We had the good fortune of connecting with LaTeisha Clément and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi LaTeisha, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I chose me. A lot of parents have told me, and culture as a whole, that when you have kids, it’s no longer about you. In fact, once I had my baby, well even before then during pregnancy, I was addressed by baby/belly first. “How’s it going? What do you think you’re going to have? What are you going to do for childcare? What are you going to name it? Do you have schools in mind?” and so on and so forth. Very rarely did I get a “How are you feeling about this pregnancy? What kind of mother do you want to be? How do you want to feel in this new season of your life?” But no, it was all about the baby, as if I no longer existed.
In short, I chose to follow my dreams (of writing and style) and become the best woman I could be, in order to love my child with that same energy. My reasoning was that if I loved myself exponentially, I could then give that same love to my son. I mean, have you ever seen a woman who was depleted, then try to parent her child with style and grace? Probably not, and if you have seen her do this, she was most likely giving an Oscar-worthy performance. Why? Because no one can authentically give what they don’t have. At some point, these neglected emotions that no one knew were lying dormant, will eventually blow up.
And it’s easy to become this woman. To be honest, as much as I pledged to be “I am woman, hear me roar,” there were still times when I became entrenched in raising my son. Parenting gets demanding, especially when you have an infant or a toddler who needs to be supervised constantly.
Thus, I grasp the fact that I cannot fully prioritize myself at the neglect of my child. I’m not oversimplifying parenthood. What I am saying is that I give myself space to be intentional about my aspirations, in order to honor my person, while setting an example to my son, of the full and vibrant life he can explore for himself.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am an Influencer and I’ve struggled with embracing that because I am not doing it full-time yet. I’m also juggling single-parenthood/a full-time job/being a dreamer. I’ve created LaTeishaClement.com three years ago, after revamping my blog twice (5 years prior). I needed to feel like myself without the fluff of appeasing folk, if that makes any sense.
I’m now in a place in my life where I can call myself a Creative and actually believe it. I am the founder of the blog, lateishaclement.com, which highlights Style, Womanhood and Mommying. I intersect my journey as a woman who is stylish in dress and also in life. Style is how you interweave your person in life as a whole, from your wardrobe to your personality. How are you navigating situations and your interpersonal relationships? Are you doing life in style? (That’s my moniker: Doing life in style).
I teach women to embrace their truths and to look good while doing it. I’m all about ownership of one’s experience and journey/having accountability and letting no one tell YOUR story.
With that said, I attract people by the way I carry myself and the way I dress. And I actively lend a listening ear when they’re going through hard times. I coach individuals every day at work and use my emphatic skills to help people identify/work through areas where they are “stuck.” I call myself a Style Coach for this very reason because style transcends clothes. It’s how you show up in life. I support people in getting back to themselves because that’s what God has done for me.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would definitely take my friend to Brooklyn, whether it’s Downtown, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill/surrounding areas. I love them all! From the cobblestone streets, to the pizza stores, to the personality of Brooklyn’s piers and broad walks, there’s so much to see. I get immersed in the scenery. Brooklyn has so much culture, even amidst gentrification and this borough is a whole republic on it’s own. Just ask anyone who’s been born and raised in BK! And I know I am not the first to say that.
I love the tranquility of being in Dumbo by the water and then taking a ferry to the other side of town. Being surrounded by water is so calming. Stopping to get pizza on the side of the pier is so fun too. There are also other restaurants to pop in and out of.
My favorite place to have an all-in-one experience would be downtown by the promenade not too far from Court Street. You can walk up and down Court Street, go to a Thai spot, Barnes & Noble (my fave), the pizzeria and the movies (when the world fully opens up again). Then, after perusing all of these options (which are simply a few that I could think of), we can take a long walk up to the promenade and just watch the waves and cargo ships, while people walk their dogs and children run past you.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are many people who have helped me along the way, including therapists (thank God for them! Seriously). Even still, I’m going to shout out the non-profit organization, 4 Real Women International. They were my safe place when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy. I was fresh “out” of a toxic relationship, which I boomeranged myself back into once I conceived with my ex, who I now refer to as the Father of my Child. I needed a safe haven to feel like me again because I lost myself and all of my sanity while I was involved with him. I didn’t know who I was. I lost sight of that and 4RWI helped save me.
(Assuming that we’re looking at the photos from left to right in each row): Jetro Nicholas of JN Portraits, images 1-6. LaTeisha Clément, Image 7 LaMadina Magnifique, Image 8.