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 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 always thought style was an individual thing. When I was a little girl, although my funds would never allow me to express it, I was always into fashion and style. I remember watching the movie Clueless, thinking I have to get a cardigan and some knee-highs like Stacy Dash and Alicia Silverstone. I would marvel at the clothes worn on episodes of Sex in the City, thinking when I grew up and got a job, I would always express my individuality through my clothing, regardless of the price or label. I was enthralled at designs and colors, wanting to be as “fly” and as glamorous as the celebrities walking the red carpet are. While other girls just wanted to look as sexy as the girls in the music videos did, I was more impressed with those who didn’t conform to society’s definition of style. I wanted to stand in a lane of my own, opting to choose different pieces when I could, to reflect my style. I colored my hair in various shades through out my life and even started thrifting before it was cool to admit.
Nowadays, I look online at different style sites and see that trends are being reported daily, some of which may or may not be for me personally. I see people rating others on their style, stating whether they like it or not. Often times, I notice people making very judgmental comments, that often have nothing to do with the entire outfit but mostly about personal choice. Is style something people should agree on or is it based on the individual? When people post their outfit pictures, allowing others to judge them thoroughly on their choices, is this for the individual’s ego or is it to see if the public agrees that their style is acceptable? I’ve never wanted to submit my pictures for something like this, and when I tried to get others to submit their pictures last year, it appeared that many people felt the same. Nobody wants to get bad reviews on their personal style, however it seems like it’s natural to want to know if people like what you’re wearing.
Personal style is supposed to be about what makes you look good and feels comfortable on you. If society has to ok your outfit of the day, are you really dressing for yourself or for applause? It’s harder nowadays to determine if something is of someone’s taste, or if they’re wearing something that is simply of the current trend. Nevertheless, if you have a personal style and you’re just a follower or trends, you may have posted a picture or two online, to display your new purchases. I see people (especially on Instagram) posting newly bought shoes, clothes, jewelry, etc. hoping to get likes for buying the most heavily labeled items out right now. I don’t want to believe that in order for any of my pieces to be considered “hot”, it has to have someone’s name heavily attached and monogrammed on it. My style is about the piece. Is it colorful? Does it fit into my wardrobe? Can I wear it in various ways? Can I up cycle the item when it gets old, damaged, or too big/small? If I wanted to look like other females, I would just stalk them while they shopped and I would pick up everything they bought. Unfortunately, that’s not my agenda. Although it seems to be for every girl that wants to wear something just because someone with a well known name has it on. I prefer to wear something that I know I won’t see at every event that I attend. Regardless of what your style goals are, there are a few things to remember and to keep in mind. Below is a list that may help you in perfecting your personal style, and not that “wanna-be” attitude that makes everyone else seem like copycats.
Wear what fits your body type – I’m very blessed in the breast department, so I know going bra-less is not an option. I also know that crop tops and body cons, are items that I have to prepare for. I won’t wear anything tight without some foundation on (girdle, spanx, etc.) and I have to wear a good bra that can carry the girls, because they’re huge. I see too many females walking around with sagging bellies and breast, wearing tight clothes that look like they’re suffocating the person wearing them. Wear your size and get realistic about what that size is. Even if you’re slightly thicker than the rest of us, no one wants to look like a busted can of biscuits.
Not every trend is for you – Of course, it would’ve been nice to wear those body suits that looked so good on Ciara and Rihanna when they came out. However, if your stomach looked as if you just gave birth to some baby Ciara’s and Rihanna’s a few weeks ago, then you probably should have just sat that one out. People love trends because of their look and style, but if your body type makes the look appear less than stylish, then why try so hard to be in the loop? The look shouldn’t look totally different just because you put it on, we should still know what you’re going for. Nevertheless, some of you will still try to get into a trend that just wasn’t fit for you. I loved the cat suit that Nicki Minaj wore in “Beez in the Trap”, I thought it was very sexy and I couldn’t help but imagine that style on me. However, imagining is where my desire stopped on a piece like that. With my love handles and uber thick frame, I could never wear something like that. Well, can someone tell that to the thousands of wanna-be Nicki’s that decided to get similar outfits for the club and nightlife events. Nicki was in a music video, you’re not… please sit down. Thanks!
