Category Archives: Life in Miami

When Being a Southern Belle Goes Wrong…

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By: Shea Harris

This post is dedicated to all my Southern Belle’s. I know your pain girl. I understand where you’re coming from. You’re not the only one going through this. I want you to know that I love you and support you. Haha! Okay let me stop playing. So today I was texting my friends about a situation and I said Y’all need to teach me how to be mean! I’ve noticed that as a Southern Belle I enter a situation with one expectation and end with a different result. Most of the time its not in my favor.

Being Too Nice Leads To a Number

So I’ve noticed in different situations that when I communicate with people, I kind of give them too much attention. In my mind I think I’m just being nice, courteous and showing a bit of Southern hospitality that’s missing in their life. In their mind, they pretty  much think I’m interested. Now sometimes I’m interested, but then again sometimes I’m not. I don’t really know how to be mean to people unless they piss me off. Whenever I meet someone, I just go in thinking I should network. You never know whose company you can benefit from.

Being Too Nice Leads to Getting Ran Over

Usually when you’re nice, people take your kindness for weakness. It sucks, but apparently that’s the way life is set up. It’s been so many times when people thought they could do any little thing around me and then I had to check them. It’s either a firm cursing out or the coldest stale face. Moving to South Florida from North Carolina, people always tell me Shea you’re too nice. I stick out like a sore thumb in a room filled with South Florida natives. I’m not sure if it’s my bubbly personality, my southern hospitality or both. What it comes down to is that when people see someone nice, they usually take them as a push over.

Being Too Nice Leads to More Work

This can be pertaining to your work life or your side hustle. For me its definitely both. I’ve noticed that my genuine spirit leads to more responsibilities. It’s difficult for me to hand off projects to other people because I’m always more concerned about their well being. When no one else can be counted on, I can be. Not even trying to toot my own horn, it’s just a fact. I’m usually the one to step up when things get a bit crazy. When it comes to my side hustle, I’m the only one that runs this. I don’t feel comfortable with building a team and I can’t pay them the amount of money they deserve. I wouldn’t mind getting interns, but I hate asking people for help. Sounds dumb, but it’s something I’ve struggled with since I was a child. 

Are you a Southern Belle or someone from the true South? Any of these sound familiar? Let me know in the comments below! Until next time! 😘

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Supernatural Wellness Pop Up

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By: Shea Harris

This past month, I’ve changed my views and perspective on a lot of things. I honestly owe a big portion of this to Hey Fran Hey, Yeradmi and Hasnaa for that. On February 11th, my little world was rocked: I joined these three influencers and fifty beautiful women in a quaint yoga studio in Little Haiti. I’d been looking forward to this Supernatural Wellness Pop-Up since Fran mentioned it on The Friend Zone last year. She spoke about how many lives she touched in The Dominican Republic one weekend and I just new I had to be apart of it if she ever did it again. I didn’t care if I had to book a flight or finesse my way to it, I was going to be in the building.

When the pop up event was first advertised, I was super excited (especially since the first stop would be Miami). I knew once she announced the event, I was going to be blessed by her and these other women! What I didn’t know was that it would cost $100. I’m not going to lie, it took me sometime to purchase my ticket. Not because I was being cheap, but because I was on a strict budget. I knew my direct deposit wouldn’t be hitting my account the way it initially had been over the past year. I knew that if I wanted to participate in this pop up retreat, it’d be an investment and a sacrifice I was willing to make.

I don’t even know how to continue this post to be honest. It’s been a little over a month since the pop up and I’m still on a high. I was able to network and meet some beautiful ladies, heard women’s stories that weren’t like mine at all, completed yoga that pushed me to another level, spoke about spirituality and so much more! As a whole, we didn’t know what a day in a yoga studio from 11 am to 6 pm would turn into. We laughed. We cried. We let go of fears. We inhaled new attitudes. The day was absolutely perfect. My only fear was leaving the safe space and entering back into the real world and fast lanes.

Since the pop up I’ve gotten back into working out, eating healthy and being a better person. Sounds a little crazy, but sometimes I feel that I’m not the best I can be (especially as a friend but I’ll write about that another time). I’ve been more patient and listen to people instead of rushing to the point. I’ve learned how to calm my nerves in stressful situations and breathe through it instead of catching an attitude. I will be completely honest though, there was one day in early March where I felt that my positive drive was coming to an end. It’s not easy staying on a natural high and being optimistic. It’s challenging and sometimes draining.

