Trustworthy Magazine October 2018

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“SELF-LOVE is the greatest middle finger of all time” - Dolly K

@ethnikculture


TRUST


OCT 2018 Table Of Contents 6. Editor’s Letter 7. Sidney Nicole Rogers 9. India Special Guide 14. In the Music Scene 17. Seascape 27. Andrea Lewis - A Creator’s path 37. A Homeowner’s Garden 43. Sustainable Travel 48. Hair Woes to Hair Goals 56. Healthy Habits

“And all at once, Summer collapsed into Fall...” ~Oscar Wilde


FOCUS

NIQUE HAGGERTY @Niquehaggerty


Editor’s Letter Trustworthy Magazine I promise you inspiration from people that break it down, and tell you about their journeys; such as Snappee founder Keziah Dhamma, who came up with a revolutionary idea for a hair tie, which ended damage and breakage to her hair.

Photo by Brittany Del Soldato

Now that it’s getting a little darker outside, you may be considering a trip to explore some new foods, adventures and relaxation. Well, if you are indecisive on where to go, perhaps our India guide with model and globetrotter Jessica Savano will help you decide on your next trip! I’m telling you - Our generation is creating ways and making moves according to a lifestyle that suits them!

So grab some tea, light a candle, Part of adapting to a society where social and allow yourself to indulge in our media rules a large portion of our daily lives, Fall issue! includes seeing people's highlights and achievements through a screen. We barely Amina Touray witness the challenges and struggles that come along the way to success. When conversing with actress and filmmaker, also this month’s cover star; Andrea Lewis we talk about the pressure of always having to have a good answer to the constant question“what's next?”, to keep up with social media’s requirements. We also discuss her upbringing, and how she’s created a platform on her own terms. In the (second) October issue of


Sidney Photographed & written by Amina Touray

Young actress Sidney

Nicole Rogers was seen in the Lifetime movie “The Wrong Cruise� earlier this year, acting alongside Vivica Fox. In our meeting Sidney discusses the big move to LA and her upcoming projects.


“I MADE A VOW TO MYSELF TO DO MORE OF WHAT SCARES ME”

Many people move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Sidney moved here four years ago from Virgina with zero expectations. - “when I moved out here I knew it would be a culture shock for sure, however, I wanted to make sure that I was open to receive anything LA threw at me.” She says. She’s been acting since the age of four. As a young adult she’s smoothly incorporating producing to the list as well, currently working on her own show. When asked when the interest for producing begun, Sidney responds that her interest in producing started two years ago. - “I always doubted myself when it came to this aspect of the entertainment industry, but, I made a vow to myself to do more of what scares me....and here I am

haha!” Although she can’t reveal anything about her own show yet, she happily shares another big highlight in her young career. Earlier in 2018 she played Vivica Fox daughter in the Lifetime movie “The Wrong Cruise”. Sidney explains the process of getting the role -“I self submitted myself through a casting website. It was actually a re-release of the role, Sky....I guess they had hired an actress before me but then decided she wasn’t right for the role. Anyways, I submitted myself for it and after a few days, I received an email stating that I was on avail for the role.” Without knowing anything about the other actors in the movie, Sidney was thrilled to find out who would play her mother “For around a week after that, I kept getting calls and email

updates for the role and that’s when I found out that Vivica A. Fox was going to play my mother (my jaw was to the floor haha). Eventually, I was asked to come in and read for Sky. I did - it went well, obviously. About a week after that, I was told that I got the role officially and I started shooting around five days later. It was a very unique process to say the least!” When I ask Sidney what her biggest challenge has been thus far, she says - “Thus far, I’d say that my biggest challenge was the movie, “The Wrong Cruise”. I only had several days to memorize the entire script and most of the shots were taken in one or two takes (yikes!). It was also my first time acting in a dramatic role on camera.”And the greatest accomplishment ? - “My greatest accomplishment has to be developing my TV show.” Which we are eager to learn more about in the future!



Jessica Savano: Actress, Model & Globetrotter Written by Mia N. Lloyd @positivelymia95

When

Jessica Savano walks into a room, any room, in any country, she captures the attention of everyone! Not just because she is a stunning woman with big brown eyes, long cinnamon colored hair and a seductive smile, but because she is tall - very tall to be exact! At 6’4”, Jessica is constantly stared at and asked, “Do you play basketball?” which is a legitimate question, being that she could easily play center for any WNBA team. But, no matter how tall she may be, she has never had an interest in sports; no her desires and dreams led her first to Hollywood. “I have always had big dreams of being an actress and living the dream in Hollywood,” Jessica says, “so eight years ago, I pursued my dream by moving and living there. However, like everything in life, it sort of loses its charm.” While it is easy to get bored with anything we do, Jessica still enjoys some modeling and is a licensed Realtor in the state of California. There is though, one thing that Jessica has never gotten bored from and most likely never will: Traveling the world!


As an international traveler Jessica has, well, traveled the world! She has had the privilege of visiting many countries including England, Dubai, Hong Kong and Iceland, just to name a few. When asked what made her decide to become a globetrotter, she answered, “You know, I guess I just got bored of the U.S. and how structured life is there. I wanted something else, something completely different. I wanted to experience many different cultures and see the world before it’s too late. Traveling is trans-formation to me, I mean you really get to know yourself; you learn, you meet new people, it can be scary at times but that’s the thrill of it all!” From bathing with elephants in Thailand to breaking her arm in Norway, Jessica has done it all! Yet it was during her travels throughout Asia where she realized that her most loved place on the planet, was the beautiful country of India. With an already massive population of 1,357,049,666, India has gained one more resi-dent – even if temporarily; as Jessica, for the time being calls the South Asian country, “home.” When she first visited two years ago, it was on a 30 day VISA. “I was literally blown away by the culture.” Jessica states, “It was as if I was transported to another world. Everything was so different from what I was used to. I was on such a high I went back to America and applied for a longer VISA to come back. I now have a 10 year, six month at a time Indian VISA.” Why is she so drawn to India? “It’s a complex and majestic country and I just love exploring it. I can never get enough of India. There really is no other place like it.” So let’s take a journey into Jessica’s fascinating world and discover some of her favorite places and things to do in India. Best Restaurant(s) Mumbai: Olive Bar & Kitchen Papa Pancho da Dhaba in Banda (Mumbai) is, “my absolute favorite Indian Restaurant” Jessica says. “Pretty much all over India you can find the best Indian food and it varies from north to south, which is pretty amazing.” Favorite Beaches Goa: “I really like Goa. It’s literally the Ibiza of India. It was founded by the Portuguese in the 1400’s so it has a beautiful blend of Portuguese and Indian culture. There are so many beaches from hippy town to super high-end chic area. Kerala is also very pleasant if you just want to relax. I’d say Kerala is more for the older crowd


