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South Fulton

SouthFultonLifestyle.com

FEBRUARY 2018

L

I

F

E

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Y

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The Magic of Making!

MIKO BRANCH OF MISS JESSIE’S PRODUCTS TALKS BUSINESS

LENNA TURNER’S PASSION FOR OPERA AND FASHION

COMING HOME WITH ARTIST KAFIA HAILE


HEALING

RESPECT

INTEGRITY

SERVICE

INNOVATION

Life.Starts.Here.

|

www.spinepains.com


LIFESTYLE LETTER Photo by Tiffany Powell Photography

FEBRUARY 2018 PUBLISHER

Michelle Willis | Michelle.Willis@LifestylePubs.com EDITOR

Erikka Mitchell | Emitchell@LifestylePubs.com ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Donna Dow | Donna.Dow@LifestylePubs.com ACCOUNT MANAGER

Share the Love! Hey Y’all,

Danielle Hunter | Danielle.Hunter@LifestylePubs.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Nicolette Martin, Regan Toomer, Rushannah Johnson Verwayne, Kimberly Wright CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

FEBRUARY IS THE MONTH OF LOVE. And it’s with love that we bring you the

Tiffany Powell Photography, PhoArtography, Jeff Roffman and

Makers issue! SFL writer Regan Toomer brings you a conversation with Miko

Rafterman Photography, Nicolette Martin, Sease the Moment

Branch, one of the founders of Miss Jessie’s Natural Hair products. In addition, we give you 24 hours in the life of Lenna Turner, owner of TopHalf Boutique and a member of the Atlanta Opera chorus. There are some beautiful images from Kafia Haile, a local visual artist and filmmaker. Did you see the photo that accompanied my letter last month? Well, that was just a preview. Take a peek inside to find a full review of A Hush Affair presented by the Twenty Pearls Foundation! Make a special Valentine for the one you love with help from our DIY section this month. The issue ends with a spotlight on the S.U.R.E. Book Club.  It’s my pleasure to share the love with each of you. 

CORPORATE TEAM CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER CHIEF SALES OFFICER CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER DIRECTOR OF MARKETING ART DIRECTOR OPERATIONS DIRECTOR EDITORIAL MANAGER EDITORIAL AD MANAGER AD COORDINATORS

Sincerely, LAYOUT DESIGNERS

Erikka Mitchell, Editor EMitchell@LifestylePubs.com

PUBLISHER SUPPORT EXECUTIVE ACCOUNTANT APPLICATION ARCHITECT WEB DEVELOPERS

Steven Schowengerdt Matthew Perry DeLand Shore Brad Broockerd Sara Minor Janeane Thompson Nicolette Martin Victoria Perry Lindsey Howard Chad Jensen Cyndi Harrington Alicia Huff Adella Wrisinger Jessica Soetaert Cyndi King Dana Rudolph Emily Stout Hailey Stepanek Melanie Carlisle Randa Makeen Michael O’Connell Scott Lavigne

ALABAMA | ARIZONA | CALIFORNIA | COLORADO | FLORIDA | GEORGIA | IDAHO ILLINOIS | KANSAS | MARYLAND | MICHIGAN | MINNESOTA | MISSOURI | MONTANA

SouthFultonLifestyle.com

NEVADA | NORTH CAROLINA | OHIO | OKLAHOMA | OREGON | SOUTH CAROLINA TENNESSEE | TEXAS | UTAH | VIRGINIA | WASHINGTON

514 W 26th St., Kansas City, MO

ON THE COVER Miko Branch, Co-creator of Miss Jessie’s Products launches a book and new products, while honoring her co-creator sister’s memory.

PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MISS JESSIE’S 4

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018

Proverbs 3:5-6 South Fulton Lifestyle™ is published monthly by Lifestyle Publications LLC. It is distributed via the US Postal Service to some of the South Fulton areas’ most affluent neighborhoods. Articles and advertisements do not necessarily reflect Lifestyle Publications’ opinions. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Lifestyle Publications does not assume responsibility for statements made by advertisers or editorial contributors. Information in South Fulton Lifestyle™ is gathered from sources considered to be reliable, but the accuracy of all information cannot be guaranteed.


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INSIDE THE ISSUE FEBRUARY 2018

FEATURES 18 Transitions Miko Branch Sits Down with SFL to Discuss Miss Jessie’s New Products and Making it Big in Business

22 Coming Home Visual Artist and Filmmaker Kafia Haile Returns to Her Beloved Atlanta

26 Leaning into Her Passions: A Day in the Life of Lenna Turner,

18 24

Owner of TopHalf Boutique and Opera Singer with the Atlanta Opera

26

22

DEPARTMENTS 4

Lifestyle Letter

8

Good Times

10

Around Town

14

City Scene

16

Healthy Lifestyle

22 Artist’s Palette 24 DIY 26 Backstage 30 Lifestyle Calendar 34 Parting Thoughts


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GOOD TIMES

Denim and Diamonds Mystery Dinner and Silent Auction at Chattahoochee Hills Charter School Raises Money for 28 Laptops Over one hundred Chatt Hills Charter parents, teachers, administrators, and friends of the school gathered to solve a whodunit, bid on silent auction items, enjoy dinner and music and learn a little more about Chattahoochee Hills Charter. Many donated to the laptop fund in an exciting paddle up auction. PHOTOGRAPHY BY SEASE THE MOMENT

8

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


AROUND TOWN Author Tayari Jones

by racial injustice. And, in it, Jones suggests that racial injustice haunts the African-American story. Subtle, well-crafted, and powerful.

