Interview with the ultimate creative business man – Troy Pryor

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How is everything in the business world?
The entertainment business is always a roller coaster, but staying true to who you are and focused on your goal will keep you on the right track.

Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?”
I make your life easier, whether I’m in front of the camera or behind. I’m an actor, producer, exec, and thought provoker.

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What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
Boredom. I got tired of waiting for other people to give me a chance and the novelty of what was coming my way began wearing off.

Tell me more about your career? How long have you been in the game? What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?
I’ve been at it for about 8 years, started with print and runway, to stage and TV/Film, now producing, writing, and directing. My biggest accomplishment would be not quitting and discovering what I actually wanted. I you don’t love what you do, you’ll end up quitting at some point. Everything else seems to fall in place when you commit and surround yourself with the right energy. The biggest set back was not taking charge earlier in my career. I reached a point when I realized and I didn’t have to right people in my corner and missed out some great opportunities.

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You founded Creative Cypher, can you tell us more about it? What inspired its creation?
I was blessed to be on both sides or the camera, and I would network like a monster until I became the person with the connections. Eventually people began coming to me, so I created an infrastructure to support those networking opportunities. We produce live experiences that attracted the most talented people around and quite naturally like minded people begin to attract one another. We then provide guidance so the potential projects are properly developed for production and distribution. We have other companies for the later.

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You have an event, #CYPHERLIVE – which has been desciribed as late night meets “Def Comedy/Poetry Jam”! That sounds quite interesting, tell us more Troy!
Yes, we do this every other month with our partners Blue 1647, an amazing tech incubator in Chicago, which is now expanding into other markets! Our goal here is to provide a platform for filmmakers to showscase and pitch their projects but we also incorporate, comedy, spoken word, live music, and special guest interview. We attract the people we want to work with and lay the path for collaboration. Our last event’s special guest was Golden Globe winning actress, Regina Talyor and on August 8th we’ll have Oscar and Grammy winning song writer, Che, “Ryhmefest” Smith. We just did another event with Che and Sway Calloway 2 days ago.

Who are some of the other creatives that you have worked with?
I’ve been on several covers and ads , so tons of amazing photographers. The first project I ever worked was with Tyler Perry. A lot of great ad agencies for commercials and my last role was on NBC’s Chicago Fire.

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Can you tell us about new projects that you are working on?
Some of them…lol. I’ve go a film called “Intersection” heading to Puerto Rico next week. It’s been screening around the country for the past year. We’ve got another show up for a 13 episodes deal, 3 films in post and 6 in pre-production, in addition to the live events….so not too much going on.

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your company?
“Man know thyself” You have to know who you are, what you want, and your worth. Then execute a game plane to achieve those goals. That’s what we do.

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How can we find out more about you and your pursuits online? Facebook? Twitter? Website?

www.troypryor.com
@troyopryor
@creativecypher

Are there any last words of wisdom or advice that you have for our readers?
Nope…I’m still trying to figure it out myself. lol

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Amerikas Addiction – “P.DIDDY” DJ Twenty Three

Interview with artist Baby Bugsy

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What’s good Baby Bugsy! How is everything in the music world?
Everything is great, I just think its time for a break thru!

Ok, I always like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do?”

Wow! I wear many hats Im an artist, producer, ceo, and a barber

What inspired you to become a artist?

Just the love of all types of music.

Tell me more about your career how long have you been in the game?

It has been a alot of up’s and down’s but I have been rapping for about 20 years now

What are some of your biggest accomplishments?

Meeting DJ Whoo Kid and having a conversation with him on the set of his rewind dvd right before he really blew up!
Biggest setbacks and how did you overcome them?

My biggest setback was taking too much time off and I overcame it by learning that I need to stay consistent!

Who are some of the artist and producers that you have worked with?

I recently worked with Polyrob and OFB Yung of Cali swag District on my record “I Cant Change It”. Before that I did some work with with Bay Area Legend Black C of Rbl Posse and Moe tha Hustla of NOH Mafia.

 

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Can you tell us about any new projects that you are working on?

