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NASHVILLE

May/June 2018 Vol. 1 Issue 5 FREE

KING JAMAL

TRAVIS JOHNSON

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T-N-T BBQ

TANYA DAVIS Triumph Over Trouble Nashville - May/June 2018

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

SlowThere Down And GodOr ToButs Catch Up It! Are NoAllow If, Ands, About A Letter from the Editor

A Letter From The Editor

A Letter from the Editor

What if tomorrowseems didn’t to arrive? Nowadays, everything moveAllatofa your fasterplans, pacehopes when and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park on. What compared to years before. We eat faster, cars are sleekerif and everything thateven you decided toexpensive put off until tomorrow never Whatzoom; if tomorrow didn’t arrive? All of your plans, hopes packed with the least ones. The internet happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy and dreams wouldn’t have a street to park if has played a significant role in accelerating the on. wayWhat we process, day, and you could spare someone the trouble of making everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never share, and obtain information amongst each other. The time promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy required to construct new homes has been reduced to weeks. today? wouldspare you do? day, andWhat you could someone the without trouble of making foot Students are graduating from high school, stepping promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired into a classroom, or even attending high school. We are truly I’ve been that I often Whattold would you do? seem like I do too much. livingtoday? in a microwave society. Honestly, I feel like I am not doing enough and I’m a firm believer in knowing that God seem wouldn’t on me I’ve been told that I often like put I do anything too much. With all the hustle and bustle, and while we attempt to do that I couldn’t sometimes wonderand how would Honestly, I feelhandle. like I amI not doing enough I’mlife a firm morebe with less, we don’t allow ourselves an opportunity to if I chose to sit idle and accept whatput it presented believer in knowing that God wouldn’t anything to onme. me I accommodate this increase. Our hustleIn is my inefficient inopportunity many haveI found that to be very boring. opinion, that couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life would ways,be that though ouraccept feettoiswhat moving, weA are not ismeaning aifblessing that isn’t everyone. challenge I chose to sit idle afforded and it presented to me. I getting Even more we acknowledge our to anywhere. mefound is an adventure. What isfail thetoIn worst that can opportunity happen? have that to be very boring. my opinion, regressions, boththat physically and emotionally, become If aI do nothing, I fail, if I try I don’t, butand instead learn is blessing isn’tand afforded to everyone. Adon’t challenge awareto of them until our systems fail. By then, for some of usinit is something new about myself. yourcan pride and me is an adventure. What is Relinquish the worst that happen? too late. return acquire life. If I do nothing, I fail, and if I try I don’t, but instead learn something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in Wereturn must learnadvice tolife. make fortothe things andsomeone The best evertime given mesimple happened when acquire movetold our me lives themy proper lane on the expressway of life. tointo make tomorrow happen today. In doing so Everything that glitters isn’t gold and what works for others may I have pressed my way through doors with a key that only The best advice ever given to me happened when someone not always fortoyou. grandmother is the 96 years young and so she hopeme provided. Imy have also learned difference between told makeMy tomorrow happen today. In doing God blesses me with and what life can burden me with didn’tIwhat make it here by running a race that she didn’t suit up for. have pressed my way through doors with a key that only as well. I compare it toalso knowing when be confident and hope provided. I have learned the to difference between when to be quiet, because blesses medo with and what lifeto can burden me with Wewhat mustGod learn to slow and allow God catch up with us. someone may get it confused as well. compare it to knowing when be confident and I believe that IHe wants to bless us but if wetoare outrunning our with being to bearrogant. quiet,our because purpose, it will impossible to answerwhen His calling upon lives. someone may get it confused If what we do is not done in accordance with God’s timing, it is Make you tomorrow with being arrogant. “played out”, meaning that it’s out dated, out of order, and out happen today, most we of season. When this but happens, importantly make it count. Make you tomorrow subject ourselves to unnecessary Lifetroubles is but a whisper and happen today, butwill most stress and that we must put ourselves a importantly make it count. ultimately steer us of course. in Only position toa hear what it He is Life is but whisper and by God’s grace and mercy will telling us.put ourselves in a we must allow us to get a realignment and position hearGod what it is rejoin the race. to Seek first in all telling us. that you do and remember to make L. that Watson frequent pitTerry stops so you may Editor/Founder obtain His instruction for your next Terry L. Watson journey.

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TerryWriters L. Watson Alana Allen - Deputy Tonya Dixon Editor Terry L Watson Terry L. WatsonPublisher Writers Alana Allen Tonya JeuronDixon Dove Writer Dawn C. Thornton Terry L. Watson Dr. Marrissa Dick Alana Allen Writer Photographers Terry L.Perfect Watson Photography Jeuron Dove Writer Lenz Shaw Photography Group

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NASHVILLE

CONTENTS

TNT B-B-Q

Travis Davis-Johnson

On The Cover

From Crack To Christ Tanya Davis

RALEIGH

Invisilace Hair Spa Gail Bernardo

CHARLOTTE

Curvaceous Closet Tamika Chisholm

TRIAD

Off The Hook Seafood Barrington Riddick

RICHMOND

Essentially Aysha Aysha Ives

GREENVILLE

Moms Two Daughters Carolyn Black and Shirley McDaniels

MEMPHIS

Curvy Chic Boutique Erica Gray

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J&J Planning

Jamal Hutchinson

28 32 44 40 10 43 Nashville - May/June 2018

MAY/JUNE 2018

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12

Jai’tique Designs

Jai Duncan

Huami Magazine Cutest Baby

Kinsley & Kingston

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Also Featured Katannya Martin

N Demand Nail Studio of Greenville

36 MOG The Real

Have you heard the new sound of Gosel Music

18 Dr Erika Hendrix

An open letter to the Black Church

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TANYA DAVIS Triumph Over Trouble 6

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By Terry L. Watson Photos by Johnathan Snorton

T

anya Davis of Detroit, MI is a perfect example of how God’s grace and mercy works. It is impossible to understand her pains and pitfalls just by looking at her outward exterior. You would have to pierce quite a bit more and listen to her soul sing the praises of God and how He saved her from a life of despair and hopelessness. Tanya is a mother, wife, grandmother, and friend to many. She is also a overcomer, motivator, faith walker, and mentor. Though what she is most proud of is her 28 years of being sober. Tanya’s life took a dark turn while she lived dangerously on the streets of Detroit. She was a drug addict, plagued with drug use, prostitution, domestic violence, and homelessness. Her habits led to crime and eventually incarceration. Her life changed when she opened her eyes to God. She confesses that He met her in her jail cell and began to change her life, freeing her from addiction, crime and the binds of wickedness. Today, she is an entrepreneur, consultant, producer, professional hair stylist, writer, and is a witness to the love and redemption of God. Though she isn’t an ordained minister, she does her share of ministry work. Lives have been saved through her testimony and she has shown many how to overcome obstacles merely by living as an example. “I often tell others that I know a man and He’s not from Detroit or Nashville – but He’s from Galilee,” she says. “I love to show others who are suffering with addiction how to succeed in recovery. When asked, “What’s next?”, her answer is always, “Wherever God leads me because I know it is His purpose. Tanya has a long list of accomplishments. She is the 2006 Recipient of the Phenomenal Woman Distinguished Award and the 2009 Who’s Who Award. Additionally, she is founder of Ice Media Group, and publisher of Ice Magazine – a cross-cultural lifestyle magazine and Focus On This International Hair Magazine. She is also the owner of Salon ICE in Nashville, TN and directs From Crack to Christ Ministries. She is the Executive Producer of “I Just Got My Hair Did” talk show on 92Q cumulus station, and a National Spokesperson for Beauty Behind Bars.

