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2 November | December 2015

Champion, 2013

Eugene Onegin, 2010

The Diversity of Our

Carmen, 2012 All Photos © Ken Howard

The Death of Klinghoffer, 2011








All performances are sung in English and accompanied by members of the St. Louis Symphony.





the Official Launch of College Kids


n December 2015, City of St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones was joined by Laura Woods, Vice President of Marketing & Community Presence, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union; Dr. Kelvin Adams, Superintendent, St. Louis Public Schools; Dr. Douglas Thaman, Executive Director, Missouri Charter Public School Association; Dr. Dwaun J. Warmack, President, Harris-Stowe State University; and Dr. Jason Purnell, Assistant Professor, Washington University Brown School of Social Work at Gateway Elementary School to announce the official launch of the College Kids Children’s Savings Account program. College Kids provides every kindergartner enrolled in a City public or charter school with a college savings account. Each kindergartner’s account is seeded with $50 from the St. Louis Treasurer’s office. Through contributions made by the business and philanthropic community, students can earn additional money for college. This year, matches and incentives include: $1 for every week of perfect attendance, match contributions up to $100, and up to $50 for completing financial education courses either online, in person, or via a smart phone. “As an elected official, I believe every student should have access to resources to achieve their dream of a college education,” says Treasurer Jones. “College Kids provides an opportunity for students to get a jump start on college savings, and encourages parents and guardians to increase their financial capability through participation in financial education courses.” Recent research shows that low-income students with $500 in college savings are three times more likely to enroll in college and four times more likely to graduate from college than students

4 January | February 2016

with no college savings. “I am very pleased to join Treasurer Jones in her official launch of College Kids,” says Dr. Purnell, author of For the Sake of All study. “Treasurer Jones is not only helping to implement a key recommendation of For the Sake of All; she is also aiding in increasing the likelihood that more children in St. Louis will attend and complete college. It is this type leadership that ensures a more just and equitable future for all in our community.” Dr. Warmack adds, “Every dollar parents save today with the College Kids program is a dollar their child won’t have to borrow in the future. Planting the seed of college attendance in the hearts and minds of these kindergartners sets them up for future success. What a terrific gift to give a child this holiday season.” The success of College Kids thus far is in large part because of the partners here in St. Louis. College Kids’ partners include: Wells Fargo, United Way, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union, the Center for Enterprise Development’s 1-to-1 Fund, Vistashare, St. Louis Public Schools, and the Missouri Public Charter School Association. “1st Financial Federal Credit Union is so proud to be a partner in this program with the Treasurer’s office,” says Vice President Woods. “Our goal for College Kids is to see families all over St. Louis realize the power they hold in choosing how and where they invest their hard earned money. We want to remove the intimidation of using a product like a savings account and provide free access to the people who need it the most.” “The College Kids Savings Program fits perfectly into the Saint Louis Public School District’s emphasis on creating a college-going culture for our young scholars,” says Dr. Adams. “We know College Kids will help us encourage our

kindergartners to begin thinking beyond high school graduation.” Dr. Thaman also shares his support for College Kids, “We are appreciative and applaud Treasurer Jones launching of the College Kids savings account program. The value of providing a college savings account for every child is immeasurable. Research shows when you make students more financially aware and establish a college savings mentality they are more likely to change the way they think about their future and go to college. The College Kids program is indeed a true life changer!” To ensure the sustainability of the College Kids program, the Treasurer’s office partnered with the 1:1 Fund for Giving Tuesday. Today, every donation to College Kids will be tripled, up to $500. Any amount donated will help us toward our $5000 goal. Donations can be made at college_kids. “Our most important investment should be in our children and College Kids promises to be one that will bring us returns for years to come,” says Treasurer Jones. Tishaura O. Jones is the first female Treasurer for the City of St. Louis and former Assistant Minority Floor Leader of the Missouri House of Representatives. As Treasurer, Jones established the Office of Financial Empowerment in City Hall which offers free assistance to citizens who want to learn how to increase their financial capabilities, raise their credit scores, get out of debt, or start their own business.


Find your place at Harris-Stowe State University

Apply Today for a Brighter Tomorrow Harris-Stowe State University | 3026 Laclede Avenue | St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 340-3366 |



AN OPEN LETTER What up Saint Louis. When we launched DELUX Magazine nearly 7 years ago, I am certainly sure no one anticipated we would still be here in 2016. Through many bumps in the road, financial struggles, personal and business mistakes, we were able to find our voice and our place within the community. Many giants, like Wells Fargo, Monsanto, The Fox Theater, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams, Mercedes Benz of St. Louis, OperaSTL and Cricket Wireless investing in DELUX demonstrate they value diversity and inclusion. DELUX Magazine was built to be a voice for a demographic that is often over looked in many general market award opportunities, media coverage, and other “life time” moments that need awknowledgement. We created this platform to provide an outlet of recognition for the good and positive that goes on in St. Louis, not just the things mainstream media wants us to know. So many great individuals are doing magnificent things within our communities. Unfortunately, all we hear about is how bad the Northside is, how the murder rate continues to increase, and how much money we need for a stadium we can’t afford. We should hear more about Rev. Starsky Wilson, Kayla Reed, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Lashell Eikerenkoetter, Adrian Walker, Tishaura Jones, Dr. Dwaun Warmack and so many others. There is so much positivity in our communities that happens and just falls upon deaf ears due to the lack of coverage and support. This is why DELUX is here. We want you to hear what’s happening in our community. We want to be able to provide a source of inclusion and recognition for all that happens in our beautiful city. Yes, St. Louis may have some systematic issues-- But what city doesn’t? We have to come together and stand up against the things that are unfair and unjust. DELUX Magazine was built to become the voice of the community. For several months, we have been building strong partnerships and new found friendships. We have been discussing meaningful content and different ways to increase our visibility for more readers to enjoy. Having monthly meetings with, whom I consider a mentor, Dr. Donald M. Suggs, has really enlightened and motivated me personally to make DELUX a true source of media that encourages diversity and inclusion. We started in 2009 barely printing 500 publications (fingers crossed) and now we are printing close to 90,000 a year. This shows tremendous growth and support. We could not have done this without you and the businesses that find value in investing in our publication which in turns shows the support they have in our comunities! So when you see these advertisers within the pages, please support them. Help circulate our money better. Open up a bank account at Midland States Bank. Start a 529 Plan through Wells Fargo. Pay attention to business/ companies that advertise, hire, and re-invest through our mediums and give loyal support to those companies. We personally want to thank you for 7 years of loyal support. We are going to continue to give opportunity for talent recognition with events like The Emerging 30 and The Power 100. We are going to create additional networking and social engaging opportunities, such as, We Love Brunch and Build Your Own Empire. We have also created a foundation entitled DeluxCares which plans on giving away scholarships, donating school supplies, hosting food and toy drives, and developing many other community based events. We love our community. We Live, Love St. Louis. 2016: The Year Of DELUX. :-) Have a Happy & Prosperous New Year! Cheers





Keith N Griffin II

PUBLISHER/CO-FOUNDER @DeluxMagazine Lawrence Bryant Co-Founder @lbfoto1 Michael Winfield Co-Founder @brklynstl



Kyle A Griffin Co-Founder Brian Shields Co-Founder EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Nikki Smith


Creative Dir/Social Media Mgr. DeWarren Smith


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People Who Inspire FEATURE: STL Love Stories Reception Planning DLXProfile: Craig Thomas DLXProfile: Queen Beauty DELUX Scene: Power100 Profile: VickMont

Lead Mua Drake Tyler Graphic Designers Studio 76 Arthur Smith Sylvia Woods

regular featured Stuff Finances Beauty Health Destinations Career Community

Writers DeWarren Smith Caprice Foster Hannah Sundermeyer April Whittington, LE Tiffany Shawn Kendra Pete Sylvia Woods Seven L. Maxwell Ebonie Young Briana Brooks Shadress Burks Ashley Kane Tendai Morris Alexy Irving


DELUX MAGAZINE No. 42 January/February 2016 · Year 6· PUBLISHER Keith Griffin II GRAPHIC DESIGN G5IVE MEDIA GROUP 1409 Washington Ave St. Louis Mo 63103 DISTRIBUTOR Papers Unlimited MO IPAD APP Available in itunes store WEBSITE ADVERTISING Email SUBMISSIONS Email PRESS RELEASES Email

Photographers Lawrence Bryant McArthur Smith Allen B. Thompson Keith N Griffin II Omar O’Hara Sales

azine’s Delux Mag In Chief: r o it d E w e N nikki smith

Editor In Chief, Nikki Smith & Brittany Packnett

“If serving is below you, leadership is beyond you” I am ecstatic about joining the DELUX team! Working on the past five editions and assisting with the growth of the brand has been phenomenal. It’s truly a blessing to be able to combine two passions of mine; writing and the African American Millennial community, into meaningful work and deliver incomparable content that we all can be proud of. Coming into DELUX, we had a few goals in mind, the top one being changing the face of Black media here in St. Louis. As Editor-In-Chief, I have the pleasure of being a part of a team that is spearheading the exceptional content that keeps the young professionals across the metro area engaged and inspired. It’s a pleasure to join a great team of writers, photographers, designers, and interns that have assisted in propelling DELUX as the magazine and brand of choice for companies who want to reach the upper echelon of Millennials in the area. We also host a number of volunteer, networking, and professional development events that bring the content from our pages, to life. The Inaugural Power 100 event was phenomenal! Our team is forever grateful for the love, support, and feedback we received from the participants and honorees! Special thanks to Mrs. Jami Dolby for doing an awesome job serving as MC, Malissa Shaw for her hard work serving on the planning committee, and to our sponsors Mercedes-Benz, Midland States Bank, Wells Fargo, and Monsanto. We couldn’t have done the event without you and we look forward to continuing our partnership throughout 2016 and beyond.

MORE DELUX ONLINE Access DELUXMAG.COM for exclusive online content and make sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter to receive the latest news, events, participate in our fabulous contests and giveaways and so much more!

Be on the lookout for more events to come from the DELUX Team including our first annual Emerging 30! Special regards to our fearless leader Keith, who is a great mentor and friend and I am honored to serve as his right hand in impacting our community in a meaningful way. Peace and Love,



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the WIZ According to NBC, the network’s live musical, “The Wiz Live!,” brought in 11.1 million viewers on Thursday December 3, 2015. This adaptation, based on the 1975 Broadway show “The Wiz”, serves as the second best non-sports airing for the Peacock network in six years. The viewership number was also better than NBC’s live musical last year “Peter Pan Live!” which brought in 9.2 million viewers. However, it was behind NBC’s first live TV musical, “The Sound of Music Live!” which brought in 18.6 million viewers in 2013. The musical starring Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, and newcomer Shanice Williams was a ratings success for NBC, and it was celebrated on social media.

The CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) Program prepares junior and high school students to become entrepreneurs who contribute to their community’s economic growth. It is much more than a textbook course. Rather students are immersed in real life learning experiences with the opportunity to take risks, manage the results, and learn from the outcomes. There are 28 CEO Programs in the United States, and Cardinal Ritter is the first urban program and the first one in Missouri. The CEO Program: • Selects students through a rigorous application process • Provides the opportunity for each student to start their own business • Meets for 90 minutes every day • Provides 2 high school credits • Emphasizes 21st century learning skills • Provides real-world, real-life experiences for students • Connects students with business professionals • Is funded by business investors • Provides a mentor from the business community for each CEO student To learn more, visit

“The Wiz” accounted for 128 million Twitter impressions on Thursday night, a total more than both “Peter Pan Live!” and “The Sound of Music Live!” The live adaptation of the Broadway show, which itself is a take on “The Wizard of Oz” but with an African American cast, was also a hit with critics. “‘The Wiz’ is by far NBC’s most sophisticated live musical broadcast yet; it’s also one that felt, movingly, of its time,” wrote Daniel D’Addario, Time’s TV critic. The big ratings also speak to another fact: Live TV events are growing increasingly important in the current TV media landscape. With delayed and on-demand viewing becoming more the norm in TV households across the country, NBC’s “The Wiz” showed that live TV can still bring in a big audience. “Yes, as you might expect, there were some glitches: a stray camera, a balky effect, some moments of empty sound — and a missing in action Toto,” wrote Robert Bianco, USA Today’s TV critic. “But that’s part and parcel of doing and paying for live TV on this ambitious a scale. Luckily this time, with this production, those ambitions bore fruit.” The-CNN-Wire/ By Frank Pallotta

“And In This Corner…Cassius Clay” is a play by award-winning playwright Idris Goodwin. Based on the true early life of Muhammad Ali – Cassius Clay, Jr. – in Jim Crow Louisville, the play tells the story of a young man who believes his potential is unlimited despite the segregation and racism he is surrounded by. With the help of his first boxing coach, Joe Martin, a white police officer, Cassius starts the journey toward fulfilling his boxing dreams. But through the course of the play, he comes to understand there are more important things than personal success – he must also use his gifts to work for the good of his community. Presented by Metro Theater Company as the mainstage production of its 2015-16 season, “And In This Corner…Cassius Clay” has only been performed in one other city. It premiered in Louisville, Kentucky in January 2015 at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. This powerful project is an opportunity to begin long-term change in St. Louis and address youth disenfranchisement. It offers a series of community programs, wrap-around tools and resources in conjunction with the play that will educate audiences and empower them to find ways to get involved in making St. Louis a stronger community. For more information, please visit cassiusproject. com. WHEN: February 12-28, 2016 Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2 p.m. WHERE: Missouri History Museum (Lee Auditorium) Lindell & Debaliviere in Forest Park, 314-746-4599


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Mardi gras By: Ashley Kane

The biggest party of the year is here. St. Louis is host of the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country; only slightly behind New Orleans of course. This year’s festivities start on January 6th with celebrations every weekend until the Fat Tuesday bash goes down on February 9th. Where did our love of Mardi Gras come from? It all started 250 years ago when the French settled in St. Louis. Fur trader Peirre Laclede and his son René Auguste Chouteau laid and mapped out the city and named it after King Louis IX. The land was traded back and forth between France and Spain and eventually France sold it to the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. You can see how the French influenced St. Louis even today. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis depicts the life of Louis IX in the entryway. St. Louis’ city hall is designed after the city hall in Paris and Union Station was designed to resemble a French fortress. Ancestors of French settlers developed Soulard, where Mardi Gras takes place every year since the 80’s. Even the French and fusion restaurants bring the heat. Mardi Gras can be called Fat Tuesday or even Shrove Tuesday. It’s more than just a party though; it’s a carnival, a celebration. Historically known as the last feast before the Lenten season begins, a season of fasting. What’s known as the 12th Night starts on January 6th with a parade. Later in the month there’s a “Lumiere Place Cajun Cook-off” and even a “Run for your Bead 5k” marathon. One of the most popular events is the Beggin’ Pet Parade, where owners adorn their pets in adorable costumes and parade through Soulard. February kicks off with the Mayor’s Ball, a black tie affair held in the city hall rotunda. Festivities start to wrap up with the Grand Parade and February 9th is the final Fat Tuesday celebration.

ride along 2

Kevin Hart and Ice Cube lead the returning lineup of Ride Along 2, the sequel to the blockbuster action-comedy that gave us the year’s most popular comedy duo. They are joined in the film by Ride Along co-stars Bruce McGill and Tika Sumpter, as well as those new to the series, including Ken Jeong, Benjamin Bratt and Olivia Munn.

St. Louis isn’t the only city known for Mardi Gras blowouts. Cities like Rio de Janeiro, Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago, and even Mobile, Alabama participate in extravagant carnivals to celebrate life, food and fun. If you’re not into the party scene, there are some amazing restaurants in Soulard and surrounding areas to give you the New Orleans or even French bakery/bistro feel you might be looking for. The best place for information like events calendars, do’s and don’ts, nearby bars & restaurant list, and even info about parade “krewes” at .




Social Justice Through Art Words by: Tiffany Shawn

Though a smaller exhibit, inhabiting a single alcove in the Mildred Kemper Art Museum on the campus of Washington University, the collection packs a big punch. Relationships and Representation: Perspectives on Social Justice Work brings together artwork by Andy Warhol, Rashid Johnson, Juan Sanchez, and Carrie Mae Weems, to name a few. Viewers are asked to examine questions central to both social justice and art practice: Who is speaking, and to whom or for what purpose as it pertains to art and social justice? What conditions - social and political, personal and communal - - inform these representations? The Social Justice Through Art gallery presents many questions for visitors. For instance, “Should artists be held responsible when representing individuals or groups, especially with respect to those historically stigmatized?” It brings to one’s attention whether social justice movements have the same or different responsibilities. “The task of representing individuals, communities, and social welfare issues has significant implications for anyone engaged in social justice work, but what roles do interpersonal relationships and advocacy play in art?” This statement is part of the Social Justice Through Art gallery’s attempt to help viewers engage in its’ content. A photo by Juan Sanchez of two seemingly happy little girls immediately caught my attention. Titled Cielo, Tierra, y Esperanza (Heaven, Earth, and Hope), these girls, who look to be on cloud nine, are in an alley or large sidewalk, with trash bags in the corner of a brick structure, no greenery, yet are two smiling peas in a pod, sitting on a mattress. A collage of lithograph prints, ranging from an upside down eagle donning a red X on its face to palm trees, encompassed this photo. These aesthetics, more than likely hold symbolism for the artist in connection with his homeland. A question from the teaching guide asks one to consider, “How artistic representations of individuals influence the way we think about larger groups of people and cultural norms?” While this current exhibit provided no explanation, “This work deals with the convergence and clash of cultures, but also celebrates Puerto Rican independence.” As an avid educator for over a decade, this photo touched me. I’ve worked with families struggling to make it day to day and can barely afford to send a few school supplies to those who have time enough in their day to bring ketchup to school for a student’s lunch; a convergence and clash of cultures. Those occupying low-socioeconomic environments or even the girls on the mattress do not necessarily equate to being unhappy; just as those who seem to have everything they need to survive may not exude happiness. There can be laughter and happiness amidst chaos just as the opposite is true. People right around the corner may be living in ways one could never imagine. Portraying people through art opens the minds of those who may not consider the story of a passer by. Art in this form is permanent and tells a story for generations to come. One of the most thought provoking photos, was by Rashid Johnson. It presented a scowling black man in a suit and tie with a target painted on his face. How do artistic choices about media and form influence your interpretations of these works? It was titled America America and even before reading the title, American media was on my mind. American media tends to saturate the entertainment world with what some consider the worst aspects of black culture. They work hard to make black life seem undesirable. Could this type of portrayal in film and television be a reason non-blacks have expressed discomfort whether through actions, in conversation with one another, or in the form of knowing when to call the police? Can an increase in melanin cause fragility to those lacking a relationship with those whom they claim to fear? I know there are times the industry simply shows what “we” give off, but there are times the persecution is purposeful. In 2013, St. Claire County police coerced a 17-year-old black teen into giving a false confession. According to the 12 January | February 2016

Riverfront Times, “[police] told the East St. Louis teen – who was later found to lack the mental capacity to understand or waive his Miranda rights – that confessing to an armed robbery would grant him leniency and allow him to avoid prison.” After spending nine months in jail unable to pay the half-million bond, his armed robbery charges were dropped and he was later awarded a $900,000 settlement. As his confession unfolded, the vulnerable teen cried out for God, his mom, and even threatened to kill himself amidst being fed details of his confession by investigators. All the while, he did not match the description of the suspect. Police just needed a body to charge. Unlike the clearly visible target in Rashid Johnson’s photo, an invisible one covered this young man. To take it a step further, though several months have passed since his charges were dropped and compensation awarded, when you Google Trevon Yates’, the only photos available, thanks to plentiful articles, are those of his mugshot and inside the interrogation room. But the charges were dropped. To debunk any debate of being the only photos available, I took to Facebook. Within seconds, lacking a single friend in common, I found his account. Do you think I saw a jail-related photo? There were no jail related photos found. It has been proven in countless cases that innocence rarely matters to mainstream media. A Black man allegedly committing a crime MUST be guilty. His skin matches the shade of guilt, right? Open and shut case, right? I share that story to point out how media does not always have the best interest of the marginalized group at heart. Rashid Johnson’s displays a black man in his Sunday’s best, yet still has a target on his face. This spreads the message that the more melanin, the more of a threat he or she is to society. Art could be one route to the solution. It allows for discussion on perspective. It opens eyes of those inside their bubble, unclear of how others mere miles away live. Telling a story through photography causes people to accept the realness of life, at times, more so than a fictional drawing. With both social justice work and artistic representation, issues of identity and power in interpersonal dynamics play a role. Now ask yourself this, be ye artist or not, what story does your work tell? Who do you represent? Who do you speak for?


800 N. Third St. | St. Louis, MO 63102 | 314-657-4444 DELUX MAGAZINE


Jermaine & Chauncey • lashell Eikenrenkoetter • Sinita wells

Jermaine & Chauncey Tarrant By: Nikki Smith

Photo by: MCARTHUR25

If there’s a local networking, gala, or fundraising event, you’re likely to see this couple around. Often recognized by their fashionable clothing and contagious smiles, Jermaine Tarrant and his lovely wife Chauncey aren’t St. Louis natives but are certainly making an imprint among the city’s upper echelon. Both being raised primarily in Georgia, military kids, attended Historically Black Universities, and members of Greek lettered organizations, it was nothing short of destiny that brought the two together at a wedding of a mutual friend in Nashville, TN on August 8, 2008. Drawn together by their shared passion for the community, the couple wed in June of 2012. Shortly thereafter, Chauncey, currently active duty in the United States Air Force, received orders to relocate to Scott Air Force base and serve as a staff pediatrician. Her husband Jermaine rejoined his former internship employer, The Boeing Company as a full time Quality Engineer. Soon after getting settled in their new home, the couple began to immerse themselves in various organizations around the St. Louis community. Jermaine currently serves as the Communications Chair on the Executive Board of Urban League Young Professionals and an active mentor with 100 Black Men of St. Louis. Chauncey, when not busy serving as a member of her sorority, is busy working with other like-minded individuals to promote

a dynamic organization called The Tenth. The mission of this unique organization is to connect young professionals, particularly ones who may not be St. Louis natives, with each other in comfortable and informal settings that will garner genuine relationships and authentic connections. The Tenth is focused on “building the relationship first, then exploring what common business interests exists”. With maintaining a healthy marriage and getting ready for the new addition on the way, this exceptional couple still finds time and energy to support local events and continue to serve as mentors and positive influences to the youth in the St. Louis community. “What motivates us is the idea of wanting to be tangible examples for the generations coming up behind us and truly making an impact on the lives we are blessed to touch.” Whether it is Jermaine speaking to young men at the local detention center, or Chauncey educating underserved families about the health resources that are available to them, the Tarrants are making moves in and around the metro area and certainly claiming their place in the upper echelon of Black St. Louis by serving, mentoring, and giving back in places where it matters most—our young people.





lashell EIKERENKOETTER By: Nikki Smith Photo by: Mcarthur25 A recent graduate from Southeast Missouri State University with a degree in Video Production and Journalism, LaShell had no idea that her life would propel in a totally different direction after August 9, 2014, the day teenager Michael Brown was gunned down by Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson. Growing up in Jennings, MO, about 5 minutes east of Ferguson, LaShell felt exceptionally compelled to get involved in the movement for justice, especially after she had become frustrated with the media’s representation of the events and people of Ferguson. It was in that moment, that she transitioned from recent college grad to Black liberation activist. Never losing sight of her background in video production and photojournalism, Lashell took to the streets with her camera and phone and captured some of the movement’s most entrancing moments as she marched the streets of Ferguson and beyond, demanding justice for Michael Brown and others. Within a matter of months, social media users flocked to her Instagram and Facebook pages as they watched the Black Lives Matter movement unfold in her videos and photos. Many of her stories were personalized to not only the experiences of other fellow protestors, but herself as well and the bigotry she witnessed right here in our beloved city. Her videos also captured the love and sense of community among the protestors of all shades of color as the movement drove into one of the largest of its kind since the 1950’s- 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. 16 January | February 2016

Since marching the streets of Ferguson and shutting down area malls in a quest to garner support for local Black owned businesses, LaShell has since traveled the country as events of injustice sprawled across the nation. Her travels have crossed paths with many of the great leaders of our time, including Dr. Cornel West. “The movement not only changed my life, it changed my heart. It became an addiction to fight for the rights of blackness. I became willing to sacrifice my life if it meant that my people would have a better chance of living. The movement has been so empowering, unifying, and eye opening.” Her passion, determination, and free spirit are addictive and she certainly has inspired her peers to get involved not just in protest, but in the overall betterment of our community. LaShell has experienced our society’s worst, just to fight to see it at its best. She is truly an inspiration.



