“Deliberately Me” 2016 Campaign



Hey Brilliance-

We hope you are enjoying manifesting your dreams.

Couture Purpose decided we do not have to wait until 2016 to launch our new campaign “Deliberately Me.” In a world filled with reasons not to be YOU, Couture Purpose decided to intentionally encourage YOU with being “Deliberately You.”

From December 1, 2015, until December 31, 2016, you will see posts, interviews, and best practices on the art and science of “being deliberate.” Yup, you guessed it we are making a statement.

Speaking of statements please visit our new “Runway” page and get your limited edition “Historically Beautiful” designer statement tee. This designer t-shirt was designed with the essence and uniqueness of the Couture Purpose community.

As always thank you for your love and support!

Designed | To Make | Statements

Couture Purpose





“We are the complete greatness of universal intelligence and love.”

Designed | To Make | Statements

Couture Purpose




The “unknown” is a friend and not a “foe.”





Designed | To Make | Statements


Couture Purpose


Spoiler Alert-by-Guest Blogger-in-Residence-Sonny Smith



When businessmen and women ask me how I handle the challenges of being a woman in business I immediately begin to think of all the ignorant, perverted, rigid and outright arrogant situations that I’ve been apart of. You’ve heard it:

“You’re not ready to play with the big boys – but I’ll let you make me a sandwich.”

“I can get you this contract, but you gotta give me to booty first.” (Yep, someone actually said this to me)

“I know you think you’re smart, but your plan is gonna blow up in your face.”

“You’ve got a great idea, but you’re going to need me to make it happen.”



I begin replaying the intensity I felt in the peak of these gender-biased moments, all the crazy faces I make in my head from utter shock, and the visions of politely “removing” taste buds from an elite few.



…and then I smile. All that anxiety and stress came from the old me, but I still get asked:


  • How do I get the opposite sex to take an attractive woman seriously?
  • How do I keep the conversation about business instead of the bedroom?
  • How do I ensure that I don’t cower when someone is trying to intimidate me?

 It took me years to figure it out, but I realized that it’s nothing personal; that others create challenges based on what comes naturally to them. I’ve learned how to finesse even the most compromising situations and cleverly maneuver myself to remain sweatless and unmoved. Here’s how.


Think about any movie – romantic comedy, action, suspense, you name it – the basics are all the same: the characters, the script and the drama in between. Spoiler alert! You already know that there will be a good guy and a bad guy; boy meets girl scenario or someone who saves the world from aliens. You also know that there’s going to be some drama, whether excitement or tragedy, because who wants to see a movie where nothing happens? And above all, you know that there must be a well-written script – otherwise it’s corny or boring and we’re ready to ask for our money back.

So what does this have to do with overcoming challenges?


If we already know that characters will play their role and the drama in life comes standard, why is that we continue to be surprised and respond to the most predictable situations like they’re brand new? We should not allow people to re-write the scripts of our lives in a manner that creates anxiety, gives away our power and discredits our contribution. If we know what’s coming, we should be a step ahead.


First, you have to STUDY THE CHARACTERS. Know the cast in the environment that you’re leading. Note: this is not a permission slip to start stalking people!



Spoiler alert! An average man will play the role they normally play: they may not speak because they think you’re intimidating OR they speak because they see something beautiful that they want and they want to explore it, conquer it and hoard it in their camp. True story. Men will react – good or bad – to things that intrigue them. They spend time pushing buttons and boundaries to see what they’re up against. It’s not new. Your role is to know whom you’re dealing with and how to properly engage.

network-577009_1920 I pay attention to how they like to give and receive information (i.e. stats vs. stories), the type of verbal affirmations they respond to (ego nurturing), types of things they highlight in casual passing (sports, people, news) and the type of people they hang around (statesmen, philanthropists, lots of women).


Find a way to relate to the character. People are more vulnerable to you when they feel as though they’ve been heard.


Second, SKIP THE DRAMA. Everything doesn’t warrant a level 10 response from us. I’m all for being an interesting and enthusiastic, not to be confused with being moody or irrational. As a person who is usually the only woman in a boardroom full of men – Spoiler alert! – there is a stereotype that women are zealous and hopeful without any real foundation.


Imagine me at a table full of men vehemently trying to explain to me why I can’t excel at being creative and project-oriented at the same time. I sat upright in my chair, listened, and waited for the proper time to introduce them to a concept that they’d never experienced before – me.