WELLSTAR HEALTH SYSTEM PROVIDED $648 MILLION IN CHARITY AND UNREIMBURSED CARE WellStar Health System, the largest not-for-profit health system in Georgia, provided more than $648 million in charity and unreimbursed care, as well as community programs during the 2017 fiscal year. As a community-based health system, WellStar’s physicians, nurses, advanced practice professionals and team members are committed to helping

ATLANTA NATIVE TAYARI JONES RELEASES NEW NOVEL AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE” An American Marriage is a look at the personal toll of the criminal justice system from the author of Silver Sparrow (2011) and The Untelling (2005).

Currently, 10 percent of WellStar’s patients do not have insurance. As part of its mission, WellStar cares for these patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Through 11 hospitals and 250 medical office locations, WellStar provided more than $250 million in

The Kirkus review follows. 

charity care and more than $117 million in care for

Roy has done everything right. Growing up in a

those who were unable to pay for services but did

working-class family in Louisiana, he took advantage

not apply for charity care. Additionally, community

of all the help he could get and earned a scholarship to

and outreach programs are important tools to help

Morehouse College. By the time he marries Spelman

patients and families meet their health goals and

alum Celestial, she’s an up-and-coming artist. After a

understand their options, and WellStar funded $10

year of marriage, they’re thinking about buying a bigger

million in community programs during fiscal year 2017.

house and starting a family. Then, on a visit back home,

The amount of charity and unreimbursed care

Roy is arrested for a crime he did not commit. Jones

dramatically increased in 2017 due to WellStar’s

begins with chapters written from the points of view

recent expansion. In 2016, WellStar grew to an 11-

of her main characters. When Roy goes to prison, it

hospital system when WellStar Atlanta Medical Center,

becomes a novel in letters. The epistolary style makes

WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South, WellStar North

perfect sense. Roy is incarcerated in Louisiana, Celestial

Fulton Hospital, WellStar Spalding Regional Hospital,

is in Atlanta, and Jones’ formal choice underscores their

WellStar Sylvan Grove Hospital and WellStar West

separation. Once Roy is released, the narrative resumes

Georgia Medical Center joined the health system.

a rotating first person, but there’s a new voice, that of

About WellStar Health System  

Andre, once Celestial’s best friend and now something

WellStar Health System, the largest health system

more. This novel is peopled by vividly realized, individ-

in Georgia, is known nationally for its innovative care

ual characters and driven by interpersonal drama, but

models, focused on improving quality and access

it is also very much about being black in contemporary

to healthcare. WellStar consists of WellStar Medical

America. Roy is arrested, tried, convicted, and imprisoned

Group, 250 medical office locations, outpatient centers,

in Louisiana, the state with the highest per-capita rate of

health parks, a pediatric center, nursing centers, hos-

incarceration in the United States, and where the ratio of

pice, homecare, as well as 11 hospitals: WellStar Atlanta

black to white prisoners is 4 to 1. There’s a heartbreak-

Medical Center, WellStar Atlanta Medical Center

ing scene in which Celestial’s uncle—Roy’s attorney—

South, WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center

encourages her to forget everything she knows about

(anchored by WellStar Kennestone Hospital), WellStar

presenting herself while she speaks in her husband’s

West Georgia Medical Center, and WellStar Cobb,

defense. “Now is not the time to be articulate. Now is the

Douglas, North Fulton, Paulding, Spalding Regional,

time to give it up. No filter, all heart.” After a lifetime of

Sylvan Grove and Windy Hill hospitals. As a not-for-

being encouraged to be “well spoken,” Celestial finds that

profit, WellStar continues to reinvest in the health of

she sounds false trying to speak unguardedly. “As I took

the communities it serves with new technologies and

my seat…not even the black lady juror would look at me.”

treatments. For more information, visit WellStar.org.

This is, at its heart, a love story, but a love story warped 10

patients and communities live healthier lives.

