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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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4 ways Discipline can help you live a Happy and Wealthy Life

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, 18th NOVEMBER, 2020

Many of us can remember at least one point in our lives where we felt as though we were being told what to do. We were held accountable for our actions to the point where we felt like our freedoms were being infringed upon. For some of us, we would not have realized it because it had become the ‘norm’ for us. How about school, where we had to speak using only our ‘inside’ voices when interacting with our peers? We had to learn and recite specific words, sing specific songs at specific times during the day. We were made to assemble and not speak while being addressed. Do these thoughts stir up certain images in your mind? When we entered the world of work, we soon learned that this world was not much different. We had to arrive on time or our superiors would begin keeping a keen eye on us, watching out for another slip up. We had deadlines to meet and leaving the job at our own leisure would have given us a definite red card.

Can you think of any others? These scenarios all point to one word. We will explain the meaning of the word using the definition provided in the Merriam Webster dictionary: Discipline: 2. to train or develop by instruction and exercise especially in self-control.

Some of you would cringe at the very thought of the word discipline, but don’t get lost in a word. For many others, this same discipline has been the fuel that has propelled them toward abundance, both in their personal and professional lives:

Stronger Relationships

Discipline can be viewed as training to develop one’s moral character which in turn will help to produce a particular type of behavior. Relationships should help us become better versions of ourselves. Discipline comes in handy in our relationships because it is a practice of care and respect for others and self. Some of the evidence of discipline in relationships can be found in :

  • Consistency (something that men and women so desperately crave from their partners)
  • Fidelity (self-control)
  • and quality time (through proper time management)

Higher Net Worth

If you study any billionaire in the world, you will discover that they have the most powerful discipline habits. Discipline teaches us to be systematic when working toward life’s goals. With self-discipline, you master the power to follow through with your decisions. It is therefore one of the most important requirements for success. It has always been said that the secret to success lies in your daily routine. Without discipline, there can be no routine. We would all operate as chaff in the wind, moving in every direction but up! Sound Discipline is the key to:

  • Proper time management,
  • Accountability,
  • Personal growth and many other productive assets.

If you are chaotic, that means that you don’t have a schedule for the day, week, month and year. You basically don’t have a plan. Sooner or later, life will wear you out.

Discipline means that you will do what you know you have to do, even when you are not in the mood of doing it.” 

Healthier Body

This one is certainly a no-brainer. Most trainers have reported having an uphill climb when it comes to getting some of their clients to wake up on time and make it to the gym for their daily workout. This is actually why people hire trainers in the first place. They NEED someone to hold them accountable. Otherwise, they most likely wouldn’t stick to their workout routine and their body goals would never be achieved. The same holds for healthy foods. That slice of cake looks pretty tempting, but I have to stick to my diet, so salad it is! So many of us have had these same pitfalls and are still reeling from the consequences of our lack of discipline. So much can be achieved if we practice the things that we’ve already made up our minds to do:

  • Healthier sleeping patters (stick to a schedule!)
  • Healthier Food choices (say No to that last slice of pizza and mean it!)
  • Regular workout routines (don’t skip leg day!)

Healthier Mind and Spirit

Finally, and probably the most important benefit of all is a healthier mind. A healthy mind can only be maintained if all the previous points are achieved. Lack of discipline fosters laziness, low self-esteem, unachieved goals, broken relationships and unhealthy life patterns. None of these cater to a healthy mind or spirit, but self-discipline certainly does. It can give you:

  • Higher self esteem
  • Better vibration
  • More focus

Lack of discipline can leave a trail of chaos, anger and emptiness. We must therefore make it a priority to teach the younger generation to foster self-discipline within their daily lives. We do this by example. We also do this by giving them routines to follow. Reward their efforts, and show them that action and inaction both have consequences.

Freedom and discipline are directly proportional to each other. Freedom is the basic right to do what we want. The catch is, that if we want more freedom in our lives then it must be preceded by discipline.

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Cindy Grigg: Ignoring Negativity, Building a Future.

Taryn C. St. Louis, November 2nd 2020

It has always been said that fortune favors the brave. This may be true, but history suggests that it also favors those who refuse to allow negative thoughts and emotions to linger. If we examine some of the most successful black celebrities today, we will find the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry who are perfect examples of modern icons whose childhoods were riddled with both poverty and abuse. It is therefore no wonder that our featured entrepreneur has identified them both as public figures who inspire her on her journey. Cindy Grigg didn’t come from a glamourous past but her resolve to remain in a positive mindset and achieve every goal she’s set for herself is nothing short of admirable.

