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Virginia Native Missy Elliott Donates $2500 to her Alma Mater Manor High School

Portsmouth, VA native Missy Elliott, singer, rapper, writer, music producer and dancer stopped by her old stomping ground, Woodrow Wilson High School which was called Manor High School when Elliott was attending there.  A 90’s graduate of the HS took a tour of her old high school where she met students and staff while taking selfies as well.  

 

 

She stopped by the high school just before performing at Something in the Water at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront that kicks off this weekend.  Before she left, Elliott donated $25k to the school in which it has to be used for that particular school only. 

 

 

Love N Hip Hop Star Bianca Bonnie talks on New Music and New Projects

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It was all a dream….until it came true!

It all started when Bianca started singing all the lyrics to songs including some songs from Luther Vandross.  She has been writing songs since elementary school and it carried on to Junior High and High School.  Before she even thought about singing/rapper, Bonnie was also a dancer.  This talented individual is definitely what this industry need, a bright young individual who is serious about her craft.  She has been on tours with other celebrities such as the scream tour with Bow Wow and with Chris Brown.  Bianca has traveled just about anywhere making moves.

Big Break with Love N Hip Hop New York

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“It was a point in time where I was on a hiatus and I wasn’t sure what to do about music.  All eleven years of making music, I wasn’t signed to management.  Everything I was already doing, I was doing on my own,” said Bianca “Love N Hip Hop actually dm’ed me on Instagram.  When I went to the interview, they announced that it was Love N Hip Hop,”

The Portrayal of the Show

Although the show only portrayed the “negative” scenes of Bianca with her fighting, outside of the show, she was constantly grinding putting out new music.  She was already a fan show and was already established as a music artist long before Love N Hip Hop New York.

“It helped me build my fan base.  People are still finding my chicken noodle soup video,” Bianca said “I just have fun with it! As long as I’m happy, I don’t try to stress,”

New Music

Bianca has that sultry unique voice that can hypnotize you indeed! With her curves and smooth skin, her lyrics will definitely give you the business!  Her latest album “10 Plus” is now available to download on I tunes and other music platforms where music can be downloaded.  Bianca is currently working on new projects which is planned to be released next year.

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“My fans don’t care about nothing else but me putting out new music.  I like writing.  I’m good at writing music,” Bianca said “I don’t care about becoming a star.  It’s my passion,”

There is also another project/song/visual she she creating calling “Celebration

Besides being a singer, rapper and television personality, is working on a documentary for You tube so that all of her fans can see her more on a weekly basis and what she actually does behind the music scenes and when she isn’t in front of a camera.  It’s like an up-close and personal part of her life waking to be awakened.  Even though none of these female rap artists or singers inspires her, she loves some good ol’ R N B Music!

“Growing up I loved R N B Music.  Some of my inspiration came from artists like Aaliyah, Missy Elliot and Lauryn Hill, people that does both rapping and singing,” Bianca said

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The Goddess Bianca Bonnie modeling “The Pink Collection” by Stevie Boi at the New York Fashion Week

 

What’s Next for Bianca Bonnie?

She is looking to get singed to a management team/record label, putting out more music and visuals and to keep her fan base growing.

You can connect with Bianca Bonnie on Twitter, Instagram and You Tube

You Tube Bianca Is King Global

Instagram: @Biancaisking

Twitter:  @biancaisking 

 

 

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TRGB Media

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International Author Promotes Sickle Cell Disease through her Children Books

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Jenica Leah is an award winning children’s author and publisher and referred to as one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for sickle cell.  Living with sickle cell anaemia herself, she has battled with the many complications that come with the disorder including having a stroke at 14 and a hip replacement at 25; but she has never let this stop her from being who she is. From being a full-time model to organising and managing catwalks with an international events specialist, Jenica Leah refuses to let her condition hold her back.  After undergoing total hip replacement surgery in 2014, which changed her whole outlook on life and her perception of her illness, Jenica Leah vowed to help others living with the sickle cell condition by being more open about her health and her journey, and by doing more to create awareness and get people talking about it. With her confidence and determination, she doesn’t see life as challenging; instead she sees the world as her oyster with endless possibilities.

 

TRGB Media: Tell us about yourself a little more

Jenica Leah: My name is Jenica Leah and I am a 29-year-old from the UK living with sickle cell SS. Referred to as one of the UK’s leading ambassadors for sickle cell, I share my journey via my blogs Me Myself & sickle cell on my blogsite and on YouTube.. I am also a publisher and the award-winning author of the first children’s book series about sickle cell entitled My Friend Jen which was released in 2016.

TRGB: When did you first learned that you were diagnosed with Sickle Cell?

Jenica Leah: I was diagnosed from birth. My parents both knew they had the trait and knew there was a chance I would have sickle cell. They got the positive results 6 weeks after I was tested at birth.

TRGB: How is your whole experience living with the disease? What symptoms do you suffer the most from?

