Huami Magazine Florida Nov./Dec. 2023

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Nov./Dec. 2023 Vol. 2 Issue 4

Clear My Skin by JChantell Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023


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Your Voice is Your Ticket A Letter From The Editor

There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!

Everything that will come to us in life is connected to our voice. The from wordthe of Editor God shares there is power in what we speak. A Letter We can speak about things that can change our outlook and circumstances: greatness, healing, abundance, prosperity, deliverance, etc. With sameAll voice, we have option What ifvictory, tomorrow didn’tthe arrive? of your plans,the hopes to speak of detriment and destruction. and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never Ihappened? am reminded of what mybe mother told me as a for young boy, “Be There would no reason to save a rainy careful youcould say”. spare Whensomeone faced with adversity day,what and you the trouble throughout of making my promises. life, the outcome has always been connected to what I said. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired Whatever I allowed to reside in my mind about a situation, today? thought What would you do? my actions would align with it. If I believed that I could win, I won; if I thought I couldn’t, I didI often not. Itseem all came to much. what I spoke to I’ve been told that like down I do too myself. Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything on me Imagine the challenges adversitywonder Brain Surgeons within that I couldn’t handle. and I sometimes how lifeface would their profession. They are asked to care for patients who have be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented to me. I suffered traumathat to their involves and have found to behead verythat boring. In mybleeding, opinion, swelling, opportunity ultimately life-threatening conditions. The degree of difficulty in is a blessing that isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge their the operating is offthat the can meter; still, they toactions me is anwithin adventure. What isrooms the worst happen? must remain calm and complete their assignment. If the surgeons If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn spoke doubt and were unable to care for theiryour patients, would something new about myself. Relinquish pride they and in fail.return They would fail if they allowed fear and disbelief to dictate acquire life. their actions. Instead, they must speak with assurance, and by doingThe so, best their advice confidence in theirtoabilities will arise. It allsomeone comes ever given me happened when down to what they speak to themselves. told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so

I have pressed my way through doors with a key that only God speaks to us,I and doesn’t expect us to be quiet. hope provided. haveHe also learned the difference between Whatever you want and need, open your mouth and speak. Your what God blesses me with and what life can burden me with body language should speak for you. How we treat others speaks as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and for how we feel about ourselves. You will to only as far in life as when bego quiet, because your voice will take you. someone may get it confused

with being arrogant. Your voice is your ticket to the greatness that you Godtomorrow promises. Speak Make about what youtoday, expect tomost happen happen but in bothimportantly moments ofmake gaining and it count. relinquishing andagiving andand receiving, Life is but whisper as the we impact effect is the same. must put ourselves in aWe must use the voices God gives position to hear what it us, is as it pleasestelling Him when we do. us.

TerryL.L.Watson Watson Terry Editor/Founder Terry L. Watson

Terry L. Watson Editor In Chief Writer Terry L. Watson Writer Dorjea’ McClammey Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Joy Rogers Writer Monica Montgomery Writer Writers

Tonya Dixon Todd Youngblood Terry L. Watson Photographer Still Shots Photography Alana Allen Photographer Tamara Smith Jeuron Dove Photographers Perfect Lenz Photography Todd Youngblood Photography

General Inquiries Shaw Photography Group Still Shots Photography Howard Gaither Photography Who Shotya Photography Layout

Mykel Media Company Linda Bennett Email 336-340-7844 (336) 340-7844 Mykel Media Company LLC

HUAMI MAGAZINEGreensboro, is published NCquarterly by the Mykel Media Company. AnyReserved reproduction of any 2022 All Rights portion of this publication is prohibited without written permission from the publisher prior to doing so. Mykel Media doesn’t accept responsibility for statements made by individuals featured or advertisers. Comments concerning this publication may be submitted to the editor by E-mail at or to Mykel Media Company, LLC P.O. Box 20102 Greensboro, NC 27420 HUAMI MAGAZINE 2014 All Rights Reserved

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November/December 2014


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NOV./DEC. 2023


De’Jure Life Notes LLC

Tiffany Gina Akins

On The Cover


A Skincare Expert Jarie Chantell

The Chatman Group

Shakeima Chatman


Dreadloc Divas Loc Studio LLC



Huami Magazine Cutest Baby


Tracie Lee

Autumn Thornton

Also Featured

Charronda Hairston Learn more about the face and founder of Radiant Dreams Healing & Gifts. Ocean Springs, MS


Garbo and Archie Hearne Meet the founders of one of Arkansas best art galleries. Their original plans in life changed into something remarkable. Little Rock, AR