I will say this though. If the Supernatural Wellness Pop Up has any more tickets in your area….COP IT NOW! The work these women do and the work you’ll put in is worth the time, energy and price. Oh and the gifts they give you are bomb!

I Just Don’t Attend Church

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By: Shea Harris

The last time I went to church was…heavens I don’t even know when. I think it was sometime in August of 2016. For someone who believes in God and puts all my trust in him, you’d think I’d be doing a better job at attending the Lord’s house. Well surprise! I’m not. In September of 2015, one of my main focuses was finding a home church. Since then, my focus has shifted. I’ve spent more time acknowledging the blessings God has bestowed upon me. I’ve spent more time sharing my testimony of how good God is. I’ve spent more time sleeping in on Sundays.

I find myself wondering why am I able to hit up brunch on Sundays but not church on Sundays? To be completely transparent, I don’t want to. I rather invest my time and energy into building a spiritual connection with God instead of finding a church to help me on this journey. I’ve become completely lazy with finding a church in Miami because of my bad experiences. I rather let those experiences haunt me and poison my thoughts on church than find another place to attend to change my mentality.

I had become so comfortable with my church in North Carolina that I didn’t want any other one to compete with it. I was okay with just visiting my home church (every blue moon) whenever I was in town. I shrugged off the guilt I was feeling whenever someone asked me if I found a church home. I stopped looking and stopped attending. Every time I said I was going to the House of the Lord, I found myself “oversleeping”. There’s this beautiful thing called the internet though. I could tune into my home church via web, but guess who hasn’t. Yep, you guessed correctly. Me.

I feel like I’m at a weird point in my walk with God. I understand who is he is, how jealous he is and what he can do, but for some reason I don’t find myself walking through the church doors to go and worship him. Maybe because I’m scared I’ll love a church down here more than the one in North Carolina. Maybe because I don’t want to get too churchy.  Or maybe it’s because I’m just straight up lazy. To be real with you, I think its a combination of everything.

I don’t want to commit to another church. I don’t want to lose who I am. I don’t want to take out 2 hours of my Sunday to give formal thanks. Well ladies and gentleman, this Sunday I’ll be attending a new church in South Florida and I’m excited. I know God is going to bless me. I don’t care if he blesses me with a bomb parking spot at the church on a busy Sunday morning, it’s a blessing! I know he’s going to move and shift my views around. I most definitely know he’s going to show me what I’ve been missing out on though.

I figured I’d share my story with you all because, I mean I’m supposed to real with y’all right? Have you been torn between attending church and sleeping the day away? What do you all struggle with when it comes to walking in the House of the Lord? I’d love to hear from you!

The Creatives Network

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By: Shea Harris

It’s the first event of 2017 that I’ve attended and I’m completely overwhelmed. My drive to the venue was filled with laughter, serious tones and a bit of frustration. I was getting caught by every stop light and of course typed in the incorrect city in my GPS. After a bit of craziness on my part, I finally made it to the event. As soon as I walked in the doors of the venue, art was thrown into my face and music was blasting through my ears. I felt like I was right at home with company. Everything that interests me was right in my face at that very moment. I was able to speak with a few of the artists, and here’s what caught my attention:

Lukeem

This particular artist wasn’t just unique to me because of his youth, but because of his story. His name originates from being diagnosed with Leukemia at birth (if that’s not a testimony, I don’t know what is)! His passion is music and he used it as a coping mechanism during his battle with Leukemia. Lukeem began writing raps in the 10th grade and picked up the artistry in the 11th. Once he graduated from high school, he decided to fully invest in himself and craft by buying studio equipment. He usually gets his beats from YouTube, but has worked on Logic Pro X. His performance reminded me of some of the performances I’ve seen back in the Carolinas: hungry, humble, appreciative and passionate. I loved that he brought his own flavor to the event and gave so much energy as the first to perform.

