Two years ago, I was exhausted. I’d stayed up all night writing my very first post and trying to learn how to embed a video on my brand new blog. I figured, what were the odds of anyone feeling like I do about Josephine Baker? I came to find out, they were much better than I ever dreamed. When I first started Afrobella, it was such a personal journey that I didn’t expect to have readers or commenters. I didn’t expect anything, beyond simply expressing myself to the world. I didn’t have any idea how rich and wonderful this blog could make my life.

It’s been two fleeting years, and in that time I’ve made so many new friends all over the world. I’ve learned to be less afraid of posting photos of myself online — I AGONIZED over it at first. Now it doesn’t feel like a big deal, sometimes I gotta show you all what works and what doesn’t, right? I’ve been recognized around Miami more times than I can count — it’s always so cool to meet real life bellas. I love it. And because of that, I’m working on some upcoming events. What do you think about that? Would any of you Miami residents like to come to an Afrobella beauty bash sometime?

Through Afrobella, I’ve been featured on NPR a bunch of times — it’s always exciting and always an honor. Because of this blog, I’ve grown more confident as a writer and as a person — the lessons I learned a year ago continue to stand me in excellent stead — even when sometimes I think that I can’t, I CAN. And I will. And I have you all to thank, because you keep me going.

I planned to celebrate this anniversary with more and better writing, but I’ve learned to reserve my energy and not kill myself with too much to do — that way my ideas are always lucid and I can always be proud of what I’ve written. I do plan to write more over the weekend, but I’ve learned that readers will come back if I take a few days off, or stop working on a regular feature, or don’t write about the hot new nailpolish/lipstick/mascara that everyone else is writing about. I’ve learned so much from your comments, input, and e mails. And I have so many plans for Afrobella. I don’t even see it as just a beauty blog anymore — it feels like a movement. And I have so many more ideas and surprises in store. Can’t wait to tell you more about what’s next!

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Janelle Monae — she is AWESOME, BTW — and the first thing she said to me almost made me cry. She said “thank you for supporting me so early on in my career. I love what you guys are doing. It’s so positive for natural women like myself.” My heart felt like it was going to burst. Then I explained to Janelle — there’s no “you guys,” it’s just little ol’ me writing my heart out. Although it is just one person writing these posts every day before she goes off to work — it’s all of you readers who make this experience so special. So I just wanna say happy anniversary and send lots of love to all of you beautiful, intelligent afrobellas out there who share your opinions and make this beauty blog the best it can possibly be. I wouldn’t be anywhere without you.

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COMMENTS

Lu says:
August 15, 2008, 11:53 am
congratulations on your success!
Hannah says:
August 15, 2008, 12:02 pm
I *wish* I could be in Miami for an Afrobella soiré! Thanks for all your hard work and perserverance! We all love your writing!
tg says:
August 15, 2008, 12:19 pm
Kudos to you!!! I think what you are doing is so outstanding, and I read your blogs everyday ( it's addicting :-) By the way, I would love to attend a Beauty Bash if you decide to have one in Miami, sounds like a great idea that we would all enjoy attending.
DeeDee says:
August 15, 2008, 12:29 pm
Congratulations & may much, much, much more success come your way!
Shell says:
August 15, 2008, 12:32 pm
Happy anniversary, Afrobella. Many more wonderful years to come. BTW, you were one of the people who inspired me to do my own blog. Have a fab weekend.
Nichelle says:
August 15, 2008, 12:46 pm
Happy Anniversary Bella!
Bloggal says:
August 15, 2008, 12:49 pm
Awww, this post was very touching. I've been a long time visitor but this is my first time commenting. I absolutely love your blog. I know how it feels to start a blog just for PERSONAL expression. When you realize you have an audience (even if it's a small one like in my case) it's just icing on the cake. It's nice to know that you're not alone in your views. That people out there relate to and agree with you. So, Happy Anniversary and keep doin' what you're doin' bella!
sdg1844 says:
August 15, 2008, 1:20 pm
Awww...Happy Anniversary. You are a breath of fresh air and provide such a positive environment for all. Many, Many More.
