PRE TTY WOMEN AUGUST 2021 ISSUE
BACK 2 SCHOOL FOCUS ON PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT
BLACK BUSINESS MONTH CHALLENGE
MELISSA R. WILLIAMS WOMAN ON THE Rise
STNETNOC 11 24 49
BACK TO SCHOOL By: Rosie Basquin
COVER FEATURE MELISSA R. WILLIAMS By Jakia Cheatham - Myles
PORTIA BOOKER By: Chandra Gore
Founder/CEO Jakia Cheatham - Myles Info@Prettywomenhustle.com WWW.PRETTYWOMENHUSTLE.COM
REASONS WHY ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD FOCUS ON PERSONAL EMPOWERMENT Written by: Latrina Caldwell
Have you ever felt that you have no control over your life and work? Maybe you feel dominated by your colleagues or too busy by the demands of your job. This feeling of powerlessness can be extremely frustrating. But whatever personal challenges you face, you can always make choices that put you back in control. Personal empowerment enables intention to be combined with action. The intention is very important and necessary in your job, but it will not be enough if it is not combined with action. It does not mean that you have to do everything at your job without help from anyone. On the contrary, this notion will mix pragmatism between team play and personal goals. Here we will give you as many tips as possible to achieve your goals: 1. Analyze your strengths and weaknesses. List all the things you are good at and where you could be excellent. It can be extremely challenging in itself. Building on these strengths and knowing how to manage your limitations can boost your working habits. 2. Focus on the areas that matter the most to you and that match your personal values. At work, for example, you may want to take on more responsibility or increase your expertise. Your sense of personal empowerment increases when you track the positive effects of the changes you make. So, set realistic goals and create an action plan to achieve them. 3. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. You need quiet time to relax and recharge your energy. Find out what helps you to relax and make time for it. Go to the gym, take a relaxing walk in nature, meditate or paint. You may be vulnerable to anxiety, depression, and other serious mental and emotional problems if you have low self-esteem. Many authors have written about personal empowerment in recent years, including Aleksandar Ilic in one of his incredible articles about self-esteem and welfare. Self-empowerment may sound narcissistic because of the word self, but it is not narcissism. It is about having control over your life, not the lives of others. Therefore, it is not about making the world revolve around you but about helping you to shape your own life. One of the most important areas where empowerment can be beneficial is in your relationships. You can achieve a lot of important things, especially in your work or business. When you can do this, you can move up the corporate ladder or achieve entrepreneurial success much more quickly.
Also, when you are very confident in your ability to get things done, you will find it much easier to impress the people who play an important role in your success and the opportunities that arise as well. This could be your colleagues or clients. Most entrepreneurs would agree that they are busy. But being “busy” with the right things is a difficult skill that is worth learning. There will always be things to do in your business, but you can work on getting better by focusing on the right things. Unexpected circumstances may set you back or redirect you a little on your path, but they will not have the power to take you away from your goal. Empowerment is most deeply cultivated during times of big challenges. Failure and uncertainty are necessary structures that you bump up against for the development of your own refinement. If you have never failed, you would have nothing to improve. Choose to evolve and take the habits to work under pressure. Your imperfect moments provide the perfect trajectory for the growth of your career. Empowerment is personal. Mini Self-Care Tips: Do a social media check out once/twice a week. There are simple things around the house you can do, such as take a bubble bath, light a candle & play some relaxing music. (Glass of wine and or Tea). Engage in healthier eating habits. (Try new recipes) Exercise within your own space. (YouTube workout videos/Virtual Zumba) Do something just for fun... (Laugh. Be free in the moment) Be intentional... Journal this experience. Write your goals down, create a plan for the next 3, 6 & 9 months. If you are looking for a self-care motivation boost during these unpredictable days, C2C Coaching is offering complimentary consultation/discovery calls. Visit c2ccoaching.org Signed: Your favorite Mental Health Professional The Self-Pusher, Latrina C
PWH LOCAL SPOTLIGHT Written by: Jakia Cheatham - Myles
l Quiteria “Que” Maxwel
Meet Charleston’s own Quiteria “Que” Maxwell, a certified life and wellness coach, master herbalist, abuse advocate, and mentor. Mrs. Maxwell is the owner and operator of Faith and Healing With Que, where she offers life coaching/counseling services and products that are mainly for self-care. Under the same brand, she has launched the Boss Experience LLC, which helps to brand and coach new and small businesses. “It’s all about bringing visions to life and giving the best experience while doing it,” Maxwell states on the latest episode of her podcast Que-Nomics which is available on all platforms. Maxwell also owns and operates The Juice Den, which offers fresh-pressed juices and shakes to assist with healthy lifestyle living. “My plans for The juice Den is to turn it into a hangout spot, where we do karaoke and open mic nights. I would also offer an after-school program to give the youth in our area someplace safe to hang out!” After losing her husband and father to underlying health issues, Maxwell knew that she had to take a different approach to life in honor of them. “One day, I was happily married and raising my kids, and the next, I was a single mom.” Things happen so fast, and I learned to live life and fulfill my dreams. At 35 years old, Maxwell states, “I have spent 15 years in healthcare, constantly researching, learning, and continuing my education.” She then goes on to state, “ I’ve dedicated my life to building an empire for my kids. I teach them daily that information is always changing, and it’s up to them to find it.” She does it effortlessly with so much on her plate, but you have to see behind the scenes to understand the process.
Time management, a schedule, and a calendar have become my best friends because I tend to forget things and if it’s not on my calendar, that pushes me even more. I constantly have to make sure my schedule is written out and organized, and I have a timer for everything.
What inspired your start in entrepreneurship? I decided to become an entrepreneur after losing my husband seven years ago. My childhood dream was to either be a nurse or a lawyer. I fulfilled one of those dreams, but we know that you don’t get the honor of having a flexible schedule when you are a newbie. I knew that I had to do something that would afford me the same income and the time to be with my kids. My support system has been great with helping with the kids, but as a parent, you really don’t want anyone else to enjoy the moments destined for you to be a part of.
You have been in the healthcare field for over 15 years: at what point did you realize you needed to step out and educate others? Helping people has always been a dream of mine, but when you constantly see people transition to the spiritual realm, it desensitizes you. I felt like I was the gatekeeper for the dead and no longer could show emotion or sympathy to those who needed me. I also became close with some of my patients’ families, making it harder to deal with. I wanted to be able to help people live life instead of making them comfortable before they passed away.
How do you balance two growing brands: The Boss experience and The Juice Den? It is definitely a challengekeeping up with both, and sometimes I feel like I’m not doing all that great with it, but my clients always reassure me that I am.
Juicing has become a health craze all over the world. What are the benefits of Juicing? Juicing has so many different health benefits, and of course, we know losing weight and maintaining it is the biggest reason people juice.
e u Q h it w g n li ea H d n a h it a F Other benefits include but are not limited to: lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, clearing the skin, helping to heal the gut, clearing brain fog, and helping to transition to a healthier eating lifestyle. Those are just some of the things. Certain juices created from the right fruits and veggies can promote hair growth and the rebuilding of the blood cells. What experience do you hope people take away from THE JUICE DEN? I want them to take away the mindset that healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Once we open up the storefront, I want them to find it as a place of peace before going home—a place for clean entertainment and a dependable place in the community to keep their kids safe. Can you share about your podcast “QueNomics”? Yes, Que-Nomics is a platform where we talk about everything in a safe environment and with no judgment.
