Posts in "Latest"

Meet Tales Of The Text Podcast

0 comments

Feature, Latest | by — July 27, 2021

Jumping on the subway? Melanin glistening on the beach? Relaxing in your room? Well, we’re giving you the best soundtrack and dose of entertainment that can keep up with your full summertime agenda through Tales Of The Text podcast!

Tales Of The Text is scripted short fiction stories filled with drama, secrets, and plot twists marinated in Black teen and college culture. This addictive podcast will literally have you attached to your headphones with its spicy surprises, relatable voices and jaw-dropping scenarios.

Creator Joi Mitchell  launched this brilliant and authentic space for black teen + young adult stories to be heard all over the world. Based in Southside Chicago, her platform allows teen voice actors and writers to explore their creativity dipped in every day realities.

Let’s get to know Joi + Tales Of A Text podcast a little more…

From dating to peer pressure to drama, Tales of The Text Podcast gives such genuine lens of what goes on in high school/college on a daily basis! What made you first want to launch the podcast?

I was listening to a podcast about entrepreneurship when I literally popped up and thought, “How can I incorporate what I love which is music (having worked in the music business during the golden era of hip hop the late 90s early 2000s), working with teens, the art of storytelling, and production.” In addition to  asking, “Why isn’t there a podcast that tells authentic uncensored stories relatable to Black teens with a chat at the end?” At the time I had no idea that what I was describing was a scripted audio fiction podcast mixed with a host chat segment. Who knew? lol The next step was to run my idea by the audience I wanted to serve so I sent a text to teens Shay, Taylor, and Cameron (they are all in college now) to get their thoughts. I pitched the concept with the name and when they said YES the rest is history. 

We love the “After The Text” portion where the teens give their honest feedback + relate to each story, where does the inspo come from when creating the storyline for each podcast?

I’m so glad that you connected with After The Text! Story inspiration comes from my crazy imagination and more importantly the lives of teens and young adults. As a former educator who has been humbly blessed to be on the “guest list” of some teens and young peoples lives, I listen to them and I hear them with purpose. For example, our most popular episode is Accidentally Crushin’ and all but 1 of the 5 episodes was written by a young teen and they were based on her real life relationship where she caught feelings for her best friend and the journey they experienced. I also research writing prompts and work with our screenwriters to remix the prompts to include the Black teen/YA experience.

(Joi Mitchell, Creator of Tales of the Text Podcast)

Relationships, friendships + situationships pop up in different ways throughout the stories which we know is a major part of life;  how important is being able to know when someone is a good fit for you whether it’s in dating or trusting your friends?

This can be tricky because we all present our representative in the beginning of any relationship/friendship and we have to remember that none of us are perfect. How in the ever, there are 3 things I think you should pay attention to in order to maintain your sanity as you navigate the world of all the ‘ships’. 🙂

1) A friend should not be trying to sabotage your other friendships nor your relationship with Bae. This can get messy and is just not worth all the drama that ensues. 2)Remember that you want a friend who genuinely has your best interest at heart. Make note that it’s more important to watch what people do vs. what they say. Ladies this transfers to potential Bae too. 3) Lastly, ask yourself how does this person make me feel and do they add positivity or negativity to my life. I had a beautiful “let’s catch up” conversation with a teen and she mentioned that she realized breaking up with her boyfriend was necessary because he was a drag on her life and that’s not the direction she’s headed.

Adults focus on the stress of classes BUT oftentimes forget that so much stress of being in high school/college is trying to navigate your personal + social life. What made you want to highlight the social aspect? And how can you stay true to yourself during these years?

I was an instructor for an After School program for several years and I realized quickly that the social aspect of a teen’s life is a form of escape and entertainment. My overall goal with Tales Of The Text Podcast is to be a form of edutainment that takes the listeners to a place filled with fun, risque, relatable stories made just for their ears. As for staying true to yourself during the high school years I would say that it’s ok to feel awkward at times.

I suggest keep a journal, follow your heart, NEVER try to be like someone else, surround yourself with dope and different friends who challenge you, learn to laugh at yourself, use the social media platforms that best fit your personality and although it can be hard, try not to compare yourself to others because honestly most people, including celebrities, are posting a highlight reel of their lives. No one is really sharing the whole truth. Lastly, trust me when I say that it does get better and if you as a teen are not feeling good about yourself PLEASE ask for help. 

Do you feel like black teen stories + experiences get shared enough in an authentic way on mainstream media?

