Our visionary, Tonya Cross, facilitated her first vision board workshop this December through our sister organization The Vine Events. Below is an short excerpt she shared within the Facebook event page. If you or your organization is interested in hosting a vision board workshop you can contact her here.
I often run into people who share with me dreams and visions they once had that were never fulfilled. These dreams were deferred not because they didn't have the skills or talents to pull it off, but LIFE simply happened. Something or someone became more of a priority and they had to put their vision on the back burner. I always try to encourage them and remind them that it's never too late to start over and pursue their dreams.
Then for some, they never take time away from their busy lifestyles to focus on themselves and what they desire. They may view it as being selfish, but I see it as self-preservation. There's nothing wrong with sowing into yourself and your vision; you are WORTH IT!
I want to encourage you to carve out some time for yourself. Use that time to determine what steps you need to take to make your deferred dreams a reality. And most importantly, start regularly practicing self-care. Meditation is a great and free self-care practice. Use your meditation time to focus on what you desire and things you want to accomplish. Be encouraged and love on you!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
Do you practice self-care?
What are some other self-care practices that you recommend?
Please comment with your answers below!
Our visionary, Tonya Cross, is now a regular contributor to Dear Curl Friend. Dear Curl Friend is a digital platform for women to connect about their natural hair and receive beauty tips. See excerpt from her article below titled "4 Tips For A Healthy Scalp".
In 2014, the Accented Glory Naturals Facebook group hosted a healthy scalp challenge. Healthy scalp is the foundation of healthy hair. Like a vegetable garden needs good soil to produce good crops; a healthy scalp yields healthy hair.
Properly caring for your scalp can also be beneficial for your overall health. Scalp care is relaxing and relieves tension. Check out 4 questions at Dear Curl Friend that we answered for our Facebook group members from the challenge!
Our visionary, Tonya Cross, is now a regular contributor to Dear Curl Friend. Dear Curl Friend is a digital platform for women to connect about their natural hair and receive beauty tips. See excerpt from her article below titled "The Three H’s for Fall – Headwraps, Hair Cuffs, and Headbands".
Fall is upon us and soon the leaves will be changing colors! The changing of seasons also brings an opportunity to dress our natural tresses with hair accents. For Fall accessorizing, I recommend the three H’s – Head wraps, Hair Cuffs, and Headbands! Click here to read why these are great Fall accessories.
Accented Glory's visionary had the pleasure of connecting with high end fashion designer Avnah Long, back in 2013. Our sister organization The Vine Events featured her for a "Black History In The Making" article. Our visionary and Avnah are from the same home town in North Carolina! Avnah now resides in Atlanta, Georgia where she launched her crochet swimwear and clothing line brand AVNAH Collection.
Her designs have been worn by various celebrities, such as Kelly Rowland and Cynthia Bailey. She has also been a featured designer during New York Fashion Week (NYFW)! We're thankful that she granted us an interview where she shares about her experience as a natural in fashion. Check out her interview below!
What inspired you to pursue a career in fashion?
I began my career in fashion as a crochet designer creating swimwear and clothing pieces, but I was inspired to expand my fashion line actually from my great grandmother Ida Davis that use to sew herself. I use to watch her as a child sew little thing around the house. Starting as a crochet designer was good for me, but it took a long time to make certain pieces as my visions grew. So, I started teaching myself how to sew. As I began designing pieces by using a sewing machine, it opened up a whole world for me as a designer. I was able to put pieces together faster than it would take me to crochet by hand and I was able to incorporate structure, play with fabrics and use other elements that allowed me to create a line that was diverse.
Being a featured designer during NYFW is an amazing accomplishment! What impact has it had on your career?
Being a featured designer during NYFW is always an awesome experience in itself, because the platform is so great. I was able to present my collection on a platform where many people in the audience is of some influence in the fashion industry. I meet a lot of people who connected me with textile suppliers, buyers, and gave me great feedback on the line in general. All of that is important when you're building a brand.
Share with us about your natural hair journey. What kind of experience has it been?
