How to Veganize ALL your Classroom Parties!

Got an A on your vocabulary test? PARTY! Published your first book of poetry? PARTY! Showed up to school without a middle school-hormone infused-say no to everything TANTRUM ? PARTY WITH BALLOONS AND VEGAN CUPCAKES!

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 They’re gonna love my homemade nacho cheeze kale chips!

As a creative in the classroom, I did my absolute best to create a sense of community. A sense of pride. A sense of respect. A sense of empowerment. I taught middle school English for 10 years in NYC charter schools. Basically, I taught students how to read and write for a really long time. I’m not sure how I survived or used the maximum amount of patience required with budding teenagers but, I do feel empowered as an expert in the field of classroom management and engagement. Also, there’s no BIG SECRET–just have the utmost fun! That’s it. I know I was (am) a popular teacher because I had (have) fun! I used music, art, dance, and food to engage my students. For a character project, I designed a character dinner party after reading for six seeks in historical fiction book clubs. My seventh graders had to dress up as their literary character, act as that character at the party, and bring in a dish their character would bring in. I planned for weeks, empowering the students to plan and justify their character choices based on character thoughts and actions in the book. And guess what? They learned about literary elements and had fun! It was overwhelming for sure but definitely memorable and successful. I continued to plan open mics, holiday celebrations, historical reenactments, and pumpkin parties! (seriously had an all pumpkin party after pumpkin picking one year)

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You will eat this VEGAN pumpkin pie, munchkins!

I’d been teaching for three years before I became vegan. Imagine this conversation years ago with a child:

11 year old: Did you know Ms. Berry is a virgin? (A different conversation, friends. c51dd68eb6682bc7f6793db883bc4fb1.jpg )

Principal: A what?!

11 year old: A virgin! She doesn’t eat meat or drink milk.

Principal: (chuckling in the most professional way) Oh, you mean she’s a vegan?

11 year old: EXACTLY!

My principal told me that and I was so proud! Yes, I’m proud she knew I was a vegan. Why? Because in her 5th grade class, I made all of my celebrations mostly vegan. I mean, I had NO control of what the students brought on their own, of course. But, what I coudld control? Vegan!

So it all happened like this: I read tons of books about being vegan (read about my journey here.) and decided that I’d no longer eat animal products. Since classroom celebrations were such an integral part of my classroom culture, I had some problems to solve. I’m an open and honest educator so I let my students know in the most matter of fact way.

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Same. 

I explained that veganism means I no longer partake in anything with meat, eggs, dairy, or anything with a central nervous system. They were amazing about it! They asked lots of questions and one girl said,

“You sure are fat to only eat vegetables..”

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I was so mad at the mean girl who called me fat, I ate her whole lunch. 

My fifth graders planned a thoughtful surprise birthday celebration that included fruits, lays, soda, and oreos. They researched all on their own and their menu was surprisingly vegan. Years later, my 8th graders ordered cheese-less pizza for their surprpise and it was super sweet of them and quite delicious! Throwing hot sauce on it helped, a ton. My students in Queens bought vegan dark chocolate and watched me eat all of as I taught in small groups. I mean, why deny myself? With this being said, you CAN train your students to be more mindful and compassionate as eaters. In Harlem. In the Bronx. In your house. Let me show you how:

HOW TO VEGANIZE YOUR CLASSROOM IN SEVEN EASY WAYS:

  1. Bring in some of your signature vegan dishes for a classroom celebration. I brought in my vegan chili and students licked the bowl. And passed lots of gas.
  2. Instead of gelatin filled candy, try the ALREADY vegan (gelatin, carmine color, and confectioner’s glaze free) commercial ones. Check out this list: http://www.peta.org/living/food/25-vegan-halloween-candies/
  3. Swap out non vegan items with vegan ones. I use almond milk and coconut milk creamer all the time for my hot chocolate parties. No milk was left.
  4. Take a field trip to a local garden or grocery store and show them what they can eat with a kinder perpesctive. I took my students to the local farmer’s market, Harlem Grown ran by Mr. Tony, and Pathmark’s produce department.
  5. Bring in random snacks and have students munch on them as they learn. I’ve tried out hummus and veggies, tofu cream cheese, homemade cupcakes and scones, and chips and salsa. All vegan. All devoured.
  6. Use history to teach how people ate and grew from the land. For example, we made Mayan hot chocolate (no milk involved), civil war pan fried potatoes, and homemade vegan biscuits.
  7. Bring in a guest speaker to educate your students around healthy living and healthy choices; preferably vegan or vegetarian.