It’s about educating and encouraging people to be themselves unapologetically. It’s about teaching self-care, understanding that you aren’t for everyone, and it’s okay to be selfish with your time and energy. I also use it to tell my life story. What is next for Que Maxwell? What’s next for me is building my recovery house! Cosmetic surgery has become the new norm, and I want people to have a place to recover properly with the best care possible. Some of these surgeries are tedious, and the infection and mortality rates are climbing because they cannot afford the proper aftercare or aren’t doing enough research on the surgeon. I want to help lower that rate and also make it affordable for them. I’m not just limiting it to just cosmetic surgery but for anyone recovering and want to do it in a home-like setting. I just want to be the 1% difference in this world!
Facebook and Instagram: Faith and Healing with Que, Que_da_Coach on TikTok and Twitter Website: faithandhealingwithque.net
Back to School BACK TO THE BOOKS- AND BACK TO THE BASICS By Rosie Basquin
Back to school and back to the books! The world is opening up, and hopefully, you've been living up the summer life as it is golden. The sun has been hot as ever, and the cool crisp waters are even more inviting than before. As the seasons change and we wrap up our long warm summer days and hot nights, we learn to look back and appreciate how far we have come in a year—coming out on the other side of a tragedy and making it to our halfway point of 2021.
This back-to-school season, stay on top of the school year by exercising these great tips and ways to keep the engagement going and your mind active. Whether you're doing another go-around of virtual school or getting back to in-person learning, these tips can keep you organized, disciplined, and have a clean, easy work/study area that will benefit you all academic year long. Any space is study space- use it wisely! Create a space just for you where you feel most comfortable and relaxed. This will get your mind open and free to receive the information being presented to you. You don't need to be in a library or a desk to learn the information. You can be in the comfort of your own living room. Use the space you have wisely. There is plenty of it. Get a routine. Repetition is important. The more often you do something, the more it becomes a habit. Keep notes and books in the same place and practice a nighttime study or school routine. It will make sure you're on top of your responsibilities by keeping a regular mental checklist. A little goes a long way. After a summer full of beach fun and sun, getting back into the groove of studying or setting out time for academics can be tough, but a reminder a little goes a long way.
Fifteen minutes of looking over notes and materials goes far along better than not reading your notes at all. Use your resources to your advantage. Create positive habits for school by being prepared and staying organized. By staying ready, you are in the position to keep organized and learn more. Show up prepared and focused, ready and willing to receive the information. Stay engaged by participating online and being a helper. Get involved. It's a great use of brainpower because the more you know, the more you grow. Most importantly, Have fun and take mental health breaks when you need them. Just keep pushing. School always seems never-ending, or like we will never get to the end, but slow and steady always wins the race. If you take your time and embrace the journey you are on, you will find that you are more than capable of what you put your mind to! Start your academic year off right and get into these good habits that will help you for tomorrow. Best Wishes and good luck. Make it your best school year yet.
PWH ENTRPRENUER SPOTLIGHT Moore Rudy
Denise Moore, an ambitious mother of two from Memphis, TN, started Lip2Lips Cosmetics in 2016. Like many small businesses, she started over many times, but what made Lip2Lip Cosmetics what it is today is that she never stopped. Denise elaborates on how much beauty means to her by expressing her interest in her own cosmetics line. Whether it’s red lipstick or blue lipstick, Denise makes it her job to enhance the beauty that’s already there. What’s beauty to you? Beauty is being comfortable in your own skin. Beauty gives the genuine essence in life and people. Beauty, to me, is subjective because it’s based on an individual perspective. You ultimately determine what beauty is. Prettiness, gorgeous, and loveliness are all synonyms. When did you develop your passion for cosmetics and the beauty industry? My passion started around 2014, and as the years grew, so did my passion for the beauty and cosmetics industry. Where did the name Lip2Lip come from? Lip2Lip Cosmetics came along because I focus on the art of our lips and how each shade of lipstick and lipgloss compliments our smile. What message do you hope women take away from your brand? The message to women from my brand is simple: The time is now. It’s never too late. Start on those goals and crush every one of them. Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 510 years? In 5-10 years, my brand will be on the shelves of every beauty store across the world. Lip2Lip Cosmetics will be popular by demand. I manifest there will be many sold-out events.
What advice do you have for a new or aspiring cosmetics line owner? There are other cosmetic lines, and then there’s your cosmetic line. Go for it!!
PWH ENTRPRENUER SPOTLIGHT Charnele Simmons Charnele Simmons is an Agriculture Program Assistant at Fort Valley State University. It was there that she earned her B.S. in Plant Science concentration in Biotechnology. Charnele is known as being quiet and reserved, but this year she has decided to come from behind the scenes and step into the spotlight! You can watch her on her YouTube channel, Mama the Goat and Baby. She posts motherhood, lifestyle, and daily vlogs. She recently started a series titled Faith Farming and Fitness. Charnele opens up about her struggles with her weight, being a single mom, and sharing the gospel of Christ. Speaking of being a mom, Charnele created her own t-shirt brand and started a business, Mama The Goat, LLC, inspired from providing milk to her son. Charnele provides family clothing with her cute and stylish MAMA GOAT, PAPA GOAT, and BABY GOAT tees and onesies. Charnele hopes to uplift and encourage mothers around the world with a positive message. Mothers are the epitome of what G.O.A.T. stands for -- greatest of all time. Fun fact: Goat milk is similar to human milk, so it’s a double meaning for her. Charnele hopes to one day get her shirts in the stores. It is also her dream to purchase land and start a community garden to teach the youth how to plant and grow their own food. With God, all things are possible.
Who is Charnele in four words? Go-getter, loving, kind-hearted, down-to-earth What inspired your start in entrepreneurship and becoming a YouTuber? Having my son inspired me. I wanted to be able to leave him wealth. The Bible speaks about a good man being able to leave an inheritance to his grandchildren. I want to be able to do that for Abijah. As for YouTube, I initially wanted to document my pregnancy and experiences being a first-time mom.
How do you balance ministry and business? I balance ministry and business by keeping God in the center. With everything I do, I do for the glory of God (1 Cor.10:31) What message do you hope women take away from your brand “MAMA G.O.A.T.”? There is a message that you can wear to remind you that there is greatness in you. A job of a mother is never-ending but, we GOAT this! What is next for you? I’m excited to start making my own natural handmade goat soap and bath bombs and adding more merchandise to my website like hoodies, sweatsuits, bags, and cups. To connect with Charnele, visit her on her website www.mamathegoat.com
PWH ENTRPRENUER SPOTLIGHT Tylesa Smith Tylesa Smith is an up-and-coming entrepreneur on the rise. She is the owner of not one, but two businesses. As the founder and CEO of Organized Success: Life Coaching with Ty, she helps women, single mothers specifically, to master their confidence despite the past, by helping them set realistic goals, take action, and turn their dreams into a reality, all while providing organized tools for success. As a certified life coach with the gift of organization, Tylesa helps clients to transform their homes and lives by offering specific tools and techniques that cater to their specific needs. As partowner and CEO of the online clothing boutique, Unique Ties, Tylesa partnered with her sister to provide women with quality clothing of style and fashion that caters to any shape and size. The inspiration behind the boutique comes from the sisters seeing the beauty in all women. She feels that fashion allows women to express their femininity and be sassy. Tylesa is a single mother of two children, a fifteenyear-old son, and a ten-year-old daughter. A tragic incident in 2019 changed her life for the better. She was on a quest to elevate, not only in her life but to strengthen her relationship with God. During this time of isolation, she hired a life coach and dedicated her time and energy to becoming her own BOSS. During a pandemic, she created a podcast, Single Mother Chronicles. She published a Single Mother’s Daily Planner and a journal entitled Some Me Time. By the end of 2020, she had started a Youtube Channel in her name. At the beginning of January 2021, Tylesa established Organized Success: LCwTY and in May she was able to leave her full-time job for good and launched the online boutique Unique Ties.
