North Texas Black Restaurant Week Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

Celebrate North Texas Black Restaurant Week June 16 – 23, 2018

Black Restaurant Week

DALLAS – May 14, 2018 – PRLog — North Texas Black Restaurant Week is back showcasing black restaurants, scratch kitchens, caterers, bakeries, and food trucks throughout Dallas, Tarrant, and Collin Counties, June 16 – 23, 2018. Presented by DFW Black Bloggers and Achieve PR, the one-week foodie experience will feature vegan, soul food, BBQ and gluten-free options during the Dallas Black Restaurant Week Kick-Off event held at Southwest Center Mall (3662 W Camp Wisdom Rd Dallas, TX 75237), June 16th, 2018 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

This year will be hosted by Starving on A Budget – (http://starvingonabudget.com/) Food Writer, Dalila Thomas (http://cw33.com/author/dalila-thomas/), Black (http://www.blackenterprise.com/chef-elle-publishes-cookbook-get-holidays-ease/) Enterprise (http://www.blackenterprise.com/chef-elle-publishes-cookbook-get-holidays-ease/) Featured Chef and Author, Gabrielle McBay (https://gabriellemcbay.com/) owner of Ellements Cuisine and Pastry Concepts, and Clyde Greenhouse owner of Kessler Baking Studio (http://www.kesslercookies.com/). North Texas Black Restaurant Week Founder Denita Quinn states, “We keep this event free for all participants to help small business owners focus on increasing revenue, generate marketing exposure, and add a customer base. Customers can buy directly from the participants during the week of Juneteenth at their locations throughout North Texas.” Attendees will be able to sample dishes, purchase entrees, view cooking demonstrations, meet featured chefs and support black businesses.

In addition to complimentary marketing services for restaurant week, participants will also receive information from the Dallas Metropolitan Small Business Development Center (http://www.dallasmetropolitansbdc.com/) to help them grow and sustain their business including a free business adviser and orientation. A printed directory of restaurants and participants will be published in the Dallas Weekly, The Dallas Examiner, and www.DFWBlackBloggers.com website.

North Texas Black Restaurant Week is sponsored by Redmond & Eiland, PLLC, The Dallas Weekly, Bid Opps, The Dallas Examiner, The Golden Circle, Be Great Magazine, HBS Media, Sival Group, LLC.

To learn more about North Texas Restaurant Week and to see a list of participants, visit https://ntxblackrestaurantweek.weebly.com/. For sponsorship opportunities, please email info@ntxblackrestaurantweek.com.

North Texas Black Restaurant Week, Dallas Black Restaurant Week and Ft. Worth Black Restaurant are registered by Achieve PR, LLC.

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DALLAS CEO, STEPHANIE JOHNSON, FEATURED ON LIFETIME TELEVISION’S NEWEST REALITY SHOW!

Nothing tests a budding relationship like travel, and the new series Love at First Flight takes it a step further, matching new couples to embark on a romantic (and stressful) journey across North America — with the chance to get married at the airport immediately after their final flight lands.

Meeting for the first time in New York, the couples criss-cross the country towards Los Angeles, as their compatibility is tested not only by the unpredictable pressures of travel, but also by a series of uniquely crafted travel-based challenges. Tune in fo the premiere of Love at First Flight, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 10pm ET/PT on Lifetime!

Love At First Flight Season 1 Preview

ABOUT STEPHANIE JOHNSON

Stephanie Johnson is the Founder and CEO of Dallas’ Singles & The City – an exclusive member based community for single professionals willing to become the person they seek to attract.

“At Singles & The City, our main tagline is, ‘There is more to being single than dating.’ We are a self empowerment community for single dating professionals mid-twenties to forties. We are a totally different spin off of what the entire world is doing right now.

Everyone is dating, and what not —hooking up. I’m trying to help you get to your bottom line. I partner with a lot of therapists, group counselors; people that can really help you change your mindset and how you see yourself, and why you’re single. And if you don’t want to be single, what are the things that make you unattractive,” Stephanie explains.

