contents share 8
Hot Summer Fun Around Town
12 Mommy Corner Summer Treats for the Kids 18 Take it to the Beach
16 Summertime Fine
classy news 3
Founderâ€™s Corner The Blue Laws
The Classy Woman Reads
14 Member Spotlight Rebecca Hyde Walls 20 Vendor Spotlight Evonya Easley 22 Classy Concessionaire Quarterly Mixer 24 The Month in Review 26 CLS in the City Walters 28 Community Partner Books for Africa 30 Get on the Bus CLS Goes to NOLA
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the blue laws
Those of us who are old enough to remember can recollect a time when everything shut down on Sunday. Most, if not all, businesses were closed; or if open, only sold certain products or services because something called “blue laws” were instituted to set aside Sunday as a day of rest and soul restoration. Perhaps you went to church, or visited relatives or simply stayed home; the day was devoted to family and relaxation. Fast forward to when the blue laws were no more and the advent of technology meant we became a 24/7, 365-day society. We are always “on!” Notwithstanding having unlimited access to everything and anything, research reveals we are not any more productive or better off than we were back in the days of the blue laws. And for sure, most of us live with more daily stress than ever before. At the end of June, CLS travelled to NOLA to bring awareness to Human and Sex Trafficking. Our “Get on the Bus” campaign began in the wee hours of the morning on June 24, and as the bus rolled away from Atlanta, headed for New Orleans, I discovered my cell phone was missing. Now, mind you, I am NEVER without my cell phone; it is a must that I am always connected for business and personal interactions! A frantic search ensued that ended unsuccessful and I settled in (despondently) to the realization that I would be on this glorious trip to New Orleans without my phone. The negative energy began to creep in – you know that little voice with the evil laughter that’s on a mission to steal your joy? That little dark cloud that hovers over your head and proceeds to produce rain and thunder and lightning? To me it whispered, “You’re going on this great trip and you were so happy, but now you’re without your phone, so you won’t be able to take pictures or film videos or stay engaged with your sisters or your family back home… .” As it turned out, I was successful at warding off these feelings that were trying to deceive me into thinking I wasn’t having one of the best times of my life….because I was! The trip to NOLA, and everything connected to it, was amazing, rewarding and enjoyable! (Read all about it later on in this issue!) What’s more, on the bus traveling back home, I began to appreciate that losing my phone just before beginning the trip was one of the best things that could’ve happened to me! As women, we have a tendency to put others’ well-being and happiness before our own. Without a doubt, we were born with a nurturing spirit. We look after our families, our children, our jobs, our businesses – everything else -- before we take care of ourselves. Some of us even work really hard at cultivating negative spirits of stress and worry! Because I was not “connected” the entire time in NOLA, I had time to reflect on the fact that I hadn’t afforded myself time to take care of me – in months! The blue laws of yesteryear forced people to relax, focus and spend time with the people and things that were important in their lives because there wasn’t much else to do! Furthermore, it was a way of life. Because these parameters are no longer established for us, we need to inaugurate blue laws in our own lives. We should regularly reserve a day (or period of time) when we disconnect – just for ourselves - from technology, from others, from negative spirits of stress, sadness and worry. We should schedule a trip to the beach or some time to read a book or simply sit quietly in a corner and meditate. The bottom line… scheduling time for ourselves – to press the refresh button in ways that work just for us, will make us feel more refreshed, productive, healthier, happier and more peaceful than ever! Summertime is all about vacations and fun in the sun with family and friends. How about planning your own summer break; your own ME-vacation? Are you ready to create and enforce your own blue laws? You should...your very soul’s serenity depends on it!
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Issue 13 July - August 2016
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF LaShanda Pitts
EDITOR AT LARGE
LaShanda Pitts Tarrah Gales Venice Cameron Janine Lattimore Avis Pitts Ray Herman Angela Everett Jennifer Hardimon Tiffany Coppins Alia Thompson Rebecca Walls Robyn Hutcherson
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Elisha Akram www.kustomkreations4u.com Jason Byrdsell www.enphocusphotography.com
DESIGN DIRECTOR Simone Darlington www.tamlyndesign.com
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the Classy Woman Reads
s the first book club meeting was planned for May, invariably it made sense to select a book that would compliment Mother’s Day and all things “motherhood” that tend to permeate throughout the month. With that notion in mind, Maya Angelou’s, Mom & Me & Mom was chosen as the first selection of The Classy Woman Reads... . What better way to celebrate one’s own relationship with mom than to read and share this compelling story with our mothers and our CLS sisters? Many would agree the “mother-daughter” relationship is
one of, if not the most, complex of all human relationships. For that reason, we invited renowned author, counselor, vision coach, and international speaker – Melisa Alba – to join in on the fun and moderate our discussion. We knew Ms. Alba would keep the conversation moving forward and the dialogue open, all the while challenging us to think about this mother/daughter construct. The ladies were open and candid when relaying how reading Ms. Angelou’s final novel, and learning more about her journey with her mother, spurned self-discovery and reflection on their relationships with their moms (as daughters) and with their daughters (as moms). The discussion flowed seamlessly; with everyone engaged in what was a thought-provoking afternoon of sisterhood bonding that left each of us in the room lifted and feeling better about ourselves, our mother-daughter relationships and eager for the next read!
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Couldn’t make it to the meeting but have something to add? Do you want to weigh in on the next book? Have a book in mind you think other ladies would enjoy reading? Please stay connected by looking for The Classy Woman Reads… postings in the CLS Members’ Only Facebook Group and via the CLS Classy Connect. As a CLS member you are invited to join in on the discussion as a book club member anytime!
