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Slow Down And Allow God To Catch Up There Are No If, Ands, Or Buts About It!
A Letter From The Editor
Nowadays, everything seems to move at a faster pace when A Letter from the Editor compared to years before. We eat faster, cars are sleeker and packed with zoom; even the least expensive ones. The internet has played a significant role in accelerating the way we process, if tomorrow didn’t amongst arrive? Alleach of your plans, share, What and obtain information other. Thehopes time and dreams wouldn’t have a street parkreduced on. What required to construct new homes has to been to if weeks. everything that you decided to put off until tomorrow never Students are graduating from high school, without stepping foot happened? There would be no reason to save for a rainy into a classroom, or even attending high school. We are truly day, and you could spare someone the trouble of making living in a microwave society. promises. What if your last opportunity seemingly expired today? What would you do? With all the hustle and bustle, and while we attempt to do more with less, we I’ve been tolddon’t that Iallow oftenourselves seem like an I doopportunity too much. to accommodate thislike increase. Our hustle is inefficient many Honestly, I feel I am not doing enough and I’m in a firm ways, meaning that though our feet is moving, we are not believer in knowing that God wouldn’t put anything on me getting Even more we fail to acknowledge that anywhere. I couldn’t handle. I sometimes wonder how life our would regressions, both physically and emotionally, and don’t be if I chose to sit idle and accept what it presented tobecome me. I aware of them until our systems fail. By then, for some of us it is have found that to be very boring. In my opinion, opportunity tooislate. a blessing that isn’t afforded to everyone. A challenge to me is an adventure. What is the worst that can happen? We learn to make forI the simple things and If I must do nothing, I fail, andtime if I try don’t, but instead learn move our lives into the proper lane on the expressway of life. something new about myself. Relinquish your pride and in Everything that glitters return acquire life. isn’t gold and what works for others may not always for you. My grandmother is 96 years young and she best advice givenato methat happened when someone didn’tThe make it here byever running race she didn’t suit up for. told me to make my tomorrow happen today. In doing so I have pressed myslow waydo through doorsGod with key that only us. We must learn to and allow toacatch up with hope provided. I have also learned the difference between I believe that He wants to bless us but if we are outrunning our what God blesses me with and what can burden me lives. with purpose, it will impossible to answer Hislife calling upon our as well. I compare it to knowing when to be confident and If what we do is not done in accordance with God’s timing, it is toout be quiet, because “played out”, meaning that it’s outwhen dated, of order, and out someone may get it confused of season. When this happens, we with being arrogant. subject ourselves to unnecessary stress and troubles that will Make youustomorrow ultimately steer of course. Only happen today, but most by God’s grace and mercy will He importantly make it count. allow us to get a realignment and Life is but a whisper and rejoin the race. Seek God first in all we must put ourselves in a that you do and remember to make position to hear what it is frequent pit stops so that you may telling us. obtain His instruction for your next journey.
Terry TerryL.L.Watson Watson Editor/Founder 4
www.huamimagazine.com www.huamimagazine.com Editor In Chief Terry L Watson
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N Demand Nail Salon
On The Cover
Invisilace Hair Spa Gail Bernardo
The Life Nation
Apostle Nicole Bonds
Huami Magazine Cutest Baby
Kinsley & Kingston
WAKE Academy Wakesha Fogle seeks to impact the lives of teachers and students in Greenville.
Barrington Riddick Off The Hook Seafood and Sweet Cold Treats is coming to Raleigh/Durham
A H.E.R.O.â€™S Ball
Tanya Davis From Crack To Christ. Learn how she will not allow anything to hold her back.
Tamika Chisholm Curvaceous Closet has a new owner and new vision in Charlotte.
Raleigh/Durham - May/June 2018
GailBernardo Invisilace Hair Spa
Raleigh/Durham - May/June 2018
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
“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 8
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
Joie Cook A Heroâ€™s B.A.L.L.