and Goa is more for the younger crowd.” Best Temple ISKON Temples (Interna-tional Society for Krishna Consciousness): Jessica proclaims, “I am a devotee of Lord Krishna, so I would say ISKON Temples (International Society For Krishna Con-sciousness) they have temples around the world, but of course the one’s in India are much more livelier with music and dance. I would also recommend,” she continues, “visiting old ancient temples while in India (there are many). I plan to visit Hampi, India which is an ancient village in the South that is dotted with numerous temple ruins from the 7th century.” Indian Style Known for their beautiful fashion, Jessica absolutely loves Indian fashion. “I love the fashion here” she excit-edly exclaims, “I mean I’ve always loved it and even dress ‘Indian chic’ when I’m back home in the states. Most women wear saris which to me is the most beautiful type of dress that there is.” Unfortunately though, “the western culture is affecting India a lot now with social media and a lot of Indian’s wear western type clothes” Jessica declares. Best Cities to Live In “My favorite Indian cities are Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. I am not much a city girl; I much prefer the Himalayas or Goa.” Indian Night Life “Night life in fuuun...especially in Mumbai!” Jessica says. “I love going out and dancing to Punjabi music; it is so much fun! I might add that India has a ton of holidays and festivals which are very fun and exciting! I prefer those much more than going out to a club or bar.” Want to learn more about Jessica? Well, she invites us all to travel the world with her! How? By following her fascinating adventures throughout the globe by following her on Instagram @jessicasa-vano and subscribe to her YouTube channel @www.youtube.com/user/-Jsavano. So if you share the same adventurous spirit as Jessica and longing for a new experi-ence explore the Indian culture! Just grab your passport and Visa, and get ready to say...Namaste!

“Traveling is transformation to me, I mean you really get to know yourself; you learn, you meet new people, it can be scary at times but that’s the thrill of it all!”



BE GREATFUL

GRATITUDE


CALIFORINA


In The Music Scene Photographed & Interviewed by Amina Touray

A

nnie Nepomuceno is mostly known in the Filipino-American community for being a music teacher, vocalist producer and TV-personality. She is also the managing director of Music Arts Events; A music event production company that is run by musicians. The company’s mission is to help other musicians reach their goals. When I meet Annie, she is full of energy and lights up anytime I ask about her Filipino culture. During our chat she opens up about her music journey and what it was like to perform for the

former Philippine president.

You have a very impressive rĂŠsumĂŠ with a line of awards, TV appearances & performances, as well as being a vocal teacher and vocalist producer. Where does your musical background begin ? I began in Children's Choir when I was 8 years old. We were told we all needed to take piano lessons so we can learn reading notes, so I did. My choir conductor kept saying that all her choir kids read music, so I did believe her. As a child, I thought everyone was musically proficient. I was not a prodigy, I could just pickup musical ideas quickly. I thought if I could do it, so could everyone else. Then later in life, my choirmates told me they were just following my lead. I still don't believe them to this day, haha. Tell us about Music Arts Events that you are the managing director of ? Music Arts Events started as suggested by someone else, as a company that would import and export talent. That person dropped out, and since my husband and I put in time for the business plan and everything, we did the first project ourselves. It was a small local concert, and we have expanded to bigger venues, but we retained emphasis on Philippine pop or traditional repertoire, and US-based


Filipino American artists. We put a lot of thought into the content and programming of musical selections for the benefit of Filipinos connecting to their culture. What was it like to be asked to emcee for the Philippine president Benigno Aquino III, when he visited Los Angeles in 2016 ? It was my honor to be asked by the Philippine Consulate to emcee the Community Visit of then President Benigno Aquino. Having been in and out of state performances since I was a little girl, I was aware of the protocol involved. Luckily, the head of protocol and I worked well together, and we did a lot of adjustments on the fly. I was too concerned to keep the program moving to be nervous. There were a couple of thousand people who needed to have their photo taken with him. Are you ever nervous before getting on stage ? I keep telling my students that an amount of nervousness is to be expected. However, I don't feel nervous anymore for stage performances, I feel excited! The music simply makes me feel at home. But an audition is totally something else, for that I may not be able to get to sleep the night before or my stomach will be topsy-turvy. Describe the process and how you get ready for a live appearance ? Getting ready for a live appearance may take months or weeks of preparation, depending on what music I have to perform. Sometimes I create a new backing track for a song I had done live, or just written. If it's a live performance, I create the music charts the band players read from. But honestly, the most nerve-wracking this is to have the right outfit ready to wear when the time comes, It seems trivial, but as a diabetic and

breast cancer survivor, my weight fluctuates wildly. Sometimes I would not hem my dresses soon enough, and avoiding tripping is a big issue with being onstage. It matters whether you will stand tall, or fall flat on your face. What is an advice you’ve been given that you would like to pass on, perhaps to a younger version of yourself ? The advice that I used to give was "learn to cope," to which some people are surprised because it is not "practice more", or something like that. I chose that phrase because preparing, practicing and rehearsing is coping with the upcoming performance. One has to deal with the sheer amount to time it would take to be a better singer or musician, to perform a four-minute song in front of tens to thousands of people. Nowadays I add the phrase "don't suck," because truly, a lot of wanna-be artists judge their performances from how they feel, and if they did it or not, without taking note of the audience or market feedback. The ability to discern if your material or performance is bringing in what you hope it would should is applicable to any situation. Aiming for a degree of creative maturity, wherein one can detach emotionally from their work, can assure longevity as a professionally. Simply put, anything that sucks doesn't find an audience. So, don't suck. Learn to cope.


WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE RIGHT NOW?


WHY NOT HERE?

VISUALIZE


SEASCAPE Tale for Esther Spring/Summer ‘19 Collection titled Seascape is inspired by the crystal clear turquoise water and white sand beaches from fashion designer Kristine Amarillo’s recent magical trip to The Philippines!