PLEASE JOIN US FOR TH
E NEXT BOOK CLUB MEET
Where: Amelie’s Bakery, Atlanta, GA When: Sunday, August 14, 2016 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm
The Classy Woman Reads… Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes “The mega-talented creator of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal chronicles how saying YES for one year changed her life - and how it can change yours, too. With three hit shows on television and three children at home, the uber-talented Shonda Rhimes had lots of good reasons to say NO when an unexpected invitation arrived. Hollywood party? No. Speaking engagement? No. Media appearances? No. And there was the side-benefit of saying No for an introvert like Shonda: nothing new to fear. Then Shonda’s sister laid down a challenge: just for one year, try to say YES to the unexpected invitations that come your way. Shonda reluctantly agreed - and the result was nothing short of transformative. In Year of Yes, Shonda Rhimes chronicles the powerful impact saying yes had on every aspect of her life - and how we can all change our lives with one little word. Yes.” - via Goodreads DES7GNMGZ CLASSY CHRONICLES
Summer around fun town
It’s summertime! Are you looking for fun and exciting activities around town? Atlanta, Chattanooga and California are well-known locations to visit for SUMMERTIME FUN! See below for some highlights of a few popular sites to enjoy the outdoors, escape the heat or indulge in family fun activities. ATLANTA…AKA HOTLANTA is filled with lots of fun and exciting indoor and outdoor activities; concerts in the park, cultural festivals, theme parks, museums and renowned attractions. Here are some of Georgia’s best local summertime fun things to do
CENTENNIAL OLYMPIC PARK Centennial Olympic Park best known for its legacy of the 1996 Olympic Games, is one of Atlanta’s well known summertime fun hot spots. It is not only a great place for the kids to frolic around in the Fountain of Rings, but also a great tourist district. The kids have a great time cooling off and it’s a great opportunity for a family picnic while catching some rays lying out in the grass. A trip to Centennial Park can be a full-on family outing with neighboring attractions like the World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium, Children’s Museum of Atlanta, the Center for Civil & Human Rights, the CNN Center and the College Football Hall of Fame. Centennial Olympic Park offers an abundance of activities and summertime fun! Gather your friends, family and coworkers, pack some snacks, grab your lawn chair and head down to Wind Down Wednesday, Atlanta’s longest running concert series – happening each Wednesday, June through October. Enjoy the bands and listen to some great tunes from famous Atlanta locals and old time favorites. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at www.centennialpark.com. Too busy after work? Enjoy the free lunchtime concert series, Music at Noon where local artists perform pop, blues, rock, country, jazz and R&B. http://www.centennialpark.com/ 8
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SIX FLAGS OVER GEORGIA is the largest regional theme park in the Southeast, filled with thrill seeking roller coasters and a huge interactive children’s area. Included free with theme park admission, is the new tropical themed multi-million dollar water park Hurricane Harbor featuring a giant wave pool, water slides and water cannons. On deck are licensed lifeguards, complimentary life vests and a first aid station. Be sure to create some lasting memories by enjoying some of the top quality shows and entertainment the park offers, as well as, snagging a few pictures with Bugs Bunny and Friends. Six Flags over Georgia offers Season Passes, Memberships, Group Discounts and other Exclusive Offers. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.sixflags.com/overgeorgia
The Atlanta Ice Cream Festival located on The Meadows at Piedmont Park, Saturday, July 23, 2016 11am-6pm. A day filled with family fun and tasty treats, to be enjoyed by the entire community. Not only does this event center on America’s favorite dessert – ICE CREAM, it also focuses on providing health and wellness education for the entire family. The event features live music, wellness activities, and meal tips to help you live a balanced life. There will be ice cream treats, hula hoop competitions, wellness activities such as Double Dutch and fitness routines to get the whole family engaged. FREE Health Screenings will be offered on site. Each year the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival selects a local non-profit health agency to support in raising awareness of their health and wellness initiatives. The 2016 Health Initiative is to Fight Cancer. Please visit their website at http://www.atlantaicecreamfestival.com/ DES7GNMGZ CLASSY CHRONICLES
Festival Peachtree Latino celebrates its 16th year integrating cultures and traditions from the Latino community in Atlanta on August 28th, 2016 at Piedmont Park. The entire family can experience authentic Latin dancers, world renowned musicians and performers, arts and crafts for children, various food vendors and wines from local Georgia wineries. Festival Peachtree Latino is the largest family and multicultural event in the Southeast with over 75,000 festival goers. In support of the Latin community, this year 5% of the proceeds will go to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Their mission is to create a multi-cultural tradition and to serve as a bridge between Latin audiences and businesses around the globe. http://www.festivalpeachtreelatino.com/
CHATTANOOGA, TENNESSEE is located on the Tennessee River surrounded by scenic mountains. No matter what type of peace or adventure you are looking for, Chattanooga offers beautiful scenery and a variety of things to do to stay active and cool this summer. Cocoee River Feeling adventurous? Ocoee River, also known as one of America’s most popular rivers for whitewater rafting and the location where Atlanta’s 1996 Summer Olympics whitewater events took place, is a great place to start. Ocoee Outdoors has several packages to suit your needs, whether you are a bit of a dare devil or just looking for family fun. The Ocoee is within an hour of Downtown Chattanooga and is five miles of continuous whitewater excitement. Let’s not forget about the experience of the Tennessee River on Chattanooga Cycleboats! Cycle on the 16-person vessel where you will get your exercise while learning about Chattanooga’s history. Veterans always ride free! http://www.chattanoogafun.com/cool-off-this-summer.
