Et Cetera Blog Magazine (Etc Blog Mag) has become a go-to destination for naturalistas who want hair inspiration—but are also looking for style tips, beauty tips and the opportunity to shop unique and original pieces. And creator, Yolanda Renee, is the creative maven behind it all! From her popular YouTube channel, to her children’s book, to her numerous blog ambassadorships, and her personal appearances—she is seeking to prove that “everything is possible through hard work and dedication” and to teach women a little bit about empowerment and self-love.
In this month’s COCOBlogger feature, she shares her inspiration to keep doing it all, gives summer hair tips for her “curlfriends” and shares her favorite trends in fashion and beauty for this summer.
In 3-5 sentences, tell us a little about who you are and what you do.
I’m Yolanda Renee, creator of www.etcblogmag.com. I am a full time vlogger/blogger that focuses on everything natural hair, fashion, beauty & style. My brand consists of my website, boutique, YouTube channel, and event appearances. On a daily basis I create content for my blog and YouTube channel, create graphics for my social media sites, manage my boutique- shop for new items, ship past orders, handle promotion, negotiate contracts with other companies and brands, etc. Everything I do behind the scenes is inspired by natural, self love, and encouraging my curlfriends to take appropriate steps to live their life to the fullest; all while continuing the cycle of inspiration by empowering and uplifting one woman at a time!
What was the inspiration behind Etc Blog Mag and what makes it different from other hair, beauty and fashion based blogs?
I am inspired by natural hair and graphic design, which sets me apart from other blogs. Also, natural hair is new to the beauty world, so many new naturalistas struggle to make a fashion statement with their natural hair. The transition is very challenging. When natural hair is compared to the European standard of beauty it is looked upon as the opposite of attractive, professional, and stylish. That alone inspires me to show women, and society as a whole, that natural hair and beauty are equally those things. I try not to follow trends either; I love being innovative and creating my own. Lastly, I not only put focus on my actual content but I also focus on the process to create and run my brand, in hopes to inspire someone else to put their plans into action to become a business owner.
You’re the headline blogger at The Naturalista Hair Show in August in Silver Spring, MD. Tell us more about what attendees can expect at this event.
Absolutely! I’m so excited to be a part of something this huge. This is the 2nd annual show which was created by Angela Walker, owner of N Natural Hair Studio. I am the keynote vlogger on the “Beauty & The Blog” panel. This panel will be awesome for an aspiring blogger/vlogger who wants to learn some tips and tricks. We will discuss topics such as sponsorship, building followers, collaborating with other vloggers/bloggers, and more! There will also be other panels–the “Men’s Perspective” panel has everyone interested! I can’t wait to hear what these men have to say about natural hair. Also expect lots of workshops, vendors, a pop-up shop, hair shows and more! You can learn more and purchase tickets at www.thenaturalistahairshow.com! I’m really excited because I love meeting people in person rather than through my camera. And if you follow me on IG, you know I love snapping pics too! I really hope to see you all there!
What keeps you motivated and inspired to create for your blog, YouTube channel and online boutique?
My selfish inspiration for my content is definitely the love for the art. I’m a graphic designer first and have been working on my God given talent since I was a young girl. The creative part of it is what I have a passion for. The love comes with knowing how much I am helping so many women out there. Knowing that keeps me motivated to create awesome content that my curlfriends can relate to, learn from, and get inspiration from. My family is also my motivation. I have two daughters, Taylor and Skylar, who are also a part of my channel. They are Carol’s Daughter ambassadors and create videos for their little curlfriends! And well, for my curlfriends too. They love them to pieces. When they don’t make an appearance for awhile, I hear about it! Lol. But seeing my daughters look up to me keeps me grounded. I want to raise young moguls and trust me, they are watching and learning! Now if that isn’t motivation and inspiration, I don’t know what is.
Let’s talk style and fashion. What three items should be in every woman’s closet and why?
A black blazer that can dress up any casual look!
A leather jacket that can add some edge to just about anything, from a flirty cocktail dress to some simple black leggings.
And finally, a nice pair of pumps that can add a hint of sexiness to various looks.
So you basically have something classic, something edgy, and something sexy! A perfect combo, am I right!?!
Which style trend for summer has got you most excited?
I am totally obsessing over the maxi t-shirt trend. Not a maxi dress but the actual t-shirt that has the hi-lo detail or the dramatic splits on the side. You can rock this trend with cute destroyed skinny denim and some pumps! Yaaassss! I have been searching the internet like crazy to find an affordable option without any luck! So if you know where I can find a few, please leave a comment below or tweet me or something!
