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Complete your winter wardrobe with snuggly styles by clothing brand Tobi Natural & Organic

This is Us actress

Body Butters You Need This Winter

Faithe Herman on the show and her role in new movie

Charmaine Bingwa actor / writer / director on the rise and defining the film industry on her own terms



Bronze Magazine celebrates, empowers and inspires! If you would like to share your own personal inspirational journey or good deeds in the community (or your industry) with our digital issue readers, then please submit a letter of interest to Your letter should include the following: ●A brief bio about you and a history of your brand/company (may include any press releases, media kits, website info, model tear sheet, etc.) ●How you (company and/or brand) pay it forward by empowering and inspiring others to be their best. ●Why you feel Bronze readers will want to know about you. ●Your contact info (email, phone, etc.)


JANUARY 2019 Editor’s Note

Cover Credits:

Photography: Richard Reinsdorf at Photography Assistant: Benjamin Pursell Hair: Will Carrillo at Agency using Leonor Greyl products Makeup: Terri Apanasewicz/@TerriA_Beauty Styling: Lenya Wilson @lenya_styles

FOUNDER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Shawn Stuldivant CO-OWNER Barry Stuldivant GRAPHIC DESIGNER Alexandra Zabludoff WRITERS Chici Alexandria Hall BeautifulGorgeous Paige Johnson Taylor Johnson Patrica Rivers Kiara Timo

Happy New Year Bronze beauties! With a few weeks already into the new year, I am sure most of you must be well in to putting your goals in action. How’s that working for you so far? If you jumped right in and are going strong, then congratulations, good for you! But if you are one who finds yourself struggling to get off the ground with your new goals, then keep one word in mind…relentless! Keep trying, and be persistent about reaching your goals, until you get it right. And whatever you do, don’t give up! I’m routing for you. Our first issue of the new year is hot! And our cover star is the lovely award-winning actress and 2018 Heath Ledger Scholarship Winner Charmaine Bingwa, the first woman of color to earn the honor. She’s multi-talented and dedicated to changing the trajectory of how society views LGBT characters. Be sure to read what she has to say! We have lots of other amazing features and articles for you to read inside. I hope this issue provides you with just the right amount of inspiration for the new year. Happy reading!

xoxo, Shawn Stuldivant


Feature: Brook Brovaz CEO CloĂŠ LUV

12. Feature: This is Us star Faithe Herman 14. Feature: Social Media Infuencer Leah Gordone 18. Feature: Soul Exchange Bistro Founders Marack & YvesMarie Benjamin 22. Bronze Beauty in the Spotlight: Ali Rock 32. Fashion: Snuggly Winter Wardrobe Styles by Tobi 36. Beauty: Natural & organic body butters you need this winter 40. Feature: Brigitte Leads Founder of Bond & Lead

Photo Credits:

Cover Feature:


Charmaine Bingwa

Photography: Richard Reinsdorf at Photography Assistant: Benjamin Pursell Hair: Will Carrillo at Agency using Leonor Greyl products Makeup: Terri Apanasewicz/@TerriA_Beauty Styling: Lenya Wilson @lenya_styles

“We Create life, we are creators by nature, so no matter what business you’re going into, understand the magic that you have in you.” 6



CLOÉ LUV On the rise to becoming one of the top moguls of our time, boss mom and wife, Cloé LUV is a queen of all trades and a master of all. Among her many talents is that of CEO of Brook Brovaz, a full- service entertainment company based in Brooklyn, NY. Cloé LUV is the 1st woman in NYC to own and run independent commercial recording studios and a notable music production company. We caught up with her to shed some light on how she accomplished becoming the youngest woman to start and maintain pro recording studios, owning a pro music production company, the BGM(Black Girl Magic) that we all possess, a new endeavor and a few other aspects of the industry that you might not know but definitely need to.

by Alexandria Hall

How did you handle the amount of sexism you received while working your way towards the top? I’m looked at a lot in the music industry as a really cool girl to be around, like... I’m really into rap and etc. so, you either get the guy who’s down to work with you because you’re really dope or you get the ones who try to use their money, etc. and they like to imply that yeah I have all of this talent and I should work with them but it’s going to take a little bit more than just my talent. You know, I deal with stuff like that all the time, and I just brush it off like, ‘yeah, I’m flattered, thanks but no thanks.’ If  it gets to the point where someone touches me, that’s when the other side, the Brooklyn comes out (LOL). You gotta let them know, “I’m not the one, it’s not that kinda party...back up.”

Have you had to do that many times? Pull the Brooklyn out? Once, I had a run in at an event with a high profile artist who shall remain unamed. He was on the other side of the room, there were girls dancing all in front of him and kissing at him. I was on the opposite side of the room talking to the behind the scenes people, but when the photographer pulled us together for a picture the artist grabbed my butt and tried to stick his tongue down my throat. No hello, no conversation, nothing. So in that instance I had to set him straight. He was very apologetic and understood my point. You have to change the narrative when you can and speak up, letting these guys know this is not appropriate. I’ve also had experiences where men have tried to take credit for my business, like, straight telling people that I don’t own Brooks Brovas. I’m the first woman from my state to build independent pro recording studios and own a notable independent music production company. This is not something women usually do, especially independently. I’ve done a lot in my time but I haven’t done press. I can’t represent women’s empowerment if I don’t let women know what I’ve been doing. So that is why I’m going public; starting to do more press, putting a face with the brand.

