A few people reached out to me in the last couples of months, seeing things that I wasn’t sure were being exuded through my behavior. I have something. That something, not quite sure what to identify as of yet, is an aura that makes people want to move, do, and be. I’m aware of it, but most of the time I admittedly dwindled it down, because I fear people getting upset and uncomfortable. I carry myself a certain kind of way. It’s not something I consciously do, it just happens. A regal attitude that comes from training my mind, “I am beautiful and I do deserve the best, therefore I am”, a mantra I developed over the years of transforming from just plain I’esha to I’esha GaptoothDiva. I own it, and now I want people just like me, who once felt inferior to own their as well. I want to be a service to my community and motivate women, young and old, to never listen to the background noise of people calling you out your name and saying what you should do or be, but that internal voice of God. That feeling inside that you were loved before you knew what love was, that your destiny is bigger than you can ever imagine and if you just reach for it, you will eventually touch circumstances that will blow your mind. I have that now, and it’s my life’s dream to make other people feel that exact way. The grace of God and love of oneself and others is so unimaginable; I yearn to reach so many before it’s all said and done.
A few months ago, talking about this very passion led to me developing another internet radio show with a friend of mine, Daitron Winston (RVALien). However, he informed me about some adversity that I never realized existed. I prayed on it and I kept it moving, I knew this was a journey with purpose and God was going to make it with us. Despite a few hiccups and some “internet thugging”, I still maintain that I wish the best for all people. I truly believe that everyone has a voice, what you use it for is your business, but my overall mission is anointed.
I’m excited to introduce R3 Radio: Real Ratchet & Raw, because our show touches on those very perspectives. You have the truth, a real way of looking at life, culture, and our circumstances. You also have the raw way of dealing with it, no love, and no heart, just black & white. In addition, because it sells and is so prevalent in our community, people are floating toward the ratchet because it’s easier and more popular right now. I pride myself on never selling out, so I wanted a show that celebrated that perspective of keeping things wholesome but entertaining.Down the line, I want my kids to be proud of my behavior and the things I discussed, so I don’t call women “b*tches”, I don’t disrespect people because its funny, I truly keep it love and awesomeness, because that’s what I want the world to return back to me. Daitron feels the same way. So tonight at 9pm thanks to Soul Cypher Productions, we deliver that to you every week. I’m so excited!
With the radio show, the clothing, modeling, and writing, what else, could I add to my plate? Well, someone saw something in me and felt other people should see it as well. I praise God for the moves He is making because motivation came from an unlikely source. Someone that I have always admired and thought was very hard working, Joe’I Chancellor will be executive producing my very own show on Comcast 95 / Verizon 36 this Fall, October 2nd 2013. The GaptoothDiva Show will highlight issues that either I believe we shy away from or we downright don’t understand. Again, this venture will be on the positive tip, but with lots of entertainment and fun. Women need to see exactly what we are doing to each other, how we break our own gender down but expect respect from men. It’s a contagion of disrespect to each other and ourselves, and I’m on a mission to change that by any means necessary. I hope you all tune in for that as well, because it’s going to be an experience.
I had the pleasure of going on the Joe’i Chancellor Special Edition show with her this past Friday. She is funny and I enjoyed myself so much. It made me see that although a lot of detail goes into it, it really is an easy thing to do, I’m excited to jump right in and get to work. Because Joe’i and I discuss issues with women regularly, I know that I’m not alone in feeling that there is genuine disconnect. If no one tries to fight this issue and bring solutions to the table, then we will never overcome any obstacles and will forever be doomed to warring with one another rather embracing each other. I don’t want my children to grow up in a world where women hate each other. I don’t want to live in one either. Therefore, with these new projects, I plan to shed light on these issues and more, bringing positivism back to your media and in your hearts.
We Start Taping for The GaptoothDiva Show next month, so be on the lookout for more details on that as well. We are rolling here… God got the wheel… let’s ride.
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow and support me @GaptoothDiva
It’s so exciting to officially blog for the Lyric Ave. Freestyle showcase’s monthly show. The shows are done monthly for a season, highlighting local and national talent with live music, poetry, and skits. From thought provoking prose and performances to amusing parodies, this show is more enjoyable than most programs on television. I wrote about the January 2013 installment of Lyric Ave., and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, it absolutely did. This go around it was funnier and I think that would be an understatement.
The excitement started immediately on the street outside of the Hippodrome Theater in Jackson Ward. As we headed inside ready to enjoy the show, a homeless man stopped us to ask for change. Immediately I was suspicious. I’m not a “homeless man” fashion expert, nor do I qualify the needy by how dirty they are, but this homeless man had a lace-front beard on! That thing was so smooth and luxurious, either someone donated a hot comb and some Luster’s Pink Lotion or this dude was an imposter. Nevertheless, Hubs gave him some change and we ran inside, laughing because we knew we were in for a surprise.
The show maintained the excitement through out. I especially liked how enthusiastic the other audience seemed to be, making the ambiance very jovial for everyone. It’s was like a thirst in the air for more laughs, something that I believe we could all use nowadays. Lyric Ave. definitely accomplished that. Carla Jackson, one of the featured artists performed on her guitar, and had me ready to turn up. When you start like that… it’s only getting better from there. I was cracking up laughing off host Micah “Bam – Bamm” White with his “Take that back and do whatever you want with that” jokes. Such a talented individual did an amazing job as usual.
Chari Brown definitely surprised me with her two performances that evening. I saw her in the February showcase and thought she was an amazing actress. However, the evening proved that she is also a great songstress as well. I didn’t know that, so I was pleasantly surprised when she sang one of my favorite Beyonce tracks “Flaws and All” with such conviction. Her performance with J-Gott was exceptional as well. Between his eloquent lyrics and her sweet voice, I felt that was a very soulful duet.
Speaking of beautiful duets, Jarrard Anthony and @Ameramen made beautiful music on stage, speaking volumes to the Hubs and I. Artists like these make events like this perfect to bring your significant other to, sets the stage for fun and a little expressive romance. Jarrard Anthony is definitely a talented songwriter/musician here in Richmond, Virginia and the host of Saturday Soul Social (www.saturdaysoulsocial.com ). Check it out for more information.
