Category Archives: Thought I’d Share

Before I Leave 2015 Behind…

I don’t know about you but when I don’t reflect, I get ungrateful. When I don’t look back on where I started, I miss how much I’ve grown.

A couple days into the 2016 new year, someone asked me how 2015 had been for me. With a labored sigh, I replied “In all honesty, it was a tough year.” I hadn’t told a lie– 2015 was sprinkled with unexpected let-downs and challenges. Social media has a way of compiling a highlight reel of our lives that gives the false impression of a perfect life. While I was winning awards and getting speaking engagements, I was grappling with the reality of a dwindling savings account. One day, when I’m ready, I will tell you all that story. It’s one of true friendship and God’s provision. I’ll save it for another day.

Right now I want to take you back to how I started the year. I wrote down a vision for what I wanted to see in the next 365 day. I included my ambitions, my hopes, and my motivations. I believe that the way you start (with optimism and hope) frames how you’ll approach the year, with all its good and its bad.

Vision Board for 2015

“Go. See. Do”

I had purposed in my mind that I wanted to take a solo trip after I graduated with my Masters degree. I was nervous and was constantly checking Google Flight alerts for tickets during my lunch breaks. My destination of choice? Copenhagen, Denmark. I love biking culture and I had heard it’s a safe place for a woman to travel alone. I caught huge a break with a roundtrip ticket for under $600. On my trip, I stayed at the Urban House in Denmark and hopped over to Germany to visit friends and learn about sustainable fashion at H&M Starting House. I’d recommend a solo trip to anyone who’s ever considered it.

Be Happy. Live Well.

Happiness to me consists of spending time with loved ones and being free to be myself. Living far away from my family and friends, the things I cherish the most are unexpected phone calls, care packages, and authentic acts of friendship. In order for me to “live well,” I had to shed dead weight that was not helping me develop as an individual. It can be difficult to let go of relationships and things that used to fit you. Once those things become a hinderance, it’s necessary to remove them from your life. As a recovering people-pleaser, I still struggle with the need to justify my actions but a dear friend challenged me to start living for an audience of one. As long as God is pleased with my actions, I don’t owe anyone anything. I have said many times before that I am fiercely protective of my happiness— as we all should be. Before you invite people, habits, and things into your life, examine them thoroughly. And let them in only if they will make you a better version of yourself.

Finance Bar Graphics (22)


One day, I was praying and I thought what big and specific thing could I ask of God? I declared, “I want to have 5 speaking engagements this year.” As the months rolled by, I had almost forgotten my prayer. But emails and calls started pouring in and on December 4th, I found myself on stage at an award ceremony, giving remarks about sustainable fashion. It was my fifth and final speaking engagement for the year. Sometimes, I still feel like the nerdy girl who reads articles about textile waste for fun and it’s humbling that people want to hear what I have to say. The Word says, You have not because you do not ask (James 4:2). God is not intimidated by our ambition. Ask Him for what you want and when you do, ASK BIG.

Leaders of the New Cool 

I’m not shy about telling people that I want my startup Style Lottery to be the thought-leader in recycling textiles. We’ve been working with the circular economy for a couple of years and we have been changing the way consumers get rid of their old clothes. Sustainable fashion isn’t just the new cool, it’s going to become the new standard. This year, I challenged myself to be true to my convictions. I adjusted my shopping habits and now more than half my closet is second-hand. I enjoy fashion and I recognize its ability to connect and empower communities. I am an outspoken advocate for sustainable fashion. You know what qualifies us as leaders? Our closets, our wallets, and what we chose to use them for.

Necessary Goods

I dabbled in the zero waste world for a bit and learned some great ways to lower my carbon footprint. I attended SXSW Eco, tried composting, eliminated meat from my diet, and read The Zero Waste Home from cover to cover. At the end of the day, I identified the necessities and the excesses in my life. I focused on getting basic staples and timeless pieces that will last several seasons. I have chosen to adopt a minimal waste lifestyle, where I work to minimize my environmental impact. Ever since I made the switch, I have less stuff and more substance. I’m aware that not everyone can fit all their trash into a mason jar, but if we can all reduce our waste in some way, we can make the world a better place.


