Woman Crush Wednesday
I wanted to take the time out today and recognize a few phenomenal women and the impact they’ve had on my life. It’s important for me that these women know how they’ve inspired me. I’d love nothing more than to uplift and thank them for the beauty they’ve shown me and others around them.
The Dreamer & Doer
I met Kelly at work. She interviewed me for a set design position. Though I ended up on the styling and production team, I remember desperately wishing she’d choose me for her team. Her energy was light and warm, and her smile was genuine. That’s Kelly: light, warm, and genuine.
I got to work alongside her for about a year, where I watched her and her creativity evolve. I remember wrapping a photo shoot, and sitting at a table in the studio, watching her create her website for a company she’d talked about starting. that’s the thing, a lot of people talk about what they wanted to do, but Kelly did it. She put in her two weeks notice and made the decision to follow her dreams.
Fast forward - a year later, I picked up a hobby to cope after the passing of a close family member. I began posting photos on instagram. Lo and behold, a comment, encouraging me to open up a shop and sell my art pieces - it was Kelly. She was persistent, and arranged a meeting with me to discuss entrepreneurship and to have me create a special piece for her home. I remember sitting there, across from her at a Starbucks in the city, where she sorted through all of the art pieces I’d bought to show her. To my surprise, she chose to purchase three pieces, in addition to placing a larger order for a custom piece.
This is the piece that changed my life; the one that made me an entrepreneur, a business woman, a doer.
Kelly may not know it, but it was this meeting where she encouraged me to be more, and to truly understand my self-worth. Kelly went on to mentor me for quite some time. Meetings followed where she continued to encourage and advise me.
Today, I watch Kelly in complete awe, as her career has flourished. But more than that, Kelly has flourished. She becomes lighter, warmer, and more genuine as the years pass. Kel is by far, one of the most dedicated persons I know.
Kelly lit the spark to the confidence I have for myself as a business woman, and I love her dearly for it. So here’s to one of God’s most special gifts to this world, my dear friend, Kelly Vittengl.
Click HERE to get to know Kelly
The Adventurer & Loving Spirit
I met Taylour in 2013. It had been a year since I’d graduated from college. I decided to get a job at a retail store. I ended up in the active & swimwear portion of the store (not a lot of traffic in this department, but I was thrilled to be working for such a prestigious company).
One day during work, I remember looking up from my desk. To my surprise, a pretty girl in a pleated high-wasted skirt, the cutest stockings, and Sam Edelman booties that were to die for - It was Taylour. I stopped her to ask where she’d gotten those booties from.
She replied, and then asked me to join her for lunch. Taylour and I hit it off. Over the next few weeks Taylour began telling me about all of the travels she had lined up, and how she had been saving to go to these amazing places. That’s Taylour for you: stylish, Inviting, adventurous, and responsible.
Taylour became the highlight to my days spent working at that store. Though I dreaded walking into a department that was pretty much crickets day in and out, I knew seeing Taylour at work would make the day fun.
To reiterate, I worked in a tough department, that didn’t get a lot of love. I found it hard to meet sales
goals because during a certain time of season, people just don’t want swimsuits.
Taylour must have noticed this, because I began getting new customers coming to my department requesting me by name and asking me to assist them. This was odd, because I worked in a store where sales were calculated by commission, which made the competition fierce.
I found out that Taylour was sending customers to me - so that I could make sales. (I seriously cry every time I think of this).
People don’t do that - not then, not today. It’s unheard of, but Taylour did. This story speaks volumes about what type of person she is. Taylour is one of the most giving persons I know. She inspires me to give, and to see the world, to live life to the fullest and enjoy it. I’ve never met anyone with such qualities; and to top it all off, she’s hilarious!
Taylour is the person who posts a story on instagram, and you light up with anticipation to watch it. I can always guarantee a scream and holler when viewing her stories. I got to thinking why I liked her gallery and stories so much - and came to the conclusion it’s because of her authenticity.
Taylour is REAL - not the “fake-real” people are hollering about these days. She is extremely authentic, and I love this about her. Taylour is not afraid to tell you how it is (she’s even called me out a time or two). It’s not often you’ll find a person willing to tell you how it is. To the contrary, she is able to accept accountability and be JUST.
I chose Taylour as my WCW because to this day, I’ve yet to know someone with so many wonderful qualities all bundled up in one package: inviting, adventurous, responsible, fun-loving, upfront, caring, giving, uplifting, optimistic, and SO much more. Taylour is what we should all strive to be. She is truly a beautiful human-being, and I love and appreciate her more than she knows it.
Click HERE to get to know Taylour.
The Empowered & Inspiring
Bo-va, only two syllables to represent such a huge being.
I met Bova in a jacuzzi. I had been planning my wedding and under a lot of stress at work. It’s not often I find myself venting to a complete stranger, but it’s something about her spirit. I felt kindered and as if I’d known her for all my life.
At the time, I was experiencing some insecurities with showing who I naturally was at work. A black woman, with coarse hair, who tends to speak with an occasional southern-Mobile, Alabama tongue (due to family roots).
Being the only black person in my office at the time was tough, and I felt like I was unraveling. But somehow, in that jacuzzi, Bova helped to put me back together again. I left that spa with my head held high, ready to take on the next day at work, and moving closer to wearing me and my ethnicity on my sleeve. I never ended up getting her name that time in the spa…
I ran into her again one morning on my way to breakfast, she saved her number to my phone as “Gabrielle,” and later invited me and my bridesmaids to an event she was hosting. We never got around to going to that event and time slipped by.
A year passed, and to my delight, I ended up at a Galentine’s Day brunch where I sat next to Bova.
By this time, I figured God must’ve wanted us to be friends. So we exchanged numbers again, and would go on to text one another here and there. We eventually decided to meet up for breakfast one day, and it was in this moment I realized just how God-sent she was.
I explained to her how I’d left that job, and all of the pain and heartache I experienced while working there. Bova opened my eyes to understanding that journey, and why I needed to walk it.
She talked with me and encouraged me. She shared her experiences and inspired me to start journaling again, and to work on my relationship with God.
She doesn’t know it, but once we left that breakfast, I drove up to the top of the city’s skyline, parked my Jeep, and prayed and cried. I felt as if I’d had a breakthrough. Speaking with her was like a session with a spiritual counselor.
Gabrielle is angel. I mean she must be, because in the thick of me crying - she called to give more words of encouragement and a good laugh. Bova would continue to check in on me and just share enlightenment and inspiration. This is Bova in a nutshell: inspiration.
Bova lit the fire to my natural journey - hair and all. I look to her instagram for the “word of the day” and to feel empowered. She is quite the woman and I’m so blessed to have met her. So here’s a special thanks to God for creating this beautiful soul and an early Happy Birthday to her (I wrote this before her bday, but had to wait to post it for WCW).
I love you Bova, and I hope your birthday is enriched with love, blessings, and all of the joys you could ever imagine.
Click HERE to get to know Bova.