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Overview of 2014 Part I: Challenge Accepted

As I sit and reminisce on this past year, I realize it was all about challenging myself. This year taught me to challenge myself and go beyond what I’m used to. It taught me that in order to make things happen and see what I’m really made of, I had to step outside of my comfort zone.

Aside of features for different websites, I became a blogger and journalist for others. I also began to cover events as well. Which wasn’t originally what was expected of Lovely Miss Jones. Although I was nervous about some of the tasks I had taken on, I knew it was something I had to do in order to grow.

When I began to write for Everything Girl’s Love (Yandy Smith’s online publication), I chose to write for the mind and spirituality portion of the health and wellness section because I intended to stick with inspirational pieces. However, I found myself in a place where I had to really write about Health and wellness, aside of the ordinary inspirational pieces. I remember the first time I submitted my topic for the week and it wasn’t approved. Topic after topic was sent back to me. At first, I began to feel like everything I submitted wasn’t good enough, although it was just that those topics were already being covered. Then I felt like maybe I just wasn’t creative enough. It may not have felt good at that moment, but I realize it was a great thing. It pushed me to challenge myself and do a piece I wasn’t used to. It showed me that I’m capable of doing other things. It showed me that I can be versatile in my writing. It produced growth. Since then, I’ve been more open to focusing on the physical health and wellness of a person rather than the mental.

After submitting a success article I did for another website as my writing sample for High Heels and Briefcases (Ladies Who Hustle Network), I was chosen to be the Business Success Journalist. Now, I’m not currently a business owner. (I will be very soon. Look out for it. Speak those things…) With this position, I’m obligated to pretty much write articles giving business owners advice. I pushed myself and accepted the position; and after my first article, I received a great review from a business owner who said that it was just what they needed. This taught me that when I challenge myself, I can produce something great that will benefit others. It’s not only for my growth, but for the growth of others.

When deciding to start my own blog/website, it was generally to encourage others through my simple, yet relatable experiences. What went on in my life as well as things I’ve seen or noticed. I decided that because of my love for music and fashion, I’d add those pieces. However, I didn’t fully think it all through. I started small. I never thought I’d be good at writing reviews and such. But I challenged myself and did it anyway. I began getting invites to be on press lists for several events to do coverage. I’ve done book reviews, interviews, company reviews. And although, I was hesitant in the very beginning, I realized it was something I was very capable of doing. I’ve connected with great people through this. I’ve also become a resource for others with the platform that I have. I’m building and on the other hand, so are other people.

It’s imperative that we learn to challenge ourselves. You’ll never truly know what you’re made of if you stay within the box that you’ve created for yourself. You’re only limiting yourself. Once you learn to tear down the box, you’ll see that you’re far greater than you gave yourself credit for. So I encourage you to kick that box down and allow yourself to be great!

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Reminders That Prompt Movement

Often times during our journey towards greater success, we are sent reminders. A reminder is something that we may have already known, but something that we need to hear at a certain moment in our lives. And they should always cause us to move.

This past Thursday I had the opportunity of attending A Conversation with Karen Civil. An event presented by Her Agenda and Alley NYC. This event produced a few of the greatest reminders. Relevant things I needed to hear at this particular phase in my life.

Since the moment I’ve heard of Karen Civil, I became a follower of hers. After reading an article in Vibe Magazine that shared a bit of her story, I saw how I could relate and respected her grind and her process. She started out as a blogger, as myself, and now has built an empire.

During the conversation led by Rhonesha Byng, founder of Her Agenda, Karen shared her journey from start to finish. Rhonesha, who is a phenomenal journalist and entrepreneur, asked questions that provoked great conversation and inspiration for those who were packed into that Alley NYC venue.

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Some of the most inspiring things she shared are as follows. Take a look as I add my own spin on it.

•She used social media to her advantage. Often times social media can be seen in a not so positive light. Many people feel that with the world of social media, it has taken away from real life situations. On the contrary, social media is a great way to build and reach a level of success.

•Come up with creative ways to get who you want to notice you. She used an example of how she lied in order to get in contact with someone. Her creativity worked for her. Lying isn’t for everyone, but you have to be creative enough to draw attention from the ones you need to notice you.

•She realized she had to have boldness in the industry that she’s in. It’s now or never. Regardless of how nervous something may initially be, she always gets this burst of courage. You can’t miss the opportunity or the moment for greatness.

•Work with as many people as possible. Networking is key in any field of business.

