If the year 2020 has taught me anything is that life is unpredictable. You think to yourself, "Oh I'll just try that new hobby tomorrow," or "I'll pitch my new business idea next month," or "I'll just ask that cute guy down the block his name another day." Nah, sis. This year has been the year to be a little more brave and take a risk in life and in love. But don't just listen to me, comedian and content creator Jasmine Luv is here to tell you that there is no time like the present.
Jasmine Luv is no stranger to going after what she wants. From leaving her accounting job four years ago to following her passion as a content creator, Jasmine has landed countless acting roles including a starring role in a recent BETHer two-part special directed by Vanessa Bell Calloway and Sheryl Lee Ralph called The Waiting Room. While Jasmine is following her dreams in her career, she is not letting her love life pass her by. Jasmine and her partner Corey, Tall Guy Car Reviews, recently got engaged and they couldn't be happier. Who knew a ring would be the result of a simple slide into this guy's DM? With this pandemic, a successful love story of hope after an action of bravery is exactly what we need.
xoNecole recently had a chance to chat with Jasmine on how her life has changed for the better after she #ShotHerShot. Here's what she shared:
xoNecole: What did the moment look like when you decided to shoot your shot at Corey?
Jasmine Luv: When I first saw him, it was at the gym. We were living in the same complex and when I walked into the gym I said to myself, 'Who is this young fella over here glistening with the sweats?' We locked eyes, but didn't say anything. So I continued my work out and left because in my mind, if he's not going to say anything, then I am not going to say anything. I got home and was talking to my brother about the guy I saw at the gym. My brother goes to the gym all the time, so he was bound to know who else goes to the gym a lot too.
After I described the guy to him, my brother told me that he was Tall Guy Car Reviews. So after he said that, you know us women gotta do our detective work. I Google-d him and found his page on Instagram. I'm scrolling and noticed I didn't see a woman in any of the pictures. At the time, I think I was going through a moment where it's Hot Girl Summer, I'm single and it looked like he was single. We live in the same complex, so I thought what the heck, I'm just going to shoot my shot. I did my due diligence and slid in his DMs. I have never done that before. I don't know what came over me, but it must have been God because it worked out marvelously.
"I did my due diligence and slid in his DMs. I have never done that before. I don't know what came over me, but it must have been God because it worked out marvelously."
What was that intro line you gave him that reeled him in?
Well, I sent him a message saying, "Hey neighbor, I see you live at the same complex. How are you?" He responded and then I asked him how was he liking everything so far. We kept conversing after that and he asked me if I wanted to meet up with him later on the rooftop. The rest is history.
Now, you and Corey have a successful YouTube channel, travel the world, and are engaged -- did you know that shooting your shot with him was going to be the beginning of your forever?
Never did I think in a million years things would turn out the way they did. Like I said, it was 2019, Hot Girl Summer, and I was just letting things happen. I wasn't expecting anything.
How do you navigate between both of your individual careers and the budding empire you are building together?
Everything worked seamlessly honestly. We both do the same things in our careers and that helps because we both know what to expect in each other's lives. I know individually we respect each other and when we can, we make time where certain days are "Our Days". For example, during the week, it's busy with running errands and shooting videos. At the end of the day, we do catch up and talk to each other about our day and give us that time together. But on Sundays, we do zero work. We are able to just lay in bed all day, watch movies, and eat fat food. That's how we do our self-care.
"On Sundays, we do zero work. We are able to just lay in bed all day, watch movies, and eat fat food. That's how we do our self-care."
Do you think you applied the “shoot your shot” mentality with your dream career?
I know I am a person that comes off as very straightforward. Shooting my shot with my career, that doesn't come as a shock. When it comes to business, I am very hands-on and direct. However, in my love life, I have never done that before, so that definitely comes as a shock.
What are three rules of thumb you think we all should apply in order to shoot our shots and live the lives we wish to lead?
Well, the first rule I would say is, don't be afraid to do it. I think as women we think, 'Oh, he didn't approach me, so I'm not going to approach him.' Because shoot, I was like that. But while I think it's true that men should pursue women, there is also nothing wrong with you making the first move. It's OK. There is nothing wrong with trying it out. We are in a new era and if you see a man and you think he's fine, you better go over there and tell that man you think he's fine!
The second rule would be to have fun with it. Try not to take the situation so seriously. We can psyche ourselves sometimes, but girl, it's cool to just have fun and be in the moment. The third rule correlates with number 1, but JUST DO IT (laughs). I know it's easier said than done, trust me I know. But as far as shooting your shot with a guy, I think a good ice-breaker is starting up a conversation about something you both have in common. With Corey and I, we have social media in common. So we were able to connect through that.
Why do you think women are hesitant to make the first move when it comes to what we want out of life?