Writing this post was therapeutic for me. In retrospect, I can see that I had a fantastic year. Although I didn’t get all the answers I wanted in 2015, I know that God will complete the work He started. One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11. It says,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

That promise from God is enough optimism and hope to launch me into 2016. I cannot wait to see how His plans unfold in my life.


Did you make a vision board this year? Or make New Years resolutions? If so, what were your main themes for 2016? Leave a comment below :)

6 Reflections for Graduates In Limbo

It’s graduation season and while some of you out there are heading out to your first day at your new job, some of us are tightening the drawstrings on our sweatpants to prepare for a day of job hunting on LinkedIn. It’s okay to be in that last group. If you’re having a pity party right now, stop right now and read my post “Living at Home Doesn’t Make You a Loser.” I’ve been in your shoes before and I want to share some of the reflections I have from that time of uncertainty.

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#1: Let Your Freak Flag Fly

There was a time when I tried to act normal and act like I was interested in the same things as everyone else. That didn’t last very long. The truth is that I love singing but I’m notoriously bad with lyrics, avocados make me gag and I am constantly shopping for the perfect planner (it has to have 30 minute increments and a spot for a to-do list). Don’t be afraid to like what you like. There are too many people trying to go with the flow and like what everyone else likes. Once you’re open about what you like, you’ll be surprised at the kind of people that gravitate towards you. I once had a 10 minute conversation with someone about the best pen for journal writing. This conversation included a hands-on demo of all the pens in her collection. As weird as it was that she had all those pens in her bag, it was a mutually enjoyable experience that would not have happened if I hadn’t mistakenly stolen her pen. Let’s all agree to free ourselves to be enthusiastic about life again!

Lesson 2: Failure Can Hurt but It Won’t Kill You
#2: Failure Can Hurt but It Won’t Kill You

I have heard “no” more times than I would like to admit. In fact, I heard it so many times that I became desensitized to it. I no longer heard it as a criticism of me as a person. Instead, I take “no” to mean “not now”, “not here”,”not like this”, and “not with them.” Getting over the fear of “no” is a challenge that I face head-on every day. Every time I cold-email a complete stranger that I admire from the industry, I hold my breath and send up a prayer before pressing send. It’s a ritual for me, but that little action helps me overcome my fear. I’ve found that the people on the other end, more times than not, actually reply back. Most of the time, they’re impressed someone had the guts randomly email them for advice. I’ve had some surprisingly pleasant interactions with random strangers. Just remember that they are humans and were once in your shoes, trying to find their place in the world.

Quick tip: Be brief and to the point (who you are and what you do). Make sure your email has an ask (what do you want from them).
Lesson #3: Hustle Outside of the Box
#3: Hustle Outside of the Box

If you want to know what you have a reputation for, take a peek at your LinkedIn endorsements. I have a few for “Public Speaking”, likely because of my TEDx talk and other speaking engagements but what kind of threw me off were the “Event Planning” endorsements. I noticed they were from people who had attended my Style Lottery closet swap events over the years. For some reason, I hadn’t thought of putting together swaps as event planning. But it was! Every year, I was planning 3-4 swaps with and for different groups in different cities and people were starting to take notice. Sometimes, people can see greatness in us and that is enough to plant a seed. About a year ago, I took my event planning hobby and turned it into my fashion startup called Style Lottery. Ever since, we’ve been teaching people to restyle, reuse, and reward with fashion. With a little creativity, your passions and talents can be transformed into a side-hustle.

Lesson #4: Become a True Learner
#4: Become a True Learner

When I first became interested in sustainability, I wanted to read everything I could get my hands on. I read up on the circular and sharing economy. I nerded out on statistics about the psychology behind the need to shop. I designed workshops about sustainable fashion. I subscribed to blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to minimalism and a more waste-conscious lifestyle. I researched natural substitutes for my every day products. In order to really know a subject, you have to become a true learner. Read books, attend talks, and link up with likeminded people who can teach you a thing or two. It’s important to never stop learning and seeking to know more.