Randolph A. Fitz, another featured aspect of the show has seriously gave me whiplash for “umpteenth” time. In person, this man will have you in stitches with his random silliness. He was even outside the Hippodrome when we ran into the homeless person, which turned out to be Iman Shabazz (Creative Director, cast member and actor for Lyric Ave.) Randolph said, “Ya’ll give that man something, Ya’ll got it!” while we were too busy trying to get into the theater and figure out if this dude was authentic or a hoax. Laughing at him, I’m immediately switched into a different emotion with his performance on stage. With “What If” and “I Know I’ve Been Changed”, I got excited and all in my feelings. Great artist have that ability to make you feel all sorts of things through their art, He just happens to be one of those individuals.
With the hilarious skits like “In the Streets” and “Yo People’s Court” making us laugh so hard, we had ugly faces on. “Yo People’s Court” had me doing my super ghetto laugh, that I reserve for family and close friends only. You know that one that could get you kicked out of the movie theater? It was that funny, for real. We just knew that we had our fill for the evening. Lyric Ave. saved a real gem for last. First, the funny Cory Marshall did his thing, setting us up with very funny jokes and audience engagement. The Featured comic of the evening, DMV’s Comic of the Year, Larry Lancaster killed it with his routine. He joked about old people trying to look like young thugs, but looking extremely childish, something I see so often it’s scary. The guy was so funny, I later realized that I was the only girl in my section claiming to be a “big girl” when a couple of sisters around me was definitely pledging Beta Phi Thick as well. Nevertheless, it was all good fun and I enjoyed every minute of it. Larry was seriously funny and talented, ending another amazing showcase with smiling faces.
Overall, the cast of Lyric Ave. kills it each and every time with entertainment and performances that caters to a mature and eclectic audience of people who can appreciate a certain caliber of music, soul, and truth. I never expect less, but I’m learning to always expect more and more from this dynamic group of people.
I’m so excited to see what happens at their 10th anniversary edition on May 11th, 2013. They have two shows on that night (and every night they feature) at 6:00pm and 9:00pm, so be sure to get your tickets. Check them out at www.thelyricaveshow.com for more information. Tickets are on Sale NOW. You will not be disappointed. Next month, I may be giving out another pair of tickets to a lucky GaptoothDiva.com supporter, so be sure to tune in for details.
For more of the baddest creative motivation, reviews, events, and more follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
This Saturday March 30th, I will be accompanying Zakia Jemaceye (also known as Eye2go on FB) to a few events. She has been crowned Mz. International Supermodel 2011 and 2012 & Miss Gay Richmond 2011-2012. In addition, if you inquire with her about getting your face beat and looking fabulous, she states, “I slay a set of Eye-Brows, Lashes or Faces”. I love it! I met Zakia a few years ago as she performed for an earlier showcase that was hosting back in 2009, her grace and pose makes her a force to be reckoned with and an exemplar among the Richmond LGBT community. I’m certainly excited to spend the day with her. Her amazing personality and her fierce performance skills proves that Saturday may just be more electrifying than I can anticipate.
The first event that we are attending will be all about Empowerment. The Train Yourself to Win Empowerment Seminar for Women is scheduled to go down at the Comfort Inn Midtown Jefferson Conference Room in Richmond, VA. The event is all about building self-esteem and having fun. From 10 am to 12pm, we will enjoy life coaching and making our goals count with Author Suzanne A. Roberts. To get tickets to attend, email email@example.com or call (888) 908-9043. This is an adult only event and light refreshments will be served.
Later on Saturday, we will be celebrating the launch of Nationz Pageantry System. The name derived from the local Richmond club Nations, where Zakia was crowned the last Miss Nations before they closed. She inherited the rights to the name and changed the spelling. Zakia began to market it on a national level and currently travels the county entertaining and competing in pageants on a state and national level. It has always been her dream to bring that to Virginia.
Recently, September 30, 2012 Nationz Pageantry System held their Plus division for Plus sized female impersonators and on September 28, 2013 they plan to have Mr. and Mz & Plus National Competitions. The All Red Affair is a Promotional Party to introduce Nationz Pageantry System to the world. It will be a night of Glitz and Glamour, featuring some of the most beautiful Female Impersonators and Lead Male Entertainers from all over the east coast. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Fenniz Baldwyn Zakia has special guest entertainers from Washington DC and New York as well.
Doors open at 8pm with a Meet and Greet for those who have purchased early tickets from 8-8:45 then Showtime is at 9:00pm.
It is Zakia’s hope to bring to Richmond a new and improved outlook on what Female Impersonation is all about. Nationz Pageantry: The Red Affair is the official Kick off for something wonderful here in Richmond. I couldn’t be more excited for her, because I love a good show full of fierce beauty and lots of fun!
Tickets are 20.00 in advance and 25.00 at the door unless you have on Red or Accents of Red. There will be a great Buffet and DJ Robb will be spinning the music and giving the kids the old Scandal’s Pyramid feel of House and Club Music. I really hope to see you there looking beautiful and glamorous.
Last year my husband had the awesome privilege of attending the Camp Diva Date with Dad Dinner and Dance, and came home talking about how amazing the whole event was. Naturally, we discussed all the beautiful dresses the girls wore and the fathers who compassionately accompanied their daughters to this event, which celebrated love and the bond between father and daughter. At the time my relationships with my own father was strained and virtually in limbo, so I felt my heart tug when my husband joyfully described the love and affection shown to each girl by her father. It was the pictures that depicted fun, excitement, and grandeur, which made me want to attend the event this year on my own. However, it was my husband’s powerful testimony that enticed me to make the decision to repair the relationship with my father and bring him along, with my two sisters as well.