Nycole L. Johnson Who knows what she will do next? Learn more about how she has excelled in all facets of her life, including business, with the love of God. Indianapolis, IN


Clear My Skin by JChantell


Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023


By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Melissa Fabri Photography When it comes to maintaining beautiful and healthy skin, Jarie Chantell Ayala-Bullock knows something about it. The Orlando, FL, resident is an Esthetician licensed in Virginia, Maryland, and Florida. Jarie enjoys a balanced and well-rounded lifestyle. She is married with four kids, having one son of her own and two bonus daughters and one bonus son. Besides being a savvy businesswoman, she has accomplished quite a bit professionally and personally in her life. Jarie is an Army Veteran and graduated with honors from American InterContinental University with a degree in Business Administration. She graduated from AVI Career Training as a Master Esthetician in 2013 and obtained her Acne Certification from Face Reality Skincare. Additionally, she has numerous Certificates of Completion for Herbal Medicine, Perfumery/ Artisan Perfumery, Makeup Application, and Makeup Artistry.

I remember smelling my mom’s clothes in her closet. That was my first love of fragrance. I watched her get ready to go out. Washing her face, putting on makeup, etc.”

The name of her business is Clear My Skin by JChantell. She shares how her journey in business began as a young girl who was impressed by the presence and sophistication of her mother. “I remember smelling my mom’s clothes in her closet. That was my first love of fragrance. I would watch her get ready to go out with her girlfriends, and she had her skincare and makeup application down to a science. First her skincare routine, followed by her makeup then her clothes selection and last, her perfume scent. As a teenager, I had acne issues, and the first skin care product I used was Noxzema. No moisturizer, exfoliant, mask, or sunscreen - just noxema. It worked okay on my skin, and at the time, I didn’t know or understand I needed a routine rather than one product. It was then I developed my interest in skincare. The more I explored and experimented with different products, the more I wanted to know about skincare and skin health,” she says. Her interest would soon develop into a career involving skin care and Esthetics. Jarie says she is unsure if the vision for her business was developed outside of her mother’s closet and her makeup, but as an adult, she would get compliments on her skin and wondered how she could share her experiences with the products she used to help others. Soon, she started to research skincare products, stumbled on Esthetics training, and continued researching how to get an esthetician license; the rest is history. Clear My Skin offers professional skincare products, as well as Jarie’s personal line of skincare products and accessories. She offers Face Reality Skincare, which is designed to help individuals with acne. There are Clear My Skin by JChantell facial cleansers, facial, lip, and body scrubs, facial masks, and facial oils and moisturizers. She also has a line of Eau de Parfums, including Into Spring Morning, which is a floral spring scent. There is also Midsumor, a citrus blend; Autumn Nights Lead to Winter, which is unisex; and Bergamont, a musk scent. Jarie also offers skincare accessories, such as skincare fridges, ice rollers, and makeup bags, and she has an extensive line of large travel tote bags and personal skincare journals. Jarie says her products are designed for everyone, including kids with sensitive skin or severe acne.


Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023



Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

When asked what she loves most about her company, Jarie says, “I love being able to help people with their skin health, and interacting with people and listening to their stories. I am inspired by people and fragrance. I love different scents and putting scents together to create new ones. I also love chatting with people and learning how I can assist with their skincare needs. I love giving advice on skincare and skincare ingredients and helping others who may be struggling with acne or other skin issues.” Jarie also admits that she wouldn’t be where she is today without the love and support of her husband, who gives her the freedom to work her business. She also acknowledges her son, her bonus kids, her mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, close friends, clients, and countless others, which are too many to name. Jarie says she has learned so much from many experiences and relationships. “Each has molded some aspect of how I ended up where I am today.” As a business owner, Jarie has likely been presented with various challenges. What is important is how she has responded and managed her obstacles. She says, “I have been challenged with getting the right manufacturers, quality ingredients, and even packaging can be challenging. I have also been challenged with getting approved to become a vendor at certain events. While I am still managing some of those challenges, I have applications to help manage inventory and now have access to reliable vendors and suppliers. I am building relationships, and fortunately, some of those relationships have opened doors. Another way I have managed some of the challenges with running my business is by putting more effort into advertising, social media, and education.” Jarie offers some wise advice to others who may follow a path similar to the one she has in life. “I encourage others to live life and not be afraid of what it could look like and take each moment as a moment of reflection. Be your authentic self and ask yourself: Have I made a positive impact today? What did I learn today? How can I make someone feel special today? I hope my interaction with a person may make them feel better than before our interaction,” she says. Additionally, she wants others to know there is so much to learn about skincare. “Skincare is constantly evolving; educate yourself and become a subject matter expert in your craft. Continuing education in the skincare field is essential to growth and sustainability. Having a mentor or other skincare professionals at hand is extremely helpful and, above all, stay within the scope of your license.” Jarie says if she could change anything about her journey in business, she would’ve been more confident about what she had to offer in her field and not be afraid to take more risks. I was so cautious and wanted everything to be perfect rather than take chances and fail in order to learn. Moving forward, Jarie plans to continue to learn about skin health, herbalism, and perfumery and hopes to expand on being a Virtual Esthetician and getting her Eau de Parfums in stores. She also wants to donate more of my services to nonprofit organizations. To learn more about Jarie Chantell and her company, Clear My Skin, please visit her website. h 844-711-7546 11


Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

Tracie Lee

Dreadloc Divas Loc Studio LLC

By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Carlotta Coco Smith In the community of Jacksonville, FL, Tracie Lee has firmly planted herself as the face and founder of Dreadloc Divas Loc Studio LLC. Her company specializes in professional styling services for locs, natural, and more. She also offers and sells products to assist her clients in maintaining their healthy hair. Tracie’s journey in business began quite remarkably. She shares, “From my early days in hair school in December 1998 to finishing my education in September 1999, my commitment to my craft has been constant and unwavering. I have worked in various hair salons in areas such as Macon, Georgia. I also worked in my parent’s business, “Ed and Gloria’s Boutique”. Throughout her life, Tracie has been blessed with the support and guidance of her parents, Gloria and Edward Fuller, who instilled in her the values of education and entrepreneurship. Opening her own salon marked a significant milestone in her career. While she worked in other places, and those opportunities helped to shape her, returning to the beautiful city of Jacksonville in 2014 was a culminating moment for her. Tracie hails from Jacksonville, the city in which she was born and raised. She graduated from Terry Parker High School. Next, she attended FCCJ (FSCJ), honing her business administration skills, a field that would serve her well in her future endeavors. Tracie also embarked on a 20-year journey in the retail industry, gaining valuable experience and expertise. Yet, her heart longed for her true calling, which was cosmetology. With unwavering determination, Tracie obtained her cosmetology license at Macon School of Beauty in Macon, Georgia. This was a pivotal moment in her life, as it marked the realization of her first love and set her on a path of passion and creativity.

“My journey as a salon owner is both insightful and admirable, and learning from past experiences, including failures and mistakes, is a valuable approach to personal and professional growth.”

Beyond her successful career, Tracie finds immense joy and fulfillment in being a mother to two incredible children, Malcolm and Morgan. “The joys of grandmotherhood have also graced my life with the presence of Mason,” she says. “My journey is further enriched by my partnership with her amazing husband, Tommie Lee.” Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023


Some of the products offered by Tracie at Dreadloc Divas Loc Studio are T.Necole’s Key to Your Loc, which is a revelation in the world of hair care, offers a comprehensive range of solutions designed to cater to her client’s unique needs. There is Foam Control:, one of T.Necole’s signature products that allows her clients to re-twist, coil, create curls, and maintain their locs with ease. It’s also perfect for refreshing lock styles. There is also Scalp Juice, a refreshing elixir that soothes and revitalizes the scalp and provides relief from itching and discomfort. Scalp Juice is also a true healer, addressing various scalp issues, including eczema, with care and precision. Her Diva Butta is for those in need of deep moisturization. This shea butter-based product is a luxurious treat for excessively dry skin and scalps. “It hydrates, nourishes, and rejuvenates, leaving your hair, scalp, and skin feeling silky-smooth and radiant. Bid farewell to eczema and dryness; Diva Butta has got you covered,” Tracie says. And finally, there is the Loc Refresher, which revives locs from the scalp to the core, making it an ideal companion for those post-gym refreshers. Plus, the refreshing lemongrass scent energizes one’s senses, leaving locs smelling divine. All of T. Necole Key to Your Loc products are infused with the invigorating scent of lemongrass.

