TOP // H&M - old -- SKIRT // Lulu*s - old -- SHOES // JustFab - old -- BAG // ZARA -- SUNNIES // Miu Miu -- NECKLACE // Beauty Supply Store -- LIPSTICK // c/o Milani "Matte Orchid" all photos by Kaye McCoy for Mattieologie
If you're from or live in Atlanta, you're familiar with the term "outchea". When said grammatically correct, this would be "out here". And that's exactly how I've been feeling lately.
This is a good and bad/scary/real thing.
Maybe you've noticed that my blog content is changing. I believe it's becoming more honest, more transparent and growing just like me. It's certainly much more lifestyle focused and not just for the sake of saying "lifestyle". I'm talking about everything from what I'm wearing, how to be more productive and just how darn cute my baby is. That's where I am in my life. I still prioritize style, just after my family and growing my business and brand. So I'm putting this new me out there and for some people it doesn't make sense. And that's fine. I've noticed a handful of folks unsubscribing the blog and you know what? I'm completely okay with it. It makes sense to me. As my fellow Gemini Kanye West said:
"I'd rather be hated for what I am, than loved for what I'm not."
And I really feel that way. There's some new content and developments I'm working on that I'm not sure will work. Which was the opposite of where I was a few years ago when I started Style Bloggers of Color.
I was just soooooo sure that all of my ideas were so great. Everyone was gonna be so impressed by me and my good idea. But you know what? I failed. Miserably. The 2013 SBOC conference was in Miami, my hopes were high and I was so convinced that everything was going to be so fabulous. WRONG. I planned poorly and didn't really connect with the bloggers who I invited and wanted to be a part of the conference. I didn't prioritize them. Or my team. And so the conference wasn't prioritized. I was sooooooooooo caught up in the glory. Then to make matters worse, my business debit card was stolen and my account was completely wiped. I was unable to complete the last event of the conference and still owed the hotel money. While the sponsor was gracious and took care of panelists accommodations, it totally bruised our relationship and my entire team turned their back on me. But guess what?
I'm so glad it happened.
Because that was never what Style Bloggers of Color was supposed to be about in the first place. And also it got my ego in check. Like, immediately. And even though I feel like everyone on my team could've handled the situation better, I humbly apologized to each member individually. Me being sorry has nothing to do with how someone else feels or behaves. And honestly that was the first time I had really put myself out there. God has a funny way of humbling you. He used a blogging conference and a team who usually praises everything I do and taught me valuable lessons: 1. Praise the people you work with and acknowledge their value regularly (vs just seeking praise) 2. Take yourself out of the center of everything. It's not about you. It's about the people (audience/community) you serve.
Many of you have emailed me and asked if SBOC is coming back. And honestly, I just don't know. I still own it and all of its digital properties, but I'm apprehensive about putting it out there. I'm afraid that I've disappointed too many people and that the "revamp" won't be taken seriously. But the more I think about it, fear just isn't enough of a good reason to not do it. However, this is why I've been sharing blog bettering content with you. Because I am really passionate about helping others reach the full potential of their blog.
Being outchea for me means being authentic, human and even afraid sometimes. And too many times we care about what others will say or think about what we do. But here's the thing: people are ALWAYS going to talk, so you might as well do what you really want to do anyway. Even if you are scared of what everyone will say, move past the fear. Because fear makes us imperfect. And being outchea doesn't mean perfect. It means progression. And power. You're powerful anytime you decide to move forward with an idea you had. Think about the kind of bravery it takes to do that. Give yourself credit.
So yeah. I started SBOC and I completely failed at it. But I'm still here. And some of you still even read my blog (and I can't thank you enough for that). But I'm still outchea. Putting out new ideas. New content. And maybe even one day, a new SBOC. And my hope is that me being brave enough to put myself outchea gives someone else the courage to do the same.