I acknowledge that shooting your shot is not for everyone. I know I used to be one of those girls that would think, 'Hmmm I'm good on that.' I know a lot of people have told me that they have a fear of rejection and I believe everyone does. But I still think you don't know unless you try. So, I think it's OK to feel out of your element. No one was expecting the pandemic and how it has taken control of people's lives. But sometimes, that is exactly what we need to do with our own lives. Take back control. In 2020, it's a chance to try something new. With everything that is going on, maybe how you've done things isn't working anymore and you need to shift and do something different. Something that's outside of your comfort zone.
"No one was expecting the pandemic and how it has taken control of people's lives. But sometimes, that is exactly what we need to do with our own lives. Take back control. In 2020, it's a chance to try something new."
What is one thing you would tell your younger self that you wish someone told you about taking ownership of writing your own story?
Jasmine Luv: Well, growing up, I was always the shy girl. I'm honestly still shy to this day. But with moving out to LA, I was able to get out of my comfort zone a little bit and it made me more confident. So I would tell my younger self, "Don't be shy." If there is anything you want to do, you should pursue it.
Whether it's in your love life or your career, make sure you get out there, do it, and give it your all.
Keep up with their love story by following Jasmine's IG page here and check out the couple's YouTube channel to see more of their travels, wedding planning and more.
Featured image courtesy of Jasmine Luv
This was first evident more than a decade ago when she quit her job as the corporate executive of a Fortune 500 company during a Periscope livestream. “I’m not sure if there’s an alignment of [our] future trajectory. I’m going to work for myself. I'm promoting myself to work for myself,” she said at the time before flashing a smile at the viewing audience. As she resigned on camera, a constant stream of encouraging messages floated upwards on the screen.
By 2021, she’d fashioned her work as a corporate consultant and her personal life with her husband and three adopted daughters into a reality show, She’s The Boss, for USA Network. This year, she released the New York Times bestselling memoir Nothing Is Missing, written as she was in the process of getting a divorce and dealing with her eldest daughter’s struggles with substance use.
Convinced that there’s no way the 39-year-old has achieved all of this without intentional strategic planning, I asked her about it when we spoke less than a week before Christmas. I’d seen videos on social media of her working on 2024 planning for other brands, and I wanted to know what that looked like following her own year of success.
She listed a number of goals, including ensuring that the projects she takes on in the new year align with her identity “as a Black woman, as an African woman, as a mother, as someone who has lived a [rebuilding] season and is now trying to live boldly and entirely as themselves.” But, I was shocked by how much of her business planning also prioritized rest.
Despite the bestselling book, a self-titled podcast, and working with numerous corporations, Walters said she’s been taking Fridays off. This year, she doesn’t want to work on Mondays, either.
“A lot of us think we work hard until retirement hits. I want to progress towards retirement,” she said, noting that she’ll check in with herself around March to see how successful this plan has been. The goal, Walters said, is to only be working on Tuesdays and Thursdays by sometime in 2025. “It is intentionally building out what I know I would like to have happen and not waiting for exhaustion to be the trigger of change.”
"A lot of us think we work hard until retirement hits. I want to progress towards retirement... It is intentionally building out what I know I would like to happen and not waiting for exhaustion to be the trigger of change."
Walters said the decision to progressively work less was partially in response to her previously held notions about her career, especially as an entrepreneur. “When I first started, I thought burnout was a part of it,” she said. “What I didn’t realize is that even if you’re able to bounce out of burnout or get back to it, there’s a cumulative impact on your body. If you think of your body as a tree and every time you go through burnout, you are taking a hack out of your trunk, yes, that trunk will heal over, and the tree will continue to grow, but it doesn't mean that you don’t have a weakened stem.”
But, the desire for increased rest was also in response to the major shifts that occurred three years ago when she was experiencing major changes in her family and realized her metaphorical tree was “bending all the way over.”
“One of the things we have to recognize, especially as Black women, is that there is this engrained, societal, systemic notion that our worth is built around our productivity,” she added. “That is some language that I think is just now starting to really get unpacked.” In recent years, there’s been an increased awareness of achieving balance in life, with Tricia Hersey’s “The Nap Ministry” gaining attention based on the idea that rest, especially for Black women, is a form of resistance. Even online phrases such as “soft life” and “quiet quitting” have hinted at a cultural shift in prioritizing leisure over professional ambition.
"One of the things we have to recognize, especially as Black women, is that there is this engrained, societal, systemic notion that our worth is built around our productivity."
If companies are lining up to consult with Walters about their brands and products, then women have been looking to her for guidance on starting over since she invited them to livestream her resignation 12 years ago. As viewers continue to demand more from content creators in the form of intimate, personal details, Walters has navigated her personal brand with a sense of transparency without oversharing the vulnerable details about her life, especially when it comes to her family.
The entrepreneur said she’d been approached to write a book for several years and was initially convinced she was finally ready to write one about business. “I started to do that, and then I went through my divorce. When that happened, I said, why would I write a book telling people to get the life that I have when I’m not sure about the life that I have,” she said.
