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What Is For Me Is For Me

KIRU speaks with stylist Raven Roberts. Although it seems like Raven is a person who was made to work in the world of fashion, she claims that styling in particular is something she fell into. Raven talks about her last job before she was able to make styling and fashion her career. She cites treating your passion as a full-time job (on top of your paying full-time job) as the key to making that transition possible. Raven describes periods in her life when she was fortunate enough to be working three jobs in three cities in one week. While this period was exciting and inspiring, Raven acknowledges this type of energy is impossible to sustain. Having a healthy work-life balance is important to Raven, who claims her role models are people who are able to continue to be passionate but also to live a life in tandem with their work. Above all, Raven says the greatest realization she’s had in the last eight years is that she must prioritize her well-being and sense of peace because ‘no check is worth that’.

KIRU [00:00:04] Cool. OK. OK. So basically, we're just going to do exactly what we talked about last time, we'll set the scene and get to know you a little bit and then dive into kind of like the stuff that we talked about last time we were on the phone. But before all that, I guess like there are a few things that have that have transpired. I mean, we can just talk about, like life or anything or we can dive right in. So, it's totally up to you.

RAVEN [00:00:47] I'm like, either way, you know, either way is fine with me. OK.

KIRU [00:00:55] OK, cool. All right. So, hello, Raven. Raven Roberts, celebrity stylist. Thank you so much for being here today to talk to us. Yes. Oh, my goodness. It's such an honor to have you here with us. And I know that we've talked a little bit about what this project entails and some of the things that we wanted to highlight in terms of talking about underrepresentation. And what are some of the ways that we've kind of overcome that. I think there are a lot of young people who will watch this and see you and where you are and kind of really be listening close for some of the details about where you've come from, where you're at and where you're going. So why don't we start with, like, building some of the background. Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?

RAVEN [00:01:56] So like you said, my name is Raven Roberts. That is my given name. I did not choose that. That is the name. My parents gave me. And I would say I grew up in California. I grew up in Southern California. . . hardly in L.A. predominantly in Long Beach, California. I've always been into fashion, didn't really know that it was going to be a career of mine. I didn't know. You know, once I did start to get into it what it was, which career path I was really going to take. Like I didn't. . . back then, I didn't even know I was going to be in the fashion industry growing up. I wanted to be a pediatric surgeon up until I, like, basically applied for college. So that's the path I was the one to the point where I was taking, like, medical terminology in high school. I was going to medical camp like. Yes, that's a thing. I was a Black nerd.

RAVEN [00:02:51] So this is where. . . sorry this is my father.  So, yeah. So that's where I was headed, you know. Yeah. And then I realized I was like, OK, so what if I go to medical school and then I do my residency and I realized I don't want to do things like, you know what, you know, like I've spent all this time in school, now I'm in my residency, what do I do?  Then I was like, I really don't wear lab coats every day, so I'm going to go on business. I want to wear a suit. And that's what I'm gonna do. I'm going to go to business school. And I should have known then when I was making career choices based on fashion, that I would be in the fashion industry. I went to school for Business Administration. I got my bachelor’s in business administration. I learned very quickly that I do not like to wear a suit. So then again, my focus changed from just being in business and then realizing that I wanted to be in the fashion industry. So back then, my mother was not for me going to fashion school or getting a fashion degree. So, I took classes at our neighboring college. I went to FAMU  Shout out. And so, I took classes at the college next to ours who did have a fashion program. And I was supposed to go into their fashion master’s program literally like the semester before I graduated, they were like, we're closing our master's program. So much so like I do the dean I knew, like the secretary of the entire school, like everyone had already met me. So, they were like already planning for me to come to this school. And I was devastated. I was like, oh, my God. It's like I'm so to get this degree and like this, you know, in what I really want to do. So, then I started doing jewelry. Actually, I started off doing fashion events when I was in college, working at like various Atlanta fashion weeks and then producing some other fashion weeks through an organization that I started school. And really, that's what I wanted to do, was to do that. So, when I graduated, I started doing a few events in Atlanta. Then after that, I had a boyfriend at the time he was coming back from Iraq. We had talked about moving overseas. I was like, I can't start this business and move overseas. Like it's an event business. I got to be here. So, I was like, what can I do anywhere? So, I was like, I'm going to start doing jewelry and handbags, which I also wanted to do. So, I started doing that and making my own jewelry and handbags and had my own little line. And that's what I did until probably like right before I started styling. That's actually what got me into styling was I was working for this automotive company. A friend of a friend of a friend needed help for this event to bring fashion elements to the because I knew I was all into fashion. So, I did that. But I talked to the person I. . . Let me say this again. So, they need someone to bring fashion to the event. So, it was for a pilot of a Web series that was to launch the Web series. So, they were like, oh, you should meet with them because maybe they'll put your jewelry in the Web series and I was like, Oh, my God. That would be amazing. You know, dream come true. So, when I met with her, she was like, I want you to be the stylist for the Web series. And I was like, really mean. So, I'm here. She already had a stylist and everything. So of course, I said yes because who says no? So, I'm like, yeah, I could do that. No probs whatsoever. Googled what was in a stylist kit. And that's pretty much what took my sight was starting stylist career. Was this, like, accidental hey, do you want to do it? And when I told you I fell into it; I really fell into it.

KIRU [00:06:49] Wow. Yeah. That's wild. So, you've got, like, a lot of like twists and turns like that is like literally who could even make up that story? That's like. . . What pediatrics, and then business and then no, we're not doing suits anymore, like jewelry. And then just this friend of a friend of a friend, you said, are you into this opportunity? That turned into what would be essentially like your next chapter like that you had never imagined?

RAVEN [00:07:28] Yes. And even I mean, I look at myself as stylist, because I was like, that's not what I want to do. Well, I don't do it for her. I was like, that's it. I'm not going into this to make this a career.

KIRU [00:07:43] So what did you call yourself during that time?

