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MAGAZINE

BRONZE OCTOBER 2017

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Valerie Wray & Joy Fennell inspire with home décor brand The 125 Collection

Chicago Dentist

Dr. Karen Fields -Lever empowers her community through dentistry

Beauty & Wellness Mogul

Nathalie Nicole Smith shares her blueprint for success

Dr . Sheron Brown’s “Eat Your Way to God” explains "spiritual" foundational eating practices

Pianist to the stars...

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BRONZE MAGAZINE PRESENTS...

TAKEOVER POP UP EVENT

CELEBRATING 7 YEARS OF EMPOWERMENT & INSPIRATION

#BRONZEMAGTAKEOVER DATE: November 4, 2017 TIME: 11AM-3PM (Open to Public) RSVP Required 4PM-6PM (VIP Afterparty) Ticket Purchase LOCATION: BKLYN Commons (PROSPECT-LEFFERTS GARDENS) 495 FLATBUSH AVE. BROOKLYN, NY 11225 TICKET PURCHASE: Eventbrite tinyurl.com/y9c6w299

SPONSORS

VENDORS

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BRONZE MAGAZINE

October 2017 Editor’s Note Happy October Bronze beauties! Fall is here and the seasons are once again amid change. We usually tend to accept the changing of the seasons like the normal occurrence of nature that it is. So then why is it so difficult at times for us to do the same when it comes to our own life changes? For me, I usually attempt to embrace change and look at it as a challenge, but sometimes, I can be a little fearful of change because of its unpredictability. Change can throw you off balance and make you uncomfortable. But isn’t that the point? Isn’t that how we grow? By being thrown into the unknown and either finding a way out or learning how to adapt? Or even finding alternative ways? Yes, of course it is! So the lesson here is if you change your mindset, you can conquer the fear of what change may bring to your life.

Cover Photography by Amina Touray Stylist: Jes Lopez @_jeslopez Makeup artist: Niehla O @niehlao Black Dress- Shefali Couture Head piece- Halo & CoNecklace- Rose Gilley

In this month’s issue, our cover star is the lovely Victoria Theodore, a classically trained pianist and keyboardist who has played with everyone from Stevie Wonder to Beyoncé. Get

to know Victoria's journey from her musical roots to the various influences in her life.

CO-OWNER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Shawn Stuldivant

Also featured in this issue are other amazing women including Women United Now founder Jean Price; Chicago dentist Dr. Karen Fields; Johanne Brierre, co-founder of co-working space Trendy Tripping, Valerie Wray & Joy Fennell, co-owners of The 125 Collection; beauty & wellness mogul, Nathalie Nicole Smith.

CO-OWNER Barry Stuldivant GRAPHIC DESIGNER Sheena Tadifa COVER PHOTOGRAPHER Amina Touray GUEST EDITOR Mya Kay WRITERS- This Issue Dr. Sheron M. Brown Mya Kay Farheen Nahvi Kit Stone Jamelia Thompson Amina Touray Farren Washington

xoxo, Shawn ant v i d l u St

Look out for the BronzeMag App

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And I cannnot forget to mention we have awesome articles by our guest editor Mya Kay and regular guest contributor, Dr. Sheron Brown.This is definitely an issue that will inspire you. Happy reading!


CONTENTS

OCT ‘17 6. An Unpopular Marriage 10. A Christian Business Mogul’s Blueprint to Success 18. Scents of Serenity 24. A Time For Healing: Jean Price Transforms the Lives of Women and Young Girls 38. Eat Your Way to God 42. Say Ahhhh, Meet America’s Favorite Dentist 46. Trendy Tripping

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featuring

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An Unpopular Opinion on Marriage Written by Mya Kay Photos by CreateHER Stock Photography Mya Kay, born and raised in North Philadelphia, is a best-selling celebrity author, speaker and literary coach who believes everyone has a story to tell. She has been honing her craft since she first discovered her calling for writing and publishing ten years ago. She has published eleven books and a non-fiction guide, Don’t Time Your Masterpiece, Take Time to Write It: From The Inside Out. Mya Kay is currently signed to The TMG Firm as an author and was the first person in literature to release three books on the same day (April 4, 2017). Mya helps others bring their stories to life through coaching and workshops. You can check out her services at www.masterpieceinkedpublications.com. @writermya | www.writermya.com Marriage equals success? According to statistics, not necessarily true. Isn’t it okay for women to not think in the same order when it comes to what they want out of life? So why do so many women who focus more on their careers or dreams and reaching a certain level financially get looked at sideways for not including a “man” at the top of their divine plan? Yes. I am certainly a woman. And I enjoy every curve, nook and cranny that I have. Even now, at a point in my life where I’ve truly discovered my worth, I know what it means to love myself and others, I still feel like the thought of “marriage success” equating to success is scary. One, landing a mate doesn’t mean the marriage will be

successful. Yet somehow, plenty of women end up equating getting married with an “I’ve made it mentality.” I want to get married one day and I actually find joy in knowing that I am taking steps to make sure I’m prepared for that big day (although you will never fully be prepared until you are in the ring with your mate, fighting daily to keep your marriage alive) by being careful of decisions I make now with men that could later affect my decisions with my future, unknown, hubby to be. And at one point, I remember being quite desperate to be loved by a man. But I always understood that marriage was permanent and not meant to be a quest for who you can conquer the quickest.

