Photo credit: Clique Atlanta
Aida (in red) and her husband Allan are on the right.
I wish I had a better photo but I don't hijack folks' Facebook pictures.
I'm oftentimes asked "How did you come up with The Broke Socialite?...The name? The concept?"
Well...while most of it is divine, a chance encounter with a real Atlanta socialite (and dynamic businesswoman) was the impetus for what has become the manifestation of my becoming more clear about what I want to be when I grow up...the Oprah of Social Media (ha!)!
Nearly four years ago, I stumbled upon a designer home tag sale not too far from my home. I'll never forget it. It was a Sunday afternoon, I'd spent the weekend working on some projects for the job that I had at that time and I was feeling very, very sorry for myself. On my way to the market, I saw a sign at a warehouse and, nearly on 2 wheels, I whipped in. I walked into a bargain shoppers paradise: rugs, lamps, desks, tables, textiles...you name it...all for 50%-70% off. I was so happy that I nearly cried.
Flitting about the warehouse sales floor was a nice lady staging goods, answering shoppers' questions and generally being delightful. After I'd been there for an hour, she struck up a conversation (now that I think about it, maybe she was trying to get me to leave). She asked my name and I hers: Aida. I asked how she'd gotten into the designer home furnishing's business. She told me about growing up in Puerto Rico, working for an airline, her love of travel and then how she began to import these fine items from all over the world. She asked what I did for a living...it was all I could do not to break down in tears. I so longed for the passion that she felt for her work to be mine. I held it together and shared that I was at a crossroads in my life and was praying for what I'd do next. She gave me some very wise advice: do what you love and the success (and money) will follow. I thanked her and we went our separate ways. Me with a table, a lamp, a chest...all for less than $200, might I add. Yes!
I got back home and started thinking about our conversation. I even shared it with Mr TBS. I told him all about Aida and our conversation. Literally, later that afternoon (if this isn't the truth, I shall be stricken down), I was perusing an issue of Atlanta magazine and there was a picture of her...the lady from earlier that day...Aida...with a caption calling her a 'socialite'. I was soooo tickled.
Shortly thereafter, I started thinking about the things I liked to do and how I could make one of them more of a hobby. It wasn't long before the lightbulb went off: I loved finer things but had a beer budget; certainly there were other folks like me. I wanted to help women with champagne taste but without silver spoons find the best deals and not sacrifice quality. 'What would I call this?', I thought. For some reason, my thought went back to my conversation with Aida. You know, our stories were not that different up to a certain point and with hard work, I, too, had the makings of a socialite. Until then, I shall be called "The Broke Socialite". This is literally how I came upon the name.
Just as quickly as she appeared, I didn't see Aida again.
Imagine my surprise when she popped up in the "Suggestions" column on my Facebook page last week. Through the growth of The Broke Socialite, I've met some wonderful people. As it turns out, Aida and I share several mutual friends and the Social Networking gods recently reconnected us.
I shared a shorter version of this same story (because y'all know that I can be a rambler) and she was thrilled to know that she'd touched my life in some way.
So here I am...doing all of this. Having a great time. Working on great things. Living a great life through the blessing that is The Broke Socialite!
What do YOU want to be when you grow up? Who inspires YOU?