RAVEN [00:07:46] I just said I style for her. Like because my friend, she would be like, oh, you're a stylist. She would like, introduce me to people as like this is my friend Raven. She's a stylist. And I'm like, you don't like people that because I'm not like I do this for her. And that's like I wasn't pursuing it outside of that. I worked with her on her projects. And that's it. And it wasn't even a lot like she did. We did the pilot and she had another project that was coming out. So, I did the promo materials for that. And then literally filming. So, I that's all I did. And so, I was like, I'm not pursuing this. Like, I wasn't reaching out to people to, like, start styling things. Nothing. That started later on when more people started to ask me to do things after I got laid off from my job, you know, people were like, hey, I want you to style this like my first thing was like a short film. They're like, hey, I want to style my short film. And I was like, OK. And then I was like, wait, maybe I'm good at this. Maybe I should try this. And I put my portfolio on the only website that I knew was available at the time, which was model mayhem. And it was only the behind the scenes of the Web series. So, the only pictures I really had, I was like, this looks like trash. No one is going to want to hire me to do any of these things because it was character. So, it is it different than fashion? So, is this like no one's going to hire me for this? And then once my portfolio got approved, I had three photo shoots in the first week. So, it was just like I was like, oh, well, I guess people are going to like to hire me for this.

KIRU [00:09:20] Wow. OK. So a couple of things I think don't want to go back just a little bit to kind of fill out some information where you had a day job while you were building your jewelry business and you were really focused on making that successful, but you had a day job. What were you doing for work?

RAVEN [00:09:42] I actually worked at an automotive company, so I was in the beginning, I was an executive assistant for our like, supply chain team in a sense like. And then by the end of me working there, I was an analyst in our. . . -I don’t even remember but one of the departments. But I was like an analyst at the time. So, I went into being an executive assistant because I thought that I would have no responsibility. Like, I didn't want to have to do presentations. I don't want to do reports. I don't want to...I'll just be an executive assistant. Thats like no work. It is all the work.

KIRU [00:10:21] It's all good work. For real.

RAVEN [00:10:23] I literally played myself, but it was fine. I really liked my job. Did I love it? No, but I was good at it. It's probably one of these like most extensive jobs that I had, because by the end of it, I was our... I was over our volunteer team at the job, like for the whole company. I was co-chair of our, like, green initiatives. I did all of the negotiations for all of our travel, our hotels, out like rental car companies. I did all of that on top of my regular job of being an executive assistant and then being an analyst. So my resume, like literally that job, on my resume, is about half a page long, if not longer, because I had so many responsibilities as a job, but also was trying to do jewelry on the side and handbags. Which, you know, it can be a lot when have a full-time job and so it was falling under the wayside. But I decided that, one year, I was like, I'm going to take time off at the end of the year, take my two weeks and I'm going to only focus on my jewelry line. Yeah, I feel like you do have to use your paid time off responsibly. You know, if you do have a side hustle, if you need to take a week off to focus on that, do that. You know, I'm saying like, you have vacation time for a reason. So, you know, and like, use it wisely and really find the things you need to do for your business. So, they it's hard to have, you know, a five to nine after your nine to five is exhausting. And then also, like, worked five days a week. Now you got to work another two on the weekend. Take that time, you know, even if it's at the end of the year. Take the time, the two weeks, the one week or whatever, so that you can focus on that side hustle or that side dream that you have to really put focus into that, you know, and you still got to continue the five to nine on the weekends. But when you have all week to concentrate on what you're trying to do; the focus is just different. You know, when you try to plan something like, 'OK I'm going to do this on Thursday,’ but then the job needs you to stay later and things get thrown off. It's very distracting. So if you can take a week off, or even two would be better, to just focus on what you're trying to do, to get a clear vision, to get whatever you need to get off the ground. For me, it was like I need to create my next collection. So, I'm taking two weeks off to do that. You know, that's what I'm going to do. And it definitely pays off. You know, it helps. And it just gives you no other distractions while you're trying to do that.

KIRU [00:13:05] I think that's great. One other question I want to ask before we kind of move fast forward into Raven 'The Stylist.' Actually, it kind of brings both of the worlds together. I'm curious to know in your perspective, how your experience in that job as an executive assistant, as an analyst, how that has transferred to what you do today.

RAVEN [00:13:33] Oh, good question. I think that it's helped me so much because with my job, I was managing, I think like, at the high point, probably about eight people's expense reports. I was doing the green team, the volunteer team. I was with all of these things. So, like, it helped me to manage projects, to manage my expenses, to put in invoices and do all of those things, because I was already doing that for my job, you know, and having a business degree also helped with all of that. So, a lot of the things that I need to do for my job, and my like my bosses knew, like I don't make coffee. I don't know how to do that. I'm not trying to learn. Like I think I make coffee for my bosses in the like two-and-a-half-year period. And it was like when he had guests in his office, he's like, 'Hey, can you make us coffee?' And I was looking like 'Sir, what?' You know, and especially when we do have a Keurig. I was like, I don't know how to make this. Like what am I supposed to...I don't know how to do this. So, I was never that person. I was never that like, oh, just like running errands, like I did it. But like, that wasn't my only job. You know, other things where I was the person talking to the hotel people, I was one going to those meetings to have those negotiations with them. So, it was a thing of just being like I learned how to negotiate. I learned how to talk to people about certain things that, like I may need or may want, you know, and be able to stand up for that. And, you know, it's a little bit different because you don't have a whole company behind you that's backing you, like, 'Hey, this is what we offer as a company, like all these billions of dollars’ worth of travel'. But it helps to be like, 'OK, so I know I need to have this in my contract. I know I need to have this. And, you know, I need to have that' Versus just not having that experiences at all. And it just helped me learn how to deal with different kinds of people. You know, like my all my bosses were different. Everyone on my team was different. The people that I worked with from different apartments, you know, having to navigate that. Also having to deal with people who really didn't appreciate my work, you know, because it was it was difficult. Our H.R. person did not like me. And so, it’s hard to have someone who, like, controls your salary, not like you. And, you know, in that job, I'm just the person that, like, I'm going to stand on who I am, and that's it. Like, I'm not going to kiss your behind because you hold my salary. Like thats not. . .  So, she didn't like that. So, I was the least paid assistant with the most amount of work, almost. And so, I was just like, 'It is what it is. But I still have a job to do. I'm going to go above and beyond for my job.' And that was probably one of the other lessons that, like my job didn't stop at six. You know, it didn't start at nine. I was on the phone with my bosses sometimes at eight o'clock in the morning, seven o'clock in the morning to 10:00 at night, like whatever needs to get done, that's what needed to get done. Like, I never was just like, oh, well, you know, my phone is off. I didn't see the email. You know, they were in China. There is no, 'I'm not in office', like missing a flight or something happened with their flight. I need to figure out how to get it fixed. You know, when I can't be like, oh, I'm sorry, I didn't see your e-mail. And now you stuck in China for an extra ten hours because I didn't see an e-mail. So, it's definitely taught me that this is probably, styling is the hardest job I've ever done. But my favorite one. So, I work harder because I love it more.

