Remembering the Life of My Friend & Soror Sherry “Elle” Richardson…

Hello World,

If you hadn’t noticed, I took a brief hiatus from blogging. About three weeks ago, just before Memorial Day, my husband and I took a quick road trip to Tampa, Florida for his birthday so all of my extraneous energy was directed to that impromptu endeavor. And then the day after we returned, Memorial Day, I learned that a dear friend suddenly passed away. So it’s been difficult to collect my thoughts, much less write them or anything else down.

But here I am, back at a blank page, ready to reveal the ruminations I’ve had since my friend and soror Sherry “Elle” Richardson passed away, two weeks ago today, on her birthday.

This is how I looked when we first met. Yes, I was a geek at first šŸ™‚

I met Sherry in 1992. I was a freshman at the University of Georgia in Athens, and she was a transfer student and sophomore. I met her along with another girl whom she had befriended before they met me. The three of us were fast friends, initially bonding over our desire to not be there at all. LOL! The three of us didn’t want to attend a white school, plain and simple. All devotees of “A Different World,” we were hungry to experience a historically black college or university, an HBCU, for ourselves. We wanted the funky marching band, the opportunity to meet our own Dwayne Wayne, Shazza Zulu or Julian Day (dependent on your taste in men), the endearing yet tough tutelage of black professors and the adventures that unfolded in dormitories teeming with people who looked like you but were from everywhere. Instead we were the minority, one of a few black faces at a school where we expected to learn but we couldn’t guarantee much else. But over time, we grew to love our historically white university and all that went with being a Georgia Bulldog in Athens at that time.

If college was a trip and it was, then Sherry was my travel agent. We had so many adventures together! A sheltered preacher’s daughter, I longed to party a la Ariel in “Footloose,” and Sherry was the perfect partner in partying. We practiced dancing in the mirror before we could “shake what your mama gave ya” in parties at Memorial Hall, where most on-campus parties were held! And if we felt like it, we ventured to Atlanta and partied in clubs all over town too. Our belief was it we weren’t dripping sweat when we left a party then we hadn’t partied.

But Sherry wasn’t all about partying though. We both wanted to establish ourselves as leaders on that colossal campus. One of the ways that we concocted to do so was to pledge a sorority. We noticed that most of the black women who seemed to be leaders were members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, plus they won all of the step shows and looked good doing so. Since she was a year ahead of me, Sherry was ready to pledge, but as a freshman, I wasn’t quite ready or qualified. Sherry decided that one of the ways that she could get the attention of the Deltas was to take part in the Miss Black University of Georgia pageant, which was sponsored by the sorority. Not only did she take part, she won the competition! I’m sure you can guess what happened after that. And when I was ready to pledge the following year, 1995, she successfully advocated for me to become a member of our illustrious sorority.

Partying in Atlanta after we graduated from college…I got better with time fortunately…

After she graduated in 1995 and I graduated in 1996, we kept in touch. In fact, I introduced her to many of childhood friends who promptly loved her as much as I did. In fact, some of these friends hung out with her without me at times. One of our first adventures as brand new adults was a girls trip we took to Jamaica in 1997. It was such a heady experience to travel with your girls on your own dime! The four of us belted out our rendition of TLC’s “Creep” over and over and over again at a karaoke spot one night. I remember shutting down a “hole in the wall” club another night. One day, we watched a brave friend jump from the cliff at Rick’s Cafe in Negril. We called the trip the “Girl Dems Sugar,” a song by Beenie Man that we heard repeatedly wherever we went on the island. And since Sherry was a film producer by profession, she filmed our adventures in a beautiful video that I have to figure out a way to see now since no one has a VCR anymore.

On the Metro in D.C. on Inauguration Day (don’t ask me why I have on pink and green?!)

