Category Archives: Female Entrepreneurs

Virginia Native and Music Artist Taz Releases New EP ‘Mentally Ill’

It’s officially out! Hampton, VA native, Taz has just dropped her new EP called ‘Mentally Ill”.  The short album has seven songs you do not want to skip! With her unique barz that tells a story of her depression and dealing with anxiety, it is more than an EP.  This teaches others about mental health and how it affects those living with it.

“This is the best project I’ve ever made and I’m excited to share it with the world, this is the most vulnerable and transparent I’ve been” stated Taz”

You can download the new EP wherever music is streaming and you can also download on Apple Music as well! This is one of those projects where it really shows you and teaches you what someone is going through.  Suicide and mental health is definitely important and if you know someone who is going through, please try to get them help as soon as possible.  Not only is Taz a music artist, but she is an entrepreneur of her own business/record label called ‘C.A.S’

 

The EP includes:

  1. F***ck Your Feelings
  2. Snatch Yo Soul (featuring Ventage)
  3. Look What You Did
  4. On God
  5. Mentally Ill
  6. Damaged Goods
  7. The Great Depression

 

You can connect with Taz on IG @tazmaniashow 

http://www.thecasagency.com C.A.S.

bookings@thecasagency.com 

Follow her on other social media platforms @tazmaniashow

 

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Stay TRGB Plugged!

 

 

 

 

Let’s Get ICY in the PR Industry! Meet Paige Barnes

Paige Barnes is founder and CEO of ICY Public Relations. Paige is a graduate of The University of Alabama. She has a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Computer Science. She has always had her way with words as well as socializing and networking with people to find a common interest and make “money moves”. Paige graduated top of her high school class as Valedictorian as well as work for numerous of non-profits including Art N’ Autism where she conducted the parent relations program that involved fund raiser planning to fund the program. She is also no stranger to the Birmingham area where she worked as an Event Planner for the magazine of the south, Good Grit Magazine.

With her expertise in communication, Paige decided to take her talents to the entertainment industry as she took of the road as the Digital Coordinator for The Hip Hop Publicist. She then worked with many independent artists to help build their build and secure media coverage. After a year, Paige decided to start her own independent firm, ICY PR. She is represents clients from: entrepreneurs, stylists, entertainers, beauty influencers etc. Some of her clients just to name a couple are: DJ New Era – official DJ of the University of Alabama and Pyper Nicole – upcoming stylist and fashion designer.

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Pyper’s Collection

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DJ The New Era

In the future Paige plans of owning her PR office overlooking  the LA horizon and managing celebrities as well as hosting events and fundraiser dedicated to giving back to the community.

 

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CEO of Icy Public Relations

 

Follow on IG: @icypublicrelations_ and @icybethekid

 

 

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Wal-Mart Picks up Possible Cosmetics for Online Selling

Possible Cosmetics is growing each and every day! CEO and Owner Renata Roundtree is making major moves within her company and plans to expand larger into retail stores all over the globe.  Move over MAC and Clinique, Possible Cosmetics will soon be taking over!

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TRGB Media: It’s been a few months since TRGB has interviewed you about your success and beauty line Possible Cosmetics. Since then, what have you been up to?

Renata Roundtree: Oh Honey lol SO much! I think the BIGGEST thing that We’ve been up to is FINALLY getting into Major Retail! Im too excited of course we’ll discuss this more 🙂

TRGB Media: Congratulations on Possible Cosmetics being apart of Wal-Mart online. What was your reaction?

Renata Roundtree: Honestly, lol I still can’t process it, I’ve been secretly going back and forth with Walmart for a long time. I didn’t tell anyone because I really wasn’t sure the outcome! In fact, they denied me first but I literally called, emailed (and Walmart is actually impossible to reach) I did not take NO for an answer! There’s still LOTS of work to do but we’re in there!

TRGB Media: How has sales and marketing been going? Do you have a team that helps you push sales or are you the only one?

Renata Roundtree: Let’s just say I’m not a Millionaire yet lol… I do have a virtual assistant that helps when need be. However, the bulk of the marketing and sales are driven by me or by other channels that I use. Social media has been a big help but I absolutely plan to have a team to help me plan and execute better. Marketing to be honest is my weakness I actually hate it lol

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TRGB Media: Let’s talk about current and future projects. Are you working on anything exciting?