KIRU [00:17:17] Yeah. I think that's beautiful. That I mean, the passion kind of brings that drive out of you as you're styling, what are how many years actually have you been styling?

RAVEN [00:17:30] So it's hard mentally. So, when I first like, googled what a stylist was, it was in 2012. So now I've been styling for eight years. It was actually eight years last month.

KIRU [00:17:43] Congratulations on that anniversary. That's dope.

RAVEN [00:17:46] So, yeah. After I started styling for like a few years, I realized, you know, I dabbled in it in college and like helping friends with shoots and things like that. But I wasn't taking it seriously then. I wasn't doing it for like, real, real, you know. So, I was like, well, pulling stuff out of my closet and that kind of stuff. When I wasn't pulling stuff out of my closet it was 2012, because even though I didn't call myself a stylist, I would still be like, where's your budget? What are we shopping for? And all of these things. It wasn't it like 'OK well I have, I'm just gonna pull these things out of my closet and then everyone's going to be dressed.' Somethings did come out of my closet, majority of things we shopped for. And I had to develop my character, mood boards. And like all of that stuff, like so I was taking it seriously. I was just like, this is just not a career for me, you know. It's like a little thing I do on the side.

KIRU [00:18:37] Yeah, I mean, I think that the past experiences that you've illustrated kind of also helped set you up to take things seriously, like whatever you put your hands to. So, I think that's a really important part to kind of take into consideration here. I think I'm curious about like, as you started styling, as you determined that this was like what you're gonna do going forward. What are some unique challenges that you faced when you made that decision?

RAVEN [00:19:10] I think there were a few things. One, I was broke, because I've been laid off from my job and like I was getting unemployment, which was like a bad thing because I'm literally trying to build this career and also getting paid when I'm not getting paid to build this career, you know, because styling doesn't pay in the beginning.

RAVEN [00:19:29] So it was hard because I'm like, I don't have a lot of extra money to where people can do buy-and-returns and all these other things. But I also didn't know about buy-and-returns when I was starting out. So. It actually worked out perfectly because I was scouring the Internet, you know, pulling clothes earlier than a lot of people do in their styling career. And thankfully, the people that I was pulling from our members, showing up to my first pull and I was like, Jesus, I've got no money to give these people. Like, I need to go here and get clothes and walk out like I don't know what's gonna happen because we hadn't discussed any terms or anything like that. And I was like, I hope they don't want any money for this, like. And when I went in there, like, OK, we'll just, child, so many people have my credit card information now is ridiculous. But they were just like, leave your credit card. If anything is damaged, will charge you for it. But we'll see you on Monday. And I was like. Let me just leave before they say something else. Let me just go. It was a blessing, you know, but that also taught me to work hard. You know, I scour the Internet for designers and I still do to this day, like, I need to find something very specific. I'm searching certain web sites, like for independent designers. I'm contacts the people on Etsy. There is no place that is off limits to me. Like there is no like 'I didn't find it so oh well.' You know, I'm searching hashtags on Instagram, like I scour the Internet to find designers. So, I think that that was great. My parents were not that supportive in the beginning. That was a huge obstacle because, you know, it put a dent in me and my mom's relationship for sure. And it hurt, you know, like it was hard. And she's like she's my biggest supporter. I love her to death. But, you know, in the beginning, you want your child to make money. So, every time I had a job, I was like, oh, my God, I had this job so amazing. She's like, but are you getting paid? And I was like, no, but like, it's a great opportunity. She's like, ‘oh, OK.' For her, it was like, ' If you're not getting paid, I don't hear about it or anything.' And it was like it was hard. And my dad, he came around a lot sooner. You know, my parents aren't together. So, like, he came around a lot sooner. He was in California so he could see the things that I was doing. He could come with me to like, I brought him to like one of the premieres for a short film that I did. So, like, he could see my name in the credits, like he could see the fruits of my labor, like in person versus just like a link that I would send or something. So even in the beginning, he was like, 'So how long are you doing this?' Like what? And he's like 'You ever going to get a regular job?' and I was like, 'No.' Like 'You sure?' Like, 'You really need to get like you really you need to get a regular job and you need to get a 401K. Just find some way that you can, like, work for a while.' And I was like, 'But I don't want to do that now, you know?' So, it was hard with that respect. And again, just like I was blessed, you know, to be able to show my parents that I was serious about this. And like, to have the longevity of my career, like now my mom, she like swears she's been my biggest supporter since the beginning. But like, she's like, ‘oh, my God. Like, I tell all my friends. Look at what my daughter did. Oh, look at over here. Oh, she's working with this person. Oh, my gosh. You did this. ‘It’s great. And I love her for that. She's like, 'I'm your biggest supporter' and I'm like, I know you are. But you wanted to see them checks in the beginning, OK? So, it's just one of those things. It was very hard to, like, celebrate my wins. You know what I'm saying, and then know someone who's been my biggest supporter wasn't celebrating with me, and then also not having the money that other people had to, like, really feed into things and make things a lot easier on them by just being like, I'm just gonna go to the store and purchase the things that I need versus like having to email people and then be rejected or like pulls coming in, like the very last minute. It would be like, oh yeah, you can get this. And I'm like, oh my gosh, it's Friday, and my shoot is literally on Monday. And I like, e-mailed you like Monday you know. So, it was hard, it was hard dealing with rejection and things like that. I think you just comes with the territory. Working for free is very hard and having to like, go from this place and that place and build your career by yourself. You know, I didn't assist people, so I didn't have that, like oh, I am learning things from someone.  You know, I didn't assist until very later on. And I think, like I think in the beginning, I assisted one girl twice. And then I assisted a mentor of mine. She was on the e-commerce side. I assisted her like a number of times. But I had already been styling for about a year when I started assisting her. And then my friend Apuje, I assist him now. And when he moved to L.A., which was also like a year into my career, I started. . . or two years into my career, shall I say, two years into my career. . .  I started assisting him. So, I had already been doing it seriously for a year without any help. You know, the one girl that I assisted twice. The only thing she really gave me was like, here's where you should put your website. And I've had my website on this platform since then. But other than that, I didn't really learn anything from her. You know, not that she wasn't a great stylist. Like our relationship wasn't, this isn't conducive to what I need. And so, I was like, I don't really need this issue anymore. So, yeah. So, it is hard doing it yourself. But I think that's why I'm like hard on people, because. . . you can't like, if you're not going to assist, I'm also not going to just give you the information because no one gave me. So, I guess I am that person, like if I can make it, you can make it. Like, things are on the internet. That's how I found out all the information. I went on the internet and found it out. And those same tools are available to you.