How would you describe your brand and what you do in five words? Ambitious, Boundless, Fearless, Unique, & Zealous When did you realize entrepreneurship was for you? I first realized that entrepreneurship was for me when I was sitting on a zoom coaching session with a group of ladies being mentored by our life coach. I realized that by finding my purpose and living in it, I can use my gifts to create multiple streams of income.
As a single mother, it is not always easy. I have appointments to attend, school functions to go to, cleaning/cooking, helping with homework, and the list goes on. I solely believe that my gift of organization plays a big part in balancing everything. I am a planner by nature. I write out and schedule everything. I maintain my planners; which contain all of my appointments, to-do lists, content creation, etc. I am sure to make time for my children every day. Our favorite time of the day is dinner time. This is where we sit down to eat as a family and talk about each other’s day. Our #1 rule is No phones during dinner time.
Life Coaching With Tye What are three lessons you have learned since starting your businesses?
Where do you hope to see your brands in the next 5 years?
1. Consistency is key. You must show up daily. 2. You have to start somewhere. Stop putting off tomorrow, what you can do today. 3. Every day is not always going to be roses, peaches, nor cream. You have to let the chips fall where they may and continue to push through. 4. Hard work most definitely pays off.
With Organized Success I would like to have courses created for every service that I offer. I want to have my own organization system products branded. I also want to have an “organize your space” app that people can use to get a preview of how their space can look with certain items in it.
What message do you hope women take away from organized success: life coaching w/ Ty? I want women to know that self-love is not selfish. You must love yourself first before you can truly love anyone else. Once you start putting yourself first you will be able to soar like the eagle you truly are. You will be able to gain your confidence back, you will be able to start that business you’ve been putting off for the longest. Your children will see the best version of you. Who wouldn't want that?! SINGLE MOTHERS CAN BE SUCCESSFUL TOO!!!
With Unique Ties, we are looking to branch off with other business ventures connected to it, such as a body butter line, hair extensions, and a few other things. A storefront may come along on down the line. What is your definition of a Pretty Woman who hustles? My definition of a Pretty Woman who hustles is a woman who can hold her own. She secures the bag and takes care of her family. She is out here living on purpose. She is being a service to others while being a Servant to God. I AM SHE!! SHE IS ME!!
Websites: www.organized-success.com www.unique-ties.com
WOMAN ON THE RISE Melissa R. By: Patrice Rivers
Activator, Cultivator, Catalyst and Trailblazer are a few words that describe young mogul in the making, Carla R. Cannon. She is a 9x International Best-Selling Author & Entrepreneur on a mission to unlock, unleash and Melissa R Williams is a CEO, entrepreneurial activate women into their purpose from the pulpit to the and motivational speaker based marketplacecoach, authentically and unapologetically with in a Dallas, Texas. She has experienced a lot of spirit of excellence. hardship over her life. At a young age, she lost her father in a car accident and survivor of sexual abuse. Melissa also grew up in a lowincome
though she had to overcome many challenges and
educational environment. She was always passionate about reading and writing, and she was a high achiever in school. On top of this, Melissa was active in a diverse variety of hobbies and activities. During her early education, she received many honors and accolades, from being selected as a member of the National Junior Beta Club to becoming the Salutatorian of her class, to mention but two. However, following school, Melissa
domestic violence. She came through the other
determined to make a successful career and life for herself. She went on to pursue bachelor’s degrees in Education, Nursing, and Business.
In 2001, Melissa discovered her calling as a
Melissa, you have endured a lot in your life.
motivational speaker. Ever since embarking on
Especially during your younger years with the
her speaking career, she has spoken at
loss of your father and being a sexual abuse
prestigious events such as The Phenomenal “I
survivor. Mainstream tends to sweep sexual
AM” Women’s Conference, Educated Girls
abuse survivors under the rug in many
Rock, The Salvation Army, I am H.E.R.
instances until it’s April when Sexual Assault
International Ministries, among many others.
Awareness is the topic of discussion. As a
Melissa is the founder and CEO of Recherche’
survivor, what can be done to keep sexual
Enterprises, which is currently a multi-million-
abuse prevention and awareness at the
forefront 12 months a year?
corporations. Due to the fact that she has been a huge success story in her industry,
I believe it’s up to us survivors to keep the
Melissa has become an entrepreneurial coach
conversation going. Keep speaking about our
and strategist to assist others in realizing their
experiences, regardless of the discomfort it
causes. Many of us face shame about our pasts, but there’s no glory in going around the
In 2006, Melissa was ordained as a minister,
story. We have to keep the dialogue open.
and she hasn’t looked back since! During her time as a minister, she has served in congregations
First and foremost, I want to personally
Tennessee and Georgia. Recently, she was the
Women’s Pastor with Life Church Dallas in
achievements growing up. Reading your bio,
Fort Worth, Texas.
you mentioned growing up in a rough area of Chicago. How did reading and writing help
Melissa is no stranger to the limelight; she has
you to escape what was going on around
been featured in the television show “Women
on the Rise Atlanta” and been a recurring guest on Nashville’s 92Q FM. She was also
I love this question!! Writing and especially
the 99.9 The Beat’s Workday Wind Down
reading provided an escape because it allowed
host and has spoken alongside David Banner
me to mentally travel through the time
in his GodBox Lecture Series. If this wasn’t
periods and to the places I read about. I love
enough, Melissa is politically active and has
period pieces and historical reads.
run for Dallas City Council and served on several campaigns. Even though she has achieved so much in her career, Melissa’s
What was life like for you after graduating
highlight is her six beautiful children, who
from high school?
inspire her every day. It was a time of exploration and soul searching. I was a young wife and mother, unsure who I was or what my purpose was. I didn’t know where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do. I job hopped and moved around a lot, lol. Although it was a somewhat dark and confusing time for me, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It was such times that built the woman I am today.
During that time, you experienced homelessness and domestic violence. What attributed to your homelessness? How did you overcome it? Poor financial education and poor planning in part. Also, when you’re running towards a dream that no one else can see and that has never been accomplished before....it takes nontraditional means to get there. You can’t maintain a traditional framework for an outside-of-the-box life. I had to leave jobs and homes to blaze this trail. I overcame homelessness once my businesses took off. My income took off as well, of course, and it afforded me more opportunities. I was able to better my situation.
As a survivor of Domestic Violence, what tips can you give our readers on getting out of that situation? What tips can you give friends and families about dealing with the women in their lives who are involved in Domestic Violence relationships? This may ruffle feathers, but it’s really up to you as the victim to get yourself out. It’s a matter of low self-esteem and self-worth that has allowed you to accept such treatment. When you believe you deserve more, you won’t settle for less. Family and friends can assist by just continuing to pour life and life into the DV victims in their lives. Be kind and patient. Know that the battle seems simple...” just leave,” but it’s not that easy. It’s a mental and emotional struggle. You kept the education piece going after everything that you went through. You have not one, not two, but three bachelor’s degrees. One in Education, Nursing, and Business. What prompted you to get not only three bachelor’s degrees but in those career genres? LOL, It wasn’t intentional. It was really due to uncertainty about what I wanted for myself or what I wanted to do with my life. I thought education was the key to living the life I envisioned in my head. Education is great, but all that college was really unnecessary, lol.