Renata Roundtree: Yes. We are gearing up to hit a MAJOR retailer in Atlanta!!! Everyone knows that ATL is my second home. I can’t announce it just yet, but 1st Quarter 2019 Possible Cosmetics will be in stores in Atlanta GA!!!

TRGB Media: Also, I see that you are the guest speaker for Dreams to Founder Workshop and one of the panel spotlights for Glambitious. Tell us more about that.

Renata Roundtree: Yes, Im EXTREMELY excited to be apart of these events! One thing about me is I enjoy the empowerment portion of business. I like it more then selling Cosmetics lol I was born for it I have a radiant personality I can capture almost any audience I’m in front of and I have a story to tell. I’m serious when I say empowerment is so much more fulfilling to me, I’d much rather be doing these sorts of events more often!

TRGB Media: Are you still teaching young professionals how to start their own make up line? How has that been going?

Renata Roundtree: Yes, I actually just launched our digital course “ How to start a cosmetic line 101” on our website! That’s another thing that I enjoy.  Its selling pretty good and I take pride in helping someone establish a business! I’m a believer that you are able to share the information you have, especially within your community!

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TRGB MEDIA: Does Possible Cosmetics have any new products in store?

Renata Roundtree: We actually just launched our pressed shimmer powders!! The customers are responding to those very well and I’m getting amazing feedback!

TRGB Media: How many years have you been in business?

Renata Roundtree: Well, I started this business journey in 2010 with designing custom shoes! I must admit at that time I had NO idea what I was doing. Lol I just knew I was gifted to create sells, Instagram ads; all those other things didn’t click to me yet until I started Possible Cosmetics in 2016! I’m a much better business owner now.

TRGB Media: What are some unique things that Possible Cosmetics offers that no other make up line offers?

Renata Roundtree: I don’t really see other makeup lines sharing their “secrets” here at Possible Cosmetics. We not only sell you a product, but we sell you information as well.  We also educate you to start your own business. So I’ll say the empowerment part is what is different about us!

TRGB Media: What is next in store for you and your business?

Renata Roundtree: RETAIL, RETAIL AND MORE RETAIL.  We WILL BE in every major retailer in America; I don’t care if it take me forever! We are planning a Possible Cosmetics TAKEOVER. We will be mentioned with the household names like MAC, Loreal, Este Lauder, Cover Girl etc…

TRGB Media: How can readers connect with you and purchase products?

Renata Roundtree: They can purchase our wonderful products along with our Courses at www.Possiblecosmetics.com also on walmart.com put *Possible Cosmetics* in the search bar 🙂

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CEO of Possible Cosmetics Renata Roundtree

 

 

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Savon Luxe Brings the Heat and Quality to New-Style Virgin Hair

Savon Luxe launched in 2014 and is based in Detroit, MI. What makes the Savon Luxe unique is the high end quality, longevity, and customer experience delivery.  Clients can purchase hair from www.SavonLuxe.co

 

TRGB Media: What made you want to go into a business that deals with virgin hair?

Savon Luxe: I’ve been wearing sew-ins since I was about 16 years old. Back in the day girls would rock the pack hair that would only last as long as the install. I was really tired of dealing with beauty supply hair so I started buying virgin hair. In college I was a YouTube beauty blogger in college growing out my natural hair wearing sew-ins, spending THOUSANDS of dollars on hair extensions. I decided I wanted my own line. I didn’t think to seriously of it at first, then I started deep diving into the beauty business and fell in love. Four years later we’re still here!

TRGB: How did you come up with the name Savon Luxe?

SL: Whew, I went back & forth with the business name for about 3 months. At first the brand name was going to be “Luxe Life”, but I wanted something a bit more personal. The “Savon” derived from my first and middle name and the “Luxe” while cliché is part of me really enjoying luxury things. I knew when I attached my name to it I would take it seriously as it would be a direct reflection of myself.

