She ROCKS It Magazine Women's History Month Edition 2022

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R O C K S It She M A G A Z I N E

Celebrating HERSTORY

Feature Story Chicago Gurlfriends 4 Lyfe

Women's History Month

Edition


SRI MAGAZINE

INSIDE THIS

EDITION

CELEBRATING FRIENDSHIP WITH GIRLFRIENDS 4 LYFE DURING WOMENS HISTORY MONTH

THE COVER STORY

AROUND CHICAGO

INTERSTATE 290

Meet G4L; Gurlfriends from Chicago who share their stories with SRI Magazine

G4L shares their favorite childhood restaurants, shops, and fun place around Chicago

The road that leads to Chicago's Westside and the fashion that bears the name 290



SRI MAGAZINE

TABLE OF

CONTENTS 04

She Loves Fashion SRI Loves Fashion and so do our readers. We have shined the light on local boutique owners and fashion designers in this edition. We enjoy supporting women who put their creative mark on the fashion world.

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EntrepeneuHer SRI Magazines shines the light on women who are making their mark in History by doing what they love as an entrepreneur. These beautiful ladies created a line of paper plates and cups that celebrate Black History. Be sure to read their story and visit their website to purchase their items for your next event.

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She Wrote That

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She Wrote That is our signature section in every SRI Magazine. We highlight authors who share their story in words. In this edition see what she wrote and support the authors by purchasing their books.

Celebrating HerStory Several amazing women open up with our readers and share HerStory! Our hope is that these stories will inspire you, motivate you, empower you, and challenge you to write your own story. SRI Magazine would love to feature you.


She ROCKS It M a g a z i n e SRI

sri magazine. Issue 5 march 2022 women's herstory month edition Cover Image gurlfriends for lyfe photo by A. beauford photography Editorial shenitha-s.h.e publishing Team sri magazine shonal burnett true ylandus staci holt Marketing team sri magazine Advertising team she rocks it print copies Visit www.srimagazine.com Write to: p.o.box 1004 lockport il 60441 Phone: 312-885-4160 www.sherocksit.com interested in sharing your story, brand, book or business with sri magazine? contact us for details at connectwithsherocksit@outlook.com Published quarterly by joyce dawkins All Rights Reserved. SRI MAGAZINE THE MAGAZINE WHERE SHE BELONGS


SRI MAGAZINE

CONTRIBUTING

Writers

Nikita Legrone Vanessa Mack Tawana Trammell Inez Woody Tammie Terry Dr. Franike-Kiara Olugbala Young Qiana Turner Crystal Mayo Tiffany Marie Nicki L. Bond, pg.7 Contributing Writer 2022 is the Year of the Woman

Talva if you would like to be a contributing writer, please email SRI Magazine at connectwithsherocksit@outlook.com


InfluenHER Arise: 2022, is the Year of the Woman. Written by: Nicki L. Bond

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, it is only befitting that we acknowledge all of the influential women who have pioneered before us. Many of us would not be able to blaze the trail if it were not for the blood, sweat and tears of the numerous impactful women and their life-changing work. We tip our crowns to these Queens. I truly believe that 2022, is the year of the Woman. It is the year for influential women to arise and influence. As women, we either minimize our influence or we do not recognize the influence that we carry. We understand the favor that we obtain from God, but as women we have been given another gift, which is influence. There are so many examples of influential women in the Bible such as: Eve, Esther, Ruth, Deborah, Lydia, and many other who were nameless. That just goes to show that you don’t need a name to have influence. As women we are called to be influencers. Influencers have the capacity to have an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something. I believe that in 2022, Women will begin to arise with influence and sit in influential places and with influential people. We will have the ear of key stakeholders and decision-makers. This influence that we possess will shift cities and nations, dismantle systems, build corporations, save the lost, bring exposure in corrupt places, and bring life to dead places. We will create our own tables and rooms; we won’t wait by the email to see if we have been invited in. We will pioneer and trailblaze on large scales and in large spheres. This year God is going to use one of the greatest gifts He created and that is Woman. That is YOU! Maybe you are wondering exactly where this “influence” that I keep talking about is coming from. Maybe you are thinking that you are a nobody; one without a name, large platform or following. Let me dismantle this thought. Your ability to provoke change through your influence is not based on superficial algorithms or number of followers on social media.

If you influence and impact one person’s life and because of you they influence someone else, who then impacts 100,000, just look at how far your influence has reached and you don’t even know it. Do not equate your level of influence to the impact that you will make. Influence don’t have a distance or a limit and neither does God. So, don’t miss and minimize those opportunities when you can influence and inspire the cashier at the grocery store or the person next to you on the treadmill at the gym. You don’t know how that conversation could influence their life. Maybe you are just what they need to push them to the next level. Women, She, Her… I want you to be empowered to activate the influence that is in you and that is on your life this year. You are an influencer, so take your seat! You activate your influence with confidence. When you increase and elevate your confidence, you will activate your influence and walk boldly in it. As a woman of influence, you don’t ever have to be something that you are not because you are already everything you need to be. I speak to every Woman and I say, InfluenHER Arise and come forth this year! Your time is now. There is a demand for what you carry. The world needs what you have; your gifts, talents, knowledge, skills and abilities. Give it all to us and don’t hold back. The world is waiting for you and your greatness! Now, that you know that you have influence. How will you use it? Who have you been called to impact? Activate your faith, increase your confidence and INFLUENCE.

MeetNicki a full-time entrepreneur,

who is the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Life Strategist Consulting Group LLC. Life Strategist Consulting Group LLC, is a full-service consulting and learning and organizational development firm that aims to drive strategic learning and development through robust and rigorous solutions; enabling individuals, teams, and organizations to achieve extraordinary results personally and professionally. As a full-service firm, they conduct learning and organizational development assessments, develop tailor-made training and curriculum, facilitate the training, and then measure impact for 90-days. Nicki is also a Business and Career Coach, International Speaker, Professor, and Published Author. She is also the Host and Creator of Queens Connecting Over Coffee Podcast, which is available on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, iHeart and Spotify.

Contact Email info@lifestrategistconsultingllc.com Website www.lifestrategitconsultingllc.com Social Media Facebook-Life Strategist Consulting Group LLC Instagram- Business page- @nlynn_strategist Podcast- qcoc_podcast Photo Credit Shawn Saffold, Photographer DWS Photos


CELEBRATING

Her Story

WOMENS

HERSTORY MONTH Sis, your mind is shifting. Everything that has concerned, stressed, confused, or blindsided you has to be revealed and released. Peace of mind is coming and WILL be maintained. Yesterday’s issues will be left in yesterday as you gain clarity and strength to deal with today! You are about to walk into your best season yet! I declare whoever is reading this you are coming out! Now tell yourself “I’m getting my mind right and I’M COMING OUT HEAD FIRST” Nikita Nicole #GodsGirl #TheHoodsGirl

Nikita Legrone #BEINTENTIONAL


CELEBRATING

Her Story

MeetTHE BEAUTY BOSS Myisha also known as “The Beauty Boss” is a licensed Esthetician and CEO of Ready Set Relax Beauty Studio. Myisha’s work has been published Nationally and Internationally. She attended Dudley Beauty College and quickly found her passion for Skincare and Body Waxing. Myisha prides herself in customize skincare and skin treatments to address client's needs on an individual basis. She truly believes all skin isn’t created equal so her technique and treatments are specific to the client she is servicing Myisha waxes everything from Brows to Toes and she believes in a no hair left behind policy. She had taken countless classes in order to prefect a painless and comforting technique for her clients. Myisha is also the founder of the one-of-a-kind class called “All About The V” which is a class that teaches girls from puberty to seniors all about vaginal health. All About The V is one of thee mostly highly sought out classes in Chicago that’s hygiene related, Myisha is committed to providing phenomenal customer treatments and experiences. Myisha stands by her words Skin is always in so make sure you take care of yours.

708-620-7617 IG:rsbeautyboss FB:Ready Set Relax Beauty Studio https://www.readysetrelaxbeautystudio.com

Contact Us!


CELEBRATING

Her Story Tawana Trammell Founder of TLK Empowerment Services, LLC Licensed Clinical Social Worker Author Speaker

During Women’s History month the women that are usually celebrated are well known trailblazers. This year I would like to spotlight those of us that have survived life obstacles and are living our best lives. While our names may not be well known or our deeds recognized, the fact that we are still standing is historic. While I am not well known, my story reflects other women that have suffered in silence. I was raised by a teenage single mother with assistance from my grandparents. My father was alive and well and I was his only biological child. However, he abandoned me and chose to assist his future mates with raising their children. For a long time this left a scar because no one can take the place of a parent no matter how hard they may try. Unfortunately, as I continued to grow, I would have to endure further betrayals. I was molested as a child by those that I should have been able to trust. I buried these secrets inside until I went to college and could no longer maintain the magnitude of this hurt. By the time I decided to inform my family, they did not know how to deal with the situation or chose not to address it at all. Everyone was sad, but I never received the support this trauma warranted.

