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Keedie’s Corner Company Review: Fine Wine Enterprises

By: Keidra Ponder

We sat down with business owner Sarah Sanford of Fine Wine Enterprises at one of her bartending gigs. We were able to get an interview in, in between Sarah making drinks and assisting patrons at Sidiq’s Bistro. She had such a beautiful smile while her eyes gleamed of joy as she spoke of Fine Wine Enterprises. It’s evident she has crafted the art of customer service and she puts love into her work. Continue reading as we tell Sarah’s story.

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What is your hometown? Give us some background on you as an individual.

I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. I moved to Atlanta right after Highschool on a partial academic scholarship. I started to meet different people get invited to different parties. I wasn’t much of a drinker but I made good cocktails. So instead of bringing dishes to the cook-out, I was the one who would bring the drinks.

Where did you receive your education?

I went to Life University in Lowell, Ga. then I later transferred to Kennesaw State University. I was forced to leave school due to my appendix rupturing. I went back home to New York to heal and when I returned I started my company and a fulltime job with Delta Airlines. So college yes, a degree no, but I studied Psychology. 

What material did you study to gain knowledge of your craft?

My mom used to host a lot of parties back when Mike Tyson was fighting. We used to have card parties, boxing, and Superbowl parties. She used to make punch and that’s where I learned to create different cocktails. I crafted her style and I took over.

86846CED-F114-47CD-9F1C-525AF1C8DEDBWhen and where did you start your company?

I started my company in 2015 here in Atlanta, Ga. I took my time and did my homework before I went to work. I didn’t rush out into corporate America or to a bar. I wanted to create my own lane and start my company. Instead of spending money going out to eat and buying clothes I saved my money. I was working for Delta Airlines at the time, little by little every paycheck, even if it was just five dollars I would save something. I didn’t take out a loan to start my business, I planned for it. 

What is the vision behind your cocktails?

I make my cocktails with the working people in mind who don’t have time to go to the store after work every day. The ones who want something prepackaged at home. I don’t make them super strong for the quote-unquote alcoholic, but they are a nice wine down beverage after a long day. I make drinks for the people who like the feeling of alcohol but not so much the taste. 

What are some of the struggles you have had to overcome in the food and beverage industry?

I didn’t want my drink to fall by the waste side in liquor stores as just another wine cooler. I’m not too keen on distribution, I take pride in custom beverages and services.  Another obstacle is my own people of color. Everyone wants to sample and get a deal, no one wants to pay for my product. Once they do purchase a drink they are satisfied customers, I’ve never had someone bring back a drink they didn’t like. Getting people to happily spend money on my beverages as they would a retail product at times becomes a hassle. 

What are some of Fine Wine Enterprises highlighted achievements?B9E7D91E-908C-41D4-8CDA-62CEBE31CE11

Well, I was very impressed, my first time as a vendor at Atlanta Indie Market. I completely sold out with a few hours left to vend. The crowd was so impressed, now they look for me at the Indie Mart. I have bartended events for Killer Mike, Faith Evans, The Dungeon Family, Big Boi and many more.

What is the current status of Fine Wine Enterprises? Any upcoming events?

We are currently hosting pop up shops at barbershops, salons, tattoo parlors, it doesn’t matter. Where ever you’re hosting an event and need drinks I’m there. I plan on being at the Atlanta Indie Market this Fall. I’m always at Sadiq’s Bistro 3762 Campbellton Rd. SW Atlanta, Ga 30331 6 days a week bartending, so you can always get a drink from the pretty brown Queen behind the bar. 

What direction are you taking Fine Wine Enterprises in the future?

I would like for Fine Wine Enterprises to be a full-service event planning service where we would handle all your party needs. All you would have to tell me is the day of the event and your theme, I will be able to find the venue, the catering, the bartender and of course my drinks. I would like to also have a sprinter van to stay mobile and venture out to different events. I would like to provide the full mobile party experience where you come aboard and wine down.  

What are some unknown facts about your company?

Hmmm, let me think…… Maybe the fact that I’m really not a drinker, the only time I drink is when I’m drinking my own drinks. I don’t know if it’s a fun fact, but it’s a fact I have Crohn’s disease. It hasn’t stopped me from doing anything, I’m sick every now and again, but I can’t let sickness stop me from doing anything. I’ve had it since I was 14 and I’m 35 now and I’m still getting to it. And I’m a saver, I save all my change and its usually a couple hundred dollars at the end of the year. Being a business owner is not cheap! 

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Who are some of your influences in the business and in life?

My Dad, he is an ex NFL player, he played for ten years. I am the oldest of three girls, he has no sons so I chose my college major because of our connection. My father is very hands-on when it comes to my events, he is always supportive. He doesn’t drink but he will sit at the bar and have a cranberry juice with me. Definitely, Oprah, I admire women who are in business. Also Killer Mike’s wife, Shay Bigga, she’s a true businesswoman!  

Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for our readers?

Your face card is more important than your name, that’s where your support comes from. When you have a plan in motion you also have to learn how to save money. A business is not going to take off in the first 3-5 years typically, so you have to plan for those occurrences. But all in all the sky’s the limit, there are no ceilings!  

Do you have any networking partners you want to mention?

I would like to thank my silent business partner for believing in me and trusting my vision. I would like to thank Killer Mike and his wife Shay, they’ve allowed me to do events at their barbershop, he respects the hustle. He told me, “When you get your business together call me.” that meant I’ll help you but you have to help yourself first and I definitely appreciate that. Anyone who has booked Fine Wine Enterprise for an event, I thank you. To all my friends and family at Delta Airlines who continuously buys my product, I thank you. 
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If you are interested in booking Fine Wine Enterprises for your event or following the movement see the links below;

Facebook – @FineWineEnt

Instagram – @finewine_enterprises

Email – finewineenterprises@gmail.com

Film Review: Nappily Ever After

By Atika Aliyah

Sanaa Lathan gives a raw and riveting performance in the Netflix original movie, Nappily Ever After as Violet Jones. The film is centered on a black woman’s quest and inward journey for self-love. The audience is most certainty in for a bumpy ride as they go along with Violet, peeling back the many layers that make up a black woman.

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http://www.imdb.com

Based on the introduction, this movie may seem like the perfect chick flick melodrama, where the successful woman gets the perfect man. However when Sanaa’s Violet receives a tiny Chihuahua, instead of the marriage proposal she had everyone expecting. The movie stops becoming a love story based on a man and a woman, into a love story about falling in love with oneself.

There is quite a bit to unpack in this film, but all the messages are delivered and imbedded in a way that is both impressionable and relatable. Violet’s image obsessed mother Pauletta, played by Lynn Whitfield. Gives life to the stigma that black women and girls’ hair must acclimatize to European standards of beauty, in order to be considered attractive. Even if this means having your mother come to your house in the middle of the night while your man is sleeping. To put a flat iron to your head, that sizzles with ever pass. Causing not only damage to your hair but also underlying psychological damage, just for you to return back to bed before he wakes. Giving the illusion that the first thing he sees in the morning is what he thinks is perfection.

A bit extreme, but an actual representation of the lengths woman go in the black community, by sacrificing and manipulating themselves to maintain someone else’s standard of beauty. This film gives women of color the opportunity to look in the mirror and start embracing their true authentic selves. It took Violet multiple identity changes before the clippers came, where she was able to finally start stepping out of the box that she and other woman like herself, had been placed in for so many years. Violet experimented with different hair colors, lengths, and styles, and with everyone she adapted a new persona.

 

Nappily Ever After

CNN Entertainment

When the time came for the big chop Sanaa Lathan opted out of utilizing a bald wig cap and took the plunge for real. In an interview with CNN Entertainment, Lathan stated that she was in a place where she was ready to do the big chop. Lathan went on to tell CNN about her role, “It came in my life at a time I was kind of rethinking beliefs and desires, and actually my hair was a big part of that,” she said. “I felt like it was definitely the stronger choice, it was committing to all she (Violet) was going through.”

The transformation that developed on screen was empowering and emotional. Violet begins mentoring the young black daughter of the single father. That owns the hair salon where her natural hair journey began to take root. Through Violet and young Zoe’s relationship, you can see the same challenges that Violet faced as a little black girl, coming of age in a society that constantly puts an emphasis on appearances. This particular kinship on screen makes this a perfect film to sit down and watch with adolescent black and brown girls. It could positively impact their outlook and ideas of the meaning of beauty.

Nappily Ever After unifies women of color by paying homage to the natural hair movement that continues to grown day by day. In the movie we have a women re writing her own narrative, while we also have woman and girls all over the world that have the courage to do the same. There is a strong connection between hair and identity in the black community and we take pride in our roots, literally. The film is liberating and affirming; yet it is important to understand that this is not a call only to black women, but a call to all genders and ethnicities. To begin defining themselves on their own terms, and re defining this thing called beauty to be all-inclusive and unconventional.

 

Keedie’s Corner Company Review: Soaplistic Scents

By: Keidra Ponder

We recently caught up with Lovin Spirit, owner of Soaplistic Scents. She was very warm and knowledgeable of her craft, taking pride in providing an alternative relief for sensitive skin. You can find her vending at Atlanta Indie Market and various events throughout the Southeastern Region. Her passion for skin care is evident with her holistic approach to her beauty products. Soaplistic Scents creates soaps, lotions and detergents that are Paraben and  Formaldehyde free for customers with Eczema and Psoriasis in mind.

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When did you start Soaplistic Scents? Where was it started?

We unofficially started in 2012, at first it became a hobby for me, something I did for family only. I started in my hometown of Wilmington, DE.

Give us some background on you as an individual.