By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Todd Youngblood On February 20, 2008, Joie Cook intently watched the rise and fall of her father’s chest as he lay in a hospital bed. Initially she didn’t notice the change in his breathing but her significant other, who was also present, brought it to her attention. It was no less than heart-wrenching seeing her hero, the dedicated Marine, battling for his life. At 2:20 p.m., her world was almost destroyed. The love of her life took his last breath and lost his battle with lung cancer. I say ‘almost’ destroyed, because there is light at the end of this tunnel.
child dependent, and the spouse, are all different and are serviced differently. Her organization assists everyone needing to overcome an obstacle, no matter how they are connected. They’ve paid household bills, for funerals, and even assisted with job searches. They also partner with other non-profits like Goodwill (Operation Good Jobs 3.0) if they can’t help. This year the expo will be June 23 – June 24 at Johnson C. Smith University and will feature Branches of Success, a panel made up of veterans. They will be discussing the effects of the military both personally and professionally, and “When The Military Hit Me”, a panel discussion that will educate and compare domestic violence between the military and the civilian worlds. On the last day of the celebration, there will be The Salute to Soldiers Jazz and Inspirational Benefit Concert featuring Dante Lewis and Stellar Award Winning Gospel Artist
“It just didn’t make sense because he didn’t even smoke. He was healthy, he juiced, and he ran marathons,” Joie still struggles with the loss. Prior to the cancer diagnosis, the doctors mentioned that the patriarch of the Cook family simply had pneumonia. When the cancer was finally found, it took less than six months to metastasize and take over his body. Joie prayed, she bargained with God, and listened to others who told her he would get better. But he didn’t. “It hasn’t been the same since,” Joie confesses through a trembling voice. The only girl of three children shares fond memories of the life she led as a military kid, moving from state to state, with time in Hawaii and Savannah, Georgia, where she was born and is currently assigned. Joie has spent, collectively, over a decade serving her country in the Army, the Air Force Reserves, and now the Air Guard. Emerging from a family full of soldiers, her father was her biggest influence. She later learned that he too, served in the Army first, then the Air Force. She feels even more connected to him because of this path. The first year after her father’s passing, Joie and her family decided to get together for dinner in her father’s honor. Every February for the next five years, they broke bread together, until a close family friend, Nadine Henry, and Sandra Cook, suggested that she explore other ideas. Since her dad was a veteran and she currently serves, they decided to pay tribute to him and others in the armed forces by hosting a dinner along with vendors from various aspects of the community. In May 2013, A Hero’s B.A.L.L. (Building Around Life’s Lessons) was born and held at the University Hilton Hotel, in Charlotte. “The first ball hosted approximately 80 people and six vendors, which was great,” Joie says. She credits Los Bravos, Inc. with much of the inaugural balls success. They allowed her to shadow them and learn how to foster a non-profit organization, which helped her tremendously. By the third year, the event had grown so much, they were forced to create two separate events to properly connect with those in attendance. That’s how the vendor expo was formed. Now the expo attracts more than 50 vendors offering valuable information in education, employment, serving in the military, health and welfare, housing, products and services, and veteran services such as NABVETS (National Association of Black Veterans) headed up by Commander David L. Graves, Jr. The charity organization targets anyone who can benefit from their services, but especially focuses on women veterans and their families. Joie feels like women veterans are typically underserved because they’re the minority within all four branches. When they’re in need of diapers, feminine products, and other items most take for granted, her organization can help. “One time a female client came in and needed a bra. That’s simple but she didn’t have one,” she explains. This year the expo will offer workshops on VA claims, business financial literacy, financial literacy for kids and teens, home ownership, and the importance of sisterhood. A big supporter of the charity is the Charlotte Chapter of Woven, a curriculum-based support group made up of all women veterans. The organization is run by Tina Bryce and Cat Corchado and aids women in coping with everyday issues, such as how to manage stress, transition, job loss, suicide, divorce, and a host of other set-backs. “There is a misconception that the VA blankets everyone with help, and that isn’t the case,” says Joie. She explains that the actual veteran, the
