The Bajan Beauty
Greetings Divas and Gents! And welcome to the first Diva Spotlight of 2012. Today’s spotlight features Shea Pedro, affectionately known as the Bajan Beauty. Shea is a 31 year old property manager from Brooklyn, New York. Shea currently resides in Miami, Florida, and is in the process of earning a B.S. in Management and Supervision from Miami-Dade College. She is also the author of the fabulous blog Curves and Confidence: Loving Who You Are When No One Is Looking. I can’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon Shea’s blog, but I have been hooked ever since. Shea has impeccable style, which extends to her business attire. As we become more acquainted with the professional diva that is Shea, we are also treated to her take modern day professional wear. Let’s put the Bajan Beauty in the “Haute Seat” and get to know her and her style a little better!
MC: Welcome to the Haute Seat Shea! Can you start out by giving readers a description of what you do in your current position.
Shea: I currently work for a commercial real-estate management company. My job is to act as an agent for the owner of my property. I supervise the daily operations at my building to ensure that owners’ investment is protected. I also provided the tenants with customer service for any issues that may arise. Lastly, I ensure that any necessary alterations or repairs are completed in a timely manner and within our budgeted cost.
MC: Interesting! How did you come to be a Property Manager? What was your career route?
Shea: I was living in Bahrain with my husband, and due to security issues I had to leave the country and return to the states. Once my husband finished his tour in Bahrain we moved to Miami and I immediately started looking for work. I actually don't even remember applying for my current position, however when I received the call for the interview I went. I had been on several interviews and none of the companies really interested or wowed me. When I was interviewed for my current position I was immediately impressed with the warm feeling I received from the company. My interviewer, who is now my boss, carried herself well and everyone I interacted with that day had the same level of confidence. I was sure I aced the interview and I was eager to work for this company. For one, they are family-owned business, and two, they are a black-owned business dedicated to improving low-income areas in Miami. I actually wasn't their first choice; they had given the position to another gentlemen and he didn't show up on the first day! So they called me up and I happily accepted.
MC: Thank God that guy didn’t show up! Now, please tell us that single professional accomplishment makes you the proudest?
Shea: Being in the military! I was young and it was hard to leave my family and friends to go and live in another country. I will admit at first I hated every day of it. Eventually I embraced it and I began to excel. It was hard to standout amongst the crowd and be known as an outstanding sailor, especially being female. Once I got my mind right, my chain of command took notice of me in a good way. I built my reputation and became known for my work. I took my military career very seriously and my ex-husband who was my boyfriend at the time was just as dedicated. It is always easier to progress when you have someone right there with you to push you along. Part of me regrets leaving the Navy to be a wife, but at the time I thought that was the best decision for me.
MC: What is your advice for women who would like to enter into your profession?
Shea: This is not specific to my profession, but for any professional female. My advice is to never allow anyone to take you out of your comfort zone, regardless of who it is. Don’t let anyone think that because you are beautiful, you are not just as smart and well put together.
MC: Here here! Now tell us how you balance you career with your personal life.
Shea: I am single with no kids, so I pretty much don't have any issues with work-life balance. My job isn't that demanding, so for me work stays at work once I leave at 5pm.
MC: Lucky you! What do you do in your spare time?
Shea: Blog! And I also attend school.
MC: What personal accomplishment makes you the proudest?
Shea: Putting the pieces back together after going through a nasty divorce. I told myself regardless of what happened between me and my ex-husband I would NOT become a bitter, scorned woman. Trust me it was a process, but I gained so much confidence and grew into a stronger and better woman.
MC: Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years, professionally and personally?
Shea: I would love to start teaching at the college level. As a student I appreciate my professors that bring real life experiences and knowledge to the classroom. I expect them to hold us, as students, to a certain level of excellence. I want to be that professor that will push my students to do their best and succeed. This has been on my mind for quite some time, and once I complete my Master in Business Administration teaching will be my next step.
MC: What else do you want our readers to know about you and/or your career path?
Shea: I am very introverted! Sometimes it can be hindrance, especially when people perceive me as being “mean,” which I am not. I tend to keep to myself and I do better with smaller groups. However, since working on my degree, I have become accustomed to public speaking. It really helps when you are knowledgeable about what you presenting.
MC: And now the most important question: What is your favorite martini?
Shea: The Chocolate Martini!
MC: Tell us a little more about your blog and your business style.
Shea: The outfits I present on my blog are mostly work-related. I try to mix it up, but still maintain my level of professionalism. My office dress code really isn’t that strict so I kind of push it a little bit, but not too much. If you do have a strict office dress code, one easy way to spice up your look is with color and accessories. A suit can go from “blah” to “heeeey” with the addition of a scarf, belt or statement necklace.
When shopping for clothes look for items that can pull double duty: a pencil skirt can easily transition to a date night outfit when worn with a nice blouse or a sassy jacket. Jean trousers can be worn on casual Friday, but also transition into a Sunday afternoon outfit that would look great with a pair of wedges. Dresses are the easiest pieces to remix. During the work week put on a blazer for a professional look. For weekend wear, trade in the blazer for a denim jacket and a scarf for a casual look.
And ladies, your hair says a lot about you before you even open your mouth. My advice is to stay away from two-toned, bright colors in a professional setting. I know some ladies are having issues with natural hair in the work place. I personally don’t take issue with it, nor do I think it is unprofessional. As long as your hair is styled nicely no one should have any issues, unless you have strict guidelines in your office, which should be in writing.
Last, but not least, shoes can make or break an outfit. Make sure you wear something that is comfortable. However, if you are like me, sometimes I trade comfort for cuteness. I always keep a pair of flats in my car and under my desk. These come in handy when I have to do a lot of walking during the day. Also, try putting your work shoes on once you are at your desk. This saves them from unnecessary from wear and tear. I can’t tell you how many times I have stepped in cracks and scraped my heel walking inside my office parking garage.
Please take a moment to join me in thanking Shea for stopping by the Chronicles! Also, don’t forget to check out Shea’s blog (Curves and Confidence: Loving Who You Are When No One Is Looking) for some great ideas on spicing up business wear.