Dear Pretty Birds,
We’ve been planning the redesign of All the Pretty Birds for a couple of years. The last time that we released a restyling was in 2013 and a lot has happened since then. Many of my fellow digital publishers have deleted their sites and migrated their presence solely to Instagram. Notwithstanding the ease and financial prospects of publishing on the social media platform, my love and dedication to producing, curating, and publishing the content we create for you here on ATPB is untouchable. Myself, along with my team, really love the process, especially in developing content that enhances your life, even if it’s in the smallest way. Additionally, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed evolving our community with you all over these past few years.
I started ATPB as a street style blog in 2008, and with your encouragement and feedback, my team and I have slowly, but steadily transformed the site into the multi-faceted destination for women (and men) that it is today. During this time I’ve been blessed to work with many talented people, and within the last three years a truly awesome team emerged. But as often occurs in life, great relationships run their course and bitter/sweetly come to an end. Managing the restyling of the site and the departure and absence of team members created a significant amount of anxiety for me.
Before last year, I wasn’t a person who welcomed change, I was very apprehensive about the shifting of tides, and what change requires in terms of adjusting to new scenarios – I know, strange for a person who moved to a foreign country without speaking the language or having gainful employment. To address this area of vulnerability as well as a laundry list of other negative behavior patterns, I’ve been practicing Theta Healing with a spiritual teacher, as I’ve mentioned here and on social media. I’ve also connected with friends who have sustained my journey towards embracing change, towards no longer resisting the related uncertainty, and towards just seeing new movements as opportunities in finding my true purpose.
So, eight months ago when change swooped in among the rust colored autumn leaves, I was prepared to learn one of the most important lessons of my life. While worrying about finally choosing the right layout design for the site, finding brilliant editors to replace the irreplaceable, and how can I forget?, ping-ponging engagement on Instagram, I realized something that would completely change my outlook on life. Before I share, let me explain my preoccupation with Instagram. I am self-funded. I reinvest my earnings from consultancies, projects, and sponsored content into ATPB (new business model coming up very soon!). When my Instagram engagement dropped last fall, I experienced full-on panic when I thought about whether brands would continue to partner with me. If my income dropped, how would I ever be able to elevate ATPB to its full potential?
Before being swept away by a stormy headspace of woe, I followed my spiritual teacher’s advice and connected with my inner voice. During my meditation, I was rooted with a newfound understanding of the meaning of ABUNDANCE. It was one of the most magical sensations that I have ever experienced. I felt an expansion of energy within my body and all around me. The air around me felt dense and almost tangible. An immense sense of calm followed, and I immediately texted my healer and friend Simon: “I just lived this moment and I wanted to share it with you. Abundance refers to the riches stored inside you before you were even born.”
It’s then that I remembered that I have everything that it takes to continue publishing ATPB; that I don’t have to worry about money; that if that ever became an issue, I have all the skills it takes to produce the content on the site. And that I have so many dear people around me who support me.
Abundance is not a financial concept, abundance is the cosmic wealth that fuels your being. It’s your natural talents, it’s your innate magic. If you stay connected with your inner being, you can tap into it in times of uncertainty and in times when you need to bring dreams to fruition.
In redesigning the layout of All the Pretty Birds, we also updated our mission statement:
All the Pretty Birds is a community for a multiethnic and multicultural audience. Our team strives to offer content that provides joy, entertainment, and emotional inspiration. ATPB started with street style and has evolved into the community that we are today. We hope to enrich the lives of our readers and encourage them to realize their best selves in a constructive, productive way.
When I was considering possible themes to celebrate our new look, I thought about topics that would add to your lives in someway. It took almost no time to figure out that we should celebrate ABUNDANCE. The fashion industry has been under fire this past year with news of brands using racial tropes in their collections and the persistent lack of diversity among their teams. These events have encouraged fashion professionals of color to become more vocal and speak out against racial ignorance and insensitivity as well as demanding diversity and inclusion. We are opening doors, paving the way, lifting up those who are just arriving, but the march is long.
I dedicate this launch edition to those of you who are trying to figure out how to start a career in fashion, how to secure that promotion, how to get your collections in front of the right eyes, and how to exist in a space that is not welcoming of you. To impart some of the abundance that I discovered earlier this year, for the cover piece ABUNDANCE, I asked a group of creatives of color to share their definition of abundance, and as fate would have it, one of the most brilliant rising photography stars, Dana Scruggs, gave us the honor of shooting the accompanying profiles. The designers, stylists, designer advocates and business women featured in the piece have touched me in different ways because of their dedication, humility, kindness, and positive energy. Please be inspired by their definitions of ABUNDANCE and join the conversation by leaving a comment below.
AND please remember this Pretty Birds: you are divinely loved, you are intelligent, your ideas are wonderful, and your vision is extraordinary. Please know that your contributions are invaluable and that your presence is indispensable. Please know, above all, that you belong.
Love and always love,
Tamu Nailah Kameka
Image by Matteo D’Agostino