Special Announcement! Lovely Miss Jones Scholarship Brunch in NYC!

This past August, lovelymissjones.com has reached its one year anniversary, and it’s our hope to help young people with their college tuition. But we need your help in assisting us in presenting a scholarship award to youth who are just entering college, or currently attending college this spring. We strongly believe in education and pushing young people towards their goals. College can be very expensive. There are many semesters where people aren’t sure if they would able to return to school. We would like to alleviate this problem for a student who may be struggling with a tuition bill, or doesn’t know how they will be able to pay for their books. 

The Lovely Miss Jones Scholarship Benefit Brunch will be held on December 19th! Join us for an afternoon of delicious brunch, desserts, speakers, and entertainment; along with networking and getting to meet new people. The proceeds from the ticket sales will go directly to the scholarship fund. In which we will be able to give to someone as they take their journey through school. 

Please help us as we intend to help young people pursue their dreams! This next generation needs all the help they can get to succeed and be our future leaders!
Early bird tickets are on sale now! Only $10 until Sunday! Purchase your tickets here

More information coming soon!

ESSENCE and Prudential Presents: Money + Power   A Rich Conversation

Friday, November 6th, I had the opportunity of attending this wonderful event presented by Essence and Prudential. As the flyer says, all of the guests joined together for “a rich conversation”. And that’s exactly what the night entailed. There was a panel of very successful business women who came together to discuss their experiences in their separate fields, as well as help encourage and motivate other business owners trying to reach their status of success, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs. 

On this panel of amazing women were: ESSENCE Feature Editor Lauren Williams (as the moderator), President and CEO of Britto Agency Marvet Britto, TV Personality and Lifestyle Expert Tai Beachamp, “The Budgetnista” Tiffany Aliche (who we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing), and Interior Designer Dani Arps. All these women are powerhouses in their own right.  

  

Before the intriguing conversation began, there was thirty minutes set aside for cocktails. I assume it was a time for drinks, possibly food, and networking. Because I was late for the event due to work, I missed it. However, by the time I got there, there were a few minutes before the conversation began. I checked in quickly and headed right into the designated room at the Apella, Event Space at the Alexandria Center. Which is an absolutely gorgeous venue. There were posted set up nicely in the area before the conversations space. The latest issue of ESSENCE with Taraji P. Henson on the cover so gracefully stood on a stand. As well as selfie props that had great sayings on them. I initially grabbed the prop that said, “I do what I love. I love what I do.” However, by the time the event ended, I left with three more. Which said, “I am a strategist”, “I am an innovator”, and “I am a trailblazer”. 
  
The conversation started out with introductions. Then we went full speed into the conversation that helped many women that night. Below you’ll find a few questions and answers from the evening from each woman on the panel. 

Lauren Williams asked, how are you able to manage to maintain and build your brand. Marvet Britto answered, and explained that she focuses on being the best her. Marvet, who’s a very successful Public Relations Architect and Brand Strategist, has never had to solicit any one of her clients. She stressed that when it comes to branding, all that you desire comes by the work you do. Branding is really about the work that’s put in. Many people have made it about popularity, but it’s really all about the work. We have to learn how to be masterful professionals. She said that it’s important to make sure you nurture the trunk of the tree first, before worrying about the branch (brand) extensions. It’s about the work, and mastering what you have to offer. 

The discussion the led to a point where many people have been. The point of transition. Tai Beachamp, who has been able to incorporate her background in beauty and fashion with her love and passion for philanthropy, shared some of her experience by discussing some of the steps before leaving her job. She began to feel unfulfilled and burnt out. Although doing something she was great at, her purpose and hearts work was to empower. Tai expressed that we have to be able to distinguish between our passion and our purpose. She also let us know, that on the other hand, the answer doesn’t have to be today. Meaning things won’t be where you want them to be overnight. You won’t be where you want to be overnight. Sometimes you have to stay in the position that you’re in for a little longer than you’d like. She also said, you learn one thing from a position and take it and apply it to your purpose. 

Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, who is a financial educator who has helped thousands of women take a journey to get their finances in order through her Live Richer Challenge, shared a similar story later in the conversation. She shared her story and where she started. Learning about finances growing up, but deciding to become a teacher. She was able to take her teaching skills and become the financial educator that she is today, because she took what she could from where she was. Often times we may become frustrated after sometime on the jobs we have, but we have to come to the place where we learn that we are there for a reason. There’s something that we can learn and take with us when it’s time for us to start our own business. It’s a matter of what will you learn from the position that you’re in. You’re strategically put in places to learn these particular lessons. Embrace where you are. Then after you’ve learned from the positions you were in and have been able to step out and start your own business, go around and explore to see what else you can learn. Never get too comfortable. 

