Culture

ENTREPRENHER: CELEBRATING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS FOR WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

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DAY 1: KAREN CIVIL | MEDIA MAVEN

A self-made marketing guru for the hip-hop generation, the Elizabeth, New Jersey native made a name for herself infusing swag into brands and raising visibility for artists. She was the person Hillary Clinton’s team called in 2016 when the presidential candidate needed to refresh her dry campaign, and she’s also the interlocutor who helped Lil Wayne stay in touch with fans while he was in prison. Civil is in demand because she’s the kind of person who can travel between populations, helping them to communicate with each other.

DAY 2: Jaz Jackson | Founder of JSCULPT FITNESS

Jaz Jackson started as a beauty influencer, then found herself battling a bout of depression, which led to unexpected weight gain. Over the years she learned to manage both through a newfound love of exercising. In the process of finding herself in the gym, the 31-year-old entrepreneur also discovered a need for fitness products that worked for her lifestyle, including gym belts and curve-friendly workout apparel. Thus, Jackson founded JSCULPT Fitness, an inclusive fitness company with a cult following, which she affectionately refers to as her “JSCULPT Babes.” Jackson is proud to offer products that help others recognize their full potential in the gym. via NICOLE PAJER  http://www.Parade.com

DAY 3: Milan Harris | Founder of Milano Di Rouge

A self-made marketing guru for the hip-hop generation, the Elizabeth, New Jersey native made a name for herself infusing swag into brands and raising visibility for artists. She was the person Hillary Clinton’s team called in 2016 when the presidential candidate needed to refresh her dry campaign, and she’s also the interlocutor who helped Lil Wayne stay in touch with fans while he was in prison. Civil is in demand because she’s the kind of person who can travel between populations, helping them to communicate with each other.

DAY 4: Yandy Smith-Harris | MEDIA MOGUL, FOUNDER OF YELLE SKINCARE

Yandy Smith-Harris has been able to manage countless high profile musicians, rappers and entertainers such as 50 Cent, LL Cool J. and Missy Elliot. Yandy Smith is best known for her appearance in VH1 show Love & Hip Hop.

Other than television and film production, Smith showed her entrepreneurship side by starting her own lifestyle brand. She is the owner and brand manager of ‘Everything Girls Love,’ which also puts out a magazine under the same name. The brand covers a wide variety of topics for young women, including, wellness, fashion, love and finance. In 2008 she was listed in Billboard Magazine as one of the “Top 30 Executives Under 30” for 2008.

DAY 5: Briahna GatlinCEO OF SWANK PR

Briahna Gatlin is an established media maven and Entrepreneur on the cutting edge of the entertainment industry setting new trends and breaking new talent for over 15 years. She has a Bachelors Degree in Magazine Journalism with over 10 years of experience in writing for Source Magazine, Allhiphop.com, Mass Appeal Magazine, XXL Magazine and Tribune Media as well as other printing and online publications.

In 2007 she launched Swank Public Relations (Swank PR) and began providing services in public relations, media writing, media consulting, media kits & bios, event coordinating along with soliciting sponsorship and a vast history of proposal and contract writing. Her notable clients include The Gorillaz, Vic Lloyd, Fat Tiger Works, Vic Mensa, Comedian/Actor Lil Rel, Chance The Rapper, Hennessy, Lupe Fiasco Foundation, Raekwon, King Louie, Chrisette Michelle, Waka Flocka, Sway Calloway (MTV), New Era, Complex Magazine, Mos Def, The Shrine Chicago, Lupe Fiasco + More!

DAY 6: Covania Washington | Creator of Bomb and Bossy

Covania Washington is a passionate social media marketer, that helps entrepreneurs and brands grow. In 2017, she launched Bomb and Bossy, a Chicago based social media agency. Since launching Covania helped explode over 300 brands. In fact, her recent campaign generated 500,000 views in 24 hours and after a week 1 million. If you have a brand that you need help marketing, follow @BombandBossy for more details.

DAY 7: Monique Rodriguez  | CEO OF Mielle Organics

Monique created the MIELLE brand in 2014 after years of nursing her own hair back to health from color and heat damage by using her very own, homemade concoctions created from trial and error in her kitchen.

