When I shot with Henrietta a few weeks ago, I just knew I had to feature her on the blog! Not only does she do amazing photography- she is also 23 and is currently perusing her PhD (Talk about goals!). Henrietta recently moved here from New Jersey and has continued her photography as her side biz while she is in school. She gave me all the deets on not only why she started photography in the first place, but also her least favorite things about what she does!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

I’m Henrietta. I grew up in Nigeria but moved to New Jersey 9 years ago for school. I got my Bachelors in Marketing and Management from Seton Hall University & my MBA from Stevens Institute of Technology, both in New Jersey. I’ve just started my PhD in Political Science at University of Houston so that’s my full-time gig but, I still make time to be a fashion & lifestyle photographer.

What made you decide to start your career?

When I moved from Nigeria to a boarding school in Pennsylvania, I started my junior year in high school not knowing anyone and being the introverted “new girl”,  so I joined the yearbook committee and was assigned to take the photos. Several people loved their photos and I got wonderful feedback so I asked for a digital camera for my 17th birthday and I’ve been on a roll ever since. & no, I did not get any formal training in photography.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

People. I love photography so much because it not only allows me to express my creative side but also meet some extraordinary individuals that inspire me every day.

What is your favorite bible verse & why?

Deuteronomy 31:6. In a world where relationships & friendships can be so temporary and fleeting and sometimes, especially as a young person, it is difficult to see what is coming next (like my moving to Houston for example).  It gives me great peace to know that God remains steadfast, no matter what. Even if everyone in my life disappoints me and no matter where life takes me, He will neither leave me nor abandon me to figure it out on my own.  He’s always there.

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

Know your worth and learn how to say no.

What is your end goal with your career? What do you want to accomplish?

In terms of photography, I would like to shoot for high fashion magazines and luxury brands but also expand into video production and editorial work.

P.S.- I shot recently with Henrietta for a campaign I had with HEB

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

  1. Don’t let the “no”s get you down. Someone will say yes and appreciate your work.
  2.  Bring your A-game at every opportunity, from major clients to those just starting out. You never know whom someone knows.
  3. Don’t try to be like everyone else. Stick to your aesthetic and trust yourself.

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

In terms of photography, I love the end. I still get like a flutter in my stomach when someone says they loved their images. I really hope that never changes.

What is your least favorite?

Sometimes, shooting can be stressful. I’ve shot in both >100 degree & 18 degree weather and it can honestly be super stressful and hard.

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

I can be very shy so reaching out had been a challenge but doing so, thus far, has been so rewarding.

Until Next Time!

-B

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Jamelia fought her passion for long, but eventually gave in, not looking back since. This weeks #BossBabe, Jameila Blackman-Sonny, tells us not about her passion regarding the well being of young women, but also the daily efforts of being a full time “Side-preneur”, owning her own business, Faithfull Queens in addition to her 9-5! P.S- after you are done reading her interview,  you have to head over to check out some of her stuff- it is all so fab!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

I am a motivational/personal development, Jesus junkie currently residing with my hubby in New Jersey. I grew up on the small Caribbean island of St. Vincent but then migrated to the US when I was about 16 years old. I later gained my degree in Media Communications from the City College of New York! I currently work in nonprofit; assisting the team at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (mentoring rocks). When I am not at BBBS I am a part time “sidepreneur” building brands Faithfull Queens & JBS Inspires.

What made you decide to start your career?

With a focus in Media Communications & minor in Journalism, I swore after graduation I would land a job in Public Relations and all will be well with the world but that was absolutely not what God had planned for me. I did land a job in the industry but then quickly realized that it wasn’t where my heart was. As mentioned before, I recently started working with one the most prestigious and oldest mentoring organization in the country (BBBS of NYC)- which I completely did not see coming but believe this is part of what I was called to. I have always been interested in mentoring but tucked it to the back of mind as I wanted to pursue something that seemed “more interesting”.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

I am inspired by people, purpose and God daily. There are so many people who inspire me to be better, to live out my calling & become all God has called me to be, even the ones who have no idea who I am (thank you for your obedience). Purpose inspires me because without that sense of knowing you are here for a reason, you have no idea where you’re heading; you live a random life going wherever the wind blows you. With a purpose driven life, you know who you are, you know whose you are and why you are. Since I have found that it, inspires me every day to keep moving forward. And of course, God because without him there would be no purpose, no life and no people to inspire me.

With a purpose driven life, you know who you are, you know whose you are and why you are.

What is your favorite bible verse & why?

I have so many favorite scriptures but the one that immediately came to mind is Jeremiah 29:1 – “For I know the thoughts that I think towards you says the Lord, thoughts of peace, not evil, to give you an expected end.” I loooove this scripture because it brings me back to a place of peace & rest knowing that no matter what life throws at me I am already taken care of; it is already handled.

