Wednesday, December 16, 2020

The Stench Of Stress

Aluminum Free Deodorant

We all know that Fancy Free Hair & Skin makes one of the better aluminum free deodorants on the market. The thing about aluminum free deodorant is that it works with your natural body chemistry. It does not mask anything. So, when your chemistry is off, the way you smell will be a little off too. 

When I get an inquiry from a Fancy Friend about why their deodorant isn't as effective anymore, I ask a few pointed questions:

  • What is your water intake? Because water flushes waste out of your body.
  • What is your diet like? Processed and fast food or whole foods with ample fruits and vegetables? Because trash in means trash out.
  • How old are you? While adult hormone levels tend to have found a rhythm, teenage hormones are raging! Pregnant women too. That can effect the pheromones we release, which can be perceived as body odor but really the body is just doing what it's programmed to do.
  • Are you experiences more than average stress levels? Stress causes the body to release hormones which can affect the way you smell. 
Stress was taking some of my friends out this year. Especially my Fancy teacher friends at the beginning of the school year. Fortunately, all virtual everything made pushing through the smell of it all easier.

Do not run back to anti-perspirant because you hit a rough patch in your aluminum free journey. Life comes at you fast but staying away from antiperspirant should be a non-negotiable. Aside from a few times when I was pregnant, I haven't had many "pheromone-y" days since I switched to aluminum free deodorant. But, honey, let me tell you. Owning and operating a product based business during the holidays in a pandemic when there are delays in shipping for EVERYTHING is a different kind of stress. It was not the underarm odor for me this time.

The Fancy Factory, where Fancy Free Hair & Skin products are manufactured, has been operating with a skeleton staff for 9 months. Online sales have increased by 134% and the post office is slow to deliver packages. I had modest goals for our Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. We kick our holiday sales off on Thanksgiving Day because people aren't doing anything but sitting around and scrolling on their phones anyway. Might as well shop with us. I call it Thankful Thursday. Well, I am very thankful but that Thankful Thursday sale almost took me out of here. We hit 90% of our income goal for the entire weekend in one day. My marketing team asked if I wanted to slow down on promoting the sales. I declined. I figured I could handle the influx of orders. And I handled it, like a champ. 

Stinky Feet
On Black Friday, we got busy. Filling every order we filled until we started running out of inventory. Then back to manufacturing product, packaging, labeling then filling the orders again. For 5 days in a row, I was working until 4am. Stressed. I was playing it cool though. It's what I do during grind time, I grind it out. I didn't think I was stressed, until I took my shoes off. The smell. Lord. Have. Mercy. I really thought I was sick. Coming down with a bad cold or the flu or something. I have never experienced anything like that. Ever. My feet really smelled like I was dying. LOL! On the bright side, my husband and I both knew we didn't have COVID-19. But my foot odor was so pungent, I think even someone with COVID who had lost the sense of smell could have smelled that. 

Anyway, I survived. Got all of the orders out with minimal errors. The foot smell subsided and I never got sick. Which made me realize that my feet were probably stinking because I was stressed tf out. LOL! I shared that so you know that you are not alone. Most people struggle with body odor from time to time, especially in stressful situations. Since we are all experiencing increased stress levels to some degree, be aware and give yourself grace. Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Eat right. The odor will more than likely subside. 

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

The Recovery Period

Once I started running outside, it was very hard for me to go back to the treadmill. I have officially
become a runner since COVID-19 shut the gyms down. I love everything about early morning runs. Well, almost everything. I don't really like waking up before the crack of dawn and I don't like those gnat clouds I have to run through sometimes. Other than that, running outside is life.

The gyms shut down in March 2020, so I've been running outside for about 7 months now. I go out 4-5 days/week. I make it the first thing I do in the morning so I know that I accomplished at least one thing even if my whole day goes to shit. Which it often does with a husband, 2 kids and a business. LOL! Anyway, I am getting faster every day. My form has improved, with the help of my physical therapist and the coaching in MapMyRun app when paired with my HOVR running shoes (gifted by one of my early morning running friends). 

I started walking in August 2019. I wanted to get more active. I was trying to
lose weight after having my second baby. Walking is actually great for weight loss but I ain't got time to be walking for no hour everyday. I needed to cover the same distance but faster, so I started jogging....and then running. I've found my groove. I have my little run routines that I alternate so that my body won't get accustomed to the same workout. One of those routines is my "Interval Run". It's like an HIIT workout for runners. If you aren't familiar with interval runs, it is when you run as fast as you can for a set time, like really push yourself, then slow down to catch your breath for a set time. Rinse and repeat. After about 4 months of adjusting my routines, I finally got into a good rhythm. I call it my "sweet spot". I found that I get my fastest pace when my recovery time is twice as long as my fast run time. So, if I run as fast as I can for 60 seconds, I need 120 seconds to recover. 

The other great thing about my morning run is that I really have quiet time to think. Over the past 7 months, I have come up with the best creative solutions to my day-to-day challenges while running. I think it's because I really don't have anything else to distract me. The only thing I have to focus on is my breathing, my stride and my thoughts. One of the things that my running routines have taught me is to pace myself. It's no secret that operating a business during a pandemic is challenging. One would think that a small business like mine, that heavily relies on in-person vending events to generate revenue would suffer with most large festivals and events being cancelled. My challenge was actually the opposite. The pandemic coupled with racial injustice being highlighted caused people to go out of their way to support black businesses. Orders surged and I was faced with a new challenge to find a solution to, how to pace myself in work.

