February 2023 Entrepreneurship
Inaudible Raucous & Naturally Nae
Loren Gross & CharNae Banks-Gross
Hello Loren “Lo” Gross and CharNae! I know that you both go by Lo and Char! LDL Magazine is excited to have you as our main power couple feature! Before we get into the business side, you know we have to ask about love since this February magazine is all about Valentine's month! How did you two both meet?
Char: We met hanging out in similar circles, at first I wasn’t feeling Lo at all because he was loud and not really my forte. Over the years, his personality really shined through his tough exterior. We reconnected around 2012 and went on a few dates and have been together ever since.
Lo: Yes, She wasn’t paying me any attention at first, but I knew she was about her business. When she did finally agree to go out on a date with me it wasn’t a surprise we connected through some deep conversations about how we envisioned our lives and what our business goals were.
Marriage is a big step for any couple. What factors and steps did you set in place first before you knew that you wanted to become official partners?
Char: In our relationship, we have always been able to balance each other out. We made a conscious effort to communicate our goals and ambitions to one another. We make sure we support each other and encourage each other to be better. We made it clear that we would keep the marriage first before the business. Also, being grounded in our faith in God helps to keep us going when times get tough.
"We made a conscious effort to communicate our goals and ambitions to one another. We make sure we support each other and encourage each other to be better. We made it clear that we would keep the marriage first before the business".
Lo, can you tell us more about your podcast Inaudible Raucous? What kind of content and topics do you discuss on your podcast?
Lo: I started Inaudible Raucous in 2016 as a way to express myself and work on my audio production skills. We recently surpassed our 350th consecutive episode and launched the “Inaudiverse”, which is a collection of spin-off podcasts. Producing my own shows gave me the creative control to discuss everything from current events and pop culture to music and sports. I also make it a point to cover marketing and branding tips from my experience as a Marketing Executive. I try to share knowledge that I pray will help close the gap between the inner city and corporate America.
Are there any hot topics that you avoid talking about on your podcast?
No, not really. We created a platform to discuss the real topics. We pride ourselves on speaking authentically and intelligently on a wide variety of subjects that promote progressive thought among our core audience.
"We created a platform to discuss the real topics. We pride ourselves on speaking authentically and intelligently on a wide variety of subjects that promote progressive thought among our core audience".
Hello Char, can you tell us what inspired you to startup your hair brand Naturally Nae?
Char: When I started my clients hair back in 2015, most of them would tell me that they never moisturized their hair after receiving a service because the stylist said it was too much work. I always highlight how important moisturizer is when it comes to growing your hair. So I created Naturally Nae in 2017 for a simpler way for my clients to maintain their moisture while wearing their protective style.
What kind of product(s) do you offer with Naturally Nae?
Char: Naturally Nae is a two step process where step one is hydrating your hair and scalp with the moisturizer. Step two is sealing in the moisture with the oil. I offer them as a combo because these are the two main things to help grow healthy, full, natural hair. I use all natural ingredients with the main two being aloe vera and rosemary oil to make sure the product can be used on the whole
family, so from Mom to the babies, and even Dad can use the products on his beard.
When was the moment that you both knew that merging together Inaudible Raucous with Naturally Nae would be a strategic business move?
Lo: We always promoted Char’s products on the podcast. I was her unofficial male ambassador. After filling in some episodes of the podcast, the audience requested that Char come on more frequently, and then eventually they asked for us to do a spin-off. We launched The Skeeters Podcast as a platform to discuss our experience being married millennials, new parents, and entrepreneurs.
How do you both balance still having your own branding and persona, while also supporting each other's businesses?
Char: For me, I have a calendar and flowchart to keep me on track for content creation and business tasks. I also have a family calendar to help keep track of our appointments and tasks for the house. I’m also really big on making sure we take time out from working to enjoy time with each other, and still squeeze in a little bit of time for self-care for myself.
Lo: I think it goes back to supporting each other. I feel like we fill in each other's gaps. If it's a Naturally Nae project I don’t have a problem with falling to the background. Char has been my backbone and support system in building up Inaudible Raucous over the years. I think working with my wife gives me the opportunity to be both a family man and a business man at the same time.
What are some words of advice you can give to couples or partners who want to co-join their business ventures together?
Char: Make sure your visions align. Find something that you truly have a passion for so it doesn’t feel like work. Most importantly, remember to have fun and never let business get in the way of love.
Lo: I would add make sure to communicate and do your best to separate work from marriage. I think that’s something I have struggled with early on, but I’m getting better at work-life balance. You have to make time to just sit and chill with each other.
"Make sure your visions align. Find something that you truly have a passion for so it doesn’t feel like work. Most importantly, remember to have fun and never let business get in the way of love".
Way off topic, but I noticed that you both support the California Wine Club! What are your favorite wines?
Char: Cabernet Sauvignon, red blends like Malbec, and every now and then I will do a sweet Rosé.
Lo: I am a big Malbec drinker. I like the red blends, but will go with a Sauvignon
Blanc, or Riesling when I order white wine.
Outside of your businesses, what are some other hobbies that you both enjoy?
Char: Playing video games is something we enjoy doing together. Also traveling,
working out, and being a mother to our beautiful daughter London.
Lo: I’m always down for a glass of wine and Call of Duty, or a family movie night. We also go for family walks and trade audiobooks back and forth.
