Let's Talk Skincare & Self-Care with Bee's Beauty Bar & Spa

Everybody needs a little me time.  It's not selfish, it's necessary.  In today's world, we are constantly taking in information and our attention is being pulled in different directions by our family, friends, coworkers, and responsibilities.  So it is perfectly fine to take some time away from it all, and what better way than to pamper yourself?  Before my interview with the owner of Bee's Beauty Bar & Spa, a one-stop shop in Metro Detroit for every beauty and pampering need, I had an appointment for a facial.  

When I arrived, I was greeted by the receptionist who took my jacket and presented me with beverage options. I chose a hot cup of green tea, and proceeded to take sips in between completing a questionnaire regarding my skincare concerns.  After completing the form, I was met by Bee, herself, to begin the facial.  We discussed my skincare regimen, what products I had been using and their effectiveness.  The treatment room was the perfect temperature as I rested myself onto the bed, and her hands went to work.  Her hands, gentle to the touch, cleansed and moisturized my face as soft music played in the background.  

From there, she massaged my neck, shoulders, and hands, and for a moment I had fallen asleep.  This was the most peaceful beauty service experience that I have ever had, and I must say that my first experience at Bee's Beauty Bar & Spa has certainly made a lasting impression.  Bee's offers premium beauty services including waxing, massages, makeup and eyelash application, and of course facials.  I returned at a later date to get my brows done by Bee, and was met with the same attentiveness to detail and precision in her work.  

The Interview

ATBA: Share with us a little about who you are, what you do, and what your brand represents.  

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BBBS: So, I'm Bee.  I'm a mother of three, a wife, an esthetician, then I'm a business owner.  I've been doing that for a little over four years.  I started actually getting into self-help, or self-care I should say, based on my own issues being a mom, having anxiety and stress, trying to find an outlet, not caring for myself, and understanding that taking care of my children and my husband meant taking care of me.  I was kinda drawn to this industry from middle school, but I was like I'm not gonna get rich doing eyebrows all day.  So I went to college right out of high school and wasn't really passionate, but I was gonna get the degree, work at a corporate job, and then one day I'll own my own business.  

So, I was doing that in Chicago, and life kinda came to a halt when I was a manager at a Nine West shoe store when the store closed.  I was staying at home with my two kids, at the time.  I did that for like a year, and I became like a zombie.  It was never about me.  It was all about my kids, as most new moms are, and I kinda just lost myself.  I went through anxiety, and all of these different emotions trying to find what it is that I'm passionate about.  So I revisited self-help, and taking care of myself.  I would do my makeup and little things to make me feel good.  I felt like that started to kinda heal me.  

I came here to Michigan and I toured the campus at Aveda in Royal Oak, and I was like oh this is more than just eyebrows, this is a whole thing.  Right there, I called my husband and was like I have to do this program, I want to get into this industry.  I knew I needed to repair myself and gain peace.   I went through the program, and loved it.  It brought me so much peace, so much balance.  Not only balance for my skin, but balance for my life and having time to step away from what I do and get back to myself for a change.  It healed me, and so it kinda empowered me to be like, I wanna do this for every woman.  Every woman needs to know that this is not a luxury that only rich people do.  This is a necessity, it is something that we have to do to take care of ourselves, and treat ourselves.  We deserve it!  We treat everyone else, and we bend over backwards as women. 

So I started my own studio which was Far from Black at the time.  It was just a combination of my last names.  My husband's last name is Far, and my maiden last name is Black.  So it was like Far from Black, the journey of me becoming.  From being this humble little teenager to becoming a wife and mother, and becoming an esthetician.  So, I started there.  I had a room in my cousin's hair salon, and I did that for a couple of years, but I knew I needed to gain more experience in the industry.  So I started working in a spa in Ann Arbor, and that's when I got introduced to Eminence.  That's when I got blown away like this is so amazing, how come we don't have anything like this?  And when I say we, I mean our communities, because this was in a suburban area.  I'm like, how come we don't know?  I was just on this run to educate and tell people.  Yea, I know black don't crack, but we still have to take care, and nurture, and get balance, and our peace.  

I did both for a while, and like most times when you're doing your own business and a full-time job, you get to a road block like what are you gonna do?  I was at that crossroad and I decided, I'm gonna do it!  I'm gonna put my all into it.  We transitioned the name, so I rebranded and redid everything.  So, January this year we did Bee's Beauty Bar and Spa.  It represents balance, and peace, and self-care, and self-love.  I just love the idea of any service that you get, whether it's lashes, waxing, or a facial you come out like wow, I feel good! It makes you feel empowered, whatever service you get, big or small.  I think it starts the momentum of being your best version of you.  

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ATBA: I agree!  You kinda touched on it, but on your website it says that you believe that enhancing a woman's beauty can empower her to conquer her daily womanhood roles with confidence.  Was this your motivation behind creating a beauty bar and spa?