TRGB: Because the hair industry and various of sellers are in the same business, competitors can be tough. What keeps Savon Luxe different than most other companies that sell virgin hair?

SL: So true! The biggest part I’ve learned in owning a business is staying my lane, and only mind the business that pays me. Even with a multitude of virgin hair companies, I know how to cater to niche. As I’ve grown to be more business savvy, I’ve learned everything is not for everyone. So I (my brand) can’t be either. And that’s okay. Everyone is so focused on high sales, but I focus on the relationship with my customers and business longevity. I’m not interested in being a “fad” business. I’m here for the long run, so what separates me is trust.

“At first the brand name was going to be “Luxe Life”, but I wanted something a bit more personal. The “Savon” derived from my first and middle name and the “Luxe” while cliché is part of me really enjoying luxury things.”

TRGB: For a potential client, how would you sell your products?

SL: The primary thing I do is ask them what THEY are looking for and how can I best service THEM. I’m never a “pushy” sales person. I’m a listening ear before anything, then I guide them to my products that best fit their need and I give them time to decide for themselves. This is vital.

TRGB: When creating a company for women of all colors, what did you have in mind?

SL: Being one helps lol. But seriously, empathy helps when catering to WOC. We aren’t catered to on a national level, so when they shop with me, I don’t want them to have to feel like their “fighting” or “forcing” a product to work for them because I selected my textures and products already with them being the priority.

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TRGB: What are some suggestions when it comes to hair care?

SL: One of my best suggestions when it comes to hair care is research hair type. Hair care is not a one size fits all. Everyone has different likes, dislikes, routines. Knowing what YOU like best is a trial and error process. If an individual is not comfortable caring for their hair themselves, seek a stylist you are comfortable with. But the basis are cleanse and hydrate, that goes for extensions and naturals.

TRGB: Who does your brand market to?

SL: I’m actually in the process of re-developing my demographics. Initially it was a younger adults, because I was in college. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned what I really want which is more young professionals who still are into chic & glam. I can’t wait for my re-development so stay tuned!

TRGB: How fast does your product sell?

SL: Our products sell out pretty fast, especially our Straight Bliss extensions. I’m actually testing out some new patterns now to potentially add that I think my customers will love.

TRGB: Does your brand participate or has participated in hair shows?

SL: I haven’t participated in any to date. There are a few I’d definitely consider going to. I’m still a one woman show for the most part, so once I develop a “team” a trade show will get on our books for sure.

TRGB: How can readers connect with you?

SL: Easily! They can experience Savon Luxe and submit inquiries on www.SavonLuxe.co and see our extensions in action at www.instagram.com/SavonLuxeHair

 

 

 

 

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New Fashion Trend Pyper’s Collection Brings Plenty of Chic and Style

Fashion has always been changing the game with new trends all over the world, nationally and internationally.  But there is one person who is taking her business to the top and that is Pyper Collection! She is a game changer with lots of taste and fashion trends for both men and women.  O taste and see that Pyper’s Collection will have you begging for more!

 

TRGB Media: How did you get into the fashion industry? Was it something that motivated you to branch out and try it?

Pyper Collection: My love for clothes. Reconstruction has always been interesting to me since I was young. After finding out Alabama offer a fashion apparel program I  started my journey. I came to college as a pre-med major but an old friend was a fashion major. She would always have me to do her projects and I enjoyed doing them so I decided to change my major and follow my dream.

TRGB: So, you graduated from the University of Alabama. How did college prepare you for what you wanted to do?  By having a concentration in apparel and textile help your visual skills?

Pyper: The program was great and fairly smaller than the other classes on campus. I enjoyed the intimacy. The variety of courses required put the lifestyle of the fashion industry in perspective for me. When I graduated I felt confident in moving forward in the industry and pursuing a career.

TRGB: Why did you choose this particular industry for your career?

Pyper: My love for beauty and fashion! My family’s brand is also a beauty brand so it was ideal.

TRGB: Tell me about the family business, Salon Lisa Brown. How long have you been working there as a hair stylist?

Pyper: The salon has been open for 7 years now. I worked as a shampoo assistant at the age of 17, went off to school and worked on weekends until I graduated. I then became a junior stylist for a year and was recently promoted to senior stylist and salon supervisor.

