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TristanJackson MRA1KUTz Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
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There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!
Forget What They Said, I Know Better
There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!
A Letter Fromfrom The the Editor A Letter Editor
A my Letter from the Editorthe title of “the baby” along with my twin In family, I share What if tomorrow didn’t arrive? All of your plans, hopes brother. Still, I proudly and boastfully state my position as big and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if brother because after all, I am a few minutes older than he is. everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never What if tomorrow didn’t arrive? All of your plans, hopes Evenhappened? as a youngThere child would I was just as reason stubborn and unmovable as be no to save for a rainy and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What if I caneverything be today. One would find it verythe difficult to talk menever out of day, and you could someone trouble of making that youspare decided to put off until tomorrow anything; candy, games, toys, or anything else. promises. What your last happened? Thereif would be opportunity no reason toseemingly save for aexpired rainy
today? wouldspare you do? day, andWhat you could someone the trouble of making When it came to competing against others in sports, I couldn’t promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired be talked of told the game. I hadseem to belike given fairmuch. chance to I’veout been that I often I doatoo today? What would you do? playHonestly, and lose Iall onlike my Iown. It doing was also very difficult anyone feel am not enough and I’m afor firm to make me feel as if I was anything less than a child of God believer in knowing that God seem wouldn’t on me I’ve been told that I often like put I do anything too much. because mama did Iaam great job of making my siblings and I that Imy couldn’t I not sometimes wonder how would Honestly, I feelhandle. like doing enough and I’mlife a firm believe that we were the best, each day. Even during the timeI be if I chose to sit idle and accept whatput it presented believer in knowing that God wouldn’t anything to onme. me when I wore mythat brand-new pair of white sneakers school have to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity that I found couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder howto life wouldand a neighborhood bully stepped on them, turning top them is aifblessing that afforded to what everyone. Athe challenge be I chose to sitisn’t idle and accept it presented toof me. I to me is anwalked adventure. What is the worst that can opportunity brown. Ifound still confidence because of what Ihappen? had planted have that toinbe very boring. In my opinion, If aI do nothing, I fail, and if matter I try to I don’t, instead learn on the inside of that me. It didn’t whatbut others tried to make is blessing isn’t afforded everyone. A challenge something new aboutbetter. myself. yourcan pride and in me is anlike, adventure. What is Relinquish the worst that happen? me to be or act I knew return acquire life. If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn something new myself. Relinquish in Those tactics areabout still used today by thoseyour whopride wantand to stop The best advice ever given tobecoming me happened when return acquire life. others from living “out loud” and what theysomeone are told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so purposed for. I was once told that Huami Magazine was nothing I have pressed myever wayI given through doors key that only The advice me happened when someone more thanbest a newsletter. knewto better. Iwith wasaonce denied hope provided. I have also learned the difference between told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so acceptance into an organization because I didn’t fit the mold. what God blesses me with and what life can burden me with I have pressed my way through doors a key thatand onlyinvited Years later, that same organization camewith calling again as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident hope provided. I have also learned the difference between me to participate at a much more prestigious level than I and initially when to be quiet, because what God blesses me with and what life can burden me with showed interest in. I knew I belonged from the very beginning. may get it confused as well. I compare it to knowingsomeone when to be confident and with being arrogant. when Even today, doors are sometimes shutto inbe myquiet, face.because I am still someone may get it confused subjected to rejection by those Make youarrogant. tomorrow with being who think they are in more control happen today, but most of my destiny than God is. I know importantly make it count. Make you tomorrow betterLife because I’ve been tried is but a whisper and and happen today, but most testedimportantly and weathered aitfew we must putmake ourselves instorms a count. for myself. I have also learned position what it is Life is buttoa hear whisper and that dream killers earlyininathe telling us.put arise we must ourselves morning with to one agenda. position hear what itBut is if I keeptelling God as my source for life, it us. doesn’t matter they may say, Terrywhat L. Watson because I already know better.
www.huamimagazine.com Editor In Chief
Terry L. Watson www.huamimagazine.com Alana Allen - Deputy Editor Editor In Chief
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Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
Helping Through Healing
On The Cover
MRA1KUTz Tristan Jackson
Active In Her Community
Nashville’s Best Kept Secret
Huami Magazine Cutest Baby
The Medicine Man of Memphis Dr. John E. Bell of Memphis, TN is saving lives with medicine.
MoeJoe’s Sweet Treats Monica Moyer of Greensboro, NC has something sweet up her sleeve!
Harmony Organizing Ayanna McMullen of Richmond, VA wants to help make your life more simpler.
Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
By Junious Smith III Photos by Apollo Wonex Tristan Jackson may not have gone the conventional route, but it suits him just fine. Jackson is a Master Barber at Born 2 Style Barbershop and Hair Salon in Greenville, S.C. Before coming to Born 2 Style, he previously worked at Sporty Cutz Barbershop and First Class Barbershop. For Jackson, this was the opportunity of a lifetime to fulfill a dream he had ever since he was a child. “I got intrigued watching barbers cutting hair when I was younger,” Jackson said. “Most people around my age were more into video games, but I was mesmerized by the movement of the clippers and the smell of talcum powder. Both sparked my interest in becoming a barber.” They have also transformed Jackson into one of the premier and highly sought-after barbers in the Upstate region. A native of Greenville, Jackson graduated from Woodmont High School in 2006 and later transitioned to Benedict College in Columbia, about 90 minutes away from his hometown. After one year at Benedict, Jackson knew there was another calling upon his life. “I began to focus my heart towards doing something else,” he says. “It really started with watching my mother work two and three jobs. I saw her hustle and that made me want to hustle just as hard as she did. Even more, this was pretty much my only option. I was in a situation where I couldn’t get a nine to five. I worked a job at a manufacturing plant for a little while, but I really wanted to make things shake for myself. I have always had an entrepreneurial mentality and never grasped the idea of working for someone other than myself,” he says. As life would happen, so would things for Jackson as well. Though he had been cutting hair for quite a while, he would be certified as a professional barber in 2010, starting at Sporty Cutz shortly after. “I had cut hair while in high school and college,” Jackson said. “When I first began, I had a small, yet devoted client list who followed and supported me. During Football, Basketball, and Stepteam season, there were a lot of players who hit me up. I received a lot of positive feedback from those services and it encouraged me to push myself even more.” Continued on the next page
“Being an entrepreneur is more so an investment in yourself,” Jackson said. “You get out of it, what you put into it, so if you’re really interested in entrepreneurship, you have to be wholeheartedly committed. It’s getting up knowing what you must do to put things together, but you also have more freedom. From a financial standpoint it can be difficult, but you make your own schedule and can take a vacation whenever you like. Ultimately, you’re working for yourself and that is always a blessing.” Throughout the Greenville and Spartanburg area, Jackson is known as “MRA1KUTZ”. This title itself represents who he is as a barber, and what Jackson strives to be in his chosen profession. “I try to bring a level of professionalism to my craft. It’s like going to the doctor’s office — you can’t just go in there, you must set an appointment. I believe most barbers should do the same thing. The reason why I charge extra for early and late sessions is because you’re not only paying for the services, you are also paying for my time as well,” he says. Some of the services offered by Jackson include those for adults and kids such as design haircuts, shape ups, and more. He also offers VIP services and on-location services which include “house calls” and hotels. His advances services, which are geared towards those who seek a more detailed and personal experience, include Thermal Scrub Therapy Treatments, Scalp Exfoliation, Neck and Chin, Alaskan Mask Facials, Beard Luster Wash, and Hydrotherapy Bald Treatments. Jackson plans to increase his line of available services while continuing to make the MRA1KUTZ brand a household name. He is aware of the constant change in the barbering landscape, still he believes that by being a trailblazer and staying in tune with the needs of his clients, he will also be successful. Though barbering has become a popular and crowded profession, Jackson has distanced himself by utilizing the one skill his chosen trade needs more than anything. Professionalism. Contact Tristan Jackson today and allow him to change your barbering experience. h
Born 2 Style Barbershop and Hair Salon 1700 East North St. Suite A Greenville, South Carolina 29605 864-248-0498 www.born2stylellc.com MRA1KUTz
“I try to bring a level of professionalism to my craft. It’s like going to the doctor’s office — you can’t just go in there, you must set an appointment. I believe most barbers should do the same thing. The reason why I charge extra for early and late sessions is because you’re not only paying for the services, you are also paying for my time as well.” Tristan Jackson Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
Real Women, Real Issues, Real Stories
Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
By Terry L. Watson Photos by Nichole Henderson Nichole Henderson of Greenville, S.C. is a mother of four beautiful children who she declares are the absolute loves of her life. She is a graduate of Hillcrest High School and holds a degree in Business Administration from Strayer University. She is an Entrepreneur, Author, Visionary, Conference Call Host, Motivational Speaker, and Singer who has a strong passion for God and His people. This love is what pushes her to be a constant servant in her community. Her monthly conference call, “Real Women Real Issues Real Stories” targets women from all types of social classes. It addresses real issues concerning women but it is also a place for women to be open and just let their hair down. “We discuss a variety of topics and often feature guest hosts. The program gives other women a platform to share their testimonies and business ventures. More than anything, it’s a place where we encourage, uplift, and empower each other,” she shares.
