Be Bolder™: Q+A With Jasmene Bowdry - Founder of SHIFT StyleHouse

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. The Marie Hunter Modern Muse is a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

This month we’re featuring Jasmene Bowdry, Founder of SHIFT StyleHouse and The Boutique Teacher. I met Jasmene through the Facebook Group “Build, Brand + Launch with Arsha Jones”. We later connected as Facebook friends and I have been enjoying watching her growth from leaving her corporate job to pursue her dreams full time to rebranding her business from Bella Rosa Boutique to what is now SHIFT StyleHouse. What attracted me most to Jasmene is her drive and willingness to help other women thrive. In a world where women feel the need to compete she’s all about collaboration over competition and that I can relate to! I had the opportunity to ask Jasmene 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

Q+A with MH Modern Muse Jasmene Bowdry

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Q: As a former retail buyer for large corporations, what was the defining moment that made you want to launch SHIFT StyleHouse and The Boutique Teacher? 

A: Probably my 8th year working in corporate I just really started to think of what I could create with the knowledge and experience I had. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled in my role and wanted to build something of my own. I started to see all of these “boutiques” pop up online and began to research and saw that it wasn’t as difficult as I had thought. Don’t get me wrong it’s definitely hard work, but my thought process was hell if they can do it, so can I. For The Boutique Teacher I wanted to create a platform that really helped aspiring boutique owners. Even though I worked in fashion and knew most things, there was still a lot I had to figure out on my own. I bought courses and e-books and they didn’t teach me a thing. I didn’t want anyone else making that same mistake. 

Q: Who are 3 people that inspire you and why? 

A:

1. Beyoncé. She’s grown so much and to see and watch her growth to becoming the confident hard working boss chick she is today is so inspiring. Her Netflix movie lit a fire under my butt! I inspire to have that level of dedication when it comes to my craft. 

2. My mommy. Her level of sacrifice and compassion is something I am truly inspired by. As a single mother she made sure I had everything I needed. 

3. All the women currently fighting for their dreams. I follow so many amazing women who are trailblazers. So many women who don’t get the recognition they deserve because they may not have hundreds of thousands of followers, but they are hustling every damn day to make their dreams come true. I am inspired by them. 

Q: What advice would you have for a female entrepreneur ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship?

A: I would ask can you do this without a cheerleader? Meaning everyone isn’t going to clap for you and celebrate your wins. Many times you have to clap for yourself. So make sure you’re the type of person that doesn’t need a cheer team to. Do you know your WHY? Your why is what will keep you going when it gets tough. Lastly, understand that you won’t know everything. Nothing will be perfect and don’t wait until it’s perfect. If you’re working a corporate job, use that to fund your business. 

Q: What is your personal mantra?

A: A comfort zone is a beautiful place but nothing ever grows there. This reminds me to always take risks and do things I’m uncomfortable with in order to achieve the success that I want. 

Q: What do you love most about Marie Hunter Beauty?

A: I love the innovation of the brand and challenging women to be bold in their beauty! 

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Beyoncé has definitely been a whole MOOD lately. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch Homecoming on Netflix you should definitely carve 2 hours out of your day to do so. Jasmene’s drive, passion and fearlessness is admirable and for that she is a MH Modern Muse. Follow Jasmene on Instagram @shiftstylehouse and Facebook @theboutiqueteacher. You can shop SHIFT StyleHouse here.

Marie Hunter Beauty: A Look Inside The Brand

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Since the beginning, we have always believed that beauty should be simple and ethical. Ten years ago, shopping for cosmetics meant deciphering between an array of multistep makeup routines and products chockfull of harmful chemicals. You literally had to pick your poison - cosmetics that would mask who you really were or those that would damage you from the outside in. Like many of you, we knew that our products didn’t have to come with such comprise. We believed (and still do!) that real beauty - both simple and safe - could be achieved. We wanted to see a change in the cosmetics industry for modern women seeking confidence, without comprise, in their cosmetics. This desire became the beginning motivation behind our business.