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

I would tell my 20-year-old self to trust the process. Sometimes we find ourselves in a place, especially as a young woman, regretting the decisions we’ve made or what has happened to us but it’s all for a reason. While at that moment you might be upset with the world and feeling worthless, He still has a plan for your life. And once you’re loving on God it’ll surely work for you. I found a quote somewhere that says, “the truth is nothing is working against you- it’s all working for you” and I see that now. I can appreciate the journey because it has made me who I am today.

What is your end goal with your career? What do you want to accomplish?

I’ve heard before that one way to know why you were created is to pay attention to the things that hurt you to your core when you see or hear about them or what you’ve personally experienced. I’ve come to realize that seeing young girls & young women not knowing themselves and not making the right decisions because there is no sense of purpose is that thing. So my end goal with both brands @jbsinspires and @faithfullqueens and even working with BBBS of NYC is to not only inspire young people by mentoring or just sharing my journey but to help cultivate self-worth within them and to reinforce their value in the eyes of God.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

I would tell them pray for direction; for wisdom and for understanding so that they connect with the right colleagues and are able to excel in their line of work.

Get a mentor – Mentors can teach you things they’ve already been experienced, mistakes they’ve made and what they learned.

Network, network, network: Expand your network. Don’t just go out to an event & exchange business cards and call that networking. Network with the right people and genuinely invest in these relationships.

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

I enjoy being an inspiration to others. To know that I can uplift someone. To help them go from feeling worthless to worth it. I also do a lot of listening. People share a lot with me and it’s a skill not everyone is good at but I enjoy listening to others & they appreciate when you can listen without advice and judgement.

What is your least favorite?

I honestly do not have a least favorite. I love what I do.

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

The most surprising challenge within my field is having to manage & make my own schedule. With my prior work experiences, my day was already sort of set. There were daily tasks and responsibilities and so the transition to an environment where I have to manage, prioritize and plan my day was a bit challenging at first but completely doable after getting acclimated.

Until Next Time!

-B

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There’s one thing I’ve never been a fan of- grocery shopping! Living in such a busy city- no matter what time I go, the grocery store is always full! Having such a hectic schedule, going after work is never an option. Going on the weekends is never fun either- who wants to do that? The best $4.95 I’ve ever spent was on HEB Curbside– it’s the perfect way to grocery shop for the woman constantly “On The Go”. I can go grocery shopping literally whenever I want with no hassle! All I need is my computer and my breakfast, lunch and dinner for the week are all at my fingertips! I totes wish I would’v known about this service sooner- literally the best $4.95 I’ve ever spent!

One thing I really love about HEB’s Curbside service is that I’m able to order my groceries in the morning & just swing by and get them after work! No more rushing through the isles in my work shoes anymore trying to decide what to eat for dinner- Curbside does all the dirty work for me! I simply pick out what I want online, pick my time slot to get it, and I’m done. What’s even better is that I can easily reorder my staples that I need on a regular basis. Talk about convenience! You are able to order after 7:30 AM and have until the evening to get them.

HEB has made my grocery shopping a breeze! I no longer wait in lines, and can spend the time I would’ve spent in the store doing other things! For instance, instead of spending time at the grocery store after work, I can now rush home and have an hour or so to relax before I start working on ze blog! Be sure to head over to your local HEB & check out this new service soon! For only $4.95- I promise you won’t regret it!

 

 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of H-E-B Curbside. The opinions and text are all mine.


Until Next Time!

-B

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So excited to feature one of my fellow blogger babes, Priyanka Bins on the blog today! I met Priyanka a few months ago at an event I hosted at Altar’d State. She was so sweet & full of life that I just had to feature her! Not only that- she’s an attorney! I always admired female lawyers- going into a courthouse and fighting for what they believe in is something I always thought was amazing! This week, Priyanka tells us the one thing she loves about her career, as well as what has surprised her most about being a lawyer!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas! My parents are originally from India, but they moved here when my mom was newly pregnant with me & I’ve been here ever since. I went to University of Texas at San Antonio for undergrad  and majored in English with an Emphasis in Creative Writing. My time in college led me to my passion for writing fiction, which has stayed with me ever since. I then went on to attend law school here in Houston, at South Texas College of Law. I graduated in 2012 and started my career as a  family law attorney shortly thereafter.  Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of creative writing in my career, but there are other rewarding aspects.

What made you decide to start your career?

I knew I wanted to be a lawyer around sophomore year of college.  I had professors telling me time and again that my writing background was fantastic, which is something that helps tremendously in the legal field.  I went straight to law school after graduation because, frankly, I was ready to be done with school and move on in the world!

