Greentop Gifts Shares Diversity in the Black Community with African-American Characters


Jacquelyn Rodgers is the Founder of Greentop Gifts. Greentop Gifts started as an idea for her son and turned into a company bringing diverse products that reflect families for their own celebrations and holiday moments. Greentop Gifts has been featured in NBC News, Essence, People, and O, The Oprah Magazine. Jacquelyn is a recipient of the 2020 Visa • IFW Black Women Owned Business Grant, 2020 Wild Card Winner in the Stella Labs Women’s Fast Pitch Southeast Regional Competition and a participant in the 2020 Ad Astra Get to Even Founder Bootcamp. She has over 14 years of Consumer Packaged Goods experience at Nestle & Mars Wrigley. From this experience she has keen knowledge on how to take an idea from concept to actual product which has proved invaluable in the early stages of Greentop Gifts.


Patrice: What stuck for me while reading about your business is the name ‘Green Top Gifts’ which is unique. Could you tell us a little bit more about your motivation for creating Green Top Gifts?

Jacquelyn: Yes, I love telling the story of Greentop Gifts. It is an ode to my family. My grandfather had a restaurant bar in the 40’s/50’s which was called Greentop. It was a place of celebration for people in the black community because it was a place where people can go and enjoy the fellowship. This is how my grandfather got his start in entrepreneurship. My dad shined shoes there as a child. When we were deciding on names, we discussed it and that’s how I came up with the name.

Patrice: This is an amazing back story on how you came up with your business name! I like the fact that your grandfather owned a restaurant back in the day and that your dad shined shoes there as a child! Great memories to have! For those who don’t know, that Greentop gifts is an African-American décor and gift service and you mentioned that it features an African American character called Clarence Clause. Could you elaborate a little bit more on the character?

Jacquelyn: We launched the company with the idea of looking for black characters for the season that has a black Santa clause on it. I came to realize that it didn’t exist so I joked with my husband that I wanted to make wrapping paper and he just laughed. That made me start looking at manufacturers and illustrators and we created Clarence Clause that we wanted to appeal to children and adults.

Patrice: Now who would have thought of that idea? That is truly unique on how you moved on that idea of creating wrapping paper for black children! So, are the wrapping paper and other items that you guys sell specially sold online or are they in stores as well?

Jacquelyn: We currently sell online and partnered with some independent retailers in Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Raleigh. We are also looking to expand with some other retailers at the top of 2022!

Patrice: Sounds like a plan! Congrats on that! Like I stated before, your business is very unique and I love the whole representation and the whole meaning behind it. As far as diversity goes, how important is that to you and how do you empower not only kids, but adults on the importance of it?

Jacquelyn: Diversity is extremely important to me and to my husband especially since we are raising small children. We are factious about the images that we show them so that they see representation in television shows, the books they read, and even the celebration we do in our home. We try to make sure they understand and share with them the celebrations that are important to our family as well as people of other races and other nationalities.

Patrice: Well said! Diversity is extremely important in America! Besides Christmas wrapping paper, do you all have other wrapping paper for special occasions like birthdays, anniversaries or graduations?

Jacquelyn: Yes, absolutely!

Patrice: Great to hear! Your business is located in Atlanta and it has been reported that Greentop Gifts had the record-breaking in sales this past year. Congrats on that big accomplishment!

Jacquelyn: Thank you! We were excited to work with big supporters of our brand. 2020 was a challenging year for us and a lot of businesses and entrepreneurs. We really tried to fight through that by creating product and content that our consumers were excited about; we just thrived through the pandemic! We are grateful for the support from our customers.

Patrice: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can the readers expect next from Greentop Gifts?

Jacquelyn: We are launching our Happy Birthday collection, we are expanding that with other products, such as gift bags. We are also getting ready for the holidays! Also, we are trying to get our products with some retailers to expand the marketplace.

Listen to more of this interview by visiting http://www.anchor.fm/theriverzreport


Connect with Greentop Gifts:

Website: www.greentopgifts.com

Instagram (business page) @greentopgifts

Meet Yvette Lloyd of Life Her Podcast! Get Uplifted and Motivated Through Candid Conversations

Yvette Lloyd is a Philanthropist and Media Personality who partners with CEOs, executives, and solopreneurs to grow their personal and professional brands. Yvette has spent nearly a decade being a CEO for Fadia Young Women’s Program and owner of multiple learning centers. She has been honored with her own day, named the “Yvette Lloyd Day,” December 20th from the City of Akron, Commendation Summit County Council, and Congressional Recognition. Yvette’s organization Fadia Young Women’s Program received many features such as LSherie Alert, Rolling Out Magazine, SHEEN Magazine, Bombshell BLU Magazine, BET Experience, 19 Action News, Madamennorie, Devil Strip, Ohio.com, WKYC Channel 3 News, and more. Yvette creates such a positive and comfortable space for all the women and men she interviews. Trust and vulnerability are rare feelings that are difficult to experience with someone we have never met before. ButYvette has landed media coverage in print and broadcast outlets around the world, including the Super Bowl LIV 2020 private party with Dwayne and Theresa Bowe, BGR Fest, Zaytoven Beats private party at the Trap House Museum, I Am Queen Magazine Feature, Akron Beacon Journal National Black Guide and Boss Chicks.


Patrice: What does it mean to be a pretty woman who hustles?

