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


March 15-27

April 5-17

Tickets: The Fox Box Office • 314-534-1111 •

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.





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



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 Drew Williamson Kendress Hughes Lead Mua Drake Tyler

regular featured Stuff Finances Beauty Health Fashion Curate STL Community

10 18 22 27 32 46 54

14 People Who Inspire 25 FEATURE: The Emerging30 31 COVER: DWAUN J. WARMACK 36 ST. Louis Education Options 50 DLXProfile: Kendra Austin 60 DELUX Scene: HG DanceClub 64 Profile: BPLR

Graphic Designers Studio 76 Arthur Smith Sylvia Woods


DELUX MAGAZINE No. 43 March/April 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

“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.”

-Abigail Adams

We dedicate this edition to the life-learners. From our cover that features Dr. Dwaun Warmack, President of Harris-Stowe State University, to the Emerging 30— young individuals who have chased knowledge and skill with a goal of making our communities better than which they found it. We have supplemented these tremendous features with content that speaks directly to you, our loyal audience, in a way that provokes thought and entices conversation. With the political, social, and economic climate of our nation today, I want to encourage you all to continue to be the life learners you are today. Continue to seek clarity, objective reasoning, and wisdom. Be humble in your quest for knowledge; as the great Erykah Badu once said “The man that knows something knows that he knows nothing at all.”

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!

The DELUX team is beyond grateful for your support and readership. Our networking events have experienced tremendous success, our team and content continues to grow and mature, and our advertisers are excited about the possibility of partnering with a publication that is at the forefront of the Millennial community here in St. Louis. If you are local business looking for exposure, a writer or graphic designer looking to build their portfolio, or a sales person looking to pitch the exceptional DELUX brand, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for the Emerging 30 Under 30 event on April 7that 6pm! See you there! -Nik



Triple 9: A Heist Movie for the Twenty-Teens “Voted The World’s Best Tequila” Age: Two years (Twice as long as the industry norm) Color: Rich amber Aroma: Roasted agave with woody notes and hints of peach and cherry Taste: Luxuriously soft and rich with hints of vanilla, caramel, coconut and maple (Anejo, Tequila Avion available at all fine retailers)

the oscars

Action, star power, plot twists, and suspense are the ingredients of a good heist movie. Triple 9, named for the police code 999 for officer down, has all of these pieces to create decent crime thriller. This movie equates to Training Day meets The Departed meets Takers. Its all-star cast includes Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie, Casey Affleck, Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, and Aaron Paul.

Chris Rock’s time as host of the 88th Academy Awards drew different reactions all over, but Tyrese Gibson’s reaction to the funnyman’s monologue was anything but mixed.

Set in Atlanta, the plot focuses on a band of crooked cops led by Ejifor who conduct a bank heist to appease the Russian Mob, led by mob moll Winslet, who did an excellent portrayal in the role. The group is then asked to conduct one last heist. As a way to create a diversion to pull off this new mission, the group devises a plan to murder a police officer to keep the city’s police force busy. But can they pull it off, and at what cost?

The singer-actor was clearly not a fan of Rock taking aim at Jada Pinkett Smith during his scathing commentary on Hollywood’s lack of diversity on Sunday night. Pinkett Smith recently drew headlines when she called for a boycott of the Oscars in response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.

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

As Rock went in during his monologue, Pinkett Smith’s name was brought up as he expressed that black entertainers should not have to “beg” for roles. “Jada got mad, Jada says she’s not coming, protesting, I’m like — doesn’t she have a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited,” Rock said. Upon hearing Rock calling out Pinkett Smith, an upset Gibson took to social media to take the comedian to task. “Did you really use your STAGE to tear down and diminish one of the strongest most fearless black women IN this town as the world watched??? Jokes are just jokes right???? Not when someone is trying to affect change,” the “Furious 7” star wrote on Instagram. “Not when someone is willing to put it ALL on the line to affect change for our daughters and sons of the future.” Despite putting Rock on blast, Gibson wasn’t totally bummed out over the Oscars. According to reports, the entertainer brought his praise of Leonardo DiCaprio to light with an Instagram post acknowledging “The Revenant” actor’s first Oscar win of his career.

The action and suspense in the movie is great, particularly the opening scene. The entire cast is superb. The writer Mark Cook and director John Hillcoat further the story along with many interesting characters, plot revelations, and raw images along the way. However, somehow with all of its plot twists and turns, the story falls somewhat flat. A bit more character development and explanation of the characters’ history with one another would have helped enhance the story. Nonetheless, this is still a wellacted, gritty, modern day crime film and viewers will enjoy it from start to finish. Rated R REVIEWED BY: CAPRICE FOSTER


Images + Words By: Alexy Irving Distortedd is a visual artist of animation and graphics who has been traveling state to state putting on incredible art shows. She hails from Philadelphia and is helping cultivate the art culture by throwing art party’s featuring her work and the art work of local artist. St. Louis was her 4th stop and this event served as an excellent reminder of the talent St. Louis holds as well as a nice first visit for Distortedd. Distorted praises our hometown by saying, “St. Louis was positive vibes and everybody made me feel really welcomed. “ Her show in St. Louis was located at The Kitchen Sink and had a handful of artist putting on an amazing show for us. Visual artist showcasing their work were Art Culture King who featured abstract paintings of women and another visual artist by the name of Marie Enger. The third visual artist was Distortedd herself selling her work with her renowned swirling eye symbol. “My eye logo represents my distorted view on life. Everything I think of is crazy including my ideas, there so far fetched,” Distortedd said. The music performances started with DJ Paco on the board then preceded to the St. Louis rap acts. The Dominoe Effect knew how to work the crowd with their performance. This rap duo used the entire venue as their stage and had their supporters up front dancing and rapping the words with them. Fresh Nova was an energetic performer who didn’t sit still long enough to snap a good image of his performance. The last performer, Tino brought up the rear of the performances but that didn’t deter him from showing out as well. “I’ve been getting really good feedback on my art work and these art parties I’ve been throwing,” Distorted tells me after her St. Louis show. With a fan base of over 28 thousand followers on Instagram, her popularity is ever growing with these Art Party’s she’s putting on. Her manager felt St. Louis is a city that needs events like these with dope Dj’s and good energy so they linked up with our very own, Jon Alexander, to put this amazing event on. Before the event occurred, Jon had a dinner set up for her as well as a meet and greet so Distortedd can get a better taste of what St. Louis is about. The Dinner was at a membership only restaurant by the name of “Blood and Sand” and Stacy Static, a local radio host, as well as Paula Reed, a very active lawyer in the St. Louis area, were there to accompany all of us for the dinner. The Meet and Greet was laid back and took place at the Arcade Apartments downtown where Jon had a room rented out for the event.

arts beats &


Images + Words By: Alexy Irving

Tongue twisting rapper, Twista, headlined one of the greatest art showcases St. Louis has gotten a taste of, since the beginning of 2016. Gentleman Jacks: Arts Beats and Lyrics brought a breath of fresh air to the stagnant winter weather, and everybody who’s anybody came out to show their face. January 29th, “Neo” on Locust held an event for the books and DELUX will attempt to give a good enough recap of this outstanding event. Other than the hour long wait that the fashionably late had to endure in line, and the list of people who couldn’t RSVP in time to actually make it, once you were inside Neo on Locust, it was lit! Arts Beats and Lyrics assisted in cultivating a new faith for the support St. Louis has for the arts. It’s been said that that St. Louis doesn’t know how to come out and support artists, but this was not the case with this showcase. Where else could you experience live music, all your people, trill art, dope b-boy dancers and tasty complimentary drinks on two full floors? Arts Beats and Lyrics had a collection of incredible artist that traveled with them from Atlanta to showcase their talent in St. Louis, for us. The crowd favorite, of the live performers, was Sidewalk Chalk, who hailed from Chicago and threw down on the stage with a five deep band. We call them the crowd favorite due to the combination of dancing and eyes glued to the stage. Sidewalk Chalk kept the crowd engaged by requesting random items from the guest which the lead rapper, Rico Sisney, then freestyled about each before they concluded their set. Other musicians that murdered one of the two stages included, DJ Wally Sparks, DJ Needles, DJ Reminise, Sango, Joe Kay, Werc Crew and DJ 100K.

The event also featured a handful of visual artists, whose work was stationed on uniquely designed sectionals on both floors of Neo. One of the most notable artists was Kazilla and the dope Dubelyoo who paid homage to some of our favorite black female musicians by the names of Alicia Keys, Erykah Badu and Janelle Monae. Each sectional was decorated to represent the artists, so each was different and designed for people to take pictures in front of. If you hashtag #ArtsBeatsAndLyrics on Instagram, you’re sure to find a collection of selfie’s and selfproclaimed models posted in front of one. The night ended with Sango of Soulection dj’ing, and a heap of connections being made by the young and the matured. Local photographers were in the building, as well as business owners, musical artist, visual artist, dancers, models and enough free drinks to make sure you stayed behind to sober up while shaking hands with everyone in attendance. Members of DELUX’s “Top 30 under 30” were in attendance as well as members of our “Power 100” list. Pretty much anybody you can think of was in the building and, if you weren’t, there’s always next year. In 2017, this event will be even more live. So make sure you keep up with DELUX to stay up to date on the details, and make sure you’re not fashionably late in attendance so you can actually get in the building before you miss anything.




COURTNEY BRYANT Courtney Bryant is the latest edition to the KMOV News 4 cast. She’s a successful reporter who has even tracked down a story in Israel. Courtney moved to Los Angeles at a young age from Arizona. For Bryant her journey is full of diversity, and she had to create opportunities for herself. Her drive has always been there and her determination is unweilding; there’s honor in working hard. Her motto for life, is to just ask. “What’s the words that could happen?” Courtney has never been afraid to ask; it’s her thing. She’s never apprehensive to talk to people. If she sees an open door, Courtney is coming in. Her love for news and journalism started in high school and took her to Pepperdine University, where she earned a degree in broadcast journalism. Bryant studied one summer in Israel on assignment working for the Israel Broadcasting Authority, the only English newscast in Israel. A woman approached her in a crowd of people, who was asking directions one day. Courtney offered to walk with the woman, and they started exchanging stories. The kind woman was employed by a media non-profit and Courtney was introduced to all of this woman’s colleagues. Bryant began working with the non -profit and even returned for one more summer after college. She said it’s an experience she’ll never forget. Bryant truly believes that if she wouldn’t have offered to walk with the woman, she would have never returned to Israel. Before joining KMOV in St. Louis, Bryant anchored the evening newscast in Bakersfield, California. Courtney said, “LA is much more laid back and casual than people think”. She loves the diversity, a melting pot experience. She said, “ it didn’t matter where you came from, everybody got along in my neighborhood”. Bryant talked about her love for helping kids. For some, there’s economic and political boundaries that try to hold kids back. She wants kids to know, “don’t be afraid to ask, you can do anything.” And for adults in the community, Bryant said, “children need influences, someone they can look up to. There are so many different kinds of grants and scholarships out here including for the arts. You can’t be afraid to take the first step and reach out.” She’s interviewed politicians from Washington, covered a devastating

