Five Life Lessons from Diana ‘The Boss-Grandmama’ Ross

After the moving Diana Ross family finale at last night’s American Music Awards, a whole lot more folks are wishing they were Ross relatives too—or at least invited to Thanksgiving dinner.

Black-ish star Tracee Ellis Ross hosted the three-hour live show channeling her mom in a succession of the diva’s designer costumes from decades past. Surrounded by the extended Ross clan onstage to say goodnight, it was clear that the 73-year-old matriarch is the center of their family’s universe, the sun around which they all circle.

 

(Image: Wikimedia/Harry Wad)

 

It reminded me of an interview for the Women of Power TV show when Tracee got teary reflecting on her mother’s legendary place in global culture, and the many lessons she’d learned just by watching.

 

Be on time.

 

My mother is annoyingly always on time, and “on time” means 15 minutes early, at least. “Dinner at 6” means we’re eating at 5.”

 

Work hard, do for yourself, and think for yourself.

 

My mom has an extraordinary work ethic and an incredible business sense. She doesn’t have hundreds of people running around; she handles it all. “

 

Make time for what matters, and family always matters.

 

My mom did not let anything drop with her kids—and she has FIVE kids. I never heard my mom say, “Not now, I don’t have time,” or “I can’t now, I’m going on stage.”

 

You can have it all, but it won’t be perfect.

 

Her example showed me that you can be an extraordinary mom and have an extraordinary career. People say all the time you have to choose. Sure, certain things fall here and there but, I’m sorry, my mother did not choose.”

 

Show up for your own life, with joy.

 

“My mom always looks like she swallowed the sun. If you’ve experienced her on stage, somehow you feel like she’s singing right to you and for you. It feels like her light turns your light on. As her child, it’s the same—only better, bigger, fuller, wider, deeper, delicious.”

 

Watch the Women of Power TV show interview of Tracee Ellis Ross:

 

 

Everything You Need to Know About the Republican Tax Plan

Recently, the House Republicans passed their tax plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA).  The proposed tax bill is expected to be one of the most significant tax overhauls since 1986.

Republicans promise the plan will provide tax savings for the typical family, simplify taxes for millions of Americans, and reduce tax burdens for corporations.

But how does it stack up for small business owners?

 

(Image: iStock/AndreyPopov)

 

Corporations Greatly Favored

 

For small businesses formed as corporations, the Republican tax plan will provide a huge tax benefit. The tax plan seeks to slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to 20% but also eliminates certain deductions for corporations.

The plan includes a temporary allowance that would allow corporations to immediately expense capital expenditures, a benefit that can help businesses seeking to grow and expand their business operations.

While many corporations welcome the tax cuts, the Tax Policy Center argues the tax bill will cause a 1.5 trillion deficit over the next 10 years and would add to the national debt during this time.

Little-to-no Benefit for Pass-Through Entities

 

Most small businesses are “pass-through” entities, defined as partnerships, S-corporations, and sole proprietorships. These types of entities are very different from corporations in that they are not taxed “per se,” but the profits pass through the business owners’ tax returns.

As such, the business owner’s tax bracket will determine the amount of taxes he or she is required to pay. Therefore, owners could face taxes in the highest tax bracket on profits generated from their small businesses.

As such, the tax plan seeks to provide “some” tax relief for owners of pass-through entities by capping tax rates to 25%. While this may be advantageous, many may argue that this does not do enough for small business owners.

According to the Center on Budget and Policies Priorities (CBPP), more than 70% of small business owners organized as “pass-through” entities are taxed at rates 15% or lower. Therefore small businesses will see little to no benefit.

 

Chance of the Bill Passing



Keep in mind; this tax bill is not finalized. It is highly likely it will go through significant changes before it is approved and makes it to the president’s desk.

Many tax analysts and economists argue the plan may be a far reach from becoming the law of the land. Groups such as the National Federation of Independent Business oppose the tax plan saying it does not do enough to help small business owners since the “pass-through” provision leaves many small businesses behind.

For now, this will be a waiting game. The Senate has recently unveiled its version of its tax plan. While this bill is similar to the House bill, there are slight differences. Notably, the Senate bill proposes to delay corporate tax reductions until 2019. Also, a recent amendment filed by Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee aims to increase retirement “catch up” contributions from $6,000 to $9,000. However, the amount contributed will no longer be pretax.

Small business owners should continue to monitor its progress to determine its final impact on their bottom line.

