Defeating The Distractions
I’m a firm believer in God-given purpose and assignments. Huami Magazine is a result of answered prayers and isolated conversations with God. I could hear God’s voice mainly due to my ability to block out any unnecessary noise and ultimately focus on what I was seeking God for. I had a yearning for something more, something greater than myself, but I knew I didn’t possess the ability to visualize it by my own efforts. I had no choice but to rest on what I needed for God to show me.
The experience I just described exemplifies the power of defeating distractions blocking and holding our blessings and purposes hostage. Distractions are often present as a means to prevent us from seeing or hearing the things needed to grow. Distractions are only effective when we allow them to be. Even more, distractions have no power unless we give them power.
What are you allowing to have relevance in your life that serves as a distraction? What are you giving energy and attention but serves you no purpose or benefit? If you can identify what is fruitful and what is not in your life, you will take the first step in clearing the path to what is purposed for you—your destiny.
Distractions can present themselves in various ways and forms. Distractions can be friends or associates. Distractions often appear in text messages, emails, and other places such as social media platforms. Distractions can begin as small meaningless occurrences but can grow into things that consume your time and affect how you act, move, and live.
We must eliminate distractions to reach our goals and live more purposeful lives. We must focus on the things that help us become the most excellent versions of ourselves. While many things in life can be reproduced and duplicated, time isn’t one of them, and with the time that life offers us, we must make the most of it.
My best advice is for you to live your life to the fullest potential by identifying and defeating distractions.
It’s All Part of The StoryBy Terry L. Watson
He is a native and resident of Detroit, MI, also known as the “motor city”, so it makes perfectly good sense for Reginald Todd to work for one of the major car manufacturers located there. However, it didn’t take too long before he realized there was another purpose for him; entrepreneurship.
Reginald shares that family is a huge part of his existence and has contributed to the man he has become. In 2010, after graduating from Southfield High School in Southfield, MI, he completed a few courses at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, MI. Shortly after, Reginald decided to transition into the workforce and settled in the automotive industry as a Production Operator. In 2020, he got his first taste of entrepreneurship and began working as a Car Salesman for a local auto shop. In only a year of working there, he found his passion in photography and videography, which led to his business’s birth, Reginald Todd, LLC.
Reginald’s company offers a variety of photography and videography services, including studio photography, events (weddings, birthdays, baby showers, etc.), business and commercial branding, and lifestyle shoots. “My whole purpose is to help people turn ideas into a creation,” he shares.
“While working in the plant, I came up with a wedding visual for my cousin, a well-known professional videographer who works in the film industry and owns MyTouch Films. He asked me if I knew anything about videography, which I did not. I barely knew what the buttons on the camera were for. He handed me an old camera and told me to shoot something and return it to him. It took me about a week to get it done, and he was so pleased with the outcome that he decided to allow me to shoot weddings with him part-time. I was very grateful for the opportunity, and that is where it all started,” Reginald says.
As a professional photographer, Reginald’s gift allows him to see things from unique viewpoints. While his clients may simply pose in front of his camera lens, Reginald’s gift and creativity make the difference. He says, “When people get in front of a camera, they often get camera-shy and point out their flaws and insecurities. I love helping to relieve that. I take pride in putting a smile on my clients’ faces and seeing their friends and family’s reactions when they see the finished product. I also enjoy building my clients’ confidence during shoots and encouraging them. Creating a memory that will last a lifetime and helping companies and brands grow their business in an impactful way is what makes this all worth it.”
He says that he might still be at the plant today if his cousin hadn’t put that camera in his hand. He credits his cousin for the life-changing opportunity. “I would be remiss if I didn’t also give credit to my lady, who keeps me grounded and level-headed. Being an entrepreneur is tough, and she brings me the peace I need.” Reginald’s ability to create a timeless memory is what keeps him inspired, and he shares that many years from now, and even after he leaves this earth, he knows that he’ll leave a legacy of work for generations to enjoy.