After a corporate layoff in 2015 – Stephanie took her then passion of hosting events and turned it into profit, having expanded her company to 5 cities in less than 4 years. Singles & The City has active chapters and hosts’ monthly events in Dallas, Austin, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Detroit.

Although watching her from afar looks seamless, she’s the first to be transparent about being a full-time Entrepreneur. Stephanie nearly lost everything in 2016 – sleeping on friend’s sofas and Lyfting to her own events.

“I was in East Lansing and moved here [to Dallas] in 2010. I worked in corporate,  in the restaurant industry. I did telemarketing and I loved my job. I also did concierge work, and then did restaurant work again, but prior to my lay-off I’d started Single & The City like a yeary prior —just as a volunteer, community type thing,” she says.

“I fully did not expect all that happened to happen. And when I got laid off I started going through my savings and everything just kind of hit the fan and that’s how the whole homeless thing started, and that’s when I was like, ‘Ok, it’s time to turn this into an actual company and get some income coming in, so I just kind-of need to bite the bullet and become a professional business owner.’ And that’s how it happened.”

Despite the loss, she managed to open 2 new chapters in Los Angeles and Chicago. When asked about how she determines which cities are picked to hosts Single & The City she explains, “I go where the demand is.”

LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT

Filming Love At First Flight was an amazing experience and Stephanie is very excited to share her life with the viewers.

What compelled you to tryout for the cast of Love at First Flight?

“Honestly, I was getting a lot of feedback from my members, like, ‘oh my gosh, I met this guy, or this girl, and we’re getting married next week.’ and I’ve been to several weddings already that happened like within six weeks from Singles & The City, and I was like, ‘Am I missing something? What’s going on?’ So, the opportunity came up for the show and, of course, no one ever thinks you’re going to make the cast. So, it was about me getting into the brains of singles I talk to all the time that this has happened to, and then to have the opportunity to be matched by a “professional matchmaker” and possibly meeting the person of your dreams. I was like, ‘at least let me just try.”

Are you a hopeless romantic?

“I actually am a hopeless romantic. I’m always like, ‘maybe he’ll be at Barnes and Noble, or maybe I’ll run into him at Whole Foods —that would be great!”

What were your thoughts when you initially arrived to meet your partner?


“Oh my gosh, initial thoughts —I don’t want to tell you too much, but I was really really excited! I was excited about his ethnicity. He’s very attractive, so I thought, ‘ok! This is going to be good!’ I wanted to at least walk away with a new friend. My expectations were not high. I was not trying to fall in love. I’m like, ‘I’m going to into this with no fear. If I’m traveling, [then] I’m at least going to make a new friend.”

 
What was your biggest challenge during this experience?

“The biggest challenge during the experience —I would definitely say was just being alone in certain situations and then it being Reality TV on top of that. I’m a very structured person, so to wake up everyday and not know what your day holds. And then you’re going to see me do some stuff that you would never see me do in real life, activity wise. You’ve got kind-of like Amazing Race meets The Bachelor meets —I mean the show is just crazy awesome! But, there are so many different activities that you have to do with your partner. You have to trust them to get it done so,  for me, not being in control was like, ‘Oh My God— I’m [gonn]a do this today!”

What did you learn about yourself during this experience?


“I learned that I’m a lot more open than I thought and I shocked myself at how open I was, at love, and at trusting other people, and at, just kind-of, not being in control.  So, I was like, ‘look at me, growing!’ It was great! I’m much more self aware —it was just a beautiful process.”

How much can you really learn about a person on a travel adventure?

“That’s a good question, but I think the entire point was learning [that] for one, you can learn so much about someone when you’re back to back all the time. And then I would say that after 3 or 4 days of seeing someone 24 hours a day it’s like, ‘ok, I don’t have time to keep wearing makeup.’ You know what I’m saying —at some point you start to let your guard down and really be your true-true self and I think that the situation is what possibly made that happen a little faster. It’s like, ‘ok, today, you’re not getting lashes or heels. I just don’t care and I saw you yesterday, and I know you’re not going anywhere.’ So I mean, honestly, I learned a lot. I learned a lot really fast and it was good. It’s just an interesting way to date, you know —real interesting.”

