Founded in 1857, Harris-Stowe State University is the product of remarkable traditions and rich history. As a historically black college, its faculty and staﬀ value the opportunity they have to impact the life of a ﬁrst-generation college student.
Your hometown HBCU… Changing lives one generation at a time. 3026 Laclede Avenue . St. Louis, MO 63103 www.hssu.edu (314) 340-3300 2 | DELUX Magazine SEPTEMBER 2011
We’re Connected! www.downtownstl.org
COMING SOON: Downtown Ball & Gala, Peabody Opera House, October 14th To receive Downtown Events News, text “downtownstl” to 71297
BE BOLD BE SEXY BE DELUX IAM KELLY ROLAND Courtesy of LB Photography
46 32 delux Features 16
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50 ON THE COVER
DELUX CHAtter 14
This month we are featuring Selena
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Joyful Drake graces the cover of the women empowerment edition. As an up and coming actress with roles in movies such as Get Him To The Greek, Joyful is definitely ALL WOMAN!!!
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DELUX-MAG.COM JULY 2011 | 11
12 | DELUX Magazine AUGUST 2011
Who run the world, GIRLS!
The ladies are taking over Delux this month! Gracing the cover is the beautiful and talented actress, Joyful Drake. You may have seen her in my favorite movie Get Him to the Greek! This edition has been designed with US in mind, featuring the hottest fashion for the fall, Women Power Players and a new,sexy hot spot downtown. Grab this issue and check out Leah Bowers and Sande Stevenson with Me at Exoâ€™s She Spot hosted by Rob Hughes. SMOOCHES -Carri G.
EDGY • CHIC’ • BOLD
DARING • UNIQUE • FASHION
1900 Olive Street St. Louis, MO 63103 (314) 588-9948 Open Tue-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 8am-5pm
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CREATIVE • EXQUISITE • TALENT
Contributors Theresa Harris
Art Smith | Xpressions2Art
A mother first and foremost and an educator a close second; I have a passion for writing since the age of 10 but can never really find the down time. I am a single 31 year old, for now, that would rather watch football than shop and rather eat chocolate than vegetables. I like teaching young people whether in the classroom or outside of it.
Native of New Orleans, La. Came to Stl in 2005 while in the Air Force at Scott AFB serving as a Senior Non Commissioned Officer at Air Mobility Command Headquarters. I have work published in Jet Magazine, Silk Magazine, Icy Magazine, inBox Magazine and of course Delux!
DELUXTHOUGHT in love and you thought love was enough to make up for the lack of everything else that you really need in a relationship. Or, once you got a nice salary and benefits, plus the work environment is everything you’ve ever wanted, you decide to chill as an employee instead of diving into that business you want to start. Or perhaps you are a spiritual person. Someone who is tuned in to the rhythm of life and God and you believe that there is deeper and greater truth than what you’ve been told, but you settle - because it’s easier - to just be told who and what God is rather than to search for yourself. So what happened?
Sometimes it’s real easy to take the path of least resistance, especially when you are comfortable and things are convenient. You’ve done it right? We’ve all done it at some point in our lives. At some point, you made a decision to stop there, either temporarily (until you realized what you were actually doing) or permanently. Either way, at some point, you decided that you weren’t going any further. Be it a job, a spouse or lifestyle, many people just stop in mid air. You were soaring to new heights in your life and all of the sudden you stopped. What happened? You fell
There are some who believe that what they have is all that they are able to get so they stop there. And there are others who are afraid of stepping out into the unknown. Fear is one of the main reasons why people settle. Either you fear that the price to pay is too great or you fear that you won’t find another that has the positive traits as the person you are with. In any case, fear will always cause you to stop dead in your tracks and it will always cause you to feel trapped and empty. Fear suffocates its victims. It grips and stagnates you until you either see it for what it is and overcome
it, or until it kills you. We settle for less when we don’t know who we are or what we’re really worth or what we’re really capable of. So the way to remedy that is to simply, know thy self. When you know who you are, what you are worth and what you are capable of achieving, then fear cannot hold you back and you will not settle for less than what you were created to have and experience. It saddens me to know that so many are living their lives miserably, especially when they have the ability to choose otherwise. If you feel that you are about to settle for less than what you deserve, or already have settled, take some time to look at yourself. A good healthy dose of introspection is in order; wake up call, if you will! Pay attention to the signs, they are all around you. Life will let you know when you have settled or are about to settle. You will know deep within. You can choose to ignore that terrible feeling, or you can allow it to wake you up and move forward into the life you were meant to have, being the person that you were meant to be. When you realize just how MUCH you really are, you will never allow yourself to accept anything less than that! -love, sj
ors t i d E oice h C
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The all-new 360 lounge is located on the downtown rooftop of the Hilton at the Ballpark. This futuristic lounge offers a top quality comfort, a beautiful view and unprecedented cuisine. The executive chef Rex Hales’ 25 years of culinary experience shines through in every bite. The extensive menu offers an eclectic mix of American cuisine, wines and cheeses and international favorites. The mixologists also add flavor to the scene using only the freshest ingredients including agaves and saffron to intensify the essence of your favorite beverage. The pleasure does not end at the dinner table...360 offers entertainment as well. Legendary DJ’s, exclusive events, and intimate occasions are all celebrated here. All of this excitement on rooftop brings truth to the name as you can experience a full circle of fun and entertainment at 360. 1 South Broadway | St. Louis, MO 63102 | 314-241-VIEW
Aldo Foody bag $48
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Etienne Aiger Venice Satchel, $130 Aldo Merlette bag, $45
Rachel Roy Japan Tote $25
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Louise Thomas B O U T I Q U E
words by: Tiffany S. Nashville
Epiphany Boutique, which opened this past April, is a fashion haven for sophisticated women. Owner Louise Thomas found it hard in the past to find places that were a true reflection of her unique sense of style. She craved quality pieces that spoke to her personality. “I know there are many women like myself that are sophisticated, sexy, confident, and tenacious. I have always wanted to be a part of the fashion industry, but never really knew how I was going to break into it.” What’s a girl to do when she is unhappy with shopping options? Create that opportunity
Photo: Lawrence Bryant
for yourself! Louise hosts network parties, attends multiple social events to help promote her boutique, she styles photo shoots, and much more! She’s been featured on Fox 2 News as well as KPLR Channel 11 News to showcase her styling abilities. Allow Louise to share with you her vision of fresh, timeless styles from across the country.
