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Unique Expressions is a family owned business. It started (around 1990) out of my desire to share and help others have what I had come to acquire - a surrounding of beautiful, rich, culturally empowering love, in the form of visual and literary art.
As a young adult I began to purchase art for my home. I visited stores and attended art parties, but never could find museum quality art with images I could strongly related to. As a result, many of the first pieces I purchased were abstract, or had one brown colored face, but lacked cultural nuances I could appreciate. There was rarely any art that excited me, until an older coworker, by the name of Amy Havis, who was also a world traveller, exposed and connected me to Fine Art. Her art broker was a brilliant African American representation of African/Black royalty.
His name was Archie Listenbee and he had been mentored by Dr. Margaret Burroughs. Listenbee became my broker and later mentored me as I became a broker in response to the many requests I received to shop for my friends, who LOVED my pieces. I have owned several galleries, but found my brokerage to be a labor of love, without a desire to manage an all-the-time storefront. My children were born into my passion of art :-). My husband fell in love with it, just as all who are lucky enough to see it, always do.
Oddly enough, my journey into book publishing happened in a similar way.
I wanted books for my children and only found a few that blew me away. Most of those were ragged-edged ones from my childhood, so I took to writing my own new ones in the form of poems for my children. I've been a writer ever since I was a kid. I put my pen to pad to speak things I could not say. I couldn't talk back to my parents, didn't readily have the skills to articulate all of my feelings, was too cool to expose my love and passions... The page became my best friend, the friend who afforded me the freedom of truth and power. I later used this medium to share my deepest self with loved ones, including my children. Occasionally, I shared something I'd written and folks did not believe it was mine, then asked for copies and the right to "use" the writing, and ultimately strongly encouraged me to publish. This happened often, but I specifically recall holding the receiver in amazement as my longtime friend Janet Wright cried and sputtered through words urging me to publish, and Andrea Nance, another great friend laughing uncontrollably at my insisting that I'd written a piece she loved, then going completely dry with disbelief as she suggested I switch careers (to writing). Hahaha! LOVE! It is the gift they gave without knowing it, and the gift that started and anchors this effort.
My family and I thank YOU for your love and support! A luta continua! MWAH!