I started my month in LA with Tabitha Brown, traveled all the way to Toronto for a launch, and I’m ending it in Atlanta at an awards ceremony. Positively overwhelmed is my mood right now because there's so much going on, but all of it is pushing me to dream bigger. So here’s what I got up to this month:
Played hooky from work in LA
My media team and I spent a few days working in LA, and I met up with my old friend Tabitha Brown for A Black Woman’s Podcast. I don’t want to share too much on this because the new season starts next month (next week!), but we talked about EVERYthing and she dropped so many gems! This is an episode that you do not want to miss. So go ahead and subscribe to the podcast on whichever platform you like listening to podcasts on, and subscribe to our channel at BFABW.tv if you prefer video.
While we were in LA, I also got to spend some time with some Buy From A Black Woman Directory members at a fellowship dinner. I try to have dinner or lunch with Black Women in every city I visit because we don’t always get time to just be with each other outside of working. And we shut that place down, so it was much needed! We cut up, talked about what was going on in our lives without fear of judgment, and we just enjoyed each other’s company.
And then on my last day in town I played a tourist. I’ve been to LA so many times, yet there are so many sights that I hadn’t seen. So I made an impromptu itinerary and we hit the road! We started off with the Hollywood sign, visited the Chinese Theater and then walked Hollywood Boulevard to see how many stars' names we recognized. I also got a star with “A Black Woman” on it because you deserve a Hollywood star Black Woman!
Then we drove to Venice Beach and spent the afternoon soaking up the sun. We walked along the beach, people-watched and even wrote our names in the sand. It was the perfect way to end the week.
Took Buy From A Black Woman to Toronto
In case you haven’t heard, Buy From A Black Woman has officially expanded to Canada! You can read more about it in our press release, but I’m excited about partnering with Black Women Business Owners there and giving them access to the programs that we’ve spent the last seven years building.
And of course we launched the way only Black Women do, with a bougie event! We had cocktails and snacks named after Black Women, flowers arranged by a Black Woman and we were in a space owned by a Black Woman. And Black Women came through, so it was packed! We had a good time!
I also did a little sightseeing and got to visit the CN Tower, which is one of the seven modern wonders of the world. The CN Tower used to be the highest free-standing structure in the world, it’s 1,815.5 feet high, so I was a little nervous riding the elevator up. But once I was up there and I got comfortable, I couldn’t help but think how similar the experience was to being an entrepreneur. Because sometimes you feel anxious as you climb and scale new heights, but you have to push through in order to realize your wildest dreams. I was reflecting on this so I wrote a blog post about it. It’s 5 Things For Black Women To Remember While Growing & Scaling Your Business. Read it and share it with a Black Woman who’s growing her business so she feels encouraged.
And how’s this for timing, LL COOL J happened to be in town at the same time as me. Apparently he was originally supposed to perform in June, but had reschedule his tour. So I got to see the F.O.R.C.E. Tour with DJ Jazzy Jeff, The Roots and some of our favorite legends, which was a bonus!
Connected with Black Women in the diaspora
Speaking of Canada, Esther Ijewere and her organization Women of Rubies, which is a platform based in Canada and Nigeria, invited me to be a part of their Media Visibility Bootcamp. I had fun sharing what’s worked for me and Buy From A Black Woman during our fireside chat, and it was good to listen to the other Black Women on the panel and hear from the attendees too.
And Women of Rubies also named me Woman of The Week, which I’m still smiling about. I'm so honored!
Did some interviews and got 12 media features
This month I did about three interviews and some of the interviews I did last month were published, so I got 12 media features in various outlets:
And I also decided to create an opportunity to feature other Black women, so I created a list of 55 SXSW panel proposals by Black Women. Watching Black Women promote and share each other’s SXSW panel proposals, vote for each other and celebrate each other is one of my highlights for the month. The way we support each other makes me so grateful for community.
Did a Beyoncé case study
The Federal Reserve did a breakdown of the impact of the Eras Tour on the economy, but they didn’t do the same for the Renaissance Tour, so I did. My breakdown is called How Beyoncé's Renaissance Tour Is Boosting The Global Economy and it includes everything from her impact on the tourism industry and the job market, to local businesses.
I scoured the internet for all the data I could find about her world tour, and I even spoke to a couple of Black Women Business Owners who got to participate in the Black Parade Route as a part of the tour.
I always say that when you support a Black Woman you support a whole community, but this is what it looks like when your brand is global like Beyoncé’s.
Listened to a lot of podcasts
This year I’m a judge for the Black Podcast Awards, so I’ve been listening to all types of podcasts and discovering new and interesting creators. There’s so much diversity in the podcast world and the deeper I get into this the more inspired I am by the creativity. I’m excited to see who this year's winners are going to be, but they’re only going to be announced on September 24th, so stay tuned!
Stepped up my yoga practice
Not many people know that I’m a certified yogi who’s been doing yoga for years. This photo is a throwback to my teaching days, it’s me doing yoga in my art class.
But this month I decided to do a challenge, so I took a class and got a new certification. This particular practice involved repeating the same pose over and over again for hours, which pushes you to build your inner strength as much as your physical strength. And it’s an exercise in consistency and fully being in the moment. I feel like a different person after doing this for a month, like Nikki 2.0! So if you thought I was doing a lot before, you better watch out because I’m just getting started!
Read 5 books
This month I hit my book reading quota! I read and/or listened to the following books:
Feeding the Soul (Because It's My Business) by Tabitha Brown
I Am Debrah Lee by Debrah Lee
Billion Dollar Bet: Robert Johnson and the Inside Story Of Black Entertainment Television by Brett Pulley
You Are the Guru: 6 Messages to Help You Move Through Difficult Times with Certainty and Faith by Gabrielle Bernstein
Brand Strategy in Three Steps: A Purpose-Driven Approach to Branding by Jay Mandel
And I received an award from the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs
Tonight (Thursday, Aug 31) the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs honored me with a special award at the Stakeholder Awards ceremony. As a Founding 100 Member, I’m honored to be recognized and I’m proud of the work that RICE has done over the years.
This was a fun celebration with food, a DJ and more, and it was good to spend time with entrepreneurs who are really making a difference with their work.
This is most of what I got up to this month, big announcements coming next week so stay tuned for more! Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out on the news. Just scroll down to the bottom of this page, enter your email address and click “Sign Up.”