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E P I P H A N Y
L AGENCE Blouse $475, NICOLE ROMANO Earrings $35 (to rent), ASOS Satchel, JIMMY CHOO Heels $950
DELUXBRIDAL “...I JUST WANNA GET MARRIED...” -JAGGED EDGE
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hether newly engaged, an
expectant mother, or planning a corporate party, Aaren Muex and her team of Divine Events, LLC has the resources to make your special day unforgettable. As the St. Louis Local Networking Group Director for the Association of Bridal Consultants, Muex has the expertise to offer customizable packages to add a divine touch to your planning process. She realized her passion for coordinating events while heading a church committee. The event was a success. Muex knew this was the perfect
career change. “My faith in God and my encouraging husband gave me the courage to pursue my dreams. I believe I have a distinct ability of making everyone feel like a VIP. I will continuously work hard so your event is everything you envisioned.”
Expenses quickly add up when planning, and you may not believe you can afford an event planner. Well, Muex believes it is essential to have a calm person to diffuse last minute hiccups. You’ll only have to focus on enjoying your day as Divine Events takes care of the rest.
www.mydivineevents.com firstname.lastname@example.org 314-805-3587
STL’sWOMEN POWER PLAYERS Saint Louis’ top-ranking women for 2011 remind us that a dream is as only as big as you make it. We introduce you to DELUX’s Power Players of 2011. 22 | DELUX Magazine SEPTEMBER 2011
8NINE AGENCY President Bradley got an early start in the business of sports while she was studying Law & Public Policy in the Business Program at Gonzaga University. Bradley worked with the GU Baseball team learning everything from daily operations, team management, player eligibility requirements, and the recruiting process for both college and professional players. During this time she also worked with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,nproviding college scholarships to low income high school students who completed the required two year mentorship program. In 2010, Bradley partnered with friend and NFL Hall of Fame Legend, Marshall Faulk to create the 8NINE Agency. The organization provides current and former athletes with the opportunities and resources to become successful Business-Professional Athletes by managing their Off-Field Player-Development. They emphasize Business-Development, Player-Development, and Personal-Development & Philanthropy. The inspiration for the project comes from the belief that if used in a positive way, the Professional Athlete platform provides the best opportunity to change lives in our communities today, as well as the potential to change lives for generation to come. This is a powerful platform for Foundations, Organizations as well as Corporations.
Senator Robin Wright-Jones United States Senator
Senator Robin Wright Jones’ was elected to the senate in 2008 after serving in the House of Representatives from 2002-2008. She represents the fifth district in St. Louis and is the Minority Caucus Secretary. This mother of two was born and raised in St. Louis, attending Beaumont High School and University of Missouri – St. Louis. Her professional experience spans from being a real estate broker to being an educator to owning a limited liability company, Arjen One. She’s also a dedicated member of Delta Sigma Theta and sits on several boards and serves in many committees. Senator Jones stays busy but takes time to take care of her district and sets an example for hard working African American women everywhere.
DR. NINA ELLIS-HERVEY BeautifulBrwnBabydoll What do a natural hair care guru and a doctor specializing in Autism have in common? Typically, making that connection would be a stretch, but Dr. Nina Ellis-Hervey doesn’t think so. “Dream big, or not at all,” she advises. With The Huffington Post confirming what nearly 50,000 YouTube subscribers already know—Nina has spent the past 4 years earning her accolades as one of the Top 5 YouTube Natural Hair Care Vloggers. A successful skin and hair care line already on the market, she aspires to own barber shops and beauty salons. A recent recipient of a Doctoral degree, she urges her followers to adopt healthy lifestyles for beauty that is more than physical. Her aspirations are to transcend the physical and plans to open autism clinics. Oh, and she wants to be the next Oprah. According to her site’s 3.8 million views, Dr. Ellis-Hervey is making the right connections.
DELUX-MAG.COM OCTOBER 2011 | 23
Chief Financial Officer, Rx Outreach Alzheimer’s didn’t come to Kimberly Stemley with old age. It came when she turned 30. It rang her phone at 7 one morning because it had her mother, Dorothy, dazed and confused, making her way down Martin Luther King Drive. Kimberly would later confess that she noticed unusual behaviors for years, but denied Dorothy’s transformation into someone unrecognizable— someone whose erratic behavior and resulting depression would soon require care beyond what her only daughter could provide. With this debilitating disease came the introduction of the Alzheimer’s Association, which assisted the Stemley’s in the tall order of regaining a semblance of normalcy. As Chief Financial Officer of Rx Outreach Inc., a non profit mail order pharmacy, she has gone on to champion the cause of increasing the communities understanding of Alzheimer’s and liaisons between the Alzheimer’s Association and Rx Outreach. Kimberly has turned tragedy into triumph, fighting daily to improve mental health in our communities and ensure that affordable medications are provided for people in need.
