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Models of the Day Editor’s Letter What Fashion Means To Me? (Morgan) Princess Warrior Anti-Bully Story “Amelia Rose” Dancers of the Day Featured Photographer: Sharkcookie RockStar Dance Studio Babies of the Day Featured Formal Wear Designer: Itty Bitty Toes Top 10 Models Cover Story-Nicole Laeno Featured Activewear Designer: Sugar Lulu Real Talk With Madison: LuLu Lambros How To Become a Singer: Riley McEvoy
Cover Model: Nicole Laeno (@nicolelaeno) Photographer: Mark Gunter Photography (@markgphotography) HMUA: Elle Reed (@allinmakeup) Wardrobe: Nun Bangkok (@nunbangkok) Location: Los Angeles, CA Back Cover Models: Saylor, Alexus, Peyton, Harley, Journey, Kambry Photographer: Clay Morgan Photography Designer: Sugar Lulu Location: Salt Lake City, UT Table of Contents Picture Model: Lina Photographer: Crispassos Dance Photography Location: Miami, FL
Editor: Damon Ross DDS Creative Designer: Anthony Naylor Graphic Designer: Mandy Hernandez-Hurt Web Designer: Mohammed Rasool Consulting Editors: Angie Lozano, Erika Carey
No matter where you are in the world, you will always find people dancing. Sometimes, depending on where you are in the world will determine what kind of dancing you will see. People dance for many different reasons. In this issue, you will see pics of kids dancing because they are happy, and some because it's a way to express themselves. Here is what you can look forward to in Issue 12, our “DANCE” issue. Our cover model is the beautiful and talented Nicole Laeno. In her article, you will read about her journey and how her dancing led to a gig with the famous singer and dancer, Chris Brown. How AWESOME is that? It is our pleasure to have Nicole grace this issue's cover. Thank you to Mark G Photography for capturing such beautiful pics and Elle Reed for such an amazing job with hair and makeup for this shoot! As you begin to read, you will see Morgan tell you in her own words “What Fashion Means To Me.” Then, you will read an extremely touching story about Stephanie who tells how “DANCE” helped her defeat cancer. Amelia opens up and shares her experience with bullying. After that, you will get to see some amazing pictures taken by our well-known Featured Dance Photographer, SharkCookie, in California. We also have helpful advice for those of you interested in starting dance from RockStar Dance Studio (Islamorada, FL). Next, you will read about our Featured Formal Designer, Itty Bitty Toes, and see what LuLu Lambros had to say in our “Real Talk with Madison” article. Our Featured Activewear Designer is everyone’s favorite, Sugar Lulu. For those of you who have an interest in singing, Riley McEvoy lets you in on how she became a singer with a beautiful voice. Oh, and we can’t forget our Top 10 Model Contest Winners. Such a hard contest to just pick 10 winners, but it's always fun!
Editor’s Letter Photographer: Michael Higgins
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Thank you for taking the time to read our magazine! If you would like to be published in our magazine, either send us a message on Instagram and/or Facebook. You can, also, reach us via our website at www.kidfashmagazine.com. For special events and opportunities, continue to follow us on Instagram @kidfashmagazine. Hope you enjoy the magazine, and I look forward to meeting you at one of our Release Parties!! Be blessed!
WHAT FASHION MEANS TO ME? "Because as a full time working dancer 6 days out of the week I'm wearing bra tops, booty shorts, leotards, ballet and jazz slippers, and hip-hop shoes...I need a way to express my true self through #fashion. Fashion allows me to express a different side of Morgan. I love "Miss Behave Girl" dresses with a cute pair of ﬂats or pretty "Nina" heels. I love clothes from Tilly's and Forever 21. My favorite color is mint green or turquoise. My style is simple and comfortable then I can always dress up my look with a fun bracelet, neclace, or earrings. My mom is my wardrobe stylist so we work together as a team. My Hair is also a very important part of my sense of style. I'm known in the industry for my sassy short hair cut. The one person that has made a bow that ﬁts my hair are the "Jo Jo Siwa" small Bows. Most importantly I always want to be on ﬂeek with my style so I'm always ready for any photo opportunity. Model: Morgan
Thirteen-year-old Stephanie Consiglio has said throughout her childhood that, “Your dreams should be a statement, not a question.” This powerful phrase encouraged Stephanie (instagram: @justlikesteph_) as she developed a passion for dancing and an aspiration to become a Radio City Rockette. Upon meeting Stephanie, I instantly realized that she lives up to her Instagram handle -- there is no one quite “just like Steph.” While she has a big personality to match her big ambitions, what I appreciated most was her humble demeanor as we discussed her past, her present, and her hopes for the future.
The meaning of dance took on an entirely new meaning to Stephanie when she was diagnosed with cancer at age 11, back in late December 2015. After being diagnosed with a Stage 3 Germ Cell Tumor in her pelvis, Stephanie fought back by confidently stating, “Cancer messed with the wrong kid.” Throughout her four-month long treatment at Cohen Children’s Hospital in Long Island, New York, she continued to dance and live her life as normal as possible. Dance was the agent that enabled Stephanie to remain active, motivated, and positive as she battled pediatric cancer.
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All throughout her treatments, she could be found stretching in her hospital bed, dancing with an IV attached, and even coordinating her chemotherapy sessions around her dance classes. The nurses at Cohen Children’s Hospital knew that Stephanie meant all business as she reminded them, “I have to be out by 5:00, I have dance at 6:00.” She maintained this positive outlook because she never lost sight of her dreams. She has been cancer-free since March of 2016! Her experience with cancer provided Stephanie with a whole new perspective on life. According to her mom, Lori, “[Her diagnosis] helped us to see the importance of her talent and why she has it.”
She continues to use her experience with cancer to do good for others. Stephanie shared with me, “My goal is to be able to inspire others to find something they love and use it to help them get through hard times in their life. I also hope to spread the message to use your talent for good and to use your talent to give back to others.” Stephanie works closely with the organization iDance4aCure, which focuses on not only raising awareness for childhood cancer, but actively raising funds for medical research.
