mental self-care

Mindful Minute

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and there is no better time than now to improve your overall well-being through self-care that focuses on meditation and mindfulness.

Beginning any new practice or habit is hard when self-limiting beliefs creep in and you are going through this journey alone. It was not until I made the decision to be intentional about my time and thoughts that I saw real change, and as equally as important, got other people involved. That way we could hold each other accountable, motivate one another and share where we are in the process. These discoveries and observations create movement/action, community, conversations, empathy, boosts mental well-being decreasing stress, depression and anxiety.

I know that time is valuable, but how many of us are truly present enough to enjoy it? Taking your power (and time) back begins with your awareness of where you are now. Not living in the past or for the future, but in the present moment. Awareness is an act of loving yourself (which includes your thoughts and feelings), without fear or judgement.

  • MINDFUL MINUTE – a quick tip to motivate you to incorporate practices in mindfulness.

So this week I’m calling out all serial multitaskers (including myself)! Let’s ditch the rabbit hole of “productivity” and focus on our well-being by being fully present and more mindful.

This months mindful minute practice is for you to focus all of your attention on one thing at a time.

In order to build that awareness, let’s start with something we do daily like eating or *insert your choice of daily habit here.* Don’t attempt to do the fifty other things on your to do list when you sit down for a meal or drink a cup of coffee.

Pause to connect with your senses

That excitement you feel (or happy dance you do) when you see and smell your food making its way to your table, the way your clothes feel on your body, the sensation and healing nature of the water as you shower. Savor the experience.

Mental labeling

Ground your thoughts in the moment so when you stand in front of the sink you associate it with hand washing or when you sit down to eat think, “When I eat, I eat.” 

Just “be”

No need for constant stimulation. I know now more than ever we find ourselves watching the news, listening to podcasts/audiobooks and other multimedia which can be a distraction to get tasks done. Give yourself the space to be…breathe in moments of silence/stillness.

Make the shift

Lastly, enjoy more of the moments in between tackling that to do list. Notice when you are rushing, overthinking or on autopilot and shift your mindset. Take it from the Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus: “We are disturbed not by the things that happen,” he observed, “but by our thoughts about the things that happen.” Simply it’s not that we are busy because of the length of our to-do list but because of our thoughts surrounding it.

Take Action

Where are you at in the process? Do you have as many tabs open on your computer as you have active in your mind? What is most challenging about focusing all of your attention and thoughts on what’s in front of you? What helps you stay focused on completing one task at a time, can you feel the difference? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments below.

BONUS: Treat Yourself as a reward for being present. Get some well deserved “me-time” with our tropical In Full Bloom Box. Unbox some sunshine, reconnect with yourself with these amazing self-care goodies from women-owned businesses. Click here >>>
inspirational story

First Black Woman to Own an Outback Steakhouse in Detroit

We are ending Women’s History Month strong with the final feature of our Beauties in Detroit Making History series! If you’ve been following along you know that we have been celebrating this month by shining a spotlight on the women in Detroit who are major leaders making waves!

We are so excited to close our series with the phenomenal Gretta Eddington-Jackson! Her news of becoming the first black female Managing Partner for Outback Steakhouse went viral on her 19th anniversary with the company and just in time for Black History Month. Gretta is driven by her family and her faith. Read on to get to know the woman behind the role as she shares how she overcame challenges, advice to her younger self and more.

Tell us about yourself and what kept you motivated.

Well I’m married to the wonderful Antwane Jackson and we’re the parents to  Ashley (27) and Ashton (12 ) grandparents to Aiden (7) and Baby Ace (2 months). I work at the restaurant approximately 55 to 60 hours per week trying to balance home life/work life is a job in itself, however I can honestly say I’m motivated by my family and my team… realizing that I do this for them more so than myself. When they see me work hard, achieve success and make history… I’m proof for them that it can be done.

At what point did you realize or know that you could take on the role of owner?