Yvette: A woman that walks with confidence, make sacrifices and hustle.

Patrice: Podcasts are the new virtual and audio talk show of the century and they have so many wonderful shows from great podcasters like yourself! What made you want to start a podcast?

Yvette: My mother encouraged me to start a podcast. She was supposed to start it with me. But, she passed away before we were able to launch it together. So, now I have a passionate purpose to continue to uplift, inspire, and help women’s voices be heard on my podcast.

Patrice: Why do you feel that empowering and uplifting women is much needed in the world we live in today?

Yvette: Women are the root to making things happen. We endure so much in this world we live in and still manage to get up and go daily no matter what the circumstances may be going on in our personal lives. That’s why I created my platform to give all women the opportunity to be themselves, feel comfortable, and be vulnerable for once on a media outlet.

Patrice: The fact that your mother wanted to start the ‘Life Her Podcast’ with you and later she passed. You still had the strength to continue the legacy and start the podcast still. I applaud you for that! Since then, has things been difficult knowing your mom wasn’t physically there with you for the podcast?

Yvette: A lot of times it has been extremely difficult for me to keep pressing forward. However, with me coming from my mother’s womb I still feel her spirit and the connection I have always had with her. My husband also helped me and guided me a lot when she passed away too. Then, later I loss him as well. But, my purpose still serves a purpose to be that women that other women are everyday not even realizing it.

Patrice: Your podcast has received over 6,000 downloads! Congrats on your amazing journey! What do you want others to learn when they listen to each one of your episodes?

Yvette: Thank you so much! Yes, it has. I want each woman to develop strength, knowledge, wisdom, and courage from each woman I interviewed. We all carry something similar to each woman. We just have to listen to each other’s hearts more and love ourselves more to hear what God is trying to show you. Each journey in our lives serves a purpose and you listening to each woman on Life Her Podcast at that very moment is a reason for that because you could’ve occupied your time doing something else.

Patrice: Tell us more about being a CEO for Fadia Young’s Women Program. What was that experience like?

Yvette: It was a beautiful experience mentoring young girls in the community. It actually helped me to become the woman I am today as well. Sometimes we don’t recognize mental health issues in ourselves not until you see a reflection of yourself. I saw that in every girl and being an advocate and mentor for them is one of the best moments of my life.

Patrice: You also had celebrity features on your podcast such as Trina, Pretty Vee, Kissie Lee and more! What was it like having those heavy hitters on your podcast?

Yvette: I honestly don’t see a difference in them than we see in any other women. I loved every moment with them because it was an opportunity for me to let people see them for them on the inside instead of a celebrity. Sometimes people aren’t considerate of other people’s feelings and believe everything in the media. I want Life Her Podcast to give women that are celebrities a chance to be who they really are within instead of someone making them feel uncomfortable speaking about nonsense.

Patrice: Are you currently working on any new projects at the present moment?

Yvette: Yes! I’m actually working on a new show connected with Life Her Podcast that will feature my close friends. Also, I will be launching my new Networking Channel Called “Black Orange Network” that I started with my best friend Tommy Cherry.

Patrice: What can we expect more of on your podcast?

Yvette: More authenticity and more real life stories from women. Also, I will be interviewing some men as well real soon.


Connect with Yvette:

Facebook: Life Her Podcast

Instagram: @ lifeherpodcast

Twitter: lifeherpodcast

Website: http://www.lifeherpodcast.com

The Renaissance Woman and Media Mogul Donia Duchess Shares Insights and Experiences of Being in Media


Donia Duchess is an award-winning, two-time Emmy nominated producer, host, model, actress and motivational speaker. Having carved her own path to success, Donia is known in entertainment circles for her determination, outgoing flair, and fearless demeanor. Hailed as “one to watch,” Donia is using her distinct gift of gab to make a name for herself as a rising television personality! Upon graduation, Donia landed her first job in television production with The Maury Povich Show, where she thrived as a production assistant, helping to book and coordinate some of the show’s most watched episodes. But by 2015, Maury’s executive producer approached Donia about appearing on the show to host a national segment, and Donia’s on-air career officially commenced. Bold, beautiful and brilliant, Donia Duchess is a renaissance woman. With multiple television and modeling credits under her belt, Donia is quickly becoming entertainment’s go-to celebrity reporter, on-air segment host, and lifestyle expert. Fierce perseverance, sincere passion and an undeniable propensity have helped Donia climb the ranks as one of television’s most sought after talents, and she’s just getting started.


Patrice: Thank you so much for taking the time out to interview with Pretty Women Hustle Magazine.

Donia: Thank you for having me!

Patrice:  I was blown away just by reading your bio. It is very impressive of all the work you have done so far in your career! How did you get started in the media industry?

Donia: I always like to tell people that I started out behind the scenes. I wanted to learn everything behind the scenes to make good television, to make good entertainment, figure out how to connect with people in order to be good in front of the camera. My first job was on the Maury show and I started there as a production assistant. It was a really interesting time for me because I got to work with all these incredible people and producers and learn so much. Honestly after one season, I immediately felt like that wasn’t the kind of television I wanted to produce. I knew that type of television wasn’t really what I wanted.

