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CategoryKeedies Corner In-House Written Articles

Despite turbulence, Daytona Beach,Fl residents show resilience in peaceful protest !

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  • Daytona Beach, Fl – May 30, 2020

 

In 2014, New York lost Eric Garner to the hands of police. Eric Garner was put in a choke hold by NYPD for allegedly selling unlicensed cigarettes. A crime that doesn’t hold a death sentence. Yet, this was the outcome for this father and family man. After protest, marches, and constant pressure it seemed things started to change. Fast forward to 2020, in Minneapolis, a man by the name of George Floyd would meet a very similar fate. It makes us wonder what will it take to truly get a change. To actually feel protected by police instead of uncertain. But before we dig deep, I’d like to point out an interesting observation that will show an uncanny and underlining truth about the state America and how it may have intensified.

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Daytona Beach,Fl held a peaceful protest led by Rell Black, a pivotal young man in the city’s moral & educational development along with being an important voice when it comes to injustices and black culture. Rell was apart of a large team that visited Houston,TX to deliver essential goods after the devastating hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. Even recently, Rell held a beach clean up the day after large crowds flooded the city for Memorial Day Weekend. This is only two of many examples that shows the extremes Rell has gone to to impute change.

I found the peaceful protest as they approached Beach St & ISB Blvd. As I approach I noticed a man jump out of a truck from the passenger side; a white man.  The truck carried a boat behind it and the boat carried a huge Trump flag. The man snatched the flag off his boat and put it inside of the truck before he passed the protest. At first it didn’t make sense to me. How does that even correlate to the situation and why would he want to hide a Trump flag as he passed a protest about a man being killed by the police? It hit me later. As I sat in the median on ISB Blvd, to get a unique vantage point take a photo, a man drove by in a white pick-up truck flicking off the crowd of protestors. It sort of hurt my feelings to know that someone, who could potentially be my neighbor, had such harsh feelings towards the situation. As I stared at the truck while it passed guess what sticker he had stamped on the back of his truck? A Trump sticker.

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Before I give my opinion I’d like to point out that the protest was one of the most beautiful protest I’ve ever seen. It was diverse. It warmed my heart to see that it wasn’t just a black and white thing. Some people just want what’s right and see the obvious inequalities. Social media and the new age of technology definitely intensified situations that would have ultimately gone unseen or unheard.  Which brings me to my earlier point. In order for a man to hide his Trump flag as he passed a protest about a black man being killed by a cop, yet again,  says to me that he felt that Trump flag held a deeper meaning. Which was that it fueled racism and the death of George Floyd was fueled by racism. Which is a very sad sentiment towards the state of this country. I mean, if the country’s leader made racist feel more comfortable what does that really say?

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Despite this saddening observation this protest gave me great vibes. There was so much passion there. So much love. I was proud for our city. I’ll be honest, I was discouraged moments before I joined the protest. Wondering how things could actually change. This protest gave me a new outlook. A new motivation. We’re definitely lucky and blessed to have leaders such as Rell Black, along with other great leaders.

The picture above is Rell Black being carried away by ambulance after having his foot run over. It happened moments after a man yelled, “They’re trying to hit us with their cars now!”. Yet, the look on his face isn’t troubled at all. It seemed that we are used to being resilient during times like this. This is the strength I felt.

This scene happened after I left. When I was there things were pleasant. I had a photoshoot to do at 1pm so I left the protest early. Some of the protestors said that they had been marching for hours already when I arrived around 12. My photoshoot ended around 4pm. I went to WAWA on the corner of ISB Blvd and people were still out protesting. I was literally amazed at the perseverance they had towards making sure this message was heard. Despite the heat, despite the discouragement, despite the rage from racist, they didn’t let up. The beauty of some people is something to really awe upon, at times. Big shout out to Kale Cafe (116 N Beach St, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114) and the entire family for handing out cold smoothies for protestors to drink.

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Don’t be confused. I started this article off rough because I wanted you to understand the resilience of our people. George Floyd can’t get anything from us physically now. But his family still has to push through in this tough time here on Earth. This is why it is so necessary that we have situations such as these peaceful protest. It is to constantly remind the people that we can’t let up. The moment we ease up is the moment they feel they can do as they feel to us. But the people show resilience every time. If you don’t believe me, just go back to Rell’s picture above moments after his foot was crushed.

Thank you to all the people that dedicated their time for this moment. Keep the fight alive and continue to apply pressure!

 

Written : Bruce Walton Jr

“Da Story B4 Da Glory” streaming now on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

 

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The highly anticipated film “Da Story B4 Da Glory” has set the Atlanta film scene ablaze. The characters presented a vibrant performance. Their dedication delivered an urban tale full of emotion. The film was directed and written by Jabari “Leylo” Crowder of Lovizionz Multimedia and executive produced by Brandon Gaston of Dale Drive Intaprize. Starring: Brandon Gaston, Shuntel Renay, Nathaniel Newton, Ronald Taylor, Diamond P, Pete Driver, Young “Shawty” Hughley, TJ Making Moves and Vincent Jones. This film portrays the life of a young athlete whose college life is cut short as his street career has an immature start.  In the midst of the drama the young star gets a taste of love, fame and fortune. This drama is sprinkled with tested friendships, manhood and lively hood.