I’m going to release a mixtape called Bugsy Slaps Vol 1 first, then an album that I haven’t titled yet soon after!

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your music?

I desire to continue to work hard in the studio while staying in my own lane! I am going to incorporate some of the new styles of music out now with my own twist.

How can we find more about you and your music online Bugsy?

You can follow me on twitter @reptout5 on Instagram @babybugsy and FaceBook under Baby Bugsy Johnson Harper. You can also find my music and videos on You Tube, Sound Cloud, I-Tunes and everywhere music is sold online.

Any last words of wisdom or advice?

To everyone pursuing any kind of dream, don’t give up! Follow your dreams! Stay focused and REPTOUT!

Interview with Brew City Cigar Fest co-founder Beth Borst

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If a stranger came up to you with a Brew City Cigar Festival flier in their hand and asked you, “Why should I go to this”? What would you say?

Because it will become one of the best experiences of your life. Imagine an evening of pure fun and indulgence – where you’ll feast on great food, unlimited samples of whiskey, beer, wine and other spirits, enjoy live entertainment in a relaxed environment, smoke cigars and walk away with literally handfuls of premium cigars. Gorgeous cigar girls will cut and light your cigars. And the camaraderie with hundreds of men and women who enjoy cigars is unforgettable.

 

What inspired you to create The Brew City Cigar Festival?

It was pure impulse – and a little inspiration from Cigar Aficionado, the high-end magazine about the cigar lifestyle. CA hosts a large cigar event in Las Vegas and New York every year. I’ve been a faithful attendee for 10 years. One night in Vegas, 4 years ago, I decided that Milwaukee needed a big cigar event – and the rest is history.

 

Tell me more about The Brew City Cigar Festival! What is going to be there? Is this an event for only cigar aficionados? Or can newcomers learn something here to?

Imagine a big speakeasy with all the elements of music, lots of libations and food, mixed with a trade show of premium cigar manufacturers who are there to give you a free sample. We have about 50 companies offering drinks, food, cigars, cigar accessories and luxury items. We have over 15 cigar manufacturers who participate and love talking with cigar smokers. Center stage is a live band playing Rat Pack type music. A fan favorite is our cigar roller; you can watch Francis roll cigars at the event, which are available for sale. We limit the event to 600 people so we can provide a personal and relaxed environment. This is an event for newcomers to cigars AND aficionados. For newcomers, there are countless opportunities to learn about cigars (we even do demonstrations and pairings), and for aficionados, they can try cigars they’ve never tried before!

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Who are some of the cigar manufacturers who will be in attendance? Ar there any special guests or surprises?

We attract premium cigar companies that are the largest in the world like Monte Cristo, Romeo y Julietta, Padron, EPC, Ashton, Rocky Patel and Drew Estate as well as boutique cigar manufacturers like Kristoff and Villiger and even brand new cigar companies. We even have our local favorite brand called Pablo Martin who is in attendance. They are all high end premium cigar companies. The owner of Kristoff Cigars, Glen Case, one of my favorite cigars, is attending and we are working on a few other famous owners and family members that I can’t reveal quite yet.

 

I know that you donated a portion of the proceeds to charity and community organizations in the past, which I commend! Can you tell us more about the charity involved with The Brew City Cigar Festival?

We have an affinity for military and veterans’ causes; cigar smokers are typically very patriotic and generous. This year we’ve selected two great causes – The Fisher House Wisconsin who provides veterans and their families a place to stay when seeking medical treatment at the Milwaukee VA Hospital, and Camp Hometown Heroes, another local cause, who provides children of fallen soldiers a weeklong camp experience with other children who have experienced a similar loss. Coming together like this for a week helps them heal, get support and most important know that they are not alone.

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Can you tell us some of your cigar recommendations? How about any specific Cigar and Spirits pairings? Educate us!

