Kahdejah Evonne is excited to announce that she will be hosting, branding and consulting her first big event here in her hometown, Memphis, TN the official Juneteenth Urban Music Festival. This year, the event will be June19th-June 21st. Every year, the Urban Music The festival will talk place this summer in Memphis, Tn. President Telisa Franklin has decided to use the most popular downtown location again Robert Church Park, which is located in the heart of downtown Memphis between the FedEx Forum and Beale Street. This year the event will be held during Father’s Day Weekend as thousands of city citizens will gather in the park to celebrate FREEDOM. If you don’t know much about Juneteenth and it’s celebrations, which are world wide here is a small rundown of what we do in Memphis.
The Juneteenth Urban Music Festival provides opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners to market their goods, products and services to thousands. We also cater to the needs of children and youth though out the Memphis and surrounding communities. Juneteenth has a positive impact to our community during the festival with many exciting opportunities such as:
-Community Job/Empowerment Fair that is open to the public -City Wide youth evening of stars that allows young people across the city to exhibit their gifts and talents -Annual Gala honoring our citizens such as police officers, pastors, health care officials, and educators -We host a kids day festival that allows day cares, schools and community centers for food and fun all day -Encourage and empowers kids entrepreneurs to exhibit their creative businesses during the festival -We offer a peer mentorship and self-esteem for our children and youth -We host a free admission festival for the entire city to come and enjoy.
“I’m a Memphis native, actually started my career by working at Fed-Ex kinkos, and let’s not forget my passion for art,” said Kelvin, who now runs a T-Shirt and graphics production company that produces over 1,000 shirts per hour, Kelvin is a true definition of an entrepreneur in Memphis. He went to Overton High School, which is known for its outstanding courses in Arts, Kelvin graduated in 2005 with his high school diploma. Upon graduating, he attended The University of Chattanooga, where he majored in Graphic Design. But wait, let’s travel back to the area he is originally from, Orange Mound. As we all know, Orange Mound is a very historical part of Memphis,TN. Being one of the first areas that established, it produced tons of entrepreneurs in the early years of development and had not stopped for Kelvin was raised in the midst of it all. Not only does Kelvin has a heart for arts, and Memphis,TN but his hometown, Orange Mound, where he also has established unique clothing line expressed as “The Mound Collection.” Yet his passion does not stop there, all of the majority from the collection is donated back into the community, which eventually lead to him opening a coffee shop, directly in the historic area. “I’m very passionate about The Mound,” said Kelvin, where he is the Board Chair Juice Orange Mound ,who mission is to develop and advance self-reliance by building capacity and engagement among citizens and businesses in Orange Mound and the larger community.
Within this organization Kelvin has helped construct multiple community based resources in the Orange Mound Area, including a possible entrepreneurship center, which will have a host of resources for entrepreneurs trying to make a difference. “I never give myself all the credit,” said the very humbled and well rounded Kelvin, “our community board is a team, and we all work hard to make a difference which directs our passion to see change in Orange Mound.”
Kevin conversed about his ups and downs while getting to the point in life he is in now, he explained, “I really can’t remember all the highs nor lows, but one thing I really can talk about is the importance of understanding failures.” Kelvin, believes in pressing forward while leaving the pain of hardships behind him, having a tunnel vision is what put him in the position he is in today. At the age of 18, while attending UT Chattanooga, Kelvin worked for FedEx, creating graphics and projects for different franchises including the very know Krystal’s. He expressed the long nights and early mornings he had because of working the third shift for the company. Yet Kelvin didn’t know that one day he will have a franchise of his own. After working for FedEx for 6 years, Kelvin decided, that he didn’t want to work for anyone, anymore. So, with his creative abilities and his entrepreneurship mindset, Kelvin came up with a idea, that is The Tee Shirt Lab, which has had four stores opening throughout the mid-south, now having one of its main stores in Whitehaven.
The Tee Shirt Lab has conducted business with multiple personnel, including large establishments like, colleges, small as well as large businesses and a lot for The City Of Memphis. The company runs some major productions, with 200-250 shirts being its minimum quantity in printing, The Tee Shirt Lab is known to be a major screen printing company. Believe it or not, the company started in a 2 car-garage, and has come a long way since then, having different franchises in Atlanta and Nashville. When Kelvin expressed his lows, he didn’t hide the fact that it hurts to see everything one day and lose it the next. He explained his business lows were merely lessons, after closing one of his stores in Memphis. Yet to be an entrepreneur, he feels, knowledge to the community about what entrepreneurship really is, is needed to teach the truth about it to millennials and individuals who are looking to start businesses. “The community needs this,” said Kelvin,” honestly if I knew at 18 what I had to go through to get to where I am now, I probably wouldn’t have done it, but education is key.”
Not only does Kelvin have a passion for entrepreneurship,business his people and Memphis, yet his family and art as well. He is a very loving husband as well as father, who takes value to his family. Working hard with his wife beside him, Kelvin used his wife’s encouraging words to find his way back to himself. That started after he conducted a six foot art portrait of his daughter, a few pieces of the late Martin Luther King Jr, during his birthday celebration here in Downtown Memphis, as well as murals and a multitude of other pieces, which eventually showed his true talents, Kelvin also had a passion for art.
