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Conversations with the Inspiring Latoya Palmer-Addy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Latoya Palmer-Addy.

Latoya, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m Latoya Palmer-Addy, the woman behind the opinion. I’m a proud working boy mom of three alongside my laid-back, handsome husband, Esha. We live in Vinings, Georgia just outside of Atlanta, where over a decade ago, I fell in love with the area (it reminded me of where I was raised back in California), so it was only right to start OpinionaTEEd, Inc here.

One motto of mine is, “Making magic happen every day but not before… coffee”; It’s just something that gets my synergy flowing. I enjoy listening to audiobooks and podcast, ya girl is a little late to the podcast game, so I’m still taking suggestions on good ones. I’m a firm believer that education does not stop once you leave public or private school; it just becomes more hyper-focused on certain areas or skills. My intention with OpinionaTEEd is to stylishly encourage women to express themselves without reservations — to convey their meaningful opinions, passions, or sense of humor. I wanted to give women apparel and tools that make their lives better. This led me to create a space, MIA Girls, to inspire, grow, and help women achieve their goals.

In the words of Hillary Clinton, “… never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams,” If you desire to cultivate strength and courage while developing your inner grace, then join the MIA Girls. And please remember this… EVERYTHING you need exists inside of you. You MUST believe in YOU, curate a plan, and take action!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
OpinionaTEEd was birthed in 1984 but took over three decades of pruning to bring it to life. Internal, external challenges and obstacles are certain to come but mindset is the game-changer.

My first panic attack, prayerfully my last, was several years ago. The weight of a strained relationship, a newborn, two children under five and becoming a special needs mom finally took its toll. Felt like a parental failure who couldn’t fix the situation. Doubt crept into every aspect of my life with every decision made regarding my middle son, who was diagnosed with Autism. He had what doctors called Regressive Autism, where you lose speech and social skills. What-ifs plagued my mind as my husband and I navigated through getting him the help he needed to regain his language and social skills. These years were tough, so I withdrew slowly from friends and outings as to not cause alarm. Isolation drained the liveliness out of me and my entrepreneurial creativity diminished.

I found it very difficult to accept what was happening to me. Very early in my life, I learned to suppress my emotions or at least not let them get in my way. Now I was dealing with the idea of carrying these labels of anxiety, depression, and being special needs parent everywhere I went. I felt overwhelmed, weak, powerless and like my personality was vanishing right before my eyes. So, I did what I was good at, worked myself to the bone. Joining this, volunteering here, I became the YES girl. My lifestyle was burning me out. I worked myself too hard. I had to rediscover who I truly was. I needed help! The changes needed to start from within.

Loving myself had to be pushed to the top of my agenda. It’s was difficult because I refused to allow myself to feel exactly what has had been going on in my head, but I’ve started to heal and learn how to truly communicate. Had to relearn how to relax, unplug from life and returned to a childhood passion of leisure reading. Even committed to seeking the guidance of a mental health expert.

Haven’t mastered it yet but have made lots of progress. My version of unplugging is dancing the night away and exploring great food with people I love, having great conversation and creating lasting memories. I’ve come to terms that not all situations need to be fixed, especially by me. No… is a word and a full sentence that I’ve added back into my vocabulary. The internal conflict still exists where I wonder if people will think differently of me… but I made a decision to change my own opinion which matters more.

My words of wisdom would be that we are multifaceted beings and we must make deposits into every area of our lives to reach our version of success. I’m a business owner who uses my talents to help other women. As a mom, it’s my charge to love my children unconditional but not solve everything for them but rather guide their growth and help them to make choices of their own. Being a wife, it’s not my job to make my husband happy but to offer him unrestricted love and a safe space to be him. As a friend, my job is to simply be me. It is my duty to serve the community and leave the world a little better than I found it.

What should we know about OpinionaTEEd? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Your state of dress is your state of mind, and we’re here to improve both. How? By encouraging women to express themselves without reservations and caring a lot about the details. Dressed up or down, OpinionaTEEd is ready for anything. Pair our apparel with a suit jacket or a track jacket – make a statement either way. Crafted with durability in mind, our apparel is comfy to wear and stylish accessories help women convey their meaningful opinions, passions, or sense of humor. From quality fabrics and fits, our products prove that it pays not to cut corners. I’ve devoted countless hours working on various areas within OpinionaTEEd to ensure that we not only have tasteful fits to rock but that we are impacting the lives of women.

OpinionaTEEd has produced, MIA Girls, to help influence women to blaze their own trail to open up an opportunity for others to carry the torch further. Reinforcing what you go through is not in vain but is a chance to grow, educate, and empower the next generation of women. Women… speak your truth, challenge the status quo, and take action!

Looking back on your childhood, what experiences do you feel played an important role in shaping the person you grew up to be?
My childhood consisted of a single mom who suffered with her own struggles while raising three children and a father who simply wasn’t there. Thankfully, I grew up in a time where “it takes a village” was how you raised your family versus just being a catchy pastime phrase. Even though my mom’s challenges, she consistently encouraged me to pursue education and to be the best version of myself. She is a major reason why I have a passion for learning, developing myself and others. My maternal grandmother had a servants-heart that was larger than life itself. The way she loved people and was a resource to all those she encountered provided me with the blueprint to serve selflessly. Both these women exhibited a strong work ethic and sheer determination to overcome anything in their path. These are things that have stayed with me and helped shape me into the successful woman I am today.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Esha Addy

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