Today we’d like to introduce you to Chianti Lomax.
Hi Chianti, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Faith and self-efficacy are my superpowers. Even before I had the language to describe what these were, I knew two things about myself. The first thing, I was a blessed soul who was protected and created for a divine purpose. The second thing, I was confident (maybe overly confident sometimes) in my own ability to create a life that was larger than what society said that I could have.
I grew up in a single-parent, low-income home in Greenville, SC. As a little black girl in the south, I inherently adopted belief systems around lack, fear, and limitation. I grew up hearing from everyone around me that because I’m black and because I’m a woman, life was going to be very hard.
I grew up hearing that “The powers that be” do not want see me succeed because of my gender and the color of my skin. This was the narrative that was given to me as a child.
I understood, very early, that people who looked like me faced real threats because of systemic racism and bigotry. However, even as a young black girl from South Carolina, my intuition and curiosity led me to the decision that the bare minimum wasn’t enough for me.
It was then that I started on my own transformation to define my own strengths, increase my faith, tune into my ability to create a life I could be proud of, and surround myself with models of joy, healing, and success.
If I’m being honest, I absolutely didn’t know how my life would turn out, but what I knew for sure was that there was something divine about my calling and so my outcome was going to be different.
Now here I am, 20 years later and transformation has become an anchor and common thread throughout my life. Not just from an individual perspective, but throughout my career. For the past 15 years, I have helped Fortune 500 companies transform their people, processes, and technology.
Now as a Positive Psychology Practitioner and Certified Personal and Executive Coach, I help high-achieving women of color transform their relationships with themselves, their families, careers, and their businesses. I believe that when we help women we help the entire villages that they belong to as well.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’m not sure if the phrase smooth road and being a black woman in America can coexist in the same sentence. You’re constantly being fed messages of unworthiness, second-class citizenship, and patriarchal norms that influence how you show up for yourself, but also how you show up in your career. To top it off, I’ve also just had human moments like heartbreak.
Like in 2011, when I found myself at the end of an unhealthy and bitter breakup. I thought I’d lost the resilience and curiosity that had helped me to break beyond those earlier barriers as a teenager growing up in an underserved community. I did not recognize the woman that I had become.
I truly believe this breakup was the catalyst for getting back to my true north. By the end of that year, I was inspired to get back on track. I made the decision to take charge of my life and to be the CEO of my own destiny (once again). I was so empowered that I wanted to help other women just like I find their own center.
I wanted to help other women create confidence and courage to build bold and invigorating lives regardless of the belief systems that had been handed down to them for generations. This is what inspired me to get into coaching – specifically coaching women of color.
My hope for women of color everywhere is that we unsubscribe from the things that no longer serve us: Being the strong big sister who takes care of everybody else but leaves no space for ourselves, Saying yes to things when we know we are exhausted and really just need a night to sit on the couch reading a book, and specifically for black women – I invite us to unsubscribe from wearing the words “Strong Black Woman” as a badge of honor without leaving room for vulnerability, self-compassion, and rest.
Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The WellDistrict is a global professional development and life design company committed to providing evidence-based coaching solutions to high-achieving women leaders seeking to move from overwhelm to ease. We focus on mindset strategy, lifestyle design, and high-level performance training.
As a coach, I pride myself on being a Certified Personal and Executive Coach and a Certified Workplace Mindfulness Facilitator. I help my clients unpack limiting beliefs, reduce overwhelm, and overcome any perceived obstacles keeping them from building lives they can be proud of. We’re seeking to expand our services for leadership development training to medium and large corporate clients.
My coaching is rooted in the science of positive psychology which is the study of what allows us to thrive as human beings. As I was coaching women, I realized that I wanted to spread this science of positive psychology to more people who looked like me, but in a more digestible way. I wanted to educate my community but didn’t want to bore them to death with the research/stats.
This was how my signature event the Happy Pop-Up was born. The Happy Pop-Up was launched as a fun and interactive mindfulness experience that introduces the science of happiness to BIPOC communities. The Happy Pop-Up is a safe space where we gather with the intention to inspire hope, express kindness, build meaningful connections, and share tools that cultivate the happiest versions of ourselves. The four pillars of the pop-up are Wellness, Positivity, Connections, and Play.
What’s bringing me an immense amount of joy and pride right now is a big deal I signed with a major publisher a few months ago. I’m currently writing a book about transformation and self-leadership that will share life lessons, research-based practices from positive psychology, and culturally relevant anecdotes for black women.
By the end of 2022, I want to help over 150 women of color transform their mindset, habits, and financial capacity through my coaching programs. I believe this is the quickest pathway to generational healing and building generational wealth. When we heal and help the women. The women will heal and help the village.
In a post-pandemic world, my vision is to relaunch the Happy Pop-up as a vehicle to change the conversation around mental agility, generational mobility, and collective accountability in communities of color.
Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
My support system has played a vital role in my growth and development over the years. The first person, who probably doesn’t recognize her impact on my life is my third-grade teacher, Mrs. Francine Williams. She was the first person to see my curiosity, talkativeness, and spunky nature as leadership qualities.
She saw that as an opportunity to place me in honors classes ahead of my classmates and that trajectory set me up for an upward spiral of future successes. There were a few “Mrs. Williams” in my life. They have shown up in many different forms and from many walks of life. I thank God daily for the people in my life.
I actually call my support system my Presidential Cabinet. My Presidential Cabinet is made up of mentors, friends, family members, and business besties. There are too many people to name. I have been blessed to have people at crucial moments in my life – step in to provide guidance, love, and even critical feedback that allowed me to pivot in the best ways. They are my trusted advisors. They hold me accountable for my goals and inspire me to be my best because they also strive to be the best versions of themselves.
Because of my Presidential Cabinet, I’ve been able to stretch myself and take risks that have created expansion for me in my personal and professional life. This year alone, I’ve been able to: Relaunch my group coaching program. With the pressures of the pandemic. I struggled to find balance and momentum, but was blessed with a community of people who wanted to see me win.
My cabinet played a major role in pulling me back together, expanding my visuals for my brand, and securing a book deal this year. In many heart-to-heart conversations, they reminded me to stop playing small because my purpose was much larger than my doubts. Listen, who you surround yourself with can widen or shorten the distance between you and the life you wish to create.
- Website: https://www.chiantilomax.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chiantilomax/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/ChiantiLomax
- SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/chianti-lomax