Photographer: Amina Touray @aminatphoto Designer: Kristine Amarillo Tale For Esther @taleforesther Make up: Irma Vasquez @makeupbyirmav Models: Ciera Payton @cierapayton & Mercedes Schmidt @mercedesvii










4QFDJBM 0DDBTJPO HPXOT] &MFHBOU FWFOJOH BUUJSF ] #PME MVYVSJPVT 3FBEZ UP 8FBS QJFDFT 222ัต/ ' !*- ./# -ัต *(


@daaaaaarija

PASSION

Darija Varnas




A CREATOR’S PATH

Andrea Lewis A

Photographed & Interviewed by Amina Touray @aminatphoto Styling by Janel Styles @janelstyles77 Makeup by Niehla @niehlao Hair by Nica G @no_curl_denied

t the age of four, the Canadian born actress, filmmaker & writer Andrea Lewis already knew she was an actress. Envisioning a life in film and production was as natural to her as breathing. Every hour spent at various sets growing up, truly prepared her for the successful TV-shows she’s been seen in such as Degrassi - The Next Generation, movies like Cadet Kelly, and working alongside icons such as Maya Angelou and Wesley Snipes. Lewis was already destined for this path when she was introduced to the cameras as a toddler. During my conversation with the “Black Actress” star, writer and creator we learn about the different aspects of a creator's life that may not always come to surface.

Amina Touray: You have a long and very impressive career in the film and TV industry. Did you always know that this is what you wanted to do ? Andrea Lewis: Pretty much! I guess that’s what’s weird is I literally don’t remember doing anything else or caring about anything else. I started acting as a toddler, literally two years old. That was just...I want to say “luck” in the sense of my mom was approached by a casting director in a mall, with me, when I was a year. And this was in Canada ? This was in Canada, yes this was in Toronto. And at the time she didn’t know anybody doing this, so she really was like - “hmm...whatever”. Took the card. A year later she was on maternity leave again with my brother, and just had time. She called up the woman... So she had saved the card ? Yes, and the woman remembered her! And that was how I started. I was thinking about this; One of my best friends, She’s been my best friend

since my first day of school, kindergarten. Even then when I was in kindergarten, I was like - “I’m an actress”, even though I was four years old, because I had been working. I had already been doing commercials and print ads. So it was always natural to you ? Yes! And everything that had to do with art whether it was a musical, or honestly anything to do with performance and art when I was a little girl, I was obsessed with it, or couldn’t wait for my time to eventually do that. So I guess it’s like - What came first, the chicken or the egg ? I couldn’t tell you, it’s just always been a part of who I was. Luckily my mom was not this crazy stage mom, she was just somebody who supported. My brother did acting too when we were kids. When he turned 12 he didn’t want to do it anymore, it wasn’t like this big fight or anything. You’re also a filmmaker and writer. How has your acting helped you as a filmmaker ? And the other way around,


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how has being a filmmaker and writer helped you as an actress ? As a little girl actress, I was envisioning having a production company and doing behind the scenes. I used to read stories about Reese Witherspoon and Drew Barrymore, and they had their own production companies. They were seeking out the work that they were eventually doing. I guess it’s my entrepreneurial spirit, because I knew from a young age that I would eventually want to do those things. I think growing up on set, I didn’t only look at it from an actress perspective, but I used to pay attention to everything. So then when it came time for me to finally do some of my own productions, I approached it from what I had already known. So even though I never went to film school, it was like film and television had been such large part of my life, that I almost feel like I went to film school. I guess I learned it hands on. And really seeing it, and talking to people and asking questions. Those are the skills that school can’t

always teach you... Yes exactly! And you kind of get influenced by both. I think what helps me as a writer is that I’ve read lots of scripts as an actress, and I can always envision characters and dialog and things like that. But then I think what also helps me as an actress is that I understand writing very well. So they both kind of go hand in hand. And you started Jungle Wild Production in 2012. Could you talk about that ? I’d always grown up knowing I was eventually going to have a production company. I think it was just a matter of when, versus what or how kind of thing. And it really started with me taking charge of the web for myself, and realizing that when I was a little girl it was traditional film companies and traditional production company. But now you have the internet and you can do your own thing there. I had before been part of a website and Youtube channel called “Those girls are wild”. I just loved what we had created. And a “Wild Girl” was essentially for us a career motivated, carefree woman. So I took the “wild” from there, but then at the same time I was living in New York at the time, and that’s what inspired me to finally start this production company that I knew I was going to do. So that’s where “Jungle Wild” came into play. Living in New York - Concrete jungle literally. I’ve always liked the concept of a wild woman, I’ve always liked this woman who took charge of her own life and did whatever that she wanted to do. I knew that the focus of Jungle Wild Productions was going to be women stories, women of color, black women, it was just going to be that! And that’s what brought the whole thing together. ...And “Black Actress” ? Yes so “Black actress” was my first web series. And that was through Jungle Wild Productions. I had started developing the concept of “Black Actress” maybe five years before I actually released it. It was when I was in a relationship at the time, when my boyfriend at the time was like - “You should make it into a web series”. Because I had told him this idea, and it was originally a pilot, and then it was going to be a feature, it was going to be all these things. And like I had said, there was this beauty in the internet, and being able to do whatever you wanted. So I had had this idea


