“The true meaning of TO SERVE is to nurture, to push
beyond self imposed limitations.”
-By Blane Charles
ELEMENTS of FIERCE celebrates Zenobia Marion, entrepreneur extraordinaire!
It never ceases to amaze me how time and circumstances bring people together. It was on our mutual friend, Roxanne’s living room floor that we found ourselves truly Serving to the sounds of deliciously soulful house music for her birthday. This wasn’t our first time Serving on a floor mind you! After being formally introduced, we realized in our conversation that we where together Serving on the dance floor of The Legendary PARADISE GARAGE paying homage to the one and only, DJ Larry Levan. I now have the privilege of joining Zenobia Serving artist, neighbors, and visiting guest in her community, Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
It was at our first business meeting when Zenobia was in her search for a Design Consultant to help with the interiors of her Guest House, that I immediately recognized her unique sense of style. She is well seasoned with dignity, pride, and a unique mission to empower others. “We connect on so many levels, from our love of color, Japanese design, to our love of dance and house music.”
I know when someone has that gift of style, that gift of fierce, when they can walk out of “Pay Less” looking like they just walked out of “Nodstroms.” Speaking of unique style, I can count on one hand how many women I know that can carry a bald head gracefully. Zenobia takes it to another level by adorning her ears with sculptures from her extensive collection of handmade, dramatic earrings designed by local artist/friends.
It was from her extensive jewelry and wardrobe collection that the desire to open a boutique was born. We actually framed her first vintage purchase 28 years ago and mounted it on the wall of her boutique, Boutique Flea. I think it’s amazing that Zenobia, as a single mom, did not allow that to limit the realization of her dream to provide the opportunity for someone else to be able to buy a vintage piece at affordable prices during these economically challenging times. Zenobia also uses the boutique setting to Serve as a gallery to showcase local artist. Events in support of this endeavor are held at her guest house, Serenity at Home Guest House.
Boutique Flea & Serenity at Home Guest House have proven to be artistic playgrounds where I get to join Zenobia in exploring creative possibilities!
I thoroughly enjoy working with Zenobia on our journey of design discovery as we scout for specials items for Boutique Flea, or work on interior transformations for Serenity at Home Guest House. What thrills me, working with Zenobia, is the realization that creativity is not forced but something that flows organically. As a result we create unbelievable artistic expressions together. Isn’t that what true art is all about, tapping into our true selves?
I produce my greatest work with clients like Zenobia because I’m not only allowed to be an artist, but I’m encouraged to reach into my higher self by trusting. In the process of fufilling my artistic intentions, I’ve made fantastic new discoveries because I’ve learned to allow myself to be free! For nine years I worked in Corporate America as head of the Evening Wear department and as a Personal Shopper at Barneys NY. All my creative thoughts were pre-meditated, or fixed to have a certain formula. “Working with Zenobia’s ‘I’m not attached to anything’ approach, I’ve learned to break free from my corporate shackles!”
Zenobia’s “Joy de Vivre” and “Hands on Approach” to life is not only infectious, but also inspiring to many artist, like myself, to “just do the damn thing!”
Not matter what challenges the day may bring, we always laugh and find joy in what we do.
William Mills, a mutual friend, recently collaborated with Zenobia for a fundraiser event at Serenity at Home Guest House for the Clermont Foundation.
“After coming back in contact with my friend Rose-Anne Clermont with whom I shared some of my first professional experiences in New York after undergraduate school, I conceived of doing a fundraiser for the Clermont Foundation. This foundation runs a home for boys in Jacmel, Haiti. As I gathered more experience from working in New York City and abroad, I wanted to do something of real worth for the young people of Haiti, and Rose-Anne’s organization was my first try. Zenobia’s hospitality and generous nature was my greatest pillar of support in the planning and execution of the fundraiser. I had never done a fundraiser before and Zenobia not only helped me produce the event, she donated wine for the event, she offered her space for free, she gave valuable advice about setting up the venue, and she spent her time freely, showing me all of the businesses in Lefferts Garden that could support my endeavor. Zenobia Marion’s honest critique, her attention to detail and her foresight in business and event planning have been one of the greatest examples I could ever follow in my professional and personal life. She is one of my closet supporters and my favorite champion. I wish her the best in all in all the seasons of her life,” said William Mills.
While collecting my thoughts for this blog I researched the meaning of Zenobia’s unusual name. There was a certain dichotomy between the definition and the person I know who Serves artist by providing them a platform to the community at large;
– Zenobia (or Xenobia) is the name commonly used for the daughter of (= “bat” or “bath”) Zabaai ben Selim. The widow of Septimius Odenathus, she reigned as Queen of Palmyra from 267 to 272 as regent for her infant son Vaballathus. Something of a militant, she embarked on a campaign of conquests that eventually saw her as the ruler of much of Syria and Asia Minor. By playing off Persia to the east against Rome to the west, she hoped to dominate them both.
In 269, she crushed an Egyptian who challenged Roman rule and proclaimed herself Queen of Egypt. She claimed to be descended from Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Marcus Antonius (and many modern historians believe she was), as well as Dido (the supposed founding queen of Carthage, according to the Aeneid) and declared herself the political heiress of both.
The Roman emperor Aurelian led a military campaign that resulted in the conquest of her kingdom in 272. Zenobia was captured and paraded wearing gold chains in Aurelian’s Triumph (274). She was granted a villa in Tibur (now Tivoli, Italy), where she spent the rest of her life as a philosopher and socialite. Some historians (ancient and modern) believe she married a Roman senator and that they had children, so the line continued at least into the 4th century.
Yet when I came across the greek definition for the name it was totally synonymous with the person I know who’s positive, sustaining energy got me through when I thought I was at the end of my rope;
– Zenobia, Classical Greek name: feminine form of Zēnobios, a personal name composed of the elements Zēn- + bios ‘life.’
For me, ZENOBIA MARION is Life, a Visionary, and a Mentor who makes things happen!!!
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