As an ambassador for the organization, Stephanie participates in fundraising events that incorporate both dance and awareness for childhood cancer. On October 1, 2017, iDance4aCure teamed up with Klick’t NYC to bring the dance community together in an environment that would allow dancers of all ages to use their talents to shine the spotlight on a very worthy cause. Dance industry greats like Tricia Miranda, the Wolf Pack, Kozmic Edge, Ali Koinoglou, and Brinda Guha all donated their talents for the day filled with master classes, performances, and scholarship awards. By the end of the night, $10,000 was raised to support the fight against pediatric cancer. Stephanie explained, “My family and I help to bring awareness to childhood cancer and use my love of dance to make a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.” Planning for another fundraiser of this sort is already being discussed for September 2018. Steph recently participated in a “10-Minute Challenge” with dance photographer Jordan Matter, in which she returned to Cohen Children’s Hospital where she received her chemo treatments. Her goal was “to spread joy to the patients and give them a day where they were involved in something fun and one day to not think about what they were going through.” The video of the challenge went viral on Jordan Matter’s YouTube channel, and has received over 3,500,000 views since it was published in late February 2018. The video produced such an overwhelmingly positive response that Stephanie was recognized by Instagram. Stephanie was recently named a “Teen Influencer” by Instagram because of her positive energy on both her social media accounts and in her community. Her example helped her land an invitation to Instagram’s first ever “Kindness Prom” that celebrated
teenagers on the social media platform who used their accounts to promote kindness to their followers. Steph referred to the #InstaProm as one of the best nights of her life. She explained, “I liked meeting all the new people, and it was so amazing to be chosen because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It was just amazing.” A recent photoshoot with New York photographer Nadine Simonelli (Dance in the Lens) helped to embody Stephanie’s unique and confident persona. All throughout her treatments, Stephanie’s dad would call her a “Warrior Princess.” The face paint Stephanie wears is symbolic of how she is always looking to follow her own path and do things her own way. There was a specific emphasis on the color gold during this special photoshoot, as to commemorate Childhood Cancer, which is represented by the color gold. In the photo series, she is depicted as the strong and commanding warrior she proved to be as she battled cancer. What makes Steph so unique is how she has always remained unapologetically herself throughout her cancer treatments and throughout her life. As she graduates eighth grade, Stephanie understands the responsibility that comes along with her influence. She encourages her thousands of followers on social media, and those in her community, to find their talent and use it as a coping mechanism, just as she did throughout 2016 when she was battling cancer. She is one step closer to making her dreams of dancing professionally a reality as she has been accepted into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in Manhattan, New York.
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Amelia Rose is a multi-talented child performer who became interested in dancing when she saw people doing leg holds and splits at acrobatics. She always wanted to be one of those people. Acting was a bit different, however. She saw a chance to show her personality and creativity through her words and body language. Modeling was a dream, though! She says, “Girls like me are not always seen on the TV, so I wanted to change that! Modeling allows me to show my confidence - confidence in my walk, in the clothing I wear, how I put it out to the world. I say, ‘This is me, I’m not afraid. Come at me with anything. I’ll still be confident.’” This young artist has trained at Performers Edge Dance Academy, She Scouts, and Stride and Strut. In her free time, she enjoys drawing, hanging out with her friends, making slime, and spending time with her family. She enjoys painting and drawing, and her dream is to become an artist. Her life goal is to be known for her personality when she grows older. What she likes most about dancing, acting, and modeling is that they all show, at least, one personal trait of hers in all different ways. The hardest part of it all is that it takes a lot of time and dedication. The biggest obstacle in her career so far has been dealing with the stress and worry of not being accepted because of her race, personality, and looks. What inspires Amelia Rose daily is having a team of people that believe in her and continue to work with her to reach her goals, as well as a vision board she created to keep herself inspired and see her dreams come to fruition. The vision board consists of being known for who she is and becoming famous for inspiring people to go for their dreams! One thing most people don’t know about Amelia Rose is that she has a habit of speaking “super fast” when she’s mad. Her favorite dessert is strawberry ice cream, and her favorite healthy foods are mangoes and corn. Her favorite YouTube channel is LoganPaul Vlogs. One of the best moments so far in her career was when she had the opportunity to be a print model for Target.
By: Michelle Elizabeth Photographer: Terrell Lopez Photography
Amelia Rose balances her career, social life, and school by separating them into categories. Her mom always tells her that education is her first priority. Her parents are her biggest role models. Like many children, Amelia Rose has been the victim of a bully. About two years ago, she had the opportunity to be part of The Amy Joyner Story movie directed by
Alcee Walker. Amy lost her life because she was being bullied. A few months later, Amelia’s mom was putting her to bed, and Amelia started crying and telling her mom that she didn’t want to go to school the next day. Her mom knew it was serious because Amelia usually enjoys going to school. Her mom kept saying, “You’re scaring me. Please tell me what happened!” Then, finally, the words came tumbling out. Amelia confessed, “Someone bullied me today by calling me names, and I’m afraid he won’t stop if I attend school. He made me feel like it was going to get worse! I just don’t know what to do!”
or save someone’s life in the audience.” People ended up clapping and cheering her on while she delivered her speech, and it has encouraged her to keep going.