I was never 100% sure I would ever be an actual owner until the opportunity presented itself and I actually found myself in a position to go for it. I ultimately took on the role because I had worked side by side with my team for years and went through the trials and tribulations with them and knew first hand that they had lost faith in Outback, themselves and the restaurant…so I wanted to come in and try to restore that faith and hope and make them remember why they choose to show up everyday even knowing they were the underdogs. 

What is or was your greatest challenge and biggest accomplishment or strength?

My biggest challenge earlier on in my career was being a Woman in what was then considered to be an industry ran by men….more specifically white men. Also having to realize that some of them didn’t want to see me succeed and was adamant about the fact they were not going to help me grow or teach me or help me in any way simply based on my gender and race.

My greatest accomplishment would have to be never quitting or giving up and after 19 years of blood, sweat and tears…becoming the First Black Woman Managing Partner in the Detroit Market.

Based on what you’ve learned along the way, what would you tell your 18 year old self?

I would tell 18 year old Gretta that it’s ok to make mistakes but learn from them, don’t make the same mistakes over and over… keep God first, never lose your faith, trust the process and know that everything you go through good or bad is helping to prepare you to be great some day. Pray often and always live in the moment, live for today because tomorrow is not promised…and always, always be UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOU!

Why do you feel representation is vital for the success of future generations of women?

Representation is vital simply because  when you’re growing up thinking you can be this or you can do that it’s at that point just a dream, a hope…maybe a possibility…but once you see or meet or speak with someone like myself who actually looks like you, comes from where you come from,  struggled the way you may have struggled it now becomes more than a dream it become a reality…proof…possible…goals.. IT BECOMES I DID IT SO CAN YOU or SHE DID IT SO CAN I.

What is the beauty of Detroit to you?

What can I say about DETROIT…THE “D,” well it’s my city, home, I was born and bred here…I love everything about IT and no matter where I travel in the world I always want to come back home. IT’S EVERYTHING FOR ME…THE PEOPLE, THE LOVE, THE ENERGY…I DONT KNOW I Guess I’m just a “D GIRL” AT HEART.

What do you do to decompress and any advice on ways women can learn to better care for themselves?

Well…I absolutely love to travel…near and far…so that’s not always possible especially nowadays. I would say my second favorite thing is Ladies day! Grab your bestie and sisters and fav, hit the nail shop or spa to have some good food and laugh, cry and relax at least once if not twice a month. My circle is small but tight…when I call they come and sometimes just being in their presence calms and relaxes me.

Be it that we are celebrating Women’s History Month, think of a woman that inspires you. What would you like to share with her about the impact she has had on your life?

So I suppose this would be considered a tribute…ESSIE EDDINGTON  “QUEEN B,” my heart and soul….my Granny. My Love received her wings on June 3, 2020, but she always has and always will be hands down My MOST PRIZED POSSESSION… MY FAVORITE person in the world and now in Heaven. She was the First person to PRAY FOR ME, TO BELIEVE IN ME, TO TEACH ME TO LOVE ME UNCONDITIONALLY. She raised me from birth to adulthood becoming my Mommy and me her Tootie. Everything I am or will ever become is because of her LOVE AND SACRIFICES and just as I did while she was here I spend my life showing her that her Prayers and Sacrifices for me were not in vain and I won’t Give Up until I have accomplished every dream I’ve had and every promise I made her .

I PROMISED MOMMY on her death bed that I wouldn’t stop until I owned my own Outback… not even knowing if would ever be able to keep that promise…BUT GOD!!! 4 MONTHS LATER I WOULD BE ABLE TO LOOK UP TO THE HEAVENS AND SCREAM! LOOK MOMMY PROMISE KEPT!

