A cloud of anxiety was over me for about a month, for the first time I was going to be presenting my online thrift boutique DashA’veri Vintage and Thrifted Redesigns in front of all who attended the critical acclaimed Artisan Café event. Being held in City Hall’s Observation Deck, this event was expected to be huge and enjoyable, my only concern was I was putting my babies (both literally and figuratively) on stage for all to see… I speak with total transparency when I say, I was so nervous. Lol. However, the day proved that faith plus work are just like pressure busting pipes, I was beyond bursting with praise.
Saturday morning was drowning in rainy weather, I was looking out the window every thirty minutes, I was definitely about to panic thinking this was the overall day’s forecast. I can remember of all times I have ever been to Artisan Café, I could not remember a day of rain and monsoon. I just knew God wasn’t going to let me go down like that, so I digressed. Hubs was telling me that the weather predicted it would stop eventually and that it’s unproductive to trip about the weather, just “plan your pretty picnic”. Something that he stole from Andre 3000, was definitely not calming me down, but I was soothed by the idea that he tried. After getting haircuts, we finished up packing up our merchandise and displays and opted to get dressed after we finished setting up to save time and energy. Plus no one wanted to get dressed and walk through any potential bad weather before the event started.
By the time we arrived at City Hall the sun was shining bright, the rain had ceased, and the heat was slightly cooking us as we removed out things from the car. Several other vendors were packing up their things and ready to also set up shop on RVA’s City Observation deck. I was anxious and focused, immediately prepared to put the table together as soon as I arrived. I didn’t want to waste a second, in the case I needed to make further adjustments or I came across a bump in the road. I had no idea how much room I was really going to be able to utilize and I had absolutely no room in my living room to do a pre-set up ritual to plan things out. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to see in my head and just started executing that idea immediately. . A special thanks to Ashley of Styledentity (www.etsy.com/shop/Styledentity) for giving me a thumbs up on my table display. As one of the many respected vendors at Artisan Café, I appreciated her feedback so much, she is so awesome and talented.
My husband, oldest son, and sister were my “ride or die” team during what I have been affectionately calling my Super Bowl. I wanted to not only represent the brand positively, I also wanted to sell what I have been passionately working on for months. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to finally meet Daphne Maxwell Reid (http://www.daphnemaxwellreid.com/index.html) of Daphne Maxwell Reid’s “FRESH PRINTSTM“, a collection of limited edition prints, photos, cards and more. Most will know her as “Aunt Viv” of the Fresh Prince Bel Air.
The kids were there for the motivational reinforcement. No matter what happened or didn’t happen for us Saturday, I wanted a constant reminder of why I do what I do and how my actions impact them. Often times I see people get so wrapped up in the hustle and grind of being an entrepreneur/making money that they forget the little things (and people) that make their hard work so significant. My children are that inspiration for me. These little boys give me that inspiration that I crave to be the best at what I do, no matter what it is. I appreciated the hard work that was put in by my entire family, but especially my five year old son, A’veri. A’veri the pint size salesman that he is was not only able to sell the very first piece of the day (a pair of vintage earrings), he was also able to earn some unsolicited tips from clients who were impressed with his customer service skills. I was very proud at the way he socialized with our customers, retrieved bags and receipts, and as well as handing out my business cards to everyone to promote our table. In an effort to teach him responsibility, he ended up teaching me to enjoy the experience like he was apparently doing. I followed suit and just laughed and enjoyed the whole event from beginning to end.
RVA’s stylish and beautiful, entertaining, and all culture and art lovers flooded in at a consistent pace throughout the evening. We started to pick up on orders and it was non-stop from there. I was able to chat with several of my colleagues and peers, as well as make some new friends and meet some fresh faces. People from outside of Richmond were greeting me at the table, in their friendliest tones they expressed their enjoyment and pleasure shopping at our table. Ladies were complimenting the selection and the creativity. I was excited and very blessed to see the positive response from the public. I praised God right then and there, no matter what because it was He that gave me the energy and the gift to do everything. I was blessed to have my family there with me, supporting me and working right beside me. Between my beautiful sister providing her awesome customer service and ringing up orders, and my Super dope husband helping ladies with their selection, taking orders, and playing security, my job was twice as easy that I had expected. I was able to catch up with some awesome personalities and suggest certain items to people myself, thinking the whole time I pray that I can see them wearing this via Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or whatever… That’s all I need.
My clothes are quirky, nostalgic, and different when it comes to fashion. I don’t aim to select pieces that always make sense to everyone and their personal style. It takes a certain kind of woman and creative spirit to find use for any of the pieces that I’ve selected for my boutique and eventually their wardrobe, so to see so many women makes purchases was a blessing. I felt that all of those women could see the awesome style potential just like I did. Some women even requested that I do some hunting and specialty fashion shopping for them, some claiming to want to be more adventurous with their style and wardrobe. I was so down for that and gave them more information on how to make that happen.
