New Jewelry Sponsor - Natural Beauty
I'm excited to announce that I have been endorsed by a beautiful Jewelry Designer based in Jackson, TN. Her name is Jacqueline and she is the founder of Natural Beauty - a jewelry and accessory company. I love her products because they have something I value in jewelry - BANGLE & DANGLE! Plus, they are handmade! You will see me showcasing her jewelry during my performances, in videos, and promo shoots forward going. Click here to go directly to her site and see what all she has to offer.
I caught up with this busy entrepreneur for an interview. I was completely inspired by her work ethic, the way she thinks, and her ability to evolve even through the fear, pain and suffering. Find out how she did it, what makes her tick, her thoughts on the recent #ferguson and #rayrice events, and more...
If you had to describe yourself in four words, what would you say and why? Fun, Creative, Deep, Multidimensional. I would say that I am fun because in everything I do, I try to make it fun or into some kind of game. I have always been creative. I write poetry, books, draw, paint, make jewelry (of course, LOL!!!), and I can even sew some stuff. I have always been introverted and whenever I feel strong emotion, I have to let it out in some kind of creative form. Many people don't know this, I guess because I look like a teenager, but I am like super duper deep! LOL!!!! I love reading the Bible, I speak in tongues, I am a deep thinker. I almost majored in Philosophy in college. Multidimensional kind of sums up everything about me. I am so multifaceted and I hate to be put in a box. I am logical as well as creative. I am deep as well as fun.
Tell us about a childhood incident that shaped who you are today. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago poor really shaped who I am including my "hustler" mentality. We didn't have much food, so I figured if I saved my bus fare and walked to school by Friday I would have $10 which would be enough to buy food for the weekend. I also bartered, sold paper, pencils, pens, drawings I made, and candy.This is why I am so passionate about business as well as education. I feel like business in the vehicle in which anyone can monetize their gifts and talents to make a way for themselves and their family. Education is what levels the playing field so each party has equal opportunities.
What led you to start your company? When I got married, my husband moved to the town I stayed in (DeKalb, IL) from Chicago. His job did not transfer him. Shortly after I had two slipped discs in my back and could not work. We had no money, we had no idea how it was going to work. I had a lot of Shea Butter and African Soap since my family has eczema and that is all we use. I packaged it up and started selling it to my friends and family. Eventually, it began to grow. I incorporated my handmade jewelry a few months later.
My husband started selling baked brownies, cakes, and cheesecakes he made from scratch during the week. He also would go job hunting during the day, then switch clothes and pick up cans to take them to the junk yard for money to wash clothes and get on the bus. We made it work. Once my husband got a job, he stopped his business, he is not a businessman at heart. I, however, continued and launched beautybuttersweet.com 3 years later to start selling my products online.
What is the significance of the term Natural Beauty and what led you to use the term as your company's name? Growing up, I watched a lot of television and music videos. I did not have an accurate view of what it meant to be a woman or beautiful. It wasn't until 5 years ago when I went natural that God challenged my warped idea of beauty. The tagline of my company is Psalm 139:14 which says, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." When I started to think about that scripture over and over, I realized, how many people in this world do not accept themselves the way God made them. Some people think they are too dark, too light, too tall, too short. What I realized is that when I called myself too skinny and said my nose was too big, I wasn't just stating my opinion. I was critiquing God's creation. I want Natural Beauty to be a company that asks the question, if we can revel over other things God has created like flowers and the solar system, why can't we be amazed and grateful when we look in the mirror. It's far beyond natural hair, it's about embrace the you God created you to be.
What is your take on recent controversies like #rayrice and #ferguson? The Ray Rice situation is very complex in my opinion. At the heart of it, it is about a couple who is married with an unhealthy way to deal with their anger. What it has turned into is an avenue for people to push their own agendas and cover their own tracks. The commissioner supported him until the women's rights groups started to put fire under him. The commentators never mentioned it until recently, although the tape was leaked a while ago. The women's groups have started a campaign around the situation that Mrs. Rice isn't even supporting. Everyone else is on their own platforms, which is fine. But let's not forget, this is your platform, but this is their lives. They are still married, they still have a child, and she still wants to stay. I am praying for their marriage, for him to be the man and the protector over his family, and for both of them to see that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. It isn't until we see ourselves through God's eyes that we start acting like He wants us to.
The Ferguson incident is heart breaking. At the heart of the situation, a mother has lost her child. No matter the color, race, creed, or even who did it or why, it still remains a mother who lost her child. Her child was murdered. But as always I feel we forget the fact that this is a moment for us, but it is life for Ms. Brown. Looting isn't going to bring back her son. Only supporting black owned business isn't going to bring back her son. Do I think race has something to do with it? Probably so. But if it was, I believe it is a manifestation of the standard we have set for ourselves as African Americans. Growing up in Chicago, and even since I have moved to Mississippi, there are not a lot of White people who lived around me. A lot of neighborhoods are segregated, which means the only education each race gets about each other is through television and social media. Through those outlets, we share street fights, twerking, sexual, and violent behavior about ourselves. If that is the only view of African Americans that is shown, then surely a young black man with his hands in the air looks like a threat. I think it is time we as African Americans stop sharing ignorance on social media. I think it is time that we stop voting, with our dollars, for individuals who are not helping the image of African American progression. I also think we need more fathers who raise their children and we need to end this no snitching code. The more fathers walk away from their children and we are killing each other, there will be no value seen in our culture. When there is no value seen in our culture, there will be no justice. I am praying for the African American people to take a higher road than looting to show dissatisfaction for injustice. But rather, graduation rates increased, test scores off the charts, and taking responsibility for educating other races about who we are. We cannot stop racism, but we can do our part to end the ignorance that racism feeds off of.
What do you do in your spare time? In my spare time, I try to spend as much time with my children and husband as possible. With school and my business, I am pretty busy. Every chance I get I try to have movie night with the kids or play board games with my oldest son. My husband and I watch movies together and play Uno, even though he never wins. LOL!!!!
What is your favorite Natural Beauty product and why? I love everything in my product line. The Shea Butter has me and my family's skin so smooth and soft, you cannot tell we have eczema. The African Soap is so gentle, our skin loves it. The Peachwood combs makes it so easy to comb through my hair (and you know my hair is course)! LOL!!!! My jewelry is amazing. I love the ideas I get when I make my pieces. Best of all, all my jewelry is one of a kind. I do not make duplicates. So whenever a customer buys a piece, they will be the only ones who own it.
What advice would you share with other women looking to start a business? Treat your business like a priority. Yes, you have to take care of your family. Yes, you have to take care of the house. Yes, you have to spend time with friends. But, if you don't at least try and give it 110%, you will regret it. We as women are nurturers and supporters, but I have learned to support and nurture myself as well.
What can we expect from you in the future? My blog is transitioning into a Vlog that will launch the first week of October. I am also going to be integrating a new ordering system where people can text their orders in (for my local customers only). Personally though, I graduate this Decembet with double Bachelor's degrees. One in Business Administration the other in Finance. I am definitely in conversation with a few grad schools. I'm going to get a PhD in Finance & teach people how to save, manage, and make money.
Where can we find you on the interwebs? Instagram: ms150jobs YouTube: Jacqueline Childs Facebook: Jacqueline V. Childs