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Young Entrepreneur with Antiguan Roots creates Irresistible Aromas in New Fragrance Line.

What’s your vibe?

The way you feel about yourself… the energy you radiate unknowingly into the world is often overlooked as you focus heavily on the physical, but those around you can sense everything you feel about yourself through your posture, eye contact, tone and even through the way you smell. Are you powerful? Are you seductive? Are you a peaceful soul? A fragrance has a transformative quality that awakens specific emotions in all of us. This is why a young entrepreneur inspired by her own love for heavenly scents puts so much time and effort into creating aromas that are simply irresistible to the senses. Ravon Kelsick, 29, grew up on the Island of Antigua in the village of Cedar Grove, but was born in Bronx, NY where she now resides. Upon her frequent trips back to her childhood home, she recounts always being complimented on the scents she used. The compliments were always welcomed with a smile, but little did her admirers know that these potions were concocted by Ravon herself using a mixture of her own fragrance oils. The constant admiration led her to spend more time brainstorming new aromas and she soon created her very own brand, Heavenly Auras. She began with perfume oils which were each unique and in high demand. The success of this inaugural product led her to begin producing perfume sprays, glitter fragrance oils, mini perfume sprays, home scents, Reed Diffusers and soon, car fragrances joined the line.

“The best sellers in the perfume department would be everything lol, literally. I mean Antigua has its favorite which is Luv Chloe’ but please don’t let that distract from the other scents that are just as lovely. An underdog would be narcissistic beauty, it takes a powerful woman to rock that scent. Then we have the very very unique Santal, only a special type of individual could appreciate the scent of Santal. “

Heavenly Home” is Ravon’s new home and car fragrance line, and it has its own category of fragrances. There are scents like Toasted Marshmallow for the vanilla lover and Paradise Vibes to please the senses of those with a love for the islands. “Paradise vibes is very popular in Antigua…but can you be surprised? Why not smell the scent of paradise while actually living in it?” There are many more scents in tow for the Home line and she is currently still expanding.

When Ravon isn’t busy in the lab, she enjoys spending time with great company, reading and manifesting success for her business. A successful entrepreneur understands the power of manifestation and the ways it can positively transform a business if done correctly and regularly. She has mastered this because in the past, Ravon has had her share of doubt and obstacles that literally threatened to put an end to her business journey. One of her biggest obstacles was operating Heavenly Auras while residing in New York, but she was quick to point out that God blessed her with an amazing team consisting of herself, supportive friends and most importantly, a business partner and mother who believes in her dreams. Ravon’s mother, Verlyn Kelsick is the heart of Heavenly Auras. “I would probably be a millionaire if I had a dollar for everytime I said “I quit, I cant do this anymore” and there she was ready to pick up the puzzle pieces and help me put them back together.” Smooth seas never made a skillful sailor, and through the painful lessons she learnt, she took the time to offer some wealthy advice to business owners like herself; “never give up but at the same time make sure to keep upgrading. Don’t settle, but don’t rush. Products may not look as aesthetically pleasing at first, but trust the process. Once you’re putting in that work, ALWAYS trust the process!”

“The idea of entrepreneurship at first is “cute” until things really start going. Then you’re like “omg, this is really happening?? “

BWM Entrepreneur, Ravon Kelsick

Ravon is a young black woman with a single mother, raised by a single Aunt in the USA. She was therefore taught what independence looked like at a young age. Independence was all she knew, but now it’s clear that there were many benefits to seeing someone you love face their obstacles, fight and succeed. “I now see the benefits of always having to be independent for it attracted genuine energy and a clan of people who want to see me win.”

One of her aspirations is for Heavenly Auras to become “everything scents” for Antigua. She’s on a mission to become a notable brand in the country she calls home and will eventually make her permanent home. Her mission is to someday add to that country’s greatness. Although Heavenly Auras and Heavenly Home are U.S. based brands, her service to Antigua is at the top of her list of priorities.

Heavenly Auras provides scents for all. The site features fragrances for the feminine, masculine and unisex. Her fragrances can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram and customers in the USA may visit the website to order directly on and Antiguan customers can fill out pre- order forms as well.

BWM asked Ravon to fill us in on some of Heavenly Auras most effective ingredients, but this entrepreneur knows how to keep the magic a secret! We are left to use our imagination as all we were offered was a general description of how her scents are created...in each fragrance you will find the confidence, strength and super magical aura that this strong black woman has within her!

“An alluring personality pairs well with an alluring fragrance.”

BWM

FUN FACT

Nefertum was the “god of perfume” who was originally thought of as a man with a pleasant blossom on his head. In ancient Egyptian history he was shown as a beautiful young man who had arisen from primal waters and had the delightful smell of blue lotus flower all around him.

