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Will their love affair fade away or will it remain the same? The love between the two has reached explosive dimensions. "The real struggle is finding your true self not trying to be someone else, just know everyone is not brave enough to find their true self." Verona Willis-Brown

Are You Free Enough2 A message of friendship, hope, love, triumphant and faith with adult languages and scenes.


Beverly Gandara Award-winning screenwriter and novelist Beverly Gandara has written several screenplays, two novels and one non-fiction book. Beverly's comedy script, Rent Money, won the Golden Palm Award for Best Screenplay at the 2012 Beverly Hills International Film Festival. Her Five Star Readers’ Favorite, debut novel, Concrete Wings, earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval with a recommendation for school and home libraries and Honorable Mention at the 2017 New York Book Festival and the 2018 Florida Book Festival. Her second novel, Soaring in Silence, earned a Five Star Readers’ Favorite Seal. Her third book, Women, Work and Triumph, is a compilation of interviews with a diverse group of 26 fascinating women in 26 careers from A – Z with 1 goal – acceptance and respect. It, too, earned a Five Star Readers’ Favorite Seal. Bev’s books are available on Amazon and all fine stores where books are sold.

Bev believes there is no expiration date on one’s dreams and that success is not always measured by what one becomes, but often by what one overcomes. A New York native, Bev attended Brooklyn College and Marymount Manhattan College before beginning her screenwriting studies at the Gotham Writers Workshop after retirement from the corporate world. She lives in the South with her husband, Armand, whose experiences inspired Concrete Wings. For more information about Bev, visit: Website at IMDb Pro at Twitter: @BevGandara Facebook: @authorbeverlygandara

Jaden Sinclair

eegan's K Battle


Keegan Saqr is a Taillefers runt. He has yet to experience the metamorphosis that all Taillefers must complete. With the threat of war all over the galaxy, he needs to have the strength to fight to defend his home and the people he loves. He longs for his body to equal the size of his heart and his courage. Zhora Draven has been invited to her best friend’s wedding on the planet Drudent. Her father, a General in the Galactic army, is never home, leaving Zhora alone most of the time, so this trip is a welcomed vacation. She never imagines she’ll meet the man of her dreams. A Taillefer. And wouldn’t you know it, just when they’re getting to know each other, the galactic war lands on their doorsteps. What happens next is Taillefers history… Available Online:

EMPOWERED WOMEN, EMPOWER WOMEN BY ROSIE BASQUIN Women Empowerment is so important and so vital, but oftentimes in the midst of all the negativity it seems impossible. It is important for us women to find that safe space where we can feel seen and heard. Teaming up with the campaigns that promote the message of “Women Empowerment'' my goal is to promote the message of strong minded women, collaborating with one another, and being innovative. Empowered women, empower women. Collectively as a team, we women can use our platforms to uplift one another and be that helpful guide to one another throughout our journeys. No two paths are alike, and we need assistance from those who understand the challenges that come with being a woman. Empowering others doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or some major event that happens periodically throughout the year. By conducting simple acts of kindness, you can be the ripple effect in creating a much larger wave. So with having that thought in mind, it is important to understand how you can do your part in empowering one another:

Join a group Promoting women empowerment by joining spaces that cultivate empowered women. Social media networks like Facebook, provide safe spaces that are inclusive to women, where we can chat, share experiences and give one another constructive feedback.There is no “I” in “Team”, and you can learn a lot from others around you, if you just listen. Pour into others, as others pour into you by joining these collective spaces.

Share your stories You never know the impact your story can have on someone. You may think it is an insignificant detail, but your individual life experiences can inspire someone in ways you've never imagined. By being open and sharing those experiences with others, you may be the catalyst to someone's new beginning. An inspiration to a younger generation that sparks creativity or change. All in all, it's easier to build with a team, and a team of empowered women can get it done! It might seem a little daunting or intimidating, but don’t let your fear hold you back from being a part of something great. You are the missing piece to the puzzle!

Give a compliment A little goes a long way, and nothing feels better than hearing a “good job” or receiving some recognition for something you've been working so frivolously on. Also, words of endearment to fellow women peers are also a great way to make anyone's day. Words like “you’re beautiful” and "I see you, sis” just hit differently hearing it from your peers, so keep the encouragement going.

"No two paths are alike, and we need assistance from those who understand the challenges..."

Over 40 & Over 40 And Killing It: Having It All, Losing It All, and Regaining It All takes you through my poverty


to posh journey to living the Over 40 And Killing It lifestyle. Over 40 And Killing It is a mindset. It’s inner beauty, not just outer beauty. Kimberly Ann Hawes

w o N e l b a l i a v A

Join Fictional Suspense Author Anjunette Washington on a page turning journey.

gton Anjunette Washin AUTHOR

e l b a l i a v N ow A

None of us can control the circumstances we are born into. However, how we deal with our circumstances and the trials we encounter is the determining factor of our triumph or the reality of looming tragedies. Amelia Isom chose the former. Her life was riddled with uncertainty, rejection, violence, and death, but her life has been a series of inconceivable triumphant moments. This memoir will take you through a whirlwind of emotions from the beginning until the end. Most importantly, you will know that life is not what happens to you.... But how you MAKE LIFE happen for you!

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ets of A. Starr: The Many Fac s Purifying Truth

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e l b a l i a v Now A

The year is 9045, and the Nations control almost everything in the universe. They have brought order to many planets and cultivated others, but behind closed doors, they’ve raided and pillaged the planet’s resources for their own gain. She is one of the many children who have been ripped from their homes for their selfish cause. Trained at a young age, she was developed into just what the Nations hoped to accomplish—a perfect weapon. But when control is lost and the weapon goes rogue, the Nations learn firsthand just what they’ve created and just what their weapon will do for her freedom and for a family she can never forget. He is sent to find her. Another trained and burned by the Nations, Byron Suthland is hired to find the weapon, except he doesn’t want to find her for them. He wants to find her for himself and bring back a woman, not a weapon. Knowing that she can kill him instantly means nothing, but caring about her is everything. Available online


Where do unfiltered thoughts go when they can’t be flushed out of your system? Your mind? Your heart, your soul? Are they lingering around waiting to attack again, battling with the mental process? To live, be FREE of eating you alive, and to just have success To have unresolved solutions that keep the mind from emptiness the pollutions Dying alone inside the mind and crying out in silence No one is around to help us and to hear our cries Why do the thoughts keep crowding what we are best known for instead of reminding us of what we used to be like? To be free of what’s keeping our smiles upon our faces To be free once again and just to start over again with a clear mind Not allowing the world or people of destruction to destroy what God molded I will be just fine! Your mental state of health will be just fine Unmasked and uncovered and never allowing fear to put unfiltered thoughts into my mind Dealing with distractions and negativity The weakness and sign Deteriorating of the body ripping the warmth cloth of what holds our physical statue together Bare and naked without the warmth of our souls Wanting to see clearly when thoughts are eating our fleshly minds I know that God has a plan and a purpose for me, so He keeps telling me it’s not my time! Where do unfiltered thoughts go when they can’t be flushed out of your system? Your mind? Your heart, your soul? Are they lingering around waiting to attack again, battling with the mental process? To live, be FREE of eating you alive, and to just have success


Whose voice is that I think I know It’s full of joy Like a vivid rainbow I watch her laugh and cry When she speaks Her voice sometimes shakes And that’s ok Her aura feels like ocean waves Also tweeting birds who are awake This empowering person is the essence of a women Her empowerment is deep That’s the promise she keeps Her dreams are sweet She rises from her ashes With all the smoke She is ready for each day with guns blazed You want to know who that lady is? That woman is you

Tiffany Adams is an ordained prophet and a loving mother of two amazing girls, Breanna and Teyanna, and has worked in the medical field for the last fifteen years. Tiffany has a YouTube channel called "Inspirational Tiff" where she speaks life into women who are broken and assists them in coming out of their broken places. She doesn't take it lightly being called to bring souls to God. Tiffany is also the co-author of an Amazon Best Seller book entitled A Mothers Diary, where 12 mothers share their stories to help guide women to a place of deliverance.

Kissing releases a chemical in the brain that will boost hormones. Surely, kissing a "frog" should have been a great thing, considering the fairy tale about the princess finding her prince after she kissed the frog. Let me be the first to tell you, kissing a "frog" and allowing that "frog" to use, abuse, and walk all over you is never okay!



jay the DJ

Being A DJ is an art. You must have personality and an ear for what’s hot! EJAY the DJ is a Bronx Native that gets it! It’s one thing to be able to keep your audience engaged, but the real craft is being able to bring the correct personality with the right amount of energy and the perfect sound in any room at any time. What makes Ejay unique? The love for music the drive behind his philanthropy and work. Ejay takes pride in his craft and continues to be a driving force in the industry. He is always looking for an opportunity to continuously give back.



ja y th e D J

When did you realize you had a passion for music? I have always had a passion for music since a kid. I realized I would be in the music industry when Is tarted at Roc-A-Fella Records and realized I could do what I love and make an excellent living. What or who were your early passions and influences? New York city influenced me. I’m a Hustler who turned into a DJ. I want to shout out Kid Capri, Funk Flex, JAY-Z, and Yandy Smith. Those are some people who influence my actions today. Especially Yandy Smith. He showed me how to be a shark in the business. What are currently your main challenges as a DJ? What is it about DJing, compared to, say, producing your own music, that makes it interesting for you? My only challenge is myself, not settling for less and always raising the bar. Most people say i’m doing great. I’m not complete yet until I’m doing stadiums. I’m in my own lane. DJing is about creating an experience and a story through music. Currently, I’m in the process of learning production. My first studio album, I Declare War, is also in the works with various new artists. The goal is to create a piece of work that will last forever. What do you usually start with when preparing for a set? I am honestly never prepared. I go off vibes of the crowd. I do a lot of downloading, and I practice daily to see what songs mix well. Overall, it’s all about the audience; they determine what direction I will lead them in. What makes you decide to play a particular song during one of your sets? Is there a specific process? I love to party. My one and only goal is to make them dance and keep them there. I love twerk music because it can really set the tone to get everyone excited, and once the ladies are on the dance floor, the guys will follow.