12 March | April 2016

By Ashley Kane Photo by McArthur25

spaceship crash, stood at the edge of wildfires and was even cast for an Emmy award winning special on the drought crisis in California. To say she’s accomplished, would be an understatement. Bryant came from humble beginnings, “I was never given a blank check in life, but I was never told I couldn’t go somewhere.” Her parents have always been supportive and opened doors for her. She knew at an early age though that if she wanted something, she had to earn it herself. Bryant started working at fifteen and had many different jobs to get where she’s at now. “Nobody owes you anything, and you can’t underestimate the power of making connections with people”. Her favorite story happened in New York City, where Bryant was visiting a friend. She met one of her idols, American talk show host and journalist, Charlie Rose she mentioned to a friend how she looked up to Mr. Rose. Her friend replied, “ Hey he walks by here every morning. I’ll stop him and ask, if you can call him”. Of course, Courtney didn’t want to impose. The friend insisted and asked Mr. Rose, if Bryant could call him. So he whipped out his business card and told the friend to have Courtney email his assistant. Well Courtney wrote and waited for a few months, but no reply. On a whim, she decided to write him again. And Charlie Rose replied, he would love to meet her and they ended up having lunch and discussing the world of journalism. Courtney attributes this encounter to the simple rule of “ask and you shall receive”. Something she takes very seriously. Bryant supports so many causes like The American Cancer Society, the National Association of Black Journalists, and her passion, NAMI, National Association on Mental Illness. With the current crisis over mental illness, Courtney wants to remove the stigmatism of mental illness. She’s MC’ing the NAMI Walk in May for National Health Awareness Month to raise money and fund research for mental health. Courtney hopes to gain support from St. Louis residents and have a huge turnout. She wants to continue reaching out to causes affecting St. Louis, like homelessness and cancer research. Bryant anchors the evening news on KMOV News Channel 4, in St. Louis. You can also check out her on Facebook and follow on Twitter @CourtneyDBryant. She loves hearing from viewers.


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e m p o w e r e d s r a t e g y • d e b o r a g r a n d i s o n • Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green

Branding Under Construction. Marketing Mayhem. Photo by: MCARTHUR25 Brands looking to build, refresh, or reinvigorate their branding and marketing presence have a cool option in the St. Louis market with Empowered Strategy. Empowered Strategy is a boutique marketing agency based in St. Louis, MO that is African-American owned and operated. Founded by Sheena Hunt in 2013, Empowered Strategy has become a great choice for brands looking to find their voice and connect with their consumers. Sheena with the help of her COO (and brother), Mario have been working hard at helping brands bring authenticity back into their marketing. As marketing strategists, this team (with the help of Charlene Hill and Felicia Franklin as ad hoc team members) is charting a new frontier for urban marketing. Sheena started Empowered Strategy after identifying a gap in the marketing landscape. There was little diversity and thus, nearly non-existent inclusion of the minority voice in marketing overall. With that thought in mind, Empowered Strategy morphed from a regular run-of-the-mill marketing agency to a full marketing strategy agency with services including a niche area of urban marketing and helping brands reach the African American community. There are some missteps by brands and agencies when developing campaigns and content that was designed to specifically reach African Americans

and other groups. There have been stereotypical, culturally insensitive, and offensive content released that shouldn’t have been. Empowered Strategy is really focused in on being that African American voice at the table that is so badly needed. A lack of inclusive voice and thought is usually what drives the missteps that are out there. This team wants to limit that by offering themselves as an agency that could help build out campaigns that are more respectful of who we are as a people and recognizes the complexities of African American culture. Not only do they focus in on marketing to African Americans, but they also have an urban approach in their tool belts. Urban communities are usually found in large cities throughout the U.S. These are cities that are composed of a diverse group of people with many different cultures blending together to create a unique experience for that city. What Empowered Strategy does is help brands that are marketing in these areas build out strategies that are inclusive and recognize the complexity of the city reaching those opportunities for consumers engagement. This team loves urban life and understands the dynamics of it. Some brands are missing opportunities to reach the different groups that make up the urban landscape therefore missing potential consumers.

The Empowered Strategy team is focused on creating omni channel marketing strategies for brands of all sizes and implementation of those strategies. By identifying the typical buyers for a brand, Empowered Strategy develops a plan that encompasses different areas of marketing to create the best customer experience. This is a major part of brand success and one they are impassioned in doing. This dynamic team also find themselves providing small businesses with social media management services. Constructing brand identities, redefining brand personas, reaching the consumer and creating a beautiful experience is what you find with Sheena and Mario at Empowered Strategy. This team is building something amazing in the St. Louis region and beyond. This is a company that you should have on your radar, especially companies looking to find their voice in branding and marketing. Branding and marketing are works of passion for Empowered Strategy, but they go the extra mile in their #ESGivesBack social responsibility campaign by giving back to local and national nonprofits and helping the community. A great team with a great love for transforming brands and their community. Also, if you want some fashion tips, Mario is the guy to know! This guy knows fashion like none other. Men’s fashion is definitely another passion for him, so watch out for him on the local and national fashion scene. DELUX MAGAZINE


16 March | April 2016



Debora Grandison

By: Caprice Foster Photo: Mcarthur25

It’s amazing to see people who have every reason to be discouraged from the obstacles and adversity in their life, but instead choose to use their story to encourage others. If ever there was an individual who exemplifies this, it is Debora Grandison. She is many things including: a wife to her husband David of 29 years, she is the mother to their talented children, Erica and Matthew and she is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. As far as community service goes, Debora serves several important and key roles in her hers including: a committee member of Go Red Passion, a member of Speakers Bureau, an Advocate for the American Heart Association and a Women Heart Champion. After receiving her most highly sought after role, she used her WomenHeart Champion position to educate women about heart disease. She gained this role after applying and being accepted to the highly-competitive WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at the Mayo Clinic. She also leads the WomenHeart Support Group at St. Luke’s Hospital. The Jefferson City native has served and volunteered on behalf of the American Diabetes Association and in 2015 she received St. Luke’s Hospital Healthy Woman Award by the St. Luke’s Spirit of Women. Debora is also a poet, writer, and blogger for her blog, “Debora Speaks from the Heart.” She serves as a Regional Coordinator for Poetry Out Loud, The National Recitation and Memorization Competition for the National Endowment for the Arts. But above all else, Debora Grandison is a survivor. Twenty-seven years ago, when Debora was 26 weeks pregnant with her son Matthew, she began

having an abnormally fast heart rate. The doctors did not know what was causing this but she was later diagnosed with gestational diabetes. She was put on bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy until Matthew was born. The diabetes left for a while but then returned as well the issues with her heart. It was not until 2008, that doctors started to figure out what was happening with her heart. In 2009, Debora was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, which led her to need a pace maker. In 2013, during a 6-month check of her pacemaker, Debora was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, which puts her at higher risk of having a stroke. “I wear an insulin pump and have a pacemaker. I tell people that I run on batteries,” she said with laughter. Rather than be discouraged by this new diagnosis she took it in stride and viewed it as a way to help others. “I looked at it as another chapter because I truly believe that my story serves a purpose in order to encourage other people,” she told me while smiling brightly, my story’s purpose is to show others that they can still live a happy life.” Debora attributes her positive disposition and motivation to her faith. “Even though I am really excited about having the opportunity to educate, [my journey] is also an opportunity for me to talk about my faith, because my faith is a huge component to my healing. I want people to know that even though people are dealing with a type of chronic illness, they are still significant, and that God is blessing them in spite of whatever that storm or battle is. That’s what I want my work to do,” Debora said.

Debora was recently selected to be a part of the pilot and promotional videos for the MyCareLink Smart app by Medtronic. She was filmed using the app and gave a testimonial that will be shown to pacemaker patients. These videos will show patients how to use the app which transfers data directly to their doctors. Debora is also a Teaching Artist with Springboard. Springboard is a non-for-profit organization that develops children’s ability to think, collaborate and communicate. Through this organization, Debora teaches a signature course called Project Health. This course allows students to select a chronic illness to research and then educate their family and community members through a presentation style of their choosing. “I love it because it really connects with my personal story. For a person who’s a survivor, we want more people learning about these illnesses so that they can educate others and are educated themselves.” Debora is currently working on her first book of poetry. “I honestly feel like I know my purpose. Even on days when things aren’t going well, I feel like ‘I’m supposed to learn from this.’” In terms of her health journey, Debora feels like it’s all been worth it. “There were lots of valleys and mountains to climb. It’s made me stronger and increased my faith, taught me not to take things for granted, and to live life to the best of my abilities. My advice to others is to know your family history, get regular checkups, educate yourself on symptoms, and have a good relationship with your doctor. It might just save your life.”



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Dr. HadiyahNicole Green

By: Tiffany Shawn

While scouring the web early one morning, my daily routine to avoid prepping for work, I was floored by a headline on The Root: “A Story of Perseverance: Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green Shares Her Path to a Million-Dollar Research Grant.” Could there be more than one Hadiyah-Nicole Green, I wondered? Upon clicking on the link I was shocked to see my fellow Alabama A&M University alum and line sister’s face! In the days that followed I saw similar articles from Black Enterprise to the New York Times. I was overjoyed at this black girl magic scrolling across my laptop. I immediately reached out to congratulate her and it led to a discussion about her plans for this grant and her future. The HBCU Research Scientist Training Program grant is part of the VA’s research and development program. “This grant [for early career scientists] will help further develop the treatment for solid tumors that I’ve been working on for the last ten years. It has two different platforms: one that has demonstrated ~100% elimination of tumors in mice after a single 10-minute treatment and the other is a minimally invasive approach to target, image, and treat tumors. My goal is to optimize the performance of the second platform to achieve the same ~100% therapeutic efficacy as the first platform. My dream is that one day my treatments will minimize the suffering that humans currently experience during cancer treatments. I hope to make President Obama’s ‘moonshot’ and change the way we treat cancer in America.” Hadiyah has had several people along the way teach her techniques but is used to working on the bench solo. She does, however, understand the pay it forward concept. “I’m excited to get more grants and find good, qualified people to help me carry out the work. I can only do so much with my two hands.” This leads me to her HBCU upbringing, which

she credits as assisting in the preparation for the demands of being a physicist. We both agreed that our alma mater had a nurturing environment. “People cared. It built my confidence. They poured into me, almost like they created what you guys see today in the best possible way. There was so much love and support.” One mentor in particular, Aisha Fields, who eventually became the 50th Black Woman in the United States to earn a PhD in Physics, stopped Hadiyah as she left a calculus class her freshman year to talk and find out more about her. “She challenged me to be a physicist.” Though Hadiyah fought it initially, saying a major in physics is hard; she was encouraged to try anyway under the notion that if she could handle calculus as a freshman, she could handle the physics program. This mentor was right. “I ended up getting a 4.0 in my major thanks to her telling me I could do it. Who knew that the 50th African American female PhD in the U.S. would directly create the 76th one? This is the power of mentoring.” Support. Hearing, “You can do it!” Having people you trust genuinely want to help. “It’s a significant difference being at an HBCU and a predominantly white institution; like night and day. It’s the difference of being around family then going to a room full of strangers.” Those who were in her corner made up for those who said mean things, discouraged her, or put unnecessary obstacles in her way. “For every experience that seemed negative, I had someone uplifting me,” she says adding the importance of seeing the bigger picture and keeping your dream at the forefront. Along with supportive people in her corner, curiosity and nosiness led Hadiyah down her current path. “Science was not necessarily in my future visions. I was nosey, asking questions all the time. I wish someone had told me earlier that when asking questions, consider a career in science. I think

sometimes in cultivating the minds of children, we take away the mysticism in science. We can encourage kids to figure out what they’re curious and passionate about, and to explore that.” She adds that she was discouraged to talk back, “But in a way if I didn’t question what was expected, I would’ve never come up with the idea to develop an alternative treatment for cancer. Sometimes it’s good to question authority.” I inquired about how it felt being singled out by race and gender in the recent articles. “It’s one of those things where on one hand, I never think about being a black female physicist until people bring it up. Then I have the realization that I’m in a category that is pretty elite, but I’m not an elitist. I’m like everybody else, doing my best to let this little light of mine shine. I don’t think about race or gender or degree. But I do know it’s important for me not to hide behind my work. The feedback I’m getting - especially from the little girls playing me in Black History Month plays and doing reports on me – is worth every interview, article, and accolade. They need to see me. I didn’t have an example like me to look at when I was little. I think a black female scientist should get some of the spotlight and attention celebrities get. Maybe not me, but scientists can endorse products, be on a Cheerios box, be a Covergirl…” She continues, “It’s important for children to see that image.” One route to getting more African Americans involved in this career is giving them examples of who they can be. Follow Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green at www.facebook. com/drhadiyahnicolegreen For a list of black female PhDs in the country go to

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real estate


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.

