Ebbi Nicole, Creator of Fluffy GRL Movement, Talks Body Positivity, Empowering Women and Fluffy GRL Inspirations

For decades, society has created the standard that women have to be a certain size to be considered cute, dateable and even healthy, but in actuality that’s not the case. Ebbi Nicole, a proud curvy woman, embraces her “fluff” and empowers women by walking in her truth, being transparent, hosting events and workshops and even a Curves N’ Waves Pool Party. Check out Ebbi’s interview below as she talks about her Fluffy GRL Movement.

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Danii Gold: Why did you create the Fluffy Grl Movement?

Ebbi Nicole: I created Fluffy GRL Movement because I was tired of hearing women speak hatefully about themselves. I wanted to create a platform that would celebrate, elevate and empower the plus and curvy communities to tell their stories their way and to walk in their truths unapologetically.

We produce innovative events and workshops, conduct interviews featuring plus women who are the face of their brand and help women polish their personal style with consulting services. The ROOT of Fluffy GRL has always been about rewriting the narrative to include our truths, and defy those imposed by the media and societal norms.

Danii Gold: I love how you substitute a negative word for a positive word, Fluffy. Growing up a Fluffy Girl, did you face barriers?

Ebbi Nicole: I was teased ALOT as a child. Unfortunately, I was bullied by the kids at school and picked on by family at home. I was a target because I was ALWAYS one of the bigger kids in class and I started wearing glasses in Kindergarten. As a result I developed super low self esteem and I questioned everything about myself. It got so bad at one point that I started begging the teacher to let me eat lunch with her during recess because I was afraid of getting beat up on the playground. 

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Danii Gold: Besides empowering women, you are also a stylist for Fluffy GRLS and women in general. What made you add that service to your brand or title behind your name?

Ebbi Nicole: I decided to start styling for plus and curvy women simply because my audience asked me to. I wish it was more to it but it isn’t. I always receive so many compliments behind how I rock what I wear. Then I started receiving messages about styling services. At first, I was totally against it. I am not a fashion enthusiast NOR am I the edgiest person in the industry so I was skeptical if I was the IDEAL stylist. Through working with clients I learned that all labels and fashion houses aside, I really enjoyed helping women polish their personal brand and identify their personal style. It brings me joy to see women feel and look good in her clothes. It radiates as confident and self aware, both of which are super sexy!

Danii Gold: I’ve been following your brand for a while and I heard you say a while back that when you were younger, guys wouldn’t show you  attention in public, but they they would flirt with you in private. How do you or would you handle a situation like that now? 

Ebbi Nicole: Great question! I’m at the “YO LOSS” point in my life. I do a really great job at letting people know that they’re missing out and standing in the fact that I am not a Night Creep Chick…unless the ish is on MY terms and I want it. Simply put! If you can’t check for me in the sunlight, then you damn sure can’t check for me at midnight. Okurrr

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Danii Gold: AGREED!! So, what are some things you do on the regular basis to empower women who are Fluffy?

Ebbi Nicole: I walk in my truth…unsure, very sure, complicated, simple, easily and hard as hell. As muddy as the journey is and as tough of a reality it is to face sometimes, I work to empower women by being transparent about my challenges and triumphs. Sometimes, the most work is done when you are just…YOU.

Danii Gold: That’s dope! So, do you have any Fluffy or Curvy women inspirations?

Ebbi Nicole: Of course! I’m a 90s babies so when we talk about inspirations, I have to reach back to who paved the way around that time. My faves include Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, The Lady of Rage, Mia X, and even Raven Symone. I remember seeing each of these women and they all exuded power and self awareness. None of them tried to HIDE their bigness, in fact their confidence is what made their careers so successful. They did things on their terms. In a thin positive industry, they exuded what it meant to be a Fluffy GRL. PRESENT. VISIBLE. RAW. VOCAL. UNAPOLOGETIC. 