Isabel Davis. The concert is a ticketed event($10 donation for the general public, vets w/ID and kids are free). The event is open to the public. Sunday June 24 at 3:00 pm in Biddie Hall Auditorium. Exhibitors that will be present include T-Mobile, Zurvita (Zeal For Life), NC A&T State University, Charlotte Area Fund, AARP, Authors, and Paparazzi. The Cook Family has poured their energy into keeping their father’s legacy alive by working tirelessly to serve the community that gives so much, veterans. I’m sure they believe that their fallen one is proudly looking down, marveling at their dedication and strength, possibly saying “This, is the light.” The events of AHB are held in memory of Nathaniel S. Cook-USMC (May 4, 1955 - February 20, 2018). Upcoming events include the Annual Black Tie Fundraising Gala on July 21 at the Crown Plaza, featuring guest speakers Army Captain Ty Young, Author Lila Holley, and Boot and Color, and educational guide for women of color in the military. h
5th Annual Carolina Veterans Appreciation Expo June 23-24th, 2018
Grimes Hall Charlotte, North Carolina www.ahb220.org Register Today www.2018ahnexpojcsu.eventbrite.com Vets w/ID and Kids, General Public $5 704-380-7686
Wakesha Fogle By Terry L. Watson Photos by Wakesha Fogle WAKE Academy and Consulting, LLC is a place where all kids excel. The vision of founder Wakesha Fogle is to bridge instructional gaps and circumvent educational pitfalls students sometimes experience. Her desire is to utilize her successes and failures to help students and educators alike, thrive. “All students are extraordinary, each with their own varying extraordinary needs; therefore, necessitating every aspect of their educational experience should be extraordinary as well,” Wakesha explains. WAKE strives to make this a reality through unleashing the potential of its scholars, families, and educators, while serving as their thought provoker, accountability partner, and coach. Their messages of confidence, perseverance, and determination are shared as inspiration to help all encountered reach for their dreams. WAKE Academy and Consulting began July 2016. Wakesha says her first love has always been working with students who appear to not be working to their full potential. She also loves to help those who lack motivation. “I believe that everyone cares about their success. They need and deserve to have someone illuminate their gifts and walk alongside them as they build their confidence and skills. I know personally how hard it can be and what it took for me to climb out of the tomb of academic despair. By starting WAKE Academy and Consulting, I can authentically cater my support and services that will improve the exchange between teachers instructionally and students academically,” she says. Wakesha is a passionate, purpose chaser who loves God her family. She has been married for 21 years to Emanuel L. Fogle, and together they have three daughters Nicaella, a rising Junior at Furman University, Daa’iyah, a rising high school senior, and A’mia, a rising 8th grader. She glean’s from her diverse educational schooling in New York City public schools, as well as private schooling. She also graduated from the Department of Defense Dependent School System in Germany. She is a graduate of Claflin University in South Carolina and holds a Masters Degree from Cambridge College in Massachusetts. She is currently pursuing advanced studies at Lamar University in Texas.
Leading By Example “My husband has always been my biggest fan and cheerleader. His belief in me, encouragement, love, and support are what propels me to believe that I can do whatever I put my mind to. From the moment I decided to resign from my job, to listening to my dreams and embracing them as his own. He done this while delaying his own professional ambitions in support of mine,” she says. WAKE Academy’s mission is to improve academic success through immersing students in a dynamic and engaging multi-sensory out of school educational setting that is strategically designed to nurture their emerging autonomy. Wakesha says this will help them develop and manage their executive function skills and cultivate their selfefficacy and confidence. Some of the programs offered include virtual and in-person mathematics tutoring for students in grades 5-9, virtual and in-person academic coaching for students of all ages, training, professional development, motivational speaking, and keynotes, for schools, districts, and the community, and Summer and Afterschool programming. For those, who may follow in her footsteps, Wakesha offers a bit of advice. “Walk in faith over tradition and follow that which lights you up, and you will light up the world,” she says. “From the moment I decided to resign from my position as a district level academic specialist, and two years later, every move I make has been made by faith. Honestly, if I based my actions from what was evident or others’ opinions, I would still be where I was,” she says. To learn more about the WAKE Accademy, please give them a call or visit them online. h
(864) 729-2532 www.thewakeacademy.com
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.
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
“N” Demand Nail Studio By Terry L. Watson Photos by Young Gemini
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.”
“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 17
“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
www.ndemandnailstudio.com Hours of Operation Mon, Tues, Thur, Fri, Sat 10am - 10pm
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.
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”.
Continued from page 7
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.
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.