BBBS: Yes!  It was definitely how I felt, and how empowered I felt, and how much peace I had.  It made me feel empowered to do all of the roles that we have to do as women.  I mean, we are the best multi-taskers on the face of the earth.  We have superpowers, but we're so cluttered and all over the place with our to-do lists and our tasks, that we have to have our moment of peace.  We need that time.  

ATBA: What can a guest expect to experience during a visit to Bee's Beauty Bar & Spa?  

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BBBS: They can expect an experience.  From booking an appointment online or through a receptionist,  your experience starts there.  So how you're treated over the phone or how seamless booking your appointment was, to the time you check-in for your service.  You have the hospitality of being offered something to drink and to take your coat, to when you're in the treatment room getting this one-on-one time with someone who genuinely cares about your wellness.  For an hour, it's all about you.  What are your concerns?  Even when my brow clients come in, and I'm teaching them how to fill in their brows.  It's a whole experience.  

ATBA: Skincare is really trending right now in the realm of beauty. At Bee's Beauty Bar & Spa you offer complimentary skincare consultations.  In what ways is this beneficial to understanding our personal skin care needs?

BBBS: I think for part of that, it has been the thing of Oh, yea we need to get into this whole skincare craze.  So my whole thing is, yes we're supposed to be on board (we were supposed to have been on board), because it is a necessity.  We take care of everything else. We get our nails done, hair done, toes done, waxing done; but why aren't we taking care of our face?  Our brows are nice, but why is our skin not?  I think the biggest thing for me is that it's looked at like it's not a luxury, but something that's vital.  

Then the consultation aids in just educating you.  Most of the time when people are using something, and it's not corrective, they're not getting the results they want, but they're just using it because of their routine.  So they're just in a tradition of using something.  So the 15 minute consultation is a chance for me to introduce what we do here, our product line, and open your eyes to a bigger perspective of skincare, and invite you back for a full experience.  The consultation is 15 minutes, but what if you had an hour to really ask all of the stuff that you want to ask, have your skin looked at under the lamp and do the extractions, and really get to what your concerns are.  

ATBA: Your spa is partnered with the Eminence Organics line of beauty products (the #1 organic line in the U.S.).  What products from their line are in your personal stash?

BBBS: Definitely their Facial Recovery Oil.  It's a blend of different oils, and it's basically a healing oil.  It has a mix of sunflower and some eucalyptus oil.  It's a reparatiive oil, and at nighttime our skin goes in to repair mode.  All the craze right now is beauty oil, and this is Eminence's version.  It's healing, it's hydrating, it makes the skin nice and supple, and brightens.  It's like a little miracle oil in a jar.  Then they recently launched some exfoliating peels that are liquid exfoliants.  Some people don't like the grainy exfoliant.  This is a really simple one, because it's like a liquid solution.  You pump it onto a cotton round, and wipe.  It's like a chemical exfoliant so it uses fruit acids to basically eat away the dead skin.  It leaves your skin nice and soft. These are my two must haves, right now.

ATBA: How often would you recommend exfoliating?

BBBS: Two to three times a week, you want to exfoliate.  So that would be considered a chemical peel, because it does the work for you and you're not manually scrubbing. I would recommend some sort of exfoliation 2-3 times a week.  

ATBA: Self-Care is a necessary part of our lives, and pampering ourselves can promote a sense of well-being.  How do the services that are offered at Bee's Beauty Bar & Spa cater to its clients need for self-care?

BBBS: So for an hour, or how ever long your treatment is, you get me telling you what we need to work on, your treatment and product recommendations, and how to incorporate things that you already love into your skin care regimen.  Then it's me giving you the tools and educating you on how to do it at home because coming in for facials (or a service) is not even half of what you do.  The real change that you'll see in your skin is with the home care.  Those are the things that are going to aid in your full self-care.  You will receive my recommendations here and use them at home until you can come back.  It's not a once a year thing, getting a facial.  It's definitely something that needs to be consistent, but the at home care is the main thing.  I want you to walk away knowing how to treat and care for your skin in the meantime so that we're working for the same results in the end.  

ATBA: So what does self-care look like for Bee?

BBBS: Self-care for me looks like many facials at home. I like a guided meditation.  I'm one of those people that have to cut everything off to be able to get my peace.  I think my biggest self-care thing is talking to God and praying.  That's where I find the most peace.  I look to Him for peace, so I can give it to my clients.  

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ATBA: In what ways would you recommend enjoying an at-home spa experience in between visits?

BBBS:  Find your quiet area and designate a time for you.  If you're into skincare then do that, or if you're into makeup you can try out a new look.  I say just playing around with things that you don't like or that you want to enhance for 20-30 minutes. 

ATBA: If someone were to ask you for your advice, and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?

BBBS: In reference to life or skincare?

ATBA: Let's do two: one for life and one for skincare.

