Six-year-old dynamo Mya Williamson, her phenomenal mom, Brianna Williamson, and her proud grandmother, Nichelle Shannon, embrace the mantra, “We must be the head and not the tail.” 

They joined fellow entrepreneurs for the Wednesday edition of Conversations with Al McFarlane, the daily social media webcast over McFarlane Media digital platforms and on Black Press USA Facebook Live, inviting our community to learn about and support the BEE Marketplace which is underway now through the end of January.

Kenya McKnight Ahad’s Black Women’s Wealth Alliance’s (BWWA) created the BEE Marketplace, a virtual shopping extravaganza introducing local Black women entrepreneurs from all ages sharing their dreams and visions of success and helping others. In its second year, the BEE Marketplace features over 30 unique enterprises that embody the concept of generational wealth creation through entrepreneurship.

BEE Marketplace is made possible by lead sponsor Bremer Bank, BWWA, Insight News, West Broadway Area Business Coalition and Wells Fargo..

Two years ago, Brianna Williamson noted the intensity of young Mya’s statement, ‘I lost my afro in my ballet class so I could fit in’.  So she and Mya wrote a book about it.

My children and I went through the same anguish and knew well the pain.

Wisdom, love, and tenacity led to the creation their company, Love My Natural.   “I   want people to be happy; to live their life the way they want to,” the self-described kidpreneur and author said. She’s learned a lot by studying young millionaires and all the things they did to make a difference.

The Love My Natural product line includes a series of books that continues to grow. Titles include Natural Hair ABCs, We The People: From Apartheid to Black Pride, Making Change: Black Youth of Black History, and more, all featuring beautiful, brown-skinned boy and girl characters. Love My Natural products also include Candy Colors, a complete natural hair care color wax that washes out easily; Browndages, bandages for brown skin, a girls swim wear line; and Papaya Baby, a kids natural hair product line made with gentle, plant-based cleansers, free of parabens and dyes.

Mya and her family’s vision: ‘Using literacy to spread natural hair love to youth from birth to beyond and ensure that children know they are perfect in their natural form, as is, no alterations’.

Edrence Yalley loves nature, the arts, storytelling, and living well. The combination of these elements in her life helps keep her focused on her goals of educating, encouraging, and equipping Black women with the physical and mental tools to live life with more purpose and joy. 

Yalley’ company, Faith in Action, offers yoga, meditation, and wellness coaching through classes, workshops, and private sessions. Having experienced her own share of trauma, she teaches the benefit of faith and continuing to grow through personal development with meditation and yoga, “keeping the mind and body in the best condition it can be,”. 

Along with her ‘Mommy and Me’ classes with her two-year-old son, Yalley wants more Black women to take the time; make the effort to find one’s ‘whole self’, a vehicle for the spirit.

Deidra Isaac is a licensed cosmetologist and an all-hair textures, diverse, professional hair stylist. Her company, Ashes 2 Beauty Salon, ( may be to only African American, female-owned salon and beauty supply distribution outlet in Minnesota.

Having been mentored this past year by the Dudley Company, the preeminent Black hair care line, she supplies professional operators at barber shops, salons, and estheticians. but not retail to the public.  The supply business offers top brand tools such as sheers and flat/curling irons.

Issac found there was a need for a supply outlet in the area.  With a diverse clientele and filling the need of having supplies close by, the beauty and hair specialist hopes to expand by promoting the value of Black women helping each other.  “I want to see Black women become their new and natural self, appreciating their beauty from inside out,” Isaac said.

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