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Little Black Dresses, Salads & Wine is so extremely honored and privileged to know some incredible humans. It seems fitting to include these passionate, inspiring and driven folks on our journey. Join LBDSAW at

More In The Spotlight as we celebrate those living in their passion & purpose.

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

d'kia anderson

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ACTOR

Loyal. Genuine.Outgoing.

I met D'Kia some years ago before she headed to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actor. She was super fabulous & gracious as a model wearing an MRM original while stopping traffic in Times Square (NY). We danced on stage at Ellen In The Park for The Ellen Degeneres Show and made more recent memories on The Real show at Universal Studios (CA). She is our very first Spotlight guest, and I am so proud of her for pursuing her dream of becoming an actor. She continues to thrive in the industry and is also a Black Mental Health Advocate.

 

D'Kia won't stop and LBDSAW is here for it! We asked her a few questions that we thought would be fitting to ask our Spotlight guests. Here is what she had to say!

 LBDSAW: Choose 3 words to describe yourself.

D'KIA: Three words describing myself would be loyal, genuine and outgoing. 

LBDSAW: How would you describe your personal style?

D'KIA: My personal style is a bit rocker mixed with boho. If I could elaborate, I love wearing black and other solid colors, but also enjoy comfortable, fashionable pieces. 

LBDSAW: If you are a salad lover, tell me what you'd have in your Signature Salad.

D'KIA: Hmm, my signature salad’s base would be spinach. It would definitely have strawberries, grapes and raisins (I think it’s the texture difference I love), a few won tons and dressed in balsamic. I like it simple so I know what I’m eating. 

LBDSAW: Where is your favorite place to dine?

D'KIA: My favorite place to eat is Nobu in Malibu,Ca. I love the ambiance and surprisingly, although it’s staple, the food is delicious. 

LBDSAW: What travel destination has been your favorite?

D'KIA: My favorite travel destination has been to Iceland. I didn’t know I would love it so much but it was just pure and beautiful. I love nature and there’s so much untouched there. 

 

LBDSAW: Where haven't you been that you'd like to explore?

D'KIA: I am planning to get to Africa. My dream destination is Cairo, but I’d also love to explore Morocco and South Africa.

LBDSAW: What makes you feel the happiest? (Not a person)

D'KIA:  I feel happiest when I’m traveling and around water. Water brings me peace. And it’s so important to protect in this field. 

LBDSAW: What do you enjoy most about being an actor?

D'KIA: Being an actor allows me to become someone else for a few moments. I love to sometimes disconnect from my reality and dial into another. I find pleasure in dissecting the characters and bringing them to life.

LBDSAW: What advice would you give to someone pursuing their passion & purpose?

D'KIA: Please do whatever it takes to make yourself happy. Don’t get discouraged by others not supporting you. Remember you’re doing this for yourself. 

LBDSAW: What's next for you?

D'KIA: Coming up next is a guest starring role on UMC’s A House Divided. I will also be heading to Atlanta to star in a feature filmYou can find me on HBO Max’s Hacks and I also have 3 National Commercials airing right now.

 

LBDSAW: How can folks follow your journey?

D'KIA: IG @dkiaanderson IMDB D’Kia Anderson 

LBDSAW:  Thank you so much for being our very first guest, D'Kia! We will be watching your journey!

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

jeannie jones

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BRAND ARCHITECT

Goal-Oriented. Passionate. Motivated.

I had the privilege of interviewing Jeannie Jones back in 2006 when she was the hottest voice in radio at 93.9 WKYS (DC). We met at Busboys & Poets in DC and some question that I asked her resulted in the answer KUMQUAT. She purred that word as only the Kitty of the City could. MEOW!!

 

 She has since moved to the West Coast but continues to show off her skills in film, radio and television as an actor, producer and director. I have had countless, memorable experiences with Jeannie and celebs like Chuck Brown, Mya, Tank, Richard Gere, Melanie Fiona and many more. I'm ready for the reunion tour, Kitty!

I asked Jeannie our Signature Spotlight questions and here is what she had to say. No Kumquats were harmed during questioning!  Ha!

 LBDSAW: Choose 3 words to describe yourself.

JEANNIE: Goal-Oriented. Passionate. Motivated.

LBDSAW: How would you describe your personal style?

JEANNIE: I would describe my personal style as eccentric.

LBDSAW: If you are a salad lover, tell me what you'd have in your Signature Salad.