Photography: Mathew Mottu
Agency: The Midnight Club
Hair by: CharNae Gross
MUA: My’Nia Banks
Gr e e k C o u t u r e
T r a v e l L i f e S e r v i c e s
King A Lewis & Dr. Jasmien Lewis
Hello King A Lewis and Dr.Jasmien Lewis! Before we get into the business details, I have to ask you both how did you two meet because this is our Valentine's magazine?
We met downtown Cleveland at a bar called Velvet Dog.
Was there a specific moment that you both knew you wanted to tie the knot?
We both knew around the third year of our relationship anniversary that we wanted to marry each other.
King A Lewis, LDL Magazine was honored to have you featured in our grand opening magazine. For people who didn't read the grand opening magazine, can you tell us more about Greek Couture?
The Greek Couture brand was born out of frustration from not being able to find frames that fit my style or fit my face properly. I began to realize this was because Black and Brown people were grossly underrepresented in this space. After uncovering this gap, I set out to build a business to fill it.
"The Greek Couture brand was born out of frustration from not being able to find frames that fit my style or fit my face properly. I began to realize this was because Black and Brown people were grossly underrepresented in this space. After uncovering this gap, I set out to build a business to fill it".
What does the name Greek Couture represent?
Greek Couture is a luxury eyewear brand that embraces elements of art and Greek mythology with a modern day twist. The name was inspired by a fascination with Greek mythology, art, and fashion. It’s also a way to pay homage to the history of eyewear as some of the first sunglasses were said to
be shaved gems used as sun blocker so the Greeks could watch the Gladiators fight in ancient times.
What type of products do you offer?
We offer a small variety of exclusive handcrafted eyewear. Our most popular style is The Flame of Olympus, from our aviator collection. Our timeless aviators feature high-quality metal frames with handcrafted Mazzuchelli acetate temples, and black or brown gradient lenses. Complete with custom artwork on terry cloth and hand stitched leather case. They are available in silver, gold, and rose
Dr. Lewis, you are the founder of Travel Life Services. When did you know that you wanted to start a travel agency business?
Travel Life Services grew from me being known as the person who knew how to find the best travel deals amongst friends and family. I saw a need and built a business around it.
Travel Life Services, what kind of package services can customers expect when they use your agency?
All of our packages are tailor-made based on our clients request.
Having a travel agency means you have to navigate different partnerships globally. What does your CEO process look like when securing these partnerships?
The CEO process is vital to a strong global business. Having a strategic plan with targeted goals, expectations, and mutual benefits for the partnership. Then focusing on strong communication with alignment. A strategic vetting process is key to navigating global partnerships.
Where are some great travel destinations for weddings and honey moons?
Some of the greatest destinations to travel for weddings and honeymoons are Anguilla, Antigua, Italy, and Croatia.
You both are business partners with your real estate. How do you both navigate the real estate industry together?
We navigate the real estate industry together by setting a strategic plan, while communicating our goals and expectations for a successful execution.
How do you handle potential conflict when you have different opinions about how to scale your companies?
We handle any potential conflicts by communicating following industry statistics, compromising, and balancing each other's strengths and weaknesses.
What are some words of advice you can give to married couples who want to combine their business ventures together?
Some words of advice we would give other couples is to practice balancing work and relationship goals. Communicate even when it’s challenging, actively listen to each other, compromise, know your own strengthening weaknesses, and most importantly, support and push each other out of your comfort zones.
"Some words of advice we would give other couples is to practice balancing work and relationship goals. Communicate even when it’s challenging, actively listen to each other, compromise, know your own strengthening weaknesses, and most importantly, support and push each other out of your comfort zones".
Outside of your businesses, what are some other hobbies that you both enjoy doing together?
Outside of our business hobbies, we enjoy traveling the world, tasting exotic foods and drinks, and watching television together while cuddling with our daughter dog Bella.
Describe what your perfect date night would look like?
A perfect date night for us would be a candlelight dinner on the beach.
B E A D S B Y M A E G A N
What inspired you to start a custom made bracelet company?
When I first decided to create bracelets, I initially did it because I saw that people in my age range could not afford the $10 and more bracelets. I made one myself. I ended up loving making bracelets and then it blossomed from there.
Each of your bracelets are colorful with different designs. Is there a process that you have when selecting colors?
Sometimes I’ll go in with a color in mind. I pull colors that coordinate with it. I love when I receive a custom order. That is when my creativity can really go free.
How do you create the names for your bracelets?
When coming up with bracelet names, I’ll usually name them after something that coordinates with the color. For example, my new bracelet is called Naveen. Naveen is a green bracelet.
I love your bracelets! Do you offer any other products?
Yes! I have made earrings and necklaces. I’d love to have them on my website when I find a design that I love.
Do you have a favorite jewelry piece that you love to wear?
Yes! I have a silver bracelet I made that has all of the hobbies I love as charms. It’s my favorite by far.
Have you been able to attend any pop-up shops or events?
Unfortunately, I have not been able to attend. I’d love to have that opportunity.
Did you have challenges starting up your business? How did you overcome these challenges?
When first starting my business I used a bad wire, which led to the bracelets breaking easier. I did have to overcome this by finding a wire that I felt worked best with the beads that I use.
What are some words of advice you can give to entrepreneurs who want to start a jewelry or accessory company?
When starting a business, let your creativity run wild! Make your own unique pieces and have a brand that represents you! There will be someone who is going to support you!
"When starting a business, let your creativity run wild! Make your own unique pieces and have a brand that represents you! There will be someone who is going to support you!"
Outside of making bracelets, what are some other hobbies that you enjoy?
Outside of bracelets, I enjoy painting and making clothing.Follow at: