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

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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
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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!

Beauty / Style Finds: Bethany Joy’s Inspiring & Faith-Based Artwork 

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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
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I discovered Bethany’s beautiful artwork through Our Words Collaborative, the Christian website I write for monthly. In August, she was the featured artist which means her inspiring pieces accompanied our daily devotionals.  I found my spirit lifted each day as I opened my in-box to mediate on these faith-filled words. I wanted to know more about the person behind the art so I thought, why not interview her for my bi-weekly series?! I’m sure you’ll enjoy reading about this lovely young woman, and her artwork as it uplifts so many of us. Don’t miss the coupon code at the end of this post so you can purchase your own piece of artwork from Bethany!

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Bethany, owner of Bethany Joy Art

I absolutely love that your middle name is Joy! How fitting! Your sweet presence shines through social media. How do you cultivate and maintain peace & joy in your life? 

I seriously love that my middle name is Joy. I have always been so thankful to have it as a constant reminder that there is always joy to be found in every circumstance. My mom’s middle name is also Joy, so it is an honor to carry on the name and all it stands for!

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When I set out to start my art business in January 2015, one of the first things I did after re-opening my etsy shop (I had tried etsy before in college with photography prints when I thought I was going to be a photographer) was creating an Instagram page.

I’m usually quite the introvert, so sharing and selling my art on social media scared me just a tad. I never wanted to sound too “sale-sy.” So I made it my goal (in addition to selling artwork) to share positivity and encouragement through my social media presence also-shining God’s light into the world in my own way. 

I think that the encouragement and joy that I seek to share really plays well with the bright colors that I love to use in my art…the perfect pair!


Many challenges have been overcome throughout my life because of encouragement from my family members and friends, so I always try to keep that all in mind and pay it forward to others during the process.

Tell us details about your artwork. What materials do you work with? What is the price range for your paintings? Can someone order a customized piece from you? 

I work mainly with acrylic paint, but love to use other materials like watercolors, gouache, oil paints, pencil, ink, oil pastels and more in combination with the acrylics! Creating textures within the vibrant colors is a main goal of mine. Using more than one type of medium helps me achieve that goal.


I also use a variety of tools to paint with in order to add texture in addition to paintbrushes as well such as painting combs, palette knifes and even my fingers. I like to paint on a variety of different surfaces as well: canvas, wood, paper, panels, and more. Variety is key!
The price range for my paintings really depends on the size, product and materials used. My art prints are $15 each and are high quality reproductions of my works on paper. Currently, my original artwork ranges in prices anywhere from $30-$300.

Someone can definitely order a customized piece of artwork from me! I love to work with customers to create the perfect painting for them. Contact me via email, on my website, or via social media any time to discuss custom options!

Your mission is rooted in bringing love and positivity into the homes of customers through art. I notice you work a lot with florals. Have flowers held a special significance in your life? What is your favorite flower? 

Oh, I could go on for days about my love for flowers. Isn’t it amazing that God created them all so beautiful, delicate, and unique? There’s so much inspiration that can be drawn from flowers and I love them so.


My first memories of flowers are of my grandfather and I gardening together when I was 4 or 5 years old. We planted lots of sunflowers! He was one of my favorite people in the world and so holding onto those memories even after he’s gone to Heaven is so important to me.

Although sunflowers weren’t his favorite flower (he liked lily of the valley) they still remain one of mine. I still love to garden and have even ventured into arranging flowers as well. I recently got married in 2015 and one of my favorite wedding preparation activities was arranging all of the bouquets, centerpieces and arch decorations the day before we tied the knot.

Some of my bridesmaids and sweet family friends helped and we were surrounded by hundreds of flowers (a dream come true!) I have since done some floral arranging for friends’ weddings and would love to continue doing that in the future-so fun!

I can’t quite settle on a favorite flower however, here are a few of my all time favorites: sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, and cosmos!

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

I am really inspired by the outdoors, the children that I teach, and my faith. I believe that God gifted me with the love for painting, so it is my job to carry that out and share with others!

Nature is always a form of inspiration because there are so many colors, shapes, and textures that never cease to keep proving their amazing uniqueness.
Since I also work as the Art Director at my local Boys and Girls Club, I am continually meeting new and inspiring children as well. They keep me on my toes and sometimes end up teaching me more than I feel I teach them. The way children approach art is messy yet beautiful and helps inspire the abstract elements and bold colors in my art.

A few of my favorite artists include Katie Daisy, Emily Jeffords, Mae Chevrette, and Raven Roxanne. Each of these artists really shine and express their individuality in such unique ways and it is truly refreshing to me. I love their uses of color, may it be soft and smooth or bright and bold. Each of these artists have inspired me in different ways and have a presence in the art world that I really hope to achieve in my own way one day.

If you could chose one quote or verse of scripture which summarizes your biz, what would it be? Why? 

“God will yet fill your mouths with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.” Job 8:21

This verse is probably my all time favorite verse and has been ever since I remember first discovering it in high school. This verse is not only a reminder that God gives us joy, but also a reminder to me that good things take time.

Becoming a successful artist doesn’t happen over night and takes lots of perseverance and patience. This verse helps remind me to keep working towards my goals and chasing my dreams and that joy is always around the corner even during the times when it doesn’t seem like it.

What advice do you have for other creatives who want to share their work with the world but are afraid? 

Don’t be afraid to put yourself and your creations out into the world, and most definitely never give up on your dreams. The world needs your art…remember that!

Social media is a great way to begin creating your “brand” and sharing your creativity and thoughts with others. Make friends! Having a sense of community and other’s who understand what you’re going through is so valuable. I always love making new “insta-friends” it’s all about making connections.

Share 3 random fun facts about you!

I love bees, even though I’m allergic. My family and close friends have called me “Bee” for as long as I can remember. The nickname has always stuck with me, and even inspired me to get a dainty little bee tattoo!

I used to take banjo lessons! Although I can’t play many songs, I love to get my banjo out every so often and attempt to play!

I love the beach, but I’m a mountain girl at heart. Hiking with our fun-loving puppy and a picnic is a perfect weekend date for my husband and I!

Keep up with Bethany Joy!

Shop at Bethany Joy Art and when you get to check out type in LIVEINCOLOR for 10% off your purchase good through October 5, 2016.

Follow the inspiration by following Bethany Joy on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Note: All photos courtesy of Bethany Joy Art

 

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

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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
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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