As life continued, I was faced with another obstacle. My mother, my love, my friend, and greatest supporter became addicted to drugs. At this point in life I felt numb. I watched her struggle with this addiction until she surrendered her life to God. I watched God supernaturally deliver my mother before my eyes. From that day to this day, she has been drug free! As a result of my experiences, my views on life and people were significantly impacted and this affected my decision making as a young adult. I made relationship decisions that I would not have made if I was mentally and emotionally healthy. In addition, I lived in shame and guilt which resulted in me not sharing my story with others. This is the first time I have spoken of my feelings related to abandonment and abuse this openly. This is because I decided not to hide my scars or wounds anymore but instead allow my healing to encourage others. What I have learned is God is Faithful, Forgiveness is Freeing, and Women are Resilient! In spite of the obstacles put before us we continue to love, nurture, and support. Sometimes we carry out these task at our own demise. We have a “can do” attitude and it pushes us to survive. We perform our duties at work, home, and community with a mask on, sometimes never

allowing others to see or know who we truly are. This is usually because we are unsure of how others will respond or who we can trust with issues of the heart. I would like to encourage you to deal with the issues that may haunt your past, present, or future. Don’t be ashamed to seek professional mental health treatment if needed. While I am a therapist, I also require a therapist at different intervals of life. I believe we need to treat our mental and emotional health like we do our physical health. I would like to challenge you to get an annual mental health check up. You are worth the investment!

Today I celebrate us! Those of us that continue to overcome life challenges with a smile. Those of us that refuse to allow our negative experiences to define who we are. Those of us that continue to be kind, courageous, loving, supportive, and successful! We are who God has created us to be! We are all Black History and WE ROCK!!!


WOMENS HERSTORY MONTH

Tiffany Marie approaches each day with grit & grace. Motivating women to LIVE authentically. As the curator of SPEAK THAT Affirmation Collection and Pink Table Talk, Tiffany promotes positive change in the lives of women through authentic conversations that are rich and transparent. She encourages every woman to SPEAK LIFE over dry areas and to use positive affirmations as a road map to walk in the fullness of who they are destined to become. Tiffany’s goal is to help women excel through personal doubt and fear, triggering personal strength and inspiring them to unleash the power within. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Aspirations of Life, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 2009. Tiffany Marie is the lead author of, “Grace”, a cross-generational book written by thirty-five women, ages 29-95 years old. Each author shares letters filled with the advice they’d give to their younger selves. “Use Your Wings Girl”, her mantra, and the second book is a workbook journal that takes readers on a 40-day journey to spiritual and personal growth. Tiffany's favorite quote is one by Michelle Obama, "Success isn't about how much money you make. It's about the difference you make in the people's lives." Contact Information Tiffany M. Fincher TiffanyFincher785@gmail.com www.tiffanymfincher.com Social Media IG- ConnectWithTiffanyMarie FB- ConnectWithTiffanyMarie


CELEBRATING

Her Story

Yvette Sims-Morgan A little bit of Sweetness LLC is an e-commerce dessert shoppe that provides delicious gourmet desserts in smaller portions. A little bit of Sweetness was birthed due to a void for desserts for the diabetic community. My father suffered from diabetes, and I wanted to create desserts that he could eat but I couldn't find a sugar substitute that was suitable that's when I gave up and decided that you can have a dessert, but you must do it in moderation. All of my desserts are small in size. Now everyone can enjoy a little bit of sweetness. website is alilbitofsweetness.com FB- @lilbitofsweetnesschi IG- Candi.sims.14


Celeplated Celeplated seeks to provide products that celebrate African American culture, heritage and values in a way that’s exciting, unique and inspiring. Celeplated is the very first company to focus specifically on creating partyware for US by US. We like to go ALL OUT at parties and we're here to help you slay the day! Now you can enjoy your next celebration full out, celebrating the best way we know how. With Celeplated!!

Behind Celeplated A meeting of the minds, Celeplated is the brainchild of Crystal Thomas (r) and Shonta Connolly (l). In years past, the two have fused their backgrounds in hospitality, sales and marketing to create strikingly unique and memorable branding experiences for local and national consumer-facing brands through their marketing agency entitled, Agency Brand U. At the onset of 2020, ABU projected rapid growth and expansion, however due to the series of events involving COVID-19, the company found themselves facing much adversity and uncertainty. The beauty of this dilemma ultimately birthed a different type of business known as eBash Box. This innovative idea allowed individuals to remain connected and celebrate life’s special moments from the comfort and safety of their homes with their virtual and interactive party boxes. While creating content for eBash Box and realizing that social distancing celebrations were nearing an end, Crys and Tae found themselves at crossroads yet again. Saddened and frustrated with the events surrounding Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and countless others, the duo realized Black America was in need of something better. Something that celebrated the impact the community has had on American heritage and wanted to celebrate it in a way yet to be seen with Celeplated. Celeplated and its printed line of products uniquely fulfills a need and a gap that reminds the world just how special and rich black experiences will forever be throughout history.

https://www.celeplated.com


6360-6362 Delmar Blvd University City, Missouri 63130 (314)875-0280 Website: https://www.Maine-chicclothing.com Email: mainechicclothing@gmail.com Slogan: “Second Fiddle To None”

4294-4296 East Natural Bridge Ave St. Louis, Missouri 63115 (314)349-1450 Website: https://www.NittysSalon1andretail.com Email: nittysalon1andretail@gmail.com

TAMEYA BANKS CELEBRATING

Her Story

Tameya Banks a 38 year old entrepreneur since the age of 24. When SRI Magazine asked Tameya what led her to becoming and entrepreneur and following her dreams. She told us: GOD told me to walk by FAITH & Not by sight. That is when I found the key to a Good GODLY SUCCESS in life. I opened my 1st salon/ store in 2009, then unfortunately my baby brother was murdered in the heart of me building my dream. Two years later the vision became BIGGER! I wanted to start a business in his memory because he encouraged me to do it. In 2011, Nitty’s Salon 1 was created and because my Swag in fashion was so intense my sister pushed me to start a boutique, then Nitty’s Salon 1 & Retail was birthed. In December 2018, my husband and I were sitting thinking about what I stood for, to always WIN in life and to encourage other women to do the same, to be “Second Fiddle to None.” so we created Maine Chic Clothing, which has its own store front on Delmar in (THE LOOP). We cater to women of all walks of life. No matter what you’re doing, no matter what event you’re attending, or what career you have, we got you!


CELEBRATING

Her Story

Dr. La’tifah Qawishabazz is the CEO of Be’l Bla’k Couture Ltd. in Chicago IL. La’Tifah, bears the title of Head Designer. She performs every facet of the launch process of her designs, from concept and construction involvement to merchandise control.

Dr. La'tifah Qawishabazz

In September 2018, Dr. La’tifah showcased her first collection during New York Fashion Week. Since that time, she has taken part in four seasons of New York Fashion Week along with, Chicago Fashion week, LA Fashion Week, and Miami Fashion Events. Her brand has been published in ASC Magazine and Vannie Magazine NYC and a host of online magazines. She continues to push her brand forward in 2022 with collections that highlight and honors her ideal of a mode of distinctive design that is Fresh and unexpected.

Catrina Kagel

Photographer: Tasha Dwhaj

ThomKat Fashion and Art Boutique is an expansion of The Ladies Room Resale Boutique that’s located in downtown Lombard. At ThomKat FAB, we provide a unique and fun environment to buy and rent gowns, suits and tuxedos. Thomkat offers 100’s of different unique, ecclectic, vintage and modern gowns for sale or rent. Our gown sizes ranges from 0 – 24. Modestly priced for both rent and sale. Our beloved quote........We believe "Your dress should be tight enough to show you a re a lady howevere loose enough to show that you are a woman". by fashion designer Edith Head

Catrina Hagel Owner, ThomKat Fashion and Art Boutique


SheWrote That Enigma The Only Child Syndrome - Description: Being a parent is undoubtedly one of the toughest tasks on earth. Nevertheless, a parent's flagrant foul on the parenting field can be extremely damaging and detrimental to their child's emotional well-being. Good children can make bad parents, just as bad parents can make good children. For Crystal, things just got real! Caramel Insides - Description (Rated- X) Nudity and sexual content: Sisters, Cara and Melanie Bell, are highend call girls being divided by men, money, and their future. Changing directions will prove to be more than a challenge.

