By Michael Grant
Nationwide — First Bank (Florissant Dierbergs) will serve as the headlining sponsor for The Beauty, Brains & Business Experience 2015 – an event that will draw women entrepreneurs and small business owners from across the United States.
Scheduled for Saturday, October 31st at the St. Louis City Center Hotel downtown (formerly the Sheraton Hotel), the event is hosted by Small Business Strategist and CEO & Founder of Pursue Your Purpose, Tamiko Cuellar. This event will include workshops, a vendor showcase, mastermind sessions, networking, hot seat business mini-makeovers, awesome giveaways, lunch, and a special luncheon with Tamiko for VIPs. For information and to register, visit www.PursueYourPurpose.com/BBB2015.
“This event is specifically designed for women entrepreneurs and small business owners who have a spirit of collaboration rather than competition. They know that although they are brilliant in their own right, they can go further and faster with the right connections. Iron sharpens iron and no one is great alone,” said Cuellar.
Pursue Your Purpose fosters a community and a network of entrepreneurs who celebrate and partake of the collective genius among themselves. It would not be unusual for the entrepreneurs who attend this event to walk away with potential partnerships, joint ventures, new clients, creative ideas for business growth, and great lasting relationships.
In addition to First Bank, sponsors include Brooks Real Estate Investments, The Quintessential Entertainment Group, Beautiful You Salon Suites, and Pastry Paradise and More. Speakers include the event host and Founder of Pursue Your Purpose, Tamiko Cuellar, Personal Stylist and Owner of Camella J. Collection, Camella Jones, Nettie Kelley, Makeup Artist and Owner of Nettie Kelley Cosmetics and Makeup Studio, and Owner of Shantana Stewart Communications, Shantana Stewart.
Pursue Your Purpose is based in St. Louis and equips businesses internationally with strategies that catapult them to the next level with a dose of inspiration. Tamiko Cuellar is a small business strategist, professional speaker, and best selling author.
First Bank (www.firstbanks.com) is one of the largest privately owned banks in the country with $5.89 billion in assets and 129 locations in Missouri, Illinois, Florida, and California.
Pursue Your Purpose
877-575-9940 ext. 2
By Carolyn M. Brown –Blackenterprise.com
U.S. minority-owned firms as reported by the Minority Business Development Agency generate $1 trillion to the U.S. economy and add roughly 5.8 million jobs on a yearly basis. Top industry sectors represented include agriculture, utilities, manufacturing, wholesale, information, finance and insurance, accommodation and food services, healthcare, social assistance, and more.
However, minority-owned firms, which play an integral part in the country’s economic growth, could be among the vast majority of owners not aware of the approaching EMV liability shift and its implications. EMV is short for Europay, Mastercard and Visa standards, which is a global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions.
According to FirstData.com, over 70% of data security breaches are targeted at small businesses, and it’s rare that the affected business discovers the breach. These fraudulent activities are typically detected by a third party (banks or card associations) or law enforcement agencies. What follows after the breach of payment data are a string of costly and inescapable actions which can permanently cripple a business.
Wells Fargo/Gallup conducted a survey that revealed that small business owners are generally not ready for the EMV card conversion. The survey also contains important, need-to-know items for small business owners to help them avoid credit card fraud.
As of October 1, credit card companies will no longer be liable for credit and debit card fraud on card-present transactions. The card issuer or merchant, who does not support EMV, will assume liability for counterfeit card transactions that occur. This can have a huge impact, as reported by First Data.com, on the bottom line and reputation of a small business, and leads to lost time and money disputing fraudulent claims.
A majority of small business owners are simply unaware of the EMV card conversion. Less than half, or 48%, who accept point-of-sale payment (POS) know about the impending liability shift, and just 29% say they plan to upgrade their POS credit card terminals to accept EMV chip cards before the October 1 deadline.
How do you protect your small business from a costly risk involving both debit and credit cards? Attend webinars and presentations to industry groups and associations on EMV and EMV-related fraud topics, and read communications to business owners, including EMV newsletter articles.