•Don’t let the opinions of others get in your way. Karen expressed how she talks with conviction and how many people took it as her being unpleasant. She just saw what she wanted and was confident enough to go out and get it.

•Find what works for you. What someone else did may not be ideal for you. Don’t get caught up on what others are doing, find the best route for you and work with it.

•Focus on you and try not to obsess over other people and what they have. Be content with who you are and where you are. One mans success doesn’t mean another mans failure.

•Creating value in your work. Care about everything that you do. You must be passionate and make sure you nurture it. Don’t just deliver, over deliver. Give more, beyond what others are expecting.

Along with some of these points, she talked about things that keep her motivated. She brought up her blessing jar as well as how she writes down three things she’s grateful for every night. I realized that it is so important to continue to remind yourself of your blessings and accomplishments during your journey towards success. It get weary at times, but when you begin to reflect on all that you’ve been given along the way, it helps you to be more patient.

After this event, I went back to my routines that I had left behind. I became refocused and had a new mindset. I chose to remain positive by reminding myself of how far I’ve come. Through that I will be able to remain patient knowing that greater things are ahead. So I encourage you to continue on your journey. Write down all that you’re grateful for and all of your accomplishments, and see just how encouraged you will be to keep moving. So finally as Karen Civil says, live on purpose!

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Binary Baskets & Arrangements

Twin sisters, Deidra and Yolanda McCullough, came together in 2013 to create unique baskets for all occasions and ages. They came up with the name Binary because it means two (which represents twins). After years of making baskets for family and friends on their special occasions; they decided to make an online business and create baskets for other people for their special occasions.

Binary Baskets & Arrangements is celebrating their 1yr anniversary with special Holiday Baskets:
Sweet Tooth Basket, Binary’s Fruit & Cheese Basket, and Breakfast Basket.

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Each basket Is only $40 each.

First 5 Orders placed will receive 10% off.

To place an order email, binarybaskets@yahoo.com.

Also follow on Facebook and Instagram at binarybaskets.

Beauty Within TV

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit and talk with Anissa Rochester, CEO of Beauty Within TV. We decided to meet during fashion week so she could not only tell me about herself and BWTV, but to fill us in on Fashion Week. Our meeting place was at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

I started the interview with getting a better feel of who Anissa is. She has been in the entertainment industry for years. Since the age of 19, she’s been a fit model, actress and toured as a dancer. So she’s no stranger to the field of entertainment. Anissa graduated from LIU with a degree in media arts. When she decided to pursue her love for acting and dancing, she received a scholarship to NYU’s theatre program. When Anissa found out she was pregnant, she decided to go another route. Somewhere down the line, she mixed her knowledge of beauty and fashion with her media skills and created Beauty Within TV.

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Anissa Rochester

Here’s a deeper glimpse of the interview:

Miss Jones: How would you describe BWTV for readers that may not know?

Anissa Rochester: Beauty Within is an outlet to inspire women, ages 18-30, to believe and fulfill their dreams. I’m passionate about helping others to pursue their dreams and finding their inner beauty. BWTV started out as a television program on public access, where we interviewed many celebrities. Ranging from Kerri Washington, Kim Kardashian, Tina Fey, Miguel, R. Kelly, Sherri Shepherd, Iman, and several others. BWTV also had the opportunity to cover red carpet events, including the TLC Story and The Best Man Holiday. About two years ago we relaunched with an entertainment website.

MJ: What was one of your most memorable interviews?

AR: I would say that my interview with Iman was the most memorable and inspiring. She was so nice and classy. She treated us with respect being a small unrecognizable name. There are many celebrities who don’t take the time to support your passion. However, she was the complete opposite. Iman was very welcoming as well as professional.

MJ: How have you applied your passion for helping others rediscover their inner beauty as well as fulfill their dreams?

AR: In my experience of business and fashion, I’ve done a few workshops in schools for young girls. We split them up in different groups and gave them their own fashion houses and taught them about the business of fashion, rather than just the model aspect. There’s more behind a pretty face. All the groups were given the task of creating a name and an idea for a logo. After that was done, each of them were assigned a specific task. For example, one of the girls may have been a stylist, while another was on the financial end. They were given paper dolls and asked to design different things. Then they had to write a proposal showing how they planned to be successful based on their ideas.

MJ: What grade/age group did you work with?

