It is officially the most wonderful time of the year… And arguably the most expensive!!! Christmas time comes with warm, cozy scents, family, joy and gift guides! It can be tough to figure out what to get the fashionista in your life, so we’ve put together a small gift guide with some of the most popular shoes of the season. Seeing that the gift of giving can sometimes become financially stressful I tried out Kim K’s new shopping app, Screenshop, to find some budget-friendly versions to choose from as well.
Last, but not least, the every-day, fur loafers! You can go with Gucci and dish out $995.00 or you can go with the always reliable Target and only reach for $24.99! See these on the likes of both besties, Kendall and Gigi.
Photo Credits: Gucci
Photo Credits: Target
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From June 29 till July 2, Essence Festival will take place for the 23rd time in New Orleans, Louisiana. Since its inception in 1994, this cultural celebration has offered more than just music. At Essence Fest you will be submerged into the arts, fashion, hair, makeup, entrepreneurship, food and culture, just to name a few categories represented.
Ticket options include, weekend passes, single nights and VIP all access. All tickets can be purchased from Ticketmaster. With prices ranging from $40 and up.
This year’s lineup includes performances from all musical genres such as all time greats Diana Ross and Chaka Khan, to R& B sensations John Legend, Mary J Blige and Jill Scott. Two of my favorite performers India Arie and Jazmine Sullivan will also be in the building. With over 75 performers you are guaranteed to hear music from someone that you love. To find the full lineup and schedule click here.
Even if you do not plan on a purchasing a ticket for the actual music portion, you can download the free app for Android and IOS. This app will give you access to free events taking place over the weekend! These free events will include health/beauty demonstrations, exciting freebies, food tastings and much more.
If you are looking for something a little more enlightening, you can check out the Speaker’s Series. This showcase will take place the entire weekend and will give you the opportunity to hear from filmmakers, such as one of my favorites Ava DuVernay, a writer/director for films such as Selma and TV series Queen Sugar. From influencers dedicated to social change, athletes and more, you are definitely in store for an intellectual delight!
Do not miss out! Head over to Essence for additional information and get ready for good cooking, music and fun!
Now more then ever it has become very important to support minority-owned businesses. Not only to pour back into the very community we come from but also to be equipped to compete with global players that want to swallow us up for the unique value proposition we offer as well as the strong relationships we’ve built with our customer base. We all have stayed in business because we solve a specific problem that other companies weren’t able to solve in the same manner we do. Why do we invest in a company we have absolutely no relationship with instead of helping build up our fellow minority business owner? I understand that the options will be more limited and might be a little more expensive but it will pay off in the long-run. I strongly encourage you to pour back into your community when possible. I have listed various minority-owned businesses you should consider supporting:
Esé Azénabor’s designs are inspired by the arts and her culture. Whether you need a couture garment for a special event or your dream wedding gown. Nigeria born Esé Azénabor will create a one-of a kind garment just for you. The designer is based in Dallas but serves clients internationally.
William Okpo is lead by sister Duo Darlene Okpoand Lizzy Okpo. The young label offers ready-to-wear designs inspired by the sisters’ love for 90’s hip hop. Their talent even moved Solange Knowles to recruit the designers for a collaboration on a Puma Disc Sneaker.
Jacque M. Handbags is a Dallas based company that prides itself by hand-crafting unique handbags ranging from clutches, tote bangs and even the most stylish fanny packs. Celebrities such as Kandi Burruss or Draya Michelle have been spotted rocking Jacque M. Handbags.
Hashtag Heels Shoetique is a Dallas-based company that is passionate about bringing international shoe trends and the most popping style of heels to shoe-fanatics all across the nation. They have a storefront in Dallas as well as an online-store.
2. Hair Products:
ShaeMoisture is personally my favorite hair care line, the Curl & Style Milk specifically works best for me. Despite the outrage caused by their latest promo video (which was racially too inclusive for some supporters) I still believe we can’t let them hang just because of 1 mistake or 1 misunderstanding. The CEO explained in an interview on The Breakfast Club that the ad had leaked without approval and he repeatedly apologized for offending their core customers. He also pointed out that in order to grow and not be crushed by multi-billion companies they had to start including other markets. Watch the full interview here. I continue to love and support ShaeMoisture! They have sponsored various of my events and are giving back to the community in a major way through their Community Commerce Program.
CURLS was founded in 2002 in Elk Grove, California by CEO, Mahisha Dellinger. Now greatly expanded, CURLS is available in major retailers such as target CVS, Target, and Walmart. Celebrities and influencers such as Natasha Hastings swear by their blueberry bliss curl selection.
Neveen Dominic Cosmetics is a Canada based luxury beauty company redefining beauty standards. Hailing from South Sudan the CEO Neveen Dominic struggled with bullying due to her darker complexion all her life. When Neveen saw other dark skinned women turn towards extreme methods such as skin bleaching to fit more Eurocentric standards of beauty, she knew that the issue was more than skin deep. Consequently she created her own Luxury Cosmetics and Skin Care line Neveen Dominic Cosmetics
Black Opal was one of the very first make-up companies that catered to darker skin tones. They have paved the way for other minority owned businesses and reinvented themselves over and over again.
4. Food & Drinks
Pudding on Smiles is my favorite dessert company in Dallas and run by a married couple. They are the definition of a power couple, she produces the treats he takes care of sales, marketing, events and distribution. Their infamous pudding jars are available at the Grapevine Farmers Market, at Royal Blue Grocery in Highland Park, Market Provisions in Dallas, Roy Pope Grocery in Fort Worth and many more.
Elaine’s Kitchen is one of my favorite hole in the wall spots on MLK Jr Blvd in Dallas. The Jamaican cuisine in this particular restaurant is simply off the chain I recommend the jerk shrimp or the oxtails.
Tacos La Banqueta became my favorite Taco Joint after a very disappointing experience with my former love interest Fuel City. I came across this taqueria after reading an article on D-Magazine about the best tacos in DFW. Unlike Fuel City which is white-owned Tacos La Banqueta is still Mexican-owned.
Sociologie Wine offers a fruit forward Red Blend and a lovely Blushing Rose. The founder and CEO Amy Hampton started off by serving her delicious wine blends to family and friends at various gatherings. Soon after her guests began requesting Amy’s wines by the bottle, she knew she had to turn her passion into a business.
Choice Training will satisfy all your fitness needs, whether you’re looking for boot-camps, group fitness or even a pole dancing class. They got you covered!
Veals Fitness is one of your top choices if you need a more intense body transformation and are ready to completely change your lifestyle. Founder and CEO Jacoby Veals went through a drastic physical transformation himself (see picture above) and his clients’ testimonials speak for the quality of his work. He will create custom workouts and meal prep plans for you. If you need daily motivation to live healthier you can also follow his social media @fit_veals :-).
Please share and let me know if this was helpful. Also if you know a minority owned business the world needs to know about please comment below or send me an email.