JEANNIE: My signature salad includes Kale, Basil, Mozzarella, Red Onions, Avocado, Tomatoes, Arugula topped with Balsamic Glaze. 

LBDSAW:  If you are a wine lover, do you prefer red or white?

JEANNIE: If I'm doing wine, has to be RED.

 

LBDSAW: If you were to create a signature cocktail, what would be in it (with or without alcohol works)?

JEANNIE: My signature cocktail is simply a Kahlua and Creme (hold the vodka, no White Russian. I can't hang with that part. LOL )

LBDSAW: Where is your favorite place to dine?

JEANNIE: Nobu in Malibu and Georgio Baldi in Santa Monica (it's Rihanna's fave too) 

LBDSAW: What travel destination has been your favorite?

JEANNIE: Favorite travel destination is Bahamas during the Junkanoo Celebration on New Year's.

 

LBDSAW: Where haven't you been that you'd like to go?

JEANNIE: Looking forward to exploring Paris and Africa.

 

LBDSAW: What makes you feel the happiest? (Not a person)

JEANNIE: I'm happiest when I spend time on nature hikes and surrounded by water or swimming in it.

 

LBDSAW: What do you enjoy most about being a brand architect?

JEANNIE: I enjoy being a Brand Architect because it's so fulfilling to assist a client to accomplish their goal(s) and help him/her exceed their initial expectations and vision for success.

LBDSAW: What advice would you give to someone pursuing their passion & purpose?

JEANNIE: Advice on pursuing your purpose/dream is make sure you're doing something that excites and challenges you daily. Then research, study and get prepared to be the best at it . All else you desire will follow and evolve. You must network and put the work in at whatever you want.

LBDSAW: What's next for you?

JEANNIE: I will always do Radio and TV, continue to produce and direct content for TV and Film, develop Talent in Music and Media. Starring in film and children's book later this year and always focused on "elevating tomorrow's leaders today " through The Jeannie Jones Mentoring Program and Grant My Wish Foundation

LBDSAW: How can folks follow your journey?

JEANNIE: Follow IG: @iamjeanniejones or @readysetimpact 

LBDSAW:  Thank you so much for being our guest, Jeannie! We will be following your journey!

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

shannon blackston

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BLOGGER

Ambitious. Faithful. Fearless.

I remember the day that I met Shannon. She was a shy 1 year old...hiding behind her mother's leg as my mom and I introduced ourselves as new neighbors. She is now a wife, mother (of 2-to-be), blogger and entrepreneur. As I prepared this post, my mom sent me a pic (via text) of Shannon standing behind her mom with her baby bump showing.

{I'm not crying or anything like that. Neither was my mom. We're fine!}

 

We asked Shannon our Signature Spotlight questions and here is what she had to say. Still NOT crying!

 LBDSAW: Choose 3 words to describe yourself.

SHANNON: Ambitious. Faithful. Fearless. 

LBDSAW: How would you describe your personal style?

SHANNON: I love to switch it up. Mainly enjoy wearing sneakers and athleisure wear. I will say my personal style contains more of sporty and comfortable looks.

LBDSAW: If you are a salad lover, tell me what you'd have in your Signature Salad.

SHANNON:  I love salad! My signature salad would include carrots, peppers, cucumbers, red onion, croutons with either red wine vinaigrette dressing or ranch.

LBDSAW: If you are a wine lover, do you prefer red or white?

SHANNON: Red! Stella Rosa in every flavor is always a great option also!

LBDSAW: If you were to create a signature cocktail, what would be in it (with or without alcohol works)?

SHANNON:   I honestly don’t know, but it would definitely have alcohol in it. Lol... I love anything that is more so on the sweeter side to include strawberry, peach or cranberries. If it’s good and sweet…I’m drinking it! Lol

LBDSAW: Where is your favorite place to dine?

SHANNON:  I recently moved to the Dallas, Texas area and love everything I’ve tried so far! Seven Doors in The Colony, Texas right now is my favorite.

LBDSAW: What travel destination has been your favorite?

SHANNON: Definitely Jamaica! The culture, food and the people are great!

LBDSAW: Where haven't you been that you'd like to go?

SHANNON: There are so many places I would love to explore like Italy, Iceland, and Germany.  But, Hawaii and Japan are next on the list for my husband and I.

