Don’t Be Afraid to Shine
That’s the lesson I learned the other evening while out with a group of friends and colleagues, all black, professional women. It’s a regular get together, of sorts, to exchange career advice, job leads, and simply support each other. Given blackgirlgrown is my side hustle and removed from my professional responsibilities I still have the tendency to compartmentalize the two. Sure, I’ve mentioned it to girlfriends and family, but it isn’t the first thing I talk about in professional settings. And perhaps part of me wants it to remain my personal outlet.
Here I was in a setting of the exact demographic that embodies blackgirlgrown, and I was hesitant to fully share. Sure, I had put out a few cards noting the web address and its focus. But I didn’t own it in a way that reflected the pride and passion I felt.
Fortunately for me, I have girlfriends who will have no such nonsense. After some prodding, I briefly described to our group of friends and colleagues on the what, why, and how of blackgirlgrown. I probably went on longer than I should have, but I surprised myself on how much I had to say. Not that it was a secret, but I think we all learn that you shouldn’t toot your own horn. The irony is we were actually encouraging each other to be direct and make no apologies for what you’ve achieved.
Oh, and the blackgirlgrown-branded items are quite the conversation starter. Yes, that’s the point. But hey, I didn’t major in marketing. It takes a little longer for me to process! While carrying my (dare I say, cute) blackgirlgrown tote bag, I was surprised at how many people (men and women, of both light and dark hues) came up to ask me, “what is blackgirlgrown?” At first I was puzzled and then of course remembered I was carrying my tote bag.
blackgirlgrown is a resource for women who want to grow beyond their current circumstance, and a platform to discuss what really matters. Life doesn’t come with an instructions manual. We make it up as we go, and we make the best of the cards we’re dealt. blackgirlgrown is about bettering those odds.