Susan L. Taylor on Why we need to Support Black Owned Business

It’s not a race thing, it’s not an ethnic thing, it’s a community thing.  Americans are quick to become defensive when we as African-American declare to “recycle the Black Dollar”. “Support Black Owned Businesses”.  We are not seeking exclusion, we are seeking inclusion in the American Dream.  I stand by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, in his I have a Dream Speech, saying : “In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check…It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. (My Lord) Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds… We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. (Sure enough) And so we’ve come to cash this check (Yes), a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom (Yes) and the security of justice. (Yes Lord) [enthusiastic applause]”

I want my check. I am an African-American Female Business Owner of a Natural Hand-Made Bath Body and Hair Products Company.  Mainina Kiss. In the article, Susan L. Taylor revealed how “each of us has everything we need to live free and fully and wonderful.”  

She cautioned, “It doesn’t mean that our lives will not fall apart.” What it does mean is that if calamity strikes, we “can use it as a wake-up call.” 

Taylor later shared how the African-American community is losing ground and that we need “able, stable Black people” to “link arms and stand for something, link arms and aims with a plan.”

Earlier during her remarks, the former Editor-in-Chief of Essence said, “Every dime spent is a political decision made.” 

Taylor suggested when corporations perform actions that disproportionately impact African-Americans, we as a community “need to take account of that and stand up and say to that organization, ‘This cannot happen on our watch.’” At that point as a collective body, Blacks should then apply economic pressure to the entity by refusing to patronize that corporation.

“The only thing understood in capitalism and in capitalist society is money and it’s all tied to Wall Street, it’s all tied to profit,” she said.

Later during her address, Taylor shared how taking a few minutes a day in silence can open the ears to hear the “still small voice” inside. This simple practice allowed her the opportunity, as well as insight, into how to forward her career to astounding heights.

So on today, International Women’s Day, support a Women Owned Business. #BeBoldForChange

img_4343

 

Miko Branch, Entreprenuer of Excellence

In my last blog post, I wrote about the women who made it possible for me to believe that Madinina Kiss is going to be the next beauty empire in this nation, even internationally.  I am so glad that Miko Branch, thought well enough of “us” sisters, to leave a blueprint so that we as African-American women can continue to leave our mark in the beauty industry.  I am grateful for Annie Malone, and Madam C.J.Walker for the footprints left, that women like myself, can follow.

And then there was Miss Jessie’s.  Two sisters, Miko and Titi Branch of Japanese-American and African-American parents, re-igniting the Natural Hair Movement and revolutionizing it.  Unlike our foremothers, Annie and Madam C.J., who were meeting the need for “straight hair” Miss Jessie’s was reclaiming our natural hair.  I remember it so well.  I will admit that I did not understand what was happening at the time.  But I knew, it was something.  It had to be in the air…lol. I no longer desired to have my hair chemically treated.  I don’t remember how I came across the Miss Jessie’s Curly Hair Movement—but I remember traveling to D.C. to get that “curl” pattern.  Miss Jessie’s LLC, is the company behind the premium hair care product line, Miss Jessie’s, that caters to the diverse spectrum of all curly and textured hair types. Miko founded the company with her sister, Titi, and they named it after their beloved and fiercely independent “do-it-for-yourself,” and “tell-it-like-it-is” paternal grandmother – Jessie Mae Branch.

Miko and Titi Branch were from “around the way” as I too live in Queens, NY in the same area of South Ozone Park as they did, and still do.  So it makes me proud, not only as an up and coming pioneer in the natural beauty industry but also as an African American woman who shares community ties.  Sadly, in December 2014, Titi passed away.

 

Miko carries on the legacy Titi Branch and continues to develop innovative, original and effective solutions for textured hair needs. She has received numerous accolades for being an innovator, pioneer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and leader.

Miko also is the author of the national best-selling business memoir “Miss Jessie’s: Creating A Successful Business from Scratch – Naturally” (Harper Collins) and has been recognized by WWD’s Most Influential Women in Business, Ebony Power 100, and the Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award. She has been featured on the March 2016 cover of Black Enterprise Magazine as a result of her remarkable business acumen.

