Nationally acclaimed interior designer Corey Damen Jenkins mixes vibrant colors with layered patterns to create architecturally inspired spaces that are, at once, elegant, inventive and timeless. Taking cues from runway fashion, his residences feature luxurious and refined materials including intricate wallcoverings, sculptural lighting and stately furnishings. Jenkins’ goal “is to ensure that my clients’ homes are always classic, chic and without an expiration date,” states the designer. Jenkins’ has designed client projects throughout the United States in Michigan, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Texas and Nevada, and internationally in Toronto, Canada.

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Most recently Jenkins was honored with Traditional Home’s “New Trad” Rising Star of Design Award, as well as an extensive cover feature highlighting a recent commission. His work has also garnered attention from numerous publications including Architectural Digest, The Wall Street Journal, House Beautiful, Veranda, Domino, and HGTV. His brand expanded into product design with the 2016 launch of Corey Damen Jenkins Exclusively for Leathercraft, a line of elegant home furnishings. In 2018, Corey debuted a new lighting collection with Hudson Valley Lighting—the first designer collaboration in the brand’s history. He was also tapped to design the national ad campaign (Vanity Fair, Elle Décor) for DXV, American Standard’s luxury kitchen and bath line.

Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates expanded its imprint in 2018 with the opening of a second office in New York City’s Flatiron District. However, Jenkins remains dedicated to the resurgence of his hometown Detroit, and the original Birmingham, Michigan studio will continue to serve as the firm’s flagship location.

Jenkins strongly believes in giving back to the design community. His firm generously supports a number of charities including Housing Works: Design On A Dime, Variety For The Children, The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and DIFFA: Dining By Design in New York City.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black History is such an evolving narrative because we are still making history in the present, and will continue to break through barriers in the future. What warms my heart is seeing millions of people from every race and walk of life coalescing together to celebrate the achievements of African Americans in February. Think about it: my ancestors were brought to the States against their will. But their descendants—including yours truly—have chosen to remain here to contribute to the social, financial and cultural wealth of the United States. And you can see our contributions woven throughout everything from music and fashion to technology and design. So I’m thrilled we are acknowledging that and celebrating it.

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I recently bought a place in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. A big part of that decision was fueled by the visual inspiration I always receive every time I visit there. The cobblestone streets, old world towns, strong cultural touches, and, of course, the hospitable people and delicious food really appeal to me. In fact, the prevalence of terra cotta, sky blue, gold and other rich earth tones in Puerto Vallarta strongly influenced the color palette I’m currently designing for a client’s master en suite!

To Learn More About Corey Visit:

Website: coreydamenjenkins.com

Instagram: @coreydamenjenkins

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Jumoke Dada is best described as a technologist and social entrepreneur whose sweet spot lies at the intersection of innovation, entrepreneurship, goodwill, and girl power!

Dada holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer and Information Sciences and real estate certification from Temple University. She is also a certified Scrum Master. Her technical experience includes corporate work as an application developer, business/ systems analyst, quality assurance tester and technical project manager. As the principal of Signature RED, she provides technology and strategy consulting services to companies and creates tools and resources for women interested in careers in technology. In 2017, she created the Tech Women Network - an online platform and community for women with technical skills.

Dada is also a public speaker with a growing passion to empower women and girls especially those with interests in STEM fields or social good. Over the years she has hosted several educational events and workshops including Building iOS Mobile Apps, Rails Girls, Techies Who Brunch, and HUE Tech Summit. In the summer, she gives back through her nonprofit Signature Red Cares whose main program, Project ALOE, provides care packages and advice to college-bound girls.

Dada has been recognized in several media outlets including the MIC, MORE, Philadelphia Inquirer, Black Enterprise, EBONY, MORE, CBS 3, Radio One, Clear Channel radio, and more for her innovative ideas, leadership skills, and community involvement. Additionally, she is a contributing writer for ForbesWomen where she covers diversity in tech.

Photo from  Hindustantimes

Photo from Hindustantimes

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year it’s all about celebrating Black culture, and getting recognition for all of the contributions Black people have given to this country. It’s also a time to pay respect for those that have come before me, and focus on what are we doing now to move forward. This year, I am also hosting our second tech summit in Philadelphia on May 3rd, and our mantra is, No More Hidden Figures.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I’m finding inspiration from Africa. As a Nigerian American, I continue to be inspired by the people that I meet in Africa that have few resources, but with ingenuity and hustle can create so much innovation. I think about this a lot. I reflect on how I have access to so much as a Nigerian American, and it reminds me there are no boundaries or barriers too large that I cannot overcome. I’m also looking forward to an event in Nigeria focused on Africa and women in tech. I will be one of the speakers, and I’m excited to go back home and help inspire other women in the technology industry.

To Learn More About Jumoke Visit:

Website: dadaverse.org

Website: huetechsummit.com

Instagram: @huetechsummit

Instagram: @jumokedada










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Culturefit clothing was established in 2018 by a collective of West African women. These women saw a need in the activewear industry to create workout gear with Black and brown women in-mind. The creators wanted to take traditional African textiles from countries like Ghana and Nigeria, and then re-image them in bright, feminine colors that felt more modern. This activewear was made to be both functional and for all body types. The founders of CultureFit are of West African descent, and their team members are from all over the world, working together to live #theculturefitway.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year we want to focus on educating the world about Black influence, and how we can create mainstream brands that tell a cultural story. We want to incorporate our culture in our products in a way that is inclusive, and has a global feel. We want to make sure we’re telling our West African story through Culturefit, and showing everyone our global approach to design.


Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Right now we’re focusing on the African diaspora, and looking at how we can show through our brand that we are all connected. When we initially started with the design concept for Culturefit clothing, we began with traditional prints that we know resonate with people and are recognizable. We focused on Ankara and Kente cloth patterns, and then worked together to decide how could we make these patterns have a modern feel. For instance, Ankara fabrics from Nigeria are typically bold and colorful prints; so we decided to play with the color palette by using grey and purple to give it a more modern vibe. We also focused on Kente cloth (another popular African textile) from Ghana that is traditionally shown in gold, red, and black colorways. We decided to add pink into this pattern for a more feminine touch.

Lastly, we are really inspired by women, specifically curvy women, who want to feel sexy in their athletic gear. We have really focused on creating activewear that you want to wear after the workout, we created tops with breathable fabrics, and shapes that flatter a curvy body type. Moving forward we are looking to continue our growth in the activewear market, and also offer larger sizes in the future.

To Learn More About Culturefit Clothing Visit:

Website: culturefitclothing.com

Instagram: @culturefitclothing

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Breegan Jane is an LA Mom and lifestyle blogger. An experienced and accomplished interior designer, Breegan’s resume boasts enterprises that span the gamut, from custom designing personal creative music studios to managing international real estate projects with full staff. Her design savvy is well sought after by clients in almost every industry, including a double platinum-selling recording artist, for whom she designed an elaborate home complete with a tailored wardrobe room.

Breegan honed her design skills working as creative director and marketing professional for a luxury yacht manufacturer. She staged yachts in-house and traveled internationally for consultations with her Dubai clientele. Those unique experiences set the stage for more exceptional design opportunities.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

As an American woman, February is about celebrating our history with everyone. In the US, we celebrate so many different cultures and celebrations like bar mitzvahs and quinceañeras, so this month is a time to share our culture. I think it’s so important to remember that Black history is about celebrating American history. It’s a time for all of us to embrace Black culture, and recognize all of the contributions we have made to this country.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Last year I went on a humanitarian trip to Kenya to combat the illegal FGM practices that are still happening in the country today. This trip was literally a life changing experience , and it inspired me to work with the women in the Kenyan community to curate a line of jewelry called the Kenya collection. I was drawn to the pigments and color tones in the Kenyan jewelry but more importantly, I wanted to work with the community to end FGM. All proceeds of the sales go directly to World Vision’s Child Protection Through Education in Kenya Campaign.

To Learn More About Breegan Visit:

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Mo Glover is a veteran NYC based fashion designer experienced in working on department store and emerging women's wear brands. Becoming a parent to her son Zyem lead her to create her own brand, ZYEM NYC. She began honing her creative skills studying art at LaGuardia High School of Music & Performing Arts and Pratt Institute, earning a BFA in Fashion. Her unique point of view emerged from memories of growing up in Brooklyn, traveling to Europe, Hong Kong and India. Her style aesthetic includes influences of street-style culture old and new. Young models and style influencers wearing her brand are mentioned on RollingOut.com and Essence Magazine Street Style Block Party blogs. She has contributed costume design for Toddlewood's homages to the Met Gala, September 2018 diverse fashion magazine covers and Black Panther movie poster. She was inspired to create and present a Wakanda-inspired kidswear collection at Fashion Week Brooklyn in April 2018.

Glover has made it her personal mission to promote positivity in African-American culture and to inspire others of all ages to express their bold and artistic style. 

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Image from The Schomburg center for research in Black culture

Image from The Schomburg center for research in Black culture

Black culture is currently at the beginning stages of a new renaissance of some sort. Art is a reflection of society, and it is a significant time to be alive. We are part of a generation to have experienced the first Black president of the United States and at the same time living in a society overcome with the patriarchy and privilege our ancestors fought against. Our history did not start after the slave trade and more people of African descent are digging deeper to uncover traditions by visiting Africa. I look forward to my first visit to the Motherland. February is the official month to bring more awareness of a continued celebration of ourselves, our roots, and those that have contributed to breaking down barriers that we now can pass with ease. I'm proud and grateful to be a part of a culture that is rich with innovation, beauty and style. 

Clothing designs by Mo Glover

Clothing designs by Mo Glover

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

My inspiration this year is a combination of past movements that are reoccurring. The desire to help make the world become a better place with unapologetic strength, unity, love and beauty, even in adversity.  Environmental sustainability is becoming a must, and I am researching ways to incorporate eco-friendly materials in my designs. 


To Learn More About Mo Visit:





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AuthorAngela Belt
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Nicole Gibbons, is an interior designer and entrepreneur whose expert opinion has been sought by top media outlets like HGTV, OWN - The Oprah Winfrey Network, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens and more.

Nicole’s recent endeavor has been to create Clare, a paint company that make paint shopping fun again and targets millennials. Her work in the design industry allowed Nicole to identify that the paint shopping experience was in desperate need of a makeover, and she seized on the opportunity to improve the process from start to finish. Clare paint focuses on making paint shopping easier and inspirational by curating 55 paint colors, and using cutting edge technology and algorithms to find the color that’s just right for you.