What inspires you on a daily basis?

A variety of things. First off, my family of course. My husband is also a lawyer, so I often look to him for guidance and inspiration. I also think about my mom a lot when things get tough. In 2015, I watched her beat oral cancer like a beast. She is seriously one of the strongest, most hard working people I know! Travel is also a huge inspiration for me. I believe it is not only important, but necessary to see the world & know how other people live.  I’ve found that each time I travel to a new country, I learn so much about things I wouldn’t even think to expand my knowledge on. A lot of writing inspires me as well. I’m a fiction fanatic, and one of my favorite authors Jhumpa Lahiri, is the reason I began writing in the first place. If you’re not familiar with her work, pick up a copy of ‘Interpreter of Maladies.’ It’s poignant and beautifully written.

What is your favorite quote & why?

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. Your really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ― Lucille Ball

She’s a HUGE inspiration to me. Beautiful, successful and funny. All the things I strive to be on the daily.

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

It will all work out! So often in my 20s, I would worry about the silliest things. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at 21, but sure enough, at the age of 22, I was off to law school pursuing my goals and meeting the man of my dreams.  If things aren’t going well, then it’s probably not the end of the story.

What is your end goal with your career? What do you want to accomplish?

I haven’t figured that out yet. I’m just trying to grow as a lawyer and make sure that I’m learning more and more as each year goes by. That’s all I can ask for right now, and I’m perfectly content with that.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

(1) Don’t pigeon-hole yourself into one “career.” Nowadays, dreams are easier to follow because of social media, and the Internet in general.  I watched my sister turn her love for eating at and blogging about great restaurants into a full blown writing career. She now works for Citybook Magazine. Just because you went to school for one thing, does not mean you can’t be an expert in something else. I wanted to ensure that my career didn’t tire me out or change anything about myself, so I started a fashion and travel blog!  I love it because it keeps me creative and adds lightheartedness to my life that my primary career can’t always provide.

(2) If you don’t like something about your career (or life), change it. No one else will do it for you. It’s definitely difficult to take that plunge sometimes, but it is your life we’re talking about.

(3) Take time for yourself.  Of course the beginning of a career usually means putting in the hard work and hours, which is completely understandable. But if your work-life balance is off for the long term, it may be time to try something else.

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

Unfortunately a lot of the work in my field involves families breaking up, as much of what I do deals with divorce & custody matters. However, I do get to handle adoptions as well. While the actual process is fairly administrative, the best part about it is the day the adoption gets finalized.  It’s usually only about a 15 to 20 minute hearing, but the glow and excitement that emanates from the family and their new child is something you don’t often see in other professions.

What is your least favorite?

I would have to say that the least favorite thing about practicing family law is the pettiness that comes with it. People that we deal with are hurting and often times extremely emotional, and sometimes that pain gets in the way of rational thinking. A lot of my job deals with calming people down and assuring them that everything will work out in the end. My business card doesn’t say ‘Priyanka Bins, Attorney and Counselor’ for nothing!

My business card doesn’t say ‘Priyanka Bins, Attorney and Counselor’ for nothing!

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

I think the amount of public speaking would have to be my response. I knew I’d be in court a lot, but I could never have fathomed how often I’d be speaking to a judge in front of pews of people watching my every word!  I remember one time, when my husband and I were still dating, he happened to be in the same court as I was, and I felt so nervous that he would see me stand up at docket call and announce my case.  Turns out I stumbled on my words, butchered my client’s name, and couldn’t even get a straight sentence out.  I’m happy to say that was about 3 years ago, and I’ve been much better ever since!

 

Until Next Time!

-B

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It was the funniest thing ever when I got a text from one of my best gals asking if I had been on facebook that day. I clearly hadn’t when she kept going on & on about the power of social media & how the Gainsvile Police Dept. had been the talk of the day. I was even more confused when I logged on & realized I was tagged (more than once) on the thread of all of the comments on the photos! Well ladies- I found #CopBae & got all the deets on everything him. Read below to learn not only why he became a cop in the first place, but his advice to others as well. & yes- he is single!

Tell me a little about yourself. Where did you grown up, get your degree in etc? What is your current job?