Check out Wells Fargo’s website, which features educational articles, videos, and infographics that offer useful tips on the process and benefits of accepting EMV chip card payments, and the importance of EMV chip cards in reducing fraud. More importantly, contact your financial institutions. Banks are already issuing EMV chip-enabled credit and debit cards to prepare for the shift.
By Carolyn M. Brown :Posted 9/9/15 –Blackenterprise.com
Every entrepreneur should have an advisory board—a small group of people whom you can reach out to whenever you make a major decision. You should be investing in people whose advice you can trust. Most people pick their board members by default. Meaning, certain people have always been around and they automatically become the ones that they talk to. But there should be as much thought toward selecting your personal board as you would in selecting a board of directors if you were a corporation.
BlackEnterprise.com reached out to members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC); an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free, virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. BE asked them how best can an entrepreneur identify and get people to sign on as advisory board members? Here’s what they had to say.
1. Determine the Goals of Your Advisory Board First. Once you’ve determined the goals of your advisory board, select individuals who will be valuable to the board and passionate about the project based on their experience. Introduce your candidates to the idea and if you’ve chosen wisely, they should express interest and may even request to be a member of the board.
2. Look for Passion and Previous Experience. Look for someone who is experienced and an expert in the same industry with strong connections and industry knowledge. They should be passionate about your idea and willing to put in their own cash for success. This experience and knowledge can help guide you in the right direction and avoid costly mistakes.
3. Look for People Interested in Equity. The best advisory board members have more opportunities than they have time to fit into their busy schedules. If you want to land a rockstar advisory board member you may need to offer them 0.1 to 1.0% of your company’s equity, on a two-year vesting schedule, depending on how big of a household name or expert they are and the amount of time and resources they are willing to commit to your company.
4. Ask the First Person You’d Want to Test Your Idea With. Whomever that is, they are a great place to start. Asking someone to be an advisor should be the second step — the first, is getting a meeting to just “gut check” what you are doing and get their candid feedback. Once they’re bought into the idea, you’ll find they’ll be more interested in getting involved.
5. Target Work Horses, Not Fancy Titles. The most common mistake I see new entrepreneurs make when putting together an advisory board is shooting for the moon. I’m all for being ambitious, but the reality is you’ll get much more help from people who’ll commit to meeting with you regularly, and will roll up their sleeves when necessary. Choose advisors who have a strong bias for action.
6. Determine Whether They’ve Been on an Advisory Board Before. You want someone who understands the role of an advisory board and who has been through it before. Often, a first-time advisor doesn’t understand the nature of how they can best help. As a result, they may end up being unhelpful or potentially give harmful advice. Talk to the founders of companies they have advised for in the past to get a good sense of how helpful they’ve actually been.
7. Identify Your Own Weaknesses. Figure out your business’ weaknesses and make sure that the advisors you select have both experience and can provide true value. Once you’ve identified these individuals, depending on the circumstances, you could consider providing equity, cash or benefits. We went the equity route and it’s worked out well for us. Each situation is different, so see what works best for your business.
– Hesam Meshkat, Guzu
8. Identify Based on Diversity of Skill Set. The key to forming an outstanding advisory board is to understand the value of the board is only as valuable as the diversity of skills of its board members. You should have an advisory board that can offer critical skills, such as finance and marketing. In addition, depending on your goals, you’ll want to have one or more members who have experience building (and selling) large businesses.
9. Recruit Proven Passion. You have a great idea and passion to pursue it. Now you need to find advisors. Start with people who have already “made it” in your vertical: those leaders possess the knowledge that you need, and experience that will add the most value to your company. Ask for help and you’ll find out quickly which people are worth a spot on the board.
Brittany Dandy –Blackenterprise.com
Whitney White (better known to her millions of followers as Naptural85) has been dominating YouTube since 2008, when she chopped off her relaxed air and decided to document it’s growth. When White started making videos, YouTube wasn’t yet monetized and she wasn’t getting paid by sponsors either. White made natural hair videos out of a simple passion for her hair.
