It was a crisp January day in New York City when I first spotted today’s #RealLifeWonderWoman. I caught a glimpse of her as she dashed by. She was quick. She was smart. She was strong. Instead of a cape, she wore a fancy camera around her neck. She was capturing a remarkable day–an assembly of other super heroes who gathered to support vulnerable children around the world.
Her super powers were evident as she empowered others to share their stories and dreams from behind her camera. I was mesmerized by her talent and her grace. And today I am honored to call her my friend. Nicole Taylor is a former television journalist, current mom, wife, entrepreneur and passionate volunteer. She finds power and fulfillment by telling heartfelt stories through pictures and videos. Her business, Whole Lotta Grace Storytelling, combines two of her passions: photography and kids. Please read on to learn more about what makes this wonderful woman tick and the superpower she wishes she possessed.
KR: Nicole, tell us about what brings you joy and fulfillment.
NT: Since I can remember, I had softness in my heart for vulnerable children. I started my career in television news as a journalist and quickly learned just how many vulnerable children were in our own country. I was involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters for several years but when I switched careers, I connected with an organization that focused on vulnerable children in a very tangible way. RetailROI gave me the chance to use my skillset by telling the stories of these children all over the world. RetailROI partners with “feet on the street” organizations to help build schools, supply technology, clean water projects and so much more.
Two years ago, my husband and I decided to become foster parents in our city of Charlotte, NC. I quickly shifted my focus to what was happening in my own backyard. Our first placement changed my life. It was extremely painful but I am so very grateful for the experience. My faith grew profoundly and I knew I had to do something beyond taking another placement. Currently I serve as the executive director of Congregations For Kids, a non-profit organization tasked to unite the churches in Charlotte (all 960 of them) to support our foster system that is currently in a state of crisis. We create pathways for the churches to get involved in showing these kids they are loved and that we care. We have a partnership with the DSS, a very rare church/state partnership.
Click HERE to watch a video that share’s Nicole and her family’s emotional foster story. (Insider tip: You may want Kleenex)
KR: We all have inner superpowers. What are some of yours?
NT: I am extremely empathetic (probably to my own determent).
KR: Can you tell us about an influential woman in your life and how she inspired you?
NT: I am so fortunate to have an amazing circle of sisters from other misters! These small group of women are truth tellers and encouragers. They support and pray for me. I am beyond grateful for a tribe that doesn’t necessarily live in the same city or even know each other but they are my people. To be able to be truthful, vulnerable without judgement and have “real talk” in a friendship is invaluable and as I get older, I can tell anything but that doesn’t warrant my time.
KR: If you could have one super-human power, what would it be?
NT: To know what someone else is thinking although that would probably destroy me – lol.
KR: Knowing what you know at this stage of your life, what words of wisdom would you give to your 20-year-old self?
NT: Relax, one day at a time, stop planning every single thing because you are not really in control anyway. Take the time to smell the rosé (the wine not the flower).
For more information about Whole Lotta Grace Storytelling, visit Nicole’s website at wholelottagrace.com
To learn how you can support the mission of RetailROI, find them at retailroi.org