which has given me the strength and courage to face life challenges. They have both shown me what hard work and sacrifice looks like and for that I am beyond grateful.” Nichole offers a bit of advice for those who may follow the same path she has or may face similar challenges. “Make sure you are choosing a path that will make you the happiest and fulfilled. Make sure that you choose a path that will best fit your abilities and interests. It is OK to be inspired by others, but always follow your own instinct and heart because everyone’s path is unique. Moving forward Nichole plans to launch an event planning business and have her own talk show for women to share their stories. In addition to this, she is currently in the process of pursuing a degree in Human Services and Social Work and putting the final changes on her own book as well. h
Her program was birthed in 2008 while Nichole was going through a divorce. “It simply started out as a support group where I would open my home up to women and we would fellowship, laugh, share, and cry. I then started the conference call so that I could reach more people. The response was awesome and began to reach people all over the Upstate and surrounding areas, and even other states including Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, and more,” she says. Nichole’s testimony is one of faith, hope, and love. She needed to have faith during some very tough times in her life. Nichole had to trust God when she was unable to trace Him in many situations in her life. She also held onto hope that God would always see her through, no matter what the situation was. The greatest of these is love because she made a conscious decision to love through it all, the good, bad, and the ugly. Some of Nichole’s testimony can be found in a book she collaborated on, along with other survivors entitled “There Is A Queen In You”. Nichole is encouraged by the works of other women in her community who are also doing amazing things. Some of them of which she leans on for constant support and motivation are Mata Crawford, Bajeyah Eddy, Pamela Dorsey, Traci Fant, Kelly Williams, Alfreda Coleman, and Brandy Hunt. “I see so many qualities in each of these ladies and what they do and who they are. I see where they are in life and use it as inspiration for what I desire to achieve, and where I would like to be in the future. They have shown me that anything is possible. I love them because they will stop at nothing to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” she says. It’s obvious that Nichole is purposed to instruct others on how to unlock their greatness within. By doing so, she also unlocks things within herself. “My children are my greatest inspirations because they always remind me of what it is like to just be happy with the simple things in life. They are the reason I look for new challenges and possibilities. I have experienced so much in life and they helped me to realize that regardless of past hurts, failures, disappointments, or betrayals, I can still create a beautiful life. They make me strive to be a better person each day because I know that I am the first example they will know. They have shown me what unconditional love looks like which has made my life so much richer. Seeing them discover their own gifts and talents also reminds me of my passions,” she says. “My parents are also a source of my inspiration because I’ve seen them both face many obstacles in life
“Make sure you are choosing a path that will make you the most happy and fulfilled. Make sure that you choose a path that will best fit your abilities and interests. It is OK to be inspired by others, but always follow your own instinct and heart because everyone’s path is unique.” 11
Where Do You Want To Go?
By Terry L. Watson Photos by Todd Youngblood
hanna Jannette of Legendary Travel Agency has one question for those who may be thinking about taking a vacation or trip in the near future. Where do you want to go?
In the past, traveling was not always something that Shanna did, at least frequently. Just like many others, she didn’t have a clue as to plan for a vacation outside of the U.S., or even do it while staying within the margins of a budget. That all changed in the spring of 2016 when she decided to go on a vacation. She wasn’t sure where she wanted to go, but she knew she needed to get out of Greensboro for a few days. This led her to do as most people would – jump on the internet and start pricing flights, hotels, and excursions. She also contacted a travel agent to simply answer a few questions she had about planning it. “In doing my research about booking my own trip, I read information about taking classes to get a certification to be an agent myself.” Since Shanna was on break from her teaching job, she didn’t waste any time following up on what she had already discovered. She watched videos, did even more online research, and read as much information as she could get her hands on. She learned about different cruises and cruise lines, land vacations, excursions, and even different parts of the world, among other things. It took her approximately three weeks to complete the entire program and she received her certification after passing the final exam. Her original goal was to simply obtain information on how to book her own trips, but within two weeks of becoming certified, she was building her clientele and seeking out amazing experiences for them. “My first client was a friend who wanted to go to Dominican Republic, so I was excited.” The business quickly grew by word-ofmouth and with the power of social media. Months later she finally booked her first trip to Jamaica, for herself, using the tricks and tips that she learned. When asked about the benefits of using a travel agent versus self-planning, Shanna admits that the actual findings can be similar, but the experience and cost will most likely vary. “When you use an agent, many vendors (airlines, hotels, etc.) will allow the customer to pay a deposit instead of paying for the entire trip up-front,” Shanna explains. Instead of shelling out thousands of dollars that you may not have initially, sometimes a $200.00 deposit will hold your flight, your lodging, and your ground transportation. That’s enough for the average person to at least explore the possibilities of utilizing an agent. Shanna doesn’t just plan experiences for singles and couples, she also takes on large groups such as family reunions, girl’s trips, weddings, and countless other scenarios. With large parties, she breaks out her spreadsheets and calculators to keep all travelers on track with their budget and payments. “One of the biggest hurdles that travelers face when planning trips is the financial aspect. Many travelers may want to plan a really nice trip in advance but are often required to pay the full amount of the trip upfront, or pay a large amount of the cost of the trip in a deposit. That’s not feasible for a lot of travelers,” she says. It is during times like these where the true value of her services are revealed. “There are many benefits to booking with my company as opposed to planning a trip alone. When you use me as a travel agent, major travel vendors (for example American Airlines) allow me the convenience of booking a trip for someone with just a low deposit of $200 per person, no matter the cost of the entire package. Because of this convenience, I am able to book those same trips with a less expensive deposit of $200 per person, with remaining balance not due until 45 days before the departure date. I also have a lot of firsthand insight on many destinations and can help with narrowing down the perfect destination based on the client’s needs, as well as their wants.” By day, the travel guru is a special education teacher and absolutely loves the impact she makes on her students. Their challenges range from autism to learning delays, to needing mild behavioral guidance. As an undergraduate student, she majored in Exercise and Sports Science and planned on being a physical therapist. While in college, she had the opportunity to work with a young boy who is autistic and is also non-verbal. During her 10-year relationship working with her client, she has been able to teach him to speak, learn light sign language, and even increased his physical movement. She loved this line of work so much, that she tried to figure out how she could combine physical therapy and autism, but seemed to only manage to relate autism to occupational therapy. After thinking long and hard about her future and career, Shanna decided to change her major to occupational therapy so she could follow her new found interest. Unfortunately, she was not accepted to the programs she applied to due to the competitiveness. Following a friend’s suggestion, Shanna slightly switched directions and began teaching children with special needs with “Teach For America”. She was immediately sent to a school in East Harlem, New York where she worked for two years.