Visit Heavenly Auras on Website, Facebook or Instagram

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Strength of a Black Woman: Divorce left her Heartbroken, but she ‘Kept it Moving’ and built her own Empire

Who would you be without struggle? We have all been shaped in some way by our experiences. At some point in our lives we can all remember at least one event that caused a shift in our paradigm; something that caused us to change the way we saw ourselves and the people around us. For Lia Abney, 54 of Hephzibah Georgia, that event was when her then husband after 15 years of marriage told her that he no longer wanted to be married. There is no quick fix to healing after a divorce, and Lia knows this all too well. However, she found the strength within herself to #keepitmoving.

After her divorce Lia moved from Korea to Georgia and started picking up the broken pieces of her life. She founded Victory Leadership Group Inc. a nonprofit organization preparing teens for success as they transition from high school into the workforce. She became motivated to do even more, and founded her very own consulting service, Lia Abney LLC aimed at empowering women (mind, body, and soul) to pursue their God-given talents. BWM visited her website and we were immediately captivated by her charisma. The passion Lia has for what she does is undeniable. During her career, she’s had the pleasure of sharing her knowledge and passion with nonprofit organizations (education, homelessness, and mental health), entrepreneurs, schools, juvenile court systems, authors/speakers and churches.

“When I moved to Georgia I did not have any family here to lean on. I had to open myself up to those whom God brought into my inner circle to create a tribe whom we all can lean on. I am thankful for families in Georgia who have adopted me as a daughter, sister, and confidant.”

When Lia isn’t out inspiring the world, you can find her reading scripture or taking in the soothing sounds of soulful Gospel or Jazz. Her studies at Capella University, where she is pursuing a Doctorate Degree in Public Administration also keep her busy. Busy is an understatement for this veteran as she is also a Management Analyst, Motivational Speaker and Published Author. She’s contributed to skillfully penned masterpieces including – Women in Public Administration: Theory and Practice – which is being used in colleges around the world, and – Perfectly Imperfect, Seeing Yourself Through the Eyes of God – which allowed her to share her story of God’s love for her after divorce. Both publications were realized during a time for Lia that was most challenging and affected her self esteem. However, she was able to persevere beyond the hurt knowing that God had a plan for her to prosper and not cause her harm…(Jeremiah 29:11).

This Black Queen wears multiple ‘hats‘, but they are all set in perfect alignment with who she is. She has fully embraced her anointing… an anointing to inspire and motivate others to achieve their highest.

In 2019, Lia was awarded the Shero Arts Award in support of local arts as an author and a finalist for the 2019 Indie Award. She is actively involved in various community initiatives as well as an active board member with the Greater Augusta Black Chamber of Commerce as the VP of Business and Financial Affairs. 

What motivates this visionary? She credits much of her inspiration to some strong female leaders whom she has admired for years – Ronic West, a prime example of an industry leader (a mover and shaker as Lia describes her), and Sojourner Truth who was a constant reminder to fight for those who are unable to make their voice be heard. Lia also credits much of her resolve to #keepitmoving to her daughter Chontele, aka Yum Yum, who is a perfect example of focus and determination.

Like many entrepreneurs and black women in general who are working toward creating their own path, Lia has experienced her fair share of defeating thoughts. For this phenomenal black queen however, giving up has never been an option.

“One time, I took a leap of faith and submitted a proposal to speak at a conference. Of course, I had people ask to come along and thinking of course why not. Well, lets just say it was the worse speaking engagement. Not so much because I had someone come with me but I was actually treated horribly by another speaker not to mention other things that did not line up. I left there feeling like man…your own kind treats you like this. It really left a bad taste in my mouth. But then as clear as day…God said I never told you to take anyone with you. So the next couple of speaking engagements I journeyed alone. And nothing but blessings…I share this not to shame or bash others but to say that in your journey there is a season where you may be required to do it alone. It won’t be for ever but it is a season that I believe God is grooming us for something beyond what others can understand. Going at it alone during that season is an opportunity for you to grow without distractions. So where ever you are in your journey KEEP IT MOVING.

— Lia Abney

One of Lia’s future goals for Lia Abney, LLC  is to outreach the business internationally and continuously build strong foundations for accomplishing strategic goals. “So many businesses get stuck in the process of building because they do not clearly have a plan that will allow them to expand and grow to the next level. I want to help businesses that have found themselves stuck by establishing the right connection, communicate the right message, and commit to the process as a business owner to #KeepItMoving.”

“Discover your purpose, lock into it and don’t abandon the process to success. Use wisdom with whom you connect with and know when the season is over to just LET THEM GO. Your journey is dependent on someone benefiting from what you pour out into the earth. It’s never too late to get started. Straighten your crown “King”…”Queen” and KEEP IT MOVING!”

LIA ABNEY

Like most with such an important calling as hers, Lia’s story reminds us all to stay focused. There is no quick path to success, but through perseverance and constant self- evaluation anything is possible!

