Name: Shelah Marie
Occupation: Content Creator
Location: Pembroke Pines, Florida
How We Know Her: Shelah Marie is the heart behind Curly, Curvy, Conscious, a self-love movement for women of color.
Why We Chose Her: The mission-minded entrepreneur has been focused on touching women crown to crown, via transformative live events.
What’s Next: Shelah is spreading the CCC love, hosting unique events nationwide.
Curly, Curvy, Conscious (CCC) founder Shelah Marie wants folks to understand that self-love is not a frivolous activity. It’s a necessity. “Your relationship with yourself is the foundation for your relationship with lovers, with family, with friends,” she says one sunny afternoon from the comfort of her home in Florida. “If you don’t honor yourself and give yourself time and space, nobody else will.”
Marie knows of what she speaks. She’s currently engaged to rapper Ace Hood (check the steamy engagement flicks for proof), but prior to her current relationship, Marie had her fair share of rough relationships and career drama. In 2010, a master’s program at The Tisch School of the Arts led Marie to New York and she spent five years in the Big Apple pursuing acting and dealing with the unpredictability of the grind—rejection, loneliness and financial instability.
“I missed my brother and best friend’s wedding because I couldn’t afford a plane ticket to come home. I never shopped. I never had money to do anything,” says the actor turned entrepreneur.
Being a devoted member of an industry known to cut actors off mid-monologue and judge them based on their weight made Marie’s depression and anxiety even worse. So she moved back home to The Sunshine State where there aren’t a ton of professional acting opportunities, but folks do grab their cameras to make things on YouTube.
The Birth of the CCC
Marie became a maker by accident. The CCC movement was born when Marie was transparent on social media about her personal challenges. She used #curlyncurvy to talk about her feels, including how she struggled to love her curves. Soon, the natural-hair beauty quickly discovered kindred souls who were also coping with depression and anxiety. But talking to these women on Twitter, YouTube and Instagram wasn’t enough. The self-proclaimed “meditation enthusiast” decided to connect with them via curated experiences focused on meditation, personal development and physical wellness. “A lot of my exercises around healing are from theater exercises that I’ve done. Things that help you deconstruct the story,” she says reflecting on how her old purpose is connected to her new one.
CCC quickly became the go-to place for Black and brown women to “connect, commune and embark on their paths” to wholeness, but with a turn-up, vibe tossed in for good measure. In 2016, Marie hosted her first Self-Love Day Party in Miami and the following year she scaled up to four and added BARE, an international retreat in Jamaica. This year there was the UNRULY Retreat in Cancun. And these aren’t just regular schmegular events. Marie, who operates on “frequency and energy” injects joy into everything she does—so imagine trap yoga, slumber parties, body love bootcamps and intentional journaling.
“If you really want to something to change, you have to do it with joy. When you’re doing all of this self-work and these meditations and you’re dealing with childhood trauma, healing it can bring up shame and guilt, which are very low frequencies,” Marie says thoughtfully. “I want my women to be in a high-frequency state and I want them to have the juice to change their reality.”