Chattanooga Riverfront Nights Music Series is back for its 9th year! “Riverfront Nights” is a free music concert series on the riverfront Saturday nights in July & August. Riverfront Nights focuses on local talent, promotes institutions which encourage healthy lifestyles and teaches locals about environmentally sustainable business opportunities, volunteerism and responsible pet ownership. Live bands, great music and all shows are children and pet friendly. http:// www.riverfrontnights.com/
Chattanooga Pints and Pedals is the ultimate bike pedal tour and bar crawl party on wheels that takes you on a bicycle tour to all the cool spots in town. Chattanooga is known for its happening bar and restaurant scene both downtown and on the Southside of Chattanooga. Pints and Pedals bar crawl bicycle is hand crafted and super lightweight for easy pedaling. It is the ideal choice for your party on wheels and a perfect opportunity to leisurely pedal with your friends or make new ones and see all that Downtown and the Southside has to offer in a unique & fun way! Chattanooga Pints and Pedals is the ultimate bar tour for hard core cyclist and leisurely peddlers. http:// www.pintsandpedalstn.com/
California Eat, See, Hear Los Angeles A summer long celebration of movies, food trucks and music Saturday nights in LA, May-September. The outdoor movies rotate to various L.A area venues where you can enjoy live music from upand-coming bands and tasty treats while waiting for the movie to begin at sundown. The food trucks offer a variety of food options including Southern BBQ, New England Cuisine, Vegetarian & Vegan Dishes, Asian Fusion, Burgers, Tacos, Lobster, Gourmet Indian, Fried Ice Cream and Organic Fusion Lemonade to name a few. Information on movie and band schedules, pricing etc. can be found at: http://www.eatseehear.com
California State Fair a Sacramento staple since the 1850â€™s. A perfect mix of an old downhome vintage feel, modern themes and entertainment with live music featuring todayâ€™s new and well-known artists. The kids can pan for gold, pet farm animals and enjoy the family friendly mini park. California State Fair stands behind education and offers the opportunity for children, 8th grade and below, to earn two free rides by reading two books and turning in a report to Guest Services. For the adults there is craft beer tastings, wine competitions, cooking demos, real horse races and Friday and Saturday night fireworks. http://www.castatefair.org/
So there you have it! Three lively locales to choose from for fun in the sun this summer. Depending on where you are, this could be a car ride away, or a plane ticket away. Either way, enjoy it! If you have visited any of these hot spots, tell us about it! Send an email sharing your experience to email@example.com. Oh, the places we will go! n Venice Cameron DES7GNMGZ CLASSY CHRONICLES
t’s a hot summer day….your children have been out of school on summer vacation for a few weeks and you’re running out of things for them to do. When you’re a mom, three of the most often heard utterances (well, okay WHININGS) from children are “I’M BORED!” and “There’s nothing to do!” and finally “IT’S HOT!” Back in the day, a mother’s response to these statements would be to give each child a popsicle or a dollar or two for the ice cream truck, and send them outside to play until the street lights were all aglow. Although that response is still valid today, we also know it is part of mommy duty to find places to keep the children cool, but entertained! During the hot days of summer, part of the activity search should involve looking for places where everyone can have fun and keep cool in the process! Luckily, you do not have to rely solely on the local ice cream truck visit to your neighborhood, as there are a plethora of frozen yogurt, smoothie and ice cream shops to explore! Through a combination of random Google searches and my own mommy knowledge, listed below are some of the best cool treat establishments in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Tennessee and areas of California. Click on the website links below for locations and additional information: Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt: http://www.menchies.com/ Bruster’s Ice Cream: http://brusters.com/ Coldstone Creamery: http://www.coldstonecreamery.com/ Dairy Queen: http://www.dairyqueen.com/ Orange Julius: http://www.orangejulius.com/ Pinkberry: http://www.pinkberry.com/ Baskin Robbins: https://www.baskinrobbins.com/ Tasti-D-Lite: http://www.tastidlite.com/ Yogurtini: http://www.yogurtini.com/ Smoothie King: http://www.smoothieking.com/ Rita’s: http://www.ritasice.com/ Yogurtland: https://www.yogurt-land.com/ Salt & Straw: http://saltandstraw.com/ Haagen Dazs: https://www.haagendazs.us/shops/ Frog Frozen Yogurt Bar: https://ilovefrog.com/ FroYo Life: http://www.froyolife.com/home Sweetfrog: http://sweetfrog.com/locations/store/sweet-frog-chattanooga-tn The Freeze Frozen Yogurt Bar: http://www.lovethefreeze.com/index.php Ben & Jerry’s: http://www.benjerry.com/chattanooga Marble Slab: http://www.marbleslab.com/ Without a doubt, cool treats are an integral part of the summer for every child (and adults too!) I have fond memories of many family outings for ice cream, Italian ices and ice cream cakes – Carvel’s and the Mister Softee ice cream truck in New York City and Friendly’s in Columbus, Ohio. Special shout-out to Tastee Freez (a/k/a Big T) (http://www.tastee-freez.com/) in Crewe, Virginia – my father’s hometown. Growing up, my family vacationed there for two weeks each August and I will never forget the delicious cold creamy thickness of their frozen custard. Big T is still there today! Do you remember YOUR favorite cool treat growing up? Create chilly delightful summer memories for your children – take them for something cold and delicious! n Janine Lattimore
Rebecca Hyde Walls Sincere Passions Meet Endless Opportunities
