Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Blogger Interview: Zakiya Mellanin from True Hues

While studying at the College of Charleston, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Zakiya Mellanin. Part writer, part photographer, Zakiya's many talents are impressive to say the least. I've been thinking about starting blogger interviews for a few months now and I've always come back to having Zakiya as my first. I love what she's doing and I can't wait to see where she is in 2, 5, 10 years. And so, without further ado...Zakiya!


First of all, can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

My heart is worldwide but South Carolina is where I reside! I have a degree in Biology from the College of Charleston, and before I started True Hues my plan was to be a dentist. Onto the fun stuff: I am a self-professed foodie under the subcategory of a "Professional Guest". That simply means if you're cooking then invite me over because I'm great company! My ultimate dream is to fill up my passport and travel the world with my camera in my hands. Besides, there's only so much Google can teach you about a place! I am an artist at heart, and I love to create with words and images. I've always loved photography, and I write poetry when the moment hits me!

Tell us about your blog

"My True Hues" is an extension of the personal development part of True Hues that allows me to voice my opinion and to offer help to women and girls across the world. Since I won't be able to meet everyone that comes in contact with True Hues, I figured making a blog would help expand my reach. At first, I was really hesitant about making the blog because I wasn't sure if women would read it. I have a bookmark full of fashion blogs that I visit daily so I thought women would be more interested in that kind of stuff rather than self-help topics. Fortunately, I was wrong and I've received great feedback from women as far as France that love and appreciate "My True Hues." The purpose of the blog is to start conversations about matters of the heart. I want it to be a place where women can come to discuss their pain and joy but walk away with more than just hope; I want to give them the ability to fix it.


What inspired you to start True Hues and what do you hope people take from it?

I believe that sometimes your purpose comes out of your pain. I experienced painful situations in my life such as the passing of my father from bone marrow when I was 11 years old. At the time I didn't realize what a great impact it would have on my life once I got older. Needless to say, I definitely have a heart for fatherless girls/women. These are daughters who grew up without their fathers for many different reasons. I simply didn't want another woman or little girl to experience the pain that I went through without a way out. I believe that I have been graced to help women discover their true identity and life's purpose by restoring them back to wholeness. The slogan for True Hues is "Giving Women a Face, a Voice & a Smile !" The face represents a woman's identity or who she is at her inner most being, her spirit. Often times we get so lost in the superficial part of our being that we forget about, or aren't even aware of, our most eternal self. I want to help women live from their spirit, but they need help uncovering from the many layers years of heartache, pain, and disappointments that have been piled on top of them throughout their lives.

After a woman has discovered who she is then she is ready to find out why she exists. I refer to it as "the voice" because the voice represents your purpose in life. Like I said earlier, it something that you've been graced with in life. I believe that everyone has a purpose in life, and after you find out what it is, then you have to be about the business of doing it. Last but not least, is the smile. Since I wanted to be a dentist, I wanted to improve people's oral health and their smile. I realized that I could give people their smile back but I didn't have to do it through dentistry. The smile represents that eternal sense of joy a woman has once she knows who she is and why she's here. That's something that can't be taken away from her.

The blog is only one portion of True Hues. I see True Hues as a worldwide movement that will change the state of women in society like we have never seen before. Yes, I dream big! I believe that you have to dream big in order to accomplish great things. The movement is so much bigger than myself, and as I grow, the vision for True Hues will grow as well.

Where can we follow you and your blog?

Let's make a True Connection! You can read "My True Hues" at You can follow me on Facebook by joining "My True Hues," and you can follow me on Twitter @TrueHues. I'll be posting some videos soon on YouTube under True Hues as well.

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