Monday, March 5, 2018

Monday Motivation with Bukola Featuring Linda Hutchinson

Monday Motivation with Bukola Featuring Linda Hutchinson on Lipstick Lip Balm & Literacy.

You can get Linda Hutchinson's book at

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Lipstick worn: Bukola #MabellineNewYork #WetnWild

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Do it fearlessly!

I hope the title of this post answers a question that may be on your mind right now. Nothing can happen when you don't do anything.

I hope that this post will inspire you to take a step towards your dream. The story I am about to share is one of those steps that I have taken, sometimes without even thinking through it. And, if you have heard the stories of successful people, they don't wait unnecessarily to take reasonable actions.

If your intentions are right, you will be successful. I will like to seek caution, though, that success does not mean that it will be accomplished without challenge. Challenge is the engine that drives success to fruition.

During challenges, you will learn beyond your imagination - what to do and what not to do to achieve your goal. It was Thomas Edison, the same man who made it possible for you and I to have electricity, let alone internet, because, there wouldn't be internet without electricity, who said that he learned ten thousand ways that electricity cannot work when he was asked why he kept trying. In the process of trying to achieve our goals, we learn how, what to do, or not to do, to make the specific goal a reality. In addition, we may even learn how to bring about secondary items that will add extra value to our primary goal.

That is the message that I have today. It started as a way to promote my book and two other authors to a regular live broadcast on Facebook, uploaded to YouTube, and aired on TV at one of the Public Access TV stations.

However, the first time that I tried the broadcast, it was a huge failure. I will save the details for later. You can read the details in the preview edition of L Magazine coming up this spring.

My message here is to do whatever your heart tells you do to. It might be a suggestion from someone else or an idea that expanded after sharing it with someone. You never know what it will blossom into.

Right now, I have my first magazine coming up soon. It is called L Magazine. L stands for Lipstick, Lip Balm & Literacy. The cover that I share in this post is just a dummy cover for me to touch and use it as a contact point to make my dream become a reality. I had wanted to publish my first magazine in 1999/2000, but it never came to life. In the meantime, I have learned a lot over the past eighteen to nineteen years. From getting a degree in Mass Communication, to practicing as a journalist actively in the newsroom for six years, and now just writing and producing online contents.

It felt so good when I picked up the sample of L Magazine at the post office today.

Whatever might be on your mind right now to do, I say to you, "Do it fearlessly!"

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Inspiration Behind the Lovely Dress

I will start by encouraging you to keep dreaming, stay hopeful, and don't allow doubt to rob you of your heart desires. Inspiration behind the lovely dress is a story that I hope to share to inspire and keep your hope alive.

Some years ago as a little girl, I watched my mother dress up the the eastern Nigerian attires like the george wrapper and blouse. She was a Yoruba woman from the western part of Nigeria, however, she was a liberal person. She could speak Hausa, the northern Nigerian language fluently, and spoke a little Igbo from the Niger Delta. She was quick to learn other languages because of an experience that almost cost her life due to miscommunication. She had recounted how a Hausa man almost stabbed her for using the wrong phrase. That traumatic experience opened her ears to taking the time to learn other languages. However, what fascinated me most was her outfit. Although, she wore george, it was the 'small" george - cotton material george and not the satin or silk version adorned with sequence, stones and or beads. I guess she didn't bother to invest too much in the higher grade ones because she was neither from the tribe nor had the occasion to wear the outfit.

However, I loved the george but I loved the satin or silk ones. They looked really nice on the women when they wear it to special events like weddings, naming ceremonies, king coronations, and so on. Although, I like this outfit, I never found how to buy it. I asked someone from the Niger Delta region once if she could help me buy one, and she said, "Yes", but it never happened, because I didn't get to follow up to pay and get the material.

Well, when I became a member of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking two years ago, one of the steps that I took was to specifically wear African prints but sewn in a non traditional Nigerian way. I love dresses, so I ordered dresses to be made for me. When I got a sewing machine for bag making, I decided to put my imagination to work. I started sewing dresses for myself or fix some of the dresses made for me by doing alterations on them by myself.

For the Second Annual Report launch of the Council, I decided I was going to wear a george outfit, however when the fabric arrived, I changed my mind to make a dress out of it. The net material supposedly added for the top looked too delicate  to sew for a rookie seamstress like me. I was lucky to find fabric at a  discounted rate at a store called AKN fabrics in New York.
At first, I thought that I would be able to wear the outfit in the traditional Igbo style. However, in fear of ruining the fabric, I contacted a friend, Bike, owner of Cocozini who is also a designer that has made dresses for me. I wanted her guidance on how to make this delicate fabric work for me. She said, "Come over and I will make you a pattern. That will make it really easy for you to sew." I was thinking, "A pattern? I don't even know how to use a pattern." She had given me a pattern sometime ago that I never even touched, talkless of making something with it.

I went to her by faith, and I was glad that I did. She measured me and began to cut out my size out of paper. As she cut, she explained and asked questions. She even gave me a muslin of about two yards or so to practice with before cutting my nice fabric.

I went home and got to work. I cut and sewed the muslin. It took forever to finish. Then, I decided to cut and sew an African print fabric, which took lesser time because that was my second practice. After sewing the second dress, I felt confident to cut my nice george fabric to make the dress that I will wear for the special occasion. I was pleasantly surprised by the speed with which I completed the dress. Plus, I liked the outcome too.

When I finished, I sent her pictures and she was very pleased with the work that I had done. I decided to use the net part to make the hands. The dress was heavily designed, so I decided to tone it down with an African print for my headtie for the formal event.

It was very pleasing to see people fall in love with the dress. I received a lot of compliments to the point that someone told me to go for modeling. And, when I shared it on social media, people also commented, "Lovely dress", "I love the dress" and ofcourse, Cocozini owner, Bike commented, "That dress looks so beautiful" on Instagram.

The lesson from this piece is to never give up on what you desire. It might not come true immediately, but it will come true someday. This is a 30 year's plus dream and it became a reality. I now have a george in my collections.

If you have a sewing machine, and will like to sew your own outfit, you can contact Bike at Cocozini to order your own custom pattern just for you.

Thanks for reading.Until next time, share your own aspiration or inspirational story in the comment below.