Overall, I knew that this was going to be an experience to remember, because of my love and support for this event. However, I never imagined that this event would really provide me with a new passion for what I do and the people that I would like to connect to, on top of a very huge return on investment. This was a great opportunity for me to bring my boutique to the forefront and to allow the public to see exactly what I love. Adriane and Melody have done it again, proving that they can provide their vendors with as much information as possible, and it’s up to you to put in the effort to make it a success for you. I didn’t get an opportunity to chat it up with many of the other vendors but I did get a chance to chat with a few friendly faces, such as…
Lisa Johann of Furthermoredesigns.com (http://furthermoredesigns.tumblr.com/)
Julian Greene (https://www.facebook.com/julian.greene.94)
Melanie Modgyrl (http://modgyrlcosmetics.com/)
Nickey McMullen (https://www.facebook.com/NickeyMcMullenSoulJazz)
We worked DashA’veri up until a quarter after 10pm, even having to go back into a tote to pull out a piece that we were packing up. With sore ankles and a huge smile, we gathered our things and headed home to finally have dinner and go to bed. I was excited and exhausted, I received a new appreciation to the amount of work vendors put into each event and promoting their business. It’s no easy task, so to all of those that do it with a smile, a good attitude, and no shade to the organizers and your fellow vendors… A Huge Round of Applause! You deserve it. My 10 month old son, Dash clocked out early, which officially made A’veri employee of the month with DashA’veri Vintage and Thrift and it even earned him his favorite dinner. I spent a good amount of time dancing with A’veri and trying to work out the adrenaline that came from having two lines at one time. I felt God was really working with us, because that was something I never even fathomed before we arrived.
As we drove away, I remembered how grateful I was, thinking about the experience of selling my pieces to people from the DMV area. It was special to me and marked a milestone in my career. I thank Artisan Café for the opportunity and I can’t wait to see what develops from here… Praise God!
Please support them and contact Artisan Café via web www.artisancafeva.com, follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/artisancafeva, like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-ARTisan-Cafe-Richmond-VA/141958772567227
Plus Size Beautis (@PSBinc) is a organization here in Virginia dedicated to uplifting and empowering women of all sizes, mostly curvaceous, to love themselves and take care of their God-given temples. This organization, based out of Richmond holds several recruiting sessions throughout the year, participates in community events, and mentors to younger girls ages 8 and up with their subsidiary YLOB (Young Ladies of Beauty). The idea is to uplift the spirits of women, tackle sensitive issues in the plus size community, and mentor members young and old. It’s an opportunity for those full figured, plus size and curvy girls to bond with a sisterhood of like-minded individuals and make a difference in the world around them.
This past weekend, Plus Size Beautis had their first ever Women’s Empowerment Symposium at the Holiday Inn in RVA. The event was well attended by groups of individuals, all seeking the same thing… to be empowered and inspired. Plus Size Beautis did just that, by featuring Motivational Speakers, Inspirational leaders and Coaches like Kita Martin, Cecily Hickman of SassC Creations, and Coach Metra of Love Life Enterprises, LLC. These women took the stage to discuss their experiences while providing a message that everyone could relate to and become encouraged. Plus Size Beautis brought women of diverse backgrounds to speak on subjects relating to self-love, faith, and being true to oneself. Several people in the room admitted to being emotional, captivated, for they understood the dynamic, and could resonate with the speakers and their testimony.
I missed the opportunity to catch the testimony of Ms. Kita Martin, Empowering Women on Purpose. She is a Host, Motivational Speaker, Poet and Writer in the 757 area. Her message related to “B the Best “You” can B!” a mantra eloquently placed on the back of her business card. Make sure you get in touch with her for empowerment and motivation, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I caught the message from Cecily Hickman, of SassC Creations . Knowing Cecily to be a kind hearted and gentle spirited entrepreneur, I was intrigued by her testimony at the event. Talking to Plus Size Beauti members and their supporters, Cecily touch on issues regarding her self-esteem and the feelings she had growing up. Like me, Cecily had to busy herself with her passions and creativity to eventually find value in herself, thus discovering a new sense of self-esteem. Cecily encouraged event participants to write strong positive affirmations everyday. She listed individuals who have failed in one aspect of their lives, but went on to succeed beyond what they, themselves may have expected. It was motivating to hear some of my own favorites listed, among them Oprah… solidifying the belief that if you keep going, your dreams can and will come true. I appreciate Cecily sharing those aspects of her life. Her presentation was very inspiring. Please be sure to check out her beauty and styling work, as she specializes in versatility in today’s women with SassC Creations at (804) 822-1236.