The official film premiere for “Da Story B4 Da Glory” kicked off Saturday July 13, 2019 at Griffin Cinemas. The sold out red carpet premiere was hosted by Ashley Akins and Jay Harris. The fans packed the theater to show their support, even Rodney McCord, the Mayor of Griffin was in attendance. The event was a great accomplishment for the cast and crew, our hard work definitely paid off. The premiere was followed by a screening at O’Riley’s Bar in Decatur, Ga. After the film debut, Diamond P had a chance to get up close and personal as an interview was held with the cast on her talk show “Da Diamond P Experience”.

“Da Story B4 Da Glory” is now available for streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi. Put this on your list of must see films. I was apart of the production and I still sat in the theater in amazement, laughing at Kash and wanting LT to get a life! The narrative of the main character will keep you in tune with his plan to stay focused while some of his choices will make you think other wise. With each step BG takes he will face another dilemma, when he finally heads in the right direction his past comes to haunt him. The biggest lesson taken away from this film was the ability of your life choices to alter your path and the lives of the people around you. This is definitely one that will keep you interested and waiting for more.

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I was honored to be apart of this project, as I co-produced “Da Story B4 Da Glory”. I commend Director Jabari “Leylo” Crowder of Lovizionz Multimedia for his film production.  He has a unique style and the ability to bring forth visuals that capture the audience. I went into the production open minded and left with great insight. Special thanks to my co-producer Caitlynn Silvius. She was so patient while also being an AD, not to mention she wore it all with a smile.  Brandon Gaston of Dale Drive Intaprize was a young but a mature Executive Producer. I commend him on being professional and diligent. This is literally HIS Story B4 Da Glory! Many thanks to the entire cast and crew with special mentions; Chuck White, Ernest Ross, Pete Driver and Tru.

 

 

For promotional bookings please contact Keidra Ponder at keediescorner@gmail.com

Natural Professional Bodybuilder Athlete of the Year : Diana Hubbard

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Photos By Marty Gottlieb

When you see a person with an amazing physique your first reaction is always to drop your jaw in awe. Why so? Think of the first thing that comes to mind. Dedication. Will power. Discipline. Even obsession, in some cases.  These types of things don’t come over night. In fact, A lot of people who work out often still may not have the incredible physique that a bodybuilder has. The lifestyle simply takes more than an hour at the gym every day. It’s a complete lifestyle. Eating habits are different. Recreational activities are different. This type of life takes a firm choice. You can live a healthy life without being a bodybuilder. So why choose to be? It can be something as simple as seeing Schwarzenegger in a movie, being bullied as a child, or even a singular situation. Maybe you had a eureka moment. All I know is when I see it, I give my instant respect. Like a salute to a general in command.

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When I first saw Diana, the first thing I thought was intimidation. Not towards me but in general. I’ll tell you why. Women’s athletics is still a growing spectacle in all categories of sports. I’ll give you an example. The first bodybuilding competition was held around September, 1901. However, the first women’s bodybuilding competition wasn’t held until 1979. Nearly a century later.

The push away from the stereotypical house wife role, to “We can do it, too!”, came during and after World War II. Even though women had already started fighting for rights around the late 1800’s, the public campaign came around the 1940’s. Since most the men were at war, woman had to show that they had what it takes. Even when society tried to keep them boxed in. This push has elevated to the incredible stature that it is today. Watching women such as Serena & Venus Williams dominate tennis, or watching Amanda Nunes destroy the UFC women’s division has definitely been a treat.

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(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)

I even asked Diana does she think she intimidates men at all. She responded, “No, in fact, I think it makes them approach me even more. I think they love the discipline aspect of it.”. This is that part that definitely intrigued me.

So what actually drove Diana to sculpt her body into this amazing physique? There may not be a definitive answer but she did tell me an interesting story about a scar she had on her arm.

As I gazed at every unique muscle on her body I noticed a scar on her left arm. You can almost miss it in pictures if you don’t look closely. Being a journalist I always want to hear the inside scoop, so I asked her about the scar. She responded,

“That’s where most of my insecurities really came from now that I think about it. I hated that scar and I would hide it all the time. It lowered with my self-esteem a lot. I broke it in a freak accident when I was around 9-10 years old. I was high up on a swing and fell off. My elbow hit a rock and broke it. My elbow that is. Now a days I embrace my scar. I’m not embarrassed about it anymore and I tell the story with confidence. It makes me unique and I like that.”.

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(Photo Cred : Marty Gottlieb)

This simple rock story may be the reason that she is rock solid today. Mentally and physically. Her life started off pretty normal, though. I mean, besides the fact that she was home schooled. In fact, she was home schooled from kindergarten to middle school, which she explained was a “huge culture shock”. Diana was into athletics early, as well. She played basketball throughout her school stint and was a stand out player. After graduating from Bloomfield Tech in 2009 she attended Iona College on a full scholarship.

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After a stand out rookie year, where she was the runner-up for rookie of the year, she slowly started to lose steam. She exclaimed that she has always been a shy person with low self-esteem. She believes this is the reason that she slowed down.

“So here I am, a D1 player who didn’t go pro or go overseas like “I’m supposed to”. I felt like a failure and had no choice but to look for work. A year later I decided to join a gym. I missed being active. I hadn’t realized that playing basketball year round was keeping me in shape and the sudden stop would make me lose it a little. I didn’t eat healthy, I drank, partied, and was overall unhappy. I was lost and beat myself up for years for not perusing a professional basketball career like most D1 players do.  For 3 years I went through tough hardships that included relationships, self-esteem issues, health issues, and more. I was tired of living with no purpose. I needed a change.”

