Beards & Baldheads

My name is Jason “Phatlace” Edwards. I’m from Plainfield, NJ. I graduated from Long Island University Brooklyn campus with a degree in Media Arts. While in school I had my own on campus radio show and had a full athletic scholarship from track and field. After graduating I did some work with BET on a show called “The Center”. I was a part of the Center Crew for 2 years from 05 to the end of the show in 07. I also did some extra work on shows like The Chapelle Show and was a MC for the Jazz band The Supa Lowery Bros. Through this whole time I maintained paying my bills in the education field ,teaching and coaching while pursuing my passion for media.

What made me start my show Beards n Baldheads was I wanted to keep pursuing my passion for hosting but I needed a purpose bigger than just myself. I created my platform to praise hair stylist ,barbers and shed more light on the hair culture. I believe the people in this profession have been not been as appreciated in media properly so let me be the person to do it. To me their is nothing like the confidence one can have after getting a fresh cut or hair style.

Some of the challenges I faced in my journey have been staying true to my mission even when others have their opinions of how I should do my show. My mission is to do God’s work by praising and empowering others. When you do God’s work the Devil is always around trying to put his spirits in others to deter ones mission. So I always have to keep my faith and stay consistent.

The advice I have for others when starting their own business is to keep their faith and don’t let anyone stop you from pursuing your dream. The people closest to you will be the ones with negative energy and try to bring you down and not always on purpose. Stay true to yourself and keep working on your craft. Also be willing to always strengthen aspects of the business for improvement. Most importantly have fun!!!

Ig: @phatlace Facebook: Jason Edwards


Fitstreet Lifestyle

We all want to be fit, sometimes we need that personal touch to help us reach our goal. We sat down with personal trainer Courtney Thomas to talk about why he started his fitness business and challenges he faced along the way.

What made you want to start your business?

I started out as a trainer over 5 years ago. I chose fitness as a career because I realized that I was passionate about it and the things I had been doing personally were starting to yield positive results. After working for a commercial gym for a couple years I realized that their goals and my goals weren’t aligned. It seemed like they were just running a business and concerned about the dollar. I do what I do because I’m concerned about each individual I train and about those close to me.

What were some challenges have you faced and how did you overcome?

The biggest challenge has been the transition to virtual training since co-vid. The challenge was to make the move of providing all services on my own without the support of the gym. I’ve had real success business wise. I am now fully running my own business mostly from my apartment and it has given me a much clearer direction of what I want to do post co-vid.

The other challenges are just trying to standout in a very crowded industry. Seems like everyone is a trainer nowadays (insert eye roll). Seriously though it’s hard for trainers and being a black trainer doesn’t really make it easier. You don’t see many of us in the mainstream of trainers. Standing out for me just means being myself. Trusting that the person I’ve worked on being up to this points is more than capable of getting the job done. Belief in yourself is non negotiable when you are an entrepreneur if you ask me.

What advice would you give someone who would like to start their own business?

DO IT! Don’t be afraid of failure. Of course do your research and ask for advice but the only way you’ll know is if you do. I’ll also say this: to run a business and be successful you either have to love what you are doing or love to win. Preferably both!

Courtney Thomas
Lifestyle Coach NASM. TRX. SCW BOXING732.237.6342:

J Love is Essential

Mommy of 3 , independent artist known as J SASS from Jersey city born and raised. I am currently working in Personnel for the Hudson County Correction in Kearny NJ., and last but not least I have a cleaning service I do on the weekends called Light Worker Services where I give my clients home a detailed deep cleaning . I am a black women with many traits 🙂

I been waiting to start Love Essentials for a while and I decided what better time then now , I looked at my life and ask myself , “Self what do you enjoy doing that could possible be a way to create and make money at the same time “ Plus I wanted to show my children that we can create our own way even if has already been done before. We all have to start from somewhere.

Some of my challenges was timing and money .I realize no matter what there will always be something , bills , obstacles or whatever to try and stop you . So by making 1 step a day towards your goal is progress in my book . I had to remind myself of Divine timing and slow & steady wins the race. I’m still facing challenges but I wont give up because I am truly enjoying this beautiful journey to success . My advice is to pray , research , plan , get a notebook to write down all your goals and most of all be patient. The more you work on your business the better your business will be . Put in 100% and put LOVE in all that you do .

