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Extraordinary Friday is where I spotlight women doing awesome things in the community. I want to highlight ordinary women achievements to encourage women to extraordinary women. They can be teachers, business owners, or volunteers.

Let’s meet our Extraordinary Woman…

Leola Anifowoshe- Founder of Nzuri Elixir Liquid Hair Vitamins. Co-founder of the Nzuri Natural Hair, Health and Beauty Expo in Houston, Texas. As well as Co-founder of Little Miss “Happy” Headed beauty pageant. She has a foundation that’s called Keep Kids In School. http://www.naturalhairshowcase.com/

JL: What makes you an Extraordinary Woman?

LA: I do not know if I am Extraordinary that seems a bit odd to call oneself. I do consider myself in tune to the Infinite Higher Power of all Intelligence. If I had to name one thing that makes me “extraordinary” and that would be my resistance to the words “I can’t”. I do not subscribe to those words and they are not part of my life.

JL:Tell me more about your organization/business?

LA: I have so many things going on with my life I do not know where to start. My primary business is the Founder of Nzuri Elixir Liquid Hair Vitamins. We manufacture an entire line of healthy hair and body products that focus on inside/out technology. I am also the co-founder of the Nzuri Natural Hair, Health and Beauty Expo in Houston, Texas. We are Houston’s first and Texas’ largest natural hair event of its kind. We enjoy hosting the show. This December will mark our 3rd natural hair show. Everything we do is geared towards uplifting and empowering people. We also are the founders of Little Miss “Happy” Headed beauty pageant. It is a pageant for natural hair girls.

I also have a foundation that’s called Keep Kids In School. We have a primary program under that foundation entitled Shoes4School.org Our focus there is to provide new shoes for children in need so they can go outside and play and be fit. Studies have shown that fit children also score higher academically. With obesity plaguing African American children 3 to 1 than others I believe the first lady Michelle Obama is on target with her wellness program. It was ironic to me when I saw her get out and move campaign because ours was years before hers but when she brought more awareness to what we were doing it sort of validated our Mission.

JL: How is your business/organization impacting women’s lives?

LA: Through the Nzuri Natural Hair Health and Beauty Showcase, we offer women educational workshops and panel discussions that help them solve their personal challenges with natural hair health and beauty. Also, through facebook, our fan pages boast over 12K fans and we encourage women daily with golden nuggets of empowering helpful information. People can Like our page at www.facebook.com/nzurihairshow . Our pageant Little Miss “Happy” Headed empowers young girl’s lives while they are still so impressionable. Imagine how this world would be if the women of today had been encouraged to wear their natural hair when they were small girls as opposed to being taunted and teased about “nappy” hair. Our goal is to turn the word “nappy” into a happy empowering word. We are reaching girls and young ladies early enough. A strong foundation in a woman’s life is the cornerstone of her success as an adult woman.

JL: What made you step out on Faith? What was your aha moment?

LA: Oh my goodness. I get many aha moments. For the Charity Keep Kids in School, it came as a result of being infertile. My husband and I were unable to conceive at first. So, I went to God and made a bargain. I asked if he would give me children of my own, that I would repay his favor by giving back as much as I could to enrich other children. He gave me 5 beautiful, healthy children (4 by natural birth) and the last little character came cesarean. God stuck to His promise and I stuck to mine. Then we added Shoes4School’s to the program a few years ago when I went to check on my kid’s at school and noticed that one little boy had holes in his shoes. I then wondered “How could a nation that is so rich in resources, allow our children to walk around with holes in their shoes”. I went home, could not sleep at the thought of that little boy. Looked around town and could not find anyone else collecting shoes 4 kids and so we added the www.shoes4school.org to our Mission under Keep Kids In School.

