Boss Up Season: Seizing Your Moment & Living with Intention

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Last week I traveled to New York to kick off Fashion Week with NaturallyCurly. As you may know, I’m a full-time editor there where I edit and write articles about all things curly, partner with haircare brands to showcase their latest products and feature visionaries who are leading the textured hair community. Each year NaturallyCurly hosts, Texture on the Runway  and this year was beyond the biggest one yet. From having over 900 attendees to Amara Le Negra co-hosting the show, the event was nothing short of amazing. Being that it was my second year attending/working it, I knew I wanted to make this experience memorable by being intentional in all that I did. From getting my hair done by Tara to staying  a few days after to explore New York, I made sure that it was out of pure intention.

With pure intention comes pure opportunity.

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When I started working at NaturallyCurly two years ago, my main role was to edit articles and manage contributors. Being that I was new to the team, I didn’t want to step on anyone’s toes and at times I found myself dimming my light to make others feel comfortable. As time went on, I was asked to be a part of video projects, but I was so afraid of speaking on camera that I cringed at the thought of doing so. Over the past several months, my role as an editor has expanded. I’ve challenged myself to conquer my fears and take on new projects such as being a part of video campaigns, covering live events and interviewing people on camera and leading meaningful conversations in person. All of this lead me to being prepared for moments like the picture above where I had the chance to go backstage at the Cushnie show to interview the lead hairstylist, Ursula Stephen. In case you don’t know, Ursula is the Queen of hair! She has worked with celebrity faves such as Rihanna, Zendaya, Serena Williams and many more. Having the opportunity to meet her was confirmation that everything that I’ve been challenging myself to do was preparation for unforgettable moments like these. To be in a room full of boss women who are dominating their industry and walking in their purpose was a reminder that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and it all started with intention and being confident within my ability to show up and own my greatness.

Direct experience is the only valid confirmation.

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Once work was done, I made it a point to explore New York and I stayed at a cute and cozy Airbnb in Woodside to get the real New York experience. If you follow me on Instagram you know that I’ve been prioritizing my health and wellness and it truly has been the best investment I’ve ever made. Earlier this year one of my writers featured a Latina woman who is changing the fitness industry for people of color, Samantha Ortiz. She is the founder of the Triple Threat Boot Camp in Brooklyn and was named the best fitness instructor of NYC in 2017. She invited me and my friend Kiana to attend her class during our visit and of course I had to take her up on her offer. As we walked into the beautiful fitness studio and heard the music bumping from the speakers, I was immediately inspired by the energy in the room. It was the toughest workout I’ve done, but it was well worth it. It was so amazing to be led by a woman who is truly invested in changing people’s lives through fitness. I’m glad I was able to finally meet her and witness her passion in person.

Show up for yourself in ways that no one else can.

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As my NY trip came to a close I wanted to be sure to be intentional with every minute and I spent the day surrounded by beautiful fearless women at the Fanm Djanm brunch. I met the founder of Fanm Djanm, Paola Mathe, a few months ago in Austin for a shoot and I’m extremely inspired by her creativity, passion and boldness. She has attended NYFW several times and this year she wanted to be more intentional by bringing women together for an intimate brunch. She hosted an exclusive brunch at the Refinery Hotel in Manhattan and it was filled with good vibes and great conversation. I believe there’s so much power by gathering women in an intimate space to share our experiences, lessons and celebrate one another because when one wins, we all win!

Be around the light bringers, the magic makers, the world shifters and the game changers. They’ll challenge you, break you open, uplift you and elevate you to rise to the occasion. Your association determine your destination.

New York can be daunting, chaotic and exhausting, but it’s a reminder that we have the power to create a meaningful life everyday that we’re alive, so make it count. Be intentional with the time you have. Seize the moment and be present in all that you do. I encourage you to conquer your doubts, insecurities and fears. Challenge yourself every chance you get to become better and learn something new. Practice discipline and remain to your purpose. Make your vision so clear that your fears become irrelevant. Trust your intuition and own your greatness. Show up for yourself and watch God work.

Much love and many blessings

Alexandra

 

 

 

 

Brooklyn is What Dreams are Made Of

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Earlier this year I told myself, that 2017 will be the year where I travel more and step outside my comfort zone with every chance I get to learn something new about myself and the world. Last weekend, I traveled to Brooklyn, NY with a group of friends to attend the Afropunk Festival. More than a music festival, Afropunk is a part of black culture. Where people from all over come to celebrate the magic we hold, our love for music, unique fashion and multi-dimensional culture. It’s a safe place that thrives off inclusivity and the only rules at Afro punk are:

No Sexism

No Racism

No Ableism

No Ageism

No Homophobia

No Fatphobia

No Transphobia

No Hatefulness

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This was my first time attending Afropunk and it was most definitely a memorable experience from all the beautiful brown people glowing, dancing, thriving and vibing. I went on day two and had a chance to witness electrifying performances by NAO, Anderson Paak, and Kaytranada. I love live music and even though I enjoyed myself I did feel extremely anxious due to the huge crowds. I didn’t realize until we got there that it was going to be such a giant festival with 5 stages, where some of your favorite artists are playing at the same time and it’s tough getting to the other stages. Honestly, my highlight of Afropunk was the after party hosted by Soulection featuring Sango. I listen to Soulection religiously and was so excited to finally catch a live event of theirs because they not only create good vibes, but educate you on what you’re listening to especially since most of today’s music is samples it’s good to know where it originated. They kicked if off with Andre Powers, The Whooligan and Sango. Sango is by far one of my favorite artists and producers who loves to incorporate his love for Brazilian afro-beats with trap music.

