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Confession is Good for the Soul They Say…

Confession is Good for the Soul They Say…

2015 brought major changes for me as I worked to discover my voice as a designer and create my brand. I put out the first two collections of my designing career, Eclipse & Safari, which was a very scary experience. It wasn’t frightening in the sense that I was worried about them being commercially successful or not; though profitability is always a part of it. I was more so concerned about staying true to my vision for each line and not bowing to the pressure of trendiness; I concerned about designing and crafting a product that was unique and unlike anything else; I was concerned about making high quality pieces that when I stepped back would give me contentment and personal fulfillment, as each and every piece I make has a little bit of my heart and soul in it.
I found that my fears were valid but misplaced. I think every designer, every entrepreneur, that has a passion for their art, faces these same pressures. There’s the frustration of submitting your work, your unique vision to the masses and getting some really positive feedback but that feedback doesn’t equate to sales. Then there’s the times when there’s no feedback at all, neither positive nor negative and you’re left staring at Instagram waiting for the likes to come in, wondering what you’ve done wrong. You begin to question whether or not you’re putting out a good product and if you should chuck it all in the waste bin and focus on your day job. You’re bleary-eyed, depressed and despondent only wanting to be liked on social media and seriously thinking about acquiescing to social media influences, jump on the trend train and make the same mass produced pieces as the big box stores. (No shade implied or intended)
This was me for part of 2015. I had some commercial success. I had my designs featured in a local small boutique in Houston, I had a few discussions with some stylist out of New York but I didn’t see the type of success I really wanted. I got depressed for a few months, I stopped designing, I stopped even wearing my own work. I was in a place of pity and self-loathing. But lucky for me that I have an AWESOME support system of family and incredibly close friends who are prayer warriors and realist who brought me out of my funk with real talk and encouraging words.


I realized I hadn’t failed as a designer, I hadn’t failed as a business owner, I hadn’t failed at anything simply because I made the effort and put myself out there. I had put my heart and soul into my work and put it out for the world to judge; I remembered 2 Timothy 1:7, “God did not give us spirit of timidity but one of power, of love and of self-discipline”. Once I remembered who I was and to whom I belonged, new opportunities came my way. My pieces can now be found not only on my website, T. Nicole Designs but also on BeLuxLife!

So while 2015 was a year of trial and error, learning and faltering, it was a year that I’m grateful for. I learned quite a bit about solidifying my vision and finding my voice as a designer. I learned to be patient with myself, as the kind of success I’m looking for doesn’t come overnight. It is earned through prayer, faithfulness, diligence and fortitude.

It’s perfectly ok to go against the grain because being different is what sets me apart. So I’ll continue to push forward, creating jewelry and accessories that are inspired and unique. Because while everyone else is singing the harmony I’ll be the one belting out a melody all my own. Here’s to a brand new year filled with unforgettable experiences and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2016 in Inspiration, Work Life

 

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Breast Cancer Awareness – Doing My Part

Hey bling lovers!!  
It’s October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month! I have friends who have been directly affected by Breast Cancer and do my absolute best to support their fundraising and campaigning efforts. Due to my health (severe asthma and severe Rheumatoid Arthritis flare ups) I am unable to walk in the walk here in Houston this year. I did a few years ago and was amazed and humbled by the experienced. 
So in an effort to do my part, for the month of October, 25% of the proceeds from the sale of the Rock Candy Cotton Candy Bracelet will be donated to the Susan G. Komen mission to save lives and end breast cancer!!!

  
I know it isn’t much but I know that every little bit helps!! Click the link below to show your support, buy them for survivors, friends, family, anyone who wants to visibly show their support and be blingy at the same time!! 

T. Nicole Designs Breast Cancer Awareness Bracelet

 

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Why Black Lives, Like All Lives, Matter

Why Black Lives, Like All Lives, Matter

Anyone who knows me well knows that I tend to stay away from politics and religion on social media. It isn’t to say that I don’t have an opinon on global politics, domestic policy or theological discourse; I’m just not one of those people who go back and forth with strangers via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (no judgement on those who do choose to do so). One person asked me if I was scared to put my thoughts out into the abyss of cyberspace, if I had a fear of people speaking out against me. The short answer is “no”, I have no fear of anyone else’s opinions, I’m strong in my beliefs and have no issue speaking on them when asked. If not wanting to bandy words with those that are militant, racist, facist and/or ignorant is cowardice then you can call me such and I wouldn’t care. 

I say all this as a preface to what comes next. In the last days and months I’ve seen many Facebook posts regarding the Black Lives Matter movement. Today I saw one about a correspondent on Fox News categorizing the entire movement as a ‘hate group’ and ‘murder movement’. And though I’m not surprised by this type of coverage from Fox News, I am surprised at how much hate against the Black Lives Matter movement has been generated. So here’s a combination “Grinds My Gears”/PSA post:

First of all, ALL lives matter.  No one deserves to be beaten, brutalized or murdered. We are all deserving of justice and civility, no matter our socioeconomic status, race or anyone else’s perception of who and what we are.  However, there are those in this vast country that feel and think otherwise. There are those who would deem that Black lives are expendable, disposable and nothing of worth.  This country has seen Blacks ripped from their home countries and shipped across the Middle Passage as chattel. They have been enslaved, raped, beaten, tortured, denigrated, degradated, and had to fight for basic civil rights. From the first day that the first Black person set foot on the soil of this country, they have been deemed less than human and not deserving of the same rights as those who brought them here. Fast forward 150 years after the abolition of slavery, 61 years after the overturning of Plessy vs. Ferguson and 50 years after the enactment of the Voter’s Right Act and still we are called niggers in rants by civil servicemen and lay people alike on Twitter and Facebook. All these years later we as a people are still denegrated and terrorized by those who would and should protect us. 

