Introducing– Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey

14 Feb

 

First of all, my apologies in the lack of posting.  I’ve been under the weather, but now I’m back in action (hopefully!).  Now, back to our regularly scheduled interviewing!  To kick-start this initiative back, I am ecstatic to be introducing Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey to you all.  Mrs. Dorsey was introduced to me through a close family friend, Mrs. Sandra Ashby!  I was extremely excited to get the chance to talk with an author, as I believe they sometimes have the best insight on life its philosophies.  It is also good to get a perspective and fresh take on those older than us, who have made a difference in the world.  Mrs. Dorsey is an author, from Tupelo, Mississippi.  As you many of you know, I am also from Tupelo, Mississippi, so this is a special interview indeed. 

There has always been negative connotations associated with Mississippi, and this lovely author took it upon herself to try to “clear the air,” about it all.  She has been a positive influence in the community, and I believe you will thoroughly enjoy reading her interview!
Tell us about yourself. 
My name is Patricia Neely-Dorsey. I am from Tupelo, Mississippi. I am a 1982 graduate of Tupelo High School. I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. I lived in Memphis, Tennessee for almost 20 years, working in the mental health field, before returning to my hometown in August 2007. I have been married for almost sixteen years to James Dorsey and we have one child, Henry.
 
 
When did you begin to realize you liked to write?
 The poetry writing was really a surprise to me. I have always liked to write all kinds of things but never for any particular purpose and certainly never with a book in mind.  I woke up on Valentine’s Day 2007 with this poem swirling around in my head. I got up and quickly scribbled it down. After that day, many more poems followed.  A friend was very instrumental in encouraging me to “get them out there”.  on February 2008, my book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia , was published. 
How long did it take you to write your poetry? 
 

I always tell people that it probably takes only about 5 or 10 minutes for me to write a poem, maybe 15 minutes for the longer ones because the poems come fully in my head and I just write them down. Believe it are not, I would say at least 75% of the poems have come to me in my car. I call it my own personal “think tank” (smile) 

How did you come up with the title of your book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia?

That was a natural choice for me. The book is basically reflections on my childhood and my life in general. I am from Mississippi and the state flower is the Magnolia.  Women in Mississippi are often referred to as Mississippi Magnolias. So,
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia just felt/sounded right to me. I had named the collection of poems long before there was any thought of a book. 
  
Tell us about your book. 
 
Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia is a true celebration of the south and things southern. There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. In my book, using my childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, I attempt to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life. The book is very upbeat, playful, humorous, at times, uplifting and syrupy sweet. (smile)   
 
 
What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia?
 There is MUCH more to Mississippi and the south than all of the negatives that are most typically portrayed.

What was your greatest challenge in self-promoting your book?
I have been told many times, by people in the industry that a book of poetry is a  very “hard sell” and is so often seen as the step-child.
 
I didn’t really know what they meant until I started running up against brick walls in getting reviewers to even consider reviewing the book. So many people told me that they had “no poetry” policies in reviewing books. That was very surprising to me. Of course, I didn’t take no for a final answer and some of those same people who said that they did not review poetry eventually gave in and I received some glowing reviews from them. On top of that, self-published authors can, in many cases, are given so little respect. I have been told, again, by reviewing sources that they did not do self-published books. I have been told by some venues that they didn’t have self-published authors on the roster for even giving a book presentation. Of course, again, I didn’t take no as a final answer. My motto is always: If you can’t get in through the front door, go in through the window. Needless to say, some minds were changed and some policies were broken.

 
Using your own experience as a guide, what advice would you give others who are thinking of birthing their own literary work?
  I always emphasize what I call Patricia’s P-Attitudes. 1) Positivity-be positive, believe in yourself and your book, 2) Persistence-Be relentless. Never take “NO” as a final answer. Keep knocking. If you can’t get in through the door, go in through the window. 3) Perseverance-Never give up 4) Patience. Hold on. Hold tight. Sometimes, the answer or outcome that you seek might take a minute (days, weeks or months) but keep the faith. It will come.  
 

As you can see, keep the “Patricia’s P-Attitudes” close to heart, and your success may also come as well.  Thank you Mrs. Patricia for an inspiring interview to all people, and the great advice.  I also hope you all learned a thing or two about Mississippi.  As you can see, intelligence comes from ALL places, and to decrease negative connotations, all you need is a little bit more light shined on a particular situation.  I encourage everyone to grab a copy of this book, and support Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey. 

 Kudos to you, and good luck on your future endeavors!

Sacia

*questions taken from Press Kit

Introducing- Mrs. Danielle Roche’ Hall-White

8 Feb

This is a very special interview to me, because this is a very special lady. Mrs. White, known to many as “Auntie Danielle,” has made an impact on not only myself, but many people in North Carolina, especially Asheville. Working with Auntie Danielle was my second job, as a salon assistant, and I enjoyed every single minute of it. She has a spirit that you can’t find anywhere else, and faith beyond belief. It wasn’t until I started working there that I realized how important it was to be grounded in you faith, and “well-rooted.” her family has made a huge impact on my life, and I couldn’t think of anyone else better to interview this month. You all will see the wonderful lady she is through this interview, and hopefully she will make an impact on you as well!

Give us a little bit of background about yourself. Where did you grow up, education, etc.?

I was born in Asheville, NC 1/8/1973, this is also where I grew up. I was educated through public education; Asheville City Schools system. I started my career in the cosmetology industry at the age of 15. My Granny’s/ Mom’s kitchen were my make shift beauty salons. I’ve been licensed in the beauty industry for twenty years this June(11). I’ve been blessed to work with and be mentored/trained by some of the best in the area.

  1. Where did you complete your formal training?

I completed my cosmetology training at Asheville High Schools vocational education program; under the direction of Mrs. Louise Edington and Miss Carolyn Trexler. These women helped save my life and keep me focused. I had the awesome privilege of speaking with Ms. T just last week. I still keep in touch with her as much as I can. She really encouraged me and helped me see my gift. She always entered me in competitions against other schools in the area. I always won! Not bragging, I’m just saying. Mrs. Edington passed away in 2005. She was a Diva of Divas! Both of these women are extremely talented and beautiful.

If you wish to answer, what race would you classify yourself as?

I am proud to be classified by my own and America’s standard a Black Woman, African-American, Negro, Brown Skin…..more importantly I Am A Human! I get asked my ethnicity quite a bit by people of other races other than my own because they’re not sure about my ethnicity. I used to be quite offended, but now I proudly declare I am of African descent. Both my parents are too! However I do come from a lineage of Indian and Caucasian.

I’ve worked with you, but you’ve also shared with me your love of hair and the art of styling. How exactly did you become interested in this field?

My aunt had taken cosmetology in High School (Asheville High), and she used to take care of my sister and I. She also took great care of our hair too. She was my hero and so I knew I wanted to be like her when I grew up. She started letting me experiment on her hair when I enrolled in Cosmetology. She was the real source of my inspiration. I always thought we would go into business together once I completed my training.

Tragically she passed away at the age of 29 and my senior year of high school. Needless to say I was crushed, but I knew I had to keep going. If for no other reason, to become a success to honor all the golden seeds she had planted in me as a child. I had other dreams and aspirations beyond becoming a cosmetologist; Believe it or not I was convinced that I was going to be a singer…off in New York or Hollywood. My wake up call came when I attempted to perform at a school talent show (the sound guys had the music turned up too loud-covering my voice) needless to say I was booed off the stage. My boyfriend at the time was a great source of comfort, cheering me on and telling me to go back and try it again. I refused to suffer humiliation again. We left and cried my eyes out! This crushed me because I really did have an awesome voice. I performed all the time, but what I realized is that I could not handle the pressure of performing in that capacity. That was what I call my “epiphany moment”, if I couldn’t sing loud-my hands sure could. My talent would shine through my client’s hair! And I’ve been singing with my hands for over 20 years now. By the way, my clients get a FREE concert every time they come in! (laughs) Sacia you know I still love to sing!

