It's been five years since I first appeared on the Today Show. I had submitted an application to enter a contest for the Next Big Thing, a collaboration between QVC and the Today Show. It was a rigorous process, but I was sure to complete every form they sent me.
And then it happened. I got a call from someone at QVC, saying I made it as a finalist to pitch on the Today Show. My heart was racing. I thought, "okay, what does that mean?" The winner would go on to pitch live the next day on QVC. It was a really big deal.
I filled out more paperwork. The next thing I knew, I was headed to New York to pitch MinkeeBlue live on the Today Show in front of millions of people (that really hadn't sunk in at the time). There was so much to prepare for even before I did my pitch. Like what in the world was I going to wear? Lol
It was all so surreal. Travel and hotel expenses were taken care of. I remember being picked up in a limo to ride a few miles from the train station to the iconic NBC Studios in Rockefella Center over looking Rockefella Plaza. I had arrived the night before to be sure I was at the studio early in the morning.
Then there was breaking news... Prince died. Everyone was scrambling around the studio. Celebrities started showing up for interviews to pay tribute to Prince. My debut on the Today Show was in jeopardy of not happening that day. My emotions were all over the place, as I too was sad to hear of the news about Prince. I met L.A. Reid, a music executive and at that time, Chairman of Epic Records who gave tribute and spoke about the genius of Prince.
The producers decided to move forward with the Next Big Thing segment (television can change at anytime). Now, my nerves were kicking up into high gear. I had to refocus and get my mind right. I started to pray to calm myself. My sister was with me and I was so glad she was there. I needed her to be with me, especially at this time. The thought of not being able to share this moment with my Mom was heavy on my heart. She died of cancer years before. My sister and I prayed again in the "green room" as we waited for someone to come for me.
There I was, with cameras all around me. There were three of us pitching that day. The first contestant went in front of those cameras and the panel of judges to pitch her invention live to millions of people. I and the second contestant were behind the "curtain" waiting for our turn. While waiting, the second contestant was losing it... she started shaking uncontrollably and pacing back and forth. I had my own set of nervousness (if that's a thing) and was becoming more anxious watching her. In my mind, I was like, "Nooooo, you can't do this right now". I was trying to get myself together. Then I asked her, well, what else... if we could pray. So before she went on "stage" we were all prayed up. Whew!!!.
I didn't win first place that day... but I did win.
Today, there's no fancy hotel. No limo rides and no big cameras staring at my face. Due to Covid restrictions, it's just me and my laptop talking over Zoom.
I'm very proud and grateful for this second opportunity. This interview is different from my first time on the Today Show. In the segment, "She Made It" hosted by Jill Martin, you'll get to hear about my journey building MinkeeBlue. I've come a long way and there have been many days and nights when I've wanted to quit, but I didn't give up. In this special segment I get to share my, behind the scenes, story.
I hope to inspire you to follow your dreams.