WE Mag Blog
4 message from the founder Looking Forward and preparing for a new year.
5 fashion Get a new HOT Look!
10 recipes 3 Feel Good Winter Recipes
30 we rock awards winners 34 spiritual corner The Time is NOW!
26 cover story: monica byrd WE Rock Awards “Woman of the Year” winner!
22 lauren belore WE Rock Awards “Rising Star” winner!
6 erin martin Entrepreneur Spotlight: CEO of Bag Ladies Radio
in this issue
Our Website: www.WomensElevationMagazine.com
Our Blog: www.WomensElevationMagazine.com/blog
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Wow! We have made it through our first year. Womenâ€™s Elevation Magazine celebrated its first year in existence in August, and since then we have been able to truly blossom! Thank you to everyone that has supported us. Thank you to our interns, our contributing authors, our graphic designer, and everyone else. This has been a wonderful year, and I look forward to bringing more stories, more tips, and more trends! Stay tuned you never know what we will share with you next. With this issue we give you all of the things you are used to and more! We are happy to share with you the winners of our 1st annual WERock Awards. As alwaysâ€Ś Happy Reading!
Want to get this look? Each item can be found here on Polyvore.com.
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WE Magazine: I just want to start out by asking you how did you come up with the idea of Bag Ladies Radio? E. Martin: Well to be honest I am a single parent I have three children, and at the time that the concept was born my child’s father and I were still together. And actually the way the concept came together was because there was a radio show that is based in DC called “The Sport Junkies,” and basically there were four guys that discuss sports, but it’s also a lot of conversation about the reality of their lives. They infuse their conversation to discuss topics such as fatherhood, being single, etc. in addition to sports. My background is in Project Management, and at the time when my children’s father and I used to ride into work together he would always listen to this show. The show would literally have me in tears even though what they were talking about wasn’t anything I could relate to, but it was just hilarious conversation that was very real. It was very vulnerable and overly unscripted and I would literally be cracking up. As I kept listening to the show I began to wonder why there wasn’t a show like this that targets women that talked about our reality.
After mentioning it to my husband (at the time) I really didn’t think about it anymore, and about six months later I was laid off from the job in which I was working, and I had a lot of free time. So I as I began to sit down and think about what I was really going to do the idea came back to me so I kind of formulated the concept by thinking about what I would want to hear if I were to tune into a show geared towards women. So I began to put it all done on paper, and when I started look into putting it into fruition I looked at a lot of platforms, and Blog Talk Radio had all of the functionality that I was looking for at the time. I got a few friends together that worked in different fields, and we set a date and it’s been going ever since. WE Magazine: It sounds like you had a lot of great connections and you just had a great thought, and decided to put it out there for the world.
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E. Martin: Yea that was really it. I mean literally listening to the sports show I just found that there was a need to have our voices heard. In the beginning I really hadn’t given much thought about it, and at the time I was working full time. But once I was laid off things just started to fall in line. When I first went live in 2009 I hoped that people would respond to it, but I never really looked at the big picture. I never thought about how long I wanted to be on air or growth beyond the show. WE Magazine: Wow that’s amazing, and actually you answered like three of my questions within those responses (laughs). Which is good I like when people do that because I can skip over those. E. Martin: (laughs) Well I try to be careful because I like to talk. WE Magazine: No you’re fine. Well I guess my next question is how do you feel about your role as a woman in media? And what I mean by that is there are a lot of women in media right now, whether it be on reality shows, talk shows, radio etc. How do you feel you’re helping the community or women as a whole? E. Martin: You know to be honest, and I definitely understand where you are coming from, but I really don’t feel any pressure and I think it because the mission of the radio show has always been really clear. I’ve always wanted to make sure that the show is really reality, and that it is reflective of the reality of a woman. I challenge myself with certain topics not to sugar coat anything, and those that tune into show should know that we may have talking points for the show, but it is still very unscripted. It’s just good girl talk you never know where the conversation is going to go. I still try to stay true to the mission that we are authentic and transparent even if we may be approaching a topic that is very uncomfortable. For instance, we have a recurring segment that is ever growing in popularity is when we talk about singlehood. It’s a segment that has been loosely mirrored after my life, and even when I get uncomfortable I still try to challenge myself to get over it. I realize that my mission is to be vulnerable and to be authentic and we have had shows when it’s gotten emotional. My only hope is that when people tune into our show they realize that it is okay to candid and share yourself. I also want to make sure that we maintain a certain level of etiquette without being crass. I feel like people need to realize that they don’t have to become scripted or crass in order to gain and audience. I feel like they feel that way because they think there is so much competition, and I think sometimes people get caught in feeling like they have to dummy themselves down or like be ratchet, and I really don’t think that’s necessary. I think that as long as I stay true to the mission that I don’t have to do that. WE Magazine: I love that answer I think that it really sums up many different things that are problems within the media, and it shows that you can rise above the chaos and still be true to yourself. So tell me what is next for your brand? Are you thinking of expanding into other arenas like speaking?
