Small Business Spotlight Feature: Twizted Divas Boutique

 

Peace Beautifuls, it’s my pleasure to present to you Twizted Divas!!! This business specializes in crocheted and hand painted jewelry and accessories. I’m so honored Tina reached out to me to feature Twizted Divas. Her brand is unique! The quality is awesome! If you dare to be different then check out Twizted Divas!!! To learn more about Tina and Twizted Divas, read the Q&A blow.
 

 

Q. What is your name and where are you from? 
A. Hello Diva, my name is Bettina “Tina” Lawson, I was born in Memphis but raised in Kansas City.

 

Q. Can you tell us a little about your company (name, what you offer, when established, etc)? 
A.My company is TwiZted Divas Boutique, we crochet and make hand painted jewelry and accessories. I’ve always crocheted and draw as a hobby, after losing my job a yr ago I decided i could make money doing it. So I launched an online store 2/2013
Q. What was your inspiration behind starting the brand and for each design? 
A. My inspiration stems from my love of art and fashion. I love the creativity, originality and the boldness of others. I love doing things outside the box, so a person, place or thing can spark an idea.
Q. What distinguishes Twisted Divas from other brands?
A. What distinguishes TwiZted Divas from other brands is there isn’t a specific target area of customers. What’s available now is for the ladies. We’re currently working on baby items, men items, apparel and the list goes on. Everyone can be bold, my goal is to have a wide variety of what we have to offer.

 

Q. What challenges have you faced with starting the line? 
A. Challenges faced are things such as the financial aspects that come with starting up a business and balancing it with everything else going on in my life.
What personal goals would you like to accomplish with your business? TwiZted Divas Boutique is my baby, I would like to be successful and keep growing as an entrepreneur, I’m learning new things everyday.
Q. Do you have any advice that you would offer to an aspiring entrepreneur? 
A. Patience is a virtue, it can be frustrating at times. Stay motivated and determined if its what YOU want to do. Don’t start something you don’t intend to finish, and remain positive. Go for it.
Q. And finally, how do we get our hands on Twisted Divas? 
A. Go to www.twizteddivasboutique.com (I am currently moving everything from the Etsy store to the website) Facebook: Twizted-Divas-Boutique, Instagram: twizteddivas
For the Naturlista! 
Q. Why did you decide to go natural? 
A. I decided to go natural because I got sick and tired of my hair being unhealthy from the chemical dependency of perms, it was growing past shoulder length and I could never get it to be thicker. So I chose to join the natural hair movement like so many others and I talked 2/3 daughters to do the same.
Q. How long have you been natural? Did you transition or did you big chop? 
A. I am transitioning to being natural and have been natural since April 2012.
Q. What has been the most rewarding part of your natural hair journey? 
A. The most rewarding part of going natural is even though its more work than I initially thought, I’ve noticed how much my hair has grown and how fast and thick it is.Love it. I get excited doing the length checks.
Q. Has anything been a challenge on your journey?
A. My personal challenge has been trying to figure out which products work better on my hair and stick with it. I don’t like buying alot of different products just to try them.
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Small Business Spotlight Feature: Naturally Jazzy Creations

Peace Beautifuls, I would like to share with you all Naturally Jazzy Creations. Insert from website: Naturally Jazzy Creations is a business offering products to help you feel your best everyday. Products range from soaps, lotion bars, oils and more. Gifts, Wedding and baby shower favors. I’m so pleased the owner, Shanika Hewitt, asked me to feature her business. She was gracious enough to send me two of her best selling soaps, Lemongrass Swirl and Oatmeal Milk & Honey. I must say both soaps left my skin feeling moisturized!!! The scent is fantastic. The lemon scent of the Lemongrass was not overbearing and the Oatmeal Milk & Honey scent is amazing definitely my favorite…very therapeutic!!!! 