In reference to the natural hair business we now do. My aha moment came as I was researching and formulating the Nzuri Liquid Hair Vitamins. Those vitamins came out of a need to provide high quality supplements that were not full of synthetic fillers and ingredients that could be harmful to my body. My body once had sarcoidoses (similar to Lupus) and I was told early on that the foods I ate would have a very significant impact on my health. Through research I found that I could actually facilitate my health and wellness with proper nutrition. Upon all that research I learned what was good and what was not so good for the body. Throughout I saw everyone dealing with inside and outside but never connecting them together. I would see some good recipes for cooking but then the same publication would suggest topical solutions for the hair or skin that contained harmful ingredients. On the other hand, I would see topical solutions that appeared to work quiet well but upon closer observation I realized they contained ingredients that once absorbed into the skin could be hazardous to the health. That is when Nzuri (A Swahili word that means both Very Good and Beautiful) was born. We started out with the 10 in 1 Beauty Restoration Tonic that does everything from Detox your body to reduce stress to the now 4 in 1 Curl Explosion cream which contains many of the same ingredients as our liquid hair vitamins contain. Also through that research I was lead to really understand the harmful effects of chemicals and the havoc they were wreaking on our bodies, especially our children. I wanted so badly to go and tell all the mothers to please not relax their children’s hair with chemicals no matter what pretty pictures of brown girls they put on the box. That is how I came up with Little Miss “Happy” Headed. After I realized the harmful effects of chemicals on kids’ hair, I first apologized to my own 3 daughters. Then I went on a Mission to find a way to validate them in their natural state. Miss “Happy” Headed does that. We are now in the works to take Miss “Happy” Headed around the Country within the next couple of years.

JL: What motivates you or drives you especially when things get a little hectic?

LA: When things get hectic I buckle down more. I’m motivated by being my own boss. I’m a non conformist. Always have been and probably always will be. I’m also motivated by the fact If I do not get up and do it, it won’t get done. My husband has a shirt that was lying on the chair one evening. I had seen this shirt at least 5 other times but this one particular time it had some very inspiring words right on the bottom flap near the last button that read “Just Get It Done!” I was like “Wow!!! That was talking to me”. I also think of how many people will be positively affected if I get it done.

JL: In Ephesians 3:20 it states, “God will do exceedingly and abundantly above anything that you can ask or imagine according to the power that is at work within you.” How does this passage apply to you?

LA: It applies to me because I witness this almost daily. I have seen God do things through me that leave me in awe. For instance, when I did the first Nzuri natural hair show, We planned the show and were scheduled to go on the weekend before Thanksgiving. After we had printed 5 K postcards and told the entire world seems like about the event, we were told that the date had been double booked for the facility and that we had two choices. Either reschedule for the following year or take the Saturday immediately following Thanksgiving because December was not available. I had to make a quick business decision. As event promoters we knew that the Saturday after Thanksgiving was considered a “dead weekend” for the sake of doing events as most people usually travel or spend family time. This was an instance where I had to do some serious one on one with God. I had to ask Him for all kinds of confirmation that if this is what He willed to make it happen. There were other event promoters saying I should sue the facility for making such a mistake or I should postpone until next year one even told me to not be disappointed if my crowd is very small. The negativity seemed to be mounting. On top of that I had a volunteer group that seemed to have their own agenda. The list of no no’s seemed to be endless. At one point all I had was the word of God. I asked God for confirmation. I said “Lord, in light of all that is going on in the physical world, I trust you fully to make manifest your will in this endeavor. I asked God to show me that this indeed was His will by bringing out a crowd of people. Many asked how many people you expect. I was optimistic and would say 1000 people. My best supporter said she’d hope to see at least 300 people. On the day of the event I said Lord its show time. To make a long story short, with all the noise that was going on in the background, I was able to be still and hear God say “I told you to trust in me with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding…” I was walking through this crowd of over 1500 people (there would have been more but the security said we’d reached the capacity of the building” saying “Lord, I see you Lord. Lord, I hear you Lord. Lord I understand Trusting Your Word now.” That is pretty much how my day went. When God whispers your name, you have to be quiet enough to hear it and bold enough to obey. I’d rather have the Army of God on my side any day that 1 Billion men in all their splendor.

JL: What obstacles have you had to overcome? How did you overcome them?

LA: I believe I answered some of that in the question above. The obstacles I’ve had to overcome in business as a woman is proving that a woman is capable and I am not just another pretty face. I overcome obstacles one at a time. Remember, I do not subscribe to the “I can’t” madness so to me obstacles are teachers that are put there along the way to strengthen our resolve.