She grew up in Glanvilles Antigua, the second child among 4 siblings. Her life was seemingly uneventful until her early teen years when divorce separated her family and life took an immediate turn for the worst. Cindy recalls sleeping on floors as her mother, who was forced to become the text book definition of a single parent, struggled to provide for and sustain her children on her own. Cindy describes those years as being the hardest of her life.

“Honestly, I grew up hard. We had to sleep on floors.”

Now a parent herself, she has vowed that her three year old boy, Elisha, will have all his needs met. That’s why the hustle never stops for this mother of one. Her first talk show, “The Cindy Show”, was a dream realized after years of procrastination. She recounts visualizing this goal since she was 13 years old. Why a talk show? One may ask. But, why not? She has the experience and fearlessness required to speak on various topics that would otherwise be considered taboo, and offer candid advice without the filters that most would employ to hide parts of themselves that they are afraid would be subject to judgment… judgment from those who simply stand on the outside of life’s big wheel of movers and shakers… judgment from those who are afraid to expose the truth of who they really are.

Since its inception 6 months ago, The Cindy Show has received support from hundreds of viewers on its social media platform, Facebook. This encouraged our charismatic entrepreneur to venture into new but familiar territory. Her second Talk Show, The Sisterhood Show, was visualized and executed with as much vigor as her first.

“The Sisterhood Show is all about about uplifting and empowering women”.

Constantly being in the public eye can expose anyone to serious criticism and in some cases, bullying both in cyber space and real life. Cindy has had her fair share of criticism. Her most recent stemming from a live video she posted on social media recounting her experience of feeling ill and subsequently passing out after being on the set of The Sisterhood Show the night before. In the live video, she made a few grammatical errors which were instantly added to the social media ‘funnies’ by those with an adverse sense of humor. The negatives of the video were highlighted and the positives were basically kept in the shadows. These events threatened to break her spirit, but she refused to fold. Cindy relied on prayer and positivity to overcome the constant attacks, and that she did!

She almost immediately conceptualized then launched a fun T-Shirt line captioning two of the most popular grammatical errors she made. The phrases were already being shared and re-shared on social media, so why not print them on a shirt? “I tooked in” and “I woke up unconscious” shirts were advertised for sale. Professionally designed by Sistah Souljah’s Hub and printed by Kay Inks printing services in Antigua, the t-shirts were made available in various colors and sizes. Cindy reports that close to 100 shirts have already been sold, with supporters posting themselves donning the shirts and tagging her on her Facebook page. This is how we turn a negative into a positive! Because the support was so promising, hats and masks with the same designs were soon made available. Although this was quite an enterprising move, she is fully aware of her errors and is now taking personal steps to continuously educate herself on various topics that can only enrich her in her capacity as a talk show host and entrepreneur.

Cindy has experienced her fair share of untrustworthy friends so she speaks from experience when she advises her fellow entrepreneurs to “know who your friends are and be mindful of those in your circle”. She further advises that we should only keep persons with a positive and progressive mindset around us and surround ourselves with those who want to see us win. She explained that negativity will always rear its ugly head when one is trying to push past the status quo, and there isn’t much that can be done about it, but it’s important that you don’t quit. “Keep pushing, pray and have faith because every day won’t be great but you can only succeed if you don’t give up!”

One of her greatest aspirations is to be able to give back to the underprivileged in her community. While this is both thoughtful and a wise career move, we believe she has already begun the process of giving back by being an example of how we should all work toward our goals; with optimism and without fear or surrender.

“Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life because you become what you believe.” It isn’t egotistical to believe you can succeed in life. By holding onto the belief that you will reach your goals and fulfill your dreams, you are keeping your mind positive.”

Oprah Winfrey

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She Was Told her Business couldn’t work on an Island; Now, her Organic Line Comprises 4 Brands!

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, SEPTEMBER 18th, 2020

Many Caribbean customs were birthed from the teachings and inspiration of our African Ancestors. Anastasha Elliott, affectionately known as Ana, grew up observing her elders use the most eccentric Afro-Caribbean concoctions to cure everything from the common cold to the most troubling skin conditions. Her native island of St. Kitts is a part of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, and is well known as the Sugar City of The Caribbean. The island earned its moniker because of its sugar cane plantations which were stationed throughout the island in the early 16th century. The island was formed by now dormant volcanoes, and is also known for its green monkeys and carnival festivities.