She believes that parents are the most influential people in children’s lives. There’s even a part in Amelia’s speech where she says, “JUST CALL MY MOM because she believed me and took action when I was a victim.” Parents always come up to her after the speaking engagements saying, “Where’s your mom? I need to call her.” Sometimes, other children come up to her telling her that she’s brave for getting up and sharing Her mom immediately jumped up and contacted Ame- her story in front of hundreds of people. lia’s teacher. hen she said ou’re going to school tomorrow but ’m coming with you.” he ne t day She received an Entrepreneurship Award from Philadelthey went to school and addressed the situation, phia Kids Fashion Week in New York and is thankful contacted the child that was bullying her and his that her work is being recogni ed. he hopes to ha e parents. he bully and his parents seemed embarrassed. more opportunities to continue speaking out against He wrote an apology letter and even apologized out bullying. She believes it can be prevented by teaching loud. Although, Amelia was still a little scared, she kids “to tell someone if they ever feel like they’re a victim of bullying. Always find someone that will accepted it. fter that day he ne er bullied her again. listen to you and tell.” For the kids who are bullying She says, “Bullying isn’t fun or funny. Being bullied others, she would like to explain to them her experiencmade me feel insecure. It’s the worst feeling in the es and what it feels like to be a victim. world.” After that horrible experience, Amelia Rose decided to speak about bullying because it may save Through dancing, acting, modeling and attending someone’s life. oing speaking engagements on bully- school, Amelia Rose has witnessed so many kids being ing is very important to her. She explains, “If I can help bullied, and she always tries to say something. Sadly, one child or parent start the conversation about bully- many kids never acknowledge that what they are doing ing, then so many kids will not feel alone, helpless, or is hurting the other person’s feelings. She says, “Kids and teens can stand up against bullying, give back, love worse - take their lives.” one another, treat each other with respect no matter who Her first speaking engagement was at a fashion show in you are or where you’re from, and that can make a huge Florida. She was nervous, but remembered her mom difference in the world.” She also advises, “Be confisaying, “Amelia, you can do this, and this might change dent in yourself to reach your expected goals.” KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 13
By Michelle Elizabeth
David Hofmann, better known as Sharkcookie Photography, has taken dance photography to the next level and created a huge brand around it. He always wanted to create art and beautiful images. He tried painting but got frustrated because he wasn’t able to get the ideas in his head onto the canvas. Eventually, he discovered photography as a way to create the art he wanted. He bought his first camera at 10 years old and his dad taught him the basics about how to use a camera and many other things. They spent a lot of time together with their cameras and David has been hooked ever since. He launched his career as a photographer by doing stock photography with Getty Images. When he discovered dance photography, he utilized Facebook and Instagram to put his work out there and it became a huge success.
capture them in a photo and have that forever.” The hardest part of the job is when he sees something amazing but photos just don’t do it justice. At times, there is a lot of equipment and help needed to catch the perfect photo. It can take a lot of work, the right light, the right angle, and just the right setup to make the photo really amazing. In the beginning, David wasn’t sure if he could make Sharkcookie work. He says “Being a full time dance photographer is rare… Most dance photographers, even those that are known, are not able to make enough money to do it full time. They have to do some other work to pay the bills.”
Hofmann loves photography and working with people, so combining both has made Sharkcookie his dream job. He says, “Photography allows me to capture a beautiful moment, an amazing moment, often a moment that is too short to really enjoy and capture and preserve it for the future. It’s all about seeing beautiful and amazing and wonderful things in the world and being able to
Left Page: Top: Isabelle Bottom: Christina Right Page: Chloe
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Hofmann is inspired by people and nature- especially when they are combined, which is why he loves taking photos of dancers out in nature. He prefers for his dancers to interact with nature- “to be part of it… use all shapes and colors and become one with it.” He says, “These days we have distanced ourselves from nature. We spend most of our time in houses or cars and places that are not natural at all. It’s nothing bad, but I love when we go back to nature.” In the studio, Sharkcookie prefers to use a black backdrop so that there are no visual distractions and he can really accentuate the lines and poses of the dancer. For Sharkcookie, the most fun photoshoot’s are when the dancer is excited and happy. David says, “I have the best job in the world because I always get to work with people that are super happy and excited to come to me and take photos. We have a lot of fun at every photo session. I feel extremely lucky!” Sharkcookie Photography advises aspiring photographers to “Go for it! Don’t think about what type of photographer you might become or not and make the most money or things like that. Just take the photos you love. That is the only way you have a chance to end up doing it as a job that you love. Don’t try to please others, do your own art and the people that love it will
Sean find your work and become your audience. Watch tutorials, try out different things, look at successful photographers and what makes their photos better than others. Learn as much as you can. Digital photography has made it so much easier to learn photography these days compared to when we only had film. But that doesn’t mean you can be lazy. Only if you know all about your camera and lights and lenses can you truly take any photo you want. The more you know, the freer you are to do anything you want.” Avaree is very picky with her dancewear. If it doesn’t fit right, feels uncomfortable or rides up, she won’t wear it. We spent a lot of time perfecting the fit, especially with our leotards and briefs and shorts. Having the dancewear and the photography in the same house has been the best thing!” They even do regular photo sessions for their models. Sharkcookie Dancewear has big plans for the future and are always coming up with new ideas. Sharkcookie believes that kids can change the world! Hofmann says, “Sometimes it feels like a single person can’t make any difference... It feels like no one is listening… I actually think we live in a time where we listen to kids much more than any generation before. Often things don’t change because no one wants to be the first and stand out. If only one person starts and stands up, everyone will see it and give others the courage to do the same. That’s how you start a movement. Not by changing others but by standing up and be an example. Then others will follow you!”