I knew from the very beginning that God had his hand in this situation. As I was preparing to talk with my Dad about attending, my sisters had already caught wind of the event through social media, as I was tweeting and posting it to Facebook. Immediately when I suggested that we should all go, they both squealed in delight. “This will absolutely bring us all together!” they exclaimed. It was just a matter of asking my Father. When I arrived at my father’s house to ask him, I must admit I was nervous. In my late twenties, I have never embarked on something as wonderful as a father/daughter dance. I would have never imagined inviting my father to an event like this, or even him attending one with me. We just were never that type of father/daughter team. Neither my sisters nor I knew what was going to happen, but I stepped out in faith and invited my Dad anyway. My Dad immediately said “yes!” I was ecstatic. He said it sounded like a great idea and he too wanted to start spending more time with us and create a stronger bond with his daughters. This was going to be an experience I never wanted to forget.
I prayed on it the whole way through. Most of us were struggling financially, trying to make ends meet and pay bills. Just barely keeping our heads above water, I faced the challenge of paying for all four of us to attend the event. With tickets costing $25 each, I knew I wanted to contribute to the event and deliver an awesome experience to my sisters and father at the same time. I had to get to work. The Date with Dad was my priority. Most of the people I talked to were difficult to close on the idea that they too should contribute to this monumental occasion, some even suggested that it might not be worth it. Here I am trying to help and create a wonderful memory for not only me, but other girls and their fathers too, and obstacles were coming from left and right. I pressed on, I sold clothes, I contracted work, and saved pennies just so that I could attend with my family and give them the night I promised. I could only imagine the work that the women of Camp Diva have to put into what they do. They are truly an inspiration. The ability to keep explaining your vision, your dream, and your purpose to people, in the hopes that they too buy into it and can contribute a small iota of assistance to see it flourish… it monumental. Those women are amazing!
I finally got the money together and I paid for my ticket, Glory to God! We scheduled a date to help my Dad find a suit, which for some reason was rescheduled three to four times due to scheduling conflicts. However, when we finally got together, it was an awesome Saturday afternoon. We laughed, we cracked jokes, and we talked. Something we rarely get to do with him on our own. It’s that nervous feeling around him, as if you’re meeting someone for the first time. We ask ourselves constantly, “Does he know this” or “Have I told him this”. This event was going to be the catalyst to jump start a relationship with our father. This was going to be the marriage of a father/daughter bond that we never experienced. We wore variations of white and gold, because we were solidifying a solid bond with this man, who we have lived with our entire lives, but know rarely anything about. Our Dad, who has always provided for us, but never really tried to get too close. This was our chance to change what history has tainted, and I couldn’t have been more excited if I tried.
The night was beautiful! In gown and dresses, my sisters and I stepped out with our father in a spectacular way. I walked in a saw all these beautiful little girls and gorgeous women, all adorned in pretty dresses and incredible smiles. My Dad was dapper in his suit and tie, looking nervous but excited himself. He cleans up well, and we were so proud to have him on our arm. As we ate and drank punch at the table, marveled by the beautiful families around us, we laughed and joked the whole night. I am not going to lie and say that we weren’t at the table waiting and ready to get “turnt up”. I wanted to dance and watch everyone else get his or her party on as well. So right after the celebration of the Real Father Award Winners: Congratulations to Harold Coles Jr., Scott Randall, Thomas Nixon, Anson Owen, and Nelson B. Farrar and the Father/Daughter game with Actor Chad Coleman (Miss Evers Boys/The Wire), Juan Conde (Anchor with TV 8) led us into the dance portion of the evening.
My Dad was a straight crazy man on the dance floor and I loved it. We laughed at his silliness and delighted in his ability to just let go and be free. It’s times like this when I realize that time is never promised to us, and if I could make that moment in time last forever, I would. Nevertheless, I soaked in every minute of it, and enjoyed every second. He talked with Juan Conde and shared stories about us when we were little, listening to him on the radio when Juan was with Power 92. He was so excited. He ran and took pictures everywhere and profiled in his suit, something he doesn’t get to wear often enough. I was proud to have him with me that evening. My sisters looked beautiful and my Dad was so excited, the evening turned out better than I could have ever imagined.
When I think about what Angela Patton and everyone with Camp Diva are doing, have done, and are attempting to do with these young girls in Richmond, I kind of wish I was a little girl again. I wish I had this when I was younger, because we wouldn’t be trying to begin a relationship with my Dad as adults, we would be celebrating what already was in place. I wish that some more people out there were diligent in trying to institute something so precious as that bond, like Camp Diva is doing. Nevertheless, my mission was to prove that it is never too late. As a grown woman with children of my own I’m making it my business to make something happen between my sisters, my dad, and I. Life is too short and I don’t have the time for “should’ve, could’ve, and would’ve”, I want to take advantage of these opportunities when they come. I didn’t know if I was going to even be able to afford to do it, but my trust that God was going to see me through, and it did, it saw me through that hotel, with two beautiful sisters and my handsome father in tow. So just when you think it’s not important for you to strive for life has a funny way of showing you, everything is worth it and more. Our experience is one for the books, a lifetime memory and a whole lot of love was in that room at the Marriot. Camp Diva did an awesome job in putting that together and creating a chance for fathers to make their daughters feel special. I can’t wait to attend next year; I hope that I see you at the table beside us.
Shout out to Melody Short (Artisan Café), Craig Watson (Lyric Ave), Rob (Peace Clothing) who I saw and spoke to that evening. A huge shout out to Angela Patton, Ayana, Lisa, and all the beautiful women of Camp Diva (Camp Diva).
Please follow and support Camp Diva www.CampDiva.org
To see more photos go to my Facebook Fan Page at www.Facebook.com/GaptoothDivaonline
You might have been laid off, or struggling with a job situation. You may have been given a notice that the rent is seriously overdue or the lights are going off. You may have seen a shift in your relationships with certain people, and you’re wondering what in the world in going on. It may just seem like you are being attacked for one reason or another, and you just can’t get up.
I know the feeling. Many people know the feeling. The insurmountable agony of trying to overcome one obstacle and another, all without catching your breath sometimes can wear you out. I wouldn’t dare lie to you and say, it doesn’t get hard sometimes. I lose it. I cry. I vented to people that I probably shouldn’t have, knowing all the time… all I needed to do was pray. Therefore, don’t feel bad… just have faith.