Traditionally, I am a go hard or go home kind of person. I shout "TEAM DO THE MOST!!" from the mountain tops. However, with so many unknown factors to consider, I knew that I'd have to pace myself, work smart and ask for help when I started feeling overwhelmed. That's where my morning run taught me invaluable lessons. 

When I was faced with piles and piles of work that needed my immediate attention. I paced myself, like I do when running long distance. If I were to sprint like I do on interval runs, I wouldn't be able to go the distance. I'd tire out very quickly. Creating a schedule. Scheduling in breaks. One task at a time. Not trying to finish an entire manufacturing run in one day and stretching it out for 2-3 days. Processing 10 orders at a time instead of 30-40 at once. Pacing myself, so I can go the distance.

But sometimes I would need to sprint or work very quickly. I have a deadline. I have multiple deadlines. I go hard. Focused work. A sprint. 

Then. I. Rest. The resting is the most important part. When I don't rest, when I'm tired, I make mistakes.
I mess up someone's order. That wastes money. I mess up a product. That wastes money. I start walking circles because I'm tired, wasting time. That wastes money. 

The recovery period allows me to recovery. Physically and mentally. When I'm doing a manufacturing run, I need to rest physically. I need to sit down, maybe even soak in the tub, and get some sleep. Manufacturing is "back breaking work" as a former employee calls it. LOL! When I'm doing focus work like product development, generating content, updating my business plan, work that requires a lot of thinking, I need mental rest. I may zone out watching trash tv or play with my kids. Either way, the a recovery period is required. 

No matter what you're working on. You need to rest. I don't know who started that "I'll sleep when I'm dead" movement but that is not a philosophy that fosters productivity. You need to rest and recover. Your brain needs sleep to remove toxins and so your neurons have time to communicate. Literally "connecting the dots". LOL! Your body needs rest to repairs damaged cells and fights infection. Rest is just as important to your health as food, water and exercise. It gives your body and brain a chance to recover from everything you've put it through during the day or whenever you're awake.

What's the secret to my "Super Woman"-like productivity? There are lots of little things that I do or don't do - I'll save that list for another blog. But a recovery period is essential. I am writing this blog from the comfort of a hotel room that I checked into for the weekend without my husband and children so I could recover. COVID-19 has me in a constant state "process improvement". How can I improve this particular manufacturing procedure so that we can increase output without increasing the amount of time? How can I keep my kids engaged and get any Fancy Free Hair & Skin work done while they're home from daycare and/or school that is closed due to a potential COVID-19 exposure? Why isn't this shampoo formula lathering like the last formula when I only made one little change? How can I improve my posture while I run? How early do I have to wake up to squeeze in "sexy time" with my husband? I mean, my brain is constantly going. That. Shit. Is. Stressful. More stressful than my normal stressful life. Monthly therapy sessions help but the recovery period is a huge part of how I handle everything. I know there's an end in sight. A period of rest. 

Go forth. Do great things. Recover. Rinse. Repeat.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Winter Weather Styling

As the weather changes, so should the way you style your hair. I'm talking to my kinky curly girls. The summer humidity gives us a lot, even though it always ruins a good twist out and any curl definition you thought you were gonna have. LOL! The cooler weather gives us more flexibility with hair styles and they usually last longer with the cooler weather. Here are things to consider when styling your hair:

  1. MOISTURE! MOISTURE! MOISTURE! There is less moisture in the air and if you live and/or work in a building that heats using "forced air" meaning the heat comes through vents, that air can be dry as well. You may want to consider co-washing, preferably using our Fancy Free Clay Wash, more often than using a clarifying, lathering shampoo - Fancy Free will be launching one soon, I promise. Deep condition. Especially when you're getting close to your scheduled trim time. Be sure to seal moisture into your hair while it's wet or damp with an oil, Fancy Free Castor Oil Blend or butter, Fancy Free Whipped Shea. If you need to moisturize in between wash days, try a water based moisturizer like Fancy Free Milk for Hair and Skin. Matter of fact, try the Fancy Free Hair Starter Kit to decide which product combination works best for you.
  2. Protect your ends. The benefit of dryer air is that those twist outs and rod sets are going to be BOMB!!!! But if your hair is longer, be careful about how your rubs against your clothes. Even if you moisturize and keep your ends trimmed, friction with those winter fabrics can lead to damage and breakage. I have a few videos on YouTube on how to achieve a bomb twist out, as well as my favorite protective styles for longer hair. Or course, weave, wigs and braids work too. LOL!
  3. Keep drinking water and eating whole, unprocessed foods. Your hair and skin are a direct result of what you put in your body as well as what you put on it. The winter holidays lead to drinking more cocktails, yummy ciders and comforting hot chocolate. Don't forget to get your daily quota of water in too. I use the "Drink Water" app on my phone to remind me to drink water. Keep the same thing in mind for fresh fruits and vegetables before you indulge in those baked goods. A daily multivitamin can help too.
Everyone's natural hair, lifestyle and hair goals require different kinds of care. It is important to figure out what your hair needs most. Once you find your routine, stick to it. Slight variations in your routine based on the weather and what you have going on in your life can make a huge difference. For me, I found that going longer than 3 weeks to shampoo my hair led to more breakage. I also tend to play in my hair when it gets close to time for a trim. I call myself untangling the fairy knots, those little single strand knots that signal it's time to trim those ends, but really I am causing more breakage than untangling. So, when my trim appointment approaches, I wear my hair in upstyles so I won't be tempted to touch my hair. That's just how I manage my thick, kinky hair. If you'd like some assistance figuring your hair out, book a Natural Hair Consultation. I'd be happy to work with you to meet your hair goals.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Don't Knock It 'Til You Try It