Doesn’t Gretta’s story just inspire you to be your best self: unapologetically you and trust the process, stay the course and never give up?! We are forever grateful for you sharing your incredible testimony! The outpouring of love Gretta has received is a testament to her phenomenal spirit and work ethic! Because she did, so can we…what a great way to close out Women’s History Month! Continue to be a beautiful role model and empower women.

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Limited Edition Detroit Love

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inspirational story

CEO of Detroit’s First Beauty Supply Vending Machine

Leslie Williams is making it easier for all of us to become Lavish girls by giving easy access to the black beauty brands that we desire. The lack of representation for women of color in mainstream cosmetic brands and the onset of the pandemic provided Leslie an opportunity to bridge the gap between black beauty essentials black women needed and the accessibility to retrieve them. Be it that many beauty supplies in the city of Detroit are not black owned this is a huge step forward in black ownership of places where many black women frequent. Now you can get 24 hour access and get beauty essentials straight to your door via DoorDash. Leslie Williams is a woman on a mission to make Lavish Box more than just a hometown favorite. Her Lavish Box vending machine is the perfect solution for when you need access to black beauty brands quickly. Read on to learn more about the woman behind the vending machine, her message to black women and a special shoutout to her mother. 

Tell us about yourself. What prepared you for this venture and what inspired you to create this business?

I am the owner of Lavish Box, LLC. I am a 26 year old Detroit native, WCCCD graduate and senior at Wayne State University. I have over ten years of experience in the fashion, hair and beauty industry as a Makeup Artist, Hair Stylist, Model and Fashion Show Producer. I created Lavish Box out of the pandemic. When the beauty supplies closed, it left many black women and other POC without their most prized beauty essentials. Many people were completely cut off from the products and tools we use everyday that is specific to our needs.

The Lavish Box mission is to be Detroit’s leading vending machine retailer specializing in the beauty and hair care market. We pledge to provide quality beauty and hair products that are typically found in inner city beauty supplies. We recognize that there is a disconnect between major retailers and Black beauty products. Lavish Box took the first step in catering to our under tapped market providing convenient and affordable products specifically catered to the Black, Brown and in between.

What are three words that describe the community you’ve cultivated?

Inclusive, innovative and entrepreneurial-driven.

What is or was your greatest challenge and biggest accomplishment or strength?

I think Lavish Box’s greatest accomplishment was being able to be the first beauty supply vending machine on DoorDash. It definitely opened up many doors for us. We worked for months trying to get on the platform.

You have two locations and now you are on DoorDash. How does that feel and what’s next for Lavish Box?

Honestly, it’s exhilarating. It makes me so excited to keep going and keep expanding. I want to take over the Metro Detroit area and then start working my way across the nation. I’m so excited that I am a potential national brand. 

What do you do to decompress and share any advice on ways women can learn to better care for themselves? 

The best advice I can give women is to make sure you take care of your mental. Often, Black women have the perspective that we have to work twice as hard to achieve half of what men or other races would achieve. I think we get so caught up in trying to be the best that we get burnt out, yet we are so used to working under pressure, we work through it. It’s okay to take a mental health day. It’s okay to turn off the phone and ignore calls when you need to. Self care is so important and no one will take care of you, like you.

What does the beauty of Detroit mean to you?

The beauty of Detroit means the beauty found within the people. Detroit is rich in culture, history, diversity, innovation and hustle. The many perspectives and backgrounds that exist here adds to its beauty as a whole. The thousands of hustlers that we have, from the local business owner to the entrepreneur constantly doing pop up shops, have a kind of determination and passion that is natural to us. They say if you can survive in Detroit you can survive anywhere, and that’s our beauty. We are raw.

Be it that we are celebrating Women’s History Month, think of a woman that inspires you. What would you like to share with her about the impact she has had on your life?

My mother inspires me the most. My mother was always the head of the household, and that in itself contributed to my need for independence. Her workload was always jam-packed, between school, work and taking care of three children…and a husband. My mom taught me the definition of multi-tasking and perseverance. I never in 26 years seen my mom quit. I never saw her break down or hear, ‘I don’t know.’ If she didn’t know, you’d never know, because she’d find a way. To me that’s what women are about. We are strong, resilient and we keep going. 