Continue to Follow Lia’s journey via Lia Abney LLC on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and LinkedIn and Victory Leadership Group on Instagram

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A Natural Skin and Hair Care Line Inspired by Natives of the Motherland!

Our melanin is magnificent. It protects us from the harsh elements and absorbs light whenever the sun’s rays dance unhindered upon our skin. Although most resilient when compared to that of others, our soma needs protection and care. We’ve all had our experiences with store bought skin and hair care products that didn’t work as well as we thought they would. Although disappointing, it’s important to note that this could be due to multiple factors including skin type, harsh chemicals and level of exposure to the elements. Recently, there has been an upsurge in the number of natural skin care businesses online. People of color have taken it upon themselves to learn the art of cosmetic production; shea butter lotions, tumeric scrubs, coco body butters and the like are flooding the market much to the delight of black men and women eager to take care of their appearance and general well-being. There are however, a few well-seasoned natural skin care professionals that have had taken the time to perfect their products for years. We found one such gem in the heart of the United Kingdom.

Irene Afari, 35, of London UK, grew up in Paris France and Hackney United Kingdom. This melanin beauty with a European nationality is a registered nurse with a biotechnology degree, but when she’s not out saving the world she enjoys the Arts and learning about new cultures in her travels. While in her 20s, chemically damaged hair led her to begin her own journey of healthy hair growth. Frustration soon set in however, because regular beauty supply stores didn’t carry the products needed to save her damaged mane and staff within these stores lacked the knowledge needed to advise her on how to get her naturally healthy hair back. This avid traveler has visited Ghana regularly and the wonderful natives introduced her to natural skin and hair care ingredients. Cocoa butter and shea butter have always been used and loved by generations of Ghanaian natives. Irene was so inspired that she began creating her own home made concoctions with these same ingredients, and this led to a multiplicity of accolades from family and friends regarding the natural look and glow of her hair and skin. This all fueled her passion to incorporate a more holistic approach to beauty care and thus she created her own hair and skin care brand, Native Nous. The name was derived from both cultural and spiritual ideals.

Irene’s love for the indigenous people and flora of Ghana =”Native.” (For The natives were her inspiration.)

A new found awakening toward natural and traditional care for the body, the awareness, mind, intellect and good sense= “Nous.”

“Native Nous represents channeling the practical knowledge of indigenous groups on benefiting from nature and natural ingredients. The brand’s ethos is based on sharing the indigenous beauty heritage and solutions by focusing on utilizing natural ingredients that promote healthy hair and skin.”

Here are some of the top picks for healthy hair and skin:

Neo Body Scrub: With its sweet coconut aroma, this exfoliating sugar body scrub is formulated with demerara cane sugar, virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, pure cold pressed sweet almond oil, turmeric root powder, natural vitamin E , lavender and ylang ylang essential oils leaves your skin feeling like new!
Afari Hair and Body Butter: This choice is specifically great for nourishing dry damaged hair or improving dry and rough skin. It has a smooth texture and light cocoa and floral aroma. Pure unrefined shea butter is paired with pure unrefined cocoa butter, extra virgin olive oil, pure Jamaican black castor oil, pure cold pressed sweet almond oil, virgin avocado oil, virgin argan oil, pure cold pressed jojoba oil, vitamin E, lavender, rosemary, tea tree, cedarwood and yland ylang essential oils.
Smell the roses facial oil: A rose infused facial serum that works wonders on acne prone skin, scarring, inflammation or dry skin. Ingredients include extra virgin olive oil, pure cold pressed sweet almond oil, virgin avocado oil, virgin argan oil, natural vitamin E, organic rosehip oil, and dried rose petals.
Refine Facial Toner: This super- moisturizing toner is great for deep cleansing of pores, removing residual makeup, dirt and pollutants. Toner prepares your skin to receive a follow up moisturizer or serum. It supports the PH balance of your skin. All natural ingredients include: organic rose water, pure vegetable glycerine, natural vitamin E, lavender essential oil and citric acid.

This black owned beauty brand delivers top quality skin and hair care because Irene understands the unique challenges faced by men and women of color when caring for their unique afro/curly hair and skin care needs. She experienced these challenges herself. Her line comprises the most effective natural ingredients which are unrefined or organic. All ingredients are hand picked for their beneficial and nutrient rich properties.

Find these products and more on her Website , Facebook or Instagram. Native Nous is currently listed on several black owned business directories such as ‘Black Pound Day‘, and also our very own blacked owned business listing on Black Wealth Magazine!

These awesome products ship internationally too, so have a look at the product catalog and order up!

Upon observing the list of natural ingredients it’s obvious that Irene is serious about skin and hair care. Her mission is simple. She wants to share the heritage and tradition of indigenous people’s use of nature in caring for our beauty needs through her products. Think of Native Nous as envisioning men and women of colour who have healthy skin and hair and because of it, they are confident enough to embrace all that they are.