Speaking of a VCR, fast forward years later, in 2009, several of us caravanned from Atlanta to Washington, D.C. to see the inauguration of President Obama. It was amazing that Sherry, one of my first friends at an institution where I feared I would be lost as a minority, and I witnessed the inauguration of the first black president of this country together. We bought thermal underwear, hand warmers and more to brave the bone-chilling temperatures on the mall that memorable day and shed it all to stun at the Southern Ball that night.

At the Southern Ball, one of several balls that President Obama and First Lady Obama stopped by…

And then in September 2012, we were back in Jamaica again as one of our friends, a childhood friend who now claimed Sherry as one of her besties, was getting married on the island. We were roommates, and it was a wonderful opportunity to catch up in a way that is sometimes hard to do as adults with jobs and other responsibilities. As we were there for a wedding, we discussed what love and marriage meant for us and pondered what that would look like for us as women nearing 40 years old.

At my book release party in 2012…

That next year, 2013, I helped Sherry celebrate her 40th birthday at a Hawaiian luau-themed party she had a her home. A month later, she came to my Southern tea-themed bridal shower followed by my wedding in August of that same year. As college students who lived down the hall from another one another, we saw each other every day. Naturally, as single women staking our claim in our chosen professions following college graduation, we didn’t see each other every day anymore. But we saw each other pretty regularly when our extended group of girls got together to explore the city from brunches, Memorial Day picnics, sisterhood retreats (which she created) at various homes and destinations, the “Sex and the City” movie premiere and more.

But I must admit, when I got married, I cocooned myself in newlywed bonding and didn’t avail myself to random hanging as much as I once did. I noticed the same pattern among friends who had gotten married before I did so I realized it was normal although not always advisable for maintaining friendships. When I heard the news of Sherry’s passing, I realized it had been quite some time since I had seen my friend…I only hope that Sherry knew how much I treasured my friendship with her over the years although recent life events dictated my time.

At a friend’s bridal shower…

Although I am a committed Christian, I cannot pretend that I have an inkling as to why God chose to call my friend away from this earthly realm. Since her homegoing, as I’ve walked throughout my house or driven somewhere, found myself saying, “Imagine Sherry is no longer here?” As I’ve gotten older, I’ve experienced the passing of friends, family members and church family, but it doesn’t make it easier or predictable. These experiences only emphasize that life is truly a transitory state. We should savor all that this life, though temporal, has to offer, but most importantly, we have to be saved or become a Christian to go to Heaven, which lasts for eternity.

So that’s all I have except to say I will miss and love her forever. And I thank God I knew her…

Rest well Sherry…Save a seat for me in eternity…

Any thoughts?

 

Bossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss Godā€™s Way – NEW BOOK ALERT!!!

Hello World,

I have yet to visit Canada, but it is definitely one of my list of countries to visit in the not-so-distant future! But in the mean time, in between time, I’m taking us to Canada today via my interview with Tamar Huggins, a Canadian-based and award-winning serial entrepreneur who has been featured exclusively in media outlets around the world including Black Entertainment Television, Canadian Living, and The Huffington Post! Tamar is also the author of “Bossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss Godā€™s Way,” which is available TODAY! Check out my interview with Tamar about “Bossed Up.”

1. Why did you decide to write ā€œBossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss Godā€™s Way?ā€

Seven years ago, my spiritual mother prophesied to me that God wanted me to write a book about business to help other women achieve success. I wrote Bossed Up” as a guide for entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs alike – to help them navigate the challenges and successes they would encounter on their journey.

2. Your book incorporates biblical stories and how they relate to modern day entrepreneurship. What is your favorite biblical story in your book and how does it relate to modern day entrepreneurship?