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Additionally, Tanya has also developed a passion for helping new and transitioning salons through her consulting business. Her experiences, vibrant personality and strong strength of faith has secured her for a wide range of projects and purposes. Presently she is the Founder of ABA American Beauty Awards, and Co-Founder of I Love To Battle Hair Competition.

Tanya is driven by an incredible passion for self-expression through hair. Her works are often noted for their unique style, elegance, and her signature techniques in blending traditional methods as well as modern techniques especially when it comes to hair care. She has also served as a Glam Professional working with many celebrities during Stellar Awards of gospel music.

Tanya credits her mother’s constant prayers for keeping her sane through everything she has faced. She also credits her mentor, Jacqueline Kelly, who has opened many salons and also has a commercial real estate firm in Nashville for providing her with insight and direction. Her number greatest supporters are her husband Kenneth, daughter, and granddaughter.

She has helped to produce hair shows in Detroit, Dallas, and Chicago, with audiences of over 10,000 people. In 2010, at The Hutton, one of the most prestigious hotels in Nashville, TN she produced and created “Rip the Runway Awards,” a show highlighting Nashville’s best in the Hair and beauty Industry.

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A Letter to the Black Church “Reclaiming Our Time” Dear Black Church, this letter addresses the need to reclaim our church and our time for such as time as this. We must provide direction and insight to a lost world that has ensnared us in a world and has smothered us from reaching our goal of being soul winners. It time for us to go back to how and why we exist. In the film Mahogany the legendary Diana Ross sang with exuberance these lyrics: “Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to? Do you know? Do you get what you’re hoping for? When you look behind you there’s no open door, what are you hoping for? Do you know? Diana Ross starred as the leading role of Tracy Chambers a woman who becomes a glamourous fashion model. The song gives a candied evaluation of life’s journey and what lies ahead. The song alludes that money cannot buy happiness or love. This song did not qualify for an Oscar even though it was the most popular song of 1976; that decision was over turned it was nominated, but the song lost in the final vote. The other interesting thing about the song it was considered to have bad grammar, because it ended with, Do you Know? This song broke through the glass ceiling, because Diana Ross was the first artist to perform via telecast she was currently on tour in Europe (Wikipedia-Theme from Mahogany). The certitude of this song and performance provided an all-encompassing release that life has its ups and down, but you must know where you are going and what you are going after. The Black Church must redefine its mission of Matthew 28:16-20. The Great Commission is one of the most significant passages of the bible. Our mission is to go into the community and evangelize. We have a responsibility to compel those who are lost and those who have walked away for the faith to “Come Back Home.” The world has divided the church by placing labels on the things that we do and say. As a result, we must reclaim our time back. The Black Church was birthed out of suffrage and songs. The oppression that was plaguing the black community; especially slavery was a foreshadowing of what was to come. The face of slavery represented a movement that gives us light that trouble doesn’t last always. For the African Americans who were looking for a way out it was songs they used to communicate that provided them with a code for the path to freedom. The black culture has always been embodied in music. Music was their get-a-away imagery that allowed their minds to see a way out. The fundamental experience of the Black Church was the pillar of the community. There were not a lot of places that slaves could go to for safety; therefore, in their songs it provided a safe house and route for their families to escape. So, music was more than a sound, it was a muse for creative artistry and expression. So, I ask the questions what message is music giving to our community? Could it be that music has left out the true message? Music is our resting place not a hiding place. Music is our sundry of various kinds, but the artistry has been left out. We need to reclaim our true meaning of the black community the message is in the music. How do we refortify the Black Church and bring it to the 2K18? How do we reach millennials and Gen-X? Research has shown that the world’s trends change every four years, but the church changes every twenty years. Therefore, by time the church changes the world system would have changed four times, and the church will

Dr. Erika Hendrix B.S., M. Div., D.D.

still be behind. So, the time-tested questions are where do we go from here? How do we right our wrongs? How do we become more transformative in forward thinking? How do we move the church from a moral crisis to a more kingdom minded atmosphere? Millennials and Gen-X are forward thinkers, so how are you going to bring them back to the church? The church for millennials is not a physical building, they feel a freedom to think outside of the box. The Black Church has a responsibility to embrace and to mentor Millennials and Gen-X to a familiar place, but not to a traditional place. There is a famous saying that, “home is where the heart is.” There worship experience is much different from baby boomers. So, where do we go from here? There is a sense of urgency to allow the voice of the Black Church to be more resounding and not hidden in the shadows. This letter to the Black Church is more than a letter it is a prophetic call to the urgency of NOW. The writer of the book of Hebrews, Apostle Paul gave credence that Now faith is our substance for the evidence; and the Old Testament Prophet Amos gives us hope in chapter 9:13-it want be long Now! Things are changing right before you. So, I leave you with this letter that the season of “Now” is here and we have been called to be h soul repairers and not soul breakers. For engagements please contact Dr. Erika Hendrix by telephone at 336-587-8876 or by email me at erikahe29@bellsouth.net. Please follow her on Facebook @Erika Hendrix, Instagram @drerikahendrix and on Twitter @drerikahendrix

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Carolyn & Shirley

Moms Two Daughters Home Care

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By Terry L. Watson Photos by JLG Photography

For some people, realizing your true calling in life can take a lifetime. The realization may appear in a dream, or surface during a conversation. For sisters Carolyn Black and Shirley McDaniels of Greenville, S.C. they learned of their calling purpose while doing something that came naturally; caring for their mother Kathleen during a moment of her life when she wasn’t able to care for herself. What should have been a routine or normal Gall Bladder surgery turned into something much more. “When she came home, she was never the same. For the next ten years, our family had to adjust to caring for her every need,” she says. Her mother later developed Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Dementia, before finally succumbing to her condition in 2012 at the age of 75. When her mother first became sick, they employed the services of other home care agencies and soon became very unsatisfied with the level of care they received. Instead of settling, they organized their other family members -brother, sister, grand kids and implemented a plan that would ensure their mother would be adequately cared for. Little did they know at the time, but that labor of love would grow into something very special.