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Dress: @wowcouture_usa Provided by @maisonpriveepr_la @maisonpriveepr_alexandra Bracelet: NMD @n.m.designs Provided @nowprla Green ring: Iris Trends @eyeofiris


forever of “Black Actress”. It just became the first like - Go ahead, make something scripted, make something on the internet and see how that goes! How did people respond to it ? I actually thought “Black Actress” got really great response, and it still does which I think is so wild. It’s like the show that never ends, because it’s had two seasons, and people constantly are asking me for a third season. It was kind of like my first as an overall artist, because not only did I write this series, but I produced it, I wrote it, I even put a lot of my own music that I had at the time in it. So as a creative I was doing all the parts, but at the same time I was also very collaborative, like; I had other directors, I had producing partners, I had stylists, and makeup artists. I didn’t just do it all myself. It was probably the most therapeutic and confirming thing that I had ever done in my whole life. Do you think you will do a third season ? Ah well you know what, I’m always working on stuff within that world if that makes sense. I guess because there is the internet and there is this beauty in like - I’m just going to create this world for myself. And I think when you think about certain filmmakers, such as Spike Lee; he’s one of my favorite filmmakers. He always uses a lot of the same actors. Sometimes you can just look at it as it’s just one world. It’s not even - project, project, project. So yes, we’re constantly working on “Black Actress”. And it’s basically a reflection of your life.... Yes it was inspired by my real life experiences. I always feel like I’m in a privileged position

because I know a lot of famous actresses and I know a lot of new actresses. So I really get to see all the sides, and I realize how many of us are going through the same thing. Youtube has grown so big! We’ve started seeing so much success with it! You have your own channel, what do you post ? Yes basically my Youtube channel started for the purpose of my production. That was literally the only reason I even decided to do it. Like I said though, I had a channel before called “Those girls are wild” and we used to produce sketch comedy content. And that is probably the space in which I learned the work that happens on Youtube because we had a schedule. And just understanding an audience and understanding what you wanted. So by the time I started my own channel, I knew that the goal for it was going to be for my production. And then I maintained it with vlog and lifestyle content. But that’s because I genuinely like filming all the time. I think what people don’t always realize is that web series are not any easier than television or film. They still are the same process And you have that control too... - Yes, the thing is with Youtube is that it’s your channel. It is literally your hub to whatever it is that you want to do! I saw one of your Youtube videos when you was an ambassador for the American Black Film Festival. You were saying something that I thought was really interesting and honest. You said that a lot of times when you go to events you always get the question; “what are you working on” or “What’s your next project”. Do you feel the pressure to have a good answer, even if you’re currently


not working on anything ? Oh yes, I still do tha t all the time! I’d like to say that I’m like - Oh yeah but I don’t care. But I do all the time, because I think we are in that time. I think social media and all these things makes it feel like you’re supposed to be doing or being. No one wants to have the answer that - “I’m just living”. But sometimes that is what you are doing! You’re just living (laughs). Or it’s like you’re writing, and writing is not always glamorous, writing is living, writing is just gaining inspiration. Sometimes honestly I’m just trying to lose weight (laughs)... Right, we all have our own projects and it doesn’t always have to be something huge Yes haha, I’ve had many moments like that. I still am in front of a camera, so I still have to have an element of life where it’s just pure maintenance of myself. But you still feel the pressure of - What am I supposed to say I’m doing?! (laughs).

drea points towards a book laying on the table in front of us). I have to have that. If I don’t actually have the physical book, then I tend to go to the website. This is one by Joyce Meyer... Which one, “The Power of being Thankful” ? Yes and Joyce Meyer is really good. She just has great books like that. And honestly I drink a lot of water. Water somehow... Yes your skin is perfect by the way... (laughing) Thanks! I feel like water keeps me in check. I’m not sure how or why, but I feel like it balances you out. Also for me I don’t always drink just water, I put apple cider vinegar in it a lot of the time. And something about that ritual helps me to remember that my focus is always me, because I have to actively think to do this. I know that the way I feel on the outside reflects how I feel on the inside. It’s this weird circle effect. I have to consciously remember certain things to do in order to feel good all

“you’re not always ready for the things you think you’re ready for. You really do have to go through certain notions in life and certain experiences in order to get ready for that place” I’m curious, do you set up 3, 5, 10 year (or however many) goals for yourself ? I used to! I used to do more kind of extravagant goals, but I found probably over the last 10 years that I keep having the same goals. So it’s been almost counter productive for me to do that. So it’s better for me to do it monthly or yearly. It helps me to progress faster, and it helps me to keep track. I guess because like you asked in the beginning. I’ve had the same goals basically my entire life. So I never feel like I’m short sighted on them, but instead it’s easier for me and my work ethics to be like this month, this is the focus. Next month this is the focus. I have some goals that I know will take a little bit of time, but a lot of them I feel like I can accomplish within a year. And they are directly going towards my five year and my ten year. What are some of your must do’s, for example; yoga or workouts, just to live a happy and balanced life. What do you do for you? Well I have...this is my daily prayer book (An-

the time. I like to do a lot of running, running h elps me to feel good about myself. I like to consider myself like a self cleaning oven. I like to ask myself a lot of questions, in terms of when something is making me feel bad. That’s even how I came up with the idea of answering this question, especially at the American Black Film Festival. I was very excited to be there, and to just be an ambassador. That was it! But you realize that even within that, people were still like - “Well what’s next?” or “What else ?”, and for me at that time especially, that was like a little vacation for me. Like I really needed it! I had been working on so much stuff, and I was like - I don’t even want to think about anything else. I’m so glad to be here (laughs). And then have the next question -”what’s next ?” come up - umm...well we’re here, I’m going to edit this footage (laughs). But it makes you reflect, and I try to do that a lot. Reflect on what I’m doing and why I’m doing it and if it makes me feel happy at all. Yes, I think it’s important to do that too, to analyze and


ask questions... Yes but in a constructive way, not beating yourself up. I think self awareness is the key. As long as you can be self aware you can help yourself. What are some of the most valuable lessons (and I’m talking about your film career as well as your entrepreneurial career). What are some of the most valuable lessons that you’ve learned along the way, and what would you tell other people or your younger self ? One; When I was a little girl I did a film with Maya Angelou, and she said - “Everything happens in its time”. And at the time I didn’t understand what that meant. And then life happens, and you kind of see that everything does happen in its time; meaning like you’re not always ready for the things you think you’re ready for. You really do have to go through certain notions in life and certain experiences in order to get ready for that place. I had always known I was going to have a production company, but it wasn’t until I moved to New York, I’m in a relationship, I go through all this learning on the internet and on TV, that finally you feel - Now is the time to do this. And then also I’m constantly being inspired and remembering the lesson of hearing filmmakers talk about getting a project off the ground and having no money to do it, or not having the resources to do it, not having the people to do it, but they still did it anyway! So you always forget that you do not have to be this perfect rich person. Sometime you just have to do it. Just do it anyway! Even if it’s not going to be perfect, even if it’s not going to have all the people it needs to have. Just do it! You’ll be further ahead, you’ll be more thankful, you’ll get closer to what you want than the person who’s sitting around plotting and waiting, and hoping and wishing and complaining. I hear those stories all the time! Even in February this year at the American Black Film Festival, they were doing honors, award show. And Ava DuVernay who’s one of my favorites...that was one of the lessons she talked about; was doing her first film and not having enough money to even properly pay anybody. That one of the actors had to lend her money to give everybody else lunch. Like these little things, and you’re thinking to yourself - here you are being hard on yourself for maybe not having a budget, or not having this or not having that. And really stopping yourself from doing something. And people are getting stuff made all the time with little to nothing, and it’s advancing their careers and their souls ultimately as an artist. That’s a lesson that you constantly have to hear. It’s inspirational to hear that - Yes because


