I’m Courtney Racquel Rhodes, a curious, creative and authentic soul journeying through my life committed to being happy, fulfilled and compassionate while living and sharing my truth. I’m the wife of an incredibly smart, charming and supportive husband, mother to a special unicorn attending Syracuse University and entrepreneur at CourtneyRRhodes.com and Urbanity Communications. On my better days, I’m a force to be reckoned with, and at my worst, I’m a hot mess. I was born with a blood disease that challenges me from time to time. I’m certainly not defined by it or the other adversities I’ve faced in my life, but it has a significant impact on how I view life and the mark I’m striving to make in the world. Actually, it’s quite the contrary, I feel my path is to an extent pre-destined for me, so that I, in all my curiosity about human nature, the intent and possibilities inherent in people, and my obsession with beautiful places and things, could unfold in its perfectly authentic way.
I’ve always felt challenged to discover, embrace and protect my authentic self at any moment, in hopes that that courage would feed my soul, and inspire others somehow along the way. I love embracing my personal style and using my style sense as an expression of my emotions and a celebration of my life. I consider myself a lifetime student of the arts & humanity, new ideas and the pursuit of happiness. Here at The Brandista Guide, I share my fashion sense (Fashion), beauty tips and regimens (Beauty), and offer a sneak peek into my lifestyle and life (Lifestyle & #BrandistaLife).
- I started participating in beauty pageants (at 5) and modeling (at 10) in local television commercials and print pieces early on. It was my mom’s way of trying to balance my tomboy nature which after over twenty pageant wins, still lives with me today. Sorry mom! : )
- Professional internships have shaped + greatly influenced my career path. I interned at Nordstrom’s Fashion Office, Elite Models NYC, Girls Life Magazine and Radio One in Baltimore; and perhaps the two degrees in Communications added a little something along the way. The undergraduate degree is from Morgan State University and the graduate, The University of Baltimore.
- I’ve lived in Shulerville, SC; Baltimore, MD; New York, NY; Tampa, FL; Atlanta, GA and Chicago, IL.
- I was given the name The Brandista from a former client, friend and now brother, Anthony Liggins. He starting referring to me as The Brandista years ago, and eventually, it grew on me.
- My style & beauty heroes are my grandmother, mom and my mom’s fly ass sisters as I was growing up, Audrey Hepburn, Lena Horne and Halle Berry.
- I love red lips, playing with makeup (I’m a licensed makeup artist), Christian Louboutin’s (I have narrow feet + a high arch), collecting vintage pieces from my aunts’ old clothes and jewelry, to vintage boutiques. I’m masterful at mixing low to high-end pieces, and I offer no apologies for wearing things I love season after season.
- My dad taught me that I could do anything the ‘boys’ (specifically my cousins) could do and I could do them better- and yup, I believed him. So I played football with them, hunted ( a few times), learned to race cars ( I was pretty good), fix cars, and kick it with and share a cold Budweiser with my dad.
- I have an interesting mix of masculine and feminine energy in which I consciously work to embrace and develop the feminine side.
- I have a love affair with fashion, feeling good, creating nostalgic memories, the company of good peeps, amazing food, taking care of myself and traveling the world.
Thanks for sharing this journey with me, cheers to the places I may go, the people I’ll meet and the mark I’ll make.
Courtney Racquel Rhodes, @TheBrandista