Author Archives: admin

Operation Warm Encouragements complete!
Mar 03 2017


A few months ago I shared this story on Facebook:

“One NYC winter day as I headed to volunteer I witnessed a homeless man wearing loose fitting, untied shoes with no socks on. My heart sunk and I cringed at the thought of how cold his feet must have been with the snow on the ground. It bothers me still as I admit this, but that day I did nothing. Nothing, but hurried into the subway to catch my train. Why? I still do not have an answer as to why I did absolutely NOTHING.
But I am doing something NOW and am asking that YOU help me!”

 I knew my efforts would not solve the deaths that occur each year due to hypothermia or the countless incidents of frostbite they experience, but with the help of others we could bring a little more warmth to their unfortunate situation.

With the help of others I was able to collect :
186 pairs of socks
21 hats
60 packs of hand and feet warmers
And 100 handwritten notes from the bully buster youth organization!

Myself and and 3 volunteers were able to pack 52 bags that included a few pairs of socks, a hat, hand and feet warmers and a warm encouraging card from the youth.

God always has a plan because I was able to distribute the bags twice this winter. Each time a day before the two largest snow storms this winter. As I sit here watching the snow fall to work towards the 36 inches we are expected to get, my heart is saddened. Truly saddened. I think about those who have no where to go and because of that will die due to hypothermia.
On this cold day, may we count our blessings and pray for those who are trying to stay warm without shelter.

Thank you all for your contributions!
#warmencouragements #homeless #bareboldbeautiful #bareboldandbeautiful #winterstorm #socksforthehomeless


Boldly Blogging

Talk About IT Seminar 2016
Sep 01 2016


Yep, Carmen and Bobbie always have those beautiful smiles on their face.

That’s why they’re the perfect people to greet our attendees!




Let’s get some food in those tummies!

These girls needed fuel for the fun filled day they had ahead of them!

(Thank you Panera Bread for being our breakfast sponsor two years in a row!)

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Ice Breakers

Let’s break the ice by working together and laughing at ourselves!

You would have thought the girls knew each other forever after this!

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Snack time

All that work, we had to refuel them for the first workshop!

The girls did not hesitate to grab a yummy snack during break time.

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Workshop II: Masked Emotions W/ Leanna

Unmasking those emotions that we often hide

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Lunch time

Thank you to our lunch ladies who always make us yummy lunches!


make a new friend!

We encouraged the attendees to sit with someone they didn’t know to make a new friend.

They did & learned three new things about someone at their table.

Workshop II: Connected

Proving that they’re all connected in ways that they would have never guessed.

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Workshop III: Booster Jar W/ Shakia

Because we all have those days when we need a little boost

and our TAI sister does too.

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Certificate Ceremony

Each girl is presented with a certificate of completion

you can see that they sometimes get a little shy .


Coming to a close

what better way to end the day than with Ice cream, raffle prizes & dancing?

…I can’t think of any way better either!

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Look mom, we did it!

certificates in hand, smile on faces & friends on each side.


The second Talk About IT Seminar was a great experience & a very emotional one.

I would say that at least 50% of the attendees cried. They cried as they spoke something’s into the atmosphere that they had never spoken, they cried as they expressed the love and admiration they had for their sister (but had never shared it with her) & they cried because they witnessed their fellow attendee deal with some hard emotions. I even cried. However, those tears were cathartic.  We felt good after letting those tears finally escape.

don’t worry, we didn’t cry all day.

We laughed .

We created.

We uplifted.

We cheered.

We encouraged.

We danced.

We hugged

We ate.

We inspired.

We bonded.

I left the TAI seminar in sheer amazement.

I am always amazed at how a group of young girls can attend an event for 8 hours and do all that I previously listed; with people they have just met.

They come in as strangers looking for a safe space & leave with a group of sisters they will forever have this experience with.

I wish they knew how thankful I am to have witnessed their vulnerability, their strength and ability to create a safe space by expressing both.