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I definitely am. This is a testament to God, and how God orders your steps. When I started the show I started it when I had idle time without looking at the big picture. It was really after the last few years after my ex-husband and I broke up, and my lifestyle changed dramatically. Being a single mother is no joke so it placed me in a position to reevaluate what I was doing. I really began to identity what I wanted to do with this show just in this year. I had to ask myself if this was something I wanted to do as a hobby or do I want to do this for real? I really would love to be able to take the show to a platform like Sirus XM in order to expand the reach and visibility. So I am currently looking for new ways to expand, and look at the big picture of what it can be. WE Magazine: Awesome well I wish you luck with your business endeavors. One last question what advice would you give someone who is interested in producing or being a part of a radio show?
E. Martin: I would say I think the biggest thing for me is the idea of defining your voice in terms of “What are you bringing to the table?” “What voice can you lend to the audience that you are trying to reach?” Like for myself I don’t claim to be an expert in any particular area. One of my most popular topics which is beauty, but it wasn’t born out of my saying I was an “expert” it was born out of me going to the department store and buying all these different products and not knowing what to do with them. So through that our “Beauty Talk” segment was formed. So for me I am good at speaking to the reality of what my life is, and then I hope that the audience can relate to it. So I think the biggest thing is finding your voice and then figuring out what platform to use to help extend your voice. Whether it’s the voice of experience or the voice expertise just make sure you are authentic. WE Magazine: Thank you so much for participating in this interview I look forward to seeing all the wonderful things from your business in the future. E. Martin: Thank you! For more information on Bag Ladies Radio check it out by going to: www.bagladiesradio.com Also check them out on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Women’s Elevation Magazine | 9
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Instructions In a medium sauce pan, place all marinade ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and gently simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.
Taken from A Family Feast Trim any gristle or large pieces of fat from beef. Cut into large pieces; about 2-3 inches square. Place cut beef in a zip lock bag. Pour cooled marinade over beef, seal and marinate 8-24 hours.
For the Marinade 1 cup ketchup
In a medium sauté pan over low heat melt butter in olive oil and place onions, salt, pepper and sugar and cook stirring occasionally for 30-40 minutes until onions are caramelized but not cooked down too much. Start cooking tips as the onions get close to finishing.
½ cup Coca-Cola or water (see note) ½ cup sugar ½ cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ cup red wine vinegar ½ cup Worcestershire sauce ½ cup A-1 Sauce
When you are ready to grill, drain all marinade and heat a ribbed grill pan over extremely high heat or heat your outdoor BBQ grill to the highest setting.
1½ tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Lightly oil or spray pan or grill and place beef onto grill or pan not touching each other and cook untouched for 2-3 minutes (Depending on how thick they are and how hot your grill or stove gets, the timing will need to be monitored). If you are not certain, cut into one and check for doneness. Turn once and cook for another 1-2 minutes for medium rare. Remove to a platter and serve with the caramelized onions.
2 pounds sirloin or rib eye trimmed and cut into large cuts as big as 2 to 3 inches square
1 large onion, cut into thick strips vertically 1 tablespoon butter 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 teaspoon sugar
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Open faced bacon, avocado and poached egg sandwich with creamy chipotle lime mayonnaise.
Servings: 2 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes
Taken from Closet Cooking
Total Time: 20 minutes
Ingredients 4 eggs 4 slices bread, lightly toasted (I used multigrain) 1/4 cup chipotle lime mayo (see below) 2 avocados, sliced 8 slices bacon, cooked Directions Bring a large pot of water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium.
Crack an egg into a bowl, swirl the water in the pot and pour the egg from the bowl into the water and repeat for another egg.
Let the eggs cook until the whites are set but the yolks are not, about 2-3 minutes and fish them out.
Repeat for the remaining 2 eggs. Assemble sandwiches and enjoy.
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Serves: 4 Hands-on time: 8 minutes Total time: 23 minutes
By Nancy S. Hughes
1 lb Yukon gold or red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick strips 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4 to 1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper, to taste Sea salt, to taste 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 425Â°F. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Place potatoes on baking sheet, drizzle evenly with oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, garlic powder and pepper. Toss to coat, then arrange potatoes in a single layer. Bake in center of oven for 10 minutes, then flip and stir, and bake for 5 minutes more or until lightly golden.
Remove from oven. Sprinkle with salt and Parmesan. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
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The creator of the Baby Bash and Bling Expo & Show, hailing from New Orleans, this southern belle has always had a passion for fashion, writing, and event conception. During her pregnancy with her first child, she became dedicated to chronicling her experiences of how pregnant women can maintain their keen sense of style even while toting a baby bump through her blog The PregginistaTM. She coupled her interests with fashion, pregnancy, and events in order to form the Baby Bash and Bling Expo & Show, which is an interactive lifestyle event that celebrates expecting moms encouraging them to remain fierce and fabulous throughout their nine‐month journey. Through our WERock Awards Ms. Byrd was voted as the WERock Woman of The Year, and we couldn’t be any happier. She stood strong in a group of truly dynamic women finalist. Read more on Ms. Byrd, her business, and her plans for the future. Women’s Elevation Magazine | 14
WE Magazine: Tell us a little bit about your background. M. Byrd: Gorgeous smile and sparkling personality is one way of describing this New Orleans, Louisiana native. In the presence of this charming southern bell, you definitely feel that southern hospitality shines through. As an experienced fashion and style professional, Monicaâ€™s passion and experience is bringing fantastic venues and beautiful people together to create sophisticated and spectacular events. She has worked in various fashion-related events including shopping parties, style events, fashion forums and trunk shows.
