Flourish Digital Magazine: Fall 2023

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FALL FALL 2023 2023 ISSUE 4 ISSUE 4 VOLUME 4 VOLUME 4 Dr. Kim Dr. Kim McNAIR McNAIR Empowerment Maven WOMAN ON THE MOVE We'reClappingFor We'reClappingFor Why They Are Winning and You Are Not Kat Kat Sterling Sterling Kim Kim Scouller Scouller How Money Works for WOMEN Maleeka Maleeka Hollaway Hollaway Driven by Divine PURPOSE Atlanta’s Atlanta’s Phipps Phipps PLAZA PLAZA REIMAGINED

Experience a new culinary revolution at Citizens Market Atlanta where dining enters a whole new dimension! It’s not just a food hall; it's a lifestyle destination that's set to redefine your dining experience. Nestled within the vibrant redevelopment of Phipps Plaza, Citizens Market Atlanta is all about bringing families, food enthusiasts, and the community together in one place <

The publisher ALetterfrom

Hello there!

Welcome to the Fall issue of Flourish Digital Magazine In this season of transformation and celebration, I encourage all of us to embrace the incomparable power of authenticity, ease and feminine leadership.

You’ll get to know more about our team, especially our Editor-in-Chief, Maleeka Hollaway, who graces our Fall cover She’s a remarkable woman whose entrepreneurial vision beautifully aligns with our commitment to empowerment and excellence. Explore the wisdom of Dr. Kim McNair, an empowerment maven who keeps on moving forward. Learn about the importance of financial literacy from expert Kim Scouller, author of How Money Works for Women: Take Control or Lose It

As you continue reading you will discover uplifting stories of triumph and transformation from Ana Megrelishvili's Finding Courage to Change to Donnella Cranford's journey of self-love. Amidst change, we find strength in our faith; Janis Hunt Johnson reminds us of this timeless truth

Our pages are filled with insights on enhancing your personal growth including how to exude confidence when you’re negotiating with others. Sharon D. Cooper, “The Transformer,” shares her expertise when it comes to the transformative power of how best to present yourself when you enter a room You just might want to consider the timeless allure of “the dress ”

Don't skip our glimpses into the luxurious experiences available at Atlanta’s Phipps Plaza, where the Nobu Hotel and restaurant beckon with unmatched elegance.

Indulge in classic recipes and even craft your own Starbucks pumpkin spice latte as we slow down to embrace the spirit of December with loved ones

And there’s so much more here stories that will inspire and motivate you to be your best self. Join us as we continue to flourish together in this season of luxury, elegance and inspiration

com @flourishdigitalmagazine @chloetaylorbrown @chloetaylorbrown ChloéTaylorBrown
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Own Your Excellence

When you flourish, you step into your own version of excellence, authenticity, freedom and purpose.

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Good, bad, ugly or indifferent, life is a gift. It's a gift to be opened, to be explored, to be cherished to be lived. And if you look for it, you’ll notice that in every season of life, a new level of beautiful changes occurs.

Accepting this new role as Editor-in-Chief of Flourish Digital Magazine, as it is a highly esteemed platform, is a delightful change and one of life’s gifts not just for me but also for our Publisher Chloé Taylor Brown, and especially for you, our readers and supporters, and even for the millions of people we have yet to meet. My focus and my goal are simple: to take the Flourish brand to higher heights in every way possible.

The definition of the word flourish is “to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.” From the phenomenal stories we tell to the delectable recipes we share, the stunning imagery we showcase and the partners we choose, our aim is to exhibit excellence. We aim to create an environment for you to step into your own version of excellence, authenticity, freedom and purpose.

As you turn the pages of this issue, I hope you are inspired to dream bigger, grow more gracefully and elevate in excellence in every area of your life.

Editor-in-Chief Maleeka Hollaway Maleeka@flourishdigitalmagazine.com
FEATURED 14 14 MEETMALEEKAHOLLAWAY MEETMALEEKAHOLLAWAY Driven by Divine purpose 18 KATSTERLiNG Th th t lk b t h b k Wh Th A Wi i d Y A N 02 02 NOBUViLLAATATLANTA’SPHIPPSPLAZA NOBUViLLAATATLANTA’SPHIPPSPLAZA 04 79 CiTiZENSMARKETATLANTA Experience a new culinary revolution LiFETiMEFiTNESS Indulge in luxury fitness 42 42PECANPIE PECANPIE A Southern holiday treat 44 45 46 HAPPYHOLIDAYS Gratitude and appreciation GRiLLEDBRANZiNO,AMEDiTERRANEANDELiGHT Elevate your holiday PUMPKINSPICELATTE Starbucks’ delightful recipe 14 14 18 18 72 72 46 46 80 80 04 04 46 46 04 04




A true story of triumph over abuse, by Ana Megrelishvili


A luxurious candlelight experience as remembered by Kelvin Thompson



Robin Allen re-releases her novel


Lynda Lee Smith | Entertainment Tourism Alliance of Georgia


Her journey of self-realization and transformation


Taylor D Brown introduces the Athle THEPERSONALEXCELL


by Janis Hunt Johnson



Carla Roberts tells Arkeah Jacobs how she transformed pain into purpose



Dr Kenyatta Mireku and Dr Tunisia Cornelius introduce an eco-friendly skincare line


Advanced skincare with Andrea Niko Williams


Joshua Brown, a model young man


Empowerment maven and woman on the move


Kim Scouller talks with Chloé Taylor Brown about financial literacy



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Chloé Taylor Brown

Hello!I’maninquisitive,intuitivecreator,wife,mother,advocatefor womenandgirlsaroundtheworld,andCEOandPresidentofChloé TaylorBrownEnterprises,anexecutivelifestyledevelopmentfirm.I’mthe authoroffourbooks,facilitatorofexcellence,andPublisherofFlourish DigitalMagazine,aglamorouseditoriallifestylepublicationthatcelebrates thebeautyandstrengthofwomenlikeyou,andthemenwecareabout

Maleeka Hollaway

Whencharismameetsconfidence,yougetMaleeka,Editor-in-Chiefof FlourishDigitalMagazine.Motherofone,sistertotwo,andfriendto e’sanAtlanta-basedaward-winningentrepreneur. rivenbyherGod-givenmissiontosupportpurpose-driven olivelifefullout Sheoftensaysthatthebestthingsabout arelycapturedinhershortbio Sherevelsinsharingherlife everychanceshegets

Elena Taylor-Bagger

Motheroffiveamazingyoungadults,ElenaisthefounderofThe InnovativeMom,andCo-founderofSoulSistersLanguage Academy.Sheseeseverystrangerasafuturefriend,andaimsto endlesslytraveltheworld.InchargeofAdvertising&Salesfor FlourishDigitalMagazine,shealsowritesourregular“Hey, Mamas!”feature,empoweringandupliftingmomsworldwide.

Sadiyah Adams

SadiyahisourvisionaryChiefGraphicDesignerwithapassionforbringing wordstolife BasedinSouthAfrica,sheblendscreativityandeleganceto craftout-of-the-boxdesignsforFlourishDigitalMagazinethatcaptivateand reourreaders.Witharichbackgroundinboththedesignand italityindustries,shedrawsuponheryearsofexperiencetoinfuseher withsophisticationandinnovation Sheinvitesyoutojoinherona eywhereartmeetsluxury,anddesignbecomesanexperience

Janis Hunt Johnson

ContributingEditorandProofreaderofFlourishDigitalMagazine,Janisisthe authorofFiveSmoothStones:OurPowertoHealwithoutMedicinethroughthe ScienceofPrayer.ShewasaChicagosinger-songwriterinthe80s,andinLos Angelesinthe90s.ShenowlivesinanidyllicSouthernOregonemptynestwith herhusbandandthreecats.Adedicatedloveroflanguageandspirituality,she encourageseveryonetoviewtheworldthroughrose-coloredglasses <

Attributesof Feminine 20 Leadership

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Feminine 20 PowerPlayer





She values herself and displays IvyLeague confidence with grace and style;

She has keen perception;

She is decisive;

She applies her knowledge;

She pursues worthy, big dreams;

She has the knowledge and discipline to maintain and expand her dreams and others' dreams, too;

She energizes her mind, body, spirit and soul and thrives;

She has the ability to take action, to occupy and hold a position, and to take charge;

She communicates masterfully and uses her communication abilities to speak truthfully, specifically and clearly to direct energy in a positive manner;

She has abundant, upscale communication channels, contacts and connections;

She shows up and delivers what she promises;

She duplicates, appreciates and acknowledges others' dreams, viewpoints, skills, visions, plans and desires;

She trusts and respects herself and creates trust and respect in others;

She is honest;

She is a big developer and producer; Those connected to her to her game of excellence and to her area(s) expand spiritually;

She maintains big dreams, visions, plans, skills and actions;

She knows the value of creating her unique brand and projecting a trustworthy appearance that meets the requirements of any occasion;

She laughs freely, and sincerely enjoys herself, others and life; and

She loves operating in a win-win manner.

Intuitive, strong, bold, prosperous, successful, healthy and happy she is a breath of fresh air.



11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
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In the vibrant heart of Atlanta, Georgia, a woman driven by divine purpose and an unyielding commitment to inspiring others graces the stage

Meet Maleeka Hollaway, our esteemed Editor-in-Chief at Flourish Digital Magazine, where she's poised to lead our publication to new heights with her unique blend of professional prowess and deeply held personal values.

Maleeka's journey as a serial entrepreneur began in 2015, and since then, she has left an indelible mark on the global business landscape. Her clientele spans the globe, and she has had the privilege of working with brands from far and wide.

Not only that Maleeka is also a seasoned Business Professor, a renowned publicist, a captivating keynote speaker, and a prolific author >


Throughout her career, Maleeka has been a beacon of wisdom, training business owners in the art of branding, public relations, and effective communication Over 5,000 entrepreneurs have learned from her, benefiting from her unwavering dedication to helping them grow cherished brands

Maleeka's words have transcended borders, gracing the pages of over twenty major business publications. Her work ethic and impact were even acknowledged by Forbes, which honored her with the Forbes Next 1000 award in 2021, a testament to her exceptional success with The Official Maleeka Group, her public relations firm. In 2019, SpeakerCon named her Publicist of the Year.

But, as one chapter ends, another one unfolds. In the winter of 2023, Maleeka was blessed with a divine mission: to create The SAVEDpreneur™ lifestyle brand and community. This digital sanctuary brings Christ-focused entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals together to pray, fast, and keep faith at the center of their endeavors reshaping how they approach life and business

Maleeka's passion extends beyond entrepreneurship she's deeply committed to those she loves and those who reciprocate that love She champions mental health and wellness for entrepreneurs, spiritual wholeness, and sharing the word of God She's a global citizen who unites people to learn and earn together.

In her professional capacity as our Editor-in-Chief, Maleeka intends to weave her unwavering dedication to transparency, integrity, and lifelong learning into the fabric of Flourish Digital Magazine. Her mission aligns perfectly with our publication's commitment to delivering insightful, inspiring content that uplifts and empowers our readers.

As we welcome Maleeka Hollaway to lead our team, we invite you to embark on this inspiring journey with us, where her wisdom and passion will illuminate every page and guide our publication toward even greater excellence <

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E M B R A C E A U T U M N ' S P A L E T T E O F E L E G A N C E
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In the world of high-end cosmetics, the Autumn season beckons with an invitation to explore make-up not just as an enhancement of your beauty but as an expression of your distinct style As we gracefully transition into Fall 2023, let us delve into the opulent trends that blur the lines between make-up and high fashion

T H E E N I G M A T I C D A R K R E D L I P S T I C K : A Timeless Emblem of Confidence

Autumn unfurls its rich tapestry of colors, and with it comes the allure of the dark red lipstick. This shade, an enduring emblem of confidence and sophistication, is set to dominate the season. Channel your inner elegance along with a touch of mystique, as a dedicated Twihard would do. Vampires may be eternal, but this trend is here to captivate the discerning connoisseur.

H O T P I N K B L U S H : A Customized Radiance for All Skin Tones

In the realm of blush, a wave of opulent hot pink is poised to make a grand entrance. This bold hue will grace the cheeks of those who appreciate its vibrancy. The beauty lies in its adaptability to various skin tones and intensity preferences. For the make-up aficionado seeking an extra dose of drama, "blush draping" is the technique du jour. This entails the generous application of blush along the cheekbones and temples, offering a theatrical and stunning effect.

M A S C A R A R E D E F I N E D : The Era of Bold and Dramatic Lashes

Ladies, prepare to embark on a journey to redefine your lashes. Gone are the days of natural, understated allure. In Fall 2023, it's all about volume, drama, and a hint of audacious clumpiness. Welcome the latest mascara innovations designed to elevate your lashes to unprecedented heights Embrace the theatricality and allow your eyes to become the captivating focal point of your visage

In conclusion, dear readers, Fall 2023 invites you to explore make-up as an art form that transcends mere beauty. These trends, sumptuously encapsulated in the hues of Autumn, beckon you to express your style with finesse. Which of these luxurious trends will you embrace? Let's flourish together in the world of opulent beauty and style. <

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K a t S T E R L I N G

We are delighted to introduce you to the remarkable Kat Sterling, an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and life coach on a mission to inspire personal growth and transformation. With her heart filled with compassion and a wealth of practical experience, Kat is dedicated to empowering women and families worldwide. >

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Kat’s groundbreaking book, Why They Are Winning And You Are Not: The Steps to Finding Success in Life, is a testament to her commitment to helping individuals achieve their dreams Let's delve into Kat Sterling's incredible journey

Chloé: Kat Sterling, I must say, your name exudes strength and dynamism, perfectly mirroring the dynamic, successful woman that you are Now, tell me about your first book

Kat: Thank you, Chloé You know, I told my husband once, "I married you for your last name " About my first book It all began with a simple question: “Why aren't we winning in life?” Many of us see friends and acquaintances achieving success seemingly without any special advantages and we can’t help but wonder why we aren’t there This feeling extended to my corporate career; I’d reached a point where I felt unfulfilled.