Tracie Lee

Dreadloc Divas Loc Studio LLC 478-284-4055 9951 Atlantic Blvd - Suite 410 Jacksonville, FL 32225


Tracie says she was inspired by her auntie, Evelyn Fuller, who also introduced her to the world of hair at a young age. From learning to do soft curl perms to assisting her auntie with clients and eventually styling her hair. Tracie has taken every inspiration and uses them to help make people happy. Whether it’s weddings, birthdays, achievements, or simply enhancing their beauty, her role as a LocHealthtian and stylist goes far beyond the physical transformation. “I become a friend, a confidant, a source of comfort, and a pillar of support during those crucial moments in my client’s lives.” Tracie says that Betty Jackson, her godparent, also impacted her life, both personally and professionally. Like most business owners, Tracie has been faced with a few challenges along the way. Building a team that aligns with her goals is often a long and challenging process for Tracie. Still, she says the rewards of having a dedicated and dependable team are immeasurable. “I have overcome this challenge and now have a strong team in place,” she says. “My journey as a salon owner is both insightful and admirable, and learning from past experiences, including failures and mistakes, is a valuable approach to personal and professional growth. I have used those lessons as stepping stones to create a more prosperous and fulfilling experience for myself,” she shared. h

Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023



Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

TIFFANY GINA AKINS De’Jure Life Notes LLC By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Tiffany Gina Akins

Tiffany Gina Akins of Pensacola, FL, is a seasoned professional. She has over 26 years of experience in business, law, and finance. As the CEO and Founder of De’Jure Life Notes, LLC, she has provided countless clients with top-notch services. De’Jure Life Notes, LLC is a consulting service “Our experienced team of legal consultants offers sound legal advice and strategies to help you navigate the complexities of family law. We specialize in handling various family law forms such as divorce decrees, time-sharing, parenting plans, child support, modification, financial affidavits, and many more,” Tiffany says. Tiffany’s impressive background includes a Degree in Computer System Analysis. She is also an Alumni of PHI Beta Lambda and a nomination for Who’s Who Among Junior College Students in America. She has gained expertise in various areas, such as criminal justice, financial advising, and legal consulting. She has also held internships as a paralegal and IRS tax preparer. She has become a Florida Notary, Certified Remote Notary Public, and Certified Loan Signing Agent under the National Notary Association. Additionally, she is a Certified Mortgage Field Service Inspector, IT Network Expert, and Certified Graphic Designer. “I bring an entrepreneurial mindset to every project. With my passion for fashion, and as the owner of a record label, Graphic Design & Branding Studio, I have a unique perspective on what it takes to succeed in a variety of industries,” she shares.

Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023


Tiffany says running a business is hard enough for her business clients without worrying about legal issues. That’s where she comes in. “Our legal consultation firm specializes in a full range of business law forms, including bank forms, business licenses, titles/bill of sale, building permits, real estate closing, travel documents, and more. We also pride ourselves on providing topnotch financial services, including financial affidavits, IRS taxes, financial counseling, and tax preparation.” With her Notary Team, all aspects of notary services are covered. In 2022, Tiffany founded De’Jure Life Notes, LLC, to provide practical solutions for individuals and families facing legal and financial challenges. She shares, “My own struggles with these issues, as well as those experienced by my loved ones, motivated me to create an agency that prioritizes education, compassion, and personalized guidance. I understand the difficulties and challenges of going through legal battles, especially when dealing with sensitive issues like abusive relationships and divorce where children are involved. Waiting for years for your case to be heard or starting the process all over again due to lack of finances can be demotivating. Our team strives to rectify problems caused by incorrect, incomplete, or missing information on legal and finance forms. As a dedicated Legal Consultant, I am committed to helping my clients create a better future for themselves and their loved ones.”

850-860-8058 Overcoming the challenge of obtaining a consistent clientele can be difficult for any legal professional, but De’Jure Life Notes, LLC. has implemented various marketing methods to reach its target audience. Their efforts have resulted in significant growth and a more defined client base. For other aspiring business owners, Tiffany’s advice to you is to remember that every experience is an opportunity to learn and grow. She also says, “Be kind to yourself and take care of your well-being, both physically and mentally. Invest in relationships that inspire and encourage you and pursue your passions with confidence. Keep learning and expanding your horizons, and never stop striving for success. Most importantly, believe in yourself and your abilities, and when the going gets tough, keep pushing forward, because success is just around the corner,” she says. Moving ahead, Tiffany says her ultimate goal is to help individuals and businesses of all sizes achieve a brighter future. To accomplish this, she offers a variety of resources such as community training workshops, seminars, monthly televised segments, and a new podcast show that focuses on keeping individuals and businesses updated on the legal issues that matter the most to them. Her services are available in West Florida and surrounding states. To learn more about Tiffany and De’Jure Life Notes, LLC, please visit their website. h


Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023



Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

Radiant Dreams Healing & Gifts By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Charronda Hairston