KIRU [00:25:48] Yeah, I think, like we're living in like a very I mean, we know that like we're living in a very interesting age where information is more accessible than ever. It's super accessible, like literally people. . .Either I get phone calls all the time, people asking me questions or I'm just like, when did you Google this? Did you open your phone? They call me, or did you consider that this information was like basic 101, right on the internet. Just open up Safari. I think that there's a lot of that going around where there are some people who are just like, yeah, 'I just, like, really trust that you're an expert in this and I really want to get you.' There are also people who are just like, 'I'm not willing to do the work.' And I think that no matter what the situation is, being that consistent person who is just like, always going to tell you that you have the tools, use the tools that you have. Use what is in your, you know, your power to find out what it is that you're missing, the things that you need to know. Like, you can get this education without spending a dime. Put in the effort. And I think being consistent, no matter which person is talking to you, asking you for the information is going to be really key. I mean, I think it speaks to your character and it also helps to kind of push things forward, whether that person is really about it and they're going to do what you told them to do. Or that person is like, ‘oh, you know what? This actually isn't for me.' And then no one, no one's time has continued to be wasted. I did want to know, though. So, you did this by yourself for a year before you assisted anyone, you're assisting of other stylists has been relatively minimal.

RAVEN [00:27:42] I haven't really assisted someone. Like the longest person I've assisted is Apuje. But it was still it's still very on and off. It's like on a need basis and not one like I'm your assistant for six months and I only do whatever you need to do.

[00:27:57] You know, like he's pretty much since I started working with him, had other assistants. So, I'm like, hey, we need some extra hands. Like, I'm never just like the first person he always calls. Like, now that I'm in New York, I am because I'm the only assistant in New York. In L.A., he had other assistants. So, he's like, 'Hey, I need your help with this. I need your help with that.' And I would help him. You know, if his assistant wasn't available, but I was never really the first person he would call, even though, like. Let him tell it. He's like, 'You're my best assistant.' Cause, I'm the one that lasted the longest. But he had other assistants. He's like, OK. So, if you're not available, I'll call Raven. And if I was available, I would assist him. And that was it. You know, so he's been the biggest asset in my career. I love him to death. He's probably one of the most genuine, sweetest people that I know.

KIRU [00:29:31] Last thing I heard was that like you're not the main assistant or the number one go to except for right now because you're in New York. So, every now and then, like, he'll call on you.

RAVEN [00:30:01] Yeah. So, I'm not his main assistant because even in in L.A., he has two other assistants. So, the only time that, like I'm the person that he calls is if his clients are here in New York and he needs me to show up. So, then I do. He's probably like, I literally show up any time he needs me to show up as long as I don't have anything else going on. He's probably the most genuine, sweetest, nicest person that I've ever met. He would do anything for me, and I would do anything for him. You know, like if I have clients that go to L.A., he'll send his assistants. Sometimes he's even gone himself, you know, to pick up clothes or to drop something off or get something altered or whatever. He's like, my team is your team. He's like, text them and they'll send it to you, you know? He has a full closet, OK? Like a whole room and storage units full of clothes. And he's like, if you ever need anything, just hit us up and we'll send it out to, you know. So, it's great to have someone in my corner like that. Not every stylist does, but he's really helped me throughout the years. And he's a friend of mine. But he's also like, my mentor because I call if I'm like, 'Hey, I don't really know how to charge for this. Hey, I think this is kind of low, but I'm sure.' And it's not every single thing, like, I think that's when you take advantage, where it’s like, every single job you have, you're calling on them for something. It's like if I have a job or if I'm, like, worried about something, I'll call him.  You know, like I literally like my package, I sent all of my clothes, via FedEx to a job in San Francisco. It got delayed. And I was calling him pretty much in tears, like, 'I don't know what to do!' You know, like all of my clothes I lost. Like, I don't know what to do. He's sending me contacts. He's calling his people. He's like, we got to get to these clothes. Like he's rooting for me, like it's his job, you know? And I appreciate that, because when his clients are here, he doesn't have to worry about anything. They have an extra appearance. I'm the one, like, 'OK, we'll figure it out.' And he's 'Woah wait. I need to get paid for this. I'm gonna need you to slow your roll.' He's like let me talk to my management and I'm like, oh, but like they're here and I just want to make sure they take care of it. So, like, if you're not here, that they know that they're good. And he's like, 'OK, go do what you need to do. but I'm going to call their people on the side,' you know, I'm saying. But yeah, he doesn't have to worry about that, you know, like I call him to say, 'Hey, they have this thing happen tonight.' I go get all the clothes, everything. And he's like, 'I don't have to be like, what are you getting? What's going on over here?' Like, oh, my God, I'm going to send something. He's like, 'you're good.' Yeah. Cause I'm like I treat it as if they were my client. It's like, how would I want my clients to be treated? That's how I'm going to act. And I think that's how every assistant should act. If this was your job, how would you want things handled? And that's it.

KIRU [00:33:01] Yeah, I think that's important. I love that note. I do have another question about. . . So, I mean, I think, like this whole relationship that you illustrated is really beautiful, that you have found someone that's like ready to go to bat for you and make sure that things are taken care of and that will treat like your job or your projects as their own. And you do vice versa. You would do the same for them. I'm curious, in these last eight years, or maybe even particularly in the beginning. So, you illustrated that the relationship with your parents being more of like, 'OK, Raven, like when are you getting a job?' Like during that time were you also. . . like you've gone to college, you pursued higher education, you had a full time job, and I mean, you went into it thinking it was one thing and found out it was another thing and that you were moving forward with this idea to do jewelry and to build that business. And then you ran into something else and decided, OK, I'm actually going to be a stylist now. Was there anyone, and if anyone, then who, that you looked up to that. . . I think particularly from our community or the people that you were familiar with. Who did you look up to?