TRGB: When starting the fashion retail business, what were your goals and visions for your business?

Pyper: I want to build an empire. My goal was to be affordable but fashion forward. “pypercollection” is a lifestyle brand. I want everyone to be able to shop and be apart of the collection, even the dogs. (We do offer doggy apparel as well)

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Model wearing a chic bathing suit in Pyper’s Collection

TRGB: Did you have a business and marketing plan?

Pyper: My publicist went to school with me and happens to be my best friend. She had plans to expand via social media. We recently flooded social media on my release of the collection which fell on my birthday. The idea came from my sister, Chyna. We created a countdown to create anticipation and now we are 86 days in.

TRGB: How did the creation and birth of “Pyper Collection” came about?

Pyper: My name is Pyper so originally it was going to be “Pyper”. I wanted a retail store and needed something catchy but ever-lasting. “pypercollection” was given to me by my mom. I admit it had to grow on me but now I love it.

TRGB: Tell us more about the Closet Collection. How did you determine which collection gets what?

Pyper: The closet collection is a super great deal, I recommend it to any one looking for fashionable things at an affordable price. The items in the closet belong to one of my family members and either has never been worn or worn one. If you think about it people wear the clothes in your favorite store all the time. Being in the retail industry taught me that. So it is consignment, but high fashion.

TRGB: How was the Chyna and Phillip collection transcribed?

Pyper: They are my two siblings and family is everything to me. Chyna is my manager and my brother has a t-shirt line called “#Details” so when I came up with the business I wanted them to be a part of it.

TRGB: How long have you been in business?

Pyper: 86 days, almost three months.

TRGB: When it comes to choosing the pieces and look for your fashion collection, what was your motivation? How did you create the look? What was the motivation behind it?

Pyper: The first collection was inspired by nature and traveling the world. It is called the “butterflycollection”. I use my mentor/seamstress Sonia and myself to create the items.

TRGB: Have any pieces of the collection been modeled in fashion shows or events?

Pyper: Not yet, but definitely keep an eye open for us on the runway.

TRGB: Any future projects/events coming up?

Pyper: Yes, we have winter community service events. I love giving back. We also will be hosting pop up shops at your favorite stores.

TRGB: What is next for Pyper Collection?

Pyper: More to come. We will expand and begin to add more as we grow. We are going global this fall and expanding to other countries. I vision my brand as being a fortune 500 company. We also are looking forward to being on the runway for NYFW. It’s all in God’s plan.

TRGB: How can readers connect with you and shop?

Pyper: Visit the website www.pypercollection.com and connect via Instagram. @pyper____ and the store Instagram @pypercollection!

 

 

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Author, Singer, Songwriter Talks about Upcoming New Book ‘Guide Me Home’

 

Ana Gibson is a Professional singer, songwriter and the 2018 Award- Winning Fiction Author.  She has published already two books and is about to release her third book “Guide Me Home,” that will be published in October.  

 

“As I learn myself more, I’m also being intentional about bringing others along with me to begin to understand what it means to recognize ourselves—flaws and all—and to grasp a hold of the version we desire to be.”

 

Tell us about your journey as an author

AG: I started writing fiction at the age of 14. I didn’t get serious about self-publishing until I turned twenty-five. That’s when I released both books, My Brother’s Secret 1 & 2. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me since I could remember. I believe one of the first books I’ve ever read was “The Skin I’m In,” by Sharon Flake. And from there, I was fascinated with story-telling. Over time, I challenged myself to learn how to write and write better—the formatting, plots, character arcs, scenery, deep point of views, etc, which gives me all the confidence today to put out Guide Me Home. This is my BEST work to date, and it’s completely different from any other story I’ve written. It’s an Inspirational Romance—borderline, Christian Fiction (Got too much cursing in it to be officially qualified as that LOL) Looking back on all of the stories I’ve done, reminds me of how much I’ve grown as a writer and the evolution shows, even from my previous two books that I have out.

My journey is still writing itself, but I can say that right now, where I am, I couldn’t be happier. I’m definitely not where I used to be and I’m certainly looking forward to where I’m going.