“The thing about YouTube is that it wasn’t a career back then. It was just a bunch of weirdos,” White told Business Insider. “If I told anyone I made videos on YouTube, they’d look at me like I was crazy.”
YouTube has become, not only a community for like-minded black women to come and share beauty tips and explore their natural mane, its also a place where they are able to earn a living by assisting major brands in navigating the natural hair world. White’s love for the hobby paid off. According to Business Insider, White now make twice as much as a YouTuber than she did as an entry level graphic designer.
The black hair industry is now a $2.7 billion business and has seen a 7% increase since 2013, according to a 2015 report by market research firm Mintel, and can expect “more robust growth” in the next five years.
White tells Business Insider that her partnership with hair mecca Carol’s Daughter, is one of her most cherished relationships. But even when she’s taking on sponsored deals, White makes sure to remain transparent and authentic to the products that she likes.
“I try not to promote anything I wouldn’t personally purchase,” says White. “I’ve turned down a lot of money … I’ve turned down deals from huge companies … because I didn’t like the ingredients in the product.”
To learn more about White and her YouTube empire, head over to Business Insider and check out one of her videos below.
African American women aren’t only the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, they own 1.3 million businesses and counting. And as black women shatter records in the business sector, self-made businesswoman Renae Bluitt tells the world what it’s like to walk in their shoes.
Bluitt has been narrating, highlighting, and celebrating the stories of African American female entrepreneurs with her blog In Her Shoes. Interviewing what she calls “fly female entrepreneurs,” such as Lisa Price, founder of Carol’s Daughter; Nzingha Stewart, director of With This Ring; and Claire Sulmers of the Fashion Bomb Daily, Bluitt not only gives black female entrepreneurs a platform, she also teaches and inspires. She’s created a community where veteran and budding female entrepreneurs can connect and support each other in an online marketplace called The Beauties and Brains: Behind the Brands.
While Bluitt is uplifting other black female entrepreneurs one post at a time, she’s an entrepreneur herself. Growing up in Indiana, she already had a blueprint of what entrepreneurship looked like because her grandfather and father were entrepreneurs. Before starting her own business, she worked for various companies, including Lifetime Television and Edelman. Now, she’s the founder of Crush Media, a public relations firm that represents beauty brands like Eden Body Works and Vibrant Beauty.
Now into her sixth year of spotlighting go-getters in the African American entrepreneurial community, Bluitt speaks to Black Enterprise and discusses what’s in the works for In Her Shoes Blog, her daily mantras, why passion matters when pursuing your career, and encountering failure.
Black Enterprise: Tell me a little bit about Beauties & Brains: Behind the Brand?
Bluitt: Last year, for the blog’s five-year anniversary, I made [Beauties & Brains: Behind the Brand] a little bigger, and I introduced the very first In Her Shoes marketplace, which brings to life the mission of the blog, which is to celebrate and support women-owned brands. So the marketplace last year was filled with brands that are owned by black women. I wanted to create this opportunity for women to shop and support each other’s brands onsite. Last year, I also gave away the first award to aspiring fly female entrepreneurs after meeting these young girls, all under the age of 11, who started their own nail salon on their stoop. I thought that was awesome and pretty innovative. Not only did we give them an award, we also offered them a one-day internship at Polish Bar.
You talk a lot about your passion. You’re very passionate about beauty and entrepreneurship. How important is it to tap into your passion, especially for a living?
This is not an easy journey. Each day is different. Your income fluctuates. But the one thing that has to be constant is your love for what you’re doing. There are going to be some days where you’re going to be faced with some challenges, and if you don’t absolutely love what you do, you will not make it, you will fold. Your passion is what drives you, on the good days and bad days.
Is entrepreneurship taught or innate?