Daniel Ben Israel

My passion is to enlighten spirits. Music is a projection of my reality. Daniel was particularly different from any of the other artist because he understood my obsession with Bojangles. No. Seriously. This man understood what I meant by Southern Hospitality and why I need a chicken supreme dinner with french fries, a sweet tea and barbecue sauce. But besides bo-berry biscuits, his music was something a little different than what I’m used to. In order to speak with his audience and introduce spirituality, he uses biblical references throughout his raps and has a gritty tone to it. There may be a bit of profanity throughout his set, but profanity is used towards expression or an opinion. Although his music may not be for everyone, he makes sure that he’s fulfilling his purpose and sending out messages for the Kingdom.

Nadirah Naima 

What an amazing spirit. What an amazing soul. This young woman uses her passion through music and media and is pushing for her goals no matter what. As the only poet to speak throughout the night, she hit us right in the chest with the truth, reality and pain. To sit through her set was absolutely necessary for myself and many others in the room. She spoke about love, sex, STD’s/STI’s and many other issues women face in their lifetime. Her poetry is only one aspect of her many talents though! She is a radio personality, journalist and soon to be T.V. personality. A few of her short term goals include launching her radio show on Da Gr8 FM and curating events. Since many messages are often misconstrued, she wants to balance out how we as Black people are viewed in the media.

Onist Liquids

First off, can I just say that as soon as Onist stepped up for her set she demanded attention! I’m not talking about with words y’all, I’m talking about her presence and the tone of her voice. She owned the moment with her body language and you pretty much didn’t have a choice but to pay attention to her. Her style, flow and voice grabbed the entire room. Although she’s always been an introvert, she expresses everything that she goes through in her writing. In order to expand her audience, she attends open mic nights and networks with people through social media. Now during her set she rapped and had everybody rocking, but I was most amazed by her freestyle. This woman did not fumble, stutter and barely gasped for any breath. She was freestyling for so long and caught us by a storm that I felt bad for anyone who went after her.

As many of y’all know, I absolutely love underground events. If y’all come across any in South Florida, PLEASE let me know! I always try to support and do it for the culture. Until next time! 😘

I think I’m falling in love…

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By: Shea Harris

A while ago, I wrote the cons about living in Miami. I’m not going to lie, I got a bit of backlash but those were my feelings at the time and they’re still true haha! Although I had two separate blog posts about how Miami is overrated, it’s not all horrible. There are a few things I cannot change about the city (i.e. rent and traffic), but I’m making the best out of living here. To be honest, I think the thought of staying in Miami for an extended amount of time scared me. One of the very first questions I’m usually asked is do you plan on making Miami your permanent home? I don’t think I’ll be able to answer that question for sometime though, but here are a few positive things about this city:

Beaches

The beaches are absolutely amazing. I don’t really have to deal with going to the beach during the summer time because it’s pretty much always summer in Miami. Whenever I’m having a rough day from my 9 to 5, I can always count on the beach to relax me. If I just need to write a blog post and have some me time, the beach is always there for me (unless it’s raining of course). I’m not a South Beach type of girl though, I’m more of a Hollywood Beach type of person. Hollywood Beach has a serene family environment, a legitimate strip that doesn’t separate you from the beach and it’s just everything I need. When I first moved here no one really hit up Hollywood, but now everybody in South Florida hits up this beach!

Family & Friends

Many of you know that I moved to Miami not knowing anyone, but all it took was for me was to put on Facebook that I was moving. A dear middle school friend reached out to me and from that moment on, it was smooth sailing. She introduced me to a host of beautiful people and I built my own relationships. I’m so glad I’ve met some pretty genuine people who support me and care for me like we’d known each other for years. Not only have I become friends with some amazing people, I now have a second family. All it took was for my cousin to contact his line brother and his family took me right on in! When Hurricane Matthew was approaching South Florida, I pretty much packed up my whole apartment and toted it over to my new family’s home. Instead of me staying in Miami the weekend before Thanksgiving, I ended up traveling with them to the Orlando Classic. It’s crazy how I’ve only known them a short amount of time and I feel right at home whenever I’m with them.