In theĀ GodĀ chapter, I referencedĀ 2 Kings 3 –Ā the story of King Jehoshaphat and his army digging ditches in the desert. As they marched for seven days to get to Moab, they became tired and thirsty. King Jehoshaphat went to the Prophet Elisha to ask for guidance. The Lord spoke and said ā€˜Make this valley full of ditches.ā€™ For thus says the Lord: ā€˜You shall not seeĀ wind, nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you, your cattle, and your animals may drink. And this is a simple matter in the sight of the Lord; He will also deliver the Moabites into your hand.ā€™

As entrepreneurs, we must prepare ourselves to receive God’s blessings before they arrive, even if the blessing doesn’t make sense to us. In the case of 2 Kings 3, it didn’t make sense for the men to see rain in the desert – but it’s what they neededĀ – and it was easy for God to do. If you ask God to increase your finances, for example, you need to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself to receive the blessing, otherwise you may risk losing your opportunity.Ā 

3. Your book addresses business challenges that entrepreneurs may face such as family time management. How do you address this challenge in your book and in your own life?

In theĀ BalanceĀ chapter, I provide several references for work-life balance. MyĀ favoriteĀ isĀ Boss Truth #85 – Prioritize Your Family. 1 Timothy 5:8 tells us that if we don’t provide for our families, we are worse than an unbeliever. Our #1 ministry as entrepreneurs isn’t our business – it’s our families. It is with that mindset that I prioritize spending time and pouring into my husband and my daughter because at the end of the day, I am building my legacy for them. I tell myself I am not an ER doctor, I am an entrepreneur, so I can afford to take time away from work to be with my family.Ā 

4. Tell me about the writing process for ā€œBossed Up.ā€ How long did it take for you to write the book? Was it easy or difficult to write the book? Did you learn anything from writing the book?

God planted the seed to write Bossed Up” within me 7 years ago, but it only took me 9 months to complete the manuscript in 2016. Spiritually, I grew a lot and my perseverance definitely increased. I truly experienced how creative the Holy Spirit really is when we allow Him to work through us.Ā 

5. Many adult entrepreneurs show an interest in business as children. Tell me about your interest in business as a child and how it led to officially becoming an entrepreneur at 23 years old.

I always loved the idea of being a boss and that’s probably why I was a bossy child! My teachers always told my parents that I was aĀ natural leader, independent, and charismatic. God built me this way because He knew what He wanted me to become. As a result, I naturally gravitated to opportunities that allowed me to operate in my gifts. It wasn’t until I lost my advertising job during the recession of 2009 that I accepted my calling as an entrepreneur. I was fearful of the unknown, yet optimistic about the freedom and possibilities that entrepreneurship was able to provide, especially during such a chaotic time.Ā 

6. You live inĀ Canada. Tell me a little about living life inĀ CanadaĀ as a black woman and how it may differ from living in theĀ United StatesĀ as a black woman.

There is something to admire about the black business community in the United States ā€“ something that we just don’t have here in Canada. The level of support that black female entrepreneurs have in the States, whether financial or community-based, is much stronger than it is here. I believe this is due to a difference in our cultural mindsets. I always admired the black business communities in Atlanta and desperately wish people in Toronto had the same collaborative and supportive mindset.

7. Finally, how and when did you become a Christian and how has it impacted your life?

I was christened as a Catholic and went to Catholic school, so Christianity was always a part of my life. It wasn’t until about 15 or 16 years old that I gave my life to the Lord, and I was baptized in the Pentecostal church in my early 20s. I wouldn’t be where I am today without God as an active part of my life. I cannot take credit for any of my ideas or accomplishments because they all came from Him. God is truly the CEO of my business and my life. When you have the Creator in control, you can expect nothing but success and happiness.

For more information about Tamar, go to her website, tamarhuggins.com, and to buy “Bossed Up: 100 Truths to Becoming Your Own Boss Godā€™s Way,” go toĀ  Amazon.com.

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

Minister Develops All Natural Skincare Line to Combat Aging – Presenting The Wright Skincare….

annette-wright-the-wright-skincare

Hello World,

In Ecclesiastes 3, we learn there is a time for everything…And over time, we all age…I never thought about aging and what it does to the body until recently. I’ve had a few gray hairs since I was a teenager (my family grays early) but now, gray hairs are sprouting like they are trying to form a crowd on my crown :).