I do not believe one has to be born an entrepreneur to succeed but it certainly helps. I think, innately, we may have tendencies and ways about ourselves that make some of us more likely to succeed as entrepreneurs. But I also think that going to business school, taking on entrepreneurship, or studying under an entrepreneur will give you the skills you need to be successful as one. [For me,] I think it’s a combination of both because of what I saw growing up. Entrepreneurship was normal for me. But I’ve also had the opportunity to meet and work with people who are entrepreneurs. Being in PR, a lot of my clients are women-owned brands, and I’m interfacing and working directly with the owner of the brand, day-to-day. That helps me sharpen my own tools when it comes to my business.
What advice would you give your younger self, when you were first starting out as an entrepreneur?
As cliché as it may sound, one very important thing that I would share with my younger self is the importance of making time for what really matters. There will always be work to do because an entrepreneur’s to-do list is never ending. That said, no matter how “busy” you are, make time to nurture relationships. One reminder of this came recently from my dear friend, the late Brook Stephenson. He was a lover of life, a noted author, and all-around beautiful human being. I knew he was special in my social circle, but it wasn’t until he transitioned that I realized how many lives he truly touched. He followed his dreams, blazed trails, and left his footprint, but he never forgot to make time for loved ones.
Your seventh year with In Her Shoes is approaching. What’s next for the blog and for you personally?
For the last six years I’ve been focusing my efforts in New York City, but I want to take In Her Shoes experiences to other cities—like Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles—where there are so many more Fly Female Entrepreneurs. I’d like to expand the brand globally. I’ve had people reach out to me from parts of Africa and London asking for this type of content and experience to happen where they live. The goal is to just expand naturally and globally.
by Kandia Johnson –Blackenterprise.com
If you’ve ever wondered what it means to create your own path to success, meet Ariana Pierce, author and CEO of Superstar Nail Lacquer and Style and Shoppe Accessories. At just 13 years old, she launched her first business with the help of her parents, but at 17 years old, she set out on her own to create a fashion brand that was more mature.
“There was a choice between starting a clothing business, t-shirt line and many other things, but the idea of nail lacquer came to mind because it was something that was different. Plus, at that time, there were no fast drying, brightly-colored eco-friendly lacquers, so I knew that I had a unique product that the world would love,” said Pierce.
The young force to be reckoned with, continues to push her nail lacquer line and style accessories beyond international borders, and she recently published a new book, How To Build Your Blogging Business: In A Week. Currently on a mission to “help other young people live their dreams now, not later,” Black Enterprise.com caught up with the smart, ambitious trailblazer to learn a few tips for aspiring young entrepreneurs.
BlackEnterprise.com: How did you make the transition to entrepreneurship?
Pierce: At the age of 15, I asked my parents if I could work in their office as the secretary to get a true feel of what it’s like to run an office. It was one of the best experiences I’ve had because I learned how to answer the phone properly, how to take orders, how to handle and resolve conflict and gather a staff to get on the same page. This is something I would recommend to anyone wanting to be in business. Learn how to be a great employee, so that way you know what to expect and how to relate to those who will work for you.
At a young age, you’ve successfully launched several businesses and published a book. How did you know when you were ready to launch your second business?
My second business, Style Shoppe Accessories, was actually passed down from my mother, Stacia Pierce. She owned this great line of costume jewelry, but as she began business coaching, she didn’t have time to focus on it. Because I was into fashion and loved marketing, she asked me to take it over and run the business. I knew I was ready to handle the second business because I had already seen significant profits and opportunities with my first brand, plus I had the time to focus on both.
What makes your business different than other businesses?
The story and message behind the brand makes my business different. It’s a story of a young girl who decided to pursue her dreams now and not later. A story of hope and inspiration for other young people who want to build their empires too. Also, our marketing to millennials gives me strong positioning within the beauty industry.
What advice can you give someone who is passionate about many things, but can’t decide which passion to choose from?
