Growing up I always loved the beauty or fashion industry, but I never felt that they loved me. Before you go up in arms, let me explain what I mean by that. First off, I am a black woman and then I am plus size. Being a plus-size woman we have to fight for representation within the fashion industry and begin a black woman, we have to fight for color representation within the beauty community.

When I was growing up, I rarely saw someone who looks like me in the media. If you're a 90's baby, then you remember growing up on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. I feel like every little kid imagined themselves myself "Hi, I'm ______ and you're watching Disney Channel!" Growing up I don't remember seeing many if any actors who look like me on TV. Therefore, it was hard to find and relate to the characters that I saw on TV. The only person that I remember relating to was Raven Symone on That's So Raven. I remember going to her concert and having her sign a tour photo for me (it's one of my favorite memories!) However, after Raven took a break from acting, there was no one else for me to admire or representation for the colored girls. However, this generation has been a crucial period of change and a movement of uprise within the fashion and beauty industry. We now see commercials centered around people from different ethnicities, backgrounds, and sexualities.

Keep Reading Redefining the Word Beauty and the Fashion Industry

Influencers such as Patrick Starrr, Jackie Aina Beauti Curve and Curves on a Budget really are changing the game by using their talents to become partners with some of the biggest named companies out there. Creating a platform for the plus size women and colored girls. Influencers such as these have inspired me to give birth to Jays Essentials.

At this point in time, there is no reason why a woman should not be able to showcase her personality through her style. Yes, we do still have a ways to go with the fashion industry, but there are brands out there that provide trendy and chic clothing for the bigger woman. That is the sole reason why I wanted to create my blog. It took me a while to learn how to find clothing that accentuates my body and makes me feel confident. And you may be someone who doesn't feel comfortable with their body and you know what? That is Perfectly OK! Because I am not solely comfortable with mine either. We all have those days when we feel disgusted with ourselves. However, that is why I created Jays Essentials. Not only to help inspire others but to challenge myself and continuously find the beauty within me. Because from where I'm standing, everyone needs to find the "essential" piece within themselves to help become their most confident and strong.


So, my challenge for you is to look in the mirror and say all the things that you like about yourself, whether it is physically or internally. The point of this challenge is to embrace our strengths and flaws and never apologize for just being us!

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Over the weekend I posted a lot on my insta-story and pictures during my weekend at Summit 21 and I guess it looked like I was living so much of my "best life" everyone wanted to know, "where are you?", "why didn't you invite me?" and the classic, "You not only went to see Karrueche Tran, but you also saw Tina Knowles and I wasn't anywhere in the building!". To be brutally honest, attending this conference was a last minute plan, and it was TOTALLY worth all the effort that it took to just be able to be in that room and space. From guest speakers such as Nichole Lynel and Alex Wolf to Tina Knowles-Lawson.

#Summit 21: Discovering my Inner Boss Babe

Shop My First Day Look

To quickly summarize what the conference is, Summit 21 is a leadership and women empowerment conference, where women all around the world come to learn about entrepreneurship, branding and marketing. They have a wide variety of speakers, educating women on becoming their best version of themselves career wise. So, if you are an entrepreneur, want to connect and network or want to be inspired by black women bosses, I definitely recommend attending the summit at least once.

The summit lasts for two days and it is literally an all day experience. The first day I had to take everything in. I am an introvert at heart, so I felt very overwhelmed by the space, the decor and all the people. It was sort of an out of body experience because it was just so much to take in and so many people surrounding me. I was a little more on the reserved side, but I did manage to meet a fellow Soror and we had a blast the whole weekend!

Day two of the Summit, I noticed I did a 180. I wasn't so uptight and felt myself let loose a little more. Once I break my comfort zone barrier that is when I really start being myself and having a really good time! It just takes me a minute to readjust. I and in a position where I could be authentically me and being surrounded by like minded individuals, who looked like me. When I tell you there was so much damn melanin! I got my whole entire life!

Summit 21 was an unforgettable experience. I not only learned more about creating a brand, but I also learned more about myself and where I want to see myself and the path I need to get on to reach that goal, not only for Jays Essentials but also for my personal life as well. As a beginner blogger, I am constantly trying to educated myself on how to level up with my brand and audience. This summit really motivated me to continuously to be a student and become more focus and organized when it comes to religiously posting content and being on top of my game with the content I create. One thing is for sure, I definitely can not wait to attend next year! Also, if you are in the Bay area or anywhere, Summit 21 is taking the conference on the road and will be in California at the end of this year!

Have you ever went to Summit 21 before, and if so, how was your experience?

Shop My Second Look

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Only the real ones know what my shirt is in reference to. So, let's stop for a minute and take a moment to morn the end of Game of Thrones. :'-(

(insert awkward pause)

OK. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let's move on to what this blog is actually about. Even though I absolutely love fashion, I can be incredibly lazy and not feel like putting any effort into getting dressed. So, going to my essential staple pieces is a must! These pieces don't take a lot of time or effort to put together, because I just mix and match them for whatever look I happen to fall into. I call this "casually chic".

Keep Reading From Lazy to Casually Chic

One piece that is essential to a lot of looks that I do is a leather jacket. If you don't have a leather jacket in your life then honey what are you doing? It is a staple piece to any wardrobe and can turn an outfit to ehh to YASSS! Another item that I recommend having is a fashion sneaker. This shoe is not to run in or any other rigorous activity, its simply just to look cute on your feet. I typically use my sneakers and pair them with a nice dress, jeans or pants suit to give my outfit that extra pop. And how can I forget about the jeans! I honestly love a good pair of boyfriend jeans, especially during a vacation. I simply pair them is a white button down that is tied in the front and hit the town. Another tidbit to any wardrobe is a couple of sarcastic or witty t-shirts. I only have a few but the ones I do have describe my personality and moods to a tee! From bougie to sarcastic to I just don't give a...(whaatt)! ?

What are some 'essential' pieces to help you look casually cute and chic all Summer '19? Also, what was your reaction or feeling towards the end of "Game of Thrones"? Let me know down in the comments below!

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