int(123) Beyonce Archives - Charell Star
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She’s back! Although it feels like a misnomer to suggest that someone’s whose singular name and every minute act is so ingrained in daily conversations, ever really left.


Beyoncé – the Queen of R&B – just released her sixth studio album, Lemonade, a visually and vocally stunning exploration of the emotional journey of the pain, power, disappointment and love Black women experience in our most defining relationships – those with our communities, friends, significant others and ourselves.


It is a bold and honest complete body of work and  – in my humble opinion – Beyoncé’s best album to date. I could write sonnets and epitaphs highlighting why this is a historic fact, but others have summed up that point way more fabulously and humorously than I could.


Instead, I want to highlight – and pay my respects – to Queen B’s ability to keep this project (among many others) safely wrapped in her shroud of secrecy until she was ready to share it with the world. Time and time again, Beyoncé has proven that she and her team can keep a secret, such as when she:

  • Married Jay-Z and kept the world guessing for two years
  • Announced her pregnancy as part of an MTV performance
  • Took a surprise vacation with her hubby to off-limits Cuba
  • Released her namesake album, Beyoncé in the dead of the night with no pre-promotion
  • Performed at a fundraising event for her daughter’s school
  • Released the video Formation one day before her Super Bowl performance

Even as The World tuned in to watch the premiere of the highly publicized Lemonade on HBO, we weren’t really sure of what we’d see. It could have easily been an hour-long special of Beyoncé’s favorite lemon-flavored cocktail recipes and yet we tuned in eagerly and completely unknowing.


It’s astounding to think of the hundreds of people who were involved with the creation and release of Lemonade – musical artists, backup singers, songwriters, dancers, lawyers, stylists, makeup artists, lawyers, managers, graphic designers, assistants, photographers, caterers, babysitters, editors and drivers who didn’t breathe a word or sigh of its coming.


And, that ability to keep important secrets is a strong part of Beyoncé brand success. The ability to determine how and when a brand’s message is shared is a form of power and no one wields it as effectively as Team Beyoncé.


Over the years, she and her team have nearly perfected their ability to keep projects close to their vest and out of the public eye, until the right time. And, with the release of Lemonade they used that power of secrecy expertise to deliver on of the best surprise album (and must-watch event) of the year.

Here are three ways to keep your company secrets, secret – Beyoncé Lemonade Style.


Work With People Who Share Your Vision

Lemonade (the visual album) included appearances from 13 surprise guests – Serena Williams, Jay Z, Blue Ivy, Ibeyi, Chloe, Amandla Stenberg, Zendaya, Winnie Harlow, Halle Bailey, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner, Lesley McSpadden, mother of Michael Brown, Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin and Quvenzhane Wallis – and all kept their participation in the project a secret.

This isn’t by accident.

With the exception of maybe Blue Ivy – who is currently too young to comprehend the effect of her appearance – all the participants knew the significance of the role they played in being part of such a reaffirming body of work. They were committed and fully aligned to the vision and didn’t want to undermine its impact.

People who share your vision are more likely to protect your secrets.

giphy (1)

Put Your Expectations in Writing

There is no doubt in my mind that the confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement used by Team Beyoncé is a document crafted by the best legal minds to have ever lived. Brand secrets are trade secrets and you (like the Queen B) should be clear in your expectation of people to keep them and the penalties of failing to do so.

Contracts and confidentiality agreements are a none negotiable if you want to ensure that your projects, announcements and all the work that you have invested time and money in are shared with the world at the time and in the manner that best befits your brand. Require everyone that works on your business/brand to adhere to your expectations, sign a confidentiality agreement and ensure they understand the legal ramifications if they run afoul of that agreement.

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Don’t Entertain Weak Links

Months ago, I had the pleasure of connecting with one of Beyoncé’s former assistants. They – the secrecy runs so deep, I won’t even reveal if it was a girl on guy;) – shared that the Bow Down songstress demands excellence and integrity of every team member regardless of if you are grabbing her tea or helping her plot her next move. Those that aren’t able to handle that level of responsibility and trust are not kept around. End sentence.

People who are not fully invested in being the best at what they do are not the type of people you should entrust with your brand’s confidential information. Slipups and leaks (unintentional or not) are more likely to come from those who do not take their role in your organization seriously.

Only hire and work with those who share your belief in integrity and commitment to doing the best job humanly possible. And. quickly separate yourself from all others if you want to ensure that your brand secrets stay secret. After all, it’s what the Queen would do.

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress


Is there anything that Beyonce can’t do?

Drop a new surprise single that hits number one and causes America to lose its collective mind and debate the meaning of the rallying cry of “Formation.” Check.

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

  Save the Superbowl halftime show and use it as a platform to sell out your 2016 tour within hours.  Check.  