BBBS: So my skincare tip is to exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!  Whether it's a chemical or manual exfoliation, getting those dead skin cells off evens out skin tone, texture, and it helps to reduce pore size.  These are all issues that we all have.  So exfoliating changes a lot!  It helps to prevent ingrown hairs.  I mean, exfoliate from head to toe.  

Then for life in general, I would just say go for it!  I kinda think in life we don't know direction, or what the destination may be.  And I didn't know the destination, this wasn't a clear vision.  It came in pieces.  So I feel like when you get these pieces, or you get this hunch to do something or take a risk, just know that you're not going to get the next tip until you get through this one.  Take the risk!  I got to this point because of the pieces I followed and the small things that I decided to do.  Don't look for the final picture of the puzzle, and understand that you have to put the pieces together through life and through the journey.  So if you get a hunch, do it, because it can definitely lead you to the destination of where you're supposed to be in your purpose.

ATBA: What do you see next for Bee's Beauty Bar & Spa?

BBBS:  Well, next we're going to be doing private birthday and spa parties.  We'll be offering our massage services, and mini facials, and featuring our Eminence collection.  They can bring food and cocktails.  It's women empowering each other and getting pampered.  It's all about you!  So parties are the next thing.

ATBA: Are there packages available for that already?

BBBS: Yes, we have packages.  They're all customizable, starting at five people with a maximum of ten.  We want to be the destination for beauty in Metro Detroit.  We want to be the hub.  I see my clients all the time, one week to get their eyebrows done, the next for a facial.  We've built these relationships and this rapport and they become a part of the brand, or lifestyle, having a local beauty bar and one-stop shop.  We want to become the destination for high-end luxury treatments.  

Need some me time?  

Schedule your beauty and pampering session at Bee's Beauty Bar & Spa, and purchase Eminence Organics products, here!

I Just 'Did It'

Let's consider this the first of many discussions regarding my most recent health and fitness journey.  I kept having people ask me, what are you doing to lose weight?  While the "what" is very important, I wanted to start by sharing the "why" .  

So about a month or so ago, I shared a picture on Instagram where I spoke briefly about how good it felt to shed some mental and physical weight.  I’ve always been a big girl, plus size, chubby, fluffy, or whatever you would like to call it.  For me, losing weight is just as much about changing how I look, as it is changing how I feel.  I hope that you don't take me saying that I wanted to change how I look as me not loving myself or not being happy, because that's not the case.  I can assure you that I love myself as much today as ever before.  None of this work that I have put in is to adapt to society's standards of beauty.  It just feels right, and as I stated in the Instagram post, I am enjoying the process.

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Fall 2016, I began working out again.  Here I was paying $29.00/month for a gym membership, and only going a few times a year (talk about a waste of money).  I initially only did cardio during my trips to the gym, and I was still not making the best eating choices.  Then January 2017 rolled around, and of course: new year, new me, but this time I was serious.  For once, summertime fine was not the goal.  I just knew that I desperately needed a change.  So much so, that it is all I really thought and talked about.  I began meal prepping, and making more consistent efforts in the gym.  I wanted to become more disciplined, and to take on more of a challenge, so I hired a personal trainer.  That is probably one of the best decisions that I have ever made in regards to my health and fitness journey.  Over the course of five months, I have watched myself transform physically in ways that I never imagined.  This transformation has not only reshaped my body, but it has reshaped my belief in myself and my abilities.  My exercise and healthy eating regimen has also helped me to be more disciplined with being organized and managing my time more wisely.  

Let us pause for a moment... I do not have it all figured out, and what works for me may not work for you.  This is a personal journey.  We are all motivated for one reason or another, our lives are different, and our bodies are not the same.  The one thing that I had to realize is that I had to do this for me.  I was tired of feeling heavy and getting winded when walking up a flight of stairs.  This is the only body that I'll ever have, so I know I have to treat it right and fuel it properly.  I haven't really shared much relating to this lifestyle change because like I said, I'm still figuring it out.  

I'm not trying to paint you a pretty picture or sell you a dream that it's easy, because it is far from it.  I probably have more cheat meals and snacks than I should, and I don't always feel like going to the gym, grocery shopping, meal prepping, or even packing my gym bag (as easy as that is).  However, I know that the results of being disciplined and following through have surpassed my personal expectations.  I haven't even been able to do too much of anything to my hair in months because I know that it will just sweat out from exercising.  Since adopting a healthier lifestyle, I feel lighter, my clothes fit looser, I have more energy, my blood pressure is lower, I'm not winded from walking up a flight of stairs, and I don't deal with acid reflux symptoms as often.  So a bad hair day here and there is the least of my concern.

 
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You know how the Nike slogan goes "Just Do It"?  Well, I just did it, and I am consistently continuing to do it.  It's a daily choice.  I stopped talking about it, making excuses, saying that I'll start next or next month or on Monday, and I stopped doubting myself.  One thing that I know for sure is that people get tired of hearing about what you're going to do.  Just make the necessary moves in whatever aspect of your life, and let your hard work speak for itself.  I started putting in the work, making the time for it, and focusing on the bigger picture which, again, is not to be summertime fine (but I will be lol), but to manifest a healthy lifestyle, challenge myself physically, and move far away my comfort zone.  I hope that this personal journey of mine inspires your own.  

