By: Michelle DeShields
Upscale sat down with Tameka Foster Raymond- mother, author, fashion stylist, and reality star to discuss her personal journey, growth, upcoming reality show, and her inspiration behind writing her book, ‘Here I Stand’.
Upscale: Can you share some insights into your personal journey and growth as a person, particularly in the aftermath of some of your challenging life events?
Tameka: Balancing life as a mother of five amazing boys is definitely a rollercoaster of emotions and responsibilities. The tragedy with Kile was a heartbreak that’s impossible to put into words, and it reshaped my understanding of strength and resilience. Finding strength during tough times, for me, often comes from the little things – the laughter of my boys, the memories we create together, and the support we give each other. I also draw strength from remembering Kile, honoring his memory in everyday life It’s a journey, and I’m learning every day.
Tameka: The writing of my book was filled with so many ‘aha’ moments. It turned into a journey of self-reflection, and surprisingly, it forced me to take ownership of my role in various events of my life. Writing was super cathartic. It started as a kind of giant diary for me, a personal space to pour out thoughts and experiences. When I decided to turn it into a book for others, my hope was to offer teachable moments to the readers.
Upscale: As the ex-wife of superstar Usher Raymond, you have undoubtedly attracted public attention. How do you navigate the challenges of co-parenting and maintaining a positive relationship for the sake of your children?
Tameka: Being in the public eye as anyone’s former-wife comes with its challenges, especially when it’s about co-parenting. For me, the key is always putting our boys first. Communication is crucial, and so is respect. We may not agree on everything, but we always come back to what’s best for our children. It’s a balance, trying to keep things as normal as possible for them, while managing the public aspect. Having a strong support network (the village) and staying focused on the positives helps a lot too. At the end of the day, it’s all about creating a loving and stable environment for our kids, and that’s the priority we both share.
Upscale: Given your experiences, both in the public eye and in your personal life, what advice would you give to others facing challenges and trying to overcome obstacles?
Tameka: From my journey, the key is staying true to yourself and pushing forward. Challenges can either break you or make you stronger, depending on how you respond. Use these moments as opportunities to grow. In my book ‘Here I Stand’, I talk about choosing to remain in a beautiful state over a state of suffering. It’s about finding that inner strength and resilience, no matter what life throws your way.
Upscale: Your upcoming reality TV show, ‘Bold & Bougie’ you’re starring in is generating excitement. What motivated you to participate in this project, and what aspects of your life will viewers get to see?
Tameka: I’m pretty excited about ‘Bold & Bougie’. The big motivator for me to join this project was to showcase my businesses on a larger scale. It’s a great platform to let the world see what I’m passionate about in my professional life. I’m hoping the viewers will see my personality shines through – the real me. Of course, with reality TV, you’re always a bit at the mercy of editing, so I’m just crossing my fingers that it all comes out positive. I want people to see the authentic side of me, my business ventures, and how I balance life.
Upscale: Speaking of business, as a stylist, how do you express your creativity and individuality through your work? Are there any fashion trends or styles that you’re particularly passionate about?
Tameka: Even though I don’t do much styling these days, when I did, my approach was always about classic, timeless looks over trends. I’ve always had a passion for styles that stand the test of time – those minimalistic, elegant pieces that look just as good today as they will in twenty years. For me, fashion is about expressing individuality in a way that feels authentic and enduring. I love creating looks that not only reflect a person’s personality but also have that classic touch that never goes out of style.
Upscale: The Usher Show or Super Bowl is a significant event, and your reality TV show is set to premiere afterward. How do you feel about the timing, and what can viewers expect from the show?
Tameka: The timing of our show’s premiere right after the Super Bowl is definitely interesting. While I wasn’t involved in that decision, it seems well thought out by those organizing it. It’s a big moment – the Super Bowl brings so much excitement and then our show comes in with its own unique vibe. My children’s father is a true professional, and I aim to bring a similar dedication to my work. The show is a reflection of this commitment and I hope viewers enjoy the mix of entertainment and genuine moments it offers. It’s an opportunity to showcase discipline, passion, and fun, all in one package.
Bold & Bougie premiers February 15th
Here I Stand available