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Rising Stars: Meet Latoy Fowler

Today we’d like to introduce you to Latoy Fowler.  

Hi Latoy, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I like to believe that I was born creative. I did a few school plays and joined different clubs, but I didn’t really tap into it until tragedy hit my life. After my mom was jailed for killing my dad, my siblings and I received a therapist. She would have us write in journals and complete various creative projects. Being creative turned into a coping mechanism, which I actually loved. It gave me calmness for my forever-running brain. I joined art clubs and was involved in an annual art parade called “Parade the Circle” while in Elementary. We would create sculptures and large artsy objects to display. As I got a bit older, I joined every creative group I could jump into. It then led me to act and music, another creative form. It’s amazing that once you dive into all of it, how it all actually coincides with each other. Once I had children, I had to really get creative. (Insert chuckle) From making Easter Baskets to decorating parties, I was the d.i.y. Queen! In the era of social media, it’s easy to show off your creations. People started gravitating to me, asking what services I provide. I had no idea how to run a business. I was undercharging like crazy. But I didn’t mind because I was just happy that people liked my work and wanted to hire me. I realized that I could really grow a business so I started reading and listening to business and economic books and just researching. I got my LLC, then the pandemic happened. I wasn’t sure if my business would prosper after that, but I kept going. Fast forward to 2022, and I’m booked and busy! My goal is to be able to quit my 9-5 by the end of the year and work full time for myself. I didn’t see this for my future. It just happened. I’m so happy that it did. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Smooth road??? Not at all! Starting a business is rewarding, but can be very frustrating. Finding reasonably priced vendors for products I need to keep costs down for my customers was, and sometimes still is, one of the most challenging. Also, charging my worth without feeling guilty about it is another one. I feel like the clients will come so I am not too worried about that aspect. Another challenge is finding grants to help grow my business. Equipment is expensive! 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a true creative at heart. Not only do I run a creative party planning and decorating business, “Beyond the Toybox”, but I’m also a music artist and actress. With Beyond the Toybox, I specialize in everything pertaining to an event/party. I can help coordinate an entire event from location, food services, decor, and a schedule of your itinerary or a simple service like setting up a balloon structure or bartending your event. 

I’ve been doing music for a few years as a solo artist, stage name Boi Toy. The origin of the name came from being the baby and only girl to 5 brothers. I grew up a tomboy. It’s a childhood nickname. Music is life. Music is freeing. Music is healing. I can be who I am with my music and that is a dope feeling. I’ve had music on Real Housewives of Atlanta and have hundreds of thousands of fans and listeners literally across the globe. That’s a huge accomplishment for me. It’s the plus of doing anything you love. 

I am also an actress and aspiring writer. This is a creative art form that is just amazing to me. Being able to tap into different emotions and feelings is something everyone can’t do. It’s truly a gift. I’ve done background work on “White Boy Rick”, “Surviving Compton: The Michelle Story”, and “I, Alex Cross”. I have Co-Starred in indie shows “Single and Ready” on Amazon Prime, “Small World”, and “Clique”. And also co-starred in the stage play “In My Mind”. The acting was something I first began in kindergarten when I was Rudolph in a Christmas play and then again as a possum in 2nd grade. As a dove deeper into my craft, it made me want to know everything about acting and entertainment. I also have other creative roles in acting and music, such as creative directing, casting, and set designer. 

I’m proud of myself for everything that I’ve tried. I’m also proud of every accomplishment. None of them were small to me. I’ve had so many statistics stacked against me. After what happened to my parents, I was adopted. I’ve been sexually assaulted as a child; I’ve been mentally and physically abused. None of that stopped me or made me bitter. My past really made me who I am today. 

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I read this book called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi. He talks about the importance of networking and speaks on his experiences. I live by that book. It’s important to connect with as many valuable people as possible. The saying “Your network is your net worth” couldn’t be more accurate. Being myself and not being afraid to talk to people works wonders for me. I can’t lie though, the moment before just going for it gives me anxiety. But I always tell myself “You got this, just be you”! 

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