During our intermission, prizes and raffles drawing were being conducted. Vendors such as Melanie Wade of Modgyrl Cosmetics were in the building. Modgyrl Melanie was displaying and promoting Plus Size Beautis newest partnership with Modgyrl, their exclusive lippies and glosses. Exodus by Design by Brenda Powell was in the building. Her vendor table was being manned by former WEA Member and Hinton Consulting CEO, Tamera Hinton-Bulger. Plus Size Beautis were also selling their branded t-shirts to supporters and their families as well. Among the other vendors were also Hands On Massage Therapies and Palms of Passion. It was great to see all the PSB members rocking their official PSB white polo shirts, looking fabulous and cohesive for the day’s event.
Last, but definitely not least was acclaimed motivational speaker and life coach, Coach Metra of Love Life Enterprises (sharmetrapittman.com/). Metra shared detailed aspects of her life that I think may have hit home with many people. Her honesty and energized spirit was charismatic and engaging, which made her testimony even more motivating and easy to relate to. What hit home with me the most was the experience of having her daughter tell her that she couldn’t wait to get older, so that she could attend nightclubs like her mother. That is something that I think many women don’t realize being prevalent in their child’s mind. That is not the memories I want my child to have of me, and neither did Coach Metra as she admits during her presentation that that incident was one of the catalyst in transforming her life. As she discusses being a better woman, mother, and wife, it’s the down to earth feeling that I get from her that makes me know; this woman isn’t speaking anything but the truth to me. Her speech “Size Does Matter” isn’t dripping with corny phrases set to entice the curvaceous community at all. Her message speaks to the soul that faith, heart, dreams and communication are the most important aspects to living a fruitful and blessed life. The issues discussed were magnetic in their own way; nevertheless, this was an awesome way to wrap up an extra special event orchestrated by the women of Plus Size Beautis.
“The size of your faith, the size of your heart, the size, of your communication, the size of your dreams. Be Loved, Be blessed, Be You!” – Coach Metra
Ladies, if you are looking to join an organization that supports the plus size community here in Richmond or the 757 area, contact Plus Size Beautis today (http://www.plussizebeautis.org/). Even if you aren’t in Virginia at all, and believe that you can head your own chapter wherever you are, feel free to give them a call. Also, check out volunteer opportunities with YLOB (Young Ladies of Beauty) as well at youngladiesofbeauty.com, because mentoring young women to be amazing grown women, should be a priority for all of us.
I’m excited to see what comes down the pipeline for this group next. I hope their work is blessed and they continue to inspire throughout their journey. It was an awesome event, so the next one is promised to be greater.
Be sure to check out and support…
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For more events and baddest creative motivation, follow me on Twitter @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
Last week I had the pleasure of attending Lela Bizz listening party at 2 Beyond Recording Studios on Southside Richmond Virgina. The studio is located right next to Antonz Barbershop and Beauty Salon off Semmes Ave at 3414 Semmes Ave.
This state-of the art studio featured equipment and resources that any musician would appreciate. Built and managed by Keleek Collins, I’m sure that RVA independent music scene could take advantage of all the features that 2 Beyond Recording Studios has to offer.
At the listening party, we had the chance to check out Lela’s Youtube channel via a flat screen for all to check out and enjoy. The vivid lighting and set-up made it comfortable and enjoyable for us to mix and mingle during the event and participate in watching Lela’s latest hits and covers.
Although the space isn’t huge, it was large enough to accommodate many of the guests, more than we had anticipated and so much more. The studio has a large back entrance where many people were able to congregate and relax, while others enjoyed the main area, and the large open front entrance right off of Semmes Ave.
Anton Cofield was in the building, being a gracious and sophisticated host networking with all in attendance. The evening went without a hitch; everyone laughed, sang along to music tracks, and even completed surveys provided by Lela and her team in regards to her music. Food and drinks were provided, making those invited even more comfortable and at home. Hubs and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
I definitely think you should check out 2 Beyond Studios for your music and/or recording needs. The management there will cater to what you want in services and the location is sophisticated and pristine. The studio is adorned with old school and new school attributes, it’s that “at home” feeling that made us not want to leave. Check it out for yourself and tell them that GaptoothDiva sent you.
3414 Semmes Avenue
Richmond, Virginia 23225
Office: (804) 447-2429
Manged by Kaleek Collins
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
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)
I believe that this topic has been long overdue. I’ve been blogging since 2007, and most of the content on this site is related to an event that I went to or have promoted for my audience. Through all the years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve never encountered some of the ratchet and craziness that I’ve dealt with lately. I thought since my goal is to motivate and inspire, my current objective should be to provide constructive criticism and support to those that just don’t know. This particular subject will be aimed at event planners and promoters who should and want to work with bloggers, in an effort to bring more attention and publicity to their events. Bloggers provide an opportunity to get your event and business in front of a diverse and unique audience, through social media post, articles, and videos on the internet. The work put into creating articles and post deliver substantial benefits similar to having your event featured in magazines and newspapers, except its all online. Through SEO (search engine optimization) and a large audience, bloggers have the power to influence their following to check out links and websites, just by mentioning a business’s name and information. Some Event Planners and Promoters have yet to comprehend the overall payback of utilizing this technique to get their name out there through the efforts of popular bloggers. My goal is to provide some tips and advice on how to make the collaboration between and Event Planner/Promoter and Blogger, a smooth and non-stressful situation.