A Book Of Lucid Dreams - A Dream Journal (The Bold Journal) Analyzing your dreams can help you learn about your feelings and possibly prepare you for what will happen when you dream. As a lucid dreamer, this can be beneficial in helping you alter your dreams. Use this BOLD Journal to take the sentient journey of eyes being wide shut and discover for yourself what it all means.

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Meet TALVA

Website: https://www.ttalva.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/talvasbook IG: https://www.instagram.com/talvaauthor/ Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01N4BT0FI Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7300972.Talva Audible: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=caramel+insides&i=audible&ref=nb_sb_noss_2 G: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Talva_Caramel_Insides? id=ZxLUDwAAQBAJ

Talva is an Independent Author and Ghostwriter from California. She is working on more adult fiction novels, along with a children’s book. You can keep up to date with her work through her website, her Amazon author page, and on social media sites under 'Talva Author.' Her books are available on all bookseller's platforms in the following formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, and Audiobook.


You Deserve a Life You Want to Live

CELEBRATING

Her Story

Back in the day, women didn't have the same opportunities as men when it came to financial success. We couldn't open a bank account without a man. We couldn’t buy a car or even own a home. We were often stay-at-home moms or caretakers, and our work wasn't valued financially. Even today, women make less than men in corporate settings and women businesses close at a higher rate. Even thinking about your finances can be stressful. It can make you feel insecure or unworthy especially if your past has told you to not be friends with your money. However, if you don't take the time to heal the trauma surrounding your money, you will never take control of your life. You can heal any financial blocks you have taken on from your past. Here are three things you can do to heal your financial trauma and live a life of abundance.

Dr. Fanike-Kiara Olugbala Young

Stop Avoiding Your Finances The most common reasons we tend to avoid our finances are because they feel overwhelming and complicated. Avoiding your finances can look like not opening bills or avoiding conversations about money. This is a self-destructive behavior that is emotionally painful. You let negative thoughts guide your behavior which leads to a vicious cycle of limiting beliefs and harmful self-talk. Many people do not face their financial trauma; they often hide it based on societal norms. Financial fears and traumas can cause feelings of shame, embarrassment, anger, and hopelessness which leads to self-destructive behaviors such as binge eating, ignoring your health, substance abuse, depression, etc. If you think any of these are happening in your life, seek help from someone who specializes in financial trauma. A money mindset therapist or coach can help you understand your blocks and how to change your thoughts and behaviors.

Don't View Money as a Scarcity Money is everywhere. It is abundant, and it can always be attracted. Fear of money running out is a result of a scarcity mindset, which limits money coming to you. Where money becomes scarce, wealth cannot flourish. When money is abundant, people will flock towards it because they know the supply never runs out. Jobs will always be available to people. The same principle applies with money; as long as there are enough ways to make it, your chances at earning money infinitely multiplies by widening your perspective on what constitutes incomegenerating activities. This includes activities as an employee or in your own business. It is understandable to be afraid of overspending and falling into debt, but it is important to remember that money is currency. It flows abundantly. Change your mindset about money to start attracting it more readily into your life. When you think abundantly, money will flow into you. If you keep a scarcity mindset, wealth cannot flourish because the money stays away from you Dr. Fanike-Kiara Olugbala Young Author~Healer~Coach~Consultant 770-502-5593 www.drfanike.com fanike@drfanike.com

Respect Your Boundaries The financial trauma that you have experienced has taught you to undervalue yourself. Do not continue to do this. You are worth more than you realize and those who are meant to work with you will pay your prices for your services. Know your worth and charge for it. Do not apologize for your prices. This disrespects both of you: them because they do not value what they are getting in return while also respecting your time or gifts; and it disrespects you by sending a message to the Universe that you don't value your gifts enough to be paid accordingly AND on time (when using payment plans). When working with clients who pay in full for services, I can give more attention because there is less administration involved. Respecting your boundaries in this way will also help you weed out those who are not meant to work with you. There are plenty of people who need the services and products you offer, and those are the people who will respect your gifts and be happy to invest in themselves. Trust me; you're worth it! It's time to face your finances head-on and stop avoiding them! You're not alone in this process, so don't be afraid to reach out for help. Don't let financial trauma keep you from living the life you deserve. Find abundance and schedule a consultation with Dr. Fanike today. You can also visit her website, or find her on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.


CELEBRATING

Her Story

COURTNEY BARDEN Founder, Inherent Skin Meet Courtney Barden a federal Labor and Employee Relations Specialist and Adjunct Professor. She has a master's degree in public administration and a Doctor of Education degree in Leadership. During Women's History Month we recognize her. She is the owner of Inherent Skin which is an ancestral inspired brand that celebrates and embraces identity, complexion, and beauty. Courtney shares that she grew up around strong, loving grandmothers for whom Inherent Skin was inspired. She credits her grandmothers Delta and Vera. She says these amazing women taught her the importance of community, devotion to family and hard work.

Inherent Skin is an ancestral inspired brand that celebrates and embraces identity, complexion, and beauty. "I always admired the natural and inherent beauty my grandmothers exhibited while they were working hard to uplift my family and people throughout their community. After losing my grandmothers in 2017 and 2019, I decided to incorporate everything I learned from them into a business that would help keep their memory and legacy alive."

All of the products and more information can be found at..

https://inherentskin.com


A Woman I’m from A lineage of generations Beatrice Myrtle Carolyn Who refuse to lie dormant in my womb They speak to me in hushed whispers the voices of my mother And grandmothers And the maternal tree With branches that extend And have expanded Before me I can feel their presence Their power As I sit in the center of the room They encircle me Beautiful carbon copies of myself In different hues and lifetimes Each taking turns laying hands on me Palm after Palm Fingers pressed against my back I listen relive each story Their struggles Their dreams Even the ones in their lifetime That had been deferred Still live and breath Through me In the “now’ In the present moment I am the new verse Of a gospel that Was hummed Decades before me As a co-creator Everytime I put pen to paper Each word Each sentence Resuscitates their voices to life Some laugh Some sing Some Kick Some scream To become their vessel Is as arduous and sweet As giving birth to a baby And like my own children I don’t own them These voices These stories belong to the world Leaving me with the gift Of being well versed In the roots of which I came from I’m from….. the rebirth of myself coming into myself A woman

CELEBRATING

By

Her Story

Crystal Mayo


SHE WROTE THAT C E L E B R A T I N GHer

Story

Chantrice is first a Woman of God, Wife, Mother, Nurse and officially an Author. In December 2021 I recently released and wrote a book titled I’m Not Cursed, or Am I? which talks about Generational Curses, the sole purpose is to help break Generational curses no matter how deep they are. I believe many people are living under the dark cloud of generational curses and don’t even know it. To be honest that was once was my testimony, for this reason this book is writing with the aim to help break generational curses and experience Generational blessings. My book explains what a generational curse is, some of the generational curses I talk about is Alcoholism, Drugs, Colorism, unhealed childhood trauma, and more. It tells you how to break the curse, prayers, and affirmations. I have been trying to write this book for over 10 years but let me be honest hitting rock bottom in life is what pushed me to my purpose. I had recently taken a 7-day prayer challenge with Iyanla Vanzant, and one of the things she said that stuck with me was, you know the good thing about hitting Rock Bottom in life is the only way you can go is up. But you have to do the work to get out of Rock Bottom, do something different, fix yourself, heal yourself. That’s what I did, I healed myself. Turned my pain into power and completed my book. Although I am blessed to be a nurse for 7 years. I always knew I wanted more in life and felt incomplete. Outside of nursing I tried Real Estate, Life Insurance, and a list of other things that I wasn’t consist with or giving my all. Finally, God lead me back to writing. But it wasn’t until I got closer to him,

Chantrice Marshall

healed myself and seen life different. I Really want more ladies to know that once you heal yourself and get closer to God your dreams will become your reality. And I know many people want to know exactly what that rock bottom was lol, we will save that for Book number 2. I hope you enjoy


CELEBRATING

Her Story

relax, release & be renewed IN 2022 In 2022 take some time just for you! So much has happened over the past few years, many of us have gotten so busy "handling things" that we have not handled the most important person in our lives "ourselves". Consider taking a staycation, this doesn't require lots of planning, or lots of money. Find a local nice hotel about 50-60 miles away from your home, book a oneor 2-night stay, make it all-inclusive dine there for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this way you don't have to leave, you can be relaxed all weekend long. Try a few breathing exercises; inhale, exhale while listening to some soft instrumental music. Allow yourself to be taken to a quiet place where you can clear your thoughts and spend quality quiet time with yourself. In 2022 commit to self-care so that your mind, body and soul and be renewed.