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But what I don’t like seeing and quite frankly, still don’t get, is the 20-something, or even 40-something year old women who are hard-core pressed to land a marriage as if it’s some auction moment that if not acted upon right now, this second, may make them lose their value. “I can’t believe I’m 28 and not married yet,” and “What is going on with these guys today? Don’t they get it?” are frequent statements that I hear coming from women as young as 19. To answer that last question: a 60-year-old man doesn’t get it, honey. That’s something that a woman whose been married for 30 years can tell you. But back to the point: Marriage is beautiful. But it was around five or six years ago that I started to look at things differently. With the rate of divorce increasing, I realized that marriage is more serious business than just “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Mya with the baby carriage” business. Time-lines on social media are filled with thoughts on getting married, what age you should be, how you should work it for your mate and how to get him if you don’t have him yet. I’m against the rush to marry. I’m against the thought of getting married before I’m a millionaire and yes, I’m against the thought of marrying for comfort and contentment for the sake of lying next to a warm body at night.

If you want to play, then play. If you want to meet someone and have a fun night (be safe about it), then do that. But don’t make wedding plans before you’ve made financial plans to secure a better future for yourself and that future family you may want. I’m not saying money is more important than love. But it does take money to maintain a family and I meet too many people struggling in their marriages because they weren’t at least financially prepared. Frustration sets in and arguments start. I love the independent woman mentality that understands marriage is a partnership that she hopes to one day take part in and not a contest for which sorority sister gets married first. I love the millionaire before marriage mindset I’ve now developed. I love that I’m well-rounded and focused on me. It keeps me focused on my entrepreneur goals and my writing goals. If I meet someone along the way to making it all happen, cool. I won’t fight the REAL feeling of being in love (notice I said love and not LUST). But I will still be pursuing my passions and my purpose and making me a better me instead of just settling for a ring. I like the equation a “healthy marriage” + “personal success” = life success much better than “marriage” + “momma, I’ve made it cause he put a ring on my finger” = success.

I’m against the thought of marrying for comfort and contentment for the sake of lying next to a warm body at night.

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Nathalie Ni

Photo by Felicia Gray 10

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icole Smith

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A Christian Business Mogul’s Blueprint to Success Written by Mya Kay Mya Kay, born and raised in North Philadelphia, is a best-selling celebrity author, speaker and literary coach who believes everyone has a story to tell. She has been honing her craft since she first discovered her calling for writing and publishing ten years ago. She has published eleven books and a non-fiction guide, Don’t Time Your Masterpiece, Take Time to Write It: From The Inside Out. Mya Kay is currently signed to The TMG Firm as an author and was the first person in literature to release three books on the same day (April 4, 2017). Mya helps others bring their stories to life through coaching and workshops. You can check out her services at www.masterpieceinkedpublications.com. @writermya | www.writermya.com Poised. Dedicated. Destined. These are just a few of the words to describe the business mogul that has become a household name when it comes to the beauty and wellness industry. When you first talk to Nathalie Nicole, you can tell she’s all about her business, but more importantly, she’s all about giving back, including making sure that the women she pours into on a regular basis are not only driven to follow their passions, but to make sure their passion includes spiritual, mental and physical well-being. What I love most about Nathalie is that she didn’t wait until she had her own life where she wanted it to be before she started to help; she’s been developing her community efforts since she was nineteen years old.

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A force to be reckoned with in the beauty and wellness industry, Nathalie’s desire to see women fulfill their purpose is what motivates her to keep going. Even more important, she keeps God at the center of everything that she does. This powerhouse business coach focuses on women and youth when it comes to her community outreach and believes every person she comes across just needs the proper guidance to help them harness their destiny. “Your season will always come. It’s a promise,” Nathalie says, during our phone interview. She brings that up just after spending a few minutes encouraging me on my own journey; once again proving how selfless she is on her way to becoming a millionaire.


A woman that is concerned with more than just her bank account, Nathalie’s purpose has continued to soar and today, when someone mentions beauty, health and wellness in one sentence, Nathalie’s name will come up. She’s made her mark, but isn’t done yet and like most people, her journey into the beauty and wellness industry wasn’t necessarily planned.

Photo by JPW Photography

After graduating from Howard University in 2010 with a Bachelor’s in Communications, Nathalie founded Plush, an online ecofriendly beauty company that specializes in innovative and quality products and services ranging from hair and skin care, hair extensions, makeup and health and wellness. During those years, her business and philanthropic efforts landed her on 93.9 WKYS as a “Top 30 under 30” honoree. She created and runs over five programs in the DC area, one of which is her non-profit organization called, Women Who Boss. Women Who Boss supports women and advocates physical, financial and mental wellness through weekly and monthly activities. She also launched Girls Who Boss, where she helps young girls develop into young women and some of the programs under her organizations include programs that focus on academics, career and mental wellness. With all of that, she has linked up with several DC organizations that cater to mental health and continues to grow her organizations reach by remaining flexible in pursuit of her cause.

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Photo by Kendrick Lamar I asked her about her dream job – that one thing you would do if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now. Without hesitation, she says “acting.” The multi-faceted woman talks about how she would love to follow her creative goals and continue to pursue her business goals, yet, no matter what, her conversation always goes back to what she can do for women and youth. When I asked her what she would say to her younger self: “Being a dark-skinned girl in the Caucasian/ Asian/Jewish community where I grew up, I would tell my younger self to love yourself and be more confident. Pride yourself on

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who you are and Whose you are when it comes to God. I grew up in the church, but didn’t always apply what I knew to my life. A lot of what I see today that’s going on with youth could be prevented if someone would pour into their lives.” She even shares a transparent moment. “When I was younger, I used to cry about dying. Being young is scary because you don’t know what to expect, but today, I don’t worry about natural disasters or things that are going on. When you’re on assignment, you must stay focused and remember that, as long as you’re breathing, God isn’t done with you, yet. There’s nothing to fear.”


