Posted on Leave a comment

Business Minded: Starting a Business

Starting a business.

Everyone wants to start a business. But is everyone mentally ready to journey down the road of business ownership?

Is it Easier to Work for Someone?

Yes! It is easy to work for someone else. You submit your resume online, and fortune enough, the hiring person: usually someone in human resources will reach out after gone through hundreds if not thousands of people hoping to land the same job. You are contacted to see if you are still interested in the position. If so, you schedule an interview by phone or in-person to see if you are the right fit for their company and you, as well, get to ask questions to see if the company is a good fit for your career goals.

Nevertheless, you show up, give your best first impression, and, if you are lucky, you are either offered the job or scheduled to return for a second interview with someone higher up within the company or who you will be reporting to each workday.

If you accept the offer you, agreeing to their terms and policies, you get a beginning date, work, and roll in some dough. But, as I said above, hundreds if not thousands have applied for that exact position so, the odds of you getting it can be like winning the lottery. And if not so lucky, you are back at the drawing board, computer searching the internet for another position you may qualify to perform.

Mentally Hard Business

Searching for employment is hard work, especially since the pandemic hit. But searching is a full-time job; in itself. And starting a business is even much harder.
As stated above, working for someone else’s process; but when working for self be mentally ready to wear many hats and the long work hours.
People tend to think owning a business is easy. I am here to tell you that it is not!

Business ownership requires a certain level of mentality and discipline, not to mention a lot of time and money. Because it can get stressful and lonely if you do not have a team, people around you to support and encourage your idea.

When starting a business, if you are going at it alone, you must be your therapist, cheerleader, and staff unless or until you have revenue flowing in to outsource or hire staff.
Not everyone can visualize your business idea, and honestly, not everyone wants to see you owning one and succeed.

It is not necessarily because they are haters but because they either have not or do not dare to start one themselves or can’t understand why someone would go through the trouble when someone has already done the hard work for you.

Equipment and Skills Needed to Start a Business

Besides being your own biggest cheerleader, you need to be strong-minded and have thick skin.
Being a published author (Cracks in the Pavement series), I have always admired J.K. Rowling’s tenacity in never giving up hope of getting Harry Potter out into the world.

Starting and owning a business requires a certain kind of mindset everyone’s equipped with.
Self-motivation and self-awareness: knowing your best skills and weaknesses are a good way to gauge if someone has what it takes or is cut out for business ownership.

The List

Below are a list of equipment and skills needed to set up and grow a business because the owner will wear many hats early on.

1. Mentality: Your brain is the computer operating what goes in and what goes out. Should virus-like stress or doubt infiltrate the owner’s mind, the operation can be temporarily put on hold if not shut down.

Having a business plan to refer to staying focused and positive thinking is a way to protect viruses from getting in. It is a requirement to not only run a successful business but our daily lives.

2. Discipline: This requires a strong mind and desire to stay on track with getting the tedious day-to-day task done.

There will be things about growing a business you will love doing and completing the task you dread having to do. But compiling an email list or cold calling can pay off. Think of JK Rowling. Discipline and persistence will eventually pay off.

3. Consistency: When smartphones are reimaged for upgrade and or, updating; data and functional capabilities are consistently being considered and added for better output or use for the consumer. The same is for a business. What you put into it is what you get out of it. So little efforts put in, small results come out.
Keep working at it. The payoff will come.

4. Drive: like a computer drive, one must hold onto and keep (store) in mind the why they started the business in the first place. Holding on to the why you started, the purpose, and intentions will drive out passion and motivation to keep going even when those tough moments arise.

Being mindful and mentally aware of doubt or stress getting in, staying disciplined, being consistent, and keeping the why at the forefront will drive you, business awareness, and consumer connections.

Like any life goal or success, a business simply blooms with deciding to start one, an idea, and hard work.

Daily Affirmation: I have the mindset to start a business and see it through.

Whichever flower you choose to be BLOOM!

Posted on 4 Comments

Behind a Name and Branding

What is behind your name or brand?

I once overheard a colleague pose this question to another co-worker:

“What if Dawn Dean isn’t her real government name?”

It ticked me off, seeing how I had come so far to adore my name and its meaning (first light, to begin).