Recently, I had the displeasure of working with an Event Planner/Promoter who lacked a general understanding of how our relationship would work. The individual was very new to their chosen business field and may have been a little touched mentally, but I digress. What was supposed to be yet another motivating and enlightened post on my website, turned into a twenty-minute shouting match over the phone, a situation I refuse to find myself in again. I blame a lack of communication and a dose of pure arrogance for what transpired, and I would like to ensure that every Event Planner and Promoter understands the dynamic between their event and what bloggers can offer. Because I can be somewhat of an “a**hole” LOL, I will use this current situation as an example of how to make the relationship with bloggers a successful one.
I’m always looking to support local businesses and events in my area, with the intention of showing my audience what’s out there and available to them. I’ve covered a wide range of events that catered to diverse demographics. I understand the amount of work and detail that goes into planning an event and function, as I have done so in the past myself. I have never walked into an event with the intention to slander or gossip about a promoter, because my site is dedicated to promoting and inspiring people through the actions of others. When my work is sought after, I assume it is because the person knows what I can bring to the table and is prepared to work together in a harmonious fashion. I never assume someone’s intentions are to abuse my hard work and reputation by providing no compensation for my time and efforts, and then disrespect me because they can’t get what they want. As a popular Blogger, I want my name to be synonymous with positive reporting and creative motivation, not disparaging reviews and local gossip.
It takes time to create articles and post, time that is filled with hours of dedication and a passion for what I do. I’m insulted by the amount of Promoters and Planners who assume that this work is not worthy enough for compensation, choosing to enlist hobbyist to do their guerilla marketing. Like any business, the goal is to provide a service and be paid. If a Blogger does not request payment for services, then you have just received a huge favor, especially when that Blogger is popular and generating a large number of traffic. With that said, don’t insult the Blogger, don’t make demands of the Blogger, and don’t assume they will fluff up their article to say what you want it to say just because you believe you’ve been very nice to them.
The internet is an ever-growing space and people are still learning the roles of those that utilize it. Businesses are just now learning the benefits of using online publishers to increase their visibility and search ranking. Through information and education on how to best market yourself locally using bloggers and online publishers, you can very well make a name for yourself in a rapidly growing industry and get assistance while doing so.
If you’ve been following me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and a bunch of other social media platforms, then you should have seen the post urging all fashionable to report to Artworks on last Friday Night. Leslie Marie, from Doll Factory (IHeartPuckCake.com), decided to throw an event filled with shopping and pampering for you and your dolls. This event was to support Dress for Success Central Virginia, which promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools to help women in work and life. Filled with tables of shoes, clothes, accessories and cosmetics, this event proved to be an excellent addition to Richmond nightlife. Dolls in the City: Beauty Night Out provided patrons with the feel of luxury without the heavy price tag, by giving us the opportunity to shop until we dropped, get spa treatments and makeovers, feast, and socialize with new/old friends. I had so much fun at this event, that I can honestly say, “I really wish I never left”.
Among the vendors that were there, I had an opportunity to chat up a few. I was impressed with their table displays of merchandise and their ability to connect with partygoers rather than just sit behind the table. Shout out to a few of those vendors:
Leslie Marie (Doll Factory) – www.Iheartpuckercake.com
ShesFab – www.ShesFab.com
Ashley Flood – www.amway.com/Ashleyflood
Vanita Baugh (C.U.T.E) – www.cutegirlsrock.com
Christian Crawford (Runway Couture) – www.shoprunwaycouture.com
Christina Foster Jackson (Madelyn & Ruby Jewelry Co.) – www.etsy.com/shop/madelynnruby
Chanel Jackson (K. Milan Mobile Spa) – www.kmilanmobilespa.com
Andrea Daughtry (La Dainta) – www.ladainta.com
Shoeicide – www.shopshoeicide.com
Rashawn Smith-Bolar (PurseSuit of Happiness) – www.pursesuitonline.com
Sonja J. Holt (Coffee Distributor) – www.ogcoffeeceo.com
Raegan Gibson (Sweets & Soirees) – www.sweetsandsoirees.com
I wish I had an opportunity to chat with more, but with all the patrons that attended, I can understand how many vendors were… “Getting that money!” LOL
The décor was excellent, providing the perfect taste of ambiance and fabulousness as we walked around and enjoyed ourselves. Immediately I was prepared to have a great time, not even noticing that the D.J. was late and there was nothing bumping on the speakers. However, when the music did arrive, the tempo of the event hyped up even more, making me want to dance. I laughed with a couple of girlfriends, saying this was the perfect set-up to a long week of working and just what the Doctor ordered. Leslie did amazing!