Tamz says:
August 15, 2008, 1:21 pm
Yay Afrobella! I have enjoyed reading your blog since 2006 and I'm glad to see all of the positive things that have come out of it for you; you deserve it! What's next for Afrobella.com? Thank you for turning me onto Kinky-Curly, Sally Hanson Creme Hair Remover (Face), Curl-Ease Curl Drying Towel, Ayo, and Esperanza Spalding. Also, this website attracts intelligent and awesome readers; we have a nice community here! Will there be some kind of discussion forum in afrobella.com's future? Keep up the good and inspirational work!
Diane says:
August 15, 2008, 1:31 pm
Happy Anniversary bella. If you ever decide to expand those afrobella soirees to NYC, I'm in there. I love your blog and reference it constantly. You are so knowledgeable and teach me so much and get me thinking and laughing and crying. Afrobella is one of my home pages when I open internet explorer (you can have several tabs open at once) so you're always right there while I'm online and if I don't see a new blog right away, I keep refreshing, cuz I know it's coming. I love it like ackee and saltfish so keep up the great work cuz I'll be here.
Bebroma says:
August 15, 2008, 1:33 pm
Happy Anniversary! I've haven't commented in a minute because life is a little crazy right now, but I still read this every single day! Thank you for all the things I've been exposed to via this wonderful, more-than-a-beauty blog. Keep up the good work.
Patrick Jnr. says:
August 15, 2008, 1:42 pm
Happy anniversary little sister and congratulations!! Not a day goes by where I don't think of how proud I am of you! You're an inspiration to many as well as myself, so take care and God Bless! I am looking forward to seeing you for Carnival 2009!
Moe says:
August 15, 2008, 1:49 pm
Congrats on your two year anniversary. Because of the following you have i could have sworn you've been doing this for much longer than that. I must say you are truly an inspiration. I hope that my little site can grown to be a MOVEMENT as well one day. (www.suiteoctober.com)
Gangstarr Girl says:
August 15, 2008, 1:59 pm
Congratulations! You've actually given me inspiration that my own site could grow like this. I've only just begun (started in July) but I'm already frustrated at how NOT EASY it is to get the word out. But one thing I'm thankful for is that my blog is providing a nice outlet for me to execute creative ideas that don't go over well at work (I work at a magazine for a narrowminded, slightly dictatorial boss). But anyway, congrats again and much more success to you! Gangstarr Girl
ChocolateOrchid says:
August 15, 2008, 2:07 pm
Congratulations Be It's only been a few months (give or take 6 or 7) since I discovered this blog and I must say I've fallen in love w/it. The vibe here is so positive and the product info. given is great. You birthed a community here. Thanks for this awesome blogsite and Happy Anniversary!!
e. says:
August 15, 2008, 2:25 pm
Happy Anniversary Afrobella! I love the site. Keep up the amazing work. :) e.
dettygirl says:
August 15, 2008, 2:28 pm
I must say I tell everyone I know to check out your site. I have learned so much from your willingness to share your experiences (like the nose hair waxing LOL still), as well as the comments people bring here. You are truly appreciated!
Tricia says:
August 15, 2008, 3:01 pm
Congratulations - Thanks for all your hard work, your blog is fabulous. A soiree in London please!
CurlyCrown says:
August 15, 2008, 3:11 pm
Congratulations, thank you for creating this blog! It's very inspirational to many bellas like myself.
golden star says:
August 15, 2008, 3:15 pm
Congratulations on your anniversary! I so enjoy the blog and your links have been a great inspiration, too. Keep up the great work and may there be many more anniversaries!