Moms Two Daughters began as a result of Carolyn and Shirley caring for their mother Kathleen McDaniel

Moms Tow Daughters Home Care Services, LLC P.O. Box 9731 Greenville, SC 29604 momstwodaughters2017@gmail.com 864-678-0352 864-915-3649

Moms Two Daughters became officially licensed in 2015, but Shirley and Carolyn began private care nearly nine years ago. Carolyn had a private case and Shirley assisted and backed her up. Carolyn shared a idea with Shirley to partner with her and launch their own private care business. “I told her that I would give it a try for one year, and if it’s not successful, then I’m out,” Shirley said. From the very beginning the started the business with a realistic and genuine purpose. Carolyn brings a medical aspect to Moms Two Daughters. She is a licensed medical technician and phlebotomist. Shirley brings a business mind. She has an accounting degree and materials degree. Now, the pair is fully committed to building their business to level that will ultimately secure their retirement. Presently, they are full time moms and work their other jobs on a part time basis. Shirley is a Physicians Practice Specialist with a local hospital in Greenville. She is a mother of three and grandmother of two. Carolyn works for the school district in the Greenville area and she is a mother of one and grandmother of one. Before Moms Two Daughters will accept new clients, they will first conduct an in-home assessment to determine what are the specific needs of that specific person. The services offered by them are home health care, medical technician services, medication planning and assistance, blood pressure and oxygen level checks, doctor visit assistance, and meal preparations.

They also counsel families as needed. One new component to their business is home care travel service. They will provide service to families while accompanying their clients on family outings and vacations, accompanying their clients to meet their needs, and relieving their families. Moving forward, Moms Two Daughters will continue to grow their business and eventually hire full-time RN’s and Certified Medical Assistants. To learn more about them, please give them a call today. h

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Jamal Hutchinson 12

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By Terry L. Watson Photos by Jamal Hutchinson

J

amal Hutchinson of Nashville is a humble and respected man of God. He is a man with influence and connected to resources in the Nashville community. He is a husband and father of five children. He is a mentor, entrepreneur, and educator. Jamal is also a yoga instructor and financial educator.

“We help people become entrepreneurs in our industry and offer wealth building strategies for now and beyond, all for free. We help people protect their money from loss.”

Some of the businesses Jamal manages are J and J Planning Network, Yoga With Professa, and Beats and Yoga. J & J Planning Network Planning offers a leadership development program to train people how to develop a business around financial education. They provide a free financial education for individuals and businesses. “We help people become entrepreneurs in our industry and offer wealth building strategies for now and beyond, all for free. We help people protect their money from loss. Our services are geared for people who want a tax-free retirement, protection on their assets, and individuals looking to start a new career and become financially free. Our vision is to inspire, empower, and provide one million people through North America with a financial education and strategies that will help individuals, families, and businesses prosper, grow, and make a positive impact in the world,” he says. Yoga With Professa, and Beats and Yoga offers individual, private and group class instruction. It specializes in servicing those who desire to learn how to live a holistic lifestyle, be more mindful, and seek an alternative way to work out. The goal of Beats and Yoga is to make yoga more accessible to the community by combining urban music and yoga at various locations. “We want to promote small business through our vendor section. Beats & Yoga provides the opportunity for people to have a good time with friends while practicing yoga,” Jamal says. A Yoga With Professa t-shirt line is in development. Continued on the next page

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All of his businesses came out of a personal need. J & J Planning Network was manifested from the need and desire to become financially free. Jamal started in January 2016. At the time he had experienced a couple of layoffs. His job in higher education did not provide any room for growth for his salary and personal development. Becoming an entrepreneur in the same industry unlocked doors for personal development and leadership development. Now, he can control his time and income. Yoga With Professa began after he completed his teacher training in November 2014. He wanted to offer private and group lessons to individuals, nonprofits, and business as a way for people to learn how to practice meditation, learn techniques to destress, use yoga as an alternative for working out, and to practice mindfulness.

“I didn’t want to do the venture by myself, so I talked to my friends Tyra, who runs a concierge service, and Eric, who is a DJ. We discussed the idea of combining urban music and yoga together.”

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Beats & Yoga began last October. In April of the same year, Jamal says the thought was to conduct trap yoga events. “I didn’t want to do the venture by myself, so I talked to my friends Tyra, who runs a concierge service, and Eric, who is a DJ. We discussed the idea of combining urban music and yoga together,” he said. Jamals’ businesses are in line with his three pillars of life; education, health, and wealth. “I love that I have the ability to help people with being mindful about their minds, body, soul, and money. I also love to help people reach their goals,” he says. Some of the challenges he faces are that he is still a 75% self-employed, and 25% business owner. Other challenges he faces are getting the message of his business out to massive amounts of people, balancing work, family, and life, and maximizing his time to learn the best way to develop leaders. In the future, Jamal hopes that his businesses will become a household name. He also hopes to become better at his craft and inspire people to live their dreams to the fullest. He hopes to create content to explain concepts about his business and the journey of entrepreneurship. h


Jamal Hutchinson

www.beatandyoga.com www.Ipppinc.org www.Yogawithprofessa.com www.Jandjplanningnetwork.com Nashville - May/June 2018

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Travis Davis-Johnson TNT B-B-Q

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Because It’s Dynomite

By Terry L. Watson Photos by Travis Davis-Johnson

ravis Davis-Johnson is a God-fearing man, a husband, father, and business owner. He is also a man on a mission who is attempting to make an impact on the world with his delicious foods. He is the owner of TNT B-B-Q in Nashville, TN. TNT is an acronym for his name along with his wife’s (Travis and Temperance). Together, they serve barbeque, hot chicken, fish, and a host of other soulful sides including macaroni and cheese, green beans, sweet potatoes, and more.

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Travis began his business in June 2017. “My wife noticed my passion for barbecuing. The response from everyone who had tasted it was always good. She has an entrepreneurial spirit and encouraged me to begin selling my food. I was a little hesitant at first, but eventually listened to her and now here we are,” he says. Travis enjoys making food that pleases the mouth. He believes that everyone has an appetite for good eats. He is just doing his part by bringing what I create to the table. One of the biggest challenges Travis faces is obtaining a central location that will allow him to serve the masses. He is currently developing plans to do that which will change the dynamics of his business and allow his existing customers and new ones to come to a centralized location and enjoy TNT B-B-Q more often. His life and career has been impacted mostly by his aunt, Betty Davis. “She is impeccable on the grill and I wondered how she got the food to taste so good. My curiosity provoked me to begin grilling and experimenting myself, and I haven’t been able to quit,” he says. His wife has also played a huge role into the progress and overall existence of TNT B-B-Q. “She is a true entrepreneur and really understands the dynamics of business. She has translated those attributes to me and I now have a better understand of how to manage our business,” he says. His children, Travis Jr. and Travis III play a significant role in his life also. “They make me step my game up and keep me focused and motivated. I work really hard to make TNT B-B-Q successful because their future is connected to the business,” he says. Travis offers some advice to others who may be thinking about starting their own business. “Stay focused and motivated. Even when things don’t look favorable, don’t give up. Always have faith that God is directing your steps and He will never leave you nor forsake you,” he says. He is currently working on launching a product line of sauces and spices for TNT B-B-Q including flour, hot chicken seasoning, BBQ sauces and more. Contact them today to enjoy some delicious TNT B-B-Q. h

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MOG The Real By Dr. Marrissa Dick Photos by Shaw Photography Group