Do You Believe That Is Possible To Find True Love At First Flight?

“I do believe it’s possible to find Love At First Flight, absolutely! Absolutely —I think you guys are going to love me and my partner and, you’ll be real excited to see the outcome for sure!

Tune in and find out how this local entrepreneur made the best out of uncertain situations and maybe even found the love of her life…all while traveling North America with a stranger.

Love at First Flight is produced by Pilgrim Media Group. Craig Pilgrim and Mike Nichols serve as executive producers for Pilgrim. Gena McCarthy executive produces for Lifetime. Pictures and video clips curtesy of Lifetime.

Love at First Flight Premieres March 20 at 10pm ET/PT on Lifetime. 

Follow Stephanie as she will be LIVE Tweeting during the premier on Twitter and be sure to LIKE her FACEBOOK Fan Page too! 

Pictures and video clips curtesy of Lifetime.

HIGHLY PRAISED SCREENING OF ‘MANCHILD’ KICKED OFF ALL STAR WEEK WITH A BANG AT RALEIGH STUDIOS W/ CELEBRITY PANELISTS AND GUESTS

The screening of the inspiring story of the greatest pre-high school aged basketball player ever was an enormous success thanks to panelists Schea Cotton, Grammy nominated rapper Problem, and former NBA players Casey Jacobsen and James Cotton, w/ moderator WNBA’s Cappie Pondexter!

(Los Angeles – California) – ​On Monday February 12th​, Manchild: The Schea Cotton Story, ​touched the hearts of hundreds at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood. ​Manchild ​tells the story of now retired ball player, ​Schea Cotton,​ who was once regarded as the greatest pre-high school aged player ever, even better than LeBron James.

Thanks to celebrity VIP guests and an all star panelists including ​Casey Jacobsen and James Cotton​, this story of ​faith, integrity, and resilience​ e​mpowered the audience through mentoring, education & sports!

Amongst the screening of the film itself, star of the documentary and ​founder and CEO of the Manchild Elite Corp.​, shined light on his amazing organization dedicated to empowering youth through education, basketball, and leadership. In service of the nonprofit’s mission, Schea brought over a dozen of young men to the screening where they got a firsthand look at the inspiring story!

To support and donate to the ​Manchild Elite Corp​ please visit Manchild Elite Donation HERE.

Follow Manchild on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

(L-R) Rapper Problem, James Cotton, Casey Jacobsen, moderator Cappie Pondexter, Schea Cotton and members of the Manchild Elite Corp.
Schea Cotton on the red carpet.
Schea Cotton and Moderator, Cappie Pondexter, on the red carpet.
(L-R) Schea Cotton, James Cotton, Rapper Problem, and Casey Jacobsen on the Q&A panel.
Audience member asking a question to the panel

Kat Tat co-hosts 5TH ANNUAL “GIRLFRIENDS & CHAMPAGNE” February 16th -NBA All Star Weekend

This annual event, hosted by Shar Jackson, Cherie Johnson, VH1’s Kat Tat, Amina Buddafly and more, will also feature special performance by Mathew Knowles’ group “Blush” and “That 3”

Celebrity event director Helecia Choyce will kick off All Star weekend with her 5th annual​ “Girlfriends & Champagne!” ​The star studded event is set to take place on February 16th from 3-8pm at Castaway: ​1250 East Harvard St. Burbank, CA

This years hosts include: VH1’s ​Kat Tat Jackson,​ Actress ​Shar Jackson​, Singer songwriter Amina Buddafly, ​Actress ​Cherie Johnson​, Entrepreneur ​Helecia Choyce ​and special performances by: ​BLUSH

Adding a new spin on the popular red carpet event, this year boasts a​ ​Girlfriends and Champagne Self Worth​ ​themed mixer where guests will be able to enjoy champagne and hors d’oeuvre.