She is also a contributing writer and fashion trend reporter for various fashion and lifestyles magazines, fashion blogs and style newsletters; she works to develop stories and layouts, featuring new trends in both fashion and accessories. She is extremely passionate about her craft. I’ve always had a passion for fashion, writing, and event conception. And if you asked me which one came first? I guess the fashion came first. I remember my Aunt “C” – Ceola giving me Essence, Ebony, Neiman Marcus and other fashion-related catalogues when I was very young. She would save the magazines for me – in this magazine rack in her Gothic – Victorian styled home – in the heart of Uptown New Orleans. I would ‘dog-ear’ the pages as reference points for what I wanted, dreamed or whatever inspired me. I don’t have a career – I have a lifestyle! I’m a wife, mom, sister, friend, entrepreneur and creator of Fashionista Flea Market, HotMommaHaute Box, Bump in the City, Baby Bash and Bling Expo & Show. I’ve always thought “outside of the box” – and my life is the same way – from being my true self – and all that comes with it. I don’t pretend to be anyone else. A quick snapshot of me! I'm about family, faith, fashion and friendship!
WE Magazine: As a mother, friend, and businesswoman how do you juggle it all? M. Byrd: Quite honestly, I’m still juggling it all – every day is different. Trying to master, finetune and find balance is a daily journey. As moms we already have a busy life and it is a well-known fact that women are great at juggling a hundred and one things at once. But when it comes to taking on a business as well, things get a little more challenging. As any mompreneur already knows it can be challenging trying to juggle the children and a business – and being a wife – smoothly. But it can be done and you don’t need to be SUPERWOMAN.
Thank God I’m an organizer by nature. Being organized and having a plan are essential for the business and life you are trying to create. It’s important to have balance – the achievable balance between your children/family, husband, ‘girl’ time, time for ‘me’ and your entrepreneur efforts. If you want to create a successful business you will need to make some decisions about when you are going to work in your business and who will look after the children at those times – and what will your husband being doing – does he support your efforts? For me having these in my toolbox has helped tremendously;
Have a routine and plan your day. Write down everything you need to do and achieve. Include personal and business goals and then put together a weekly action plan and daily task list. It will make it easier if you can dedicate set days to your business and then you can do all your business tasks on those days.
Separate your work and family time. Make a clear distinction between the two. Set time aside for your family and avoid working in family time. Set up an office environment away from the children. This will help you to focus on work and be professional.
Get help from experts, if needed. Outsource tasks to experts; use their knowledge to help you grow your business. Recruit a PR person, a bookkeeper, an admin person etc.
Know what you want to achieve from your business. Having definite objectives will help you to work towards your goals. Break them down into smaller goals that you can achieve as you work towards your ultimate goals. It is much better than having everything going round in your head and being unsure whether you are actually achieving anything.
WE Magazine: How did you come up with the idea for BB&B? M. Byrd: When I was expecting my first child (and only) there was no central place for me as a new mom to go to engage with other expecting moms, network, chat, talk, cry and laugh all while embracing my pregnancy journey through fashion, health, beauty and wellness – so I decided it was time to create an experience to fill this void. Baby Bash and Bling was WE Magazine: Tell us a little bit about your background. born! In ‘Ah Ha’smile moment created – by-me-for-me – and for other expecting moms, M.2010, Byrd:my Gorgeous and was sparkling personality is one way of describing this New Orleans, new moms and fashionistas who wanted to remainsouthern stylish and sophisticated while Louisiana native. In the presence of this charming bell, you definitely feel being that pregnant! southern hospitality shines through. As an experienced fashion and style professional, Monica’s and–experience is bringing beautiful people together I imaginedpassion if mothers expecting and currentfantastic mothersvenues – couldand come together to celebrate to create sophisticated and spectacular events. She has worked in various fashion-related mommyhood with a twist! Well don’t imagine anymore. events including shopping parties, style events, fashion forums and trunk shows.