I am going to be honest and maybe lose all my credibility. I love cigars – probably smoke three a week, and I love wine, whiskey and craft beer. I have no problem mixing my favorite drink with a good premium cigar. I am still in the stage of trying new combinations every week. I have my go-to cigars – especially love creamy smooth Connecticut wrapper cigars, but will try anything once. I haven’t found a drink and cigar pairing I didn’t like! At the event, we have pairings, demonstrations and Cigar 101 activities. I should probably sign up for one of them!!

 

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with the Brew City Cigar Festival?

OMG, I had an instant connection to you when I saw your motto #DWYD! That’s what cigar smoking cigars and BCCF is all about. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the moment alone or with others. Our motto is: Smoke. Drink. Eat. Play. Maybe I should add, DWYD. ☺

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How can we find out more about the Brew City Cigar Festival online? Facebook? Twitter? Website? And of course, how do we buy tickets?!

You can find us online at www.BrewCityCigarFestival.com. You can buy tickets online and sign up for our email program to stay updated about all the latest news about cigars and the event. Friend us on Facebook too at https://www.facebook.com/BrewCityCigarFestival Or if you prefer Twitter, you can find us at: https://twitter.com/brewcitycigars Are there any last words of wisdom that you may have learned while enjoying a good cigar that you’d like to share? Take time to smoke a cigar – life slows down and worries disappear quickly. Add your favorite drink and life becomes beautiful!

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Interview with RaceStart

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Good day Antonette! I always start off every interview with this question, If a stranger walked up to you and asked, “What Do You Do?”, what would you say?

I change lives…I make what once seemed impossible, possible.

 

Can you tell us how you got into Personal Training? What inspired you to follow this is as your passion?

Ever since I can remember I have been competing in sports and have kept a very busy schedule- Naturally this has had an effect. I was raised to never give 100%, but rather always give 110%.

When I graduated from college we were entering the recession. I can remember a time not so long ago that a job upon graduation was guaranteed- I quickly learned that there are no guarantees in life. I am a firm believer that if you work hard when you are young that your future will be successful.

I was in my senior year of college, taking 21 credits, working 3 jobs, and quickly approaching the real world. That’s when the recession hit, something they don’t prepare you for in college.

I had my shiny Bachelor degrees with nowhere to go. I can remember asking myself, “what truly makes me happy?”.I kept finding myself at the gym to clear my head. As it turns out, my answer was right in front of me all along. I had been an athlete my entire life. There is nothing that I am more passionate about than health, fitness, and helping others to live a healthy lifestyle.  Since that moment I never doubted my decision to pursue a career in health & fitness.

 

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So, people out there want to know (me included) how do we find the motivation, the drive to be physically fit? What are your methods or philosophy that you use for your clients?

#1) 110% commitment! I can’t want this more than my client- they have to want it. It’s one thing to show up to the gym and go through the motions and it’s another thing to MENTALLY PREPARE YOURSELF for the changes that have to take place.

#2) My motto is, “ You can’t expect change if you continue to do the same thing”

#3) Stay positive and have fun with it! Our bodies are smart- If you are bored during your workouts then your muscles are bored too. That’s when you stop seeing results. Have fun, after all this is YOUR time. If you need help getting started come in for a free consult, I’d be happy to help!

#4) Love your body! We tend to be our worst critics. When you look in the mirror, give yourself a compliment. Often times we are quick to see our “flaws” and focus too heavily on what we don’t like.

#5) KEEP TRACK of your workouts; your reps, your loads, and the time of completion.

After a few weeks or months, pull out a workout that you previously recorded and try to beat it… Focus on the “now”, not the “where you think you should be”. Sometimes that can be overwhelming. One day at a time…focus on that 1 goal that you set. Once you have achieved that goal, then get ready to set a new one…and keep going :)

 

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I am not an expert, nor do I have a six pack, but I believe mental toughness and tenacity is a big part of everything we do in life. How important is it in achieving personal fitness goals?

“mental toughness”- many times we are our own bully or worst enemy. Be positive!

If you set a goal thinking that there’s no way you can achieve that, then you are just setting yourself to fail. Write down your goal and make it concrete- then make a plan of attack!