COURTNEY MCCALL Director of Marketing
IWhile most people seem to live by the quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” Harris-Stowe State University Assistant Vice President for Communications, Marketing, Alumni Affairs and Development has totally aligned those words with her life objectives. She feels blessed that HarrisStowe has given her a platform to execute that saying. After a brief stint at Boeing Defense, Space and Security as a communications specialist for Operations and Supply Chain, McCall realized a major part being that change was to return to Harris-Stowe. In July of this year, McCall came back to the job she’s loved for the past seven years and assumed a new role as an assistant vice president. “This campus is my life, and I have the best job in the world,” said McCall. “I am in a unique position to establish positive student relationships while doing what I love, and that is all things communication-related. I am working in my dream job right now, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She is passionate about educating young people and thinks that we as a community don’t emphasize the importance of a college degree enough. “Education is definitely power…it has been such a sword and weapon for me,” she said. “I would not be where I am today had it not been for my undergrad and graduate school experiences. I want to see students value their educational opportunities with all of their hearts and souls, therefore being able to reach out and serve as a role model is a blessing and keeps me on my path of being that positive change…”
One look at Sharon Tucci’s long list of accomplishments, and it is quickly apparent why she deserves recognition. In 1977, Tucci founded TalentPlus Inc.—one of the most successful talent agencies in the country—and went on to establish Centro Models in 1994. Tucci’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. In 2002 the St. Louis Business Journal honored her as one of their Most Influential Women in Business. 1998 brought her honor by the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists for two decades of service. In 1996 the YWCA honored her as their first inductee in the Academy of Leaders in the Entrepreneur/Business Owner field. Tucci was also selected for cover stories for St. Louis Magazine and St. Louis Woman Magazine, recognizing accomplishments for her now 30 years in the talent and entertainment industries.
During auditions when we first heard her voice—raspy and rich and roundly whole—only two judges were convinced that Amber Bullock possessed the presence necessary to claim the title “Sunday Best” (BET Original Programming). She nodded, humbly. The next time we saw her, she proudly proclaimed, “…and I am from St. Louis, Missouri!” and proceeded to wow the audience and the judge’s panel week after week, wholly representing her hometown’s “Show Me” spirit, leading internationally known Gospel entertainer Kirk Franklin to say, “We’ve been waiting on you.” By week six, as Amber’s voice became a jazz saxophone squeezing out every bit of every word, eliciting rounds of ooooohhh from the audience, Tina of Mary Mary was heard saying “Sunday Best ain’t never seen nothing like that!”
Founder Talent Plus
CEO JOJO’s MIRACLE SEASONING Joanne Davis, or “JoJo”, has spent the better half of her thirtyfive years perfecting the taste of ‘homemade’ and ‘fresh’. She and her husband (“Max the Barbecue King”) have a chemistry that spices up the kitchen, pun intended. They own and operate JoJo’s House of Ribs, The Shrimp Shack Grill, and have developed a line of spices—JoJo’s Miracle Seasonings. They must be serving up the spice just right because several projects are in the works, including a 24 hour restaurant—JoJo’s Downtown—and a television cooking show that will feature celebrity chefs. Just this past month, Seasonings for Life was released in print, and as JoJo explains, her book features more than just mealtime recipes; it has her tips on everything from raising children to sound business advice. With two thriving restaurants and more on the way, Seasonings for Life seems like the perfect accompaniment to a JoJo meal.
Director Webster University Years ago, while going through a divorce, Nicole realized she needed to get out of St. Louis, and moved to New York—a move that would changed her life. She was soon hired for a job that required her to travel outside the city on September 11, 2001. The next day she sent out a mass email confirming that she had survived the attacks and was immediately phoned by the St. Louis news media, looking to do a special report on the tragedy. This led to working as a New York correspondent, then starting the show Nic at 9. One year later she was back in St. Louis as the Lead Producer for Freeman Bosley Jr.’s show. Still in St. Louis, Nicole is acting Director at Webster University, is producing a concert featuring Eric Roberson this October, is working on her PhD, and has no plans of stopping!
SHUNTAE’ SHIELDS RYAN
Director of Marketing Partnership For Downtown St. Louis Shuntaé Shields Ryan is the Senior Director of marketing, communications and public relations for the Partnership forDowntown St. Louis, and has been dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown St. Louis, both professionally and personally, since 1996. Her primary responsibilities include the creation, implementation and management of all strategic marketing and communications programs, including branding, advertising, media and public relations, community relations, special event management and promotion and social media for Downtown St. Louis, the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis and the Downtown CID. Under her leadership, the Partnership continues to keep the media (regionally and nationally) and community at large aware of Downtown progress and happenings through a variety of efforts, including marketing and advertising campaigns, interactive, digital and electronic media, event promotion and awareness campaigns, a website, social media activities that put DowntownSTL on the map via Twitter and FaceBook (attracting nearly 50,000 followers) and a host of marketing materials that promote the Downtown area. Shuntaé is married to Lydell Ryan and together they have 2 children, Jordon and Jocelyn.
DR. MICHELLE L. McCLURE VP for Academic Affairs
Dr. McClure provides leadership over Center for Retention and Student Success, University Library, student academic grievances, and University schedules and bulletins. Dr. McClure is a member of the campus expansion committee and supervised a University-wide renovation project to upgrade technology and classrooms to improve the delivery of instruction. Prior to her arrival to Harris-Stowe, Dr. McClure was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies at Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She taught teacher education candidates. In addition, to her teaching duties, she served as the Chair for the Graduate Program in Educational Leadership with Special Emphasis in College Student Personnel. Michelle has certainly endeared herself to the community. She serves as Harris-Stowe Coordinator of the United Way. She also serves as Second Vice President for the RosatiKain High School Alumni Association. Since volunteering in this capacity, she has the privilege to chair the Rosati-Kain Centennial Celebration which is taking place throughout the 2011-2012 academic year. In September 2011, Dr. McClure was one of eight awardees recognized by the St. Louis American’s Salute to Excellence in Education. Michelle credits much of her success to her strong spiritual beliefs, numerous mentors, and dynamic family and friends.