Tiffany later went on to defining what having a business really is. She explained that many people have created something that looks like a business; a nice website, pretty business cards. However, there’s no product. She says, a business is when you have a product and people are willing to pay for it. And sometimes we don’t get this right away when we’re working towards a goal. So Tiffany lets us know that some things wot directly give you money in the beginning, but it will overtime. You have to make the proper investments first.  

Marvet also added to the startup of a business. When you have a desire to become an entrepreneur you think about a void that you want to fill. You have to have something that’s different, that people are willing to pay for. 

The question was then asked, as business women, what is the one things that keeps you up at night. Each lady had the opportunity to answer. 

Dani Arps, who is an interior designer and has had great success in only a year and half, said something that many of us (business owner or aspiring entrepreneurs) may concern ourselves with; meeting the needs of her clients. Making sure that she’s doing the work according to their standards. 

Tiffany’s concern is not letting one part of her life pass her by while pursuing her career. She doesn’t want to chase her dreams career wise and love an unfulfilled personal life. Therefore, she’s in the process of balancing her life. It’s important to have a balance. 

Tai thinks about the people she has to feed. From her clients, down to the people she employs. Her company isn’t all about her, but the people that she services. 

Marvets’ main concern is shattering glass ceiling. I truly believe that this was a pivotal point during the discussion. She’s concerned about women of color being taken out of the boxes that society so often places us in. 
She the. Went on to how we need to work hard to make sure we are given a seat at the table. And in order to do so, we have to make sure we are consistent and deliberate in all that we do. Our capabilities and talents outweigh our color, and we have to be sure to put forth the effort in showing that. We must also look at the ones who have come before us, and we’re able to succeed. As well as think strategically, understand where your place is, and finding ways to stretch our culture. 

The conversation shifted into mentorship. Tai raised a few good points when it comes to mentorship and connection. We don’t always like to admit when we need help. Sometimes we can’t do everything on our own. And that perfectly ok. When finding connections, it’s good to seek out people who we can partner up with. And fulfill our goal and vision together. Also when it comes to mentorship, we shouldn’t just try to see what we can get from others, it’s reciprocal. You should also be able to give something in return. 

As you can see, this event was intriguing, and very thought provoking. And there was so much more. After the conversation, there was an after party where drinks and food were served. But the most important part, was that these women stuck around and talked individually with the guest. We were able to share our experiences, our future plans, and receive advice. These women spoke a few good words into my life. And I, and I’m sure many other females as well, am grateful for the opportunity. 

A special thanks to ESSENCE and Prudential for putting on such a great event, having an amazing panel of successful business women, giving other women the opportunity to connect and share with others, and the gifts as well. 

  
  
(Miss Jones and Tai Beachamp)
  
(Miss Jones and Marvet Britto)

From DC to NYC: Riding Her Way To The Top    Interview with Lea Anderson

One weekday afternoon riding the A train to work, I watched a young lady and a gentleman with a speaker walk pass me. But I had no idea what was about to come next. As I sat and heard the microphone come on, I kept my music in my headphones playing, as I anticipated just getting to my destination. However, after listening to the first few minutes, I was compelled to take one ear out. I soon turned my music off all together. The vocals were smooth and the song had such a nice vibe. While this trumpet player so gracefully played in the background. My words were, “this is dope.”

After receiving her information, come to find out the young lady who was able to put on such a great performance on that moving A train was Lea (pronounced Lee’) Anderson. I had the pleasure of sitting down and interviewing Lea. We were able to talk about her experiences and what led her to the place she is today.
We met and found a great spot on the rooftop of Novatel in Times Square. There was a nice breeze, great view, and good vibes. As the vocals of Lauryn Hill and Beyoncé played in the background, we were able to have great conversation. 