A good 50% of  entrepreneurs have ZERO capital and no investors in sight. How did you accomplish your countless music projects starting out with no working capital? So…girl, LOL. I grew up very street and I’ve been able to see the other side of things. Hustling has always been... and a hustle doesn’t always mean illegal, but you’re used to hustling something, like,“People like the way I dress, so I’m gonna hustle this up and they’ll pay me to shop for them” or “I know this person can do it so I’ll be the middleman and get a cut” or “xyz.” Being able to pull both aspects together, for example, I started my first business at 23. My aunt knew a girl who wanted to sing but she had a phobia of being in the spotlight… so we went over there and the girl was so shy that she wouldn’t sing for us in the living room she sang to us from her bedroom. So I had to coax her out of the room, get her to believe in herself and be confident in her talent to pull her out of that room. For that alone her parents cut me a check. So, I had to go seek out these opportunities, do what I had to do to get the money to get to where we were going. Everyone who started with us, didn’t make it to the end results. Like, everyone wasn’t up for the process which is fine but I was in it for the long haul. Continued>>




“I’ve experienced sexism; there’ve been men who tried to take credit for things that I’ve done.” Being a female CEO how did it play a part on your love life? Personally, I believe we as women can have it all. Did you find that men were intimidated by you/do you believe that being a successful businesswoman put a damper on dating? I experienced the opposite of  what most women tend to experience in regard to men being intimidated by their success. I actually eperienced attacks against my husband. People emasculating him and attacking his credibility while aslo trying to get him to overstep me. He never did, but the attacks he went through bothered me. He’s lost friends as a result. We both have. How is it mixing business and pleasure? Did you have to learn how to separate the two or was it innate? At first, the hardest thing was dating him [my husband]because he was my client! LOL but now, we have that down so we’re really good at it. At first it was hard for us to leave work at work and if I disagreed with something then it would come home with us and we would argue… it was a mess! Now, we’ve mastered it. It’s RARE that we aren’t on the same page. Sometimes we’ll disagree on an artist, but that’s nothing to get worked up over or bring that home. Equally yolked. That spiritual foundation, you need that. You and your mate need that, to keep yourselves grounded and to let everything that comes with your gift to manifest.




What are some reasons that it’s important for more women to progress to positions of power in the industry? Well, the first reason it’s important for women to do that is because at a time we weren’t able to do anything - work, vote, etc.. so now that we have that privilege, it is very important to not limit ourselves. Just taking what’s given to us is the same as not working. We need to break barriers. Second, when we as women are in those higher positions, it opens doors for other women who dream of the same things, it changes the criteria for us to get there. All the sexism that comes with our climb to the top. Third, we women are actually the creative being. We are able to see things at different perspectives than men. Which is why they say, “Behind every good man is a good woman,” because they come to us for counsel, for nurture, for perspective… and being able to bring that from the home to a business structure, now we’re talking about a different type of magic. It makes the environment more suitable, more productive. Things ran by men are backed with aggression and ego. So if you’re the one that’s running things that’s what the environment will turn to; it makes for better productivity to have women in the lead. What key advice would you give to young entrepreneurs,specifically women, in the industry? I would definitely tell women to understand the magic that we hone first. A lot of things have been hidden from women in this life. We create life, we are creators by nature, so no matter what business you’re going into, understand the magic that you have in you. Visualize your business, the type of customers you want, the type of revenue you want to come in, your perfect environment. Visualize it and believe that it is yours.

Don’t put your own barriers in front of you. For example, I used to say I want to be within a block from the Barclays Center. I was looking for cheaper places because I put that barrier in front of me saying that I couldn’t afford to pay more than $3500 a month and everything comes full circle now that I’ve signed the lease for a place within a block of the Barclays Center. I think if we just get out of our own way, not let go of the vision, but let go of the idea of HOW we’re going to get there and just let nature take its course and let life happen. Were other women in this industry, helpful when you first started out or was it mostly a competitive situation? You know… very sad to say, I haven’t really had the opportunity to work with many women in the industry, unless they were singers. I haven’t had the opportunity of working with a lot of decision makers who are women. Was there an exact moment when you knew you were going to “make it,” and how do you define that? That’s an AMAZING question, and it’s so funny that I mentioned Foxy Brown because I asked her that same question. I think I worded it like, “When does it get old?” She said she didn’t know but she knew she was a star when she was able to provide for her family. So for me…there’s this author that I love (John Maxwell), he has a book about the five levels of leadership. I’m at 3.5, but at level 4 you create a leader and at level 5 the leader that you created in turn creates one. So, I would say that’s when I know I will have made it. When my influence and creativity has superseded itself to the point of me being able to pass the torch so to speak, to be able to put another creative on the map. To pass that light on to the next.