Yes! I had a problem with my name growing up because it did not have more syllables. I know, crazy, but I love it now and wouldn’t change it if I got paid to; then again, maybe I would consider it for a tax-free cool million. Nah!

See, I have always believed if I had nothing else, I had my name, my character summed up in a nutshell, representing me when I am not present in the flesh, sort of like a business card.

I quickly got over her ignorant remark and asked God to forgive her cause she clearly, did not understand that her words or actions could influence others and turn a person’s life upside down.

Besides, I know, and God knows my name.

Over my life, I have learned people will attempt to write your narrative to suit their desires of how they wish to perceive you instead of getting to know the nonfiction version of someone or something.

It’s just unbelievable how people are always so quick to spread untruths to make themselves feel good. Anyhow a name, brand, company is the sum of its character (products and services).

A business name

A business name and its logo represent the character behind the brand.

The name and visuals draw attention to the company or person and are, in most cases, if not all, the deciding factor if one should buy into the brand or try out the product.

Buyers first see or hear the product advertised via radio, television, magazines, and social media. They may or may not click the offer button or google the name and buy.

Once they like the products or services, the name becomes the face of the brand or business but, the quality of the products or services keeps consumers coming back for more at any cost.

The quality behind the name

Take this Hermes silk top and this power red yet sexy Escada skirt that will forever hang in my closet. Why? Not so much for the name per se. But because I love them, the quality of the materials, the classic silhouette and print, and their versatility.

Are you beginning to see why someone questioning my name, my character, my identity would tick me off? LOL

But like with poetry and painting, people will have their preconceived notions and interpretations of what the author is conveying or what the artist’s thoughts were behind the painting.
Sometimes that can be good if that is what the artist wanted but sometimes, in real-life, with people, it can be harmful to assume.

In my blog, the business look has changed as my life has changed. But the intention behind the concept has not.

Take Dominos. It started with the name Domino’s Pizza, offering a variety of pizza toppings and crust options. As the menu evolved, adding sandwiches and other products, so did the name.

However, some companies’ names are better left alone IHOP as an example. IHOP, the International House of Pancakes attempted to change its name to IHOB, International House of Burgers. Now, I will say, their buffalo chicken sandwich is delicious, but in the twenty-plus years of eating there, I have chosen to eat their airy, fluffy pancakes on most visits.

Adding products or services to your brand or business is a great way to expand your brand, reach and help others, but what I found most difficult in building my brand/business is choosing which product to be the star. Should it be my books or my story of how I have overcome adversity?

I’ve struggled, questioning if I should have two separate entities or merge the two things I wake up passionate about; writing and helping others together (blog).

Escada Jumpsuit

Though my name is important to my brand, it helps build a relationship with my readers but getting the right message out is most valuable, and your sis intentions. Should my name never be remembered, but something I said or wrote is, I have served my purpose, met my exceptions, and won.

Because if I changed my name to Michelle or Kenya, it wouldn’t erase my life experiences or my desire to inspire others through writing books or blog posts. And like those restaurants I have mentioned above, I have my special recipe to offer sisters like us that encourages us to win.

Whichever flower you choose to be BLOOM!

Cracks in the Pavement series by Dawn Dean
Books on

And check out your sister YouTube spot Dawn Dean Sisters Like Us Win.


Posted on Leave a comment

A Woman with a Plan

Jessica Frasier is not only beautiful, talented, an IT Tech and oh so financially smart. The recently turned, 25, year old and her husband, John Frasier are real life monopoly gurus. With their ducks all lined up in a roll, as they plan to own every corner of the real estate board, including Park Ave.

Jessica, the creator of Young and the Wealthless: a financing blog, where she shares her journey to financial freedom and their goals to retire young. Impossible-not at all! This real estate couple has taken property owning to new heights, raising the roof (bar) on what it means to live debt free. As they continue to grow their wealth utilizing real estate, by buying up as many properties as feasible.

Where most people buy fixer upper homes and to flip for profit. She’s plans to hold on to the homes and make bank. When you think about it, it really makes cents (since). If you sell the home, you will always have to flip another one to make a buck. Like I said, she’s smart.

Jessica’s future goal is to retire around the age of 30; travel the world with family in tow, all while living off their property investments. Her passion and hard work will certainly bring her dreams to fruition.