 

So, you have written other books in the past. What genre are they?

AG: The other two novels are considered Urban Dramas.

The title is really catchy. How did you come up with the title?

AG: Guide Me Home came about when I was watching Tyler Perry’s, “Temptation: Confession of a Marriage Counselor.” The end credits were scrolling by and for once, I was actually paying attention to them. One of the songs listed was called “Guide Me Home” and that’s when it hit me. I was like, ‘that’s the name of the book.’ It makes all the sense in the world.

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When writing this book, what were your inspirations behind it?

AG: The book started off with me just wanting to write something similar to what Tyler Perry did when he released Good Deeds. So, it was originally going to be talking about homelessness and helping those in need, but after three years of revisiting the manuscript and the need to feel connected to it, it shifted into something more than just homelessness. Its theme is on the topic of Childhood Emotional Trauma and its effects of it into adulthood. I think many of us, on some level, will and can find ourselves in the storyline. When I did my research on what Childhood Emotional Trauma was, it blew my mind away. The things I found, had me nodding in agreement because I could see myself or someone else. This helped me to also write my character’s, Devin and Faith, better because they suffered greatly behind this particular issue. It’s a subject that’s rarely discussed and if you were to ask someone if they knew what it was, 9 times out of 10, they would not know unless you went down the list of symptoms.

 

It’s a great mental health piece, especially advocating for emotional health in African-American men. So that’s where the biggest inspiration came from—just learning about what that looks like amongst many other things and being able to put it into story form.

 

As a published author, what challenges do you find? (If any)

AG: In the beginning, when I first considered publishing my stories, I didn’t understand how much work I needed to put behind it, like focusing on your target market, making necessary edits, saving money to be able to take care of the small stuff, marketing and promotion etc. So, the first two novels didn’t work out so well, but with Guide Me Home, I’m revisiting those lessons and applying them to this particular project which seems to be helping. A lot of preparation has gone into making this book a potential bestseller. With God, all things are possible. I’m claiming it.

 

Let’s talk about your Book Launch event for next month. How long did it take for you to plan the event?

AG: I started planning for the book launch sometime in December of 2017. Everything I do has to make sense and be done with quality and with order. So far, it has been a solid nine months of planning for the big day. I have quite a few things happening that I don’t think has really ever been done for a book launch party. I’m excited about it.

 

What makes this event stand out than any other book launch events?

AG: I think the biggest thing that stands out for this event is the fact that I’m including a one act play; where I have a few people acting out a scene from a chapter from the book to give people a visual of what they’re about to read. I have not heard or seen that done before. Also, most authors are not singers. I am. I have written a song for the book, (soundtrack single) which I will be performing on that day as well. It’s called ‘Thankful.’ It’ll be available when the pre-order drops.

 

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I find it amazing that you are having the event on your birthday! How amazing!

AG: Yes! My birthday is actually the 26th of October but it falls on a Friday, so I chose the 27th because you know most people are available on weekends. LOL But I’m including my birthday because this is a major thing for me. I’ll be turning 31. When I turned 30, I told myself that I have to make this decade count, and doing this book and launch is a part of that declaration. So yes, I get a two for one deal.

 

What do you want readers to take away when reading your book?

AG: This is kind of a loaded question. Hmm. I want people to take away that no matter the adversities, the situations or circumstances standing against you, that there is a power within that is ready and willing to help you overcome. I want people to know that in life, it’s important to have the right people around you, especially when facing difficult and dark times and to understand how important Faith, Grace, and Forgiveness is to one’s healing.

 

I was looking on your website and I see that you have a book launch team for your new book. Tell us more about that.

AG: My Launch team is pretty cool. It’s about fifteen of us total. I decided to create a launch team for this book because I understand that I cannot do all of this by myself. It can get pretty stressful. It takes a village to really make something successful. Ooo that rhymed. But anyway, I can post and shout to the mountains all day long about the book, however, people get tired of hearing it from just one person, right? So why not include others who equally believe in what I’m doing to help push the product to the masses? And that’s what the team is all about. They’re helping me to succeed because they believe in the story just as much as I do.