Special Thanks:








Panera Bread


August’s Bold Beauty: Burned Beauty
Aug 01 2016

Meet Karli
BBM Karli
 I was attacked twice in 2006. The first time I was attacked by a group of guys while in my parking garage. They beat me and stuffed me into the trunk of my car. Fortunately I was able to escape by jumping out  of the trunk while the car was in motion. The second attack came just two months later when I was held at gunpoint by two women and assaulted with acid. Unfortunately this attack left me with third degree full-thickness burns to more than 30% of my body. As a result, I spent six and a half weeks in the intensive care burn unit at University of Chicago Hospital and I’ve endured over 15 surgeries. I came to find out that all of this because of the guy I was dating at the time. He was involved in the streets and instead of whoever was upset with him retaliating against him they retaliated against me. It was devastating and incredibly traumatizing to say the least.
 BBM Karli
My journey has been a long and arduous one. While I’m in a much better place now it took me a long time to find happiness, peace, and to truly embrace my identity as a burn survivor. At first I didn’t know how I would go on. I couldn’t see a future for myself and the loss of my identity was unbearable. I literally went to sleep one person and woke up another. Over time, I embraced my scars or “flaws” (as some call them) as something that make me uniquely beautiful. They are a part of who I am and I almost don’t remember life before them. Instead of viewing them as something negative, they are a constant reminder that I am a survivor and that I’m incredibly blessed to be here.
I developed a t-shirt to make a statement about how I feel about myself. I call it my MORE beautiful tee.  I am always thankful when people compliment me by saying, “You’re STILL beautiful despite your scars,” but I think my ability to overcome adversity, my fears, and my past make me MORE beautiful. And that applies to all women. I actually have a greater sense of self and more self-confidence with my scars because they aren’t an insecurity. And I think it surprises people that I am happy and confident. If I can show just one young lady that you can be burned and beautiful and confident, then I’ve fulfilled my purpose. Despite it all, I find comfort in knowing that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Are YOU interested in being a BOLD Beauty of The Month? Email to find out how! 

Bold Beauty of the Month

Jul 25 2016

No matter who it is, we all need a little self care. However, the truth is that many do not have the means to treat themselves to something as simple, but soothing as a manicure. So for those who do not have the means Nails of Love allots that treat! Myself, along with any volunteers I can gather together, go to our local soup kitchen and set  up shop.

The recipients are prompted to wish their hands first.

They are then given a hand massage by a volunteer while engaging in conversation.

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The volunteers gave each other massages because their hands were hunting from giving massages to the recipients. But not once did a volunteer ask for a break.


Recipients are then able to pick a color and given a professional level manicure (some of the volunteer are actually licensed manicurist).

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I was challenged. One recipient said ” I don’t think you can do anything for these hands” After talking to him about 30 minutes trying to convince him to let me try, he did. I worked HARD on these nails, put some good ol’ elbow grease in it. Well, all that work paid off! Look at the before and after! In addition he explained that his hands had been so cramped from working so much and the hand massage loosened them up greatly.

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                               Before                                                                                                               After



    The smiles, sincere gratitude and conversation with all the recipients truly, truly, make it all worth it!

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Thank you to each and every volunteer who gave of themselves to give to others.

Boldly Blogging

May 24 2016

Anti bully

       On April 25th founder, Shakia was invited to Norwich Tech High School to address bullying amongst the freshmen girls. Read what she has to say regarding the opportunity

” I was asked to come speak to the female students of Norwich Tech High School again. However, this time it was to only the freshmen. This class reportedly was having difficulty with bullying. As I began to prepare my speech I thought to myself “what could I say to these bullies that they hadn’t heard before? What could I say that would make them realize that bullying is hurtful, bullying is harmful, bullying is deadly.” Then I realized that that is giving the bullies too much power. If at the end of my talk the bully doesn’t buy what I’m selling then their victims continually are subject to bullying. The victim never had a say. So, on that day, I decided to speak to the ones who have the real power; power they often give away. I spoke to the victims. I spoke to the victims and explained that they should not BEG, BLAME or BOW OUT. For those who heard the speech knows what that meant. Unknown to me, the assistant principal was sitting in on my talk. After she came up to me, shook my hand and stated “Wow. That was dynamic. You are a dynamic speaker and I love how you framed your speech. ”