Who all have been your greatest inspirations?

I’ve been blessed with several. I’ll try to cut the list down.

Now you’ve got me all teary eyed! First I would have to say my Grandmother. She reared seven children on her own (grandfather left her for someone else after 24 years of marriage). After that she reared five grandchildren (myself included). With no high school diploma my Granny was able to turn stone to bread and brick into straw. She went back to school and became a nurse. She also became a brick mason. Wow! This woman was absolutely amazing. She bought a three-story home to raise us in. Worked third shift as a nurse and came home EVERY morning and cooked us breakfast from scratch, and dinner from scratch after school EVERYDAY! She took us to church, played the piano (taught us how to play too), taught us how to Pray, read, write, count and save money. Her wisdom was amazing. To this day I stand in awe of her strength. I am her! Wouldn’t you agree? ….. (laughs)

Next would be my Aunty who helped raise me. She was a single mom with three children and she still managed to help my granny raise my sister and I. She was very young herself. She grew up fast after becoming a mom at 15 years old. Yet she persevered and graduated from high school. She also became a nurse. As I mentioned previously she passed away early.

Deborah Johnson was my mentor when I started working in a salon. She gave me my first job as her assistant in her salon- New Images. She took me under her wing and taught me so much. She was also like an aunt. She loved me and helped me heal from losing my aunt. I embody who she was a professional. Through her I learned the importance of customer service and satisfaction as well as being a good listener. Deborah always had a smile and a word of encouragement for everyone! We were very close…She also passed away at the age of 36. This was another crushing blow. But I took the tools she gave me and I’ve used them to help me become a better professional, person and stylist.

My sister was also my inspiration. Sherry had to be mom when our mom wasn’t able to. She was my right arm, my prayer partner and my shoulder. She would always say “I’m so proud of you!” I felt like I had a personal cheerleader through her. She bought me my very first prom dress and paid for my junior prom. (…tears. Pause……) She showed me that I could excel and succeed no matter what we were going through growing up. She pushed me into the next level. She also passed away in 2005 at the age of 36 in a car accident. Leaving behind a daughter who is also my inspiration and one of my reasons why I have to succeed and keep pushing.

My late Pastor Elder Smith and his beloved late wife Missionary Beverly Wells Smith both died very young. He was 54 passing only two and a half years ago, she was 46 (passed away 12 years ago). They helped me overcome childhood abuse, rejection and overcoming being an abused wife. They helped me see the beauty in myself and taught me how to stir up the gifts within me.

Oh my the list could go on! Lastly, my inspiration is YOU and all the young ladies and gentlemen coming up behind me. You guys Christian, Simeon, Nyah, Micahela, Gracie, Aubry, Dee Dee, Doug, Deonna, Tiera, Ariel, Siera, Corie, Marquise, Dustin, Karell and so many more of you, inspire me more than I can ever tell you. I want to see you guys excel and be successful. You guys are our future, and one day we will be dependent on you. As I’ve always told you “Sacia in all you do, have a spirit of excellence!” “Do all you do as unto the Lord” and “Only what you for Christ will last!” I’m sure you remember our “Power Talks”. By the way,I miss having those with you. Nevertheless You guys help create that inspiration in me, because you are my babies!

What has been your hardest point in your career?

The recession was the hardest part of my career. I am still trying to recover. Several clients had to make the decision to stop receiving hair care services because many of them lost their jobs. My family and I were not exempt, my husband lost his job too. It was truly a test of faith. But, I have trusted God through it! He’s never failed me yet! I had days where the salon was like a ghost town. I would walk through and pray through. Some days I wondered if the doors would stay open. Yet, we’re still here. As a matter of fact we have a new stylist! Andrea Greenwood, we’ve been friends since middle school. So you see, God is up to something.

Who has helped you get through your career so far?

The Lord through my family and my beautiful clients have helped me get through. Without any if these people there would be no me or Salon Roche’.

Where are you trying to take your career in the next 5-10 years? What has been the highlight of your career so far?

My vision for the next five years is to start and educational program for new stylists, giving them the skills and tools they need to build a strong foundation. I also have plans to start a Day of Beauty for abused women and girls. To better help them learn to take care of themselves and to show them the beauty God has placed inside of them. Basically I plan on helping to restore what was lost due to abuse. As a survivor I believe it’s my responsibility to give back. Lastly but not least, expansion for Salon Roche’…..Can’t go into detail here but look out Asheville and beyond, Here We Come!

What is your favorite thing about your career? What is your favorite or most creative hair “tip or trick” you know/love to do?

My favorite thing is being able to encourage every woman who sits in my salon! As women we tend to be hard on ourselves and one another. Every woman or person for that matter has a story or an issue. It’s not necessarily our job to judge but to encourage and lift up instead. I may not agree with you or what you do but one thing for sure I’m not going to tear you down. I will be the one to lift you up. I love to do that! Growing up as a child who was abused and having survived and abusive marriage, God has turned my pain to power, my struggle to strength and misery to ministry, so see I have no choice but to build others up. I may not have a pulpit or Reverend behind my name, but I have the ministry of encouragement!

This may seem simple or not so profound to some, but I believe in trimming the hair every four weeks, this is a tip, creative or favorite which ever you deem it to be because the secret is that hair grows about half an inch each month. The ends of your hair are the oldest parts of your hair, so they have been exposed to so much more than the hair closer to the scalp, so in pruning or purging you allow the hair to flourish by process of elimination. Some might say hairstylists are “Scissor Happy” but there is a method to the madness. Trust me it really works!

What was the journey like going from cosmetology student, to now business entrepreneur/ business woman, maintaining a down to earth demeanor, and keeping up day-to-day responsibilities as “mom” and wife?

You’re right it was a journey! Moving from one phase to the next has been scary because of the uncertainty that exists the what ifs-the fear of failure. I was semi-prepared for ownership because of my internship with Deborah and my ten years at J.C. & Company. I had a lot of responsibility, so I was able to learn the ins and outs. I have to say that experience is the best teacher. This has been a hand’s on learning experience. I’m still learning, and I always will be. One can never know all there is to know. Life is about learning. You should never be closed to allowing yourself to learn even if it’s at the expense of failure. Failure always gives you another opportunity to try again.

Sometime it’s hard to balance wearing so many hats but it’s what I do. I give out some days and have to recharge by getting that “Me Time”. Thank God for a patient and understanding husband and a patient four-year old. Being in this industry is hard work contrary to some beliefs. I believe when you’re the owner you’re supposed to work just as hard if not harder than anyone else. Because you understand that this is your business and no one cares about it like you do. My husband and baby know that at the end of the day that “Mommy” is coming home to them and that most of my sacrifice for our family.

Do you think that it’s important to talk about the passions and skills of just “everyday people” in our community during black history month just as much as those of Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and why?

Yes I do. It’s just as important to highlight or make mention of regular everyday people because just about everyone needs a little recognition from time to time. Especially when you’re working hard to live up to the dream of Dr. King and all the forerunners who set the tone and pace for us. It’s also important because our children need to see that there are people who work hard every day to make ends meet. Everyday people are heroes too. With all the negative media profiling blacks, it would be beneficial to provide some kind of forum in cities and towns recognizing the men and women who are working hard, taking care of their children, parents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews’ what have you. Don’t know if this will ever happen but it’s a good place to start. What you’re doing is commendable Sacia! I’m sure you’ve made someone’s day just by considering them important enough to do a feature on them. I know I feel special.

