#SupportBlackBiz: Black Dolls Created by Black People

As part of the black economic empowerment movement, it’s important for people of color to support black-owned businesses. It’s equally as important for us to do research to discover where these businesses are.

In addition, it’s important for us to raise children who are aware of their identity and feel connected to their African roots. To create environments and communities that are ran and supported by the black community. If you support the black economic empowerment movement, then it wouldn’t make sense for your daughter to play with dolls that do not reflect her culture, her identity, her BEAUTY.

I am so tired of seeing young black/Hispanic beautiful children playing with blonde hair, blue eyed dolls. With that, I’ve included a list of black dolls created by black entrepreneurs that deserve your support.

Check it out:

 the angelica doll

The Angelica Doll

Angelica Sweeting decided to create the doll, following a car seat ride with her 3 year-old daughter who mentioned that she wanted to long hair and fairer skin, like Barbie and Elsa from Frozen. Sweeting launched a kickstarter campaign to help distribute the dolls, in which she raised more than $85,000. The dolls are available to order here, and have a scheduled December 2015 release date.


Natural Girls United

Created by blogger Karen Byrd, Natural Girls United customizes the hair of black dolls to reflect the many different textures and styles of black hair. The dolls aim to bring a positive view of what black beauty is, and are available for purchase here.


Queens of Africa Dolls

A Nigerian man who could not find a black doll to buy for his niece decided to create this popular line, in an effort to provide young black girls with dolls they could relate to. The line has been selling impressive units in Nigeria, and is available for purchase here.

Support these businesses this Christmas instead of purchasing a Barbie doll! Circulate your money within your community. Continue to move forward the black economic empowerment movement. We cannot preach unity with other communities, until we have our economic stability to bring to the table. Period.

~Jaleesa Lashay~



#SupportBlackBiz: “Da Jammies” [Netflix Show]

As we continue to promote the black economic empowerment movement, there’s a new animated series that we wanted to place on your radars.

“Da Jammies” is a children series that follows the lives of five kids who attend a Performing Arts middle school in the suburbs. Heavily influenced by hip hop, the children set out to create their own music group.

The show was created by Aulsondro “Novelist” Hamilton and William “Dolla” Chapman II, and received the support of several black businesses, including BlackTree TV. It was with the support of these businesses that the show was able to get five of its episodes picked up by Netflix.

If we keep up the buzz, Netflix will pick up additional episodes, which will hopefully lead to a second season.

Make sure you show your support by watching the series on Netflix, and calling in to demand more episodes.  #SupportBlackBusinesses

~Jaleesa Lashay~


Forbes: 30 under 30 List

Forbes released their “30 under 30 2015” list this week, and it consists of ten hip hop influences that are dominating the game with their music, production, and various contributions – including Big Sean and Dj Mustard. Check them out:

Jhene Aiko: At 26 years-old, the Los Angeles native has risen to fame, gaining the likes of many all over the country for her soulful and vulnerable lyrics.


Azealia Banks: It took some time for this 23 year-old New Yorker to grow on us, but after witnessing her passion for black empowerment – we couldn’t resist showing the independent rapper some love.


Big Sean: I’m still not convinced that he’s 26 years-old, but it’s no denying that the G.O.O.D. music artist has skills. #IDFWU


Chance the Rapper: I’m not as familiar with Chance, aside from his features with Childish Gambino – but he has to be doing something right. At just 21 years-old, the rapper makes the list, boasting over 880,000 downloads of his mixtape, and two sold-out tours.


Hit-Boy: The 27 year-old G.O.O.D. music producer responsible for “N**** in Paris,” and Beyonce’s “Bow Down” clearly has a sound that has gained the respect of major icons in the industry.


Mike Will Made It: It’s hard to believe that the Atlanta-based producer is only 25 years-old. With a resume that consists of Rihanna’s “Pour It Up,” and Ciara’s “Body Party,” we know exactly why Forbes placed him on this list.


Dj Mustard: Another young’n that has gained recognition from his ability to dominate the billboard charts. The 24 year-old, Los Angeles native was responsible for all your favorite tracks this year including “2 On,” “Paranoid,” “Na-Na” and “My N****.”