After listening to your responses on Dr. Erin’s show I can definitely say that I connect with your energy and the way that you view things. Do you find that your mindset helps or guides you through the chaos that comes with working in this industry? Y E S! Absolutely, yes girl. I couldn’t do anything without the most high. I’m completely blessed and my spirituality and my relationship with God is what keeps me, my husband, and my business going. It’s very hard to protect your energy and if you listen to what most artists talk about, they mention their rituals and their ways of keeping their energy and maintaining that balance. How they fuel their blessings. You will have people who will see the energy that you have and try to drain it from you. When you have people around you or you have people that come in your life and everything goes left, like your flowers start to die, you get in a car accident, being around people that make you angry all the time for no apparent reason, those are the ones sucking the life, sucking the energy right out of you. Be around people who feed back into you and not just take until you have nothing else left to give.

“Just taking what’s given to us is the same as not working.We need to break barriers.”

Tell us about your non-profit Women With Voices and its’ relevance to the NYC community. This is my baby! My brainchild, it started out with just me and my sister. I created this with women in mind. Something catered to women, by women. When you think of women empowerment organizations they mostly cater to women who are “boss ladies” or at some elevated point in life. What about all the other women though? Are we saying they don’t need to be empowered in life too? So that’s what WWV is, it’s to empower and meet women, every woman, no matter where she’s at in life. Inclusivity. We host free workshops every month, educating women with basic life skills. hold 3 week certification courses, webinars on women’s health issues and in an effort to uplift our community we collect wigs for those affected by cancer and/or alopecia.




The Women with Voices brick and mortar opens in Spring of 2019 in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn and the venue will be used to host workshops, networking events, counseling sessions and an array of other women focused projects/ events that will uplift, empower, and educate the NY community. When asked what was to be expected from the mogul in the near future she let us know that we should plan our looks and mark our calendars accordingly to attend the event: ‘Changing the World One Woman At A Time’ on March 30, 2019, this will be LUV’s latest event for WWV and not to be missed.

SUBSCRIBE! Look for the bronze Mag a p p


Young Actress Faithe Herman Talks Shazam and This Is Us. By Kiara Timo

At only eleven years old, actress Faithe Herman has achieved a life-long dream for many Hollywood actors - to be in a critically acclaimed television show. This Is Us has been a critic and fan favorite since it debuted in 2016 and shows no signs of losing any of its momentum. If anything, fans are falling harder for the triplets and their family, including Herman’s character Annie Pearson, the youngest daughter of Beth and Randall. With the growing storyline surrounding her on-screen sister’s sexuality and the beginning of her film career, Faithe gives us a little insight on what life is like as a young Hollywood actress.

Last season we saw your character, Annie, and your on-screen sister, Tess, played by Eris Baker, bond with their new foster sister, now adopted, Deja, played by Lyric Ross. Will viewers get to see more of that sisterhood this season? Honestly, I do not know really anything about what direction the season is going with my character, Tess or Deja. I would love for them to show more bonding time with my sisters. Most of your scenes are with Susan Kelechi Watson and Sterling K. Brown who play your mom and dad. Who is the most fun on set? That is a hard one. I think they are both a lot of fun. We all joke around. Is there another actor on This Is Us who you wish you had more on-screen time with? I think it would have been fun to see more bonding with Grandpa William. Mr Ron Cephas Jones is an amazing actor. This Is Us is known for being a very sad and emotional show. Do you feel that energy on set? I don’t feel emotional on set like I do when I watch it on TV. I think because once every scene is put together and I am watching from the other side, then I cry. 12



You’ll also be in the highly anticipated Shazam! which is set to be released in April 2019. What can you tell us about your character Darla Dudley? I play Darla Dudley, the youngest of the foster children. Darla is the chatty one out of the bunch. Even though she is the youngest, she is protective over her siblings. Superhero films are always so fun to watch. Was it just as fun to film? It was so much fun to film. We all had the best time and I think everyone will see that in the film. Every day I was so excited to go on set. If your This Is Us character, Annie, could pick a superhero power who would she pick and why? Annie would pick time travel. I think she would love to go back in time to see and hang out with her Grandpa Jack.

You are in the battle rap film called 'Bodied' which is rated-R. Does it feel different being on that kind of set compared to This Is Us and Shazam, which I'm sure are much more kid-friendly? The one day I filmed my scene on Bodied, it was a really quick scene, and everyone was so nice. It didn’t feel like an adult movie. You have over 53,000 followers on Instagram. That's very impressive especially for someone so young. What do you enjoy the most about it? I think it is just really so sweet and such a blessing that I have so many people who follow me and care or are interested in what I am doing. Last question. What would be a fun fact for our readers to know about you? I write with my left hand.

