Girls on the Rise: Bravo’s Amber Bryant and Author Cara Alwill Leyba Chat with Upscale
As I traveled through a city full of hustle and bustle, I journeyed to the revitalized Sweet Auburn district of Atlanta, a quaint neighborhood of magnanimous history. I passed the headquarters of some historic organizations and sauntered past some few reformed juke joints to enter a very packed venue, M Bar. The goal: to meet a reality television starlet and a best selling author.
The ambiance was swanky, lights dim, like those ‘blue light in the basement’ parties my folks spoke so fondly of. The crowd–sexy, up-tempo music reverberated throughout the space. It appeared I would be in for a very upscale evening.
A quarter ’til eight, two powerhouses entered the room, smiling, glowing with confidence–both standing for girl power.
Amber Bryant, star of Bravo’s Mother Funders and founder of the movement, #StilettoMoms, as well as Cara Alwill Leyba, best selling author, master life coach and champagne connoisseur are the guests of honor.
I spoke with Amber Bryant on her #StilettoMoms movement, and here’s what she had to say,
On moving from a supportive role as an NFL wife, into the limelight as a TV star
“That transition for me was a little scary, because I was the one behind the scenes making sure that everybody else was taken care of, so now the pressure is on for me to be on, and if I fail, I fail. It’s my failure. So the pressure has been on, and it’s been a different dynamic change for our family, as well. [Now] I’m the one having to go out and do press and having to be at events…. My husband had to get accustomed to it, so that was a bit of a change for our household, as well.”
Her favorite part of her newfound stardom:
“My favorite part about it has probably been meeting the great people. I’ve made so many awesome connections that I probably would not have any other time, and really putting myself out and stepping out into the limelight and really embracing that.”
Balancing family, work, her marriage—all while looking fabulous and what Stiletto Mom is about
“It was born out of…I have to have time for everything and everybody, and I was in a rut for a while when I first had my daughter. I was kind of in a mom funk where everything was about her, [and] nothing was about me. I didn’t get my hair done, my nails done. You know you kind of get in that funk, and I decided it was time for me to start doing me and reinvent and find out who I was. Who is that girl that I used to be, that my husband fell in love with that I loved because I was authentically myself. I knew at that time, that when you’re authentically yourself, you can give to the Universe the best of yourself.”
How long it took to get out of her “rut”
“It probably took me about three years. When I dropped my daughter off at nursery school I boo-hoo cried, because I was like, ‘Oh God, somebody else is taking care of her’. I had to really learn to say, it’s okay for her not always be with me… For me to miss a couple steps here and there…. Honestly it took about three years for me not to have the guilt associated with not always being there.
Her advice for the mothers out there who still want to chase their dreams
You have to be organized in order to make all of those things happen. In order for me to be out I had to make sure that dinner was going to be planned, that different things were going to happen, that [my daughter] was going to be taken care of. Those are the biggest things I can say. Get organized, and let go of the guilt…”
What makes her happy
“I think being peaceful makes me happy. It gives me a sense of everything is okay in my world, and as long as I am good at home, my husband is happy, my kids are happy, I’m happy. Now I’m able to do all that and live my dreams. What’s better than that? This is a great moment.”
Cara, author of “Girl Code” and Master Life Coach shared these gems…
On where her career began:
“It all started seven years ago on a blog, a little blog. I was still working at a corporate job for MTV, and I was going through one of the most trans-formative periods of my life essentially. And the blog, The Champagne Diet, really became an outlet. Champagne is really a metaphor for everything I was going through…. It started seven years ago and really has taken shape in a way that I never imagined.
What is The Champagne Diet?
“The Champagne Diet is a lifestyle, and it’s all about evoking a sense of glamor, beauty, femininity—it’s really just the best of the best. When you think of champagne you think of celebrations, you think of the good life, you think of feeling amazing…. Why shouldn’t that be a part of our everyday life?”
Her favorite champagne:
“I love Moet, I love Le Grand Courtage, I love a dry champagne…. I love something very sparkly and effervescent….”
What helps her to be creative?
“I love candles. I’m actually big really into meditation, especially lately. Not in the traditional sense that you would probably imagine it, but in a way that I feel like you just kind of create some me time in a space for me to go within and just focus on all of the things that are inspiring me at the moment….”
What makes her happy?
“Inner peace, really and I just think that looks different for everybody. But being in a space where no matter what is going on around me, everything feels calm inside…. Feeling like I have a sense of inner peace and gratitude. I mean, anytime I think I get stressed out I just immediately think of a couple things I’m thankful for…. That’s become a daily practice in my life”
— Jen Walker