Getting his business off the ground came with a few challenges for Reginald. He had to build a business model and purchase the necessary tools and resources, such as a laptop and camera. He had to create his website and many other things for a solid business foundation. Currently, he has dealt with the challenge of structure and stability. “Sometimes business is booming, and sometimes I wonder when my next payday will be. It’s a continuous learning process and uncomfortable sometimes, but it’s pushing me to grow and improve during this journey.” While challenged at times, Reginald admits he wouldn’t change how things have happened. “I feel like everything happens for a reason, and I’m right where I’m supposed to be. It’s all a part of the story.”
So, what’s next for Reginald? He’s hoping to have his own studio in the metro Detroit area and continue to grow his business partnerships within the next one to two years. He plans to continue inspiring more creatives like himself, to take a risk and step out on faith. “You’ll never know if you don’t try,” he says.
To learn more about Reginald Todd and his business, Reginald Todd, LLC, please visit his website.
I feel like everything happens for a reason, and I’m right where I’m supposed to be. It’s all a part of the story.” Reginald Todd
OutHustle Your StruggleBy Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Therosia Reynolds
One thing is for sure; there is no quit in Therosia Reynolds. She is the Renaissance and Creole artist from South Phoenix, AZ. She is also an entrepreneur with diverse talents in visual art, spoken word, and vocals. Her creations are deeply rooted in her spiritual beliefs and revolve around hope, love, and liberation themes. That is who she is.
Therosia obtained her BA in Psychology from Ottawa University. She is a renowned live painter, winning the city Art Battle championship with 20-minute full portrait paintings that captivate fans. She’s the resident live painter for Poetic Soul and Homebase events, known for their large followings. Her dynamic live paint performances and vibrant portraiture have wowed audiences. Notably, at the East Valley NAACP freedom fund awards, Therosia’s live painting, accompanied by dance to live music, immediately sold the completed piece. Her art exhibitions showcase live paintings and studio works at esteemed institutions like ASU, Millet House Gallery, U of A, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, and Modified Arts.
Therosia, the spoken word and vocal maestro, has blessed the stage with her artistry, opening for heavy hitters like the Roots, Erykah Badu, and Musiq Soulchild. Yasiel Puig was blessed with Therosia’s presence as a featured artist at his poetry event. She’s the real deal, setting the urban scene ablaze with her lyrical prowess and soulful vibes.
The company that Therosia owns is called OutHustle Your Struggle, but she operates with three brands. There is her personal brand as an artist, Therosia. There is the clothing brand called OutHustle Your Struggle, and lastly, there is her current work and separate brand, Soul Food & Superheroes.
As an artist, Therosia provides fine art centered around people of color and their unique experiences. Additional services she offers include live painting, speaking, teaching, and performing as a spoken word artist and singer. Her business includes fine art, prints, and various art merchandise, including clothing, based on her artwork.
Therosia is a Creole descendant of the African diaspora and Indigenous American tribes. She shares that she grew up between worship of the Black American church and the war stories of a red-lined, predominantly African American South Phoenix. “My mother is an Evangelist and Pastor who raised my brothers and me. My father is a mechanic who has struggled with addiction. I am biologically the youngest of three children, but when you add my step and god siblings, there were about 20 of us, mostly male,” she says.
Interestingly enough, Therosia’s art education began without any formal training. She says, “My mother says I began being an artist as soon as I knew paper and pen went together.” Regarding poetry, signs of that gift appeared at a young age for Therosia also. “I have been doing little mini concerts in my bedroom since I was about three years old. It began by listening to my mother, who was a poet, do poetry,” she says.
Art continued to play a huge role in his life. “In the 8th grade, I developed Pseudotumor Cerebri or Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. It is a debilitating condition, meaning I would spend months in and out of school. While out of school, I would have to take classes at home. The only elective that could come to my house was art. That is how I gained private art lessons. My teacher was disabled, paralyzed from the waist down. My condition meant I went through intermittent paralysis, and he was the perfect teacher for me at the time. He required that I do my work. He gave me grace but no excuses. I learned a lot from him, not just about art but also about perseverance.”