So, I started writing I decided to investigate what we are doing wrong What I discovered was that I wasn't taking enough accountability for my own life I'd often blamed external factors circumstances or demographics instead of looking within. Each chapter of the book outlines the areas where we are falling short and I provide a roadmap to rectify them

Additionally, I share stories of people who started with very little but achieved incredible success through hard work, sacrifice, perseverance and consistency. I wrote this book to resonate with the average person, because I am one Anyone can implement these changes and find success

Chloé: I appreciate the vulnerability in your book. Being open and authentic can be challenging. Do you feel you can be vulnerable with everyone, or do you selectively choose when to be?

Kat: Vulnerability is like a ministry to me It's about sharing my authentic self to connect with others. However, it can also come with criticism and judgment. Some people may ridicule or judge you for your vulnerability But I always remind myself that no one is perfect Those who criticize may have their own issues and challenges I try not to judge others, because I understand imperfection. But with some things, you do have to hold back. You can't share everything >

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“I wrote this book to resonate with the average person, because I am one.”

Chloé: Absolutely, there's a balance to strike when it comes to sharing and being vulnerable Now, Kat, let's talk about your badass side Do you have one?

Kat: Without a doubt, Chloé.

Chloé: Tell me more Our readers would love to hear about it

Kat: I've been through a lot in life – being a single mom, surviving divorce, thriving in the corporate world, and now remarriage These experiences have challenged me, but I've always bounced back Being a badass means facing challenges head-on, not letting them hold you back. I've written a book, become a speaker, and I'm helping others. So yes, I consider myself a badass

Chloé: That's fantastic Now, what do you love most about what you're working on right now?

Kat: What I love most about my current journey is discovering my strength and resilience I went through a period where I faced unexpected challenges, lost my job, and experienced financial difficulties It was a tough time, but it brought me closer to my spirituality. I solidified my relationship with God, and I realized how resilient I am I didn't give up, and I emerged stronger In my forties, I've become the person I love because I can overcome challenges and live authentically.

I was once self-conscious and afraid to take risks Fear held me back But now, I'm confident and ready to fulfill my mission, whatever it may be I'm not afraid anymore

Chloé: Envision holding your book in your hands on a global stage, impacting lives worldwide How does that look and feel to you?

Kat: I see myself taking this book across the world, traveling and speaking. My mission is to transform lives globally It's not about me; it's about fulfilling God's mission I've always felt this calling but was afraid to answer it Now, I'm ready to walk this path with faith and determination. I’m like, “OK, God, I'm listening. Let's walk. We're going to do this together Let's walk ” <

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Kat Sterling's journey of personal growth, resilience and unwavering faith shines brightly. Her authenticity, vulnerability and determination to fulfill her higher calling serve as an inspiration to all.

Dine with purpose, develop with passion, and dream without limits. This Fall, let's savor the journey of transformation and empowerment, one exquisite sip at a time.

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Maturity Maturity

LeadstoTransformation—and TransformationLeadstoSelf-Love

What a blessing it is to enter each Fall season observing the beauty of changing leaves, feeling crisper air, and experiencing a fresh perspective Fall signals change and transformation in our environment, and in that same vein, it allows us an opportunity to reset our inner clocks. It is a time for us to transform: to fill our cups with more self-love.

For so many years, I honestly did not know what self-love meant or what it involved As I have matured in age and wisdom, I have learned the beauty of self-love, and it has changed my life so that now I am living my best life ever And I want the same for you You, too, can live your best life ever

Self-love does not only involve how you treat yourself It also encompasses your thoughts and feelings about yourself You see, self-love is an inside job and it begins within you And it means that with the depth of your being, you highly regard your own well-being.

When conceptualizing self-love, imagine what would reflect love and concern whenever you:

think about yourself;

talk about yourself; and

consider what you feel about yourself >

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If I asked you right now to list several ways you show love to someone else, you probably would give a quick response. Could you just as promptly provide a personal list of how you show love to yourself?

This Fall, take the time to practice self-love by inspiring yourself Reevaluate your intentions, habits and dreams, and any other important elements in your life and build your best life ever I am challenging you to develop a long list of ways to show love to yourself Get creative!

Here are some ideas for you to consider, as you develop your own self-love action plan:

Make your peace and joy the numberone priority in your life Only you know what you need for serenity If you don’t know, this is a great time to do some introspective work to identify it.

Ask yourself, “What would someone who loves themselves be doing right now?” If it’s not what you’re doing right now, then ask yourself why you are not doing it and then do it

Write a list of positive aspects about yourself that you believe. Don’t focus on the negative aspects.

Find ways to prioritize yourself no matter what is going on, no matter what is pressing, no matter what is urgent Even if your life is full, make time daily for yourself Work to build up your selflove muscle by increasing the amount of time that’s just for you

Prioritize your health and happiness above everything else. You need you to be healthy first and foremost.

Forgive yourself for any mistakes We’re human, and that is how we learn Give yourself grace by putting down the magnifying glass

Praise yourself instead of being critical. You are wonderfully made, and seeking perfection is a roadblock to self-love.

Hold on to only valuable beliefs Stop replaying old beliefs that keep you stuck in the past

Never compare yourself to others Comparison steals your joy

Eliminate individuals who do not add value to your life Nobody should have the power to make you doubt your worth Such people have not earned a permanent place in your life

Stop living by other people’s values, beliefs, desires, or priorities. Live by your own. You don’t have to measure up to anybody else’s expectations. Start working on one area of your life, and then another and another. Each victory strengthens your self-love muscle.

Trust the leading of the Divine within, and operate from God’s love You are an awesome creature, and the Divine is waiting for you to acknowledge and walk in self-love!


Most of the time, 1 Corinthians 13 motivates our love toward others; try applying it to yourself and expand your self-love.

Read I Corinthians 13:4–8 and evaluate your love for self by examining each characteristic of love that is listed. Which love attributes do you need to enhance in your life? Use those you identified to move into the Fall season of 2023 by loving yourself more.

Remember: Maturity leads to transformation, and transformation leads to self-love This does not happen overnight, because self-love is a life-long process of awareness that we fully belong to God, living in God’s love. As we enter the Fall season, what better time to start than right now? <

jbwithdonnella_c Donnella Cranford F L O U R I S H D I G I T A L M A G A Z I N E . C O M | F A L L 2 0 2 3 | 2 3

In Finding Courage to Change, we follow the poignant true story of Ana, a young woman of Tbilisi, Georgia, determined to break free from the suffocating grip of a generational cycle of abuse violence that has plagued her family for generations This inspiring narrative takes readers through her courageous struggle to heal deep-seated wounds and discover her true purpose in life. Through resilience, selfdiscovery, and the power of love and community, Ana’s journey offers a compelling testament to the human spirit's capacity for transformation and the pursuit of a brighter future <

change findingcourageto www.findcouragetochange.com Book Available on Amazon
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Earlierthissummer,IwasinvitedbyafriendandfellowcollaboratortoattendamusicaleveningatanewjazzloungeinSandy Springs,Georgia.Muchtomysurprise,theelegantsettingmadetheeveningquiteenjoyable.TheartistthatnightwasChanda Leigh,atalentedandthoroughlyentertainingsingerandpianist I’msomewhatbiased asInowconsiderChandamynew friendandfellowartist andshe’sdefinitelysomeoneI’dshareachair(pianostool)withforanyoccasion,inanysetting!The venue theJazzLoungeatCaféIAm anditsglamorousownerandhost,VandaTeixeira,madetheeveningmemorable Itwasimmediatelyapparentthatavaluedrelationshipwasdevelopingposthaste Afterafullandenjoyableeveningwithboth VandaandChanda,Icameawaylookingwithanticipationtowhatmightcomenext.Shortlythereafter,thenextlayerofour relationshipcameintoview.DuringthateveningI’dmetseveralinterestingpeoplefromarangeofdiverseculturaland geographicbackgrounds NotablyamongthemwasChloéTaylorBrown,PublisherofFlourishDigitalMagazine Ireturnedto Vanda’safewweekslatertohelpChandacelebrateherbirthday AndIwasdelightedtobepartofherspecialday,including playingafewimpromptupianopieces,suchastheiconicPaulMcCartneysongBlackbird,whichIdedicatedtoChanda

Asabackgrounder,Iamcurrentlyleadingandsupportingarangeofmusicandartsendeavors asabandleaderandproducer ofmusicandarts-orientedeventsaroundmetroAtlanta.TheKTCollaborative,anAlpharetta-basedjazzandneo-soulensemble, wasbornofmyfrequentcollaborationswithnumerousartisticandmusicianfriends Wehavedevelopedoverthelastfew yearsseveralexcitingandnewartistandcommunitycollaborations Andnow,thatincludesmynewfriends:Vanda,Chanda, andChloé

AfewweeksafterattendingChanda’sevent,Vandareachedouttomewithhernewproposal:avisioninwhichtheKT Collaborativewouldbepartofanupcomingred-carpetcelebrationfortheSummerissueofFlourishDigitalMagazine.Aftera fewdiscussionsaboutwhattheeventwouldentail,athemewasselectedandthedatewasset.IsoonlearnedthatVandadoes notputonanythemedeventswithouthercreativegeniusbeingfullyengaged Sheisremarkable Afterafewweeksofplanning andthestandardproductiondetails,theeveningofThursday,July20th,2023wasuponus

Wow,whataday andnight!BoththeoutdoorandindoorsettingswerepreparedexquisitelybyVandaandherteam Atlanta’s blisteringheatwasalleviatedbyanunexpectedSummerrainstorm,ju h i d Therainfellhardbutthegrowingcrowdofguestswasundeterred.

Allthewhile,Vanda,alongwithherteamandourteam,stayedfocuse onhowtokeepourvisionfortheeveningontrack Aftersomestarts andstops,theskyopenedandthedelugedeparted Sufficeittosay, “FlourishinginJazz:ACandlelightExperience”becameaneveningof exceptionalenjoymentfortheguests,hosts,andtheKTCollaborative

Theoptimalessenceoftheeveningwastheoutstandingteamwork ofallthestakeholders Wecarriedondespitetheweatherchallenges Whenweatherandlivemusiccollide,anythingcanhappen Inthis instance,itbecame astheclichégoes an“organicexperience”: greatpeopleenjoyinggreatmusic,foodandbeverages Iamsothankf thatthiseveningproducedsuchabeautifuloutcome,whichwillonly matchedbywhateverournexteventwillbe.

ManythankstoVandaandChloé,forsharingthismomentousevenin withme!Iwishblessingsforyouboth,andmanymoreextraordinary eventstocome <

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Chanda Lee & Kelvin Thompson
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Chloé Taylor Brown, Kelvin Thompson, and Vanda Teixeira enjoy a memorable evening.


In the world of empowerment and event planning, there exists a remarkable force of nature named Dr Kim McNair

A former model turned CEO of Kim McNair Productions, LLC (KMP), Dr. Kim's journey has been nothing short of extraordinary. Her career has transcended runways, television screens, and countless success stories

When she was a model, Dr Kim recognized the pivotal role of presentation during her illustrious years on the runway. However, her story took a profound turn when she relocated in 1991 from the Northeast to Florida, gracefully retired from modeling, and embarked on a new venture: her event planning business

Dr Kim McNair is not merely content with her own success; she is a staunch advocate for uplifting others. Her Emmynominated television program, Women on the Move Live! and the Business Women Empowerment Project (BWEP), a 501(c)(3) organization she founded, stand as testaments to her commitment to inspiring and empowering women from all walks of life.

Let’s delve into the remarkable career and achievements of Dr. Kim McNair, a trailblazer who continues to inspire and empower individuals to reach their full potential while leaving an indelible mark on the world of event planning >

D R . K I M M C N A I R

D R . K I M M C N A I R

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Chloé: I am thrilled that the woman who's always on the move has granted me an interview to share with other women who are always on the move! Tell me, Dr Kim McNair, what do you like best about your life right now?

Kim: What I like best about my life right now is being able to have the flexibility I have for work-life balance to really balance out what I do Because as an entrepreneur, as a business owner, you're constantly on the grind you're hustling, you're on the move! You're constantly checking emails, you’ve got to follow up, you're trying to research new business, and all that type of stuff But also I love when I can just have some peaceful, serenity time to myself It's really hard I talk to friends who have a nine-to-five job, and it's just so much. They're like, “Oh, when I get home, I don't even want to talk to nobody.” I'm like, “Wow, I'm so glad I don't feel that way ” What I love about my life right now is that and the experiences that God is putting me through and He’s allowing me to experience what I'm experiencing. Meeting some great and wonderful people, getting to really look at my scope of work, of what I do and what I have been doing for such a long time And now I’m glad I’m able to say, “OK, what's next?”

I've been doing this for thirty years. I've been doing the Women on the Move Summit for a decade now. I love empowering women. I love being able to give a platform for women to be able to get the exposure they need to grow their business, their brands, and themselves “So, what's next, Lord? Is it just building the mentorship program with the high school girls and growing that?” I'm going to continue to do that, because it’s a passion project It’s really here in my heart because someone took time to work with me as a young adult Now I look and I see that there are still a lot of women who need help. You may think, “Oh, they got it.” But there's so many who don't. So I’m just trying to navigate that, and just thinking about what's next

Did you hear what you just said?

Chloé: I love that. You’ve said that there were women who poured into you. I feel that way too, Kim Maybe that's why we like each other You and I are so different, and yet we're very similar we love these girl things That's how I started too because someone helped me. A lot of women have helped me.