RockStar Dance Studio delivers inspirational dance instruction and a few lessons in life to dancers of all ages. Brandy Shaknaitis knows a few things about becoming a star. Having founded RockStar Dance Studio in 2009, she has created quite the reputation for turning out champion dancers, competitive dance teams, as well as sensational all star dancer and online Instastar Jade (@dancer.jade). Ms. Brandy sits down with KIDFASH to share her story of success, as well as some advice on what it takes to provide an inspirational start for the aspiring dancer. For more than two decades, Ms. Brandy, as her kids affectionately call her, has taught and trained young dancers. Having an extensive background herself, Brandy understands the challenges that aspiring dancers face. She began dance at the Joyce Bennett School of Dance in Key Largo, Florida when she was six years old. Upon high school graduation, she took a position as an instructor with the school, while she earned her nursing degree. During her time there, many of her dancers took top placements in competition, while Brandy also continued to train and work on her talents in dance and fitness and qualified to compete in the 1999 ESPN Fitness America Pageant and then qualified for nationals in 2000 in Anaheim, CA. When the school where she both trained and taught decided to shut its doors after 40 years in business, Brandy began teaching on her own. At first, she taught a few small classes beginning with just 30 kids in a local gym. Enrollment quickly doubled, and steadily continued to grow, and within a few years, she expanded to two studio spaces. Today, RockStar Dance Studio has more than 180 dancers training in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, contemporary, hip hop, musical theater, gymnastics, and technique. RockStar Dance Studio has since won numerous choreography, showstopper, and performance awards. Most recently, the studio caught the eye of Celebration National Talent who awarded the studio The LIFE of the Party Studio Award. It is an accolade that Brandy is quite proud of and speaks volumes to her character as a teacher. It recognizes the overall team spirit and attitude KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 23
award, and is given to one studio that stands out for having dancers that are great sports and kind to others, with a leader/director that is known for always having a positive attitude toward their students. Ms. Brandy is dedicated to the success of all her dancers, yet one dancer in particular has a very special place in her heart, her daughter, Jade. Trailing along as a toddler behind Mom while she taught, Jade practically grew up in a dance studio. Jade officially began her own training at the age of two. Clearly, talent runs in the family, as Jade has received numerous overall 1st place awards, as well as prestigious diamond and platinum adjudications, and scholarships to various Los Angeles and NYC workshops. Jade’s own brand of stretch bands, @thejadeistretch band was picked up by NYC’s I Heart Dance Products and now sold online and in many dance stores, including Capezio. Just as Jade began dancing at two, RockStar Dance Studio also accepts dancers as young as two years old. It is an age where they can just become familiar with being in a studio and following directions, yet mixed with a fun environment of play to maintain their interest. However, as the children grow, their interests may change. Dancing is not for everyone, and the greatest dancers are the ones who find passion in it. Ms. Brandy warns against pushing a child into dance, sharing her favorite quote, “It’s not just about learning, it’s about having fun.” So, what qualities does a professional dancer begin to show at an early age? Brandy shares her knowledge. “Definitely discipline, motivation, determination, and realizing that some things will take time to achieve,” says Brandy. “A professional dancer knows you never give up!” Most importantly, the teacher will be one that inspires that dancer, encourages them and remains positive. “Our children don't need dance Nazi teachers, they need someone they can trust and look up to, not just learn from.” Beyond that great instruction, Brandy offers experience. Whether through her personal adventures, those of her dancers, or through the eyes of her teenage daughter, Brandy has pretty much lived it all. Here are a few of the lessons she has learned along the way: Conventions, Workshops, Competitions, Oh my! – It may be that dance competitions are the forum your teacher prefers most, so make sure you are getting everything you can out of it. “Competition can bring out the best in a dancer, but it can also bring out the worst,” 24 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
says Brandy. “More studios and directors need to educate the dancers and the parents on what to expect. My dancers know to not focus on where you place, but rather focus on owning that moment on stage. This is your turn to shine, your turn to do what you have been practicing all year. I have seen kids walk into competition full of smiles and walk out crying. It is normal in competition for a dancer to want to win, but as leaders, we need to teach them what’s important. Competition has great advantages, such as getting the judges’ feedback.” Competitions are not the only place to find excellent resources to developing a dance career. Dance workshops are typically held in most cities and can be an excellent resource for learning new techniques and getting fresh feedback on ways to improve. There are also conventions held throughout the country that will showcase new opportunities, as well as the hot new trends in dance. These could also lead to great exposure for an experienced dancer ready to take it to the next level. Consider the bigger markets when looking for opportunities. Brandy frequently attends conventions in NYC and Los Angeles. “A great event I have attended many times is Dancer Palooza in California,” says Brandy. “Choreographers and all the big dance wear companies and products are there. Many times, they are looking for ambassadors. Don't be shy, bring some headshots and resumes and give them your Instagram, and you never know!”
Take advantage of your online audience. “Social media is huge in this era we live in,” says Brandy. “I encourage you to share your talents on social media, post your dances, post yourself improvising. It can be a great tool to inspire others, and at the same time, to be recognized. Here is an interesting fact I share with some of my kids. As of 2017, daily social media usage amounted to 135 minutes per day (over two hours). There are more than three billion active social media accounts, and 91 percent of retail brands use two or more social media channels. So, if used properly, it can be a great platform for dancers!” Beyond her research, Brandy can speak from experience. Jade currently has 150,000 followers on Instagram and is active on several other outlets, with Mom’s guidance. Focus on YOU – There is one final thing that Brandy says can truly make a great dancer, and that is to keep the focus on your own success. “Do not be intimidated by another dancer’s talent,” says Brandy. “I get it, it’s normal to feel intimidated or not good enough at times. This will happen as an adult in life, too. I tell my students to focus only on themselves. Yes, it’s great to look up to older or more advanced dancers. Let that push you to work harder. You will be surprised at how much improvement you will see if you just trust in yourself and give 100 percent. No matter what level a dancer is at, as long as they love what they are doing and leave happy, well, then I’m happy.”