My natural hair journey started in 2003, when I decided to do my big chop. It was also around the same time that I opened my first salon in Atlanta. Many people don't know that I am a Master Cosmetologist and hair was my first passion. As my hair grew out some, I went through the twa (teeny weeny afro) phase until I could maintain my twist outs. Then I decided to loc my hair. I had locs for five year and I've big chopped three times since then. Now I'm just letting it grow out. I shampoo and sometimes co-wash, I use a shea butter mixture and I keep it braided up for protective styling. If I do wear it out, it's usually pulled back into a puff or I'm wearing it out in an afro.
With celebrities like Taraji P Henson embracing their natural hair, do you think it'll have an influence on the fashion world? Will we see more naturals on the runway?
I think a lot of celebrities and people in general are finally starting to embrace their hair. I am seeing more people on the runways wearing their natural hair and I actually tell many of my models not to straighten their hair for my shows. For the longest time people thought you had to have straight hair to look presentable, tamed, or well put together. Now we are loving and embracing the hair we were born with. Our hair is beautiful! There are so many textures and to have healthy hair that is thick, soft, curly, and can be styled beautifully is more important to a lot of people than being over processed with chemicals.
What's next for AVNAH Collection?
I have so many projects that I am working on including an accessories line. The accessory line includes neck pieces and I'm currently creating the beauty bangles. I'm also revamping the online store to make it easier for customers to purchase. I'm just having fun creatively right now. Whatever God puts in my spirit to create is what I'm working on. It's so much better for me right now to do it this way. I'm just in a really good spot right now with my brand and I'm excited to share the accessory line with my customers.
Avnah Long of AVNAH Collection
Our visionary continues to receive some great questions via Ask Our Visionary (AOV)! After sharing about her healthy weight loss journey, she received the question below. Click AOV to submit a question to her and she'll answer your question in a blog post on Accessory Diva!
My recent Ask Our Visionary response about losing weight after 40 has sparked some interesting questions! One of Accented Glory's followers submitted the following question: Belly fat after 45 is hanging on...What can I do? I decided to pass this question on to my nutritionist ShLanda of Balanced By Burton! Check out her Facebook Live response below!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
ShLanda - Balanced By Burton
To learn more about ShLanda and the services she provides visit her Facebook page at Balanced By Burton!
For Naturals By Naturals
Hi Naturalistas! I'm Tonya Cross the visionary and designer at Accented Glory. I have created a hair accessory styling e-guide for women with natural hair! I’ve been natural for over 15 years and creating things by hand since childhood. Over the years I’ve learned a thing or two about natural hair and hair accessory designs. My guide offers advice and tips based on my experience as a natural creative who LOVES wearing hair accessories! Learn more about my brand story here.
Let's Dispel Some Myths
You're never too old. Okay ladies let's settle this once and for all right now...Hair accessories are not just for little girls! The grown and sexy can rock them too. There is no age limit on style or fashion. Accessorizing is a great way to allow your personality to shine through so, why not accent your crown? A woman's crown is truly her glory.
Undeserved Bad Rap. Just like there are no bad dogs, but bad owners. The same is true for hair accessories! Hair accessories themselves aren't bad; it's simply that most naturals are unaware of what to look for when purchasing and styling with hair accents. Often times the damage caused to hair is due to misuse of the accessory!
Natural Hair Friendly
All hair accessories are not created equal. Again, there are no bad hair accents; it's simply a matter of knowing which ones work best for you and your hair texture. In my e-guide I share what naturals should consider when purchasing or styling with hair accessories. Whether your hair is kinky, curly, or in locs, my recommends will minimize damage to your textured hair. Ready to purchase my guide now? Click buy.
Spreading The Love
I believe the information shared in my styling e-guide will be beneficial for our natural hair community. I decided to “spread the love” and reach as many naturals as possible by creating an affiliate program for my styling guide! (Read here for affiliate disclosure.) By joining our program and sharing about the e-guide with your networks, you can earn a commission on purchases made via your personalized affiliate link. This is an amazing opportunity for natural hair influencers, bloggers, vbloggers, and affiliate marketers. Visit guide’s affiliate program landing page here!