it’s hard! It gets very hard and you can easily get very down on yourself when you have ideas that are big. And you’re like - well how do I get this done?...and then you hear stories of somebody getting something done. And you’re like - Oh my God, I have to just get out of my own way! Yes, it all falls to place when the time is there. As long as you put action into motion Yes 100%! I actually have one last question. And I’m asking this because this year is almost over, it’s gone by so fast! So fast!! So how has this year been for you ? And not to put any pressure (laughing) but what are the plans for next year ? Yes this year has been interesting for me because it has gone by really quickly. I had a lot of stuff last year that I set into motion for this year. This year has almost felt like my “behind the scene” working year. I’ve had so many great opportunities to learn. That doesn’t always mean stuff that was out for the forefront for the public to see or social media to see. So what it’s done for me was kind of remind me of my true purpose as a creative. And that ultimately; my goal was always to create. So these next three months are almost going to feel like a pressure cooker (laughing) of just like; create create create!! Because that is ultimately where my heart has been. I’ve had a few times this year where I’ve felt a little purposeless or a little lost or a little just all over the place. And I finally realized it’s because I haven’t been creating. I’ve been in meetings, and rearranging and taking notes, and listening to somebody you know...somebody’s opinion of your work. And that can do a lot! Good and bad, but at the end of the day it’s your mission. Your job is to create! So just keep creating!

Dress: @wowcouture_usa Provided by @maisonpriveepr_alexandra Earrings: @jewelrybarusa_ Provided by: @nowprla Green ring: Iris Trends @eyeofiris


Nostalgia



A Homeowner’s Garden Do you dream about owning your own home ? Perhaps with your own garden where you can grow organic fruits, vegetables and herbs ? That is exactly what Ohio-native DeSirĂŠ Ball has. In our conversation she explains step by step how she bought her own home and tells us what you can do if you want to own yours! Photographed by Jeremy Moore Interview by Amina Touray Lorem ipsum  Â?  Â?Â?  Â?      ­ € ‚ Â?  Â

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EMBARKING UPON TOMORROW HOW TO TRAVEL SUSTAINABLY Written by Shari Sabel Strandmark

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ou are all packed, you have anticipated this trip for long and finally you will get a well-deserved treat. A vacation not to be forgotten is awaiting you. However, there are a few things that might be necessary to consider for any up-to-date, conscious person who wants to contribute to a continuous sustainable development, even during holidays! Who are you when you are a tourist or when you are travelling? How do you treat the people you met in the new country? Are you concerned to respect their customs and traditions? Do you think of how your alcohol consumption could affect the people and the area where you were staying? Could you consider other alternatives for transport than getting on the next flight? Have you reflected upon if your behaviour changes when you are on vacation?


Did you know that . . . The tourism industry makes out 10 % of global world BNP. During 2016 1.6 there were billion international arrivals. 13-19 million of children work in the tourist industry. 292 million people work in the global tourism industry. So – what can you do in order to travel fairly? * Make sure you are well read before you leave. If you go abroad you should know something about the culture, religion, history and current political situation. * Think twice before booking all-inclusive trips. The local bars, restaurants, stores and markets will not benefit from your staying there as most of your consumption will take place within the hotel area. Remember that all-inclusive trips imply an enormous income leakage for the hosting countries! As much as 60-90 % of your money will never benefit the country itself nor the local industries but only the influential multinational travel agencies. * Always try to consider other alternatives than flying. All flights cause high omissions and let out thousands tons of CO2 that severely damages the climate. Why not take the train and be able to observe a beautiful landscape on your way? * If you need to travel by airplane go for the direct flights with no or few transfers. * If you are staying at a hotel, try to pick one without a swimming pool. At many tourist resorts the extreme amounts of water needed to

run golf clubs and other popular tourist activities seriously shortens the local supply and need of water for the residents. �* You could always ask the hotel staff not to wash/change your towels every day and make sure the cleaning of the room is the most eco-friendly possible. Some hotels even offer specific green signs with eco-friendly room cleaning that you can hang on your door. * Instead of giving into handing money to children who beg on the streets, make a donation to a local organisation that works to improve the everyday situation for the children. * If you want to carry a water bottle with you during the day, you could refill the bottle at the hotel instead of buying small water bottles. * Before booking try to make sure you book a hotel with some kind of eco-friendly certification or recommendation. Visit www.bookdifferent.com * Always eat at local restaurants outside the hotel area and buy your fruits and vegetables at the local market. * Think carefully before involve in bargaining. The person who sells the product probably needs the money. * Tip the person who cleans your room, your tip could sometimes be a considerable amount of that person’s monthly income. * Act against sex buyers - do

not visit bars or restaurants that offer strip shows or sell sexual services. Ask your hotel if they have any policy against prostitution. * If you see something – say something. Unfortunately many adults seek to sexually abuse children when abroad. Make sure you report anything that seems strange to hotel staff. Just as we care for the people and environment in our close surroundings we need to take the next essential step in order to create a more just and sustainable world. Whether we go far or local, there are hundreds of things we can do in order to improve the world that surrounds us. It might need some of our time to rethink a few things or choices we make but in exchange we will be able to enjoy our vacation with an easy mind. Remember – sustainable tourism is the real adventure in itself. Your favourite travel resort is also someone else’s home so why not leave a footprint you can be proud of. Are you looking for that very special and rewarding travelling experience? Visit www.justicetravel.org - a travel agency dedicated to social and ecological justice to make your journey the benefit and the people you meet. Also visit this network for sustainable tourism and read interesting reports: www.schystresande.se/upl/files/140068.pdf

Bon voyage!