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018

CONTINUED >


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AROUND TOWN

(CON TI N U ED)

WELLSTAR ATLANTA MEDICAL CENTER SOUTH PARTNERS WITH LIFELINK IN NEW YEAR’S DAY ROSE PARADE WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South partnered with LifeLink of Georgia to honor organ, eye and tissue

in the lives of the more than 5,500 Georgians that are currently waiting for transplant,” says Cristina Kroeppler, hospital development liaison with LifeLink of Georgia. “It is because of these professionals’ unyielding dedication to saving lives that we applaud their achievements.”

donors. On January 1, 2018, the Donate Life float titled

Since its debut on New Year’s Day 2004, the

“The Gift of Time” appeared in the Rose Parade in

Donate Life Rose Parade float has become the world’s

Pasadena, California ahead of the University of Georgia’s

most visible campaign to inspire people to become

appearance in the College Football Playoff game.

organ and tissue donors. In addition to the 40 million

The float included a dedication garden made up of

viewers who watch the Rose Parade on TV and along

roses featuring notes and messages from officials around

the parade route, hundreds of events are held in cities

the country. WellStar leaders signed handwritten dedica-

and towns around the country to complete the “flora-

tions celebrating transplant recipients, honoring donors

graphs” (floral portraits) of donors that adorn the float.

and thanking individuals and groups who support and take part in the donation and transplant community.

For the thousands of Georgians listed for a life-saving transplant, organ donation offers hope for a longer life.

“As an acute care hospital, we may treat patients

Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or

who have sustained life-threatening injuries or illness,”

medical history; a single donor can save or improve the

said Kim Ryan, president of WellStar Atlanta Medical

lives of nearly 75 people. To learn more about becoming

Center and WellStar Atlanta Medical Center South. “It

a donor, visit DonateLifeGeorgia.org.

can bring comfort to patients and their families to be able to participate in organ donation, and thus help other individuals. We hope that by sharing donor

Bethel UMC Women's Day

stories, we can build awareness of organ donation to improve and save the lives of countless others.” The Gift of Time float depicts a vibrantly colored, tropical backdrop that dates back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico. It celebrates the gift of life as costumed riders sit alongside the jungle, against stone carvings, drawing on the strength they have gained from their donors to continue and thrive on life’s journey. Families of deceased donors are honored to see their loved ones’ floral images highlighted as part of the float. Living donors and recipients bring the float to life by riding or walking beside the float. In August, several WellStar hospitals were recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’

An outstanding celebration of Class, Culture, and

continued efforts to promote organ donor registration.

Community was the Bethel United Methodist Church

The highest ‘Platinum’ honor was awarded to WellStar

Women's Day 2017 production.

Atlanta Medical Center, WellStar Cobb Hospital and

The event was a vision of white and green. A

WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center. Other

fresh, young, inspiring message was brought forth by 

hospitals honored included WellStar Atlanta Medical

Minister Elizabeth Pollard. A STELLAR production was

Center South, WellStar Douglas, North Fulton and

written and directed by Ms. Catherine Lemons. star-

Paulding hospitals as well as WellStar West Georgia

ring a combination of youth and maturity as "The

Medical Center and WellStar Corporate.

Millennium Woman & the Women of the Bible,” crossed

WellStar works closely with LifeLink Georgia, a not-for-profit organization that coordinates the recovery of lifesaving and life enhancing organs and tissue for transplantation therapy.

12

WOMEN’S DAY 2017 AT BETHEL

Health Resources and Services Administration for their

generational paths in communication, while including membership from fellow churches. The joint teamwork of  Pastor Michael and & Mrs Patricia Stinson, honored the house of the Lord with

“WellStar Health System is a great champion for organ,

dedication, support and beautification from the onset.

eye, and tissue donation. We are proud of this accom-

We look forward to 2018, and more "The Power of WE.”

plishment and applaud WellStar for making a difference

Erma Freemont & Jessie McQueen Bell, Co-Chairs

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


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CITY SCENE

A HUSH AFFAIR BRINGS STARS, FUN, AND RAISES SCHOLARSHIPS ARTICLE ERIKKA SEARLES MITCHELL | PHOTOGRAPHY PHOARTGRAPHY

AKA Cluster Five Coordinator Shevawn Broxton Young, Co-Chair DiAnne Coggins, Honoree Hank Stewart, President Ranada Robinson, Co-Chair Ashley Thompson, Fundraising Chair Suzette LeSane