Jenica Leah: My experience living with sickle cell now is manageable, however it has taken me years of complications and learning to understand my body to get to this point. I would say the symptoms I have suffered from the most aside from bad pain crisis is all the unknown complications that can come with sickle cell as I feel like I have had almost all of them. I always used to have pneumonia as baby and toddler and spent a lot of time in hospital; my first crisis I was around 9 months old. I had a stroke at 14, acute chest syndrome at 16 which very nearly took my life, gall stones throughout my teenage years which lead to me eventually having my gall bladder removed at 24. I was diagnosed with Avascular necrosis in both hips and I had a total hip replacement in my left hip when I was 25 as a result. I have also had multiple blood clots, and liver cholestasis. All complications caused as a result of my sickle cell and the way it has affected my body.

TRGB: Was becoming an author something, you always wanted to do? What was the journey like?

Jenica Leah: I have always loved writing as it is my outlet for certain things. I always find writing about good days allow me to remember how I was feeling and enjoy the moment longer, and writing about bad days or tough times allows me to get it out of my system so I can let it go and not harbor negative emotions. Becoming an author was not something I had planned to do at all but the moment I decided to turn what I had written into a book I was motivated to get it done; nothing and no one was going to stop me. The journey was fun although I encountered a lot of bumps in the road which I had to find a way over in terms of getting my book published.

TRGB: What was the inspiration behind your book “My Friend Jen?”

Jenica Leah: The inspiration behind my book was to be able to give something to children who are growing up living with sickle cell today that would provide them with peace of mind about their condition and also let them know that having sickle cell should not stop them from achieving their dreams — no matter what they are.  Growing up I despised the fact that I had sickle cell and always used to ignore it or try and hide it; mainly because I didn’t understand what it was so it was difficult to explain that to others. With the first My Friend Jen Book it’s a simple way to explain what sickle cell is and the basics of how someone living with it can stay well.

TRGB: I see on your IG page that you have a lot of supporters with your book and movement. How is the marketing going for your book?

Jenica Leah: When I initially published and released my book I honestly didn’t have a marketing plan. I just released it and went with the flow but the feedback and amount of support I had was unbelievable and that’s when I realized that I had created something so beautiful and so beneficial, especially for children who had sickle cell and children with parents who have sickle cell. By that point my book was more less marketing itself, I believe because it is the only one of its kind at the moment.

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TRGB: Since the book release, what type of events has the book participated in?

Jenica Leah: Since the books release It has been nominated for and won awards, been highlighted by news outlets, book stores and in particular has had a major impact in health conferences and pharmaceutical research. I also launched something called My Friend Jen Projects to be able to host my own events for the book which would help those in other communities around the world who may not be able to have access to the book otherwise. The book donation projects have been a huge success so far with regular sponsors and encouragement for it to continue.

TRGB: When does the sequel to the first book come out? Is it the same concept from the first book?

Jenica Leah: The sequel will be released within the next several weeks and is now available to pre-order at a reduced price. My Friend Jen was always intended to be a series of books that follows Jen on her journey growing up with sickle cell so the concept is somewhat the same and readers can learn more about sickle cell and the things Jen goes through.

TRGB: Are you currently working on any new projects?

Jenica Leah: The next major project we have will be the Jamaica book donation project which will take place between January and March 2019. So far, we have done book donation projects in Gambia and Nigeria so we are really looking forward to Jamaica being the 3rd book donation project.

TRGB: How has becoming an author made you a better person?

Jenica Leah: Becoming an author has made me appreciate writers a lot more as I know the depths one has to go through to be able to produce a book that makes a difference. More than anything though, I would say that becoming an author has made me humble and motivated to continue to advocate for sickle cell as I can see how my children’s book and even my blog, has helped people to become more confident in sharing their journeys with sickle cell also.

TRGB: How can readers connect with you?

Jenica Leah: Readers can connect with me via @myfriendjenbooks on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They can also keep up to date with everything I have going on including new My Friend Jen releases and updates, projects and events by subscribing to the Me Myself & Sickle Cell blog site:  http://www.jenicaleah.wordpress.com

TRGB: As an advocate of SCD, what types of projects or events do you participate in to bring more awareness in the communities?

Jenica Leah: I try and get involved in as much events in the community as I can whether it’s fundraising events, motivational events or even fun days for children; there is always space to highlight sickle cell. I have also arranged blood donation days to encourage more blood donors and been involved in youth and school projects too.

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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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2x Grammy Winner Jerry Bell Continues Shining in the Music Industry

Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
Jerry Bell is not only a 2x Grammy Winner, but has met a lot of great people along the way and singing background for popular groups such as The Spinners, The Delfonics and Marvin Gaye.  His passion of music isn’t just in his blood, but as a person of interest who always continue to make new music in a generation that is always changing.
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Artist Jerry Bell performing live with the band 
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
TRGB Media: Tell us more about yourself?
 
