ElevateHer 2019

Black Women our Power is our Influence

Recently I was afforded the amazing opportunity to represent MommiNation at a power packed business event in Atlanta, Ga! I met so many Boss Moms and along with another MommiNation Mommi got to interview a few business owners there as well. Many of you may not have heard about it, but if you attended the XoNecole ElevateHer Crawl then I am almost certain you’re still full from the inspiring experience! There is nothing like a room full of driven, confident, successful black women entrepreneurs! When we gather at events like this the experience is guaranteed to be magical! We must not forget that our power is our influence, we are stronger together and when we work together, buy together, celebrate together things change. The room was filled with positive vibes, encouraging affirmations, dancing, laughter, and pure JOY! Not to mention the fashion and hairstyles was ON. POINT. Sis, I just love us!

 

Show Up & Glow Up

It’s so important to show up to events like this and be reminded that black women and Moms are out here killing it! As Mommies we are multifaceted, many of us have our hands in multiple business ventures while still being loving wives or single Moms, and amazing Mommies!  When you attend empowering events like this the feeling of ambition is contagious, so you leave with a glow and new zest for life! I’m sure every woman there was recharged and revitalized from listening to all of the amazing panelist who were handpicked to share their journey into success and entrepreneurship.  One Panelist in particular that I had the opportunity to chat with is the founder of Curkalon, Shavone Riggins, also known as the “Girl behind the curl.” She is a Mommi of 6, yes 6 beautiful children! This Mommi is a powerhouse, building her brand from the ground up for black women who want to wear an easy and chic protective style,”Curls with confidence.” She is a shinning example of never loosing sight of your dreams after having children, most times our children become our motivation and we push harder because we know they’re watching. Showing up to events like this reveals to you what you didn’t know you needed! You need that push, you need to be surrounded by like-minded women who will inspire you. They show you that your dreams are not too big or too far fetched and that it’s possible to accomplish them, even though you may have doubted yourself.

Mommi, Invest In Yourself!

Attending the ElevateHer event proved to me how important it is to fully invest in yourself. We are usually so diligent about investing time and money into our children but forget that investing time and money into our business, ideas, and personal growth is just as important. Necole Kane outdid herself with creating this event! She knew not only what we love, but what we needed. There were top Marketing and PR professionals on the panelist teaching us all how to sharpen the “elevator pitch” when pursing a potential opportunity with a brand. They shared with us what mattered and what we need to avoid when selling ourselves and/or brand. Pauleanna Reid, a journalist and Senior Contributor for Forbes, dropped major gems on what and what not to do with your 30 second elevator pitch. The discussions were so informative, every woman was all ears, taking notes, or like me recording all of this helpful information to review later. What I saw in that room were women who were hungry for success and elevation in their career and life as a whole. There is no doubt that the return on this investment we made to be here will be returned and then some. So don’t be hesitant to invest in an event or conference that is going to help you expand your brand and opportunities. You may have to put away a little money to attend, or travel a bit but what’s that compared to seeing your dreams manifest into something you only dreamed of? Take the leap and go for it!

Necole Kane, Founder XONecole

Connect and Be Connected

I love how at the ElevateHer Crawl a lot of us didn’t know one another but that didn’t stop us from sparking up a conversation! Isn’t that the purpose of it, to connect with each other? It’s a beautiful thing to be able to have so much in common with such incredible women! We are more alike than we are different. Our struggles are the same, our fears are similar, and many of our experiences and obstacles that we have faced are alike. When you see that someone just like you, who looks  like you, faced what you faced still made it through the fire and is killin’ it in the world! It proves that you can too! When we talk to each other we can feed off of each other and nourish our ideas, as I stated above we are so much stronger together! I think my favorite thing about this event was this connect wall titled “Boss Babes Link Up!” In the vendor area there was a huge wall and on the left side it was labeled “What I offer” and on the right side “What I need.” There were cards for you to fill out your name, email, phone number, business, and a section for you to write a few sentences of what you do or need. The idea behind it was you can take the card or take a picture of it so that you can offer your services based on the need or reach out if you need a service or product. I thought this was genius!!! That’s what it’s all about, networking and supporting each other’s businesses. Everyone was crowded around the wall the entire event seeing what they can offer their fellow Sis or picking up what they need. I loved it and hope that this idea catches fire, because when we support each other we grow together and that in itself is a wonderful thing!