RAVEN [00:34:22] It's so hard because, like I've looked up to a number of people, but again, styling wasn't like what I wanted to do. So, I wasn't like, ‘oh my God, this person like, I look up to them.' I do love June Ambrose, like love her to death. And I do love the career that she's built. But on top of the career that she's built, I also love the fact that, like, she has this thriving family life, you know, she's cooking for the kids. They're on the job with her, like she's still a mom. She's not, like, only working, she doesn't have time for meals. I'm like 'Ma'am can you put out a cookbook and a skin regimen and all the things, OK?' But I really looked up to her, and I still do because that's where I want to be. You know, I want to have the family. I want to have the work life balance. And, you know, she is gone. She does leave now that she's at home every single day. But the fact that she's able to still cook for her kids most of the time. You know, she brings her kids on jobs. She does all of those things. I was like, this is it. You know, this is this is where it is. I would also say Apuje, who's been helping me forever, like the way that he styles, and like the tailoring that he does. Oh, my God, I’m like Sir, like how in the world? Like, all of my stuff looks like it comes from goodwill. Your stuff looks like it is tailor made. Every single time. And it's just phenomenal. Like every one of his clients, especially his male clients, his female clients too, look phenomenal. But like when you can see a suit every single time. And he looks phenomenal every single time. And you don't get tired of seeing a suit. That's when, you know, like it's like, OK, so you put a person in another suit, you'd be like 'You did that?'  And I like the risk that he takes and things like that. I love Weyman and Micah. I also knew both of them when I lived in L.A. So, they are also always in my heart. I've helped them here in New York, too. So, you know, they just do a phenomenal job with their clients. And usually it's people that I know. I don't know June Ambrose. But like the people that I love admire are people that I know one, because I know that they're good people on top of being talented, you know. Where I'm just like I've seen some other people, who do an amazing job, but they're horrible people. And I'm like, I would never work with you when I don't look up to being. . .  I don't want to be you one day because I don't want to have the same attitude that you have one day. Like, I would love, you know, like you have a pretty dress. It looks great. That's amazing. But I just don't want to be who you are. You know? Kollin is great. I love Kollin to death. We worked on a few jobs together and he skyrocketed. I'm like, so proud of him for what he does with Cardi when I tell you, I'm like, sir, your eye is impeccable. And like, I've thought that since I met him. So, it wasn't like, OK, now he's with Cardi and like everything. No. Every time you come out of the photoshoot, I'm like, so like, how did you. . . And he's just the sweetest person, you know. Like, he's very genuine. He's very sweet. He's very hardworking. And he's just a good person. And that's what I gravitate towards. I gravitate towards people who are good people, whether we're still friends or not, are still connected or not. He's just a really good person. And yeah, like, that's probably the people that I look up to the most are also just really good people. And like I said, I don't know June, but I do love the work life balance that she has. I aspire to have that one day. And I would love to have a career that she has. Ok shes iconic. So yeah. So those are kind of the people, especially in the styling industry that I've looked up to like as role models or especially just big people in our industry, that I'm just like, I want to be where you are someday.

KIRU [00:38:28] Yeah, I love that because it's a lot more than just about the tangible things a person gives you. Yeah, it's a lot more than just oh, like OK, cool. Like you mentioned,  someone could be incredibly talented in what they do, but not being like a person that you want to be around, a person that you want to be like, it's a huge turnoff. And that determines, your decision to step away, like remove yourself from situations where you would have to be subjected to the way that they treat people or the way that they think or talk about people. And connecting yourself with people who are wholesome, who have values, those intangible things that they give you, hope for the future. I think those are really beautiful things, the way you illustrated. Like being a mom, taking care of the kids, bringing them on the job, cooking dinner. Those are really beautiful things that kind of illustrate what you look forward to in your future as you continue to build and scale your business efforts and all of your professional endeavors. Also, personal endeavors. Right? So, I think that's dope. I'm curious and I know we've been on for probably about 30, 40 minutes now. So, this project, of course, is about breaking the cycle and highlighting stories of underrepresentation and sharing experiences of how you've had to overcome certain obstacles. So I would ask, are there any cycles, that you've encountered where you felt like you were underrepresented or you were being asked to modify or leave your voice behind entirely just to benefit a larger group to fit in?

RAVEN [00:40:16] I would say it is one of those things where, like in the beginning, I definitely was trying to tailor my book a certain way to have more White people in it, because as a Black stylist, you can be labeled as an 'urban' stylist, which basically means that you only dress Black people, which I don't really understand why that's the thing. Because everybody has a body in a Black person's body. Isn't that much different, especially sample size. It's not that much different than a White person's body, but whatever. So, I definitely in the beginning was that person where I was just like, you know, let me have my book look a certain way. Let me, you know, keep the aesthetic, because my mom even said like, 'Looking through your portfolio, I would never know you were Black.' And that's what I wanted. I didn't want anybody to know the color of my skin and judge me by it before they met me. You know, there was a picture on my website. So clearly, if you went to my about page, you know, I was Black. I didn't want anybody to ever judge me on who I am before they judge me on what I do. l also so went through a period of time where I just dress like a bum. OK. Like, I was just like, I'm just gonna wear whatever I want. My art is going to speak for me and that's going to be what it is. That was crap. OK I was like, why did I do this? But everyone mistook me for my assistant. Everyone always thought I was my assistant. And even now, because I drop off my own, like, I don't have an assistant that stays with me all the time. Sometimes I drop off my own, returns or whatever if I don't have an assistant for, like, all the days of job or something like that. So sometimes they'll ask me, like who. . . I'm like this is from me. And they're like, OK. So, yeah. But it is definitely been those kinds of things. I have learned to be me. I am not quiet when it comes to things that I feel like I'm being wronged or I'm not getting the fair treatment of. Especially when it comes to wardrobe, no matter what color your skin is. Wardrobe is always the least-thought-of department, and it sucks. So, there are times I've literally been in like screaming matches with directors. I had you know, there's one producer who does not like me because I told her my mind. Like I was like, you're not about to put me. . . like, what you're trying to do is not going to work for what needs to be done with, the wardrobe department. I'm already having to, like, deal with a lie, like, you know, lesser circumstances. And you're trying to really put me in strenuous circumstances. And that's going to be a problem. So, learning to speak up for myself, I don't always do it in a tactful way. But all this I've also learned that not all money is good money. I'm not trying to be stressed over no check, OK? So if I know that you're going to create a stressful situation because either you're not communicating or we just don't communicate well together, I'd rather not be in that situation than be like let me just placate so that I can get this check. It’s not worth it. I'm good. There are other checks. You can find someone else. You know, it's not worth it to me. So, I think that's the biggest thing is just learning that not every check is a good check. And not every check is for me. And that's OK.

KIRU [00:43:51] Yes. How did you come to that place where you where you decided to put your foot down and just be consistent in that mindset that not every check is a good check? Not every check is for me. I won't be placated. I won't be, you know, silence or anything like that that you've just mentioned. How did you come to that mindset?