Style and fashion was definitely evident as RVA fashionista graced the building. Events such as these, give Richmonders an opportunity to not only come fashionable, but creative as well. From Natural and neutrals, to prints and colorful silhouettes, RVA girls know how to bring chic out when they want to and this was the place to do it. A few of the girls that were present mentioned how inspired they get when they come to events like Artisan Café, now with Dolls In the City as another option, they’ll be more inclined to seek out more inspiration and ideas from their peers.
It was an exciting evening, and the host was just as gracious and humble as she could be. As Leslie walked around smiling, you wouldn’t have known the amount of work and pressure that goes into planning and event of this caliber. Just the idea of bringing Richmond women together for a true girls night out, is much more than most people can handle. Nevertheless, the doll did it, hoping for positive vibes and success all the way, and a blessing that wasn’t far from reach. I couldn’t help but be proud, that yet another fabulous female entrepreneur is bringing people together, and promoting other local businesses at the same time. Something that we all know this city needs.
Out of all the trends I spotted, color is still definitely still in play this season among RVA style mavens. Make sure to spice up your fall and winter wear, with bright splashes of jewel tone hues and prints. Don’t be afraid to mix it up and play with different combinations. Something as simple as adding a new lip color to your arsenal, could make a huge difference in any outfit. Consider creative and bold accessories, to make an outfit that is simple (jeans and a t-shirt) into a statement making ensemble for a night out on the town.
Thank you so much to Leslie and all of her dolls, for planning just a fantastic evening of shopping and excellence. A big smooch goes out to whoever decided to put a table of food in the building, very nice touch indeed. The event was superb, proving that anyone can take an idea and make it their own. Dolls in the City is an event made for you and girlfriends to have a good time and do what we all do best, shop for fantastic finds from locally owned businesses who get that uniqueness is a requirement. “Dolls in the City” was an event that gave you the impression of opulence without the feeling of exclusivity, during the night you just feel like one of the girls. If they do it again, I don’t think you want to miss it for the world.
**To see additional photos and footage from this and many more events, be sure to check our fan page at http://www.Facebook.com/GaptoothDivaOnline. “Like” us to get exclusive info on upcoming events and promotions from local and national business owners and events.
What started out as a group of friends who simply enjoyed the atmosphere of a new spot, eventually flourished into a full-blown day party event with complementary admittance for everyone. Stacey Charity and a great group of her friends got together and created the Crave Day Social with the hopes of bringing positive attention to the new lounge and restaurant for her professional friends and acquaintances. Their goal was to ensure that more people knew about the brand new location and took advantage of its great drink specials and delectable food. The owner Roy was pleasant and definitely hospitable as Stacey and I discussed her feelings about Crave. She said, “We just enjoyed ourselves here, so we wanted to bring attention to the lounge and its upscale appeal.” Nevertheless, she was right. The location did have upscale appeal and left us with a different impression than most. The light and airy atmosphere invites you in, versus being dark and dungeon like. That is something that is often a cliché in most nighttime spots.
Dre and I ordered a Blue Motorcycle and Amaretto Sour, respectively. The drinks were on point, so good in fact that we also order glasses of Moscato towards the end of the evening. We also ordered crab cakes, which were really awesome. Sydney Ellese mentioned she never had a crab cake that moist before. I think I would also have to agree on that. They were simply delicious. Aside from what we could consume, the layout was visually pleasing as well. There are two parts, a more dining-like area and on the opposite side the lounge area. The multiple bars, the bathrooms with sinks on the outside, and the décor were all fantastic features that I believed to be assets for the location. The bartenders and wait staff were beautiful. I was even tricked into asking one bartender if he was a former professional football player. Unfortunately, he was not but just a cutie pie anyway.
Overall, I think the event was a success. It brought much needed attention to a location that, if it remains inviting and pleasant, will be a pinnacle for those seeking much more sophistication in their nightlife. There are no baggy jeans and athletic clothes allowed. In addition, the ambiance definitely reflected a “grown and sexy” vibe, which proves that mature adults are looking for better quality in their nightlife. Those of a professional caliber want to kick back and relax too, and Crave is giving them exactly what they need. I would have wanted to see more interaction initially during the day social, but it appeared that people were more comfortable with who they knew. After a while, especially when the cocktails were flowing, patrons seemed more relaxed and mingled a little more. Events like these could definitely bring Richmond residents closer and networking more, which is why I was excited to share it with you.