♡, Antoinette

Be sure to subscribe to the ATBA Newsletter, below, to get notified about new posts. 

Self-CareFree Playlist

Self-care is a term that has been floating heavily around the internet, and I think it's time that we (yes, you and I) talked about it.  First of all, what is it?  The most clear and concise definition of self-care that I found is this: the actions that an individual might take in order to reach optimal physical and mental health.  I have been more aware of my need for self-care in the last year, than ever.  According to an article on MindBodyGreen, self-care is more than eating well and getting enough sleep.  It goes on to provide six scientific reasons why you should add music into your self-care routine like, "music can provide pain relief", and that it "helps to reduce anxiety".  My goal is to share self-care habits every Saturday, so I figured what better way to start it off than with this playlist.

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Music is my escape.  I listen to music all day, every day.  From the time I wake up, to when I'm working in my cubicle or working out at the gym, riding around in my car (especially in the car), vibing out with friends, or like at this very moment when I'm writing this post listening to jazz.  Music has always been there.  This is the first of many playlists to come, and it's a special one.  This self-care(free) playlist is for the magical and carefree girl who is dealing with the highs and lows of everyday life, is in search of peace and release, or is looking for a boost of confidence.  It's a compilation of songs that I listen to when I need to think, be alone, dance it out in my room, or if I'm just feelin' myself.  There's something on here for everyone. 

♡, Antoinette

Play & Listen

 
 

Let's TalK:

What's on your self-carefree playlist?

#TBT | 2016 At A Glance

I'm not going to act like 2016 was my year, but it definitely wasn't a bad one.  In fact, it was far from it!  Of course there were some bad days, but that's life.  I didn't spend as much time as I wanted to blogging in twenty-sixteen, because I was too busy enjoying the good days and running from the bad ones.  So to make up for lost time, here are a few memories from last year that I never shared.

¡Viva Las Vegas!

This was my first time in Sin City, and it won't be the last!  I can't say much because "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas"!  Then again, nothing really happened (lol).  Here's what I will say:  

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My friends and I stayed at the Luxor Hotel on the south end of Las Vegas Blvd. (the strip).  I rode my first roller coaster at the New York, New York Hotel, and it's an experience that I won't ever forget and something that I'll never do again (lol).  We celebrated my cousin's birthday at Chris Brown's birthday party at Drai's Nightclub inside the Cromwell Hotel.  My feet were killing me that night (in flat sandals, no less), so I missed most of the show.  From walking up and down the strip seeing the sights (like the water show at the Bellagio Hotel), visiting Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, a day pool party at MGM Grand Casino Hotel, to nighttime turn ups at Tao (the best club that we went to) and Hakkasan, and unfortunately getting bit by a spider, this trip was highly eventful and I can't wait to go back.

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Summer Sixteen Tour 

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All summer sixteen...

Drake really knows how to put on a show!  He performed damn near every song from his own discography, along with verses from tracks he's featured on.  Future performed his collection of party anthems and then he and Drake did a few songs from their What a Time to be Alive collaboration.  The most explosive moment of the night wasn't the fireworks igniting from the stage simultaneously.  It was when Eminem took the stage to perform Forever with Drake.  The crowd went crazy!  Detroit loves Shady! 

An Afternoon with Luvvie

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In October, I attended blogger and activist Luvvie Ajayi's book signing and reading of her first book, I'm Judging You: The Do Better Manual.  The event was held at the Detroit's Public Library's main branch.  After reading an excerpt to us from her favorite chapter "Your Facebook is My Favorite Soap Opera", Luvvie went through the experience of writing the book and the motivation behind it.  In August 2014, someone hinted that some of her work may have been plagiarized, and it was.  This unfortunate event inspired her to create a manual to help people "do better".  I haven't had a chance to read the book, but as soon as I do, I will share my thoughts


Wine Tastings 

Hard Cider + Donuts at Michigan By The Bottle

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I came across the Hard Cider + Donuts event on Facebook, and who can turn down spirits and pastries?!  Well, to our surprise, they were out of donuts by the time that we arrived.  So instead, we decided to sample a full flight (your choice of 5 different wine pours) which was accompanied by flight bites (cheese and chocolate).  My flight included Bianca Select and Traminette Sweet, both sweet white wines, and the following Chaos CidersJust Apple, Sweet Peach, and Raspberry Rush.  After the tasting, I purchased the raspberry and peach ciders.

Red Wine Tasting At House of Pure Vin

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I am not a sophisticated wine drinker, by any means.  If it's not sweet or light in taste, I probably will not like it.  Such was the case when my cousin and I happened upon a red wine tasting at the House of Pure Vin in Downtown Detroit.  The host served us several different wines, and I did not like any of them.  Thank goodness for the crackers and water to wash away the bitterness from my palate.  