“As a part of their program, “Teach For America” helps you pay for graduate school, so I was able to obtain my master’s degree in special education from Fordham University.” Shanna has been teaching with Guilford County Schools for almost three years and admits that it can be very stressful, but the rewards greatly outweigh the stress. Helping people seems to be at the core of Shanna’s heart. From providing care and guidance to children to helping adults plan trips of a lifetime. Either way you view it, she’s enriching lives for the better. Legendary Travel Agency’s packages to Jamaica currently, are really popular. Many packages leading into the fall season are under $1,000 per person and include four days, three nights, with flight included. Additionally, packages to Puerto Rico are very popular and reasonable while the island is looking to stimulate their economy and bring more tourists back after the hurricane from last year. She has several four night, three day packages to Pierto Rico priced for $700 or less per person, which also includes flight. There is no passport required to travel to Puerto Rico. And if cruising is more of your speed, Shanna has many cruises leading into the fall months priced between $350 and $500, per person. Shanna says some of her best experiences has been working with wedding couples. She’s prepared two destination weddings and two honeymoon packages. She takes the burden from the newlyweds by securing hotel accommodations for their guests and ensuring a smooth process by finding the perfect location and resort for their honeymoon. For more information, please contact Shanna Jennette and Legendary Travel Agency and allow them to assist you with all your traveling and vacationing needs.
Shanna Jennette 336-327-7646 www.mylegendarytravel.com
is an outlet for me,” she says. “My music is a blend of Soul, Indie Folk, Americana, and even elements of Country when it comes to story telling. It’s definitely been a process discovering where to focus my concentration as an artist.”
Nashville’s Best Kept Secret
By Terry L. Watson Larysa Jaye is an everyday woman. She’s energetic, charismatic, loving, and passionate. Mostly, she’s an individualist at the core. Being fully supported to be herself at a young age, she thrives when she is able to find her own lane and commit to it. She carries a number of duties, with the most important ones being a wife and mom. Without these roles Larysa wouldn’t be who she is today. She has a contagious joy that spreads to everyone that she comes into contact with, including family and friends. And through her gifts and talents, she gives joy, encouragement, and inspiration. Larysa is a Nashville, TN-based soul artist who synthesizes a broad range of influences in her performances. “I have a very eclectic style that I like to believe reaches every person in the room, regardless of background or music preference. There’s this “girl next door” feel that I have and I think that’s what draws audiences in. I’ll flow from genre to genre seamlessly, throughout a show without losing the essence of my artistry,” she says. Larysa grew up playing piano around her house and singing at church and school. She picked up the guitar when she was 16 and started leaning heavier on that instrument after moving to Nashville. “I was a PK (pastor’s kid) growing up. So, although I don’t proclaim to be a Christian artist, that still weighs heavily in my songwriting. My songwriting is a blend of life experiences and creative release. I am a talker, but I’m not big on trying to explain my feelings. So, songwriting
The story of how she began is quite interesting. There’s no logical explanation for a little, black girl out of Wyandotte County in Kansas City, Kansas to have made it all the way to Nashville and somehow make a name for herself, with a guitar no less. She even had three children out of wedlock, but with a support system who provided constant encouragement, Larysa never gave up on her dreams. “It wasn’t easy and there were many times I couldn’t make gigs or couldn’t make music because of a lack of money and baby-sitters, and who knows what else. Thankfully, every time I wanted to have a pity party the Lord would place someone in my life at the just the right time to remind me that I wasn’t forgotten,” she said. “I remember back around 2009-2010, an event was held in Nashville every Sunday called Lovenoise that featured local artists. They also had an open mic. I remember getting my guitar and finally convincing myself to participate. I performed and was surprised at how supportive everyone was. Eventually one of the producers asked me if I wanted to perform my own show. I agreed, while not even knowing where to start. My first show was packed and very successful. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was pregnant with twins. All of the momentum from the show dropped off and I took a year off from everything to focus on being a mom. Then, around 2012, I got back into the swing of things but focused more on the singer/songwriter scene. I attended a lot of Caucasian venues and learned how to captivate an audience with just me and my guitar. I also learned how to talk to the audience and introduce myself and songs.” As of late, Larysa has been using a more simplistic instrumentation to bring focus to her lyrics. She has birthed another child just this past January, and has found a joy in being able to perform a variety of styles and entertaining various audiences in many different places. She has also found peace in getting back to why she started performing music. “I initially wanted to share my story. By returning to my roots, I have began playing those songs that pull on ones heartstrings. In Nashville, a lot of times the shows are a mix of people coming to support, catch up with friends, or grab some food and socialize. All that means is that they came for a party or a good time. Although I love being the highlight of a good dancing and bumping show, I am finding so much fulfillment in getting back to me,” she stated. h
By Terry L. Watson - Photos by Mata Crawford
reenville, South Carolina native Tabatha “Ma’ta” Crawford is a prime example of today’s multifaceted woman. She is a devoted mother, wife, daughter, sister, entrepreneur, and community advocate. She is an also a woman of faith and attends Kingdom Descendants Missionary Church and is a member of Long Branch Baptist Church and is an honorary member of White Plains Baptist. As a Christian believer and follower and servant of God, she desires for others to see God in her service to others, which is unquestionably her purpose in life. Crawford attended Greenville Technical College and received an Associate Degree in Human Services and Mental Health. She has received extensive training in Family and Marriage, Drug Counseling and Criminal Justice. She obtained under graduate studies at Limestone University and is a 2015 Graduate of NASHA Business Academy.
