Blacquer December: Video Spotlight

I’m always looking on YouTube for different hair styles for my short tapered fro.  And it seems as though there’s a renaissance in the short hair style options. 

If you are a do it yourselfer, like myself, check out this video by Beauty CutRight. She does it all, and this style has me seriously wanting to shore up this taper and try this style.

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YouTuber - BeautyCutRight

Anyway, this week I’m featuring YouTubers, because it is a small business as well.  Information is a precious commodity, and its currency is influence.  Anyway, checkout today’s feature.  

Natural Hair How To| Undercut to Tapered Cut (Mai…: http://youtu.be/TTcSTi3s0n4

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The Week In Review

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Well, the first week is in the books for my small business focus and highlight, and I believe it was a resounding success.  During the week, i scoured Instagram and the internet for small businesses I wanted to feature for the month, and there are more to come over the remaining weeks of December.  I discovered new jewelry, introduced you to my friend Geminii Flyii and her vintage boutique as well as her jewelry line, SereNiti Bath and Body, and other small, Black owned businesses.

I have created a new category, Black December, which is where you will now be able to find all of the posts and links for the businesses featured.  This week, I’m going to focus on businesses in the Pacific Northwest -
namely the Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland area. We have a growing small business community here, and I think we get lost in the shuffle because we are so far away from everything and everywhere else that has shops, product on the ground and events where these items are featured. 

It’s also time to start thinking about 2015, and what I want to bring to the Nappy Nerd. Everything from.the new name and why, to more information about products for hair, recipes, how to’s and of course makeup, thrifting and crafting – basically a different lifestyle than what I currently see.  It is possible to be stylish, fabulous and do it minimally. 

So stay tuned for more, 2014 goes out with a bang, and continues into 2015. 

Blaquer December: SereNiti Bath and Body

Today’s small business is SereNiti Bath and Body.

I have so many lotions and Body mists I could open my own boutique. Everything from samples from high end department stores to “interpretation” scents.  My favorites are body butters.  They moisturize, smooth and soothe.  And many of them are fragrant enough that I dont have to layer with additional sprays or perfumes. 

In this year’s INHMD swag bag, we got a sample of body icing that I literally cried over when I scraped that last little speck out to rub on my hands.  It smelled divine, not overpowering and I can even use it on my natural hair. 

SereNiti Bath and Body

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Products made by a licensed esthetitian and based out of North Carolina, you’ll also be able to find  candles, body scrubs, soaps and travel sizes and kits in all kinds of scents from Candy Apple to Snickerdoodle. Also, if you follow her on Instagram, you’ll also know she’s having a sale through December 9. Check out her account there for photos, contact information and deals. 

And remember, this black December is about making a change and supporting small and black owned businesses.

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Black December: The Big Box Boycott

Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, Phoenix……

There are many more cities, and many more instances of unarmed black men being killed.  There are any number of statitistics and reports that can fit any narrative.  And one of the many chants was to shut it down. Don’t shop and support small business. 

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And that is exactly what I vowed to do.   I refuse to shop at major retailers, even though there are so many items that in would traditionally get. I’m also a hair and makeup product junkie so it’s been a pretty thought first week. But I said no major shopping and I meant it. 

So how did I make it through the first week?

1. I stopped watching YouTube haul videos. 
Many of them are full of the latest makeup and hair products.  And many of them are for big name cosmetic companies who are part of my boycott.  So I just found it easier to not watch them. I won’t get into why so many decided to shop at a time when it seems so irrelevant to the bigger picture,  but people make their own choices. All I know is, if you had to shop, you could have shopped smaller, local and black owned.  Some of the people I follow chose to don the exact opposite.   Am I disappointed? Certainly. But again, those are their choices. 

