Piece | Masters : Chelsea Coffey

We are so happy to have our very first visual story complete just in time for the Fall! Our honored  guest is none other than Houston's own philanthropist, entrepreneur, and creative, Ms. Chelsea Coffey. She let us into the fold to highlight her intimately in our story titled "Risers". Check out the photos and her interview below....

 

"RISERS"

 

Give a glimpse into what your daily schedule is like.

This question almost gives me as much pause as when I get asked what I do for living. Being an entrepreneur is a tricky discipline because I have to build work hours into my week. Most every day starts out between 6:30 and 7am with time of prayer and meditation followed up by getting ready to either start working on my online store, The Coffey Shop, head out to a meeting or the office. 


We’ve talked a lot about the importance of denying oneself and getting up early! Can you delve more into that topic?

I love that you ask that. When I was younger, I relished being able to sleep in. Now that I'm older, there's something so special to me about the quiet time I have with God early in the morning. It's this little sacred window to set the tone of my day before emails, texts and calls start coming in, and I can totally tell the difference from day to day when I don't take the time to find my center and get off on the right foot.

Tell us what Mia’s Closet is and how it came to fruition.

Mia's Closet is my nonprofit, my baby, my passion project. I simply love the work we do. Every quarter, we hosts events for guys and girls kindergarten to 12th grade in underserved communities. At our events, each kid get a personal stylist who helps them shop through donations of new and gently used clothing, and they get to take all of their finds home with them for free. We've been doing it for four years now, and it's such a blessing that I can barely remember the time before Mia's Closet. 

I was employed by a chemical distribution company, and working on my masters when I came up with the idea. I had reached a point where I recognized an emptiness and wasn't sure where it was coming from, so I figured giving back could possibly be the answer. I was totally right, and God has just blown me a away with the success of the organization. It's crazy, and I'm so thankful.

What advice would you give to someone looking to start a non-profit?

Just start. Start giving back. Tell your friends. The right ones will get it, and dive in with the craziest sense of dedication. It's going to blow your mind... So get your chit together. Find an attorney or CPA who can help you apply for 501 (c) 3 status with the IRS as soon as possible. This will allow you to offer a tax deduction form to donors. They'll want to know if you're tax exempt, trust me. That status creates all sorts of opportunities.

Also, research. Research. Research. Research. A nonprofit is still a business, and needs to be respected as such. Identify the things you're good at, and not so good at. Ask questions, and build a team of people who can supplement your shortcomings. Otherwise you might find yourself banging your head against the wall, and that'll slow you down. 

What do you think is the main factor that has attributed to your success?

Man, the list... Prayer. The best friends ever. The most supportive parents that I could have possibly asked for, and clarity. I really feel like the vision for Mia's Closet is a gift from God for me to give back in a way that was uniquely destined just for me. I honor that calling wholeheartedly


Have you ever thought about expanding Mia’s Closet to a international platform?

Yes! lol That was the original intent. To go wherever we're called, whether it be domestic or otherwise. 


What is your definition of a composer? Do you feel as if you are one in your own right?

Hmm. I'd define a composer as someone who walks in the truth of their vision. They see something so clear in their mind that they just know they have to create it. Simple as that. A composer is the visionary who executes. So ya, as long as I'm bringing my visions to life I'd like to think I'm a composer.

photos by: Deun Ivory


Wanna get involved? Mia's Closet is always recruiting for new volunteers!!!

miasclosethouston@gmail.com

Follow Mia's Closet:

IG: @miascloset || Twitter: @miascloset_hou || FB: Mia's Closet Houston

CompoZition 002: After the Rain

"It's my window, but I can't stand the rain".... The downpour plaguing the city of Houston has been constant for what seems like forever this year. However, this week was the most intense display of Mother Nature's cleansing in a while. My eyes popped open around 7:02am from a restless slumber due to the "wrath of God" the previous night to images streaming from EricMichvel's IG displaying the city underwater. I instantly hit him and headed up the road to get a piece of the action firsthand. 

Flashbacks from Tropical Storm Allison instantly overwhelmed me. In that moment, I was 11 years old again holding on to my mothers hand at the edge of the freeway to see it engulfed all around. After a brief set of deja vu I began to look through Eric's camera to see what all he had captured on the journey. DYNAMO is all I could think of. A powerful depiction of the rain's trauma only seemed like art to me despite the devastation literally in arms reach. 

After calling family and friends in the area to ensure everyone was safe and sound, the hunt for food began, of course. To much surprise, but truly none at all, The Breakfast Klub was our saving grace. Instantly the flood of major news channels began to pop into Eric's IG comments between the bites of chicken and waffles. The man was Jay Z for a second- Washington Post and CNN on the hip just like that. I seemed to not be the only one who appreciated his depiction of the story of the day.

That moment of congratulations and hi-fives made me think about.... what comes after the rain? Once you've been cleansed of your trials and life distresses what is left? Sometimes like in Eric's case the light at the end of the tunnel is bold and bright. Others may have a different tread. I guess this post is similar to the Dirty Laundry photo story done a few weeks ago, but it truly is about becoming a new you. Making those individual adjustments that will only set you up for success no matter what your circumstances. Trust me, these words are more for me than anyone because I'm in that stage of life as we speak. Houston took a hard hit, we even lost the opportunity to advance to the NBA Finals the next day (yes, we're hurt). But there's always a new season up ahead, so weather the storm and push forward....

