While in Atlanta, we had the chance to chop it up with artist G.I. Gizzle. He recently landed in the city to promote his newly released album with Rich The Factor, “Don’t take this Personal”’. As one of the stops on his campaign tour, we kicked off our first episode with a real vibe.
The artist has a record label 1000 entertainment as well as a clothing brand DirtBagz . He prides himself in being authentic and being a man of valor. His integrity and faith in God has open many doors for him yet he still remains humble and hungry.
The artist is doing numbers with his hit song “Barcode” Ft. Boosie Badazz and giving those numbers back to his community. You can hear the truth in his lyrics and you can see it in his actions. G. I. Gizzle has a few notable collaborations but plans to put out a solo EP to give the people more of the Grit he is known for. So talk to him, he talks back!
June 19th 1865 was the day when the last slaves were freed. But did you know that Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22nd 1862, declaring “on the first day of January .. all persons held as slaves within any state, or designated part of a state, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States shall be then, thence forward, and forever free.” It took nearly 2.5 years for this message to reach every slave. Many tried to keep it a secret .. because who wanted to loose their slaves?! A lot of black people didn’t even make it out of the plantations… they shot them while running .. while swimming … lynched them. Beaten them.
Just because they were free – white people still treated black people worse than animals.
When black people tried to celebrate the first anniversary of the announcement a year later, they were faced with a problem: Segregation laws were expanding rapidly and there were no public places or parks they were permitted to use. So, in the 1870s, former enslaved people pooled together $800 and purchased 10 acres of land, which they deemed “Emancipation Park.” It was the only public park and swimming pool in the Houston area that was open to African Americans until the 1950s.
Texas was the first state to declare Juneteenth a state holiday. Juneteenth is still no federal holiday – which NEEDS to change ASAP.
Let this be a day of love, reminiscing, rejoicing and regrouping. We must come together to move forward!
Juneteenth history reposted from @sarahs.murphy (IG) by Keidra Ponder
We have Health & Wellness Packs available to promote our boxing day. Our care packs include 15 novelties to help produce good vibes, positive energy and self love. Some of the items included are: A Candle, Bath bomb, Handmade Liquid soap, Natural bar of soap, Incense, Blessing Oil, Essential Oil, Sage, Palo Santo, Crystals, Prayer card, Jojoba Face Cream, Holistic health drink, Colloidal Silver.
***AFTER PURCHASE PLEASE EMAIL YOUR SHIRT SIZE AND SHIPPING INFO TO: KEEDIESCORNER@GMAIL.COM***
Keedie’s Corner now offers care packages to promote health and wellness. Our care packs include 15 novelties to help produce good vibes, positive energy and self love. Some of the items included are:
A T-shirt, Candle, Bath bomb, Handmade Liquid soap, Natural bar of soap, Incense, Blessing Oil, Essential Oil, Sage, Palo Santo, Crystals, Prayer card, Jojoba Face Cream, Holistic health drink, Colloidal Silver.
***AFTER PURCHASE PLEASE EMAIL YOUR SHIRT SIZE AND SHIPPING INFO TO: KEEDIESCORNER@GMAIL.COM***
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 onAmazon 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.
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 email@example.com
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.
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.
(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.”.
(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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.
( 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.”
(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!
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;
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
When 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?
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!
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.
If you are interested in booking Fine Wine Enterprises for your event or following the movement see the links below;
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.
Based on the introduction, this movie may seem like theperfect 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, intoa 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.
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 thisis 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
What 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?
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.
Any 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:
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!
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:
Parents if you’re looking for a positive back to school gathering then this is it! The community revival is hosted by the PPG Pastor Prayer Gathering Group, Black Alliance Group and Associate & Leaders. The revival will be a 3-day event beginning on August 1st until August 3rd. The group will unite together for youth prayer at 6:00 PM and the Community Revival will begin at 7:00 PM.
Everyone is welcome to come in unity to pray for our youth before they return back to school. The Panel will speak on matters regarding domestic violence, crime and other issues happening in urban communities. They are already getting a great response from the communities and many members have sent their commitment stating they will be a part of the event.
Minister Sammy L. Jackson states, “People are asking for these types of events here and in other cities. The time is now, we need this in our communities. We are working on our tour and are currently accepting request from individuals who want to have a revival in their community. God has a lot to share with his people who have ears to hear his voice.”
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.
Owner of Lovizionz Multimedia, Filmmaker 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.
Lemongrass is native to tropical regions such as Africa, Australia, Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania and India. It is from the Poaceae family of grasses, which has therapeutic, dietary and cosmetic purposes. It has been noted in history for its ability to boost immunity and eliminate harmful bacteria. Lemongrass is becoming more prevalent in conventional uses as holistic medicine is on the rise.
In tropical native regions Lemongrass is used for numerous purposes. It was widely used for dietary purposes as the herb have fibrous stalks. The flavoring agent can be found in beverages and desserts for its ability to aide in digestion. Some natives make teas and soups from Lemongrass to treat fevers and infections. Lemongrass properties boost circulation, reduce body aches and detoxify the body of inflammation, fungus, viruses and microbial diseases.
Lemongrass essential oils alleviate stress and tension making them very useful for aromatherapy. Lemongrass is known for its neural abilities as an anti-depressant. It is known to boost energy and increase alertness. It can be used in lotions to treat acne and fungal infections as well as reduce the appearance of cellulite. Lemongrass can also be used to make soaps, deodorants, shampoos and even insect repellant.
Holistic medicine is on the rise and Lemongrass is on the bill for general health. Its healing properties are abundant ranging from dietary to medicinal to cosmetic. Some have called it “fever grass” and “fever tea” for its ability to reduce fevers. Even still true to today, Lemongrass is among the most popular essential oils in use today. It is highlighted here on Keedie’s Corner for its health benefits and effectiveness.