REAL Love, (Served) Straight Up (to My Face)

Nothing but Love at BAES & Bombshells’ REALationships Panel

I recently had the opportunity to attend one of the most in-depth, thought-provoking relationship panels that I’ve experienced. When I tend to think “relationship panel” I tend to think of all of those cavalier events that we all attended in college from “battle of the sexes” to “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.” To my satisfaction, BAES & Bombshells’ relationship panel was the antithesis of that.

Photo Credit: Sista Shutter

On top of the in-depth conversation, they served TexMex accompanied by an open bar, #youknowwhyimhere. Yea, if you weren’t there you missed out.

First, let me rewind. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Baes & Bombshells’ founder at The Prototype’s #undertheINFLUENCE Brunch we almost instantaneously began talking about our passions, the needs of our community, and how we could collaborate in the future. Her passion was nothing short of effervescent, her questions revolved around breaking barriers — that’s when I realized that overcoming challenges (especially those that are mental) was the foundation of her platform.

“Mental barriers can be our largest stumbling blocks in the way of reaching our full potential of achieving our live’s purpose. If left unchecked, our obstacles can ultimately ruin us. Personally, I struggled with feeling unworthy, left out, useless, and inadequate. I didn’t fully realize who I was called to be by Christ until recently, which catapulted the inception of Baes & Bombshells” -Alexandria Traylor

The Quick & Dirty, What is Baes & Bombshells?

Building strong, inspired, and dedicated Christian women of color is what Baes & Bombshells is all about. Traylor mentions, “The woman who knows that she is called to build something greater, better than herself, and relentlessly chases that has the opportunity not only to get a home run, but secure a grand slam for us all.”

Baes and Bombshells is for the woman that hopes to leave each space, corner, and crevice better than she left it. This women’s empowerment and lifestyle platform aims to inspire women to realize their own purpose filled life while simultaneously assisting them to overcome any mental barrier through the avenues of spiritual inspiration and personal and professional development.

Meet the REALationship Gurus!

The set up of the panel was nothing short of genius, the panel makeup included millennial passion pursuers representing every stage of relationships from single and ready to mingle to happily married. The charismatic bunch collectively provided relatable insight for everyone, no matter where attendees were in their personal relationships.

Photo Credit: Sista Shutter

The Host:

Ashley D., a beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, content creator who focuses on creating content to help young women transition from college to the corporate world.

The Married Soulmates:

Ashley Brown, affectionately known as “Ashley Empowers”, is a speaker, entrepreneur, author, as well as Creator & Host of “Dating With Purpose” that promotes pursuing healthy relationships with God at the center.

Carrington Brown, a personal trainer, motivational speaker, former collegiate football player, co-author of the book “Before The Next Step” and is the Founder of Greatness in the Making Fitness.

The Dating Couple:

Diane Ihezie, currently pursuing her Master in Public Health, passionate about health care as she becomes an Emergency Department Physician.

Troy Edwards, currently owns an up and coming real estate development and investment start-up.

The Singles who Mingle:

Gabrielle McBay, a savory-sweet food artist, is the owner and executive chef of Ellements Cuisine and Pastry Concepts which has been featured in Black Enterprise Magazine, Forbes Magazine, NBC, and the New York Times.

Jaren Collins, the proud owner of JCi Creatives, LLC a creative services firm focusing on a fully-integrated creative experience.

Gems from the REALationship Panel.

Seemingly Drake flooded Instagram captions with lines of Fake Love, but B&B’s REALationship Panel focused on understanding the opposite sex, balancing passion for your hustle and your passion for your significant other, pursuing God as you pursue one another, and so many other thematic gems that served REAL Love, Straight Up (to Our Face).

Photo Credit: Sista Shutter
“I came up, you changed up.” — One Take Drake

It was evident by the make-up of the event that the room was full of passion pursuers and millennial moguls. The attendee sitting to my left was initiating his marketing agency, the attendee on the right owned a fashion blog and styling company, and the individual in front of me was a food blogger. Troy made a great point, that as millennials we are passionate about pursuing our passions; but where does that leave our relationships with others?

Gabby made a point that “embracing your place in singleness” is important, that being content at that stage and really taking the time to understand what you want not only in your personal passion but in your relationships. You don’t have to bite at every piece of bait — focus on your come up.

For those in a relationship, Diane stated the importance of not being in a relationship with someone because of who they are, but for who they can be. To be more succinct with the statement, in a relationship one of the individual’s “come ups” should be a mutual come up. Drake had it wrong, “I came up, we changed up” is a more accurate statement.