A label shouldn’t break you – If your bank account doesn’t reflect that of a LV bag wearer, a Chanel jacket owner, or a Balmaine buyer than what are you doing? Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses and wear clothes in your budget. If your closet is filled with luxury name brands, but you have no furniture, no car, and no food, your priorities are all mixed up. These labels don’t know you personally and will not send you free stuff, just because you’re a Stan. I don’t know of anyone’s life improving just because they went out and bought something that a rapper mentioned in a song. Forget about stepping into the hood and stunting on the poor, and wear clothes that fit into your budget. It kills me how many people will stand in line for the latest Jordans, but still have not registered to vote as of today. If the name/label wasn’t on the clothing or accessory, would you still have a desire to wear it? That’s the determining factor in whether or not this is your style or you’re just copping something you saw or heard about. Don’t be a label-whore!
Don’t turn your nose up – When I first started to talk about thrifting, some people were like “Eeeww”. I didn’t get it then and I still don’t now. People try clothes on at Nordstrom’s and Macy’s, just as they do at the thrift store. Some folks take things home wear them and bring them back, which means eventually those items end up back on the floor. To turn your nose up at the idea of thrifting is the same as saying I don’t buy off the rack. If you can afford to have your clothes custom made, then… do that. However, for those of us who can’t, we should consider all available options to find great items for our wardrobe. I can shop anywhere and make it work for me. I’ve gotten items from Thrift stores, Walmart, and even Family Dollar. I’ve also shopped (the clearance racks) of Nordstrom’s and Macy’s as well. It’s about how you put the pieces together. There is a such thing as “mixing highs and lows together” seamlessly; creating an outfit that is still stylish and chic. Fashion doesn’t have to make people feel poor or destitute because their clothes aren’t featured in this month’s issue of Vogue. I believe having style is the ability to make even the low priced items look amazing with a little creativity and pizzazz.
Create what you can’t find – If you live in an area like mine, you may feel restricted and limited on various styles that you may want. I get it! Nevertheless, you have many more options today than we did a while ago. These days, you can go online and have whatever you want shipped right to your door. You no longer have to travel hundreds of miles to get a certain look you saw in a magazine or pay a large amount to have it custom made. People have the ability to obtain any look with just a click of a few buttons and patience waiting for the mail carrier. What about DIY (do it yourself)? With a little research and some creativity, you can very well create a look yourself with just a few embellishments and a glue gun. I learned how to sew, paint, knit and bedazzle because I wanted to have the ability to make something I sought after. It was the most rewarding feeling to know that I can look at something and make it myself. I don’t worry about where I can find something or how much would it cost to have it shipped to my address. I just go to the craft store and get the things I need and I’m halfway home to a personally custom-made piece that looks good on me and fits my style perfectly. You can learn new techniques and DIY tricks online, with the vast amount of tutorials and articles available.
Reuse, Re-New, Recycle – While we’re on the subject of DIY, I just thought you should know I hate waste. I have clothes in my closet from high school, and yes before you throw yourself out the window with laughter, I do still wear them. I was taught that nothing is new under the sun, so all the trends coming out right now, aren’t anything new (just tweaked a little). I have no intentions of just throwing clothes away because they are no longer trendy or the “hot thing” now. If I don’t want it anymore, I look at my other options. I could add something or take something away, to create a very different piece for my wardrobe. This option ties into creating what you can’t find. Since style keeps revolutionizing, you can change and alter your clothes to update them to fit the current trends. If that is not an option, consider finding a new use for the item. I use old t-shirts for cleaning around the house, I’ve made pillows and stuffed animals out of old sweaters and coats for the kids, and I’ve even turned old accessories into embellishments for other outfits. I won’t waste a thing. If I can’t find use for anything and I really don’t want it, then I donate them to a local thrift store. Someone just like me may be able to find use for it that I couldn’t. There is nothing worst than just throwing clothes away, like food, you never know who could’ve needed it.