Rebecca Walls is truly on a mission to serve and to inspire. When you’re with her, you immediately notice her humility and her grace. You also observe her serious, task-oriented approach to things. She’s a “go getter,” motivator and believes in stepping out on faith. Rebecca was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. As the youngest of eleven children, Rebecca appreciated her solid sense of family at an early age. With so many siblings, she was afforded the opportunity to mold and mentor a host of nieces and nephews. This helped spark her passion for helping and serving the young as well as the elderly even at an early age. Rebecca realized that she had an awesome responsibility and she feels that this naturally led to the development of her leadership skills. Rebecca was formally educated at the University of Southern California, where she was able to hone her mentoring, business and leadership skills. Rebecca left her home base of California in August, 2005 and moved to Atlanta. Atlanta has been the perfect fit for Rebecca, as she’s been able to follow her passion for investing in real estate. Aside from managing her own rental properties, Rebecca has embarked on several other business ventures throughout the years, including a full-service daycare. She realized her vision while being charged with the responsibility of being the primary caregiver for her elderly mother. She’s had the opportunity to work for several Fortune 5 companies, including her present employer, Coca-Cola Refreshments, where she holds a leadership role. She is also a CASA (court appointed special advocate) for Rockdale County Juvenile Courts. Now speaking of partnerships… Rebecca and her husband Anthony, truly work together as a team. Her husband provides full service maintenance on the rental properties, while she provides administrative services to his full service heating and A/C business. **** In your opinion, what are some of the advantages of belonging to Classy Living Society? Classy Living Society is on the move and being associated with it puts its members in a position to be a part of something great! CLS is continually growing and is well respected by the community. As members, so are we! 14
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How did you first hear about CLS and why did you join? I was introduced to CLS by Patricia Gilliam (current CLS member). After reading about the organization, I realized that it was a perfect fit for my life. CLS encompasses everything that I love! Class, style, grace, fun and helping others! Think of four words that you associate with CLS. Class, beauty, compassion and servitude. Name something you can’t afford to live without. The love of my family and my shoes…lol! What three traits best describe you Rebecca? Fun-loving, Compassionate, and Positive. What do you do when you’re not volunteering and what are some of your hobbies/interests? I work and spend time with my family. I love to read, travel and I love live music. Do you have any guilty pleasures? If so, what are they? Yes…I LOVE FRENCH FRIES!! Give us a “fun fact” about yourself. I love to dance! Complete this sentence: Classy Living Society is ________ …the greatest thing since sliced bread! What might someone be surprised to know about you? That I am a 56-year-old Golden Girl and I have nine living siblings. What sparked your interest in real estate? Believe it or not, before I moved to Atlanta, I was in my planning phase (journaling my moves). I came across an article about a woman -- her name escapes me now-- who made a career out of buying and selling real estate. Her story was so intriguing that I “borrowed” it from the magazine…ok…I removed it and attached it to my journal. It became part of my goals just like that. You say that you and your husband work as a team. Why does this work so well for both of you? The reason that my husband and I work so well as a team, even though we have different passions in life, is because our talents and gifts (though different) complement each other. He is a craftsman and works with his hands and I believe my craft is my business savvy. n Avis Pitts
Joining CLS has given Rebecca the opportunity to do what she has always been extremely passionate about -helping others! She says that she values the opportunity to socialize and inspire and you can see that through her volunteer commitments and her enthusiasm. When you talk about CLS around Rebecca, you immediately sense her excitement and positive energy. Passions meeting opportunities…that’s Rebecca’s incredible story!
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summertime My Journey to Health and Fitness By Ray Herman
y weight loss journey began when I realized the scale was telling me I weighed 165 pounds….my first thought was, “Oh no, this is not working for me anymore.” At the time, I was feeling sluggish, and I realized at 33 years of age, although not nearly considered old; I wasn’t getting any younger! I knew that as time passed, losing weight and getting in shape was only going to get more difficult. Being short in stature didn’t help much either! After trying all of the fad diets and only seeing limited results, I decided to try the old-fashioned way to weight loss and fitness -working out and eating clean. I knew that cardio would be the best exercise routine for me, but I also knew I had to choose a regimen that is fun and something I would stick with; a routine that would not become stagnant and boring. That’s when I found and fell in love with Zumba! I already had an inclination toward clean and healthy eating, which gave me a good start. Now we all know that nothing good comes easy -- I LOVED my wine, cheese dip, pizza, pasta and French fries. But as I began to learn my body, I came to realize that I have to watch what I eat and make fitness a lifestyle! Scheduling workout time and consistently adhering to that schedule was crucial to make it all work for me. I challenged and pushed myself to dedicate time to work on me! Once I began to see results and people began to notice my results, and I began to feel good on the inside and outside -- I could not stop!
