Recap - QueenStatus LevelUp 2019
The creation of Oumie Garba of QueenStatus, LevelUp2019 brought together millennials to talk about fashion, business, balance, and life.
Oumie Garba was born 1986 in the beautiful West African country Gambia the Land of Kunta Kinte at the age of 5 her family moved to Sweden where she spent most of her childhood. When she graduated Fryshuset Kunskaps center, a school of Arts where she studied music. She decided to move to America where she realized that Acting was truly where here passion lies. she is the Founder of Miss Africa Bay Area Pageant & Miss Africa America Pageant an organization that was birth out of her own experience as a title holder and goodwill ambassador Miss Gambia USA 2015/2017. This young entrepreneur moved to America from Sweden at the age of 25 to follow her dreams. Oumie Is currently a model, actress motivational speaker and is very active in her community.
Garba created QueenStatus from the desire she had to help other women see the queen in them. One queen in particular, CharlotteMakala shared the story of how she pushed through her fears to enter the Miss Africa America pageant and went on to win Miss Congeniality and first runner up. This where she befriended Garba. Makala, who goes by “Charlie” co-hosted the impactful event, that will reemerge this summer in June.
Two dancers opened the summit to the conference theme, “Level Up” by the singer Ciara. Guests enjoyed poetry and panels on fashion, business, and self-care. Guests, mostly millennial women, shared in a group exchange that included agreement, laughter, encouragement, and an occasional tear. Friendships were made and guests took advantage of the marketplace set up outside of the main theater.
Fashion stylist, Shatora Adrell shared that celebrities are regular people and dislike when people ask for autographs. She shared that going in having regular conversations and “being myself is what keeps me getting callbacks.”
Lionsfly owner, Jasmine Primah reminded budding entrepreneurs to keep business names simple. It doesn’t have to be “deep” she said. Tekla Rudwin, Miss Africa America told her story of resilience and how she fought for her dream.
Black Pearl Entertainment shared our humble beginnings and reminded people to be balanced, disciplined, and consistent. Arnette Oatis, General Manager of BPE, reminded artists that the music industry is now a “penny business” with streaming income earning $0.036 to $0.04 per stream. She also said, don't quit your day jobs, but to have multiple streams of income that includes your music.
Author, speaker, and entrepreneur. LaTaniaMichelle shared that the wisest thing we can do is to “fix our focus.” We should spend more time in the Word of God instead of social media. Behind every picture is a story. “You’re going to level up if you doing what God has called you to be”.
Actress and Author Venessa Hall shared her triumph of overcoming a difficult childhood. “Leveling up is doing what you have to do to keep grinding and pursuing your passion. To balance it by not letting your passion manipulate you into thinking you can pursue without resources, but that if you’re knocked down you can get back up.”
Financial expert, Peggy Buck brought it home ensuring we knew to pay our tithes, have personal savings, and emergency savings. She shared the importance of being financially savvy.
Throughout, Garba and Makala shared reflections from their own lives, moderating each panel as a duo. The summit ended with Q&A from all panelists.
Queens World founder Ciera Harris, an attendee, described the LevelUp 2019 event as, “a gathering of entrepreneurs of level that not only do business with themselves but also with God". She received “a lot of good lessons, spiritual food, and practical advice to take into everyday life.” She found that there were “new communities and new people” that she could connect with.
Photos courtesy of Gabriela Deleon
Photos courtesy of Gabriela Deleon