A$AP Rocky: A relationship with Chanel Iman helped this 26 year-old gain exposure in the fashion industry, including a major shoot with DKNY.


Kai Wright: A name that you may not be familiar with, the 29 year-old executive serves as a Vice President for Diddy’s Revolt TV – of which he led event planning for their first annual music conference. Held in Miami, the conference attracted over 800 guests under his leadership.


Anthony Saleh: At 28 years-old, the CEO of Emagen and manager of Nas has assisted projects for Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga.


Forbes “30 under 30” is described as “a blend of country, rock, electronic, hip-hop and pop—with a shot of disruptive entrepreneurialism.” The full list can be viewed here.  

~Jaleesa Lashay~

Business Tip: Set Deadlines

The New Year is in full swing, and I can’t believe how quickly it flew by. Whether you are a graduate school student, a young professional, an entrepreneur, or an aspiring artist – deadlines are key to meeting your goals this year, because before you realize it will be over.

I encourage you to write two or three goals that you’d like to accomplish in 2015. But, make sure you set a deadline for when you’d like them completed. For instance, I like to set deadlines by the season and my age. I have goals that I’d like to accomplish by the summer, and a few that I’d like to complete by the age of 25.

It’s important for personal and professional development to stick to deadlines, because they create structure – and ensure that a started assignment reaches the finish line. Sticking to a specific timeframe will make sure that I’m on track to reach these goals. It will also provide me with a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

It’s also important to note that deadlines are not specific to professional goals. There are personal goals that I’ve set deadlines for in my life, such as purchasing a home or having children. Regardless of your goal, it’s imperative that when setting deadlines for yourself, you maintain accountability for when they are missed. 

Comment below and tell us how you plan on meeting your deadlines this year.

 ~Jaleesa Lashay~

(Photo via Womens Net)


Business Tip: Surround Yourself with People who …

Push You. Push You. Push You. 

It cannot be said enough. The importance in surrounding yourself with people who constantly push you, rather than praising you is key to your personal and professional growth. It’s great for people to tell you that your work is “amazing” and “everything will be fine,” but what does that do to help you build the confidence you need to take the risks that are necessary for success. 


This is particularly key for women who often tend to be naturally more supportive than competitive. It’s great to be supportive, but sometimes it’s more important to challenge one another. Sometimes it’s important to tell your friend who has all the talent in the world, but is wasting it because of fear and/or “stability”  that she needs to stop making excuses and go for her dreams. 

Surround yourself with people that will tell you the truth, in order to help you grow and ultimately push you toward your realistic goals and dreams. Watch how your life changes. 

Comment below and tell me of an experience where you were challenged. 

~Jaleesa Lashay~

Business Tip: Learn How to Say No

As simple as it may sound, it’s something that we all need to become better at. As a business professional, regardless of your field it is important to learn how to say NO to opportunities that will hinder your business in the future. 

How do you know if something will hinder your business in the future? Here’s some key things to look out for:

1. It will be documented

In our current day and age, that means almost everything. However, if something is being recorded or published on a website, you need to be mindful of how you are representing yourself and/or your business. For example, if you want to be a publicist you should probably think twice about being the random hood chick in that music video for your homeboy that lives in the neighborhood. The videos will come back to haunt you, and as a publicist you want to ensure that you are being taken seriously.

2. It doesn’t align with your morals

Period. There is no such thing as “business is business” and “personal is personal.” They each go hand in hand, and as soon as you get the hang of this, you will make progress toward being a better professional. For example, I am not a fan of reality television. Yes, I watch Love and Hip Hop, but even then it doesn’t feel right. I say that to say, that if I was presented with an opportunity to interview Draya or Joseline for example. I wouldn’t, because it’s not something that I agree with morally.

3. It will burn bridges

As an entrepreneur, artist, student whatever field you’re in. It is important to not burn any bridges, especially ones that could potentially affect your business. Avoid hanging with the wrong people, learn what a person’s reputation is before you decide to kick it with them. Know all that you need to know, and make sure that you are cordial with everyone, because you never know who will be your future business partner. It’s nothing worse than burning a bridge that you have to cross over later. Don’t do it. 

