Their backgrounds are diverse. But they are SISTERS.
I was amazed at the support system that existed between these 4 millennial powerhouses when I began working with them. I have known 2 of them – 38-year-old Nicole Levell, and 34-year-old Ashley Winslow, for most of their lives. The other 2 – 35-year-old Christal Clifton, and 38-year-old Sandy Kissi were introduced to me in early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world. Their backgrounds are diverse. Nicole and Ashley are Atlanta natives. Sandy is from Texas and Christal is from Chicago. Nicole and Sandy are married. Nicole is a wife and mom. Sandy is a newly-wed. Christal is single. And Ashley is a newly divorced single mom of 2 teens. Despite their backgrounds they have found a way to unify and support one another cohesively.
You may recall that Nicole was featured back in March in celebration of National Women’s History Month. But this time, I’m not featuring these 4 women to highlight their trades, although they will be featured individually beginning August 15th. I’m featuring them to share how their unique sisterhood, the attitudes and dispositions [the inherent qualities of mind and character] that shape their relationships have been instantly rewarding to them as friends and entrepreneurs. As the pandemic began in March of 2020, their shared loyalty, patience and trust could not have been any more essential to their professional survival than it was at that critical time.
The national climate was difficult. Many people were laid off and others realized that with the close of so many businesses, they might do better reaching their customers through digital platforms. Others decided that change was imminent socially and economically so they would make some changes of their own. I watched as Nicole boldly left her cushiony job with a major utility company in August of 2020 to launch Elocin Marketing. In some ways it was a tricky move with so many people losing their jobs. On the other hand, it was wildly brilliant because as a marketing strategist she was poised to assist women launching their own businesses in creating or revamping their brands and so much more. She was the twin engine that helped Ashley, Christal and Sandy in either creating their brand identity, or at least in moving the needle with their existing brand’s digital presence. Nicole was also the marketing strategist and design expert who breathed life into my website. I had this editorial inspired site with wonderful pictures and interesting content with no way to reach my audience. Nicole utilized my brand colors with the text – creating a colorful palette visually and ensured that the site was interactive by creating the necessary back pages that would allow me to connect with and respond to my audience effectively and effortlessly. She also designed the cover and created the layout for my first e-book.
Nicole (left) and Sandy (right). Sandy shouts out Nicole on Instagram.
The dynamic between Sandy and Christal is most intriguing because they are both body sculptures. Sandy is the owner of YaYa Body Sculpting, located in Hampton, GA and Christal is the owner of Body Sculpt By Chris, located in Atlanta, GA. Before she even took the training to become a body sculptor, Sandy was already encouraging Christal to do so. That is who Sandy is…a motivator! She was also instrumental in encouraging the certified body sculptor who initially performed services on her to begin teaching classes so that others could aspire to join the industry.
And Christal is fierce! She left a managerial position mid-pandemic and never looked back. Her courage is exemplary and sends a forthright message to other women that no matter your circumstances, you are the captain of your destiny! She generously brainstorms ideas and candidly offers suggestions on how to progress in the industry with students and other certified body sculptors. She also teaches aspiring body sculptors to obtain certification. Additionally, Christal has been a voice that consistently validates my work. I am appreciative and empowered. Ultimately, both Sandy and Christal are now very successful non-invasive, non-surgical body sculptors with Christal making 6-figures in just 6 months! Sandy’s other business, [yes she has 2!] Miyaya Soaps is sold to consumers and wholesalers nationally. Her soaps can be viewed on her site as well as on Pinterest. They are wonderfully scented soaps that are delivered in beautifully wrapped packaging that makes you feel special. I am inspired.
Ashley, owner of Exquisite Styles By Ashley is located in Douglasville, GA and is a single owner salon and hair distributor. She is the “go-to” for hair care and pampering for the crew. Ashley is the premiere stylist for the ladies for content creation, photo shoots, or when they enhance their branding or rebrand. She is also the signature stylist for weekly healthy hair maintenance for all of us, including me. Although I often wear a chignon, Ashley keeps my hair clean, moistened and healthy. She is simply a brand that I know and trust. Her space, like her personality, is peaceful and reassuring. Enjoy her educational video coming mid-August.
Throughout the pandemic, these women hired each other, bartered sometimes, affirmed one another – even hosting acknowledgement parties, and kept each other lifted up. It is a beautiful story of how love triumphs over hate, support triumphs over competition and faith triumphs over doubt.
As author Amy Rees Anderson says,
Here’s to strong women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.