Follow @Snappeeinc


I

first met Keziah Dhamma; Founder and creator of Snappee; re-washable, lenient hair ties for curly, kinky & natural hair, in December 2012. Which was a year into my move from Europe to Los Angeles. Somehow the years seemed to merged into one lane, because despite a little hiatus between us in our busy LA lifestyles, we had now found ourselves back together as if time never passed by. Things are however slightly different this time, as I find myself in a relaxed beach city in Southern California. It’s a late afternoon, and the lighting is slowly turning into golden rays that gently strikes and warms my bare shoulders. The winds from the Pacific ocean is embracing my curly hair. It’s where Mrs Dhamma now lives with her 1 year old daughter Satori and husband Mark Dhamma. Keziah and I walk down to the beach. It’s only within walking distance from her beautiful bright townhouse apartment. Once arriving at the beach, we sit down on the sparkling, warm sand that the sun has warmed up. It couldn’t be a more idyllic sight than watching the waves go back and forth smoothly, as I catch up and converse with my old friend...


You may wonder where this revolutionary idea for a hair tie came about. Keziah explains that it began after too many bad experiences with breakage and damage through regular hair ties - “Snappee, I feel was like 26 years in the making...I have struggled with my hair my whole life! I never had any type of hair ties, headbands or apparatus to put my hair up with, I always was just created something on my own. I was living in Hollywood, and I was acting and modeling, and I remember I did my hair in the perfect Afro, and I needed to go to the gym to get my workout in before the next

and if it’s not patent you can do it later on if you want to”. And I did, I saw that no one was making anything like that. And you know I kind of just sat on the idea for a year, until I decided to start creating it. So I pretty much got some fabrics, sewing machine, and I started creating it in my studio apartment in LA. I used to hand make them myself and they are all still handmade to this day. And the word about Snappee started spreading gradually and authentically as influencers started getting a hold of

“CurlCollege is the first online, curly hair school that educates women about their naturally curly hair” gig. I got really frustrated not having something to put my hair up with. And so I thought - wouldn’t it be great to have something like a hair tie that would snap on and snap off of my hair without any damage or any breakage? And that would be with my ‘fro still looking great! So I actually sketched the idea down on a post-it. And months had went by, and my brother came to visit me. He actually started his business which is “The Rich Barber Company” He’s a barber, he cuts hair in Sacramento. He’d seen the post-it on my desk and out of everything else, the papers and everything on my desk, he was like “Hey what’s that idea?”. So I told him and I was very enthusiastic about it. And he was like - “That’s a really great idea, you should make it into a business!”. I told him - “no way, I don’t really know how to run a business”, and he was like - “See if it’s patent,

them - “Well in the beginning it was very sporadic, I would have one order, maybe every week or so. That was just the first few months. I think about 12 months in I started getting more orders. I started reaching out to influencers on Youtube, asking them to try the product so that the word started getting around. You may ask yourself what the biggest difference is between a regular hair tie and a Snappee hair tie. And as customer of the product myself, I can tell you that a Snappee doesn’t only keep your hair happier and healthier, but it’s a go for the long run - “Well regular hair ties on the market are one-size, fits all. They are marketed to everyone, they are very general hair


ties. But with Snappee, they’re specifically made for thick, kinky and curly hair. They can work for all hair types, and they actually do, but they’re specifically made for the curly girls because we have a harder time getting hair ties out of our hair because we have so much volume, and the way that our curls spiral in our hair causes a lot of breakage and damage to our hair if it gets caught on something. So Snappee is actually made with a swimwear fabrics so it’s really soft and silky. There is no elastic in it. The band is a fabric and it has a snap feature so that you can snap it on to your hair and snap it off, avoiding any tangles, any damage. They’re also machine washable and dryer safe. So regular hair ties on the market are actually throw away hair ties. Once you buy them, you use them a few times, you gotta throw them away, buy more. But with Snappee, they’re made to last. So if they stretch out; you wash them, you dry them, and they’ll shrink back to regular size. - I actually remember getting some Snappees in 2014, and I still have them! “Oh my goodness” (Keziah breaks into a laughter)... - And I truthfully can’t tell the difference between the new ones I got this year, and the ones I got four years ago. They’re still going strong! - And they also do come in different colors... - “Yes right now we have four colors. They come in; black, brown, pink and purple. And I’m working on coming out with patterns, so I want to do something that is glittery, shimmery. I’m also in the process of creating the next version of Snappee which is going to be a bigger, thicker one, that stretches out a lot more, so you only have to use one. When I ask Keziah about her own hair journey, and if she’s always been natural, I can tell that it hasn’t always been as easy as it is now. - “I haven’t always been natural. I was natural from when I was younger from I

would say between 10 and 12. Me and my mom would always struggle on how to do my hair. It was kind of like a collaborative effort (laughs). She’d be like “Go sit in the bathtub and comb your hair”, and I’d put it in little buns. My mom is Caucasian and Hispanic, and she didn’t know how to do my hair, so she often kept my hair short. But when we found out about a relaxer I begged my mom, and we put it in my hair, and my hair was straight. And it was just more manageable, and we were just so happy. It just made her happy and me happy, because we didn’t really know what to do with my hair, and so I actually felt pretty then because my hair was straight like everyone else. Before I had straight hair when I would be in school, I’d always used to get teased for my hair. They’d be like - “Oh what’s under that thing?”, because I used to wear a scarf, to wrap it because my hair was so thick. I’d get teased, the boys would pull the scarf off of my head. And I used to just hate it, I was so embarrassed because I’d always wear my hair the same way at school because I just didn’t have any other options. So when I got my relaxer it was just a relief, and I’d just fit in and I didn’t have to worry about my hair as much. And then when I had gone to college, I started envisioning wearing my hair natural. It had been so long and I’d actually forgot what my hair looked like, and I started to miss it. I had a few friends that had worn their hair curly and I thought - how can I wear my hair like this, I’d like to do that. So I started to grow it out, and then I got scared because I was like - I don’t know how to do my hair. So then I ended up putting another relaxer in it. And then when I did that I was like Nooo that’s not what I wanted!!. So then I started again...I mean growing out hair it’s like two to three years before you get like the normal length, maybe shoulder length hair. So I started it again, and I remember this time I went to my hair stylist. I just went to get a deep condi-