Miko on the stages of life women go through (including women entrepreneurs)

• In your thirties, you get to know how who you are.  You start to tap into how you are built. 

• In your 40’s you are going to embrace and love yourself.  What you did in your previous decades affects you now. 40’s is the decade of satisfaction or regrets. It’s a transitional time.  This decade is a time where you get to make some changes and you still have the opportunity to make corrections. 

• In your 50’s, it is what it is–just accept it.

As CEO of Madinina Kiss, a natural, handmade Bath, Body and Hair Company in NYC, I am honored that Miko will an Honoree at the women’s organization I belong to- The National Association of University Women where Miko will be awarded the 2017 Entrepreneurial Excellence Honoree Award. Click on flyer to attend this event

Image may contain: text

Miko is my inspiration, as I read for the third time Miss Jessie’s “Creating A Successful Business From Scratch…Naturally”.  With my planner and book in tow, Madinina Kiss is building its empire, brick by brick, stone by stone.  I cannot wait to meet her in person!

file

Beautifully Yours,

img_4343

15590546_10154323666795852_7268070273804876191_n

The Mother of the Black Beauty Industry

 

Madam C.J. Walker, Shea Moisture, Carol’s Daughter, Madinina Kiss.  These are are some of the descendants of Poro Beauty Products.  So why has the mother of this trillion dollar industry not given the respect that is rightfully hers?

As the owner of a natural skin care company, I can let the month dedicated to Black History Month go by and not talk about the woman who paved the way for Madinina Kiss and other African-American female owned business like mine to be in existence.

Who is the Mother of the Black Beauty Industry? Annie Turnbo Malone. Perhaps you have never heard of Annie before. If not, you’re in good company. Most everyone reading this page has never heard of Annie.  And if you are in the African American hair care or cosmetics industry, Annie is the “mother” of what you are doing. You are about to meet a remarkable woman…

Before Madam Walker, Rosa Parks, Mary McLeod Bethune, Oprah Winfrey or Cathy Hughes there was Annie Turnbo Malone (aka Annie Minerva Turnbo Pope Malone and Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone), a remarkable woman who made her mark during the early 20th century.

Malone is recorded as one of America’s first black female millionaire based on reports about her beauty and cosmetic enterprises — Poro — headquartered in St. Louis and Chicago.

Annie Minerva Turnbo Malone (August 9, 1869—May 10, 1957) was an African-American businesswoman, educator,  inventor, and philanthropist. Annie was two years younger than Madam C. J. Walker. She had launched her hair care business four years before Sarah Breedlove (later known as Madam C. J. Walker). In the early 1900s, Madam Walker worked as a “Poro Agent” for Annie for about one year.

Annie Malone is the “mother” of the African American
Cosmetics, Hair Care &
Beauty Industries

PORO BEAUTY PRODUCTS — from  Freeman Institute Black History Collection

ANNIE MALONE’S LEGACY: Credit Where Credit is Due

Malone’s business failure tarnished her image. Her former employee, Madame C.J. Walker, often overshadows Malone because Walker’s business remained successful and more widely known. Walker is often credited as the originator of the black beauty and cosmetics business and the direct distribution and sales agent system that Malone developed.

Many historians believe Malone deserves more credit for her devotion to helping African Americans gain financial independence and her generous donations to educational, civic, and social causes.

HER LEGACY STILL LIVES ON: St. Louis honors her memory with the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center whose mission is “is to improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and the community by providing social services, educational programs, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.”

St. Louis honors her memory with the Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center whose mission is “is to improve the quality of life for children, families, elderly and the community by providing social services, educational programs, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.”

Did you Know?