Become a product of the product and work the business in ways that shows that you’re business-minded.

Which brings me to one of the assignments she’s on that connected us – Total Life Changes. Total Life Changes offers an amazing line of health and beauty products along with a great business opportunity. Founder and CEO, Jack Fallon, created Total Life Changes (TLC) over 16 years ago with a single product, NutraBurst. The brand continued to grow with the popular Iaso Tea and today, Total Life Changes provides individuals with the opportunity to feel healthier and flourish financially. Smith partnered with Total Life Changes several years ago to help 1000 families get healthy and wealthy. In less than a year, she became a National Director with TLC and earned over six-figures on a part-time basis.  “TLC has been phenomenal and life changing. This company is truly about personal development with a compensation plan. I was very coachable and always open to be the very best version of myself. TLC Ambassador, Coach Stormy Wellington is my sponsor and she allowed me to borrow her vision until I had my own.” Nathalie sponsored over 150 people in her

first year and has an organization of over 7,000 people around the world. One of the things that Nathalie loves about TLC, is that the products work and have created a movement that pushes individuals and families towards wellness in all areas of their lives. They also have a solid compensation plan that gives individuals multiple ways to earn income, all while becoming healthy. With all the talk going on about MLM companies (multi-level marketing), many people shy away from this kind of business, but Nathalie gives this advice: “Once you fully understand the dynamics of the company you want to join, you need to understand the compensation plan and become a fan of the product. I can guarantee that if you aren’t using the products, then you aren’t going to win in multi-level marketing. Become a product of the product and work the business in ways that shows that you’re business-minded. Always think of innovative ways to grow any business you’re in and if you’re in survival mode, you may have to do some things that you don’t want to do just to get your foot in the door. Know your value, but know when to be flexible.”

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We also talked about anxiety and mental health, with both of us mentioning our past struggles with depression and anxiety. Nathalie is very transparent about this topic and has words of wisdom for anyone dealing with anxiety and depression.

& Success is a Lifestyle), but she also just opened a new PlushRx location in Upper Marlboro, Maryland (located in the Fab Body Factory located at 8027-C Penn Randall Pl, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772 and is open Tuesday through Saturday).

“God is your answer. To be honest, you can do yoga, you can take Nutraburst, you can do so many things, but sometimes you just need to sit down. People tend to think that when they have money issues, they need to go out and get more money; but sometimes you just have to relax. There’s not a moment that I don’t pray when I’m feeling overwhelmed and God always answers. Within 24 hours, I have an answer. You get solutions when you sit still.”

Nathalie has proven that with hard work, a solid plan and keeping Christ at the center of everything you do will lead you to success. Even with all the failures along the way, you’ll know you’re on the right path because God will send you signs and people to keep pushing you forward.

What’s next for the humble business mogul? Not only does she have two books coming out (My Network Marketing Success Story

If Nas is the GOAT of Hip Hop and Michael Jordan is the GOAT of basketball (although I’d say Allen Iverson), then Nathalie Nicole is well on her way to becoming the GOAT in the beauty and wellness industry. Just wait and see.

To keep up with Nathalie Nicole’s success and to learn more about her business and community endeavors:

www.natnicolesmith.com www.plushrx.com www.womenwhoboss.org Social Media:

@nathalienicole (Instagram)

People tend to think that when they have money issues, they need to go out and get more money; but sometimes you just have to relax.

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Photos by Nathalie Nicole Smith OCTOBER 2017

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Pictured from left: Valerie Wray & Joy Fennell 18

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Scents of Serenity An Interview with the 125 Collection by Farheen Nahvi In the up and coming home décor industry, business women Valerie Wray and Joy Fennell have made a name with a collection of candles-quoted, scented, customised, you name it. Inspired by the NYC lifestyle, combined with their knowledge and experience in beauty and business, Wray and Fennell have created a unique brand that celebrates selfexpression. They launched their first collection, named Quote Candles, in November 2015. Undoubtedly a success, their product line has expanded with growing customer demand. Valerie worked in the corporate world, and Joy came from a background in fashion. They met through a mutual friend eight years ago in New York, and the rest is history. Out of the wide variety of home décor items, why did you choose to make candles? We love aromatherapy and how scents can transform your mood. We also like the idea of self-expression and using a candle as a statement piece that can go in your home and add to your décor. Can you tell us a little about how your candles are made? Our candles are made of a non-toxic soy wax blend, a cotton wick, and are made in the US. The majority of our candle processing is done in Harlem, NYC. What is the idea behind the quotes your candles sport? Our quotes are all about self-expression.