Ana enjoys being an island girl and often finds herself hiking through its tropical terrain and sailing the surrounding tranquil waters. She is also an avid reader, and this has been a significant aid in the research she constantly carries out in order to produce the most quality products in her organic hair, skin and nutrition line, Sugar Town Organics.

At the tender age of 12, this now 38 year old inspiring entrepreneur received some life changing news about her mother. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and as hard as this news was on the entire family, they all strengthened their resolve to provide healing through the very same natural remedies they had been using within the family for years. Sugar Town Organics was birthed once Ana realized the power that food had on regeneration, healing and empowerment. Call it an obsession if you may, but once you see real results such as those obtained when her mother was healed, you instantly want to help others see the truth behind the power of medicine, natures way.

The family – run business now comprises multiple brands, with products for baby and the entire family:

  • Yaphene : The core/starter line which comprises hair and body care products
  • Baba by Yaphene : A Baby Care Line
  • Marapa Luxury by Yaphene: A Skin Care Line
  • Flauriel Foods : The beverage, sauces, treats and vegan wine line of products.

Everything is made on the premise of food, chosen for their properties and what they offer the human body to enhance mealtime and to make daily living healthier for the family.

I personally visited their online store at Sugar town Organics, and from the colorful packaging to the beautiful logos, I could tell that this brand is inherently Caribbean! I was especially impressed with the selection of skin care items including soaps that were displayed in a variety of ‘flavors’, to include frangipani/plumeria and silk cashmere. As I wandered through the pages, I noticed a few wines that caught my attention. My eyes landed on Breadfruit Wine! How innovative is that? Needless to say, I am intrigued and will be ordering soon!

Sugar Town organics operates within Caribbean borders but Ana is now in the process of extending her market reach internationally. Selected products from the line will be heading to the USA for retail in October, so for those of you who live stateside, look out for this product line in a store near you! The website will also be opened to receive U.S orders with shipping happening through Miami. The logistics are still a work in progress, but with the present pace of this dynamic innovator, it is evident that Sugar Town organics is set to become a worldwide brand.

Ana has experienced her fair share of obstacles as a black business owner, from financial difficulty to persons undermining her concepts, and even personal issues that threatened to derail her and question her own ability. Ana recalls a meeting at a national bank where her hopes were dashed and she was told by a banking official that her business could not work on an island. She could have conceded to fear and heeded this ill-advice, however she persisted. She credits her strong family support system for her tenacity. They have supported her in any way the could from assisting her in marketing campaigns to driving her to far-away pop up shops. She is grateful for an amazing network of women who saw her vision and helped to multiply her dream.

“No matter what, I have always found a way around, over or through it. I must give thanks for this tenacity I inherited from my mother. Growing up, I saw her work hard and struggle but she held her head high and faced her obstacles with grace, grit and purpose.”

Anastasha Elliott

She shared some invaluable advice for other business owners like herself. She believes that there are many instances where we begin our entrepreneurial journeys at a disadvantage, however, if we are willing to do some honest and unbiased introspection, we will be better able to spot our shortcomings and improve. She also advised that it may be difficult to find assistance, but never give up! Help is out there if we just search for it. Finally, don’t be afraid to start small. “Take it step by step, we have a saying where I am from, ‘likkle likkle mek plenty ..”

I have just outlined some major positives about this black owned business, but wait! There’s more! Sugar Town Organics gives back! Once a year, Ana works with new startups by either mentoring or coaching. Her last mentee was Argrow’s House of Healing and Hope for Survivors of Domestic Abuse, run by Dr. Kit Ford Davenport of Iowa. Ana is quite proud of what she has accomplished over the last year in aiding female survivors of domestic violence to earn a living, become empowered, and learn marketable skills that enable them to chart the way forward for themselves and their families.  Giving back to your community while building your own brand may seem a daunting task, but it is with this ethos that we open our enterprise to universal blessings. With all she does, Ana still finds the time to educate her customers about the herbs around them and how they can be used. “It is a knowledge we seem to have lost in many ways and as an integral part of our culture as people of color it is important for us to rekindle this knowledge in each other.” 