LBDSAW: What makes you feel the happiest? (Not a person)

SHANNON: If this was about two years ago, I would say running makes me feel the happiest. If you know me, you know I love to run. After I stopped competing, I kept running to continue to be in shape and as a stress reliever. But now! I would have to say that getting my nails done makes me the happiest.  lol... It’s my self care time and gives me a chance to just relax. I love seeing my nails freshly done. Getting my nails done makes me feel like I accomplished something great for myself.

LBDSAW: What do you enjoy most about being a blogger/entrepreneur?

SHANNON:  I get to share my personal experiences with others. It’s great being able to connect and also realize you aren’t the only one dealing with this one specific topic. I love to be able to help newer moms to navigate through all the uncertainties that come with motherhood.
I enjoy being able to create and see my vision executed.

LBDSAW: What advice would you give to someone pursuing their passion & purpose?

SHANNON: I would tell them to never give up and your vision is no one else’s! Not everyone is going to understand and not everyone is going to support you, but that is okay! Your purpose isn’t for everyone to understand so continue to push forward if it’s what makes you happy.

LBDSAW: What's next for you?

SHANNON: My family is actually expanding! I am having a baby girl in October and we are super excited about that. But I plan to expand my brand. 2befearless is a lifestyle brand and I plan on having events and community service in the near future. I want everyone to see the true work that comes along with being fearless and remember that they can be too as long as they take that first step!

 

LBDSAW: How can folks follow your journey?

SHANNON: Follow my personal IG: @luvshanb

There you’ll be able to see the link to my  BLOG: 2befearlesswomen.blogspot.com and link to my son's YouTube channel where we do science experiments together.

My brand IG: @_2befearless where you can also find the link to purchase your fearless gear.

Thank you and hope you all enjoy! 

LBDSAW:  Thank you so much for being our guest, Shannon! We will be following your journey!

 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

chenire carter

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ENTREPRENEUR

Thought-Provoking. Compassionate. Memory Maker.

I often wonder if Chenire sleeps. It's hard to tell because there never seems to be a moment when she isn't working on something with someone, somewhere...always. She approaches EVERYTHING with an energy that is unmatched. She is the Chief Experience Officer at Memory Maker, Inc. and your Couple Concierge at Couple.Care as well as a Host for Le Diner en Blanc Baltimore.

 

I asked Chenire our Signature Spotlight questions and here is what she had to say. I'm pretty sure she's working on something major at this very moment. Read on!

 LBDSAW: Choose 3 words to describe yourself.

CHENIRE: Thought-Provoking, Compassionate, Memory Maker

LBDSAW: How would you describe your personal style?

CHENIRE: Classically Fashionable with a Twist

LBDSAW: If you are a salad lover, tell me what you'd have in your Signature Salad.

CHENIRE: Spinach, Strawberry, candied walnuts, blue cheese crumbles (Fruit, nuts, cheese...you can't go wrong. I love that in any combination)

LBDSAW: If you are a wine lover, do you prefer red or white?

CHENIRE: I am a BOTH kind of gal but if I must choose...Sparkling Rose'. Ha!

LBDSAW: If you were to create a signature cocktail, what would be in it (with or without alcohol works)?

CHENIRE:  BOURBON or WHISKEY

LBDSAW: Where is your favorite place to dine?

CHENIRE:  This changes often for me because I LOVE dining out! I love the vibe of a restaurant. I respect the business that is not an easy one. I also love the style of a restaurant and add a view and you can't lose with me. Proximity to my house has made this a recent favorite: Limoncello, Baltimore MD

LBDSAW: What travel destination has been your favorite? 

CHENIRE: Paris. 

 

LBDSAW: Where haven't you been that you'd like to explore?

CHENIRE: Greece, Africa, United Kingdom, Italy

LBDSAW: What makes you feel the happiest? (Not a person)

CHENIRE: New experiences and gratitude

LBDSAW: What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?

CHENIRE: Learning new things, fortifying my belief in myself, and the legacy for my family.

LBDSAW: What advice woud you give to someone pursuing their passion & purpose?

CHENIRE: Stay right in the middle of Grace and Gumption. Everything will not turn out the way you hoped or planned, offer yourself some grace. Be bold enough to ask the hard questions, ask for support and do it scared. 

LBDSAW: What's next for you?

CHENIRE: I am still exploring using my values of Connection, Curiosity, and Creativity. I can do anything, I am not afraid to try and fail or go after it and rock my own world with what I have accomplished. 

LBDSAW: How can folks follow your journey?