It’s not until then your goal becomes real. Our society is fixated on instant gratification- There are no shortcuts in life, there are goals that need to be set and choices that need to be made. Keep track of your progress along the way. This way you can continue to see how far you have come. There will be ‘slip ups’ from time to time and it’s important to realize that is okay.

 

Pain is a part of life, and as they say, “no pain no gain” so I can imagine you have experienced your share of pain and success. Can you tell us and potential clients about a time you overcame and achieved a goal in your life?

When I graduated high school it’s safe to say  that I didn’t have a plan going into college. I followed in my mother’s footsteps and  was highly encouraged to pursue advertising/design. It was very difficult to inform my parents that their dream for me was no longer my dream.

I have a wonderful family, who has always encouraged me to chase my dreams- However, my new career path came to them as a complete shock. Over time they came around and learned to trust, and believe in my new quest. This drove me to where I am today…I knew I was taking a big risk starting over and taking an entirely different career path…it was time to prove myself.

To answer your question, starting over was painful, but so rewarding! Totally worth it!

 

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We a have a mantra, “Do What You Desire” or simply “#DWYD”. Can you explain how that applies to you and what you do?

“Desire: to strongly wish for or want something”

I have always been a strong believer that if you want something bad enough you will make it happen. I told myself at a very young age that I wouldn’t settle for working a job that didn’t make me happy…I wanted my own gym, a positive, healthy environment where like-minded people could gather together and cheer each other on…so I made it happen…you only fail in life if you give up…and I’m not a quitter.

 

How can we find out more about you and what you do? Websites? Facebook? Twitter?

We just finished our website, www.racestarttraining.com, which ended up being a much bigger project than anticipated, but well worth it! I would like to give a big shout out to my web designer, Justin Staples of JS Interactive….Justin and his team are amazing to work with. As a new business owner, hiring JS Interactive was the best decision I made!

You can also find RaceStart Training on:

Or visit us inside of the Lincoln Warehouse, 2018 S.1st Street #305 Bay View, WI 53207

 

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Are there any last words of advice that you’d like to share with anyone reading?

Move more, sit less ;)…

I feel that as we get older our natural tendency is to put everyone else before taking care of ourselves. Ask yourself the question, “ How can I keep up with my kids or live my life to it’s fullest if I’m not healthy?”

I strongly believe that fitness if the best medicine…

If you are ready and committed  to make a positive change in your life, please visit RaceStart Training. Contact Antonette Race, founder of RS, at #262-497-1844. Let us help support and encourage you during this exciting time!

Your body will thank you!”

 

“P-DIDDY” Single Coming 7-1-15!

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“P-DIDDY” COMING 7-1-15!

Interview with Renaissance Woman, Jenny Marie Christian

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Hello Jenny! How is life treating you? 
Joshuaaaaa!!!! Hiii!!! I love your name by the way. Great biblical name for a great guy… Lol Life’s trying to toss a few mountains in my way right now, but I know it’s a test to prove that they can be moved. So I’m doing my best and staying in the fight.

If a stranger walked up to you on the street and asked “What do you do?” what would be your response?
I tell people I’m a dreamer, a writer, media correspondent, an activist, a pageant queen and an aspiring actress.

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Can you tell us about how you got involved in modeling? What were your influences to pursue it?
Well when I wrote my first book back in 2008 I had a photo shoot for the cover. After I had chosen my cover photo and released my book, I posted the other outtakes and miscellaneous images on social media. They received good feedback and at that point photographers and makeup artist began contacting me to work with them. I actually had no plan or intention to pursue it. It sort of just happened and I’ve met some amazing people and learned so much. Modeling is a craft that goes far beyond just standing for a snapshot, but capturing the essence, the energy, the mood, the vision of the client. I’m still a student of the industry and pull inspiration and influence from everywhere.

You are very driven, creative & passionate. Where does this energy come from?
Thank you so much! I think a lot of it comes from my parents. My father was a blues singer that had to endure so much for the dream. My mother is an educator and the strongest woman I know and hasn’t had an easy life by far. We didn’t have much money. So they had to be creative and resourceful to ensure we as a family had everything that we needed. While also remaining passionate in the pursuit of other goals that made them happy. I guess it kind of comes to me naturally because nothing as ever been easy or handed to me.