See what advice Jessica shared with SLU readers. You are sure to come away little smarter about building wealth through real estate.

1. How did you develop an interest real estate? I love everything about real estate. Real estate is one of the most stable forms of building wealth and security. Its tangible- it’s something that I can see. I can buy properties, improve properties, and sell them if I need to. I love that I can leverage my investment properties to buy bigger, more expensive properties that I wouldn’t be able to save up for on my own. On a personal level, I’ve always loved real estate. In my spare time, I watch real estate shows and I go to open houses for fun. Contrary to popular belief, real estate is very easy to study and understand. When I decided to start my own investment company, I decided to follow my passion and concentrate on real estate.

2. What inspired you and your husband to start building wealth through real estate? My husband and I are big dreamers. We both graduated from college in 2014 and entered the workforce with dreams to making a lot of money. We wanted to have a big house and nice cars and live without debt. After a year of working in the corporate world, we were both exhausted. I had switched jobs three times, getting a higher salary each time. Although we were making three times the average household income in America, we weren’t happy. We were working 12+ hours a day and didn’t have time for hobbies or traveling. Unfortunately, people around me didn’t help. Co-workers and friends would tell me to stop complaining. I was told I was naive to complain about long hours because that is part of being an adult. I didn’t accept that answer. One day, I wrote out my dream life, without any restrictions. If money wasn’t a factor, how would I live my life? My list was pretty outrageous. In my dream life, I would be living in a penthouse in Manhattan, traveling the world and staying at 5-star hotels, pursuing my hobbies, and definitely NOT working. While most people would rip up that paper and say “time to get back to reality” I told myself that I will make this list my reality. I decided that I will take myself out of the rat race and pursue something better. Luckily, I have a husband that is just as crazy as me and together we decided to pursue something different. I read the book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” and it inspired me to find ways to create passive income. Right now, most people work for their money. If they stop working, the money stops coming in. Passive income is putting money into investments so our money can work for us. This means, no matter what I do- whether I am traveling, sleeping, or visiting friends, I will have money coming into my bank account every month. But would real estate investing get me my penthouse in New York City? I read books and studied billionaires. I saw that almost all of them invested in some form of real estate. That’s when I decided that real estate would be the path to my success.

3. What is your ultimate goal(s)I have a lot of big goals and a short amount of time to do them. I want to own 1 billion dollars in real estate in the next 5 years. It’s pretty outrageous, but you have to think big to do big. I plan on doing this by becoming a developer and pursue commercial real estate development. Instead of buying small properties, I want to buy land and build huge skyscrapers. I plan on building huge apartment buildings and living off the cash flow. I also want to focus on leasing to commercial businesses. I want to own whole communities, including apartments, retail stores, grocery stores, parking garages, gas stations, and more. By the time I turn 30, I plan on building a skyscraper in New York City and living in the penthouse. I want to be financially free so I can live the rest of my life the way I want. I don’t want to work. I want to travel for weeks or months at a time and see the world. When I have kids, they will be raised by two stay-at-home parents. I don’t plan on going to work every day for the rest of my life. I plan on investing and growing my passive income so I can live my dream life.

4. How many properties currently do you own? Right now, we are under contract for our first investment property! It is a 6-unit apartment building, 5 residential units and 1 retail unit. I am very excited and also very nervous. If all goes well, we will close by the end of this month. Luckily, the property is 100% occupied with long-term tenants and there is a property manager in place. We plan on purchased at least 3-5 more properties in the next month.

5. How do you handle all your properties and maintain them? The thing I value most is my time. So when I buy a property, I have plans to hire a property manager. I do not want to get phone calls in the middle of the night about a leaky faucet. I won’t fix toilets and I won’t perform maintenance. I want to be financially free; I don’t want to give myself another job. When I build my apartment complexes, I definitely won’t have the capacity to maintain them on my own. Property managers take the stress away. They find tenants, they collect rent every month, they perform maintenance, and they handle evictions, if necessary.