Now offering ON THE SPOT APPROVALS NACA – AMERICA’S BEST MORTGAGE PROGRAM The incredible NACA mortgage allows NACA Members to purchase their homes with: • • • • •

No down payment, No closing costs, No fees, No requirement for perfect credit, And at a below-market interest rate.

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


beauty tips

My Natural Is My Natural even in Corporate America

WHISPER TIPS FROM BEHIND THE CHAIR WRITTEN BY TENDAI” THE HAIR WHISPERER” ith the rapid growth of ah-ha moments and self-discovery in and around the world of Natural Hair, it’s safe to say that there are many questions and myths that have come up. One of which I would like to address in this issue. Some women have said that they are not comfortable with going natural because of fear of back lash from their bosses or co-workers. Some women feel that if they go natural it will lessen their chances of being promoted to a higher position.


Some women have even shared with me comments that were made about their natural hair. For example, one woman decided to straighten her natural texture for a brief moment of change. She told me that her boss made it her business to run up to her and excitedly let her know how much more she loved this look on her instead of her old hair. I might add her boss never commented on her hair or really acknowledged her existence before she straightened her hair. Needless to say my client became self-conscious and a bit insecure about her natural even to the point of considering going back to the creamy crack. I can see many of you nodding your heads in agreement saying “mmmm hmmm I know that feeling. The same thing happened to me at work!”. Before I start service on any client I have them to look into a GIANT mirror at themselves and say “My Natural is My Natural”. The GIANT mirror and the declaration is very important! The mirror is a non-deniable truth that you cannot escape. A person cannot fix something that they cannot see. A person cannot see something that they won’t look at because they are in denial. The Natural Declaration Statement “MY NATURAL IS MY NATURAL” is an affirmation, a tool that you will pull out in those difficult times that you feel like giving up on your natural.

get me wrong, but my goal is not to focus on ignorance but to identify road blocks that need to be addressed. Let’s examine this scenario from a different angle. Every human being has likes and dislikes based on their life experiences. These experiences are materialized from our 5 senses; sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch. Those senses allow us to form an opinion and categorize it either good or bad. We can say that Natural hair has been a bad experience for majority of black women until recent years. Let’s face it this is new for all of us. If I had a dollar for every woman that said “I thought, I had bad hair until I went natural and realized that all I had to do was ………….”. Commit to what grows out of YOUR head. Understand that just because you are natural doesn’t mean you are doing the right things to your natural hair to get good results that fit you. By finding the right style and products you will be able to give people a new experience that is pleasing to the senses, resulting in a new appreciation for something other than straight hair. Don’t place blame on others for your own misunderstanding. Look in the mirror and say “My Natural is My Natural”. Then adjust accordingly.

The experience that I shared with you at the beginning of this article is a familiar situation to many women in Corporate America. I don’t feel that the problem stems from non-natural bosses or the boss’s lack of sensitivity to the black woman’s struggle to embrace self. There are ignorant people in this world don’t For more information please feel free to contact me on Facebook Thehairwhisperer Tendai Or email me at


IF OLDER MEANS WISER, THEN the standouts on these pages are not neccessarily acting their age. They show it doesnt always take years of experience to achieve excellence. DELUX asked St. Louis to nominate the artists, photographers, entrprenuers, corporate game changers, and other locals who are shaking up the St. Louis status quo.



















1. Adrian O. Walker, VSCO, Photographer 2. Alonzo J. Townsend, 28, National Blues Museum 3. Asha Hornaday, 21, Subsidium St. Louis 4. Autumn Anthony, 25, Radio One 5. Benjale Bailey Jr., 27, Harris-Stowe State University 6. Cameron Boles, 23, Anadarko 7. Catherine Negron, 26, Harris-Stowe State University 8. Charli Cooksey, 29, inspireSTL 9. Chavelle Patterson, 25, BRAND of St. Louis / Procter & Gamble 10. Cornell “Niddy” Thirdkill Jr., 29, HG + Crave 11. Courtney Bryant, KMOV 12. Darryl T. Jones II, 27, Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis 13. Dee “Carta Works” Davis, 23, Carta Works Makeup Artistry 14. Eric “Remrod” Mayes, 29, Remrod Photography 15. Jazminique Holley, 26, Harris Stowe State University 24 March | April 2016

16. Jessika Triplett, 28, The S.P.O.T -Wash U 17. Kayla Creek, 25, State Farm 18. Lauren Preston, 29, KIPP St. Louis 19. Mai Lee, 22, R&B Singer 20. Malissa Shaw, 30, Distribution Management 21. Marty Murray, Jr, 26, Grand Prestige 22. Maurya Cockrell, 23, YKNOT Consulting LLC 23. Princess Stormm, 24, Hot 104.1, Radio Personality 24. Susan Renee Jones, 29, Emed Medical Company 25. Taylor Victoria Smith, 24, College Bound St. Louis 26. Tierra Parks Brown, 27, T_Animated 27. Timothy J. Moore, 24, T.Moore Media 28. Trumaine “DJ TAB” Epps, 28, Dj Tab/TeamTab 29. Turan Mullins, 30, Maryville University 30. William H, 28, Eyekon Klothing Co.

















Distiguished Emerging 30 Honoree:

JAYLEN D. BLEDSOE His journey and success actually began at 12 years of age when he started his own Information Technology Consulting business called Bledsoe Technologies, LLC. With a dream and $100, he began marketing his technology services, and within two years he had 150 contractors working for him. The scope of services his company provides is vast and includes brand development consulting. The clients he works with include Jordin Sparks and Steve Harvey. Outside of his daily business practices, Jaylen D. Bledsoe is also a motivational speaker for various groups around the globe. He brings enlightenment, wit, comedic humor, and moving stories to his audiences young and old. He has been featured keynote speaker for Disney Dreamers Academy, NSBE, Junior Achievement, Steve Harvey Mentoring Program, Stanford, Google, and Facebook just to name a few. Jaylen has spoken to over 25,000 people around the world from youth to senior citizens – sharing his inspiration, award winning attitude, and down to earth stories about how to be successful in this journey of navigating life. When asked about his success, Jaylen will honestly tell you that it hasn’t always been easy. His parents were only 16 years old when he was born, and his upbringing was filled with struggles. Knowing that he wanted to do more and be more than what he was born into, he continued to look forward to the big picture and to the blessings he had been given, and truly made an effort to

strive toward excellence in everything he chose to do. His positive thinking, great determination, and willingness to never give up has led to his amazing and inspiring success. In 2009, Jaylen was awarded for his exemplary accomplishments when he was given the “Presidential Academic Excellence Award” from President Barack Obama. He has also received the “Gateway Young Achiever of the Year Award.” His skills as Producer and Writer were awarded 2nd place in the “Diversity” category for a short video he made for the Missouri Parent Teachers Association. As a Junior, Jaylen currently attends Hazelwood West Senior High, in Saint Louis, MO. He looks forward to majoring in International Business and Psychology at an Ivy League school such as Stanford or Harvard in the coming years. In the great words of Jaylen D. Bledsoe, “Don’t let your setback cause you to sit back, prepare for your comeback!” 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

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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

26 November | December 2015

‘Let’s Do Brunch!’ The best brunch spots in St. Louis By Caprice Foster


ome might say that nothing beats sleeping in late on the weekend and leisurely strolling to your favorite restaurant to partake in a late breakfast. Throw in a Mimosa or Bloody Mary and your close friends and family, and you’re guaranteed to have the perfect brunch!

St. Louis is known for its large variety of superb local restaurants, many of which offer guests special brunch menus on the weekend. Here are some of our favorite local brunch destinations to turn your lazy Saturday or “Sunday Funday” into a success!

BEST AMBIANCE If you’re looking for the perfect atmosphere to host an upscale Sunday brunch, Café Madeleine, located in the Piper Palm House, is a fantastic option. The light airiness created by the high vaulted ceilings with sky roof, and palm trees throughout the dining room provides the perfect backdrop to their expansive feast! Café Madeleine, 4256 Magnolia Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110 If you prefer to enjoy your brunch looking out at the sprawling urban landscape of St. Louis, then look no further than Vin de Set. Vin de Set offers guests a spacious rooftop to enjoy brunch al fresco with a great view of the Arch. Vin de Set, 2017 Chouteau Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103

BEST VARIETY Bristol Seafood Grill is considered one of the best seafood restaurants in St. Louis. The Sunday brunch buffet at Bristol provides diners a smorgasbord of the best breakfast, lunch, and seafood options around! Bristol Seafood Grill, 11801 Olive Blvd, Creve Coeur, MO 63141

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK If you’re a baller on a budget and want to make your money stretch as far as possible, then Three Monkeys will be right up your alley! For under $20, you can enjoy a large Sunday brunch buffet equipped with carving station and made-to-order omelette station, and includes a bloody mary or mimosa. Guests then can order up to three additional mimosas or bloody marys for $.99 each! What a deal! Three Monkeys, 3153 Morganford Rd, St. Louis, MO 63116

BEST BRUNCH COCKTAILS If mimosas and bloody marys tickle your fancy, then Sqwires is absolutely the place for you! The popular Lafayette Square restaurant boasts a legendary bloody mary bar. The bloody mary bar features over 30 different garnishes to add to your cocktail! Sqwires, 1415 S 18th St, St. Louis, MO 63104

BEST ENTERTAINMENT The Rustic Goat hosts one of the few brunches in town that features live music. Nothing beats having brunch in a chic, exposed-brick lounge while listening to live jazz music! Nothing. The Rustic Goat, 2617 Washington Ave, St. Louis, MO 63103

