The Brits took over Los Angeles to celebrate art, culture, film and television at the beautiful Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. The stars came out dressed Brit proper and ready to to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of BritWeek. MillionaireMatch got a chance to talk to the British stars and their friends.
The evening was decked out in red and black to represent the UK flag. "I can't believe it's been 10 years," said Bob Pierce who is the co-founder of BritWeek. The non-profit organization hosts this event every spring throughout greater Los Angeles as well as in Orlando and Miami.
Some of Hollywood's best Brits made an appearance. Celebrities who attended included actor Harry Hamlin, Ross King, Maxine Peake (Shameless), Jimmy Akingbola (Arrow), Celia Imrie (Downtown Abbey), Carlton Gebbia (Housewives of Beverly Hills) and Huw Collins (Pretty Little Liars).
Guests were able to enjoy the performances by Alexander and BC Jean, who was a contestant on American Idol Season 7. To make it a full Brit experience, delicious UK sweets and snacks covered every corner for guests to grab. From chips to candies, there was plenty for those Brits who may have been missing home. The best treat of the evening was the desserts made by Princess Diana's former chef, Chef Darren McGrady. His famous Butter Toffee Bread Pudding put a smile on everyone's face.
"BritWeek's Tenth Anniversary was our best celebration to date, connecting creatives of L.A. and the U.K." says Pierce.
The event was sponsored by Fairmont Miramar Hotel, BBC Worldwide, Marks & Spencer and Blue Fish.
For more information on upcoming events for BritWeek, visit britweek.org.
With so many people starting businesses, MillionaireMatch decided to speak to an expert on entrepreneurship. Ray Doustdar is the creator and CEO of Buiced, a liquid multi-vitamin with a 98% absorption rate compared to 10-20% you get from taking pills. The idea for Buiced started with the decision for a new health journey . A journey he would start with his late father. After being frustrated with crushing up vitamin pills that would make him nauseous, Doustdar decided it was time to do something different and he would have to create it.
The Ohio native is no stranger to entrepreneurship. He launched a dating site called teamdating.com in 2006. Lacking knowledge at the time on having a product in the internet space, the company lasted only a few years. That didn't stop Doustdar from learning new skills in preparation for his next venture. Doustdar shared his most valuable tips for any entrepreneur looking to launch a new business.
MillionaireMatch: What was your line of work before creating Buiced?
Ray: My entire pedigree of a career totally prepared me for this opportunity without knowing it. I started my career at Procter & Gamble and that's one of the best, if not the best, packaged goods and consumer product companies out there. So, I really started with an unbelievably solid foundation when it comes to building a brand and building a consumer brand. I was there for 5 years. I can honestly say without that foundation there's no way I would have been able to launch my own consumer product brand 15 years later.
What I would like to tell a younger person or maybe someone who wants to be an entrepreneur is that you have to have a skill set. Figure out a way to leverage the skill set into your passion. For me, the initial skills I learned were brand management, sales and marketing for a consumer product. I can't tell you how much I fall back on everything I learned at Procter. That's what has enabled me to do this. From P&G, I worked at Universal Studios. I worked in a licensing capacity. I learned another valuable skill set which is licensing, merchandising and leveraging your own intellectual property in order to expand your business without directly being the manufacturer of that. For Buiced, we started out with a multi-vitamin product. It's really become a lifestyle brand now. People are living a lifestyle that's anchored by taking their shot of multi-vitamin. The lifestyle brand of Buiced is going to expand the licensing and merchandising in the very near future into other products that maybe I don't want to be the manufacturer of that. That's not my core competency. Instead, I'll go out and partner with the best company and we'll basically license our brand to that company in order to create that product category. I was then a partner in an entertainment brand management firm. We went out and partnered with a lot of really successful music artist including Nelly, Dave Mathews Band and OutKast. We helped build ancillary revenue outside their core business which at the time were touring and record sales. What I learned at that job was how to generate publicity, media and turn your artist and what they are doing into a trend. Now with Buiced, that's another skill set I've been able to implement.
"When you launch a business, you have to have the pedigree and the skill set. Then connect the dots. Connect the dots from your past. Really put to use that knowledge base that's sitting there to launch what it is that you're passionate about."
MM: After getting the idea for Buiced, what was the first step in creating the product?
