15% off all purchases at koveredinjoy.ecwid.com AND FREE SHIPPING!! … no forreal! Promocode: HAJJ2019
Ok, now that that is out of the way.
A random facebook friend and fellow entrepreneur messaged me about some of the woes of being in business with oneself and invited me to join her in promoting our respective businesses EVERY DAY OF AUGUST. As daunting as it sounds, I’m actually going to try, I mean, I have no shortage of businesses to promote. By the way, check out my other page, oddballcreativesllc.wordpress.com.
Now that the challenge is on, I have to finish a poem I started, do a photoshoot to pair with said poem, and post to my million social media outlets….
So the sample mugs I ordered for my Kovered in Joy! brand arrived yesterday (I ordered 3 of the 4 styles). I have to say, they’re totally adorable! And I swear, I’m not just saying that because I’m biased, no one is more critical of me than me.
I’m loving how vibrant and playful the colors came out. My plan was to take some great photos of myself holding the mugs for my website :www.koveredinjoy.ecwid.com , and that was a complete and utter FAIL.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…. Maybe next week.
I knoooow, I knoooooooow! I’ve been quite the ghost. I’ve been busy with entrepreneurial-ship, kids, instagram and depression. BUT I’m am planning to make time to post to this blog as I am continuing with making changes.
One such change: La Femme Khadeejah(The style blog portion) is now Kovered in Joy!
So, something crazy happened earlier this week. Someone messaged me on my professional Instagram account (@oddballcreativesllc) inquiring whether or not I was the person who designed some mugs on Society 6. Turns out I am. But here is the crazy part, I COMPLETELY forgot that I had made created and submitted art for purchase. It was 2017 and my life was falling apart around me, you may remember if you’ve been reading for a while, and my need to create in order to maintain my sanity drove me to make the designs in question. Anyhoo, I posted an image of the mugs that the lady from instagram had purchased from society 6, of which I earned under $3.00 in profit and I got a lot of positive feedback. So I thought, well shoot, If they like them, maybe I’d better make my own store for them so I can actually make some money. That is how Kovered in Joy! was born.
Kovered in Joy! is a cute, quirky accessories brand for the nerdy, creative Muslimah. It features sweet pastels contrasted with black (cuz thats my jam).
The Kovered in Joy! blog portion will feature styles I create inspired by the essence of the brand.
I know, I know, it’s been a while since my last post, and if you follow me on Instagram you already know what happened but for those who don’t: I WAS IN A FASHION SHOW. And I wasn’t just modelling for someone, no sirree, I actually showcased MY BRAND, Strange Ones Nation in an actual fashion show here in Michigan. Totally epic and insane right!? The whole shebang went down earlier this month, March 9th to be exact.
Early February I was asked by the host of the fashion show if I’d like to showcase and after momentarily freaking out, letting the self doubt, insecurity and feelings of inadequacy wash over over me, I said yes. I would have been a complete fool to say no. I say it all the time, if you open yourself up to the universe, the universe will open itself to you. Anyhoo, as a result of the showcase, I had to halt everything. I stopped typing my book, stopped “trying to better my health”, I barely posted on social media.
The whole experience was INCREDIBLE! I can still hardly believe it happened. I learned so much about myself, about the behind the scenes of big events, production, branding, networking and then some. The most excruciating part of the whole process was that fact that as someone behind the scenes, directing and styling, I couldn’t be in the audience taking photos of my models during there runway walks. Thankfully, my mother did take a video on her not so up to day cell phone (which I will post the link to below) and the host of the show filmed it, I just don’t have a copy yet.
Now that everything is sufficiently settled, I can get back to life. But I have to tell you, once you start saying yes to life, be careful, because once you start riding those highs of stepping outside of your comfort zone, you may never be able to live a normal life again.
It’s February, and in the United States, February is Black History Month. Black History Month isn’t just to remind us of the struggles black people endured since being brought to this country, but to highlight the HUGE contribution they made to this nation and the world in all facets of industry, art and activism; contributions that are continually forgotten and suppressed. This year, I’m using this month reexamine my own blackness and what it is to be a black woman in America today.