We’ve designed them to motivate our customers and make them smile. We have 3 categories of candles to fit various personalities: Spicy (for those with an edgy personality), Sweet (for those with a kind personality), and Spirit (for those who like balance and want to be motivated). Additionally, we create some of our quotes based on pop culture and trends. How did your friendship evolve into a business partnership? We both are entrepreneurs (Joy is an editorial makeup artist and Valerie owns a fashion company) who have always supported each other’s businesses. We had similar interests in lifestyle brands, self-expression and NYC. We decided to join forces and pull our strengths together and create this partnership that fuses all of those things. Continued>>

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Every business has its ups and downs. What is your advice on overcoming such problems as partners? Communication is key, and has helped us throughout our journey as we grow The 125 Collection. There will always be hiccups along the way, and we’ve learned to talk about them and create solutions and agreements on how to move forward. Would you let us in on your personal life a little, like where did you grow up? How has that influenced your work? Joy was born in Virginia and later moved to Landover, Md. She’s a middle child and has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Independence has always been an important factor in her life, which is what lead her to move to NYC and start multiple businesses. Valerie was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and later moved to Louisville, KY. Also being a middle child, individuality was extremely important to her. She’s always moved to her own tune; she took the road less travelled, which lead her to NYC to create her own opportunities. What inspired the name ‘The 125 Collection?’ Both Joy and Valerie have been Harlem, NYC residents for at least a decade and absolutely love this eclectic, energetic neighborhood. NYC and Harlem has been

a huge influence on our lives-personally and professionally. So, to pay homage, we named our company after the legendary “125th” street located in the heart of this bustling NYC community. Can you tell us about life and work prior to The 125 Collection? After college, Valerie moved to New York to pursue her master’s degree at Columbia University. After grad school, she worked in the corporate world, yet always found herself creating small businesses to produce additional income streams. She often referred to these businesses as her “creative outlets” until one day her desire for doing what she loved superseded her desire to work a “stable 9 to 5.” She decided to put more time and money into her passion, and left the corporate world to take a full-time job that allows her the flexibility to create and grow the business. After finishing college at the University of Maryland, Joy made her way to NYC in 2005 and has been there ever since. She decided to pursue a career in makeup, and took a chance and moved to the fashion capital of the world. Since then, her name/work has been featured in some of the biggest magazines and it’s all because of the chance that she took some years back. That has since laid the foundation for most of her entrepreneurial endeavours.

Communication is key, and has helped us throughout our journey as we grow The 125 Collection. There will always be hiccups along the way.

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How has this business changed you? We definitely grow everyday as entrepreneurs and The 125 Collection has shown us that if we really want it, we can achieve it. There were times we had conversations on what magazines we wanted to be in, what our showroom space would eventually look like, and what major brand collaborations we wanted to do, and we have already achieved some of those things. We’ve changed in that we continuously challenge ourselves, we are more confident, and we understand that our biggest competitor is ourselves. Where is The 125 Collection headed to in the near future? The 125 Collection aims to expand into more stores across the US with additional product lines. We also have plans to open a showroom in Harlem in the near future.

Is there ever a thought of extending your production of décor items to more than candles? Yes, The 125 Collection is a lifestyle brand so the Quote Candles was our initial line of products. Our product catalogue will be expanding in spring 2018 with some really cool products that we are excited about, so stay tuned. Any golden tips for success for our readers? ° Don’t take “no” for an answer, find another way ° Surround yourself with highly motivated individuals ° Learn from your mistakes ° Create a plan for success ° And make sure you follow one of our quotes, “Hustle Until Your Haters Ask If You’re Hiring”

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A Time for Healing: Jean Price Transforms the Lives of Women and Young Girls Interview by Farren Washington Edited by Mya Kay Jean Price is a highly coveted empowerment expert, shrewd business woman and transformational leader. As the founder and CEO of Women Ignited Now LLC (W.I.N.), Price helps individuals and businesses to find their true purpose and maximize ultimate potential. She is also an expert at launching business executives, and is Co-Pastor of Bethel Christian Center in Massapequa, New York, a Christian organization led by her husband, Senior Pastor, Derek K. Price. Beyond the pulpit, Price makes it her mission in life to save broken women and girls. She is the founder and Executive Director of Beginning Anew Community Development Corporation (B.A.C.D.C.), which focuses primarily on rehabilitating women and young girls after traumatic life experiences. Price is currently in the process of creating a Women’s Shelter under the B.A.C.D.C. umbrella. Earlier this year, she released her debut empowerment memoir entitled “Forgiveness: A 30 Day Guide to Living Your Best Life.” The pocket-book devotional is a life lesson guide on how to forgive and forget. Price continues to think outside of the box when it comes to conventional living, sharing her life on multiple platforms and earning the illustrious reputation of servant-leader and catalyst for change. How did you come up with the idea for Women Ignited Now (and Beginning Anew Community Development Corporation)? The idea for Women Ignited Now came from my desire to ‘W.I.N.’ at life. A difficult adolescence helped me to acknowledge t h a t   m y   f a i l u re s   d o n ’t   h a v e   t o   d e f i n e who I am. Beginning Anew Community Development Corporation came about when I was a young teen mother, pregnant and alone. I never wanted another woman to go through what I went through, so God guided me to build a shelter (which I am presently working on) where women and young girls can go and start over again.

Tell me about the progression of your career. When I was twenty-three, I started working for a hospital as a secretary. Eventually, the Lord allowed me to advance to the position of Office Manager in my department. I retired from the hospital after twenty-six years of dedicated service. During that time, I also became the Church Administrator, which is a position I still currently hold to this day. My greatest accomplishment to date was becoming the CEO of Women Ignited Now & Beginning Anew Community Development Corporation. I’d like to think that my past work experience gave me the tools that I needed to excel in the business world. But on the other hand, the passion that God gave me to help others succeed far outweighs everything else. Continued>>

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Give me an example when you felt you were able to motivate a group.

How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization(s)?

Over the past seven years, I have been fortunate enough to be asked to speak at a women’s retreat called “W.O.W,” which stands for “Women of War.” To use the word of God and see the lives of these inspirational women being transformed is simply amazing. When empowering others, I am very transparent about my personal life and feel that letting people know that you’ve been where they are makes all the difference in the world. Letting others see you’re human (and make mistakes) is the best way to motivate.