As with all businesses whether large or small, Native Nous has had its fair share of challenges. Irene is the sole founder and this has meant that since inception, she has had to wear multiple hats in order to successfully manage the various facets of her business. Imagine being the marketing manager, secretary, founder and manufacturer all in one! This may seem a daunting task, but Irene has proven to be one tenacious business owner that doesn’t give in!

Irene Afari, Founder of Native Nous

Business growth has been steady throughout the years and Irene credits this in part, to the City University London Launch Lab Business accelerator programme and her business mentor. There are no limits as she envisions her brand becoming a substantial player in the beauty and cosmetics industry. It will become a lifestyle brand, and she plans to market her products through larger retailers such as Self ridges, Boots, Superdrug and Wholefoods Markets. The Native Nous line of products will be sold in retail store chains where women can receive hair and skin care advice and product recommendations. If we recall how her business started, we understand why this aspect is of paramount importance!

At BWM we applaud this business owner for endeavoring to create charitable foundations and co-operatives in the countries where her ingredients are sourced in order to benefit the women and their families who produce the ingredients. This says a lot about her work ethic and appreciation for her own craft and people. She encourages other business owners like her self to carry out due diligence by researching their unique markets, keep an eye on the competitors and test their products. This doesn’t mean that one should procrastinate. On the contrary, begin where you are and keep moving. That first step could eventually create a multi-million dollar brand!

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”

Joel A. Barker

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Antiguan Beauty Creates Organic Skin Care Line

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, SEPTEMBER 10th, 2020

It all started with her own obsession with healthy skin. Ressa Valentine Benjamin loved the way her organic skin care routine kept her melanin skin glowing, and soon made the decision to stop keeping her skin care secrets to herself. Originally hailing from St. Johnson’s village in her beautiful island home of Antigua, Ressa boldly founded her own skin care line, “Definitely Reese,” with the hopes that she could help others achieve radiant skin.

Hyperpigmentation, acne, dry skin and eczema are some common skin conditions faced by people of color. There can be a misconception that we do not need to be as vigilant about our skin care routines as others because of the natural elasticity and melanin glow of our skin, but the opposite is true. According to Medical News Today, melanin-producing cells may be more susceptible to the effects of inflammation and injury, which may be more noticeable in dark skin than in light skin.

One of Definitely Reese’s loyal customers, Antiguan Soca Artist Claudette “C.P” Peters, using the Tumeric & Honey Scrub

Ressa’s products contain natural ingredients which are perfect for people of color. Ground turmeric, cinnamon, coffee grounds, brown sugar, honey, and lemon along with her ‘secret ingredient’ are just some of nature’s gifts which she uses in her products. She highlights turmeric as a main ingredient used in her line. It’s no secret that this natural spice has amazing skin care benefits. Some of these include:

  • It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties; This means that it’s great for combating acne and other skin irritations.
  • It calms the skin and works wonders on fading acne scars and hyperpigmentation.
  • Another plus? It unveils a noticeably healthy glow!

Her turmeric and honey facial scrub was personally tested by me, and all I can say is, this entrepreneur takes the skin care business seriously!

Another main ingredient she utilizes is coffee. Yes! Coffee. Coffee grounds are actually a great source of several nutrients and antioxidants that benefit the skin tremendously.

Just like turmeric, coffee brings out your natural glow;

It reduces puffiness of the eyes;

It protects the skin against harsh sun rays;

and removes dead skin cells;

Coffee grounds are used in her Vanilla Latte Scrub. Needless to say, I will be trying this one next!

At “Definitely Reese,” you can also find other amazing products such as foot scrubs, lip scrubs, lip balms, lip glosses and eyelash/eyebrows serums. Check out her store on Facebook, and browse her selection of natural beauty and skin care products.

Her momentum is steady and growing, but entrepreneurship is not all ribbons and rainbows. This small business owner faces her fair share of obstacles including fluctuating customs duties. When endeavoring to make a profit, the taxes imposed at the island’s air or sea ports can be counter productive for small business owners. However, this inspiring entrepreneur presses on. Thankfully, her support system is dynamic and extremely loyal.

“My supporters have all been amazing throughout my journey thus far.”

Although she is ‘taking things one day at a time’ and marketing her products locally, Ressa hopes to expand “Definitely Reese” both regionally and internationally. Once she continues producing these superior products, we are confident that there are no limits for this Antiguan entrepreneur!

“To all my fellow business owners, always strive to achieve your goals and always make adjustments if and when necessary along the way. Never give up! “

Ressa Valentine Benjamin

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SCAMMED by the Blessing Loom

With the world plunging into economic crises due to Covid-19 and mandatory lock-downs, it isn’t a surprise that fraudulent economics is rearing its ugly head everywhere. The most common being “the blessing loom”. It goes by other names such as:

  • Blessing Bank
  • Infinity Loom
  • Snowflake Blessing
  • Giving Circle

How it started

This pyramid scheme first surfaced in 2016 when Derek Loom, an American citizen roped in ‘blessed investors’ via social media. He was arrested in 2019, but by that time, he had already made at least 10 Million USD and authorities couldn’t press any real charges against him, as per various media reports. The scam easily and quickly reverberated through the four corners of the earth, via the worldwide platform, Facebook.