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Break the internet with the release images/video of your new athleisure line, Ivy Park. Check.

A video posted by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Keep your fans awake till midnight based on a rumor that your album is dropping when the clock strikes 12. Check.  

Have your sleep-deprived fans still love you when that album doesn’t drop and keep them enthusiastically guessing on when you’ll share your musical genius. Check.

We’re only four months into the year, but 2016 is already shaping up to be one of the biggest for Queen Bey. After spending nearly two decades climbing to the top of the music, fashion and business world; the Irreplaceable songstress continues to prove that her marketing prowess is second to none.

Part of the reason Beyonce is so great at marketing is she knows that in business sometimes less is more and everyone loves a good surprise.

She keeps tight control over every aspect of her business – from album release dates to press photos – and only allows a few media interviews a year. Overkill? Maybe, but this type of control works because we (her fans) know – that when she does make an announcement/release a song/drop an album – it will be good.

Beyonce’s ability to upend traditional marketing tactics works because she has built a reputation as an artist that only delivers the best to her fans. And, she continues to build on that reputation with each new project she releases.  Beyonce doesn’t phone it in and is reliable. And, it means that we tune in when she has something to say.

Of course, not everyone can inspire legions of fans to lose sleep based on the rumblings of a new release, but every entrepreneur and professional can aim to build a reputation based on quality and reliability.

When people know you consistently deliver substance they are more likely to turn in when you have something to say.

Beyonce may be the queen of marketing and by following her strategy of building a stellar reputation and managing it closely, you can be too.

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

Queen B’s stylist, Ty Hunter just launched the ‘Ty Lite,’ to help you take the perfect Instagram-worthy, selfie every time. The new protective smartphone case has three light settings to provide you with a warm glow in any setting.

Tylite 2

I tried it out at the recent launch event during New York Fashion Week and loved how my face popped in the different lightening hues. The case was also surprising light and didn’t add considerable bulk to my iPhone 6S.

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It turns out the entrepreneur doesn’t pay celebrities for endorsements, but already counts Kerry WashingtonNeNe LeakesRegina King, Solange Knowles and Michelle Williams as fans of the case.

Bryanda Law -Editor in Chief of Quirky, Brown Love & Ty Hunter
Bryanda Law – Editor in Chief of Quirky, Brown Love & Ty Hunter

The Ty- Lite retails for $79.99 and is currently available for the iPhone 6/6s. It will be available for the iPhone5S, iPhone 6S Plus, and the Samsung Galaxy S6 later this year.

-XOXO Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

We’re only a third of the way through the month, but it’s feeling like February 2016 will go down as the proudest, loudest, most-visibly unapologetic celebration of Black History Month ever. And, that is just awesome.

For all of my life, Black History Month has been the time of year kids read King’s, “I Have A Dream” speech in school pageants and corporations release PSA and commercials featuring Black people, that mysteriously disappear on March 1. Maybe Roots, Queen or Malcolm X would air on television or a company would sponsor a free museum day to an African exhibit, but to me, the month never quite lived up to the potential Carter G. Woodson envisioned when he created Negro History Week 90 years ago.

But, this Black History month feels different. It feels, “unapologetically Black.”

I don’t just feel it. I see it. I’m experiencing it and it feels so good to have Black people proudly honor our history, recognize our legacy, celebrate our accomplishments and boldly demand our place in the future.

All I can say is, I am here for it.

Beyonce Black DancersFrom Black Lives Matter activists running for political office, to Chris Rock speaking truth of the plight of Black actresses in Hollywood, to Debbie Allen teaching African dance to little Black girls at the White House, to scores of Black people not allowing Flint to be swept under the rug, to Beyoncé proclaiming her Blackness to America and then paying homage to the Black Panther Party during the Super Bowl halftime show to Jay Z Tidal donating $1.5 million to Black Lives Matter and to Awesomely Luvvie reminding everyone that “we are not supposed to be in this world just so that people can digest us easier;” I am here for it this February. ALL OF IT.  I applaud it and I am thankful for it.

Debbie Allen Michelle ObamaThere’s been a tide shift in Black America that is awaking the consciousness, empathy and in some unfortunate cases, the fear and anger of the privileged in our country at a speed never before witnessed. Technology has a lot to do with it. And, a generation of Blacks who are tired of waiting and tired of being told to mute or switch off their Blackness, has mastered that technology.

Yes, February 2016, feels like the Blackest, Black History Month ever thanks to all the people showcasing positive Blackness in all its glory (my social newsfeeds are too beautiful for words right now). But, what excites me is the fact that they’ll we’ll still here and Black on March 1 and April 1 and God willing in February 2017 and beyond.

Black History Month 2016, isn’t the start or even the spark. This all started long ago, way before even 1926. But, for the first time, I feel like we are standing together to celebrate who we are while also announcing that we won’t let the world limit who we will be. And, that is making this month pretty magical.

-Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

2015 has been a year for record deals (LeBron James anyone) and huge celebrity-brand alliances. From Rebel Wilson’s clothing partnership with Torrid to Michael Strahan’s Collection with JCPenny, these deals have proved to be a financial win for both the brands and influencers involved.

In fact, the partnerships have been so lucrative that brands have already locked in some major celebrities as ambassadors for 2016. Only time will tell if these new deals will be as financially successful as previous ones, but the caliber of talent leads me to believe that the brands and products they’re repping will be flying off the shelves in no time flat.

Here are 5 celebrity brand partnerships to watch in 2016:

Kerry Washington and OPI

Kerry Washington

Named as OPI’s “Creative Ambassador”, the “Scandal” star will be collaborating on a new line of polishes and rocking the looks on the red carpet. No word yet on if names for the new colors have been selected, but I can already visualize the shades: “It’s Handled,” “White Hot,” and “Non-Disclosure.”

Beyonce and Topshop


Queen B may have walked away from her House of Dereon collection, but she’s back at with a clothing collab with Topshop. The Parkwood Topshop Athletic line will feature “athletic streetwear” and debut in stores in Spring 2016. Get ready for crazy long-lines and 1,000 YouTube fashion haul videos from the beehive.

Jamie King and Colour Pop


Jamie KingHer show may be off the air, but that hasn’t kept the “Hart of Dixie” star from making moves. Jamie King has joined forces with made in the USA makeup brand Colour Pop to launch a new collection. The yet to be named line will launch in Spring 2016 and should be popular with her nearly 850,000 Instagram followers.

Emma Roberts and CrowdStar

Emma Roberts 2

This “Scream Queen” is moving from the TV to the mobile screen with her partnership with game-app maker CrowdStar. Roberts will be the brand’s first “Covet Host” in their game where fashion fans style up a celebrity avatar, vote on their favorite pieces and buy the outfits in the real world. The former “Nancy Drew” star has come a long way since her Nickelodeon days and has become a major fashion icon. CrowdStar will be looking to capitalize on her appeal and notoriety big time.

Carla Hall and LouAna Foods

Carla Hall LouAna

Beauty and fashion brands are not the only ones tapping celebrities to bring in big bucks in 2016. LouAna Foods is partnering with celebrity chef and TV host Carla Hall to be the face of its Pure LouAna Coconut Oil. Hall will be creating recipes and be featured on packaging to help home cooks make the switch to LouAna. I’ve worked with Carla Hall in the past and have had the opportunity to taste her cooking, so I believe any food item she recommends will be on point. I’m guessing LouAna Foods was feeling the same way when they scoped her up.

These are surly just the first of many celebrity brand partnerships will see in the new year.  I’ll keep you updated as they roll in.

à bientôt

Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress

*Photo Credits – Instagram

Photo Source: Instagram

Creating a business is no easy task regardless if you are solo-prenuer or multimillion dollar celebrity. Growing your vision from the ground up takes more than passion. It takes sleepless nights, dedication and inner-strength to keep moving forward. Starting and running a business is hard work, but those challenges can be totally worth it if you are willing to stick it out.

If you need a little inspiration, here is a list of seven female entrepreneurs (compiled by Morgan Quinn of GOBankingRates) who have shared their thoughts on the hardest parts of running a business:


Photo Credit: Joe Seer |
Photo Credit: Joe Seer |

The Queen of All Media: Haters

There will always be people who don’t believe in your dream and even some rooting for your to fail. Even Oprah has had her fare share of doubters and haters throughout the years. They were loudest when she launched her network OWN. “I certainly did not expect the velocity of schadenfreude — meaning people sort of lying in wait for you to fail, or make a mistake,” Oprah told ABC News. “I knew from the time I stepped in as CEO, the only way through is that you’re either going to have to end it, or you’re going to have to make some cutbacks now so you’ll be able to go forward.”

Photo Credit: Debby Wong |
Photo Credit: Debby Wong |

The Design Maven: Self-esteem

People assume that entrepreneurs are naturally confident.  In truth, building confidence takes work; just ask designer Tory Burch.  “Gaining confidence to really believe in myself was a big [challenge].” I had an article written on our company, the first article. And a great friend called and said, ‘It was a great article, but you shied away from the word ambition.’ When I thought about it, she was absolutely right.”


Photo Credit: Featureflash |
Photo Credit: Featureflash |

The Story Teller: Failing

Everyone fails at something. It’s how you deal with the failure that matters. And, J.K. Rowling thinks we should talk about it more. “Failure. Failure … doesn’t get spoken about enough,” Rowling said. “We speak about success all the time, but, you know, I do not know any — I haven’t met — and I’ve been so fortunate and met extraordinary people through Harry Potter, and not one of them didn’t have their failure, more than one failure. And it’s the ability to resist failure, in many ways, or use failure that often leads to the greatest success, isn’t it?”