Would you agree in saying, it doesn’t take an “extraordinary person” to have a passion for something that could be life changing? For instance, you’re a successful cosmetologist, who owns her own salon in Asheville, N.C., but you could one day inspire someone else to carry out their own career in cosmetology. How would that make you feel?

Actually I’ve had the privilege of training one young lady in the area, who has excelled and exceeded me! I’m laughing. This young lady is doing awesome things in the city of Asheville. Ms. Stefanie Williams is my very first assistant. She owns her own successful salon in the area and I am Godly proud of her. I have also trained others…Ms. Andrea Greenwood and Ms. Aeriel Austin work for/with me, so they’re both in training, in specific Ms. Greenwood-Hamilton. I love teaching and giving back so I welcome any opportunity I’m given to plant seeds and reach out. We often heard the phrase growing up “reach one- teach one”. That’s one of my philosophies that I cling too.

What advice would you give to young students who are still developing their own passion for cosmetology?

Be consistent and persistent! Always have a spirit of excellence! Without these key ingredients you cannot make it. This industry can chew you up and spit you out. So you must develop the characteristics if you don’t have them in order to survive.

What advice would you give to young students who feel like they don’t have the resources to take up a career in cosmetology?

Reach out! Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you know of who are in the industry. It’s important to link up with those who are where you’re trying to go. You may be able to get the help you need!

As you can see, this is an amazing lady with a tremendous amount of passion for not only the work she does daily, but her friends, family, and of course the Lord. Anybody who ever is in the Asheville, NC area should really visit the beautiful and quaint Salon Roche’. You will not only find a sassy hair-do, you’ll be lifted and encouraged as well. You might even get to hear some Maxwell (Auntie Danielle’s favorite!). It was my honor to interview you, Auntie Danielle. I wish you luck and blessings on all your future endeavors!

To contact Danielle:

Salon Roche’ 1085 Tunnel Road Suite 2B

Asheville, NC 28806

828.298.4503

Salonroche.com

Myprivatesap.soulpurpose.net

Salon Roche’ on FB

Introducing- D. “Party King” Grayson

8 Feb

Known as “Party King,” D. Grayson, from Wilmington, Delaware, is a man on a mission. While throwing events may be his calling, it is clear to see through this interview that he also loves his family, friends, and most importantly has a relationship with God. He has two sons, and is now running Empire Events, Inc. I thought interviewing Grayson would be a cool switch up from some of the other interviews we’ve done and I was right. He’s well spoken, and articulate. He also has a strong message to send out to the youth today, including find a dream, and stick with it.

It was a great honor to be able to interview Grayson, I think you all will really enjoy this interview!

Give us a little bit of background about yourself. Where did you grow up, education, etc.?

MY NAME IS D. GRAYSON, IM THE C.E.O. AND FOUNDER OF EMPIRE EVENTS INC. WHICH IS A DELAWARE BASED PROMOTIONS AND EVENT PLANNING COMPANY. I AM 29 YEARS OLD WITH 2 CHILDREN :CAMERON (3 YEARS) AND MAKAI (5 MONTHS) GRAYSON. I GREW UP ON THE WESTSIDE OF WILMINGTON, DE. WHICH IS ONE OF THE ROUGHEST AREA’S IN THIS CITY. I GRADUATED FROM CHRISTIANA IN 1999 AND WENT TO PA CULINARY INSTITUTE IN PITTSBURGH,PA WHERE I LEFT BEFORE RECEIVING MY DEGREE IN CULINARY ARTS AND RETURED TO DELAWARE IN THE SUMMER OF 2000

If you wish to answer, what race would you classify yourself as?

AFRICAN AMERICAN

You’re into the nightlife in Delaware, and I know you didn’t get the nickname of “Party King” for nothing, so what got you into this career of event planning?

I HAVE BEEN PROMOTING EVENTS FOR THE PAST DECADE IN CITIES SUCH AS PHILADELPHIA, PA, BALTIMORE, MD, AND WILMINGTON, DE. MY COMPANY HAS BEEN BASED IN WILMINGTON, DELAWARE FOR THE PAST 10 YEARS. I GOT STARTED IN 2000 WHEN MYSELF AND A GROUP OF CLOSE FRIENDS STARTED DOING SECURITY AT LOCAL PARTIES. AT THE END OF ONE OF THE PARTIES I REALIZED THAT RISKING MY SAFETY TO KEEP A PARTY SAFE FOR OTHERS AND RECEIVING $50 A NIGHT FOR IT WASN’T WHAT I WANTED TO DO. BESIDES, I FELT LIKE I COULD THROW BETTER PARTIES THAN THE ONES I HAD BEEN WORKING AT.

THAT NIGHT ME AND MY FRIENDS FORMED THE NOW DEFUNCT, BLOOD BROTHERS ENTERTAINMENT AND BEGAN DOING HUGE FIRE HALL PARTIES IN THE AREA. OVER THE NEXT 2 YEARS THE BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP STARTED TAKING A TOLL ON LONGTIME PERSONAL FRIENDSHIPS SO WE ALL AGREED TO SPLIT ALL THE BUSINESS SAVINGS 4 WAYS AND ALL GO OUR SEPARATE WAYS BUSINESS WISE. I CONTINUED TO PROMOTE AND GROW AND ESTABLISH MYSELF AS ONE OF THE YOUNG UP AND COMING PROMOTERS IN DELAWARE UNDER MY NEW COMPANY (EMPIRE EVENTS INC). IN 2005 A CLOSE FRIEND DEEMED ME “THE PARTY KING” AFTER A COUPLE BIG EVENTS THAT YEAR. IT WAS LIKE I HAD FINALLY ARRIVED LOL. 6 YEARS LATER AND HUNDREDS OF PARTIES AND EVENTS LATER I STILL HOLD THE TITLE “PARTY KING” AND I AM STILL STRIVING TO REACH NEW LEVELS OF SUCCESS.

Who all have been your greatest inspirations?

MY LATE GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER JOANNE GRAYSON AND WILLIS L. GRAYSON. THEY INSTILLED IN ME THE MORALS AND VALUES THAT HAVE GOTTEN ME THIS FAR IN LIFE. VALUES SUCH AS SPIRITUALITY, FAMILY, LOYALTY, KINDNESS, AND HAVING LOVING AND CARING NATURE.

What has been your hardest point in your career?

I THINK THERE HAS BEEN NUMEROUS HARD POINTS IN MY CAREER. IN THE BEGINNING I HAD TO WORK LONG HOURS AND PUSH MYSELF TO THE LIMIT TO GAIN RESPECT AND BUILD RELATIONSHIPS IN MY FIELD. I ALSO DIDN’T HAVE A MENTOR SO I LEARNED LESSONS FROM THE SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS WHICH CAN SOMETIMES BE EMOTIONALLY, PHYSICALLY, AND FINANCIALLY HAZARDOUS. ONCE I REACHED A CERTAIN LEVEL OF RESPECT AND CREDIBILITY, IT WAS EVEN HARDER BECAUSE NOW I HAVE TO MAINTAIN A CERTAIN LEVEL OF QUALITY AND CONSISTENCY WITH EVERYTHING I DO

Who has helped you get through your career so far?

