When Did You Stop Playing? [Interview with Gem Face NY designer Michelle Carver]


When was the last time you took some time to play? If you think about your childhood do you have fond memories of birthday parties? Perhaps you have photos your elders saved for you.

I remember seeing photos from my 1st birthday kiddie party at my parents home.  There was ice cream smeared into my mothers rugs, funny hats and a scary awkward looking clown. 


Thank goodness there are some entertainment options that are affordable and fun! If you’re looking for something intricate that your kids will love, try Gem Face NY. We had the pleasure of speaking with the new, engaging and exciting entrepreneur.


Frozen theme

SYMACMU: How long have you been in business?

MC: I have been in the face painting business for 6 months and counting!


Happy customers!

MC:Face Painting energizes me and I am very passionate about creating new faces with my paint.


Something is crawling on you !

SYMACMU: Shut Ya Mouth and Call Me Ugly is a community of individuals and a commitment to the discovery of identity.  What advice do you have for someone who is “finding themselves? ”

MC: I am willing to teach others and welcome new artists, young and old to explore the things that make them passionate.  Listen to your instincts and remember you can never fail if you keep your dreams alive and nourish your mind, body and soul.  Dare yourself to jump into a new endeavor!


Body Art

SYMACMU: What is your differentiator from the competition?

MC: My face paints are all FDA approved and washable with soap and water.  I also recently added “NEW” Glitter Tattoo Art.  Glitter tattoo is a pretty shimmery tattoo that can last 3-10 days.  They are perfect for party & excellent in summer since they stay on even in water.  I started balloon twisting which is a great addition to any childs party.


Michelle Carver

SYMACMU: Summarize you products, services and fees.

MC: Charges are based on the amount of hours and/or children.  Normally it is between $75 – $100 per hour.  Additional cost for glitter tattoo or balloon twisting.

To schedule your next event, Michelle can be reached via e-mail:

Also, follow us on Twitter@shutyamouthnow

By:Shaun Nickens


Black Mote Inc – Interview with Todd Hinds


I have a secret…

I love clothes! In fact, I love “stuff” period. If the item is marketed efficiently,  I’m all over it! Most people don’t know this about me because I don’t splurge on myself often and I only purchase what needs to be replaced.  Currently I’m looking for a “Mommy weekend sweatsuit”, a winter coat, and some boots. The thing is, I HATE to look like everyone else.  I go out of my way to be extremely unique or excessively simplistic.  So when I see a line that is classy and daring…I’m in!! Black Mote Inc is eye catching (not in that “What the _____does he have on?” kind of way.) Its clean and appropriate for just about whatever venue you are bold enough to wear it to. I had the privilege of interviewing the creator and picking the brain of a true “Diamond in the rough.”


SYMACMU: How would you like your clothing line to influence black culture?

I would like my clothing line to influence black culture by providing a product that is solely designed and manufactured by people of my culture. The designs are inspired and created to fit all walks of my culture. It dresses everyone from the hip-hop culture all the way to the trendy business man.


SYMACMU: Who is your target audience?

My target audience would be the trend setters. Whether it’s the fashion forward freshmen starting college or the fashionista blogger. I would say the age ranges from 18-40. In today’s world not everyone has the means to have multiple wardrobes. Their is a niche of customers who come from urban areas and can’t let go of certain looks. Casual has a standard in terms of colors, style, fit. By putting these two together you can now cater to more people not just solely one type of customer. It doesn’t limit anyone. Gives the buyer more of an option as well as trying new styles and feeling safe in their purchase.

SYMACMU: Was this a lifelong dream or a newfound passion?

This has been always a lifelong dream. I’ve been into fashion for a long time. Picking out my outfits from a young age to designing my own pieces. I always wanted to create fresh and unique ideas that people could wear and feel confident in.

SYMACMU: In terms of identity, individuality and clothing do you “judge a book by its cover?” Are you justified?

I would say that in my industry what you wear is like your walking resume. So yes, what you wear identifies you in ways that perhaps a librarian wouldn’t read into it but a stylist/fashionista would.

