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COVER STORY

:: The Upsons ::

Cover Photograph by RL Studios

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:: Contents :: Volume 6 | 2019 Summer Edition

Behind the Lens Team 05 FOR THE COVER: Get to know the team that made our cover photo shoot simply beautiful!

On the Radar 07 BUSINESS FORWARD- BBU! Recognized business professionals making big moves. 27 LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!- A behind the scenes conversation with Houston’s talented actors and actresses

THE WHOLE U! 46 Be You!– Inspirational message by contributor Ashley Sauls 48 READER’S LOUNGE– BBU! Picks for great summer reads.

FEATURES 39 2019 BBU! Magazine Cover

Contest Winners Jessie & Keandra Upson

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PUBLISHER Reed Pen Publishing EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER Shunte Gamble ●●●●

Join the BBU! Team Beautifully Being U! Magazine wants to hear from you! We welcome submissions for publication. We provide inspiration and reliable information that helps women balance their lives. Submit to editors@beautifullybeingumagazine.com

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Contributor Ashley Sauls ●●●●

Contact Us: Spotlight@ WomenEmpoweringChange.org ●●●●

Beautifully Being U! Magazine is pub-

lished four times a year as a digital download or as a printed copy and is purposed to be a great tool for beautifully living. Although BBU! Magazine strives to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information published, we do not accept any liability or responsibility for any inaccuracies or missions. The views expressed by authors of publications or event presentations, published in BBU! Magazine, do not necessarily represent the views of BBU! Decisions or actions based on the information and publications provided by BBU! are at your own risk. Reproduction in whole or in part without prior written consent is prohibited. Trademarked property.

L

eveling up is a process many long for. I have produly witnessed many of my closest friends level up this season, all with their own reactions to their process. Some were afraid, others were excited, exhausted, or moving solely by faith. However, all of them succeeded! This reminded me of a valuable lesson that made a deep impact into the way I viewed this process. It reiterated the truth that advancing to the next phase in life is not a happy-go-lucky process. It reminded me that leveling up is stepping, often, into the unknown. It is a place where fear may present itself because we have not been there before. We may be on our last ounce of strength when we arrive because we’ve stretched beyond comfort for a season or two. I encourage you in this season to reach for your next level!

Shunte Gamble Founder of BBU! Magazine

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Behind The Lens Team â–‘ BBU! PHOTO SHOOT

From the Editor Shatara Davis Make-Up Artist Photography by Roderick Lightfoot Tell us about your company. RL Studio incorporates a passion for photography and an understanding of light and composition to create stunning images for every client. What inspires your photography? The beauty, creativity and uniqueness of the universe.

In the world of photography, how do you define beauty? That which invokes pleasure as its defined by the absorption and deflection of light. How can our readers contact you? www.rlstud.com

Company: RL Studio Photography Website: http://3679802.tifmember.com/ Instagram: @rlstudio

How did you get your start? My introduction came from watching my mother put makeup when I was child. My mom was a Mary Kay rep which allowed me experiment with different colors and texture on myself and friends. I was a makeup artist before I knew what a makeup artistry was. It was pure love at first before I knew it was real a profession. What advice would you give someone starting out in your profession? Learn your craft and be enduringly passionate about your God given gift. Study the human face, skin and how light act to it. "Practice not until you get right but till you can't get it wrong. How do you define beauty? Being comfortable in your own skin. It doesn't matter of your skin color, weight or size. Whether it's makeup or clothing, rock it, have confidence, and make it your own. "Keep It FIERCE Honey"

Company: Makeup by SHATARA Facebook: makeupbyshatara Instagram: @fierce_honey

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Business Forward

Meet influential business professionals dedicated to enriching their community.

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Sherrika R. Hunt 8 BBU! Magazine


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Little Introduction... I am a 47 year old African American woman from Houston, Tx. I come from a strong Christian family foundation as the baby of 5. I married and became a mother at 19. I have traveled the world and began my life lessons at a early age. These lesson came with some tragedies, trials, and tribulations in life. During that process, I decided to turn my pain to success and find God’s purpose by helping others with their business and uplifting them through their grief and loss as we heal together.

What is the best part about working with your clients? The best part is seeing where they start and watch where they go. What are your most requested business services? Flyers and help them start writing there book and marketing facebook and IG better

What is your business motto? Hard work pays off

How do you overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur? I pace myself. I stay ready to keep from getting ready. I do self-work first.