Photographer: Birdie Thompson @birds_eye_photo Hair: Matilde Campos @tildebymatilde Make-up: Anton Khachaturian @antonmakeup with Mac Cosmetics

“I wanted to... help them and to encourage them and empower them about...finding a passion to do something.�

It’s About The Side Hustle: Social Media Influencer Spreads Knowledge and Success By Kiara Timo

What does it take to become a social media influencer? According to vlogger Leah Gordone, consistency is the key to success. With over 90,000 subscribers on YouTube Gordone decided to spread her knowledge and resources to other women of color by creating and hosting an event in North Carolina, called Brown Girls Link Up. With the hopes of inspiring young women of color to seek out a side hustle, Gordon wanted to become a mentor for young women who, like her, grew up in a rural environment, unaware of different career possibilities. After become a successful writer, editor, correspondent, content creator, and educator, Gordone is now using those skills to create a safe space for young women as well. Brown Girls Link Up is Gordone’s way of asking for and demonstrating unity amongst black women, and she doesn’t appear to take that leadership position lightly. As a mentor who seeks to encourage young women to support and help one another, she demonstrated that same thoughtfulness when proceeds from the event were donated to rapper J. Cole’s Dreamville Foundation, which offers aid to those affected by Hurricane Florence.

Your Brown Girls Link Up Social Brunch took place in Fayetteville, North Carolina not too long ago. What was the purpose of this event? The reason why I started Brown Girls Link Up is because I didn’t have a mentor growing up and I felt like it was needed especially in Fayetteville, North Carolina where I’m from. We don’t have many people to look up to and I wanted to go down there to help them and to encourage them and empower them about, you know, just working and going to college and just finding a passion to do something.

Yo u   c o l l a b o r a t e d   w i t h   Yo u t u bers Abby Rose, Drea Evans, and Chris Wise for the event. Why did you choose these individuals to join you?

So, are there any upcoming events in Atlanta that our readers can look forward to?

Well, I chose those three Youtubers because I just love their platfor m and what they stand for. They’re three Youtubers that do three different things. One young lady, Abby, does reaction videos. Then you have Drea. She does mommy and me and family videos and Chrissy does mommy and me as well, but she’s also in a mixed couple relationship and I thought that was great to display as well. So, it was just showing three different types of  YouTube styles so that people know you don’t have to just be a beauty girl or a fashion girl. You can be anyone and have a platform and a purpose.

Why do you think it’s so important for young women, particularly young women of color, to learn how to become successful social influencers?

Yes. We plan to do another event with the same focus in May.

I think it’s important because the thing about social media and having a platform, and having this is that it’s another source of income that people don’t know about. And I just want to give them that information, so that they know they can do this. Like, YouTube for me - This is a side job. I still have my regular job, but I have a side job cause I believe in multiple income. JANUARY 2019



How would you say that the experience of being a social media influencer can relate to becoming a successful business woman?

You currently have over 80,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 16,000 followers on Instagram.  How did you get that far?

Because you will learn so much, like, everyday you’ll learn. When you learn about your analytics, that’s just like your consumer base. You will learn so much being on that one platform. Just how to navigate your own business because once you start to work for yourself you will know I can do this, I can do that, like, it just really teaches you a lot.

Just by networking and honestly by being consistent with my content. When you’re consistent people will come. That’s the most important thing.

The social brunch also seemed like a great networking opportunity. Why is it so important for brown girls to connect like this? It’s important for us to connect because unfortunately, in the African-American community we don’t have a lot of opportunities to connect. I would also say we’re not educated in the business sense and I feel like if we’re going to start something we need to uplift each other, together, and rise together. Why do you think we’re not educated in business? Well, speaking for myself, growing up in the area that I grew up in, there wasn’t a lot of black business owners. We were either told once you graduated high school you needed to go to college or go into the military. We were never taught to start a business, and a lot of black women that start businesses, they always question where to get funding or where do I find this or how do I have these resources and where can I go to do that, and that’s why I wanted to bring social media because everybody is on their phone every single day. So, on your phone you can make income to support your business.




Social Media is a big part of marketing now, so how do you incorporate business marketing with the entertainment aspects of your social media platform? The business marketing - for instance my cosmetic company, I just make sure that with anything that I do I promote myself and I promote my brand. I pour into my business on my platform, so it’s an easy way to market. How did you connect your communications education into your current career in Beauty and Cosmetics? Ooh, that’s a good one. As far as my communications - the only reason why I was able to start a business is because of YouTube and I used my communications degree, like everything I learned as far as the video part and, you know, just how to connect to an audience I used that for my YouTube. And the YouTube funded my business. So, everything was a platform for the next thing. You mentioned before you have a new cosmetic line called Gordone cosmetics, which is affordable, cruelty-free, and marketed to women of color. Why are those things important to you? I think it’s important because I don’t like anything harsh to happen to animals because I am an animal lover and, um the reason why I targeted women of color is because I feel like we are missed in the market. For a lot of women of color, it’s hard for us to find the right shade. It’s hard for us to find things for us, so I just really wanted to have something just for us by a girl just like them.


can be anyone and have a platform and a purpose.”