Viola R. Mathews says:
August 15, 2008, 3:23 pm
The thanks goes to you! Your blog is terrific. Happy Anniversary and thank you for introducing/connecting me to so many interesting dynamic afrobellas.
ebonys says:
August 15, 2008, 3:26 pm
Happy 2nd Birthday! It was on News & Notes/NPR that I 'discovered' you & your blog. I was so excited to hear that you were from T'n'T. Keep the Caribbean flag flying high sistren. One love.
kia from LA says:
August 15, 2008, 3:37 pm
Happy Anniversary Girl! Let me just say form all angles of my heart, and soul. My hair would not look and be as healthy if it was not for you or this blog. Even my music ears have opened (Esperanza Spalding, to be exact). I even have my friends reading your blog everyday. Thank you for your hard work, it's extremely appreciated! P.S. I'm getting my first natural hair cut to make sure my curls are even more beautiful. I know I wouldn't have had the courage to do it without this blog or you. Peace and much love
Nai_Nai says:
August 15, 2008, 3:38 pm
Congrats on your 2nd Year Anniversary! I look forward to reading your blog everyday. I have been a true AfroBella lurker for about 6 months now! I wish you much more years of giving us much needed insight on an array of subjects... Peace and Love
Stephie says:
August 15, 2008, 3:42 pm
Congrats to you Bella, in fact, you have inspired me to start my own blog and I hope that mine turns out good as well. Keep up the really great work!!!
ceecee says:
August 15, 2008, 4:34 pm
Happy Anniversary bella!! You are right when you say that afrobella.com is much more than a beauty blog, it's a movement. Here's to hoping that five years from noww you'll be bigger and better than the glam and sugar networks.
misstwists says:
August 15, 2008, 4:54 pm
Congratulations!
SoFrolushes says:
August 15, 2008, 5:22 pm
Did I read correctly...2yrs...wow..I thought your blog was older. It is such an inspirational blog. I like the fact that your west indian too. I do not know how I found your blog but I have been stuck ever since. Reading your blog gave me the courage to start leaving links and sharing my blog with others. Your inspirational..You are truly blessed...Dont stop, keep moving up!!!!
heartsandflowers says:
August 15, 2008, 5:26 pm
Congrats and keep up the good work.
heyhey says:
August 15, 2008, 5:45 pm
Congratulations, and continued success!
tanya says:
August 15, 2008, 7:40 pm
Happy Anniversary bella! Your blog is absolutely wonderful; I just wish I knew about you sooner. All the best for years to come.
E-Fresh says:
August 15, 2008, 7:48 pm
Nice work P! I second the discussion forum suggestion as you know.
warruor11209 says:
August 15, 2008, 8:42 pm
Congrats on your 2 year anniversary. I read your blog daily and love the range of topics that are covered. Unfortunately, living in NJ I would not be able to attend a soiree in Miami but keep on blogging.Great job Bella
Simone says:
August 15, 2008, 9:33 pm
CONGRATS GIRL! It's a great feeling ain't it? :) You deserve it!
pets says:
August 15, 2008, 9:42 pm
Congratulations on two wonderful years of Afrobella! Not only is the site growing and maturing but so are you and it is reflected in your writing and your content choices. We feel your enjoyment in doing something that you love and we thank you for brightening our day. I am very proud of my little sister! love hugs
LBellatrix says:
August 15, 2008, 10:10 pm
Awww...congratulations on two years of fabulosity! :D
Dad and Mom says:
August 15, 2008, 11:16 pm
After two years, your blog is as fresh as ever.Your choice of topics is usually very timely and your style of writing compels one to read on - certainly the hallmark of a really good writer. We believe that as things unfold,you will achieve greater success in the future. You were born to shine and we are confident that the best is yet to come. If we may use an expression that epitomises excellence in performance, we can safely say that you have won a gold medal in your own event at the Olympics. May the good lord continue to bless and protect you always. D&M
CocoaDiva says:
August 15, 2008, 11:46 pm
I definitely heart Afrobella!!! Cheers to more years of success!!