The brand came to life through her journey of restoring her hair and listening to the dedicated supporters she amassed through sharing her experience. Her supporter’s feedback was at the core of the brand’s beginnings in Monique and Melvin’s garage and is still key to this day. The brand has grown from one product to over 25 result-centric solutions that have now become a global sensation. Monique and the MIELLE brand have won countless awards and received numerous accolades for their commitment to quality hair care and beauty in only six years of existence.

DAY 8: Chellah H | Co-Owner of Str8DropEntertainment, Shop luv handles 


DAY 9: Shatara Conner  | Pretty Hair Boss Studio

A Chicago hairstylist aka “The Ponytail Girl” who has done hair for Bernie Burgos, Lil Durk’s Girl friend India, Chella H and more. She’s taken ponytails to a whole other level by traveling from state to state teaching others how to perfect a silk ponytail.

DAY 10: Beatrice Dixon | CEO of The Honey Pot Company

The Honey Pot Company is a plant-powered feminine care company. We make healthy washes, natural wipes, clean cotton tampons, herb-infused pads, and much more. 

Day 11: Chiara Graham. | Author, Realtor, Lifestyle Coach

Business Mogul, Chiara Graham of Chicago is a Published Author, Realtor, Financial Service Professional and Success Coach to women. Juggling several business and motherhood, Chiara has been able to lock in several streams of income before the age of 30. iGoalDig & Graham Financial Mall are 2 of Chiara’s most highlighted businesses.

DAY 12: Attorney Naja I. Hawk | THE HAWK LEGAL COLLECTIVE

Attorney Naja I. Hawk’s boutique practice centers around helping entrepreneurs to lay the foundation today to live comfortably tomorrow. She is passionate about providing entrepreneurs with the legal resources necessary to protect their legacies by intertwining her business background with her legal prowess. Naja has significant expertise in advising business owners, drafting contracts, protecting intellectual property, and preserving family legacies as well as acting in a dual lawyer-agent role in entertainment deals. Whether they are entertainers, creative artists, business owners, or all three, Naja strategically supports her clients. While they are navigating the current business world, she continues to advise them to prepare a plan for the next generation.

DAY 13: Sarah Jakes Roberts | Creator of WomAn Evolve

Sarah Jakes Roberts is a take-charge business-woman, writer and media personality who expertly balances career, ministry, and family. Sarah shares her story with a rarely seen transparency and because of that, people gravitate to her and her voice carries far beyond the walls of a building and echoes in the hearts of people around the world. She is the founder of Woman Evolve, a movement committed to erasing limits and challenging the norms of what it means to be a modern woman of faith.

DAY 14: Rachel James | Pear Nova

Blending fashion-forward, runway-inspired hues with a vegan, 5-free formulation, Pear Nova’s colorful line of polishes, which launched in 2012, is quickly gaining devoted fans. Founder Rachel James, who has a degree in fashion merchandising from the International Academy of Design and Technology in Chicago, as well as experience working as an esthetician, stylist, makeup artist, personal shopper, fashion editor and model, launched the brand with the aim of uniting her diverse expertise in beauty and fashion. NAILPRO sat down with James to find out what makes this entrepreneurial powerhouse tick.

DAY 15: Sheila Rashid | Fashion Designer 

SHEILA RASHID, CHICAGO’S BESPOKEN DESIGNER, HAS SHOWN REMARKABLE TALENT IN HER JOURNEY TO CREATE PIECES THAT CONFRONT AND CURTAIL GENDER IDENTITY. THIS UNISEX BRAND TAKES A NEW APPROACH TO CREATIVITY, SIMPLICITY, AND PERSISTENCY. SHEILA’S GOAL HAS BEEN TO DESIGN WITH A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE AND AN ACUTE ATTENTIVENESS TO DETAIL. HER BRAND’S INDIVIDUALITY HAS ATTRACTED MANY POPULAR ARTISTS, SUCH AS ZENDAYA, LENA WAITHE, FUCCI, BELLA HADID AND CHANCE THE RAPPER TO NAME A FEW. EACH OF HER PIECES ARE MADE-TO-ORDER AND REFLECT HER OWN SENSE OF STYLE, COMBINING BOTH TOMBOY AND FEMININE QUALITIES.