Black Art-Ish, one of the many creative establishments that have steamed from Kelvin’s head, has been one of the biggest art shows that have ever been conducted in Memphis. Not knowing how big the event could actually become, yet with an entrepreneur mindset, Kelvin and his wife started it in the summer of 2018. Kelvin bragged on his soul mate, stating that she was the motivation behind his doings, encouraging him one day to, “get up and do something with this,” as she watched him complete multiple portraits in their home. At first, Kelvin hung up art for a very long time, knowing that his passion for entrepreneurship had over shadowed it, as well as his love for his franchise The Tee Shirt Lab. But, his wife was there, uplifting him and staying close by supporting his talents and dreams. It was time for Kelvin to use all of them.This also proved that a strong woman can help a man complete his vision when she is the right one, he explained that she has been by his side every since, even helping set up photo shoots for his artist, and always lending a helping hand. This is not proves what black art can do for a community, yet what black love could for a talent and all over vision as well, creating something as beautiful and intellectual as to what they did. Since then, it has all been in the books, Black Art-Ish Memphis Art Show has been a hit.
So then, it happened, Kelvin held his first Black Art-Ish gallery on Summer Avenue. “I was very impressed with the numbers,” said Kelvin,” we had a little over 500 people attend and the atmosphere was exciting.” Kelvin teamed up with very known artist around Memphis to complete his vision. He felt that since he was just entering the art world again that he should find those who are more established in the field, and create a show that we have never seen before, with black arts and history. Kelvin ,made history in Memphis indeed, the show did not just consist of artist around Memphis, yet sculptors, musicians and poets as well. This was all forms of black arts in one room from literature to visual.
Well, they did not stop of course, Black Art-Ish will be held again in Memphis this June. This year’s event will be more amazing and BIGGER, having over 30 artist in attendance with an expected audience of over 1,200 people. Kelvin was even more excited to announce that the event will be held at The Children’s Museum of Memphis, which has a more historic view and exactly what he needed, a great amount of space. Kelvin explained if he could give any advice to entrepreneurs in greater Memphis or anyone is to keep networking, for it is key as well as knowing the difference between failures and success. “Some people think failure is on one side and and success is on the other, and if you fail you cannot get to success, but that is not true, in order to get to success, you have to go through failure because honestly, it is in the middle.”
For more information on The Tee Shirt Lab and Black Art-Ish visit the establishments on their Instagram or all social media platforms. Also check in with Conversations with Evonne for more information on upcoming events including Black Art-Ish Memphis. I am Kahdejah Evonne and thanks for tuning into Conversations with Evonne. This is 9012MyCity What’s Going On In Memphis, and please remember always be blessed, have a wonderful week and weekend from the Conversations with Evonne family. With best regards,
–Kahdejah Evonne Stevens
Owner of Conversations with Evonne Platform Content and Blogging
The city of Memphis is the birth place of many passionate entrepreneurs, from clothing lines to 1 million dollar industries, Memphis is the place where one can be whatever they want to be or as the Givens brothers feel Memphis to them is the “the city of opportunity.” Curtis and Corliss Givens have had their hands in the entertainment business for over 10 years, from failures to open opportunities these two men feel that highs and lows do not exist, they are only doors that open up a life of greatness.
“There Is No Losses Only Lessons”
It all started with two young men whom had a plan, that plan, was a rake and trash bags picking up leaves all through the summer as teenagers to create an area of income for themselves, was how they were taught early. As we all know, Memphis is a great place to be as an entrepreneur, a lot of people feel that their city is the city of struggle, but in Memphis we say, if you make it here, you can make it anywhere, and that’s what the brothers have done. Being an entrepreneur in Memphis creates thick skin like no other, it molds you exactly into the person you want to be. Corliss explained they received their interest in entrepreneurship from their father, who was a hard working man, happy to be an entrepreneur and teaching the young boys how to “have their own.” “We grew up around business,” said Corliss, “so it was only right that we track in his foot steps and invest in our own.” The brothers were close, living side by side even in the same bedroom as kids, working hard for one another yet most importantly, showing LoVe. That indeed isn’t what crossed their minds at that time, only picking up leaves and trying to become the greatest landscapers they could be at that moment, being great was all they knew.
“We were always molding ourselves to be the alpha men,” said Corliss Givens, who took the time to sit down with me at Sage Bistro one Wednesday evening to express the ups and downs he and his brother faced to get to where they are today. Corliss and Curtis, even though they were extremely close, attended different high schools, Curtis graduating from Fairly High School and Corliss Whitehaven. “We were top in our class,” he said, “making the top grades, graduating at the top of our class even in sports, we just wanted to be the greatest. Second place and being average was not in our make up.” This indeed was the truth, after a while, this is what the two showed the Memphis community, and the entertainment business.
The LoVe For People
The two were family men, loving on their families including all people around them. They were active in their local church and learned the values of family from those who they kept near. They involved themselves in the right people yet most importantly, they poured into each other.” We were close,” said Corliss.” Surely they were, through all the ups and downs they have had in business, the two remained cohesive, through any trial that came their way. Yet, it was something else they held dearly to them, something that will probably leave people astonished, the brothers loved to see people around them happy. Joy as well as seeing people smile is what they lived for. Since they figured that happiness is what drove them, they finally decided to step into the entertainment business, Curtis and Corliss became promoters.
From The Paramount Ball Room To The Premier
So how did what’s going on in Memphis entertainment happen today, well that of course, started at the Paramount Ball Room. The owners of the facility were the first who gave the brothers a chance, allowing them to host local parties for young adults in the city of Memphis. “The parties were going great, we had people showing up to enjoy themselves right in Paramount Ball Room,” he said. In fact, the two did so well that the owners finally decided to let them promote more parties at the location, since it brought them an excessive amount of business, the owners told the brothers to take over at the location giving them room to “run things the way they wanted.” After so many parties the walls in the Paramount Ball room came down, and since the floors shook so much from the great levels of music and people entering to enjoy themselves at night, the place eventually became, “The Premier.”
