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Meet Ivey Smith! The Journey to Greatness

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Welcome to March beautiful people! #SundaysWithTot for the month of March will be used to highlight some amazing women who have made an impact on my life from both near and far. I am starting this Women’s Celebration off with the amazing Ivey Smith! I met Ivey or Elder Ivey as she is called by many at my church, All Nations Worship Assembly here in Chicago. We initially connected over a fringe jacket that I had on! Ha! Since meeting, she has really made a positive impact on my life from afar. I asked her to share her journey to greatness with me. 

Elder Ivey and I decided to sit down for a Q& A for the blog. 

In her own words:

Meet Ivey Smith also known as Elder Ivey

I was born in New Jersey and moved to Colorado when I was 10 yrs. old. to one of the most random places, but my Father’s job took us out there. I hated everything about Colorado! I think it was the unknown and I felt like I didn’t fit in. Although I didn’t know exactly what “fitting in” meant, I knew I felt very different from the other children. I had this East Coast accent and everything that I knew as a child had changed because of this move. I was a very active child, I was a Girl Scout, I ran track, I was in ballet, and I was even in soccer. My parent’s goals were for me to be well rounded and it worked. I went to college in Virginia at Hampton University. Once I got to Virginia, I knew I was not going back to Colorado. I had an internship that offered me a job in Colorado, but I had to say no thank you because I had tunnel vision! I had a goal in mind and that did not involve me staying in Colorado. I received an offer for a position with a company here in Illinois and I stayed there for 10.5 years. There was no creativity, and I was quite honestly ill placed with this company. There were many struggles in this position from Managers calling me average to being told that I lacked follow through and more negative experiences. There were days I would cry out to God for a shift in my career. I started to ask myself what would you do if you didn’t have a mortgage?! I went for the American Dream in life, graduated college, purchased a home, and should be content… but I wanted more. I had a beautiful home but I was unhappy with my career. This is when a shift started to happen. My church pushed me to keep trying!!! There was a driving force to KEEP GOING! I knew there was more out there for me!

Do you have anyone that you look up to?
I don’t have one person that I look up to. I get pieces of inspiration from many different people. If I know that I am lacking in confidence in an area, I look to the confident people in my life for inspiration.
 My Mother made a lot of sacrifices. My Dad worked full time and one of my siblings were handicapped and our household felt normal. My Mom was creative in making our household fun and normal. I believe that I get my creativity from my Mother. Dr. Pam Ross is my mentor and there are pieces of her that I admire and look up to. When we get together the energy is POWERFUL! We both have a fun and quirky side that we can relate to.

We all need someone that we can feel close to. I have some distinct close friends. My relationships have layers, but I think everyone should have a Gayle to their Oprah and vice versa. 

One thing I noticed is how graceful you are….your thoughts on being graceful?

That is definitely the expression of a declaration. I am very much a tomboy. I grew up with boys so I naturally was a tomboy. As I grew up I would pray, Lord help me to do this in a graceful way. People also would release the spirit of grace upon me. When people would release a prophetic word, it may not happen right away but it’s to create that expectation. You may not be that now, and you may not see it right away, but it will happen. 

Let’s talk leadership. What are your thoughts on being a leader?

 Well, I am a leader. I am learning my responsibility as a leader to be real and transparent. If I have a struggle, I don’t try to act like I don’t. I don’t mind sharing my insecurities. I am learning to accept that people do watch me from afar. I am learning about my influence and what that actually means. There is a responsibility there, and if I promote or share something it has to be quality.
One prayer that I pray every day is, “God let my influence be a reflection of you in my life” I am not trying to tell people what to do, but when they look at me I want them to see GOD. I want my influence to encourage them to be better in God.

How do you feel about being an Elder?
I have become comfortable with being an Elder. I stopped fighting a long time ago. Once you become comfortable with being who you are, it’s easy. I went through an intense training program with All Nations Worship Assembly to become an elder. I have been an elder for 6-7 years now.

What are the duties of an Elder?
You take care of the needs of the  house. There are different types of Elders. I take care of the needs of the house and I represent All Nations in the Marketplace. I light up when people ask me questions about my church and the major conferences that we put on. It is an honor to represent God and my church in this way. I am ordained as an Elder, and I work fulltime as the Conference Coordinator for my church. 