You are often spotted wearing a gorgeous bright lip. What are some of your favorite lipstick brands and colors for summer?
Yaaassss! I’m obsessed with bold lips! MAC is of course my favorite brand, (I love) TooFaced–as well as a more affordable option, NYX. But hands down my favorite lippies this summer are from TooFaced which are their Melted collection that launched in March or April. I have both Melted Fuchsia and Melted Violet on repeat right now! From MAC you will find me in Candy Yum Yum (bright pink), All Fired Up (bright red/pink), Flat Out Fabulous (pink/red), or Ruby Woo (bright red). I’m really into a bright orange lip too but can’t find the right shade. Let me know if you have found that perfect orange!
What 3 products are in your Ultimate Beauty Arsenal–those items you just can’t live without–and why?
Only three, my goodness! First things first, hair- I have to have my Entwine Couture Crème Jelle Styler! It’s the best moisturizer and styler for natural hair. It leaves my hair super moisturized but with hold and definition out of this world! Loves it! Next would have to be nails- I can’t live without white nail polish, Essie brand. It makes my hands and feet look so perfect even when I am desperately in need of a mani/pedi! Lol. Finally, uhhhh, are you sure I can only name three? The NYX The Curve liquid eyeliner is bomb! This tool makes cat eyes/winged liner a breeze! I hope they never discontinue it!
Do you have a tried and true summer hair regimen? If so, please walk us through it.
Absolutely not! I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but I like admitting things like this so those out there that (also) do not have a set regimen can feel better about themselves and can relate. As a natural hair vlogger I am constantly creating new content which means I am always doing something to my hair for a video, whether it’s a new styling tutorial or a product demo/review. However, if I am not recording or do not have to attend an event, my hair is protected in the summer and all year ‘round. And that’s my advice to naturalistas who are looking for a regimen. You should keep your hair protected in a high bun or top knot, poetic justice braids, Havana twists, faux locs, or any other semi protective style of your choice. Either way, you want to make sure you properly moisturize your hair every other night and seal it with your favorite oil, paying close attention to your scalp and ends of your hair. If you swim a lot, definitely wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo and deep condition more often. The LOCO method will also be your bestie! It helps seal in the moisture! And honestly, I follow all these same tips all year ’round not only during the summer months.
What’s next for Etc Blog Mag?
I’m currently on a meet & greet tour in efforts to meet as many of my curlfriends as possible, in person. I don’t think they understand how much of an influence they have on my success. I am forever grateful and meeting them in person fires me up! It inspires me, so this tour has me on cloud nine. We started in New York in April, next up is DC at Bar7 on July 26th. And I haven’t officially announced this yet, but ATL is next on Sept 21st at Boogalou’s! Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. I’m kidding! Spread the word! You can get more information about my tour on www.yrtakesyourcity.com.
I do want to give special thanks to a few brands that made this possible: Natural Partners in Crime, Eden BodyWorks, Alikay Naturals, Entwine Couture, Carol’s Daughter, SheaMoisture, Private Stock Hair, LRC, Belnouvo, M3ssy Varnish, Clo-vee, Wonder Curl, and Kinky Curly. These are some of the brands that have worked on one of the tour stops by helping with the planning, promotion, sponsoring products, giveaways and more! They are amazing! Also our photographers, Jeff Brooks of Photogs4Naturals and Nicole of Nicole Mondestin Photography. I also want to thank Carol’s Daughter for their love and support. I am an ambassador for Carol’s Daughter and they always show me so much love! I am pretty busy with my upcoming tour but I will be attending a few events in the DC and New York area; you can keep up with my appearances on www.etcblogmag.com or on my Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/etcblogmag. I do want to give you a heads up that I am having a huge giveaway on my YouTube channel very soon with tons of my favorite things! Watch out for that.
That’s all I have! I do want to thank Team COCOTIQUE for having me on COCOTIQUE.com! I am so honored when asked to do features such as this. I hope to inspire someone with my feature as well as grow my audience so I can continue to share my love for natural hair and beauty! I know I can get off subject fast but if you take anything from this feature, please know that you should be doing what you love in life. Don’t waste anymore time doing something that doesn’t make you happy or a better person. If you have a plan in your mind, get it out on paper, work towards your goals, have fun with it, work hard, NEVER give up, stay genuine, put out positive energy, do not be afraid of failure, just keep living your dreams. Even if it’s a side hustle, just never give up; one day, things will work out for you (if you) never lose focus. Keep up with me on my blog and social sites! Mwah! Buh-bye!