SYMACMU: In your opinion, what is a “Fashion Don‘t?”

A fashion don’t is putting on something that you don’t feel confident in. Once you put it on, “own” it! Another fashion don’t is putting down someone else’s sense of style because you don’t get it. Not everyone is going to be trendy and fashion forward, but the fact that they dared to be different and think outside of the box shouldn’t be looked down upon.

You can find more looks on Todd’s website: http://www.blackmoteinc.com

Like it? Love it? Indifferent? Leave a comment here or contact us on Twitter @shutyamouthnow

Ain’t No Instruction Manual For That

So many times I have said there are no instructions on how to be a good woman, wife, partner, mother, etc. In life there are just certain things you have to experience first-hand.  You “scrape your knees” and you create your own manual. 

My Twitter feed is compacted with people who promise you that they can change your life. People who promise they can sell you the “secret” to a fulfilling and prosperous existence.  Who’s legit????!


I have the pleasure of knowing a determined young man who I have seen heed his own advice. Saladin Davis has taken his own life to new heights. In short, he went from a teen father to a college graduate/business owner/motivational speaker/published author and sole guardian of his daughter.  I asked him a few questions about his book “Life 101 Lessons From A 13 Year Old Father.”

SYMACMU: What made you decide to write a memoir?

After moving to Charlotte I joined a Toastmaster’s International Club where I met people that already had published books and got paid to speak.  My eyes were opened to the speaking industry and I made the decision to pursue Public Speaking as a career.  One of my fellow Toastmasters Kevin Decker explained to me how beneficial writing a book would be to promoting myself as a Professional Speaker.  He went on to tell me my story sounded like a dramatic novel already so it fit right for the possibility.  After a couple of months of contemplating, I made the choice to put my story in manuscript form.

SYMACMU: Were you concerned about the way your daughters mother would respond to your depiction of her?

I was worried.  I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers so I decided to ensure that there were no negative references toward my Kera’s mother.  What got me over my worry was the greater good.  I knew how important it was to tell my story and how many lives would be impacted.  This made it easier to tell a story where you had no choice but to speak about other people who could potentially be offended by your work.  

SYMACMU: How do you feel about the term “baby daddy”?

I’ve always had a strong dislike for the term “baby daddy”.  I felt that term was reserved for those who don’t take care of their children.  I feel that term is for those men who aren’t present in their children’s lives.  So when I was referred to as such I would always correct the person letting them know that I am my daughter’s Father.  I’m nobody’s baby daddy.  This is a personal interpretation of course so this doesn’t mean that all people use the term in the way in which I perceive but I will never be fond of that term or it’s counterpart. 

SYMACMU: Do you think being a young single father was a dating deterrent?  Do you think women took you more seriously or do you feel you were judged prematurely?

I think that many women admired how I went about my relationship with my daughter and that attracted them to me more than not.  I was prejudged by women for many reasons but those who got to know me were drawn closer to me because of the fact that I was an involved Dad.

SYMACMU: Finally, Shutyamouthandcallmeugly is a home for individuals who aren’t afraid to “go against the grain”. What would you say to the individual who is completely paralyzed by fear?

To those who are stuck because of fear I would say…take a look at the person that is 25 years older than you that is doing the same thing you’re doing right now.  What is that person’s life like? What type of things have they experienced?  How do they carry themselves everyday?  Are they pleasant?  Do they seem excited about life?  If you can’t see yourself being that person in 25 year then THAT should be what you’re scared of!  Use fear.  Use the fear of the misery that would be caused by you being scared to be the best you!  Most people when they are about to die regret all of the things that they didn’t do as opposed to the things that they did.  Don’t be that person!

Lessons From A 13 Year Old Father is available at http://www.lifesparkweb.com/life-101-book/ and in kindle version at http://www.amazon.com. Follow Saladin Davis at: 

Website: http://www.lifesparkweb.com
Facebook: Saladin Davis Professional Motivator
YouTube: SaladinDavis
Twitter: Saladin_Speaks
LinkedIn: Saladin Davis
Instagram: SaladinDavis