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Entrepreneurship

Eric Jones builds his empire, from Fayetteville, AR to LA – The American dream

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We reunited with Eric Jones, CEO and lead designer at LFLS shoes. He started his business in 2016, after graduating and mourning his late mom and dad. He pulled through and continued building his empire, making his late parents proud, building his life with the goals he in-visioned.

His mother in particular was a big part of designing LSLS shoes. She helped him create the first designs of LFLS’s 1st collection while he was finishing up college. Unfortunately, she was not there to experience the launch of his collection or witness his graduation. She passed away a few weeks before he graduated. Eric’s first collection was very important to him, as he was holding a piece of his mom in his creations.

 

 

We asked Eric how life changed since the first year into entrepreneurship.

”My life has changed tremendously, it is literally like comparing night and day!” 

” My slow success has allowed me to build so much character and it has molded me into an individual that has the influence, courage, resilience and story to inspire a nation. I’ve had the chance to experience so many things that I couldn’t have imagined. I worked with people that I never thought I would be able to work with MJ Harris ,Tasha Page Lockhart, Anthony Anderson and Desi Bank just to name a few.

From left to right MJ Harris, Tasha Page Lockhart, Anthony Anderson, and Desi Bank

I achieved goals that exceed my wildest expectations. I also, recently took a huge leap of faith and relocated to Los Angeles, California a little over a week ago. Coming from Helena, AR, these are things that I could have never imagined doing in my life! ”

Eric’s life changed tremendously in just 24 months!

Exposure – he has been recognized my national and international media and has been featured on Global Grind, Because of them We Can, Melanin Wonder, Voyage LA/Dallas, and a host of other platforms! New friends, gaining MJ Harris as a friend and mentor.

Building his CV, booking multiple speaking engagements and also speaking on panels across the country to share my story. Recognition, being recognized by my Alma Mater and moving to Los Angeles, just 2 weeks ago!

Are your shoes as dapper as you are?

It’s a guarantee because you can’t find shoes like these anywhere else. I have added my own unique touches to each shoe and they have become a high demand for special occasions like weddings, galas, proms, graduations and red carpet events. The shoes are the representation of a lifestyle that many individuals want to live. A lifestyle of modern luxury with a sprinkle of good old classic vibes.

How do you test the product quality?

I test the quality of my products by having a sample developed of a specific shoe that I have designed and want to send into production. Based on how the sample comes out will determine what changes are needed or if I will work with that particular factory or not. 

What was the main reason you chose to start making women’s shoes as well?

I decided to start making women’s shoes because so many women would ask me about shoes for them or if I made kids shoes that they could fit. I tested the market to see if women would actually purchase the pair of flats that I ended up designing. It turned out that they liked them a lot and at times purchased more than my customer base of men would.

 

So to circle back around on the question, the main reason I chose to start making them is to please the ladies hahaha. But then it also became bigger than that because I made sure the women’s flats matched the men’s loafers, which lead to our his and hers collection. My late mother Gloria also loved shoes a lot, I plan to design a women’s shoe dedicated to her in the near future.

 

What’s the next up-and-coming trend Eric?

”I’m not much of a trendy person, I tend to create them versus keep up with them!” 

If you weren’t making shoes, what would be your craft today?

Branding and social media strategy for sure, along with still inspiring people through my journey! I love everything about branding and how a business conveys its story to their potential customers, whether that be through visuals or strategy. This is one reason why I started offer branding/business development consultations. I also love styling too, so I’m sure I would also still be dabbling in that industry even if I wasn’t a shoe designer!

You recently moved to LA, how will this impact the LFLS brand?

” This move will take the brand to the next level!” 

Being in this environment around celebrities, stylist, red carpet events, influencers and a host of other entrepreneurs/creatives is all I could ask for plus more! You never know who you will meet here in LA, so many doors will be opened for myself and the brand that could have never been opened back in Arkansas. I’m thrilled to be here and just honored to be able to have the faith, courage and resilience to take such a huge leap of faith and sacrifice for my future.