Events

I promise you it’s always something to do in Miami, no matter what the weather is. I think out of this entire year and a half I’ve lived down here, there may have been one weekend when I had no clue of any events occurring. 9 times out of 10, there are events occurring Sunday through Saturday of each week. It’s kind of insane and overwhelming how many events happen at one time down here, especially on the weekends. It’s honestly so many things going on that I have to pull back at times and remember that I need to take care of self. Whenever I’m in doubt about what events are occurring, I check Eventbrite, social media and of course you can never go wrong with Wynwood.

Anytime someone asked me How do you like Miami? My answer would always be I mean it’s okay, I don’t think I’ll stay here for long. Here we are a little over a year since I moved and things have changed drastically! I’ve met amazing friends, a family has adopted me and I don’t see myself leaving this city anytime soon. Well, until God tells me to pack my grip and get to moving! Are any of you all in a new city? How do you all feel about it? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

To Give or Not To Give

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By: Shea Harris

After Thanksgiving, I made it my goal to hit the gym on Monday post the holiday. Thank goodness it wasn’t a rough day, so I was able to get into the groove and hit Planet Fitness. Before I arrived to the gym, I already knew what I wanted to accomplish: a little bit of weight lifting for legs, 10 mins of cardio and a pyramid workout for the lower body. I could barely reach the doors of the gym before I was stopped by a woman holding up a sign: Donate Blood Today for Free Movie Tickets.

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Now usually I don’t do this but uh…I decided to donate blood.

This may not seem like a big deal to you, but I have a serious fear with needles. Every time a nurse or registered phlebotomist decides to puncture me, I leave feeling like the world has ended. Funny enough I don’t have a fear of needles when it comes to getting tattoos, but when it comes to taking blood! Sheesh! I start freaking out. Let’s be honest. We’ve all had that one person take blood from us and act like it’s difficult for them to find a vein. I’m no pro at find veins, but mine is literally visible. After a few bad run ins with the needle, I made an effort to refrain from giving blood unless it was necessary for my annual physical.

Today I had a change of heart and decided to donate blood. After reading a peer’s post in The Huffington Post about donating bone marrow, I promised that I’d donate blood the next time I saw the huge red bus. I completely understand that donating bone marrow and blood are completely different but, one fear at a time. Prior to donating, my blood pressure, temperature and blood oxygen levels were tested. I must say the young lady who took my blood was very helpful, knowledgeable and I barely felt the needle. I was the first person who gave blood at the location and by this time next week, I’ll know my blood type.

Again, I know this probably seems a bit wacky but I’m glad I was able to get past my selfishness and do something for someone else. I take pride in this moment because who knows, I might be able to help someone out in the near future!

SoBe Fire & Ice

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By: Shea Harris

It’s nothing like linking up with like minded people. Better yet, like minded young black women. Last Thursday, October 27th, myself and five members of Black Bloggers United went to SoBe Fire & Ice for a Miami meet up. The evening started out a little rocky due to the down pour of rain, but as soon as we stepped into the building it was a wrap. We were greeted with drink tickets, fur coats, gloves and boots for individuals who had open toe shoes. To be honest, the meet up time was perfect. We were there just in time for happy hour and we missed the crowd during our stay.

After we took a few boomerangs, pictures and videos, we finally went into the actual ice bar. Now keep in mind, I’ve only been in Miami for one year but my body has already adjusted to the weather down here.  As soon as the door opened to the ice bar, my body pretty much went into shock. I forgot how it feels to be in an environment with a temperature less than 60 degrees. The first five minutes in the ice box wasn’t too bad though. Bomb music was playing, we were enjoying the ice sculptures and the ice furniture, but after a while we all began to get a little cold.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect for the venue to be this unique and quaint. As the music played and the lighting changed, I felt like I was in my own little happy place. I couldn’t get over the fact that I had a stressful day at work and I was enjoying time with my fellow bloggers and a unique experience. The music was great, the atmosphere was beautiful and the drinks were amazing. It took me a while to get used to the freezing temperatures, but I definitely enjoyed myself. To add to the list of Miami experiences, this was my first time drinking out of a cup made of ice. I’m pretty sure my storage was about full that night from capturing so many memories, but it was well worth it!

I most certainly suggest visiting SoBe Fire & Ice the next time you’re in the area!

Miami is Overrated…STILL

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By: Shea Harris

So a few weeks ago I spoke about how Miami is overrated. I know I said I’d say something positive soon, but I thought of a few more things 😂! Instead of wasting time, let’s jump right into it.

