This is Thirty

on October 25, 2015

It’s been almost nine years since I’ve moved to California. I’ve gone from escaping a terrible relationship to building myself as a freelance model, to working at an advertising agency and now working in the non-profit world while doing photography.

In case you haven’t read my about me section, I moved to California to escape a relationship that really broke me and made me feel like I couldn’t be the model I’ve always wanted to be. I felt so ugly inside and out. I felt trapped in my own mind. I went through the motions of “Who am I?” Many of us go through those trials of asking “Who am I to own my own business?” “Who am I to dream?” We silence ourselves, our dreams, our own thoughts and emotions and that’s downright – not cool.

I’ve been blessed with much heartache since that relationship. Yes, blessed. I’ve been forced to refocus myself after each break up. We often lose the person we are when we give 100% of ourselves to another. I believe there is a way for two people to come together and share their lives, goals, and passions together but still keep their individuality. That is the 100% commitment. After all these years of relationships where I gave 100% and dreamed of the white picket fence, further education, children…the works; and all of this to happen before the age of thirty.

I turned thirty a month ago and all that I’ve built my life to be by thirty did not happen and that’s okay. The thought of being married and having children is a great feeling but when you’re an artist wanting to explore the world, you’ve got some major thinking to do and maybe adding other souls to that goal wouldn’t work.

The white picket fence almost happened for me and then it was quickly snatched away. I often question my faith when this happens because I’ve meditated and prayed over Psalm 37:4 daily and yet, I’m not married with kids, with the white picket fence. However, I sometimes sit back and think, “What’s important to me?”

I love kids but I feel like I have so much to live for and so much to do in my life before I think of having children. I’m also a neat freak. How will I treat life with messy walls and dishes? I love the idea of marriage, seeing the same person day and night…etc…but I also enjoy my solitude. (The reason I don’t have roommates) White picket fence? More like a shabby chic rusted fence… I love small spaces…I dream of owning a bungalow in Eagle Rock, CA one day with a little garden and farm. I have never thought of how a husband and a child or two would look in there. I’ve thought as far as the decor, the fruits and vegetables I will plant, a mix of brick wall, flowers, and greenery for photoshoots and small gatherings, and a dog door for my dog, Nugget. Maybe a cat too.

What is important to me is women creating. Women overcoming obstacles and being amazing. Women who can speak to nations, like Malala Yousafzai. Women who stand for what they believe in. Women who say no with no regrets. I always come across people in my life that tell me to go back to advertising and stop the freelance life. Is advertising my passion? Sure it makes a lot of money but one must live their passion. Advertising is not. However, advertising women entrepreneurs and small business owners have always been a passion for me. So I’m kicking off the age of thirty with living out my passion.

Gloria Steinem once said, “Do more of what you can do uniquely and less of what everyone else can do.” So here it goes, I’m sharing my life, my goals, my passions, the hurt the pain, the ups, the downs, the beauty in the tragedy. Similar to what a lot of other female entrepreneurs go through, the doubts, anxiety and pain which lead them to truly unfolding and becoming successful. I look forward to that transformation. Share your testimony. It is important to live your passion and be transparent. You never know whose life you will be touching, whose passion you are helping to unfold, whose story was buried now resurfaced because you shared your testimony. I’m finally going to write my memoir, “Two Months of Darkness!” (Thanks, Adele.)

I’ve been on a high lately. Here are some lovely things I’ve been working on since I turned thirty. I’ve always wanted to do product photography. So blessed I have a job that allows me to live out my true purpose! I hope you’re living out your passion, too!

handMADE Earrings at MADE by DWC

on August 1, 2015

I’ve been so busy over the past year! I went back to school full time. I have been working at the Downtown Women’s Center as well. I recently transitioned to the Social Enterprise Program Associate with is exciting because I started off as a volunteer teaching the SET to Create workshops. I remember saying “You guys should create a position for the program. The position was created a year later and I am excited and proud to manage the handMADE line now. We have a new product that was developed a couple of months ago in collaboration of wonderful volunteers, staff and our ladies. The earrings are amazing and debut during out Splash into Summer event couple of days ago. The ladies are SO proud of their work and I am so proud of them and their creative spirits and how dedicated they are to learning and teaching themselves. It’s great to see how much they have evolved over the past four years. I can’t wait to see where this program will go and I am so HONORED to be apart of it. I bought these earrings today. I told one of our ladies that I have a long neck and really just want a simple piece with a “little bit of me.” 🙂 Check out our Etsy page!

madebydwc handmade earrings

I Graduated College!

on May 2, 2015

It’s been a really rough road when it came to completing my degree but I DID IT!


Today is such a special day for me. I was supposed to graduate almost a decade ago this month but found myself in an abusive relationship that ended my studies, my relationships, and life’s plans in general. After escaping this abuse, I moved to California to start a new life. I wasn’t able to get back into school so easily nor was it easy for me to find work again. My sister, Kerry-Ann took me in and restored my faith in God. I started to work but didn’t feel fulfilled. After years of being completely lost with my career path, I started volunteering at the Downtown Women’s Center…It was then that I found my purpose in life. Hearing the stories of the women that come through the doors daily has been heartbreaking yet through it all they are resilient. They have been such an inspiration to me. Through my work with the organization is where I found my strength to go back to school. It wasn’t an easy process but here I am today! Here’s to a decade of rejection, depression, anxiety, and fear. Chapter closed. Looking forward to a new chapter of blessings and happiness!

Featured on LA Hair

on June 3, 2012

I’m so humbled to have had so much air time on WE tv’s new show, LA Hair!! Check out the first episode and let me know what you think! 🙂


Headshots by Nadirah B.

on February 20, 2012

Shot these over the weekend…Love them! 🙂

(c) Nadirah Bahar 2012

NARS Cosmetics Ad

on December 19, 2011

YAY! I have my pics! Love them! So much fun working with NARS!

Complexd Magazine

on November 30, 2011

YAY! I have my first magazine cover! I am in the Island Issue of Complexd Magazine. (pg 30-35) Read the full story here on my struggles with overcoming domestic violence, low self-esteem, and eventually becoming a model. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!!

on November 25, 2011

Happy day after Thanksgiving everyone!!! I am so thankful for my extended family here in LA. I cooked the entire meal for my boyfriend and his fighters. On the menu was a 17 lb turkey, honey ham, garlic butter mashed potatoes, and candied yams! YUM!!!! 🙂

A lot of the times, we complain about such little things that we miss out on the greater things that are happening. I must admit, I get discouraged at times if life does not go my way. I have been volunteering at the Downtown Women’s Center for the past couple of months and I hear so many stories from the women of constant misfortune. It puts my stories to shame.

I keep a gratitude journal and try to write in it as often as possible. I have had this journal since 2007. I am ever so thankful for my life, my family, my close friends, my partner, my spiritual coaches, my little puppy, Nugget, and nature…nothing like a great hike! 🙂 I am thankful for the women at the shelter who look forward to my art class. I am thankful for the young women that I mentor through my charity, A Walking Virtue. I am thankful for the continuous guidance from the universe.

I always keep in mind that God will never put more trials on me than I can bear.

Be thankful! Happy Thanksgiving!

NARS Cosmetics Workshop

on October 18, 2011

Hey everyone!!! My site just got an awesome makeover!!! (YAY) 2011 has been amazing so far. I recently did a workshop for NARS Cosmetics! I think I might have had my makeup done almost a dozen times in 48 hours.(and I never wear makeup) Here are the pix from the event!! I really LOVE their eye shadows! 🙂

  • © 2017 Latoya Hawthorne
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