Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The New Parent Company and more. . .

The creator of Until TV has now created a new parent company called Quanda' Significance, llc (QS) and the first extended branch of the tree is listed below:

QS: Simple Treasures Greetings and Collections

Bringing to You
Our New

Dreams "Are Meant to be Lived" Oolong Tea
  "Tea Party Packages"
Get it before it's gone!
Paypal or email us at

Remember the first to purchase two Tea Party Elite Packages will receive a special gift.

Tell your family and friends
Enjoy this aromatic blend
again and again
We appreciate it!
QS Simple Treasures
Post Office Box 1656
Bellflower, California 90706
website coming soon
. . .

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Queen Boss Winner - Nailah Ellis-Brown

Good afternoon Nailah:

My name is Quanda R. Graves, a journalist for the California Crusader Newspaper in conjunction with Until TV and EIN and I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you.

    How did you know you wanted to become an entrepreneur? I have known I wanted to be an entrepreneur since I was in elementary school, when they taught us the meaning of the word. There is something so incredible about being in charge of your own path, your own business. I didn’t know then that along with the title of “entrepreneur” comes a lot of responsibility. Only other entrepreneurs truly understand what it takes to build a business from nothing, to have employees and families depend on you. As your business grows that responsibility increases. Still, I wouldn’t trade what I do for any job I have ever had. There is a freedom that comes with entrepreneurship. I get to decide how I live, how I devote my time, where I invest my energy.

     I'm so happy to know that you won Queen Boss, I was rooting for you all but when you won; it was simply amazing. When you won you expressed that you did it, you made it and you didn't have a degree. Why did you feel the need to express that? Thank you! It was so gratifying to have so many people rooting for me to win Queen Boss. The other contestants were amazing women with great businesses so winning was a real accomplishment.  We are still in contact months after the show ended, which is a testament to the power of women supporting each other in business. It was more than a “competition.”  Why did I mention that I didn’t have my degree? That’s a good question. I was raised to value education. I planned to get a degree, but while I was at Howard University, I had an “aha moment” as Oprah would describe it. I realized that instead of spending money I didn’t have to pay for an education I wasn’t enjoying, I could be investing in my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Why wait? But that decision was hard for my family to accept – at least at first. They all came around eventually and have been very supportive. Still, somewhere deep down, I must have felt the desire to justify leaving college. Winning a major competition felt like validation.

     You expressing that, sparked more of a fire inside of me as well as others and I'm without a degree but people often look down on those who don't have one. Now, that you've gotten this far without one, do you think it's needed for the long run or if it ain't broke don't fix it? I believe that we all have our purpose, mine is to run my family tea business. Others need to search their own hearts for that purpose. I understand that I don’t possess all the answers, that I don’t know everything I need to know to run my business to its fullest potential. That is why I seek answers and input from a wide array of mentors. I have a really good support network of people who know things that I do not. I ask advice and then weigh the information against what I know about my company and where I want it to be in the future. A college degree may not be for me, but I am always learning and seeking knowledge. To me that is essential in business and in life.
CCN - Nailah Ellis Brown Queen Boss Winner pg. 3

    How did you get started in the research of knowing where to begin, how to begin and get started for your business?That’s a great question! I jumped in and started my business without really knowing what was needed. That has worked for me, but it hasn’t been easy. Fortunately, I have had great mentors along the way. In the beginning, I connected with Michigan State University’s Product Center and got some great support that enabled me to take my product from one brewed in my mom’s kitchen to one that could be commercialized and sold in stores anywhere. Always look for resources that can make your journey easier and offer expert advice.

    Was getting on Queen Boss a strategy to raise more awareness to Ellis Island Ice Tea considering you were already on the Forbes 30 under 30 list to watch?Yes, the appeal of the show was that it was nationally televised – and there was a monetary prize for the winner. Every business can benefit from the exposure offered by television. What I got from the show that I didn’t expect was a network of sister entrepreneurs whose support I still count on. The other contestants were there for me even after the show aired.

