Happy New Year! I know I’m late as I’ve already sent some newsletters this year, but I’ve been figuring out some things and scoping out some exciting features for you all and wanted to check in.
For those who don’t know me, I’m Fancy and the publisher of The Higher South, a newsletter published by SwagHer Magazine & Media. I hope that makes sense.
Since many of you have recently subscribed to this newsletter, I thought I’d take a minute to re-introduce myself.
I’m originally from McComb, MS. I developed a love of writing and being creative as early as childhood. I planned to become an author or artist, but life took its toll, and I later developed a passion for business and working for myself. I didn’t know about being an introvert then, but I had always been somewhat of a loner.
I’m a mom of three. My son is 22, and my daughters are almost 18 and freshly 16. Yes, I was a teen mom. I had my son when I was 14, so that too altered my life, but to be honest, I had no real idea what I wanted to or who I wanted to be. I did know that I was a creative and a writer, however.
Meanwhile, I tried jobs like fast-food management, waiting tables, and door-to-door sales. I once worked at the chicken plant where previous feature Shaunta once supervised. I sold adult toys for a while. The other craziest job I had was exotic dancing. While I learned something at each of these, all of these jobs took a toll on my mental health, and none felt fulfilling. I wanted my own business.
While selling toys and dancing, I met affluent Black women who would encourage me not to give up. They would share their stories with me to prove anything is possible and that we all go through hard times. Their stories intrigued me, and I would think to myself, “More Black women should know this.”
Fast forward about a year, and one day, while crying to one of my mentors about feeling like a failure, she asked me what I would like to do. I told her that I wanted to own a magazine like Essence through my tears. “Then do it!” she yelled at me through the phone.
And here we are almost 12 years later.
I’ve endured a lot to get to this point and space. My children and I experienced homelessness several times over the years. At one point, I relocated to Atlanta and slept on the floor of someone I’d met on Instagram. I would go to McDonald's every morning when the store opened and work until the store closed. I did this until I met someone who allowed me to stay with them for a little while as I worked to get on my feet.
I lived in Atlanta for two years and met a lot of people, which helped to further the SwagHer name. Then in a foolish move, I relocated to Sacramento for a brief time, which resulted in me going back to Mississippi and having to work my way back to Baton Rouge and modern-day.
While SwagHer Magazine is more about national celebs, The Higher South is all about sharing stories of Black excellence, creativity, overcoming, and success of individuals in the South because we love to see Black people winning in life, and we want to inspire you to pursue your own greatness.
Here may be the first time you hear of them, but, in many cases, it won’t be the last as some of them are not as known, which is why I call them Southern gems. I also plan to travel and share my findings with you all in the future.
And you have say so here! If you all know of any successful and/or creative individuals, feel free to send me their story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you stick around for what's to come this year.