jay the DJ

What is next for you and your brand? Currently, I’m on Fubu Radio Tuesday and Saturday; I’m working with new artists to offer them a platform to showcase their talent. I’m the Music Director at Fubu Radio as well. My goal is to continue and help grow the station to the #1 black-owned station worldwide. Within the next month, I will be launching my official clothing appeal, SHARK-E-TACK, because I’m a shark on land. You have to be strong, determined, and quick thinking, which describes EJAY the DJ. You can learn more about the movement and brand at: Email: ( Guest DJ appearances, interviews, and promo runs) Website: Facebook: Instagram: @iamejaythedj



Ashley is the CEO of ANF Consulting, LLC. Ashley is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. She also has obtained her Juris Activator, Cultivator, Catalyst and Trailblazer are a few Doctorate from the University of words that describe young mogul in the making, Carla R. Maryland School of Law. Cannon. She is a 9x International Best-Selling Author & Entrepreneur on a mission to unlock, unleash and activate women intoAshley’s their purpose from skills the pulpit to the leadership started before marketplace authentically and with a she obtaining herunapologetically CEO title. In undergrad, spirit of excellence. was a peer mentor helping incoming

Ashley France

freshmen navigate through college, on the executive board of Terps Against Homelessness, Teaching Aid, volunteered numerous hours working with children in the local community, and became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. While in law school, she became the president of the Business Law Society and Federal Bar Association, a student attorney defending wrongfully sentenced individuals, aided a free legal clinic in the local community, and became a member of the Black Law Students Association. Upon her law school graduation, Ashley took a leap of faith and relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, to start her career working in-house for a top Fortune 500 company. After being inspired by so many young and prosperous entrepreneurs surrounding her, she decided to start her consulting company to help entrepreneurs, creatives, and entertainers achieve their dreams. Shortly after, she decided to create The 404 Agency, an entertainment agency that offers PR, branding, and marketing services to entertainers.

1. Who is Ashley France, outside of social media? She is the friend that is goofy, outgoing, always singing some song, family-oriented, and loves her wine and cheese plates 2. At what point did you realize you developed a passion for Social Media Marketing? I honestly never thought I would be in any type of marketing. Once I started growing my page when I was an influencer, I started posting tips on how to grow your page. Then people would ask for more and eventually asked to pay me for it. I realized that this tool could really change the game for a lot of small businesses and that they didn’t have the resources or tools to get there, so I decided to become one for them

3. What is a social Media Marketer? It’s a miracle worker. Lol. No, it is someone who understands how to utilize social media platforms to market their client’s business or brand through content strategy, content creation, and growth tactics. It’s also someone who knows how to read the room, understand what type of trends to hop on at the perfect time, and understand when it’s appropriate to speak or post about certain topics. They are also a numbers people. Whether we realize it or not, understanding how to read analytics is a huge part of this job because that’s how you determine what type of content to post and how to measure analytics. They also understand what their client truly needs and how to map out a strategy to get there. 4. What have you found to be the biggest challenge among small businesses and utilizing social media effectively? They don’t know what to post and lack consistency; that is the root of their problems. Whether its low sales, followers, engagement, etc. it usually stems from those two things

4. Your content marketing strategy is honestly unmatched. How do you develop your concepts? (What is that process like) It was trial and error; that is the foundation of marketing. You create strategies, test them out and tweak them according to the analytics and numbers. I tested out so many strategies on myself until I found one that worked consistently. Then I had other people test it out, and it delivered results, and it was up from there

4. We watched you change the game when you created a “P-Valley” Marketing Campaign and converted it to actual money. HOW? This goes back to what I discussed about trends! I knew this show was BIG within the community because a black woman produced it, and it featured the life of the dirty south that wasn’t shown in a lot of shows. Also, so many people resonated with the characters and the number of memes that would circulate. I knew I had to use this as my rollout theme for Black Friday. It did so well even the actors from the show commented on my content 4. Can you give us some tips on how you manage sales and marketing goals simultaneously? Have a clear strategy in place that correlates to the goals you want to reach and have a clear way of measuring those goals & what success looks like. Plan your content ahead of time so that you can deliver the best valuable content to your audience. Utilize systems to make your process more automated and if you need to hire help.

4. Influencer marketing is becoming more and more popular. How did you navigate being an influencer and 6 figure business on one platform? I stayed true to myself, which allowed me to attract my tribe. I never tried to be like anyone else or put on a front like a lot of people do online. I provided value on a daily basis to my audience, and I actively engage with them. I also stayed consistent. It took me 3 years to hit that in my business. it doesn’t happen overnight

9. Workspace is essential when it comes to creativity. Where does Ashley France produce her Creative Magic? Even though I have a desk & chair, I work out of my room a lot, lol, but I get my best creative ideas super late at night.

9. What’s next for you in the social media world? Microcontent, video content, and building community. If you aren’t producing the valuable content your audience wants, you will fall off Fun Questions: Facebook or Instagram?Instagram Paid or Organic?Organic SEO or SMM?SMM Bonus: What is your definition of a “Pretty Woman Who Hustles”?To me, being pretty starts within. So it’s someone who continues to work their way to get to the bag but holds their integrity and morals while doing it.








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HOW WYNTER PATTERSON IS MANIFESTING SELF-LOVE TO BE READY FOR LOVE If you’ve seen the recent season of OWN TV’s Ready to Love show, then you are familiar with Ms. Wynter Patterson. Her smile and authenticity drew in viewers on her quest to find love. As the show concluded, she “won” the interest of Anthony in the end. But Wynter’s love journey did not begin with the television show. Wynter is actually a self-love empowerment coach. She hosts award-winning vision board events, empowerment sessions, and much more to an established brand that inspires women everywhere. I recently sat down with Wynter, and she gave me some insight on her love journey, the importance of self-love, and the ongoing work that is needed to be fulfilled. Here’s the empowerment tea: What was the Ready to Love experience like for you? “It was a great experience. I got to meet some really great people and a lot of them I consider friends now. It was a great learning experience for me about just being vulnerable, putting myself out there, and reflecting on my good/bad decisions. If I had to say anything negative, it would only be that I wasn’t able to control my own narrative. Someone has complete and total control over what is seen, heard, and said to create their own storylines. There were weeks where I was like, ‘Ok, I would’ve liked it to go this way or that way,’ but overall, it was a great experience. I learned a lot. I met a lot of amazing people. I got to work with Will Packer Productions and the OWN Network, so how is that not a win?”

Did you develop any friendships or sisterhoods with other castmates? “I actually did. I’m cool with everybody so what you saw was real. My interactions with everyone were genuine. I’m closest with Joy, Naya, Alicia, Shay, and Adrianna. Those are the five that I speak with on the regular, but I still communicate with everyone.” Was Anthony never being in love before seen as a red flag to you? “Yes, it was. To be 38 and have never experienced love was definitely a concern. Although a red flag, I believe that he had never really been in love. He said that he had been in relationships that just didn’t have depth. It’s kind of sad, but I did believe him when he said that. I thought it was sad that he was in relationships for like three years, and they had no depth, no love, or anything. I pointed out in one of the episodes that he struggles with vulnerability. So it makes sense to have not fallen in love if you’re going into relationships completely guarded. How can you fall in love if you won’t let someone experience the real you?” What is the status of your love life now? “I am single. As stated during the Ready to Love reunion, Anthony and I hit some snags in our communication. We weren’t able to pick it back up afterward, and I’m ok with that. We’re still cordial and have a friendship.” How did you communicate your love language throughout the “Ready to Love” competition? “I have two love languages. My primary love language is receiving gifts. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant. It can be a small token like ‘Hey, I was thinking about you. Here’s your favorite candy bar’. My secondary love language is words of affirmation. There were a lot of guys that said some wonderful things to me, and that was great.”

How has your self-love journey helped you through this experience? “My whole self-love journey is a continuously evolving experience. It added depth to my teachings of self-love. Self-love is continuously growing and changing. There are ebbs and flows every day with every relationship. It added depth about: giving yourself grace, accepting mistakes that you may have made in a romance, and understanding that you may reach a height of self-love and then hit a low in which you have to build yourself back up again. Love is giving yourself and your partner the grace, kindness, and time required for any relationship. Self-love is the best kind of love that can attract the best things in life.” So make it a priority to increase your selflove. The awareness of your own personal inner love is what will lead you to a new love. That new love can be with a love interest, or better yet, it can be with yourself. You are the ultimate prize. A positive sense of self makes you the winner in life and love. Connect with Wynter Patterson online for books, events, coaching, and more: and also Every Wednesday night you can also tune into “Wine with Wynter” on Meeko TV. Media inquiries can be made by contacting

Writer, C. Scott, is a mother of one, author, social worker, early literacy interventionist, and entrepreneur. Follow her on Instagram as @curls_coils and @mysweettealife.


I pray all is well. Make sure during this time of transition you stop, take a moment, and take care of yourself. It’s time for us to be more aware that the world is changing right in front of our eyes. This pandemic was major in so many ways. It is tragic and historical as well. I always try to find a positive in a negative. Let’s utilize the time that we have during quarantine and focus more on ourselves. The general meaning of self-empowerment is taking control of our own life, setting goals (short/long), and making positive choices. It means that we have to understand our strengths and weaknesses and accept these identified areas about ourselves. You have to believe in yourself, most importantly. This is for you. It should be very personal. There is a powerful connection between empowerment and self-esteem. Selfesteem is an important element of success. It’s also an integral component of selfempowerment. Without believing in yourself, it’s difficult to accomplish your goals. Let’s explore the definitions of personal empowerment and self-esteem and then discuss how they go hand in hand.


Self-esteem runs deep into the thoughts you have about yourself daily. This is why I preach self-care daily. Self-esteem doesn’t necessarily lead to selfempowerment, but it has a huge impact. Self-empowered means that you have the strength to do something that you believe to be in your best interest. Self-empowerment means knowing your own skills and abilities and confidence in them so that you’re able to set appropriate goals and reach your full potential. If you don’t believe that you can follow through on your goals, or you don’t believe in your skills and abilities, then you may struggle to be empowered. It might be a struggle to follow through on your goals if you don’t believe you can. The great thing is that you will also improve your self-love by taking steps to improve your self-empowerment. As you start to set goals and take small steps to achieve them, each small step towards success will increase your self-esteem. You’ll begin to see that you can, in fact, make a positive change in your life and that you’re capable of more than you know. While self-esteem and self-empowerment are separate characteristics, they go hand in hand. Plus, it’s powerful and life-changing. When you take these action steps and empower yourself, you are empowering another woman. We no longer have to stand alone. We can lean on one another and empower each other. I always treat people the way I want to be treated. Help a sister out if you see she needs a little motivation boost. Even when you feel you don’t have it to give, you do. We have an inner power that we need to tap into. You are stronger than you think you are. So remember, when she sees you empowered with self-love, it can rub off. Let your light shine to greatness. Take your power back, girlfriend. Empower yourself so that we can continue to empower each other. We have to spread the word.