In 2016, Marie Hunter Beauty was born. Our Founder, KéNisha Ruff, believed that beauty should be simple. Her personal experiences as a Makeup Artist brought to light the need for nontoxic, minimal beauty staples that could empower women to feel confident, but still like themselves. KéNisha’s journey led us to create our first line of nontoxic lipsticks. Now in its third year of business, Marie Hunter Beauty is dedicated more than ever to crafting clean cosmetics and fragrances for the modern muse - people just like you. Our mission is simple: To boldly empower women with beauty, confidence and class.

We know that we’re not the first to create clean beauty solutions in the cosmetics world, and we certainly won’t be the last. One thing we do know is that we’re different. Our varied industry experience and our commitment to real innovation sets us apart from the rest. We work everyday to ensure that you can trust us to approach every new formulation, partnership, and business decision with integrity, class, and boldness we know you want your beauty products to help you express. 


And we’re not just selling cosmetics, by the way. At Marie Hunter Beauty, we’re committed to making a difference, too. That’s why we donate a portion of our proceeds to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. 

 

Together, we hope to change the way you view and select your cosmetics. In the end, all we want is for you to Be Bolder™. 

 

Welcome to our journey. 

Read our full story here.

Out With The Old, In With The New

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To Our MHB Tribe,

Over the past 3 years, we have strived to provide you with quality products and superior service. It is with great honor and privilege that you trust us with providing you with high quality products. Today we want to inform you of some upcoming changes, changes that mean only better things are coming.

We work alongside some of the best labs and cosmetic scientists in the U.S. and we refuse to skimp on quality. Due to some challenges, we have to discontinue some of our beloved formulas and shades.

We realize that some of these formulas and shades have become a customer favorite and we are working hard behind the scenes to bring you new products and shades. Effective immediately, the following formulas and shades are being discontinued and will remain available while supplies last. Be sure to stock up on all your favorites now before they’re gone forever!

Hydrating Lip Balms (Entire Line)

Caramel Comfort

Crimson

Delicate Pink

Girl Crush

Electric Pink

Luscious Berry

Phantom

Strawberry Shortcake

Intense Matte Lipsticks

Bodacious

Courageous

Innovator

Mastermind

Passionate

Visionary

Most Loved Key Ingredient To Revive Winter Skin

Winter is here, and boy is it wreaking havoc on our skin. Keeping a glowing, hydrated complexion all year long is key, but as the temps drop we have to step up our skincare regimen to accommodate said glow. Hyaluronic Acid is your best friend during these dreadful months, check out its benefits below and my recommendation to combat dry, dull skin this season.

Hyaluronic Acid: A powerful moisture binding ingredient that we’re born with at birth in our dermal tissue which diminishes over time as we get older. Hyaluronic Acid keeps skin plump and hydrated to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

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Marie Hunter Deep Hydrating Cream $45

Formulated with a new technology that along with aloe infused water helps skin create its own internal water source to continually rehydrate. Our unique Vita-Plex™ blend is enriched with Vitamins E, C and B to create a powerful antioxidant complex. Hyaluronic Acid boosts skin hydration while humectants and polymers lock in moisture for up to 72 hours. Dewy, plump and youthful skin is officially within reach.

