Talking Desserts & Creativity with Lick Your Lips Cakes Founder, Natacha

Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:
Natacha Rodriguez-Pierre, founder of Lick Your Lips Cakes

I won a yummy dessert from Lick Your Lips Cakes in an Instagram giveaway, and kept licking my lips! I have a real sweet tooth, y’all. I couldn’t wait to chat with Natacha Rodriguez-Pierre, the woman behind all this yummy goodness. Natacha started her home-based biz four years ago in Brooklyn, NY, and she  specializes in creating custom flavors and mastering traditional flavors. Lick Your Lips Cakes ships all over the United States, Europe, and Canada. Grab a cup of tea and a comfy chair, and read about this dynamic woman, who says her desserts are a pleasure so guilty, you’ll eat them in the dark. 🙂

Women of color are the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the country. What made you take the leap? And what is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far?  

Why NOT take the leap? There are too many ways to succeed in this world to limit yourself. Even if I were to walk away from what I do now, I know I tried my best. This is some hard shit. Lol! I still have a 9-5, because I enjoy what I do! The greatest thing is I don’t have to choose between one or the other.

Anyone coming into entrepreneurship thinking that it’s going to be like Shark Tank, and you’ll just be a hit, needs to reevaluate their whole structure. I auditioned for Shark Tank, and did an amazing job! They never called me back, but it’s their loss. I still keep it moving. One experience won’t stop me. I have learned that if you really want it, you’ll find a way.

Cheesecake in a jar – brilliant! Why did you choose to focus on that particular dessert and present it in that way? Is baking a tradition in your family? 

Hahaha…. funny story. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I do love to cook, and I’ve been in the kitchen since I was five. Baking is no different than cooking to me. As for the jar, that was a happy accident. I had too much batter, and had jars at home from when I was making peach berry jam. I just made them that way.

Through trial and LOTS of error, I figured out how to get it just right. My Mom is all things wonderful in this world and her hands are blessed in cooking, but I can honestly say, and she’ll back up, that I taught her how to bake. Cheesecake is one of those unicorn desserts, you know? Anyone can make it, but only a select few can get it “just right”, so it’s great that so many people enjoy my desserts. Baking is my happy place! I love to make people happy, and my hands help me to do that every day!

You have so many delicious flavors for folks to choose from on your site. What inspires you to experiment with some of these unique blends?

Oh any and everything. I can be grocery shopping, out with family, or just watching TV, and I’ll see something and say: “I’m gonna cheesecake that.” Not that long ago I was inspired by glitter make up! Yup, sounds funny, but true. Glitter makeup is so pretty if done correctly so I decided to do it! It came out wonderful.

I am always looking for new inspiration, and ways to make people excited about the cheesecake. I created cotton candy cheesecake (see below) another one that sounds weird, but kids love cotton candy, and adults love to reminisce. People loved it!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had some that just didn’t make the cut, and some that I thought would be gross that people LOVE… I mean jalapeño maple bacon? That is a winner,  but you [just] never know. Lol!

What is ahead for Lick Your Lips Cakes? 

Today? Sleep. Luckily I have a very supportive family. Right now I am currently booking dates for events. I cater events – big or small. I add special touches to each event – from custom flavors to custom labels, you name it!

Also, most holidays we have special offers for our customers. Mother’s Day is coming up and we have a great offer (see below). This year I am expanding with some amazing things up my sleeve. I can’t give it all away. Lol!  Stay tuned:)

How can folks stay in touch with you? Where can we find you on social media? 

I’m on Instagram @lickyourlipscakes, Facebook at Lick Your Lips Cakes and Twitter @cheesecake_porn. I’m always around and ready to give out some sugar! Lol!

Talking Wellness with Natalie Cosby, Founder of Stacked Yoga 

Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Tell us about more your yoga journey. I understand it helped you to release emotional baggage. How, specifically, did this practice do that for you? 

My introduction to yoga was in a movement acting class about 16 years ago. Yoga was the warm-up which helped us to get out of our heads, and connect to our bodies. At first, I was wondering why in the hell are we doing this, it was uncomfortable and annoying.

Then one day, I was having just a crazy day, and decided I needed to stop resisting what was going with me. So that day, we did the eagle pose (Garudasana), and I started to tear up while in the pose. Since then yoga has become therapy for my life.

Yoga has helped me get through toxic relationships, crazy jobs and body issues. Life has become little easier to navigate when I get on the mat.

We are living in times of tremendous stress from the political environment to police brutality. How can yoga help many folks to cope, particularly folks of color? 

