Mayana Muse: Destiny Payton-Williams

Mother, Mogul, & Master of Her Destiny

Destiny Payton-Williams is known for her hosting appearance in the OWN reality TV show Love & Marriage: Huntsville. Locally in Alabama, she is the first African American owned Beauty Supply & Salon Suites. When she is not working on promotions and projects she is busy developing and growing both her personal and business brand.

As an astute business woman, leader, and visionary she is familiar with challenges. Becoming a mother was one experience that changed her perspective on life.

Destiny has graciously shared a very intimate side of herself with us in hopes of supporting more women with her story. Learn more about her career and journey to motherhood as she gives us insight into a very vulnerable and personal experience that is all too common for women and is breaking barriers to de-stigmatizing Black maternal health.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CAREER AND WHAT LED YOU TO STARTING MADONNI BEAUTY.

I started in the real estate industry at 20 and have been in many facets of the industry for over a decade now.

Yet I've been a girl who dabbled in beauty...I was a makeup artist at Sephora and I've always loved hair and fashion.

Beauty is art to me, and as a kid when I would do talent shows I loved getting dolled up. I dreamed of owning a beauty salon as a little girl, but Gods vision was bigger and now I'm DHR first African American owned Beauty Supply & Salon Suites in Huntsville, AL. I didn't set out to make history but God did!

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST THING YOU HOPE WOMEN FOLLOWING YOU LEARN FROM YOUR JOURNEY?

I want women to know to give yourself some grace...and slow down and reset because sometimes we're moving so fast that we get in front of God! Love on yourself so you can attract the love you deserve. Try daily to balance life...because women do so much and wear so many hats.

You deserve the BEST in all areas of life and DON'T settle!

WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU FACED ENTERING MOTHERHOOD?

Being newly divorced and a single mom during a pandemic all while still maintaining my business and career.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR WOMEN FACING INFANT LOSS?

I encourage women to focus on holistic health care and don't give up. I had five losses prior to having my son, and I am a high performer who doesn't believe in not obtaining my goals. Motherhood was one of my biggest goals and I just seemed to be losing...but I had to pick myself up and focus on Gods promise and know that there's ALWAYS a rainbow after every storm.

“The term rainbow baby may not be familiar to people who haven't experienced a loss. But to those who have, it has a very deep and even life-changing significance. It's a baby born after a miscarriage, stillborn, or neonatal death," says Jennifer Kulp-Makarov, M.D., FACOG. "It's called a rainbow baby because it's like a rainbow after a storm: something beautiful after something scary and dark."

This term however, is not embraced by all families one mother mentioned in today.com’s recent article Why Some Parents Dislike the Term Rainbow Baby - “she wasn’t the storm: We want to remember her herself, as the rainbow.”

Infant Loss takes an enormous toll on women. Many women who lose a baby in pregnancy can go on to develop mental health issues that last for months or years– even when they have gone on to have healthy babies.

To break the stigma surrounding the death of infants, October 15 is recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. It provides acknowledgement of the trauma bereaved parents endure, creates an opportunity to talk about the children who died too soon, and helps advocate for appropriate support services for families.

HOW HAS THE THREAT TO BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH IN BIRTHING IMPACTED YOUR LABOUR AND DELIVERY EXPERIENCE?

I hired a doula (whom I adore, I call her my Soula) for my birthing journey. Hiring Nadia was the best thing I could've done, she was a Protector, a friend, she knew all my desires and no matter what she made sure they were met. She listened to me and made sure the midwives and nurses did as well.

With the huge disparity in maternal health care for BIPOC women, the recovery process is compounded by lack of awareness, biases and social stigmas. This is where Doulas can come in - A doula is a non-medical birth worker, trained to support and care for the parents first and foremost: to guide them through the pregnancy, providing answers and resources; to prepare them for the birth and their first few days and weeks with their new baby; and to hold their hands, physically and metaphorically, through the biggest transition of their lives (Boston Globe, 2021).

Doula-guided pregnancies end in significantly shorter labor times, fewer Cesarean sections, increased birth weights and breastfeeding rates, and — not least of all — higher overall happiness for new parents, in part due to the social support that decreases the risk and severity of postpartum depression.

According to the CDC, Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women.

Multiple factors contribute to these disparities, such as variation in quality healthcare, underlying chronic conditions, structural racism, and implicit bias.

Social determinants of health have historically prevented many people from racial and ethnic minority groups from having fair opportunities for economic, physical, and emotional health.

HOW HAS MOTHERHOOD IMPACTED YOUR WOMANHOOD?

It has helped me find strength I didn't know was possible. I've always been a tough Cookie, but this year was tumultuous to stay the least and caring for my son gave me insurmountable strength to carry on.

WHERE DOES YOUR DESIRE FOR SERVICE COME FROM?

My desire for service comes from those that poured into me as a young child...it brings me joy to be a part of someones evolution, to be an inspiration to, and to aid in them feeling beautiful inside and out.

WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING IN YOUR WORLD RIGHT NOW?

I have so many things going on LAMH, Radio segment (WEUP 94.5), MaDonni Beauty Product Line launching, Manifest Your Destiny courses, Beauty Tour, a few patents in curating, mommying and getting to know the new improved me.

WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE US TO KNOW OUR SHARE ABOUT YOU?

Shop online at www.madonnibeauty.com for your beauty needs. Also follow me @destiny.MaDonni on IG, Destiny Payton-Williams on FB, and @destinypayton on Twitter for more updates and what's in the works for me.

For more information about pregnancy and infant loss, check out previous article here.

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