Shop Now: Deep Hydrating Cream

Be Bolder™: Q+A With LaNatria Ellis - Founder of Caribbean Cowgirl

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. The Marie Hunter Modern Muse is a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

This month we’re featuring LaNatria Ellis, Founder of Caribbean Cowgirl and Ellis Image Consultants. I met LaNatria a few years ago via Instagram when we were both new to the blogging world and let me tell you, sis has been dope since the very beginning. She’s funny, stylish and keeps it real 24/7. One of the things I love most about LaNatria is that she’s all about collaboration over competition which is hard to find these days, especially in the blogging world. The detail LaNatria and her husband Tim (who is also her photographer) puts into their content is unparallel. She definitely keeps me inspired and on my toes and I know she will do the same for you too. I had to the opportunity to ask LaNatria 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

Q+A with MH Modern Muse LaNatria Ellis

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Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

A: My name is LaNatria Ellis. I am a 30 year old mom of 2, wife, and all around fabulous yet tired person. I am a blogger, model, stylist, and creative director under the name Caribbean Cowgirl. My blog name pays homage to both my Caribbean heritage and my southern upbringing. I am as funny as I am fierce. With my blog, I aim to spotlight black brands but also to empower women to be their best selves (on a budget) lol. Not only do I talk about fashion, but also real life issues many are afraid to publicly tackle like family issues, financial troubles, and the hidden side of the blog world.

Q: How do you handle feelings of envy and/or competition?

A: I would be a liar if I said those feelings didn't arise. If someone is doing 'too much' and making me inadequate I lay low off their social media for a while. I usually talk about it with a close friend just to vent. Its never personal just more of a 'well why isn't this happening for me?' type of venting. After I get all the hateration out of the dancerie, I remember all these things I have done considering all my circumstances and I get back grounded. Once I'm grounded I can cheer for my fellow sis and keeping moving.

Q: What advice do you have for women wanting to become an entrepreneur?

A: To all the moms who want to jump into the world of entrepreneurship I say DO IT! Do what you love! Connect with a circle of like-minded women who can become your tribe. Surround yourself in positive spaces with thinkers and doers. You can be a mom and a business owner, you already birthed employees who can work for free room and board.

Q: What makes you feel most confident?

A: When my skin and hair are on one accord (amen) I feel the most confident. I can be fly in anything if my skin is on glow and my scalp is greased.

Q: What are your must have Marie Hunter products and why?

A: The Charcoal Soap is a whole bop, okay?! I love a great face soap and this one is it for me. Case closed. I do want to get my hands or should I say lips on some of those amazing matte lipsticks pretty soon.

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Can we talk about how LaNatria is a whole vibe?! She is mastering the art of slayage, entrepreneurship, women empowerment, motherhood and more and for that, she is a MH Modern Muse.

Follow LaNatria on Instagram @caribbean_cowgirl and @ellisimagecon.

Confidence Speaks Volumes: Mental Health Awareness Spotlight

To my MHB Tribe,

As you know, at Marie Hunter I have our CSV Program set in place to help raise awareness about mental health issues in our communities. With every purchase you make, I donate a portion of the proceeds to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America.

The holidays are here and I am thankful for each and everyone one of YOU! While many people look forward to the holidays with excitement, there are many in our communities who we be silently struggling and I want to provide you with some resources from the ADAA on signs to look for from your loved ones and/or those in your community who may find the holidays challenging. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

KéNisha Ruff | Founder & Creative Director of Marie Hunter Beauty

Resources:

 

Be Bolder™: Q+A with Brittany Johnson - Founder of Reverie Home Collective

The Marie Hunter brand is built upon one philosophy, “Confidence Speaks Volumes”. Confidence by definition is a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. In our new series, we will be featuring what I like to call the Marie Hunter Modern Muse, a woman who is a guiding spirit and source of artistic inspiration in life and business. 

This month we’re featuring Brittany Johnson, Founder of Reverie Photography and Reverie Home Collective. I met Brittany many years ago when I was in beauty school and she was the front desk coordinator. Since then, we’ve followed each other on social media and to say I’m amazed at how she balances being a mother, wife and entrepreneur would be an understandment. I had to the opportunity to ask Brittany 5 questions and here is what she had to say.

Q+A with MH Modern Muse Brittany Johnson  

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Q: Mother, Owner of Reverie Photography and now Reverie Home Collective, what was the defining moment that made you want to launch your new blog?