SinIta Wells By: Ebonie Young Photo: Mcarthur25 According to, perseverance is defined as steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement. Sinita Wells embodies this term, as her story is one of adversity and triumph. She is now a self-published author, motivational speaker and life coach. Sinita has candidly admitted that her life experiences have shaped the person that she is today. Born in north St. Louis City to a single mother and as the eldest of four children, Sinita learned very early in life that the world did not revolve around her neighborhood. Determined to experience life outside of St. Louis, Sinita’s family moved to California when she was 12 years old. It was then that she gained a sense of diversity, a desire to standout and the hunger to become a star. Becoming a mother at the age of 16, placed a detour in that route but with the help of her mother and grandmother, Sinita graduated high school and learned the true meaning of sacrifice. She was offered modeling jobs in print advertisements but had to turn them down and put her child’s needs before her own. With two small children by the age of 20, Sinita was forced to decide what she wanted to do with her life. She had worked different positions over the course of ten years but her life took an interesting turn when she became a real estate agent. She was good at her job and made a decent earning but she was not passionate about the work that she was doing. She transitioned into property management where she went into business with a former co-worker and created a property management consulting firm based in Oklahoma. The business grew quickly and within the first year, earned well over six-figures. Everything was beginning to come together for Sinita but when her granddaughter was born with a debilitating disability, she made the decision to move back to St. Louis, dissolve the business and help raise her grandchild. Sinita’s relocation back to St. Louis forced her to consider her next steps. She had to start over but she did not know where to start. Being home helped her make the decision to finish school and pursue a future that combined her passions for communicating the importance of self-preservation and broadcast. She had a larger than life personality and needed an outlet to display it. Sinita kept her eyes on the prize and almost 20 years later, accomplished her first goal by earning an Associate’s degree in Communication Arts with an emphasis

in Broadcasting from Forest Park Community College. Soon after receiving her degree, she hit the ground running. With one adult child starting a family of her own and the other very close to adulthood, Sinita knew that she needed a platform to showcase her skills and reintroduce her to the world as the star that she had always dreamed of becoming. In 2011, she took a leap of faith and self-published her first book entitled I am a Woman First: The Essentials to Nurturing, Inspiring and Loving, where she encouraged women to rediscover themselves before they were laced with roles and responsibilities. The book shares the journeys of different women and the pivotal point in their lives when they realized the importance of nurturing, inspiring and loving themselves first. The book was well received by the public and became what Sinita calls, “The Perfect Business Plan”. It was the thunder that triggered the lightening bolt in her career. Over the past four years, Sinita has evolved from an unknown author to a household name. She gained her life coach certification, took advantage of speaking opportunities across the country and developed her company S. Wells International LLC. Through S. Wells, Sinita adopted the mantra, “Love What You Do and Do What You Love. bSmart | bProfitable | bVisable.” As a multi-passionate womanprenuer, she does not plan on slowing down. Her story is proof that persistence, dedication and self awareness is a great recipe for over coming odds and owning one’s purpose. Sinita admits that her life started off as what society would deem a “statistic” but her motivation to not be poor and average propelled her to keep reaching for her goals. She could have easily slipped through the cracks but failure was not an option. In the next phase for S. Wells International, Sinita wants to continue expanding her business and spreading messages of positivity and self preservation to women around the country through her life coaching services. She is currently working to develop The Sin Show, a podcast set to debut in Spring 2016. . To learn more about Sinita Wells, her company, services and resources, visit: Youtube: SinitaWells DELUX MAGAZINE


Tips to True Financial Empowerment By; Shadress Burks

We all want different levels of success and wealth we try and achieve. Some people want to be well known and wealthy; whereas, others simply want to live a comfortable life without financial burdens. Either way, everyone should be equipped with the tools to embark on a path of financial empowerment. In each stage of our lives financial planning and preparation is essential. Building financial independence early leads to true empowerment later on. Check out the tips below and get started on your road to financial empowerment.


In your twenties, most are experiencing new found freedom. This decade is made up of fun, education, and independence. At times, very little thought goes into future financial planning. On average, most twenty something people have either went off to college or moved out of their parent’s home. Getting a jumpstart on saving and financial responsibility will definitely help in the long run. • •

Engage in Financial Planning. Consulting with a professional helps you set yourself up for a successful future. Purchase group life and disability insurance (this is your biggest asset). The days of young people getting by without health insurance are long passed. Obtaining life and disability insurance early on can help prevent any rejections later on because of health complications. Equipping oneself with health insurance helps prevent future debt that can be acquired from excessive medical expenses. Full participation in employer’s 401(k) plan or if employer doesn’t have a 401(k) plan, start a Roth IRA. Save at least 10% of your salary to begin with while increasing your contribution by 1% per year if possible. If it goes out of your paycheck before you see it, you will adjust to it. Pay off debt. Eliminate early acquired debt during this time. Small collection items or credit card balances that can affect your credit score now should be tackled before they become large financial burdens later. Save for a home; save for an emergency. Whether it’s owning a home or saving for a rainy day; your 20’s would be the time to do it. Having a sufficient nest egg set aside for a large purchase such as a home or for a major repair will help keep you from falling prey to misuse of credit cards.


Your thirties have approached and you’ve started laying the ground work for financial empowerment. If you’re just now starting on your journey to financial empowerment, it’s never too late. So your twenties are gone and you are embracing a new era. Maturity is setting in, a new career is on the horizon

and you are preparing to start a family. Toss in a new car and possibly a home and you’ve got a new set of financial responsibilities. For this phase of your life a different set of tips will help you navigate your 30’s and help you stay on track. •

• •

Update financial plan. Since your financial responsibilities have changed, your financial plan should reflect them. Large purchases such as a home, car and other investments should be included in your financial plan so you can maintain a clear picture of your financial goals. Sign up for supplemental group life insurance. Also, purchase life and disability insurance outside of work. If you have children, get life with a child rider. We all love the option of full benefits that come with the nice salary and corner office, but what happens if you lose your job? Purchasing additional insurance that is not dependent upon your employment will create a better security blanket for you and your family. Increase your 401(k) contribution. If you don’t have a Roth, start one and start saving. If your salary has increased, your 401k contribution should as well. In addition to your 401k, you should also start an IRA outside of work. Increasing the areas in which you save in will ensure a comfortable retirement when you decide on that option. Carry no credit card debt Save for an emergency or a large purchase. If you have children, open up a 529 Plan for education.


It’s official, you are definitely an adult! You have probably become settled in your career, your family has grown and you are working towards retirement. Your upward mobility has probably increased your salary and with that comes bigger financial purchases. Maintaining your financial responsibility is of great importance as you draw closer to preparing for retirement and your children seeking higher education. Grab hold of your financial reigns

as we continue on this journey to being financially empowered. • • • • • •

Update financial plan Update will, durable power of attorney, beneficiaries Increase your 401K contribution Enroll in health care & dependent care reimbursement accounts No credit card debt Continue to save in a Roth IRA


The time has finally come and you’ve come full circle. Your kids are close to leaving home to head off to college, while you’re counting down to retirement. You’re ready to enjoy the fruits from all the hard work you have put in over the years. Before you do be sure you follow to these steps to guarantee an easy flowing and comfortable retirement. • • • • • •

Update financial plan Update will, durable power of attorney, beneficiaries Max out your 401K contribution Invest outside of 401(k) Obtain long-term care insurance Create retirement income plan

The overall keys to financial empowerment are to save, save, save and eliminate debt. Live within your means. Minimize the plastic use. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Develop a budget and stick to the budget. It is very important for you to know how much income is coming in and what is going out. You have to identify what you are spending your money on. Be sure to save every receipt for a month so you are able to get an idea of where you can cut back on your spending. This will assist in tracking your spending habits and will aid in you having additional money to pay off debt or save for that emergency. Financial information provided by: Halina Conti, CRPC, MBA Financial Advisor Ameriprise Financial Services

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Local Director 314-645-8333 1300 Hampton Saint Louis MO 63139 The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (“NACA”) is a non-profit, community advocacy and homeownership organization. NACA’s primary goal is to build strong, healthy neighborhoods in urban and rural areas nationwide through affordable homeownership. NACA has made the dream of homeownership a reality for thousands of working people by counseling them honestly and effectively, enabling even those with poor credit to purchase a home or modify their predatory loan with far better terms than those provided even in the prime market. INVESTING IN WORKING PEOPLE The NACA homeownership program is our answer to the huge subprime and predatory lending industry. NACA has conclusively shown that when working people get the benefit of a prime rate loan, they can resolve their financial problems, make their mortgage payments and become prime borrowers. NACA’s track record of helping people who have credit problems become homeowners or modify their predatory loan debunks the myth that high rates and fees are necessary to compensate for their “credit risk.” Started in 1988, NACA has a tremendous track record of successful advocacy against predatory and discriminatory lenders as well as providing the best mortgage program in America with $10 billion in funding commitments. NACA’s confrontational community organizing and unprecedented mortgage program have set the national standard for assisting low- and moderate-income people to achieve the dream of homeownership.