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295 MADISON AVENUE-12TH FLOOR NEW YORK CIT Y, NY 10017 @ ttamodels_talent email@example.com
Written by: Sandra Current Photographer: Colleen Christi Photography Models left to right: Clover, Jonathan, Nya, Eli, Chelsea, Karter, Alana
Imagine a fun, elegant, kid-friendly fashion line powered by some of the hardest working moms in the business. Well, you’ve just imagined Itty Bitty Toes! This line carries the perfect pieces to compliment your little guy’s or gal’s special moment and is run by strong, beautiful, and powerful women and mommies. On top of that, Itty Bitty Toes is a proud advocate and supporter of women everywhere. Their team knows just how much a mommy goes through planning for their child’s big day, so having a group of people design with you and your kids in mind is all that a parent could ask for! Creator and founder, Egreis Gjergjani, is a stylish, fashion-forward, business-savvy mother known on social media for her major shoe collection (and her fabulous children’s line, of course!). Gjergjani simply has an eye for trendy pieces, which is why many people expected her to start a fashion line. Particularly, a women’s collection, but once Egreis got married and had children, her focus shifted towards items that would serve families. Around the time Egreis decided to launch Itty Bitty Toes, she was a mother to her first born, George, and had just found out she was expecting another little boy. While she and her husband only planned to have two children together, Egreis always envisioned having a little girl to pass her shoe collection down to. Since she was a mother to boys only, she decided to go ahead and create a unique, beautiful, and high-end couture line that would allow her to dress KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 29
every little girl out there! Amazingly, she ended up having a little girl after the launch of her children’s collection and will be celebrating little Ivy Greis’ first birthday in June. To be able to combine her love for fashion with her greatest joy, her children, is all that Egreis could ask for. In fact, a lot of Itty Bitty Toes’ designs are inspired by Egreis' children, and believe it or not, her very own shoe collection. “I'm inspired mainly by my own children. Their personalities, their looks, their demeanors, and what sparks an interest in them inspires a lot of my
designs,” she says. She often thinks of them during the creation process, but given their ages and busy schedule, they rarely wear the clothing she creates. Her shoe collection inspires a lot of the colors and vibrant feels of her work, as well. There are times she says she sits in the middle of her shoe closet and just thinks of cool ideas to incorporate in Itty Bitty Toes’ next collection. The inspiration comes from everywhere! If something catches her eye, she finds a way to bring it to her brand in “its own itty-bitty way.” 30 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
Egreis’ children have been a source of inspiration from day one, even when coming up with the name of the line. “One day, I was sitting on the couch in the living room holding my little baby in my hands, and gently rubbing his itty-bitty toes,” she explains. This was at a time when she had recently moved from Los Angeles to Kansas City and went from being a successful career woman to changing diapers and nursing all day long. Despite loving every bit of the changes that took place and being head-over-heels for her new baby boy, she longed to tap back into what she calls the "go-getter," "make things happen" woman inside of her. She had
expressed to her husband that she wanted to follow her passion for fashion and combine that with her love for children. “As I kept talking and deciding that doing a couture line for kids would be the ideal thing for me, I looked down at my baby's toes and decided to call it Itty Bitty Toes.” How sweet, right?! She quickly bought the domain, and hence, Itty Bitty Toes was born.
The company has now been in business for three years and maintains the goal of understanding and relating to their clientele. Creating with moms and their children in mind is important to Egreis and her whole team because they understand the challenges that arise in this busy life. “We have children, just like every mom that shops with us. We know how hard it is to be a mother. We know how stressful it is to plan an event and figure out what your little one will wear. We know how much of a hassle a trip to the mall or the store can be, and we definitely know the struggle of children growing so much so quickly,” says Egreis. That is why she created Itty Bitty Toes - to make the process as easy as possible. The pieces are ready to ship, shipping is free, and if you are unsure about a size, you can call them or chat with them via text, live chat, or WhatsApp. Being available to the customer is key for Itty Bitty Toes, and they will help through it all, even when life doesn’t necessarily allow for Mom to plan outfits in advance. Life can get hectic as a parent, so their phone number and website allow for quick and easy access to attire that’s perfect for any special occasion. They even have an Itty Bitty Toes app that can be downloaded to simplify the overall process. “We can have the whole outfit at your door, including accesso-
ries and shoes, the very next day! And let us tell you, you won't be disappointed!” Egreis adds. At this time, Itty Bitty Toes is available exclusively online, but they have some big plans to expand soon. The US team is based in Kansas City, and they do have offices in a few different countries in Europe, but their goal is to expand and open a few in the Middle East, and perhaps, open their first showroom for customers to come in and enjoy the full experience. Moms, if you love the Itty Bitty Toes collection and wish there was something you could indulge in for you (because let’s face it, moms don’t spend on themselves too often, and dressing up happens about as often as your dental exams!) Egreis is working on launching a women’s clothing line called “By Egreis,” so be on the lookout! Fun and fancy dancewear may be on the horizon, as well, but that will be a little later on down the line. This mom, dad, and kid-friendly brand really takes pride in providing a great customer experience and elegant, high-quality pieces for families to enjoy. Their mission statement is, “We love children. We love watching them grow,” and their motto "Growing Never Looked This Good," is a reflection of their belief in growing beautifully with children. To check out more of their designs and stay updated, head over to www.ittybittytoes.com and follow them on Instagram and Facebook @ittybittytoes. KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 31
MODELS 10 Dancers Edition
A g e : 12 Lo c a t i o n : Tampa, FL Photographer:
Deeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Vintage Photography M o d e l w e a r i n g a n d se l e ct e d b y:
Lil Jewels Boutique
Dancing makes me feel relaxed, allows me to breathe, and live in the moment.
32 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
A ge : 11 Loc ati on: K ansas C ity, M O Photographer:
C olleen C hristi Photography M odel w eari ng and selected by:
The Y ellow Bunny
Dancing makes me feel free becau se if things are bothering/ hu rting me dance takes it all away .
Ag e : 12 L o c a t i o n : C alif ornia Ph o t o g r a p h e r :
Demarest Portraits Model wearing and selected by:
O h La La Danc ewear
Dancing makes me feel hap p y , alive, and that I can do any thing.
A ge : 12 Loc ati on : Peoria, A Z Photographer:
Jak e M c W illiams M odel w eari ng and selected by:
5 S ix 7 8 A thletic s
Dancing makes me feel like I can exp ress my self and tell my story to the au dience.
Ag e : 9 L o c a t i o n : H ouston
( S ugar Land ) , TX
Ph o t o g r a p h e r :
Jenna Barrett at A nthem I n A rt Model wearing and selected by:
Bab y E ssentially
Dancing makes me feel like I am letting my heart ou t!
36 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
A ge : 9 Loc ati on: M iami, FL Photographer:
C rispassos Danc e Photography M odel w eari ng and selected by:
S oel Danc ewear
D ancing makes m e feel free and it' s a w ay to exp ress my self.
Ag e : 7 L o c a t i o n : S yd ney, A ustralia Ph o t o g r a p h e r :
E uropro Photography M o d e l w e a r i n g a n d se l e ct e d b y:
H eartc ore Legend s
D a n c i n g ma k e s m e f e e l h a p p y.