Danii Gold: How do you feel about women like Lizzo being her authentic self, showcasing her body positivity, despite how society tries box plus size women in? (For instance, the stereotype that thicker women can’t wear certain clothes)

Ebbi Nicole: I. STAN. LIZZO. I know that there is the Rihanna Navy and the Bey Hive but HONEY, I am forever a LIZBIAN. She is stomping on those boxes. Her presence in the music industry couldn’t have come at a better time. She offers something rarely seen from plus women in the main stream media…SEX. SPICE. AND NO FUCKS GIVEN. I love that she is NOT ONLY visible but she is also VERY VOCAL about her position on fatness in today’s society. The women I named earlier lit the torch and Lizzo is taking things up a notch! She is making some folks very uncomfortable and I AM LOVING IT! 

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Danii Gold: Agreed! I love me some Lizzo. So, you have your annual Curves N’ Waves Pool Party coming up. What made you come up with the theme?

Ebbi Nicole: The name for Curves N’ Waves came about because I wanted something catchy yet clear that this was a party created by a woman for other women. I wanted a name that would empower women of all shapes, sizes and shades to make a SPLASH and take up space in a place made for them. My sole thought, if you put a lot of curves in the water, some waves are bound to happen. Hence Curves N’ Waves. 
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Danii Gold: That’s super catchy! What else do you want to come out of the Fluffy GRL Movement besides body positivity?

Ebbi Nicole: Besides messages of self acceptance and an avenue for body diversity, I want people to help dismantle myths about the fluffy community. Contrary to popular belief many of us are active, working our asses off in various industries, have loving partners and families, can dance longer than 15 seconds, aren’t always the comedic relief and we are all capable of telling our stories without the help of those who don’t know anything about them. 

 

Danii Gold: That’s deep and inspirational AF! My last question for you is, what message would you like to send with your brand?

Ebbi Nicole: FLUFFY is a way of life. It’s not all about how you do or don’t look. It’s about how you choose to live, view the world and share your journey with the world. To be FLUFFY is to embrace you AND the unique person next to you. Fluffs, fluffettes and fluff supporters are a whole vibe!
The Fluffy GRL Movement 2nd Annual Curves N’ Waves Pool Party on August 10th.
Make sure you follow  Fluffy GRL Movement on Facebook and Instagram @fluffygrlmovement and check out her website –> https://www.empowerthefluff.com/
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10 Things You Learn in Your Late 20s

When you’re inching close to age 30, life kind of comes at you. Your body doesn’t function like it used to, you can’t stay out as late as you did when you were 21, you don’t like being around people, and you are late for almost everything (or you just don’t care about being late.) It really shows your age or even your growth.

Here are 10 things I’ve learned and still learning as I’m inching towards the 30 line:

 

Never Settle For Less

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Yes, we should never settle for less at any point in our life BUT when you are in your late teens/early 20’s, you have to take what you can get when it comes to jobs, cars, etc. But when you’re getting close to 30, ESPECIALLY BEING A MILLENNIAL, we don’t waste our time doing shit we don’t want to do.

Always Running Late

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Mannnn I use to be the most precise on-time person, then I was always the first person….on time…helping to set up something (ESPECIALLY A BABY SHOWER) LOL. Then, I started moving on my time. My biggest mishap is taking a nap before I gotta be somewhere, knowing good and well that I still gotta do my hair and make up. BUT, now I figure “I’m not going to be the only one late.” Unless it’s work, I’m usually running 10-20 minutes late. “I’ll get there when I get there.” 

 

Irritated By Loudness

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Look…I’m lowkey an old lady. Unless I’m at a club, bar, etc. I can’t unnecessary loudness. For example, folks being extra loud in a grocery store or gas station. Whew chile, all that is uncalled for, especially when folks are on the phone and it’s on speaker phone.

