Huami Magazine Arkansas July/August 2022

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ARKANSAS

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July/August 2022 Volume 1 Issue 12

Pastor

New Zion Grove Worship Center Arkansas - July/August 2022

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A Fusion of Scents & Harmony for the Body

Handmade Soaps Body Scrubs Body Butters

and more..... www.SymoniousFusion.com



The Benefits and Burdens of Your Assignment A Letter From The Editor

With the onset of each new day, there is always a list of things for me to accomplish waiting for me. I prepare my day based on the available hours; you can probably say that I am routine. I would beg to differ and counter by saying I work better in blocks of time and with a plan in place. I have been fortunate to learn that I don’t efficiently function without one. That’s just me. On the other hand, I am grateful for having something to look forward to doing. While often things may appear overwhelming, I can rest in the fact that God has chosen me for this experience. This is my assignment. It’s not a “why me Lord” question that I ask; instead, it’s a “why not me Lord” affirmation expressed. There are several ways to understand or comprehend God’s assignment upon us. We can face it head-on and work diligently to complete the mission or not. What I find so fascinating is that when God initially blessed me with purpose, I wasn’t shown what the end would be like. He didn’t brief me on the events that would occur, and I must say, there have been some good and some bad ones. If I have learned anything thus far, I know that the same pattern will likely repeat itself at some time or another. Still, once I tapped into God’s presence and listened for His voice, I realized it was time for me to get moving. And that’s what I did. God also gives us the freedom to ignore our assignments. While it’s not wise, running from what God calls us into only delays our destiny and purpose. God’s word says His yoke is easy to bear, and the burden He gives is light. Because I believe His word, my desire to complete my mission is ignited. Even more, I understand that I am not alone in the fight, and someone else is actually carrying the bulk of my load. All I have to do is put one foot in front of the other and move. The blessing in our assignments is revealed to us once our attitude about the assignment is changed. We can embrace the assignment and trust the process or ignore it. Remember that God gives us a choice. He also blesses us with life; with that gift comes a plan. I encourage you to tap into what God has assigned you to do and enjoy a life full of purpose and promise.

Terry L. Watson 4

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CONTENTS

JULY/AUGUST 2022

ARKANSAS

Marlessia Yancey 16 MiZo Coffee Co

On The Cover

New Zion Worship Center Pastor Stephen Robinson I

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YMA Financial Group

Joseph Wallace

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TailorMade HR

Tiffany E. Slater

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Love Monae’ Anthony

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Also Featured

Carla Lathan It takes a village to change the outlook for others. Learn more about the founder of Beyond The Barriers LLC. Milwaukee, WI

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Antonia Boayke Learn how she has created a space designed just for moms. Meet the founder of MomSpaceCo. Baltimore, MD

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Monique Simone Joe Having and maintaining healthy skin is very important. Her line of skin care products will help you. Huntsville, AL

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Pastor

New Zion Grove Worship Center By Ellen Richardson Photos Provided by Pastor Stephen Rohinson

And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (Jeremiah 3:15 KJV)

Have you ever felt a calling from our Heavenly Father that didn’t align with the path you thought you were on? Allow us to welcome you to an area pastor who has walked this path and is here to tell you why following your heavenly calling will lead you towards your best life. Born in North Little Rock, Arkansas, Pastor Stephen Robinson grew up the youngest child of a faith-filled family of five. He was raised by Pastor Emeritus Ulysses, Jr. and the late First Lady Emeritus Lee Ella Robinson, and began his spiritual journey on a more musical path than that of his father. “As I was growing up, I used to tell my father that I would never preach or pastor,” said Robinson. “Instead, I wanted to sing and perform at various gospel revivals.” This dream began when Robinson was the tender age of three years-old. “My brothers and I performed together at my father’s church revivals. In fact, I sang my first song in front of a large crowd before the age of five. Before long, I was singing regularly at my church, and by the time I was getting out of college, I began singing with a gospel group called Purity.” he said.