RAVEN [00:44:13] I think it's when I realized what like necessary stress was what unnecessary stress was like. There's things that can be avoided or there's things that like they're not super stressful, where it’s like I can be stressed about this for a little bit. Then I'll get this check. Or if the stress is like, OK, so I need to deal with this for a greater good other than a check. You know, I'm saying to take my career to the next level. Because money is not going to take your career to the next level. Certain jobs will certain like longevity and certain things or longevity with certain clients will. So, it's more than just a check. It's like, OK, I am getting a check, but I'm also getting like a bunch of red-carpet shots or I'm also getting this. Like, if I'm just getting a check, you can miss me with that. So, I'm really just learning what is for me is for me. Two, I just don't want to be stressed. I'm at the point of my career where I'm like, I don't want to be super stressed out about something. And the only thing that I'm getting out of it is a check. Like, I'm not being creative. I'm literally just doing whatever you're asking me to do. And there are times where I'm like, look, I need some money this month. So, we've got to do what we've got to do and get this check. But for the most part, I have the ability to turn down jobs, to turn down things that where I'm just getting paid super low. Like there are people that come to me with, like, nonsense. And I'm like, 'Y'all can miss me with this, OK?' And I tell people all the time, I'm like, 'You do realize I do this for a living, right? Like, this is not just a side hustle. This is my job?' So, I just I was like, I'm good. It's not worth it. The stress to me. . .  my peace is worth more than money. And so that's what it was, it was like, do I want this peace, or do I really want this check? And I think when you realized, you know, when you start doing stuff just for a check, it also is more about the money than the craft. It's more about the money than your love for what you're doing. And me as a Christian, I feel like that's when you're all about the money, when that's all you focus on. That's when money becomes the root of all evil. You know, when you are not super focused on that, your jobs come, your integrity comes with is like, OK, I can do a better job when I'm not stressed. I can do a better job when I'm not micromanaged, you know. So why would I want to do a job that I'm going to get paid for, that I still can't do to my best ability because of this. And also, now especially I have multiple jobs, one at a time. I don't have time to be stressed about your one job. I've got three other jobs and a lot of time people just act like they're only job you've got right now. And it's like, I always have other things. My whole week is not just your time. You know, so. Yeah. So, this is. I'd rather have my peace of mind. They have some money that I had to super stress over like I'm good.

KIRU [00:47:36] Say that one more time because I didn't hear it.

RAVEN [00:47:38] Oh, I said God will make a way.

KIRU [00:47:40] Yes, yes, yes. Love that. I think it's like you said, so many good things in there. But focusing on keeping, maintaining your peace of mind over just making a little bit of money is like so powerful a statement. And I find it personally encouraging to like, you know, as an artist and entrepreneur building KIRUNIVERSE. This whole project with KIRUNIVERSE COLLECTIVE. We've been around for a few years. And we actually at this point, we don't. . .There's no money in KIRUNIVERSE COLLECTIVE.  Like we don't build budgets to do photo shoots or to bring people together. It's literally just of freewill, a passion project that creates safe spaces for people to go first in the advent of self-exploration. And so I think talking to you even here, hearing about your story over the last eight years of how you kind of built literally from nothing, where you weren't getting paid, you were doing all this free work, coming to the realization that I mean, I imagine you've done some jobs in the past that you were just like, oh, wow. I mean, I don't know why I'm here. Like, this is really stressful, the pay is not worth it.  We learned those things and we become stronger for it. I really appreciate you sharing like some of that backstory and giving us an understanding. I'm just like in awe of some of the things that you said about the way that you navigated these last eight years, the relationships that you've built, the value of those relationships, the significance of maintaining your peace, because sometimes like I mean, that's why we study in school. Right. Like your consumer personas versus your exclusionary customers. Because money at the end of the day, it's not everything. What you do is a craft. And I'm not really supposed be talking this much because it’s an interview. But you know what you do being a craft, if that is that that's an art form. Right. It's much more valuable than any currency that could ever be printed or hammered down. Yeah. This is so much more valuable than a piece of paper that's going to be spent in in a matter of days. So that's all that money is good for is being spent. It's not there for an experience. It's not there for like there's no real engagement with money other than putting it somewhere else.

RAVEN [00:50:11] Yeah. Yeah.

KIRU [00:50:14] So I think that this is that that's such a powerful thing to say, and maybe there are some stylists who will watch this and think like, ‘oh, well, like I mean, it's not really like an art. This is so I'm like, chasing that bag.' No, no, no, no, no, no. Like people who are passionate about what they do, they're building something. They're making something that is leaving an impression. An immediate and a lasting impact on this world is what you're doing. You change people's lives through the art of wardrobing, styling people, helping them to amplify their voices and tell their stories. That's a really dope thing. So, I want to wrap just to respect your time, but a couple more questions that I'll ask. I mean, you've dropped so many gems, but if there is any singular advice that you want to leave the people here with today, what would that be?

RAVEN [00:51:07] I'm trying to think. I would say if you're a stylist, you have to love it. Like, there's so many things that she'll still do, like I still do free work. I'm not above it. I still do. But I have to love it to do it. No, you can't. Like you said, you can't be here for the fame. You can't be here for the glitz and the glamor and all of these things, because there's only a handful of stylists that you know by name. So, you have to be here for the love of dressing, for the love of clothes, for the love of a good moment, you know. And not just for, hey, I want to be known for this, that and the third. So. I would say definitely put your passion first and it will also the money will follow because you'll be so good and so passionate about it, people will see that and understand, you know, when you work with celebrities, you can't really be out here, like, 'Can I get an autograph? Can I get a picture? Can I get all these other things?' Like when I'm at work, I'm at work. I've been to celebrities’ houses. I don't want to be here. OK. I got my studio telling people I was at this person's house. I was at this person's house. Like, that's not me. And my friends will constantly tell me this. Like, I went to L.A. for a job and they were like literally right before I left. Or even sometimes when I think I when I came back, depending on  who was. . . or not depending on who it was but just like whoever found out about it was like, 'Why didn't you tell me you went to L.A. dressed this person?' I was like, because it doesn't matter. I mean, I'm in L.A. for a job. Like, I'm not here to be kicking it with him because that's not what I'm doing. You know, like I'm not his friend. I'm dressing him for this editorial and I'm coming home like, that's it. So, you know, my friends, they do get kind of upset that I don't tell them who I'm working with and whatnot. But I also just don't care, you know, like it is nice to be able to dress celebrities and all of that stuff. But like they're not my friends. They're not, you know, people that I'm hanging out with. So, you work with this one person or work with that person? Yes. Great. You'll see it in my portfolio. But like, I just I don't really care that much because I'd rather see the outfit. It's great that that person is in the outfit, but I'm more excited like, oh, my gosh, we made their dream come true. We made this outfit happen for them, you know. Oh, I got to dress this person like I did get dressed this person,  but, like, let me tell you, the journey that I went through front in this dress, you know, had to be happening to get her in this dress, you know? And for me, that's the bigger accomplishment than the person that's in it, you know.  And people ask me on the time, 'Who's your dream client?' I really don't have one. Like, I would love an up-and-coming, like the next Rihanna or the next someone versus like who's out now. . . someone who could build their style so that we can really make them into an it-girl versus someone who's already just like established and what they have, you know, like. That's just me, though.

