Proud Placemaker: Javacia Harris Bowser

Well hey there, Javacia! Let’s go ahead and jump right in. Where do you live?

I live in the Oxmoor neighborhood, near Lakeshore and Oxmoor Road. Some people think my neighborhood is in Homewood, and even 
though I love Homewood, I’m quick to declare, “No! It’s in Birmingham!”

We are more than okay with that proud declaration! Where are you originally from?

I am a native of Birmingham. I was born and raised here. Growing up, I lived in Ensley, College Hills, North Birmingham, and Titusville. I moved away after college and lived in Berkeley, California; Seattle, Washington; and Louisville, Kentucky before returning to the Magic City in 2009.

We love a hometown girl! What made you choose Oxmoor over other neighborhoods?

My husband and I live in an apartment and we love it. Our place is spacious and the folks who manage and care for the property – especially the maintenance crew –are so helpful and kind. They’re the epitome of Southern hospitality.

Furthermore, on any given day you will find several people going for walks or runs around the apartment community. This means a lot to me because I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic.

Sounds like a great environment to call home. Speaking of calling places home, why do you think Birmingham makes for such a great place to live?

I’ve lived in and visited cities all over the country and I’ve come to the realization that there’s no place like home. Contrary to what some may believe, there is always something to do in Birmingham. We have a thriving arts scene, a great literary and blogging community, a burgeoning music scene, a strong running community and so much more. Even our fashion scene is growing. And all this is in addition to our great restaurants and parks.  

People who say there’s nothing to do in Birmingham simply aren’t paying attention.  

Birmingham has so much to offer and you don’t have to pay $1,000 a month for a tiny studio apartment to live here. This city offers many of benefits of a major metropolis, but without many of the headaches of living in a big city.

Yes to ALL of that! The haters can hate all the want, but no one truly realizes the benefits of this great place until they finally visit. What has made Birmingham so special to you over the years?

Birmingham is a city where you can make your dreams come true. Since I was 15 years old I dreamed of starting a magazine, but after the print journalism industry began to suffer I tried to push this dream out of my mind. Birmingham wouldn’t let me. I moved here and started a networking group for women writers and bloggers – hosting workshops, panel discussions and social events. I kept hosting these events and people kept showing up! Meanwhile, Birmingham took my love for blogging to a new level as I became more interested in and passionate about building community online. Eventually I decided to launch an online magazine that would be a product of the organization I had started. See Jane Write Magazine was born. And thanks to the businesses that helped sponsor our launch party, the women who helped with content, and all the folks who came to the launch party to help me celebrate – I felt like the whole city of Birmingham was cheering for me when I finally made my dream a reality.

That is truly incredible to hear.  We love how the city played such a helpful role in making your dreams come true! Thanks for taking the time to share your story. Any final fun fact you would like to leave with us?

I exercise every day. I do this in part because of my love for pizza, Mexican food, and anything sweet, but also because I’m obsessed with Jillian Michaels and determined to be on one of her workout DVDs one day.

That's a great goal, but we might just stick with the pizza and Mexican food for now!

You can catch Javacia at one of her 3 (yes, THREE!) jobs: teaching English at the Alabama School of Fine Arts, writing as a freelance journalist for several local and national publications and as the founder of See Jane Write LLC-a networking group for women writers and bloggers in Birmingham and an online magazine, SeeJaneWriteMagazine.com, for women writers and bloggers nationwide. Follow her on twitter @writeousbabe

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