There are a lot more ways to engage students in more compassionate practices. I just started two new residencies in the Bronx and I can’t wait to try all of these on them! Access to healthy food is important and conversion to veganism isn’t the goal. Exposing them to it early so they can make informed decisions is all I want to do. I choose to empower them to be conscious eaters. Communities of color deserve healthy choices and organic ingredients just like the youth in affluent neighborhoods and even more so. Why does kombucha have to be associated with a hipster or wealth? I’d rather teach them how to make their own and include the benefits of doing it their way. What if we could foster healthy choices right within our own communities. It’d be pretty amazing, don’t you think?

What are some other ways you’ve veganized your classroom or just exposed your students or little ones to vegan recipes? Write your ways in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you all!

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IG: @berryberrystylish & @berryandco

Facebook: @berryberrystylish

 

 

 

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How do you style grief?

“Someday you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing…”
Elizabeth Gilbert

Centuries ago and even up until modern times, societies and cultures handle grief in a myriad of ways. During the Victorian times, the rules were strict. From the dress to the amount of time a person mourned, it was a time to reflect and acknowledge loss. This was the Victorian style. For example, when a husband died, his widow wore black for a whole year to mourn. In many African countries, there are death rituals rooted in their specific belief systems. They want to make sure that the dead are buried properly and respectfully. This is their style. For me, experiencing pain and loss has become a part of my style–a part of who I am as a performer, educator, writer, and just person in the world. As I sit here and figure out the words to say over a tragic and more recent loss, I ask myself, “How do I style my grief? How does it manifest in my body? How do I balance life around this grief while being in the public eye?”

For the past 13 years, I’ve taught hundreds and hundreds of students across the five boroughs in New York City. I began my NYC career as an after-school activity specialist at CAMBA in Flatbush, Brooklyn teaching homework help, choir, and theatre. I didn’t want to starve. I wanted this big move to prove everyone wrong. I worked with sixth graders and it most certainly changed my life. Back then, I was dealing with the separation of being away from home. A loss of identity, if you will. A Kentucky girl sucked into the abyss of the Utica Ave. roti shops,  old fashioned delis, and hectic, overcrowded bus routes. Caribbean music became the soundtrack of my newfound culture. A home away from home. I styled my grief with food. I ate everything in my path because I told myself I was happy and content with my move. Overeating became a part of my grieving style. No one died but I did feel a disconnect and I absolutely mourned for the first two months of my transition.

The one thing that kept my head above water was the babies. They made me laugh, cry, and yell at the top of my lungs but I knew this was my calling. So, naturally, I became attached to my awesome after-school classes. I knew then after this experience, I must become a full-time teacher to make more of an impact in these communities with limited access. I will save them. I will save them. I will save them. So, at this point, I was dealing with the loss of my artist life. I didn’t continue writing songs and plays because teaching now is my new focus. I pushed through and suppressed that pain because my life was all about uplifting and supporting the youth. I, at 25, grew up already and these children needed me more than I needed myself. At least that’s how I styled my grief this time. Fashioned in mind and put it under an emotional hat. Being an artist and teacher couldn’t be possible for me. Over and over again this is what I told myself and others to keep the peace.  I mourned privately, even though my smile was at a million watts.

You can pray to early May, fast for 30 days
Still it won’t let go, oh
Got good book and got all in it, tried a little yoga for a minute
But it won’t let go, oh
Tried to turn the sauna up to hotter, drank a whole jar of holy water
But it won’t let go, oh

Erykah Badu, “I Want You”

So, it happened. I became a full-time fifth grade teacher in Harlem. I did it. Every morning, I greeted my students at breakfast. I walked them up four flights of stairs and we began our morning meeting. Year one was a disaster because no one taught me how to do anything; I just fell in line and I read lots of books at local bookstores. Year two became year one all over again but with lots more of students who I “loved” the most. I shed many tears. I even begged a student to listen to me and pleaded that he make it easier for my life. I ended up looking like a fool, to say the least. Year three was filled with lessons from year two and this was the year I survived and made it. I became vegan and I read more books and I vowed to never scream again. And from this point on, it is super rare to see me raise my voice in anger.

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My very first seventh grade class/advisory in 2008. 