I LOVED my wine, cheese dip, pizza, pasta and French fries. But... I came to realize that I have to watch what I eat and make fitness a lifestyle! At the beginning, it was difficult, but I just kept going and it before I knew it, it became easier day by day! I found myself doing things I never thought I could do! Fitness became addictive (in a good way), productive and fun – all in one! I get so excited just talking about it! I am so proud to say that I have lost 25 pounds –and maintained my weight -- since I started my journey on February 16th 2015. Fitness is finally a lifestyle for me! #cantstopwontstop 16
YOUR AD HERE www.cls-volunteer.org/advertise
Take it to the Just when you thought that summer would never show up, the season
arrives in full swing with sunny skies and warm weather. So, what are your plans to cool off this summer? Letâ€™s take it to the beach! by Angela Everett
Coquina Beach Park
h Park Beac Gulf State
et’s take it to the beach! A splash in the pool is nice, but the waves from the ocean are even better. In a perfect world (or, at least in mine), I would be able to just open up my door and walk right onto the beach! But since that is not the case, let’s explore some locations where you may like to visit this summer. So, you don’t live in a beach town and you don’t want to spend a lot of money? Don’t worry! There are tons of awesome beaches close enough that all it takes is packing up your car and setting out on a road trip. Depending on your locality, you should be able to find one in less than 10 hours. It beats standing in those long airport lines and the necessity for renting a car when you arrive at your destination. If you are in the south, you may want to plan a visit to Coquina Beach Park in Bradenton, Florida. This beach is known for its colorful mini seashells that line the shore each morning. Another great one to check out is Gulf State Park Beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama – a lovely beach filled with sand dunes and sea oats and shady spots for picnics. Who doesn’t love a picnic on the beach? Let’s head up to the east coast and take a look at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. Families flock to this location each year for the clean water and the boardwalk full of rides for the kids. Also, on the list is Mayflower Beach in Dennis, Massachusetts. Spend the day there digging for sea snails and hermit crabs. I don’t think that I would be doing any digging, but I would take part in enjoying the huge tidal flats and eating some delicious seafood while visiting. Now over to the west coast! Coronado Central Beach in San Diego has perfect weather and spotless white sand because the town invented an environmentally friendly rake to clean up the kelp. It can’t get any cleaner than that! Next on the list, is Aliso Beach Park in South Laguna Beach, California. Aliso Beach boasts tide pools filled with sea life, volleyball courts, great fishing (and gear rental), and a playground. Some of these locations may be new to you, but get a little adventurous this summer and jump in the car and take it to the beach!
Coronado Central Beach Aliso Beach Park
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Evonya Easley LOVE E IMAGE CONSULTING
vonya Easley is a woman on the move and doing it in the most fashionable way! A certified stylist and business owner, author, mother of one and an active volunteer, Evonya is the epitome of a Classy Concessionaire. Evonya is the owner of Love E Image Consulting. She says that she is not just a personal shopper; she also creates images. “Most of my clients have gotten into a style rut. Either they are wearing the same thing over and over or they wear a lot of black. So they hire me to create a personalized image, taking into consideration their taste, lifestyle and budget.” Once hired, Evonya’s company will meet at the client’s home, clean and reorganize their closet, purge items that are worn, outdated or simply do not compliment the client’s body. Evonya quickly adds, “Some pieces, regardless of the age, are timeless -- items such as a Chanel blazer, a pencil skirt, a trench coat; those items are classic and will remain stylish throughout the years. I try to educate my clients not to be a slave to trends and to recognize what looks good on them.” Once she completes an assessment of her client’s closet, she builds on what is remaining and shops for key items to complement the client’s wardrobe and style. Evonya adds, “Having style does not necessarily mean spending a lot of money. I want my clients to get the most bang for their buck, so I will show my client how to repurpose items in their closet. I will show them 5 different ways to wear a blazer.” Evonya’s educational background seems unlikely considering her current business in fashion. She received a Bachelor of Science and a Masters in Finance. She went on to work in finance for nonprofit organizations. “I’m glad that I choose that path because it prepared me to handle the business portion of my company,” she says, “My degrees helped me to successfully run my business on my own.” When asked how she got into the fashion industry, Evonya responded, “I’ve always had a love for clothing and fashion and putting things together. People would always compliment me on my outfits and I organized and styled fashion shows. I moved to Atlanta and immersed myself in the industry. Five years later, here I am.”
Many women entrepreneurs struggle with trying to balance building a business with all of life’s expectations. Evonya is no different. She says that time management and organization are crucial to helping her balance the busy schedule of raising a family, running a business and volunteering. “Planning is huge for me. I plan my time wisely. I believe that you can always make more money but you can never get your time back.” She follows her schedule strictly and tries to preplan. “If I know that I am going to have a busy day, I will cook dinner in the morning. If I know that I have a late afternoon client, I know that I cannot plan anything for that evening because the client may take longer than usual.” Evonya’s journey with CLS began when the owner of one of the boutiques she frequently shops, Design Faze, introduced her to another customer who happened to be a member of CLS. That member, Angela Everett, invited her to the Breakfast at The Limited event and Evonya fell in love! She loved the warmth of the members and the style displayed. Additionally, she really liked the fact that CLS members were actively volunteering and holding each other accountable. Why is volunteering is important to her? She says, “Sometimes you forget how blessed you are until you are faced with those who are less fortunate. We may complain about not being able to take a trip to South Africa this year while at the same time there is someone who is trying to figure out how they are going to feed their family. Volunteering puts life in perspective for me. It keeps me grounded.” She also tries to instill the importance of volunteering in her one and only child. She encourages her daughter to volunteer on weekends and during spring and Christmas breaks. Although Evonya loves shopping, she admits that she doesn’t really shop a lot for herself. Instead, she chooses to invest extra money into traveling. She has a personal goal to see all of the countries in the world by the time she is 50 years old. Where does she herself 5 years from now? “I want to have a nationwide team of stylists. I also want to make sure my daughter is thriving and happy.” Evonya is a woman with a clear vision of who she is and what she wants to accomplish. She offers this advice for others who seek to do the same, “Always believe in yourself. Be fearless, consistent, focused and don’t give up. Chase after your passion eventually the profit will come.” She adds, “Getting up in the morning and loving what you do is priceless. I wake up happy every day. Knowing that I have the opportunity to help other women feel good about themselves makes me very happy.” n Jennifer Hardimon
Classy Concessionaire QUARTERLY MIXER
Classy Living Society’s business owners, also known as Classy Concessionaires, gathered on a Thursday evening in May to kick off our first ever Classy Concessionaire Quarterly Mixer. The mixer was designed to allow members who own businesses the opportunity to socialize and network with other women entrepreneurs while providing access to information and tools that are integral to the further growth of their businesses. The industries of the attendees were diverse. Brick and mortar stores, service providers as well as online boutique owners were represented; all coming together with one goal, to become better businesswomen.