  
Below you’ll read highlights from the interview, intriguing conversation with great laughs. 
Miss Jones: For those who may not know you, let’s start with you telling us a little bit about yourself. 
Lea Anderson: I was born in DC, grew up in South Carolina, and now I’m in New York. I’ve been here for four years. What initially brought me here first, was musical theatre. I did musical theatre for five years across the country, and now I’m in New York pursuing a career as a recording artist. And it’s been good. 
Miss Jones: Are you currently in school?
Lea Anderson: Not anymore. I graduated from the College of Charleston. 
MJ: How long have you been singing?
LA: As long as I can remember. (Laughs)
MJ: Did you grow up in church singing, or was this just something that you’ve always done?
LA: I grew up in church, but I didn’t start singing in church. I started singing with the records that my dad would play in his man cave. 
MJ: What role did your family play in your career?
LA: Well, my dad really introduced me to music. And my mom really helped me flourish it. Once she found out I could sing, she tried to look up any other opportunities that I could have. She started taking me to auditions, she started getting me to sing in front of her friends, so I wasn’t so nervous. And then I started going to music camp when I was 9. That’s when I learned how to sing musical theatre and opera, and reading music. 
MJ: What was the music camp like, what did you learn?
LA: We would learn music; music theory, music history, voice, musical theatre, dance, everything. 
MJ: Do you still dance today or are you more focused on your singing?
LA: I do dance, and it helps create more opportunities for singing. And I still do theatre as well. 
MJ: Have you done any musical theatre shows in NY yet?
LA: Not as of yet in NY. I still do it regionally, I’ll leave and come back to NY. And most recently, I’ve done Smokey Joe’s Cafe. 
MJ: At what point did you realize you wanted to make this your career? What was the deciding factor?
LA: I think it found me. Every other job I tried to pursue, didn’t work out. I don’t want to say I’m constantly getting fired, but it’s true. And no matter how much time I try to put in one thing, it doesn’t work out. But music is always there and it always works out. It’s like my best friend. 
MJ: What are some of your biggest accomplishments so far?
LA: Finishing my EP with a Grammy nominated producer, D Moët, who’s best known for Hate Me Now (Nas featuring Puff Daddy). Becoming a member of Actors Equity Association. Which is a phenomenal unit that helps actors, singer, dancers across the country get our rights and what’s well earned of us. Lastly, being in a city where I am able to be around people that have made it, and are living the life that I want to live. Also being able to get advice from them and work with them. 
MJ: Being that you still act and are pursuing musical theatre as well, are there any shows that you are interested in doing?
LA: I want to do a Rock Musical so bad! So I’m constantly looking for auditions for the opportunity to be in that, because I missed the whole American idiot boat. And there’s definitely a lot of other producers that I want to work with. I just want to continue to grow as an artist and continue giving my sound to people. 
MJ: What are some of the most challenging moments you’ve had to face when trying to reach your goals?
LA: Everything seems like a challenge but after you wait it out, it’s kind of like ‘whoo, that was it?’ I feel like when it’s meant to be, when you’re meant to do something, it’s not a challenge. It’s more of, ‘how can I get through this or how can I accomplish this?’ So it’s more like a journey. There’s no problems, just patience. 
MJ: I like that. It’s a great way to look at life. My next question was going to be, how did you overcome them but….(laughs) 
LA: (laughs) with yoga. Yoga and church. Jesus, whoo. 

  

MJ: Are you a Christian?
LA: Yes. 
MJ: How has your relationship with God helped you coming out here four years ago alone, and pursuing your dreams?
LA: It helps me filter out my thoughts and how to trust my thoughts. Being a Christian, I know God’s words and that’s easier for me to filter out BS, all the negativity, and all the things that would just keep running in circles. I just listen to Him, and I ask Him to order my steps. And the path has been easier because I have a relationship with God. 
MJ: What do you ultimately wish to accomplish with your music? Is there a message you wish to convey, is it the sound or the feel? What do you wish to accomplish?
LA: It’s my story. I feel like ultimately, that’s what artists are meant to do. Whether you’re a musician, whether you’re a painter, even a fashion designer. We’re chosen to be the voice of God, the voice of society, the voice of the youth. We were chosen to paint what’s going on in the world. And that’s my main goal, to just paint what’s going on around me and deliver it to people. So they can relate and become unified. And unites us all. 
MJ: Do you have a team?
LA: No, but I do have a group of people who love me and push me in the right direction. I call them my tribe. So they’re not per say working for me, but they’re working with me.  
MJ: Who are your biggest inspirations?
LA: My dad. And although I’m nothing like him, I would say Ray Charles. I feel like if you could overcome racism, being blind, poverty, drugs; and still be successful, that’s pretty commendable. 
MJ: Why is you dad one of your biggest inspirations? 
LA: He’s the strongest person I know. He’s had two major stokes, and he’s still alive and still positive. He stills tells me everyday, it’s great to be alive. And just knowing that I’m working towards this for him and he’s the first one to put that musical note in my heart, just thinking about him and wanting him to be proud of me really inspires me. 
MJ: How long have you been singing on the train? I hear people sing on the train everyday, but there was something about you. And I said to myself, this girl has a crazy voice. Honestly, it was amazing. So what inspired you to just decide to sing on the trains?
LA: I came to a wall, I didn’t know how to get my music to anybody. Every time I applied to submit music to radio stations, they would say “30 spins for $400”. I said really? So how do I get music to people that don’t know me. So I met Kafele (trumpet player), and he said we should play the trains. And I said, that’s how I’m going to get music to the people that don’t know me. And we started six weeks ago. 
MJ: Only 6 weeks? You seem so confident and comfortable, as if you’ve been doing it forever. But that’s what a real performer does. 
LA: (Laughs) Thank you!
MJ: What advice would you give a young person, or anyone, who’s trying to put themselves in a position that you’re currently in and where you hope to be?
LA: It’s hard, and be yourself. No matter what, be yourself. Being a musician is not a get rich quick plan. You really have to put everything into it, and you really have to be yourself. And that’s the only way that you’ll be the artist that you’re supposed to be. Like I said before, it’s your responsibility to deliver the message from God, from society, the pain that people are going through. Just look at Marvin Gaye. That’s your responsibility, and being someone else, a cookie cutter, a carbon copy, is not what it is. It’s not being a musician. 
MJ: What can we look forward to from Lea Anderson?
LA: My music video is coming out for Detatched, November 11th. I completed my EP. I don’t have a specific date for when it’ll drop, but I’m going to release it like a blogger. I’ll release a different song every period. I’ll probably release Real Love in the top of the spring. Around April or March. I also have t-shirts with the lyrics of Not That Type of Guy, available for purchase on my website. 
MJ: Is there any inspiration you’d like to leave with us?
LA: Just be yourself and follow your heart. And know that you deserve everything that you’re going towards. The world is huge and you have to be comfortable with doing things that are bigger than you. 
  

