Archive of ‘Books’ category

LBS Reads: Ty Alexander’s “Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died”


tiwinMany stories have been shared of the psychological effects of facing one’s mortality. A woman is diagnosed with lupus and reevaluates her commitment to work-life balance. A man survives prostate cancer and is inspired to become a better father. Less is told of those left behind – the children, cousins, siblings, and friends who are left face to face with their greatest fears and inadequacies when someone they loves is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Gorgeous in Grey’s Ty Alexander recounts her experiences worrying about, caring for, and ultimately mourning her late mother with beautiful honesty in “Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mother Died”. Part memoir, part self-help book, this first effort from Alexander is the perfect gift for yourself or a loved one dealing with grief this holiday season.

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LBS Reads: Phylencia Taylor’s Evolving Beauty


From the buying power of the natural hair movement to the rise of homegrown entrepreneurs and digital influencers everyone’s been buzzing about the business of beauty. Recently long time beauty executive Phylencia “PT” Taylor has added her expertise to the mix with the release of her debut book “Evolving Beauty-The Business of Beauty in A New Age”. Featuring a foreword by Carol’s Daughter founder Lisa Price this book provides readers with the tools to navigate a landscape that has undergone a tremendous transformation. Taylor was motivated by a desire to allow others to learn from and be empowered by her experiences and research. “Now that we’re in a new age of beauty” said Taylor “the thought is how do we make decisions that we need to make. A lot of chapters in the book give an underlay of core marketing and communications but they have a modern twist and a digital influence”.

Find more more about Taylor and her thoughts on Evolving Beauty below.

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LBS Reads: Miss Jessie’s Book by Miko Branch and Titi Branch


I can still remember the first time I let my relaxer grow out. It was back in 2005 when I was headed to UPENN for 4 years of undergrad. Back then, most of my friends still had relaxers, there wasn’t really a natural hair “movement” yet and finding products to maintain naturally curly hair was about as hard for me as getting an A in economics. So I took to the internet, searched the web and stumbled on an online forum called Napturality where women would share their natural hair stories, hair growth successes and product recommendations. That’s when I first heard about Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. Everyone raved about it being the only product that would tame their curls and at the time you could only order it online.


I remember the first time I cracked open a jar of the Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding. It was a purple jar of yummy goodness. It smelled SO good and I loved how it would set my twists without flaking or lay down my edges without making them rock hard. I still remember my first experience with Miss Jessie’s.


Fast forward to 2015 and the Miss Jessie’s company has grown SO much. I was devastated earlier this year to hear about the passing of Titi Branch. These two sisters – Miko Branch and Titi Branch – are so inspirational and have added so much to the natural hair community as pioneers, product developers and entrepreneurs. If anyone has an incredible success story to tell, it’s them. So I was beyond honored when their team reached out to me about reviewing the unedited manuscript of their new memoir and inspirational self-help book “Miss Jessie’s: Creating A Successful Business From Scratch – Naturally”.


As an entrepreneur and a new mom, I find myself constantly juggling so many projects and continuously trying to stay motivated and inspired. I look to books and success stories from other people to keep me in the zone and to give me that extra lift of positivity. This book is that and more. In this book, Miko talks so openly and candidly about the history of the Miss Jessie’s company from their personal stories to their family background, their beginnings, their harsh challenges and triumphant successes.


What I love about this story is the honesty in it as well. At the end of the day, success is truly a journey not a destination. It is so refreshing to hear from Miko that their story was full of both highs and lows and that their hard work and determination helped them persevere. I fell into tears on page 275, when the book is wrapping and Miko writes the most beautiful love letter to her older sister Titi. The sisterly bond is so strong and Miko’s love for her older sister shows not only in this letter but in the actions that she’s portraying, even in the wake of her sister’s untimely passing. She is pushing forward, finishing a book that will empower and inspire so many women and up and coming entrepreneurs. And Miss Jessie’s will continue to provide hair products and services that help to make women with curls, coils and kinks feel beautiful.


I want to share the inspiration and beauty of this book and their products with one of you! Here’s how to enter the giveaway (you MUST complete both steps!):

1. Fill out the Rafflecopter widget below with your information.

2. Leave a comment on this post telling me about one dream you have for yourself that you’re looking to accomplish in the near future.

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Can’t wait to read your responses!

THANK YOU so much to Miss Jessie’s for allowing me a sneak peek at this wonderful memoir. RIP to the beautiful and talented Titi Branch – your legacy lives on.