DAY 16: Taylor Johnson | ROYAL T MEDIA INC.

RoyalT Media (RTM) was founded by, 26 year old, Taylor Johnson in 2018. RTM provides creative video production ranging from music videos, corporate content, to vlogs and more. Taylor enjoys bringing her clients’ vision to life while creating content that not only meets but exceeds her clients’ expectations.

DAY 17: KESHA LEE | CREATIVE PRODUCTION ENGINEER

This Birmingham, Alabama native got her start working for Gucci Mane and has since engineered multi-platinum tracks for the likes of Young Thug, Migos and Pharrell. In the male-dominated field behind the mixing deck, Lee has become the go-to audio engineer for fellow listmakers Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti.

DAY 18: Danielle Leslie | Creator of Course From Scratch

Danielle Leslie is the founder of  Culture Add™ Labs , which helps companies and individuals uncover their Culture Add™ and launch profitable products online. She is the creator of #CourseFromScratch, an 8-week online intensive that helps people create & launch their profitable & poppin’ online courses.

She was an online marketer in Silicon Valley for almost 10 years and helped personal brands & influencers including Guy Kawasaki earn collectively millions of dollars by launching their online courses.

DAY 19: PE BARNES |REAL ESTATE & chill

P.E. Barnes is an active real estate investor in Chicago and author of “Real Estate & Chill.” She started investing in real estate as a college student in 2005.

DAY 20: DJ Millie | DJ, MODEL, INFLUENCER

DJ MILLIE is one of the hottest DJs out right now. Her sets are very automatic and unique. Millie is a LA based DJ but had landed sets alongside with Miguel, SiR, and headlining at Light Nightclub in Las Vegas. That’s not all the talented Millie is known for, she also has a modeling contract with Wilhelmina. Millie is a perfect example of being the jack of all trades.

DAY 21: SIMONE KING | Owner of  Rodeo & Madison Agency

Simone King owner of rodeo and Madison agency and rodeo and Madison style. That’s right she’s one of the dopest stylist out right now. She’s styled and has worked with some of the hottest celebrities out to name a few King Combs, Saint jhn & more.

DAY 22: KYONA MCGHEE| THE MCGHEE LAW FIRM

Founder of The McGhee Law Firm, PLLC. As a mother of two small children and a wife, she graduated as valedictorian of her law school class in May 2018. Prior to graduation, she was being recognized for her expertise and skill. Kyona was selected to be the teaching assistant while in law school for The Law of Evidence and Professional Ethics and Responsibility courses. She was also named by Ms. JD as a “Woman of the Law” at an event at Harvard Law School in the fall of 2017. Lastly, she is regarded as a leader in the small business community, having been named “Minority Small business Owner of the Year,” by the Flint and Genesee Chamber of Commerce in 2015

DAY 23: CHARMANINE| CEO OF 2ndcityink

Charmaine Johnise Walker stars in reality TV show Black Ink Crew: Chicago, at tattoo shop 9Mag. Charmaine is the definition of a social bug. Her strong personality has landed her a job at iHeartMedia, Inc as the host of her own show on 107.5 WGCI & her own youtube channel All things Charmaine highlighting exclusive interviews, beauty tips & tasty cooking videos. She also is the CEO of Aprons by charmanine. Charmaines new endeavors are being the new owner of the new tattoo shop 2ndcityink. Before all of this charmanine graduated from Howard University in 2012, with a degree in Audiolody and Speech pathology. Her true passion fell into her lap right before she was about to attend graduate school. 

DAY 24: KIM LEWIS | Co-Founder of CURL MIX

CurlMix founders Kim and Tim Lewis aren’t newbies to the startup game. Founded in 2015, CurlMix started as a do-it-yourself (DIY) subscription box, then later turned into a natural hair care line featuring their thenbest-selling product, Pure Flaxseed Gel. 

