Monthly archives of “January 2017

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A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE WORKSHOP YOU MISSED

Anything worth perfecting requires continuing education. It may be a requirement for your job or something you are prompted to do on your own. Although I’ve been blogging for a while, you would not believe how many webinars, newsletters, books and blogs I read from other bloggers on how to be a better blogger. You’re welcome.

Jessica Simien Source: http://jessicasimien.com/

Jessica Simien Source: jessicasimien.com

Most recently (over the last few years), I’ve started looking within my environment. I’m fairly certain they don’t know this because I don’t like to be soft and because I don’t want to hurt my bad-girl image but I deem both Aprill Coleman and Jessica Simien the blogmothers of Jackson and probably Mississippi.  Name better bloggers, I’ll wait.

Source: Simien Media Group

So, when Jessica announced “Let’s Get Social: A Comprehensive Social Media Workshop for Small Business Owners and Creatives” looking to establish a social media strategy in 2017 and invited bloggers to cover the event I was like “let me throw my topknot in the hat.” Like many things, I attempt to apply without expectation to reduce the chances of me crying in my closet if I’m not selected but I was because I’m kind of awesome!

So, I selected the in-person workshop opposed to the webinar. Why? Because I watch so many webinars and that are usually prerecorded so there is no opportunity to chat or ask questions or the live webinars where there is no opportunity to chat or ask questions unless you sign up for their follow-up course which usually cost $iaintgot.99.

Upon arrival, Jessica had bags of snacks and juices. While I was still full from breakfast, I did pertake in a glass or two of crisp orange juice. Anyway, we were provided a workbook, got an opportunity to introduce ourselves then the workshop started.

Source: Simien Media Group

The workshop was broken down into 3 categories (The Basics, Get It Together and Let’s Get Social) included setting goals, objectives and themes, dos and don’ts as well as measuring success on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Our workbook allowed us to follow along and fill in what we were trying to accomplish; however, being the rebel that I am, I did not write in my workbook because I want to be able to reference it in the future. Despite someone (Jessica) thinking there was not much for me to learn, I learned a lot of shortcuts, tips, tricks and apps I should be using opposed to some of the ones I have. We all know having space on our iPhones is important.

If you want to learn some of those tips, you should probably follow her and attend her next workshop *stares* If you want people to know you exist, you have to be on social media. Hey I don’t make the news, I just report it. I hate it just as much as you and people just want more and more and now I have to do videos too? WTF?

For more productive blog posts and if you need help as a small business or creative (which you probably do) check out Jessica Simien. For the usual passive aggressiveness, read and share my previous post: Dissecting Gumbogate

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DISSECTING GUMBOGATE

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Last month I published the award-winning, record-breaking blog post entitled “Gumbogate.” Personal stories are always among Pink Gumbeaux’s most popular posts but unbeknownst to me, it was a bit controversial so I knew I would have to revisit the subject matter.

A few months ago, I composed a more fitting blog description on both this site and all social media: “Snarky, cynical and deadpan blog featuring personal stories, faux product reviews and bad advice from Ashlee, your resident stick-in-the mud.” This is not only informative but a bit of a warning; particularly, to those who know me personally. Because I blog about my personal life, it is highly likely that my interpretation of whatever I experience will become a blog post. Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about the woman behind Pink Gumbeaux: ME!

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My blog is truly, authentically me. I am very much a snarky, cynical and shady person. I can also be positive, helpful, and somewhat funny (so they say). Sometimes, blogging helps me cope and work through my own issues. The result is often an entertaining and humorous post.

Truth is, I didn’t want to go to Houston. I would rather be with my family, eating seafood and drinking daiquiris. Nothing against Husband’s family but I’ve been gravely homesick for the last few years. In addition, I take a very long time to warm up to people. I can feel the people who know me shaking their heads. Some in agreement and some in shame, lol. I’m talking months and years. I do not trust easily but have made some progress. And, the way marriage, compromise and my pockets are set up, I can’t spend every holiday with my family (but will make an effort to visit more often).

To the offensive part:

We we’re supposed to leave at 1 but then 1 hour passed, 2, 3…then 4! Finally, Diana Ross (mother-in-law) emerged and we left Houston shortly after 5PM and did not eat until about 6:30PM! Another near death experience. I did not even know my body could go that long without food. Whew, the great endurance I’ve displayed during this trip. Interestingly, I did not load my plate with food; although, I was super hungry. Husband’s family allows people who can’t cook to contribute to the meal. As I was adding food on my plate, I tried to mouth to Husband “who made this?” He could not read my lips so I didn’t take any risks. I got the basics: MY Mac and Cheese, Broccoli and Cheese Casserole, Dinner Roll and burnt ham (I was told it was left in the oven too long but it was aight).