IMG_9753Top & Skirt: LFstores  photo by @stylefeen

Even though our main reason for visiting Brooklyn was for Afropunk we wanted to be sure to explore the city and utilize every opportunity to experience the New York lifestyle. We stayed at an Airbnb, in the most beautiful, quiet and convenient neighborhood called Prospect Heights. It was only a couple blocks from the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park and surrounded by lots of amazingly delicious restaurants and coffee shops. I consider myself to be a certified foodie and love trying out new restaurants. When we arrived our superstar host took us around the neighborhood and gave us a tour of where to eat, hang out and things to do. That was so helpful because whenever we were on our own we had a sense of our surroundings and knew where to go. Just a heads up everyone walks in NY, so bring a pair of comfy shoes.

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While we were in Brooklyn we ate at Sweet Chick, a southern spot that is known for their chicken and waffles and good vibes, Cent’Anni, an Italian spot known for their homemade pasta dishes, Two8Two, a burger joint that oozes goodness, Cheryl’s Global Soul, a cozy cafe that offers the perfect brunch and soul food, and last but certainly not least Van Leeuwen , an ice-cream and coffee shop that makes vegan and classic ice-cream from scratch.

Our second day we took the subway to Manhattan, which is by far the best way to travel if you’re going more than 6 blocks away. It’s cheaper than an Uber and it’s a good way to sight see. Be sure to stay on your toes for the hustlers on the subways who are dancing and singing to get you to cough up some coins. When we arrived we went to Chelsea Market, which is one of the greatest indoor food halls filled with unique shops and vendors. It was extremely busy so we grabbed a drink and quickly headed back out the doors. We perused the streets of Manhattan for hours until we stumbled upon the Flatiron district which had blocks of great shopping from luxury to department stores.

Overall, it was a wonderful time in NY and I’m excited to be going back in a couple weeks for Fashion week!

I encourage you to change the scenery of your life. It’s a chance to refresh, learn, compare, meet new people, make new friends, view things anew and to grow. 

Have you been to Brooklyn? What are some of your favorite places to visit?

Much love

Founder & CEO,

Alexandra

 

 

 

Belize Re-cap + The Importance of Investing in Yourself & Others

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Last week my mother and I traveled to Belize for a much-needed vacation. This was my first international trip and I had no idea it would provide me with such a refreshing perspective.

A few weeks before our departure, my grandmother passed. My family took it pretty tough, especially my mom. It’s one of those things you expect, but can never be fully prepared for. Like most grandmother’s, she was the matriarch of our family. She was known for her nurturing and faithful spirit. She was an artist, author and business woman that served her community. This trip came right on time and gave us an opportunity to heal, reminicse and cherish the present time with each other.

“I am allowed to grieve – and I am allowed to heal. I give myself permission to do both without fear, regret or guilt.” – Alex Elle

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We stayed at a small village right on the beach, called Hopkins. Even though we stayed at a resort we were intentional about visiting the village and talking with the natives. The food at the resort wasn’t that great, so we decided to explore the village for dining. Our second day there, we rented a golf cart and visited a local restaraunt favorite called, “Ellas Cool Spot.” This was probably one of our most memorable days of the trip. My mom ordered the grilled lobster with mashed potatoes and plaintains. I ordered the grilled pineapple pork chop with rice, salad and plantains. They introduced us to their most well-known drink, the panty dropper, (which is pineapple juice and coconut rum). Just know the ride back to the resort was even more entertaining 😉

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My mom is passionate about history and has been teaching for over 30 years and insisted we visit the Mayan ruins. At first I wasn’t looking forward to visiting the Mayan temples, but actually was intrigued by their resilient spirits and ability to create these spectacalur handmade empires to protect their territories. We visited two temples in San Ignacio, Cahal Pech & Xunantunich.

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This trip gave me an opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and see how others live in a different country.  We immediately noticed they don’t have the same access and resources like gas, cars, education or modern homes. The gas there was $10 BZE ($20 US), so majority of everyone walked or biked, they can’t afford gas yet alone a car. Most would look at it as an obstacle, but they still get where they need to be. Also, the minium wage there is $4 BZE ($8 US), which isn’t very much especially for families. They live in shacks without A/C and kept their windows and doors open to keep cool.

Even though a lot of the people there don’t have fancy homes or cars, they aren’t victims to their situation. This was a very humbling experience to witness and a great reminder to remain grateful for what we have here in the U.S.

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Something else I noticed was a lot of the Americans that were there in Belize were scouting for property. Belize is one of the top tourists destinations spots and a well-known retirement spot. It broadened my perspective and reminded me that once you change your mindset, you’ll change your life. We truly must take advantage of the resources we have and invest in ourselves, family and future. Our legacy is all we have and we must start thinking global and living limitlessly.

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

Continue to cherish the ones you love. Invest in yourself, so you’re able to invest in them. Provide them with new experiences and remind them that memories are the only things that are timeless, we must cherish them.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Summer, this is definitely an experience I’ll remember for a lifetime ❤

Much love

Founder & CEO,

Alexandra