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After Purity recorded its first album with PepperCo Records that reigns from Columbia, SC, Pastor Stephen rejoined his equally talented brothers, Bishop Kenneth L. Robinson and Ulysses Robinson, III. “I performed alongside my brothers for 15 years before going out on my own,” said Robinson. “After recording my first album called “I Still Have My Smile”, I really fell in love with the industry. That is until I had a personal encounter with God.” This encounter occurred in 1996 and Pastor Stephen says he was hanging out with his best friend one night when the Spirit of the Lord visited him. “The spirit told me that God had more for me than just singing and performing. He then showed me that he wanted me to preach His Word. This was around 1:00 a.m. in the morning and I remember getting up, driving to my father’s house, and falling into his arms, crying, telling him that I had been called to preach. The best part is that my father already knew I would come to tell him this because the Holy Spirit told him as well that I would be called to preach.” Following this encounter, Pastor Stephen went back to school to obtain his master’s degree in theology from Slidell Baptist Seminary, and later began serving as his father’s assistant pastor at New Zion Grove Baptist Church in 2004. This happened before he stepped into his father’s shoes in 2009. “In August of this year, I will have been serving my home church as its pastor for 13 years. I am so grateful to God for leading me into this role,” he said. Today, through his God given vision of Empowering People for Next Dimension Ministry, Robinson is making every effort to empower and lead his people towards God’s restorative love. “I love seeing people empowered and restored by His love and even seeing marriages restored by His power,” said Robinson. “I believe that God has ordained His people and their families to be empowered by His love in order to ensure that His might strengthens both our communities and churches. These days people need to see a picture of what

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“These days people need to see a picture of what a marriage and family look like inside of the church, and I believe that the enemy is very busy targeting these families because he knows that the stronger they are, the better the community, as well as the church and other ministries, will be.”

a marriage and family look like inside of the church, and I believe that the enemy is very busy targeting these families because he knows that the stronger they are, the better the community, as well as the church and other ministries, will be. As someone who knows the challenges that the enemy can have on both a marriage and family, it has been my mission to help these families be healed through God’s spirit of love.” What does the future look like for this servant of The Lord? “I aspire to lead my family and my flock by being the example of what it looks like to walk through trying and tough times with the help of God,” said Robinson. “I always say that the world may change, but God never changes, and I just want to show others what it looks like to lead knowing this.” To find out more about Pastor Robinson and New Zion Grove Worship Center, please visit their website. h

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HR TailorMade By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Lance Omar Thurman If you are a small business owner, HR TailorMade will most likely be able to serve and meet your needs. Led by Tiffany E. Slater, who serves as the I am also the CEO and Senior HR Consultant, HR TailorMade promotes itself as the human resource (HR) solution for small organizations. “The work we do for our clients not only supports their team but also helps the owner to work in a more balanced and efficient way,” she says. “Our goal is to essentially take the HR ball away from business owners and manage it for them. We serve as the virtual HR team that manages the day-today operations required to effectively employ a high-performing team.” A native of St. Louis, MO, Tiffany launched her company in 2018, after realizing that her dream job was not what she had hoped for. “I started with faith. I prayed diligently that God would order my steps and that I would have the courage to follow his lead. When I started, I was miserable and needed to find joy in the work I had been doing for over 20 years. As an HR Professional, I had seen firsthand how integral maintaining a proper work-life balance was to a healthy and happy lifestyle. I not only wanted to create a joyful work experience for myself, but I also wanted to teach small business owners how to do it for themselves by removing the HR burden from their long to-do list,” she says. Four years later, Tiffany is still in business, and it’s growing. HR TailorMade offers additional services: employee handbook development, benefits implementation and administration, and onboarding. They also provide compensation structure development, employee recordkeeping, policy and procedure development, and leader and team support. “We serve our clients through monthly retainers, project-based work, and on-call service,” Tiffany says.