I was just sharing about this yesterday When I was sixteen, I had the potential, but I walked a certain way I was so tall, and I was so thin, and I didn't think I was smart I didn't feel anything about my looks. I didn't think I was cute. I just never thought about it. But when I was sixteen, my aunt and her girlfriends all worked on me and helped me to get ready One of them pressed and curled my hair, another scrubbed my knees, and another would invite me to her home to sit in the living room on the “good” sofa and she asked me questions that I had to answer a certain way. They were getting me ready It’s just beautiful and truly priceless when you have someone who takes the time to pour into you and to pull out more from a starving girl who wants to be her best.

Kim: It really is beautiful For me, growing up a dark-skinned girl and a young lady, there were some challenges because that's just how it was growing up in the 70s and 80s and 90s. It was just how things were. When someone would see a talent, a gift, in me, or someone would see that spark in me, they would say, "Wow, you're going to be somebody " I used to have people say, when they were listening to me speak, "You're going to be on TV. You're going to be on the radio. I mean, did you hear what you just said?"

When I would do runway shows, I just somehow had that stage presence And it's like, “Wow, they're clapping,” or “They like what they see ” It just gave me such joy. Much of it came from my grandmother telling me that I was a beautiful young lady. She would say, "Don't let anybody else tell you you're not that!"

But then there would be somebody else saying, “Come here, little Black girl. Let me help you. Let me show you.” So, when it was "Blackie" and "Tar Baby," those things were hurtful. But then it shifted to being "young, gifted and Black " Then I was like, “Yes!” I was embracing that It was wonderful And so it all just changed And as I got older, it became "dark and lovely," and "the darker the berry, the sweeter the juice” all good stuff. So I was like, “Oh, yeah! I see, Boo.” I loved it. >

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Kim continued: And I loved it even when I was in situations where I was the only minority a minority color, a minority woman, truly, a minority in every way doing pageants, when I was the only Black girl in my age category

But then it could turn around They gave me a Congeniality Award, because they enjoyed being around me. We had a good time. It was just a magnetic thing. And I embraced that.

People will try people that they know they can try They can tell if you're real timid, or they can tell if you're that person they can really push you around You know what I'm saying?

Some people may try you. But most of the time, if people see the type of person you are, they ain't going to mess with you! So I never really had a lot of challenges there

Chloé: Were you this feisty as a girl? Did you bring a lot of your young personality into your adult life? Or have you shifted how you're showing up?

Kim: I've shifted how I'm showing up I know I've shifted, because I'm more mature now And a mother and now a grandmother I have a new grandbaby. I've got five grandbabies now. I just had my fifth one just two days ago. He was born August eight.

Chloé: I'm a little bit jealous of that

Kim: I've got plenty of babies I know that things have shifted. Now, the things that we've learned when it came to presentation, how to carry ourselves, putting ourselves together that stuff is never going to change It's always going to be with us >

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Kim continued: When I'm able to share that with young ladies, and teach that to them, I hope and pray that it will stay with them like it stayed with me And then there’s how you show up in the room Oh, my God That stays with you

There is some shifting. I know that I have to look at the space that I'm in and how I deal with the people I don't want to ever seem like I'm above anyone else I don't want to have that persona I want you to see that you can communicate with me that we can connect and talk together. I don't ever want you to feel like, “Oh, I can't talk to her.” No. You can. Yes, you can

That's something that I see a lot with women who are at a certain level They make it seem like it's just so hard to talk to them. Do you want that? Do you want people to be like, “I don't want to talk to her. I'm standing off.” No, because that isolates you That puts you in this little bubble, and then you don't even know what's going on You'll be like, “Where are my friends? Where are my people?” Because you created this wall, and now, don't nobody want to deal with you.

Chloé: Kim, I have to admit that I don't remember very much interaction the very first time we met But when we met last year, at the She League Conference, I felt you. I definitely felt you then. So I have been like a magnet. It's your personality, it's your ability to laugh easily and to be able to communicate and talk and make people feel comfortable and welcome I love that about you Now, based on what I was just hearing, did you have that in your personality when you were younger? When you were a teenager?

Kim: Yes Oh, everybody said I should have been a comedian when I grew up I remember in sixth grade, my mom had to come to school because they said I talked too much The teacher said, "She does her work, but then distracts everybody else. She's always over there talking, talking, talking " That mouth of mine! She said, "That mouth of yours is going to get you in trouble so you better be quiet " I had to learn back then how to shift That lady said, "You're going to mess around here, and play yourself out of an education." That was harsh. It was enough to shock me. I said, "That's horrible " I was like, "Oh, no OK, I'm going to be quiet ” Because I wanted to see my friends on the playground

Chloé: Tell me about your transition from modeling

Kim: That shift was when I left the New York–New Jersey area to come south. I thought I was pregnant with my third child, and I just fell out I just said, “Oh, no ” I mean, at that time, things were just booming I was rolling I was about to do the cover of a Black hair magazine My agent was Grace Del Marco. That's who I was under one of the top Black modeling agencies in New York, at the Empire State Building.

But when I found out I was pregnant again, that just did me in I was like, “OK, you know what?” I said, "We're not jelling. This man is trying to keep me barefoot and pregnant." I thought, "I’ve got to go. I can't do this any more." I really thought that my career was over It was a wrap I said, “You know what? I'm going to go ahead and leave this marriage because it's not working out for me ”

And I said, “God, You got me.” And my mother said, “Look, I'm in Florida. You can always come home ” So I left I showed up at my mother’s doorstep with two toddlers and an infant a two-month-old baby She said, "Come on in " Because that's what moms do for you. I said, “OK, I’ve got to figure this out.”

I was going through a transition I don't want to say I was really depressed; but I was trying to figure it all out "What am I going to do now? Oh, my gosh, Lord I’ve got these three kids What am I going to do?" The first immediate thing I thought was, "I’ve got to find some work." Management was my background, so I said, “I’ve got to get a job ” But I was missing all the things that I’d been doing I was used to getting up, and going into the City every day and going to work I’d been working as a >

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I said, ‘You know what? I'm going to go ahead and leave this marriage because it's not working out for me.’

Kim continued: house model I worked in the industry I worked for a furrier At the furrier, when I wasn't doing the stuff in the showroom, I was doing clerical for them That was my job. I was going on model go-sees. You know how it goes, Chloé. But when I transitioned, I got to Orlando, and I didn't see any of the things I was used to. I said, “Where's the life?” But they didn't have it That's when God gave it to me He said, "Look, you're going to create this thing "

So, I created what I was used to in the New York Girl, I created a New York runway show right there in Orlando! Something they'd never seen before. So, my transition was taking its own journey. I had $500. And I went and booked a ballroom And then I made some flyers up, and I started going to the community centers I went to the nightclub I went to the beauty salons I went to the churches And I said, “Look, I'm doing a model audition. I'm looking for models. And if you can come to this community center on this Sunday, you'll get all the information.”

I had my books there, I had different things I wanted to let them know I was professional I wasn't playing around Because I didn’t know these people And that's how I started. I transitioned from modeling to becoming an entrepreneur by producing fashion shows. I would do runway shows in Orlando, and that was no dancing. “We ain't dancing We ain't all about no hair You're going to be just about the clothes I want everybody here to pull back in a bun ” And they were like, “What?” And I said, “Yes It's not about the hair, it's about the clothes! I'm going to get the make-up. I'm going to get the clothes.” I got on the phone and called people I knew and said, "Hey, I know y'all want to come to Florida. I'm doing a fashion show.” And I had people coming and bringing clothes It was amazing! It was like, Oh, my God They couldn't believe it It was so electrifying and exciting The music too The music was popping. And the lighting too. I just did what I knew. Wow.

I had been on stage experiencing all this as a model, and I had always been intrigued about what it would be like to put a fashion show together And now, here I was on the other side, and I thought, “Wow, I'm in a position to put together this production ” So that's how Kim McNair Productions began. My first fashion show was standing room only, and I almost fell out. Chloé, I couldn't believe it.

Chloé: I'm so fascinated, girl! You really need to have your own show to inspire and entertain us

Kim: Well, I did! I used to have a show. It was >

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Kim, continued: called Women on the Move Live!

Chloé: Well, you need to have it again right now because we need it. As you told that story, Kim, I was all into it, and you were rolling with it I like that That's what intrigued me about you when we met Your energy, your authenticity the way that you share your knowledge, the way you're so passionate about it. And, you know how to direct it into your purpose. That's wonderful. Tell us what you're working on now, and why you're excited about it

Kim: Well, currently what I'm working on is the tenth annual Women on the Move Summit. It's a decade of collaboration, connecting, and creating excellence for women on the move. I'm really excited about it because, wow, it's been ten years I am bringing together some amazing women and men to be a part of this to be able to share their journeys and share some insights and give some really good nuggets of wisdom to those who are going to be in the audience. I was just speaking to one of the judges I had a table of magistrate judges last year, and they're coming back One judge said she got so many good notes I asked her, “You're a judge? And you're getting something from this?” And she said, "Yes, because there's something for everybody." People are looking for information and they're looking for what's new As a judge, what are you doing? You're getting up, you're going in your chair, you're putting that robe on top of your sweatsuit or whatever you wore because you don't know what they got under them robes! You're sitting there, and you're dealing with all this stuff But then you're hearing all this negativity, and all these people fighting But what about what's going on in the world?

So to hear her say to me, “Oh, yes, I can't wait I'm excited ” That made me feel good And then there are others who said, “I met so-andso at the Summit. We're getting ready to work on something together.” That's amazing. That's what I'm looking forward to: more networking, more opportunities for people to collaborate I want people to connect and then create some things I want to just give them that exposure. I have a couple of ladies who are going to be on a panel, and nobody really knows who they are They have great products, and they do great things but who's going to know about it? Well, you know what? I'm going to give them an opportunity to be seen and be heard at the on September the 21st. And I'm excited about that.

Chloé: Kim, what would you like to share with our readers as we close out our time together?

Kim: I just want to say to everyone to stay positive, stay focused, trust and believe in yourself, and you will flourish. <

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Stay positive, stay focused, trust and believe in yourself, and you will flourish.
Kim McNair Productions


Chloé: Kim, I'm so excited for you, and I'm incredibly proud of your accomplishments since we last spoke. You've been working on empowering women for many years, and now you have your new book, How Money Works for Women: Take Control or Lose It, co-authored with Sharon Lechter It captivated me from the very beginning It’s extremely valuable

You may not know this about me, but I adore words You write about the words and language we use when talking to ourselves about money A shift is subtle yet profound: from "I can’t" to "How can I?" It's not just a change in phrasing; it's a transformation in our way of thinking

I wanted to explore the experiences of women to better understand who I most closely resemble I wasn't particularly interested in focusing on age; rather, I wanted to see where I fit in the broader spectrum To bring our readers in, let's start by discussing how you arrived at the decision to write this book, and we’ll take it from there. >

Chloé Taylor Brown talks with money expert Kim Scouller
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Kim: Being part of the financial literacy movement especially for women has been a lifelong passion for me. Women are often preoccupied with caring for families, managing households, and fulfilling work responsibilities. On top of that, we're plagued by internal messages that we're not good enough, smart enough, or educated enough to understand financial matters

This negative self-talk, coupled with our busy lives, prevents us from taking control of our finances Consequently, many women find themselves financially dependent, in careers that may not be fulfilling, or burdened with caregiving responsibilities without knowing what resources are available. An intriguing statistic discussed in the final chapter of the book is that eighty percent of women die single, while eighty percent of men die married. Often, we defer financial decisions to the men in our lives. But given that we generally live longer, we ultimately do have to take control of our own financial situations.

In the end, we have no choice but to assert control over our finances, either directly or passively. So why not be an active participant from the beginning? Most men in our lives would actually prefer that we share the responsibility of making financial decisions They don't want to shoulder the entire burden themselves; they want us to be equal participants

Chloé: Have men been sharing these sentiments with you personally, Kim?

Kim: Yes, they have Not only have men told me this personally, but the data and surveys also corroborate it. These studies measure women's participation in family financial decision-making, and they reveal that more than half of women defer these decisions. Yet interestingly, more than half of men say, "Please don't defer the decisions to us. We want your input. We want you to make these decisions with us." >

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Chloé: So, what you're essentially saying is that when money works for women, it benefits the whole family the men, the children, and the community at large.

Kim: Exactly. That's precisely the point. That's why my co-author, Sharon Lechter, and I felt it was crucial to focus on women to provide the necessary information and education. We aim to meet women where they are, through characters in our book, experiencing various life and career stages. This way, women can identify with characters like Dana, or learn from the wisdom of characters like Mei and Fatima

There are some excellent books for women out there, but they often read like textbooks They tell you what you should do, rather than how to do it Our book not only discusses general topics but also provides checklists for specific situations such as going through a divorce or claiming Social Security.

Chloé: Considering your book is relatively new, have you noticed any trends in the demographics of women who are particularly engaged with it?

Kim: We're seeing a broad range of women interested in the book. Primarily, mothers are purchasing it and passing it on to their sisters, children, and nieces. The book has been out for a few weeks, and we've already sold 10,000 copies. We're in the process of reprinting! Clearly, there's a significant need for this kind of information for women at all stages of life

Chloé: Have you considered taking this message to high schools and colleges? Young women could benefit immensely from learning financial literacy before they embark on their careers

Kim: You're absolutely right, Chloé We're exploring opportunities to speak to young women in high schools and colleges.

Kim: I already teach financial education at various colleges and universities, primarily HBCUs; but I haven't yet focused on our book and on teaching financial literacy specifically for women.

Chloé: The book is visually engaging. How did you and your team manage to create something that's not only informative but also visually appealing and emotionally resonant?

Kim: We have an incredible Graphic Design team led by Andy Horner. When Andy and I sit down to discuss a project aimed at women, he channels his inner feminine side Although he's surrounded by men in his family, he has a keen ability to tap into what women might want to see Initially, Andy designed all of the book’s female characters as tough, strong women While that's empowering, we realized we needed to represent a broader range of women So, we drew inspiration from the financial professionals we work with and from the real-world situations they encounter.

Our goal was to make financial literacy accessible, approachable, and even fun. We wanted a book that people could read in an hour or two but still gain valuable insights.