Do you have any goals for the book? Media appearances? Interviews? Book tours?

AG: Yes. I definitely have plans to market and promote to local news stations, do podcasts interviews, blog interviews and hopefully reach two national TV shows like The Real and Sister Circle. Book tour is definitely in the works all along the east coast. And if things go right, maybe a stage a play or movie deal.

 

Being an author can have its ups and downs. What do you believe is the best way to remain humble as an author when things can be challenging?

AG: Best way to stay humble is to always know you have more growing and learning to do. You’re never done evolving or expanding in your writing. Something or someone new always comes along and can easily take your spot. In the words of Kendrick Lamar “Sit down, be Humble.” Reality is, things can go either way.

 

Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten years from now?

AG: Five years from now, I see myself growing and being able to build an empire from this book alone. Ten years, maybe be on the same caliber of Oprah or somebody.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors?

AG: I don’t have many, but I would say Eric Jerome Dickey and Devon Franklin. That could change later, though.

 

How can readers connect with you? How can they pre-order your new book?

AG: Readers can connect with me by visiting my website at www.officialanagibson.com. All of my social media buttons are available on there. Guide Me Home pre-orders will be available September 12, 2018 wherever books are sold. Official release date is October 22, 2018.

 

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Graphic Designer Tyra Grayson is on the Rise to a Creative Stardom!

” Very eager, motivated, determined, caring, and loving,”

is how Tyra describes herself.

What do you call a bomb creative direction with style and great fashionable taste? 

Tyra Grayson, the next superstar to stardom in the graphic design business!  It’s not just her whit or her just holding a camera and telling a music artist to pose or a model to hold a specific prop, but it’s about her creativeness and unique taste for photography! 

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Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Tyra is attending Full Sail University online majoring in Graphic Design.  With diving into the creative side for only one year, she has accomplished so much with her work.  Opportunities came knocking real fast as she has already had the pleasure of shooting local models and artists and doing graphic designs for music artists and businesses to help manage and build up her brand. Everyone has to start from somewhere in life to become who they want to be in their passion.

 “I started off learning how to print t-shirts with my granddad, he taught me how to design the shirt before printing it. I got fascinated with the design process and started using Photoshop. He also told me to use his camera and try to do something with it, and the rest is history. I was a rapper before this, so I owe it all to him for introducing me to this, he was also a musician, so the creativity flowed in the family.”

Tyra has shot for artists such as Moneybagg Yo, Rich Homie Quan and Boosie Badazz.

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Moneybagg Yo

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Boosie Badazz

Photography has its own art of style, but what Tyra is known for best is her vintage style of photography.  She uses different locations and props such as smoke bomb and masks to execute her style of portraits.  One of her biggest accomplishments was designing her first mixtape; front and back for Birmingham artist YF Tadoe called “No Investors”

 

“I see myself being the biggest designer, photographer, and creative director in the music industry. Working with companies such as Atlantic Records, IHeartRadio, Spotify, as well as working with Grammy-award winning artists.”

 

 

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She has created her own lane and her own name for herself; TGDShotIt or TGD branching out for different opportunities and many more to come.  Everyone has something or someone to keep them motivated and humbled while achieving their goals and dreams.

“Anyone who has helped me with a photography project. My friends, family, other creatives, and the thought that if I ever gave up on this, that’s one less creative that someone may need. So I always wake up motivated with the thought that an artist or business may need my services and that I have the chance to get better.”

Someday she plans to collaborate with award-winning artists such as Troye Sivan, Khalid, Ariana Grande, Twenty-One Pilots, Kevin Gates, Drake and more.  She is on the rise to a creative stardom!

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Model Christopher McCombs

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Follow her on Instagram: @tyraisme

Facebook: Tyra Grayson Designs and Photography, Personal FB: Tyra Grayson

Check out her work at http://www.tyragraysondesigns.myportfolio.com

Email her for Inquiries at graysontyra@gmail.com 

 

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Author Spotlight: Bianca Lynnette

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  • How did your writing journey begin?

I started writing as a pre-teen. I was a quiet child growing up with a lot on my mind, so I resulted to writing poetry.

  • Was writing something you always wanted to accomplish as one of your goals?