Whatever you decide to do for you in 2022, be sure it is Soul Satisfying! Remember, you don't need permission, and no explanation is ever needed to Live Your Best Life! J Dawloms


CELEBRATING

Her Story

Meet Inez Woody a freelance copywriter and business owner at Woody Suite & Co., a creative ad agency designing conversational story-driven copy for creatives. She is a contributing writer at Parents Magazine. Inez is the coauthor of Sis, Stand on My Shoulders, a collection of letters written with the twenty-somethingyear-old woman in mind. She was born and raised on the south side of Chicago. When she’s not writing at her favorite coffee shop, Inez can be found researching and obsessing over her family’s lineage, scrolling social media, and watching reality TV. She loves chocolate, spontaneous road trips, and attending Chicago festivals. Inez is a mom to her 19-year-old son, Isaiah.

Mystical Travel to Spiritual Sedona Prepares Me for Life’s Biggest Adversity By Inez Woody

Spring 2021, my friends and I were looking forward to a Girls Trip to Sedona, Arizona, a much-needed time away from everything. After 15 months quarantined due to Covid-19, we were in dire need of some relaxation and fun in the sun in the majestic red rock of Sedona, Arizona. We were told the city was a magical and spiritual land and considered sacred by many for hundreds of years due to its energy vortexes. We had our eyes set on hiking, horseback riding, dining, getting pampered, bonding, and creating fun memories. As the go-to planner of my friend group, I had been charged with mapping out our trip. After securing a luxurious, fourbedroom, three-bath home in the heart of West Sedona, located at the foot of Thunder Mountain, I was ecstatic the location would be perfect for our stay.

With a renewed outlook on life due to the aftermath of Covid19, My girls and I were determined to make this trip one to remember. We planned to exchange gifts and created a grocery list with champagne, ingredients for gourmet cocktails, snacks, and boozy brunch dishes. We were eager to recreate our memories, our version of the classic film, Waiting to Exhale. Yall remember the scene when Savannah, Robin, Bernadine, and Gloria gathered for Gloria’s birthday (in Arizona), and they all listened to each other vent and talk about life’s ups and downs as black women? Amongst the birthday cake, burning candles, laughter, and tears, despite all the pain, what they valued the most at that moment, was the relationships shared between them as friends.

We were a few weeks shy of the trip when I was scheduled for a routine doctor’s visit. My doctor revealed my results from a blood workup were not good. My kidney function wasn’t at a safe level. I left the appointment feeling scared. When I got to my car, my life and everything in it had stood still. There was a referral for a nephrologist (a kidney specialist) in my left hand, but it was wet and soggy from my tears.

continued


CELEBRATING

Within a few days, I was seen by a nephrologist. First, Dr. Patel would do a full blood workup and then an ultrasound of the kidney, followed by a biopsy if necessary. I was admitted to a hospital to expedite the outpatient procedures. Because of Covid, the hospital was crowded. I was placed on the Covid floor because, unbeknownst to me, I had tested positive when admitted. The medical professionals had on PPE gear, and I was quickly whisked to a room and floor with red tape and signs in caps that said “COVID FLOOR - NO VISITORS.” After a couple of days and a few tests, I was sent home.

A week and a half later, I was on a

I came home and decided not to

flight to Sedona with my

feel sorry for myself. Since I got

girlfriends. As we drove from

my diagnosis, I have been telling

Phoenix to Sedona, a wave of

my story, walking in my purpose,

anxiety filled my chest. At any

and aligning myself with God’s

moment, my doctor would

vision for my life. Exactly nine

contact me with the results of my

months from that day to this one,

biopsy. As we entered our lavish

I’ve gained a new lease on life. I

AirBnB home, the sun was

still need a kidney, and with

shining, and there was a pop of a

prayer and God, I’m preparing

champagne bottle, and suddenly

myself for a miracle. I’ve tripled

my phone began to ring. It was

my revenue in my business; I’m

my doctor. She told me that I had

writing more and creating new

IgA-nephropathy, kidney disease,

opportunities for myself as an

and would eventually need

entrepreneur and published

dialysis. My heart sank. She said a

writer. I am fearlessly and boldly

bunch of other things, followed

walking in my purpose. I share my

by, “or you could get a living

gifts effortlessly. I truly

donor kidney from one of your

understand how valuable my life

loved ones.” I was distraught. A

is. No matter what you’re going

Her Story

KIDNEY? Me? Why? If it weren’t for through, always remember to my girls, I would have fallen and

trust God and know that he can

collapsed to my knees. But I

use anyone for his purpose. He

didn’t. My girls held me up.

gives us the privilege of being

Physically. Emotionally. And

used by Him. I believe he led me

mentally. Although not how I

to Spiritual Sedona, for a moment

envisioned it, the rest of the trip

only He knew I’d experience. I also

was just what I needed. I prayed

experienced his presence like

and spoke to God the entire trip.

never before. He will finish the work he started in you, from glory to glory, and He will make it perfect.

Website: Woodysuiteco.com Instagram: @woodysuiteco @inez.woody Twitter @woodysuiteco


CELEBRATING

Her Story

After the Fall tells the story of one woman’s journey through grace and redemption. It is a book to help others who feel like they have fallen so far from grace and God’s love to ever enjoy the promises that have been spoken over their life, find a safe place to release their issues, and walk through their own journey of grace and redemption. In her first major book, the founder of Broken 2 Blessed Ministries, Lisa Seymour becomes vulnerable and transparent with her masked issues, undealt with hurt and pain, the need to feel valued as a woman, her loss of children, her identity, shame, guilt, and most importantly, her struggle in her relationship with God that led to her fall. This book is her answer to starting the missing conversation in the church about restoration, grace, and redemption after the fall. As Lisa shares, there is an after, after the fall.

Stacie P. Calvin wears many hats, as many of us do. To name a few, she is a mother, a GramMawMa, an author, a certified holistic coach, a certified owner/operator of an online CBD dispensary, and an encourager with a zest for life. Stacie wrote A Sound Mind | The Rebirth, released on her 50th birthday. #FullBloom A Sound Mind | The Rebirth is a memoir of Stacie's journey of re-finding herself after experiencing a life-changing adventure. Was it all just a dream, or was it a reality? Within this memoir, you will find that words have the power to open up worlds of opportunities through confirmation, one from SRI Magazines very own CEO can be found on page 35 of the book.

Stacie is in full bloom, and in HER-STORY, she gives us the treat of several inspirational quotes, acronyms, and things that helped her throughout this voyage. Stacie realizes that ​her inner satisfaction, her truth, ultimate fulfillment, purpose, and true happiness will never be fully unlocked until she unleashes her unique gift that will resolve the world's unique need. She shares the four promises that we must claim to our path of having a sound mind.

Stay Connected with Stacie P. Calvin Website: Stacie P. Calvin - S.H.E. PUBLISHING, LLC (shepublishingllc.com) FB: (1) Stacie Calvin | Facebook IG: StaciePatrice (@asoundmindtherebirth) • Instagram photos and videos

Purchase Your Copy Today!

Success looks different for everyone. Through affirmations and action Stacie is currently living... her rebirth. The collaborations through She ROCKS It platforms with SHE PUBLISHING LLC sharing my story with the world is awwwmazing... launching SHE•Sassy Publishing. Stacie is grateful to be in this space with so many empowering women!

S.H.E. | A Sound Mind: The Rebirth by Stacie P. Calvin (shepublishingllc.com) AMAZON | A Sound Mind: The Rebirth: Calvin, Stacie P: 9781953163134: Amazon.com: Books BARNES & NOBLE | A Sound Mind: The Rebirth by Stacie P. Calvin, Paperback | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)


CELEBRATING

Her Story Tammie Terry

I gained 300 pounds! The weight of it all. Why did it take me years to release it? I am a runner known as “Feet to Pavement”. I fell in love with running after having back surgery at my highest weight of 300 pounds. In my healing I went through the process of relearning how to walk which slowly led me to running while being considered morbidly obese! I did several 5k races, however after one year I was told I could not run anymore due to now suffering from sciatica. Once I moved to Maryland my passion was ignited. I trained hard and ran two half-marathons, a 10K across the Maryland Bay Bridge along with several 5k races, but then I stopped. As I continued working in the human service field, as a mentor, ministering the word of God and running my catering Cupcake business something was still missing. In 2019 I made a conscious decision to be a positive influence in the lives of those I came in contact with. Who knew the results of this decision would manifest so quickly? I started posting prerecorded 26- second daily inspirations on Facebook (stories). The feedback I received was a blessing to me! Knowing that I was able to encourage others with a few words made my day! In less than a month people stated my videos were not long enough, they wanted more. I’ve always loved public speaking, training, and hosting events, and as a Minister, when I speak, I allow the Lord to use me! I had to do this. Using my Toastmaster experience, I honored this request. I decided to GO LIVE! I haven’t looked back since.

