When Tabitha Brown asked the Most High for guidance about the direction for a potential acting career, she was surprised at the answer. The “mompreneur” and social media superstar had been trying for years to “make it” as an actress, and had some nominal success — but her agent had advised her against turning the camera on herself.

“I wanted to be taken seriously as an actress,” she told AfroTech exclusively. “So, I listened to my agent when she said not to record things for YouTube, for Instagram, for any social media. I wanted to do stand-up — I wanted a TV show — and, honestly, I just felt stuck. So, I prayed about it, and I said to God, ‘I will do whatever you want me to do.’ Then, my daughter told me about this thing called TikTok. She said, ‘Mama, why don’t you start doing some videos?'”

This was in March 2020 — the beginning of what would be known as “quarantine” to stop the spread of COVID-19. So, against her agent’s advice, Tabitha Brown turned the camera onto herself — began recording videos for TikTok — and the rest, as they say, is history.

The “small-town girl” from Eden, NC, certainly hasn’t had a conventional road to superstardom. For years, she pursued acting while raising a family and dealing with undiagnosed chronic autoimmune pain. Before she became vegan, her condition made her believe she wouldn’t live to see forty. She had a deep headache that lasted for years. After watching a documentary, she decided to test the idea that a plant-based diet could turn her issues around; her headache disappeared within 10 days of her changing her diet. Though she was feeling better, she was still struggling to make it as an actress while driving for Uber, hoping she might pick up a movie exec at some point.

Since then, Tabitha Brown created a tangible connection to her fans — to the point where kids dress up as her and people remix her videos into songs. They relate to her food, but more than that, they turn to her for comfort, inspiration and support.

“As my Internet fame became more prominent, I made a decision to be responsible for what I put out there,” she said, explaining why her cooking show is so relatable. “I am their friend — I am their auntie — I am their sister — I am whatever they need in that given moment. Every time I turn on the camera, I make a decision to speak directly from the heart. I let the Lord guide my words, and say what needs to be said to whoever needs to hear it, in that moment in time. Everyone wants to be seen — to be heard — to be loved — and I’m giving people those things and more.”

She’s also giving people a book about her incredible rise to superstardom. Titled “Feeding the Soul (Because It’s My Business): Finding Our Way to Joy, Love, and Freedom,” Tabitha Brown shares the wisdom she gained along her journey in addition to some bon mots and life advice that’s applicable to everyone, no matter their age or background.

And at the end of the day, Tabitha Brown just wants people to love themselves for who, and what, they are.

“You, just as you are — you are enough,” she said. “The desire in your heart is there for a reason. A lot of people don’t realize that they are enough. When I showed up as my authentic self, everything changed — and it can change for you, too.”

Editorial note: Portions of this interview have been edited and condensed for clarity.