Tracee Ross is Killin’ It!

“She doesn’t need to prove who she is because she knows who she is. She knows the space she holds. She doesn’t have issue with and question her blackness. She doesn’t have issue with or question the importance of her role. There’s a sense of joy and ease about her.”

~Tracee Ellis Ross, on her Blackish character, Dr. Rainbow Johnson

When everybody’s favorite girlfriend, Tracee Ellis Ross, talks about the character that is now her bread-and-butter, she might as well be one of her own 4 million Instagram followers gushing about their favorite star.  No wonder her middle name, at birth, was Joy.

 

(Image: Instagram/traceeellisross)

 

When she opens ABC’s 43rd American Music Awards as its host on Sunday, it will be the latest feather in her ridonkulous (her word!) 2017 cap. She began with a historic Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a TV Series, Musical or Comedy in January. She sent Black-ish fans into a frenzy with her performance on its Hamiltonesque October premiere. When JC Penney launched her 45-piece collection of clothing and accessories in early November, it sold out almost instantly. And, in spite of ALL THAT, last week a video of her TED-Talk-like speech about the limitations others constantly attempt to impose on her success emerged.

Fully owning her age (45), status (single), and procreation choice (childless), she called out the patriarchy and the matriarchy for pitying her, for actually taking in her beauty, her passions, her advocacy, work-ethic, self-determination and glee and somehow responding with, “You poor thing.”

Admitting that she “grew up planning a wedding” (with two outfits, thank you, including a corseted lace gown and wide-legged white pantsuit—can’t you just see her upcoming JC Penney wedding collection?) and imagining a son (named Loren, no less), she also made it clear that she is deeply satisfied and proud of her life. In other words, she is Nobody’s. Poor. Thing.

In fact, she is Hollywood royalty, and when she takes the stage at the Microsoft Theater as the AMA’s host, she will also participate in honoring her adored mega-star mom, Diana The-Original-Boss Ross. Mama Ross, 73, will perform and receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

While the press has been gushing with anticipation over that moment, little has been made of the fact that this will be the first time in AMA history that a daughter hosts a show once also hosted by her mom. Talk about multigenerational #BlackGirlMagic! Patriarchy and misguided pitiers: Enjoy the show!

Malcolm X’s Daughters Launching a New Malcolm X Clothing Site

Malcolm X's Daughters L to R: Qubilah Shabazz, Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz Malaak Shabazz, Attallah Shabazz, Ilyasah Shabazz (Image: malcolmxlegacy.com)

The sisters, Qubilah ShabazzIlyasah ShabazzAttallah ShabazzMalikah ShabazzMalaak Shabazz, and Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz have partnered with technology company Hingeto, to bring the apparel line to life.

Malcolm X's Daughters L to R: Qubilah Shabazz, Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz Malaak Shabazz, Attallah Shabazz, Ilyasah Shabazz (Image: malcolmxlegacy.com) Malcolm X’s Daughters L to R: Qubilah Shabazz, Gamilah Lumumba Shabazz Malaak Shabazz, Attallah Shabazz, Ilyasah Shabazz (Image: malcolmxlegacy.com)

 

“Honoring Malcolm X’s legacy via a clothing store is a dream and the most meaningful application of Hingeto’s system to date. We first met one of Malcolm’s daughters alongside Colin Kaepernick in a full-day meeting in New York,” said Leandrew Robinson, co-founder and CEO of Hingeto.

“It was clear Malcolm’s principles are as relevant today as ever. We all thought it was imperative to represent his message and today’s human rights movement as a brand that people can outfit themselves in daily,” said Robinson.

And as Robinson mentioned, Kaepernick is in full support, tweeting the line and helping to get the message out.

Kaepernick shows his support for the line (Image: Twitter) Kaepernick shows his support for Malcolm X Legacy (Image: Twitter)

 

Malcolm X’s 12 Principles

 

The collection will honor Malcolm X’s 12 principles.

UNITY

 

The world is dependent upon the ability to unite ideas, skills, organizations, and institutions for a better future.