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I follow you on Twitter/IG/Facebook and I have to admit and applaud you for being very outspoken about your beliefs. Where do you find the courage, especially in today’s fickle and soft society, to speak your truth and experiences, at the expense of being ridiculed?
Growing up I was always taught to be sweet, be kind, be respectful, be docile, and be a lady. So I thought that stating my peace would make people in return perceive me in a manner in which I didn’t like. I’d be seen as a bitch. So I kept a lot to myself. Problem with holding things in is it will slowly build, build and build until you explode. It was stressful. It filled me with rage. It had me lashing out from so much built up anger and resentment of never stating how I really feel. I decided then that I will not put my voice, my thoughts, my concerns, or my opinions on mute to appease another person or make them comfortable. I have the right to respectfully use my voice and my platform to express myself. I have the right to openly discuss what I care about and my truth. If it offends another that’s not my problem. My words and theories can either challenge an open mind or offend a weak one. I’ve learned to be ready to face both.

Let me get even deeper…cause, you can’t judge books by their covers. What are your thoughts on the media’s portrayal of black people/African Americans? Too much negative and not enough realistic and empowering stories?
First let me give you my thoughts on media in general. The media will air, promote and exploit anyone and anything that will bring them ratings and money. I can’t fault that. What I can say is as viewers, we have the power. it’s our job to demand to have more positive broadcastings, family oriented programming, diversity in the programming. I’m more from the camp of “don’t waste time bashing what you hate, promote what you love”… You won’t see me voicing an opinion on love & hip hop, but I’ll tweet and post about a great book or documentary. My point is I can’t blame the media’s portrayal. I blame us for continuing to allow it and support it. The media is doing their job, we must do ours and demand and create the images of African Americans that we want to see.

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What are your thoughts on how women are portrayed in society? Over sexualized? Not celebrated for being what women are? 
Saying there’s a “lack of respect” for women in today’s society is an understatement. I truly feel as though many men don’t even like women. Women are looked at and treated as objects versus being treated like human being with feelings. For example how men refer to women these days. The majority of the time you’ll hear and read “bitch”, “thot”, “hoe” and when men are attempting to be “respectful”, they’ll refer to women as “a female or females”… Like we’re animals .. A female what, kangaroo. We’re women. We’re queens. We’re the mothers of your children. We’re you’re protectors in a world that hates you. We’re your shoulder to lean on, when the weight of life is heavy. We’re your confidant when you can’t rely on another soul. We’re on the front lines protesting for you when you’re being shot down like dogs. Where’s our respect? Where’s our honor? Where’s our pedestal? Instead of being treated royalty we’re being treated like cattle. It’s disheartening. If the men you go so hard for don’t value you, how can the portrayal in movies, music and videos get any better? It’s a challenge being and raising strong women in a world that tells us we are hoes and that it is a compliment to be a “bad bitch”. Isn’t that crazy?!

What are your thoughts on the media’s reaction to Caitlin Jenner and the lack of coverage of say, Akon’s impact in Africa, or the Patriot Act?
Lol.. Good ole Caitlyn. Well you know how I feel, we have the power. Media is only going to give us what they know we’ll react to and run with. I’m more disappointed with how many of us were so caught up in Caitlyn instead of Akon. We must do our part. Shout out to Akon for that by the way. So admirable. I’ve ranted before about how I feel celebrities and public figures should use the influence to empower, do positive things and speak on issues that directly affect their fan base the way Talib Kweli does with #BlackLivesMatter .. Don’t just look out for fans when an album drops. That’s another rant for another day though. Lol

