Coresa Nancy Hogan of COCONANH.COM
We’re doing work we love, work that inspires us, and we’re also pursuing our passions and making them priorities. In our latest Working Woman series, I chatted with my sorority sister, uber inspiring design enthusiast, marketer and blogger Coresa of COCONANH.COM. Meet Coresa….
I remember the first time I met Coresa at a blogger event for Memphis Fashion Week. I was immediately drawn to her beautiful natural hair, her expressive yet minimalist style, and her grace. There was something about Coresa that made me gravitate towards her aesthetic and her personal message. After discovering her blog, I knew what her overarching theme was—purpose. Storytelling for Coresa goes beyond structuring words and images—there is a direction in which she is subtly navigating both herself and anyone reading towards.
+ BRIEFLY INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO READERS.
Hi. I'm Coresa (like Reese). Some folks call me Nancy too. A Birmingham native, but Memphian by choice. I'm a Christ follower by passion, design enthusiast by expression and marketer by profession.
+DO YOU HAVE ANY UNEXPECTED SOURCES OF CREATIVE INSPIRATION, IF SO WHAT ARE THEY?
For most, art, culture and influential people are typically where a lot of creative energy comes from. That’s still true in my case, but it’s also my faith.
My faith plays a major role in my creativity. In order to create freely you first have to have freedom or liberty to be expressive. God’s given me that freedom to create as I operate in His wisdom. My faith in Him also shifts how I solve problems. It challenges me to focus on ways to uplift and empower others.
+WHAT IS ONE QUESTION YOU WISH PEOPLE ASKED YOU MORE OF?
“What was your dad like?”
I mentioned before that influential people are usually the source of creative inspiration. My dad’s one. He passed when I was young, but my mom and oldest sister always tell me I remind them so much of him.
I think people assume that talking about him will make me sad. That might be the case sometimes, but I also want the opportunity to mention him in everyday conversation too! Lol I love that guy!
+ WHAT ARE 5 OF YOUR DAILY HABITS?
connect with God.
Sometimes it’s hard keeping Him first on the list in the morning. I want to immediately start thinking of all the things I need to get done and how I need to do them. Some days I don’t get started on the right foot (God first) so I’m working to re-establish that order.
Digital art. Doodle. Creative writings. Doesn’t matter. I try to create something new that reflects my mood that day.
care for myself and others.
“Self care” isn’t exclusive to self. I need to hear from or help someone I love each and everyday to feel cared for. It’s necessary for my mental health and well being.
complete one thing.
I don’t care what it is. I check one thing off my list each day. Sometimes it's to complete an entire meal, uninterrupted and with no distractions.
clear my head.
I need to let go of anything negative that may be lingering from that day. This could be negative thoughts I have towards myself or others if something didn’t go right that day for whatever reason. I address my own bias of who I am or who others are and focus on Whose we are.
+ HOW DO YOU THINK WORKING IN BOTH A CREATIVE AND CORPORATE INDUSTRY BY WAY OF MARKETING CONTRIBUTES TO SOME OF THE WORLD’S BIGGER CONVERSATIONS AND WHAT ROLE IS YOUR WORK PLAYING IN THIS SHIFT IN THINKING?
Communities of color and women of color are regaining their voice, influencing mainstream media and setting the tone for effective marketing practices.
Diversity isn’t a new thing, but we’re approaching it with a new lens by challenging our assumptions about who our audience is and how we (authentically) reach them. There’s one concept I heard referred to as “designing for the fringe” that really stuck with me. The premise is, if we design for forgotten or disenfranchised communities, we actually address many of the issues the general population faces.
As a woman of color (or a double fringe as I say) I challenge those assumptions everyday. (I mean, come on: how many black women named ‘Nancy’ do you know? And on that note, how many Coresa’s do you know? Right.)
My work in the creative spaces allows me to share a perspective that has historically gone unheard or unnoticed in hopes to build a better society for everyone. And that’s a shift that’s taking place across the globe.
+HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE THE MEMPHIS CREATIVE SCENE AND HOW HAS IT SHAPED YOUR APPROACH TO WRITING ABOUT WORK AND BLOGGING?
Memphis is like the best kept secret that people need to start shouting about more. Moving here had a huge influence on formalizing my love for writing and content curation. Being in a new city with so many changes and so many opportunities to dive in to gives you a huge confidence boost that your work and voice is needed.
+ WHAT IS ONE THING YOU’D LIKE TO SEE EVOLVE IN MEMPHIS AS A CITY? DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE A CERTAIN RESPONSIBILITY TO THE CITY AND HOW DO YOU HOPE TO GET MORE INVOLVED WITH THE COMMUNITY?
I’d love to see more people in leadership positions in the creative fields who reflect the communities we serve. Memphis is full of vibrant folks who are looking for opportunities to express themselves and contribute to the city’s development. The city recognizes this and is starting to open up to empowering these voices.
It’s our job to hold them and ourselves accountable for creating platforms for those voices— new or native— and making Memphis an amazing place to invest our talents in. In the past year, I’ve had more opportunities to connect with the creative community for knowledge sharing and with the mindset of building a boss Memphis (because it’s already better). I think if we keep viewing Memphis collectively— as in I need to connect and collaborate to continue fueling this city— then Memphis has an amazing future ahead.
+ WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS A BRAND OR CREATIVE PROFESSIONAL GOING INTO THE FUTURE?
I’m about to be care free in these creative streets! But seriously, I’ve got several awesome, collaborative projects underway that I’m ecstatic about so I’m completely open to whatever God’s got up next for me. I worry about future ambitions less than I used to. I’m in such a great place that He’s lead me to already so whatever’s next, I’m game!
+ HOW WOULD YOU ADVISE WOMEN WHO ARE MAKERS, CREATIVE/FASHION PROFESSIONALS OR PEOPLE, IN GENERAL, TO LEAVE IN AN IMPRINT IN THE DIGITAL WORLD JUST BY DOING WHAT THEY LOVE?
Be patient with yourself and kind to others. Don’t envy anyone else’s success or promote yourself in a way that belittles others.
Be humble, and don’t hold grudges. Don’t revel in other people’s mistakes, but give honest feedback for the purpose of growth.
Always protect and empower people, assume positive intent, be hopeful, and give 100%.
If you do this, you’ll never fail. [Sound familiar? It’s the true definition of love. (1 Corinthians 13:4-6) You can never ‘do’ what you love if you first don’t understand Who love is.