Journey into the depths of the DC underground arts movement #TheSanaaProject

It is ever so often that a generation of people come along and spark the flame that in turn transforms an era. Seldom do you encounter movements on the cusp of greatness. However, what we have here is the birth of what is soon to be a cultural phenomenon; The Sanaa Project.

Speaking with Sanaa DC curator Yaya Bey she expressed that “The Sanaa project is a community network of people who want to contribute to their generation… she wants people to feel inspired and feel like they have a say in what happens around them. Not only is the Sanaa project a platform for self expression it is a tool used to empower the youth.”

We first encountered the project on a personal invite to Sanaa House party 4. Check out our street team clip of the experience:

We’ve been fortunate to be taken along for the ride and look forward to Sanaa’s future growth and expansion. Dive into some video recaps and complementary interviews as the Sanaa tribe explains further what the Sanaa Project means to them.

Thank you for tuning in to Street Intell TV! For updates follow the Sanaa project on Instagram @theSanaaProject and we’ll keep you updated here on the latest Street Intell.

Living Her Story: Jearlean Taylor

j2I was graced with the opportunity to have a phone conversation with Baltimore native, Jearlean Taylor.

Jearlean is a published author, writer, and owner of a Christian based modeling company. She shared with me that her heart’s desire has always been to make a difference in people’s lives, but there was something internally unstable in her life. Her mind, body, and soul longed for answers. She expressed how she had outer beauty, but was suffering on the inside with low self-esteem, pity, and unhappiness.

At the tender age of two years old Jearlean developed a rare cancer [Rhabdomyosarcoma] that attacked her inner organs leaving her with two ostomy bags and a dose of what she called the “Pretty Girl Blues”.

“My story continues with struggles, insecurities, heartaches, pain, suicidal thoughts, and disappointments, but through it all God was my saving grace. I hope to help those suffering with low-self-esteem by reaching out, encouraging, uplifting up, listening, understanding, and helping those in need. I do not look like what I deal with 24 hours/7 days a week. I AM A DESIGNER ORIGINAL.”

Through a series of questions,  Jaerlean shared how she’s overcome the pretty girl blues to transform her fears into building a successful faith based modeling company, JACCM. Check out HERstory  below:

What inspired you to create JACCM?

Modeling for 16 years, I’ve been in the industry and I’ve seen some things that would cause someone self-esteem to be hurt; not putting it down because I love the world of fashion. Modeling is very rewarding and has lots of opportunities for advancement. I just know that it can be discriminating, if you’re not tall enough, the right size or color. I wanted to prepare people for this industry and the setbacks they may face. Or just be the outlet for them to find themselves. I want them to know they are beautiful from the inside out. Our motto is “We build , train, and develop from the inside out”.

Have you faced any opposition in the industry by running a faith based business?

It is a faith based business but we don’t throw religion on anyone, but I will explain to them my relationship with God is what matters. I’ve been blessed that people know me and our standards therefore they cater to our needs. They know what my company stands for and they adhere to that. It depends on how you treat people that’s how they treat you.

How do you view the current state of the Baltimore fashion industry?

There is so much talent as far as designers and stylists. People don’t see it. Stereotypes about the area are assumed and people don’t give the area a chance. There are a lot of talented designers and models. People have to support them.

What other projects do you have in the works?

I am now an author, my autobiography, “Pretty Girl Blues” , details my life as a cancer survivor and unforeseen circumstances that came along with it. It is a very personal story that is being told to help uplift, bring encouragement, to give people hope and healing. http://www.prettygirlblues.com

Do you plan on going into full time entrepreneurship?

I hope to carry my schedule as it is with my endeavors with my company. I often have a full schedule with my other ministries/projects, so for now having full time entrepreneurship is part-time. Who knows how my future will change with that, but I am happy how it is now.

What is your Street Intell and how do you plan to continue your aim of inspiring young girls, women and men through fashion and faith?

By being myself and letting my “light” shine. Often times, people look at the exterior and can’t believe how I survived a deadly disease. I made it, so I want others to know and love who they are. If you are a good leader people will follow. If I lead by example people will see my “light”. Before I never thought putting my story out there was posible, I was afraid of what people would think. What I thought was a burden was actually a blessing. The story I tried to hide once is now helping and inspiring people. Seeing how far I have come encourages me to keep helping people. Through sharing my story I have touched many people and will continue to spread my “light”.
jarlean t

#INHMD DM(V) edition hosted by @KoilsbyNature

On May 18th, the DMV Natural hair community came together and received a dose of fabulous, at the 2nd Annual [INHMD] International Natural Hair Meet-up day. Curlies from all over the area made their way to fellowship and enjoy a day full of networking, shopping, giveaways and workshops.