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Tiffany is a wife to Michael Slater, mom to MJ and Donovan, and a loving daughter, sister, and friend. She has a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Washington University in St. Louis and a PhD in Organization Management from Benedictine University at Springfield. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Professionally, she serves as the President of NAWBO St. Louis. Helping and serving others comes naturally for Tiffany. These are attributes that come in handy in her chosen profession. She also loves helping small business owners and founders to create joyful work experiences for their teams. “Doing so means I get closer to fulfilling my vision of making the world a better place, one employee at a time. I believe happy individuals make the world a better place,” she says. Tiffany also enjoys having the freedom to create new programs, policies, and experiences for her clients. While Tiffany says her mother has been the most impactful person in her life, she credits her aunt, Lathea Morris, and her upbringing as her biggest inspirations. “My mother exposed me to so many amazing things and people. I was surrounded by entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs who were highly successful and doing great things in the community. She made it her life’s mission to keep her timid child (me) involved in activities in hopes I would grow out of my shyness and navigate this world fearlessly,” she says. “My aunt, Lathea, has always been my idol. She was always so cool to me. She rose to the C-Suite of a large insurance company. After finding her way to the top, she left and became the Assistant Secretary of State for New Jersey. When her term ended, she started a business that has been operating for over 25 years. Watching her throughout her career inspired me to dream big.” Tiffany says the journey of running her company has come with a few challenges. The biggest ones were learning how to move through her fear and building a plane in the air. “I learned that fear led to my procrastination. If it were something I hadn’t done before or wasn’t sure about, I would research as though I was looking for the end of Google. That is when I learned to build a plane in the air. I had to move to seek perfection, avoid mistakes or failure, and still get things done.” There isn’t much Tiffany would change about her journey in business. She says everything that has happened has taught her a great lesson. Most importantly, she has learned what she needs, what she doesn’t want, what she can’t do, and what doesn’t work. She advises others who may follow a path similar to her: not to allow the fear of others to cause you to be afraid of chasing your dreams. “Go for it! There is enough out here for everyone. Give more than you take!” In the future, Tiffany says she envisions HR TailorMade as a multi-million dollar business supporting small businesses across the country; world, perhaps. She also expects her company to be ranked in the Top 5 Best Places to Work. To learn more about HR TailorMade, please visit their website. h

Tiffany E. Slater www.hrtailormade.com 636-400-7944 14

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MiZo Coffee Co. 16

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By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Marlessia Yancey For most adults, a good and flavorful cup of coffee is an integral start of each day. Without the routine robust boost, things may appear to happen as planned. Fortunately, there is a Conyers, GA based coffee maker who is committed to satisfying the taste buds and cravings of avid coffee connoisseurs. Marlessia Fontaine Yancey is the founder of Mizo Coffee Co, Inc. Named after her two granddaughters, Mila and Zoie, Marlessia’s company is focused on producing quality products for everyone to enjoy. Marlessia was born and raised in Martinsville, VA, to Marvin and Mary Fontaine. She says that after losing her parents, she decided to honor their wishes and continue building her brand and coffee business. “At MiZo Coffee Company, we aim for a clean, rich, and balanced taste in every cup. Our coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans, which gives the brewed coffee a full body, fine aroma, and rich flavor. Our objective is to create the perfect experience,” she shares. Mizo products consist of 12oz bagged coffee (Regular/Decaf/French Vanilla/ Hazelnut) as well as a few retail items. They also offer hot and cold coffee, and a warm smile. Marlessia’s journey to becoming the owner of MiZo Coffee Company began early. She says, “I have been drinking coffee since I was about three years old. I didn’t drink milk as a child. Instead I loved sitting with my grandmother, drinking sips of coffee with her,” she says. “I wasn’t actually drinking coffee, but I thought I was. My grandmother would warm my milk and mix a spoonful of coffee in it to change the taste to get me to drink my milk.” As Marlessia grew older, she had the opportunity to interact with her mother and her aunts while they visited Marlessia’s grandmother on their weekly Wednesday night meet-up. “I was not old enough to be in the kitchen with them; however, I anxiously waited by the kitchen door, anticipating the invite in for a piece of cake or pie. Of course, nothing goes better with coffee than cake or pie.” Marlessia says what she loves most about her business is seeing the look on her customer’s faces when they try MiZo for the first time or one of their specialty coffee drinks.