The Obama Family  https://www.businessinsider.com/barack-obama-michelle-obama-net-worth-2018-7

The Obama Family

https://www.businessinsider.com/barack-obama-michelle-obama-net-worth-2018-7

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

These are such tumultuous times, so for me this year I am all about reflection. I’ve been thinking a lot about how far we’ve come, but yet how far we still have to go. It’s about finding my place in the world and working to find common ground with others who have different values and belief systems than I do. I’m also looking back on past leaders like the Obamas. To me they represent the best of Black excellence and have made history and crushed all the ceilings that exist. It doesn’t get any better in terms of Black love, Black excellence and just #goals.

Christina Lane styles new Clare Paint collection

Christina Lane styles new Clare Paint collection

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I’m always inspired by color. I love using color in fresh ways, and look to a beautifully curated color palette as a strong foundation for any space I’m designing when I begin a project. I gravitate towards color through interiors, travel, and those unique moments that crop up during everyday life.

To Learn More About Nicole Visit:






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Bukola Adeyemi is a Lagos Based Interior Designer and founder of The Yellow Interior Design Company. She runs an Interior Design practice from her studio in Lagos, Nigeria.  She ventured into Design as a hobby in 2012, when she started Hello Yellow Blog- a visual blog as a way to communicate her ideas through various mediums; writing, story boards, mood boards, sketches, doodles.

Although she is a professionally trained interior Architect/Designer with a background in Real Estate; Bukola likes to believe she’s a perpetual creative enthusiast with a passion. Blessed with some unique skill sets developed over the years, she loves to approach design in the simplest most intuitive form possible, and is ever so excited to share and spread a dose of positive energy to her audience. 

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black history month 2019 to me means pushing boundaries and moving forward as a people. Exploring our history, channelling our identity, and creating a new narrative of what it means to be Black. Challenge Status Quo, and be the change you want to see. 

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Culture! Now, forever and always. This year, I’m very open to discovering deeper dimensions of my identity, unravelling unique frontiers and expanding my thought process through cultural narratives. Most of my designs and mood boards are strongly connected to either my culture or other African intangible Folklore and practices. Exploring the memories of places and spaces in other to create new forms of expressions is my way of connecting with culture and identity. There is no better time and place to discover myself as a designer and journey through the unknown than from the design hub of the future, Africa. 

To Learn More About Bukola Visit:

Website: sunflowerbybukola.com

Instagram: @helloyellowblog



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TaLaya and her husband Kerrick inherited their home from his grandparents, which have been in his family for over sixty years. Over the past two years, the couple has been renovating their bungalow (or as they refer to it on Instagram #ourbrickhouse), and viewers have been able to come along for the ride through their social media posts. Through Ourbrickhousestyle, we have been able to watch video feeds and photos of the good, the bad, and the ugly process that goes into renovating a house. TaLaya is an interior design enthusiast, and her social media feed is jam packed with color, African textiles and patterns, plus Boho-chic inspiration. When you see the before and after pictures of their home renovation projects, you cannot help but be floored by the amazing transformations. Their bungalow has been featured in Apartment Therapy and Charlotte Home + Garden.

TaLaya is also the owner of a creative nail studio, Artisan Nail Studio, in Charlotte, NC. She has been a nail artist for sixteen years. She is well known for her detailed nail artistry, and is the proud owner of one of the few Black-owned nail salons in Charlotte.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black history month means celebrating my culture and taking intentional time to acknowledge the sacrifices and triumphs of those that came before me. Our history is rich and it’s important and it deserves to be told. I celebrate Black culture and Black people 365, but I still recognize the significance of this month so I treat it with the respect it deserves!

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

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I find inspiration in everything! Travel, community, different cultures. I think my biggest source of inspiration at the moment comes from some of my favorite social media accounts. There are so many talented and creative Black interior designers and decorators. I’m so glad that a platform like Instagram has allowed me to connect with people from all over the world, so that we can share our passions and our homes and our culture! 

To Learn More About TaLaya Visit:

Website: artisannailstudio.com

Instagram: @ourbrickhousestyle













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Born in the US to Ghanaian parents, Jamela spent the majority of her life overseas in the Middle East. It is this international experience that Jamela cites as the reason she is so passionate about diversity and inclusion. Jamela founded Kahmune, a luxury women's footwear line designed in 10 skin tone hues in order to provide all women with a true nude option, after growing frustrated with the lack of options for her dark complexion. She has since set out to ensure that it is an issue women of colour no longer have to face when searching for true skin-toned footwear. With a background in Accounting and having recently obtained a Masters Degree in Finance in 2016, Jamela is a great example of how passion can trump experience. A self-proclaimed fashion lover, she has no formal background in shoe design, but claims it is the desire to fill a much needed gap in the market as her driving force. She hopes that Kahmune will help drive some much needed change in the fashion industry. 

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

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This year it has been all about Black HERstory. This is the first year, i’ve been conscious of how i’m spending my dollars and the impact they have on our community. As one of the few Black-owned luxury brands, particularly offering footwear, the recent outrage with the products released by brands such as Gucci and Prada has made me really start to think about the importance of investing in brands that not only care about diversity; but are proud to have a diverse clientele. It’s shocking to think about how much Black consumers spend in the fashion industry yet how little attention is paid to our needs and concerns. Black history month to me this year is about making a commitment to support other Black owned female brands not only this month but for years to come!


Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

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I’m in the middle of redoing some of my branding, so inspiration is everything to me at the moment. When I first started the brand and didn’t have product, I found it nearly impossible to find other images on the internet that would give my growing fan base an idea of what I wanted to do. What I’ve realized throughout this whole process is that I have the opportunity to create something really amazing. Through my brand, I have the opportunity to create images and other projects our community has never been exposed to in the fashion world. I try not to look to much at other brands as it distracts me from my vision, but I do love simple, classic, chic, and even monochromatic moments. Of course, i’m a HUGE fan of images that include a variety of skin tone, since that’s at the root of my brand! 

To Learn More About Jamela Visit:





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British born, London-based Samantha Ellington is an interiors specialist. “I started out by helping family and friends find the perfect table lamp or armchair, which then grew into creating schemes for their homes and businesses as a favour. Until it finally occurred to me,"Maybe I can make a career out of doing something that I love?”

This year, alongside her freelance work as a lifestyle content creator, she’s launching an interiors-based personal shopping and styling service.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This image of West Indian migrants arriving in England more than 70 years ago is representative of what Black History Month means to me. Like those in the picture, my parents left their family, friends, and all that was familiar to seek what they hoped would be a better life in a strange, cold, and often times unwelcoming country. With all their belongings packed inside just one suitcase, I can’t even begin to imagine how brave they were to take that first step off the boat and into the unknown.

In the UK, the number of Black women and men working in the interior design industry is incredibly small, and as I begin my new career in this field, I also feel as though I am moving in uncharted territory. Any change in a career will be meant with obstacles, especially in an industry that’s not inclusive or diverse. But in the spirit of those traveling pioneers who came before me, I’m stepping out with hope.

1976 Paris living room of designer Henri Samuel

1976 Paris living room of designer Henri Samuel

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Just as I find inspiration in the past for Black History month, I also look to find inspiration by revisiting periods of design throughout the ages. For the year ahead I’m calling on the 1970’s, which some say is the decade that taste forgot; but I think that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe I’m biased because It was also the era in which I was born! The era’s exuberant mix of plush fabrics and leather, lucite and luxe metallic finishes, bold colour combinations and geometric patterns together with sculptural forms in furniture design; provides a palette from which to create interiors that can range from an understated expression of modernity to a riotous declaration of decadence.

To Learn More About Samantha Visit:

Website: thisisthelife.com

Instagram: @Thisisthelife_x








Photo credit Cameron Budlove Photography

Photo credit Cameron Budlove Photography

I am an abstract and collage artist, wife and mother from Greenville, South Carolina.  I am also a lawyer--- I have been creating since I was a child but started painting in earnest when I took some time off between lawyering jobs and have not put down the brush ever since.  My work is inspired by my children and my faith as well as organic shapes, the sky and bright colors. I tend to paint my feelings and gravitate toward bold colors. I build my art around those colors and joyful feelings. My work has many textures, depth, and layers—-I work frequently with collage and mixed media to add textural elements.  I use a medley of tools—acrylics, oil pastels,  graphite, paper and remnants of art projects.  You will often find me painting with my fingers.

I want collectors to want to dive into the painting, to touch and feel it, and explore the work with all of their senses.   I believe everyone should have the opportunity to love and appreciate art, and I know I have a role to play in that.  I have been featured in Design Sponge as an abstract artist to follow, and you can find my work in galleries and other retail locations across the country. 

I am very much a southern girl. Sweet tea and pimento cheese make me happy.

Photo credit Kimberly Michelle Gibson Photography

Photo credit Kimberly Michelle Gibson Photography

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

To me, this year it means awareness. Being tuned all the way into the past, present, and future in a healthy way to stay cognizant of the intersections and interactions. It’s easy to be overcome and overwhelmed by progress and promise, but the time of historical reflection that Black History Month ushers in is incredibly important. You can’t see patterns repeating themselves in history itself if you aren’t aware of the “yesterdays.” You can’t really tell your whole story and dream of the future if you don’t take the time to reflect on personal, familial and cultural episodic past.  You can’t inform a younger generation about personal pride and self-awareness unless you are keeping the whole picture in view—sharing stories of the past, making memories in the present, drafting plans for the future. 

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Photo credit Ben Hines/ Facebook

Photo credit Ben Hines/ Facebook

I am finding inspiration in colors, patterns, and interior design.  I love the idea of dark walls and a pop of color statement piece.  I think bold colors—reds, greens, corals, jewel tones, are in right now. This year I want to work larger and embrace color and work on more design projects.

I also always find inspiration from my children.  I find that adopting a youthful and fearless approach to art unlocks my creativity in a new and fresh way.  Children are never afraid of messing up.  They just pick a color and go for it.  There’s a lot to be said about doing what feels right and pushing past fear in that way.

To Learn More About Allison Visit:

Website: helloallisonart.com

Instagram: @helloallisonart






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Lanecia Rouse Tinsley is an abstract artist based in Houston, TX. Her portfolio includes a range of work in photography, painting, teaching, writing, and speaking. She is the owner and creator of LAR Art Studio. Lanecia creates out of a desire to make the invisible landscapes within and the human condition known; using texture and form + color to speak to life upon various surfaces in ways words cannot. Fascinated by history + story, her work also explores the "negative spaces" in life. Those times of ambiguity + uncertainty, silence + mystery through subtle textures, color, markings + layers to create a history within each piece. 

