Mother finds her voice through creativity

Updated: May 18, 2020

Written By: Madison Duboise

Being a mother comes with its challenges, dealing with tantrums, cleaning up after kids and most challenging, keeping kids entertained. Mother Anesia Searls started a way to both keep her daughter entertained and grow her social media following.

Searls Instagram page, mommy.does.manicures, is where Searls and her daughter Ali post their weekly Mommy & Me manicures. They share their color and design choices and even get ideas from followers. They both also love to participate in nail challenges. Anesia enjoys sharing positive feedback and comments with her daughter.

“I love to get my nails done and see other girls’ pretty nails,” daughter Ali Searls said. “It’s like we’re all friends in a Girls Club for nail polish.”

Anesia is also a brand ambassador for People of Color Beauty, she joined early on in the start up phase when she reached out to the founder because she loved her message and what the brand represented.

“I still promote on my personal Instagram page, but I also promote the brand on mommy.does.manicures. It helps expand my following and it’s great that my daughter is able to also be a part of promoting a brand that exemplifies such a positive message,” Anesia said.

Starting the mommy.does.manicures page was something Anesia recently did just for fun. With everything going on in the world lately, she wanted an outlet and a good distraction for her and her daughter.

“We are practicing self care and taking the time to appreciate our moments together,” Anesia said. “We share our weekly manicures and love of nail polish. We have quite an extensive collection.”

Including her personal Instagram page, she runs three social media accounts. She uses a system of posting on one account each day, it keeps her from getting overwhelmed as well as spreading out her content.

“It’s rewarding because I’m able to use each page as an outlet for expressing all of my interests and ideas , it keeps everything from seeming all over the place,” Anesia said.

The third account Anesia runs is her home decor account, the_searls_estate, where she posts all of her do it yourself home decor projects. She initially started the account in 2019 under a different handle. Her and her husband had bought their first home and it was a blank canvas waiting for an artist’s hand. That hand was Anesia’s. When she did a simple do it yourself project or found some bargain home decor she would always share with her followers on her personal Instagram account. After receiving so much positive feedback and requests for tutorials she decided one day to just create an account specifically for her love of home decor and interior design.

“It is my platform to share and engage with others who have the same interests and at the same time separate the traffic to my personal account which is more for friends and family,” Anesia said. I hope that my ideas help to spark creativity and inspire, if interior design is something you are interested in or passionate about, or even if you just want ideas for a budget friendly do it yourself, I am glad my page is there for others.”

Her interest in home decor actually started out of necessity. It was not until a few years ago that she realized that interior design was something that excited her. Back in college she remembers having to furnish and spruce up shared spaces with very little means. These small, shared spaces were home for awhile for her, but they were blank canvases. Wanting to feel comfortable and feel that her space was reflective of her personality, she would do DIY’s. This really sparked her creative side as she started figuring out how to recreate the beautiful things she could not afford at the time.

A lot of her inspiration comes from places like Pinterest, other home decor accounts, Youtube and especially home renovation shows on HGTV.

“Maybe one day I can get the attention of HGTV. I would not mind having my own home renovation show,” Anesia said.

Being big on refinishing furniture, her motto is, “If it has good bones, there is nothing a little paint or stain can not fix”. Typically being drawn to antiques and vintage furniture, thrift and second-hand stores are her best friend.

“I once found a beautiful antique entryway table that someone just left on the curb for trash. It was solid wood, which furniture isn’t made like this anymore. It just needed to be cleaned up and painted. So of course I had to show it some love,” Anesia said.

Her first and favorite big home do it yourself project was her laundry room makeover. Her house is builder grade, which means customizations were done by her and her husband after the house was completed.

“I kept seeing pictures of these beautiful laundry rooms floating around social media. I figured if I spruced up my laundry room, I would feel more inclined to actually want to do laundry,” Anesia said. “I decided to give it some character, a more rustic look by adding a faux exposed brick accent wall and replacing my standard door with a charming old door, complete with a glass window and laundry room sign. I still walk past the laundry room and pat myself on the back.”

Never really knowing how to describe her style. Anesia’s home style aesthetic is unique and will not be boxed in. She chooses what she likes, whether it’s vintage, rustic or modern. She loves to mix it up and see what works for her.

Having a B.A. in broadcast communications, she uses the skills she developed over the years and applies them daily to her social media accounts.

“I know the importance of being relatable and creating content for your target audience,” Anesia said.

Her following in general is much larger than it appears on any one given page. She feels her engagement is much more authentic since her pages are all based on a common interest. She does not have thousands of followers, but she knows that the ones she has are genuinely interested in her content. As long as she is able to keep true engagement she believes her accounts will continue to grow organically.

”People have called me shy and quiet but my creativity gave me my voice. It gives me the confidence to put myself out there, but also opens me up to positive or negative criticism. Being a minority is challenging in all aspects of life, so social media really is no different. I’ve had to come to terms with a few harsh realities along the way, but it in turn has helped me stay true to myself. I’m authentic and there are people, sometimes complete strangers, who are drawn to that and offer genuine support. I am so appreciative of that.”

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