After just one meeting with a very successful Asian male from the group, he expressed, “I thought you were just very happy and eager about this project; that you’d have no hard insight as to how to run this program. It was very refreshing to see that you are very practical and extremely organized.” I responded without jumping up from the table, popping my neck or pointing fingers. How we respond gives away signals to our stability, class and strength; which is exactly what your challengers are looking for. The same goes for women who aren’t supportive to you. Let them keep the drama; you keep your cool.


Third, “RIGHT” THE SCRIPT. When it comes to navigating challenging conversations and situations, there’s nothing more powerful than choosing the right words to say.


I cannot express how important the scenery or the atmosphere is when considering what you say. Knowing when to make a very blunt statement versus a clever comeback will make or break your position. With that in mind, here are a few tips to keep in mind when developing your script:

  1. Stay true to yourself. Don’t agree to something that you believe is harmful with where you see yourself in the future.
  2. Always have an opinion, but be selective as to when or if you share it.
  3. Don’t. Push people’s buttons.
  4. Always get back to the business at hand. Get what you came for.
  5. Smile – just a little.

Example. If a man has been known to be aggressive and “punchy” in order to belittle me in public, I don’t break eye contact, I speak slowly and say something like, “I’ll be sure to give you some better insight about that at a later time, but if we can, I’d like to finalize our next meeting date.” Hold gaze.

eye-297544_1280 Mastering the characters, the drama, and the script is how we make our power plays. What you’re really dealing with is a person’s maturity and confidence. Don’t be caught off-guard at how someone acts when they’re intimidated or curious about whom you are. Spoiler alert! You’re awesome and deep down they already know that you’re awesome.



Sonny Smith is a strategic planning and operations specialist, advocate for social awareness and a fan of lists that come in threes! The Birmingham, AL native is passionate about working with big ideas and the entrepreneurs who create them! Sonny lends her expertise to corporate and non-profit influencers and welcomes the opportunity to discuss community solutions in an open forum whether local or abroad. Connect with her at or on Twitter @SonnyGetsItDone.


Unapologetic Wealth

As a teenager entering the workforce, I heard, Don’t end your day without paying yourself from a gentle soul who was a business mastermind. This gentle soul talked to me for two hours regarding paying myself and being an entrepreneur. As I recall watching this man work in the community many discarded him because he was unassuming and quiet. Little did people know he was one of the first millionaires in his city. From that moment forward I learned any time greatness walks in the room, I need to position myself front and center, taking notes, and counting myself blessed in the presence of greatness.


The aforementioned moment is just one example of the countless dreamers and entrepreneurs I have encountered on my journey to becoming a social entrepreneur. Even though social entrepreneurship is a hot topic, the concept of using business to assist with society’s  needs is not a new concept. I know countless entrepreneurs who funded bloodline dreams and community campaigns with their entrepreneurial endeavors. Brilliance, did you know the class we represent in 2014 created $1.4 trillion in sales? Yes, ma’am, you read correctly TRILLION.

We know as women we are often given stories not befitting our true brilliance, nevertheless beautiful soul this is our time to create our stories and write checks funding the next dreams of women leaders.


Our question to YOU is “Are you paying yourself?” Not in shoes, bags, makeup (yes we lovveeee those things as well). But are you investing in the future YOU?




Couture Purpose decided to go with the theme of Minding Our Business: Focus on Business, Focus on Growth for July 2015 because more minority women need to get into the business arena. Yes, there is an increase in the number of women of color in business but we are just a small percentage of the overall business demographics. Think about it, it is over 7 billion people in the world. What idea, plan, dream, invention do you have that can serve the world and create a wealth legacy for you and your spheres?



Brilliance if you are hesitant about starting and flourishing in business. Know we are not alone there many organizations who know how to assist us with our entrepreneurial goals. Remember, Couture Purpose is more than willing to assist you with making statements by manifesting your brilliance in the world.



Response requires Actions:

 Write down one thing you like to buy.

  1. In ten words or less explain why you like to buy that item (i.e. this item makes me feel… I like the company; I am able to…with this item).
  2. Write down in one paragraph how you would improve the item (For example I would lower the price, have more vendors sell the item etc…).
  3. Guess what you just created a product…now go SELL IT!


