To know me is to understand my respect and deep appreciation for Layllah. I was blessed to be able to attend their event The Lipstick Lineup a couple of years ago and I had a blast! When Cari, one of the sisters of Layllah, first announced they would be hosting a garden party centered around branding, I was beyond excited. Here was an opportunity for me to do something different on the weekend, meet some amazing people and learn valuable branding tips. I was in until anxiety tried to talk me out of attending. I came up with so many reasons why I shouldn't attend with a lot of them boiling down to "you're not qualified enough to go." This has been a recurring theme since I received somewhat of a no to something I really wanted but I decided to shake that thought off and show up anyway.

Attending this particular Garden Party was everything I partially knew I needed and then some. This is where things get interesting. While I was mingling with the other guests, I decided to take photographs of a couple of people and found myself being read in a way that snatched my edges. One of the panelists at the Garden Party, Dr. Myla Bennett, MD, dropped a mouthful of gems into my ears and mind before the branding panel portion took place and it was definitely a wake up call. To sum things up, she told me to stop comparing myself to other people because what God created me for has nothing to do with them. She also said God has people he wants us to reach and no one can reach them the way we can. It literally shook me to my core but  I know I needed to hear every last bit of what Dr. Myla said to me.
(From left) Dr. Myla Bennett, MD, Renee Downton, Cari Rene, Eria Kay and Veta Roots (Photo courtesy of Kayla MaDonna) 

The other panelists that were featured during the Garden Party were Erica Kay of Eating With Erica, Cari of Layllah and Renee Downton who is the Field Sales Vice President at L'Oreal Paris with Veta Roots of Chai Design Studio as the panel moderator. A few of the quotes that stood out the most to me are:

"See the vision then create the brand."- Cari Renee of Layllah

"Use every failure as a lesson." - Erica Kay of Eating With Erica

"Build the ladder and climb it." - Veta of Chai Design Studio

"Focus on what you have not what you lack." - Dr. Myla Bennett, MD

"You can't have clarity without being authentic." - Renee Downton, Field Sales Vice President at L'Oreal Paris



Although I could have easily worn a sundress, I thought it would be fun to pull out something I've been saving for a special occasion. I bought this skirt as part of a set from Meow and Barks Boutique last year but couldn't figure out when or where I wanted to wear it. I didn't wear the accompanying top but I did slip into something cute and pleated from SheIn which worked seamlessly. Although I was aware there was a best dressed competition that would be taking place, I wasn't thinking about winning. Truth be told, the other guests wore so many amazing looks that I forgot about what I was wearing lol. When I say we collectively showed up and showed out, I mean it looked like the floral version of Lemonade. Check out some of the stylish looks I spotted below:
Kaiya of Kandid Kaiya and Dr. Myla Bennett, MD
Christina 
K. Lynn of Kerri Alston Hair and Layllah, Veta of Chai Design Studios, and Cari Renee of Layllah
Guests received a swag bag filled with goodies from Giorgio Armani, Body Crystals Co., Yves Saint Laurent , Lush Cosmetics, Sassy Mitchell Hair and Colossal Candle Company. I'm super excited because I won a full sized bottle of Si by Giorgio Armani and I dare say it's making me rethink my love for Gucci Guilty lol. Let's just say I've found my summer scent by default!
I met so many incredible people whose energy was warm and inviting, ate/drank my way into delicious town and learned quite a few things that lit a creative fire within me. The only tip I have for attending a social event is to be open. Be open to speaking with several people, receiving gems from others and soaking up positive energy because it can be found. 

I can't wait to take you on more summer adventures with me so stay tuned because you never know where I'll be headed next!