Yoga allows people see the possibility in themselves, which is extremely empowering! You start remove blocks and fears, discover what you can really do. We hold so much in our bodies that is  toxic, and [then] create unhealthy habits to cope with our pain. Yoga help us to work through the scars physically and mentally by connecting to our “tangible” selves.

Especially since the election and police shootings more people are coming to studio to not just relieve stress, but for the support of the community. We have talks to support and try to bring awareness and diversity [into] wellness, [helping folks] to lift their spirits and find their Shanti (peace).

Stacked Yoga’s goal is to bring diversity to the mat, so we can heal and empower folks to become peace warriors. Lawd knows we need it!

I notice Stacked Yoga is not confined to a yoga studio, and you teach classes in diverse locations, such as Martha’s Vineyard. Why did you choose this approach? Do you also give instruction by Skype? 

Even though I live in Brooklyn, Stacked’s first class was in my hometown of Louisville, KY. I travel a lot and originally wanted it to be a mobile studio. Wherever I landed, I taught, because the practice has been such a gift to my life, I wanted to share.

People were so receptive and open when I was traveling. So for me, to keep it a mobile studio made sense at the time. We do not offer classes through Skype even although we are considering videos.

Also, I never planned to have a physical studio in the heart of Brooklyn, but the opportunity to have a studio on Tompkins Ave. has been blessing to Stacked, as we have built a community [full of] flavor and light.

Your studio focuses on 5 principles of yoga – breathe, exercise, diet, mediation and relaxation. How do all of these principles strengthen the practice of yoga? 

These principles are here to guide people to mental, physical and spiritual growth. We try to keep it simple, but that is not always easy. Yoga is just not about getting on the mat, it’s about who you are off the mat, and do you make an conscious effort do these 5 things in your daily life.

Prime example, food is a challenge for many and finding the balance of what agrees with your body is important.

In terms of diet, is there a dietary practice you all follow which you believe is most beneficial – vegan, vegetarian, etc.? 

At Stacked we don’t push any particular diet. I have been from vegan to losing my mind over a weekly dosage of bacon. You have to listen your body, because it will tell you what is for you or what is not.

Keep up with Stacked Yoga Online: 
Facebook

Instagram

Attend their next event: 

Stacked Yoga Swag, 1 year anniversary Studio Day party – Zen cocktails, healthy eats, grooves and giveaway

March 11, 2-6pm | 405 Tompkins Avenue | Brooklyn, NY

Beauty / Style Finds: Brooklyn-Based Artist Murj’s Vibrant Creations   

Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

I discovered the vibrant and eclectic artwork of Murj on Instagram last year, and have been so impressed by the range of her creations. She makes  paintings, along with décor and other everyday items like t-shirts, clocks and watches. It seems there is nothing she cannot bring to life with her artistry! I am sure you all will enjoy seeing her lovely pieces.

Murjani Holmes, artist & entrepreneur

What materials do you use to create your artwork?  How much might someone pay for your pieces? 

A lot of my work is acrylic paint on wood, and canvas. I also do wooden jewelry boxes, picture frames – [you know], items that are pretty to see but serve a purpose in your life. Well, my prices range from $30 and up to $150 and up for custom paintings (this also depends on the size).

Portrait of Grace Jones | Photo & Artwork by Murj

What lead you to start your business?

My desire to get my creations out to the world, and to see the response people would have to them.

What is your business philosophy and mission?

It is to let people know its ok to have something that makes you feel good by just looking at it, and be a little selfish. Go for it since art is very personal for THAT particular person. I like the idea of people doing something nice for themselves.

Photo & Artwork by Murj

What inspires you to keep creating art? What artists do you admire and why?

I am inspired to make art because it’s a need I have like breathing. I just HAVE to create for my own equilibrium.

Portrait of Lauryn Hill | Photo & Artwork by Murj

I love the artwork of Doze Green. I have been a fan of his for a while. His work speaks directly to his ancestry and his use of color is awesome.

Share 3 random fun facts about you!

I love all things art!

I love animals, and as someone who has lived in New York City for 10 years,  I have never gone on the rides at Coney Island! I got to get on that [one]. Lol!

Photo & Artwork by Murj
Photo & Artwork by Murj

If you could chose one quote that summarizes your biz, what would it be? Why? 

“Just Do It.” I know it’s a little straight to the point, but that’s it in a nutshell.  I will continue to create artwork until I can’t anymore, and I encourage those that are interested in art to go for it, and bring some work home with them. Because its more than just a painting, or sculpture, etc. when the right person finds the right piece.

Photo / Clock artwork by Murj

Keep up with Murj:

Visit her websites: www.MURJART.com,  https://society6.com/murj and modifywatches.com/murjaniholmes

IG:@murj_art

Twitter: @murjart

Facebook: Murjani Holmes Art Page