Patrice: Anyone that wants to be in the media industry whether a producer, behind the camera, media correspondent or in front of the camera, a lot of people do start behind the scenes. People who work in media don’t just jump in front of the scenes, but gradually start slow. What experiences have you learned from being behind the scenes and then working your way up in front of the camera?

Donia: Ultimately, I’ve learned to have a bigger appreciation and the work that goes into making television. So for the people that sit at home and don’t know much about TV, they can watch a show and see a host on camera and you know those type of people that comment negative things on social media and say “Oh that job must be easy” They can sort of attack a celebrity or host because they feel that the job looks easy. So, that’s the point. As a talent you are supposed to make the job look easy. That’s how you know that you are doing a good job. But It’s really hard and it is a lot that goes into it and I’m grateful on how my climb has been slow and steady.

Patrice: I agree with that. Media can be quite competitive at times and may not look as easy as it may seem. Gaining all the experiences and challenges you overcame so far, what current projects are you working on?

Donia: Honestly, current project is being a mom (laughs). To be completely honest, I am just trying to get back to myself. I see that a lot of times celebrities will have kids and snap back in six weeks. And then they are showing off their abs and that is the unrealistic for the average mom who is at home with her kid. I went through a lot with my pregnancy. At point they thought my son was going to have down syndrome; it was a 92 percent chance. I had diabetes when I was pregnant, I had high blood pressure, and not to mention I was pregnant during the pandemic. A lot of doctor’s appointments I had to go alone because my husband wasn’t allowed to come in with me. So right now my current projects are being a mom, focusing on my mom and getting back to my hosting career.

Patrice: You are definitely a renaissance woman! During your career, what has been some of your favorite celebrity interviews so far?

Donia: OMG! There are so many! Boris Kodjoe was the first one. So we are doing the interview and I’m with my co-worker and he’s answering all these amazing questions. He’s a very good-looking guy; people with eyeballs can see that. Then in the middle of the interview, I said “Me and my co-worker are listening to you, but all we can say is uh-huh uh-huh” We were zoned out by how beautiful he was! (laughs) The interview was live so people picked up on that clip and thought that it was the funniest thing.  In the end I am always going to be myself and everyone ended up loving it.

Listen to more of this exclusive interview by visiting The Riverz Report Podcast at www.anchor.fm/theriverzreport

FEEN, The New Streetwear of Fashion You Must Have! CEO of FEEN Official Talks about Journey

By Patrice Rivers @thatriverzgurlbrandllc


Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?

Kate: What motivated me to start my business is the fact that I’ve always wanted something of my own. I wanted to create a platform to not only inspire but also motivate and push true hustlers to exceed their limitations. Starting a business wasn’t about me, but more so about others. Everyone needs inspiration at some point in their life, my business FEEN helps inspire you when you need it most.

When I was younger my father got into a drinking and driving accident, leading him to a coma. Thankfully, he woke up on his birthday. Fortunately for me while my family was going through this tough time I turned to fashion as my outlet. But I was FEEN for more than just fashion. I was a FEEN for my purpose. And I was determined to be more than a fiend for alcohol as my father was. So I changed the narrative. I FEEN for my dreams!! And I created brand that will inspire you too as well.

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustles?

Kate: Without a doubt I’m a pretty woman that hustles. Humbly speaking, I am good looking on the outside, but I’m more beautiful on the inside which makes me pretty. I embody my brand’s motto, Hustle, Grind, Rewind. Every day I wake up I make it a priority to work towards my business, personal brand, and overall goals. I create opportunities for myself and the people around me. Not only do I create opportunities but I also open doors for myself. I am a true believer that you get what you work for. So I’m striving to work towards everything I want and desire 24/7.

Patrice: What is the name of your business(es) and what are they all about?

 Kate: The name of my business is FEEN. FEEN is a premium streetwear brand that caters to women and men. While providing quality streetwear FEEN also provides hope. FEEN pushes their consumer to live by their motto, Hustle, Grind, Rewind and FEEN for their dreams! The fact of the matter is that we all crave and have a desire for something(s). FEEN helps you express your hustle for whatever that may be.

Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?

Kate: Of course I have faced challenges in my business. But, every challenge I have ever faced I’ve overcome through preservation. Any challenge I encounter I take it as a lesson, I learn and grow from it. In the end every challenge it’s all a part of my journey and my story. I am trusting the process through every trial and tribulation.

Patrice: What projects are you’re currently working on?

Kate: Currently I am working on an upcoming collection, a podcast in the making, as well as a huge event I am producing together this summer that will focus on giving creatives like myself a platform that started from the ground up.

Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman entrepreneur?

Kate: As a powerful female entrepreneur I face diversity by embracing it. I feel powerful when I’m the only woman in the room, because I know I make a difference.  Diversity takes you out of your comfort zone, and that’s when you grow the most when you’re uncomfortable.

Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?

Kate: Honestly, I would say that I balance my personal and business life pretty well. Sometimes it’s a thin line in between the two and as an entrepreneur you may give more to one than the other but life is about finding the balance that’s comfortable to YOU.

Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?

Kate: Being an entrepreneur to me means that I control my own time, financial freedom, and direction of my energy to whatever I please. Having that type of control on your life is a power like no other. Don’t get me wrong, everything in life has its ups and downs, and entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.