I honestly don’t think there are enough black teen stories/experiences being shared via the mainstream media or in the world of podcasting. Black teens like Black people overall are not monolithic. We all like different things and have different experiences while at the same time there is something beyond special about our Blackness that connects us. I’ve personally noticed that some of the teens I know , due to quarantine, are bingeing shows like Riverdale, Pretty Little Liars, and Gossip Girl. My job is to figure out how to produce similar audio fiction stories through the lens of Black teens.

What advice would you give a teen who has the interest of storytelling? What’s a good way to get started?

Ok I’m going to admit something… I’m not a writer but I work with some of the dopest young writers ever and what I’ve discovered is that you just have to start. That means writing short stories with NOTES on your phone. Research young authors/writers on social media and DM them to collab on a project.  Ask yourself what you want to write about and why? Is it fiction or non fiction? Are you interested in beauty, fashion, hair, history, music, entertainment, food, politics and more. DM your favorite author and ask them for an informational interview. (I can explain that in more detail through email)

I created #tuesdaytexttales which are messy creative fiction stories written by teens and/or college students. They can write about anything they want or I’ll provide them a scenario and they build the story from that. I’m accepting applications and we do pay per story. Lastly, consider sharing your stories through a podcast which you can literally record on your phone. The possibilities are endless!

 Listen Here:

APPLE

Tales of the Text

Spotify

Follow Here:

Instagram

Beauty Line-Up: Amanda

0 comments

Health/Beauty, Latest | by — June 22, 2021

 Scroll through the Beauty Line-Up of New Jersey-based beauty content creator, Amanda!

(Instagram)

What’s your name + city you live in?

Amanda Roberts, Camden, NJ
 
Beauty is all about being comfortable in your own skin + expressing your vibe. What are 2 beauty trends you’re loving this year?
 
Glowy makeup, not like the highlighter glow but the good skincare glow. I’m also really into pastel or colorful eyeliner and mascara.

If you had only 15 seconds to grab 3 beauty products, what would they be?

Glossier future dew, Elf wow brow, Milk makeup blur liquid.

(Instagram)

Beauty inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate beauty icon OR what inspires your makeup looks + why? 

My ultimate beauty icon is Yara Shahidi. I love how fun and youthful her makeup looks are!

How does your makeup reflect your personal style?

I’m very laid back. I love natural beauty so I try to keep my look fresh and simple. My goal typically is to look moisturized. Sometimes when I’m feeling adventurous, I like to add a cute detail like a sparkly lid, freckles, or pastel eyeliner.

(Instagram)

What’s one beauty must-have that lives in your bag?

One beauty must-have in my bag is my sunscreen. It makes a perfect primer & base for makeup, protects my skin, & is the secret to that beautiful glow. I really like the brand Black Girl Sunscreen.

What’s your number 1 beauty rule?

Always remove your makeup before going to bed!

Follow more of Amanda’s beauty + style tips here:
 
 

On The Trend Of Summer…

0 comments

Daily Blog, Latest | by — June 13, 2021

Since last summer didn’t go as planned, we are excited to be (safely) outside this summer. Chilling by the pool, get-togethers with friends, day trips, and any outdoor activity is what your summer bucket list should consist of. And while you’re taking a break from your summer reading list, here are some things that will be popping up on your timeline all season. Take notes!

Summer Fashion Trend | Matching two-piece sets will keep you looking on point this season. Whether a pant or skirt set, it will give off a put-together look. Plus, it makes finding an outfit easy. All you need to add are accessories!

(Giphy)

Summer Beauty Trend | Grab your edge control because baby hairs are one of the latest beauty trends happening. Whether you like them swooped back in a perfect formation or elaborately decorated around your forehead, just know the key is a perfect wrist motion.

(Giphy.com)

Binge-Worthy Series | Of course, festivities will be going on all summer, but take a rainy Friday night to binge-watch Cruel Summer. This drama-thriller, told over a span of three different years follows a young girl who went missing, but who knows the real story of what actually happened? It will make you crave more.

(Giphy)

Music Pick | It’s safe to say Rihanna isn’t putting out music anytime soon so in the meantime take a listen to Dj Khaled’s new album Khaled Khaled. We can always count on Khaled bringing the summer vibes and the best artists on a record to collab. Another one!

Book Pick | Moth to a Flame is the perfect addition to your summer reading list. This fictional drama follows a young girl who is forced to choose between love and loyalty. Like a moth is drawn to a flame, she knows choosing love will be the death of her.

~ Tia Banks, Content Editor

Style Line-Up: Azaila

0 comments

Fashion, Latest | by — May 11, 2021

 

Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Philly-based fashion-lover, Azaila!

 
 
What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?
Azaila, I’m 16 years old, I am from Philadelphia!
 
Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to line-up your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?
Long skirts! Cardigans, and Knee-High socks!! They are the cutest fashion trend I adore so much!
 
Describe your style in 3 words:
I think my clothes are described as Bright, Colorful, and Child-like!
 
 
Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?
My fashion icon is @fionnaleigh! I have been following her for almost two years now! I have always loved the “Soft-girl” aesthetic she goes for, and she inspired me to be confident in what I wear and the clothes I like.
 
Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?
Omg!! I always try to plan my outfits the night before! But, If I fall asleep or forget I go for my light blue angelic mingalondon dad jeans, a plain tank top, a cute-stylish cardigan, and vans! For hair, I will either leave it in a bun or two pigtail braids!
 
 
What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?
My number 1 rule when it comes to fashion is to wear something that really makes you feel comfortable and confident. I love dressing up!! And when I wear something that I find is cute or stylish, I feel so confident in myself and feel really comfortable. Also platforms!! You can never go wrong them, they also just make me feel 10x more confident in what I am wearing!
 
Follow more of Azaila’s style here:
 

Healthy Habits? The Struggle?

0 comments

Health/Beauty, Latest | by — March 30, 2021

Tags:

By Teen Blogger: Claudia Lopez

Healthier Habits, Healthier Life

Being healthier is perceived as a very difficult task sometimes. Well, to tell you the truth leading a healthier life isn’t as hard as it seems. One of the easiest ways to lay the foundation for a more wholesome life is by creating healthy habits. 

(Giphy.com)

Being healthy is a lifestyle. So your habits just don’t necessarily have to be about “eating healthier” all the time. It could be to start a self-care routine, clean your room every morning, or even simply to read books! 

The best way to create habits is to start off with small goals. For example, if your goal is eating better, you can simply start by eating three meals a day and drinking lots of water! Then as time passes, slightly increase your goal to switch out the not-so-healthy foods with better options. When creating these habits it is crucial that you don’t just jump right into the deep end of things.

(Giphy.com)

 You also need to make sure to give yourself a break. If you break the cycle of your habits that is okay! Don’t give yourself a hard time for being human. Just make sure you get back up and start again where you left off. This is important because if your habits begin to cause you stress or makes you feel bad, you more than likely will quit altogether.

(Giphy.com)

Good habits are essential for our day-to-day lives. Once you have gotten used to the feeling of doing them, it will come natural to you!

Teen blogger, Claudia Lopez

Follow more of Claudia HERE

Style Line-Up: Avery!

0 comments

Fashion, Latest | by — March 16, 2021

Tags: ,

Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Tulsa-based fashion-lover + blogger, Avery!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

Hey y’all! My name is Avery, I’m 18 (soon to be 19) and I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to lineup your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?

Neutrals are probably my favorite trend from the winter, especially brown and grey since they’re such versatile colors. Besides that, I really live for collars under sweatshirts for that ultra preppy look, and I love plaid shackets (shirt/jacket-hybrid).

Describe your style in 3 words:

I would describe my style as feminine, fresh, and ever-changing because I’m always shopping for the newest trends!

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

My ultimate fashion icons are easily Blackpink. I love their onstage wardrobe SO much. Their outfits really embody a good mix of masculinity and femininity, and their individual styles always complement one another. I want to raid their closets so bad!!

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?

Hmm..my go-to currently would probably be my white turtleneck, ripped mom jeans, white forces with white socks, topped off with a gold necklace + hoops.

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

My number one rule is to wear what you want as long as you’re comfortable. Somebody is always going to have something to say about your clothes, whether you wear what you want or not. So just do what you want with your fits anyways. Life is short!

Follow Avery here!

Instagram

Meet Designer Tori Nichel!

0 comments

Feature, Latest | by — February 16, 2021

Tags: ,

(Interview by teen bloggers: A’Yanna Rouse, Sidney Charlemagne + Kiarra Charlemagne)

Tori Nichel is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who has carved out a major lane for herself in the fashion industry! Growing up in Detroit Michigan and throughout her childhood, she had a passion for fashion and sketching. After dedicating her time apprenticing with a retired designer, she later attended Michigan State University and Fashion Institute of Technology where she earned multiple degrees in Fashion Design. She went on to design and played pivotal roles in the fashion industry such as Senior Designer at Kenneth Cole and Head Designer at Tibi. She was also a contestant on NBC’s hot show, Fashion Star where she competed against other talented designers.

Having a passion of expressing herself, Tori launched her own business and label that represents her style and aesthetics!