Yes, most definitely.

  • What do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?

My number one message for my readers is for them to know that they have the power to speak lyfe no matter what’s going on around them.  I want them to be empowered and to know they have a voice.  It is very imperative that they know how much their voice matters.

  • How many books have you written?

I’ve written and published one book and co-authored on one book.

  • Do you plan to publish more in the future?

I sure do!

  • Have you had any book signings? If so, how did that go? If not, do you plan to have one to connect with new readers?

Yes I’ve had a few book signings and I’ve also sold my books at my events. I think book signings are an awesome opportunity for your readers and supporters to get to know you as both an Author and a person. They get to hear about your mission and I truly believe people support purpose. I do plan to have future book signings because I love connecting to new people and I also plan to add on to my current book.

  • What marketing strategies do you use for your books?

For my marketing strategies I use social media to promote my book, I host events that are centered or include my tagline to help promote my book and I’ve also added shirts to support my Speak Lyfe movement.

  • Are there any challenges getting people to support you?

Yes, unfortunately. I’m grateful for my stream of supporters, however, it definitely can be a challenge.

  • What is your writing style like? Any special places you like to go and write at?

It really depends on what I’m writing. Sometimes I like to write in an open space or outside. At times I like to write to music, it helps me to stay in my zone. My ideal writing location outside of Starbucks would be near water on a beautiful day.

  • How can readers connect with you and buy your books?

They can reach me on fb as Bianca Lynnette Speak Lyfe, IG: Speaklyfe_bianca, my books are available on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as my website Iambiancalynnette.myshopify.com

  • Tell the readers more about the types of books you write? Are some of them based on real life experiences?

“Speak Lyfe: 31 Days to a New You!” will always be a personal favorite of mine. When I was going through a dark place in my life, I literally had to look myself in the mirror and say these exact affirmations everyday for 30 days. This along with daily prayer helped to save my life. In the “Walking in my Identity” book collab I shared on a very personal point in my life that stemmed from me learning to embrace my voice. Overall I prefer to write both about my life experiences and on empowerment but I won’t limit it to that because you never know what God has planned for you.

 

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Author Spotlight: Diane Guntrip

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How did your writing journey begin?

This is a difficult question for me to answer. From a young age I have always been actively involved in some creative pursuit. I trained as a teacher specialising in English and Textiles and taught Textiles for 6 years. Later I became a jewellery designer and also ran a business featuring designer pillows all whilst I continued with my teaching career. There has never been a time when I have not been busy with some form of creativity. So to return to your question, I decided to write short stories, perhaps 15 years ago. There was no idea of publishing. ‘Dear H’ began in a different format to the present diary. The writing was spasmodic and one day, the story had become longer and had transformed into a dairy.

My neighbor’s granddaughters read the manuscript and urged me to publish the book. After submitting it to a few publishers with no offers of a contract, I lost interest. It was not until my circumstances changed, a badly shattered wrist, that led me to re-edit the book and I made the decision to self publish.

Was writing something you always wanted to accomplish as one of your goals?

No, I can’t say it was. I was busy expressing myself creatively in other ways.

What do you want your readers to take away when reading your books?

‘Dear H’ is for young people of aged 10+ although a lot of adults have read and enjoyed the book. It was originally written just as a book to be enjoyed. However, once the book was completed, I saw it in another light. The book is a diary written by 12 year old Amanda who is constantly being bullied. I have been instrumental in presenting workshops in primary schools and the book has proved to be an excellent discussion tool where the students can speak freely on bullying, depression, self-esteem, diary writing and their dreams for the future etc. The book is motivational and inspiring.

‘The Daisy Chain’ is the sequel and is written for girls from 13+ years. Amanda is now a student at a prestigious music academy. She is determined to set up an anti-bullying support group called the Daisy Chain. The book introduces new characters who are experiencing problems of adolescence. Amongst them the reader sympathizes with mental health issues and an unplanned pregnancy. Again, the book is for enjoyment but is full of ‘tips’ and discussion points.

How many books have you written?

So far two, ‘Dear H’ and ‘The Daisy Chain’.

Do you plan to publish more in the future?

