Exclusive Interview: Ladies of ‘Southern Belles in the City’ chats on what to except with new talk show

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One of the things that I loved the most when I lived in Atlanta was the Southern Hospitality, especially among other Black women. In the South, Black women are not afraid to smile, compliment, and be friendly to one another. This is one thing that I noticed when I initially came across and received the pleasure of interviewing the ladies of a new talk web series. 

Southern Belles in the City is an uplifting and positive talk-web series that premiered this past Monday. One thing that makes their show different that I have seen is their themes. Each show that you will watch will have a particular scenario to it, such as a ‘relaxation day. The series will now be broadcasting every Monday at 6 p.m. on the Southern Belles website.

I recently interviewed the Southern Belles via a phone conversation where they gave further insight to what the show is about, what inspired them to create the show, and what to except from it.

How did you ladies come together to create the show?

Joslyn Penywell: I feel like we all came together through fate. A friend introduced me to Shayla and Lynn when I moved to California years ago. They moved here from Arkansas, I moved here from Louisiana. Then a couple years later I ended up running into Ciarra on a catalog shoot, and I found it to be amazing to have an amazing family of Southern women that I got a long with, that I loved, and that we all understood each other. We all moved to California for a similar purpose, and to leave the small town to fulfill our dreams. Of course the South is what ties us together and makes our bond strong.

Ciarra Carter: The show was already put together before I came on board. Me and Joslyn met at the catalog shoot where she discussed the show with me and immediately I fell in love with the concept, and later on we were really able to sit down and discuss the business aspect of it and I was able to meet Shayla and Lynn thereafter. They did a good job with putting together all the different personalities because we all matched so well. 

Merlynne Williams-Anenih:I met Joslyn through a mutual friend and we just connected instantly. Sometimes being in this big city you feel alone, so when you hear someone who has the same Country sound and voice as you, it’s amazing! (lol) We just really connected and had a lot of things in common. It was just awesome! When she had the concept to do the show, of course I was all on board. 

Shayla Rae Williams: The show is actually Joslyn’s idea. This is her baby. We bounced ideas off of each other to develop the concept. Together we have created an awesome show! Each one of us belles is great.

What do you hope for people to take out of the show? 

Joslyn Penywell:I’m going to reiterate what Ciarra said, which is to educate. But the word we use on the show us “Southernizing your life”, which is bringing warmth, charm, and joy to your life. That’s basically what we do. We’re bringing our real opinions and tips to people that we feel that we have actually dealt with and encounter, and that we know a lot of people have questions about. We want to inspire and bring knowledge to people in a fun way and in an environment filled with laughter. Laughter is the key to life.

Ciarra Carter:Entertainment first and foremost, as well realizing and seeing the knowledge and information that we bring to the table as well. The tips and advice that we give can be used by anybody, from the hair tips to skin tips, all over the world. It is just our Southern input with those topics. 

Merlynne Williams-Anenih: To piggyback off of what Joslyn said, the world is just a melting pot. I love to turn the TV and go into someone’s life that I know nothing about, so I think that the thing that we’re trying to do with the show is tie in our lifestyles and experiences into the world. I love when I see someone doing different things that amazes me. At the end of the day, everyone is kind of the same because we have the same situations, but just different culturally. I think that is what we are doing as far as the South. We want to reach everybody, and now people are being more accepting to different cultures. I feel like this is a great opportunity to show where we came from and to be proud of where we came from. 

Shayla Rae Williams:Lots of laughs, great tips and fabulous hair. 

What makes this talk show different from the rest?

Joslyn Penywell: I would say the most interesting thing about Southern Belles in the City is the South. Everyone usually just tries to tie in one city, but we are like Lynn said, it’s like when you come to LA this is a melting pot and people from all parts of the South come to LA to pursue their dreams be apart of the entertainment industry and to educate people. I know that the four ladies that make Southern Belles in the City aspire and work hard to entertain and to bring knowledge to our fans, supporters, friends, and family. The South makes us unique and stand-out. Our warmth, our charm, and our different personalities also make us stand out.

Ciarra Carter: I’m going to piggyback off of Joslyn, I feel like this show inspires people from a different part of the Country, the South, and I don’t know any other talk show that is doing that at this particular moment, so we definitely have something to bring to the table. 

Merlynne Williams-Anenih: I think that we are probably different because we do have that Southern draw and we’re not holding nothing back. Some things I probably should not say on he show, but I feel very warm with all of us on the show because I’m very comfortable with them and can say any and everything with them, but at the same time, being from the South I wanted to reach that girl who was once like I was watching and wondering how she can get to a certain point. Believe it or not, people where I am from they don’t know how to leave their space. I feel that we will be that voice for those to do something different and to go beyond the norm. 

Shayla Rae Williams: We can be deemed a Southern version of the groundbreaking show “Girlfriends”. Four southern belles move to Los Angeles to follow their dreams. Our differences stem from our backgrounds and present occupations. These differences will appeal to the vast majority of women.

What do you feel that you individually bring to the show?

Joslyn Penywell: I am the fashion and beauty consultant. I have done several runways and worked with several designers. I used to tour with Ebony Fashion Fair. There are so many women that come to me and ask me for fashion and beauty advice. 

Ciarra Carter: My focus is on fitness and nutrition. I give recipes and tips on how to stay fit and how to maintain it. 

Merlynne Williams-Anenih: I focus on different relationship topics, such as how to ball on a budget and what to do to have your man put  a ring on it and getting the man to commit. I talk about real life stuff that I have experienced and what my friends have experienced. 

Shayla Rae Williams: Great hair!!!!!! Fabulous hair! Healthy hair and styles! For women our hair is very important. I love sharing tips to achieve healthy hair.

If you missed the first episode, check it out below:

Keep up with show:

southernbellesinthecity.com

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pintrest

Keep up with the ladies:

Joslyn Pennywell: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Ciarra Carter: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Shayla Rae Williams: FacebookTwitterInstagram

Merlynne “Lynn” Williams-Anenih: FacebookTwitterInstagram

ABOUT AUTHOR

  • Naomi K. Bonman

    Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

Naomi K. Bonman

Naomi K. Bonman is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University where she holds her Bachelors of Arts in Mass Media Arts with a concentration in Journalism. She also holds her Masters of Public Administration. She is the Founder and CEO of Awakened Media Enterprises, Inc. which owns Purposely Awakened. She has been in the media field since 2006 covering beats that range from social justice, community, entertainment, sports, fashion/beauty, and culture news.

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