tioner when I was growing it out, and she recommended getting a texturizer in because it’d soften my curls. And I was like - “It’s not a relaxer right?” and she was like - “No it’s not chemicals”. She totally lied to me! I put it on, we put it in my hair and it was like bone straight. And I think she just wasn’t that educated on it either. And I was so heartbroken. So I had to start all over again. I waited another two years, and then finally I got to a point where I moved from Sacramento to LA. And I was just having the hardest time doing my hair because the water here was so bad, just dry. So I said forget it, and did a big chop. And I’d just wore my hair in a small Afro, and just been growing it out since then. And of course a lot of trial and error, trying to figure out how to do my hair, what products works for my hair, and getting myself educated. Once I was able to go through all of that and find the foundational principles about the hair, and how the hair reacts to products, and water and things like that. Once I figured that out then it was easy. That’s when I decided to create CurlCollege, an extension of the SwirlyCurly brand that Snappee is made by, to educate other women. - Oh yes, tell us more about CurlCollege. What is it exactly ? CurlCollege is the first online, curly hair school that educates women about their naturally curly hair. So anybody who is interested in going natural, and they don’t know how to do it, or what to expect. They don’t know what products to use or where to start. Or anybody who is already natural and has been on a journey for some time who probably wants more techniques, more tools. Maybe you’re struggling a little with getting consistent results with your hair everyday, or just wants to learn more. It’s for them. So it’s for anybody who has curly hair. Building a relationship with your hair is essential, and CurlCollege just seems to be the key to that… - “It’s an online course. I offer a $1 trial for seven weeks. You get to try it out. You get a login, password, you sign in, and there is just a hub of all kinds of different courses that I’ve filmed for the women, that I've educated. I have a couple of other influencers and people in the natural hair industry that have done the courses. So you can start either in the transi-

tion course if that’s what you’re looking for, or the wash day series - that is normally where I start people. CurlCollege is going to give you those foundational principles to know how to do and take care of your hair. With years of experience, research and education from experts, Keziah has created step by step videos, downloadable checklists and guides, which makes the

“Mark is so passionate about changing the face of beauty, especially for black women”


hair journey just a little easier, and just a little smoother - “They’re all videos. I offer checklists and guides in there as well. For the wash days there is a checklist that you can download and can print out, so that you make sure that you have all the products and the tools that you need for your wash day so that it goes smoothly, and you know exactly what you need to do. And I explain why you use certain products. For everybody I recommend water based products. And water based is the first ingredient on the back of your product bottle. The ones that don’t have any oils and absolutely no shea butter in them. Because the thing is that our hair craves moisture and water. Those are the things that actually moisturizes our hairs, but we’ve been miseducated to think that oils, shea butter and product moisturize our hair. And those actually seal out the moisturizer in your hair, so it keeps your hair dry. And it’s like a never ending cycle. So if you’re drinking coffee, and you try to get off of it, you get a caffeine headache, you have to keep drinking the coffee, until you pass the headache part, and then you feel great! So it’s the same thing with your hair, it’s like once you start using all those heavy products, your hair can actually take in moisture. It might feel dry, but then once a few weeks go by. It’s going to feel super soft and it feel thick and strong, super healthy.” And as the sun is almost down, and the segals seems a little sleepier, Mark sneaks up behind us with daughter Satori in his arms, who’s eager to dip her feet in the sand and cling on to her mother… - How do you guys work together in this business as a married couple ? What are your roles ? - “I do all the product development, all the content creation, the vision of the company. And I interact with the customers and any influencers that we work with and social media. Mark actually is a chief of marketing. He’s the CFO and COO, all the big titles, all the scary and cool ones” (laughing). And Mark’s résumé isn’t so shabby either... - “He’s interned and worked for some of the

bigger online marketers like Thai Lopez. He has really good background in that and brought that onto the company. - So when did you start working together ? - “Officially started working together…- what month was that ? Officially in June ? Keziah turns towards Mark who’s sitting in the sand next to us, as the sun has gone down further than a second ago… - “...Mark has since we met (three years ago), been advising me in my business. Giving me recommendations in the business and it just made sense to work together to achieve the vision and goals for the business. And Mark is so passionate about changing the face of beauty especially for black woman. - Have you managed to find a balance between being business partners and just being a married couple with a baby ? - “Yes that actually hasn’t been too hard. I like to shut off work as soon as I’m done, like 5 pm. I like to not talk about work, if we’re out I avoid it. So I’m always reminding Mark, because he will bring up things about work. But he has a good way of managing, he will say that - “Work is a part of my life, but it’s not going to take over my life”. But we do have times where we do have to put barriers up. The way that we do it is just kind of call each other out if we see that one of us is either working really late in the night, or start working when the other person wakes up. Which doesn’t really happen that often because in the beginning when we met we had agreed to rules that there were no cell phones in the bedroom. We don’t wake up and pick up our cell phones. Same thing at night. We turn our phones on airplane mode at like 7 or 8 pm. So we’re not working, or we’re just not checking our phones. We built those habits already in the beginning and if it ever gets out of hand we call each other out on it and we alway remember that our relationship and marriage come first before business. And by the time the sun is down, I start heading back to the city. I’m feeling a little more inspired than yesterday.


TIMES CHANGE


Healthy Habits Photographed & Interviewed by Amina Touray

We had the opportunity to sit down with health expert, personal trainer and recipe developer Kaitlyn Noble who runs the blog www.pinchofkait.com. In our Q&A she shares her best tips on how to avoid the most common mistakes when committing to a healthier lifestyle, finding your “why’s”, how to keep your new year’s resolution, and much more!


