Joy, please share your daily wellbeing routine with us
About a year ago, I swapped my morning cup of tea for a mug of water and the juice from half of a freshly squeezed lemon instead as this helps the body’s metabolism to start on the right note. I also make a point of walking briskly if I need to go anywhere i.e the school run. Unfortunately, it’s all downhill from there because I pretty much dive into work straight after and am bound to my mac and desk for the next few hours. I try to attend the gym and use the cardio equipment at least three times a week, it’s my time to de-stress and is an important part of my self-care regime.
What are the 3 top elements that you need in your daily life for you to ‘be your best you’?
The love of my family, order and peace in my home-life routine and a new challenge.
What are your favourite beauty/makeup products?
Outside of events, parties and some meetings, I usually go makeup free. I think this has really helped my skin and so even when I opt to wear makeup, I only need to use light coverage powder and never use heavy foundation. My favourite beauty product is my Vaseline Jelly Rosy lips salve. I never leave the house without a quick smear across my lips. I also like a black kohl eye pencil to define my eyes.
Joy, what inspired you to launch ‘Melan Mag’ your fab magazine that celebrates diversity by highlighting the beauty, style and achievements of women of colour ? What is the message that you want to share with the world?
I’ve always wanted to work for myself and with a two-decade career in communications under my belt, running a magazine was kind of the only career that was best suited to my skill-set. For years I’ve had the ambition to run a magazine for women of colour as I felt that there wasn’t enough representation, or celebration of women of colour and our achievements in main stream media. I’m very much a do-er, and so rather than wait for mainstream media to wake up, I decided to create a publication that I could relate to as a 40-something, sophisticated women of colour. The message I want to share is, ‘be the change you want to see’. The time to complain or wait for to be acknowledged is over. It’s time to own our own narrative. Only we can speak our experience, our culture and our identity. Why would we expect someone else to do that for us?
In your journey as an entrepreneur, what have you discovered about yourself that surprised you?
How many times I can be disappointed and still pick myself up and carry on! I have always been pretty self-reliant, but as an entrepreneur you will always have to rely on people for something and it doesn’t always go to plan.
How much do you listen to your ‘inner voice’? Have there been times that you haven’t, that you ended up regretting?
I do try to listen to my inner voice, or my instinct, but it is sometimes hard to quell all of the other competing voices that are also vying for attention. Fear has a very loud voice! Every single time that I haven’t followed my instinct I ended up regretting it. It’s quite a skill to hear your inner voice, and also finding the time to act on it is increasingly hard.
Upon reflection what words of wisdom would you share with your younger self?
You ARE good enough, don’t be scared; go for it!
How much impact has your upbringing had on the businesswoman that you’ve become ?
Huge impact. Nothing has come easy, particularly in my youth and twenties. I feel like I’ve really paid my dues and owe it to myself to follow my dream. Practically, my education and experience has furnished me with many of the skills I need to pursue my ambition of being an independent publisher.
The word ‘resilience’ is often used when describing the qualities of female achievers in all spheres: how does the word resilience manifest in your journey thus far?
It is everything! There have been so many knock backs and a lot of self-doubt and soul-searching as to whether I’m doing the right thing. Giving up a comfortable, employed existence for uncertainty, financial hardship and sometimes 20-hour work days. So far, it’s not been much of a trade, but I am resilient and find solutions and support in all sorts of places and people. I know without a doubt know that this is what I should be doing.
Do you think that how women define their beauty is changing to a more individual approach or are we still being dictated to by society at large?
I think it is a mixture of the two. It’s also great to see that many of us are now ‘woke’ enough to question when a forced ideal is being rammed down our throat. I certainly see a lot of beauty trends that are followed quite religiously. However, I do believe that the older we get, the more confident we are about embracing our own individual standards of beauty or fashion. You could say that beauty ideals and rules are a lot less rigid, particularly with the natural hair movement and perhaps more natural eyebrows for example, but you could argue that this too is a trend. I personally like to sit outside of generic beauty standards. The moment thick, red locs become trendy, I’ll be going for the big chop!
How important is it for women to have cheerleaders? Who are your cheerleaders?
It is supremely important. We are sociable beings and having a squad, no matter how big or small, who will cheer you on and encourage you is very powerful, perhaps the difference between succeeding and failing. My circle of cheerleaders is very small. My mum, sisters, sister-friends and even my two sons do an amazing job of lifting my spirits when the chips are down.
Is there a book that has been a game changer or one that you go back to again and again?
Not a book, but I love to learn about people who have overcome insurmountable obstacles to succeed in their endeavours. I really do believe that there is an inspirational story in every one of us. Some people just do a better job of sharing it with the world.