Ray: After a week of crushing up pills on my counter and dissolving them in water or putting them into my fresh vegetable juice, I felt so great. I'm not kidding. I felt so great. I didn't get nauseous. That nausea from the pill form vitamin would make me throw-up on a daily basis. I would suffer through that twenty minutes, because I needed the vitamin supplements. After that week, I thought there has to be a product out there that's doing what I want to do. There wasn't. So I sat there for about what felt like an hour but was probably five minutes and thought, oh my God, can I do this? Can I make this product? I am right now in front of my computer and I would pay $50 for a bottle of this. I said, can I do this? Yes, I absolutely can. So, what the hell do I do now?
I started researching other brands. That's the beauty of the internet. Even though my product is not like 5 Hour Energy, how did they get started? What is 5 Hour Energy? Who founded 5 Hour Energy? I did the same with Red Bull, Rockstar and Monster. Again, totally different products. Buiced has no caffeine, no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. It's not an energy drink like those guys, but I thought here are brands that have created categories. If you think about it, before 5 Hour Energy there was no energy drink. For me, I know vitamins exist but my vision is to create a new category. I want to be part of your every day life. You get ready. You go downstairs and open your refrigerator, take a shot of Buiced and go about your day.
The other one that really helped me was at the time 50 Cent had launched his SK energy shot. I thought to myself and remembering all the work I did with Nelly and all the hip hop guys. I thought there's no way 50 did this on his own. I bet you he's got some consulting company involved. I started researching SK energy shots. There was so much stuff on the internet. I was able to figure out who he went to see when it comes to beverage energy consultants. I'll be honest, I found those guys and set up a meeting with them. Without revealing my answer sheet, I gave enough information about what I was trying to create and I picked their brain like crazy. I was actually thinking about hiring them. I took it to contract stage and that became my roadmap. These guys wanted $25k to get to a prototype stage. I thought, they are basically telling me what I need to do. So I thought, okay Ray let's see how smart you really are in figuring this out. I literally took that contract and divided it up into steps. I did one step at a time over the course of 15 months. In 15 months, I was able to create Buiced.
"Asking questions is invaluable. It really allows you how to figure out what you don't know."
Ray (continued): I also can't stress enough, you gotta put in the work. Put in the work and figure it out. For example, the bottle that I use. I could have kept the first bottle that I used. If I had kept that bottle I would have paid twice as much for that bottle. The bottle I ended up with which was the exact same size and material [as the first one], but I found it at small local manufacturer instead of buying it out of Chicago. I was able to buy out of Los Angeles. I saved on shipping. When you launch a business, the closer to home you can keep everything the better. I can get in my car and drive to the bottle manufacturer.
"Keep things manageable, controllable and local."
MM: On the show Hatched in which you competed for a financial investor and won, why were you so adamant about not changing the product name?
Ray: It's my name. It's just that simple. It's my brand. Here's how I came up with it. I literally was sitting going what the heck am I going to call this thing. I had a fresh vegetable juice that I just made. I had dumped the crush pills inside the juice. I had a piece of paper. I wrote the word juiced down. I started thinking, what is my product name? Well, it's a boost of vitamins for fresh vegetable juice. When I looked at the word juice and thought of the word boost for some reason I crossed out the 'j' and put a 'b'. All of sudden, it was Buiced. Then I looked at my list of vitamins: B, C, E and D. Four of the vitamins in a shot of Buiced was in the brand name. I thought this was perfect. This was meant to be. I didn't and I won't change the brand name. It's absolutely part of this life plan that I'm on. What's Google? What's Ebay? What's Yahoo? What's Uber now? When you say Uber, I don't think of a rideshare service at least not four years ago. At the end of the day, when it comes to a brand name, it's all about how you execute behind generating an awareness.
MM: What advice would you give an entrepreneur that you wish was given to you?
Ray: The traditional advice is to say you have to have passion for what you are doing. I realized passion is kind of a given. If you don't have passion for creating something and putting everything on the line there's small chance you'll succeed. It takes more than passion.
"My advice and true words are execution and relentless."
You gotta be relentless. That not only means going to the next door when a door gets closed in your face. What I mean is sacrificing Thursday happy hour, because you want to work. Sacrificing lounging on the weekend because you want to put in the work. Relentless getting your vision into fruition. A lot of entrepreneurs think that passion is enough. Are you ready to be relentless and sacrifice, make time for what you are trying to do? Make sure you are ready to put in the work.
MM:What are your next plans for Buiced? Are you currently in stores?