In addition to her work through LAR Art Studio, Lanecia contracts work with local + national organizations to do commission works, host art making experiences, consulting + more. She works with projectCURATE as Co-Spiritual Director and Consultant for the Arts; and is Co-founder/Co-Creative Director of ImagiNoir Group, an international alliance and think-tank of Black activists, artists, writers, scholars and educators.

Lanecia is a graduate of Duke University Divinity School (MDiv) and a graduate of Wofford College (BA in Sociology).

Photo of Lanecia studying the work of Sam Gilliam

Photo of Lanecia studying the work of Sam Gilliam

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year it offers me the opportunity to work and think deeply about the meaning of Black life, and its significant contributions to this world and country in new ways. As an artist, I'm coming to realize more and more the contingent nature of portraying Black life; about how it needs to be shared and nuance ever so slightly as we reflect on what it means to be Black and modern. I will continue this year to push for how this is sometimes ambiguous and complex through my abstract works. 

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

In 2019, I will continue to find inspiration from the world around me as I move around Houston; as well as, when I travel. I'm drawn to the organic textures + colors I encounter in the world around me that point to the passage of time in a place. 

I will also continue in my studies of Black American abstract artists like Alma Thomas, Ed Clark, Jack Whitten, Sam Gilliam, and others who continue to help me find a home + voice within abstraction.  I'm reading the poetic works of Alice Walker this year, Notes from the Woodshed by Jack Whitten and the Collected Essays of James Baldwin. 

To Learn More About Lanecia Visit:

Website: larartphotography.com

Instagram: @larartstudio

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Ebony Staten is a chic geek (full time IT Systems Analyst by day), and an interior stylist & founder of The Vogue Room by night. The Vogue Room, which started in 2016 is an interior styling boutique providing high fashion living in Charlotte, North Carolina. The mission is to help you design a home that’s a direct reflection of your personal style, with a combination of high style, high fashion, and high design- The Vogue Room uniquely curate spaces designed just for you. Not only providing different services for your needs, The Vogue provide styling tips and inspiration to your everyday life through our blog. 

Ebony recently contributed to Casaza.com --The Property Brother’s new digital platform for the home, and Xonecole.com--lifestyle blog. When she’s not decorating, you can find her enjoying world travels and of course shopping!

As a child, the imagery of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X shaking hands despite their different views was powerful and represented to me that leadership is not a singular matter. If we take pride in our communities and provide opportunities, collaboration is inevitable.

As a child, the imagery of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X shaking hands despite their different views was powerful and represented to me that leadership is not a singular matter. If we take pride in our communities and provide opportunities, collaboration is inevitable.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year Black history month has a significant meaning to me. Building my business network while working a remote full-time job can get a little hectic at times; but also reminds me that my passion is to acknowledge and focus on building a stronger community amongst my peers. I know that collaboration is far greater than competition.

We are truly better together, and community plays a vital role in the work that I create. This includes giving back in tangible ways. In the summer of 2018, I was thrilled to establish The Vogue Room Foundation, which is a scholarship program that awarded a first generation college woman with a fully furnished dormitory. Our goal was to alleviate the burden of expenses that come with furnishing a bare campus dwelling, on top of tuition fees and the cost of books. Moving forward the foundation’s focus is to assist, design and add personal style to those in need for dormitory spaces.

This month has allowed me to reflect on the relationships with designers and contributors that I’ve created, and has cultivated my affirmation of “Collaboration Over Competition”.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I’m finding beauty and inspiration in everything that surrounds me. I’m constantly looking to be inspired by something or someone! Paris Couture Week recently wrapped up and the runway fashions totally inspired me. From Balmain to Valentino, the colors, fabrics, and textures of the garments, immediately my wheels start turning. Then, I challenge myself as to how I can translate these fashions into an interior space. 

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Traveling to different countries and cities inspires me as well. While traveling, I love to sightsee as much as I can. Visiting a museum or taking a journey on a tour to learn more about the culture of a country, seeing how people live-- totally inspires me.

Finally, my fellow design peers. There is nothing like having a great design tribe that totally inspire you daily. You can collaborate, bounce ideas off each other, and inspire each other is the perfect tribe!

To Learn More About Ebony Visit:



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Ciona Rouse is a poet and author of Vantablack (Third Man Books, 2017). She is also the poetry editor of the literary journal, Wordpeace and cohost of the upcoming Re/Verb podcast from Third Man Books. Her work can be found in Native MagazineGabby JournalMatter: a journal of political poetry and commentary and Talking River. In addition to curating many poetry experiences and workshops in Nashville, she also collaborates with various artists to create multi-disciplinary performances including: The Longest Night with saxophonist Jeff Coffin and composer Jason Shelton at Oz Arts and the Blair House Collective with musician and poet Adia Victoria, plus poet Caroline Randall Williams. Rouse also collaborated with Nick Cave an American fabric sculptor, dancer, and performance artist in the event, Nick Cave: Feat  for the Frist Art Museum. This performance was at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in 2018, and was recognized as the year's best poetry performance in the Nashville Scene

Photo of James Baldwin

Photo of James Baldwin

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Though I've read James Baldwin's essays and poetry before, this is the first year I finally read his fiction. I started with IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK, obviously, in anticipation of watching Barry Jenkins's gorgeous film adaptation. My goodness, it's brilliant. I loved literature all of my life and studied it in college, and I can't believe I only now read this quintessential "great American novel." I'm grateful Baldwin's reached a renewed level of popularity that puts his wisdom and craft on our radar more often these days, but I'm sad it's taken me so long to see his great contributions to the canon. This is what Black History Month means to me; it means interrupting the canons of literature, art, music, film. It means questioning the standards in politics, medicine, chemistry, engineering. It means seeing how great contributions across numerous disciplines have so many more shades than what we typically venerate. It's recognizing how resilient my ancestors have been. How bold, how forgiving. How we could have let our ire rule us to destroy but we have let our brilliance and resilience guide us to create a more perfect union. It's a month to remind the nation that there's a "We" at the beginning of the Constitution, and hopefully it can inspire us to keep seeking the "we" throughout the year.