There isn't a place on this earth that hasn't been impacted
by COVID-19
We're in the middle of a pandemic. I don't see it ending any time soon. Just assume that everything will remain closed for the rest of 2020. As an eCommerce business owner, I have experienced an increase in sales as more people are shopping online. However, not everyone is experiencing an increase. Millions have lost their jobs or had to shut down their businesses. Some shut downs were temporary, but as the death toll from the pandemic rises and prolongs the estimated date for "re-opening", these temporary shut downs are becoming permanent. How are people shifting? I've noticed that more people are becoming open to the idea of starting a multi-level marketing business. It's interesting to see the shift, especially for influencers and celebrities.


Me: You know that starting a direct sales business is what opened my eyes to living as an entrepreneur.

Award received at a
5Linx Convention
I started a direct sales business in 2013. I had success with it too. I made money, built and maintained a team. It wasn't about the money for me. I was doing well with my healthcare professional salary but I quickly realized that there were limits to where my career path could take me. Essentially, I had mastered my job and was getting bored. LOL! The biggest thing I gained from building a multi-level marketing team was a change in perspective. At the time, I was a youngin'. I was a "boss", or so I thought. I had a title. I was earning a decent salary. But at what cost? Direct sales put me at the same table with people who were earning my annual salary on a monthly basis, from their couches and by their backyard pool, no less. It definitely had me re-evaluating my life choices. I stopped caring about my title at work and took a good assessment of the way I was living.

Imagine sacrificing a lot of "wants" and being broke for 4 years after buying a house with a pool to only realize that you don't get to actually enjoy the pool because you're AT work earning money to pay for the house with a pool that you don't use. No one ever posed the question to me before direct sales. It was just a way of life that people had succumbed to. I decided that I did not want this to be my life for the rest of my life. 

I really had to "observe" nurses
administering transfusions, only
for nothing to be done if I wrote
incident reports for mistakes made
Being a Transfusion Medicine Specialist was really gratifying work. I really enjoyed it. HOWEVER,  the bureaucracy, red tape, politics and lack of REAL concern for process improvement was weighing me down. Who was I really helping? Was I making an positive impact on the people who mattered the most to me? I couldn't really say that I was. A lot of those high earners in my direct sales company do amazing work in the community. They have a very flexible schedule with more free time than most as well as more income than most. I wanted to eventually be able to have the kind of impact they had. So I set out to "Fire My Boss", as they say in direct sales trainings.

I knew that I wanted to retire by 35 but I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to do it. I thought my direct sales business was going to be the path but Jehovah had something else in store for me. Even in 2014, I would have never thought that whipping shea would become my main gig. But here we are.

What Direct Sales Taught Me
  1. Humble yourself and be coachable.
  2. Monthly earnings can be as much as an average annual salary. People do it. Average people with no degrees, just a work effort.
  3. You don't need a job, you just need money.
  4. Have systems and automation in place so you can duplicate yourself without having to be there.
  5. You're going to be rejected and laughed at, it's inevitable, keep working.
  6. Build a re pore. Find out how what you can help relieve a potential customer's pain point. Sometimes you have the answer for sale, sometimes you give a referral that doesn't involved them buying from that time. People respect that and usually come back to buy at some point.
  7. Don't take it personally if your closest friends and family do not support you. Everyone is fighting their own battles. It's not about you.
  8. There are reasons and then there are excuses. Be able to recognize when you are making excuses.
  9. Move on. Just keep moving forward.
  10. The Law Of Attraction is a thing but you still have to actively market your products. If no one knows about your great product, it's still trash. 

While Fancy Free Hair & Skin started "accidentally", I will say that I wasn't completely new to running a business. I honed my technical laboratory skills while running a medical laboratory, but building a business...I got dat from direct sales. Team building, team engagement, professional/personal development, all from direct sales. I learned that entrepreneurship is a mind game and direct sales trained me to continuously adjust to "get my mind right".

Most people who have success with a direct sales company will be successful with almost any other business venture they touch. If you are NOT a business person but want to start a business, start a multi-level marketing business that sells something you like or are interested in. Make sure the team you're on has a good leader that hosts trainings and encourages personal development. If you're coachable, the training will have a lasting impact on your business life no matter where it takes you. 

Don't knock it until you try it. If you don't want to join a team, support someone close to you who is building. You have no idea how gratifying it is to get one "yes" when all you've been getting is "no". LOL!

