If this stay at home order has taught me anything, it has taught me how to labor into the Lord’s rest, and to trust Him to help me to create with intention. When we rest, God works. I’ve been bitten by the publishing bug (again), so in faith, I submitted an honest, smart, light-hearted, and somewhat self-deprecating article to an online publication called Black Superwoman Chronicles. This digital writing space celebrates and champions the voices of black women writers different industries. Black Superwoman Chronicles, founder DeLisha Sylvester, gave me my very first internship right after I graduated from undergrad. It is a happy stroke of serendipity that our paths have crossed again nearly seven years later. I am humbled and grateful to have been published this week! In these perilous times, we are all searching for light, hope and perhaps a pick me up, and this was definitely mine!
Check the article out here
At the beginning of September, I was asked to be a part of a video series entitled “The Christian Creative.” In my segment, I was able to share the message and heart of this ever-blossoming brand. It was a neat and enlightening experience because it was one of the first times that I, the “interviewer” became “the interviewee.” To check out my exclusive interview and to learn more about Simply Ari Media, click here
The second post I wrote for The Shepherd’s Scroll, was entitled, “Where Does Your Faith Lie?” The focus of this piece was to have readers consider the following questions:
- In what do we truly believe, or better yet, in Whom do we believe.
- What drives our faith?
- If we have faith, what sustains it?
- What can faith teach us?
- What does scripture say about faith?
This post explores all of those things. To read more, check out the post here.
I am a member of The Shepherd’s House International Christian Church, and a part of its growing Social Media Ministry. In a recent training, I was designated as a Blogger Lead! This position entails assisting our team’s leader with the creation, development, and management of the church’s newest social platform, a blog, called, “The Shepherd’s Scroll.” I could not be more proud of the work that has gone into to creating it. The Lord graciously opened a door for me to expand my readership and for that I am grateful.
The first post that I wrote was entitled, “Too Many Hands In The Pot.” It focuses on access, and the importance of knowing who you are allowing to occupy your space, your inner circle and what that means spiritually. To read the whole post, I encourage you to click the link here.
Just shy of a year after graduating from Quinnipiac University, I had the incredible opportunity to interview for a job at The Washington Post, where I am currently employed.
The Post revived a publication that was created in 1849 called The Lily. The Lily’s history is particularly special because it was ‘the first newspaper in the United States written for women and created by women.’ (https://thelily.com/meet-team-lily-5c7d17f774e4)
On December 11, 2017, the piece I submitted for contribution to The Lily got published! It is my first Washington Post byline!
You can check it out here: “Why We Can’t Get Rid of Our American Girl Dolls”
This most recent success has given me new hope for the future and I am waiting with anticipation and a spirit of expectancy for what the Lord will do in this season.
What was nice about my internship with The Branding Standard and Co. was that the company gave me exposure in different markets, namely, the blogosphere. Working with TBSC aided in putting my work in front of a completely new audience.
“Curly Qs” was a piece that I wrote for the blog 4Naturals for which I interviewed Fontanne Bassey, founder of Curl Genetics.
Check out the article here
The Branding Standard and Co. wasted no time in giving me assignments, but I didn’t mind. I enjoyed the hustle and the grind. I felt a sense of purpose and saw a wonderful opportunity for me to grow as a writer, expand my readership and gain more exposure.
My next assignment for Upscale was a piece I wrote about Beauty Expert and Founder of Conscious Curls, Angela Stevens.
You can find that interview here
After completing my Bachelor degree program in May of 2013, I continued my studies at Quinnipiac University, where I received my Master of Science degree in Interactive Media with a concentration in Social Media in May of 2016.
The day after my graduation ceremony, I received an email from The Branding Standard and Co. saying that I had been brought on to the company’s team as a Social Media Writer intern for Upscale Magazine (one of my favorite publications)!