Boldly Blogging

Pamper My Pretty: The Self Esteem Expo
Apr 28 2016


Last year this event was a closed event. However, after an attendee told me last year  “This was so empowering, you must do this again, but open it up to more women” and overhearing a young attendee exclaim, ” this is the best day of my life!” I knew this expo was  NEEDED again.  The theme of the expo was Uplift.Inspire.Empower.  I wanted the attendees walking away having been Uplifted through the self esteem activities, Inspired by witnessing all the women business owners & Empowered by all the compliments and confidence that was poured into them.

This was a day to be remembered, let me walk you through it…


Welcome to The Pamper My Pretty:

The Self Esteem Expo 2016

Who wouldn’t want to walk into a place and be greeted by these great smiles?

IMG_2956Attendees went to Kia to purchase tickets in person IMG_2955

Attendees went to Harold (aka My Daddy) & Annie with advanced tickets


Would you believe that ladies were lined up at 10:00 am to receive a free swag bag? That’s two hours before the expo was set to start!


Featured Swag Bag Items

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Product vendors were Ready, Set & Prepared to introduce and sell new products to attendees 

(all product vendors not featured below)

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    Welcome to the Beauty Bar: How May We Pamper You?

The Beauty Bar specialist worked their magic at pampering the already pretty attendees. The Beauty Bar Specialist are committed to their craft as well as making sure their clients are happy.

BBS Vanessa  IMG_2925 BBS Tandi PMP BBS- Make Up 

PMP- BBS Manicurist BBS Ve 2 untitled 5 BBS Chelsea

BBS Karin BBS DeAndrea  Face painting Henna 3 




Look at those smiles!

If you had just gotten pampered & knew you looked good, you’d smile too!

                   .Hair.                                 .Make-Up.                     .Nails.                       .Body Painting.                

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Showing off our moves! 

DJ Lady J kept the music spinning & had us all dancing!

I love dancing & I love to see other people dancing. I witnessed a few attendees wanting to dance on the dance floor, but were too shy. Soooooo, I went over to them and guided them to the dance floor. The once shy attendees eventually out danced me!   

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Beauty Bench:

My Beauty Is….

Write one word that defines your beauty



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Kiss Of Beauty Wall:

Who made you feel beautiful today?

Pink= Beauty Bar Specialist

Yellow=  Work Shop Facilitator

Orange= Product Vendor

1. Choose a color post it. 2. Apply Lipstick 3. give them a kiss of thanks on the post-it!

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 Vision Board Workshop

W/ Marcela Lee:

1 of 5 Self Esteem Workshops offered 

                        V Board 3 v board round table V Board 5 v board


You had to be IN IT to WIN IT

There were so many raffles at the Expo that my volunteers had to get an additional 6ft table to display them all


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ADD 3 Raffles


And after your inner & outer has been pampered what else is there to do?


 PMP Sign Photo Taking photo taking 3 pmp instagram   photo taking 2 IMG_2972 photo taking 4  ADD 8

I worked SO hard at putting this expo together.I deprived myself of sleep, social functions and looking cute-lol. I was the epitome of  a 1 woman show. My greatest hope was for attendees to attend the PMP Expo and  leave with a  balanced self esteem. Not attributing the boost in their confidence to the external change they had experienced through the beauty bar pampering or to the internal boost they experienced from the workshops; but to both. Let me tell you, my hope was not only met, but exceeded. There were women who traveled from other states and cities to experience this Self Esteem Expo. I have received text, emails and calls from vendors and attendees explaining  how the PMP EXPO was an experience that is indescribable, unforgettable and LIFE CHANGING! During the Expo attendees kept asking ” when are you hosting the next PMP Expo?”  As I walked around the room I was so proud because God had allowed me, lil ol’ me  to put together an event that brought forth magic. To have a group of women, under one roof, be so selfless, encouraging and sincere was nothing short of magic.