Trina Tips 1. Do a social media check out once/twice a week. Take a mental break for your own peace and sanity. Remember, you become your thoughts. Try to do a mind sweep and refresh. 2. Apply daily self-care in your everyday life and or routines. Spend some time alone. Sit in full peace. There are simple things around the house you can do, such as take a bubble bath, light a candle, or play some relaxing music. Drink a glass of wine and or tea. 3. Find an inexpensive hobby. Let’s make good use of our time at home. For example, start a business, complete a DIY project, paint your room or try a new receipt. 4. Exercise. Make good use of the space you are in. For example, walk up and down the stairs for five or ten minutes twice a day. Do some jumping jacks, watch a YouTube workout video, or enjoy a virtual Zumba class. 5. Journal this experience. Write your goals down. Create a plan for the next 3, 6, and 9 months. Bonus Tip: Set an alarm as an extra reminder to help you stay on top of these tips.

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


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Nadiyah Gulley Owner of Swanky D’s Birmingham Alabama At what moment did you realize you wanted to own your own business and that a 9 to 5 wasn’t for you? I always dreamed that I would be more than just a waitress, nurse, or something like that. I’ve always been creative, ever since my grandmother gave me my first pattern. I was about six years old, and she told me to figure it out. From that day, I made my first witch’s costume. I have been creating ever since. I realized I wanted to own a business when I was ten years old: I created a little business called “The Love Café.” It was a Valentine’s Day night, and I provided my aunts and a few others dinner entertainment; we even had waitresses. I knew from that very moment I wanted to own my own business. Can you give us five words to describe you as an entrepreneur? Ambitious, hard-working, resilient, creative, and resourceful. What problem does your business solve for women? We cater to what I like to call the 3 B’s: Businesses, Boutiques, and Brands. I provide the unique content that most people don’t have the time or the creativity to create. I also provide unique access to the ten years of experience I have with buying and merchandising services. What have you found to be the number 1 problem among boutiques? 1. The inventory: It is all the same. People are shopping from the same vendors as everyone else. The trend is to purchase vendor lists, but the problem is that every list has the same companies. 2. The Presentation: And that is what we provide. Even if you have the same outfit as the other stores, we present it in a unique way so that it becomes unmatched. We also offer a unique service where clients can put our company on retainer and have us open their boutique from start to finish.



What advice do you have for the woman who is ready to push go on a vendor list she saw online? I would say do your research. It’s not about quantity; it’s about quality. They can give you 1,000 vendors, but half are out of business. You need quality vendors with experience and good customer service. What do you hope readers take away from your new book, The Art of Merchandising? Presentation, Presentation, Presentation! It’s not what you’re selling; it’s how you are selling it Companies out here literally have one product and are making millions because of how they market it. What are you marketing? How are you marketing it? Are you reaching out to your correct demographic? It’s a trend to start a boutique right now, but what happens next? We are selling to our friends and family now, but they aren’t going to always buy. Who has been influential in your life that helped mold the drive and purpose you have now? The women in my life. I grew up in an environment where things weren’t always the best financially. However, I was always surrounded by STRONG women. My mother, my aunt, and my cousins were all creative women. My mother is a cook and entrepreneur. My aunt and grandmother are seamstresses. My cousin is a hair salon owner. I grew up watching them and learning how to conduct business and treat customers. I have always been surrounded by greatness and Black girl magic! What advice do you have for the young girl wondering if it is possible to own her own boutique? It is POSSIBLE! Don’t just stop there. Think outside of the trend. I want you to think about longevity. If this is really what you want, let’s set up your foundation. Create a business in what you feel like you want to do in life.

What’s next for you? Most people who know me know that I am a workaholic. My website launched on March 2nd, where you will find my new eBook,The Art of Merchandising: Tips and Tricks for Boutiques and Brands. My “Not so Ordinary Vendor List” has unique vendors for all boutiques. To all of my Freedom Flowers, which is what I call all of my original clients from before I switched over to corporate and business consulting, I will be opening that part of Swanky D’s in 2022. My original start was in vintage clothing, and I sold it to get myself through college. March 7th marks five years in business.

How would you define a Pretty Woman Who Hustles? A pretty woman who hustles is that confident, hardworking woman. She doesn’t have to be an Instagram model. It’s her spirit and soul. She possesses a humble grind. I try every day to ensure that my nieces and nephews see me as someone to look up to. I’m professional and humble about everything I do. I give back to charities and organizations. I make sure I pay it forward, and I believe that is what a pretty woman who hustles embodies.

Monique Askew Owner of Exclusive Society Boutique

Monique Askew is the proud owner and CEO of Exclusive Society Boutique. She created this company to focus on an industry that has been neglected for years. She wanted to put Plus Size Women first. She has often struggled with finding garments that fit her appropriately and finding places that offered a variety of trendy styles in the size needed. With Exclusive Society Boutique, Monique is dedicated to making the process easier for you. Exclusive Society Boutique is a plus-size boutique where your shape, curves, and size are ADORED. In fact, curves are a requirement! Each piece is meant to make you feel bold, confident, and sexy in your own skin. We offer a variety of hand-picked fashionforward garments that thrive on quality.

At what moment did you realize you had a passion for fashion and entrepreneurship? I have always had an eye for fashion since high school. I remember having my first job and how excited I was to purchase my own clothes. Fashion was always a way for me to express myself. The desire to become an entrepreneur in the fashion industry came soon after. Who is Monique Askew in a few words ..... Monique is kind, loving, loyal, confident, extremely goal-oriented! I’m a Sagittarius. Lol




The “Exclusive Society Boutique” is a boutique that caters to plus-size women. Why was that inclusiveness important for you as an owner? Simple, because the plus-size industry has truly been neglected in some ways. As a plus-size woman myself, I found that finding trendy, high quality, and true-tosize garments was difficult! Having a complaint is to have a solution!

1.What can women expect from start to finish when they experience Exclusive Society Boutique? At ESB, we want our Queens to feel heard and catered to. We make sure that they have an amazing experience through high-quality customer service and timely shipments. I want every Queen to feel sexy, bold, confident, and ready to take on anything. Here at ESB, we have options for every type of plus size woman, and we love to see our pieces used versatilely to accommodate the working Boss woman and Her social gatherings with girlfriends after.

1.Where do you hope to see Exclusive Society Boutique in the next few years? We hope to launch our plus-size lingerie line and Tshirt apparel.

2.Where can women connect with you and your brand online? IG: exclusivesocietyboutique FB: exclusivesocietyboutique.

3.Do you have any special projects coming up? We are always advertising online for plus-size models. We want to switch it up a bit, though! We plan to do a Mother’s Day giveaway (must be plus size) to give someone a chance to win a paid solo photoshoot with a glam squad and an exclusive session of selecting garments with CEO Monique Askew. We are also always participating in pop-up shops and other events in the DFW area. We encourage everyone to like our business page and sign up for the newsletter on the website to keep in the know with up-andcoming events.

Aries Jones Photography

H E R S T O R Y Marie Pearl Lingerie was established in 2020 with an unmistakable concentration to furnish our Kingdom with great styles to millions with quality lingerie. Marie Pearl Lingerie is named after two great black queens with grace and wisdom. We are planning to be the main online lingerie company with the most fashionable and uniques pieces. We value our Kingdom, and our mission is to make our queens and kings feel confident, comfortable, and alluring. Marie Pearl Lingerie is the main and quickest developing online store in The United States. It is known for providing undergarments like bras, panties, sleepwear, babydoll’s, bedroom essentials, sports, and swimwear (coming soon), obliging everything a woman needs. What makes Marie Pearl Lingerie even more unique is we also care for our kings. What is a queen without a king? We carry boxers, robes, slippers, and beard care for men. Our wide assortment of moderate, popular styles and prints are comprised of products for every age, size, and type. Marie Pearl Lingerie is also aware women love lingerie parties and, of course, bridal showers. We cater to booking events as well. Who is Pretty Montana at the end of a long workday? She is pretty much laid back. I find myself doing workouts, yoga, reading, relaxing, and eating good food, but I am always working on an iPad or laptop for the next goal.

P re tt y M on ta na At what moment did you realize you held a passion for entrepreneurship? Well, the goal was to transition into ownership one day. However, the pandemic in 2020 speeded the process sooner than she thought. Her passion was within her all along to be an entrepreneur.

If you had to describe the brand in 5 words, what would they be? Her brand is alluring, comfortable, stylish, trendy, and made for a queen and king!

Your brand holds many facets: lingerie for men and women and now a lifestyle magazine. Can you share your mission for Marie Pearl? The mission is to become a leading lingerie company within the U.S and many other countries. I would also like to be well known and have a manufacturing company to produce for the brand. I’m very interested in working with international models. Another goal is to build Marie Pearl Lingerie American Lifestyle Magazine and catch the eyes of many readers and business owners. I plan to excel as a black lingerie company.

Can you walk us through the experience from start to finish when someone orders from Marie Pearl? Once I get the notification that an order has been placed, I pack the order and ship it within 24 – 48 hours. Each purchase is accompanied by a thank you note as well as the tracking number for their order. What is next for Pretty Montana and The Marie Pearl Brand? Many modeling and magazine features will be available soon. I’ve just been receiving blessings on top of blessings, and I am extremely grateful.