Charronda Hairston was born and raised in Mississippi. She is the daughter of Jennifer Hairston and the late Charles R. Hairston. Charronda is also the proud mother of Alyria Denis, who will be graduating from high school in December. As an aspiring business owner and the founder of Radian Dreams Healing & Gifts, LLC, she says that sharing the tools and knowledge with others as they take their own path to greatness is awe-inspiring. After graduating from Pascagoula High School, Charronda obtained her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Chemistry from Alcorn State University. She worked as a chemist for several years before leaving the industry for a career in education. She taught Chemistry and Physics at Moss Point High School and then at her alma mater, Pascagoula, and taught aerospace engineering and robotics. “I have always been told I love a project, so even though I loved teaching and helping students reach their dreams, leaving the safety net to pursue a dream of working for myself and helping others has been one of my biggest and most rewarding accomplishments,” she says. Charronda also loves to travel, cook, read, and make her friends and family smile. With Radiant Dreams Healing & Gifts, she has an abundance of opportunities to do just that. She says, “I established Radiant Dreams in 2020 during the pandemic. I wanted to bring a metaphysical store to the Mississippi Gulf Coast that was nonjudgmental and focused on personal individual healing.” In early 2024, she plans to open Well of Radiance Holistic Wellness Center, which will be one of the first Black-owned wellness centers on the Gulf Coast in Mississippi. The Well of Radiance Holistic Wellness Center is also an extension of Radiant Dreams and a result of various workshops and classes that Charronda conducted. She says they needed more room due to expanding and focusing on holistic health practices. So, the next logical step was to find a way to separate the retail store from the holistic detox services to provide her customers with the personalized relaxation services they deserve.


While many of Charronda’s services are designed for women ages 18 and up, she also offers services for men and teens. Her workshops and yoga classes are open to everyone, and she says her goal is to provide an inclusive set of services to co-create with her clients in reaching their dream state of life. In the retail store, she offers various metaphysical tools and supplies one could need in spiritual practices. “We have sage, incense, crystals, candles, books, skincare, herbal teas, and organic bitters; if we don’t have it in the store, we can normally find it for our customers who ask. Currently, we offer limited detoxification and holistic health services, but the Well of Radiance will offer a full range of detox, Womb, and massage services,” she says. In 2024, Charronda will hold workshops, retreats, yoga classes, sound healing, and other activities focused on finding inner peace and community. Being a business owner has its perks, and Charronda shares she loves the connections made with each of her customers. “A quick shopping trip often turns into an hour conversation, a cup of tea, and a ‘I will see you soon’. Being able to help others physically, mentally, and spiritually reconnect to their higher selves is an awarding experience,” she says. Additionally, every interaction with her customers provides healing for Charronda. “I learn from them as much as they learn from me. The feeling of community and unconditional love is spread with every connection.” So, who has impacted Charronda’s life the most? There are a few names that she shares. “Both of my grandmothers impacted my perseverance and strength. My dad had always been my biggest cheerleader and grounder. He kept me in check, taught me to be open-minded and non-judgmental, and approached every situation with firm compassion and fairness. His favorite phrase was always “Handle It”. No matter what choices you make, you should look at them objectively and “Handle It” with grace and integrity.” Charronda also recognizes many other successful Black women who have played a key role in helping her to become the woman she is today. There is Tamika Jones, who is the owner of Let Go Let Goddess Coaching, and LaShun Teboh from The Ankh Academy of Holistic Healing. She says LaShun has been instrumental in mentoring her while she focuses on helping women heal their bodies and spirits. Additionally, she recognizes Tajuana Lee with Royal Vision Society, LLC, who she says has been one of her biggest cheerleaders. “These women have taught me how to do business as a holistic practitioner. They also lead by example and are always a phone call away. More importantly, being able to have them as part of my current network reminds me that anything is possible.”


Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023



Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

When something is new in a community, many create a scary narrative of how it works. That fear stops people from reaching their full potential and stepping into holistic healing.” Charronda says one of her biggest challenges in business has been marketing and getting customers to step out of fear and try a new way. “When something is new in a community, many create a scary narrative of how it works. That fear stops people from reaching their full potential and stepping into holistic healing,” she says. “I’m still navigating the challenges and learning how to step out of my comfort zone and put a face to the name of the business.” Charronda’s advice to other aspiring business owners is to not be afraid to take the risk to go after something you want. “If that idea or thought gives you butterflies or makes your heart flutter, go for it. Allow yourself grace and celebrate your small wins. Your journey shouldn’t look like anyone else’s. Also, remember to always lead and serve in love, open your heart, and start every day with gratitude and love. Unconditional love is the key to bringing our world back in balance. Love is gentle, kind, and freedom,” she shares. Looking ahead, Charronda plans to expand her brand even further. In 2025, she will take wellness retreats and offer more workshops, services, and events focused on physical, mental, and spiritual healing. To learn more about Radiant Dreams Healing & Gifts, LLC, please visit their website. h