  1. IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE EVERYONE

It’s pretty difficult to see everyone in Miami. If you plan a trip down here and hit me up to hang out, good luck! I swear every time someone I know comes into town, its impossible to get to them. Everyone is in their own zone when they hit the streets of Miami. Plus, Miami is so spread out it makes meet ups even more stressful. For example: Miami isn’t really Miami. You have: North Miami Beach, North Miami, Hialeah, Opa Locka, Overtown, Miami Gardens, Miami Shores, the list goes one! And baby if you’re staying in South Beach, that’s a whole journey right there.

  1. THE HEAT 

I promise you it’s only about 2 weeks during the year where the temperature may drop to a smooth 60 degrees. Every time I leave my apartment, I have to bring a bottle of water with me. The heat down here is a bit unbearable at times. Everyone is always like Shea it’s not that hot!  Ummm sweety, I’m not really an outside person and if that’s true, I wouldn’t begin sweating as soon as I step outside of my apartment door! Walking from my apartment door to the car feels like I’m in the desert at times. I’ll definitely be looking into a portable fan with a spray bottle attached (call me extra, I don’t care).

  1. MIAMI DADE TRANSIT (MDT)

Miami Dade Transit (MDT) and I are finally divorcing this Friday. These folks show NO mercy! For some reason when you pay for a monthly pass, it doesn’t start until the first of the month and ends on the last day of the month. No you can’t buy it on the 15th of the month and have it expire on the 15th of the next month. For some reason MDT doesn’t want to hire software business analyst to make this possible. The trains don’t come every 15 minutes (tri-rail). If you miss your train, you have to wait 30 to 45 minutes for the next one. I can’t wait until Monday so I can start back driving around the city. Let’s just say in one day I ran after the train and got shut in the doors (literally) because I didn’t want to wait 45 minutes for the next one.

  1. ROAD RAGE

How ironic that I’m divorcing MDT, but headed back into the crappy storm. I don’t know who taught these people how to drive, but they need to hit the delete button and start over. The driving down here is almost comical and its pretty amazing at times. For example: if there is a line of cars in front of me, don’t honk the horn at me. More than likely, I’m not moving forward because there’s no place for me to go. Car manufacturers don’t add horns in vehicles so you can harass others on the road. They also don’t make direction indicators for decorations. There’s a reason why you’re supposed to use turning signals when you’re about to turn.

One of these days I’ll make a pro list. I promise I will haha! 😉

 

Miami is OVERRATED

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By: Shea Harris

Last year, around this time, I informed my family and friends that I’d be moving to Miami, FL. There were tears, laughter and excitement from several parties, but when it came to my emotions I was a bit lost. I knew it would be a dramatic change, but I didn’t really have any feelings about moving. Everyone around me was speaking about the palm trees, South Beach, the beautiful weather, but not me. I was thinking about work and making new friends. I didn’t have that great of an experience networking in Durham, NC so I had to redeem myself.

I moved to Miami with an open mind and didn’t really have much to go off of. I’d only been to Miami once to get on a cruise ship. I heard Miami was simply amazing and paradise, but those thoughts didn’t run through my head. It’s been almost a year since I’ve moved here and baby this place is overrated. It’s pretty much blazing hot year round, I rarely hit up the beach and the people are interesting to say the least. I kind of stay away from the touristy areas because, well I’m not here for the glitz and glamour.

I’m going to dish out 5 cons about living in Miami

(Don’t worry, a pros list will soon come)

  1. EVERYBODY KNOWS EVERYBODY.

So here I was moving to Miami thinking I was going to meet a crap ton of people and network my behind off. Let’s just say it didn’t necessarily work out like that. Each time I went out to make a connection, I met an individual who knew one of my peers. Everyone down here attended Florida International University, Florida Atlantic University, University of Miami or they’re in a sorority or fraternity. Sweetie let’s face it, Miami is small. It’s difficult to meet a new person because you all will be connected some way some how.

  1. PEOPLE DON’T REALLY SUPPORT YOU LIKE THEY SAY THEY WILL.

This sounds pretty harsh, but let’s just keep it real. Everyone is trying to have a come up and no one is really worried about you. I try to support people as much as I can but its coming to an end now. It’s so frustrating giving your time, energy and effort into others and their ventures but they don’t do the same for you. This place is all about being seen and not heard. As long as you post it on social media…it happened and you’re poppin’.