Teaching was my first love and what my family wanted for me. I pursued a degree in education to please them. Then when I saw how much teachers made, I was turned off, lol. I opened the want ads and saw that nursing openings dominated. They were in such high demand with large sign-on bonuses. So, I pursued a nursing degree. Turns out I’m really squeamish and hated it, lol. I turned to the business degree because I had been a career hustler the whole time, and my businesses were starting to bear great profits. I wanted to be skilled at marketing, sales, etc., to grow my endeavors. Twenty years ago, you became a Motivational Speaker. What advice would you give to someone, that someone being me specifically and others who aspire to become Motivational Speakers? How did you gain access to your first platform? How have you sustained and grown your platform? I love Les Brown. My mom followed him, so I listened to his motivational speeches, tapes, and recordings for years. I aspired to be like him. I started speaking by volunteering. I went to domestic violence and homeless shelters to share my story with the residents. Before long, I was being requested and paid to share my stories and advice. You’ve worked in TV and radio. Appearing on “Women on the Rise Atlanta,” recurring guest appearance on Nashville’s 92Q FM, host for the 99.9 The Beat’s Workday Wind Down, speaking alongside David Banner in his GodBox Lecture Series and being politically active. What else do you aspire to do, Superwoman? LOL, Just sustaining and maintaining. Reaching the top is not the difficulty; staying at the top is. I do look forward to authoring my first book soon, though, as well.
Melissa, you are the founder and CEO of Recherche’ Enterprises. What is Recherche’ Enterprises? Recherche’ Enterprises is my baby. All of the hustles that I maintained over the years I worked to have them evolve into structured businesses. Recherche’ Enterprises is the umbrella covering both my trucking companies, Time Transportation and Curtatruck Logistics, my event planning firm, my real estate company, and more. As an entrepreneurial coach and strategist, what are some key elements to realize one’s dreams and achieve them? It’s really simpler than it seems. Make peace with your past. Silence the haters. Trust and believe in the vision you see for yourself. Remember that nothing is random. Everything you have gone through is preparing you for what you asked for. Never give up! It’s not over until you quit. You are an Ordained Minister among the many hats that you wear. How has ministry played a role in your success? I couldn’t have accomplished anything without a higher power. I didn’t do this in my own strength or knowledge. I was being directed. The glory is not my own. In some of the darkest times of my life....when I wanted to end it all...God worked through and for me to keep it all going. Every time I thought I was falling apart, he showed me how it was all just coming together instead. Me answering the call to minister is all about sharing what God has done in my life so that others will know that he’ll work for them too.
Finally, if you could describe everything you’ve endured in your lifetime until this moment in time with one word, what would it be and why? God. Like I mentioned, I haven’t done anything. I’m just the vessel. This is all spiritual. The journey is bigger than me.
PWH INSIDE LOOK Written by: Jakia Cheatham - Myles
Cannon Dr. Terriyln C. Rivers – Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Terriyln C. Rivers-Cannon is an Inspirational out-of-the-box thinker/leader and School Social Worker who Motivates, Empowers, and Inspires all those she comes in contact with on a local, state, and national level. Terriyln has devoted over 18 years to improving the lives of ALL school-aged populations by serving as a child advocate by providing appropriate interventions and services that help hundreds of children and families each year who are at risk for educational failure more. She received her Doctor of Educational Leadership in 2007, Educational Specialist degree in 2006, Master’s in Social Work (MSW) from Florida State University in 1993, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Voorhees College in 1990. Terriyln is a certified School Social Worker, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Workplace, Clinical Trauma Specialist-S (CCTSS) Sex-Trafficking and Exploitation, Mental Health First Aid Instructor ,Facilitator with the Council on Alcohol/Drugs for both STOP and SUPER Stop Programs (Alcohol & Drug prevention program), and Question Persuade Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Gatekeeper Instructor for Suicide Prevention. Facilitator as a Darkness to Light Sexual Abuse Prevention Training from Stewards of Children, Certified in Mental Health First Aid, Suicide Prevention Trainer: Lifelines – Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide, and Trauma/Brain 201 – Building Resiliency and Check in Connect. In 2021, Dr. Rivers-Cannon was the recipient of the 2021 Unsung Heroin Award from the 100 Black Women of Metro Atlanta – Virtual Edition and featured in FOX, NBC, and CBS News. She was also presented with a Georgia Department of Education Certificate during the State Board meeting in Recognition of Exemplary Leadership for representing Georgia’s Public Schools with Distinction as the 2019 National School Social Worker, along with being the First Female African American and Georgia recipient by School Superintendent Richard Woods in 2020. Dr. Rivers-Cannon has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame at Voorhees College, where she attended school. She received a Letter of Recognition from Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and was the recipient of Florida State University’s “Distinguished Alumni Award” in Social Work Practice.
Dr. Rivers - Cannon meet with U.S. Representative Henry “Hank” Johnson Jr. of the 4th Congressional District, who presented her with a Proclamation and then Designated April 5th as Dr. Terriyln Rivers-Cannon Day. She has also received A RESOLUTION – signed by Senator Tonya Anderson – District 43 and the recipient of the APSyes Award from (Atlanta Public School System). Dr. Rivers-Cannon is the Founder and CEO of “Soar with K.AT.I.E. (Karing Actions Towards Inspiring Eagles),” a Public Influential Motivational speaking platform dedicated to the field of Social Work in honor of her Aunt Katie Mae Rivers Tindal.
Soar with K.A.T.I.E She is additionally the host of “Dare to Soar with Doctor R.C.,” a syndicated radio/talk show on over 15 social media platforms, including Alexa/Echo and Amazon Prime Day. Dr. Rivers-Cannon is listed as #5 of the Top 20 Social Work Podcasts in the nation and collaborating on several publications with the Georgia Department of Education and the School Social Workers Association of America. Terriyln is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, a retired Army veteran’s wife and mother of two sons.
You have a list of accolades miles long, and I salute you. What inspired you to move into getting your master’s in social work after getting your bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice? What honestly inspired me to pursue an MSW (master’s in social work) was my Auntie Katie Mae Rivers Tindal (emotional). The multitude of extensive heartfelt conversations that she shared with me while sitting in the garage area that was turned into a sitting area in my grandmother’s home was solid confirmation that my next field of study was destined to be Social Work no matter how many times I verbalized that this particular field was not for me, much less within a school environment (She Won). Furthermore, I’d like to share that my HBCU (Voorhees College, so to be renamed Voorhees University) did not have a Social Work track at the time. Therefore, Criminal Justice became a serious area of interest. Additionally, after much deliberation along with watching her every move, I knew that being a voice for the voiceless, as well as advocating for those who feared asking critical or even everyday questions as it pertains to what their next steps should be, would be my imprint in the sand so to speak. The ultimate goal was to ensure that every individual encountered on a local, state, and national level was provided with consistency and fidelity regardless of race, color, socioeconomic or gender preference.
You moved on as well with getting a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. How did this tie into what you wanted to accomplish on your career journey? The Social Work profession will always be an elevated pulse inside me in the same way that my heart beats while pumping blood through my veins each day. The decision to pursue a Doctorate in Educational Leadership was simply to obtain an even better understanding of the language/terminology utilized within the K - 12 setting and beyond. Following this process enabled me as a Social Worker to create a diverse playing field as alternative supportive resources were being offered in terms of mental health, homelessness, discipline, Special Education, and cultural diversity, which have led to future leadership opportunities. You are the founder and CEO of “Soar with K.AT.I.E.,” First off, what does K.AT.I.E., stand for? Secondly, Is there a significance behind the name? Lastly, what is “Soar with K.AT.I.E.?” “Soar with K.A.T.I.E. stand for “Karing Actions Towards Inspiring Eagles.” This organization was created in honor of my Auntie Katie Mare Rivers Tindal, my Social Work mentor. Auntie Katie was a Social Worker and author of this craft who touched so many lives in a variety of ways. Additionally, she encouraged not only me but also other students about the importance of putting your best foot forward. K.A.T.I.E.’s mission is to inspire the development of relationships of our youth and young adults along with their families from the ages of 13 – 20 through the will of Empowerment, Determination, and Hope as a personal journey is shared about how vitally important it is to “Keep it Moving” as one “Dares to Soar” while facing and or overcoming the many stumbling blocks that are encountered in life. Tell our readers about “Dare to Soar with Doctor R.C.” and where they can tune in?