One thing I like to do is question everyone on what they expect to receive, what they would like to achieve and what they perceive as their ultimate goal. Since I am such a visual person, I like to promote journals, posting of individual quotes and scriptures of encouragement that are used as constant reminders of the immense potential that lies within each individual. I believe in finding out what someone is good at and helping them work on that.

Can you name a person who has had a tremendous impact on you as a leader? Maybe someone who has been a mentor to you? Why and how did this person impact your life? My Pastor made a tremendous impact on me. Being a broken woman, I had no idea what it meant to be a Mom, Wife and most of all a woman of God. She taught me how to build character and become a person of integrity. I can also remember a time in my life when I felt that I could not continue to raise my three daughters. I was so overwhelmed, that I asked my Pastor to please take my daughters and raise them for me. She said “No, I will teach you how to become the mother they need.” That was a monumental turning point for me! What are the most important decisions you make as the leader of your organization(s)? I always like to make sure I have the mind of God when moving forward with the vision I feel He has given me. I often think about the impact it will have on others; more specifically when it comes to the workshops and individual mentorship. Maintaining financial stability is also very important to me, as well as for the organization.

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Which is most important to your organization(s)—mission, core values or vision? All of the above. Mission because knowing the purpose of both organizations helps in staying focused and understanding the main goals that we are trying to achieve. Core values are fundamental because continuing on the right path will assist others in getting motivated. Vision because it gives clear direction. How do you ensure your organization(s) and their activities are aligned with your “core values”? For W.IN., I created a playbook entitled “Learning How to Win the Game.” Our playbook is a reference of sorts in which I use key principles and teachings on how to overcome life’s biggest obstacles. I set goals, and challenge those that read the principles to apply these values to their own lives. What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess? Honesty (and integrity)! Being true to thine own self first is key. Knowing where you are in life and recognizing your achievements as well as your short comings is one of the greatest characteristics we as humans can possess.


What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today? One of the biggest challenges facing leaders today is not being able to compromise. Staying true to yourself and others (close to you) is crucial. What is the one behavior or trait that you have seen derail more leaders’ careers? Egotism!  Thinking more of yourself than others. Humility is the clear pathway to success that anyone can achieve. When I say success, I mean seeing that potential in others. Watching someone who lacks confidence in themselves go the distance is amazing! Why do you think many people fail to achieve success? I  think it’s because over time, people become selfish and take their focus off their intended goals. What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader? Quite simply, I continue to rely on my relationship with God! I always remind myself to never forget where it all started and everything that I have achieved thus far is because of Him. I was just a broken girl that wanted something more in life and wanted others to have that same wonderful experience God gave to me.

Knowing where you are in life and recognizing your achievements as well as your short comings is one of the greatest characteristics we as humans can possess.

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An An Interview Interview With With Piano Piano Queen Queen

Interview and Photography by Amina Touray Stylist: Jes Lopez @_jeslopez Makeup artist: Niehla O @niehlao Jumpsuit- Marcell Von Berlin Head piece- Halo & Co

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“I was inspired by the music of Stevie Wonder. And then I was hired by him. I was also inspired by Beyoncé. And then I was hired by her.”

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Victoria Theodore is a classically trained pianist and keyboardist. Her talent and skills has taken her around the world. She has performed with iconic artists such as Stevie Wonder, BB King, and BeyoncĂŠ. In our interview we get to know Victoria a little more and learn about where her musical interest started and her current projects. Continued>>

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We would love to get to know you and learn about what has impacted you to become the artist you are today. Can you share an experience with us that has influenced you through your musical career?

premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse. Donna was a groundbreaking artist who made an immeasurable impact on popular music, and I’m thrilled to be on board with this project. The entire team is incredible!

When I was 12 years old, I saw the classical pianist Andre Watts perform. I knew immediately that I wanted to be a pianist. His performance captivated and inspired me. Later, I was inspired by the music of Stevie Wonder. And then I was hired by him. I was also inspired by Beyoncé. And then I was hired by her. I try to follow my inspiration. It’s served me well.

Describe the vibe of your album “Grateful” and what inspired you to the title?

How has your music evolved the past few years? As I mature as an artist, I find so much more satisfaction in subtlety and dynamic range. I still love to dance and have fun, listening to all kinds of music, but I appreciate music as an art, not merely a commodity. My favorite music is thoughtful, nuanced and individualistic - the kind of music I try to create. What has working with artists such as Beyoncé and Stevie Wonder taught you ? I’ve learned so much through working with genius superstars: how to perform at a high level, in front of tens of thousands of people, regardless of what’s going on with me personally; how to be a team player, how to be competent at performing across many musical styles, how to listen effectively, how to support / accompany an artist. I also learned first hand how hard they work to remain the best in the world - it’s no accident! You’re currently in La Jolla. What are you currently working on ? I’m Music Director and Conductor for a new musical based on the life of Donna Summer,

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My album is a hybrid of jazz, pop and R&B, with elements of musical theater and classical. All of the songs are original, and flow through a range of emotions, culminating in an overall sense of gratitude for all of the experiences mentioned in song. I practice mindfulness, and try to constantly remind myself to remain in a space of gratitude. I tried to encourage others to find and live in gratitude through my music. What would people get surprised to find out about you ? If I hadn’t become a pianist, I would have been a dancer. I love to dance. Whenever I perform, I can’t sit still! Even when playing classical music, I’m always dancing. When looking back at your musical journey. So far, what has been your biggest milestone? There are so many, it’s difficult to just choose one. I’m proud of myself for finally sharing my own music publicly. Yes, it’s a thrill and an honor to perform with superstars, but I’ve also created art that is my own, a momento of my time on this planet. I’m so grateful for the opportunity. What’s next for you ? More theater, more touring with superstars, more composing, more being a light in the world. I’m blessed...and I’m grateful.


