Phenomenal Professional Naturalista: Mrs. Natasha Patten

What is your name?

Natasha Patten

Where do you live?

Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

What is your occupation?

Creative Director at Blue Image Group, Outerwear Collection; Makeup Artistry and Makeup Education

What is your educational background?

Bachelor of Applied Arts, Ryerson University; Certificate of Pattern Drafting, Ryerson University; Diploma, Creative Makeup Design, Toronto School of Makeup Art

How long have you been natural?

5 years

Why did you decide to “go” natural?

I really just wanted colour in my hair and my stylist said I can’t lighten it with a relaxer—it’s too damaging. So, that day at the salon, I cut the relaxer out so that I could have the colour!

What is your go-to natural hairstyle?

Short and blonde!

Have you ever experienced any challenges in the workplace due to your natural hair?

None at all. As an entrepreneur, I don’t have those same “run-ins” with associates, but I do have to meet new people regularly. I bring my confidence and professionalism to the table and hope that’s what they see.

What do you love most about your natural hair?

I love how easy it is to take care of! With very little effort, I’m ready to go in the morning. And of course, I love my curls!

What have you found to be most challenging about being natural?

In the beginning, I couldn’t find a style that was “me”; a signature cut, so to speak. That was the hardest part for me. Now I’ve found my groove.

How do you maintain your “work-hair-life” balance?

With two small children, a husband, and a business to run, I don’t have a lot of time to devote to my hair. I need it to look good though—all the time—so, again, I balanced that by having it in a short, easy-to-maintain style.

What words of encouragement would you offer to someone who is considering going natural, but may have reservations due to their profession?

Negative perceptions should never be taken on by the person to whom they’re directed. Don’t take responsibility for anyone else’s actions or thoughts: it’s way too much work! I know natural women who are partners at their law firms, doctors, architects, politicians and entrepreneurs. Don’t let that stop you from being yourself! As for maintenance, every hairstyle we do requires maintenance: it’s a fact of being a Black woman. The sooner you accept that, the easier it becomes to take care of.

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To see Natasha’s masterpieces, visit:

http://www.mycoatisblue.com
http://www.blueimagegroup.com

Follow her on Instagram:
@jnatashapatten
@mycoatisblue

and Facebook:
My Coat Is Blue

2018: Shifting into Purpose!

Happy 2018, everyone!!!

I am soooo happy to start the New Year! And I’m soooo happy to see 2017 go!

2017 was quite the year for me: a year of great gains but also a year of great losses.

I lost my Grandma.

Gained a new full-time job.

Launched a children’s book and gained an exciting side-hustle.

Lost my free time.

Gained experience in running a start-up with My Partner-In-Crime.

Gained an amazing group of sisters.

Lost my other Grandmother.

Gained knowledge, insight, and great friends at my 9-to-5…as well as a ridiculous workload.

Nearly lost my mind.

Lost respect for some people.

Left my job and gained my freedom back!

Needless to say, 2017 was stressssful! And though a lot of horrible things happened, I can honestly say that it was good for me to be afflicted (Ps. 119:71).

I came across this post on Instagram in November- at just the right time- and it gave me the confirmation I needed to trust God completely with my situation (thanks, @naturallycole_!)

Indeed, sometimes sh** happens so the shift can happen! I had some not-so-pleasant experiences in 2017, but they had to happen to remind me of my purpose and my potential, and push me to pursue my destiny!

So I thank the sh**-disturbers in my life for shifting me into my purpose while you were dishing out doo-doo, I was using it as manure!

2017 laid the groundwork for 2018, and this year, I know I’m shifting from STRESS to SUCCESS! Stay tuned…

How do you plan to shift from stress into success in 2018?

Choosing new ways to part my hair: setting boundaries for success and self care

After 3 years of intermittent contract work, in February, I finally landed a full-time gig.  I was excited and grateful for the job, as it’s a very good position that would give me the opportunity to learn and gain new skills.  (Not to mention, it was nice to finally have some steady predictable income!)

However, ever since I started my new job, my personal ventures have suffered, in terms of the amount of time and dedication I’ve been able to commit to them. To say that I’ve been struggling to balance the demands of my job while trying to manage the blog, book, and business would be an understatement!

For the past 4 months, I’ve been feeling like, wow, I just can’t win“: now that I finally have the money, I don’t have the time; and when I had the time, I didn’t have the money!

I was getting really stressed out, trying to figure how I was going to get everything done, and feeling like I was failing.  I was so stressed out that it was impacting my ability to get good sleep, resulting in chronic fatigue; I also kept getting sick; then, most recently, I started getting back-to-back migraines, which I’ve never experienced before; and, generally, I was feeling like crap.

I knew it was bad when my husband (who is low-key pro-workaholism) told me to STOP! To stop stressing myself out; to stop beating myself up; and to start giving myself credit for what I had been accomplishing, despite my huge workload.  I tried to take his advice but still found myself struggling to give myself permission to relax and recalibrate, especially knowing that I wasn’t on top of everything. The over-achiever in me would not let me be okay with allowing some of the balls I had in the air to drop.  So I literally had to pray about it.  I had to ask God to help me find peace in the midst of the madness because I really didn’t know what to do or how to handle it.

And since I started praying about it, I started receiving the same following messages from various sources: 1) Life is about choices, 2) Boundaries are necessary, and 3) Prioritize yourself.

1. Life is about choices: I’m realizing that I can choose to be miserable or I can choose to be happy.  I can choose to be stressed out or I can choose to pursue peace. Since I don’t want to be miserable and stressed out, I’m making the choice to be content with my situation and to make the best of it.

2.  Boundaries are necessary: I’m realizing that as much as I’d like to excel at my job, working every evening and every weekend was negatively impacting my well-being- and my body started acting up as a result to get my attention. My husband was also getting annoyed because we weren’t spending quality time together anymore (one of his Love Languages; one of mine too!)  So now I’m making a concerted effort to try to leave work at work, to carve out time for not only myself, but also for my husband, family, friends, and loved ones, and to do the things that I like to do that bring me joy.

3. Prioritize yourself: I’m also realizing that if I don’t prioritize my ventures, who will? In addition to making time to take care of myself, I recognize that I need to make time to take care of my personal projects, if I want them to succeed. And I do want them to succeed, so I recognize it’s time to take a new approach.

 

I thank all of you who have continued to support me during my unexpected hiatus.  Thank you for encouraging me to keep going, to keep writing, to keep blogging, in spite of.

Thank you to my siblings for praying with and for me.  Thanks to my aunts and uncle for your pep talks.

Thank you to my wonderful husband for speaking sense to me, for believing in me, for pushing me when I’m ready to give up, and for carrying me when I feel like I have nothing left!

It’s time for this over-achiever to get a new look; so, here’s to parting my hair a new way!

Here’s to setting boundaries for future success and self care!