Public Relations Specialist, Lumiere Casino As the Public Relations Specialist for Lumière Place Casino and Hotels and River City Casino, Cassidy Cleveland is very proud to serve in a corporation that is so involved in the community. She manages multiple team members to serve and impact the community on a daily basis. Lumiere’s properties are constantly growing and River City just announced a $82 million dollar expansion, so this is certainly an exciting time to be a part of this great corporation.
30 | DELUX Magazine AUGUST 2011
BE BOLD. BE SEXY. BE JOYFUL.
Subscriptions Only $10/per yr
JOYFUL D R A K E
Words by Tiffany S. Nashville Photography: Lawrence Bryant
ou may know her as Tasha from BET’s Let’s Stay Together or maybe you remember her in the 2010 comedy Get Him to the Greek as P. Diddy’s baby mama, the film Beauty Shop, or even Phat Girlz. One thing’s for sure, Joyful Drake loves what she does and she’s here to stay! “Acting is something I always wanted to do. I had a passion and fire inside of me and it never went away. I was always the kid who tried new things like modeling or playing the piano. But I’d get bored really fast. Acting on the other hand was one thing I never grew tired of.” Friends and family would say she truly carries out the meaning of her name. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to be joyful is to show an emotion evoked by wellbeing, success, or good fortune or the prospect of possessing what one desires. “I have one of the loudest laughs you’ll ever hear! My mom recently
32 | DELUX Magazine OCTOBER 2011
told me I was a diamond. You can see through diamonds. They have this clarity and what you see is what you get. I’m very black and white; there is no grey. So, for me it’s written all over my face.” Something you may not know about Joyful is that she’s a Midwest girl. “I’m from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and I have a lot of family in St. Louis. I know the area very well. I’m a girl from the Midwest and I really appreciate Midwest people when I see them. I now live on the west coast and work in the south but I love Midwest people and appreciate them. I stand by that. There’s something special about us. After living in New York, Los Angeles, and the south, there’s something to be said about the value system of the Midwest that’s so great. I miss it a lot. They’re genuine and they support you to the end. And a girl like me really appreciates it!”
When asked what does she feel is her claim to fame or when did she have that feeling like “I made it,” she chuckled, not really knowing how to answer. Then Joyful humbly replied, “When I wake up everyday, I’m thankful and smiling. I’m happy just because I’m alive. Yes, I’m an artist, but I’m bigger than what I do. Acting is a job for me. It’s a job that I love and I’m thankful to have it. But to actually wake up and be happy that I have friends and family whom I love and that love and care for me and to have that feeling reciprocated…that’s when you’ve made it. Its not about you, its about other people. The bulk of her time has been spent working on the second season of Lets Stay Together in Atlanta. “It’ll be really exciting with a lot of guest stars and a lot going on in the marriage life that I want people to look out for.” She even welcomed Kyla Pratt to the cast via twitter last month. The series premier for the show airs January 12, 2012. If acting wasn’t written into her future, Joyful says she may have been a writer or maybe even producing. “I love being creative and using my mind.” As a single woman who has yet to bear children, she loves reaching out to the youth. “I enjoy helping young girls and mentoring them. I love working with the elementary and high school age children.” Did I mention she’s single? “I am single, honey, and ready to mingle!” Joyful happily joked. She also admits she’s trying to branch out and try new things. She recently got back from Los Angeles where she was able to squeeze in an action movie opposite Danny Trejo. In the film, Bad Ass, she plays Amber Lamps. In this production Trejo’s character Frank Vega is a decorated Vietnam Vet who returns home to find his life falling apart. As for a typical day in the life of Joyful, “No day is ever the same.” At the time of our conversation, she was walking down
behind the scenes Andrea Powe Hair artist & MUA for P.O.P./ Hy Maintnenz Entp. Dawn Harrell Fashion Stylist For P.O.P/Controversy
Shot in Atlanta GA/ Kandice Knight PR
Robertson Avenue celebrating her girlfriend’s birthday. She had lunch with friends, went window-shopping, and discussed her birthday, which was coming up just a few days later. “I’m all about working hard and playing hard. Before we went to lunch, I went to the gym and put in two hours there. And though today may look like a free day, its really not because I’m thinking about meetings I have tomorrow.” Her advice to fellow actresses trying to break into the industry is to be true to yourself and follow your own path. “Everyone is an individual. And everybody’s path is different. The way
I achieved success, and the lessons I learned may be different from yours but that doesn’t mean we can’t all make it. The roads you and I travel may differ but it doesn’t mean we can’t meet at the same spot. “There’s enough room for everyone to great!” Follow Joyful Drake on Facebook or on Twitter @joyfuldrake to keep up with the latest happenings with her life, the new series of Let’s Stay Together, and her future acting endeavors.
MISSOURI OFFICE OF MINORITY HEALTH The Office of Minority Health supports and provides training for six Regional Minority Health Alliances (RMHA) that serve as a voice of advocacy for their respective communities in identifying and improving the health status of minorities. The office currently has three major priority health initiatives: HIV/AIDS prevention and reduction in the African American community, obesity prevention, and infant mortality reduction. The office also assists Hispanic communities and organizations with developing strategies to address health care issues and barriers in rural and metropolitan areas.