Yes, my mother has always made a way, no matter the circumstances or many roles she’s had to play! We honor the women who have made daily sacrifices for us to be where we are and who we are today. Also, that drive and resilience as women and as Detroiters is a unique beauty all its own. Leslie, thank you so much for sharing your story and getting black owned beauty essentials to the women who need it most! We all need the reminder to prioritize self care and mental wellness. You can find Lavish Box’s 24 hours vending machine on DoorDash or at these locations:

13330 Linwood
Detroit, MI 48238

8005 E. Jefferson Ave.
Detroit, MI 48214

inspirational story

CEO of Award-Winning Advertising and Detroit Advocate

If you were wondering who is responsible for most of the outdoor advertisement, which includes (digital) bulletins, bike shares, wallscapes, hand-painted murals, the People Mover and bus shelters in downtown Detroit, here’s your chance to find out. Candice Simons is the founder of the award winning advertising agency, Brooklyn Outdoor, lifestyle blog, J’adore Detroit, and host of the creative space, The Loft, for Detroit natives and transplants. Brooklyn Outdoor offers the only digital video spectacular in the D at the TCF center. Candice reminds us that there’s no place like home and the resilient local artists and talents in our city. Read on in our interview with Candice below to get all the details about OOH and more!

Tell us about yourself and what inspired you to create Brooklyn Outdoor Advertising and J’adore Detroit.

After 10 years of working in outdoor advertising in Chicago, I felt a calling to come back to Detroit. I noticed there wasn’t any independent out-of-home representation in Detroit. I knew that by coming back to the city and making it the headquarters of Brooklyn Outdoor, that I could provide a fresh energetic take on the OOH that wasn’t offered here. Some people thought I was crazy to start a business here in the middle of a recession. But here we are nearly 10 years later with a small female advertising army leading the way.

My adoration for Detroit was the inspiration behind, j’adore Detroit. J’adore Detroit is an insider’s guide to the city, shared with readers through a curation of content that covers entertainment, style, wellness, and more. I wanted j’adore Detroit to be an outlet in the community that reflects the things I feel connected to– good causes, local innovators, authentic culture, and entrepreneurs on a mission to make Detroit vibrant and vital. 

Through j’adore Detroit, I wanted to create a space where my eclectic taste and desire to inspire connections could come together. From that desire, “The Loft” was born. The Loft at j’adore Detroit is unlike any other space in the city. It’s an industrial-meets-chic venue in the heart of Detroit’s historic Eastern Market offers a panoramic view of the surrounding city and a unique aesthetic crafted by local Detroit artists and yours truly.

Give us an overview of where we have seen your company’s work. What innovations have you made in outdoor advertisement?

Thanks for asking! We have a large footprint in Detroit. Some of our most recognizable work is displayed on the TCF center screen located on the corner of Washington Blvd. + W. Congress St. Recently we did an ad for Big Sean’s Detroit 2 album on TCF. It’s always fun when we get to show some hometown love.

Throughout the last year, Brooklyn Outdoor has been partnering with the Detroit Department of Transportation to install 59 new bus shelters throughout the city. As a Detroiter, I don’t have to tell you that a lot of our bus shelters have been in some rough shape. Through this buildout we’ve been able to increase the safety of the public transit system and improve its infrastructure. Each bus shelter is equipped with 24/7 illumination that is powered by solar panels, and each unit has USB charging docs.

By adding advertising panels onto the shelters, we were able to create a brand-new stream of revenue for the city to help sustain the public transit system.

We also place ads on the MoGo bike share panels, which creates a nice opportunity for local businesses to tap into OOH with smaller formats. We are also one of the founding sponsors of Murals in the Market which is so cool!