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Photo Credit;

Harold and La Chale (Instagram: @Coveringz)



”  I attended one of the most inspirational events ever. The look on the women’s faces of pure enjoyment was priceless. I thoroughly enjoyed this event and can’t want until the expo next year. ” -Annie, Volunteer

” I was able to cultivate relationships with other vendors, which in turn create business opportunities for us all to grow and expand our knowledge.” – Lucinda, Vendor

“ It brought me so much joy to know the music I played was bringing happiness to all the women involved. I always strive to bring happiness and empowerment to woman of all ages and backgrounds. I will be happy to be a part of it again- DJ Lady J, DJ

“My attending this expo did me a world of good. This 63 year old came alive to the music I danced to, got real daring and had my makeup done and ended with my nails being painted. Shakia thank you for waking the young woman who still exist within this wonderful body of wisdom.”-Luanna, attendee

 “I attended the PMP Self-esteem expo and was blessed beyond measures! It was an amazing and inspiring event on so many levels.” – Victoria, Attendee

“It was a gorgeous and  empowering experience that encouraged me to love my inner beauty.  Love It!”- Lakeisha, Attendee

“The workshops helped me feel beautiful inside and being pampered by the masterful artists was certainly a treat. It was exactly what I needed.”- Bobby,  Volunteer

“I got to see firsthand the impact that this event had on participants. Many felt comfortable communicating hardships because they knew that they were in a safe space of caring people”  – Lea, Workshop Facilitator

“As soon as I walked into the room where the expo was being held, I was AMAZED! I walked out of there feeling really good! I really wish I was there the minute the event started. I CANNOT wait till the next PMP Expo!”- Alba, Attendee

“The seminar was great and touching. The event was packed with networking and great products and services. – Shell, Attendee

“I had the privilege of volunteering to oversee the “My Beauty Is…” bench, where ladies would define their beauty in one word. I had the opportunity to connect, relate and hear others define their beauty. This experience has made a difference in my life as well as others.” – Deshanda, Volunteer

“I am so impressed with the organization of the event. It was really a great event to be part of. I really loved the energy in the room.  I have shared the event with so many people on how to do an expo and have excitement in the room.” – Lorraine, Product Vendor

“It was a great opportunity and just a good time. I would definitely do it again.” – Chelsea, Beauty Bar Specialist

“This unique event was a great opportunity to learn about yourself as well as learn about local women-run businesses – I took probably 5 business cards home!” -Kathie, Volunteer

“The looks on everyone’s faces and the positive comments  I heard from people I serviced were heartwarming. I can’t wait until next year.” –Sitarah, Beauty Bar Specialist

“It was great being surrounded by women who wanted to support a great cause.” –Yasmine, Attendee


Boldly Blogging

Novembers Bold Beauty: Surgical Beauty
Nov 09 2015

 BBM Michelle

I have had 15 surgeries, a brain tumor, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in my brain and a condition called Hydrocephalus.  Growing up, I really struggled with loving and accepting my body because of the scars those operations left me with. When I first got my scars, I was quite young so they didn’t bother me. That was  until I wore a bikini for the first time and my friends noticed my scars. I got so upset I asked my parents for plastic surgery – I was 10 years old.

As I got older, more problems started to arise in changing rooms, during PE lessons and in the dormitories (I went to a boarding school). I remember when I was 15 y/o, I was walking with a friend  past a door and she exclaimed, “freak, I’m fat”. Interestingly enough I had always thought this girl was gorgeous and it made me sad that she couldn’t realize that. It was in that moment, I decided I never wanted to be that girl. I didn’t want to be the person who constantly insulted themselves and couldn’t see their own beauty. I decided that I couldn’t change my scars and that I needed to accept them before anyone else was going to. So I made a decision to stop complaining about how I looked.

