PrettyNPaint Owner Speaks on Changing a Male Dominated Industry

You know that saying “Anything you can, I can do better”? It applies to the many jobs that men do but women can do as well. I was able to interview a woman who owns a paint business on DELUX. Check out the story HERE and below.

There are MANY jobs that women can do just as good as men. From being a firefighter, lawyer, mechanic, and even construction site worker. PrettyNPaint, owned by Aaliyah Sahar talks with us about not limiting ourselves to just a certain category of jobs and how she got her start in the industry.

DELUX: What made you want to start a business in a predominantly male industry?

PnP: Initially due to the fact that I wanted to spend more time with my father, I came up with the idea of learning how to tape which is also my father’s business. I figured maybe we could spend more time that way in him teaching me the taping trade. He told me “but you’re a girl.” I didn’t agree with his thoughts and still pushed him to teach me anyway. I’m the type of person when challenged, I personally make it to my business to overcome it. So he finally decided to give me a shot and in the mist of me working and becoming good at it, I also had a mentor that took the time to teach me a wall painting as well. I was learning simultaneously how to tape and paint at the same time. As a journey woman, I decided to make this my business noticing that I was the only female around, especially as a ”minority. I started out at $10/hour and after becoming a journey woman, I made $30/hour at 20 years old. After mastering my craft, it became my livelihood. After working some years in the union, I felt stagnant. Yes there were opportunities where I could’ve became a foreman on someone’s job but I didn’t think that was enough for me. The challenge was dying, saying to myself “what would be my next step?” In my younger days, I had a rebellious spirit who didn’t like conforming to working for others. This frame of mind forced me into entrepreneurship. Lastly, I wanted to get more women into this field. I’m not discriminating,but I diligently all the time encourage women to get into construction. I’m currently hiring more people. I’ve started an apprenticeship program bringing awareness to this trade, in hope that women feel that they have more options instead of working at a McDonald’s or something typical and average. That’s how I got started and I’ve been moving up every sense.

DELUX: How long have you owned your own business?

Check out her response here on DELUX

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Ebony Robinson Talk her Business, Er The Element of Style

Fashion isn’t about how expensive your clothes are or what top brand you’re wearing. It’s a “preference of how you like to look”, says the great designer Kris Cole. You can be trendy and thrifty at the same time and business owner Ebony Robinson, owner of Er The Element of Style, is the person to shop with. She’s had her business for three years now and it’s more trendy than your local franchise thrift stores and Goodwill.

Check out my interview with her below and on DELUX Mag, and she talks about the story behind the name, her purpose for it and bringing awareness to the global waste crisis.

DELUX: What is the story behind the name of your business ?

Ebony: Er The Element Of Style, is a mash up of who I use to be and who I am now. I wanted to combine my love for fashion and science. I feel the most in my element when I’m styling or buying clothes. One night in 2014 God gave me this vision in my dreams. When I woke up I looked up the periodic table; and there it was “Er” my initials! It made perfect sense to me Style is my “element”; and my name is apart of the foundation of science, the earth’s elements!

DELUX: That’s a dope concept! What made you want to sell thrift clothes ?

Check out her response here on DELUX

 

KV The Writer Talks Being An Artist and Laughing Through Heartbreak

I got the chance to interview a very talented artist from St. Louis with DELUX Magazine, whom I write for. Check out the interview below.

St. Louis artist KV Thompson, also known as KV The Writer, is more than just that. She sings, raps, writes her own music, and she’s even a published author. KV been writing since she was a kid and with that she’s perfected the skill.

KV’s recent project is about a guy breaking up with her at an ice cream shop. With her getting her heart broke, she channeled her hurt into her music, a full blown EP titled Love Sucks. DELUX was able to talk to her about her transparency, her talents and being an artist here in St. Louis.

DELUX: Being an artist comes with practice or it’s a natural thing. How do you start out singing?

KV: I honestly don’t consider myself a singer (lol.) I think of myself as a songwriter that tries to deliver songs the way I think they should be delivered. Sometimes that requires me to sing. Other times rap. I just try to bring songs to life the best way I can. My producer/engineer is the one that makes me into a singer.

DELUX: Were you hesitant on being so transparent about getting your heart broke?

KV: Not at all. I laugh at myself a lot, including when I get my heart broken. Of course, at the time, it wasn’t very funny, but after a while I would look back and laugh at myself about all the weird and ridiculous situations I found myself in.