GOD HAS HELPED ME THE MOST. ALONG THE WAY THERE HAS BEEN COUNTLESS PEOPLE I HAVE CROSSED PATHS WITH BUT A COUPLE REALLY MADE A MARK ON MY LIFE AND CAREER. MY OLDEST SONS MOTHER ANIKA WATSON, MY CURRENT GIRLFRIEND AND MOTHER OF MY YOUNGEST SON NATASHA ROYAL, CLOSE FRIEND ODAI MORGAN AKA DJ MEGA SKILLS, SAMUEL VAUGHN THE OWNER OF SAM’S MUSIC CONNECTION IN BEAR DE (FORMER BUSINESS PARTNER AND CLOSE FRIEND. JAMAR TAYLOR AND NEWDY FELTON 2 PROMOTERS AND CLOSE FRIENDS OF MINE, AND SHORTY WRIGHT A WORLD CLASS PHOTOGRAPHER AND CLOSE FAMILY FRIEND WHO HAS 30 YEARS IN THE NIGHTLIFE INDUSTRY. WITHOUT THE HELP AND SUPPORT OF THESE PEOPLE I DON’T THINK I WOULD HAVE EVER REACHED THE LEVEL OF SUCCESS GOD HAS BLESSED ME WITH.

Where are you trying to take your career in the next 5-10 years? What has been the highlight of your career so far?

IM TRYING TO MAKE EMPIRE EVENTS INC THE PREMIER NIGHTLIFE & ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY IN THE ENTIRE TRI-STATE POSSIBLY THE ENTIRE NORTHEAST. THE HIGHLIGHT OF MY CAREER IS EVERYDAY WHEN I WAKE UP AND I SEE PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN SUPPORTING ME SINCE THEY WERE IN HIGH SCHOOL WHO ARE NOW IN THERE MID AND LATE 20’S GET JUST AS EXCITED ABOUT THE EVENTS I HAVE COMING UP AS THEY DID WHEN THEY WERE JUST KIDS LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO ON THE WEEKEND.

What is your favorite thing about your career? Have you had any experiences or a single experience that makes you think “man, I love my job”?

I LOVE INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE. I LOVE THAT ON ANY GIVEN DAY I CAN RECEIVE A CALL FROM ALMOST ANYBODY ABOUT A BUSINESS VENTURE OR EVENT. I HAVE ALSO MET NUMEROUS ATHLETES AND CELEBRITIES, AND GENUINELY GOOD PEOPLE THROUGHOUT MY CAREER.

What has the journey been like and continuing to be as a promoter a planner for these events?

ITS BEEN A HARD AND LONG JOURNEY. LONG HOURS, SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, STRESS, CRITICISM, LOSING FRIENDS, MAKING ENEMIES, LOSING MONEY, AND TRYING TO MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE IN A INDUSTRY THAT HAS DEFINITELY SEEN ITS BETTER DAYS. PEOPLE ONLY SEE THE UPSIDE TO THIS INDUSTRY BUT THERE IS DEFINITELY A LOT OF DOWNSIDES BUT WITH THAT SAID…..THE HARDER THE JOURNEY, THE GREATER THE REWARD AND I WOULDN’T TRADE MY JOB FOR ANYTHING IN THE WORLD

You’ve told me that your also a father, how do you balance the entertainment life with your family life?

ITS HARD, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE UNDERSTANDING PEOPLE AROUND YOU, IT MAKES IT EASIER TO HANDLE. MY GIRLFRIEND DEFINITELY SUPPORTS ME AND UNDERSTANDS WHEN I HAVE MY BUSIER DAYS OR WHEN I CANT BE HOME AS MUCH OR WHEN IM GONE ON THE WEEKEND. THE KIDS ARE YOUNG AND THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND AS MUCH, BUT I TRY TO MAKE AS MUCH TIME AS POSSIBLE AND I AM WORKING ON BEING A BETTER FATHER EVERYDAY.

Do you think that it’s important to talk about the passions and skills of just “everyday people” in our community during black history month just as much as those of Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and why?

YES I DO. IT SHOWS THAT THE LESSONS AND HARD WORK THAT MLK, ROSA PARKS, AND OTHERS TOUGHT STILL INFLUENCE US EVEN GENERATIONS LATER. MLK’S COME ALONG ONCE IN A LIFETIME. HE WAS AN AMAZING MAN AND HIS CONTRIBUTIONS WILL REMAIN TIMELESS AND PRICELESS TO THE HUMAN RACE BUT EVERYDAY PEOPLE PLAY A HUGE ROLL IN THE WAY THE WORLD CHANGES AND GROWS AND THOSE PEOPLE WILL BE THE INSPIRATION FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.

Would you agree in saying, it doesn’t take an “extraordinary person” to have a passion for something that could be life changing? For instance, you’re a promoter/event planner, and you have the skill of bringing people together to an amazing event, but it probably just started off as something to do on the side. If someone said they wanted to follow in your path, what kind of impact would that have on you?

I HAVE HEARD THAT FROM A NUMBER OF YOUNG PEOPLE. IT’S A GREAT FEELING. ITS HUMBLING. IT MAKES ME CHOSE MY WORDS AND ACTIONS A LOT DIFFERENTLY BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE ACTUALLY IMPACTED AND INFLUENCED BY WHAT I SAY AND DO. ITS MY RESPONSIBILITY TO SHOW THE YOUNG KIDS THAT WANNA BE PROMOTERS AND EVENT PLANNERS THE CORRECT WAY TO GET INTO THE BUSINESS AND GIVE THEM LIFE LESSONS THAT I WISH I WOULD HAVE HAD WHEN I WAS 19 BREAKING INTO THE BUSINESS. OUR DUTY AS A SOCIETY IS TO TEACH AND SHARE INFORMATION THAT WILL HELP THE NEXT GENERATION

What advice would you give to young people who are considering a career in this field?

STAY FOCUSED, STAY HUMBLE, BE IN-TUNE TO WHATS GOING ON IN THE BUSINESS AND THE COMMUNITY, DON’T PLAN ON SLEEPING AND STEAL WITH YOUR EYES…..MEANING LOOK AROUND AT THE TRENDS, IDEAS, AND EVENTS THAT YOUR PEERS AND PREDECESSORS USE HAVE USED AND FOLLOW THEM JUST LONG ENOUGH TO STAY RELEVANT, THEN ADD YOUR OWN CREATIVITY, FLAVOR, AND IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR OWN IMPRINT IN THIS FAST PACED CONSTANTLY CHANGING INDUSTRY.

What resources must have to get this career started?

An IDEA, A PLAN, AND DETERMINATION AND THE SKY IS THE LIMIT

What advice would you give to young people who are considering a career in this field?

STAY FOCUSED, STAY HUMBLE, BE IN-TUNE TO WHATS GOING ON IN THE BUSINESS AND THE COMMUNITY, DON’T PLAN ON SLEEPING AND STEAL WITH YOUR EYES…..MEANING LOOK AROUND AT THE TRENDS, IDEAS, AND EVENTS THAT YOUR PEERS AND PREDECESSORS USE HAVE USED AND FOLLOW THEM JUST LONG ENOUGH TO STAY RELEVANT, THEN ADD YOUR OWN CREATIVITY, FLAVOR, AND IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR OWN IMPRINT IN THIS FAST PACED CONSTANTLY CHANGING INDUSTRY.

As you can see, this is a talented man, with a humble message. He’s socially aware, and more African-American men and women should take some of the advice Grayson gives in his interview. Don’t wait for you’re oppurtunity to happen, create it yourself. As you can see the reoccuring theme with all of these interviews, is these people are making their dreams come true self-handedly. That’s the message behind every interview I post. Too many of us wait for someone to hand us the key to success, when all we have to do is rise to the occasion, and attain it. Kudos to you, “Party King,” and good luck with all your future endeavours!

