Page 7 of 7

Attitude of Generosity

With just days left to the end of the year, what will you do to make it great? What will you do to make an impact on the lives of others? These are a few of the questions I began to ask myself a few months ago, as we draw near to a close of another year. So as I began planning blog posts, I thought about doing a holiday post. As I continued thinking, I realized they’d both go hand in hand. The best thing to do this holiday season is to impact the lives of others.

The holiday season is the time where we realize just how grateful we are for the things that we’ve been given. This is the time where you try your best to spend as much time with your family as possible. You reminisce on the year, and count your blessings. But how many of us think of the lives of those around us? Far and near. There are many people who are struggling and are in need. We may not have it ourselves, but now is the time to consider others. It’s time to have an attitude of generosity.

20141204-095032-35432752.jpg

This is something I’ve been thinking about for quite sometime now. This is something I need to step up and be more conscious of.

As I walked through the mall a few weeks ago, I was stopped by a woman who was looking for people to sponsor children in other countries. Not fully understanding what she was trying to convey, I told her I had to make a stop and I’d come back after. About twenty minutes later, I returned and began to talk with this woman. After she told me more about this program and we had a great conversation, I decided to sponsor a child. A twelve year old girl, named Khady from Senegal. In sponsoring this child, I not only help her, but I’m able to help her family as well. I immediately jumped on the opportunity because I felt a pull to do so. I’d just dropped a good amount of money on replacing my glasses minutes before. Although I most definitely don’t have it all, I thought to myself, if I was able to do that, why can’t I help provide for someone in need. This is just an example of how I decided to have an attitude of generosity. I however, don’t plan to limit myself to just this act. There are many ways to give of yourself. And I’ve found that I myself have been encountered with many opportunities to do so.

20141204-095219-35539278.jpg

Here are a few things that can be done in order to help those around us.
•Donate coats and clothes to your local Salvation Army or shelter. There are many homeless people right in our neighborhoods that need clothes and need to stay warm.
•Volunteer at your local soup kitchens or donate and prepare food for families in need. Help those in your neighborhood.

If you don’t have the money, volunteer your time. Be a resource to someone else. Tutor, mentor, stand up for what’s right. Let’s help create change in a world that seems so gray. With all that’s been going on in the news, it’s clear that the lives of our people aren’t valued. How can we make an impact and create some type of change in America. I tend to shy away from these types of issues, but enough is enough. Our Justice system is clearly broken. I don’t have the answers, aside of prayer. But we can come together and think of positive ways to change or make a dent in the current state of this country. And that’s giving of yourself. Becoming agents of change is a form of generosity. Let’s reflect on what’s going on in society and see how we can make a lifelong impact.

20141204-095653-35813346.jpg

20141204-095653-35813457.jpg

20141204-095653-35813216.jpg

Author of Preseason Love, Ahyiana Angel

Preseason Love is a novel that encompasses the life of today’s female. I haven’t read a novel straight through in quite a while, but I found myself up at 3am trying to see what happens next. It’s a story about a young publicist, who left her life in California for New York. Scottie left her old life to start over fresh. She surely did just that, new job, new love, and new drama. This story of career driven women, friendships, relationships and all that comes with it, was amazingly written leaving you wanting more.

IMG_1266.JPG
(Photo retrieved from Ahyiana Angel)

I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Ahyiana Angel, author of Preseason Love. Our conversation was one of the best I’ve had, so easy to talk to and her personality shined bright. Below you’ll find out more about Ahyiana, her transition from NBA Publicist to author, her progress, and Preseason Love.

Miss Jones: For those who don’t know, tell the readers a little bit about yourself.

Ahyiana Angel: I started off in PR. I never intended to be a writer, however, I adored writing because it’s needed in the publicist field. I had a thought about the novel and played with the idea. But I put it on the back burner. I then realized I needed a career change. I started designing jewelry, but I needed something new. So I started the novel. Nine months while I was working as a publicist, I worked on It. I didn’t know anyone who published a book traditionally, so the whole journey was new for me. I didn’t go to school for any of this, but I still did it.

Miss Jones: When did you start the book?