 













Get you a pair of LFLS shoes to look just as dapper as Eric
https://www.lflsshoes.com/
GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY - GIVE AWAY
P.S. Eric is doing a give-away in collaboration with Melanin Wonder.
Comment under this article and repost it on your socials.
Send us a screenshot of you comment under this post +
your repost on any socials (email: info@melaninwonder.com)
Winner will be announced in the third week of september.
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Entrepreneurship

Aaron West, extremely passionate about inspiring change in others

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Can you introduce yourself?

So, my full name is Aaron West, I am 31, Black and proud and I was born and mostly raised in Shreveport, Louisiana by my mom and grandparents. My mom moved my twin brother, little sister and I from Shreveport to Houston when I was 15 after she graduated from college and I’ve been here ever since. I would say I had a pseudo-rural upbringing in Shreveport because it was a slower city compared to Houston.

I say this not to imply we lived on a farm and milked cows but basically Shreveport as a city was far behind what Houston was in terms of modern black culture like fashion, music etc. Upon arriving to Houston I really started to think I was living on BET because everything and everyone was so cool and fashion forward lol. My brother, sister and I played most sports growing up to stay busy and I think that is probably where I grew to love Fitness.

What are you passionate about?

I am extremely, extremely, extremely, passionate about inspiring change in others. I would say I simply love to see people change their bodies or achieve their fitness goals, because I’m a personal trainer, but it’s so much deeper than that. For me it’s all about helping others understand what can be done with a little effort. Nothing and no one can make me feel as I do in the moment that someone who I talked to previously about where I see them going with their body remembers that conversation while presently living in that body we talked about in the past.

I own a personal training studio where I conduct one-on-one sessions with clients and sure we talk about fitness but it is not uncommon for us to also talk about other life goals, in-fact we probably talk about more life coaching type things than anything else, I really just enjoy helping people reach their full potential in every facet of life.

 

Aaron ripped in front of a grafitti wall

Aaron ripped in front of a grafitti wall

 

What is your profession?

My profession is complex but if I had to label it I would say I am an entrepreneur because I create things. Currently I am operating as personal trainer in my personal training studio but I have goals of becoming a motivational speaker and I also plan to start a few non-profits and other business outside of fitness.

How long have you owned ur fitness business?

By the grace of God my business has been open for almost 3 years. I started Almost PerFit Fitness after graduating from University of Houston and having a hard time finding what I considered a “real job”. I was still working for a local gym as a personal trainer and as a very broke post-college grad I figured that there was no better time to start a business than at the bottom, that way me and Almost PerFit Fitness( the business) literally would grow together.

With no real business plan I simply started training clients on the side in parks for less than what they would pay at the gym but was able to pocket more than what the gym was paying me. As business grew I decided to rent a space add some fitness equipment “wollah” i was in business on your own.

 

Aaron at the beach rocking his sunglasses

Aaron at the beach rocking his sunglasses

 

How do make sure your clients eat healthy?

I usually cannot really control how my clients eat so once I design the meal plan best tailored to their needs I focus on making sure they understand how eating wrong can impact their fitness goals. I’ve found that the more they understand the better their food decisions would be. I weigh my clients in weekly to track progress towards or away from their goal and then make adjustments.

Why start your own business?

I would now presently answer this question with “why not?” but honestly I never considered working for myself until I realized that I was worth more than what someone was willing to pay me to do a job I could create on my own. It is actually something I heard “Master P” of No Limit records say about his decision to start independent. I don’t think entrepreneurship is for everyone but it is definitely worth a shot if you are passionate about adding value to someone’s life with a service or product.

 

Aaron rocking his Powerful Beard

Aaron rocking his Powerful Beard

 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

In five years I see myself in the fitness industry. I actually plan to remain in the industry for the rest of my life but as a trainer to trainers as opposed to simply a trainer. I would like to have a larger platform to help more people in various ways.

Do you have other hobbies or crazy habits?

Aside from working out I really enjoy photography. I actually do most of my own photography for promotional flyers, social media marketing etc with a Nikon D330. I’m a self professed student to the craft and I’m also actively learning more about editing software. Me and my girlfriend are learning a few actually to help with our couples YouTube channel.