You once mentioned that today’s men lack gentleman qualities, what has been your worst experience? Why do you think today’s men lack common courtesy towards women?
My worst experience was once I was on the phone with this guy I liked right. I was discussing with him how it’s very inconsiderate of him to disregard my messages for days at a time and then get back to me whenever. After that disagreement he was informing me of his friends in town. So I interject with how I know already because he’ll post everything to Facebook before he responds to me. Immediately his friend chimes in the conversation (because this rude boy got me on speaker) and starts going in on me with profanity about how wasting time talking about Facebook bullshit.. Blah blah. I was so appalled because 1. Who has a private conversation on speaker phone. 2. What grown man lets another grown man chime in on their call. 3. What kind of man is so comfy just freely being rude and profane to a woman. 4. What kind of man lets another man disrespect a woman he supposedly likes. I mean I was in such disbelief. These are the times we live in. Women are treated horribly, but still expected to be so sweet and kind at all times. If not she’s a bitch. I wish I knew where the lack of common courtesy and being a gentleman went, but I don’t have an answer. Most men just haven’t been taught how to treat and lady and about chivalry.

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What have been some of your greatest achievements in your career, in pursuing your passion? Give us some inspiration, that, in the words of Les Brown, “It’s Possible”!
My greatest accomplishment this far is actually something so small, but yet so important. That’s simply finding my courage. I’ve found my courage to pursue my dreams. Fear and rejection had me stuck in a rut and complacency. Now I’m finally taking the necessary steps and risks with faith to get me to my destiny. For that alone in proud. Because it took me a while to move beyond fear to find courage.

We have a mantra, “Do What You Desire” or simply #DWYD, how does that apply to you and your lifestyle?
It fits perfectly with my lifestyle because I feel as though everyone should live life doing what they desire and with who they desire. That’s my goal. No more listening to what others think I should do. I’m going to live my life, my way.

Are there any last words that you’d like to give to anyone that is pursuing their passion and living the Do What You Desire lifestyle?
Keep pushing. The journey is going to have its high moments and it’s going to have some low moments. Trust that everything will work out as it should and know that a path without obstacles probably wouldn’t lead you anywhere.

Are there any shout outs that you would like to give?!
I’d like to shout out the #DWYD for always being a place for positivity. I’d also like to shout out all of my family, friends and acquaintances that believe in me, support me and encourage me. You’re the real MVP.  Lol

Where can we find out more about you and what you do? Websites? IG? Twitter? FaceBook?
Instagram: jennymariechristian
Twitter: jennymchristian
Also follow @RockitConvo

Interview with Angie from Awesome Advertising

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Hello Angie! I always start off with this question! If a stranger came up to you in the street and asked, what do you do? What would be your response?

I sell pencils!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Where are you from? How was your childhood? What type of jobs did you have on your to becoming an entrepreneur?

I am originally from NY, but moved to Florida when I was very young. My father passed away when I was 7, so that’s why we moved to Florida. It was me, my mom and my brother. I grew up in a very strict, Italian, Catholic home.. no dating until 17, not allowed to do any concerts or parties.. ( I thank my mom today for being so strict)

My first job was filing paperwork in the church rectory to pay for the catholic school that my mom insisted I attend. As a teen, I always had a regular job, I did not discover my talents until 1980, when I worked for Richard Simmons Anatomy Asylum as a babysitter in their nursery. It was a health club that offered babysitting while the mothers worked out. I made friends with all the moms.. one day the manager came to me and told me I was wasting my talent and that she was going to put me in sales. I had never sold anything in my life and told her so.. She took me under her wing and in 3 years I wound up being the manager of that health club. I worked there until they closed their doors. I went to work selling magazines via the phone. I wound up becoming a manager there in 8 months, and stayed until they closed their doors.

Then a friend told me about Atlas Pen and Pencil. that they were hiring. I applied, got the job, and wound up becoming a sales manager there also. I stayed there for 20 years, learning everything I could about the advertising specialty business. In 2005, my husband and I decided it was time for a change, we sold our home in Florida and moved to North Carolina. I then took a chance on opening my own company. AWESOME ADVERTISING. I am happy to say this year is my 10th year in business!

Can you tell us about the moment that you decided to become an entrepreneur? What inspired you?

