Don't Let Anyone
Define Your Beauty

By Dorena Williamson

Introduce yourself! Who are you?
I am a children’s book author and speaker, a stylist with fashion brand Evereve, the First Lady of a diverse church, a mom of “grownish” kids, and a wife of 27 years.

Did you always know what you wanted to do as a career?
Oh no! I had lots of considerations; my dad thought I’d be a good lawyer. I got a degree in Psychology and aspired toward counseling. A few years ago when querying my first book took a long time, I considered getting a realtor license. The journey of becoming didn’t end up like I imagined – and I’m so grateful!

Were you scared to start the process?
Oh yes! Sometimes you have to step out and try while you’re still scared. I faced my fears and limiting mindsets, committed to quietly progress, and stayed diligent until my path unfolded.

What do you do on a daily basis to grow and move forward?
I try to write something every day; whether it’s working on a current project or writing new ideas to pull out later. Interacting with words keeps me inspired and encouraged. I even wear message t-shirts and have all sorts of wordy displays throughout my house!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Don’t compare myself to anyone else. I am one of a kind, as is every other human. God’s story about me is unique and incomparable!

What message do you think every woman should hear?
Beauty grows, and you are beautiful in every life stage. Beautiful at 13 when your body is changing; beautiful at 43, trying to cover wrinkles and gray; and beautiful at 83 full of wisdom and experience. Don’t let anything or anyone define the beauty that is on you and in you!

What would you say to 16 year old you?
I graduated from high school at the age of 16, so I would have told myself, “girl, you will keep doing untimely and unusual things, so get used to it!”

What do you love most about yourself now?
I love to connect with people. Thanks to a diverse upbringing in a Pastor’s home that welcomed folks from all walks of life, I got lots of experience interacting with different people and that is something I love to do.

What are your biggest passions?
Writing and producing faith filled, value driven books that feature multiculturalism is my passion! Kindness, inclusion, empathy, joy and love are all characteristics I hope to inspire in the children who read the stories I create.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my passion for dating my husband, which is more fun now that we don’t have to hire babysitters anymore! And I love the joy we have when all our “grownish” kids are home around me.

Where do you find inspiration?
Interacting with the kids at church inspires me. Kids keep it real, and they give me sweet suggestions! I also regularly browse the kids section at Barnes & Noble, noting the displays, new releases, and seasonal offerings. And social media – surprisingly, inspires me too. I’ve intentionally followed people in Kidlit and multicultural publishing. I never stop learning and growing.

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Dorena Williamson

Dorena Williamson is a children’s book author and speaker, a stylist with fashion brand Evereve, the First Lady of a diverse church, a mom of “grownish” kids, and a wife of 27 years.

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