Transplanted from Dayton, Ohio and rooted in Saint James Hampton Homes in Greensboro, NC rapper, singer, and song writer Kyle Carver, The Real M. O. G., is creating some serious buzz in the Christian music industry. With his newest release, “G Praise” having well over 349 thousand views and comments and over 2,900 shares on Face Book, Kyle is certainly turning the heads of Christian and secular music listeners alike. With his closed posture, submitted demeanor, and humble smile one would find it difficult to believe that he bellows out inspirational and rhythmical raps to what sounds like hard core gangsta beats; but this is exactly what he does. According to Kyle, “G Praise is a street praise. It’s a crazy praise like David when he got the ark of the covenant back. It’s that shower praise when you don’t care about what notes you’ve missed or what tune you’re singing in or even if you got all the words right. It just feels good to praise GOD regardless of what other people think.” Kyle hasn’t always lived this life of praise and worship, so he doesn’t down play his past. Instead he uses his testimony by being the bridge that links the streets to the church. He shares, “My language is versatile, you know, I can talk street and I can talk Bible.” When speaking about recidivism he acknowledges that he repeated the same cycle his father did, but he vowed it was going to stop with him. He knew he had to focus his time on something different - -something positive. He says, “You know you have to seek God and ask Him what your gift is, so you can get focused on something positive. I knew mine was music because I enjoy it and it comes effortlessly for me. It’s crazy because I almost let it all go because I despised my father. He was locked up for most of my life. He wasn’t here to teach me how to navigate life as a man, but the one thing I always heard people say about him was that he loved to sing. So, since that’s what he loved that’s what I hated.” Nonetheless, the passing of his father touched his heart and made him realize that he had a choice. He could either chose to harden his heart toward his father and his music or he could embrace it. Kyle shares, “You know death has a way of turning your heart. So instead of being hardcore and choosing to hate I chose to embrace him and his music. I give all the glory to God for that because if I hadn’t forgiven him I would have blocked my own blessing and I wouldn’t have been able to use the gift that God gave me to bring the people from the streets to Him.”

“You know you have to seek God and ask Him what your gift is, so you can get focused on something positive. I knew mine was rapping and singing because I enjoy it and it comes effortlessly for me.”

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Continued from page 8 From his realistic lyrics to the tranquil musical bass he plans to inspire this millennial generation to seek after God. Being consistent with his music, Kyle’s perspective on praise is also unique. He says, “All praise is acceptable. If I was an organ player and I am playing for the Lord, then that’s my acceptable praise. If I were a tap dancer I would praise God through my ability to tap dance. If I was a freestyle dancer and the Spirit of God moved me then my free style would be my authentic praise.” Kyle considers his musical praise as a sacrificial offering; however, he explains it like this, “My music is my sacrifice unto God. I look at praise like Cain and Able. To me, Cain presented his offering unto God with a bad attitude. Like he didn’t really want to do it but then you have Able who reflected on the best thing he could give to God and presented it to Him with a good attitude and a clean heart. That’s how I see my music. It’s an offering to God. I mean that’s pure and real and that’s all I have to give Him where it’s just all about Him. It’s void of me; but it’s everything about Him. I give God my Able sacrifice and praise.”

“If I were a tap dancer I would praise God through my ability to tap dance. If I was a freestyle dancer and the Spirit of God moved me then my free style would be my authentic praise.”

Kyle will be the first to admit that transitioning from street life to the church is not such an easy thing to do. He shares, “You know most people don’t know that there’s a difference when you’re locked up for a couple of years verses those in there for life. The life timers are very serious about God and they minister to the younger ones. So, if you can feel the presence of God in a place like that then I know you can experience Him anywhere. That’s why I titled my album, G Praise which stands for Gangsta Praise. I wanted to show the different aspects of praise. God is different for everybody and there’s not just one way you can praise God. Some people clap their hands while some stomp their feet while some people run. I can use myself as an example. My wife, Kimberly, introduced me to church. When I first started going to church with her I sat there for maybe two or three years feeling the Holy Spirit, but I didn’t want to jump up and praise Him because I didn’t want everybody to think I was this crazy dude who just did a back flip down the aisle. I know there are people out there that think like that. They want to give God praise but they don’t know how. They want to let go but they’re afraid of being judged. When they feel the Holy Spirit, I want them to know that they can do what they feel as long as it’s an Able praise offering and not a Cain offering. True praise is always pleasing and acceptable unto the Lord. Through my music I want to let the street person know that they’re welcomed in the house of God, too. That’s basically what G Praise is all about; it’s all about hearing the Word of God through the music.”

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John 12:32 clearly says, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” This Biblical verse is one of the corner stones of his music. Kyles’ main passion is to turn the tides of the dark streets by sharing the Light of the World with those who reside there. His inspirational music has been supported by the Ali and Tyson of Christian hip hop pioneering artists, Canton Jones and Da’ T. R. U. T. H. who are both rapping on his new cd. Notwithstanding, Petey Pablo is also featured. According to Kyle, “A lot of people don’t know that Petey was raised in church.” Canton, Da’ T. R. U. T. H. and Petey sing and rap about street life with hip hop flavor and fashionable appeal. Kyle has tapped into this genera of music because the millennials who follow him and others like him adamantly confess Jesus Christ as their Personal Lord and Savior. They just so happen to confess it with a hip hop feel. According to Kyle, The Real M.O.G., “I have a strong passion for people who find it difficult to change their mindset of doing certain things that will put them back in prison. I just feel like it’s my duty to help them change. I want to spark the minds of this generation and challenge them to be positive; instead of being who the world has told them they had to be. They need to know that God is the beginning of it all and without Him nothing is possible. I know it can be done because I’m an example of being changed by listening to the Word of God. If God can change me He can change anybody.”

To listen to “I Give It All To You God” and “G Praise” or to contact Kyle Carver for booking engagements, go to The Real M.O.G. on FaceBook. To purchase and follow his release dates, please visit www.mogthereal.com

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Quite often when people utilize the acronym MOG most Christians equate it to a pastor; however, that is not what Kyle is referring to. Instead, he has taken a more simplistic approach. He says, “I’ve always believed that when you’re dealing with God you want to be title-less. A lot of people want a title, but I don’t need a title to praise God. I had a title for years in the street and I found it to be a burden. When I decided that I wanted to get married and have children I knew I had to shed that title because it was related to my past. The Real M.O.G. simply means I’m just a man who loves God. I’m really nobody. I was made from dirt and I’m just trying to walk this truth and bring as many people with me as I can through the gift that God gave me and that’s my music.” Check out Kyle Carvers new album which will officially be released on Sunday, May 20, 2018. He also encourages others to listen to his singles on Facebook. He can also be followed on Instagram at mogthereal and thereal_m.o.g. His music is also available for purchase on iTunes, Tidal and all major digital streaming services. h


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Jai Duncan Jai’tique Designs