Crawford reaches the needs of her community by way of various avenues. One of these is Single Parents in Need (SPIN), a 501©3 organization she founded and has directed since 2014. Its goal is to serve residents of Greenville, S.C. Crawford has always opened her heart and home to those in need for more than 30 years. She understands the everyday challenges of being a single parent to well, as she raised three children, alone. “Many times, I felt that there was no one to reach out to that would understand the needs of our community. There weren’t many options available to teach those in need on how to better face and overcome challenges. SPIN was developed to support, encourage, assist, and educate single parents how to build stronger families by meeting their physical, mental, and spiritual needs and connect them to available resources,” she says. “SPIN gives me an opportunity to see the lives of others change and give them hope for a better tomorrow.” This includes seeing the looks on the faces of parents and their children when they walk into their new homes, or when they learn something at the Lifestylle seminars SPIN conducts. Crawford also leads Position Changes Transitional Housing for Women, an organization that provides temporary housing and support to women. Her program also helps them to obtain gainful employment and connects them with resources to successfully transition to permanent housing. She has developed Queendomship, LLC in 2015 to combine different divisions owned and/or operated by herself and family. It offers employment opportunities to single parents and gives them work experience and an extra source of income. The different divisions include but are not limited to Mata’s Manna, which develops and produces all-natural hair and skin care products specializing in eczema and psoriasis, Just My Flow Accessories by MC, which brings unique and handcrafted African jewelry and accessories to today’s fashion world. There is also Aqueen’s Consulting Service which promotes, advises, and assists entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations with designing a business plan, filing for licenses, networking, and notary services for contracts and other legal documents. Crawford believes God will not put any more on her plate than she can handle, and He will always make room for an increase. She embodies the spirit of other strong women she follows such as her mother, Nancy Bolden and lifelong mentors Betty Williams, Mary Brookman, Leola Robinson, and the late Lottie Gibson. “These women taught me how to stand through challenges, keep my head up and keep moving forward,” she said. Additionally, she has been encouraged by other female community pioneers and the support of her children and family. Life for Crawford has come with its share of difficulties. She shares, “I found myself in the store with five dollars in my pocket and three children depending on me to feed them. Only having enough to buy bread, cheese, and tomato soup for supper, I made up my mind that somehow this would not continue to be the cycle of living for us. I didn’t want to continue a pattern of generational curses of drugs, poverty, economic challenges, food shortages, and substandard living. I knew that if I continued to be a victim, there would be no victory for my own children. I had to do more than finish high school, get a job, pay bills, and pray that my food stamps would be enough to feed us until the end of the month. I had to do something different to change things for my family.” She began by furthering her education. She rode the public transit bus to Greenville Technical Community College every day (rain, sleet, or snow) and returned home late into the evening. She depended on her neighbors (her village) to help with watching her children. “The road was never easy but every time when I was just about to give up, I’d hear my grandmother’s voice saying, “keep God first and get your education. There is always somebody worse off than you. If you don’t do it then who do you expect to do it for you,” she says.
Tabatha “Ma’ta” Crawford Greenville, South Carolina 864-567-5239 email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Facebook SPIN aka Single Parents In Need Single Parents In Need of Greenville SC www.singleparentsinneed.wixsite.com/spin
The advice Crawford gives to anyone who may follow her is not be afraid to step out on faith and be ready. Keep God first and allow Him to lead you to what He has for you. Her plans for moving forward is to expand Queendomship, LLC to own and operate self-sustaining companies. More importantly, she hopes to continue servicing her community as the director of SPIN-Single Parents in Need of Greenville, h S.C. and focus on building strong families and communities.
Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
Dr. John E. Bell
The Medicine Man of Memphis
Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
By Dr. Marrissa Dick Photos by Clearwater Photography
ho do you get when you combine a Surgical Podiatrist, a 1991 United States Navy Gulf War Veteran, a Soulful R&B Recording Artist, a Director and Producer of Award Winning Independent Films, an author, and someone who mirrors the motto of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated, “Culture for Service and Service for Humanity?” Exactly, you get Dr. John E. Bell, CEO of Excelsior Podiatry Clinic LLC in Memphis, Tennessee. Dr. Bell specializes in limb salvage and the prevention of amputation for those who suffer from lower limb complications due to diabetes and other foot and ankle ailments. According to Dr. Bell, “Basically what I do is prevent limb loss. When patients have poor circulation, diabetics in particular, they can develop ulcerations and experience all kinds of issues associated with lack of healthy blood flow to their limbs. As a boardcertified podiatrist I specialize in diabetic limb ailments, provide foot and ankle pain relief associated with joint pain from various forms of arthritis, and I also treat your more common foot ailments from ingrown nails to contracted digits to ulcers, and bunions.”