A: After having my third child, I struggled through some postpartum anxiety. My thought patterns were pretty destructive and inhibiting, and I knew I needed to do something about them. I read a book titled, "What To Say When You Talk To Yourself" and it just about blew my mind. I identified negative thoughts and stopped entertaining them, and allowed myself to believe that I could do the things that I was dreaming about. One of them was Reverie Home Collective. I have desperately wanted to share my food allergy tips and recipes, our DIY projects as we update our house, awareness as we work in our community, and all of the parenting lessons we've learned through our three boys. I decided that, with the help of my sister, it was time to launch the blog.  It became the creative outlet that I didn't know I needed...and while I may have to take it slower than I'd like for a bit, I'm so excited to keep building it and seeing where it goes. 

Q: How do you balance being a mother of 3 while still running your photography and blog businesses?

A: Haha, was it smart to start my blog on top of my photography business with my youngest being 6 months old? Maybe not. Finding the time for everything is one of my biggest challenges.  But I'm okay taking the time I need to slowly grow my businesses while I raise my kids. As long as I'm growing and creating, then I feel healthy and balanced. I am equal parts nurturing and ambitious. I have to be able to indulge my motherhood while also indulging my love for work. But how? One thing I swore from the beginning was that my blog would not control their childhood. I would not make them go out and play in perfect clothes and in the spot I wanted just to get a magical photo or story to share. I was going to let them be the magic on their own, and if it worked out for the blog, then that's great. Also, I'm a big believer in involving your kids in your grown-up stuff. My seven year old helps me set up before every photo session and he runs down to help me clean up after. My 3 year old helps me chop potatoes for dinner. Incorporating them as much as I can is the way I navigate both worlds. 

Q: Who are 3 people that inspire you and why?

A: I LOVE this question. I am inspired by so many people. Here are just a few:

1. Dalia Mogahed, Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, for her passion and commitment to education and social awareness. I just saw a lecture she gave at the UW and she was an incredible speaker, a powerful presenter, and a force for advocacy and change. If you are interested in learning more about the Muslim community, her book, Who Speaks for Islam: What a Billion Muslims Really Think, is a fantastic read. "I can tell you character traits I admire and work to develop in myself - perseverance, self-discipline, courage to stand up for what is right even when it is against one's friends or one's self." -Dalia Mogahed

2. Fred Rogers, host of Mr Roger's Neighborhood. I'm not sure there is a better human that has ever walked this planet. I am a far better parent and person than I would have been without Mr. Rogers, and it's why I still have my kids watch him regularly. He is the opposite of every other kid's program out there today...slow, intentional, and deep. He talks about really difficult things sometimes (divorce, death, violence), but in a way that is safe for children to digest. I just love him."Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people." -Fred Rogers

3. Nadia Murad, human rights advocate and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for tirelessly advocating the plight of the Yezidi people and her work to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. “This world was not only created for you and your families. We also want life, and it’s our right to live it.” -Nadia Murad

Q: What makes you feel most confident?

A: When I make my own decisions without worrying about other people's expectations. Whether it's in how I dress, how I communicate, what projects I launch at work, what opinions I form, how I renovate my home...I prefer to throw out the expectations and just think about what I think will be magic.  What will be meaningful. What feels true to me. 

Q: What are your must have Marie Hunter products and why?

A: Your Leather and Suede candle is the best candle I've ever smelled. I've always preferred what are often marketed as "manly scents" but have never appreciated when those are designed for men. Your candle is the exact scent I love, and style-wise, it fits my minimal, neutral style to a T. I am on the waiting list to pick up your charcoal soap because I KNOW that it's going to be a new fave of mine. 

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Impressed? Me too! Brittany is mastering the art of balance in life and work and for that, she is a MH Modern Muse. 

Follow Brittany on Instagram @reveriehomecollective and check out her blog here.

Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Did you know that women and minority women owned businesses receive a minuscule amount of funding each year? This makes it harder for small businesses such as Marie Hunter Beauty and other independent owned businesses to scale up.

With the holidays officially here, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite women owned and operated businesses for you to shop this holiday season. When women support one another we ALL win! Some have even provided us with a promo code to offer you! Happy shopping and let us know in the comments who your favorite women owned businesses are :).

1. Loza Tam

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Sometimes doing your hair just seems like a hassle and we’ve all seen one or two people out and about running errands in their hair bonnets. Loza Tam has a stylish collection of women’s headbands, turbans & hair accessories. Protecting your hair while still looking chic is sometimes hard to accomplish, all of their hair accessories are lined in satin to protect the hair against frizz, breakage and moisture loss. Loza Tam’s African Head Wraps come in an array of colors with mustard being a top seller. Top publications such as Allure and Refinery29 are taking notice and you should too! I don’t know about you, but I’ll definitely be stocking up on few a colors this season, the green satin turban has my name written all over it!

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Use promo code “MHBEAUTY” to receive 10% off your first purchase + free shipping over $50 at Loza Tam.

2. Yavea Hair Collection

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Based in Atlanta, GA, Yavea Hair Collection provides 100% virgin hair extensions and organic hair care products. Their products are made with plant-derived and natural organic ingredients free of PEGs, sulfates, dyes, mineral oils, parabens and artificial fragrances. I’ve been using the hair care line for several months now and my favorites from the collection are the Sleek Growth Oil and Sleek Silk Serum.

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Use code “HOLIDAY” to receive 15% off purchases $20+ at Yavea Hair Collection. Promotion ends 12/19/18.

3. A Latte Cocoa

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A Latte Cocoa is a handmade accessory line based in Milwaukee, WI. Founded in 2017, A Latte Cocoa was created to empower women and support women’s health. A percentage of purchase sales are donated to women in need of cancer screenings. Now this is a brand we can get behind!

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Their website is launching soon but in the meantime follow A Latte Cocoa on Instagram @alattecocoa and DM to order all of their handmade pieces!

Eye Serums Are The New Black

Dark Circles. Fine Lines. Puffiness. We’re all experiencing one or all of the above even if we don’t want to admit it. From eye rollers to eye creams to eye serums. Here is a breakdown on the benefits of each and why we believe eye serums are the new black. 

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De-Puffing Eye Rollers:

Partied to hard last night? Stayed up late studying? Getting a full nights rest can be hard to come by when life keeps you busy. The cooling metal roller ball gives a de-puffing treatment to the eye area by gently massaging the skin to iron out creases that causes puffiness. One sweep under the eye helps to hydrate and brighten the eyes for an rejuvenated appearance. If puffiness is your main concern then De-Puffing Eye Rollers will become a staple on your vanity and in your cosmetic bag.

Eye Creams:   

The skin around the eye area is delicate and prone to dryness which leads to fine lines. Creams are formulated to be thicker and contain extra oils to help combat dryness. The drier the eye area the quicker you will start to see signs of aging and fatigue. We recommend eye creams for those with dry to mature skin. Eye creams also work great as a primer before concealer as it will help to hydrate and smooth the skin. 

Eye Serums: 

Serums are ideal because they work perfectly for all skin types and concerns. They can help to reduce puffiness, fine lines, dryness, discoloration and increase elasticity all in one. Serums are created to deliver instant results because they are packed with highly active ingredients to increase cell turnover. Compared to eye creams, the gel like consistency of serum is absorbed into the skin much faster delivering restorative results. Eyes serums are the new black. 

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Marie Hunter Triple Correction Eye Serum $40

The triple peptides in our serum activate surface renewal to address concerns commonly found in more mature skin. Helping to rebuild protein results in visibly thicker and tighter skin around the eyes. This advanced serum also helps to increase circulation, giving the eye area an illuminating appearance.

Shop Now: Triple Correction Eye Serum