Ahyiana Angel: In 2007 I had the idea. It wasn’t until 2012 that I started the first chapter and sat on it. 2013 was when I got really serious and started researching.

MJ: How did you go about publishing your book?

AA: I did my research first. I knew I wanted to be traditionally published. After I did all of the research, I found out about self publishing. I found company names and knew I needed an agent. Putting a book out is much like putting out music. You have to have a finished product to present. So I had my completed manuscript and took it to an agent. He loved it; but the only problem was, he couldn’t take it to an editor as it was. I thought publishing companies did the editing. That was a wake up call for me, I realized it wasn’t ready.
One day a friend of mine told me about a writers bootcamp in Maryland (it’s important to tell people about what you’re doing.). Sitting at the finals in Miami, I realized I didn’t want to be there. Then I said to myself, “If you’re going do it, you have to do it. Try all avenues to get to where you want to be.” So I decided to go. There were fifty people at the bootcamp. Zane was also there, as well as her publishing director. They gave those in attendance an opportunity to submit their story, but I knew I wasn’t ready. When I finished, I had it edited and sent a query letter with my full manuscript. I made sure I was prepared this time. She then offered to publish my book.

MJ: What were a few steps you had to take to get where you are today?

AA: I figured out my storyline. It sounds simple, but it’s the most important. It’s a lot to write a book. Having the material is most important. When I didn’t feel like writing, I did my research, from publishing companies to finding out everything about the industry. Almost completing the manuscript, I shopped around before signing a deal. I then started promoting to build my name as a writer. I also started by blog, Life According to Her before the book came out as well as writing for other publications. Promotion and marketing was all me. I had to be ready to hustle and move my product. It’s the publishing company’s job to put the book on the shelf, and my job to get them off the shelves. My PR background was able to help me through the marketing phase.

MJ: What was the deciding factor to shifting careers?

AA: I would say the lack of desire for where I was. I was a publicist for the NBA for 6 years. It seems fun to everyone, but it has its ups and downs with the policies and long nights. Many people in the field have transitioned. Being all in as a publicist, you get tired of being on for other people. I started to feel stifled creatively. I loved jewelry and tried jewelry designing. But I felt like there was more. I felt that if I didn’t do something, I’d get stuck. And I didn’t want to lose myself. I wasn’t excited where I was.
When I talk to college students, I always say, “find an avenue that works for you. Pay attention to what interests you, what comes natural, and is effortless.” I was blessed to be able to find the avenue that works for me.

MJ: Would you consider yourself to be a motivational speaker or mentor?

AA: I wouldn’t say that I’m a motivational speaker, but I am a motivator by nature. I like to help and push people in the right direction. I also mentor college students I’ve met through programs I’ve spoken at.

MJ: Did you have a mentor to help you through the process?

AA: No, didn’t have one. I was raised to be independent and know how to seek out information. There was no one consistent person to fulfill that role, but I knew how to push myself.

MJ: Ok, let’s talk Preseason Love. I loved the book! I was up all night reading. I have a few novels in the house and haven’t been able to get through them, but I was able to with this one.

AA: I’m so happy you did. I just wanted to tell a story. I’m glad that people are reading and enjoying it. I was confident in the book, but once it’s out there you get a little nervous. I’ve heard Lauryn Hill say, “I’m an artist and I’m sensitive about my….” I understood her statement more after I wrote this book. (Laughs)

MJ: What inspired the book? Was it your life?

AA: Fiction comes from some idea. The idea was from my reality or someone else’s reality. I never wanted to write an autobiography. I wanted creative rhythm and to keep people guessing.

MJ: Is there going to be a sequel?

AA: Yes there will be. I’m currently working on it. When you rely on yourself for promotion and making sure you book sells, it’s hard to put out another. However, I have the outline so it’s all about completing it.

MJ: What will we find in this one?

AA: Scottie did the right thing by facing her past with Ivan. Going towards it head on, shows the growth in her. New York changed her. Part two, we will see her humble herself more. She didn’t appreciate all that she had, but all of that taught her. We’ll be pleased how she comes into her own and handles herself.