Connect with Kate:

Personal Instagram : @katehayez

Business Instagram : @feenofficial

Business Twitter : @feenofficial

YouTube : Feen Official

Website : http://www.feenofficial.com

ANN AND ASHLEY BRINGING THE GAME-CHANGING SKINCARE PRODUCTS IN BEAUTY

The highly anticipated skincare line Ann & Ashley has released game-changing products for all skin types to ensure that every individual receives the glow they all desire and deserve. With each product supercharged with antioxidants, essential oils, botanicals, and more, it becomes the perfect regimen to restore radiance and reinvigorate the skin that has been exposed to temperature and harsh environmental aggressors. Designed with the skin in mind, Ann & Ashley products respect and restore the natural pH balance of the skin, firm the skin, and improve elasticity.


Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustles?

Ann and Ashley: A pretty woman that hustles is an enterprise woman whose savvy, & determined to go after her goals. I have always been ambitious, driven, and aspired to bigger things and I believe you need a combination of all those things to truly be a pretty woman “hustler”.

Patrice: The name of your business is catchy! What is the story behind it?

Ann and Ashley: Our story began when I decided to develop a solution to help alleviate my mother’s skin condition. I realized that a homeopathic solution would help reverse the symptoms affecting the texture and color of her skin. ​Recognizing a valuable opportunity to provide for this niche market, Ann & Ashley was born. The inspiration behind Ann & Ashley (hence our brand’s name) named for my Mother and myself.

Patrice: What makes your skincare products different from others?

Ann and Ashley: Sourced from the cleanest, purest ingredients using nearly up to 60% to 80% natural and organic botanicals and oils to effectively moisturize and hydrate the skin as well as protect the health & body using the principles of aromatherapy. At Ann & Ashley, its more than a moisturizer, it is a lifestyle!

Patrice: In your beauty products, what are some of the main ingredients?

Ann and Ashley: Vitamin C, African Baobab “super fruit” oil, rosemary extract, mango Butter, vitamin E, Neem Seed Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil are some the main ingredients used based on the healing properties.

Patrice: A lot of people have sensitive skin as well. Does your products caters to all skin types?

Ann and Ashely: Yes, Absolutely! Our products are formulated to work for even the most sensitive skin.

Patrice: Skincare regimen is especially important I believe. What products do you recommend people use?

Ann and Ashely: A good moisturizer, first and foremost, helps to reduce the signs of aging, and a good exfoliator to remove buildup of dead skin. Our Skin Elixir is a pore reducing genie that provides superior benefits that enhances the moisture content of the skin.

Patrice: Black-owned businesses are important. Do you feel that black-owned businesses in the beauty industry are treated the same as any other skincare company around the world?

Ann and Ashley: Black brands are some of the most culturally influential in the world. Many companies have recognized the value of Black owned brands and Black consumers in the marketplace and are starting to implement better inclusion practices as well as reflect that diversity of product offerings to their customers.

Patrice: Tell us more about the Coconut and Rose body butter and the Skin Elixir Firming Radiance concentrate.

Ann and Ashley: The Coconut Rose body butter boasts an enchanting flowery scent that invigorates the senses and envelops the skin in velvety butters for maximum hydration. The Skin Elixir Firming Radiance Concentrate is vitamin c packed skin food that reduces appearance of pores, minimizes cystic breakouts and the effects of the elements on the skin. It is superstar ingredient of Baobab Oil is a fountain of youth in a bottle.

Patrice: What are some of the challenges you faced along the way in your business?

Ann and Ashley: Whew! So many things from having a lack of access to capital, knowing what things to look for to help with the best decision making, budgeting, bad deals, incorrect marketing. Those are some of things I have had to overcome.

Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?

Ann and Ashley: It means being passionate, savvy, fearless, tenacious, determined, cunning, hardworking and being willing to sacrifice and get back up after being knocked down to achieve your goals.

Patrice: For people wanting to start their own business, what advice would you give them?

Ann and Ashley: Give yourself time, do the market research, find your niche that makes your brand unique, automate things, and outsource jobs that you are not an expert in. It will ultimately save you time and money!

Connect with Ann and Ashley

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ann.ashleyskin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnAshleyskin/

Website: http://www.ann-ashley.com

Email: info@ann-ashley.com

KOCKTAIL KULTURE IS BRINGING THE KULTURE OF ALL THINGS IN BARTENDING


As a spirit’s enthusiast, with over 10 years’ experience, collectively, working in the service industry and “behind the bar,” Tyemerica has successfully executed spirits promotions, helping to launch various spirit brand activations for Ciroc, Crown Royal, Hypnotic, Fireball, BelAire, Jose Cuervo, Titos, Seagrams, Bacardi (and many more). Frequenting large scale events such as Black Bike Week and CIAA, this provided her with the exposure and the ability to personally secure business working as a bottle girl and bartending with various party promoters in South Carolina and North Carolina. In addition, she landed the opportunity to work as a brand ambassador/ model/ bartender for the former SC Ciroc Fam, where she trained under the leadership of Charleston, SC’s Nightlife guru “Twenty.” She executed activations for high celebrity profile concerts, club appearances, booking events; college tailgating and homecoming parties by helping to create brand awareness and educating consumers for Ciroc Ultra-Premium Vodka. This eventually landed her a lead spirits promotional model position with a national agency, MKTG, Inc. and head bartender position with High Star Entertainment, based out of Charleston, SC. She has also been featured on the former Media and Arts, hosted by H-Dub, on-air personality for a top urban radio station in Columbia, SC. During the segment she discussed her love for the service industry, “modeling,” and the adult cocktail industry. This gave her visibility in the southeast region of the nation.