Chloé: What’s your favorite part of the book?

Kim: Choosing a favorite part of the book is like choosing a favorite child. However, my favorite chapter to write was about Jan, an eighty-six-yearold woman who has lived through various economic cycles Her story emphasizes the importance of long-term planning and emotional resilience Jan and her now late husband managed to put their kids through college, own their home, and live comfortably in retirement I’ve served as her financial advisor Her life is a testament to the power of long-term planning >

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Chloé: Would you say that Jan's approach to managing her life and finances is ideal?

Kim: Absolutely. Jan's life exemplifies the benefits of sticking to a long-term plan and not reacting emotionally to market fluctuations. But her chapter also delves into the broader context of women's financial progress over the years For instance, the Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, yet we still haven't achieved pay equity Jan hopes that her granddaughters and greatgranddaughters won't have to wait another 30 years to see the promise of equal pay fulfilled She's also witnessed the impact of Title IX, signed into law fifty-one years ago, which has been transformative for women.

Over the last fifty-one years, we have seen remarkable progress. In 1972, only eight percent of women graduated from college. Today, women make up nearly sixty percent of all college graduates. Despite these academic strides, we still lag in terms of equal pay.

Jan's chapter concludes on a hopeful note, inspired by her real-life granddaughter, Christa Mathews Christa introduced me to Lizzo's music; we end the chapter with a quote from one of Lizzo's songs: "Woke up feelin’ like I just might run for president " It encapsulates Jan's hope that every girl can wake up with such confidence

Chloé: It's wonderful that Christa had a role in your book. She must feel honored. >

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Kim: Absolutely. Crista also reviewed and edited the chapter on Zoey, the first character in the book. Zoey is a college student grappling with student loan debt. Christa's insights helped make that chapter more relatable, reflecting her own college experience and the challenges faced by her peers.

Chloé: You and I have previously discussed Title IX and its impact on scholarships It's fascinating how our conversation influenced Jan's chapter

Kim: Indeed, Chloé Our conversation significantly shaped the content of Jan's chapter

Chloé: Let's talk about the reluctance many women have to discuss money. Why do you think that is?

Kim: Discussing money has long been taboo especially for women. This hesitancy often stems from a lack of confidence, a fear of asking the wrong questions, or even shame about one's financial situation. Social media exacerbates this, as we all tend to showcase our "best lives," masking the real challenges we face. However, most of us share similar worries, dreams, and aspirations, many of which have financial implications.

When we open up about these concerns and aspirations, we can empower each other to take the next steps Conversations about money shouldn't be shrouded in secrecy or shame; they should be a part of our broader discussions about life goals and well-being

Chloé: The new “currency” is collaboration Can yo speak to that, especially in the context of your collaboration with Sharon Lechter?

Kim: Absolutely, this book epitomizes collaboration. Sharon, who co-wrote Rich Dad, Poo Dad, has an extensive background in financial literacy. She brought invaluable wisdom to the project. Our educational backgrounds hers in

Accounting and mine in Law complemented each other well. The book also benefited from the perspectives of women who were either experiencing the financial situations discussed or who were financial professionals specializing in those areas. Andy Horner and his Graphic Design team, and everyone in our dedicated team, all helped bring the book to life It was a collective effort, and the result is a masterpiece

The recurring theme in the book is that a woman needs her own money and her own credit score This is crucial Because you never know what life will throw at you The book aims to demystify financial concepts for women, regardless of their educational background or level of confidence.

The best compliment came from my eighty-fiveyear-old mother, who said she understood every word of the book, despite her initial apprehensions. That's exactly who we wrote this book for every woman, wherever she may be in her life journey.

Chloé: Your book is timely and much needed. It's relatable and practical, and I'm thrilled that you've brought it into the world. Congratulations.

Kim: Thank you, Chloé. Your positive influence is evident throughout the book, and I'm so grateful for that >

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Kim Scouller

is recognized as a leading advocate for women and their finances. She has been an attorney for more than 30 years and served as in-house counsel for one of the largest financial services companies in the world. During her tenure at Transamerica, she served in several executive roles for the company’s insurance affiliates, broker-dealers, mutual funds, and investment advisors. In her last four years there, she served as the president of the Transamerica broker-dealer with the largest number of registered representatives. As one of the few women broker-dealer presidents in the United States, she traveled around the country talking with people especially women about the steps to take to identify and achieve their financial goals Wanting more control over her time, Kim left her corporate career to start her own financial business and law firm based in the Atlanta area A Certified Financial Educator®, Kim continues to speak with women about the importance and impact of financial education that leads to literacy She lives in Alpharetta, Georgia with her family

Sharon Lechter

is internationally recognized as a financial literacy expert, keynote speaker and business mentor. She is a New York Times best-selling author, a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, and she has enjoyed a thirty-five-year career as a CPA. She advised two U.S. presidents on the topic of financial literacy and co-authored the international best-seller Rich Dad Poor Dad as well as fourteen other books in the Rich Dad series. In 2008, when the economy crashed, Sharon was asked by the Napoleon Hill Foundation to help re-energize the teachings of Napoleon Hill. Her best-selling books with the Foundation include Three Feet from Gold, Outwitting the Devil and Think and Grow Rich for Women. She is also featured in the movie Think and Grow Rich: The Legacy and on the national television series World’s Greatest Motivators. Sharon’s recent book, Exit Rich, supports entrepreneurs in building value and scalability in their businesses so that they can be in the position of their greatest potential She lives in Paradise Valley, Arizona with her husband and business partner, Michael Lechter <

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@Kim Scouller Kim Scouller @sharonlechter Sharon Lechter

Pecan Pie Pecan Pie

A Holiday Treat A Holiday Treat

In the heart of the American South, a quintessential dessert reigns supreme: the pecan pie. This beloved Southern treat is a symphony of flavors and textures, bringing together the rich butteriness of a flaky pastry crust with the sweet, gooey goodness of a nutty filling. Pecan pie is more than a dessert; it's a warm, comforting slice of tradition that has graced holiday tables for generations. >

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Indulge in a Southern tradition: the irresistable pecan pie

A Nutty, Caramelized Delight

At the heart of pecan pie's charm is its irresistible filling This classic is a harmonious blend of brown sugar, corn syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, and, of course, pecans The pecans are the star of the show, providing a nutty crunch and a deep, caramelized flavor that's impossible to resist.

The Perfect Pastry Crust

o balance the sweetness of the filling, pecan pie relies on a delicate, flaky pastry crust This crust provides a buttery and slightly salty foundation that complements the sugary pecan filling exquisitely. It's the perfect partner to the pie's gooey interior.

A Recipe for Perfection

Now, let's dive into a famous pecan pie recipe that captures the essence of Southern hospitality and flavor.

Ingredients: Instructions:

1 nine-inch unbaked pie crust

1 cup pecan halves

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup light corn syrup

2 Tablespoons melted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

This pecan pie recipe is a true Southern treasure, embodying the warmth and hospitality of the region With its nutty, caramelized filling and flaky pastry crust, it's the perfect dessert to share with loved ones during the holiday season or any occasion that calls for a touch of Southern sweetness <

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Place pecan halves evenly on the bottom of the unbaked pie crust.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Mix until well combined.

Pour the mixture over the pecans in the pie crust

Bake in the preheated oven for about 60 to 70 minutes, or until the filling is set and the top is golden brown You can cover the edges of the pie crust with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning

Allow the pecan pie to cool completely before serving For an extra touch of indulgence, top it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


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your holiday party

with grilled branzino, a Mediterranean delight

Originating from the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean, branzino is a culinary gem celebrated for its exquisite flavor and delicate texture Its international popularity stems from its mild, slightly sweet taste and flaky white flesh, making it a soughtafter catch among seafood enthusiasts.

What makes branzino truly exceptional is its versatility on the grill, making it a delightful addition to your holiday festivities Picture serving perfectly grilled branzino, adorned with festive herbs and lemon, as the centerpiece of your holiday table.

Begin by cleaning and gutting the fish, then season generously with olive oil, lemon, fresh herbs, and a pinch of sea salt Grill over medium-high heat, allowing the skin to crisp and the flesh to become tender, about 5 to 7 minutes per side

Grilled branzino offers a taste of Mediterranean bliss, making it an elegant and healthy choice for your holiday gatherings. Elevate your celebrations with this delicious masterpiece, and watch as it becomes the star of your holiday soirées. < F L O U R I S H D I G I T A L M A G A Z I N E . C O M | F A L L 2 0 2 3 | 4 5

Pumpkin Spice Latte RECIPE


1½ cups sugar

1½ cups water

6 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground ginger

2 tsp ground nutmeg

4 Tbsp pumpkin purée

1 2 3


Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer

Once sugar is dissolved, add cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ginger, nutmeg and pumpkin purée, and let simmer for 20 minutes

Remove from heat and immediately strain through cheesecloth

Makes enough syrup for 8 beverages Keeps up to 7 days in the fridge


Pumpkin Spice Latte

1 cup whole milk

1 oz brewed Starbucks® Espresso Roast

3 Tbsp homemade pumpkin spice syrup

½ cup whipped cream


1 pinch pumpkin pie spice (garnish)

1 2 3

Heat and froth milk in a Nespresso® Aeroccino frother

Brew Starbucks Espresso Roast in an espresso machine

Place the homemade pumpkin spice syrup into a mug, followed by hot espresso Stir together

Fill mug with heated frothed milk until ¾ full, then top with whipped cream 4

Sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice. Serve!

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As the leaves begin their graceful descent from the trees, and a gentle crispness fills the air, I find myself fully immersed in the enchantment of Fall It's a season of transformation both in nature and in our lives Fall, with its warm hues and cozy gatherings, reminds us of the importance of family and gratitude. This time of year offers us the potential for growth even in the face of perceived failures

In life’s journey, I have encountered setbacks and challenges that have made me question my path But it's in these moments that I draw inspiration from the trees shedding their leaves yet standing tall and resilient, preparing for a fresh start in the Spring Just as nature teaches, we are at times going to fall, but there is always another chance to blossom again

This Fall, I choose to celebrate Thanksgiving not just as a day of feasting but as a reminder to nurture gratitude in my heart. My ability to perceive, decide, and communicate is essential in this journey I choose to perceive my challenges as opportunities for growth I decide to embrace them with grace and strength And I express my gratitude for the lessons they bring

Families play a central role in this season of togetherness It's a time to create authentic connections, as I've always emphasized Gathering around the table, sharing stories, and making memories reminds me that family isn't just about blood; it's about the bonds we create with those who uplift and support us.

As I reflect on my journey and gather with loved ones, I redefine my idea of flourishing It's not just about material success, but about the richness of our experiences, the depth of our relationships, and the growth of our souls. This Fall, I am committed to flourishing together as I encourage you to do with the ones you love

So, as I sip my pumpkin spice latte and watch the leaves fall, I take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this season and the potential it holds. I embrace my family, find gratitude in every moment, and remember that failures are simply stepping stones on the path to a flourishing future

Happy Thanksgiving! Let's welcome the Fall with open hearts and open minds <

F a l l R e f l e c t i o n s

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onpurpose onpurpose Advanced Skincare with ANDREA N. WILLIAMS
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Beauty, Dreams, and Inspiring Journeys: Andrea Niko Williams

Andrea Williams was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. In 2012, Andrea took a leap of faith, leaving her banking career to pursue her passion for make-up and skincare. Her journey into aesthetics began in 2013 when she enrolled at the Elaine Sterling Institute in Atlanta, where she obtained her aesthetics license and later became a licensed instructor.

As a child, Andrea always admired the ability of teachers to inspire and nurture curiosity in their students. With a deep love for make-up, fashion, skincare, and haircare, coupled with her innate desire to teach, Andrea seized the opportunity to become an instructor, earning a full scholarship to her alma mater

While she continues to inspire and mentor her students, Andrea's journey has led her to say, "It feels amazing to live my childhood dream, which beautifully combines teaching and skincare ”

Chloé: I had the pleasure of meeting Andrea Niko Williams at the Elaine Sterling Institute when I experienced one of her signature MicroHydraLIFT facials. The story of her journey into this profession intrigued me. But first, I wanted to learn more about her on a personal level. So, I asked her to tell me about herself.


Andrea: I come from a family with a rich history in the beauty industry. My mother and aunt were both master cosmetologists, and even my father studied hair. However, I had a different calling: I was drawn to make-up. While working in banking, I took a make-up class, and realized how much I enjoyed it. That's when I decided to take a leap of faith, leave banking, and move from Chicago to Georgia. I found my true passion in aesthetics, and more specifically, in skincare.

Chloé: So, you transitioned right from banking to the world of make-up and skincare?

Andrea: Yes, I went from the world of finance to the world of beauty and it's been an incredible journey

Chloé: That's wonderful When you moved to Atlanta, did you have a clear plan to pursue a career in skincare and teaching? Or did it evolve over time? >

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Andrea with Elaine Sterling

Andrea: Actually, I moved to Atlanta for personal reasons but it turned out to be a life-changing decision While I initially thought I would focus on make-up and maybe lashes, I soon realized that skincare was the key to success in the beauty industry I stumbled upon the concept of aesthetics, and when I visited the Elaine Sterling Institute, I was convinced this was the path for me I didn't anticipate the incredible journey it would lead to, but I definitely found my calling in skincare.

Chloé: It sounds like you found your true passion along the way. Would you tell us more about the MicroHydra-LIFT facial and the machine behind it?

Andrea: The MicroHydra-LIFT facial is truly phenomenal. It's an eight-step system that combines exfoliation, hydration and oxygenation and a fantastic lift. The immediate results are astounding. Your skin looks tighter, more toned, and incredibly rejuvenated. This facial provides an instant glow in just forty-five minutes, making it perfect for a lunchtime treat To see long-lasting results, I recommend a series of four treatments once a week, followed by monthly maintenance, along with proper at-home skincare

Chloé: Who is the ideal candidate for this facial treatment?