The validation I felt in that moment, sparked an even deeper passion inside of me: to help others share their stories and get their messages out to the world in my own unique way. This particular opportunity changed everything for me. I learned how to apply the journalism techniques that my professors had taught me, I learned how to plan and honor my deadlines and I learned the value of having a quick turn around.
My first assignment for Upscale was an interview with Mekeva Jenkins, founder of The Prime Enterprise Group.
Click the link here to read the full story!
In 2014, pitched another article that I had written to WE Magazine. This time, the article was a profile piece written about my best friend from college Jasmine Duke, who had just begun building her customized glassware business, Mahogany Cheers.
Check out the article below:
Here’s To Mahogany Cheers
By Ariel Gaskill
“Fun, Sophisticated Glassware for Your Cupboard.”
It was William Polmer who said, “Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected.” Jasmine Duke, founder and creator of an upscale glassware line, Mahogany Cheers, is already making a splash in the world of business.
She describes herself as an innovator saying, “I like to be unique and create my own things. If I see that there is something lacking in a particular area, I like to fill in that blank.” In an effort to celebrate the uniqueness of people, Duke created her brand, Mahogany Cheers.
Her humble venture began last December, just eight months after completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology at Mount St. Mary’s University, and three months into her graduate program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), where she is pursuing a Masters degree in Industrial Psychology.
Mahogany Cheers, she says, “started as a Christmas gift idea. I thought, what can I do to use my creativity to make something that is special, more special than anything you could buy in a store?” From that point, Duke was inspired to create a line of hand-painted, customized glasses and mugs that uniquely represented the recipients of her product. In describing the story behind the name, Duke states, “For me, Mahogany Cheers is a representation of ALL men and women of color…just as Mahogany wood has many different variations of brown, so do all of the pieces that I create; they represent different people of color.”
According to Ms. Duke, her creative process consists of prayer, specifically asking God to give her unique ideas and direction about how she is to design each piece in her collection, and how to go about sketching each face and silhouette onto her glasses and ceramic mugs.
Duke says her brand’s target audience is “anybody that drinks anything; wine, martinis, coffee, tea or hot chocolate…if you drink something like every human being does, you should have Mahogany Cheers!”
“A Sassy Glass with Class and Pizzazz” is the Mahogany Cheers motto, and in the coming months, Jasmine will be “Duking” out fun pieces for you to purchase!
Cheers to you Jasmine! WE celebrate You!
For inquiries about her line, email Ms. Duke directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and Follow Mahogany Cheers on Instagram.
The second article I got published in Women’s Elevation Magazine was “A Woman of Distinction.” By this time, I had begun to scratch the surface of the type of writer I desired to be. My writer’s voice was becoming more clear to me and to my audience.
Check out the article below.
A Woman of Distinction
By Ariel Gaskill
The world often paints a distorted picture of what is really important in the evaluation of a woman. Women are challenged to stay current through different mediums. The ideal figure graces the cover of fashion magazines, and on television, we are constantly bombarded with advertisements trying to sell us quick fixes to our “problems:” the newest line of cosmetics, the most effective refining cream, or the most popular diet plan, just to name a few.
There is an innate desire in us as women, young or mature, to feel wanted, beautiful and desirable. So we act on the prompts that the media set before us, because we feel we have to in order to be accepted.
What’s wrong with the picture?
We have allowed “their” voice to become louder than our own.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
Don’t give anyone that much power. God gave us as women an inner strength not just survive in the world, but to take the world by storm and walk confidently in the way that He would have us to go.
How does a woman of distinction carry herself?
Proverbs 31:25 says, “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”
To become a woman of distinction, practice the three C’s: Character, Confidence, and Class.
Character is the product of your integrity.
Confidence is the act of being content with where you are, and having faith in where you’re going.
Lastly, class is the outward appearance of the integrity and confidence that you possess as a woman.
No matter what season of life you are in, embrace the beautiful woman that you are and have confidence in the woman that God has created you to be. You are precious in His sight and will always be more than enough.
There is only one YOU. Love every bit of her.
Copyright©2013 by Ariel E. Gaskill