AR: This particular session was with 4-6th graders. I also did another program with 12th graders on their way to college, it was the Beauty Within mentoring program. We came at the very end of the year, they’d all been gotten accepted into college. We partnered with another organization that prepared them for school. My segment was to do makeovers, and we posed the question “what makes you beauty within?” We also asked what motivates and inspires them. I was very surprised by the answers I received.

As we continued on with this topic of mentoring, I saw this as a great opportunity for these girls at such a young age. I’m sure it will most definitely lead them down the right path. Anissa plans to continue to do more hands on activities and projects with young people as soon as the next phase of BWTV has launched.

MJ: What’s next for BWTV?

AR: BWTV will be launching a magazine in October. It will be another outlet to deliver what we cover on the site. With something tangible, it’ll be a faster way to reach and build our audience.  We will have fashion content, as well as various celebrity interviews. On the cover of our first issue will be Fifth Harmony, an all girls group that started on XFactor.

MJ: What are some of the struggles you had to face in this industry?

AR: One of my biggest struggles were finances and funding. As entrepreneurs starting out, we just don’t have the money. Which can lead to frustration. I’m still an artist, so as artists, we get frustrated easily because we want to live our passion. I didn’t just want to work at any mediocre job. Even if it was a job on wall street, I didn’t necessarily want to do it because it wasn’t my passion. But I had to work jobs that I didn’t want to work in order to make money and still do this at the same time. Funding is very difficult. But you have to have perseverance and resilience. I could’ve quit a long time ago when we were just a program on public access. I had camera guys not show up for interviews and hosts that would argue with me and not show up. I didn’t have much money and most of them were working for free. Working on a zero budget, everything came out polished. Even my team now is comprised of interns who only receive a stipend or credit for school. It’s been a struggle, but when people see my work, they know it’s polished. My work speaks for itself, therefore people believe in it. This also shows my leadership skills, to have as many people as I’ve had work with me with no budget says a lot.

MJ: What are some of the results you began to see thus far?

AR: I would say completion and growth. To see how far I’ve come, close to completing and accomplishing my goal is the most fulfilling thing. The connections that I’ve made are also great results. It’s all about who you know. I’ve learned not to burn bridges. My network is my net-worth.

MJ: What would you say your ultimate accomplishment would be?

AR: My ultimate accomplishment would be for BWTV to be known nationally/worldwide. I hope to gain more finances to expand my company, build my team and create jobs. I ultimately want to grow.

MJ: What advice would you give a young person that desires to go down the same path as you?

AR: I would tell them to make sure they have a great support system to surround and encourage them. If finances are an issue, don’t let that stop them. Continue to pursue your dream. Also sit back and reflect, make sure this is really what you want. And don’t be afraid to try different things until you find exactly what fits you.

MJ: So let’s talk Fashion Week

AR: I thoroughly enjoyed this week. I attended many shows, but the Michael Castillo show was my favorite. David Tlale’s show made me feel like I belonged with the African rituals. However, Castillo’s designs were amazing. My favorites were the long gowns.

Lovely Miss Jones is just as passionate about helping others, so I commend Anissa and BWTV for the work that she is putting forth and look forward to working with her soon. To stay up to date on the upcoming magazine as well as other exciting ventures coming from BWTV, visit the website, beautywithintv.com and follow on instagram @beautywithintv. You won’t be disappointed!

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Miss Jones & Anissa Rochester

Note from Miss Jones

Hello loves!

First I’d like to thank you all for following my blog! It’s greatly appreciated.

Thought I’d stop in with a quick letter to update you all on what’s been going on. As you all know, I’ve recently purchased my domain name. Since then, I’ve made the decision to have an official launch party to celebrate all that is to come from this site.

The party is currently in the works and will be two weeks away! So if you’re in the New York area, I’d love to see you there! August 16th, we’re celebrating a journey of life, lessons, growth, encouragement, and motivation! The party will be held at La Maison d’Art, 259 W. 132nd St. New York, NY 10027. Starting at 7pm promptly. RSVP to Krystle.j@me.com.

The party will include, performances by The Kooz, an amazing writer and spoken word artist. As well as A.R.T Music, who is an incredible singer and song writer. There will be great raffle prizes, one will be a great basket sponsored by Binary Baskets. a free face by a fabulous makeup artist Sarah P, and an exclusive Lovely Miss Jones shirt. There will be great food provided by Andrea W. (A.W.E) and Chenea S. Drinks provided by Exclusiv Vodka, as well as delicious deserts sponsored by My Sweet Justice of Harlem. Special prizes will be given out. And we will have a photographer of the evening from MetalEye Photography! You don’t want to miss this great event!

