Early last year, my friend Nyasha told me that she was going to her home country of Trinidad for Carnival in 2017. It took me about 11 seconds to decide that I was going too. Playing Mas at Carnival was already on my Life List and I was turning 40 in 2017 - what better time to go? I had lived in Trinidad as a toddler and my Dad was born and raised there, so I've always felt a deep connection to my Trini side. I sent out an email to my closest friends inviting them to go with me and letting them know in no uncertain terms, that this trip was happening - no excuses. As it turned out, my bestest friend ended up being the only one who joined me - The Hubs. I initially was bummed but, in hindsight, the trip was exactly as it should have been. He's my road dog, my adventure mate, my companion - and so, it was he and I that hit De Road for one of the most exhilarating trips of my life. The Music For the last two months, I'd been prepping for Carnival by listening to THE hottest Soca mix of the year - DJ Private Ryan's Soca Starter. The day it dropped, I got about 25 messages from friends sharing the link with me. By the time we touched down in Port of Spain, I was well-versed in every single one of the road tunes for the week! My favorites are (of course) Full Extreme by The Ultimate Rejects - this was BY FAR the winner during Carnival; and Workout by Kes featuring Nailah Blackman; and Big Girl Now by Patrice Robert; and Carnival Good Morning by Peter Ram + KI The Band. I could go on - there are so many great songs. And they alllll made up the soundtrack for our trip. By the trip home, we were joking that we'd have to detox from all the Soca music - please know that it's been 6 days since we've been back and we're still sneaking on YouTube every other day to get our fix. The Fetes LISTEN. The fetes (or parties) during Carnival are no joke! Locals literally start partying after the December holidays and continue through Carnival into March. I spent several weeks lining up our fetes and purchasing tickets to all-inclusive events. There are some that are hot tickets - one of which I was able to snag - but all are big fun. Since TingZNice's blog post about her fete experience in 2016 was so helpful to me, I wanted to pay it forward and share that our favorite fetes were Phuket All-Inclusive and Soca Brainwash Heaven. Sunny Side Up was decent, but I'm guessing ValeVibe would have been more our style. And I would definitely skip ROAST Cruise. The Parade(s) Whew! By the time Carnival Monday rolled around, I was nervous because I was already 75% spent and I knew I had two big days to be on the road in the parades. But because we did J'ouvert Morning [channelling the nation’s history and folklore in what was once a rebellion against slavery] with Mudders International AND HAD THE FREAKING TIME OF OUR LIVES, we didn't get back to the hotel until about 11am (from heading out to J'ouvert around 3:30am), we were exhausted and decided to take a well-earned … [Read more...] about Playing Mas in Trinidad Carnival: Checking a Major Item Off of My Life List!
Tomorrow women around the world are being encouraged to make a statement by participating in the #DayWithoutAWoman movement through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity. The circumstances are unfortunate, but I am truly emboldened by the swell of empowerment happening amongst women as of late. Earlier today, thanks to my friend Claudia at TrendyLatina, I learned of another campaign - the #EmbraceAmbition initiative - launched by Tory Burch and her foundation. Now, you already know I am a superfan of Tory, her business savvy, and the work she continues to do for women and girls, so it didn't take but a minute for me to Take the Pledge and download my Ambition Guidebook. The premise of the initiative is to inspire women to: own your power, your drive and your dreams. Yes Tory! Yasssss. Part of taking the pledge includes the opportunity to create a photo with a word that defines your drive. There were several to choose from (and you can even choose your own), but I decided to go with "Visionary." Here's why... I'm an idea person. I mean, buckets and buckets full of ideas! Not only do I conceive oodles of crazy concepts, but I also endeavor to make them come to fruition. Back in 2010, I worked with a career coach who assessed my characteristics and concluded that I'm one of those rare people who is both a creative and someone who executes. There is also rarely a time when there is an idea that I don't think I can bring to life. Call it naive or insane, but whether it's a spill-resistant, stylish apron for moms or a business beach retreat pulled together in 8 weeks, I'm always up for the challenge. More importantly, I see the vision clearly and vibrantly. My work is all about helping women to embrace their ambition. From Blogalicious serving as a sisterhood and platform for multicultural women to elevate their media brands, to my coaching clients and Rockstar students via my Justice Fergie Lifestyle Media brand; my only goal is to help women design a life and career that they love and that makes them feel free. Over the last decade, I've been brave enough to leverage my gifts of event planning, relationship building, communications, and creativity to create brands and businesses that allows me to help women embrace their ambition, all while I'm embracing mine. Visionary. That's me. The word itself is a little pretentious, I'll admit. But we're being encouraged to own our power, right? So, I'm owning it. Visionary: a person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like. And boy do I have ideas. … [Read more...] about How I #EmbraceAmbition in Life and Business