Mrs.Mckinzie says:
August 15, 2008, 11:59 pm
Happy 2nd year Afrobella.There are so many more blessings out there for you. I can't wait for the book, book tour,bella tees,jackets,socks,earrings,hats.........
afrobello says:
August 16, 2008, 12:25 am
Happy Anniversary! On to #3!
Ms. Bar B. says:
August 16, 2008, 12:48 am
Congratulations on all of your success!!
Sabrina97 says:
August 16, 2008, 1:35 am
Congrats on your anniversary! Thank you for all the ways you get us involved....
Vivrant Thang says:
August 16, 2008, 2:20 am
What a beautiful post Bella! Happy Anniversary!! I can't believe it's only the 2nd year. I swore you had been around longer than that. You are loved by many and that's a fact. I hope to be able to tell this same story in two years. Every time you post a pic of yourself I automatically smile. Not sure why. I think because your presence, even through a pic, is just so radiant and beautiful. You look like a content black woman and that makes me smile. This is indeed a movement. Don't tell anyone I said it but you are definitely the " best writer" ;) On another note, have you thought about profiling N'Dambi? I searched the archives but didn't find her. She looks like your logo. LOL! Check my You Tube channel for vids of her. Everyone says she is so warm in person and that definitely came across in her performance. She has that same "magic" as Badu. Something about those Dallas girls. I would love to see her. I have the biggest girl crush :)
simplyDevaSTing says:
August 16, 2008, 2:32 am
Congratulations Bella!!!! I am an avid fan of this site, I check it every day and even will feel a tinge of disappointment when there is no new post, however I quickly check myself, remembering that there is just one of you compared to the multitude of us waiting on the next gem of wisdom, honesty, passion and bellafabness!!!! I sent you a direct email last week about a charity event I'm working on, did you get it?
MarriedToIt says:
August 16, 2008, 2:44 am
Congrats. I just started my blog not even a week ago and thi gives me some hop that people will actually stop by and read what I have running around in my mind. I love you site just found it on another blog. I just spent the month in Miami(Kendall) visiting my folks its good to see a Miami girl doing her thing. Keep writing homegirl http://justkeepkicking.blogspot.com/
Marvalus says:
August 16, 2008, 9:36 am
Many, many congratulations! I am often just a reader (lurker) but I so enjoy the vibe here... I wish you many more years of success...keep keeping on sista!
auragirl says:
August 16, 2008, 10:24 am
As a regular 'round these parts I just had to add my CONGRATULATIONS! I have been reading for at least 1 year now and I want to echo the sentiments of the previous posters. Your writing style definitely leaves me wanting more. I love the range of topics discussed...I always learn things from you! You have the best give-a-ways too; thank you SO much for that! You seem like such a down-to-earth, friendly and fun person. Someone that anyone would want to be friends with. I don't live in Miami, but I'm looking forward to recognizing you somewhere! Please bring Afrobella events to DC!!! I forsee Afrobella becoming a full time venture for you. It is going to be HUGE! I told a friend about your blog. She has a huge mass of curly hair. She told me she already reads your blog! You inspired her to buy kinky curly. That's a sign that you are well known! Here's to the future of this movement. Maybe I'll be able to buy Afrobella products someday for the daughters I haven't had yet lol! Congrats again. You are an inspiration of what comes with hard work! :-)
Twanna A. Hines // FUNKY BROWN CHICK says:
August 16, 2008, 11:19 am
CONGRATS on your anniversary!! :)
Nikki says:
August 16, 2008, 11:42 am
Happy Anniversary! I don't comment often, but I've been an avid reader for most of the two years...keep doin' whatcha do because you are inspiring so many of us!
Carolyn says:
August 16, 2008, 11:44 am
Congratulations! I've been a reader from almost the very start and it doesn't feel like it's been two years. I attribute that to the fact that you keep things fresh and interesting. Your blog is a refuge and I really appreciate all you do. I'm so happy for you and I can't wait to see what the future brings!