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Health is Wealth

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Your body will switch up on you quick! I’ve always been lucky enough to have a cute figure but within the last year and a half my weight has been sticking!!! Meaning, I have to actually workout and get active! Also, I’ve had three instances that I’ve thrown up catfish. Mind you, I love fish, but for some reason when I dine out and eat it, I get sick 5 hours later and throw it up! So of course, I have to either A) only eat home-cooked fish (because I don’t throw up from eating it.) or B) eliminate it completely. What we eat is important and how much of it we intake. If you eat a bunch of  fried foods, you should balance it out and only eat fried foods 2-3 days out of the week and/or substitute it with baked foods. I understand that there is bad in every food, chicken, beef, turkey, pork (I’ve given it up unfortunately), but we gotta learn to balance it all out. Folks are becoming vegans every day and I commend them but I ain’t at that point yet lol.

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Also, you can also tell the difference in your skin and body when you drink water. I’ve always drank water, but only like a bottle  a day (crazy right) but as I’ve gotten older, I drink it more because….WATER MATTERS! For the people who don’t drink water…you’re gross.

Just think, if your body shuts down, you can’t function, meaning you can’t make money, unless you can do it in your bed just sending emails and making phone calls. Other than that, you can’t do business if you always sick and not taking care of yourself.

Get Multiple Streams of Income.

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As a millennial, I’ve noticed we don’t follow the standard generation x and baby boomers of the world when it comes to working. They had one job, then retired and got a pension. NOW, people have a 9a-5p, 5p-9p and even a 9p-12a. We don’t believe in depending on just one stream of income. The way jobs are going out of business and laying people off (trust me, I know), you can’t depend on just one. We are also on this entrepreneur wave. Working for someone is okay but why not educate yourself and open your own business. Always be opened to that.

Patience

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Things aren’t going to happen when you expect it to. Follow your own pace. To piggy back off the last one, we have to be patient in our current job position until the next best thing comes along. When it comes to bringing in a second and third income, I’m sure you would want those incomes to replace your 9-5 and you could work for yourself, buuuut we gotta have patience. If we don’t want to settle for the regular 9-5 life then we gotta be patient, and not compare our situation to anyone else because everyone has went through it some kind of long process to get to their current success.

Communication 

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Texting is the devil. It should not be used for serious dialogue but instead short and sweet messages, “I’m on my way,” “Call me when you get the chance, I want to ask you..,” “Just checking on you,” those kind of messages. (This is what my cousin Vic says). And I’ve definitely gotten better with this is the past. Texting can be taken out of context. You never know the tone in which a person is saying something. I have a friend who is short with her messages because she either, doesn’t like to respond long, she’s busy or “that is just that.” But when we talk on the phone, it’s the complete opposite. When you get to your late 20’s you realize that phone communication is more intimate and personal versus texting. You typically text a person when you’re unavailable to talk on the phone. But there are times when you don’t feel like talking on the phone, so you prefer texting. Regardless of the situation, us late 20’s folks are getting better with talking on the phone versus texting all day (unless we are unavailable to talk.)

Start on Retirement Early

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As we get close to our 30’s, we gotta start on our retirement fund. The more we have saved, the earlier we can retire. There are different apps for that and even Roth funds and if you’re working for a company, there’s always 401k and other retirement plans. The last thing you need is to be 40 and only have $5000 saved, whew chile that would be tragic. So to sum it up….START SAVING.

It’s Okay to Be Alone

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It comes a time when you don’t feel like being bothered. I am guilty of looking at my phone ring if it is someone calling that I don’t feel like holding a long conversation with. Sometimes I go home and leave my TV off and read or just hop on social media. It’s okay to not want to deal with anyone (relationship wise too). It’s okay to want a detox from people. Who wants to be surrounded by people ALL THE TIME? NO ONE! It’s okay to have some along time.

Adulting Sucks!

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Don’t get me wrong…..it definitely has it’s perks. Coming and going as you please, making your own money, having your own car and crib; all that is good. The sucky part is paying these extra bill. Personal Property tax, Missouri Taxes, hospital bills, tickets, ALL DAT SUCKS! I’m sure it’s even worse when you have kids, like paying child care and unexpected hospital bills when the kiddos get sick. All in all adulting sucks and you realize that early on in your 20s but it still sucks when you get close to 30.

