Welcome to February!
Feb05

Welcome to February!

Welcome to February! In the following video my sister and I recap stories from January and preview what’s expected for February! Enjoy!  

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For the Love of Brides
Jan20

For the Love of Brides

Written By: Leah Olajide/ColorBlind Magazine A family bridal appointment created a wedding business partnership. Nicole visited My Dream Dress Bridal Salon in Southfield, MI owned by June Rachele to pick a wedding dress for her cousin. Rachele was so impressed with Nicole’s knowledge of dresses and styling that she decided to only insert herself in the bride’s appointment when needed. She also offered Nicole a job at her salon that same day. “I’ve done this business since 2012 with off and on help. Most people just viewed it as job,” said Rachele. “But, I didn’t meet someone who really understood the business until I met Nicole.” Ironically, Nicole’s knack for wedding dresses and fashion stemmed from her former days as a wedding planner and owner of a bridal salon for six and a half years. “I enjoy being with a young lady at one of the most special times in her life,” said Nicole. “She will always remember you and you will always remember her, so I feel like I touched her life in someway.” The partnership of Rachele and Nicole at My Dream Dress Bridal Salon is truly unique. Using their combined expertise, these businesswomen are deeply committed to helping brides “slay” on their wedding day, and they do this by offering one-on-one bridal gown selection appointments, and setting the bridal gown trend when selecting gowns at the Bi-annual Bridal Market shows they attend. “This business is my ministry on a whole ‘nother level,” admits Rachele. “Because now you are involved with engaging a woman with a man that is supposed to be for life. So you can’t take this as ‘oh it’s just a day.’ It’s your life.”     Rachele and Nicole handle their bridal business professionally, but don’t shy way from being respectful and frank (when necessary) when helping a bride be confident about the look she envisions for her wedding day. Of course, the daily work done at the bridal salon doesn’t just include the selection and selling of gorgeous, designer gowns at reasonable prices, and meeting and greeting anxious, excited brides, their families, and bridal party. At times, the ladies experience unexpected issues. “A difficult part of the job is not being able to control your inventory. I have to really rely on the expertise of my manufacturers and make sure they are just as methodical as I am. These things keep me up at night, said Rachele. There’s also internal struggles that accompany the business. “For me it’s making sure you meet that bride’s expectations. With this business you have to be a bit of an overachiever,” said Nicole. “But June and I balance...

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Oprah isn’t the Star
Jan08

Oprah isn’t the Star

The one name that needs to be googled and hashtagged today and in the days to follow is Recy Taylor. It is her name that was spoken by Oprah Winfrey during her Cecil B. DeMille acceptance speech at the 2018 Golden Globes.  While many are glorifying Oprah for the stance she took on the serious, and unfolding topic of sexual harassment and assault against women, I’d argue that in addition to it being “Oprah’s Moment,” she intentionally used that moment to educate. In true Oprah style, she gave a significant nod to a man of her heart, Sidney Poitier, and recalled the words of her dear friend Maya Angelou during her backstage acceptance speech that of “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” But as she stood on stage, clad in all black as a silent statement against the harassment and abuse revealings in hollywood and the media, she drew attention to Recy Taylor, a woman living in Abbeville, Alabama, who was abducted and gang rapped at age 24 in 1944 and ordered that she would be killed if she spoke to anyone about the incident. Taylor died in December 2017, just shy of turning 98. Instead of suffering in silence, she shared with authorities what happened, but this incident was shared during the height of the Jim Crow era, a time period when laws were enforced to undermine the freedom of African Americans. Winfrey mentioned in her speech that Taylor shared her story with Rosa Parks, who, 11 years later went on to become the staunch and fearless woman she is remembered as. Recently, the film The Rape of Recy Taylor was viewed at the New York Film Festival. This film further helped Taylor share her story with many others who may have never even whispered her name. It’s revelations such as this that are hard-hitting-in-between-the-eyes reminders that there will never be an end to the learning of stories surrounding African American history and culture. The mentioning of Recy Taylor in Oprah’s speech was meant to be a personal #MeToo moment, especially for women of color. There are stories to be told, names to be learned, names to be remembered, and triumphs to be shared. It’s more than a trending hashtag. It’s more than a collective fashion statement at a Hollywood event. It’s more than Oprah Winfrey. It’s life’s incidents and stories that beg to be told and not forgotten. For more on Recy Taylor, read the following article All Photo Credits are from Google...

