Welcome to the 10th edition of The Intellects. Today, we’re chatting with Mica T. Bailey of The Fruitful Force (TFF), a lifestyle enterprise.
Mica is a phenomenal woman and definitely a hard worker. At the age of 26, she has a wealth of experience as an entrepreneur with TFF being her second business.
Knowledge is power and with events like, Black Woman x GIRLHOOD, Mica was able to inform her attendees about issues that “inadvertently” shape their identity. Facilitators for the event on May 4th included Alaisha Pratt, life coach & Miss Black Fayetteville and Kiera Roper, motivational speaker & founder of Water to Wine.
Mica is also known for her digital publication, For Black Girls That Cry in the Shower. The purpose of this piece of work is “to make you laugh, cry, reflect and love.” One thing is for sure, it’s not your average publication — it’s raw and healing to your soul.
Q: Tell us more about TFF!
A: TFF is about identity at the core. The brand incorporates various mediums to help women of color to navigate & explore their identity in four areas: faith, womanhood, community and personal growth. I do this through creating candid gatherings, cultural events, my digital publication with a few other things coming down the pipeline to encompass all that I have to offer.
Q: At a certain age, some of us consciously embrace our flaws because they make us unique. At what age did you become comfortable to be in your own skin?
A: I would say when I became an adult (at 21 really) because I no longer had braces. I was allowed to do my own hair at that point (I went natural) and I could dress myself. I was buying my own clothes and not my grandmother giving me the rosey print tops.
Q: What does it mean to love yourself unconditionally?
A: Loving yourself unconditionally means showing yourself respect and that you are worthy of love that knows no boundary but only endless grace and mercy. Unconditional love is an endless cycle of grace and mercy we are supposed to use on ourselves and offer to others.
Q: Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome? If so, what personal techniques helped you overcome it?
A: I have certainly experienced this. I do not mind sharing also that I have pitfalls with anxiety from time to time. I mention it because the two have worked hand in hand at one point and time, an took over my brain! I would say a personal technique I use is writing. I write at least every other month or whenever I feel doubtful- any and all words, skills, traits and attributes about my character that I can think of to describe myself.
Q: What tips can you share when it comes to practicing mindfulness?
A: Mindfulness is the one thing I am constantly tackling. Hopefully this helps. I am a believer in Christ. Thus my mindful moments come from my deep embedded faith that I also believe shapes my beliefs values and morals. Thus mindfulness practice looks like praying and acknowledging the things that are right by God. I also believe in deja vu. Whenever I have deja vu, I believe its God’s way of showing me that I am in the right place at the right time. Why worry over tomorrow if I am right where I need to be for the day?
Q: Being your own boss can be liberating! What did you wish you knew in the beginning of your entrepreneur journey that you’re just learning now?
A: I wish I had a blueprint to get me up in the morning. I am naturally a night owl. I thrive at night because I can create and plan in peace. I had to learn what discipline is concerning time the hard way and lost a clients interest and ability to believe in my skill. That lesson will never need to be taught again! I am also learning to be patient. That is by far the HARDEST thing to adhere to because in the beginning you are always ready.
Q: Top 5 things that make you happy… GO!
1. My Faith
2. My Husbands jokes
4. My ability to see the world like only I do
5. My ability to see integrity in myself, my work and others
Q: If you were a superhero, what would your super powers be?
A: My superhero powers would be to understand everyone. I think that is the most important ability you can ever have.
Q: If you had to wear your hair the same way for an entire year, what’s your go to natural hairstyle?
A: A 2-strand twistout made from 12 twists all over to make a big fro.
Q: What problems are you solving in your community?
A: I would say I’m pinpointing and addressing issues. I stay away from saying solve because not too many things are solved, just resolute. Perhaps the main I do tackle in relation to community and the audience of women I serve is closing the gap on the “lack of knowledge” minority women have about issues concerning their livelihood. People perish for their lack of knowledge. I want to inform women that have been mislead or unaware of the issues around them that inadvertently shape their identity. Your identity is what affirms your purpose. If you know who you are, you know what you can do. Thus you know how to address the multi layered issues that lay at the center of a community.
Q: What’s your advice on how to network effectively.
A: Advice would be to love who you are now so that you can be who you are when you comfortably enter a room. It is the only way you will stay relaxed enough to engage in conversation with others. Breathe & have two talking points to rely on.
Q: How many years have you been married?
A: Come this December 13th I will have been married for 2 years! Woo. Partner power!
Q: What have you learned the most about yourself while being married?
I have definitely learned what compromise, discipline and sacrifice look like. I thought I knew what putting others before me was. But truly learned that from a new perspective. I’ve also learned what to prioritize and prize. Meaning you prize or value the one you are with by cherishing moments and not letting an attitude or hunger pain take away a beautiful moment. When you prioritize, you let them know they come first. No matter what else may pop up. Because in the end they will be your peace.
Q: In what ways has sisterhood influenced your life?
A: Sisterhood was the starting point of so much for me. That word has gained new definitions for myself as time has passed and new friendships have formed or old ones gone. Serving is a sisterhood: you serve in your presence naturally by just showing up or listening. I can always acknowledge myself and have learned to acknowledge those who have paved the way before me. I really believe every Black Woman (in particular) have a special type of sisterhood that is fostered by us.
Q: What’s in the future for TFF?
A: Seems far, but currently events are rolling out still with a mental retreat in the works. The digital publication is moving forward, For Black Girls That Cry in the Shower. Concerning what’s new though, an online community is being built and there are two more things to roll out in due time for TFF as it expands as a lifestyle brand.
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