First People Mover Ride

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OK, so this probably wasn't my first time on the Detroit People Mover (an elevated train), but I just can't recall ever riding it.  We rode the train in a complete circle, taking in the sights of Downtown Detroit on a random Saturday, just as the sun was preparing to set.  This beautiful picture of the Canadian riverfront was taken (by me) as we made our way to the Joe Louis Arena stop on the train.


Grits + Biscuits: A Dirty South Set

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I went to the Grits + Biscuits for the first time in 2015.  It.  Was. Lit.  So of course, I had to go back this year (2016).  Here's the gist:  It's a party that goes on tour, and for the most part they only play music from the south.  You don't come dressed to impress.  You come dressed to sweat, to twerk...to turn up!  This time, the party was the day after my 28th birthday.  I went with my cousin Bianca, her friend Brittany, and we met up with some of my favorite bloggers on the dance floor of St. Andrews, where the party was held.  


2016 African World Festival

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My nieces and I attended the 2016 African World Festival at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History this summer, and it was such a great experience. This was my third year in a row attending the festival, but I hadn't been inside the museum since...middle school.  So before we explored the festival, we went through the museum and traveled back into time.  I became very emotional as I found myself standing on the deck of a makeshift slave ship, and heard the excruciating cries of the captives from a recording that was playing in the room.  To exit, we had to journey to the bottom of the ship where there were bodies on top of bodies in cramped corners.  This trip meant more than any other visit in grade school, because I felt and understood more than I did at a younger age. 

After the indoor tour of the museum, we attended a Beaute' Anthologie class about natural hair essentials, then we explored the grounds of the campus and shopped with the vendors.  I purchased a couple of pieces of fabric for my hair wraps, and some hair products from another booth.  Honestly, I can't wait to go back to the festival this year!


Other Highlights

Assisting with and co-hosting a couple of All Curls Wanted events: Let's Chat Curl  and Brunchin' With My Curls.

My biggest blogging accomplishment of 2016 is  easily the one-on-one interview I had with Myleik Teele, the creator of CurlBox.

I also saw Bryson Tiller, K. Michelle + Ro James, Beyonce (Formation World Tour), Lizzo (Coconut Oil Tour), Chris Brown + Trey Songz (The Big Show at the Joe) in concert this year.  

♡, Antoinette

Coconut Oil + Karaoke

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This past week I had the pleasure of being present at possibly the one of the best concerts I've ever attended, and having one of the best nights that I’ve had in a long time.  My latest musical obsession, body-positive rapper/singer Lizzo's Coconut Oil Tour had finally made its way to Detroit at El Club in Mexicantown.  I kept putting off buying tickets because I didn't have anyone to go with me, and because the concert was right in the middle of the work week.  It just so happened that two days before the concert, fellow blogger Leah V. was hosting a giveaway for tickets to the show.  All I had to do was share a personal insecurity and how I overcame it in order to enter.  If you haven’t figured it out by now…I won!

The day of the show came, and I excitedly made my way to Southwest Detroit to the venue.  While waiting for the show to begin, I enjoyed a couple of Good as Hell Long Island Iced Teas, named for a song on Lizzo’s latest EP.  Bevlove opened the show, performing songs from her recently released project, Talk That Shit. Her performance was followed up by Dizzy Fae, and then DJ Sofia Eris got the crowd hyped up for Lizzo to take the stage.  She most definitely had me turnt when she mixed Ooouu by Young M.A. with Ambitionz Az a Ridah by 2Pac.  By that time, Leah had arrived, and we laughed and danced waiting for the show to start.  The beat to Worship, the first track on Coconut Oil, dropped and Lizzo pranced out onto the stage donning a metallic gold-sequined jacket with pink feathers lining the wrists, and a bodysuit (or onesie) underneath. 

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I had only just discovered Lizzo’s music this past October, and she’s been on repeat ever since.  Coconut Oil was recommended to me on Spotify, and it was the title and cover art that drew me in.  Her music is real and relatable, and she's just dope and unapologetic AF!  Throughout the night, she performed all of my favorites from her current and past projects, including ‘Scuse Me, Phone, Good as Hell (I keep this in rotation to start my mornings off right), Coconut Oil (obviously), En Love, and My Skin.  As she performed I sang along and danced the night away.  This night was the epitome of carefree-black girl magic!  From Lizzo’s bold and vibrant wardrobe and voluminous hair, to her vocal performance, to her dancers twerking it out, and to me dancing and singing along unapologetically as if I were in my bedroom in front of the mirror.  It was an amazing show, but the night didn’t end with the concert.