Community service is also very important to Therosia. She says, “I serve my community because they belong to me, and I belong to them. They are the people who nourished, mentored, loved, taught, and cared for me. They are my ancestors, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles, nephews and nieces, and my family. Without them, there is no me.”
A number of things have impacted Therosia’s life and career. “Having idiopathic intracranial hypertension was one of them. It has also had the biggest impact on my relationship with God. When I look at humanity, I see the Imago Dei. Each human is the image of God, and I strive to honor that and live in a way that honors the presence of God in everyone,” she says.
In regards to sharing information with those who may follow a similar path as she has, Therosia gives a strong message. She says, “Fiercely defend your own voice but also be willing to grow in learning who you really are. Be very gracious and loyal to yourself. Do not take offense when people don’t recognize your beauty or greatness. It’s not personal, it’s ignorance.”
Moving forward, Therosia is preparing for the second installment of her soul food and superhero series, which is scheduled for August 11, 2023. The installation includes a collaboration with the University of Arizona and has been backed by the Arizona Commission on the Arts. The show features an augmented reality tour of the show and AI and digital art collaborations. This show is also her seven-year anniversary show as a full-time artist. “I couldn’t be more grateful, and I’m excited to see people’s experience of the work, and I am so overjoyed to be able to share this work and the collaborations behind the scenes to make it possible,” she says.
Therosia Reynolds OutHustle Your Struggle
“I serve my community because they belong to me, and I belong to them. They are the people who nourished, mentored, loved, taught, and cared for me. They are my ancestors, brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles, nephews and nieces, and my family. Without them, there is no me.”
Dan Smith Charon Thompson and The Porter House KC
Creating Opportunities For The Betterment of OthersBy Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by The Porter House KC
The Porter House KC is an inner city-based co-working community that provides entrepreneurship access and resources to underserved populations in the Kansas City, MO, Metro area. Founded by Dan Smith and Charon Thompson, the organizations’ mission is to be a bridge for underrepresented individuals who typically don’t have access to the entrepreneurial dream. They also assist in representing entrepreneurs of color by providing an affordable business space to grow an idea into a full-fledged business.
Dan is a native of Kansas City and graduated from Bishop Hogan High School. He has worked in for-profit and not-forprofit sectors for the past 18 years, and in addition to the Porter House KC, he has started, owned, and operated five businesses. Dan’s affinity for the not-for-profit sector, explicitly helping underserved populations, started over 20 years ago when his mother exposed him to the importance of helping others. This experience gave him a deep appreciation for the not-for-profit work in underserved communities of color and fueled his drive to help those in need. Dan will serve his first year as a professor at the University of Kansas School of Business this fall. He previously taught at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He shares two boys, Michael and Daniel Jr, with his wife, Aisha.
Charon is not a native of Kansas City, but he has lived in the “City of Dreams” since he was seven years old. Most of his family lives in Dallas, TX, and Shreveport, LA. Charon was a military brat who traveled all over and found his way there by way of his grandmother, a Kansas City resident. He attended Lincoln College Prep and the University of Missouri in Kansas City. At UMCK, he majored in Electrical Engineering, and from there, he started several businesses with Dan and worked with the BNSF Railway for 17 years. One of the businesses he and Dan created was a coffee wholesale company called Black Drip Coffee. Dan is married to Lauren, and together they share two boys and a girl, Caleb, Dylan, and Bryson.
The Porter House KC was developed when Dan and Charon were challenged with access to few resources when starting their business. “We wanted to help entrepreneurs in the community have a sustainable business. We reached out to a couple of businesses and noticed gaining access wasn’t easy. We had to ask the hard questions to make it easy for others who look like us to have access and operate successfully,” they share. “The plight of the minority entrepreneur is one with many struggles and hardships and very few victories. We aim to reverse this narrative and help entrepreneurs grow in victory.”
Why do they serve their community, one may ask? The answer is simple. Dan and Charon are committed to bringing change and opportunity. “We love improving our community and seeing generational wealth pour in.”