14

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


“GOOD” FOOD

THE TWENTY PEARLS FOUNDATION’S SIGNATURE FUNDRAISER, A HUSH AFFAIR SILENT AUCTION

BAD PAIN By Pickens Patterson III, MD

AND GALA, TOOK PLACE AT THE ATLANTA AIRPORT MARRIOTT GATEWAY HOTEL. This year marked the chapter's 25th anniversary and the gala reflected such in the evening's theme, "A Platinum Evening with the Stars.” The formal event featured live entertainment and an impressive silent auction and was well-attended by local political and business elite. The proceeds of the event benefitted  2018 scholarships as well as the many service projects that The Twenty Pearls Foundation facilitates in the East Point, College Park and South Fulton communities. In addition to raising lots of money for various scholarships, the annual event is formal without even hinting at being boring and is in short a lot of fun! The event should be on your calendar to help kick off the holiday season each year. Jarrard J of V-103 radio served as the Master of Ceremonies and Hank Stewart, poet extraordinaire received an award for his service to the community. Music was provided by flautist John Conner, whose wide-ranging repertoire from Fabo of D4L to Earth, Wind and Fire was a hit with the crowd. The Twenty Pearls Foundation, Incorporated is the non-profit affiliate of Tau Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. The Foundation is comprised of all financially active members of Tau Epsilon Omega Chapter. The primary focus of the Foundation is to annually award college scholarships to deserving students. The chapter recently held their Pearls of Excellence Brunch at the Riverside Epicenter where they awarded $27,500 to outstanding students. Furthermore, the Foundation provides community service to the residents of East Point, College Park, and South Fulton, Georgia, through various program initiatives focused on addressing economic growth and development, mentoring young leaders, strengthening families, promoting healthy behaviors, highlighting health disparities and addressing global issues. The president of the Tau Epsilon Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc is Ranada Robinson and the Co-Chairs

I

n my medical practice, I am often faced with treating patients who suffer from chronic pain conditions whose pain is exacerbated by, or perhaps even caused by, carrying excessive weight. This is especially true in people reporting low back pain, which according to the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), is the leading cause of disability worldwide and effects 31 million Americans at any given time. It is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old, and more that 26 million Americans between ages 20 – 64 experience frequent back pain. Furthermore, adults with low back pain are often in worse physical and mental health than people who do not have low back pain. Adults reporting low back pain are three times as likely to be in fair or poor health, and more than four times as likely to experience serious psychological distress as people without low back pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Dietary Guideline for Americans 2010, a healthy eating plan: • Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugars • Stays within your daily caloric needs

As a physician trying to address the holistic needs of my patients, I am more interested in preventing unnecessary pain versus having to treat it. For example, I recommend the use of a food-intake/calorie tracking tool such as MyFitnessPal, and I often recommend physical therapy or fitness programs to improve mobility and healing. Bottom line: there are many unavoidable maladies in life such as accidents or degenerative diseases like arthritis, so our goal should be to take control of our health to delay or even avoid the often associated pain.

of A Hush Affair 2017 were DiAnne Coggins and Ashley Thompson. More information on the The Twenty Pearls Foundation may be found at AKATEO.org/Foundation. Pickens A. Patterson III, MD

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February 2018 | South Fulton Lifestyle

15


HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARTICLE DR. RAUSHANNAH JOHNSON VERWAYNE

THE BENEFIT OF PRACTICING MINDFULNESS GREETINGS! Are you ready for a fresh start? As a mother, wife, business

remember achieving goals or accomplishing tasks, but the journey

owner, social advocate and friend to many, I understand how life can get

of it all is lost in a void of multitasking. Ultimately this results in the

in the way of taking care of yourself, so I’m bringing the self-care to you!

loss of a sense of purpose, sadness, loneliness, depression, anxiety

Wellness is essential to the soul. When I think of wellness, I think

and chronic stress, which leads to physical disorders. Although the

of a sound mind, a healthy body and a fulfilled spirit. I think of women

brain is complex, it requires regular maintenance in order to operate

who don’t feel the need to be everything to everyone, but instead

at its full capacity. Mindfulness is likened to closing the apps running

focus on taking the time to enjoy the life they have worked so hard

in the background on a smartphone to increase speed and perfor-

for. I think of men who don’t measure themselves by their occupa-

mance. Slowing down and living in the moment can improve the

tion, but by how their mere presence strengthens communities. I

function of the mind, body and overall life experience.

think of children who have their basic needs of food, shelter, love and a quality education met consistently. I believe that communities are healthy when our children and elderly are well.

THE BENEFIT OF MINDFULNESS Mindfulness is useful for many problems. Current cognitive behavioral interventions using mindfulness focus on the following

There are many paths to wellness, but how will you know when it

issues: mood (anxiety, depression), intrusions (ruminations, racing

is achieved? My belief is that when what you think, what you do and

thoughts, memories), behaviors (binging, addiction, self-harm, vio-

how you feel are in sync, then you are well. When you can be in a

lence), problems of relating (attitudes, empathy) or problems of self

moment and enjoy it without regretting the past and worrying about

(self-consciousness, self-hatred). Studies have shown that when

the future, then you are well. One tried and true method to achieving

people don’t spend enough time in the moment there is an increase

wellness is to practice mindfulness.

in depression and anxiety. Mindfulness has been shown to improve

WHY PRACTICE MINDFULNESS?

decision-making. For example, people may hold on to anger or

The average person spends most of the day multitasking to the

remain in a failing relationship for too long. Another example is if

point where they are resentful, forgetful and exhausted. Task after

someone orders an expensive meal, is full halfway through the meal,

task makes the days seem to go by without meaning and the months

but continues to eat due to an underlying problem of letting go.