Invasion of The Baby Daddy
Do I Fit The Color of The Rainbow
Parents and teachers often ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Often times children have an answer ready. Most shout a lawyer, a doctor, a teacher or maybe even an athlete. If someone had asked Dr. Bell that question he may not have had any of those aspirations because his most immediate thoughts centered around living in abject poverty with his single mother and siblings. He shares, “My father died when I was really young leaving my mother a single parent. She worked very hard to raise us as best she could but those living conditions were not thriving. We knew poverty and the projects, and we didn’t have most things. I knew early on what it was like to be an African American male living in an urban and decaying city, so my focus wasn’t necessarily on what I wanted to be when I grew up. In truth, I really struggled in school. My thoughts were mostly on wondering if I was going to make it out of my circumstance. Realistically, I only had two options. I either was going to make it out of that environment or I wasn’t. There was no grey area or middle ground for me. What I did know was that I didn’t want to fail, and I carry that same thought process with me today. I still don’t want to fail. I do everything to the best of my ability so I’m accountable to myself, not to anyone else. I’m my own critic when it comes to achieving personal goals because I hold myself to a higher standard that I’ve set for my personal life. Maybe it’s because of my primary years, but I just believe that there’s always room for improvement in everything I do. I’m antiignorant and I’m also anti-cultural genocide of urban communities.” The late and great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once declared, “Whatever your life’s work is do it well. A man should do his job so well that the living, the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.” I’m sure Dr. Bell’s patients would agree that he is indeed holding true to this civil rights leader’s mantra. What was it that could have caused a young man to finally decide that he wanted to become a surgical podiatrist? According to Dr. Bell, “As soon as I graduated from high school in 1989 I enlisted in the United States Navy, so I could serve my country and tour the world. Then two years later it wasn’t just drills anymore. My ship was the first to be employed in the Gulf War because we were on the coast of Kuwait. I’ll never forget it for as long as I live. My captain said, “This is not a drill all hands, man your battle stations! This is not a drill!” And before I knew it everything that I had been trained to do automatically kicked in - - I had been trained for war but I never really thought I’d actually be in one. It became more and more real for me every time a tomahawk left the ship. I’ll never ever forget the sound or the feel of it because every time a tomahawk was fired the entire ship would rock. Can you imagine being 19 years old in the midst of a war? I knew if I could survive where I grew up and this war then I knew in my heart there had to be a special calling on my life. I promised myself that if I lived through this moment I was going to make
“I knew early on what it was like to be an African American male living in an urban and decaying city, so my focus wasn’t necessarily on what I wanted to be when I grew up. My thoughts were mostly on wondering if I was going to make it out of my circumstance.”
something of myself. I mean death was knocking at my door; it was coming for me, but I had no intentions of answering it. I made up my mind that night that I was going to survive. I can’t explain to you how it feels when you can hear your own heart beating in your ears because of fear. I lived through all of that so I’m no longer afraid of death. Thank God the war was over, and I lived through it. After that I decided to enroll in an online sociology course and I earned an A which really motivated me because I struggled academically in high school. After that school became the springboard for my life.”
I Think I Can Be A Doctor
The Internal Mist of Love
Dr. Bell’s initial experience with death is part of the reason he desires to help others live a purposeful and healthy life. “I became a doctor because I like to help people heal. I hate seeing someone in pain. I love the physical interaction of health care and I also love the fact that a patient can come into my practice with a wound or a lesion and leave out feeling better than when they came in.” His four clinics offer the state of the art ultrasound technology for diagnosing joint inflammation, plantar fasciitis, and tendonitis along with other problems. His practices also house a Nerve Conduction Study Unit for diagnosing peripheral neuropathy due to Diabetic Neuropathy and trauma and nerve loss. His clinics also offer the Arterial Doppler Machine which measures the Ankle Brachial Index and tests for peripheral vascular disease of the lower limb. Dr. Bell also performs Electrocorporal heel shock therapy (ESWT) which is a noninvasive therapeutic procedure to help with heel pain. Most of these procedures can be performed in his office or can be done on an outpatient basis which is more conducive for his patients. Notwithstanding, Dr. Bell also offers front line educational prevention to his patients. He shares, “I really enjoy my job because I’m protecting my community by helping to lower the percentage rate of amputations and limb loss. You know I believe if you don’t love humanity and you don’t love everyone that God created then you’re just not going to do very well. So, I pray daily for my passion to increase for the compassion of others. I am passionate about helping everyone because medicine is not just a Black issue, it’s not a White issue, it’s not a Latin or even an Asian issue. I’m a firm believer in 3 John 1:2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth,” so I aspire to do the best I can on a daily basis to help others. After traveling the world and America what made him settle on Tennessee? “After I did my surgical training I received a letter from Tennessee stating that they were looking for a surgical podiatrist for this area. All four of my practices are centered in the tri-state area between Memphis, Mississippi, and Arkansas. I feel good in knowing that over the past 15 years I’ve made an impact in reducing the number of health-related amputations plaguing these rural communities.”