A ge : 11 Loc ati on: Jac k son, N J Photographer:
Lily S hames Photography M odel w eari ng and selected by:
C ulture U nlimited
D ancing makes me feel L it.
KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 39
Age: 9 Lo c a t i o n : O x f ord , U nited K ingd om Photographer:
Model wearing and selected by:
C outure C ostume Danc ewear
Dancing makes me feel exp ressive with p assion and free.
A ge : 10 Loc ati on: S an Luis O b ispo, C A
Photographer: N athan C arlson M odel w eari ng and selected by:
S ugar Lulu
D ancing makes m e feel free to exp ress my f eelin g s an d emo tio n s.
KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 41
Nicole Laeno is one of the best kid dancers around. Her moves are crisp, controlled, and lively. If you have ever watched her, whether live or from behind the screen, you know how invigorating her performances are. The combination of precision, style, confidence, and those killer facial expressions make her incredibly fun to watch. You can’t help but to feel like you’re right there on stage or circled behind her during workshops partaking in the excitement. As for her journey, it’s been an exciting one! She’s paving a path she never expected and is enjoying every moment of it. She’s performed all around the globe, and those dance moves have even landed her a spot in the videos of some of entertainment’s top artists. Let’s take a look at Nicole’s amazing backstory! Nicole began dancing as a young girl, receiving technical training in styles like ballet, lyrical, and contemporary dance at the age of seven. She went on to train in hip hop and jazz funk, which are now her favorite styles of dance. “I feel like when I dance to these styles, it's the opposite of my personality. I can dance to super sassy jazz funk or really hard-hitting gangster hip hop and express them in my body and facials,” she says. The confidence she exudes when she dances to these styles is incredible, but you’d never guess that Nicole is actually a pretty shy girl that didn’t necessarily like dancing in the beginning. “I actually hated dance when I first started. I was very shy when I was younger and still am a little today, so it was really hard for me to just fully dance,” Nicole says. Her mother pushed for her to stick with it a little longer, giving Nicole the option to stop if she still didn’t like it by the end of the month, and despite crying almost every day, something eventually sparked, and she hasn’t stopped dancing since!
Jean Jacket Custom made by: Sketchers 46 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
Nicole believes her technical training has had a major impact on her overall abilities as a dancer, as well as made her more well-rounded. It is why she is so precise and clean as a dancer, and something she thinks other dancers should consider because of the overall benefits. Nicole is also a big advocate for group dance and choreography workshops. “I feel as though going to these professional dance classes and workshops has
Black Skirt: Chick Bossy given me confidence that I never knew I had. I'm grateful these classes are available because without them, I wouldn't be able to take my dance to the next level.” She says YouTube videos of kids her age dancing to professional choreography is what inspired her to go to the classes and try them out. Technical training and choreography workshops have been the foundation for Nicole’s acceleration in the dance world. She works really hard, of course, but attributes her success as a dancer to all of the incredible dance instructors that have taken her under their wing and taught her the ropes. One of her favorite instructors happens to be Hollywood dance instructor Matt Steffanina. Before having the chance to work with him, Nicole would watch his videos on YouTube. She was drawn to his style of dance and the videos he made because not only was he amazing, but he made her believe she could dance professionally, as well. Two years after finding Matt on YouTube, she got the opportunity to attend his classes and has also been able to assist him twice during workshops, which she describes as “a dream come true!” It is important for dancers to train and work on their skill set regularly, but it is even more important to make sure you’re learning from instructors that believe in you and want to see you get better. There is definitely a lot of work that goes into dancing. Nicole knows this firsthand, but when you work hard and put your all into what you do, unimaginable opportunities come knocking at your door. Because of Nicole’s hard work, she was able to travel to India and perform at the country’s teen music festival with two professional adult dancers for a 15-minute set. She was the only child act in the whole show, which was pretty cool, too. She’s also done commercials, starred in a few digital web series, and has been able to dance in videos alongside Gwen Stefani, Kenzie Ziegler, Mariah Carey, and Chris Brown. In fact, the chance to work with Chris Brown is, by far, a favorite. What made it so special was the opportunity to work directly with Chris and his team. In most cases, Nicole doesn’t get to interact or rehearse with big artists, but on shooting day, the first person she walked in and saw was Chris. Nicole said she did her best to contain her excitement, as he came up to her, hugged her, and told her he personally selected her after watching her videos on Instagram. “He was
Outfit by: Nun Bangkok
Dress by: Miss Behave
so kind and professional,” she says. Nicole still can’t believe she spent a whole week working with him. Chris also told her to hurry and grow up, so she can go on tour with him. How cool!
Black Shirt: Chick Bossy Blue Skirt: Miss Behave
Nicole has some major plans for the future. She absolutely loves shooting videos and acting, but says there’s nothing like performing on stage for a live audience. She hopes to dance on tour for a major artist one day and continue to dive further into the acting business. She lives by the saying, “I know that anything is possible. Dreams do come true, so if I want it, I have to work for it, and if it's meant to be, it can definitely happen!” Those are surely words to live by! Be on the lookout for Nicole in a few upcoming videos. She is also taking on an acting role for a new series that will air on all major digital networks. Nicole can’t quite share everything else she’s working on just yet, but you can stay updated by following her on Instagram @nicolelaeno!
KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 49
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By: Michelle Elizabeth Photographer: Clay Morgan @claymorganphotography
Sugar Lulu is a fashion and accessories brand for girls. The company was started by Lexi and her mom Shari when Lexi was 10 years old. Lexi got a few of her friends together and these 12 girls became the first Sugar Lulu Girls. They were the first models for the company (you can see the BTS videos on their YouTube channel). It took about a year to come up with the products and to manufacturer them and by 2015 Sugar Lulu was in thousands of stores across the country. Over the last year Sugar Lulu introduced leggings to their mix of products, and most recently launched their new Model Squad and Sweet Style Boxes! “This is something we are very excited about” said Lexi. “We look forward to expanding this category with additional athleisure items coming next year”, said Shari. What makes this brand of activewear so special and sets it apart from the crowd is all in the design! Sugar Lulu is obsessed with color and pattern. They create prints that are fun to wear. “We call our prints MOOD CHANGERS!” They just make you smile!” said Lexi.