When we moved from Florida to North Carolina, I didn’t want to have to punch a time clock in a new job, so I just took a shot at my own thing. I guess I must say that it was my husband who inspired me because he always said ‘ You can do this.”

Can you take us into the day in the life of an entrepreneur? What are your favorite things about it? What are your least favorite things about it?

My days vary so much. some days I am so busy, I can’t keep track, other days, I can write a few orders then go do what I want. there is no set schedule for me and that’s what I like most.
my least favorite thing is all the paperwork, that takes me away from my passion.. which is SELLING!

Would you ever go back to “working” for someone else, besides your customers?! Can you tell us why or why not?

I would (hopefully) never go work for someone else. I like the fact that I can run my business the way I want, give good deals, and stand behind my company. Sometimes when company policy gets in the way, you just can’t be yourself.

We have a slogan called “Do What You Desire” aka #DWYD. Can you tell us how this applies to you and what you do!?

I feel like I always wanted to have my own business and that is where I did what I desired, taking a risk.. and succeeding is the best feeling in the world!

Where can we find out more about you and your business?
My web site is www.awesomeadvertising.info
or you can like me on Facebook!

Check out this awesome articles about Awesome Advertising below as well!

http://asicentral.com/asp/open/education/distributor-success/read.aspx#sid=5316

http://www.asicentral.com/asp/open/content/content.aspx?id=3986

Interview with Lilo of PapyrusAndCharms

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If a stranger walked up to you on the street and asked “What do you do?” what would be your response?

I would say, ” I own my own business & I create jewelry with deep cultural significances for people of every background.”

 
Can you tell us about your company PapyrusAndCharms? What are your influences to pursue this?

Well, the name of the company is very significant to me. The “Papyrus” part has two meanings: I am a poet and I call myself a scribe so it was important that I insert myself into the branding. It also means vintage jewelry or apparel. “Charms” is a nod to the symbolism I put into my work. Historically the term charm meant an item used to bring good luck and ward off evil, and I use a lot of ancient symbols with those same meanings.

Honestly, my company is the result of a little creativity in a time of great desperation. My mother was very sick in the hospital & I needed to be there with her every day, so I thought of a way I could work and still be present and voila, enter Papyrus & Charms! I’ve been making jewelry since I was a kid and I used to sell it when I was around 10, so it just came to me naturally.

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What type of items do you create? Do you actually make the pieces yourself? How would you describe your design style & aesthetic?

I create everything! I make really unique necklaces, bracelets & earrings using authentic fabrics & materials from countries in Africa & also Jamaica. My father in Jamaica creates jewelry for my store as well, and many of his pieces are really unique because they are made with palm tree seeds seeds and wood from our land back on the island.
My aesthetic as I say, is for the natural man or woman. There’s going to be a lot of wood, a lot of semiprecious stones with spiritual significance, and symbols from various cultures representing love and protection.
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What has been your greatest accomplishment? How about your biggest disappointment? How did you work through it?

In a very short span of time (since late January) I’ve grown a national customer base. Just last week I shipped orders to 7 different states in one day and I thought, “wow my little dream has grown wings!” It’s amazing to see that people want & appreciate what I create. It’s a great feeling. I haven’t had any disappointments yet; but I feel like I can handle anything after getting through my mother’s two month stint in the hospital. I’ve got this.
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We have a mantra, “Do What You Desire” or simply #DWYD, how does that apply to you and your life?

I think I’ve always lived up to this saying in my own way. My birth name means, “Only God is my judge” and I truly feel like people embody the meanings they are ascribed when they are born. I know a lot of people thought I was crazy for starting a business in the middle of a family crisis; but I thought it was brilliant. I did everything I said I would, without anyone’s help and now I have a viable business that not only supports me financially but brings me peace & happiness. The phrase “Do What You Desire” couldn’t be more appropriate; because I did just that!
 
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What is the best way for our readers to find out more about your and get their own custom jewelry?

Papyrus & Charms can be found a number of ways!
 
