In June 2006, five years after declaring myself a freelance writer on my tax return and just six months following the publication of my first national cover story, I was named West Coast Editor of Essence. Along with juggling deadlines and keeping the well of ideas constantly flowing, the position has allowed me to fulfill a childhood dream, which is something I keep in mind each time I pull an all-nighter.

But wait, let me back up...

My story originates in Jamaica, Queens where I was born the only child of Valerie Robertson. The summer before I entered fifth grade, we moved to Silver Spring, Maryland, but I returned to New York after high school, earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology and settled into my quaint, studio apartment in Brooklyn.

 

Overwhelmed by the sobering realities of rent, utilities and student loan payments, I happily accepted my first “real” job as A&R Coordinator with Epic Records and was later promoted to Product Manager at Sony’s 550 Music.I still have the bruises to show for it.

Having suffered through one too many Nor’easter snowstorms, I packed up and moved to Los Angeles to soak up some year-round
sun and try my hand at film marketing. Along with
the welcome change of temperature, being on
the West Coast granted me access into the
notorious “studio system,” so I swapped out
my Billboard subscription for Variety and got
my schooling on the Paramount Pictures lot.

Two years after landing at LAX, I switched
gears again and decided to revisit some
of my dreams from years past. In 2001, I
began living a bicoastal life with the intent
of pursuing a dual career as a writer and
model.Along with my work at Essence, my
byline has appeared in O, The Oprah
Magazine, the Associated Press newswire,
Giant, Ebony, Honey, Savoy, Jewel, The
Source, Africana.com
as well as LA’s own
arts & entertainment monthly, Venice, where
I’ve served as a Contributing Writer.

In addition, I’ve graced the pages of Heart &
Soul
and Mademoiselle, been a featured guest
on NPR, Centric and the TV Guide Network
and modeled on E! Entertainment, “Extra!”
(alongside fashion maven Betsey Johnson)
and also, on “The View."

I’ve always been a creative person and have relished
the opportunity to try everything that interests me. There’s
no denying that I’ve chosen an unconventional path and
while I’ve certainly endured enough doubt, disappointment
and rejection to bring any girl to tears, I wouldn’t have it
any other way.

I believe in dreaming, big.

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