Diming the light to let others shine.


Nichole , a HBCU Grad (B.S Accounting) from Maryland, has a flaw of diming her light to allow others to shine.

Letter from Nichole :

“Some say I’m modest and/or humble when I do not boast about my accomplishments. Some say I come off as “shy” “bashful” or “average” because I keep my accomplishments to myself. In today’s society, in order to be (or appear) “successful” you have to be extremely confident and willing to show your abilities to rise to the top (fast). You have to be flashy and somewhat of a braggart. People have to want to be you (example: The Kardasians, Beyonce and Instagram famous folks). I am not this person. I’m more reserved and laid back. I like to keep quiet about my accomplishments due to the fear that it could all be taken away. Just think about it. When a someone that who lives a lavish lifesytle or a celebrity goes bankrupt and or lose their home, the first thing people say is ” They should have lived below his/her means.” or “He/she shouldn’t have brought that big ole house.” blah blah blah. Who wants to deal with that negativity when you’re going through trials. Often, I’ve discussed many topics with my peers including where they’ve vacationed, their new home, job, promotion or the amount of education they have and not once do I mentioned what I’ve done. I’ll say “That sounds nice.” or “Good for you.” Diming my light 100%. I let the individual have their moment all to themselves and they’ve always taken that moment and ran with it. Truthfully, most people do not know much about me due to my reserved demeanor. This can come off as a flaw because it “appears” that I’m not doing much or that I’m not confident to speak up when the truth is that, I’m scared of losing it all and hearing the “I told you so” that many people would love to say. I just believe that a private life is a happy life. The less people know, the better off you’ll be. Now, please don’t get it twisted, I am far from perfect, I am no where near wealthy , rich or do I have it all together but I will say as a 27 year old, I am very blessed. As I mature, I’m learning that it’s ok, to let your light shine bright. As long as the goal is to inspire and not make others jealous and envious. The goal is to always motivate others through my success. How can you motivate others, when they don’t know who you are? Lessons that turned into blessing. Living and learning”.
Nichole has accepted her flaws. Prayer is key! She prays and meditates a lot (mostly in private). She asks God to keep her grounded and to use her success to motivate others. BBF’s #AFlawedStory gave Nichole a platform to discuss her issues with hopes that it will help other young women who might have the same issues.

Advice from Nichole, ” Love yourself. Know your worth. Forget the naysayers. They really don’t matter”.

Instagram : @diplomaticbrowngirl

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The Holistic Lioness


IMG_8021-2.JPGKeisha Faulkner, who lives in Philadelphia, is the Cofounder + CEO of The Holistic Lioness & Co. a catalyst for holistic wellness ideas, programs, and community engagement for millennial women of color.

Just like all of us, she has a flaw whereshe over thinks herself to the point of anxiety. She has Type A qualities. She feels the need to be in control of everything that goes on in her life. Keisha has acknowledged this and is focusing on ways to reduce anxiety and stress. These ways include, daily prayer, essential oils, and MEDITATION!

From her flaw, she has taken part in The Holistic Lioness & Co. to help of women of color fight similar flaws to her. The Holistic Lioness is catalyst for health and wellness ideas, programs and community engagement for millennial women of color. Their mission is to enhance life-balance in the areas of mental, physical, and spiritual health and wellness for the millennial woman of color. Their website provides advice about how women of color can be unafraid to admit that they are beautiful with all their flaws (Kiesha Faulkner). The Holistic Lioness is also hosting their first ever Health and Wellness retreat. The retreat is about seeking stronger emotional, physical & spiritual balance, internal peace, and a greater since of vitality.

“Life is too short. God is ultimately in control. Find ways to help you relax in the present moment” (Kiesha Faulkner).

It is amazing when you impact others, but it is more amazing when you see women older then you trying to accomplish the same thing. Thank you for reaching out to me and it was greating partnering with you and featuring you on our blog.

Make sure you visit their website to learn more about The Holistic Lioness and their retreat.

Instagram and Facebook .

