Don’t Do It: A note to the curly girl that likes her straight hair more.

“Why don’t you wear your hair curly anymore?” They would ask the same question and I would always respond,”I don’t really like my hair curly. It makes me feel like a little girl. Wearing my hair straight makes me feel like a grown woman.”

I would hate being asked that question because while 95% of my feelings towards my curly hair were true, the other 5% had me scared that at the rate I was going with my flat iron being my best friend every Wednesday evening, the curls would not be coming back. However, I was almost for certain that I would not be going back to the curls.

Then one boring Saturday morning I woke up missing my poof and “s” curls. I missed feeling free and all natural. I think this triggered because the Friday night before I found myself watching a YouTube video on a protein treatment using mayonnaise to bring back your curls. [A protein treatment is something I practiced every 2 weeks to a month. I would blend in a mix of either avocados or bananas, water, eggs and my favorite conditioner. My hair loved it and my curls would always be poppin’.] Anywho, I wondered, “Does my hair have heat damage after all these months of flat ironing it once every week? Oh no! What did I just do? I worked so hard to bring my curls back from the first time this happened and here I am again, hoping the curl master is still in my favor.”

So yes, Saturday morning I brought the natural girl back and I went back to my old ways; co -wash, protein treatment and deep conditioner to find my curls. The time went by as my hair was in my conditioner cap and I just knew my curls had to still be there. I rinsed the conditioner out, moisturized my hair (which I haven’t done in a while), greased my scalp with Jamaican black castor oil (something I still do twice a week instead of every other day like I use too), and sealed my hair with eco-styler gel I found far back underneath my sink. The next step was to diffuse it with cold air using my blow dryer.

The anticipation was real. Were they still there? Did I mess up once again? Finally my hair dried and I noticed that while the curls were there it wasn’t the same curls I was born with. Thankful that they were there I knew it wasn’t the end. With a little extra work, more protein treatments and less heat I knew I would be back in action. Free with curls flying everywhere.

However, I wouldn’t have to have gone through this if I just put the flat iron down and accepted my curly hair making me look like a little girl. I wouldn’t have to wait a few more months for my hair to be back fully healthy. Having long natural hair is great but long, curly and thick is even better! 

So for the curly girl that likes her hair straight more…JUST DON’T DO IT! Don’t do it if you feel that one day you just want to roll out of bed, wash your hair and go! Don’t do it if you think that you may want to switch it up a bit. If you’re like me and you’re a bi-polar curly girl meaning one day you like it sexy and straight and months later you want that #blackgirlmagic, afro curly puff, “love the skin you’re in” kind of look..I REPEAT, DON’T DO IT!

Yes, your curly hair can rise from the dead due to heat damage and can be repaired-I’ve done it before and NEVER had to cut my hair (maybe I’ll write a post on how it can be done)-but it’s so much easier to just bring out that sexy alter ego occasionally. Besides, you look beautiful no matter what you rock, but take it from me who is thankful to have less to work with to bring the thickness back, be unashamed of the type of strands you were born with through that pretty head of yours. 

 

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10 quotes that will keep you sane while starting your business

In life you will always be let down because you’ll always have such high expectations for yourself and for others-well for most of us. Sometimes I think to myself and wonder if I should even expect anything at all? But surely putting action to this thought will not get you towards your success.

Entrepreneurship is a huge step. You’ll probably have more setbacks than you have accomplishments starting off but that’s the beauty of it-the growth and the experiences. The key to getting your feet off the ground and flying with your passion is staying encouraged.

I live by encouragement and motivation so to keep me thinking positive I look towards motivational quotes and prayers. Here are 10 quotes that I know will keep your spirits lifted on this journey of starting your own business.

  1. “All your ideas may be solid or even good, but you have to actually execute them for them to matter.”

-Gary Vaynerchuk

  1. “If you just work on stuff that you like and you’re passionate about, you don’t have to have a master plan with how things will play out.”

– Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook.

  1. “The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.”

-Ayn Rand

  1. “My best advice to entrepreneurs is this: Forget about making mistakes, just do it.”

-Ajaero Tony Martins

  1. “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal—a commitment to excellence—that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”

-Mario Andretti

  1. “If you hear a voice within you saying ‘you are not a painter’ then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”

-Vincent Van Gogh

  1. “The entrepreneur is essentially a visualizer and actualizer. He can visualize something, and when he visualizes it he sees exactly how to make it happen.”

-Robert L. Schwartz

  1. “Dear optimist, pessimist, and realist—while you guys were busy arguing about the glass of wine, I drank it! Sincerely, the opportunist!”

-Lori Greiner

  1. “Life-fulfilling work is never about the money—when you feel passion for something, you instinctively find ways to nurture it.”

-Eileen Fisher

  1. “One of the huge mistakes people make is that they try to force an interest on themselves. You don’t choose your passions; your passions choose you.

-Jeff Bezos

3 ladies bring in 2016 with women and visions

If you didn’t create a vision board for 2016 I wouldn’t say you’re not on the right track but I will say it’s not too late to map out your dreams and goals for the New Year.

