New Beginnings

For three whole nights the voice disrupted my sleep. It was loud and very clear...the name and the concept. On the third night, I listened.

Over the years, as far back as I can recall, I have always had a nagging, unsettling feeling with regards to the inequitable treatment of women, especially women of color, like me. This feeling unearthed even more in recent years when the 45th President called our now Madam Vice President, Kamala Harris – nasty. I kept thinking, what can I do? What shall I do? How can I honor all the powerful black women who keep breaking barriers even when the odds are stacked so high against them and empower the ones who need encouragement?


The answer came in a vision. Yes - I said VISION! The voice spoke as clear as daylight – empower women. Ok – so I sat on that response still thinking – empower women – but how? We are in the middle of a pandemic. There’s not much that I can do all the while thinking, how? There goes that voice again – NASTÉ T-shirts. Put your messages on T-shirts! I chuckle as I am writing this and recalling the clarity of my visions.

This was in August of 2020, right before celebrating my 56th birthday. One night, the voice became so clear, I could not go back to sleep. So, I grabbed my laptop and started typing. T-shirt designs that inspire me are usually designs that are simple but packed with a powerful statement. And that’s what I wanted for NASTÉ. So, I started creating designs for the t-shirts before I knew how I would print and even promote or sell t-shirts. I stayed up the entire night creating designs and a mission statement for NASTÉ. After that night, I pitched my idea to my loved ones and sent them pics of the designs that I created. They were so excited for me – they encouraged me to go for it.

I sat on my vision and my night of creation for 2 weeks without taking further action. And then, it was the night of Friday, August 21st, the voice again spoke to me as I slept: “what are you waiting for? LAUNCH!” I responded, “I can’t launch – I don’t have a finish product and how do I even start?” The voice came back, “LAUNCH!”. The phone rang and woke me from my sleep. On the other end was my daughter calling from London. The first thing she said after making sure I was okay was, “what are you waiting for?” My response was mumbled and loaded with every excuse you could possibly think of as a reason not to bring my vision into reality. Self-doubt reared its ugly head and the imposter syndrome took over. “I am not ready”; “I can’t”, “I don’t know how to do this”, “how can I empower women when I can’t even empower myself” and all the negative reasons for why “I can’t” continued to flow. My daughter listened – she allowed me to ramble. And then she said it, in exactly the same firm no BS tone the voice had spoken, “LAUNCH”!!!


And so, on Saturday, August 22nd, 2020 – I launched NASTÉ Apparel. It was not perfect. I continued developing my business plan and everything else that goes into creating a business after launching but I launched.

Launching NASTÉ has taught me so many valuable lessons. I began sharing those lessons and motivational notes on social media. Honestly, I didn’t even know that was a thing – don’t laugh. Of course I had used social media, but I post on social media to connect with my family and friends all over. Sharing these powerful messages led to my AHA moment: it was not about t-shirts all along. It was about using my platform, my voice, my love for writing, my love for reading, my love for sharing, to inspire others. And so NASTÉInspirations was born.

At various points throughout my life I have witnessed countless instances of women being undermined and treated as secondary compared to their male counterparts. I felt empowered to celebrate those who are showing up and inspire women who could use a little encouragement. You will notice that I use the word “BADASS” a lot. As women, we don’t have BALLS but we are certainly BADASSES which validates our strength without saying too much.

NASTÉ is an ode to all the strong characteristics of a woman – faith, badassery, boldness, courage, smartness, strength and tenderness.

So, I am using NASTÉ Apparel and NASTÉInspirations to inspire and encourage all women to step out on faith, continue to do your best, take things slowly sometimes and take care of yourselves and celebrate our wins - big and small.

Through all your support and spreading the word while inspiring and celebrating each other, I am confident that NASTÉ will reach BIGGER heights as we become emboldened to wear our NASTÉ. To each and every one of us I say, #bebold, #bebrave, #beNASTE!

Sending you all LOVE and LIGHT and as we say in Jamaica…walk good!

Marcia Allen

PS: Please share this message and/or shop my collection. Join our email list to receive updates and offers. I also encourage you to drop me a note – either share your thoughts or NASTÉ love notes.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.