6. Do either of you have a financial back ground? No. I have an IT background and my husband has a background in law enforcement and sales. We have a drive to be successful and learned everything by ourselves. There are so many free resources online. We are learning every aspect of investing on our own. That’s what I love about real estate. It doesn’t matter what your background it. It doesn’t matter if you have a college degree or not. Anyone can do it. If you have the drive, you can do it.

7. What tips could you share on building wealth at an early age? If someone wants to start building wealth at a young age, I recommend that they fully commit to the idea. First, when picking a career, follow the money. If your goal is to be wealthy and financially free, you won’t be working very long. Follow the money and make as much as you can. After that, live below your means. That is the biggest mistake I see a lot of young people make. I’ve seen friends get higher salaries and instead of saving their money, they add to their expenses. They buy a more expensive car or move into a more expensive apartment to “reward” themselves. At a young age, people should be saving for investments. Did you know that the Bible mentions money more times than faith and love? We were meant to take control our money and build wealth! Don’t give in to the idea of instant gratification. It requires a few years of sacrifice, but it’s all worth it. Live below your means and put money away toward investments.

8. Do you have a set monthly budget? Yes. My husband and I track every penny of our money. We have no credit card debt and we are almost done paying off our student loans. When we get our paychecks, we take a large percentage out toward our investments and we live off the rest. We live off of a fraction of our monthly income. We could buy a bigger house and newer cars, but we are willing to sacrifice those things for now so we can have all that in the future.

9. How do you stay on budget? We track our purchases. We budget everything: bills, transportation, emergency fund, groceries, take-out, shopping, etc. Everything is budgeted. Budgeting has always been easy for me. I have a goal to be wealthy so I’m not tempted by instant gratification.

10. Name some ways a person could live debt free? The best advice I can give is to spend less than you make. It’s obvious but so many people struggle with that. Don’t rack up credit card debt. Don’t even start the habit. Pay your bills on time and if your bills are too overwhelming, lower your expenses. This could mean moving somewhere cheaper or selling your car. If you are struggling to get through the month, it’s time to reevaluate your lifestyle. You are living above your means.

11. What does your retirement look like? I turned 25 in November and I plan to retire before I turn 30. My husband and I have our next year planned and it includes both of us quitting our jobs by this time next year. We plan on living off of our investments. Once we are financially free and out of the rat race, we will focus the next 2-5 years developing commercial buildings. By the time I reach my early-30s, my husband and I plan on slowing down and just enjoying life. We will be young, retired, and living in our.

12. What is a good percentage of income to start saving in your twenties? As much as you can save! Ideally, anywhere between 50-70%. If you can live at home, do it and save most of your money. If you have to live on your own, get a roommate. It requires sacrifice, but if you do it right a few years of sacrifice will mean a lifestyle of luxury.

13. What are you most passionate about? I am passionate about teaching people to think big and take control of their lives. When I achieve my goals, I plan to write a few books about investing- particularly focused toward women and millennials. I also want to do seminars and motivational speaking. I hope to start my own scholarship for students with an entrepreneurial mindset. Not enough people are thinking big. I want to challenge people to think beyond the status quo. Anyone can find a decent-paying job and work for the rest of their life. But we are all capable of so much more! I want to show people that there is an alternative way to live. Everyone has a different goal in life, but most people are too afraid to even think about. I want to shake things up and tell people to never limit themselves.

14. How can some boost their income? There are several ways to boost ones income. First, live below your means, as I mentioned before. Also, follow the money. Choose careers that are high-paying and are in demand.

15. How long have you been a licensed Real Estate Agent? I am not a licensed real estate agent. You don’t have to be an agent to be a real estate investor. You can come from any background and achieve great things. I don’t plan on being a licensed agent. It’s not required to be an investor. I have met some people who think otherwise. It’s a personal choice, but my goal is to not have a job.

16. What are some near future buying goals? After closing on our first property, we plan on buying 3-5 more properties in the next month. We will be rehabbing these properties and learning the basics of development. My husband and I started taking online construction management classes. We plan on learning and making mistakes on smaller properties. Once we have a standardized process that is easy and repeatable, we plan on going bigger and bigger. By the end of 2017, we plan on breaking ground on our first 100+ unit development project.