Pretty Montana IG: @prettymontana Fb: Pretty Montana Marie Pearl Lingerie IG : @mariepearl2020 FB : Marie Pearl Lingerie Tic Toc : @mariepearlingerie


A ut ho r B ia nc a H ol m es Bianca Holmes is a self-published author, writer, and poet. She is a free-writing author for both adults and children, including her bestsellers, Poison Love: Love is Blind, Soul Ties are Real, Poison Love 2: The Repercussion and My Life as a Big Sister. She started her career in elementary school writing poetry. Bianca’s book “A Twisted Fantasy,” which received tons of shares and feedback on Facebook, became her very first published book in 2019. She has now published seven books. Bianca was born in South Carolina and has lived there most of her life. She is currently attending a two-year college where she is taking her general courses to transfer to a four-year college to pursue her bachelor’s in Journalism. When she is not writing, you can catch looking for creative ways to inspire, motivate, and educate people. She also likes hanging out with her two children, reading, traveling, watching her favorite shows, and ballroom dancing. What inspired you to start writing? Amazing story. When I was a young girl, I went to the doctor’s off with my grandma (RIP). When I was there, I saw a calendar on the wall that had some beautiful pictures along with poetry. So, I asked my grandma for a paper and pen and then began to draw and write everything I saw. This older lady later comes in and admires my work, thinking I did it, but I explained to her that it was off the calendar. That’s the day God blessed me with my talent because as soon as I got back to school, I started writing. What would you describe your writing style? I would describe my writing as free writing. I write whatever comes to me and turn it into a book. If I’m meditating and the sky is tapped into my thoughts, that’s what I’m writing about (lol). You now have 7 books. What message do you hope readers gain from your work? I hope readers would gain the message you may stumble a few times as I did with my first book, but keep pushing, researching, and growing. Be patient and let the words flow naturally. How can readers find your books? My books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, eBay, and Walmart.

What is next for you as a writer? Good Question. I actually have two of my books I would like to turn into movies, so my next goal would be to write movie scripts. Bonus Question: What advice do you have for a young girl with dreams of becoming a writer? My advice would be to first do your research. It’s a must to have that down-packed, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Secondly, I would like to say don’t give up. It will get overwhelming at times, and it’s ok to take a break, just not a long break. Keep pushing. You got this!



Regina Smith is an enthusiastic literacy advocate with over sixteen years in education. She holds a BA in English Education from Florida A&M University and Masters in English Literature. Her time in the classroom led to studies of socialemotional learning for students and its necessity in school systems. The author is currently studying to become a Mindfulness coach. She loves to travel and spend time with her family. What inspired you to write Children’s books? I’ve always written but never published. What inspired Jaxon Learns a Lesson was interactions with my nephews and understanding that children are always learning how to behave, what their feelings and emotions are and how to express them etc., so it sparked me to write a book about a young boy who learns about the strength and resilience with family support during difficult times. Do you want to move into another genre or stick with children’s books? I would love to branch out, but I’m in my element, which feels really good. What do you have coming up? A young adult novel, Will I Become A Man Too?, is coming up soon. This is centered around the complexity of injustice of Black and Brown people. In addition to this novel, an untitled novel is in the works, with young ladies being the subject matter regarding affirmations and being affirmed in their own right. I like writing stories about asking questions to gain clarity.

A u th or R eg in a S m it h Describe your craft in one word and why? Thoughtful would be the one word. My work will make you think about the little people in our world to spark conversation. Conversation is the centerpiece of everything. If we all sit down and talk about issues, things would be a lot better in the world. What do you want to gain from PWH? Exposure for my first published book and inspiring conversation around emotions and how to healthily express them. (how/why certain things are felt). What is your long-term goal? Being an author full-time and being an advocate for Social-Emotional Learning and social justice. I will always be an educator because that’s who I am, but to educate on a different level and platform would be amazing, especially if I could speaking to kids about social and emotional learning. Currently, I’m doing some Mindfulness and Meditation studies to add to my belt to assist even further. What is your favorite color and why? When I was younger, it was blue because it could be bright or dark, and it provided a balance. As I have gotten older, Mauve or Pink is now my favorite because it brings a different vibration and calming energy.



Lifestyle and Abundance Coach Kim BullockHennix specializes in Abundant Mindset, Personal Development, and Spiritual Teaching. She is also a Transformational Speaker, Author, Founder, and Advocate for the Ambitious Women Movement. Kim’s powerful coaching sets her clients apart from the ordinary by teaching her clients to step into their God-given destiny by dismissing the bankrupt mindset, uprooting a poverty mentality, and embracing royalty as part of their spiritual DNA! Kim provides the key to elevating your mindset and rising above a lack lifestyle by developing a hunger or craving to rise above a current struggle of mediocrity. Her strategic coaching provides the spiritual nutrients necessary to align with royal protocol, thrive supernaturally, and eliminate the broke mentality. Kim’s signature program’s “Lack to Luxury™” and “God Size Assignment™” has been a huge success impacting the lives of countless women worldwide. She is passionate about teaching women to unleash the Queen within to reign supreme by walking in their power and authority as a daughter of the King. “They are royalty, and I often use the slogan ‘Crown On’ to remind them of their royal inheritance.” ~Kim Bullock-Hennix

K im B ul lo ck -H en ni x When did you realize you had a passion for coaching women? I realized that I had a passion for coaching women when I would help friends and family members achieve their desired results for various dreams. Can you share a little bit of what your coaching entails? My coaching helps to transform lives, one Queen at a time. I provide the tools to help clients elevate the bankrupt mindset and live a life of royalty. Aside from coaching, you are a dynamic speaker. What message do you hope women gain from your signature workshops? I want women to understand the full potential they have and to live a bold, brilliant life. 4.You released your debut book, The Birth of an Ambitious Woman. What was the inspiration behind this amazing title? The inspiration behind my book was to obey the calling on my life and let God use me to teach his children not to live beneath their means. God wants us to live an Ephesians 3:20 life exceeding and above all we’ve ever hoped or asked for. It was an honor to share how they can excel in anything they put faith and work into. What can we expect next from Kim Bullock Hennix? The next book I am writing is an anthology. It will be a powerful group of incredible women coming together to inspire hope and positively impact lives.



Alicia S. Jones is a Louisiana native who resides in the Los Angeles, California area. She is the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Events for Smokey Note Entertainment, President of Southern University Alumni Los Angeles Chapter, Certified Grief Coach, and Author of Sentenced to Live. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Southern University A&M College (Baton Rouge). Alicia lives in Southern California with her husband and daughter.

Alicia Jones What can readers expect from you next as a writer? Readers can expect to see more inspiring books to uplift others, informational seminars, resources to encourage those experiencing pregnancy and infancy loss, as well as special needs parenting.

What advice do you have for an upcoming author?

What inspired your start in writing? On uncountable occasions, I was requested to share my journey about the loss of my two sons to encourage others who had experienced loss during pregnancy and childbirth. This was the inspiration for writing the book.

I strongly encourage anyone that is interested in writing a book to start journaling his or her thoughts and ideas. Keep a journal or notebook accessible just in case new thoughts come to mind. If away from home, document in the note section of your phone or voice memo. In addition, I would attend a book writing seminar.

How would you describe your writing style? Vivid storyteller is how I would describe my writing style. I paint a clear picture and take the readers on a journey.

Facebook: Sentenced To Live Instagram: @aliciasuttonjones Twitter: @AliciaSJones1

What message do you hope readers gain from this book? I believe that there is a plan and a purpose for each of our lives. We all will be subjected to seasons of loss, pain, and suffering. Whether through the loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or whatever that disruption of life may be, I want my readers to know that there is a purpose behind the pain.

Amazon Link: btm_next_2? ie=UTF8&reviewerType=all_reviews&pageNumb er=2 Barnes & Noble ean=9780999075593



Since 2008, Chris K. has been providing professional consulting services to clients. From strategic planning to innovative solutions, her focus is always on building an efficient and results-driven relationship. Over the years, she has helped hundreds of individuals accomplish their dreams of financial independence, from understanding the process of credit restoration, getting funding, buying residential or commercial properties to teaching how to invest properly from scratch. At times, it becomes challenging to obtain or to maintain these goals. Most people start a business because they think this is what’s going to make them rich! On the other hand, Chris started her businesses because she knew what she could produce. She wanted to help people achieve such goals and overcome their fears of impossibilities. Everyone won’t understand your plan, and it’s not for them too. Keep your eyes on the prize and stay focused is what she was taught. However, what she learned is that most people will ask questions instead of reading.

Author Chris K. Describe Chris K. in five words? Amusing, witty, purpose driven, resilience, loves to help and see others’ progress You wear multiple hats as an Author and Entrepreneur. How do you balance it all? I love what I do, and I hope to inspire those that are beyond my reach through writing. This is what keeps me striving and how my authorship came about. You are the author of Aftermath of Buying. Can you take us inside that book? Most definitely!! With this book, I wanted to tap into a sector that most people are afraid too within my community. As a child, I wasn’t taught the fundamentals of financing, credit, etc. Although financing isn’t at the top of the conversions like beauty or fashion, I wanted to make the importance of financial freedom not only aware but easy to understand for those who find it difficult. You have a new book series coming soon, Sniper’s Vision. Can you share your inspiration behind it? Absolutely. Snipper’s Vision actually derived from a point in my life when I realized my FLOW. This comes from one knowing their purpose. This was very challenging to me because I wanted to ignore the thing that got me to the next level, which created Purpose into Prosperity!

What message do you hope readers take away from your work? I want the readers to feel empowered. I also want them to know that anything is possible with consistency and dedication. You provide professional consulting to professionals. What is your ultimate goal for 2021 for your clients? #BeastMode My ultimate goal is to positively impact as many lives as I can. When you are focused, so many will say it doesn’t take all that! That’s not true. It takes all that, then some. I want people to get their drive back, and I’m here to help. What has been the most challenging aspect of your career? The most challenging part of my career was recognizing my gift and finally accepting the call to my purpose. As professionals, we get drained because we empower so many people but don’t get it poured back into us. I’ve learned to Channel this through writing. So I switch up my way of thinking, added a little abracadabra, and here I am, lol. By the way, I also speak of this in Snippers Vision. How easily professionals can Shift gears when they feel stagnant (such an easy place to fall into). Switching up instead of Switching out! What can readers expect from Chris K. next? Readers can expect definitely growth on an international level. I’m now wrapping up the biggest project I’ve had yet. I’ve been working on this through the pandemic. My academy is coming soon. Hopefully, it will be completed by the end of Spring. Keep an eye out for details. Bonus: What is your definition of a Pretty Woman Who Hustles? Definitely me, lol My definition is a woman who got it out of the M.U.D, which can be women from all walks of life. “Manifest Until it’s Done” is my motto. These women pushed their way and surpassed the hurdles but remain classy through it all, no different than a diamond forming under pressure. This also goes back to what my grandmother use to say to me. “Baby Girl, I don’t look like what I’ve been through.” Amen Connect with Chris K. Online New Book Series “Sniper’s Vision” Entrepreneur’s Antidote make the switch Purpose to Prosperity



Akea Collins

Akea Collins is a serial entrepreneur. Owner and Founder of the Resume Chop Shop, The Branding Bandit Academy, and AKC Rentals LLC, Akea created these businesses to share tips to obtaining a 6-figure salary. She enjoys assisting and motivating everyone in her network to be a better version of themselves. Akea holds a deep desire to take her knowledge and experience to allow for others to pick her brain for success. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing as well as a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Care Administration.