Check out the next post on Salon owner, who has a strong message for all young people, and also some updates on Egypt and the economy as well!

Until then,

Sacia

Super Bowl Sunday!

6 Feb

Photo courtesy of Mun2.

Well today’s the big day! Even though my team is not in this year, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.  I’m personally going for the Steelers, just so the AFC will have that win under their belt.  It’s also safe to say I have a slight crush on Troy Polamalu (sigh).

The White House is hosting celebs, as previously posted, and other dignitaries but they take the fun out of it! No jerseys allowed? Well, Well, Well?  I got this information from Roland Martin, CNN contributor.  He was tweeting away earlier about his “Superbowl Rules.”  Here’s a few I found funny:

@rolandsmartin I have a Bose system.  If u choose to question every play call, i’m turning it on full blast & bust yo ear drums! #rolandssuperbowlpartyrules

@rolandsmartin Today is about the Super Bowl.  Not Glee.  Don’t watch Glee.  Don’t give a damn about Glee. #rolandssuperbowlpartyrules

@rolandsmartin If u don’t like football, DO NOT bring your hatin’ ass to the SB party! I’m not listening to your BS today! #rolandssuperbowlpartyrules

Hahaha, these are hilarious.  He also threw in some about whiny wives and ADD kids, but in order to not offend anyone I left those out (; 

I’ll be posting two interviews today! So make sure to look out for those after the Super Bowl festivities end!  Have a good day, and may the best team win!

Sacia

A new look on extreme!

3 Feb

Devin Pointe, pictured here, lives in Charlotte, NC and loves all things skateboarding

 

Extreme sports are not prevalent in the black community, and it’s really unheard of.  So when I thought of doing these interview installments Devin Montreal Pointe was one of the first people to come to mind because he posses a skill that most African-Americans don’t embrace. 

Pointe, from Middleton,  loves to skateboard, and will openly admit it.  For years and years skateboarding has been plagued as a “white people sport,” and as politically incorrect as that may be, Devin is another reason why these interviews are serving justice this month!  He is living proof that it’s okay to do things outside of the norm, no matter what people may thing about you, especially when they are more positive than other things you could be into.  The culture of skateboarding has always been a mystery to some African-Americans, because it’s not a part of our culture, however it is making its way into our culture, and it’s time that we embrace it as such.  That being said, Devin’s interview sheds light into his passion for skateboarding , and after reading this you’ll see why it holds such a special place in his heart, and maybe it will inspire some of you to go out and try a few tricks your self!

  1. Give us a little bit of background about yourself.  Where did you grow up, education, etc.?

Well I was born in Middletown, Ohio, and lived there for six years, and then I moved to Charlotte with my grandma, and I’ve been here ever since. I went to four different elementary schools, including a German school, so I know some German, and I graduated from Independence high.

 

2. So since I’ve known you, you’ve always been into skateboarding.  I commend you on doing something outside of the usual.  What got you interested in skateboarding?(good detail here)

Thanks! I really have been into skateboarding since I was young. I never really got into it though, since I was into other sports, and plus when I was like six, I chipped my tooth on my uncles skateboard and my mom didn’t want me to skate for a while (laughs). The reason I’m probably interested in this sport is because it takes dedication, creativity, and a little bit of style, not necessarily fashion wise, just a “self” kind-of style.

 3. Who all have been your greatest inspirations in the skateboarding world?

Chaz Ortiz, Lizard King, Chris Cole and Mike V have been big to me.  They all have different skate styles but it is all dope to me. Lizard King especially, just because he makes things happen nobody else thinks of.

 

4.  What has been your hardest point in your skateboarding passion so far, if any?

Just keeping up with it, sometimes I get busy and don’t do it for a couple of weeks and that’s where I mess up

5. What are your favorite tricks to do? Is there any kind of release emotionally to skating?

I’m trying to get this trick called a “day dream flip” [varial heel double flip] down.  There is some release to skating, that’s the creative aspect to it.  You make it your own, you can tell a story.

6.  Have there been any accomplishments or highlights in your years of skateboarding so far

Just getting everything done.  I started off slow, and had a big burst of productivity. Now I’m in the process of getting all my skills back since I stopped for a while.  It’s a process but I love it.

7.  What is your favorite thing about skateboarding? Is it the culture? The boards? The people? What really grabbed your attention?

I love everything about skateboarding.  The people I’ve met, the places you see skating and finding new spots. The style I got from just hanging around fellow skaters.  It’s just a great thing all together.

8.   When you first started skateboarding did school or skateboarding take up more time?

 Well it was 50/50, and then school killed it for a minute. Now it’s back on skateboarding, which I love.

9.  Do you think that it’s important to talk about the passions and skills of just “everyday people” in our community during black history month just as much as those of Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and why?

Definitely!  Black history month to me is a way to show progression as a race in America, and talents and passions qualify to me as progression, as long as it’s getting us positive recognition.

10.  Would you agree in saying, it doesn’t take an “extraordinary person” to have a passion for something that could be life changing?  For instance, you’re a skateboarder, but your also just a regular kid.  What impact would it make on you if a kid told you he wanted to take up skateboarding just because of you?

I agree because honestly anybody can change a life, and if some kid wanted to skate because of me I would  feel honored but I would tell him: be your own person, pick your own style, never let somebody change you, but take advice when necessary.

11.  What advice would you give to young people who get frustrated easily with skateboarding because maybe they can’t land their stunts right or maybe their balance is off, or whatever kind of problems you “borders” have ?

“Keep ya heard up bro!” Just practice, because honestly it won’t make perfect, but it will get you that trick. As Bruce Lee said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” I’m not saying’ you should practice that flip 10,000 times but….you get the point. (laughs)

With a final laugh, Devin says, “All I have is my skateboard, hands, and feet!”  With that, Devin has found a love for something great that’s a release for him, and has created an amazing concept of the world in his eyes.  He is actively pursuing a career in photography, which he is highly interested in.  He tells me he has high hopes of moving to California within year.  Pointe loves to shoot city scenes, so he loves to spend time uptown admiring the views.  He’s a lover of art, and very intuitive.  Pointe is making his own history in the world, and for this we commend you!  Good luck on all your future endeavours, Devin!

“I consider skateboarding an art form, a lifestyle and a sport.”
Tony Hawk

 

 

Feel free to follow Devin on Twitter @DukeShellington!

J.Lo and Marc Anthony headed to the White House!

3 Feb

Photo Courtesy of Dyfuse-- Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony

Every year for the Super Bowl, Presidents invite a wide variety of guests, ranging from celebrities to family and friends, political figures alike. This year, Jennifer Lopez and her husband Marc Anthony were invited to the White House celebration, this coming Sunday. Lopez, who is a judge on American Idol this season (replacing Paula Abdul), told Extra in an interview on Wednesday that “she can’t believe it.”

“I don’t know, maybe that’s why I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t even feel like it’s real,” Lopez said.

I’m sure she’ll have much more to say on Monday after the Super Bowl, and I’ll be here to let you know (; ! Until Then!

Sacia

Egypt’s prime minister apologizes for violent attacks!

3 Feb

 

(Courtesy of USC) Protests continue to grow in Egypt

So, this is straight out of Cairo, Egypt.  The prime minister apologized today for the violent acts that took place yesterday on protesters.