When not bartending or executing spirits promotions, she is juggling parenthood as a mother of 2, volunteering as the Operations Coordinator of the “Purple Stilettos” Women’s Empowerment Group, and creating content to grow her mobile bartending school and cocktail business “Kocktail Kulture.”



Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?

Tyemerica: The love and passion I develop for the hospitality industry and the need to support my family by legitimate means. It began in 2013 when I had little experience, I was given a shot at being a spirit’s promotional model and it took off from there. I’m not getting any younger. Sometimes the industry is vain, so I needed a backup plan for when my looks fade, lol. And of course the money!

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustles?

Tyemerica: My passion and drive to succeed; to make it to the top and bring others with me.

Patrice: What is the name of your business(es) and what are they all about?

Tyemerica: Kocktail Kulture is a mobile bartending school that travels throughout the state of South Carolina instructing individuals in the fundamentals of bartending; a beginners bartending class.

Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?

Tyemerica: Yes, anyone who tells you they don’t face challenges in running a business is lying, lol. From having enough people in class or staffing for a party to not having enough funds for supplies like alcohol which is needed for class, you’re bound to run into challenges. I overcame them by praying for guidence and taking a step back from the challenge to approach it another day, so I can have a clear head to think it out.

Patrice: What projects are you currently working on?

Tyemerica: My plans are to partner with various venues/ locations to offer staffing and job placement for bartenders, shot girls, bottle girls, and spirits promotional models. In addition to other classes within the industry.

Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman entrepreneur?

Tyemerica: Diversity is extremely hard, especially here in the south. I face it by remembering who I’m doing this for, by remembering who my audience and target demographic is and why I’m doing this. Also, when first starting out in this industry, people never wanted to help or give you their info. So I wanted to be that person who gave people direction and info to get started and to help them grow in the hospitality industry as a bartender.

Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?

Tyemerica: Balancing is extremely difficult…work and business life. Other than taking care of family, I leave the personal life out of it because I’m a Capricorn and we’re all about our business and coins, lol, no time for personal lives 😉

Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?

Tyemerica: It means having the freedom to work on your terms and work in your purpose and passion—when I want, how I want, and where I want. I quit a full-time job I use to have because I was tired of clocking in and out, day-to-day NOT doing what I love, waking up every day knowing I had to deal with a rude client, an incompetent boss, and not being trained on procedures but expected to produce outstanding work…you grow tired of chaos.

Connect with Tyemerica:

Instagram: @kocktailkulture

Facebook: @kocktailkulture

Snapchat: @kocktailkulture


DEBUT AUTHOR KIMBERLY GOWDY SHARES HER TRUTH IN THE BOOK “THE COLORLESS WOMB”

Debut author Kimberly Gowdy tackles the topic of surrogacy and infertility head-on. In The Colorless Womb, Gowdy talks about her struggles to conceive and carry a child. She discusses complications of three miscarriages and being trapped in an abusive marriage with her former spouse who valued his drug addiction more than his wife. The book follows her journey in search of alternative ways to have a family and how her faith kept her strong even in the darkest of days. After seven failed surrogacy attempts with two embryos left, the biggest surprise comes in an unexpected package.

Gowdy’s openness to share her truth is refreshing and brings the reader along for an emotional ride sprinkled with humor, pain, encouragement, faith, and transparency. She proves that help in any form can come in unseen ways and in people. “Since this is a true story, it was just a matter of telling my truth. The Colorless Womb shows that even with the racial tensions in our country, love is above racism. The person on the inside matters more than what is on the outside,” Gowdy says.

Patrice: Who is Kimberly Gowdy?

Kimberly: Kimberly is the eldest of eight children.  A woman who previously lived a life under the secret of domestic abuse, the shame of enabling drug addiction, and a believer that she would never carry the title of mom,  who’s now living her best life as a business professional, wife of a doctor and mother to a son.   

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman who hustles?

Kimberly: I’m a woman who has looked down the barrel of life’s darkest days and still decided I wanted more.  I’m a woman who knows struggle, pain, and disappointment, but I also knew how to use it for my good. We can be blessed even by the mistakes we make.  It all works together for your good.

Patrice: What is the name of your book, and what is it about?

Kimberly:  “The Colorless Womb. “The Colorless Womb” is about the most painful part of my life.  It’s about loss, brokenness, and the journey it took for me to become a mother.  I’ve always believed that I would someday wear that title, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes God saves us from ourselves.  The timing, the person, even the place may not be right.  This book is a testament that our blessings may not always be recognizable. 

Patrice: Did you face any challenges in your journey when writing your book?

Kimberly: I faced some challenges.  The first was a matter of time.  When I thought about writing, my son was two years old.  My husband and I were also caregivers to my 90-year-old father-in-law.  Having a child and a senior citizen in the house, we were going from the pediatrician for my son to the geriatric ward for my father-in-law all in the same week.  I was a wife, mother and working full time outside the home. Between that challenge and not believing enough in my writing skills, it was difficult.  But obviously, I overcame those barriers.

Patrice: What does a pretty woman who hustles mean to you?