My name Bylynn Hatcher aka Lou, I was born and raised in Alliance, OH. I attended Alliance High School where I played basketball, football & ran track. After I graduated in 2005, I earned a full scholarship for basketball to Grand Rapids Comm College where I red-shirted my first year due to a hand injury during practice. I graduated from Grand Rapids Comm College with my associate degree & later transferred schools in 2008.  I earned a second full scholarship for basketball at Ashland University,  Division 2. I graduated in 2010 with my bachelors in Criminal justice and minor in sociology. After graduating, I continued to play basketball on a semi-pro level (A.B.A.) American Basketball Association, playing for the  Stark Revolution based out of Canton, OH. My first season of play we became “Champions”.  After that season ended, I had the opportunity to play for another semi-pro traveling team based out of Gainesville, FL. Due to the fast approaching season, I had to quickly pack my bags and moved to Gainesville, FL, leaving my family and friends in Ohio and Michigan. After playing another rough season of basketball, I decided I was burned out from basketball and wanted to start a career. I became a cars salesman for a short period of time and soon relocated to a sales rep at Verizon wireless. Verizon was a professional place to work, but I didn’t feel like it was challenging enough. It was then that I decided I wanted to become a police officer.

How did it feel realizing you were a social media celebrity for a few days? How did that happen? Any crazy stories?

I didn’t feel any different, but it did feel good to be noticed/recognized at a time where your doing your best to try and protect and serve your community at it’s worst times (during Hurricane Irma). When I think about it the pics weren’t  suppose to go viral. The pics were posted on facebook by our PIO. After posting the pics, women started commenting like wild fire. A lot of the women kept asking where is the  “Hot Chocolate” (LOL!).  Once Ben posted my pics, women started making even crazier comments! I didn’t realize how much attention the photos were getting, until many people started calling and texting my phone non-stop. When I finally went to the pics and checked out the comments, I couldn’t be live some of the comments I saw. The comments were enjoyable, funny, flattering, tasteful and made me watch my back while walking down the street or conducting a traffic stop  (haha!). I will say -none of them comments took away from the real reason why we were out there during hurricane Irma. all of the first responders throughout Florida had to leave our  families home at a time they needed us most during the hurricane. As a first we know what we sign up for. When it’s time to protect and serve for your community there are no second thoughts, we run towards the trouble while everyone else run away from it.

What made you decide to start your career?

I always thought of being a police, just because of the way my friends, as well as myself, where treated by the police growing up in my hometown of Alliance, OH.  Growing up, my friends and I really had to live and deal with being profiled, harassed and mistreated by the police. Through my youth and some of my adult life, I experienced, observed, witnessed many corrupted policemen. The corruption started to get so bad at the police dept. that the policemen that wanted to make a difference in the community resigned or transferred to another agency because they didn’t want to be a part of the unfairness.

Side Note: By all means, I’m not trying to make it seem like I was a little angel 100% of the time, because I had my troubled moments as a teenager/adult.

I feel that what made me want to become a police officer  was what I experienced through my life-  good, bad, being in trouble, how sports changed the way I look at life. What also influenced my decision was what morals and support I gained from my family, friends, coaches and community. I then applied to the police academy at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, FL. I went through a four month program, graduated & was hired by Gainesville Police Dept.

What inspires you on a daily basis?

My 8 year old son, mom, dad, all my brothers and sisters and close friends. Wanting to be the best I can be at all times, even when my enemies wish & pray on my downfall. Being healthy, staying physical fit, having a healthy diet, making people smile and making a difference not only in my life, but others life’s as well.

What is your favorite quote & why?

“Everything happens for a reason” and “What goes around comes around” I live by these quotes, because it helps me put myself in other people shoes and try to understand their problems and struggles.

What’s something you would tell your 20-year-old self?

Never regret anything you’ve done in life. Learn from your mistakes- they will make you a better/wiser man in the future. Last but not least, embrace all your enemies hate (!!!!).

What is your end goal with your career? What do you want to accomplish?

To be successful & influence as many people as I can while making a difference at the same time.

What are the 3 most important things you would tell someone starting off in their career?

  1. Never jeopardize your morals for anyone.
  2. Always be confident and believe in yourself.
  3. Know your worth and know yourself as person. 

What is your favorite thing to do regarding your field?

I really like to interact with the people in the community and change some of the negative perceptions that some citizens have about cops.

What is your least favorite?

Paperwork. An arrest or a use of force can last two minutes or less & the paperwork can last hours. Documentation and reports are very important in law enforcement.

What has been the most surprising challenge within your field?

Always trying to stay two steps ahead of the criminals. Many criminals are very creative & continuously think of new ways to try and out smart the law.

I would just like to give a special thanks to all my family and friends and everyone whoever supported me in whatever I did in life. I love you & thank you with all my heart.  It’s not as easy as people think to be a first responder. It takes a strong minded, brave hearted, unselfish, polite, caring person to do this job everyday. I also like to thank everyone who supports first responders and their braveness. – Bylynn Hatcher

 

Until Next Time!

-B

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