Born and raised in the Bronx and educated at Barnard, I’m a merger of two radically different communities. I both defy and feed stereotypes. I grew up in an environment that built grit, perseverance, and determination. I used those lessons to thrive in college, where I was academically and socially challenged for the first time in my life. I experienced humility, learned how to adapt, and transformed my mindset. When I graduated in 2015 with a degree in Psychology, I decided to pursue other interests before pursuing a graduate degree. When I say “interests,” I say it loosely, because little thought process went into deciding what I should do. As much as college prepared me for success academically, it failed to educate me on what to do if I didn’t want to pursue a corporate career. I learned how to think, I was armed with knowledge, but had no idea how to apply it to my life in a practical way. I never learned how to choose a career and I was never encouraged to pursue the arts or start a business. All I knew was that I wasn’t ready for a graduate program, I wanted to be independent, Macy’s had an opportunity, and I was unemployed.
When I joined Macy’s Executive Development Program I was thrilled to finally be in a “real job” making “real money.” I paid off half of my student loans in the first year and moved out at the beginning of my second year. I was on a tangible career path and I had work-life balance. However, when the high I felt from gaining independence wore off, I realized I wasn’t passionate about my career and I felt uncomfortable in such a monotonous routine that didn’t satisfy me intellectually or emotionally. I decided to pursue other areas in the company and landed a role in Product Development as a Product Assistant for one of Macy’s private brands, all while launching my own podcast.
I’m opinionated, I love to talk, I captivate an audience, and I’ve always considered myself a natural born entertainer – podcasting was perfect for me. I began the process by filing an Intent to Use form with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). I couldn’t afford a lawyer so I filed it on my own. I watched all of the videos on the USPTO website, I read through the details, and I proudly received my trademark certificate about a year later. Within that year I also taught myself how to edit audio using Audacity and began podcasting. My podcast is exactly as you might imagine it – a little bit of Bronx mixed with a little bit of Barnard. The Daily Dose of Slay is a comedic podcast that aims to encourage dialogue around important issues while also indulging in the occasional roast. While my podcast started off solely for entertainment, I now aspire for it to bring understanding and empathy between different communities. However, as much as I love podcasting, I’ve taken a break to focus on other interests that I can monetize.
Most recently, I’m in the developmental stage of my own clothing brand. I’ve submitted another Intent to Use form and I’m working on multiple logos/designs with different graphic designers. I have two t-shirt designs created as well as a social media marketing strategy. I tried this before with Daily Dose of Slay merchandise, but I worked passively and treated it more like a hobby than a business. However, this time around I’m creating a new brand that focuses on sending a message over promoting an individual. It’s a message that is authentic to who I am, conveys my story in so few words, and will resonate with so many different people from various walks of life.
While my day job grants me financial independence, what I truly desire is control over my time and to genuinely feel excited to go to work every day.
The only way to achieve this level of freedom and happiness is to work for myself. Throughout my journey, I’ve redefined success. While others may define success as acquiring an education, a career, and financial stability, I disagree. Success shouldn’t be defined by degrees, titles, or materialistic things. Success is three pieces to a puzzle – financial stability, personal growth, and passion/happiness. As I continue to work on endeavors outside of my day job, I’ve learned that self-awareness is key and figuring out what you love and want to do for the rest of your life is no easy task. However, you can’t manifest success by thinking or speaking it into existence; you have to actually put in work because success is never an accident.