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Losing both of her parents was quite a difficult period in Marlessia’s life. She credits them both with impacting her life in two different ways. “Dad was always the hardworking father who made many sacrifices to ensure his family had the things they wanted and needed. He had a way of talking to me that was stern, enlightening, and encouraging. He often spoke of challenges on his jobs to shed some light on my obstacles. My mom was a kind-hearted disciplinarian. She had an inviting smile coupled with a warm embrace that left you feeling empowered. They both pushed me to set goals, and live out my dreams,” she shares. While MiZo’s brand of coffee is proven, the journey has come with a few challenges. One Marlessia points out is with her company being compared to the larger coffee houses. “I embrace this because I have an opportunity to educate on my brand, understand hidden expectations, and improve my offerings. Still, we can stand alone because MiZo is different. We provide an experience,” she says. Things are looking great for Marlessia and MiZo’s Coffee Company. Moving forward, she plans to open a full brick-and-mortar MiZo Cafe with unique offerings, accompanied by an atmosphere of family and community. Marlessia says the aroma of MiZo Coffee wafting will be the lure for families to come together for good times and bonding. The place to come where after the first sip, you find yourself reminiscing about some of your most treasured moments....Family Her advice to other aspiring entrepreneurs is positive. “If you have a passion for something and feel strongly about it, do the research. Be prepared for negative encounters from people that don’t share your vision. Remember, it’s not their passion; it’s yours. Map out a plan. Create an outline or road map to follow and collect data points along the way. The information you collect along the way allows you to monitor and make a change as needed. Most of all, don’t quit and tell yourself every day, “ I got this!” To learn more about MiZo Coffee Company Inc., please visit their website. h

www.mizocoffeeco.com

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MomSpace&Co, Inc By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Antonia Boakye

Antonia is Boayke of Baltimore, MD describes herself as a caring and funloving person. She is a wife and mother to three beautiful kids. Amongst all of her responsibilities, she has enjoyed a career as a professional hairstylist for almost 12 years. As life has continued to happen for Antonia, many opportunities have also presented themselves to her. One is the host of a podcast called MomSpace&co. “I am a hairstylist turned podcast host. I love to laugh and enjoy good company, but resetting and self-care are vital in my everyday life. MomSpace&co provides a platform for me to do that,” she shares. A mother, wife, and everything else in between, Antonia says her passion for helping others provided a path to helping mothers. She shares, “Having a village is vital for our children and the mom. Our mission is to assist in each phase of motherhood by providing resources, sharing our knowledge, and making connections throughout the community.” The podcast started in 2017 with a focus on bringing moms together to have the “taboo” conversations about motherhood and life. “We’re a nonprofit organization that moms exactly where they are; in motherhood, business, and through conversation and community.

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“Having a village is vital for our children and the mom. Our mission is to assist in each phase of motherhood by providing resources, sharing our knowledge, and making connections throughout the community.”

Antonia is inspired mainly by people, and she is always looking for opportunities to serve, offer solutions, and give back. Antonia says she loves what she does and wouldn’t change a thing about the process to get to this stage in her life. “Coming from a place where I had little to no experience operating a business put me in a position to learn and grow personally and professionally. It has helped me to become who I am today,” she says. As she looks toward the future, Antonia says she plans to receive whatever God has in store for her. “I pray it’s more meaningful connections and continued support from our community for our mission. I also hope to grow more,” she says.

www.momspaceco.com

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Her advice to others sitting on a dream or facing a similar path that she has traveled is simple. “Don’t give up. It seems so cliche, but persistence and diligence will get you where you once dreamed of seeing yourself. It’s no easy road, but it’s worth it. Also, don’t forget to celebrate yourself and the milestones you reach, both big and small!” To learn more about Antonia Boayke and MomSpace&co, please visit their h website.