“This is a fatal error, and when investigations reveal who is behind this crime and who allowed it to happen, I promise they will be held accountable and will be punished for what they did,” Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq said on state-owned TV. (CNN)

Now, as I mentioned earlier that the military has had to step in to assist with these protests, but let me bring you up to date, on what’s been going on.

Basically, the simplest way to explain it from where we left of, Mubarak said that he would have a political reform, and step down from office, but not until re-election time, which would be in September.  Well, this did not appease protesters too well, and that being said, they formed an even larger protest in Cairo’s Tahrir Square,  and it resulted in death for five people, and 836 injuries (CNN). However, due to the lack of communication and disconnect Egypt is experiencing, it is hard to verify those exact casualties at this time, but they could range as HIGH as 300. The source of the attacks have not been exactly identified.  It is being reported that Egyptian military entered the square with tank squads, but did not intervene.  

The next 24-48 hours are extremely critical to Egypt.  President Obama also stressed this yesterday.  This is beginning to place an extreme holt on the Egyptian economy, and that’s not ever good. Schools and basic functions of government aren’t running, as well as banks, down to simple markets, so now people are desperate for food.

A lot of you have also been asking me, “Why won’t the U.S. step in and help? Why won’t Pres. Obama do anything to help?”  Well, the easiest way to break it down for you is this, the world revolves around money and allies.  We are finally on “okay” terms with the middle east, particularly Iran and Saudi Arabia, and they are watching every single word we say to Egypt quite carefully because Egypt and the middle east are not exactly on great terms.  Egypt and Iran have conflicting views on the Nuclear Program, which has often caused friction in their foreign relations since 1978.  Peace has relied HEAVILY on the stability of the Egyptian government. If the White House issues a statement saying that they support President Mubarak, they risk getting slack th

at our interests are in defending the middle east.  If they issue a statement saying they support protestors, that means they are defending democracy (not a bad thing, considering that’s the principle we were founded under, that’s for another blog).  But by defending the protesters, there’s several different scenarios that could exit out of that…

The fear is that what if the president backs the protesters and then Mubarak leaves, only to be replaced by a new Muslim extremist group.  Now we’re talking HUGE problems.  Now we’re talking a full chapter in history books about how Egypt was lost in the matter of diplomacy.  If he backs the protesters, and Mubarak survices, he shows that he can’t handle democratic movements/foreign policy well, and that will hurt his campaign.  President Obama is truly stuck in a hard spot right now.  This is his biggest foreign policy issue he’s ever had to deal with to date, and he needs the best help he can get right now to make an accurate decision. 

We’ll just have to see how it plays out, and it will play out, sooner than we think.  Let’s just hope everyone makes a solid decision that’s in the best interest for all people.  Until then.

Sacia

Introducing- Jimanekia Eborn, owner of DAN-T-CHAN VINTAGE!

2 Feb

For our second interview, I have a very special guest that I had the distinct honor of interviewing!  Jimanekia Eborn owns a fashion boutique about an hour outside of LA and I’m totally obsessed!  I came across her store via Twitter, through an account of another special guest that will be featured on my blog later in this month ( yes it’s a secret!!)  I placed an order with Dan-T-Chan Boutique, and now I’m hooked.  The vintage vibe is a step above the rest, and is very sophisticated.  I knew that you all would absolutely fall in love with not only the shop and her stock, but also Eborn as a person and stylist.  She is humble, funny, and has a respectful charm about herself that you will also feel after reading her interview.  Eborn is the reason I wanted to do these installments, she took the chance in a city where it’s hard to make a name for yourself, and with the support of friends, is “making it.”  While she “takes it day-by-day,” and “by no means is this life easy,”  you can tell that she wouldn’t trade this lifestyle for the world!

 I was going to feature her interview later in the month, but after reviewing it, I knew you guys needed to see it NOW, so FELLAS…you can go ahead and place some VALENTINES DAY orders, and ladies, you can treat yourself to something nice (: .  So, although we are deviating away from politics, lay back relax, and enjoy this interview, then go and shop your heart away!

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  1. Give us a little bit of background about yourself.  Where did you grow up, education, etc.? 

I was raised in Riverside, California. I was raised by my grandparents since the age of one, after my mother was murdered, as well by my two aunts. They say it takes a tribe to raise a child, well I had my tribe.  I started out at a private school until about 3rd grade.  It was not for me, [so I went to] public school of course [to] finished high school. I moved 30 minutes outside of town to San Bernardino, where I started attending Cal State-San Bernardino, which I have yet to finish my degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology. I am an only child and eldest grandchild of seven.

   2. You told me you’ve taken time out from school, however, it seems to be working out for the best considering your business seems to be growing?

 

Yeah, I guess you could say that. 🙂

I have always been someone who likes to be in charge. I remember I was talking about wanting to do something of my own with a friend. The next day I woke up and decided I wanted to run my own store. Luckily I have amazing and support of friends that are truly supportive. Yet, don’t get me wrong I do want to finish my degree. There are a lot of things I want to do. I figure we only have one life, so why not do it all?

   3 If you wish to answer, what race would you classify yourself as?

I am Black…African American; I guess…hmm, I actually say Black. I know a lot of real African-Americans and dated some. Yea I’m just black 🙂

   4.  I’ve ordered some fabulous products from you, but you have a great eye for fashion it seems.  How did you get into the business? Have you always had a passion for fashion?

 Well first off, thank you. I feel like with me, I’m like wine. I get better with age. If you saw me in ‘05 out of high school you would be like “oh not that girl with the busy eyebrows. She’s a mess!” (laughs). Business wise I’ve always been an impulsive person. Last summer I was with a friend and we were talking about clothing and what not. Because she is a designer in her own rights. Truly amazing and talented woman. So at first I just wanted to see what was out there. Then I decided I want to run my own store. So I started searching for sites to build on.  I inherited a lot of things recently I guess you could say so I thought put my skills of gab and meeting people into work.6 months and 3 sites later you have Dan-t-Chan. [Don’t forget to check out how the name “Dan-T-Chan” came about below!]

 

-Passion for Fashion…I have had a passion for beautiful things. Now have I always worn it well? No. Have I always pieced it together? No. In time paying attention and allowing me to be free, and self-expression helped that. Besides the fact of selling something you love, being a buyer and shopper for something you love to do makes it that much better!

   5. Who all have been your greatest inspirations?

Really and truly I feel I should say some great fashion designer or something, but, nope, not I! My greatest inspirations are my friends. As many times as I wanted to give up, and just say screw it, I’m over this, fun idea, let me get a 9-5…They were always there to kick me in the butt, and to keep pushing me. Hell, sometimes I think they are more excited than I am!

   6. What has been your hardest point in your career?

Funny! “MY CAREER,” makes me sound and feel all grown up. Well, confidence I guess you can say. Being confident that everything I’m doing is what people want. I can pick clothes out all day, but it does not mean that other people will love them.

 

As well as down days on page views. I had to stop checking the page views, because, if they weren’t at an expected high I would think I was failing.

   7.  Where are you trying to take your career in the next 5-10 years? What has been the highlight of your career so far?

 In the next 5 years? Sheesh, first off, imma be OLD! 29, sigh. But really and truly I would love to own a few stores throughout the West Coast. Build my name as a stylist somewhat, but mainly stores. I want to be known as somewhere you can find affordable yet stylish and relevant to our time clothing. 

  8.    What is your favorite thing about your career?  Have you had any experiences or one single experience that makes you think, “man, I love my job and/or fashion”?

-My favorite thing [about the career] is it’s ever evolving, and that it is MINE. I shape it to be what I want it to be.

-I think my first sale in the store; I almost had a car accident from being so excited. As well as the first week of opening the store 300 views a day. Something amazing. As well as all the support from people.