It was easier to change the things I was saying than what I was thinking so that is how I started. In changing what I was saying, I started noticing the beauty in my body. If you are struggling with appearance understand that your body is a vehicle to allow you to do the things that you want to do in life. Whenever I have been hospitalized, I usually can’t walk for months, and for me that’s where my appreciation for my body was born. Every morning, that I can put my feet on the floor – I am grateful, because for many months and in many instances, even that wasn’t possible.

Be appreciated for what your body allows you to do – and never let your body limit your mind.

Check out Michelles journey here:


Boldly Blogging

Talk About IT Seminar ’15
Aug 27 2015

On 8.15.15 God allowed his vision to come to fruition and the Talk About IT Seminar came into full effect. Leading up to this event I experienced discouragement, fatigue and feelings of being overwhelmed. I decided after this Talk About IT Seminar it would be the last. It was too much to prepare for alone, but I tell you what as soon as I saw the girls begin to come in to register for the Seminar, I immediately knew all the lost sleep, endless promoting and running around were ALL WORTH IT.


Parents and participants were welcomed with bright smiles and complimentary breakfast as they registered for the Seminar.

TAI 15 Carmen Registration                                        IMG_8888 TAI 15 cafe ladies   IMG_8887


During the ice breakers the girls disclosed some deep struggles: Attempts of suicide, being constantly sad and not knowing why and having drug addicted parents.  When these girls shared these feelings so early in the Summit I was taken aback and overcome with a rush of emotions. I had to excuse myself to collect my myself.  After those statements the girls followed with “I have NEVER told anyone else these things before, but it felt good to get it out.”                                                                                                                                                                  TAI Ice Breaker 1 TAI Ice Breaker TAI 15 Ice Breaker

Workshop I: My Perception

Leanna facilitated the first workshop which caused the girls to explore how they perceive themselves vs. how the world perceives them. The girls were each showered with compliments one girl later stating ” When everyone was giving me those compliments I  wanted to cry. No one ever compliments me.” TAI 15 Workshop 1

TAI 15 after 1 workshop

TAI 15 Workshop 1  TAI 15 Workshop 1

Lunch Time

It was nice to look around and see the girls enjoying not only their food, but their newly found friends! But the girls didn’t waste no time eating as they quickly finished their food asking “What’s next Shakia? “TAI 15 Lunch Line

TAI 15 Lunch

TAI 15 Lunch

Workshop II: Sharing Chairs

I facilitated the second. This workshop got the girls up and moving during a interactive activity similar to musical chairs. The girls were prompted to answer a question if the chair they were sitting in were chosen and could also win prizes.

                              TAI 15 Sharing Chairs TAI 15 Sharing Chairs 

TAI 15 give away      TAI 15 give away  TAI 15 give away

Impromptu Karaoke

Two participants came and asked could they sing a song after spotting that their was a microphone hooked up to the speaker. Though we were on a time constraint I figured, this event is for them so if Karaoke is what they are desiring we could make it happen. What I thought would be only two girls performing turned into many more including myself and Leanna. These girls were so talented, I was beyond impressed.

TAI 15 Girls singing  TAI 15 Singing

TAI 15 Girls Watching TAI 15 Girls watching performance


Each girl received a Certificate of Courage for completing the Talk About IT Seminar. These girls were so courageous throughout the entire Summit; especially one girl, who after engaging in one of the ice breaker activities began to sob uncontrollably. She stated that the information she’d shared was information that she’d been holding in for a long time.  For her to have shared one of her  struggles and tears with a group of girls you had known not even an hour is one examples of the courage exhibited during the Seminar. 

TAI Certificates

Raffles & Ice Cream

Each girl had the opportunity to place her tickets into a hat at a chance to win 1 of the 3 beautiful raffle baskets while enjoying some yummy ice cream (with even more yummy toppings)!