 

HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Human rights are your God-given rights…rights that are recognized by all nations of this earth

SELF-SACRIFICE

 

The spirit of self-sacrifice is the dignity and glory of humanity, living forever

 

SPIRITUALITY

 

Taking the Spiritual Journey which leads to one’s highest potential and enlightenment

SELF-DETERMINATION

 

Striving for right to direct and control your lives, your history, and your future

EDUCATION

 

Using education as a tool with critical thinking that liberates minds and creates civil society

ECONOMIC INDEPENDENCE

 

Freeing oneself of economic slavery and building strong economics for self and community

SELF DEFENSE

 

Affirming your right and obligation to defend yourself in order to survive

ANTI RACISM

 

Resisting all forms of Racism and Discrimination that dehumanizes human life

CULTURAL PRIDE

 

Having a keen awareness and honor with your Culture and Ethnicity

RESTORATION

 

Restoring broken bonds with your people, heritage, and past

JUSTICE

 

To establish justice throughout the world

The new line can be found at Malcolm X Legacy.

Steve Stoute’s New Venture, UnitedMasters, Disrupts the Record Industry

Steve Stoute (Image: Instagram)

The record industry has been ripe for disruption for years and who better to do it than music veteran Steve Stoute. His new venture, UnitedMasters, will help up-and-coming artists get their music on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Pandora and use online tools to market the musicians and help them reach fans, according to The Wall Street Journal, and investors came through for this one.

Investors

 

Superstar investment firms backed the company including Google parent Alphabet Inc., Andreessen Horowitz, and 21st Century Fox, totaling $70 million.

“The new firm helps answer the question of how do you convert cultural capital into financial capital,” said Ben Horowitz in a statement.

Background

 

The San Francisco-based company already houses a 40-person team and because of Stoute’s background as a leading music industry exec for labels including Interscope and Sony Music Entertainment, he knows very specifically what the music industry needs in order to reinvent its business model.

Steve Stoute (Image: Instagram) Steve Stoute (Image: Instagram)

 

Business Model

 

Similar to CD Baby, a platform that rose to popularity in the early 2000s, artists who work with UnitedMasters will pay to have the company distribute their work. UnitedMasters has teamed up with music streaming services as distribution partners aiming to keep low price points for their users. There is also a variation in payout. Whereas some services only offer payments per stream, UnitedMasters is allowing the artists to diversify the payment structure to include ticket sales and merchandise.

Data Analytics

 

The most important point to note here is UnitedMasters will help brands connect with highly targeted audiences through data analytics. The difference between the music industry and Stoute’s platform is the label never knows who specifically is purchasing the artist’s music. However, with this service being driven by data, UnitedMasters can provide the brands with insights that the companies can A/B test against, therefore better-targeting the consumer.

“Brands are spending hundreds of millions of dollars trying to get to young people by using music as the vehicle,” Stoute said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal. “Being able to use music data and making it actionable so they can target and speak to these fans, that’s super important.”

UnitedMasters will live under Translation Enterprises, which also houses Stoute’s ad agency, Translation.

 

Reigniting Your Passion With This Faith-Based Conference for Millennials

Cassondra Lenoir

Earlier this year, Black Enterprise had the opportunity to attend the first ever Passion is Pursuit Conference—an entertainment and media conference for entrepreneurial millennials of faith.

From start to finish, the room buzzed with excitement: passionate entrepreneurs eager to connect, sponging up the invaluable information provided by the panelists and keynote speakers. This one-day event encouraged attendees to “Move Different” in business, branding, and finances, equipping them to do so with power and passion that left them eager for more.

We recently had a chance to catch up with the creator of the Passion is Pursuit Conference, Cassondra Lenoir—author, entrepreneur, and media expert.

Cassondra Lenoir (Image: Cassondra Lenoir)

 

You created the Passion is Pursuit Conference and will be releasing a Passion is Pursuit devotional. How do you define “passion/passion is pursuit?”

 

Cassondra Lenoir: In college, I created the following definition. “Passion is the driving force in one’s life. It’s the thing that keeps you dedicated, motivated, and focused in striving to achieve greatness,” and I now live by this. 

 

Passion is Pursuit became my life’s mantra once I understood that without action, there’s no proof of passion. You can’t turn your cant’s into cans or your dreams into plans without putting forth effort. I live with the revelation that the PROOF of passion is pursuit.

 

What do you feel attendees of the Passion is Pursuit conference came away with?

 

I believe attendees ended the day knowing who they are and what they were created to do. Our goal was to prepare and properly equip each attendee for their entrepreneurial journey through personal faith and professional expertise. As I like to say, “The Passion is Pursuit Conference is founded on faith, but at our core, we are a business conference.”