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Financial Freedom in 2018
Jan06

Financial Freedom in 2018

Written by Aja Williams of Aja’s Real Life Finances  New Year, New You! Or How about New Year, New Finances?! Once the new year arrives, one of the many confessions of change is with our money. ‘In 2018 I will save more, buy a home, create and stick to a budget.’ The list goes on and on, but many times we get started and never finish. Or we never start at all! When I sit back and think about my past issues with finances and the issues I’ve helped my clients overcome, starting is the hardest thing. So here are some simple steps to help you get your financial affairs in order for 2018. That theme is GET ORGANIZED! Below are some ways to organize your finances: Set aside time to file important documents such as: birth certificates, rent/mortgage docs, vehicle paperwork including title, business paper work, bank/financial statements, etc. Also think about shredding documents and mail to alleviate clutter and identify theft. Below is a link to IRS website which explains record keeping https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-long-should-i-keep-records Alternative for those who prefer a paperless life or would like to transition to paperless as much as possible. Request for bills and statements to be sent via email verses mail this way you can create folders in your personal or business email to file these things Scan documents and save to your computer Use apps that fit your everyday life and organize them in groups on your phone. Make sure you have a passcode on your phone so no one can access it and also try to back the information up on a computer and/or flash drive in case your phone is lost or stolen. MANAGING YOUR DEBT! A big part of getting organized for the start of the new year is management. Pull your free credit report at annualcreditreport.com and also gather any debt letters or emails and list your debts from smallest to largest and pay them in that order. By the end of the year you should see your debt go down and your credit score go up! SETTING FINANCIAL GOALS. What are your goals for 2018? Is it getting out of debt? Saving more? Write those goals down and implement the plan. BUDGET!! The word everyone loves to hate! If you truly want to see change in your finances including where your money is going, create a budget. There are many apps, such as Dave Ramsey’s, Every Dollar app, Mint and many more that’s simple and you can also link to your bank account. GETTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM. When it comes to changing bad habits, and...

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2018 Greetings!
Jan06

2018 Greetings!

Hi Readers! Here’s the welcome video for you all! I’m sharing what will be appeared on the website during the month of January! Enjoy! Leah Olajide

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Guaranteed to be Sharp!
Nov25

Guaranteed to be Sharp!

By Leah (Johnson) Olajide A keen interest in watching her mother sell clothes from their basement birthed the upscale boutique Sharpley Made, owned by Brittney Marshall. “Myself, my mom, my three sisters, and my niece have always bonded over shopping,” said Marshall, “So I fell in love with being around women, talking, and exchanging advice which happens mostly when shopping.” Sharpley Made Boutique, which opened in December 2014 and is located in Farmington Hills, MI is a chic, contemporary boutique catering to women aged 30 and older and sizes XS to 3XL. Offering a variety of sizes and ensuring the boutique’s items are reasonably priced are both essential to Marshall. “That’s what makes us unique; we offer luxury pieces at affordable prices. We try to fit everyone’s budget and size.”  Of course, much research, planning, and maintained dedication are needed to manage a boutique, as it’s simply more than having clothes to hang on the racks. Marshall, her mom, and her sisters shopped their personal closets to select pieces they liked, and this led them to finding, contacting, and now collaborating with various vendors.  “Our merchandise comes from different states and internationally including Canada, and Amsterdam. We also do the big vendor show in Vegas or California, or even here in Michigan.” Once the items Marshall wants in the boutique are selected they are ordered and shipped. Since this method has been followed for sometime, Marshall has built a rapport with her vendors, prompting them to send magazines ahead of time with designs from their next collection, or the designer themselves will come to the boutique. “We really try to shop for women who want to grow their closet,” said Marshall, who advertises her boutique by wearing many of the pieces she’s selected. In addition to clothing, the boutique sells jewelry, handbags, and has a specialty shoe every other month. Sharpley Made boutique will soon widen its audience and allow fashionlovers to shop via the boutique’s website. The boutique is open Tuesday-Saturday, and is offering special discounts the entire Black Friday shopping weekend. Marshall is certain that visitors to Sharpley Made Boutique “won’t leave without finding something they like.” Sharpley Made Boutique- 29564 Orchard Lake Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248)...