Gold Dress - Felice Art Couture Jewelry- Sambac Jewelry

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“If I hadn’t become a pianist, I would have been a dancer. I love to dance.”

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Black Dress- Shefali Couture Head piece- Halo & CoNecklace- Rose Gilley

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Eat Your Way To God Written by Sheron Brown Edited by Mya Kay If you believe there is a God and that God is everywhere, then you can never really be apart from God, yet sometimes you may feel God is not with you. How can this be? Your praying grandmother (or mother) may have taught you to pray every day. Religious leaders admonish you to spend time with the Lord regularly. Spiritual teachers encourage you to meditate daily. In one form or another, you are encouraged to set aside time regularly to connect with the Highest Source. There is a very practical reason why. You are Electric You’ve heard the saying, “I’m not feeling his/her vibe,” or “We are on the same wavelength.” Well, it’s not just a saying. It turns out that there is much truth in those phrases. Just like your cell phone, you are always sending out invisible messages and your messages are filled with electricity! Don’t believe me? Then ask your doctor why they use X-Ray machines. They use them to see light—light that is invisible to the eyes! You are electric! Now, your electric energy also carries magnetism, so to say it again but with an upgrade, you are an electromagnetic (EM) being! This is your superpower, literally. Your EM-ism travels in waves either quickly or slowly. This speed is your wave’s frequency. The healthier you are, the faster your waves and the two main sources of your health waves are your body and mind. So in other words, the healthier all of the elements of your physical body (bones, organs, etc.) and your mind (thoughts, emotions, etc.) the faster your waves. At optimal health, you “vibe” with a high frequency.

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God is Electric

Food is Electric

Regardless of your belief  system,  an Ultimate Source is involved. If you say “Source,” then I ask source of what? The answer is “all,” and all things are energy, hence waves. If you say, “God,” then I say “God of what?” The answer is “God of all,” and with this we then agree that God is in all things, therefore, God is the Father of energy (waves.)

Remember everything is energy? Well that includes food, and it is said that fresher foods vibrate with faster waves; they have a higher frequency than processed foods. In fact, there are reports indicating that food studies have shown that processed and canned foods have ZERO frequency. That would mean that technically they are dead!

In the Christian belief system, Lord Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”1 Likewise, in the Quran you’ll find, “Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth.”2 Additionally, early sixth century sacred texts state, “The sun shines by day, the moon shines by night; continually, day and night, does the luminous Buddha shine,”3 and Lord Krishna said, “I am the taste of pure water and the radiance of the sun and moon4” in the Hindu system of belief in the Divine. Light is the fastest wavelength, so regardless of your belief system it all boils down to this: The Ultimate Being gives off the ultimate waves with the ultimate frequency. 1. John 8. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2017, from Bible gateway website: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+8 2. Farooqui, S. (2010, September 13). Parables in the Quran: The light of Allah. Retrieved September 11, 2017, from Muslim matters website: http://muslimmatters.org/2010/09/13/parablesin-the-quran-the-light-of-allah/ 3. In W. Woodville Rockhill, Udanavarga: A Collection of Verses from the Buddhist Canon (London: Trubner & Co., 1883), 199. 4. The Bhagavad Gita (2nd ed.) (E. Easwaran, Trans.). (2007). Nilgiri Press.

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What do you think happens to your fast waves when you feed your body with “dead” waves?

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So, here’s something to consider: what do you think happens to your fast waves when you feed your body with “dead” waves? Your waves slow down. The rate of your waves—your frequency— slows down and you become more open to everything that vibrates at a slower rate. This includes negative people, negative thoughts, illnesses, etc. As an EM being you become a magnet for lower energy things and people to enter your life. And as your energy (or waves) lower, you feel more and more separate from God even though God is still in everything, including you. The Frequency of Food In addition to being loving to others, maintaining a spiritual routine, holding positive thoughts, doing work you enjoy, and exercising, eating fresh foods help to keep your energy high. Fresh foods exclude canned or processed foods, but includes fruits vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds (and the closer to their natural state, the better.) If your body needs meat, then go with organic as the chemicals in processed meats lowers your waves. Think about it: lowered waves decrease your “vibes” and when they are lower, you feel less connected to God. In other words, you don’t feel like you are “vibing” with God.


If you want to feel happier, have more energy (faster waves) and vibe more with your Source, then follow this path. 1. Pack fresh snacks like fresh fruit and veggies to munch on through your work day. You will avoid the sugar crash while keeping your frequency high to make better decisions. 2. Book time on your calendar so you can actually make your meals rather than pick them up from a drive-through or dump it out of a can. 3. Make a promise to yourself to fill up on your recommended amount of water for the day—about half of your weight in ounces—before turning to juice or coffee. Use these three foundational eating practices every day and within a week you will feel your body respond. Your waves will vibrate at a faster rate making it easier for you to connect to your Ultimate Source. And once you do this consistently, you my friend would have eaten your way to God.