 

The purpose of the Passion is Pursuit Conference was to inspire, inform, and ignite the inner Passioneer of all in attendance. Passioneers pretty much figure out which route to take through life’s journey by following the burning desire from within, and they understand that impossible is nothing. Once Passioneers arrive to this new space, they then prepare the way for others to follow.

 

What would you say to anyone who has slowed in their pursuit of passion?

 

I want to encourage you not to grow weary in well-doing. This means that no matter how tired you become or how hard things are, YOU CAN’T GIVE UP! Don’t stop. Remember who you are. You are enough, and you’ve been equipped with everything you need to succeed. You must have the courage to persevere. You were created for greatness, and your diligence will impact the lives of many. Your pursuit will help others to achieve greatness. You’re needed. Keep going and growing, Passioneer.

 

You’re currently planning a Vision Board Workshop. How does creating a vision board help one with pursuing their passion?

Seeing your mental vision manifested on paper produces a greater level of possibility. Sometimes things seem impossible until they are no longer just an idea. Vision boards are the first step to turning your visions into reality.

 

At my Vision Board Workshops, it’s more than just arts and crafts. These sessions are filled with passion, planning, and purpose as I help participants to discover and pursue every great thing that’s inside of them. Attendees are welcomed with a stress-reliev[ing] prelude. ALL vision board materials (including magazines) are provided, and I am always sure to create a safe haven suitable for dream sharing, transparency, and networking. All they have to bring is their vision!

I utilize the W.I.N. model, one of my own design, and it’s created to not only help attendees discover their visions but also to provide guests with the next steps to manifest those visions!

What inspired you to create the devotional?

 

After the December 2015 release of my first book, From Nothing to New York, I received an overwhelming influx of the question, “When are you releasing your next book?” The year had not yet ended and the book was freshly released, but people were ready for the next one.

 

My initial plan was just to compile some of my social media posts, monthly newsletter content, and personal journals into one book as a means to pour quality inspiration into people while I continued to write, From Nothing to New York 2. However, I quickly realized this devotional required more from me. It is powerful. It’s life-changing.

What is the most powerful way the Passion is Pursuit devotional will benefit readers?

 

The Passion is Pursuit Devotional provides 40 Passion Pillars to help readers discover and pursue who they are and what they were created to do. A passion pillar is a term I coined while writing, “From Nothing to New York.” In a nutshell, a passion pillar is something that keeps you going while providing reliable support. The devotional does just that. Readers will benefit in various ways because it is filled with life and business concepts for personal, spiritual, mental, relational, financial, and professional growth. It all just depends where you are along life’s journey of self-discovery and professional independence.

 

To stay informed about upcoming networking mixers, where you can pick up the Passion is Pursuit devotional, and what Lenoir has coming up next, visit https://cassondralenoir.com/.

Taylor Bennett and Urban Outfitters Are Giving Back to Homeless Youth

Taylor Bennett

Independent music artist and entrepreneur Taylor Bennett is partnering with Urban Outfitters to give back to homeless youth this holiday season.

The 21-year-old Chicago native, who happens to be the younger brother of hip-hop star Chance The Rapper, is one of eight creatives selected to participate in “The Giving Guide” campaign, presented by FujiFilm and Urban Outfitters. Through the campaign, the retail store will donate $5,000 to eight different charities chosen by the creatives.

 

Taylor Bennett (Photo Credit: Photographer: Anna Zajac)

 

 

In an interview published on Urban Outfitters Blog, Bennett talked about why he chose to support La Casa Norte, an organization that helps provide homeless youth and families with housing and other resources. “I’m proud to work with La Casa Norte here in Chicago,” he said. “In 2002, La Casa Norte opened its doors to youth and families in Humboldt Park. Over the past 15 years, they have helped over 25,000 individuals from 43 Chicagoland zip codes move towards housing stability, self-sufficiency, and financial security.”

Although Bennett grew up in a prominent, politically connected family in Chicago’s West Chatham, he revealed that he has supported friends who have been homeless. “I have friends who have often had to stay at my house, another friend’s, or slept on the train. I have friends that wouldn’t go home because of issues with their families,” he said. “Chicago Public Schools (CPS) identified a record 22,144 students experiencing homelessness or housing instability in 2013-14.” Bennett, who came out as bisexual in January, added that “a large portion of homeless youth is LGBTQ.”