Think about your Intentions – Do you want to feel sexy? Are you trying to be comfortable? Are you dressing for yourself and your self-esteem? Are you just dressing to be seen? Think about why you want to wear a certain piece and how it fits into your daily lifestyle. No matter what you do, if your intentions don’t align, with what you’re wearing than you will always look uncomfortable and it won’t work. People have the hardest time admitting their true intentions, and most of the time they spend the whole evening concerned about what they look like. Their outfits always need constant adjustment and no matter how hard they try, they appear self-conscious about their outfit. This also ties into wearing something just because it’s on trend and doesn’t fit their body type as well. Be honest with yourself and the reason why you really want to wear a certain piece of clothing. When you dress with a certain intention and your outfit matches that, you normally feel comfortable all day and not worried about the small details of your look. You can’t say that you just want to be comfortable, when you’re wearing six-inch heels and a body-con dress, you sound crazy. Be realistic and wear what you want, just don’t have a false sense of what you can wear and what you want to wear.
Style for me has been an ever-changing experience, finding my true fashion sense as I matured in life. What I loved in my teens, I’m no longer interested in now that I’m in my twenties. I’m more conscious on how things look on my body and I dress more for myself, rather than the people I’m going to see. I think it’s important to be an individual no matter what and do what makes you feel comfortable. If it doesn’t fit, then you must… quit. Move on to something more fitted for you, your personality, and your frame. Don’t attempt to keep up with every other girl reading the same fashion magazines as you. Be creative and personalize your pieces, while wearing clothes that fit your lifestyle. It’s easy to try to keep up with celebrities, but who wants to take the easy route? Style is subjective; it is slanted towards the individual, and what he or she prefers to wear. So, always make sure that your personality and your intention is reflected in your outfit, not your taste in copying famous people and your bank account.
I highlight my personal style on “F Your Style” because I want to promote dressing for oneself, without spending tons of money, and displaying self-confidence while doing so. I don’t go running to buy the latest trends, and most often, my clothes are thrifted and up-cycled. I’m a plus size mother of two, with fashion sense. However, I don’t spend my time in major retailers buying up every trend, just to run back home and show the world that I can buy stuff. I want to show people that they can get great pieces from anywhere and make it their own. I want to show that style is about your creative ability, not the swipes of your credit card. To see my personal style, check out FYourStyle for more of my personal style and life at http://www.fyourstyle.tumblr.com
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram: @GaptoothDiva
Melody Short and Adrienne Cole did it again, with another spectacular edition of Artisan Café. I’m so blown away how I honestly feel like I’m somewhere else in the world at each rendition of this event. This brought my summer in right, especially since my options these days are so rare. I was scheduled to attend another event the same day and the same time, however it was so hard to pull myself away once I was in the building.
The energy is electrifying and contagious, like a wave of support just gushes over each person involved. I love seeing the smiling and happy faces networking, almost in a vibe and connecting, each making lasting impressions on one another. It’s amazing! The vendors transcend the level of retail that we come to expect from average events and touch on our sense of sight, touch, hearing, sound, and even taste. There is no table of half-ass marketers only looking for you to buy, but sections of people wanting to call you family. “Check out my art, but let me tell you a story”, words pouring from a vendor into my ears. I love it. Even if your pockets are small, you still enjoy the atmosphere of eclectic style and so much love. Artisan Café is definitely the place I want to be every time.
I was pleased to see familiar faces like Wild Child Dzigns and Jay Sharpe. I was even more pleased to see new faces on the creative and retail platform, like newcomer Melanie Wade of Modgyrl. I was so proud that she was able to participate and sell her beauty products (which we all adore).