Andrea: The beauty of the MicroHydra-LIFT facial is that it's completely customizable to suit each individual's needs. Whether you're looking for antiaging benefits, hyperpigmentation reduction, or simply a hydration boost, this facial can be tailored to your specific requirements. It's suitable for clients of all ages.

Chloé: How long can clients expect the results of this facial to last?

Andrea: As I mentioned, if you want to see lasting results, I recommend four treatments initially, followed by monthly maintenance Skincare is not a luxury but a necessity, so regular treatments are crucial for maintaining healthy and youthful skin

Chloé: You've been in the beauty industry for quite some time How did your journey go from graduating to becoming an educator at the Elaine Sterling Institute?

Andrea: I've been in the beauty industry since 2014 I received my instructor's license in 2015 I spent a total of six years at the Elaine Sterling Institute, followed by three years with Paul Mitchell. Teaching has been my passion for nine years now. It's incredible how life can lead you to where you're truly meant to be.

Chloé: Your journey is a testament to following your true calling and dreams. What advice would you like to leave with our readers?

Andrea: I want to inspire all your readers to aspire to inspire others. Someone is always watching you, and someone may want to be just like you. Make sure you pour into others the way you wish someone had poured into you We all need each other, and we should aim to bring out the best in one another Dream big, because what you ask for might just be what you get even if it doesn't happen exactly on your time line

Chloé: That's a powerful message, Andrea Thank you for sharing your inspiring journey and insights with us. <

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A Model Young Man

Meet Joshua, a young man who adds his own unique flavor to every moment with a simple but impactful phrase: "That's what's up!" Whether you're sharing good news, creative ideas, or just a beautiful sunrise, he'll say, "That's what's up."

This multi-talented artist channels his creative energy in various ways. He's a musical genius, crafting soul-stirring tunes, generating beats that get your heart racing and your booty shaking, and producing music that's nothing short of magic.

But his artistry doesn't stop there He's also a talented painter, using colors and strokes to express his innermost thoughts and emotions

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Nature is Joshua’s muse. You'll often find him embracing the outdoors, soaking in the serenity, and drawing inspiration from the world around him

He's not just about art and music; he's all about holistic well-being Yoga is his sanctuary. He thrives on a healthy lifestyle that nourishes his body and mind.

And guess what? This young talent is also stepping into the world of modeling bringing his charisma and charm to the forefront as a new face with Ursula Weidman Models in Atlanta Get ready to see more of him on the runway, stages and pages!

So, the next time you hear "That's what's up!" in response to your good news, know that it's coming from a young creative soul who's all about positivity, authentic expression, and embracing life's beautiful moments <

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For every woman who shares my love for the exquisite allure of a fabulous dress, I invite you to join me on a journey into the world of fashion where style and selfexpression intertwine

As French fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet once beautifully stated, "The dress must not hang on the body but follow its lines " This essence of "silhouette" has always captivated my heart, and I'm sure you can relate.

There's something inherently romantic and elegant about the word "silhouette " It glides off the tongue like the opening notes of a love song; it embodies the very essence of what fashion means to us Picture your silhouette, outlined in life size, a canvas for every visual line and curve of your body. That's the magic of fashion: It's an art form that celebrates your unique beauty

Designers, in their creative brilliance, understand the importance of lines style lines, design lines and detail lines. They use these elements to craft pieces that not only complement your body's lines but also evoke a mood and a feeling It's about more than just clothing; it's about crafting an identity through your wardrobe


When you're in the mood to exude femininity and elegance, consider the wonders of a silk, satin or jersey dress cut on the bias This style isn't just about wearing any dress; it's about the dress and you becoming one a harmonious symphony of beauty. It caresses your curves and softly drapes. And, in the words of Madeleine Vionnet, "when a woman smiles, the dress must smile with her "

The dress doesn't wear you; you wear the dress. It's a powerful statement of confidence and self-assuredness.

As we step into the Fall of 2023, I want to remind you that fashion is a form of selfexpression Understanding your body's lines and how they align with the lines of clothing can be transformative. It's about creating flattering illusions that celebrate your strengths and divert attention away from perceived flaws

So, whether you're a seasoned professional or a young woman finding your path, remember that a fabulous dress can be your ally in making a statement and expressing who you are It's a canvas for your personality, and a testament to your individuality

As we explore the world of fashion together, let's empower ourselves and each other Let's embrace our unique silhouettes and the art of dressing as a means to celebrate the beautiful women we are

With love and style,

Chloé Taylor Brown
Let your fabulous dress be the canvas that paints your story— celebrating your elegance, confidence and individuality.
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Photo of Chloé at Nobu Hotel in Atlanta by Rick Brown

TheBeauty ofDreams ComingTrue LaterInLife

I wrote my book It’s Complicated: A Novel years ago. When I moved to Atlanta from Pittsburgh, I fell in love with the city, the culture, and the make-it-happen vibe. I was fascinated by the Black-centric political scene. So, I wrote a multi-plotted story, set in Atlanta, about the high-powered world of politics, romantic entanglements and family drama.

A plot twist from the strokes of a paint brush

In It’s Complicated: A Novel, there’s a story line about the main character Sage Kennedy’s father who is a visual artist He paints in the style of Jacob Lawrence or Romare Bearden As a little girl, Sage watched her father Satchell Kennedy create paintings while listening to the sultry and powerful music of Billie Holiday. As an adult, Sage is an avid collector of Black art. Her father became an important part of the plot and his presence in the story adds a strong element of mystery

Art is the inspiration for the book cover

The fact that Sage’s father was a painter became a source of inspiration that went beyond the storyline. My vision for the original book cover was to have an artistic painting that would connect with the story and create a visually appealing cover At the time, I contacted a local Atlanta artist who had a prominent art gallery. He was willing to provide one of his paintings as the visual for my cover Unfortunately, my publisher at the time pursued a different option

A new opportunity to have art on my cover

I’m excited to re-publish this book with cover art that has been provided by a well-known Atlanta artist, Wendy L Jackson I became acquainted with her through a mutual connection We had a conversation about our dreams as creatives She’s a painter and I’m a writer We both have creative spirits. We share a special gift with the ability to focus on our craft As artists, we can envision what does not currently exist and bring it into existence something tangible like a painting or a book Each of us dedicated to our craft, we spend hours and hours working on our artistic projects. We each follow our passion which I jokingly call “the crazy creative zone ” I love being in that zone it’s fun, exhilarating and divine

The circle of creativity

Wendy very generously offered me the opportunity to use one of her paintings as the background for the re-release of It’s Complicated: A Novel I selected her painting Eruptions not only because of the beauty of the original painting, but also because it parallels many aspects of the book’s twisty-curvy storylines I hired a graphic artist to create a cover that would properly showcase the artwork. The cover is beautiful, powerful, dynamic and inviting. I am ecstatic and proud of how it turned out Wendy agrees “The cover looks fantastic,” she told me “I want to say that I’m very proud of you And thank you for allowing me to be a part of your journey ”

A late-in-life dream come true

Years ago, I was disappointed that the art I wanted on my original cover did not happen But I have now re-published my book with the type of cover that I first envisioned. The correlation between my love of writing and deep appreciation for art comes together beautifully in the embodiment of the cover

When secrets unravel, ambitions collide, families explode and love overflows it’s complicated

Available in multiple outlets including Amazon, BookBaby and Barnes & Noble. Click on the icons to purchase.

As I’ve grown older, I understand that dreams may not be realized at the time that you desire I hope, dear reader, that you never forget that there is always a possibility that your dreams will come to fruition, in unexpected ways and at unanticipated occasions. For me, that special point in time has arrived It’s a full-circle moment that brings me joy, hope and peace <

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The entertainment industry has been largely connected to Hollywood and New York City, almost since the inception of the big screen but recently the playing field has widened considerably. Many other locations notably in Georgia have taken center stage of film and entertainment productions, because of special incentives to attract the industry.

In 2008, three strategic visionaries came together to advocate for robust film tax credits in Georgia. The legislature brought it to life with a signature from then Governor Sonny Perdue. Since then, Georgia’s film industry has skyrocketed along with music, video gaming and e-sports. “Georgia has wisely identified video gaming and e-sports as critical components of the creative economy,” says Todd Harris, CEO of Skillshot Media and Ghost Gaming. “Gaming worldwide is the largest entertainment industry, actually greater in revenue than TV, movies and music combined, yet drawing upon much of the same creative workforce.”


Game development creates jobs in the state, while e-sports events pack stadiums to drive hotel rooms, tourism and hospitality. Georgia’s leadership across both gaming and e-sports will be showcased this December 13–17 at Games Week Georgia, culminating in the 40,000-attendee gaming festival of DreamHack Atlanta, its largest event in North America.

In the last three years, the entertainment industry has been responsible for creating over 100,000 jobs annually in Georgia. From 2017 to 2021, video gaming productions invested over $260 million, reaping new tax revenue of $13 million Music and film combined are contributing almost $6 billion in combined economic impact to the state “Georgia’s commitment to incentivize film production spending has caused enormous growth in all areas of the state’s creative economy,” said Randy Davidson, President of Georgia Entertainment. “A strong creative economy attracts other businesses to the state and creates a vibrant cycle that generates ongoing job opportunities for Georgians.”

Georgia is now second only to California in square footage of studio space and that’s not just in Atlanta proper.

Film Columbus, Film Augusta, Film Macon and Film Savannah, as well as the new Assembly Studios in Dunwoody, along with South Georgia Studios in Quitman/Valdosta and Trilith Studios in Fayetteville are all ready for action with state-of-the-art facilities. From July 2021 to June 2022, Georgia was home to thirty-six feature films, thirty-six independent films, 269 television and episodic productions, forty-two commercials and thirty-three music videos (And that was during the pandemic!)

Ray Ezelle, Executive Director of Discover Dunwoody, is excited about the grand opening of Assembly Studios, a newly constructed, state-ofthe-art studio with sound stages, vivid exterior locations, and full production services all available in one location less than thirty minutes from downtown Atlanta. “This new development promises to be a catalyst for significant employment opportunities. Moreover, we are excited about the numerous productions, as well as the influx of travelers who will undoubtedly flock to experience the unique public access part of the studio. Atlanta has yet to witness anything like this.”

While entertainment production continues to rise, there is another longer-lasting opportunity with the potential for an even greater impact on the state: entertainment tourism. >

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Tourism and travel in Georgia contribute almost $65 billion in economic impact annually. Merging tourism/travel and entertainment to promote decades of destination visitors throughout Georgia is an emerging opportunity Many communities are already capitalizing on a huge fan base of TV and film followers: The Vampire Diaries in Covington; Ozark in Lake Lanier/Lake Allatoona; Stranger Things in multiple locations around Georgia; The Walking Dead in Senoia; Avengers: Infinity War in Atlanta; Black Panther in Atlanta; Ant Man in Atlanta; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 in Atlanta; Identity Thief in Atlanta; and many more. Other communities in Georgia are hosting some of the nation’s largest music festivals, e.g., TomorrowWorld, A3C, Savannah Music Fest and Shaky Knees.

I launched the Entertainment Tourism Alliance of Georgia (ETAG) this August to support and unite the state’s travel and hospitality industry around entertainment Our mission is to educate, advocate, and promote tourism and economic development associated with the entertainment industry. The three areas of focus are data collection, workforce development and optimization of future entertainment tourism opportunities.

Tourism is the purist form of economic development. With the growth in the entertainment industry in Georgia, we have an opportunity to boost the entire state small towns and cities alike with lasting impact associated with entertainment tourism Fans and followers of television series, movies, music, and video gaming who stay in our hotels, dine in our restaurants and shop in our retail stores generate an ongoing major positive economic impact to Georgia.

We want to make sure we are counting all the numbers, supporting growth with workforce development, and proactively optimizing new opportunities. It is an exciting time! The average spend in the local economy for a movie production ranges from $50,000 to $250,000 per day, which is fabulous. The goal is to keep that impact alive for the coming decades through tourism The Georgia Peach brand now seen around the world as associated with hundreds of film productions is priceless It keeps Georgia top-of mind for destination travelers everywhere. < Learn

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—Chloé Taylor Brown



A Journey of Self-Realization and Transformation


Why do so many people believe that living the dream is an unattainable feat? The answer often lies in self-doubt and a lack of belief in one's own potential.

A dream defined as a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations often occurs involuntarily in the mind during sleep. However, I am here to tell you that I am living my dream awake and fully engaged. >

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I am a working actress, a show creator, and a mother I've traveled the world and walked the runways of Europe. My life is a testament to the power of dreams and the courage to pursue them. My aspirations were grand: to be a model, singer and actress And I dared to chase them

So, what's your dream? Wishing to be a star is a good start, but specificity is key. Whether you aspire to be an actress, singer, magician or athlete, the first step is to define your dream clearly Be intentional with your choices. Not all stars shine with the same light.

Let me take you on my journey. Born in Detroit, I was raised in what was considered an upper-middle-class family at the time. I left Detroit with faith, a modest amount of cash, and a big dream. As a teenager, I envisioned myself as a fashion model, walking the runways of Europe I wasn't sure I was beautiful, but I knew I was tall and attractive. With the right styling and make-up, I believed I could be one of those models I admired in magazines. My mother's belief in me was the catalyst that propelled me toward living my dream

Dreams are personal. Whether you aspire to be a great parent, a schoolteacher, or a doctor, your dream is your own No one can dictate what you should dream, nor can anyone dream it for you.

The secret to success is simple: See it Believe it Achieve it Visualize your dream, believe in your ability to realize it, and then take actionable steps toward it.

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From the energetic world of sports, I found a destiny bigger than the basketball court.

I'm Taylor D. Brown, once a pro baller, now guiding athletes at all levels from aspiring middle schoolers to college players, as well as pros, and even Olympians across every sport

I'm all in on Applied Parallel Identity Coaching. I recognize an identity within each athlete that goes beyond their performance on the field or the court—a unique identity that demands attention and growth.