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Self Made Netflix Series: Fancy's Commentary

Let me just start by saying, I know that everything in this series was not true. Netflix kind of made that disclaimer when it was marketed as "based on her life" and not a "biopic". But whatever, I was entertained. As a woman. As a woman in business. As a woman in business in the beauty industry, I could relate to her struggles and triumphs. Here's my two cents...

People will deflect their own fears on to you

Poor C.J., the husband. He just didn't have the vision or the ambition. Our people are scared now, in 2020. I can only imagine how deeply entrenched the slave mindset was as the child of a former slave. He just wanted to get by and be comfortable. He meant well by encouraging his wife to take a job when things got tough. As a man, he probably didn't want to see his wife hurt. I can admit,
set backs can be discouraging and sometimes the feeling of defeat can be overwhelming. However, successful people get back up, assess the damage and learn from the mistakes. I can admit, had it been my husband trying to sway me from my dreams I wouldn't been irritated. Understanding but irritated. 

Beyonce said it best...

It's MY shit! BOW DOWN, BITCHES!!! I've never been one to brag or talk a lot about what I've accomplished or the things that I have. However, it is super annoying when people assume that your lifestyle is because of your husband. The man always gets the credit. I am blessed that my husband actually gives me credit for my accomplishments and business acumen. While my husband helps me with heavy lifting, literally, he lifts the heavy stuff, and sales, he would NEVER try to take any credit for Fancy Free Hair & Skin. That's my baby. He helps and invests in me but it's mine. If I thought C.J. was weak for trying to encourage Madam to get a job, he was SUPER weak for trying to take credit and ownership for her company. Very annoying. Would not recommend.

Marketing makes a difference

There are sooooo many trash products out there that are successful because they have a great marketing team behind them. Madam C.J, may have stolen the formula for her "Magical Hair Grower" product but she had a story that sold which is why she is more prominent in the history books and not her mentor. I realized this early on in my business and hired a marketing team to help me tell my story in a way that is relatable and compelling. Watching this series made me realize that I I can do better with sales. I am no where near as aggressive as she was portrayed in the Self Made series. Her sales team was lit. Since hiring a sales force isn't quite in my budget yet, EYE gotta go harder myself. Noted.

You can get a $1 Million order and not make a dime

It seems that everyone who has a product wants to get placement in a big box store. I'm glad that this series showed that isn't the only route to success. I thought that's what I wanted early on. But then I got some mentors and learned the truth about those deals. 
  1. I'd have to make changes to my formulas. My customers are attracted to the natural ingredients of my products. However, natural products mean shorter shelf life. Which means, products should be used almost as soon as they are manufactured. Product placement in large stores almost always require longer shelf lives which means....adjusting the formulas and possibly adding a few more preservatives. I'm not necessarily interested in doing that.
  2. Your product placement on shelves is at the whim of the store. If your products are placed anywhere other than eye level...forget about it. If they decide they don't want to carry your products anymore....forget about it. If stores are closed because of a pandemic or war....forget about it.
  3. Filling that $1 million order is the first step but then you have market downs, charge backs and charged off goods, you might no make ANY money. Imagine doing a million dollars worth of work and going home with nothing. Heartbreaking.
In the end, I was entertained and inspired. I think that's what the Madam would have wanted. That's all I have to say about that.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Five Years of Fancy Free

I am a scientist. I am also a natural hairstylist. I grew up in a salon. I styled natural hair in my college dorm room while in undergrad and I worked as a natural hairstylist in a salon while in graduate school. I had a relaxer though. But in 2010, all of that changed. I decided to grow my relaxer out. And that is how Fancy Free Hair & Skin got started.

If you haven't heard the story, here ya go....
In 2011, I cut the last few inches of straight ends off of my hair and ran to Target to pick up a jar of Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding to the tune of $29.99. I hated it. It left my hair sticky and flaky. I returned it for a refund the next day. I spent the next few months trying different products and styling techniques until I figured out that a wet twist out was what worked for me. There was one problem, my hair would still feel dry and brittle using what was available to me. From my natural hairstylist experience, I knew I needed a heavy, shea butter based product. Not waxy, pure shea butter or beeswax. That was too difficult to work with. I also didn't want it to smell like Dax Hair Grease. I wanted to smell like juices and berries. LOL! In 2012, I ventured to a Natural Hair Expo and found a product made by a natural hairstylist out of North Carolina. The texture was perfect but the smell was overwhelming. And she took forever to ship. And it was kind of pricey. So, I looked at the ingredients and decided that the ingredients list was simple enough for me to make something similar. So, I started making my own "pomade" to use for my wet twist outs.

The Whip Technique

The only problem was that I was using a "melt and pour" manufacturing technique, which required a waiting period to allow the product to cool and solidify. This is only a problem when you live with a clutz who can accidentally spill your precious hair product all over the refrigerator and kitchen floor while looking for a snack. During a lunch time, husband bashing session at work, I told my work aunties about my husband wasting my hair product and my favorite work auntie said "Girl, I know. My daughter is 4 and makes messes too. Just whip it so you don't have to worry about melting and it's ready to use immediately." That was 2012. I've been whipped ever since. I whipped for me. I whipped for my newly natural sisters. I whipped for my close, close friends. All my peeps' hair and elbows were flourishing. The result, flourishing hair. I started getting a lot of questions about the products I was using and my styling techniques while out and about.

