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I Pushed Through My Anxiety and Attended My First Black Professionals Mixer

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Since relocating to Tennessee, I joined some groups so that I can get out of the house and connect with more like minded people. I have also been connecting with ladies while out and about grocery shopping and such. One thing that I must work on consistently is following through by showing up somewhere (when invited) where there will be a crowd. I deal with anxiety when contemplating attending events. I had to look deep within myself to see what this is about.

I learned that it is a confidence issue. I believed that what I had to say was not as important as what the next person may have to say. As much as I study and implement, I still would feel like maybe I need to learn more so that I can feel comfortable with talking with others about what I do. I did not want to come off as a know it all who really doesn’t know everything.

We are all forever learning so I should not have let that be a reason to shut me up when I needed to speak up and be confident in doing so. To others I was Naturalista4me the blogger but to me I was just Qwania. Many seen in me what I couldn’t see in myself.

This was a major part of my self-seeking journey. I had to learn about myself (the good and bad) and how and why I processed the way I did. Once I was able to narrow that down, I was able to deal with it therefor it can no longer hold me up unless I allow it to.

I met this lady at the store and she looked at me and said that I have beautiful energy and wanted to introduce herself. We talked, hugged and exchanged numbers. She invited me to attend a black professional’s mixer with her and her friends and at first, I began to look for every reason not to go. My husband said, “woman you need to go”. Ok, so I went! I had a wonderful time and made great connections.

I put on my vision board a few years ago that I wanted to attract a new social circle that supports where I am in life as well as support me as I am growing. I wanted to attract friends who are also seeking to start or already have their own businesses so that we can discuss business. I wanted to attract friends who were in relationships so that my husband and I can have couple outings with friends. I wanted to attract friends that have children, so they can play with my children therefor our children will create new friendships.

I learned that the ladies I was with are starting or have already started their own businesses, I learned that they have children, partners and are looking for the same things I am looking for in their social circle. I have manifested this into my reality.

If I had not gone to the mixer, I would not have met these ladies. I had to get over my anxiety to push through and my husband helps me with that a lot. He knows how to talk to me to help me get over myself. I am getting into the habit of pushing through my feelings of discomfort as I believe on the other side of comfort lies the desires of my heart.

I didn’t feel overwhelmed with all the people in the room and I also felt confident. I shared what I do as well as listened to everyone else. I told myself before going that I would just keep quiet but I realized that was that confidence issue kicking in. Why would I be quiet if I am going to network? That doesn’t make any sense. Why would I not share what I am passionate about in person as I have no problem doing it through my computer and cell phone. That doesn’t make any sense either.

What I have to say does make a difference and the more I open up and speak, the more I find myself helping someone who has been waiting on an answer to their questions.

The ladies were all so welcoming of me. We are already planning to get together again soon.

I understand that in order to manifest the life I desire, I must get over myself. In order for me to do that I had to first learn and understand the roots of my behavior and thought patterns. I have learned that I do have a choice. I can choose to stay within the vibration that no longer serves me (old ways and patterns) or I can choose a new way of doing things. I’ll take that for 100 please! Lol!.

On this self self-seeking journey I have found inner peace. I have the power to change my life and overcome any mental or health illness, doubt, fears, etc. that may try to come to the forefront. . I can overcome any challenges that come my way!

 

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A Path To Opportunity

Accented Glory Visionary Tonya Cross

by Tonya Cross

Opportunity Knocks

Most would probably classify me as an ol’ school natural! I began my natural hair journey in 2000, before the natural hair movement regained its popularity post 60s and 70s. Like most, when I first started out, I struggled with finding hair care products that met my natural hair needs. It was also difficult to find hair accessories. Most accessories in retail stores catered to a much younger demographic and were not natural hair friendly.  So here I was, in a dilemma. I wanted to dress up my new natural tresses with age appropriate accessories, without damaging my hair.  

Accented Glory Puff Holder

Accented Glory Afro Puff Holder

 

Fast-forward 12 years later, after raising three beautiful daughters who are also naturals, I picked up a new hobby – crafting hand-made hair accessories. The hobby was both a time filler and therapeutic. Once I had a few accessories created, I was surprised to find that my daughters liked the designs and started to wear them regularly. Soon they began to request specific designs, like the afro puff holder, to accent certain natural hairstyles. Other natural hair women started to notice our hair accessories and asked where we got them. When they found out I made the accessories, they wanted to purchase my designs! So, I took a leap of faith and launched a handcrafted accessory brand for women called Accented Glory. 

 

My  brand offers hair accessories that are created with materials that minimize damage to textured hair, provide a comfortable wear, and endures natural hair care products. I choose fabrics and materials that won’t cause friction with textured hair and that assist in maintaining healthy tresses. I test wear our designs to ensure they are not only stylish but also comfortable. I also use minimal amounts of adhesive and rubber materials when creating my designs. Naturals’ hair care regimens include oils and oils have the potential to breakdown adhesives and rubber. 

 

 

Expanding My Horizons

 

My natural hair journey has opened doors in so many areas; most of which are related to Accented Glory. Before starting my brand, I had no entrepreneurial or marketing experience. With the guidance of my oldest daughter and online network groups, I’ve learned a lot in the past few years about marketing and entrepreneurship. I’ve also built a natural hair Facebook group community, Accented Glory Naturals, of 300+ members that I co-manage with my daughters.  

 

The relationships I have established as an entrepreneur have been great. I’ve met other forty plus female entrepreneurs who have decided to pursue their passions later in life too. Many of us are balancing full time jobs while building our brands. I’m thankful that my three daughters are actively engaged in helping me build Accented Glory. I honestly couldn’t do it without them – they have truly become my tribe; my support system!

I have also started creating jewelry designs! My handcrafted jewelry includes earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. My motivation to create the jewelry line was to expand our design options for our brides and bridal party customers.

Accented Glory Rhinestone

Accented Glory Rhinestone Vine Earrings

Accented Glory Pearl Earrings

Accented Glory Pearl Earrings

Embracing Greatness

Last year I launched Accented Glory’s “Embrace Your Crown – Embrace Greatness” series. I gave fellow naturals an opportunity to share how their natural hair journey has impacted their lives on my blog Accessory Diva. I created Accented Glory’s first tee shirt design for this series that encourages my fellow naturals to “Embrace Greatness

Accented Glory Custom Hair Flower Arrangement

Accented Glory Custom Order  Floral Hair Accent

Reading the stories of other naturals, allowed me to reflect upon own my natural hair journey. My journey has taught me a lot about myself, my passions, and my drive. Whether it’s building a brand or mastering a flat twist style, with the right tools, I can do anything I put my mind to. Building my own brand has helped me to discover my passion to create beautiful things by hand. Now anyone can reap the benefits of this passion when they wear my hair accessory or jewelry designs. Accented Glory fosters my daily drive to be a better version of myself and to turn obstacles into stepping-stones. I can’t wait to see what new opportunities my natural hair journey will lead me to next!

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Tonya Cross – Visionary and Accent Designer of Accented Glory

How has your natural hair journey impacted your life?

Follow Accented Glory on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest!

Purchase this ebook today to kick-start your natural hair journey.

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