KIRU [00:54:27] Yeah, I love that. All that. I mean, everything, just like. What part do I, like, take out and like, speak on the but literally, that's great? And I guess just the whole idea that you have such a voracious appetite for the art of styling and it's indiscriminate of the person. Yeah. It's cool to have this big celebrity client. It's also cool to have this other client who is just like interested in in in telling their story through the art of clothing. Well, yeah, super dope. And then the stories that come along, the journey with you as a stylist, actually loving every part of that, even the parts where you're scouring the internet. Or you're like in this back and forth trying to make sure that the garment gets there on time or whatever happens during your week. Actually, yeah. Could you break down just for anybody watching as I don't know, like where people are in their journeys, what a typical week. . . If there is a typical week, what a typical week is like for you.

RAVEN [00:55:30] So I actually did like a little TikTok video on this. It's so funny.

KIRU [00:55:34] It's like I saw that. OK.

RAVEN [00:55:37] So a typical week if you just have, one job, you know, that takes this much time. Because some jobs take longer. You know, I've had to dress like twelve people for a commercial. I had to shop for a week. It was not just for a few days. So, if you're doing, let's say, an editorial or red carpet, you're sending out emails to show rooms, trying to get outfits and all of that stuff that usually takes about two days. So, you're sending out emails for like the first two days and saying it's a week's time. Monday and Tuesday, for all intents and purposes, you're sending out emails. On Wednesday, you're going to do pulls. More than likely, your pulls are going to be more than one day. But let's just say it's a respect for one week. You're doing pulls on Wednesday. Thursday is your shoot day and then Friday is returns. Depending on how much you return, you may bleed into the next Monday or whatever, because clearly showrooms are closed Saturday and Sunday. But that's kind of like a typical week. If that's the case, like I said, you could be pulling for longer if you're doing. . . I did a commercial job that had twelve people in it. So, I was shopping for almost a week for that. And then again, my returns were almost a week because I can't go back to H&M with, you know, five returns and be like, hey, I need you to return all this stuff at this one register. They’re gonna look at me like I'm crazy. So, I have to go to multiple H&M’s, and I have to go to multiple, Forever 21's and multiple stores to return everything. So, it takes a bit of time. And then I'm also working other jobs, so I can't just spend all day doing that. But yeah. So that's kind of how it works. Sending out emails, then you do pulls, then you go on set. Then you do returns. That's the typical cycle of a shoot or an event or something like that.

KIRU [00:57:31] Cool. Typical, typical week. In case it comes around.

RAVEN [00:57:38] You're can have a shoot that's two days and a shoot that is three days. So, like, everything is very light dependent on the job. And if you have fittings in between that, that is also different because it pushes up the time that you're putting in for the pulls and the returns and all of that stuff. And then you have fittings and you have alterations. So it is, it really depends on the job. And it's very much, like, your schedule is a bit all over the place because you do have a fitting and then now you have to go get more things. You have to do that before the actual, you know, shoot day or the day of the event or whatever. You may be out until midnight. Thank God here, you know, before the pandemic, at least things were closing at midnight in Times Square. So, I could run to an H&M or Forever 21 at 10 p.m. and the stores be open. Most places don't have that. So.

KIRU [00:58:33] Right.

RAVEN [00:58:34] Oh, I'm like, gosh, if I had to live somewhere else styling now, like, I would be like 'Ahhhh.'.

KIRU [00:58:39] Closing at 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. What would you do?

RAVEN [00:58:44] Like, what do you what do you make the stores open until midnight? What are you talking about?

KIRU [00:58:51] No, but that's like that's thrilling. Like how vast and varied the experiences of your day to day can be depending on the job, the client, all the different variables that kind of play into that and then understanding like how much you have to be responsible for. How much you have to manage your time and your efforts and then also eat and sleep.

RAVEN [00:59:14] It’s a lot, especially when you're traveling. Like last fall, I had about a two week period that I was like, I don't even know how I'm standing right now because, you know, I was in D.C. for a job, had to come back to New York for something, I think a fitting,  I had to come back to New York for  fitting.  Then go back to D.C. to finish the job that I was on. Then while I was in D.C., I got a job that was in Philly. So, I was like literally home for the weekend. Had to be in Philly on Monday. And then I was in Philly for like two days. Came back to New York. And then I had to be somewhere else. And then like the following week, I had a shoot with them. The second part of the shoot here in Brooklyn, by the end of that week, I was flying out to Indiana to speak at a conference. So, like it's like your parts are moving all the time and like you have to stay up on everything, you know, like when you get a job. Like, if I'm on set, I have to be checking my email because if I wasn't and that e-mail came through saying like, 'hey we want to be looking for this job' and I don't respond, they may get someone else. You know, like I have to constantly be thinking about the next thing, constantly be like alert of everything that's happening. You know, you're on set. I was on set for like twelve hours, not getting a lot of sleep, you know, working ten hour days and then having to do all this travel back and forth on the bus and literally just like in a day's period where I was like, OK, so I need to go to New York. I'm there, do this fitting and now I'm coming back to D.C. That's eight hours on the road in one day. Yeah. You know, people were like, 'How are you doing this?' I was like, I have to. So, we're doing it, you know. But that's how it can be, especially when you're traveling for work where it is very much like this up and down. OK. Now, I got to be here. Now I gotta to be there. And now going to do this now I've gotta do that. There was no time off. It was no like, oh, I have a day off now. Like as soon as I left D.C. and came back to New York, I had to start prepping my job for Philly. So, Saturday, Sunday were shopping days, then I had to go to Philly. You know, thankfully, they got me an Uber and Uber-ed me to and from my house.  But like, that's something I got to do. I got to make sure that I, like all the clothes are there. And then I got to get there and they, you know, I have to come back. And then it's like, OK, now I got to start prepping and returning for this job. And they start prepping for the job on Monday like it's a constant thing. And child, I was exhausted. I was like, oh, God, I got to go to this thing. And, oh, Lord, I just want to be in my head, you know.