I would say start with your lowest hanging fruit. What that means is, start with the passion that’s easiest for you to pursue. What are you really good at? What do people come to you for the most? Use that talent to get your name out there and on the market. Once you have succeeded at that one thing, the door will open for you to make money and pursue your many different talents.
Who inspires you?
My mother is my biggest inspiration. She has taught me how to balance a great work and family life. I’ve learned from her example of how to be a strong woman who is passionate about motivating and uplifting other women around the world.
How do you tackle your fears?
I tackle my fears through meditation and prayer. There was a time I had to meet with producers who wanted to feature my brand on TV. It made me very nervous and there was pressure to perform well in front of the camera. The night before the meeting, I said a prayer and meditated on how the entire day would go. I saw myself speaking with confidence and nailing the interview. It’s amazing how the outcome was exactly how I pictured it the night before. Now this has become my go-to method when anxiety and fear try to creep in.
Since launching your businesses what has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge in launching my business was learning to be mature and speak up for my brand. The beauty industry is a very mature market, so there are times when I have to meet with manufacturers, store owners, or even buyers who are twice or three times my age. It can be very intimidating meeting with these types of people, especially when they find out how young I am, and was, in the beginning of starting my business.
How did you overcome this challenge?
I overcame this challenge by studying the in’s and out’s of my industry. Every time I met with them, I was prepared, so nothing or anyone could throw me off. That’s the best advice I can give to someone when starting their business. Know your industry and be confident, that way when a challenge arises, you know how to handle it in the moment.
What do you wish you had known then, that you know now?
Something that I wish I had caught on to before, was the concept of blogging. I am consistent with it now, but when first launching my brand, I would blog maybe every three months. It was something that I didn’t put my heart into until about 4 or 5 years ago when I gave consistent blogging a try. Blogging about my brand, lifestyle, and business tips has caused me to make more profits than ever before because it’s a place to hold content and I’m able to show people the true benefits of using my products. This inspired me to write my latest book, How To Build Your Blogging Business: In A Week. No matter what type of business you have, blogging is a necessity because it gives you a voice and allows you to be an expert in your field. There were tools, techniques, and templates I used to create a successful blogging platform, and I wanted to share it with the world.
Many young people graduate from college and struggle to find a job. What’s the best piece of advice you can give a recent college grad, about creating their own opportunities?
Use your college years as a big networking opportunity. One thing I learned after graduating from college is that you never know whom you will need in your future. Many times, opportunities come from people you know and not always because of your talent. Though both are a necessity to succeeding in your field, knowing the right people will lead you in the right direction and can help you with jumpstarting your career or business after school.
Let’s admit it; We all like our food to have a delicious taste. And who doesn’t enjoy a good barbecue? With thousands of different companies that make spices, sauces and seasonings, you may not have noticed that at least 9 of them are Black-owned. Here they are:
#1 – Ken Davis BBQ Sauce: This Minnesota-based company was founded by jazz bassist and entrepreneur Ken Davis who began by opening a restaurant in the 60’s. Everyone loved his barbecue sauce, but it wasn’t until 1970 that he bottled it and sold it to supermarkets. Now it’s a best seller in Minnesota as well as supermarkets throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and Northern Iowa.
#2 – Momma Vi’s Vibrant Seasoning: Located in the Philadelphia area, this company makes seasonings, salts and rubs for meat, soups, pasta, vegetables and baking. Its name honors grandmothers in South Carolina nicknamed Vi. Founded by Antoine and Kenosha Skinner, their spices contain natural seasonings that help maintain a healthy, low sodium, lifestyle.
#3 – Lefty’s Spices: This line of famous pork BBQ, hot and mild barbecue sauces and seasonings was founded by Walter Nash Jr. Headquartered in Waldorf, Maryland, the company, named after the founder’s father Lefty, sells at grocery chains and supermarkets across the country, and online.
#4 – Stubb’s BBQ Sauce: Founder C.B. Stubblefield started his company in 1968 in Lubbock, Texas. His full line of sauces includes 7 sauces, 5 marinades, 2 injectable marinades, 5 rubs, 4 cookin’ sauces, a moppin’ sauce and a wing sauce. They can be purchased online and at supermarkets across the country.