Abuse/Neglect Hotline for Elderly & Disabled Adults: (800) 392-0210 AIDS: Care Services; Drug Assistance Program (ADAP); Statistics & General Information; Health Education: (573) 751-6439 Birth & Death Records/Certification: (573) 751-6387 Child with Special Health Care Needs (Hope Program): (800) 451-0669 Child Care Director Certification & Provider Training: (573) 751-2450 Childhood Immunization Requirements: (573) 751-6124 Health Data & Statistical Information: www.health.mo.gov/data/index.php Home Health Services Complaints: (800) 392-0210 Hospice Services Complaints: (800) 392-0210 Life Line (Help for Seniors): (866) 641-8722 Maternal & Child Health Information and Referral: (800) 835-5465 Minority Health Information: (800) 877-3180 or www.health.mo.gov/living/families/minorityhealth/index.php Nursing Home Complaints: (800) 309-3282 Primary Care Incentive Program (PRIMO); Nursing Loan & Loan Repayment; Physician Loan Repayment: (573) 751-6219 TEL-LINK: (800) 835-5465 WIC Eligibility: (800) 392-8209
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/AFFIRMATIVE ACTION EMPLOYER Services are provided on a nondiscriminatory basis.
38 | DELUX Magazine OCTOBER 2011
*Room Shown: 2nd floor party room available for private parties * 2nd floor party Room available for Birthday Parties
Every woman has a moment of clarity—that moment when she reclaims control of her life and redirects her focus. At 31-years-of-age, Fox 2 News reporter, April Simpson was enjoying a carefree life in her prime. With no husband or children to share her focus, she cultivated her career and prepared for a promising profession as a news anchor for St. Louis’s number one morning news station. “Everything was great. Life was just—great. I love what I do. We’re doing great at Channel 2,” begins an emotional Simpson, pausing to reflect on life prior to receiving the news that would send her life in a new direction. “I’m just trying to think of how it was before then. Now it’s so hard to think of how it used to be. I’ve gotten so used to living with this. But life was good,” she reassured. Simpson was secretly a source of support for a fellow coworker who was previously diagnosed with a tumor. She proudly recalled accompanying her colleague to hospital visits for MRIs and other care. Without knowledge, as she was an angel to a friend in need; she would soon discover they shared a similar story. “I kept having bad headaches for nearly a year. I kept going to the doctor and I was diagnosed with a sinus infection three times in 2010. I kept thinking ‘something just isn’t right’. I thought I was having an aneurism or something.” Simpson continued, “I would go to the doctor, and they’d say, ‘sinus infection’ and give me antibiotics, but the antibiotics didn’t work. I was taking everything. Nothing worked. “I think it was August of last year, my left eye became blurry. I really didn’t think much about it because my other eye was so strong and I was functioning so well. Then one day, I was off from work. I went to the eye doctor and they ran every test possible.” Simpson added, “I was there for nearly two hours before the doctors said, ‘I think you need to get an MRI’.” Quietly and contently, Simpson recalled the moment that forever changed her life.
April Simpson Editorial by: Seven L Maxwell Photography: Lawrence Bryant MAkeUp: Mandy McKenna
40 | DELUX Magazine OCTOBER 2011
“I went down to St. John’s Hospital in the emergency room getting an MRI. I was sitting alone when two doctors came in. I knew by the looks on their faces that it was something bad, but I never thought…” Simpson continued, “I initially thought when I was at the eye doctor, ‘do you think it’s a tumor’—but I laughed it off.” “The doctors came in and they sat down on the bed with me. I kept bracing myself, wondering, what could it be?” Simpson bravely recalls, “I still didn’t realize—I didn’t think—it was a tumor hidden.” As Simpson recalled the words expressed from the doctor, her eyes told a tale through the trails of her tears. She knew this situation was serious, but at that second, it was all too surreal. “We went and looked at the x-ray. It was BIG”. The doctors agreed as they informed Simpson of the severity of the situation. Because her brain’s sever swelling, doctors wanted to conduct emergency surgery immediately”. After having the doctors call her mom who calmly processed the prognosis, Simpson called her boss whose raced to be by her side. “I was in shock. They said I have to have surgery, but we have to get the swelling from your brain first, so they put me on a ton of medications to get the swelling down.”
“Two weeks later is when I had the surgery. I don’t think I realized the extent of how bad it was. I didn’t know, and I don’t think they wanted to tell me”. Simpson continued, “It was bad. They brought in one of the top neurosurgeons in the country, and it wasn’t until after the fact that I found out how serious it was”. “I had a twelve-hour surgery and they told my mother I may not make it.” Tearfully recalling the strength of her mother, Darlene, during this ordeal; Simpson’s tears reflected pride as she subtly hinted that her mother’s strength helped her to keep holding on. With her mother came the rest of the family; standing strong as their daughter, aunt, and sister underwent a struggle like she never imagined. Simpson recalls a moment where she was undergoing a tearful ordeal when her father started to shed tears. “To see my father cry— that’s what got me.” “My dad is a Vietnam Veteran, so I’ve never seen him cry”. “I can remember being in the hospital crying because it hurt so bad. I was in so much pain, my dad started crying”. She revealed, “I said I don’t ever want to see him cry again, so I just stopped. I endured all that pain because I didn’t want to see anyone else in pain.
very difficult, and if I didn’t have that type of support, it would have been a lot worse”. “The toughest part is not knowing what’s going to happen next. It may come back, we don’t know. I’m just taking life one day at a time”. Simpson is most grateful for the bond which has strengthened in her family. She smiled as she spoke of how much closer she and her three sisters have become; while she lit up when speaking of her only brother. However, the most significant change this has brought to the Simpson family is her father’s newfound expression of his love. “He never used to say, ‘I love you’—until now. He says it every day now and it’s amazing!” She tearfully exclaims. “I don’t think I’ll ever be myself again. I’m still April, but I want to travel more. Before I was only focused on my career. Now I’m ready to live”.
