Poised, educated, well-spoken, and can she command a room.
A vibrantly-wide smile that is as contagious as it is warm. (With a boisterous laugh that spills out in waterfalls …when she lets it.)
A not-so-quiet confidence.
All of this can make it a little challenging to imagine that just over a year ago Margo was battling homelessness, addiction and recovering from wounds she doesn’t wish on anyone. (though she is quick to remind us this shouldn’t be surprising as ‘she is just like anyone else’ and ‘life’ can happen.)
Trauma. Abuse. They are what she knew. For 18 years, her smile–not as prevalent. That ‘waterfall’ laugh…all but vanished.
Raised to be a ‘roaring lion’ and a ‘strong, black woman’ by her adoptive parents- it’s difficult for her to recall the Margo that was present during those 18 years. But after hard work, a restored faith, and reclaiming the ‘tenacity in her belly’
…the ‘old’ Margo is back.
Margo now describes herself as “brave and bold- full of moxie. deliberate.”
She is “done with simply surviving.” She is now walking in her own authentic power. “I can’t change the past, but I can use it as a catalyst.” She asserts. She has a different perspective now–she wants to see herself walking in the power that is her “God-given right.”
She is working hard to find more permanent housing and a solid career that fulfills her. (Her heart is set on becoming a peer advisor for women whose stories are similar to hers and assisting them in seeing their own power. She recently completed a program to become certified in hopes of placement.)
When we asked Margo what she was most proud of, she answered “I love the ‘new’ Margo and her confidence. And it’s glorifying to see her as a grown woman now. Not that little girl in hiding.”
When Margo was nominated for our ‘Share Your Fearless’ program by a director at The Harvest Center here in Charlotte, NC- (a place she holds dear and attributes as a large part of her story taking a positive turn.) –we knew she embodied the spirit of what these sessions are meant to do: share the powerful stories of ‘everyday’ (amazing) women like Margo. ($150 from every commissioned Empowered Portrait session goes to this fund and allows us to share these stories by providing nominated women the gift of a day to celebrate them and result in a custom piece of art to remind them of their magic.)
The big reveal:
After a morning spent with hair and makeup artist, Sissy Duncan of Hello Gorgeous Beauty Lounge (who graciously donated her services to Margo in hopes of her feeling even more special for her session.) we worked to translate Margo’s story of strength and perseverance into photographs. After a break for lunch–she returned to our studio, Bungalow 1325 for her reveal.
There were tears. –Most especially each and every time we passed a certain photograph. (It was a photograph of ‘in-between’ moment –one in which that waterfall of laughter briefly spilled. ) She selected this one as her favorite to be made into her custom art piece.
When asked why she selected the from all of the other photographs, she said it reminded her of that younger/more carefree Margo she hadn’t seen in quite some time. She was happy to see her again and stated: “I can now tell her goodbye.” She uttered ‘You go girl, run, and don’t look back–I am so proud of you. Not an easy road but so proud of your journey.’
Thank you, Margo, for allowing us to share your story. (And, thank you Sherri Waters from the Harvest Center for your nomination.) –It was our honor.
The photograph selected by Margo for her custom art piece:
Some additional favorites from our time spent with her:
**Want to help us share the stories of more women like Margo?
There are two ways to make that possible:
1.) Book you own session and take center stage in your own life/business and $150 will be donated to the ‘Share My Fearless’ Fund.
2.) You may make a direct donation with 100% of the donated amount being used to grant a session to women whose story should be seen, heard and celebrated.
(***Nominate a deserving woman here.****)