Since you provide cruelty-free cosmetics, do you think social conscience-ness is an important attribute for businesses to succeed long term? If so, why? I believe so. I do. I mean - in order to stay in the game you have to navigate towards what’s in and what’s important, because now people don’t want harsh chemicals on them. Like, people don’t want things that can mess them up long term. The smarter we get, the more knowledge we have, the better we have to be as business owners to adjust to their needs.

What is in the future for you? In the future I plan on building more of Gordone Cosmetics. I’m about to drop more products on my website and by the top of 2019 I will probably have a store front as well. Will that be located in Atlanta or in North Carolina? It will be in Atlanta. Are you planning on having a big opening? Yes, I’ll probably have a big opening. [Laughs]. But I’m still shy so I don’t know.

You can follow Leah on Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube at @leahgordone

Exc Sou han l AS ge Bis oul tro ful : Tw on ist Foo d By Paige Johnson

From beef sliders to cajun chicken wraps, the Soul Exchange Bistro & Wine Bar puts a twist on soul food. With a philosophy to “soulfully remind you how to enjoy life,” Soul Exchange aims to do that with good music, good food and a fun atmosphere. Founded by Marck and YvesMarie Benjamin in Queens, New York, Soul Exchange strives to bring people together through the power of good food.

When did you start Soul Exchange Bistro? My husband Marck and I started this journey to opening Soul Exchange back in 2016. Somewhere between February and March my husband approached me about pursuing our dream of opening a place for people to come and enjoy themselves. At the time we were planning a big wedding reception and renewal of our vows. I didn’t think it was the right time for us to venture into starting a business. However, my husband convinced me things would work out fine. In April we started looking for the best location and came across this corner Superette/cornerstore/Bodega and checked it out. We acquired the property in May of 2016. Funny thing, I laid eyes on the place first and Marck called the realtor and the rest is history. Renovations started right away, we had to empty the space out, gutted it from the floor to walls, to the ceiling to bring SE where it is now. All renovations and additions were completed by October 2017. We opened to public with private catered events April 2018 to July 2018. In that time frame we catered private parties and pop up shops. In July we held our very own first Ladies Night and every Friday since. Followed by our Thursday nights Open Mic / Spoken Word and our once a month Sip & Paint session. We also had Speakeasy Monday Night Live Jazz for a few weeks. On September, 11th we opened our doors for full operations to the community. We have been serving breakfast, lunch and Tapas ever since to the Queens Village community. Continued on next page>>




What inspired you to open your own restaurant? Our inspiration was our desire to make people feel good and have a place to come and enjoy a great dining experience in an inviting atmosphere. We were inspired by our own experiences in other places we visited that made us feel great after being there. We both always wanted to open and own our own business; together with God making it possible our dream is becoming a reality. Another inspiration was bringing something different to the community with the fusion of food, the entertainment platform for Open Mic, Sip & Paint, free Live Jazz, along with catering and providing a place for people to just come out and enjoy a glass of wine with some Tapas or dinner right in our own neighborhood. Your menu goes from Indonesian Beef Satay Skewers to Shrimp Tacos. What inspired you to create and add different A new customer walks through your door flavors like these to your menu? having never heard of your restaurant, I love food, flavor, spices, and aroma of what do you want them to gain/learn from food cooking. I traveled to a few differ- this new environment? ent cities in the US and a few countries and love trying new cuisines. I often When a new guest walks in to Soul times can tell you what ingredients are Exchange I want them to learn about our in a dish within my first couple of bites. philosophy of first being welcomed, feelI used to have a serious love affair with ing at home, to have an experience with food. I call our cuisine an Upscale Urban the food, the drinks, the staff, the atmosphere and to come back and make it a Fusion. home away from home. I make it my job What is something you learned while to walk around and introduce myself and owning a restaurant and creating diverse engage with every customer. I want them to know me and feel at ease at SE. food selections for different people? One of the first things I learned is that you will not please everyone. But I have learned that it is our job to win them over and deliver what the guests are asking. My vision for SE cuisine was always a Fusion. I wanted to combine dishes from two or more different cuisines to create a marriage of flavors in one dish. Again, I love flavors and spices and wanted to incorporate that in every dish. Finding a Chef that was willing to be creative and take that risk was what I thought would have been difficult. But again,God worked that out and we have 3 amazing guys in the kitchen. They all have helped create that fusion and are always working on something more diverse and flavor packed for our guests.




