I am Joan Foretia; I live in Maryland and the mastermind behind the CAFA brand (Chic Afriq Fashion and Accessories), the CEO of Dynamic Nurturing Services Inc. and the CEO of Common Sense Financial. For the past eighteen years, I have run three assisted living facilities, managing the healthcare and well-being of the elderly, a business I have operated in since 2001. This business has been my focus, and everything I do revolves around it.
I enjoy helping people and believe that life is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It is my love for people that got me into the healthcare industry. If you want something, I have learned that you go for it with enthusiasm and work at it with passion. Not only do I leave no stone unturned in all my endeavors, I always go the extra mile. I am also a goal setter, a go-getter, a super achiever, ready to learn, not afraid to fail, and an authentic and transparent woman. Being a community activist and a social justice advocate has been a rewarding experience, so I protest and stand for what I believe. I know that if you help people, other people will help you. Indeed, I know that if you are kind and of service to others, you’d be rewarded in kind. But, most importantly, I love being me and happy about all my pursuits.
My knack for creative pursuits is insatiable, and my hands work even when I am asleep. Turning my hobbies into a business is my reality, and one reason for starting this blog. Entrepreneurship is my raison d’etre. As a fashion designer, I have made outfits for celebrities and people from all works of life and all races. I had the honor to design a chicafriq hat for Malcolm Jenkins, an NFL player for the New Orleans Saints. He is one of my clients, a world-class athlete, a social justice activist, and a fashion icon. He accessorized his outfit with the chicafriq hat designed by yours truly to the 2017 ESPYS award. In 2018 he came back and ordered a Dashiki Shirt, which he donned to the Black Panther movie’s opening.
MEETING Ms. O
I have met Oprah twice, in 2004 at my church, the Saint Catherine Laboure Catholic Church. She came for the funeral of Mattie Stepanek, a friend of hers. This year, February 14th, 2020, I was in New York, as a guest of her DARE TO DREAM CHALLENGE tour. This tour was her first in five years, and she challenged her audience to have a vision for their lives–2020 VISION: YOUR LIFE IN FOCUS. It was a phenomenal event, and I was inspired to find my focus, and I committed to focusing on the things that make me feel energized, connected, and empowered. Taking on the challenge, three months later, I signed up to train as a financial educator to get my finances together and help others as well, and here I am with you. All because I met Ms. O, she is one of my inspirators.
THE CHICAFRIQ BRAND
The Chic Afriq Fashion and Accessories (CAFA) has its tentacles spreading like wildfire. Sewing and braiding are some of my hobbies, but today they are a part of my business platform. My head-wrap brand, the chicafriq head ties, were the first African head ties sold on eBay, and to date, I had sold so many pieces before the Chinese jumped in to flood the platform with low-quality brands. Indeed, my passion and creativity drive chicafriq jewelry, chicafriq braids, and chicafriq home decor. Undoubtedly, THE CHICAFRIQ FINANCIAL IS COMING SOON. Being an entrepreneur has allowed me to explore the things I am passionate about and support the causes close to my heart
I am an alumnus of the University of Maryland, College Park. A mother of three amazing children: Sharon, Arnold, and Crystal and married to Chris Foretia. My family has been the drive behind all my endeavors. I come from a large family, and I have eight siblings and many friends. My siblings are my most loyal customers.
Most importantly, they are my models and brand ambassadors. Mami Justine Awung, my mentor and mother, was a stay at home mom and a seamstress. Growing up as kids, she made most of our dresses and ran a home-based sewing apprenticeship business.
My early exposure to fabrics and my mother’s sewing machine were my gateways to the fashion industry and my zeal for entrepreneurship. I started hand-sewing when I was about eight years old. By the time I was eleven, I could sew beautiful dresses. Just like my mom, I made clothes for my children when they were young and still do. Today, I have my brand, and I am a couturier by request.
TURN YOUR HOBBY INTO A BUSINESS
I have been designing and sewing beautiful clothes, braiding wigs, making jewelry, love cooking, and reading. My hands are quite full, but I have been able to turn my hobbies into a business, and I want you to do the same. Please tap into your creativity and cash out from it. I am hoping you would follow your dreams and take action towards achieving it. Take your ideas to the next level by starting right where you are—your home. I would love to see you step up your game.
JUST FOR FUN
Sweet, sour, or salty—–sweet. Sunset or sunrise——sunset. Aisle, middle, or window——window seat. John, Paul, George, or Ringo——John. Jerry, George, Elaine, or Kramer——-Jerry. Hope, joy, love, or peace—–love. Coffee or tea—-tea. Jollof rice, mac&cheese—-Jollof rice. I am a great cook, and I love entertaining. Once in a while, I drink wine and Pina Coladas.
I am glad you came to my blog and read this far. Finally, I want everyone who loves my story to get inspired to take action. You can start your blog for free and cash in from your hobby or celebrate your passion as you see fit. However, consider the leap of faith and turn your hobby into a business or pursue another activity.
Please leave your questions or comments in the comment box. You’d get a response in forty-eight hours. If you would like to explore your talents or hobby and need mentorship or coaching, please contact me and sign up here or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on social media at @chicafriqfashion. Thank you for getting to know me.