When I graduated college in 2015 from Texas State University, I wasn’t quite sure where my path would lead me, but I knew it was time to take a leap of faith and step into a new phase of my life hanging onto hope and creating life on my own terms.
I received a degree in Mass Communications with a focus in Public Relations. After graduating, I quickly learned that majority of the jobs in my field required at least three years of PR experience, which was pretty discouraging. So, instead of going through the dreadful job hunting process with little to no experience, I decided to bet on myself and actually put my degree to work. I noticed that many women I knew started their own businesses, but didn’t have the time or tools to build their brand, so I wanted to create a solution for them to be successful. I was compelled to help women build their brands, create a community to share resources and remind women of their power. . . and from that Queens Conquer was born.
As we embark on the last 3 months of 2020, I want to share my journey and my “why” behind Queens Conquer to be reminded of my purpose to get back to investing in my brand, as well as encourage you to go all in and conquer your dreams.
Ever since I could remember, I loved to make my own money and I have worked various jobs from retail to customer service. After college graduation, I knew I wanted to stay in the Austin area so I decided to reach out to an old employer, a family-owned fashion boutique called Young & Fabulous. They were looking to grow their business and their current PR consultant wasn’t providing what they needed, so I sent them my business proposal and they hired me one month after graduation! For two and a half years, I did everything from advertising, event coordination, social media, content production, public relations, wardrobe styling, creative direction to even rebranding the entire business. As I look back on this job, it helped me learn all the various aspects of Public Relations and the many aspects of building a successful business. Little did I know, it was a crucial stepping stone in my journey that prepared me to take on future roles and responsibilities.
I’m sure you’ve heard the quote “It’s not what you know, but who you know” and that’s so true, especially when building a personal brand or career. Being that I was a recent graduate and new to Austin, I wanted to connect with my local community to expand my network. So I utilized social media and immersed myself in the Austin community as much as possible. From attending weekly happy hours, networking events, coffee dates and volunteering with young girls. When I think about each of these experiences I’ve had it’s a testament to the power of a strong and diverse network and the relationships I built along the way.
In 2016, I was the PR director for the Miss Juneteenth pageant where I worked with an amazing team to highlight the history of Juneteenth and the beauty of Black Austin to empower young women. We raised over $10,000 to provide the winner with a scholarship to further her education. This experience gave me an opportunity to conquer my fears by doing live TV and radio interviews, plus it reminded me the importance of confidence and serving the community with a purpose.
Another community event that I am proud to be a apart of was the inaugural Urban Health Expo hosted by the City of Austin Health & Human Services in January 2017. In only a few months we created a community event that attracted over 400 people for a day filled with powerful conversations on the importance of mental health, living a healthy lifestyle and prioritizing self-care with chefs, professional athletes, trainers, dancers and health experts. This multi-functional event really challenged me to take my PR game to the next level by recruiting talent, creating talking points for the speakers, and moderating panel discussions to highlight the importance of conquering the taboo thoughts surrounding mental health, especially in the Black community.
I had no idea that the Urban Health Expo would lead me to an opportunity at NaturallyCurly.com in February 2017, but it’s a testament to the power of community and the relationships you’re able to create along the way. Working at NaturallyCurly, was my first full-time job and I had the opportunity to touch every aspect of the company to learn the ins and outs of a media company. From writing articles, interviewing hair stylists, covering the biggest hair and beauty moments at New York Fashion Week, partnering with clients to create unique campaigns and managing the overall company strategy; that job exceeded all of my expectations and reminded me the importance of perseverance and creating a strong work ethic.
After several internal changes, an acquisition by ESSENCE and a never ending uphill battle in the workplace- my journey at NC has come to an end, due to the ongoing pandemic and unprecedented changes. Although, it challenged me in ways I can’t even fathom it helped me understand the power of shifting my perspective to conquer any obstacle by embracing change, learning how to pivot to make it happen and leading with intention. Now that I reflect on journey, each opportunity has given me invaluable experience and taught me powerful lessons that I will carry with me on my journey.
For the next 3 months of 2020, I’m dedicated to putting my energy into things that will actually matter 5 years from now. A few things that come to mind include: being more consistent in every aspect of my life mentally, physically, financially and spiritually, investing in my brand and growing my business by creating intentional content and partnering with brands I value, loving the people in my life unapologetically, serving my community and using my voice to be the change I want to see.
The relationships we build along the way are more important than any job title or position. Sometimes you have to look back to see how far you’ve come. It’s amazing to reflect back on my journey to see the growth and how it’s all connected to my purpose of serving my community and empowering women. I have met so many incredible women along my journey and I’m eternally grateful for my tribe who remind me the power of sisterhood. Here’s a beautiful quote that certainly resonates that I’d like to share with you, by Nikita Gill, “Fill your life with women who empower you, who help you believe in your magic, and help them believe in their own exceptional power and incredible magic too. Women who believe in each other can survive anything. Women who believe in each other create armies that will win kingdoms and wars. Remember always, the only people who can save us are each other, the only people who can love us are ourselves.”
My journey is far from over, but I hope I can inspire you to take a moment to celebrate every season of your life and move forward with courage while becoming the woman you were created to be. Don’t let fear hold you back from tapping into your gifts God has for you. Conquer from within and let go of the idea of perfection and choose progression. Here’s to finishing the year strong, staying focused and faithful. Let’s get it, Queens!
Much love & many blessings,