Ode to Canva

Canva is a free graphic design app that I recommend to anyone for anything. Especially those who do marketing. I manage social media channels and I’m always looking for new ways to promote things online. I started using Canva last summer for Instagram posts and to promote my brand. Little did I know, Canva is great for literally everything.

Whenever I search for templates, I’m blown away. You can create invitations, brochures, invoices, coupons, web banners, posters, and more! I promise you, whatever type of graphic design needs you have, Canva will become one of your best friends. It’s definitely one of mine.

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Beyonce is the Queen of Marketing and Social Media

First of all, this is not an opinion post. This is a fact. And just like Beyonce, I can back it up. I was Beyhive before there was such a thing. I’m going to sound biased but I can't help it. You ready?

You know when you’re not paying attention and suddenly something catches your eye and you have to do a double take? I think most of us experience that when we see a new post by Beyonce. Queen Bey has single-handedly taken over Instagram with over 114 million followers. Who else is out here posting gorgeous videos that highlight the whole outfit, the nails, hand jewelry, hair, makeup, and accessories? Whenever I see a new one, I’m inspired to create one but I just don't want to put that much pressure on myself. Whether its a recap video of her latest outfit, an adorable picture of Blue or a date with Jay, she stops us in our tracks and dominates our timeline.

Beyonce has always been a very calculated celebrity. She makes moves with so much grace yet causes the most commotion with whatever she does. When Beyonce dropped her self-titled album, I almost couldn’t sleep. My friends and I had been waiting for her to release a new single. Instead, she gave us more than that without warning. No teasers. No promotion. No nothing. The album sold 828,773 copies within the first few days. 

In a world where everyone is doing the same thing, sometimes you have to think outside of the box and do something different. Beyonce has mastered the element of surprise and keeps her fans and her haters guessing. She doesn’t do interviews. She doesn’t talk about what she’s going to do. She just does it. And I love it!

Beyonce has won numerous awards and broken several records. Most recently, she made history by being the first black woman to headline Coachella. I’m not gonna lie, when she first appeared on that stage, I shed a few tears. I knew greatness was about to happen. Still, I was SHOOK. You can never be fully prepared for a Beyonce performance. Beychella was EVERYTHING. Honestly, that’s the best way for me to sum it up. I was speechless. I’m so glad that I took a nap so that I could wake up at 2 a.m. to witness it!

I’ve been a Beyonce fan since Destiny’s Child. As someone who works in marketing and social media, I admire her creativity, work ethic, and loyalty to her fans. I’ve followed her career for years. I keep track of her moves because she inspires me. I know she puts in long hours with her team thinking of ways to promote her brand. And they win every single time. Someone should start a Beyonce marketing class. I’d be the first to register.

How to Take a Professional Profile Picture

People can tell a lot about you by your profile picture. Sure, it’s not cool to judge a book by its cover, but it happens. If your profile picture shows you with a group of friends drunk, with your tongue sticking out, or sticking up your middle finger, what will a hiring manager think?

I can tell you what they won’t think. They won't think you’re the perfect candidate for the job. It’s not fair, I know, but would you hire someone with a suggestive profile picture for a job?

We all have our own personal lives outside of the office but that’s where privacy settings and Snapchat come in handy. Don’t put everything out there for people to see. Why does it matter? Believe it or not, people will look you up. They check out your online presence before you’re hired. They check when you get hired and they may even try to be nosey enough to see what you’re up to when you leave. Don’t give people something negative to talk about.

Here are a few tips on taking a professional profile picture:

Dress Professionally

If you’re going to take a professional photo, wear a professional outfit. You don’t have to look like you’re going on an interview or to the royal wedding but look your best.

Smile

Who wants to work with someone who looks miserable and unapproachable? A smile will show people that you are friendly and open to new opportunities.

Quality is Key

You don’t have to use a professional camera but make sure it's a clear photo. Posting a blurry photo shows you didn’t care enough to take the time to take a decent one.

Be Yourself

I get the whole fake it until you make it, but not for this. If you’re trying to be something you’re not, you run the risk of it coming through in your photo. Be your authentic self and hope for the best!

 

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I Participated in the Junior League of Charlotte’s Little Black Dress Initiative

Junior League of Charlotte hosted its annual Little Black Dress Initiative (LBDI) February 26 through March 2. The purpose of LBDI is to raise awareness about poverty’s effects on children and families in our community. The fundraising goal was set at $60,000.

I heard about LBDI through their Instagram. Since participation was open to Junior League members and the general public, I decided to give it a try! I felt that this would be a great way to support the community by raising money and awareness for a great cause.

In preparation for LBDI, I found a black dress to wear for five days and thought about ways to accessorize. I also practiced what to say when people inquired about the campaign since participants were encouraged to wear an “Ask Me About My Dress” pin.