Designed Statement: I AM ABUNDANCE


The Interview: His Side of Marriage


It was beyond fun to talk about marriage and to witness your reactions to our various posts pertaining to marriage. For the last installment of our marriage series, we elected to interview a husband who values the institution of marriage. There’s no better way to hear about marriage than from a devoted husband!

Enjoy the interview…


Do successful women intimidate men?

I believe that strong, aggressive, ambitious people intimidate weak, passive, lackadaisical people regardless of sex. Personally successful women do not intimidate me but many men feel their identities defined by what they do and how much they earn. In my mind it takes a strong women to walk with a strong man. There’s’ no room for intimidation in any loving relationship.

Do you think there’s a shortage of good men?

I don’t think there is a shortage of good men or women. I believe that we attract what we are. A woman only needs to find one man; I would rather see her focus on finding her man as opposed to dealing with all the bad men.



Why are you married?

The short answer is I’m married because I believe in the power of love, commitment and companionship. The long answer is that I’m married because I love having someone to share my life with, someone to talk to about everything and someone to support and see grow and mature in their life and purpose. I love an accountability partner for all aspects of my life. As an athlete I love the concept of team, and having a lifelong teammate.

Best thing about being married?

The best thing about being married is having a front row seat for our personal growth as a couple. Walking with my wife brings me many laughs and enjoyable moments. Seeing our growth as individuals and as a couple is the best thing about being married.


 Most challenging thing about being married?

As a husband I believe my job is to a lead my household, love my wife unconditionally, and serve my wife. While there is much depth to these three requirements of being a husband, there are many challenges where the rubber meets the road. Many men believe that being the head of their household means to rule over your wife. Head does not mean dominance and I believe that part of the reason we are so resistant to embracing our roles as husbands and wives is due to our lack of understanding of leadership. One of the most challenging things about being married tie into the role of leadership from a husband’s perspective.

As a new husband it was a challenge to know how to head my household. While I knew the role of a leader my main challenge was how I translated my leadership role to my wife. I had to check the way that I talked; I had to become aware of the words that I used and how I communicated to my wife across the board.


When did you know your wife was your life-purpose partner?

I knew my wife was my life partner early in life. We met around 6-7 years old and I’ve had a crush on her ever since our initial meeting. There is a feeling that I got with her that I didn’t have before her.


What advice do you have for men wanting to be married?

I could write a book on the advice for men desiring marriage, but the one key piece of advice that I would offer is to take the time to prepare yourself to enter the marriage space. That preparation involves learning the role of a husband. What your role is in a marriage, and learning what’s involved in being the head of a family. Any man looking to become a husband should have a spiritual foundation, and seek the counsel of G-d as to the husbands’ responsibility in the family unit.

What advice do you have for women wanting to be married?

My advice for women and men is essentially the same. I believe that women should go into marriage understanding the role of a wife and what that means in the framework of a family. I also suggest that a woman not settle for just any man but wait for the man who is for her.


What are three of the biggest obstacles to a thriving marriage?

While there are many obstacles to a successful marriage I believe the biggest obstacle to a thriving marriage is a lack of communication and a space of total acceptance. In order for you to have a thriving marriage there must be a space of vulnerability in the marriage. Both parties must have a place to rest their heads that is not a space of judgment or shame. Through honest communication within that space you can see your marriage begin to thrive and grow in ways unimagined.



How can men and women achieve more effective communication between one another?

To improve communication men and women have to create spaces of trust. We have to understand that we can trust each other in order for us to open ourselves for better communication. I also believe that we have to listen with an unaffected ear to hear what the other person is saying, and to place ourselves in the shoes of the other person so that we hear them and their position, and perspective.


Designed Statement: i flow in DIVINE balance…


Rejected and Married-by-Guest Blogger-in-Residence-Dr. Tina Bedell

The popular girls at school didn’t want to eat with you in the cafeteria because you weren’t part of the “in” crowd. REJECTION! You didn’t make the cheerleading team because you weren’t skinny enough. REJECTION! You get the letter that reads, “Thank you for applying to our university, but after careful consideration we regret to inform you….” (Yea right). REJECTION! You are told, “We will keep your application on file” after you find out you weren’t chosen for the job you wanted. REJECTION! Your mother has a favorite, but you are not it. REJECTION! You receive a breakup text. REJECTION!  And the list goes on and on…..I think you get my drift. Why is rejection so hard? Because it sends the message that we are not good enough, that we suck, that we are not liked, that we are not accepted, and that we are unwanted.  We have all experienced rejection at some point in our lives.  However, rejection from the one you took vows with is a whole other issue. The pain is like no other pain. It cuts deeper. It stings harder. It’s the salt in the wound. It’s the punch in the gut. It’s the slap in the face.