What is unique about outdoor advertisement in Detroit?

I don’t have to tell you that Detroit has some truly talented and amazing artists! What is so great about having a billboard company in Detroit, is that we can tap into those local talents and hire them to work on projects with these huge national brands.

For example, one really cool campaign we worked on was for Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. It was a hand-painted mural campaign that featured the character Crazy Eyes. For the campaign we hired the very talented and local artist Michelle Tanguay to complete the mural. It turned out SO great!

Why was it important for you to create a space in Detroit’s historic Eastern market?

I wanted to create a space where people could connect in real life. Social media is super popular right now, but so many of those connections stop when you stop scrolling, liking, and commenting. Having this beautiful event space in Eastern Market allows us to take the URL to IRL and foster real connections and human interaction.

Having the space be located in Detroit’s historic Eastern Market is so great. The market is so deeply ingrained in Detroit’s history and it gives people a place where they can have an authentic experience in the city.

What are three words that describe the community you’ve cultivated?

Connected. Authentic. Fun.

What is or was your greatest challenge and what is your biggest accomplishment or strength?

One of my greatest challenges was presented this year with COVID-19. We have a small team, which means we are close like family. I’m not only responsible for the well-being of my business, but also the well-being of my staff. Each and every one of us has a family and other people who count on us financially. I worked really hard throughout the pandemic to secure new business acquisitions and grants to make sure everyone stayed employed throughout the pandemic.

What is the beauty of Detroit to you?

The beauty of Detroit lies within its people. Even in tough times, when it seems like the world has turned its back on Detroit, the people here persevere. The city has this industrious background that has given the people here grit and backbones of steel. 

I’ve traveled to many different places, but I’ve never been to a place where the people feel so connected and proud of their city.

Be it that we are celebrating Women’s History Month, think of a woman that inspires you. What would you like to share with her about the impact she has had on your life?

Oh boy! Where do I start? I am SO lucky to be surrounded by a fierce gang of women that inspire me on a daily basis. To name drop a few:

Anna Mayes @thelipstickjourney

Jenn Lee @chaletdrive

Samantha Schmuck @revived_living

Ramona Bizon @aesthetics_by_ramona

Ursula Mullen @ursula.mullen

Jonnelle Boyd @jonnellebird

Candace Mary Interiors @candacemaryinteriors

Lauren Van Haaren @latelywithlo
But, if I had to pick an all-time woman who I admire, it would be my girl Sophia Amoruso, the OG of girl bosses. She is such an inspiration to women in business. She was named one of Forbes richest self-made women by Forbes and definitely knows how to pivot in business. Walking away and shifting your vision can be a difficult thing to accept as an entrepreneur. She has shown all of us that a setback can be a set up for a comeback and how to lean into that.

Her example is the motivation that we can all live by. Candice, you are a trailblazer in OOH! It was an absolute pleasure having you share your journey and love for Detroit with us! We also love your commitment to local innovators, entrepreneurs, important causes and Detroit culture.

inspirational story

From Largest Black Doll Show to First Black Doll Museum in Shipping Containers

This month we at the Beauty of Detroit Box are celebrating Women’s History Month by shining a spotlight on the women in Detroit making a huge difference with our Beauties in Detroit Making History series!

Overcoming all odds placed in her way, Sandra Epps didn’t let three near death experiences due to lupus, prevent her from following her dreams and living a life of purpose. Sandra Epps is the visionary behind Sandy’s Land and the iconic Detroit Doll Show. She has used her story, and a mission to empower young girls/women within the historical landscape of the city in a way that has been nothing short of intentional, inspirational and impactful. Her latest passion projects include indoor and outdoor entertainment with the Butterfly Garden and Black Doll Museum. We are also excited to get her take on what the beauty of Detroit means to her. Let’s get to know more about Sandy in our conversation below.

Tell us about yourself and the inspiration behind your business.