Did you watch The New Edition Story on BET last week? I sure did! And I enjoyed every second of it. After the finale day, I went to sleep and, as my mind tends to do, I started thinking of the strategic lessons to be learned from Ralph, Ricky, Bobby, Michael, Ronnie and Johnny, and so I thought I'd share them with you. So here they are: image credit: Variety.com ONE. Let your fear drive you to find another way. We have Bobby to thank for this one! Remember when he competed in his first talent show and caught a killer case of stage fright? He could have decided right then and there that the showbiz life was not for him. But, instead, because he knew deep in his heart that he was an entertainer and that he had a gift for the world to see and hear, he got creative. Bobby rounded up his boys to create a group so that he wouldn't have to face the stage alone. Not only was that extremely strategic on his part, but he also was acknowledging his own shortcomings and giving himself a way to get around that roadblock. Little did he know, a musical sensation of a group was about to be birthed thanks to his roadblock. And? once his confidence was built up and he got to a place where we was comfortable in his skin, Bobby went solo. And that was all she wrote! Apply it! Is there something you're scared to do in your life or your business right now? Try taking a step back and looking at the challenge creatively. What other ways can you take in order to get to your goal destination? It will take some soul searching and being honest with yourself, but if there's a will, there's a way. Tweet it: How can I conquer my "stage fright"? Bobby Brown started a group. What's my fear and the creative solution? #StrategyMagic by @justicefergie TWO. You can't go it alone. Find the RIGHT person to help you win. What's the first thing the boys did once they decided to make their singing dream happen? They sought out a manager. Once they were under Brooke Payne's guidance, they began to take structure as a group and he was able to negotiate opportunities for them to advance their careers. Not only was Brooke there for them on a professional level, but on a personal level, too. So much so that their later record label hired Brooke to come back to work with New Edition when things were getting rocky. Even at a young age, the boys knew that they needed someone with the expertise and connections to help them along. As young adults, that same person would prove valuable to keep them on track. Apply it! Maybe you don't need a manager, per se. But do you have a mentor? An advisor? A coach? Someone to provide guidance and to open doors for you. Think of yourself and your gifts as "the talent" - what kind of "manager" could you benefit from? Tweet it: Don't underestimate the power of a mentor, advisor or coach in my business. I can't manage my talent alone! #strategymagic by @justicefergie THREE. Persevere. In the mini-series, we had a front-row … [Read more...] about Three Entrepreneurial Takeaways from The New Edition Story
1. Zadie head wrap by The Wrap Life // 2. Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist by Herbivore // 3. January 2017 Flagship Edition: Palm by Day Designer // 4. French Toast Matte Lip Whip by Beauty Bakerie // 5. The Bloom Beautifully Self Care Box // 6. Pins from Shop Luella Ah, the end of 2016. Such a rough year for so many! Myself included. This was a taxing year, both professionally and personally, but I saw it through. On the work front, I continued to push myself to grow and take risks, which was a good thing but also demanding. And on the personal front, we weathered a move to a new house - while welcoming our first-ever set of tenants at our old house; we gained, and then lost a beloved pet; dealt with getting accustomed to new schools and new friends; and I continued to struggle with health issues (and my favorite Zumba instructor left!). To top it all off, we had an election that dumbfounded and crushed the spirits of many, including my own, and a good friend of mine is in her last days on this Earth. That said, there were many happy moments too: a wonderful birthday cruise; our beautiful new home; work opportunities in LA, OKC, Laguna Nigel, Arkansas, Miami and Chicago; a successful Blogalicious conference; a successful coaching program class; a successful surgical procedure; great seats at Beyonce's Formation Tour; a family hike on the Underground Railroad in Maryland; a family outing to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture; a fun-filled Thanksgiving trip; Middle School (!!), a new product line, and more. This year's Feel-Good Holiday Gift Guide is a combination of things that have brought be joy this year AND things that I'd like to incorporate into my 2017. Here's to a love-filled holiday season and a magical new year. Feel Good for My Fashion Sensibilities: Zadie Wrap Can I make a confession? I can't fashion a head wrap to save my life. And yet I am obsessed with how fabulous they look! I'm determined to make it happen and I bet this gorgeous wrap by The Wrap Life will inspire me to get my act together. I had a fun hair year: crochet curls, crochet braids, dark color and bangs! But every now and then a girl needs to just give it a rest and wrap her hair up in a fly scarf. Thank goodness for YouTube. Feel Good for My Skin: Herbivore Botanicals With all the travel I was doing at the top of the year, I made a decision to gift myself with travel products that felt decadent. I stumbled across Herbivore Botanicals on Instagram and I was hooked. I have their Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist, the Orchid Facial Oil Roller, and Coco Rose Lip Conditioner. It feels great to apply these products after a day of flying that dries out your skin. I also appreciate a brand with a solid mission and meaningful story. Feel Good for My Business: Day Designer I'm a planner addict. There's no denying. And for a long time, I've been hearing about this Day Designer! I loved my Goal Digger planner last year, but I'd … [Read more...] about Fergie’s Feel-Good Holiday Gift Guide 2016
I'm not even going to talk about the election. If you are Facebook friends with me then you know that I shared myself silly with articles and think pieces about how the end is near. I took the results pretty hard and I think my hyper-productive personality kicked in its protection mechanism in order to save me from shriveling up into a ball. [Stacey isn't at all dramatic. Said no one, ever.] That protection mechanism manifested itself in the form of launching a new business out of thin air in a matter of days. TBH, I had thought of the idea of creating specialty gift wrap before, but it was always just a fleeting thought because (a) who has the time, (b) I have zero experience in this lane, and (c) WHO HAS THE TIME. After hearing Arsha Jones' workshop during the Blogalicious Weekend 2016 VIP Mastermind Day, I started hearing a little voice that said: "just do it." And so I did. Check me out on Shopify. I'm having such fun with it and the reception has been fantastic. Case study on how I made it happen coming next... … [Read more...] about When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Creative: Introducing Fetti Wrap!