How it works

Persons are usually recruited by invitation only. With a small investment of let’s say $100, through some digital payment service like Paypal or Venmo, you can spread the wealth, and see a huge return on the money (your ‘entry fee’). The only catch is that you have to recruit other ‘investors.’ They, in turn will invite others and the goal is for everyone to end up making loads of cash. It’s evident on social media right now, that persons are posting their invites directly in groups and on their facebook walls with captions such as “inbox me” or “find out how!”

How you lose

This sounds like heaven! Right? Unfortunately, in most cases, it ends up being hell for most unsuspecting hopefuls. The trouble with the scheme is its reliance on recruiting others in order to keep the ship afloat. Once people stop participating, the money ship sinks. This will leave lots of disappointed people to lose the cash they initially invested.

The idea of the blessing loom is similar to that of a ponzi scheme. According to invesopedia, A Ponzi scheme is a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to investors. The Ponzi scheme generates returns for early investors by acquiring new investors. This is similar to a pyramid scheme in that both are based on using new investors’ funds to pay the earlier backers. They sound pretty much identical!

Derek Loom, who started the blessing loom in 2016

Tenesha’s Story

Tenesha W. 27, from Brooklyn NY was employed as a pre-school teacher before covid-19 struck the USA in January 2020. The pre-school soon closed its doors indefinitely and she was forced to apply for unemployment benefits. Being a single mother, having 3 children aged 5 -13, with no income and no assistance caused Tenesha to go into depression. Soon, she was offered a rope in the dark. A friend of hers contacted her and asked her to invest $100 to join the loom. Her friend explained how it worked and she was on board. I mean, how hard could it be to find two people, right? That she did. Once Tenesha received her $800 ‘hand’, things started looking up for her. She decided to try another group. She made another $800 and then another. This was way more than she had bargained for! Things were definitely turning around for her.

One day, she saw a post on social media that offered way more than just $800. This time, you could invest $625 and gain $5000. This seemed like some kind of miracle. Tenesha was quick to message the poster and join his group. Her early gains were being depleted and she needed a quick fix so that she could at least pay something on her rent and stock up on some much needed groceries. She could only dream about getting her hair and nails done again. Once she joined, she embarked on her mission of recruiting the required investors. She invited the friend that recruited her in the first place, but she wasn’t interested as the stakes were a bit high for her. Instead, she was met with- “Girl, why didn’t you stick with the $100 groups!?” Tenesha was puzzled since her friend was so confident when recruiting her. This seemed like a sure thing, so why not up the stakes a bit? She continued her recruiting mission and finally secured her people.

Everyone was finally in! Her recruits also had the job of recruiting their own people so she just sat tight for a bit until it was her turn to receive her blessings. Days passed, weeks passed, and she sent countless messages to her group chat asking why it was taking so long for her payout? Was anyone else getting paid? She was always met with the same response. ” The money is coming, everyone has to wait their turn.” By this time, two months had passed, and her ‘winnings’ from previous ‘blessings’ were already gone. “Count this one as a loss, sis” her friend advised. This statement came much to Tenesha’s surprise because she had been so sure the plan was all fail-safe. “Why didn’t you tell me this sh#t wasn’t sucker proof? I need my $500 back!” By this time, the group had grown stagnant, and most members were either leaving the whatsapp group or had stopped responding altogether.

Tenesha made a formal complaint to the NYC police department in the hopes of getting back the $625 she had invested. However, her case was difficult to bring to a close and she basically got no where. Although these schemes are illegal in NYC, it is difficult to prove that the funds are taken/stolen rather than ‘gifted.’

More on how the loom works

CBS 19 provided these tips on how to avoid social media scams:

  • Stay alert to pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes promise quick profits for recruiting others. Scammers prey on the desire to make a lot of money with very little effort. But remember, pyramid schemes are illegal in the United States and Canada.
  • Be skeptical: Before you accept any offer on social media, do your research. Just because something appears to be fun and was shared by a friend, doesn’t mean there isn’t an inherent risk. Many of these offers include extravagent promises that aren’t kept.
  • Monitor Friend Requests. Don’t accept friend requests from people you don’t know. Also be wary of a second friend request from someone you are already connected with; the second profile may be an imposter trying to access your data and your friends list.
  • Ask questions and research the offer before joining any business venture. What appears to be a legitimate investment could still be a pyramid scheme. Check business ratings and reviews on BBB.org and other search engines before agreeing to work with or invest in any company or individual.