17. List some properties that are best for a first time buyer on a strict budget? There are many different paths that someone can take when investing in real estate. I recommend all beginners educate themselves on the basics of real estate investing. There are a lot of books and free resources online. You should never pay thousands of dollars for a guru to tell you how to invest. Once you read more about investing, you’ll learn that there are numerous ways to begin investing without using your own money. One example, a beginner can learn the wholesale process and make thousands of dollars in a short amount of time. I’m not a wholesaling expert, but essentially, it means putting an offer on a house that is very below market value. Before purchasing the house, the wholesaler will sell their contract to a new buyer. This means a wholesaler can make tens of thousands of dollars in as little as a few hours. Another way to invest without using your own money is to establish connections and find investors or private lenders.

18. Is there a particular style of home you prefer to sell? I prefer multi-family residential properties that are close universities. I don’t particularly care for a style. Cash flow is my number one priority.

19. What is a sellers or buyers worst nightmare? I think it varies for each person, but I think a buyer’s worst nightmare is purchasing a property without proper due diligence (home inspection, roof inspection, repair estimates) and finding out the home requires a lot more money than initially estimated. These extra repair costs can destroy any cash flow for an investor.

20. What is the difference between a foreclose home and a quick sell home? In a foreclosure, the home owner consistently fails to make their mortgage payments and the lender (the bank) takes ownership of the property and evicts the owner. Foreclosed homes can be sold by auction or through real estate agents. Foreclosing a home will hurt the home owner’s credit score severely. A quick sale, or a short sale, is an alternative to foreclosing a home. Home owners may opt for a short sale to avoid foreclosing their home. A short sale is when the home owner owes more on a property than it is worth. Many times, a short sale or foreclosure may require an all-cash offer. It can be risky purchasing a foreclosed home or short sale home if they are sold “as-is”. Sometimes, properties are auctioned off “sight-unseen”. That is very dangerous because you don’t know what’s wrong with the house. There could be mold, fire damage, or anything.

21. Are buying homes at auctions a good idea? It depends on someone’s risk appetite. Personally, I’m not interested in auctions because I want time to inspect the home before putting in an offer.

22. How would a buyer handle a bidding war for a property? In terms of investing, the buyer would have created their analysis on cash flow and know the maximum they can bid before they lose money. If the bidding war becomes intense, the buyer has to know when to walk away. As an investor, you can’t get emotionally attached to a house. It doesn’t matter how “pretty” or “perfect” it is. If it won’t make you money, don’t waste your time. The property of a lifetime comes on the market every week. Know when to move on.

23. Have you and your spouse ever flipped a home for profit? If so, how did you go? We have not flipped and we are not interested in flipping in terms of fixing a house and selling it. When you sell the property, you get the cash flow and then what? Now you have to flip another home to make more money. Flipping is a job and requires someone to work for their money. Our goal is to have our money work for us. We are buying a row of townhomes in a college town and plan on rehabbing them. However, instead of selling the properties when we are done, we will rent them out to college students and collect the rent every month. Again, we will hire a property manager so we won’t have to take care of finding tenants, maintenance, and collecting checks. This way, these townhomes can give me cash flow every month for years, decades, even for generations.

24. What percentage of a down payment is usually recurred for someone with a fair credit score? There are a lot of financial options for people who want to invest. I know someone who was eligible for a VA loan and that requires no down payment. I’ve met people who have used a FHA loan, which only requires a 3.5% down payment. Others opt for the traditional lending method which usually requires 20% down payment. It is also very possible to invest with other people’s money too. Networking with experienced investors can teach you how to find investors that will invest in you. There are crowdfunding platforms focusing on real estate investing. My recommendation to someone trying to become a serious investor is to not use their own money. Go to investment meetings, reach out to experts, and read books about private lending.

25. Is staging a home to sell really more money in the bank? This is relevant for selling a flipped house. I’ve heard it was helpful but I haven’t experienced it personally. Since we focus on rental properties, it usually doesn’t require staging.

26. What questions should a potential home buyer ask a Real Estate Agent before working with them? Before purchasing a home? If an investor plans on using an agent, they should always ask about the agent’s investment experience. Always choose an agent that specializes in investment properties. They should understand your goals and objectives.

27. What should someone look for in an agent? As mentioned before, look for an agent that was experience buying and selling investment properties.

