Poetry from the Empowered-Coco The Poet
Coco's poetry has hit the shelves and people's hearts! SHE SHARES WITH READERS WHO SHE IS- COCO THE POET.
Keisha Molby-Baez known in the writing scene as Coco, has established herself in ways unimaginable for most. With fundraisers, raffles, and showcases of poetry in hit New York cafes and sceneries, Coco has made her name shine in all aspects of creative life.
Coco is the name that everyone calls you but who is Coco as poet and writer?
Keisha as a poet is known as Coco. I unconditionally support other poets, authors and writers. I am also known as an author, a woman who writes empowering poetry about her life. Each poem tells a story about survival and perseverance. They all provide a moral and life lesson. I am the author of “Tears laced with Fire” which is my first poetry book, that tells my story about why my tears were laced with fire and how the tears helped me to survive. Each poem is filled with pain I've overcome, my deep thoughts, inner feelings and perceptions. My poems express how I faced many life changing obstacles and health issues that would have broken me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I explain how my passion for writing kept me motivated and filled with gratitude.
How have you excelled as a writer in your long career? How has it been beneficial to you as you seek out new paths-creative wise?
Keisha as a writer is vulnerable, determined, straightforward, and deeply passionate. I write with conviction baring my soul, showing how I’ve continuously turned my pain into purpose. As a writer I started a new project last year titled “A Collection of Connections and Collaborations”. This is a project that I started to make deep connections with fellow writers around the globe and in the community, showing how our works collaborate beautifully with each other. I create all the writing prompts and choose all the writers that will be in collaboration with each other. This collection I will be compiling into an Anthology.
Coco shares more about her poetry-her second poetry book
"A Little Bit of Sugar"
“A little bit of Sugar” is my second poetry book and this collection speaks about my growth, both in myself and writing. It speaks about appreciation that leads to elevation and necessary growth. We all need to appreciate the simple things in life and all the bits of sugar too. This book speaks about all the bits of sugar in my life despite all the pain and trials. I show how I managed my emotional and physical pain, while still being filled with gratitude. A book about my self-care and self-love journey. This book helped me to grow as a person, causing me to reflect on a lot. It helped me change perspective, be more mindful, take nothing personal, take healthy breaks, promote as I see fit and not as I’m advised, and to be open to constructive criticism, but doing what makes me happy. Most of the challenges I’ve experienced and shared in this book are about my health and life changes. It really takes mastering mind over matter to cope. I learned how to turn my pain into purpose. I’m a true soldier and survivor!
The entrepreneurship life isn't easy. Has it's highs and lows but Molby-Baez has made the best of it especially with her continuously thriving business and brand "Coco's Delight". An empowering brand that gives back to communities with packages that are given with love.
Where did the name of "Coco's Delight" come from?
I created the brand Coco’s Delight and the brand name came from both my poet name and people telling me I’m a true delight. My brand exemplifies who I am, my life’s experiences and all the positivity I put out into the world. The quotes on each of my brand items are written by yours truly and published in my poetry books. Coco’s Delight is a line of comforting and empowering products. My line consists of pillows, journals, pens, t-shirts, mugs, caps, tote bags, clutches, accessory bags, and sweaters. A few more items will be added to the collection for the New Year. My line is affordable and offers many discounted packages.
Why did you start "Coco's delight"? What's the story behind the brand?
I started the Coco’s Delight Care Package Initiative in April of 2018 and it was to give back to the community and those who needed a little pick me up, a little inspiration, some comfort, empowerment, love, care and assistance. When COVID started, I decided to add care packages of gratitude for the front liners. I donated hundreds of care packages to the community and hospitals. When I wasn’t able to work due to COVID, I found it difficult to balance my bills and continue to send out care packages. This was all coming out of my pocket.
Did you have any help getting the brand up and running especially when not able?
A dear friend, Elisabet Velasquez, advised I create a donation link because she appreciated what I did for the community and wanted me to continue it.
Keisha Molby-Baez shares with readers a more inside look into the workings of her brand "Coco's Delight".
When you were ill, how did you keep "Coco's Delight" flourishing, especially with the pandemic?
I decided to create a paypal and cash app link for people to make donations. She also advised me to post and share about what I do, so people can be aware and hopefully support more. I decided to create a second instagram and Facebook for this purpose and to support my brand as well. My cash app is $KeishaMolbyBaez and my PayPal is Paypal.me/KeishaMolbyBaez. People made videos, sent emails and posted their gratitude for my Care Package Initiatives.
How did you feel about your customers giving you that kind of support, helping you by helping others when in hard times?
This is what makes me happy; seeing others happy. I give unconditionally because I know what it is to be without and how it feels to have to ask. It’s always lovely to offer and give with a pure heart. The ultimate heart warming part of my initiative is knowing I am making a difference in someone's life every day. I have hope that more people will make more donations to support this great cause.
Do you ever feel discouraged when running the business, particularly since no one sees an ending soon for the pandemic?
I’ve always seen things in life possible, as long as I remained filled with faith, determination and gratitude. My first step was to be patient, second was to pray about everything, third was to plan, fourth was to not expect, fifth was to promote, sixth was to follow up, and seventh was to thank God everyday I wake up to continue doing and being. Giving back is one of the most rewarding and amazing feelings.
How do you stay motivated and give encouragement during these hard times? What motivates you despite obstacles and unexpected events?