We stayed after, enjoying pizza and karaoke with the crowd.  The night was full of laughs and I enjoyed every waking moment of it.  If you should happen to see me anywhere on the internet thrusting or doing the running man to Push It by Salt-N-Pepa, or performing Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child with a bevy of carefree magical black girls, or line dancing in the fashion of the Rockettes, or even doing the dance routine to Single Ladies by Beyoncé, just know that I had a good ass night, and I am unapologetic of it all! Do yourself a favor and check out Coconut Oil x Lizzo!

#CarefreeBlackGirlMagic

Let's Talk with Myleik Teele

It's funny how life works sometimes.  One day as I was sitting in my cubicle at work, an email popped up on my phone's screen.  The subject read: Myleik Says Thanks!  Myleik Teele, for those of you who do not know, is the creator of CurlBox, a monthly subscription box for women with natural hair.  I was thinking that maybe it was an email saying thank you for subscribing to her email list, or for making a purchase.   So I opened it, and read it quietly to myself.  It was a thank you message for the love I had expressed in a post for the MyTaughtYou podcast and journals.  I kept reading...The email said that Myleik was sending me all three of her podcast companion worksheets!  This was right on time, because I was actually going to purchase them.  Wait, there's more...The message continued stating if I was interested, that I could reach out to schedule an interview with Myleik to discuss her MyTaughtYou brand. Just, wow!  

Here is why I say that it's funny how life works sometimes.  When I first wrote that post, I wasn't going to share it.  I kept saying to myself, "Girl, nobody cares about your favorite podcasts!"  I posted it anyway.  Fast forward to a little over a year later, and I am presented with the opportunity to interview one of those podcasters.  Someone who is creative, experienced, well-read, successful, and very inspirational to myself and many others. I replied to the email, and of course set up the interview.

The MyTaughtYou Podcast Companion Worksheets

Before the interview, I made sure to dive into the podcast companion worksheets. There are three companion worksheets: Maintaining Momentum, Landing Your Dream Job, and A Business Approach to Dating.  If you're an avid listener of the MyTaughtYou podcast, then you know that Myleik shares several points on each topic, and gives actionable and relatable advice to her listeners.  These worksheets are an extension of the podcasts.

Myleik doesn't beat around the bush on her podcast, and the worksheets don't hold any punches either.  For example, the dating worksheet is packed with questions like, "Are you insecure, untrustworthy, overly aggressive, or passive in your relationships?" and "Without describing ANY physical features, what are some of the attributes that you'd like in a partner?"  It also has a checklist of red flags, gut checks, and self-care tips.  Same with the Maintaining Momentum worksheet to guide you while you work on your goals.  It will help you with making a vision board, and it requires you to make lists with action items to move you closer to those goals.  The Landing Your Dream Job worksheet will help you do just that with cover letter and resume' tips, and advice for before and after an interview.  The great thing about these worksheets is that you can print them out and do them over again, track your progress in a particular area, and hold yourself accountable.  

The Interview

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Let’s Talk About…

CurlBox

ATBA: CurlBox is the premiere beauty box for the fly girl's hair care needs.  Since its inaugural box, there have been other variations including CurlBox Natural, CurlBox Kids, CurlBox Body, and CurlBox Man.  There's something in the CurlBox brand for everyone.  What else can subscribers expect from CurlBox?

MT: I consider myself the ultimate consumer and customer…It’s like I love, love body products, I really enjoy doing that.  The natural boxes stem from people's request for just more natural ingredients, which I totally understand...  So I came out with [CurlBox] Gold, which is on sale today (at the time of the interview), as a way to make room for more of the luxury, high-end products. 

If you're like "what's gonna come next", I don't know for sure.  We are in process of making some pretty significant changes internally, and I hope that's gonna turn into something for maybe 2017.  I'm testing to see if we can do something like by January 2017, we can be even doper for people.  

ATBA: So CurlBox Gold, it goes on sale today.  I looked it up, and it is $50.00! So people are definitely going to get their bang for their buck with these luxury high-end products.  So I'm really excited to see what's in this box!

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The Mane Choice's New 'Ancient Egyptian' Line was the brand inside the first CurlBox Gold (sold out) 

MT: Yes, I think people are going to be super thrilled about it, because the products haven't been released yet.  We love the brand.  We wouldn't do things that we didn't think were amazing...I still like a lot of grocery store and drug store brands, but this is an alternative. 

MyTaughtYou Podcast + Companion Sheets | Dating

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ATBA:  The first companion worksheet that I started with was the “A Business Approach to Dating & Relationships", and it definitely had me stuck!... It really goes there, and I had to be honest with myself on paper.  Is that something that you would say was a goal when creating the podcast companion worksheets?

MT: Absolutely! I think that is kinda the entire motivation behind the entire “MyTaughtYou” brand.  It's like if you want to have things in life, or if you want the life of your dreams, you have to be honest.  You have to be honest about what you want.  You have to be honest about who's around you, and it's just like, tell the truth!  A lot of times I hear young women say, "Oh, I don't wanna scare him off", I'm like you can't scare the right man off.  It's like if I just sit in your car, and I trust you, and we're just driving and driving, and driving…and I never ever say "Um, so exactly where are we going?", I'm a fool!  So then when we end up in a highway robbery, or we end up somewhere, I was the fool that never asked where we were going.

