Category Archives: Talks With TJ

Courtney Danielle – Characteristics of a Renaissance Woman

I don’t think I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking to someone so talented with so many aspirations for greatness. More than just her gorgeous natural hair or her brand that has taken the natural hair community by storm, Courtney Danielle is a true Renaissance Woman with the incredible favor of God on her life. Get to know her a bit more as I bring you into our official talk breaking down her Christian walk, natural hair journey, career and a little insight on how she plans to bring it all together to change the game.

  Photo by: @bizzyamore

The Power of Influence

The Staten Island beauty we now see slaying photos, modeling for big time brands and serving up doses of Christian knowledge on her Instagram page, was initially extremely apprehensive about putting herself in the spotlight. “I was scared! I didn’t want to deal with all the criticism I saw other bloggers dealing with.” As a matter of fact, if it wasn’t for her good friends and boyfriend of 3 years who actually opened her Instagram account and YouTube channel, Curls and Couture may have never been born. Its amazing how sometimes the people around us can see things inside of us that we ourselves can’t see, while some others can be utterly clueless about our potential. The decision to accept or not accept those influences made all the difference for Courtney.

  

“You just don’t seem like the natural type.” This was the response Courtney got when she shared her decision to go natural with her family back in 2013. Fortunately this strong willed woman went for it anyway. As she grew her hair and mastered her go-to twist out style, the same individuals who were so reluctant about her decision were asking for tips on how to successfully make the transition themselves.

In the midst of going natural and apprehensively building the Curls and Couture brand, Courtney was also in school studying to receive her Masters Degree in Molecular Biology, which she recently earned. With plans to move on to med school to become a surgeon, Courtney had known for years that medicine would be in her future. 

  
With a passion for the sciences since she was a little girl, becoming a doctor was without question. Perhaps the other major lasting thing that stuck with her from childhood was her knowledge of Jesus Christ. Growing up with a mother and grandmother as Ministers it would be hard not to know Him. But, its one thing to know Jesus and quite another to follow Him.

A Well Made Up Mind

After growing up in the church and being a part of the Missionetts, a ministry for young girls, Courtney made up her mind at the age of 11 that she wanted to give her life to Christ. It wasn’t until her late teens and early adulthood that she would find that the power of influence would yet again come in to play, this time making it challenging to follow the Word of God.

Like so many of us in our early adulthood its easy to get caught up in doing things that aren’t pleasing to Christ all for the sake of trying to have a good time. Courtney was no different. “I’m so glad I had a good foundation in Christ.” It was that foundation that would help lead her back to the right path. She prayed for God to guide her and that’s exactly what He did, the cost, losing friends.

  Courtney and her parents

With a well made up mind and a support system of like-minded individuals, Courtney began to truly follow Christ, and as she did, she found that His favor seemed to pour down on her, so long as she walked according to His Word. Now focused in the right direction Courtney also uncovered even more interests and talents that God had put on the inside of her that formulated into the characteristics of a true Renaissance Woman.

Characteristics of a Renaissance Woman

While pursuing her passion of medicine this member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority met and began seriously dating her videographer boyfriend, Ty. Seeing the talent of natural hair influence within her is what encouraged him to push her into the world that most of us have come to know her. 

  Courtney and her boyfriend Ty

Why not build a brand (Curls and Couture) while studying for your Masters Degree in Molecular Biology, grow it to over 45K supporters, work with big natural hair brands, confess your faith through that platform, inadvertently lead others to Christ and co-find and direct the creative for an online magazine (Black Girl Fly Mag)? And, while you’re at it, discover yet another passion for health and fitness and start making moves to compete in a fitness competition. Oh, and because God has also given you a desire to help others why not start thinking up a way to bring all of these areas together into one amazing business idea that could change the game. Seriously!? Yes, seriously!  



Somewhere along her life journey Courtney wants to start a business that could revolutionize women’s hair care and wellness services. But…that’s all that I can share as I am sworn to secrecy. I will however say this, DO NOT lose sight of the woman, she’s got major plans. As a matter of fact, one might be intimated by such a strong willed woman seemingly destined for greatness, but her genuineness and love of Christ exudes so strongly that those feelings never have an opportunity to take flight. 

Talking with this woman was so inspiring. There is greater reason than her head full of hair to follow this 26 year old ultra talented woman with the power of influence, a well made up mind, and most importantly the favor of God on her life.

Want to keep up with Courtney? Be sure to follow her!

Instagram: @CurlsandCouture

YouTube: YouTube.com/CurlsandCouture

  

JFashiongirl87 Talks With TJ

Jessica Pettway: Why We Just Can’t Get Enough

There aren’t a lot of people that serve face quite like her. From the hair to the makeup and amazing jewelry that adorns her neck and ears, this amazing woman inspires countless individuals daily, myself included. Thrilled to have my first official Talk with TJ with the February curlBox Cover Model, my mission was to uncover why we just can’t seem to get enough of her! Outside of her creativity, style and beauty there is something else that seems to draw in so many of us. Want to know what it is? Keep reading. 