Dr. John E. Bell D.P.M
Excelsior Multispcialty Clinic MHSA Podiatry Surgery and Diabetic Foot Care 305 Lake Road Somerville, TN 38068
(866) 476-7944 www.excelsiorpodiatryclinic.com www.drjohnebellbooksandmusic.com Serving The Following Comunities Memphis, Somerville, Bolivar Selmer, Brownsville, Whiteville Bartlett, and Cordova 18
With so many patients and practices it seems almost impossible that he would have time to pursue any personal endeavors but that thought would be a mistake. Dr. Bell finds time to thoroughly enjoy all facets of his life from being a R&B recording artist to directing and producing award winning independent films. He shares, “I work hard as a physician but that’s not all that I am. I’m also a father and an uncle and I love my family dearly. I’ve actually been able to travel internationally on music tours and I’ve had a lot of fun doing that. I fully believe in fulfilling your dreams. I’m always the doctor though because where ever I am I always promote health because that’s vitally important.” Dr. Bell is a 2003 graduate of Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine in Independence, Ohio., and a Member of the Bluff City Medical Society in Memphis, TN. His hospital affiliations are with Saint Francis-Bartlett Hospital, Methodist South Fayette Hospital, Bolivar General Hospital, the Med Regional Hospital in Memphis, TN and also the McNairy Regional hospital in Selmer, TN. Dr. Bell is Board Certified by the American Board of Lower Extremity Surgery and is a Member of American Podiatric Medical Association and the Tennessee Podiatric Medical Associations, respectively. He has one daughter and resides in the Greater Metro area of West Tennessee. h
Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
MoeJoe’s Sweet Treats
By Dawn Cauthen Thornton - Photos by Still Shots Photography Being in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother as a child, is a memorable time for Monica Moyer. She would enjoy watching them bake all types of desserts for the family. At one point, she tried her hand at making candy apples, but it didn’t quite work out. In October 2017, she was informed that a friend was hosting a candy apple decorating class and she jumped at the chance and enrolled. Monica had always been a creative person, and this was one more thing to add to her list of talents, especially because she hadn’t been so lucky with the fruit in the past. Besides, she knew her children would have fun getting their hands sticky making treats out of sugar. Upon completion of the class, Monica and her two little ones, Jayden, 9, and Chloe, 4, immediately started crafting crunchy apples layered with delicious candy, cake, and all sorts of colorful drizzles for themselves. She took pictures of her creations and posted them to her social media accounts, and just like that, Monica started getting requests from her friends and family to make her treats for birthdays, holidays, and other events. That led to others requesting decorated cakes and cookies and various desserts so she enrolled in a cookie decorating class that taught her other techniques her customers were in search of.
“After I took the class I started following other sweet treats people and looking at different posts for ideas. Then I started buying different molds, doing chocolate covered oreos, chocolate covered pretzels, then the gourmet apples stuffed with strawberry cheesecake, turtle candy and other flavors,” explains Monica. By Christmas, Monica and her husband realized her new hobby was something serious and devised a plan to start a dessert business. By the beginning of 2018 MoeJoe’s Sweet Treats was born. She didn’t waste any time filling her calendar with birthday parties, baby showers, and weddings, ultimately creating almost 200 apples each weekend. “I also have a few friends that do event planning. When someone does a consultation and if they need treats, they recommend me. And I do the same. We link together and make the customer’s event work.” When Monica isn’t thinking of new confections to create, she manages a team of 10 associates in the banking industry, and uses them as taste-testers. “I’m a full time manager, a full time wife, and a full time mother so I do my treat-making at night and on the weekends,” says Monica. It gets difficult at times, juggling her load, but she has accepted a certain level of responsibility as the matriarch of her family. She’s not simply the matriarch but also one of the first role models for her children. Now, nine year old Jayden wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps and create his own gourmet popcorn. Chloe is too young to maneuver around an oven where most of the action happens, but she helps package the items and gives her mom ideas on treats to experiment with. Monica and her husband, Miguel are making plans to one day have a storefront so that MoeJoe’s can be a one-stop shop for party treats. “As a mom who plans parties for my children, it’s tough going one place to get this and another place to get that. I want to be able to offer several different things. Especially since the treat tables are very popular now,” says Monica. She doesn’t just want to stop at edible goods, Monica wants that same location to house full events such as gaming parties and spa days for children. Her ultimate goal is to leave her current full time job, step out on faith, and make her idea a reality. With all the hats she wears, there are times that her own adverse thoughts get the best of her when it comes to her business. “My self doubt can sometimes bother me. Am I charging the right price, am I making the right treats? Then my husband, who is my biggest supporter, will say, ‘there are hundreds of barbershops and beauty salons and they all still get business. Nobody has the heart and the passion that you do.” To keep her grounded but motivated, the Martinsville, VA native relies on her church family at Oak Ridge First Baptist Church, especially the first family, with whom she is very close. “My daughter takes dance there and both children currently attend their Vacation Bible School,” Monica says. She considers her friends and church members her family, her village. She feels fortunate to be able to call on them whenever she needs an extra pair of hands or even just a prayer to get her through. MoeJoe’s Sweet Treats has grown tremendously with the help of social media and friends and family spreading the word. One day, when God says move, they’ll expand into four walls and serve the community one party at a time. h
MoeJoe’s Sweet Treats 336-944-7151 Greenville/Spartanburg - July/August 2018
Harmony Organizing Richmond, Virginia
www.harmonyorganizingorg.com enhanced during the decluttering process. They’re able to take inventory of their lives and make concrete decisions on the things they do and do not want, from piles of stuff, to bad habits, to toxic friends. This self-discovery process is key to creating the lives they want and living up to their full potential.” Ayanna usually works with career minded women who wear many hats, though she does have fantastic male clients. To be successful, she seeks anyone who is primed for change, or has a real, definite, and acute desire to change their cluttered lifestyle. Ayanna shares, “my clients who are primed for change have decided to take action due to personal circumstances or when everything in your life explodes and you don’t know where to pick up the pieces. I call these experiences a ‘Life Supernova’. I assist individuals who experience life transitions or unexpected events such as marriage, embarking upon a new career, starting a business or having to take care of a loved one who is sick.”