Like past affairs, there will be vendor booths including ​Manly Handz massages, L & L Boutique, Queen of Massage Atl, Priscilla Psychic Reading, Cigar Rollers, Shoe Shiners, Photo Booth, Casino Tables​ and many more, ending​ with a raffle giveaway with some amazing gifts including an all expense paid vacation to Las Vegas!

 

 

Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd’s Powerful Directorial Debut, “The Counter: 1960” Selected To Be Screened At Pan African Film And Arts Festival

Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd’s “The Counter: 1960 illustrates underrepresented narratives and boldly sparks dialogue of racial equality.

After 27 years of working as casting director for famous music videos, TV, and films including Being Mary Jane, Fruitvale Station and Southside With You, Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd releases her first film as a director and producer, The Counter: 1960.

The Counter: 1960 is a short film inspired by and motivated to bridge between all races, cultures and generations. Co-written and co-produced by Ashley Jackson and produced by Kimberly L. Ogletree, The Counter: 1960 hopes to create a change within the film industry by bringing light to such less represented narratives.

The film has been selected for screening in the 26th Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF), the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, as well as the 10th Annual Jaipur International Film Festival in India. In addition, it has received Gold and Silver Awards at the LA Shorts Awards and the NYC Indie Film Awards in 2017.

About The Counter:1960

Based off of a true story, the film begins with three North Caroline University students, Joseph (Jerod Haynes), Diane (Ashley Jackson), and Franklin (Etienne Maurice), who are completely frustrated by a constant string of police killing of unarmed black youth. They decide to meet and think of what it is students like them can do to contribute to positive change. The film’s plotline unravels through a bridging between different temporal backgrounds and settings.

WHEN  & Where to go

Screenings:

Tuesday, February 13th @ 6:25PM

Thursday, February 15th @ 3:30 PM

WHERE:

Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza

3650 W Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90008

VH1’s TATTOO EXPERT KATRINA ‘KAT TAT’ JACKSON TO MAKE SPECIAL APPEARANCE AT SECOND ANNUAL “PAINTING WITH THE PRO’S”

The NFL Players Association Will Hold A Special Event During Super Bowl Week Where Kat Tat Will Lead An Instructional Painting Class For Minneapolis High School Students.

Katrina ‘Kat Tat’ Jackson made her mark as an artist at while still in high school at the age of 16! Read more about her story HERE!

Katrina ‘Kat Tat’ Jackson, ​Super bowl-winning ​defensive back ​Duane Starks​, former ​Washington Redskins​ All-pro kicker ​Chip Lohmiller​, and several other former NFL Players including ​Brandon Archer, Peter Campion, Cliff Crosby, Omar Gaither, Bradie James, Jon Melander,​ and many more!

WHAT: Second annual “Smocks and Jocks: Painting With the Pros,” a special community event hosted by the ​NFLPA’s Professional Athletes Foundation​ and ​Painting With A Twist

 Friday February 2, 2018 9:30AM – 11:30AM

Roseville Area High School

1240 County Road B2 W, Roseville, MN 55113

Katrina Jackson – The Softer Side of ‘Kat Tat’


I’m literally just a regular girl from a regular neighborhood -tried to go off to college, but found my passion in art and tattooing, and I took a risk to make that my career and I made it happen. ”
-Katrina (Kat Tat) Jackson

Meet the ARtist

If you were asked to provide an opinion about the artwork of Painter, Katrina Jackson, you may have to search the name, but what if you were asked about that tat-girl, Kat Tat? Kat Tat, from VH1’s hit reality series Black Ink Crew Chicago? Or Kat Tat, the tattoo artist who went viral after tattooing a portrait of a vintage burlesque dancer on her own thigh? Jackson is an artist -a painter and tattoo artist. A fact solidified over a decade ago when the, now, 27 year old entered an art show at the age of 16.

