Last week I started going through my Instagram pictures. While scrolling through photos from this year, it became apparent that 2013 was an EXTREMELY busy year but nothing short of amazing! I wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the great things that happened both professionally and personally, as well as identify some of the lessons I learned from this year’s experiences.

The biggest milestone I experienced this year for A Diva State of Mind, LLC was my brand becoming trademarked. Seriously, that could NOT have happened without the help of my mom. She was truly a blessing during the process. I’ll admit it’s still a little shocking to know that A Diva State of Mind, LLC is official. I can really put the ®after the name!

I always wondered how bloggers got to model looks on the local morning shows and then I became one of them! I started the year modeling gowns for the WUSA9 Inauguration Gowns Segment and ended the year modeling for the WUSA9 Holiday Accessories Segment.  In March, I submitted my application to be the Style Setter for the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. Although I wasn’t selected, I want to THANK YOU all for voting! Was I disappointed I wasn’t selected? Yes, but like I’ve learned before, everything opportunity that comes my way isn’t for me.  I know I have to keep pressing on and what is meant to be will be. 

When it comes to my styling business, I’m thankful for is the increase in the number of clients I had this year. Last year, I worked with two clients and this year I worked with seven new clients. I have a habit of downplaying accomplishments when I feel like they’re too small or not reflective of where I want to be. For example, if my goal is to be a full-time stylist, I may have brushed off the fact that I’m still styling clients on the side while working a 9 to 5. What I have learned is that each accomplishment no matter how small is important and should be acknowledged as such. Everything takes time and it’s important to focus less on the destination and really take time to enjoy the journey. And I am enjoying the journey thus far!

Through the blog, I was able to catch the attention of the National University Quantico Online Information Center.  I was asked to participate in their Improve Your Groove Series and thus challenged to give my first style presentation. I found out that evening that the event organizer found my website by searching for personal stylists in the DC area. That was a reminder that you really never know who is watching you.

The increase in business and request to give a style presentation also prompted me to move my styling services to a new website The new website allows me to neatly display all services available and my portfolio (please check it out if you’re considering working with a stylist in 2014. The first style consultation is free).

I continued working with Facon Magazine this year and styled an editorial for the Spring issue. I also had the chance to work with Elaine Luxe Accessories and style looks for the company’s new website. That photo shoot was a lot of fun and I met some amazing women on set. I really hope to work with them again in the near future.

The second biggest milestone for me personally was attending New York Fashion Week in September. I had New York or NYFW on my three previous vision boards (don’t judge me!) so I had to find a way to get there. I didn’t get approved for media credentials but luckily fellow stylist Lauren couldn’t make it to all her shows so I went in her place!   I’m the type to plan but when it came to fashion week, things were a little unexpected. I secured a place to stay and knew I was meeting up with other stylists, but how my day would actually work out was up in the air. I attended shows I hadn’t plan to and ran into people I knew from the DMV but didn’t know I’d see while up there. The uncertainty made the experience fun (and exhausting). You can read about my NYFW experience HERENote to self: it’s ok to not have EVERYTHING planned out!

It wasn’t all about A Diva State of Mind this year! While a lot of things happened for by business this year, I sure did keep business with my personal life as well. I attended the 2nd inauguration of President Barack Obama. I was in graduate school during his first inauguration so I made sure I didn’t miss his second one!!

This year served as the centennial year for my sorority, so I kept busy by attending ALL of the major centennial events that took place this year: Founders Day weekend, Women’s Suffrage March and Convention (check out pictures on my IG page). I join the sorority in 2012, so I was like a kid in the candy store; so excited to be a part of these amazing experiences. I also celebrated my one year Deltaversary!

Not only did I stay busy with Delta events, but 2013 was a great year in music! I attended three concerts this year: Alicia Keys, Jay-z & Justin Timberlake and the Made in America Festival. If you’re going to attend Made in America, please be a fan of large crowds. There were soooooo many people there. But I had a great time; it’s nice to not have to worry about putting on your “best look” all the time. Throw on some shorts (I did make sure I was “festival cute” lol), grab a beer, run into folks you know from the DMV (it seems like every one there) and just enjoy the music. It was my first time attending a music festival of that magnitude. If there are a number of artist at the next Made in America festival that I like, I’ll be there!

Note to self: Always stop and smell the roses!  We all want to live the life we imagine for ourselves. While we work towards making that a reality, it’s important that we take the time to enjoy life along the way.  You already know, life is too short. We must make the most of it while we can. And this year, while I prayed about styling and jumped on every opportunity I could, I also made sure I took time to have FUN!

I don’t want to brag about the things that happened this year. Instead I view this recap as a way to reflect on the year and lessons learned. Hopefully this year in review will serve as inspiration for others who are pursuing their dreams and/or often times find themselves sitting idle on the sidelines while watching others have some of the best times of their lives.

I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014!


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