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WE Magazine: What can people expect from the Baby Bash & Bling Show? M. Byrd: Our goal from the beginning was to offer the BB&B experience to expecting moms all over the world at an affordable cost and a friendly, relaxing and glam environment. We offer our clients the highest level of service, products and experience all under one roof. Baby Bash and Bling Expo & Show is an interactive lifestyle event celebrating expecting moms and new moms. It’s the central place where glam ‘bumps into’ babyhood and mommyhood; encouraging moms to remain fierce and fabulous. Discover new and interesting parenting tools, health and safety products, fashion trends, nutrition tips and baby furnishings. Highlights include "Bump the Runway"™ fashion show, “Beauty and the Bump” Bar™ while guests enjoy an afternoon of signature drinks, swag bags and yummy bites to satisfy your bump cravings. Our participating vendors will create lavish exhibit displays showcasing their products so that you can easily see everything that they have to offer for your new bundle of joy. Our Expo is intimate and engaging – interactive and carefree. The experience flows smoothly while guests mingle with other moms. Our guests interact directly with our vendors, partners and other guests without the feeling of being overwhelmed with too much information. As we add new dimensions in the coming year – besides the "Bump the Runway"™ fashion show, “Beauty and the Bump” Bar™ – guests will experience the Moms Rock Lounge – featuring fab products and mom professionals, the Ultimate Healthy Station – from smoothies to salads, Pregnancy Row, and “The Face of the Day” – which is a fun way we randomly selected a ‘pregginista’ who embodied the brand of BBB – an expecting mom who brought style and sophistication to her pregnancy during the expo. WE Magazine: What advice would you give someone that wants to produce or be a part of an event of this caliber? Women’s Elevation Magazine | 18
M. Byrd: You must figure out what you want – what is your success? Are you a creator or a contributor? You must be persistent and passionate about whatever it is you’re seeking. What’s your sweet spot? That is what you should focus on – prepare, plan and execute – and the blessings will come. If standing on a rooftop facing crowds of aspiring or struggling small business owners, I would shout “jump with courage and land on purpose”. One of the things I learned about running my business is in understanding that everyone is not your ‘cheerleader’. And knowing this you must continue to ‘do you’ and leave the negative energy and toxic people behind. You have to keep re-inventing yourself. There are many nights I’m up thinking of new ideas, concepts, researching, reading about other women (and men) in business – learning from them – what nuggets can I put into my arsenal – and staying motivated to keep pushing forward. WE Magazine: What is next for the brand overall? M. Byrd: Currently we are focused on the 2014 events – including a return to “hot” Atlanta on June 21st. With the love of family and friends – I’m taking the expo to my hometown, the “Crescent City” – New Orleans on August 2nd and then finishing the tour off with a return to the nation’s capital – Washington, D.C. in the fall on October 4th. We were overwhelmed with the responses from our first stops in Atlanta and D.C. that we had to bring it back! .
Along with the expo we have carved out signature ‘Hot Momma Haute Experience’™ events – to be held on the Friday evening before the expo – to connect fashion, beauty and lifestyle bloggers, vloggers and enthusiasts to network, to have open discussions and shared experiences. During our New York City show held during NY Fashion Week, we presented “Bump in the City” The limited edition stationary premiered in NYC with the fabulous celebrity mom, Nicole Ari Parker. Continuing in the theme of celebrating the expectant mom, I created a line of stationary bearing a custom illustration of 3 fabulous pregginistas. These notecards make a wonderful personal touch for sending thank you’s or personal notes to friends and loved ones.
Additionally the overall brand of Monica Byrd is improving – with the launch of MonicaByrd.com – coming soon which will house my lifestyle – bringing my brain and my brands in one place. Besides being the creator of BB&B, I’ve created Fashionista Flea Market, HotMommaHaute Box and Bump in the City. Fashionista Flea Market is an outdoor open-air flea market bringing together fashionable women, bargain shoppers and fashionistas.
FFM has been a destination for customers seeking one-of-a-kind recycled and gently used items, accessories, shoes, contemporary new clothing, fab jewelry, amazing apparel, affordable name brands and modern labels for shoppers seeking an alternative shopping experience. With the success of FFM, we’ve started an FFM Affiliate Program for the new year where interested fashionistas can bring bargain shoppers together in 2014, build their own following and have an FFM business of their own in their city – from Colorado Springs, Colorado to Houston, Texas. The FFM season starts May through October yearly – and beginning next year will be held twice a month on the same dates in various cities. Then HotMommaHaute Box™ is a must-have treat for all women. The box is a monthly subscription of 5-6 expertly curated beauty, lifestyle and fashion products from fragrance, nail, skincare, beauty, haircare, fashion and lifestyle brands. More recently, I offer creative consulting services as well to help other start-up entrepreneurs with bring their concept to life. We could not do any of our events without our volunteers. With this, we have established the Monica Byrd Apprenticeship Program geared towards events, fashion inspired and beauty students in exchange for school credit, volunteer hours, and outreach within the community and volunteer services. Our reach to the youth community is ever growing; we have worked with over 60+ plus students. We have a lot more we’re working on – stay connected with us. WE Magazine: How do you feel about your role as a woman in media? M. Byrd: Mass media has played a vital role in empowerment of women, and as mothers we have a voice – we have power. In the past women were not in the field of journalism whereas now they are prominently seen in it. We can use our voice – our opinions and become innovators. Women are ascending the ranks of media across all platforms— including television and radio, the movies, and the Internet — becoming an online celebrity mom, and launching innovative companies. Many of us are Moms-in-Chief, finding ways to juggle a booming lifestyle and family life. I embrace my role – with all the struggles and challenges that come – my voice adds to my family, influences my husband and shapes my son’s learning and mindset. I’m an innovator, influencer and eventually want to be someone with massive earning potential. Just in what I’ve seen and learned – on the Internet women are particularly making their presence felt—and innovating the way that media works. Many women are also succeeding by starting up their own companies and capitalizing on the changing face of the media. WE Magazine: What would you like to see done differently in media? Do you think there are enough positive female images? Women’s Elevation Magazine | 20
M. Byrd: I’ve recently read “Studies have shown it's hard for young girls and boys to accept women in leadership positions if they don't see positive female role models in their lives. With kids spending almost 24/7 connected to some kind of media, these channels could provide an ideal way to show positive messages about women to children.” As a woman – and mom – media images are incredibly powerful. We all have a responsibility to empower our youth – and adults to portray themselves in a positive light – from what we show on Instagram to the kind of short clips and videos we post on YouTube, we can change, each of us. We are influencers, we have people that follow and look up to us on a personal and business level – let’s figure out how to improve and enhance the ways in which images of women and girls are featured in media, to make them more healthy, life-like and reflective of women and girls today. WE Magazine: How has being in business for yourself impacted your life? M. Byrd: Being in business for myself has made me say ‘no’ to certain opportunities that may have been lucrative – but it’s about doing what’s best for me and my family. Including God – having faith – in all that I do – helps me to make the right partnerships and collaborations. WE Magazine: What are some misconceptions that you would like to destroy as it relates to being a businesswoman? M. Byrd: You can definitely do it all – just need a team that believes in you and your brand! The absolute best part of owning my business is FREEDOM and EMPOWERMENT. WE Magazine: Well I want to thank you so much for taking the time out for this interview, and congrats on the award. M. Byrd: Thank you! For more information on Monica Byrd check her out here: www.babybashandbling.com | http://www.facebook.com/babybashandblingexpo