I think what I really do love, is that when people get my items they are so happy, and appreciative. I actually include a free little gift in every package. It’s like a grab bag, you never know what you are going to get. So when people email me like “OMG, I did not expect a silk scarf, or button covers or whatever”, to know that they are pleased makes me feel good

  9. What has the journey been and continuing to be as a student, business owner, fashion connoisseur, and staying sane all in one?

Who said anything about staying sane? (laughs) I am a realist. Easy has nothing to do with this. Balancing school work, family, friends, looking for a side job, editing pictures, sending out orders, sending letters and emails to get the word out, tweeting and facebooking.

Sometimes I want to run away and hide where no one can find me. But, I believe in working for what you want. So every day I wake up and continue on. It’s fun, a true test as well as growing experience.

  

  10. Do you think that it’s important to talk about the passions and skills of just “everyday people” in our community during black history month just as much as those of Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and why?

I do. At one time they were just everyday people, until they did something to change the world. We are among the next greats, so why not share and build. Who knows, we could be friends with the next greatest inventor, publicist, activist. A lot of people find inspiration and direction from “everyday people”. They see someone else from the same background and or situation doing it, and think why can’t I do it? Truth of the matter, you can as long as you are ready to be stressed out and work hard. It all pays off. 

  11. Would you agree in saying, it doesn’t take an “extraordinary person” to have a passion for something that could be life changing?  For instance, you’re a student, but you also have a successful business. What if you inspired someone younger to chase after a similar dream?  What kind of impact would that have on you?

I guess I never thought about it. Little old Jim inspiring someone (smiles). I wouldn’t say extraordinary. But, I would say that it takes someone who is dedicated and is doing it for more than just the money. I am newly started. So, right now I’m not making tons of money I’m not swimming in money and popping bottles. I am steady and building.

 

If I inspired someone to do something that makes them happy. Then go me! NOT to toot my own horn yet, but I’m sure it will be an amazing and humbling feeling if it were to happen to me. Personally it would make me want to be better, to go further…that next plateau.

  12. What advice would you give to young students who are still developing their own passion for fashion?

 My advice to anyone is DONT GIVE UP! There will be days where you want to throw things, because nothing seems right. Or when your site crashes, or when you work for hours and you lose all the work you have just done. If it is truly something you want to do, then buckle your seat belt and get ready for the ride. 

  13.  What advice would you give to young students who feel like they don’t have the resources to take up a career in the fashion industry?

Well connect with family and friends, maybe they can help you. If not financially, maybe they can direct you to someone who can help you. I drafted a letter for support as well as letting my family and close friends know more about the business. There are also scholarships and of course Google. Google can help you find ways to cut corners and DIY type situations. Start SMALL, it’s the best way. DO not just think you can do it all in a week.

I learn something new every day.

CONTACT DAN-T-CHAN VINTAGE!!!!

Twitter: @dantchanvintage

Facebook: Vintique Chan … follow these for up to date info about the store, such as sales, etc.

The Boutique Site:: Dan-T-ChanVintage.miiduu.com **you guys know I’m big into fashion, and wouldn’t direct you to just anywhere, check it out! Men’s AND Women’s. 

More about Jimanekia!

I am extremely goofy and clumsy, yet when it comes to business I go into a different mode. So sometimes it is hard to work with friends, because they can’t defer the difference. I like to do things impulsively. Another experience that was amazing was finally telling my parents about the business and them being so proud of me. I was so stressed out and nervous to be like, “so I have my own business, you wanna see?” (Laughs)

 

A burning question people always ask me….Where and or what is a Dan-t-Chan vintage?! Some think it’s Asian…And joke that I’m referring to something Chinese.

When in actuality I make up a lot of lingo, and put it into my vocab. So this happens to be one of them. I have bad hearing, so when Dainty Kane [R&B Group produced by P.Diddy, now disbanded] first came out, my girls were real hype, and were singing it every day in my apartment etc. I was like “LISTEN I don’t know who or what a ‘Dan-t-Chan’ is but I’m tired of hearing about them.”  Who would have thought five years later, it would be the name of the store?

As you can see, she embodies why we celebrate our culture today! Jimanekia is not only a fashion icon who should be respected, but she is a strong African-American female who did not let CIRCUMSTANCE stand in her way from stopping her dream of owning her shop!  Check out what I ordered, and other things that I HAVE to buy ASAP from her boutique!  Thank you for letting me interview you Jimanekia, it was truly a pleasure, and good luck with your future endeavours. 

“Zest is the secret of all beauty.  There is no beauty that is attractive without zest.”

-Christian Dior

 

Ladies for the spring, I'm LOVING this white dress! It looks like literally it fits like a glove! Great buy! Nice price! Check it out!

 

 

 

I bought this ring and I'm in love with it! It's my favorite! So classy and vintage! A great buy and staple piece. Very LA!

My room reeks of animal print! I also ordered this and it is even more amazing in person! An absolute must-have!

The wait is over–The DNC is coming to CHARLOTTE

1 Feb

2/1/11 – Jim Rogers (left), CEO of Duke Energy, and Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx celebrate Charlotte being named the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday afternoon. DAVID T. FOSTER III – dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com (Photo courtesy of Charlotte Observer- David T. Foster III)

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Well, well, well, the wait is over and I am ecstatic that the DNC is coming to CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.  I think that President Obama and his staff couldn’t have made a finer choice.  I think that St. Louis has an amazing charm, and is a very charismatic city, full of soul and history, but being that Charlotte is now home for me, I have to say I couldn’t be prouder! I know Mayor Foxx, Jim Rogers (CEO of Duke Energy), and their respective staffs couldn’t have felt more relief as well.  Each of them has worked extremely hard to campaign the city on “why they should be chosen as host city.”  It’s almost as excruciating as being chosen for a dodgeball team in middle school. -shudder- 

“I am thrilled to make sure you are the first to hear some very exciting news,” First Lady Michelle Obama said in an email to key Democrats. “Charlotte is a city marked by its Southern charm, warm hospitality, and ‘up by the bootstraps’ mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South.

“Vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds. And of course, great barbecue.” –Charlotte Observer

Well, I don’t know about the whole barbecue thing, if you all have any suggestions besides Sticky Fingers (ehh), and Smokey Bones (ehhhh), let me know.  However, it is full of opportunity and vibrancy.  It also beautiful and in DIRE NEED of this convention.  According to the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina, while rates dropped from 11 percent to 10. 7 percent in Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill NC-SC , this rate is still extremely high, and this convention is going to put A LOT of people back in business. From the hotel industry, entertainment, restaurant, janitorial, event planning, vending, etc.  It’s great, I love it! 

I haven’t shared this with you all, but I am a registered Independent.  I vote for candidates based on “who’s going to provide what we need for America the best,” instead of party affiliation.  I know many people bleed blue or red, and that’s fine, however,  there are too many candidates and politicians in the world who don’t represent the correct picture of what their party should truly stand for, and to just have that person in office to fulfil a quota for that particular party is wrong.  It doesn’t help you or your neighbor get a job, so it’s irrelevant to me.  That being said, the democratic convention doesn’t emotionally move me, but I am truly thrilled that I will get to be close as ever to the experience of watching it all come together, at least for a while. 

There will be much more coverage on this in the coming months, so I won’t bore you with this tonight.  I will say I will be analyzing what’s going to happen, I’m going to try to get in some really good interviews for you all, some backstage access to bring you all closer to what’s going on, and as always breaking everything down in common terms so you always know whats going on.  Never fear, I’m here!

Go Charlotte!

