This week’s client profile features Xina Eiland, CEO of X+PR. I started working with Xina as a creativity coach in 2010. Since then, our working relationship has expanded to include audience and content development, social media strategy, and project management.
Tomorrow marks my 49th birthday. This year, I am using my digital influence to raise money for ZuriWorks for Women’s Health, a nonprofit organization that offers beauty, arts and health programs to enhance the quality of life for women of color impacted by cancer. ZuriWorks also works to educate women of color about their health and to improve their survivorship rates.
I learned about the organization from my digital sister Xina Eiland, President of X+PR, when she began working with its founder, Andrene Taylor on several events earlier this year. I became an instant fan after watching Andrene’s moving video about her cancer journey and the amazing support ZuriWorks has been able to provide to women of color living with cancer. These women reminded me of my two grandmothers, Dorothy Johnson Gartin and Frederica Stanley Roberts Leeke, who lived with breast cancer. I wish they had access to ZuriWorks’ programs.
That’s why I am using the next two weeks (from December 17 to December 31) to invite my family, friends, and digital community to make a donation to ZuriWorks in honor of my birthday and the holiday season. Click here to make a donation. Any amount counts ($5, $10, $15, $20, $25 or more). Thank you in advance for your generosity!
During the show, Daisy, the “Queen of Effortless Chic,” shared that she was a Howard University graduate (love that we are HU Bisons!) and gave five tips for Spring wardrobe essentials. Check out the photos and tips below.
Tip #1 – Peplum: Daisy recommended that women add a peplum top or dress to their wardrobe. The top could be paired with a skirt or pants. I love peplums. I wore them a lot during the late 1980s!
Tip #2 – Lace: Daisy encouraged women to wear colorful lace. I fell in love with the yellow lace dress. It reminded me of my Aunt Paulyne’s vintage 1960s peach lace dress I wore to my law school graduation at Howard University in the late 1980s.
Tip #3 – Pullover Sweaters: Daisy suggested women incorporate pullover sweaters in their spring wardrobe. She used First Lady Michelle Obama’s sweater style as an example. I ADORE pullover sweaters especially the ones you can wear with a belt.
Tip #4 – Printed Pants: Daisy shared how women can add more color to their Spring wardrobe with printed pants.
Tip #5 – Dresses: Daisy talked about how dresses like the ones worn by First Lady Michelle Obama create a total look. I agree!
What are your five Spring wardrobe essentials?
DISCLAIMER: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post about the Macy’s event. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.
digitalundivided is a social enterprise that builds forward thinking initiatives that fundamentally change the digital space by increasing the number of Black and Latino women digital entrepreneurs. It was established by Kathryn Finney, Editor-At-Large at BlogHer, Inc and CEO of TBF Group, LLC, parent company of The Budget Fashionista brand, in 2012.
My digital sister and PR coach Xina Eiland attended the event with me. Some of my key moments included:
1) Reconnecting with my digital sisters, Luvvie Ajayi, Cheryl Contee, Dr. Goddess, Elisa Camahort Page, Susan Getgood, Shireen Mitchell, and Felicia Pride.
2) Meeting some of my favorite digital sisters such as Dupe Ajayi, Marcia Wade Talbert, Majora Carter, Elayne Fluker, and Sian Morson for the first time in real life (gotta love IRL).
3) Connecting with some of my favorite digital brothers such as Mike Street and “ILUVBlackWomen” Martin Johnson Pratt for the first time in real life.
4) Feeling Majora Carter’s gratitude as she shared how powerful it was to be in the room with so many amazing Black women during her morning keynote.
5) Gathering wisdom from Mayor Cory A. Booker’s afternoon keynote.
6) Hugging #FOCUS100 team members Nichelle Stephens and Alisha Miranda.
7) Chatting with Kailei Richardson, a Chicago-based entrepreneur, about her lifestyle site, Vyneworld.com.
8) Gaining pearls of wisdom during panel discussions featuring Monif Clarke, founder of Monif C Plus Sizes; Ella Gorgla, founder of I-ELLA; Heather Hines, founder of Pathbrite; Kelly Hoey, co-founder of Women Innovate Mobile; Deborah Jackson, co-founder of Women Innovate Mobile; Jess Moore, co-founder of StyleBook; and Zuhairah Scott-Washington, founder of Kahnoodle (Focus100 Ptichcamp winner).
