Louisiana’s Best in Media and Entertainment Inspire with Women Who Own It Event
Founder and magazine publisher Robin Charles-Living has been overwhelmed with phone calls and emails since presenting her women’s empowerment event, Women Who Own It. Attendees were moved to tears this past Sunday as the panelists shared their advice on confidence, networking, and accomplishing goals that seem impossible to achieve.
Panelists included influential women in the industry such as: Casting Director Mae Chapman, Talent Agent Tosha Smith-Mills, Celebrity Host Tyressa Ty, Chocolate PR founder Michelby CoCo Whitehead, and ESPN Radio Host Robin Nicole.
These ladies came together to support and encourage the women of Acadiana, and also surprised several guests with resources to help them along their journey.
Living is also a Para Educator in Lafayette Parish. While working in the education system, she encountered a young lady who was dealing with a issue that quite a few teen girls often face, an unplanned pregnancy. Living immediately gravitated toward the young lady because she too was once a teen parent. The young lady attended Women Who Own It as special guest and received a plethora of gifts for her unborn son.
But the generosity did not stop there.
Baldwin native Trunisha Marks received a professional photo shoot with world-renowned photographer Christopher Horne, courtesy of talent agent Tosha Smith-Mills. Mills is responsible for some of today’s fastest rising actors such as Straight Outta Compton’s star Jason Mitchell.
“This event will be one of many to come,” Living said. “The dreams and aspirations of women in Louisiana will not be denied.”
Living and the panelist look forward to appearing in New Orleans at the 2016 Essence Music Festival.
Exclusive Interview With The Powerful Deborah Simpkins
Tomayia Colvin Talks About The Unboxed Project & More!
Deborah Simpkins is a powerful motivational speaker, minister and entrepreneurial book publisher who has only begun to scratch the surface of her greatness. Check out our chat with her below.
UM: Tell everyone a little about your background and what inspired you to do what you do?
DS: I am a preachers kid. My father was a Bishop who started a church in our basement. Watching him grow this ministry from the ground up has definitely been a big motivator in my life. The experience as described in the book "Ministers with White Collars & Black Secrets" motivated my ministry more toward women.
UM: What sets you apart from others in your industry?
DS: I can honestly say, my transparency of my life experiences sets me apart. While many in the ministry are looking to hide the pain and shame, I'm willing to share it. It may not be pretty, but it's my truth. I am not perfect and people can relate to that.
UM: How was the experience of turning your book into a play?
DS: The experience of turning the book into a play has been and continues to be a process. When you are an artist, it is sometime hard to understand handing your artistry over to another artist. I did learn to trust others with my vision. Once I made up my mind to trust the writer with my baby and let him write, the process became easier. I never promised to be the easiest person to work with, but I do promise to be fair :o)
UM: What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in your footsteps?
DS: If you are looking to follow in my footsteps, you can't give up or give in to pressure. Being in the spotlight comes with some added pressures and sometimes even consequences. People only seem to notice the glamour and glitz. Well if we are being honest, they must also be prepared for the hate and haters!
UM: Do you have any other upcoming projects that you would like to share with our readers?
DS: I am working on a new book that promises to deliver more real life truths to we as women deal with daily. Instead of running from topics of adultery, sex and betrayal, I share my experiences. We as women tend to be ashamed of situations that could honestly help the next. That is my ultimate goal. Yes, we make mistakes, but we can use them to help each other.
UM: Where can everyone go to keep up with your latest projects?
DS: Follow me on FB - SimpkinsDeborah
Tomayia Colvin Photography is a nationally published High School Senior Portrait + Wedding Photographer that specializes in carefree, funky, and real portrait sessions that bring out the best in you – both inside and out.
UM: How did you get your start in photography?
TC: Four years ago I was a scrapbooking direct sales associate and wanted to be able to have my clients the ability to pass on heirloom scrapbooks and photo albums down from generation to generation. I quickly found out in this digital age people started to rely on social media for their memory storage but were not actually taking professional photos and were heavily relying on cell phones. I purchased a camera to take photos of my clients for their scrapbooks and found a love like no other taking photos of families.
UM: What inspires you the most when it comes to your work?
TC: I draw my inspiration from my clients and their personalities. I love color and nature!
UM: How did The Unboxed Project come about?