It’s struggle trying to be a better human being. Life is full of temptations, easy routes, and shortcuts that look so good to you. You’re trying to make things happen, you want a blessing or two, and everything around you is saying if you only do this, it’ll come to pass. It’s easier to succumb to negative ways; it’s easier to rely on negative people, its so darn easy to just talk about it, rather than be about it. Pretending the struggle isn’t there doesn’t make it go away. Pretending that you can hustle your way out isn’t going to make the struggle less painful. This is something I’ve learned the hard way.
My husband, children and I were just in a car accident, I never said a word. My health started to take toil on me; I kept smiling the whole way. I kept getting offers to do things that the “old I’esha” would’ve jump at for the chance to make some money, but I turned them down. Why did the “weed lady” from six years ago call my number, asking me if I wanted to cop? I sent that woman straight to voicemail and deleted the message. Another individual broke my heart, and I still extended love and respect. I’m in a war at this very moment, as even as I write this I’m battling. It would be so easy for me to revert to old ways and old behavior, because back then when I was “that” chick, life didn’t seem to attack me. Back when I was not praying, not reading, and not being anything close to a virtuous woman, life was gravy.
That’s how I know… I’m doing well. I know I’m walking right, because the enemy doesn’t attack someone who isn’t a threat. I know I’m pleasing God, because the dumbest things will happen to try to push you into being that awful person, that negative thinking individual, but I kept saying “Thank you God!”
In the accident, I said, “Thank God we’re still here and the car still works”. As my health started to affect me, I said, “Thank God I can still move and I have my life”. After the drug dealer called, I said, “Thank God, I’m able to handle my issues without smoking”. When my heart was broke, I said, “Thank God for the time spent and the lessons learned”. When the bills piled up and temptation came with opportunities for money, I said, “Thank you Lord for confirmation that my work is being recognized”, despite the fact I said no.
I’m in a war! They want me for something, but they can’t have me, because I belong to something greater. I can’t go back now.
Through all this fighting, I had to tell you just how awesome He is. I had to share that I am being blessed beyond measure, with more than I deserve. It’s a fight though, but I’m staying prayed up. I just hope that you are as well.
What’s for you is yours. However, no matter your circumstances, believe that it’s just preparing you for something awesome down the road. We’re in training for greater things. Say “Thank You Lord” for all things, big and little, in times of hurt and of plenty. It’s amazing the moves He makes, when we just believe. I wasn’t supposed to update today, but I needed to get this off my heart and into yours. God has something so spectacular for you… just wait.
With Love and Awesomeness,
It takes so much to gather a bunch of folks together, but thankfully, Mareesa Dawn did it! The Queen Breach Accessories herself was so awesome that she decided to throw a small gathering at Island Bistro for yours truly during my birthday weekend. Collaboratively, we decided to utilize this time to not only celebrate and have a great time, but to engage with other people that understand the GaptoothDiva.com movement. I was so pleased and I had a great time, enjoying great conversation with all those who stopped by to celebrate with us.
I “diva-fied” myself for the first time in a long time, putting on a piece selected for DashA’veri Vintage and Thrift, specifically for the evening. I had one of the best barbers in Richmond cut my Mohawk just right, and I beat this face as if I was crazy. I was ready to have a truly special celebration. A super awesome celebration is what I got. This is just the beginning. There is so much in store coming from GaptoothDiva.com/DashA’veri, Breach Accessories, and from all the other wonderful entrepreneurs that attended Saturday evening. I was motivated and inspired that we are truly going to grow this city. There will be change, with these positive agents in place; I can already feel the wonder.
Check out all the pics on the GaptoothDiva.com Fan Page (http://www.facebook.com/gaptoothdivaonline)
This time last year I was confined to my queen size bed, legs elevated, hating everything about life. I was pregnant, but I was sick, hurting, and too emotional to be around the public. It was sad. The year before that I was preparing to get wasted out of my mind. Planning a party in my loft for any and everybody who saw the Facebook post, I bought liquor, food, and some other things wanting to give people I barely even knew the time of their life. It’s so funny, how two separate years, showed me two very different people. There was the excessive party girl who would go so hard that she couldn’t keep her eyes open. She was so reckless and so ready to give up most of the time, on one hand. On the other hand, just last year I was forced to sit back and focus on what was truly important, my children, my husband, my life. It’s not until I was FORCED to sit my tail down, did I see… how much my life was really worth. I pray that nobody ever gets to the point of being forced, but if they do, I hope that they take the time not to wish they were somewhere different, but to capture the lesson being put on them at that very moment. Glory! Because most of you don’t even realize, don’t even know… I wasn’t even supposed to be here. Therefore, I’m thanking God everyday that I could see today.
I’m celebrating my birthday and I want you to celebrate with me. This Saturday, I’m having a very chic and fabulous Day Party in Richmond, Virginia’s Shockoe Bottom. We will be at Island Bistro (1726 East Main Street) from 5pm to 9pm. This is a Networking style party dedicated to celebrating all of us making major moves in the New Year and collaborating with each other. Mingle and mix with a diverse crowd of individuals who value, love, life, art, and family. I’m giving my celebration to you. It would be nice not to work an event for a change, but to sit down and talk candidly with the people I’m inspired and motivated by.
Island Bistro (Shockoe Bottom)
1726 East Main Street Richmond, VA 23219
February 23rd, 2013 5pm -9pm
Network, Mingle, Party, and Chat w/ I’esha GaptoothDiva
Brought to you by the Queen of Marketing, Mareesa Dawn @1marketingqueen
DashA’veri Vintage and Thrifted Redesigns is having a sale! I’m giving all my supporters and friends 35% off on all items until Saturday. Despite the fact that everything is already low priced, because who doesn’t want style for practically nothing, I’m giving you a b-day gift from me. So get your daughter something, your cousin, your friend, or yourself, it’s all on sale. DashA’veri also offers delivery and pickup for those of you located in the Richmond Virginia area, so don’t worry. We will get it to you! Check out the site and buy whatever you want. New stuff every month, but this sale only last for a limited time.