MJ: What do you hope to accomplish through your books and your writing?

AA: It’s twofold. In real life, I’d like to show my family members and women in general, that when you put your mind to something, you can do it. You’re limitless. I want them to see that transition is not impossible, I’ve done it. No one pulled me up, I had faith and was confident in who I was. I took classes and sought out information that I needed. This is a competitive field and I wanted to be the best. I didn’t want to set myself up. I’m not great, but I want to be a source of inspiration and change.
Within the book, I want women to see that they’re not alone. We all go through this. Maybe we didn’t, but someone else went through it. Black women are used to being groomed to be strong and provide, that we can’t open ourselves to be vulnerable. And this is what the book is all about.
In college I read a lot of urban books, and I was tired of the same storyline. When I got older, I realized that wasn’t my life or reality. There are women who have a career and are driven, but still enjoys her life with her friends.

MJ: What advice would you give someone who wishes to be an author like yourself?

AA: Do your research. You may not know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s a lot of work and research to know so that you can always be prepared. You should have an idea of what’s expected, so when you have the opportunity, you’ll be ready.
Keep writing to see if you want to stick with it.
You have to network and get to know people.
Tell people about what you’re trying to do. I’m not saying go broadcast it to everyone, but let those key people in your life know so that they can put you on to things.
Always pay attention.
Lastly, create a platform outside of a publisher. Figure out your name and what works best for you.

MJ: What’s the most fulfilling thing about being an author?

AA: Actually seeing your work and idea come together. Seeing the first book, was like wow it’s really a reality. Also, seeing people read and enjoy it. Hearing people say they loved it shows that your hard work, time, and ideas were all worth it.

MJ: What were/are your biggest struggles?

AA: Through the process, starting was the biggest struggle. Trying to keep myself on track was a little difficult. It was the springtime when I started and I wanted to be out and about. But I had to discipline myself. Now I would say my biggest struggle is putting myself out there. As much personality as I have, I’m still a little hesitant to put myself out there. To share yourself with others is a little nerve wrecking. As a publicist for the NBA, you would never say who you were. It was just something you didn’t do. But now I have to push myself as a writer.

Ahyiana has toured the U.S promoting her newly released book and showing the world who she is. Check out more of Ahyiana Angel by visiting her networks. Website: http://www.ahyianaangel.com. Blog: lifeaccordingtoher.com. Twitter/Instagram: @ahyiana_angel.
Preseason Love is available for purchase at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, amazon.com, and more. I’m telling you from experience, you’re going to want to get your hands on this one!

Be the Change you Wish to See

Over the past month or so, I’ve been feeling a bit stagnant on my job. I haven’t felt like I’ve been the most effective and it began to bother me. I found myself sharing with others how unfulfilled I had been feeling overtime. Last night was the very last conversation I had and it caused me to think past the very words I spoke. Instead of complaining about what I felt I couldn’t do; why not do what I could, where I was, with what I had.

Often times we become discouraged because of the place that we’re currently in. We feel as though we can’t produce the way we intend to because of an uncomfortable place or situation. However, when we begin to look around us, we can find things to put our hands to. We shouldn’t limit or subject ourselves to the situation we’ve been given. We can complain and talk about how we’d rather not be in that place; or we can make the best of it, put our hands to other things in the process, and work on how we can become better.

When our desire to see change is greater than what we currently see, we’ll be able to be more effective. Sulking ourselves and others in what we dislike doesn’t change much. We have to be dedicated to the conversion we’d like to take place. Then and only then will we be able to make progress.

This reminds me of a sentence I read in one of my devotions recently, “what you focus on, grows.” If we focus on the unpleasant feelings, that’s what will begin to grow and keep tugging at us. On the other hand, when we begin to put all of our focus on the actions we need to take in order to change our situation, that’ll take precedence over the negative feelings.

So just as I’m encouraging myself, I encourage you to shift your focus. Change your attitude and your mindset. Begin to look at your surroundings without eyes of frustration, but rather the eyes of change. Let’s be agents of change and do what we can, where we are, with what we have. We can be the change we wish to see.

