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Illuminating Motherhood: Brandi Sellers-Jackson

May 06, 2020

Illuminating Motherhood: Brandi Sellers-Jackson

 

 

I have been admiring Brandi from afar for a while now. Brandi is a doula, a mom, and a social media (mom)ager as she likes to call it. Brandi has also been shedding light on women's issues like the terrible isolation that comes with a miscarriage and the lack of prenatal and postpartum support in the black community. I mean is there anything this woman can't do? Did I mention she has killer style and I want everything in her closet?

I recently teamed up with Brandi as she has generously offered her time to helping me promote my collection. Brandi's motherhood journey has been so inspiring to me and I look forward every week to watching her music videos of her dancing with her cute baby boy on her hip. So when she agreed to sit down and do an interview with me in honor of Mother's Day and share her story I was beyond excited.

 

Tell me about your background and your family?

My name is Brandy Sellers-Jackson (instagram: @bstereo). I am a birth and postpartum doula. I am the creator of  Not So Private Parts, a women's online platform that's centered around removing the stigma surrounding women's issues. I am also the co-founder of  Moms In Color and social media manager over at Ergo Baby.


 

Tell me about your latest project Moms In Color? What inspired you to start it?


I co-founded Moms In Color back in 2018. It was created because there was a lack of diversity within the motherhood community. Myself and my co-founders we became really exhausted by the limited resources that were available for black moms in regards to the motherhood community. We basically created something because it was needed. There was a need and we needed to fill it.

 

brandi sellers-jackson @bstereo in the luna necklace
Brandi wears the Luna Necklace. Image courtesy of Brandi Sellers-Jackson

I love the work that you do with Not So Private Parts. What has being open about tough women’s issues like your personal struggle with a miscarriage taught you?

I've always been a firm believer that when we share our stories that there's always someone else who's either going through the same thing, has gone through the same thing, is experiencing something that's very similar. And so when we share, it allows people to know that they're not alone and they're not the only one, and then it creates a broader community in that particular space. 


What’s it like being Ergobaby’s Social Media (Mom)ager? Sounds like a dream job!

Yes. Being the social media (Mom)ager over at Ergobaby is pretty awesome. I have an amazing job. I get to work with an amazing team. I have an amazing boss. I get to work with some amazing folks every single day. A lot of them are parents and so they get it and they understand what all comes with, you know, work and parenthood and all that jazz. I've worked intimately with Ergobaby for the past four years. So when this opportunity came about it felt very much in alignment with my core beliefs, but then also what I had already been doing. And yeah, I love it. I get to create content with some amazing people.

 


Brandi wears the Luna Necklace. Image courtesy of Brandi Sellers-Jackson


How did you get involved in the birth scene? What made you want to become a doula? Was it before or after you had kids?

So I became a doula after I had Jedi who is my middle child. He'll be five in August. I became a doula when he was almost a year old. I had just hosted a black breastfeeding week event and one of the moderators, Erica Chidi-Cohen afterward asked me if I had ever considered becoming a doula to which I was like, yeah, actually. And I think a month later I was in training and that's just what kind of started it all. Again, it was one of those things that just felt like it was aligned and it felt right and I said yes. I think one of the things that I've learned along the way is saying yes to things that feel aligned and feel like they fall in alignment even if you don't understand the why or how it's going to pan out if it feels like it aligns, say yes.


Because I think when we do that, we open ourselves up to so many opportunities that we don't even see coming. And so that has just kind of been my mantra. Even when it comes to doula work, how I started doula work was it felt like it aligned and I said, yes.

 

brandi sellers-jackson @bstereo in the luna necklaceBrandi wears the Luna Necklace. Image courtesy of Brandi Sellers-Jackson

What’s a typical day look like for you and your fam in quarantine?

A typical day in quarantine looks pretty...it looks...it's not perfect. Every day is different. I think now we have a better rhythm than we did at the very beginning. At the very beginning it was all over the place. It was completely chaotic. But now we were kind of finding our rhythm a bit. But even that, I think the lesson that we've learned and a lot of families are learning who are navigating this is just being fluid and being gentle with yourself, knowing that we've never experienced this before. So, because we've never experienced this before, there may be days where we have this schedule and we're on the schedule and we're, you know, we're on it. And then there are days where it's like all over the place and there's screen time, there's copious amounts of screen time. So, you know, every day is different. And being okay with that is key.