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Don’t Give Your Trust to just Anyone



Aniesha is a poet, a blogger and an author. She is a single mom of 2 amazing little girls and she is also a survivor of domestic violence.

Her flaw was trusting in many who were unworthy of her trust. She was hurt by many and allowed people to do and say things to her that were completely unacceptable. She loves herself now. Aniesha is not afraid to remove people who hinder her growth, abuse her trust or who take her for granted.

Advice from Aniesha, “Self-love is the best love and if you don’t love yourself you can’t expect anyone else to”.

Instagram: @aniesha_Braswell

Website for her poetry, blog and podcast.


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Trying to Figure out ME


Guest Writer for AugustAlexandra Vanegas, a 30 year old single om lives just outside of Boston, finds that she focus on the negatives when she is asked to talk about herself and she does not understand why.  Solana, her daughter, is 10 and Alexandra gave birth to her when she was 19, just four days before her 20th birthday. She have a BS in Human Services and her professional experience is in Nonprofit Development and Fundraising. Alexandra will love to go on a shorter “Wild” solo hike, but she is not a fan of bugs, so that probably won’t happen. She is obsessed with knowledge and craves information. Just a few weeks back she bought 23 books from GoodWill! She hasn’t read one yet – whoops! She enjoys drawing outside the lines and carving her own path forward. Alexandra enjoys making people laugh and thinks she’s pretty hilarious. She is also a walking karaoke machine and loves to bust out in song (and dance) any chance she can. She also owns a lifestyle and parenting blog. She is a born connector and storyteller and enjoys using her vulnerabilities to create authentic relationships with diverse people. Passion seeps out of her pores. Dedicated to empowering single parents and helping disadvantaged populations. A fact about Alexandra, “If you ever visit Zimbabwe you’ll find a library named after me. Seriously!”.

Flaws. She knows she has a ton of them. She finds herself to be incredibly skilled at bullying herself and standing in her own way of happiness and success. She doesn’t think she is good at anything or have any skills, which is a little because her blog proves that she is an amazing woman. She says her body is a disaster. Her OCD makes her pull out her eyebrows. She walks around daily with a guard up because she has been hurt over and over, beginning with family as a child.  She has a feeling of vomiting when someone gives me a compliment.

Because her flaws stunt her growth. “Imagine the power if we lived as if life was rigged in our favor. If we were able to take a step back and appreciate the challenges in our lives as moments of progression”.  Alexandra feels by always being anxious and having self-doubt she is limiting her to how she interacts with others, how she parents her daughter and how she treats herself. It makes her feel like she’s stuck deep in a hole without the fight left to climb out.

Alexandra accepted her flaws for most of her life and is quite sure she was born broken. Last fall she broke down and took a month off of work to try to find HER and spent time with HER and be with HER. Slowly after that time she has begun to be more at ease with her vulnerabilities, choosing not to hide them anymore. She owns her story and it’s one that is messy and sad and challenging and joyous.

From a busy commute on the train at work, to a bustling office to friends and strangers online it’s hard to feel truly alone. But she still does. More than that she feels empty, sick and tired of being so damn sick and so damn tired. Part of being vulnerable has not only been sharing her story, but keeping her heart open to others stories and supporting and encouraging them. Because we are all fighting battles, just some of us are better at hiding it than others. We have to share and share again and again.

Advice from Alexandra, “Dear Beautiful Soul: Do you know how amazing you are? Before you try to cut me off please just listen and allow yourself to be present in this very moment. So often we are moving so fast, juggling families and work and friends that it’s hard to take a step back and breathe. I know at times your struggle feels like it’s going to suffocate you, that no matter how hard you’re fighting to stay afloat the waves keep crashing on top of you and the shore feels farther and farther away. I know because I have been there and I almost didn’t make it. It took six days of being hospitalized for me to begin the journey of accepting and celebrating myself. Don’t wait until you’re at the edge to make a change. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to feel impossible. You are going to want to give up. But can you for a second imagine if you didn’t? If you used those hurdles as stepping stones to something greater? It is possible, only once you give yourself a break. It’s going to be tough, but it will be worth it. We can get through this together. You are not alone”.