Jackson recalls the childhood experience that helped shape she today.

“I’ve always kind-of possessed the talent of being able to draw. When I was 16, I think, I was in junior in high school and one of my drawings won first place in Illinois, and they flew me across the country to Florida to compete in nationals with like 3,000 other students around the world. That showed me that I could really do something with this art. If I can be in high school and one of my sketches sends me across the country; That shows me that I have some serious talent.”

Flying to Florida served as an eye opener to her talent, but a broken heart would spur on her love for painting and tattoo art and tattooing -earning her the nickname Tat Girl.

“Going into my senior year is when I got the interest in tattooing, and when I really stepped out and started finding myself. I had this boyfriend that I was madly in love with.  I thought my life would just be being this guys wife and my senior year in high school is when I had my first break up -my first heartbreak.

from breakup to breaktrhough

So,  after the breakup I really started to find who I am and explore things that I want to do, and that’s actually when I got my grades up. It was just like ‘Ok!, Let me focus on this art a little bit. Let me see where this will take me,” she says

Creativity spurred on through the pain of love loss. Imagine that, and who can relate? By college, Jackson’s interest in tattoos grew from paper sketching  art work for classmates future  tattoos, to freshman-year dorm room “skin work.” Her work, again,  proved itself and Jackson became known around campus as “Tat Girl!”

Jackson found her love and passion for painting and tattooing taking over and her grades quickly fell to the back burner yet again. On the other hand,  due to her determination and work ethic, her artistry was taking her to places beyond her wildest dreams.

“I tried to go off to college, but found my passion in art and tattooing and I took a risk to make that my career and I made it happen. I don’t really believe in being a starving artist. It may not even be art that’s your passion, but whatever your passion is, it’s important to go out and chase and it and really make it work for you! I’m out here trying to get it and inspire girls that are just like me. I’m just a very very hard working artist,” she says.

2015 was an explosive year for Jackson, showcasing two shows at Miami’s Art Basel and making her television debut as part of the 9Mag Tattoo Studio crew on Black Ink Crew Chicago.

She explains what it was like having two exhibits in Miami’s Art basel and the inspiration brought on by that experience.

“It was great! It’s every artists dream to go to Art Basel and showcase. For me to have two shows in one year it felt amazing. It made me feel like I was doing something right to have my paintings show across the country and it was such a nice, classy event. It’s just another step forward in my career.”

therapy through art

Art is therapeutic for most, Jackson shares with us which creative style is more therapeutic when comparing painting and tattooing.

“The best way to explain it is, with tattooing I’m providing a service, so it’s always that -not even pressure, because it is what I do, but you have to make sure that it’s perfect. You’re providing a service for that person you’re taking their idea and bringing it to life. With painting, it’s mine. It’s whatever I want to do. So if I want to get away from tattooing and do something grip [sic]. If I want to sip on a little wine while I’m painting and see what I come up with it’s a little more relaxing.Tattooing is more my second nature, painting is less pressure -you know, I don’t have to worry about if I mess up.”

keeping it sexy

Jackson explains the importance of sensual and sexual artistic expression, and owning it.

“I think that women are beautiful and I think that it’s ok for women to own their sexuality and feel beautiful and just be feminine and sexy. Me being a tattoo artist, I want to change the stereotype of tattoo artists and the whole tattoo industry, cause people think biker and edgy. So my latest collection was painting women with tattoos and still making them look soft and exude sexiness and focus on their beauty and show that they can wear these tattoos without distracting their beauty.”