The Weight Of It All 2020 was a life-changing year for everyone, literally a whole new world due to the pandemic. After three years, I started back running. “Endorphins” is morning motivational word put into action! Despite the inspiration and encouragement that I was giving (and speaking to myself), I I still did not tap into what was going on in my world. I needed help! Life was not happening like I thought it should and I was crumbling fast! Don’t get me wrong, I had my parents, family, friends and my tribal sisters’ support, however that just wasn’t enough. One night in September while battling with a crushed soul, my sistercousin told me, “Tammie you need therapy.” I knew she was right. Working over 25 years in social services, I witnessed the impact of therapy. The Bible speaks of guidance and wise counsel, and I was here for it! I believe the Word of God, and yes, you can have faith AND still need professional therapy. Therapy changed my life, therapy helped me find myself. My mental health matters. While in my journey of healing I received two impartations, one to amplify my voice and the other to share my story with the world. I continued running consistently with my feet to the pavement, getting my daily endorphins while processing childhood trauma and other areas of peoplepleasing that I carried for years. As I spoke through my pain, I began to release feelings of rejection, of not being enough, and released another 40 pounds in 7 months. I knew this was a result of being free, healing, letting go trusting God and being authentically me.

While in therapy I continued using my Amplified Voice on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. I honored my words of being a positive influence. In March of 2021 I became the Friday host of Good Morning Sunshine on the ReStart America Network. By May I was walking in total freedom in all areas of my life. My smile, style and words were different. I was even showing full body pictures, something I use to struggle with. Butterfly, Beautiful Me.

In June 2021, I bared it all. I used my platform to share my journey. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. I talked about my times of rejection which started in childhood, my battle with depression, my need for validation, and “letting the mask go”. Sharing my most privately painful moments was a humbling experience that allowed me further to encourage, influence, inspire others and speak life. As I remain on assignment as mouthpiece for the Lord, his shining light, I strive to remind others to honor their feelings, embrace their process, and trust their journey. Therapy, Running, and Faith Saved My Life! We can be better today than we were on yesterday. You


CELEBRATING Her Crownz

Shettima Webb Goddess Oshun Crownz ME Marketplace Model Esteem -Model Development 7451 Madison Street, Forest Park, IL


CELEBRATING

Her Story MeetVanessa Mack Vanessa Mack’s motto “knows no limits” is the mindset she infuses enthusiastically and passionately throughout her life. A wife, mother of two daughters, grandmother, corporate management professional, personal trainer, nutrition and health coach, and an entrepreneur… booked and busy is an understatement when describing her daily routine. Nevertheless, Vanessa is intentional with her time and devoted to inspiring healthier, more active lifestyles. Having witnessed the impact of multiple unhealthy lifestyle choices and chronic diseases, specifically diabetes, plague the women in her family, Vanessa made the decision to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Making the decision to get into action has included, but not been limited to, becoming a certified fitness and wellness coach, spin instructor, and leading and running a marathon in partnership with The American Diabetes Association. Likewise, she continuously motivates and encourages others to unearth their purpose and passion for living well. Vanessa also uses her social media platforms to further her commitment to changing lives through health and wellness. Via her VMack Fit Facebook platform, Vanessa serves as the administrator of a private women’s group, Fit Girls Chronicles, which offers a community for motivation, encouragement and lighthearted humor towards fitness goals to thousands of women. Accordingly, she has hosted live streaming events with small business owners to discuss surviving COVID-19 and the mental breakthroughs; advocate for domestic violence; and leverage the knowledge of medical professionals regarding infertility and Orthopedic health. With an understanding that what you put in your body is critical to your health and wellness journey, Vanessa and her daughters launched Mack’s Healthy Seasonings (MHS). Being of Belize Caribbean descent Vanessa was taught the meaning behind flavoring foods with the most authentic seasonings and crafting her own blends. Vanessa took her learnings a step further and created seasonings with ingredients that have proven health benefits that are low in sodium, dairy free, zero sugar, zero carbs. Subsequently, the MHS creation is built upon the shoulders of family matriarchs with culturally diverse cooking skills and Vanessa is boldly sharing the goodness of it all. Rest assured that this fully women and minority-owned and operated business provides healthy, savory, robust seasonings that have been thoroughly researched and crafted with wellness in mind. As Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “The first wealth is health.” Vanessa is building generational wealth through her mission to inspire healthier, more active lifestyles. She is inspirational, empowering and a true catalyst for change. Vanessa’s vision and enthusiasm will ensure that the brands VMack Fit and Mack’s Healthy Seasonings continue to be instrumental in building awareness, educating and cultivating health and wellness in our communities. Follow @mackshealthyseasonings on Facebook/Instagram and visit the website @mseasonings.com

Photo by Julius Desmond Photography

CELEBRATING

Her Story MeetClaudia Robinson, the Founder and CEO of EmpowHER Connections. EmpowHER Connections is a faith-based organization formed to assist in personal, professional, and spiritual development of women. Our mission is to provide healing recovery from past struggles and propel them towards successful outcomes in mental health, physical health, and spiritual health. Our curriculum is structured around daily life activities, mental health, and other related topics. We provide educational and discussion forums along with expert designed seminars to provoke thought and change. Meetings are currently held bi-monthly in a virtual setting.

Motivational Message: “You have made it through your darkest days with battle scars to prove. These battle scars represent your tenacity, courage, and strength. So, flaunt your scars proudly for only you know the accomplishments they represent. Hold your head high as you strive to be the best version of you. And rise to the occasion remembering you are fearfully and wonderfully made!” Facebook: EmpowHER Connections https://www.facebook.com/groups/425386589000544/ YouTube: The EmpowHER Connections https://youtube.com/channel/UCFiObHH2JP3_pEohtCRbUdw TikTok: @EmpowherConnections


EntrepreneuHER

Game Change HER,

GOAL GETTER Retrinda Alley, is the owner of Limitless Grill Inc. She Says: I am the "Hostess With The Mostess" and it brings me great joy to share what brings my family joy with others! Limitless Grill Offers Catering and Mobile Bartending Services. They are here for your convenience! Contact Retrinda Alley at 773.708.8004

"I love Avon products and I Love selling Avon to my Customers. Customers love the one-onone attention and receiving perfume and skin care samples. I am Proud to be a Beauty Boss with Avon!" Shelia M. Thomas Avon Representative- Premier Level Oak Park, Illinois

ASHLEY ANTHONY Founder of A Word Cosmetics

LEADER

Ashley told SRI Magazine: She first fell in love with makeup as a little girl and over the years have worked with brands such as Bobbi Brown and Estée Lauder. I created The A Word Cosmetics for the everyday woman looking to enhance her natural beauty. I pride myself on my makeup line being straightforward and easy to apply. I enjoy making women look and feel even more beautiful than they already are. The A Word Cosmetics currently specializes in lip gloss, highlighters and makeup brushes with plans to expand and add more items to the line this year. I am also available for makeup services for special events and photoshoots as well as for one on one or group makeup classes. Follow me and The A Word Cosmetics on Instagram at @theawordcosmetics, where you can also check out our website and book your next makeup appointment.

ADJUST YOUR CROWN & EMBRACE YOUR BEAUTY

Shastina Pack Founder, Owner & CEO of Queen's Galore Beauty Collection LLC Www.queensgalorebeautycollection.com


SHE ROCKS IT COMMUNITY DAY OF

Service Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

For the past several years, She ROCKS It has partnered with Sarah's Circle a local women's shelter to help raise awareness about the homelessness among women in the Chicagoland Area. Sarah's Circle hosts an annual walk. The walk is a mile long and during the walk groups stop and read a letter written by a woman who was homeless but found help from Sarah's Circle. This walk is She ROCKS It annual community day of service. Our friends, followers and volunteers sign up to join our walking team. It is an opportunity to give back, raise awareness and support a cause that aligns with the mission of She ROCKS It non-profits S.H.E Inc, Sisters Helping Eachothers. Our mission is simple, we want to help women move beyond their past and focus on rebuilding their future. She ROCKS It supports organizations that offer help, healing and support to women in need. We look to give of our time, treasures and talents to help other fulfill their missions.