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Around 2018 is when she regained her flame. She decided to challenge herself and compete in a bodybuilding show. She said she had it on her mind for 2 years before she actually took action. She didn’t feel like she was 100% focused and was nervous about doing something that would put her in the center of attention. Then she remembered the quote, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”. This led to Diana hiring a personal trainer and eventually a nutritionist.  After 4 weeks on their plan she picked a show to compete in. She told herself no more hesitation, it’s go time!

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She practiced posing in the mirror after she finished doing Lyft, which would be around midnight. She also followed her coach’s meal plan with precision. In July of 2018, merely 4 weeks after she began her training, she entered a Natural Organization called the INBA PNBA. There, she won first place in Figure Novice and Figure Open.  Crazy right? This woman was determined! This expedited success came from a determined work ethic. Diana says she wants people to push pass the thought that they are “too busy” to push towards things they want.

“My typical day, before my first show, would be to wake up at 5am to Lyft. Then I train. I go to work and after work go back to do Lyft. Afterwards, about midnight, I head to gym again to practice posing. This routine is almost everyday.”

Later that year, Diana became certified in personal training and holds two pro cards in Figure and Physique. She has since competed in 8 shows over the course of 2 years.

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Her most recent victory came Nov.16th at a big show In Las Vegas with the INBA PNBA, The Natural Olympia. She placed 3rd overall and was named the National Athlete of the Year by the same association. Seeing this amazing feat in such short time said a lot about her determination. When a person falls in love with athletics it requires a totally different kind of commitment. It’s a life style change. This brings some much fire out of people. It also makes you think more of your over-all health. A strange observation I made throughout the years is that the majority of people maintenance their cars better than they maintenance their bodies. Diana noticed herself slipping and not only bounced back but became something much better than before.

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League owner – Denny Kakos
( Above Coach Marc Tauriello & League President Denny Kakos)

“In the end, it all started with me just wanting to be active again. The gym became my happy place. It became an outlet for stress and distractions in the world. Never be afraid to fail, for failure is apart of success.” Diana expresses.

“Bodybuilding is an extremely tough sport, physically and emotionally. Despite it’s difficulty, I find myself loving every bit of it. There are a lot of highs and lows. Especially dealing with the strict diet. Can you imagine eating the same thing every day for months on end? The temptation to cheat is unbearable at times. You might as well forget about having a social life during the preparation. It slowly diminishes. Through all this, the workouts only get more intense. I love this mode, though. I can sense that’s it’s challenging me physically and emotionally. Anything that pushes me in this way, I feed off it. Just like in my basketball days. The fire I got when we played a tough team. When I missed a couple of shots but was determined to bounce back. Even when I made a bad play and had to sit on the bench and reflect on how to improve. I love all of that. What I love the most about this sport is that it taught me a lot about nutrition.  I will continue to eat healthy, have balanced meals, and diet naturally. I am a stronger woman today because I took a chance to go for something I wasn’t sure I was ready for, and made myself ready.” 

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(Photo Cred – Marty Gottlieb)

Here is a list of placings Diana has had throughout her career as a bodybuilder.

2018 East Coast Classic – 1st Figure Open , 1st Figure Novice

2018 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s – Pro Debut , 1st Place

2018 Natural Olympia – 9th place (world) (17 competitors)

2019 The Philip Ricardo Legend’s Classic – 3rd place

2019 Eastern USA Pro-AM – 1st Pro Figure , 1st Women’s Physique (Earned Pro Card in women’s physique)

2019 The Nationals – 1st place in Physique pro debut

2019 Muscle Beach International – 1st in Pro Women’s Physique

2019 Natural Olympia – 3rd Place , National Athlete of the Year

Diana would like to credit her Nutritionist, Mentor, and Coach Marc Tauriello (Extreme Gym, Nutley,NJ)  for her outstanding success thus far.

Today, Diana is still a full time bodybuilding and has plans to continue to have ground breaking success. She works and a personal trainer in between time. Congratulations on all of your success and keep striving for greatness!

Written : Bruce Walton Jr

From Cloudy Days to Picture Perfect, Alexis Scott – Model

In 1927, a man by the name of Fred R. Barnard coined the phrase, “A pictures’ worth a thousand words”. Despite Alexis’s breath taking looks and stunning physique, a picture simply isn’t enough to describe her fight down glory road. Often times we see that art mostly comes from those with a story to tell. A story which may be hard to describe in words. It may also come from people who’ve been through trauma or pain and have a desperate need to express themselves. Getting people to see beauty from the beholders perspective is the essence of what makes art touch people in a very prodigious way .

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At times, I feel that models may not get the full credit they deserve when it comes to making the firm decision to follow this career path. Putting yourself in the public eye to be judged from head to toe takes great courage and confidence. You have to really learn how to love yourself regardless of what people may say. Some models even try pushing the boundaries of the social standard to what beauty is. Even if there was a time that they didn’t feel “pretty” according to that standard.

Let’s be honest, life has a way of trying to discourage you from being what your heart says you are versus what society expects from you. The movies and tv shows always paints the picture to make it seem as if the underdog is loved. In actuality, the love seems to only come when the underdog gains momentum. Gaining momentum, for someone that has been through tough times, takes day after day of convincing yourself. Uplifting yourself. Staying positive. Defeating odds. Taking leaps of faith. This is the story of Alexis Scott.