Final Recap

So, if you haven’t already guessed it, xoNecole’s ElevateHer 2019 was absolutely amazing! It was truly a representation of Black Women and most of us Moms, how needed we are in the community and how strong we are building our brands against all odds. The display of kindness, intelligence, and encouragement throughout the day is who we are as a culture and sisterhood. The representation that is often displayed in the media is not an accurate representation of who we are. Black Women are out here making moves. Black Women are obtaining degrees, building brands, climbing the corporate ladder, and of course, raising children and proving to be unstoppable! That is who we are and that is what was represented at this event, we are elevating to the highest levels and making it happen regardless. I left that day feeling empowered, inspired, and full of a sense of community within my own people. At MommiNation we are Moms with different perspectives but we are committed to being the #1 resource for Black Moms to come to where they can relate and read blogs from Moms just like them who know what they’re going through and discuss matters that are meaningful to us and our community. Motherhood is Magical is happy to be apart of this growing platform! We want to support each Mommi through a variety of topics that directly effect us, remember it takes a Village to support a child and a Nation to support a Mom! I hope that you will make it your priority to make it to this empowering event next year! Until then….Stay Magical!

P.S. For more photos and content please check out my Instagram!

 

5 Tips to Consider for Summer Camps

Let the Summer Fun Begin

Summa Summa Tiiiime!!!!…. And here comes all the flyers, emails, and newsletters for all the variety of summer camps for the kiddos to have a fulfilling summer vacation! If you’re anything like me I procrastinate a bit and don’t start browsing until right before summer. With that being said this will be the bonus tip; DON’T wait until a week or two before camp! You’re likely to miss out on the camp of your choice or the dates that work best for your schedule, believe it or not camps are in high demand and Parents are actively signing their children up early! I had to learn the hard way. I love the idea of summer camps for kids because it keeps them occupied during the summer while on school break. Their brains are still active and they are given opportunities to meet new friends and build relationships outside of their schools. Not only are they learning in some capacity, they are not sitting around being couch potatoes or glued to an electronic device. Summer camp gives children something to look forward to after school ends, after having the restrictions of the traditional classroom daily routine. There are so many different camps to choose from and there are different things to consider while choosing, I put together 5 Tips to consider when choosing a camp for your child.

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Day Camp or Sleep Away Camp

Choosing which type of camp best fits your child and what you’re comfortable with starts here. So day camp would obviously be a camp that only lasts through some portion of the day whether it be half of the day like 9am-12pm, or a full day like 9am-5pm. Sleep away camp your child stays over night for a period of time. They can range from a 3 day sleep away camp to a full month, or even longer. It’s important to know the length of time you’re looking for because that will eliminate and filter your search. I personally have not enrolled in a sleep away camp for my daughter, because I honestly don’t think we could deal with being away over night that long. lol Yes, we both suffer from separation anxiety, don’t judge us. But it’s important to know your and your child’s limits. Maybe as she gets older we may try to incorporate a sleep away camp at some point, but for now we stick to the day camps, these work best for us!

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Educational based vs Fun

As we know there are hundreds of camp categories and themes, some are based on academics, others are based on learning new skills, and some are strictly fun based. Knowing what interests your child will help you decide which type of camp is best for your child. I know that I love for my daughter to continue learning throughout the summer but I also want her to have a break and tap into her creativity because she thrives when she’s able to create something. Personally, I like her to have a little mix of both, a learning based camp as well as something more fun and interactive. I feel that either way they are learning something! This summer for the first time, she participated in an Acting Theater Academy Camp, I’ve wanted to enroll her in this type of camp because she is quite the theatrical type. She loves to sing, dance, and pretend, and she is very expressive and not very shy. She has a great speaking voice and she isn’t afraid to be front and center on stage. I want to nurture these unique skills and so I felt this camp would be a perfect fit, and she enjoyed every day of her two weeks there! So although she wasn’t learning a standard curriculum, she was learning new skills in the Arts; she was learning to project her voice, compose a script, and learned what takes place backstage and on set. We will continue to do this camp each summer because she is learning something she loves!