What ignited the desire to start your business? My mother was an entrepreneur along with others in my family. Also from my mentor, which was my boss George Lunnon, light the fire inside of me.

What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur? Get your credit and financing in order first write down the vision and pray over every decision and believe in yourself walk by faith

What is the message behind your brand? That everyone has something great inside of them. It may need a little help pulling out of them; like “ a diamond in a rough�,

How do clients sign up? They can sign up on my website at www.sherrikahunt.com or by email at sherrikahuntpr@gmail.com.

What sets your company apart? That I will take what you have and give it a Sherrika twist.

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before starting your company, what would it be? You should have started it sooner.

What services do you provide for your clients? Market branding promo and contacts that will help you build your business.

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On the Radar ░ What’s Cooking

What is your business motto? R.U.L.E.R which stands for Rise Up Living Everyday Representing What ignited the desire to start your brand? Hard Times. I wanted to find away to keep going because people are depending on me. What is the message behind your brand? No matter how hard life gets, you have to find away through. It’s a blessing to Rise up everyday to get it right. Keep pushing ! In your opinion, what message of hope is needed, from men, in the community? What gave me hope was that I've learned that it’s ok to fail. This is what makes us grow and able to pass knowledge down to the next generation. We follow your brand and can see the movement of hope it produces.

How impactful is a male’s presence in the community and family? We are the foundation for everything. You will never to build a good structure without. Words really can't express how important the males present are. Can men be vulnerable? If so, how? YES! For me, I hate failure. As a man I always wanted to come out on top in everything. When the one thing your passionate about doesn't come through it hurts. This is when, very much, Love is needed. This is often when its seems like your world comes down crashing before your eyes.

Kevin watkins 10 BBU! Magazine


What is the secret to balancing life and aspirations? You just said it! BALANCE. The same energy you put into something that's what you will get back. So family, ideas, and yourself are what you have to balance. When you find how to balance them all, the same energy will produce good results.

What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur? You will not figure out everything. You just have to start somewhere. Always keep good energy in everything you do. Stay away from negativity because it will drain the life out of you and your ideas. Another thing is to STICK WITH IT NEVER GIVE UP!!!!

How do you overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur? Just having faith that things will workout on levels beyond what I can see. I will admit that sometimes I am scared of failure, but I still push for success.

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On

the

What is your business motto? I strive to make you feel good while you look good. Beauty is in the eye of the Beholder! What ignited the desire to start your business? The desire to give people their dream vacation on a budget or all exclusive. I make sure you look good while you doing it. Hair and beauty is every queen’s desire and that’s you. I offer something for every woman. I also give men the go-to in treating their wife or girlfriend like a queen. What is the message behind your brand? Giving you the best of both worlds, travel and beauty, for every women or man under one roof. What services do you provide for your clients? Booking dream vacations and all the beauty items to make sure you look good while vacationing.

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Little Introduction... I’m a small business owner who has the entrepreneur's heart. I dive into my desires to make a go of my dreams. Adventure and learning are keys for me going after what I want in life or business. Drive and determination keep me going daily My brand is multi-business under one umbrella that provides the desires of your heart, whether it’s a dream vacation or the right look on the outside while you’re on vacation. I give you a beautiful look while you’re on vacation.

What is the best part about working with your clients? Giving them the desires of there heart and within range of their budget. What are your most requested business services? Booking trips, hair, hair growth products, makeup, and clothing. How do you overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur? I don’t give up. I keep striving to reach my dreams. I let all negative talk go in one ear and out the other. I am around like-minded people who are go-getters.

Tina Young-Holman 12 BBU! Magazine


How do clients sign up? www.queenkingbeautysupply.com/ www.evotravelagent.com/queenkingdomtravel

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Arlene R Major 14 BBU! Magazine


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Little Introduction... I am a married mom of four and Glam-ma of one beautiful boy! I am originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico and reside in Baltimore, MD. I am a survivor of domestic violence and attempted sexual assault. I believe I have been given a mission to provide information and the real face of domestic violence. I host a yearly awareness conference in Baltimore where we provide resources and share stories of survival. I am not ashamed to tell my story. I am also a radio show host on wmskonlineradio.com, writer for State vs. Us Magazine and various other magazines. I am the founder and host of 50 Shades of Blue Baltimore, Stories of DV Survival. I am a blogger, author, and motivational speaker as well. I hope to bring my message to the world. What is your business motto? God first, Family second and all else falls into place! What ignited the desire to start your business? I wanted to help other women and further my reach into the fight against domestic violence. I don’t sell. I teach and inform other women of the importance of their skin care. The products sell themselves. What is the message behind your brand? You are worth the beautiful. Don’t ever think you are not worth it. Sure it takes work and drive, but when you have a dream and want to achieve it, Somewhere along the way you will stop telling yourself no and step out on faith.