Alexis, was born and raised in Daytona Beach, FL. She was primarily raised by her aunt whom she had a very close relationship with. Her aunt took her in after realizing that Alexis’s mother was battling with a drug addiction. Even though Alexis was never supposed to have unsupervised visits with her parents, the aunt did want her to have some kind of relationship with them. Even though the decision to let Alexis have unsupervised visits with her parents came from the aunt having a tender heart, it ended up back firing. The aunt ended up losing custody of Alexis because of an incident that happened between Alexis and her father. At the age of 13, Alexis made a courageous decision that would send her life spiraling. She decided to speak up about the abuse which came from the hands of her father. Alexis would often spend holidays and summer breaks with her parents. This is when the abuse happened. She built up the courage to tell a best friend that she was sexually abused by her father. What she didn’t know was that the government would take her away from her aunt and place her in foster care. This didn’t seem to make sense to her. Fortunately, she was taken in by her best friends family.

Approximately 6 months after she was taken in by her best friend things started to get a little rocky. The family fell on hard times and ended up losing their place of residence. Alexis, along with her friends family, found refuge with acquaintances, family and friends periodically. Most times having to sleep on the floor due to lack of space. Once again, Alexis had to make a courageous move. She decided to run away and would eventually be taken in by her half uncle from her mothers side. Going through so much at this tender age you would think it would distract a young mind. Even make them resort to crime. I asked her “Do you think being in foster care inspired you in any way?”.

“It definitely did not inspire me. Sometimes I often wondered why I didn’t have a “normal” life instead. The only thing I can say came from this is that it made me eager to get my own place. My case worker always said “You either age out of the system or graduate. That’s the only way out.”

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Her soon to be way out would come, to her surprise, once she learned she was on track to graduate high school early. It seemed that the chaos only made her focus and excel tremendously academically. A complete oxymoron. During her middle school stint, Alexis took an Algebra 1 course along with an English test that would count towards high school credits. That, along with taking some summer courses, started her advancement. Alexis noticed on her own that she had enough credits to advance. When she brought this to her guidance counselor they suggested she duel enroll. Seeing that she was so close to completion she decided to take the advice to duel enroll. After a little more hard work Alexis would be on track to graduate high school at the age of 16.

Her uncle, who she lived with at the time, agreed to let her stay at his home until she graduated high school. You would think that a teenager graduating high school early would be good news. For a teen with no where to go and also not being a legal adult made things a little interesting to say the least. She found a job and saved up money so that she would be prepared if she had to move. Choosing colleges would prove to be difficult. If the college didn’t offer any type dorm or living situation Alexis basically couldn’t go. She wasn’t old enough to sign a lease yet. I’m assuming this problem was the deciding factor in her choosing to attend a local college. Her next battle would be with the court system. She basically had to be emancipated in order to be considered a legal adult. Through an extensive battle she finally convinced the court that she needed to be a legal adult so that she wouldn’t be turned back over to foster care. Also, so she could sign a lease and pursue a college degree in her own place. So while most teenage girls were stressed about boy crushes and fitting in with the “cool kids”, Alexis was living a much more serious life. Though, she hadn’t realized it yet. She was simply relieved to have a place to call her own.

Shy, alone, battered, to say the least. You’d wonder how this timid girl chose something like modeling. Well, she didn’t. She was chosen. When she first applied for the scholarship with a modeling school she was certain that she wouldn’t get picked.

“I was smart…but I had tattoos and no money. I didn’t even think they would be interested. Some how I was chosen and accepted for their scholarship. If it weren’t for me getting accepted I don’t think I would have ever had the courage to go any where and model”

Thus, her modeling career was born

 

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Alexis’s first real gig came from Feroce Magazine. The article was titled “Misunderstood”. The opportunity came from a friend she met at Seabreeze High School. With great help from her husband (and manager) and her photographer Tyler Jenkings, she was able to create a professional presence for herself. With a professional backing she was able to build up enough confidence to pursue modeling full speed.

 

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Life was starting to look promising for the young lady. Yet, it gets better. At the age of 20 her boyfriend of 7 years, Xavier Scott, decided that he wanted to be with her for ever. He proposed to her. They would get married  in August of 2018. It seems that for her the storm had passed and the sunshine has come out again.

Currently, Alexis is a college student and a freelance model. She says that her main goals are to one day walk the run way during Fashion Week and also being picked to star in a major movie role. Seeing what she has overcome so far, nothing is impossible.

It was remarkable seeing how this young lady stayed positive through it all. I asked her did she have any advice for anyone that has endured a rough upbringing but wants to remain positive about the future.

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“Just keep going, and most importantly, get help! Some people are ashamed of what they have gone through or either too proud. No matter how good a person may seem we all need to heal properly. No matter what it is you go through, don’t be afraid to tell someone. I am very grateful for the METOO movement. It is allowing people to speak up more than ever. For those who feel like they won’t be heard, just remember that there is someone, somewhere, that’s willing to listen and help”.

May God bless you on your journey, Alexis.

Special Thanks :

Photographer : Tyler Jenkings

Nail Tech : Sarah Mai

Husband : Xavier Scott

Friends, Family and Followers

Contact Info :

Instagram : @darkskinnedalexis

Facebook Business Page : Alexis Ann Scott

Facebook Manager : Xavier Scott

Melanin & Chlorophyll – Similarities and More!

All our lives we’ve been taught that too much sun is bad for us. We’ve been taught about how cancerous it can be. How hot it is. The list goes on. Yet, we are hardly taught the benefits of the sun.

As of recent, I started sun gazing. It is a practice that has been dated back since ancient times. It’s a practice where you stare at the sun during sun set or sunrise. Most people might say “Wait, isn’t that harmful?”. Well, contrary to common belief, if done correctly it actually has great health benefits.

