Rise Empowerment DC Will Blow Your Mind

Hey Cuties,

It has been rainy here in the DC area, but despite the sucky weather, we came out for some inspiration, motivation, empowering and connecting at the DC stop of the 2017 Rise Women Empowerment Tour.  This was another solo adventure for me, as I covered the event as media.

I received complimentary admission, but was no required to write about the event.
Rise Empowerment

This is the third annual event and it returned to DC. I attended the first year but didn’t make it last year.  The first year was such a dope event filled with incredible speakers that I knew this year would be even better.  Bonus: My boo, Simona was a speaker.

Rise Empowerment #bossgirlmagic

The Speaker topics were dope:

  • How to be a Leader vs. A Boss
  • How to build a Six Figure Brand from Scratch
  • Entrepreneurship 101
  • The Entertainment Perspective: A beginners guide to entertainment publicity
  • Branding Masterclass – Creating a brand story, content and Visuals to generate success.
rise empowerment tour

Mi & Rochelle Graham, Alikay Naturals & Black Onyx World LLC

Rochelle is the owner of Alikay Naturals hair products and Black Onyx World LLC. You can find her hair products in your local Target, Sally Beauty and tons of other stories. She isn’t even 30 yet and has been killing this entrepreneur life with her husband. She has never had any investors and has never taken out any loans. She started out in her apartment and slowly grew to the commercial space she currently has as well as owning a hair salon in Florida.

Entrepreneurship 101: Was the perfect topic for her and she gave us 50 things we need to know. Here are a few of her tidbits.

  • Choose your business name, your brand does not equal a business.
  • Write a business plan, it should include your company story, how to get there and where you want to go. Resource:
  • Determine your viability, know your numbers, where to invest, cost, profits, etc.
  • Determine your legal structure, S Corp, Sole proprietor or non-profit.
  • Create protection documents such as non-compete forms and nondisclosure. Don’t allow someone to steal your ideas.
Rise Empowerment Tour

Co-Founder, Angela Walker N Natural Hair Studio, Naturalista Hair Show, Natural Hair Industry Convention

Angela is the owner of  The Natural Hair Industry Convention, N Natural Hair Studio, The Naturalista Hair Show and Co-Founder of Rise Empowerment.

How to be a Leader vs. a Boss:

  • You have to love what you do.
  • You want people to love working with you.
  • Being a leader doesn’t mean over powering your team.
  • Establish systems and routines. Start from the time you wake up. ie. breakfast, stretch, exercise, 30 mins. for email, etc.
  • Budget your time: pay attention to how you’re spending your time.
Rise Empowerment Tour

Necole Kane, Xo Necole

Keynote Speaker: Necole Kane founder of and former owner of Necole Bitchie. Necole’s journey has been a page turner start to finish with extreme peaks and extreme lows. She shared her experience, positivity and how to learn from her mistakes, reinventing herself and more.

  • If you can’t get an opportunity, create one.
  • Believe in your dreams and business even if nobody else supports you.
  • Be transparent, share your story.
  • When you start a business have and an end goal and figure out your exit strategy.
  • Realize that everyone can’t go with you on your journey.
  • You are never broke or broken as long as you invest in yourself.
  • Work with what you have, but make a list of what you need. Work that list until you get where you want to go.
Rise Empowerment Tour

Photo Credit: IG      Cici Gun, The Six Figure Chick

Cici Gunn’s journey is so inspiring this woman is as tough. She started her business while in her chemo therapy chair battling stage 4 cancer and fighting for her life at age 27.  She started by juicing because you couldn’t keep anything down. Then she started teaching people to juice and turned that into a six figure brand. Now she teaches people how to create a six figure brand. Her cancer has returned and she is currently back in chemo therapy.  She is self-taught and built her brand on Instagram.

How to build a Six Figure Brand from Scratch:

  • Every dime isn’t worth it, don’t let people jerk you around.
  • Understand who your brand is meant for.
  • Always be a student and learn when to pivot.
  • Instagram is free advertising, use your page daily.
  • Don’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none.
  • Have a story behind your brand.

