“A diminutive Diva pulling her rolling suitcase in a floor-length duster, high heels boots and superfly sunglasses. Her crowning achievement was an afro so fierce, so fabulous, so grand that I’m sure it had its own ZIP code. She strutted down the concourse, and she owned the sh*t — and everyone knew it. I stood there and marveled at this one-woman parade, this force of nature in denim and snakeskin. The details were as fascinating as the sum of parts.”

Those are the words of the fabulous Paul Wolski of Alter Ego Pop Art, an artist who became a friend, from quite a few years ago as he described watching the inspiration for his also fabulous work of art, “Afro” which I now own in various forms. His piece later became the inspiration for my most favorite tattoo that you can see in my master loft; his description of an afro “so fierce, so fabulous, so grand that I’m sure it had its own ZIP code” capturing my every thought of what an afro should be!

This past Fall I had the pleasure of stumbling onto a PLETHORA of fierce afros as I was admiring pieces of artwork in the salon of my very talented nail artist, Talaya, owner of Artisan Nail Studio here in Charlotte. What? Don’t you have a nail artist?!? 🙂 Anyway… Talaya then turned me on to the work of Dana Bly of Pardon My Fro™ also here in Charlotte. Whoa! Talk about fabulous and fierce afros for days! When you check out her website, Dana self describes as an afro-loving, creative nerd and design chick! Her brand caters specifically to “women and girls who are proud of their natural hair, their heritage and their unique sense of style.” Yes, that would be me.

Dana creates home décor, apparel, premium stationery and prints that are all fabulous, so funky and centered around big afros and fabulous hair! So I reached out and she and I began collaborating on a piece of art as a cover for my favorite round window in the tiny house. I think my “professional” description of what I was looking for was “something funky”. That’s also how I started the conversations with Southern Staircase who designed my fabulous stairs and we know how those turned out so I think it’s now safe to say after working with them and Dana that “something funky” gets the design party started and ends in a win!

If you watched the HGTV’s special episode Tiny House, Big Living: How Are They Now? that aired on New Year’s Day, you got to see the beautiful end result of our collaboration, “Gypsy Soul” in my follow-up feature! Gypsy Soul is a lovely and classy lady in red. Her attire is a flowing and fabulous sundress and her afro is BIG and funky! Gypsy Soul is sexy and she knows it. She’s free; unbothered by the world around her. She’s a statement and a movement by herself in all her beautiful glory. She owns sh*t… She’s all I aspire to be.  She’s so much of my gypsy soul…

Check out Dana’s fabulous work on her website and follow her on Instagram and on Facebook. Gypsy Soul is an exclusive item that Dana created for me, but Gypsy in other forms of fabulous will absolutely be available on her site soon. Perhaps even some other collaborative options will be available for Gypsy Soul, as I’ve seen the notes and questions about a t-shirt… We’ll see! 🙂