Kurlee Belle Founder Terrinique Pennerman Says Avoiding Negative People Is Also Self-Care
In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, their life, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.
Among the many lessons this pandemic has taught me, its recurring theme seems to revolve around boundaries. Personal, professional, but most importantly relational. I've always understood the concept theoretically but admittedly never took the time out to really recognize, set, and enforce my boundaries. And if 2020 has shown us anything, it's that life is too short to operate from the place of being unfulfilled and over-exerted. So when Kurlee Belle founder Terrinique Pennerman stressed to me the importance of putting major space between herself and negative Nancys as a way to preserve your peace––I was all ears. "Don't answer every time they call or change the subject if they bring up topics you do not like. Protect your mental space."
Wise words and sound wisdom from the Bahamian businesswoman.
Courtesy of Terrinique Pennerman
Kurlee Belle got its start in 2013 after Pennerman made the transition from relaxed to natural and saw that the abundance of luscious and naturally grown island ingredients were perfect for her hair. She began mixing recipes in her kitchen and soon found her natural curls thriving, wearing them with pride and confidence––stigma be damned. Since then, the brand has expanded into over 1,600 Sally Beauty stores and is available in the Bahamas, UK, Jamaica, Paris, and beyond. And even with a global pandemic rocking Black-owned businesses especially hard, things have yet to slow down for the Duke University MBA grad. In fact, Kurlee Belle's e-commerce and retail sales have skyrocketed ever since by a whopping 997% year-to-date and 100% in the last month, respectively.
When asked what she attributes this massive success to, she tells me that nobility and strategy played a major role. "Coupled with the fact that we are a long-standing brand of integrity, our expansion in Sally Beauty and hiring more talent to work on specific parts of the business is what assisted with the upswing. I would [strongly] encourage business owners to stay consistent in their business. If there is an area that has been proven to be successful, focus your attention on that area to reach higher heights."
She continues, "If you offer a superior product or service that you believe in, the customers will find you if you do not give up. If you have to offer your services on a smaller scale than you did prior to the pandemic, then do that, but do not give up. We can do many things in this life and if you have to work a second job to take care of your family, do what you need to do, but do not give up on your business because of a temporary setback."
In this conversation, we talk with Terrinique about balancing her business, prioritization, and self-care.
Read on for more.
xoNecole: At what point in your life did you understand the importance of pressing pause?
Terrinique Perniman: About two years ago when I had my daughter. I was used to doing life on my terms but she came along and taught me patience and that I should stop and enjoy the moment.
What is a typical day in your life? If no day is quite the same, give me a rundown of a typical work week and what that might consist of?
I wake up around 5:30, hit the gym for an hour, make breakfast, answer emails, go over my to-do list and wait for my daughter to wake up before we leave the house. I go to the office, check more emails, and run errands. After work, we go to the park so that my daughter can run around, then we go home and eat dinner. When she is asleep, I plan for the next day: to-do lists, emails, etc., turn on Netflix and fall asleep.
Courtesy of Terrinique Pernnerman
What are your mornings like?
Mornings consist of getting in a workout, sitting in silence with a cup of tea while my daughter sleeps, spending time with God, checking over my to-do list, and priorities for the day.
How do you wind down at night?
When you have a busy week, what’s the most hectic part of it?
Remembering to do everything. I write things down in my notepad or use Notes on my phone. For me, it is important to keep lists, prioritize what needs to be done first and check off after completed. I try not to store my to-do list in my head.
Do you practice any types of self-care? What does that look like for you?
I am all about self-care. I love to get my nails done, so I will pop into my local nail salon that serves wine while they serve you. Or I will book a massage at one of the luxury hotels on South Beach or Downtown Miami. Self-care for me is also just sitting in nature and observing. We go to the park a lot, so I like to find a shaded tree, feel the grass and dirt under my hands and feet, and just be still.
What advice do you have for busy women who feel like they don’t have time for self-care?
Self-care is really just taking some time out for yourself. In the evenings when you wind down, put on a cheap $1 mask from Sephora with a glass of wine. Drive the scenic route back home. Take a walk outside without your phone. Just sit and enjoy your loved ones without distractions. Avoiding negative people is also self-care—do not answer every time they call or change the subject if they bring up topics you do not like. Protect your mental space.
Courtesy of Terrinique Pernnerman
"Avoiding negative people is also self-care—do not answer every time they call or change the subject if they bring up topics you do not like. Protect your mental space."
How do you find balance with:
Friends, most of my friends are childhood friends that live in different cities and countries. We check in every week or sometimes daily just to keep each other on our toes through FaceTime, WhatsApp, etc.
I'm still figuring this one out.
Exercise is a must for me. I feel my best when I have exercised, so if I can't make it to the gym, I will walk/run around the park or do anything that makes me active.
Do you ever detox? What does that look like?
Yes, I do. I detox mentally and physically by prayer and fasting. This helps me become aligned with what God wants for me and refreshes me physically.
Lastly, what does success mean/look like for you?
Success to me is being happy and being able to provide for my family. Success to me is liking yourself as a person and being good to others.
For more of Terrinique, follow her on Instagram.
Featured image by Terrinique Pernnerman.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
A dead bedroom can kill any relationship. In all long-term, committed relationships, couples experience various phases, from the initial passion to a more complex and enduring connection. Yet, as time passes, sex may decrease, which introduces an issue often referred to as "bed death."
According to Advance Psychology Partners, 'bed death' occurs when individuals in a committed relationship experience a decline in the frequency of sexual activity and fall short of the desires of both or either partner. It is sometimes labeled a "sexless relationship" due to the infrequency of sex. In the U.S., an estimated 20 million people find themselves in such relationships.