Lesson #5: Know Thyself
#5: Know Thyself

I came to the realization that I am not the type of employee who can sit behind a desk from 9 to 5, staring at a computer. I am an idea person who thrives when I can bounce ideas off others. Just as it’s important to know what kind of job functions you enjoy and what kind of work environments you do your best work in. You should also be aware of your strengths and areas that need improvements.

Here’s an interesting thought about strengths and weaknesses: I was having a conversation with one of my “mentors-in-my-head” (borrowed this phrase from Chasity Cooper) and she said that we don’t always have to be so obsessed with working on our weaknesses. Our weaknesses may be a clue that we need someone on our team who excels in areas where we struggle. I think they’re a great reminder that we can’t do our best work in isolation.

Lesson #5: What is For You is For You
#6: What is For You is For You

My life has been an interesting ride, full of surprise turns and blessings in disguise. I’m not really the type to plan out every detail of my life very far out in advance. I have a vision for who I want to be and what I want to be known for but the road getting there is quite blurry to me. And you know what? I’m actually ok with that. In my experience, it’s been when I least expected it that God put up great roadblocks in my way and dropped amazing opportunities into my lap. When I look at where I am in my life now, I’m not exactly where I thought I would be but looking at the road that brought me here, I see God’s hand in every step I took.

I can’t look to my left or right and try to compare my life trajectories to anyone else’s. It wouldn’t be fair. I know that even now, the wheels are turning in my life, although I cannot see the outcomes just yet. In the meantime, I will continue chatting with awesome strangers on planes and having lunch dates with friends of friends who are doing exciting things. I’m enjoying hearing people’s life journeys. It’s refreshing to hear that none of them were exactly sure of where they’d end up when they started and no one’s career path was a straight shot. I’m not sure what God has in store for me, but I know He will continue on in the trend of surprising me beyond what I could ever dream. I don’t have to beg him for a job or plead with him for the success of my nonprofit. What is for me is for me. It will be mine as long as I have faith and work toward it. I pray the same peace and optimism for you in the period of waiting.

Pictures taken by Gesiye Komonibo, Washington, DC.

Our First Family Cruise- 2014

My family and I just got back from a cruise– our first cruise ever! We had a lot of laughs, ate too much food, and made a lot of memories.

The scenery from the boat every morning was beautiful. Seeing the sun rise and set on the horizon was breathtaking.

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The ship made two stops: the first in Progresso, Mexico and the last stop was in Cozumel:

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Feeling adventurous, I randomly decided to get a henna tattoo of a anchor and an infinite sign. After 30 minutes, I already hated it. It just goes to prove I could never have a real tattoo. I’d get tired of it easily. FamilyCruise 4272x2848-023

My brother, the only animal lover in the house, looks a little too comfortable holding that hideous creature. FamilyCruise 4272x2848-022

Our Carnival cruise ship was huge!
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We went out again to check out the next island:FamilyCruise 4272x2848-004

This pirate told us he was Johnny Depp’s half brother. He was so incredible crusty and dirty, but he was very funny and cheeky. FamilyCruise 2848x4272-001

Inside the ship, we occupied our time with Broadway-like musicals and an unnatural amount of karaoke:FamilyCruise 4272x2848-026 FamilyCruise 4272x2848-008 FamilyCruise 4272x2848-011FamilyCruise 4272x2848-010 FamilyCruise 4272x2848-009

One evening, I got to perform with a live band in front of a live audience for the cruise talent show. I had a blast! I won a plastic trophy and a bottle of champagne. FamilyCruise 4272x2848
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Thanks to my brother Ye’s awesome camera, we were able to take some cute family portraits:
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The cruise photographers were giving us the side eye when they saw us having a full-blown photo shoot by the staircase.
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We dressed up for fancy dinners with our family friends who were also cruising:

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Throughout the entire cruise, we experienced three-course meals, comedy clubs, and     . This was a much needed vacation. It was nice sharing a room and being in close quarters with my siblings again. I’d somehow forgotten how much I love and miss my family when I’m away. As I go back to school, well-rested and perhaps a couple pounds heavier, I am excited to see what this year will bring. Already 2014 has knocked me off my feet.

