Author Archive

Style Line-Up: Meet Gel

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Fashion, Latest | by — September 8, 2022

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Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Michigan-based fashion-lover, Gel!

 
 
What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?
My name is Gel and I’m 16 years old from Ann Arbor, Michigan!
 
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?
My top 3 trends are cutesy, Cyber y2k, and streetwear! I absolutely love each one & love to mix them together!
Describe your style in 3 words:
My style in three words is random, extra, & timeless!
 
Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?
My ultimate fashion icon has to be Rico Nasty! I absolutely love how outgoing her looks are & how each of them are so unique. If I was more confident I would totally go for her look!!
 
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?
If I’m in a rush literally a skirt & cardigan with accessories! It is literally the simplest outfit ever & doesn’t take much time at all.
 
What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?
My number 1 rule when it comes to my fashion is to be unique & to spice it up so I can differentiate myself from others! 
 

Follow more of GEL’s style:

Instagram

Meet Destiny Williams!

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Feature, Latest | by — June 23, 2022

Motivation, inspiration + dance simply melts together into the perfect combination and pours out of Destiny Williams! Taking TikTok + Insta by storm with her fresh rhythmic moves + her uplifting scriptures to motivate Gen Z (and every other generation), her talent goes beyond social and into real life. As an actress + photographer, this Atlanta native is making her mark while sharing gems on her journey along the way.

Let’s get to know Destiny a little better…

Let us know your name + the city you currently live in:

Hello, I am Destiny Denise Williams, and I am a native of Atlanta, GA!

Your social channels are a safe haven of inspiration, dance + encouragement for your digital audience! What inspired you to connect scriptures and dance?

I think it’s important to guard our eyes and our hearts, so that we may not yield to temptation. With the expansion of social media, and the advancement of technology, it can become a challenge to filter what we digest through our eye gates. My goal is not to add to the challenge but to provide encouragement and safe entertainment that keeps our minds on the things above. I’ve always found it to be a natural ability of mine to encourage, and the mental well-being of others is truly a concern of mine. Therefore, I decided to use my social media platforms as a beacon of light to uplift others. 

 I started posting on Tik Tok during the pandemic and began to strategize about the most effective content to continue my mission of spreading love, light, and uplift. As I began to think I was reminded of the words of the Apostle Paul. Paul talks about becoming all things to all men so that one might be saved. Then I began to think about what abilities I have that will reach young and old. Without hesitation, I landed on dancing! I felt that dance is inclusive and has no barriers to who it can impact. My bubbly personality along with scripture has become a great combination to spreading hope, light, love, and entertainment, not just for the audience but for me as well. 

Daily meditation and quiet time is such an important tool to stay grounded. How do you calm your mind in those moments?

One tool that helps me stay grounded, is the ability to be transparent with myself. I am a perfectionist and my biggest critique. I have to remind myself that I am human, and I won’t always be in a good mood, or positive headspace. The roller coaster of life has a great way of trying to steal your joy. Even in the happiest of moments the enemy comes to try and plant seeds of doubt, anxiety, depression, and confusion. SO, for me, it is beneficial in being aware, and transparent with my emotions. Documenting my emotions down in a journal not only allows me to be aware, but also allows me to give myself grace, and holds myself accountable to what I feel. I pair this transparency with the truth of God. Decreeing that I am loved, worthy, saved, talented, enough, above and not beneath, the lender and not the borrow, and victorious aid me in staying grounded.  

I love nature, and I truly believe that sitting outside is my form of therapy. The stillness, the way the wind caresses my skin, the soft melodic bird-chirping creates a space for me to calm my mind, rejuvenate, and regroup so that I may continue to the next challenge. RELAX, RELATE, RELEASE! I also love to listen to wise people speak about their experiences in life. This helps me understand that we are all human and no one is subject to a trouble-free life, but if they can overcome then so can I! 

I created a series called “The peace Series”. This is a series that grants people the opportunity to reflect on their breath. In this fast paced- microwave- generation we have created a notion that the one who rests are weak. However, I believe without rest, without stopping and giving ourselves time to sit and be thankful for our breath we run ourselves dry, and ultimately living dead. 