There was also an incredible performance by BlackRVA, which was so amazing that you really had to be there.
See more pictures on my Facebook Fan Page - www.Facebook.com/gaptoothdivaonline
There is no question the level of success that comes from this event, which is why I did not hesitate to support them immediately. They still need our support as they compete in the The Entrepreneurial Trilogy/i.e. Start-up Competition this Thursday June 21, when their Start-Up competes for the title of the Region’s Next Best Start-Up and $10,000 in cash!
I really want them to win! It would change the game for artist, entrepreneurs, and creators all over RVA if they did.
Go to Facebook:
Help the ARTisan Cafe to become the Region’s Next Best Start-up!!! http://www.facebook.com/#!/events/484942991532066/
From the event’s page: “The ARTisan Cafe is a Finalist, and we would love to have you attend! We want to pack the entire theatre with our supporters and loved ones who have experienced the Cafe and would like to see us take it to the next level of a consistent weekend market for business owners to do commerce in Richmond, VA.
We are excited, and now we need you to be pumped up! Bring yourselves, your friends, your kids, spouses, and parents. This will be a fun event…and we NEED your support through attendance.
The judges will collectively decide the winner, based on our presentation and reviewed materials throughout the competition. However, there will also be a Crowd Favorite Award based on the electronic votes from the audience that night!! Again, we NEED your support through attendance!!
Lastly, we encourage you to get in the spirit and make signs, and posters, and other fun gadgets. We are rounding up at C’est Le Vin (15 N 17th street) on Wednesday, June 20th from 5:30 – 7:00 to create some posters. Let us know if you plan to join us!!
Thank YOU for all that you have done so far. We couldn’t have done it without you!! Now let’s spread the word and get our networks to this event! The ARTisan Cafe is a Finalist, and we would love to have you attend! We want to pack the entire theatre with our supporters and loved ones who have experienced the Cafe and would like to see us take it to the next level of a consistent weekend market for business owners to do commerce in Richmond, VA.”
Attending the event is FREE, you can register here -
Location: Richmond’s CenterStage – 600 East Grace Street Richmond, Virginia 23219
Let’s support something bigger than ourselves for a change, something not associated with making any one person the star. Let’s stand behind a positive movement in our culture that will turn around the face of what we see everyday, something to be proud of. I’m so excited and I pray that I can get you excited as well. Let’s help Artisan Café!
“My skin is fine”, one of the thoughts that kept running through my mind the day before my consultation with Janiel Youngblood of Platinum Beauty Solutions. However, a night with a healthy skin and beauty guru proved that “fine” is never good enough.
I was never really into beauty products as much as my persona would perceive. I wore makeup, of course. However when it came to caring and maintaining my face, it was basic soap and water, with a little cocoa butter/shea butter to finish me off. I was into the anti-aging products, the illuminating eye enhancers, or the dark spot eliminators. I thought that once you admit to needing products like these, you were admitting to being old and having skin problems. These were ideas about myself that I’ve never really had. I believed that by using these products, you were contributing to waste. You were buying into the belief that your face was something that needed to be fixed. I encourage women don’t always seek a quick fix for beauty, so why would I take part in it.
I received a very warm and friendly phone call from Janiel Youngblood about Artistry, which offers innovative solutions to meet the beauty needs of every woman. She informed me that she was knowledgeable about healthy skin care and would love to sit with me to educate me about my skin type. She also offered to show me a variety of methods I could use that would benefit me in maintaining my youthful appearance. Based on our initial conversation, I felt comfortable enough to speak with her. It was something about the way she discussed Artistry that proved she was not only passionate but also well informed about what she was selling.
When I met with Janiel face to face, I felt at ease. I was trying hard to not too comfortable, but her tone and welcoming attitude made it almost impossible. She shared with me her role with Artistry, http://www.platinumbeautysolutions.com, and Creative CMG. She discussed that she worked along with Creative Consulting & Marketing Group. They have a rapidly growing team of women, coached by Janiel herself, showing them how to become entrepreneurs and empowering them to have businesses of their own.
