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Meet Nieema Peyrefitte of Versed In Victory in South LA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nieema Peyrefitte.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Born and raised in South Central Los Angles and the oldest of six siblings, I wrote my first poem at age 9 (my mom still has it!). Writing poetry has always given me a space to express my innermost thoughts and feelings. Growing up I had a very, very low opinion of myself, that I wasn’t beautiful or worthy, got talked about at school, and felt that I didn’t belong anywhere in particular. I was very shy and timid, but not when it came to protecting my siblings and assisting my mom as a single parent. In my teenage years, my attitude and outlook on life was somewhat dark and depressing, and I would often just want to shrink inside of myself and not be noticed. Writing ultimately became a way to release those burdensome emotions of frustration, anger, resentment and sadness.

My biggest inspiration to write came from my mother, who is a dynamic writer/storyteller/poet. Her work would always astound and encourage me, it gave me the blueprint for my own writing, especially as I got older.

I had always kept my writing to myself, especially in my teenage years, but when I got to college, opportunities opened up for me to share my works publicly, and the encouraging atmosphere motivated me to write more often.

After graduating UCLA with a B.A. in English Literature/Culture and African American studies, becoming a wife to an amazing husband and mother to two beautiful daughters, and pursuing/completing my M.A. in Special Education/Education Specialist Credential from California State University Dominguez Hills, during which time I was not writing as much, in 2012, I was asked to present a poem at the annual “Get Your Hustle On Women’s Empowerment Conference”, a platform created to give women the opportunity to showcase their gifts and talents (CEO Miesha Carter). That sparked my momentum to resume my writing, and, through the annual participation in the conference and the encouragement of family and friends, I self-published my first book of poetry, “The Gift of Victory” in January 2018.

Also happening at the same time, God spoke to me in a dream and instructed me to use the word “Victorious”. He brought back to my remembrance my old Sunday school teacher and sister in Christ, Sister Dr. Gloria Green, who would always encourage us that, through God’s promises, “we will be victorious!”, and whenever I would ask her, “How are you doing Dr. Green?”, she would always respond, “I am victorious, keep me in your prayers!”. God also brought back to me the testimony of a young woman who I had heard speak about her journey and arrival at creating t-shirts, with God’s direction, and at that moment, my task became clear. My “Victorious” tees were the result, and debuted in conjunction with “The Gift of Victory”.

In February 2019, I was blessed to self-publish my second book of poetry, “More Than Conquerors”. 2018 proved to be an emotional roller coaster for me, and the poems in this book highlight my vulnerability while enduring various personal storms (loss of my 16-year-old nephew, loss of my grandfather, family health concerns, professional stressors, etc.).

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Staying consistent has definitely not been easy. I still sometimes struggle with overwhelming feelings of inadequacy, the momentum to keep going, and the frustration of making rookie mistakes. Since I am my harshest critic, I can be really hard on myself, and I know that the pitfalls are part of growth.

Please tell us about Versed In Victory.
I am known for my “Victorious” tees mostly I think, but I also sell my books of poetry and will present my work from time to time, mostly at events centered around women’s empowerment. This path has forced me to step totally out of my comfort zone which made me deathly afraid in the beginning, but as time has gone on, God has allowed me to be in a space to witness some amazing testimonies, and to not only be an encouragement to others but for them to be an encouragement to me through this journey. The word “Victorious” has definitely become my signature–it has set the tone for me and what I would like to continue to embody throughout the course that I have been set on.

One of the things I am most proud of is the fact that my Victorious tees have sort of become the unofficial official shirt for my church family, Salem Missionary Baptist Church. They have stood behind me and supported me in ways that I would have never imagined, and I am forever grateful!

Another thing that I am proud of is how my journey has sparked the entrepreneurial spirit in my daughters, and that they are able to witness the overwhelming supports and legacies that women have built and sustained, trailblazing for the next generation.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I don’t really have one single memory that I recall as being my favorite, but I have many favorites: playing double dutch in the street, playing my boombox on the porch, roller skating on the sidewalk, making up dance steps for absolutely no reason, my mom making a pallet for my siblings and I on the living room floor every time the Wizard of Oz came on regular television (and us falling asleep about halfway)…those are just a few! Just think of the song “Back In the Day” by Ahmad and that would describe all my favorite memories in a nutshell.

Pricing:

  • Victorious tees $15
  • Book, “The Gift of Victory” $8
  • Book, “More Than Conquerors” $8

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.versedinvictory.com
  • Email: nieemapeyrefitte@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @versedinvictory
  • Facebook: Versed in Victory

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