BEST CASUAL BRUNCH The open and clean feeling that is found at Café Osage gives diners a relaxed and easy-going brunch. And the vintage book that your bill comes in at the end of the meal further adds to the quirky vibe of this eatery! Café Osage, 4605 Olive St, St. Louis, MO 63108

Any Brunch Suggestions? Or did we miss youe fave? Email

After School, Teen, Sports & Summer Programs For nearly 50 years, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis (BGCSTL) has been providing after school, teen, summer and sports programs for youth ages 6-18. Six locations in St. Louis City & County. The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis actively looks for those interested in volunteering, mentoring, enrolling their children, donating or supporting an event. For more information or to DONATE, call 314-335-8000 or visit



YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT Words by Ashley Kane

Everyone has their favorite comfort food or go to meal when you just don’t know what to eat! But have you ever really thought about the old saying, “you are what you eat”. Is it true? Are you a meat eater, junk food king, or dairy-holic? Our body and brain is seventy to eighty percent water, so it makes sense that water fuels our bodies. They are machines, wheelhouses burning twenty-four seven. Many factors play into human’s overall health, including what we eat and how we take care of our teeth and also our feet. With so many unknown ingredients going into our packaged food and meat how can we improve and exceed our overall health expectations?

preferably lime water. The limes are an alkaline food and are known to cleanse the body and give energy. Or start with cutting back or out red meat and pork, which are high in acid. So if we are what we eat, what animal are you? Animals have certain characteristics or generalizations about themselves, like sloppy pigs, fat cows, and crazy chickens. Of course eating the occasional burger or party wing isn’t going to make you fat or crazy, but over consumption will allow you to take on those characteristics. Just like when you are around a friend or spouse too much, you take on some of their mannerisms or traits.

It all starts with food: We all have a pH level in our bodies that measures our acidity and our alkalinity. Too much acid in the body can cause headaches, depression, mood swings and even dry skin, acne and other conditions. Bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic conditions; acidic foods include refined sugars, caffeine, meat, dairy products and even some fruits. Pay attention to what you eat. Most American diets are seventy percent acidic. Diseases like cancer and diabetes feed off sugar and acid, which then creates mucus in our bodies. Health specialist and alkaline extraordinaire, Dr. Sebi said this about disease,

The key to maintaining your body is balance. No one should deprive themselves, but what did you sacrifice to enjoy your favorite acidic food? Foods high in alkaline include, asparagus, kale, onions, grape seed oil, almonds, pure maple syrup. These foods can replace some of the acidic foods you may use like, substituting vegetable oil or olive oil for grape seed oil. Or you may even try substituting white sugar for honey or pure maple syrup. The point is to do your research and be conscience of what we are putting into our bodies.

“Finds it genesis when and where the mucous membrane has been compromised. For example, if there is excess mucous in the bronchial tubes, the disease is Bronchitis; if it is in the lungs, the disease is Pneumonia; in the pancreatic duct, it is Diabetes; in the joints Arthritis.” There’s going to be some planning and preparation, if you want to balance the alkaline and acid in your body. Start with one thing first, like cutting soda and sugary beverages. Start your day off with a glass of water;

The overall focus of eating alkaline is lots of vegetables, certain fruits, and plenty of water to keep your body hydrated and your brain focused. Get creative, make a fruit smoothie but add kale for an extra kick; you won’t even taste the kale. Prep your lunches to include your favorite vegetable or throw together a quick salad to go. Tell friends what you’re doing, start a conversation, spend time on you. Taking care of our temple is worth the investment!



Photo Courtesy of: ALLEN B. THOMPSON

30 November | December 2015




Photography: Allan Thompson

istorically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) hold a special place in my heart. I’m a proud 2004 graduate of Alabama A&M University and started my graduate schooling at Tennessee State University before finishing elsewhere. I currently teach as an adjunct professor for Harris-Stowe State University, the college in which both of my grandmothers received their teaching degrees. So Harris-Stowe in particular has great meaning to my life.

Making the university more appealing is an on-going process. “We’re doing some amazing work from creating the graduate schools to increasing our degree programs 108% to creating partnerships in China which will provide our students with global experiences. We are in a great place. We’re raising money and building relationships.” This will increase student access to attaining a college education.

Harris-Stowe, located in midtown St. Louis, is a fully accredited four-year institution offering 31 majors, minors, and certificate programs in education, business, and arts & sciences. The university, which has origins dating back to 1857, offers the most affordable bachelor’s degree in the state of Missouri. In 2014, Harris-Stowe ranked No. 1 in the state of Missouri and No. 47 in the nation in granting degrees in mathematics and statistics to African Americans according to Missouri Department of Higher Education and Diversity: Issues In Higher Education, a news magazine that has ranked institutions conferring the most degrees to minority students for the past 30 years.

Though unknown why some students are excluded from resources that could educate them on the possibilities of college, with purposeful planning, this does not have to be the case for St. Louis youth. Harris-Stowe faculty works directly with local districts including Jennings, Riverview, and St. Louis Public Schools. Students can participate in their talent search program as well as a math and science program. “Who knows the intention of some districts, whether it’s about not expecting students from certain neighborhoods to go to college or just not having the funds to provide the necessary support. It’s a large issue in most urban areas. Being from Detroit, my school didn’t have the resource to have a college counselor.”

Recent successes come under the tenure of President Dwaun J. Warmack. He is on a mission to prepare students for success. Born and raised in Detroit, Dr. Warmack attended public schools before carrying his academic career up to a doctorate of education. In 2014 he was the youngest four-year college president in the United States. “This institution took a chance on a first generation college student like myself.” In age Dr. Warmack is young, but in time and service he’s paid his dues. Spending his entire career at the university level, his mother would often ask, are you ever going to get a real job? “Before she passed, she thought I just wanted to stay in college my whole life. She didn’t see it as work because [at the time] I was the coordinator of student activities. But that’s part of the student experience.” That position was preparing him for greater. Dr. Warmack realizes his rapport with the faculty, staff, and students can’t thrive if he spends all of his time in his office. “It’s important for me to be amongst the people. I learned from, in my humble opinion, the best college president who said [while in undergrad] I’d be a college president one day. He was always present and concerned about the student’s well being. I model what he did in so many ways. This is a multi-million dollar business. When you think about the 24-million dollar impact on this community, that’s major. Our customers are our students. They should be treated in a special way. I believe in accountability and responsibility. They have choices. They tell me all the time they’re grown, and I embrace that. The students here remind me of me. I let them know, when grown folks make decisions, they have to be held accountable. That’s fared well. I don’t wait until a situation occurs. I even strap up my shoes on open gym nights. I get a chance to see them outside of this bowtie so they can see I’m human. The conversations I have between games are powerful. I help them problem solve. Sometimes they need someone to be there, someone to come to. This builds meaningful relationships.” As for challenges facing Harris-Stowe, Dr. Warmack is proactively moving forward. “With any institution of higher learning, [the challenge is] budget and funding. That’s the piece where we all wish we had more. We think about state appropriations and being able to increase scholarship offerings to provide access and opportunity to more students. One of my objectives is to increase our funding sources to ensure we help more students fulfill the American dream to get a college education.” The current student population is quite diverse with scholars hailing from 19 states and 10 countries. To increase student interest, it’s important Harris-Stowe tells their story. “We spend a significant amount of time increasing our social media and our physical presence. Recently we spent time with Cardinal Ritter College Prep students. We met with all sixty seniors and forty-four applied. In Los Angeles, we were part of a fair where 16,000 students had a chance to see what Harris-Stowe has to offer. Around 250 applications from California were received. We are intentional about our enrollment strategies and telling our brand on a wider scale.”

To begin shifting the paradigm, Harris-Stowe has adopted Airport and Griffith Elementary in Ferguson. One of his mentors said when he’s asked people of color who are their mentors, they’d name a celebrity like Oprah Winfrey. “A mentor is someone you can touch and feel and it’s what I want to be to these students.” He encourages the students to be that for others. “Our males read to and mentor the younger students. This year for Thanksgiving, Lincoln University, the only other HBCU in Missouri, and Harris-Stowe gave baskets to all the families. If we catch them early, we can have a systemic impact. When I was growing up, if I saw the guys on the street hustling, that’s what I knew. If I saw a young educated brother who looked like me, I could aspire to be that as well. We, holistically, sometimes get into these positions and it’s like we’ve arrived. Unfortunately we’re not lifting as we climb. As we go forth, who are we bringing with us? The ideology of giving back is overrated. How do we pay it forward? We must think of the generation that comes after us.” Their recent Microsoft event is an example of that. Microsoft brought its first “YouthSpark Live” program to Harris-Stowe to encourage teens to re-write their futures through technology and innovation. Local entrepreneur Jaylen Bledsoe, 17, told his inspiring story of building his multi-million dollar global IT services enterprise. More than 100 middle and high school students participated in the workshop. As the only HBCU in St. Louis, Dr. Warmack knows the institution has a civic and moral responsibility to the underserved population. “When you think of the alarming statistics in this area where you have about 577,000 African American’s and about 370,000 are 18 or over, but only 14% have a bachelor’s degree and 4% have master’s degree. We’re missing the boat somewhere. There are too many universities for that. We have to change our approach. Just because we’re here doesn’t mean they’ll come. We have to be intentional about creating a platform.” Dr. Warmack’s story is a different story. “I wasn’t your traditional academic student. I’m cut from a different cloth. And if it wasn’t for education, I know I wouldn’t be here. I didn’t come from the well-resourced background or the spoon-fed family. I see myself in so many of our students and if they can have just half the opportunity I had, imagine how successful they can be. They’re my babies. They’re an amazing group of students who are going to change the world.” Dr. Warmack ends our discussion by sharing, “I’ve been fortunate to advance in this profession and I’ve worked hard. This is a calling. It’s my ministry. When God said it was my time, it was my time. It was divine order. I’m doing God’s work.”



SKY CONNER Sky Conner, a st.louis native is a fashion influencer & blogger who aspires to be a fashion entrepreneur. She is the founder of and has strong following domestic and international. She is known for her mix of street-style and high fashion while wearing a variety of low and high fashion. She showcases her wardrobe in a effortless way and creates an atmosphere where her readers do the same. Sky has been featured by Fashion Bomb Daily, Essence magazine, The Avenue, & Far Fetch, just to name a few. Sky resides in Manhattan New York where she models for brands, blog, and continues to build her empire. SOCIAL MEDIA IG: @Sky Conner Twitter: skyconner4 Snapchat: skyconner4

32 March | April 2016



Missouri Charter Public Schools

Charter Public School Data 2015 -­‐ 2016 School Year

National Data

6,500+ Schools 2,569,029 Students

Missouri Data

39 LEA’s • The intent of a charter public school is to meet or exceed STATE 68 Charter Schools performance averages preparing students to be competitive with 20,772 Students students across the nation. 85% Free and Reduced Lunch 10% Special Education Students • Independent, PUBLIC, and tuition-­‐free schools; • Held LEGALLY accountable for advancing student achievement; Kansas City Data • Open to ALL CHILDREN, tuition free, NO special entrance 20 LEA’s requirements; 33 Charter Schools • Offer special education services and serve English Language 10,238 Students Learners 42.0% Student Market Share • Align the curriculum with Missouri’s Learning Standards; 88.6% Free and Reduced Lunch • Meet the National and State requirement of 100% of teachers 6% Student Mobility Rate being Highly Qualified (Local District = 16%) • Educate more children than all but 3 school districts in the State; • Operate under a LEGAL PERFORMANCE CONTRACT with their St. Louis Data Sponsor. 19 LEA’s • Provide Missouri’s families with: 35 Charter Schools o More high-­‐quality schools 10,534 Students o Smaller schools 30.0% Student Market Share o Schools where parents are partners. 82.0% Free and Reduced Lunch o Options. 5% Student Mobility Rate (Local District = 32%) Charter Public Schools 2015 Performance Facts • 29 E XCEEDED t heir l ocal s chool district average in English For More Information Language Arts. Dr. Douglas Thaman • 25 EXCEEDED their local school district average in Mathematics. 314-­‐776-­‐3551 • 11 EXCEEDED the State of Missouri average in English Language Arts. MCPSA Mission Statement • 12 EXCEEDED the State of Missouri average in Mathematics. To improve student • The charter school average in ALL SUBJECT AREAS exceeded achievement by increasing the local school district average. access to high quality charter public education options throughout Missouri.

