Shaolin Jazz- 37th Chamber Dream Girls

dreamgirlsTalk about fortuitous meetings of happenstance. I was introduced to a fellow blogger who is connected to an artist who is currently working on a project to promote a group of dynamic sistas with natural hair. Up my alley would be a wholly understatement. Not only on are these ladies beautiful they are quite accomplished as well. The strength and beauty they possess is highlighted through the amazing photography. Here’s another kicker, they are also all about the 90’s, yes to know me is to understand my undying love for the 90’s. I’m talking about the, music, fashion, TV shows, and slang urrthang. The merging of dopeness is insurmountable. The Shaolin Jazz Dream Girls are a component of the Shaolin Jazz- 37th Chamber project, conceived, crafted and produced by Gerald Watson and DJ 2-Tones Jones. Shaolin Jazz- the 37th Chamber exposes the relationship between jazz and hip hop. The music is a reminder of how much jazz has been a major cultural influence on the culture of hip hop. The Dream Girls are representing the feminine side of what Shaolin Jazz has to offer through grace beauty and stride. Take a moment to be refreshed by the many facets of natural black beauty.

 

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http://gmoney77.wordpress.com/2014/06/17/shaolin-jazz-dream-girls-nyc-edition-for-shaolin-jazz-apparel-summer-2014-part-1/

http://gmoney77.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/shaolin-jazz-dream-girls-nyc-edition-for-shaolin-jazz-apparel-summer-2014-part-2/

For all SHAOLIN JAZZ content go to http://www.shaolinjazz.com and here are social media accounts: ig: @shaolinjazz, twitter: @shaolin_jazz37, tumblr: dreamgirlsnewyork.tumblr.com.

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What Am I Reading/ Day 13 of the Just Blog It Challenge

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Oh my goodness….what might not seem like a loaded question could be questionably explode-able!  I have a tendency to read several books at one time. Sometimes the book is for pleasure sometimes I am trying learn and be a better Yonnie(actually both can happen simultaneously, I have definitely learned a thing or two from a trashy romance novel). Recently I devoured my second Brene Brown book, “Gifts of Imperfection”. Loved it, loved her first one that has not been as credibly noted, ” I Thought It Was Just Me,” next on the list of course is “Daring Greatly,” can we  say stan, or bran, what would be a heavily intoxicated author follower be called?  Next on the list is Emily Griffin, you might remember her from her made into novel “Something Borrowed. The book was soooooo much better than the movie and I know that is usually case, but really bypass the movie, save yourself 2 hours of unnecessary torture. I digress, I am currently reading her other novel “Baby Proof,” to breed or not to breed, I so agree. Let me add to the list “Most Wanted Woman,”by Eric Jerome Dickey. I’m in a book club so yeah, overlapping happens. I only got halfway through Dickey so I will need to revisit his version of a femme fatale assassin. I would be remiss if I did not add to the list, “The Glass Kitchen,” who my mother bought at the thrift store but clearly states on the cover its not for sale until next year. Weird. I like it, though because the cooking lady is clairvoyant, (who doesn’t like a telepathy with their friend chicken) In between my blog readings, I must have a book in my hand. I am  one of those being held hostage by the olden days.I do not own any sort of reading device. I almost forgot I have one more honorable mention, Walter Mosley, “Ptolemy Grey,”  much like in real life I can be become to attached to a character and need time to process feelings over trauma, so I’m giving myself time, will resume at a later date. Welp, that is all folks. I have  a crazy long list of must reads, and if you have any to share please do.

Toot Your Own Horn/Day 11 Just Blog It Challenge

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So many things, so little time…..Sometimes I have a hard time tooting my own horn other times I am shouting from the rooftop about my greatness. One thing I really like about myself is my unrelenting desire to always be better, mind you better not perfect. If there is something I can be doing to solidify a better quality of life then I want to be all over it. If it means eating better, exercising, and meditating, I must dip a toe. Sitting around complaining about my circumstance has never been my deal. Not to say that every venture  endeavored has bode well. Trial and error has now become my best friend, but I don’t give up. The pitfalls can be deep and I suffer in the valley lost looking for meaning in the lesson and it eventually it comes, whether I consciously or unconsciously recognize the growth.  Even with this blogging challenge. I had severe reservations about even doing it because I don’t have a business or a “real” blog, all I have at the moment is the desire to write and create.  Now I am able to check off one more notch of innate desires to always be better. Challenging myself to better…whooo hooo…TOOT TOOT!!!

 

Just Blog It Challenge Day 10/ Featured Business

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In honor of female,  entrepreneurship I am showcasing a  friend of mine who has a wonderful line of natural hair and skin care products. Please visit her online and support her business. She is a super positive person and I am grateful we connected.

 

How did you get started?

I started my first small in-home business 1994 making gift baskets from products I purchased wholesale from companies I connected with at a local trade show.  I spent $250 on products and supplies and sold to my family and friends.  I started with home parties before opening a small store front inside a local beauty salon.  I went on to get my professional license in esthetics and introduced skincare services to expand my retail business.  The company I have now, Tru2u Skincare & Cosmetics started in 2010.   I started making my own products after having a horrible reaction to a product I purchased that triggered my eczema.  I lost all the hair in my crown area and had to see a dermatologist for a year to get my hair growing again.  Nothing I purchased retail seemed to work with the treatment regimen prescribed by my doctor, so I became a kitchen chemist and made my own products to support the treatments.  They worked very well for me and I was able to regrow my hair.  People began asking what I was using on my hair and offered to purchase the products if I’d mix them up a batch.  I decided to no longer purchase wholesale from other vendors and began to market and sell the products I was mixing for myself and Tru2u Skincare & Cosmetics was born.