In my family it’s not a lot of business owners small or big . Even when I look at the people around me. I don’t see people doing what they love so I decided to go for mines and create something out of LOVE . God blessed us all with unique gifts , it’s our job to figure out what we are good at and work towards being our best selves. Love Essentials is an online store where you can find Hand made products like Lip Essentials: glosses, Lip scrubs , Lip balm Hand made Soaps , Oil fragrances, Bath Soaks and coming very soon scented Candles , Yoni Steam cleanses & Crystal infused Oils all set with good intentions of positivity & most of all LoVe !!!

My contact info is email my IG is @jloveessentials my website is

Get Groomed by TMCGROOMING

My name is Vanessa Holland. I’m a knowledgeable licensed Esthetician. I’m the owner of The Mapenzi Collection aka TMCgrooming. I’ve been in the beauty industry for over 20 yrs and licensed as a professional for 12+. I’m a mother of a grown up man child lol and I’m entering into the next phase of my Health and Wellness business.

I started my business 18yrs ago when my sons father was murdered. I wanted to be able to be accessible to my son and the events he joined so in decided to go into business for myself. I initially started making bath and body products but felt like I wanted to do more.

Wow, some of the challenges… there were definitely many. I had just finished esthetician school and the morning of my exam my grandmother took her last breath in my arms. I still got up and went to Christine Valmey and passed my Esthetics exam on the first try. I went into male grooming because of my son. I knew I couldn’t teach him how to be a man but I could teach him how to be well groomed and respectful to woman.

Advice for those interested in starting their own business: Just do it! Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get a mentor or someone who is doing exactly what you want to do. Fill out for small business information and just do it!!!!

Ekima is a Boss Lady!

I was born and raised Jersey city. I’m a 41 year old single mother of two.

I started Boss Lady Diva’s in January 2020. We are a non-profit organization now.

What made me start a social club?

I went thorough a challenging divorce and I had a good friend and females to lean on through the process. So I sat and said what if I put together a group of females where we uplift each other. Do charity work, open businesses together, go on trips together and simply just hold each other down, how powerful would that be for us women. I then put my plan into play.

Some of the challenges I faced

Wow you will be surprised. I was told it couldn’t be done, I was told to be advised by other people, I was told it’s a lot of work. I overcame all of that by knowing what I wanted, having a vision, proper planning and communication and just remaining humble. Another challenge I had was actually becoming a labeled Social Club. We are actually what you call a outlaw social club (in the s.c world). We are our own women we are not under any one nor do we take orders from anyone.We do the same things as a regular social club but we make our own rules and in our own lane.

The advise I would give a person starting their own business is Want It! Plan It! proper planning prevents poor performance. Stay focused! Learn from challenges make them lessons, stay motivated and humble.*

Extra -We are always open to new members.We are a club of 12 today.*

Contact info- Ekima Brandon,Cell (201) 716-9658,

Email –,


Idolli Has A Vision

I’m a mother of two girls originally from Hartford, Connecticut. I’ve always been into fashion since I was 12 years old. I started dressing my parents for their corporate jobs and as I got older I would dress my friends and family members and get paid for it. I started working in local fashion shows, scouting models for test shoots and working with boutique owners that helped give me access to clothes. Instagram led me to my first professional job with Michael Bivins of New Edition. I struggled with wanting to pursue fashion more than the medical field so I followed my dreams quit nursing school and took fashion courses in New York with Celebrity Stylist and Costume Designer Misa Hylton at (MHFA) Misa Hylton Fashion Academy. Shortly after graduating I interned at Elle Magazine Fashion Closet and was the Assistant Stylist for a cover story in the December 2018 I’ve worked on numerous NYFW shows. I’ve done music videos, commercials, been a content creator for magazines and worked on several television shows and movies in the wardrobe department. My goal is to be a bi coastal costume designer.

What made you want to start your business?

I wanted people to take a glimpse into my eyes and my vision to show people that their is nothing wrong with being unique and being yourself. I wanted to help people (regular people) to feel good about themselves while wearing beautiful clothes.

What were some challenges have you faced and how did you overcome?

Not being taken seriously , being over looked because I’m not known to the entire industry as of yet. Being a black woman and female is hard ! Being a mother knowing that even if I don’t see my children it’s for the greater good and I’m doing this for their future ! Trying to stay focused I just overcome by praying and doing my best in anything that I do. Having self confidence and knowing who you are truly helps.

What advice would you give someone who would like to start their own business?

