Well…belated birthday. The actual first post went up on August 14, 2006.

It’s so strange and wonderful to read it again. I can still remember how I felt as I wrote it – like a flood of words was just flowing out of my fingertips. I had SO much to say! That post reads like a stream of consciousness manifesto. It’s my mission statement. And SO funny – it hasn’t changed one iota in this amazing four year long adventure/career/whatever you want to call it!

“Don’t get me wrong, ladies. My hair philosophy is, do your do. What’s right for you isn’t necessarily right for me. All I know is, the prospect of having to go to the hairdresser/pusher man for more burning, stinky white stuff to spread on my scalp with the intention of reversing my hair’s natural desire is less than tempting. I’m a grown-ass woman now, and I can’t foresee it happening ever again in my future. I want my hair to be as long, strong, and beautiful as it wants to be, an extension of myself. Afrobella is dedicated to all of the women who have made a similar decision, to embrace and enhance their natural beauty. Let’s show the world what we’re working with.”

And I didn’t even know what I was working with when I wrote that!

It absolutely blows my mind that something I dreamed up so whimsically could grow so quickly, and so big. When I first started Afrobella, I was like…well I really want to write about what I want to write about, without restrictions or input from an editor. And who knows, maybe I’ll get some free hair products from time to time. I didn’t go into it with a business plan, an agenda, or any idea what this was about to become. There was nobody on the scene who was doing what I was doing, exactly. What began as a personal expression has now grown into a BRAND. It feels so weird to type that, but that’s exactly what it has become. Wow.

Because of this blog, I’ve had opportunities I never would have even dreamed of. Because of this blog, I’ve blossomed into the kind of writer and media presence I’ve always admired (but never thought I’d actually be). And because of this blog, I’ve made more friends and contacts and connections than I could have ever imagined. Including you! Thank you for reading my blog and supporting what I do. Thank you for being there for me for the past 4 years. I promise to keep doing my best, and I hope you keep reading! I’ve said this often, but I still mean it with my whole heart. The best is yet to come!

I’ll be celebrating all week with giveaways and special posts. So stay tuned!

PS: Happy bloggaversary to my amazing web designer, friend, and partner in crime Luvvie! Awesomely Luvvie turned 4 last week too! Leo blogs FTW!

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Peajai says:
August 16, 2010, 9:46 am
Happy birthday Afrobella!!! And congrats to you, Bella. This is still my favorite blog after all these years.
Resha says:
August 16, 2010, 9:52 am
happy birthday afrobella!! *bows down*
Andrea says:
August 16, 2010, 9:55 am
Wow, there's a few of us who started in the same year. What was up with 2006? (Fly's b-day was in June.) Patrice, congratulations. I'm so happy for you and I wish you continued success in the years to come. AfroBella is amazing and I look forward to seeing your brand grow. Cheers to all your hard work. Your fellow blogging sister, Andrea
kim/hormone-colored days says:
August 16, 2010, 10:09 am
Happy Birthday!
myafricandiaspora says:
August 16, 2010, 10:16 am
Happy blog-birthday and congratulations. Many of us had no idea how important this blogging medium would become when we set out. Glad to have been able to witness your tremendous growth.
Dee Dee says:
August 16, 2010, 10:18 am
Happy Birthday to Afrobella!!! Congratulations on all of your years of success. Here's to many, many more and much bigger things to come your way! Love you always!!
Sasha-Shae says:
August 16, 2010, 10:23 am
Congrats Afrobella! Happy fabulous birthday to you!! Congrats on all the successes and all that is still yet to come. Looking forward to the years ahead. Love you Patrice! Sincerely, Sasha-Shae Shaw
The Black Socialite says:
August 16, 2010, 11:01 am
Happy Blogging Birthday! Wishing you many more years of success! Your Sister on the Blogosphere, The Black Socialite
Brittany says:
August 16, 2010, 11:08 am
Happy 4 years, godmother!!!!!!! Thank you for all that you've done for the natural hair and brown beauty online communities. You are now a brand that is force to be reckoned with. We love you!
Nikia says:
August 16, 2010, 11:48 am
Happy Birthday to Afrobella! Here's to many more fabulous years!
Phyrra says:
August 16, 2010, 11:53 am
Happy Birthday to Afrobella! :)
Living Fly on a Dime says:
August 16, 2010, 1:09 pm
Congrats and happy blogiversary!
Purple says:
August 16, 2010, 1:26 pm
Your comment about no one *then* doing what you today... You still do now what no one does today. I'm a reggae fan and the kind of music you post here and on Facebook, enough said. Your unique blend of fashion, beauty and consciousness - enough said. May you cross boundaries that you never dreamed of - mental, emotional, geographical.
Kristi says:
August 16, 2010, 3:01 pm
Happy Birthday on behalf of the entire family at CARA B Naturally! Congratulations on such a wonderful accomplishment and here's to many more years of success...as always, Stay Beautiful, Naturally :). Kristi
Dasheen Magazine says:
August 16, 2010, 3:57 pm
Always an inspiration! Always on point and Always Afrobella! Love this BRAND! And I can't wait to see you on CNN giving your pespective on... well anything your heart desires. Happy Birthday!
anna12 says:
August 16, 2010, 5:37 pm
happy birthday. Congrats and keep growing bigger.
Nikki says:
August 17, 2010, 8:32 am
Happy blog-versary!! I'm still tickled that you responded to me with a dress question!! And even though I'm living the lye, I still check in for your awesome skin, makeup and life tips!! I love you and your blog and wish you four times four more years of success!!!
Jennae @ Green Your Decor says:
August 17, 2010, 2:36 pm
I truly wish that I had been around waaay back in 2006 so I could witness your phenomenal growth for myself, but I'm glad I finally found you two years ago! Congrats, and I wish you many more years of growth!
Victoria says:
August 17, 2010, 7:57 pm
Dad and Mom says:
August 17, 2010, 8:21 pm
Time flies and it is awesome to see you in full flight. The exceptional bloggers like yourself are helping to revolutionise the communications industry and the time is fast approaching when you will help to take it to the level at which it deserves to be.....the very top. Respect is growing and it is only time. Live your dream. You have the talent, passion and drive... and you are making a difference. Love always, Dad and Mom
Jaquisha says:
August 18, 2010, 7:19 pm
OMG My birthday is/was the 14th as well! Happy birthday Afrobella!
Nia says:
August 18, 2010, 10:42 pm
Happy Birthday! Thank you so much for following your dream. You have inspired me to embrace my "natural" self. Its been a year!
JenG says:
August 19, 2010, 2:37 pm
Happy Birthday!
Shell says:
August 19, 2010, 6:29 pm
Happy birthday, I'm glad to see Afrobella growing and getting better each year. Here's to a new year of wild dreams coming true.
designdiva says:
August 20, 2010, 11:29 am
happy birthday afrobella....loved u then and still love u now...keep up the good work.
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