If you are concerned about aging and how to “preserve the sexy,” Annette Wright, who developed The Wright Skincare, needs to be on your radar!

The line includes 3-in-1 Micellar Water, Facial Wash and Eye and Facial Repair Serum.

A no-rinse, soothing cleanser for face, eyes and lips, 3-in-1 Micellar Water gently cleanses, purifies and tones the skin, leaving it refreshed and nourished. Soap-free and sulfate-free, 3-in-1 Micellar Water is PEG free with neutral pH for skin to maintain its physiological balance.

A great companion to 3-in-1 Micellar Water, Facial Wash is a face-peeling gel that cleans and purifies skin with fine micro granules, helping to remove dead cells, leaving skin soft and smooth. Facial Wash is packed with alpha hydroxyl acids (fruit extracts) and hyaluronic acid that improves skin’s texture and boosts hydration.

Eye and Facial Repair Serum reduces the appearance of dark circles and rosacea, through an advanced blend of age-fighting peptides, vitamins and other powerful ingredients. Skin is left hydrated as the serum ā€” containing hyaluronic acid ā€” brightens the eye area, tightens skin and restores skinā€™s protective moisture barrier.

Pricing for The Wright Skincare line is $50 for 3-in-1 Micellar Water (4 oz.); $25 for Facial Wash (4 oz.) and $70 for Eye and Facial Repair Serum (2 oz.).

Check out my interview with Annette below. Read and share!

1.What inspired you to create The Wright Skincare?

When I turned the big 50, I noticed under my eyes that I began to see wrinkles. So I prayed and asked God what to do. The word of the Lord said two things. You can age gracefully by using natural fruit and you should not put anything on your face if you can’t eat it. So I started using natural fruit that can improve the wrinkles and texture of the skin.

I searched the Internet and found out that European women were using a product that came from donkey milk to maintain the skin beautifully. So I went to Europe in 2013 to pursue the vision. There, I met with World Natural Care (WNC), a cosmetic manufacturer of natural skincare products for private label cosmetic companies. In 2014, WNC and The Wright Skincare (WSC) signed an agreement to manufacture a waterless skincare line for The Wright Skincare.

2.How long did it take to create The Wright Skincare and tell me about the process.

In 2014, WNC and The Wright Skincare entered into an agreement to manufacture a waterless skincare line for The Wright Skincare. The first shipment of product was made in 2015 and sold in the United States. The initial products included micellar water, facial wash and serum.

3.Tell me about the type of women who will most benefit from The Wright Skincare?

All ethnicities, all skin types, all ages

4.Your products donā€™t contain harsh chemicals or animal-derived ingredients. Tell me about some of the ingredients in The Wright Skincare and why they are healthy for women to use in aging gracefully.

The micellar water is made from micelles that are naturally produced in the body to hydrate the skin naturally. The facial wash is made from milk, and the serum is made with natural fruit acids.

5. Have your products been endorsed by dermatologists? Please explain your answer.

WNC products are scientifically tested by dermatologists in Europe.

6.What kind of feedback have you received from women who have used The Wright Skincare?

Women who are using The Wright Skincare are excited that they don’t have to use tap water to cleanse their skin. They see an enormous difference in the texture of the skin. Skin is smooth and hydrated.

7.You are a minister. How has your faith impacted your development of The Wright Skincare?

Aging is the natural process of life. The body is aging from the point of birth until death. No product can stop or provide anti-aging. My brand incorporates three simple principles: Aging gracefully, all ethnicities, all skin types. I am committed to provide women with natural skincare products to age gracefully ā€” minus any harsh chemicals.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

The Wright Skincare invites you to join us for the official launch of our skincare line this spring. The launch event will take place Saturday, April 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta at 181 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30303. Weā€™ll have product giveaways and industry professionals on hand.

Also, please take a look at us atĀ  thewrightskincare.com and on social media at:

Twitter: @awrightwsc

Facebook: facebook.com/thewrightskincare/

Instagram: awthewrightskincare

Any thoughts?