9) Sitting next to Rachel Brooks and learning about her Chicago-based tech company, CitizenMade.
10) Talking with Marcia Cole, founder of Ivy Digital, about meeting each other at Heart and Soul magazine in 2001 (Heart and Soul published an article about my life as an artist).
11) Having a deep sista-to-sista chat with Lena West, CEO of Influence Expansion, in the break room (powerful and deep).
12) Listening to digitalundivided founder Kathryn Finney’s presentation of key trends, statistics, and emerging patterns regarding Black women’s engagement across a variety of technology sectors (amazing slides!).
13) Networking with several DC-based women entrepreneurs such as Ama Marfo, founder of Airfordable, a travel app (still in development). They reminded me that DC women entrepreneurs rock!
14) Chatting about popsicles and the Miami tech scene with Felecia Hatcher, founder of Black Tech Miami.
A few days ago I was in Las Vegas attending the Blogalicious Weekend Conference. During one of my breaks, I checked my email and read a message from my digital sister, Chrysula Winegar, that invited me to participate in Women Online’s Social Media Sprint Campaign. When I visited the Women Online (WO) web site to research the campaign, I learned WO is a boutique digital public relations and marketing firm founded by Morra Aarons-Mele, an Internet marketing professional who established The Mission List and served as the founding Political Director for BlogHer.com. After digesting this information, my response to Chrysula’s invitation was YES…YES… YES!!!!! So I joined the group of amazing women bloggers and top social media voices in a “social media sprint” to Election Day (#blogforobama).
So why join? I think President Obama is the only Presidential candidate who represents my interests as a woman. Since June, I have actively participated in the Obama 2012 campaign by:
Using my social media platforms to promote the campaign each week.
Today, I participated in WO’s first conference call and learned more about the role I will be playing in the Social Media Sprint Campaign. I also learned my digital sisters, Stacey Ferguson, BeBlogalicious.com co-founder and chief curator, and Xina Eiland, President of The Eiland Group and BeBlogalicious.com publicist, are also participating in the campaign. What great company I am in!
From now and until November 7 (the day after the Presidential Election), you will see me online a little more. For example, I will tweet during the Presidential Debate on October 3. Later this week, I will share more information from the Social Media Sprint Campaign. So look out for my tweets and posts on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.
Enjoy your day and remember to register to vote, get your ID, help others register or obtain their IDs, vote early (if you can), and vote for President Obama!
Last week I joined over 5,000 women and a few good men at the Hilton New York in New York City to celebrate and experience the BlogHer community and economy!
Since returning to my home in Washington, D.C., I have:
Reflected and journaled about my experiences and lessons learned during the conference (was able to write in my journal thanks to the time I had on my Bolt Bus ride home to D.C. and my daily subway rides to and from work).
Prepared several blog recaps (posted a few on my blog) that I will be using in chapters for my forthcoming book, Digital Sisterhood: Fierce Living Online for 25 Years.
Talked to my book editor, parents, team of business advisors, and a few friends about lessons learned from the conference.
Posted my photos of the moments I cherished most and shared them on Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Twitter, and my blog.
Reached out and connected with new and old blogging friends via Twitter (especially on #DigitalSisterhood Wednesday), Facebook, email, and text messages on my best friend, my HTC EVO smartphone.
Read and was inspired by many recap blog posts and tweets written by conference attendees.
Begun to map out the follow up work I need to do between now and the end of 2013 (yes next year) to enhance my talents and skills, expand my thought leadership, deepen my connection and engagement within my own network and the online/offline communities that support me, and further develop my revenue generating streams as an author, artist, blogger, coach, speaker, workshop facilitator, yoga teacher, and Reiki practitioner (what a mouthful!).
Mailed thank you cards to some of the BlogHer team members and people I did not have a chance to meet or deliver a card to (the southern belle debutante and sorority girl inside of me is compelled to write thank you cards …. my mother is responsible for this behavior).
Organized my small stash of swag with plans to give some of it away as gifts to family and friends (adoring my favorite swag … the Martha Stewart orange journal …. What can I say? The writer in me loves journals and the Martha Stewart brand!).
