This project has given me not only something to be excited about, but as a marketer at The Estée Lauder Companies, it's allowed me to engage in multiple passions and, as I mentioned, has sparked this desire to showcase smaller brands on the main stage. Who says black and brown can't be synonymous with luxury?
If you don't know by now, my name is Tahirah, and I just want to kick this off by saying thank you for being here and reading the words that I write.
We've entered the first month of this new year, and already I feel the collective excitement for what's next. I mean, we're sitting here on the heels of an #inauguration and a new #presidency on a date that reads forwards the same as it reads backward.
Already, there seems to be a lot to celebrate.
It's liberating, is it not, to step into what this year will bring? There's so much possibility in the unknown; in what's new and what's next.
I don't know about you, but 2020 was very much my "reset" year. It's been a complete undoing of things I believed to be important, to be true, to be meaningful, about either myself or my surroundings.
Mostly myself, though.
I've mentioned a thousand times, either here or on Instagram, that I started clothes*petals in 2018 for the sole reason of making connections through storytelling. I sought to connect people of color in the beauty and fashion industry with consumers because, despite the number of beauty and fashion brands out there owned by people of color, there really is just not enough visibility for the smaller brands; for the people out there who really create the culture.
So, showcasing these brands and the entrepreneurs driving them has been big for me. And it's inspiring when you realize just how young so many changemakers and CEOs within these industries are.
And these articles haven't just given a sense of fulfillment, but a sense of direction, not only personally but with my blog; with clothes*petals.
This project has given me not only something to be excited about, but as a marketer at The Estée Lauder Companies, it's allowed me to engage in multiple passions and, as I mentioned, has sparked this desire to showcase smaller brands on the main stage. Who says black and brown can't be synonymous with #luxury?
We're a few weeks into #2021 and I have a lot to share with you. I’m actually really excited this year, are you? I feel we're standing on the edge of something great. Like this year is about manifesting a #renaissance of sorts; something brand new.
This year, while yes, I am on this mission to support these brands, (and so if you have any suggestions please let me know), I also realize, however, that per a recent conversation with my dad, I realized that this blog, while it's like my child, is also about my journey. It's about my growth and my presence within a space that I have always loved, and so to that, he brought up an incredible point. He asked me if I, by any chance, had written an article about myself considering how quick I am to write them about others.
So, here I am.
This initiative has been sparked by my own, "becoming," if you will.
Another thing my dad has said not too long ago is that every pattern sustained over 21 days becomes a new habit, and new habits together become lifestyle changes. So it's apt that 2021 will bring more of that; more creation; more new habits—a brand new lifestyle.
If you don't know, my initial intent behind this platform was to create a beauty initiative, which, I must say, while it's a seeming one-eighty from what it is now, the two are built upon the same premise.
You see, this year, I have a lot of exciting developments for clothes*petals, but the theme, I think, is discovery—not only of these brands and products curated by and for melanin, but of ourselves. I’m excited to share more of me and my own journey to doing exactly what I’m here to help others do; see the beauty in people. That starts with the self.
You can only meet others as deepy as you have met yourself.
I talk about my school all the time, and it's been in the news quite a lot thanks to our new #VicePresident. But, I first took my beauty seriously when I went to #HowardUniversity. I really felt beautiful. I began embracing my appearance and I began, I think, to start dressing and acting in a way that reflected that. For the first time, I had been in a place where the collective beauty of blackness was celebrated. And I wanted to live in that energy. I wanted to bottle it and carry it around. I wanted to sprinkle it like confetti and let it rain upon others. In a society where black features and bodies are often deemed the opposite, to be in a place that is so vibrant and so magical and so expressive of its magic and vibrancy, well that made me want to recreate this safety, this feeling, and this impact of campus.
And I ruminate on my own journey because self-care has been prioritized this year for me—has yours? 2020 has taught me that the real gift of isolation is the ability to relish in your own company; to truly discover what makes you happy, what makes you smile, what makes you come alive. But, to embrace yoursel fully is a full-time job. It's a true commitment to ourselves, and it isn't easy. Sitting still and embracing both your light and your shadows can be scary. But, once done consistently, it becomes a habit.
And I like it.
If you're following the Instagram for this blog, you'll have seen this picture of me (above). You'll have seen this post.
And here I am.