I am inspired by the house on Blair Ave. in Nashville, Tenn., where I write with a group of women. There are three of us, all Black women from the south. The beautiful house was purchased some twenty years ago by a Black woman. This woman wrote novels, screenplays and songs there; it has the most special energy inside it. But also I'm simply inspired by writing next to two incredible humans --Caroline & Adia--in this splendid house where Black girls have made a lot of magic.

I am inspired by the house on Blair Ave. in Nashville, Tenn., where I write with a group of women. There are three of us, all Black women from the south. The beautiful house was purchased some twenty years ago by a Black woman. This woman wrote novels, screenplays and songs there; it has the most special energy inside it. But also I'm simply inspired by writing next to two incredible humans --Caroline & Adia--in this splendid house where Black girls have made a lot of magic.


Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Reading is always one of a poet's major inspirations. I'm reading voices from other parts of the world this year, and it's been pushing me to consider my voice as a member of a larger world family, and also making me think about how much this soil contributes to my voice. It's deep within me--the dirt and grit of the U.S. South. And also I can speak to and resonate with universal experiences. Some of my favorites are Canadian (by way of Trinidad) poet Dionne Brand, who is masterful with language, South Africa's activist and poet Dennis Brutus,  New Zealand's James K. Baxter, and Poland's Marta Podgornik. I want voices from everywhere. 


To Learn More About Ciona Visit:

Website: cionarouse.com

Instagram: @cionar







Posted
AuthorAngela Belt
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Nikki Cade is an artist and maker based in Dallas, Texas. Her unique approach to art and design has opened the door for collaborations and features with companies like Anthropologie, Oak & Moss Home, and Design Sponge.  Nikki’s work focuses on creating what she describes as “forever art,” high quality pieces that should be purchased heirloom quality investments. She also focuses on creating one-of-a-kind custom pieces for the home through commissions like mural installations and paintings. 

Six years ago, Nikki quit her day job and began building her life around art and travel.  In her travels, Nikki has discovered new influences and redefined herself as a nomad.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

For me, growing up with Black History month was something we recognized at school, but it wasn’t something that was a focus at home. As an adult it’s a lot less about celebrating Black History month, and more about focusing on being Black 365 days a year.  Through social media, I have been able to tap into more global connections with Black people like myself who love yoga, art, and a yearning to travel. I understand and appreciate why we celebrate Black History Month, but I am much more focused on the present. What are we collectively doing right now as Black people, and where are we going in the future? 

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I try to stay away from trends. If I pay too much attention to them, I feel like I am inauthentic to myself. I meditate everyday, and it opens me up to new ideas, and I try to stay in that head space. I do look at other artists work for inspiration, but I don’t draw directly from their work; a few people that come to mind for me are Justina Blakeley, Aurora James (I love her vibes), and my mentor, Mati McDonough.  

To Learn More About Nikki Visit:

Website: nikkicadestudio.com

Instagram: @nikkicadestudio





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With a reputation for innovative solutions and a deep commitment to outstanding personal service, Quintel infuses a high dose of energy, imagination, and integrity into every design project. She has a uniquely eclectic, yet slightly minimal take on style. Her approach to the creative process is both flexible and responsive, guided by her clients’ individual needs and tastes.

Immediately after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design, Quintel spent her formative years at an architecture firm designing large-scale commercial, multi-family housing and community-centered spaces. It was through this opportunity that she sharpened her technical skills, developed a knack for project management, and learned the ins and outs of the business. Upon relocating to Charlotte, North Carolina, she used her experience to develop the Home Stylist program for West Elm store associates across the nation. Becoming the first certified Home Stylist for the brand, she implemented learning and design education modules, managed project accounts with builders, and served as a regional mentor for the creative credentialing process. In 2014, she officially launched Quin Gwinn Studios and surged into her creative future. While residential design remains a core service, most of her spatial design work consists of elevating experiences for commercial projects, public spaces and small businesses.. As a highly sought after expert, Quintel has been featured in local publications such as Charlotte Home Design & Décor and South Park Magazine. She has also worked with top home and lifestyle brands including Tastemade Home, Dwell Magazine, West Elm, Pottery Barn, and Restoration Hardware.