The Hair Consultant

Keep in mind that I am a scientist. At this time, I was spending about 6 hours/day in an office,
looking at paperwork and a computer, cultivating my inner introvert. I didn't need to talk to my staff much, so when random women would approach me asking really detailed questions about my hair routine, it made me uncomfortable. I wanted to help but I needed space and time to mentally prepare to shift into Natural Hairstylist mode. In 2014, Fancy Free Natural Hair Consults was born. I made business cards. I'd answer up to three questions while out and about. If they asked a 4th question, I'd give them a business card and suggest that they schedule an appointment for a consultation. Cuz ain't no free "pick your brain" sessions in the grocery store line. All jokes aside, Fancy Free Natural Hair Consults was not established to make money. I did not promote or market services. This concept was birthed to create boundaries for my introvert self and establish the value I had to offer. 
I still offer consultations. We discuss hair routine, hair goals, hair care and hair products. In the early days, I'd give my clients a sample of my whipped shea butter concoction WITH THE RECIPE (I've since improved the recipe and manufacturing technique) and send them on their way. Except, my clients didn't want to make the product themselves, they wanted to buy it.

"Sell this" - Chezia, the fixer

February 2015, my girlfriend, who is like a sister, was at my house. We were getting dressed to go to a gala. She knew I was whipping shea butter but had never tried it. She saw me dipping my hands in this tupperware container and using the contents as body butter. So she did the same. Her response was "Sell this". If you have ever met Chezia, she is very even tempered. She doesn't get excited or emotional about anything. I interpreted "Sell this" as "This is good. Really good." So, I decided to make some samples to put in the swag bags for a gala we were planning for the next month, March 2015. I didn't know what sample containers were supposed to look like and ended up ordering jars that looked like pill bottles. I printed at work. No graphic designer, just the logo I was using for my umbrella company that housed my multi-level marketing business and some other ventures my husband and I were working on. Fancy Free Hair & Skin was up and running.

Unofficially Official

I was legit selling product in a clear tub
I didn't make any official announcement, have a launch party, or make a big reveal. I was just taking orders by phone and sending a PayPal invoice. If you know me, process improvement is my passion, so I swiftly made an improvement on that by launching an Etsy page for just the one product. That's all it took to be in business. A quality product and a platform to sell. No business plan. No huge start up team or investors. I never set out to start a just happened. Now look at me.

In 2016, I took on my first private label manufacturing client and started the Product Development and Private Label Manufacturing division of Fancy Free Hair & Skin. I support other small businesses looking to create a product line. I am a firm believer in collaboration over competition. Black people have it hard enough. We don't need to be so hard on each other. But that's another blog for another day.

2020 Vision

My life plan was to be the manage of a Blood Bank for 10-15 years and then get promoted to
Laboratory Administrator where I would retire. But Jehovah had other plans for me. Building a multi-level marketing company opened my eyes to lifestyles that I never considered. I became open minded on how I made money and wanted to get more out of my daily life than sit in an office. I started Fancy Free Hair & Skin on a whim and it grew 500% on it's own in the second year. I was shocked but I recognized the potential it had if I actually put effort into growing it. Earning potential and positive impact on my Fancy Friend's health. (I've researched the data on carcinogenic ingredients used at a higher percentage in personal care products marketed to African-American women compared to other groups.) 
Each day, I get to do what I love. I took a leap of faith in 2017 and Jehovah has blessed me abundantly. I am in a space where I am creating the life I want to live everyday. There are challenges. I have good days and bad days. Some months I turn a profit, some months I don't. Every year, my company grows. I am able to provide employment opportunities to the Q-munity and live by example. If you show love to the hood, the hood will love you back.

These last five years have been the most challenging and invigorating five years of my life. Thank you for taking this ride with me.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Friday, February 28, 2020

I Stopped Eating Like A Fat @$$

Three Days After Giving Birth
Losing weight after having a baby is hard. Let me count the ways:
  1. Losing weight starts in the kitchen, not the gym.
  2. From the moment that I found out I was pregnant, I was eating ALL OF THE FOOD! 
  3. After close to 36 weeks of eating whatever, you spend another 12 months or so eating about 2000 calories each day to support your milk supply.
  4. Losing weight may require restricting carbs but my breast milk supply dwindles without carbs. So I had to eat carbs.
  5. I work at home, in the kitchen, where I live with 2 little mousies (husband and son) who like to snack and never put their snacks away after the partake. Of course, I'm gonna have a mini oreo or two or three before I put them back in the snack cabinet.
My Favorite Snack
You get my drift. The odds are not in my favor here at the Fancy Factory. So, how did I do it? I just decided. I decided that I was tired of not looking how I wanted to look in my clothes. I was tired of not feeling my best. I was tired of squeezing my brains out with spanx and seeing my FUPA anyway. I was tired. It's just like being an addict who needs to kick the habit. Only the addict can decide when it's time. I decided. I decided that I wasn't gonna eat like a fat ass no mo'.


Working out has never been a problem for me. I've always had a regular fitness routine, even in college when my average weight was about 120 lbs. I just never had to really watch my diet. I ate pretty healthy but never felt like I had to restrain my sweet tooth. Give me ALL of the chocolate chip cookies, brownies with ice cream, molten chocolate cake, and sweet tea. LOL! 