  1. EVERYBODY IS A CREATIVE.

When I first started creating, I was a bit nervous about beginning because EVERYONE is doing it down here. It’s difficult for people to notice you when so many around you do the same thing. Instead of being a blogger that talks about everything, I narrowed my topics down to self care, life in Miami and young professionals. To gain more exposure, I made sure I was specific with my audience in order to have genuine readers who were interested. Even though I’ve narrowed down my topics, I still don’t receive the support I expect. It’s a dog eat dog world out here in the 305.

  1. TRAFFIC IS TRASH.

9 times out of 10, there’s always traffic. You can invest in a sun pass, take back roads, take the main highway, you’re probably going to be in traffic. The only way to avoid it is by staying in the house. Okay I’m exaggerating a bit, but don’t get upset traveling these Miami roads. If you are easily annoyed and have road rage, Miami will bring out the worst in you. Prior to moving here, I was working on my patience and I must say, it’s gone out of the window. There’s always accidents and some type of hold up on the road holding you back from getting to your destination.

  1. RENT IS A JOKE.

On the first of every month I look at my bank account like:

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Paying over $1100 for a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom in Miami is annoying. Just thinking about how much money I could still have if I didn’t need a place to lay my head, take a shower, store my items, etc. is frustrating. I knew I would be paying an arm and a leg for rent, but I didn’t know I would be giving up two arms and two legs! Renting an apartment down here is comical to say the least and nothing is included. Water, electricity, trash, washing machine, dryer, all of that is separate!

I’m sure this was hard to read for a few Miami natives, but there’s a reason why I named this blog Shea What’s Real 😉. What are some of the cons you deal with in your city? I’d love to hear them!

BKDreammz

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For the past few months I’ve been supporting small businesses heavily, especially black ones. When unique and quaint items are presented in front of you, you can’t help but to look more into them. As a creative, I can honestly say I haven’t had a bad run in with any of the businesses I’ve supported so far.

I first met the owner of BKDreammz, Cheya, at a fitness event a few months back. Our initial encounter was like we’d already known each other and that holds true to even now. I had no clue she was working towards this line of tote bags, tee’s and more!  The moment she reached out to me about reviewing the product, I knew I had to check it out!

BKdreammz was inspired by my hometown, Brooklyn, NY. I wanted to create products that reminded me of being bold, beautiful and brainy (just like my city). This collection is for every woman who knows her worth even when her crown is a little crooked. The canvas mini tote is the go to weekend bag. It is just big enough to hold a few items and not too cumbersome! There is a small, but big, statement on the bag that represents a beautiful woman busy catching her dreammz (the  sole purpose of the dream catcher earring).

~Cheya

It took me sometime to figure out exactly what I wanted to place in the tote bag because I usually carry around a back pack or a wristlet. Unfortunately, I don’t know exactly how to reach a happy median with bags, but I finally figured it out. This past weekend I visited my hometown, Charlotte, NC, and y’all I carried this bag around with me everywhere I went! Even when the bag didn’t necessarily go with my outfit, I still strutted around town with it!

On Saturday morning I went to work out with my mom and I knew I had a crap ton of things to bring. The size of items I needed to bring were too big for a wristlet and very few items to be placed in a book bag. Instead of stressing over where I’d place these items, I grabbed my Crooked Crown mini tote bag. I packed my tote bag with my camera, flip flops, water bottle, wallet, sweat towel and carmex. I kid you not, I still had more room in my bag for more items! Even with all of those things in the bag, it was light and sturdy.

The 15 ½ in. x 2 ½ in. x 15 in. bag is made out of 100 % cotton and appears to be durable for washing. The accented colors (gold crown and pink lipstick) on the bag are just enough to compliment the young queen on the front of it. What made me feel most confident about wearing the bag was other black women telling me how much they loved it and how cute it was! Lately I’ve been carrying my back pack to work with all of my work essentials, but tomorrow that shall change. The bag makes a loud and valid point for black women without us uttering a word.

Be sure to follow Cheya on Instagram to keep up with her and all of her products!