JL: How do you handle negativity& negative people?

LA: To be honest, I try my best not to be around negative people. I detest negativity as I would any other bad drug or dilemma. Negativity will always exist in the world because the world consists of yin and yang and it is necessary for balance. However, I do not participate in it and I do not underestimate it. I acknowledge it and move on. Negative people must be avoided at all times. The old folks have a saying that “If a dog will bring a bone he’ll carry one.” One must be careful of listening to gossip from a gossiper, because it is only a matter of time before you become the subject of their contentious gossip. Also, some people need a lot of people around them in order to feel good or empowered. I am quite the opposite. I’d rather a few very deep meaningful relationships with people of integrity rather than a lot of shallow relationships.

JL: Extraordinary women usually live very busy lives, how do you handle success? What do you do as your stress reliever? What do you do in your spare time? What is your favorite weekend getaway spot?

LA: Yes I do believe that I am relatively busy but I make my own rules. I work from my home as often as I can. I occasionally have to go into the office to meet clients or to conduct business but my work is my play. I have created a business out of something I would do for free anyway. I believe that is one of the greatest gifts someone can receive from God is being true to their calling. What is your calling? I believe a person’s calling is what you are paid to do you would do for free.

JL: Any recommended reading that has inspired you on your journey?

LA: Oh my goodness. Have you ever heard the old saying that “All leaders are readers!”? It is true. What I love most about books is that they afford you the opportunity to go places and see things and meet people that transcends time and space. I read a lot of Eckhart Tolle “A New Earth” I read a lot of self help to include Dr. Wayne Dyer “The Power of Intention”. I love the book “The Slight Edge”. It is a must read on getting things done. In addition to reading books I love inspirational quotes by Maya Angelou and Oprah and occasionally Joyce Meyers. For sure I read the Bible. I love to read the book of psalms and Proverbs. I love proverbs because you see a lot of people you know fit those characteristics. Think and grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, Seeds of Greatness, The Science of Being Rich, I have an entire library of books. My Library is very important to me. My kids always tease each other that Mommy’s going to make you go into her library and read one of those “How to make Money” books if you don’t behave yourself.

JL: What are your tried and true sho’ nuff steps to success?

LA:Writing it down and making it happen. That’s the name of one of my favorite books to. Then just getting it done! I also suggest to busy people or people who want to get it done to get a free copy of one of the best resources I’ve seen available and that is http://www.simpleology.com/ It will certainly help you stay on target.

JL: What is your legacy?

LA: As Maya Angelou said “People will forget about what you said and what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel”. My legacy, when they come to my funeral, I want someone to ask the audience if anyone amongst you were blessed in some way by knowing Leola Anifowoshe please raise your hand.” And I would want at least 90% of the people in that room to feel at ease in raising their hands.

JL: Ways to contact you or where to find your product? How to get involve with your organization?

LA: People call me the email Queen. I can be reached at HealthyHairSociety@yahoo.com or by phone at 281-850-4571. They can also visit our product website at http://www.tryliquidhairvitamins.com/ or for our show and pageant information they can go to http://www.naturalhairshowcase.com/

JL: The purpose of my blog is to encourage women to step out of their comfort zone and do something extraordinary. Whether it is volunteering, writing a book, starting a band, or reading to the elderly, I want to encourage women to be Extraordinary. To live their best life yet! What are some parting words of wisdom or nuggets of knowledge you want to leave with my readers?

LA:First of all I want to Thank You for being obedient to inSPIRITation and doing this blog. I want to encourage everyone who read this to challenge yourself to “Just Get It Done”. Do not worry about all that can go wrong. Things will go wrong and that is o.k. too. All you have to remember, it is necessary for your growth. Also, just ask yourself, if I do this and fail what wrong will I have done? If the answer is no harm, then do it. Reach for the Moon, and if you do not make it past the clouds, it’s still o.k. At least you got your feet off the ground and that my Sister, is a journey in the right direction.

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