A “little” news…

Anything is possible. I know that for real, now.

“The Finer Things” is the cover story for The Washington Post Magazine’s special fall Home & Design issue (available in print now), and yours truly is on the cover. It feels very surreal, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the response. Thank you to the team at The Washington Post Magazine, photographer Andi Rice, Courtney Kirk (hair), and Kim Colvin (makeup), and to Juniper. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has celebrated with me this week. I feel the love and am humbled by it.

As you read, I’m by far not the most gifted person on either side of my family.

The fabulous four: my grandparents, all dressed up for my parents’ wedding.

When you see me, I hope you see the very best of my parents, and of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse H. Crawford, Sr., and Mr. and Mrs. Edd L. Barton I reflected: their style, their work ethic, their good sense and gumption, their self-respect and easy elegance, their talent, their wit, their intellect, their resolve, and — most of all — their faith.

They left big (and fabulous!) shoes to fill, which is partly why I appeared barefoot in the photos. I’ll always try to live up to their example.

Alexis E. Barton, photographed by Andi Rice at Juniper for The Washington Post Magazine.

Love, Alexis

P.S. To order a copy, visit The Washington Post’s site where you can order back issues. Select the second option for Back Issues and then select “select a different issue.” Choose Sept. 18, 2022, adjust the quantity as desired and enter your mailing address, then place your order. Issues are $10 each, which includes shipping an handling. (Note: this issue was part of the Sunday, Sept. 18 paper, so you’ll receive the issue tucked into the newspaper.)

This is long overdue…

If you came here for a think piece, this ain’t it. When you’ve been in the house two years, what you create is inspired by what you experienced in solitude and what you wish to experience once you return outside.

Stay tuned.

Sha’Carri is still #ThatGirl.

Almost every Black woman has been Sha’Carri Richardson, whether she’s willing to admit it or not.

Most of us learn very early and in very harsh ways that we have to be perfect to win.
That when you’re born with two “strikes” you don’t hand anyone a gift-wrapped third.

Especially when you’ve been raised and trained to be #ThatGirl.

As disappointing as this is for her, learning you can’t always out run certain choices is also part of growing up.

So is learning that often our only competition and the realest threat to our success is no one but ourselves.

So is learning the hurdles are always higher for us.

So is learning sometimes life will break your heart to see how you respond.

Especially when you are #ThatGirl.

So I’m not judging her.
Not for this, or for her nails, her lashes, or her hair.
None of those things kept her from literally smoking everyone else.

Do you know how hard it can be to propel yourself forward when obstacles real and invisible tell you to stop?
To perform at your very best with all eyes on you, dissecting your skin, your face, your hair, your stride, your name, your voice?
Looking for any reason to name why you don’t belong?
Or making up a reason, when none appears?
On top of surviving your biological mother’s death and a pandemic?

Many of us have failed in settings we thought we were ready to succeed in because we had habits, associations, baggage or beliefs, or made choices that eventually disqualified us.

Or maybe how we learned to cope with vaulting ourselves over and beyond racism, sexism, perfectionism, grief, pain, pressure, trauma, doubt, disappointment, stress, heartbreak, fear or anxiety held us back, slowed us down, triggered us or tripped us up.

Still think Naomi Osaka should force herself to do press conferences?

It happens to the best of us.
It happens to all of us.

The only thing that matters is how you recover.
That you get back in your race,
And run it.

Your latest Quarantine Update finds me exhausted, 40 pounds lighter and in a contemplative mood:

I am complete but never finished. I have a lot to say, but not a single thing to prove. It took me a long time to figure that out.

This has been an incredibly difficult year but despite the fear, grief, helplessness, stress, and sadness I’ve felt since March, I’ve tried to focus on gratitude for its many joys: an abundance of love…knowing that I am divinely cared for…joining BBVA and seeing the power of words during simultaneous crises…being heard all over on NPR…the Barbie piece…being accepted into a competitive writing workshop…and finally growing my hair to my bra strap. (The pandemic has not reduced my vanity.) As for the rest: I’m enduring and surviving it. With God’s help, I’ll make it.

Despite so much uncertainty, I’m at peace with myself. And I’m looking forward to the best that is sure to come.

Love, Alexis

Sally Forth

Brewton Blueberry sticker

“You’re from that dirty swamp water,” a used-to-be used to tell me. I’m sure he meant it to be endearing but it always got my Davis-Crawford-Hill-Barton pride up. I’m fiercely proud of where I’m from. It’s why I shout out Blueberry Hill, Brewton, The Dirty 30 and Lower Alabama whenever I can and would not want to be from anywhere else.

Lots of lives, free and otherwise, had to survive much more treacherous waters in crossing from the African continent or setting sail from England, Scotland and France to land in and leave or escape South Carolina, Texas and Louisiana to come through Central and South Alabama to meet precisely in Brewton, Alabama for me and mine to be here.

It is a place I am ashamed to say I spent a long time wanting to get away from, in favor of places with more to see, more to do, people who didn’t know my life story, who wouldn’t report my whereabouts to the nearest relative.

It’s the place I now know offered me the best preparation for going anywhere else. It’s the only place that has genuinely welcomed me home, first when I was young and foolish, then when I was older (and a little less so).

My heart breaks right now, for home. For Mobile, where proud, grand oaks older than time have been plucked from the earth, roots exposed. For Pensacola, submerged. For the people I love and for those of us from and tied to these places who know pieces of ourselves have been snatched up from their foundations.

Our roots ravaged.

