Updated: Nov 2, 2020
This year is a moment and time of exposure. In the era of social media, there is an awareness that can't be ignored. It's what I'm calling "The Black Presence." The world has shifted its focus to recognize that Black Lives Matter, Black Owned Businesses Matter, Black Education Matters, Black Socio-Economic Matter, and the list goes on. More and more, I have become engulfed in conversation about race and how it continues to affect Black Event Professionals. No matter whether you are a florist, wedding planner, event designer, DJ, or caterer, we have felt the sting of being excluded from some events that our counterparts may have open invitations to walk right through the door. To be fully transparent, I have made pledges, stood in solidarity, and spoke candidly about the issues that African Americans are faced with daily. I'm a proud Black Designer and continue to proudly serve my community as well as others, but this time it's different. I feel seen, I feel heard, but most of all I feel recognized.
Recently, a friend sent me the list of 100 Black-Owned Wedding Businesses in the DMV as recognized by the Washingtonian Magazine, and Perfectly Adorned Event Decor is featured to my complete and utter shock!! What! Me? Listed in the Washingtonian? I was beyond elated; that then followed with a flood of questions. Would I not be listed if this was just a list of wedding businesses in the DMV, not black-owned? Is this only happening because of the state of the world right now? How did this come to be and who determines as to who gets listed? Yet in still, I tried not to let the questions overpower me and to just enjoy the moment. The newfound spotlight comes with mixed feelings - on the one hand, "I'm happy that FINALLY, we are apart of the conversation and the event industry." On the other hand, I question "Why did it take so long?" I chose to focus on the first feeling. The word "finally" encompasses ALL and ALLY. This industry has acknowledged that we are ALL professionals and has supported us through ALLYSHIP and for that I'm grateful.
Being a Black Floral Designer for events in a saturated market is by no means easy. Heck, being a business, let alone a black-owned business isn't easy. I find it important to connect with other black vendors in the event industry to stay grounded, encouraged, and inspired. I find solace in our unity through community movement. Our clients who believe in our brand give me the motivation to continue to make my mark on this industry. Often I get asked, "How do you stand out in the wedding and event industry?" My reply is simple," For me, it's about being true to myself, my culture, and my heritage. That's what makes my business unique in this industry. Black-owned businesses bring something special to the event design world - Culture. A culture that others may not be familiar with, that speaks boldly in designs and showcase a sense of style, grace, and taste.
I couldn't be more excited about the conversation of diversity and inclusion in the event industry. It is the initial step towards change and embracing black designers. I hope that our work will speak for itself and be showcased on a large platform for all to see. More than that, my prayer is that our voices will be heard and represented in the best light. I'm proud to be a Black-Owned Business, a Black Florist, and a Black Event Designer. My brand has been built on authenticity and creativity for the world to experience. I charge the Wedding and Event Industry to move to action with our Black Designers through conversation, collaboration, resource, and unity that establishes a community for ALL.