Lauren Bealore, won our WERock Rising Star Award and this interview definitely shows Lauren Bealore, won our WERock Rising Star Award and this interview definitely shows why. She gave us some wonderful insight on women in the media, the state of our children, and what we as a community needs to be focusing on. Enjoy! WE Magazine: I promise not to take up too much of your time. I just wanted to basically say of course congratulations. This is our first year of doing the WERock awards and we are so excited about having everyone participate and the number of votes; it’s just been really awesome. So thank you so much for promoting it. So just give a little bit of background about yourself, and who you were before you became an entrepreneur. L. Bealore: Um ok well I’ve always taken to leadership positions from the youngest adolescent age (laughs). I have always liked to be involved and it kind of spread a little further when I was in college. I graduated from Michigan State University and I majored in Social Relations and Policy for a residential program called James Madison College. Even within that realm from doing things with the black caucus to being the multicultural director for the universities activities board each year that I was there I wanted to leave a legacy with an organization so I would take on a leadership position and then pass it down to someone else. In the midst of while I was at Michigan State University I met my cofounders. Then from there one of my cofounders Brittany and I had always talked about starting a business together. We came up with so many different ideas because we knew that we wanted to work together. I am able to read people very well and I can tell if I can work well with them. I know a lot of times people assume that their friends would be the best people to do that with. I actually see it being someone that you just respect enough to do that with. So with my other co-founder Courtney we actually collaborated during an event that we held for the black graduates that year. So working with both of them I knew that we would work well together and we could do something that would be different and that’s how we created I Am Y.A.B. (Young, Ambitious, and Beautiful).
We just wanted the black female voice to be heard, and I think that is something that I have always been passionate about being that I am a black female. You don’t want to let your race define you so to speak, but you do what to use it as a force to be reckoned with. WE Magazine: Right, exactly, and I think it’s funny that you mentioned two things in what you were just talking about. The first thing you mentioned was when you said that most people think that it’s good to work with your friends. I am the opposite; I’m like no (laughs) that is the last thing I want to do (laughs). I’ve seen it happen before, and I like to keep my friends separate from my business. I think that pow -wow’s and business strategy session are always good, and I do that but in terms of actually going into business with friends I am like that’s a huge no. And then I like the other standpoint that you just made in terms of being a black woman basically in the media, and wanting to get your voice heard. Women’s Elevation Magazine | 23
I think that is so helpful, and something that is definitely needed. One of the questions I always ask is “Where do you think you are as a black woman in media? How are you helping the community and how are you helping the overall spectrum? Because I feel like women in general are in the media but not as seen, or we are seen under a lot negative connotations. Especially for African American women, there are just a number of TV and radio realms that we are just not a part of, and if we are a part of them it’s negative or we just don’t know about the positive side of things. So I guess we can jump right into that question and get your opinion on the matter. L. Bealore: I am glad you asked that. I have a really strong opinion about that. I think right now there is a small, very small window of opportunity for the emergence of African American women to define how they want to be seen in the media. I think there have been a few people that have helped with that. I am going to give that to Shonda Rhimes, ABC should be named after her at this point (laughs). She created a character so powerful with Scandal. I believe that there are two ways to look at her character Olivia Pope… WE Magazine: I know exactly what you are going to say (laughs). L. Bealore: Ok good (laughs). It can be looked at as a black woman choosing to be a mistress instead of being on her own. The other way it could be looked at is, and actually I read a recent article on why it could be looked at this way. It was called “Why Black Women Love Scandal,” and the way it could be looked at it is this... Black women are usually not seen as the most desirable especially in media and in society period. So by creating a character where the highest, most influential, most powerful man desires you more than his white wife says a lot about that black women. A lot of people would do more analysis especially black males. I think I’ve heard the quote go something like “You females say that you want men to be more monogamous, but you tune into Scandal every week,” but that’s not why I tune in. I didn’t say that I believe in cheating I said I believe in a black woman being so desirable and respected in her field by the way, that is her standing on her own. That is strength that says a lot about you. Women’s Elevation Magazine | 24
When your personal life does not conflict with your professional life you are probably one of the most respected women period. And I think that is the way that I chose to carry myself especially when I was in college. There’s entertainment and media, and there is social media. At this point social media is becoming more important because those are still images being put out there. For me, my career, my character, what I bring to the table defines me. What people in the media and entertainment realm do is they take what they see in social media, and they amplify it. So they take trending topics from Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook and that’s what they build television shows, films, and other genres around. WE Magazine: I agree with that wholeheartedly. What they are showing on the TV screen is what we are feeding them. If we feed them positivity and take away certain aspects of the media like some of these reality shows then they will change. There is always the debate that the women on the reality shows are “horrible” but you have to look at whose tuning in. So you have to look at the entire picture. It’s not just the people who are controlling the networks. It is the people watching, and to talk about Scandal for a second. You have to look passed the role of Olivia Pope, and say that this is an African American woman (Shonda Rhimes) who has had not one, not two, but three hit shows on a network. The writing for the shows are superb and we are getting that positive role model that shows that you can have a hit show and be a black woman. I mean everyone tunes into Scandal, Kerry Washington is getting millions and millions of views each week. But to go back of course to you because we here to talk about you, although we love Ms. Washington (laughs). It’s about you today! I want to talk about your company I Am Y.A.B. (Young, Ambitious, and Beautiful) tell us a little about that and what your goal is for that company. L. Bealore: The story of the name is so crazy and I think I have told this story so over 50 times. My co-founders and I were on the phone. Daisy was the one that came up with the name. I think that having three words that describe our target market, as well as, make women feel inspired with the name alone, as well as, there being three words and three co-founders just fit.