Felt Cute But Wasn't Excited
When I Look At This Picture
After having my first kid, I came home from the hospital weighing roughly 200 lbs. But he was a spring baby so I started walking 1 - 2 miles per day when he was about 3 weeks old. The weight dropped quickly but then I went back to work, sitting at a desk, I was stuck at about 175 lbs. Womp. At 9 months postpartum, I got serious and adapted the 21 Day Fix meal plan. I dropped 11 lbs in 21 days and kept going. The down side to that was my milk supply suffered so I ended up weaning my son at 10 months when I really wanted to nurse him for a year. I eased up on the dietary restrictions but was able to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight and maintain it. If you have a husband, you know how they can be haters sometimes. I got knocked up again. SMH

I weighed in at 215 lbs. before I delivered my daughter, the second child. I came home from the hospital weighing 198 lbs. This time I knew what to do, it was just a matter of doing it. What I didn't realize was, I wasn't as active as I was with my son. I was doing my little 25 - 30 minute Beach Body on Demand exercises but I was feeling like it wasn't enough. What was I missing? Aaaahhhhh, the walking. Since my daughter was born in November, getting outside to walk wasn't ideal and I had given my treadmill away to make room for Fancy Factory operations. Plus, having two kids takes a longer adjustment period. Shit. We're still adjusting 15 months later. LOL!

Once my daughter hit 8 months, I was over being fat. I got serious about my diet.....again. I had to be careful though because I didn't want my milk to dry up.


Here's is what my daily menu looks like:
  • Drink 90 - 100 oz. of water with lemon slices per day (I refill my 24 oz. container 4-5 times/day and refresh the lemon slices daily)
  • Breakfast
    • Green Smoothie with protein: Handful of spinach, half a banana, scoop of Thrive protein, water (any kind of milk, including non-dairy, has a rack of carbs)
    • Accompanied with
      • Flax & Oats Oatmeal (for milk production, I stopped eating this after I stopped nursing. Oatmeal has a rack of carbs.) OR
      • Avocado toast with fried egg (Ezekiel toast, guacamole, fried egg on top) OR
      • One boiled egg
    • 8 oz. of Coffee with flavored creamer only. No sugar.
  • Morning snack (cuz you've gotsta have a snack)
    • Celery with peanut butter OR
    • One serving of fruit
  • Lunch
    • 4 oz./One chicken tenderloin (seasoned and frozen, cooked in the air fryer for 8 minutes at 380 degrees)
    • Salad
  • Afternoon snack
    • One serving of Fruit OR
    • Popcorn
  • Dinner
  • May 2019 vs. November 2019
    • Protein
    • Veggie
    • Glass of red wine (sometimes. Gimme a break. I have two toddlers that drive me crazy.)
  • Dessert (usually under 200 calories) This can get tricky but I keep dark chocolate around the house for those chocolate cravings. Dark chocolate is healthier for you than milk chocolate. Like red wine compared to white wine.
    • One Chocolate Peanut Butter Bite (Using dark chocolate chips instead of milk chocolate chips) OR
    • A little sliver of cake OR
    • One or two squares of dark chocolate OR
    • One fresh baked chocolate chip cookie OR
    • One or Two Mini Oreos OR
    • Brush my teeth and go to bed. (When I've had a bad day and couldn't stick to the meal plan)
Dassit! The weekend can get pretty sketchy. If you get a stomach virus or flu, that helps. I'm laughing but serious. I have started doing a quarterly 2 day juice cleanse. The juice cleanse is a healthy substitute for a stomach virus or the flu. Hahahahahaha!!! I also drink some Smooth Move tea each night just to get the waste moving out, ya know. If you are holding onto waste, you are holding on to weight. Let it out! The tea is very helpful when I didn't quite drink enough water the previous day.

Document! Document! Document! Just like with anything, what gets measured is what gets done. I use an app to document everything. My Fitness Pal is a great app that tracks, documents, charts, and reminds you to eat, workout or whatever you need help with. I use it to document my meals to monitor my calories and nutrient portions, water intake, daily weight, waist measurements, and daily steps.

I eat the same things everyday. This works for me. I eliminate decision fatique and it's easy for me to pack my lunch and snack when I'm in deez streets. Packing my lunch and snacks prevents me from eating out....sometimes.


If we are friends on social media, you probably get tired of seeing my work out pictures #MorningsAreForMoms. While I know that I don't have to workout everyday to be healthy, I NEED that time to myself. Going to the gym is really the only time of the day that I get to myself. I'm not interrupted by phone calls, emails, staff calling my name, kids crawling all over me, a husband asking me questions. Just me and my music or audio book. I COULD work out at home but husbands and kids can be haters. It's the best $10 I could spend on myself. I post my daily workout to hold myself accountable and to encourage my Fancy Friends. It's amazing how showing that you're working on yourself can encourage someone to work on themselves as well. I see improvement in my stamina and strength everyday. I feel better about my day when I've worked out in the morning. I know that if my whole day goes to shit and I don't get anything done as planned, at least I exercised. I got ONE win for the day.