I moved on to middle school in 2008. Middle school broke my spirit in ways you can’t even imagine. Hormones raging in the bodies of babies. I fought everyday to gain their trust. I fought with parents to stop enabling their children. I fought with co-teachers who didn’t know what they were doing. There was one point at work, where my knees buckled and I had a breakdown in the main office. I immediately called a good friend on the phone barely breathing trying to put fatigue into words. I was grieving over my loss and sense of control as a black woman. As a teacher. As someone who was a believer. I began to workout religiously and even twice a day to push through the sadness. Squats were my new savior.

Then, my world came to a screeching halt when my father passed. Six weeks earlier, his mother passed. One year later, my grandfather passed. Grief became my newest piece of clothing. My beauty bag of mourning added bags to my eyes. Those days were dark. And for the first time, I allowed my body to grieve. When the emotions came, I let them. I didn’t fight. I didn’t shadowbox. I received the pain and allowed it to come. This became my grieving style. Talking about my father, talking about my grandfather, creating traditions and rituals with my mother, became the new normal. After all, she lost her dad too. We laughed, we cried, we allowed. His death let me to break free from those unrealistic societal norms. One of them was leaving full time teaching to become an artepreneur. I left a salaried job to create my own work. Browngirl. Bluegrass. came out of my body during this transitional time. The only loss I felt was financial and this time around, I was stronger, older, and more confident than ever before so the money I made now was sufficient. I currently feel, free. At peace. Content. I teach, create, perform without loss or grief. Just being.

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Dad and me; Our last photo together, Christmas 2009. 

On Tuesday, I received a late message that one of my students was stabbed and killed in Harlem. Such a beautiful boy, full of hope and promise. This is the first time I’ve experienced loss as teacher concerning one of my students. A few years ago, that student, messaged me to check in on me. He asked me how I was doing and I messaged him back. I never heard from him again. I could sit here and figure out all the ways on what I could’ve done as a teacher. But, instead, I grieve with his name in my heart. With spirit in my voice when I sing. With his essence in my fingers as I write. His name will be embedded in all my conversations. He will experience the same love he received when I taught his lovely face in the 8th grade. My grieving is overwhelming right now but letting it come out is part of my ritual now. No more holding it in and praying everything will be ok. It might not ever be and that’s ok.

***********************************************************************

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Ashton Niles, 2011, as an 8th grader. 
 
A facebook message in 2012.
Spammed
out of mind
out of sight
But
I keep seeing
your frail body
Bent over
Collapsed
With the globe heavy
Fatigued in your Harlem
collarbone
Clinging
to life
 
“Hey, Ms. Berry…it’s Ashton.”
 
A late night bubble
Filtered
to an unknown folder
Abyss. Abyss. Abyss.
My eyes repeat with tears
…”stabbed twice in the ribs”
You never recovered.
Eyes bright
135th street
sunlit pupils
Telling me you read
on 10th grade level
Right by the fenced in
Playground.
Wanting me to know
You read
You write
You draw
I saw
you bleeding
In my dream.
Tattooed to memory.
 
Now, I go back to that inbox
And it’s a ghost
Haunting me
With facebook user
Suspended in digital air
No name
No message
Just there
Just there
Just there.
 
“Man, 18, found stabbed in Harlem dies with a wound to the stomach.”
 
A BOY
MY boy
In that
eighth grade
ELA
A..
black boy
Ashton Niles
who smiled
in shadows
Fought invisibly
With homelessness
And survival
But his eyes held
Unfinished chapters.
How do you style your grief? Let me know how you grieve in the comments below. Let us heal together. 
@berryandco
To help out Ashton’s family, please check out his mother’s page, here:

where I sit

Wow! What a beautifully written piece and from my hometown. Please read and learn.

Upon a Sunny Day

I am sort of waiting on the moon. Kind of like Linus waiting on the Great Pumpkin. Well, it’s October, so that analogy came to mind. The moon is supposed to be especially great tonight. I caught a glimpse yesterday, and it was bright. It is a Supermoon. Or Hunter’s Moon. You probably already knew that. Or you don’t care.

I think I’m also sort of hiding out on my back porch. I have my colored lights on. They are technically Christmas lights, but it is not Christmas season and I’ve had them up since spring. I like the addition. I was previously more of a front porch sitter. But at some point, earlier this year, that changed. I have a really great front porch for sitting. I just don’t care to be up there so much anymore.

Sirens. People walking by. Someone might want to talk. If I’m up…

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Veganism and the Big Booty: A lesson for You and Me.