 


Take a moment to read the Q&A to learn more about Shanika and Naturally Jazzy Creations!!! Then go to her website and save 20% off your order using discount code justjackie.
Q. What is your name and where are you from?
A. Shanika …I currently reside in Shreveport,LA but I’m originally from California
Q. Can you tell us a little about your company (name, what you offer, when established, etc)?
A. My business officially started at the beginning of this year. Before that I was just selling items to family and friends. I offer natural bath and body products such as soaps, lip balms, and body butters. I’ve just started making hair items but right now they are still in the testing phase. 🙂
Q. What was your inspiration behind starting the brand and for each design? 
A. Two of my five children have eczema so that’s what originally started me on my quest for natural products. Once I started making them myself, I was in love!! I love being able to know exactly what goes in my products. The designs for my soap usually start off as a way to meet a need….ex oatmeal, milk and honey soap for dry skin, peppermint soap to keep mosquitoes away.
Q. What distinguishes Naturally Jazzy Creations from other brands? 
A. As I said most of my products are to meet a customer’s need. My soaps are highly scented and that’s what a lot of my customers love about them.
Q. What challenges have you faced with starting the line? 
A. Some of the challenges are trying to balance making products, advertising, and working a full time job. (can’t forget spending time with hubby and kids)
Q. What personal goals would you like to accomplish with your business? 
A. I would like to find a boutique where they could carry my products. That will be my next step. One day I would like to be able to open my own shop and run my business full time.
Q. Do you have any advice that you would offer to an aspiring entrepreneur? 
A. Don’t give up….keep going and don’t listen to the negativity. Someone will always have something to say….tune out unwanted opinions.
Q. And finally, how do we get our hands on Naturally Jazzy Creations? 
A. You can go to my website www.naturally-jazzy-creations.com
Q. Since you are a fellow Naturlista! Why did you decide to go natural? 
A. Wanted to be free from the chemicals that I was putting on my head
Q. How long have you been natural? Did you transition or did you big chop? 
A. For three years now…I transitioned
Q. What has been the most rewarding part of your natural hair journey? 
A. Getting my daughters to realize that their natural hair is beautiful because God blessed them with what he wanted them to have
Q. Has anything been a challenge on your journey? 
A. Yes….not being able to do the beautiful styles I see on Youtube due to lack of talent and patience…lol

Small Business Spotlight Feature: SalmonNaturals

Hey Hey Hey Beautifuls, I’m back again with a new Small Business Spotlight Feature!!! SalmonNaturals  based in Toronto, Canada is a company that specializes in jewelry and hair accessories.  The owner, Leisha Salmon, reached out to me and asked if I would do a feature on a special piece. Check out the video and the Q&A below to see a few creations and learn more about SalmonNaturals. Always support small businesses Fam!!! Go to SalmonNturals websites and show your love and support.  Use discount code Jackie2 to receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!!! Don’t forget to follow her on the social media sites to find out what’s new with Leisha and SalmonNaturals
Q.  What is your name and where are you from?  
My name is Leisha Salmon- (Like the Fish) I am a Jamaican born Canadian Artist and Designer living in Toronto, Ontario. I am a formally trained artist I Studied at the Ontario College of art and Design after which I too up blogging while working part time. That was back in 2010 the blog salmonnaturals hair care. In 2011 I launched Salmonnaturals my handcrafted hair accessories and jewelry line. Now in year three I opened up my first virtual store on Etsy an online handmade shopping place for creative people. Although I am formally trained in graphic deisgn and have an award for my ceramic sculpting. My passion is art and I love being able to express it through fashion.

 

 

Q.  Can you tell us a little about your company (name, what you offer, when established, etc)? How did you come up with the company name? 

Salmonnaturals is a company where I design and manufacture one of kind peices my very unique style come to life for all those who want to be true to themself and do it in a Fab way.

 

I have been a busy bee getting my company off the ground  from blog to business.

 

here are just a few of my sites

 

I came up with this name by combining my last name Salmon with Natural. Salmonnaturals is a physical represents of my natural God given talent for creating Art.

 

 

Here are just a few of my sites:

http://salmonnaturalshaircare.blogspot.ca/

http://salmonnaturals.tumblr.com/

 

 

I think of all my creations as a piece of art that takes shape while I am in my studio surrounded by things that inspire me. There is something for fashionable little girls and big Ladies. I also have some simple guy friendly unisex designed trendsetting jewelry for fashionable guys too. 

 

What was your inspiration behind starting the brand and for each design?

 

The inspiration for designing hair accessories is thanks to my little sister since the age of 5 she has had her one style a mini fashionista in the making. She just love creating hair clips for her she has thick long beautiful kinky hair. Most of the products at the store would break in her hair so I had to set in and create things for her.

 

My jewelry is inspired by my beautiful lady friends every birthday I give handmade gifts and because of the overwhelming love from them I started selling both hair accessories and jewelry online in my virtual shop.


What distinguishes Salmon Naturals from other brands?