2015 was the rise of the vision boards. It was as if a new movement was created to uplift and inspire dream chasers. From vision board parties, magazine covers and social media posts-everyone was doing it. Seeing everyone create something positive was a great way to start a new year.

This year the movement continues. I had a great opportunity to witness women pump their creative juices and really add some “sass” and “class” to their 2016 vision.  Mackin Project (Tanisha Mackin) and Design Yourself Executive Solutions (Chae Haughton) joined for an amazing Vision Board Social hosted by Jae Christian of WETV’s “Selling it in ATL”, a reality TV show with a group of Atlanta Real Estate agents.

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One of the event planners shared her own success story with her 2015 vision board which was used as a weight loss goal. “We’re both visionaries. So we wanted to get a group of women together who have the same type of vision and just go with it and it turned into something larger than what I thought it was going to be,” said Chae. She added that with the social’s success she visions it being larger next year.

Participant Anoa Changa had goals of networking in Atlanta after moving to the city 2 years ago due to a natural disaster.  “Trying to become more involved in the greater community as well as trying to build more of our family presence so to speak. Events like this are awesome to get out and meet new people,” she said.

Before the participants completed their vison boards the host, Jae Christian, had everyone write on a posted note their fears and negative thoughts that would keep them from completing their goals. As they wrote them down Jae walked around the room and had each of them throw the posted notes away.  She added that it’s important to add affirmations to your visions. “You have to do the work and you have to be confident and motivate yourself for those things to come true,” Jae said.

As Jae mentioned, the vision board doesn’t work for itself. You work for the vision. It’s never too late to write it down and make it plain.

 

Allen Temple kids made the “nice list” this Christmas

When a good new friend of mine invited me to speak to young females about the importance of attending college I was honored to even be thought of. Little did I know that I was going to witness the incredible feeling of what it truly means to impact a community.

It’s nice to receive blessings but it’s a lot more fulfilling when you can be a blessing to someone else. Christmas came a little early this year for boys and girls living in Allen Temple apartments. Thanks to the Sell Hope not Dope organization hundreds of gifts were shipped to Atlanta from majority of college students attending HBCU’s.

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Sell Hope not Dope Members John Vaughn, Daphne Banks, Dominique Shell, and Obadiah Njoku

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More Sell Hope not Dope members Man Man and Obadiah Njoku
I walked in the room amazed by the many gifts that surrounded the table in front of the room. From personal experience, I enjoyed shopping for the little girl I was assigned to sponsor. She loved Frozen dolls and reading and I wanted to get her almost every frozen toy I saw.

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I adore this beautiful girl!
I can just imagine the hearts of others who were shopping for their kids as well. But nothing beats the glow in kids’ faces when they received their wrapped and unwrapped toys. Wait-there is something that beat it-their eyes popping out when special guest comedian DC Young Fly walked in the room. These kids went CRAZY! He not only motivated them to reach their highest potential but got them dancing to of course “Hit the Quan” and “Nae Nae”.

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DC Young Fly with kids. Photo taken from @sellhopenotdope

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Photo taken from @sellhopenotdope
On behalf of the kids, I would like to say they had the time of their lives! I am very proud of the community for making this event happen and thinking about our future generation. I’m also very thankful for my friend OB who included me to be a part of it. It was nice seeing college students/alums, Fraternities and  Sororities, and community leaders come together for a common cause. We need more of this,

For more of Sell Hope not Dope please visit their Instagram page @sellhopenotdope.

Stilettos strut the scene and on the move

What do you get with a room full of women with hustles? A powerful group of successful female entrepreneurs and that is exactly what I received at Stilettos on the Move 4th Annual Women’s Expo. It was very impressing walking into the East Cobb Center this past Sunday and seeing vendors already set up and waiting to share their talents and services that they provide. Listed below are vendors who registered.

  1. Just Fab
  2. Shoedazzle
  3. Girl Let’s Go Travel and Entertainment Company
  4. Drea’s Pure Romance
  5. Delectable Candy Creations
  6. Traci Lynn Jewelry
  7. Felcity- Women’s online Boutique
  8. Beachbody
  9. Mini Waist Club
  10. Thirty-one
  11. Doterra
  12. Passion Parties
  13. Ion Win, Inc.
  14. It Works
  15. Break of Dawn
  16. Ardyss
  17. Pure Sensations
  18. Transition Rehab
  19. D Lawrence
  20. Natural is Beyoutiful
  21. Fifth Avenue Collection
  22. Plexus Worldwide
  23. Price Realty Group & Commercial Advisors

Guests should have felt very welcomed walking in as I noticed white drapes sweeping across the ceiling giving the room a fancy vibe that stated elegance. I think appearance is probably one of the most important qualities of an event. It’s as if you’ve been invited into someone’s home. The first thing you’ll recognize is how well they keep it up and to be honest you wouldn’t want to return to someone’s home who doesn’t keep it welcoming-at least I know I wouldn’t.