   What was your biggest challenge on Queen Boss and why?  The social media competition was one I was really nervous about.  Managing social media for my business is the last thing I want to do and have handed over to others whenever possible. So when they gave me that as a challenge, I was really nervous. But for me a challenge is a challenge and I have to do my best. I always want to win. When I have to, I can think outside the box and be creative, which ended up being the case with the Serena Williams jewelry line Instagram competition. I imagined myself as someone who would be viewing the post and came up with something I thought they would find beautiful. I guess it worked!

    How does your father feel about what you've done so far in regard to his recipe? I’m sure he is proud of me, but the recipe was actually my Great-Grandfather Cyril Byron’s. My father just shared the information with me. I know my whole family is happy that I’ve had the level of success that I’ve had and they are behind me as I try to make Ellis Island Tea into a beverage national brand.

    You've accomplished so much and I'm pretty sure you have not even begun to meet all of your feats just yet. But at this time, what do you do to relax, regroup and start your day?I try to start every morning with my daughter Aaliyah, keeping things as normal as possible. I bring her to school then try to spend some time at the gym before heading into the office. Finding a balance while raising a child and maintaining a marriage hasn’t been easy, especially lately as we’ve begun expanding into airports and are about to launch in Midwest Sam’s Club locations. There is a lot of work and travel involved in building this company. But, at the end of the day, I am doing it for my family and I try to make sure they get my attention too. Curling up on the couch next to Rob and reading to Aaliyah is what I live for, but don’t always have time to spend doing. Making my family tea is about making a better life for my family. I try to always remember that.

    What is the next step for you and Ellis Island Ice Tea? We’re about to launch in airports around the country, which is so exciting. HMSHost, one of the country’s largest airport concessionaires, has agreed to put Ellis Island Tea in 14 airports from coast to coast, and in a major New Jersey shopping mall. That opportunity is huge and has unbelievable potential for Ellis Island Tea. Our target customer is an adventurer, someone who seeks new experiences and loves the exotic – which is everything Ellis Island Tea has to offer.  Airports are full of explorers! We’re also about to launch in Sam’s Club locations in the Midwest, which is an amazing opportunity as well. Sam’s Club representatives have been great about helping position us for success even before we hit he cooler shelves. We just need to seize the opportunity.

    Could you share with us your favorite quote or something like your wise words of wisdom? My favorite saying is “Pray like everything depends on God, Work like everything depends on you.” I live a faith-based life. With God, anything is possible. But God expects us to do our own work, not sit and hope. Every decision I make for my company, my family, my future is made after praying for God’s wisdom and guidance. He has never let me down. 

Nailah, congratulations on being the QUEEN BOSS WINNER!!!!! CCN and I would like to congratulate you on your accomplishments for Ellis Island Ice Tea and we wish you much success in the near future. May you keep us in mind for future exclusives. This is has been Quanda R. Graves with California Crusader Newspaper, Until TV and EIN and I thank you for this interview. 

Thank you!!!

#FunFact: After this interview, I found that Nailah Ellis-Brown's deal with Sam's Club went through in the Midwest. Wonderful! CCN Salutes you! 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Fare: A True Story of Human Trafficking

August 21, 17

“The struggle between what’s right or wrong and the battle within oneself after being stuck between a hard rock and a hard place; can be very eye opening. When you don’t know who you are and you’ve been searching.  Sometimes things happen or are allowed to happen to awaken who you really are, sometimes to solidify whom you think you may be.” ~ Author and Poet Until…

Santiago, my name is Quanda R. Graves and I am a journalist with the California Crusader Newspaper in conjunction with Until TV and EIN. I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you. Let’s begin with my first question below:

1. I watched the screener and needless to say, it really evoked many emotions within; anger, sadness, disgust, compassion and it made me see vulnerability in a whole other light. I suppose that is what human trafficking is right? I understand that “The Fare” is based on a true story, but what inspired you to want to do this narrative?
Santiago Paladine Page 3 Quanda R. Graves 

Years ago I witnessed a moment when a group of people, that had crossed the border, reunited with their families after many years of being apart. Something at that moment touched my heart deeply. It took me a long time to realize that what had actually moved me was the fear of thinking of the possibility of that family never getting to their destination. I decided then that I wanted to explore that. Through a very extensive research I found out that Ecuador has the highest rate of children that travel alone to the US. That got me curious but it wasn’t until I found the idea for the characters that I decided to write the script. 