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If you’re going to be late, you might as well emerge as Diana Ross. Yes it could be viewed as a jab but people who know me well know I love Diana Ross. And I have blogged about being a picky eater, you have never met anyone as picky as me. According to Mom, she could only eat mashed potatoes and ham and drink lemonade while pregnant with me. So, it’s no secret that I love ham, mashed potatoes and lemonade. I eat a very limited selection of foods, am not willing to try new food and may actually eat something but from few sources (for example: King Cake from only the New Orleans Metropolitan Area and now Gumbo from only Louisiana). I will not change. You cannot satisfy me. I will survive. It’s not you, it’s me. Oh, and about that Christmas Ham, I don’t make the news I just report it.  Side note: Church members, I know you guys are celebrating the end of your fast with a big feast, it’s highly unlikely that I will participate in aforementioned feast unless that person who brought Popeyes is bringing Popeyes again.


Last but not least, I do have some sort of a moral compass. Husband reads each blog post before I publish it (which means he’s partially responsible). I also discuss posts with Mom. There have been times she’s said: “Maybe you should call your Dad before you publish that post,” “you shouldn’t say that,” do you have to blog about everything,” and “do you have to curse so much?” There have been blog posts that I’ve edited after they were published (although she thought Gumbogate was hilarious).

So, I did apologize to Mother-In-Law and expect to get the side eye from Family Members-In-Law for the next few holidays (and probably family reunions) because they will wonder “is princess going to blog about us?” The answer will always be yes. Read and share my previous post: Jackson Indie Music Week-ish

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JACKSON INDIE MUSIC WEEK-ISH  

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Source: JIMW

Last week, I attempted Jackson Music Indie Week:

Jackson Indie Music Week is a celebration of Central Mississippi’s independent music scene. It is a week-long series of concerts, showcases, panels, and parties, spotlighting creatives from the genres of Rock, Hip Hop, EDM, Blues, and Independent Film & Video. Jackson Indie Music Week aims to honor what has come to be known as the “Birthplace of America’s Music” in none other than the entertainment capital of Mississippi.

Prior to JIMW (I’m not sure if this acronym is a thing but I’m making it a thing), I planned to attend every single event *insert look of determination here* but after looking at the schedule I concluded “this ain’t gone happen.” It’s nearly impossible to attend every single event so I narrowed it down to 8 events then 7 *insert full-time job and my dissertation chair giving me the side eye because… dissertation* resulting in me attending a whopping 4 events!

*slow clap*

Anyway, the first event I attended was Women in Music Panel: Advice and Best Practices for Aspiring Indie Artists.

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Panel Guests: Tawanna Shaunté, Teneia, and Sherry Cothren. Moderated by Amanda Furdge.

While I’m no musician, singer or songwriter, I am music adjacent. Dad is a musician and producer (@smallworldstudiono) and I wanted to gain some insight in the event I join the family business but got more than expected.

On longevity: The panel’s careers ranged from 10 to 30 years, all of the women love what they do (obviously) and said that music was worth the sacrifice but wasn’t really a sacrifice.

“I hope you are doing something that makes you happy.” -Amanda Furdge

On balance: Hone your craft, learn and adapt, know what your vision is, you don’t need to have a lot of resources but be resourceful and surround yourself with people who can help you grow.

“Invest in yourself, celebrate every accomplishment. No one will validate you like you validate you.” -Tawanna Shaunté

On advantages and disadvantages: Doing what you love; in contrast, sometimes you will have to say no and can’t bring everyone along. You work from home, call the shots but it can be hard to balance. You are a business, not just an artist.

On branding: Outsource and collaborate but know every aspect of the business so no one screws you over. Mississippi is unique when it comes to branding and socializing but social media has made it possible to connect with people; however, face-to-face interaction is just as important.

In sum, everyone seems to be working on new music so be sure to follow them on social media for updates.

“If you bring all the ingredients and a stove, I’m finna cook.” -Amanda Furdge on creating your own lane

Dayyyyyys later, I attended the EDM Party at the Russell C. Planetarium.

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There was music in both the lobby and theater by DJ Tree, 360 Degrees, DJ Uri, DJ Repercussion, Taboo, DJ Tam, Daphya Selecta, Rob Roy and  Monoxide, a live painting and light photography by T.J. Ledger. The environment was a little more chill than I expected. I practiced dance moves just to stand or sit around? So, I did what any logical person would do. I stood and sat around but still had fun. Next was Shorts: Film Showcase

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Featuring films by Jordan Henry, Ashley Norwood, Isabella Kinder, Thomas Haffey, Charles Jett and more.

Did you know we had filmmakers? I suppose that information is hard to come by if you don’t run in that circle but we got an opportunity to see films we usually don’t have access to. Last but not least was the Wrap Party.

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Official Wrap Party at And Gallery. Featuring: The Stonewalls & Special Guest DJ

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We arrived on time (because Husband and I are old), engaged in introverted activities (such as talking to mostly each other), and viewed new work by Adrienne Domnick. Side note: Could someone buy me that Janelle Monae painting and or T-shirt? 

