We had the good fortune of connecting with Deborah Deleon and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Deborah, what inspires you?
I am inspired by many people. But if I had to choose one person, I would hands down say my dad: Rene Pineda. On August 31, of 2020, my father passed away. My entire world stopped. Reflecting on his life and how he raised me, it was clear how blessed I was to have him in my life. My dad wore many hats. Not only was he a loving father, amazing husband, and phenomenal son but he did so much more outside of his roles as a man. He was a musician from a very young age. He played the bass, the guitar, the piano and he sang as well. With these gifts and talents he made two Spanish worship albums by the name of “Este Momento es Especial” and “Dios Nunca se Olvida”. (Translation: “This Moment is Special” and “God Never Forgets”.) Both written and produced in times of hardships in his life but knowing that God was with him through it all. In the midst of these accomplishments, he had his full time career as an IT and even had a business on the side with computers as well. I mean, I could literally keep going. He even opened a school of music at his home church to teach other aspiring musicians alongside my mother who is also a singer. I can literally name so many other things but I also want to point out that he was so dedicated to his craft. He was always practicing in his music room. (Sigh) He taught us to dream. He taught us to put God first. He taught me many things but mostly with his example. When I think about all that he had done, it makes me feel like I could do the same. As his daughter, I cannot help but think that I can do the same and more. Before he passed, I told him about my business venture, so personally for me it feels as if I made a promise to continue this legacy. He instilled so much in me, that giving up is not an option. Yes, I am grieving his loss but I am inspired by his daily grind and doing everything in excellence. I want to do the same.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Hmmm…I don’t really know where to start. But I will begin with this…I am my dad’s twin because not only did we look alike but we also wear many hats. I will share about myself from the beginning. So it took me awhile to actually say this with my own mouth, but I am a creative. I no longer want to say that I am just one thing or put myself in a box because I can do many things. I come from a musical family, so for me it all started with dance. I was introduced to it in church as a little girl. My mom was my first dance teacher as she taught me praise dance, tambourine, and mime. I then went off to middle school and dance was the highlight of it all. I learned many styles but I fell in love with hip-hop! Throughout my high school and college years, I tapped into Latin Dance, Contemporary/Modern, African Dance, more Hip-Hop, a sprinkle of Ballet, and classes here and there. In high school, I even did acting and singing. I was a triple threat as they say. Honestly, this craft really made me the confident person I am today. I pursed dancing in dance company, which is where I met my husband. He was an artist and I was a dancer. After I graduated from college, I became a dance teacher at a public charter school which is where I am now full time. I have enjoyed teaching kids what has given me so much confidence and boldness to express myself through movement. During my teaching career, I also dived into being in a competitive team for a season. In addition that that, I encountered the freestyle scene a little and I’ve love to freestyle to this day. So as you can see, dance has been in the forefront of it all. My dance journey has been a blessing. Throughout my life, I was always photogenic and was very much a people person. So yes, I love everything social media! I found myself writing inspiring captions and showcasing parts of my life to people with no filter. My dancing, my relationships, my family, everything. I wanted to be real. Then, fast forward to 2020, our world became different and my father passed away. How could I move on like nothing was happening? I had to dig deep and find the power of vulnerability through the trauma that I was experiencing. So I continued to show up. I was also concerned for my teaching position. I truly thought my job was in jeopardy. So in the summer of 2020, I decided to start and invest in my business: Boujee and Blessed. What I want people to takeaway from my business is that it’s not just a brand but a mindset. I want people to know their worth and to not lower their standards. I want them to know that they can dream and that they are capable of accomplishing them. I want people to remember that they can have all the luxury and finer things in life but to not forget where our blessings come from. My dad taught me this. He taught me to put God first and everything else will come. Everything that I have comes from God. So that is what this business means to me and what it represents. Attached to the merch that I sell on my website, I actually have a blog where I discuss faith, lifestyle topics, and my grief journey in loosing my father. No…it has not been easy but my dad is my constant motivation to continue.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I am a HUGE planner and I love being out & about so this is a good question! Every morning we would go to different coffee shops & breakfast spots in Houston such as Cielito Cafe, The Breakfast Klub, and Sweet Paris. My current favorite coffee places are 2nd Cup, El Rey (Try the Iced Mulata which is Coffee & Horchata, yes! So good!) & Luce Roasters. I would hang out in places where they have cute backdrops such as the Flower Vault and The Color Factory so we can take photos! I would go to Allen Parkway and go for walks! I would also try to find markets around Houston to support small businesses. The Silos at the Sawyer Yards to go see art would also be a great option. We can wind down for dinner or late night bites at Taconazo and Burger Joint. Now I am hungry! Lol But this would be the ideal itinerary in my planner!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Absolutely! So many people have contributed to where I am RIGHT NOW in my life. I want to first off give a shout out to my husband, Mark Deleon. He was the one that believed in me to begin my business. He created my logo and we always bounce ideas to one another. Marrying a creative has been the biggest blessing! I want to give a shout-out to close friends and family for supporting my business since DAY ONE! I literally started Boujee & Blessed weeks before my father passed away and their support was everything that I needed to continue. I also want to thank Julian Gamez for behind all my photos for my launch! It was everything I imagined and more! I also want to thank the following Boss Babes for all their support and business advice: Gaby from Miradela, Jenny Sanchez with her TF Mentorship Program, Tori Artis from Tori Artis Planners & Krystal from Keep it Kute whom I had my very first business consulting meeting with. These ladies have definitely inspired the mess out of me. Thankful for yall!

Website: www.iamboujeeandblessed.com

Instagram: Personal: @yobusybody Business: @boujee_and_blessed

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnJwUvDtEVV7GjUHNxU-IbQ

Image Credits
Julian Gamez @jujuherbo with Product 91 @prdct91 Tori Artis @toriartis

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