According to the office of the NY Attorney General, people invest in pyramid schemes for various reasons. These include:

Those who participate out of greed;

Those who are misled into thinking that they are joining an “investment club” or a “gift program”;

And those who believe that the products or services are legitimate.

One Way to actually Build Wealth

The major problem with these schemes is that you’re basically promising something you can’t guarantee. BWM recommends doing your research and joining a proper ‘box hand’ or ‘sou sou’ instead. According to Essence Magazine, A sou-sou (also spelled sou sou, su-su or susu) is an informal rotating savings club, where a group of people get together and contribute an equal amount of money into a fund weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. The total pool, also known as a hand, is then paid to one member of the club on a previously agreed-on schedule. The pool rotates until all members have received their share.- Sounds Legit.

Related: More on sou-sous

There are actually sou-sou apps. See more here or explore them on Google Play.

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Young Entrepreneurs set the pace for a Black- Owned Amazon.

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, AUGUST 10, 2020

Ashley and Lucan, both 27, have been best friends since high school where they met 15 years ago. They’re both entrepreneurs from the UK who discovered that they shared a common problem;- finding products made for people of the African diaspora. BWM agrees that this task may sometimes prove difficult, because while we do have a variety of boutiques and stores that specifically carry these items, it can sometimes be inconvenient when you can’t make a ‘one stop shop’ for all your afro-centric needs.

A few years ago when Lucan moved into his new house, his love for his roots caused him to have an interest in finding Afro-Caribbean decor to give his sanctuary that feeling of ‘home’. This was not as easy as he thought it would be and he decided to inquire of his mom, whose house was beautifully decorated with such items. When his mother couldn’t help him find a retailer, his frustration led him to search online, and upon having no luck he made a pact with his long- time friend Ashley, to create their own. Ebonyx was conceptualized and established in 2019 and it features black owned everything!

What is ‘Ebonyx’?

“Ebonyx (a blend of Ebony and Onyx, and a reference to black vernacular, ebonics) is a marketplace for items that are Afrocentric in nature or inspired by Afrocentrism. Our view and purpose in promoting Afrocentrism is to further inclusivity, diversity, and collaboration for everyone regardless of their culture or background.”

BWM visited the Ebonyx online superstore and found a selection of skin care items, decorative trinkets, clothing and more that were quite unique. We were especially impressed with their afro-centric art. This is a great platform for our artists to market their pieces! Here are some added bonuses we found on the site:

Attractive Features

  • They offer a risk free sales strategy. Opening your shop on Ebonyx costs $0. They make a 15% commission only after the sale of your items. You heard right. They don’t make money until you make money.
  • They partner with individual brands to bring you unique African fashion, hair care products, artistic pieces and more.
  • We were quite impressed with their referral program. Share your link, your friend buys, and you enjoy 10% discount on your purchase!
  • They give back. Ebonyx supports a charity called “The Deworm the World Initiative“. Every sale of 25 pounds, a donation is made to this charity.

More about the charity

To combat worm infection, regular treatment with a simple pill is universally recognized as a safe and effective solution. The Deworm the World Initiative supports school-based deworming: treatment delivered through existing education infrastructure, administered by teachers with support from the health system. This approach is highly cost-effective, well accepted by communities, and efficiently targets the population group at greatest risk for infection: children.


The Ebonyx Dream

As with all entrepreneurs there have been setbacks for Ashley and Lucan. The biggest one yet has been access to funding. Without investment it is difficult for startups to scale. The phrase, ‘it takes money to make money’ sums this up pretty well. Without investment, black owned initiatives like Ebonyx will have a difficult time expanding internationally. Think about Amazon.- It was founded in the garage of Jeff Bezos‘ rented home in Bellevue, Washington. Bezos’ parents invested almost $250,000 during the startup phase. It’s no secret that Amazon is now one of the world’s largest and most successful companies, with a market value of $1.14 trillion!

What advice do these black business owners have for you? Ashley and Lucan believe that business boils down to two things: People and numbers. You need to understand your customer and what get’s them shopping. “However, that is useless unless you have your numbers in check. You need to know everything numbers wise, including accounting, marketing spend, statistics, operational numbers etc.”

These young black innovators have our full support. The greatest benefit of having a black owned Amazon is that our hard-earned dollars will be re-invested within our own communities.


“If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired.”

 Askhari Johnson Hodari, Lifelines: The Black Book of Proverbs

Check out their range of afro-centric items on Instagram and Pinterest

Related: Black Businesses will not survive without the support of black people

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Country Girl with Big Dreams opens Plus-Sized Fashion Boutique

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, AUGUST 3RD, 2020

As a child, Denise had always enjoyed the simple things, like watching her grandmother sew clothing, going shopping with her mom every weekend and playing “dress up” with her dolls and sisters. As an adult her passion for fashion only intensified, but because of her unique curvy figure, she found it difficult to find comfortable clothing that fit and were still attractive.

