I simply cannot believe that NikkiFreeStyle is officially a year old today. Where has the time gone and how did I get here so fast! On February 13, 2015, I uploaded my very first post to the blog and I could not have imagined all of the amazing opportunities that would come my way as a result.
I've collaborated with some fabulous boutiques and brands, served as a judge for a bona-fide beauty pageant and a curvy model search, styled a few friends and gained a few clients, been named a fashion bombshell and a upcoming fashion blogger to watch, and I've graced the cover of a national magazine and been featured twice by the publication. That's just a small sampling of the great opportunities I've experienced over the last 365 days. And did I mention I've worked a full-time, very demanding, 95% travel required job in the process?
I am so grateful for the amazing support of my family, friends, fans and followers who have shown so much love for the blog, my style and ME! Whenever I needed a push, a pull, a bit of inspiration or reassurance, you guys were there in big and very small ways. One night in September, after a long two weeks of nonstop work-related travel, I was so tired and drained, I felt like I needed to purge and eliminate some of the things I was involved in. I had essentially decided to shut down the blog. It was just taking too much time to plan looks, coordinate shoot dates with my photographer, find time to choose pictures and write posts. Yea, that would free up so much time and brain power, I thought. It was official. NikkiFreeStyle was going away.
The next morning I woke to find an email from a follower that said: "Hi Nikki, I turned 40 last year and have been so depressed about it. My mom, my dad and my uncle who I was very close to all died before they were 43. You can imagine how that has affected me now that I am nearing their age. I discovered your blog and your Instagram after reading about you in Redbook. Your zest for life shines through your fashion choices and you have inspired me to love life just the same. Just thought I'd share with you how you have added some joy and inspiration in this 41 year old's life. I'll keep watching, following and being inspired". That message was right on time and was the impetus for me to keep going. And I'm so glad I did!
I promise to be even more inspiring in 2016. I promise to post more of a variety of stories, including (what so many have been asking for) makeup tips and tricks, product reviews and recommendations on travel destinations. Speaking of travel, I got the opportunity to visit Cuba this past summer and should have done a blog post about how wonderful fascinating and life-changing the trip was. I promise to write about Cuba and offer tips for traveling there soon.
Before I close, I need to do a few shout outs to people who have been nothing short of amazing over the last year. (Bear with me, this post will end soon! LOL!)
My husband Russell. He actually encouraged me to start the blog and serves as my backup photographer when necessary. I love this dude for always having my back.
My photographer Markus Moore. We get on each other's last nerves, but without him, there would be no NikkiFreeStyle. Markus has been a God send and I appreciate his constant support. He always finds a way to make himself available to shoot me. (He's probably literally wanted to shoot me a few times.)
My friend and fellow FAMU Rattler Oscar Scott. When I was notified that I was one of 25 finalists for the coveted cover of Redbook Magazine for their Real Woman Real Style campaign, Oscar became my official "campaign manager" keeping me informed as daily results rolled in. He is a helluva pollster and I'm so glad he's my friend.
Oscar with his wife Candace and
their cute kids Elizabeth & Joshua
My girl Neva Marie Smith. Neva saw me on Instagram, sent me an email asking if I'd be interested in collaborating with her and helping her build her curvy girl fashion brand, Neva Marie Designs. She traveled from LA to Atlanta to meet me and the rest in history. She's designed some of my favorite clothing items and her friendship and support are invaluable. #WomenSupportingWomen
Cassandra, the owner and Chief Style Diva of Curvaceous Boutique. Cassandra was the first boutique owner to reach out to me and invite me to collaborate with her boutique. I'd been a customer of Curvaceous Boutique and a fan of her trendy curvy girl fashions. When she contacted me, I was so excited to work with her. She's been a great to work with it and I'm always recommending her shop to fellow fashionistas.
Jasmine Elder of JIBRI. Jasmine is just a gem. Her fashion forward designs are EVERYTHING, and her sweet personality is magnetic. I've purchased some great classic items from JIBRI and it was one of her jumpsuits that helped land me on the cover of Redbook. But when she featured me on her Instagram feed and as a "model" on the JIBRI website, my fan base grew exponentially! I look forward to partnering with Jasmine on initiative of mutual benefit in the future.
Redbook Magazine. What can I say about the team at Redbook? They have been so very supportive of me and NikkFreeStyle. Not only was I featured on the cover and in the pages of their September 2015, but I also was blessed with a feature online and in the March 2016 issue in a piece sponsored by Chevrolet. Wow! Working with Redbook has been such a blessing and there is more to come .....
I am forever indebted to these absolutely wonderful people!
2015 has been so full of excitement, opportunities and blessings that it is hard to imagine was 2016 will be like. But believe me, I AM HERE FOR IT! There is so much more to come on NikkiFreeStyle. Stay tuned! And thanks again for ALL YOUR SUPPORT!
#beinspired #beYOUtiful #beblessed #slay