You’re also an actress + a photographer! What do you love about each one? 

I love being a creative, and each avenue mentioned in this question allows me to fulfill that passion. Acting allows me the space to vent or come to what’s called a catharsis (purging of emotions). I have always been intrigued by provoking an audience’s heart by what I create on stage, or through digital platforms. Acting has helped me to understand my identity. Each character tugs for you to bring your personal life experience so that the character can be believable. It is in the development stage of these characters that brings my fears face to face with me. It is a good healing experience. 

I’ve always been intrigued by the testimonies and stories of others. The bible says we are saved by the word of their testimony. So, photography allows me to capture the test and trials and victory of those around us. It allows me to celebrate life, and love. I believe that we are a divine creation of God, and its an honor to capture the testimony, story, love, life, and victory of His creation.

Social media has its ups and downs, how often do you take a social media detox? What are the benefits?

When I find myself comparing my gifts or content too often, and harshly I know that’s a direct relation to the amount of time I’ve spent on social media. This indicator leads me to take a social media break. 

I take a huge two-month social media fast twice a year.  This year I started to give myself a day every week to get a break from my phone in general. I turn it on do not disturb and I shut down all social media notifications. I believe this has given me balance in my life and allows me to become more present with life. I always try to remind myself that social media is a highlight reel and a tool for marketing. What I see may not be the full reality, and this helps with comparison, and it limits my time that I spend on social media as well. 

Social Media fasts are great for becoming present. Your awareness with your identity, purpose, and the quality of close relationships increases. I believe that social media fast usher healing. Fasts in general provoke an increase of faith and a push into inner healing journey.

Being young, juggling responsibilities while reaching your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate/inspire yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated? What’s your go-to scripture that keeps you focused?  

I love this question because I’m still learning the ins and outs of this question as we speak. What I have come to understand is that obtaining the goal will not fulfill you, but enjoying the journey will bring true fulfillment/ contentment. Allowing yourself to enjoy the journey presents different lens/ perspectives / revelations about our world. It enhances, defines, and brings the destination to life. 

When I am feeling overwhelmed after being super consistent with content creation, schooling, business marketing, and editing I give myself time to slow down. I may relax a bit more in the mornings or take myself to the spa. I engage in my favorite hobbies, and truly allow myself to not feel bad for resting. In these times, I have observed that I speak to my support system a lot more for so that I can be poured into with love, light, encouragement, and motivation. When feeling defeated, I pray, and talk to my support system. I think it’s imperative to invite God into your most inner thoughts and feelings. He can handle the disappointment, the tiredness, the defeat, and the confusion, and He has the best way of speaking gently over you His truth, encouragement, and love. 

Scriptures like Jeremiah 1:5; 29:11; Philippians 1:6; 4:6-9; and the message of grace keeps my mind focused on the bigger picture. Do not compare because there will always be room for you no matter how saturated that field may be. Believe in yourself 220 percent. Keep the dream in the forefront of your mind that way you can remember why you started or why you go so hard when you are being lead through the valley of the shadow of death. 

What advice would you give others who want to follow their dreams and passions but are nervous or intimidated?

Tip number one is understanding the WHY. If you cannot understand the why behind you doing something then it may be good to change the trajectory of the direction you are heading. This does not mean know the ins and outs of the vision, because some dreams require great faith without knowing the small blueprint details. What I mean by knowing the WHY is because when you are weary or in disappointment your WHY will set as a reminder to preserver. Sometimes you may forget your why and its good to have people around you who can give insight to your why. Your why will be the driving force for the vision/dream. 

Tip number two is do not compare because there will and always be room for you no matter how saturated that field may be. Believe in yourself 220 percent. Other tips that I’ve gained along this journey is don’t wait until you have all the tools to start, you will gain them along the way. Don’t wait until you feel motivated, because there will be times where you might not feel motivated. Consistency is key. Don’t share your dream with everyone because sabotage is real. Trust your gut. DO IT SCARED! The most important advice is to embrace failure. 

Fun faves! Food? Movies? Artist?   

