Dominique is a lifestyle blogger of Melanin, Mind & Soul who has a passion for writing, travelling, reading. She is inspired by meeting inspirational people, particularly black women who are breaking glass ceilings. You can find her writing on a beach in Nevis in the Caribbean where she is taking a ‘life detox’ to figure out life outside of the office, into the world of entrepreneurship.
SB-C: Tell us a little about you. DL: I’m Dominique, I love to write, travel and meet new inspiring people in my life journey. I’m a born and raised Birmingham girl (Brummie), but I lived in London for three years before venturing to a sunnier climate of Nevis in the Caribbean. My favourite place, is on a beach somewhere in the Caribbean.
SB-C: Where did the name Melanin & Mind, Soul originate? DL: The name for the blog Melanin Mind & Soul came from me describing myself and the positive people I surround myself with, who inspire, educate and empower me to grow. Melanin for how conscious I am about celebrating the diversity of black culture, whether its hair, businesses or networks of people. I am learning that when you change your mind to a growth mindset, instead of fixed, you are able to create the life that you dream of. I have done a lot of soul searching, which involved quitting the things that was no longer serving me. The location I chose to soul search, is on an island. I think and act bigger, so that I can elevate and encourage like-minded people to do the same. By constantly investing my energy into my passion, I just take the leap, instead of letting fear hold me back from realising my dreams. As I realised that I was inspiring other people by celebrating black culture, thinking bigger and letting go of fear, I created Melanin Mind & Soul. This post will give you some more information: Melanin Mind & Soul: How it all began
SB-C: Discuss your entrepreneurial journey with us, where did it all begin. DL: My entrepreneurial journey started when I learned the value of my time, and how much I wanted to own it. I believe in turning passion into profits, if you do something you love, you never work a day in your life. When you learn to value yourself, the possibilities are endless. I like to share, so on the Melanin Mind & Soul blog, I share my journey of self discovery. By building a personal brand, it has led me to developing a professional brand.
When I travel, I am able to reflect. Once I reflect, I turn what I internalise into actions to help achieve my goals, and the beach is my favourite place to think. I enjoy being at one with the sand, sea and beautiful blue sky, often being away from my phone, reading a good book.
My vision is to inspire, educate and empower black women. My mission to do this, is to create a hub that constantly celebrates the diversity of black culture.
SB-C: You share many interesting guest blogs on your platform, how does this enhance the quality of your readership? DL: The guest blogs are quite diverse. Having contributors to the platform allows visitors to read from people who I have connected with personally, often virtually. The power of social media means we can build a network with people all over the world by engaging with content. By including other like-minded content creators, guest articles on the website allows the platform to grow because they are not just hearing from me but I also set guidelines for guest posts so that the style is consistent to what readers expect.
SB-C: In your blog you mention that you are on a mission, to do all the things, you want to do. What are some of these things? DL: To sum up my mission to do all the things that I want to do – it’s fearing less. By removing all limiting beliefs, I aim for the biggest dreams and encourage people who have big aspirations to take action. I’d never tell anyone to go on a journey that I was not prepared to go down myself.
There were many excuses for not starting a blog sooner, butI love to talk about black culture, the future and I love to write, so combining them makes sense.
When my career in Local Government became stagnant and I felt limited by the future prospects. I resigned from my work and decided to take some time out, away from ordinary life. I went on a girls trip to Dubai last February, being around inspirational women, helped me decide that the solution was to create my own job. I wanted to start my own business where I could execute my vision to celebrate black culture. I am becoming more confident in understanding my value, my skills and abilities to serve others.
I recently went zip lining from the world’s steepest hill, in St. Maarten. I tried to get out of it and then I said, let’s do it. What’s the worst that can happen. Seeing the 360 degree views of St. Maarten and neighbouring islands was the best way to spend my 30th birthday, gliding over a beautiful Caribbean island whose beauty can still be appreciated even after a disastrous hurricane ripped through the island just months before.
Going to live on an island was a brave decision but it has been the best.
SB-C: How would you like to see your blog take shape? DL: The blog currently has four categories and I would like to have more like-minded guest contributors for each of the categories. I want to continue to share my story but hear from others also. Although it’s great having an online journal, I also want the blog to be able to educate and inform people. So, there will be more tips and sharing of information that visitors will find useful, such as black UK hair related events because there are so many but sometimes miss out because they don’t find out about them until after it has passed.
The most popular blogs are always about Nevis. So more sharing of travelling adventures and the positive impact that wanderlust has on your outlook on life.
SB-C: Now that you live in Nevis, how was your outlook on life changed? DL: Going to live on an island has been one of the best moves I have ever made. I’m able to reflect on the beach, be around people who I can relate to, soak up the culture, and the warm environment. I own my time, sometimes I stay in complete solitude and other times I’ll go to a rum bar on the beach and hang out with locals who are always welcoming, especially when they know you are ‘English’ J
Living in Nevis is a big culture change. Things are slower, less technological, more time consuming, and the cost of living is high! However, I have learned to live within my means, without frivolous spending all of the time. Things are not as accessible, so if I’m going out, rather than buying a new outfit, I wear what’s already in my wardrobe.
Nevis has changed my outlook on life because I am able to appreciate life so much more. It’s not about things. I appreciate people and how you treat others. Also, I appreciate how important it is to surround yourself with positive vibes.
When Hurricane Irma and Maria threatened the islands, it was a scary time, for someone who has lived in big cities all their life. Whilst Nevis got off practically untouched, my families homes in St. Maarten were severely impacted by Hurricane Irma. I was so worried about them and went to visit at Christmas. Local people commented that I was visiting the damaged island but I appreciated that whilst my family had damage to their homes, they still had their livelihood. St. Maarten is progressing well and although the mood is often somebre, over Christmas and New Year, people showed a lot of love for one another.
As Hurricane Maria started threatening the Caribbean not long after Irma intruded, I could have got on a flight back to England. However, I figured if I’m going to live on an island, I have to take the rough with the smooth. Unlike islands such as Dominica, there was minimal impact in Nevis, however, the sounds of the loud,constant wind and rain, I will remember for a long time, as you just don’t know what will happen with the weather.
SB-C: What advice do you have for the aspiring entrepreneur, who wants to start something but is too scared to give it a go? DL: For anyone who is aspiring to become and entrepreneur, I say do it. Document your vision is – the big dream and overall goal. Then document the mission – how you are going to get there, and then set objectives to achieve them, in bitesize chunks. Once you have a vision and a mission, you can constantly reflect on how far you are progressing. But do not procrastinate or overthink to the point where you are not taking action.
I would advise anyone considering entrepreneurship to turn their passion into profit.
Lastly, I would say, if the prospect of being successful scares you, definitely go for it but do it in bitesize chunks so that you are not overwhelmed. The smallest actions towards the vision, makes the biggest impact in the long term.