Jackson has to proven herself as an artist since high school, quickly rising to fame with 9Mag and Black Ink Crew Chicago. With fame comes with money, power and influence. Jackson details how fame and the experiences that come along with it have affected her artistically?

fame, focus and the future

“I have stayed super super focused while still being transparent on TV, like I go through some stuff on TV. But when we got this opportunity I was like, ‘I’m gonna make it. I’m going to work my ass off during this short opportunity, cause TV can be here today and gone tomorrow.’  So it has put me in full throttle -not the pressure but the platform made it very important for me to put out my best work. It really pushed me and it showed me what I’m capable of and It’s enabled me to work to my full potential, it’s even shown too. When I tell you I go through some stuff on this show, but when I put out my work people don’t care. They’re like, ‘Yeah, she’s this, but she can tattoo.’ Or ‘oh yeah, she acts like this, but she can paint her ass off.’ So my talent overshadows it.”

As for the future, Jackson will continue tattooing portraits and black and gray realism, but plans on learning a new-school “neo traditional” type method of tattooing.  And if you want a “tat” from Kat?

“It’s very easy, just email Kat@kattatgirl.com, you can google Kat Black Ink, and my website and everything will pop up and there are direct links, and everything will take you to my email. On Instagram I’m @kattatgirl. Just send me an email and you’ll get an automatic response with everything you need, then just decide how you gonna book.”

Kat’s latest paintings, modeling pictures and her portfolio can also be found at www.kattatgirl.com.

All pictures courtesy of www.kattatgirl.com and @kattatgirl

Meet Tashara ‘TJ’ Robinson, POWER MOM!

After more than a decade of “living the dream”, Dallas native, stay-a-home mother of four and wife, TaShara ‘TJ’ Robinson found herself in an unfamiliar space.

“To make a long story short, I ended up filing for divorce after 19 years of marriage,” she says the discussion about her contribution to the newly released POWER Moms book begins.

Who signed up for this

“I met my husband at Texas A&M University and we dated for a few years. Got married, and I decided to be a stay-at-home mom -we had already had the conversation and decided that if we had kids, I’d stay home and raise the kids, and at the time I felt like that was the best decision for me. I wanted to just, you know, be a mom -be a good mom, and I wanted to be a good wife as well. And you know, even as noble as that desire sounded, I found that I still had to deal with real life and a real marriage,” she says.

steps to overcoming

It’s easy to feel alone when faced with adversity, but Robinson explains that, “I find that I have an -unfortunately, it’s not an uncommon story. So, I am encouraging people who have experienced any type of loss. My loss, in particular, was a divorce. So I’m just sharing all the wisdom I have learned,” she says.

”There was a lot of journaling where I was processing a lot of decisions that I knew I would have to make. The journaling, for me, is what helped me come to that decision and even after the divorce, there was still a lot of adjustment with my children and family and friends and -wow, I felt like I just had get it out,” she says.

Through the POWER Moms book, Robinson provides a glimpse into what she had to overcome and shows that, “Hey, everything can look good, but yet there are still some difficulties,” she says.

judging a book by its cover

“The years leading up to that divorce, and, even now it’s been two and a half years, I’ve had a lot of introspection time where I actually had to decide for myself how I wanted my life to go and run and operate,” she says.

She recalls being compared to the Obamas from those on the outside looking in and says, “I thought to myself that they [the Obamas] would be mad with y’all comparing us to them! No, ma’am!” Because everything and everyone who looks good on paper is good, right?

“To be clear, the 19 years weren’t all bad. We have four beautiful children who are emotionally healthy and physically healthy that I’m extremely proud of,” she says.

in the end, it’s a win

Be assured that her story does not end there. The best part of Overcoming obstacles and adversity is most definitely the Win!  In reflection of the journey, and while working on POWER Moms, Robinson came to realizations and discovered Empowering things about herself.

“Obstacles act as an astringent, they bring things out of you. I realized that I operated in a lot of fear. I was afraid…of a lot of things. Like, I’ve been married for 19 years and I haven’t worked in so long. How am I going to make it? I have four kids! How am I going to do that? Can I do this? I don’t  know! So, the fear and the self-doubt I dealt with, but what I also found me,” she says.

“Like, ‘Ok, you might be scared, but we g’on [sic] figure it out!’ That’s what this drew out of me so, I’m not afraid to move past that fear anymore. That’s where I am right now and that’s what that obstacle drew out of me,” she says.