It is a blessing to make it to any age because tomorrow isn’t promised. When you make it through another decade, you realize a few things and these are thing and this list is what I’ve come to terms with.

What are some things you’ve realized in your 20s? Comment below and let me know.

 

Danii Gold out!!

 

 

 

Keisha Mabry Sells out Her First Conference

I went to the mastHER class conference, hosted by the sweet, talented, successful Keisha Mabry. I was able to talk to her about the event and how it came about. Check out the write up below from DELUX Mag!

 

Some people need guidance in life when it comes to creating a brand, finding their voice, networking and other things. Not only is Keisha Mabry the go-to “gal” for all those things but she created an event to help other women fill in their gaps of needs; she called it “mastHER Class.”

She grabs your attention with her quirky high-pitch voice saying “hey FRIEND” and with that signature saying, she used it to network, be memorable and create a conference in a short span. Keisha’s conference SOLD OUT with 250 attendees, on International Women’s Day. She purposely made the event for that Friday March 8. To get more in depth, the mastHERclass is a day-long event of 75-minute masterclasses taught by 12 women in 8 hours in 1 day. Topics are curated, cultivated and catered to the female content creator, entrepreneur and social media influencer. The 2019 topics included getting into speaking, event planning, the business of travel, media production, finding your brand voice, growing an online community, starting an e-commerce business and a few things in between.

Keisha was motivated to create the mastHERclass when she applied to speak at a branding conference for black and brown creatives and was rejected. She says the rejection bothered her because “I had attended the conference the year before and I knew how I could add value.” That rejection inspired to do her own thing instead of “investing in other people’s things and communities without investing in my own,” as she says; she created mastHERclass!

Of course she faced adversity while planning the event; which is expected when you have 8 weeks to pull this off with a head count of 250 women, with a $25k-$30k budget, But after crying, praying and even snacking, she was revived and made it happen! Her advice for facing adversity while planning an event is:

“Expect ish to happen. Expect a sponsor to say yes then say no. Expect the event space to not have everything in place. Expect technology to have a glitch and expect a volunteer or vendor to be dismissed. Things do not go off without a hitch so expect it, plan for it and have a team so you are not trying to handle everything.”

Credit: ashleenicoleartistry

When it came to selecting the speakers for the mastHERclass, Keisha picked them based on the problems she wanted to solve as an entrepreneur and how she wanted to move her business from the idea phase to the MVP phase to the sustainability and growth phase. She already had a network full of amazing women but she also wanted to seek out more women and as she says “the rest is herstory.” She met… click HERE to read the full story.

http://deluxmag.com/keisha-mabry-from-heyfriend-to-a-sell-out-conference-mastherclass/

If you haven’t heard about Keisha Mabry then you need to get to know her!!

 

Danii Gold out! ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾

Black-ish Addressing Colorism

The TV show Blackish does not shy away from controversial and trending topics, for example Juneteenth, calling the police on black people, black people not knowing how to swim and recently, on last night’s episode they addressed colorism.

If you haven’t had the chance to watch it, here’s what happened: Diane, played by Marsai Martin, took her class picture and she was poorly lighted in the pictured and it made her look darker skinned.

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Now, for the record, she is the only dark skinned family member in the show. Bow, played by Tracee Ellis Ross, is her mother and light skinned; Dre, played by Anthony Anderson is more caramel skinned and plays her dad; Grandma (Ruby), played by Jenifer Lewis, is caramel skinned; Grandpa (Pops), played by Laurence Fishburne, is caramel skinned; Junior,  played by Marcus Scribner, is her older brother and light skinned; Zoey, played by Yara Shahidi, is her older sister and is caramel skinned; and Jack, played by Miles Brown, is her twin brother and is caramel skinned as well. 