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Author’s Corner: Meet Sylvia Hubbard (Part two)
Oct23

Author’s Corner: Meet Sylvia Hubbard (Part two)

ColorBlind Magazine continues its interview with Detroit author Sylvia Hubbard.  Enjoy learning more about her love for writing and literacy.   Compiled by Leah T. (Johnson) Olajide  CB: Why are writing and literacy important to you and how do you translate that to others when you write/give presentations, etc? SH: Writing and literacy efforts are important to be because I’ve felt and been blessed by the power of knowing how to read and write and I want others to be blessed as well. I’ve always believed with the power of words one can do magnificent things, go majestic places and become incredible moguls. I work hard in my Detroit community to spread the education and passion I have on writing and reading, give presentations with the encouragement that my participants can really become a bestselling author and push books to the reading community in hopes to raise literacy levels. CB: Has there been a time you have second-guessed one of your published writings? If so, how did you handle it? SH: [ It was my] first real review on my first published novel Dreams of Reality. I was biting my nails for a good three months second guessing my work and just not being able to write until they put the review up. By that time, my fingers felt like they were down to a nub, but the reviewer had enjoyed my work and gave me four stars. A week later, I received a rejection letter from a publisher. They said my writing was elementary and I had too many characters. This was for my third novel, Stealing Innocence. Internally and spiritually, I fell lower than before and really didn’t want to write. I put the story online for .99cent deciding no one on earth would buy this book, but what the heck. It was completed and I just felt I might as well see what others thought about it. It was the first time I put a book online myself and didn’t expect much. Three nights later, I received a text message that I received money from Paypal. Money can lift anyone’s spirit! From that lesson I learned that my writing is not going to appeal to everyone, but it will appeal to someone. And don’t be afraid to put yourself out there because if you like what you’re doing, someone else will too & will pay you for that passion. CB:  What keeps you passionate about writing? SH: The power to tell a story, captivate a mind, entertain or get someone from their own world for just a moment brings a smile to my lips. I’m passionate about...

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Author’s Corner: Meet Sylvia Hubbard
Oct16