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Everyone gets the same incredible terms, including the below-market interest rate, regardless of their credit score or other factors. NACA also provides free, comprehensive housing services. NACA counsels Members into the extraordinary NACA mortgage using character-based lending criteria that takes each Member’s circumstances into account to determine whether they are ready for homeownership and what they can afford. This is in contrast to risk-based pricing where people are often given loans they cannot afford while brokers and others make tremendous fees and profits. DELUX MAGAZINE


22 November | December 2015


Arthur Smith Photographer: Mc ia Hunt en ve La : up ke Ma s Hair: Makia Brook yr Brooks Model: Jenneph

DELUX Skin Tips: E

very bride wants to look radiant and ravishing on her wedding day, but with the challenges of wedding planning, it is often easy to put off your skin and body care needs until the very last minute. That is a “no-no” if you’re wanting your skin to be at its smoothest and shine its brightest on your big day! It’s recommended that you begin a pre-wedding beauty program preferably at least 6 months before you’re ready to walk down the aisle in order to improve your skin and be your most flawless. The reason many brides look so polished and glowing on their wedding day, is not just because of a skilled makeup artist, though that certainly helps, it’s also because their beauty preparation began long before the invitations went out. With your special day approaching, it is best to begin your skin and body care regiment by seeking the professional services of a reputable esthetician or dermatologist. Be sure that they offer a wide range of services to ensure that you receive all of the attention that you may need Begin by scheduling a consultation. What may be fabulous for your friend may not be right for you. Seeking the help of a skilled skin care professional will help you plan a service timeline and expose you to skin renewing and regenerating treatments such as facials, ultrasonic exfoliation, microdermabrasion, LED light therapy, oxygen injection therapy, microcurrent face lifts, and chemical peels, which are all extremely beneficial


to giving you a bridal glow. Also, expect to go home with professional skin care products and a homecare treatment plan to help with maintaining the results that you received in-office. The skin care professional you choose should also offer body care services which will help to ensure that you are shining and looking your best from head to toe. Your wedding day is a fantastic excuse to work on finally combatting your body care issues. Look into receiving smoothening treatments such as body waxing, body scrubs and body peels to help you to achieve that even, supple, smooth glow that all brides want. Non-invasive body contouring treatments such as the Sudatonic far-infrared sauna blanket will help you to safely and quickly lose full-body fat, and much needed inches, in order to be sure that you fit perfectly into your dream dress. Other procedures popular with today’s brides are contouring wraps, cool laser lipo, cellulite reduction therapy, fat freeze, buttocks enhancement therapy, back “facials”, and ultrasonic skin tightening. These treatments are excellent for minimizing body fat and tightening the skin with little to no downtime. You may also consider training your waist on your own with the help of a latex waist trainer. Your upcoming wedding is also a good reason to seek out the assistance of a personal trainer and begin a regular work-out regimen. Working up a sweat is not only excellent for shedding unwanted pounds, but is an awesome way to rid

your skin of unwanted toxins. This will certainly add to your glow! Remember, it is very important to consume plenty of water and begin adding Omega fish oil supplements to your daily routine. This combination will help to further purge the skin of toxins and help you to gain a plump, hydrated and youthful appearance. At least 2 months prior to your nuptials, you want to have selected your makeup artist, hairstylist, and nail artist. Each should be willing to meet with you one-on-one, listen to your needs, and deliver the look that you request. Expect to have these artists take before & after photos and chart all of the steps & products used to create each desired look. Make sure that you communicate clearly with these individuals because you don’t want to suffer from any major shocks on the day of your wedding. These professionals are part of your wedding party and are responsible for creating the final look that you will be wearing down the aisle and throughout your reception. You deserve to look absolutely flawless from start to finish!

Words by April Whittington, LE Licensed Esthetician and Owner of Skin by April IG: @SkinByApril DELUX MAGAZINE


䐀䔀䰀唀堀䴀䄀䜀䄀娀䤀一䔀 倀刀䔀匀䔀一吀匀

圀䔀 䈀刀唀一䌀䠀⸀ 刀匀嘀倀 圀圀圀⸀䐀䔀䰀唀堀䴀䄀䜀⸀䌀伀䴀

䈀 刀 唀 一䌀 䠀   簀   嘀 䤀 䈀 䔀   簀   匀 伀 䌀䤀 䄀䰀 䤀娀 䔀

圀䔀  䰀伀嘀䔀ꀀ 䈀刀唀一䌀䠀  眀椀琀栀  愀  㤀 猀  猀漀甀渀搀琀爀愀挀欀⸀  倀爀椀瘀愀琀攀  䰀漀挀愀琀椀漀渀猀⸀  䈀礀  䤀渀瘀椀琀愀琀椀漀渀  伀渀氀礀⸀  䄀渀  漀瘀攀爀  琀栀攀  琀漀瀀  挀甀氀椀渀愀爀礀  攀砀瀀攀爀椀攀渀挀攀 戀氀攀渀搀攀搀ꀀ眀椀琀栀 戀攀愀甀琀椀昀甀氀 瀀攀漀瀀氀攀 愀渀搀 愀 攀挀氀攀挀琀椀挀 瘀椀戀攀⸀ ꀀ吀栀椀猀 椀猀 昀漀爀 琀栀攀 挀漀漀氀℀ ꀀ圀䔀 䰀伀嘀䔀 䈀刀唀一䌀䠀 椀猀 匀琀⸀  䰀漀甀椀猀  渀攀琀眀漀爀欀椀渀最  搀椀渀椀渀最  攀砀瀀攀爀椀攀渀挀攀猀  琀栀愀琀  猀愀琀椀猀昀椀攀猀  愀氀氀  栀甀洀愀渀  琀愀猀琀攀  昀爀漀洀  昀漀漀搀  琀漀  洀甀猀椀挀⸀  ꀀ 䔀渀樀漀礀  戀漀琀琀漀洀氀攀猀猀  洀椀洀漀猀愀猀Ⰰ 挀甀猀琀漀洀 洀攀渀甀猀Ⰰ 愀渀搀 愀渀 攀砀瀀攀爀椀攀渀挀攀 琀栀愀琀 眀椀氀氀 栀愀瘀攀 礀漀甀 琀栀攀 攀渀瘀礀 漀昀  礀漀甀爀 瀀攀攀爀猀⸀ ꀀ匀瀀愀挀攀 椀猀 氀椀洀椀琀攀搀⸀ 儀 唀 䔀 匀 吀 䤀 伀 一 匀 㼀   䌀伀 一 吀䄀䌀 吀   ㌀ ㄀ 㐀 뫶 㔀 㘀 ㄀ 뫶 㜀 ㌀ ㈀     䔀 堀 吀   㜀   ㄀           䤀 一 䘀 伀 ㏶ 䐀 䔀 䰀唀 堀 䴀䄀䜀 ⸀ 䌀伀 䴀   圀 圀 圀⸀ 䐀 䔀 䰀唀 堀 䴀䄀䜀 ⸀ 䌀伀 䴀 ⼀ 圀 䔀 䰀伀嘀 䔀 䈀 刀唀 一 䌀 䠀

24 November | December 2015


People are going to be starring so give them a masterpiece! Getting married is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Ironically Going Natural is right up there on the top of the list with it. They both literally change your life when you think about it; you start a journey of self-discovery. HERE ARE TIPS ARE FOR THE BRIDE TO BE THAT HAS NATURAL HAIR. Whisper Tip #1 No need to stress over curls. Be sure you are on a good hydrating and moisturizing routine and keep your ends trimmed. Whisper Tip #2 Natural hair is a headpiece all by itself. Consider using a flower or a beautiful piece of jewelry to accent the hair style and texture that you already have. Whisper Tip #3 If you go to a hair stylist to maintain your natural hair, be sure to schedule a practice style where you bring different accent pieces to try with your hair style. I also find it very important to send a picture of your dress to your stylist as well to decide together what will be the best style for your hair. Consider your neck line. For example, if your neck is exposed, and you have a “TWA” (teeny weeny afro), you may want to just make sure your make up is flawless and you accent your hair with a short vail and a beautiful headband or no veil with a beautiful head band. Whisper Tip #4 Wearing your hair natural on your wedding day is a plus. Whether you are indoors or outdoors your hair is going to be flawless. No need to worry about your curls falling because as we know curly hair loves moisture. Be it rain, sleet, shine or snow your natural curls will be just fine.

Whisper Tip #5 These next three tips are for the honeymoon. Be sure to take your hair moisture products with you. Contrary to what you may believe the chlorine from the swimming pool is not the main problem. It is the shampoo that strips your hair even further after your swim in the pool. Consider using Whisper Whip to cleanse your hair which will allow you to maintain moisture balance and hydrate your curls. Whisper Tip #6 Although I love sew in’s as a protective style from time to time, I can’t tell you how irritating it is to see my sisters on the beach or around the pool not being able to enjoy themselves because they don’t want to get their hair wet. Think about this: If you are going on a honeymoon to some tropical island, more than likely your mate is going to want to get up close and personal in that ocean or in the pool and anywhere else if you know what I mean. Why inhibit that moment with “Don’t touch my hair, don’t wet my hair” chatter. What better way to be connected than to be able to allow your mate to sweep you away and get lost in you from head to toe. It really makes a difference and talk about a boost of confidence! Whisper Tip #7 Mildew is real! Please understand that as beautiful as that sew in may be: Braids with hair sewn to them + moisture from sweat, sea water, pool water, showers aka dark damp places = a perfect combination for a sour smelling head.

For more information please feel free to contact me on Facebook Thehairwhisperer Tendai Or email me at

Your Professional Development Coach Mrs. Sheles Wallace By: Nikki Smith

“What am I doing with the freedom I have today” was a question Sheles Wallace asked herself after attending a community walk in celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After spending much her career in the technology engineering and sales field, Sheles began to wonder was she working in her personal power and utilizing the freedom that so many before her fought for. That’s when she decided to make a transition and pursue her life-long passion of public speaking. A certified John C. Maxwell Coach trainer and speaker,, Sheles is a strong advocate for helping others reach their personal power. She believes that this “gives you the freedom to think, express yourself, be who you are, and love the work that you are doing.” She coaches others in obtaining personal empowerment which is critical to professional development and gives the following advice to DELUX readers as they explore their personal power: Define your own self-image, be confident, and don’t allow anyone else to define that image for you. • Don’t lose your self-worth in a bad experience- stay resilient. • In order to help someone, you may have to go through some things, both good and bad. Remember the great words of Frederick Douglas, “Without struggle, there can be no progress.” • Stop worrying about what other people think. Worrying about what others think and have, takes you off focus from being the best you. • We all have a gift , our purpose is embedded in our personal passion—once you figure out what that is, you’re unstoppable. Sheles Wallace is a Chicago native and graduate of Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville (B.S.) and Webster University (M.B.A) as well as a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She is also a loving mom and wife. “Make good decisions and believe in those decisions.”

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Naturally Perfect Candle Company has evolved to create handmade candles made of the best soy wax from various suppliers in the United States, skin-safe fragrances from local (St. Louis) vendors and adorned with hand painted calligraphy designs. Since our inception, we have also added handcrafted incense and home decor pieces. Naturally Perfect Candle Company continues to improve its craftsmanship, variety of handmade soy candle designs and overall presentation to farmer's markets and vending shows around the St. Louis area. I'd love to share my handmade crafts with you! | 314-642-6722




Whenever considering the health of skin, it is important to start internally. The Liver and the Kidneys are two major organs of detoxification and are important in flushing out the toxins that are known to build up and come out through the skin. Although excess toxins are the most common cause of skin disorders, excess and deficient hormones can also become a cause. When the hormone production pathway is altered, this can present as skin disturbance. Another common skin disruption is due to an allergic response. This occurs with conditions of allergies, asthma or food and chemical sensitivities. This is usually seen as an outbreak on the skin that is very abrupt and acute. The immune system becomes more of a focus with this scenario and the treatments are all surrounding decreasing that immune/allergic response in the body. The last, and quite common, cause of skin concerns, are emotional in nature. The emotional concerns can occur alongside another of the more “physical” concerns. The emotional response is very powerful and can be the leading cause in many cases. With that, the treatment will still address the possible physical concern as well as the underlying emotional state.





• Explore possible food allergies • Increase foods that are high in beta-carotene (provitamin A): yellow, orange and green foods such as dandelion greens, spinach, squash, carrots, zucchini, etc. • Increase essential fatty acids (there has been a link to dysfunctional fat metabolism and skin diseases) – using olive or sesame oil and eating fresh fatty fish (salmon, tilapia, etc.)

• Burdock root (Arctium lappa) is very cleansing and purging skin toxicities • Herbal detox for the liver and kidney consisting of dandelion, stinging nettle and/or red clover


• Homeopathy addresses the physical and emotional component to health • Homeopathic Silica or Sulphur can greatly help in creating balance with the skin


• Finding healthy ways of decreasing stress, such as meditation or journaling • Exercise can help by decreasing stress, it serves as a healthy physical release of emotions and it increases sweating which purges toxins from the skin. Consider brisk walking, yoga and/or tai chi.