Bow and Dre made a big deal about it because they felt that Diane was under looked and lighted poorly and they wanted her group school picture retaken. Diana did think it was a big deal but she was really hiding her true feelings. Junior brought up the fact that the light skinned people in the family are treated differently than the light skin people. For instance, he brought up the fact that Dre is always hard on him and he symbolizes his complexion to being soft, like the jokes going around about Drake being emotional and soft because she sings RnB (as well as rap) and because he’s light skin. Junior also brought up the fact that Jack does weird “sensitive” acts but he gets a pass because he’s not light skinned and “that’s just Jack.” Ruby is always clowning on Bow because she’s mixed/light skin and thinks that she can’t raise her kids right, insulting right? Another point that Junior brought up was that light skinned people get joked on more instead of dark skinned people, specifically in their household; he said what if him and Bow started telling dark skinned joke, and Dre’s response was “Don’t you dare.” Which he has a point. If someone was to joke about my skin tone during the time I was struggling with it, I woulda snapped or got really emotional because there has been a standard, in a sense, that light skin is the preferred skin tone and the only beautiful skin. You had your dark skin artists such as Lauryn Hill that was one of the very few people loved no matter the tone of her skin. 

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Diane ended up revealing that it actually does bother her that she has to get reminded on the daily of her skin, from band aids being a nude color according to lighter skins and not matching her skin, to trying on lipstick and a BLACK sales assocoiate says that color wouldn’t like good on “our skin tone” and suggests her try on a more toned down color, to a random lady saying she was cute for a “dark skinned girl.” WTF IS UP WITH THAT?

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Whether we want to believe it or not, we STILL live in a world that’s full of color stroke people and colorism issues, meaning people past judgment on skin tones. Light skin people are supposedly not as threatening as dark skin people. Light skin men are supposedly softer than dark skin men. Light women are supposedly curve men more and will do you dirty, versus dark skin women are more laid back and outgoing, all SUPPOSEDLY! 

One thing I’ve noticed and it’s been spoken about, is that black men love/fantasize about about having a foreign light skinned woman. Public figures have spoken about it saying “i need her to be light skinned, long hair that’s real” etc. What I don’t like is that the media and people in general act like the only kind of beautiful is light skin women, BUT I will say that the media, social and all, has made it their duty to glorify dark skin women such as Lupita Nyong’O, Viola Davis, Danai Gurira, Aja Naomi King, Yvonne Orji, and many more.

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I use to deal with skin tone issues when I was younger. The guys I liked in elementary and middle school always liked light skin girls. Then when I got in high school, the guys who did seek interest in me only wanted to talk to me because of my big booty.

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The point in all this is: ALL BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. Yes we hear that a lot but seriously…ALL BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL. Light skin women have been picked on because they are too cute; according to Amber Rose, that happened to her. Dark skin women have been picked on for being to too dark and ugly, as sad as it is. I think we should all learn to stop judging someone by the tone of their skin, EVEN BLACK FOLKS AGAINST BLACK FOLKS. We’ve all been guilty of it, I know I have.

Suggested Post: Obsessed With Complexion 

Tell me your thoughts below.

Dani Gold Out!! 

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What 2018 Has Taught Me

I can honestly say that 2018 was good to me. It’s helped me learn more about myself and it showed me that things don’t always go as planned, as cliché as this sounds. Now I KNOW that things don’t go according to plan but I’m a planner so sometimes the simplest thing that doesn’t go according to my schedule I kind of… flip out. I even plan back up plans for when my original plans don’t go through, sounds crazy right?
With that being said..I took a loss, and it was something that I had never experienced before. I plan so much and try to have soo much control over my life but this loss was something that I couldn’t control. Was I shocked? Yes. Was I sad? Honestly not really. Did it really hit me later and give me a reality check? Absolutely. I am still dealing with it but honestly it’s something that I had been indirectly praying to God about and he pretty much said “bet, say no more.” And BOOM I took a loss lol. I’ll speak more about it later, just not now.
In the midst of dealing with all that, I grew apart from someone who I was once close with. I know I can be sensitive at times and due to me being that way, I try to distance myself from certain situations to prevent getting my feelings hurt. I had been doing this for a while and just “doing me and living my best.” During this situation i was blatantly honest when approached by the close one. Of course that didn’t end well hence we’re not that close anymore, but I was telling my truth and being unbiased. Am I opposed to getting back close to the close one? Absolutely not. But I guess till will tell and time will reveal.
Besides all the bad and self reflecting I went through this year, I went through some good stuff too lol:
I started the year with the internship of my dreams, at radio one in St. Louis. I completed it in April.