 

At Salmonnaturals everything is handmade by me in my studio. Handcrafted makes all my creations have a one of a kind, whimsical, imaginative and artful aesthetic. This is what I think distinguishes Salmonnaturals from other brands there is only one Leisha salmon.

 

 

What challenges have you faced with starting the line?

The challenges that I faced since starting my brand is getting into local stores. The competition is fierce in Toronto but I am lining up potential store. Learning from my mistakes and being positive.

What personal goals would you like to accomplish with your business?

 

My biggest personal goal is to open up a store in Jamaica that would be so amazing and that is my biggest dream to date.  

Do you have any advice that you would offer to an aspiring entrepreneur?

 

The biggest advice I can give to aspiring entrepreneurs is get your social media know how right of the bat it makes a big difference if you want to start out on the virtual web.

And finally, how do we get our hands on SalmonNaturals?
Salmonnaturals is available on the virtual store sites Etsy and Storenvy

 

 

Curls Unleashed Product Review/Giveaway (closed)

Peace Beautifuls, I tried Curls Unleashed for the first time and proceeded to do my second attempt at a Wash n Go!!!  Fam I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the results!!! Check out the video below and be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom of this page.

Products have a soft pleasant scent!!!

Lavish Lather sulfate-free Shampoo:  The lather was awesome!  It did not leave my hair striped of moisture and I did not feel any roughness what so ever…loved it!!!
Shine & Define Mousse:  Definitely gave my hair great shine and I could see more defined curls
Take Command Curl Defining Creme:  This product is awesome!!! The consistency is great…not soupy and runny!!! This product would also be great for two strand twist!!!
Curl Boosting Jelly:  I could of used the boosting jelly alone for this wash n go but I felt using the curl defining Creme with it would help with moisture to avoid the dreadful crunchy flaky effects.
Overall, I think the Curls Unleashed products are tremendous!!! I will definitely be using these products again for wash n go and see how it works for a twist out.  I highly recommend Curls Unleashed especially for anyone with hair texture similar to mine.  I never thought I could do a wash n go on “She” but Curls Unleashed made it happen.  I’m thrilled about my results!!!

Small Business Spotlight Feature: MaroonDawta

Ladies you know how I feel about earrings/eargear…Accessory Junkie peeps!!! This next feature is special to me. I stumbled across MaroonDawta on YouTube. When I saw her body of work I was like WHOA!!! I reached out to the owner, Tremaine Rennis, who is a awesome young lady…and the rest is history. 


MaroonDawta is different, edgy, trendy, meaningful and some may say political. But whatever style you choose, I know we all can agree that it is a “MUST HAVE”!!! The quality is grade A…I’ve had her work for sometime now and MaroonDawta is definitely in my Top 3 accessory picks!!! Please take a moment to read the Q&A on MaroonDawta to find out more about Tremaine and her business. Then take advantage of the discount code “wherehaveyoubeen” to save 15% the entire month of June!!!! Thanks Tremaine!!!!

 

 

Q. What is your name and where are you from?
Hello Jackie, first of all, thank you so much for deciding to showcase MaroonDawta®. My name is Tremaine – the founder and sole designer of MaroonDawta.com. I was born and grew up on the beautiful island of Jamaica but I currently reside in the UK.

Q. Can you tell us a little about your company (name, what you offer, when established, etc)?
The name of the brand is ‘MaroonDawta’; this name was chosen as a homage to my heritage as a Jamaican Maroon (which I’m extremely passionate about) and ‘Dawta’ is just ‘daughter’ spelt with a Jamaican twist. MaroonDawta initially started in 2009 selling beaded jewellery online but unfortunately I decided to close shop in 2010 due to personal circumstances and feeling creatively ‘stuck’. I’ve always known the direction I wanted MaroonDawta to take. I wanted to build a brand of pride and confidence about African (and African Diasporan) culture mixed with heavy doses of rebel and pure niceness! In 2012 I finally developed the emotional and financial courage to put my all into creating a brand that reflects just that – and so MaroonDawta was resurrected. 
MaroonDawta offers wearable art in the forms of hand-painted earrings and gemstone bracelets – with tons more in line for 2013! Our earrings are heavily influence by Africa – from simply the map of Africa, to honouring the timeless Queen Nefertiti, to showcasing the beautiful Adinkra symbols. Again, we have new things in store for 2013 – watch this space!

