We’re excited to introduce you to the always interesting and insightful Charmyra Fleming. We hope you’ll enjoy our conversation with Charmyra below.
Charmyra, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today. Parents can play a significant role in affecting how our lives and careers turn out – and so we think it’s important to look back and have conversations about what our parents did that affected us positive (or negatively) so that we can learn from the billions of experiences in each generation. What’s something you feel your parents did right that impacted you positively.
Wow! That’s a wonderful question. Thank you for the opportunity to express my gratitude to two of the most important people in my life.
I would have to say, “my parents did quite a bit right.” First and foremost, my parents are my favorite representation of “Black Love!” I salute them because, they taught me to always believe in myself, love and romance, and the sanctity of marriage. I grew up in a loving and supportive household with both of my parents. As a romance author, their relationship has inspired me to write about warm inspiring characters with rich, complex, and compelling relationships. My parents have been together as a couple for more than 45 years, and of those years 41 of them they have been married. I’m so proud of them, and growing up, I always wanted my marriage to be modeled after theirs. Their willingness to encourage me to go after my dreams and passions in life worked to my advantage because, I never put limitations on myself. Early on my Mom instilled confidence in me, and is a huge believer in traveling and leaving home to get a broader perspective of the world and life. For instance, she’d constantly tell me, “Myra, go out and see the world. Don’t get stuck here in Greensboro, NC. There’s so much to see beyond here, but just know that you can always come back home, if you need to.” Those words always stuck with me. So, I never was afraid to leave. The way they raised me has served me well throughout my life.
Both of my parents worked very hard in their careers. They were well-respected by their colleagues and peers. Their loyalty and dedication to producing high quality work rubbed off on me. I carry their strong work ethic with me in my own professional career.
My Mom is someone that I love and respect for her perseverance, wisdom, and love for God and family. She has always believed in getting a good education and going to college. My Mom motivates and inspires me everyday to never give up! It was my Mom’s dream to return to college to obtain her B.S. Degree. In 1970’s, during her sophomore year of college at Norfolk University, she had drop out to return home N.C. to help her parents and care for her younger siblings. Fast forward to the late 1990’s, I recall her telling me, “Myra, I’m going back to school to get my degree.” One of the proudest moments of being her daughter, for me, was the day we graduated from college one day apart. In 2001, when my Mother received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology from Shaw University and I received my Associate of Applied Science from Guilford Technical Community College. With her motherly love, support, and encouragement I continued my education and graduated from High Point University with a B.S. Degree (2006) and M.B.A. (2009).
I have always been a “Daddy’s Girl.” Growing up, everywhere he went, I was right there with him. I was his “right hand.” My Daddy taught me the importance of hard work, caring for others, and having sense a humor in life. To this day, he and I laugh and joke about everything. My Daddy would always help the elderly neighbors in our little Greensboro, NC neighborhood. He’d mow their grass, pick up their newspapers and put it on the porch, and run errands for them. In elementary school, my Daddy drove me to my bus stop everyday, and we’d sit in his grey 1985 Chevy S10 Truck (his prized possession back then) waiting on the bus to pick me up. He’d also regularly come to school to eat lunch with me and chaperone my class on school field trips.
Now that’s how amazing my Mom and Daddy is to me!
You see, this is what my parents did right! My parents gave me life! It is a life that they filled love and wonderful experiences that I’m proud of! Who they are as people, and the life they created as a couple is a rich part of who I am and helped me to become the strong, confident, intelligent woman I am today. It is why family and legacy is so important to me. I wouldn’t be who I am without them! The impact of their love and support has been my beacon of light and has shaped the moral compass of how I’ve navigated my life!
Charmyra, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
Creative Calfuray, LLC is a haven and an extension of my creativity. It provides an outlet for me to pursue my creative interests whether it is first and foremost, through my writing, motivational blogging, merchandising, graphic design, makeup artistry, writing workshops, and eventually investing. It is the objective of this company to motivate at least one person to aspire to greatness, and inspire many along the way. The mission of Creative Calfuray is to always M.OTIVATE | A.SPIRE | I.NSPIRE my readers and beyond to always live their lives with purpose, intention, and full of passion.