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By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Todd Youngblood

reativity runs through Jai (pronounced Jay) Duncan’s veins. Her mom is a furniture maker and her uncle crafts jewelry out of precious stones. The talent apparently settled on her too. She’s tried her hand at several different art forms, paring different materials, colors, and her own special techniques. Jai started designing jewelry a decade ago until she hit a rough patch in her life and took a break. When she was ready to crank it up again, she had an idea to buy pieces in bulk and sell them. After a few months, she realized she wasn’t dedicated to it and stopped. Another idea was to take pictures of her uncles’ jewelry and put the images on drinking mugs. “That didn’t work too well because you couldn’t really see some of the pictures very good,” she explains. The self-taught artist went back to the drawing board to figure out exactly what her niche would be. She discovered a site that allowed its customers to purchase images without being subject to copyright infringement as well as a program that would allow her to create her own abstract designs, allowing her to reinvent her mugs. Her love for wood sparked an idea to put ethnic images on different pieces too. Although she has been creative all her life, Jai was inspired to pursue her art when she noticed a coworker selling her handmade jewelry at work. The wheels in her brain started flowing and she began crafting afro-centric medallion necklaces, rings, and other pieces. She has most recently added sculptures constructed from rocks, glass, and beads to her list of items she offers. Jai credits ‘You Tube’ for helping teach her how to create many of her pieces. “Last year was a really good year for me. I met so many people and attended lots of street fairs and it’s helping me build my brand,” says Jai. She recently particpated in an art show in April and shared her artwork with the community. Continued on the next page Nashville - May/June 2018

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When Jai is not gluing, printing, or crafting, she works as a Billing Supervisor at a publishing company. Her team makes sure all magazine advertisements are correct, including coloration, price, and size of ads, prior to the issue being printed. “I started out as an Administrative Assistant at this company in New York and have been at the Charlotte location for 11 years now.” Considering her day job, there are times when Jai has to pace herself and step away from her art. She suffers from Fibromyalgia, a disorder characterized by chronic muscle pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues, according to mayoclinic.org. “Although it is somewhat managed, it’s still a struggle at times. Sometimes, I’m in so much pain, I’m unable to create things I want to,” says Jai. At one point, she also suffered from Carpel Tunnel and had to resort to painting t-shirts with one hand. Growing up in her hometown of Harlem, the mother of two reminisces on her teenage years, being a free spirit, dancing at different parties around the city to house music, and even appearing in a rock video. Her formative years are long gone, but the results of those times have had a great impact on her current lifestyle. Raising two sons who may ultimately follow in her footsteps has been personally rewarding. Her oldest son lives in New York and is forging a career in music while also designing a clothing line. Her youngest, a high school senior graduating in June, also dabbles with t-shirt designs. When asked about the investment needed to begin, she quickly laughs, “Blood, sweat, and tears! But it’s all been worth it.” It goes without saying that oftentimes art is a labor of love, because the items you’ve spent time pouring into won’t appeal to everyone. The sculptures she creates are her pride and joy. “I’m literally creating something from scratch so there’s no telling what direction it could go in. No two pieces are the same,” says Jai.

(704) 659-5254 www.jaitiquedesigns.wixsite.com/jaitiquedesigns

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Within the next five years, Jai has plans to greatly expand her business. Traveling to art shows are high up on her list, as is possibly opening a brick-and-mortar store. “I’m a firm believer that you have to put out in order to get back. I’ve done a lot of putting out and the journey has been wonderful.” h


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GailBernardo Invisilace Hair Spa


By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Shanitra Dixon

n January 24, 2018, Gail Bernardo invited her family, close friends, and a few special clients to her home for an impromptu get together. Both Christmas and the New Year had passed, and it certainly wasn’t her birthday. So, when people arrived, they saw a cake, balloons, and other celebratory décor. They were all confused as to what was going on. Years prior, Gail had been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the bone marrow, and had endured rounds of chemotherapy. In the process, she lost her energy, her ability to work for several months, and her hair. Considering she’s the owner of Invisilace Hair Spa, shedding her hair was a struggle she had only treated others for, not experienced herself. When everyone arrived, she proudly revealed that on the previous day, her doctors notified her that she was cancer-free. Her health was on the mend and she could finally lead a life void of chemo treatments and worry. Needless to say, her loved ones were all overjoyed. The ones that showed support by transporting her to doctor visits, calling to check on her, or just spending time with her while she was out of work, could now celebrate and rejoice.

“I often wondered why God does the things He does, such as putting me in the position to be without hair, letting me see what my clients go through everyday. And how He put me where they were. It was so that I could get a chance to experience the people that I service.”

“I had lots of support from everyone. But Nikki Brown and Flora Jones ran the business while I was out. They kept it going and I can’t thank them enough,” says Gail. Throughout the process, Gail was on leave from her business for only six months. When she returned, she had a new appreciation for her clients and the struggles they face. The 57-year-old survivor confesses, when her clients would tell her how they felt after losing their hair, that she never took it seriously. She would simply say, “Oh you’ll be ok. As long as you have your lace wig, you’ll be fine.” But later she clearly understood that it’s more about self-esteem, confidence, and how you feel. She felt sad when she lost her hair. She took her lengthy mane for granted, until she couldn’t anymore. That’s when she knew she had not connected with her clients and decided to apologize to them. Continued on the next page

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“I often wondered why God does the things He does, such as putting me in the position to be without hair, letting me see what my clients go through everyday. And how he put me where they were. It was so that I could get a chance to experience the people that I service,” Gail realizes. For most people, hair is usually worn like a crown; One they cherish, maintain, and style with pride. What the licensed natural hair stylist takes pride in, is making her clients feel normal. Within the last several years, Gail has secured contracts with the VA Hospital to supply veterans who have battled hair loss as well as donated hair units to the Alopecia Foundation. It’s obvious that she enjoys what she does and now that she has been this road, she can truly say, “I understand.” Now she does more outreach; she educates others and shares her story of survival. She has also vowed to help more people learn about hair loss of all kinds and travels all over the country to train others on the business. A large majority of her classes are held locally and can be completed within two days or 15 hours. At $1400, Gail teaches how to install (and remove), care for, select products, and run a business, among other skills. After successful completion of the course, the student becomes a certified Lacetition and receives a hair unit of their choice. Gail doesn’t stop there, she can also serve as a distributor to ensure the client is receiving quality products. She is currently preparing to travel more and spread her love of alternative hair options, so she’d like to increase the support at her spa and add more natural stylists. “I’m looking for someone who has a passion for hair who is already licensed or who I can train to help them get licensed,” she explains. Gail knows she can’t overdo it though. Taking on less clients and having more time to herself helps her maintain a healthy lifestyle. She remembers what it felt like when her body was crying out for help on the medication during her illness. She is grateful to be rid of the side effects she experienced. Tingling in her feet plagued her often. She also experienced weight gain and retained fluid. All the while, her closest family members were there. Her husband, two daughters, and a special cousin, Lorna, never left her side.

Invisilace Hair Spa Invisilace Front Wigs

www.invisilacefrontwigs.com 1029 Dresser Ct. - Raleigh, NC 27609 919 -521-4864 30 30

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I can tell that she appreciates the strife God placed in her path. Her love for herself and the clients she serviced were magnified beyond what she could have ever imagined. Now when she encounters someone new she can embrace them with deeper awareness. She views her business in a new light. In fact, her motto is, “Faith goes beyond what your eyes can see.” In hearing Gail Bernardo’s story, I can certainly attest to that. h


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Curvaceous Closet

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By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Todd Youngblood he was a mother at 14 years old, a runaway, a group home alumni, and the target of a scam artist. But failing doesn’t become her. Tamika Chisholm has been challenged all her life, and she always finds a way to win. She had a less than loving upbringing.