The newly upgraded “Dare To Soar with Dr. RC” banner is a syndicated radio talk show that airs every Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. EST and can be viewed at boldbravetv.com/dare-to-soar/ as well as listened to at boldbravemedia.com/shows/dare-to-soar/. It can also be heard on multiple social media platforms that include both the Alexa/Echo devices. During the show’s hour, the information provided will empower, encourage, and strengthen individuals across this nation. In the profession of Social Work with over 20 years of experience, my role is being that of a child advocate who provides appropriate interventions and services that help hundreds of children and families each year who are at risk for educational failure on the local, state, and national levels that are faced in society today by our youth. Also, invaluable lessons will be shared that have been learned through my work experiences such as, why the primary role of a Social Worker should be to serve as a liaison/child advocate while collaborating and consulting with not only students but parents, school administrators, faculty, and the community. Additionally, the segment includes guest interviews, sharing of resources, and services that promote educational success on the local, state, and national levels. You are a member of the best sisterhood on the planet. At least for me since I have coined myself an honorary Delta Sigma Theta based on my friend and travel circle who are mostly DST. What is one of the best lessons you’ve learned about life by being a soror of DST? How has that lesson impacted your endeavors? Thank you for those very heartfelt words about Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. They are greatly appreciated, and my, what an awesome question too. As I reflect back before pledging, I would watch all of the sororities and their work, which led me to read about each of their histories. The more I read, the more Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. stood out like a red beaming headlight. An organization that was founded by 22 women whose purpose was to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world,
I felt my name being called just like a whisper in the wind. While praying that I would someday be able to stand on the shoulders of the women who participated in the Women’s Suffrage that would give women the right to vote, or being a part the first black woman elected to the United States, and run for a major party’s nomination for President of the United States, or the Delta Academy (now the Dr. Betty Shabazz Delta Academy) that focuses on STEM for inner-city girls ages 1114, I knew that this was the sorority was for me. Delta women embody a fortitude of grounded principles that allow for redelivery through the church, home, and community on a local, state, and federal level. One will never know when entering a room if a Delta is within the walls due to the astounding leadership qualities that are embedded within them, so when asked what lessons impacted my endeavors, I simply smile, and with this; their true advocacy and desire for never sitting on the shoreline watching the ships go by waving, but yet the fact that they are and always will be on the level of the ship determining how to deliver the most honest service to the best of their ability of with consistency and fidelity. You were the recipient of the 2021 Unsung Heroine Award from the 100 Black Women of Metro Atlanta – Virtual Edition. How was it to receive such a prestigious award? I was most humbled and truly honored by this award, but while viewing the event virtually and accepting the award, I was so proud of what I have accomplished along with the acknowledgment. It was a feeling that can’t be described because it was in my soul and heart. Needless to say, there were tears filled with emotion!” During the virtual event, I had the pleasure of speaking with several individuals, such as Dr. Erica Clark, who is the 100 Black of Metro Atlanta Women member who nominated me, my sister, Tanika Rivers, who began shedding tears of joy, and my husband Mr. Audrey Cannon who sat right beside me with an adorning smile on his face. The field of Social Work is a thankless yet rewarding job that I wholeheartedly do with honor, dignity, and pride each day while utilizing a strong voice of advocacy.
Each day we encounter students, and families who at times feel as though all hope is lost, but that is where our skillset is implemented by providing the dots that allow for dots to be connected as resources are identified along with critical needs being addressed such as mental health, homelessness, human trafficking, and diversity equability inconsistencies barriers are removed and replaced with positive seeds of obtainable future goals. Being a Social Worker means removing barriers and connecting home to school and school to home along with informing the community that all children across this nation that it is critical that we meet the needs of the whole child if there is any possibility for progress. In other words, we meet the child where they are to achieve the best results. It is a Social Workers nature to be an Agent of Change, as we cannot escape wanting to do for others; it is in our DNA. Therefore, as reflection would have it being recognized as an Unsung Heroine makes my heart skip a beat each time I think about it because I feel as though I am graciously flowing a path that has been laid out for me, and that is advocacy, leadership, guidance, resources, responses, overall change agent along with being a voice for those who are unable or at times afraid to do so for themselves on all levels of government across this nation. Finally, what is on the horizon in 2022 for Dr. Rivers-Cannon? Currently, I am working towards building an international program that removes the stigma of mental health and encourages individuals to embrace the unknown and acknowledge the unfamiliar as factual information being obtained/delivered. Next, I plan to write a memoir that encourages people who may have previously or currently traveled the very same road but feel as though all HOPE has been lost. The goal is to let them know that each person has an opportunity to turn things around. Sometimes reminders have to be given about how important it is to “Keep Moving Forward.” I would also like to have a billboard advertisement. Lastly, I would love to be offered my very own Netflix show that will provide stakeholders with opportunities to fully understand what it means and feels like to walk a path of various mental health stages that incorporate success stories of stability and success.
Website Link - www.soarwithkatie.com Instagram - soarwithkatie Twitter - @SoarwithDoc_RC
PWH ENTRPRENUER SPOTLIGHT Jami L. Robinson Jami Robinson, CEO, and founder of Imaj Enterprises, LLC. Originally from Orlando, Fl (the Happiest Place in the World). She was always creative and loved ANYTHING eccentric, colorful, and a total VIBE! Imaj Enterprises, LLC is the Umbrella company for Designer Chic Designs (designerchicdesign.com), a Branding firm that offers Brand Management, Graphic Design, Photography, and Public Relations services, just to name a few. She runs this company with her daughter Erykah, a 2020 graduate from KSU, who is taking on the marketing division like a BOSS. Her son also has a strong presence in the company with his artistic vision and talents. “I wanted to make sure my children have the space to be creative, learn the business from the ground up, and understand the value for creating the life YOU want.” The company also has its Intimate Adult Lifestyle division with the Online boutique called Twisted Flirt (LetsGetFlirty.com). She calls it “The Trifecta of Happiness”. With the cultivated blend of Couples Game Nights/Retreats, Adult Game Nights, and Sensual Soul Self Care. Twisted Flirt promotes Couples bonding, with the Couple's game boxes and adult lifestyle accessories. Laughter with Adult games and Girlfriends game nights. Along with promoting Self-care with Sexual Health/ Fitness/ and their version of Bath and Body which is Sensual Soul Care. “We want everything that we offer, to be an experience, definitely something to talk about.” “I created both businesses because they combine my two loves. My thirst for creativity and love of color, then you have my fun, flirty side to be able to bond with the Love of my life.” In addition to running two businesses, Jami is a Blogger (ShesJustDope.com), Micro-Influencer, and has her eyes set on a few.