Ray: We are building this business as predominantly an online business. I normally tell people if I had the choice to be Amazon or WalMart, I want to be Amazon. I feel like right now people want convenience, quality and they want products to show up when they want them on their timing. It's all because of the internet. Without the internet, launching a consumer product the traditional way prior to 2000 or even 2005 required an unbelievable amount of investment dollars. With the internet, you have a channel of distribution and you have a way to deliver your product to consumers in almost as efficient fashion as if they got into their car to go shopping. I want to grow up and be Amazon more than I want to grow up and be WalMart. Our focus is on commerce space. Once we've built the brand to a certain level, if our consumers really want to purchase at retail, we will make that decision.
MM: I'm going to switch gears. As a former member of MillionaireMatch, did you find the site interesting and useful for a busy CEO like yourself?
Ray: I found MM to be very effective and useful for someone that knows what they want and are pressed with time. I even think it was more efficient than these new Dating Apps, even though it is a full blown website. These APP only ones start our promising and then just become a cumbersome time drain!
MM: Do you think online dating works?
Ray: Online dating 100% works, as long as you treat it as just another way to potentially meet someone and NOT put undue pressure on "it" so that you think if you don't find love in the first month, it doesn't work. If you think about it, if you are still single, then technically everything else you have done including going out to meet people "doesn't work" or "hasn't worked"...but it's not like you will abandon all of those methods after one month. Give it a chance, be realistic, and put your best foot forward. Also, be real on there. Do not mislead people with outdated pictures or try and tell the story you think they want to read. Instead, tell YOUR story.
For more information on Buiced, please check www.buiced.com and www.EverydayJuicer.com for you start to a healthier lifestyle.
VH1's Black Ink Crew: Chicago is gearing up for Season 2 and we can't wait to see one of the show's stars, Katrina 'Kat Tat' Jackson back on the screen. Kat is only female tattoo artist at the shop 9Mag. Her artistic sought-after style has lead celebrities and athletes like Jamie Collins, Aldon Smith and Sergio Brown to her seat for an imprint.
MillionaireMatch was able to talk to Kat between fittings and photo shoots to promote the new season. The newly blonde star has also been busy planning for a fabulous 25th birthday celebration next month.
Since the first season, Kat has had some time to reflect and think. It's not easy living life in front of the camera. On what she has learned about herself since being on the show, "I have really big teeth," she laughs. "I didn't do anything out of character," disclosing her feelings on watching herself on the show. She describes herself as an introvert and very in-tuned to her emotions which keeps her from embarrassing situations. However, there was one moment we all can't forget. "When I called Ryan a bitch," Kat says. "Not a good moment. I gotta get better with that and my delivery," she continues. She admits that it wasn't the best way to handle the situation, "but it was the heat of the moment. I said how I felt. I said it with my chest."
Kat recalls another hard lesson learned. Dating on the job may not be the best idea. "It's messy, sloppy," she says referring to Don and Charmaine's relationship. "It's hard when you work with someone. It's not a good idea, unless it is something serious." Fortunately for her male fans, Kat is still on the market and says her ideal mate will be "very loyal, passionate, talented, focused and just as busy as I am."
The second season promises to show her brand growing. If given the chance, Kat would love to work with artists like A$AP Ferg or maybe on the hot television show, Empire. "If Jamal wants to get a tattoo on Empire, I need to be the one to do that," Kat says. She also has her dream list of clients which includes Nicki Minaj. "I don't know if Nicki Minaj wants any tattoos, but I love her. She's one of my biggest role models."
With excitement for the new season, we dug around for the scoop on what we can expect. We asked about her friendships and if they were still good since the first season. "I can't really say too much about that," Kat says. "It's a roller coaster with everybody," she says. She did guarantee that we would see a lot more cool tattoos, conflict, separation and some big named clients coming into 9Mag. Kat says, "You will be surprised."
The new season of Black Ink Crew: Chicago has yet to release a date that fans can tune in to the show. We hope it will be sooner than later.
Fox just announced that Rosewood along with the show Lucifer are getting a second season. Many didn’t know how well the show would do with a time slot before the popular hit series Empire. However, fans and the numbers were all they needed to green-light the show continuing. MillionaireMatch was able to catch the stars to chat about Rosewood.
Rosewood stars the handsome Morris Chestnut and newcomer, Jaina Lee Ortiz, who plays the sexy, no nonsense Detective Annalise Villa who has Chestnut (Dr.Beaumont Rosewood) intrigued. His overly optimistic attitude mixed with the very serious, guarded Villa makes for an interesting team.
Jaina talks about when she first met Chestnut. “ When I met him [Chestnut], I felt like I have known him for years," she says. "He never made me feel like I was a newbie," says Ortiz. Working with Chestnut and his big, bright smile probably wouldn't be hard for anyone, but when Ortiz found out she would be playing opposite Chestnut she says, "I had a heart attack." Laughing, she says, "Just kidding."