Those are a few tips that I hope you find helpful. Overall, you should always trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right or you think that it will hurt your brand in the future. Don’t do it, because it isn’t worth it and you do not want to be a millionaire about to close a huge deal, and that’s tarnished because of something you did in the past.

ALWAYS think about the future. Shoot, there’s certain men I haven’t given a shot in life just because I knew I am going to be somebody, and when I do become somebody I do not want him to be able to say he “hit this.” 

Comment below and tell us what you think. Contact JaleesaLashay@gmail.com if you have specific questions and need advice. 

~Jaleesa Lashay~


6 Things You Should Never Say During a Job Interview

Salary.com – an online publication dedicated to helping professionals recently published an article. The article provides a list of nine things you should never say during an interview, and includes a variety of advice that I felt may be helpful to share. 

Some of the things that you should never say, I felt were self-explanatory so I narrowed the list down to six. Check it out below and let me know what you think. 

~Jaleesa Lashay~

1. Sorry I’m late – This is pretty obvious. The reason why you shouldn’t say “sorry I’m late,” is because you shouldn’t even show up late. If you’re like me – terrible with directions – then you need to make sure that you leave your house way in advance. Iron your clothes the night before and leave early, because “the train being delayed,” or “being stuck in traffic,” is not an excuse. It also won’t get anyone to take you seriously, so remember “To be early is to be on time. To be on time is to be late.” 

2. So how much does this job pay? – Of course, you are interested in the salary or hourly rate, because that’s the whole purpose of working. However, it is unprofessional and immature to ask how much does this job pay. Do your research beforehand so that you have an understanding – allow the company to make an offer and be comfortable with negotiating if the salary is way below your level of expertise and what competitors are paying. However, make sure you consider the benefits the company offers, and not just the base salary. 

3. What’s your vacation policy, because I have this trip that I’m taking next month? – Don’t even think about it. Even if you do, wait until you get your offer to bring up your vacation. You may be able to get a later start date or whatever, but do not bring this up during the interview unless asked. 

4. I browsed your website a little – If a company inquires about any background information you may know about them, it is never appropriate to say that you browsed their website a little. You need to make sure you do the proper research – if you are working in the diversity department – find out who the head of diversity is and see if they were recently quoted in an article or something. Even if you did just browse the website a little, do not say that! Instead, say “Yes actually I was rather impressed by your employee blah blah program. Can you tell me more about it?”

5. My last boss was a jerk – Regardless if it is the truth or not – it’s unprofessional. When asked about your reasons for leaving your previous job – be sure to say something along the lines of it was time for a next step in your career. It wasn’t the right fit – as you’re passionate about XYZ .Etc. 

6. When are you making a final decision – The person interviewing you, will let you know when you can expect to hear from them. Do not ask! If they do not say anything about it – then just be sure to follow up with a professional email, and they should tell you then. 

7. I just need a job – When asked about your interest in the position, do not come off as desperate. You simply want to say that you believe your qualifications fit the description, it’s of interest to you, or whatever, but do not ever say it’s because you need a job. 

Overall, the job search can be challenging. Remember to stay encouraged, and when you do land that interview – BE YOU. Show who you are, in the most professional manner. Be sure to engage with the person interviewing you, research the company, and stay buttoned up. 

Comment below if you have any specific questions. 


Business Tip: Life After Graduation

It’s graduation season! A great time for those who have worked hard over the past four years.  Whether at a community college or a prestigious university, the fact remains that college is not easy…..and to be honest…life after college isn’t so easy either.

Mashable recently published an article entitled “Figuring Things Out: The First Year After Graduation.” The reporter, Ryan Lytle asked the Mashable community to describe their first year after college in three words, and their answers made me reflect on how this past year has been for me.

I graduated from Spelman College early December 2012, had my graduation ceremony in May 2013, and had to go to work in crisis management for the number one agency the following week.

Because, this year has been such a challenging one, I decided to list out a few of the responses taken from Mashable, and provide personal insight based on my experience.