Aside from her practice work, Quintel is passionate about the impact design has on society at large and recently completed a Master of Arts degree in Interior Architecture and Design. She serves as an arts community advocate, design educator, and creative researcher. She organized the Coalition of Young Designers, a burgeoning creative collective dedicating to promoting next-generation design professionals, and currently is the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Olive Guide – the first digital shelter magazine to highlight the work and perspective of designers of color. Quintel also leads design and place keeping initiatives for underserved communities and non-profit organizations through her signature program – Design Delivered. Armed with self-starting business acumen, she recently established Blu Prnt Wrk – a series of business development workshops for local creative entrepreneurs. Quintel currently resides in Charlotte with her husband, three children and a host of house plants.

photo: Lorna Simpson, candid. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum - https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-overlooked-black-women-altered-course-feminist-art

photo: Lorna Simpson, candid. Courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum - https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-overlooked-black-women-altered-course-feminist-art

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Collective action. I think it’s important in this current social and political climate that we fully embrace the understanding that we are better together. Conversations around diversity, inclusion, appropriation and representation in creative professions are still challenging topics to discuss. While many of us have made important contributions individually, there are still opportunities for us to strengthen personal and professional support systems with one another.

photo: Faith Ringgold in her studio at her home by Melanie Buford/Prime for the Washington Post, 2013 - https://melanieburford.photoshelter.com/image/I0000wx5iDlZrP14

photo: Faith Ringgold in her studio at her home by Melanie Buford/Prime for the Washington Post, 2013 - https://melanieburford.photoshelter.com/image/I0000wx5iDlZrP14

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I’ve developed a slight obsession with studying processes of other creatives, artists, and makers. I frequent local galleries, art shows and open studio nights with the hopes of gaining insight into their world. From printmakers to weavers to collage artists, I’ve been so inspired by the tools and materials used in creation.

To Learn More About Quintel Visit:

Website: quingwinn.com

Instagram: @quinngwinn









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Régine Labossière is a New York City area blogger and maker with a passion for interior design. Her blog, The 256 Project, is all about making a house a home through food, renovation and design. The 256 Project represents Régine’s interests and pursuits in interiors and her family’s Haitian culture. She writes about design influences, DIY and renovation projects, as well as her Haitian grandmother’s handwritten recipes, with all the mishaps and failures included.

The 256 Project began four years ago when she and her husband purchased their first home, leaving Brooklyn for suburban NJ. She has been able to offer e-design interior decorating services since starting the blog.

Last year, Régine created the Designer Spotlight series on The 256 Project. In the series she interviews interior designers, DIYers, and stylists about their start in the business, their inspiration, learnings from their mistakes and successes, plus their future goals. Her hope is to show the diversity of the designer landscape through these interviews; that not all designers of talent and influence look the same and produce the same product.

In addition, Régine is the creator, designer and maker of women’s clothing line Mitton & La Boss, sold on Etsy. The 256 Project and Mitton & La Boss are just two parts of her eclectic resume. Her career has been in communications, starting out as a reporter for newspapers around the country, before moving to public relations at a strategic communications agency in New York. Her career has taken her to Seattle, Los Angeles, Hartford, and New York City. The 256 Project allows her to combine her skills and passions – writing, interviewing, designing, making – into one creative venue.

Women in Congress courtesy of Cosmopolitan Magazine

Women in Congress courtesy of Cosmopolitan Magazine

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black History Month – which is lived every day, all day, all year every year – means opportunity and I’m seeing it manifest in different ways. First, politically, with a diverse group of new Congresswomen filling more and more seats in the House of Representatives. This gives me hope for how diversity – especially from the perspective of Black women – will help shape policy and move our country in the direction of greater progress.

Secondly, specific to design, I hope brands will see the value in Black interior designers, decorators, stylists and DIYers and offer them opportunities the same way they do white designers and DIYers. Consumers need to see diversity in expertise, products and designs; and we don’t get that by brands only working with a select few. Brands have so much opportunity to treat Black designers like the influencers they are and diversify the playing field.

Third, I’m a new mom. My child is biracial, and half of that child is Haitian. I’m a first-generation American and half of my extended family lives in Haiti. I want my son to know where he comes from and understand what it means to be a person of color and grandchild of immigrants.

Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

Photo courtesy of Influencing in Color on Instagram

Photo courtesy of Influencing in Color on Instagram

Fashion, street style, and art remind me that not only is it okay to be bold and to act as if rules don’t exist; but it’s a must in order for your individual point of view to shine. Those are the areas where I am seeking inspiration this year. I’m also finding inspiration from reading books, which may sound strange, but reading a book allows the imagination to soar and I hope that imagination will positively affect how I blog, design spaces and clothing.

And then there are my go-tos, travel is always a sense of inspiration for no matter what I’m doing. Specific to interiors, I love following what designers and DIYers are doing. As well as reading trend reports to get a sense of how the design conversation will go for the year ahead.

And, of course, I hope to interview more and more designers, DIYers, and stylists for my Designer Spotlight series on The 256 Project. I absolutely love good conversation, and learning from others. I find those interviews to be so inspiring, and they help propel my work forward.

To Learn More About Regine Visit:









Celeste Alexander is from Newport, Rhode Island and  resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She has over 25 years of experience as an interior designer, and is the publisher of Curated Quarters Magazine that features Black interior designers, decorators, and creatives.

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The mission of the magazine is to celebrate the heritage and history of the often-underrepresented African American design community, and their unique contributions to style and home décor. I believe the contributions of African American designers have been overlooked for years in a niche industry that often celebrates the influences from everywhere but Africa, and/or continents with people of color. Residential design has historically relied heavily on colonial and provincial influences associated with France, Italy and England. Due to the cultural differences of the African American experience many of our contributions have been overlooked by the mainstream interior design community. Curated quarters will provide an educational and historic look at the journey of African Americans and other people of color in the space called home.