Simona Noce & Candice Necole, my PR chicks

Simona Noce is a skilled and dedicated public relations & events planning professional with a passion for media, entertainment, and the execution of creative ideas. She works film campaigns on behalf of Screen Gems, Universal, STX Entertainment, Sony Picture Classics, Faith & Family, and MOXY.

The Entertainment Perspective: A beginners guide to entertainment publicity

  • Can you explain your product in one sentence?
  • Is your product, complete and consistent?
  • Do you have a clear target audience?
  • Can you afford a publicist? Do you have a budget?
  • Research the perfect PR person for you and your brand.
  • Request a portfolio from your perspective PR person and ask for links to their hits.
  • Request a proposal.
Rise Empowerment Tour

Nicole Melton, Melton Digital

Nicole Melton, founder of Melton Digital develops content and social media strategy for beauty brands, and editor-in-chief of Beauty Goes Digital. She is a freelance beauty contributor for, and  Melton Digital manages influencers and social media campaigns for brands including Creme of Nature, Earth’s Nectar, Sally Beauty and more.

Branding Masterclass – Creating a brand story, content and Visuals to generate success.

  • Start with where you are and what you have.
  • Your success starts with your brand.
  • True branding is an inside job.
  • What is your brand story? Who are you? Establish yourself as an authority.
  • Which experiences have made me an authority in my field?
  • It is okay to grow slow.
Rise Empowerment Tour

The Rise Ceremony

The Rise ceremony is my absolute favorite part of the day. We write down our goals on a piece of paper and then attach them to a balloon and send them off into the universe. I snapped a picture of mine so I can make sure my actions are working toward my goals. I RISE!

Forever Chic @foreverchicbooth provided a dope photo booth experience for us with dope props.

Rise Empowerment Tour

How do you get your inspiration? Chat with me in the comments below or FBIG, and Twitter.


Article written by:

Mimi Robinson is the Lifestyle Media Correspondent and editor behind MimiCuteLips®. She is a wife and mother of two. You can find Mimi working media at your favorite events, traveling and trying out new adventures, or working on a dope DIY project.

Join the discussion

  1. CJ from Thirty30Courtney

    This sounds lit in every which way. I would’ve loved to be an attendee at each of these sessions. I recently read an article about how we need more than brunches for empowerment, and this event totally fits the bill. What a blessing to meet to many influential women at one event.

  2. Sheena Steward

    You’ve convinced me to go to the next one. I wanted to go last year but now that I’m blogging I’m definitely going next year. It’s so funny but while I was reading I was like I “know” her. Social media will have you thinking you’re friends weigh these people lol. So much great advice. I can only imagine the atmosphere. So much black girl magic in one place.

  3. monique tillman

    This is my first time hearing about this conference. This is awesome! I wished I lived in a big city that bad conferences like this.

  4. Amanda

    I have never heard of this before. I am glad you are sharing with us. The furthest I got was the essence festival since I live in NOLA. But I hope I can spread my wings and be able to go to a conference like this.

  5. Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle

    That sounds like an amazing conference. I could practically feel the energy coming off of my computer screen. The best conferences are the ones that leave you feeling like you can conquer the world, and you’ll have help doing it.

  6. Joely Smith

    What a wonderful event!!! I have bookmarked this to come back and really dig into when I have more time but I have already seen some great tips here I can use! Thank you for sharing what you learned and your experience.

  7. Cheryl

    I feel so empowered just reading this. I loved Cici’s story. It was nice to see her make something positive out of something so challenging.

    • MimiCuteLips

      Yay Cheryl, I love that. Her story is incredible. If she can keep going then I have no reason to just sit on my butt and do nothing.

  8. Christy Maurer

    That sounds amazing! It looks like you learned a ton. Thanks for sharing some of the great things you learned.

  9. Eloise

    Love the line: ‘you are never broke or broken as long as you invest in yourself!’ what a great sentence! I would have loved to attend this event, it sounds inspirational and with a lot of valuable info… thanks for sharing ; )

  10. OurFamilyWorld

    I’ve never been to this kind of conference. It sounds fun and very inspirational.