I was blessed to come from 2 families (my mother’s and father’s) that are extremely talented. My mother’s family, in my opinion, are really gifted in the area of cooking. Honey, they can COOK! They are also very career oriented with most lasting on their earlier jobs thru retirement….this really taught me stability. My father’s side is SUPER talented. There are so many artists in my father’s family that I cannot keep up with who does what but many are entrepreneur’s, they are cooks (oh yes, they can burn too), they are artists (singers, dancers, painters), they own cleaning companies, day care centers, do hair, all kinds of stuff…..so entrepreneurialism was embedded in me from both bloodlines and I’m ever so grateful for that. 

Screenshot_20180521-170543 Who are some of your influences in the business and in life?

My greatest influences are definitely my family and particularly, my mother who taught me independence, my father who taught me family values and my dear sweet Aunt Sug
(daddy’s little sister) who taught me strength and that I can do ANYTHING THAT I SET MY MIND TO DO!!!

What was the vision behind your brand?

I’ve always had my customers in mind. I have a lot of family members with eczema and I knew that the products on the ‘mainstream market’ were too expensive for many sufferers to purchase. I wanted to create something ALL NATURAL and attainable to ALL.

What material did you study to gain knowledge of your craft? 20180723_104417

I first began learning the process of making all natural laundry detergent. Believe it or not, I learned this on YouTube. This blossomed into my desire to make more natural
products hence creating, Soaplistic Scents.

What are some of the struggles you have had to overcome in the skin care industry?

The only hurdle I have had to overcome, as I choose not to call it a struggle, is to convince people that they don’t ‘HAVE’ to use commercial products exclusively. That they really
should do research on the ingredients that go into some of the commercial products and learn what’s best for their body instead of what they’ve been ‘told’ is best for their body. You’d be surprised at the insurmountable number of people that tell me that they can only use ‘this or that’ because the doctor said so and ‘this or that’ has chemicals that they probably know nothing about.

20180628_092323_001What are some of your highlighted achievements?

I would have to say that one of the biggest things for me is the number of customers that I have accomplished by word of mouth. Nothing like someone contacting you and saying, ‘so and so told me about your soap or your body butter and I really want to try it’. That’s invigorating! Another is, having a store owner contact you after you’ve given them a sample, randomly, not necessarily at their store and they contact you and say, “I have to have this product on my shelves, in my store.” That is an AWESOME feeling.

What are some unknown facts about Soaplistic Scents?

One unknown fact is that the idea of even making soap came after overhearing my niece talking to another family member about the struggles she faces with children with eczema. I actually only set out to find something for her that would work for her children’s delicate skin AND her purse. I stumbled upon a recipe to make my own laundry detergent by accident and thought I’d try it. I moved on to soap, from there. I found my niche’ and here we are today!

What is the current status of your Soaplistic Scents? 20180601_092013

We are still really in the beginning stages but we are consistently growing. Our social media exposure has grown TREMENDOUSLY in the past few months. WE still have a long way to go to achieve the heights we are looking to attain. 

Where do you see yourself taking Soaplistic Scents in the future?

Soaplistic Scents is ALWAYS working on the perfect recipe for Eczema/Psoriasis. We are striving to create a recipe that is recommended by physicians and pediatricians everywhere and hope to be able to make it affordable to ALL.

20180806_013447_001Any upcoming events or specials?

Absolutely! We will be at 2 different events in October; Rising Entrepreneurs Fall Expo on October 13th, 2018 from 3pm-8pm at 2101 Tula St NW in Atlanta. We will also be at the 3rd Annual Pamper and Shop For A Cure, also on October 13th, 2018 at the Newark Senior Center, in Newark, Delaware from 2pm – 6pm.

Do you have any words of wisdom or encouragement for our readers?

Absolutely, NEVER, EVER give up on your dreams. Don’t push your dreams to the back burner. If you thought it, it can be done, all you have to do is DO IT! And DON’T WAIT
until……whatever, do it NOW!!!!

Do you have any networking partners you want to shout out?

I want to give Atlanta Indie Market a shout out because though there are MANY outlets that give entrepreneur’s such as myself an opportunity for growth, my experience
was with them. They gave me the opportunity to show and share my skills with SOOOO MANY other artists and gifted entrepreneurs. It really opened my mind to the possibilities and helped me to seek even more opportunities. For that reason, I will always be grateful and push their mission to those that come after me. I also want to give a shout out to Laura-Lyn of De Ja Vous Antiques, in Austell, Ga for reaching out to me when I was unknown and asked me if I was interested in putting my soap in her store. That opened a lot of opportunities for me as well that she was unaware of. So SHOUT OUT TO BOTH OF
THEM!

 

If you would like more information on Soaplistic Scents follow the links below:

Website – www.Soaplisticscents.com

Email- soaplisticscents@gmail.com

Phone- 678-668-3612

Facebook- @soaplisticscents

Instagram- @soaplistic_scents

Twitter- @body_butta