CELEBRATING

Her Story

Change Your Mind Change Your LifeIt’s A Journey Worth Taking A 28- Day Devotional

Vashanti A. Taylor is a businesswoman who creatively balances the many roles of womanhood. As a Comedian-Author -Speaker she uses her platform to empower, influence, and motivate others to change their lives for the better. Through group coaching and workshops, she teaches skills that are interchangeable no matter the desired outcome. Goals, accountability, and community is what she promotes to help take life to the next level. She holds a bachelor’s in business from Trinity International University and continually pursues courses to enhance her professional abilities. With the help of her supportive husband Anthony, she follows her passion and purpose while also enjoying life as wife, mother, and grandmother. Contact information and to purchase book www.vashantitaylor.com FB/ IG/Twitter @IAMVASHANTI

Vashanti told SRI Magazine, she wrote this book for you so that you will be empowered as you read along and take the steps through the ABC’s of change. The journey starts with A for action and ends with Z for zeal. You will learn how to apply the principles to help create structure and end repetitive cycles of going nowhere. This transformation can be life changing as you navigate with a strategy to overcome obstacles keeping you from your goal. "For years I struggled with my weight and would start diets but never successful enough to make a major difference in weight loss. Finally, there was a shift in my life when I adapted a new mindset. That year I literally changed my life for the better. My thoughts and actions towards food were different. I transformed into a healthier lifestyle and better habits. Victory at last! I lost 60lbs naturally and maintained it for a long period of time. During the process many people were impressed and asked what and how I did it. Indeed, more motivation to keep going on my journey and inspire others along the way." No matter the goal, remember this... “Life is a journey in which we must travel daily with purpose, laughter, and determination! Vashanti A. Taylor This book will motivate you to -Set and achieve attainable goals -Embrace the change -Stay consistent on your journey


CELEBRATING

Her Story

WOMENS

HISTORY MONTH Let’s Talk Soul-Care? We’re all familiar with self-care, but do you know how to care for your soul? Soul-Care is far beyond the surface of hot baths, manicures, and pedicures. It’s pouring in and digging deep. It is taking inventory of your emotions, connecting to your well-being and your spiritual health. SoulCare consists of the things that are most important in our lives; the things that we feel, but cannot touch such as true happiness, love, and gratitude. Self-care is temporary. Soul-care is freedom and peace that lives internally and lasts forever. Tiffany M. Fincher


The Social Media Addiction When Lights-Camera-Action Became Post- Like- Share By Talva Once Social media came into play, it captivated the masses and took the world by storm. Were you one of the millions of people that were quick to dive in, or were you reluctant and skeptical to partake at first? Social media seems to have created a culture and community that craves acceptance, attention, and validation from people that they barely even know, if at all. People seem to weigh their self-worth and value on how many likes, Shares, or complimentary Comments they receive. So then, what happens when content is shared, and it receives fewer likes than a person had anticipated? Or, even, a less than favorable comment was added by someone who happened to be scrolling through the site. Are these grounds for an all-out social media war? Does it cause people to double down and share more content, seeking further approval? It all depends on one's personality, but when does sharing on social media become too social? At what point is it bad for your mental and emotional well-being? It seems the more a person posts on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, the more addictive they become with the newfound fame received from others liking, sharing, or commenting on their posts. Social media has provided a platform that allows anyone to become famous if they are willing to put in the work. A person can advance themselves from being seemingly invisible in the world to being a fullfledged celebrity by sharing the right content. People say, much like tattoos, fame is very addictive. I deduce that there is some truth to that; because it appears that the more people like what you are sharing, the more you want to share. Soon enough, you are engrossed in checking and scrolling and clicking and sharing, spending countless hours of your day in the addictive world of social media. Let’s look at the startling statistics for a dose of reality. People crave connection and interaction with other people. This is most likely why social media is so popular. In 2019, there were about 500 million Instagram stories posted a day. In 2021, a monstrous 1.145 trillion megabytes of information is being shared per day on social media sites. Hearing numbers like that, the likelihood of you being a willing patron of the social media craze; or oversharing on social media is high. Overall, 72% of Americans use social media monthly. If a person's self-worth is predicated on the pressures of what they share on social media and always judged through the eyes of others, then how does one maintain a healthy mental or emotional balance? It’s a balancing act that millions of Americans are willing to try every day. One reason can be due to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). That’s right; some people fear missing out on the latest and the greatest phenomenon. Thereby; causing them to create an account across multiple social media sites. Other reasons could include building a brand to monetize income opportunities. While others may jump on board to keep in touch with friends and family. Whatever the reason, social media seems to be a growing addiction for many people. Users share or overshare the majority of their life across multiple platforms, seemingly, without much hesitation, at an astounding rate. Lights, Camera, Action have now become; Post, Like, Share. Since the word, addiction, carries a negative connotation, people will likely dispute that their usage of social media is an addiction. But studies have agreed that posting once per day is optimal, with no more than two posts per day being maximum. So, using those numbers as a barometer, if you're posting more than twice per day, you may want to think about unplugging to preserve a balanced and realistic approach to your social media engagement.

You can review how much time you’re spending on Facebook by visiting the dashboard. Should you discover that you are addicted or spending too much time on social media sites, here are some tips to break the social media grip: o Delete your social media sites o Mute your notifications, placing them on quiet mode o Disable the auto-play feature on videos o Set limits for yourself. Your phone can alert you if you exceed the limit, you set o Turn if off or disable your account for a set amount of days We are what we repeatedly do, and social media can be habit-forming. So, be safe, smart, and healthy with the relationship between yourself and social media. Subscribe-Like- follow Website: https://www.ttalva.com/ FB: https://www.facebook.com/talvasbook IG: https://www.instagram.com/talvaauthor/ Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01N4BT0FI Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7300972.Talva Audible: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=caramel+insides&i=audible&ref=nb_sb_noss_2 G: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Talva_Caramel_Insides?id=ZxLUDwAAQBAJ


You’re Engaged, Now What!? Congratulations, you’re engaged! Go on sis and bask in the glory of your beautiful engagement ring. You have waited for this moment and it’s finally here. There’s much to celebrate and so much planning to do before the big day. Wedding planning can be a daunting task, so I have provided some tips to help you get started! Enjoy being engaged – Allow yourself some time to enjoy being a fiancé! Getting engaged is a big deal and you need time to let this life changing ordeal seep into your spirit. Practice saying, “My husband” and fall in love with knowing one day soon, you will be a wife. It’s an amazing feeling! Tell your friends and family on both sides about your amazing news – Your family and friends have watched your relationship blossom from just friends or just dating to now being a fiancé! They’ve been waiting for this day just as much as you have and will be very excited for you! Accept their warm wishes and congratulations for your new life adventure. Set your date – Is there a date that hold value in your heart? Like an anniversary date perhaps or the proposal date? Choose a date that works for both of you and set it in stone. However, be flexible! The best thing you can do for yourself is to have a back-up date or two! Getting engaged at this time, you’re up against others that are recently engaged and couples that had to postpone their wedding from last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Flexibility in this will allow you to have the venue of your choice that may not be available on your first chosen date.

Make a guest list – Making your list is an important piece. When it comes to making your list, invite people that you know are 100% supportive of you and your relationship. I always advise my clients to create 3 guests lists – a “Must Attend” list, a “Want to attend” list and a “I’d like them to come, but it’s okay if they don’t list.” Knowing how many people you want to attend your wedding is a key piece in helping you develop a budget and choosing the right size venue. Create your budget – Be realistic about what you can spend! Consider your own finances and if you'll be receiving help from family. Do your research of how much the average cost of a wedding in your area and work from there. Once you have created your budget, start venue and vendor shopping! Figure out your wedding style – Are you Glam? Rustic? Bohemian? Modern Luxury? Knowing your wedding style will help you create the vision for your wedding décor and florals. Gathering inspiration from online sources like Pinterest or Instagram can help you get your creative juices flowing. Search for your perfect venue – When searching your venue, you must take into consideration a lot of factors – location, Is the space big enough for all of your guests? the DJ and/or band? A dance floor? Maybe a photo booth? Consider these things before booking that space. (Take a look at my blog piece on how to choose your wedding venue!)