  11. ricci

    I’ve never heard about the Rise Empowerment Tour but it looks like you had an amazing time!! I will have to look more into this!!

  12. Ebony

    I love xo necole i have been rocking with her since her necole bitchie days. I live the way sge has evolved. Great event to attend.

  13. Ola

    Looks like you had a great time and took lots of notes. I love all the pics!

  14. Olivia

    I adore XONecole! That was a powerful event! I love covering events as press versus attending as a paying customer. I’ve never heard of this event but I think I would benefit greatly from it! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Kim

    This was a great empowerment conference. I know Nicole Melton from my beauty blogging days. I did not know that she rebranded into Melton Digital.

  16. Gabriel Bregg

    Lots of powerful stories to draw inspiration from. I’m always awed by people who beat cancer, to build a brand while doing it is amazing.

  17. Kita

    I know this was a good time. I need them to come to Atlanta. I love an inspirational setting filled with my people.

  18. Carissa

    Great Tips and this looks and sounds like a great event! “Every dime isn’t worth it” is what stood out to me the most…this is so true on so many levels!

  19. Lynndee

    What a wonderful event! I would love to attend events like this where I could get a lot of inspiration.

  20. Eva

    Looks amazing! I have never been to an empowerment event or anything like that. Such great people!

  21. Alli Smith

    This event covered a lot of practical advice. I enjoyed reading about how to be a leader vs. a boss. Sounds like a great deal of wisdom was imparted in this awesome event.

  22. candy

    Wonderful that something like this is being held and for the 3rd event. Hope all women were included.

  23. Sarah Bailey

    What a great sounding event, it seems like they really had a lot of different things going on and it is a great way to empower yourself.

  24. lisa

    There is so much great information here! Anyone that wants to be a leader and bring their visions to life needs to check out this info!

  25. sara

    Looks like you had a great time at the Rise empowerment event! I think you met some really inspirational people who will inspire you in the future.

  26. Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh

    I’ve never heard of this one before, but it sounded like it was a great learning experience with a lot of fun people!

  27. Tiffany H.

    I would have loved all of the sessions but I enjoyed some of the quotes from the main speaker. If there are no opportunities create them. This is so true. Back in the day you had to be discovered by someone, now with technology you can create a blog, website , make your own music, make a video and load it up on YouTube etc.. you have to take your life in your hands and accomplish goals

  28. Liz Mays

    It’s very cool that they are offering help and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. It sounds like each speaker covered a lot of important topics. I’m liking the Leader vs. Boss concepts!

  29. Pam

    Cici Gunn sounds like a really inspiring person! This sounds like it was a really great event for you.

  30. Kita Bryant

    There was a ton of great info at this event! Wow, I’m sad I missed out on it!

  31. Sandy N Vyjay

    The topics covered look really very interesting. I am sure it must have been an enlightening and enriching experience listening to all the speakers.

  32. Tami

    I could stand to have some leadership skills. I have a problem wanting to be your friend when that’s not the role given.

  33. Lily Ashley

    Wow this sounds interesting! I haved never heard of this before. I hope we can have like this in our place.. Looks so great!

  34. Agnes

    First time hearing of this event. It looks like a great time filled with lots of empowerment and good vibes!

  35. Catvills

    Amazing event! It was great that you got to meet all these people and learned a lot from them. I should try to go out more and attend events like this. I love the symbolism of the note attached to a balloon. That was really motivating.

  36. Carol Cassara

    Wow! I love events that help empower and educate women especially these days. I’m sure you had loads of fun and learned a lot as well.

  37. Anosa

    What a great event to attend to. I love that there is this kind of empowerment events that are being held, The topics sounds very amazing and informative. Kudos to the persons behind this activity.

  38. Farrah Less G.

    I love going on an event like this. Aside from you learned new things you also get a chance to meet great people.

  39. The Cubicle Chick

    This looks like a great event. I wish I could have been there to attend it. You’re looking cute as always, hun. – yolonda

  40. Debbie Nicholas

    This looks amazing and I have never heard of anything like this before.

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