Photo Credit: Sebástian Freire
Photo Credit: Sebástian Freire

The Queen B: Keeping Up

You may think nothing rattles Beyonce, but the pressure to keep up is tough for everyone. “The pressure to keep up the pace can be unbearable but I try to take it all in stride,” she told Island Connections. “I don’t think about it. I just do my own thing. I love what I do and there are certain things that come along with it that I don’t like, but it’s a part of my job.”



Photo Credit: Helga Esteb |
Photo Credit: Helga Esteb |

The Original Shark: Watching Your Back

Having to watch your back comes with the territory when you are building a business, said Shark Tank’s Lori Greiner. “Dealing with unscrupulous people,” was the number one business challenge that she shared in a recent Reddit AMA. “Remember, Karma is a bitch – I believe in Karma and I have seen what goes around come back around.” 



Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

The Breakout Star: Losing Your Anonymity

Everyone thinks they wants to be that next famous name in business, but it can be a hard transition to lose your privacy. This was a big challenge to overcome for YouTube sensation Michelle Phan. “Being overwhelmed was my biggest challenge. Growing up, I moved around a lot and didn’t make many friends,” she told Personal Branding Blog. “I was always the new girl, quiet and doodling all day in my notebooks. Now I had 10,000 friends overnight. I felt this incredible connection with people I had never met nor probably would never meet. But I felt like I knew them and it was both exciting and overwhelming.” 

Photo Credit: Anton Oparin |
Photo Credit: Anton Oparin |

The Fashion Icon:  The Challenges Never Stop

The truth is everyday brings a new challenge for entrepreneurs. You have to love the thrill of always being challenged like trend-setter Diane von Furstenberg. “One thing that my mother did, and that is a habit in my life, is that when something unpleasant happens, somehow I deal with it, and then, because I deal with it, I’ve transformed it into something good,” she told The Telegraph. “People ask, ‘What are the biggest challenges in your life?’ I never know what to say, because every day’s a challenge and you just have to embrace it.”

Being an entrepreneur may be hard work, but you are not alone in facing the challenges. Take a cue from these celebs and be motivated by the challenge to create an unstoppable legacy.

à bientôt

Charell Star | A Girl In A Dress

Beyonce and JayZ

Together they’re worth over a billion dollars, they’ve conquered nearly every existing form of entertainment, and they seem truly happy, kind, and fun!.  What can we learn from Jay Z and Beyoncé, to capture just a small fraction of their success in our own lives?  Here are three ways to get started.

Trust Yourself

BeyonceBeyoncé has famously said, “I don’t like to gamble, but if there’s one thing I’m willing to bet on, it’s myself.”  She didn’t always feel that way.  In her self-produced documentary, ‘Beyoncé: Life is But a Dream’, Mrs. Carter revealed a personal fear that she shares with many women:  “I used to be afraid of people thinking I was difficult or too critical, and you know, I don’t really care about that anymore.”  She learned to speak her mind, and now people listen.

Jay Z doesn’t follow fads, he’s true to himself.  He told Men’s Health, “My brands are an extension of me.”  In an interview with, he said, “…there are a number of people in the world who can relate to what I’m saying, and are going to buy into what I’m doing. Not because it’s the new thing of the moment, but because it’s genuine emotion.”

Never Stop Learning

JayZThese two will continue to acquire knowledge as long as they are breathing.  Jay Z says, “I’m hungry for knowledge.  The whole thing is to learn every day, to get brighter and brighter. That’s what this world is about.”

It’s hard to believe, but every night on her tours, Beyoncé takes home a DVD of her performance and takes detailed notes.  Her motivation?  Never ending improvement.  “I try to perfect myself. I want to grow, and I’m always eager for new information.”



Embrace Multiple Revenue Streams

bey&jaysingMr. and Mrs. Carter know how to rock a monopoly.

Music critics have called Beyoncé ‘the most important popular musician of the twenty-first century,” but she does so much more than sing and write music.  She has formed her own brand of entertainment through her acting, lines of clothing and perfume, and endorsements of Pepsi and H&M clothing.  Her husband follows suit.

In 1994, Jay Z started his own record label, Roc-A-Fella records, then quickly branched out to film and fashion, beauty, a nightclub, beer and liquor, sports and real estate.  In both name and ambition, the Roc-A-Fella name alludes to John D. Rockefeller, who owned everything that had to do with oil, from refineries to barrels and railroads to shipping in the U.S. and overseas.  Jay Z and Beyoncé have built their legacy, and they’re not done yet.

What will you do to channel Beyoncé and Jay Z in 2013?