After our detailed introductions, Janiel introduced me to the SAM (Skin Analyzing Magnifier) machine. I had my trepidations at first, worried about the underlying flaws we would all see on my skin, as any woman would be. Nevertheless, Janiel reassured me that this was a painless process, which only required me to have my skin examined under a small black light. While she looked closely to determine my skin type and any areas of concern, I just sat in the chair looking into a mirror. There is a nominal fee for the use of the SAM (Skin Analyzing Magnifier) machine; however, Janiel offers one on ones with women in order to offer recommendations free.
Once we were done with the skin analyzation, Janiel was better able to offer products that would aid in maintaining my skin. She indicated that based on her analysis, I was oily in only two areas, on the nose and on my chin. I had dryness on my cheeks and slight under eye circles from lack of sleep (pregnancy dilemmas, huh?), which was it. She applauded me on having very good skin, which relieved my belief that I was worse off. Also in addition to the analysis, we took a real age test, which proved that my skin is exactly a year younger than my actual age. Since my skin health wasn’t that severe, she was better able to suggest some great items to help me.
When it comes to your skin health, Janiel recommends that you cleanse, tone, repair, treat, and moisturize for better maintenance. Here are some of the Artistry products that she used to provide me with the best facial I’ve ever had….
My face felt reinvigorated, fresh, and soft to the touch. I was slightly energized after the process, but felt like my face was somehow lighter in weight. It was definitely an exhilarating beauty experience. The products made me feel youthful and more radiant.
My thoughts are that Artistry not only proved to be an amazing product line of beauty essentials that every women would need, but that Janiel served as an excellent person to serve women with the knowledge and confidence to use it. Her customer service was unimpeachable, making it easier for us to discuss such a personal topic such as beauty and health, her ability to listen to my beauty challenges and recommend products that I enjoyed, made the experience that much more pleasant.
I would suggest any woman looking to gain more education on skin health and beauty seek out Janiel. She was exceptional, including information about water intake, healthy diet, exercise, and rest as all being key factor to more beautiful and younger looking skin.
Janiel Youngblood is an amazing entrepreneur proving that a pleasant demeanor and extensive knowledge about your business is the key to making anything a success. Support her and check her out at Platinum Beauty Solutions www.platinumbeautysolutions.com
Also be sure to support Creative CMG and Creative Nutrition Solutions and the website is www.CNSshop.com
It’s true everyone in this industry wants to be famous. Anyone telling you they don’t want to be famous is lying either to you or to himself or herself. Fame brings more opportunities, more money, and more attention. Who in the world is making music, writing, modeling, acting, or whatever and not seeking those things. Exactly!
However, more and more I see people taking the time to research what other’s are doing and taking the plunge to do it themselves. When asked about why they are doing this, their answers are trite, revealing no evidence of any pre-disposed ideas or aspirations. They simply sound like followers. Now, I interview people all the time (most of the time asking the same questions) and I somehow don’t get the impression that many of the people I talk to know why they are pursuing a dream that, so many have tried and failed at. When asked what inspires you, it’s always someone who is doing what they want to do, but that someone is famous. Seriously, are they really trying to reach another person’s goal?
GaptoothDiva started because I started to believe in myself more. I discovered what it meant to feel as if I possessed nothing worth sharing, and turning it around and discovering my own God-given talents. After almost losing my life, I realized that I rather live doing what brings me happiness and gives me purpose, rather than what I was expected to do. In turn, I wanted to inspire other people to do the same. Do what makes you happy; what you’re good at, what you would do free if money were no factor. That’s living. However, so many people look at another person’s success and think, “I should do that, too!” Alternatively, if this person is gaining attention from it, then maybe I should do what they are doing. It’s sad… and pathetic, but the reality is they were inspired. If they were asked why they decided to go down this road and become whatever dream they are embarking on, they can only mention the basics, or the people who statuses they admire, or the perks to doing they’re job. No key indications that this is a heart felt journey that they take very seriously, no sign that this was their dream.