Our dynamic featured speaker was Nikki Blakely Simmons, a multi-faceted entrepreneur who is also a life and business coach. Nikki offered attendees tidbits on how to obtain, engage and retain customers and/or clients. She also addressed a wide range of topics relevant to small business owners, such as how to leverage product placement and how to network effectively. The themes discussed during the workshop offered many of the necessary tools to advance businesses to the next level. Everyone left feeling as if they had received priceless information as well as some good old sister bonding time. Until next quarter…. n Jennifer Hardimon
Serving as the perfect backdrop to the Classy Concessionaire mixer was Bocado, a contemporary restaurant, with a wine bar vibe, nestled in the growing industrial West Midtown area. Besides the crisp, modern décor, Bocado is well known for their gourmet burgers, exotic small plates and eclectic faire. Zagat voted Bocado’s grilled cheese as the best in Atlanta. 887 Howell Mill Rd, Atlanta, GA 30318 www.bocadoatl.com phone: 404 815 1399 22
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www.comedianladyqlaughter.com firstname.lastname@example.org 678-516-6889 DES7GNMGZ
Review The month of May -- the birth month of Classy Living Society -- started with the classy ladies of CLS providing willing hands and compassionate hearts in a Chattanooga, Tennessee volunteer effort. The CLS sisterhood partnered with the Breakaway Domestic Abuse Shelter to serve Motherâ€™s Day dinner to the mothers at their facility. The effort concluded with interacting with the children and having fun with art, crafts and games. What a great way to preclude the summer! On the south side of Atlanta, volunteers helped construct playground pieces and moved mulch to assist KaBoom and Favor House Track and Field Club in their effort to give the kids of College Park the adequate playground they deserve. In continuing efforts to serve the community, CLS volunteers bonded in sisterhood to lend a helping hand to the Food Pantry at Clarkston United Methodist Church, where assistance was provided to individuals and families who are struggling to generate adequate income to provide basic needs for themselves and their families. Volunteers assisted with maintaining the inventory of the food pantry, communicating pantry stock levels, helping to assemble food boxes for clients, tracking client visits and 24
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performed interviews with clients to determine food security status and family size. Classy Living Society loves seniors! Volunteers were integral to the happiness and well-being of the residents of AG Rhodes Nursing Home in Marietta, Georgia. CLS volunteers stepped up to the plate yet again, by providing meaningful activities that were enriching and therapeutic including BINGO, arts & crafts, holiday projects, parties, socials and group visitations. The classy ladies of CLS are dedicated to helping young girls to become classy as well! CLS partnered with City of Refuge to provide young girls with the thrill of a boutique shopping experience without the pressure of price tags. Each volunteer was paired with a girl as a personal stylist, helping her shop all the while reminding her that she is beautiful inside and out. > In honor of Veterans, CLS members spent the Memorial Day weekend giving selflessly to assist those with visual impairments with the gift of vision. Volunteers sorted donated glasses according to a system that was set in place by The Georgia
Lions Lighthouse Foundation, Inc. Volunteers also assisted with the washing and drying of eyeglasses and utilizing lensometers to read the prescription on eyeglasses that have already been sorted and washed. To conclude Memorial Day weekend and the month of May, CLS had an all-around good time while giving back at Brew at the Zoo! While spectators filled the Atlanta Zoo to sample over 100 different beer and wine brands, volunteers checked guest IDs and helped to make the event a success! CLS kicked off the month of June by partnering with an organization with a simple mission -- to end the book famine in Africa. With the Books For Africa opportunity, volunteers gathered together for a brief lunch, and then got to work on making a significant impact by sorting books of various subject matters to be distributed to children of all ages in Africa. The Toxic Avenger Play at Piedmont Park allowed CLS to invite other members of the community to join in this volunteer effort while allowing them the benefit from a little entertainment. Volunteers assisted with a variety of activities including greeting guests, scanning tickets, checking bags, and assisting with VIP and reserved seating. Classy Living Societyâ€™s continued commitment to develop young girls into classy women brought us back to City of Refuge where classy sisters volunteered once again as personal stylists to teach a lesson of style to the young girls by helping them choose a classy outfit! Classy Living Society concluded June with a bang! DES7GNMGZ
CLS provided a monumental opportunity to travel to New Orleans for volunteering, socializing and inspiring! CLS goes to NOLA served a twofold purpose. Aside from sister bonding and fun, CLS partnered with Eden House to bring awareness to and take a united stand against sex trafficking in our society! Eden House is on a mission to end human and sex trafficking one woman at a time by empowering women to transform their lives by the healing power of life in community. CLS also provided inspirational love gifts to survivors of sex trafficking at Eden House. For those sisters who did not join us in New Orleans, Habitat For Humanity reserved an eight-hour general construction opportunity just for CLS . Volunteers helped to build an affordable home in Southwest Atlanta for a working family. CLS is committed to building individuals, families and communities. To put the icing on the cake for June, the Superwomen Do-It-Yourselfers of CLS volunteered to help paint the
fences and railings of Nicholas House. Nicolas House helps homeless families regardless of family make-up with housing and a path to selfsufficiency. The efforts of the CLS volunteers definitely made a difference and helped Nicolas House residents to be proud of their temporary housing. n Rebecca Walls
Miles Away but Still Able to Serve... Kudos to our California and Tennessee sisters who understand that volunteering has no limits and no boundaries. Even though they are far from the Atlanta hub of CLS, our sisters managed to represent the cause and represent it well. These
Let’s take a walk down memory lane...