2. I stocked up on what I needed.
This is something my mom taught me and my sister.  Also, being a natural hair blogger, I have a ton of product that I haven used, or didn’t like, so it’s easier to use those items up first.  I’ve even used the items that I felt didn’t work well and added them to products that did.  Ilford example, I have a L’oreal conditioner that leaves my hair thirstier than Kim Kardashian is for fame, and I just added some castor oil and made it a part of my PrePoo, hot oil treatment.  I still don’t like the conditioner, but experimenting has opened up new ideas for me and how to use product to better meet my needs.

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3. Pay Essentials First.
Rent. Lights. It really should go without saying. If you’re not taking care of home first, you’re just asking for trouble.  I don’t have much left over for chapstick, let alone a MAC lip stick. So this one is pretty easy right now. 

4. Coffee and Donuts
This easily adds up to about $20 a day. $5.00 at breakfast, around $8.00 for lunch and that 2:00 pm cranium shut down are not coat effective.  I haven’t gone to Starbucks since October, but we do have a small, local owned one in the lobby where I work.  I’ll get a bagel, or a breakfast sandwich, but no coffee.  I just drink the coffee they provide for free at the job and add my already purchased coffee creamer (see item number 2 above).

My husband has also taken to baking, so we have fresh bread weekly.  Banana Chocolate Chip is my favorite.  Also, dont forget, bring leftovers for lunch.  I’ve saved about $15.00 alone each week just not buying coffee drinks. 
5. Avoid the Mall, and Big Box Stores.
Seriously, what do I need from them? I don’t need a new tablet, computer, phone, foundation. I do need a new pair of shoes, but I can wait.  I refuse to give these big companies any money during this time of year because they simply lower the prices of items they over price anyway. 

So, that is how I got through my first week of my boycott. I fully expect it to be equally easy next week.  But next firday is a payday, and I have a cupcake turnup planned, so I’ll let you know. 

Blaquer December: GeminiVintage

The internet is a funny and mysterious place.  I say that because every now and then, it surprises me with something good.

Like internet cousins.  A term penned by one of my favorite YouTubers, Evelyn from the Internets. If you haven’t checked her out, she’s a must watch, smart and incredibly funny. Anyway, there is her and Ashiek1118 who’s fiesty, smart, funny and very ecclectic. Her and Wayne Summers go in on the regular.

But if it wasn’t for watching her review on earrings that were sent, I never would have heard of GeminiiFlyii.

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She creates wearable art, one of a kind pieces that are colorful, bold and different.  No two pieces are a alike and she intereacts with her customers and supporters on the regular.  It’s these small details that make her today’s small business feature. 

She’s even offering a vintage clothing instaboutique on Instagram. To find her simply search @geminivintage81. Her jewelry is available at GeminiiFlyii and definitely follow her on Facebook.  She takes ideas and suggestions and feedback.  Seriously, she’s one of my favorites. 

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                  Lol’Mo wearing GeminiiFlyii

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Blacquer December: Simple Pleasures

Today’s small business spotlight is on Simple Pleasures

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I’m a candle lover. They set the mood for anything, and Iespecially love the Bath and Body Works candles, except those pumpkin ones. I don’t love their $20.00 price tag. And because I’m boycotting mall chain stores, I need an alternative.

As I mentioned yesterday, Instagram is an awesome social platform because it brings you information that is easy to find and affordable.  I also can’t wait to try some of these fragrances and some of the new ones they have coming. They even offer candle scents for men.

Here’s a little about the company:

Our candle business was created Fall of 2013, after the hobby of candle making captured attention from family, friends, and social media. It was then I realized my hobby could possibly become a lucrative business. With the help of my significant other and my sister, I created a business name, labels, business cards, and other essentials needed in becoming a small business owner. As I strive to be the best and perfect my craft, business is growing each and every day!

So head on over to Simple Pleasures, and stock up.

Blacquer December: Product Of The Day

As part of my Shop Small December challenge, I am also focusing on black owned businesses.

With the natural hair renaissance has come a resurgent natural hair, health and body industry focused on bringing us products that are designed for our special hair needs.  And there are a lot more companies out there, as a cursory glance of the internet will show you. Yesterday on my Facebook page, I mentioned a free book on Amazon geared towards new and transitioning naturals.