KIRU [01:01:43] I feel you honestly. That's a lot I would love. I mean, I could ask you questions all day. I'm gonna wrap this up because I want to honor your time. We're a little over.

RAVEN [01:01:58] You can let me know if you have another meeting we can leave. But if you have any other questions.

KIRU [01:02:02] I might text you some questions at some point, but I remember you. . . Oh, I did want to say, like, that's part of why I like you absolutely, at some point you just have to get an assistant. And that process is like difficult. I can speak to, like, the process of finding and vetting assistants. Because that's kind of. . .  it's not just, like, a job where you're handing things down to them. That's actually a partnership. Like you have to be able to trust that person with the tasks that you're giving them to help you execute whatever you need to get done. Like, that's a lot.

RAVEN [01:02:41] I had my assistant for the job in Philly, and in Brooklyn. Like when I was in D.C. I was actually assisting (NAME).  And then I had my own job in D.C. that I had already been booked on before. (Name) booked me for the job and I was like, okay, so when do you need me there? I'm like, okay, I can't do anything this day because I have to do this photo shoot and whatever. Yeah. Like this is a lot like, oh God, I was like, I'm tired. I just want to lay down. And then I was in a fashion show because I am also a content creator. Yeah. Back to New York to do the fitting for that. And I was like, I'm exhausted guys. I'm so tired. And so, but it was it was definitely worth it. Like I wouldn't be like, oh my God, why did I have to do this? Like, you do what you have to do. You know, like I live it like I had this day off, I need to go back to New York and that is what I did. You know, if people were down here, you got to go to New York City for like four hours. I said I am, that's what I got to do. So, you just, at the end of the day, you do what you have to do to get everything done, you know, make it happen.  I had to wake up on Saturday, you know, like I got home. I'm tired. I had to get home and start shopping. There is no other thing. You know me and my assistant were like, 'Hey, I need you to meet me here at this time so we could start shopping for this job.'

KIRU [01:04:05] Wow.

RAVEN [01:04:06] That's it. There is no like, 'OK. I think I'm just gonna take a nap. I think I'm just and I like, you know, do this tomorrow.' There is no do this tomorrow.

KIRU [01:04:16] It's gotta get done.

RAVEN [01:04:18] In the time allotted. And then now, what are you going to. So yeah, it’s always. . . I always say it's a 'make-it-work' moment like Tim Gunn says it's always make it work and you gotta make it work.

KIRU [01:04:31] Yeah. And when did the dressing down or like. . .  what did you say earlier? We talked about this like a year ago. You told me about like dressing. . .  like not dressing up for the occasion and doing your job. And people were like, 'Who are you again? What are you doing this for?'

RAVEN [01:04:57] Yeah, like, who is this? So, it didn't last long because clearly everyone, like I said. . . Because I started working with this magazine, and when I first met with them, I was super cute. And then before our first photo shoot, I had this epiphany that this work was going to speak for itself. And so, I showed up to set. . . and this is probably when I realized everyone was like 'Raven what are you doing?' Because he was like, 'You look different.' He was like, 'Did you do something like with your hair or something? I was like, 'No, it looks the same.' He was like, 'There is something different about you.' Like he didn't want to say, like, you can tell he didn't want to say, like 'Man, what is this outfit you got on?' Because I just had on like. . .  and it wasn't that I was like horrible. . .  but I was just wearing like jean shorts and like oversize T shirts. Like I was just like now this is what is going to be my uniform or whatever. And so, when he said that, I was like, OK, Raven what are you doing? Get your life together.' And like that just wasn't me at the same time. Like, I love to dress up. I love to put on a good outfit, you know. So, I was like you still need to put in effort. Who wants to, you know, be styled by someone who looks like a bum? Get it together Raven. I realized; I am a walking billboard. I feel good, when people say, like, I tell them I'm a stylist and they're like, 'I can see that' you know. Even if I have on jeans and a T-shirt, people still say that they're like, ‘oh, I can, I can see that.' And in my mind, child, I've got on jeans and a T-shirt. But there are certain things that I may do this someone else doesn't do as far as like tucking my shirt in and putting on a belt and like maybe I have a cool sneaker on or something like that. Or like my jewelry is a certain way. Details that someone else may not have done. But they're like, ‘oh, my God how you did that.'  And it just, it makes me feel nice. You know, I'm like I am portraying what I do, you know. And people they're just like whenever I do tell them, there's like 'I could see that' or like 'I knew you were working in fashion', you know, and to me, that's nice. I'm like, oh, you did a little something, a little outfit. So, yeah. So now, especially if I'm doing events and things like that, I try to look the best I can if I'm meeting new showrooms or doing like a pull from a place for the very first time. I do dress up a little bit. I am not going to be out here in heels. But I do put in a little extra effort, so I look a little bit nicer. And yeah, it just goes the extra mile because people are like, ‘oh, who is she?' She is. . . Yeah. So yeah. So, it didn't last long. I was saying at most a month, but it didn't last. I was like 'Raven, what are you doing?'.

KIRU [01:07:45] Fun little story blast from the past.

RAVEN [01:07:49] Pretty much. You know it happened. We were just like, it was like child, 'Yes. I went through a whole phase where I just did not care about what I was wearing.' And if you were like, yes. Yes. Closet full of clothes and she is wearing jeans and shorts. Yes.

KIRU [01:08:02] OK. Absolute last thing. Absolutely. I mean, just like any last words at all.

RAVEN [01:08:16] I would say find your purpose and live in it. That's it, you know. And go with. . .  if you are a Believer, especially, go with where that is sending you.  And own that fully. Whatever that might be, you know.  Like I said, I never thought that I would be a stylist. I never thought that I would live in New York. That's a whole other story. We didn't get into of how I moved here. But, you know, just go where He is sending you because it will always be worth it. Always.

KIRU [01:08:50] I love that. Well, thank you. Raven, thank you immensely. Oh, my goodness. This is a beautiful time. Thank you.

RAVEN [01:08:59] Thank you, too.

KIRU [01:09:00] So I'll speak to you soon.

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