Instead, she decided to write Nothing Is Missing and provide a closer look at her life, starting with being born to immigrant Ghanaian parents (“You need to know my childhood to know why I’m passionate about entrepreneurship.”) through the adoption of her three daughters and eventual divorce. Despite her desire to share, however, she said she felt protective of the privacy of her family, including her ex-husband.
When discussing this with me, Walters said she was reminded of a lesson she learned from actress Kerry Washington, who released her own memoir, Thicker Than Water, just a week before Walters’ book release. Washington’s memoir grapples with family secrets, too, specifically the fact that she was conceived using a sperm donor and didn’t learn about it until she was already a successful TV star. While Washington reflects on how the decision and subsequent deception impacted her, she’s also careful to hold space for her parents’ experiences, too. “A lot of things she said was that she had to recognize where she was the supporting character and where she was the main character,” Walter said.
This is something Walter worked to do in Nothing Is Missing when discussing her daughter’s struggles with addiction. “I was very intentional about making sure that I did not reveal more than what was required,” she said. “If I say something about someone’s addiction, I don’t need to go into the list of the substances they used, how they used them, what I found. [I don’t need to] walk into a room and paint a picture of what it looked like for people to understand.”
Walters said some of the most vulnerable moments in the book barely made a ripple once it was released. She was extremely nervous to write about getting an abortion, she said. But no one has asked her about this in the months since the book was released. Instead, people have been more interested in quirkier revelations, such as the fact that she once appeared on Wheel of Fortune.
“I have bared my soul about this thing I went through in my youth that has changed me for people, and people are like, ‘So how heavy was the wheel when you spun it?’” she said, chuckling. “It just goes to show that people never worry about the thing that you worry about.”
With the success of Nothing Is Missing, Walters said she still isn’t planning to release a business book at the moment. But, as she navigates parenting a teenager and two adult children while also navigating a relationship with her new fiancé, Walters said she believes she has at least one or two more books to write about her personal journey. “There is sort of an arc of where my life has gone that I know I’ve got something more to say about this that I think is important, relevant and necessary,” she said.
In just three years, Walters’ life has undergone a major transformation. There’s no telling what the next three years will have in store for her, but it seems likely she’ll retain an inspired audience wherever life takes her.
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Featured image courtesy
When Megan Thee Stallion dropped “Hiss,” a shift happened. From the audacious lyrics to the striking visuals, there was no doubt that the song and video would go viral. The opening of the video shows the H-town hottie rocking a barely there Shibari red dress, showing off her voluptuous frame. It was a sexy moment created by Timeekah Murphy of Alani Taylor. The designer exclusively tells us how the opportunity came about and what it was like seeing her design on Megan for the first time.
xoNecole: How did the opportunity to create such an iconic look for Megan Thee Stallion's "Hiss" video come about?
Timeekah Murphy: The opportunity came from a DM from celebrity stylist Zerina Akers. She asked for a unique Shibari piece for Megan, and I needed to get it done in two days. So, of course, I did everything in my power to make it happen. I've always wanted to design for Megan, so this was an awesome opportunity for me.
xoN: What was that initial feeling of seeing the dress on her for the first time?
TM: I was shocked because, at first, I thought it hadn't been used. I saw Megan's last video and thought, damn, maybe it didn't fit. So, to see it on such an amazing video was breathtaking. I was beyond excited to finally say I designed for her.
xoN: Did you meet her? If so, how was that moment?
TM: I didn't meet Megan during the shoot, but during my time in LA, I got the opportunity to meet her at LA Pride with Tiffany Haddish, Common, and EJ King (stylist). Megan is such an amazing person, so it made it even better to know that my designs were going to be worn by her.
I was shocked because, at first, I thought it hadn't been used. I saw Megan's last video and thought, damn, maybe it didn't fit. So, to see it on such an amazing video was breathtaking. I was beyond excited to finally say I designed for her.
xoN: Walk us through the creation of the dress. How did you come up with the look, and how long did it take to make it?
TM: I was the co-designer for a brand called Deviant in 2018-2020, and we used to make custom Shibari pieces. That's how Zerina knew me. So I'm very familiar with making these types of pieces. We made plenty for Beyoncé, Cardi B, Tiffany Haddish, Tyra Banks, and so many others. So Zerina knew exactly what she wanted.
To get it done, it took me a day and a half. It's very intricate and time-consuming, so I spent about six hours making it then I sent an image of it to Zerina, and she didn't approve the first one, so I had to start from scratch again after getting my guidance and understanding of what was needed. The next day, I went to The Lab and created another version, and she approved it. I had to get it shipped overnight so that she would get it in time and fast forward to seeing it on the big screen.
xoN: What's next for you?
TM: Everything. The sky is not my limit, so the Alani Taylor brand is expanding into so many different avenues. We are getting involved in the community more, offering sewing classes to the youth. I've opened up a store for my brand in Atlanta and now preparing for fall/winter Fashion Week.
Megan Thee Stallion "Hiss" video/ YouTube