Ask questions be confident , know that you’re going to make mistakes, trust yourself have a business plan and most of all RESEARCH!

Dolli Long

Instagram: Idolli

Meals By Mirah

I’m 22 born & raised in Jersey City I started looking into entrepreneurial culture when I was about 14. I started my journey as a musician a singer song songwriter and rapper shooting local videos and putting out Eps. By the time I was 19 I knew I wanted to go into business for myself. I took up business and management in college stayed for 3 years constantly switching my major and thinking what I profession would not only bring wealth but happiness. Last year I moved out on my own to a new city and discovered my love for food and the natural culinarily talents I was picking up and that’s when I decided to start Underculinary_Confections because although I wasn’t trained in culinary arts I knew I had yet another god given ability that shouldn’t go to waste.

What made you want to start your business ?

What were some challenges have you faced and how did you overcome?

My supporters. I always knew I didn’t want to work for anybody I just didn’t have a business direction. I started catering dinner parties just for family and friends and I’ve been the family decorator for years so that pretty much was a natural thing until people just said to me I love your food why don’t start a catering business? I never took it seriously but my supports were relentless they called on me for every occasion posting pictures and promoting me giving my first portfolio & they ultimately encouraged me give it a try.

You ever just sit to yourself and think am I doing enough ? That was my biggest challenge being in college and not knowing what path I was going in everyday felt like a wasted one. working jobs making some else’s business flourish just felt uncomfortable not something I could settle for, that and just being afraid of public perception starting a business from home is scary , you have to rely on social media support heavily and sometimes people will knock you just for likes. Again I would have to say the support out weighed my fears from the first day underculinary_confections Instagram was published the out pouring was so overwhelming. That and waking up having an itinerary of things to grow my business a purpose for the day is what helped me overcome.

What advice would you give someone who would like to start their own business? 

One don’t let anyone find your business direction for you ! When I started music I loved it but it was just fun for me I let people tell me that was my path before I had even had real life experiences, and it may well could’ve been but something about doing it for work made me feel less passionate-towards it. I took time with myself I suggest you do that ! Take time with yourself see what your good at what interest you what you could do day and night and feel no pressure that is what you should go into business for. Two don’t let the media or critics tell you your business won’t succeed it’s too many people doing that etc someone will support you just expand your area of operation past your friends family or even your community.

Thank you for your support. I have so much more planned I hope I’m able to take this as far god allows!

Follow @underculinary_confections on Instagram menus dinners catering & delivery coming soon.

If You Build It They Will Come

My name is Tamika Lowe, I was born and raised in Newark. I graduated from Weequahic High School class of 93. I don’t have children, but I’ve been married since 12/12/12. My childhood was not bad at all, but I’ve had many health challenges and many surgeries from the day I was born. I was born with Hirshsprung disease. I wore a colostomy until about 2 years old. As an adult I live with Endometriosis. I had a traumatic life experience during a surgery in 2009, but I’m here today to live to my full potential. I followed many of Dr. Sebi’s beliefs which inspired me to change my eating habits. I never was a horrible eater, because of Hirshsprung, but the changes allow me to live with little to no pain from Endometriosis.

In 2009 I opened a boutique I named after my family name Lowe, named Lowe Key Fashion Finds. I ran the boutique as a brick and mortar until 2014. After closing my boutique, I went to school for real estate where I became a realtor with Weichert Realtors. In 2015, I started investing in real estate. I fixed and flipped homes in Union County, NJ. By 2017 I became a licensed contractor and built a team to renovate properties for home owners. Today in 2020, I wear 2 hats of being a full-time realtor and licensed general contractor.

My mother inspired me to start by business. At the age of 23 years old, I became a home owner. My mother was a real estate investor whom wholesaled properties and did clean-outs for banks. At the age of 23 years old my mother would always tell me how she felt I would be good for real estate, but I focused trying to build a career in accounting, but deep down inside I knew being entrepreneur was my focus as well. After getting married real estate was our focus. We tried using agents, but were not satisfied. We purchased a investment property, but was not happy with the contractor. After seeing poor work ethics in the people I hired, I felt it was a sign to build my own businesses.

I’m married and my husband has always been very supportive with anything I do and is very much involved in real estate. My professional life has never been a problem in my marriage. My husband promote me and send me lots of business.