If you think about how plants use the sun then you can further understand how we can also. As children, we were taught about photosynthesis and how plants turn sunlight into food. Green substance in producers that traps light energy from the sun, which is then used to combine carbon dioxide and water into sugars in the process of photosynthesis Chlorophyll is vital for photosynthesis, which helps plants get energy from light.

This same process is essentially the same in how melanin works for us. If you never noticed, which I’m sure you have, only fair toned people get sunburned. That’s because they don’t have enough melanin to protect them from harmful UV rays.

Although these processes are very similar chlorophyll can withstand a higher dosage of UV rays. Plants sit under the sun light all day with minor to no harm. That wouldn’t be the same case for humans.

Why we should have plenty of chlorophyll (green plants) in our diets.

Studies have proven that chlorophyll, in its various forms, has been proven to fight carcinogens in the body and reduce cancer risk. It also helps detoxify the liver and can expedite the healing of wounds. On top of all that, some have attributed improved digestion and weight management to a chlorophyll routine.

(site Megan Madden , Verily Mag)

Follow my Youtube channel in the link below for more natural healing remedies and tips.

“Melanin & Chlorophyll” Video Link

Written by : Bruce Walton Jr

This Mom Stayed In Shape After 5 Kids!

Meet Venus Tutu! We stubbled across her after the picture below went viral!

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Of course curiosity flew around wondering how in the world did she manage to do it! Most women are concerned about how their body will bounce back after pregnancy. Their bodies endure so much between weight gain and the stretching of the skin. So I asked Venus what her post pregnancy secrets were. This is what she revealed.

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Venus was born in Liberia but moved to the states and was raised in Philly. She had her first child at the tender age of 17

“It was a drastic change for me, especially from my native background beliefs. Due to me having a baby so young and out of wedlock I became an outcast to my family. I went from having a roof over my head to being homeless/sleeping in laundromat bathrooms. I was still in high school, raising a baby with no knowledge of how to do so. I struggled a lot but my son kept me sane and pushed me to better both of our situation. He’s literally my life.”

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Being so young, Venus felt like her body didn’t suffer much. She bounced right back into shape. She humorously replied “My breast didn’t get the same memo”.  It wasn’t until her second child where she actually started to take fitness seriously.

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Venus explains that after her second child the “gym” was a trending thing at the time. It just so happens that it helped her stay in shape. Her wanting to workout in hopes of bouncing back after pregnancy didn’t happen until after her 3rd child. She explains how she focused on foods she saw the best weight loss results from

“After my 3rd baby my snap back wasn’t as quick. I still had some weight left on me. Once I noticed that I started going to the gym more and changed my eating habits(not entirely). I also discover the foods/drinks that made me drop pounds in days”

Venus’s grandmother birthed 14 kids and her body was amazing afterwards so she feels a lot of it had to do with genetics mixed with hard work. She says she loves her body. She lives to show it off as much as she can. She inspires the be a model at some point in her life.

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Her latest test was recovering from having twins! Especially since the previous child wasn’t even a year old yet.

This took a real tool on her over all energy levels. She’s explains thats the hardest part about staying in shape,at this point, was simply getting up.

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Venus understands the struggle of parenthood. Especially being a single parent. These are her words of advice.

“Take them kids with you ! Find a gym that has a daycare center inside and go workout ! Most mothers want to workout but can’t due to them not having anybody to watch their kids. So find a gym that has a daycare center and go ! You may not see results in days or weeks but don’t give up ! Pick certain days to work on certain things and stay consistent! You know it’s working when it hurts. Pain should encourage you even more! Build up your confidence and kick ass when you’re working on your body goals ! Please don’t go to the gym just to post pics on social media…focus on the goals you set”

If you want to reach Venus for business inquires contact her at

venusktutu@gmail.com

Venus Tutu on FB & IG

Written by Bruce Walton Jr

Rest in Power Nipsey Hussle

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Grammy-nominated rapper, entrepreneur, community rejuvenator, father, partner, and neighbor Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed Sunday in front of his Marathon Clothing store in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South L.A. He was 33.

Even if you’re not a rap fan, it’s worth understanding who Nipsey Hussle was, if only to appreciate his extraordinary instincts for music, fashion, business strategy, and community development.

 

Plus, he was just a good person. “He once gave a pair of shoes to every student at an elementary school in Hyde Park, where he owned a burger joint, a fish market and a barbershop,” reports the Los Angeles Times. “He helped fund upgrades to the campus playground and offered jobs to his struggling neighbors. If someone lost a loved one to gun violence, he would sometimes chip in for the funeral.”

He also helped restore a beloved and abandoned neighborhood roller rink with important ties to the L.A. hip-hop scene. In February 2017, he opened a co-working space and STEM center to help address the lack of diversity in technology and build bridges with corporate partners in Silicon Valley. Thanks to his musical aspirations, he’d gotten the tech bug early – he had learned to use software to record himself. That background helped him think at scale.

In the wake of Hussle’s death, fans are reflecting on his business accomplishments, from selling a mixtape for $100 each to creating a technology hub in Crenshaw. Here are five times Hussle merged the worlds of music and business.

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He sold 1,000 copies of his Crenshaw mixtape for $100 each.

In October of 2013, Hussle was getting ready to drop his eighth mixtape, Crenshaw, for free, when he decided to flip the script on the traditional model and charge for his work. “We were just like, ‘Let’s print it up like a limited edition novelty game, kind of like with video games when you got the extra package that comes with the headset,’” he told XXL at the time, before elaborating on where he got the concept.