Creative Calfuray, LLC was established in 2018. I started this company as a result of my husband and I making the decision to relocate our family from Boston, MA to Frederick, MD. At the time, I’d made the decision that while I was “out of work” due to relocating, that I would pursue my writing seriously. At the time, I’d been working on a romance novel since 2016 that I began writing as a tribute to my favorite musician of all-time, “Prince”, and I decided that I was going to finish the book and self-publish it. As a result of that decision, I moved forward with establishing my company to self-publish my first novel. In doing so, I learned early on, that I must treat my writing as a business, and I knew that I wanted to eventually expand it into other areas to diversify my offerings beyond just my books.Through Creative Calfuray, I help small diverse businesses and nonprofits with various graphic design projects. My third romance novel, Perfect Chemistry was released February 2022, and I’m currently working on my fourth novel.
Through my company, Creative Calfuray, I also freelance as a makeup artist and graphic designer. Available for purchase through my website: www.CreativeCalfuray.com, I have a motivational brand with merchandise called, M.A.I. which means, “M.OTIVATE | A.SPIRE | I.SPIRE.
Finally, folks can always check out my weekly Motivational Blog called, “M.A.I. Pop Life”, a new blog post is released every Monday. I’m also the host of “The Purple Charm Experience Podcast,” where I share my journey as a writer, fun content, and amazing guest authors!
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
I’m so proud to say that my following on social media is all organic. I’ve not paid any outside source to manage my pages or pay for follows. It takes a lot of time to build in this way, but I believe the outcome is so much better. I say this because, you want an engaged following that you can convert into paying clients. For me, I want my followers to organically follow me because, they are my target reading and listening audience to my books and merchandise, as well as, my podcast. It is important to me that I’m constantly winning them over and getting them to “buy in” to my content. If I can do that, I can get them to buy a book, read a blog post, listen to my podcast, sign up for my newsletter, or rock my merchandise!
My advice is to stay the course even when it gets tough, and it will get tough to gain followers. Choose at least two platforms (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, Pinterest, or YouTube) that you know that you can post to on a regular basis. Also, create and schedule your posts in advance, do your research and check out hashtags related to your business, and monitor your insights to see when your followers engage most with your content. Make sure you know the optimal time of day to post, and the type of content that your audience engages with. Do not mix personal posts with business posts. This is a biggie for me. I do not recommend mixing business with your personal life. For instance, if that post about dinner and a cocktail that you had at the hot new restaurant in town is not related to a blog review; I say, save it and share it on your personal social media page. It’s all about branding. You do not want to ruin your company brand, and confuse potential and existing customers by sharing too much about your personal life on your business page. It’s truly a fine line. Following these rules have helped me tremendously.
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
My first romance writing workshop didn’t necessarily go as planned. I didn’t get the turn out that I was expecting because, I didn’t really consider the time of year of the event. I planned everything appropriately, but I didn’t expect for the weather to affect my turn out. Also, I assumed that this would be an event that many women would enjoy, I also assumed that many of my friends and family would support me, and I learned that I was overzealous and overly optimistic in my assumptions. With that said, this was early on in my business venture and since then I’ve learned a lot. Next, time I will do it later in the year when a snow storm cannot threaten to derail my plans. With that said, I still had the event, and I mustered up the strength to give a great presentation of information that I’d prepared for months to a small group of women! I was fortunate because, although I had a small turn out, the women that attended this event enjoyed themselves and so did I! I tell this story as a reminder that as an entrepreneur my resiliency is what has kept me laser focused despite any setbacks.
- Website: www.creativecalfuray.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/creative_calfuray
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/Cre8iveCalfuray
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_eeb_cXS7mdycSfUrr4dVg
- Other: www.pinterest.com/CreativeCalfuray1
Margarita Stamatelopoulos of Margarita Photography