SELECTING A SCHOOL JUST BECAME EASIER! ONE PLACE, ONE GOAL, ONLINE. Now there is one place, online where you can electronically submit your application to attend one of 17 charter public schools in St. Louis. All you need is a computer, tablet or smart phone and 5 minutes. Schools will process applications, provide more information about their program and and contact you regarding student enrollment; all with one click of a button. The online enrollment system is available on each participating school’s website, the Missouri Charter Public School Association’s website ( and partner organizations, including

Carondelet Leadership Academy

Lafayette Preparatory Academy

St. Louis Language Immersion Schools


St. louis MONTESSORI St. Louis Montessori offers programs for students from 2.5 to 6 years of age. As an authentic Montessori school, our curriculum and programs are designed to build a strong foundation in academics, as well as social, emotional, physical and moral development. This approach encourages a child’s independence, self-motivation, and decision-making skills. Our teachers are AMI certified and have many years experience in Montessori education. Supplemental teachers specialize in dance, music, foreign languages, and art. We maintain a small teacher to student ratio. Our classrooms are designed to stimulate the child’s natural curiosity to explore the world around them. The classrooms are fully equipped with ageappropriate Montessori materials and our outdoor area is spacious with an engaging playground. THE MISSION To create a “Children’s House” where children are thrilled to learn through various methods, though mainly Montessori, under the guidance of caring and nurturing staff while celebrating the uniqueness and diversity of each child. OUR GOALS • • • •

To teach happy, well-rounded students who excel in academics, social and artistic areas and are in harmony with themselves and therefore with each other. A professional staff who share their talents in academics, art, music, sports, languages, etc. A school where excellence in all areas is the aim for each child, according to each one’s talent and potential. An environment conducive to learning and dedicated to creating a kinder, gentler generation.

To help each child gain wisdom through experience and knowledge. The Montessori method of teaching aims for the fullest possible development of the whole child, ultimately preparing him for life’s many rich experiences. Complemented by her training in medicine, psychology and anthropology,

38 March | April 2016

ST. LOUIS MONTESSORI 2507-2525 January Ave St. Louis MO 63110 314-282-5712 |

Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952) developed her philosophy of education based upon actual observations of children. Children pass through sensitive periods of development early in life. Dr. Montessori described the child’s mind between the time of birth and six years of age as the “absorbent mind”. It is during this stage that a child has a tremendous ability to learn and assimilate from the world around him, without conscious effort. During this time, children are particularly receptive to certain external stimuli. A Montessori teacher recognizes and takes advantage of these highly perceptive stages through the introduction of materials and activities which are specially designed to stimulate the intellect. Encouraged to focus her attention on one particular quality, the child works at her own optimum level – in an environment where beauty and orderliness are emphasized and appreciated. A spontaneous love of “work” is revealed as the child is given the freedom (within boundaries) to make her own choices. Montessori teachers are trained facilitators in the classroom, always ready to assist and direct. Their purpose is to stimulate the child’s enthusiasm for learning and to guide it, without interfering with the child’s natural desire to teach himself and become independent. Each child works through his individual cycle of activities, and learns to truly understand according to his own unique needs and capabilities. Everything in a Montessori classroom has a specific use or purpose. There is nothing in the prepared environment that the child cannot see or touch. All of the furniture and equipment is scaled down to the child’s size and is within easy reach. A quality Montessori classroom has a busy, productive atmosphere where joy and respect abound. Within such an enriched environment, freedom, responsibility, and social and intellectual development spontaneously flourish! Curriculum Focus Classic Montessori information is thoroughly documented in all programs. Additionally, we have enriched each course with contemporary ideas and activities that complement the Montessori Method and are a proven benefit to a child’s Montessori education.


SPACE AVAILABLE IN KDG, 1ST, 5TH & 6TH GRADE Work hard. Be nice.


high expectations

KIPP stands for the Knowledge Is Power Program! Our schools provide a college preparatory education with a focus on character building. KIPP has four high-performing schools in St. Louis City, dedicated to preparing your child for success in college and life, by expanding their confidence and providing a rigorous curriculum.

Committed Teachers Extended School Day No Admission Test Free Transportation Tuition FREE ¡Se habla español!

ENROLLMENT IS EASY: Online | Call | 314.896.0123 or Text | “Enroll” to 314.896.0123 In Person | @ any KIPP school Visit for more information DELUX MAGAZINE


At City Garden, donors help teachers create a loving, diverse environment focused on guiding each child to high outcomes through individualized Montessori education. Each child and family is supported so that academic opportunities create indelible learning experiences and joyful, life-long learners who are growing into community leaders. City Garden’s Guiding Values • Outstanding Montessori Education • Racial Equity and Social Justice • Community and Connection • Radical Hospitality

Organizational Priorities • Academic Excellence for All • Accessible Early Childhood Education • Comprehensive Support Services • Safety, Health & Well-Being

1618 Tower Grove Ave • St. Louis, MO 63110 • 314-664-7646 •


FOCUS St. Louis, the region’s premier leadership organization, will honor 20 organizations, individuals, and initiatives that are making a difference at the 19th annual What’s Right with the Region! awards celebration. The honorees were nominated by the public and selected by a panel of community judges for their impact and service to the community. City Garden has worked with teachers, parents, administrators and community groups to learn more about how schools can help communities understand and dismantle racism through a combination of personal, communal, and structural actions. Reflecting on the What’s Right with the Region honor, Executive Director Christie Huck said, “Racism strips individuals, children and adults, of freedom. This is why our work to dismantle racism, and to create what Dr. King referred to as the “Beloved Community” is so critical. Freedom is on the line. Freedom is why we are working doggedly to create an environment where all children learn, thrive and achieve, and are empowered to become their full selves. “ “Developing an anti-biased/ anti-racist institution is essential to actively dismantle systems that have resulted in the educational inequities and barriers that exist today. We are constantly refining our approach in order to create a new model classroom, school and community where all students enjoy access to freedom and possibility,” stated Principal Nicole Evans. City Garden’s work to build a racially/ethnically diverse school that creates inclusive academic excellence has required the whole community to prioritize racial equality and social justice. This has been most important inside the classroom, as City Garden strives to build a system of education that closes education opportunity gaps, within the context of being a Montessori-based neighborhood charter school. Huck says, “This is what we know will change and improve our world—more adults who have been loved and nurtured into becoming their best, most alive selves. The Montessori model provides endless lessons and opportunities for us to consider how we might constantly adjust our environment, our organization, our communication, etc., to reflect these values. There were (and still are) many obstacles that our students of color face that we must work vehemently to remove, in order for every child to be fully empowered and

fully alive. This is also why we engage so actively in our broader community—because, when we examine the obstacles that exist for our students, we recognize that some of these obstacles are within our walls, and many obstacles are beyond our walls… As we strive to truly remove ALL obstacles to our children’s full empowerment, it sometimes requires us to move beyond our typical notion of “school.” Adds Principal Evans, “This is why we work so hard to build a diverse, welcoming community! As we unravel the many obstacles to our children’s success and empowerment, we know we need to engage as many people as possible in this critical work. We have a LOT of work left to do, as we move towards our dream of a world without racism.” The work outside the classroom has included the creation of anti-racism committees for each level of the organization, with working groups for staff, board, and parents. City Garden has also worked with the Ethics Project and the YWCA to host community conversations and an on-going Witnessing Whiteness group, supporting the work of co-honoree Amy Hunter. Close to the hearts of City Garden parents is their monthly ColorBrave series, a series that highlights the need to be colorbrave rather than colorblind as a community committed to dismantling systemic inequities. City Garden is especially proud to work with Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing & Training in building the capacity of local organizations to dismantle systemic racism and build antiracist multicultural diversity within institutions and communities. FOCUS St. Louis will recognize the following outstanding honorees in the following category: Improving Racial Equality & Social Justice: Honorees have shown a commitment to promoting diversity, access and opportunity for all. Honorees include: Arch City Defenders, City Garden Montessori School, James Clark, and Amy Hunter. All in the community are invited to help recognize these outstanding leaders at the 19th annual What’s Right with the Region! awards celebration on May 12th , 2016 at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Co-chairs of this event are John Kemper, President and COO of Commerce Bank, and June McAllister Fowler, Senior Vice President, Communications, of BJC HealthCare. Lead sponsors for the event include BJC HealthCare, Commerce Bank, Edward Jones, Monsanto and Wells Fargo Advisors. DELUX MAGAZINE