Tell me a bit about you and your business My Skin Is In
My nickname in High school was Baby Shy. I was very shy! I had to disconnect with that name and pray to God help me when I do feel nervous, intimidated, or shy. My business, My Skin Is In, encourages SELF CONFIDENCE. My shyness came because I am dark skin, tall, and all of the other things that most would consider negative to be a woman, I am voluptuous AND opinionated. Growing up this was not popular.  As I grew older, I wanted to inspire people who had something to say. I notice the body language of girls who want to disappear because I was once that girl. I had to get CONFIDENT, I had to get BOLD, and I want to do it in a very LUXURIOUS way!
Sooooo, CONFIDENCE, BOLD, & LUXURIOUS is my tagline for my skincare business. When people use my product I want them to feel like OOOHHHH! I want them to receive an impartation of these things that my company represents. I had a customer purchase my body butter and my body scrub for their Mother who had a skin condition and some other illnesses. She told me that she used my products and she felt like YEARS of issues were wiped away. LORD!!! I was like Jesus, what have you given me??? She was able to sleep well after not being able to sleep for some time. A TRUE TESTIMONY!

I always pray when I make my product. My prayers: Lord, whatever they are in need of or asking you for let it be released to them. If they need peace, God give them peace! If they need hope let this scrub renew their hope. The sugar scrubs remove dead skin and the old is washed away literally and figuratively. May the body better help them be bold and let them shine bright! 
My belief is that everyone deserves a “My Skin Is In” experience. 

What does the journey to greatness mean to you?

Journeys are not easy and I think that’s another misconception that people think.  Maybe our parents warned us and we just didn’t listen. The journey to greatness means that I am always looking for ways to do better and be better.

Tell me something that scares you!
If I had to say something it would be failing and not trying again. Giving up scares me!

One thing you know for sure?
I CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!! My best friend and I often have these conversations of things we need to do, only to realize that WE ARE DOING IT! We are living the dream right now! I am in the dream right now! That’s why it’s called a journey. We go back and see things we wanted to accomplish and look at us now……DOING IT!!!! I love Facebook memories because it gives you the chance to track your progress. I don’t have to be afraid anymore, I can just fearlessly DO IT and if I fail, I will try again. 

What’s something that amazes you?
One of the things that I love about Chicago is the HUSTLE! There is this grit and grind here that is truly amazing to me. I think of the guy on the corner who is selling socks, towels, and candy, he has a whole empire there! It’s like seriously a whole enterprise there! I love to see people who take small beginnings and build empires! THAT AMAZES ME!!

What is the latest lesson that you’ve learned?
LET IT GO!!! I just recently purged my condo of a ton of boxes and containers. I was feeling like I didn’t have any space for a while. I realized that I had a lot of space being filled by empty containers. Once I left these things go, it opened up my space a lot. A close friend said to me this may is be a reflection of what’s going on the inside of you! WOW! I had to let go of empty ideas, and things that were just, taking up unnecessary space in my heart. My Feb 2018 lesson has truly been to LET IT GO!!!

Are you more inclined to build your own empire or unleash the potential in others?
My answer may be a bit complicated. Building my own empire unleashes the potential in others! I am very intentional with the vendors that I use for my business. I know every time that I patronize a black woman’s business that I am encouraging her to keep going. I will grow my empire while unleashing the potential in others.

What in your life has given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfillment?
Leaving corporate America and going after every dream that I had! Working for my church has always been a dream. I recognize that this is not a normal dream to have, but I am very interested in the church doing GREAT BUSINESS.  I am still learning about it all, but I sold my house, moved to the city from the suburbs and decided to take a real leap of faith!  Leaving a stale job and going into the fullness of my dream has been my greatest satisfaction to date!

On Confidence:
I look like the girl I dreamed about! I stand up confidently. I wear makeup. I am trying my best to live it up! I used to think that my confidence would come when I got married, but God saw different. So when my husband comes he will get the full package, he will get an amazing PRIZE! Packaged very well by GOD! 

What do you think about more than anything else?

How can I serve better? How can I serve better and did I make the people I encounter feel SAFE? There are too many stories of people being in church or at work and they don’t feel safe. MY prayer: God let me be that person who people feel safe with.

Name 3 things that you want people to know about you

1. I am still trying and I am still learning.
2.       I like adventure and trying new things!
3.       I love my legs and wearing my favorite pumps to show them off.

What’s next?
My goal for "My Skin Is In" to become known in Chicago as a premier and luxurious skincare brand.

I have grown into the tagline of my business. Luxurious. Bold. Confident.

 I hope you are inspired as I was!!! 

Grab your My Skin Is In today and use promo code SundayTot for $5 off $25 purchase! 

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