Research wedding vendors – Keeping your budget in mind, search for vendors that will help you pull together your vision. Pay extra special attention to who you choose as the photographer! Of all of the things taking place on that day, you will not see them all, but your photographer will. You want to choose a photographer that is going to be able to tell your story through photography and leave you will lasting memories! This will take time and much effort. It can be downright overwhelming…which leads me to my last and most important tip…

Qiana Turner, Owner and Chief Event Planner Madison Elyse Events

CONSIDER HIRING A PLANNER - A wedding planner is your guide to planning the best and safest celebration possible! We know venues, we know vendors and best of all, We take the stress of planning off of you and being taken care of by the experts! Qiana Turner


WEST SYDE STORY

GurlFriends 4 Lyfe


CHICAGO GURLFRIENDS 4 LYFE

Meet

G4L

Photographs by Alexis Beauford-A Beauford Photography Make up by Bree Darnae FEATURE STORY

Gurlfriends 4 Lyfe, the name that was coined by G4L Candice, is a group of ladies that all hail from the Westside of the Chicago Austin Area. This beautiful group of ladies consists of cousins, best friends, and childhood friends who have been hanging together for over 40 years. G4L was birthed because the women wanted to create a bond that allowed them to celebrate each other, support each other, be there for each other during the trials and tribulations of life, and most importantly, go against the misconception that "women can't get along". Now, don't get it wrong, G4L is a group of 8 women with 8 strong personalities. Yes, disagreements happen, arguments happen, but in the end, forgiveness happens, understanding happens, and apologies happen. The ladies have learned so much about each other and how to handle the differences each brings to the group. Like any relationship, there are ups and downs, but G4L is centered around praying and seeking guidance from God. If you follow G4L via their Facebook page, you will see they love celebrating each other and showering each other with gifts on their special birthday. The following pages will give you a snippet of who these ladies are and how they enjoy spending quality time together. NOMADIC

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CELEBRATING Talonda T. Davis, a woman who has faced many obstacles and various tests and trials, deems herself as a strong, resilient, and loving person. One might also call her a "serial entrepreneur", owning several businesses with more to come. Born and raised on the Westside of Chicago, IL., she has always been a risk-taker and stepped outside the box. After completing high school, Talonda worked simultaneously at the Chicago Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchange for 15 years. In 2005 she took a leap of faith and established her own business, "Highly Favored Cleaning Services". With three successful years as a business owner, she desired more for herself and enrolled in college. In 2011, she graduated from Dominican University with a bachelor's degree in Organizational Leadership and followed that up with a Master of Business Administration in 2013 from Concordia University. She also accomplished one of her passions by pursuing a career in massage therapy and received her degree from the Soma Institute. Dreaming big again, in 2016, she became the Founder and CEO of "Creative Touch Massage Therapy". The business is now 6 years old.

Their Story

51 52

Ms. Monique Brown-Robinson is an Emergency Room Registration Manager at NANI Physicians Group, Nephrology Associates, which is the largest nephrology practice in the United States for kidney dialysis. Ms. Robinson also holds a part time position at Elmhurst Hospital in the ER, offering support to the clinical staff of the hospital. She began her career working at West Suburban Hospital, Oak Park in 1992 in the emergency room in patient registration. She began her career of service in healthcare after attending Robert Morris College where she majored in healthcare management. Over a span of 30 years in the healthcare services, Ms. Robinson states that the physicians, nurses, and hospital staff are some of the best relationships of her lifetime and she is there for the love of the Emergency Room. She says, “As stated in 1 Peter 4:10 - "As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace."

In 2020, Talonda sensed the need for change, took a major leap of faith, left her roots in Chicago, and moved to Tampa, Florida. Doing so has brought so much joy to her life! While settling in a new state and taking pleasure in being with her immediate family, she's also been working behind the scenes creating and preparing for a new career. Yes, the unknown can be frightening, but she encourages all to be risk-takers in life and has lived by the motto "Life is about taking chances, trying new things, having fun, making mistakes and learning from it." - Anonymous With her faith in God, confidence in herself, focus, and determination, she's now embracing her new journey, as it is only the tip of the iceberg! Greater things are on the horizon for Talonda T. Davis in 2022.

In 2020 at the height of the pandemic, Sherondra took a leap of faith that some may have said, "are you serious." Sherondra worked in the healthcare field as a Physician Relations Managereven with a six-figure salary. She felt unfulfilled and wanted more! She decided to leave corporate America and pursue her passion as an event planner. She resigned from her Healthcare career and became the full-time owner & founder of Beautifully Budgeted Events by Sheronda (BBE). Sherondra is an event design scholar taking all her client's events from ordinary to extra-ordinary on a shoestring budget. When Sherondra is not decorating an event, she loves the movies, fine dining, crafting, traveling the world, and spending quality time with her life partner along with family and friends.

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Candice R. Campbell just made a half of century! At 50, she is a single mom of 6, But tells everyone, "I have a STORY!"

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I suffered a great loss in my early twenties, my 1st born due to Fibrosis. A condition most of us Black women suffer from or know someone who has suffered or is suffering from it. Over the years since I suffered from it, technology and medical treatments are more available, and it's more treatable. I thought I would never see the break of day in my dark time, losing a child. At the time, I threw myself into my new job. I was a Bus Driver/Relief Dispatch-Supervisor and trainer. During my 20 plus years, I earned A Million Miler Award. After my first loss and years later, God Blessed me with 2 blessings a girl and a Boy! When my journey in the workforce ended, I decided to do whatever my heart desired. I went to school to become a foster mom. I always wanted more kids and a bigger family. I was blessed with the first set of kids, 9 months and 9year-old. "Whew, my life had shifted, but God was still in control! Still doing the things my heart desired, I went to truck driving school-the bigger the vehicle, the better, I say. Just as I was about to hit the highway driving for my new job, I get a phone call asking if I could take my 2 bonus children's two siblings. It's funny how you map out plans for your life, but God has something bigger in store. These children needed love and more love; not only did they need me, but I also needed them. I went from a blue-collar job to no collar, to a Queen of all trades! "Never limit yourself. I'm a proud mama of 6 and Luvin It!


Sherondra

How are you protecting your peace? I’ve learned to press that invisible button and remove myself! Name something you do to relax. I take a hot bath, crawl into the bed, and watch a good movie. Complete this sentence, 2022 is my year of No expectations, but to live in the moment as much as I can! Since this is Women's History month, name a woman in history that you would love to have a conversation with and why (alive or deceased). Annie Turnbo Malone. She was recorded to be the first selfmade African American female millionaire, from her beauty enterprises headquartered in Chicago and St. Louis. She was worth $14 million in the 1920s. My question to her would simply be how did she do it in that time?

latonia

How are you protecting your peace? I’m protecting my peace by making time for myself and keeping negativity away from me. Name something, I do to relax. Exercise is my go-to when I want to relax. Complete this sentence, 2022 is my year of 2022 is my year of elevation Since this is Women’s History Month, name a woman in history that you would love to have a conversation with and why (alive or deceased). I would love to have a conversation with Jasmine Guy. She was recently on Tamara Hall’s talk show, and she spoke briefly about her bounce back into acting, after her struggles with a divorce and financial ruin.

monique

How are you protecting your peace? I am protecting my peace by living for today and not in the past. Staying focused on my health, mental, and spiritual life. Surrounding myself with things that make me happy. Name something you do to relax. I enjoy spending time writing in my journal and watching a nice, good movie on lifetime. Complete this sentence, 2022 is my year of Taking care of Monique, loving me more, embracing What God has given me. Focusing on my online Boutique. It has always been my dream to be my own Boss. God has put it all together for me a s now I ready to takeoff. Since this is Women's History Month, name a woman in history that you would love to have a conversation with and why (alive or deceased). I would love to have conversation with my mother Ava Maria Brown Deceased. I would love to hear her say “I always knew you would become the woman I raised you to be.” Because of her, I am who I am today.

sherice

How are you protecting your peace? I’m protecting my peace by decluttering, cutting ties, saying no to things I don’t want to do, and being conscious of my thoughts. Name something you do to relax. Daydream! Doing so relaxes me and gives me a calm feeling. Complete this sentence, 2022 is my year of God leading me into my purpose. Since this is Women’s History Month, name a woman in history that you would love to have a conversation with and why (alive or deceased). I would select Stacey Abrams. because I would like to know how she's able to maintain her composer and integrity while being challenged and disrespected, especially as an African American woman?