without memory. Often, individuals spend so much time operating on

Sunk-cost bias is present in so many areas of dysfunction, such as

auto-pilot, they literally miss out on life. They are unable to remember

obesity, compulsive-hoarding, poor interpersonal relationships and

what the year, month or even day before was about. Individuals can

dead-end careers; however, mindfulness can alleviate these issues. Mindfulness meditation can increase resistance to sunk-cost bias. This translates into an overall improved quality of life. Living in the moment is necessary in order to appreciate life. It requires acceptance of things as they are, nonjudgmentally. It means appreciating the small things and appreciating life’s reality without missing out on what is occurring in the present by wondering what could or might be. Mindfulness means being present and actively participating in life. A brief period of mindfulness meditation cultivates awareness of the present moment and helps counteract deeply rooted bias and/or habits. There is power in the practice of mindfulness and if you want a fresh start, begin here. Start now. Breathe deeply and be well. Dr. RJ is a licensed clinical psychologist and certified Zumba instructor who lives and works in the South Fulton area. Her practice is located at 3915 Cascade Road in Atlanta, and her Zumba classes are held weekly at the William Walker Recreation Center. Visit AskDrRJ.com for more information.

16

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


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Your Community Partner GreyStone Power is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

February 2018 | South Fulton Lifestyle

17


TRANSITIONS MIKO BRANCH SITS DOWN WITH SFL TO DISCUSS MISS JESSIE'S NEW PRODUCTS AND MAKING IT BIG IN BUSINESS BY HONORING THE SPIRIT OF HER GRANDMOTHER AND THE MEMORY OF HER SISTER

ARTICLE REGAN TOOMER 18

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


IF YOU HAVE NATURAL HAIR, CHANCES

being exclusive to one type of ethnic group or

ARE YOU’VE HEARD OF OR TRIED MISS

hair care type, but rather to all types of textures

JESSIE’S HAIR CARE PRODUCTS. The prod-

and coils, regardless of background.

ucts help treat and style hair with curly, kinky

INNOVATIVE PRODUCTS

and wavy textures. One of the masterminds

When asked about her products and which

behind the coveted products, Miko Branch is still

ones are best for curly, kinky or wavy hair, Branch

focused on improving the brand while helping

spoke about incorporating moisture for kinkier

people embrace their natural textures.

hair types with the Curly and Baby Buttercreme

Branch recently sat down for an exclusive

products. She also stressed the importance of

interview on the secret to her success and what

co-washing to maintain moisture in your hair,

lessons she has learned along the way.

especially during the harsh winter months. Branch

As the co-founder and CEO of Miss Jessie’s,

raved about the Leave-In Condish as a great foun-

Branch started the hair care product line with her

dation for any styling method. For those transi-

late sister, Titi. Determined to create a product that

tioning from relaxed tresses to natural hair, Branch

would tame textured hair for every ethnic back-

encouraged giving Miss Jessie’s Transitioner’s

ground, Branch and her sister looked to their beloved

Magic a try. Whatever your hair texture, Branch

grandmother, Jessie Mae Branch, for inspiration.

stands behind her brand’s ability to provide the

When Branch and her sister were children, their

best hair care treatment for natural hair.

grandmother would concoct all sorts of homemade

The best-selling products are Curly Pudding and

mixtures at her kitchen table to tame their wild and

Pillow Soft Curls. With a large variety of products,

unruly curly hair. They used their grandmother’s

ranging from cleansers, conditioners, treatments

hair ingredients and developed what ultimately

and stylers, everyone will find one that is perfect for

became Miss Jessie’s, which has grown into a suc-

them wherever they are in the hair journey.

cessful brand with best-selling products like Curly Pudding, Baby Buttercreme and Pillow Soft Curls. As the visionary behind the Miss Jessie’s

CONSISTENCY IS KEY Branch takes pride in preserving the products’ consistency over the years.

brand, Miko became a pioneer in the natural

“We know that people love products for what

hair care movement, creating premium prod-

they are, and we like to keep them consistent

ucts that revolutionized the industry by not

CONTINUED >

February 2018 | South Fulton Lifestyle

19


TRANSITIONS

(CON TI N U ED)

“In the early 2000s… many of us who had a tighter, coiled curl honestly didn’t know what we had,” Branch said. “Now, the secret is out. We are learning, we’re talking, we’re proud and we are looking good!”

with what people love,” Branch said, admitting the business had a

“In the early 2000s… many of us who had a tighter, coiled

slow build before growing rapidly. She embraces all customer feed-

curl honestly didn’t know what we had,” Branch said. “Now, the

back, both positive and negative, which helps the company develop

secret is out. We are learning, we’re talking, we’re proud and we

new products for the whole hair regimen. They also employ social

are looking good!”

media in creating innovative marketing for the brand.

Embracing her role as an influencer in the beauty and hair indus-

Branch still marvels at how far the brand has come since its debut

try, as well as in business, Branch says entrepreneurship is a valu-

in 2004, having won numerous awards and accolades in the hair

able journey that she encourages more women to explore. Being an

care industry. Her memoir serves as a business guide about how she

entrepreneur gives her insight into who she is as a person while also

and her sister started their business from scratch.

teaching her to be a better businesswoman.

