Post#3: Meet Our Founder, Aliyah Celeste

Hello Diamonds,

Disclaimer: If you read my first few posts, you were introduced to two women and their  encouraging testimonies of facing and overcoming unfortunate circumstances to secure a happier life for themselves- one with ultimately more freedom and financial success.  I thought this post, however, might be an appropriate time to tell you a little more about myself,  the founder of “Broken Diamonds” and writer  of “We Are Diamond”,  and share with you why I started this blog (other than the fact that it was a project assigned by my USC professor).  If you’re interested to know more, enjoy the read! Otherwise- check back next week for more stories of awesome women kicking ass! 

I started this brand with an inclination that every one has the potential to discover and amplify their most brilliant self (physically, spiritually, and mentally). I refer to this expression as their diamond self. It's important to acknowledge that not every diamond has to be a woman ( or a woman of color), but for the purposes of the brand’s foundation, I wanted to spotlight a generally underestimated population first.     

So who am I, you ask? Oh, no one special. 



Of course, it is impossible to sum “me” up in a blunt nutshell of words- but i’ll try?

Born and raised in Dallas Texas, I grew up a biracial girl in a middle class ( mostly white) suburban area with my mom, step father, and brother. I discovered creativity and used my creative art endeavors (singing, dancing, acting, painting) to escape my broken family complex at home ( my parents were water and oil- they literally hated each other despite their so called union. Though my self esteem was affected, I did my best to remain resilient through the trauma. 

 I was, in fact that little girl who dreamt of being a sensational performer, consequently doing just that every where I went. From the grocery store aisles, to the church pews (which is where I learned to sing in the first place), I loved tastefully ( or not? ) performing whenever (mostly sometimes)  I got the chance at school or a family event. When I was 21 years old, and a sophomore at the University of Southern California, something really cool happened to me and changed my life. At the time,  I was in a fresh pursuit (less than a year) of what I would call a “ budding pop star career.”

With help of my manager and step father, I was given the opportunity to create a music project with truly amazing quality production and people. The- Dream- a popular musician and songwriter who has  worked with great artists like Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Rihanna,  Justin Bieber etc- agreed to write me an ep album (five songs). This agreement was not without proper monetary compensation, of course. Yet, the whole experience seemed to happen by magic, as if it was orchestrated by universal intelligence and divine timing.. ya know- God.

I took a lot of pride after that experience (connecting and working with him) because it was honestly an amazing gift I never saw coming. Prior to this album, I hadn’t put any music out before. Why in the world did he agree to write for me?  Essentially in the eyes of the industry, I was nobody special, ‘just some college kid who lived on a street called, “Budlong”.’ 

Yes, at first, the whole thing seemed effortless in flow, but it soon became a constant roller coaster of obstacles and tough lessons. To sum it up in the fastest way I can, I found out the importance of loyalty, understanding contracts before you sign them, being an authentic artist vs. trying to be something you are not, the industry standards etc.  

Not only does it take a lot of work to reach your goals, but for me, it has taken even more patience, persistence, and resilience. I believe that success is not something that happens overnight ( as I’d originally hoped)  but is an accumulation of a thousand smaller successful steps.  I found out how things I perceived to be my greatest weaknesses ( for example, my 4-A curly hair) was actually one of my best qualities. 

One of the songs on the ep was entitled, “Broken Diamonds”.  Lyrics like, “Never love ‘em, now that’s my motto,” and “Lightning in the bottle, what’s the chances? 21, that’s way too young to be romantic. Keep it fun,” were written by The- Dream on behalf of my brokenness. 

  A ‘broken diamond’ is a sort of oxymoron in that diamonds can’t really be broken at all..chipped..maybe? They are a result of the intensest pressure, and represent the most purest form of carbon. In other words, you are the light of your life! Let it count. 

I opened my online store a few years following this. Still learning and growing. I wrote this blog to tell you that I don’t have it all together. Hopefully, you won’t judge me. Maybe even join me on this journey to success? (:

I believe there are so many individuals with precious energy, with big dreams and even bigger guts. If you know anybody who you would consider to be a thriving diamond, refer them in the comments or send an email to !




1 comment

  • This is a sick story! Really well written but also CONGRATULATIONS!! I love this addition to the theme of your blog!


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