Facebook Fan Page: Papyrus & Charms
Instagram: @PapyrusNCharms
 
You can find more about my jewelry on any of these sites. Thanks for the opportunity to speak to the people! #DWYD 

Interview with Music Business Entrepreneur HEARTBREAKjazz

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I always start off by asking, how is everything in the world of HEARTBREAKjazz?

Everything is everything. I have good days, and bad ones. It’s getting hot outside & business is picking up, so I’m super excited for the summer.

Ok, I also like to ask, what would you say to someone if they came up to you asked “What do you do ?” 

I’m an organizer.

From shows & non-profit events to street teams & scheduling, I’m always organizing. I can’t say I have a specific title because I do a lot of everything. Sometimes I’m a manager, an administrator, designer, consultant, writer. Overall, I’m an entrepreneur. I like to take an idea and bring it to life.

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Tell me more about “HEARTBREAKjazz”? How long have you been in business? What have been your biggest accomplishments? Biggest setbacks? How did you overcome them?

“HEARTBREAKjazz” is actually a rip of some Drake lyrics in his earlier work (Heartbreak Drake). I arrived in Atlanta in 2010 to attend Clark Atlanta University. Twitter had been around but I guess you can say it was at it’s prime & the main marketing outlet for students. That’s how we found out about the upcoming parties, latest news, and how to connect with everyone. I began doing business under “@HEARTBREAKjazz” leading an all female promotion company “Boss Ladies” & the name just stuck. It’s my personal brand.

Being new to the state altogether, hopping into the nightlife scene allowed me to learn the city & network with a lot of the cities curators, promoters, artists and other people in the industry. I took a little break to return home & when I came back in the recent years (December 2013) I dived head first into music.

I feel like being a female in a male-dominated industry, you have to go hard to prove yourself. When they wouldn’t give me a chance, I took it. I went off & did it.

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Your artists are very unique. How do you use that to your advantage in marketing and public relations?

My artists sell themselves. We’re not out here putting on for the camera. Everything is 100% real, raw and uncut. The fans love someone they can relate to. The music is just a reflection of their lifestyles. I feel like a lot of the new music people are coming out with is glamorizing things they know nothing about. But listen to some Theo Ferragamo & he’s gonna tell you about juggin, finessing, skating, & crashing on someone’s couch. You can’t get any realer than that. I feel like Teddy Blow is crazy with hooks, he’s really getting comfortable in his craft & manipulating his vocals. Basically a good product will sell itself.

How is it working with one of the top independent labels in the recording industry, QC The Label?

It’s an experience! Interning was like a game of survivor. Who can stay on the island?

Being around talented, hard-working people is so inspiring. I’m all about positive vibes, especially in the workplace. The company is still fairly new and it’s a powerhouse. I’ve got the opportunity to learn so many things as well as share my knowledge and experience with others. I’m excited to see what new doors open.

How important is public relations and branding in the marketing and pushing of a new artist? In your perspective.

I believe you have to sell the whole package. There are plenty of people who have the talent but no image, & vise versa. People want to see you, hear you, feel you. The fan wants to know you (or at least think they do.) Maintaining a good public image is essential for artists today as well as really branding themselves. The Internet made it so easy for anyone to share with the world. The game is overpopulated & oversaturated. You really have to stand out but also be consistent.

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Besides working with artists, is there anything else that you are passionate about that supporters of you may not realize!?

I love working with children. Aside from music, I work at a psychiatric facility for children and also volunteer at a group home. I’m all for community development. I’m working on a few non-profit events/giveaways over the course of the year. I want kids to know their dreams are at arm’s reach.

We have a saying here “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE” or #DWYD. How does that apply to what you are doing with your company and in your life?

I feel like it’s your life. Do what you desire without fear of anyone judging you or telling you how to live. I love taking risks. I don’t think anything great has ever occurred without a little bit of risk involved. Just do it.

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How can we find out more about HeartBreakjazz online? Facebook? Twitter? Website? IG?

HEARTBREAKjazz.com or Twitter/Instagram: @HEARTBREAKjazz

Are there any last words of wisdom or advice? 

M.Y.O.B