Rejection can occur in many forms in marriages. However, it’s typically gender specific. That is, women often feel emotionally rejected while men feel sexually rejected. This creates a pattern of the more he rejects her emotionally, the more she rejects him sexually and the more he is rejected sexually, the more she is rejected emotionally. It’s a vicious cycle. So let’s examine what each looks like.  Emotional rejection manifests as the silent treatment, ignoring, withholding affection, refusing to communicate, debating instead of validating feelings, belittling, being insensitive to feelings, shooting down dreams, being dismissive, etc. As a result of this type of rejection, many women experience a low libido. They may begin to feel used, see sex as repulsive, or resent their husbands’ sexual advances.  Wait a minute ladies before you start saying amen. Denying your husband sex for weeks, months, and even years is a travesty.  “I don’t feel good..”, “Get off of me…”, “I don’t like sex…”, and “Hurry up and finish…” are just a few things women say that makes their husbands feel rejected. Going to bed earlier and acting like you are asleep, purposely falling asleep in another room instead of in the marriage bed, or waiting for him to fall asleep is also indicative of sexual rejection. Sound familiar? Rejection in any form can be damaging and have long lasting effects.  You don’t have to accept a rejection of any type in your marriage.  So ladies…it’s time to evict rejection out of your marriage.  It’s gotten crowded, it doesn’t contribute and you will no longer feed it, nurture it, or play with it. Tell rejection, “You don’t have to go home but you have to get the “beep” out of here.”



Hurt, anger, disappointment or any negative emotion has its origin in some form of rejection.  Repeated rejection in your marriage can cause major issues if it is not dealt with immediately and effectively. There are three ways that we deal with rejection: 1) shut down and internalize the pain; 2) act out the pain aggressively, or 3) use the pain for our good. The first two are obviously unproductive and unhealthy although the typical “go-to” responses. Now let’s see. If you shut down and internalize it, it will eat away at your soul.  If you act out the pain aggressively, you will make the situation worse, have regrets, and/or face dire consequences. What would happen if you used the rejection for your good? Sounds foreign? Likely. Is it possible? Definitely.  However, there must be a paradigm shift.  Recognize rejection for what it is and make a decision to go after it like a pit bull. Pray, seek counsel, self-examine, take responsibility, be committed to what you have control over, identify what’s not working, humble yourself, tear down pride, and do the right thing for YOU!






Dr. Tina M. Bedell is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and has been counseling for over 20 years.  Dr. Bedell is also a Board Certified Life Coach. She has been well trained academically as evident by earning a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from The Ohio State University.  She has traveled extensively conducting presentations, seminars, and workshops as well as participating on various consulting teams, leadership councils, and ministry conferences.  Not only is she a skilled teacher and a conduit of change, she is an individual with wise counsel and unusual insight.  She has the uncanny ability to recognize growth areas as well as provide practical solutions that move individuals towards greater levels of prosperity.  Her gifts and skills expand across an array of professions which has provided her the opportunity to impact a number of disciplines and institutions.  Dr. Bedell’s desire is to see others operate with a spirit of excellence in their personal, professional, and spiritual lives.  Understanding that everyone has a destiny, her diligence is motivated by her determination to move individuals, businesses, and ministries from potential to purpose.


She Has My Husband!!!


We hope you are in a space of love, healing, and growth.

If you are like we are at Couture Purpose you are more than likely preparing to attend gobs of bridal showers, weddings, and anniversary celebrations…shoe shopping time! It is JUNE, and this is officially WEDDING SEASON.


After engaging in a series of conversations and events dedicated to marriage, we decided to align our June posts with all things marriage. Please enjoy the updated version of Why is She Married and Not ME with new insights.


