Sometimes the seeds that are planted in one chance meeting blossom beyond anything you could have imagined.
Intentional. Generous. Empathetic. A force of nature.
Her soul shines through a smile that lights up the whole room.
When she pulls you in for a hug, she’ll adjust you first. She’ll say, “No. It needs to be heart to heart.” And she will move her heart to yours. It is so easy to be emotional around Angelina. Her spirit allows you to be yourself, even if you’ve only just met.
Back in June, I took my kids to the Black Kids Matter celebration in Penfield, NY because I knew we’d meet great people and have a lot of fun. There were incredible African musicians there and lots of black owned businesses. I met so many fantastic people that day including children’s author Nykki L Matthews, twelve year old entrepreneur Trinity Jackson and, of course, Angelina.
I introduced myself and asked her if my husband, Chris, could take her photo. She talked about Native Made with so much excitement. Chris sent me the photo he had taken and I was so glad to see how he had captured that joy in her eyes and smile.
I knew then that I was going to tell my editor, the fabulous Christine Green, about Angelina and beg her to let me write an article about her. Not only did Christine agree to let me write it, it ended up being chosen for the cover story and now everyone gets to see Angelina’s beauty radiating from the COVER of the magazine!
I was thrilled to join Angelina at the (585) photoshoot. You would never know that she was completely out of her comfort zone the way she rocked different poses, changed outfits and shot lots of film inside and outside of Innovation Square. After the shoot, the incredibly talented David Turner allowed us to take a peek at some of the images. This gifted photographer, who has photographed celebrities like Audrey Hepburn, was so gracious with us both, allowing us to give our opinion on the best ones.
As Angelina sat there looking at photos and starting to come down from the adrenaline high, we had the best talk about what it’s like to have a dream you want to pursue in this stage of life, both of us being moms who give most of our time away to our children, spouses, the household. We struggle to manage our time, balance our relationships and workload, all while remaining present with our families. We laughed and cried together, bonding over our similarities.
Months later, I was standing in my kitchen, scrolling on my phone, when I saw the cover of (585) Magazine. I screamed and texted Angelina. She had seen it a minute before I did and was screaming in the parking lot of the Penfield Target. I got to celebrate with her at the magazine’s Happy Hour for the November issue.
I am so grateful that the Rochester community will get to see this woman. This fierce advocate for Indigenous People. This mother, daughter, sister, wife, steward of the Earth and my friend.
I wish her Gramsy were still alive to see Angelina at this moment, in this beautiful stage of her life. But I’m so thrilled Angelina’s children will have this to keep forever. Please enjoy this article on Angelina Hilton and mark your calendars for the Native Made Market which will take place the Saturday right after Thanksgiving.