This morning I woke up with a deep sense of gratitude for all of the things the BlogHer team and community have done and continue to do. I reflected on how I am a direct beneficiary of their efforts. I remembered the impact their efforts have had on me since my first BlogHer conference in 2009 and the conferences I attended in 2010 and 2011. I smiled at how much I have been able to dream and do as a result of the lessons learned, skills developed, connections I have made, and speaking opportunities I have had. So I wrote an email to BlogHer co-founders Elisa Camahort Page, Lisa Stone, and Jory des Jardins, and members of their amazing team, Polly Pagenhart, Shannon Carroll, Maria Niles, Lori Luna, Amelia Elsbee, and others that was filled with sweet words of gratitude and thanksgiving.
My email talked about how much I value what the BlogHer team does to build and nurture its ever-growing and evolving community, conference, and economy (just love that I can say BlogHer economy … I need a t-shirt to wear in D.C.). I acknowledged how hard it is for them to build a movement, community, business, and economy. I reminded them that because they invest in me I invest in them, and we are ONE! I sprinkled in some of my flowery words and phrases to make them smile and touch their hearts too!
Now I am writing this blog post to say thank you to everyone connected to BlogHer. That means YOU … my fellow attendees, conference volunteers, online community members, speakers, sponsors, vendors, brands, companies, and organizations. Together, we are a movement of passionate and powerful people. May we each recognize, affirm, value, and express our contributions in ways that support our highest and greatest good as individuals, communities, businesses, brands, companies, and organizations!
With deep gratitude and blessings,
Ananda, your digital sister
PS: I am feeling really good due to a Starbucks de-caf venti Cafe Americano with three pumps of raspberry and my own rice milk, my comfy and cute Ann Taylor Loft dress, and Pandora.com playing in the background! LOL! It’s just that kinda day! Can you feel me?
Did you know National Internet Safety Month is observed in June?
This year the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), a non-profit public-private partnership focused on cybersecurity awareness and education for all digital citizens, launched a “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” campaign to encourage Internet users to slow down, be mindful, and think about how they interact and communicate with others online. NCSA’s campaign also encourages adults to teach a young person about better online safety so that they use good judgment and behavior in their digital life.
When I first learned about NCSA’s “STOP. THINK. CONNECT.” campaign, I thought about the digital footprint of my fabulous and creative niece who is a digital native, a recent high school graduate, and a soon-to-be college “fresh-woman.” I wondered what she knew about being safe online and protecting her digital footprint. So I called and chatted with her about the importance of being safe online, making smart choices on what she posts online, and promoting a positive self-image in her digital life. I also told her that I would continue to check in with her throughout her college experience to make sure she is managing her digital activities in a responsible manner.
After my conversation with my niece, I decided to attend Cox Communications’ Internet Safety Discussion featuring America’s Most Wanted John Walsh and Leticia Barr, a family internet safety and security expert, social media consultant, and founder of TechSavvyMama.com (one of my favorite digital sisters — she is the green dress in the photos contained above) on June 28 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. During the discussion, I learned several tips I plan to pass on to several friends with children (some are my nieces and nephews).
•95% of tweens use mobile devices. Only 20% parents enforce controls (we gotta do better).
•Parents should talk about Internet safety with their children as early as possible (good aunts should reinforce these teachings!)
•Caretakers (grandparents, aunts, uncles, babysitters etc) should know about and enforce the parents’ Internet safety rules when they are taking care of the children.
•The United States does not have a national standard for teaching online safety in schools (we need to advocate for one).
•Children are not immune from identity theft (we have to do a lot of educating with children on these matters).
•Parent should model what they want for their children when it comes to technology (so should extended family members who spend time with the children).
•Common Sense Media rates apps for age appropriateness (great tool for parents to use in helping children use technology responsibly): www.commonsensemedia.org.
To learn more about the discussion, go to Twitter and search for the hashtag #coxtakecharge.