Today, it’s Amazing Botanicals. One of the great things about Instagram is how we are using it to not only take selfies, and pictures of holiday meals. It’s a great way to get you’re business out there. This is one I literally stumbled on a couple of days ago, and I’m anxious to try their products.

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Pictured above is their cleanse pack, valued at $25.00. It includes a shampoo and conditioner.
From the site:

This pack is perfect for wash day-for your hair!

BLACK SOAP POO (8oz)
Our Black Soap Shampoo is infused with Red Palm, Grapeseed, Marshmallow root, Burdock, Plantain, Nettle, Rosemary, and Panthenol.
This super sudsy formula cleanses without drying and is enriched with Vitamins A,C,E and Beta Carotene. Shampoo regularly and follow with our Honey Condish for an Amazing luster and shine!

HONEY CONDISH (8oz)
LEAVE IN OR DEEP CONDITION HONEY YES!! Our Honey Condish is a CREAMY formula filled with Amazing Butters. It’s NOT a slippery conditioner but, expect tangle free hair and kiss the knots goodbye!

BAOBAB OIL (1oz)
WE LOVE THIS OIL AND KNOW YOU WILL TO! Enjoy part of the “Tree of Life” A must have for ALL skin and hair types

This pure oil is extracted from Baobab fruit seeds absorbes easily and quickly into the skin leaving no oiliness or greasiness. Highly moisturizing, emollient and soothing, containing vitamins A, D, E and F.

Are you shopping small? Share what you’ve discovered below.

Go Small…..

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It takes only one person, one foot in front of the other.

I recently posted about Blaque December and shopping small, and with black owned businesses.  That was meant seriously. And it starts tomorrow. Partially because I haven’t left the house since Thursday afternoon.

But the stores I’ll be personally boycotting:

Wal-Mart
Target
Nordstrom
Macy’s
Penny’s
Mall Chain Stores
Starbucks

Gas and groceries are excluded because its practically impossible to avoid going to a large store to get them. So Fred Meyers isn’t on this list, even though their parent company is Kroger, that is the one store that I will continue to shop. The others are Tacoma Boys and Marlene’s both local and small. But only for items that I can’t get anywhere else. Marlenes partically for health and beauty items and herbs.

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This is going to be a challenge, but I’m determined to follow through. That shopping small, and minimally is possible when you change what your needs are. I’m a makeup junkie, so I’m missing out on a ton of items that I really had my mind set in getting. But in know, it’s not necessary for me to have them. 

My time line has been filled with black Friday sales and purchased items.  I can’t expect, every person to be affected the same way as what’s happened in Ferguson, and Ohio with Tamir. I just can’t sit buy and go about my life as if nothings changed, posting sale info for Urban Decay instead of the many black owned businesses and small businesses that are out there.  I just know Target is going to be there in January.  There are other companies, small ones, that may not.  One company that I loved, Bath Tones By Karl, is no longer to be found. And their products were everything. Good price, great quality. I can’t even find them on Facebook anymore. 

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But we steady pump up bath and body works.  I get it, it’s easier to get to, and there’s no shipping and handling.  It a immediate.  But we have got to stop this I need it now when it comes to items that we don’t essentially NEED.
Anyway, I’ll be keeping a journal here about how easy, or not that it is while I’m on my 30 day Go Small challenge.

Because, one person can make a difference.

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Blaquer Friday

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The not surprising decision in Missouri, the subsequent turkey eating followed by mass commercialism and spending has had me up in arms for the past five days.I’ve ranted, railed and wailed about Missouri, Florida and Ohio. And after reading a comment from my dad on this very blog, I’ve decided to make a change.

I’ve read so much today about not buying anything won’t make a difference, that they’re going to get their money anyway.  And I want to scream again. But all that’s doing is giving me a headache and not getting anything done. Like my father said , “It’s not about me personally.” I just know that I personally can make a change. 