What exactly is a Serial Entrepreneur in your own words? What does that mean to you?

Akea is a retired, disabled Veteran as she spent 12 years serving our country in the Army. During her tenure, she had the pleasure of working in the human resource office. She gained a tremendous amount of knowledge and met amazing people along the way. In order to fulfill her true passion, she resigned from those positions and became a full-time entrepreneur.

Being a Serial Entrepreneur takes a lot of time, energy, and patience. You are the Owner and Founder of The Resume Chop Shop, The Branding Bandit Academy, and AKC Rentals LLC. What does each of these entities bring to consumers?

She desires to see people grow, and that’s what inspired her to take on human resources from an entrepreneurial angle. Becoming a career coach, Resume Guru, and The Branding Bandit was the perfect way to fully use all her passions. She enjoys the process of watching people grow in their careers as well as their personal life.

A serial entrepreneur is someone like myself who manages multiple business ventures at one time. It means a lot to me because it shows my work ethic, strengths, and abilities as a young, single, retired African American veteran, mother, and woman. The way I grew up, this lifestyle wasn’t displayed as obtainable. Each day that I continue to operate as a successful serial entrepreneur is proof that it was the right path to take.

The Resume Chop Shop facilitates any consumer who desires career progression through seeking new employment opportunities. We specialize in resume reconstruction, mock interviews, and career coaching. Clients come to us who seek promotion opportunities with their current employer, and we do a simple resume tune-up to update their current resume for the job they desire to apply for. The Branding Bandit Academy is a business strategy company that specializes in personal and business branding. Branding is more than a reflection of who and what you are today; it’s a roadmap of where you want to go. In addition to understanding your existing skills and competencies, assessing your strengths and weaknesses as they relate to whichever industry or career you want to break into next, we work together to build a branding campaign to increase your presence on social media and to open your network to expansion. AKC Rentals LLC is a rental property and Airbnb company that I opened in Kissimmee, FL. It’s located outside of Disney World, and I can assist tourists in their lodging needs when they travel and need a house to stay in.

Akea, one of your titles is Resume Guru. Explain to our readers what a Resume Guru is and how hiring one can enhance their career? A resume guru is a subject matter in resume writing. I can call myself one because I have 17 years in Human Resources, dealing with recruiting, interviewing, and hiring. It gave me a great insight into the resume process and what companies are looking for in potential employees. I have worked for two fortune 500 companies as a Director of Human Resources & Regional Human Resource Business Partner, and I have seen thousands of resumes. Hiring managers only have 10-15 seconds to decide if your resume should be assessed as a potential candidate. Your resume needs to speak volumes of you as a brand, person, and employee. Hiring a resume guru is always a great path to ensure that you hit all the key job qualifications to get you to the interview process. One common issue with resumes is that they are all the same. What is one tip you give clients about restructuring their resumes? One tip I would give clients is to stay away from Microsoft Word templates and placing photos on their resumes. It messes with the ATS (applicant tracking system), and it takes away points on the ranking system. The goal is to give them good facts about your skillset. What is offered in the Branding Bandit Academy? Why is Branding essential?

The Branding Bandit Academy offers tools and assets that help clients build a positive impact on the network that follows. When we set the standard as a brand, we emphasize the ability to show everyone that we are the subject matter expert and that we will market ourselves as such. We have to live the brand daily, so we teach small businesses, entrepreneurs, and innovators how to keep up the standard of being a brand. Finally, if you could pick any career in the world, what would it be why? If I could pick any career in the world, I would be a Doctor or Nurse Practitioner. I always envisioned I would help the world through the gift of medicine. I went through Nursing school and decided that this wasn’t my path. I didn’t have the passion at the time to accomplish it.



With a natural talent for leadership, Krisshonna has dedicated her professional life to always striving to better herself and those around her. With over twenty years of Human Resources experience, she has a Doctorate in Business Administration, with a concentration in Organizational Leadership. Having worked fulltime alongside attending school full-time, Krisshona has always been determined to create a life based on hard work and authenticity. Her ambition to be better can be traced to having been raised by a hard-working, dedicated single mother who persevered against the odds to give her children the drive to succeed. Krisshonna founded a nonprofit in her mother’s honor, the R.O.S.A. Bridge Program (Rising Over Situations & Ascending) that will mentor and prepare middleschool-age children for career readiness and educational endeavors. Through this program, she hopes to honor the hard work of her mother, who created opportunities for Krisshonna to go on to become an HR Professional, Entrepreneur, and CEO. This dedication to the importance of family also extends to Krisshonna’s other business endeavors, with her fashion boutique, Queens Prowl, that came to fruition in memory of her late brother. Her brother lived a life without fear or regrets, and after his passing, she decided to move forward on a long-time dream. Her life-long interest in fashion and style is now being utilized to create a brand that she is determined to build and expand on a national level, allowing her to eventually create opportunities to continue to serve the community. Krisshonna’s professional background and education place her in the prime position to create a business that is able to strategize and innovate in the retail sphere; her human resource experience allows her the ability to create meaningful and impactful professional relationships while continuing to build on a foundation of hard work & education.

Dr. Krisshonna Brown At what moment did you realize you held a passion for entrepreneurship? I realized I had been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug at an early age. I started off when I was younger selling candles, then make-up, to now owning my very own boutique. You started a nonprofit organization in honor of your mother. Can you tell us about The R.O.S.A Bridge Program? The R.O.S.A. (Rising Over Situations and Ascending) Bridge Program goal is to raise funds, promote initiatives to serve children, and provide access to resources people can become empowered by and gain the confidence to reaching their full potential. I have always had a passion for helping out in my community and given back to others—a servant’s heart (like my mother and my oldest brother). You are the proud owner of a fashion boutique, Queens Prowl. Where did you develop your interest in fashion? I developed my interest in fashion from my mother, whom I consider to be a stylish Diva, when I worked for a big box store. While working for the big box store, I was able to assist customers in styling and putting outfits together. I had repeat customers that came in looking for my help and established relationships that continue to remain to this day. What message do you hope women gain when encountering your brand? The message that I hope women gain when encountering my brand is to feel fearless and a celebration of femininity. A brand that makes her feel confident, bold, and stand out from others! What is next for Kris? Next for Kris is to continue building my brand until Queens Prowl LLC becomes a household name from stylish fashions to providing other products and services.


According to Webster Dictionary, the mere definition of empowerment is to “make someone stronger or more confident, especially in controlling their life and claiming their rights.” So to be “empowered” is having the knowledge, confidence, means, or ability to do things or make decisions for oneself. No matter which definition you choose, they both have a common thread – take care of yourself. Generations of women are more empowered, educated, and in leadership than ever before. Not only have we been given the opportunity to showcase our talents in corporate America, but we are also leading in entrepreneurship worldwide. The number of women-owned businesses has increased over the years and even more so during the pandemic. As of mid-December, there have been more than 1.5 million new business applications in the United States, up 82 percent in the third quarter compared with a year ago, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many of those businesses are being started by women out of necessity, and others have started because the timing is right or both. Recently, The Washington Post wrote, “Welcome to a pandemic-fueled rise in female entrepreneurship.”

When women move into entrepreneurship, it can lead to social change, increased financial empowerment, and greater independence. That increase in confidence and happiness in women serves as a sense of achievement, self-sufficiency, heightened self-esteem, and boosts the desire to help other women to become empowered in their own right as well. Empowered women empower women. I can’t say that enough. As a member of Pretty Women Hustle Network, I have been afforded opportunities that I may have never gotten on my own. Connecting with, networking, and empowering other women to be our best, go for what we want, and most importantly, be empowered in our own right as women, has been a blessing. A true sisterhood of women from all walks of life with one common be empowered! There is nothing more rewarding than having like-minded women on a platform cheering, supporting, and encouraging each other. It is what is needed in such trying times as these. There is a shift happening, and that shift has left glass all over the floor. So ladies, wear your best shoes! The ceiling is falling, and we are walking all over shattered glass into our right of independence, confidence, and empowerment as women.

...where having curves is a must!


5 THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE BECOMING A FREELANCE WRITER Freelance writing has been a dream for most people who have that passion for writing on topics that interest them or feel the need to express their opinions about an issue or trending topic. If you have that itch to write something or if something catches your eye when you read a magazine article, in a book, or even on television, then maybe you should write or blog about it. There is nothing more relaxing than taking out your favorite notebook, your favorite pen, and write down thoughts that sometimes don’t make sense. Journaling seems to be a natural therapeutic form of art that relaxes the mind and soothes the heart. For anyone wanting to become a writer, this should come naturally for you. Before you become a freelance writer, here are a few things you should know and become aware of.

1) Not all writing gigs are paid, but the experience is everlasting! Let’s face it, while you are on your writing journey, you come across an ad for a magazine that is looking for freelance writers.


By Patrice Rivers

The sad part is, the job doesn’t pay. That has happened many times to so many freelance writers who are hoping to get paid, and it isn’t. But guess what? The experience of having your work published and out on various sites and in magazines will help your writing career a whole lot! Take it from someone who has been freelance writing for over ten years! That is a milestone, but I haven’t landed the right platform that will consistently pay me. The only magazine that I wrote for that produced me only was temporary that didn’t last long, but the main thing was it was paid! You might have to write for thousands of magazines before you start getting paid real money. But until then, take it as an experience at the early start of your career! 2) Writer’s Block. This is the common denominator to all writers, bloggers, journalists, and poets. Writer’s block is natural and will happen from time to time. This is something that is going to happen if you decided to become a freelance writer. Just take a day or two to relax your mind and then get back to the grind.