DELUX: When dealing with getting your heart broke, did it change your perception on dating during these times versus 10 years ago?

KV: I can say 10 years ago I knew nothing about dating or what it meant to be your full self while in a partnership. 10 years from now I’m sure I’ll still be learning about how to form a romantic partnership with another person. I would say getting my heartbroken was a much needed lesson on love and attachment. It made me realize that we don’t own people, even the ones we love. People are free to walk out of your life for whatever reason. We have to appreciate the moments and seasons they are in our life, and don’t try to hold on to something past its time.

DELUX: How long have you been singing and who is the inspiration behind your sound?

KV: I started really developing the sound I have now about 2 years ago. I pushed my pen by writing songs every day for a whole year. During this time, I experimented a lot. I played around by writing songs for different genres, started practicing making melodies, and played with my voice a lot. I guess what inspires my sound is just being true to me. Whatever I feel like should come out, I do that.

DELUX: Your song “Crazy” is dope with you rapping and singing? There are only so many female artist that does that such as Nicki Minaj and even Lauryn Hill. With you having talent in both, would you consider yourself a singer, rapper or an artist overall?

Check out her response and the rest of the interview HERE

Make sure you follow her on IG @KVTheWriter

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Keisha Mabry Sells out Her First Conference

I went to the mastHER class conference, hosted by the sweet, talented, successful Keisha Mabry. I was able to talk to her about the event and how it came about. Check out the write up below from DELUX Mag!

 

Some people need guidance in life when it comes to creating a brand, finding their voice, networking and other things. Not only is Keisha Mabry the go-to “gal” for all those things but she created an event to help other women fill in their gaps of needs; she called it “mastHER Class.”

She grabs your attention with her quirky high-pitch voice saying “hey FRIEND” and with that signature saying, she used it to network, be memorable and create a conference in a short span. Keisha’s conference SOLD OUT with 250 attendees, on International Women’s Day. She purposely made the event for that Friday March 8. To get more in depth, the mastHERclass is a day-long event of 75-minute masterclasses taught by 12 women in 8 hours in 1 day. Topics are curated, cultivated and catered to the female content creator, entrepreneur and social media influencer. The 2019 topics included getting into speaking, event planning, the business of travel, media production, finding your brand voice, growing an online community, starting an e-commerce business and a few things in between.

Keisha was motivated to create the mastHERclass when she applied to speak at a branding conference for black and brown creatives and was rejected. She says the rejection bothered her because “I had attended the conference the year before and I knew how I could add value.” That rejection inspired to do her own thing instead of “investing in other people’s things and communities without investing in my own,” as she says; she created mastHERclass!

Of course she faced adversity while planning the event; which is expected when you have 8 weeks to pull this off with a head count of 250 women, with a $25k-$30k budget, But after crying, praying and even snacking, she was revived and made it happen! Her advice for facing adversity while planning an event is:

“Expect ish to happen. Expect a sponsor to say yes then say no. Expect the event space to not have everything in place. Expect technology to have a glitch and expect a volunteer or vendor to be dismissed. Things do not go off without a hitch so expect it, plan for it and have a team so you are not trying to handle everything.”

Credit: ashleenicoleartistry

When it came to selecting the speakers for the mastHERclass, Keisha picked them based on the problems she wanted to solve as an entrepreneur and how she wanted to move her business from the idea phase to the MVP phase to the sustainability and growth phase. She already had a network full of amazing women but she also wanted to seek out more women and as she says “the rest is herstory.” She met… click HERE to read the full story.

http://deluxmag.com/keisha-mabry-from-heyfriend-to-a-sell-out-conference-mastherclass/

If you haven’t heard about Keisha Mabry then you need to get to know her!!

 

Danii Gold out! ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾

[DELUX Mag] Young Dip, Creator of 314 Day, Talks the Meaning Behind the St. Louis Day

I’m from St. Louis and we celebrate 314 day because it’s our zip code. Others recognize the day as “pi day” but us St. Louis folks know what it is.

