By Shavonne Taisha
Instagram has done a wonderful job of creating spaces for creatives and brands to unite like none-other. When I first met Chelsea Harris, popularly known as Sea, I felt like I already knew her. As she whined to Calypso, I joined her side dancing slowly as drinks poured behind us. I saw myself in her daily post. Her perseverance and authenticity makes her a master manifester and her dedication keeps her slaying in her lane. Sea is ambitious, tenacious, empathetic, insightful and innovative.
It was an honor to interview one of our fave boss babes.
SHAVONNE TAISHA : How does Eat Drink Lifestyle reflect your daily practice?
SEA : I was raised by a mother who came to America from Barbados at the age of 17, was poor, lived in the projects, but ALWAYS had an elevated taste level. When my mom had me, she and my father were in a place that they could tap into the finer things so I grew up understanding a side of blackness that media didn't really portray to me growing up. That you could appreciate a luxurious ambiance and experience- without censoring your blackness. I created Eat Drink Lifestyle with that same ethos in mind. Creating unique experiences for people of color that have an elevated taste level OR that desire these type of experiences- in spaces that traditionally would only label us as one way (the 'hip hop crowd').
ST: What transformations have occurred throughout your year of entrepreneurship?
SEA: I've learned how to ask for help haha. In just 1 year, Eat Drink Lifestyle has grown exponentially and when you love something enough you have to be vulnerable for it- so being vulnerable enough to seek mentorship or ask for physical help has been a transformative thing for me as a strong woman and as a boss.
ST: What does "Gurl Gang" mean to you?
SEA: *smiles* Gurl Gang means love, warmth, a safe space, a sisterhood. It's what myself and my 5 other girl friends call ourselves. We realized our energy was mesmerizing and magnetic and we simply decided to name it and hopefully inspire others. I hope for a 'Gurl Gang' for everyone woman. It's not always easy but we are all truly sisters and are constantly propelling each other forward.
ST: What inspired the creation of Applauding Power?
SEA: Nellie, the wonderful manager and face of Bushwick's AP Cafe, was looking to create an event series that wouldn't be the typical, surface-level 'women's event'. In that, we were able to create a collective that would encourage women to tap into their divinity through thorough knowledge-exchange on topics like spirituality, sexuality, finances, women's history, and more.
ST: How do you create space to celebrate yourself amidst your work load?
SEA: I was actually talking to a friend about this yesterday. When you celebrate yourself, you honor yourself. Including celebratory/self-care practices in my routine is essential for my morale. This includes mediation and this new Himalayan sea salt ball I bought. You roll it under the balls of your feet, or knead it into achy parts of your body. After a long day or at the start of one, I try to do this to awaken the body while reciting positive affirmations to myself in reassurance.
ST:Where do you see yourself in the next 6 months to a year?
SEA: Eat Drink Lifestyle will be expanding to new heights, and with a team. On a personal level, I am manifesting a romantic partner that is ambitious, communicative, compassionate, and supportive.
ST: Did you have any revelations along your journey?
SEA: Many. We're living in a special time where we're forcing the world to really see US, and in that I've learned it's not always about 'playing the game'. I'm not going to be brought in like a jester to do a little dance for the privileged- in order to prove we're worthy and relevant. I'm not going to trick anyone into accepting my demographic. You're either with it, or you're missing out.
ST: How do you establish a balance between personal and branding?
SEA: I'm still working on this! I've been the face of Eat Drink Lifestyle for awhile now and while I love that, I want to be clear that this is about us, the millennials. This is about diversity, women, inclusion, and authenticity. It's bigger than me.
ST: You are now the Founder of 3 brands, how many more do you see in your future?
Sea: It's all about quality over quantity for me but how many does HOV have? 6? I think that's a strong number :)