What sets your company apart? This company has been around for a long time. It started with one woman’s dream for other women. The ability to climb to the level you want and make the business your own is just one of the things that drew me in. The biggest thing is that they believe in what I believe in; that domestic violence has no place in our society and we must fight to end it. How do you overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur? Not to compare myself to others. I am my own and unique. There may be others out there doing the same business, but not like me. I may not reach every goal, but I am going to put every effort into getting there and even surpassing it.

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What services do you provide for your clients? Skin care, pamper sessions, color sessions, hostess parties and vending. Also partnering with local businesses, corporate gift services and more. What are your most requested business services? Pamper sessions, public speaking, vending and private parties. What is the best part about working with your clients? The smiles that come about when a woman finds out that it is all about her and how she feels. They discover what they did not know about the products and themselves at the same time. How do clients sign up? You can register for free on www.marykay.com/amajor2019, follow on social media, schedule virtual consultations, and/or join my team to start your road to success. You can also find information on my other sites ladyblue1.com and 50shadesofbluebalt.com 16 BBU! Magazine

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before starting your company, what would it be? Take that fear you have and put all that into this business. Trust your decision and give it time. Rome was not built in a day. What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur? I spent a lot of time saying what I couldn't or wouldn’t do. I had to step out on faith and trust the process. I have been surrounded by like-minded people who want to see me succeed. Surround yourself with the same people. Don’t let negativity set up shop. Set a goal and go for it. If you don’t get it the first time, there are many other opportunities and ways to achieve the goal. Stay true to yourself and believe.


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Tiara Matthews 18 BBU! Magazine


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spire Coaching helps people who have experienced abusive and traumatic relationships turn their breaking point into a breakthrough in order to live the life they were meant to live and to fall in love with themselves again.

What is the message behind your brand? That no matter what cycle or generational curse you think you might be stuck in, there is always a way out stronger than ever. What services do you provide for your clients? At this moment, I provide 1-on-1 coaching for my clients. I start by giving them a free 1520 minute consultation in order to discuss the root of their problem, desired goals, and how we will be able to solve their problem. Once we have come to an agreement, we will discuss which coaching package fits best and customize it to fit their needs. I also speak as a motivational speaker for women empowerment and self-discovery events. Currently, I am working on organizing quarterly workshops and our 1st conference retreat.

What is your business motto? I help women who are struggling with recovering, after leaving a traumatic relationship, find love within themselves and break free from the shackles that bind them. My favorite bible verse for my clients is “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength’”. Isaiah 40:29 What ignited the desire to start your business? I started this business because there is a lack of resources when it comes to healing from traumatic or abusive relationships. A lot of people who have experienced this do not feel like counseling will help because they are not able to relate to what they are struggling with or going through at the time. When community officials get involved with the situation, they usually give out the national hotline number or the local shelter number and that is it. No one is there to pick them up, hold their hand, and say “It’s going to be ok, you are going to make it through this process.” There is a reason that someone might be stuck in a repeated cycle of traumatic relationships and I wanted to stand in the gap to help break those cycles for others who are not able to break them on their own.

What is the best part about working with your clients? The best part about working with my clients is being able to see them smile and love themselves again. A lot of them stay isolated in their home and away from people, so to be able to help them start to live life again is a wonderful feeling. I tailor my services based on their needs in order to have a unique and customized experience that will leave a positive impact on their life.

How do clients sign up? Facebook.com/nspirebytiara Instagram.com/nspire_tiara) Website at nspirelifecoach.com

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Jill franks 20 BBU! Magazine


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Little Introduction... I am Jill Franks, a Travel Advisor. I have lived in Texas since 2010 after living in Minnesota all my life. I moved here with my husband and our three dogs. It was quite an adjustment for me getting used to 9 months of sun and heat versus 9 months of cold and snow. However, we adjusted quickly and I am so thankful I never have to shovel snow again. Growing up in cold climate, I always dreamed of visiting places in the world that were warm, historical, and unique. My father was a police officer so we didn’t have a lot of money to travel either so I wanted to find a job that would allow me to see the world. I considered being a flight attendant but I had never been an airplane. What happened if I didn’t like it? While I was in middle school, I learned about the option to be a travel agent. I thought it would be amazing helping people book vacations to exotic destinations and I would travel for free.