By Terry L. Watson Photos by Ayanna McMullen yanna McMullen of Richmond, Virginia is an eclectic systems thinker who empowers people to navigate the clutter of life. By doing so she enables them to see the big picture and break it down into manageable parts so they can live their best lives.
Ayanna is an educator, songstress, long distance runner and salsaholic who loves silver bangles and exploring different cultures and ideas. Ayanna is a Professional Organizer and holds a B.A. in Political Science and a M.P.A in Public Administration. All of these attributes are utilized in the very unique business that she manages, Harmony Organizing. Harmony Organizing is a consulting company that declutters and organizes the spaces in which people live, work, and play. “Most people think of space as tangible but there are also intangible spaces such as our minds and spirits. Harmony works with people on these levels as well. How we think determines what items and people we surround ourselves with and vice versa. The things and items we keep close to us affect our minds. It’s a holistic approach; we address the entire person,” Ayanna states. “I think that’s what makes us unique in the field of professional organizing; addressing the person as a multidimensional being, which we all are. Harmony Organizing balances the dimensions of your life.” As a pre-teen and teenager, Ayanna shares that her mother would move her from room to room. She shared a room with her two sisters and brother. She was also the one who would often organize family trips and serve as the “ambassador” for herself and siblings to their parents. “Ayanna you go ask momma and daddy if we can” was a directive often given to her she states. That was also her prepping ground for what would eventually become Harmony Organizing. Organizing things was always something that came naturally to Ayanna. It wasn’t until 2011, when she really began to understand the depth of how valuable it is to be organized and in balance. From then on, Harmony became her passion. “We are such better humans when we are organized and in balance,” Ayanna says. “I view order as a systemic movement or flow that is not stagnant but creative and liberating. Order should naturally adjust to your lifestyle to enhance how you move, work, and play. My clients’ lives are
Ayanna offers her services to individuals, groups, students, non-profits and for profits in various categories. These include physical spaces such as bedrooms, offices, garages and more. In regards to mental spaces goal setting, vision creation, idea generation, and tasks lists are offered. There is also a focus on scheduling and time for planners, calendars, schedules, communication boards, productivity apps and more. Finally, there are products geared around Cloud Space for things such as intangible files and information on computers, phones, and cloud storage. Additional services offered are geared to help clients organize their ‘Out of The Box Projects’ such as workflow management systems, human resources systems, group coordination and training, employee handbooks and more. There are a few organizational tips that Ayanna offers to those seeking to make their lives clutter free. First, Know Who You Are. If you don’t know, find out. A simple strategy is to write down what you like and what you don’t like. You’ll begin to see how your beliefs and values align to these. Does something need to change? Knowing yourself is also extremely important when working in cluttered environments with various personalities. Secondly, Know Your Big Why. Why do you want to become a professional organizer and why are you passionate about this work? This is the fuel that will keep you going when things are easy and when they are rough. Your Big Why is essential to creating your vision for your business. The next thing you should do is Find a Mentor. Whether it’s for business development or someone who can show you the ropes of organizing. No need to reinvent the wheel if someone else can show you how. Just add your special touch to it. Next, don’t forget to Create a System. Systems leverage your time, resources, and energy. Build Your Team. A team also helps you leverage your time, resources, and energy. More importantly, a team is great to bounce ideas off of. Knowing that there are people who have your back and can fill in the gaps is invaluable. Finally, Create White Space. Entrepreneurs, or up and coming entrepreneurs wear many hats. There is always something to do. Build time into your daily schedule to breathe, let your hair down, and just have fun. You’ll be refreshed and more creative when it’s time to work. Contact Harmony Organizing today and allow them to help make your life a little simpler. h
Zaheir Kaiden Reed The son of Creg Anthony Reed and Briana Eller Photo provided by JLG Photography
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(864) 729-2532 www.thewakeacademy.com
Elopements To Formal Ceremonies
Sonita M. Leak
Mykel Media Company, LLC