Q: You have a background in the corporate world. How was your transition from corporate to becoming a personal trainer and recipe developer ? A: I worked in tech for the first part of my career. I started at a small, incredibly fast paced startup which worked really well with my personality. When things are small, you don’t have a lot of roadblocks and can work independently. As we started to grow, the pace and creative thinking started to dwindle and I felt an itch to do something else. I was already running a food blog for fun, and teaching group fitness every morning at 5 AM before work to help satisfy that need for something more. My boyfriend at the time, now husband, looked at me and said you have to do something full time with health and wellness. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur, so I am beyond grateful I had that external push. Two weeks later I quit my job and started a full time recipe development business. Finding clients was tough, and there were a lot of tears in the first few months, but fortunately I was pretty good with a camera, and

one company (The Clean Program) was looking for someone to do both recipe development and photography and I got my first client! I also picked up private personal training clients wherever I could to make ends meet financially. In the beginning, most days started at 5 AM with training, I’d do photography from 11-2 every day, and then go back to clients for the rest of the evening until about 8. Everything was utter chaos, but I had clients and was doing what I loved so I just kept grinding. There is something incredibly scary about leaving the comfort of a paycheck. But once I did it, my confidence grew immensely. Now, I make my own schedule, I am creative every day, and I love helping people eat wholesome food and develop their own personal health. It’s satisfying in a way that my old job never was. People assume it takes a lot of courage to start your own business, but for me it felt like I didn’t have a choice. The second the idea was in my head I couldn’t imagine staying at my job. I think it’s important to make yourself uncomfortable in order to create a life worth living. Q: With your own experience in the corporate world in mind.


What advice can you give to those who works a lot behind a desk and don’t get to move their bodies as much during the day. And what would you say is the best way for them to avoid things such as; getting a bad posture, eating takeout food in front of the computer, and all the habits that can be developed due to stress and deadlines that needs to be met ? A: At my first job after college, in public accounting, I was working 70-80 hour weeks, living on frozen meals, over-caffeinating to stay awake, (plus, never moving my body). I ended up in the hospital with a stomach ulcer, unsurprisingly. I immediately quit that job and became an advocate for myself at work. I truly understand the challenges in staying healthy in the workplace, because I went so far in the opposite direction at my first job. First, I think people obsess over getting an hour of exercise each day, but then they sit all day and eat frozen meals staring at their computer. Unfortunately, you’d be much better off creating smaller changes throughout the day, and skipping the workout all together. If someone working in a corporate job were to change just one thing, I would say to stop

eating with distractions. Give yourself 15 minutes at each meal with no phone, no computer, and no stress. Our bodies prioritize stress responses over digestion, this is a biologic response that we cannot control. However, if you take a break, some deep breaths, and eat slowly, your entire day will change. Yes, you’ll be taking time from work, but you will be so much more efficient when you return. If you can manage a 5-15 minute walk after lunch, this will do even more wonders for your digestion. It might seem like a small change, but when we digest our food we absorb the nutrients and it creates a chain effect of making us feel better and making better choices in other parts of our lives. The second big change I made that helped me was walking throughout the day. I worked at a standing desk for about fifty-percent of my day, and I would take small walking loops through the office when I felt antsy, usually once an hour. I would suggest that all one-on-one meetings be a walking meeting outside. These small changes helped me get 10-15 thousand steps each day and increased my energy immensely. It’s important for you to be an


advocate for yourself in the workplace. If your office doesn’t offer a sufficient lunch break, standing desks, or ergonomically chairs, you should request them or purchase them yourself. You absolutely cannot be your best self, or employee without being in good physical and mental health. Go as far as bringing research to your boss if they show resistance to offering a healthy work environment. It may seem extreme, but I know that my life changed completely when I started caring for myself work. Photo: Amina at Touray

eating bread again, you say “I’m not going to change anything in my diet, or ban anything, instead, I am going to eat 2 cups of green vegetables before each meal and see how that feels.” For most people, adding those 2 cups of vegetables will leave less room for the other, less nutritious foods, but you also won’t feel deprived or overwhelmed by the change. Make a list of healthy habits you’d like to develop, then slowly add 1-2 in at a time. You’ll notice the less healthy choices disappearing naturally.

Q: What are some of the most common mistakes you see people do when trying to change and commit to a healthier lifestyle ? And how do you think they can be avoided ?

Also, unless you have a true medical diagnoses, allergy, or intolerance, try not to get too stuck on one nutritional belief system. Being too obsessive over rules can leave us emotionally wrecked. Our mental and physical states are immensely reliant on one another, so even if the food choices of say, paleo (just an example) are “healthy,” the emotional reaction to never being able to eat pasta might leave you feeling deprived. Let yourself live. It’s all about balance, and extremes will never last a lifetime.

Modell: Dolly K

A: I think the absolute number one mistake is that people try to overhaul their entire lives in order to get healthy. Unfortunately, most of us crash and burn with this approach. I really believe in the concept of “crowding out” instead of “taking out.” In short, this means that when we add habits, foods, and activities into our lives that are good for us, we'll leave less room for the habits we'd like to leave behind. So instead of saying, I’m never

Q: You offer a variety of services that suits different peoples needs; both in fitness and nutrition. What can we expect during your sessions ? (Like what


will we learn ?) A: I come from a pilates and barre background. So, while I’m educated in classic training methods like HIIT and traditional strength training, my fitness sessions always have a huge focus on flexibility, spine stability, and core engagement. I incorporate a lot of small, but intense movements into my sessions. I prioritize the muscles that I know people need for the rest of their lives. For example, if I know my client is hunched at a desk all day we are going to focus on core for posture, stretching the chest, and strengthening the upper back and posterior deltoids to help reverse those rounded shoulders. I don’t view my training sessions as an hour of exercise, but rather as an hour lesson on how to live the rest of your day for optimal health. And this lesson isn’t me dictating what I think is “right.” Rather, it’s a conversation where my client is ultimately making the decisions. We talk a lot about food, sleep, lifestyle during those sessions. I am constantly educating myself in all things wellness so I can expose my clients to that knowledge each and every session. I want clients to be an advocate for themselves, rather than assuming having a coach is going to fix

all of their issues. The 23 hours away from me each day are far more important than that single hour session. Q: New Year is about two months away. And I think we’re all familiar with the new year's resolutions of going back to the gym, the fitness and healthy food commitments, etc. But in your opinion, what is truly the best way to build a new routine and habits, to not break those resolutions and to stay committed to them when “daily life” catch up with us ? A: I have to go back to question 3 here – choose crowding out instead of overhauling. Make your resolution about the action (walking every day) instead of the outcome (losing weight). Also, write down your “why.” So many of us make goals without having a reason that truly lights us up. Losing weight or looking good are nice outcomes, but they aren’t enough to keep us committed each day. You have to have a reason that you feel really passionate about. Take some time to focus on that, really sit with it and get curious about your motivations. The resolution you want to make will become more obvious when you discover your own why.


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