I was working for a large company when 9/11 happened and the internet exploded with online companies. Well needless to say, my company closed and I had to give up my dream job. I never thought I would be able to be an agent again, honestly, I thought that agents didn’t exist anymore. Fast forward to 2013 when we started researching franchises and stumbled upon Cruise Planners. We discovered that they are the #1 Travel Franchise in the Industry and with the American Express backing it seemed like a perfect opportunity,. Plus, I would be able to get back to my first love of being a travel agent. It will officially be my six-year anniversary August 1st and I am proud to be a business owner and excited each day to help my clients make their travel dreams come true.

I made those dreams come true in 1998 and became an agent. I quickly learned that not all trips are exotic, unless you consider Disney World or Las Vegas exotic, and we travel agent don’t get to travel for free. 21


Tell us about your brand. Air, Land, Sea, or All-Inclusive Resorts, I do it all! From Honeymoons, destination weddings, anniversaries, families, family Reunions, groups and more. I will take the hassle out of planning your dream vacation. Cruise Planners/American Express Travel has a tremendous reputation for quality, service, and competitive pricing. Due to our high sales volume, our buying power enables us to offer you the opportunity to travel in style at the lowest prices available, while still receiving the best service in the business. I have access to the lowest fares and special amenities on thousands of sailings and tour departures. I offer special discounts including regional, past guest, senior and military rates. I’m a destination specialist, experienced traveler, your personal advocate that is always just a phone call away!

What are your most requested business services? I take away the stress of planning a trip and help save time and money. I can book everything from the hotel, car rental, excursions and more and never charge additional fees. All you need to do is pack your bags and go. What is the best part about working with your clients? My favorite part of working with clients is helping them to check off items from their travel bucket list and provide them with an experience with their families that creates memories to last a lifetime. How do clients sign up? My biggest business request is planning vacations for families and couples celebrating special occasions.

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How do you overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur? My biggest challenge since becoming an entrepreneur is trying to not beat myself up when things aren’t going well. There are days, or months, when your sales are down or you feel like you aren’t doing well in your business. These are the times you have to reflect on how you can change so you grow. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before starting your company, what would it be? Nike said it best “Just do It”. I wish I would have discovered it sooner and had more confidence to get out there and do it. What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur? The biggest advice that I can give any entrepreneur is to Network, Network, Network! As a business owner you have to get out and meet people face to face to build connections and relationships. These may not be people that will typically buy your product, but they will refer you to others that need your product or service. I didn’t start networking for over a year after I started my business and that was the biggest mistake I made. The moment I started networking my business grew and more opportunities were presented to me.

How do clients sign up? On my website, www.destinationsbyjill.com

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BBU!

LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION A BEHIND THE SCENCES CONVERSATION WITH HOUSTON’S TALENTED ACTORS & ACTRESSES

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░ FEATURE


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Little Introduction...

I am Harold JAY Trotter. I studied music and theatre at Grambling State University. I’ve performed in Austria, The Czech Republic, Germany, LA, DC, New York, and more. I am an acting coach and the founder of Dream Walking Foundation. I am also a member at The Fountain of Praise, where I work with the Fountain Connection ministry. My greatest passion in life is seeing people fulfill their dreams and walking in their God designed purpose. 28 BBU! Magazine


BBU!

░ ON THE RADAR

Harold JAY Without giving away all the good stuff, please tell us about your most recent or upcoming play.

I have a few projects coming up this year and I’m really excited for everybody to get a chance to see them! I started the year off with “When Temptation Comes”. This is a hot and steamy story about relationships. Then I have a few other projects, including a sequel to my award winning stage play “Ain’t Always Been Saved”, called “Dial a Dirty Deacon”. So lots of good stuff coming up for people of all backgrounds.

What sparked the creation of this play?

Whenever I sit down and get ready to begin writing, I always ask myself what is that I want the people to leave with. I greatly believe that art and life imitate themselves and that’s no different for me as a writer. Typically I write about the very thing I’m seeking. So when I need healing, I write about healing. When I need love, I write about love. When I need laughter, I write about laughter.