I’m so excited to be 25 years old for the 3rd time. Don’t worry about the math on that, just celebrate with me. I hope to see you this weekend, but if not we have all year long to shake things up. It’s our time!
I feel funny writing this, because as off the chain as I can be at times, people don’t realize that I do strive daily to be a better woman, servant, wife, and mother. It’s hard when you have people provoke you, you allow yourself to be stressed and fazed, or you feel overwhelmed. It’s easier to go crazy, to snap, to drink or smoke, and to lose sight of why you’re here in the first place. However, lately I’m finding that my only sense of peace comes from knowing that I diligently pursued happiness by any means necessary. I’m only content when I believe in my heart that I pleased my Creator in some way by being the best person I could be to the people around me. I keep saying that I’m not perfect; I do have my “ratchet” ways at times, please don’t make me mad. Lol. Nevertheless, growth and progress comes from knowing that as you go all-out to be a better woman on a daily basis, similar to exercise, you will see that “ratchetness” occur in your life less often. I think that’s all God wants anyway, for us to at least try, not judge, but try to be better people individually. So, while we attempt to improve our own lives, hopefully people can be inspired by that and make every effort in their own lives as well.
Earlier I came across 31 Status (http://www.31status.com/) a movement created to show women how to live a Proverbs 31 kind of lifestyle. I found this to be one of the most inspiring things I ever seen. These women collectively decided to motivate other women, to be better women. It’s not a race, a competition, or a battle; it’s a unified pursuit to improve each other. I want something like this in Richmond, Virginia. It seems everyone is hustling to get that business started, trying to blow up, attempting to be the next big thing out of RVA. However, if we collaborate to improve what’s internal, I know for a fact that everything on the outside and all around us, will undoubtedly become better. I’m living proof. Talk to anybody who knew me prior to last year. They’ll say I was off the chain, but as I read more, got closer to God, and I started to value my time and myself, I’m not that woman anymore. Proverbs 31 teaches us to become better individuals. I don’t want to preach to you, because you can read it for yourself. However, you have no idea how much faith plays a big part on the blessings we receive.
1. Faith - A Virtuous Woman serves God with all of her heart, mind, and soul. She seeks His will for her life and follows His ways. (Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 31: 29 – 31, Matthew 22: 37, John 14: 15, Psalm 119: 15
2. Marriage – A Virtuous Woman respects her husband. She does him good all the days of her life. She is trustworthy and a helpmeet. (Proverbs 31: 11- 12, Proverbs 31: 23, Proverbs 31: 28, 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, Genesis2: 18)
3. Mothering - A Virtuous Woman teaches her children the ways of her Father in heaven. She nurtures her children with the love of Christ, disciplines them with care and wisdom, and trains them in the way they should go. (Proverbs 31: 28, Proverbs 31: 26, Proverbs 22: 6, Deuteronomy 6, Luke 18: 16)
4. Health – A Virtuous Woman cares for her body. She prepares healthy food for her family. (Proverbs 31: 14 – 15, Proverbs 31: 17, 1 Corinthians 6: 19, Genesis 1: 29, Daniel 1, Leviticus 11)
5. Service - A Virtuous Woman serves her husband, her family, her friends, and her neighbors with a gentle and loving spirit. She is charitable. (Proverbs 31: 12, Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20, 1 Corinthians 13: 13)
6. Finances - A Virtuous Woman seeks her husband’s approval before making purchases and spends money wisely. She is careful to purchase quality items which her family needs. (Proverbs 31: 14, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 18, 1 Timothy 6: 10, Ephesians 5: 23, Deuteronomy 14: 22, Numbers 18: 26)
7. Industry – A Virtuous Woman works willingly with her hands. She sings praises to God and does not grumble while completing her tasks. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 16, Proverbs 31: 24, Proverbs 31: 31, Philippians 2: 14)
8. Homemaking – A Virtuous Woman is a homemaker. She creates an inviting atmosphere of warmth and love for her family and guests. She uses hospitality to minister to those around her. (Proverbs 31: 15, Proverbs 31: 20 – 22, Proverbs 31: 27, Titus 2: 5, 1 Peter 4: 9, Hebrews 13: 2)
9. Time - A Virtuous Woman uses her time wisely. She works diligently to complete her daily tasks. She does not spend time dwelling on those things that do not please the Lord. (Proverbs 31: 13, Proverbs 31: 19, Proverbs 31: 27, Ecclesiastes 3, Proverbs 16: 9, Philippians 4:8 )
10. Beauty – A Virtuous Woman is a woman of worth and beauty. She has the inner beauty that only comes from Christ. She uses her creativity and sense of style to create beauty in her life and the lives of her loved ones. (Proverbs 31: 10Proverbs 31: 21 – 22, Proverbs 31: 24 -25, Isaiah 61: 10, 1 Timothy 2: 9, 1 Peter 3: 1 – 6)
Now which one of you wouldn’t want to be this type of woman?
Exactly! I’m working on trying to inspire myself and other women to be more of an example for other women. People will get angry and say we’re stuck up and bourgeois (bougey) but we know whom we are. Inspiration can come in all forms, so as people talk crazy about for living as if we are worth more and we’re blessed, they’ll eventually start to conform and see that blessings are coming our way. Therefore, they will begin to convert in the Proverbs 31 type of woman as well.
I’m excited to go on this journey and allow you to rock with me. No judgement! We are imperfect human beings, but our love and desire to please God is unyielding.
Love and Awesomeness,
I’esha GaptoothDiva Hornes
For more of The Baddest Creative Motivation, follow me @GaptoothDiva
I take pride in what I do. I’m not perfect by any means, but I know I go hard and I get it in. I started this process with the intention of it being a business, so with all do respect to the hobby bloggers out there, I’m working. I enjoy going to events and mingling like the next person. Nevertheless, when I get home, a mission is in front of me that must be completed. I set my deadlines, I make my contacts, I take my photos, I edit my videos, I travel, I network, I run the GaptoothDiva show. I am not made out of a team of besties that love the limelight. I am one woman, one camera, and a plethora of words thoughts and ideas. I put sweat into this. I grind until carpel tunnel seems close to arriving in my wrist and I’ll walk five miles in heels, if it meant an inspiring story. Team no sleep, was my life years before twitter. I do this!