Jerry Bell: I was born in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania in a military hospital. My father was a career military man and my mother was a regular house wife for the time. My family traveled a lot when I was younger and it was in my formative years while I was undergoing vocal training that my passion for music began to blossom. I began to realize how vast the world was, as I reached adulthood, and my desire to experience different cultures began to take form. Due to this, I’ve traveled all across the world. I’ve lived in Japan for 18 years, on and off, and am fluent in Japanese. I’ve also lived in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia and traveled to places like: Budapest and the south of France. During my travels, I invested a large amount of my time to understanding the culture and adopting the practices of where I was. The culmination of this is my mastery of Shotokan karate, Okinawa Karate, Aikido, Judo, and Japanese archery called Kyudo. I hold many black belts in these martial arts and I have learned much about life from these practices. 
TRGB Media: How did you get started in the entertainment industry?
 
Jerry Bell: My family was a very musical family. We have produced gold and platinum records for nearly two decades. My family started The Sounds of Philadelphia and was once a part of Gamble and Huff; while it was still called “Gamble, Huff, and Bell” It was always expected of me to go into music, with all the influences around me. However, though I’ve always had a passion for music, what really drove me to becoming a musician was seeing James Brown perform. 
TRGB Media: Tell us a little bit about your groups “New Birth.” How was that created?
Jerry Bell: New Birth was originally two groups that came together to form something magical. It started as a band out of Louisville, Kentucky called the Nite-Lighters before merging with the vocalist group Mint Juleps. They were originally a backup band for Bobby Womack, before I was invited into the group in 1975 by the founders of the group: Tony Churchill and James Baker. When I was a part of the group from 1975-1979, it consisted of 13 people that were all amazing. However, it wasn’t until after New Birth that I broke out and became a star on my own.
TRGB Media: What was it like meeting Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5?
 
Jerry Bell: I knew Michael when he was young and when he was  much shyer than who everybody knew him as. In my early thirties, I was dating one of the sisters of the Jackson 5, and we all played on a softball team together called the Jackson’s. This was a lot of fun, because we played against other celebrities such as the Temptations. 
TRGB Media: Music is rapidly changing and so are artists. Since you are an “old school’ artist, how do you think music is different from different generations?
 
Jerry Bell: Well first of all, I’m not an old school artist; I’m an Original artist with original music. What they are portraying today is not music to me, because you cannot take something synthetic and make it natural and original. “Musicians” nowadays download sound clips on their computers and it doesn’t sound the same, it’s not real music. Sounds that were created by a computer are not real music; real music is played with the human body. Playing the piano or the drums; reading musical scores and writing musical notes, that’s what music is. 
TRGB Media: How was your experience at the Armenian Music Awards? 
 
Jerry Bell: Being at the Armenian Music Awards was a very heartwarming experience, especially knowing that their history mirrors my own. The Armenian people were persecuted and targeted for the Armenian Genocide in the early 1900’s that reflect how I feel about the treatment of black people in America. I try to reflect the plight of my people by reflecting the time period and highlighting the struggles that we have all been through.
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Jerry Bell performing center stage
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
TRGB Media: Going through your bio, I noticed that you received lots of awards.  
 
Jerry Bell: In my time, I’ve been honored to receive two Grammy Awards. It was an exhilarating experience receiving the award, not for myself, but for the people who had come before me and had never had the chance to receive this prestige. In 2010, I was also inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame. Again, I was very honored and it felt special because it was something that I acquired through years of hard work. I felt that my years and years of persistence in creating music that would relate to people all over the world were recognized. My children have been the best reward, though, for the life that I have lived. They may not be an award, but they have been the best thing that have happened to me and I am most thankful for them at the end of the day. 
TRGB Media: What genre is your music?
 
Jerry Bell: My musical genre is romance, but most people would describe it as R&B. Romance to me covers a multitude of areas in our lives and is a far reaching power that I want to tap into. It helps people deal with emotions that they may not fully understand. 
TRGB Media: Since performing at different places with important people and in groups, what was your favorite highlight of your career thus far?
 
Jerry Bell: My greatest highlights were being with James Brown and Michael Jackson. One great story that I love to share is when I was accompanying him on tour in Japan. The fans spotted the bus that myself and Michael’s decoy were on and swarmed the bus; rocking it back and forth until it almost tipped over. They eventually made their way onto the bus, only to realize that Michael wasn’t on board, but only his decoy. 
TRGB Media: Are there any current projects you are working on? Any new music?
 
Jerry Bell: I am always working on new projects. Currently, I am working on finalizing a deal to broker financial backing for an entertainment park in China, along with a music academy to try and spread the teachings of music to other areas in the world. We are in the talks to partner with a major organization based in Los Angeles to broker this deal. As far as music, recently I have been inspired by news of the upcoming James Bond movie and am working on a cover of the famous Skyfall song by Adele. 
TRGB Media: What is next for Jerry Bell?
 
Jerry Bell: That is a question that I can’t spill my guts on. I can say that I am working on some musical programs that bring together artists of the past and present to reignite the feel of the “old school” sound. You’ll all just have to wait and see what I come out with!
TRGB Media: How can readers connect with you?
 
Jerry Bell: My website is JerryBellMusic.com, find recaps of my recent events on my Facebook page @OfficialJerryBell. 
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Dancer enjoys her time on stage with Jerry Bell
Photo Credit by Xian Yang Lau
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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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