#5 – Truly’s Marinades: The Truly Corporation was founded by Julia and Louis Dean in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Their company makes marinades as an alternative to barbecue sauce and is so good it doesn’t even need steak sauce. Products can be purchased online and at grocery stores around the country.
#6 – Grand Diamond Seasoning: Carolyn Flemister started her company in her own kitchen, making unique seasonings that add flavor to beef, poultry, pork, lamb, and seafood, salads and casseroles. It does not contain any MSG or additives. The company is located in Los Angeles. Products can be purchased online or in stores throughout the LA area.
#7 – Scott’s Barbecue Sauce: In 1920, Adam Scott starting selling his barbecue sauce to white people from his back door. His son, Martel, took over in the 1940’s and started bottling Scott’s Barbecue Sauce in 1948 for retail sale. The original restaurant in Goldsboro is one of the oldest barbecue restaurants in North Carolina.
#8 – Ball’s Cajun Foods: Ball’s Creole Seasoning Company is one of the largest black owned processed seasoning manufacturers in the south. The company was founded by Reginald McWilliams Ball, Sr. and by 1968 he had five fried chicken restaurant outlets in the area. In 1977 he focused his attention on producing All-Purpose Cajun Seasoning, Cajun Rice and Jambalaya Mix, Crab boil, Cajun Gumbo and Sea-Food Fry Mix. His son continues the operations, selling seasonings to supermarkets, gourmet specialty stores, and supermarket chains across the country.
#9 – Coco Brown Sauces: located in Jamaica, Wisconsin, the company makes all natural Jamaican sauces which can be purchased online or at retail locations across Jamaica. The family-owned business was founded by owners Michael & Jennifer Movery who opened their first coffee shop in 2005 in Ocho Rios Jamaica.
BONUS – Keith Lorren Spices: Keith Lorren is a Florida-based spice designer and manufacturer that has traveled around the world and developed unique, delicious soul food recipes that draw people together around the dinner table. His unique line of seasonings and rubs are hand-crafted and low in sodium.
By Chanel Martin –Blackenterprise.com
DJ Princess Cut is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and is the sole female member of the DJ coalition Hoodrich, as well as a mixer for Hot 107.9. Princess Cut was asked to join Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Life You Want Tour’ last year, in addition to being requested to spin at several NYC-based O Magazine events. She was also requested to be the DJ at Gayle King’s 60th birthday party last December at Chelsea Piers in New York. Princess Cut has been the official DJ for Neiman Marcus in Atlanta for almost a decade and continues to spin at venues throughout the city, as well as the world. She has toured internationally with the Outlawz, Goodie Mob, and The Dream. Learn how Princess Cut got her start, what challenges she faces, and advice to make it as a female DJ in a predominantly male industry.
BlackEnterprise.com: Tell us a little about yourself
Princess Cut: My name is DJ Princess Cut, I’m from Atlanta, Ga. I’ve been spinning for 11 years now and I am a club, radio, mixtape, corporate and celebrity DJ, and I love all kinds of music from hip hop to house. I’m really happy to spread my love for music and for the art and culture of DJing. I love to travel the world and to be able to influence people, especially young girls, while I’m on my musical path.
So how did you get started DJing?
Well, I always had a strong love and passion for music, but I actually started just DJing randomly. I was at a bar and I decided to go up and pick the DJ’s brain and figure out exactly what he was doing to make things work in the DJ booth. I asked him to let me try it and as soon as I touched the vinyl, it just felt kind of magical and special. From that point on, I went back to that same bar and practiced every week, and then a few months later I purchased my own Technics 1200.
How did you book your first gig?
