April is all about Girl Power here at TheeFashionStories and our first interview is with the lovely founders of Black Girls Social, Tori Lee and Kellee Moore. Black Girls Social is a networking company supporting women of color to be who they are, unapologetically free to dream, create,
explore the unknown and pursue all possibilities on their terms. Tori and Kellee manage an online community of like-minded women of color and host local networking events. BGS is located in Dallas, Texas.
I stumbled upon the Black Girls Social instagram page and was instantly hooked. I all look forward to seeing the uplifting and encouraging daily posts on the BGS page. After stalking their instagram page for a few weeks, I finally ventured onto the actual BGS website. I was excited to find out that women of color, like myself, were doing positive things to uplift and empower one another. That's when I knew that I had to interview the founders. It wasn't until maybe a month and a half later that I finally got the courage to reach out. But when I finally reached out to the BGS team they got me their interview question responses and pictures in no time! Well that's enough background knowledge! Keep reaching to learn more about the lovely founders of Black Girls Social, Tori Lee and Kellee Moore.
What was the vision behind BGS?
Tori: I came to Kellee with Black Girls Social. I wanted a place for minority women to network. To not just come and talk to women they knew prior to walking in the door but to talk to everyone in the room with a sense of purpose. The purpose would be and is to help one another and to listen to each other wholeheartedly; encouraging the next woman’s journey. The core of the vision is to build authentic relationships among women that reflect one of our favorite saying, “We are each others greatest resource.”
Kellee: I think Tori & I just felt there was a need that wasn’t being met. If we had the ability and willpower to start to address that need, then why not?! I signed on because I believe in my friend and the idea that was on her heart.
What does Girl Power mean to you?
Tori: Girl Power is celebrating the Queen that lives in every woman. Acknowledging she has a light that deserves to be seen. I believe that helping your light glow does not mean I am dimming my own.
What fashion story describes you in a nutshell?
Tori: I am tacky, I so want to be stylish but I am not. I literally wear black tights and the same oversized sweatshirt whenever I can. To sum it up, I have to be comfortable!
Kellee: Tori hit the nail on the head! If I’m not comfortable, I don’t feel beautiful. I feel stifled and I’m not sure that is ever a good look! Jeans & a tee. Layer it in the winter/fall months and add sandals in the summer. Here’s a little secret: I don’t like wearing shoes but our society calls for such silly (& sanitary) decorum. Sigh.
Name some of your favorite bloggers.
How do you balance your business and personal life? Tori: In all honesty, my business and personal life collide each and every day but I am learning to enjoy it. I was just recently told, “....each and every day you should be exhausted because if you are not that means you cheated someone either personally or professionally.” So with that being said I promote rest, having fun, and lots of sleep when you can. But I also know that this life is not my own and my time on earth is short. So I am no longer searching for balance but peace and joy.
Kellee: I simply take time to enjoy life. Enjoy friends and family. To just sit in the wondrous creation and marvel at what God has created. A good planner helps too!
What does confidence mean to you both?
Tori: Confidence is one of those things that you have on a good day hands down and the next day you are fighting to reclaim it. It is the courage to face the world. The courage to get out of bed and just try to do something with the day. May I say to all that read this...LIFE is hard and sometimes you wake up and can’t stop the tears from flowing but get up anyway. GET UP! No other step is needed because that’s all that needs to be done sometimes.
Kellee: It’s learned. It’s taught. More so by example than an actual lecture. I learned confidence because I was taught it first. I watched my grandmother and my mother lead lives that showed me confidence was more about a decision than a feeling. It is something we decide on. Daily.
Where do you find inspiration?
Tori: I find inspiration literally everywhere because I believe in making time to be inspired. I wake up around 4:30 am every morning to look around and just to see what comes to mind when I journal. I live for Pinterest and other blogs/websites that promote positivity, so I browse those as well first thing in the morning while eating breakfast by candle light. Yes, I eat my breakfast by candle light because I get to decide how to set the tone for my day! I also read a lot of books and spend a great amount of time researching the lives of other women...you [women] inspire me!
Kellee: Stories. Those of women who boldly take on life and stand behind what they know is right. Who admit their fears and keep going in spite of. Those women’s stories inspire me. I also find inspiration in community and in my quiet time.
How can black women reach their dreams?
Tori: Black women can reach their dreams by putting some effort behind those dreams and turning them into actionable steps and calling them goals. Don’t just dream, put in work!
What is the biggest hurdle that you all had to overcome when starting BGS?
Tori: We are still overcoming hurdles, but the biggest hurdle for me was myself. The most discouraging experience I have ever been through was dealing with months of self doubt, asking myself, “who was I to dream outside of the box?” and allowing that doubt to stop me from doing anything within Black Girls Social. I literally gave up and just went about life as if this company did not exist.
Kellee: Trying to deal, while Tori dealt with her own self doubt. I wanted to be supportive and encouraging but I also wanted BGS to continue to grow.
What are your biggest dreams or aspirations in life?
Tori: My biggest dreams are to work for myself, to travel the world interviewing women in order to inspire other women and to have God say “Well done” at the end of it all!
Kellee: I just don’t want to waste my life. In all that I do, I want people to see Christ in me. I want my friends and complete strangers alike to know that I lived having served in such a way that when my story is told, He’ll be the hero.
Where do you see Black Girls Social in 5 years?
Tori: In 5 years I see Black Girls Social in other major cities, hosting not only networking events but empowerment sessions. I also see a larger network of minority women helping each other succeed, offering each other advice and working alongside one another for one another.
Kellee: There are so many directions this endeavor could take but wherever it lands, I pray it will be God’s will for us. We’ve had such a great response and following these past couple years! It’s still hard to believe sometimes.
What mark do you all want to leave on this world?
Tori: I want my mark on the world to be left on people. I want other women to value the vision of Black Girls Social so much that they ensure that it lives on. I learned a long time ago, you must invest in others because anything else you try to leave in the world that is not left on another person will die right along with you.
Kellee: I want my legacy to be one that proclaims “Jesus is better!”. I want my children to know this and to teach their children and so on. I want my mark to be seen on whatever I do while I am here on this earth, whether it be with BGS or in my home life.
What career advice do you have for TheeFashionStories readers?
Tori: The only career advice I have is to watch what you say no to and be well aware of what yes means.
Kellee: If you are still trying to figure out your purpose, read “Restless” by Jennie Allen. Our lives are about more than just a job or social status. If no one ever knew you name, would you still do what you have been called to do?
Do you have any upcoming events or projects that TheeFashionStories readers should be on the lookout for?
Hmm. Let’s just say the summer months are coming and we might want you to have something to cute and cool to wear. :)
How can TheeFashionStories readers contact you? www.blackgirlsocial.com
Tori: You can contact me in the following ways but if those methods are not your preferred methods, let me know and we can figure something out!
I am amazed at the hearts of these two women. Their desire to serve and inspire is so encouraging! It was a pleasure doing this interview. I want to make my way to Dallas, TX to attend a BGS event sometime soon. Thank you ladies so much for taking the time out to impart into my readers lives and into mine as well. I know that BGS will continue to flourish and God will grant you ladies more favor! I love what you all are doing and I look forward to learning more from you both in the future.
Much Love, Jas