I hope this helps someone who is feeling discouraged. Some days are easier than others. PMS is the hardest for food. Getting to the gym is hardest when I'm on my cycle. But I give myself grace and rest when my body gives me signs that I need to rest. However, I don't let rest day turn into rest week, so I even workout on vacation. I don't let one bad food choice turn into a bad food week. I take it day by day. I get excited for the small wins because the small wins add up to losing. Losing weight.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Let Me Get My Attorney on the Line

Doing fake lab stuff for the camera.
I was really measuring though so maybe it was real lab stuff.
Fancy Free Hair & Skin has officially been in business since 2015. I didn't actually start taking it seriously until 2016 when my revenue increased by 500%. If you don't know by now, I am a scientist. I am good at this lab stuff. Real good. It's my jam. Starting, running and growing a business....well, that's another story. So, I've been educating myself. Enrolling in programs. Building relationships with more experienced business owners so they will mentor me. I don't know what I don't know and you can't always rely on Google. I mean, there's a lot on the interwebs but there comes a time in business where you need real business help from real business experts in order to grow.

I said all of that to build up to my story line. LOL! Every training program I've been to talks about having your advisory board or something like that. It should consist of a business banker, a business accountant, and a business lawyer. I am so blessed to be surrounded by black girl magic in my family, so business attorney was one of the first positions that I was able to fill. My cousin is an attorney and her business is to provide legal advice and services to small businesses, Be Bossy, LLC. Well, would you look at God. So, I've had a business attorney since day one. Ms. Bossy got me all set up with trademark and copyrighting. Most importantly, she has been instrumental with contract reviews.

I love womens more than him though.
Let's get to the nitty gritty. The hardest part about growing a business is branding and marketing. If you are a creative, this is hard because you want to create and you have all of these great ideas. You probably don't communicate well, so how will you concisely communicate how great your creation is? You hire a marketing professional. Some marketing companies specialize in branding, others in creating content for social media. I have both. Once I was solid on what I wanted to communicate (Thanks to The Audacity Group), I was good to go with hiring a social media manager to generate and post content. The first two weren't necessarily a good fit. I did a quick google search and selected a third. Based on my on-boarding process, I thought I had it right with the third company. Third times the charm, right? I should've known from the beginning when #3 - as I will refer to them from this point forward - boasted of being a black owned company and then assigned a white woman to be my account manager. Let me jot that down again...
This black owned company assigned a white woman to manage my social media for my black owned company marketing products to black womens - with an s. 😒

After some delay, I got my content from #3 and it was just okay. Some typos. Some things I would've
done differently with font but whatever, just start posting cuz I had been doing it myself for 3 days and I was exhausted. Then I noticed that 3 days had gone by with nothing posted. I went to look at the calendar I approved and it was only through the November 15. So, I'm like wait, did I miss an email on the 12th, 13th or 14th? Did they send something for me to approve and I missed it? No. Nothing. I get an email from my account manager telling me about a connectivity issue with my Facebook Business manager, which is what is used to manage paid ads. Ummmm.....that's fine but what does that have to do with you generating content for posting? 👀
Actual photograph of me reviewing that content
Let's look at the timeline, no posting for November 16, 17, 18. Also, there is no content to approve. Seems like there was no intention to even post or resolve the connectivity issue IF that had anything to do with actual posting.

I can't call my account manager directly so I schedule an appointment to talk with her. We speak on November 19. We work through the connectivity issue together. She explains that she is working with a Facebook specialist but they are slow. Ok. She also tells me that I will have content to approve for posting on the next day, Nov. 20. After our call, I spent 2 hours playing around with Facebook Business manager and fix it. Nov. 20 comes and goes. No content. Nov. 21 comes and almost goes and I shoot her an email asking for my content. Nothing. Nov. 22 comes, I get the content. This time it has maaaaaaddddd grammatical errors. They used pictures of old products I don't use any more from a folder marked "old Product Pics". Come one y'all. I started to correct, make comments, and then I'm like "Fcuk this! They're fired. I don't have time to deal with this a week before Black Friday." And to add insult to injury, none of holiday deals were included in the calendar. At that moment, I knew it was over for #3.

We're now at day 8 of #3 not posting on my social media. My response to the content was "I'm very disappointed in the amount of grammatical errors. This content looks low quality and thrown together. Thank you for your time." My account manager asks to allow her team to fix it on Nov 25. "No thank you. I'm going to end this relationship. I will no longer be using this company".
The account manager responds on Dec. 2. THE SECOND DAY IN DECEMBER! Which means I've been having to manage my social media on my own for over 2 weeks and, most importantly, through the holidays. Her email read "I'm sorry but I can't let you out of your 3 month contract." LET ME?!?! *Drake vc* Ma''am. You don't have to let me do anything because you didn't do what you were paid to do. What she didn't know was that I had already called the bank on Nov 26 and stopped payment on their ACH withdrawal. So, when my phone started ringing on Dec 6 all I could do was laugh. I check my email "I tried to call you a couple times today...."
Picture taken of me while on
that call....unbothered.