The Struggle Builds Strength 

 A pint sized ball of fire with a lot of attitude and even more love, if you follow her you know that this description sounds a lot more like the one-year old baby naturalista, Kai (@KaiLeecurls) than her mommy, the growing natural hair and fashion icon Jessica Pettway aka JFashiongirl87. Although a spitting image of her daddy, Kai and her mommy were very similar at a young age. “Kai is a lot like me when I was young. I was really little, but I was bossy!” She may have been bossy but she carried a big heart beneath that small frame. 

Jessica struggled to fit in at school wondering why she felt so different. But, when you share the floor with a praying father when you’re no older than 3, find yourself and your family living in a shelter, and give your life to Christ at the tender age of 9 there’s no wonder why there was a struggle to fit in. But see, the thing about the struggle is, it builds strength. 

You may be surprised to learn about the courage that lives behind the unique style of this California made and raised woman so many of us have come to admire. We all know her as JFashiongirl87, a well-known name in the natural hair community that even she once depended on, but not even that name or the fear that hid behind it could keep her from walking in her purpose. 

From Fashion To Faith 



You might not be hard pressed to learn that Jessica had a career in digital merchandising before she started inspiring us all. Of course she worked in fashion, makes perfect sense! That career is actually where the name JFashiongirl started. Despite her success over the years she felt like something was missing. “I wanted to do all of this stuff in fashion, but no matter how far I got in my career, I was never fulfilled.” 

Fortunate enough to have grown up with the knowledge of Christ, now as an adult in this passionless place she knew that the feeling of being unfulfilled was directly correlated to her relationship with God. “All of this time, instead of following God’s plan for my life I was trying to tag God along with my plan!” Realizing the need to fix the priority of where God fit in her life, she shared her desires with Him and allowed Him to lead the way. 

At the very beginnings of starting their family, Jessica gave up her career in fashion and started a new career rooted in faith as a stay at home wife and mom. “It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I had no idea how we were going to make it. We could barely afford to support ourselves let alone a baby!” But, they trusted God and before they could turn around good, God was doing exactly what His Word promised He would do, provide. 

Photo credit: @gworshphotography

From Mommy to Model 

The new role of stay at home wife and mom was scary, but fulfilling. Knowing she was exactly where God wanted her to be made all the difference. “By coming home I allowed my husband to fully operate in his role and me to fully operate in mine.” Is there struggle at times, sure, but we would never know it. Jessica carries the strength and wisdom of her mother who always kept herself and her family more than presentable even when they were homeless. “No one should be able to tell your circumstance by the way you look.” That’s the mentality of this amazing women we watch transform from mommy to model like a boss. 



A longtime lover of versatility and diverse styles, Jessica dove into embracing her natural hair texture around the same time she made her big career move. Although she had been natural since early 2011 when she cut off all of her hair just before she walked down the aisle to marry the love of her life, she hadn’t immediately accepted her kinky hair texture. 

Like many naturals it took a lot of time and acceptance before she ultimately changed her attitude towards her hair. “Once I learned how to appreciate my texture, that’s when I learned how to take care of it.” That learning to love and appreciate didn’t happen until 2013. Oh, but when it did! 

We all know that hair health is the most integral part of our natural hair journeys, but when you’re a busy mom that’s easily bored with wearing the same styles you’ve got to find a way to keep things interesting. Jessica’s go-to for keeping it interesting and simple, wigs! And boy can this woman can slay a wig. 



A Petite Powerhouse in the Making 

As her name grows and the big brand opportunities flood in, Jessica keeps the priority of her family at the top of her list. “This is all great, but it was never really my plan.” The plan, to be the best wife and mom she possibly can. That’s exactly why family opportunities that fall into the natural hair or fashion space suite her best. The recent campaign with Curls featuring her and Kai is a perfect example. 

From natural hair to fashion she is captivating us all, but it’s what we can’t see, the strength, courage and Christian values, that really pulls us in and is frankly, why we just can’t get enough. One thing is for sure, Jessica’s faith game is on high, although she will admit that the biggest challenge about being Christian is the fact that it can be a lonely walk. Even so, it is more than worth it to trust God every step of the way as you walk in your purpose. 

We definitely can’t contest the fact that Jessica is walking in her purpose and is not slowing down. As God keeps making room for this 27 year-old inspiring woman she wants everyone to know that “it’s ok to be a wife, a mom, a Christian and love fashion.”

If you’re not following Jessica’s social networks, what are you doing!? Get plugged in right now and start being inspired by this petite powerhouse in the making. 

 YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/JessicaPettway

Instagram: @JFashionGirl87 @JNaturalGirlJe