20141120-115541-42941601.jpg

Brotherhood: The Treasure in T.H.I.S

Brotherhood Is the new generation of rap groups repping the East Coast (Englewood,NJ & Brooklyn,NY). The group is comprised of rappers, King Muziq , J.R. Banga, and reggae artist Nino Million. Brotherhood is known for their diverse approach to music, coupling lyricism and a versatility that fuses a multitude of genres.
A collection of true creators, Brotherhood consists of actual musicians and producers , which have come together to cultivate a unique sound. In recent months, Brotherhood has made waves with performances at venues such as BBKings, SOB’s NYC, Santos Party House NYC, Club Pyramid and Greenhouse NY, as well as community enrichment based events such as Mexicali in New Jersey.

(Submitted by Brotherhood).

20141102-002704-1624285.jpg

This past Tuesday, October 28th, Brotherhood put together a listening event to push and promote their latest project, T.H.I.S (Treasure However It’s Sent). The event was held at Smash Studios in the midtown section of NYC. It was a nice intimate setting of supporters. Drinks were provided and those in attendance were given the opportunity to mix and mingle, while music played in the background.

King Muziq and Nino Million then went on to the real reason everyone gathered together. Unfortunately, J.R Banga couldn’t make it due to the fatal death of one of his good friends.

20141102-012327-5007225.jpg

Brotherhood introduced the songs that were later debuted on their new EP T.H.I.S, Halloween day. Songs included are as follows: No Return, Lost, Reckless, Party Bus, and more. Also on the EP is their single, Club on Fire, which is available for purchase on iTunes, Spotify, google play store, and any other site.

This EP shows the versatility that this group has. It includes songs that you can dance to as well as songs that slow down and make you sit and reflect. My favorite is Lost. This is a song that was written during a difficult time, a real life situation. The beginning starts out with a spoken word interlude that sums up the dynamic of the entire song. It talks about feeling lost in a world where you try to progress and find success. To hear this song, along with the others, be sure to download this EP. T.H.I.S is available for free download on datpiff.com. The direct link is: http://www.datpiff.com/Brotherhood-This-mixtape.661497.html. Download and share! Stay tuned for in depth interview with Brotherhood Ent.

20141102-012931-5371254.jpg

Live Purposefully

As I thought about things to write about, all I continued to hear was “live purposefully.” Although I’ve written about this in the past, this blog is for you to receive encouragement from where I am. My personal real life experiences. This is where I am.

I went to a funeral, rather celebration of life, Saturday morning. The life of a 19 year old young man. He was the brother of a friend that I’ve had maybe two encounters with. However, you could tell what kind of person he was. Great personality, making jokes and all around happy.

After attending the funeral and hearing more about the life he lived, I was amazed. Despite what people saw on the outside, this young man was in pain for years. Had battles with death early on, but you could never tell. Even in this, he always lived his life to the fullest. The words that were spoken on his behalf were amazing. To hear young people say that he was the only person to be able to get through to them in the midst of their depression, was overwhelming. He lived his life with the intent of fulfillment.

I was beyond inspired leaving that church Saturday afternoon. Many of us struggle with living with all of our being. Sharing all of our gifts freely, being joyous, caring for others more than we do ourselves. He didn’t allow his condition to keep him from doing all that he desired.

Many times we feel as if we can’t do a certain thing because we don’t have this or have that. But we have no idea who needs what we do have. This is why it’s important for us to live with purpose. When we purpose in our hearts to give all that we have, we can touch peoples lives in ways we couldn’t even imagine.

I’ve struggled time and time again with giving my all. But when I contemplate on the purpose behind what I’ve been given, I realize I can’t sit back it on it. Passion goes far beyond what can be taught and your circumstances. So I encourage you not to doubt yourself because of what you don’t have or the situations that you are in. Use the passion that’s within you and live your life to the fullest, intentionally with purpose! 20141021-235141-85901734.jpg

Proper Planning Leads to Great Success

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve begun to realize just how important it is to create a schedule for all of the things that we have to do. I’m not extremely busy, however, with every responsibility I have it can get a little chaotic at times. And that’s when I don’t plan properly. This is definitely what I’ve signed up for: but if I fail to plan, I plan to fail.

