Boss Lady

Boss Lady: Taylor from Ivory Pearls Co.

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Hey girl hey! Thank you for doing this interview. Let’s start with telling the readers a little about you.

My name is Taylor Flenoy. I am a passionate, vegan, goofy, hard-working, mother, friend, sister, business owner, entrepreneur, and loving soul.

How do you think motherhood has changed you?

Motherhood has changed me a lot actually. I remember saying I would never have kids after I was diagnosed with PCOS. I would say out of anger I had zero patience for children. My son has actually brought me this feeling of peace, my patience is at an all-time high now. Motherhood has also changed my perspective I look at everything from a mother’s point of view. I never really understood things I would hear mothers say in the past until now. 

How do you juggle being a mom and running your own business?

Honestly, I’m still working on that. I’ve learned being a mom that things aren’t ever going to really go as planned. I’m learning that I’m caring for another actual human being with emotions. Moods change with my son every hour so I honestly just have to go with how he’s feeling at this time with him being five months. Even if that means breastfeeding him while typing up a business plan that’s just how it has to be at that moment.

Where did the idea of Ivory Pearls come from?

I was talking to my grandmother one day while coming up with my actual name of my business and she told me to include “Ivory” in the name of my business because of my love for nature and my mother’s love for elephants. We brainstormed for about thirty more minutes and out of nowhere she said, “Pearls!”, which instantly reminded me of my great-grandmother that passed some time ago. She loved jewelry, pearls to be exact. I wanted the name of my business to have meaning, something that my children can carry on forever. The name will always be special because it was influenced by the strong women that raised me. 

When did you know you wanted to go into business for yourself? What was your “aha” moment?

My son inspired me to open my store. My mother had been telling me for years to shed some of my light onto the world. Everything in my store I had been using myself for years. When I look at my son I think “legacy”. Whatever I create now I want him to take on as well as my other children I plan to have in the near future. Every day I’m constantly thinking of ways to build for my children and their future. 

If you weren’t running Ivory Pearls Co., what else would you want to do?

That’s a tricky one to answer. I see myself doing so many things it’s hard to pick. I feel like everyone should create as much as they can. I feel like no one should ever limit themselves to one thing, especially women. To me there is nothing wrong with being a woman of many hats. Women are so powerful. 

Are you working on any projects or other endeavors?

I have a lot of stuff I’m working on with my store. I have a lot more branding ideas I’ve been working on as well as partnerships.

What is your ultimate goal with your business or is their a career that you’re working towards?

Eventually, I would love to have an actual store location for Ivory Pearls Co. I’m currently working on that. I’m just taking it day by day, but that is the goal I’m working towards to promote health and wellness of the mind, body, and soul. My whole purpose of choosing organic and cruelty free products is to show others not only is the stuff we eat important, it’s also about the stuff we choose to put on our bodies. I hope to get that message across as well as building a brand. 

How can people find you?

My instagram is @iknowtaylor, my business instagram is @ivorypearls_co. I would also like to thank you so much for this opportunity. It means the world to me that my fellow sister would even think to include me in this beautiful blog concept. I can’t thank you enough for the ongoing love and support. ❤️

Boss Lady, Guest Bloggers

Boss Lady: Jazzie from Jazzzie By Nature

I met Jazzie through Instagram the summer of 2015. I just so happened to be on a cruise to Mexico and received an IG message demanding I hurry and come back so we can be vegan friends. We’ve been friends ever since. She is now traveling the world with her husband and is a great inspiration to me. She just has this positive light and energy and coming from where she came from, you would never know. I can’t wait for us to hangout again! Let’s find out more about this Boss Lady.
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Hey Jazzie! Thanks for joining this series. Tell the readers a little bit about you.
Hey girl heyyy!  Thanks for having me! I’m Jazzie, holistic health and wellness consultant & Black Digital Nomad. I’m orginally from South Central Los Angeles. Coming from a very unstable childhood I’ve been nomadic my whole life. My mom was on drugs and my father was abusive so I moved around a lot between family members. I left Los Angeles for Houston, TX two days after high school graduation. I then moved back and forth betweeen Philly & Houston until 2013. I left Houston for good in 2016. 
How long have you lived a plant based lifestyle and how did you get started?
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From 2007-2013 I suffered from a huge painful lump in my throat. After cat scans, MRIs & expensive medicines yet no cure, I opted out of invasive surgery and looked into more holistic ways of healing. I was watching an infomercial with David Wolf and he said something that really resonated with me. “We are overfed and under norished.” I ordered a Nutri-Bullet and began making smoothies. I followed the blog 100 Days of Real Food and cut out all processed foods. Within a couple weeks my lump was healed. I continued to educate myself and eventually gave up meat and dairy. I’ve been following a Plant-Based lifestyle ever since.