 Annie was one of the first in Missouri to own a Rolls Royce
        * Annie paid over $40,000 in taxes alone…in 1926
* Annie owned a whole city block in Chicago
      * Annie’s philanthropy was legendary
* Annie gave diamond rings for five years of service
    * Annie gave cash awards for savings accounts & home purchases
* Annie trained well over 75,000 women entrepreneurs
 * Annie  trained Madam C.J. Walker to be a “Poro Agent”

Click Here for More Information about Annie Turnbo Malone

Black Love Series Part

For the month of February, Madinina Kiss will be celebrating Black Love instead of Valentines Day in honor of Black History.  I did not realize that God was kindling spirits to promote the spirit of Love in our community.  When I felt the urge to do something different for “Valentines Day” this year, by showing love to other Black Owned Business, reminding my followers about self Love and above all the Love of God, I was completely unaware that a movement had already begun.  Thanks to a movement started by a sister named Ayo Handy-Kendi, I am in right in line with God’s Plan: Black Love 2017

The Best Kind of Love is God’s Love

The month of February for me has always been a month of self-awareness and reflection.  Between Valentines Day and Black History Month, it is a time to look at our lives, and gain strength and find love.  The bible tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall no perish but have everlasting Life (John 3:16).  This is the same Son that sacrificed His life so we may always find grace and mercy with our Father, our Creator.  Imagine that kind love.  

Related image

Self Love.
It took me a long time to love myself.  Tear The Veil, Inc. was created for that reason.  I have been on a mission to discover the “me” God created me to be.  I still struggle, especially when my inner child rears its ugly head, eager to please my mother, yet still feeling judged, paying for a pain I did not cause.  I don’t doubt that my mother loves me, but I can’t shake the feeling that I am being blamed for a very painful part of her life.  When the inner child shows up, I don’t see my adult self.  My mind creates a block, and I can feel myself as a seven-year-old, struggling to embrace my womanhood.  Self Love…I sometimes feel that I have given out so much love, that I have none left for me.  Self Love…Loving yourself so much, that you can not hurt yourself, cause yourself pain, break your own heart. Stay Tuned because we are coming back, bigger and better than before.  There is a voice that needs to be heard, and there are people waiting for a testimony of how “LOVE” conquered all.

Image result for self love

Black Love
In honor of “Black History Month”, we must take the time to remember those who loved us so much, that they too made a sacrifice so that the generations coming after them would not ever suffer the degradation of slavery, civil rights, human right and human equality.  People like Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Dr. Martin Luther King, Madiba aka Nelson Mandela, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and so many others who stood in the gap for my generation and generations to come without truly knowing the outcome, no knowing the people who would benefit from their sacrifice. I think Jay- Z Said it best: Rosa Park Sat so Martin Luther King could Walk, Martin Luther King Walked so Obama could Run, Obama Ran so WE ALL CAN FLY!!! Black Love…

And don’t forget to treat yourself.  No need to wait for that special someone to buy you a gift.  You can get your own gift of love.  Madinina Kiss has the perfect Black Love Day Gift.  Our Lover’s Brew Body Oil is perfect for that special time with that “Special Someone” or that alone time with yourself.  Made with a wonderful blend Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Safflower Oil and Essential Oil, out Lover’s Brew Oil will leave your skin soft and sexy.

Show yourself or someone some “LOVE” on this Black Love Day.  
Just “SPREAD THE LOVE”

 

There’s a Stranger in the House

I take a moment from Madinina Kiss, to address a concern that will affect all Americans: The effects of the Executive Order attempting to ban certain groups of people from entering the United States.

I guess as an African- American woman, I should be sitting back with some popcorn and a glass of wine and watch this horrific movie we are calling “The United States of America”.  Contrary to popular belief, like the ones in office, we, as Black People, stand for justice, civil liberties and freedom.  I mean we had to fight for it ourselves, right?

When there was a cry to our Great Nation that #BlackLivesMatter, we were ridiculed, and mocked us by saying #AllLivesMatter? Really?   Yet hee we are defending not only Black Lives but Gay Lives, Women Lives, Muslim Lives, Womb Lives all because The Nation would not listen.