What experiences do you believe enabled you to get your business to where it is today? For me, I will say my professional career as a registered nurse has definitely enabled our success thus far. As a nurse, a mother and a wife I am innately nurturing and caring for others. I am detailed and I pay attention and anticipate your needs before you have to ask me. People want to feel, important, loved, cared for, and love being catered to. That’s what I want everyone to experience at SE. I tell my staff that all the time treat our guests how you would like to be treated. I tell them this is our living room and we are entertaining and catering to their needs. After someone leaves your house, it should always be pleasant, leaves you with the thought of I can’t wait to go back and hang out with

them again. For my husband, I would have to say it’s his corporate America roles that have enabled him to build Soul Exchange from the ground up. He has that department hands down with the legalities and business aspect. We are both incorporating what we have in our professional worlds, our love and passion to bring happiness through food and entertainment to make our restaurant business successful. What do you believe is important for people to know about the power of food? The most important thing I think for people to know about the power of food is that food has history, it tells a story and creates memories. Food is good for the soul and is comforting. Food brings people together in any occasion from the birth of a child to the passing of life, food is in every event of life! Food is Life! Where do you gain your inspiration to continue with your business? My inspiration first and foremost is from and continues with God. Every day I wake up, I see it as God saying keep going, continue what you are doing. My other inspirations come from my guests that keep coming back, my regulars let me know we are doing a great job and the new guests let me know we are getting their attention, which means we are doing something good. My staff also inspire me. Some of them have been there

since day one and are part of the fabric of SE. The fact that they are still around and have gone through the trenches lets us know we are doing something good. Last but not least, my husband, Marck is my inspiration. Marck was the visionary, the tenacious one, he saw what could have been and made it happen. He was the one who said lets go and let’s do it now. He was the driving force to get Soul Exchange going and kept it going. I was in the shadow at first scared of the risk and of failure, but he stood his ground and pushed through it all. He was the biggest inspiration and because of that we are here today. Your philosophy is to “soulfully remind you of how to enjoy life.” what are some other philosophy’s you have gained along the way? Some other philosophies we’ve gained along the way are “times will get hard, but you have to continue to enjoy the journey,” and “learn from our mistakes.” What advice do you have for people who want to get into the food industry/restaurant business?

“I love food, flavor, spices, and aroma of food cooking.”

My biggest words of advice are to stay prayed up, know it’s a tough business, but worth making people happy. Surround yourself with people who have done this before and can help you and who are truly in your best interest and survival of your business. Build a strong foundation & keep good communication with your staff, be open and receptive to criticism from all, keep your guests happy and deliver what you say you will deliver, don’t be afraid to change and take risk with new dishes and flavors, smile and have fun with it all from the staff, to the guest and everything in between.

Soul Exchange Bistro & Wine Bar is located at 208-01 Jamaica Ave, Queens Village, NY 11428


use my platform to help people better themselves.�

Bronze Beauty in the Spotlight:

Ali Roc





worked hard to reinvent my career and want people to know that you can start from where you are and be whatever you want as long as you’re being true to yourself.” About Ali Roc: Ali Roc is a professional plus size model, event hostess, writer, public speaker, and radio/TV personality in Atlanta, GA. But this curvinista is not just a pretty face! Ali also has a career in broadcasting, having worked her way through the ranks at Radio One to become a radio personality while working as the promotion and marketing assistant, working with major brands like Coca-Cola and Pepsi. After returning to Atlanta in late 2007, Ali started meeting creatives who needed help navigating the complex new social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook and began creating and designing content and copy. Her newfound talent and clients, like the Urban Legend DJs, led Ali to create Rumors Publicity, a PR company aimed at helping brands build and better connect to their audience through influencer and direct marketing, working with brands like T-Mobile and Xbox to launch new products via in-store and nation-wide promotions. In 2016, Ali took her message to the masses and began her career as a speaker and host, appearing on panels at General Assembly and hosting seminars and networking sessions for gig-economy driven Fiverr. Her audiences are captivated by her thought-provoking topics such as “Would You” and “No One’s Coming”, and are provided with a 360 degree perspective and an outside view of their business, crisis management techniques, and tips on getting to the heart of what customers want and how to best rise to the challenge while keeping true to their brand identity.

Ali Roc on how she has paid it forward: I use my platform to help people better themselves. I recently taught ESL (English as a Second Language) to help people become citizens and I have worked with my local NAACP office to help increase voter registration in my area. I also work with a non profit that provides prom dresses to young women in need. Giving back is more than necessary; it’s everyone’s responsibility!

Why Ali Roc’s Bronze is Beautiful! I’ve worked hard to reinvent my career and want people to know that you can start from where you are and be whatever you want as long as you’re being true to yourself. Often we give up because we buy into the version of ourselves that makes other people comfortable. I don’t buy that! The ability to be great is in all of us and I want Bronze readers to be uplifted, inspired and motivated by my story.