I hate that I couldn’t stay for the entire event, which lasted until 7pm, but I can say that I came right on time (1:00pm) and they were definitely prepared for the early birds-meaning they knew how to get the party started on time. However I did briefly catch one of their special guests, Food Network star “Chef Treygaye”, as she shared her story and experience as a Chef. According to their promotion, other special guests included some of Bravo TV’s “Mother Funders”. What a great way to promote the power of women networking with each other.

Being that this is the 4th expo I had to go around and get thoughts from a couple of seasoned participants and beginners as well. One vendor had intentions on connecting with like-minded business women such as herself. “Hopefully I’ll learn a few things,” said Andrea Samale, Ambassador of Pure Romance and owner of Drea’s Pure Romance and Cocktails and Conversations. Andrea was a first time vendor but it wasn’t her first time as a guest. Another vendor not from Atlanta never heard of the organization but had the opportunity to participate by word of mouth. “I was browsing on Facebook on one of the vendor groups,” said Timmesha Rogers, owner of Girl Let’s Go Travel and Entertainment Company. Timmesha is also a mother who teaches the importance of entrepreneurship to her children and their business, Generation Yes.

I was wondering what motivated someone to create such a powerful event and had the opportunity to speak with the creator, Zaina Ihenacho who once owned her own hair salon. “People have always asked me how did I get my business started and I was really doing it just to be doing it and I’ve realized that people really do listen to me. So when I started the organization everyone was like what do I need to do to join, and how can I participate? And I really didn’t think that the expo was going to grow to this capacity,” said Zaina. She also added that beginning in February 2016 she will be taking the expo on a 10 city tour. How amazing!

I’m really glad that women have opportunities such as this event to come together to network and connect, share their business and ideas and most importantly support each other.

To stay updated with Stilettos on the Move please visit their website: http://stilettosonthemove.com

The Renaissance Experience……

I’ve always been amazed by people who had musical talent and the ability to express their thoughts using spoken word. The power of speaking represents the ability to deliver a message to an individual or mass audience that could make them think differently about the subject and empower them.

Experiencing The Renaissance ATL Friday night opened my eyes to see the crafts in others. How beautiful is it that God blesses us with these gifts for his divine purpose. Artists walked on stage giving us their outer appearance but when they spoke I felt connected to who they really are deep inside. It’s amazing seeing people passionate about their talents and using them for God’s glory.

While The Renaissance ATL normally has Christian performances it’s really an event open to Christians and non Christians. I support this. A staff member of the event mentioned his topic in bible study which was how are you shining your light outside of the church. It’s important that we not only worship together but sew our practice, our beliefs, our testimonies and our knowledge of God back into those who need it. In order to spread God’s glory we have to be unselfish. We have to reach out to those who don’t know Him and we can’t do that by keeping it in the Church.

It was impressing watching the artists perform. How do we have so much talent in this world yet it seems like they’re not really “discovered” yet? It’s almost as if there’s not enough room in the “pond” for everyone to be caught.

However, I really enjoyed their feature artists Angelina Sheri (singer, song writer and violinist) and Real Talk Raps (poet). They made me realize that music doesn’t stop on your radio. No, it goes way further than that. And sometimes the best ones are right there in your local community! We have to start supporting them and actually paying attention to their music.

Other artists who came out that I enjoyed included: @I_amvirtuous, @chavisflagg, @brandiboothofficial, @thequeensheba, @jordan.Moreland, and @navellehice.

Overall, my Renaissance ATL experience was AWESOMEEEE!! I can’t wait for the next one on January 8th at the Epic Center in Austell, Ga. I encourage everyone to come out. It took me a while to see what it’s about but I’m glad I finally did.

Follow The Renaissance ATL on Instagram @therenaissanceatl.

(Feature photo taken from @therenaissainceatl)

I got the mic!!

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion (at North Clayton High School) for the second time with an amazing organization, Project Inspire. This organization serves a purpose to enlighten the younger generation (high school students) through community service, panel discussions and empowering events. The best part about this organization is the fact that it’s ran by a group of men-black men at that!! These guys are so incredible, so successful and they all come from different backgrounds.

Project Inspire North Clayton High School
North Clayton High School

The organization hand picks men from the community to sit down as panelists and speak with the high school men about their background, what inspires them, how they were in high school, etc. The high school boys get the opportunity to speak to men who are business owners, bankers, educators, realtors-just successful black men in general who worked hard to become who they are.

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Listening to one of the panelists 

 

As I MC’d the discussion it was very intriguing listening to their stories. Just imagine, every story is different but they all had one thing in common-they were inspiring. I was very proud to be apart of something that uplifted our boys and gave them hope for a brighter future. It motivated them to go to college-the first time I hosted for Project Inspire at Charles R. Drew High School I over heard some of the younger boys talking about how they didn’t even plan on attending college mainly because they didn’t know where to start as far as preparation. However, with the presence of these men they received advice and help.

This is what I live for-witnessing growth in our community and documenting it. It truly was amazing serving as their host.