I have made a start on ‘Tilly’s Story’. This is the story of how Tilly, in ‘The Daisy Chain’ has to leave the college due to her pregnancy and give up her place at a music conservatorium.

Have you had any book signings? If so, how did that go?

For both of my books I arranged book launches which were held in my local Art Gallery. These were well advertised with guests of honor. Book signings were part of the events. I also sign books when I visit schools to do workshops.

What marketing strategies do you use for your books?

I have a website, www.dianeguntrip.com. Initially for the book launches, I was featured in the local paper and on community radio. I have also been featured in blogs and a recorded radio interview. I use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. I approach schools and associations to offer to speak.

Are there any challenges getting people to support you?

Yes, especially as the books are self-published. A lot of institutions, some libraries and book fairs do not accept authors who are self-published.

What is your writing style like? Any special places you like to go to write at?

As both books are diaries, I would say they are chatty, easy to read, conversational. I can only write when I am in my study with the door closed!!

How can readers connect with you and buy your books?

I can be contacted via the Contacts Page on www.dianeguntrip.com or directly on dianeguntrip@hotmail.com

For Australian residents the books can be ordered from the website. For elsewhere they are available from Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk. Barnes and Noble and the Book Depository.

Tell the readers more about the types of books you write.

My books are fiction and the characters are all from my imagination. However, the issues that are mentioned are all problems that young people can encounter in today’s world. I hope that my books will inspire others to have the strength to follow their dreams.

 

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Author Spotlight: Philandis Stovall

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 How long have you been writing?

I started writing at a very young. I would say, it was around the age of 5. I used to write in a daily journal about anything. I would create short stories, poems and writings about expressing my thoughts and experiences.

What motivated you to become an author?

My personal journey as while as the people around me motivated me to want to get my story out there. In that case, I would become an author. I would go through obstacles and, of course, some of them I didn’t understand until I kept maturing with each level of my spirituality. And I remember stating on several occasions I wanted to write a book . I was going to write a book. My goal has always been, “Lord, if I touch just one, I have done my job. If I touch more than one, the calling & purpose has just begun.

When will your book be published? Is this your first book?

Yes, this is my debut novel. Currently, it is set to be released on March 5, 2018.

Do you plan to write anymore books in the near future?

Yes, I do plan to write more books. I don’t want to go too much into details of what kind yet. I will give more insight when it’s time.

Are you planning to have a book signing for your book release?

I do plan on having a book signing among other amazing events. I am currently having meetings to work out all of the details at this moment. I will be sure to update you all when we have finalized date(s) set in stone. Be sure to follow my author’s page for upcoming events & other information.

Even through the storm is a great title! Can you elaborate on what the book is about? Is there a main message you want your readers to take from this?

Thank you. 🙏🏽

Even Through the Storm is memoir about my family’s cancer journey. My son who was born a completely healthy baby boy received a cancer diagnosis at the age of 4. And we faced obstacles along the way. But, God never left our side!

No matter what you go through in life hold onto your faith & trust God’s unchanging hands.

Know that storms run out of rain…

Know the sun comes out from behind the clouds…

Know that there will be clearer skies…

Know that the grass will grow again…

You have to go through to get to.

How do you plan to promote/market your book? 

Yes, I do plan to promote/ market my book and I personally have been doing so. To name a few ways: Networking, branding myself, posting on social media outlets, making phone calls and shooting emails & more. Also, I have media kits & a press release.

It takes a lot of your own leg work+.

Do you have a particular place you like to write at?

No. I don’t necessarily have a particular place I like to write at. I write wherever the inspiration hits me. But, I do like to write while relaxing in a bubble bath tub.

What are some of your writing strategies?

A few of my writing strategies are:

Create an idea and/or getting inspiration for an idea & write it down

Decide in what direction is best to go in with the idea when putting the whole idea in perspective

Make a outline of significant points you want to discuss/target

Knowing your audience

Be authentic

Be creative

Use invention strategies (freestyle write)

How can readers connect with you on social media?

My readers can connect with me on my author’s page:

https://www.facebook.com/Even-Through-The-Storm-Philandis-Stovall-1578259265591406/

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