28. What other ways do you grow your wealth besides real estate? Right now, our main focus is real estate development, but, of course, we plan to diversify our wealth. I don’t have concrete plans yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon enough.

29. What is next for you? With the help of our business partner, my husband and I have an aggressive 12-month plan. We plan on purchasing 3-5 properties for rehab and development to get experience in the development realm. By next fall, we plan on developing our own 100+ unit, luxury apartment complex. We are also aggressively working to increase our net worth to seven-figures by the end of next year. We’re doing all this while working full-time jobs right now. Ideally, we will generate enough cash flow so we can quit our jobs in the next 9-10 months.

30. Where do you see yourself in the next five years? In the next five years, I see my husband and I living in our penthouse and taking vacations several times a year. I see myself owning 1 billion dollars in development properties. I also would have written several books. I would love to be featured in Forbes too.

31. Where can we contact you or find more about the great things you are achieving? If you are interested in becoming an investor for our future development plans, you can reach out to me at or at

You may also follow Jessica on Twitter at @Jess_Frasier_

Thank you Jessica Frasier for sharing your amazing and inspiring story with! You are doing BIG things.


Dawn M. Dean
Founder and Creative Director

Posted on 2 Comments

Side Splitting Laughter with Comedian Angela Moore

This year’s (2016) presidential candidacy and debates had some folks roused and alarmed. While others couldn’t help but to laugh at some of the most hilarious things to ever come out of the mouths of the last two standing candidates. One of which will be the next President of the United States.

Now that the presidential debates are over, (the exhaustion) and only two weeks away to cast your vote with hopes for the right person to become President Barack Obama’s successor. One has to rejoice that the agonizing pain of watching Hillary Clinton and Trump going at it is slowly creeping to an end, as they constantly throw jabs at one another over the needs of the American People.

Still with the uncertainties as to which one will be victorious come November 8th. SLU is sure the people are in desperate need of relief from the stress in choosing the new president. The solution: MOORE LAUGHTER!

Continue reading Side Splitting Laughter with Comedian Angela Moore

Posted on Leave a comment

Rising to Meet the Challenge

In life we are certain to run into obstacles, that at times can prove challenging. Leaving us often feeling defeated by those barriers placed in our way. Often not realizing at the time, those storms are placed along our path; to test us, and strengthening our personal development growth- preparing us for many great things to come.

We must learn to realized, that each obstacle is merely a test of our will and determination to push forward. Understanding that winning is in the willingness of trying and never giving up.

Continue reading Rising to Meet the Challenge

Posted on Leave a comment

Winning the Fight

Hello Sisters! It’s October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

This month is greatly appreciated by those who have been affective in some way by breast cancer. You may be undergoing treatment today, or have gone through treatment in the past or know of someone who has.

This disease first caught my attention about 20 years ago, when my grandmother was diagnosis with having it. And later my God-mother (one of my many mothers’) and some of my friends have faced this sometimes fatal disease.

Breast cancer awareness and fundraising, is extremely important. Not just for women, but men as well, who can have the disease. It helps fund cancer research, as well as, helps those living with the illness and their families.

According to U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics, in the US, they except approximately 246,000 plus new cases of invasive breast cancer to be diagnosis and about 61,000 of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer cases are expected to be reported in 2016. That’s about 12% of women in the United States alone.

SLU met Veronica Musie over the summer, who was sharing her story with a group of us, on surviving breast cancer. I reached out to Veronica, asking her to share her fight with the disease with our readers.

I personally, find her story to be compelling and uplifting. As she talks about how grateful she is to have been giving a chance to make a difference in the world. And the many blesses that she has received since winning the battle with breast cancer.

This month is greatly appreciated by those who have been affective in some way by breast cancer. You may be undergoing treatment today, or have gone through treatment in the past or know of someone who has.

This disease first caught my attention about 20 years ago, when my grandmother was diagnosis with having it. And later my God-mother (one of my many mothers’) and some of my friends have faced this sometimes fatal disease.

Breast cancer awareness and fundraising, is extremely important. Not just for women, but men as well, who can have the disease. It helps fund cancer research, as well as, helps those living with the illness and their families.