I look forward to seeing what else Crave has to offer our social crowd in the future. A special shout out to Stacey Charity and her entire group of friends, for their hard work and friendly demeanors. I seriously enjoyed myself and my eyes were open to a great spot to kick it and have a good drink and delectable cuisine. As I listen to great music and maybe even play the Wii, I’ll know that this is the type of weekend that most people CRAVE.
Make sure to check them out for yourself:
Tamir Rock does it again with his talented artistic abilities. On Friday, September 14th Tamir Rock gathered a bunch of his friends, fans and supporters at C’est Le Vin Art & Wine Gallery to present his new Planet Rock art collection on wood and canvas.
Along with breathtaking art, patrons had the pleasure of listening to a live R&B/Rock band, drinking various wines, and giving back to The 4th annual Feed The City event in November in Richmond’s Monroe Park. An event that impacts families in a positive way by providing food donations for Thanksgiving meals and winter essentials, such as hats and coats. I had the pleasure of coming down to last years event and was floored at how much I enjoyed myself and how much of a difference they made in the community. I will definitely be there again this year, and I hope that you awesome movers and shakers can join me. It’s not everyday that people can put together a fantastic non-profit event that has nothing to do with the nightclub and gets straight into helping the community. I want to make sure they are supported whole-heartedly, and I need your help to do it.
So, get ready! Gather your unused coats and winter clothing, get those can goods and meals ready for donation and contact Feed The City to find out how you can help. Also, make sure you check out Tamir Rock for the latest out of his superb art collection. His pieces are funky and eclectic, through various mediums he manages to tell stories in his pieces that speak volumes about the type of artist he is. I definitely appreciate the talent and I’m sure you will to.
This year we will be hosting the 4th Annual Feed the City the week of Thanksgiving -November 18th | Monroe Park | 2-5pm | Richmond VA.
The purpose of this event is to provide Thanksgiving meals and winter clothing free of charge to the community. Last year we feed over 400 men, women, and children. This year we expect a lot more as we also open up to a few organizations and schools.
We also have new sponsors this year along with a lot of the same businesses, organizations, and non-profits from last year. If interested in helping this non-profit group email FeedTheCity2012@hotmail.com for more info!
“Pink and Zebra print, just a few of my diva addictions…”
– I’esha GaptoothDiva
I was asked to participate in this Ladies night event in support of the Fan Free Clinic and HIV prevention. I was so D.W.I (down wit it) and couldn’t wait to party with my “Cunt” Divas in the LGBT community. Hosted by Rae Berryman and Alvion Arnell Davenport, they brought in the fierce pink glamour, setting the tone of fashion for the evening. Ladies were asked to wear pink, pearls, and/or pumps. Although some hardheaded beauties mingled their way into the door, the atmosphere was still beautiful and eclectic.
With a mix of diversity, gorgeous décor, and what appeared to be refreshing drinks (wink); I saw not one depressed face in the building. Everyone was enjoying himself or herself to the fullest. It was a nightlife event like no other, as performers reigned over the stage, captivating the audience and judges. There were even impromptu performances from such partygoers such as Sydney Ellese, who split her pants due to all the excitement. I laughed until my stomach hurt, and danced until my ankles swelled. It was beautiful.
Cunt used to be a term of offense, meaning a woman was a bitch or simply unpleasant. However, in the LGBT community, where the fabulous just can’t live life on the “half-empty”, the rules have changed. Now “Cunt” means you are fierce, working it, and doing your damn thing. Being glamorous and on top of your game were the rules of engagement for Sunday’s event at Godfrey’s. However based on the outcome of the “Cunt” contest, it wasn’t just about what you wore, but the attitude you brought to the table. The most gorgeous girl could have the crowd visually, but she needed to pull at their need to support a “bad chick” as well. Which is why, our winner was a truly unexpected surprise to us all, but entitled nonetheless for her fearless and bold demeanor. I was pleasantly in support of the audience decision, it takes courage to step up in front of everyone and show how proud you are in yourself.
However, there were some salty “fish” in the building. Interestingly enough none of them volunteered to participate, nor qualified to stand on stage. It goes to show that with any amount of positive vibe in one place, there will always be one over-weight hater in a cardigan two sizes too small who lacks self-esteem. I allowed the comments to fall, hoping that the more motivated people outshined the nonsense, which was definitely the case. I went to each participant, even those who did not make the final round, to thank them for stepping up to plate. Being a “diva” isn’t about anything materialistic, and this event proved that cocky arrogance means nothing, when you have a room of people who support self-esteem.
Between the beautiful cupcake display and balloons, and the music that made everyone move, this event truly proved to be a success. Not only were they able to raise money for the Fan Free Clinic, but they were also able to provide Free HIV testing to over twenty individuals. That is so amazing. It is vital that people know their status and understand the importance of STD prevention, and this event was to ensure that the Fan Free Clinic could continue to make that possible in our community.