Others have shaped and molded the minds of these servants, whom they both acknowledge. Dan says his grandfather and mother impacted his life while growing up. They showed him how to be the man he has come to be. Charon says his mother, twin sister, and brother, John Wilson, helped make him the man he is today. Additionally, he had role models in Deion Sanders and Derrick Thomas as a child.
“The plight of the minority entrepreneur is one with many struggles and hardships and very few victories. We aim to reverse this narrative and help entrepreneurs grow in victory.”
Running a business will always come with its own challenges, and the Porter House KC is no exception. Charon says marketing and getting known in Kansas City is one, while Dan says one of his challenges has been figuring out better ways to connect with his community. “Even though I come from the same community as our target population, the population we’re serving is ever-changing for business owners and changing for them as well,” Dan said.
Their advice to other entrepreneurs, whether in business or thinking about getting into business, is to keep grinding. “Believe in yourself and have confidence in your abilities and your vision. Those two things are very crucial. Also, trust your instincts, stay true to your values, and believe in your potential to positively impact your business.” Dan emphasizes that it’s essential to have the power to create a successful business and inspire others as a minority entrepreneur. “Stay resilient, persevere, and let your passion guide this rewarding journey,” Dan says.
In the future, Porter House KC will open another space at 811 W 31st St in Kansas City. The opening is planned for August. “Instead of trying to figure out eCommerce and how to get in the next pop-up show or ‘First Fridays’ type deals, we want founders and business owners to be able to have stores and be a retailer out of their own space. We want to create opportunities for entrepreneurs,” they shared. There will be a lot of surprises when their new space is finished, that is for sure.
To learn more about Porter House KC, please visit their website.
Focuses on two groups of business owners.
Individuals Just Starting Out:
Those wanting to launch a product or create a start-up
Have an idea and the motivation to learn
Needs the resources and facilities to get started
Looking for the education to start on the right path
Entrepreneurs In The KC Metro Area:
Their company is 0-2 years old
Looking to expand operations
Success is haltered
Needs the expertise to continue growing
It’s All About Paper &PodcastsBy Terry L. Watson
Photos Provided by Once Upon A Paper
Devin Manning Radon of Houston, TX, is a woman of many talents. “Dev, the Paper Girl, Your Fairy CARDmomma, Creative_Devin, along with a few other nicknames this savvy businesswoman has acquired over the years. For the most part, Devin is a designer, creative, speaker, cupcake-loving, green bean-eating, earring-loving, and peoplesupporting dream catcher. For all intensive business purposes, she is the face and founder of Once Upon A Paper.
Devin shares that while her stationery business is her primary source of income, it is not her calling. “Paper is my passion, but my calling is leading, inspiring, and hosting workshops to empower young women and entrepreneurs to keep going. I am super sentimental, and I love pretty papers. Putting all of that together created Once Upon a Paper. It’s about creating something from the heart, celebrating people, and making someone smile.”
Currently residing in Brazoria, TX, Devin is the wife of a t-shirt guru and entrepreneur, Byron “Stampd Up” Randon, a union established in 1996. Together, they share three entrepreneurs, Caitlin, a University of Houston graduate and owner of Chic Lash Co.; Byron, a college student and author of the viral children’s book “Be Something Great”; and Kaya, a 2023 high school graduate and future HBCU student, who also manages her own hair braiding business.
Paper is my passion, but my calling is leading, inspiring, and hosting workshops to empower young women and entrepreneurs to keep going.”
Once Upon A Paper provides custom stationery and graphic design services. They can produce custom, out-of-the-box invitations, logo/branding services, signs, banners, cards, funeral programs, and beyond. Once Upon a Paper prides itself in designing from the heart and using its God-given gift of loving people to meet its customers’ design needs.