If you lack a valid purpose for your dream, is it really worth achieving? Maybe you like the idea of how Artist use words and beats to convey a point; maybe you enjoy their stage presence and their brand. However, you skills don’t equate to a successful artist by today’s standards. Have you considered being a Spoken Word Artist? On the other hand, maybe you should be a Ghost Writer. Considering an alternative doesn’t mean you failed, it just means that you are going after your goal with a different approach. If the work involved makes you cringe, and you are constantly making up for loss time, following behind other people, watching what everyone else is saying, thinking, and doing with your work, and lacking constant inspiration because this wasn’t the original plan, you really need to sit down and evaluate what you REALLY want.
I’ve inspired many people in the past year, a fact that I’m truly proud of. I’ve even inspired many people to inspire others, which is great as well. However, I’m honest enough to say, I see the difference between a copycat and an inspiration. With an inspiration, you make it your own, you take a small piece of something and you remix it to reflect who you are and what you are about. A copycat just watches everything you do and attempts to do it the same way, not realizing that everyone is an individual and although you may have a similar concept and approach, no one can really do anything exactly like another.
When is the last time you asked yourself, what was are the real reasons why you are doing what you do? Is it truthfully because of all the unpopular answers that in reality would make you look bad, is it because you just want to be rich and famous, or did you see someone else do it and you think you could do better? There is no wrong answer, and you don’t have to share. Nevertheless, if you seriously think about it, you may be able to discover why you are here and not “there” already.
They say in church all the time, God knows your heart. How many of us take that beyond the pews and into everyday life. If your intentions are less that admirable, maybe this is why we aren’t successful, popular, or rich. People blame their haters all the time, but often is it the haters that see past the façade and can detect a swagger hacker trying to make a name for themselves? You can get mad at them, but not all of them “hate” for no reason.
Your purpose sets you apart. Your mission makes you different from the crowd. I recently noticed a severe infestation of artist and promoters over the years. I say infestation because a lot of them are rats, feeding off the hard work and money of the masses just trying to be popular and semi-relevant. I still ask the same question, “Why?” Their answers are limited to my homeboy asked me to do it; to I liked it the first time I did it. Which is fine, because we push people to do what they like, but to call it a career? I’m not sure many of them fit the bill. Mareesa Dawn taught a class recently about your “Why”, and she said if it doesn’t evoke emotion, move you and others, then it is not worth pursuing. I couldn’t agree more. What is your purpose? What should your fans, friends, followers, and customers say when they hear your name and you’re not in the room? How should your name and presence make people feel?
When you discover the answer, let me know… I want to interview those kinds of people.
For inspiration and motivation, follow me on Twitter @GaptoothDiva
Although the weather got extremely chilly, at least for my taste, we still decided on checking out 2nd Street Festival Saturday. I personally feel like the festival on 2nd Street in Richmond, Virginia is the place to be when you want to run into old friends, family, and co-workers; however, we were there to capture the essence of Richmond’s street style. The groups of clustered style mavens coordinating ensembles just in case they’re spotted by anyone, is too much to miss and wait to attend on Sunday. Besides, we had another event on Sunday, so Saturday just had to do.
Talk about crowded; this event was swamped with people of all ages and backgrounds trying to take part in one of the biggest events in the city. No matter what time of day, we saw people decked out in their freshest, some with babies in tow, trying to get some food, listen to good music, and catch up with old friends. It’s like the whole city’s family reunion, and you are missing out if you don’t attend. Of course getting parking close enough to second street is enough to make you want to turn around and go home, but this year seemed more organized then ever. I also give applause to the fact that there was no drama or craziness to speak of. I may be wrong, but this year the vibe was all positive and I loved it.