Q.What was your inspiration behind starting the brand and for each design?
A. My inspiration comes from Africa history & culture – from the Kings and Queens of ancient Africa to the modern everyday girl around the corner. I am also vociferously passionate yet humbled by our history as a people – wherever the ship landed. My country (Jamaica) inspires me, my children paintings’ inspires me; my surroundings inspires me – from the driest of woods to the vibrancy of freshly bloomed flowers, as corny as it sounds – I’m inspired by life. 


 

 

Q. What distinguishes MaroonDawta from other brands?

Let me first say that there are a lot of talented sisters out there doing their thing, some I have purchased from and still continue purchase from. What I think separates MaroonDawta from other brand firstly is the rich history behind our brand (read more about the Maroons here). Our story, our fabulous designs of course but also our plans for 2013 (we have to keep shush for now though). We are not just talking about making fabulous earrings, MaroonDawta is a movement – a movement of unity, a movement of confidence, a movement of cultural pride. We will also be doing workshops for young girls focusing of confidence and self-lov and cannot wait to start.
 
Q. What challenges have you faced with starting the line?

I was going dilly dally around this question and keep it all fairy tales and daisies but honestly, the biggest challenge I’ve faced has been myself. I had this compulsion to negatively criticise myself, I lacked confidence and because of that, I delayed MaroonDawta for about two years. Uncle Marcus Garvey said it best: “..If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life…”. 
Sometime we wake up on our own and find our own inner confidence to start again but sometime it takes someone else recognising your abilities before you do. Whichever route you take, be sure that confidence is your destination – get there. My other obstacle was probably finance. I had to wait until I was financially able to start the business properly, for example, getting my trademark and other legal icing to get things going. 
 
Q. What personal goals would you like to accomplish with your business?

I want people to enjoy wearing MaroonDawta’s creations. Not just wear them, but tell a story with them. Be proud. Be stylish. Be yourselves! I want people to put on our jewellery and step out feeling like “dem boasy!”(translation: feeling confident lol). We have several things for the brand that should come into fruition in 2013. We want to be the ‘go to’ brand to accessorise your lives! From head to toe to home – literally. We’re talking clothing, home décor etc. I’m both excited and scared about MaroonDawta’s future. I’m ready. 
 
Q. Do you have any advice that you would offer to an aspiring entrepreneur?
My biggest advice to all is to first be confident in your aspirations. Be weary though that confidence will attract a few doubters; you will need to be able to distinguish genuine concerns/advice from negative discouragement. 
You will need to have a clear goal of what you want to do and know why you want to do it. You will need to have a plan – a S.M.A.R.T plan. 
Get yourself a business plan, if the thought of a business plan sounds daunting, then do yourself a spider diagram; this is where it becomes a plan-in-action rather than an ‘idea’.
Research, research, research! Become very familiar with Uncle Google – he is the absolute best! You can get useful information from blogs and forums etc but don’t take it as fact. Consult official 
journals and/or government websites for factual information.
Know your support team. That person (or people) must be someone you trust enough to honestly express your fears, plans, goals and ‘failures’ to. That person for me is my cousin Asanya; we grew up together so she knows me very well. She is the most beautiful and honest soul out there. If I need a kick up my backside she’s there – if it wasn’t for her BRUTAL honesty, I probably wouldn’t have started MaroonDawta again. If you don’t have that support system close to you in real life, business forums are your next best thing. Join up and immerse yourself in the community.
Lastly, I don’t know everything but if you want to chat to someone who is going through the process and learning as I go along, send me an email tremaine@maroondawta.com. 
 
Q. And finally, how do we get our hands on MaroonDawta Jewelry?

I thought you would never ask! 😀 You can find our goodies at www.MaroonDawta.com. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@MaroonDawta). Again, thank you Jackie for choosing to feature MaroonDawta. Take care.

Get it Chick of the Week: June 12, 2013

Hey Chicas let me introduce this week’s GIC!!! Kelly Augustine of MASQUEmag.com is a beautiful Full-Figured Lady who’s not afraid to show off her curves.  Kelly has a great sense of style (TRENDY~EDGY~TASTEFUL) which shows in her body of work!!!  When I first saw this picture of Kelly I was blown away…confidence just oozed from this picture and “Get It Chick” was all I could say.  To learn more about Kelly and her blog go to http://www.masquemag.com

Outfit Deets:
Leather Motorcycle Jacket – Vintage
Harem Pants – H&M, 
Leotard – H&M, 
Shoes – Shoedazzle
Earrings – Yumnah Najah Designs, Aslin Ov