The Premier was the place to be every weekend. Right next door to a busy Walmart getting traffic inside the club doors was not hard at all, yet since the brothers worked so hard to be the greatest, they promoted day in and day out for every party they had, notice social media really did not exist at this moment. They promoted on foot, through flyers and word of mouth, this indeed is what makes them the well rounded entrepreneurs they are today, they have seen the best of both worlds, social media just made it easier. The Premier Night Club was the place to be, making the brothers a steady amount of income, yet that fantasy eventually vanished. After multiple ups and downs at the location, the brothers eventually had to close the establishment, they wanted to revamp their business, by only having the best and trying to keep up with culture changes. Since the years constantly changed, the entertainment business did major shifts as well, not to mention the clothing and the music. With this being said, the brothers diligently went back to the drawing boards to create a new blue print for something much greater.
The brothers did not hang their heads, they continued on their journey. You may sit and think how was the conversation in the room, after knowing your highly demanded Night Club has just tumbled to the ground, not because of the people, yet the culture change that was comradely taking place. In the entertainment business, one has to keep up, and since you are dealing with customers who always want the latest fashion, dances, or music the brothers knew they had to have the most up to date business in Memphis, no matter how much money it took, or how much money they’ve lost.
Only those four walls could tell us what happened that night, but the brothers kept drafting, this is indeed the part of entrepreneurship that others do not see. The blood sweat as well as tears you may put behind shout business to keep it going. We only see, the finished product. You have to take a couple losses to be a couple bosses. From the birth of The Premier four more clubs were established: Flirt, Cactus Jack, Level II and the very known Sliver Spoon.
Located in east Memphis, the Silver Spoon was a place of soul, inviting the older crowd in to come hang with them, the brothers believed in allowing their crowd to grow as they did, the more mature they became the more mature their audience were. “We wanted our crowd to grow with us, so this is what we did, created a spot that was chilled sort of a different atmosphere,” said Corliss. The Silver Spoon was not for young adults and teens, yet parents who got off work and wanted to relax with their love ones from a long day. Silver Spoon was soulful, not playing a huge amount of Hip Hop music, yet R & B, the crowd grew larger and the vibe was amazing. After working so hard to re-open their new spot, controversy started and the club eventually shut down. The establishment was a great space, yet in the wrong environment.This was another learning big curve for the brothers, allowing them to close the club down and restart again.
Around this time, Memphis crime rates were extremely high, ranking it one of the top violent cities in America, which was also a struggle for the brothers, keeping violence out of their clubs, but battling to eliminate the rift raft around it. “What people didn’t know, and what we had to understand, we had no control over what was going on, we had to get that in our heads, we wanted to branch out and do it again, but this time we wanted a better location, this time we wanted the spot to be ours.”
The two were usually renting locations or leasing them, not having a spot of their own or they could call theirs also caused a lot of commotion. Corliss explained how they had to worry if the owners of each spot they leased wanted to keep them there, this also created a problem and confusion, but the brothers kept going back to the drawing boards. Even after dealing with the general public and law enforcement, no matter what was thrown their way, they kept picking themselves up and moving forward.
If you want to know what is the motivation behind what the brothers are doing, it is to simply see how they lost it all multiple times, yet kept advancing forward. No matter how many businesses they have seen close, how much money they have seen washed down the drains, because they were climbing the ladder to entertainment and fame, there still was not an area of discouragement for them just opportunity. If it was any extremely discouraging moments, the city may never know. Since the two were so close, they held each other accountable and took the losses together as one, somewhat like when they were growing up. Corliss vouched for his brother, expressing that he is an awesome man, somewhat like himself, having a great love for people and the city as well as others around them.
This indeed was their motivation. With that being said, the brothers did not stop, the LoVe they had for themselves, the city and the fire to become successful entrepreneurs did not die. This was the plan of something special, this was them going back to the drawing boards to start over again, this was the idea and birth of the one and only In LoVe Memphis Bar and Lounge, or shall they say “ a sophisticated spot, for lounging in huge booths with contemporary drinks, small plates, cocktails and desserts.” This was In LoVe Memphis, which is now one of the biggest Celebrity Style night clubs/ lounges in Memphis.
You would think the reason why the “v” is capitalized in “LoVe” is because this lounge is the fifth establishment that the men have opened, yet that indeed is only an educated guess. So what was the point of opening the lounge and bar, well the brothers wanted something different, a different mood yet with the same feel, and that was love. “We didn’t really name the place until we finished with the blue prints,” said Corliss,” we never really do that, but we know one thing that we felt throughout this whole process, the feeling of happiness finally, and something much greater than all those trails and tribulations “LoVe”. The night bar and lounge kicked off great, hosting some of the top events in Memphis, with a different environment and better everything, including security. That in fact, was the security of protecting their place and finally having their own.
“We bought the building as soon as it came open,” he said, “we thought man, opportunity is knocking, and you have to take opportunity when it’s in your face, we had already been through a lot in the entertainment business just as club owners and promoters, so we thought…why not.” This indeed made them bosses, the brothers didn’t have to worry any more about leaving a property if they were not wanted, because they owned it, things finally went the way they wanted, and the lounge was typically in a good area. Crime rates around the club were low, this was taught to them by losing maybe millions of dollars just, learning that at first they had right idea yet the wrong area. But the brothers did not forget about their recent night clubs, they basically merged everything together, creating a Memphis style celebrity vibe or as Corliss Givens says,” I’m surrounded by LoVe, I’m hanging around all my people.”