Devin says the idea of Once Upon a Paper has been a part of her for as long as she can remember. She shares, “Stationery has always been my thing! My nickname, Paper Girl, came from being a stationery lover since I was a little girl. I often was scolded for spending all my allowance on paper, crayons, glue, markers, and stickers. Lisa Frank and the Sanrio brands were my heroes and “paper heroes”...”
Devin’s wittiness often got her into trouble, but she also learned of a way out. “ I learned at an early age the effects my creative hands and love for stationery had on those around me. Anytime I found myself in trouble at home, school, or on the school bus, I would draw a pretty picture with a handwritten letter. That always did the trick!”
Devin says what she loves most about her business is helping her clients understand their vision. Devin says that often, her clients have no clue about what they want. No problem; she knows how to get them to a place of clarity. Even more, she loves people and all things design. Her slogan is “Celebrating Life in Print”, and getting paid to be her naturally creative self is the most amazing and rewarding feeling ever, she shares.
Owning a business doesn’t mean that you will do everything right, and Devin admits that without the feedback of her clients, she wouldn’t be where she is today. “I can go on and on about the clients who have given me positive feedback and had great experiences, but, as a transparent business owner, there are times when I am reminded of areas where I struggle. I’m grateful for those moments as well. Although we are still not exactly where we want to be with OUAP, I realize my company’s growth and what we need to continue.”
Breaking bad habits have been a challenge for Devin. In 2005, when she started her business, the internet was not a primary source for obtaining information as it is today. Devin says she learned a lot by trial and error and fell hard multiple times. Through those experiences, she became resilient.
She also faced the challenge of learning which clients to take on and which to walk away from. In the beginning, she took on everyone, and at a low cost. She often found herself working harder than she needed to. Once she raised her prices, her clientele changed. She remains committed to giving the best quality service and products but does it a lot smarter.
Regarding advising prospective business owners, Devin says she has found that advice really doesn’t motivate people. “Our individual experiences move us in different ways. Although a person may have a similar pathway, their vision and passion should guide them. I encourage any business owner to stay true to themselves, keep pushing, and not be afraid to fail. There will be naysayers along the way, but don’t be so focused on proving anyone wrong. Instead, focus on proving yourself. Also, don’t get so busy building your business that you forget who you are and the ones you are working hard for. Work will always be there when you return, so take that break. Most importantly, pray for your business,” she says.
Moving forward, Once Upon a Paper will introduce a sister brand. There are also plans to bring their brand to store shelves. With all of her creativity and wit, there is no telling what will come from Devin’s camp. To learn more about Once Upon A Paper, please visit their website.
Dr. Glenn T. Miller of St. Louis, MO, is a highly-respected chiropractor, esteemed educator, ardent wellness advocate, and pioneering personal and professional development thought leader He is also the face of the brand “Dr. Wellness,” which encapsulates his holistic health philosophy.
“Dr. Wellness” and “Neopreneur®” are the tangible manifestations of Dr. Miller’s philosophy of holistic well-being and individual growth. “These brands are more than just names—they are platforms designed to transform lives,” he says. Under the banner of Dr. Wellness, Dr. Miller offers comprehensive wellness coaching, mindset shifting, and a range of products to improve his client’s overall health and well-being. The brand is deeply intertwined with Dr. Miller’s identity—it is his philosophy, approach, and dedication to wellness made accessible to everyone.
Neopreneur®, on the other hand, extends Dr. Miller’s impact on professional development. This transformative learning platform and its unique curriculum, the “Ninefold Path,” is a testament to his understanding of the needs and challenges entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and side hustlers face. By providing resources, guidance, and community support, Neopreneur® aids in turning individuals’ aspirations into reality. Both brands are extensions of Dr. Miller’s mission—helping individuals lead healthier lives and achieve their professional goals.
Born from the south side of Chicago, Dr. Miller attended Kenwood Academy High School and was part of a leadership and skill-developing club. That experience sparked his interest in self-development and community building. He later attended SIUE and soon graduated from Logan University as a Doctor of Chiropractic.Terry Watson Photos Provided by Dr. Glenn T. Miller
As a student doctor, Dr. Glenn worked with diverse individuals and recognized the need for a more comprehensive approach to health and success that extended beyond physical well-being. “ I was inspired by what I learned and began developing a holistic framework that would address all aspects of an individual’s well-being—mental, emotional, social, financial, environmental, occupational, intellectual, and spiritual,” he says. This led to the creation of the Ninefold Pathways to Wellness and Success.