Therefore, when basic women attempt to make assumptions about me, as if I’m thirsty for their attention… it’s a little more than disrespectful. I’m polite, I’m courteous, and I’m considerate. I never put people on blast, despite many of you needing it. I never acknowledge nor promote negativity or scandal, although I’ve been provoked a time or two. I’m altering my lifestyle to accept more positive in my life for my family, and myself but right now, I feel the need to explain that. So why would people assume that I’m anything but that type of person, is beyond me. The tattoos, the hair color, and the outfits are all extensions of my personality but they do not define the type of woman or entrepreneur I am. I will not allow someone to tell me what my brand is to him or her, when his or her brand is just a carbon copy of someone else’s. I’m original and my works speaks for itself. Period.
Now, the truth is I love natural hair. I appreciate the styles, the beauty, and the confidence held by so many women who wear it. I relish in the intricate details it possesses and the cultural significance behind it. I think all types of hair are beautiful, not just curly large afros on women with light complexions. I think nappy TWA are gorgeous, I love a kinky Mohawk or a barely there fade or baldy. I love natural hair! Because of its extreme popularity as of late, it’s easier for me to express that and myself, to say I don’t want a weave anymore. It’s not a trend for me; it was a certified lifestyle change. Therefore, when a woman asked me on Saturday, how I got this curl pattern, I said bluntly, “God gave it to me!” I’m no product junkie. If my hair does a weird kinky curl, that’s what I consider natural hair. I’m not going crazy for the latest Miss Jackie, Miss Jessie, and Curly gel/mouse/pomade, whatever. I wash and go. That’s who I am.
I understand the need to venture on a business that is hot right now. I get making money on the latest trends and promoting the popular thing. What I don’t agree with is making something positive, into a clique. I won’t stand behind someone who will literally ostracize people that they can’t profit off of or make into a minion who is thirsty to be included.
My kids can’t eat your natural hair product samples. I can’t feed my family your FREE swag bags. I can’t pay my electric, gas, or rent with free tickets to your events. My work should be compensated. Unless, I indicated otherwise.
If you charge X amount of dollars for an event, then enlist ten people to market and promote your event (bloggers) to their audience of, let’s say one hundred people. That is ten times one hundred people (1,000 people) that you are marketing to with little to no effort, on a regular basis. Now let’s say that you charge $15 to get into your event. Now because of your bloggers (online marketers), 1,000 people show up to your event. That’s a total of $15, 000 made at the door. That doesn’t include the free stuff from sponsors, the rate you charge for vendors to sell at your event, which ranges from $100 to $500 a table. That also doesn’t include advertisers’ on your programs, etc. So out of $15, 000 made off of your online marketers, you only offer a swag bag (which everyone gets by paying the admission fee and attending anyway) and a discount on tickets to your bloggers/vloggers? Can somebody help me make sense of this? How can these individuals write a thorough review, without attending the event? Are you suggesting that your media, SEO, and marketing providers pay to go to work? I’m not suggesting that they all are paid, some people may be doing it as a hobby and just enjoy being among the people. Nevertheless, there are people who are doing it as a business. Therefore, cannot be compensated for their time energy, videos, blogs, articles, pictures, etc. in the form of shampoo and olive oil.
Now let’s pretend that you offered your bloggers/vloggers a stipend of $25. That’s 10 people being paid, which a mere $250 is coming out of $15, 000. Where I come from, that’s not a dent at all in your profits. It just goes to show that people will pay you in free stuff before they pay you for real. The free tickets and the swag bag are necessary for an adequate review, but the gas spent to get there, the batteries on your laptop, camera, and cell phone, the software used to edit, blog, and market, they are all business expenses that isn’t covered by free curly soufflé and Shea butter. I’m just being honest. Therefore, although it’s cool to be among the community of natural hair enthusiast and people who want to support and promote natural beauty, if it comes down to me being hustled. I rather not, thank you very much.
I will continue to promote positive things in the community and support beauty, fashion and culture in my own way. However, what you will see more of will be me advocating for the rights of people that may not fully understand that no matter where you are in the process, get all the facts. You may want to make a name for yourself and build up your credibility. You may just want to go to events and support on your own dime, I still do every now and then. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t just accept everything that is told to you and you should always value your time and efforts. People will claim to build you up and give you opportunities, but just like they are reading this post right now (thinking of ways to counteract the truth), do your own research. Don’t get paid in hair products. You’re worth more than that.
Love and awesomeness,
I’esha GaptoothDiva Hornes
I love thrifting, I love vintage, and I love DIY and collecting unique items. I love it so much that the Hubs had to ask me to scale back on the haul videos, because he didn’t want me to look like a hoarder with a shopping disorder, his exact words. Lol. Despite having a passion for something, I’m not going to front and pretend I wasn’t scared just a little. Now, don’t trip, because my faith is strong. Nevertheless, like anything you love and appreciate, you want to see it succeed.
Therefore, I’ve created DashA’veri, named after my two boys (and my motivations) which is a Vintage and Thrift Shop online, for the bold, creative, quirky, and fierce. I understand that I’m putting it out there and that you’ll either love it or you won’t, I just hope that the creative side in you, finds something that you want. If you don’t… we do customize and bring YOUR old items back to life as well. So regardless, you can utilize DashA’veri for all your thrifting, vintage, and creative styling needs. It doesn’t just stop with clothing, we are venturing in accessories, and home décor as well. So you can understand why I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. So while I’m still blogging, writing, doing interviews, reviews and more, I will now have an online vintage and thrift shop for you to shop for creative and quirky pieces.