Now we are facing immigration ban issues, among other things, targeting the Muslims, (and not to mention that there is the threat to women’s reproductive rights that is about to set us back 50 years), we all forgot one group of people: The Native Americans.

f16a0707cd59a9df9ce6717a54f2a7e9

We, as “Americans”  are standing on stolen property.  Fighting for equal rights while we are forgetting the ones who truly deserve “equal” rights, not tribunal sovereignty. Turning away innocent people will not change 9-11.  It will not bring back the loved lost, not=r erase that horrific day from our memories.  So why is our new President, so hell bent on condemning those who took no part in the acts of terrorism?  Who are themselves looking to escape from the suffering of those countries? Did we forget that our country was based on the same principal? Were not our “founding fathers” seeking religious freedom?  and yet here is a man, who is unconstitutionally seeking undo the foundation of what he claims “Makes America Great!”

Since he wants to put up borders, why not tear down Ellis Island, and return the Statue Of Liberty to France?

Please remember: IF YOU ARE NOT A NATIVE AMERICAN, YOU ARE AN IMMIGRANT.  If you came to the U.S. against your will, you are an immigrant.

comanche-family-631-jpg__800x600_q85_crop

17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.  18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.  19 And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.

Never Forget Whose Land We are Occupying,

img_4343

Coconut is Not Just a FRUIT!

Everyone is talking about the benefits of the coconut inside and out.  From the benefits of coconut water as it compares to sports drink, to the benefits of coconut oil for the skin, hair and internal healing.  However, the coconut is so much more complex that that.

Lets think about the coconut for a minute: when the outer shell is green, it is said that the water is just right for that cool refreshing drink and the “jelly” is perfect for eating; as it starts to turn from green to brown, the jelly then forms into a hardened white substance, perfect for making coconut milk, coconut flakes and coconut oil.  But what happens the “three-eyed” shell that keeps all of the goodness in?

The coconut shell is the strongest part covered in coconut fruit. The coconut shell is located in between the coconut flesh and coconut husk. This shell is naturally created to protect the inner part of coconut. This shell is used to produce various handicraft items and other applications. Most of handmade decorative are created by using coconut shell due to their strength.

As a coconut lover, I have always been fascinated with he metamorphosis of the coconut.  What other fruit, nut, or Earth’s Edible food can have so many uses…including clothing!

Want not Waste Not, Right?!?

The Coconut shell is as complex as the fruit itself.  Lets take look:

Coconut Shell Bowl:

The Coconut bowl has many uses.  It can be filled with wax and be part of the relaxing experience of a spa, or a romantic bubble bath for two.  Put some coconut ice cream it for a tropical feeling. I use my coconut bowls to serve salad.  I have seen the bowls used as a decorative piece, with intricate designs.

If you are environmentally conscious and a coconut enthusiast like me, here is a DIY to make your own coconut bowl:

DIY Coconut Bowls

Supplies:

Coconuts, hammer, sandpaper, screw driver, knife, spoon, sealer or decoupage glue. This is a good glue too.

Directions:

1. Use a screw driver and a hammer on the bottom of the coconut. Hit the screw driver several times with the hammer until you feel and hear a hollow sound. We made 3 holes in each.

2. Shake the coconut over a bowl to get all of the water out. Strain the water so you can drink it! Yum.

3. Using a hammer, pound in the center of the coconut, all the way around. This will create a line and eventually the coconut will break! You will have to go around a few times for the coconut to break.

4. When the coconut breaks in half, you can scrape some of the meat out. After we got some of the meat out, we microwaved the coconuts to soften the rest of the meat. Then using a spoon and knife we lifted it out in larger chunks. It does take some time, but it’s worth it!

5. Using very course sandpaper, sand the inside and all of the outside until completely smooth!

6. Seal the coconuts with decoupage; or food safe sealer if you’re going to use them to serve food.

One coconut makes one bowl 

Clothing:

The Hawaiians are very serious about preservation of their natural resources and recycling. They use the outer shell of the coconut as bras.  I am not sure how comfortable that is, but, it is cultural, albeit some will argue the contrary.  Maybe I will address that in another post…

Or how about buttons for your shirt or skirt?

Drinking:

Tea Anyone?

What other fruit can do this? The coconut has so many uses, I could write forever.  There is so much more to say, but the complexity of the coconut makes it challenging.  Is there any thing “bad” about the Coconut?

You have just been “Kissed” by Nature.

D.M