It's no secret that people of color have been some of the greatest contributors to society in all facets of life. From the Dr. Kings and Malcom X's in the civil rights era to the Naomi Campbells and Tyra Bankses of the fashion industry to the Oprah Winfreys and Wendy Williamses of media and marketing, they have been hands down crucial to the world in every sense of the word. Yet, why are we in 2020 and still they have no peace? They've journeyed through the valleys and shadows of death to arrive at their accomplishments and successes, moving mountains and walking on waters of faith and dreams, but still have to say things like #BlackLivesMatter. Well, we recognize that people of color are not only iconic but essential. Warriors of their time, valiantly battling racism, discrimination, oppression, poverty, the black and brown prison pipeline, police brutality and more, they stand tall as true Titans of Tomorrow. This article sheds a little light on some black creators and entrepreneurs that we think you should know. #BlackBusinessesMatter
Born in Chicago, IL, and raised on the Southside Chicago, Iesha always knew that with Hard work, Motivation and Determination that she too can become an Englewood Success story. At the age of 14, she began working for herself every summer selling snowballs where she made a $100 day. Iesha attended Robert Morris University. There she obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.
With this level of success, we believe that Success isn’t just what you achieve to advance your family but what you do to help others Thrive. We believe in lifting as we go and has started several new Businesses to help us be a part of the change to change the Narrative in our Community and currently is working on Acquiring a Building to provide a home to BrownSugar’s Youth Entrepreneur Academy where we would be training the youth from ages 5-24yrs old on how the Become their own Economic Empowerment with creating their own Business.
Public Health Professional, Creative and Equal Rights Activist, Nikhaule Martin has been making waves in Chicago for years. Graduating from UIC with a Bachelor's degree with honors in Public Health Management, she has worked for some of the top medical institutions in the country such as Erie Health, RUSH Medical Centers, Advocate Medical Group and more! She has also volunteered many hours of service to various local organizations, one of which being The Fresh Faces Project. She has now branched out as a creator and started an online book club for black authors and those of the LGBTQIA to celebrate the underrepresented writers of the world! Her online book club has gained almost 800 followers within just a few months! She is also one of the best friends of our CEO.
KENDOUGH THE ERA
Kendough the Era, also known as Kendough Slice, is an award-winning musician and activist who advocates for the creative and entrepreneurial prosperity of the black race. Business & English Major graduate of the HBCU Fisk University, he has both technical and practical training in the arts. He focuses the majority of his time to writing, performing and producing music while also fighting the good fight of advocating for the ability and motivation of black people pursuing their dreams. He is also the godbrother of our CEO.
Candyss Weaver is a certified Project Manager and Career Coach. CEO of the consulting firm, Demand Development, she has been assisting clients with their business management and operations organization for several years! Graduating from Bradley University as a proud member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority with a Bachelor's degree in Law and Journalism, she officially began her career as a full-time professional in 2012. Now, she has amassed years of experience and knowledge in her field, balancing a successful career and a family. She is also one of our CEO's sisters.
"My name is Adodo Robinson, I am a Licensed Cosmetologist, Make-Up Artist, and CEO of Chez Délali Salon and Day Spa, located in Matteson, IL. My mission for my team and myself is to provide exceptional customer service by having a welcoming and clean environment with a focus on educating clients on maintaining healthy hair and skin which is why I continue educating myself by attending classes. With my personal experience with not being able to find a foundation that matches my skin tone, as a dark-skinned woman, it was frustrating, and I knew that it was time for a change."
Leslie Garnett is a fashion model veteran and Co-Founder of S.L.A.E. We've seen her strut a catwalk and speak life to the masses. This is why her new initiative is so fitting for her. She quotes "S.L.A.E. is a movement. Self Love And Empowerment. We believe if you love yourself you are empowered and that empowerment gives you the ability to empower others. Our goal is to change the current temperature and nurture a more supportive, uplifting and positive network of like-minded
Nailah Bradley is a well-decorated competitive dancer, cheerleader and fashion model! Having danced since she was a toddler, she has played starring roles in numerous classic performances such as the Nutcracker and Swan Lake. Having lept and spun with some of the best of them at the famous Joffrey Ballet and other companies, she also has taught dance for the youth in After School Matters and CSU. From ballet studios to the bard room, she now focuses on her business administration career using her Arts Management degree from Colombia University in Chicago. She is also one of the best friends of our CEO.