ENROLLING NOW: THE CHINESE IMMERSION SCHOOL POSITIONS STUDENTS FOR GLOBAL SUCCESS FROM THE CHINESE SCHOOL IN SOUTH ST. LOUIS, STUDENTS LEARN TO BROADEN THEIR HORIZONS. Ask Veronica Panzer. About a year ago, Panzer and her family finished up a shopping trip to Costco by ordering a pizza. While waiting for their order, another family sat down at a nearby table and exchanged some words in Chinese. Her son, John, now a third grader at The Chinese School, leaned over and whispered to his mother that the girl at the other table had said in Chinese that she was “going to wash her hands.” “I turned around and asked politely if that is what they just said, and yes it was,” Panzer said. “This turned into an hour-long conversation, mostly between John and the girl’s parents in Chinese. They were amazed at his technical skills and his lack of an ‘American’ accent.” The wider world is what they teach at The Chinese School, part of the St. Louis Language Immersion Schools where about 850 students receive a tuitionfree, bilingual education in kindergarten through eighth grade. Opened in 2009, the St. Louis Language Immersion Schools operate four charter public schools in St. Louis: The Chinese School, The French School, The Spanish School and The International School. In addition to the diversity among its students, the Immersion School employs teachers from 17 countries. About 20 percent of students at the Immersion Schools currently attend The Chinese School, in grades kindergarten through fourth grade. (A fifthgrade class will be added in The Chinese School this fall.) They study traditional, state-mandated subjects including math, language arts, science, social

studies, art, music and physical education in the International Baccalaureate curriculum framework, plus heritage studies such as Chinese martial arts, choir and dance. “Our goal is to position our students for success in local and global economies, as well as a multicultural society,” said head of school Hsiu-Ling “Lydia” Chen, Ph.D., who was born in Taiwan and has headed The Chinese School since its opening in 2012. “We teach students to be critical thinkers and responsible, respectful and caring global citizens who are bilingual and biliterate in Chinese and English. “We want them to have a greater understanding and appreciation of other cultures,” she added. “We want their world view to be wider.” Almost everything at The Chinese School – from academics to citizenship to heritage – is delivered through the lens of a bilingual education. Signs for shapes and even washing your hands, for instance, are written in large Chinese characters with smaller English translations underneath. Yet Chinese is clearly the currency of communication here. Erin Balducci’s son, William, 6, is third-generation Chinese and a first-grader at the school. She and her husband want their son to be in touch with his American and Chinese roots, as well as be able to converse with his grandparents, so they enrolled him in kindergarten here. “He’s really come a long way,” Balducci said. “It’s good to see him more willing to talk to his dad in Chinese.” Rafa, a charming second-grader, has attended The Chinese School since kindergarten. Of half Peruvian

descent, Rafa hears English and Spanish spoken at home. Add Chinese. “The Chinese School gives him an extra opportunity to learn another language,” said Sara Seitz, explaining why she enrolled her son. By his own estimate, Chinese is spoken about 70 percent of the time in his classes. With each school year, teachers work toward expanding the students’ Chinese vocabulary so they can carry on conversations with their teachers and, more casually, with their classmates. “For me, Chinese is easy to learn,” Rafa added. “I’ve been taking it for three years. I think the school has been really good for me.” At the end of a recent school day, Christopher Clark arrived to pick up his daughter, Jalyn, a third-grader at The Chinese School. Her parents enrolled her here as a kindergartener. They were looking for a school that could provide her a good public education, as well as a positive experience. “And here we are three years later,” Clark said, smiling. Jalyn’s father lets her order in Chinese restaurants for practice. He sees her “actively connect” with the person taking their order. ‘Impressed” is not quite the right word to describe their response, Clark said. “It’s an appreciation,” he said. The Immersion Schools are currently enrolling for the 2016-2017 school year. For more information, go to or call 314-533-0975, extension 2903. Tours of the school can also be scheduled.


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44 November | December 2015


We all know that in the workplace there are certain expectations when it comes to professionalism. Things such as our speech, posture, actions and even the way we wear our hair are all monitored in the workplace. Though we should be mindful of these things mentioned, the single most important may very well be the way we dress. Whether you work in the mailroom or on the top floor, you must always dress the part. Now, what does dressing the part look like? Each place of work has its own guidelines when it comes to dress code. It is important to follow the guidelines, but never lose your sense of style while doing so. There should always be a certain level of standard upheld, as well as a certain level of creativity. Working in a fortune 500 company does not mean your wardrobe has to be blah and boring. Colors, prints and patterns can be tastefully incorporated into your wardrobe, adding a bit of zest.

THE THRIFTY CEO DRESS LIKE BOSS FOR LESS By Kendress Hughes Photo courtesy of McArthur25

Tip #2 Thrift. Some of my best and or favorite pieces have come from resale shops such as the Goodwill and consignment shops. Shocked? Don’t be. Resale shops are full of “one of kind” treasures at a great bargain. As great as this sounds, thrifting may not be for the faint at heart. Although many are pretty organized, some are not. So, patience is important when it comes to thrifting. You have to be willing to invest time and effort into finding that vintage piece that you would never be able to find anywhere else. Tip #3 Choose statement pieces. What is a statement piece you might ask? This is an item that helps your attire speak volumes without you having to say one word. These eyecatching threads help to bring the wow factor to your ensemble.

Now, how do we do this without breaking the bank? No matter your budget, you can build a wardrobe that consists of high end, high quality pieces that are appropriate for the work place at fraction of the cost of retail. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Now, keep in mind that these pieces need to work well with other articles of clothing in your wardrobe. You should have several clothing items that are interchangeable. This is a great way to have more of a variety without crowding your closet. Did I mention that this also saves you money?

Tip #1 Don’t limit yourself when it comes to stores. Keep in mind that very store has the possibility of offering something. When it comes to shopping, many of us instantly think of the mall. Some other underrated places to shop are yard sales, outlet malls and online shops, just to name a few. No matter where you shop, the important thing is to remember is to buy items that are “on sale” or discounted in price. By doing this, you can get multiple items for the price that you would normally spend on one single item. Now that’s smart shopping.

Keeping these few nuggets of knowledge in mind while shopping will help you to build a very stylish wardrobe and save you thousands of dollars at the same time. Remember, dressing as a professional, does not mean that you have to compromise style. Fashion is what you say it is. Now zip up that Chanel dress found at Nordstrom Rack. Slip on those Gucci pumps found on consignment. Then, strut into that boardroom and show them what a “boss” looks like. My motto is: “You don’t have to spend a million bucks to look like you did.” Happy shopping!



curate stlouis

Words by: Ebonie Young

Photo by: Google Services

BLACK in Effect! Featuring Black Owned Businesses Building St. Louis

Here at DELUX Magazine we believe small business is an important part to the growth, stability, and well-being of the community. Not only does DELUX celebrate the St. Louis Small Business we also want to highlight small business within our own community and help provide options to circulate the Black dollar within the Black community. We have created this page to help promote the awareness of new/old minority owned businesses in the city we have all grown to love St. Louis! Be Bold. Be Innovative. Be DELUX.

Sweet Art

Elevated Men’s Salon

Where can you find house-made vegan burgers, sandwiches named after famous African American heroes, beautiful installations of black art illustrating life, a sense of community AND baking classes that cater to different skill levels? SweetArt, that’s where! Nestled in south St. Louis, the family-owned bakeshop, café and art studio is owned and operated by the dynamic duo, Reine (the sweet) and Cbabi (the art) Bayoc. Since opening their doors in 2008, SweetArt has worked to support and empower their community by sourcing many of their ingredients and equipment from other locallyowned businesses.

After reflecting on the impact that barber shops used to have on men in the community, Carla Reid noticed that the current generation of young men were missing a sense of community. She realized that barbers not only provided fresh haircuts but also counseling and self-esteem building for the men and boys that visited their shops. Aiming to rekindle that barber family atmosphere with an urban and trendy twist, Carla opened the Elevated Men’s Salon in 2012. With a mission to ELEVATE, strengthen and empower men while making them look good, Elevated, emerged as a full service grooming salon for men specializing in razor shaves, razor linings and hot towel treatments. They also offer manicures, pedicures and facials for the complete grooming experience.

SweetArt is truly one of the most unique eateries/ art studios that you will find in St. Louis. As if the amazing food, most of which have a vegan or vegetarian base, wasn’t amazing enough. The atmosphere at Sweetart is an experience all its own. The combination of eclectic décor and Cbabi’s artwork adorning each wall in the space are a sight for sore eyes. The family style seating adds to the ambiance and is very conducive to the SweetArt theme of community and togetherness. With eight years under their belt, the couple shows no signs of slowing down. If you have a genuine love for people, food, and art like Reine and Cbabi, I dare you to visit SweetArt. Enjoy and have a red velvet cupcake for me.

Determined to establish Elevated Men’s Salon as a champion for men and boys, Carla implemented t h e Elevated Man of the Month to help shine light on and reward men doing good work in the community. The salon has also partnered with other local organizations to collect food and toiletries for pantries in Ferguson. If you know a man who needs pampering and a little elevation, send him to the Elevated Men’s Salon located on 1330 Aubert Ave., Ste. 101, St. Louis, MO 63113.

SweetArt is located on 2203 S. 39th Street, St. Louis, MO 63110

Want your business or service listed in DELUX? email

46 March | April 2016



“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.

48 March | April 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.

hey! great to meet you by: Lori “ShotBerry” Butler, CSW, WSET level II and Champage location specialist Most of us love meeting new people. Whether it’s networking or just out socially, meeting new people makes our life more interesting and fun. New folks can really add to our world and expand who we hang out with or connect with. It’s just great to have more friends. When meeting someone new, you typically say “Hey” and ask easy questions like “Where are you from?” This is a fast way to make a connection. In St. Louis, for example, people ask “What high school did you go to?” Immediately you connect (or not) and talk about things that are similar or chat about people you might both know. This same type of “greeting” can be applied to meeting new wine. When you want to get a bottle that you will really enjoy, you usually ask friends or business associates for their advice. What do they like? But let’s say you are on your own and you don’t know what to choose. You find that you just keep staring at all the labels. Asking a bottle where it’s from is a solid question to learn more about the wine and figure out if you might like it. When you go to pick a wine, knowing the varietal or grape is the easy first step. This narrows down the playing field. Let’s pick Cabernet Sauvignon as an example. A Cab is a Cab right? Well, not really...let me explain, it comes down to where the grape is from. For example, if a Cabernet is grown in a cool place it can taste quite different from a Cabernet grown where it is warm and sunny and then different again where it is downright hot. A Cabernet grown in Napa which is warm and sunny is usually well rounded, high in alcohol and gives flavors of black cherry and blackberry. OK great, but what if the label says Napa and also lists Mt Veeder? The Mt or mountain in the place name signals cooler weather. This will make the grape develop differently as it hangs on the vine. Grapes grown at higher altitudes need longer hang time to soak up the much needed sun for developing sugars. Remember it’s the sugars that turn to alcohol during the winemaking process. For place, think of it this way, in your backyard or garden a plant or flower will grow differently depending on where you plant it. Well that same thinking also applies to grapes. If a grape is grown where it is cooler, it will develop differently than if it has sun all the

time. Typically cooler climates or places bring out more acid and structure in a grape. You might taste flavors like pepper or spice, and the wine might be lighter with less alcohol. Now let’s say a wine just says California on the label. This could be from anywhere in the state and the state has some hot places like the Central Valley. Hotter places can produce so much sugar that the wine is just more of a fruit bomb. Also, if there is too much sun and alcohol then the flavors can be masked and all you really taste is heat, it’s almost a burning sensation in your mouth. That’s why it helps to know the specific place of the wine’s origin. Now let’s take the place information and apply it to another area. We still like Cabernet, but we are now looking at wines from Australia. Although we typically think of Shiraz for this country, there are also some really amazing Cabs from here as well. Grape vines grow in the Southern half of the country, everything is upside down in Down Under. Large wine regions are Western Australia, South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania. If a wine just says Australia it could be from anywhere, so we are not as sure what the wine might taste like. If you see Coonawarra in addition to Australia on the label this is just perfect for Cabernet. Coonawarra is located toward the bottom of the region, closer to the ocean, in an area called the Limestone Coast. Coast or coastal are other good clues for cooler weather as they typically border an ocean. Another example of this is Sonoma Coast that we all know and enjoy. If you are not sure about place, use your phone to Google it, there is usually a link to help you learn more. Coonawarra being on the coast, is much cooler than the northerly areas of hot South Australia. The cool growing season makes grapes much more interesting and complex, light and easy drinking with a great finish. You can use this type of geography system for a wine from any country. Check to see if it is from the coast, inland or other geographic indicators like mountains. The average temperature in that city can also be helpful when wanting to learn more about how grapes grow in certain places. It’s great to try new wines and make new wine “friends”, remember to just ask where they are from.