Often times we find ourselves in situations where we become overwhelmed and the quality of what we produce isn’t to our greatest potential. When we don’t schedule our priorities accurately, we lack time. And with lacking the proper time, we may find ourselves rushing to get things done. In the rush, our work may be mediocre or not the best of our ability. I recently experienced this. I rushed to complete a project and at the end I didn’t feel as if the finished product was the best that I could do. It was good, but it wasn’t great. I knew that it could’ve been better had I put more time into it. Which showed me just how beneficial my to-do lists and prior planning really are.

When we learn to plan and create a sufficient schedule, we can produce quality work. It’s important to always be clear in your thinking, and get it all down before you make a move. This is when whatever you have set out to do will be great.

So I encourage you today to plan properly and take advantage of the time that you have. Create a plan and follow through. Then the work you produce will be that of your greatest potential, a reflection of the preparations you’ve made. Proper planning leads to great success.

20141002-120157-43317148.jpg
(Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance)

Sunday Evening Serenade

Sunday, September 21st, I had the pleasure of attending Sunday Evening Serenade’s one year anniversary! This event is created and hosted by Olivia Gilmore. Sunday Evening Serenade is an acoustic showcase that’s put on once every month. The purpose of this event is not only to give artists a platform to perform; it is also for all artists, vendors, and those in the entertainment and fashion industry to promote themselves and network.

SES was held at Ripley Grier Studios in the midtown area of NYC. The room was nice, quaint, and intimate with a beautiful white grand piano. Just right for an evening serenade. The featured artists of the night were, Ashton Martin, Mayo Bass, and Olivia Gilmore. Because of traffic, Natalie Imani was unable to attend.

20140926-225512-82512631.jpg
(Mayo Bass, Olivia Gilmore, Ashton Martin)

The evening began with great tunes playing in the background, while the audience was given an opportunity to mingle and network with one another as well as the vendors, who I must say produced great work.

Cherise Broadbelt of Reese B Designs blew me away with her collection. As her material says, it’s “Not Your Average.” Cherise has a line of bow ties (available for both women and men), clutches, and jewelry. Every bow tie and clutch is handmade by Cherise herself, with beautiful fabrics and leather. Her pieces are well put together ending with a great product. Not only are her pieces amazing, her personality is very warm and welcoming. View Reese B Designs below and visit the Instagram, @reesebdesigns, to view more and order pieces from her collection.

20140926-230432-83072800.jpg
(Cherise Broadbelt, Reese B Designs)

Another vendor was Tremaine Angevine, CEO of OFCC. OFCC is an urban clothing line with great designs. Every shirt, sweatshirt, hat is personally designed by Tremaine. OFCC has done many trade shows and continues to push their brand. Take a look at apart of their collection below. Also check out their website for more, http://www.ofccest1982.com.

20140926-231521-83721511.jpg
(Tremaine Angevine, CEO of OFCC)

Other vendors included, food by Ms. Anita G. From the raves on social media, her food was delicious. Be sure to check her out on Instagram @chefmamagarciajr.

After the brief mingling, it was time for the main show. Every artist who took the stage, was absolutely amazing.

Starting out with Ashton Martin accompanied by JT on piano. From the melodies that flowed from Ashton’s mouth Sunday evening, you could tell that he’s been doing this for some time now. He’s actually been singing since the age of 10 and composing his own songs by the age of 12. Since then, he’s been perfecting his craft and doing a great job at it. Ashton started his set with one of my personal favorites, So High by John Legend. John Legend is an amazing artist and not many can fill his shoes. However, Martin’s raspy voice fit the song perfectly. Every note in the right place. He then went to a self written song entitled, Your Body. Which is a song he wrote after a breakup and all he could think of was her embrace. His connection with the audience was amazing. You could hear every emotion while he sang as he have the perfect eye contact. He finished his set with very popular song, Superstar by Luther Vandross. Overall, great singer, songwriter, and performer. Be sure to check Ashton out on twitter and Instagram @ashtnmrtn. Also, purchase his new single “Lights Out” on iTunes.