Which character was the most difficult to write scenes for? I wrote a show called “Ain’t Always Been Saved” and while the whole process was fun, it did become difficult writing the very last scene because it was a young man telling his alcoholic mother a lot of things that I bottled up for a person in my own family (not my mother). While it was difficult to write it was even more difficult to watch it be performed while that person sat in the audience.

Do you personally identify with any characters from the play? If so, who and why?

If I told you exactly which characters I identify you would have too many follow up questions and that would be a different kind of interview. I thought this was Beautifully Being U! Magazine not The ShadeRoom or Wendy Williams.

[ LAUGHS because he has a point! ]

What is the message you want to convey through the play?

Every story is different and tackles different things. At the end of the day, I always want people to realize that God is with us no matter if we’re a drug addicted addict, a little girl mad at the world and looking for home, or a man hungry. I don’t advertise every show as a “gospel” or “Christian” play but believe me you won’t leave without hearing His name.

Seriously though, I write characters that everyone should be able to find a piece of them in if they remove the walls and truly look into themselves.

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Do you act in the plays you write? Have I ever wrote a role for myself in a show? No. Have things happened and I had to jump on stage? Yes! Most recently a female actress arrived to a final performance completely sick and with no voice minutes before the show started. With no option left, I jumped in and replaced her for a very interesting performance. What is your favorite part of the writing process? I love almost everything about the writing process; from taking people on a rollercoaster ride, to jotting down the unpredictable, to acting it out on my own and making sure it works. Writing is not only therapeutic for me but I also consider it ministry. What is your least favorite part of the writing process? The worst part is a blank screen………….. Yeah, that sucks.

Is there one subject you would never write about? What is it? There’s not a subject I wouldn’t write about. I’ve actually wrote about some pretty taboo things already. I think the most important thing is knowing your audience. So I’ll write about any and everything but I won’t present it to any and everybody. Do you read and/or respond to your reviews? Any advice on how to deal with the bad? I read each and every review I can find! I make a point to always, always, always respond to the bad reviews. I can definitely do better with responding to the good reviews as well. The best thing to do with bad reviews in my opinion is to apologize, let them know you’ve heard and addressed their concerns and then invite them back to experience the changes you’ve implemented.

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What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My best accomplishment hasn’t come yet. One particular story I’m extremely proud about is when we were scheduled to go to Phoenix, Arizona in September of 2017. Of course this is right around the time that Harvey happened. It was a trip that we were driving to, for months, I had vans and trucks reserved. By this time the whole state was out of vehicles for rent and etc. Literally everybody was at the meeting location but I had no van or way for us to get to Phoenix. Long story short, God made a way for us to get airline tickets to leave a couple hours later. Some people drove two rental cars the whole way to get luggage and set pieces there. We made it to Arizona the day of the show and literally pieced together a set to make a soldout show become magical. It was truly a story of how if God can be for you who can be against you. The actors who were dealing with the loss of their own put their personal problems to the side and went to another state to tell this story and be a witness. Another time, I received an email from a lady in Houston telling me after watching the show that she decided to leave her abusive husband because she saw herself on stage that night. She shared that God told her she didn’t have to stay in that situation any longer. I’m fortunate to hear amazing stories like this all the time so I guess I take back what I said originally. God moving through us is a huge accomplishment and I’m grateful he allows me to be used.

WEBSITE

www.1989dreams.com

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BBU!

░ 2019 MAGAZINE CONTEST WINNER

Shacolby S.

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Little Introduction... I am Shacolby Shentell. I am an actress, singer, writer, and poet amongst other things. I have had the opportunity to be apart of many great productions such as When Temptation Comes, Da Dealership, Christmas is Tomorrow, Xclosures, Jook Joint Blues and more. I have also produced music for many of the plays and Men Talk Women Listen. I’m enjoying every Avenue when it comes to the arts because I love them all; the stage, film, directing, and writing. What drew you to pursue a career in acting? I always loved acting every since joining the Drama Club at the age of 11. I stopped after high school but still had the desire to do so. I didn't know I could not only just dream but actually pursue my hearts desire. I'm going after the desires of my heart that being acting. What are you long term acting goals? My long term goals would be to have my face on the big screen one day as well as produce my own films. Generally speaking, is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to act out than others? Love? Action? Racy? I actually just dealt with the challenge of playing a particular role in the play “When Temptation Comes “. Her name was Lashes. She was an extremely sexual being; she was free. I struggled because I was so not her. In acting you have to portray many characters. I had to just let go and really become this character.