It was a pleasure talking to this lovely young lady, who not only has a great voice, but is intelligent as well. Lea has performed all around NYC. Places such as, Ella, Sylvana’s, The Highline Ballroom, SOBs, The Bitter End. 
Not only is she a performing artist, but she’s also a painter. Lea sells her artwork and presents her portfolio upon request. Be sure to stay up to date with Lea by visiting her website, iamleaanderson.com, and following her on social media. Twitter: @iamleaanderson, Instagram: @iamleaanderson, facebook.com/iamleaanderson, youtube.com/musicbylyriclea, soundcloud.com/iamleaanderson. You can also download and purchase her two singles out now, Not That Type of Guy and Detached, on iTunes and Spotify. You won’t be disappointed. 

Be Mindful Of Your Surroundings 

Who we surround and connect ourselves with is imperative in life. It’s beneficial to our growth or lack thereof. So often we put ourselves in situations and positions and we don’t always realize how important it is for us to really give these things some thought. There comes a point in our lives where we have to evaluate the people we are connected with and what influence they may or may not have on us. And vice versa. 

Everyone experiences change and difficulty. Regardless of how great your life may seem. No matter how great your disposition may seem, we all experience difficulty. Although it’s very important how you choose to deal with it and have a positive outlook rather than a negative one, it’s also very important to be connected to the right people in those moments. 

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, when I go through things, I’ve always wanted to be alone and try to deal with things on my own. However, I’ve learned over the past few years, that this isn’t always the best way to go about things. Sometimes when we deal with different situations, keeping to ourselves may push us towards depression, rather than growth. In some cases, not all. And this is where connection comes in. 

We have to be mindful of who we place ourselves around. We have to be sure that we connect ourselves with people who are in a certain place in life. We have to be in positions where we connect ourselves with people that have ambition, and continues to go down a path of joy and success regardless of what they come against. They may have their own methods that help them along the way. But we have to be around people who aren’t stagnant. Positivity and determination are truly contagious. There’s no way you can be around a group of people who are living their dreams, and you stay in the place that you’re in. Not only will their success be motivation for you, but their words of encouragement will also inspire you to keep moving. 

Everyone has their moments when they want to just retreat when difficulty arises. But after some time, you get to a place where you refuse to stay down. Where you refuse to stay in a place of defeat. The process of going through, means just that. Go through, you acknowledge it, and keep moving. I recently had a discussion, and also did a little rant on snapchat about this season of my life. This has been a year of complete change for me. I’ve been dealing with things I’ve never thought I’d have to deal with. And although I have no choice but to acknowledge it, I refuse to wallow in it. I’ve chosen to deal with it, and continue to move forward. Because there’s not only greatness in store for me, but for someone else through what I’ve experienced. And yes, that’s a conscious decision that Krystle has made. But I’m in a place where I’m also very conscious of the people I’m around in this season. Placing yourself in the wrong circle can deter you from where you need to be. It’s important that you’re around people who believe in your gift, passion, and vision. Someone who knows what you’ve been given and how powerful it is. And won’t let you have a pity party and stay in your difficult times. People that can encourage, motivate, and inspire you. 

So I encourage you to stay mindful of the people you choose to surround yourself with. Be sure to have the right people in your life in the right seasons of your life. Someone who won’t allow you to brush off your difficulties and experiences. And on the other hand, someone who won’t allow you to wallow in it. Also, someone who has ambition, and is not content with not reaching their goals. One should always surround themselves with people who will empower you, help you to acknowledge your issues, but also helps you to continue down the right path. Stay connected with people who will help you grow.