Carol Moses

My name is Carol Moses and 9 months ago after spending most of my adult life as an actress. I became my own boss when I set up PORTOBELLO TOM. I want to give you a quick insight as to why Portobello Tom exists and why I now make affirmation bracelets alongside my European charm bracelets.

My story:

A West Londoner through and through, I grew up near Portobello Road where as kids we used to call jewellery ‘Tom’ hence the name Portobello Tom.

My mother was a ‘gym slip mum’ and too young to handle the responsibility of raising a child so my grandmother brought me up as her own with her 3 boys on a little estate in Latimer Road, West London. I’m telling you this because I want you to get an understanding of my relationship with my gran. She was my everything and I didn’t really know how to love anyone else on that kind of level until I had my first child, Akira.

16 years ago, my grandmother suddenly passed away from throat cancer even though she had never smoked a single cigarette in her whole life, go figure.

3 weeks after my grandmothers sad passing my mother and uncles decided they were going to the Caribbean to sort out my grandmother’s affairs (she had spent the last 10 years of her life living on her home Island of Dominica).

There was no question as far as I was concerned, Akira and I were going with them. Now, Akiras dad didn’t want her to go but I was adamant, she was going with me. We were going to be celebrating her 3rd birthday in Dominica and in a funny way it gave the family something to look forward to whilst there. I struggled with the guilt of that choice for years.

5 days into the trip, 6 weeks after my grandmother passed, 2 days before her 3rd birthday Akira contracted meningococcal septicaemia and died within 24 hrs of the symptoms appearing.  On February 4th 2001, my life fell apart and it has taken 16 long years to try to pull the pieces together, but pull them together I have.

Now, my story is not about how cruel life is but rather about how strong we human beings are. How amazing the human spirit is. In the pursuit of happiness and healing I’ve discovered many things. I’ve discovered happiness is a right for all.

That includes me and you. It sounds obvious, but it was something I forgot whilst battling the depression and alcohol abuse that came about as a result of losing Akira. I just didn’t know how to cope. I went into free fall, I lost my self-confidence, my faith and my long-held belief that life was supposed to be enjoyed.  When my beautiful, intelligent, spirited daughter passed away life stopped making any sense.

Over the years I found much attention was given to the victims of meningitis and the disease itself and rightly so by the way. But there is another side of the story. There is the family that is left behind when a person passes away. Aunties, uncles, siblings, grandparents, cousins and most importantly parents who now have to find a way of living the rest of their life rather than just existing as I did for many years.

We have to find a purpose, a reason to carry on breathing and living. We must remember how strong we are. Unlike most people I had to find a reason to be happy rather than just being happy. So, you see, I had to rediscover my amazingness as a matter of survival.

We are all going to go through pain at some point, but as long as we believe and hang on in there, we will always come out the other end of our journey stronger. This is why I have created the JOURNEY range. Initially I thought I was creating something specifically to reminded those who had been left behind that they are strong. That they are amazing, because walking through the fire of grief is not easy. It takes superhuman strength at times, but we can do it and come out the other end feeling blessed to have had our loved ones in our lives, no matter how short that time was.

But it has turned into a lot more, because everybody and I mean everybody needs reminding at some point of how strong they are. Not only those who have suffered bereavement but anyone who has been through, a rocky patch, anyone who has had to overcome, anyone who needs reminding they are a hero for carrying on, anyone who needs to be told to carry on because they are worth it and worthy.

The main charms I use on my Portobello Tom ‘JOUREY’ bracelet and what they represent:

I put a tree of life charm on there to remind the wearer that life is forever growing and that they are rooted to something bigger than just themselves. We are connected to a life source we must remember that.

Then there is the teardrop charm, it symbolises the tears you have cried. All stories of strength have a tear or two involved. But those tears did not stop you from moving forward. You have got from there to here. Yes, you may cry again but it will always be ok not to be ok for a time. You will make sure you get up, you will find the strength to keep moving forward…you always have.

I’ve also added a reminder to revel in your playful side in the presence of a child-like charm on the JOURNEY bracelet. Your laughter is important, the world needs it. Did you know smiling gives off positive energy? Smile.

Finally, I have a musical note or treble base. This is to remind you to talk your truth, your voice is important. When I went through my trauma I lost faith in my own voice. Everyone else’s opinion held more weight than my own, even when it came to dealing with my own life. However, we are all entitled to our own opinion and to travel our Journey as we see fit, and that’s what the musical note represents.

I will be donating 10% of the profits from the ‘Journey’ affirmation bracelets to Meningitis Now.  When I needed help in the early days of my daughter’s passing, when I just couldn’t see a future with me in it they were there for me so now I want to what I can to give back in some way.

Here’s to a wonderful life.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us if you would like to see more from Carol please go to Facebook or Instagram

Kristie Kennedy

Kristie Kennedy, is the owner of Queenfidence Image Consulting, LLC who was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. Currently resides in the Capital City, Tallahassee, Florida with her loving husband Lamont Ward and two dogs, Queenie and CoCo.

What is your business about?