Charronda Hairston Radiant Dreams Healing & Gifts, LLC 6616 North Washington Ave. - Suite E Ocean Springs, MS 228-238-3977



Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023

“AffirmMePlease” By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Foluke Houston-Gaddis

Saving lives and saving souls. It is often said the power of life and death lies in the tongue, so it’s imperative that one be mindful of what is spoken from one’s mouth. Germantown, TN, resident Foluke Houston Gaddis, along with her husband, Rodney, has launched a new line for verbal fashion designed to empower others through affirmation. “I am a person who has discovered my purpose: to positively impact others with my gift. I can accomplish this while using my skills from my Human Resources background and my business venture, AffirmMePlease,” she says. AffirmMePlease, Foluke says, is a manifestation of her aspirations. She says since she was a little girl, she has always written down her thoughts and spoken about them. “I was raised by two parents who were Christian and Spiritual leaders who raised my siblings and me to believe in God and pray and ask God for His provision and His power. I wrote down so much that my mother told me to stop writing so much and leaving it around my house,” Foluke laughs. Fortyone years of affirming herself and believing in the power of provision that is assigned to her through the word of God has ultimately produced AffirmMePlease.


During the pandemic, I, like many other people, felt the psychological and negative impact of Covid. Being isolated really accelerated and amplified solitude and depression. I really used biblical affirmations during that time to encourage myself. ”

Foluke says she has affirmed herself through some very tough situations, illnesses, and difficulties. During the Covid 19 pandemic, she says things really came to a head. “During the pandemic, I, like many other people, felt the psychological and negative impact of Covid. Being isolated really accelerated and amplified solitude and depression. I really used biblical affirmations during that time to encourage myself. I had them everywhere in my house, on my bathroom mirrors, on my workstations, and in other places. I also listened to them at night before going to bed to assist with getting myself out of that season of hopelessness. I also entered a 40-day fast and only digested God’s words, sermons, and affirmations. While I was going through the fast, God put it on my heart to share my affirmations with others. I wasn’t obedient, but God kept pulling at me. When I came out of the fast, I was transformed. I stepped out of faith and began sharing my vision with the world via social media.” She was scared in the beginning, mainly due to the fear of what others would ask her. Still, Foluke pressed on, and as of today, AffirmMePlease enjoys the company of 40,000 social media followers. “Having that level of support confirms that there is definitely a need for this type of content,” Foluke says. She posted her content nonstop for two years, and soon, God shared the next step for AffirmMePlease with Foluke. “I listened to a message shared with a pastor, Darius Daniels, and he said “You’re asking God for an increase, but He isn’t going to just pop money in your pocket; God is going to give you an idea”. That made my spidey senses go off, and I realized what God was trying to tell me,” she says.


Florida - Nov./Dec. 2023


Today, AffirmMePlease is transitioning from being a social hub of global followers to being a lifestyle brand. “As a lifestyle brand, we meet our customers where they are. We take a holistic approach to infusing our customers and followers with positivity and inspiration. We are launching our apparel, drinkware, digital, ebooks, journals, affirmation flashcards for kids, and more. We also will continue to post daily content and have created a private playlist for Spotify,” she says. When asked what she loves most about her company, Foluke says she loves to hear feedback from clients who have experienced AffirmMePlease. I consider my brand a haven for hope, and others do as well. So many people have reached out and asked me to continue to post our affirmations. I smile because that’s my “why”. We have a tool to encourage each other, affirm ourselves, and understand that we have an inert ability to bring ourselves from dark places. I suffer from seasonal depression, and during those times when my perception of my self-image is low, being able to create affirmations brings me hope and uplifts my spirits,” Foluke says. Foluke and her team of creatives have created unique and one-of-a-kind designs. Their messages are intentional and often have a ripple effect with their messages. “There are so many apparel brands available, but we wanted to be unique,” she says. Additionally, AffirmMePlease strives to reach others, even those who may not be wearing their brand but simply walking by someone who is. The impact of the message is the same. 30

As a lifestyle brand, we meet our customers where they are. We take a holistic approach to infusing our customers and followers with positivity and inspiration.