 Kimberly: A woman who is about her business.  A woman who drowns out the negativity that she hears and sees on television and social media.  A woman who believes that if I don’t believe in me, no one else will.

Patrice: Are you working on any current projects right now?

Kimberly:  I am working on writing my second book.  I’ll just say it’s more political.  I’m also working on developing MOBY™.  Mommy Older Baby Younger.  It’s a name I trademarked to represent women who became mothers at or over 35.  There are many of us.  Not just actresses but everyday women.  Women who may have married someone with children, surrogacy, adoption, or the good old-fashioned way. But we are to be celebrated because we didn’t focus on society’s timeline. 

Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman author?

Kimberly: I’m new to this industry, but I will say the books that I plan to write will reach a wide audience.  Growing up in Connecticut, in a very diverse community, my experiences dictate that I will be cast a wide net in terms of those who will appreciate my stories.

Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work, and business life difficult for you at times?

Kimberly: It can be difficult at times. I work hard, both in my profession and now as an Author.  Most women are guilty of doing way too much to please others, it’s just what we do.  When it gets too overwhelming, I step back, pray, and then imagine life without those around me who need me, and that usually takes me out of my pity party, that and a glass of Cabernet.

Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?

Kimberly: It means leaving a legacy. It means knowing that when I leave this earth, there will be something with my name on it.  I can say “Google me,” and you’ll see more than just my previous address history; you’ll see hard work, dedication, and commitment to my dreams.

Patrice: What do you want the readers to take away from your book?

Kimberly: That with race relations at an all-time low, we are more alike than different.  And that one of life’s greatest blessings may come in an unsuspecting package.

Connect with Kimberly:

Instagram: colorlesswomb_

Twitter: colorlesswomb_

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FELESHIA SAMS SHARES HER JOURNEY ON NOT ONE, BUT THREE BUSINESS VENTURES! THE ‘GO-TO-GIRL’ INDEED!”

I believe pretty is not about the outer appearance, but instead what is deep within you~ Feleshia Sams

Feleshia was considered the “go-to-girl” for make-up in college. Now she is the CEO of the Atlanta-based Academy of Advanced cosmetics (AAC,) a cosmetic training academy and hub for beauty technicians and artists. Feleshia is also the CEO of Coz Tat, a mobile app created with cosmetic artists and consumers in mind and 365 Greens, a holistic brand that boasts a green superfood powder that has proven to strengthen weakened immune systems and energy.


Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?

Feleshia: From the age of 5 I was saying that I told myself that I wanted to be the boss.  At that time I had no idea of what I was going to do all I knew was that I wanted to run my own business.  Growing up as an only child with only my mom and I.  I saw how she was able to build her own business and that inspired me to want to do the same one day. 

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustle?

Feleshia: I believe pretty is not about the outer appearance but instead what is deep within you.  You can have a pretty face, body, and gorgeous hair but a ugly heart.  Physical appearances fade and who we truly are resides within us forever.  Being pretty is what do we do for our families, communities, those around us.  How we live, work, and give back.  Its my mission to be that “pretty” example for both my children and those that may look up to me and want to do what I’m doing today. 

Patrice: What is the name of your business(es) and what does it intel?

Feleshia: I have 3 businesses. 2 are cosmetic related and 1 is health and nutrition. 

Academy of Advanced Cosmetics is a cosmetic training academy that trains, mentors, supplies our very own cosmetic tattoo products to students in the industry. 

CozTat is my app that connects cosmetic tattoo artist and clients together.  We provide a complete business system for our artist to manage their calendars, take payments, send electronic consent forms, and showcase their work. The app is free to clients where they can check out reviews, artist pictures, check certification / licensing credentials, schedule, and pay all within the app.

365 Greens is my green superfood powder.  This is a superfood powder that is a daily powder that can be mixed in water or your favorite drink to provide you all the multi vitamins and nutrients you need.  It’s simple to mix and taste really good unlike most powders on the market. 

Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?

Feleshia: Being in business has a lot of ups and downs. Some recent challenges that I had to face was finding the right contractors and support for some of my businesses.  For example, when I see that someone or company is not providing me what I need I have learned to move on, but before I do I always have a backup.  When I initially started my app I started with one developer and then found that I was not getting what I wanted.  As a result, I left and moved on the next.  Yes, it was costly but in the long run I feel as though it was going to save me a lot in the long run.  The same with my superfoods brand.  Having my own vision of what I want and what others say they can do can sometimes cause you to redirect your vision to what they can do.  So just as with the app I found myself moving to another manufacture that was able to give me exactly what I was looking for.  Bottom line I have to trust my gut and stick to my guns and know that this is my vision.  Sometimes others can’t see it and that’s okay but I know at the end of the day if I’m paying I need to get what I’m paying for. 

Patrice: Are you currently working on any current projects right now?

Feleshia: I have a new project coming out that is an online business course.  It’s called PMU Resources make 6 figures while working 3 days a week or less.  This is through my Academy and will be available to all permanent makeup artist.  I wanted to layout the blue print on how I did this my first year in and how they can do this to. Also, I am coming out with a green superfood for kids in May 2021.  This is through 365 Greens and will be specifically for kids. 

Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman/man entrepreneur/author?