Soon, she’d had enough of going into clothing stores only to find out that the darling set she’d been eyeing for a while was not available in her size. In 2017, she put her creative vision to work and launched Dbl Dgtz Boutique in her hometown of North Carolina, USA. Petite sized ladies need not worry since the boutique caters to petite figures as well. From work to brunch, they’ve got an outfit for it! The boutique caters to the woman that loves looking her best for any occasion. Your guess is as good as ours was when trying to figure out how she came up with the unique name for her boutique, but think about DD and it’s easy to figure out!

BWM perused her online boutique on instagram and facebook and immediately fell in love with her classy, fashion forward ensembles that pretty much appeared to have been put together by a stylist. We soon learned that she is just that! Denise provides one on one consultations for women who are looking for exclusive fashion for specific occasions. Once a client has a look in mind, she provides advice and guidance on the best ways to pull that look together. Material, color and unique style are all taken into consideration during her consultations and you can trust that she will have you walking away feeling like a fashion goddess.

“We strive to make sure every woman feels beautiful and comfortable after leaving our store. When shopping at DblDgtz Boutique, just remember to be unapologetically YOU, no matter the size”

Starting a boutique may seem like an easy task, but according to this stylist, there were many hurdles that that her business had to overcome. “I feel the hardest obstacle thus far is getting women to believe and trust in your brand, after they have ran into so many dead ends- from poor quality to scammers. We as women are already picky about our clothing so to be an ONLINE women’s clothing store is even harder at times.”

With faith and dedication, Denise anticipates that Dbl Dgtz boutique will become a worldwide brand. She presently provides online everyday shipping Monday through Friday, and caters to her local customers on weekends.

Fashion forward stylist and owner of Dbl Dgtz boutique

Her advice to black business owners was too profound to paraphrase. BWM is in full agreement with her insightful words of wisdom: “To all other black owned businesses who may be starting like me or been in business for years, everyday is not going to be successful but don’t give up because people are watching. The likes, shares, are appreciated but not needed to become successful. Knowing your target audience, and standing behind your brand is everything. Make your doubters become your customers. Researching your market is very important. There will always be trial and error that’s how we learn and grow better. Just never give up, but once it’s a passion and dream, you never will.”

What’s on Sale? Check out this $10 Deal!

Also, Check out these hot summer finds

Slip on your heels and make it a night out, or slide on your sandals for an everyday look!

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Black Owned Business Features!

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Island Girl makes Unique Jewelry Pieces

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, JULY 27, 2020

The beautiful Caribbean islands envelop many traditions that are rich with color and creativity. From the costumes on display during mas, to the colorful buildings that line the streets, you are bound to be awed by the festive culture and and tastes of islanders. For Althea Teague, 39, from the island of Antigua, it had always been difficult to find unique jewelry pieces to satisfy her appetite to be different, so she started making pieces for herself.

A Business is Born

Upon wearing her self-made pieces in public, she noticed the attention she would get from strangers and familiar faces alike; then came the questions: “Where did you get that?” Where can I buy this?” Althea soon realized this could be a great business venture, and started taking orders for customized jewelry pieces.

Althea’s wonderfully made productions is now fully operational, and offers custom made hand jewelry, earrings, necklaces and other trinkets that are truly unique. Her use of color and symbolism are on point as each of her pieces tells a story.

“I create every piece by hand so they are unique and one of a kind. some are made from non-traditional materials like tree bark, mango seeds and safety pins.” 

Althea Teague
Althea wearing one of her unique neck pieces

A Reason to Keep Going

Being a mother is all the motivation she needs. Her three children, aged 5-21 all depend on the solid foundation she will inevitably build for them. For most parents, whether single or co-parenting, the need to build generational wealth is paramount, and if you are an entrepreneur like she is, building a solid business that is capable of being handed down is a definite goal.

What’s next for this Jewelry Boss?

Althea presently operates her business locally within her native island of Antigua, but her aim is to extend her market reach regionally, and even internationally. In the future, you may just spot her advertising vacancies within her business. With her level of dedication and mastery at Jewelry making, there are no limits.

“Style is the only thing you can’t buy. It’s not in a shopping bag, a label, or a price tag. It’s something reflected from our soul to the outside world—an emotion.”

Alber Elbaz

Related:Seven Jewelry rules you should be breaking

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Black Owned Business Features!

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Black owned skin care line works wonders on black skin!

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, JULY 06, 2020

A black-owned skin care line, Kannies Kosmetics, was created for black skin. It includes Natural ingredients, including a family turmeric recipe to remove dark spots and uneven patches on the skin.

Their products are as low as $5 per jar for a limited time, and shipping is available worldwide. If you have uneven skin, please check out the Turmeric & oat facial cleanser face mask. This mask is super charged with antioxidant – rich with properties to maintain clear, youthful, radiant skin. Also reduces the appearance of acne scars, balances out oily skin and evens skin tone. It is formulated to work wonders!