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
www.sweetcoldtreats.com 336-209-8724 19
Tamika Chisholm By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Todd Youngblood She 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. 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 selfesteem 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. 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 one day, but she hopes her daughters will take over Curvaceous Closet and make it their own. h
Raleigh/Durham - May/June 2018
By Dawn Cauthen Thornton Photos by Still Shots Photogaphy Growing up, Nicole Bonds was surrounded by faith. Both parents served as youth leaders in their home church so she was privy to believing early on. Her late mother felt so strongly about the power of Christ, that she would drive a bus around and pick up the neighborhood children to transport them to church just to ensure they attended. There, she would teach them how to dress and the importance of having manners, among other things. Both parents would try and keep the community busy and involved, so they’d stay out of trouble. Her mother was also responsible for hundreds of people getting saved. It was a natural progression for her father to eventually become a head pastor (of several different churches) and her mother to claim her role as First Lady. “My parents even ran a soft ball team just so others would have something to do,” Nicole remembers. She wasn’t too far behind with allowing God to use her and the talents he gave her. She started playing classical piano at the age five, which later led her to become a youth leader. She maintained her involvement in music throughout college, serving as the music director at Lynchburg College, in Lynchburg, VA. Years later, Nicole married a pastor, and just like her mother, settled into her role as a First Lady. Through a few rough patches, she and her husband stood strong working on their union and their ministry side-by-side. One weekend, in 2013, Nicole attended an out of state work conference. It wasn’t the conference that changed her life, but God’s presence during the brief time away from her husband of 15 years. “The Lord showed me these visions of me traveling but my husband at the time was not in those visions. He said to me, ‘There are things you’re gonna do that your husband won’t be able to do with you.’ And I didn’t understand that. He told me I was very pregnant in the spirit but you cannot deliver in this toxic environment.”
People often say, when God tells you to move, you move. Nicole didn’t know what she was supposed to do with the information God was feeding her, but she obeyed. She ultimately relocated back to Virginia, moved in with her sister, divorced her husband, and started manifesting the plan God put on her spirit.
Favor Looks So Good “Sometimes, as Christians, we can get so wrapped up in someone else’s dream and someone else’s vision that we lose ourselves by supporting them. Even in the church, we join a ministry and learn that ministry and build that ministry. But then, we forget about our own talents sometimes.”
The centers also collaborate and work together on projects inside and outside the center walls. “I’m big on family so we get together often to do retreats, to do community service, or just to love on each other. Because we’re growing so rapidly, we want everyone to know their [Life Nation] family,” Nicole says.
By 2014 Nicole founded The Life Church in Lynchburg and a year later opened The Life Center in Greensboro. In 2017, she opened The Life Center in Martinsville, VA with a similar center in Roanoke, VA later that year. Most recently, she launched The Life Center Concord. It goes without saying that Nicole and her team have been working tirelessly to share God’s word and grow her team’s talent along the way.
Anytime there is a new launch, partners from all other sites come and support them and are representatives from their site. The beauty of The Life Nation ministry is that there are people from all walks of life interacting with each other. One of the ministers serving in the Lynchburg site is in her sixties and is a retired attorney. Nicole explains that each site is small, with approximately 40-50 partners. They develop each person and then move them on to another area or site once their plan has been fulfilled.
“God told me there was a gap in churches helping people grow in their purpose. So, Life Nation seeks to help the person learn what their purpose is and then we give them a platform to be able to excel in it,” Nicole explains. Each campus has its own pastor, with her serving as the head pastor of them all. And they all have the same vision and mission – “Christcentered and community-focused”, but tend to have a slightly different ‘flavor’, as Nicole calls it. She describes the Greensboro sight as the ‘Millennial Hub’, with most of its partners being younger, but equally divided between men and women. The Martinsville location is more traditional, with Thursday bible study, church service on Sunday. All centers are involved in their communities, but the Roanoke and Concord locations focus more on outreach to the underprivileged community.
As of May, Nicole has made Greensboro her home and ministers there full time, teaching the non-denominational congregation the three stages of their Life Cycle – to connect, grow, and serve. “Our goal is to equip every believer with what they need so they can go out and share the message of Christ with the world. We feel that we’re the hands and feet of Jesus,” Nicole professes. This radical way of spreading the gospel and nurturing souls isn’t for everyone, but teaching the word absolutely should be. And it seems that Apostle Nicole Bonds is the right one to do it. h
1030 McConville Road Unit 8 - Lynchburg, Virginia (434) 515-0868
From Crack To Christ
By Terry L. Watson Photos by Johnathan Snorton
Tanya 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. 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. 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.
www.FromCrackToChrist.net www.tanyadavisallthingsbeauty.com www.ijustgotmyhairdid.com
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 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. h
Kinsley & Kingston Jones-Brown
The children of Lakisha Jones and Kendrick Brown Photo provided by Michael Garris
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