TC: After watching the news and shares on social media I noticed that the only teens highlighted are the ones that are getting into trouble. The teen clients that I photograph and taught in my classes were honor roll students, community leaders, and all-around great kids. I wanted to create a platform to highlight them and encourage other teens that they too can be "unboxed" and not be what society has stereotyped them as.
UM: Tell us about your upcoming event.
TC: On Saturday, I'm hosting The Unboxed Project™ in New Orleans, Louisiana! The one-day show will move the spotlight off negative ideas of teens and focus on young people with giving spirits and amazing talent, who always push to be more despite the odds! We're celebrating teens!
UM: Where can everyone go for the latest information on this event, and all other future endeavors?
TC: Details for upcoming shows and events can be found at
Entrepreneurship 2.0 Summit Spotlights the Importance of Economic Development & Financial Literacy at Impact Church on April 2nd
Celebrity Publicist & Co-Producer of ‘The Film Black Friday’ April Love Hosts Financial Empowerment Forum for Metro-Atlanta Entrepreneurs
Atlanta, GA (March 18, 2016) – Owning a business can help reduce the racial and ethnic wealth gap by allowing individuals to fulfill their potential to create wealth-generating opportunities for themselves and others. However, entrepreneurs of color face roadblocks in securing financing and growing their businesses, which leaves their communities behind as well. In response to this, PR Maven & Brand Strategist April Love is continuing her ‘A Brand New You’ seminar series with her latest extension: Entrepreneurship 2.0. Creatives, entrepreneurs, and business professionals alike will have the opportunity to connect and engage with experts as they discuss the fundamental principles of entrepreneurship.
As the Founder & CEO of one of the most prominent public relations agencies in Atlanta, April Love has dedicated her life to helping business owners establish a reputable brand and notable presence within their target market. She has created platforms like Entrepreneurship 2.0 for professionals and entrepreneurs to not only network but to be empowered through financial literacy. “My goal is always to motivate others to take action,” says April. “Financial Literacy is an individual decision and is imperative for the economic development of our communities.”
Panelists for this exciting digital summit include Executive Producer of R&B Divas Nicci Gilbert, Executive Producer of Married to Medicine Mariah Huq, Food Network’s AllStar Academy Lisa Washington, Media Personality Ebony Steele, and more. As a co-producer for the prolific documentary The Film Black Friday, April will provide an exclusive screening and address the state of economic power within urban communities. Attendees will also be able to engage in live Q&A with Executive Producer Ric Mathis.
The live panel discussion will take place live on Saturday, April 2nd at Impact Church (2323 Sylvan Rd, Atlanta, GA 30344) from11:30 am to 4:00 pm. Participants can surely expect an exciting, inspiring, and practical experience that will provide the necessary tools and knowledge to become financially established within today's economy. Tickets and vendor space can be purchased atabnyentrepreneurship.eventbrite.com. Previous panelists of the ‘A Brand New You’ series included Miller Coors’ Brand Executive Steve Canal, CMO of Liquid Soul Nick F. Nelson, Global Director of Marketing for Strength of Nature Charlene Dance, and Producer of Real Housewives of Atlanta Princess Banton-Lofters.
What’s Your POWER Outfit?
Most people feel powerful, because they are confident. There are many things that will make you feel confident
such as having your hair done, getting your nails done, the career position you’re in, and your ability in your skills. Have you considered that clothes can also make you feel pretty powerful? Even in the biblical sense putting on clothes is powerful when Paul warns us to put on the full armor of God; the belt of truth, the body armor of God’s righteousness, shoes of peace, the shield of faith, helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit (Ephesians 6: 13-17). So, as you can see the right outfit is very powerful! Think about all the clothes in your closet. What makes you feel powerful? Is it that blouse and pencil skirt? Fellas, is it your favorite tie and slacks? Whatever it is now is the time to tap into your power outfit! Remember these 3vthings when you’re selecting your power outfit:
1. Make sure you’re comfortable in it. (Can you move around easily in it?)
2. Does it look good on you? (If it’s too snug or too loose you’re not going to feel very powerful!)
3. Do the colors complement you? (Find the color that stands out on you. You know the one that brings out your eyes and skin tone.)
Now that you have your power outfit work on doing power poses to make you feel even more confident. Check out TED Talk presenter Amy Cuddy’s video “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.”
By: Mechelle A. Roberthon, The Utmost Professional
Mechelle A. Roberthon is a contributing writer for Unrivaled Magazine. She is the founder and operator of The Utmost Professional; a career and professional development brand. Follow The Utmost Professional on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Unrivaled Magazine Motivation 101: You’re The Boss: Manage Your Brand!
