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HomeNEWSBLACK GIRL MAGICShonté Parrish-Norgriff Discusses Balancing Mental Health During The Wedding Planning Process

Shonté Parrish-Norgriff Discusses Balancing Mental Health During The Wedding Planning Process

Founder of Woosah Bride, Shonté Parrish-Norgriff is a young professional with an entrepreneurial spirit who aims to impact the diaspora in any way she can. She is a Howard University alumna from Baltimore, Maryland, who has a passion for building wealth and investing in self and others via education, networking, and creating avenues such as events and community spaces that provide a way for other young professionals to gain visibility and learn. 

By day she has a career in acquisitions and contract negotiation; however, her passion for creating a legacy that impacts black and brown people has led her to pursue multiple business ideas. She has never been passionate about building up another person’s business ( 9–5) but understands the need for stability while taking the risk as a startup. 

A self-proclaimed foodie and traveler, Shonte and her husband Derrick prioritize investing in each other’s crafts and love for culture, food, and history. Her husband Derrick has been her rock since the inception of Woosah Bride, even down to helping to finalize the name. Shonte’ hopes to change the conversation for the support system and the lives of planning brides, one boundary, one self-care tool at a time.

Tammy: Please tell us about the origins of how Woosah Bride came about.

Shonté: In a few of my bridal groups, I noticed a repetition of similar questions posed and brides in all stages providing resources and answers. No one could find a planner or a bridal box company for US by US, and it was a struggle to find other black-owned resources. When most individuals are engaged, they do not know where to start and may be flooded with tons of non-relevant information during their initial research. This can make early decisions even more difficult. Although great wedding resources are available for all women, we needed something for the melanated woman, with a non-traditional size, with curves, and beautiful, thick, 4C hair. And for them to know they will be just as gorgeous on their day.

This is why Woosah Bride was created. To provide relief so the bride can take a DEEP BREATH.

Tammy: In what ways does the work that you do play a part in helping others with their mental health during the wedding planning process?

Shonté: Woosah Bride was founded to create awareness for melanated brides and their support systems on the importance of prioritizing mental health. The goal is also to create a community specifically to uplift this change.

Woosah Bride has wayyyyy more resources than any planner you’ve ever seen. They aim to provide a community of wellness professionals, past brides, seasoned married women and people who truly prioritize seeing you and your partner win so you can have the best planning process. The goal is to create habits that set the foundation to show up as your best self in a healthy marriage.

Tammy: Being that you are in the wedding planning industry, we would love to know all about your wedding day. What can you share with us about your special moment and how it has made you a more successful wedding planner?

Shonté: My husband and I were married on 12.12. 2021. We celebrated our nuptials at Pattoo Castle in Negril, Jamaica, the weekend before most of the world contracted covid-19 due to the new omicron variant. Luckily, all of our guests made it home and virus free. WHEW! I was so happy with how the wedding weekend turned out, but it stayed on my mind how I struggled to find a community of support for people who looked like me and were experiencing similar issues based on my culture and traditions while I was planning.

Tammy: While you’re planning someone’s big day, how do you balance your work and personal life? How do you maintain the balance?

Shonté: I am a person who values memories and experiences over material things and endless work because it provides a divider that can contribute to achieving consistent balance. I have been an extremely busy person most of my life, and I am still learning balance; however, I have started to implement boundaries which allow me to separate my downtime from work. I am a traveler, so I believe in wellness trips and the need for a staycation. Learning boundaries and how to implement them is a HUGE part of being able to actively protect your mental peace and focus.

Tammy: We would love to hear about your products. 

Shonté: One of our featured products, a wellness wedding planner titled “Sis, let’s plan this wedding,” is a survival guide for brides to be which contains curated timelines and checklists for Eloping, Destination, Traditional, Frugal, and Luxe Black Brides.

Tammy: What else would you like for our readers to know about Woosah Bride? 

Shonté: Woosah Bride hopes to bridge the gap between the glamour of planning your big day and the reality, which involves learning how to set boundaries and take care of self. It also has a specific product line to show illustrations of black and brown women of all shapes, sizes, and ages.

Tammy: What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?

Shonté:  Identify your WHY and take action on your idea. No matter how saturated the market, no one has your sauce and your WHY. Start the business. And protect it. It is okay to ask your friends if they like a name or an idea, but they are not the decision-makers, and most of the time, they are not even your target audience.

Learn more by connecting on Instagram @woosahbride



Read more lifestyle, entertainment, fashion, and beauty interviews by Tammy Reese| @tammyreesemedia.


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