Los Angelista says:
August 16, 2008, 2:12 pm
Happy blog anniversary! Woq, how inspiring it is that you've managed to accomplish so much as a blogger in two short years. You've built such a wonderful community here. Hope you consider doing something in LA!
Irie Diva...Proud Jamaican says:
August 16, 2008, 3:34 pm
Happy Anniversary Bella!!! Right on the heels of my first and i know ur proud of your trini athlete taking silver in the 100m!!! Of course im elated about Usain and Jamaica's first 100m GOLD world record performance! ok so im in the Olympic spirit today, have a good one!
Raina says:
August 16, 2008, 3:53 pm
Congratulations superBella! I'm so proud of your success and courage to do something completely different! Your site is truly a labor of love and it shows. I'm soo lucky to be able to yell over a cubicle wall to ya - and send you creepy text messages 24-7! And since I'm one inch into a bella transformation of my own, I'm even happier that we're friends. Love ya, P! Oh, and duhhhh on the Bella events - pass the champagne. xo Robin to your calendar Batman
Product Junkie Diva says:
August 16, 2008, 5:58 pm
Happy anniversay Afrobella! You have a wonderful blog and I enjoy reading your posts just like everyone else. I know you will be blogging for years to come. Thanks for writing
TJ says:
August 16, 2008, 5:58 pm
Happy Bellaversary!
Butta says:
August 16, 2008, 6:29 pm
Happy Afroversary, chica! Congratulations on two years of blogging. I love how your blog has something for everyone and you touch on so many subjects from hair to politics to hair politics (LOL) and everything in between. And not only do you blog your behind off, but you're very supportive of other bloggers, too. Thank you so much for everything you've done and will continue to do. Cheers to you! Butta www.SoulBounce.com
Niki says:
August 16, 2008, 7:52 pm
I've been a ready almost since the beginning and can't believe two years has just flown by! Keep doing what you're doing! You've been my "friend-in-my-head" for so long, that calling up your blog seems like a conversation with an intelligent, sweet, and fabulous girlfriend.
AskYnX says:
August 16, 2008, 11:02 pm
Congratulations on your success and I wish you more to come in the future. I was recently introduced to your website and have enjoyed what have seen thus far. I am new to blogging and your words give hope if you put in hard work and time results will come. I would attend an event you have in Miami. Keep up the good work, keep on doing what you love and know you are inspiring others out here. I have definitely added you as a link on my site so others can see your work. www.askyandx.blogspot.com
marcie says:
August 16, 2008, 11:39 pm
a beauty bash would be awesome!!! your blog has hooked me on new products and inspired me to create my own blog (though it is still a work in progress:) Keep up the good work!
rubysafire says:
August 17, 2008, 3:06 am
I have never commented on the blog before, though I read it regularly and always enjoy it. But I felt the need to say today - congratulations on your success. I'm not talking in terms of media recognition or anything like that. I'm saying - if your goal was to express yourself, share your views, reach out to your sisters, and touch their hearts, then you have certainly done that. You're a gifted writer, a dedicated blogger. One of my blogger idols, actually. I wish you as many years online as you wish to bless us readers with. Kudos, kudos, kudos.
Angie says:
August 17, 2008, 6:15 am
Congrats, I have been a regular reader for about a year now. I love your eclectic mix of articles and wish you all the best for the future.
Angie says:
August 17, 2008, 6:16 am
sorry misspelled my blog name.
glow says:
August 17, 2008, 7:43 am
Happy Anniversary. One of my favorite blogs!!!! Hi to all the beautiful bellas everywhere!!
Ursula says:
August 17, 2008, 8:04 am
Congratulations on your two year anniversary!!!
