COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and two separate entities have come together for the cause.
Kimberly Beasley, of Curvitude, and Jamilah Dukes, of the S.O.U.L. Market, have joined forces to bring the Pink 10K Run to Columbia County, and they discuss how working together is making a positively major impact on the community.
Thank you, Kimberly and Jamilah, for joining us here on Celebrating Black Excellence. Let’s start with talking about what you do individually. Jamilah, we’ll start with you first. Jamilah, you have the S.O.U.L. Market. How did you get started with that?
So, the S.O.U.L. Market was a vision that came to me from actually going to another event, and I was like, “Hmm, I can do that.” So, what the S.O.U.L. Market stands for is Spreading Our Universal Love. So, I wanted to be able to spread our universal love through wellness in my community, and the idea of it has shifted many times. God has shifted it, but what I do is I go out into the schools, go out into corporate America, and go and provide wellness services for them because everyone needs to address their mental health. Sometimes, it is very much so overlooked. So, we just go out and provide services. We do yoga, we do meditation, we do sound baths, we do massage therapy, and we provide services for the community.
Now, you emphasized that you go into the schools. How has the difference been as far as you interacting with the students?
The students actually take to it very well. At first, they’re like, “Yoga? I don’t know if I want to do that. I got to bend over?” Then, once they get into it, they see that we got Silent Headphones, we vibe out, and we have a good time, by the end of the day, they’re like, “So, when are you coming back? I like this. I have never experienced this kind of peace before.” So, it is awesome to be able to introduce them to something new that they can utilize daily to cope with the daily stressors of their lives. So, it’s been awesome.
Now, Kimberly, you have Curvitude. Can you give a brief history of how you got started with that?
Oh, my goodness. Curvitude Boutique was around for 11 years right after I retired from the military. I did 20 years, and then, I decided I didn’t want to work for anybody else at the time. So, I opened Curvitude Boutique, which was the first Plus-Size Boutique in Augusta, Georgia. I am so proud to be the tip of the spear for a lot of ladies and a lot of boutiques here in Augusta. After during the pandemic, we decided to transition from doing a boutique, and we went into athletic wear and into e-commerce. This year, I’ve been blessed to be at New York Fashion Week, and I’ve been blessed to be at Miami Swim Week because I also launched a swimwear line.
And can you ladies give us your websites if people want more information?
Now, let’s talk about the run that you are organizing: The Pink 10K Run, which is October 28th. Can you please tell us about that?
Curvitude Athletic and The S.O.U.L. Market got together. Like Jamilah said, she does wellness, and I do athletic wear. So, we got together. We organized the Columbia County Health, Fitness, and Wellness Expo Incorporated. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, and our goal is basically in our in our name: health, fitness, and wellness. So, we decided to take it to Columbia County because a lot of people have the perception that Columbia County doesn’t need anything because it’s Columbia County, which is not true. Everyone needs to be concerned about their health, fitness, and wellness. So, we just did it up there. It’s been amazing. We had our first health fair in March, and that determined what we were going to do at that time. We were like, “Let’s see what we can do. Just me and you. It’s just two girls from Jersey. Just want to see what we can do.” And after that event, we had so many comments, and everybody loved it and how organized it was. So, at that time, we decided, “Well, let’s go ahead and make it a 501(c)(3).” We got our 501(c)(3), and after we got that paperwork, we took off and decided to do our first event, which is, of course, breast cancer. We both have suffered loss in our family from breast cancer. We currently know people that are fighting breast cancer, and we wanted to do something to honor them. So, what better thing that can we do than a Pink 10K Run!
Can you provide some more information for us about the Pink 10K Run?
So, the Pink 10K Run will take place October 28th at Evans Towne Center in Evans, Georgia. The run will start at 9:30. You can come and register at 8, and it is not also only just a run. We are also hosting our Health Wellness and Fitness Expo as well. So, we will have the Department of Public Health, Veteran Affairs, Augusta Dental, and so many more people and organizations out to provide services for the community and vendors in the health and wellness industries. So, it’s going to be an amazing event. We also are going to have classes going on throughout the day. and we’re doing “Crowning Survivors.” I’m really excited about the “Crowning Survivors” because there’s so many women that have survived breast cancer, and we want we want to acknowledge them. So, if you have someone special in your life that you want to nominate, go to www.crowningsurvivors.com and nominate them because we want to celebrate them. We want to celebrate their resilience and their strength to beat this disease.
If people want to know more information about the walk, run, how can they get that information?
Go to www.cchwfepinkrun.com.
I love this thing because I love that Black women are coming together, and you are providing an example of what we need to be doing here in the city. Two separate entities coming together to make a major impact. I think people need to see more of that.
Both: Just two chicks from Jersey! (Laughs)
Kimberly: We’re both from New Jersey, and I think that’s just how we move. We collaborate. You just move and do it. If you can do it, just do it.
Jamilah: And the beauty about collaboration is that there are things that Kim is great at that I’m not going to do, and there are things that I’m great that Kim’s not going to do. So, the collaboration works so effortlessly, and it’s just amazing. Like, you would think that we would go back and forth a lot, but we really, really don’t. It’s like, “All right, so Kim, what do you think? Jamilah, what do you think?” Then, we just go, and we keep it moving. We just make the best decision because we know what the end goal is, and we know what we want to bring to the community. So, it’s really not about us. It’s about the community. It’s about the community and making the best decision to bring any information to the community. So, Columbia County Health, Wellness, and Fitness nonprofit has so much in store for the community. We are always brainstorming and thinking about something new. What can we create? What can we bring awareness to? How can we provide the community and impact the community with different services in the health, wellness, and fitness industries? Because it looks totally different for everyone. I may want to go box every day, and you may be like, “Jamilah, I’m never going to box. You may want to go do Zumba every day, but you may want to walk. So, whatever it is that works for you, we want you to find those entities in your community so that you can utilize those services because they’re here and they’re here for us. It’s so many resources, and we want to be able to have people be able to tap into those resources.
How important is it for people to get screened and get checked?
Kimberly: It is extremely important. We just left from an event at Augusta Mall today, and Augusta has been proclaimed as Breast Cancer Day here in Augusta. One of the women that was there said she had found out she had breast cancer, and it was at stage three… five months after she already had a mammogram. So, she did what she was supposed to do. But then five months after, they found that she had breast cancer. We have to be so intentional about our bodies, and so intentional about things. If you feel you don’t feel right, or you feel something that’s not right, we cannot be like, “Okay, I’ll get to it,” because I’ll get to it may lead to something else. We need to take care of ourselves. Health is wealth and a lot of people are chasing the bag. You should be chasing your health.
Jamilah: Absolutely. I have a testament to that. Just recently, my body and my mind were telling me to go check, go check, go check. I didn’t do it, and I ended up in the hospital. So, definitely, it is important to check on your health and wellness when your body tells you something, listen to it, acknowledge it, and go and check up on your health. It is very important because we can prevent so much stuff if we just take the proper preventative measures.
The Pink 10K Run takes place Saturday, October 28th at the Evans Towne Center. Registration is at 8 A.M., and the walk will start at 9:30 A.M. For more information, go to www.cchwfepinkrun.com.