As all Memphians know, LoVe is a very popular lounge, club and bar. The food has been rated elegant and delicious as well as mixing it with hip-hop and R&B music. This establishment has balance as Corliss explained why the place is open seven days a week. “No club in Memphis is doing this.” This probably proves how the brothers are not second place and remain second place to NONE. They continued to work hard drafting different themes for each day of the week supporting all crowds young and old. Some nights will be a vibe for the millennial crowd, while others consist of a old time Jazz feel with live music and saxophone players, the psychology of advertisement played a major role in this. They even invested their time into Memphis sorority and fraternity life, paying tribute to undergraduate and graduate students who are still enjoying the college experience. Like wise, themselves who are two men of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated.
This made them one of the mega lounges in Memphis, hosting famous hip hop artist like Yo Gotti and Jay-Z, including large Memphis events that grew with them like“Can I Live Weekend” and as well as their birthday parties, which are a hit every year. “We have worked with plenty of people,” said Corliss, “like The Who’s Who of Hip-Hop you can possibly name it.” The brothers do not only use the club as their limits, but have access to the whole city. Take Curtis Givens recent birthday bash for example, The Black Excellence Gala to be exact. People from all over the city including Conversations With Evonne was there to witness the experience. Not to mention those who flew in just for the event, as well as celebrity Grammy nominated singing groups like Jagged Edge . The atmosphere was very selfless, creating areas specifically to cater to the people, including seeing formal dresses and tuxedos fill the room. This time, the event was not at LoVe, yet The Ballet Memphis, to read the article on that event click here.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Knowing just part of the story from these brothers is just motivation itself for any entrepreneur. They have climb as high as they could possibly go in the entertainment industry, now have businesses all around Memphis in multiple locations, including Big Bills Bar-B-Que, which is awaiting a major grand opening, and Corliss who has not given up on the landscaping dream, yet turning it into something much greater, reconstructing houses with his very know and successful business, Corliss Givens Construction Group. Corliss went by a new motto, stating that entrepreneurs should “put their money where their mouth is,” not as in being a big spender, yet turning their dollars into investments, and “owning assets,” so they can call them theirs.
For instance Corliss explained that the upscale expensive furniture that was at the Black Excellence Gala, was theirs to keep. “We decided that we should just buy and own furniture instead of renting it out, that furniture can be ours, and this is a way for entrepreneurs to save money as well, put your money where your mouth is, invest in your dreams and make money from that,” and like those couches, that is including good quality when it comes to investing in your product. The greatest part about what Corliss explained is, “it is yours and nothing is like owning your own.”
If you want to know more about the Givens brothers follow them on Instagram at the following social media sites: Curtis Givens Instagram: curtis_givens and Corliss Givens Instagram: @corlissgivens.
You could also check in with Conversations with Evonne for multiple updates on events and 9012MyCity What’s Going On In Memphis. I am Kahdejah Evonne and this is another outstanding article with Conversations with Evonne and thanks for tuning in. Be Blessed.
On Saturday, February 15th Alexis Saxophonist Cole performed at the University of Memphis Lady Tigers Game. The day was beautiful as the beauty Miss Black Tennessee entered the Elma Roane Field House, court side, to play for over 300 smiling faces, as the Lady Tigers prepared to play against their opponent ECU. Alexis Cole arrived in a stunning blue sequined dress, royal blue open toe heels, with nude elegance as she smiled graciously before she played. While playing the National Anthem, with her own soulful tune, fans stood and cheered with amazement of how it flowed from her golden saxophone. “She is ALRIGHT,” yelled a man sitting directly behind us, as Alexis continued to play. The tune was like no other, adding the flavor of Memphis with a touch of Tennessee, “my inspiration was Whitney Houston,” said Cole, “no one singed the anthem liked her, this is what drove me.” Cole said she works hard on her music and looks forward to putting out an EP soon for hip hop, classical and R & B music.
A video of the talented young woman was recorded by Kahdejah Evonne, blogger and owner of platform Conversations with Evonne who wrote the amazing article on Miss Cole announcing her stunning appearance to The University of Memphis Lady Tigers Game ( click here to view blog).The video had an outstanding 1.6K views of those on social media intrigued at how fulfilling the sound of her saxophone was. Social media followers were excited posting comments like “sax team,” and congratulating her on how awesome she sound. Yet Facebook and Instagram followers did not only recognize her talents, but others nation wide did as well. Later that week Alexis Cole received a call from the Dallas Mavericks Communications Manager booking her to play at the game March 26th.
This indeed was motivation behind all of her hard work, encouraging her yet challenging her to work hard so that you too can hear more from her. From Memphis Tennessee,pageant stages and working in corporate offices, Alexis Cole will now be playing in the big city of Dallas Texas, for one of the NBAs top professional basketball teams, the stadium holds over 4,000 people.
If you would like to follow Alexis Cole on all social media platforms the pages are as followed: -Instagram: @Alexis.Cole -Facebook: Alexis Cole
For more updates, information and blogs on this amazing young talent in Memphis please check out all of her social media platforms, or of course check in with http://www.Conversationswithevonne.com. Thank you for tuning in to my blog and this is Conversations With Evonne Blog Category: “9012MyCity What’s Going On In Memphis,” bringing you the best and most talented artist, food places, people, night clubs and events going on in the big city of Memphis. Be blessed and have an awesome rest of your day.
Maybe he or she likes you, maybe they don’t. It could all be so confusing in today’s society why dating in this generation of people could be so hard. From a psychological stand point, millennials have a very short attention span, yet that is not the only reason it is so hard to date during this time, you as well as your friends, are also sucked into this trans of the fear of not finding the right one. This my friends is for sure why most people are afraid to date. Recently, I finished writing my poem book, “From The Eyes Of A Black Woman.” In this book, there are approximately 27 poems I have written over the span of 2 years that develop a sense of truth from not only my eyes, yet others. To get to the “nitty gritty,” I wrote a poem called “Loving Too Hard.” In this poem it is expressed exactly how one may feel while trying to express themselves in today’s environment of not so emotional yet, extremely emotional individuals.