“It’s incredible to see our products in Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and CVS,” Branch said. “It’s also incredible to have made a difference

“If many people try their hand at being their own boss, they’ll like it and we might see more entrepreneurs out here,” she said.

in a lot of people’s lives, whether it was a mother showing her daughter

Look for Miss Jessie’s new products this year, including an

how to embrace herself naturally or whether it’s teaching a woman who

array of innovative solutions for textured hair needs. Please visit

may have been relaxing her hair over 40 years how to care for her hair.”

MissJessies.com for more on Miko, her book, Miss Jessie's:

She really enjoys the fact that more women are embracing their

Creating a Successful Business from Scratch—Naturally, and the

natural hair textures after years of relaxing their hair. 20

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018

new products.


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21


ARTIST’S PALETTE

KAFIA HAILE COMING HOME

THE FILMMAKER & ARTIST IN HER OWN WORDS

AFTER 18 YEARS, I NEVER EXPECTED TO RETURN HOME

was good for my career, still, it never felt like home. In 2015, I was

TO ATLANTA. I spent my childhood enthralled by movies that

invited to speak on a panel in Atlanta and was proud to see the

made me excited to see the world and use stories to unite people

Hollywood of the South had retained its southern hospitality. Struck

across cultures. After graduating from Spelman College, I landed

by the city’s sense of community, my weekend visit became a year-

my dream job as a tribes and culture analyst at the Pentagon

long stay. I was hired to direct a music video for Atlanta native Yamin

and deployed to Iraq in 2008. I loved helping the U.S. military

Semali, who I met through manager and producer Jeff Johnson II,

understand Iraq’s tribes, but I wanted to share cross-cultural

a friend from Morehouse College. Then my Spelman classmates

stories with a larger audience.

commissioned a painting for our reunion, increasing my exposure

I returned to Washington, DC and prayed for guidance on putting my purpose into action. I rediscovered my love of films and began

as an artist. Now I’ve grown to appreciate this city’s best asset—its people—and decided to make Atlanta my home.

my foray into visual storytelling by learning to paint. On weekends, I wrote screenplays and participated in local art shows, but the time had come to fully commit to my purpose. In 2012, I enrolled in film

CONTACT INFO

school at University of Southern California. There, one of my scripts

Email: info@KafiaHaile.com

placed in the top 50 of the Nicholl Competition, administered by

Web: KafiaHaile.com

the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Then Fortune

Twitter: @KafiaHaile

Magazine lauded a short film I wrote as a “must see.” Los Angeles

Instagram: @_KafiaHaile_

22

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


AFTER GRADUATING FROM SPELMAN COLLEGE, I LANDED MY DREAM JOB AS A TRIBES AND CULTURE ANALYST AT THE PENTAGON AND DEPLOYED TO IRAQ IN 2008. I LOVED HELPING THE U.S. MILITARY UNDERSTAND IRAQ’S TRIBES, BUT I WANTED TO SHARE CROSS-CULTURAL STORIES WITH A LARGER AUDIENCE. Find us on #WheresTheBrunch

MILKANDHONEYATL Open 7 days a week Brunch All Day/ Rotisserie Chicken All Day Mon. - Thurs. 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Fri. 11:00 a.m. to 10:00p.m. Sat 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sun 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Call-ins welcome

5495 Cascade Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30331 Call 404.968.9266 or email info@milkandhoney.com milkandhoneyatl.com February 2018 | South Fulton Lifestyle

23


DIY

a handmade valentine’s day

MAKE IT FEEL LIKE AN EXTRA SPECIAL AT-HOME VALENTINE’S DAY THIS YEAR WITH THOUGHTFUL TOUCHES FROM THE HEART—AND HANDS

24

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


UN

From-Scratch Pasta Yield: 1 pound WHAT YOU NEED

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting 4 large eggs WHAT YOU DO

1. Mound the flour in the center of a work surface with a well in the middle. Crack the eggs into the well and beat with a fork until smooth, then work flour into eggs with the fork. Use a bench scraper to work in the rest of the flour a little at a time. When the flour is incorporated, form the dough with your hands into a rounded mass for kneading. Lightly dust your workspace with flour and knead dough about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Cover dough with a bowl or plastic wrap and rest 1 1/2 hours, or chill overnight. 2. To roll by hand, flour a clean work surface. Vigorously roll dough to a very thin circle and roll constantly with even pressure as it stretches for several minutes until as thin as possible, almost translucent. 3. To cut by hand, lightly fold sheets one at a time into thirds and cut to desired thickness. Recipe from MarthaStewart.com.

