME Friday :)



  1. I'm so glad that you included the transcribed version because there was so much that I wanted to add to my post!!! You are beyond AWESOME!!!

  2. Thanks, again for the feature and for trimming and pruning the words to have maximum impact. You have a gift and I can't wait to see what 2012 holds for the Dreamgirl!

  3. Love, love, love it! Such a inspiration to everyone! I love that Family and God is the center of everything! When you have those two important factors in your life you can go anywhere! Keep it up, I always enjoy my time on this fabulous island!

  4. Thanks, Chantie! I've said it before and I'll say it again... I can't WAIT for your blog. The world is READY!


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