Queenfidence is the premiere choice for leadership development and executive image enhancement consulting. We aim to empower emerging, established and enterprising influencers through four components of change: Mindset Mastery, Massive Momentum, Magnetic Messaging, and Potential Maximization. Our unwavering goal is to dismantle doubt, ignite confidence and provoke transformation. Statistics show that countless women suffer from a lack of confidence not a lack of competence. We are committed to equipping women with confidence keys to think profoundly, speak powerfully and live prosperously.

What made you get into this line of business?

Our unique life experiences often beckon us forward to be the superhero someone has been waiting for. After all of the pain, confusion and countless setbacks one day we decide to rise up and become the blazing light we desire to see. For over half of my life I personally battled low self-esteem. As a child my mother placed me in pageants and talent shows to build my self-confidence. During high school years, I was the ugly duckling and managed to survive being bullied for having braces, glasses and for what they called “carrot legs”.  Deep inside my heart I never want another woman to feel less than beautiful. In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I say yes to glass slippers and no to glass ceilings.

Over the past twenty years, I have dedicated my life as a student of personal development. I’ve taught modelling, obtained a license in image consulting, became a certified personal fitness trainer, executive coach and mental health recovery specialist.

Four years ago, I received a pink slip and turned it into Queenfidence. We are constantly presented with opportunities to elevate our mental state from good to great.

As a pioneering trail blazer, I have a moral responsibility to ignite new flames of fire.

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What makes you get up and go in the morning, do you have a morning routine?

Without a doubt a massive vision to create global impact keeps my blood boiling. I am constantly reinventing myself and on my home office wall I have 16 vision boards. I have 4 vision books that remind me of my personal goals, values and passion. Currently, I am on the tail end of completing the fourth vision book and the theme is powerhouse woman. As I prepare to speak on global stages in the coming year, this is a part of my mental conditioning.

I am a visionary leader who believes strongly in inspired action. Every morning, I make sure I invest time in activities that fill my cup to the overflow. Creatives do not like monotony but discipline is necessary. Daily you will find me reading, meditating, speaking affirmations, journaling, exercising, taking nature walks, listening to empowering videos and audios. I rarely watch television because I am completely immersed in the fulfilment of my life’s calling. I believe you must embody your message if you are going to pierce through the masses and be heard.

What is the best advice you have ever been given?

Advice: I share this often, one of my first mentors told me to never allow money to dictate what I could or could not have and what I could or could not do. In the words of Albert Einstein, I realised imagination is truly more important that knowledge. This world is our canvas and she who holds the paintbrush holds the power. On a lighthearted note, I can be a bit extreme and intense. I will never forget the simple words from my girlfriend who has known me the longest, “Kristie just have FUN!” Life is too short not to have a good time!

Affirmation: Recently, one of my closest friends from Africa who has seen my diligence over the past fifteen years wrote to me, “I wanted to say how I have always admired the fact that you stood on your principles, your vision, your faith, your purpose and most importantly your plan. You always demonstrate the strength and courage that is needed to succeed. You stopped focusing on the deck of cards that were dealt to you and started thinking about how you’re going to play the hand moving forward.”

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What is a book you would say that everyone must read?

I am a voracious reader and I bathe in books. When I first started being intentional about self-development the literary work that was foundational in my growth was James Allen, “As a Man Thinketh.” It is why I am unwavering in my commitment to mindset mastery. Research shows that 93% of our behaviour is driven by the subconscious mind which means endless re-programming must be exercised on a daily basis. Here is an excerpt from the 72 page book, “Achievement, of whatever kind, is the crown of effort, the diadem of thought. Victories attained by right thought can only be maintained by watchfulness. Many give way when success is assured, and rapidly fall back into failure. All achievements, whether in the business, intellectual, or spiritual world, are the result of definitely directed thought. He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly. The dreamers are the saviours of the world. Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your minds and the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts. Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be.”

What internal transformation technique do you use to change your mindset instantly?

Read my Kudos to Kristie book of remembrance. I have a compilation of compliments received throughout the years to remind me of the beautiful impact I’ve made in the lives of others. Secondly, dance to an empowering song. It is my happy place. When we learn how to change our physical state our mental state will properly align. If you sit slumped over in a dark room feeling depressed you will stay that way until you decide to do something drastically different. Turn on the lights, put on your little black dress with a pair of stilettos, paint your face and walk out the door. I guarantee you will shift from pitiful to powerful instantly.

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What do you love most about helping others?

I live for seeing the light of hope shine bright in the heart of those who decide to shift from stuck to unstoppable. A few on my favourite comments from my tribe, “If I could carry Kristie with me for at least .5 of 24/7 I wonder who I would become?”; “You keep me going.”; “You are the definition of motivation, thanks for getting my day pumped! I’m off to rock this job interview!”; “Your posts are life-giving.”

Your favourite quote?

“There is freedom waiting for you, on the breezes of the sky, and you ask “What if I fall?” Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” ― Erin Hanson 

Does your business have any offers at the present time?

We have a 90 day Massive Momentum Self-Empowerment Program to conquer procrastination and perfectionism which are typically the top two reasons women stay stuck at start. It’s time to get out of NO-MOTION and get into  GO-MOTION! Kristie Kennedy Program

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Thank you so much Kristie for sharing your story and your amazing business with us, if you would like to see more from Kristie then please go to FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedin or her Website

Have a wonderful day x