Author’s Corner: Meet Sylvia Hubbard

ColorBlind Magazine is featuring Sylvia Hubbard- a local author, blogger, and entrepreneur. In part 1 of the interview she shares how she got her start in writing among other things… Interview compiled by Leah T. (Johnson) Olajide ColorBlind Magazine: How and when did you know you were going to make writing your career?  Sylvia Hubbard: I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I would say I wanted to make a career out of writing was the first time I held my oldest daughter. I wanted to show her when you have dreams and goals and you work hard for them, you can make whatever you desire come true. I made a promise to myself I didn’t want my children to look at me as a hypocrite. Holding those six pounds in my hands, I swore, I would become the writer I wanted to be, no matter how much work it would take. CB: Do you ever feel pressure to be better than your competition because you are an African American writer? And on that note, do you perhaps feel you can write from a different perspective because of being an African American writer? SH: Actually, yes, I’ve felt pressure because I was African American AND a woman. My counterparts often had it easy, while I’ve had to prove myself a good high suspense romance author. Bringing urban made it more difficult because people never think there’s meaning to madness when it happens in the city. The majority of my books take place in Detroit, and there’s still motive behind all murder no matter where it happens. Yet, being from Detroit, a woman and African American, you get a flavor in my stories you can’t find anywhere else. Kind of like that Motown Magic, but in a book. CB: Talk more about the blogs that you manage and describe your proudest moment as a writer. SH: My blogs, other than my literary blog on my website consist of 1) MotownWriters.com, where I dole literary news, events and education, 2) HowToEbook.org, where I give information on how to publish ebooks, market all books and up to date publishing news authors need to know & 3) HowToLoveABlackWoman.com & MotownMomMusings.com, where I speak about the world of being single, give encouraging advice to myself and others & share motherly advice and inner wisdom on how to raise children in an urban environment. My proudest moment of being a writer was when I was given an I’m Every Woman Award for being an exceptional woman and sharing my love for writing and reading in Metro Detroit, about the time my oldest daughter was...

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Are You My Mommy?
Oct09

Are You My Mommy?

ColorBlind Magazine Co-Founder Veronica Johnson is soon to give birth to her first child! Below she shares what she looks forward to about being a mom. Compiled by Leah T. (Johnson) Olajide/ ColorBlind Magazine Editor  ColorBlind Magazine: What are you most looking forward to about being a mom? Veronica Johnson: I would say being able to play a part in shaping the foundation of a person from the time he is born is one of the many things I am most looking forward to. Brian and I always talk about what kind of person we think our son will be and what kind of man he will become, but I know a majority of how he turns out will have to do with how we raise our son. So just being able to be a part of determining the kind of person Eli will be is going to be such a joy to experience. And of course I’m looking forward to spoiling him as well (smile) even though I know I can’t do it all the time because I don’t want him to think he is always going to get what he wants.   CB: How did you feel the moment you found out you were pregnant? VJ: It was definitely a surreal moment. When I found out I was actually already almost 5 weeks along, so I was really surprised that there was a new life in me this whole time and I had no idea. But I was really overcome with joy, and of course the first person I told was Brian and then my mom who was ecstatic lol. He had a feeling I was pregnant but I was so nervous about telling anyone else until I actually went to the doctor and had it confirmed. I guess I didn’t want to get too excited and then find out I wasn’t actually pregnant. But it was definitely an array of emotions going through my head as soon as the test came back positive. I am really blessed to be going through this experience and cannot wait to meet my little man. CB: What advice (either recent or old) has your mom given you that you look forward to using on/sharing with your son? VJ: My mom definitely taught me to be independent and that is a trait I will be sure to instill in my son from an early age because it will really be helpful to him as he gets older and matures more. One piece of advice she gave me just in terms of when Eli is a baby is to get him to...

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Editor’s Reflection: Five Years of ColorBlind Magazine
Oct06

Editor’s Reflection: Five Years of ColorBlind Magazine

“Would you still do this if you didn’t make any money from it?” I don’t know why 5+ years later that question is still in my head. Whenever the anniversary of the magazine’s release us near that question becomes louder and more persistent. It’s true that the desire to do many things often stems from money or a desire to make more money. This is especially true among my generation- having one job just wont do. The side hustle has become a necessity. The truth is, I don’t view the magazine as a side hustle; I view it as a form of service and celebration. Anything I receive on behalf of the magazine that happens to be green and spendable is a bonus. Presenting at various events in the city and state, utilizing the business and journalism knowledge to mentor students as interns for this publication, and of course the WEALTH of people I have met and interviewed is too numerous and overwhelming. This proves passion and dedication can (and in most cases should) trump monetary gain. People recognize, value, and appreciate those who are willing to serve and celebrate others and that’s exactly what ColorBlind Magazine is about. So, my answer to the initial question posed is still a resounding YES.  Sincerely, Leah T. (Johnson)...

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