I sat down and interviewed the creator of the day, Young Dip and he talked the true meaning behind 314 Day. Check out my DELUX Magazine Interview :

Some people may think that 314 Day was something that came out of the blue. Some refer to it as “Pi Day.” Some think of it a just a normal day, March 14, but here not only is it St. Louis’ zip code, but it’s known as 314 Day! For those who recognize the day as that, those people may go to their favorite St. Louis spot, or even eat at their favorite St. Louis restaurant like Imos or even get some Chinese Food or Ted Drewes; BUT that’s not the purpose behind the day. Young Dip, the founder of 314 Day, had and still has a different meaning behind the day and even a vision for it. He sat down with Delux to talk about it.

DELUX: What motivated you create the day, 314 Day?

Young Dip: I remember one of my mentors told me “to keep you a good circle around you.” So, I remember when I was getting the opportunity to do radio, he told me not to go in blind, to have a plan and to leave a legacy and have a lasting impression that’ll leave a foot print in the city. I remember going to the crib and praying on it. Then, this came out of nowhere. I remember thinking that I wanted something that’s going to almost be like a holiday/bring a good vibe to the city; or at least for one day have that feeling when “Country Grammar” came out or for one day no killing, just peaceful and have unity. That’s what I wanted to leave behind for the city and my daughters.

DELUX: What part of St. Louis are you from?

Young Dip: I was in a foster on the Northside, but my original family is from the Westside and Walnut Park, so I was bouncing everywhere but majority on the Westside when I got of age.

 

DELUX: Do you think your upbringing and background motivated you to create such a day of important?

Young Dip: It definitely did. Growing up as a kid in a foster home, you always get the thought of “Why am I here?” “Does anybody love me?” “Does anybody care about me?” In the back of your head, you think “once I get older, I am going to change that outlook.” I just knew I didn’t want to be in that mind state, I wanted to do better and more. I seen other people with other kids and families and that’s I wanted and that’s what I did.

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DELUX: When you first created 314 Day, did you imagine it’ll get this big? Of course, it started out as an idea, but now there’s concerts and original St. Louis spots sponsoring foods.

Young Dip: A lot of people don’t know that they got blindsided by the events, it’s actually bigger. The vision is ten times bigger than that. I’ve been trying to put together the foundation. I have the 314 Day Company, but I’ve been trying to put together the 314 Day Foundation that helps unity in the city, empower and help people’s dream flourish. It was a dream to me, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I always thought to the clouds with everything I did. Once I got people to really understand that the parties were just to get the name out.

DELUX: How big do you want it to get?

Check out his response HERE

http://deluxmag.com/young-dip-talks-314-day-and-the-actual-meaning-behind-it/

Check out the rest of the interview at the above link and SHARE IT!!

Danii Gold out!! ✌🏾✌🏾✌🏾

[DELUX Mag] DJ sheBEATZ Talks Being a Woman in the DJ Industry

A few weeks ago, I was granted the opportunity to interview a talented Dj named sheBEATZ and she is a WOMAN, which is still kind of rare in the DJ industry.

Read below my interview I did on DELUX Mag with DJ sheBEATZ below:

The DJ industry is huge, but female DJs are rare to come by. St. Louis has just a few of them and each of them bring something different to their mix. DELUX got the opportunity to talk to one of the few female DJs, sheBEATZ, about her love for music, the male dominated industry, and the level of support there is in the DJ industry.

DELUX: How old were you when you first fell in love with music?

DJ sheBEATZ: I was probably like 5. My parents used to throw basement parties and my dad had a set up of two cassette players. So I could load like four songs and fade the volume–he showed me. I did that for years and I began making mix CDs, making sure the songs fit whatever theme I created. I’ve played instruments and I’ve danced all the way through high school. I stopped being so active in the arts in college but I would always jam out to my old CDs I made in high school.

DELUX: What inspired you to do music/become a DJ?

DJ sheBEATZ: Music is what inspired me to DJ. My love for it. Also, while I was in college I was trying to find a medium. I went into journalism because I thought I wanted to write about it, I got into radio because I thought I wanted to talk about it, and then finally after grad school and going out in STL, I realized I NEEDED to play it. STL was missing my vibe, so I decided to fix that.

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DELUX: What do you think sets you apart from other DJs?

Check out here response HERE

http://deluxmag.com/dj-shebeatz-talks-being-a-woman-in-the-dj-industry-the-support-among-other-djs/

Read the full interview at the above link and SHARE IT!

Danii Gold out!! ✌🏾 ✌🏾 ✌🏾