I love this, though. I can’t deny that this rush of venturing into online retail is making me feel some kind of good. It’s something about being fearless and presenting your secret love to the world to see, to judge, to critique, and/or admire that makes me feel stronger. Whether I want it or not I know some people will hate, but I’m not talking to them. I’m talking to the people who supported me, that understand that I’m trying to promote the way WE think. That everything beautiful is NOT trendy, name brand, or perfect. That fashion is a lifestyle of creativity and individuality, to be beautiful to those that can receive and understand your purpose, not the majority. DashA’veri will represent that. My online store is for those that like wearing something different. The people who enjoy feeling creatively inspired and love color, prints, funky embellishments, etc. My store is for the girl who saw that weird sweater and wanted it, just because. Moreover, the great thing is I keep it cost-effective as well, because we all are trying to make something amazing with little to no way of doing it. By making broke look chic, we throw caution to the wind and dress how we want.
Check out the video from my very first model call/shoot with photographer Amor Jay. It was awesome!
I can’t wait to debut the store to you all and I look forward to sharing new creations and items with you here, on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and everywhere else. I want you to know that your style isn’t constructed out of a bunch of rules and regulations; it’s as limitless as your creativity. DashA’veri is here to support that.
Tune in for the link and more information to come
For more of the Baddest Creative motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
I’m sitting in my office, GaptoothDiva.com up on the screen of my desktop computer. I have light bill, gas bill, and a money order for my car note in my hand. Thinking to myself, something has to change. I’m looking at the second love of my life, my son watching television and coloring on my living room coffee table, all the while wondering how we are going to make it until the end of the month. The struggle for me is real.
There will be hindrances and roadblocks on the journey to your dreams. Bills will continue to pile up, you may have to humble yourself and ask for help, even when you know you may be rejected. The world doesn’t just stop revolving around, because you decided to pursue your life’s ambitions. Frankly, the “world” doesn’t give a damn about your ambitions. You have to face all of the problems head on, regardless of what’s going on in the background. I remember having a deep conversation on Facebook, with one of the businesses women I praised so heavily on my website. She’s an amazing artist and designer, so focused and meticulous in her craft. However, like so many of us she suffered from some slight depression, piling bills that overwhelmed her, and a little self-doubt. While I tried to encourage her and motivate her to continue on, I realized that I was in fact, encouraging myself. I also wanted to give up at one time. The pressure of supporting people freely was weighing heavily on my pockets and hurting my heart. I want to help, I want to spread the word, but while my interviewees were making money, I was struggling to keep it together. The woman I was talking to said she felt inspired by our talk, like so many of you that direct message me your problems and concerns, I will always take the time out to encourage you and give you a good word. That I will do for free until the day I die. Nevertheless, I choose to take some steps to help me overcome some of the obstacles I faced. I hope this is something we can work towards together. Let me know if this helps you, and I’ll share with you regularly how it’s helping me.
You don’t have to see the finish line approaching to know that you are winning the race. As long as you believe in yourself and your creator, everything will work out. The enemy wants you to panic and trip out without thinking logically and spiritually. That’s why we blow the handle and snap at the slightest thing. Stop, pray, and meditate. Have faith that you will be victorious always.
People always tell me that I don’t ask for help as much as I should. It took awhile, but now I understand what they mean. I’m so protective and passionate about my vision, that I treat it like a pot of gold. You wouldn’t leave it with anyone and trust that he/she won’t steal it? However, I had to remind myself that what is for me is already mine, so there is no need to worry. Ask for help, tell people what you’re trying to do, then you will be better able to discern who wants to help you and who is out to get you. Better to know now that later.
I laugh at one of my closest friends because her hustle cannot be matched. She goes hard, she hands out her cards, she is networking and connecting the dots like she never sleeps. However, even though its amazing to watch, it is also inspiring. People fear going hard because they don’t want people to talk about them. They don’t want to step on people’s toes and come off like they are better than. I was one of those who thought that as well. However, why we’re sitting here hungry not wanting to ruffle feathers, other folks are eating and not caring what you think. Go hard in everything you do, don’t worry about losing people. Success can almost guarantee that people will fall out of your life. That’s not your problem. Think about those bills, those kids, the dream to inspire you. Those who matter don’t mind…. You know the rest.
I just recently stopped dealing with somebody because I felt that they didn’t have their own ambitions. I felt that they just wanted to “get on” by any means, even if it meant copying other people. It made me so angry to see someone with so much potential, just take the easy route and swagger jack other folks. We have to do what comes natural to us. Be ourselves, whatever that means. We can’t try to fit in, because then we are setting the wrong standard. When you pursue your dream, it’s your dream… a vision with you in it. If your dream has someone else as your face, then stay your a** sleep! It’s ok to be inspired and/or influenced by someone, but don’t try flat out do what he or she do. Take your influences and make them your own in your own way, or take the recipe and tweak it to represent you. In order to succeed your vision/dream should have purpose. If you’re only purpose to have what someone else has, then you failed before you even started.
Don’t portray something that isn’t your reality. A fraud can be spotted a mile away. If you aren’t about that life on the daily, than don’t pretend to be that kind of person for popularity. I know first hand a few jokers who post things online, but their life is a very different way. You see celebrities all the time ousted for the simplest things, because they care what other people think. If you willing to front about something for fame and popularity, neither which pay the bills, then what else are you willing to do when the money starts rolling in? Don’t sell your soul. Be yourself and forget all the nonsense.
I’m excited about what’s to come in the next couple of weeks. I can’t wait to share everything with you. I hope that you all can continue to overcome the struggle, and rely on your faith and yourself to get through. If you don’t believe, then who will. We’re in this together.
The Baddest Creative Motivation,
I’esha GaptoothDiva Hornes <3
I’m so happy to announce that I have been selected to be a Badged Blogger for RVA Fashion Week. My love for Richmond Virginia, fashion, and creativity are all blossoming into opportunities that I can’t wait to dive into immediately. I appreciate all of the support and accolades that I’ve received, because without certain individuals recognizing my talent and my goal for this movement, it wouldn’t have been possible. GaptoothDiva.com had been an ever-changing concept, with lessons and obstacles that I never regret. I’m learning as I go along, and my intention is to be a service to those people who felt like I did a few years ago, “Where can I find people like myself?”