Bridgette says:
August 17, 2008, 9:54 am
Happy anniversary and congrats! I'm sure the best is yet to come. ;-)
Anita Grant says:
August 17, 2008, 3:21 pm
Happy Anniversary, Afrobella!!!! You've done so well and your writing is ALWAYS exquisite, inquisitive, unique, colourful and moving. I believe that there will be many, MANY more Anniversaries to come. WELL DONE YOU, dear heart, WELL DONE!!! Much love to you. Anita
Get Togetha. says:
August 18, 2008, 9:28 am
Hey Bella. I'm days late but not a dollar short. You're blog is one of the Afrosphere's most positive and endearing. I love your energy. You've always been nothing short of sweet, honest, and personable. Happy Anniversary Bella. GT
Brittany says:
August 18, 2008, 2:20 pm
Happpppy bloggiversary!
Denise says:
August 18, 2008, 3:04 pm
Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and information Afrobella!
styleosophy says:
August 18, 2008, 3:56 pm
Happy Two Years Afrobella!!! I would fly to Miami to support your event (i'm from the Chi!). I beleive your blog is an inspiration to women everywhere. Thanks Bella!
mochachoc says:
August 19, 2008, 4:17 am
I enjoy the mix you provide. Most of all I enjoy your spirit of adventure it transcends all the way down the line to me here in London. You have exposed me to music I wouldn't have listened to had I not heard it here. You have taken a mannered approach to controversial issues. Well done Bella.
LoveIsDope says:
August 19, 2008, 10:03 pm
I'm soooo late, but Happy Anniversary!!! Love this site. :)
tycajam says:
August 20, 2008, 9:41 am
Haven't been able to post in the hottest minute, although I still read you (feel you)! what an awesome milestone - Happy 2nd anniversary AFROBELLA!!!! You are such a beautiful spirit and inspiration. I apprecite you sharing your journey and wish you many more years of Afrobella blessings to come!
Newly Nappy says:
August 21, 2008, 4:21 pm
THANK YOU AFROBELLA!!!! I found your site earlier this year, I don't know how I came across it though, but I have gone back and read every single blog. Thank you so much! I have had a relaxer since I was 4 yrs old. I've been relaxer free for about 5 or 6 yrs now but all that time I've worn it straight, flatironed every week. This summer is the very first time in my life, that I can remember, that I've worn it naturally and proudly! All thanks to you. I never wore it out because everyone always had a negative comment. It hwas so bad that I was in tears willing to just cut it all off bcuz I had no idea what to do with it and bcuz everyone made me feel like it wasnt RIGHT. But you taught me ya know what? SCREW Y'ALL!! No I do not have gorgeous flowing beautiful ringlets nor do i hv that luscious perfect oval fro. What I have is a mess of giant supersized big mama do whatvr it wants in any direction it wants fluffiness that sits atop my head. And its gorgeous!! Ya kno how i kno, cuz Afrobella says so! Nah nah nah poo poo to the haters. I have never done this much experimenting in my life! Btwn you and Motown girl I try all kinds of stuff. Sumdays it works sumdays not so much! But whtvr happens i hold my head up high and bring sexy bk every step of the way! So thank you Afrobella, thk u for my confidence thk u for your wisdom and support and thank you for this beautiful wonderful amazing resource that is afrobella.com. My hair (or should I say crowning glory :-) and I are forever in your debt. Keep it goin' bella!
mahoganydymond says:
August 24, 2008, 5:20 pm
Happy Anniversary. You Rock....
Lianne says:
August 24, 2008, 9:56 pm
Hey Girl!! Sorry I am late to the party! Congratulations to you on your SECOND Blogiversary!! I loved meeting you in person and I want you to know that you are as beautiful and kind in person as you have been to me online and in emails! I hope I get to spend more time with you in the future so KEEP DOING YOUR THING! You have a unique voice and you are a very insightful and talented writer. xoxoxo Lianne
corona appliance repair says:
February 21, 2012, 11:46 pm
Extremely interesting writing thanks for sharing

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