                                          TAI Ice Cream              TAI 15 raffle winner


After a day full of tears, laughter and singing we decided to wrap up the Seminar with DANCE! I loved seeing everyone come together and not be afraid to show their  moves in front of one another. I especially loved the encouragement that was given to one another.

TAI 15 Dancing  IMG_9105


TAI 15 WOrkshop carmen with mirror    TAI 15 hugging   TAI 15 Carmen with mirror    TAI 15 Hugging 2

I can honestly say that every girl was transparent, every girl presented as genuine and every girl was included. Thank you to each parent who invested in their young lady’s self esteem, it’s needed more than you realize. I thank God for choosing me, lil ol’ me to facilitate events that create an outlet, a safe haven to let them know that they are NOT alone in their struggles.

What are they saying post seminar ?

” My girls enjoyed the workshop sooooooooo much!  They were still talking about it and were careful to honor the confidentially of the participants.  (They wouldn’t talk about certain things when I was around.). I hope you will do it again and raise your fee!-  Tasha, A parent of a participant.”
“I had a great time there and I created a special bond with the girls there and to me that means a lot. I heard a lot of their stories and realized that there are other people struggling with the same things I am. To know that people are going through it and getting through it, gives me hope. This was a great experience for me. Thank you Shakia for making this happen.- Anna, a participant.”

“Shakia, the world is in DESPERATE NEED of YOU. Thank you for your dedication and sacrifice. My girls were deeply moved and inspired. God is awesome! Just know that this workshop did not fall on deaf ears.- Katie, A parent of a participant.”

“I was able to learn that everyone has a past and you are not the only one struggling even though it may seem that way.- Monique, a participant.”
“Thank you so much, the girl’s had such a great time they are still talking about it. My daughter is excited for the next one ! Faith-A parent of a participant.”

Special Thanks

Leanna: for traveling to facilitate a workshop

Panera Bread & St Vincent De Paul: Food Donations

Bare Minerals: Make Up Donations

Desiree & Chappel: Preparing & serving food

Rachael: Creating 3 beautiful raffle baskets

Carmen, Karen & Barbabra: Lending helping hands

Ronita &  Dawn: Donating give away prizes

Jewell, Karen & Barbara: Monetary Donations  


It’s not me- It’s you- A break up letter to Make Up
Jul 06 2015

Dear Make Up,
This is the last time I plan to interact with you in any way for a long, long time. As soon as it hit me how much of negative influence you are, I didn’t even have to think for more than an instant about deciding to end things. I know this is a shock. I’ve known you since I was about 10 years old and treated you like my savior, my saving grace. You could make me feel pretty when I didn’t think I was and you were fun to play with before going out or other special occasions. When you were gone, I used to hate myself because I felt incomplete without you. I didn’t even think people would take me seriously without you or would worse, judge me, when you and I weren’t together.  To say I felt incomplete without you would be accurate. I can’t believe it took me this long to realize that you’re toxic. I was a slave to setting aside time for you. I was dependent on you, I felt I could not be without you. I thought you were improving my confidence, but you did nothing. You made me a fake-self, distant from my natural state.Try not to take it personally. You, in essence, aren’t bad. For some, you might be a positive influence and really help someone. But the problem is that you easily suck girls in to think they need you to feel good about themselves. The unhealthy relationship we had was the main problem.I was nervous to be without you, I’m not going to lie. Each day, though, it got a little easier. Now, I have never felt so independent, confident, self-assured, and free. Let’s not even talk about how much extra free time I’m now enjoying. I think I’m more beautiful on my own anyway. I smile brighter, my eyes shine brighter, and my cheeks are rosier without you. Don’t come running back because you can’t fool me again. I hate to be a heart breaker, but this must be done.
Sorry, makeup, it’s not me- it’s you. 
Maura has decided to break up with make up by going make up free for one year, so I decided to ask her to put it in writing! You can follow her journey day by day via Instagram @makeuplessmaura. I am rooting for you Maura as you get to know, embrace & share your natural beauty!
Boldly Blogging