“Loving Too Hard” from “The Eyes Of A Black Woman”
This generation. (laughs) Two hearts can be fully connected but stubbornness, sitting in the tub of naive and the idea of commitment will hurt someone before they even have been mentally hurt! Loving too hard…… We hurt ourselves mentally by overthinking before it even happens, but that’s just this generation Loving too hard…… We fight for the embarrassment of one Another’s souls Other than liberation but that’s just this generation And giving to the nation Of the liberated love That cures all This generation. (laughs) Loving too hard…… Two hearts can be fully connected but stubbornness, sitting in the tub of naive and the idea of commitment will hurt someone before they even have been mentally hurt! Because this generation is (laughs) Loving too hard……
3 Tips To UseCaution While Expressing Love
Ok since we all are so scared to love, how about we actually practice doing it. Another problem with this generation is we put all of eggs into one basket., we give everything our all and if it doesn’t go our way, we simply stop. Not smart at all people. Humans need love, and there is someone out there for everybody. Yet you have to open up for that someone to come. Here are 3 tips that help you use caution be expressing love in other words, setting boundaries.
Knowing What You Want- Ok, this is not rocket science yet this is exactly what we as a whole need to know. We sit and say all day that we know what we want, yet still fall deep into what the other person wants, this is a boundary that needs to be set for yourself
BeingResponsible Of Your Feelings- As adults, we are not responsible, this is also a way to know what we want. Once we know what we want, we now have to put that into to play, making what we want our responsibility, this is also a great case of self love. As kids, when we didn’t want something and it was forced on us, like eating too many veggies, it made us cry, why, because we didn’t like it! So in this case, you need to go back to what you know, or what you knew. If you KNOW you do not like something, yet still condone in it, and it is hurting you, or not good for you, this is YOUR FAULT. You are not being responsible with your feelings and the blame cannot go on anyone else.
Talk About Your Feelings- While typing this, I literally laughed. Speaking about your feelings in this generation is not a cliche. The fact that we have judge one another because of how we feel has created another area of fear for this generation. It is true when your parents and or grandparents say, “close mouth does not get feed.” We are so afraid of how we will be viewed which will also cause us to miss out on love.
The Psychology of Millennials and Love
To sum up, the psychology of millennials and love is practically fear. They are scared, and since pain has happened it has created an anxiety on this generation that controls their every move. Anxiety, is so close to fear as it is happiness. Some millennials, well we shall say the majority, fear happiness, and we also think everything comes easy. Safe to say we can blame that on modern day technology, we LITERALLY don’t have to work for much. Even McDonalds cashiers have machines that do their work for them now. The point of me writing the above poem is to prove that your peers do want someone badly, it’s just the anxiety of it all that is making this whole thing an issue, the fear as to “what’s next,” and “am I really going to be with this person.” The most accurate thing I could tell millennials to do is just date. Date around be your best self and do it with no fear, yet do it with caution .
To listen to my podcast Season 1 Episode 5 “Expressing Love & Handling Rejection,” click here.
Michael Campbell, maybe you have not met someone who is as misunderstood as him. His image is portrayed as “the ladies man,” because of his hot figure as a Memphis Celebrity Trainer, yet you are wrong. This young man is much more than that. He is a father, has a great love for God, arts, reading, people and the City of Memphis. My father was a minister,” said Campbell,”if we didn’t do anything every Wednesday, my father made sure we had bible study.” Campbell sat down and put his whole life into a separate barrel. Enthused by reading books, he explained how he loves reading about the seven seals and book of revelations,as well as his Christian faith. As a fan of Bishop T.D Jakes and many others, he remains faithful and a stream of motivation for his clients as well as others . From his love life to who he has become, Campbell still remains a man of God and humble.
Campbell is from the small town of Edmonson, Arkansas. Growing up he attended West Memphis High School then eventually moving to the metro Memphis area, completing his grade school years at Oakhaven High School. While beating the odds of an inner city kid, he continued his education at Co-Lin Community College, playing Division 2 Basketball. The struggles of understanding who he wanted to become became hard, knowing that graduation was near, Campbell became worried, like any other college student on what was next. He knew for sure, that going back home was not an option, so he remained faithful during his college years, that was also in God.
After Campbell was done with school he expressed that he didn’t know which way to go, so therefore he prayed to the Lord before continuing his journey. He explained the encounter that he had with God that changed his life, how he was in tears, never being a man that really cried, yet God himself broke him down, this was because, he was revealed his destiny. He indeed, wanted to become a personal trainer, yet not just any trainer, one of the best, average was not enough for him. “I haven’t always been athletic, there were times that became my lows, that put me where I am now,” he said.
Rejection Means New Direction
Campbell was open, explaining his rejection from women, while losing his confidence that drove him to want to train. “I was so skinny and frail, learning from my experiences, my ex girlfriend left me of course, for someone bigger.” Campbell expressed his anxiety issues, and how it was hard to over come them from being overwhelmed with life difficulties. Yet this is what made him who is today. This made him a competitor. After dealing with family issues, becoming a father in his early 20s and battling with the image society placed on black men, Campbell remained faithful to what God had promised him. He truly believed that rejection only meant “new direction.” Listening to Campbell’s story I understood, you have to go through something, to become what God has called you to be, and he did exactly that.