• Fats, Fats, Fats - fats are oils and using oils for the skin can not only cleanse but also, replenish (jojoba, grapeseed, coconut, shea butter and olive are all great oils to use) • Sweating is important in releasing toxins, either through exercise or sauna • Dry Skin Brushing and Salt/Sugar scrubs can physically pull toxins out of the skin • Using little to no chemicals will enhance the health of the skin in the longterm

Beneficial foods: mung or adzuki beans, cucumber, chlorophyll-rich foods and alfalfa or soy sprouts Harmful foods: spicy, fatty and greasy foods; limit the number of sweets, citrus fruits and seafood such as shrimp, crabs and oysters Treatments: • increase sweating (this flushes toxins out faster) • burdock and yarrow herbs may be beneficial • liver and kidney cleanse/flush

Beneficial foods: fatty fish Harmful foods: dairy (milk products and cheese) Treatment: • apply raw honey to the area of itching • using shea butter as a moisturizer (very anti-inflammatory and soothing to the skin) • cleansing the skin with pure castille soap


Treatment: • washing with a tea made of the herb sarsaparilla daily • applying garlic oil (Garlic Oil Recipe: crush 4 cloves of garlic in 4 oz of sesame oil, let this sit overnight)

RAZOR BUMPS [known as pseudofolliculitis barbae] Treatment:

• washing with witch hazel or tea tree oil (diluted in almond oil or water) •shea butter to the skin daily – shea butter is a natural anti-inflammatory and it helps to soften the hair and hair follicle (best applied after shaving) • aspirin mask: make smooth paste of 4-5 uncoated aspirin with water and apply it on the skin and allow it to stand for 10-15 minutes. Aspirin has antiinflammatory properties and may reduce swelling and mild infection. Please follow with an appropriate moisturizer, such as shea butter.



Photo Courtesy of: ALLEN B. THOMPSON

28 November | December 2015


Love Stories

beautiful { SAINT LOUIS }

Our mission is to celebrate, inspire and uplift women of color and their journey to love, marriage and

even motherhood. This platform was designed to showcase positive imagery and embody the love that

we seek to share, as we invite our readers to partake in the most precious and intimate moments of life. DELUX Magazine aims to honor all men & women of color, while celebrating their beauty, style, grace

essence, and regalness. Delux Magazines Wedding Edition above all things is a celebration of love, and the many facets that love can be expressed. We are committed to becoming a resource to all couples as they embark on one of the most important days of their lives, and beyond. We are honored to be on this journey with you.



30 January | February 2016

Ted & Makeda Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (June 12th 2014) - Whilst attending a destination wedding of one of their dear friends in the beautiful city of Punta Cana on the island nation of the Dominican Republic, the young couple, seemingly exhausted from a day of vacation activities headed back to their hotel room. “Let’s get freshened up and head out to the out door bar” he said anxiously, as he tried to figure out how he would smuggle this ring and ring box so she wouldn’t know what was coming. To his surprise she responded, “Honestly, I could just lay here and watch TV tonight, i’m beat” [insert ironic blank stare here]. After about 30 minutes he says in his coolest non assertive, assertive voice, “Girl come on, we only got a few more days, might as well step out, if only for a minute”. She knodded in agreement and the couple gathered their things, her clutch and his ugly souvenir man bag, in which his surprise was securely hidden.. The night was warm, mid 80 degrees w/ not a cloud in sight. The stars seemed to glow, in fact they appeared so close that you could reach up and grab them. They entered the court yard, which was bustling with activity. There was live entertainment, families enjoying cocktails & conversation, the energy was welcoming and relaxing. After a round of cocktails they decided to take a walk on the beach. Without giving it a second thought they were off. They strolled hand in hand through the court yard and onto one of the most beautifully garden paths they’d ever seen. A pair of smooth sandstone paths laid way to an awe inspiring fountain walk way where beams of water shot out from side to side perfectly synchronized as it bounced off center stones and pebbles. At the end of this path the couple continued on through finely manicured a lawn, coconut trees, lush island flowers, the main pool area and on to the sandy entrance to the beach. “This is perfect” he thought, “she hasn’t go a clue”. A moon lit beach, the sound of waves wrestling with the surf, cool island breezes and conversations about life, work, family and future. On the way to the beautiful fountain path he spotted a quaint open air pavilion nestled perfectly at the end of their current path. “This is it” he thought. He discretely slipped the ring box out of his bag and proceeded to check out a hanging flower blossom in the pavilion. As soon as they reached the pavilion, as if it was fate, the fountain suddenly stopped shooting streams of water. “Look at that, looks like we broke the fountain”, as soon as she turned her gaze to the fountain he quickly drop to one knee and presented the ring box (yes, he went to Jared). As she turned back around to find her beau on bended knee she was rendered speechless. With a quick clearing of his throat he proceeded to say, “Makeda Crane, would you do me the honor of sharing the rest of your life with me? Will you marry me”. Her response was to put both hands to her face and ask, “Is this real? is this really happening, oh my God Teddy, are you for real”, “Yes, yes, yes i will”.. She said yes, he slipped the ring on to her finger and the rest is ....... “their-story”

Photo Courtesy of: ALLEN B. THOMPSON



Photo Courtesy of: ALLEN B. THOMPSON

Photo Courtesy of: D. Stewarrt Photography

Dress & Belt: Amera Mustafa Shoes: Bronx Diba Jewelry: Yoro Designs

Photo Courtesy of: ALLEN B. THOMPSON

Photo Courtesy of: Lawrence Bryant



Photo Courtesy of: ALLEN B. THOMPSON

Photo Courtesy of: ALLEN B. THOMPSON



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SCAN THE QR CODE TO FIND THE STORE NEAREST YOU. Basic, Smart and Pro plans: Monthly plan price includes taxes, applicable fees and unlimited domestic talk, text and data. Unlimited plans include 2.5 GB, 5 GB or 10 GB of high speed data access, depending on your plan. Use exceeding this high speed access allowance will result in reduced access speeds of a maximum 128 Kbps for the rest of your monthly plan cycle. Auto Pay: Sign up for Auto Pay on a Basic, Smart or Pro plan and save $5 on your monthly bill. Appears as $5 account credit each month at the end of your billing cycle for as long as you stay on Auto Pay. Sign up using your smartphone app or online. Auto Pay savings cannot be combined with Group Save. Restrictions Apply. See Auto Pay terms and conditions at 4G LTE coverage not available everywhere. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. See Advocate for details or visit Š 2015 Cricket Wireless LLC. All rights reserved.

40 November | December 2015

Basic, Smart and Pro plans: Monthly plan price includes taxes, applicable fees and unlimited domestic talk, text and data. Unlimited plans include 2.5 GB, 5 GB or 10 GB of high speed data access, depending on your plan. Use exceeding this high speed access allowance will result in reduced access speeds of a maximum 128 Kbps for the rest of your monthly plan cycle. Auto Pay: Sign up for Auto Pay on a Basic, Smart or Pro plan and save $5 on your monthly bill. Appears as $5 account credit each month at the end of your billing cycle for as long as you stay on Auto Pay. Sign up using your smartphone app or online. Auto Pay savings cannot be combined with Group Save. Restrictions Apply. See Auto Pay terms and conditions at 4G LTE coverage not available everywhere. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. See Advocate for details or visit Š 2015 Cricket Wireless LLC. All rights reserved.

get away

Leon & Tasha O’Hara


re you or someone you know considering having a destination wedding? Well let this be your guide. Here are some advice and tips, and pros and cons from real brides who chose to have their weddings away from home.

travel season, you should book your venue and reserve blocks of rooms for your guests as soon as possible! Also, it’s crucial to send guests save-the-dates no less than 10 to 12 months in advance so that they can properly plan and make their travel arrangements.


You should also consider going to the destination and venue before the wedding in order to view the venue, do food tastings, select your flower arrangements, meet with a local hair salon, etc.

So you’ve made the decision to get married away from home. Now what? Well first things first, where will the wedding be? When considering the location, it is important to think about the type of mood and environment that you’re trying to have. Do you want a wedding on a beach, or a wedding in the city? It’s also important to consider the type of travel, time, and budget required to make this wedding happen. Another thing to consider when choosing the location is the type of activities outside of the wedding that you want to offer your guests during your wedding weekend. You want to offer them activities that represent you and your personality. For example, if you enjoy going to the beach and swimming in the ocean, then consider getting married in the Bahamas, where you can offer the guests a fun excursion like snorkeling.



how to plan a destination wedding By Caprice Foster Photo courtesy of Lawrence Bryant

Depending on the country where you’re considering getting married, it’s also a good idea to research local marriage requirements prior to selecting the location.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING Now that you’ve selected the location, the sooner you set the date and inform your guests the better. Something to consider in terms of timing is that the best weather in most popular destinations often correlates with its busiest tourism season. This can translate into limited hotel and venue accommodations, and higher travel rates. If you are considering having your wedding during the high

Asantewa Garrett, age 41 of Washington DC, and her husband Demetrius were wed in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico in April of 2013. “The best thing about having the destination wedding was having all of my family and friends together on the beach having a good time. The worst thing was not having everyone there who couldn’t make it,” Garret said. She also said that the hardest part of planning the wedding was not being able to see everything ahead of time.

Ronita Hayes, age 33 of St. Louis, Missouri, married her husband Marquis in Las Vegas, Nevada in September 2009. Hayes also said that the distance was the hardest part of the planning process but following up with vendors with phone calls helped. Hayes had great advice for brides considering a destination wedding. “Make a list of the pros and cons. There are hidden costs that you may not expect that could make it as expensive as if you had the wedding in your home town, and always keep in mind that not everyone can be there. Make sure you have all of your documentation, and follow-up with vendors,” she recommended. She also advised brides to check with the airlines in advance to see if they have a special place on board the plane for your dress to make sure that it won’t be damaged in flight.



wedding venues

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION Wedding Venues in Saint Louis

for Every Bride

Words by: Caprice Foster The big question has been popped, the dress has been picked, and the date has been saved, but where to have the wedding? No matter what type of bride you are or type of wedding you’re planning, the greater Saint Louis area has some incredible venues to help you achieve your vision for your special day! Whether you’re planning to have a wedding for 4 or 400, these venues will blow you away with their care and attention to detail to accommodate your heart’s desires.

reception. For more information, call 314-6152480 or visit


Silver Oaks Chateau Located in Pacific, Missouri, Silver Oaks Chateau provides guests a regal, yet intimate setting for outdoor and indoor ceremonies and receptions. For information, visit www.silveroakschateau. com.

Overlook Farm Located in beautiful Clarksville, Missouri, Overlook Farm offers brides a variety of spaces to provide the perfect setting for their wedding. For more information, call 573-242-3838, or visit Chaumette Vineyards and Winery Approximately an hour and 15 minutes outside of St. Louis, Chaumette Vineyards and Winery provides multiple indoor and outdoor settings, including a barn to host your wedding, and even spa services. For details, call 573-747-1000, or visit

UPTOWN SWANK The Caramel Room The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s historic chocolate factory features modern indoor and rooftop settings for your ceremony and

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Neo on Locust Neo on Locust offers open and industrial spaces with large scale windows and exposed brick to give guests a modern and classy urban experience. For details, call 314-570-9218 or visit


Peabody Opera House There’s nothing like a wedding with a stage! Peabody Opera House offers a variety of large ballrooms and spaces for your special day, all with a backdrop of classic and glamorous architecture. For details, visit www.

GARDEN PARTY The Conservatory – Garden Wedding Venue The Conservatory, located in historic St. Charles, offers brides a beautiful and intimate wedding ceremony inside a romantic glass gardenhouse. For details, visit or call 636-947-0414.

Photo by: Google Services

Missouri Botanical Gardens With its 79 acres of gardens, The Missouri Botanical Gardens offers couples eight unique venues to choose from. For details contact Catering St. Louis at, or call 314-577-0200.