Why and how did you get into being a health consultant?

After healing myself and seeing so many others suffering I decided to get my certification as a Holistic Health & Wellness Consultant

What’s the purpose of your CKLS cleanse and how can people do it?

The CKLS is a natural cleanse created by Paul Goss. It’s a Colon, Kidney,Liver & Spleen cleanse that rids the body of toxins that keep us sick. If interested it can be purchased on my site
I know you’re now a digital nomad living it up in Bali. What made you and your husband sell everything and take to the world? What was that final straw?

Ha! Just look at the state of Amerikka! I was tired of worrying if my black husband was going to end up as a hashtag. We also wanted to be able to do what we love and live comfortably versus working a job we hate just to pay bills. Living abroad made this possible.

What is the greatest thing you learned about being a nomad in Mexico? Bali?
That we posses everything we need within.
Where to next?
We are headed to Malaysia then Thailand.
What’s your ultimate goal with your business?
To become a world renowned speaker, empowering others to kill their inner hater bish and live their best life.
Now the best part, tell me about how you got connected with the Black Digital Nomad? What’s that experience been like? What’s the future look like with that?

I met Melanie in Playa del Carmen, MX. (Thanks for that!) (A little back story, while Jazzie was in Mexico, I saw that Melanie was there also and suggested Jazzie get together with her) After deciding to work non-remotely we worked out a private agreement & here I am.

It’s been a lovely experience and I’m honored to be able to continue the brand and inspire others. I’m working on a few courses to help others take the leap.
When you and your husband do finally settle down, where will it be?
Only time will tell.
What’s the best part about being a minimalist and living the nomadic life in general?

The best part is the freedom! Working everyday on the things I love and not being tied down by stuff.

Where can people find you?
I’m @blackdigitalnomad &
@jazzziebynature on IG
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My Life

Thank You for 600+

When I started this blog back in college, it began as a news blog. Had you told me then that today it would be a thriving lifestyle and mommy blog, I would’ve told you that you’re crazy and to not wish that upon me. At one point I had over 2,000 followers, then I deleted that blog and all of my social media. I started over. I have actually started over numerous times over the years and have changed my blog name as many times as well. When I found out I was pregnant, I knew that I could no longer keep The Black Vegan Author. I knew my blog had to be more versatile.

As of today, I have 647 of you lovely people following, and counting. I am so appreciative and thrilled for all of my new followers and that you somehow found my blog. Many of you are email subscribers and how you found my blog, I have no idea but I am glad that you did. I hope that you find my up and coming content inspiring and helpful, as well as relatable to your own life. I want this blog to be about my experiences through life as a millennial mama, a vegan, an author, an editor, an entrepreneur, a debt crusher, an educator, a blogger, and a traveler.

My hope is that you will go on this journey with me and share anything that you think your loved ones, friends, family, or social media peeps need to see. Tell everyone you know about my blog and let’s keep the family growing.

When I continued to have my blog, I didn’t imagine that it would grow back to the 2k that I had before. I didn’t even think I would be as consistent about it. In all honesty, I didn’t even know why I had a blog until more people started reading posts, liking, sharing and even leaving feedback. It gave me even more reason to delete all my videos on YouTube and start putting them in posts on my site instead. Keeping my content in one place is easier for me and as many of you have mentioned, it is easier for you as well.

Let’s keep going and strive for 1K followers. Maybe I’ll even do a giveaway at that point. My first giveaway at that.

Thank you again for subscribing and following!

Moniqua LaShae

My Life, Vegan Mommy Things

Thoughts on being a Single Mother

Never did I ever think that I would be a single mother, nor did I ever think that I would be pregnant, but, here I am. As for being a single mother, I am not depressed or upset by it because I know that there is a man out there who will love me and my baby. Granted getting pregnant under the circumstances wasn’t ideal, I am so glad that I am going to be a mom.

I used to always look at and judge single parents, women mostly, despite the fact that at one point my own mother was a single mom. It wasn’t until I started realizing the situations that makes a woman a single mom and becoming pregnant myself, that I understood.

Reasons a woman becomes a single mom:

Boyfriend/fiancé/husband dies

Divorce

Abuse

Incarceration

Irreconcilable differences

Rape

Man is married

Prostitution

Stripping

One night stand

Incest

And the list goes on and on and on. There are so many reasons and it’s crazy because women get judged for being single mothers, but men don’t get judged for being single fathers. In fact, they get praised (ain’t that some shit?).

For me, being a single mom and my baby isn’t even born yet, I have become such a stronger person. Decision-making has become so cutthroat for me and I don’t even care anymore. If it does not benefit my baby or brings negativity, it’s gone. My only concern nowadays are staying healthy, stress/drama free, birthing a healthy baby and being an amazing mom to a dark-skinned child. If you are not trying to help with any of those things, keep it moving.