Married to her Real Life Hero of 23 years, military spouse for 20 of those years, and mom of 3 amazing kids, her focus was to be readily available for her family. “I have learned over the years that launching a business, running a household, and staying sane can become extremely expensive and discouraging.” So, she decided to start businesses that she loves vs. going to work every day doing something she’s not passionate about. “It’s funny, I went to school to be an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon…then I had organic chemistry courses…that’s when I knew, this was NOT for me!!” Her number one goal with BOTH businesses was to provide a consumer-friendly experience with many options available. Her educational background derives from The Art Institute and Academy of Art, BFA in Graphic Design with additional studies in Media Communications and Marketing. “I believe in continuing education, so I stay up-todate with the latest trends, certifications, and much more. I’m sort of a Learning Junkie”. Jami has her eyes set to not only be successful with her brand but also teach her children to focus on the things they love. “When you Love what you do, it’s not working at all. It’s just ENJOYING life while getting paid to do so.”
Let's Get Flirty At what moment did you realize entrepreneurship was for you? I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but as a child, I called it a "Super Star". It finally hit me when I realized what I was truly passionate about. Once I drew the line in the sand, by leaving my job to following my heart, it was on and poppin' then :) You own several businesses, how do you balance it all and family life? Time management and my team... I'm a very Ooh Shiny person, which means, if something interests me in the slightest, I attempt to add it to my plate. However, in the past, I had to learn the hard way that it's best to be a master of 1, then a master of none. With that being said, I have a set day to sort out my schedule at the beginning of the week. I also meet with my team to review the schedule and the projects we have for the month. If something seems to be too much or doesn't sit with the overall goal, it gets taken off the plate. I also focus on SelfCare days, these are SUPER important to me. I make sure to disconnect and focus on myself, to give 100%. This is with my business and with my family as a whole. If I am not at my best, there is no way I could keep up. I listen to my body when it's low and make sure to meditate or do something opposite of work, to give me a bit of balance, clarity, and not have my mind so focused on one thing all the time. Family time is a BIG thing for me, We make sure to have a family outing, game, or movie night as much as we can. There's no possible way to schedule it, everyone in the house has a schedule, however, we make sure to have our family time on Sundays, no questions asked. What has been your biggest lesson thus far in your career? Honestly, just being myself. Jumping from one career and diving into something different, was big and nerve-racking. I had to learn a lot on my own, listening to how you're "supposed" to do business, who you should reach out to, read about, etc... was a lot. I felt as though, I had to follow the norm. I dealt with a lot of "self-sabotage" because I doubted myself and decided not to follow my intuition. After wasted time, money, and realizing half of those I reached out to weren't as authentic as they appeared to be, I gave it to God. So now, I pray daily for my steps to be ordered, ideas and goals to be achieved, and listen to my intuition. Just being myself, doing my research, and staying prayed up has been my go-to thus far.
As a marketing and branding firm, what 3 mistakes do you see often among new entrepreneurs? -One of the BIGGEST mistakes I see is NOT BEING AUTHENTIC. With so many businesses, it's beginning to seem like a sea of one color. Meaning, everyone wants the same look, the same style, and doing the SAME thing. Then wonder why they aren't being seen... it's hard to see you if you and the other 3 businesses look alike. -Not trusting their designer/brand manager. I say this with love, but, you came to us for a reason. I get that you have a vision, our job is to take your vision and get you seen. With that being said, if you are trying to "Glitter" everything, but the audience you are attempting to reach is looking for a more clean/sophisticated look, they will look past you. Be a little open to change. Don't give your designer/brand manager a hard time when they are trying to get you seen by your target audience. We are here to work with you, not against you. - Doing too much!! I get this one, this was me when I started my business. I wanted to offer EVERYTHING to EVERYBODY. Why, because I didn't focus on my niche, I didn't focus on my brand, and I thought I wanted or could do it all. Then came the BURN OUT and Losing interest in what I loved to do. You have to make a plan, write it down, and see things. You have to know Who you're talking to, What they are needing/wanting, and How YOU can help them. However, keep it within what YOU are willing to and are capable of doing. This is where your brand and your niche come into play. If it doesn't fall within the parameters of your brand, don't offer it. Don't just throw something together because you YOUTUBED it. It shows and it will tell that you are either burned out or you don't know what you're doing. Can you tell us about "Let's Get Flirty"? Twisted Flirt is my Fun Brand...Couples bonding, laughter with friends, and Self Care are what we promote with Twisted Flirt. I call it the Trifecta of Happiness. Our online boutique provides you with the tools for the Ultimate adult game nights with friends, self-care items with our sensual soul body care line, adult lifestyle products, and fitness. What message do you want women to take away from your brand? I want women to feel the excitement within themselves. Feel empowered when they're working to create their path. Whether if it's for a lifestyle change or just to do something for fun, I am building a platform for female entrepreneurs to live out loud and express their true colors. Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 3-5 years? Within media outlets, and nationwide networking conferences. Providing the opportunity to build organizational collaborations and work with companies who are willing to build a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs. My goal is to set my voice for my brand globally but for one organization to connect with others, we have to inspire others to build that connection.
PWH ENTRPRENUER SPOTLIGHT
Alluring Luxe Lips, LLC is a minority, veteran, femaleowned business that was founded by Marqueta Pomare, who is originally from Buffalo, New York. After serving 12 years in the United States Army, Texas is now home for her and her family. Marqueta comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her father is her biggest influence. He is also an Army veteran while growing up. She saw him take business classes, manage multiple rental properties, and a Barbershop that played a huge role in the community on the Eastside of Buffalo for over 10 years. Marqueta has always had a passion for quality lip care and continuous search for excellence in natural and organic lip glosses which inspired the development of Alluring Luxe Lips. At Alluring Luxe Lips, we’re all about inclusivity and promoting healthy lips while using natural and organic ingredients to create our unique glosses. Alluring Luxe Lips officially Launched November 2020. Since the launch, we have expanded to international shipping options and added new items to inventory, such as lip scrubs and an all-new nude collection. We’ve created bundle options so our customers can get multiple glosses at a discounted price. We’ve been a part of local popup shop events for small businesses in Austin and recently collaborated with Royal Box Goodies. Our lips scrubs were one of the featured items in the summer glow box for June. Mission: The Alluring Luxe Lips Mission is to ensure our customers are completely satisfied, their appearance wants/needs are met by delivering high-quality products that are budget-friendly for all customers & always striving to improve our brand and products offered. Being an entrepreneur is a part of your upbringing. What lessons did you learn early on that have shaped your business? I learned that we are a product of our environment, and I was very fortunate to have grown up around entrepreneurs. I learned early on that you have to be resilient and that entrepreneurship requires A LOT of patience. What inspired you to specifically work in the beauty/cosmetics industry? I’d be the first to tell you’ll I do not wear makeup. I don’t even know how to apply it LOL, if and when I do, wear it’s for a special occasion, and I have an MUA do it for me. But one thing for sure is you’ll definitely catch me with some lashes and gloss on! I chose lip care specifically because I have always been an avid lover of glosses and your lips are one of the first things people notice when they look at you.
I also noticed many products claim to be natural or organic, but that is not the case. There are some pretty harsh ingredients in products that I was using, so I wanted to bring something that is truly “clean” and made with natural and organic ingredients. What message do you hope women take away from Alluring Luxe Lips? Our brand is inclusive to all, and you can have highquality products at budget-friendly prices.
When shopping with Alluring Luxe Lips, what can customers expect to see? Customers can expect to see a wide variety of glosses. They’re broken down into 5 collections, so w have something for everybody. We’ve added our natural lip scrubs to inventory and soon will be adding the Matte collection. Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 3-5 years? I would like to open a storefront. My vision is an “Alluring Luxe Lips-Lip Bar” where we talk about beauty, self-care, and promote healthy lips. My local customers can come in and shop our products and even sample the glosses they want to purchase.