I think helps fuel our audience. I think that when you are trying to get people involved in something there has to be something that catches there eye. Even when they wear our shirts with our name on it that makes each woman in the black community feel important. I have had countless amounts of young women come up to me and say “I want to start a business, but I don’t think I can.” I just feel like as a black female unit we are discouraged. And I don’t know where that started or where that came from, but we are extremely intelligent. We are extremely capable. You rarely hear a man say “I don’t think I can start it.” He’s either going with it or he’s not, but he doesn’t self-discourage like a woman would do. I just I hate the fact that that mindset has been installed in us. If we kept a mindset that we couldn’t do it I don’t think we would outrank men in school enrollment the way that we do. I think what Y.A.B wants to promote is that you can do a startup, that you can own a business. I think that our plans in the future are to expound on the membership and venture partnerships. We want to expand it as a movement to different cities. I just want as many businesses that I know of as possible to be involved so that takes us doing everything 10 times harder. WE Magazine: I think that is an amazing message and story. I want to go into to talking about another business venture that you recently just started. You started a new business called “Beaz & Honey” tells us about that. L. Bealore: Well it’s an ecommerce website where honestly I just had so many items in my closet that I needed to get rid of, and they were nice enough to sale them. I usually donate them to a local shelter in Detroit I’ve been donating to them since I was a little girl. But some of my items I do want to resale, in order to make some monetary gain out of them, and get them out of my closet. I was going to go the Etsy route, but they had so many rules and regulations so I just decided to go my own route. Basically Beaz & Honey was a professional way to sale the clothes instead of just selling them out of a bag (laughs). WE Magazine: You are working on other things outside of those two ventures can you tell us a little bit about that.
L. Bealore: My actual career field is legislation and policy and political campaigns. So what people can expect is me working on a new campaign. I will be announcing that soon, it will be a congressional campaign. I started on my first campaign last fall for the November 5th elections, and my client won. I did her social media, branding, and web design so that was awesome. I was so happy for her. For the 2014 campaigns I may work on the financial side of things dealing with donor research. My passion is law and policy, of course my passion is female empowerment as well but I love politics. It’s messy, but it is very fun! WE Magazine: It sounds like you have a bunch of things on your plate, and they all sound really positive and great. I appreciate your contributions as a whole and women in the community. It’s always good to hear positive stories come out of the African American community because I feel that we are really not seeing that positive aspects of ourselves in the media. At least not enough of it, and I think that is why the generation that came after that period are just a little bit different than those 80s babies (laughs). L. Bealore: (laughs) Exactly, I agree. WE Magazine: I think we were seeing different things in the media then as well. Back then we were watching A Different World, and now the kids are watching Teen Mom and other shows. I think a lot of kids are not seeing that they can go to college because shows like 16 & Pregnant are being sensationalized. Being 16 and pregnant isn’t cute, and I don’t know an older woman that has gone through it that would tell you it was a fun time for them. I mean if it happens that’s one thing, but they weren’t trying to get pregnant or thinking that it was cool. L. Bealore: And you know it’s crazy because just chiming in on what you were saying as far as images. I think just for me they have images for younger children, but I think for the preteens and teenagers they have absolutely nothing. We grew up in an era where there was a TV show for every section of our years, and they don’t have that now. WE Magazine: And not that seems to be disappearing. I have a daughter who is almost two, and we are watching Sprout now. But I wonder what she will have when she is older. I can’t even imagine. L. Bealore: They’re watching what we’re watching because they don’t have anything. WE Magazine: That’s true, and they are growing up too fast. I do know that it is our responsibility as the generation before them to train them; it is our responsibility to uplift them just like it will be their responsibility when it’s their turn. I’m not sure if our generation is failing in that aspect or either we aren’t getting the right promotion out there that shows it differently. L. Bealore: I agree with you. I would say that we are failing. I think that there is 10% of us that are doing our part but compared to that 90% it overshadows that. I also think that career choices are also slim as well. Everyone I know is either a teacher, or they work in advertising, some are engineers, and there is a very small number that went to medical school. WE Magazine: I agree and I think also there is also the issue that some parents may be influencing their children to go in different directions. I think there are many parents out there that are teaching their children not to go after the books and to go after sports or music. Because that’s going to “take them somewhere,” and I think that many of them are living in a fantasy land.
