David Hooey, A 24 years old man born & raised in the great city of Houston, TX. He is a graduate of The Prairie View A&M University where he received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in Fall 2018. He is currently engaged to his beautiful Fiancée Kayla (TheRealKlass Blog). Hooey is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated. He is a very social person who loves to make people laugh, smile, and always sees the glass as half full. He values family so much because he did not come from a huge family like most. The friendships that he has made throughout his life taught him that family doesn’t always mean blood.
Growing up, Hooey always felt like he was different, he thought that because he did not look the same as everyone, that he was less than the person to his left or right. Hooey’s had mixed feelings about his birthmark while growing up; feelings like “should I cover this up,” “why do I have this,” “what’s wrong with me,” and the list went on from there. Those thoughts began to change once he started finding his own identity and understanding that in life he can’t fit into the mold someone else wants him to fit in because their expectation of you will always change. He had to focus on who he wanted to be and what he wanted his life story to be. He found his life elevated once he was living life happily in his skin and not worrying about what anyone thought or said. Hooey was able to take back the power from all the bullies, haters, and people who gave me crazy looks and propelled himself to where he is currently in his walk of self love.
Hooey has been fortunate enough to not have had personal experiences with mental health challenges, however he prides himself on being an advocate for communicating any problems that he may be facing with people he trusts because he doesn't want to hoard any negative feelings. He does have those days like many others who may not be feeling one hundred percent and just need to recharge the batteries with self care and self acclamation.
Hooey shares that he was able to grow his confidence by choosing not to let anyone have control over his mind or spirit. All the teasing, bullying, and stares that he experienced growing up hurt, taking a toll on his self confidence due to the majority of negative comments that he would hear about his birthmark. It took some realization for him to decide that he can either define himself or let society define him and he choose to be the one who defines his own life. From the ashes he arose with a shifted mindset, he focused on how he can be a blessing to others, how he can spread love and joy to everyone he encounters, and how he can make someone who was in his shoes see their value. He shares that he has encountered many people that see something special in him, which feels great because all he’s ever wanted to do was inspire, love, and help people out. The process of maintaining his confidence is practicing self love and not trying to worry about other people’s negativity. Hooey expresses that once he sees the impact that he can have, whether it be one person or one hundred people, it makes it all worth it.
Alisha Caldwell is a cosmetologist; specializes in hair and makeup. When it comes to styling hair, she has no limits and is able to do everything from common hairstyles to cutting, dreads, and weaves but her specialty is in braids. Caldwell also exercises her creativity with makeup for brides, any social or networking events, and Halloween/special effects makeup. Caldwell loves helping people bring out her client’s inner confidence. She takes every opportunity to give her clients the tools and tips to care for their own beauty, and provide them with the proper knowledge for their beauty needs. She doesn't see her work as a “ job.” She shares that it's taken the form of a therapeutic feeling for her which allows her to separate herself from life’s worries.
Caldwell started braiding when she was eleven years old. She picked up the technique from watching her aunt when she would braid her friends' hair, then Caldwell would practice on her sisters. With makeup, she started as just something to make her feel pretty after a bad breakup, but it quickly turned into an obsession to learn, formulate her skills and master the art of it. Caldwell’s passion for the trade of cosmetology stems from her love to bring people back their confidence. For her, it was a natural talent that she was able to manifest into what it is today. Caldwell also doesn't just do it for its therapeutic properties that she’s been able to benefit from, she also does it for her clients. She explains that the feeling they have when they leave her chair is her “why”. Caldwell gives an example of a client she had; this client was having difficulty managing her hair and Caldwell was able to provide her some tips on products and styling methods to use on her particular hair texture in order to aid her in being able to manage her hair. When Caldwell was finished with the client’s silk press, her client was overcome with joy upon seeing her hair and she was left with a spark of confidence again. Those reactions and the after effects are the reasons Caldwell continues on her work.
Caldwell shares that she too has dealt with challenges such as working a full time job, going to cosmetology school, and doing hair and makeup on her off time, all while being a mother to a very active small child. She was able to overcome these obstacles by being persistent and determined. While in school, she worked part time at a salon. From there she quit her job and switched to a day program at school, instead of nights. This allowed her to still work at her day job four days a week and care for her child. Her determination to finish school was the desire to become her own boss and make her own schedule according to her personal needs. Her other motivational factor is her son and wanting to give him the best life can offer.
Caldwell hopes to one day open a salon franchise in different states across America. Her love for helping people and passing on some of her knowledge to others drives her to reach her goal. She is also looking to set up a way in which she can provide service to the homeless on a monthly basis, giving them a makeover and assisting them to find a job to help give back to her community.
We asked Alisha Caldwell what Valiance means to her,
“To me, Valiance means facing your obstacles head on, though you may be scared, you have to have courage to take it on anyway!”
If you're ever feeling in need of a makeover or just some makeup and hair inspiration follow Alisha Caldwell on Instagram @bookalisharenee
Many millennials have come to the conclusion that being their own boss and doing what they love resonates with their spirit on a different level. It allows them to have personal growth that will bring success. Aarin Stiles is a St. Louis, Missouri nail technician. About 3 years ago, she realized that this was her calling. Stiles’ last job was working at the Marriott hotel. While working there, she felt that she was meant to be doing something else. Stiles went through a “spiritual awakening” as she likes to call it, where she was able to go through this process of realization and awareness of what she truly wants for her life. Stiles is currently going through self healing and wishes to spread love and unity through her words and her work where she is currently doing press on nails rather than being a personal manicurist. Although Stiles enjoyed seeing the smile on people’s faces and having the opportunity to have a personal relationship with her clients, she takes pride in the art of creating press-on nails.
Stiles started practicing out of her bedroom. She moved around a lot so when she finally got focused and started taking her life more seriously, becoming stable & building a future for herself she took her career as a nail technician a little more seriously. One thing she makes sure of is to not allow her job to run her life. She works on the art of balance; learning to balance between work and her personal life.
Although Stiles has had her share of obstacles, she was able to overcome them by staying grounded. She shares that It’s important to know who you are and where you are going in life so when the obstacles show up you understand that it is JUST THAT, an obstacle. Insignificant to the bigger goal. Stiles also shares that her son and her own will power keeps her going when the going gets tough. She feels that by being a mother, she is in a role of being the protector, the provider, and the role model, hence, it drives her to work harder to create a better life for her child and herself, as well as to continue to build a healthier more financially stable generation after her.
In the future Stiles wants to be in a position of supporting women and offer mental health services. As a spiritual woman, Stiles would like to help lift the vibration of everyone that she comes in contact with. She realizes that though her talent brings her money, she would like to help build others up and give back to her community on a bigger scale.
We asked Aarin Stiles what Valiance means to her,
“To me, Valiance represents someone who is resilient, someone who shines from the inside out. Valiance is integrity & honesty in the face of your challenges.”
Check out more of her nail art on Instagram @nailedbyaarin