“What have you done for your career in the last 3 months?” This is a question I heard at the SQL Saturday event this past weekend at LSU. Isn’t this a great question to ask yourself? Start thinking of yourself like a brand. What if you were in charge of Dr. Pepper? You would want to make sure Dr. Pepper is being promoted in the best light, and you would become protective of it. Well you are a brand and you have to start managing yourself.
One of the best things you could do to manage your brand is to keep your resume and LinkedIn profile updated. If you ever plan to join a social media site LinkedIn is well worth it. LinkedIn is pretty much a site for professionals. You post details of your resume, and begin connecting with other professionals. After every training class or continuing education class you take add it as a skill on your resume. If you self-taught yourself something or gained a skill relevant to your area of interest add it to your resume.
Another thing you can do is to manage your online presence is to separate your personal and professional lives by creating separate accounts for your social media sites. This way you could list your professional social media sites on your resume, and now you’ll be in control in what employers and clients see about you. If you have an area of expertise create a blog and share your professional experience. These minor tweaks make your more marketable to clients that you want to serve. It gives them proof of what you’re capable of doing. Makes sense? The best tip I heard at SQL Saturday this past weekend from Steve Jones was every 3 months set a reminder in your calendar to update your resume. If in a 3 month time period you have nothing to add to your resume ask yourself, “Why haven’t you done anything for your career in 3 months?” (Steve Jones).
Remember You’re The Boss: Manage Your Brand!
Mechelle A. Roberthon
UM: What inspired you to become a fitness expert and lifestyle coach?
Dawn: I was inspired by my own life to become a fitness expert and a lifestyle coach. I have had the pleasure of being coached in different areas of my life by some of the best in their field. I currently train every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning with Mr. Charles Glass, who is considered to be one of the best trainers in the world. I have also worked with motivational speaker/lifestyle coach Mr. Les Brown.
When I began to see changes in my own life and experience first hand what working with a trainer and lifestyle coach could do. I wanted to do that for someone else. I wanted to help someone else be their best and reach their fullest potential.
UM: When did it first hit you that you would successful at this?
Dawn: From day one felt I would be successful in this business. I have a passion for helping people, I love to encourage and edify people to be their best, and when I combined those things with my joy for working out, I knew this would be the industry I would soar in.
UM: What tips do you have for your average men and women that are looking to maintain a healthy weight?
Dawn: Motivation is the key to maintaining a healthy weight. Remind yourself daily “WHY” staying in shape is important.
· Eat breakfast! It’s the most important meal of the day
· Do not skip meals; 5-6 “mini-meals” will keep your metabolism moving throughout the day.
· Watch your portion size. Use the pal of your hand or a chliched fist
· Do not "drink" your calories. Limit your alcohol and soda intake
· Break a sweat “Everyday.” Aim for a minimum of 45 minutes of aerobic exercise a day and a minimum of 20 minutes of resistance training three times a week.
· Journal. Writing down everything you eat or drink including portion sizes. Be honest and accurate, otherwise the journal is not as helpful. The food journal will help you learn about your eating habits and help you assess the food choices you are making.
· Avoid crash diets!
UM: Many people say they don’t have time to work out or prepare healthy meals, do you have any advice on how they could adjust their daily routine or lifestyle to allow healthier living?
Dawn: The best advice I can give to someone that feels they don’t have the time to workout or cook healthy meals is to plan, plan, plan. Nothing simply happens in life, you have to plan for it. I started having success the moment I started planning my days ahead of time. It will take that type of commitment. Once you start planning you will find a system that works for you. In my planning, I discovered I am most successful when I prepare my food ahead of time on Sundays for the entire week. Preparing my clothes for work and scheduling my day the night before allowed time for me to train early in the morning and get to work on time. It’s all in the planning
UM: You have trained many celebrities such as Steve Harvey and Kim Kimble, is it more difficult to work with celebrities due to their busy schedules and other factors?
Dawn: Absolutely! Celebrities have a very challenging schedule. However, they hire a trainers because they understand the importance of being in great health in order to keep up with the demands of their busy schedule and high profile life.
UM: What celebrities would you say not only have a fit body, but also live a healthy lifestyles.
Dawn: Idris Elba and Jugh Jackman are male celebrities who are fit and I believe live a healthy lifestyle. For the female celebrities I'd say Halle Berry & Jennifer Lopez just to name a few.