SOMETHING FUN The Saint Louis Zoo Aside from being a fantastic zoo, the Saint Louis Zoo also provides a number of memorable indoor and outdoor locales to host your wedding ceremony and reception. For information, call 314-646-4855 or go to The Magic House The 50,000-square-foot interactive museum known as The Magic House offers unique indoor and outdoor spaces that can accommodate up to 1,000 guests. For more information, call 314288-2535 or visit




Brides and grooms are newly engaged to be married, and I’m going to focus on the reception since I’m a caterer and catering the reception can be the most expensive part of getting married. There are more parts of the wedding that have to be figured in the budget, and to figure out a budget you need to know what you really want. Dreams are fine but you have to be based in reality, so you have to be ready for the basic questions the caterer or food vendor will ask you. 1. How many guests are you planning to invite? Figure in at least 20% not accepting. 2. What time of day will the ceremony be held and what time will the reception begin and end? These questions are important because they will help determine your menu options and budget for staffing. 3. If you do not have a venue, what type of venue would you like? 4. Now for the big questions. What type of food and style of service do you prefer? A cocktail party, seated dinner, family style, buffet, or food stations? The top two selections are generally seated dinners and buffets. What is the difference in price, you ask? The answer is, not much at all. With a seated dinner, the caterer has control over the amount of food served, but with a buffet the caterer has to keep the food replenished. Money can be saved with the silverware choice, rental amounts and staffing could be lessened with the buffet option. Many venues include the rentals in the price per person. 5. What type of bar would you like? There are a lot of choices to choose from. Thinking of premium bar, a rail bar or maybe just champagne? See this is where budgeting can be tricky so plan carefully. Also, don’t forget to decide on the time frame for serving alcohol. To cut cost, try closing the bar a half hour before the end of the reception and convert to a soft drink bar. 6. Ask the caterer if they do custom menus and the layout for how their team will staff the wedding. 7. Cake! Can it be done in house are do you need to consult a bakery? 8. If you anticipate a lot of drinking at the reception, be sure to ask if a late night food menu can be created to help look out for you and your guests. Now there are many more detailed questions but these are the basics to help you start creating a budget. Table cloths, china, flatware selection, music, and décor should also be put on your radar. Keep in mind that a big wedding is not always in the cards so plan your budget based on the type of wedding that you can afford. A great cocktail party, champagne brunch, or a two-hour tea are also very nice choices.

44 January | February 2016




providing logistical and culinary solutions



Providing Logistical & Culinary Solutions


VENUES Third Degree Glass Factory Sheldon Concert Hall The Rialto Ballroom

Mad Art Gallery NEO The Carriage House at DeMenil

“Place, precision and time. The three great axes of Martell craftsmanship; an expertise and emotion passed from hand to hand since 1715.”



n the darkness and silence of the Martell cellars, the eaux-de-vie gently slumber. Days, months, years pass. Sleepy-eyed and lazy, time rolls on.

But a beautiful transformation is taking place inside the oak barrels. As a living material, the oak wood provides the eau-de-vie with its structure and handsome amber colour. Indeed, it is the wood that helps the eau-de-vie develop the last stage of its aromatic personality. Martell has always opted exclusively for barrels made of soft, fine-grain oak - its special feature being that it transmits soft, well-balanced aromas to the cognac eaux-de-vie, lending them notes of vanilla, dried fruit, red fruit, chutney and dried flowers. The oak wood used for Martell barrels comes from trees of the Tronçais style. This means that the oaks are planted closer together, leaving less light for each sapling and slowing their growth rate. The result is fine grain oak wood, called so since the rings representing growth are more compact. Barrels made from this type of wood give the eaux-de-vie aged within them a lighter and more delicate woody taste. “When transferred to the oak barrels, the eaux-de-vie are completely colourless. Only through contact with the rich oak do they take on their amber hue.”

Martell “Confetti” Looking ahead to this weekend, the forecast is predicting crisp winter weather. The official season of winter is upon us and the Martell Confetti Cocktail is the perfect libation to help you welcom the blistering cold and snuggle up with that special someone creating warmer tempertures. The warming sips of Martell, combined with the sweet taste of pineapples will make cuffing season a delicious one.

Martell Cherry Lemon Cooler Recipe: • 1.5 parts Martell VS Cognac • 6 Maraschino Cherries • 1 part Pineapple • 1 part Triple Sec • Top with Cranberry Juice

Along with the choice of wood, the type of barrel used also greatly affects the flavour of the eaux-de-vie. If made with completely new wood, barrels impart a strong wood taste, whereas Wbarrels that have previously held eau-de-vie, give a much subtler flavour. A final, major taste element is ‘toasting’ - a process where the inside of the barrels are gently burnt to help release the complex flavours within the oak. This affects the wood taste - the more they are burnt, the more prominent the wood flavour. At Martell the barrels are lightly toasted to preserve the flavour of the eaux-de-vie.

46 January | February 2016

Now available at: The Marquee, The Olive Bar, The UBar, Elmo’s, Swishh, Cuetopia, Knockouts Bar & Grill, JCs Supper Club, Fleur De Lilies, and other retailers. Request Martell Cognav at you favorite establishment. Remember please drink responsibly

eat. drink. socialize. from Spain, Moscato from Italy or a sparkling from California. These are some good alternatives that you might like even better. A few bottles just for the toast can be better than offering it on the list for the guests for the rest of the evening. Also, it’s ok to ask for a special bottle just for the two of you at your sweetheart table, you don’t have to always share.

Photo by: Lawrence Bryant

When thinking about you and your groom, if you have a special memory where you opened a bottle of wine or popped a cork, definitely consider this for your celebration as it will make your night even better. See if the venue can order a bottle or two in for you, or see if you can bring in a bottle for a corkage fee, you never know until you ask. If they can order it in, they usually only need a few weeks before they place the order so you can make decisions closer to the big day.

CHEERS! WINE OR CHAMPAGNE by: Lori “ShotBerry” Butler, CSW, WSET level II and Champage location specialist

When thinking about food and picking your menu, some things to consider for wine; red wines for pasta and beef, white wines for chicken and fish and sweet wine or sparkling with dessert. If the sauce is fruity, a white can be better, if the sauce is creamy a heavier chardonnay or hearty red can be best. You pick, it’s what you and your guests will like. If you love Shiraz then maybe back into the food and have a great Australian red with a couple of meat dishes. A lot of venues have a minimum dollar order that you will have to meet. Confirm that the wine and liquor package can be part of this. If you are close to meeting your limit but are not quite there and don’t want to order the premium package, see if you can order bottles outside the package to bump up your total. These can be poured for guests that that are wine lovers as others may want something else. Usually you just have to let your event planner know which table numbers will get which wines. If you have a wine lovin group, one idea might be to use a bottle of wine as part of the décor on the tables. Especially red as it does not have to be kept as cool as whites. Perhaps your event coordinator will give a case discount so that ordering more actually saves you some money. A lighter pinot noir can sometimes be a safe bet as it usually goes with everything on the menu. For you, lovely bride, maybe stick to white and sparkling as you don’t want to spill red wine on your amazing dress ‘cause pictures go on throughout the night. If you are changing your dress during the event so that you can dance, then switch things up as you go and enjoy! As you think about the night winding down and want to hold onto those memories, perhaps ask the staff upfront to save the wine and Champagne corks. You can write the date on them and display them somewhere in your house to make you smile as you pass by on a busy day.

Getting married can be a wonderful, exciting, nerve wracking, nail biting and exhausting time. It is a whirlwind of emotions and a whole lot of decisions. The bride has to keep it together while keeping track of all the moving parts. She has to try and stay on budget and keep calm when family gets involved which can be quite overwhelming.

When the night is over, remember that you paid for those wine bottles, make sure someone collects the ones that aren’t used and see if you can cork and keep the ones that have been opened but are not empty. You might as well enjoy these on the days to come and keep on celebrating!

Being a recent newlywed myself, I weathered the planning storm and ended up having the time of my life on my very happy day. With all of the little details that come into play, I have a few thoughts and tips that might help to make things easier at your big party.

A very important note to share, and one you might want to write down, everything you decide and ask for needs to be documented in the contract or banquet event order. Before you sign the last copy, make sure you read it thoroughly making sure they have incorporated all of your conversations and emails where you have stated something you want. If it’s not in the contract, they don’t have to honor it.

First and foremost, this is Your day! You need to do what you want or think is best. Don’t be pressured into making a decision right on the spot if you are not comfortable. It’s ok to say “thank you for the information, I will think about it and get back to you”, or “thank you for your suggestion, I will definitely consider it”. It’s ok to say that to family members too! Early on, as you are picking your reception venue, definitely go for a tasting. At that time you should check out the actual room layout, décor and service level, along with the food choices. You should also ask to taste the wines and Champagnes, and look over the beer and liquor packages. Venues usually have several price packages and lots of choices so maybe let them suggest some pairings to get you started. If you are thinking about a Champagne toast to kick off the party, and don’t have the budget for the bubbles from France, see if they have sparkling Cava

Last but not least, have fun! Enjoy every moment that you can of the planning and during your special day, time goes by fast and it soon will be the best memory of your life. In closing, I just want to personally wish you lots of love and happiness on your wedding day continued throughout your life’s journey together! One key thing to remember up front, no matter what you choose, make sure that everything is in writing in your contract or BEO (banquet event order). DELUX MAGAZINE




hen a resourceful person with an interest in our community gains the spotlight, the community win’s. Craig Thomas is the type of person who uses his skills to touch topics that communities are all known to go through. Thomas is an up and coming taste maker in the television and film industry with ideas and plans that are sure spark a conversation on things we tend to avoid. CRAIG THOMAS THE FILM DIRECTOR Craig Thomas is a Milwaukee born; St. Louis raised; selftaught director who has lots of discussions he wants to ignite. At a young age, Thomas realized that he never looked at movie character development the same as most. He then began to develop characters who touch on topics that affect our community. Topics like education versus quick come up’s, addiction’s, handicapped members and more topics he doesn’t want DELUX to spoil for you. ON IMPORTANCE OF WEARY TOPICS “I like to talk about what’s heavy on my mind. I don’t want to do a movie about things that don’t interest the community or I. If I’m going to spend resources and energy on something, I’d rather it hit home for people.”


THOMAS Film Director Words by: Alexy Irving Photo: McArthur25

48 January | February 2016

HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE “I’d like to thank DELUX, the people of St. Louis for choosing to invest in what I believe in and Tony Thompson who finds it important to help support people he believes in.” “My projects feature people that I believe in. People like my son, Chad Thomas, who is an amazing actor and proved it when he blew away the likes of Robi Reed, who was responsible for putting Martin and Jamie Foxx in their most acclaimed. I will be working with Robi on a television series and I also plan on dedicating a movie to Mike Brown Junior and working with people like Andrew Wiggins to bring my stories to the masses.”

FILMS TOUCHING COMMUNITIES “The recent happenings in St. Louis have directly impacted me as a director. My son and his friends go to a local high school and that alone makes me want to help. I base several characters off of people who have had a direct impact on my life growing up in St. Louis. Characters like: Jojo, who can’t speak and is wheelchair bound but touches soul’s like none other, or Greg Fields who was a member of my high school community that deserves his name living on. Each character was developed to touch a certain topic that I think people will really like. EDUCATION AND COME UPS My movie “First Pick” is what helps when it comes to me reaching out to these big names. I feel like without this movie under my belt, people wouldn’t take me as seriously as directors like Spike Lee or Nate Parker. The movie “The First Pick” focusses on education with a basketball push. Think “He Got Game” mixed with “Boys In The Hood”. It discusses education in a way that resonates with our community. “ “The lead actor, Hit Man Holla, has a decision to make between continuing his education or pursuing a basketball career. Along the way, I developed characters that we all have featured in our personal lives. Greg Fields, who has remained a loyal friend to our lead character. Don Benjamin is featured in the film as the new friend who comes with our leads best interest at heart. We also have people of our community featured in this film like: Petey Weestro a rapper who went to Pattonville high school, Loose Cannon Slim who is an entertainment specialist in St. Louis, and my son, Chad Thomas.”