Bennett also opened up about working with the clothing company. “I love Urban Outfitters,” he told Black Enterprise, noting that he was an ambassador of the retailer’s pride collection earlier this year, which celebrated the LGBTQ students. “I love the fact that they’re helping not just artists, but influencers, give back to a charity of their choice.”

In addition to being a fan of Urban Outfitters clothing, Bennett says partnering with the company has given him an opportunity to gain exposure for his brand and issues he cares about. “I think it’s very important to get your face out there,” he said, and “to be able to collaborate with major corporations that can give you platforms that…artists might not be able to get through music videos and touring.”

 

Taylor Bennett (Photo Credit: Photographer: Anna Zajac)

 

 

When he’s not making music and building his brand, Bennett is focused on up-and-coming artists like Bianca Shaw, a rapper out of Chicago signed to his indie music label Tay Bennett Entertainment. He started the label in 2015 with his own money, without investors or a parent company. Now, he uses the label to teach artists the ins and outs of the industry while giving them a chance to be at the front of their image and art. “It’s just important to be in control of your marketing and your music. I think if you create something, then you should be in charge of how you sell it.”

After working with Urban Outfitters for two campaigns and other big name brands like Timberland and Footaction, Taylor says he’s hoping to collaborate with designer cap company New Era next year. “We have something in the works with New Era, which should be really dope. I think they’re one of the best hat companies. I grew up wearing New Era hats.”

Ultimately, by building his brand, Bennett hopes to continue to be an inspirational voice for others. “If you have a platform to help and give back then you should.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Much Are Your Favorite Black Power Couples Worth?

Black Power Couples

In addition to being a leading example of the beauty of black love, these celebrity power couples have accumulated a massive combined net worth.

 

1. Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade

 

(Image: Instagram/GabUnion)

 

Gabrielle Union, 45, recently opened up about her marriage to NBA superstar Dwyane Wade, 35, in her new book, We’re Going to Need More Wine, revealing that the couple has been struggling to have a baby for years. In the process, they have suffered from eight or nine miscarriages. “For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant —I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle,” she writes. However, despite enduring years of failed IVF cycles, the actress says she and her husband “remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.”

Married Aug. 30, 2014

Gabrielle Union’s net worth: $20 million

Dwyane Wade’s net worth: $115 million

 


2. Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Beyonce Knowles-Carter

 

(Image: Instagram/Beyonce)

 

With a combined net worth of $1 billion, Jay-Z, 47, and Beyoncé, 36, are one of the most powerful celebrity couples in the music industry. However, despite their accolades and global success, the couple has used their music to express the challenge of marriage. Queen Bey’s highly acclaimed 2016 album Lemonade centers on the themes of love, infidelity, and forgiveness. Likewise, Jay rapped about cheating on his wife in his 2017 album 4:44.

Nonetheless, the hip-hop mogul has also boasted about the benefits they have gained by fighting to stay together. “You know you made it when the fact your marriage made it is worth millions,” he raps on the 2016 remix of “All The Way Up.” 

Married April 4, 2008

Beyoncé’s net worth: $450 million

Jay-Z’s net worth: $900 million

 


3. Michelle and Barack Obama

 

(Image: Wikimedia/Commons)

 

Former President Barack Obama, 56, earned an annual $400,000 during his eight years in office. Now he and his wife Michelle, 53, generate revenue through speaking engagements, a large retirement pension, and book royalties, which has helped the couple amass impressive wealth.

Married Oct. 3, 1992

Barak Obama: $40 million

Michelle Obama: $40 million

 


4. Ciara and Russell Wilson

 

Image: Instagram/Ciara

 

 

After a series of public breakups throughout her career as a singer, Ciara, 32, tied the knot with NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, 28, in 2016. Known for her hit songs and killer dance moves, Ciara has also earned revenue as a model. In 2009, she signed a multimillion-dollar modeling deal with Wilhelmina Models. Last year, she signed a modeling contract with IMG and became a Global Brand Ambassador for Revlon.

Meanwhile, Wilson signed a contract extension with the Seattle Seahawks worth $87.6 million that included $61.5 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $31 million in 2015.

Married July 6, 2016

Ciara: $20 million

Russell Wilson: $45 million


5. Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith

 

(Image: Facebook/WillSmith)

 

In addition to having 20 years of marriage under their belt, Will, 49, and Jada Pinkett-Smith, 46, have accumulated an impressive wealth through multiple film projects and endeavors. The couple has also raised two teenage children.

