Peeks in…is this thing on? Hey hey Queens. So…shall we address the elephant in the room? Where have I been??? It’s a long story and I’ve been procrastinating for awhile but I’m ready. Grab your wine or some coffee and let’s talk about it.
January 2016 – Around the last time you heard from me
Whew. It was A LOT going on. I quit my job. After blogging here for three years, I was able to build a somewhat stable freelance writing career writing for a few beauty magazines and websites. logistics-wise things were changing drastically at work. Not to mention, I had been having a hard time juggling a full time job, three kids, an increasing workload, and general life responsibilities. I was always stressed. Always rushed. Always upset. My body was giving me hard signals that I needed to change things and soon. So, I did. And full transparency: there was no financial safety net and no star studded roster of clients. There was only God, faith, and ambition.
I landed a pretty big freelance contract days after my last day of work. Let me tell you how writing the vision and doing the work can work out for you–insert praise hands emoji. I had set some financial and business goals at the beginning of the month and I wrote the amount I needed to make each month from freelance work to reach it. That contract was the amount. To the dollar.
February 2016 – That time I fake started a new blog
In hindsight, I should have known better. I had just made one huge change in my life, that should have been enough for the moment. But, with all my energy now focused on freelance beauty writing, I felt I didn’t have anything left to say–here. I wanted to switch gears and make this a lifestyle space but…I didn’t follow my gut. Which I should have. So instead I started a whole new blog. One focused on lifestyle and motherhood. I had monetized this blog a bit, but three years into the game I knew so much more and I had big dreams for the new blog. Spoiler alert…it didn’t work out that way.
Summer 2016 – New year, new things
Time flies so yup. Between starting the new blog, freelancing, enjoying my newfound work at home life around spending my days with a toddler in tow…I blinked and it was my birthday. I was still blogging over at the new spot but I didn’t have nearly as much time as I thought I was going to have to get it off the ground. Let me tell you…I thought I had struggles with balance before? It was nothing compared to life now. The difference though? The struggle was worth it. Or as Elizabeth Gilbert so eloquently put it in Big Magic, I was more than willing to eat the shit sandwich that came along with freelance freedom.
I celebrated my birthday at a mountain resort in Seven Springs–I blogged about it–learning more about how to get involved in the school community in my city. I also started to set my sights on something new-ish. A beauty brand had been on mind every since my very first post. It was a natural extension of the work that I do–helping women of color in the beauty space. I had been tinkering with this brand, testing, trying, mixing for a couple years along with my business partner. With my “extra”–ha!–time I had been thinking about really getting it off the ground. So we set a timeline and got to it.
Fall 2016 – #notricksjusttreats
Belle Marron, an eco luxe makeup and skin care brand for women of color soft launched on Halloween #notricksjusttreats. We launched with the Belle Box, a taste of our full product line, and started shipping orders on Black Friday. My other blog had like ZERO views even though I had been pouring my heart into those blog posts. My freelance career was stable. And every where I turned, every networking event I went to, I heard the same thing “what’s up with This Brown Queen”? I missed this blog. It fit me. It was me. This blog changed my life and nothing I did over at my new site made sense the way This Brown Queen did. I decided I would be coming back…just wasn’t sure when/how.
Winter 2016 – Back like I never left…right?
Looking back…2016 was obviously the year of CHANGE. I started the year calling it the year of intention and maybe to an extent, it was. But more obviously, it was a year of change. Winter 2016, I started a loc journey. After about two years natural, I was over it and decided to loc my hair. Winter 2016 I officially shut down my old blog and transferred all my heartfelt posts to This Brown Queen.
And now we’re here. If you’re still here reading, thanks sis. I needed to get alladat out. If not, cliff notes version: I quit my job, started a new blog–that’s over, it’s cancelled–launched an all natural beauty brand and now I’m back.
Later days~ xoxo
I can reinvent myself as often as I need to. The only definition of me that matters is my own.
Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you. It’s also part lesson learned for good measure. And a few extra tidbits along the way. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or that I’m too nervous to share on the blog. You know, things I keep for the people who are in this with me ;).