…beginning at the intersection of Walter’s Clothing Boulevard and Classy Living Society Avenue. On Saturday, June 18, 2016 “CLS in the City” made yet another impact on one of Atlanta’s fashion staple locations – Walter’s Clothing and Shoe Boutique. Walter’s is an established landmark that has been a household name in Atlanta for over 62 years, known for its pristine service, fashionable tennis shoes
members continue to transform lives and help make a positive impact in their community as they show priceless passion for service. Our Cali sisters continue to support Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles. Specialbthanks to Brenda Gonzales, Renee Roberts and Rosario Valenzuela for their volunteer efforts and commitment to those in need. During the months of May and June, these ladies offered their talents and service at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore locations in Torrance and Bellflower. ReStore sells new and used home furnishings and building materials to the public at great discounts. Our Cali members helped organize and move merchandise to the sales floor and they also helped assist customers. They enjoyed helping those customers find exceptional deals on used appliances, tile, home décor, doors, windows and so much more. Brenda, Renee and Rosario…we appreciate you eagerly giving of your time and showing your compassion toward others. Our Tennessee sisters were ready to show their compassionate hearts at the Breakaway Domestic Abuse Shelter in Chattanooga by serving the mothers a special Mother’s Day dinner. CLS member Yolanda Davis and her two daughters were part of this effort and they also had a chance to connect with the children at the
shelter. Arts and crafts as well as games were part of this afternoon of service and fun. CLS looks forward to continuing the alliance with the Partnership for Children and Families in Chattanooga…an organization that believes in empowering people and building communities. The Partnership provides counseling, crisis intervention and prevention service to those in need. We thank Yolanda for her service and we also thank her for exposing her daughters to one of the most rewarding experiences one can ever have…the opportunity to do for others. Our California and Tennessee members prove that volunteering continues to be their focus! The miles can’t separate them from their passion! n Avis Pitts
and apparel, and impeccable character. CLS launched a “Spring into Fitness” campaign to promote a healthy lifestyle and provide various avenues for women to be fit AND fabulous! As part of this endeavor toward health and fitness, CLS partnered with Walter’s. During the CLS in the City event, Walter’s rolled out the red carpet for CLS … offering discounted exclusive shopping hours for CLS members, friends and family throughout the day. All attendees enjoyed this experience came away with a two-
fold benefit -- new fashionable gear to sport AND a new approach to explore a healthy yet fashionable lifestyle. The CLS in the City day at Walter’s was also a fitting precursor for CLS’ recent “Get on the Bus” trip to New Orleans as a few of the ladies were fashionable and fit for a stroll down Bourbon Street in their new Nikes, Pumas and Reeboks! Let’s continue to Spring into Fitness and take the time to provide new opportunities for a more healthy approach for life! n Tiffany Coppins DES7GNMGZ
lthough Classy Living Society has volunteered for Books for Africa (“BFA”) a few times in the past, on June 4, 2016, the impact made in the BFA warehouse was insignificant compared to the impact BFA made on our organization. During this large volunteer effort, each CLS volunteer entered the warehouse astounded at the amount of donations BFA was able to amass, and excited about the opportunity to participate in a campaign with such an enormous amount of donations. BFA remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 35 million books to 49 different countries since 1988. Over the past 12 months, they have shipped 2.4 million books, 665 computers and 200 e-readers containing 1.6 million digital books, as well as 5 new law and human rights libraries to 21 African countries. More than $2.3 million was raised last year to ship the books to the students of Africa. Books find themselves on once-empty library shelves, in classrooms in rural schools, and in the hands of children who have never before held a book. Each book will be read over and over again. When the books arrive, they go to those who need them most: children who are hungry to read, hungry to learn, hungry to explore the world in ways that only books can make possible. After our June 4th volunteer effort, CLS interviewed Jen Hale, the Development Assistant in the Atlanta warehouse.
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CLS: How did you come to work for BFA? What is your title and role at BFA? JH: As a lifelong bibliophile and former librarian, I began volunteering at BFA 6 years ago when I was between jobs. I loved it, and they offered me a job! I work in development at BFA, which is pretty much behind the scenes: scheduling groups, being the contact point for emails and phone calls, and being a liaison with the community. I also help out in the warehouse as needed. Everyone who works at a nonprofit pretty much knows that flexibility is needed. CLS: When was BFA founded and what is the mission? JH: BFA was founded in 1988 by Tom Warth, and his mission is “To end the book famine in Africa.” We also like to say we spread literacy as a bridge out of poverty. CLS: What are the major countries of impact in Africa? JH: We impact every country we send books to, but the countries that have requested and received the most shipments are: Ghana, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Liberia, Kenya and Uganda. CLS: How has working with BFA impacted your outlook on life? JH: One of my goals is to eventually go to Africa and see a shipment delivered. Working here has definitely opened my eyes on how fundamental education is to improving lives in the long run.
CLS: Why is giving back so important to you? JH: Education has always been important to me, but spreading it to the third world is challenging and extremely satisfying. CLS: How can our readers donate books to your organization and continue to support BFA?