People asked how I felt about wearing the same dress and to honest, it really hit me the fourth day. By then I felt like I needed to wash it and it already needed to be ironed after the first day. But I didn't do anything to the dress. Why? Because people who are living in poverty can't just wash or iron clothing at ease. They have to make do with what they have, and that’s what I did.

Since this was my first time participating, I set my goal at $200. I only raised $145 but I gained a new understanding of poverty in the city of Charlotte.

Here are a few facts that I used in posts to encourage donations:

  • 50,000 children in Charlotte are currently living in poverty

  • Almost 1 in 5 children in Charlotte are currently living in poverty

  • Over 4,000 children in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools are reported homeless

  • 134,000 Charlotteans are living in poverty

The week following the LBDI, I went back to having to plan out outfits for work each day. I had gotten used to wearing the same dress so it felt weird wearing something else at first.

After participating in this campaign, I look at my wardrobe with a new set of eyes. Think about how many times have you found out about an event and said, “I have nothing to wear!” I’m also guilty. But that is a comment that I now know I shouldn’t make. I have enough options to choose from. Wearing the same dress for five days showed me what it truly means to have nothing to wear and limited resources. I’m more grateful for what I have and I’m even more inspired to give back to others. The 2018 LBDI raised a total of $66,425! This was a wonderful experience and I hope to raise money and awareness in the future with the Junior League of Charlotte Little Black Dress Initiative.

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What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

One of the best things about being a child is thinking that your life is going to be perfect. You daydream in class and fantasize about this made up fairy tale. People always ask you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" And you always have an interesting answer because you're young and you've got your whole life ahead of you. Those were the days. 

It's a beautiful thing to hear children talk about their hopes and dreams. It gives you insight on their perspective on life. And for some of us who are still trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up, it may even give us some new ideas.

When I was growing up, there was always something that I wanted to be. When people asked, I was ready. These are the occupations that I can remember wanting before turning ten years old. Since I'm able to remember them, they must have been the things I wanted to be the most!

The Little Mermaid

At four years old, I was set on being The Little Mermaid. I loved the movies and all of the songs. I had a Little Mermaid t-shirt that I wore all of the time. I thought she was the coolest Disney Princess. 


Fly Girl

Yes, I watched In Living Color when I was a kid. I probably shouldn't have but a lot of jokes didn't register. The only thing I remember was wanting to be like the girls who danced on the show. I just knew that I would be on the set when I grew up in my dope 90's outfit dancing my little heart out.


Ice Skater

I was in awe of ice skaters' elegance and grace on the ice. And the pretty, shiny, glittery outfits, I wanted them all. It looked so much fun to me. I thought of it as the closest thing to being able to fly.

 


Judge

I used to watch Judge Judy every day after school. I admired her because she was straightforward and put her foot down. I guess I thought I would transform into an assertive and witty professional if I too, were a judge. 

By the end of my fourth-grade year, I was set on one career. Writing. I fell in love with writing when I was nine years old. All of my previous career goals vanished once I realized how much I love to write. Even though I decided to go into marketing while I was in college, I will always be a writer first. 

When I think about what I thought I wanted to be as a child, I can't help but laugh at myself. I can't swim, I love to dance but not in public without liquid courage, I don't like ice skating, and it's been years since I've watched court shows.

What did you want to be when you became a grown up? 

My First Wine Tasting

I am a proud member of the Urban League of Central Carolinas Young Professionals Auxiliary. Our exec board hosted several events during Join Week 2018. It was an honor to facilitate the Wine Tasting for fellow young professionals. 

During the wine tasting, we reviewed wine etiquette including different types of glasses and how to hold a wine glass properly. We sampled Moscato, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Thank you to the Urban League YP's for allowing me to help with the tasting. It was a great experience and I look forward to future events! 

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Ten Fun Facts About Me

Since this is my first blog post, I thought I’d introduce myself to you. Based on what’s listed on my website, I’m sure you know that I’m an etiquette consultant. I offer professional services to help people reach their goals, but I wanted to share a few things about myself that aren’t on my about me page. If you stick around, you’ll see some of these expanded on in future blog posts.

  1. Going to concerts is one of my hobbies. I’ve been to over 20 concerts.

  2. Martin is my favorite TV show. I quote Martin every single day.

  3. I have a long travel bucket list. I would love to explore as many new places as possible.

  4. I love painting and coloring. It’s my favorite way to de-stress.

  5. I haven’t had a perm since I was 19. I’m team natural and proud.

  6. I’d like to learn how to play an instrument. Maybe piano, guitar or the drums.

  7. I hate roller coasters. Don’t try to convince me to get on one.

  8. Food is very important to me. I eat every 3-4 hours in order to avoid being hangry.

  9. I love dressing up. I’d choose a dress over jeans any day.

  10. Writing makes me feel free! I’m a little nervous about starting a blog, but I love writing so it should be fun. I hope you enjoy!

I'm excited to share more posts with you!

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