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Cost

So after choosing the camp that fits your child, the least fun part of the process is determining cost, at least for me anyway. Lol I live on a BUDGET so everything has to be budgeted and planned out for it to work in our world. Summer camps can range in price but most that I’ve found that we are typically interested in are usually at least $100 per week, and that’s for half-a-day camps ranging from 2-4 hours. Full day camps can go up from there. So like with anything cost plays a big part of choosing which one to go with, or if you would want to do multiple camps. I like to to choose 3-4 day camps per summer because they usually range in 1-2 weeks per camp, so I think this is enough to keep my Daughter busy throughout the summer without her getting too boggled down and her not feeling she has an adequate time for a “summer break.” It also leaves us time to take a beach trip or two which we like to do each summer. If you prefer sleep away camps those are usually more expensive because they’re a lot longer and they have to provide more for the children from supplies, food, and round the clock staff. In my opinion the cost for camp is pretty reasonable and doable. The camps that we have done so far we usually go back the next summer, we have had great experiences with them so the cost is very much worth it.

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Scheduling & Transportation

I think the biggest factor for a working Mom is scheduling days and activities around the busy daily schedule. I work full-time so I lean on my “village” to help me transport my child to and from camp and activities. My Mom has become more flexible with her schedule so she has been a tremendous help with picking up and dropping off my Daughter, I know that some families don’t have that extra help so I count my blessing everyday! If I didn’t have that help I would only be limited to picking camps in the evening after I get off of work and there aren’t many to choose from with that time frame. I have found that there are a variety of times throughout the day, so there are definitely options. If the camps start at 12 or 1 I choose that time so that I can take my lunch hour to take my Daughter to camp, and then I’ll have my Mom or her other Grandma pick her up or vice versa. Either way I try to work it out so that things run smoothly for all involved. Sometimes its a sacrifice, but as long as she is enjoying it, its worth it. So while scheduling is not a huge problem for me due to my Parents who are heaven sent, I know for most people it is the determining factor.

Safety

The 5th and final tip I think is very important is being aware of the camps facility safety guidelines. The last thing you want to do is pay to place your child in an unsafe environment. I know we think safety is a no brainier because, of course we would never put our kids in harms way, but this friendly reminder just brings a little awareness to what you may not think about in the moment. I always look for how long the camp has been established, their pick up and drop off procedures, if they will be leaving the premises at all during the camp hours, and making sure they have all emergency contact information in place. A camp that has any type of swimming involved I would double check to ensure there will be an adequate amount of lifeguards on duty and that life jackets will be worn and proper water safety is taken seriously. Every summer we hear an insane amount of child drownings so this is so important that we as Parents take extra precautions. Talking to other Parents and reading reviews also help to identify possible problems that could arise. I wouldn’t say to look for problems but I do encourage awareness and being very cautious, it’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially with our children! Remember, safety first!

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At summer camp our children make magical memories and explore in ways they can’t at school. The freedom and creativity you get from camp makes your child look forward to going back each summer. I encourage trying different camps and finding the ones you and your child loves so they will keep wanting to return each year. With there being many different camps to choose from I hope this list will help you choose by considering these 5 easy tips! If you’re not feeling the whole summer camp thing check out this cool guide to some summer camp ideas to do at home with your kids! Are you a camp Parent? What types of camps have you enjoyed for your child. I will tell you that each summer I enroll Chandler B. who is age 7, into a dance camp usually a Princess or Disney themed one because she loves to dance and play dress up. We also do a learning interactive camp at the local University here in my city, and we also have incorporated a Theater camp as well this year! These are 3 that we will definitely stick with for now! Thank you for reading and let me know if this has helped you! Have a safe and fun filled summer!

-xo