We had the good fortune of connecting with Ebony N. Mayo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ebony N., is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
I do, it’s my own quote. “Taking risk does not make you unwise…it makes you courageous to confound the wise.”~Ebony N. Mayo I love this quote because it came to the me the moment I decided to drop out of my graduate school program and change careers as a counselor to an actress and entrepreneur. I relocated to Georgia and eventually Los Angeles, CA. When I decided to change careers in my mid-late twenties and move across country, people thought I was crazy. I was already established, but decided to start over from scratch, didn’t know anyone or anything about the entertainment business. However, I knew it was what was in my heart. I realized quickly that people do not understand what they have not done. Think about it. I was taking a risk. I had courage, and my courage did not make me “stupid” or unwise. It allowed for me to amaze those you considered themselves to know what was best for me and who called themselves “wise.”
What should our readers know about your business?
I am an actress, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. I am most proud to be a young African-American female who owns her own cigar line, Mayió Cigars. Our cigars are created in Dominican Republic and we specialize in Cameroon cigars, which are very delicate and expensive leafs. It was not easy breaking into the cigar world, especially as an owner as it is very much so a male dominant culture. However, I stay true to myself, my WHY, and face any challenges that may come my way, as my parents taught me, with strength and compassion. Some lessons I have learned along the way are: 1) know your business in and out, and when you are tested stand your ground regardless of who they are. 2) it takes money (lots of it) to make money. Try to get venture capital or other capital outside of your personal 3) Everyone will not support you and some of your biggest supporters may be strangers. My personal brand encourages loving yourself, loving people, and loving God. Mayió Cigars prides itself in merging the world between cigar aficionados and cigar newcomers, male and female cigar lovers, creating an atmosphere where you can be in your element.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Hmmm….ok we def have to go hike Runyon Canyon or Fryman Canyon (or both if you’re feeling lucky), hit some of the tourist spots like Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica Pier, Malibu, Griffith Observatory, and ride bikes through Venice Beach. I’m vegan so we have to hit Cafe Gratitude and order #IAmBlessed or #IAmDedicated, Crossroads, Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen, Gracias Madre, Tao, and Donut Friend. The California African American Museum and the Broad Museum would certainly be on the list because I love art. Taking the electric scooters through DTLA is a must to take photo ops with the murals. Dinner and drinks at EP & LP then vibing out on their rooftop and some other lounges would be on the itinerary for sure. You wouldn’t be my friend if I didn’t take you to a cigar lounge and smoke one of my Mayió Cigars with a nice whisky or scotch. Of course, I work in the entertainment business. There are always mansion and Hollywood parties, I would make my best friend my plus one and show her some of the best views in the city with some pretty dope people. Last but not least, I would have to take my best friend on one of our trips with the Brown Bag Lady Organization to feed the homeless so she could see first hand how we are being of service to our homeless community, or as we affectionately call them, our homeless family.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I have to shout out my parents, Sylvester L. Mayo Sr. & Arlene Mayo and my auntie, Pamela Wright. The three of them have literally been my backbone from childhood till this present day currently. Any and everything I have wanted to do they have fully supported. Jacqueline Norvell aka “Aunt Jackie” of the Brown Bag Lady Organization that I’m privileged to fight against homelessness in LA with week in and week out. Shoutout to all of my family and friends as well. Last but certainly not least, the biggest shoutout to God whom without Him I would be nothing.
Jamall McMillan, Gifted Talents (GT)