I'm Carmen Veal! I'm 28, African American who loves too much, does what I truly love, and looks for beauty in all things.

I had my daughter Sania a few months shy of my 18th birthday. I didn't recognize this decision as one that would impact my life, as it was a norm that I had been exposed to while growing up. I entered adulthood rather swiftly, working a full time job, having my own apartment, car...and a dream deferred...becoming a fashion designer and seamstress. I also had a family to support.

Little did I know, my life was gearing up to enter a reality I did not anticipate.

My daughter was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. She began to regress, losing all the skills a mainstream child possesses...speaking, social abilities, walking without assistance, etc. She lost everything. To further complicate things, she developed a seizure disorder. All of this lead to me shutting the outside world out of our lives for a full year. Then one day I woke up. I developed the courage to no longer feel sorry for myself and the way I was brought up. And do things that would not only make me happy but, would assist others who were fighting my own battle. This was my turning point.

My personal struggles and journey thus far has shaped me into the woman I am.

I've grown mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Today I am a woman who understands and accepts herself without a doubt. Receiving recognition by well-known magazines and blog sites, television shows and receiving accolades reminds me of how much I've grown. When I received the email from you guys requesting an interview I said “Wow!’.  I'm actually able to measure growth based on all that I have accomplished in five years! It excites me to discover what will happen over the next five, ten, fifteen years.

One long year of depression following my daughter's autism diagnosis, I developed a burning desire to make positive changes for families affected by autism

My passions of fashion design, interior decorating, building a stronger autism community and empowering minority women & underserved youth began after watching my aunt make curtains, sofa covers and throw pillows for her living room. I fell in love with the idea of utilizing creativity to make and decorate clothing and spaces. Then, one long year of depression following my daughter's autism diagnosis, I developed a burning desire to make positive changes for families affected by autism.

This journey allowed me to realize anything is possible, no matter the circumstance.

Which led to initiating my most recent passion: Empowering minority women and underserved youth to do the things that they love and are passionate about. Today, I am called upon by individuals and organizations seeking my direction, advice and mentorship. Not bad for a dark skinned natural hair (once) poor girl who is content both in her professional and personal life.

Four achievements in particular, of which, the first four occurred within one year, 2013: (1) being one of 5,000 volunteers (out of over 15,000) chosen to work the 57th Presidential Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama (2) Spokeswoman for the JP Morgan & Chase trailer highlighting their new initiative called "The King Project" which preserves the written manuscripts from Dr. Martin Luther King’s Legacy (3) Hosting the LEGO Kids Festival and (4) Being Wardrobe Stylist and host of Macy's Winter Work Wear Fashion Show and last but not least (5) Facilitate a Summer Institute Workshop Series for the YWCA titled: "From Good to Great...Be Your Own Fashion Image Consultant" Summer 2014. These opportunities are significant to me because I was chosen to represent major brands and opportunities as a result of my personal and professional branding.

Self-love drives me. A certain level of assurance came with discovering the beauty in accepting and loving the life God blessed me with.

...In addition to my skin tone, my hair's texture, my daughter's condition, being raised in poverty, my creativity and love for helping others. At one point, I hated my skin tone, my hair type, my upbringing and my daughter's autism, for the pain it caused me. All of the personal parts of me are the areas I explore publicly. Now, what caused me pain is the source of my internal happiness. Accepting my uniqueness and encouraging others to do the same.

One thing every young entrepreneur should know is...

The absolute need to prioritize self-care. I do not mean self-indulge: expensive vacations, spa visits or splurge on retail therapy. I'm referring to resting, relaxing, eating healthy, exercising etc. The things we can do regularly at for free.  For as long as I can remember, I slept very little.

To be completely honest, I was a part of the #TeamNoSleep trend that got old, fast. I would literally stay up until early morning hours, wake up by 6am, and feel exhausted throughout the day. No matter how busy I was, exhaustion was a thing that occupied my mental space causing distraction and lack of focus. I realized I was half-assing my work because of it, so I started to go to bed by 10pm. I'd begin my work day around 5:30 and literally be done with part of my work load by 8am.

After a while, I began feeling rested and eventually began to do more of the "free" things that fueled my energy. The importance in self-care is a result of a self-discovery that I live by today. I encourage all entrepreneurs to create a self-care plan while creating and working on your Business Plan and Strategic plan. The most important thing any entrepreneur can do is develop a healthy work-life balance.


Keep in touch with my upcoming news, events, and endeavors on my social media platforms: 

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