Their styles range from sweet to sassy, to boho and edgy, but always with a touch of sophistication! Lexi says, “My mom and I love fashion. We shop the market everywhere we go… We like spotting trends and finding unusual things that make us happy, and we love sharing our vision and collaborating with our Sugar Lulu girls.” What are Sugar Lulu girls? “Sugar Lulu girls are the most important part of our brand! They help with everything we make and do,” said Lexi. They get to vote on designs, review products and even come up with new product ideas. They model in photo shoots, star in videos and commercials, and walk the runway with Sugar Lulu! They have the opportunity to become an ambassador and cover girl and get featured on their website, social media, catalog, and on their products. Girls can check out their new website and sign up at sugarlulu.com to be part of their team.
KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 53
One of the things Lexi likes most about her job is connecting with girls around the world on social media and designing new collections that they’ll enjoy. She also loves working the runway shows and fashion shoots. She says, “These are the most fun! I get to meet the Sugar Lulu girls… work with the photographers, videographers, hair and makeup people, and help style the clothes. It’s so amazing!” On most days, Lexi goes to school and then heads right to rehearsal for the show she is currently working on. At night, she helps her mom with designs, and then she does her homework. In her free time, Lexi likes to play guitar, write music and poetry, and sing! Music is what inspires her most and feeds her soul. Her biggest role model is her Mom. Lexi says, “She is so strong and has accomplished so much- from raising me and my two brothers to creating this incredible company with me. She is like Wonder Woman.” Lexi has an eclectic fashion sense. She loves anything fun and unexpected. Her favorite style is Modern Vintage. She likes to mix old with new, classic with edgy, sweet with chic, and fancy with funky. Lexi says, “Girls want things that are easy to wear. Comfy is the 54 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
new trend! We are seeing fun pops of color with simple layering pieces. Purple is big right now and we are seeing lots of pastels on the runway for spring and summer 2018... Sugar Lulu Candy Mint and Raspberry never go out of style in our book.” Sugar Lulu has big dreams for the future! They are “passionate about building a community of girls that support one another on social media and beyond.” They are excited to develop a line of apparel for active girls that can be worn day into night. Animals are very important to both Lexi and Shari and if they could, they would adopt every pet in the shelters! One day, Lexi would love to visit every Sugar Lulu Girl all around the world! She would also love to work with Taylor Swift in the future. This awesome and inspiring company believes it is important to pursue your true passions. “Life is for experimenting, figuring out what you love and doing it! Making mistakes along the way and changing direc-
tions when you need to. Collaborating and finding ways to work with others. Doing things that make you happy and satisfy your soul.” To make a difference in the world, Lexi suggests doing one small act of kindness every day. She says, “It does not have to be something big. Just be the reason someone smiles!” When people criticize her work or try to talk Lexi out of her dreams, she listens to everyone's opinions, but takes what she believes will work best for her. She says, “Consider all of the options and criticism you receive, but at the end of the day, you have the final say as to what you end up doing. Don’t let someone else's beliefs stop you from pursuing your dreams. You are stronger than you think and braver than you know, if you can dream it, you can do it!”
Left to Right: Kambry, Alexus, Harley, Journey, Saylor, Peyton
Written by: Madison Harrison Photographer: Dave Feiling HMUA: Jee Kim Wardrobe by: Un Deux Trois
“Outside of reading and photography, one of my favorite things to do is to watch television with my family. I love to cuddle up with my parents under one of the blankets my grandmother made and explore the world through TV. Television can be both informative and entertaining. As an aspiring actress, I love to watch shows that are inspiring and fun. I like to pretend that I am one of the characters!” Lots of kids watch TV, some are fortunate enough to be on TV. LuLu Lambros is one of them! Lulu’s story started when she was much younger. She asked her parents if she could take acting classes. She says that her parents were not like most parents, who would run all over the place finding auditions for her; but they made sure that was what she wanted to do and took it one step at a time. Lulu went to acting classes, enjoyed Shakespeare camp (which sounds really cool). Here’s our interview.
What inspired you to be an actress?
Wow, pretty much from the time I started watching television and movies, and could talk, I told my parents I wanted to be on screen like the kids on my favorite shows and movies. My parents were very supportive, but didn't go crazy running out to get me an agent and driving me all over LA to auditions right away. They wanted to make sure I understood what I was asking for and that I truly had a passion for acting. So, off to community theater I went! To make a long story short, I loved acting and performing so much, I was involved in theater productions year-round, even summers at Shakespeare camp, from the time I was four to about ten.
Do you have a preference for theater or film?
Hmm, that’s such a tough question for an actor because everything we do - acting classes, character research, auditions - everything is with the ultimate goal of booking a role, so that we can perform and entertain. I transitioned from theater to TV and film when I was ten. I was in a showcase at my acting school, which is basically a talent show that agents and managers are invited to in order to scout new talent. I was scouted by a few agents, went on meetings, picked one and was going out on auditions a week later. It was so exciting! Since then, I have been concentrating on TV and film, but being on Broadway someday is definitely still on my to-do list! So, to answer your question, I prefer whichever I’m doing at the time
What has been your biggest career challenge something you love and working to improve every day, so far? Well, I would have to say that because, as actors, we are almost always auditioning, aka constant job interviews, the biggest challenge is to stay positive. As a kid, pursuing any professional career, you have to learn very early about rejection and loss. You don't always win. Although, I hear this can be a challenge for adults, too! I think what makes this easier is true passion for what you are doing and the goals you set for yourself. I actually have come to love the process. Every acting class, every audition, every meeting is an opportunity to learn something you didn't know yesterday, to correct a mistake, to make new contacts with other actors, directors and producers, but most importantly, it’s another opportunity to perform your craft. When you are doing 58 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
you can't help but go out there with confidence and enthusiasm, ready to seize your opportunities!
Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla cake? Is that a question??? Chocolate, of course!
What was one of the worst days of your life?