Ana’s Mission as CEO of Sugar Town Organics is to engender a love of our blackness in our people by crafting products that bring out the beauty of who they are, encouraging them to relearn love of self and all it entails from our kinky coily hair, to our beautiful melanin skin. She does this one product at a time, one customer at a time. With her business acumen, tenacity and support system, I am encouraged to believe that going forward her black owned business will not only survive, but thrive!

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Young Jamaican/Antiguan Artist exposes quality Hip Hop from the Islands

BY TARYN ST.LOUIS, SEPTEMBER 8th, 2020

He’s only 23 but has already had the pleasure of participating in a few musical events in his present twin -island home of Antigua & Barbuda, including the ever- popular Antigua Sailing week and “Wadadli Kingz, Just Got Started.” Christopher Howell grew up in the reggae-centric Caribbean island of Jamaica, where he earned the moniker ‘Young Luiy’ because of a small Louis Vuitton bag which he donned in primary school. The name stuck and he has grown to infuse his unique and authentic tastes into his music.

Chris got his introduction to the world of Hip Hop in his hometown of Jamaica, when his childhood friend, a hip hop artist himself, introduced him to the recording studio. He immediately felt at home. When placed in front of the mic, he imagined himself among the hip hop greats that he admired such as Lil Wayne and J Cole.

Young Luiy is confident that his love for music was fortified by the rich musical culture of Jamaica where he grew up. Jamaica has spawned a plethora of internationally renowned artists like Beenie Man, Chronix, Sean Paul and Koffee, to name a few. Reggae is the most widely known genre of music in Jamaica and it was popularized by the legendary Bob Marley and the Wailers in the 1960s. Soon, the selection of genres expanded to include dancehall and dub.


With the introduction of sound systems, American music found its way into the households of the islanders. According to worldmusic.net, sound systems were an extremely significant development in Jamaican music, and helped to develop the Jamaican record industry. When radios finally became affordable to the majority of Jamaicans, there was a boom in the popularity of American R&B, but it did not stop there.

Did you know that Hip Hop has inherent ties with Jamaica and Reggae? Reggae was the most influential figure in the development of Hip Hop. Although Hip Hop wasn’t exactly discovered in Jamaica, The dubbing and toasting techniques used in reggae directly influenced America’s techniques of emceeing and scratching.

Reggae!

Rrrroots, rap, reggae!

And we don’t stop

It’s like that y’all, and then we’re ready to play

It’s no jive, it’s live, and it’s reggae.

These famous lines are in Run DMC’s “Roots, Rap, Reggae” and reflect the influence of Jamaica within hip-hop. Read more on how Jamaica’s place in Hip Hop was recognized.


Many use my outer exterior as a means to figure out who I am, but in retrospect if I wasn’t an aspiring musician, I could have been your favorite chef, your favorite technology teacher or even your most courageous journalist.” However, I love what I do. I am an artist.

Young Luiy

Grateful for his multi-cultural background, Young Luiy credits this quality for his ability to speak to and entertain both his American and Caribbean Audiences. His musical style is upbeat, raw and explicit in some cases. His tracks can all be found on his YouTube Channel, IamYoungLuiy. There’s no doubt that this artist is has an incredible ability to incorporate his native ‘twang’ into his Hip Hop verses. One of his latest singles, Bragginz/Benz, highlights this artist’s versatility. Listen Below, and be sure to subscribe!

His advice to upcoming artists

Stay being you and true to whom you are, never let your worth be defined by the stereotypes of the world or what you see on social media. Being black and authentic is a great privilege which will bring forth great scrutiny and hate, but never let that hinder you from accomplishing the big dreams you are aiming for”. 

Throughout history, black culture has been known to influence all genres of music. Having had such an influence on the very musical cultures of our oppressors, only to be targeted by those influenced, should only give you even more courage to stand with your own and cement your very will to exceed all expectations within the music industry. Young Luiy has taken this thought to heart as he sets his sights on future projects.

What’s Next for this island artist?

Growth. His hopes are to continue expanding his platform both regionally and internationally. He is also the father to a 2 year old son; his heir and driving force, Aahron Howell. Chris is on a mission to bring the international spotlight to Hip Hop and R&B music in the Caribbean. He is confident that one day, the world will acknowledge the hard work and dedication of talented artists in this corner of the world.

“We are so much more than just Dancehall, Reggae, and Soca. There is so much more here than beautiful vacation spots. It’s time the world knew that we have so much more to offer.”

Find Young Luiy on Instagram and Facebook

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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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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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