When your style is so different, when you neglect the safe route and choose to do what makes you feel “normal”, then it becomes difficult for you to put yourself out there. I get that and I hope that from here on out, you feel welcomed enough to join me on my journey as I tap into my own style and that of some of the phenomenal people I meet everyday.
With this blogging collaboration, I plan to convey a message that is parallel to RVA Fashion Week. I also want to shed light on an eccentric and nontraditional territory of fashion and culture in our city and around. “The mission of Richmond Fashion Week is to:
- RVA Fashion Week website (www.rvafashionweek.com)
I look forward to giving you more of what I love and I can’t wait to report on the events, styles, and amazing people I plan to connect with because of this new opportunity. I want to thank all of you again for your support. Let’s Work!
Check out the RVA Fashion Week website and connect with them on twitter.
Follow them on Twitter: @rvafashionweek
- I’esha “GaptoothDiva” Hornes
I share my journey with my natural hair for a little over a year, where I used my hair as an accessory. I share this video because so many women that I talk to expressed that their beauty and their worth is in their length and style. I wanted to highlight that hair grows back, it falls out, and sometimes it can get damaged. Therefore, we must find our beauty and our worth from within.
Thanks for watching!
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Follow me on Twitter at http://www.Twitter.com/GaptoothDiva
My personal style blog: FYourStyle – http://www.fyourstyle.tumblr.com
After doing the Glam Gurl, Inc. Fashion show in Richmond, I was contacted by Sherra and Tiffany Brown about doing a photo shoot in the Maryland/D.C. area, for their fabulous clothing line Ivie Rose. I rocked two of their outfits in the fashion show, so I was totally excited to see more of what they had to offer. I packed up the Hubs and my beauty kit and hit the road.
If you ever been to a fashion photo shoot before, it can be tense. You have to look good, stay looking good, take photos, change clothes, and some more craziness. However, despite all the hard work, everyone made it fun. This group of beautiful women, including the remarkable photographer Marc Wyche, who took those amazing pics at the fashion show, created a stellar team. Among the group was makeup artist and entrepreneur Treya of http://www.treschicmakeupartistry.com from Columbia, Maryland. I’m talking about a true squad of beauty professionals here!
I really enjoyed myself, as I mingled with some incredible people who truly love what they do. Among the group were some funny girls and my fellow models like Zakiya Payne, Erica Wright, Wema Enofe, Aysha, Michele, and Temeka Brown. I thought they were all beautiful and remarkable in their own way, bringing that extra dose of uniqueness that only they could bring to the shoot. Sherra and Tiffany chose a great group of females to wear their clothes and touched on a diverse market of women, and I am honored to be included in that.
Check out the video of my experience and let me know what you think….
A brand new online boutique that offers affordable clothes & jewelry to women of all shapes and sizes visit them at www.ivieroseboutique.com
Make sure to shop Ivie Rose Boutique when you get a chance. There are some magnificent dresses and eclectic prints that I know you’ll adore.
For more of the Baddest Creative Motivation, follow me on twitter @GaptoothDiva
I’ll be honest, with all the things that I’ve been through these past couples of months (baby, health, loss, etc.), I wasn’t too sure if I could make it out to this event. However, because it was Naneen Johnson’s first fashion endeavor with Theresa Flatts, and my love and respect for the plus size community. I rebuked any obstacles that I could foresee, put my big-girl panties on and strutted with the beauties of Glam Gurl, Inc. This fashion show was for the graduates of the Glam Gurl, Inc. modeling school, who paid to be trained and educated on the ins and outs of full-figure modeling.
Even if you’re not interested in being a model, trainings such as these are meant to instill confidence and self-esteem in the participants. It is my hope that all curvaceous women, plus size or full-figured, learn to appreciate their God-given bodies and beauty, and not shy away from life as if they are anything other than amazing. Therefore, when an opportunity like this comes along, where I can support them and promote this, I’m always down for the cause. When I was requested to walk the runway, I paid the baby-sitter and headed out to what was an overall success.
There is a diverse group of women, who all are beautiful and unique in their own way. Modeling with a group like this gives you a sense of community and appreciation with our large community. People assume that most women can’t get along and that models are all narcissist. However, I have never experienced any negativity when modeling with these women. They are some of the most compassionate and genuine people, who will help you in a second. You don’t have to stress about what you bring to the table, because backstage is filled with positive feedback, accolades, and constructive criticism that is only meant to propel you into being the best plus size representative you can be.
I look forward to more of these as the New Year rolls around. If you’re looking to connect with women similar to yourself, learn new ways to carry yourself better as a full figured woman, and to make friends, I definitely suggest opportunities like this. Even if you don’t see yourself as a runway model professionally, it’s still a great experience. They even give love to our little divas, which were showcased as “Glammettes” on the runway. They were cute and showed that you are never too young to learn how to be a great model.
Shout out to Candice Nicole who sang beautifully and looked amazing and to Earl Fleming who can moderate anything and make it exciting. I also give hugs and kisses to Danielle Flatts, who managed all those women behind the scenes from a chair, and did it all with her big precious smile. I love these amazing women.
Glam Gurls, Inc. 2012 Holiday Fashion Show & Model Graduation held in Richmond, Virginia. Coordinated by Naneen Johnson and Danielle Flatts, this event highlighted plus size and full figured models from the DMV area. With Fashions by IvieRose Boutique and Kederescloset, this event was moderated by none other than the renowned Earl Fleming. Bangles and Bling, Nuimages, shasheelegance, Full figured creations, and Tres Chic contributed to this event as well.
Do you love the outfits? Be sure to check out these businesses represented in the show
Full Figured Creations
Bangles and Bling (Virginia Center Commons)
Marc Wyche Photography
Amor Jay Photography
Andre Mosby (D.J. R. Dre)
For more fashion and inspiration, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
It took forever to load on Youtube (thanks a bunches youtube!), but here we go…. a full on GaptoothDiva Rant. It was fun to let some steam off my chest. I really had to edit it down to under 15 minutes, because it was a full length movie with sequel, before I did. I never realized how much I had disliked. I digress.