Simpson is successfully starting to readjust to life after an outstanding ordeal. She’s back at work broadcasting her beauty from within. She’s working on completing her Master’s degree; determined to keep on track her goals in life. This time she has more to celebrate. She’s started April’s Angels at www. AprilsAngelsFoundation.com with a mission to help people with brain tumors and their families get through the mental, physical and emotional toll it takes on them. Offering simple advice to others who are experiencing this and any other obstacle, Simpson reminds them to, “Stay prayerful and keep God first.”
“I refused to cry. Even when they were rolling me away, I was laughing and joking, but on the inside I was like….[makes a face to show she was terrified]. “I didn’t realize how serious it was. They briefed my mom. A twelve-hour surgery is crazy.” She continued, “ I just thought I had to get through it, but I wrote out my will and all this stuff because when you hear brain tumor, you think, ‘I’m going to die’. I didn’t know.” Diagnosed with an aggressive—stage-three— meningioma; Simpson would have to undergo six-weeks of radiation to remove what remained—yet through it all, she and her family remained prayerful. Determined not to let life escape her without a fight, Simpson took to the internet to share her story first-hand with the world. “Initially it was supposed to be for my family if I didn’t make it and for me if I didn’t remember things.” It was through Facebook that she sat at her computer and explained the details of her ordeal. What started off as a means to communicate with frantic family members who received a more dire diagnosis through the grapevine than what the doctors initially gave; became a Facebook favorite, igniting a powerful prayer chain where the Saints called out to the Savior in Simpson’s name. Simpson credits the power of prayer as the reason for her recovery. “What shocked me most of all was how many people were praying for me.” She admitted, “It was really amazing. I didn’t think that many people cared”. “It was
At the time this article was written, it had been four months since Simpson’s surgery, and nearly one month since her last radiation treatment. Awaiting the results of a pending MRI to reveal the results, Simpson is praying for a positive prognosis. For now she’s enjoying life one day at a time. Today she has life. Left with scars from the surgery and varied vision in her left eye; Simpson is reminded that she shares the soul of a survivor— and her story continues….Stay tuned. DELUX-MAG.COM OCTOBER 2011 | 41
Working mothers unite REPORTER: Makiea A. Williams-Montgomery
Every weekend I find myself cruising the aisles in Target in search for the perfect, “Mommy is so sorry she worked so many hours special toy” for my 1 year old. No matter how much money I spend, the guilty feeling is so ever present. Sure, I have a wonderful job where I’m allowed to be creative and take home a hefty paycheck, but that comes with a price. It makes me ask myself, “Are my perks and benefits even worth it?” I leave my beautiful daughter in the hands of others while I go out and do what I love to do, but I also love being a mommy and a wife. I find more too often that the mommy/wife role takes the back burner to work. A wise person once told me, “You can have it all, just not everyday.” I keep that in mind when trying to be all things at all times. I don’t remember feeling neglected as a child. We got home from school, did homework, ate dinner, took a bath, and went to bed. What I remember
is waking up on Saturday mornings to the smells of bacon, biscuits, and eggs knocking me out of my sleep. I remember having a to-do list of super fun things to be checked off as the weekend progressed. Who cares if you can’t work 12 hours, cook dinner, walk the dog, workout, help with homework, oh and have sex with your husband… all before bedtime. This thing called life is not about how much you can do in one day, but what you do with it and how you make it count. Many nights in my house conclude with ordering pizza just to spend a little more time with one another-doing much more interesting things than slaving over a stove to make a balanced meal. Maybe next week I’ll have more time to plan meals; maybe I won’t. Maybe that’s where the balance comes into play. One week it may be extra family time and the next week there may be a pending deadline at work. Either way, parents, if we are being the BEST Mom & Pop that we know how to be, our kids will cut us a little slack and love us just for trying.
Think of all the special moments that could be taken from you.
New problems with communication, changes in mood and confusion with time or place are some warning signs of Alzheimerâ€™s disease. Recognizing the symptoms is the first step toward doing something about it.
24/7 Helpline: 800.272.3900 | www.alz.org/stl
44 | DELUX Magazine OCTOBER 2011
Shop Local Words b y Onyi Kok e lu , T iffany S . N ashvill e, y O LA N DA rILEY
St. Louis has so much to offer; great beer , tasty food , b i-polar weather, and cra zy wond e rful p e ople. What mor e can you ask for?
Rosalita’s is the only Tex-Mex restaurant on the Washington Avenue strip! They offer classic appetizer dishes such as mile-high nachos piled with cheese, beans, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole, and lettuce with your choice of chicken or beef. Appetizers range from stuffed jalepenos, taquitos, tamales, empanadas, chile con queso, Rose’s Favorite layered dip, and a Fiesta platter if you want to try a little of all of it! For vegetarians or health conscious eaters, there’s a variety of eccentric salads, and a tasty vegetarian tortilla soup. Rosalita’s can bring the Tex-Mex experience to your office or family party through their catering service, or they can help you plan a large banquet. Rosalita’s has the space for great food and drink in a private atmosphere and can accommodate 15-75 guests. And you must check out the happy hour deals Monday through Friday from 3-7pm! The bar is open until 3am Thursday through Saturday nights.