​​“I’ve been down so long, it look like up to me. They look up to me.” — Heartbreak Drake

If I were to recall the one theme that was most prevalent at the event among the singles, dating, and married individuals, it would be the importance of pursuing Christ when it comes to your relationship; that is both independently and pursuing Christ with your significant others. Hearing these conversations in an open, public forum was comforting and impressive.

When Ashley and Carrington reiterated that, “when both of you are pursuing God you are bound to become more attracted because you are moving towards the same direction,” it seemed as if the room had a simultaneous “come to Jesus moment,” literally.

“Is it okay for the female to be the vocal and steadfast leader in faith in a relationship?” was one of the questions that stuck out to me and actually made me think myself. We often get caught in the semantics of who should look up to who or who should lead who, that we fail to understand the big picture in that there is one direction that we should all be looking, and that’s up to Him.

Photo Credit: Sista Shutter
“Vibe switch like night and day. I can see it, like, right away.” — Aubrey Graham

After receiving a question from an attendee very passionate about this topic, Jaren and Gabby ping-ponged this topic back and forth of balancing cultivating potential verse tolerating potential. By no means is it uncommon to be attracted to someone because of their potential, but tolerating potential that isn’t being activated or executed is oftentimes problematic. Gabby mentioned the importance of knowing yourself and what you need. If you know you are attracted to someone that is actively pursuing your passion — and you are courting someone who is talking but not doing — it may be time to raise that flag.

Jaren also brought up the valid point, that often times we tolerate or enable our significant others actions which only propagates through the relationship; you can tell your boyfriend or girlfriend what they need to do to activate their potential or hold their hand through the process, but until he or she feels compelled to activate it on their own you are doing them a disservice.

The fact that I can see your potential, your drive, and your aspiration at the beginning

​“No, you can’t “son” me. You won’t ever get to run me.” — Champagne Papi

With a predominately black crowd at the event, the motif of the Strong Black Woman came up quite a few times. Black women, you all are beautiful, loving, supportive, prideful, and steadfast; the wife made an impactful point on the importance of keeping your femininity. “Opposites attract, masculine and feminine personalities attract,” she made a point of saying. In relationships, no matter if it is the best of times or the worst of times, you have to let the man, be a man and understand the importance of such.

Another panelist contributed the notion that, “it isn’t about winning arguments, or proving your worth.” If you are in a relationship, and the other party doesn’t understand or recognize your work — you may need to evaluate that relationship. Teammates that try and beat one another do nothing but cause dysfunction among the team.

“How you wanna clique up after your mistakes?” — Drizzy
Photo Credit: Sista Shutter

Jaren eloquently summed this one up in his dating deal-breaker, “don’t smash the homies.” Simple.

As you see, we covered a lot — and it was fruitful, it was impactful. I felt that as a collective we all grew in a positive direction; whether it is embracing our singleness, understanding who we are and what we need, how to utilize faith as our foundation, I thank Baes & Bombshells for keeping relationships, REAL.

A Salute to the REALationship Panel Sponsors!

  • Silk Elements, a complete collection of hair care products created especially for dry, damaged or uncontrollable hair with a mind of its own. (@SilkElements)
  • Elle Vie Body Butters, handcrafted whipped Shea Body Butter. (@ElleVieBody)
  • The Millage Style Consulting Firm, a lifestyle consulting company that assists everyday individuals in dressing for life’s everyday adventures. (@TheMillage)
  • JCI Creatives, a creative services firm focusing on a fully-integrated creative experience. (@JCICreatives)
  • Shop Indulge, when you Indulge with us you can look exactly how you feel everyday by providing women around the world with all of their stylish needs. (@shopIndulge)
  • Material Girl Kloset, a modern women’s boutique in Dallas, offering savvy customers in-house styling and products at an affordable price.(@MaterialGirlKloset)
  • Moisture in Abundance, providing moisture In abundance by creating 100% natural products created to hydrate your hair and scalp (@MIAHairUK)
  • Sista Shutter, seeking to capture memories and create movements through professional photography with the community in mind. (@SistaShutter)
  • The Culture Supplier, a devotion to cultivating and informing the masses, cConsider your culture…supplied. (@TheCultureSupplier)

Photo Credit: Sista Shutter

Baes & Bombshells, What’s Next & Connect!

Though this event was opened to both the baes and the beaus, Baes and Bombshells will continue to inspire minority women and supply the knowledge and resources required for developing character and building personal brands all while pursuing God’s purpose. Be on the lookout for upcoming events in the Dallas Metroplex throughout 2017.

Be sure to connect with Baes & Bombshells and follow Alexandria on Instagram!

Be Great, 

To connect with me or see what I’m up to, visit, and follow me on Instagram at @thatguybmills!