I Got You
Whether you're considering styling with hair accessories or a hair accessory styling pro, you can benefit from my styling e-guide! My guide offer resolutions for your hair accessory woes from headband headaches to hair jewelry tangles...I Got You. The best part is that the e-guide is ONLY $2.99! It's a concise quick read that can serve as a handy reference for your hair accessory needs. You can't beat the price nor quality of content. With that being said, are you ready to buy? If so, click my styling guide cover below!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
Submit questions about my guide via Accented Glory’s contact us form here!
Accented Glory interviewed Terral of I Am RallyGirl, LLC! She is a natural hair influencer that also has a passion for art/culture and positive lifestyle. Check out her brand's story below!
I Am RallyGirl - Brand Feature
What inspired you to create your brand?
My inspiration came from my YouTube viewers & subscribers. Initially, my channel was meant to be a "consumer reporting" hub, where I would try out & demonstrate various household, home & garden, and beauty products to see if they really work. However, when I launched a natural hair video, I received several messages from naturalistas who were struggling with caring for their hair. They were also concerned with retaining length, and having an easy regimen. This made me want to help other naturals see how low maintenance, and versatile their hair is, and that's what fueled I Am RallyGirl™, LLC; "Versatile. Simple. Afro. Hair Care.".
The entrepreneur life can be like a roller coaster ride; ups, downs, and loops! What keeps you motivated?
My primary motivation is knowing that I've already asked God for what I need, so I can focus on doing the work: Being of service to others, remaining grateful for what I have, and staying positive (this one can be challenging). I enjoy it, so I look forward to doing it daily. Then, exercising my patience: Taking it one day at a time, knowing that one step forward, whether big or small, is a step in the right direction. The journey can be difficult, but it's all a test. So, when the obstacle shows itself, my task is to determine ways to get around it, over it, or through it. There may be tears along the way, but that's cool; I dig a good cry. LOL!!
Growth is intrinsic in brand building. What do you foresee as the next level for your brand?
Ironically, my brand now also includes my other niches (art & culture, and positive lifestyle), and is constantly developing. I look forward to more collaborations with other great brands. I Am RallyGirl™, LLC is branching out and is organically evolving into a digital content creating & marketing company, that has helped a few other small businesses, start-ups, and non-profits with their brand strategy, and digital marketing needs.
What advice would you give someone who's considering becoming an entrepreneur?
Brainstorm ways you can monetize what you are passionate about. Invest time. Be consistent. Have faith in you. Compare yourself to no one. Study your craft. Research ways to get started for FREE (or at least at minimal cost) until you get your footing, then invest in your business. Have fun. Evolve.
Terral - Visionary of I Am RallyGirl, LLC
Losing Weight After 40...
Our visionary continues to answer some great questions. She's sharing about her healthy journey and how she loss weight after 40! Click AOV to submit a question to her and she'll answer your question in a blog post on Accessory Diva!
I get asked all the time about my weight loss and how I did it! Which is why I wasn't surprised about the opportunity to share my journey with Accented Glory's customers, fans, and followers through Ask Our Visionary.
My healthy lifestyle journey began back in November 2016. I had recently taken an extensive health assessment at my job and my only low score had been my BMI (Body Mass Index). After talking with my company nurse, we both concluded that because I exercise regularly and have good eating habits my blood work and other assessments were great!
Being 40+ and on no medications, I was pleased with my results, however my BMI still bothered me. I decided to hire a nutritionist. As I shared in my post Nutrition: The Missing Link, on my organization's website The Vine Events, the foods recommended in the nutritionist's meal plan I already had in my kitchen! It was simply a matter of eating the right foods in combination, increasing my water intake, and getting plenty of rest.
I've been amazed at the difference these small changes have made! I have lost a total of 30 lbs and inches in my chest, waist, and hips. I'm so glad that I made my health a priority and sought the service of a nutritionist. My nutritionist ShLanda is very knowledgeable and has been very supportive. To learn more about nutrition and it's impact on weight loss like ShLanda's Facebook page at Balanced By Burton. Nutrition could be your missing link too!