Owning a business and being a license realtor go hand and hand, but not having a strong team can be and has been a big problem in the past. I’ve always told myself, “I will not take on ore than I can handle”. There are times where I may not be able to take a job or start a job right away, because I’m working with another job. I’m always able to stop work to show houses, but one of my challenges is paperwork. Doing paperwork for real estate and the contracting company is a full-time job within itself. I get it done and because I’m territorial due to me trying to grow my business hiring help for paperwork is almost impossible at this time.

I would advise anyone looking to start their own business to stay focused, don’t get discouraged and if or once your business start to grow don’t start spending fast. Always be prepared for raining days, create a emergency fund and always look to expand your business.
6. Right now business is great for me and especially as a woman. I took a carpentry class in 2019-20 where I learned a lot, because working with wood was not something I did. I’m adding more certifications to my business in the future and working on my own CBD company to launch at the end of 2020. I’ve become a bit of a serial entrepreneur. I make time for what I want, but traveling is my happy place.

Tamika LoweRealtorWeichert
123 Lincoln HighwayEdison, NJ 08820Office: 732.494.6800Cell: 732.874.0889Fax:

Dipped In Honey

Give us a little backstory about you

I started making & selling jewelry since I was in high school but it wasn’t until Dec 2011 that I decided to start my own business. Honey Accessories started Dec 18, 2011.

If married or have kids (how do you balance family and work)

No I’m not married and I don’t have any kids 😁

What made you want to start your business?

Fashion / styling I always had a thing for accessories. My favorite accessories are sunglasses and a nice pair of hoops. I love how you can do so many things with accessories. You can take a basic outfit and pair it with the right accessories to make it look like a million dollar outfit.

What were some challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?

Believe it or not I’m shy and I’m still working on it 😂😂 but once I get to know you I’m an open book.

Who would you love to work with? Who have you worked with?

I want to work with Beyonce 🙌🏽 (speaking it to existence) I have worked with a lot of people. From Angela Simmons, Claudette Ortiz, Big Ang, also several ladies from love and hip hop, mob wives and r&b divas.

What advice would you give someone who would like to get into the business?

Having your own business isn’t easy there will be a lot of long nights, don’t expect everyone support you because they won’t. When I first started all I did was vend at various events just to get my name out there. Lastly, when you start a business make sure you love doing it and your passionate about it.

Kwame’s Vision: Serving Breakfast Jams Now That’s Genius

What inspired you to do a brunch set?

I’m always on line searching for new ways to push the envelope . 

When I saw D Nice bring on line DJing to the national stage and other artists doing their solo quarantine shows , I wondered what could be done next ? 

Imagine a online festival ? That’s how the idea was born . 

What was your process in picking some of the dopest hip hop artists for your set? Was it challenging?

The picking process was easy . I literally went through my phone .

And as I talked to one artist they recommended others . It was a bit overwhelming. Then my idea started going viral and Artists that I wouldn’t even imagine reaching out to contacted me . The biggest challenge was getting artist to commit to the time schedule and effectively join the live feed . 

If you could have your fans remember anything from this day what would it be?

The bigger thing I want anyone to take from this is , a small idea can go along way if you commit to it . 

Once I locked in to making it happen things fell into place . Even up to 1 hr before I went live . I didn’t expect more than 500 people to join . We had up to 20k in the room at one point ! My phone froze , people clogged the request area my computer playing the music blacked out . But yet I pressed on and it was a great success. So much so we are doing it again on 4/18 !

What have you been working on and what can we look forward from you in the future?

While this “lockdown” is happening I will continue to do my part in helping to uplift spirits . Besides the next “One Song Breakfast Jam “ , every Saturday I will host a classic Hip Hop set “Saturday MorningTunes “ . I hope everyone joins in and has fun . 

I currently have a label “Make Noise “ distributed by SRG/ Universal Music . I am releasing Vivian Green’s 7th album in Aug . 

Currently her single “Light Up “ is out & a new song “Where You Are” will be released early May . 

I also have a rapper named Bobby J From Rockaway with a current album out entitled “Summer Classics “ .

I urge everyone especially the African American & Latino community to be aware of the seriousness of Covid-19.

In 2 weeks I personally know 6 people who have passed . Listening to rumors especially the ones telling us that “ Blacks can’t get it “ or “This is a hoax” is extremely dangerous. Please take the proper precautions & let’s push through and get back to normal .

Social media handles :Instagram : KwamevisionTwitter : KwameDiditFacebook : KwameTheBoyGenius