20140926-235056-85856220.jpg
(Photo taken by @faceonbroadway)

Up next was the bubbly Miya Mayo Bass accompanied by Eddie C on piano. When Mayo entered the room you automatically saw her lively personality. Mayo was X Factor 2013 finalist and worked with countless recording artists. Varying from Brandy, Shirley Murdock, Mary Mary, Fantasia, Vashawn Mitchell, and more. Mayo started out with ‘Boy Band Trivia’ from her upcoming project Nostalgia. This song is a cumulation of some of the greatest boy band hits; such as Don’t Leave (Stay) by Blackstreet, It’s Over Now by 112, On Bended Knees by Boys II Men, Gone by Nsync, and 5 Steps by Dru Hill. One of the most creative songs I’ve heard. To put these amazing tracks together was amazing to hear added with her amazing vocals. She then ended with her latest single, ‘The Cure.’ This is by far one of the most powerful songs. This song was created for anyone who suffers from cancer, diabetes, and anyone who needs healing. Mayo prayed and asked God for the lyrics, and The Cure was birthed. Sunday evening she belted out these lyrics and you felt every word. To hear the song, visit http://youtu.be/OBxokN9c32M and view the official video, available for purchase on iTunes. Mayo is also currently doing a church tour where she is open to visiting churches and singing ‘The Cure.’ Stay up to date with Mayo Bass by visiting her website, http://www.miyamayobass.com.

20140927-003042-1842990.jpg
(Photo taken by @faceonbroadway)

Last but certainly not least, the host and creator of Sunday Evening Serenade, Miss Olivia Gilmore. After hearing about the effects of bullying, she was prompted to start out with Unpretty by TLC. Encouraging everyone to look within and find their beauty and not allow the words of others to get them to a negative place in life. After her first song, Olivia let the audience in. She explained how private of a person she was, which is understandable in this business, but grasped the crowd with her transparency that night. She talked about how SES started as well as the difficulties she’s encountered throughout this year. Although there were many obstacles that came up against her, she never gave up. She expressed her goal as an artist and how she wanted to become famous when starting out, but she never only considered herself. She created this showcase for the benefit of all artists. Olivia not only wanted to build her brand as an artist, she also wanted to help her fellow artist get ahead in the game. Which is commendable. To have had to face troubles along the way, she could’ve stopped; but she continued to maintain. Olivia also has a great personality. She kept the crowd laughing the entire night.
It was an absolute pleasure meeting Olivia and attending such a wonderful event. Special thanks for the invitation. To stay up to date with Olivia and Sunday Evening Serenade follow her Instagram @msoliviagilmore. You can also check out her music on soundcloud. You won’t be disappointed, she gave her all with every song she sang Sunday night.

20140927-010122-3682322.jpg
(Photo taken by @faceonbroadway)

20140927-010236-3756100.jpg

20140927-010254-3774731.jpg

20140927-010252-3772872.jpg

-Miss Jones

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.

20140921-001354-834737.jpg
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!

20140921-001627-987865.jpg
Miss Jones & Anissa Rochester

“Dreams Won’t Work Unless You Do”

As I thought these past few days what my next post would be, I somewhat drew a blank. My last two posts were reviews, and I have interviews and features scheduled, but I wanted to share a post that was inspirational through a personal experience. Which is the central theme of my blog. I’ve written two potential blog posts, but I just didn’t feel as if it was the right time to post them. One on Friday and another last night. I have plenty of topics I could possibly write about, but I continued to contemplate if I should post them.

So today, I had a scheduled interview that we ended up rescheduling for tomorrow. It was better for the person I’m interviewing and myself travel wise; and I thought it would be a great chance for me to work on my next post that I definitely wanted to post today.