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YMA Wealth Management Group 24

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By Monica Montgomery Photos Provided by Joseph Wallace Joseph Wallace is the founder and CEO of YMA (Young Millionaires Association) Wealth Management Group in Spartanburg, South Carolina. If you are looking for business solutions, Joseph and his team are your “problem solvers.” “I solve problems. Think about it for a moment. You want to start a business but don’t have a business plan. That’s a problem. You need capital for your start-up, and you don’t have it. That’s a problem. Your credit needs attention. That’s also a problem. All of these issues are roadblocks to entrepreneurs. My job is to help navigate and eliminate these roadblocks so business owners can grow and succeed.” Born and raised in Miami, Florida, Joseph didn’t always have the focus he needed to envision his future. “I grew up in a two-parent household, but there wasn’t always a lot of money. My parents struggled to make ends meet, and sometimes that struggle made for a stressful home environment,” Joseph explained. Like many youths, I was seduced by the culture that specific music and movies glorified. He knew the path he was on would lead him to a bad end but not understanding his purpose, he chose to live in the moment. “Like most kids in my neighborhood, I fell in with the wrong sort of people. My parents and grandmother tried to point me in the right direction, but when you’re young and think you know it all, you don’t listen.” Joseph admits that after high school, he was lost and had no direction. “I didn’t know my purpose, so I didn’t know the path I needed to take. The people whose influence I see in my life today are my mother, my father, my older brother, and my grandmother. My mother taught me how to always keep striving for better. She would work two jobs to take care of her family, but she never settled or became complacent with where she was. She was always working on getting to the next level. My dad worked and was also a coach at the local community rec center. He gave back to the community by working with the kids. My brother is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist, but my grandmother was a God-fearing woman. She took me to church and taught me about God. I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have at the time, but I know now that God was pointing me toward my path.”

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At twenty-one, Joseph says he took his first steps toward purpose. He joined the US Navy. “I didn’t go to church or anything, but I still believed in God. I knew He was real and remembered what my grandmother taught me. One night I came home late, and a Navy movie was on. I can’t remember the movie’s name, but it was about the Navy. I went to sleep and woke up the next morning, and the first thing I saw was a commercial about joining the Navy. I can’t say I heard the voice of God, but I believed he was speaking to me. This was no coincidence. So, I signed up that day.” The Navy didn’t give Joseph purpose, but it gave him the tools he needed to pursue the purpose of his life. “To this day, I am grateful for what I gained in my seven years in the US Navy. I learned fortitude, selfdiscipline, and a new understanding of respect. These were all of the things I was missing. Most importantly, as a search and rescue team member, I learned to push myself beyond my limitations.” One of the biggest obstacles/ problems for budding entrepreneurs is not a lack of opportunity or education. It is the limits they place on themselves. Joseph believes you can start the problem-solving process once you identify the problems. After serving seven years in the Navy, Joseph tried his hands in several business startups. He was gaining success but felt that he was not walking in his purpose. “You have to make sure you do things the right way. Everything you do must be built on a firm foundation. Without it, you will fail. That was the most important thing I learned, and what I hope every reader walks away with,” he shares. In 2009 Joseph decided to change his lifestyle and environment for the better and was considering moving back to Miami. His mother had recently moved to Greenville, SC, and suggested he come there. “I knew I needed a fresh start, but I didn’t want to go backward. Understanding problem-solving means that even if you are the problem, you must be willing to get out of your own way. I had to learn the difference between my voice and the voice of God. Moving to Greenville was God putting me back on the path to my purpose, and I have never looked back.” Shortly after moving to South Carolina, Joseph met a random stranger at a restaurant in Downtown Greenville. “It’s crazy what can happen when you start to follow your path. After moving to Greenville, I took some time to get settled. I met a man Downtown, and we started talking about work and my move. We exchanged information, and about three weeks later, he called out of the blue and said there was a new call center opening in Greenville, and with my experience in marketing, I should apply. That’s how I started at Samsung.”

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“To this day, I am grateful for what I gained in my seven years in the US Navy. I learned fortitude, self-discipline, and a new understanding of respect. These were all of the things I was missing. Most importantly, as a search and rescue team member, I learned to push myself beyond my limitations.”