Rosewood is not your typical procedural show. With a little humor, a probing mother, a fatal illness and a bubbling romance, a clear focus is placed on the relationships between the characters. The off-screen relationships are just as tightly knit as they are on-screen. Chestnut says, "Having Lorraine Toussaint as my mom is phenomenal." He adds, "She's an incredible actress." Toussaint is just as delighted. "Gabrielle and Morris are so lovely. I would be so lucky to have children like that," she says.
Lorraine Toussaint (Orange is the New Black) who plays Donna, Rosewood's mother, leaves no room for secrets between her and her son. Their conversations regularly involve questions about his love life or lack thereof. To add to the family, Gabrielle Dennis (The Game) plays Rosewood's sister, Pippy, who is engaged to Tara Milly Izikoff aka TMI, played by Anna Konkle (Betas). The two characters also work with Rosewood at his practice. The interracial, lesbian couple adds another layer to the show, but surprisingly does not become the focus. The intention is to present the modern day family without beating the viewer over the head. "This is the face of new families," Toussaint says. "As artists we are advocates for change. We bring about change. I stand for the face of new families," adds Toussaint. Domenick Lombardozzi (The Wire) completes the cast as Miami PD's Captain Ira Hornstock who is responsible for bringing Detective Villa on board. With seven kids and three divorces, Hornstock is great at running his division, but could use some help in his personal life.
Rosewood first premiered September 23, 2015. The series was created and written by Todd Harthan (Psych) and started with 22 episodes in the first season. The release date for the second season has yet to be released, but we can’t wait to see how steamy it gets between Dr. Rosewood and Detective Villa.
American Idol may have come to an end, but Joshua Ledet is just getting started. Ledet, who placed third on American Idol in 2012, performed during the American Idol Finale along with Fantasia, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, Adam Lambert and Ruben Studdard. His soulful, thunderous voice has even been heard through the walls of the White House as he performed When a Man Loves a Woman for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle.
The 24-year old Louisiana native recently released his newest single, Trust Me I Lie, written by Diane Warren. MillionaireMatch got to talk to the star about his hot new single, his thoughts about love, relationships and online dating.
“I always just wanted to sing. I wanted the world to hear my voice,” Ledet says about performing on American Idol and getting schooled on the music industry. Four years ago, he wasn’t ready for the industry and decided to head back to his hometown of Westlake. After taking time for himself and getting new management, he finally feels like things are moving in the right direction. “I realized that the industry is not just about singing. It’s a business before music,” says Ledet. “You can be a good singer, but if you don’t learn the business or take yourself and turn yourself into a brand you’re going to miss out,” he continues. That’s exactly what Ledet did.
His new single and upgraded look caught our attention. With lyrics like, “I don’t want you to know what I really feel. Trust me I lie, when I say I don’t need you,” MillionaireMatch wanted to know if Ledet had experienced heartbreak. Even though the Idol star doesn’t like to say much about his personal life, he shared with us that he had in fact loved and been heartbroken. “It’s the worst feeling in the world.” He remembers it being hard for him to talk about it. He didn’t understand love. “People get caught up in the material stuff, things that done even matter,” he explains. Ledet also says he speaks for all men when it comes to not wanting to show your true emotions. “Men feel it’s a weakness, but it isn’t,” he says. He believes men hide their feelings because they don’t want to seem soft.
We asked Ledet his thoughts about finding love online. “I feel you can find love scuba diving at the bottom of the sea. Wherever you find it, if it is real it’s real. I’m not knocking it,” he says. His one tip to online dating, “Just be safe.”
ith this life experience of heartbreak and signing with a new manager, Ledet knew the perfect song to produce would be Trust Me I Lie which was originally created for a friend who didn’t want the song. Ledet said he prayed for days for the friend to let him have the song and eventually she said yes. We are so glad she did.
The video which we love is raw and pure, focusing on Ledet’s voice. When asked about the inspiration for the video, Ledet says it was all impromptu and shot in one take. As Ledet continues to burst through the music industry he looks forward to one day collaborating with Jazmin Sullivan, Fantasia, Frank Ocean, Pink and the lovely Erykah Badu. Until then, we’ll be enjoying the sounds of his voice one note at a time.
To keep up with Joshua Ledet be sure to follow him on Twitter @JoshLedet, Instagram @JoshuaLedet and Facebook under Josh Ledet.