While I was growing up, my racial identity wasn’t something that was largely reinforced, rather, my parents, especially my father, stressed our religious identity above all else. We weren’t raised colorblind by any means, and the paternal side of my family definitely seemed to carry some latent racism toward white. But being that I was homeschooled for a large portion of my childhood, I wasn’t exposed to much “other”, aside from my very restricted television viewing. There was some benefit to not growing up with a strong racial identity; it kept me extremely open to other people and cultures. When my family moved to Trinidad, I was heavily exposed to Caribbean and Indian culture and though I knew the cultures didn’t belong to me, after a while, certain aspects started to feel like mine, as if they had been grafted onto me. However, no matter how Trini I felt, I never forgot that I wasn’t and I never felt like In truly belonged. No amount of henna wearing, belly dancing or Bollywood movie watching would change the fact that these were all fragments of other peoples cultures, pieces that I so easily assimilated into myself because I had no virtually culture of my own…. or so I thought.
I won’t lie, I always enjoyed feeling like some kind of free spirited, multicultural grifter; not having to commit to being just one thing. But I was always quick to correct anyone who would assume I was anyone other than black.. It irks my soul to it’s very core when people ask me where I am from with the clear assumption in their mind that I am other than a black American woman. After a while I went through a phase where I felt that maybe I wasn’t black enough. But what does that even mean? What is it more than being a part of the African Diaspora? Is it a certain way of speaking? A socio-economic status? Certain music or dress? Growing up sheltered in the way that I was, a lot of what is defined as ‘black” wasn’t really placed on me for the most part… I mean, don’t come near me with any unseasoned food… but.. basically, I grew up only as black as my parents were/are.
While on my journey of self discovery and understanding my racial identity, I came to the conclusion that my blackness, aside from being black, is defined by the shared struggles and triumphs of the people who came before me, before us, paving the way. It is our shared history that binds us as family. Outside of every stereotype, despite all the different ways we were raised, regardless of the fact that some of us prefer alternative rock and pop to R&B or Rap, when we step outside, we wear our blackness before anything else in the eyed of most people.
Wear it proudly.
What does your racial/ethic identity mean to you? Leave a comment. Have a great week! :*
In September of last year I launched my brand Strange Ones Nation, for the misfit, the left out and overlooked, the invisible; in other words: The Black Muslim. At first I was hesitant about creating something so exclusive, I didn’t want to alienate my non-black friends and followers and after all, I love everyone, regardless of flavor. But after some introspection, and a short stroll through social media and still seeing almost no black Muslim American faces, I started to think: maybe this is necessary. But the real driving force was my babies. A couple of my boys go to a predominantly Arab elementary school and I’d hate for them to think they are any less Muslim because of their blackness.
My four year old, going on 14 baby girl is EXTREMELY impressionable and I worry a great deal about whether her self worth will come into question once she starts Kindergarten. My sister and I have been making sure we breathe life, confidence and self love into her; her hair is beautiful, her brown skin is gorgeous. As of right now, she loves herself, but I see the way she loves Barbie and wants to wear little skirts and shorts like her… By the way, can someone explain to me why it is that what goes on at home is less than nothing to a child when compared to what happens on T.V.? Like, my sisters and I never wear shorts and mini skirts but because a cartoon character based off of a doll does it seems like the thing to do…
Anyhoo, I digress.
I am black (obviously), I love being black and I want other black people to love and embrace their blackness. For those who do not understand, love of ones race and culture does NOT equate to ethnocentrism. I want everyone to embrace their unique cultures and ethnicities…. so long as that culture doesn’t actually include ethnocentrism, and let’s be real, there are cultures out there that are deeply rooted in racism and prejudice…..Decorum wont allow me to create a bullet list of them.
Nothing quite reveals closeted racism like romantic relationships and marriage. Everyone loves everyone until their son/daughter/sister/brother tries to marry outside of their race. Then, all bets are off. Then it becomes, ” I’m not racist but I want to preserve the culture of my family.” “I’m not racist but I’m only attracted to straight hair.” “I’m not racist but this, I’m not racist but that.”
Now to be all the way fair, it isn’t just non black people who feel a certain type of way when it comes to interracial relationships. I see so many posts on social media from blacktivists which state more or less that you can’t be pro-black and date outside of your race. I’m going to be honest, I don’t know how I feel about it. Actually no, I do know how I feel about it; I don’t agree. I may be as single as single can get but I’ve only ever liked one black guy romantically. He was the first guy I ever had feelings for; a dark chocolate piece of yum. Man did I have a crush on him. I’ve also liked a Latino, a white guy and an Indian fella. Taste the rainbow baby! Those guys were really the extent of my romantical feelings because I’m not about that life. But what I’m getting at is, I don’t believe I’m less black, less about black empowerment because I don’t only have eyes for black men. Am I wrong?