My favorite food is a good home-cooked southern meal! My mom’s mac and cheese is award-winning in my book, and my Nana is a chef sent from heaven. Southern, Chinese, and Moe’s southwest grill would have to be my favorite food/ places to eat. My favorite movies would consist of Love and Basketball, The Blind Side, Ratatouille, Coach Carter, Sister Act 2, Beyond The Lights, Just Go with it, and more. Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Kendrick Lamar fan! Artists such as Kiayote Hiatus, Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak, Charity Bush, Chandler Moore, Zaria Hall, Shawb B have a special place in my Spotify playlist! Their artistry, in my opinion, is unmatched.

Follow more or Destiny here:

TikTok

Instagram

$tretch It + $tyle It

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Finance, Latest | by — April 11, 2022

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 and even a quick Target run. 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

Style Line-Up: Aysia

Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Maryland-based fashion-lover, Aysia!

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

My name is Aysia. I’m 20 years old, and I was born and raised in Clinton, Maryland.

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?

My number 1 trend would have to be layers! I feel like layering has really kicked up this year. I think it’s a good way to add different kinds of movement to your outfits. It’s also a great way to get the most out of your closet. It allows you to wear seasonal clothing all year round. For example, a cropped tank top could be worn over a turtleneck. Then you’d have a different look and be warm for the winter!

Coming in second would be Maximalism. I love seeing people turn up the notch and be completely extra when it comes to clothing. Funky patterns, hats, tights—everything. When I see the crazy outfits some people put together, sometimes I wonder how they pull it off.

My number three would be huge, chunky, platform shoes. I’ve wanted to get my hands on a pair, but I haven’t yet. I’ll have to gift myself a pair at some point!

Describe your style in 3 words:

That’s tough! I think my style is funky, a tad bit retro, and a little bit quirky

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

I’ll be honest here; I don’t usually keep up with what other people are wearing. I’ll usually see a celebrity or influencer rocking something unique and sometimes soak that into my own style. 

However, I’d have to say my ultimate fashion icon is my mom! She’s been into fashion since she was a young girl and she loves dressing up. Our  tastes are quite different, but when I put together outfits now for videos and pictures, I often wear clothes that she’s handed down to me.

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?

Anything black! For me, black is the easiest color to style, and I own a lot of it. At one point, I kept my closet fairly neat. It was primarily color coded, and the black section was the largest. My go-to would be to pluck a hoodie or shirt from there, throw on some jeans, add a cute shoe (usually a boot) and be on my way!

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

It would be to make sure you are comfortable with what you are wearing and that you love it! I absolutely hate feeling “meh” in an outfit. I think any outfit that you choose to rock should feel like a second skin. It’s often a reflection of you, and you should feel good in it!

Follow more of Aysia’s style here:

INSTAGRAM

Anxiety? 3 Ways To Focus

Anxiety is an extremely common issue that affects many people. Once you’re triggered, it’s hard to get a grasp on your emotions. Academics can play a major role in causing anxiety because of the overwhelming pressure to succeed. It’s not easy to pay attention when classes are early in the morning, long, and sometimes boring. Even then, you still have to find your focus because you have to pass. Here are some tips for staying focused and getting through the semester.

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Catch Some Z’s | Getting an adequate amount of sleep every night is so important to your academic success. When you get a full night’s rest, you’ll find yourself feeling more refreshed in the morning and able to have better focus. Save the late nights for the weekend! 

Remember This | A lot of times we stress ourselves out before the bad things happen. We are triggered at the thought that we might fail, when in reality, you are doing just fine. Remember not to stress until it’s actually needed.

Take A Break | Don’t be afraid to take a break—and lots of them. Over working yourself can make you feel drained and have a negative outcome on your grades. Taking a short break refreshes your mind allowing you to get back to work while being more focused.

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~ Content Editor, Tia Banks

Hair Code: Phathiswa

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — January 13, 2022

Unlock the hair code to South African’s beauty-lover + digital creator, Phathiswa!

What’s your name + where are you from?
 
My name is Phathiswa Bandla, @khwezibandla on Instagram, and I’m from Gugulethu, Cape Town, South Africa.
 
Braids, faux locs, natural, extensions, wigs, bantu knots ~ so many choices! What makes you love the versatility of your hair?