Where to find/contact Ali Roc: Facebook: Ali Idomusic Roc Instagram: @ aliroc07 Email: Press related inquiries: Phone: (323) 285-9705








Charmaine Bingwa Interview by Taylor Johnson

Australian-Zimbabwean actress, Charmaine Bingwa strives to change the way society looks at LGBT characters. In addition to being a talented actress, she is a director, writer, and producer whose hard work in the film industry has paid off. Charmaine is the proud winner of the 2018 Australians In Film: Heath Ledger scholarship, the first woman of color to earn the honor. She wrote, directed, produced and stars in the web series Little Sista, which won best screenplay at the LGBT Toronto Film Festival and premiered internationally at Out Web Fest. The series is currently streaming exclusively on Revry and was a 2018 recipient of Queer Screen’s Completion Fund in conjunction with American Express. Charmaine most recently starred in the feature films Nekrotronic and The Pitch. Her role as Ms. Muller in Doubt: A Parable earned her the award for best supporting actress from the Sydney Theatre Awards and Broadway World. Bingwa’s work on five back to back stage productions earned her industry recognition with the MEAA award. She also co-wrote a short film called Stille Nacht and the project was accepted into Flickerfest, Australia’s premiere international short film festival currently being held. In an exclusive interview, the multi-talented artist and cover star talks about her various projects, the importance of her Heath Ledger scholarship win and shares some words of wisdom to newcomers in the industry.

Photography: Richard Reinsdorf at Photography Assistant: Benjamin Pursell Hair: Will Carrillo at Agency using Leonor Greyl products Makeup: Terri Apanasewicz/@TerriA_Beauty Styling: Lenya Wilson @lenya_styles

How did you develop the idea to create your web series Little Sista? I used to volunteer for Big Brothers Big Sisters, so I created this extreme dramatization of the scenario, fictionalizing my character also named Charmaine, a black lesbian and made her wild, irresponsible, and self-absorbed. She is suddenly thrust into responsibility when she has to take care of someone younger. In the show Charmaine tries to teach the younger girl life lessons that no one taught her while she was growing up, but she ends up learning the most.

favorite role? My favorite role was definitely playing the villain in Nekrotronic and being able to be that theatrical.

What advice would you give to other young writers and directors trying to make it in the film industry? Don’t wait. Don’t let anyone define you, you should be the one defining the industry. Be in charge when it comes to the things you want to do and get out there and create your own content, like Jordan Peele did with ‘Get Out’. People are dying for unique content and your unique point Tell me about your most of view. You have to run the recent role in the movie industry, don’t let it run you. Nekrotronic Nekrotronic premiered at How did you feel winning the Toronto Film Festival, it the Heath Ledger scholaris a comedy/horror fiction ship? movie. I played a super vil- I am very proud to win the lain who was trying to go scholarship and be the first after her son. It was very woman of color to win it. I fun! see this win as a sign that the film industry is truly Out of all the films that changing and committed you’ve started in, what to inclusion. would you say was your


wait. Don’t let anyone define you...”







Complete Your Winter Wardrobe with Snuggly Styles by Tobi




Natural And Organic Body Butters You Need This Winter By Chichi Beauty Editor of The Cosmetic Notebook

The winter season brings about chilly weather, and the cold temperature can have an effect on the skin. Cold weather can dry out the skin and leave it looking and feeling rough, dull and dehydrated. Because of the change in temperature, it’s important to have an established winter skincare routine, as well as adding some ‘winter wonders’ to your current collection of bath, body and skincare products. One skincare essential that you definitely need this season is a body butter. Body butters are really good for the skin because they help to nourish, moisturise, hydrate and revitalise the skin. Body butters keep the skin feeling soft and smooth, and they are super absorbing and long-lasting, so you won’t need to top up and re-moisturise throughout the day. Body butters are formulated with natural and organic ingredients, essential oils, vitamins and minerals, so long-term use helps to boost and enhance the condition of the skin and protect the skin from environmental pollutants - which can age the skin significantly. Here are some natural and organic body butters that you need this winter...




Tropical Blossom Body Butter by Evolve Organic Beauty

Lyonsleaf 100% Natural Body Butter

Suitable for all skin types, this body butter will give your body a tropical scent. The Tropical Blossom Body Butter contains organic shea butter and natural Tahitian coconut Monoi and hibiscus, so your skin will feel incredibly nourishing - and will smell like blossom!

This body butter contains a number of natural ingredients that will keep your skin healthy: organic shea butter, coconut and avocado. Lyonsleaf’s Body Butter is free from parabens, artificial fragrances and colours. Plus, it contains other active ingredients such as emollients, vitamins and antioxidants, so the body butter keeps the skin heavily moisturised, as well as combating against common skin issues and protecting against aging properties. And another thing: Lyonsleaf 100% Natural Body Butter is suitable for vegetarians and vegans and is not tested on animals - so it’s cruelty-free and free from animal ingredients! JANUARY 2019



Olive Body Butter Balm Skin Salve

Pamper your skin and indulge with this organic olive body butter that will rehydrate your skin and leave it feeling silky smooth. Suitable for all skin types and enriched with Vitamin E, your skin will be renewed, refreshed and protected all day long.




Organic Virgin Shea Butter (Unrefined) by Fushi: Pure, Ethical Health & Beauty

Shea butter provides many benefits for the skin, including moisturising dry skin, reducing the appearance of blemishes and fighting against skin inflammation. This shea butter is creamy, luxurious and enriched with key ingredients that will leave the skin feeling soft and soothed and looking beautiful.