His extensive experiences as a chiropractor and his interactions with the 100 Black Men organization played a critical role in the evolution of his journey. Dr. Miller shares he loves the opportunity to witness individuals discover their full potential and grow into the best versions of themselves. “Every day, I am reminded of the power of holistic wellness and the incredible change that can be achieved when individuals are empowered to take control of their well-being.”
Beyond the personal transformations he facilitates, Dr. Miller also cherishes the relationships created. Each person he works with brings a unique perspective and story, enriching his understanding of wellness and success. This continuous learning process has become integral to his professional journey, sparking new ideas and shaping his approach. Along with his philanthropic work with various organizations, he shares that he is privileged to participate in a more significant movement of empowerment and mentorship. “The chances I have to contribute to the growth and development of young individuals on their journeys of discovery and success, and the opportunities to inspire, guide, and uplift African American and broader communities is a rewarding part of my work.”
Dr. Miller says the birth of his daughter has been pivotal in shaping his approach toward empowerment, education, wellness, and success. Through his work, Dr. Miller’s goal is to leave a legacy his daughter would be proud of and inspire her to build upon.
For a decade, Dr. Miller grappled with having multifaceted interests. Being a chiropractor, professor, life coach, and business coach aligned with his desire to serve. Yet, translating this diversity of roles into a cohesive brand took a lot of work. “The issue was not just about personal branding but also about defining my professional identity. I loved my work, yet I yearned for a unified platform that covered every part of my professional life,” he shares. Wellness and professional development was his solution and offered a comprehensive framework that could accommodate his diverse skills and interests and provide a platform for holistic personal and community upliftment.
Dr. Miller also realized entrepreneurs, side hustlers, and intrapreneurs often need more practical skills and knowledge to navigate their careers and ventures effectively. Without question, he took it upon himself to learn, grow, and acquire the “intangible currencies” necessary for success.
While Dr. Miller remains committed to helping others succeed in all aspects of their lives, he offers some direct advice to anyone who may follow a journey similar to his. He emphasizes the importance of identifying one’s unique strengths and interests. “This self-awareness is the foundation of a successful journey. Understand what drives you, what you’re passionate about, and what unique contributions you can bring to your field. Yet, keep identifying these traits; also, learn how to communicate and brand them to maximize their impact effectively.” The importance of lifelong learning is something else that Dr. Miller drives home. “The entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial landscape constantly evolves, and staying abreast of these changes requires a commitment to continuous education,” he says.
The future holds boundless potential for Dr. Miller and his mission of whole well-being and professional development. He plans to expand the reach of his work and extend his transformative influence to diverse communities and organizations, including fostering partnerships, leveraging technology, and tailoring strategies to meet evolving needs. He also plans to refine and build upon his innovative framework, the Ninefold Pathways to Wellness and Success, incorporating new insights, practices, and strategies as he continues to learn and grow in his field. “I envision a world where holistic wellness practices and success strategies are not just accessible but also integrated into everyday life.
To learn more about Dr. Glenn Miller, please visit his website.
“The issue was not just about personal branding but also about defining my professional identity. I loved my work, yet I yearned for a unified platform that covered every part of my professional life.”
Dr. Glenn T. Miller
The Hemans Law Group, P.A.By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Attorney Tremaine Hemans
Her story is that of someone who found their purpose in life and responded accordingly.
Tremaine Hemans is the founding attorney of The Hemans Law Group, P.A., an immigration law firm handling mainly family-based and removal defense cases. Hemans Law services are designed for all immigrants, as they are an inclusive firm handling cases from many countries. “All immigrants deserve competent representation and access to the American dream,” Attorney Hemans shares.