The Racq Salon & Spa
The Racq Salon & Spa opened August 2011. This full service salon specializes in total makeovers, extentions, color, wax, lashes, manicures and pedicures, massages, and a make up artist is always on duty. The colors of the Salon are very haute and contemporary and boast 6 booths with a private massage room. Racqueal Carter, the owner of this beautifil boutique salon is a certified stylist with many years of experience styling elite clientel. Find them on facebook and tell them DELUX sent you! 2605 North 14th Street St Louis, MO63105 (314)241-7227 46 | DELUX Magazine OCTOBER 2011
shula’s Grill 347
If you want to have a food experience like no other place in St. Louis, you may feel your choices are limited. Have no fear, there are a few places you can go, and one of them is Shula’s Grill 347. When you enter this establishment, you will be greeted by a kind host that will ask your name and serve you as if you were a 5 star celebrity. This chain of restaurants, named in observance of the Hall of Fame Coach Don Shula, is known for their savory steaks and delicious entrees. When you step into this restaurant it gives a feeling of wanting to relax in a calming upscale environment with an excellent downtown view. So next time you are downtown and are looking for an extraordinary dining experience, put Shula’s Grill 347 at the top of your list. Located at the Roberts Towers 411 North 8th Street | St. Louis, MO 63101 | 314-241-7267
Shop Local HOTEL IGNACIO
Looking for a getaway without actually going away? Behold Hotel Ignacio, the new boutique hotel in St. Louis. Located in Midtown’s Grand Center District, Hotel Ignacio highlights the neighborhood’s vibrant art scene. Each of its 49 guest rooms and 2 suites has a distinctive theme such as Fine Art, Performance Arts, Architecture, and Music. Hotel Ignacio’s friendly staff offers personalized service to every guest 24/7, even to your furry little companion. And don’t worry environmentally conscious people: the hotel has some ecofriendly amenities and products. Also check out Hotel Ignacio’s trendy breakfast bar, Café Pintxos. The café serves breakfast in the morning and tapas in the evening—an excellent way to kickoff exploring the burgeoning arts district. 3411 Olive | St. Louis, MO 63103 | 314-977-4411
10th Street gallery
10th Street Gallery is a new fine arts space located in the heart of downtown St. Louis, MO. Pat Smith Thurman, retired MasterCard executive and Artist, Solomon Thurman opened “10th Street Gallery” earlier this month. When asked why they created a downtown art gallery in these economic times, Solomon replied....“Our combined decades of world travel, have provided an opportunity for us to view inspiring public and private art collections. The joy of owning original art is an international pleasure. Globally speaking, people are as diverse as the art they collect. Our gallery will strive to make original art affordable and accessible to St. Louisans, while providing a unique space for new talented artists to emerge during these challenging economic times.” 419 N. 10th St | Downtown St. Louis | 314-974-6058
Some say it’s hard to find, but a great night out is guaranteed! Located in the Delmar East Loop, the Twisted Olice you can find beautiful people, fun music, strong libations, and a huge projector screen that plays videos while the DJ keeps the night going. But it doesnt stop there... Twisted Olive features a elevated VIP section for the elite and some grub for those late night cravings. The even have an outdoor patio that I am sure will be one of St. Louis’ best this upcoming spring.
5916 Delmar Ave St. Louis, MO 63130 DELUX-MAG.COM OCTOBER 2011 | 47
< Taste at its purus RED RAIN 1 1/2 oz. PURUS Organic Vodka 3 oz. acai berry & mango juice 1 oz. cranberry juice Splash of orange juice Pour all ingredients over ice in a double rocks glass..
< Foodtruck vs StreEtcart> ....... mmmmm
My Pandora > expand your ear knowledge Quadron and Hawthrone Headhunters
< Big Bird VS BARNEY > #lame - we ran outta ideas...lol
F BOMBS @EXO
JUMP IN FUNK WITH RICH MEDIA VISUALS BY MARK HINES @LOLA
The SMOKERS Curren$Yy Method Man Big Krit The Pageant
WHO IS LIRA?!
ith mainstream music getting most of the radio play attention, it’s refreshing to hear about other talented artists, especially international singers, receiving rave reviews. Lira is Sony Music’s multi-platinum award winning South African soul vocalist. She will debut her American album in January 2012. She’s also up for two nominations at the Channel O Awards for “Video of the Year” and “Best Female Video” which will air in November (Africa’s version of the MTV VMA’s). Lira’s energetic and her love for performing shines through in her videos.
Lira’s claim to fame… Lira has released four platinum selling albums. She has graced the covers of numerous fashion and lifestyle magazines and won a multitude of accolades from The South African Music Awards, MTV Africa Awards, and MOJO Awards. Lira was honored to be Glamour Magazine South Africa’s “Woman of the Year.” She has amassed the largest Facebook following of any African born artist, in excess of 320,000 fans, was the first local artist to knock Beyonce off the top
50 | DELUX Magazine AUGUST 2011
-by Tiffany S. Nashville
of South African radio charts, and boasts the first music video of her country to be put into rotation on VH1. In 2009 her telecasted live concert was tuned into by nine million viewers, subsequently the DVD became the fastest and highest selling videodisc in South Africa, reaching 3x platinum status and the first Blu-Ray to be released on the continent. Lira performed at the 2010 FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Concert with Alicia Keys, Shakira, Black Eyed Peas, K’Naan, and John Legend. As if you need more reasons to follow this sistah on her musical journey, Lira took part in the 92nd birthday celebration 3D live telecast of former South African president Nelson Mandela. She has appeared in major ad campaigns for Audi, Shield, Samsung, MTN, and Blackberry and received a range of praise from Oprah and John Legend to Hugh Masekela and Oscar Award Winning Film Director Oliver Stone. Why wait until she drops her album in the states? Go to iTunes or Facebook now and support this sultry, empowering South African woman as she makes her mark in North America.
From burlesque to hamburgers, we sought out two local spots worth checking out!