She’s always been a fan of fashion, styling her dolls as a child, so it was only fitting that Tamika invest her money in something she was passionate about. She initially planned to open a small clothing boutique and had hired a contractor (recommended by a friend) to help redesign and build out the space. After handing over thousands of dollars to pay for what she thought was building materials, permits, and other necessary costs, the contractor ultimately took off, and left her with no business, no money, and a broken spirit. “I was depressed. I was going to give all my stuff away, but I just didn’t do it. I just couldn’t let go of it,” says Tamika. When she realized the boutique that she hoped for wouldn’t be, she placed her merchandise in a storage unit until she figured out another plan. This set-back almost ruined her completely. She gained more than 50 pounds as a result. One day, she stumbled upon an article online about someone who owned a fashion truck and a lightbulb went off in her head. Initially she could only find trucks for sale several states away, potentially forcing her to travel to purchase one. ‘Something told me to look for a truck here in Charlotte. I found a truck and I initially was going to rebrand it to the name of my boutique, but after doing research, I realized the one I found already had a following and was well-known. So, I wanted all of it. The trademark, the name, everything. It was God’s plan.” It took her a mere week to actually find the truck and when she saw it and met the owner, she purchased it on the spot. Tamika has only owned her new wheels for three months, but she’s steadily picking up speed with customers and sales. The most recent event she participated in was in Spartanburg, SC and it attracted almost 75,000 people. Instead of attending the fling for two days, she was motivated to stay for three. By the time she returned home to Charlotte, she was completely burned out. But that’s normal when you have a dream and are working to fulfill it. On the days she’s not driving and promoting her new brand, she’s buying inventory, tagging and stocking merchandise, and reviewing her books to make sure her dollars make sense.

“I was depressed. I was going to give all of my stuff away, but I just didn’t do it. I just couldn’t let go of it”

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Curvaceous Closet doesn’t just cater to plus size women like the name suggests. But when a plus size woman steps on the truck, she will be able to find the right fit, up to size 24. Tamika enjoys showing women with any number of curves how beautiful and appealing they are. “Low self-esteem comes in all sizes. I like motivating a woman and letting her know to love herself, period,” Tamika explains. If it sounds like she is handling this busy life like a pro, you should know that she also has a home healthcare business that she has run for eight years, along with being a mom to two adult daughters, ages 29 and 24, and grandmother to two grandsons. She hesitates for a brief moment when I ask her age. She has a youthful voice. Then she laughs, “I’m 45. I don’t really care!” It doesn’t take long for her to own it.

Pictured with Tamika is her friend Vanessa

During her 45 years, she’s experienced more than some have. She freely admits to having a troublesome few years as a teenager. She attended three different high schools as she moved from her mom’s home, to her aunt’s house, to a group home, and back with her mother. She ran away at age 17. She eventually obtained a GED at the age of 19. She decided to change her habits when her immediate family was involved in a horrific car accident and needed her to care for them. Her 13-year-old daughter sustained a brain injury during the accident. Considering all the dangerous decisions she made growing up, Tamika knew she wanted to succeed. She was confident, that she would fail, but she simply had to restructure her path. Now her paths lead to anywhere her mobile boutique will allow her to go. She loves being on the road in her fashion truck. She still has her sights set on having her salon studios one day, but she hopes her daughters will take over Curvaceous Closet and make it their own. It’s clear Tamika had a delayed start and countless bumps along the way. But it’s evident that she didn’t let any of these circumstances dictate her direction. We all get lost and stray at times. But it’s the strong ones that forge ahead, marching onward and upward. h

Tamika Chisholm Curvaceous Closet 704-802-2082 www.curvaceouscloset.com 3434 HuamiMagazine.com

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“N” Demand Nail Studio By Terry L. Watson Photos by Young Gemini

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hough Katannya Martin may wear many hats, none is more important than the one she fulfills as a wife and mother. A mother is nurturing and is equally proficient as a listener and talker. A wife is someone who expresses her love in everything she does, regardless of the situation or setting. These are the attributes that Katannya embodies and share with the staff and clientele of “N” Demand Nail Studio in Greenville. Katannya is a licensed Nail Technician and Educator, and the owner/operator. “I believe that any good salon owner should be able to connect with its staff,” she says. “I have been charged by God to guide the new technicians He sends me. They are often young in age and experience, and I take on the role as mentor and protector to ensure they learn the truths and myths about our industry which will help them not to make the mistakes that I made when I began my career.”

www.styleseat.com/katannyamartin

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“N” Demand Nail Studio is a full-service salon that offers premium Nail and Hair services. They use Shan MarCam products, which is a line created by Katannya and Bridgette Campbell, and specialize in unique nail designs from embedding to water nails. Their hair stylist offers a variety of services from blowouts to custom color, and also have a naturalist on sight who specializes in homeopathic pedicures and manicures, providing personal care for natural nails. They also offer eyebrow threading and waxing and will cater spa and private parties.


Katannya says “I didn’t choose nails, they chose me. I wanted to be a veterinarian growing up. My mother was a hair stylist and I was led to style hair. However, I became bored and burned out and soon had no passion for hair. So, I decided to take a nail course and felt right at home. I didn’t think I was any good or able to draw or create some of the awesome nails that I saw others produce, but I worked very hard and paid attention whenever I got my nails done. I remember going to the same nail technician to get services just, so I could watch and learn their techniques. I often share with my students that I stole most of my education.” Katannya’s personal services include nail enhancements, nail art, reconstruction of nails, and tutorial classes. The thing that she loves most about her career is the freedom to express her creativity and bring to life the thoughts and ideas of others. “When people sit in my chair they are free and comfortable to talk about anything going on in their lives. That’s where building a rapport with a client grows from a service relationship into a friendship. “Most of my clients have been with me for 15 plus years, and from the beginning of my career, I’ve valued their friendship as much as their patronage,” she says. Continued on page 9 Nashville - May/June 2018

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HAIR STYLIST

NAIL TECHNICIAN

www.styleseat.com/juanterussell

www.styleseat.com/joycefurgerson

“N” Demand Nail Studio team member Joyce Furgerson is a profession is nail technician. Her primary objective is to provide professional nail services without compromising a sound customer service experience. She offers a full range of nail services including manicures and pedicures and helps her clients with maintaining healthy nails. What Joyce loves most about her profession is showing others how to express themselves through the art of nail design. Her life and career has been impacted mostly by her mother, who she credits her with being a source of strength and assurance. “I chose this career because it allows me to put dream on nails,” she says.

Juante Russell brings a unique flavor to “N” Demand as a Licensed Cosmetologist. He is known throughout the industry as the “Blowout King” and uses an array of products to assist his clients in achieving their ultimate look. The services Juante provides are Blowouts, Roller and Rod Sets, Color, and Relaxers. “I love being able to make my clients smile after they get a new haircut, color or even a new hair style,” he says. Juante is inspired and encouraged by his family and friends who are constant supporters of him. “One of my many purposes in life was to do hair. In spite of being a dialysis patient, when I am in the salon I am doing something that makes me happy,” he says.