After the discussion, I attended a blogger reception and after-party sponsored by the Everywhere, a social media marketing firm based in Atlanta (one of my favorite firms to work with). Both events gave me an opportunity to:
Photo of Digital Sisterhood Focus Group Panel on 12/12/10
Day #12 of Digital Sisterhood Month was a special digital diva day for me because I moderated the Digital Sisterhood Focus Group on how women in social media discuss fashion, beauty, hair, and lifestyles at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC. The dynamic digital sister panelists included:
Many thanks to Xina Eiland for serving as the event videographer, Sharon Malachi for serving as the event photographer, and Glory Edim’s mother Ms. Henrietta for making “Digital Sisterhood” cupcakes (they were yummy) for the ladies!
Last year Xina Eiland and I met during the Blogalicious 2009 opening night reception in Atlanta. While sipping cocktails and recording video interviews, we learned we were both born in Michigan and currently reside in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Throughout the conference, we reconnected with each other and other women like“WhimsiGal,” founder of Whimsicard, LLC from the DC area. When we returned home, we used social media tools like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in touch. We also discussed our Blogalicious experiences on my TalkShow.com program called Sisterhood the Blog Radio.
And then it happened. We reached out by telephone and agreed to meet in person. Our first meeting occurred on a Sunday afternoon at the U Street Café in DC. Xina, “WhimsiGal,” and I sat at a table for a few hours discussing our lives, 2010 goals, ways we could support each other, and ideas for a local Blogalicious meet up. That one conversation paved the way for our Blogalicious DC community building efforts.
Together, we were able to help Blogalicious founders Stacey Ferguson, Nadia Jones, and Nyasha Smith organize two meet ups in February and April for DC area women. Xina played a major role in securing space and media coverage, promoting the events on Facebook and Twitter, identifying speakers and sponsors, developing the agenda, and obtaining in-kind donations for both events. I served as panel moderator for the April meet up.
In addition to supporting the Blogalicious DC community, we also made a professional commitment to support each other and our 2010 business goals. We launched our commitment with a face-to-face breakfast meeting at Busboys and Poets, a popular DC hangout, on January 2. Seated on comfy chairs with herbal tea and delicious breakfast items to keep us company, we shared our expertise. Xina became my public relations coach and convinced me to follow her instructions on how to better package myself, books, art, yoga practice, and coaching services. I became her creativity coach and helped her develop a social media plan to support her intention to blog and learn more about social media tools. Since then, we have met monthly to assess our progress and seek feedback. We also attended several DC social media meet ups, participated in the Blogging While Brown’s White House Visit and weekend conference, hung out at the Red Pump Project and Blogalicious’ Say RED: Cocktails and Conversations event, and live blogged with the Blogalicious DC B-Link members during President Obama’s education reform speech at the National Urban League’s Centennial Conference.
What a year we are having! And it’s not even over yet! I think the greatest blessing has come from the way we constantly encourage each other to step up our game and pursue new opportunities. We also share information, insights, and introductions to people in our network that can support our efforts. We laugh, learn, and listen to each other when we achieve and struggle. Our Blogalicious bond has created a digital sisterhood that exists in real time!
Digital sisterhood is one of the many gifts you will receive when you attend a Blogalicious conference or event. It’s contagious. Some say it’s magical. And it happens without you even knowing it. That’s the beauty of Blogalicious. Through the celebration of Blogalicious’ diversity, women own who they are through the content, connections, communities, and commerce they create as they share experiences, insights, opinions, humor, creativity, expertise, and information. Our Blogalicious digital sisterhood lays the foundation for building local digital sisterhood communities.
Xina and I were initially scheduled to host a community dinner discussion on digital sisterhood at Blogalicious 2010. There was a change of events that opened the door to an even greater blessing. I love how the universe works. It always gets better. So here’s what happened! The Blogalicious founders Justices Ny, Fergie, and Jonesie offered us an opportunity to moderate the open-mic luncheon sponsored by McDonalds on October 8. What an honor!
Xina and I had an amazing time moderating the soulful discussion. We witnessed the power of digital sisterhood in the stories told by women who were Blogalicious newbies and alumni. They opened their hearts and spoke with such passion, clarity, candor, and humor. It was a beautiful experience filled with wisdom, laughter, lessons learned, and a plethora of blogging experiences that revealed how women discovered their authentic selves online and offline. Check out the photos taken by NYCityMama Carol Cain below. FYI – Carol is the official Blogalicious photographer. She did an amazing job documenting Blogalicious 2009 and 2010! Thanks Carol for your gift of digital sisterhood photography and love!