“Believe it or not, I had no car or gym training my first clients, this whole journey started by training my family members in the living room. I was training them, uncles, aunts, cousins and saw, wow im really getting results from this, they were getting results in as little as 3 months. I didn’t have fancy clothes, neither did I have money, I only had God and knew his purpose for me.” With no car, and sometimes using a car from his closest friends, Campbell did not give in. He remained focus even through his anxiety issues of what’s next, to get to the promise land of God’s purpose for him, this young man persevered. This image that he portrays is steady and smooth, yet deceiving to the human eye. “After every thing I’ve encountered I just wanted to feel complete, at one point I lost it all, the money, the excitement of it all and really did not know what to do, so I turned to God, and that is how Compleo Fitness came into play. “ If one does not know “Comple” is Latin for “complete,” he explained how he wanted his clients to fill as joyful and happy he was, after coming out of his wilderness season, so training them to build their confidence will make them feel complete, as well as him. This is how he knew he was walking in his purpose.
You may look at him on social media and think everything has been perfect for him, but it has not, Campbell worked long and hard to get to where he is, this is indeed motivation within itself, for everyone, including black men. He kept working, kept networking and continued believing in God, then everything became different, Campbell started to receive opportunities of his life time, training top athletes and political officials, as well as big names in the city of Memphis, including going on tour with Memphis rapper Moneybagg Yo.
The Life of The Celebrity Trainer
Some of you may know rapper Moneybagg Yo as someone who came from the bottom to get to where he is today, much like Campbell. Entering the industry his image was different in figure, until one day the Memphis rapper made a decision that will change his life. He hired trainer, Michael Campbell who owned Comple Fitness. Campbell exaplained his opportunity with MoneyBagg seemed surreal, the young man was called and flew out immediately to go on tour with the Memphis rapper, somehow, this shows the love that Memphis has for each other as well as successful individuals.
“I literally had to give $6,000 worth of training refunds back to my clients, it was hard telling them that I will not be their trainer for the next few months, but it’s what I had to do.” Campbell explain the sacrifice he took just to go on tour nearly, or possibly, losing clientele because of his absence. But soon he saw, that this was in his purpose. His clients understood, they didn’t “hate” him for leaving, they congratulated him and awaited his arrival back to Memphis, this gave Campbell confidence and killed a little of his anxiety. Upon being on tour, he coached MoneyBagg into getting into the best shape of his life. “From working out to eating correctly, he did it all,” he said. He also explained how the rapper was a good guy, and he was fun to be around. Listening to Campbell’s story is very motivational and gives you an ounce of cheer from hearing him speak. After coming back to Memphis he was excited, Moneybagg’s transformation made the famous Instagram news account “The Shade Room,” and the results was all because of him.
Now Campbell is still being a positive and fun social light of Memphis. He says he loves Memphis and nothing could make him leave. “Memphis is a great city I will never leave her,” he said, “especially the food I love that as well.” He is now praying, as well as planning on opening his first gym. “I know that will come with time,” he said,” I’m just waiting on God to open. Campbell is a young black male who over came all struggles and obstacles in his way. If you want to know what’s going on in the city of Memphis this is it. Positive reinforcements being out forth to live your dreams. I am Kahdejah Evonne, and this is Conversations with Evonne, welcome to my city, let’s chat….
Memphis, what lovely place to attend for all of your night life needs, from hanging with your friends to just visiting for the bar-b-que, when you stop through Memphis, it could fairly feel like the place to be. As a blogger here, one thing that I do love about my hometown is the new and upcoming establishments, yet one that I fell deeply in love with was, The WKND Hang Suite.
When The WKND Hang Suite first opened it was something I definitely bragged to my friends about. “Come on girl,come with me,” I would say. They would come, and they were very excited from what I explained about the establishment itself, it wasn’t too big, nor too small and it had this saying on its website stating “we are not the club.” Now, I appreciated this, I’m not a big “club hopper,” I liked to go somewhere I could chill and enjoy the festivities. The waitress were great, food was delicious and this definitely was my spot to grab me a few glasses of wine. Yet after a while, all of that changed. Especially the night of my 24th birthday. This indeed was hectic.
Ok, understand, that since this is one of my all time favorite spots in Memphis, I’m doing this out of love, not hate. If you are going to be a top spot in Memphis you should stay that way, not fall short because you rarely have any competition. But as a business woman or personnel we understand that there is ALWAYS competition. WKND understand and know this, somebody is out there ready to take your spot, and this is to the owner, your waitress are beautiful people, but when a new spot opens, they’re going to leave you too, don’t risk that. Btw, do you not realize that Sage is right down the street. I mean they are not a big establishment, but they are VERY professional.
So I’m going to make this short and sweet, I decided to choose the WKND to celebrate my birthday, I ordered a booth of course and was ready to spend some money in one of my favorite spots. First, I get there ready to enjoy my night and the NEW SECURITY decided to tell me to stand at the end of the line, after I have ordered a booth for my birthday. As long as I have been going to the WKND you don’t stand in line after purchasing a booth, this woman literally forced us to stand in line which is very embarrassing when it’s your birthday and you have paid your money. This did not sit well with me. So walking into this establishment, I was already upset. So we wait literally an extra 15 minutes for a waiter to take us to our booth, get to the booth and guess what, it’s not what I ordered. Now here I am annoyed because I bragged on the WKND all the time, and they are becoming a disappointment, this was my brother and sister’s first time at this establishment and they were very annoyed, (other than the food it was pretty good per usual.)
So here we are finally enjoying ourselves, the booth was terrible, but since it was my spot in which I invited my friends, but they insisted on me going to LoVe because of the terrible reviews the WKND has, I still insisted on going here. That’s because I was completely blinded to anything the reviews said.