*As a footnote, I am not speaking of or making a generalization of all peace officers. Just like not all Black males have criminal tendencies and/or backgrounds, not all peace keepers are bigoted, racist or impart injustice on John Q Public. While I absolutely do not condone nor relish in violence against the police, neither do I condone police brutality. Revenge is not an appropriate response to the events of late, it just further widens the gap of racial and social discourse.*

When we consistently and repeatedly see Blacks being accosted and killed just because they are Black, it is no surprise that we have spoken up. When these sad and unnecessary deaths are caught on video and the perpetrators are not held accountable, we speak up. Sadly until you have been accosted, descriminated against, called nigger, black monkey or told “you are so articulate” in a tone that imbides that they are surprised that you have any command of the English language, you’ll never understand why Black lives matter. 

If the power structure was reversed; if history was flip flopped and it was Blacks who enslaved Whites; it was Whites who had to fight and die for the right to vote and send their children to school; if it was Black police officers employing brute force, chokeholds, knees in necks and shooting of unarmed Whites, would you be so critical?  Would you not stand up and say “White Lives Matter”?

  

 

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A Bleeding Chasm: The Racial Divide in America

A Bleeding Chasm: The Racial Divide in America

In Memorium

I’m at a loss. My heart is heavy with despair, grief and unimaginable rage that can’t be contained in words. It’s rare that I speak out publicly on the things that happen in the world, I try to be non-polarizing, even keeled but strong in my personal opinions and faith. Within the confines of my personal relationships I’m very vocal about the things of God, geopolitics and the like. But I’ve kept my opinion to myself for too long and I can no longer with a clear conscious keep it all to myself. Enough is enough and we are tired! I didn’t live through the Civil Rights movement, my mom was a young child at the time but the struggles, the fights, the death and anguish was passed on to me so that I would not forget. We are not so far removed from the abolition of slavery and the Civil Rights movement that we couldn’t easily slip back. I was told that I could be anything I wanted to be, I had the freedom of choice and should be free of fear. And yet I am fearful and I both want and need answers. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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T. Nicole Designs Mission Main Street Grant Opportunity

T. Nicole Designs Mission Main Street Grant Opportunity

Hey bling lovers!!

It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post, I’ve been super busy with design work and creating the 2015 Lookbook, among other random sparkly things. LOL  But this new post is one that is super exciting!!

T. Nicole Designs has just applied for a $100,000 grant from Chase’s Mission Main Street Grants!!  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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The Safari Collection

The Safari Collection

Hey Bling Lovers!

The first few months of 2015 have been über busy for me, with creating a brand new website, launching the T. Nicole Designs Etsy Store , working on multiple collections at the same time and launching my YouTube channel.  But the hard work has been well worth it for me, as my second collection, the Safari Collection, officially debuted at midnight on Thursday!  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Who Says You Can’t Afford It?

Hey there bling lovers!! It’s the beginning of another wonderful week of February and I must say that it is fairly warm here in Houston, unlike the rest of the country. It’s a breezy and sunny 61 degrees with a high of 81 today! It’s perfect for doing some photography work on my upcoming Safari Collection. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2015 in Inspiration

 

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2015: My Year of Fulfillment

Happy New Year Lovebugs!

A new year has been ushered in and with it that I have left behind the wounds and transgressions of 2014. Life dealt me a really rough hand in 2014, between stress, work, my health taking more dips and flips than the most stomach dropping, heart pounding of roller coasters. I was on the verge of and had a mental breakdown. I took a leave of absence from my Ph.D Clinical Psychology program to focus on my health and wellbeing; it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a very long time.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 1, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Not Now Does Not Mean Not Ever

Not Now Does Not Mean Not Ever

What do you do when you come to the realization that you have arrived at a place in your career when you have no desire to be in management? We’re told via succession planning and the seen potential in us by others, that we are management material. Management is always conveyed as the ultimate goal of any role, to be in charge of and over others. But the looks of disbelief that come when you tell your supervisor/manager that have no passion or desire to move into management are staggering. They look at you in disbelief, dumbfounded at your words, and as if you have taken temporary leave of your senses; like you are lazy and lacking in ambition, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Inspiration, Work Life

 

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Ignorance Is In Bloom

Spring has sprung and ignorance is in the air infecting everyone in its vicinity. Like pollen triggers watery eyes, sneezing and an overall miserable state, I don’t know what it is about when winter withdraws, the weather heats up, and southern breezes blow that people start to act like they don’t have the sense that God gave a doorknob. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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