  • “There’s No Money:” This could not be more factual. I mean, there is money. I guess I drive a new car, and have a nice apartment, and have money for travel. BUT I also starve. I’m partially joking, but one of the toughest challenges is managing your money after college. I recommend, saving that money you spend at the bar and on dinner to travel the world, and prioritize. I also recommend establishing credit – I specifically recommend the American Express Delta Rewards card. Actually, any American Express card (Note: they are hard to get approved for if you do not have established credit).
  • “Bills. Bills. Bills.” Car, Rent, Credit Card, Student Loans, Cable, Insurance. PERIOD.
  • “What is This:” The best way to sum this up is simply to say…you basically live in an imaginary world for four years that doesn’t exist outside of your college campus. Learn that now, and get over it.
  • “Not Worth It.” I am extremely grateful for my college experience, it helped shape me to be the woman that I am today; however, once you realize how much less time you have – you become more productive (hopefully), and you realize that all of the time you spent in college doing nothing, could have been spent thinking of a new business.
  • “Studying is Easier.” Yep. Thinking that everyone who works in corporate america just sits at their computer on Facebook all day. Not true. We actually work. Really hard…and college was way easier. You think you had deadlines in college? Wait, until you get into the real world.
  • “Crappy Apartment Vodka:” I’m not a drinker, so this doesn’t apply to me. Red wine, only. Please.
  • “No More Naps:” What is sleep? No, seriously you should not be that person up all day and night. The truth is you won’t have naps, but you shouldn’t be at work every night until 7 PM. The point is to work smarter..not harder.
  • “Ambition Paid Off:” The truth is no matter what you do after graduation, it will be a challenge. It will be emotional. It will be different than what you expected, but don’t let that take away from your celebration.

Hope this helps! Comment below and describe your first year out of college in three words.

~Jaleesa Lashay~


Business Tip: Learn How To Take A Hit

We’ve all heard it more than once, “everyone get’s rejected,” “it’s not how you fall, but how you get back up,” but how many of us actually live by this. The truth is that most people allow their fears to prevent them from achieving their goals and dreams in life. This fear of rejection, which is typically heightened once they are rejected for the first time, stops them from ever taking the risks that are necessary to succeed in life.

Barbara Corcoran, american businesswoman (whom you may know from “Shark Tank”) that is worth over $100 million recently sat down with Business Insider, to discuss how she built her fortune in real estate, and what separates people who make $50,000 a year from people who make $8 million a year. She discussed how important it is to be able to “take a hit,” and what that means for long-term success.

Watch the clip here and remember to never let your fears prevent you from working hard toward your goals in life.

~Jaleesa Lashay~


Six Tips for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing is extremely important for any brand, because when done correctly, it drives brand awareness across the appropriate channels and audience. With that being said, I recently came across a free e-book on socialmedia today that outlines “Six Best Practices for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy.” 

The steps are as follows: 

  • Get Stakeholder Support: Stakeholder support is important whether it’s for credibility and/or financial support. One of the best ways to gain this support is to identify a targeted group, that you will reach out to, and determine how your brand will benefit this group and/or help achieve their mission. 
  • Understand Your Audience:  I cannot say this enough times. It is extremely important to understand your audience. You have to know what they want to see, what content they will share, and what they want to know about your brand – in order to keep them interested and gain their trust.  
  • Identify the Right Content Formula: “Content marketing is about helping your current and future (supporters) solve an issue that’s important to them.” You have to determine what content your supporters want. Period. 
  • Create an Editorial Calendar: If you’re unfamiliar with an editorial calendar, it is typically an excel document that outlines either week by week or month by month the type of content that you will share across your brand’s social channels/websites. The calendar is usually aligned with upcoming holidays, etc. and is a great step at being ahead and consistent with content sharing. 
  • Get Maximum Mileage Out of Your Content:  It’s better to use a great piece of content across multiple channels than to just crowd the internet with tons of content. Remember that. 
  • Develop a Process for Measuring and Reporting: This depends on your brand, but if you are involved in consumer sales or have clients, it is important to measure increased sales and revenue. 

Download the full e-book to get more detailed information and tips on the steps mentioned above. Comment below with any questions, and we’ll be sure to address them. Hope this helps! 

~Jaleesa Lashay~