“I had been reading a book about what makes people talk about things, what makes things go viral and what makes things contagious,” he continued. “There was an example in this book about a restaurant owner who made a $100 cheesesteak… It made some people curious, it made other people upset, but more than anything it created conversation. And he ended up on the Oprah show, and he ended up on David Letterman talking about this $100 cheesesteak.”

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Hussle sold out of the physical copies of Crenshaw in 24 hours, netting himself $100,000. Among those who bought the mixtape were Jay-Z, who purchased 100 copies to show his support to the young entrepreneur, and Rick Ross, who also endorsed Hussle.

In a 2013 article about the marketing effort, Billboard wrote the following about the campaign that Hussle dubbed Proud2Pay: “While the pricey physical copies were numbered, autographed and included a ticket to a future performance by the 28-year-old rapper, Crenshaw billed itself as more than merely a boldly-priced deluxe edition. Rather, Hussle called the tape the first step in a new patron model, where a few superfans shoulder the burden that artists usually spread across as broad an audience as they can muster.”

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He purchased the strip mall in Crenshaw that housed his Marathon Clothing store.

Nipsey Hussle was killed in an area he was working hard to rebuild. Earlier this year, Forbes reported the rapper and his business partner, Dave Gross, had paid “a couple million” to purchase the plaza, which he hoped to rebuild as a six-story mixed-use residential and commercial complex. In November, Hussle told Fox 11’s Leah Uko the property would include a barbershop, a Creole seafood restaurant and a store where locals could purchase prepaid cell phones, fragrances and more.

In 2017, Hussle opened Marathon Clothing, a “smartstore” that allowed fans to purchase merch and use an app to access exclusive content from him. Back then, Hussle told Billboard his plan was to open additional stores in the “top 10 markets of the United States.”

“This is us trying to disrupt retail, create a theme park for the brand. This is us trying to create a retail network to become vertically integrated,” he said. “This is us trying to super-serve the core with an upgraded experience. This is us trying to fuse hip-hop, fashion and tech… We believe that’s what the Marathon store is. It’s an immature concept. It hasn’t evolved to its fullest form yet. But I think we’re in the process of seeing technology integrated with everything, become apart of the world. So I think that we’re just putting our chips on experience. We think this is where retail is going. So we want to be one of the leaders.”

Hussle also launched a co-working space and STEM program in his hometown.

Last year, Nipsey Hussle created Vector 90 to create links between young talent from impoverished neighborhoods and opportunies in Silicon Valley. Hussle also created the space in partnership with Gross, offering “flexible short term leases, daily passes, monthly memberships, private offices and custom build-outs,” according to a Los Angeles Times report at the time. On another floor in the building is a STEM program open to local children through an application process.

At the time, Hussle said he hoped Vector 90 would provide an alternative to gang culture for young people in his community. “I remember feeling, like, No. 1, what’s the point, and No. 2, maybe I’m tripping. Maybe I’m not even supposed to be ambitious; maybe I’m not even supposed to be thinking this big and thinking outside the box; maybe I should just follow suit,” he said. “That’s a dangerous thing. I would like to prevent as many kids from feeling like that as possible. Because what follows is self-destructive.”

skynews-nipsey-hussle-lauren-london_4627750Outside of the plaza and Vector 90, Hussle was looking to make more real estate investments.

This included partnering with Gross, DJ Khaled and others to partner with an investment syndicate in a bid to acquire the leasehold for the Viceroy Santa Monica, a 162-room luxury, beach hotel.

Hussle always advocated for ownership and entrepreneurship among artists, even after partnering with Atlantic Records to release his Grammy-nominated debut album, Victory Lap.

On Victory Lap‘s Kendrick Lamar collaboration “Dedication,” Hussle raps, “Royalties, publishing, plus I own masters/ I’ll be damned if I slave for some white crackers.”

From the beginning of his career, Hussle was wary of major labels; his first major deal, with Epic Records, ended without producing an album and he’d been independent ever since. So when he announced his Atlantic deal in November 2017, it came at first as a surprise — but the terms, or at least those that were made public, made it make more sense for the typically-entrepreneurial MC. Not only did he retain control over his own work through the partnership with his All Money In company, he retained control over the roster, which remained independent and was not under exclusive license to Atlantic or any other label.

Hussle further elaborated on his business ideology and the importance of creating additional content outside of music during an interview with Mass Appeal, saying, “As an artist, there’s a business model that exists in the music industry to prevent you from having ownership, to prevent you from being a partner in the lion’s share of the profit. The value is created in content, so when I think of us as hip-hop artists, we create content, but we don’t have a wide product line.” With the Marathon Clothing store and Proud2Pay, Hussle was working to change this narrative.

Keidra Ponder of Keedie’s Corner also notes the fact that Hussle was very intuned with his culture and health. He was producing a documentary on the renown Dr. Sebi who has many documented cases of curing people of viral diseases that we currently don’t have a prescription medication to treat. Nick Cannon went to social media to reflect saying, “And I’m gonna say this only for the real ones to recognize. Where you left off, we gonna carry one! It’s a MARATHON, so I’m picking up the baton! Because they can’t kill us all! Spiritual Warfare is REAL and in full effect.” We hope he will keep the dream alive and finish the documentary, as we keep the dream alive by walking the path set forth for us.

shutterstock_1182791518 Via: Live Civil

Photos Via: Instagram & Google

By: Keidra Ponder

 

Please show your support for the Primetime Gamechangers

By: Keidra Ponder

I had the opportunity to speak with the Primetime Gamechangers’ Assistance Coach, Houston Cadette. Like many good men, he is an active father in his little athlete’s life. This an eight on eight spring tackle football team composed of energetic 9,10 & 11year olds. The Coaches William Bell and Bobby Candidate are very passionate about their players, often offering assistance to the parents who can’t afford the fees.

