A huge motivation for pursuing The Nappy Bohemian was half a strength in numbers thing and the other half a moment of self-acceptance. I was hoping for a design outlet that allowed me to be as Black as I wanted to be, after realizing that I found myself wanting to mimic designers who were social media famous, and looked nothing like me, lived a different life, and had totally different struggles.
Fitting in is funny that way, you loose yourself in the process. Even while working for a reputable tile company as a Design Consultant in San Francisco, I was the only black person in the entire company out of 100, and furthermore, I could count my clients of color on one hand. Then I started to think, who says Black Women can't be influential in the design world? Where we at!? So I set to find some, and damnnnn ya'll... we out here killing it and I didn't even know it! I first found NY designer AphroChic, and I will never forget that moment. I saw her website, and thought to myself, "Yassss (of course, is that the Black girl nature call or what?!) this is amazing." That was my first Aha moment.
My second and third moment came simultaneously. I found out about the Black Interior Design Network, BIDN, and realized that although people of color make up a small percentage of Designers and Architects, we were mighty. Im talking National publications left and right, celebrity designers, HGTV plugs and all the cred. Around the same time that I found the network, I realized another designer that I had been working with, Beth Diana Smith, was Black! I only communicated with her via email, so when I talked with her for the first time over the phone, we had a GOOD laugh about the, "Wait! Are you Black?!" moment! She was an instant client, turned friend, turned mentor, and I love her for that. Check her out ya'll! She's the truth!
The moral is, you can do whatever the hell you want to do in life and as soon as you start, the doors just open. Don't worry too much about how, just know you have to start and do it. Seriously. Yea, you will need to make sure you are self-sufficient, and all your necessities are met, but you also NEED to appreciate that your differences can be the same thing that makes you great, and set you apart from the rest. As a community, we (US) tend to not respect each others dream, simply because we have been making excuses for ourselves as to why we aren't pursuing our own damn dreams, and pass that hate and doubt on someone else. Re-read that if you need to. There WILL BE enough people that won't see your greatness outside of your community, so please PLEASE please don't add to the pot.
Go be great, and tell them I sent you :)