This week’s Meet a Mom is Nyshell Lawrence from Socialight Society! Nyshell is a Lansing native, wife to Jonathan and mom to four beautiful girls. In her spare time, Nyshell is a well-known author, poet and creative entrepreneur.
Her mission is empowering women in life & business. She encourages those who are contemplating making a big change or feeling stuck in their lives to GO FOR IT!
Nyshell is also embarking on a NEW adventure-a book club, an online bookstore and soon a brick and mortar bookstore in Downtown Lansing!
“I’m extremely excited to be able to help amplify the voices of black writers and share black stories with the community.” shares Nyshell.
Her first book of the Socialight Society Book Club is Sula by Toni Morrison, one of the most celebrated authors of all time. Find all the information on how to join her book club below!
Soon we hope to be wandering around her Downtown Lansing bookstore and getting lost in a good book 🙂
Hi Nyshell! Please introduce yourself-
I’m Nyshell (pronounced Michelle w/ an “N”) Lawrence. I’m a full-time stay-at-home wife, mom, author, poet, and creative entrepreneur.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m a Lansing native, and currently live here with my family.
You’re a mom! Please tell us about your children and their ages. What is your favorite thing about being a mom?
I have 4 daughters. Joelle is 14, Olyvia is 7, Emerson is 4, and Imari is 3. We’re a dance family — all of the girls take lessons and the oldest two dance competitively. My favorite thing about being a mom is watching my children grow into who they are becoming. As parents we have ideas on what our children should be and we imagine them acting certain ways, but to see their individual personalities and preferences shine through is amazing.
It’s been a challenging year to say the least- any parenting tips that helped you make it through?
My best tip is to give yourself all the grace that you need. This year has been challenging in ways that we’ve never experienced before which means that we’re having to parent in ways that we’ve never imagined — make the best of it. Remember that every moment is not going to be Instagram share worthy, and that’s okay. Do the best you can with whatever you have, and that is more than enough.
You were recently a Lift Up Local Lansing ambassador, a program to support local businesses! What are a few of your favorite go-to restaurants and shops in the Greater Lansing area?
There are so many great places in Lansing, especially downtown. A few of my favorites are Babe’s Corner Lansing, Soul Nutrition, Good Truckin’ Diner, and Juice Nation.
Also, every Friday this summer there’s an Afterglow Market in Rotary Park that features local artists and vendors which gives us an opportunity to support other amazing businesses in-person, like Stay Rooted Shop, Mr. Leslie’s Cheesecakes, and Smoothie Queen.
We would love for you to tell us about what you do as a creative consultant and what type of services you offer-
I am extremely passionate about empowering women in life and business. As a creative consultant, I help aspiring and established entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life. My background is in website design and branding. I’m currently focusing on 1:1 consulting, where clients can pick my brain on all things business and branding, and we come up with personalized strategies to help take their business to the next level.
You are also a poet! What is your favorite piece that you have written? What inspires you in your writing?
Right now my favorite piece is Praying Woman. I call it an “ode to mama ‘nem.” It celebrates the Black woman’s relationship with God and the legacy of prayer passed on to her children. My writing is heavily influenced by my faith, and experience as a Black, Christian, woman.
And you have recently announced some exciting news that you are starting a book club and have plans to open a bookstore in Lansing. We would love to know more!
Yes! Socialight Society is a bookshop + creative community, celebrating black women and black literature.
In 2017, my husband and I went on a date to a local book store and I was so disappointed with the availability of books written by and for women of color. He and I spent the rest of the evening mapping out plans for a space where Black women would feel seen and celebrated.
I’m extremely excited to be able to help amplify the voices of black writers and share black stories with the community.
How do people join your book club?
Visit our website, www.socialightsociety.com, and join our monthlyish newsletter.
Now some FUN ones!
Can’t live without makeup or skincare products– Lipstick is my favorite accessory and I am such a big fan of No Label Lipstick. My favorite shades are Alesia and Keisha. And bonus, the creator Jenelle, is originally from Lansing.
Last book you read– Black Girl, Call Home by Jasmine Mans
Current favorite podcast– Woman Evolve with Sarah Jakes Roberts
Favorite date night idea– Take me to a Lugnuts game, or a bookshop!
Who is your biggest mentor in life?
My biggest mentor was my maternal grandmother, Bertha Black. She passed away earlier this year but I definitely got my creative, entrepreneurial drive from her. She was a great listening ear, and always had the best advice. Now everything that I do is in her honor. I’m grateful though to be surrounded by many women, in various stages of life and business, that I can connect with and learn from.
Last one-What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
I typically spend my “me time” reading or resting (I’m a big fan of naps). You can also probably find me at Horrocks buying flowers
Thank you, Nyshell! We loved learning more about you.