One thing that’s clear about Joy or Afrostylicity as we know her on instagram is that she’s an over achiever. Joy and her family migrated to the United States from Kenya for school. Being an immigrant myself I understand the challenges of a new culture and way of life. I understand too how these challenges can push you to take that extra step, stay up those additional four hours, or in Joy’s case go back to school. Even though she was armed with a nursing degree from Texas Christian University and had an excellent job as a nurse, Joy did just that — she went back to school.
Going back to school by itself is not extraordinary. However, Joy went back to school for not one, but for two masters degrees !!! Added to this she kept working full-time and finished both degrees on time!!! (Please insert five high five emojis for Joy here!) When I asked Joy why she said, that “I’m an over achiever with a passion for learning. I was not content just being a floor nurse.” She tackled two degrees because some organizations ask for leadership skills. With a Masters in Nursing and an MBA there was no excuse for them to deny her. Joy did not wait for doors to open — she grabbed her own keys. I see this same drive and tenacity in her fashion blogging. She always has a note pad on hand for any blog ideas on the go. In just a year she has had several collaborations and over 60K followers. It was truly inspirational to talk to Joy this week. Here’s what else she shared with us.
Why did you start blogging?
I had my first blog back in 2007 before blogging evolved from obscurity to prominence. While it wasn’t a fashion and lifestyle blog, it was still a creative outlet for me. The hectic pace of life took over, and my first blog was placed on the back burner as I focused on school, and then later work and other responsibilities. In 2016, on the heels of a breakup, I turned to blogging again as an outlet, this time with a focus on my love for all things style and travel. Out of one of my darkest seasons emerged one of my brightest moments. Afrostylicity is a testament to this.
How did you get past the doubt and negativity to hit publish on that first
I was unrelenting in my fight to quiet the loud voice of self-doubt within. “What will people think? What if nobody likes my blog? What in the world am I doing?” Those are questions that replayed in my head non-stop in the days leading up to my blog launch. However, by some unexplainable force of nature, I was finally able to extinguish the negativity and go forth in full pursuit of my passion.
You have a unique blog name. How did you come up with it? Did it take you
long to come up with the name?
I get that question a lot (she laughed). Well, I’m African- that speaks to the “Afro” part. Plus I consider myself stylish- which speaks to the “stylicity” part of my brand’s name.
Does your heritage impact your style? How?
Yes, it does. If you’ve followed my blog and/or social media posts, you’ll notice that I love bright, vibrant colors. African fabrics are known for this quality. So while I don’t wear African print daily, I pay homage to my culture by donning what I consider warm and inviting colors. I’ve showcased a few African print pieces in the past year and will continue to do so moving forward.
How do you fit blogging and photography and editing time in with work?
I subscribe to the notion that we make time for what’s important. Blogging and all it encompasses is an aspect of my life that I’m deeply passionate about. I can spend hours on end engaged in blogging-related activities and enjoy every last second of it. I blog etc after work, on the weekends, and every other minute I can squeeze in.
You mentioned giving up nursing to blog full time. Why?
Well, technically I gave up “real nursing” a long time ago (she laughed). I work in healthcare management (which I absolutely love by the way); however, my end-goal is to turn my number one passion- blogging and all it entails- into my full-time gig. That may be a while from now; however, until then, I have no issues with juggling both worlds.
What 5 tips can you share on how to grow your blog and instagram presence?
Consistency is key! Stick it through even when the returns are not immediately visible. Gaining and maintaining a loyal following calls for consistency.
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken” is one of the quotes I live by. People will relate to you for who you are. Don’t be untrue to yourself by pretending to be someone you’re not.
There is enough sunshine for everyone. Be open to collaborating with other bloggers, and share what you’ve learned in your blogging journey. In the same breath, be open to reaching out to other bloggers who may be further along in the blogger journey. Granted not everyone will be supportive; however, you have nothing to lose by asking.
Take your brand seriously. This is not just a casual hobby that you dabble in when you have nothing better to do. Fully invest your time and energy into it, and you will reap the rewards of your hard work.
Keep a written record of what’s worked, and what hasn’t, strategy-wise. What’s the best time to post on social media? Should you invest in classes e.g photography? What can you do to improve? Don’t be stagnant; take on a continuous education approach, and you’ll be able to take your blog to the next level.
What’s your 5 year goal for Afrostylicity?
I would like to see Afrostylicity attain greater heights and evolve into a renowned brand, helping women be fashionable without breaking the bank. I’d also like to have more collaborations with brands and with other bloggers, together producing top-notch content that my audience can relate to.
Who is your favorite designer and why?
This may sound strange, but I really don’t have a favorite designer. My closet is chock-full of a wide array of pieces, some are from well-known designers, and some are from “unknowns.” If I like how it looks on me, I will bring it home. I’ll admit that some of my favorite pieces are African print outfits that I’ve had custom-made. The main attraction is the fact that they are made to my own unique specifications.
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