Lunc h Hours

Monday–Friday 11am-2pm 2617 Washington Avenue Saint Louis, Missouri 63103

Dinner Service Wednesday 5pm -10pm Thursday 5pm -12am Friday 5pm -1:30am Saturday 5pm -1:30am

Live M usic

Wed-Friday 7pm-9pm Find us on facebook Follow us on twitter @theRusticGoat

314. 371 . 4031 DELUX MAGAZINE


Photographer Lawrence Bryant


50 November | December 2015


Wedding Guide

Photographer Allen B. @AllenBwithAg Our Wedding IG is @AgWeddingphotos

Wanna add your business to The DELUX Wedding Directory? Contact us today. Place your brand in front of DELUX readers all year!!! email

Wedding Planners Photographers AR EVENT PLANNING 1113 Wooden Dr., Florissant, 773-457-1852 www.

AG PHOTOGRAPHY 7 North Oaks Plaza, Saint Louis, 314-669-4657

Make Up Artist


DIVINE EVENTS 11425 Dorsett Rd #202, Maryland Heights, 314-805-3587

LB PHOTOGRAPHY Saint Louis, 314-445-9718

TARA LOWERY 1430 Washington Ave 105, St Louis, 314-805-3587

ICED IMPRESSIONS 1111 Arsenal Ave, Saint Louis, (314) 219-9272 /IcedImpressions

STYLE COUTURE EVENTS 5335 Highway N, Cottleville, 314-479-3204

MCARTHUR PHOTOGRAPHY, Saint Louis, 843 324 5432

NETTIE KELLY 3840 Washington Ave Studio 218, Saint Louis, 314-498-6299

SweetArt 2203 South 39th Street, St. Louis, 314-771-4278

KAYDIS EVENT PLANNING, Saint Louis, 314-458-6425

LANCE THURMAN 2609 S. Kingshighway, Saint Louis, 314-368-3599


La Patisserie Chouquette 1626 Tower Grove St Louis 314-805-3587

6 DEGREES EVENT PLANNING, Maryland Heights, 314-229-8007

SUTBERRY PHOTOGRAPHY Saint Louis/ Illinois 618-406-0041

The Rebel Florist 1414 Park Ave St. Louis, 314-962-3232

Sugaree Baking Company 1242 Tamm Avenue St. Louis, 314-645-5496

Bella Daydream Events St. Louis, 314-537-1739

iDEX PHOTOGRAPHY, Saint Louis/ Illinois 618-407-3288

Artistry Florist & Event Design 2734 LaSalle Street, St. Louis 314-772-1301

La Bonne Bouchee 12344 Olive Blvd Creve Coeur 314-576-6606

Simcha’s Events 55 Chaminade Drive St. Louis, 314-458-5463

JOSEPH CAMPBELL Saint Louis/Kansas City/ Mid-Missouri Area 314-805-3587

Wildflowers 1013 Ohio Avenue St. Louis, 314-772-9900

Sarah’s Cake Shop 10 Clarkson Wilson Centre - Chesterfield, 314-728-1140

Cosmopolitan Events 18132 Big Bend Boulevard St. Louis 314-249-9107

CEDRIC SCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY 3840 Washington Av 218, Saint Louis , 314363-6303

The Special Events Florist Call for Consult. Saint Louis, 314-845-3362

The Sweet Divine 1801 S 9th St St. Louis, 636-942-2900

UnVeiled Beauty 314-718-4272

CAKES BY NETTE 1130 N Florissant, Ferguson, 314-562-7193 www.cakebynettecom







The start of a new year brings fresh beginnings, new journeys and inspiration. Let 2016 be your “glowup” year! Whether it is a promotion or moving on to a new chapter, here are some useful tips and tools to guide you on your journey. Before you make the next move, make sure it is a move that you are genuinely passionate about; not only will your passion show, but also this new move will give you day-to-day motivation to keep you going. Networking is an important tool that can help you get in the door and up the ladder. Attend some events (DELUX has plenty) and mingle! Be sure to have good conversation, keeping the conversation two sided and don’t forget to exchange information! Business cards can be a small, but effective tool in your arsenal. Look into getting business cards with your name and any key information about yourself, but remember to

keep it short, sweet and to the point with powerful words that accurately describe you and what you are about. Business cards should be an intro to a resume or cover letter, leaving just enough interest for the potential cardholder to want to know more about you. Getting a mentor can also open up doors and provide inside expertise in the area you are seeking to enter or excel in. If there is someone who you admire and want to seek mentorship with, contact them and if time permits invite them to a lunch meeting and go from there. If schedules do not sync up for a mentorship, see if you can email them monthly with updates and questions. If there is someone you know personally and you are interested in starting a mentorship with him or her, just go after it! Mentorship is an old tool (just like apprenticeship) that can reap lifelong dividends. Mentorships can also act as another form of networking from someone in the field or who has been. Along with mentorship, take it upon yourself to learn as much about

54 January | February 2016

your future endeavors as you can. Check out some self-help books, learn more about the company you wish to join, research what you can do to help you secure that promotion, etc. Invest in your personal growth. If a promotion within your company is what you are after, be cautious with your plans. Keep your moves and intentions low (this is different from showing your employers you are worthy of the promotion), but the whole office should not and do not want to hear you brag about your possible promotion. This not only can leave a sour taste in your coworkers’ mouth, but your employers could see it as arrogance. If your next career move is changing scenery and potentially moving to another company, (along with being qualified) make sure that you have done your research on that company so that if and when you have your interview you can show your future employers that you are prepared and ready. Be yourself, but remember it is beneficial to have something unique and beneficial

that you can offer a company. Is it that you are versed in HTML, excelled in an old project with your former employer, what sets you apart from other candidates? Another small, yet effective tool is writing out your goals with an action plan on implementing them into a reality. If you plan on moving up the ladder, what steps can you take to get there? Is it starting from the bottom and proving to your employer that you are capable of doing the “not-so-glamorous” job and doing it well and that you have dedication to the company? Writing down goals and sticking to them will not only keep you on track, but also give you a personal sense of accomplishment once you have tackled each goal. The thing about having a toolbox is there will always be room to expand and grow, so be excited to put these tools and tips to use! Remember you are only sharpening your tools and yourself! Be on point!

䄀䈀伀唀吀 唀匀  刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 䄀挀愀搀攀洀礀 椀猀 愀 瀀爀漀最爀愀洀 搀攀猀椀最渀攀搀 昀漀爀  椀渀搀椀瘀椀搀甀愀氀猀 猀攀攀欀椀渀最 愀 栀椀最栀攀爀 氀攀瘀攀氀 漀昀 琀爀愀椀渀椀渀最  猀琀礀氀攀 愀渀搀 琀攀挀栀渀椀焀甀攀Ⰰ 愀 挀氀愀爀椀椀攀搀 甀渀搀攀爀猀琀愀渀搀椀渀最  漀昀 渀甀琀爀椀琀椀漀渀 愀渀搀 栀攀愀氀琀栀礀 栀愀戀椀琀猀 愀渀搀 猀甀挀挀攀猀猀昀甀氀  琀爀愀渀猀昀漀爀洀愀琀椀漀渀 漀渀 琀栀攀椀爀  琀渀攀猀猀 樀漀甀爀渀攀礀℀  刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 䄀挀愀搀攀洀礀 挀漀渀猀椀猀琀 漀昀 攀洀瀀漀眀攀爀椀渀最  攀渀挀漀甀爀愀最攀洀攀渀琀Ⰰ 挀漀氀氀攀挀琀椀瘀攀 琀攀愀洀眀漀爀欀 ☀  瀀攀爀猀椀猀琀攀渀挀攀⸀ 刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 猀琀爀椀瘀攀猀 琀栀爀漀甀最栀 猀攀爀椀漀甀猀  栀愀爀搀眀漀爀欀 愀氀漀渀最 眀椀琀栀 愀 搀爀椀瘀攀渀 攀û漀爀琀 漀昀 搀攀搀椀挀愀琀椀漀渀  琀漀 昀甀氀氀氀氀 漀甀爀 洀漀琀琀漀⸀⸀ 吀爀愀椀渀Ⰰ 䔀砀挀攀氀Ⰰ 匀甀挀挀攀攀搀⸀  刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 挀愀渀 瀀爀漀瘀椀搀攀 琀栀攀 琀爀愀椀渀椀渀最 猀琀礀氀攀 愀渀搀  瀀爀漀昀攀猀猀椀漀渀愀氀猀 琀漀 栀攀氀瀀 愀挀挀漀洀瀀氀椀猀栀 礀漀甀爀 猀攀琀  最漀愀氀猀℀ 刀伀儀 䈀漀搀礀 䄀挀愀搀攀洀礀 爀攀瀀爀攀猀攀渀琀猀 猀琀爀攀渀最琀栀Ⰰ  猀漀氀椀搀愀爀椀琀礀 愀渀搀 愀 甀渀椀椀攀搀 洀椀渀搀 猀攀琀 漀昀 愀挀挀漀洀瀀氀椀猀栀椀渀最 最漀愀氀猀 昀漀爀 愀渀礀  爀猀琀 琀椀洀攀爀 漀爀  琀渀攀猀猀 樀甀渀欀椀攀

䌀漀渀琀愀挀琀 唀猀 一漀眀℀ 

㌀㄀㐀ⴀ㠀㜀㌀ⴀ㠀㘀㠀  眀眀爀漀焀戀漀搀礀⸀挀漀洀

刀伀儀䈀伀䐀夀 䄀䌀䄀䐀䔀䴀夀 ㄀ 㜀㜀㈀ 䤀渀搀椀愀渀 䠀攀愀搀 䤀渀搀甀猀琀爀椀愀氀 䈀氀瘀搀 匀琀⸀ 䰀漀甀椀猀Ⰰ 䴀伀 㘀㌀㄀㌀㈀




Exploring the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace By: Kendra Pete


ive children are playing on the playground. One child is Asian, another child is blind, the third child is highly gifted in math, and the last two are Indian. Naturally, the two Indian children are most comfortable playing amongst themselves even though other children are present. The blind child is left attempting to maneuver from one slide to the next while the Asian child wants to help but is too shy and does not know how to approach them. Luckily, the child highly gifted in math is amiable, but because she is a female that is really good in math, the other male children are slightly intimidated of her; leaving her alone to entertain herself. All too often, this scenario reflects the working atmosphere of Corporate America and just like the shy Asian child, many executives are unsure of how to address this situation. Though our “land of the free” was built upon the welcoming of various people, religions and cultures, overall, the workplace has yet to fully embrace the value of diversity or develop an “all-inclusive” work environment. In August of 2011, President Obama made an effort to improve the disparity with the aide of a few other federal departments by introducing the Executive Order 13583, which established a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce. He encouraged executive departments and agencies to utilize more diverse human resources strategies in order to build a more diverse and inclusive work environment .Yet, as many federal and non-federal working professionals reflect upon their work experiences in 2015, some could truthfully say that they do not feel a part of their organization that their vote still goes unnoticed, and their voice is still unheard.

Diversity in the workplace is valuable to companies because it offers holistic approaches to problem solving and has proven to be one of the most effective ways to cultivate a more innovative and creative workplace. A more collaborative work environment means an increased likelihood of more satisfied employees that feel as though their needs are met and contributions are appreciated causing higher retention rates and lowered recruitment expenses. However, this can only be accomplished if employers include their diverse employees in the various working processes of the organization-the implementation of inclusion-by seeking their counsel, utilizing their skills and rendering the tools and resources needed to help them reach their full potential. Creating initiatives and special programs to diversify the workplace are only effective if the diversity is integrated within the company once it arrives. It is sort of similar to the ideology of the “separate but equal” regimen during the Jim Crow era. The thought was to provide an “equal” quality of services and products to all races but to present these services and products in racially segregated environments in order to keep the “peace.” Yet, this was unsuccessful because only one aspect of the doctrine was upheld-the separation. Equality lacked amongst African Americans just as diversity is present in the workplace, but the inclusion of these diverse individuals is still missing. Valuing diversity in the workplace and broadening the perception of inclusion may be best accomplished by reverting back to the playground. The diversity and the opportunities for the children to play together were present, but because of fear, lack of comfort and lack of understanding, they were not able to see past their differences and use those differences to their advantage, which is the common story of many businesses in America.


