She Wears Many Hats
Written by Zuri Star
I have traveled far, expanded my palate, co-created my most beautiful life, and unleashed my voice. Throughout my journey, I have been guided by my principles, one of which is simple… Be the beautiful you. I’ll explain some background on my various roles, explain what’s behind some funny nicknames I’ve been given, share with you the hats I’m currently wearing, how these hats led to the birth of I Am Zuri, and what you can expect on this platform. Now, I love me some hats, but I’m talking about my metaphorical hats. The hats I’ve worn are the roles I had to play. Some hats I wore for things that piqued my curiosity and others were worn to meet whatever challenges came my way!
I come from a diverse, Brady-bunch style family, and have traveled the world both for work and play. My mom is a yogi and my father is an organic farmer/activist/author. I’m the only child from these two lovely beings. However, between the two, I have many half and stepbrothers and sisters.
The hardest thing I’ve had to learn is that some hats just don’t fit on this head. And if the hat doesn’t fit, you must ____? (Insert bad O.J. Simpson joke there.) Speaking of jokes, I have been called a triple threat amongst the comedic souls in my life. Not because I’m a singer, dancer, and actress; there’s nothing funny about that. Heck, half of Southern California’s female population claims to be that kind of a triple threat.
I’m a triple threat because comically, these stereotypical hats actually fit my head:
- A Redheaded stepchild (Born a strawberry blonde. Mom married 4 times, Dad married 3 times- that makes me a redheaded stepchild.)
- The farmer’s daughter (Dad is an organic farmer)
- And I was actually born in a barn (My parent’s hippie phase led them to turn a barn into a house and raise goats. They had a home birth, thus, I was born in a barn.)
Go ahead and laugh! It is actually funny. It is hashtag #truestory and you literally can’t make this shit up.
One night, I put on all of my hats just before falling asleep. That night, my mind birthed a vision to start my own lifestyle company called, I Am Zuri. I wanted the platform to house this company, which allowed me to feature all of my passions and pursuits in one place. While the concept of I Am Zuri was forming, I recorded my second and third studio album, toured various countries as a singer-songwriter, remained a citizen activist, and movement leader in the good food space, and the clean beauty world. At the same time, I was endlessly studying new social media strategies for my expanding clientele. I continued to support and consult some amazing friends, activists, and celebrity clients through my social media and marketing business.
- One of my favorite quotes: “I Am: two of the most powerful words, for what you put after them shapes your reality.”
- The word Zuri means beautiful in Swahili, (you can thank my hippie parents for that one).
Deciding to use my own name for this company required me to do a lot of soul-searching, and really define what beauty means to me. I feel that my namesake comes with weight, purpose, and a sense of responsibility. A by-product of all of this self-discovery, responsibility, and pressure, was the need to serve. An intense desire to be the change I wanted to see, and ultimately, empower people to do the same. By helping myself and my clients, I recognized that these teachings should be shared on a MUCH larger platform.
So I had it all figured out, (so I thought), and then came the process of putting it together. At the same time, my social media business was growing, and my attention was split between doing what I wanted to do, and doing what I had to do to sustain my businesses. These two quotes below helped me get through the VERY long process of seeing my vision through and maybe in sharing they’ll help you too. Getting over self-doubt, fear, frustration, overwhelm; balancing work, play, passions, parenting, and a bunch of other hurdles, called upon everything I’ve learned from previous hats I’ve worn.
I’ve conquered fears. I’m getting better at getting out of my own way. I’ve learned when to take off my perfectionist hat, (I don’t recommend it to anyone. Leave that one in the hat shop, or burn it if it’s already in your closet).
In early 2015, I committed to sharing the parts of myself that had to be a part of I Am Zuri.
Once I had the framework pulled together, I invited my partner in crime, Michael Star, to join me. Michael is a writer, a poet, a certified yoga instructor, photographer, culinary enthusiast, and a fitness buff. Slowly, I am building out this space with other contributors who have a commitment to living a beautiful life.
My hope is that the tribe that forms around I Am Zuri is inspired by this unique collection of passions, all with the intent to guide people into living a beautiful life. “I Am Zuri, Be The Beautiful You,” is an invitation for all of us to live the most beautiful version of ourselves.
Thank you for reading, thank you for sharing, and thank you for being YOU. I am honored to be in this role. My most important hat will always be to share my big heart with all of you!
Photo credits: Images by Michael Helms, Hair and Makeup by Angelina Butera. Styling by Zuri.
Check out my “She Boss Hustle Playlist!” This is what I listen to when I am wearing one of my entrepreneur hats!