Feleshia: I would say while developing my app it was sometimes a challenge.  Being that the tech field is so male dominant.  Also, I was creating something as a woman for mainly women and they knew nothing about it.  It was huge challenge. In the development phase we would have weekly conference calls and it would be all these men and then me.  I knew from the first meeting that if I wanted my app to be a certain way I was going to have to drive my point across and let them know that yes this woman has voice.  Despite the fact I was spending my money I always felt that I had to defend my view on why I didn’t like their ideas.  This was part of why I switched developers.  I’m still with a bunch of guys but I find this new group is way more respectful and inclusive. 

Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?

Feleshia: Yes, yes, and yes!  Lately it has been a lot but I feel that once I get through these next few months I’ll be able to get more balance.  I consider myself to be an extremely organized person so this helps tremendously along with a terrific staff. 

Patrice: Do you have any new projects or events coming up?

Feleshia: At the Academy we use to do an annual PMU and Micro blading event.  Due to COVID-19 we delayed it so the plan is to do it again March 2022. 

Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?

Feleshia: Being an entrepreneur means that I have no limits on what I can do in my career.  As an entrepreneur there’s no glass ceilings and no climbing that corporate ladder.   This is so rewarding to me and I am so blessed to be where I am today.  It’s hard-work but I wouldn’t trade it for any 9-5. 

Connect with Feleshia:

Instagram: feleshiasams

Website: http://www.aactraining.com

Instagram: aac_training

Facebook: Academy of Advanced Cosmetics

Website: http://www.coztat.app

Instagram: cozTat

Facebook: cozTat

Website: http://www.shop365greens.com

Instagram: shop365greens

Facebook: shop 365greens

UNLOCK YOUR HEALING POWER BY REFUELING, REFOCUSING AND REVAMPING YOUR LIFESTYLE WITH CEO OF D.O.P.E. HEALING

A natural-born optimist, registered nurse, and practitioner, Keisha Brown has always believed that positive energy makes you feel healthier, happier, and more empowered. With over 5 years of experience at the helm, Keisha is an ER travel nurse who specializes in Pediatric and Adult Emergency Medicine. Her love for helping others was initiated at a young age and, over the years, has revolutionized that experience by infusing comprehensive wellness methods for clients all over the country. This carefulness has continued throughout her career, especially when serving as a frontline nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having learned the intricacies of patient testing, Keisha went on to serve as a primary wellness practitioner at Tyler Perry Studios and Warner Brothers, in an effort to enforce safe filming practices for talent and staff. The founder of D.O.P.E Healing, a concierge IV therapy and wellness clinic, Keisha specializes in helping clients unlock the healing power of holistic health.


“Never underestimate my potential, I’ve been essential,” ~Keisha Brown


Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?

Keisha: To give back to my community. Weather it was by providing nursing services, different resources or being able to create jobs.  Instead of hosting or participating in conversation about wanting change. I decided to start by being the change that I wanted to see in this world. 2020, was a dark year for the myself and the world.  After coming off the frontlines and experiencing depression, I had to find a way to get back to my safe place of happiness. I do that by helping others. I got tired of wrestling with the thoughts of choosing money and politics over morals. I knew my community needed help. I witnessed the world loosing trust in HealthCare. And they had good reasons to feel the way they did. I wanted to help bridge the gap and gain the public’s trust again. But we have to work together and have empathy for one another. Once I found other ways of keeping people safe and alive, then I choose to take that route. So that meant me leaving the bedside and getting back into my community. My focus was to keep people of out the hospital, especially if it wasn’t urgent or emergent. So in my mind I’m helping my fellow colleagues and the community at the same time. I also wanted to do something special with my daughter, usually men work on cars or build houses with their son. So I decided to build a brand and create a legacy with my daughter. This is me braking generational curses.

Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman/man that hustle?

Keisha: I’m a beautiful woman driven by the success that is reflected towards my passion for what I love to do. I enjoy what I do, helping a patient, putting a smile on a face, healing, helping, being a gift to others. Being of service. My journey has not been short or easy, however it was worth the travel, the experience and the lessons along the way. Along this road, I’ve lost people close and dear to me and I learned their impact carries in me. During the dark times that will come, I may bend, but I won’t break.

” Never underestimate my potential. I’ve been essential” Keisha Brown

Patrice: What is the name of your business and what does it intel?

Keisha: D.O.P.E. HEALINGD.O.P.E.  stands for Delivering Only Positive Energy. We offer concierge nursing services, IV Hydration, Vitamin Injections, Rapid Co-VID testing, FIT testing, lab draws, urine drug and STD screening, CBD products and more.

“Energy is everything. Where the mind goes the body follow.” Keisha Brown, BSN,RN

Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?

Keisha: Absolutely! I allowed loyalty to keep me in places that common sense would have taken me out of.  Once I understood my purpose was greater than anyone’s opinion of me, I was ok with leaving people and opinions where I found them. Developing a business automatically comes with trials and failures because of the people you have to learn and adapt to (photographers, web designers, lawyers, etc.) Learning to mind the business that pays me, saved me from losing a lot of things like my mind, money and time.  I have to protect my energy and peace at all costs. The energy that you have is the energy you put out. protect yourself the way others won’t.

Patrice: Are you currently working on any current projects right now?