Andrea Permenter is the event coordinator for “N” Demand Nail Studio. She describes herself as an energetic person who loves to interact with new individuals. As the Event Coordinator, she helps with planning and coordinating events for the salon. She also keeps everyone informed with upcoming and new events. One of the services she offers is errand running for the staff. “I like meeting new people who are in the cosmetology industry and willing to take the next step to jump-start their career. She credits Katannya Martin with helping her to put her creative juices into action. “I am inspired by my mother. She taught me the meaning of hard work,” she says.

N Demand Nail Studio 1803 Laurens Road Greenville, SC 29607 864-520-3881

EVENT COORDINATOR

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www.ndemandnailstudio.com Hours of Operation Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri, Sat 10am - 10pm


NAIL TECHNICIAN

JEWELRY CONSULTANT

www.styleseat.com/jamieashley2

Jamie Miller is a Professional Nail Technician at “N” Demand Nail Studio. She specializes in gel and acrylic enhancements. Jamie chose this career mainly because she loves seeing the confidence boost women get from getting their nails done. “Katannya Martin has impacted my career the most. Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she says. Her biggest thrills as a nail technician is seeing and teaching herself techniques that she hasn’t learned just yet. Jamie chose this career field because it allows her to express herself through her work. “Not only that, I can put a smile on someone’s face just by doing their nails,” she says.

www.tracilynnjewelry.com/15096

Yetta Choice-Ellis is a Traci Lynn Jewelry Consultant and Jewelry Stylist for “N” Demand Nail Studio. She specializes in fashion jewelry, hand bags, cross body bags, and travel bags. She started her business as a means, to take care of her daughter and after the dynamics changed in her life. It was during a difficult period when she lost everything. She is inspired by seeing her daughter watch her while she works. “I inspire to do more knowing that she is watching,” she says. “I chose my career because I saw it as an opportunity to impact someone else’s life, as well as inspire and motivate others”.

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Her mother is the single most influential person in her life and career. “She always believed in me and pushed me to achieve my goals. My mom was very independent and impressed that upon me as a young woman. Additionally, she was a single parent and showed me that strength and endurance would carry far. Her motto is ‘to whom much is given, much is required’. I have adopted that as well,” she says. “I inspire to be like my mother in such a way to impact the lives and careers of up and coming women of color who aspire to be nail technicians.” In the future, Katannya hopes to see more cohesiveness amongst stylist and technicians in her industry. “We have to stick together. My grandmother told me that you don’t have to dim someone else’s light to make yours brighter, and I believe that. I make every effort to learn from others when I can and try to help where help is needed or wanted. This way of thinking is practically unheard of in this industry. It’s a ‘dog eat dog’ industry. I just wish others would realize that what God has ordained for them is only for them, and there is no reason to fear or be threatened by the success of others,” Katannya said.

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www.essentiallyaysha.com

804-525-9846

Aysha Ives is multifaceted. Externally, Aysha is a woman who is often somewhere between being an entrepreneur and taking care of her family, two roles of which she loves tremendously. Then there’s the internal Aysha; the rainbow haired woman who is often found somewhere in the metaphysical world. Either way, she has found herself deeply involved with her business, Essentially Aysha, LLC. After being in business for several years as a coach, author, and publisher, the Richmond, VA resident decided to launch her very own business. As the mother of a high achieving athlete, she has seen how grueling athletics can be on the body of young athletes. She watched tournaments after tournament and cringe at the impact that competitive sports bring. So, rather than just watch (and cringe) from afar, Aysha began seeking solutions that would ward off some of these negative consequences and concluded with Essentially Aysha, LLC. Aysha was determined to find high quality, effective products that would meet the specific needs of her highly athletic son. She came across some products that worked but she had concerns with putting certain kind of chemicals into his body. It helped to ease his pain and discomfort but at what expense. She was focused on nutrition and recovery and trying to prevent dumping some potentially harmful into his bloodstream. Aysha knew there had to be something better. “I kept looking for something better and my search eventually brought me to the world of essential oils, and I haven’t turned back ever since,” she says. After being introduced to essential oils and seeing first hand, the incredible benefits they provide, it began to dawn on Aysha the oils would benefit more than just her son and her family. It became her mission to share the resources with other athletic families. Essentially Aysha, LLC was born. Essentially Aysha, LLC offers essential oil blends that are formulated to meet the specific needs of high achieving athletes in the competitive youth sports sector. They currently have two products on the market and another that has just finished the product testing phase. “Our Athlete’s Balm is designed to soothe sore muscles and joints after intense workouts, games, and tournaments. Young players are constantly pushing their limits in the competitive sports world and our Balm helps to soothe and cool those overworked muscles,” she says. The Soothe blend is designed to help ease head tension. When it’s time to play, the last thing a player needs is a headache or migraine. Soothe contains six crucial essential oils known for helping to relieve head and neck tension and discomfort. The other product, Relieve, is made up of a blend of essential oils that are known to ease the discomfort of seasonal allergies. This is especially helpful during the Spring and Fall sports seasons when allergens are at their worst. It’s designed to help players go harder than their allergies so they can have their best season yet. “Our products are all natural and our roller bottles offer quick, on-the-go access,” she says. “I love that I can bring awareness about the efficacy of essential oils to the sports world. It’s competitive and there are bumps, bruises, and soreness that come with the grind. Knowing that I have the tools to help young athletes, blows my mind. The oils are great individually, but they are blended together based upon their individual therapeutic qualities, the potency is unparalleled. Being able to offer these blends to sports families, that’s what is most important to me when it comes to my business. Contact Aysha Ives to learn more about Essentially Aysha and her products. h

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huami MAGAZINE

Cutest Baby

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The children of Lakisha Jones and Kendrick Brown Photo provided by Michael Garris

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

Nashville - May/June 2018

Want To Advertise? Call 336-340-7844

Kinsley & Kingston Jones-Brown

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By Terry L. Watson Photos by Erica Gray rica Gray is the owner of Curvy Chic Boutique, an online boutique based out of Carthage, Mississippi. What was first established in 2014 as Erica’s Closet transitioned into something more personable and capable to meet their customer’s needs. “I dress women with curves so that they feel empowered about the way they look and feel,” Erica says.

“I sell women’s clothing, jewelry, accessories and shoes. I also host business brunches and small business expos for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners. My services are geared toward anyone looking to start a business or progress in their current business,” she says. “I love fashion, period. My mother was an entrepreneur and she stirred a passion for clothes in me. She was pretty good at sewing and made a lot of my clothes when I was a young child. She also was a creative person who often sold her crafts to others.” Though she has faced her share of challenges, Erica has learned how to survive. She is a divorced mother of two boys and Jackson State University graduate. She is also a member of Zeta Phi Beta sorority. Erica was born and raised in Gary, Indiana but has lived in Carthage most of her adult life. She has worked in the education and social services fields and utilizes those skill sets to empower women and others in becoming entrepreneurs.