This is me, no filter or makeup. My hair isn't "done" and I'm not in contacts and I'm dressed like I do when I have no meetings or #Zoom's and I'm just quarantine'd up in the house.
And if you know me, you know that I love my makeup and I love dressing up and I love my hair done and I love my lashes on and I love going out with my friends and I love connecting with the world. All of these rituals have connected me to the beauty of myself and my friends and the magic of human existence, and so much of my challenge last year had become this idea of self-care—it had become this notion of finding all of the things deep, lying dormant within me that were all dying to be expressed and loved without the makeup, without the lashes...all of these things that could only be felt and heard in my own company; my solitude.
So, I relate all of this to black and brown beauty and fashion companies because while I’m in the process of discovering them, well, I'm also figuring me out, too. And there are definitely parts that I want to share.
THING 1: Skincare just got serious.
Skincare has always been a part of my self-care, and while I know a face mask can’t fix everything, my morning and nighttime routine have become two clear moments of presence in my day; of positive affirmations; of sitting with myself.
Not to mention, I set a personal goal for clear skin.
And it’s time for a routine—a real one.
See, in #2020 I had an epiphany: as a product junkie, I love trying new things but never stick to a regimen that works long enough to see results. So, I’m constantly repeating the same cycle—try something new for a few weeks; love it or hate it; move on.
Now, I’ve decided to get serious about my skincare and actually try out a routine, (yes, a real one). At this point, I’ve got enough product to last me a while, so I’m doing 21 days of a product set to see what works before I move onto whatever I decide to try next—testing things out long enough to make it a habit.
My biggest target area? #Hyperpigmentation. And as a little girl who was often falling and coming away with scars, an even tone has been one of my biggest goals, which is why the ingredients within products is now an even greater focus for me; because there's something out there that helps even out melanin-rich skin, and I'm on a mission to find it.
THING 2: I’m promoting more POC-owned brands.
This one goes without saying. It's the year of discovery, and there are so many incredible brands out there that are often overshadowed by giant companies with seemingly inexhaustible resources. It's part of my mission to do my part and help them stand out.
THING 3: There's merch on the way.
I got to pull out my favorite fashionary journal to turn some sketches into final products that I am incredibly excited to share with you. There's not much I can say about this now, but be excited.
...be very excited.
And that's what I've got in the pipeline for this year. I have a lot to be excited about and I hope you're finding those things in your life to be excited about, too. I hope you're creating a lifestyle for yourself that you love. I hope you're prioritizing your well-being. I hope you're expressing yourself authentically. I hope you spend days speaking kind words to yourself. I hope you find time to feel all of your emotions.
No matter what the age or stage of life of the individual, I truly believe that we will always find ourselves here; at the cusp of a new trasnformation, at the precipice of self-discovery. I think we always grow. I think we constantly change. It's the only true constant; my mom reminds me, and it's something to be embraced. I, in my love of comfort and stability, grapple with this often.
Because #self-care is more than just lighting a candle beside a bubble bath. Yes, it often can include these things, but it's more than that. It's about embracing ourselves fully for who we are. It's about relishing in our own existence.
It's about realizing that we, in our greatness and our flaws, are enough.
Here's to discovery.
No matter how difficult it may be.
I think so many of us (me included), think that one day we just fall in love with ourselves and that's it; we've beaten the game; we're done. And I realize that things don't exactly work that way. We don't just wake up one morning and we're healed, we're in love with ourselves, we've fallen in love with our bodies and are self-confident, etc. All of these things take time, and we grow into these wonderful qualities with work and constant watering of our roots to sprout flowers. It's okay if some days you wake up and don't feel your best, or your most beautiful, despite your efforts to heal past traumas and clear negativity. It's okay to feel like some days you aren't as confident because the real work is still loving yourself throughout the ebb and flow of our lives; the fluctuation of our own emotions and circumstances.
It's okay, it's okay, it's okay.
So, here's to discovery.
A lifetime of it.
Because, just like I have realized that there's always a new brand, always a new product, always a new entrepreneur to support, I realize on this journey that such is life; a journey. And I started this platform for the sole reason of creating a space for entrepreneurs in the spaces I love who may or may not feel as though they have a voice, despite the impact of their contributions.
They are enough.
We are enough.
And I look forward to this movement; to this year; to more discovery; to an overflow of love; to newfound support.
Let this year be a treasure hunt.