I have one habit that I think is pretty crazy, I am constantly stretching my body trying to get comfortable from multiple weekly workouts. I’ll be in bed literally popping and stretching until I finally fall asleep. It’s actually pretty common in the bodybuilding world and I wouldn’t say it’s painful but at every opportunity I feel the need to stretch my muscles/joints out I am probably going to stop everything I’m doing and do it, it’s weird but it feels so necessary. Other than that I’m just a guy .*lol*

Check out his Instagram for more about his business and some stunning pictures!

 

Aaron West entrepreneur and health coach

Aaron West entrepreneur and health coach

 

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Culture

Angel Rich the Melanin Wonder named to be “The next Steve Jobs” by Forbes!!

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Angel Rich “The Next Steve Jobs”

 

Angel Rich, from Washington, DC, has developed a very innovative app called Credit Stacker that teaches students about personal finance, credit management skills, and entrepreneurship in a fun and engaging way. The app is so popular that 200,000 people (and growing) downloaded it to their smartphones and tablets within just two weeks of its launch.

 

Melanin Wonder Angel was raised in Washington, DC, and graduated from Hampton University. She also studied at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China. Way to represent her Melanin self!

She briefly worked as a global market research analyst for Prudential, where she conducted over 70 financial behavior modification studies.

She says that during her time there, she helped the company generate more than $6 billion in revenue. She resigned, however in 2013, to start her own company, The Wealth Factory.

Remarkably, the app has been named the “best financial literacy product in the country” by the Office of Michelle Obama, the “best learning game in the country” by the Department of Education, and the “best solution in the world for reducing poverty” by JP Morgan Chase. It has won first place in several business competitions including the Industrial Bank Small Business Regional Competition and the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition. Angel has won more than $50,000 in business grants with her efforts.

Her company’s Credit Stacker app is available in four languages and in 40 countries and is rapidly approaching 1 million downloads.

Although the app is free for users to download, the revenue model is to generate money on the back-end from advertisers in addition to existing contracts. She also has a partnership with the D.C. Dept of Insurance, Securities, and Banking.

In time, other major financial companies like NASDAQ, J.P. Morgan & Chase, Wells Fargo, and more will likely want to get on board as well

 

Download the Credit Stacker app from the iTunes App store here, visit:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/creditstacker/id1130346776

Download the Credit Stacker app from the Google Play app store now, visit:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.capital.creditstacker

Follow Melanin Wonder Angel Rich on Facebook and visit www.facebook.com/wealthylifers

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Entrepreneurship

BUILDHER – THE CROWDFUNDING PLATFORM BY HER, FOR ALL

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Damilola Bisuga Soyoye is the British-Nigerian entrepreneur behind the ‘BuildHer’ platform. The platform that will bring your idea or business to the next level!

The crowdfunding platform by HER for ALL

The company is just a few months old, as it was founded in March 2020. But don’t be thrown back, this startup is different than any other crowdfunding platform that you’ve ever seen. 

But how is it different?

Damilola explains in this video:

BuildHer will promote your brand to their worldwide network via network marketing, heavy PR, and social media awareness.

As a user of BuildHer you can also subscribe to a monthly or annual subscription of the BuildHer community to be part of the inside network. This network will not only help you reach a wider and international public for your crowdfund, but it will also help you in building your business from within.

As a freelancer or a solo entrepreneur, it can be hard to find support in how to grow your business. A lot of startups are born through one person’s idea or a duo collaboration. This can be lonely and isolating sometimes. But having more like-minded people and well-seasoned experts in your direct network might give you more confidence, wisdom, and moral support to trailblaze your way into success. Subscribing to the BuildHer network will give you this exact opportunity!

Did you become more curious about the possibilities? Then signs up for a free subscription by clicking -> HERE <-

Black female entrepreneurs are the targeted audience for BuildHer application. But the public funding your campaigns will be a variety of Black (female) owned businesses, and their extended network, such as their family, friends, colleagues/business partners. The BuildHer app crosses all nations, starting in the UK and expanding to USA and Africa.

A ‘BuildHer’ campaign runs for a maximum of 31 days, and the best part about it is that if you don’t hit your targeted funding amount, you will still get your pay-out.

Do you need tips and tricks on how to crowdfund & identify your crowd? Then download the free guide by clicking -> HERE <-

Visit the website: www.buildher.co.uk/

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