HoneyBeNatural is the premier natural hair, fashion and lifestyle magazine for innovative HUMANS available in print and digital form four times a year. As the Founder and Editor of Chief, I’sha Gaines’s dream has created a huge movement for women embracing their beauty through affirmations, features, events, and summits. I caught up with I’sha as we discussed how HoneyBeNatural Magazine came to life and how it impacts her as a WOC.
What inspired you to start the HoneyBeNatural platform?
IG: “Originally I wanted to fuse all of the natural hair bloggers, companies and resources into one central hub. What I came to find is that although I have an appreciation for natural hair, I care more about helping and spotlighting women of color. I dreamed about HoneyBeNatural in 2011. A year before inception, in a dream I saw myself walking around the metroplex and asking women for their contact information to put in “Green-sheet type publication listing small businesses.” I told a friend about it who was having a natural hair event and she invited me to share my dream with the women at her expo in 2012. The response was unbelievable! It was at this event the women decided, FOR ME, that HoneyBeNatural should be more than a simple listing. These women felt like it should be published in a major way. I published HoneyBeNatural blog and website that next week. HoneyBeNatural, the print & digital magazine, launched within 6 months that following January.”
As Editor in Chief, how has your personal experiences impacted the magazine?
IG: I started the magazine with low self esteem and a lot of uncertainty about who I was. In taking photos through the magazine, I begin to see myself a real person and validated. I hadn’t noticed myself before. When Isha started showing up my network grew and the magazine started changing.”
Tell us about the greatest moments you’ve experienced so far running HoneyBeNatural.
IG: “Figuring out what the hecks I’ve been working towards came this year with the launch of The Affirmation Summit! It’s been by far the most successful thing I’ve done. The Affirmation Summit is a self-love & body positive gathering aiming to provide women with tools to boost their self-worth, confidence and aid in stress management. This summit incorporates natural & holistic themes and encourages women to be authentically themselves.
Has learning from a mistake ever led you to success?
IG: “All of my companies came through a mistake lol. Starting something new is very healing for me.”
As a natural WOC myself, seeing platforms for natural women make us feel more connected with ourself and self aware of our beauty. How has your natural journey made you into a better woman?
IG: “Its caused me to start defining myself and expressing myself. I’ve become a light to others. I started working through the areas where I didn’t have the most confidence and almost all of it had to do with my hair and/or appearance.”
What is your personal or professional motto?
“You Matter, Always.”
How do you stay afloat and stay consistent in your brand?
IG: “By putting systems in place and letting people help me.”
What resources and advice would you recommend to someone creating a creative business/magazine?
IG: “To create it in a way that works for you. You don’t have to bulk order if you can’t afford it. You can use platforms like Issuu to design and distribute a magazine. You can use a PDF creator like Canva and work at your own pace.”
YO! My name is I’sha Gaines and I’m from Dallas, Texas. I must begin by revealing a small snippet of information about myself. First and foremost, I am a multi-passionate creative. It’s my strength and my weakness. I thoroughly enjoy the journey of compilation, facilitating, logistics and organizing creatively. By nature, I have a relentless drive to win that some may classify as a “super-power” and I strive to exhibit excellence in all that I do.
HoneyBeNatural, founded in 2012, has evolved tremendously! This publication is here to help you make peace with yourself and your passion. We celebrate natural beauty and conscious living. We have events, @TheAffirmationSummit, @AffirmONTheGo + EatForYourHair, we feature Queens each week in our #QueenPlusQueen Affirm Series and create workbooks and media to help grow the queen in you
phone: (214) 444-3563