Moving forward, Foluke shares she will continue to respond to what God has told her to do with AffirmMePlease. “We will continue to provide products and offer our clients experiences. We are an inclusive brand, and our products are for everybody,” she says. Before AffirmMePlease officially launched, the appetite for their products was apparent. “Before launching, we gave away a free affirmation devotional for those who subscribed to their website. In only a few weeks, over 200 people signed up to receive the journal. If that is any inclination of what we want to experience, who knows what is to come? We are expecting a steady increase in sales and a passionate customer base,” she says. While based in Germantown, TN, AffirmMePlease does ship nationwide. Moving forward, Foluke says one of her goals is to create partnerships with nonprofits that support underrepresented communities so that they can provide sponsorships and products. “That is another way we can stay close to our mission and values,” she says. To learn more about AffimMePlease, please visit their website. h

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Percy B.A Legacy Lawson of Service By Terry L. Watson Photos provided by Demetris Lawson

When defining the life of Percy Lawson, there is actually one word that can accurately capture what it is: service. At 84 years of age, Percy is still quite sharp. His memory and ability to reference life’s experiences are quite impressive. He also dotes on his family whenever he gets the opportunity and shares his love for God without hesitation. In 1938, Percy was born in Caswell County, NC. As a child, he was raised with two brothers and one sister by his mother and father. Percy served in the United States Navy for 12 years, with four of them on active duty and the remaining serving in the Reserves. He was honorably discharged from his duties in December of 1968. He has been married to his wife, Loanne, for 65 years and recently celebrated their union in September of this year. Percy and Syretha have two children. Percy quit school in eleventh grade and joined the military against his mother’s will. He initially tried to join the Marine Corps, but that didn’t work out. Percy returned home, and his mother advised him to return to school. He stayed at home with his parents, but his father continued to encourage him to do something with life. Percy’s mind was set on the military, even though his first attempt at enlisting failed. In 1956, he successfully joined the US Navy and began serving his country. After leaving the US Navy, Percy returned to Greensboro and worked as an NC Mutual Life Insurance insurance agent. He also worked with the North Carolina Department of Corrections until he became unable to walk. Percy graduated from Rutledge College in Greensboro, NC, with an Associates Degree in Business Management in 1980. He continued his education by attending Greensboro College, majoring in Accounting, and graduated with honors. In 1982, he went into business and opened the Lawson Accounting Firm. His company provided accounting and bookkeeping services to churches and businesses in Greensboro for over 30 years. He has also worked for the Internal Revenue Service. Until 2021, Percy managed Lawson Accounting Firm, but due to his disabilities, he passed the responsibilities along to his daughters, and the name was changed to Lawson Accounting and Associates. Regarding accounting, Percy says it is a very technical field. “Most people believe you should be a mathematician to be an accountant. That part is true, but it’s not a requirement. I’ve had quite a bit of training in math, but being a mathematician isn’t required. You must also be sharp in business, have sharp morals, and be pretty exact,” he says. Percy admits that his accounting career and his career with the US Navy shaped his life.

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Family is very important to Percy. He has conducted extensive research on his family and found photos of his family members dating back to five and six generations from him. He has photos of his GreatGreat-Grandmother and Great-Great-Grandfather. “I had a strong father figure as a child. He instilled the importance of working for what we want in life. I feel like men have an obligation to set the trend for their families. Your family’s name is something that every man should be proud to carry on. In my 84 years of life, I have never been to prison, and I don’t intend to go now. I have also worked really hard to support my family,” he says. “I don’t have any sons, only three daughters. My only grandson was killed in Washington, DC, in 2002, and before he passed, I tried to instill things into his life that would be important to his survival. When I meet young men, I want to know what kind of work they do and what their interests are. My obligation is to let them know how important it is to have a job or find ways to support themselves. I pride my life on being honest with others,” he says.

“I had a strong father figure as a child. He instilled the importance of working for what we want in life. I feel like men have an obligation to set the trend for their families.”

Pictured above is a young, Percy Lawson. He served in the United States Navy for 20 years and retired with honors in 1965.

In addition to all of his other accomplishments in life, Percy is also an accomplished author, having written two published books, “From The Bottom To See, A Brand New Me” and the other “From Slavery to Ownership”. More than anything, Percy shares that he has loved the opportunities he’s had to serve his country and others through his business. While his journey has had many challenges, he shares that it has been all worth it. Percy’s advice to others is to live life to the fullest. “Never give up on life. Life isn’t over until it’s over,” he says. There is truth to what he said, as Percy is currently working on publishing his third book. h

Pictured with Percy Lawson are his daughters Demetris and Beverly, son-in-law Bryan, and wife of 65 years, Syretha.