Knowledge, drive and passion are three characteristics every employer dreams of their employees having. They are also terms to which you would use to describe a person on the move, a person making strides to be better versions of their self while helping those around them improve as well. The moment I met Kendra Burris–Austin, I knew she embodied the very essence of what each word meant. What started out as a crazy Friday for the both of us turned out to be a very enlightening conversation regarding her contributions at Express Scripts, and plans to bring awareness to how important supplier diversity is to companies. After spending years with some heavy hitters throughout Corporate America; Burris-Austin was handpicked off of Linked-In to fill her current role at the company. As the Director of Supplier Diversity, BurrisAustin’s role is building a program around the company’s clients and the community. A major part of the Supplier Diversity role is centered on the businesses Express Scripts interacts with, especially diverse businesses.



BURRISAUSTIN Express Scirpt- Supplier Diversity

Words by:Shadress Burks Photo: McArthur25

50 March | April 2016

As our conversation continued, I listened to her explain how important it is for Express Scripts to absorb the needs of their clients so they are able to enhance the communities they are planted within. As a Director of Supplier Diversity, Burris-Austin views her role and program in the form of an outreach program and works hard to maintain high contact with not just suppliers, but the community as well. Keeping her ears to the ground while her handshakes form lasting business relationships are what make her job interesting and fulfilling. With a workforce of 70% women, 30% minority, and 12% bilingual; Burris-Austin is proud to be a part of a company who mirrors the diversity they seek out in other companies. As the demographics of our country

changes due to population increase and other factors; she explained how the focus for more diverse vendors and companies will be in demand. Constantly faced with millions of consumer expectations, Burris-Austin understands the responsibility she is tasked with delivering on. Her conversation is full of confidence as she speaks highly of how she truly loves what she does and continues to find ways to aid other companies in growing their supplier diversity divisions as well. You would think building programs and dealing with major corporations would be enough, but not for Burris-Austin as she strive for excellence and to build a better community. Continuing her work beyond the walls of Express Scripts corporate headquarters, Burris-Austin was nominated this past December to serve as the Board Chair for the St. Louis Minority Business Council. Demonstrating that being proactive extends far beyond the regular 9 to 5 shift; she plans to be an essential part in restructuring the organization as it moves in a new direction. As our conversation neared the end I asked this incredibly driven woman where she saw herself in five years. To much surprise, she smiled and simply stated she didn’t know. She reflected on a post she had previously made regarding the question, paused and then continued with stating that regardless of where she is in five years; she will leave whatever she has left in a better place than what it was. I smiled at her response simply because I couldn’t have thought of a better way to answer that question. It was a combination of uncertainty and spontaneity, yet hopeful of good things to come. As we closed I could see and hear the passion she had for her job and the things she would soon be doing to move Express Scripts in a positive direction. At that moment, I knew if we never crossed paths again it wouldn’t be the last time I would hear Kendra Burris-Austin’s name.

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


52 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

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#blackgirlmagic Words by: Drew Williamson


lle magazine recently published an article by Linda Chavers, a black woman, titled “My Problem with #BlackGirlMagic.” However before I go any further I want to make the audience aware that I am a black man, simply meaning I don’t have the capacity to undergo the black girl experience let alone totally comprehend the phrase “black girl magic”. That being said, I feel an innate desire to defend this phrase also the facts and opinions in this piece are not mine alone. In order to truly capture the essence of what it means to have Black Girl Magic I went directly to the source; Black women. I had the chance to talk to two incredibly proud, young and influential black women from Howard University. The first being Sage Adams, a 18 year old artist and activist from Brooklyn, NY. As a freshman at Howard University, Sage majors in political science, she currently serves as a curator at the @arthofcollective, and was recently named one of Dazed Magazine’s teen feminists of the year. The second young woman I had the pleasure of speaking with was Cyrene Tankard, sophomore Public Relations major from Murfreesboro,Tennessee. You may know her from Bravo TVs reality television show Thicker Than Water which follows Grammy award winning and ex NBA player Ben Tankard and his family. Since the shows airing, Cyrene has begun work in production, consulting, and building her brand. First off, for those of you who don’t know what #BlackGirlMagic is, according to the single black female project-- an online platform for black women to celebrate their voice on issues and events that affect their lives-- it’s “a term Black girls everywhere have adopted to describe that indescribable characteristic about us It’s what we exude. It’s our Je Ne Sais Quoi. That sprinkle of magic that embodies our sassiness, our sharpness, our talent, wit, beauty, style, skill and the list goes on. It points the finger to our mystic and one-of-a-kind creation that every black girl is born with. #BlackGirlMagic puts a stamp and spotlight on our works our interests and our accomplishments.” Unfortunately, it seems that anytime Black women attempt to uplift, embrace, and empower their appearance and/or history, there are those who claim that this embracing and uplifting is not only divisive to humanity, it’s outright racist and in fact detrimental to black women. That Black people being veiled as more than human, actually harms us due to the fact it encourages others to try to harm us. White America doesn’t like the image of the powerful Black individual; be it male or female. However, is that reason for us to no longer celebrate our blackness? “Saying we’re superhuman is just as bad as saying we’re animals, because it implies that we are organically different, that we don’t feel just as much as any other human being. Black girls and women are humans. That’s all we are. And it would be a magical feeling to be treated like human beings–who can’t fly, can’t bounce off the ground, can’t block bullets, who very much can feel pain, who very much can die. When I see “black girl magic,” I think, was Sandra Bland not magical enough? Renisha McBride? Miriam Carey? Perhaps she’d been trying to be magical and, failing, started to blame herself instead.” Firstly, there is no way being superhuman implies less humanity. If anything, it implies more. Super humanity denotes extra humanity and for that

reason Blacks should be treated as such, humans. My superhuman characteristics of perseverance when the matrix of domination is stacked totally against me (the magic in #BlackGirlMagic) should cause the white supremacist society in which I live to bend more to my being. But as a subculture, we do not ask for such this. We simply asked to be treated as equals. By espousing this hashtag, Black women do not claim that they are literally magic, although the Black woman’s ability to succeed against these odds is quite magical, but that society is stacked against them and that it would typically take a Wizard/Witch to get around this institutional prejudice. The fact that we are treated as animals does not attest to the belief that blacks give police a reason to think that Blacks can handle such treatment, but to the inhumanity and lack of empathy that white privilege instills. When I got the chance to speak with Cyrene Tankard, I asked her what the movement meant to her. She then went on to explain to me that she never viewed black girl magic the way it was portrayed in Elle magazine. To Cyrene “black girl magic is how she [Linda Chavers] recounted it in the begging of the article, a celebratory phrase. I just think of pretty black girls celebrating themselves and each other.” Cyrene also spoke on what the movement meant to her. “I appreciate the term/phrase especially growing up in a predominantly white area where black girls weren’t celebrated and I was encouraged even by my own race to act or look more white because it was prettier--more acceptable and more valued, Black girl magic is an empowering phrase and positive phrase for me.” Finally I spoke to Sage Adams of the Art of Collective, which is an online gallery and consciousness raising space that focuses on young people of color and of marginalized experience. Through a submission and curation process the collective aims to make art more accessible as an everyday presence on your feed. Sage Adams gave her view on Linda Chavers article, as well found the piece to have a very narrow view. “I found that the original poster used her own personal experiences as a backbone for her argument of the damaging nature of using a term like black girl magic. I would argue that this self-aggrandizing view of the term ignores the history of black women. I would also implore the author to allow Black girls to be black girls. I feel as if we do not allow black young people to be just so. So while yes the strong Black woman trope is damaging, black girl magic is the new age manifestation of drawing on the past and creating your own future. In my eyes, the black woman has overcome unprecedented challenges in history and continues to do so today. This tendency to be what some may call super human does not in fact hurt us, it makes us unique. The white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, as bell hooks so aptly captured, does not view Black women as super” Black women are celestial beings. They are beautiful, powerful, carefree, divine, superhuman queens of incredible self-worth and intelligence. To everyone who takes offense or issue with that statement, #BlackGirlMagic is here to stay and will be here to remind and reaffirm these undeniable and visceral facts.

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Income should be a positive word, something that gives you freedom. Instead most people trade their time for money. Trading time for money includes working a job or even your career. Jobs can give you a sense of stability, dependent upon pay and passion. But even if the money is great, where’s your time? That’s something you can never get back; maximize it. There is hope though. There are three ways to acquire money, also called money supply. M1 people trade their time for money, M2 people have earned enough money to invest; in the stock market for example, and M3 people use residual income to gain wealth. Residual income can be created by a product that people will continue to buy, publishing from a book or song, real estate that will continue to be bought and sold or rented out, and even owning your own company. Step one in changing your income streams is to change your money mentality. It’s easy to find negative thoughts about money, debt and bills. If you want prosperity, you must change your thoughts about money immediately! Having positive thoughts about money will change your entire experience with money. If you are down to your last dollar, never proclaim your act as if you’re broke. Take the word “broke” out of your vocabulary now. Money should be used, not spent. Circulate your money when you pay your bills or buy groceries; know that money will come back to you. Identify your money mentality and see, if it needs a transformation. Creating residual or passive income is no easy task, but it can be done. Plan out how you want to earn your income and what you want to accomplish. Think about the necessary steps and money that will be used to start your venture. Rental property is a great way to earn residual income, although it could demand some additional time for restoration or repairs. Investing in the stock market is another way to make your money work for you and of course requires initial investment. Art is an amazing form of residual income. Just think, every time your book is downloaded or bought you get paid, and each time your song is downloaded or played, you get paid. Create a product that consumers can’t live without or get involved with network marketing companies; of course do your research and talk with people who have had success with it. Jim Rohn, famous entrepreneur, author and speaker, said I’m working full-time on my job and part-time on my fortune. But it won’t be long before I’m working full-time on my fortune. Can you imagine what my life will look like.” Even if you’re completely happy in your career, there’s always a way to do more, to live more, to earn more. Investing in your family’s future is something you’ll never regret.