As a young woman to veteran, veteran to mother, mother to wife, wife to writer, writer to author, author to community activist, community activist to coordinator, coordinator to motivational speaker, and motivational speaker to entrepreneur. I speak volumes of how the impossible is absolutely possible. Dreams and hopes do come true! I speak about a journey that is full of truth and survival, from heart aches, set backs, tribulations, betrayal, let downs, disappointments, excruciating pain and many struggles with health issues. I am a story that was waiting to be told, a miracle of God and proud to be who I am.
"Coco's Delight" is more than just a brand, it's an umbrella of unity, of togetherness, empowerment, encouragement and appreciation of each other's arts and talents in order to gain exposure! Coco prides herself in helping other artists of various backgrounds collaborate in ways that may not be possible before. She welcomes all with open arms and pushes for artists to sell, promote and be proud of what they do.
What are the "Coco's Delight" events? What is the backstory on the expansion of this part of your brand?
The Coco’s Delight events are where I featured a collaboration of artists shining on one stage together. I would research, interview and then book the artists to perform. My events all had different topics of interest and importance. Some of them were cancer, suicide, love, mental illness, passed away loved ones and for appreciation.
What do artists come away with when attending your events?
All artists have the opportunity to promote their craft, sell their books and products. Most of all, artists were rewarded with a monetary and Coco’s Delight gift. I also hosted a Raffle of Gratitude at each event, to give back to all who came out to support the artists and my events. I started this raffle when I was in high school and still continue it today. This also came out of my pocket and was a great way to pay it forward in the community. It was like early Xmas at each of my events and writing workshops. Another special thing about my events is that it was free and offered no limits in the amount of time to perform. Everyone was offered the opportunity to do up to three pieces depending on how many signed up or booked to perform. This also opened the door to more exposure of my brand, products and poetry books. I am filled with so much gratitude!
To become a writer is to have confidence in not only your craft, but to have confidence in what you put out into the world. Keisha, being a veteran, writer and author herself, knows just how to not let her crown of confidence shift no matter what!
How did you get started in the writing industry? Was it always a passion for you such as being an avid writer during adolescent years, taking creative writing classes or perhaps personal experiences caused you to become a writer?
I got started in the writing industry by attending workshops, open mics and poetry events. I met amazing people and supporters, who saw my inner and outer light. My spirit spoke to them and I pushed myself day and night to write and publish my poetry books, establishing a name in the writing community. A name that represented kindness and real support. I supported everyone, even the haters and negative ones! I believe the world has no bad people, only people who make some really bad choices that cause terrible consequences. Many made bad choices to betray me, take advantage of my kindness and try to block my blessings. As you can see, I’m achieving, establishing, supporting others and being blessed. At the end of the day, it’s their loss and karma.
Shedding a tear when dealing with the challenges that life brings can be a comfort. Letting tears of pain and sorrow go can be a good way to heal. Molby-Baez's best seller "Tears Laced With Fire" is her own journey of shedding away pain and loss and moving forward with strength and support from loved ones. Coco shares the story of how her novel can help in the darkest of life's moments.
Your first collection of poems, "Tears Laced With Fire" is one of your best sellers, what is the story and message behind it?
The story behind my first poetry book “Tears laced with Fire” is truth, endurance, family, struggle, strength, relentlessness, passion, empowerment and survival. This book tells stories about how my tears were laced with fire and how they helped me in life.
How has the message of the novel transcended to your audiences on a larger scale?
The message behind this book is to be vulnerable while sharing the good and bad. It helps others through their own experiences and most of the time feel better knowing they aren’t alone. I used poems to show my readers how I started to turn my pain into purpose. My message has transcended to my audience on a larger scale by people reaching out to tell me how my words, poems, stories, events and open mics helped them to admit and share their truth and pain. It has also helped others to do what many told them they couldn’t. My message helps keep poetry alive in the community and around the globe. It offers hope, shows faith, and spreads love. My message is medicine for the body, mind and soul.
What is it about poetry that makes you who you are today?
Poetry makes me who I am today because it's my lifeline, my rejuvenation, my peace, my religion and belief; that what you put out into the world will come back to you. Poetry is life, my way of survival and strength.
When poets hit the stage, they're opening their hearts to audiences, sharing their deepest thoughts, experiences, emotions and secrets in the form of spoken word. For Coco, open mics are about connecting with the people, letting them feel what she feels and gain inspiration.
Where have you performed your spoken word?
I performed at many great venues and open mics such as The Nuyorican Poets Cafe, The Bronx Book Fair, The NYC Poetry Festival, The Smokin Word, South of France, Poetz Realm, The Inspired Word, Great Weather for Media, Parkside Lounge, The Stage Box, The Peace Cafe, West End, The Brooklyn Book Festival Bookends, LDM Show, Letras, Women Writer’s Bloom Poetry Salon, La Esquina, Souletri, Woodhull Hospital, Barnes & Noble, Capicu, Green Earth Poets Cafe and Poets Unplugged. I’m filled with gratitude for being able to share my life’s journey and craft at all these dope venues and open mics.
How did you get audiences to be more participative with your open mic performance?
I’ve had my audience choose what I perform at times, as there are many favorites in my poetry books. People have inboxed requests and I’ve accepted because it makes them happy and feel connected on a larger scale.