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Autumn Thornton The daughter of

Armani Thoirnton and Gregory (Feva) Bonds

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Hearne Fine Art By Terry L. Watson Photos Provided by Ebony Blevins

Garbo and Archie Hearne III are leading the arts community for Black Americans in Arkansas. Garbo Watson Hearne is a native Arkansan, born and raised in El Dorado, but currently lives in Little Rock. Her parents were both educators and stressed the value of education and reading. Garbo received a BSN in Nursing from the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences in 1983. Her better half is Archie Hearne III, MD, and together they have four children and three grandchildren. Dr. Hearne is a native Californian and has been a family practice physician in Arkansas since 1983. He was the impetus for opening a Black art gallery in Arkansas. He was educated on collecting by Chico State University professor and printmaker Marion Epting. Kenneth Williamson, a Memphis artist, challenged Archie and Garbo to open a gallery in Little Rock to fill a niche. He answered the challenge, and in doing so, Garbo put her aspirations to become a nurse anesthetist on hold to open and manage the gallery’s day-to-day business and provide their children a cultural haven to be exposed and nurtured.

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Hearne Art Consortium is an umbrella for Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing, Hearne Fine Art, and Hearne Fine Art Consulting & Appraisal Services. It provides a platform for local, regional, national, and international Black artists and authors to sell and share their talents. The platform allows all people to explore Black culture using literature and the fine arts. Through each entity, they provide the community, the artists, and the authors with a voice in the arts community on every level. “We provide retail services of books, decorative art, and fine art with a focus on Black culture. We also offer community programming, including book signings, artist talks, and community lectures, as well as decorative and conservation custom picture framing, fine art appraisal, and consulting services,” he shares.

1001 Wright Ave. Ste C - Little Rock, AR 39577 501-372-5824 -

In 1988, the Hearnes’ opened the Pyramid Gallery. Pyramid was a print gallery with a focus on fine art by local artists. “In 1988, there was limited access and opportunities for Black artists to show and sell their works in Arkansas, so we filled a niche in the visual arts and literary community. Frank Frazier, a Dallas-based collage artist, introduced us to many regional and national artists. He also encouraged us to host fine art exhibitions and programming to include artists talks and workshops. Soon, we began offering custom framing, books, fine art, and fine art appraisal and consulting services. In 1998, we moved to our third location and changed our name to Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing and Hearne Fine Art. We created a definitive space for fine art and owned it by adding our surname, Hearne. In 2008, after 20 years of renting, we took a leap of faith and purchased real estate in the historic Dunbar community and built The Hearne Centre,” they shared. The Hearne Centre houses Dr. Hearne’s family practice clinic, the bookstore, the custom frame shop, and the fine art gallery. It is also located across the street from the Dunbar Middle School, which was established in 1929 as a Junior College, High School, and Junior High School for Black students. Even more, the Dunbar community is the oldest Black community in Arkansas.


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“In 1988, there was limited access and opportunities for Black artists to show and sell their works in Arkansas, so we filled a niche in the visual arts and literary community.” Garbo Hearne

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Garbo says what she loves most about owning their gallery is the engagement with artists, authors, and their community. “I love when clients connect with artists and authors, and they become family. Everybody has a story to tell and we provide a platform that allows authors the freedom to be heard on their terms. I love that we are located in the heart of the Black community and the support we have had from local, regional, and national patrons over the last 35 years,” she says. Hearne Fine Art also has an expansive children’s area that houses a Baobab tree created by Atlanta artist Alfred Conteh. To date, they have hosted over 500 exhibitions and book signings. Like any other business, the Hearne’s have faced some challenges in business. The biggest challenge they share is keeping up with technology and making sure they reach all the audiences to grow our business. “It is imperative to keep your brand fresh and innovative. With so many variables, juggling all the communications and social media efforts can be challenging,” they said. They have engaged in continuing education, communicated with peers, and constructed a supportive staff to manage such challenges. Their bookstore/gallery manager, Patrece Brown, has been a part of the business for 34 years, and their custom picture framer, Randy Taylor, has worked for them for 20 years. Their children have also been supportive, with the oldest daughter, Auna, coming on board to manage PR for both companies. To learn more about Hearne Fine Art and Pyramid Art, Books & Custom Framing, please visit their websites. h

1001 Wright Ave. Ste C - Little Rock, AR 39577 501-372-6822 -

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