CHENIRE: IG @memorymakerinc WEBSITE www.memorymakerinc.com 

LBDSAW:  Thank you so much for being our guest, Chenire! We will be following your journey!

 
 

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

shenell tolson, drph

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ENTREPRENEUR

Dope. Smart. Capable.

Shenell Tolson, DrPH is the dopest Doc that you will ever meet. Over the years, I have had the privilege of being included in some very special moments in her life. From doing her makeup and taking pics for her book launch of Noa The Litte Scientist to providing makeup services for some very dope Women in S.T.E.M. for a special project to taking her photos after she received her Doctorate from Morgan State University, I have been fortunate to experience them all.

 

I asked her our Signature Spotlight questions and here is what she had to say. Read on to recognize the dopeness!

 LBDSAW: Choose 3 words to describe yourself.

SHENELL: Dope. Smart. Capable.

LBDSAW: How would you describe your personal style?

SHENELL: I like what I like. I'm not into new fashion trends.  My go-to is still a comfy tee and jeans, but I will put on heels and some lipstick when the occasion calls for it. 

LBDSAW: If you are a salad lover, tell me what you'd have in your Signature Salad.

SHENELL: My signature salad would be a customized cobb with well-seasoned chicken or shrimp. I'm talking romain, spinach and mixed greens (gone toss in some arugula too); cucumbers, hard-boiled egg, blue cheese, bacon, avocado, easy on those tiny tomatoes, and really flavorful dressing. If it's a vinaigrette I want it to have a bit of a kick citrus-jalapeno. If it's creamy, I'd want a more Caeser/peppercorn ranch flavor. 

LBDSAW:  If you are a wine lover, do you prefer red or white?

SHENELL: I'm a reisling kind of girl preferably, but I enjoy both red and white wines. I'll take a blush too - just stay on the sweeter end of the spectrum.

LBDSAW: If you were to create a signature cocktail, what would be in it (with or without alcohol works)?

SHENELL: My signature cocktail would be a Grand Marnier mojito (Malibu Black Rum, Grand Marnier, Lime juice, fresh mint, agave). Muddle the fresh mint at the bottom of the glass and fill to the brim with ice. Add equal parts Rum and Grand Marnier and the juice of one large, freshly squeezed lime. Add a drizzle of agave to taste - a little goes a long way here. Garnish with a mint sprig. This one definitely packs a punch, but mellows out nicely as the ice melts. If you're feeling super fancy, muddle a fresh fruit of your choice with the mint. It's Friday night in and you've already taken off your bra. You're welcome.

 

LBDSAW: Where is your favorite place to dine?

SHENELL: Out of the country! I have found that restrictions on additives are more stringent in other countries and to me, the food just tastes better - more authentic. Especially, the fruits.

LBDSAW: What travel destination has been your favorite?

SHENELL: South Africa. I'd love to go back again. It felt so good putting my bare feet on Motherland soil, taking in the food and the sites; and the people are nice.

 

LBDSAW: Where haven't you been that you'd like to explore?

SHENELL: I'd like to visit other countries in Africa to get a better understanding of the diversity in cultures there and visit my ancestral home.

LBDSAW: What makes you feel the happiest? (Not a person)

SHENELL:  I feel happiest when I can relax. I'm always working on something. I really enjoy downtime where I can just exist in a space and just, "be." Give me a blanket and a comfy couch any day of the week.

 

LBDSAW: What do you enjoy most about being an entrepreneur?

SHENELL: I enjoy that I have multiple projects that affect my community in a positive way. Once I reach financial freedom status, I anticipate I will be participating in more downtime.

LBDSAW: What advice would you give to someone pursuing their passion & purpose?

SHENELL: Don't Quit. That's it.

LBDSAW: What's next for you?

SHENELL: I'm ready to be the next household name in gourmet chocolate. When you think of your next swanky event, I want you to think of "Simplicity Chocolate". I want my chocolate to be included on charcuterie boards at celebrity events like parties, weddings, and other special ocassions, in the glamourous swag bags for the big award shows like The Grammys, Emmys, and Oscars, and on the pillows of high-end clientele in Presidential Suites of posh hotels.

LBDSAW:  How can folks follow your journey?

SHENELL:  WEBSITE: thepublichealthbae.com IG: @thepublichealthbae Twitter: @G_Protein

WEBSITE: thesimplicitychocolate.com

LBDSAW:  Thank you so much for being our guest, Shenell! We will be following your journey!

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