Monthly Archives: May 2009

Be a Shining “Target Star” with LaTosha Johnson

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FBE: Name?
LT: LaTosha Johnson

FBE: Age?
LTJ: 26

FBE: Hometown and current residency?
LTJ: Lombard, IL

FBE: What is the concept behind TargetStars?
LTJ: TargetStars is a consulting firm that provides marketing, market research, and virtual assistant services to small companies at an affordable price. In marketing we refer to individuals or business we hope to gain as clients as our target market. That is how I came up with the ‘Target’ part of our name. I love the phrase “aim for the stars” (I love looking at the stars!) It is every entrepreneurs dream to capture as many clients as they can so we call our clients stars. However, I am aware that not everyone can be our customer; therefore, you have to concentrate on capturing the right stars.

FBE: When and how did Target Stars begin?
LTJ: TargetStars was founded in April 2008. I started this company because I was tired of settling for positions that did not interest me. Therefore, I decided to create my own opportunity.

FBE: Who are the founding members and what are their roles?
LTJ: We are a family run business. I am the President and my sister LaTavia Johnson and mother Pearlean Johnson work as consultants.

FBE: Who or what influenced the launch of this company?
LTJ: I launched this company because I was sick of waiting for the “perfect job” to find me. I decided to be proactive and create my own opportunity.
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“I Put in Overtime, Overtime, Overtime…”

Motivation, motivation, motivation! It’s about time they put a video out for this tune. This has been my joint for a while now but the story line for the video is perfect. Don’t you just love when the imagery for a video matches the song? Shouts to the director Gil Green on this one. “Its do or die, gotta’ go for it overtime. Cause its now or never, Im goin put it on the line, I gotta win so I’m gon’ grind. Put in overtime, overtime, overtime, cause I got money on my mind, give me every penny, every dime. Put in overtime, overtime, overtime, overtime… Cause its now or never. Put in over time!”

The Intuitive Design and Style of Earl Lucas

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If you’re an owner of the new redefined and sleek 2010 Ford Taurus, you have a closer linkage to Mr. Earl Lucas than you know. Named one of Automotive Design and Production’s ten hottest designers, Design Manager for Ford Motor Company, 38 year old Lucas has made his mark in the automotive industry for 10 solid years. Hailing from Southfield, Michigan (originally from Dallas, TX), Lucas ingeniously and firmly planted his feet on success lane early in the game. “I attended high school at the very famous Arts Magnet High School in Dallas, Texas. This is the same school that Erykah Badu and Norah Jones attended, but I concentrated on visual arts. After high school, I went to College for Creative Studies in Detroit where I focused on transportation design. The experience was valuable because it allowed me to learn the craft of design by paying dues and honing my drawing skills,” says Earl. His resume includes  playing a key role as the interior design manager on the award-winning 2009 Ford Flex, senior designer on the 2000 Lincoln Navigator and Ford Expedition interior design team, and he has also worked on a number of programs ranging from 2003 Ford F-150, 2007 Ford Edge and the Lincoln MKX.

As a design manager, he credits “good music” to inspiring his work. “I have a ton of shapes and ideas in my head but music can assist in just letting these ideas flow. The better the music the more inspired I become and the better the shapes that I create.” He also attests that anything from everyday objects, fashion design, nature or anything he encounters throughout life stimulate his creative senses.

Although, Ford Motor Company as well as many other automotive corporations are highly affected by the current economic status of the country it hasn’t impinged Earl’s optimism and determination to be the best at what he does. “My faith in God is what I credit for being a motivational force in life for me. Understanding that there is something bigger then us keeps me in the proper mindset and keeps me humble,” says Earl. He assured me that he has many big and exciting projects underway and in the next five years sees himself as Chief Designer on a major program within Ford. On a closing note as always I asked Lucas what advice he has for you blossoming entrepreneurs and he left me with this “The best advice I can give to any young entrepreneurs is to never let anyone stand in your way of doing what you love. I would also advise that you to find something you love to do and don’t get so caught up in chasing money.”

“Eat-Whatever” and Have Kissable Breath


While PM and I were on the Lower West Side a couple weeks ago, we caught up with our good friend Jacqui Rosshandler who has created this two-step mint and gel tablet that alleviate bad breath. On her entrepreneurial quest a couple years ago she found that most bad breath is internal. This explains why most of the time after you eat anything with garlic or onions you have to chew a whole a pack of gum to get your breath back up to par. Here she is showing you how you too can “Eat-Whatever” and instantly have kissable breath.

Simply for your iPhone

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For a young jet-setter a Blackberry or an iPhone is a highly essential tool. In 2009, it’s more like a necessity rather than a stylish gadget that’s just carried around or used to make calls. Me myself could not imagine life without my 8830, which is practically glued to my hand all day everyday. With technology at an all time high these two “tech-geeks”, Rick Krakowski and Tony Lombardo have joined the many savvy mobile engineers in creating a company that simply equips iPhone users with fun and very necessary applications.