Here are pictures of people that really stood out to me. These may not be everyone’s fashion choices, because we promote individual style but confidence also plays a huge part here. These pics are of people who looked confident and stylish all in one breath. I also got pics of the classic cars that I so adored as well. Check it out and enjoy…
Everything was perfect, more than what we needed. I truly love this city!
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Check out last year’s review, nothing compared to this one but still cool… especially since we went on a Sunday last year to avoid the crowd. Tip: Sometimes a crowd is good. lol
My first thought when I walked past the table was “Ooh, I hope I get to wear these someway – somehow”. I was standing near Zulane’s table of one of kind extra funky earrings at one of the rehearsals for Tropical Diva. It was a table congested with colorful and urban ear accessories; beautiful creations that any stylista would love and appreciate. I grabbed her card and made a promise to myself I would hit her up soon.
Little did I know, a simple runway walk was what brought us face to face with one another. When asked to rehearse my walk at the hotel the day before the show, Ms. Tanisha Edghill also known as Zulane My Zuniverse was in the audience preparing for the show. She was a vendor and a designer displaying her work. Apparently, she loved the way I walked and decided to add me to her set. Being totally freaking excited, I immediately decided that not only was I going to walk in her scene but I was also going to feature her work on my site. Her exclusive and one of kind creations made me want to walk even harder down the runway, so I know you readers will love it. It reminds me of back home in Queens, back when women weren’t afraid to be super eccentric with their jewelry and style. Since I’m bald now, earrings and jewelry have to play my weave, so they have to be unique and creative. I believe Zulane has all that and more and I know you will too. I was so excited to feature her, I kind-of pulled out my “hood” side on another model for a pair of Zulane’s creations that I was planning to go home with. It was in the name of fashion, so please forgive me.
Zulane says she makes her jewelry for the bold trendsetter not afraid to be different. Her jewelry making was initially a personal passion, her way of setting herself apart from other people. Tired of seeing women walking around in the same mundane and severely commercialized fashions that the mainstream forced upon us, she became a beacon. She is creating wearable art in the form of earrings, necklaces, and so much more. To just now find out this Mother Theresa of funky-fied plus size wonderfulness is right in my own backyard… makes me want to slap my momma! Where has she been all our lives? Thank God, she has finally decided to share her work with the world, because from small children to grown women, we all deserve this much creativity.
On a side note: When I walked down the runway with these earrings on I felt ultra fierce. No negative offense to the other designers in the fashion show. I liked them all. However, easily… she was my best scene ever. Wearing just a pair of earrings made me feel powerful and in charge, and that is no joke. It was amazing how quickly I forgot I had no hair. People were stopping for the next three days (yes, I wore them the next three days… hush) about these earrings and asking me who made them. I couldn’t wait anymore; the review was scheduled to go up on Friday. I wanted to share with you just how fantastic she is. Check her out and tell me what you think.
I love her tag line also, very empowering: “Welcome 2 my Zuniverse.. Accessory designer of a different kind…not saying I’m the best, but I’m the best.”
Check out her TrendyIndie Store – http://Zulane.trendyindie.com
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in April, you may have had plans on cooking out with the family or checking out some of the hottest retail spots in the capital city. Hopefully before you got too engrossed in the same ‘ole-same ‘ole, you took some time to check out something a little more different and special.
Crystal Robinson of www.crystaljsilk.com, owner and crafter of the infamous handmade silk scarves and pillows that you may have seen on GaptoothDiva’s tour of the annual Spring Bada Bing, showcased her lovely silk creations among Virginia’s artist community at the Virginia museum of Fine Arts. She and two other talented crafters/artist were there represented and in full effect for what turned out to be a great event.
For more information about Crystal and her wonderful silk creations, check her out at www.crystaljsilk.com
Designer and Seamstress, Artina Slaughter showcased some fantastic bags that complimented the theme of the Museum. They were beautiful and nothing short of chic and creative. For more information her handbags and accessories, check her out at www.Mashulu757.com
RVA Jeweler and Designer, Jay Sharpe presented his new collection “Henleava”, inspired by tow of the most precious little girls ever, which couldn’t be more custom and unique if it tried. He designed this jewelry and many more just for the client in mind. For more information about him and his new collection, check him out at www.henleava.com
If you are an artist, jewelry designer, or seamstress, then a trunk show should be in your very near future. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase what you have created and sell your product as well. I was impressed at how well the turn out was, but more importantly how wonderful these three held it down. I look forward to more events like this in the future.