The Aromatherapy Magic of Bond and Lead 40



“Enablement to live better would be

better achieved,

not through devices, apps, and spa centers, but

through Fashion with Function.�

Brigitte Leads is an innovator. Her new and upcoming fashion tech company, Bond & Lead is transforming the way health and wellness consumers interact with aromatherapy via adaptive apparel and accessories. We caught up with the creative visionary to talk about her unique brand, how it came about and what sets them apart from the rest!

Who is your target consumer and what are they looking for? There are women out there who seek to empower, inspire, and aspire. They are especially those who choose to do so by practicing mindfulness, wellness, and authenticity. Those who wear the Bond and Lead brand are often the COO of the house and the office. This means that they also happen to be one of the most intelligent, sophisticated cross-section of innovation early adopters. These same amazing women are the ones who focused on bonding and leading the way. Tell us about your crowdfunded project for your Aromatherapy Wear Tees and its success. What’s the next step?

Where are you from? Where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. My parents are Canadian with Trinidadian heritage. Fresh out of undergrad, I moved to Chicago, IL. That’s where I met my husband. We moved to New Jersey the time we started a family. It’s a great feeling to say I have lived and seen many places.

How did Bond and Lead come about?

After eight years completely enthralled in the innovation industry, I was dreaming up the future for tech companies. But it was obvious to me that our advancements in innovation today still lacked a holistic element and appreciation for the power of the fashion industry. EnableWhen did you decide you wanted to be a busi- ment to live better would be better achieved, ness owner? not through devices, apps, and spa centers, but through Fashion with Function. Growing up I wanted to be an inventor. I’ve succeeded in acquiring seven U.S. patents, What is adaptive wear and what fuels your pasthus far, and filing over fifteen - but all on sion for creating it? behalf of giant tech corporations. That experience meant learning that there isn’t much Adaptive wear is apparel and accessories that pleasure in seeing an idea just sit on a shelf and can adapt to what will complement, enable and neither is watching someone else interpret enhance your life. Inspired by art, technology, and build your idea only to result in a Fran- wellness and dismantled social boundaries, my kenstein. You decide to become a business passion for creating it comes from the idea that, owner if you believe in the impact, potential, in the future, there should be nothing less than, and power of your concept so you can give that Fashion with Function. idea its best chances to blossom into the beautiful reality it deserves. 42



The crowdfunded project was mainly about the introduction of Aromatherapy Wear Tees. In less than thirty days, it was a full-blown success and fully funded project! People loved the idea that their clothing can give them a boost of leadership, serenity, focus, clarity or healing. Women were so enamored by the possibility of Fashion with Function, so what’s next? I can’t spill the beans yet, because the patents are in the works. But so far, I envision a luxury line that connects with our body to radiate mindfulness and empowerment anytime, anywhere.

“There isn’t much pleasure in seeing an idea just sit on a shelf...”

Name a few of your standout products and what makes them so unique. The product that has really taken over the market are my signature Aromatherapy Lockets and wristbands. People are always astonished by the fact that such high-end luxury could do so much more than make you look fierce but also have the ability to diffuse aromatherapy to make you feel great. What sets your brand apart from the rest? What sets the brand apart from other aromatherapy products, is the sentiment. It’s the intent to shift away from antiquated constructs and revolutionize the fashion scene. To face up to the new expectation that “fashion doesn’t have to be shallow.” It’s for the inspiring, smart, mindful, self-loving and

natural born leader kind of women out there. People are ready to evolve into a lifestyle where What can we expect from Bond and Lead in there is nothing less than Fashion with Func- the future? tion. We are growing really fast. The products, What have some of the highs and lows been for styles, and concepts you see now are just the you as a business owner? How did you over- beginning. As a brand, you can expect Bond and Lead to revolutionize the fashion scene come challenges? with Fashion with Function. Let’s face it, fashHighs come simply for me. Every time I see a ion doesn’t have to be shallow. And there’s stranger wearing my brand, there is no better one more thing I intend to do while I’ve got the feeling for me. It tells me that my intuition was spotlight. From a socio-political perspective, spot on when choosing to push the world of in- expect a direct attack on ageism. It’s wrong. novation and fashion-tech in this amazing direc- There’s so much empathy, wisdom, and genution. Every time I learn that someone receives ineness coming from the mature female workmy product as a gift, my soul feels like it’s fly- force, I can’t afford to miss out on that kind of ing. As for lows, hyper innovators, like me, have beauty in perspective and contributions, as I come to expect that ideas can be, and very often, continue to design products, build a unique are eventually reproduced in less authentic and brand, and grow a workforce. impactful ways. JANUARY 2019



Photo Credits:

Photography: Richard Reinsdorf at Photography Assistant: Benjamin Pursell Hair: Will Carrillo at Agency using Leonor Greyl products Makeup: Terri Apanasewicz/@TerriA_Beauty Styling: Lenya Wilson @lenya_styles

BRONZE @bronzemagazine



Profile for Bronze Magazine

January 2019 Issue