Erica Gray

Curvy Chic Boutique is a result of Erica’s drive to be successful. She wanted to do something different with her career and set an example for her children. “My testimony is sacrifice. There are a lot of personal and professional sacrifices you must make as a business owner. I learned that you’re going to lose friends, maybe even some family members along the way. There’s going to be some things you can’t do because you’d rather spend that money and time on your business. I also learned how to do without so that I will be able to meet my customers and needs,” she says. Erica is quick to point out that there wouldn’t be a Curvy Chic Boutique without the support from her core circle. “They keep me motivated and keep me going. The fashion community in Jackson, MS has always given my business and brand a lot of love and support,” she says. Erica is inspired by seeing women embrace their curves and not afraid to flaunt them. While mainstream society is slowly starting to accept the fullfigured woman, Erica wants to make sure she gets her due recognition. “I hope to become a small business coach and consultant. I believe I can help upcoming business owners with my knowledge and experience. h

www.curvychicllc.com

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Barrington Riddick Off The Hook Seafood & Chicken Sweet Cold Treats By Dr. Marrissa Dick Photos by Shaw Photography Group

It’s officially spring and summer will soon be around the corner. With both comes weather just perfect for a cup of delicious Philadelphia Water Ice and a fresh “straight out the hot grease” “Around The World” fried fish plate accompanied with an addictive cup of strawberry lemonade. Meet Barrington Riddick, owner and operator of Sweet Cold Treats and Off the Hook Seafood and Chicken. Home grown in Bertie County, North Carolina, Barrington’s entrepreneurial spirit was put to task by his mother at an early age. He says, “My mother was the reason I started my first business. I asked her for some money one day and instead of her giving it to me, she gave me the best piece of advice of my life. What she told me to do was - save up my allowance, go buy some candy and sell it instead of coming and asking her for money every day. So that’s what I did. I would go to the store and buy some lollipops and Jolly Ranchers and sell them at school and around the neighborhood. I came from an entrepreneur family, so they taught me how to reinvest the money back into my business and I saved the profit. That’s how all of this got started because my mama wouldn’t give me any more money,” he laughs. It suffices that Barrington was reared by Proverbs 22:6 which states, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Barrington is so grateful his parents set his mind and his feet on a positive path.

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Another lesson he gleaned from his father and mother, who is a math teacher, was to complete his education. After graduating high school Barrington moved to Greensboro and attended Guilford Technical Community College and majored in Auto Body Repair. After graduation he worked at Crown Paint and Body for a while, but realized that he really enjoyed working for himself. With some patience and dedication, he found himself selling Italian ice from the Philadelphia Water Ice Franchise. This business picked up relatively quickly and Barrington saw he was earning more money selling the ice part-time than working a full-time job. The math didn’t add up for him, so he developed a plan to branch out on his own. He shares, “I worked at Crown Paint and Body for years and I really loved my job, but my side business started growing. I knew I was going to have to let Crown go because I had three ice carts going at the same time that needed my attention. So, in 2006 I finally saved up enough money to get my license and began my own business debt free,” he said with a smile. “I remember the days when I had to drive to Philadelphia, pick up the ice, then turn around and drive back to Greensboro, and still be on time for work. This wasn’t easy. A lot of hard work went into the birth of Sweet Cold Treats.” Though some say Sweet Cold Treats’ water ice taste better than ice cream, Barrington realized that his sales reduced significantly during the colder months. Being the entrepreneur, Barrington knew that he needed his carts and truck to work for him regardless of the weather. He shares, “I branched out into selling hot food because of the cold weather, it’s harder to sell Italian ice in the winter, so I had to figure out a way to still make my truck work for me. Well, I started going to a lot of beauty shops and barber shops where people congregated during the winter time, you know. The women would be under the hair dryer and you know it’s hot under there and so they would buy a cup of Italian ice to keep their minds cool,” he laughs jovially. “So, they started calling me the Icey Man. I knew that wasn’t going to work for long because they have to come out from under that dryer at some point! So that’s when I started to think about selling hot food. As a result, I rented my uncle’s food trunk during the weekdays when he wasn’t using it for his own catering business. Over time using the same model, I saved up enough money to purchase my own food truck, and Off The Hook was born.” Barrington advises anyone wanting to begin a business to do their research, first. He admits that he started his business completely backwards. He shares, “I kind of started my business backwards, but I knew enough that I had to make my business pay for itself. I had a full-time job and when I got paid I would use my entire check to buy my products, make my money, and then pay my bills. That’s how I operated. I mean looking back on it now that’s not what I should’ve done, but it actually worked for me. I wouldn’t tell anybody to do that though because it’s backwards, but I’ve also learned that you have to do what’s right for you. At the time my responsibility level was different. I’m disciplined and I’m a hardworking man. I’m always trying to be innovative and find ways that work better.” And yes, he certainly found a way to make his mobile truck work for him when he created Off the Hook Seafood and Chicken. This mouthwatering southern fried menu is best known for its delectable signature “Around the World” plate that consists of market fresh fish, shrimp, scallops, and oysters. He also caters to the person who enjoys fried chicken with all the extra trimmings. Barrington knows that he’s fortunate to have two thriving businesses. When asked if there were plans to establish a brick and mortar location Barrington said, “Well it’s not really in my plans, but whatever God has for me is what I want. I don’t want to say no because I really enjoy going to the different events and meeting different people, but at the same time I don’t want to block my blessings. I just want what God has for me, so I guess the answer to that question remains open. What I do know for certain is that I want to do the right thing with what God has given me now. Everything else will come in due time.” Whether Barrington is catering a special event at church or a family reunion, he is genuine in his belief that these are opportunities to foster relationships and build bridges. He also enjoys being mobile because he can participate with community activities, such as festivals in the park, NC A&T State University Homecoming, Aggie Fest, and their Health Fair, the fundraiser for “Kids on Wheels Foundation”, National Night Out in the Community, the Annual Run for the Red (American Red Cross), The Community Theatre of Greensboro, and the Lexington Barbeque Festival, just to name a few. He also enjoys servicing the different area colleges and high schools when they have their annual carnivals.

Just look for the longest lines. Anyone who has indulged in his delectable delights will volunteer that “It’s worth the wait!” Barrington believes people wait in line because his water ice and food are not only ‘Off the Hook,’ but the customer service is second to none. He is firm in his belief that people don’t have to patronize you no matter how good your food might be. According to Barrington, “People spend their money where they feel appreciated. I’m grateful for my clientele because a lot of them have been faithful and loyal. When I’m at a festival, they come looking for my truck and it’s like seeing old friends. They do that because the food is good, hot, and seasoned with love, and they also know they’re going to be treated right. That’s how I was raised.” Barrington is grateful for the support of his family because they have taught him a lot about preparing food; they have also been some of his biggest supporters; and they show their support by working right by his side as his establishments continue to grow. He says, “I’m thankful that I have my family as a support team. They know me, and they know how I operate. I’m also grateful to God who is first in my life for making all of this possible. I don’t ever think that this is all about me. I know who really makes this happen.” Barrington believes in giving back to the community from his home town to Greensboro. He offers job opportunities to those who don’t mind working hard and to those who are dependable. He also mentors youth in becoming entrepreneurs. “I don’t mind giving back to the communities that have blessed me.” Most recently Barrington was featured on ABC News for providing over 500 hot fish dinners to those in need on the East Side of Greensboro after the tornado ravaged that community. According to Barrington, “It was just the right thing to do.” h

Nashville - May/June 2018

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