The kids are seeing these rappers or singers or basketball players and their not realizing that there are probably 1 million people trying to do the same thing as what you are trying to do and only 15-20 people are going to make it. Just to be honest. Just because you’re playing on the court doesn’t mean that you’ve made it. If you look some of the basketball players that are on that court, especially the ones that you don’t necessarily know their name, it would be interesting to see how much they actually got to sit on that court. L. Bealore: Exactly, I recently watched a documentary series called Broke it was a part of the 30 for 30 series on ESPN. They literally sat down and talked with athletes about how they actually make money. Not many of them actually make money. If you really look at their salaries there are may be a top 15 that actually makes money, and the rest may be struggling. WE Magazine: There are two things that I want to say about that. If you remember Kanye West’s song GoldDigger where he says “Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai” there is a reason why he said that. Kanye is very intelligent he throws out some gems (laughs). And the other thing that I was going to say is there is a reason why some of these rappers and athletes are formulating other businesses. There’s a rapper that I really like, The Game, I like his music, but I am really interested in that fact that he is a rapper that said “I’m a rapper great, I’m going to make money off of that, but at some point I’m going to do something else.” So he’s been able to create other business ventures, and the same thing has happened with Jay-Z, Diddy, Dr. Dre etc. So they are realizing that eventually rap is going to die for them, and they need to come up with another game plan. And I think that the kids need to be told that. They need that brutal reality. L. Bealore: Sadly, I agree with you, I feel like when they are doing things that are amazing it’s not really promoted. One person I respect is Nas because he’s been able to take his fame, and formulate a class at Harvard. And I think that is just genius he is showing that rap coincides with education. So I have to commend that. WE Magazine: Well I love this sort of tangent that we’ve gone on over the course of this interview. It was great to get to know you, and talk about some real issues. I really enjoyed this interview. I wish you luck and success with everything you do. L. Bealore: (laughs) Thank you I appreciate it. There we some really good questions. You brought up some very good topics. I have to thank you for doing the interview, and everything. I think that you brand Women’s Elevation Magazine very well, and look forward to hopefully working with you in the future. WE Magazine: Most definitely! Take care.
For more information on Lauren Bealore check out: Websites: www.laurenbealore.com http://www.iamyab.org http://www.beazandhoney.com
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Company – Even The Score, Inc. – www.eventhescoreinc.com Upper Marlboro, MD In 2007, Ms. Hollingsworth expanded her vision of sports-training parties and formally established Even The SCORE, LLC, making her knowledge, expertise, and love for the game accessible to thousands of women nationally. Even The SCORE members instantly discover that the trainings, events, and sessions are very welcoming, amazingly educational, and lots of fun. Anywhere sports is watched, Even The SCORE is there to assist women in understanding and appreciating the nuances of the game in a variety of friendly, fun, and innovative ways. We offer a range of services – from specialized sports training, sports matchmaking, and Battle of the Sexes to high-profile corporate events and relaxed tailgate parties complete with celebrity athletes – all part of our effort to deepen women’s overall sports experience and understanding of the game. Women’s Elevation Magazine | 30
Company – Nibrima Branding & Design – www.nibrima.com Chicago, Illinois Nibrima (na’bree’mah) Branding & Design was created in 2 2007 as a full service branding and web development firm. Since its inception, Nibrima has been a leader in the design industry. By concentrating on small to midsize organizations of all kinds, Nibrima has taken companies from identity branding to complete website development and maintenance.
Company – Total Woman Wellnesss – www.totalwomanwellness.com Bowie, Maryland Delayna Keller-Watkins is a global and award winning Registered Nurse and Certified Wellness Coach in the areas of self-care and personal wellness. For over 2 decades Delayna has been serving wellness seeking women and young girls through her seminars, products and programs. Delayna is known for her enthusiasm, contagious energy and passionate delivery as she provokes the audience to participate and engage in a transformational change. She is on a mission to educate, empower and encourage women and young girls to lead healthier lifestyles.
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Company – Wright Place TV – www.wrightplacetv.com Washington, D.C. Dr. Letitia S. Wright, D.C, is a celebrity, international speaker, talk show host, author, director and movie producer. As the host of the Wright Place TM TV Show, now in it’s 14th season with over 362 shows previously broadcast on television to over 6.5 million homes each week in Southern California on Direct TV Channel 64.Now seen nationally on DISH ON DEMAND network in 60 million homes, The Wright Place TV Show continues to provide resources for Entrepreneurs. As America’s Crowd Funding Strategist, she teaches workshops for Small Business Administration, is the Los Angeles Crowd Funding Examiner and Guest blogger for other Crowd Funding sites. She also holds a monthly crowd funding mastermind and consults privately with clients on their own crowd funding projects. She is the author of the upcoming book “101 Tips to Successful Crowdfunding: From Someone Who’s Been There, Done That and Got the Cash”.