Overall, I think it’s an awesome event and look forward to attending more activities next year. In contrast, I had a hard time getting friends to attend because most of the events were during the work week. I know what you’re thinking, you can’t please them all but if this event operated like the Jazz Fest (with concerts over a series of weekends), it may draw more locals and tourists. Also, I wonder if any college students knew about it. Although Jackson is basically a college town, there is often a disconnect (and I am speaking as someone who moved here for college). Then again, I’m not sure if their attendance could be accommodated (we are talking tens of thousands of students). Last but not least, the Planetarium needs a lot of work which has nothing to do with this event but I need someone to renovate it (and no, the City of Jackson can’t afford to). While we are waiting for Jackson to recruit a movie theater, that could be the movie theater. Any who, who attended JIMW? Did I paint such a compelling picture that you can barely wait until next year? I know, you’re welcome!

Read (watch) and share my previous post: What’s in My Box? Hues Inaugural Box

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THE SUBSCRIPTION BOX THAT’S FOR US BY US


Hey, it’s Ashlee (duh, it’s my blog)! I decided that the best way to introduce you to HuesBox as one of their Brand Ambassadors *insert applause here* is to interview Jasmine, 1 of 3 founders (other founders include Robin (Mom) and Jenae (Sister). So, let’s get this party started! In one sentence, describe HuesBox? 

HuesBox is a beauty and wellness subscription box curated specifically for people of color by people of color.

How did you come up with this concept and how long did it take to execute it? 

We came up with the idea after years of difficulty identifying hair, skin, and wellness products we could use. I started using subscription boxes five years ago but never received a box where I used every product it contained. I was complaining to my mom and sister about my disappointment with the subscription boxes. We came up with the idea in November 2015, sold our first boxes at The Gathering (in Minneapolis) in November 2016 so it took about a year to get everything ready for launch.

Subscription options include 1, 3, 6 and 12 month plans filled with products created and curated specifically for people of color. There are no reoccurring fees; instead, subscribers are sent reminders based on their plan. Orders are placed from the 1st- 15th of each month with full-sized products available for purchase at The Hues Company Store

There  are a ton of subscription boxes for women of color, what makes HuesBox different? 

We really see HuesBox as different from our subscription boxes for women of color for several reasons: First, HuesBox is for men too! Currently, our boxes start out gender neutral, then are curated based on your beauty and wellness profile where subscribers can designate their preferred gender identity. We hope to launch Hues His Boxes in Spring 2017. Secondly, HuesBox takes a holistic approach to beauty. This isn’t just about makeup or external wellness, subscribers will receive products for mind, body, and spirit. We’re tapping into centuries of beauty secrets from communities of color to address lifestyle needs more broadly than other boxes. Lastly, we’re committed to working with small minority-owned businesses. When we began creating HuesBox, we realized that there were so many individuals creating amazing products but they were having difficulty reaching their target market and scaling up to a broader reach. We see HuesBox as the link between these small businesses and their target audience of people of color. That means if HuesBox is successful, so are all the companies we work with. The products in your HuesBox are probably not products you’ve seen at your local Target, and that’s exactly the way we want it.

Why not another beauty subscription box? Vain women fuel the economy. 

Because HuesBox isn’t a beauty box, we don’t see it as about vanity or women specifically. Each month a theme will partially inform the products you receive. The products will address different lifestyle aspects, some about beauty strictly defined, but others may be about self-care, or internal wellness. HuesBox will make you feel better, not just look better.

What do you want men to know about HuesBox? 

Men this is for you too! You don’t have to worry about receiving products you can’t use. Your HuesBox is personalized just for you via your profile.

Why use small businesses opposed to known brands?

HuesBox is trying to encourage economic growth in communities of color by connecting small businesses with their target audience. Known brands don’t need help in that regard.

Some businesses may not be equipped to provide such a large amount of samples, how do you prepare them? 

If small businesses want to be in HuesBox but not yet equipped, we generally speak with them to figure out the gap between what they are currently equipped to do and what we would need. If the gap is small enough, we provide advice, guidance and make vendor connections as needed. If not, we encourage additional growth before inclusion.

HuesBox is always interested in learning about new companies catering to the health, beauty, and wellness needs of people of color! To become a vendor, complete this form.

Hues is a team of 3 (Mom and Daughters), who does what?

We all do a bit of everything! That’s the fun in working together and having faith in each other’s abilities.

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Where do you see HuesBox in a year?

We hope HuesBox has developed a regular following of subscribers in a year, and we’re still bringing you high quality, but relatively unknown products. We hope subscribers are excited to receive their HuesBox each month, because we’re always excited to curate them for you!

Any advice for entrepreneurs?

Keep pushing to expand, but only at a scale you can handle. Fund as much as you can out-of-pocket for as long as you can. Brand consistency matters. Don’t be afraid to admit mistakes!

For more information, visit HuesBox! Have you subscribed yet? Share your story with us! What do you think of subscription boxes? What products do you want to see in your box? Follow my royal ambassadorship on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook! Read and share my previous post: Hidden Figures