My first gig came from a studio where I practiced my DJing. They told me, ‘OK we’re going to have a party in about a month’ and asked if I could DJ. They didn’t express any pay or compensation for the party, however, they said, ‘Can you come rock out?’ and [I] was like, ‘Sure, I can come rock out,’ and I had great time. That was the first time I caught the needle with my elbow, the crowd looked at me kind of crazy but I kept going and the party kept going and everybody had a good time. I considered that my first gig because at the end of the night they actually paid me, like $100.
How did you grow from there?
I’m glad I was born and raised in Atlanta, because its like [the] mecca of music and you know, its very true its not all about what you know it’s about ‘who’ you know. So, I would go and spend a lot of time in Earwax Records (which is an older record store, it’s not here anymore) in Atlanta. Because I was in there every week, the owner got familiar with me at the store and would introduce me to all the major DJ’s in the city that would come in. They would just kind of see my passion, and people started referring me to gigs. I actually got to be a part of the legendary DJ circle that’s in Atlanta. A lot of it was word of mouth. People started hearing my name and wanted to start booking me in surrounding cities like Charlotte.
What would you say has been your biggest DJ gig to date?
To date, no doubt, hands down my biggest DJ gig was for Oprah’s ‘Life You Want Tour,’ which took place last September.
Can you describe what that was like participating in the tour?
It was very exciting and fulfilling to be able to be on stage and rock the crowd of predominantly women while working with phenomenal women. It was a really powerful movement, and the thing I like the most about the tour is that while I was touching people’s lives, my life was also impacted in a major way. I’m on stage and people looking up to me saying, ‘Look at her.’ At the same time, I’m doing my thing and I’m looking at Oprah and her crew thinking, ‘Wow, anything is possible.’ So it was very inspirational for me, and it also let me know I had been moving in the right direction; which is a great feeling. I mean, you work hard doing something and building your brand. You don’t necessarily know what’s coming next in the DJ world. And for that to sort of [have] happened, it let me know I was doing something right.
Can you talk about some obstacles you had to face with being a female DJ?
It’s all about show and prove. I mean you have a few females like Spinderella, but it’s a male dominated industry, so promoters would book who they are comfortable with before they book you. That was pretty frustrating, but I think it’s all about establishing your credibility, building your brand, and showing people that you actually know what you’re doing. That’s what I was always about. I was all about show and prove.
What advice do you have for any up-and-coming DJ’s?
For up-and-coming DJ’s, I would say to study the culture, study the art, study, study, study, and pay attention to those that came before. I know there’s a lot of new technology to make it easier to be a DJ, but it’s not about it being easy it’s about continuing to spread the real foundation and the real art of where it came from. I would start with a turntable first and then study the skill of rocking the crowd and rocking the mic. A lot of times people don’t have the resources to go out and see really good DJs, and so that’s where the Internet comes in. You can go online and on YouTube and study other DJs. Learn from them and practice.
By Brittany Dandy –Blackenterprise.com
New York City’s Hot Bread Kitchen is striving to change the lives of immigrant women looking to make a living in the United States, according to CNN Money. The non-profit offers women, in low income situations, the craft and commerce of baking bread so they may earn a living for their families.
Clarissa Sango, 25, emigrated to the U.S. from Burkina Faso in 2011. She spoke little English and, as CNN reports, she didn’t possess many work skills—leaving her struggling to find a job.
“If you just came from Africa and you don’t have any resume or experience, it’s hard,” Sango told CNN Money.
The Bread Kitchen program is nine months and includes, “kitchen English” lessons which give women the language skills they need to communicate efficiently in the kitchen. The women enrolled in the classes also earn a wage of $8.75 while in attendance.
According to Money, the non-profit’s founder, Jessamyn Rodriguez, started the program out of her home in 2007, and has since trained 82 women from 20 countries. The storefront and training center is now located in Harlem, New York, where Rodriguez continues to offer women a unique space to link job skills and craft when they need it most.
“The mission here at the Hot Bread Kitchen is really around economic development,” Rodriguez said to Money. What makes us unique is real marriage between job skill and interest, with a career in market need.”
To learn more about the Bread Kitchen visit CNN Money.