What amazes me is this, after a few days of being upset from the tarnishing experience I had at the WKND I was directed to read the reviews then everything made sense. At first, I thought I was tripping and just having birthday behavior, but nope the nightmare was true. The night of my birthday I was removed from my birthday booth early. The waiter explained that “someone else wanted the booth,” I look at my clock and it was 1:15 a.m, we all know the WKND closes at 2:30, who exactly wanted my booth out of everyone else’s, and we were paying good money, come to find out, my friend was recently dating the same guy the waitress was, mmmmmmm, very unprofessional and caty, you don’t bring your personal business to work. We even tried to tip her more for the booth, she still insisted on my making my night terrible. We purchased that booth at 11 and didn’t get in it until 11:30 or so. Not to mention did I tell you the waitresses actually steal?
Over Charging For Drinks (Scamming)
Lol, ok. Prior to the terrible birthday situation the WKND has been my spot, until I found out that the waitress literally steal. This has happened to me multiple times, I will purchase a drink (mainly wine), pay $10 for the wine which has been declining in portions every time I go. The price isn’t the problem but the scamming is. I went to a brunch before at the establishment and the menu says wine is $7. Yet waitress have been charging me $10 per glass, INCLUDING THE BARTENDERS WHICH IS VERY UNPROFESSIONAL! When I go to my spot, I order about 4-6 glasses, and I give at least a 5-$10 tip to whatever waiter I use. If you calculate that 6 glasses of wine and the tips I’m giving that waitress about $25. Now come on now, why steal? You are literally stealing $18 from me. After finally seeing the menu, I was very upset, WKND please do something about this before you lose valuable customers from your establishment.
FlirtingInstead of Working
Ok here goes nothing again.
Now WKND, this is very unprofessional I’m not going to even mention the brunt hookahs that’s are being served. I use to be a hookah girl at K2 Ultra Lounge before it closed, this was the actual celebrity club of Memphis, when I could tell you I have served multiple celebrities and received $80 tips WITHOUT STEALING, it’s because I was trained right. But let me move forward. The waitresses literally flirt in your face and not do their jobs. Like…….I don’t even know what to say about that. I’m sure you will handle it. Yet because of this, and laziness, as well as attitudes, this is creating a timeliness issue. Everything is literally in delay. Omg…the ghetto the stress. Just read this review, this happened to me as well. I ordered spinach dip, the waiter literally did not bring it until closing time……….and had it in a cardboard box……no wax paper…….please…….take that back…..and it was cold……because she was taking instead of working…….then had the nerve to catch an attitude. Lol oh…..Aite.
Smh, to conclude WKND, these bas reviews are spreading like wildfire, now I love this place, but you have to do better with your customer service. You DO NOT want people coming into town and not attending your establishment because of your customer service reviews (people really do do that, heck I do that). Please, take heed to how amazing your place really could be and stop relaxing. If I could take the amazing service Sage Memphis has and put it at your establishment, you will be a place to reckoned with. Luckily Sage is a Bistro and not an actual hangout spot. Anyways, please get it together, you guys will always see me there, but until then I think you need to tend to those bad reviews, and this is somewhat considered one but merely loving advice.
A not so satisfied customer but I love y’all #ConversationsWithEvonne
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.”
It true when they say if you have the right woman by your side you can accomplish anything, yet imagine having that and God as your covering. Regardless of the many blessings that Apostle Ricky Floyd has received including his wife, children, family, grandchildren, friends, life itself and congregation, he has also been used as a vessel in the Frayser Community. “I believe in prayer,” said Apostle Floyd who has been praying for years over the Frayser Community. Through drought and famine, Apostle believed in a move from God as he walked the neighborhood one hot summer with a large cross praying in the hot sun. As we know Frayser has been ranked as one of the top violent communities in America, yet this did not stop him nor his wife from believing that God provides and staying within his kingdom.
Perseverance is key in this season. From humble beginnings the husband and wife started their church in a living room. Following God’s orders they stayed optimistic, and pushed forward to their destiny within God’s purpose for them. “Never did I think I would be a Pastor,” Apostle Floyd said. “He didn’t want anyone calling him Apostle for a very long time,” said Shelia. The two have come far in the kingdom of God, taking care of their children and guiding them through life as well. This relationship is true that the sacrifices that you make in life will lead you to the exact place that you should be, we call it “The Season of the Wilderness.” What makes us feel we are exempt from persecution as Christian people? The point of the trails and tribulations is to train and humble you for what is to come. Since God has sent you on this mission and you worked hard to accomplish it your award is at the end, Pursuit of God Transformation Center has received theirs.
Apostle Floyd is not just a pastor he is a teacher. From teaching adults, teens and children leadership abilities has shown through his congregation, now attracting up 40 new members every month or those who are trying to move toward rededication and salvation. As a teacher and or elder, your teachings should reflect off your members and truly it has, miracles have happened at this transformation center. From accepting God’s people, recent gang members, cons, cancer patients, those who are struggling in God’s kingdom and what ever pain that a human may think of, transformation has happened in this house of God. Being a member of this spiritual organization you will see financial income, healing, happiness, joy, peace, hope, perseverance, tears of joy and support. If you were there to witness the joy that filled the room last Sunday you will be amazed at how God works, this place shows that he is true. Members young and old, stood up to give testimonials about new business, financial gain, spiritual healing, fixed marriages and new people coming to church after over 30 years. It was a blessing that they decided to enter the transformation center, God has sent them there, and this indeed was a great, spiritually divine place to be.
His congregation has supported the church indeed, the church raised a stunning $7,000 in less than 30 mins for a new bus for its new location,this also proves that God has rained down on his congregation because they have so diligently followed the teaching of Jesus Christ and as Apostle Floyd says, “Gain righteous through faith and the we become holy, with us there is no law.” This indeed is the only way to enter the kingdom of heaven, Pursuit of God Transformation Center is heaven on earth, and God is full of surprises.