Sheron Brown, Ph.D. is the owner of Sweet Eden by Sheron, a wellness education company. She is also the author of The WellnessPurpose Connection™: The Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Life Experience. As a certified integrative nutrition health coach and yoga instructor, Sheron teaches mindful practices that helps you heal your physical, mental, and emotional well-being so you can fully live your purpose with joy and vitality. Connect with her online on Facebook and Twitter @sheronbrownphd or Instagram @iamagirlfrombrooklyn. You can also email Sheron for help with your organization’s or individual wellness goals at info@ sweetedenbysheron.com.

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Say Ahhhh, Meet America’s Favorite Dentist Written by Kit Stone

The prettiest thing you can wear is a smile but for most people, teeth are an afterthought — a two to five minute process tossed in the middle of a morning routine before rushing out of the door. For Dr. Karen Fields - Lever, teeth and her insatiable desire for cupcakes, are her life. Raised in the love of Detroit and embraced by the charm of Chicago, Dr. Karen Fields - Lever has made it her life’s mission to be the change she wants to see in the world, a favorite quote of hers by the late Mahatma Gandhi. Fascinated by the extraction of teeth as a child, Fields felt that she belonged in the world of dentistry, rubbing elbows with others in that field. She grew up in a two parent household where education was enforced. “I was always encouraged to push for the next level and to ‘always do better than us,’” said Fields. Both of her parents graduated from Historical Black College Universities so it was no surprise that Fields decided to attend Spelman University, ranked No.1 among HBCU’s. Dr. Fields enjoyed her time at Spelman, surrounded by Black girls who were “mini geniuses” like her, and described the sisterhood as being like no other. “There are very few places on earth where you can experience such a conglomerate of

African American female knowledge in one place on a daily basis,” said Fields. “True life changing experience.” After she received her Bachelors of Science in Biology Pre-Medicine with honors from Spelman, she later enrolled at Howard University College of Dentistry to pursue her Doctorate of Dental Surgery and completed residency at Yale University. In 2014, Fields opened her own practice, 28 to Brush, a catchy name in reference to our 28 teeth we all should have, before and after our wisdom teeth. To date, Fields’ practice has soared, with growth upwards of 3,000 patients. Hailed one of Chicago’s 35 under 35 making an impact and America’s Best Dentist in 2016, this wife and mother of two has created community initiatives to battle some of the biggest oral problems that people face which include gingivitis, periodontitis and not replacing missing teeth, all “chronic” problems that Fields sees on a daily basis. In 2016, Fields launched her Mobile Dental extension — an extension of her Forest Park practice designed to reach back into the community to provide preventative dental care to the children within the Chicago Public School system.

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“It is rewarding yet heart breaking as some children have never seen a dentist in their lives nor have ever been to a dental office,” said Fields. Through this program, Fields is able to ensure that the children receive proper preventative care, at the least. To date, the Mobile Dental extension has served over 16,000 students. The Center for Disease Control reports that Blacks, along with Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives have the poorest oral health of any other ethnic group in the United States. When it comes to children, Black and Hispanic children have the poorest oral health. “Unfortunately, the African American community has been plagued with the fear of going to the dentist,” said Fields. “Because of this, we neglect the needed care to sustain our dentition.” African Americans are more prone to illnesses such as diabetes and as a result are more susceptible to periodontitis which causes tooth loss at an early age. With sights on the future, Fields hopes to build a dental supply line as well as further her reach back into the community, “I am a firm believer in lifting as I climb,” said Fields who hopes that as she continues to work, her legacy will be that of a kind person, that gave it all. “I hope my community can view me as someone wanting change and someone who is actively trying to attain it,” said Fields. “At my private office now, I cater to my community. We believe in ensuring they have access to care. If I have to do something for free, to ensure access is given, I do it.”

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More with Dr. Fields-Lever Tell me about a disappointment you’ve faced. How did you recover? Disappointment is the worst, it unfortunately is a part of life. I am going to pull this one from a personal — family standpoint; About 2 years ago we lost a child. Miscarrying is extremely difficult and it is a type of pain that is unknown until you have personally experienced it. I cried and prayed and would wonder why I was being punished. But, I realized through a lot of patience that the rainbow was on the other side and I had to simply wait on it and not to mention start practicing for another one. When have you been most satisfied in your life? When I was finally able to start practicing. After 9 years of schooling, you are truly ready to start earning a living so that first true job was a game changer. What is your guilty pleasure? Cupcakes and reality TV! They both sustain life for me. What do you like to do in your spare time? I spend tons of time with my family and friends. I love being social and enjoying what Chicago has to offer. Who inspires you? My hubby inspires me, my mother (even in her absence) and those within my community. Obama is the man; I am always impressed by resilience and perseverance.

Dr. Fields-Lever leaves you with five quick and easy things you can do to improve the health of your 28 teeth.

What would be a good theme song for your life?

1. Brush twice a day. 2. Go to your dentist regularly, every six months. 3. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables. 4. Consider an electric toothbrush. 5. Remember to take time for yourself.

What should every woman experience once in her life? Motherhood, it changes the lens in which you view life through!

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Poison by Bel Biv Devoe


What completes you? Food! (LOL) Favorite books? Monster by Sanyika Shakur. A true must read! Dead or alive — ideal guest list for a dinner party: Former President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, my Mom, Mahatma Gandhi, Donnie Hathaway, Tyler Perry, and Dr. Candace Grace. What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? To eat right. Whew my habits are horrible. Who depends on you and whom do you depend on? My little ones and father truly depend on me the most now. I depend on my hubby DeJuan.