DEUX

Dark Chocolate Truffles WHAT YOU NEED

1/2 cup heavy cream 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 cup cocoa powder, for dusting WHAT YOU DO

1. Bring the cream to just a simmer in a saucepan over low heat. Pour the cream over the chocolate in a bowl and let stand about 10 minutes to melt the chocolate. Add the vanilla, stir until smooth and set aside to cool for 1 hour at room temperature. 2. Beat chocolate at medium speed until thick and light-colored. Spread over the bottom of a baking dish, smooth and refrigerate 2 hours until firm. 3. Pour cocoa powder onto a deep plate or shallow bowl, and using a melon baller or small ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of chocolate. Roll in cocoa powder until coated and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Recipe from FoodNetwork.com.

TROIS

Relaxing Bath Salt Blend WHAT YOU NEED

16 ounces Bokek Dead Sea Salt 20 drops lavender essential oil WHAT YOU DO

In a mixing bowl, add drops of the essential oil to the bath salt and mix well; store in a glass jar. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of the scented salts to a bath for a relaxing experience. SeaSalt.com

February 2018 | South Fulton Lifestyle

25


BACKSTAGE

LEANING INTO HER PASSIONS: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF LENNA TURNER, OWNER OF TOPHALF BOUTIQUE AND OPERA SINGER WITH THE ATLANTA OPERA CHORUS

ARTICLE ERIKKA SEARLES MITCHELL | PHOTOGRAPHY JEFF ROFFMAN AND RAFTERMAN PHOTOGRAPHY AND PROVIDED SFL: WHAT WAS YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS AS YOU OPENED

that included being healthy and fit. I was doing pretty well in my corporate

THE TOPHALF BOUTIQUE?

job and moved downtown to the snazzy Georgian Terrace before it turned

I was at that place where you start to think to yourself, “How am I mak-

to a hotel! But I love, love, love music! Ask anybody who knows me and

ing a difference? How do I want to spend my time? How can I give back?”

they will say the same. I called the Atlanta Opera (just cold called) and

I decided that my love of fashion, style and the arts, my experience in

told them I was looking for a voice teacher. They gave me several recom-

business and my desire to empower, uplift and support women and girls

mendations. I visited the studio of Sandra Crawford and started studying

initiatives was how I wanted to spend my time and TopHalf was born.

with her. I credit her to this day with getting me on the path to classical

SFL: HOW DID YOU GET INTO OPERA?

and operatic music, along with my last voice teacher, Betty Colson, who

I was in the beginning of a divorce and I wanted to concentrate on

was an incredibly talented and all around wonderful person. I wanted to

being a better me. I moved into town, got a trainer and started on a path

sing more of this music so Sandra invited me to come sing in the choir at

26

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


her church. The Choirmaster was the infamous Walter Huff, who was at the time Associate Conductor of Atlanta Opera and chorus master for the Atlanta Opera Chorus. After I started voice lessons and coachings, I was invited to sing my first major work (Mozart's Requiem) with the Atlanta Opera Chorus and was totally in love with the art form. I was so fascinated and mortified at the same time to be around all of these talented people. I literally thought I was going to pass out at rehearsal, but I persevered! Over the last 15 years, I've always worked my corporate job by day and opera and choir rehearsals by night and weekends. The love of one fuels the energy for the other and the pay from one allows me to sustain and get training for the other—LOL! LENNA TURNER’S TYPICAL DAY IN OCTOBER OF THIS YEAR

Building TopHalf and studying for her first German Opera "The Flying Dutchman" + Wake up. Check online store for orders to fill; check with current vendors and manufacturers on new and best seller items, reorder items that are selling well and almost out. Wait for California vendors to wake up and get in the store because of the time difference. + Put on the recording of “Dutchman” in my ear while at the computer. At lunch, look at German words and repeat, repeat, repeat. + Follow up and final place for holiday trunk show, calls, site visits etc. + Work on email/marketing design for THB Holiday Trunk Show + Tag new items with price tags and log merchandise into Store app + Call accountant + Listen to more German + End of day post office run (I'm the owner, marketing manager and head of inventory and distribution, etc.) + German/Dutchman CD in the car + After about 5 p.m., grab something to eat + Head to opera chorus rehearsal or show (if opera has opened; Dutchman ran Nov 3-12) 7:00 - 10:00/11:00 + Home end of day/night 12:00 or 1:00 a.m., wind down... headphones on in bed practice on opera chorus material (in this case, the German; it was hard) + Great opening night! + Great Holiday Trunk Show! + As of December, a new contract assignment: Compensation Project Manager. I'm still a budding entrepreneur and multiple streams of income feels good! LOL! About the Owner TopHalf Boutique was started by Lenna Turner in 2016. With over 20 years in Corporate America in various roles from analyst to VP to Sr Consultant, 15 years in fashion and arts as a model, classical singer/ musician and lover of fashion, she decided to blend her corporate/ business and artistic experience with her desire and passion for style and fashion. Visit TopHalfBoutique.com for more information. February 2018 | South Fulton Lifestyle

27


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South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


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LIFESTYLE CALENDAR

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9 A CONVERSATION WITH TAYARI JONES AND PEARL CLEAGE Woodruff Arts Center

Algonquin Books and the Alliance Theater present A Conversation with the two Spelmanites, Author Tayari Jones and Playwright Pearl Cleage. Email hersey.millner@alliancetheater.org to RSVP for this free event. It's sure to be a treat at the release of Tayari Jones' new novel An American Marriage.