So our readers can get to know more about you as a writer. I have a few more questions we love to call “We Asked You Answered”.

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Which type of character was/is the most difficult to portray? The most difficult thus far has been the overly sexy character. People think it’s easy for me but little do they know I’m that silly, clumsy girl (lol).

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If you had a magic wand, what show would you do next? If I had a magic wand, I would probably do a movie with my favorite comedic actors Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy, and Jim Carey.

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If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you? It would have to be Taraji Henson.

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What makes a good scene partner? What makes good partner is someone who has just as much passion in bringing the characters to life like me.

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What advice do you have for other aspiring actors? Never give up on yourself. Always work on your craft. Always Network.

Social Media Pages Shacolby Shentell 33


A

Little Introduction...

I am from Missouri City, Texas. I graduated as an undergrad from Sam Houston State then from Lamar University’s graduate school. After I graduated college I moved to Atlanta to pursue my acting. I’ve completed about 5 stage plays, one TV show, and several independent films. I have my own production company called Purple Hart Productions. I've premiered my very first short film in both Atlanta and Houston and now I am currently working on my first feature film. 34 BBU! Magazine


BBU!

░ ON THE RADAR

Denise Mone’t What drew you to pursue a career in acting? I literally auditioned for a play in Houston just to try something new. I originally wanted to be a song writer. This was my very first time acting and I had never been in any training or classes. When I auditioned for the play, I was cast as the lead role and got paid for it. It was so exciting and so much fun I decided that I wanted to give it a try. So I moved to Atlanta after college. What are you long term acting goals? My long term acting goals are to be like Cecily Tyson. At 94 years old, she’s still acting. I want to leave a legacy and for everyone to remember my name for making history as an actress and film writer. I want to be able to say that, in the end, I chased my dream. I will have no regrets! What do you consider to be your best accomplishment? My best accomplishment, thus far, is between my very first play and being on a TV show. My very first play was sold out. My family and friends supported me so much. Since I sold the most tickets, I received a bonus.

So our readers can get to know more about you as a writer. I have a few more questions we love to call “We Asked You Answered”.

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Have you personally identified with any characters from the play you’ve been in? If so, who and why? Yes, I have personally identified with the characters before. I have played a character that was in a toxic relationship that dealt with verbal abuse, lies, and cheating. I have experienced that in a few relationships in my personal life.

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If you had a magic wand, what show would you do next? If I had a magic wand, I would want to be in the TV show 911. Angela Basset is my favorite actress and I would love to work with her.

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If someone was going to make your life into a movie, who would play you? If my life was a movie, I think Keshia Knight Pulliam (Rudy from the Cosby Show) would play me. People tell me that I look like her. She’s beautiful and a great actress.

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What makes a good scene partner? Someone who can learn their lines very quickly and chemistry. The chemistry allows you to improve and go with the flow of the scene.

I was featured in the TV show Fatal Attraction on TV One. Seeing myself on TV was such an accomplishment because I hadn’t been working in Atlanta that long. It takes, a lot of people, years before they can get cast in film and television. I made it happen in one year.

Social Media Pages Facebook Denise Mone’t IG:_denisemonet_ 35


COUNTRY GIRL CONFECTIONSEMAIL COUNTRYGIRLCONFECTIONSTX@GMAIL.COM

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C ::

â–‘ FEATURE

over Story

Jessie & Keandra Upson Cover Photograph by RL Studios

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::


A

Little Introduction ‌.

I'm a husband, father, entrepreneur, and most importantly a Son of God. I'm known for my football expertise in my community and my wisdom. When I'm not in the role of husband and father, I'm outside the four walls shining my light in dark places. What are you known for? Bringing laughter and eating a lot. What is your personal style? Laid back What is your favorite look or fashion trend? Depending on the occasion. What is one fashion item you cannot live without? My gold chains What color do you feel the most fabulous wearing? Red What 3 items in your closet do you find yourself wearing the most? My God Approved tee Unorthodox Believer tee Righteous Warrior tee What is one beauty item you cannot live without? Toothpaste 40 BBU! Magazine


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Little Introduction ‌.