What has surprised you most in your life? How crazy people and the human race can be. I am often surprised at how people neglect to be nice to one another. It truly baffles me. Tell me something that most people don’t know about you. I hate birds. I wanted to be a Veterinarian and still do partly but I did not go through with it knowing I would have to treat birds. What is your superpower and how do you use it? To “kill” people with kindness. It destroys all evil villains. What is the best piece of advice someone has given you? To go big or go home. I always remember a favorite patient of mines saying, “You work hard, sometimes you have to treat yourself”. I treat myself as needed.

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Trendy Tripping Interview by Jamelia Thompson If you think about it, cafes have become a staple part of most people’s lives. Its privacy, comfortability and not to mention free wifi provides the perfect space to work on a school project or a work assignment. However, for an entrepreneur(s) like Johanne Brierre and her friends, they realized that the café environment alone could not suffice. They needed something more, especially something that would accommodate a digital nomadic life-style. As a result, TrendyTripping was developed! Providing communal work spaces and meeting rooms on the weekends designed to fuel creative minds and entrepreneurial ambitions. In an interview with Bronze M a g a z i n e ,   B r i e r re   t a l k s   m o re   a b o u t TrendyTripping and the impact it has among the community and its people. What inspired you to start Trendy Tripping, and how did you come up with such a catchy name? Being a bit of a digital nomad myself, my friends and I had been searching for a place we could work from on the weekends. More than just another café that offer a little more structure and privacy. It was a niche that needed to be filled. The name describes me, as I said, digital nomads need to have a place to connect and share ideas for our creative projects. The name Trendy Tripping felt right.

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What steps did you and your friends take in putting Trendy Tripping together and into action? Were you met with any challenges? If so, what were they and how did you overcome them? First, we had to find space that was conducive to being creative and that would allow me to offer a diverse range of group functions. Next, I needed to negotiate affordable rates that I could then pass on to our members. Finally, I reached out to my network and friends who would benefit from this offering. The challenge for me was finding the time and finances to do it all. It’s now to the point that I’ve had to bring in a team to help oversee the day to day. What market does Trendy Tripping serve? What are the benefits that come with membership? What problems does it solve for its customers? The market has morphed into a diverse list of entrepreneurs and business professionals. Mostly, we cater to people who want to setup Meet-Up groups, conferences and to have a private space to meet clients. Membership includes high speed internet and free tea and coffee. Trendy Tripping gives weekend access to the professional and creative who need a place to meet.


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How large/far is your reach and do you have plans for expansion? For now, most of our members are from or near to the Brooklyn and the New York area. We do have plans to expand our reach and our network. What sets Trendy Tripping apart from other co-working spaces? Trendy Tripping is a community of digital nomads that come together to work with likeminded people in expanding their side hustle. People want a place they can commune and connect on a professional and social level. We offer membership for single and monthly weekend access and we offer all the digital needs without the coffee shop buzz. Members also enjoy access to business workshops and classes. Our mission is to provide a curated network of experts and affordable space for entrepreneurs to meet, create and collaborate. There are so many innovative entrepreneurs who are working on their own side game. This just gives them the space to explore, learn, share and grow. Simply, we help connect the dots... What is Trendy Tripping’s revenue model? We offer a daily and monthly subscription based membership model. Additional revenue comes from other service providers and events. Since Trendy Tripping is community-based, what type of progress has it made with its customers as well as its local marketing efforts? Ah, I thought you’d never ask. My favorite part of this is how Trendy Tripping has affected our members. I never guessed the space would help so many organically connect. Since we serve a wide variety of members, it’s like a melting pot of creative ideas mixed with digital nomads and investors. They love the networking events, get leads and have access to things they otherwise wouldn’t have. Ideas can easily transform into solid business plans and quickly morph into websites, applications,

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funding and more. Why is Brooklyn such an ideal location for Trendy Tripping? What type of growth do you foresee for the future? Brooklyn is now home to over 500 tech and creative startups. It is clear that entrepreneurs are in need of this kind of community space. It’s unbelievable how many people with diverse backgrounds from chef to artist and business executive to growth hacker find a connection and a need within the community we are building. The future holds many wonderful opportunities. We are working on events, seminars and personal development events. What advice would you give to others about becoming an entrepreneur? Another of my favorite topics. I would say, don’t stop learning, be open to mentorship and partnership. Stay true to your beliefs and your dreams. Don’t be afraid to fail and above all, explore, search and learn as much as you can every day. How has life changed for you since creating your business in 2016? What would you do differently? I have connected with so many unique and influential people that have enriched my life both personally and professionally. What would I do differently? I don’t know if I would do anything differently. I embrace my accomplishments and my mistakes. They are all there to help me grow. What I am learning, is to take more time for me. I have developed a routine of mind/body health that includes a balance of yoga and a better diet. And finally, I would suggest you find a mentor for guidance. A final note from Johanne Brierre: “I invite each and every one of your readers to come join us. You can contact me through my website, mention Bronze Magazine and I will be happy to give you a complimentary weekend pass. Or sign up for one of our upcoming workshops / events.


Don’t stop learning, be open to mentorship and partnership.

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SUBSCRIBE! Look for the bronze Mag a p p

@bronzemagazine www.bronzemagazineonline.com OCTOBER 2017

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MAGAZINE

BRONZE @bronzemagazine

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Oct 2017 digital issue  

In this month’s issue, our cover star is the lovely Victoria Theodore, a classically trained pianist and keyboardist who has played with eve...

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