Sierra's Authenticity-Shades Series

The greatest thing about the internet is meeting people that you wouldn't have otherwise. Sierra is one of those people to me. Her authenticity shines through our interactions on Instagram and Twitter. Whether the topic is her bomb cooking skills or toxic masculinity, she is going to let her opinion be known and educate you in the process. Every interaction I have with her leaves me feeling inspired and empowered.

You can drool over her cooking and dining experiences on her Dinnerlabel Instagram page or listen to her speak real shit via stories and music over on her personal Instagram.

What does "Stand In Your Shade" mean to you?

"Stand In Your Shade" to me just means standing in your originality. My physical shade; my blackness, I feel makes me unique, but who I am deep down - my character, my values, my spirit, and the originality in all of those things make me unlike any other being on this earth. And I own that and stand in that with all of me.

What inspires you and why?

Traveling and spending time with myself. Seeing new things and being in new spaces. Relaxing and being in my own space without noise around me. Discovering new foods. Whenever I’m feeling uninspired or unmotivated I usually will take a trip, and sometimes I do it alone. I always come back feeling refreshed.

Shades focuses on love, success, ambition, and joy. What do you need more of and what are you thriving in?

I definitely need more love. Really more so grace but that can go into love, right? Lol. I need to give myself grace when pursuing my goals and dreams. We live in a quick-fix world and great things and achievements take time. I’m definitely thriving in ambition. I’ve had that for a while. I know what I love and am passionate about. But love? I need to embrace that more and extend it to myself more. Just as I am delicate, so are my dreams. I have to be patient and know that what’s mine is mine, and my ambition will secure that success for me.

What's the best advice you've ever gotten or your favorite quote?

Audre Lorde: “ If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”

How does your identity/background impact the work that you do?

I’m from Louisville, Kentucky. Some call it the Midwest and some call it the beginning of the South. I believe Kentucky is more southern, but that’s because of my love for southern everything. And possibly because I’ve lived most of my life in the Atlanta area. Growing up, food and music played HUGE roles in my life. The most prominent memories in my life include them. Cooking with my grandmother and oldies playing in the background, road trips with my mom and her friends listening to r&b and mix CDs, my neighborhood, and cars driving past blaring rap music as we cookout in our yards. I was my happiest in these moments and I want to create the same feelings for other people with what I do with The Dinner Label. It’s a collective of food lovers that crave dope experiences and a food blog that I operate on Instagram.

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