Some of her achievements and accomplishments include the Florida Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Award for 2022-Mentorship Program, Super Lawyers Rising Star for 2023, Broward College Pillar of The Community Award for 2020, 2021 Legacy South Florida Top 40 under 40 for 2021, and the National Black Lawyers Association Top 40 Under 40 for 2023.
Born in Moneague, St. Ann Jamaica (a small village on the north coast of the island), Tremaine was raised by her mother and stepfather before moving to live with Mavis Telphia, a deaconess in her church. Tremaine launched her practice on May 1, 2021, after deciding that the norm in corporate America was not for her. She felt there weren’t opportunities for a black woman with ideas, so she decided to make her own table.
The proud Jamaican girl travels home often and stays very connected with her culture. She has a solid following on the social media platform Tik Tok, where she celebrates her background while educating people about Immigration law. She’s also very passionate about fashion and says one of her favorite things about being a lawyer is the opportunity to express herself through fashion.
“There is no feeling like handing clients a work permit or green card and granting them the freedom to pursue their dreams in the “Land of Opportunity” as it is called. As flawed as this country is, I came here as an international student, a girl from a small town in a little-known place, a child of lower middle-class parents, and I made a dream come true through hard work and focus. I want the same opportunity for all my clients,” Tremaine shares.
By using her story of triumph and determination, Tremaine hopes to inspire others. She says, “Proving God right wakes me up in the morning. Much isn’t expected of girls where I am from and for young women of my background. Many have severely underestimated my abilities throughout my life, and proving them wrong has fuelled me for a very long time.
All immigrants deserve competent representation and access to the American dream.”
However, I am in a place where I have met that goal, and now I have to keep proving God right that he has placed me exactly where I am ordained to be.”
Tremaine credits her mother as being the most remarkable example of strength in her life. “My mother is the single most hardworking and giving woman I have ever met. Without her I would not have made it to the United States. To align with the adage “It takes a village to raise a child”, Tremaine has been fortunate to have more than one mother figure in her life. “Since meeting her in 2008, my motherin-law has invested in me financially and emotionally and has guided me through every step of my career. Many of the lessons I learned as a woman in corporate America and as a businesswoman, I learned from her. My spiritual mother has prayed over me and prayed me through so many difficult times, all while feeding me her delicious mango bread. I am grateful for the impact that each one of these amazing women has had on my life,” Tremaine confesses.
Coming from a humble background, Tremaine is no stranger to obstacles or adversities. “Life in and of itself can seem like it is just telling you “no” sometimes. The reasons can be due to the circumstances we are born into, which are not under our control. It can also be due to the people we encounter along the way. I have seen many challenges as a lawyer, especially as a black female attorney. Two percent of lawyers in the United States are black women. You get used to being the “only” in a room. You can either shrink under the pressure or see it as an advantage. As I said before, I love proving people wrong, so it is always satisfying to dispel any preconceived notions anyone may have about what this black girl is capable of.”
When asked what advice she can offer to someone who may have similar challenges as hers, Tremaine’s response is very clear. “Remember that the worst thing anyone can tell you is no. Always ask for what you want, be in the room to get opportunities, and always remember that you are exactly where you should be. That has helped me in so many different ways. I have developed a new way of thinking due to my circumstance, which is “The Power of No.” “NO” only has the power that you give it.”
Some additional advice offered by the fierce and confident lawyer is to be relentless and not allow anyone or anything to influence your decision unless you are absolutely sure you want to deviate. She says you must be the master of your life; what you do with it is between you and God and no one else.
Tremaine is passionate about mentorship and is interested in expanding her platform and practice into other states and becoming a public speaker. To learn more about her, please visit her website.
“You are all Iconic..... That’s the Truth”By Dorjea’ McClammey Photos Provided
Are you looking for new music to add to your playlists? If so, then you must consider Charlotte, NC, very own Kiing Le and the Iconic Truth Band. Iconic Truth Band has the “I.T.” factor capturing a unique and infectious Go-Go vibe. While displaying various components of percussion and vocal excellence, audiences will always be enlightened and entertained.