According to U.S. Breast Cancer Statistics, in the US, they except approximately 246,000 plus new cases of invasive breast cancer to be diagnosis and about 61,000 of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer cases are expected to be reported in 2016. That’s about 12% of women in the United States alone.

SLU met Veronica Musie over the summer, who was sharing her story with a group of us, on surviving breast cancer. I reached out to Veronica, asking her to share her fight with the disease with our readers.

I personally, find her story to be compelling and uplifting. As she talks about how grateful she is to have been giving a chance to make a difference in the world. And the many blesses that she has received since winning the battle with breast cancer.

SLU: Can you tell SLU, when you were diagnosis and at what stage? Veronica: I was diagnosis with breast cancer in 2009 at stage 3.

SLU: Did you suspect there was something wrong before the diagnosis? Veronica: Yes. Only one of my breasts would itch. So I went to have myself checked.

SLU: Did you have mammograms done annually? Veronica: No. I didn’t have them done regularly. That was my first time having one done.

SLU: How often do you have mammograms done now? Veronica: I get a mammogram done once a year now.

SLU: What were your concerns after being diagnosis with stage 3 breast cancer? Veronica: I felt no hope. I thought I would die the next day and I became very depressed.

SLU: What became your most concern? Veronica: Surviving the treatments.

SLU: Did you have a support team? Veronica: Yes. My family was very supportive; though I was hesitate to tell them in the beginning. Also, a nurse from the hospital took me to a breast cancer support center in Prince William County here in Virginia that really helped in my recovery.

SLU: What treatment options did you opt for or were advised? Veronica: I underwent a mastectomy, and chemo therapy.

SLU: Were there any other treatments you may have tried at that time? Veronica: None that I was aware of.

SLU: How has fighting cancer and coming out victorious changed your outlook on life? Veronica: My outlook on life has changed because of breast cancer. I live my life to the fullest and live each day like it may be my last. I am so grateful to be here today to share my story and to help someone else to win the fight against breast cancer.

SLU: Can you tell us what kept you motivated during that period of your life? Veronica: My faith!

SLU: What are you currently doing to help in the fight against breast cancer and to keep yourself healthy? Veronica: I have founded a breast cancer support organization called Alpha Breast Cancer Support Services ( After having the support during my trying time, I decided to help those in my community and started Alpha Breast Cancer Support Services in Northern Virginia. As for me, I am staying healthy with exercising, eating healthy foods and most importantly praising my Lord.

SLU: Besides helping in the fight against breast cancer, what else do you do? Veronica: I started and own a catering company called Vera’s Catering ( in Virginia.

SLU: Tell us about your catering company. Veronica: The food is delicious. Its American food infused with the exotic Ethiopian cuisine.

Thank you Veronica for sharing that part of your life with SLU, we hope that it reaches someone who may be in need of an inspiring word.


Dawn M. Dean

Sisters, please support women like Veronica. Who has fought or is fighting breast cancer by supporting foundations worldwide.

Veronica’s Alpha Breast Cancer Support Services 5K race against breast cancer is Saturday October 19th at 9:00am in Arlington, VA.





Posted on Leave a comment

Royal Faces by Kay

Royal Faces wouldn’t be what is is today if that Bare Minerals consultant had not applied way too much makeup on my face!  My name is Mikayla Osei I’ve been enhancing beauty for the last three years. I’ve always loved the fashion and beauty industry. I started by practicing on myself and then got the courage to practice on others. I first begun with family and friends first untiOptimized-downloadl I felt brave enough to apply makeup for client events. Before hand, I started by attending a lot of celebrity makeup artist classes and got the training I needed to go out on my own. I was confident after the first couple classes and booked my first wedding. The experience was surreal seeing my client face light up and how beautiful they looked on her special day.  It brought me joy and gave me the encouragement to continue to put smiles on my client faces. Weather it be for a graduation, a birthday party, or wedding. I love what I do, and hope to continue to put smiles on my client faces.

You can see more of my work at

Or contact me at

Posted on Leave a comment

Meet Angie Lee Fitness and Health Trainer

Who is Angie Lee?

Have you heard? Health is the new Wealth! It is true. Without good health, dreams can be difficult to make possible. And I, know this all too well from living with an illness (fibromyalgia) for over 20+ years.