What has been your greatest lesson thus far? You have to be your own cheerleader, and you have to be your brand. As a black female small business owner, you have to work twice as hard. This is why I’ll always give 110% to everything I do for Alluring Luxe Lips. Website: Alluringluxelips.com Instagram: @Alluringluxelips Facebook: Alluring Luxe Lips
PWH AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT Tyesha Davis is an Author and Entrepreneur, married to the love of her life with one son. With years of educational experience, she used her knowledge and growth to open Mommy and Teddy, LLC in 2020. The company is named for the bond between mother and child. Tyesha is a creative writer, poet, and selfpublished author. She has been writing since the age of 6 and loves to read. In looking for learning and reading resources for her son during the pandemic, she realized she could not find any they liked, so she decided to write and create her own children’s books for her son and the black community. The children’s books are for infants to 1st grade, early readers and are based on poems with a rhythmic flow. Diversity and representation are important in literature, especially children’s books. She hopes to provide a platform for discussion and supportive material that evokes positive images of the black family and creates characters our children can relate to and enjoy. You are a Mom, Wife, Author and Entrepreneur. How do you balance all your roles? Time management, communication, and a great support system have been key for me to balance all my roles. I keep a planner, and there is a time for everything. Some people see time management as confining, but it actually helps maintain balance and get things done. I am most creative in the middle of the night, early morning. There are times I am in the “creativity zone,” and I need that time to work through my next project. When this happens, I am sure to communicate this to my husband, and we work it out; whether it’s a few hours or a day, he understands because he understands me. My husband has been the key to my ability to balance all my roles. He allows me to go off on a free flow and provides the support we need to keep our family dynamic working. Like many of us, you are a Boss Mom. How do you implement self-care into your everyday life? I am still learning how to be consistent with self-care. I love spa days, massage therapy, acupuncture, pedicures, etc. What I have learned is these things are great and are good for the moment, but true selfcare is understanding what my body, mind, and soul need to consistently and authentically live in my purpose daily.
Acknowledging what I need and actioning on it are two different things. I know what I need, and I am working to put in the effort to do it. My self-care includes a solid 8 hours of sleep, meditation, feeding my mind with a good book, and fulfilling my soul with a wonderful experience like spending time with my toddler watching him enjoy life.
What inspired your start of Mommy and Teddy LLC? Mommy and Teddy LLC derived from many experiences in my life. I had a high-risk pregnancy with pre-term labor, bed rest, and emergency c-section. The experience was a powerful moment of the bond between mother and child, motherhood, and love. Additionally, during the pandemic, my son stayed home from daycare, and I was building out daily lesson plans for him and was not finding material I desired for his learning. I wanted characters and scenarios in stories he could relate to. I decided to create the stories I desired for him and other black children and families of color and create my own business in the process. So basically, my inspiration was the love of my child, motherhood, and the need for representation in literature.
Tyesha Davis When did you develop your love for writing, what made you choose children as your primary audience? My love for writing came from my love of reading at a very young age, around five years old. I loved to read stories and fantasize about the characters and places in the stories. I chose children as my primary audience because of the importance of representation in literature at this age. I also love rhyme and colorful illustrations. It is fun to see a child’s eyes light up when they see a book with characters who look like them, colorful illustrations, and a story they can engage in.
What message do you hope readers take from your work? I hope readers see that they are amazing. I hope they discover that childhood is an adventure. I would also like for them to see positive images of themselves and black families.
What is next for Mommy and Teddy LLC? Community outreach and writing more books. I would love to do more in the community with authors, moms, and children. We have more books on the horizon and a few projects in the works, so stay tuned! Connect with Tyesha: Website: Teddysterrificadventures.com Email: Mommyandteddy2020@gmail.com Instagram: Tyeshadavis3 Facebook: TeddysTerrificAdventures
Over the last few years, I made a habit of bookmarking black-owned businesses in my area. Some of these businesses consisted of things that I didn’t need at the time or places I wanted to go, but I knew for a fact I would circle back. Eventually, my random post saving grew out of hand, and I had to face the beast of organizing them in a system that made sense. My brain went into overload and cranked out a spreadsheet of all the black-owned businesses I planned to support. Now what? Support them, of course. I’m sure I could have used any of the directories or websites, but this list just seemed a little different. These were all reputable companies, and products caught my eye, so they felt a little more personal. I know everyone doesn’t have that type of personal time on their hands, so here are a few ways to find and support black-owned businesses this month. Support locally. Local ran blackowned businesses need all the support they can gather, so check into your local branch of The Black Chamber of Commerce. They will have a list of registered businesses and usually have monthly events.
Do a quick Google search. Google now has a section highlighting black-owned businesses, but enter “black-owned (your location)” and go from there if you’re not techsavvy. Check out social media groups in your area. The internet is a massive space full of information and ways to connect with others about any and everything under the sun. If you’re looking for blackowned hair care products, type it in the search bar under groups or the hashtag symbol and see what’s a good fit. Even if you don’t shop with a different brand every day, a like or share will help them. Brands runoff numbers and every like, follow, and share counts, especially if they are trying to expand down the line. Provide feedback to the establishments or brands you do support, as well as recommend them to others. August marks Black Business Month. Will you take the pledge to support a different black business each day?
Black Business Month The 31 Day Challenge Written by: Jacquelyn Randle
ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT Angel Johnson Written By: Jakia Cheatham - Myles
Angel Johnson is a mother, aunt, sister, healer, and educator. She has both an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Angel has worked with children of all ages for over 20 years. In 2016, she transitioned from childcare to holistic health because her family began to face health challenges when her mother was diagnosed with stage 2 liver cancer in 2013. She was devastated and immediately began to research holistic health and herbalist to find ideas on treating her mother’s condition without causing any more damage with “modern-day medicine.” Angel is self-taught in everything she knows and has made concoctions with herbs, spices, organic veggies, and fruits that would support liver health and decrease pain. Unfortunately, angel’s mom made her transition in 2015. She made a vow that she would continue her journey and incorporate holistic health throughout her day-to-day meals for her and her family. Angel’s mission is to help others who may be suffering from disease or on the path to holistic health care but don’t know where to begin. Herbal health has been around for centuries and has helped many of our ancestors live long and healthy lives. Let’s dig (literally) back into our roots and incorporate some form of natural foods into our lifestyle, either through herbal teas or meals. There’s no better place to start but here!! Can you describe the transition from childcare to health care? I transitioned from childcare to health care because I’m tired of seeing so many of my loved ones and people in my community falling ill to disease or passing away to diseases that are labeled as hereditary in the black culture, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The life expectancy age frame is getting lower and lower each generation, mostly due to unhealthy lifestyles. I remember our ancestors living till their late 90’s and early hundreds, but times have changed. Then Covid came in 2020 and took the world by storm, causing so many deaths and illnesses. During that time, I created the ImmuniTea herbal tea blend so our immune systems could withstand this viral outbreak. ImmuniTea has helped my family and friends during the pandemic. What has been your challenge thus far? Trying to encourage coffee drinkers to embrace the tea journey. Most coffee lovers need that kick of caffeine, and my teas are caffeine-free, or they simply just don’t like the taste of herbal teas.
What message do you hope women gain from holistic/herbal health? I hope that women reading this article will start to add more plants and herbs into their diets to try to prevent disease and live longer, healthier lives, and hopefully, I can encourage women to use herbal tea as medicine instead of over-the-counter medications. What are the benefits of herbal health? There are many health benefits to herbal teas, from glowing skin to better organ function. The most important benefit to me is that there aren’t many life-threatening side effects like you may have with over-the-counter or prescribed medications. Herbal health is a healthier alternative to medicine. Ever since my herbal tea journey, I feel and look younger. I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. I barely get sick. Where do you hope to see your brand in the next 5 years? I hope that Groovy Herbal Teas becomes global in major big box stores, health food stores, and local stores in the inner cities. I hope to network with other herbalists so that I can continue to learn and grow.