Join the Chamber and enjoy the following benefits: • Monthly Membership Luncheons with Top Speakers • Monthly Business After Hours • Monthly Business Lunch and Learns

14 - 18 ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER The Fox Theater

Ailey returns with both old favorites and new pieces of work. This performance never disappoints. Get your tickets now. This event will sell out.

20 - 28 RENT The Fox Theater

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South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018


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22 Local Online Boutique Featuring Handcrafted Accessories: Hats, Finglerless Gloves, Scarves, Tees, Tanks, Baby Items and more.

16TH ANNUAL SOUTH METRO DEVELOPMENT OUTLOOK CONFERENCE College Park

This year promises to be an exciting conference as they explore transformative development projects including the airport’s expansion and development, Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance. The impact of various industries upon South Metro’s economic development, including Film, Logistics and Transportation and thought-provoking dialogue on South Metro Population Growth, Quality of Life will be explored. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.com.

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Watch cowboys and cowgirls compete in riding, roping, racing, steer wrestling, and bull fighting at Georgia National Rodeo in Perry.

YOU’RE INVITED TO OUR SPECIAL SEMINAR A SINGLE PARENT SYMPOSIUM: The nuts and bolts of how to obtain

child custody and lower or increase your child support

HOSTED BY: ATTORNEY CANDACE ALYNN HILL DUVERNAY AND ATTORNEY ONYEMA ANENE FARREY Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ Wolf Creek Library, 3100 Enon Road, Atlanta, GA 11am-2pm If you are a Mother or Father trying to figure out how to obtain custody of your children, lower or increase your child support, this workshop will provide you with details and legal tips on how to navigate through the court system to meet your family’s needs. Come out and talk to seasoned Attorneys about your legal rights as a single Mother or single Father.

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We are always accepting submissions for events you'd like to see included in our Calendar section. Submissions are accepted via the Contact Us tab at SouthFultonLifestyle.com.

F E B R U A RY

LIFESTYLE CALENDAR (CON TI N UED)


F E B R U A RY

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February 2018 | South Fulton Lifestyle

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PARTING THOUGHTS

SISTERS UNBOUND READING EVERYTHING

(s.u.r.e.) book club ARTICLE KIMBERLY WRIGHT THE LADIES OF SISTERS UNBOUND

and this book was the selection of the

READING EVERYTHING, AFFECTION-

host. Each host selects the book to be

ATELY KNOWN AS (S.U.R.E.),   book

read. I was blessed to select the next

club is a South Fulton gem. These ladies

book and choose Believing In Magic by

have been together for twelve years and

Cookie Johnson.

counting. Their love for each other and

Three takeaways I took from these

passion for reading is pretty amazing.

ladies presence was their passion for fel-

They have an undeniable bond of sis-

lowship, reading and traveling. S.U.R.E.

terhood and #BlackGirlJoy. I fell in love

is is old school and will be around for a

with them even more I attended their

lifetime. Their members are all ages from

book club meeting. When in their pres-

forty something to seventy something

ence you feel a certain synergy which

and I love how everyone has a kindred

commands attention for their passion of

soul and seat at the table.

reading. S.U.R.E  indulges in every type of novel imaginable and respectfully have different perspectives. The fourteen members are close knit

34

South Fulton Lifestyle | February 2018

and enjoy a family style meal at the

Kimberly Wright is a Mother, Publi-

beginning of each meeting. Fellowship

cist, Social Influencer, Freelance &

is amazing and the conversation is

Contributing Writer, Publisher and

very family oriented as they catch up

Editor. She is the author of Key-

on everything from Grandbabies to the

strokes By Kimberly a lifestyle blog

latest vacations to future travels for the

about travel, entertainment, health

club. After twelve years together, they

and awareness. Wright is the Pub-

started taking adult field trips after the

lisher and Editor of three Macaroni

first five years. The field trips are both

Kid publications: Decatur Macaro-

local and out of state. They range from

ni Kid, East Atlanta Macaroni and

trips to see plays about books they've

Greensboro Macaroni Kid which

read to "Vegas, baby!" and Myrtle Beach.

focus on family fun and communi-

Please believe S.U.R.E. takes care of their

ty involvement and development

bodies, minds, souls and health. They

in East Atlanta, GA, Decatur GA

are truly sisters and show you that the

and Greensboro, NC. Her work

right friends are family as well.  We read

also appears regularly in South

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Fulton Lifestyle.


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South Fulton, GA February 2018  

February 2018 Issue of South Fulton Lifestyle

South Fulton, GA February 2018  

February 2018 Issue of South Fulton Lifestyle