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ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: One body at a time


The holidays are fast approaching, which means that we will have days filled with Halloween candy, Thanksgiving turkey and pies and Christmas. While enjoying the feasts of the holidays remember those waistlines will ultimately pay the price. But have no fear, even if you over do it on the portions. Jack Douglas is waiting in the wings to train you – before or after. With years of experience and a physique that would rival men half his age, Jack practices what he preaches.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your business.
Jack Douglas: I am a father, grandfather and husband. I have been a personal trainer for 15 years and a fitness instructor for 25 years.  I am a certified fitness trainer and personal trainer through AFAA Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.  I currently train 48 clients in the personal training studios of Forever Fit located at 6745 Lenox Center Drive, Suite 112 Memphis, Tennessee 38118.

Mary Nelson sets goal for ‘butterlicious cookies’

by Wiley Henry

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Mary Nelson calls her cookie baking business “Mary’s Homemade Butterlicious Cookies.” Butterlicious is an apt description for the sweet, savory, butter-flavored cookies that she launched from her home 10 years ago with a recipe from her niece.

“If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t be called ‘The Cookie Lady.’ The butter cookies started with her,” said Nelson, who tweaked the recipe to enhance the flavor of the cookie to make it her own delectable treat.

Then she tested the market by allowing potential customers to sample her growing product line: strawberry, chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, German chocolate, red velvet, lemon, lemon butter, lemon berry, Snickerdoodles, and peanut butter rice crispy treats with a dribble of chocolate.

“Butter cookies are my specialty, my No. 1 seller,” she said.

Nelson started getting repeat orders for her cookies about five years ago. “I get teary-eyed when they want to order again,” she said. “I’m amazed. I’m in awe of what God is doing.”

She makes repeated deliveries to Antonia’s Full Glamour Salon in the Hickory Hill community, where several loyal customers can’t seem to get enough of her cookies. Many of them, she said, convince others to purchase a batch or more.

“They say, ‘Man, you got to get these cookies.’”

Like a politician stumping for votes, Nelson canvases the community for customers. She also uses social media. “Before I go into a place of business, I talk to the owner to make sure it’s OK,” she said. “Reno, my son’s barber, says it’s OK and encourages people to try my cookies.”

Nelson loves baking cookies. However, the love of baking isn’t enough. “What got me into it was my way of getting out of debt. I have to provide for my son,” said Nelson, who was married to Robert Nelson Jr.’s father when she first started baking cookies.

Divorced for two years, Nelson uses the money from her cookie sales to supplement her income as a dental lab technician. Her son, now 10 years old, gives her a helping hand sometimes when he gets home from STAR Academy, a charter school at Golden Gate Cathedral.

“He has a lot of wisdom for his age,” she said. “He keeps me going.”

Nelson works fulltime at her day job and fills cookie orders when she returns home in the afternoon. “I cut the oven off at midnight depending on what I have to accomplish,” she said. “One time I stayed up all night.”

The cookie business is not yet self-sustaining. But the goal, she said, is to come off the job and bake cookies fulltime. “It is my desire to do this on my own…to own my own business. That’s what I want to do. It’s an avenue to bless people – and my cookies will do that.”

Baking cookies was not Nelson’s first career choice, however. After graduating from Hillcrest High School in 1986, she studied cosmetology, but failed the state board twice. Then she got a job at Big Lots on Winchester to pay her bills.

Still searching for a career, Nelson enrolled at Tennessee Technology Center of Memphis and completed six months of an 18-month course, which enabled her to obtain her current job. Later on she took a course from financial author, radio host and motivational speaker Dave Ramsey, “so I can get out of debt.”

Nelson is farther along in business than when she first started baking cookies. A large hanging calendar is filled with orders for various days of the month, and she continues to write in others. Although baking is her forte, she gives her mother kudos for her culinary skills.

“I always wanted to cook like my mom,” said Nelson, who has three sisters and a brother. “I tried to get her to open up a restaurant; she wouldn’t.”

Right now Nelson is focused on establishing her own business, “Mary’s Homemade Butterlicious Cookies.”

(For more information, contact Mary Nelson at 901-288-9694.)

  • Written by Wiley Henry

ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY: One funeral at a time


Unfortunately this month I experienced the death of my mother. As her only child I had the responsibility of preparing her “home going.” As someone who never attended funerals, I was absolutely clueless regarding the process and procedures. But with the help of a great funeral home taking me by the hand, what could have been disastrous was made to be more than beautiful.

During my planning and grieving, I was surprised by the many businesses that participated during the various phases of the farewell to Anne McCullough.

One bar of soap at a time – Part 2

Soap has come a long way from its original state. Today it comes in almost every scent imaginable. Kimeli Wade has developed a product that is chemical free with skin soothing properties. This week she continues the story of her journey in Part 2.

From Cabrini Green to cultivating ‘A Rose In Concrete'

The first impression you get when meeting with the Soulsville Foundation’s newly installed CEO Calvin Stovall is that they’ll probably have to bury him with the building. He’s that excited about the position and the responsibilities it brings.
Selected to replace outgoing CEO Mark Wender, Stovall has a varied corporate background in branding, development and hospitality with several major corporate brands. A real nuts-and-bolts experience was when he moved to Memphis to become the assistant general manager for the Embassy Suites hotel on Shady Grove. The hotel was then part of the Promus Companies, formerly based in Memphis, and also owner of the Harrah’s casinos. He also served as vice president of Global Brand Training at Hilton Worldwide (Memphis).
  • Written by Tony Jones

One bar of soap at a time – Part 1


After a long day at work, there is nothing like a hot bath or shower to release the stresses of the day. Various scented shower gels, bubble baths, and bar soaps are all choices at our fingertips to assist in our relaxation. But rarely do we find any bath products that assist in skin moisturizing or acne breakouts without the smell coming across as medicinal.

Kimeli Wade is a go-getter who has found her niche in the soap industry. The bars are uniquely designed and the smell is wonderful. I was taken aback to hear some of the skin soothing effects of the products. This week, Wade shares her journey with us.

On Our Way to Wealthy: Allworld Films

all world
Have you ever experienced a movie with footage that was in the air or over water? The beauty of the scene can often be breathtaking. So when I stumbled across Allworld Films, I was taken aback by their aerial capability. 
Allworld Films is a full-service production company specializing in aerial video and photography. 

Young professionals urged to ‘unite and lead’ at empowerment conference

(Brandi Richard is president of the National Urban League Young Professionals, which exists to support the National Urban League affiliates. There are 55 chapters and over 5,000 members. She has a vision for NULYP’s members and chapters and will be in Memphis to keynote “Empowerment Conference 2014” at Hilton Memphis, Aug. 22-23. She shares her experiences as national leader of a group of young, diverse professionals with TSD President and Publisher, Bernal E. Smith II.) 
Bernal E. Smith II: Tell us about the Urban League Young Professionals?  What is it?  Why does it exist (purpose)? How many chapters/members?
Brandi Richards: The National Urban League Young Professionals exists to support National Urban League affiliates through volunteerism, philanthropy and member (leadership) development. NULYP is made up of 55 chapters and over 5,000 members. Our network extends to over 2.5 million individuals on social media.  Our members volunteer over 50,000 hours a year and over the past three years have given over $1 million to the Urban League to the affiliate network.
  • Written by Bernal E Smith II