Crystal Wright has been called many things, most often she's called "Empowerment Diva" because she's inspiring, motivational and right on target when it comes to helping people get their act together, get control of their lives, and take their power back.
She is a woman of unbounded energy who isn't afraid to expose her own frailties if it will help someone else change their lives in a positive way. Her friend Marcia Cole calls her a "game changer".
She challenges her students to strive for excellence in every aspect of their freelance careers, refusing to let them off of the hook. Tough Love? Yes!
Crystal Wright has always loved people. As a child, she was always friendly and outgoing. Her Grandmother, the love of her life, kept her involved in every conceivable activity to keep her engaged and out of trouble. She was in the choir at church and in school, on the drill team, the usher board, the volleyball, track, and basketball teams. And then, when she was old enough she became a debutante in the Red Rose Cotillion, another of her Grandmother’s creations.
Before she knew it, she was off to college at Seattle University. The choice of a college showed the first chink in my [friendly and outgoing] armor, as she refused to go more than 32 miles away from home in Tacoma, Washington even though my Grandmother wanted to send me to Spellman in Atlanta, GA. she came up with all kinds of reasons why she should go to Seattle instead of Atlanta. And for the first time ever, she bought it, and let me stay close to home.
The truth; she was scared to death. Scared to be away from everything and everyone she knew, and afraid to [need] to make new friends.
You see, in the small pond of Tacoma, Washington where my Grandmother seemed to run everything, all she had to do was show up, and people that she had never met would recognize me and say “You’re Frances Wilkinson’s grandchild aren’t you?” With that, she would stand up as straight and as tall as she could and say, “Yes I am”. And that was that. She would be introduced to all sorts of people, ushered into special rooms, and treated like the daughter of the Queen.
But just 32 miles away at Seattle University, and unbeknownst to anyone else, she found myself breaking into a sweat at the thought of extending my hand and saying 3 simple words; “Hello, I’m Crystal”. By the time she got to Xerox, where she became a sales rep, the thought of introducing myself in a meeting or making a presentation was paralyzing, though she was fine one-on-one in a situation where she had all the answers.
When she moved to Los Angeles, California in 1982 through a transfer she requested with Xerox, she remember my Mom, who must have had some inclination that she was struggling with the prospect of anonymity, said to me “don’t come back here to Tacoma with your tail between your legs because you get out there to California and no one knows you or your Grandmother.”
There it was, right in my face. No one would know me. She would actually have to put herself out there to meet people. She was terrified. And she stayed that way for a very long time. Years in fact until’ 1995.
She left Xerox in 1985 to represent a celebrity photographer. Six months later, in March of 1986 he fired me. But in a weird twist of fate, his favorite makeup artist asked me to be her agent. The reluctant decision to take on that challenge led me to write a book “The Hair Makeup & Fashion Styling Career Guide”. It was going to be a 16-page manual that gave aspiring artists the information they needed about portfolios, agencies and photographers to launch and sustain a freelance career in makeup, hair or fashion styling. It took me a year. When she finished writing it in 1995 it was 180 pages.
She self-published the book, because everyone she approached about publishing it thought she was crazy. “Hair makeup and what are you talking about” they would say. Funny to think that anyone doesn’t know what a fashion stylist is or does these days with people like Rachel Zoe; think Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan, and Patricia Field of Sex and the City. However, in the 90’s the term was still unknown to many people.
She hadn’t really thought about what 2000 books was going to look like, or how much space they would take up in the garage, until’ they were delivered to my home in LA. Those 2 pallets took up the space of one of our cars––my husband’s of course.
She was mortified. Here she had 2000 books, a few advanced mail orders for the books and no one to buy them. That was when she got over being shy. When the reality of those 2 pallets of books sitting in the garage with no buyers sunk in, out of necessity she reinvented myself into someone who could talk to anyone about anything. It was the reverse of being knocked in the head and waking up with amnesia. When she came to, she was a self-published author, promoter, publicist, and soon to be speaker.
My mother still shakes her head. Can’t figure it out. My sister the communicator who became an attorney was to be the writer speaker in the family. But while she is now on a path to becoming a judge, she discovered my voice. My God given gift to educate, uplift, inspire, and move.