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- Also seeking local artists, musicians, models, and promoters to showcase on our uncensored talk show. Are you tired of hearing stories about people who are already famous and well known, but many people don’t know about you or your brand? Have you accomplished what very few have? Is your creativity paying off in a major way where you are finally working towards your dreams? Are you making moves and doing things many people told you wouldn’t happen?What were some of the challenges you faced or/are currently facing that you believe people should hear about. Tell us you story and have it reach a wider audience in the city. Contact us with your name, your website/blog information, and your facebook or twitter and a brief description of what you are about and the message you want to deliver. We want to hear from some of the most inspiring and creative individuals in entertainment, business, community service, and fashion.
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I had a great time at this year’s 2nd Street Festival before all the shooting and hoopla, but a big thanks goes out to venturerichmond.com for continuing to provide the city’s residents with something for everyone. I love the artwork by local artist and of course everyone’s favorite, the yummy food up and down the street. My waist line hates you, but I guess it’s going to have to take a backseat, because I’m definitely coming back next year.
Here are some of the chic folks that stood out to me as I prowled the Jackson Ward event.
It’s nothing like a man who can wear his suit and tie walking down 2nd Street that screams artist, musician, or maybe just a quiet poet in need of his muse. Ok, ladies, he’s got locks, smooth skin and wears his pants on his ass, what more do you need? I love the classic look, bro. 1 point for the old skool team.
Girlfriend, give me your man (just for a shopping trip). I was shocked to see this bold couple out and about mostly because it was the guy’s outfit that caught my attention first. That’s a first! I love Ms. Lady’s peep toe boots, but most of all I’m feeling the vest and hat combo on Mr. Fab. These two were almost too fierce for the block.
I’m too old for toys ( at least some of them anyway. lol), but I was brought back to childhood when Ms. Thang walked past wearing the cutest outfit. For all you tweens at heart, take note. This Diva knows about individuality. Great job, hun!
Style is a state of mind and these two have got their heads on straight. Fresh out of college these two girls reflect creativity and style with their unique choices. I love the girl on the left’s natural hair ( my summer time fave), but the girl on the right has got my boots on for real, or at least I plan to make them mine. I love them!
The great thing about fall is that you can take all the sunshine out of the sky and put it into your highlights. Ok, so that was corny, but what isn’t is this girls hair cut and makeup job. Although it was cloudy at some points on Sunday, this chick was able to maintain that summer glow through her beautiful honey blonde streaks and minimal makeup. I thought she looked like Raven Simone, but that’s just me.
This season is all about bold lips and eyes. This chick has got both. She threw in the vintage tee and some cool sneakers and she has got an outfit for chillin’ and watching art. I love her look , she’s the epitome of an individual with her curly natural hair and bangles, you go sister!
I loved this girl’s outfit so much, I literally ran across the street to get a pick of her. I love how she mixed textures with the black & white skirt, yellow shirt, and washed denim jacket. The necklaces made it a statement. Why don’t more people be as daring? I’m impressed. She is GaptoothDiva Approved as my favorite for the weekend. Young fashion innovators on the rise people, take notes.
Everyone should know the famous VA rapper Tamir Rock, but as you can see he even rolls to 2nd Street with style by his side. Accompanied by his brothers and sister, the group takes unique & creative out of the music studio and into their wardrobe. I initially stopped his sister, but after talking with the group for a minute, I saw more fashion finds than enough. After I took their pic, it was a wrap. They officially shut it down for clear hiphop style on the block.
Here are some pics of my favorite 2nd Street finds.
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