I love how I can express myself in so many different ways.  I can capture a certain style and aesthetic with braids, then a completely different one with my synthetic wig.

What does your hair mean to you? What does it say about you?
 
My hair is an important part of who I am. It represents my roots, my culture sometimes and it is a very integral part of my entire style or aesthetic. BTW your hair and shoes are the most important part of your outfit- like FR.
 
 

Do your rock certain styles during certain seasons? Do different hairstyles bring out different sides of your personality?

I really love having braids, its an all season type of style. However I do prefer my DIY ponytail in Summer. I recently had it in a week ago and it does make me feel quite different. It’s giving a more grown possibly sexier (lol) version of me.

Fill In The Blank: “Good hair days make me feel______”
 
Like SZA, the ultimate black girl lol also a Goddess!
 
 
What’s one products or hair accessory you can’t live without?
 
My hair gel! Not just to slick down my edges but it helps prepare my hair for all types of styles.  Definitely a product I can’t live without right now.
 
What advice would you give to someone who is nervous to try a new style or look?
 
There’s so many different versions of yourself to explore! Don’t miss out and let fear get the best of you, go blonde! And get those color braids right now!
 
Follow more of Phathiswa here:

Let’s Go! 4 Steps To Start 2022

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — January 5, 2022

The new year is settling in and we are ready to take on 2022! How we start is just as important as how we finish and so we want to start off on a positive foot. In addition to working on your resolutions, here are some things you can do to get your new year underway.

Cleanse | Go into the New Year with a clear mind and a clear body. Cleansing is great for clearing out the toxins from the filling holiday meals and will allow you to get a fresh start on January 1st. TikTok is a great search engine for a simple, healthy cleanse using ingredients from your kitchen. 

(Tenor.com)

Close Loose Ends | Finish that project you started, cut off that toxic guy, and sign up for that extracurricular you’ve been wanting to try. Getting rid of the negative and preparing for the new, is the best way commence 2022 on the right foot.

New Look | There is nothing better than bringing in the freshness of a new year than with a new hair style. Try that blunt cut, add some length or get a fresh set of knotless braids. There is always confidence in a new look and why wouldn’t you bring confidence into the new year?

Vision Board | Create a visual of what you want your year to look like and everything you want to achieve for 2022. A few months in, most people lose sight of their goals and a vision board will always be hanging around as a daily remind of what you want for yourself. 

(Giphy.com)

~Tia Banks, Content Editor

#Freshman5 x Hadassah!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — December 17, 2021

 

Take note of Hadassah’s #Freshman5 Must-Knows for your freshman year in college!

Full Name: Hadassah Meralus

College/University: Alabama A&M University

Friendship/Relationship: Every school is its own melting pot. You’ll meet people along your journey from everywhere. Networking is essential and can also benefit you with your future endeavors. Just remember to be yourself and always stand out amongst the crowds.

Classes/Studying: Rule No. 1: NEVER struggle in silence! Hit the library or reach out to your professor about the material being taught in class. Take time out daily to study or even join a study group. At a university/college, there are multiple opportunities to receive academic support: academic advising, tutoring, the writing center, online resources, supplemental courses, and subject-specific tutoring.

Budgeting Money: With budgeting money, figure out your responsibilities in terms of your own living needs. From there you can determine how to allocate your funds for each responsibility. Keep in mind, saving your money will always save you the hassle in the near future financially.

Time Management: In college, there’s a weight of independence and responsibility. Grab a planner or calendar to write down important dates and events so that you never miss a beat. Prioritize studying, school work, getting involved on campus, and last but not least, yourself!

Self-care: ALWAYS make time for yourself and remember YOUR PURPOSE. Anything is possible if you believe and stick to it. Whether it’s taking a stroll on the campus’s quad, going shopping or studying in the library, use that time to self reflect and even focus on the big picture, YOU & YOUR PURPOSE.

Follow more of Hadassah’s journey:

Instagram

Meet Ty of Ty Talks!

Imagine a space where you can unapologetically be yourself by entering into a judgment free-zone when it comes to figuring out life + societal pressures. Well, the good news is you don’t have to dream up this place because this space already exists with Ty Talks!