Brilliance more than likely your mailbox is beginning to overflow with wedding invites. As one of the Couture Purpose’s Dreamers stated. “Here come the Women Questions.” Why are you not married? What happened to what’s his name? Did you talk to the man at church? Don’t you want to have kids? In my singleness, I was often asked these questions. As much as I responded with G-d orders my steps; I want to build businesses for my lineages; I am completing grad school or whatever else my soul decided to release, it never satisfied the sabotaging hunger of the one questioning me. I say sabotaging because anyone who is truly aligned with you, have their finger upon the pulse of your soul, and they know you are preparing for “Your Season.” Your soul tribe will not challenge your decisions because they know they are chosen to walk with you and that all things work for your good and growth.



The key I was given, and I want to bless you with is to CENTER YOURSELF for your MARRIAGE PLAN. (I’m yelling, because after 9 years of marriage I am in awe of how my YES Lord aligned me to be aligned with my divine marriage). I centered myself and REALLY listened to G-d for my Marriage Plan. You may ponder what is a Marriage Plan? A Marriage Plan is a divine plan designed to assist you with aligning yourself with your divine marriage. Does everyone have a Marriage Plan? Don’t know. Is a Marriage Plan worth investigating? YES, IT IS!

Sidebar; many will attempt to tell you whom they think you should marry. Be courageous enough to state what you want, and believe you can have it! I recall in my preparation season, so many had a “good guy” for me. I knew I was not expecting a “good guy” I was expecting the guy designed to align me on a deeper level with my purpose and destiny. Ladies, be wise when it comes to a “good guy.” What we in society label as “good” is often rejected by the universe ;>). I recall a time when a lady tried her best to convince me HE’S THE ONE. I inquired “The one what…!?”



At Couture Purpose, we are blessed to engage in many fabulous conversations with our girls. One subject that keeps popping up is Why is She Married and Not ME? We especially notice this question among women who see themselves as being set aside for marriage, not engaging in sex, and choosing not to date. Many women are wondering why the trap queen is getting married, and not them who see themselves as “Holy?” Yup, I went there…

After countless conversations…several things are clearer to us about women and marriage.


Let’s examine a few of those things…

First, she is married and not you because that’s the path her season followed, and you should never compare yourself to another woman. You do not know the sacrifices a woman embraced to receive her promise. It is not about looks, weight, race, economic status, or education. It is about the alignment of you and the soul mate G-d has intended for you. Secondly, she is married, and not you because you are in a season of preparation. Be bold and brave, and begin to seek what needs completion in your singleness. I knew I had to earn my MBA before marriage. Not only, did I complete my MBA, but I was aligned with my husband the same month after completion of my MBA. Thirdly, question what are you projecting into society? As a sociology geek, I love observing our societal behaviors and social media is a great Petri dish to observe society.

As I review my timelines, I see much retaliation, revenge, hurt, pain, guilt, vanity, competition, comparison, striving, and sabotage being projected by women. I truly wonder what a man thinks when he reads some of the statuses? Ladies, I suggest rethinking what you release in society. Many men are savvy enough; to understand what you release on your timelines is what lies in your souls. Do not fall prey to the thinking “Men are oblivious…” Think about the man you want to align your life, connect DNA, and produce fruit. Is he blind, stupid or incapable of discerning the proverbial “angry woman?” Think chica…

Lastly, as girls we take on many of our mother’s worldviews. You have to know the genetic imprint, which lies within your DNA. Sisters, you do not need to be a scientist to get a good idea of what’s in your gene pool. Observe, NOT JUDGE the women in your family. Are they married, single, or divorced? Listen to their hearts in respect to marriage. Take time and go back to your initial dating season. What was your mother’s reactions to the guy(s) you dated? Did you feel pressured to please mother while ignoring your desires? We have witnessed countless women marrying the man their families thought was good for them and the marriage failed to align with divine purpose.


You can glean much about your gene pool by simply listening and observing!!! Once you observe your past DO NOT JUDGE IT, bless your past, and free yourself from ALL SELF-INFLICTED GUILT and PRESSURE. So what it didn’t work out with Mr. Whoever. Yes, he said he loved you, and about 10 other women! STOP REHEARSING HURT and start practicing the life you want. Meaning, if you want to be a wife act like a wife.

Take that cooking class, put on those workout pants, and go running, allow yourself to DREAM AGAIN! And by all means release you, speak to your future self, say, “I am married, and I have a loving, passionate, aligned, and supportive marriage.”

Brilliance, we released this previous post with new insights because we are DREAM ADVOCATES, and if marriage is a part of your dreams, we are here to support your dreams.



Designed Statement:

What I seek seeks me…

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