That dirty water—from Murder Creek to Mobile Bay to the Great Gulf Coast—is our lifeblood. It’s where we get our strength from, our rhythm, our blues, our peace of mind. It’s where we are washed clean, and where we are nourished. I see my way clearest when I cast my line into its dark depths, and I am grounded by its sand, mud and clay under my feet. In my heart of hearts I am caught in its net somewhere under the Dolly Parton Bridge, even as I have been flung into the wide world from its Florabama shoreline.

Always will be.

Sally can’t wash us out.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, And through the rivers, they will not flood over you.” -Isaiah 43:2 a, b

Fab Finds at Bargain Carousel

It’s time for one of my favorite shopper-tunities:  Bargain Carousel!

A 1000-family garage sale, Bargain Carousel has been labeled the “largest garage sale in Birmingham.” Through member donations, Bargain Carousel provides shoppers with quality items, including many of life’s necessities, at very affordable prices.  In return, proceeds are returned directly to the Birmingham community through the Community Projects the Junior League of Birmingham supports.

It takes over 7,000 volunteer hours to produce Bargain Carousel, and there will be over 100,000 items for sale! Find out more at http://bargaincarousel.net/.

You can shop for a fabulous cause ahead of the rush at Bargain Bash on Thursday, April 25. Bargain Bash offers exclusive access to all the merchandise that will be sold at Bargain Carousel. Enjoy fabulous food and tasty beverages from local businesses, incredible auction items and private shopping at bargain prices.  Be a part of this wonderful night as the Junior League of Birmingham raises awareness and funds for its 38 community projects, which have made a positive impact on the Birmingham community for over 96 years.   (Items purchased at Bargain Bash are double the price marked during the weekend sale.)

TIPS: Get there early, wear comfortable shoes and bring a big tote or cart!

Check out some of my favorite finds from this year’s sale!

Want to go? Comment “Send me to bargain Carousel!” on this post, or on the associated posts on Instagram (@samechicdifferentday) and SCDD’s Facebook page!

Happy Shopping!

Laissez Les Bon Tide Rouler

I promised on Facebook that I’d second line if Bama beat LSU, so enjoy this  modified version since I didn’t get a parade permit.

This special parasol was a gift that was made just for me, and I’ve been saving it for a special occasion. Last night’s 29-0 win over the Tigers (the eighth time in a row) definitely qualifies! I do go a little bit overboard on Game Day, but it’s all in fun. I love having a parasol that celebrates my favorite football team (next to the New Orleans Saints) as well as my family’s heritage.

Cue up Rebirth Brass Band, because the  Crimson Tide is rolling straight to the SEC Championship game!

XO, Alexis

Thank you, Birmingham Magazine!

 

 

I’ve answered phones, I’ve cleaned offices and I’ve been made to count pencils (yes, really). I’ve been counted out, overlooked, laughed at and rejected more times than I can count. I very nearly flunked out of college. I’ve doubted myself. I’ve felt invisible. I’ve been underestimated, undermined, underpaid, overlooked and overworked. In spite of that I’ve worked my narrow behind off, and I never let other people’s issues and “-isms” determine my self-worth. I’ve delivered under pressure that has seemed insurmountable, and performed when my heart wanted to give up. But I’m still standing. And I know I’m not alone.

I’m honest about my journey because I’m grateful for it. If I can make it, God knows you can, too.

I am still overwhelmed from yesterday’s Top Influencers Under 40 luncheon! Birmingham Magazine made it a beautiful day for us at the City Club.

And Rent The Runway really came through in a pinch. I’ve lost so much weight that most of my clothes don’t fit, and I literally had nothing to wear! Having been through several physical changes over the last couple of months, RTR, Kim Colvin and James Adams, Jr. all helped me look my best.

It meant so very much to me to not only be in the room, but to have my mother beside me and to celebrate so many other amazing people, including one of my best friends!

Congratulations to all the honorees!

A.

Birmingham’s Top Influencers Under 40 Named

Everyone on this list — change agents, professionals, and movers and shakers from a wide variety of industries — is a force to be reckoned with, and I am very honored to be included.

Click HERE to see the inaugural list of honorees. It’s first class! (See what I did there?)

//A.

Thank you, Kate Spade.

“I adore pretty things and witty words.”

-KateSpade

The last thing I treated myself to before I left for medical leave was a Kate Spade plastic serving tray and matching tumbler printed with lemons. I figured that if I had to be housebound for weeks, at least I could try to be cheerful about it. After all, when life gives you lemons…do something glamorous with them.

I’ve carried an ink-stained red and pink Kate Spade canvas agenda for YEARS—bought for far too much money at a Belk charity sale when I was desperately unhappy about my work and love lives. It reminds me daily to be optimistic, that things can always get better. And in the age of online calendars, it’s decidedly old school…but so am I.

I wore black satin Kate Spade sandals with bows to stroll down the aisle and kick up my heels at my brother’s wedding. The bridesmaid’s dress is history but I still have the shoes.

I’ve decorated my office with Kate Spade postcards, stationery, storage boxes and knickknacks for cheer and inspiration. The day I got my biggest consulting client and wrote my biggest story, I made notes in a large coral Kate Spade leatherette padfolio that has the phrase “She wrote the book on it” embossed on the cover in gold. It reminds me that my creativity and femininity are strengths and that my talent is unquestionable.

Thank you, Kate Brosnahan Spade. You were quick and curious and playful and strong. You left a little sparkle wherever you went. You encouraged me and so many others to escape the ordinary, in style.

♠️🖤♠️

A.

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