Village Raised

I’m a native North Philly girl, HBCU grad, Mother, and Entrepreneur. I’m a daughter and granddaughter of the late Eleanor Hamilton’s bloodline. I appreciate all things centered in art, music, and culture. I LOVE hip-hop! I consider graffiti the art of a people rooted from past traumas — an expression that cannot be boxed into a genre. I LOVE meeting new people, fashion, traveling, and fine dining — did I mention “fashion”, my past-time love?!

I have accomplished friends, a sisterhood of entrepreneurs, a dope family, and brilliant daughter! I’m proud — not egotistical nor self-centered — just a sense of pride in the people, causes and purpose in which I serve.  What inspires me most is seeing people exceed beyond their circumstances. Folks who are rooted in their faith and doing the work keeps me humble, grounded, and motivated!

No man is an island! I was village-raised. That holds a weight of responsibility to educate, invest, and pour into a generation of children who lack resources, support, guidance, and sometimes love. It’s my mission! A purpose-driven path in life to educate utilizing ALL my gifts, talents and abilities.

#Art #Faith #Culture #Community


The Process

The quintessential blueprint to every goal— taking your vision from ideal to conception.  It’s the actionable item; the physical work to execute your goals.

Many of us are so fixated on a thing that we often forget in order to achieve it, it will take some real commitment.  Whether it’s losing weight, starting a venture, changing your mindset—it all takes consistency.  Building that consistency is the process; it doesn’t just happen overnight.  The process should be well defined in order to execute effectively.  It should be thoroughly thought out with all contingencies. It’s not a quick fix!

In business, it means a lot of research – service/product in mind, market and demographic research, cost analysis and potential profit margin projections, risk and profit/loss assessments – and so much more. This is what it takes just to get started.  Although, remember that word “contingency” I mentioned? Your process needs to include a plan B, and an Exit Strategy.  Think about the “What if?”.  Should you need to sell or dissolve your business, what will that process look like as well?  Sorry, I didn’t make the rules.

If you’re planning on being a sustainable and viable business, you must do the research.  Know what it is your audience wants and the most effective way to deliver it.  There are no wrong ideas; just a lot of trial and error.  As I always say, there is a market and clientele for everything!  What you may think is far-fetched, someone needs.  In the process, it’s your job to figure out all the logistics.

In your personal life, this could be starting a new habit or getting rid of one.  For instance, diet and exercise.  You have a health goal in mind.  What will it take to achieve it?  You’ll have to start with assessing your current state of health.  What’s the goal?  Are there any variables such as medications or existing medical diagnosis that must be factored in?  What are your physical or dietary limitations or restrictions?  As always, talk with your medical provider before starting any regimen.

Overwhelmed yet?  Here’s a simple process you can implement to get started:  

  1. What’s your goal?  Write it down.
  2. Map it out!  Create a process – the actionable steps needed to achieve your goal.
    1. If this is a business venture, think “Product, People, Promotion, Price, & Place.
  3. Manpower.  Does your goal require support? Think of people you can recruit to help you achieve your goal.
  4. Cost.  What will you have to financially sacrifice (if applicable)?  How will you save to meet this goal?  Fundraising, friends and family, or savings?
  5. Time & effort.  How much time will it take to achieve your goal?  Where do you find time out of your schedule to commit?
  6. Contingency Plan.  What’s the leak-proof plan to have in place if the unexpected occurs, or if Plan A simply doesn’t work?

Remember, “The Process” takes time, consideration and effort.  It will require you to adjust and amend as needed, particularly if external variables such as people and resources affect your plan.  Lastly, be patient with yourself.  Allow yourself some grace when you miss the mark or fall off target.  If you show up every day, you’re being intentional.  Celebrate! You’re one stop closer in executing the goal.

Stay the course!

Niya


Homegrown

Growing up in North Philadelphia, you’re probably thinking about it’s share of adversity and challenges — the stories that make the news and not so much in a positive way. But I want you to know a different story. The one where life isn’t always about the struggle but the beauty of it. Growing up in a single parent home didn’t mean lack of structure, nor role models or a hard life. My mother had the help and support of my grandmother and great-grandmother until their passing. I was blessed with aunts and an uncle who provided for me as well. If that didn’t seem like enough, I also had the support of my community — particularly those who were mothers, aunts, or care-givers. I was “village-raised”. I was rich!

I learned about the 4-H club from an elder, whom had an infinite love for her community. She would gather all the children at our neighborhood garden to teach us about planting, and taking care of the earth and harvesting our own food. She invited us into her home and taught us how to make deserts from scratch, and allowed us a safe space. We learned team-work, accountability, leadership, and being dependable and reliable. We competed in city horticultural competitions, and won! We had neighbors who taught us how to sow, how to count money at the corner store and water ice stand. I even learned what it meant to barter and buy goods on credit without the actual plastic. I now understand what it means to create community, faith, and most importantly unconditional love. I had elders that poured into my spirit, fed me when I was hungry, and protected me when I felt alone. I was village-raised, and proud! Rest in Power Ms. Hilda Armstrong.

In loving Memory of Eleanor Hamilton and Bonnie Luck Logan.

*Image credit to Meghan Puhr for Mural Arts Philadelphia Beacon Project