This page discusses my varied and eclectic work experiences and skillsets:
Writer & Web Designer
22+ years of Maternity Leave (Personal Experiences)
This section has the same information as the About page. Some people do not click on the top level page if they see a drop down menu.
Dolls Heal: My professional doll journey began about a decade ago when my youngest child was diagnosed with a chronic pain condition. My child was unable to attend school because of the pain. I noticed I could tell how my child was feeling based upon the dolls they played with.
When they were in a lot of pain, they would play quietly with a baby doll. They would sit, rock, and hold the baby. When they missed school, they would create a mock classroom with their 18-inch dolls. They would sit the dolls in rows and place notebooks in front of the dolls. Then, my child would teach them. When they missed their friends, they would turn on the Monster High (MH) television show. Then, they would take their MH and Barbie dolls and create scenarios that ran along with the show.
Doll Store: Three things became clear: 1) my child's pain was not going to be short-lived; 2) the treatments would be expensive: my family paid $20K in medical expenses--that were not covered by our medical insurance; and, 3) we had no idea when/if our child would return to school. So, we had to create a way for our child to successfully earn a living as an adult. I knew our child loved dolls; so, I created Curiositeej Dolls & Collectibles. The intent was that my child would become an entrepreneur and successfully run the doll store.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Empathy: As I searched for products to purchase for the store, I met people who were doing amazing work with helping Black children build their self-esteem via dolls. These people included doll makers in South Africa and Botswana as well as advocates in the US, Britain, Senegal, Ghana, and France. I created networks and collaborations with them.
Doll Expert: Over time, I became knowledgeable about dolls. I often purchased dolls that had distinctive or unique features. I learned that these dolls were normally made by artists. Part of learning to list and price the dolls included learning about the background and history of the artists and their dolls. I also bought and appraised dolls for other people.
In The Doll World: As my expertise increased, I was approached by a friend and history-making doll creator, Georgette Taylor. Georgette wanted to create a podcast introducing doll lovers to doll professionals. Though Georgette had the idea, she did not have the connections. Georgette and I combined our skills, and we created In The Doll World (ITDW). As of early 2022, ITDW has been downloaded in more than a third of the worlds countries. We have also interviewed people from every continent--except Antarctica.
My work with ITDW also allowed me to increase my knowledge of dolls while meeting and interacting with doll professionals around the world. As a result, I have created collaborations that led to an annual Black doll celebration, a Pride festival, writing the foreword for and editing a book by a Polish doll photographer, and a number of other interactions. In addition, I have been approached by a number of doll professionals about collaborating with them or assisting them in locating other professionals to collaborate with.
In The Doll World: In 2019, I was approached by a friend and history-making doll creator, Georgette Taylor. She wanted to create a podcast introducing doll lovers to doll professionals. Though Georgette had the idea, she did not have the connections. Georgette and I combined her idea and network , and we created In The Doll World (ITDW). As of early 2022, ITDW has been downloaded in more than a third of the worlds countries. We have also interviewed people from every continent--except Antarctica.
ITDW Festivals: My work with ITDW allowed me to increase my knowledge of dolls while meeting and interacting with doll professionals around the world. As a result, I have created collaborations that led to an annual, global Black doll celebration, a Pride festival, writing the foreword for and editing a book by a Polish doll photographer, and a number of other interactions. In addition, I have been approached by a number of doll professionals about collaborating with them or assisting them in locating other professionals to collaborate with.
Raymond Leslie, one of the wonderful people who shared his experience as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
As an active member of my state's art community, I have had the opportunity to join a variety of groups and to exhibit in many shows. Some of the most outstanding parts of my art journey are times spent volunteering with children in the foster care system and being appointed by Mayor Richard Berry to serve on the City of Albuquerque's Art Board.
Foster Care: I became connected with my state's foster care system as a volunteer for a multi-state organization, the Adoption Exchange, that helps children find forever homes. Initially, I served on the local board. Then, I became a photographer for the international Heart Gallery. After working with the children, I wanted to include them in my art journey. So, I hosted a couple of art parties where they could access free supplies and create art. The art was then displayed in the Hardwood Art Gallery. The show was called, Happiness is ...
Albuquerque Art Board: I was also appointed by Albuquerque's Mayor Berry to the city's art board. The Board is responsible for running the city's multi-million dollar art assets.
Art is extremely important to me because it allows us to communicate beyond the barriers of culture and languages. I am blessed to live in New Mexico, a state dedicated to artists and their art. I create art under the name teej.
... and i'll show you mine
In April 2006, I held a solo art show at Harwood Arts Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Writer & Website Designer
I have approximately 40 years of professional writing experience. Over this time, I have written pieces for a variety of audiences from children to adults. My library of work includes technical and training documentation, journalistic pieces, marketing and advertising material, web copy, and poetry. As a writer, I have been employed directly by companies, worked as a freelancer, and I have served as a contractor. The majority of my technical writing experience was for Fortune 500 companies.
I have also written a variety of technical documents for a company that works primarily with librarians. In my time at this company, I served as a writer/product manager. I managed the entire lifecycle of documents. One of the most interesting aspects of this position was writing documents used to train librarian students to effectively retrieve information. While writing these documents, I became an expert at retrieving information from database searches. My searching skills have become very useful in creating and designing websites for search engine optimization (SEO).
Web Design: Over the years I have created a number of websites. One of my most recent websites is for the podcast/YouTube channel, In The Doll World. This site has earned Feedspot's top website for the doll podcast category for both 2021 and 2022. I configured the website with SEO in mind. As a result, internet searches for "doll podcast" tend to retrieve information about In The Doll World in the first few pages.
Magazine Articles: Recently, I have also written a number of articles for doll magazines and press releases associated with In The Doll World.
Doll Photography: My most recent writing experiences have been related to dolls. I wrote the foreword for and edited a book entitled, Doll Photography. The author, Izabela Kwella, a Polish architect and doll photographer, wrote the text and provided the photographs.
For more details about the book, contact Izabela on Instagram at @bella_belladoll
22+ Years of Maternity Leave
Over the past 2 decades, my family has been my primary focus. I left the corporate world to raise my children. I had worked as a technical writer/editor for the most influential company in the technical writing arena and for Fortune 500 companies. My goal was to return to the corporate arena. I was the first descendant of my maternal grandmother to earn a degree. I felt I had to show my younger siblings and cousins that they could also attend university and break the bondages of poverty.
Initially, I planned on staying home until my daughter was 6-months old. I didn't understand how small she would be at 6-months. I couldn't leave her. So, I decided to stay home with her until she could talk. In the meantime, baby number 2 arrived. I then pushed out the deadline to 5 more years: that would give my youngest time to start Kindergarten.
When my eldest child was about 3-years old, she told me she wanted to be a stay-at-home mommy like me. Her statement changed my trajectory. I wanted to make sure my children understood there were many options for women. I needed for them to know, I once had a fulfilling career; so, I became a teacher in their pre-school program. I also started working as an artist.
A few years later, my youngest child developed a chronic pain condition. The treatment was so intense that we often attended 5-7 appointments weekly. I could not work and take care of my child. So, I stayed home: 22+ years later, I am still home. My life journey is moving away from mommy-focus to doing things that bring me joy.