3) Solo Career Path. Once you have truly made up in your mind that you want to become a freelance writer, you have to understand that this is a solo career meaning there are no co- workers to talk to or waste time with on the job. It’s just you and you alone in the ring. At times it can be lonely because you might be at home doing your research and writing an article. But at times goes on; it won’t be as bad. 4) Please make sure you are in it for the right reasons! The question is, “Why do you want to become a freelance writer?” If it’s for all the right motivation and you are passionate about it, then you are set. 5) Pitch Rejection. Every editor has their style as far as articles. If you pitch for ten magazines a week and get nine rejections, keep pitching. It comes with the territory of being a freelance writer.

These five things will give you all the tools you should know before pursuing your career as a freelance writer. The journey won’t always be easy, but the passion behind it will pave your journey to be prosperous and filled with good experience.

A storyteller and writer creating her own lane one opportunity at a time, Patrice Rivers is a 9x published author who created her own brand, That Riverz Gurl Brand, LLC. Not only is she a certified journalist and freelance writer, but a Sickle Cell survivor and advocate. Patrice created the “Come Learn with Patricia” book series to share her personal testimony of living with SCD. Learn more about Patrice and That Riverz Gurl Brand, LLC by visiting Be sure to follow her on Instagram

MARCHING TO MY OWN DRUM IN 2020 ‘WON’ Written by C. Scott

March is Women’s History Month. It’s usually a time




celebration of those who blazed the trail before us. While all of that is necessary and great, I’m also focusing on myself this month. I’m using this celebratory month to ditch the naysayers, ghost the bad romantic situationships, and move on my own standards. It’s time to call the shots! I’ve







relationships, bad jobs and even toned down my creativity to please others. But not anymore. March is bringing out a new me. This new version will be healthier, wiser, daring, and bold. I’m making my own history to leave a legacy for those to come. Here’s what I learned that I have to do in order to accomplish this:



M: Move it! That’s right, just move it. I don’t mean in the sense of moving to another home either. I mean, move to play your position. Move throughout that corporate ladder, join that cohort to get that certification, move through those webinars, and more. Moving is taking action towards paving your own lane. A: Affirm it! Affirmations are the roadmap to greater outcomes. So it’s necessary to write down and also recite positive affirmations to yourself daily. If not daily, at least do it weekly. R: Receive it! I used to shy away from compliments but not anymore. Receive that compliment and walk in it. Own it. Yes, you are a badass, so act like it. C: Control the Narrative! You are the publicist of your own life. Control how others see you. Walk in your light and make others aware of your gifts by not decreasing yourself. You are great, and you did make that business happen. You are a great mother, and your children are fruits of your labor. Let ‘em know. H: Hustle! Anything worth having is not easily obtained. Work your ass off to make a name for yourself that you can be proud of. For me, I’m hustling to make healthier food choices. I’m hustling to practice more self-care so that I can have a clearer mind. I’m hustling to only do what makes me smile and what provides for my family. Always have your hustler vision in sight. So this season, M.A.R.C.H. to your own beat to be a winner. You got this. If you don’t achieve it, who will? Create your own destination that leaves a lasting memory for others to celebrate in the years to come. You only get one life so go hard for it. Comment on the Pretty Women Hustle social media pages to let me know how you are going to M.A.R.C.H. this month.

Writer, C. Scott, is a mother of one, author, social worker, early literacy interventionist, and entrepreneur. Follow her on Instagram as @curls_coils and @mysweettealife.

(Photo courtesy of @virgesimone of Nappy Co)

LAUREN ASHLEY By: Chandra Gore

Lauren Ashley is an Award-Winning Designer specializing in Weddings, Events, & Interior Design. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Lauren graduated from the Art Institute of Houston, earning her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Interior Design. She is a person that lives in color and is keen on building memorable moments through design & events for her clients. Her work has been shown and shared across the country in elite publications such as Forbes, Sheen Magazine, The Knot Best of Weddings, Upscale Magazine, and American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Show House — where Lauren received the Ruby Award for her stellar performance and Showmanship.

What was your history-making moment? My history-making moment was quitting my job and fully committing to my own dream because who quits a government job with benefits and corporate concessions to pursue their passion in life? It was the very moment I stepped out of my comfort zone and began my journey walking in faith. God ensures we arrive at the prosperous endeavors he has planned for us.

Who inspired you and why? My clients because some of them have become my closest friends who have pushed me to new heights. The way they believe in me often is unbelievable to me. However, it is much appreciated and truly does inspire me to do better and reach new heights. What does success look like to you? Success to me is being able to sustain and maintain. When I started my business, my goal was to maintain and ultimately exceed what I had been making at my government job. I have been able to maintain, and now I want a raise. Being able to pay my bills gives me great joy, and the fact that it is sustained through my dream makes me feel accomplished. Success is a journey that is continuous and vertical.

What kind of impact do you want your story to leave on those who read or see your story? I want people not to give up. I think it is important to do your due diligence to make sure you feel fulfilled in life. Giving up is the easy part, but rising to your calling and being all decided in your success is what counts. You have to treat your dream like a full-time job. You have to see every obstacle as a lesson and allow it to help you move informed throughout your passion. My goal is for people to see/read about me and always take away the value of hard work and unwavering determination.

What is the name of your business? What type of business is it? The name of my business is LA Weddings & Interiors, which is an Interior Design & Event business. Recently I released a luxury pillow & throw collection called LA’s Warm & Fuzzy. Each pillow in the collection is named after a woman who has played or plays an integral part in my life. I’m providing my clients as well as general consumers the decor to add where they see fit in their spaces.

What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you do? My long-term goal is to become a household name. I am both driven and motivated to reach that goal because it will be one way I make my mark on this industry and this earth. From designing some of the most memorable events to personalizing your spaces with my signature decor, I intend on covering all my bases. HWhat are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both) As it pertains to business, I’m excited about executing an interior design project I have in Alaska. This project has many caveats from shipping to manufacturing, based on location alone. I look forward to seeing how I navigate through this process and how this will inform future projects I carry out in this capacity.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business? What are the goals that you hold personally? In business, a goal I most want to accomplish is to have a full firm of designers underneath my business—on both the Interior Design side and on the Events side. Also, to further expand on the LA Warm & Fuzzy brand in terms of consumer products. Personally, my goal is to work on balance so that my spouse won’t leave me.

Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in, and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them. I have mentors on both sides for events and interiors. They are well known in their profession and have shown me it is possible to secure the type of projects I want. For example, my event mentor is Kevin Lee, who each year designs the Emmys. That alone speaks volumes of his work and to do such a renowned event is legendary. In life, with me losing my Mom at an early age, God has placed women in my life that have filled in the gaps for me. They are truly my ‘God’ Mothers.

Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today? Tell me about them.

No experiences that would be seen as lifechanging per se but, just deciding to enroll at the Art Institute of Houston and pursue my education in Interior Design has set me on my path of constant growth and development in the success of my business. What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you? We have hired our first junior designer, so we are on our way to being the firm I dream of having. Also, stay tuned for future product drops as I will be expanding my portfolio in the near future. Find out more about Lauren Ashley by visiting her website or following her on


By: Chandra Gore

Chef Danni is a private celebrity chef with 5+ years of experience in private dining. She creates eye catching dishes that keep her clients craving for more. Chef Danni is from Montgomery, AL. Her passion for culinary arts grew while attending college at the historical black institution, Alabama A&M University. Danni would use cooking as an outlet to deal with the woes of college life. Peers often expressed how she should take her passion to the next level and pursue culinary school. With two suitcases and a dream, Chef Danni moved to Los Angeles to pursue her career as a professional chef. Chef Danni attended the Art Institute of Hollywood, where she received her culinary arts degree. Chef Danni owes most of her culinary success to her Alabama roots and family recipes curated by her grandmother and mother. Chef Danni believes that with faith and unwavering dedication, anything is possible. Chef Danni is already a force to be reckoned with on the Los Angeles food scene. Notable celebrities love her bigger than life personality, Southern sass and addicting dishes. From her heart to your plates, is the motto. Who inspired you and why? My inspiration for becoming a chef came from my grandmother. Growing up down south to avoid going outside to play with my other cousins because it was so hot in Alabama, I stayed inside with my grandma mostly watching her cook. I decided to take cooking more seriously after college after doing my research on the private chef industry and the endless opportunities that this career could and would present.

WWhat kind of impact do you want your story to leave on those who read or see your story? I want to inspire the next generation to keep my tradition alive by cooking with love. Cooking is my passion and it fuels me to want to cook lifechanging dishes for my clients. I want to inspire more women of color to become a private celebrity chef and for them to understand its possible. My life lesson quote is: “Faith without works is dead.” That quote always lives rent free in my head. You can imagine anything in your mind and see the vision clear as day; but until you put the work into it; It’ll never happen. I constantly push myself with this quote especially when it feels like I’m slacking or procrastinating. It helps me keep focus knowing that others and watching and learning from me.

What is the name of your business? What type of business is it? Chef Danni currently serves as a private chef with bi-coastal residence in Los Angeles, CA and Houston, TX. specializing in classical American dishes, Cajun/Creole cuisine, Italian, and cultivating strict dietary guidelines for peak athletic performance, health restrictions and/or lifestyle changes. Through my years of experience, she has become highly skilled in the art of food preparation which has led her to work for some of my most notable athletes and entertainers in the game including: Ben Simmons (Philadelphia 76ers), Trevor Ariza (Portland Trailblazers), Jarrell Martin (Memphis Grizzlies), Jarran Reed (Seattle Seahawks) rappers such as Rich the Kid, Blac Youngsta, and Yo Gotti.

.What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business? What are the goals that you hold personally? One of my biggest goals is to implement my “Dime A Dozen” challenge. Within this challenge people you would save their dimes from loose change to buy breakfast or lunch for a homeless person or child. 1 in 7 children in America worry about their next meal. No child or adult should starve. It would be a small movement that would spark impact around the globe to feed those in need.

Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them. My biggest inspiration and the person that had the most influence on me was my Grandmother. I grew up watching my grandmother cook and people loved her food, like her house was always filled with family and friends coming over just to eat her Sunday meals after church or bible study. I pride myself on cooking with love from watching her. I pride myself on telling my clients the following statement, "From my heart to your plates". That's the motto.

Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today? Tell me about them. The hardest part about starting this journey was just not giving up. Telling myself constantly that this opportunity would pay off and that my time was coming. When I first started my culinary journey, I was living in LA, and of course everyone knows LA is super expensive. So, I was working at restaurants as a server full time and catering different events on my off days until my name started to get around. Then finally I gained my first celebrity client and it took off from there.

What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you? I’m currently working on releasing my first cookbook called “Expensive Taste”. This book is an ode to some of my celebrity clients and some of their favorite dishes. I plan on releasing merch and seasoning blends shortly after. This will be a huge impact for so many people. My hopes with this cookbook is to hopefully bring back the art of cooking and family time. What advice would you give to other chefs or restaurateurs to thrive and avoid burnout? In order to thrive and not burnout in this industry you have to have a strong self care regimen. Always checkout to have personal days to get your body and mental health together. It's ok to take a week off. It's ok to not take a booking because you’re drained. CHECK OUT and GET REFRESHED

Find out more about Chef Danni by visiting her website at or following on Social Media at


By: Chandra Gore

Cydny A. Neville is a profound visionary, who is passionate about everything she does, because all of it is aligned with her purpose. In addition to VBLM, she is known for: making birthdays happen for youth in Virginia for decades, being an elected official, an amazing educator and curriculum designer, author, business consultant, empowering women, curator of the culture, and parenting advocate.

What was your history making moment? I've never been asked that one before! LOL! I truly move with GOD's purpose, and when the spirit tells me to move, so I really don't pay attention to much outside of accomplishing the mission placed on my heart. After giving this some thought, I'd have to say advocating for a law in honor of my mother, to expedite the processing of long-term care has had to be the most impactful result of advocacy I've ever led in my life. It was definitely a history making moment, that many won't realize until the moment they need it.

Who inspired you and why? My mother, father, and son are my inspirations! My mother taught me how to fight - differently! Using my GOD given talents, and the power of the pen are the real tools I need to win and overcome any hurdle life throws my way. My father keeps me grounded...but I also get my hustle from him, honestly! My son keeps me going. As a woman, we know, everything does not come easily. There's a price that comes with every diamond, and I admit there are times I get tired, and want to metaphorically get knocked down...but his smile, his laugh..that is my superpower! (That and a good afternoon nap)!

WWhat kind of impact do you want your story to leave on those who read or see your story? I want to inspire the next generation to keep my tradition alive by cooking with love. Cooking is my passion and it fuels me to want to cook lifechanging dishes for my clients. I want to inspire more women of color to become a private celebrity chef and for them to understand its possible. My life lesson quote is: “Faith without works is dead.” That quote always lives rent free in my head. You can imagine anything in your mind and see the vision clear as day; but until you put the work into it; It’ll never happen. I constantly push myself with this quote especially when it feels like I’m slacking or procrastinating. It helps me keep focus knowing that others and watching and learning from me.

What does success look like to you? Depending on the mission, success can look like a blessing in my bank account, surpassing a goal, or be a feeling of absolute joy and alignment! I've had the experience of reaching levels of success that have literally had me feeling like I have been elevated and walking on cloud 9! What kind of impact do you want your story to leave on those who read or see your story? There's a Native American proverb, "Be mindful of the tracks you leave." I hope that everything I do in this life leaves really good tracks. Tracks that inspire others to get up and do something. Tracks that motivate people to not be a victim; but rather the victor. Tracks that inspire them to see beyond, beyond! I hope someone reading this overcomes the "no's" in their atmosphere, and listens (and acts) on the one "yes" in their presence. I hope they know that they can do anything, too! What is the name of your business? What type of business is it? The business I'd like to highlight is The Virginia Black Lifestyle Magazine, LLC. It is a digital magazine that amplifies the narratives of the Black voice in Virginia. Our narrative matters! When we are silent, or silenced by the media, other people begin to tell tales. I want to change that!

What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you do? My mother instilled in me a STRONG passion for education. Growing up, there were many times we were impoverished and were faced with housing insecurities. There were times we lived in a motel room on one side of the city, woke up at the crack of dawn, caught several busses across the city, just to get to the best school before the bell. She let me know that education was the way; the answer, the way to a better life. I have been in constant pursuit of knowledge, and instill amplify that message in everyone I interact with.

Everything I do is deeply rooted in education, and literacy. My mother was an avid reader! Through the magazine, I have the opportunity to share narratives of our people, give them something they may enjoy reading, and may even educate them about something they did not know about before visiting the website. It's also important to note that I am an educator by trade, and have a wealth of experience facilitating professional development training to help others level up with enhanced knowledge that can benefit them personally and professionally.

What are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both) I am very excited about seeing the fruits of labor and seeds planted long ago. I am over the moon, excited about my son graduating from college this year! I'm also excited about the growth of The Virginia Black Lifestyle Magazine this year! We've had some hurdles launching just before the pandemic; this year is all about the "bounce back!" Make sure you follow the magazine to stay abreast of exciting events we have coming up this summer and fall! I'm passionate about seeing all the women who hustle, win in every aspect of their lives! Seeing others shine, motivates me to reflect their light and make more moves!

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business? What are the goals that you hold personally? The goals I want to accomplish with my business are, but not limited to: * Having a steady flow of advertisement sales - that's what keeps us going! * Having an intern from each of Virginia's five HBCUs! * Our analytics for the website are amazing - people are reading! Despite this, increasing the readership is a living goal! * When it's safe outside, I want to see our quarterly events to capacity!

Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them. I've been deeply influenced by my loves mentioned previously, and of course there are a few people I've met along my journey who keep me going! Shout out to: Ms. Jackson the assistant teacher in my kindergarten class and Mrs. Strickland - my third grade teacher at Cora Kelly Magnet School in Alexandria, Virginia! I also have to shout out Professor Nunnally at Virginia State University! She was the absolute best, and made me fall in love with writing. (There's also a Spanish teacher at VSU - her name fails me at the moment - but she saw my magic, before I knew it for myself). There are countless friends, Sorors, VSU family members, and SHEroes who keep my heart smiling! Surround yourself with good people! If they aren't good for your spirit, give them the gift of distance. Protecting your peace means keeping people around you who will keep you covered in the rain, and lift you up to feel the sunshine! Know the difference.

What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you? know...a lady never tells her secrets! LOL! I literally share "what's next" publicly, when they are done. Women who hustle know their shine brings attention to those who may try to find themselves in you for all the wrong reasons. Keep your aspirations close, but remember what is for you, is for YOU! It's safe to say readers can expect many great things on the horizon from me, that are deeply rooted in my purpose! I have public social media outlets available for them to see the magic as it presents itself.

Find out more about Cyndy Neville by connecting with her via one of her websites or following on social media. Twitter and IG: @VAblacklifemag Personal website: Public Figure facebook: lle Twitter: UCANDoAnything2 Consulting: Philanthropy:


Candace Holyfield is a serial entrepreneur and award-winning spa owner. Her life is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs open and operate successfully. She has helped over 800 spa professionals earn multi-six figures. Her community service work has been recognized by the city of Atlanta and several media publications. Candace also owns a trucking company, is an Amazon best-selling author, and super host on Airbnb. She teaches others how to generate six figures in each business that she owns.

What was your history-making moment? Creating the only black spa expo was my historymaking moment. Being awarded by the city of Atlanta was the cherry on top. Who inspired you and why? Wow, so many people. Dawniel Winningham was my lifeline when I wanted to kill myself back in 2016. I went through a horrible transition moving to Atlanta from Memphis and got depressed. Her daily lives pulled me out of depression, and I created an ebook in 24 hours and started getting sales immediately. I owe her my life. What does success look like to you? Success to me is being financially, mentally, and spiritually happy.

What kind of impact do you want your story to leave on those who read or see your story? To know no matter how bad it seems, it’s light at the end of the tunnel. The information you learn, implement it immediately. Execution will change your life and bank account.

What is the name of your business? What type of business is it? Six Figure Spa Chick. We are a spa marketing firm for spa and beauty professionals. What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you do? What motivates me the most is knowing everything is one me. No one is coming to save me or my children. That’s all the motivation I need. What are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both) I’m most excited about my new marriage (Newlywed less than four months) and my business. I’m most excited about the 3rd annual Spa Queen Expo.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business? What are the goals that you hold personally? My biggest goal is my tiny house Airbnb community. My personal goal is seven figures in real estate this year.

Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in, and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them. Dawniel Winningham, The Glam University, Channel Washington, MZ Skittlez, and Cici the six-figure chick (May she continue resting in heaven) Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today? Tell me about them. Moving to Atlanta was a game-changer and life-changing experience. Working with celebrities and millionaires opened my eyes to the life I now live. What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you? Super excited about the new book I’m releasing this summer, How I Blew My First Million But Got It Right Back - How to not Blow Your Money. As support to other business owners, I have 7 hours of free Business classes called Millionaire Night school on my Instagram TV Stories.

FFind out more about Candace Holyfield by visiting her website and following her on Social Media YouTube: SixFigure Spa Chick


By: Chandra Gore

Born and raised in Virginia, Hala understands our Commonwealth, its history, its challenges, and its many opportunities. As the daughter of a Salvadorian and North African immigrant father and an Irish and Lebanese mother, Hala reflects the growing diversity of Virginia and the strength that it brings to our future. Growing up, Hala’s family struggled to make ends meet. And when she was pregnant, her job didn’t offer any health insurance. Thankfully, she qualified for Medicaid, which provided healthcare for her and her son. After he was born, he suffered from asthma and acid reflux and needed urgent medical attention. Medicaid saved his life. Hala went on to build a career as a single working mom. For over 20 years as a cybersecurity specialist with the Department of Homeland Security, she worked to protect our nation’s information systems and prevent attacks on our national security. And in 2013, Hala completed her college degree online while working full time. From the local PTA and statewide women’s advocacy groups to serving on the McAuliffe Council of Women, Hala has long worked for progress. In 2017, she helped organize the first Women’s March in Washington. Seeing millions of women stand up against division and hate inspired her to run for office. She ran for Virginia’s 51st House District and won against a four-term Republican incumbent in the diverse and fast-growing suburbs of Prince William County. A key part of the new Democratic Majority, she made good on her campaign promises – expanding Medicaid for 400,000 Virginians, raising teacher pay, passing the Equal Rights Amendment and expanding background checks to keep guns out of dangerous hands.