DELUXSPACE THE JUMPIN JUPITER
7376 Manchester Rd. Maplewood, MO 63143 Words by:Theresa Harris
Forever Yours Bar&Grill Located at the corner of Race Course Drive and Tower Grove Avenue, just north of the highly-trafficked Tower Grove/Vandeventer intersection, the bar/restaurant offers a private party space, as well as appetizers and entrees such as shrimp and chicken wings. Street parking is available, and off-street parking is offered after daytime business hours. The owners gained approval by the Forest Park Southeast Development Committee in summer 2010 and explained their goal to serve the neighborhood residents and provide a space for relaxation and entertainment. Forever Yours Bar and Grill is situated in a previously vacant storefront, and is one example of the growing density and number of businesses in Forest Park Southeast. The business will hopefully serve to promote further development and help further stabilize the surrounding area. *copy courtesy of http://www.17thwardstl.com
Live entertainment, food, drinks, & sexy chaos! Not your family fun spot; but when you need a night out on the town and you are looking for something different, jump in to the Jumpin Jupiter!
According to the owner, Jim Callahan, it has a 1920â€™s feel of the old New York clubs including the white tablecloths. With is grand opening this past summer, there is still much to be done. However from the looks of it, they are on the right track. Live entertainment, a top chef, and a swanky atmosphere will make you not only stay but come back for more.
words by: Kristyn Potter W Pizza, located in Lafayette Square at 2017 Choteau Avenue, redefines conventions of a pizza-place. The restaurant, conveniently named after Paul and Wendy Hamilton, is the latest culinary venture of the duo- most commonly known for Eleven Eleven Mississippi and french-inspired restaurant
Vin de Set.
PW Pizza is a smorgasbord for pizza aficionados, featuring 12 inches of Italian innovation (with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options), incorporating a variety of crusts to choose from, half-and-half pizza combinations, and enough fresh toppings to blow your mind. The menu also features salads, soups, calzones, sandwiches, desserts, and a full bar, allowing your palette to be completely satisfied. The atmosphere itself is vibrant and culturally ostentatious, with vintage St. Louis beer paraphernalia on the walls, exposed brick, a decent wine list (itâ€™s not Vin de Set), about ten beers on tap, and over 40 by bottle. For more information, call 314-241-7799, or visit pwpizza.com.
54 | DELUX Magazine OCTOBER 2011
THE SHE SPOT @ EXO NETWORK AND MINGLE WITH THE CITY’S HIP SEXY AND EDGY YOUNG PROFESSIONALS THIS SATURDAY @ EXO ULTRA LOUNGE | ‘THE SHESPOT’ SHE IS BEAUTIFUL ...SHE IS SMART ...SHE IS OH SO SEXY SHE DESERVES FREE ADMISSION AND COMPLIMENTARY MARTINIS UNTIL 11PM. FOR TABLE RESERVATIONS CONTACT RSVP@EXOSTL.COM | 314.707.8709 VALET PARKING & BOTTLE SERVICE AVAILABLE. PLEASE VISIT EXOSTL.COM
The Gateway Classic Weekend
The LOFT 3112 Olive Blvd Experience Cafe Soul on every 3rd Friday and Mo Spoons Eye Candy on the last Friday Every Saturday is Hot 104.1broadcasts live with Staci Static and DJ Cuddy Photography is provided inside of the club by yours truly... xpressions2art photography Contact The Loft at 314 225 2505 www.theloftstl.com
WINTER 2010 | 2011
student when Ronald Ragan cut funding and it affected my Fine Arts major. I blame him for all this,” she jokes. So when she was asked to go in on the $4,000 business venture, Carol was all in. It was 1982, she was 21, and though she’d had a few jobs prior to opening the store, Ziezo is really all she knows. Her business partner eventually left and moved back to her hometown of Amsterdam, so Carol bought out her portion of the store. Thirty years later, Ziezo is still making a name for itself. When asked about the Delmar Loop area and how it’s changed over the past three decades, she shares, “It has evolved significantly. The Loop was completely different, very sketchy and a lot of people had the perception the area was dangerous.” But Carol loves the neighborhood in which she works and lives, and would not change it for anything in the world.
words by Tiffany NAshville Photo: Lawrence Byant
Ziezo is a triple threat with its great location, exceptional service, and unique clothing & accessories.
hile attending college, majoring in Fine Arts, Carol Crudden was asked by a friend of a friend if she wanted to enter into her business endeavor. Carol assumes her stylish attire is what drew the woman to her because the idea to open a store was not in Carol’s plan. “I was an art
She recently worked with a fashion designer who works with celebrities such as Debbie Harry from Blondie and Molly Ringwald at a Craft Alliance event, and then at his fashion show at a local college with a cocktail party held at Ziezo afterwards. Her store will also be a part of Style in the Loop coming up in mid October which offers window displays, street fashion shows, art trunk shows, DJ’s, food, drinks, and dancing! Michael Drummond, a local fashion designer, project runway alumni, and a personal friend of Carol’s, will also provide a trunk show. If you’re on her mailing list, you’ll receive notifications of her upcoming trunk show with Dolce Vita’s line in November and you’ll be invited to Ziezo’s annual holiday party in December. Be sure to check out Ziezo on Facebook and stop by the store at 6934 Delmar in the U. City Loop.
DELUX-MAG.COM OCTOBER 2011 | 59
Vodka at its Purus Purus Vodka is made from 100% organic wheat and pristine water from the Italian Alps. It is column distilled five times and filtered for a distinctively clean, smooth velvety finish.
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© 2011 Purus Organic Wheat Vodka, 40% Alc./Vol. (80 Proof), Imported from Italy. St. Louis, MO 60 | DELUX Magazine OCTOBER 2011 ®
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