To see more of work from EricMichvel:

IG: @ericmichvel || Website: ericmichvel.com || VSCO: ericmichvel.vsco.co

#PaintWhereItAint

I had the joy of hanging out with the cool kids of #exhibitbe at Workshop Houston in my neighborhood of Third Ward. The crew is doing a 6-day road trip documentary where they collaborate with local artist on various projects. Check out some photos from the Houston pitstop where they worked alongside Ms. Dre Price! Stay tuned for the final documentary coming soon....

Follow the Team!

IG: @exhibit_be

CompoZer Spotlight: Esmesha Campbell

Ever pay any attention to the credits before some of the articles from your favorite sites? Trust me, the words don't just magically appear on their own! Meet Esmesha Campbell, staff writer for Fashion Bomb Daily. Here she tells all on how she landed this great gig and gives us a peak into what the industry is like for a fashion writer. 

Tell us why you decided to get into (fashion) journalism?

EC: Well, first off, writing has always been a passion. Since childhood, I can remember keeping journals and penning my own stories. It’s a God-given talent that has allowed me to capture some amazing opportunities. With that, I kind of stumbled upon fashion journalism. Fashion has always housed a special place in my heart and I thought “Why not combine the two?” After Claire announced the possibility of bringing new talent into the Fashion Bomb team, I immediately jumped at the chance to work with her. I initially started working with Fashion Bomb Daily in 2014 – I began as an intern and eventually landed a permanent slot as one of the contributing writers!


What is the writing process for you? Are you given topics to write about or do you have free reign to speak on things in the industry that interest you?

EC: There is no set structure to my writing process and I literally write what I feel. The Fashion Bomb is set to focus on a diverse spectrum of fashion. So, many of the topics discussed are geared towards grasping the attention of women and men from all walks of life, particularly African-Americans. As fashion writers, we have the power to pick and choose what we post.


How has your HBCU education shaped your development in your field?

EC: Wow! This is an excellent question. My time at Prairie View A&M University taught me the significance of taking pride in any and everything I set out to do. I believe my HBCU education also helped to cultivate this talent that I now rely on day in and day out. My professors were my backbone when it came to writing, I mean, there was never a time where they didn’t encourage me to pursue it – heck, my International  Relations professor even helped me get a job as a writing tutor! The positivity was like no other. I also believe there’s a certain confidence that HBCU alumni exude and I think it stems from the love and deep respect for their institutions. 


What do you think separates FashionBombDaily from other media outlets?

EC: As previously mentioned, Fashion Bomb Daily is a blog specifically designed for women and men of color. In comparison to other media outlets, it’s rare to find sites that cater to the needs and interests of our people. I think our blog fills a void that is evident within the blogosphere. Before I started working on the site, I was an avid reader and supporter. I loved the fact that I could log on and get lost in the multitude of posts! It was amazing. Not only did I enjoy the witty commentary and the women who looked like me, but I could relate as well and that was the fulfilling part. 


What is your end career goal? Does it even involve what you are doing now?

EC: Ultimately, my dream career involves fashion writing. I absolutely love it! There’s no greater escape than immersing yourself within your art. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up working with Essence or Ebony! The sky is the limit. You know, life is funny. We, as humans, go through phases of growth. When I graduated college, I had an idea of what I wanted to do with my life but I wasn’t happy. Of course, I felt accomplished but that overwhelming sense of uncertainty was killer. Now, almost two years later, I’m beyond proud. I’ve gone through so many jobs and internships to get to Fashion Bomb Daily and I’m sure there is someone out there living the same struggle but just know it’s temporary – change is inevitable. Don’t be afraid to pursue your passion. Trust me.


If someone wanted to do what you are currently doing as a writer, what advice would you give them? 

EC: I can’t stress this enough but my advice would be to utilize every opportunity possible while remaining consistent in your journey. You never know where life will take you, I’m a living witness. Yes, the fear of putting yourself out there is immense but the reward is even greater. People will patronize you for chasing your dreams but you have to possess a strong sense of self in order to see your goals come to fruition. So, whether it’s taking that low-paying job as a student tutor or writing papers for a little extra cash, just know that you’re conditioning your craft for greater opportunities. In addition, I’d also advise up-and-comers to get out there and network! I didn’t truly understand the power of networking until I had the chance to collaborate with Tameka Raymond via Claire Sulmers. It was beyond surreal.


Besides people like Shiona Turini or Chioma Nnadi you really don’t see many black editors in the fashion arena. What’s your view on that?

EC: It’s crazy, we actually addressed this issue not too long ago on the blog. There is a lack of African-American representation in the fashion world, period. I mean, even on the runway, the same faces are constantly portrayed. Upon realizing this, it just serves as fuel for me. It’s motivation to continue this journey. Although these are highly successful women I look up to and revere from afar, it’s comforting to know that making it to the top is within destiny’s reach. I also see this as a clarion call to minority fashion lovers everywhere! Let’s get out there and make things happen!


What is your definition of a composer? Do you think you are one in your own right?

EC: A composer is an artist. A composer is “unique”.  A composer is brave. A composer is fearless. A composer is one who creates his or her own path. A composer is a rebel. A composer is innovation at its best. And, yes, I am a composer.

 

Connect with Esmesha! 

IG: esmesha_campbell