In Praise of Women Around the World.

Offering flowers and gratitude to the wonderful women in my life.

It's the last official week of Women's History Month. Although we've already had a flash sale to celebrate this special month, I want to take additional time to express my gratitude for all of the incredible women who have helped me, both personally and professionally.

The Bantu word ubuntu means, “A person is a person through persons,” and I would not be who I am today were it not for the invaluable donations of time, energy, wisdom and love that these women made to me. These women include my mom Ella P. Cummings, grandmother Celestia, sister Kamilah Cummings, cousins Thea Nerissa Barnes and Cheryl Denise Barnes, great Aunt Beverylnn, friend/"big sister" Saundra Warren and countless other close family members and friends who invested in my growth. These women all modeled excellence in their own distinctive ways. They were beautiful, confident and exceptional. They encouraged me and collectively gave me permission to dream bigger and bolder than anything I could have ever imagined for myself as a little black girl raised on the South Side of Chicago. As the saying goes, "Show me your network and I'll show you your net worth." There is so much value in these relationships. I am immeasurably grateful and determined to provide a return on their investment in me.

Speaking of the female family and friends who have impacted my life, I mentioned in the last blog post that I'm dedicating this year to my cousin Thea Nerissa Barnes. One way that I plan on doing this is by curating the "Nerissa" collection in her honor. Again, the collection will be a curated collection of global artifacts that evoke sound and motion like the body of a dancer. I'm also working on curating an exhibit that will serve as a visual compendium of her career as a dancer. I'm hoping that I'll be able to share this with you in July of this year...fingers, toes and eyes crossed! In the meantime, please take a look at a few of the travel souvenirs that I inherited from her personal collection. The items include vintage Hopi pottery from the Native American Hopi tribe of Arizona, Southwestern yoga blankets, Iranian and Turkish-style area rugs, an old Arabic coffee kettle and many other interesting items. We just added them to our store today, so don't hesitate to grab something that you fancy. Once they're gone, they're gone.