The P.O.W.E.R Moms book  is a compilation of stories of by 12 mothers who exemplify P.O.W.E.R., an acronym for Persevere Overcome Win Empower and Restore. Read more of Tashara’s story, and for book signings, additional POWER Mom events and to purchase your copy, visit www.powermombook.com/t-robinson

Contact www.phenixx.com to book POWER Mom Co-Author Tashara Robinson.

To learn more about Tashara (TJ) Robinson and any upcoming projects visit www.tasharatjrobinson.com.

All photos provided curtesy of Tashara Robinson and Powermomsbook.com

Hill Harper Discusses His New, Natural Grooming Line And The Importance Of Product Knowledge In The Black Community

“I couldn’t be more proud of these products. They’re about health. They’re about wellness. They’re about making you smell good, feel good, look good and they check a lot of boxes -they hit home on a lot of levels. They’re premium quality products that are healthy for you and your skin, but at the same time they’re very affordable.” -Hill Harper

The Architect & co.

Hill Harper debuted H2L and JUA via The Architect & Co. in March 2017. H2L and JUA are natural, non-toxic grooming products for men and women. Over a pre-Thanksgiving midday chat, Harper explains, “The company that we founded is called The Architect & Co., betheartitect.com, it’s foundationally a health and wellness company built off the idea -what I write about in my book, that we are all active architects of our own life. And we can build our life like an architect builds a structure, but we have to start with a real strong blueprint or a plan and then we have to have the right foundation. And so, the first line of product we have for men is called H2L, and for women it’s called JUA. JUA means sun in Swahili, and H2L is just a play on my name; there are two H’s and two L’s in my name.”

H2L for men

H2L Nourishing Body Wash, H2L 2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioning Cleanse, H2L After-Shower Hydrating Oil Spray, H2L Invigorating Body Lotion

H2L Natural Shave kit

H2L Natural Men’s Pre-Shave Primer Oil, H2L Natural Men’s Shave Lotion, H2L Natural Men’s Aftershave & Bump Prevention

JUA

JUA Nourishing Body Wash, JUA Smoothing Shampoo, JUA Restoring Conditioner, JUA After-shower Hydrating Oil Spray, JUA Invigorating Body Lotion

hill harper, founder

Harper, is best known for his role as Dr. Shelton Hawkes in the CBS hit drama serie CSI: NY and has a long list of noteworthy experiences spanning from critically acclaimed actor, to author, to Harvard Law Graduate. So what inspired the creation of an all natural line, in the beauty genre and something as intimate as a skincare?

It would take a personal experiences with cancer, in combination with serving as a member of  a cancer panel, could with his passion for community to add founder of affordable and health driven grooming products into his notable list of accomplishments.

“In 2010 I was doing a movie, For Colored Girls, in Atlanta. Kerry Washington was playing my wife and we were there shooting and I woke up one morning and I couldn’t swallow very well and, ultimately, to make a long story short, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. My father had actually died of pancreatic cancer, but when he was my, almost, same age he had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer,” he says.

Community needs

The Architect & Co. formulates products with consideration to melanin, and they launched their mens and womens lines simultaneously. Knowing that cancer is one of the leading causes of death for the Black male demographic, I couldn’t help but wonder, so I asked,  “was the creation of this product, in-part, due to the lack of attention that Black males, in particular, pay to healthcare?”

He replied, “I created this line and it’s healthy for everybody. But, it particularly has properties for folks with melanin in their skin. We tend to have a lack of Vitamin D and Vitamin D is something that is critical for good health, so I put in a lot of oils that have a lot of Vitamin D and things like that. But at the same time you’re absolutely right, as African American men, we have a tendency to not stay on top of our health or our health checks on a regular basis; but we still use products we just throw some stuff on and keep it moving.

After I’d had surgery for my thyroid, President Obama -who I’ve been friends with for a number of years, asked me to join his President’s Cancer panel, which is a three-member panel that makes recommendations for the White House. There are two scientist on the panel and one non-scientist, and I was that non-scientist. Different experts would come present to the panel; we would take their information and make recommendations.