What was your history making moment? I was elected to the House of Delegates in 2017 becoming the very first Afro-Latina ever to serve in our General Assembly. I won against a fourterm Republican incumbent and joined the most diverse General Assembly in Virginia's History.

Who inspired you and why? Four years ago I was so crushed and fearful after the election of President Trump. But I knew that there were better days ahead that we needed to get to work. So I laced up my sneakers and I organized thousands of women from Northern Virginia to attend the Women’s March in Washington D.C. and stand against the hatred of Trumpism. Seeing millions of women speak up against division and bigotry inspired me to run for office. I ran for the Virginia House of Delegates because I wanted to create change in our Commonwealth. The hope of a brighter future is what has kept me motivated to serve our Commonwealth during even the darkest moments.

What does success look like to you? Success comes in many forms, but for me helping Virginians in even the smallest way possible is my definition of success. Being a legislator means you can improve the day to day lives of your constituents. Whether it's expanding access to broadband so that kids can access the internet and learn, or helping a small business recover from the COVID-19 Pandemic, these policies make real change and connect Virginians with their Government.

What kind of impact do you want your story to leave on those who read or see your story? I am running for Lieutenant Governor because so many Virginians feel excluded from our political process. We have never, in our 400 year history, had women of color hold statewide elected office. I hope all of the young women reading this know that their voice matters in the political process and they should step up and run for office! What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you do? I am motivated by making history and changing our Commonwealth for the good. I am so proud of the work I've done in the General Assembly -- but I'm just getting started. There are so many issues that have been exacerbated by this global pandemic ESPECIALLY for Black and Brown Virginians and even more for Black and Brown women. No Virginian should worry about how they are going to put food on the table and how to keep a roof over their head. No Virginian should be a medical bill away from bankruptcy. This motivates me to get up every day and fight for those who can't speak for themselves.

What are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both) I am so excited to get out and meet Virginians! The best part of running for office and serving as an elected official is meeting all of the amazing people who live in this great Commonwealth. Their stories inspire me and keep me going even on the toughest days.

What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business? What are the goals that you hold personally? As Lieutenant Governor, there is so much we can do to improve the lives of Virginians. We need elected officials who will think big and bring courageous leadership to Richmond to make sure every Virginian has a seat at the table not on the menu. We need to rebuild our local economy stronger than before and support our workers and small business owners. We need to expand access to health care, and lower prescription drug costs. We need to invest in our infrastructure, like broadband and bridge the digital divide facing our rural communities. We need to support and improve our school systems from Pre-K to post-secondary and give our students and teachers the tools they need to succeed. And we need to reform our criminal justice system for a more equitable Commonwealth so that every Virginian can feel safe in their community.

Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them. In 2008, I went to see Senator Barack Obama campaign in Prince William County and his words changed my life. As a single mother, and a multi-racial daughter of an immigrant, I never thought that politics would have a place for someone like me. But listening to President Obama speak that day and seeing the thousands of Virginians from every background who came out to see him. I realized that I was exactly the type of person our politics needs and I was inspired to get involved in local politics in my local community!!

What’s next for you? What can readers look forward to from you? I am running for Lieutenant Governor because I believe my life experiences enable me to be a bridge builder so we can move our commonwealth forward into a strong, just, and prosperous future. Virginians want and need someone who understands their experience and can bring people together to make progress in their day-to-day lives. So many issues facing Virginians have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We need a healthcare system and an inclusive economy that works for every family, especially now as Virginia deals with COVID-19 crisis -- we can come out of this stronger and better prepared for the next crisis if we have the courage to make the right decisions. We need to invest in our communities and our infrastructure to support quality, high-paying jobs. We need to leverage technology to make our government better serve the people. And we need to ensure equity, justice, and opportunity regardless of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation - and this includes criminal justice reform. As Lieutenant Governor I hope to serve as a leader for all Virginians and work to build bridges between our government and its people.

Find out more about Hala Ayala by visiting or following on Social Media

KAISHA LEE By: Chandra Gore

Kaisha Lee is music personified. Born and raised mostly in Toronto, she was heavily influenced by jazz, soul, gospel sounds, and melodies from her Jamaican roots. As an upcoming artist, she had the opportunity to tour the world with professional gospel & classical chorales (notably a mezzo-soprano soloist for The Nathaniel Dett Chorale) and performed at the first inauguration of former U.S. President Barack Obama. She even claimed a Gemini Award for songwriting. Kaisha’s style runs the gamut from jazz, R&B, and soul to reggae, from pop to dancehall. To add to her considerable repertoire, she spent two years as the resident vocalist/pianist at Le Piano Rouge Lounge in Montreal. Although Kaisha completed her bachelor’s of fine arts in vocal performance and was teaching piano for seven years, the vocal pedagogy and in-depth study of vocal physiology did not start till after university. With more than 21 years of experience teaching music, Kaisha is the owner and operator of The Instrumental Voice School of Music and Holistic Center. Her teaching goes far beyond book theory to finding meaning in her deeply personal experiences. Ten years of physical struggle that threatened to derail her career have led her down the path to becoming the holistic vocal coach she is today. She also credits, among others, her early voice teachers, Ali Garrison and master teacher Angela Hawleshka, with playing integral roles in her recovery and empowerment. Using holistic practices, Kaisha successfully overcame the debilitating illness and back injury that nearly ended her career. Finding that freedom in her body also helped her find freedom in her natural voice. Weekly performances with the corporate band “1945” included dancing, as well as singing. Seven years in Montreal, she sang and played piano at the House of Jazz.

With the return to her home, Toronto, in 2019, she expanded her musical scope to theatre with her debut in The Ward Cabaret at the Harbourfront Centre. With the onset of COVID-19, Kaisha had no choice but to pivot away from corporate live performances and expanded her teaching. She is now a Professor at Sheridan College, giving vocal instruction to the musical theatre students. “Got Somebody” is a single she wrote during the first wave as a cry of hope, strength in encouragement and upliftment. What was your history-making moment? Living by myself in Jamaica for a year. I got to know my roots as an adult outside of family restrictions. Who inspired you and why? All life inspires me. Every person I have met has imprinted a seed of inspiration thru their unique dynamic.

WWhat does success look like to you? Peace of mind What kind of impact do you want your story to leave on those who read or see your story? No matter what life throws at you, you can catch it, and if you don’t like it, throw that bitch back. What is the name of your business? What type of business is it? Kaisha Lee & The Instrumental Voice

What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you do? My people. What we went through, where we are at, and where we need to go. We are all part of something bigger. What are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both) Owning my own house, starting a permanent garden on the earth. Growing my music with new purpose, attention, and aspirations for my people. What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business? What are the goals that you hold personally? Because I love all music, reggae being at the top of the pyramid, I am really looking forward to diving into different creative modes. I have three specific album ideas I would like to complete over the next ten years. I may let the Jazz album bleed into year 11. Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in, and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them. Bob Marley: King of Reggae: I felt connected to this strongly as a child with no understanding of his message, natural. Sizzla: I felt a pull to his messages, and his music made me research Rastafari. Rastafari is the rock on which I stand today and forevermore. Angela Hawleshka, a Master Voice teacher, not only taught me to be a teacher but saved me when I was catastrophically ill. Cerise Fairfax taught me how to manifest a positive life, and Denise Jones taught and helped to cultivate within me the strength and resiliency of the black woman with her empowering focus on hard work, personal introspection, knowing yourself, and forward movement no matter what. I could list more because I have had many angels, spirit guides, and ancestors physically on the path, but I give thanks for them all in short.

Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today? Tell me about them. I was in 2 car accidents in 2004, and they completely altered my life. Those events led to me stepping out of the matrix of what was expected of me into the wonderland of who I actually was. What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you? My next single is a mid-tempo pop dancehall song Is there anything else you would like to share with me? “Got Somebody” is a single I wrote during the first wave of the pandemic. It is an expression of hope for us all. Encouragement that together we can get through this pandemic. I wanted people to feel grounded in togetherness physically and spiritually. Find out more about Kaisha Lee by visiting her website


By: Chandra Gore

Sharifah Hardie is a business consultant, author, talk show host, producer at Bizzy Girl Productions, Candidate for 2024 California State Senate District 33, and an influencer. Sharifah Hardie is the host of Ask Sharifah Videocast and Podcast, as well as The Round Table Talk Show and Face to Face Talk Show. Sharifah is the author of Signs You Might Be An Entrepreneur – How to Discover the Entrepreneur in You and the ebook, Everything You Need to Know About Social Media Marketing. Sharifah was a Long Beach City Council Candidate in the 2020 Primary Election and is a diversity, equity, and inclusion expert. Sharifah built her first website in 1994 and has had an online presence ever since. She launched her first radio show in 2009 and is passionate about business. Sharifah was laid off over eight times yet didn’t quit. She used the experience and knowledge she gained working for these companies to benefit the businesses she now consults. With over 25 years of business experience, Sharifah Hardie has positioned herself to become one of the top executives in entertainment, business, politics, and a person on the rise. What was your history-making moment? Running for Long Beach City Council in the March 3rd Primary Election. Who inspired you and why? So many great people have inspired me. My parents inspired me. My mentor, Belinda Baker, inspired me. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama inspired me. Dr. Maya Angelou. Muhammad Ali. So many people.

What does success look like to you? Having the financial freedom to do what I want when I want. What kind of impact do you want your story to leave on those who read or see your story? I want someone to look at me and say, “Because of you, I was able to launch my own business, publish my book, launch my podcast or take that first step.” What is the name of your business? What type of business is it? Ask Sharifah - The Go-To Resource for Entrepreneurs. What would you say is your most motivation to keep doing what you do? Being an example for others.


What are you most excited or passionate about? I am just excited by life—the opportunity to still be here and to serve others. What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business? What are the goals that you hold personally? I would love to help millions of entrepreneurs and grow Ask Sharifah into a multi-trilliondollar business. Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in, and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them. Yes. Belinda Baker of She has owned sober living homes for women and children for many years. She just launched Bizzy Girl Productions and opened Belinda’s Grab N Go fish market. She is amazing. She is a talk show host and entrepreneur. Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today? Tell me about them. Being a mother at 18. Being laid off 8 times. Being divorced twice. Losing everything I’ve owned. What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you? My run for CA Senate in the 2024 Primary Election for District 33.

You can find out more about Sharifah Hardie by visiting her website or following her on social media.