This shift is a significant change for couples. Let’s face it: no one wants to be in a sexless marriage or relationship. But how can couples effectively confront the impact of fading physical intimacy on the overall health of their enduring partnership?
"I have found that many factors influence one's desire to dive, and it is often not a majority of just one thing. Most people assume that if they don't desire [sex], they are no longer physically attracted, but in my experience, that has little to do with it most of the time," explained Brittanni Young, LMFT, CST.
"Some of the heavy contributors that I see most often include excessive goal orientation towards orgasm, people not prioritizing their own sexuality, and the landfill of ‘should’s’ that develop from toxic sexual scripts created long ago in upbringing," she added.
Furthermore, these issues are not exclusive to any particular orientation, but it does manifest differently.
Young is a licensed marriage and family therapist, sexologist, and board-certified sex therapist who practices in Georgia and Florida. She has worked in the sexology field for over a decade. Young helps couples and individuals looking to get through challenges of all facets facing sexuality and intimacy, such as desire mismatch, over-compulsion, and dysfunctions. She recently launched a deck of intimacy connection cards called "Show Me Your Cards." Young is working on another product that helps teach children to consent and negotiate appropriate touch. She sat down with xoNecole to discuss what causes the decline in the bedroom, the myth of 'lesbian bed death,' and recommendations on overcoming "bed death."
The Decline In Intimacy
Intimacy often dwindles within relationships, a phenomenon triggered by various factors such as stress, the insidious monotony of routine, and the toxicity of unresolved conflicts, to name a few. While couples manage daily life, exchanging intimate desires and concerns may take a backseat. Sadly, this gradually erodes the closeness once shared in the relationship.
"Typically, the first thing I do when working with a couple on desire challenges is rule out medical causes by referring them to their primary care physician or other provider they are working with," Young shared. "There are times when unmanaged or mismanaged conditions factor into low desire levels. Also, many medications can wreak havoc on keeping desire levels up, such as antidepressants, SSRIs, anti-anxiety, and blood pressure medications, to name a few."
Jeff Bergen/ Getty Images
"Next, I look at the state of the relationship. If there is dissatisfaction in the relationship, then it definitely affects how close and intimate one wants to be to another. There are also plenty of individual factors one can bring into the equation, such as low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, feelings of shame or guilt around one's own sexuality, and external life stressors that can get in the way. I find that life stressors can be a big one for folks, as once you get in the habit of not prioritizing sex, it tends to stick," she added.
Fortunately, there are ways to prevent "bed death." It can involve prioritizing your wants and open communication about sexual needs.
"What tends to be effective for all couples is taking an inventory of how satisfied they are with their sexual behaviors and engagement. Being truthful in this vein can be the start of unlocking inhibitions that can keep you from seeking out and being genuinely vulnerable in intimate spaces," Young explained. "Next, I suggest opening up lines of communication around these truths. When people assume that nothing can be done, hope is lost."
The Myth Of 'Lesbian Bed Death'
The notion of "lesbian bed death" perpetuates a simplistic and inaccurate stereotype about the sexual dynamics within lesbian relationships. Contrary to the myth, the experience of a decline in intimacy is not universal among lesbian couples. The diverse spectrum of relationships among women challenges this oversimplified narrative, emphasizing that the complexities of sexual dynamics extend beyond stereotypical assumptions.
"The notion of 'lesbian bed death' is based on a research study done by Pepper Schwartz in 1983 that found that lesbian couplings fell behind in sexual frequency compared to heterosexual and gay male couplings," Young revealed.
"Several other studies [after] have replicated these findings but give very little information about sexual satisfaction. Despite there being more research needed overall in the sexuality field, more recent research did find that when it comes to the length of sexual encounters, lesbian couples had the longest duration of encounters. To that end, sexual quality over quantity is a better marker of satisfaction, and that is what I pay most attention to in my work. With that said, dissatisfaction can happen in all couplings over time," the sexologist continued.
Factors influencing reduced intimacy among lesbian couples may include communication challenges, societal pressures, and individual variations in libido. Menstruation can also play a role, with some couples navigating discomfort or hormonal changes during this period.
"There are certainly some nuances that come into play with lesbian couples that differ from heterosexual or other-oriented couples. As I stated earlier, physiological factors can factor into the rise and fall of libido. The hormone fluctuations that come from menstruation and menopause can impact desire levels, and it is double present in lesbian couples. Another nuance is the lack of a sexual script from society on lesbian sexual behavior. There are patriarchal roots to sexual research, which have created our societal norms that tend to leave out anyone who isn't heterosexual," Young stated.
Overcoming The Challenges
Westend61/ Getty Images
While 'bed death' challenges couples, solutions are within reach. By identifying and addressing the underlying causes, couples can rekindle the flame of intimacy and ensure a healthier, more fulfilling relationship.
"In the words of Esther Perel, another sexual professional in the field, 'love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery.' I recommend keeping it in the front of your mind, prioritizing, and keeping it interesting. Be open to learning more about your own sexuality every day, as well as your partner. You are always growing; what worked for you 20 years ago may not be the same today. Stay curious with one another and be open to exploring new ways to pleasure. You deserve it," Young said.
For instance, Young advised that couples should "keep sexual encounters light and playful." And not be afraid to introduce new elements, such as toys.
"Touch often in ways that are consensual and feel safe! I made 'Show Me Your Cards' to serve this purpose specifically. Just because you do not feel in the mood to go all the way does not mean you aren't in the mood to hold hands, exchange body massages, or dance together. Connecting often in any physical form, as long as it feels pleasurable, still counts as 'being in the mood,'" she said.
Overcoming the hurdles of "bed death" and debunking myths surrounding 'lesbian bed death' offers a unique perspective for couples grappling with the difficulties of sustaining a connection. Learning the proper ways to work through a sexless relationship can help foster a healthier, more fulfilling relationship.
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