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.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith went to social media to share their Thanksgiving holiday with followers. The pair were surrounded by family and friends Thursday, and both posted how grateful they were to be with the ones they loved. Yet this comes on the heels of Pinkett Smith’s whirlwind of negative opinions and critics forecasting her book would be a flop.
Despite the negative feedback she received, Worthy, Pinkett Smith’s memoir, still debuted at #3 on the New York Times’ Best Seller list on October 25. The greatest backlash she received was centered around her relationship with Smith and the fact that the two had been living separate lives since 2016.
The commentary about their marriage overshadowed the reality that this book is ultimately about her journey to self-worth and the path she’s had to take in order to get there.
Social media comments about her book tour ranged from, “Me counting all the times Jada woke up and chose to embarrass Will Smith,” to podcasts like The Joe Budden Podcast saying, “Take me out the group chat,” which was a sentiment shared by many celebrities and fans alike. Yet, a point made by comedian KevOnStage proved that even though people say they don’t want to know about the Smiths, they’re secretly interested and want to know more.
Since the Smiths were wed in 1997, people have been fascinated with their marriage, and rumors about their marital arrangement have always been a topic of conversation. People continue to speculate that the pair is gay and swingers, and even new allegations have come out that Smith and Duane Martin shared an intimate relationship at one point.
However, despite their consistent united front throughout their marriage in recent years, Pinkett Smith has borne the brunt of backlash in the couple’s relationship, from her entanglement with August Alsina to Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards to the recent truths she’s shared about the couple’s marriage in her memoir.
Individuals are consistently running to the internet to support Smith and villainize Pinkett Smith, from podcast guests saying things such as “She doesn’t like Will, she likes the lifestyle” to deeming her “mean” or "manipulative" because of her facial expressions and demeanor.
Likewise, when you have hosts of daytime talk shows such as Ana Navarro saying, “I think she’s having a relationship with her bank account,” insinuating Pinkett Smith only shared stories about Smith to increase her book sales, it begs the question of where was this same energy when Smith released his memoir?
In Will, Smith discusses both of his marriages and how, in relationships, because of his upbringing, he needed constant validation and praise from his partners to feel secure. He also shared the reality that Pinkett Smith never wanted to be married, just as she never wanted the huge estate they share in California, but he wanted to give it to her despite her feelings about it.
Smith admitted to creating this family empire that only further boosted his ego and what he wanted his legacy to be instead of actually asking his family what they wanted or needed. People praised him for his vulnerability and said his book was an inspiration.
So how is it that one book about a person’s family, upbringing, and journey to self is praised, and another is villainized? The glaring thought that comes to me is, does likability often trump accountability?
People love Smith and his “good guy” persona; he’s always been an attractive, charismatic man that people can relate to, so even when he speaks about the way he mismanaged his marriage and family, it’s seen as growth. On the contrary, because Pinkett Smith doesn’t constantly fawn over him and shares how miserable she was in their marriage, she’s the villain.
People still blame her for not stopping Smith from smacking Rock at the Oscars and share their sentiments about how she embarrassed Smith with her entanglement with Alsina. Though this is a celebrity couple we’ve all followed for years, the question must be asked, how much accountability must Black women be subjected to in relationship to their partners' actions?
Why is it that the media is more interested in the marriage between Smith and Pinkett Smith than her childhood, or the fact her memoir consists of writing prompts, meditations, and methods for other women to find their sense of worth?
Could it be that the larger society doesn’t value Black women having the tools to find their own sense of worth? Or is it that Black women are expected to accept whatever is given to them regardless of how they feel or what they want?
The exclusive interview with Eboni K. Williams (@ebonikwilliams) and Dr. Iyanla Vanzant about if she would date a bus driver seems to have a lot of people talking. You can watch her response tonight on #theGrio. Catch the full interview, here: https://t.co/ctxE0zKFWj pic.twitter.com/BhIO52T2fg— theGrio.com (@theGrio) May 2, 2023
When Eboni K. Williams shared that she wasn’t interested in dating a bus driver, the internet blew up with individuals saying that Black women need to be less selective with their dating prospects. The commentary around this conversation shed much light on the reality that this demographic is expected and invited to settle in love if they actually want a life partner.
Black women aren’t often given the space to find their joy, fulfillment, or even self-worth because of the responsibility they’re forced to acquire in order to support their families and communities. Yet, “high value” Black men speak vehemently about Black women’s masculinity and inability to submit. We’re often inundated with podcast guests sharing that they’re not impressed by our success and are uninterested in our aspirations.
Black women, from a young age, are taught to place their community first and cater to the men around them regardless of what they do or how they behave.
We see this when young girls are told to put on pants when male relatives come around, we experience it when domestic violence survivors are encouraged not to press charges against their perpetrators, and we even see it when Black women face backlash for dating outside of their race.
The way Pinkett Smith has been treated since sharing the truth about her life and journey of discovering her self-worth is another example of how the world isn’t receptive to Black women being their most authentic selves.
It’s another example we can hold up to illustrate how Black women are expected to be magical but not human.
Even with this article, I’m sure there will be many who want to argue why Pinkett Smith was wrong in her narrative, but at the end of the day, it was her story to tell, and no one has more authority to share her lived experience than her.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by James Devaney/GC Images