First of all, bitch. Make an appointment. The same way I made an appointment when I needed to speak to you after you didn't post to my account for 3 days. I am very busy and I don't just take random phone calls that I'm not expecting. Second of all, I said what I said. IDGAF about the length of the contract. I DO know that you ain't do what you were supposed to do so I'm not gonna KEEP paying y'all. Only an idiot would pay for the third month.
So, we make an appointment and she calls with her director on the line. I'm "ok"-ing them to death cuz there's really nothing to talk about. I could tell that her director, another white woman, was more pissed about me stopping payment than anything. Girl, what part of "I said what I said" don't you understand? The director decides to "research" how my account was handled to decide if they will continue to pursue the third payment. Ok, girl. You do that. No matter what you find, I still ain't paying. The director emails me the next day, saying that she didn't find any wrong doing on my account manager's part and that they were going to pursue payment for the third month. That's when the lawyer comes in....

My lawyer's drafted response "It's clear that you don't have a full understanding of the culpability of the account manager....." followed by an outline of dates, highlighting time lapses on my account manager's part, complete with screenshots. Tuh! The final sentence is what took me out "As you can see, services were not rendered as promised.  Hence, the reason I did not allow for the third payment.  Moreover, I believe my proposed resolution of terminating our agreement and allowing you to retain the funds already remitted was more than reasonable.  If you continue to feel otherwise and wish to discuss this further, you can contact my attorney, Krystle Myers directly, she is copied to this email."

Done and done. It goes without saying that #3 decided that it was best to release me from their lor janky contract without paying for the third month. When I completed the contract termination form, my account manager's name wasn't available in the drop down for me to select. I'm assuming she was fired, possibly for the gross mismanagement of my account. Or maybe it was because she lied about it. Either way. My attorney handled it.

I knew what #3 did wrong but I wouldn't have been able to communicate the way Krystle did cuz...I'm not a lawyer. Plus, there's something about "speak to my attorney" that sounds so boss and "STOP PLAYING WITH ME" LOL!

I will say, I messed up by not having the contract with #3 reviewed BEFORE I signed it. Usually, Krystle reviews contracts that I produce for my clients, I just didn't think about it for a social media marketing company that showed up so high up in my Google search. They should've known what they were doing. But...they didn't.

Lesson: Document all communications cuz screenshots don't lie. Don't accept BS work just because you're desperate. Stand you ground. And most importantly, have a business attorney on deck.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2019 Round Up

2019 was an interesting year for me in business and my personal life. I spent the first half of the year trying to figure out my life with a colicky baby, a rambunctious 2 year old and a workaholic husband while battling post partum depression. I did a lot of investing in my business. So much that it made me anxious. I ain't used to debt or being in the red. But I finished strong and I didn't die. So I am alive to tell the story.

Fancy Life Accomplishments
  1. Survived 3 months of colic
  2. Overcame postpartum depression
  3. Got my husband to take over handling dinner
  4. Got approval to increase frequency of housekeeping service
  5. Decluttered my house
  6. Made a little bit of money off of selling my kids' baby gear
  7. Lost over 30 pounds
  8. Created a self care routine
  9. Maintained a self care routine for 7 months
  10. Produced breast milk for 12 months
  11. Set personal boundaries to maintain sanity
  12. Maintained said boundaries
  13. Removed a curse from my bloodline
  14. Renewed my spiritual journey
  15. Enjoyed my husband
  16. Found a school for my son
  17. Loved on my family
Fancy Free Hair & Skin Accomplishments
  1. Got my back office in order
  2. Established more automated systems
  3. Hired 3 new employees
  4. Fired 2 employees
  5. Hired a marketing company
  6. Figured out the voice of my brand with the help of a marketing company
  7. Rebranded the look of my products
  8. Added a seasonal scent milk to the roster
  9. Added two new products to the roster
  10. Added 3 new deodorant scents to the roster
  11. Added 2 new product kits to the roster
  12. Hired a social media management company
  13. Fired a social media management company
  14. Hired a second social media management company
  15. Fired the second social media management company
  16. Lawyers on deck to clap back on raggedy second social media management company when they tried to pursue payment even after being raggedy
  17. Added two retail stores
  18. Added one more wholesale buyer
  19. Hired a business tax accountant
  20. Increased revenues by 35%
  21. Increased spending too (typing the percentage increased hurts my feelings)
I'm far from my goals but I am making progress. Progress is important. Typing it out like this made me realize how much I was able to accomplish with a baby strapped to my back and a toddler hanging on to my legs. There were definitely days that I cried. But there were also days that I felt like I could conquer the world. Just know, when I cried, it was only for like 5 minutes. Then I wiped my tears and got busy. Crying is therapeutic, it's a release. Just don't live in a state of sadness where you can't be productive. 

I learned that being vulnerable makes me strong. I learned that it's ok to not be ok. I learned to listen to my intuition. I learned to look inward, to my ancestors, and upward, to God. I learned to be in the moment and pause sometimes, especially when it comes to having fun with my children because business building will always need my attention but they will not be little forever.

Shameless Plug Alert:
Fancy Free Hair & Skin manufactures quality products for hair and skin, as well as provides natural hair consults for women who would like assistance on their natural hair journey. Our motto is "Keeping you fancy and free of chemicals." Visit our website,, to see a full range of our products and services. Sign up for our mailing list to receive natural hair tips and stay up to date on sales and the latest happenings with Fancy Free.