In our journey together, I offer athletes the tools to look within and uncover their real selves. We identify those skills that transfer off the court, we explore passions that exist beyond their sport, and we craft a balanced life that isn't confined by game stats. I utilize resources such as the Personal Excellence Profile (PEP) assessment [see page 68] to help illuminate the unseen strengths within.

We set goals with purpose— targeted objectives that align with passions, not just dreams. We develop a hunger for continual evolution and learning. We build resilience, teaching athletes to adapt, to rise above and to conquer challenges.

No matter if they're a young talent, a collegiate star, a professional, or an Olympian and no matter their sport, I see the potential for greatness in every athlete I coach. Just as I made my moves on the court, I aim to help athletes make their mark in life, beyond their sport. >

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In my 20 years of experience in wealth management, I have come to realize that wealth is not solely about money. It is a state of being that few truly understand. Despite the exponential growth in the number of millionaires over the past three decades, the percentage of the population who are millionaires in the United States has remained unchanged. This raises the question: Here are seven ways that I believe directly contribute to wealth, but are often overlooked.


My clients who have achieved wealth generate passive income through various means, such as investment portfolios, real estate and entrepreneurship. One effective strategy is to buy a primary house and use the equity to purchase another property that generates income. By continuing this cycle every two years, one could potentially achieve financial independence in just ten years, rather than the traditional twenty-five. Additionally, building a business that can run itself frees up time for other pursuits and leads to wealth creation


While it is true that money is required to make money, if your lifestyle exceeds your business ventures, you will not achieve true wealth Ultimately, the path to wealth is not about you, but about the people you serve. This does not mean you should not enjoy nice things, but rather, be smart about your choices Billionaire media magnate Rupert Murdoch, for instance, famously buys his suits and ties at T.J. Maxx, rather than on Fifth Avenue. Interestingly, in The Hamptons, where I’m from, you will find many celebrities shopping at Kmart, T.J. Maxx, and HomeGoods, while the high-end luxury stores remain empty.


Many wealthy individuals spend their entire lives chasing money and neglect their health in the process However, true wealth is about gaining more time, not spending all your time pursuing money. Taking care of your health through a healthy diet, exercise, and even fasting, allows you to have more energy, clarity, and mental stamina. By making conscious choices, like opting for a nutritious meal at Boston Market over a fast food burger, and incorporating daily walks, you can optimize your well-being and enhance your productivity.


Limiting your time spent on social media and TV, particularly in the evenings, can help reduce impulse buying and prevent unnecessary expenses. Studies have shown that engaging with social media and watching TV often leads to impulse buying and weight gain. Unless you are building a brand or selling something, excessive time spent on social media can be detrimental to your financial well-being.


Wealthy people understand the power of their words. They refrain from discussing topics like racism or feminism, as these can invite negative influences into their lives. Rapper, actor, and film producer Ice Cube, for instance faced backlash for stating that racism is more of a business than a part of American culture. He also expressed a desire to spend time with like-minded individuals, regardless of their differences. Interestingly, the latter statement was largely overlooked in the news. Wealthy individuals carefully choose their words and avoid aligning themselves with negative narratives. >

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Contrary to popular belief, wealthy people do have hobbies and interests outside of their work and businesses Engaging in activities that you are passionate about makes you an interesting and likeable person. It allows you to connect with others on a deeper level, beyond just business. If you find yourself lacking in interests, a great way to develop them is by asking people questions and discovering their likes and thoughts People love talking about themselves. By showing genuine interest, you become more interesting yourself, and you will open doors to organic opportunities.


Wealthy individuals prioritize their families and understand the importance of spending quality time and sharing their wealth with loved ones Many children are not interested in inheriting a family business because their parents never made enough time for them, leading to a lack of attachment Wealthy individuals establish traditions and values within their families, often passing them down through generations to preserve their wealth

This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does highlight seven prevalent ways that I have observed in people who acquire wealth. What is ironic is that many of these practices are already part of our daily lives, albeit to a lesser extent.

Ultimately, it is not the money that brings happiness; it is the holistic development of oneself that attracts financial favor and blessings. <

Learn how to meet any financial goal within five minutes by subscribing to Daniel's newsletter.

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We aren’t taught about money in school.

Sadly, many women don’t feel they are smart enough to understand basic financial principles. You don’t have to be a financial professional to learn how to become financially independent, build your savings, practice basic investment strategies or make your money grow.

How Money Works for Women: Take Control or Lose It by Sharon Lechter & Kim

Learn more about financial literacy on page 36

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You know those moments when you feel fully alive, and everything just seems to fall into place? It's those times when you're so absorbed in the task at hand that everything else fades away. Those are our moments of personal excellence, great energy and power glimpses of the peak potential that exists within each of us. I want to share with you a powerful tool that can help tap into this potential: the Personal Excellence Profile (PEP) assessment

The PEP is more than a test; it is a revelation a spiritual and scientific approach to personal understanding. Rooted in well-established scientific principles, the PEP goes beyond mere cognition to incorporate a holistic approach. It assesses the most vital life abilities, translating them into a measurable spectrum, which can then serve as a roadmap to personal and team excellence >

Deciphering the Science of Good Energy, Excellence & Power

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A key factor that distinguishes the PEP from standard assessments is its extensive focus on twelve distinct life abilities These encompass the core of human existence, and their refinement forms the foundation of a high-performing individual, team or business They include: the ability to value self, perceive, decide, communicate, build rapport, interact, act, produce, have certainty, command, expand, and lastly, accomplish what you've decided.

These twelve abilities aren't isolated; they're interconnected feeding into, and strengthening each other. By knowing how to use and elevate these abilities, one can enhance overall excellence, energy, power and performance. They form the building blocks of personal mastery and the linchpins of a successful, dynamic team or organization

Why is the PEP assessment crucial? Because it's an impetus a powerful energy generator that drives you out of your comfort zone, pulling you from the status quo toward excellence It's a tool that allows you to go beyond merely "getting by" to stepping into a realm of mastery This works for anyone whether you are an individual, a family, a team, a company or even a nation

Understanding your strengths and weaknesses through the PEP assessment isn't just about fostering self-awareness; it's about realizing the infinite potential that lies within you. It’s about creating a bridge between who you are now and the best version of yourself that you aspire to be.

When we consciously work on these twelve abilities, we begin to elevate not just ourselves but also those around us. It becomes a collective surge towards excellence, a ripple effect that can profoundly transform teams, organizations and even whole societies

The PEP assessment thus becomes a conduit for personal growth and societal advancement

The science of energy and excellence embedded in the PEP offers a refreshing shift in perspective, promoting a culture that values holistic development and consistent improvement. It pushes us to stretch our boundaries, to expand our horizons, and to achieve a level of mastery we might not have ever thought possible.

In an increasingly competitive and challenging world, the PEP assessment serves as a beacon, a compass guiding us toward realizing our innate power and potential. It’s not just about measuring; it’s about evolving. It’s not just about performing; it’s about excelling

The essence of the PEP lies in the understanding that every individual, every team, and every organization has a unique blueprint of power and excellence It's about discovering this blueprint and utilizing it to elevate ourselves and our communities

So, let's harness the power of PEP, break away from the status quo, and embark on the journey to excellence and mastery Because true greatness lies not just in where we stand, but in what direction we are moving. <

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Talk about lifelong learning I can hardly keep up Don’t get me wrong. I love to learn. But things seem to be changing more rapidly than ever before. As soon as I get used to doing something one way, it changes again

We are all definitely experiencing the exponential nature of technological breakthroughs. But it’s not just that. It feels like we’re all careening together faster into our future

I myself have never really liked change The funny thing is, even when it’s something I want, I have trouble accepting it. When I was a girl and we were about to go on vacation to a place I really wanted to go! I would anxiously whine and complain about it beforehand, making my parents miserable Until we arrived. Change is often like that. We just want to skip over the transition part, to get to the part we desire


Even as a grown-up, when things are about to change, even for the better, I find myself battling it. I get antsy. I fight worry. I might even throw a tantrum. Then I have to remind myself that it’s going to be alright

When I see that I’m in this agitated state, I have to go easy on myself. So I turn to prayer. I aim to count my blessings all day long, recognizing all that I already have And I ask God for guidance each step of the way I keep in mind powerful Bible stories like the one about the Prophet Elisha A widow came to him for help

She was about to sell her two sons into slavery because she had no money to pay off her husband’s debts. Elisha asked her, “What do you have in your house?” She told him she didn’t have anything, except for a small jar of olive oil

Elisha told her to ask her neighbors for as many empty jars as she could gather “Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side ” She did as he instructed. Her boys kept bringing the jars to her, and she kept pouring, until all the jars were full. She was able to sell the oil and pay the debts, and live on what was left (see 2 Kings 4:1–7)

With humble gratitude, I look at what I have “in my house” and God always provides me with what I need. It’s right here at hand If I just open my heart and mind And look


Because it seems like a lot of my life is in flux lately, I’ve been thinking about how God is the only thing that doesn’t change. By definition, God Infinite Being is One Spirit, One Mind, Intelligence Itself, Love Itself, Life Itself, Truth Itself We can always count on God to be That Which Doesn’t Change ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful and everlasting

Sometimes, it can feel like chaos is all around us But God is always The Calm in the midst of the storm >

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Whether we like it or not, on this human plane, everything must change And isn’t that life’s paradox? Every beginning eventually has an ending And yet every ending brings a new beginning Through it all, God remains faithful. Love is stronger than hate. Truth triumphs over lies. Life finds a way. Integrity wins out. Intelligence moves humanity forward We can depend on that

And yet. . . . Why does the Bible often say that God is “making all things new”?

The prophet Isaiah, proclaiming God’s promises, declared, “I am doing a new thing! It’s springing up! Don’t you see it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah assured the people that God will create “a new heaven and a new earth The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isaiah 43:19 and 65:17)

Even in the middle of a long list of complaints, the Prophet Jeremiah remembered that God’s love is great, and “God’s compassions never fail They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23)

The Apostle Paul wrote that if anyone is in Christ, they’re “a new creature; old things are passed away, and all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17) He urged Rome’s early Jesus-followers to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4) and “serve in newness of spirit” (Romans 7:6)


But what if I really don’t want to be a new creature? What if I don’t want any more newness? What if I like things the way they were? Even so, things will shift anyway. And eventually, all for the better. Because “with God, all things are possible” (Matthew 9:26).

Whatever the changes up ahead may be, newness is unfamiliar, different, untouched, untested It might be scary. It may hurt. It’s filled with unknowns. We could fail miserably.

That’s progress It’s messy Even if we take two steps forward and one step back, progress cannot be stopped As spiritual pioneer Science and Health author Mary Baker Eddy aptly put it (p. 233), “progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfill ”

Ready or not, God is with us, our perfect FatherMother, through all events loving us, cheering us on, and guiding us, whether we like it or not even if we go kicking and screaming Our Creator is continually causing the new to be born, and the old to be dropped Truly, there are many chances in life to be “born again.” Knowing God is with us, we don’t have to be afraid to embrace these opportunities for newness.

Newness freshness, innovation, originality is unavoidable “Creation is ever appearing,” wrote Eddy (p. 507), “and must ever continue to appear from the nature of its inexhaustible source ” Newness of life can feel painful at first, but as we move forward into it, even better things than we are able to imagine today are just over the horizon <


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Paula G. Voice talks with “The Transformer”


Sharon: Many years ago, in my professional life, I worked for the airlines The last fifteen years of my career, I worked in an airline club, and there I met some wonderful people. And it just so happened, one day, I met a woman who was a regional manager of a high-end clothing company for women's fashions.

She approached me, and because I had seen her on numerous occasions, she said to me, "You always look so nice, and you're so great with people I think I have something for you " And she shared with me about this wonderful brand of women's fashions.

When I went to see the clothes for the first time, I walked in and I saw a pink-and-black houndstooth jacket, and I was like a kid in a candy store I said, “Oh, my God! I didn't even know this existed!” As a young woman, I had sewn Growing up, I used to sew an outfit overnight on Friday night to go out on Saturday! I've always loved fashion. And I've always loved make-up.

I've always loved looking good. When that woman presented that clothing to me, I knew I had found my gift. I was meeting the clientele for this particular line of clothes, and customer service is just a part of my DNA It was all about making these women look good, feel good, and also provide a great service for them

Paula: When you walked into that room, you were leading with your gift that gift of your presence and the essence of who you are. And you were making that fashion statement. And your fashion statement is just a part of you and who you are. You never know who's watching. You just never know how another person can help to feed into your vision, feed into your dream and feed into your gift So how did you get the nickname “The Transformer”?

Sharon: That's another story. I started doing this fashion work part-time, because I was still working full-time but I worked early shifts. So, I'd get off work, and then I would show these fashions in the afternoon. This would happen either at someone's home or I also did it at a hotel for a while >

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Wardrobe Consultant and Personal Shopper Sharon D. Cooper is known as “The Transformer.” A classy and sophisticated lady, her business is appropriately named Opulent Elegance. I asked her to tell us about her journey.

Sharon, continued: And I knew that I was making a difference in these women's lives Then later on, after I moved from California to Georgia, I was in a networking meeting, and I met someone who did branding and that kind of thing. Just after the meeting, we were sitting and talking and I was telling her, “My title is Wardrobe Specialist and Professional Bra Fitter, but I want more than that ” And so, as we discussed it, she said, "You transform women's fashions You transform their closets; you transform their bodies. When they wear these undergarments, you transform." And that’s how I came up with the name “The Transformer.”

Paula: You mentioned in the midst of that story that you are a professional bra fitter Tell us more about that.