DONT FORGET, MY NEXT INTERVIEW POSTS AT MIDNIGHT! IT’S GOING TO BE REALLY INTERESTING!!! COME BACK!!

-SACIA ❤

  

1 Feb

INTRODUCING ANTHONY BLACKWELL!  

 

I’m so excited to be introducing Anthony Blackwell to you all today!  For our first installment of 28 people in 28 days for Black History Month, I have a poet, who has a specialty in spoken word.  He is lyrically blessed, and has a true passion for what he does.  He is also a student, and a worker. Although he’s only been in Charlotte for five years, Anthony Blackwell is among the many being featured this month trying to make a name for him in the world.  According to Princeton University, Passion is defined as a strong feeling or emotion.  Through the spoken words that Blackwell writes, and speaks not only poetically, but lyrically, it not only moves you, but clearly shows his passion as well.  Reigning from Hartford, CT, Blackwell has been writing poetry since the eighth grade, and today is proudly working on a spoken word mix tape, which has floated in and out of generations for many years, but is making a huge comeback. 

It was my honor to be able to interview Anthony, and get a glimpse into what goes on in his head as a talented artist.  It’s no wonder after reading his interview why he says, “Failure is not an option, so I strive for the best.”   His writing is cleverly crafted, but what intrigued me the most about Blackwell is his seemingly planned out, yet simple diction.  Being a journalist, I zone in on words.  The fact that you put “a” instead of “an” makes all the difference to me.  I analyzed some of Blackwell’s poetry before I wrote his profile, and I am a lover of simple diction, which is what first drew me to recruit him as a possible profile.  You all must read his work. Not only must we have respect for Blackwell, but this entire generation of upcoming artists.  They bring such a vibrant light to our community, and can really tell a story to the generations to come.  Check out my interview with Anthony below, and sample from his upcoming spoken word mix tape.  It’s no wonder after reading his interview why he says, “Failure is not an option, so I strive for the best.”   

Check out my interview with Anthony below, and sample from his upcoming spoken word mix tape.  

  1. Give us a little bit of background about yourself.  Where did you grow up, education, etc.?

Well, I’m from Hartford, CT, I [have] been in North Carolina for 5 years going on 6, I graduated from Victory Christian Center in 2009 and now I’m schoolin’ [attending school] at CPCC [Central Piedmont Community College].  I live that employee life by working at the Airport in Charlotte.

2. Are you currently in college, if so where?  How is that going for you?

As of Now I attend Central Piedmont Community College majoring in Business Administration. Everything is going well; Failure is Not an Option so I strive for the Best …

3. You have shared with me that you love the art of poetry/music.  How exactly did you get into that form of art? (good detail here)

I started writing poetry back in the eighth grade. Back then, I didn’t really take it serious, but I would say in the 10th grade, someone took my notebook off my desk and started reading my poems, and said, “You should put it out there”, so that’s what I started doing. I started taking it more seriously, like putting my poems on Facebook and that was the start of the publicity of my poetry.  I was a little nervous about it, but I got feedback of how good I was, ect., so I kept on writing and putting my poems out there… but as of now, I’m putting together my first spoken word mix tape, so Instead of reading my thoughts, You’re going to hear them as well .

4. Who all have been your greatest inspirations?

I have a lot of them; From Shihan to even the locals in Charlotte such as Sean “Sky” Wallace and Anthony “Sir-Abstraxxx” Macklin, They inspired me to write better and Go deeper into the art of Poetry.

5. What has been your hardest point in your career?

Nothing really to be honest, everything is smooth sailing. The only thing that’s killing me is my work hours because I don’t have the time to get my mix tape completed.

6. Who has helped you get through your career so far?

A lot of people; I don’t even know where to start but the ones who’ve been there the most is my team “The Unknowns.” Every person on the team has their own style and we all learn from each other. They are a part of the reason I have become not only a better poet, but also a better person, nothing but love for them. One of the most important supports is my God Mother, she has been there for me through it all, and listening to her words of encouragement inspired me to keep writing and keep life moving forward and staying positive. She helped, and continues to help me get through my career.

7. Where are you trying to take your career in the next 5-10 years?

Honestly I can’t even tell you; I’m just living life one day at a time and go on from there. I’m just trying to be heard and Make a positive living.

8. What all have you been working on so far? [ Anthony is currently working on a spoken word mix tape.  The piece he wanted to share is called “To You God”] Here’s an excerpt from the piece, and a link to see the piece in full:To%20You%20God%20..[1]

“Her smile jus makes me want to look up in Heaven and thank You highly…

I can only imagine how good it feels to have her wings camped around Me…

Like Me getting on my knees praying for someone Like her…

Grace is Thy Mercy and You sent Me what I wanted …

Allow Me to preach My words to her to let faith be made of Me having her …

I may not be Perfect, But With perfection of My words, I have perfected My

mission of getting her…

Please forgive Me in advance as sometimes Me and her will create sin ..

Sin that will be as sweet as Her lips makes connection with mines …

But from there only time can tell how deep this sin can get…

You make no negative judgement as she continues to walk this earth ..

I want to birth something special in her …”

9. Do you think that it’s important to talk about the passions and skills of just “everyday people” in our community during black history month just as much as those of Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr., and why?

Yea of course, I mean it’s kind of disappointing that they give us only a month to represent black people who made big impacts in our lives but the historians who made Black History Month even possible should be a topic in our community.

10. Would you agree in saying, it doesn’t take an “extraordinary person” to have a passion for something that could be life changing?  For instance, you’re a college student with a passion for poetry and music.  One day, you might inspire a student your age to produce and blend music and poetry together like you.  What kind of effect would that have on you?

It would definitely have a positive effect on me. To see someone that took the time out to listen/read my words, and decided to follow the footsteps of being an artist or a poet like I did, it’d be real dope if I was someone’s inspiration to become an artist.

11. What advice would you give to young students who are still developing their own musical and lyrical skill?

Don’t try to copy someone else style of being an artist. The main point is being an artist is having creativity, showing the talents that you have. On another note, if you know that poetry/rapping/singing is what you want to do, then stick with it. Don’t allow anyone to tell you different; there will be people who criticize you either in a good or bad way, don’t let it bring you down….Let it be an uplift to become a better artist.

12.  What advice would you give to young students who feel like they don’t have the resources to take up a musical career?

Look into it; see how other artistes became an artist, I’m pretty sure  that not all of them started music and seconds later their name was all over the world; like I said earlier… it takes somewhere to get somewhere. If you have friends who are artists, ask them for advice about  how they got started and what were their reasons of becoming an artist, because honestly that’s what I did and poetry is one of the loves of my life.

As we can all see, this is a young man who has not only a humble spirit, but a love for what he does, something that has been traditionally celebrated in the African-American community for years.  Blackwell should be embraced by all of us, not only for the month of February.  We appreciate and respect the efforts of the great legends that led the Civil Rights Movements, but the talents and passions of our people today should be equally recognized, and they are often forgotten during this time of the year.  I encourage everyone to at least go check out some of his work, or either comment on this post and give him some encouragement. So, kudos to you Anthony Blackwell, and I hope you continue to fall in love with your passion over and over again, endlessly.

 

Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What human beings can be, they must be. They must be true to their own nature.”
–Abraham Maslow

 

Ways of keeping up with Anthony’s poetry and contact information: Follow him on Twitter @_Epikk_

 And/or add me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/PhenomenalPoet <<a good number of his poetry is in his note section, so feel free to add him and keep up on his poetry!

**We must put a warning, some of his writing comes from the heart, that being said, expect some obscenities.