I'm a wife, mother of eight, entrepreneur, and recent graduate of Prairie View University with a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. In my spare time I enjoy relaxing, listening to music, and hanging with my favorite guy in the world (Jessie) and our children. When I'm not spending time with my loved ones, I'm spreading the gospel in an unorthodox way to those who are seeking Jesus.

What are you known for? Joking around What is your personal style? Chic with a little bit of urban What is your favorite look or fashion trend? It depends on what the occasion is calling for. What is one fashion item you cannot live without? My customized wigs. What color do you feel the most fabulous wearing? Black & White What 3 items in your closet do you find yourself wearing the most? Pencil Skirts, Heels, and our brand shirts. What is one beauty item you cannot live without? My Dove Soap 41


What is your business motto? “You Can’t Lose When You’re God Approved” What ignited the desire to start your business/ brand? God had already given me a glimpse of being a designer, but being laid off pushed me into the position. What is the message behind your brand? To Ignite each individual from the inside (spiritual) out (physical) by giving them style, swag, and boldness to simply be themselves. What inspiration do you draw from to create new collections? The Holy Spirit How do you define fashion/style in a world where fashion standards are so diverse? Fashion is a thing you can't put in a box. It's a way to express who you are without saying words.

What role do you think social media plays in fashion trends today? Social media plays a lot of roles with fashion today. That's why it's important for us to reach as many people as possible and help them discover the real them and not become a carbon copy to society. What services do you provide for your clients? We offer all sorts of faith based apparel from shirts, dresses, hats, and so much more to come. What is the best part about working with your clients? We get to motivate and encourage them all while serving them. How do you want people to feel wearing your clothes? We want each customer to experience the love of God as our prayed over products minister to their spirits.

What is your favorite part of being a fashion designer? We can minister to those we encounter through our apparel. 42 BBU! Magazine


How do you overcome the challenges of being an entrepreneur? Continuously seek out God concerning our every move. If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before starting your company, what would it be? Locate a business coach and make sure you have everything in order (business account, trademarked logos and slogans etc.) What advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur? Invest in yourself and hire a business coach they will save you time and money.

Upcoming Events: September 8, 2019 The Right To R.E.A.L. Love Podcast September 14, 2019 Book Release Celebration September 28, 2019 My Message Matters Conference

Tell us about Organic Love! Mission: To see all relationships experience Organic Love Mission Statement: To help eliminate broken families, marriages, and relationships according to the Word of God, by bringing clarity and understanding to each relationship. What inspired the creation of Organic Love: We were tired of seeing relationships crumble day after day and we knew this was the realm God has anointed us to impact while we educate. What are your goals for your ministry: To love people back to Christ while seeing relationships overflow with love and order be established within every relationship. By displaying real love we want to encourage people to also be themselves. Services: We offer coaching sessions, small group coaching sessions, and love activities geared toward relationship issues as well as speaking engagements. For Booking email info@organicloveministries.org Our book Organic Love: 12 Strategies To Healthier Relationships can be pre-ordered at www.organicloveministries.org or for a limited time. 43


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Demo Reel: https://youtu.be/3u5FaQrRxcI Email: denisemonet91@yahoo.com Founder- Purple Hart Productions, LLC


The Whole U!

░ INSPIRATION

Be You By Ashley Sauls

U

sing Snapchat, Instagram, and PhotoShop, it is now easier than ever to become anyone that you would like to become. Don’t like that your eyes are a drab brown versus hazel? There is a filter for that. Don’t like that you don’t meet the criteria of a person with a perfect body? There is a filter for that. Anything you want to do to make your outward appearance appear beautiful can be done with a simple point or click. Covering who we really are has become fashionable while accepting who we are has become out of style. Being transparent, on the other hand, can be risky. It means we must accept who we are and choose to live a visible life that excludes deceit. We must embraces truth at all costs. It means we have to live beyond a filter and come out of the shadows of the image we have created to mask our true identity. It means we have to be okay that being authentic might mean that we offend those who are not ready to take the journey to step away from the filter. When you hear transparency what do you think of? Do you believe that you have to share with any and everyone because transparency must be observed with fanfare? Do you think transparency is exploitation without using discretion to who should hear your story? Transparency is more about being consistent with who you are as a person. It is refusing to wear a mask of “strong” when at the moment you might be feeling a little less than courageous. It is okay to say so. It is the courage to admit “I’ve made mistakes” versus “ I’m perfect.” It is okay to say so.