Mikaela Brown is an Engineering student at UIC as well as a fashion model and new realtor! Having done runway, editorial and commercial modeling while balancing rigorous student life, she has a new endeavor! She quotes "As a lifelong resident of Chicago, I have always wanted to enrich my city. I decided to take on the career of real estate to help everyone in my community find their dream home. From apartments to condos and houses, everyone deserves to have their own space that they can call home. I enjoy working with all different people across the city and aiding them in the process of buying, renting and selling, making the process seamless. Community means so much to me, and it brings me joy to help those in mine." She is also one of the best friends of our CEO.
"If you want to go far, go together." This African proverb is not only true in life but also in business. Meet Latoya Underwood, social media Marketing Advisor and Founder of ShutupAndStrut Marketing Consulting. Her 12 years experience of owning 2 brick and mortar businesses has led her to advise entrepreneurs around the country and market with excellence. If you are willing to listen and execute, the results will be waiting. Not only does she teach from experience, but with empathy. Her Market Mastermind Sessions have most definitely helped business owners avoid some potholes on their journey and get the results they needed.
Amanda Marufu is a Feminist, Entrepreneur, TV Producer, Blogger and Author. She is a Co-Founder of Ed-Tech company SMBLO, Zim Digital and Social Media Awards, It’s A Feminist Thing and the media company, Visual Sensation. Living in a country with only 21%, 12% and 11% female reporters present in Print, Radio and Television respectively and only 16% of female subjects reported on across all platforms. She believes, it is important to have wider gender representation within the media both in front of and behind the scenes because media is an integral part of shifting perspectives and changing biases.
"My name is Aly Jae. I am a Social Media influencer with a variety of different content styles. I act, sing, dance, talk about makeup and social issues, and educate my supporters on information that is not always readily available. My goal is to use my aesthetic to encourage more diverse representation in the entertainment industry as well as provide information and happiness to the world. It is so important to me that young POC men and women know that they have a place in this industry. I will continue to fight for us in these various different ways."
Simona is a Licensed Esthetician and CEO of “Shop Simonas” Self Care Beauty Brand. She quotes "It was all a dream, I used to read WORD UP Magazine. No Seriously! My startup, like many entrepreneurs, was built while working a 9-5 retail stylist job and living my dreams on the side. Being a multi-talented individual, I always questioned 'WHO AM I? WHAT DO I DO? A passionate dancer, a brand ambassador, a lifestyle model & blogger?' How could such a creative soul not know their purpose in life? I began to network with likeminded artists and expand my growth. With each day, my vision became more clear. My goals were motivated by inspiring others to find self-love.
2020 is about building a better me. Focusing on stepping out of comfort zones and shifting barriers in the black community. I want young women all over to know if I can so can you SIS! Manifest your dreams into reality! It all starts with believing in yourself."
"Im Anthony Amos, artist and owner/creator of Solebox Kickz. I offer sneaker customization
according to the sneaker style, type and mood it brings the client so that they have truly
personalized experience. My customized sneakers provide a sense of owning something that is
unique and grabs people’s attention when worn. I know that it’s hard to express true style and
have the fitting sneakers for that. If you need a pair that belongs to you in every sense, Solebox
Kickz caters to highly exclusive sneaker customization. Solebox Kickz, Signature Style Sneakers!"
In July 2018, Tony Vincente creative director, stylist and online personality created the lifestyle brand,
Rossario George. This trendsetting fashionable brand creates and curates’ beautiful collections that
make life special. These collections include stylish and sophisticated women’s ready-to-wear,
timeless shoes, must-have beauty and home accessories that will take your breath away.
Rossario George has garnered fans around the world and the attention of respected publications
including Cliché Magazine, British Vogue, GQ, New Face Magazine and many more. The brand just
signed a deal to sell custom collections of shoes and clothing with Forum by B8ta stores beginning in July 2020!
This article was simply The First Wave and there will be more to come. Calynn M. Lawrence, the CEO of our parent Company, Calynn Communications & Creative, will be publishing these articles as a means of service to her fellow black people. It is with great love and admiration that she releases this. #BlackBusinessesMatter