To Be BLACK & Gold: The History of Racial Tension at Mizzou Written by: Ebonie Young (University of Missouri Columbia Graduate c/o 2012)


hanks to student demonstration, organization, activism and solidarity at the University of Missouri – Columbia, the history of racism and systemic oppression against students of color has finally gained national attention. The student organization Concerned Student 1950, named after the year that the first African American students were admitted to Mizzou, led the movement that called for the removal of UM President Timothy Wolfe after his continual neglect of racial issues on campus. The group’s dedication to conveying and enforcing student rights is a huge victory for the university and is definitely a step in the right direction. However, readers may not know that the student’s mission for justice is far from accomplished as they are up against over 100 years of institutionalized racism and racial tension. To help illustrate the origin of groups like Concerned Student 1950, below is an abbreviated timeline of racial injustices that have taken place at the university dating back to 1839. All of the dates were extracted from the Maneater, the university’s student led and written news outlet, the MU Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative and recounts from the recent movement’s social media outlets. 1839: Mizzou opens Initially, the university only admitted white male students, as did many other schools at the time. 1865: Separate but Equal Education Slavery was abolished in Missouri in 1865 but the educational system remained segregated. As a response, a few troops of the U.S. Colored Infantry founded Lincoln University for African Americans to receive secondary education 1935: Lloyd Gaines Applies for MU Law School Gaines applied to the MU School of Law since Lincoln did not have the program. With the help of the NAACP, Gaines sued the University for the violation of his Fourteenth Amendment rights. The Supreme Court ruled in his favor and Gaines became the first black person admitted to the school. Only three months later, Gaines disappeared and never made it to attend his first semester. 1950: First Black Students to Officially Attend Mizzou Mizzou admitted nine African American students to the university. 1971: Black Culture Center The Black Culture House was established in 1971. In 2000, it was renamed the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center in honor of Gaines and Marian O’Fallon Oldham, the university’s first black female curator. 1987: Call for More Students of Color Approximately 250 students and faculty marched to Jesse Hall and demanded higher enrollment of minority students. Black students made up 3.2 percent of the Mizzou population. That was 740 out of 22,532 students, according to the Chancellor’s Diversity Initiative. 2010: The Cotton Ball Incident Two Caucasian MU students spread hundreds of cotton balls on the lawn of the Black Culture Center. They were arrested but later released on littering charges. 2015: Racist & Bigotry, OUT LOUD In September, Missouri Student Association President, Payton Head posted on Facebook that he was called the N-word and the F-word that degrades gay men. 2015: Emerge of Concerned Student 1950 In October, 11 black students started Concerned Student 1950, an organization created to stand up for minority rights at MU. The group released a list of demands asking for an apology for racial injustice at the university and resignation of Tim Wolfe, University of Missouri-Columbia president. 2015: No Justice, No Football In November, the majority of the MU football team stood in solidarity and refused to participate in game or practices until Wolfe resigned. Their decision would cost the university almost one million dollars in fines. This was the tipping point for Wolfe and he resigned shortly after the team’s announcement.

58 January | February 2016

nsn holiday party NSN Holiday party was hosted by Fleur de Lilies. Fluer de liliesbrings a unique fusion experience of Creole with a hint of Asian cuisine to the city of St. Louis. The dining experience is a sweet spot between casual and fine dining. The menu is carefully designed to bring an authentic Creole taste in conjunction with the experience of authentic Asian food. The NSN Holiday party was amazing.

photos by Mena Darre



dlxprofiled DISCOUNT QUEEN BEAUTY 4600 CHIPPEWA ST SAINT LOUIS MO 63116 314-224-5450

the queen is here Queen Discount Beauty: Black Owned Beauty Supply Takes Back A Piece of the Beauty Supply Market Share By: Alexy Irving COULD YOU TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR FAMILY ORIENTATED BUSINESS, WHO’S INVOLVED, AND WHAT MADE YOU ALL WANT TO WORK TOGETHER TO OPEN THIS STORE? Discount Queen Beauty Supply is a black owned and family operated business. This is our first venture in the hair industry. Like many, we were always consumers in beauty supply stores. Upon research we learned that there was a disproportion number of African American owned beauty supply stores despite the fact we are the number 1 consumer in the market. With hard work and a number of obstacles to overcome Discount Queen went from being a possibility to a reality. HAS ANY OF YOUR FAMILY HAD A BACKGROUND IN OWNING A BUSINESS? Our grandmother, the spearhead of Discount Queen Beauty Supply laid the foundation of Entrepreneurship in our family. A little more than 40 years ago, she left Corporate America with the belief that self employment was the best choice. Four generations later that same courage is instilled within the fiber of our family. With established businesses around the U.S. we will continue her legacy of family entrepreneurship while spreading knowledge about the importance of black economics. HOW HAS BEING A HAIR SUPPLY CONSUMER IMPACTED YOUR ASPIRATION TO OPEN UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS? It wasn’t until researching and learning about the hair industry that changed us from consumers to owners. With over 10,000 beauty supply stores in the country and less than 300 of those stores are black owned. The statistics alone made us want to not complain about it, but do something about it. It is startling the amount of revenue that is spent in this industry that is not recycled back into our community via taxes nor wages.

60 January | February 2016

Photo: Keith Griffin II

WHAT OTHER INSPIRATION’S DID YOU HAVE BEHIND OPENING UP A BEAUTY SUPPLY STORE? Our sole inspiration was to bring awareness of the lack of African American ownership in a market that’s making billions off black hair care. We know the products, we use the products, we should be able to sell these products, and be distributors as well. We have to break the barrier. This is a industry that sell the products that we buy. As a community we can financially establish ourselves, our families, our livelihood in a industry that is natural to us.

HOW DO YOU FEEL THIS STORE EFFECTS THE COMMUNITY? Discount Queen Beauty Supply Store is a beacon of pride and a symbol of hope in our community. Establishing a stake in this industry has been nearly impossible for African Americans due to the market being dominated other cultures. It has always been fine for our community to purchase from them, but it’s been difficult to establish a business along side them. Now that Discount Queen Beauty Supply is here, we want to serve as an symbol that it can be done.

WHERE DOES MOST OF YOUR SUPPORT COME FROM? Most of our support comes from word of mouth advertisement; peer to peer, via social media such as face book and instagram. Also the local radio station has been a great help, our costumers has come from all parts of St. Louis. It truly is a blessing to witness the support community has had for Discount Queen Beauty Supply. They keep our doors open and we greatly appreciate each and every person that comes to shop with us.

HOW HAS THE COMMUNITY HELPED YOUR STORE? Words cannot express how thankful we are for such a great community. Since the grand opening Discount Queen Beauty Supply Store has received overwhelming support from local consumers and those who have traveled hours to shop here. There is still a large part of the community who do not know that we are here, but with the help from the community week after week we meet more and more people that shop with us because they heard about it from a friend or family member.

WHAT’S SO IMPORTANT ABOUT SUPPORT FROM THE AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITY TO LOCAL BUSINESSES LIKE YOURS? African American support is extremely important to our business. Not only from a financial perspective but most importantly from a community perspective. We have to get back to the point of supporting each not only in the beauty supply business but all industries. In the case of most industries in our country African American ownership is scarce. It’s important to garner the support of the community to show that change is imminent, that African Americans should support their local African American business and inspire more to do the same. This support will not only circulation of the dollar into our community, it will also pay taxes which will ultimately go circulate into our local school system with hopes of better books and wages for our community.

ANY PLANS OF EXPANSION YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH US, I’VE HEARD RUMORS OF A SALON COMING SOON? Yes, not only did we add executive salon suites, ideally we have plans to add multiple beauty supply stores in the St. Louis area. With our community generating over 90% of the revenue in this industry, establishing multiple locations will not only increase the number of black owned businesses but allow our community to generate revenue from the same dollars that we spend daily. ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD? Discount Queen Beauty Supply Store is a Family owned business, and family is the foundation. We invite you and your family to shop, sit and chat with us. And if you have any questions in regards to establishing a beauty supply store please don’t hesitate to ask.

㌀  唀一䐀䔀刀 ㌀ 

䐀䔀䰀唀堀 䴀䄀䜀䄀娀䤀一䔀 倀刀䔀匀䔀一吀匀



匀唀䈀䴀䤀吀 夀伀唀刀 一伀䴀䤀一䄀吀䤀伀一匀


November 8th 2015 at Lumiere Theater. DELUX Magazine celebrated the city’s 100 most inspiring and influential African American Millennials. DELUX recognizes those who lead, inspire, innovate and demonstrate through their individual talents, the very best in St. Louis. Powered by: Wells Fargo, Monsanto, Mercedes Benz STL, and Midland States Bank. Next year The Power 100 will feature a full dinner prior to the event as well as scholarship presentations to deserving students. Next years event is scheduled for November 8th 2016. Get your tickets early! photos by Lawrence Bryant

62 November | December 2015



64 January | February 2016



who got next

Vickmont Eagle Films


Words by: Dewarren Smith

ne of the most highly sought after video directors or videographers in the city, Vickmont Collins has shot enough music videos that if you played them back to back would be longer than a series of your favorite horror flicks. At just the age of 24 he has made a name for himself (Over 400 Videos, 4 Mil + views, and 11k+ subscribers on Youtube) in a relatively short amount of time with some very big goals set for the future for his company Eagle Films. An Eastside native, he started on the road to success approximately two years ago after filming his first video which featured him and a friend. Once the video dropped, it blew up with 4,000 views in 24 hours to Vickmont’s surprise. At a time when most Millennials are looking for a purpose, a career, or just something to do, Vickmont had found all three in learning his craft. Never having a job in the conventional sense, he followed his passion and found a calling. The guy who would record fight videos devoted a year to learning software, sold his car, purchased a camera, and went to work fresh off the Metrolink or catching rides to video shoots. He attacked the game of videography and it allowed him not only to eat but to see the world. Jamaica, France, and the United Kingdom stamped on the passport and another trip to the UK is already in the works to work with GRM Daily. He described the trip as an amazing experience. He was contacted off Instagram of all places, after artists there saw his work. “I paid for my flight and made money back while I was there. I shot like 12 videos while I was there and I shot for their biggest artist over there 67. His Streets video is on YouTube right now with over 500,000 views.” He went on to say how other than accents the streets aren’t much different from what he is used to seeing here from the East Side to his now Downtown St. Louis residence. He explained that culture-wise in the UK they really respect and look up to the hip hop culture here in the States. Returning to the US from his trip overseas Vickmont got right back to work. Remember the car he sold to get his 1st camera? Well he replaced it with an Audi and now spends his days full time doing what he loves. A very humble person with a very positive attitude, when asked how he reconciled going from facing eviction across the bridge to his current success he says, “I ain’t even going to fake it to you. Everything feels like a blessing to me and new. I don’t even know how my business is so strong. I’m shooting like 2 to 4 videos every day and the only way it doesn’t happen is if I turn it off.” The evidence of such hard work is plain to see on his Vickmont Films Channel on the Tube. He drops new work every day and his work ethic is unmatched. Rising at 5 a.m. every morning to prepare for his first shoot it sounds to me like his head hardly hits the pillow and he tells me it’s like that almost seven days of the week.

66 November | December 2015

Having shot everyone in St. Louis, he remains very close to Loosecannon artist LA4ss, J.R., and others but shooting major artists like the Migos is a goal he has set for himself. In addition to shooting and directing for major artist, he would like one day to focus on short films; a look he feels he is not quite ready for yet. Whatever the future may hold for Eagle Films it is sure to continue soaring high, as Vickmont gives no indication that he is going to stop his ambitious hustle anytime soon. One only needs to log in and subscribe to bear witness for what will be one our regions greatest talents behind the lens.



@tequilaavion @tequilaavion

68 November | December 2015

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