Happy Women's History Month! Here at Heart of Hollywood Magazine, we want to take the time to spotlight some amazing womenpreneurs who have dedicated their lives to providing products, resources, and services to help so many others. These selfless women are so talented, intelligent, unique, hardworking, and deserve all of their shine. We are so proud of each of these innovative businesswomen and look forward to their continued journey. Join us in celebrating these 5 women-owned businesses to watch.
Norma Mlauchlin is a visionary, an uplifter, an exhorter, and a healer. She will always do whatever it takes to get to the bottom of her client’s pain and trauma in order to heal the broken parts and get the story out. She then begins the process of turning that story into a publishing success, creating income streams for her clients.
Norma founded Chosen Pen Publishing with the express goal of breaking old pain cycles and creating new cycles of healing, strength, and support. She knows for certain that her own story has helped countless others step into their own purpose, and choose the path God has laid out for them, so every time she helps someone by telling her own story, she creates a new cycle.
Each person is the next rotation in the cycle, who finds wellness, hope, and strength in telling their story, a story that has the power to help someone else do the same. And the cycle continues. This is the mission of Norma and of Chosen Pen Publishing.
Hope spreads like fire, and Norma has lit dozens and dozens of little fires, and she plans to spend her life continuing to light the torches of others and watching those fires spread.
Connect on social media @chosenpenpublishing
Dawn Michelle Hardy
Dawn Michelle Hardy is an award-winning book publicist and highly sought-after publishing consultant who transitioned from a fashion career to the book world by working as an author assistant. In 2004 she leaped into entrepreneurship and formed Dream Relations PR & Literary Consulting Agency to aid and advocate for Black writers and their books. A ‘Cool Jobs’ profile by Ebony magazine, recognized Dawn as the ‘literary lobbyist’ for her passion in bringing the books of creatives and thought leaders to market with national media attention, awards and events. Some of her past book campaigns include: Secret Society by Miasha, Love in a Carry-On Bag by Sadeqa Johnson, Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen, Ghost in a Black Girl’s Throat by Khalisa Rae, Counting Descent by Clint Smith, The Beastside by D. Watkins, This is Only a Test by Chris-Tia Donaldson, Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson, Beyond Broadway Joe: The Superbowl Team That Changed Football by Bob Lederer and Get Over ‘I Got It’ by Elayne Fluker.
Called a “powerhouse who shares industry truths” in Upscale magazine Dawn is a frequent podcast guest and conference presenter who teaches on platform building, proposal writing and the best practices for securing a traditional book deal. She has served as a member of the NAACP Image Award Literary Committee, launched Publishing in Your Pajamas a virtual one-day conference for emerging authors and hosts and produces Book Banter TV a cool interactive streaming series about writers and their books.
Recently featured in Forbes Women, Dawn Michelle Hardy is celebrating her 20th year in the book publishing industry, has rebranded her agency to The Literary Lobbyist and continues to champion for BIPOC writers of fiction and non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, and memoir with great passion.
Connect on social media @theliterarylobbyist
In a year when many small businesses struggled to survive, Michelle Mackel was determined to see her publicity firm, Plugstar Entertainment, thrive. The company had already been set apart by its emphasis on sharing expertise with clients and educating newcomers about the ins and outs of the entertainment business. However, to survive during the pandemic, the entrepreneur knew that she had to expand her reach.
Early on, she traveled the country, meeting diverse talents, growing her client base to include music artists from more genres, and arranging sponsorships and public appearances.
With most performance opportunities on hold during the last year, Mackel wisely used her clients’ downtime to redefine her own business model. In addition to standard PR offerings like press kits and interview/podcast/magazine bookings, Plugstar now also offers radio and social media campaigns, video placement, ghost-writing, brand development, business coaching, and more. The goal, she explains, is to see her clients also become both marketable and financially sound.
Upon being medically discharged from the military, the mother of two had decided to be based in Oklahoma, where she’d have family support. However, with the Sooner state not being an entertainment hub, she faced the added challenge of visibility. To that end, she expanded Plugstar’s Internet presence, pivoted to hosting virtual consultations, and launched a powerful affiliate program to provide a network of partner services and an increased platform. Between smart decision-making and a lot of late nights, Mackel achieved the nationwide reach and coast-to-coast roster of clients that have put Plugstar Entertainment on the map.
Connect on social media @plugstar_socialclub
Raffinae LaJuan and C.Nichole
Wombilee co-founders, Raffinae LaJuan and C.Nichole want to see women feel more empowered worldwide in the sense of knowing that there would be no births without their wombs. With Wombilee, the co-founders want women to not look at their period as something to be ashamed of, a curse, inconvenience, or a problem.
Raffinaé is the CEO of the food marketing company, Inspire Brand Management, with clients on three continents. She is also the Founder of Moms for Medals, a non-profit organization that focuses on creating new successful generational statistics in teen mothers and young women.
C.Nichole – is a Business Woman, singer-songwriter, non-profit founder, author, boutique owner, and Pan Africanist. C.Nichole started as a freelancer in TV/Film production before switching industries and starting her own marketing company, emphasizing experiential marketing.
Follow on social media @wombilee
Vanessa Howard Grissom and Felicia Michelle
Vanessa Howard Grissom and Felicia Michelle are the owners of NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC. The products and services provided include wellness, skincare, apparel, accessories, and more.
Entrepreneur and Hair Stylist, Felicia Michelle was born and raised in Stamford CT. Felicia Michelle initially started her professional career in the corporate sector as a CPA recruiter. When the market crashed in 2008, she seized the opportunity to pursue her true love for the beauty industry. With 10 years+ of styling experience along with a strong passion for the industry, NessFeli Natural Skincare became a brand.
Born and raised in Harlem, NY Vanessa is a Health/Wellness Coach, a married mother of three, and a Managing Director for a health care staffing firm. Her experience with her own hyperpigmented skin led her to research diet, gut health, and buying products to relieve oily acne-prone skin. By doing this, her vision to start her own skincare line became clearer. “I wanted to use innovative natural ingredients in my line and provide products that could work with all skin types. I was able to work side by side with a lab that could help me produce natural products that are free of animal-derived ingredients.”
Connect on social media @nessfeliskin