The Coaches have started a gofundme page to rally contributions for the players. As we know it’s many talented individuals who just need that little bit of hope to keep them going, please donate to their campaign. Your donation will go towards the player’s fee of $160.00 for needed equipment such as; jerseys, padded pants and pride packs consisting of team shorts and shirts. Assistant Coach Cadette said, “We really want to make this a great experience, looking good makes you feel good and feeling good helps you play good.” 

Click the link below to donate to the Primetime Gamechangers equipment and uniform drive;

https://www.gofundme.com/equipment-and-uniform-drive?pc=fm_co_campmgmt_m&rcid=r01-154929953923-7b5d3cd493e14161

 

Artist in the Spotlight: Shauna Ti’er

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Gospel Artist and Aspiring Actress Shauna Ti’er was born March 23, 1976 in Jacksonville, FL. She was raised in Daytona Beach, Florida and started singing at the age of 5 in her local family church, New Mt. Zion Baptist. At the age of 12, she landed the lead role in a school play where her acting and singing talents were displayed. She has always loved to sing and share her gift with people.

Even at a young age, she learned to love the art of music and was inspired by several known legends in the industry including Shirley Caesar, Helen Baylor, the Clark Sisters, and also R&B sensation, the late Whitney Houston to name a few. At the age of 15, Shauna Ti’er was offered a very unique position as a Special Teen Advisor for Fashion (STAFF) with JCPenney. During this time, she was afforded the opportunity to showcase her modeling talents and began to blossom as a performer at that point. She started to write music and really began to develop a deeper love for her craft as a music artist.

In 1996 she moved to Atlanta, GA and another chapter in her life began. She was blessed to become a praise and worship leader at a local church, where God began to really show her his plan for her life. During this time she wrote a gospel play that was showcased in several churches around the local area. In 2016, after writing many songs, she felt compelled to move forward with her career in the entertainment industry. She was blessed to be signed with NTM Group, under the management of Shanita Brown, after which she released her first single in March of 2017, titled “Lord You Are Worthy”. The single was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Will Neal.

After 21 years of different roles in the kingdom and even a few seasons of falling away from her beliefs, she never lost her faith in God, nor her desire to serve him wholeheartedly by using her gifts. In March 2017, God commissioned her and her family to move to Harrisburg, PA, where she is now a member of the Bridge of Faith Ministries under the leadership of Pastor Sheila Harris. Shauna Ti’er is now in full swing using her God-given talents by singing, acting, and speaking/teaching as requested! She has completed the video of her single that will be released in early June of 2018 and is now working on an EP with new music to be released in the spring of 2019.

To contact Shauna Ti’er or for booking, please contact Shanita Brown at ntmanagementgroup@gmail.com

Artist in the Spotlight: Devinci

Written By: Keidra Ponder

Keedie’s Corner recently caught up with artist Devinci during his performance at Day Dreams in Atlanta, Ga.  He was the headliner for The RnB Network event and he gave a sway performance of his latest songs. The atmosphere was vibrant and the partygoers were lively as the lounge gave off a whimsical effect. Press play and enjoy Devinci’s story, stay tuned for more exclusives with artist and entertainers in the near future with Keedie’s Corner.

Video By: Atika Aliyah

 

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.

 

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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

 

 

 

A MEME or a Movement

By: Atika Aliyah

Since September 5, 2018, social media feeds and timelines have been filled with various black and white close-ups of our favorite entertainers, athletes, and politicians, illustrating quotes or sayings these individuals have said, or would say. All of which are parodies playing off of the ad Nike released featuring former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

 

 

The Internet has been undefeated yet again, as they have taken the attitude and tone of the ad and ran with it. Though the MEMEs provide some comic relief to the more serious issues at hand as it pertains to Kaepernick’s activism and resistance. One may pose the question, is this a new trend? To go against the grain and entertain controversy, using it as a vehicle, in this case, to spread awareness and spark conversation on the racial tensions in this country. And if so, does social media have something to do with this new direction?

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It is clear and evident that Nike was taking a risk using Kaepernick as the face for their brand. The release of the ad initially called for a boycott by those who did not support Nike’s decision and the company’s stock took a hit. However, once the smoke cleared and the memes went viral it was later followed by record-setting highs for the Nike Company on Wall Street. Nike was criticized and then praised for their “bad publicity.” But it was publicity nonetheless, and the MEMEs, along with the retweeting and reposting had more to do with it than you think. According to Apex Marketing Group, Nike received more than $43 million worth of media exposure.

Needless to say, the support for Colin Kaepernick by Nike is a great look for the culture. People of color can wear and support the brand with pride and honor. Nike now fits in with the best of them, like rappers J. Cole and Meek Mill who are using their platforms to bring attention to police brutality, criminal justice reform, and many other issues that face black and brown communities in America. Bleacher Report revealed that Meek Mill who is not only a rapper but also an advocate and victim of a corrupt justice system will be releasing a song on his new album that will be about Colin Kaepernick’s story.