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Photo credit: Ye

Help, I’m Left-brained With an ENFP Personality Type!

For the longest time, I have thought I was right brained because I hated math and loved crafting. It turns out that, instinctively, I am left-brained:

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At first, I was pretty bummed that I wasn’t more right brained. But then I realized that I’m only 13% more left-brained than I am right-brained! Oh man…what a left-brained thing to say. But it makes sense. I’m a little meticulous about my creativity; I never really haphazardly create things. I always have some type of plan. However, at the same time, I am very curious and imaginative.

Because I’m a gluten for punishment curious about myself, I decided to dig a little deeper and find out more about myself. I started by retaking the Briggs personality test. It had been a while, so I had forgotten my results. Here’s a snapshot of my new results:

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My personality type is ENFP. This test rang so true for me and explained the way I’m wired. Obviously, I only posted the positive things. I can’t give away all my secrets now, can I? As a left-brained person with an ENFP personality, I bet I’d make one heck of a creative problem solver!

I recommend that everyone take this quick test, or a similar one to find out their personality type. You’ll learn a lot about yourself. It’s always great to know yourself, so you know who you’re dealing with and what to expect.

My Portfolio

Hello to those of you who are new to!

Allow me to introduce myself professionally:


Here is my resume:


Many of you are well-acquainted with my fashion-oriented side, but haven’t seen me operate in a professional arena. I will create a portfolio tab on the navigation menu so you all can occasionally check in and see what I’m up to.

Thanks for reading,

Timi Komonibo
“Naturale Chronicles”

#31WriteNow: What’s Your Dating Philosophy?

What do you do when you walk into a restaurant and see an attractive stranger sitting by himself?

Do you give him some space and pick a seat a seat where you can look your fill without interruption? Do you ask “is this seat taken?” and when he says no slide into the seat across from him? Or do you sit far away from him and pretend the attraction does not exist?

Your answer reveals a lot about your dating philosophy. It tells how slow (or fast) you like to take things. It hints at your degree of old fashionness and it is a telltale sign of your boldness with the opposite sex.

If I had been presented with this scenario a few months ago, I would have chosen the first option where I didn’t interact with the gorgeous man but I simply sat hoping that he would somehow sense my interest and approach me. After being single for a bit, I realized the glaring flaw in my approach. Everyone, deep down, is afraid of rejection. A man is unlikely to express interest if he is unsure that it is mutual. For the longest time, I would be mysteriously flirty around my crushes. Sometimes it was blatant and everyone is the room could feel, other times it would be so subtle that you would think you were imagining it. After all, I didn’t want to lay all my cards on the table and make the guy think I was…what, interested in getting to know him? Attracted to him?

As women, we have this fear that our interest will be mistaken for thirstiness so we feign indifference and send mixed signals. We often miss out on potential relationships because we’re afraid of making a move. Making a move seems to be controversial so many women shy away from it. I recommend that women should make A move to show they are interested. It doesn’t have to be THE move that get things moving towards a relationship, but it should give the guy the green light to say “hi, I’m approachable and would not be opposed to having a nice chat with you.” It’s not a big deal. It’s not as though Bruno Mars’ “Hey Baby, I think I wanna Marry You” will start playing overhead when you make a move. It shows that you are a confident woman and that you are willing to take risks to get what you want.

Don’t judge me, but I have been watching Hallmark movies and taking notes on dating. Yes, I know Hallmark isn’t real, but the romantic scenarios and interactions presented are very similar to real life events I have witnessed. I have often watched the romance movie wide-eyed thinking, “whoa, some people sure do move fast in the romance department!” I am Nigerian and for me the courting process is a multi-step endeavor that includes a long string of people, not just the bride and the groom. The timeline for romance that I observed in these movies did not match the ones I had observed growing up. Women saw what they want and hinted (or sometimes they came right out and declared) their attraction. The old-fashioned gal in me clutched my pearls at their forwardness. The other part of me wondered where I could get a dose of their gumption.