Sharon: One of the things that happened just before I moved to Georgia was that I met a woman who was in direct sales I was into doing direct sales, because you can always do it alongside of anything else you are doing This woman told me about these particular undergarments that she was selling. And I mentioned, “I have seen some of these clothes on these women. And it doesn't matter how expensive they are. If their undergarments aren't right, then those outer garments, well, it's not going to make a difference ” And I realized right then that this was a perfect additional service I could offer to my customers! So I got trained and became a Professional Bra Fitter. I sell a wonderful line of undergarments. I help women to pull themselves together both underneath and on top!

Paula: That is wonderful. Those of us from a certain era we know the importance of proper undergarments, and how that manifests on the surface. So that is great that you really take care of the essence of the whole woman, underneath as well as on the surface

As you continue to flourish, where do you see yourself going with your business? What is it that you hope to do for women moving forward?

Sharon: Well, what has really happened and it all happened during the pandemic, those covid-19 years I watched everyone become comfortable And of course, it was in those first couple of years. You couldn't go anywhere, and you couldn't do anything. So, everybody was doing online meetings. All you had to do was get dressed from the waist up, and you didn't have to do much

I have watched people become so comfortable in how they present themselves and it scares me. I have always had this conviction about how you look. It’s so important, how you present yourself. I've always explain to clients about the clothing and the look they choose: “What are you saying when you walk into a room, and you haven't even opened your mouth yet?” So post-covid, I think we need to turn it back around. I'm not saying you can't be comfortable, but you can be comfortable and classy.

Paula: You said a word right there Those are a couple of drop-the-mic moments

Sharon: Paula, I think that we have become so comfortable that some of us don't care anymore. But when you go out, you never know who you're going to meet.

So, I am talking to businesspeople I'm talking to single women I'm talking to married women We never know what plans God has for us. We never know who we're going to interact with. At any time, we can come into the presence of someone we don't even know How we present ourselves is vital That age-old saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression that's still real

People still judge us on what they see and not necessarily on what they know about us. And so, people can make snap decisions about us. And we might have everything that they need, but they make a decision before they've had a chance to talk to us It's so essential how we present ourselves I help my clients make sure that they present themselves in such a way as to make other people want to know more about them based just on what happens when they come into the presence of others Just when they enter the room >

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PAULA G VOICE PAULA G VOICE F L O U R I S H D I G I T A L M A G A Z I N E . C O M | F A L L 2 0 2 3 | 7 4

Getting Ready Chloé-Style

We all do it. We get ready and dress ourself. And getting ready starts long before we step into our closet to begin the process of putting together our core wardrobe. It starts the moment we commit to feeling good about who we are as a woman and who we’re being in the world.

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As feminine leaders and trailblazers, it's not uncommon to find ourselves treading lightly fearing that our confidence and assertiveness might be misinterpreted as aggression. I've been there too, wrestling with the fine line between selfassuredness and selfcenteredness.

But here's the revelation: leaning into our power and wisdom, especially when we do it together, can transform our journey. >

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Let's start by acknowledging our worth, ladies

We are beacons of excellence, carriers of invaluable ideas and architects of change. It's time we embrace our inner strength wearing our elegance as our armor.

Know Your Worth.

The first step in embracing feminine leadership is recognizing our unique value. We must continually explore what sets us apart and what fuels our growth. Your worth is the nucleus of your success.

Speak Your Truth.

Articulating our desires with authenticity, clarity, and conviction is paramount Your dreams are not mere whispers; they are declarations, waiting to be heard

Embrace Mastery.

Mastery requires practice It's not just about preparation; it's about empowerment Hone your skills until they become second nature until they’re tools for shaping the world.

Exude Respectful Command.

Confidence and grace go hand in hand when addressing our counterparts. Respectful communication fosters collaboration, not conflict. This is a powerful tool in our arsenal.

Manage Your Emotions.

A composed demeanor is a sign of wisdom, not detachment. Psychology experts have observed that in negotiations, emotional intelligence is our secret weapon.

Celebrate Collective Success

Our goal is not conquest; it's creation. We aim for a win-win to flourish together. Seek outcomes where everyone emerges victorious.

Our journey toward our goals is marked by self-awareness, practice and the art of communicating assertively yet respectfully. Let's move forward with a spirit of enrichment, enhancement, and evolution rather than mere victory.

No longer should we shy away from asking, commanding, thriving and prospering We will lead with intuitive wisdom, infusing our negotiations with the power that is our birthright

Join me on this transformative path, and together, let's redefine what it means to be feminine power players <

Strength in leadership doesn't lie in the loudness of our voice, but in the depth of our conviction It's the harmony that creates the flow of sagacity, confidence and elegance that will reshape the world. It’s feminine leadership.


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Chloé Taylor Brown Chloé Taylor Brown Below: Ladies From Georgia Power & The Southern CompanyA Corporate Savvy Workshop & Experience


As I embarked on this column years ago, I was eager to extend my thoughts on the remarkable journey of motherhood I wanted to share the ups and downs, offer glimpses into my own experiences, establish connections with fellow mothers, and foster a platform where we could collectively learn and evolve The world of motherhood is a mosaic of emotions, challenges, and triumphs I was thrilled to contribute my perspective to this vibrant tapestry

Now, I am taking this journey with moms globally My first interview begins here in Atlanta with my amazing new friend:

Tami Tami Goodwin Goodwin

Our upcoming stops include Kenya and Japan And with so many countries to choose from, who knows where we’ll end up next?

Hey, Hey, Hey, Mamas! Mamas! Mamas!

Tami is an entrepreneur, wife, mother, friend, aunt and daughter and so much more to so many people. I’ve enjoyed spending time to get to know her. >

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Elena: Being a mom of four boys must keep you quite busy! How do you maintain a sense of individuality while also fulfilling your responsibilities as a parent?

Tami: Yes, being a mom of four boys keeps me busy and young at heart That is a good question How do I maintain a sense of individuality? I have to have my space, and pray. I have to have my own identity. I am not just someone's mom.

My name is Tami Goodwin! I make sure I make time for myself. It is necessary for my sanity and theirs! My life coach has taught me that living life is like being on an airplane when they tell you that if anything happens you have to put on your own mask first If I do not take care of myself, then I will not be there to take care of my children So I make time to hang out with my friends and to have my own life away from my kids.

For example, I just flew back in last night from a girls’ trip to the Dominican Republic. It was fun and relaxing. Now I am ready to spend time with all five of the males in my house. I am ready to visit my two boys who will be playing hockey in Idaho Falls, Idaho this year I am ready to travel with my eighteen-year-old son for his hockey I am ready to assist my tenyear-old for his sixth-grade year

Most importantly, I communicate with my kids about how essential it is for each of us to have our own life. We are different. We all need our own identity

Tami: “Demanding” is an understatement! My main strategy is prayer. I have to have my time with God daily. As I have gotten more mature I have learned that I can talk to God all throughout the day This is extremely helpful, especially when I begin to feel the stresses of life

One of my other strategies is massage I am on a monthly plan with LaVida Day Spa. I live for this appointment every month. As a matter of fact, I have one scheduled for tomorrow after I drop my boys off at the airport Another way to maintain a healthy work–life balance is to focus on my health I have just been diagnosed as a pre-diabetic Once I learned of this I called my best friend and health guru, Lisa Washington Just before I left for my vacation I met with Lisa to formulate my plan.

She helped me to understand the real reason I eat late at night The reason why I am addicted to sweets She also helped me find ways to combat these habits She is teaching me my strategies to help me be successful on my journey I have also gone back to working out, which I love to do. I had stopped due to becoming a caretaker for my husband George, and I developed plantar fasciitis. But my foot is now better and George is healing so I am now back to being able to schedule my workouts It is important for me to be in the best health, for myself and my family If it is God's plan for me to live longer, then I plan to do my part to make it happen

Elena: You mentioned that you were taking care of your husband.

Elena: Wow, I love the way you’ve approached this Some of us learn later on in parenthood that we are indeed only human Parenthood and entrepreneurship can be demanding What strategies do you employ to manage stress and maintain a healthy work–life balance?

Tami: Being a wife and maintaining a strong partnership has its intricacies How do you and your spouse nurture your relationship while both of you are managing demanding responsibilities? This is a great question, especially at this moment for me. >

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Tami, continued: My husband suffered some issues from the covid-19 vaccine. Due to these issues he was on long-term disability for a while. He is now on short-term disability. It has been very interesting for me because I have had to take a stronger role in the household due to his illness We have had to be flexible and learn new ways to nurture our relationship Before George became sick we took a vacation every year by ourselves as one way for us to connect and work on our marriage. We also would attend a marriage retreat every year too for us to reconnect and focus on just us. Now, due to his illness, we have not been able to get away So we have developed other ways to get this time We will go walking together in the morning We pray together at night

We have lots of conversations especially regarding our teens and how we will parent them. We do devotionals together and with some of our church friends We have dinner dates In everything we do, we talk We confess our pain, discuss our frustration, and express our love for one another In order for us to manage our demanding schedules we have to stay rooted in God and make time for each other. We also must make our meeting together a safe space for each other.

Elena: On top of being a mom and a wife, you also own your own real estate company here in the Atlanta area Tell us more about that How did you become interested in a career as a realtor, and what aspects of the job do you find most fulfilling?

Tami: I became interested in real estate when I started doing interior design. My friend had a real estate team, and she told me I could get business by working on her team selling houses She was absolutely correct While selling real estate, I found out that real estate was my passion, not interior design

The most fulfilling aspect of the job for me is assisting my clients in finding the best home for their family It is even more rewarding to help a person who thought they could never get a home I just helped two single moms on two separate occasions these past two weeks close on their new home. Both of them thought they could not do it, and yet they did! One has been renting for over fifteen years. God is always helping me create miracles for people

Elena: That’s beautiful Tami Having a place to call home is crucial for single moms

Sometimes the thought is, “It can happen for someone else, but not for me.” I love the way you’ve taken the time to make sure people find their space to call home.

Managing a

business requires adaptability

How do you stay innovative and agile in a constantly evolving market?

Tami: Managing a business requires you to adapt and be flexible, if you want to take your business to another level. >

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Tami, continued: So I stay innovative and flexible by constantly learning from books, webinars, tutorials on TikTok, Instagram reels, and so on. I ask my kids what’s new and I ask them what they think of the things I put out. Most importantly I pray for God to make me a marketing guru so that I can do what needs to be done to move my business to the next level

Elena: With your diverse roles as a realtor, entrepreneur, wife and mother, what are some personal goals you've set for yourself in the coming years?

Tami: I separate my goals into four categories: Professional, Personal, Spiritual, and Financial. All of my goals include my husband I do nothing without praying to God for guidance and communicating with George so that we are moving in the same direction

Professional Goal: Professional Goal:

I would like to see my real estate company evolve into a business teaching others how to do real estate as a business. b h individuals investm estate for instance hold, buying apartm

Personal Goal: Personal Goal:

I will see my husban purchase a house in favorite vacation sp no longer work. I wil love, which is being pour into my kids an teach them about in know more than I di

Spiritual Goal: Spiritual Goal: I will have a closer r dig deeper into my B will travel the world

Financial Goal: Financial Goal: I will amass $3 millio investment property month on top of my

Elena: What legacy do you hope to leave behind for your children and those around you, considering your roles as a mom, entrepreneur, and friend?

Tami: I want to be a legend in the lives of my children I want them to first learn from me that they can do nothing without a strong relationship with God And I want to teach them to be financially responsible

Elena: Tami, I honestly think your maturity in how you live your life is something that all moms can learn from and admire. We’re always growing and learning. Self-care is so important to me, a message I continuously want to get out to all moms Tell us: What are some of your favorite ways to unwind and recharge when you find yourself stretched thin? >

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Tami: I love to sit and watch B movies by myself when I need to recharge Since I started working as a real estate agent, I stopped taking showers and started taking baths instead, so that I could soak and relax. I only take showers when I am not staying at home.

I also love to have an occasional beer Yes, beer Not a glass of wine I am a country girl born in Canton, Georgia I love a good, cold American beer that has a small, thin sheet of ice on it when you have placed it in the freezer for a little bit. I also love to listen to spiritual music. Three of my favorite songs at this moment are Your Spirit by Tosha Cobbs Leonard, Goodness of God by CeCe Winans, and Hallelujah by Pentatonix

Elena: I love a good, cold beer too Tell us, what’s the best advice you ever received as a mom?

Tami: It came from my mom I was always stressed out, trying to do it all by myself She told me, “The reason why your husband doesn't help is because you already do it all, so now it’s expected Instead, when he comes home, give him a couple of hours to decompress; and then you leave the house and decompress as well.” So I do that. I started to go to Walmart, and walk around for an hour or so Or just sit in my car!

Elena: That’s great advice You both need time to decompress Thank you for sharing your experience and wisdom with us, Tami <

Founder of The Innovative Mom, and single mom to five young adults

living intl
www theinnovativemom com @theinnovativemom the innovative mom
@tamimorrisgoodwin @luxury
Elena Elena Taylor-Bagger
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Celebrity-Style Celebrity-Style


Your image is your brand It could be worth a fortune to you when you're poised, polished and positioned for SUCCESS

Chloé - Style! Chloé - Style!



Someone is tailgating you. The driver is blowing their horn at you to speed up. Finally, they pass you and that car is now in front of you but you’re both still sitting at the same stop light! So many people are in such a rush to go nowhere Rush here! Rush there! Always rushing. We live in a culture where everyone seems to be perpetually in a hurry to go someplace or do something. Is this really how life was designed to be? It’s time for a change of pace. >

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Finding peace and balance should be our goal Because peace and balance are such major human desires, we often see books or posts on social media about finding peace and balance in this hectic world Impatience has become an epidemic. And impatience spreads like a virus, from person to person. We literally need to stop and smell the roses. We must slow down a bit. We must stop and take time to smell the roses or gardenias any flower will do!

During a previous season I decided to take a change of pace I did a lot of walking through wooded areas I also did a lot of walking around my community There were things I discovered that I never knew existed in my own community I found small areas in the woods that were secluded and quaint a quiet oasis in the midst of a small city As I walked through the local neighborhoods, I found three community book-swap stations that I had driven by hundreds of times but had never noticed. I found community gardens, which had long existed down a street I’d always passed but never taken.