Hailing from Orlando, Florida; 21-year old college student and YouTuber Tyasia (aka Ty) navigates adulting while inviting you to peek into her journey. From handling toxic friendships to dealing with the lopsided standards of beauty; she dives into honest convos that many viewers relate to on a regular basis. Her words wrapped with authenticity and voice dripping with bravery + vulnerability; she speaks on the ups, downs and inspiring lessons she’s learned. Tackling cultural issues, Ty encourages her community to ask themselves who do they truly want to be in this world!

Let’s get to know Tyasia a little better…

Your channel is such a safe haven for dope girls to build community as you share your journey with your digital audience! What inspired you to originally launch your YouTube channel?

I have been trying to do YouTube for a few years now and could never really stick too it due to personal, financial, and motivational reasons. The past year I had a lot of changes happen in my life that I felt I needed to share with everyone and to be the voice that girls my age, younger and even older didn’t have growing up. To become the voice of reason and advice that they currently need. I want them to know that they have a safe space and someone that understands life, decisions, mistakes, and growth from their perspective.

You beautifully dive into important and impactful topics such as self-confidence, colorism, dating and so many more subjects Black girls relate to on a day-to-day basis, what has been the most vulnerable topic that you’ve discussed? Why?

The most vulnerable topic for me thus far would have to be the topic of relationships in terms of their effect on your growth, mental health, and life as a whole. Many people fail to realize this but the connections that we make teach us a lot about ourselves and our outside circumstances. Personal relationships can affect our focus on tasks everything from career and school to simply trying to fall asleep at night. It’s hard because we become so emotionally invested within things, and I just want to guide people through that. Without indulging too much, due to future content I will be releasing, the relationship we have with others is reflected in our relationship with ourselves.

Insecurities can seep into our minds without us even knowing + we all definitely struggle for them not to dictate our actions BUT sometimes it can seem impossible! How do you navigate + overcome your insecurities?

To be honest I normally do one of two things to battle with my insecurities, I give in to it, because like everyone else, I am human.  Having and maintaining a strong mind isn’t something built within a day, and most of the time I find myself falling back into habits that do not serve me. The other thing I do is not focus on how I will make things happen, but to do or try instead. As an overthinker, the best thing that I can do for myself is to simply not think about it and do what needs to be done, because the longer you sit and loath taking care of the task, that’s time spent that could’ve been done completing it.

Your YouTube community has definitely shared their love for your authenticity and transparency! What has been the most positive + touching feedback you’ve received from your videos?

Honestly, seeing the overwhelming responses from Black women and girls is what keeps me going. My focus is to make others feel seen and heard because it’s something that I didn’t have. It makes me feel less alone, knowing that I am doing that for others, it’ s the best gift ever. Especially from someone who didn’t talk much growing up and never felt like her voice mattered.

What advice would you give others who want to follow their dreams and passions but are nervous or intimidated?

The most honest and truthful advice I can give is that you must be ready and completely willing. When you are on your journey, you are going to be doing, feeling, and realizing a lot about yourself, those around you, and the world. You are going to feel a whirlwind of emotions, but you can’t allow your temporary emotions to stop you from reaching long-term fulfillment and joy.

What’s one positive mantra or positive quote do you live by?

It’s so hard to just pick one so I’ll give you both a quote and mantra. My favorite quote is from Audrey Hepburn, it says, “nothing is impossible, the word itself says I’m Possible.” My favorite mantra right now is “expect nothing, accept everything”, it takes away the weight of expectations and mistakes, something we all need.

Fun faves! Food? Movies? Artist? Celeb crush?

My favorite foods would be pasta of any kind, shrimp and Korean food. My favorite movie of all time is Jumanji, the original one with Robin Williams. My favorite artist changes frequently but right now it’s Tierra Whack and no celebrity crushes for me at the moment.

Follow more on Ty’s journey here:

YouTube

Tik Tok

Spotify

Crew Link-Up For Under $30?

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Finance, Latest | by — November 17, 2021

Money may be tight but that won’t stop girls night. Hanging with the girls doesn’t always have to break the bank. There are plenty of options for getting together with the crew on a budget. Here are three ideas under $30 to help you get started. 

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