Tonya - Visionary of Accented Glory
To learn more about my healthy journey click I Reached My Goal.
Accented Glory interviewed Marie Davis of Ria's Beauty Collection, LLC! Ria's Beauty Collection is the home of their world famous "Whipped Shea Butter". Their collection also includes scented candles, soaps, and crochet garments.
What inspired you to create your brand?
My youngest daughter inspired me. She always has her mom's back. On numerous occasions, I would search for Shea Butter products at various locations. During my search, I was constantly unsuccessful locating products that were beneficial and healthy for me. One day my daughter asked, “why can't you make your own products?” I stated, “you're absolutely right.” That was the best advice ever. From that day forward, Ria's Beauty Collection, LLC was created.
The entrepreneur life can be like a roller coaster ride; ups, downs, and loops. What keeps you motivated?
In my opinion, the entrepreneur life is like an addition to the family (a newborn). I want the very best for it, and I'm going to take care of it despite the challenges. This is a part of me. It's something that I created and I'm very proud of it. Always remember to put your best foot forward regardless of what life throws your way. It's up to you to make it happen.
Growth is intrinsic in brand building. What do you see as the next level for your brand?
The next level for the brand is expansion (additional stores, office space, employees, new products, etc.).
What advice would you give someone who's becoming an entrepreneur?
a. Believe. b. Be Unique. c. Be the best. d. Have a plan. e. Set goals. f. Be patient. g. Stay focused. h. Accept criticism.
i. Don't make it all about the money.
j. Never Give Up.
In celebration of Accented Glory's Anniversary this month, we will be hosting a contest on Facebook to win a product from Rias Beauty Collection! Visit Accented Glory's Facebook page here to enter. We will choose a winner on Tuesday, June 20th!
Our visionary continues to provide advice to fellow naturals. She shares 4 tips for maintaining your summertime protective styles. Click AOV to submit a question to her and she'll answer your question in a blog post on Accessory Diva!
Summertime is upon us! During this time of year, many naturals choose low maintenance hairstyle options known as protective styles. Protective styles give naturals the luxury of not having to style their hair daily. This frees up time when preparing to go out and gives natural hair a break from the pulling and tugging that comes from regularly styling your hair.
Two of the most popular protective styles are braids and twists. Thanks to innovation, many naturals can now opt for crochet braids or twists that are time savers when creating these protective styles. Below are some tips on how to keep your braids and twists looking fresh while keeping your hair healthy.
1. Cover your hair before going to bed. Using a satin bonnet or wrap is a staple step in natural hair nighttime routine. A loc cap (pocket bonnet) works best for braids and twists so you can have full coverage of hair.
Click above photo or caption to view a pocket bonnet on Amazon! Read here for affiliates disclosure.
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2. Moisturize your scalp and hair with water and oil 2 to 3 times a week. Want to save time? You can use a spray bottle to apply water and your favorite oil at the same time by simply mixing the two together in the bottle. Just remember to shake the bottle well before applying to your hair to ensure oil/water mixture blends thoroughly.
3. You can also wash your hair while it's braided and twisted. It's important to remember to dilute your products (shampoo, conditioner, etc.) with water to ensure products rinse out easily. To dry your twist and braids, you should squeeze water from strands with a towel. Doing this helps you to avoid frizz.
4. If your edges begin to get frizzy before you're ready to fully let go of your protective style, you can redo or request to have rows closest to edges redone by a stylist with single braids or twists. Another option is to simply use a headband to cover your frizzy edges especially if you have a crochet protective style. Accented Glory's headbands are perfect for the job!
Executing these quick tips will greatly assist in maintaining your summertime protective style, so you can spend less time styling your natural tresses and more time enjoying fun in the sun.
Tonya - Accented Glory Visionary
What other tips would you add to maintaining your summertime protective style?
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Click here to purchase our styling with hair accessory guide!
Cierra has been apart of Accented Glory Team since it's launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a college graduate who desires to pursue a career in law.