Today we’d like to introduce you to NaTania Parker.
NaTania, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
When I was very young, my mother put me in every activity I wanted to do, just to see what stuck. I tried sports, did some pageantry, I had a long run and ended up getting my blackbelt in tae-kwon-do, but dance won the race. I have been a dancer since I was four years old. I fell in love with the stage and couldn’t see myself doing anything else. Fast forward to when it was time to go to college, I knew I’d be performing. Ultimately I decided to venture into musical theater. I then became an actor, dancer, singer. Unfortunately, I suffered some injuries that brought me to having knee surgery out of college.
But after recovery and a couple of years of working as a bartender in my hometown Buffalo, NY, I decided to train as hard as I could and reignite the fire I had for my performance career. I then auditioned and was accepted to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy as an integrated musical theater conservatory student. I began training last year in New York City, with the intention to split my semesters between there and the Los Angeles campus. Due to COVID, I’ve been doing my classes online since about march. But I feel like I’m in LA because everything I have to do is in PST. Like most people 2020 has been an extremely challenging year, but for me personally it’s had some real nightmare, made for tv movie type moments. In April, I lost my father, around August my car was stolen out of my driveway, and most recently I was hit in a car accident in my moms brand new infinity, just to name a few.
All of this happening while I was enrolled full time in school with a 10-12 class course load. This is not to mention the adversity that came with COVID, live performance and broadway being shut down, etc. I give so much credit to God, my family, friends and teachers for really helping me keep it together through it all. I know that I had two options, to succumb to the depression of it all or use it as a springboard to jump into the next phase of my life. One day I was inspired to brand myself, both as an artist and beginning to create my legacy. The NaTania B Parker brand right now is my merchandise line, but it will go on to be the name stamped on everything I’m involved in from performing, to teaching, to producing, and eventually to my foundation to give more artistic opportunities to underprivileged kids, mainly from my hometown.
Right now, my merchandise line specializes in activewear and accessories for men, women and children. I’ve also been able to make custom items for friends and other businesses. My line truly gave me another outlet for creativity that I needed when the world was becoming way too much. I know that because I’ve been through so much, there is a greater reward on the way. My mom always said everything happens for a reason. I choose positivity and continue to be welcoming to the opportunities that come to me. I love life and the people around me, and can’t wait to see what my next accomplishment will be!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’m very thankful that I’ve always had a ton of support, but see last paragraph for some of my challenges with everything. I know it could definitely always be worse, but I wouldn’t say a smooth road by any means.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
NaTania B Parker is my branded merchandise line. I’m a dancer, so we specialize in activewear and cute-comfort clothes. You can wear them to the gym or throw some heels and a nice accessories on for a night out. The best part about my company is that all the designs are created by me. I had an amazing graphic designer do my logo and I ran with it. I also launched my brand using the closest people to me as my brand ambassadors. When I launched the line, I had a photoshoot with another talented friend behind the camera and it was such a dope vibe. I had some of my biggest supporters here, in all different shades, sizes and colors really representing who I am and what my brand stands for. My biggest theme is being unapologetically imperfect. It took some time, but I am so secure and confident in who I am, and I wish that kind of peace on everyone in this world. Absolutely anyone can wear my brand and know that it was created for you to be just as comfortable in your own skin as you are in my products!
What were you like growing up?
I am an only child and only grandchild on my mom’s side. If that doesn’t tell you anything, I was very blessed, to say the least. I’ve always been very outgoing and extroverted. I was one of the only four years old at daycare with a full schedule. My family wanted the world for me and I took that on. We weren’t like rich or anything, but I had everything I needed and most of what I wanted. They also kept me very grounded to make sure I recognized the value and lack thereof in material objects. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be in the spotlight. I worked really hard in my activities to have something to bring to the world besides just being cute. My mom actually keeps this giant book of everything I’ve ever done and any awards I’ve received along the way. I think it’s like a three-inch binder, bursting at the seams. Overall I had a pretty great childhood, I had braces in middle school and the same insecurities most girls have about their bodies growing up. When I was at the peak of puberty at thirteen, I won the Young Miss Buffalo Pageant. This wasn’t just a pageant, but also a scholarship and enrichment program. I can say a lot of the woman I’ve become today has been due to mentorship, opportunity and always being held accountable for my actions.
- Website: nataniabparker.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/its_nbpmerch/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nbpmerch