I’m so honored to share with you my interview with Brandi Sellerz-Jackson. She’s the mother of two boys, Jax and Jedi, and married to her musician husband, Jon. Brandi’s fashion forward sensibility translates beyond her clothing (she’s famous for her luxe wide-brimmed hats), but into the way that she’s created a forward-thinking empowerment brand and blog for women. Brandi and her brood reside in Los Angeles, and she was gracious enough to share what it’s been like for her as she navigated loss, the birth of her rainbow baby, and her oh-so needed brand, Not So Private Parts.
AM: Please introduce yourself and your family to A Global Tribe of Women
BS-J: My name is Brandi Sellers-Jackson. I am wife, mother, postpartum doula, and the creator of the women’s lifestyle blog, #NotSoPrivateParts.
AM: Tell us the motivation behind creating #NotSoPrivateParts.
BS-J: #NotSoPrivateParts was created out of necessity. I believe in the saying, “Be the change that you would like to see in the world.” After my miscarriage, I quickly noticed that there were limited online resources regarding miscarriage and many other issues that women come across…AND to make matters worse, there weren’t many platforms for women to share openly in a safe space. After miscarrying, I felt completely isolated. The truth is that I shouldn’t have. I wasn’t the only woman in the world who had experienced pregnancy loss. With that being said, I identified the source of my isolation. There were simply limited outlets for women to share, vent, and express the everyday stuff, issues, trauma, and joy that women go through. Hence, #NotSoPrivateParts was birthed.
AM: How did you go about birthing and creating the brand #NotSoPrivateParts? Describe the journey to launching #NSPP.
BS-J: #NSPP was launched Jan.1st 2016. So, it hasn’t quite been a year yet. Basically, after my miscarriage, I knew that I wanted to create a resource for women. I wanted to create a safe space to have healthy dialogue. The seed was planted over a year prior to its launch. During this time of gestation, I was pregnant with our rainbow baby, Jedi. I wanted to enjoy pregnancy and really test my emotions a bit. I didn’t want to create something that was merely a flying whim. My goal was to make sure that my purpose behind creating #NSPP was rooted in sincerity and not simply because I was still grieving the loss of our unborn babe. So, I gave it time. After giving birth, I felt more empowered and even more passionate about the many roles we as women eb & flow between. It was now time to birth my blog. To be honest, tackling this new endeavor seemed a bit intimidating at first. Anyone who know me, also knows that I am not tech savvy at all. However, I didn’t have a choice. The hubby was busy during that time (He’s way more “techy” than I.) So, I simply signed up on Squarespace.com. It actually was quite easy designing my site. The process of seeing my vision come to life was quite invigorating. As confidence grew with my new creative outlet, I began putting out a few teasers via social media leading up to the launch date and voila. On Jan. 1st 2016, I pushed the publish button!
AM: Where do you see #NotSoPrivateParts one year from now?
BS-J: A year from now, I would like to see #NSPP hosting retreats and workshops…publishing curriculum and resources purposed for women who are growing into their best selves.
AM: You recently took the leap of pursuing #NotSoPrivateParts as a full-time career. What led you to doing that and was there any hesitation? If so, what were the hesitations and how did you overcome them?
BS-J: As mentioned before, necessity was key. I truly believe that everything has a season. Prior to pursuing #NSPP as a full time career, I worked in the fashion industry for almost four years. I Honestly, my job was quite ideal. Before giving birth to Jedi, I didn’t see myself changing careers anytime soon. However, after giving birth, within my spirit, I knew that a shift needed to happen. I fought it. The thought of leaving a stable salary was a bit scary. However, the thought of staying beyond my season proved to be even scarier. Often times, I found myself nursing in my car on the way to meetings, crying in the backseat. I felt guilty because… here I was, trying to make this career that I had known for four years fit into my new normal. I felt a bit crazy. I felt as if I emulated a crazy person wearing a fur coat in the summer… completely out of season. After much discussion and prayer, my husband and I made the decision that it would be best for me to take the leap, and focus on #NotSoPrivateParts and how I could better serve women.
AM: How do you prioritize weekly blogging, a regular presence on social media, in-person gatherings with women, motherhood, and being a wife?
BS-J: Consistency and freedom has been a major component for prioritizing time for weekly blogging and establishing a social media presence. For me that means, every Friday, I consistently do a #NSPP Blog Post. I try to schedule entries at least two weeks out. Its rare that I don’t have something to post about or without someone who would like to share. However, IF that happens, it’s really ok. I don’t have to say anything (That’s the freedom part). For social media, I literally post everyday (usually only once a day)… at the same time (early morning). This kind of schedule works for me. I encourage people to do what feels natural and most authentic for them and their readers / followers. For me early morning post are best.
AM: Please share a lesson you’ve learned as you’ve matured as a woman or mother.
BS-J: Be you. There is no one who can “do you” better than you…
AM: What piece of advice would you give a new mother wondering how to juggle motherhood and pursuing her passion?
BS-J: Give it time. There may be a quick pause, and that’s ok. Breathe through the pause. Be present. For my creative mamas, know that having a babe only enhances your creativity. Please know that you don’t cease being creative just because you are now a mother.
AM: Please recommend a favorite book of yours.
BS-J: The Alchemist.
AM: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you visit
AM: Where can we find or follow you on social media and the Internet?
All photos provided by Brandi courtesy of photographer Nicole Gracen.