UM: For someone thinking of hiring a fitness expert, what are some of the benefiits opposed to doing everything on their own?
Dawn: Personal trainers are experts on holding you accountable to your goals. They will provide you with solid, consistent and non-judgmental support.They are educated on the most effective ways to help you reach your fitness success. They will also work with you to develop a fitness regimen and nutritional plan that will allow you to achieve the result that you cannot achieve on your own.
There is an overwhelming amount of nutrition and fitness information available today. A personal trainer will keep you abreast on new perspectives and ideas and also teach you proper technique & form helping you avoid unnecessary injury.
UM: Tell us about The Fitness Kidz, and how did the idea come about?
Dawn: The Fitness Kidz are a group of kids from age 7 through 15 who’s mission is to educate motivate and encourage other kids to make healthy diet choices and exercise daily. It started with a challenge Steve Harvey presented to a 15 year old young man name Broderick to get in shape. Other parents heard about the challenge and brought their children by my studio to train and The Fitness Kidz was birthed.
UM: For those looking to keep up with your work or to contact you for services do you have a website and social media likes that you would like to share?
Dawn: You can follow me on instagram, facebook & twitter @Dawn Strozier. website address is . You can email me at
For some, working for others to help build their empire and cultivate their dream is ideal. American society has set the notion that if we secure a good job in corporate America, we are well on our way. For others such as myself and Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Robin Charles-Living of Unrivaled Magazine,the goal to work for ourselves in pursuit of our passion is what fuels creativity and productivity.
If becoming an entrepreneur is on your 'To-Do' list, here's a few tips that will help you be well on your way.
1. Clearly define your vision.
· What exactly is it that you're trying to sell? It doesn't have to be a tangible product. It can be an idea, a service, etc. Make sure that this is clear for you before trying to market to investors or consumers. There's nothing worse than not being able to clearly 'pitch' your idea to others.
2. Put the vision on paper.
· Brainstorm, then use this compilation of data to form the first draft of your formal business plan. In project management, we would refer to this document as the project charter which includes everything from prices, time involved, and individuals responsible or accountable. The project charter leaves no room for question, as every aspect is clearly defined.
· *Tip: Not sure how to begin your plan? No worries! provides free online resources, consultation, and templates to get you started.
3. Study your industry.
· As an entrepreneur, you'll serve as the face of your brand and more than likely be responsible for your company marketing. Be good, better yet, GREAT at it. Educate yourself on it, and always embrace opportunities to learn. No one should be able to better pitch your idea than you.
· If there is someone out there already in your industry, learn from them. Study what is going right for them and learn from their mistakes. There's no reason to make the same mistakes in your endeavor if it's already been done. Don't try to reinvent the wheel here unless your product/service is completely new to the market.
I hope you've enjoyed the first series of "Releasing Your Inner Boss." Stay tuned as we'll be bringing more your way in the weeks to come.
Have an idea that you'd like us to write about, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to hear from you!
Kandi Burrusswill be headlining next month’sEmpower The Businesswoman Master class on April 11th in Atlanta, Ga. We all know that Kandi has over 20 years of success in the entertainment industry, and she is also a successful multifaceted entrepreneur. Her goal with this event is to educate the next generation of women entrepreneurs, and help guide them towards the path of success that she has been blessed to achieve.
Those in attendance will be in for an amazing treat because Kandi has put together a panel of powerhouse successful women to help inspire every woman in the building to reach for the very top. The other guest panelists consist of Mona Scott-Young, Andra Hall,Brandi Hunter, Dr. KimberlyVenturs-Darks, and Myleik Teele. All of these women are major players in their industry, and they will be sharing their secrets to success. This is one event you definitely do not want to miss if you are an aspiring business owner or just want to take your business to the next level! Visit the link below to find out additional information and how to register.
The 13th Annual Ford Neighborhood Awardshosted by Steve Harveywill take place in Atlanta, GA for the 2nd year in a row! Tickets went on sale to the public this morning and are selling rather quickly! Those who plan on attending should get ready to enjoy star studded parties, film screenings, expos, live broadcasts of The Steve Harvey Morning Show, and much more; in addition to the highly anticipated award show. This will all take place over the duration of 4 days beginning on Thursday August 6th and ending on Sunday August 9th. For the full schedule of events and information on where to purchase tickets visit the event website below!