Today we’d like to introduce you to Morgan Williams.
Hi Morgan, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Contrary to some, I never imagined that I’d be pursuing a passion such as Ooh So Sisterly – however, when I think about all of the things that I am great at, it simply makes sense. I graduated with an undergraduate degree and master’s degree in business. Like many, I went on to work in Corporate America, and while I loved what I was doing – I still felt a sense of unfulfillment.
So much so that I became depressed. In a pursuit to get back to myself again, I went to therapy and it was there that I was encouraged to write out my thoughts and feelings. This wasn’t something that was unfamiliar, as I had spent a significant amount of my childhood and teenage years journaling and writing poetry for fun. However, this time around I begin to write out my thoughts in the form of stories – some true to my experiences and others I simply made up. Many of these stories were about dating, relationships, mental health, marriage, motherhood – the list goes on. I would share my stories with family and friends regularly, and they would encourage me to start a blog.
I didn’t think too much of it, however, by that time I realized that writing these stories attributed to my healing. It helped me acknowledge my truths and courageously speak to them. Storytelling helped me express who I am during times where I lacked the bravery to forwardly do so. I may struggle with telling people that I’ve lived with a disease that affects my hair, but if I were to create a story around it, it’d make it easier for me to open up further conversation about it. Ooh So Sisterly was created to provide a platform for women to share their stories using the arts to express themselves. This could be in the form of storytelling, poetry, music, illustrations, photography, and videography. In 2018, I released “My Sister’s Closet,” a creative arts platform that collaborates with artists within the local community to develop empowering and inspiring stories in the form of photography and videography. The platform is reminiscent of my childhood memories trying on clothing in my sisters/mom/aunt’s closets. I didn’t grab the basic items. I would try on those things that were BOLD – items that made me feel confident and beautiful.
I created this platform for women and young girls to realize that there are SO many ways to express who you are to someone and share your truths! Today, the organization leverages our website and social networks to empower women daily and works to align with the passionate, talented creatives within the St. Louis metropolitan area.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
When I think about the role that Ooh So Sisterly plays in the community – I think of support. I think about what it feels like to have women around you that encourage you and uplift you daily. It makes you feel good! Right? I consider the work of Ooh So Sisterly to be service-oriented, providing inspirational support within the community. However, one of the most challenging things I experienced was communicating the message behind Ooh So Sisterly and simply put – it’s not a fad, nor flavor of the day! It’s not something that cute and fun to say, but it a lifestyle. It’s what I live by! The organization is built on the pillars of unity, love, and empowerment. The beautiful illustrations for each story or captivating photos from our shoots are great, but it is the meaning behind it that I work so hard to resonate with women. When I write the stories or creative the vision behind the creative shoots, I want women to see themselves and feel empowered and motivated! I am very intentional about providing that voice, that platform for all women.
Another challenge for me has been converting this “passion project” into a legitimate business. I realized that while my willingness to fund the creative projects and pay artists out of pocket was nice, it wasn’t sustainable. That’s where I begin to research grants and funders that shared the same passion and were willing to invest in Ooh So Sisterly.
Another opportunity that came from that financial challenge was creating Ooh So Sisterly Apparel and More, which provides inspirational and positive branded merchandise to our supporters so that we can continue to fund the collaborative projects.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I serve within various roles with Ooh So Sisterly. But I’d be remised if I didn’t acknowledge the team behind me that does the great work. When I originally started the blog, I was the sole writer, however, after a year of doing so, I inspired women across the United States to submit their stories to be featured on the website. I have a social media manager and an in-house illustrator and artistic director.
I am also the creative director behind My Sister’s Closet. I never would have thought that my big imagination as a child would’ve open up so many doors that would inspire others and continue to do so. My fondest memory to date was facilitating a poetry session with over 20 young teenage girls, using the illustrations from my shoots to teach them about poetry and the art of storytelling.
I am most proud that I never let my past or fear deter me from helping others. I could’ve stopped at writing the stories years ago and left it at that, but I believe that my purpose and everything that I’ve ever experienced in life was greater than me! It has led me to where I am now and I believe deep down in my heart that Ooh So Sisterly will one day impact the world!
Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I was very creative, which should come to no one’s surprise. Coming from a family of 7 children, we learned how to “work with what we have,” as my mom would always say. “Necessity is the mother of invention.” Because of those teachings, til’ this day, I naturally seek to find ways to find the beauty in everything and everyone. At an early age, before it was cool, I remember my sisters teaching me how to “thrift shop” or “shop for a bargain.” It became a game to me and it taught me how to create my own style. I created my outfits in a way that expressed who Morgan was and is. When you don’t have a mannequin to guide you on how to put things together, it forces you to figure things out on your own!
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.oohsosisterly.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oohsosisterly/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTUFaPmXb_FIKHxo3evOp7Q
Photographer Credits When We First Met – Mena Darre Photography @mendarrephotography Oshun – Kimberly Schroeder @kimberlynstudios Ooh So Sisterly Branded Image – Rob Canon, @robshotme An Ode to Ade – Dartagnan Wilford @dartagnanportrait Image Submitted (pink dress) – Myrina Otey, @renaissancetjs