Did anyone inspire you to become an entrepreneur?

I would say it was my husband.  He’s had a small dj business since we met and still does parties today.  He loved it and would have parties lined up for months at a time, plus he was able to bring a little extra into the household for things a young family might not be able to afford.  I thought “I can do that, too!”

What are some of your favorite products?

I pretty much use all of my Tru2u Products for myself daily – Tru2u Peppermint Hair & Body Custard, Tru2u Peppermint Moisturizing Spray, and Tru2u Lavender Body Custard are my absolute favorite products!  The bonus is I make them myself!  I love my Pure Shea Black Tar Soap for my face and body.  It’s the only soap I use.  I’m currently in love with Just Naturals Skincare Herbal Gel with Vitamins.  I use it as a leave in conditioner on my natural hair and i can get up to 12days from my wash-n-go.  For makeup it would be my Crown Royalities Lip Gloss.  I have a friend that makes it and my lips are lost without it!  My more commercial product choices for my hair include Garnier Pure Clean Conditioner, Aubrey Organics GPB, ORS Hair Mayo, Carol’s Daughter Monoi Intensive Repair Mask, and Nexxus Youth Renewal Serum.  Some of my choices are not all natural, but I use them weekly to monthly and they work for me.

How important is it to use natural products on natural hair?

I think it can be very important depending on the issues you’re dealing with concerning your hair.  I went for years thinking I had to use silicones on my hair and would defend them to anyone that thought differently.  I still might, depending on the product and how it’s used.  For a time I really believed my hair needed that sticky film build up to help get the look I wanted, but since switching to a regimen with fewer cones and parabens my hair has actually gotten much better!  It’s like your hair and scalp can really tell the difference.  I think discovering the benefits of natural products has extended my natural hair journey and I’m getting far better results in my hair’s health and vitality, which is a huge issue for me as I get older.

How long did it take for you to get started?

Since I was already using the products I created for myself it was very easy to build a small business around them.  It took about 6 months to get enough raw materials and supplies to actually call myself a business.

Have you experienced any setbacks? If so how did you move forward?

I would say my biggest problem is finding local supply sources.  There are none!  I’m very selective about my raw materials and because I’m still small I don’t have the space or funds to order in bulk, so finding suppliers that offer incentives for small quantity purchasing is challenging. In order to manage some of those issues I’m been exploring partnerships that allow me to place my orders with larger businesses that carry the products I use.  They allow me to order with them to receive wholesale pricing.  It boosts their orders and helps increase my profit margin.  The other issues would be advertising and finding creative ways to market your product with limited dollars, and knowing what is the next level to pursue as you grow – new equipment, adding employees, etc.

Where do you see your business in the next 5- 10 years?

I’ll be retirement age in that time frame, so I’m putting the pieces in place to turn my home business into a full time concern.  I have a partner with a similar vision and we’re currently working on plans to open a complete holistic center offering natural skincare service, healing  modalities, and natural products.  In 5-10 years I see myself doing exactly the same thing I’m doing now, but in my own building and full time!  Bringing healing products and services to an under serviced neighborhood at an affordable price has always been my goal.

What would be your advice for anyone looking to start their own business?

  1. Start a business plan.  Not necessarily to attract investors or get loans, but to help you develop your vision.  I’ve had the same business plan since 1999 that I just keep revising as new opportunities develop. It’s been my road map, as well of my source of creative visualization, and it’s been invaluable in helping me imagine what could be if I stay on course.
  2. Start where you are.  Don’t believe that you need some huge infusion of cash to get started.  Find something small you can do everyday toward making your business develop.  It can be research or a simple questionnaire you email to friends.  What you energize with your thoughts materializes in your life.
  3. Be careful not to try and start at the end of your vision.  Everyone wants that grand vision they see in their mind, but when we do that we can derail our dreams because they seem so huge or unattainable.  Be sure to break your journey down into baby steps.  Any journey is possible if taken one step at a time!

https://www.facebook.com/Tru2uskincareandcosmetics

 

What I Have Learned From Pop Culture

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What I have learned from pop culture is people seem to lose their sense of self respect for money and fame. I think with popular onset of reality shows, they have somehow increased the low levels of stardom people are willing to subject themselves too. Yes greedy opportunistic people have been around forever but it just feels like nowadays with the all the social media outlets we are privy to people’s nonsense on another whole level. We are bombarded everyday through some form of media outlet about someone who is famous engaging in foolery, albeit sometimes entertaining foolery. I recently made a concrete decision to stop watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta, it was the only reality show I could tolerate. But now, after the whole debacle between Kenya and Portia, my minute ability to watch has completely dissolved. Watching beautiful black women act a fool no longer entertains me, and I don’t think putting people in the hospital is funny. Pop culture can unknowingly impact a person’s psyche so I have learned to take everything I see and hear with a grain of salt. 

Product Review/ Day 7 Just Blog It Challenge

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I don’t have an affinity for any kind of software so instead I will share with you my infinite desires of ECO gel. If you are natural I suggest ECO gel be a staple in your harem of hair supplies. Remember back in the day when all the gels would crack and dry looking like dandruff or worse boogers because of the that horrid black gel. Well those days are behind us ladies, now we can enjoy gel without the perils of flakes. ECO gel works good! I use it for me twist outs mixed with some kind of natural care cream and the results are delightful. I I have used it to slick down my parts in the front which is no easy feat depending on thickness of hair. ECO gel can be found in most hair stores, drug stores, Target and Walmart. Its inexpensive and lasts long, Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.