Many of these doctors and experts would talk about what we put on our skin. And the fact that our skin is our largest organ on our body, and it absorbs everything you put on it, almost like eating it. And they were making a point, to me, and to the panel, that the same companies who own the drug company are the same ones, these multi-national conglomerate companies, that own most of the products that come out for skincare, lotions and etcetera. These companies own these companies and so there’s not a big interest in doing research and study on the impact of having these carcinogenic elements that are in many of these products. And I thought about our community. I remember when I was young, my grandmother was like, ‘You gonna put some Vaseline on that?’ [Right] Vaseline is Petroleum Jelly, it is a toxic byproduct of oil, you know, oil refining.”

H2L and JUA, affordable solutions

A thyroid cancer diagnosis and working so closely with research surrounding cancer lead Harper to being aware and conscious of daily-use products. He is also aware of the price tag associated with non-toxic living and says, “I was in a position where I could afford these high-end products that didn’t have any carcinogens, but I said to myself, ‘What about people in the community? They can’t afford $40 for conditioner or $40 for the organic shampoo.’ I said, “There has to be a way that you can have non-carcinogenic products at an affordable price -the same price as some of these other brands.”

Shop now and save

Hill has done just that by offering H2L and JUA exclusively from his production plant TheArchitect & Co. via bethearchitect.com. A subscription based model that renews annually, or as frequently as necessary through a la carte orders. Ladies, subscribe for your JUA and hook your man up too, with a subscription to H2L for the year.

Use the Promo Code: TRY ME 20 for 20% off of your order now through the 2017 Holiday Season! 

Photos from bethearchitect.com

Have A Star Studded Family Night Out At The LSGF Red Carpet Gala

I have wanted my daughters (specifically my oldest) to have a red carpet experience since the Oscars, Grammy’s and Golden Globes started doing celebrity red carpet looks with children a few years ago.  This year, I am excited to attend Let’s Start Giving Foundation’s Red Carpet Gala with my family on November 4th at the Social Arts Event Room in Duncanville, Texas! If you’ve been keeping up with  @lsgfoundation16 on Instagram and the Lets Start Giving Foundation 2017 Gala event page, then you know that the night will be filled with charity fundraising, and wholesome entertainment!

The foundation

Let’s Start Giving Foundation is a non-profit organization providing persons at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness with essential day-to-day needs through individual donations and partnerships with local businesses and community agencies. LSGF’s founder, Alaia Stinson is currently ten (10) years old! And, with the help of her parents and siblings, the foundation is in its second year of operation, continuing to work towards her dream of providing a shelter facility for homeless families.

a red carpet affair

Proceeds from LSGF’s Red Carpet Gala will be donated to Ola’s House of Hope and used to make a direct impact on the Dallas County homeless community through boot-on-the-ground efforts. Expect nothing less from this gala than you would on any other gala, or upscale night out. Look forward to  extravagant gowns and dresses, suave suits and fly outfits as well as keynote speakers, honored guests, silent auctions and raffles.

Family Friendly entertainment

But what makes LSGF’s Red Carpet Gala unique is the family friendly entertainment lineup! Live Stand-up comedy by Edwin Douglas. Triple D Dance Company is ready to tare the floor up! The Dallas Holmesboyz Steppers are gonna take you down memory lane and back to the yard! And Destinee Duncan, Ms. Glossy Girls herself; winner of the DFW Fashion Week Fashion Show 2017 Young Talented & Gifted  Designer of the Year Award, will be showcasing her collection!

Let’s Start Giving!

The timing is perfect, it’s the holiday season, giving season, charity ball season! Don’t miss this opportunity to go glam and include your family, all while giving back to the community. I sure won’t!  CLICK HERE to purchase tickets!

For more information about Let’s Start Giving Foundation visit www.letsstartgivingfoundation.org