I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus at the age of 14 and this truly changed my life in its entirety. My dreams of being a veterinarian had changed and my self-esteem dropped to its lowest. I remember how horrible I felt with all the gossip after losing my hair and ballooning up to nearly 200 pounds at 4’11” because of the dis-ease and the medication.  After being confined to a wheelchair twice and surviving three near death experiences due to lupus I was motivated to encourage girls to love themselves. I never wanted another girl to suffer like I had personally or emotionally.

In 2005 I established Sandy’s Land where our motto is “We Party With a Purpose!” We provide art parties, the Detroit Doll Show, books and accessories that include messages of hope, love and faith. The art party designs have inspirational titles such as “Let Your Light SHINE,” I Am MAGIC, Spread Love and Vision is Everything, just to name a few. In addition, the designs include images of women and girls with different skin tones and hairstyles such as braids, locs, twists, head-wraps and Afro puffs.

In 2011 Sandy’s Land LLC founded the Detroit Doll Show which is the largest in the nation. We celebrate history, culture, self-love and diversity with the promotion of dolls of color.

In addition, I’ve written two children’s books: Imani Has the Most Exciting Dream! This heartwarming story introduces young readers to the power of affirmation and Girl Power Discover the Princess Within is a journal book that provides girls with helpful tools to tap into their greatness. Finally, my first adult book geared toward women, Girlfriend, It’s Time to SoarA Journal for Personal Transformation which is a self help book to encourage ladies to jumpstart their epic mission, set new habits, prompt positive introspection as they journal their way to the life that they desire.

Already an innovator in your field as having the largest Black Doll Show in the Midwest. Why do you feel Detroit needs a Black Doll Museum right now? 

Detroit is a City known for innovators and historical moments. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his first “I Have a Dream” speech on June 23, 1963 during the Great Walk to Freedom in Detroit. It is still considered to be the “largest civil rights demonstration in the nation’s history.” We are the city where the best music was created by various artists at Motown Records and the Dr. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History was once the largest African American historical museum in the world. Unions were developed in the City of Detroit, the Auto Industry and Techno Music just to name a few things.

I think it’s befitting to have the Butterfly Garden and Black Doll Museum developed in the city of Detroit on vacant lots. I will be transforming a blighted area with something impactful. The goal is to help the environment, uplift black culture and empower the community. To elevate the good of black people is my way of fighting against injustice; especially in a City that is considered one of the Blackest, having 82% African American population.

What is your personal connection to the butterfly and why was it important for you to include them as not only a symbol, but soon physically in your business. 

The butterfly is my muse. It’s also symbolic of the rash that appears on the lupus patient’s face when they are experiencing a flare-up. In addition, it represents peace, hope, prosperity and transformation. The butterfly reminds me of where I’ve been (surviving death three times) and that I’m always growing, transforming on this journey. And having hope in my heart that my work makes a difference.

What is or was your greatest challenge and biggest accomplishment or strength?

My biggest accomplishment was getting my college degree. I was transitioning out of the wheelchair taking one class per semester when I first registered at Wayne State University. The doctor’s told my mother that my brain would suffer serious side effects due to the high dosage of medications administered to me to prevent my death. I was determined to be the first in my family to graduate from college and I did so with honors. Despite the doctors prediction of me not being capable to learn.

Why is representation and empowerment vital for young black girls and women?

Society continues to demonstrate in movies, books, toys, etc. that the standard of beauty is a white female with blonde straight hair, thin and blue eyes. Although things are better than twenty years prior, however, black and brown people continue to fight for representation. Most characters on television would and sometimes still do portray women of color as prostitutes, uneducated, drug users, criminals or overly sexualized. Representation indicates to black girls and women that they matter. It’s healthy for black women and girls morale to show-up as their authentic selves, while acknowledging their black culture by wearing braids, locs, twist-outs or Afros as being acceptable and not to be frowned upon in society. Case in point, the Kansas Cheerleader who was kicked off the team for wearing braids last year. These unfortunate events are still happening in the 21st century.