How am I learning to live a life beyond the filter? How can you learn to do the same?

Realize that you are valuable. There isn’t a life that is being lived that is purposeless. Each person with breath in their lungs was placed here for a reason. We are each responsible for accepting that our reason for being here is more significant than ourselves and our comfort. In the art world, an authentic masterpiece is priceless whereas a sham masterpiece (a.k.a. knock off) comes a dime a dozen. God created you as an original, not as an imitation of someone else. It’s up to you to live originally.

Realize that your filters not only hurt you but those who are meant to see you. Being seen is not about greater brand visibility as we have made it. If you walk outside for a brief moment, someone will see you. We often are “looking” to see something or someone who will challenge growth in us, no matter if it doesn’t come easy. Moving away from the filter means that we won’t comprise being authentic to be accepted. An authentic life also means we aren’t ashamed of sharing our disappointments, frustrations or failures. Each of these moments has taught us a valuable lesson that someone may need to see.

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Realize that exhibiting your authenticity is the key to someone else’s freedom.

Connect with Author Ashley Sauls

What if we lived realizing that our journey wasn’t just about our success, but about the freedom of others? When people see inauthentic living, they mimic it. This means that the cycle of filtering continues to the point that no one is comfortable being themselves. However, when we are willing to be real, then other people can see that they can overcome as well. I used to avoid this step because I wondered, “What will people think if I share that my life is less than perfect?” I felt like people would reject me, but in fact people could relate more to me as a person and an entrepreneur.

Author & Speaker Website www.ashleysauls.com Facebook @AshleyKossieSauls Instagram @ashleyksauls

Someone is waiting for you to move beyond the filters and simply be yourself. Don’t keep them waiting any longer. Although it seems scary or a bit bold, it is the only way to live.

Photograph by 47


The Whole U!

Reader’s

Book: Been There Done That Author: Collette Conner Website: www.colletteconner.com Without giving away all the good stuff, tell us about your most recent book. My most recent book “Been There Done That Keeping Your Sanity While Single Parenting” is a phenomenal read. It simply breaks down the mind of a single parent and uses examples and scripture to convey its point. The point is single parenthood is super challenging but there is help. Amen!

What sparked the creation of this book? My experience in the area and my kids being grown sparked it. I have three sons and my last one was in college at the time, so I felt it was time.

What is the message you want to convey through the book? The message is to paint the picture with a little humor of how I see single parenting. Also to share how I leaned on God to get me through.

Which character/topic was the most difficult to write for? I believe the chapter 'Don't Panic In The Pain' because that is what makes single parenthood unique. The fact that you have all these responsibilities on top of not only dealing with your pain but also your children's pain.

What is your favorite excerpt, line, or quote from the book? I have many but the one that comes to mind is 'You don't have to show up to every fight you're invited to'. I chose this because being present for all the minor leagues causes you to miss out on the major league.

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Lounge

Book: The Unusual Friend Author: J. E. Wilson Website: www.jewilsoncorner.com

Join Lj the crab on his adventure. His love to explore the unknown drives him to meet a very different animal who does not live in the water. He learns just because you look different you can still be friends. Without giving away all the good stuff, tell us about your most recent book. “The Unusual Friend� is a children's book that focuses on the willingness to learn new things, to not be afraid, to go on adventures, and it also teaches about diversity. Just because you may look different from someone, you can still become friends.

What sparked the creation of this book? My grandchildren and niece. I would watch how they would interact with each other. My 10 year old niece would teach my 4 year old grandson different gymnastic stunts that she learned in class. After she would show him a stunt, he would continuously practice it until he got it right. They would play together all day long. It was so interesting to watch the age and gender difference and how they were like best friends.

What is the message you want to convey through the book? No matter who you are, you can always learn something from someone else. You never know they may just end up being your best friend.

Do you personally identify with any characters/topics from the book? If so, who and why? Yes, I can identify with all of my characters because they are my family. Ty, Lj, and Ayden are my grandsons and Courtni is my niece.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors? Keep writing, write what your heart desires, and don't let anybody talk you out of what you really want to write about. Love what you do and nothing can stand in your way of your end goals. 49


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Profile for Shunte Gamble

2019 Vol 6 BBU! Magazine  

2019 Vol 6 BBU! Magazine  

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