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

This year for me it means a reflection of how far we have come from slave cabins to living in beautiful homes despite the efforts to disregard our neighborhoods. I look at all the young designers living out their passion creating beautiful spaces. Instagram is trending heavily and has given a rise to the African American designer to showcase and promote their talents. I'm still learning my way around IG, but most magazines do not want to publish photos that have already been seen every where so it could be a disservice. I feel like social media allows designers of color to share their portfolio of work in one place.

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I recently took a trip to Santorini Greece so I'm inspired by the brightness of royal blue. I find that when I travel, I'm inspired to bring culture and heritage back to the home.

To Learn More About Celeste Visit:

Website: curatedquartersmag.com

Instagram: @curatedquartesmag




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My name is Amber Guyton, and I’m the designer and blogger behind Blessed Little Bungalow! I’m a South Carolina native and was raised in Pineville, SC by my mother along with my older sister, and I lived next door to my maternal grandparents. After I graduated from Cross High School, I attended college at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, majoring in Advertising at their School of Journalism and Mass Communications. Over the next few years, I worked in advertising sales in Greenville, SC and Atlanta, GA, and then earned my Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. I moved to San Antonio, Texas in 2015 to continue my career in marketing and product management at a Fortune 100 financial services company. Though I’m climbing the ladder and successful in achieving my professional goals, my creative bucket wasn’t completely being filled. After purchasing my second home, a renovated 1940s bungalow that I fell in love with at first sight, I moved in the same day, I closed and decorated the entire house within a week. When my family and friends came to visit they encouraged me to “do this for real”, meaning putting my creative talent from childhood and love for interior design to use. So with the intent of only starting a blog to share my love for inexpensive home decor, travel, DIYing, and showcase my new home, Blessed Little Bungalow was born in 2016. BLB has since blossomed into a blooming business, connecting my faith, passion and creativity with amazing people everyday, and it’s been such a blessing.

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

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Black History is so important because it runs through my veins. We have such a rich history and culture that should be learned, taught and celebrated all year long. I think one doesn’t truly know their self until they know their roots and where they came from. So I make a point to celebrate Black culture at all times – whether it’s through my family reunions, serving with my Sorors of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; or participating in the largest march in the country right here in San Antonio, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I see it as a personal responsibility to those that have come before me and the future kings and queens of our incredible lineage. 

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I find most of my creative inspiration in the environment around me. Whether it’s during my personal travels to Europe or Africa, or a walk down the street in my own neighborhood. Having lived in the South all of my life (South Carolina, Georgia, and now Texas) the architecture, culture and people are what inspire me the most. I believe one’s home should be a reflection of who they are, what they believe in, and what brings them joy. It’s been my privilege to pull those elements out of my clients with every project, and transform their spaces into a sanctuary of their own. 

To Learn More About Amber Visit:








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Southern Home describes Cheryl Luckett’s style as "opulence in reach” with “vintage treasures and ingenious restyles” as essential tools in her design kit. Cheryl believes her clients should dwell in a home they love; a place that gives them a sense of well-being both indoors and out. She describes her design aesthetic as sophisticated but approachable; easy and livable. Launched in 2012, Dwell by Cheryl Interiors continues to grow with clients raving about Cheryl’s ability to transform a space as well as her professionalism and attention to detail.

For more than 15 years Cheryl worked at a Fortune 500 company in Charlotte, North Carolina where she was initially employed as a Registered Dietitian and subsequently a human resources professional in diversity and inclusion. It was here she developed her service skills and business acumen. After much prayer and consideration, Cheryl left her career in Corporate America to utilize her gift as an interior designer full-time.

Not surprising, her work has been published in Charlotte Home and GardenSouthern Home, The Charlotte ObserverQueen City Exclusive, Charlotte Home Décor and Design, and Hoffman Media’s Southern Spaces to name a few.  She currently serves as Brand Ambassador for Revolution Performance Fabrics and in 2018 she launched her first licensed product line, a five piece upholstered furniture collection called Belle by Cheryl Luckett for Sylvester Alexander Furniture.  She is a seven-time recipient of the Best of Houzz Award for Design and Customer Satisfaction and was recently named one of Charlotte’s Best Designers by Charlotte Agenda.  Her southern roots, natural ability, corporate tenure and continuing education have equipped her to be a multi-faceted creative entrepreneur poised for a successful career in the interior design industry. 

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What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Not sure if it’s my Southern roots, my HBCU collegiate experience, or the fact that my parents placed importance on us knowing where we came from, but Black History has always been important to me.  As an entrepreneur, this year I’m focused on the legacy of entrepreneurship within my own family.  Several years ago, I was informed by a family member that my Great-Great Grandmother sold mail-order furniture and home goods within her rural Mississippi community in the 1930s.  Needless to say, I’ve become fixated on finding out more details.   I am fascinated by the fact that my ancestor was essentially an early decorator in the Black community in the segregated South, providing access to furnishing during a time when access to our community was limited or non-existent.  It makes me proud to know that interior design is not only my passion and profession, it’s in my DNA. 

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Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?

I’m having a moment where art is inspiring me right now.  I’m constantly on the hunt for new artists to bring into my clients’ homes, many of whom are beginning collectors.  I love how art can add so much personality and breathe life into a space. 

To Learn More About Cheryl Visit:

Posted
AuthorAngela Belt