Rick, 29 and Tony, 28 have hit the ground running with their full-service mobile application development firm, ‘Mobile Simplicity.’ Launched in June 2008, both Rick and Tony had their business plan in gear and knew exactly what consumers wanted and needed. “Our slogan is “Intuitive Mobile Applications”. Early on we realized the elegance in the iPhone‘s simplicity. Anyone can pick it up and immediately use it because it is so intuitive. We wanted to start a company that would develop mobile applications that stay true to this simple and intuitive concept,” says Rick. With Tony already honing entrepreneurial skills at a young age and Rick enrolled in Columbia Business School, they both wanted to start their own company based on something fresh, exciting and of course simple. “The iPhone has bucked the overall economic trend.  The iPhone is selling like hotcakes, and that means more app sales for us.  Plus, larger corporations all want iPhone apps now, and they want to work with a company that has marketing and strategy knowledge rather than just pure development skills,” expressed Rick.

Their most successful app to date is their very first app the ‘Craigmobilelist’ which has hit the 30,000 download mark and have Rick and Tony working on at least a dozen other follow up projects. Rick concedes that though there is not much seperation of life and work, the enjoyment of the rewards and exhilaration that come with going into business for yourself are incomparable. As a final thought of advice Rick says “set yourself up for entrepreneurial success by laying your foundation early. Learn about marketing, accounting, finance and leadership by reading books or from formal education. Although most learning will come on the job it helps to be rooted in sound business practices. Also, fake it ’til you make it. You are as professional as you present yourself.”

If anyone has questions, comments, or wants us to develop an app they can email me at rick@msimplicity.com and log onto ‘Mobile Simplicity’ at msimplicity.com.

Head Teen in Charge: CEO Jasmine Lawrence

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Photo courtesy of BBP Photography

An unfortunate hair accident has turned this clever young lady into a self made millionaire. Back when she was just 13 years old, Jasmine Lawrence endured a traumatic experience while using chemical products in her hair. This left her to seek something that would give her the same effect as any mainstream hair care product without the harsh elements that are so often used to make them. She decided to create her own beauty products and founded EDEN BodyWorks after being selected to attend a Business Camp sponsored by the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE). There she was taught vital skills and given resources (such as mentors and advisors) within an arms reach to establish her company.

Now at 17, unlike many of her peers, Jasmine is creating distribution channels and discussing prices with suppliers. Currently a high school senior, she has made television appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show, Montel Williams show, ABC’s Nightline, and NBC’s Today Show as well as a participant of Mark Hansen and Art Linkletter’s “Richest Kid’s Say the Darndest Things.” Interestingly enough, with such a busy schedule Jasmine maintains her status as a well rounded scholar. She is a member of the National Honor Society, a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, enjoys playing the harmonica, plays basketball, writes poetry, gives motivational speeches, and mentors elementary students. With the support of her parents, four sisters and brother, Jasmine has seen a remarkable turn around with her product and consumer base. She distributes her “all-natural hair and skin care products to retailers nationwide including Wal-mart and Whole Foods just to name a few and she is currently looking to expand EDEN BodyWorks to be of use to women and girls across all multicultural lines.

To know more about EDEN BodyWorks, make purchases or to meet Jasmine in person, log onto edenbodyworks.com.

‘The Guys, The Roses & The Regrets’: Teen Author Grace Hatton

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FBE: What is your full name?
GH: Grace Hatton

FBE: How old are you?
GH: I am seventeen years old.

FBE: Hometown?
GH: I was born and raised in a city called Leeds which is in the UK and when I was 12 my family moved to the Orlando, Fl and I’ve lived in Orlando ever since.

FBE: What high school do you attend?
GH:I am actually home-schooled

FBE: Though your book is successful and you are a teen author, are you still considering college? If so, where will you attend and what is your prospective major?
GH: Yes I am still considering college but not in the states, my dream university is Oxford and I want to study Fine Art and Creative Writing.

FBE: When did you become interested in writing?
GH: Well I’ve been writing short stories and random scribbles my whole life but on New Years Eve 2003, I started writing my first novel, I don’t know why but I just started writing and I fell in love with it. I haven’t stop writing since, I have so many composition books filled with novels and then of course I have my self help books. Writing is like breathing for me I just do it naturally and I love the idea that with my writing I can provide people with an escape from everyday life or give them the advice they’ve always needed to hear.

FBE: How did you come up with the concept and title of your book?
GH: Well when I was fourteen almost fifteen, I had just gone through a bad relationship with a guy and at that point all my friends were going through crap with guys as well. We we’re all miserable and I thought ‘why are we doing this? Why are we going through all this crap just to say we have a boyfriend? There has to be a better way. So I started writing it was more of a rant actually but I was writing the name came to me, ‘The Guys The Roses & The Regrets’ because those were the three main things girls didn’t understand about relationships. First off most teenage girls don’t know how teenage guys think thus the section called The Guys. Secondly most teenage girls don’t know what true romance is and are often fooled by false romance this the section called ‘The Roses’ and finally most girls don’t know how to get over a relationship gone bad and how to prevent getting into another bad relationship thus the section called ‘The Regrets’.
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