 

I finished my classes for my masters in March. I graduated in May.
I traveled to Cabo Mexico with a huge group and it was FUN.
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I met an amazing guy when I really wasn’t looking for anything serious but here we are, 8 months into our relationship.
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I stressed on finding a new job because my health care job that I have been at for three years just wasn’t my passion.
I searched and searched and searched for jobs and finally landed my first big girl job in July, right before my birthday. (What a great early birthday present)
I went back to LA for my birthday and kicked it.
I went to Atlanta twice this year and actually got to enjoy it.

I also walked in two fashion shows this year.

So, it’s safe to say that 2018 has been full of ups AND down but that’s life right? I’m looking forward to what 2019 brings and shows me. 

Comment your thoughts below.

Danii Gold out!

2018: The Year of Black Women Supporting Each Other

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As this year comes to an end, I’d like to bring up the fact that….there has been a lot of support in the black community, specifically with the women. I’ve seen sooooooooo many Black Women supporting each other in group pages. I  was added in The Broke Black Girl group on Facebook earlier this year and it consists of sisters supporting each other with advice about finances, life, accomplishments, YOU NAME IT!

Since I’m a blogger, I was added to a group titled Black Women Who Blog shortly after that which is self explanatory. I’ve seen St. Louis millennials (my age group) take their brand to the next level and its inspired me to get my life together even more. I use to see these same people at networking events and parties and now I’m seeing them put together their own events.

To me, I’ve known and seen St. Louis to be a hating city but after having different experiences with different groups, I believe it varies by career/profession. As far as bloggers/event planners/influencer goes, that community supports each other. I have not experienced an ounce of hating when it comes to my expertise. But after speaking to local artists and Djs, they agree that St. Louis can be a bit on the “not supportive” side when it comes to music and upcoming. I will be the first to admit that when I go out to certain clubs/lounges/etc. they tend to play the same music and those artist are typically not from St. Louis. I did meet a local Dj by the name of Dj CU (shout out to CU) who says he Djs at a couple venues on the weekend and he plays local artist music. I also was a guest on his show titled New Heat 365 and he purposely features upcoming artists on his show just to give them a new platform and some artists aren’t from St. Louis. I like that he uses his platform to help artists, from St. Louis and wherever else. Everyone needs to have that same level of support especially if they have a brand themselves they want to promote. I know a local artist (shout out to B-Wxnda) who I’ve interviews a few times, who says that he went down to Atlanta and was at a club and he just so happened to rub elbows with a promoter and he asked him if the DJ would play his song and the DJ did. Just like that, SUPPORT. The support in other cities, when it comes to music, is better than my hometown, St. Louis.

I believe the level of support depends on the profession. As far as my profession goes, I feel that I get a certain level of supportive, from liking my posts on Instagram to sharing my posts that I post on Facebook, to simply saying hi to me when out in public. I do the same ALL THE TIME just because a click of the share button goes a long way and if I approve of someones brand or know someone who can benefit from it, I will support it/share a post. One key to making yourself known to to other entrepreneurs and showing that you know who they are is speaking up when you see them. Introduce yourself and speak on something you saw on their page or something dealing with their brand. I can be shy and and introvert at times, which is off because with my profession, I NEED to be able to be outgoing lol. BUT I’ve found myself doing it more.

All in all, I love the support that women have been giving each other. Even the men come out to support us. I believe that 2019 will be the year that black men will support each other more than what they normally do. I’m speaking it into existence! As far as us women go, I KNOW that we will come harder in 2019.

Comment your thoughts below.

Danii Gold out!