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Hidden Gems: Meet Charmyra Fleming of Creative Calfuray

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charmyra Fleming.

Hi Charmyra, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
Today, I’m a romance author, motivational blogger, and creative who hopes that through her books and various creative outlets of expression, that I inspire my readers and beyond to live their lives with purpose, intention, and full of passion. It is the mission and purpose of my company to M.OTIVATE | A.SPIRE | I.NSPIRE (R). Through everything that I do, it is my hope that I ‘M.OTIVATE’ one person to ‘A.SPIRE’ to their greatness, and ‘I.NSPIRE’ many along the way. Writing is my passion and my purpose for being on earth. It has always been my dream to become a professional writer, and it is a love that I shared with my late paternal grandmother, Flossie L. Miles Graves.

Before starting my company Creative Calfuray, LLC(R), to self-publish my first novella, The Violet Rose, in 2018, I spent three years working as a Senior Budget Analyst and Supplier Diversity for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Prior to that, I’d worked in various industries from health care to bedding to pharmacy, and my work experience is very diverse with roles ranging from Certified Nurse Tech I & II to Regulatory Compliance Test Technician to Certified Pharmacy Technician. Currently, in addition to my passion and what I do creatively, I work as a Senior Procurement Associate for CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield in the DMV. I mention all of this to say that everything that I’ve done in my past in my career has prepared me for the authorpreneurship (author/entrepreneur) journey that I’m currently on.

Through Creative Calfuray, I’ve become laser-focused on creating and self-publishing romance novels that people love. I also use this company as a way to serve the community and my creative passions by offering Graphic Design and Makeup Artistry services. I’m very dedicated to continuing an aspect of my previous work in Supplier Diversity by supporting and guiding non-profits and other small businesses that are starting their journeys. I’m able to do so by offering affordable graphic design services and advice as they are launching their businesses and getting started. I’ve found many small business owners do not realize the little nuances of running their business, is about more than just posting a great product on social media and getting a sale. I don’t have all of the answers, but I think sharing best practices and some of the things that helped me when I started, coupled with my background in Finance, Contracting, and having an M.B.A. makes me a qualified advisor. Being able to give back in this way is so gratifying and makes everything that I do purposeful with great impact!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
For the most part, I have to say that from a business perspective, my journey has been smooth. I’ve been able to plan, organize, and prepare for each phase of my growth as a romance author operating a business used to support self-publishing every aspect of my work. In addition to using this business to provide other services to generate business opportunities and give back to the community.

With that said, I will say the struggles that I don’t think we hear enough about is the peaks and valleys that new entrepreneurs and business owners experience as they are starting out. Many times, we see the “end results” when someone and their businesses are very successful, but we hardly ever hear about the challenges faced to get there. I think more people are beginning to share this as “teaching tools” for paid courses, but historically that has not necessarily been the case, in my opinion. For me, I’ve struggled at times with realizing that as a new author, the fact that no one knows who I am, and having go from a “no name romance author” to just really pushing to get my name out there in front of people; that this road can be a difficult one to climb. Although it has been mostly pleasant, I’ve had some moments when I felt unsure if anyone would buy my books. My hope was to become a Best Selling Romance Author (BSA), and I don’t think I realized when I was starting out how difficult that title is to achieve. I’ll admit that of course, I knew that I wouldn’t be an “overnight sensation” and a “BSA” out of the gate, but three years in and I’m still building a base of fans that read and love my work; and that’s tough. I will take one reader at a time that will read and love my work, but I think that’s been the biggest struggle for me, finding as many ways and outlets to share my books and get people to read and love what I do.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Creative Calfuray?
Creative Calfuray, LLC is a haven and an extension of my creativity. It provides an outlet for me to pursue my creative interests, whether it is, first and foremost, through my writing, motivational blogging, merchandising, graphic design, makeup artistry, and writing workshops. As stated previously, it is the overall objective mission and purpose of this company to M.OTIVATE at least one person to A.SPIRE to greatness, and I.NSPIRE many along the way. Creative Calfuray will always seek to M.OTIVATE | A.SPIRE | I.NSPIRE my readers and beyond to live with purpose, intention, and full of passion.

I want you to know that I do this work knowing that it is my duty to share my talents and gifts with love. I’ve invested in my talents to hone my gifts so that potential readers and clients can believe and trust my advice and recommendation as a valued “Subject Matter Expert”. Moreover, they can expect high-quality results that they will love. I’m a writer at heart, but I am also a trained makeup artist (2019 graduate of The Academy of Makeup, Inc in Cockeysville, MD and 2020 graduate of Pardon My Glow Makeup Academy in Baltimore, MD), and I’ve completed Graphic Design Specialization course work through California Institute of the Arts on the Coursera learning platform.

I specialize in being a phenomenal romance author, graphic designer, and makeup artist. I’m known for my attention to detail, working in an effective, efficient, and timely manner, and being a problem solver for my clients with the ability to take their ideas and bring them to life, I believe being able to get it right for my clients the first time, having great communication and interpersonal skills, coupled with my outstanding customer service definitely sets me apart from others.

I’m most proud of brand-wise is that Creative Calfuray is becoming a brand that people are starting to recognize. They not only know me as an author, but they see my brand and connect me to Creative Calfuray and vice versa. That was one of my goals when I started my company.

If readers are small business owners looking for a freelance graphic designer or women looking for a makeup artist and want someone that is personable and fun to work with, that is an active listener and can get the job done. I hope that they will find value in all that I’ve mentioned and reach out to me for my services. If nothing else, I hope that they are curious enough to check out my books, read them and love them.

Any big plans?
At this time, I hope to continue sharing more books, building a strong following and fan base. I’m going to be releasing ‘Perfect Chemistry’, my third romance novel from ‘The Purple Charm Series’ this fall. I’ve begun sharing my short romance stories through Kindle Vella and have a thriving podcast where I share my journey as an author called “The Purple Charm Experience”. I’m looking forward to creating wonderful romance novels for my readers and beyond, continuing to create powerful and moving content, and networking with other authors and creatives.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Margarita Stamatelopoulos of Margarita Photography

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