The truth about dating is that you get what you put in. Meaning, if you never make a move of interest, you’ll never see any results.

#31WriteNow: Salvation Army Thrift Haul

This was actually my first time shopping at a Salvation Army. I had shopped at Goodwill and other resale shops but, for some reason, not Salvation Army. Luckily, we went on a Wednesday, so many of the items were 50% off.

Before I started shopping, I gave myself a budget and a shopping objective. My budget was $20 and my shopping objective was to find articles of clothing with good prints and patterns.

I bought 8 items and I was a teensy bit under budget. Call me a Happy Thrifter.

#31WriteNow: The Things I Thought I Couldn’t Do

Look Ma, I went running!


Every time my foot connected with the pavement, I was stomping out my doubt and fear of running. I’m no Olympic runner. Heck, just thinking about running used to make me break into hives. But there I was, taking a jog around my neighborhood. 

Along the way, a few things gave me motivation:

#1. My “DIVA Radio” pandora station had Riri and Bey yelling in my ear to keep me going. Sometimes, I felt like stopping to dutty wine but it didn’t seem appropriate so it kept me moving. I would run through the songs and take a walk break during the commercials. I thought of my run in terms of how many songs I’d be able to run though. 

#2. The cute guy at the end of the street. You know when you’re running and about to take a break, but you don’t want people to see you stopping and starting over again? Yea, I wanted to run past that cute stranger and not have to stop and lean over, wheezing in front of him. I also had stopping markers, like if you run to the playground you can stop and take a break. It gave me something to look forward to. 

#3. My lack of direction. I somehow got lost jogging around my neighborhood (I just moved in last month lol) and I was running around trying to find my way back to my house.

#4. My doctor. I had gone to the doctor to get a check up and he asked me if I exercised. I said no and he shot back “why not? You’d better start now before it gets harder to start. Your heart condition is not an excuse.” A few years ago, we discovered that there was a teeny tiny hole in my heart. Doctors were kind of mystified by it, which only served to scaring me into a sedentary lifestyle. To me, my heart was unpredictable and could let me down at any time. When my new doctor assured me that my heart would benefit from the exercise, I was free from the excuse that had driven me to inactivity.

#5. My pastor’s wife. This woman is relentless about her fitness journey. I’ve been able to track her progress on Instagram and it’s so cool to see how she wears the sweat on her brow like a badge of honor. She is consistent and she enjoys running.

Today’s run was not terrible at all. I’m hoping the next time will be as nice as this time. It was nice running by myself and thinking about life. I started thinking about all the things I thought I couldn’t do that I’m doing now. I’ve grown so much in the past couple of years after undergrad. I’m slowly eliminating the word “can’t” from my vocabulary. It doesn’t apply to me enough. God has already exceeded the expectations I had for myself. He has opened doors I didn’t even know were there and He has granted me unparalleled favor. 

I used to have a mental list of things I couldn’t do. It’s not a list of things I haven’t done yet.

My 24th Birthday Week Lineup (April 29th-May 5th)



Next week on May 2nd, I am turning 24 years old. I usually don’t make a huge fuss over my birthday but this is going to be my last birthday for a while in Houston. I need to spend it with the people I love, doing things I enjoy.

I am the type of person who loves birthdays but I spend most of my time planning for others and making sure people enjoy their birthdays that my own birthday often gets overlooks. This year, I’m not going to wait for someone to surprise me or throw me a party.

This year, I’m going to avoid those incredibly mundane birthday dinners. I’m using my extreme over-planning skills to plan myself the most epic birthday week I can think of. Why? Because I can finally admit to myself that I deserve it.

Here’s a peek at the schedule (below). Click on the picture for the Google Doc for the birthday week lineup. Yes, it’s that serious.

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The document will be updated periodically, with times, prices and locations in the document.

If you’d like to see new places in Houston, feel free to come with us. All you need to do is comment with an RSVP on the Google Doc. If you have any events you thing I should add, let me know!

** warning: when you see the Google doc, you’re going to think I’m anal retentive. I am, about certain things. I hope you enjoy my birthday as much as I do!