CELEBRATING

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Their Story

Lavonne defines herself as an overcomer and will tell the world that you, too, can overcome even the most painful things in life. Lavonne has managed to overcome the loss of four of the most important people in her life. As the saying goes, “Life has a way of taking you on a roller coaster.” Over the span of several years, LaVonne lost her dad and two brothers, and most recently, in 2020, she lost her best friend, her mom. Being honest with herself, she thought they all would have had more time together; instead, she found herself just going through the motions of life. There were days she felt alone, didn’t know what to do, was depressed, and cried herself to sleep for months. To say the least, this has been the most hurtful season of her life. However, because of her upbringing in the church and personal relationship with God, she knew she had to fight to overcome grief. How did she do it? With the strength of God, praying daily, and attending church, she also went to counseling, spent time with family, went on vacations, and has a strong support system. Working as a Servicing Specialist has kept her busy. However, her biggest joy is her new addition, her dog Coco!! She demands all her attention and love. Surprisingly, after her mom’s passing, women began contacting LaVonne, stating, “They knew how close she was with her mom and wished they had that same bond with theirs.” This laid heavy on her heart and sparked something within her. She now knows her life journey with her mom is not for her to hold onto, rather, to share with others how they can build a strong mother and daughter relationship. LaVonne is endeavoring to honor and make her mom proud; she has great things in the works for 2022. Lastly, she has a heart for seniors and enjoys assisting them with personal affairs, dining, and traveling with them; she’ll continue this legacy she started with her mom as well.

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Latonya shared personal facts stating: Statistics show 3 in 10 teen girls will get pregnant at least once before age 20. I was one of those teen girls. Statistics also show that 50% of them also won't graduate high school and will have another child within 2 years of the 1st baby. I was not that girl! Although I was a teen mom, not graduating high school, and having more children at a young age, was not an option nor in my future. I had goals that I wanted to achieve and dreams to fulfill. Being a student at the College of DuPage and Lewis University has not only provided me with a higher education but has also challenged me to stay the course towards future endeavors, no matter the obstacles that may come my way. Let the statistics show that this mother of 1, grandmother of 3, is beating the odds set against her.

49 Sherice is a mother of a 28-year-old son, a 26-year-old daughter, and a grandmother of one. Sherice credits her drive in life to being a single parent. Her children are her motivation for life, and she vowed to raise and provide for them on her own; help from her village was a bonus! By the age of 21, Sherice was blessed with a job at the United States Postal Service (USPS). Today, she’s a proud USPS veteran of 28 years of service, 26 of which she’s been a mail carrier. Sherice has always been the “Go-To” person, as she is well known in her community for giving to others. She’s also known for her many side hustles: event planning, catering, her famous hoagie sandwiches, and sought-after jungle juice! For years, she has rejected the thought of starting a business. However, she’s now had a change of heart. At the start of 2022, she applied for her sanitation certificate, as she’s finally chosen to move forward with establishing her brand. This year will be her year of action and doing what she loves!! This year Sherice Turns 50!


JOYCE

How are you protecting your peace? By being aware of my surroundings. Not allowing myself to be surrounded by negativity. Name something you do to relax. I go into my office, close the door, sit still, stare off and think of the next big thing for She ROCKS It. Complete this sentence, 2022 is my year to Continue to travel the road others passed by, (something to think about). Since this is Women's History month, name a woman in history that you would love to have a conversation with and why (alive or deceased). I want to sit with Oprah, give her a copy of my magazine, take out a piece of paper and begin to take notes as she gives me advice on building a magazine empire.

LAVONNE

candice

How are you protecting your peace? I protect my peace by not answering certain phones calls. Name something you do to relax. I relax by Closing my eyes and being still for five minutes or more. Complete this sentence, 2022 is my year to 2022 is the year to get past my fears & JUST DO IT! Since this is Women’s History Month, name a woman in history that you would love to have a conversation with and why (alive or deceased). I would like to have a conversation with Rosa parks to thank her for standing up for us, not only can we ride the bus, we can Drive them also!

TALONDA

How are you protecting your peace? For the year of 2022 I will be protecting my peace by first watching what I listen to. The wrong conversation will take you on a different mindset.

How are you protecting your peace? I protect my peace by setting healthy boundaries, being cognizant of the energy I release, and the people I surround myself with.

Name something you do to relax. Sit on my sofa, put on a good girly movie, turn the volume on my cell phone down, and avoid looking at social media.

Name something, you do to relax. I love to walk the trail within my community. Doing so, allows me time to pray, listen to God, and enjoy natures beauty and inspirations.

Complete this sentence, 2022 is my year to To release and move forward. Be more confident, in who I am and who God has created me to be. It’s my year of releasing past hurt and not allowing myself to fall back into old habits. In 2022 I will be focusing on learning how to be by myself until God brings the right person in my life. Since this is Women’s History Month, name a woman in history that you would love to have a conversation with and why (alive or deceased). I would love to have a conversation with Michelle Obama. I would love to sit with her and talk about her journey to becoming, and how her time in the White House shaped how she moved forward to the next phase of her life.

Complete this sentence: 2022 is my year of God’s Unexpected Blessings and Success. Since this is Women’s History Month, name a woman in history that you would love to have a conversation with and why (alive or deceased). I would love to converse with the legendary songstress, “Queen of Hip-Hop Soul” Mary J. Blige, because her music catalog holds the soundtrack to my life! I respect how she authentically shares the highs and lows of her life, yet overcomes obstacles with grace, tenacity, wisdom, humility, courage, and strength.


290 WESTSIDE

If you live in Chicago, then you are familiar with "290" It is the expressway that leads you to G4L's childhood neighborhood on the Westside of Chicago. G4L loves their deeps roots in the city. It's the place where memories were made, the place that holds a special place in each of the hearts. These photos were taken at Columbus Park, which was their hang out spot in their high school years. They also jumped on the bus, to laugh and reflect on fun time they had riding up and down Central each day to get to school. G4L wants to send a huge shout out to brothers James Hill and Jason Hill who gifted G4L with their signature 290 brand apparel. It was the perfect attire for a perfect day.


JUST A TASTE OF CHI TOWN Girlfriends 4 Lyfe stopped by a few of their favorite Chicago restaurants and shops during their recent weekend getaway.

During their Annual Gurlfriends Weekend, the group paid a visit to their favorite place in Chicago. They started with Home Run Inn Pizza. The Girlfriends stated this was the hang-out spot back in the day. They remember visiting the location on 31t Street in Chicago on Saturday nights and enjoying the pizza. If you have ever been to Chicago, then you know we have a love for flavored popcorn. There were no questions asked when G4L added Garretts popcorn to their list of places to visit.

Uncle Remus Saucy Fried Chicken. The most anticipated stop during their Girlfriend Weekend. The Gurlfriends laughed and reminisced about growing up on the Westside of Chicago in the Austin area and visiting the location on Madison and Central. The laughed about walking up to the restaurant and eating the chicken before they made it back home or to Columbus Park where they often hung out. Uncle Remus has a strong legacy on the Westside of Chicago. G4L new this had to be a stop on their weekend together.


C E L E B R A T I N G Their Story

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Joyce is the Founder of She ROCKS It Celebrating Women Who ROCK the creator of She ROCKS It Magazine and the creator The She Lounge Experience. All of her SHE brands were created to celebrate women and to introduce the world to everyday local women who ROCK! Joyce shares, She ROCKS It was birthed during a period where she was laid off work. It was in that season I began to ask GOD for clarification of my purpose. Aside from continuing my education and getting multiple degrees, there was still something missing. I wanted to give back but in a way that was different from your traditional giving back of volunteering or serving at a facility. I wanted a way to give women the opportunity to been seen, heard, honored and celebrated. I knew there were women out there who worked 9-5 but came home to work 5-9 doing something they were passionate about. I began to see woman birth brands and businesses while working a full-time job. These women really stood out to me, and they were different, unique, special and humble. They didn't do it for show, they did it because it was a passion, it was personal, and it was purposeful. Creating a platform where I can honor women each year at my annual Gala gives me joy and fulfills my life's purpose. Having this magazine allows me to introduce the world to some amazing women. With March being Women's History Month, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to introduce the world to G4L.


SAVE

the date

September 18, 2022

CLINK A Wine and Spirits Festival Experience CLINK is a Chicago-based wine and spirits festival dedicated to highlighting Women, Black, Indigenous and People of Color in the industry. Less than 1% of wine industry negociants are black women. Our goal is to educate, empower and encourage Minority women to follow their dreams and aspiration even if only 1% of Minority women currently occupy the space. CLINK is a representation of women collaborating to create an experience that will shine the light on the success of women across the world.

Tickets are on sale now https://www.clinkfestival.com https://www.sherocksit.com https://www.lovecorkscrew.com


STAY

Connected

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