You do a good job about giving an honest look at motherhood. How do you cope with the low points?

How do I cope with low points of motherhood? You know, I think of it as, I don't know if it's necessarily low points, it's just learning, you know, we're all learning. We're all figuring it out. I think being gentle, again, being gentle with yourself, knowing that, all of it is temporary. The parts that are hard are temporary. 


Even this right now that we're in: the quarantine and the self distancing, this is really a lot for a lot of parents and, and one can even argue that it's really hard. You know, a lot of us have been thrusted into homeschooling all of a sudden, which some of us didn't sign up for. But here we are, we're thriving and we're doing it and everything's gonna be okay.


I think just really leaning into it, being gentle and knowing again it's temporary. I hope that during quarantine that we really get what we need to get out of it. That we don't try to fight some of this stuff. Because I think there are some sweet moments in it. If we're so focused on getting out of it and going back to normal, we're going to miss some really, really beautiful moments and some gems in it. The slowdown has been interesting. It's causing us to really put things in perspective, what really matters, what's important. 

 

brandi sellers-jackson @bstereo in the luna necklace
Brandi wears the Luna Necklace. Image courtesy of Brandi Sellers-Jackson

Any advice for other moms juggling lots of projects and keeping a balance? 

My advice for moms who are juggling a lot: there are going to be days that you get all the things done and they're going to be some days that you get like one thing done and regardless pat yourself on the back because you're doing a lot.


There are days that I just kill it and I'm like, oh my gosh, I did that. I did all the things on my list. But then there are days where it's like, oh my gosh, I think I got one thing done and I'm exhausted. And that's okay. I think it's important to just pat yourself on the back, congratulate yourself because you know, it's hard. Motherhood is a lot. It's a lot. And so just really just being there for yourself and clapping for yourself, t's a thing you have to do constantly.



You inspired me to incorporate a lot more music into my motherhood routine. What’s the name of your family’s band and do you have a record releasing soon? No seriously l love how you use music to bond with your family. Do you have any tips for bringing music into parenting?


So as far as music goes in our family, it's always been there. We are all musicians. My husband is a musician and producer. Then before I became a doula and got into this work, I was a musician and a singer/songwriter. So that was kind of my thing. That's how my husband and I met through music. And so it was only natural that we would continue that whole journey on with our kids and implementing music with our kids. It's so much a part of us, and what we do and how we met, and it’s our life. I would say how you can incorporate music into your kids' life: just do it. You don't have to have a voice, you don't have to be a musician, you don't have to be a professional musician. Music is so great with development and children and I mean if we get into theory, it teaches them how to count with time signatures and all that. And even just reading music, it teaches kids how to do several things at once.


So I would say just to do it, even if it's just singing nursery rhymes or just listening to music. We’re at the stage now where our oldest is 13 and he has just discovered Stevie. It's pretty cool because, that's how Jon and I really bonded over Stevie and how we kind of met in college. So it's kinda cool to see him falling in love with Stevie. So even just listening to music is a really great bonding experience.

 

brandi sellers-jackson @bstereo in the luna necklace
Brandi wears the Luna Necklace. Image courtesy of Brandi Sellers-Jackson

 

Your style is amazing! Where do you get  your style inspiration from? What is your style philosophy?


Whatever feels comfortable. Whatever feels comfortable, whatever makes me feel really soft and strong. But also what makes me feel like me, like authentically me. I don't know if I have a specific style of things that I like. I just wear things that make me feel good and make me feel comfortable and make me feel beautiful. That's all.


What’s on your Valley Rose wish list right now?

I love the Luna necklace, obviously. Love it, love it, love it. I wear every single day. I love your stackable rings and engagement rings. I've told my husband that, whenever we renew our vows, I definitely want to get a ring from you. Or a ring made by you. But I love your stackable rings, your Perseus ring and the Venus ring. They just look so beautiful. I love, love, love them. I love your earrings and the Orion earring too. I love all your things. They're so great. Just so great.

SHOP BRANDI'S PICKS<

 

brandi sellers-jackson @bstereo in the luna necklacebrandi sellers-jackson @bstereo perseus ring 14k gold sapphire diamondsbrandi sellers-jackson @bstereo venus ring 14k gold sapphire diamondsbrandi sellers-jackson @bstereo orion earring 14k gold sapphire diamonds


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