Overall, I had a great time. I was sober, but laughed so hard I forgot I had nothing to drink. I danced almost forgetting that my pregnant belly shaking might wake my unborn son up, and I looked fantastic doing it. It was a great night out for me. I sincerely enjoyed partying with a purpose.
For more information on how you can support the Fan Free Clinic, check out www.fanfreeclinic.org/
Also, if you are interested in enjoying a fabulous brunch on Sunday with LIVE performances or just want an amazing night out, check out Godfrey’s Restaurant and Nightclub at www.godfreysva.com/
To see MORE photos from the evening, that may include people you know, be sure to check out our Facebook Fan Page – www.facebook.com/GaptoothDivaOnline
For more of the BADDEST CREATIVE MOTIVATION, follow me on Twitter – @GAPTOOTHDIVA
This past Sunday, I attended a fashion show event benefiting VCU Alum and all around amazing person, Lindsay Ess. Lindsay was diagnosed with Chrohn’s disease while attending college here in Richmond Virginia and pursuing her degree in Fashion Merchandising. However, through much dedication, faith, and perseverance, she was still able to accomplish quite a lot and inspire so many, despite complications causing the amputation of both her lower arms and legs. Lindsay Ess is the epitome of “overcoming one’s obstacles no matter what”, something far too many of us take for granted.
Although she was diagnosed, she managed to become fully involved with the fashion community by educating and facilitating various charity fashion shows. She is an example of how you should continue to work towards your dreams and live your life no matter what, because eventually all of your dreams will flourish in front of your eyes. In September 2011, Lindsay received a double hand transplant in Philadelphia, a dream of hers since her diagnosis.
I’ve only been introduced to Lindsay briefly during her Don’t Hate Celebrate Fashion Show with the Gay Community Center of Richmond in 2010. This show really inspired me and made me feel grateful for all the little things that we often overlook. It was then that I truly got a sense of what it means to grab life by the balls, and do what brings you joy. To see her for the first time, living her dream and doing what makes her happy, motivated me to my core. Although I don’t know her personally, I could not pass up on the opportunity to attend this benefit event and support in whatever small way I could.
This event was set up in such a lovely way, from stage to presence. It was an immaculate presentation. During the event, I was getting a formal vibe. This was something not indicated in the invitation, so I couldn’t help feeling a little under-dressed. The fashion designs from some very talented designers were the highlight of course, being adorned on some of the most adorable models I’ve seen in Richmond in a very long time. These were some of the most talented young people, and it was such a pleasure to see the designer’s work and watch the models work the runway. In addition to the fantastic clothes and jewelry, we were also entertained by Susan Greenbaum and Ameera Lewanna, a treat to break up the runway show.
My only concern during this amazing event was the tone. Often through out the show, the guest that I invited had to confirm with me, that the beneficiary of such a wonderful celebration did not “pass away”. I was shocked, checking my program continuously to verify for myself. The way the hosts were speaking, the presenters talked in past tense, and the crowd seemed so stern and focused, it did have a “funeral-like” vibe. Granted, I did not know any of these people personally. I just did not want to assume that RVA Fashion lovers and experts are somber and straight-faced, especially since this was a moment of celebration and love.
The producers of the events wanted to support a motivator, an inspiration, a teacher, and a friend. This was so amazing that they were able to raise over $3, 000 to help her. Because of this, I wanted to see more smiling faces, hear more excitement at the beautiful creations walking down the runway, and cheer that we all have come together for such a phenomenal person and purpose. Although it was quiet and not as riveting as I would have liked, it truly was a great event and for an especially great cause. I’m sure Lindsay is going to deeply appreciate it and bask in the notion that she has a truly gifted group of friends that care for her deeply. A blessing, I’m sure she already knows.
A special shout out to the producers of the event, the models, the performers, hair and make-up, and all of their sponsors.
You can continue to donate to Lindsay Ess via the invitation link http://www.lindsayess.eventbrite.com/ for up to the next week (information given during the show).
To see more photos from the event, check out our Facebook fan page at www.Facebook.com/GaptoothDivaOnline
From 9 pm on the dot, I was excited. It’s been a while since I walked into a room full of this much fire and I wanted to absorb it all. My timeline search was filled with people hype about the evening’s events. I was in a store earlier that day, listening to girly chatter about this occasion from two unsuspecting females buying outfits specifically for this evening. It was cool. No matter what happened tonight, RVA, The Camel, and every independent artist and fan, was about to make history.