 

 

 

Keedie’s Corner Company Review: Nerv

By: Keidra Ponder

As an avid supporter of Atlanta Indie Market I come across many great finds, but I was in awe when I met Dr. Michael Jiang. He was so calm, even cool under the Atlanta sun as shoppers filled the atmosphere. He introduced me to a new supplement that supports mental clarity. When I heard those words my eyes lit up! I have the hardest time staying focused and retaining thoughts. I am one of those people who make to do list just to finish a to do list. The product has zero calories, is caffeine free, and naturally flavored. I love healthy drinks so I was obliged to try it out.

I had a kickball game that I wanted to be ready to play and that’s exactly what I was. The shot didn’t make me feel jittery at all, it made me the polar opposite. I felt at ease as if I could see things in a different light. I felt light on my feet and my head was clear as well. I was able to focus on one task at a time as I picked the most important one to focus on. We had a good game that day and I was still happy even though we lost. Needless to say I am a firm believer in Nerv and I would recommend any and everyone to try it. I had a chance to ask Dr. Michael Jiang a few questions to get a better understanding of Nerv and the science behind it.


Dr. Jiang when and where was Nerv started?

We were founded in 2017. We launched our product in Feb 2018. Started in my kitchen with the formulation and testing. Took it to Emory for focus groups with students. Crowdfunded on Indiegogo and will be launching all across the country at CVS in two weeks!

So what was the vision behind Nerv?

Nerv is all about helping our customers be their best selves and we do that by supporting and destigmatizing the sense of the overwhelming overload we feel day to day. We provide products that help balance brain chemistry so that people can de-stress and re-focus.

What are some of the struggles you have had to overcome to be able to make Nerv a retail product?

The drink market is highly competitive and retail is a difficult space to start in. Fortunately, we have been able to overcome both by differentiating our product from what people are used to seeing and finding shelf space in gyms, pharmacies, and university campuses.

What are some of your highlighted achievements?

We find our greatest satisfaction in hearing from our happy customers that Nerv has been able to help them in their lives and made them happier. Nerv was completely crowdfunded. We have won multiple pitch competitions. Within 6 months of launch, we will be retailing all across the US at CVS!

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Dr. Jiang what is the current status of your company?

We are currently looking to expand our retail reach to more locations. However, anyone anywhere can always find us on the web at www.getnerv.com. We are also seeking investment to fuel our expansion.

Where do you see yourself taking your company in the future?

Nerv’s mission is to provide access to innovative products that help people be their best selves. Right now, we feel stress and anxiety are major problems holding people back from reaching their potential so our product provides an accessible solution. We also aim to provide expert opinion, discussion, and engagement with the community on matters of the brain and mental health at the Nerv Center: https://www.getnerv.com/blogs/nerv-center

What are some unknown facts about your Nerv?

Nerv started because Dr. Michael Jiang wanted to help formulate a solution to help his friends and family de-stress and re-focus. That ultimately resulted in the production of Nerv and made him an accidental entrepreneur when it turned out lots of people needed his solution!

Where did you receive your education? What was your field of study?

I got my bachelors in Neuroscience from Furman University and my Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University. My research focused on translational solutions for neurodegenerative diseases and the treatment of stress and anxiety.

Dr. Jiang where were you born? Give us some background on you as an individual.

I was born in a very normal and poor family from Inner Mongolia. My parents shared $25 a week in salary and we have no car, only bicycles. In 1994, immigration to New Zealand opened up and my parents became the first people in their families to leave China. On my first day of school, I didn’t know any English so I had to improvise sign language to ask to use the bathroom. I got my name because the only Western person my mom knew of at the time was Michael Jackson. I attended elementary school in New Zealand and went to high school in Australia. My family currently resides in Sydney, Australia. I came to the USA on a full scholarship to study Neuroscience at Furman University and I just graduated with my Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University in 2017.

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

I wouldn’t be able to be where I am today without the help of my parents Andy and Susan, my loving wife MC, and my partners Holly Ash and Graeme Warring.

Do you have any words of encouragement for our readers?

It is hard to set yourself on a journey when you only look at the destination and see that is so far away and the way is so unclear. Instead, just start and soon when you look back you will see how far you have come.

Do you have any networking partners you want to mention?

I would like to thank the Robin Harpak and the Emory Alumni Network, Emory University, CVS, and Rangeme.

 

If you would like more information about Nerv follow the links below:

Lovizionz Multimedia Production Company: Atlanta’s Own Event Premiere Headquarters

By: Keidra Ponder

lovi

Looking for TV and Film production? Call Lovizionz Multimedia. Looking for Script Writing? Call Lovizionz Multimedia. Looking for Distribution for Film or Music? Call Lovizionz Multimedia. Looking for Photography? Models? Actors? Dancers? Even if you’re looking for Event and Studio rental, call Lovizionz Multimedia.

fakin

Owner of Lovizionz MultimediaFilmmaker Leylo, has produced and directed a full featured film, “Fakin” and has another on the way “Da Story B4 Da Glory”. He is also a published author, his book “Daddy’s Shadow’s” is available for your reading pleasure. He is the “King of Clubs” when it comes to media in Atlanta, you can find him directing videos and producing content for some of the most notable individuals.

 

His latest venture “Atlanta Night Lights” is a adult show which showcases the livelihood of Atlanta. Watch as the host Karess attends events and interviews artist and other attendees. This is a chance to view first hand why Atlanta is called the production hub of the south. Click the link and catch the action. Atlanta Night Lights Episode 1.