I have yet to go to any single parent meetups because I honestly am not comfortable just yet, and that has nothing to do with me being ashamed of being a single parent, because there are millions of single parents. It more so has to do with me being an introvert and also being asked the situation with my child’s father. The situation I know many women have been in (no it’s not rape, abuse or incest, nothing like that), but I am not ready to talk about it more so because of embarrassment because I used to judge women in this situation and now I am one of them.

I have a cousin who is a single mom and despite her situation with the father, she is a damn good mother and has been doing it on her own for a few years, by herself (of course with the help of our family, hey Azia!). I also have a cousin (Azia’s brother) who was a single father for some time. I come from a family of strong individuals, and the amount of support they give, you never feel alone, even though I do feel alone at this point since no one agrees with my decision to have a midwife and have a water birth (that will be for another post).

Being a parent used to mean that my life had to stop and that I couldn’t do any of the things I want to do, which is why I never wanted kids. But having met and watched through social media, some of these amazing, black, single mothers and how they are manifesting on their own with their child(ren), I can’t help but to believe that I can still do everything I want, and still be an awesome mom. Having a child by yourself does not have to be an obstacle or barrier in the way of you are your dreams. Life does not stop when you have a child. It tends to accelerate and you have to go with it.

My time management skills are so on point that, that I know I can continue to be a blogger, YouTuber, writer, and entrepreneur even after my baby is born. Single motherhood does not define who I am. Yes, I am single and a mother, but I am also so much more.

My Life

I’m back!!

The holidays have past, and school has started again. These past couple of weeks have been nice being off from work. I am not one who cares much for holidays, but I do love spending time with my family. December was our first cold winter in a while. With temperatures in the 40s (that’s cold for us southerners). I stayed inside most of the break, which is what I normally do anyway.

I spent a lot of time working in my planner and getting things ready for the new year. I will show details of that at a later date in a YouTube video. I have recently gotten into heavy planning to really get my life together. I have a baby coming soon and I need to be prepared for their arrival. This will also help me to keep myself on track so that nothing changes when the baby gets here.

I also created a vision board (which will also be shown in at a later date in a video) so that I can visually see my goals and keep track as I achieve them. This method holds me accountable. I had a vision board on Pinterest but it just didn’t help because that meant every time I wanted to see it, I would have to log in to my phone. I should have created vision board before now, however, life sometimes gets in the way.

I have created a schedule for blog posts and YouTube videos, as well as planning out how I am going to work my Instagram. I have deleted a lot of photos (I have less than 100 now) and I want to start posting with intention, instead of how I was doing before (just posting to be posting). I want all content that I create across all of my platforms to be intentional and informational for those who watch, read and follow. I consider these to be leisure activities that provoke thought. I want to stay on a schedule and that is why I am intentionally planning with my planner.

Debthas been a burden on me for many years and now that my baby will soon be here, I have to stick to a strict budget in order to pay off debts and give my child the best life possible. I don’t want to struggle. Even though my child’s father is supportive and I have my family, I still need to be able to do things on my own so when my child grows up, they will know that mommy worked her ass off to make sure that they want for nothing. I have a budget planner, a debt thermometer and a snowball calculator to keep me on track and hold me accountable. I have already input my data for all of these tools as well as my projections for savings each month. I will succeed.

The above items are what I have been working on over the past couple of weeks to make sure that I entered 2018 with clear intentions, a set plan, a changed mindset, and a confident attitude.

What are some things you have been working on in order to make sure 2018 is your best year yet?

My Life, Uncategorized

4 Years Vegan!!

I can’t believe it has already been four years that I have adopted a plant based lifestyle. I remember like it was just yesterday (it was actually last Friday that made 4 years, November 17). It was right before the thanks-for-killing-millions-of-Indians break, and I was so sick. I had spent the weekend in Huntsville, Texas, on a field trip with some of the kids from the YMCA that I was working with. I was vegetarian at the time and that weekend was full of just cheese pizza. When I came back, the constipation was so real.

On November 17, 2013, I made the decision to give up all dairy and eggs. No transitioning or anything. I didn’t like the constipation and stomach pains, and I really had no reason to continue eating dairy and eggs. My family thought I was crazy and didn’t think it would last, but here I am, 4 years later, thriving and about to have a little vegan human soon.

I won’t say that being vegan has been easy; there were times that I slipped and ate something that was made with dairy or eggs. Funny thing is, I couldn’t finish eating it because it tasted so different and weird. Once your taste buds become accustomed to not having something and you finally have it, you don’t want it anymore. Meat is the only thing I have not slipped up and eaten simply because the thought of it makes me want to vomit. Although, I still love the smell of bacon cooking.

If you are having doubts or wondering about this journey, check my shop page for my guide to veganism and meal plans.