Married Dec. 31, 1997

Will Smith’s net worth: $260 million

Jada Pinkett-Smith: $20 million

 

 

 

 

Monday Motivation: How To Keep Going, From A 102-Year-Old Runner

Ida Keeling’s life story is rife with motivation. The 102-year-old began working at age 12 to help provide for her immigrant family, lived through the Great Depression and the civil rights movement, raised four children as a single mother, and then set world records as a runner—in her 90s.

motivation from Ida Keeling (Photo courtesy of Zondervan)

 

Keeling is sharing that inspiring story in her memoir, Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down: Chasing Myself in the Race Against Time, which will be released next February and is available for pre-order this month.

“I was feeling so blue,” Keeling writes of the period after her two sons were murdered, less than three years apart.

“My psyche had slowed down and it felt like I was moving around in a bowl of thick oatmeal. Not a pleasant feeling, but me and the icky sensation were becoming well acquainted. Too well.”

Keeling credits her daughter Cheryl, herself a runner, with saving her life by pleading with her to run for the first time at the age of 67. Running is “an answer to grief, stress, obesity, bad health, and bad habits,” Cheryl writes. “It is a survival tool.”

More than 30 years later, Keeling is sharing some motivation from her journey:

Stick it out, even when it hurts

 

“It was my first race. I took off and all these people was rushin’ past. It felt like somebody pulled a sheet off me; it was horrible,” Keeling writes, “but I said I can’t slow down now. I got to keep going.”

“I started thinking this is too much, then all of a sudden, I started picking up a little speed and I thought, gee maybe this is good for me.”

The way you talk to yourself matters

 

“The gun sounded, and I was off, putting to shame younger couch potatoes, excuse givers, or plain old slackers who might’ve been well accustomed to convincing themselves that they were too over the hill to compete,” Keeling writes.

“That’s the thing about feeding yourself negative information. It always slows you down.”

Surround yourself with the right people

 

“I absolutely refuse to tolerate drama,” Keeling writes, adding “I just don’t have time for people who live only to cause trouble.”

“Just find the nice, kind, supportive people and bring them into your circle. Let the others find God in their own way and in their own time.”

Interview: Christina Milian On Expanding Her Entrepreneurial Venture, Viva Diva Wines

Entertainer Christina Milian’s Viva Diva wines have been enjoyed by other celebrities including Karrueche Tran and Snoop Dog. As a woman who keeps her brand in mind at all times, Milian used her savvy to position her product on her E! Network show Turned Up and mentions her wine in her 2015 song “We Ain’t Worried.”

Milian spoke with Black Enterprise contributor Tia Walker for an update on Viva Diva Wines since the label launched in 2013.

 

 

(Image: Facebook/Viva Diva Wines)

 

 

As the face of Viva Diva Wines-a joint venture with your mother and publicist-whose idea was it to focus on wine (moscato) as an extension of the Christina Milian brand?

Christina Milian: We (myself, mother Carmen Milian, and publicist Robyn Santiago) actually purchased a preexisting brand that I was a brand ambassador for. The line consisted of moscato, pinot grigio, sweet red wine, and a varietal of naturally flavored moscato.

 

Clearly it’s exciting that you are a celebrity whose wine is consumed by other celebrities. Was this deliberate? Who is your current target consumer and why?

Our target consumers are the 21+ millennials who enjoy moscato. Moscato is an easy, fruity drink so it tends to be a favorite for 21+ millennials as well as an older generation.  We did a lot of celebrity events at the beginning. That was great. People like Snoop Dog had our wine, and many others. It helped elevate the brand. Additionally, my fan base has been extremely supportive.

 

How lucrative has the venture been and how have you determined what countries to bring the product to next?

It’s a very difficult market to break into and it definitely takes persistence. We have owned the brand for two years and have found that because of the saturation in the moscato market in the U.S., bringing our brand international has been a great turning point. We have the brand going into 75 Sobeys stores. We are working on Mexico and Greece as well.

 

What is your favorite product in the line?

I love the Pina Colada the best.  I love to mix it with Diddy’s Ciroc on ice. It’s delicious.

 

How do you successfully balance being a mom, entertainer, and entrepreneur?

My daughter and my family are always my first priority but my dedication to my businesses are important to show my daughter a good work ethic. It’s hard to say how much time I set aside for each. I really put my all into everything that has my name on it because I love to watch the growth of everything, including my daughter and my family.