Tell us about your childhood and what brought you to America.
I grew up in the Caribbean – The Dominican Republic to be exact. Growing up in the Caribbean was great and hard all at the same time.
I grew up going to the beach year around – warm water, palm trees and all the coconut water you could drink, sounds idyllic right? Well the flip side of the coin was that I was picked on and bullied because I did not look like everybody else. My hair was crazy curly and I loved it. However I was “encouraged” to wear my hair straight like everybody else. Then I was “too tall” and “too skinny”. Needless to say those experiences shaped my self esteem and confidence.
Luckily my family moved to the US in my late teens and here I was accepted as I was created: fearfully and wonderfully made. Little by little my self esteem and confidence were restored and I started to become the woman I was created to be. I am so glad I went through those experiences because now I get to help women that like me have been told their uniqueness need not be so unique, conform and look like everybody else. I call myself a beauty highlighter, it is my pleasure to shed light to beauty that is dormant and almost hidden. It is a privilege to see woman shine from the inside out after they work with me.
I loved sewing all through my teen years. When did you learn how to sew? Who taught you?
I learned to sew back in 2004, working with a designer that showed me all about sewing, design, fabric, the works. I fell in love with sewing hard, and don’t get me started with fabric!
Tell us about the first time you sold something you created.
I have been making something from very early on, I did craft fairs selling decorations and things. The first item I sold was a skirt I designed and made. It was an amazing feeling to get paid for doing something I love.
What is your inspiration for your new clothing line?
My upcoming fashion line got inspired by several things, one not seeing clothing out there that was tailored, stylish, not crazy expensive and modest. I believe women can dress classy, stylish, and colorful without compromising their values and morals. Also, I will be using this clothing line to create jobs in my beloved island for both Dominicans and Haitians. Who says style and fashion have to be frivolous and without purpose? This is a clothing line with a purpose.
You’re a writer, a coach, a designer, a speaker. How do you do it all? Tell us about your typical day.
Thank you. Yes, I do it all…but not at the same time. That is the trick, to keep the balance……or try to anyway. My typical day is never the same. I wake up early-ish to read my bible and pray. Then I take my daughter to school. From there the day is just crazy: working on whatever is due – I am a firm believer in giving myself deadlines. It’s what drives me to push beyond what I can do.
Were you always an entrepreneur or did you work at a regular job while you built your coaching business?
I think I have always been both, corporate America has been a part of my life. The key again is the balance. I have worked, written, spoken in front of hundreds of people, designed clothing, coached. I believe you have to do whatever it takes to see your dreams and projects become a reality.
You are a very confident woman. What advice would you give someone who might be stuck in a job they’re not happy with?
Thank you. That was not always the case. I am glad I did not give up when things got hard – and they always did. Keeping your eye on the prize is key. Go to the job with the mentality that it is where you are supposed to be until the time is right to strike on your own. Use time and don’t let time use you. Plan your day, I am big fan of targeted to-do lists: a list of items that will further your vision and will keep you on track.
What’s next for you?
Right now I am working on my second book – Styling Faith: The Complete Style Guide. It is a compilation of my 18 years of styling, along with experts in the fields of: make-up, nutrition, fitness, hair, and much more. The book comes out on my 39th birthday – May 20th. You can find it here.