Little by little, everyone came pouring into The Camel. Slapdash running this train, taking us on a ride filled with hip-hop, networking, and support of Richmond, Virginia’s finest. This is the music fest that I most identify with, and that’s why I am there. Kicking it with comrades and new friends alike, not wanting to miss a thing. I’m floating all over the place. Although tonight was all about the artist and the music, my specific goal was to focus on the fashion. We all know how talented most of these people are, from their music to their business ethic, but do you know how fashionable they are. It was no question that the creativity was in the building, and the people of RVA stepped out and highlighted their individuality. Fans and other bloggers alike flooded Broad Street with what looked like anticipation of a phenomenal show. I was one of them, jumping from person to person either catching up on old times, or introducing myself and making new friends. The only shade I heard of was from two people who couldn’t decide which one loved beer more, but even that didn’t stop the party.
I was introduced to some amazing people, that even if I tried I couldn’t forget. Personalities and business minds that gave me hope in RVA’s tomorrow, the future of our music and events. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else at that moment, still weak from all the laughter. We rang in a new era, of creative and captivated minds looking to connect and bond on a level that most not absorbed in this culture could understand. Was it real? Of course, because when I look at my new followers and friends, and still see people mentioning the awesomeness and madness, I can’t help but crack a smile. Can you remember standing on an empty street with GaptoothDiva until 3 o’clock in the morning recapping this experience, and vowing to create more just like it? I can, and always will. It was real, and it was fantastic. Therefore, while the other bloggers and media outlets tell you blow by blow of each performances detail, brag about the amazing T-shirts Grape Cloth was so cool to bring out, or about how homie fell into the trashcan after drinking too much. I will just smile this infamous gap tooth grin and simple reply, “You just had to be there”. Thanks to @CainMcoy for inviting me…. Hip-Hop Hooray!
Follow me on Twitter @gaptoothDiva
When Theresa Flatts, Founder of The Unforgettable Woman (www.theunforgettablewoman.org)
asked me to be in her fashion show, I was beyond excited. I relished at the opportunity to not only walk the runway, but also again show how with a little confidence and motivation, you can be a star runway model regardless of your size or body type. I was proud to have been apart of the Tropical Diva Summer
Madness 2011 Fashion Show, held at the Clarion Richmond Hotel in Richmond, Virginia.
I was among some of the most confident, elegant, beautiful, and charismatic full figured women that have ever graced a runway in Richmond, Virginia. I was also among great company, two years prior one of my full figured role models Mia Amber Davis, also modeled with Ms. Theresa Flatts for Tropical Diva as well. I didn’t hesitate when I agreed to be apart of it.
Unfortunately, Mia passed away in May 2011, due to complications after surgery. My wish of getting the chance to meet her wasn’t going to come true. However, after going through the process, meeting some of the people that she had the chance to know, and after seeing her tribute video, I felt like her presence was definitely in the room. Her spirit of wanting to take a stand for the majority-sized woman, the spirit that radiated self-assurance and self-love, was pumping out of the forty-plus women that walked with me that day. It was an incredible experience; one that made me feel even surer about my ability to motivate women to love their God-given form inside and out.
Although there is nothing at all easy about putting a fashion show together, Ms. Theresa Flatts looked calm and in control before the big day and forward on. She delegated responsibilities and answered all questions from veteran models and runway newbies. Collaborating with other greats such as B.I.G by Getta (www.wixx.com/bigbygetta), Phenomenal 1 of Curvation Nation (www.cnmovement.org), Cherina Tidwell of Full Figured Creations (www.Cherinatidwell.com ), and Salina Pugh of Dynasty Curves (www.dynastyofcurves.web.com), Theresa was able to create a full figured force to be reckoned with last
Saturday. They accomplished this while bringing full figured women from all over the country together in a day of spectacular fashion overdrive. Don’t forget about the men. The added flavor of stylish and attractive men, made each scene come to life in a story of designer meets model.
This event was to benefit a phenomenal organization here in Virginia, Camp Diva (www.campdiva.org), whose goals are to give girls in need of a support system an opportunity to posses the qualities that its inspiration, Diva Mstadi Smith Roane, had in her precious but short life. Diva passed away due to a firearm accident in 2004, and since then Camp Diva’s founder Angela Patton and Clover Smith (Diva’s Mother) have worked diligently to ensure young girls live with the spirit and values that was and is Diva today.
I love the event, despite some stressful moments of trying to change between scenes. It was the idea that with this review and with the video posted on www.youtube.com/gaptoothdiva more full figured beauties may be inspired to step out of the shadows that mainstream media has held you in, and bring that sexy back to the forefront. As Theresa said, we are the MAJORITY, and if we speak up about what we lack the
fashion world is bound to change their ways. I can’t wait to work with all of the fantastic women again.
Make sure you check out Theresa Flatts Website www.TheUnforgettaleWoman.org
For more inspiration and motivation, follow me on www.Twitter.com/GaptoothDiva
Also, subscribe to my Youtube Channel at www.youtube.com/GaptoothDiva