We had the good fortune of connecting with Shanetta McDonald and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shanetta, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
My favorite quote is ‘The World Belongs To The Asker.’ Most of the time in life, we don’t get what we want unless we ask for it. This deeply resonates with me because I’ve had to walk through fear of rejection and learn to be vulnerable and ask for what I want and need in pretty much every area of my life. It’s a practice. And I have to constantly remind myself that the risk of not asking is always greater than the risk of asking.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
In November 2020, I launched Motif, a safe space and community focused on sharing the stories of women of color. I’m proud of myself for walking through the fear of creating a brand, and I’m honored to be a vessel for so many BIPOC women who want to control their narrative and share their life experiences with others. Building a community is not easy, but it is fulfilling. There is a lot of work that’s gone into developing Motif, from the branding, to content, to upholding our mission and our values. My biggest challenge is balancing growing the community with continuing to work a full-time job and reserving time for rest. But, I’ve learned that I don’t need to do everything today, or right away. Rest is key to my creativity and of course my health. If I don’t take care of myself, then I can’t be of use to my community. I think it’s helpful for others to know that we women of color can no longer afford to silence our truths. By sharing our stories, we create deeper connections with women like us and forge a path for our healing and blossoming.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have so many favorite places in Los Angeles! For outdoor activities, I love Beachwood Canyon hiking trail and Griffith Park. I also recently discovered Descanso Gardens which are simply magical. I’m based in East LA, so Downtown Los Angeles is the most convenient – and fun/trendy- area for me to hang out at. With that being said, Dama and Manuela are delicious for both cocktails and dinner. Since lockdown, I’ve become a plant mama like many other folks stuck at home, and therefore, I’ve been spending my Sundays at the flower market/district in Downtown Los Angeles at least a few times a month. It’s such a refreshing way to spend the day.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The beauty, strength and love from the women of color in my life have been integral in my growth. I am forever grateful for their support in my journey.
Other: Podcast: https://themotifpodcast.buzzsprout.com/