For the majority of American History black girls grew up playing with white dolls as the norm. When a black girl sees her reflection in her books and dolls this provides her with a sense of worth. Research shows that children who see themselves in their toys grow up to be confident and more productive people. Empowerment starts with reflection. 

 What is the beauty of Detroit to you? 

The Beauty of Detroit is the creative and resilient people who keep the history alive and then there are the historic treasures or stories that make the city fascinating and depict the strength of Black people. For example, the Underground Railroad that led to Second Baptist Church which was a network of people that offered shelter and aid to the escaped enslaved black people. Black Bottom which was a predominantly Black neighborhood in Detroit, MI that was demolished for the “redevelopment.” This happened in the early 1960’s and Paradise Valley was connected to it which historically included the Black Pioneers and entertainers of the 1930’s. Then there’s the story of Dr. Ossian Sweet, a black physician who purchased a house at 2905 Garland Rd. in 1925 at the time it was an all white neighborhood in Detroit. Dr. Sweet and companions protected themselves in the home from a mob of racist. One man was killed and another was injured. Dr. Sweet and others were arrested but were released due to a mistrial. Next there’s the Julian Madison Building built in Downtown Detroit in 1924 by an African American and his daughter Sharon Madison Polk owns it now. Presently, there are a small number of large buildings in Downtown Detroit that are owned by an African American. 

What is your advice to future female entrepreneurs? 

My best advice to future female entrepreneurs is to be consistent. “Success doesn’t come from what you do occasionally, it comes from what you do consistently.” And never get involved in a business just for the sake of money, it’s imperative to find something that you enjoy doing. There will be challenging days in business, it goes with the territory. As an entrepreneur you need something to inspire you to keep going. You will be more productive if you’re passionate about your work.

Be it that we are celebrating Women’s History Month, think of a black woman that inspires you. What would you like to share with her about the impact she has had on your life? 

There is the incomparable Actress Viola Davis and Ernestine Shepherd, the oldest bodybuilder listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. I actually mention both of them in my recent book, however. I would love to tell Josephine Baker that her fight against racial injustice while being a fearless and mesmerizing performer during segregation gives me strength to keep going when times get rough.

Josephine Baker came from humble beginnings. She was rejected from a group for being “too skinny and too dark.” Later she became a box office draw adding a comedic touch to her stage performance. She was a civil rights activist. Ms. Baker refused to perform at segregated venues. She also did undercover work that included smuggling secret messages written on her music sheets. Ms. Baker did things on her own terms. She displayed empowerment at a time when being a woman and black was truly difficult. I look forward to visiting her mansion in Paris. It’s been on my vision board for over five years. Josephine Baker was born on June 3, 1906 and she performed up till her death on April 12, 1975.

Thank you Sandy for being a fierce advocate for positive representation for not only our city, but for the young girls and women who you’ve afforded a safe space to be themselves! If you would like to support the construction of the Black Doll Museum set to begin this year, you can donate to or with the purchase of her latest book which will go towards the Butterfly Garden and Black Doll Museum at Check back each week this month to meet another phenomenal woman a part of our series! If you’d like to be informed when our next feature is posted join our mailing list.

Hello! I’m a Detroit native and owner of Beauty of Detroit Box.

I am a 26 year old Detroit native and resident. I am a proud product of Detroit Public Schools, graduating from Cass Tech. I am an alumna of Wayne State University with BFA in Acting and a recent 2020 graduate of Eastern Michigan University with my Master of Fine Arts in Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young. As an artist, teacher and now business owner, it is my passion to overaccentuate the good in our community by doing more good.

Beauty of Detroit Box is a gift box where you will discover premium local, artisan and organic beauty and lifestyle products from metro Detroit small businesses. Our boxes are a gateway to the artisans, craft makers and doers of our city.