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In his seven years at Samsung, Joseph rose from call center agent to Senior Operations Manager. “Following my mother’s example, I worked my way up. It wasn’t easy. The first time I applied for a supervisory position, I didn’t get it. I didn’t know why at the time, but I couldn’t allow it to affect my attitude or my energy. To the people who will read this, I’d like to say you can’t quit. Things will not always go your way when trying to pursue your dreams. Even if you try multiple times and it doesn’t happen right away. Just remember you only fail when you quit,” Joseph councils. “You have to be willing to take a step back and look at what you are doing. What worked, and what needs attention. And don’t be so proud that you can’t take constructive criticism. In fact, expect it. If it isn’t given, ask for it. It’s not acceptable for someone to deny you a job or position and then say you did everything perfectly. Ask them what made them choose someone else. Then take that information and don’t just meet the expectation but beat it. When the opportunity comes back around, and it will if you don’t give up, you can show that you not only maintained what they liked but also took their advice and improved on it. If you do that, you can’t be denied.” By applying this philosophy to his own life, Joseph has grown and expanded his businesses while helping others understand how to turn their dreams of becoming business owners and entrepreneurs into reality. “We just moved on June 20th into our new Corporate Office in the center of Downtown Spartanburg. It is listed as a historic building, and when I looked at it three years ago, it was out of my reach, but I found out what I needed to do to get it. That’s what you have to do with anything you want. You may not be qualified right now, but take the time to identify the problem, then work toward a solution. Attain the qualifications to get what you want. I go to meetings and hear people who look like me complaining about not being given equal opportunities, which may be true in some cases. But when you invest the time and money into beating and exceeding those set qualifications, not only will it make you better, it will make it hard for anyone to deny you your dreams.” Joseph and his wife and business partner Rebecca are taking YMA Wealth Management Group to new heights. They have created a onestop shop for business startups, personal and business credit, and real estate. Their nonprofit YMA CARES is launching a Business Incubator program in August 2022. h .

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Baby MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

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Love Monae’ Anthony The daughter of Alneshia Torian

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To submit photographs to be placed in the Huami Magazine Cutest Baby feature, please send a detailed email to huami.cutestbaby@gmail.com


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Symonious Fusion By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by C. Moore For Monique Simone Joe, having and maintaining healthy skin is a family affair. Not only does she believe in the importance of having healthy skin for herself, being a Black woman encapsulated in melanin, but her passion is expressed with her husband and children. Monique is the face and owner of Symonious Fusion, a skincare company based in Huntsville, AL, that produces handmade soaps, body scrubs, body butters, and more. Monique shares that the name of her company is a fun take on her middle nameSimone, and it represents a perfect fusion of mind, body, and spirit. Her products are designed to be an alternative to harsh manufactured soaps and other products, and everything is made with the best natural ingredients. She has a women’s care line, a men’s care line, and a soon-to-be-released kid’s care line. Her journey to becoming a full-fledged entrepreneur began with her having confidence in herself and her products. She shares, “Symonious Fusion was birthed during quarantine season August 2021. The world was dealing with the Covid 19 pandemic, which was a very stressful period for adults and children. Lives were turned upside down, and people had to adjust to unfamiliar situations. Self-care became a mandatory survival concern, and I felt Symonious Fusion was a likely solution. I knew people needed something to look forward to, and one of the things I heard most was individuals wanting a few quiet minutes alone to take a nice relaxing bath.”

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Monique also believes that the five senses are very important when it comes to self-care. Knowing this, she wanted to make a product that would satisfy as many senses as possible. Using the feedback of her customer base, who expressed their desire for products that smelled good and were safe for their skin, Monique set her sights on developing products that would meet their needs. “Many products out there have such harsh chemicals, even for me. While I love a lot of the smells, my skin can’t handle the chemicals. I started researching, asking questions, and experimenting. I began with self-care products for my family and friends, but as the word spread, the demand grew, and the next thing I knew, Symonious Fusion was born. I was able to do it and meet the needs of my clients because my products smell good, feel good, and are good for your skin,” she says. Monique describes herself as a lover of life. “Everything that God has placed in my life makes me who I am. I value my relationship with God and strive daily to show myself through my family and friends and live out my purpose. I love taking care of my family and shaping the futures of my kids while having fun at the same time. I love to take care of others, but I try to remember not to neglect myself,” she says. She has enjoyed 22 years of marriage with her husband Timothy, and they share three children. What Monique loves most about her business is being able to create something useful and safe for everyone to enjoy. “I also love the creative process and being able to experiment with different scents, designs, and recipes. Honestly, I did not consider myself a creative before Symonious Fusion, but I guess I am,” she says. She shares she finds inspiration in various people and things, yet the person who has inspired the most is her mom. “She is God fearing, hard working, very smart, resourceful, resilient, funny (in her older age), and the wisest person I know. If I turn out to be half the person she is, I have done well,” Monique says.

