We had the good fortune of connecting with Crystal Davis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Crystal, what inspires you?
I am inspired by HOPE – the Heart of People Everyday and the Gift of Service! Beautiful exchanged is inspired by God and the hope and reassurance I longed for on my journey. As a battered and broken young lady, I like many others sought refuge and love in ways where it was never found. In spite of missing many marks and making many wrongs choices, I ALWAYS knew my life had Purpose – there was this “glimmer of hope” that I continue to hold on to, even when life, environment, and circumstances said, “No”. My journey was one of challenges from teenage pregnancy, to high school dropout, low self-esteem, domestic violence, homeless, and helplessness. Nearly four years ago, the Lord spoke to me and said, “You will inspire other young ladies and make an impact through your story/testimony of Triumph – Beautiful Heart was created. In 2018, the Lord awakened me from my sleep about 3 a.m. and changed the name to Beautiful Exchange, giving me the Foundational Message – “Exchanging Beauty for Ashes” (Isaiah 61:3). This scripture and motto embodies hope! It encourages the heart’s belief that no matter what our past and/or our present, there is still hope for a BETTER FUTURE, if we believe! I have been chosen to empower, encourage, and impact the lives of those seemingly on a journey to much to bear. Through speaking, coaching, and mentoring, this will be my legacyAlright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets me apart from others is my gift of connection and my ability to actively listen from the heart – I never meet a stranger. The thing that excites me is my unshakable faith that new doors are opening for me (Crystal Davis) and the Beautiful Exchange brand (experience). With this, there will be new community partnerships and the once bleak trajectory of our communities will be forever changed for the better! And I get to be apart of that blueprint. Getting where I am today in business has not been easy. This was a major “Leap of Faith” for me. In September 2020 (in the midst of a pandemic), God said, “It is a Leap Year, Crystal” – trust me. In faith I left my secure government job of nearly 13 years and started working for myself. Many thought, and still believe, I am nuts for doing so, but God has not failed me yet and each day HE opens new doors and opportunities. This has been the best decision of my life! In addition to the naysayers, I had to shift my mindset from employee to business owner, which took some time to grasp – even still. Other challenges posed were learning how to market/brand a business as a speaker & coach, so familiar in today’s market without blending in – but standing out! I overcome daily through prayer and having heart-to-heart conversations with my “village’ and myself. Revisiting and revising my business plan and shifting when required has been key, especially in this season of uncertainty due to the pandemic and other issues plaguing our country. To overcome daily challenges, I find time to read daily devotions, listen to music and empowerment messages from women I admire. I have learned along the way, to not take myself too serious, to embrace my flaws and quirkiness, to never dim my light, and failure is apart of the process. The key even in failure, is to never stop trying, be optimistic and learn how to be your own cheerleader! Crystal Davis is a Clayton State Graduate who has a way of viewing things with a lens of light. As a dynamic speaker, my voice is used to EMPOWER women that may be facing life’s many challenges. As a Coach, I am adept at creating strategic plans based on the desire of each individual and leading them to purpose. Serving others with a nurturer’s heart is an innate gift. My professional background includes: 10 years in the medical support field, as well as, nearly 13 years with the government in various capacities – most recent, as a facilitator, marketing professional, and manager/leader. The hiccups and hardships of my past are ‘Power Pellets” to encourage the hearts of others. I fully understand that my journey is/was never about me, but for those that will cross my path. I strive to always leave a person/atmosphere different than it was upon my arrival, by sharing my light where possible! Beautiful Exchange, LLC’s mission and sole purpose is to heal from within, by encouraging, empowering, and inspiring young girls/women of all background & beliefs to PRESS towards purpose using the pain and pressures of the past as stepping stones to GREATNESS. The overall mission is to empower, encourage, and improve the mind & spirit of all in need -helping them to radiate & reflect their true identity and beauty. We achieve this through Strategic Goal setting, community collaborations, and offering hope through connection and example.If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Simplicity is key for me. However, as a Native ATLien, I know there are many hot & happening spots to make any itinerary with the travel. Breakfast would be made at home most morning. But for the days when painting the town early is a must, we would definitely stop in at Homegrown in East Atlanta for some good eating. Other locations that are a “must try” are Gotcha’s and Breakfast at Barneys – delish! For all newcomers, The Varsity is a must have experience …. “What do you have?” Other favorite places would include: Mary Mac and Fellini’s for my group. A lover of music, if a concert was being held at City Winery, we would definitely take up that charge. For some fun, we might try our hat at “Karaoke” at the Tavern @ Camp Creek or one of the many Crab Spots. Aside from eating and enjoying music and fun. We would visit the many historic places in the city to in the Martin Luther King, Jr birth home. Travel to see the many murals and beautiful works of art along the streets of Iman Park, Auburn Ave, Peoplestown, and Cabbagetown. I would share landmarks such as the old Braves Stadium (maybe go to Suntrust park), and share the area where I grew up, East Atlanta, although gentrified for the most part. This is just a few spots we would visit.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First, I HONOR God for the strength to push forward and for those HE placed in my life to encourage me forward. I salute my parents for their love. A special thank you to my Mommie, Candy Sims for her unwavering support! My husband, Keith Davis has been my anchor for the last 12 years, always encouraging me in my endeavors. Shoutout to my four children: Marcus, Chassity, Chadric, Meonte – having them gave me reason to fight and never give up. My three grandsons, Chaston, Jamir, and Blake gives me new reason to persevere! Over the years, my village (circle of influence) has changed. Life has been fortunate that I have crossed paths with so many, some lesson, others blessings – I learned either way. My current village consists of my church families Cornerstone of Faith Christian Ministries, under the leadership of James O Price, Jr. and The Well (Salisbury MD) under the leadership of Pastor Tim & Asia Palmer. My sisters, Petra & Alicia, My Sister Circle – Members of Ladies of Royalty, and my bestie, Sekeithia. There are three women in particular Ms. Tammary Scott of B’Mari Events & Art Studio (Jonesboro) and Shiesha Blake, Owner of Take You Pick (Maryland) and my Prayer Warrior, Mrs. Hadiya Moore-Stigler. These women have been a constant in my life. Each showing me the strength of women collectively working and supporting each other. Always encouraging me to give it my all and never stop trying. Last, but certainly not least, Ms. Crystal “Melanated Pearl” Perry for showing me love and sharing my story with you all. Crystal [she] is a force for our black/brown girls and I am honored to know her and her work!
Antonio D. Walker