What advice do you have for someone looking into herbal healthcare? I would say start with a trustworthy herbalist, someone who is passionate about herbalism and natural healing. Make sure your herbs are coming from reputable sources and sustainable organic farms that don’t use pesticides on their crops and have not been genetically modified. Lastly, don’t expect instant results with herbal health. Herbs take time to work. Your body will need to become familiar with your new diet. What is your def of a pretty woman who hustles? My definition of a pretty woman who hustles is a woman who makes self-care a priority; you can’t care for others if you don’t take care of yourself first. A woman who is strong-willed and determined to chase her goals by any means necessary, who’s not afraid to go up against all odds. She won’t fold under pressure and shows love and empathy toward others. Lastly, she does not forget her foundation and where she came from! Instagram: @groovyherbalteas Facebook: @groovyherbaltea Website: www.groovyherbalteas.com
r e k o o B a ti r o P Written By: Chandra Gore
The stigma and taboo of discussing Mental Health have oftentimes silenced persons who suffer from Mental Health Illnesses. Portia Booker is not allowing her diagnosis to render her silent. She is speaking out proudly about her journey and helping others to do the same. She shares with me her inspiration and her journey. Allow me to introduce Radio Talk Show Host Portia Booker - An inspiration and Motivating force. Tell me about what makes your story stand out? Every adversity in my life gets turned into an opportunity. The best thing that could’ve happened to me was my mental health disorder. It helped me to find my true calling in life and stop the cemetery from getting richer off my ideas! Can you tell me about your mental health journey? Let’s see. Three different diagnoses (Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder). Two therapists. One suicide attempt. Zero hospital admissions. Does that sum it all up? This is the scripted version. I’ll serve it to you raw. My mental health didn’t become a priority for me until the day I quit my television job. I had moved out of state in 2016 for my “dream job” as a television producer. I was the star on Capitol Hill: New State, New City, New People, New House, and best of all New Job. The life I wanted was playing out in front of me. Well, that very happy train derailed into a ditch of confusion, exhaustion and anger. After a month of starting my new job, I noticed my mood slowly decline. I wasn’t motivated to do the work. I couldn’t focus. I would read a sentence two or three times yet it still wouldn’t make sense to me. My senior producer at that time (who I will keep anonymous), recommended that I see someone. I’m thankful to this day for her. I scheduled an appointment and drove there after work. I’ll never forget how the words of being diagnosed with bipolar disorder stabbed me in the heart. The way she stated my diagnosis was equal to a cancer patient. When she asked me if I had any questions, I didn’t know what to ask. I didn’t even know who to call. Hell, I couldn’t even cry. This is why I’m big on asking questions now since the opportunity slipped my fingers back then. She recommended that I start on a cocktail regimen of medication, which I agreed to at the time because my job was on the line. Let’s just say things only got worse from here. Most people know that mental health medications can cause suicidal ideation or thoughts. I wasn’t getting any better after 4 weeks of taking these awful drugs and my performance at work landed me on a PIP. I felt my world crashing down on me and that everything I worked hard for would soon be gone. I was too ashamed to call home because I came from a prideful family. I knew I had to end it all. One morning after work I felt defeated. I left the job crying again because I couldn’t seem to live up to their expectations. I always went to Starbucks after work because I found comfort and solitude there. It was my second
I texted one of my “work moms” about how terrible I felt. She must’ve had prior training on suicide prevention because one thing I said in the message alerted her I was in trouble. She called me on the phone and told me to go to the hospital. You know moms (especially black moms) will make sure you do as you are told. She called the hospital and told them I would be on my way. I gathered my things from the table and headed to the hospital. After I checked in and was taken to a room, I called my work mom. She said, “Let them help you. Everything will be alright. You are strong and smart.” I felt a tear roll down my eye. I thanked her for everything. The doctor came in and talked with me. He recommended a few resources similar to NAMI that could provide additional support. When I got home from the hospital, I felt the lightbulb go off inside my head. I had to figure out why I was mentally unwell and how I could help others. This was the beginning of my mental health journey. Shortly after this hospital incident, I quit my television job and took a customer service job. During my time at this other place, I decided to start a mental health blog to paint the real picture of living with mental illness. This helped me until I relocated back home to Cleveland, Ohio in 2018 where my mission would soon have a concrete path.
What have you learned since opening up about mental health? Besides all the stigmas associated with it? I’ve learned that treatments for mental health stem beyond Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or talk therapy. When I tried acupuncture for the first time in 2020, I noticed a difference in my mood after 20 minutes. I didn’t have this same reaction from CBT. Personally, I dislike how our healthcare system forces individuals to talk when they are not ready. There are a variety of treatment options available and I wish more providers would notify their clients or patients about them. Is there a particular moment or memory that stands out for you since you have opened up? Each time I get to speak on mental health stands out. Lol. Yes, there is one in particular. A good friend of mine picked my brain on how to get their loved one a mental health evaluation. I didn’t think anything of it. I openly told them about having bipolar disorder and key questions to ask the mental health provider after a diagnosis was given. I also mentioned to them when the doctor begins to mention medication, listen to their explanation and take a day or two to think about it before starting. I haven’t had any medication for my diagnosis since 2020. My friend called me up one day to thank me for answering their questions. They also said one thing that really stood out. “If Portia can live a successful life with a mental health disorder, my loved one can do the same.” This made me feel good on the inside knowing my story gave my friend hope. Is there a milestone that you are most proud of? Absolutely! I was featured on a billboard from December 2020-April 2021 for one of the oldest Grassroots organizations--NAMI. The billboard was to help encourage people of color to seek help for their mental health. It was in Cleveland, OH. What inspires you? My mother and Great-Grandmother have always been my inspiration. They kept their foot up my a** to make sure I worked hard and became independent. How did you know when it was time to speak out more? I originally was not going to speak openly about my mental health. During one of my interviews in May 2020 for Mental Health Month, I shared my story with my guest. Originally I didn’t want it to air, but then I said why not? How can I help others without being authentic? After that interview, I started sharing more about the trials I experienced while working on myself. What was the biggest challenge you feel that individuals face when dealing with mental health? STIGMA! Stigma is the murderer. There is so much placed on mental health especially in communities of color. The other challenge is access and awareness. How many people know about EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy? This type of therapy is geared toward helping people overcome trauma. If more people were aware of the different treatment options for mental health, things would be a lot easier. What words of encouragement do you have for others? Don’t look at your mental health diagnosis as a hindrance. You can still have a beautiful life. Mental wellness is a daily practice. Share your story. Somebody needs to hear from you.
About Portia Booker She is a woman of her word. A person with integrity and an explorer of the world. She is Portia Booker. Portia is another individual born and raised on the mistake-on-the-lake (Cleveland, Ohio). She is a graduate of Can’t Read, Can’t Write, Can’t Remember What You Did Last Night, Kent State University. What’s her occupation you ask? She is the host for the talk radio show Groove with Portia. She is also the cohost for Not Alone in The Land Podcast with NAMI Greater Cleveland - a monthly mental health conversation in a Rock N Roll Town. When Portia is not producing or hosting, you can find her taking photos, attending concerts, traveling or playing with her dog Mr. Fletcher.
Featuring Entrepreneur Melissa R. Williams as a woman on the rise.