Monique Simone Joe Symonious Fusion

www.symoniousfusion.com 256-756-7267

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Being an entrepreneur has its share of challenges. There are good days and some notso-good days. For Monique, she states there isn’t much she would change about her journey in business. “I’m taking it one step at a time and enjoying the process,” she says. The future looks bright for Symonious Fusion, and with Monique’s creativity and determination, things should only get better. To learn more about Symonious Fusion, please visit their website. h


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Arkansas - July/August 2022


Carla Lathan Beyond The Barriers LLC

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Carla Lathan Carla Lathan is obsessed with leveling the playing field and committed to serving her community. At 38 years old, she is a proud mother to a beautiful multi-talented 17-year-old daughter. She was raised as the middle child by Ollie Lathan, who she describes as being very resilient, an attribute that Carla clearly identifies with. The Milwaukee, WI native shares how in 2018, she embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that allowed her to center her vision on identifying community barriers and developing a curriculum that allows individuals a chance at growth. Carla is the founder of Beyond the Barriers LLC, a positioning and career development firm that promotes personal development. It also provides soft skills training, resume building, time management, financial literacy, social and emotional awareness, employment etiquette, interview preparation services, and strategic management services for small business owners. “Beyond the Barriers LLC is committed to enhancing conceptual capacity for long-term safety through love, stability, training, assessments, and employment, for the development of families and parental growth,” Carla explains. Building a business may look effortless from the outside. For Carla, she shares that starting a business after years of working at a non-profit level taught her that the early stages of entrepreneurship were anything but transparent. “I didn’t have the benefits of resources or funding, only a determination to succeed. I began learning more about housing, job disparity, and program stipulations that limit the ability of people to take full advantage of resources. I focused on what motivates the community towards growth and learned that support, facilitation, mental health awareness, compassion, and resilience contribute to the best outcomes for community growth,” she says.

“I didn’t have the benefits of resources or funding, only a determination to succeed. I began learning more about housing, job disparity, and program stipulations that limit the ability of people to take full advantage of resources.”

Arkansas - July/August 2022

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Academically, Carla possesses the necessary tools to assist with accomplishing her goals. She has a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice, and a masters degree in Public Administration, with an emphasis in Program Management and Non-Profit Security. Her public service involvement is validated with over ten years of experience in social and community advocacy, working directly with families regarding incarceration and rehabilitation. She has also interned with the juvenile court system and worked as a facilitator for secondary placement homes. Her list of certifications includes Certified Community Respite Worker, Cognitive Behavior Intervention Facilitator, Compassion and Resilience Facilitator, Notary Public, and African American Birth Work Doula. Additionally, Carla has served as the Adult Service Director at Silver Spring Neighborhood center since 2018. In this role, she has hosted a variety of community collaborations and secured subsidized employment opportunities. She has also provided health care training and certification courses to the community. As a Program Director, Carla has worked through the Transform Milwaukee Jobs Program, which is federally funded. Carla says she loves exposing herself to be able to retrofit growth in her community. She wants to be a voice for people who feel like they’re not being heard. “I love meeting new people and meeting people where they are in life,” she says. She is inspired by her daughter, whom she describes as being carefree. “She reminds me daily how to be a better version of myself. I’m inspired by her understanding that while everyone is created differently, we can all learn from one another,” she says. Moving forward into the future, Carla shares how she hopes to continue impacting the lives of community members. “I have plans to embrace more community collaborations that encourage growth. I desire to create avenues in our school systems that allow learning and prospects of stability for youth. I also plan to strengthen my social media awareness and following,” she says. To learn more about Beyond The Barriers LLC, please visit their website. h

Carla Lathan www.beyondthebarriers.com


Arkansas - July/August 2022

HuamiMagazine.com