A few years back, I was riding around on the weekend with a friend and his family–they were really like family to me. And the subject of my body, in particular, my booty, twerked its way into the conversation. Somehow, it always comes back to my cheeks. I have two–move on.

Conversations in Long Island:

Friend: So, ____________ talked about your butt today…

Me: (why did I entertain this?) Me? (Laughing out of slight embarrassment) Why? How did my butt come up in your conversation?

Friend: Well, he wondered why your butt was so big if you’re a vegan.

I was heated but I chuckled it away. I didn’t defend myself. I let it go. It did make me feel a way. It annoyed me that close male friends of mine and their wives have discussed my body and why it is the way that it is. And from that point on, this began the multitude of disciples wondering the same thing about my body. How is it that she has thickness but is vegan? Why isn’t she skinny? Why isn’t she thinner? Does her thyroid need to be checked? Is it what she’s eating?

Y’all, I’m fatigued. Overcome with body shaming and I’m sick of it. 

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Me dealing with other peoples’s opinions. 

I became vegan in 2007 when soymilk was only sold in the specialty aisles. It was still a growing market, for sure. Reading the book, Skinny Bitch, indeed changed my life. Living a plant based life was an ethical decision before I even knew it was. For a while, I experimented with the idea of maybe going meat free because a man I admired was vegan. But that didn’t last. My love for chicken tenders at Friday’s was stronger than a Harlem smoothie back then.

I somehow became super enlightened in college and I went pork and beef free in 2001.  That’s a big deal since everything in Kentucky pretty much contained bacon. Even salads. Seriously. So, I kept changing my diet and guess what I went on a good ol’ liquid diet in 2002 and lost 27 pounds. From a size 14 to a size 6. From 168 to 140. I was feeling great! Thin, finally!…without any of the work to make healthy habits stick. All of these landmarks happened at a pivotal time in my life–I was graduating from college and I was a brand new woman. Still wasn’t vegan yet. And to be honest, I clowned and often shamed, my one vegan friend in college. I always remarked on her “sickly” behaviors and how could she not drink cow’s milk and proudly digest cheese-less pizza? I was part of the problem. The problem of ignorance. Still wasn’t vegan yet. I gained about 15 pounds back but I was still working out so my size was still an 8-10. I moved to NYC in 2003. My whole life as I knew it, gone. This was a brand new Berry in this new cultural playground with new rules. By 2004, I was done with cow’s milk because being bent over a washing machine with stomach pains from vitamin D 3% milk wasn’t super fun. By 2006, another fad diet tickled my fancy and all dairy left my palette. Still not vegan yet.

All the while, I was shamed in all my sizes. Too thin when I lost the weight. I didn’t lose enough. In New York and Kentucky.

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Cutting edge fashion, folks. #prevegan

Then, it hits me. I need to be animal free. No meat, no dairy, and honestly, eggs gave me gas. Seriously. I read a few books and then I knew, I wouldn’t go back. I felt empowered and elite! I made a choice that put me on a moral higher ground than everyone else, those meat-breathed, pitiful people. I continued to work out and I even gained weight! I’ve lost and gained pounds being vegan. It’s possible. Please don’t insert your opinion here, right now, just hear me out. My stuck up sensibilities were challenged often and I wasn’t the model for cruelty free cuisine, either. I was hardcore. Telling people why they were wrong for eating meat, drinking coffee, and partaking in anything that involved cruelty. Me? Yes! Go back two paragraphs ago, when I made fun of my college bud.

Looking back on my early vegan years, sickens me. I’m in a good place right now. I work out and eat healthy. I feel good. Inside and out. I will continue to be cruelty because my body responds well to the lifestyle. And, I only bring up veganism when it is asked of me. But…let me debunk some myths for you so we can ALL learn from THE misinformation and mainstream conditioning.

Top Vegan Myths that need to be Over. Done. Caput.

  1. Vegans come in all shapes and sizes. Reasons why we go vegan don’t always deal with having a flat belly.
  2. Vegans of color don’t exist. *In my most EVIL Trump voice*  WRONG! Black vegans exist. Latinx vegans exist.  We are out here busting all the pork infused greens and arroz con pollo stereotypes.
  3. You can lose and gain weight as a vegan. It’s possible, I’ve done it unhealthily (stress) sometimes And healthily.
  4. Vegans eat fish, too. Nope. Fish is meat that swims and chicken is meat that walks. So, yes even fish I don’t eat–contrary to your beliefs. Telling me you eat fish is telling me you eat beef, or pork, or chicken. All meat. 
  5. We ONLY eat SALAD. We eat fruits, veggies, rice, legumes, mushrooms, tofu, and variations of all of these. We don’t eat air, lovelies and salads can get boring. 