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The Kooz

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A.R.T Music

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Binary Baskets

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Makeup Artist. Sarah P.

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Exclusiv Vodka

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My Sweet Justice of Harlem

Lovely Miss Jones is also planning to start a mentoring program in the future. I’ve begun to realize, I may not be able to do it all on my own. Therefore, I will be accepting donations to help others by any means necessary as they go through life. If you’d like to donate, please visit
http://www.gofundme.com/c3k3p8 to do so. It will all be greatly appreciated!

Please stay tuned for more! I truly believe this is only the beginning. Your support is necessary to push this towards greatness.

Thank you, my loves
-xo Miss Jones

Flyer designed by Daniel Taylor, Taylor’D. Image Creative.

Ladies Power Circle: Female Entrepreneur Networking Mixer

On Saturday, May 31st, two business owners, Kash and Oneka came together and created Ladies Power Circle networking mixer. An event where women in business, entrepreneurs, as well as aspiring business owners; came together to network, educate, empower, and be a support to one another.

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This was a free event, open to all females. From the moment you walked into the room, you immediately felt amazing energy from all the of the other wonderful females that were present. Running a little late, I came in during the speed networking portion. Although I was late, I was welcomed at the door by Oneka who immediately found me a spot so I could join right in.

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This event was hosted by one of the most energetic and engaging woman, who’s known as the ‘hostess with the mostest, Rain. She kept the ladies laughing all day.

There were amazing raffles and vendors in the building. Vendors from, Diamond Deijor, Kashmir Rox Boutique, Evonne’s soapsation, Shop Alesha, Pink Cuptails, and many more. Every lady left with something.

The first speaker told the ladies how to pitch their businesses. She allowed the women to role play different scenarios to promote their businesses and get service.

Some of the ladies then got the opportunity to give a 2 minute pitch of their business. Explaining what they do and what services they offer. Or even share a poem that they’d written.

The last speaker, Kimberly Blythe-Benson. Her warm southern presence was felt from the moment she got up. She shared how she always had speaking engagements, but had a fear of traveling. She stayed within the confines of her area. This was her first time traveling for a speaking event. While she was driving in New York during rush hour traffic and every car tried to come in. No one gave eye contact and just kept moving. Things began to get “real” for her. Although it was her fear, after awhile she just went on out there. She made the decision to go and take the risk. This led to one of the themes of the day, “Take the risk. Drop every fear.” When we want something bad, we have to leave our fears behind and take the risk.

And when we’re able to let go of our fears, we can build and connect with the females that were in the room to go further and further. A great day of educating, supporting, empowering, and networking with incredible females! Check out the Facebook page to find out more information, https://m.facebook.com/LadiesPowerCircle?_rdr. You won’t be disappointed!

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Fem Night: Female Entrepreneur Mixer

The Fem Network is a network that provides female entrepreneurs with a platform to share, learn, and empower. They put together various events, Fem Night, that give females this opportunity.

This pass Friday Night, May 30th, Fem Night along with the founder Christina and Vice President Kawin, held a Female Entrepreneur Mixer at the lovely Elite Conceptions Hair Lounge. An event where over 250 women registered. The place was packed to capacity with wonderful women from all different career paths.

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The event was sponsored by fem members and business owners. From the Bitxhy Boutique, skyy vodka, Vera Mona, royalty strands, glamour queens, chest full of treasures, loose lipz, etc..

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There was a performance by author, Nerissa Jenkins. She read a poem to inspire women in honor of her inspiration Maya Angelou. She then got a little “mysterious” and read a piece from her first book, Mysterious Me.

The guest speaker from Friend in your Pocket. Author, Qwana Reynolds, shared with the women how it’s great to stick together. She shared a story from the bible about women who stuck together and made things happen. She encouraged the women to utilize one another and the different avenues that we have. She also encouraged everyone to bring out all that’s within them, whether it’s a book, clothing line or anything else. If it’s in you, do it and use the females around you to help connect and to build.

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During the event were also incredible raffles as well as a silent auction. So many wonderful gifts were given out.

It was amazing to see so many women in one room, connecting, laughing, enjoying one another’s company, all the while supporting, empowering, and building business relationships.

Fem Night is a wonderful network. Being able to attend this event, showed just that. Check out the website and find out more information! Femnight.com. You won’t be disappointed!