ATBA: Right, I definitely agree with that.  It's better to know now, than to just sit around and wait, and you're going nowhere fast, basically.

MT: Yeah!  One time I was "dating" this guy who I found out maybe six, seven months into dating that he had like four kids.  I remember just saying "I never even knew that he had any kids".  I remember my mom had asked me “Did you ever ask him?", and I was like "No", because I would assume that someone would talk about it.  But it's like never assume!  Never assume!

ATBA: Yeah, so you definitely have be honest with yourself and ask those you're dealing with to be honest with you.  
In the A Business Approach to Dating & Relationships podcast [episode], you said, "I had to get clear about my goals about what I wanted, and I had to stop being afraid to say that early on.  There are so many articles that will tell you…'you're gonna scare a guy away if you say this or if you say that', and it's just like SCARE HIM AWAY…because the right person for you, you can't scare away." You mentioned telling the guy upfront that you want to be married and have children.  Are there any other subjects that you recommend speaking about early on like finances or underlying health issues?  

MT: Yes!  Absolutely!  Like I said, you wanna be honest about what it is that you want.  You want to be with someone who has healthy financial habits.  I don't know that you have to always be like, "Well, what's your credit score?" - I think you should ask if you're gonna be getting married.  You know, just to kinda find out if you're going to be taking on someone else's burden.  It's not like “Oh, these are determining factors”.  These are just like, you're entering into a partnership and you should know about where your partner stands, and maybe you can help them get some things together.  

Same thing for health.  While I'm not little miss always at the gym, health is really important to me…  I think there are a lot of things you can talk about.  One thing that I like to talk about is ambition.  How ambitious are you?  What are your goals?  What are your dreams?  Where do you see yourself?  How important is your work to you?  Yeah, I just think you need to find out, and if somebody's not rocking in a way that you're into, don’t try to make something be what it's not.  It's a total waste of your time.  

There's somebody out there that wants the things that you want.  There's somebody out there, they’re ready to settle down.  There's somebody out there who's also ready to settle down, but so many women wanna try to stay with somebody for six years who's not ready to settle down, and then they're all upset when, after they break up, he gets with somebody and marries her and has a baby in three weeks.  If they're not telling you, then it's not you, and it's a hard pill to swallow but accept it and go find a person that's gonna be crazy about you.  And if you think that there's not somebody out there, you're wrong.  There is.

ATBA: That's definitely something that myself and a lot of other young women, even older women, need to hear because life is too short to settle…It's hard.  Dating is hard, but obviously there's work with anything.  And that's why I really like that you took a business approach to dating, and that you shared it with us.  

MT: Absolutely, I agree.  

ATBA: You said multiple times on your podcast that you would love to interview Robert Greene, the author of the 48 Laws of Power.  Could you name one other person that you would like to interview?  I know you only want to interview people that you've met, but you gave Robert Greene that exception.  Is there anyone else that you haven't met that you'd give a pass to, and what's one question that you'd ask both of them?

MT: I would love to interview Jay-Z because I know he doesn't give a lot of interviews, and he'd probably be like, "Who is this girl, and why?”  *giggles* But I do think there are a lot of parallels between Robert Greene and say, like a Jay-Z…  As far as Robert Greene, I only know him as an author but I would want to get to know him as a younger person and kinda see what his mindset was.  Was he always this way?  What was the challenge or the trauma that caused him to think this way?  Has he always been an avid reader?  There's just a ton of things that I would wanna know.  
I would want to ask Jay-Z a lot of business and relationship questions because I feel like he, more than anything, has (unlike a lot of other rappers) made some smart investments.  And it's just like, how does he go about watching for trends?  Is there a particular place…a particular person that he listens to?  And how does he feel now that he's been so far out of the hood and out of poverty?  Does he have this fear of selling out or not being able to connect?  

Successes | Failures | Purpose

ATBA: What would you consider your biggest success so far?

MT: I think my biggest success would be the fact that I haven't had a formal job in about eight years.  To be able to make a living taking care of myself for this long is huge to me.  

ATBA: What would you say would be your biggest failure?  Something that didn't go the way that you wanted it to.

MT: I don't know because I don’t look at things as failures per se, I look at them as learning opportunities.  So I've had a lot of learning opportunities, but I don’t ever think that I've just done anything that has ended the world for me like, "You failed.  It’s over". 

ATBA: How long would you say it took you to understand or find your life purpose or calling?

MT: I would say I'm still figuring it out.  I've always known the stuff that I've been attracted to since I was a young girl, and then I think as a young adult just having the guts to pursue it.  So as a young person, I've always been into like hair, makeup, photography, PR, magazines, social…all that stuff, I've been into that.  You know as a young person when you're in honor's classes and all your friends went off to be doctors and lawyers and pharmacists, and so on.  It takes a lot of courage to say, "I don’t know what I wanna do", because that's pretty much what I would say because I didn’t see anything.  It took a lot of courage to say I don’t know, and then even more courage to pursue the things you think you’re into.