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    What YOU think vegans eat. 
  6. Eating a vegan meal will somehow make you less of a man/woman. Or American and/or immediately make your skin glow. Lies. 
  7. You hate vegan food or don’t know how to make it. Look, many things in your diet are already vegan. Do you eat apples? Watermelon? Potatoes? No animal was harmed when you ate those things.
  8. Your skin and body problems will away magically after going vegan. Eventually…It takes consistency. Or, they will still be there as a conscientious objector of meat.
  9. Vegans are weak, fragile, and pasty. Actually, weak, fragile, and pasty is not the norm.
  10. My butt/body shouldn’t be thick or big as a vegan. It’s genes. My butt is the most consistent thing on my body thus far. It has gone down only a few inches since working out consistently and since the plants took over. 

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    What vegans REALLY eat. 
  11. Your advice and commentary as a meat eater, body builder, or gym enthusiast, doesn’t mean your advice or knowledge is better. Seriously, unsolicited advice is the worst. Lead with questions, omnivores. And telling me why you can’t be vegan is a conversation killer. 
  12. All vegans are compassionate. Nah. Sometimes, vegans are assholes. And don’t practice intersectionality at all. Point blank period. But if you work on improving you, that won’t really matter, will it?

We all can a bit more compassionate when it comes to anything that doesn’t seem like the norm. My beautiful friends and family were just as ignorant about veganism as I was and still learning. I URGE you to let your loved ones be themselves. Love them wholly without judgement. You don’t have to agree but you definitely don’t have to shame or make anyone feel demoralized for choosing a road less travelled.

I wrote this for myself first and I hope you can join me on this kinder path. Being kind is a choice we can all practice a bit more, right? I know I can. 

As the amazing India Arie sings, “Kindness is timeless, love never goes out of style…”

*Follow me on IG: @berryberrystylish

*For a guest submission or if you’d like me to blog about you and your product, contact me: berryandconyc@gmail.com

Sweet Potato Pie Over Everything.

What’s a pumpkin spiced latte when you have sweet potatoes? Puhleese!

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My multiple plate game is serious. #watchmewerk

Don’t get me wrong–I love a deliciously steamed, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth orange gourd aka pumpkin. However, I was raised on sweet potato. So, in my not-so-humble opinion, sweet potato over everything!

I’m a vegan and finding hearty smoothie recipes can be challenging especially since they are mostly fruit. I stumbled upon a recipe a few years back that I loved so I adapted to share just for you. I am a DIY-er (is that a word?) and I make a lot of my milks from scratch. A little homemade coconut milk, some hearty almond butter, and spicy cinnamon makes this smoothie so yummy you think you’re eating a slice of mama’s or daddy’s or grandma’s (you get the point) sweet potato pie.

I’ve seen on other blogs that there’s a picture for each step. That won’t happen here today, but I promise to have pics next time. And shoot me a photo on how it turned out for you.

SWEET POTATO OVER EVERYTHING SMOOTHIE

INGREDIENTS: 

1 medium sweet potato, unpeeled and uncooked (option: you can cook and peel)

1 cup of coconut milk ( I made mine but feel free to use store bought)

1 ripe frozen banana

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 tbsp. almond butter 

1 tsp. vanilla 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cut the sweet potato in four pieces. I cut mine a bit smaller for a quicker and smoother blend. Also, cooking and mashing will add to the creaminess.
  2. Place all ingredients in your blender. I use a Vitamix so it took less than a minute to blend.
  3. Pour into a glass cup and enjoy!

RECIPE VARIATIONS: 

*Add some spinach for a green and fibrous touch

*Throw in some coconut butter and pecans to channel that sweet potato pie vibe. 

*Add some whip coconut cream on top to make it fancy. 

*Throw in some cacao powder and hemp for a protein packed post workout meal replacement.