With all of this being said, on February 9th, 2020 Apostle Ricky Floyd and Pursuit of God Transformation Center was blessed with a mighty gift from God. The Lord had used those as vessels in his kingdom and unlocked a gift of spiritual nature for his kingdom and his worthy, righteous, followers. Pursuit of God Transformation Center was blessed with a new church that has 15 acres of land, a multitude of buses, 4 1 bedroom apartments, and a 700 seat sanctuary.
Pursuit of God Transformation Center New Church Given by Bellevue Baptist Frayser Location
Tears of joy and laughter filled the room when this was announced, the congregation gave each other hugs and love as they were excited to receive what they all have been praying for. The members have worked hard, and stay true to God’s word so the blessing was even greater to them than anyone else. This showed a great ounce of cohesiveness within the church, people coming together to adore and embrace God’s kingdom. “I have so many plans through God for this church,” said Apostle Floyd, who believes diligently in being the local congregation who implies and directs transformation, God’s has truly blessed us and this church, expect more for us this beautiful summer, the rest is always written. And remember to ALWAYS stay blessed and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ for this truly works. Sincerely and with great love, words and messages as well as MANY blessings Conversations with Evonne.
“For the Word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness.”
It was a night of love,laughter, success and fun as business owners, professionals as well as socially enthused individuals arrived at one of the biggest events of the year, The Curtis Givens Black Excellence Gala. Curtis Givens, owner of In Love Night Club, who is an outstanding business professional and influence in Memphis was very selfless, allowing Memphians to celebrate his birthday with him on Friday, February 7th. This indeed, is what black excellence is all about, coming together and toasting upon our success. This was not only his birthday celebration, but a celebration to all as well as a highlight of what is to come from successful individuals in Memphis. The event was top notch hosted at The Ballet Memphis, as ladies and gentleman entered the building in their flyest attire. The gala was good for Memphis, seeing millennials and business professionals transform into the class acts as they wore long stunning dresses as well as tuxedos. Not to mention the atmosphere which was filled with networking abilities.
Everyone who was someone or have a huge impact on the city of Memphis was in the building. Cocktails and coat tails flooded the room while women high stepped in their stilettos. Indeed, Memphis needs more events as these to keep the creativity and networking flowing. While being in this place you were even up close and personal with Memphis celebrities. Rapper Yo Gotti was in the building who is a Memphis native,arriving back in the city just to celebrate a night of success. The rapper recently signed with rapper Jay-Z who is owner of the successful “Roc Nation.” Yo Gotti has definitely put Memphis on the map by making the moves in the music industry, proving to Memphians that you can rise up, only if you work hard.
We were also accompanied by singing group Jagged Edge, who performed their top songs which had the whole room singing. You would almost think just by them entering the room that one will get married. The performance was original and had guest standing to their feet. The singing group who was nominated for a Grammy in 2002 performed their top hits including “Let’s Get Married,” & “Where The Party At.” There was nothing like having a original R&B group perform right here in your face, and all of this happened, here in the city of Memphis at the Curtis Givens Birthday Bash/ Black Excellence Gala. See you next year ladies & gents and remember remain humble, yet always ALWAYS be successful in EVERYTHING that you do. Checking out and always checking in, Kahdejah Evonne Stevens with Conversations with Evonne.
What’s is greater than mixing the southern blues of Memphis, TN with beauty. From the runway, to corporate offices there has always been a hidden talent. In Memphis, we have women who are more than just women, they are entitled to the environment around them and they know it. This is proof before your eyes that if you work hard you could become anything you want or as she says, “Be Bold, Be True, Be You.” From beauty queen to saxophonist, Alexis Cole of Memphis,TN will be performing at University of Memphis Women’s Basketball game February 15th.
Directly after the day of love, she will be showing love for her city with a full heart. “I am so excited that I will be performing at the game on my alto saxophone,” she said, “as a native of Memphis this is truly an honor and I cannot wait to put on for my city.” The city of Memphis she truly loves and uses it as her foundation. She is now the official Miss Black Tennessee and has participated in a multitude of pageants, winning awards for her amazing personality and finishing in top placements. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and has a heart & soul to win, even for all people around her. If you see Alexis in Memphis let your light shine and her’s as well by smiling taking a picture with her and congratulating her on her success. Remember always follow your dreams, no matter where you are from and “Be Bold, Be True, Be You,” God Bless and this is Blog Series: “9012MyCity WHAT’S Going On In Memphis.”
Kahdejah Evonne expresses the importance of developing black entrepreneurship and the difference between a entrepreneur and hustle which is tampering black excellence, as well as how to separate yourself from the few.
Kahdejah Evonne expresses “The Dark Phases” of mental health with Chima Onwuka, Psychological influence, suicidal/ depressive survivor and now successful millennial business owner on how you can get out of the mental battle, and continue on to live a happy fulfilling life.
Kahdejah Evonne Stevens raps it up with Gill Finely III, millennial worship leader, about the importance of living through God and transformation within his kingdom. Psalm 149:4 “For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people, he will beautify the meek with salvation.”
Kahdejah Evonne talks about the importance of taking care of God’s gifts and understanding it from Matthew 7:6. “You have to clothe yourself before you can clothe someone else.” -Kahdejah Evonne Stevens
Kahdejah Evonne explains the importance of getting up while breaking genrational curses. For our savior is just a sinner who fell down and got up. We cannot give up on our dreams. No matter the circumstances. Keep going. God Bless.