1. What do you think it means to be a good girl?

To be a good girl is to live life with the mindset that there are no boundaries set for you. She is one who stands firm in her truth. The good girl understands that she has an important role in the lives of others and recognizes the power she obtains. The good girl has a genuine heart and comes from all walks of life.

2. Why is your blog called coffeeshopconvos? Describe the vibe you wanted your blog to give off.

Have you ever been to a local starbucks or mom and pop coffee shop in your area? It’s extremely inviting and comforting. I’ve had some of my most intimate conversations in coffee shops. Being a city girl, we cherish it. I just wanted to create a space for men and women to read about those topics that people generally don’t speak on out loud. The vibe is hella chill yet, super informative.

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3. What’s some advice you would give to someone trying to start a blog?

I think there’s three important things to note when starting a blog. First: pace yourself! It’s so easy to get discouraged because we see all of these popular bloggers who actually make a career out of it and post as much as twice a day. I can’t stress this enough because I found myself comparing the frequency in which I post to other bloggers but, I had to take a step back and internalize that my blog is very unique from others. Don’t feel pressured to post on a regular basis. Trust me, your loyal followers will stay up to date. Second: create content that you’re passionate about ONLY! I see this too often where people publish mediocre content just to say that they have a blog. When your heart isn’t really in it, people can tell. Third: stay true to who YOU are! Always remember that there is someone out there who can benefit from your material in some way. Don’t conform to the modern day blogger style because that’s what you think will get you more viewers. It’s not about that.

4. Explain your minimalism theory.

I simply had too much clutter in my life. Figuratively and literally. All of this clutter was making me sick and my symptoms were obvious. I don’t take medicine so I was really going through it for a while. One day, I came across a documentary on netflix titled “Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things”. I heard about it before but, something told me to just watch it to see what it was about. Instantly, I fell in love with the concept.

“Minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value and the removal of anything that distracts us from it.” - Joshua Becker

Minimalism is all about removing the things in your life that don’t hold true value and is just taking up space. These things can be clothing, people, your work habits, collectibles, etc. It allows you to focus on what truly matters in your life and forces you to strengthen the bond you have with whatever it is that you value. For me, I value things like my sanity, my morning routine and my spirituality just to name a few. Having extra baggage in my life pulled me away from those things causing a huge disruption. So I decided to reclaim my time.

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5. Describe yourself in a song.

Frequency by Jhene Aiko is the most fitting song for the journey I’m on at this particular time in my life. I’m allowing nothing but positivity in my space. It speaks love and light into existence. She wishes strength and success unto the future generations and unity amongst everyone. I’m obsessed with it!

“Bless my situation, give me freedom

Bless the generation, give them mercy

Bless the situation

Be with me frequently

Bless my situation, give me love

Bless the situation, let them know

Know that you love

Know you can love” - Jhene Aiko

6. How do you go about reviewing/ critiquing albums, what’s your process?

I’m a music fanatic so every time something drops, I’m on it ASAP. The first time I listen to the album, I listen straight through without stopping just to get a feel of what I’m hearing. The second time, I analyze the lyrics and what each song means. The third time I listen to the album I’m usually trying to grasp the theme and full concept of the project. I take music in doses as everyone should. I can’t just listen to something and fully enjoy it without completely understanding it first. I only review albums that make me feel and visualize myself in the scenarios that are being painted for me.  

7.  What’s The He Project, what ignited this movement?

The He Project is a passion project that I started back in 2013 after George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the Trayvon Martin case. That was an extremely dark time for young people. I think that unfortunate event opened our eyes to the harsh realities of society. That christmas, my mom bought me my first camera and when I went back to school, I just started contacting close guy friends I knew to take photos of them. I wanted to highlight the positive things they were doing in society and redefine the stereotypes that are placed upon them.

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8. What’s your stance on the double standards between women and men with being such an advocate for both?

It truly sucks but, both sexes have to just live their lives unapologetically without considering double standards. Individuals have to condition themselves to do things in their own terms and not because it’s deemed socially acceptable. I love when I see women challenge double standards and receive 100% support in return. Men as well!  It shows that the elimination of double standards is feasible, we just have to put in the extra effort to execute.

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9. How do you deal with a black man that’s not willing to open up and how do you break that wall?

You have to be patient with black men who aren’t fully ready to be transparent. Let’s keep in mind that they’re conditioned to hide their feelings and act as if they’re superman 24/7 which isn’t normal at all. I usually inform them that I’m not a person to judge anyone and I give them enough space until they feel comfortable enough to open up

10. What do you think, as black women, we can do more to support our black men?

Just be there. Be present. Physically, emotionally and spiritually. Talk to them. Try to understand their thought process and not jump down their necks every time they say something we don’t necessarily agree with. Be there for them at their highest AND lowest points. Hype them up like us black women hype each other up. Tell them you love them. Tell them why you love them. Go into detail about why you need them. Black men play a vital role in our communities and I would hate for them to not receive the recognition they deserve.

11. Where do you see coffeeshopconvos and The He Project in 5 years from now?

Coffee Shop Convos will be an integrated platform with all media types because everyone processes information different. I want to be able to reach the people who aren’t big readers but love listening to podcasts. I want to capture someone who loves film and is  extremely into graphics. As far as The He Project goes, I want it to grow to become a community initiative. Something everyone can contribute to.

12. Whats your ultimate goal in life?

I don’t think I’ve figured out my ultimate goal in life yet. I may not even have one. I just want to continue to spread love/light and be an inspiration.

Thanks for reading!!!

Personal Social Media:

Instagram: @tara.camille

Twitter: @taracamille_

Blog:

Coffeeshopconvos.com

Passion Project:

Instagram @theheproject

Twitter @theheproject