AMAZING

Kayla on Jun 05, 2020

I got this mask about 4 months ago and when I say AMAZING! Lighten acne scars helps my dark circles my second time buying. Forever customer now and forever!

Actual customer review

The skin care line also features:

  • Organic body oils, which are carefully blended and nutritious and healthy for skin absorption, while leaving your skin hydrated and moisturized.
  • Eczema Relief products which help to hydrate your skin deeply and also help with inflammation and flakiness,leaving your skin smooth and healthy.
  • Body Butters and washes with luxurious natural ingredients such as Turmeric essential oil, Shea butter , Coconut oil , orange essential oil, cocoa butter and more, that hydrate, nourish and moisturize the skin. 

According to Medical News today, Everyone’s skin is different and can benefit from a tailored care routine. Black skin contains more melanin than lighter skin. Melanin-producing cells may be more susceptible to the effects of inflammation and injury, which may be more noticeable in dark skin than in light skin.

Adapting the right skin care routine can make all the difference when it comes to healthy, supple skin, and this skin care line appears to include all the right ingredients, so order up and remember to leave your positive review!

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Black Owned Business Features!

Articles are a great way to gain valuable exposure worldwide! Simply email us at myblackwealth@gmail.com and let us know your name and the nature of your business. We will then send you a list of instructions, along with our payment details. Make your one-time payment of $50 and get your business or project featured on our black owned business blogs. Once featured, your business will be added to our very own black business directory for FREE! ACT NOW.

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How to get a High Paying Job in Tech

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, JULY 02, 2020

Top paying tech positions are going unfilled due to lack of skilled tech workers. Now is a great time to:

  • Learn to code,
  • Get a job in tech,
  • Learn to create apps,
  • Own the Tech you create.

According to Glassdoor, you don’t need to be technical to land a job at one of the top tech companies, but for those who develop their technical skills, the rewards can be vast! As an added bonus, there are a wealth of free online courses available today.

Their latest report breaks down the highest paying tech jobs in the industry, based on an average salary. Here are the top 10:

10. Information Security Engineer: $131,300

9. DevOps Engineer: $137,400

8. Enterprise Architect: $144,400

7. Technical Program Manager: $145,000

6. Software Architect: $145,400

5. Applications Architect: $149,000

4. Infrastructure Architect: $153,000

3. Software Development Manager: $153,300

2. Data Warehouse Architect: $154,800

  1. Software Engineering Manager: $163,500

How do I start?

Lean to code for free! There are free courses available for beginners and intermediates that can kick start your new career.

Some of these programs, like Scratch, allow the student to program their own interactive stories, games and animations and share their creations with the world. Scratch is designed specifically for ages 8-16, but it is generally used by people of all ages.

Get your children started with a great interactive learning experience on their journey to coding. Codecademy is an online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 12 different programming languages including Python, Java, Go, JavaScript, Ruby, SQL, C++, Swift, and Sass, as well as markup languages HTML and CSS. All the courses on Codecademy are free. The free course catalog features hundreds of hours of content that help learners develop skills in their desired programming language. However, CodeCademy offers a “pro” option that allows tailored lessons and tutorials for the user as well as live tutoring.

Check out some other interactive learning platforms:

Is coding hard to learn?

According to Paul Larkin of Career Karma, the simple answer is “No.” “Coding is not hard to learn. Much like learning any other skill, it will require time and persistence. How hard it is to learn will depend on the programming language itself and what kind of software you’d like to make.

If you love the idea of having a great income while doing something fun and interactive, a job in Tech may just be right for you! You may just have the next big idea sitting in the corners of your brain. Start the ball rolling by learning to code.

How long will it take to learn?

According to Joshua Weinstein of Career Karma, The following table sums up the duration, however, “Generally, it takes about 3 to 6 months to learn the basics of coding. You can learn coding faster or slower depending on your pace.

LEARNING METHODTIME TO LEARN CODING
Self-Study6 – 12 months
College Degree4+ years
Coding Bootcamp3 – 6 months
Summary of time it takes to learn coding according to learning method

If you have no interest in Tech, learning to code is still a great choice!

  • It will make you more self sufficient: No need to wait around for technical assistance when you need it.
  • It will teach you how to think. Heather Stenger, Senior Director of Communications at American Wood Council states: “Coding forced me to start out with a plan, identify potential trouble areas, and troubleshoot, troubleshoot, troubleshoot.”
  • It will improve your collaboration and communication skills. Many tech courses require collaboration as Projects are rarely created in a vaccum.
  • It can take your present career to new heights! Coding can open a whole new world of options for you, and your new skills will mostly like prove very valuable to your employer.
  • If you’re thinking about starting a new company, having technical knowledge can make your startup more feasible, and can be the factor that gets you that launch!

What are you waiting for? It’s time to break barriers, and learning to code may just be one way for you to attain financial freedom.