Company – Think Brown Ink – www.thinkbrownink.com
Brand Builder Natasha T. Brown, founder of Think Brown INK oversees all client and partner programs. Ms. Brown has grown into a mission-driven brand builder and market engagement strategist. She is an award-winning journalist and marketer, who received a master’s of professional writing degree from Towson University and a bachelors of science in communications from Morgan State University. With a mission to mobilize, empower and build, Natasha T. Brown helps organizations and individuals create sustainable programs through strategy and coaching, creative implementation and a wealth of experience that spans marketing/communications, entrepreneurship, development, journalism and activism. Women’s Elevation Magazine | 32
Company - Women Wear Pants Too www.womenwearpantstoo.org | http://msmultipreneur.com/ Born and raised in Durham NC, Shaunesi™ is a natural go getter at heart. After repeatedly applying to jobs and being over qualified Shaunesi™ decided to turn her gift of motivating, empowering, and marketing others; into a business that is clearly a winwin for herself as well as her clients. In 2012 after receiving multiple nominations for BET’s Box Top 10 under 30 Making a difference in the Community Shaunesi™ knew it was her que and time to start reaching the world. Earlier this year Shaunesi landed her own radio show Shaunesi Speaks™ and in less than 2 months she has had thousands of callers, landed interviews with VH1’s Mimi Faust, Forbe’s Top 10 Listed Founder of The Boss Network, Camekea Smith, and Pamela Long of Bad Boy Group Total.Shaunesi is the founder of: Women Wear Pants Too Inc. ™, she started The Break the Cycle not the Love Movement, The Successful Sisters Club and much more. Shaunesi™ started Women Wear Pants Too Inc. ™ in 2010 a non profit that focuses on 3 key elements that effect almost every women in the world: Women's Enrichment, Single Mother's, and Survivors of Domestic Violence. Shaunesi has been able to lead Women Wear Pants Too Inc. ™ to a global movement and has a strong following that stands proud behind her mission.
Company – Lori Pelzer Biz Strategist, Success Coach & Speaker http://www.LoriPelzer.com Lori became a teen mom of two children by age 18. Lori herself was reared by a single and unwed mom. Growing up in housing projects and often with her grandmother which was life saving, but often less desirable places; with no father in the home to protect her from the bad out in the world Lori fell victim to child molestation. Later to experience deep rooted feelings of resentment, isolation, abandonment and loneliness lead to anger issues and eventually suicidal thoughts.Lori is an American success story having triumphed over insurmountable odds and won! When asked how she became successful “I have a winners never quit and quitters never win mantra” But I realized also I must stay in the game, there’s no other way as spoken in one of Loris favorite books Secrets of Six- Figure
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SPIRITUAL CORNER By Kiara Frison
Putting Your Faith into Action My sisters. . . I see you. I know you have dreams and goals but for one reason or another, you’re sitting on them. What are you waiting for? Do the stars have to be aligned perfectly? Does everyone need to be in your corner? Do you know whether you’ve saved “enough” money? Is it the perfect time. . . Wake up! These things may never come. . . but you still- no-> you ALREADY have the power to make a difference! Napoleon Hill once said, “Do not wait; the time will never be just right. Start where you stand and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” In August, we talked about replacing fear with faith. You may not realize it but fear can be the thief of many dreams. Often times, we allow our own words of doubt to stop us from accomplishing our goals. We focus more on the “what ifs” rather than the FACTS. Instead of trying to answer every single question or concern, focus on what matters. You can trust God! If He has given you ideas and visions- ways that you can make a difference, you better believe that He’ll provide you with the means to do so! This does not mean that you get to just sit there and wait for things to appear out of thin air. You have to do something. Most of us have probably heard, “. . . faith without works is dead.” Make that your mindset. If you believe God to make ways and guide your path, start walking! Maybe you need a wake-up call. Someone needs you! They are waiting for you to walk in your purpose so that they can learn from you! Maybe you’ll be able to teach them valuable life lessons, develop a guide for healthy living or find other ways to be a blessing. Whatever your purpose is, the world won’t know if you keep it to yourself! I know it’s easier said than done but do not be afraid. Having God on your side means that your support system is unbreakable and trust me, He is also known for bringing the right people into your life when you need them. So when they arrive, cherish your dream builders and learn as much as you can from them. As you set out to accomplish your goals and dreams-> continue to check your motivation. Are you letting the idea of money or notoriety run your efforts or do you genuinely want to make a positive difference in this world? I pray that it will be the latter. And I pray that you’ll allow your faith to be the fuel that motivates you to accomplish all that God has created you to do! With Him, nothing is impossible. Don’t wait to go after your dreams and to walk in your purpose. . . the time is NOW! Kara Frison is a 2010 graduate of Hood College who strives to inspire others through her writing. You can read more of her thoughts at www.softwordsbrighteyes.blogspot.com and learn about her organization- Ladies of Virtue. . . Empowered! (for women- 14 & older) by visiting www.facebook.com/LadiesOfVirtueEmpowered.
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