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ENJOY! #yum

 

 

Fall has arrived.

img_1179#ootd: I got this lovely dress at H&M last fall and it’s so cozy. I’m thick and wearing prints give me life so I wear things that give me life!  Paired with a cruelty free “leather” jacket from New York & Company which I got for $27 three years ago! Earrings are little teardrops I got a Forever 21. They pick up the creaminess in the dress. I must be hungry talking about creaminess in clothing. Maybe because I just had a creamy banana smoothie. Anyhoo, I pinned up my twistout on one side to change the shape and VOILA! SWAG.

“Cream get the money…🎤🎤🎤”

CLOTHES RULE EVERYTHING AROUND ME, THO…👠👠👠

See you on Thursday! 😘😘😘

Why DIY teaches you everything (almost) you need to know about yourself and life, in general.

Walking into the NYU costume shop in 2003, my Kentucky brain was racing. I had no need to worry about working there because I did this for almost three years prior at the UK costume shop. My professors were masters at sewing, patterning, and constructing. Every show we worked on, I was front and center at the fittings! I, too would be just like them.

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Three years of work study at UK got me almost as good as this cat! 

However, my 24 year old self in this ginormous city, decided to let intimidation and doubt ruffle my overconfident feathers just a bit that morning while also allowing everyone else’s skills and talents run circles around mine. A fish out of shallow water. I, used to lakes–the shop on the third floor at Tisch, oceans. Graduate school would be EXACTLY what I needed to be a better everything. 

At NYU, our very first assignment was to create a personal sewing portfolio. If we wanted to get jobs at prestigious costume shops, we had to know how to hand stitch and sew like the pros. We hand stitched and machine stitched samples on muslin and attached to a binder page. I was definitely in my element. The one thing I did learn in the undergrad costume shop was how to sew. At UK, our professors made sure we knew how to do that. I helped to stitch costume after costume. We put together show bible after show bible. I measured arm’s eyes, inseams, and calculated crotch depth for pants. I used awls, seam rippers, and sergers. I could even thread one too! Ask me now, though. I’m a little rusty to say the least.

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Little bit rusty, for sure…

Back to New York City. First off, the girls in my class of 8 out of 500 applicants–were pretty amazing costume designers and seamstresses. I wondered why was I even accepted. My figure drawing needed so much work, y’all. So, this one time, my professor decided to give me an assignment for a dance piece coming up. She had no pattern. She told me to figure it out. Oh no! I’d never done this before. I chuckled. She didn’t. And yeah, I attempted to get to work. I put in the zipper wrong several times but I figured it out with no pattern and no help. This made me. I struggled with that skirt and finally conquering it, made me believe (I’m so serious) I could do anything I set my mind to do! DIY, then and now, has given me so many lessons and life changing experiences. I could do anything now.

Since then, I’ve made funky sweaters, homemade circle skirts, vegan translucent powder, homemade shampoo and conditioner, homemade butter, peplum shirts, and so much more! I’m still growing as an expert DIY-er but that one pink skirt in grad school made me a straight do-it-yourself believer.

MY ADVICE FOR THE BURGEONING DIY ENTHUSIAST:

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  1. Start small. Things like pillows, throws,  and elastic waist circle skirts are quick sewing projects.
  2. Play around with those crazy stitch lines on your sewing machine. You’ll be surprised what you come up with.
  3. Make something for a good friend and let them rock your projects. Real good friends, not associates.
  4. YouTube Tutorials are your best friends. I realize this is more of a statement than a guideline but yeah, it really helps. I also have tons of books too!
  5. Buy from the local thrift store or super clearance rack and deconstruct to reconstruct. Buy a piece, take it apart and recreate it–in a different fabric or make it again. You’ll learn quickly.
  6. Add embellishments to clothes you already have. Take some fringe and add to a jean cuff or take some sequins and add to a color of a shirt or dress.

DIY SPOTLIGHT: Nambili Home Decor.

My favorite DIY designer of late is Corren Conway, owner of Nambili Home Decor. She is a photographer, videographer, seamstress, podcaster, and vegan! She recently started her home line and I happened to have stumbled upon them as I visited her home to work with her husband to-be dope emcee and producer, John Robinson. First off, that decor in her home, though?! That Bed-Stuy crib is vibrant. Intense colors and textures galore create a eclectic vibe and super warm environment. It’s a pleasure to build with her and JR. So, it’s only right that she have a home decor collection that aligns with her spirit and amazing brownstone. I’m definitely inspired for sure! Check out her designs and DIY creations at: nambilihomedecor.com

Take my advice, loves: GET OUT THERE AND DO IT YOURSELF.