We all have responsibilities as well as things that occur in our lives that cause stress and anxiety However, we must slow down and allow our systems to rest mind, body, soul and spirit Yes, it’s called self-care Whether you are male or female, we all need to implement it to some degree A change of pace may be just the shift you need. <

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Paula G. Voice

some time for self-care.
what that looks like for you.
I discovered these many little gems right in my own backyard. How had I missed all of this? I had been in hurry-up-and-wait mode until I had a change of pace Something else I discovered during that season was just how stressful and anxious life can be when we don’t simply slow down and breathe Many of us have become so wound up we do not even see it, because it has become the norm It is not until we have the opportunity to slow down that we realize the beauty of peace it on a regular basis.
Ask yourself a few questions: What hurry-up-and-wait experiences have you had that have caused you anxiety?
What has been the result of your impatience? I challenge you to do the following:

Rags to Riches The Gaming Industry and Sugar Ditch in the Mississippi


In the Summer of 1984, several news outlets emphasized the plight of “Sugar Ditch,” located in Tunica, Mississippi about thirty miles south of Memphis, Tennessee. As a professor in the Social Work Department of the University of Mississippi (1976–1987) I was given the opportunity to assist with the relocation of much of the Sugar Ditch population into a new housing project. >

Sam’s Town Casino, one of the first in the area.
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Sugar Ditch

According to national statistics, Tunica in 1983 was the poorest county in the United States comparable to conditions in several Third-World countries. Over the past forty years, the arrival of the gaming industry has had a major impact economically, socially and culturally.

Casinos brought Tunica into the twenty-first century In 1992, the first casinos were built in Tunica at Moon Landing Only three years later, the city of Tunica was debt-free

As money poured into the area, a lot of good things happened for everyone By 2002, the state of Mississippi reported that Tunica County had the lowest unemployment in the entire state.

The Tunica area the town and the county became for a period of time the third-largest gaming region in the United States. Along the way, the gaming taxes from its nine casinos have funded, all or in part: medical clinics, health and wellness centers, museums, golf courses, tennis courts, sporting venues, outlet shops, hotels, an airport, RV parks, an exposition center and more.

Even with these big changes, the community continued to be described as poverty-stricken. The shacks had disappeared according to a 1991 New York Times article by Jason Deparle but the poverty still persisted Even today, many of these realities remain

When I interviewed people living in Sugar Ditch in 1984, they actually reported that they did not want to move out Even though they resided in dilapidated housing on the plantations of Sugar Ditch, and they continued to face a poor infrastructure, they experienced a great sense of community. They felt supported by each other. At that time, There was a belief and hope that things would eventually improve.

Although there has been a great deal of progress since then, because of the economic boom associated with the casinos, the area’s history remains complicated Many residents remain deeply impoverished An explanation requires an understanding of the deep roots and history of this Mississippi Delta town

The very soul of the Delta lives here in Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas. Back in 1983, the town of Tunica received a grant of $500,000 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which was to be spent not to upgrade the houses but to beautify the downtown business district.

That Summer, HUD came to Tunica to present the town with an award for their improvements. But a Black State Representative led reporters on a detour so that they could see “the Ditch,” located immediately behind the town square where the beautification project was being proposed. It was then that Tunica became national news Sugar Ditch had been in existence for many years, but now a lot more people knew about it

With commitment from the community, the downtown did indeed see great improvement >

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Jane Rule Burdine published a book in 1999 of Photographs Beyond the Porches in which many of the residents are presented. The pride, dignity and painstaking years of work are evident in the faces and stories of these Black families.

In the eighties, unemployment in the nation was at an all-time high. During the Reagan and senior Bush administrations, unemployment soared to nearly twenty percent.

Yet at that time, there were more than twenty millionaires located in Tunica County!

Tunica has of course endured a history of racial oppression After the Civil War, the social structure was divided into the wealthy and the politically omnipotent White farmers and impoverished sharecroppers most of whom were descended from the African Americans who had been slaves prior to the Civil War were the major contributors to the wealth that came through the growth and production of cotton.

In the nineteeth century, Tunica had been one of the most prosperous ports in the South for the growing and shipping of cotton across the country and internationally. But the river shifted, and mechanization replaced the need for intense laborers. With this development, it became necessary to turn to another source of economic support, which further enmeshed the interdependency of the two social classes: federal subsidies Federal transfer payments allowed the large planters to pay meager wages during the planting and harvesting seasons, with the assurance that the labor force would remain intact during the off-season because of Welfare assistance

There were numerous political policies that contributed to the maintenance of this cycle of poverty. People were trapped in this closed system. If a family or laborer was fired or made to leave one plantation, they were often blackballed from all of the others.

Ownership of property was not possible. Many workers would struggle to purchase a trailer only to know that if they left, there were numerous factors that would prevent them from securing the purchase. The sharecropping system simply did not allow them to buy property or to achieve financial independence.

Why did anyone move to Sugar Ditch? Though conditions were poor there, in many instances they were actually better than the conditions on the plantations

And the town of Tunica, Mississippi is definitely a rags-to-riches story The once poverty-stricken little town nestled next to the Mississippi River rolled the dice, so to speak, hoping to improve their lot, and their luck changed. They certainly won for a good period of time. >

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This women walks in her neighborhood with such pride and dignity. This is a view of the open sewage ditch for which the road is named

New infrastructure including better roads and the proximity to Memphis made Tunica county wellpositioned for growth away from the old plantation system. Since the boom, however, there has been a drop in tax revenue, from its peak at about $1.66 billion to $885 million in 2017.

Still, there are strong signs that the economy has diversified in the last decade. It is very clear that the gaming industry will continue to grow, especially across the South. A more diversified industry is needed. A review of the history of many such communities describes this boom-and-bust pattern.

Progress associated with the town and county of Tunica has been far-reaching. For sustainable growth, deep changes will continue be required within the existing culture and community. Even though there has been a recent decline in revenue, the residents of the region remain optimistic. <

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For Girls to Become Confident, Dynamic Young Women F L O U R I S H D I G I T A L M A G A Z I N E C O M CHLOETAYLORBROWN.COM

As the twinkling lights adorn our streets and the air fills with the sweet scent of evergreens, December ushers in a time of reflection, celebration and unity This magical month brings with it not just the joy of Christmas, but a tapestry of diverse holidays and festivities that light up our lives.

Christmas, the timeless celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, gives us a symbol of hope, love, and togetherness. It reminds us to cherish our bonds with family and friends, to give selflessly and to embrace the true spirit of giving It's a time when we exchange gifts not just the ones wrapped in paper and bows, but gifts of kindness, compassion and good will The act of giving reflects the love and generosity at the heart of this holiday >

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For Christians, the birth of Jesus is a profound and sacred event, representing the promise of salvation and the embodiment of Divine love It's a time to attend midnight mass, sing Christmas carols and share stories with loved ones around the warmth of the hearth The nativity scene, with its humble stable and guiding star, serves as a poignant reminder of the simplicity and purity of the season

Yet, Christmas isn't the only star in December's constellation of celebrations Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, illuminates the Jewish calendar For eight nights, families light the menorah, one candle at a time, in honor of the miracle of oil that burned for eight days in the Second Temple. It's a beautiful reminder that even in the darkest of times, hope and light prevail.

Kwanzaa, another remarkable holiday, bridges cultures and communities. Rooted in African heritage, it showcases the Seven Principles, encouraging us to reflect on values such as unity, self-determination, and collective work and responsibility It's a time to come together, appreciate diversity, and strengthen the bonds of kinship

The Winter Solstice, a celestial event, is not to be overlooked It's a moment when the earth tilts back toward the sun, promising longer days and the return of warmth This event, though not tied to a specific religious tradition, is a reminder of the cyclical nature of life and the ever-renewing hope it brings

Bodhi Day is another gem in December's treasury. Buddhists commemorate the day when Siddhartha Gautama achieved enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. This celebration encourages us to seek inner wisdom and enlightenment to journey within ourselves for greater awareness and growth.

And let's not forget Eid al Fitr, which once in a great while can occur in December that is, when it lines up with the Islamic lunar calendar Eid marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan Muslims worldwide celebrate Eid for one to three days,

gathering for prayers, lavish meals, gift giving and engaging in acts of charity

As we celebrate these diverse holidays and festivities, we discover that the beauty of December lies not only in their uniqueness but in the common threads that bind them together love, hope, togetherness and the promise of brighter days

This holiday season let's draw inspiration from the rich tapestry of December celebrations Let's embrace the spirit of giving, share in the warmth of community, and kindle the light of hope in our hearts. Together, we can make this season not just a celebration of our unique differences, but a testament to our shared humanity.

In the spirit of unity and celebration, let's flourish together this December.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season filled with love, hope, light and laughter. <

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Meet Carla Roberts, founder of Quality Control Health & Wellness (QCHW), a start-up business providing longawaited pain relief to those who have been dealing with chronic pain for years

As an Occupational Therapist with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, Carla deals with a wide array of patients Gauging their pain is second nature to her On a recent trip to Thailand, she discovered an all-natural product, Wang Prom Yellow Herbal Balm, which she used on herself initially to alleviate her own pain from four herniated discs in her neck. It has proved so effective, she was able to stop taking ten over-the-counter Tylenol Arthritis and Ibuprofen pills for moderate pain relief daily She easily gave up all the other topical agents she’d been trying, Lidocaine patches, and CBD (tincture, gummies, and topical form) Now she only uses the Balm She has now incorporated it into her patients’ care plan as an alternate, all-natural form of pain relief. Everything has taken off from there. Not even six months into her business, her clientele list has increased, and sales are steadily climbing. And people are finally experiencing relief from their chronic pain.

Arkeah: Tell us more about your background and the nature of your business

Carla: I have a background in sociology and rehabilitative occupational therapy care in the home health and skilled nursing facility setting. As a therapist, I treat and help patients daily recover from a wide range of illnesses, injuries, surgeries, limitations and pain. As the CEO of QCHW, I am able to incorporate my love of healing and educating people in Western culture about the effective alternative medical ways of the Eastern cultures

Arkeah: How has your quality of life improved since discovering Wang Prom Yellow Herbal Balm, and how are you able to use it to help other people?

Carla: Wow! I found this product while I was on vacation in Thailand. You see, I too am a patient. I was in pain as usual, suffering from chronic neck and back pain following two automobile accidents. So I empathize on a deeper level with my patients who suffer from chronic pain Pain can be truly debilitating and depressing As a result of finding this product, I was able to regain all that I had lost I was in despair and preparing for surgery However, today I am pain-free and sharing what I’ve discovered with the world.

The Making of A Boss Lady

Arkeah: Your business flourished quickly. Tell us more about that.

Carla: Yes, it has skyrocketed but building the business was actually not my main intention. I simply wanted to help people suffering from pain by sharing what I had at the time it was my personal supply of three jars of the Balm I’m still in shock at what resulted! But it’s really quite simple: The business is flourishing because the product is effective And people are spreading the word in their communities

Arkeah: As a minority woman, what is it like for you traveling to Thailand, and discovering a product that is so needed here in the West?

Carla : Traveling to Southeast Asia to discover new products makes me feel like Mother Earth. >

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Carla, continued: I want to spread the good news throughout the community. It’s bittersweet. I feel like a kid in a candy store! Yet it’s frustrating because in Western society, we depend so heavily on medications And that is slowly killing our organs

AJ: What does a typical day look like for you?

Carla: My days are extremely long. I work twelve to sixteen hours a day, at lease six days a week. Building a business is taxing in every sense. But I love it!

I wake up at 6:00 AM to answer emails from distributors I research new products, fulfill online orders, follow up and delegate tasks And I communicate several times a day with my son, who is the COO of QCHW

Arkeah: What is the most rewarding aspect for you of being an entrepreneur?

Carla: I love helping people every day, and effortlessly improving the quality of life for others The look of surprise and the words of gratitude from my clients make it all worthwhile

Arkeah: What’s it like to run a business with your son?

Carla: I am the proud mother of two sons. Creating a successful international business and an opportunity for both my sons to have a seat at the executive table is a powerful feeling I cannot even begin to express

Arkeah: What are the biggest challenges you have faced thus far as an entrepreneur?

Carla: The biggest challenge is time management. It seems I have to be in multiple places at once and always meeting deadlines, and being everything to everyone. However, with more effective communication, my sons and I are figuring out the ebbs and flows and what works best for our business

Arkeah: What are the three most important habits a woman should have if she aspires to be successful in business?

Carla: I would say definitely first of all: prayer. That's my top priority. Along with consulting with other business owners; and finally, it’s important to surround yourself with people who want to see you win

Arkeah: What's next for your brand?

Carla: My vision is to be a giver of a better quality of life by sharing my knowledge and resources. Now, I want to share this "miracle in a bottle" with whomever needs it.

More travel is in store for me, for sure. It is all about outreach providing necessary relief for those who otherwise never would have thought it was possible We have to put ourselves out in the field to be able to reach and touch those individuals we serve I'm just a vessel allowing God to lead me to the next destination.



In the heart of Buckhead, Atlanta, Nobu, located within the reimagined Phipps Plaza, cast a spell of culinary enchantment upon me. It was an unforgettable dining experience a celebration of flavors and artistry that still lingers in my heart. As I entered with my group, modern sophistication blended seamlessly with timeless Japanese aesthetics. Soft, ambient lighting set the stage.

Magically, we were served (without asking) a crafted cocktail a lychee martini that mirrors Nobu’s essence: bold, creative and innovative. Then, the signature dishes graced my palate: black cod miso, a revelation of delicate flavors; rock shrimp tempura, a playful dance of textures; and yellowtail sashimi, a sublime presentation with garlic and jalapeño.

Embark on this journey for yourself and flourish in epicurean delight, Darling! <


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