She is currently also the Design Director for Kohl’s New York Design Office, she has led design teams to collaborate with numerous brands and celebrities like Jennifer Lopez. 

 Although she is one of the few African Americans in her position, she is committed to paving the way for the next generation of Black design talent through coaching, mentorship and career development.

Let’s get to know Tori a little better…

What inspired you to have a passion for the fashion community?

When I was about seven years old, I knew that I would be a fashion designer. All the women inspired me in my family; my mom was the oldest of six, which included four sisters who were all fashionable. I always chose to hang out with them because they were always shopping. I believe that this somewhat inspired me. Also, seeing pictures of my grandmother, my mom, and my aunts inspired me. They were so stylish and would wear gloves and hats while going to church which I absolutely loved.

From your website, you mention about helping the next generation and helping invent brands, what does it mean to you to uplift others and help others stand out?

I genuinely believe that you have to reach behind, pull someone with you, and pass the baton.  It is important, and many reasons why I am passionate about this is I didn’t have that trying to navigate the fashion world. No one in my family knew what to do with me in the fashion industry at all. When I got to New York, and when I got into the  industry, I realized no one looks like me. It is so important to take the learnings, the opportunities that I have been able to explore and pass that on to the next generation. I know how important it is because when I was creating my business, it was very hard, and it felt like it was only one of me. If I only had one source where I can rely on, that was only half of the battle.  I want to be that resource to give others what they need to be in their career.

I learned early the importance of building relationships and the importance of nurturing your network as well. It is also important to have representatives of black women and to make sure that we share our resources with our community and setting everyone up for a successful future.

FASHION STAR — “Sex Sells” Episode 202 — Pictured: Tori Nichel — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

What inspired you to start your business? 

I felt like the movie Mahogany! I just wanted to have my own business. I set my goal, and I achieved it, and now I think, “now what do I do?” I was very strategic in the jobs that I took because I knew that was my endgame. I had great professors and people. I would go to a lot of speaking engagements and just listen to people talk on businesses. Work for somebody and learn the in’s and out’s of that business on someone’s elses dollars before you spend your limited funds. As I got into those roles, I took on more work to learn all aspects of the industry. For my second job, I shadowed many other fields like PR, production team, etc., and it worked for four and a half years. Then I changed from a big corporation to a small company because I needed to work hands-on to learn how to start my own business. For people who know, I think I was an entrepreneur before a fashion designer. I still want to be an entrepreneur, and I think there is nothing better. If I can contribute that to my community and leave a legacy, that would be wonderful. 

What is your proudest project, and why?

My proudest project would have to be launching my namesake collection Tori Nichel.  It had always been a dream of mine ever since I was a little 7-year-old girl,  and to be able to live my dream was remarkable truly.  I sometimes still pinch myself!

What are the steps that you took to become successful and the women that you are today?

One of the things that definitely helped me at a younger age, shape myself as a designer was getting into sketching, dedication, and being curious. Although I didn’t have anyone to teach me sketching, looking at magazines definitely helped me. One thing that was very pivotal in my career was that, from high school to my junior year in college, I started apprenticing with a retired designer, model, and professor from the Art Institute in Chicago. By doing this, I learned pattern making and draping as well as professionalism. Later on, I got accepted to FIT and that foundation helped build the person I am today.

What is your advice for someone that wants to follow in your footsteps?

First and foremost, own your truth, own every ounce of that authenticity that you were given by your family, and why you are here on earth. Do not let anything stop you from achieving your goal. Show up in your truth, own who you are with any stage that you are given. Be fearless; if you don’t engage yourself and ask questions you’ll never know the opportunities that you can have. 

What are the responsibilities that you have on a daily basis?

I am the design director for Nine West at Kohls and my day usually starts around 9 in the morning. Typically I have 3 fittings a week. I also guide and present various ideas to my team at meetings for seasonal clothing so that we can receive a sign-off from our merchants and leadership. Usually, a couple of hours of my day are spent discussing details with my designers and guiding them on development. 

What qualities do you think an entrepreneur should have and why?

Passion and love. Whatever your business is, you’ve got to love it! There are going to be times where you are on top of your game and times where you are down and wondering “what did I get myself into”. You’ve got to love it because, on those harder days, your love and the passion alone is going to get you out of those hard days and back on level ground. Also it needs to feel like it’s not work because you love it so much. Hence, discipline, because as an entrepreneur you don’t have a boss, so you have to give yourself a structure and stay on track. Be curious and willing to learn as well.

Follow more of Tori’s journey here:

ToriNichel.com 

Instagram

Style Line-Up: Chelsea!

Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Maryland-based fashion-lover + blogger, Chelsea!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

Hayyyy! My name is Chelsea, I am 20 years old— soon to be 21 yasss. I currently reside in Waldorf, Md.

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to lineup your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?

I am ALLL for the corset-like belts that go around your waist. They can really turn an outfit into a look!  I’ve also been loving the platinum eyebrows. Finally, statement purses/bags are everything! I love unique bags that stand out.

Describe your style in 3 words:

I would describe my style as eye-catching and diverse. I also would call my style “ a look”.

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

Teyana Taylor’s diversity is everything! From her hair to her style— she never lets herself get confined to one category.

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?

To be completely honest, if I am in a rush I will grab a pair of sweats and my nearest hoodie. Add a bun or a scarf and some lip gloss and I’m ready to go!

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

Serve looks and be yourself. Don’t let anyone’s opinion determine what you wear. Don’t follow the trend, be the trend! <3

Follow more of Chelsea’s style here!

Remix Your Closet For Under $30?

0 comments

Finance, Latest | by — January 19, 2021

It’s a new season and also time for your closet to get a new look. An unlimited budget is ideal for anyone, but if you’re working with tight funds, you can still give your closet the upgrade it deserves. There are a plethora of options!

Having a frugal conscience now will benefit your future self. Here is how we take a $30 budget and stretch it for a closet revamp:

Rings and Things | $5

Accessorizing can take an outfit up a notch. Try adding things like midi rings, bracelets, pins, headscarves, and uniquely designed earrings to your closet—all of which can be found for a low price at your local shopping store. You can find plenty of inspiration by swiping through your Instagram feed! 

Repurpose | Up to $10

Use your creative eye and check out your local thrift store to see what you can find. There are endless ways to take something and put your own spin on it. For example, find a pair of jeans and add rips to them or take a shirt and cut it into a crop top. With the 90’s trends becoming popular again, you might luck out and find something that doesn’t need to be repurposed at all!

The Unique Bag | $15

Add a bag to your closet that is out of the ordinary—something you normally wouldn’t lean towards. Whether it’s a bright color or a cool shape, make sure it stands out. You can take a simple outfit and make it the center of attention or make a dope outfit even more dope.

~ Tia Banks, Content Editor

Battery On Low: Recharge!

0 comments

Daily Blog, Latest | by — December 15, 2020

Tags: , ,

By Teen Blogger: Claudia Lopez

I think that we can all agree that this year hasn’t been the greatest. From the presidential elections to the unforgettable pandemic, the last couple of months haven’t been what anyone expected.  Let’s not forget the impactful and life-changing BLM movement, along with issues going on in places like Vienna, Yemen and Tasmania, just to name a few. My point being that with so much going on it’s easy to forget about ourselves. And yes, I’m referring to your mental health. If you were feeling physically ill or broke a bone you would seek out help; the same goes for when you’re feeling mentally drained.

During these hard times, you’ve probably experienced stress, anxiety, fear, and sadness. All can be increased from the events of this year. Surveys show a major increase in the number of U.S. adults who report these same symptoms, compared with surveys before the pandemic.

Now, I’m most definitely not encouraging anyone to self-diagnose but be aware of yourself and habits. If you see that you might need help, seek it! It is so important that we ask for help when we need it. By nurturing your mental health you can also help prevent chronic physical illnesses. So, by caring for your mind you are also caring for your whole body! 

Now, to talk about ways you can make sure you stay mentally fit. One way is to simply find something you enjoy doing! Maybe that’s music, art, a sport or even skating. Invest some time in that hobby, it could help keep your mind off things, blow off some steam, and it can also increase your productivity.

Another way is to surround yourself with good influences and people you can trust. If there are people in your life that you feel have a negative influence, cut ties with them. Now, I know that’s easier said than done, it also sounds a little rude, but it’s better for you if you know who in your life takes a mental toll on you.

You should also learn to know your limits and leave room for mistakes. Many times overachievers put a lot of pressure on themselves to be ‘perfect’ at everything. This might make your work-ethic seem strong but it can also lead to anxiety and stress. Lastly, you want to make sure that you are getting your sleep. I cannot stress this enough! The minimum amount of sleep that you need to be getting is 7-8 hours. If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxing routines (which you can find basically anywhere on the internet) before your designated sleep time. Not getting enough sleep can cause depressive episodes and stress… so get your sleep! 

We need to start practicing self-care both physically and mentally. In the long and short run, your mind will love you. It doesn’t do us any good to not care for our beautiful minds, so let’s do it!  

~ Teen blogger, Claudia Lopez

Follow more of Claudia HERE