Angie Lee, who lives in the Northern Virginia area (DMV) is a wife and mother first, with one of her children living with autism. Because of this she knows and understands the importance of good health and the possibilities of it. Secondly, she is a passionate, health and fitness trainer who whips women into their idea shape; helping them to reach their weight goals.

Sister’s like Us (SLU) caught up with Angie Lee, where she took the time out of her busy schedule to answer some of our questions.

SLU: With fall weather fast approaching and soon holidays. Can you give some tips on how to stay fit during the fall and winter months?

AL: Always eat breakfast! Breakfast is fuel for the mind as well as the body! If you don’t eat breakfast, you will most likely overeat later on in the day.

SLU: What foods are best to shy away from or completely avoid and why?

AL: I know this is hard to hear, but fried foods. I know it’s hard to go cold turkey (literally and figuratively) she giggles, but at least try to cut back on the fried foods. Any effort is better than no effort.

SLU: What are some healthier options?

AL: Instead of frying your fries. Put them on a pan and bake them, Leave them in long enough so they will be crispy; even better, try sweet potatoes. Also, invest in an indoor stovetop grill where you can grill fish, chicken and, veggies. Add spices for flavor like: cinnamon, thyme, rosemary; ginger. They’re so many options!

SLU: What area (s) should most women focus on and why?

AL: I know this is easier said than done, but most women need to love themselves everyday as they are now. Once you get the mental down the physical part will follow. Take at least 10 minutes a day to focus on you. I am working on some ten minute workouts that you can do daily, and at any time of day. Get it in when you can!

SLU: The question every woman wants to know. What is the best exercise or health food to burn belly fat? Possible photo

AL: Cardio! Cardio! Cardio! It doesn’t have to be extreme cardio you could just go walking daily, and being consistent. Start somewhere—anywhere! Because in order to see the muscle; you have to burn the fat first.

SLU: What benefits are there in walking? And for how long of a walk?

AL: Walking is great, and it is free. You need no equipment, just a good pair of shoes and can be done anywhere. I would say ideally, 30 minutes a day, but any minutes are better than no minutes. You can walk in place in your house, put on some music, and make it fun! Watch yourself in the mirror for proper formation, and sing along to music. I’m all about the fun!

SLU: What are the pros and cons of running?

AL: Running is an awesome anti-depressant. It releases the “happy hormones,” endorphins. It also, burns a ton of calories quickly. However, it is can be hard on the joints in the legs, and knees, with a greater risk of injury. Always wear good running shoes, and listen to your body. It will talk to you!

SLU: Can you really lose weight dieting? If so how?

AL: I don’t like diets! They make you feel deprived. Or they work while you’re on them, then you go back to bad habits. Fitness is a lifestyle! If someone says you can’t have it, you will just want it more! Eat everything in moderation, and in appropriate portions.

SLU: How can a sister get in contact with you?

AL: I can be reached at:

Also my website has links to all my contact info.


Thanks Angie Lee for sharing your expertise’s with SLU!

Thank you, and be your best you!


Posted on Leave a comment

The Entrepreneur Giving Back

The Entrepreneur Giving Back
The Entrepreneur Giving Back

You may not have heard of Miora Evasoa, the entrepreneur giving back to her community of Madagascar (yes there is such a place), but you will. Miora, have had dreams of owning her own business as a little girl and coming to America has allowed her to dream big. With her beautifully handmade crafted handbags, hats and clothing. Miora is able to help those back in her home town of Madagascar where the raffia palm tree grows and is harvested by hand for the locals to craft goods to export.

Miora Evasoa

Entrepreneur and Humanitarian


Miora has two passions, entrepreneurship and helping others.  Born and raised in Madagascar, she started her first business at age of 13.  She sold snacks at a table in town to help support her family.  She later earned a double major in marketing and tourism from the University of Antananativo.

Miora moved to the United States in 2014 with the goal of starting her own business.  After earning a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Northern Virginia Community college, she launched Best of Madagascar, LLC.  Best of Madagascar gives America (and the rest of the World) the opportunity to buy high-quality, fair trade handcrafts, clothing, and other goods from Madagascar.  According to Miora, “My dream has always been to own my own business, but my passion has always been to help others.  Best of Madagascar lets me accomplish both.”