As I entered the venue I was greeted by lovely members of the Koils by Nature team. There was a detailed agenda provided outlining a variety of workshops hosted by Felicia Leatherwood. Just beyond the lobby was a room full of vibrant entrepreneurs. Many of the vendors were African-American which made my heart jump. I was able to survey the room and check out vendors ranging from spa and skincare services, apparel, jewelry and body essentials. All were eager and willing to support the budding community of women rocking their hair naturally. The event consisted of sessions and workshop setup to inspire and inform all the attendees on better skin and hair care practices.

I sat in on the panel discussion and Q&A. The Event host Pamela Jenkins of Koils by Nature was a fire cracker; keeping the crowd engaged and in laughter. She was clever and witty in addressing audience questions on important topics. The panel was stock full of amazing and distinguished women like Veola Jolly of Do You Naturally, Erin Martin of Bag Ladies Radio, Andrea of Zuriworks, and Diane Ramsey of Sisters with Beauty; just to name a few.

Check out a brief street team video clip below of Koils by Natures’ Founder, Pamela Jenkins as she responds to audience questions and comments.

There were also some local bloggers/vloggers and community natural hair personalities in attendance. My experience was great! I can not wait for next years event! It’s refreshing to see so many women come together to help each other learn and grow. We need more events like this, I met remarkable individuals and received invaluable information.

blogger 1
Founder of The Naturalista Hair Show, Angela Walker
blogger 3 Kandid Koilz blogger, Kisha Mason

Check out some of the amazing vendors that were on site:

Koils by Nature
http://www.koilsbynature.com
Instagram/Twitter: @KoilsbyNature

Shea Butter Like Whoa
http://www.sheabutterlikewhoa.com/
Instagram: SheaButterLikeWhoa

Pampered Pits
http://www.sydellecosmetics.com

Sisters With Beauty
http://www.sisterswithbeauty.com
Instagram: SisterswithBeauty

Chi-Chi Sophistication
http://www.chi-chi-sophistication.com
Facebook: Chi Chi Sophisication

PrettyLittleWire
http://www.facebook.com/prettylittlewire
Instagram: @PrettyLittleWire

Todd Parsons
http://www.parsonstodd.com
Instagram:@theearringguy
http://www.facebook.com/parsonstodd

Glow Wellness Spa
http://www.ConstanceGlow.com

Lamik Beauty Products
Available in Macy’s
http://www.lamik-beauty.com

Henna Sooq
http://www.hennasooq.com
Instagram:HennaSooq

JAH2! Cultural Accessories and Clothing
Kim and Ziah Ayubu
Kimnziah@gmail.com

Santasha Styles
http://www.santashastyles.com
Twitter: SantashaStyles

Naturally Exquisite
http://www.meetup.com/NaturallyExquisite

Photography by: Carleta Fearon

Broccoli City Fest Event Recap

If you were sleeping a few Sunday’s ago you missed out on one of the freshest Earth day celebrations to hit the District: Broccoli City Fest. The festival is the first of its kind and I don’t recall really ever seeing such a huge urban earth day celebration like this. Broccoli City fest created a great atmosphere centered around sustainability, healthy lifestyles and informing communities in DC. It was like the second coming of Captain planet minus the mullet (for all you 90s babies that’s a cartoon, Google it)! LOL Although a bit cold we had a tremendous amount of fun all while being informed. If you were being a couch potato not only did you miss out on some great ways to help our planet, you missed live spray painting, yoga, and incredible acts like JMSN, Tittsworth, Phil Ade and Mississippi rapper Big Krit! The Street team also interviewed a few festival goers on their street style so if you missed out don’t worry we’ve got the Street Intell. Check it out below:

Photography/Videography by: Third I Images

Current Vibes: That’s alright

We have fallen in love with another British songstress.

Laura Mvula is giving us big tunes flavored with a delightful accent similar to that of the late high priestess of soul, Ms. Nina Simone. Can you dig the vibe? Well, head over to iTunes and download her album: Sing to the Moon.

Trust us you’ll want to hear more, especially with featured tracks like “green garden”, “diamonds” and “she”.