This, it doesn’t make a difference mindset is so defeatest, lazy, and myopic. You don’t think your black dollars make a difference to the black business owner? You’re dead assed wrong.

When I moved to Philadelphia in 1987 in the winter, I didn’t realize that by August I would be knee deep in financial aid paper work, registration and dry wall, spackle, paint, carpet, paper cuts, labels. Sometimes working until after the sun set. This was West Coast Video, and it was my father’s store.

He employed family, friends and their kids from the neighborhood. Working there helped partially finance my college education – books, clothes, numerous cups of food truck coffee and eggs on Kaiser breakfast rolls, bus passes and lab fees. Because financial aid only pays for so much. I worked there, in the neighborhood that my father  and brothers sisters and my cousins grew up in. I watched him making a business work and giving back by building and making his business there. He could have done this anywhere, but Lancaster Ave, or Overbrook/West Philly (that’s what I call it) is where it was.

It wasn’t just about the money either. Experiences were had – I met Will Smith there (yes, that one), hanging out at the basketball court across the street before work on a Saturday watching my dad and his friends play against their sons. Water ice and mustard pretzels. My life is forever changed because of that experience. 

My dad is an entrepreneur. Always working, never giving up.

And that spirit, coupled with what’s going on now has led me to this buying guide, with links to online, black owned businesses that I have ordered from and/or support by word of mouth.

I don’t have the money to buy these products myself at this time, but with social media, you can now support in so many other ways. If you’re looking for something unique, wearable art, aromatic bath and body items…..here’s a list of just a small sample of what’s out there. 

You do make a difference by redirecting your energy. It may not be college, it may not be a grand vacation. Some months it’s the house payment, the car, shoes…….it takes just one….

All of these are health, beauty and fashion.  I will put up a more detailed list by description within the next few days. 

Hair and Beauty and Fashion
Sisters With Beauty
Geminii Flyii
Alikay Naturals
Oyin Handmade
Lamik Beauty
SereNiti Bath and Body
CurlBOX
Global Couture
ynobe shop
My Hair Crush
Pur Body Naturals
Koils By Nature
Coco Curls
Obia Natural Hair Care
Natural Girls Rock

Food
Lola’s Sweet Cake Company

Health and Lifestyle
level 3 LIFE

Ramblings

I realize it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. Many of the subscribers may have gone in to other more popular blogs for natural hair and beauty.

I’m not even sure what to really say anymore, except my feelings were and are hurt. And by people who said they followed, read, and subscribed to my channel.  Then I realized they mistook me for Jouelzy (how you can get Josey and Jouelzy mixed up I have no idea, but what ever)

Reaching out to people who ignore you, don’t help you because your base isn’t big enough, or you don’t live in Seattle (I’m from there people, born and raised, but again, whatever) how much am I supposed to take when I don’t know if you’re ACTIVELY reading. I shut down the Facebook page because NO ONE WAS READING IT. unless I tagged Beyonce. Post a picture of myself, nothing.

I hate feeling this way, and I hate not even being enough to be mediocre. I shared a picture on a group page I belong to, and not one person said anything. But a long haired natural, likes comments, love galore.

Even in my real life, people don’t acknowledge you unless you’re doing what they tbi k is the right thing to do.

And I’m saddened by it because to me it says you’re of no value, even with your education, and intelligence, YOU MEAN NOTHING.

And that’s just from the people I know in real life. People who SHOULD SUPPORT YOU LIKE FAMILY AND ACTUAL FRIENDS.

I had someone tell me that it’s because my voice is loud, I can come off as aggressive?
Right, okay, because being quite and docile gets me everything I need? How does that even work exactly?

This could be the depression talking, but I refuse to take medication that keeps me from sleeping.  People tell me the things I post are negative, so they don’t respond to me. But things like unfair treatment of black people, affect me, so you’re basically telling me I can’t talk about myself? So I’ve resorted literallynto just posting pictures of sniffles and unicorns.

That got two likes yesterday.

Why won’t the universe let me be mediocre? Because it sure won’t let me be great.