Instagram / Twitter/ Pinterest: @MsalexandraV / Blog / Facebook

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My Heart is BIGGER than my Height.

Screen Shot 2016-07-06 at 10.48.07 AM.pngCynthia Ignatius, who is from Kerala, India, went to Indian’s National School in Addis Ababa. She loves reading and writing.

Her flaws our her height and imperfect skin ( which as you can see in the photo her skin is actually flawless to me ). She is shorter than other and her skin can be a struggle sometimes to her. Cynthia believes that you height shouldn’t matter because the love she gives come from the heart. Cynthia feels like once you accept yourself people being to respect and accept you as well. Having imperfect skin means your just another creation with a different mould. Accepting your flaw will bring harmony to you because others won’t care.

Advice from Cynthia,”Nothing is permanent not the face you have nor the skin. If your made that way it is because your are beautiful that way. As long as you accept it and be happy about it people will accept you.”

Instagram : dhe_moongoddess

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I know I am FLAWED.


Tara Garner, a Canadian American identical twin,  loves to dance , play sports , go to the movie theaters , theme parks , shopping and she loves fashion.  She studied communication in college .

She was born with a rare disorder that only affects women called Wildervanck syndrome. Her flaw is mainly on her right side .She is deaf in her right ear and hard of hearing in her left one. Her right eye can not look to the right. She has duane syndrome . She can not lift up her right eyebrow. Tara is missing bones and muscles on her right side of her face . Her ear is smaller and higher than her left ear. She has scoliosis in her thumbs and due to this she can’t bend them .  In her right eye, she has a pearl looking dermoid underneath her pupil aka luckstar.

Tara is flawed because she is different and it isn’t an atypical thing. People treat her differently because of it. 

To be honest, Tara has accepted her flaws before she event knew about Built by Flaws . She is grateful to have seen our Instagram and to see all those who have embraced and loved their flaws. “It is important to be confident in your own vessel because you are in your body for life and if you aren’t accepting of your flaws than you will not be happy and no one will accept you,  because why should someone accept you? If you can’t?”( Tara Garner). 

Advice from Tara, “You are beautiful inside and out . God made you and he doesn’t make mistakes . Accept and love yourself . People who tell you different are haters and aren’t blessed enough to see your true beauty through God’s eyes .. keep your head up”. 

Instagram : Ms.wildorchid87


No more EXCUSES.


James Guy-Palacios was born in Harlem, New York, but currently resides in Spring Lake North Carolina. He is currently enrolled in Fayetteville Technical Community College in North Carolina under the Electronics Technology Engineering course. He is looking  into change his major to focus more on Computer Programming so that he can become a game designer.

James has an interal flaw that he constantly struggles with. He finds himself making excuse when it comes to certain things. The excuses cause him to start believing that he has to settle for less when he is capable of achieving his goals and asiprations in life. He knows he can strive for more and making excuses is not something he is okay with. His flaw of making excuse made him fall behind a little in school and has caused him to have a very hard time by playing catch up. Even though it is hard, he understands that he has to do it because no one else will makes things happe for him. 

James has not fully accepted the fact that making excuse is his flaw even though he knows it. He refuses to let this flaw contiune to overcome him because he knows that accepting those excuses over and over again is not who he really is. He plays to overcome his flaw by standing and becoming the fine gentleman that his mom raised him to be and she knows that he can be!

James has been impacted by the flawed stories of old friends and new faces because he realized that they either had the same or similar flaws. This made him feel like “if they could overcome their obstacles, so can I, and that’s exactly wat I’ll do!”. This  It made him feel good that he can see his friends succeed and be the history making people he knows they all can be.

Words from James, “For anyone who struggles with the same flaw as I, just remember, if u have expensive taste as i do, the only way to get wat u want is to work for it and dont worry about anything else. Nobody else will get it for u.”