Born and raised in South East Washington, DC, Kiingi, a natural neo-soul artist, moved to North Carolina in his thirties to pursue music. Surprisingly, he didn’t start as a go-go artist; Kiing was pursing other interests. He was a personal trainer and owned a company, Get Fit For A King. Soon his focus would change, or more so, get in alignment with his true passion for music.
Kiing’s pursuit of music grew while living in Charlotte. He joined a few R&B bands as a lead vocalist. This was his platform until a friend took him to see a go-go band in Charlotte. After attending a few of their shows, Kiing auditioned to be a vocalist, but he didn’t make the cut. Determined to succeed, he didn’t let that stop him and eventually earned the role of the band’s talker. He says, a talker is like an orchestrator; they give shoutouts and help boost the crowd’s energy. “If you know the talker and the talker knows you, you’re popular.” From the platform of band talker, everything started to fall into place for Kiing.
He would stay with that particular band for nearly eight years before leaping to do his own thing. Thus the birth of The Iconic Truth Band happened. Launched in 2020, Iconic Truth started with Kiing, his cousin Darnell, and Keena Thompson. The band chose the name ‘Iconic Truth’ because it genuinely reflects their energy. Kiing says his mentee told him, “You all are iconic, and that’s the truth”. The group was excited about the opportunity to be a fresh new face on the band scene and a new voice for Go-Go.
Like anything else that starts from scratch, there were some hurdles and obstacles the band had to endure. Kiing says, “It was a struggle at first. We would practice in a little section of my home. We had different artists moving in and out, but everything eventually fell into place.”
At one point, Kiing was ready to give it all up. When he started Iconic Truth, it took a toll on his family because of the time and focus he was putting into the band. However, after hearing his music on the radio and his brother’s constant encouragement, he was motivated to continue the journey. He, unfortunately, lost his mother in 2022, but before she passed away, she gave him a folder with his complete bio of work that he did in D.C. When he asked why, she said, “It’s yours.” He says that was her way of reminding him who he was. “You’re Kiing Le, don’t stop; keep it going. She was so proud of me.” From that moment, no matter the trials and tribulations, he decided to move forward.
When asked what he loves most about the band, Kiing says he loves the creativity his band brings. “Everyone is so individual, and together, we make Go-Go magic. We can take Mary Had a little lamb and make it into a cranking Go-Go song. What’s interesting is how we work to formulate an original sound through each song and have fun with it simultaneously. As a band, we focus on doing what feels good without trying to fit anyone’s mold. We want everyone on that stage and in the audience to live in their iconic truth.”
Kiing isn’t just a musician; he is also a businessman. He owns a production company, DC2NC Productions, which allows musicians and bands to go schedule live performances. He also contracts DJ’s, comedians, vocals, and more. He also has a clothing line called ‘I Don’t Think You Ready”, a spinoff to his onstage performance. Kiing has also found a way to combine his music love with personal training. On his podcast Cardio Conversation, Kiing talks music with guests while they work out. Additionally, he has enjoyed some memorable moments in his career, such as performing with Mint Condition and SWV, traveling, and performing with other big bands and celebrities. He has also written a song for Tone-X, the voice of V101.9 FM in Charlotte.
Kiing advises upcoming artists to persevere, stay consistent, and connect themselves with people who will challenge them. “Remember always to follow your heart and passion and trust your gut. Most importantly, always put the creator first with everything you do, and everything else will fall in place.”
Kiing’s primary goal is to be known as The King of Southern Go-Go. He says it’s time for Iconic Truth to be known as the “go-to Go-Go band” in the South. He wants his name to be in the company of other greats such as Chuck Brown, Little Benny, The Masters, Big G from Backyard Band, and many more.
In the future, Kiing Le and Iconic Truth Band will continue to be involved with community awareness programs and teach kids more about live music and performing arts, “Performing arts saved my life, and that is something I want to give back to the community.”h