Monday, May 11, 2020

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself... The Starving Artist

It's the middle of May and so much in my life is changing, so I thought it would be a good idea to reintroduce myself.

Hello, my name is Lashuntrice Bradley (author name Lashuntrice) and I'm currently a starving artist. For the last several months I've sat in my comfortable apartment complex writing poetry, reading books, contemplating my next career move and most importantly making abstract paintings. In the midst of painting I've spent hours on youtube trying to recreate what others were doing. I discovered the beauty of not using gloves and taking forever to get the paint off my skin.

It's sounds wonderful, doesn't it? Actually I'm scared. See, I've never been a starving artist in the traditional form. My books have barely made any money and I haven't even attempted to sell any paintings. Instead I spent the last 8 and a half years in pharmaceuticals. It was a steady paycheck and it allowed me to have the independence that I needed. On the side I did a lot of blogging and eventually moved on to book publishing. Blogging and book publishing is fun until monetary value gets placed on my items. People love to try and lower your value. 

Soon I'll be making a bigger transition that I never saw coming. I'll be putting my material belongings in storage and moving back in with my parents. It's hard finding a job during a pandemic, so that is currently the only option. I might lose the title of starving artist, because my focus might sway to other areas. I'll start thinking more on income and preparing for a new career. Plus, my parents will more than likely not let me bring paint and canvases into their house.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tanja Marshall Talks Healthy Eating In The South and Her Atlanta Based Catering Business

When you think of  Southern eating, you think delicious and unhealthy food. However Brooklyn native, Tanja Marshall's Atlanta based catering business, A Healthy Concept, is proving that you can eat great meals and not compromise your health. Below are some excerpts from her interview. You can read the full interview on TripleHQ.

Why launch a food service brand built around health in a city known for southern cuisine?
The primary reason is that I lost two very close friends of mine, one to cancer and another to heart disease. Prior to them passing, I had done a lot of research on how food affects the body and the certain disease are directly connected to how we eat.

When did you discover your passion for cooking?
I come from a Caribbean and Latin background where food is very heavily a part of our culture. I was inspired to find a way to make Latin and Caribbean food healthy, but still, keep the signature tastes and culture incorporated in what I do.

Let’s talk about some of the menu items that you offer.
We try to focus on a lot of plant-based options, particularly when we include Caribbean or Latin culture cuisines. We still do the curry and jerked spices, but we utilize more plant-based or healthier items. As opposed to you getting jerked chicken, you would get jerked fish. We try to hone in on keeping those Caribbean spice and Latin flavors but making sure that we are providing healthier options. Some of our plant-based foods like kale, squash, and zucchini replace heavier starch-based products. For proteins, we use various kinds of mushrooms while incorporating those same ethnic flavors.

The reason we call ourselves A Healthy Concept is that we don’t just focus on vegan, plant-based, or alkaline meals. We develop a course of action based on whatever you already have in your diet and prepare it in a healthier way, gradually transitioning you towards healthier options.

Being Afro-Latino and having launched a business in the south, share with us any experiences you have had with colorism.

There were a few Latin people that I’ve run into who would question me about my background because they didn’t understand that just because I’m Black, I am also Panamanian as well.  They would say I couldn’t be Spanish because I don’t look like what most people expect, a light-complexioned woman with long straight hair.

What has been the biggest lesson that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

The biggest lesson that I’ve learned as an entrepreneur has been that you not only have to focus on your passion because you can have passion or talent, but you have to also focus on the how to develop the business of it all so that your success is long-term.  I have always had a passion to do this. I love to cook.  What I had to do was focus on the business aspects of things, while not losing my creative talent and my passion for what I do.  At the end of the day, you can enjoy and love the work, but if it’s not paying the bills, you are not going to be able to do it for a long period of time.
My challenge was learning how to turn my talent into a business, understanding food costs, and dealing with different vendors to find the best products at the most affordable prices so that I can run a lucrative business.

Publisher/Editor in Chief