56 March | April 2016




Why Your Sponsorship Proposals Are Getting Rejected. By: Karim Lateef MBA

Lifestyle Manager, Martell® Cognac || Editor-In-Chief, CraftBrandTheory© || Moving Brands Into Culture & Conversation

To some of you what I’m going to write below will be insightful information to others it will be a repeated loop of advice that I’ve whispered and gradually screamed at the top of my lungs since my start in the alcohol beverage, consumer products, and branded entertainment industries. Today, it seems more than ever many of us are engaged in multiple hustles to ultimately achieve that mythical “American Dream” whether you’re a corporate 9toFiver who lives out his or her passion as an Event Promoter after hours, or fledgling restauranteur with an emerging culinary arts blog, there is a shared vision for evolutionary success. I share your motivations and empathize with your challenges, which have prompted me to reiterate the points in this article. There is no secret that in order to actualize your dreams and vision, you must mine for resources- human resources, intellectual capital and financial capital. Throughout my career, I have been known for using my position of perceived power wherever I was employed to support small businesses and creative visionaries in bringing their dreams to fruition by providing all three of the aforementioned types of resources. What I have noticed over the years is that the more I’ve helped and guided, the more seemingly narcissistic and more apathetic many of the people I’ve supported had become to the corporate business objectives I needed to achieve, not to mention my personal need for a simple showing of gratitude. In fact, many feel entitled to the support based on a perceived friendship or because their event, project, or business is a seemingly good idea. The brutal honesty is that in many cases they most likely needed the support of that multibillion dollar, multinational company a lot more than that company needed the association, but I supported because I personally believed in that person. However, it’s important to not strain and show a lack of reciprocity in your relationships with people in positions of “perceived power” and “tangible power” at corporations, small businesses and

organizations as you move along your personal journey to success. Below are two tips to help you build a foundation of reciprocity. Look for a few more tips in more forthcoming e-book. Before seeking support, research the company, organization, or brand thoroughly to see if there are existing synergies or simply if it’s a good fit for their business objectives. I can no longer count the number of times a person has sent me a proposal, texted me an idea, or called me with a proposal to support and idea without doing any homework on the company I represent to see if it makes sense. The most common question, “I have this great event or idea do you think any of your brands would like to support it”. The most appropriate pitch should have been “I was reading a few articles on your company’s website about your new focus on engaging with Millennial cognac drinkers in Atlanta, I have built a great event platform I’m proud to say has heavy engagement with that consumer and ironically as the article noted cognac is the leading call at the bar during my events. I would love to explore creative ways that we can partner with you to achieve your new objectives using my platform.” Please note how the differences in approach can solicit two different responses from the receiver. The first person, is seeking support but shows no interest in whom or what entity it comes from which is a clear sign that brand loyalty is not in the cards. The second person has clearly done research and is setting intentions for a foundation of reciprocity and shared growth. The pre-support, actual support and post-support phases of the partnership are equally important. Most people seeking support for their idea, event, or project spend the majority of the time trying to convince the company or organization to buy into their vision without consideration of that individual or company’s objectives. For clarity, let’s use the case of an event sponsorship as an example. Throughout my career in the alcohol beverage industry I’ve read over 6,000

sponsorship proposals, in many cases 15-20 a day. Over 90% end up in the email trash bin, and only a third of the remaining 10% actually get it right from sponsorship proposal, to pre event marketing through the line to post event recap. The other opportunistic two thirds place majority of importance on pre-event marketing such as simply adding logos to flyers and social media imagery, maybe a hashtag inclusion while fully integrating the brand into the event is lackluster, and a post event follow-up is non-existent except asking for support for the next event. Here are some tips to make your sponsor feel like their investment and support is more appreciated and the brand is truly integrated into the DNA of the event. Get alignment on the tactical or event objectives of the Sponsor prior to the event? Is the goal to achieve more consumer trial of new product (i.e., more liquid to lips or sampling)? Is the objective to increase the target audience’s affinity towards the brand (i.e., positive conversation or natural endorsement of the brand from key influencers associated with the event delivered via photography and social media mentions)? Increase of company social media followership and engagement? Build your proposal around achieving those needs. Integrate the brand authentically and creatively into the digital and social media marketing of the event. Spend quality time exploring unique ways integrate the brand into the marketing of the event other than the traditional lazy logo and simple hashtag inclusion. For example consider fun branded contests using the company hashtag or a call for user generated video content that brings the brand to life in your world with respect to the target audience. Explore nontraditional ways to integrate the branding onsite at the venue or event space. The sponsoring company will most likely provide banners and other traditional visibility elements, however if you are positioning yourself as the leading creative visionary then present the brand with nontraditional unique experiences and branding avenues for consumers to engage with the brand. If the brand says yes to all of your ideas then you are not thinking big enough. Your goal as a creative visionary and expert on your target audience is to challenge the Sponsor with breakthrough ideas. Create an amazing sponsorship recap that transports the event to the boardroom. Most people fail in this area with simple mistakes such as not having an experienced photographer or videographer, failing to provide a brand shot list to the photographer, or simply not sending a thank you letter and recap to the Sponsor. The simple trick here is to approach each event with the recap in mind starting with the pre-event phase through the end of the event. The recap should deliver a brilliant blend of rich emotion, passion, and consumer data allowing the receiver to fully grasp the opportunity cost of the partnership.

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60 March | April 2016




trip ideas



BOGOTÁ, COLOMBIA Thanks to its rapidly emerging food scene, Colombia’s capital is making a comeback. Take Mercado, where chef Leonor Espinosa whips up farm-fresh pollo campesino (braised chicken) served with four traditional Colombian sauces on the side. For something lighter, there’s Abasto, a restaurant/market in the trendy Usaquen neighborhood; the grilled octopus with veggies is a musttry. While you’re exploring the city, make sure to grab a mouthwatering arepa and corn on the cob from a local street-food vendor — chase it down with a fresh smoothie made from exotic fruits like feijoa (cucumber-ish), guanabana (like coconut and banana), and mora (sweet, tart berry). As if you needed another reason to go, there’s a huge sale on round-trip flights from LA ($400) and NYC ($290).

FAROE ISLANDS Thanks to its rapidly emerging food scene, Colombia’s capital is making a comeback. Take Mercado, where chef Leonor Espinosa whips up farm-fresh pollo campesino (braised chicken) served with four traditional Colombian sauces on the side. For something lighter, there’s Abasto, a restaurant/market in the trendy Usaquen neighborhood; the grilled octopus with veggies is a musttry. While you’re exploring the city, make sure to grab a mouthwatering arepa and corn on the cob from a local street-food vendor — chase it down with a fresh smoothie made from exotic fruits like feijoa (cucumber-ish), guanabana (like coconut and banana), and mora (sweet, tart berry). As if you needed another reason to go, there’s a huge sale on round-trip flights from LA ($400) and NYC ($290).

KRAKÓW, POLAND This Gothic city is in the midst of a quiet cultural revolution. Historic sites like Old City’s Rynek Glówny — the largest medieval square in Europe — and Wawel Royal Castle are still the main draw, but a hip boho vibe is blooming in the Jewish quarter (Kazimierz). Pop in the low-lit Alchemia bar for drinks, before browsing through vintage postcards and antique treasures at Hala Targowa flea market. Then, check out contemporary Polish works at Starmach, a synagogue-turnedgallery in the Podgorze neighborhood, which is known for its cool street-art scene. Refuel with a zapiekanki (think open-face sandwich meets pizza) at Endzior, or nosh on smoked cheese and cured sausage at Stary Kleparz’s famous food stalls.

CORSICA Skip the glitzy Côte d’Azur and escape to France’s “Isle of Beauty,” just south of the riviera. There, you’ll find 620 miles of coastline, craggy mountains, medieval clifftop towns and thriving vineyards. Check in (and bliss out) at the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Casa Agriates, an eight-bedroom villa on 40 acres of gardens and olive groves. When hunger strikes, the local markets are the place to go: stands are piled high with French-Italian fare like maquis herbed salami, brocciu (goat cheese), huitres (oysters), and slow cooked wild boar or lamb.

ANDORRA At just 180 square miles, it’s no wonder this tiny country between Spain and France is still a secret. Andorra’s slopes in the Pyrenees Mountains are ideal for skiing without the long lift lines of more popular resorts in the French Alps. Catch some fresh snow at Vallnord, then soak your sore muscles in the thermal baths at Caldea. Come evening, the best après-ski meals are served at traditional bordas (stone restaurants) — our favorite spot, Estevet, grills up mouthwatering oxtail and suckling pig.

MOZAMBIQUE In Eastern Africa, the lesser known country of Mozambique is attracting in-the-know jetsetters to its untouched beaches. Along the northern coast, rustic-chic lodges like Vamizi Island, Ibo Island and Azura are redefining the once wild Quirimbas islands, while in the south, high-end hotels are opening in the Bazaruto Archipelago. Bed down in a casita or villa at andBeyond Benguerra Island, set on a mangrove-fringed shoreline with powdery white sands and crystal clear water. Spend your days diving in the coral reefs, and spotting sea turtles and dugongs, or live out your Castaway fantasies catching some rays on a secluded beach all to yourself.

SLOVENIA When you’re bordered by major players like Austria, Italy and Croatia, it’s easy to get overlooked. But that doesn’t mean Slovenia isn’t worth a trip of its own. This country has mountain ranges that rival the alps, crumbling castles, and romantic vineyards (take that, Tuscany). Its crown jewel is Lake Bled, with a fairytale island temple dedicated to an ancient Slavic goddess. We also recommend tasting the local sauvignon and merlot at Movia, one of the country’s 28,000 wineries, or riding the underground train through Postojna Cave’s labyrinth-like tunnels.

MYANMAR This country used to be off limits to American travelers, but now President Then Sein aims to open 1,100 hotels to prepare for the new wave of tourists (three million people visited just last year!). And there are plenty of reasons why: golden stupas, floating villages, Buddhist monasteries and colonialstyle cities.

62 March | April 2016

who got next




Words by: NikkI Smith

man of great tenacity and determination, one of the founding members of St. Louis’ premier and rising clothing brand, BPLR, Quinton Jackson says he’s “just getting started”. Born Poor Live Rich, commonly known as BPLR has been seen across the chests of many St. Louisans as well as celebrities such as Omari Hardwick and Joseph Sikora of the hit TV show “Power”, Karrueche Tran, Erica Mena, Cassidy, Lil Scrappy, Rich Homie Quan, Shorty the Prince, Jonica Blu, Yo Gotti &Company, and many more. With a robust digital presence and the backing of several celebrities and local supporters, one would find it difficult to believe that a brand that everyone has grown to love was created completely by accident. “In 2011, a friend of ours got drafted to the NFL and we wanted to throw a going away party for him. Cornell, a close friend who unfortunately was killed last year, came up with the slogan, ‘Born Poor Live Rich’ so we put the slogan on t-shirts and wore them to the party.” Every one loved it and began to request their own custom shirts with their own unique twist; and thus the “Born Poor Live Rich” brand became a local phenomenon. Only three years removed from taking t-shirt orders and printing them in a Walnut Park basement, Quinton and his partners have led the brand immeasurable heights with a social media following of over 6K followers and a wide assortment of clothing items such as sweatpants, shoes, hats, shorts, jackets and more that can be customized to fit your unique style. But it is beyond the distinctive designs that make Quinton and his BPLR partners so inspirational. The brand caught the eye of many members of the community with their “Hand Up, Don’t Shoot” t-shirt that was worn by hundreds after the shooting death of Michael Brown in August of 2014. 100% of the proceeds from those t-shirt sales were donated entirely to the Brown family to assist with funeral costs for Michael. The brand had a similar act of servitude after the death of Trayvon Martin. Aside from being on the forefront of social justice issues, BPLR also adopts a family in need each holiday season to give donated toys, household items, and their very own BPLR gear. Outside of being a successful and conscious entrepreneur, Quinton also serves his community as a middle school history teacher which offers him the chance to not only educate but further expose them to the tremendous opportunities that are available to them outside of their current environment. . 64 November | December 2015



@tequilaavion @tequilaavion

66 November | December 2015