As I began to skim through Instagram, one of the first pictures that caught my attention said, “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.” Immediately I said to myself, this might be good. I then took out the latest issue of Essence Magazine to see what I could find. Essence has always been one of the places I find the most inspiring and motivating pieces. So I wondered if I’d get inspired from one of the articles. The first article I read was an email written by a fifteen year old girl. She shared her story about how she was accepted into the yes we code hackathon at the essence festival this past July. Her mom was struggling to find a way for them to get down to New Orleans. They weren’t sure if they’d be able to afford a hotel room and plane tickets. After they were told they’d be able to have a dorm, they only had to worry about the tickets. However, they were too expensive. Her mother tried her best to get this done for her daughter by going to the bank and trying to get an increase on her credit card, but she couldn’t. At that moment she felt like a failure, she felt like she couldn’t deliver. Her mother then chose another option and they decided to drive. While they were down in New Orleans, the young girl worked the hardest she’d ever worked with her team to come up with an app that would help stop sex trafficking. On her way back she learned that her team had won for best social impact.

After reading this great article, the pieces began to come together. We can have all of these dreams, but it will never work for us if we don’t put in the work that’s required. And after we’ve encountered disappointments, it’s our job to find another option. Change the method, but not the goal. And the end result will be great.

These past two years have shown me this. I’ve discovered how passionate I really am about my writing. In that, I’ve created a few goals for myself. I would like to reach as many people as possible, create change, build my audience, as well as build my credibility as a writer. Now all of these things require work. If I sit back and expect things to fall into my lap, it’ll never happen. As I begun to really put in the work, things are beginning to happen. I made a decision to write more consistently, which has drawn more readers. Because of that, I’ve heard many people say how encouraged they’ve been because of it. In order to build my credibility as a writer, I made goals to share my writing as much as possible through other outlets aside of my own blog. This could only be possible if I continued to work on my writing and submit samples here and there. Things won’t always be peaches and cream. There will be disappointments when you don’t get results immediately. But when you keep working, success will come. As I continued writing, I began to get recognized for my work. My work was able to speak for me. And in that I am now doing a weekly blog in the wellness section of the online magazine, Everything Girls Love (everythinggirlslove.com). Which was one of the personal goals I set for myself. People have also begin to reach out to me for services regarding my blog. And this is just the beginning of my dreams being unfolded. Had I been asked two years ago if I’d be here or going down this path, I don’t believe I would’ve said yes. But because I realized that work is required in order to make things happen, I am.

So I encourage you today to put in the work. Whatever your dreams are, it’s possible for you to fulfill. But you have to do something in order to make it happen. When things come up against you that lead to disappointment, don’t stop. Keep going and see where it leads you!

20140909-150423-54263292.jpg

Do it Anyway

People will take your past and create issues that never existed. Because you may have reacted a certain way in the past, doesn’t mean you continue to have that reaction. Some people fail to realize this.

20140822-191602-69362040.jpg

The other night this week, I experienced this full on. My attitude is something that I’ve constantly had to work on. To be quite honest, it’s not the best and I have to continuously reflect and check myself. I don’t always do the best job, but it’s something I can honestly say I’m working on. In any event, that particular night, I so happen to walk into a room and received a very negative comment for absolutely no reason. So I decided instead of allowing it to make me upset, I’d just joke around and let it slide. So I joked back knowing the person was serious. Then this situation became an issue because I responded to something that was said.

I almost took to social media to display my frustrations, instead I thought why not see the lesson in it and write about it.

Despite what people say or what they think they know about you, keep moving towards growth.
Some people will always have that negative view of you regardless of how much you’ve changed. Don’t allow it to frustrate you to the point that you end up reverting back to it.
Ignore it. Let it brush off your shoulders and keep it moving. As hard as it is, and trust I know, it’s something you have to do. Help the situation rather than hurt it.

20140822-191012-69012704.jpg

I could’ve allowed this situation to bring me completely out of character because I knew for sure I wasn’t in the wrong. But I know that I’m better than that. I’ve come to realize that no matter how much you’ve grown or worked on your issues; for some people, you’re still the person you used to be. I had to choose to look passed that knowing I’ve made progress.

So I encourage you today to keep moving forward regardless of how certain people see you. In spite of what others may say, continue down that path of progression. Don’t allow the negativity to deter you from growth.

20140822-190902-68942637.jpg