“I was seven months pregnant at the time, in my kitchen working on a recipe for flaxseed gel,” Kim said. 

The founder revamped CurlMix into a brand that natural hair care customers would see as a necessity instead of a one-time DIY project.

“We were getting ready to close the business because we didn’t really grow in our second year,” Kim said.

After consulting their advisor, Kim and Tim decided to bottle their best-selling subscription box and launch it to customers via pre-order. Within hours of announcing the release of the new and improved product, the company’s sales exceeded the success it had seen in its two years since launch.  READ MORE VIA AFRO TECH

DAY 25: ARI FLETCHER | INFLUENCER

To her fans, she’s known as Ari aka the Real Kyle Sister. But her full name is Ariana Fletcher. Born on July 12, 1995 in Chicago, Illinois, Ariana Fletcher has already made a very well-known name for herself outside of being Rappers G-Herbo “baby mama.”

DAY 26: VIIBES | Owner of LSD STUDIOS

LSD Studios is a private recording studio located in the south loop of Chicago. Many Artist, producers & engineers have created magic between the walls at LSD Studios. Chicago’s very own G Herbo , Queen key and Polo G have some of their biggest hits at this very own studio.

DAY 27: Sharita Childs, Erica Love-Ezell, and Tyann Coakley |  Xperience This

Xperience This is a full-service communications group that services local and national clients in branded event experiences. The company launched in May of 2018 and is composed of (3) African-American women – Sharita Childs,Erica Love-Ezell, and Tyann Coakley. Using high level strategy, Sharita and Erica ideate custom experiences, create solid, sustainable project plans, and package plus sell the various opportunities. While Tyann, who is a Certified Public Accountant oversees all financial transactions, and as a current Loyola Law Student creates and executes all contractual agreements. 

Their most recent event, Silent House took place during NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago with over 22,000 square feet of nostalgic excitement! Before rocking out to the Silent Party featuring 10 live DJs or navigating through the Interactive Gaming Lounge, guests enjoyed the delicious Welcome Brunch & Mimosa Bar which left them all wanting more. Attendees got the ultimate adrenaline rush as they were able to compete in the epic 2K Tournament against special celebrity guests, 3x Slam Dunk Champion, Nate Robinson, 2x All-Star Carlos Boozer, Media Personality, HeadKrack, Dreamville Recording Artist, Omen and Blackbag Recording Artist, Neil Gang. Tensions were high as everyone looked on while rooting for their favorites as the games were projected on the big screen; taking everyone back to their childhood days. Guests also enjoyed small ball with Platinum Recording Artist, Calboy, and Social Phenomenon, The Shiggy Show, Stern Pinball machines, free play, the Sneaker Bar, Cigar Lounge and so much more. Many guests described the experience as the Ultimate Interactive Man Cave and still can’t believe it was flawlessly produced and executed by 3 women. 

But these ladies are just getting started, follow the Xperience to see what they will roll out next:

IG – @Xperiencethis_life Facebook – Xperience T

DAY 28: Jordyn Gaines | Jordycakes Edible Art Studio

Jordy Gaines has the bakery world all in the palm of her hands. From her jordy jars to her decked out cake designs, your taste buds will not be disappointed. Jordy also provides classes to share unique talent with anyone who wishes to learn. 

DAY 29: Taylor k. Show | creator of black women animate

Taylor K. Shaw, founder and CEO of Black Women Animate, is a writer and creator, social justice advocate, and overall force to be reckoned with. Shaw’s company was started with the vision of providing an adequate platform for Black women animators to be seen and hired in the animation field. Her work for minority women is breathtaking, and truly inspiring. Shaw has been featured in publications like Variety, and has produced content for the Chicago TribuneViceland, and other well-known outlets. Through Black Women Animate, Taylor has established a working partnership with Cartoon Network, through which an annual Black Women Animate Bootcamp was born. Shaw’s work is groundbreaking, and we are proud to honor her this Women’s History Month. 

DAY 30: Merry Green | President of MGPG Events, Inc. and the Founder of “The Black Women’s Expo

DAY 31: Kris Christian | Founder of Chicago French Press

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