I will say this though, now that I am raising five little black boys, I am now finding myself rethinking things. My boys need a role model. And it might be helpful if that man looked like them.. I think they may have some negative feelings if I brought home a non black man. While I want them to embrace people of all races and walks of life, I don’t want to raise them colorblind because I have seen how problematic that can be. We aren’t meant to be the same and there is so much beauty in our differences! Embrace that. I am a proud BLACK MUSLIM WOMAN. But I have nothing but love for everyone. However, I will continue to uplift my people in any way I can, before anyone else #SorryNotSorry.
If you don’t know already, I started an apparel/art brand called Strange Ones Nation to empower black Muslim America. After launching, I promised I’d create a look book since many people, ladies especially see things like hoodies and t-shirts and hoodies as too casual and not for them. Trust me, I UNDERSTAND the feeling. I literally never wore a hoodie until 2017, after I moved to Michigan. After all, no one knew me here nor had expectations of my style so I could do whatever the heck I wanted 😉
Anyhoo! Here are two way to wear my #StrangeOnesNation hoodies. Dont forget to follow me on instagram @feistea.kat and @oddballcreativesllc for some cool content. Also, you’ll notice I wear a lot of the same clothes because well, I’m broke and havent updated my closet in years. It is what it is.
Strange Ones Nation Hoodie #Free gold hoodie (color not available on website)
As I sit here on this chilly winter afternoon sipping a cup of white ambrosia tea with my girls wreaking havoc in the background, I consider how fortunate I am. Things aren’t easy by any means, but I am truly blessed. Before I delve into my current life situation, I thought it best that I introduce, or reintroduce myself.
My name is Khadeejah Abdusshakur and I am a multidimensional creative. What’s a multidimensional creative you ask? Well it’s a little term I came up with for myself because I felt like the word artist didn’t quite capture it. Basically, I dabble in many different creative outlets; drawing, photography, videography, graphic art, calligraphy, writing, poetry… you get the idea. I don’t believe in limiting myself creatively like I once did, because why? It’s 2019, gotta shoot all my shots, right?
I’m also a confidence coach, dream advocate and aspiring author, like I said, living without self imposed limits. I’m not full on ‘Yes Woman” but I am continuing on my journey of say yes to life and opportunities. However, mid 2018 introduced some drastic changes a to my life and now I’m co-parenting 8 kids with my sisters so I’m saying yes a little less. However, I have no intention of giving up on my dreams. Afterall, I’ll be THIRTY this year. Yes ya’ll, the big three-oh.
Thirty years old, eight kids and a struggle entrepreneur.. I’m literally going to be single forever. Most days I’m okay with that although I know I havent yet fully grieved the loss of my freedom… I’ll have to get on that ASAP, can’t have bad energy clogging up my good vibrations.
I have to go now ya’ll, have to pick up my boys from the bus stop.
Until next time, manifest those dreams and stay feisty :*
My maternal grandmother passed away yesterday. She would have been 93 had she lived to next month. While I didn’t have a strong emotional bond with her as an adult, she was a positive light in my childhood. And while I don’t necessarily feel grief, I do feel a kind of loss. A loss of a part of my family, a loss of my last real tie to Cleveland. Because her and I were not active in each others lives, I don’t feel a loss of a relationship. But I’ll never have another maternal grandmother and that is a loss. I wouldn’t exist without her.
Truth be told, I didn’t know my grandmother well. She didn’t talk much about her life. I know she was a labor and delivery nurse, she lived her entire life in Cleveland, Ohio, had a few marriages and 8 children. That’s it. That’s all I know. How is that possible?
What I’m learning from this particular loss is that I need to get better at knowing people. But honestly, I don’t know how. I’ve always kept people further than arms length. It protects me. It protects me from hurt and grief. I don’t know how to reset my psyche to let people in. Don’t get me wrong, I like people… sometimes… I adore my immediate family and coworkers etc but that intimate is so rare and darn near impossible to come by. I want to connect, but at the same time, I know how disastrous it could to be to me emotionally if people get to close.
But how can I ever expect to sustain a healthy relationship, or more importantly, raise my babies if I can’t manage to have functional relationship? Oh yeah, I now have 7 kids.. A lot can happen in a year right. More on that later.