Keisha: Yes. I’m working on starting non -profit organization. I’m planning an event on Mother’s Day in honor of my later mother Paula Nixon, who passed away unexpectedly January 16, 2021. My mother had a larger- than- life personality and a heart that loved without limits. This will be my 1st Mother’s Day without her, undoubtedly the hardest one so I want to put my heart into the world and make someone else smile.  Over the summer D.O.P.E. Healing will be partnering with business owners, community leaders and sponsors for community health based events (Covid-19 testing, vaccine distribution, etc.) pending the events can be conducted primarily in regards to public safety. 

You can find these announcements and/or updates on my website http://www.dopehealingatl.com, IG page: d.o.p.e.healing, Facebook: D.O.P.E. Healing.

Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman/man entrepreneur/author?

Keisha: Day by day with a strong team in support. What is expected in any business is that there will be trials and tribulations. That is a guarantee. However how you choose to respond is what will define you as a person and will reflect in the strength for your business. Losses are inevitable but the perseverance is detrimental to success. Foundation to your motive of your business is also pertinent to success. Money is a side result of the service or product you provide. For that reason, stay grounded in your belief and your motive will exude and produce results.

Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?

Keisha: Absolutely.  I’m a wife, mother and CEO. For a while I felt as though I could only depend on myself to complete a task. Developing the right team to complete assignments was a challenge. Needless to say, I had trust issues, it was extremely stressful in itself. Because delegation and prioritization is a must to help cultivate a healthy balance to prevent yourself from burning out. So I had to learn how to trust, but verify. It’s still a work in progress.

For that reason, commitment to your business is imperative. If you don’t believe in it with consistency and passion, who will. One thing that I’ve learned and continue to work on, is separating my personal life from my business. But making sure I take care of things in my personal life first, so it does not show up in my business.  Separate your titles, you are not your job, your job is what you do. you are not where you work but when you work is a reflection of you.

Patrice: Do you have any new projects or events coming up?

Keisha: I have several community events that I’m lining up for the Summer time. These events are contingent based and will only take place if it can be conducted safely.  You can find these announcements and/or updates on my website http://www.dopehealingatl.com or on my IG page: d.o.p.e.healing

Patrice: What does being an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?

Keisha: As an entrepreneur I am independent. I am responsible for a service and a production. As a business owner I have the capability to impact lives and provide jobs that are needed in my community. I provide an example to those who see me and see past their circumstance. It’s not about the destination. It’s the journey for me. Being the change.

I AM a woman who has a soft touch, but also one whose presence is felt.

Connect with Keisha:

Instagram: d.o.p.e.healing

Facebook: DOPE Healing

Website: http://www.dopehealingatl.com


ADVOCATE AND NEW AUTHOR MAKES DEBUT APPEARANCE ON BET ‘AMERICAN GANGSTER’ (TRAP QUEEN SERIES) ON APRIL 7TH

Ayana Bean, born and raised in Boston, MA, is an activist, speaker and advocate for at risk women. She is a member of several organizations that have an agenda to end mass incarceration by pushing for prison reform. As a former financial aid adviser, music industry event curator and consultant, Bean is no stranger to the rhythm of life’s highs and lows. From being an entrepreneur, to making unlawful decisions that resulted in her being sentenced to prison for financial fraud. Released from prison in 2014 she began her road to redemption. Ms. Bean is featured in the BET American Gangster (Trap Queens) series Part 2. Episode 7


“The biggest challenge I have faced in business and in life is fear. It can be difficult to take on anything being afraid. Fear can stop you. Overcoming it is the win. “


Patrice: What is the name of your business and what does it intel?

Ayana: Besides being an activist and speaker, I am now a new author. My first book called “A Year and A Day” is based on my life growing up and the challenges I faced. Life of crime and heart aches. Through another business venture I purchase commercial and residential property investments.

Patrice: I definitely feel that your story will touch others, especially for women who have been through the same thing you have been through. Have you faced any challenges so far?

Ayana: The biggest challenge I have faced in business and in life is fear. It can be difficult to take on anything being afraid. Fear can stop you. Overcoming it is the win.

Patrice: Fear can definitely stop you dead in your tracks to what and where you want to go in live. Are you currently working on any current projects right now?

Ayana: Yes, my book “A Year and A Day,” working in the community to provide resources for at risk youth, and women re-entering into society from prison.

Patrice: Wow! Sounds amazing! What you are doing in the community is absolutely worthy and needed. How do you face diversity as a woman/man entrepreneur/author?

Ayana: As a woman there is always seems to be a lower standard as far as worth and as a Black woman even lower than that. It’s about facing it and sticking to your values, morals and worth.

Patrice: I totally agree with you! We all know that balancing your personal life and career can be challenging at times. For you, is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?

Ayana: It used to be. I wasn’t great at the time management at first, but I have mastered it now and it’s much better.

Patrice: Time management can be a working progress but it’s a great tool to accomplish. Do you have any new projects or events coming up?

Ayana: I am planning a book tour once our world tour dates are confirmed to open up safely.

Patrice: Sounds like a plan! A book tour is always great to introducing the world to your new book. So, what does being an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?

Ayana: It’s means strength; accepting and acknowledging the strengths we possess. We are capable of all possibilities and just go for it.

Connect with Ms. Yana Bean:

IG: @ms.yanabean

Twitter: Ms. Yana Bean

Facebook @ ms.yanabean


“The biggest challenge I have faced in business and in life is fear. It can be difficult to take on anything being afraid. Fear can stop you. Overcoming it is the win. “