2. I love the words “Affecting Drama”. In keeping with that, do you consider your art your activism? Do you consider yourself to be an activist at all in regard to sharing a story like this?

I tell stories out of a personal need to let things out.  Things that move me are the things that I feel I can see clearly and understand. I don’t consider myself an activist nor have a social or political agenda when I make movies, but I do feel a responsibility to tell things with honesty and truth. Most of the time, honesty is not a sweet thing. It can hurt people and be hard to accept, but still, is necessary to establish truth full relationships with others.  I like to tell human stories and I like to think that characters that love and hate, laugh and cry and sometimes act in contradiction to their beliefs are human characters.  This is the case for captor and captive in The Fare.  If people are able to see a human side in these characters it might probably help us act more humanly towards them, which by definition, could be a way of activism. 

3. The Fare shows what happened to a young girl and you boy in two very different ways hints my beginning quote. Though you’ve put the story in perspective for us, would you mind sharing exactly how you feel about “The Fare” from both points of views in regard to the two characters?

Both Characters share many aspects of each other, which in a way, is what gets them together through out the story. Both of them have lost everything in life and were forced to grow up alone and become adults prematurely. Cristina’s decision to travel alone and Javier’s decision to be part o a gang come from a need to survive and find something they can hold on to for the first time in their lives. The feature version of the fare will explore both points of view in full, but because of production limitations I had to make a decision in this short, so I chose Javier’s narrative point of view. 

4. I understand that “The Fare” has officially been selected for more than fifteen (15) worldwide festivals and has won six (6) and counting. What are your thoughts on that? Was that ever your intention when you first started this film?

It was not our intention. In fact, when we found the direction for the story we knew we were stepping into something that was going to be challenging to shoot and to show to people. The developing process has tough because we had a lot of reactions in our circle of friends.  Some people warned us that doing something of this nature could cause rejection by the audience because nobody wants to see people being trafficked and abused on screen. I completely disagree with that. I think cinema is meant to touch people and make you feel things regardless of what this feeling might be.  I knew that I had to tell this story and I was lucky enough to have complete support from the team.  When we screened the movie for the first time I was mentally preparing myself for the rejection. It was a big surprise when we found out it had obtained and excellent score.  One month after the screening, we were awarded with the Hispanic Heritage Short Film Award in Washington DC.  Everything after that has been a blessing. 

5. Congratulations on all of your success. This has to feel great, people appreciating your work. But I also know, you’ve put in a lot of hard work. So what is Santiago’s favorite pass time?

Thank you. Years ago I decided to quit my job so I can start making films. In a way; every day is pass time for me. Right now, I spend most of the time writing and taking care of my 6 months old daughter, Isabel.  

6. If Santiago weren’t doing film; what other profession would be doing _________________________.

Music is a very important part of my life so if I couldn’t make films for any reason, I’ll be making music. 

7. You’ve tackled so much and I’m pretty sure you haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. Tell me, what’s next for Santiago Paladines?

I wrote the script for the feature version of The Fare almost at the same time we were editing the short. We are pushing hard to get that off the ground. I have other scripts that have been optioned and I really hope one of them happens soon. Until then, I’ve been traveling constantly to my home country Ecuador to direct some episodes for a local television show. 

Well, Santiago I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you and I also want to thank you for bring “The Fare” to the light, may you always have the spirit to carry that torch. Congratulations again and on behalf of California Crusader Newspaper, Until TV, EIN and myself, Quanda R. Graves, we salute you and wish you continued success.

Thanks for the interview and your words of support.  It means a lot to us.. I enjoyed answering every question and I’m looking forward to meet you personally in a near future.