So I've had a lot of jobs.  I've worked at the MAC counter, Clinique, Lancôme…I've made smoothies, I've worked with Girl Scouts.  So many things I did, and just trying those things until I figured it out.   I think that people might look at my life and say 'she's purposed', but I probably always was.  Even when I was in the jobs that didn't necessarily fit, I was figuring out what I liked in life, and most times you find out by what you don't like.  You know?

ATBA: Right!

MT: So today, I think today it's more like, I do still feel purposed.  I do feel like when I share all of the information that I share that that’s just answering the call saying these are things that you know, share it with people who don’t know them.

ATBA:  That's pretty understandable.  I just started reading The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren, and the subtitle is ‘What on Earth Am I Here For?’  I still don't know.  It’s like, I would like to have more of an idea what I want to do.  But I understand that it may not come as fast as I want it to.  

MT:  No, and you have to try things.  You know?  You have to go after the things that excite you or interest you.  You can't be like 'I don't know', and then sit and wait for them to fall in your lap.  If you're like, 'I really like makeup', then you go take some classes.  I did makeup and then I was like, 'You know, I don’t think I really wanna do this'. But I had to find that out, you know?  People are like 'I don’t know my purpose, I don’t know what I wanna do', and I'm like well what are you doing about that? "Like, well nothing."  Well don't expect to know then!  

ATBA: Right! That's a good point.

Self-Care

ATBA: So your businesses demand interaction with consumers, brands, influencers, etc. and I'm sure it can be draining at times.  So I want to know, what does self-care look like for you? 

MT: Self-care for me is stopping when I'm tired.  Sometimes I will be going, and going, and going, and going, and then I'll make some mistakes.  Then I keep making them and then I go you know what, let me just take the rest of the day off and regroup.  I love going to the spa, I'll take a vacation.  I'll go away... I will get up and go.  I’m not afraid to stop when it's like I need a break.  

MyTaughtYou Retreat + Journal / Books

ATBA: You share a lot of exclusives on your personal SnapChat.  I saw that you shared something about a CurlBox retreat.  Even though it's still in the developmental stages, is there anything that you could share about it?  

MT: It’s a MyTaughtYou retreat. So it's a retreat for the personal brand, and I don't have anything to share, yet.  Before I decided to do it, I just put it out there to see if people would be interested...  So I need to see the space first, before I get all into it.  But I think it's gonna be good.

ATBA: I definitely think it'll be fun. I don’t know exactly what you’re planning to do, if you were to go ahead with it.  But just seeing it definitely sparked my interest.  

I also saw that there's a new MTY journal in the works.  The Learn More to Earn More journal helped us be organized and to get things done, and the This is My Year journal helped us to set and achieve our goals.  And I see that the new journal is about hustling.  What can we expect from this new journal?

MT: That journal is me introducing you to more of my methods of making better connections.  It is about mindset training.  Like how to train the mindset of navigating the world; how to do things. My other two journals are like ‘you need to do this, you need to do that’.  This journal is like ‘these are some things you are likely doing wrong’.  This is kind of helping you go take some inventory.  It's a little more intense, and aggressive which I love.  

ATBA: What is one book that every woman should read, a least once?

MT: I would say Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed.  

ATBA: I knew you were gonna say that, because I heard your podcast with Toni Martin.  I almost picked it up.  I picked up Luvvie's book, actually.  I heard your podcast with Luvvie and I definitely can’t wait to read it.  So I'm excited just based off of your podcast and the reading you did on Instagram when her book was released.

MT: Yea, it's funny!  She's funny! 

ATBA: Yea it sounds hilarious and relatable.  That’s what I keep hearing from a lot of people.  

Myleik’s ‘Get It Girl’ Playlist

ATBA: So the last question I have…I feel like everyone has a 'Get It Girl' playlist.  A list of songs that get them in the mood to be creative, or be inspired, or that motivate you.  What would you say the top five songs are on your playlist?

MT: Let's see…I love “Me Too” by Meghan Trainor, which is a silly little song I really like.  I like the “Flawless Remix” with Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj.  

ATBA: Oh, that's my alarm in the morning! 

MT: I like that one.  I have this playlist that I like, it’s called “On Fleek”.  And I like “No Limit” by Young Thug and Usher which I know is silly, but I like it.  Jay-Z can do no wrong in my eyes.  I like, I think it’s “Do It Again” with him and Beanie Siegel.  Oh and I like Jay-Z and Jermaine Dupri, “Money Ain’t a Thang”

You can catch up with Myleik at www.mytaughtyou.com, where you can find the MyTaughtYou podcast, purchase journals, mugs, and worksheets, and ask her questions.