JH: It only costs 50 cents to send a book to a child in Africa! Readers can donate books or money at our warehouse below. Or for online giving, see our website at www.booksforafrica.org. Jenâ€™s journey is a perfect example of how pursuing your passion can make a colossal impact on society, and may even lead to financial gain. There is
nothing greater than loving what you do...except when loving what you do also happens to help others! Books for Africa is filled with volunteers and employees alike who recognize the power that reading and education have on self-empowerment. It was a pleasure to volunteer and support such an impactful organization! n Alia Thompson DES7GNMGZ CLASSY CHRONICLES
Get on the Bus A L O N o t s e o g S L C
n June 24th in the coolness of the morning, 50 CLS Sisters boarded a bus destined for New Orleans! Although early, the energy level was high upon arrival as the pre-trip excitement had already been ignited by CLS Leadership whom ensured the trip goers were all linked in a group chat via the WhatsApp smartphone app. By departure day, information had been provided and exchanged regarding everything from the powerful mission we were embarking on to bring Awareness to Sex Trafficking to pictures of brunch dresses and hats. We were connected, engaged and ready to GET ON THE BUS! Everyone knows Classy Living Society never misses an opportunity to make every experience extraordinary and they did not stop short on the bus ride to NOLA. Personal touches with New Orleans flare made settling in for a fun ride as easy as deciding if you wanted a window or an aisle seat. But it didnâ€™t matter which seat was chosen -- each was made special with colorful beads, colorful mason jars, Mardi Gras masks and a fan to sooth the southern heat. As the bus and the day rolled on, meals complete with mimosas were served by onboard chefs. Games were played and wonderful prizes from our sponsors were won. All the while music, laughter and even a little dancing in the aisle filled the cabin. Oh yes, good times were in high supply and we hadnâ€™t even arrived yet! However, as soon as we arrived the beauty of our journey began to take shape. It was the first night in town, and the chatter on our Whatsapp was high as we coordinated our first itinerary stop. Unified in all white attire, we met at Beach on Bourbon ready to simply celebrate our journey and our sisterhood and our lovely ladies did not go unnoticed. A short time after we arrived, our organization and our cause to bring awareness to Human and Sex Trafficking had been called to the spotlight of the stage and announced. We were indeed off to a great start -- CLS was in NOLA and we were bringing awareness with us! Our opportunity to spread the word for our cause was only intensified the next morning.
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Whispers of “what’s going on” and “what is this” could be heard as our ladies gathered for brunch each wearing a warm beautiful smile, donned in vibrant yellow dresses and hats. “We are ladies from Classy Living Society,” was said in reply with pride! Beautiful is the only word that could be said looking over the Salu Bistro and Bar. The CLS Events team had once again added the signature touch of décor which included spring flowers and personalized placemats with messages of sisterhood. The amazing beauty was only surpassed by the energy and sisterhood the event created. The color yellow was chosen because it is the color of friendship, and the energy from it could be felt beaming all through the room. Our wonderful speaker was Susanne B. Dietzel, Executive Director of Eden House. Susanne spoke to the idea many have that victims put themselves in harm’s way when the truth is they are mothers, daughters and sisters just like us or our own. The issue of Human and Sex Trafficking has a strong need for awareness and an even stronger need to end the demand. We have to speak to our husbands, brothers and friends about ending the demand for women in the sex trade to truly bring an end to this horrible practice. Until then, there will always be victims. The Eden House organization is dedicated to helping survivors of sex trafficking rebuild their lives. These women start over with nothing and it is the call of Classy Living Society to help do something. The
tangible items we donated that afternoon were personal items every woman would need. Our ongoing support cannot be touched but it can be felt. By the end of the brunch we all felt we had a personal message or word of encouragement we wanted to deliver to each and every victim, so we offered a symbolic gesture of our support. We wrote our messages out and attached them to yellow balloons. Walking around the room, you could see these messages were not being taken lightly. There were women with tears in their eyes trying to formulate words to convey hope, some with smiles thinking of the joy freedom must bring. They were all varied in design and content but the heartfelt support was the same. In a final unifying moment we gathered outside together and simultaneously released them. Watching the balloons ascend I thought to myself……Ok ladies, your future is now determined by YOU and just like these balloons, the sky is the limit! n Robyn Hutcherson
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Thank you Salú for hosting the Classy Living Society Yellow Dress Brunch to bring awareness to sex trafficking and supporting the ladies of The House of Eden. Beautiful afternoon Terriffic cause! We are grateful for the delicious food, attentive and friendly staff. We can’t wait to visit again. Salú strives to create a fun and unique restaurant highlighting the French, Italian and Spanish regions of the Mediterranean using the highestquality ingredients for their customers. With Salu’s passion rooted in the word “Cheers,” they strive to build family among guests, creating memories and celebration over a shared meal. Salú Restaurant 3226 Magazine Street New Orleans, Louisiana (504) 371-5809 SaluMagazine@gmail.com www.salurestaurant.com Mon- Thurs, 11:30 am- 10:00 pm Fri- Sat, 11:30 am- 11:00 pm Sun, 11:30 am- 10 pm
n LaShanda Pitts
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UPCOMING EVENTS Third Quarter 2016
New Member Mixer (Member Only) Classy Hour (Member Plus Guest) California #EndTheDemand Event Fourth Quarter 2016
Red Dress Gala Mingle Jingle
CLASSY LIVING SOCIETY NEEDS YOUR HELP
As we work diligently to play a part in positively influencing the lives of those in need within our communities, we are asking you to find it in your hearts to donate to the movement. CLS continues to push forward in our community efforts to aid those who are less fortunate and in need of a helping hand. Your donations will strengthen the endeavors of our “foot soldiers” – providing a solid foundation to give back to others whose needs may otherwise be neglected. By partnering with CLS and making a donation, you are taking a stand! Go ahead…by making a difference today, your actions speak volumes. On behalf of those to whom we provide assistance, we are grateful for your giving – remember no donation is too small!
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Be a part of something bigger than yourself.
Join Classy Living Society TODAY! www.cls-volunteer.org 38
Published on Jul 27, 2016