I feel so fortunate every day to have a supportive family, friends, a lot of love and everything I need to live my best life. We have a lot of work to do until every kid in the world can say the same. I am involved with several organizations that help to support and raise awareness for anti-bullying, medical research, feeding the hungry and animal rescue. Because I’m an animal lover, sadly,
my worst days have been the days that I have lost family pets. I have three dogs now, and we love them to the moon and back!
What is one of the best days of your life?
I feel like I have the best of both worlds with my career and my family and friends. I’m on top of the world when I’m working on set. It’s what we work for, and when you are rewarded with the opportunity to create with other actors, writers, directors and producers, it’s an experience you want to have again and again. I’m always sad to say goodbye at the end of a production. I always miss the people the most. None of this would be possible, though, without the love and encouragement I get from my family and friends. Spending downtime with family and friends on vacation or just hanging out, when e eryone is rela ed those are the est days!
What s your favorite place to eat?
Honestly, I am really into cooking, so I’m going to say our kitchen! My mom has always taught me about healthy eating, so I’m especially good with vegetables. I can make them taste really yummy. Whatever your favorite food is, I can make a healthy version that tastes amazin , I promise
What s your favorite
If we are talking all-time past or present - Gossip Girl. I love fashion, so you can make the connection, right? If we are talking current favs, I would have to say what most teens would say, “Riverdale and 13 Reasons Why.”
ow did you et started in your career?
Once I had an agent, my first bookings were commercials. I booked three the first year. It’s surreal walking onto your first set. The minute you walk in, you are greeted, asked for your breakfast order, shown to your dressing room and taken into hair and makeup. Not a bad start! Then, depending on the shooting schedule, you go to school, and then alternate between shooting and schooling throughout the day. Next, I worked on two Nickelodeon shows, “Mutt n Stuff” and “Awesomeness TV,” as well as doing tons of work for DreamworksTV. It was shortly after that I booked Ellie on Disney’s “Stuck in the Middle.” I recurred for three seasons as llie, arley s enna rte a est friend
What is the est part a out ein an actress?
That would be collaborating on-set to create something that entertains people, inspires people, moves people, KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018 59
“STAY FOCUS, STAY HUMBLE, AND STAY POSITIVE” makes them laugh and cry. I hope I continue to have the opportunity to do that for many years to come. I also hope to, one day, have a bigger platform to influence others and spread awareness about love, compassion and acceptance in the world. If all people in power and all influencers stood for positive change and peace, we ould e olden!
concentrating on acting, it wasn't something I had time to develop, but dance is like singing. You don't have to be great to feel the joy!
Who is your favorite dancer?
I really have a lot of respect for dance groups and teams. I think collaborating with others that share your passion is an amazing experience in any career.
Any tips to aspiring actors and actresses, like e? How can we get in contact with you? Yes! Stay focused, stay positive, keep learning, be humble, don't take it personally. If you can manage those thin s, C I C ill come!
I love hearing from you guys on social media. I read ALL comments and answer all questions. Also, if you see me out and about, come over and say ‘hi’, I’m very friendly and love meeting you guys!
I see you danced in the video with Vivian and u y ay how was that? “STAY FOCUSED, STAY HUMBLE, AND STAY POSIIt was a friend-fest! Ruby and Vivian are two of my best friends, as were the other girls in the video. So, that video shoot was so much fun, we forgot we were working. All our moms are friends, as well, so it was a super amazing girls’ day of fun, laughs and dance. You can tell in the video that we were actually having fun, I think that’s one of the reasons it became so popular. It makes you happy watching it.
TIVE,” powerful words from LuLu Lambros.
I hope you enjoyed learning about Lulu as much as I did! She’s a neat person living a pretty inspiring life! She’s got a big personality, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for her future! To stay up to date with Lulu, follow her on Instagram at ________.
When you are dancing, how does it make you Written by Madison Harrison, 11-year-old writer and feel? photographer. Follow me on Instagram: @photoswithI love it! I only wish I were a better dancer. I took classes when I was younger, but because I was always 60 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
How to Become a Singer with
By: Jennifer Pucci Star Photographer: Lily Shames Photography Wardrobe: Sally Miller
Online singing sensation Riley McEvoy (@rileymcevoymusic), is well on her way to stardom. At just 13 years old, Riley has won multiple talent awards and opened to a 30,000-person live show for Tim McGraw and Hunter Hayes. Her talent and passion have allowed her to break through the clutter of millions of hopefuls trying to get into the business. She shares her own story with the KIDFASH readers. Opportunities for being “discovered,” as they say, are often just a click away. The online platforms available for your aspiring superstar can put them in front of an unimaginable amount of potential fans. However, there are now more people trying these same methods to boost their own career. Riley McEvoy, has maneuvered the process quite well. Today, with more than 100,000 instafollowers, Riley is well on her way to stardom. Here’s how she did it. Look for the passion- Riley has been singing as long as she can remember. “It came naturally to me,” says Riley. “I loved music so much that I would learn it in English, then I would listen over and over again in Spanish, French, and Italian to sing the songs in those languages, as well. Music is just so much fun.” By five years old, she was singing the National Anthem and covers by powerhouse singers, such as Whitney Houston. Her first live performance was at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia for a corporate basketball event at seven years old. She says, “The songs I choose are not always the most popular, but I like songs that make me feel something and challenge me. I think it comes off better to the audience because they know I'm not just going through the motions. You want people to feel and connect with what you feel.” Train professionally- At the age of nine, Riley tried her first studio recording. “The studio owner stopped the music and turned around to my dad and said, ‘You’re in trouble. I've been in music for 20 years, and I can't do or teach what she s doing. ou need to get her to a great vocal coach as soon as you can.’” They did the research and found renowned vocal coach, Sal Dupree. Sal has taught great talent for American Idol, America’s Got Talent and Star Search finalists, such as Mara Justine, Bianca Ryan, and Tiffany Evans, as well as well-known Superstar Artist, Pink (early in her career as the member of an all-girl group). “He's been an amazing influence and mentor for me. Lessons are tough, and you better be prepared. Sal introduced me to all types of music and constantly gives me songs that challenge me and make
me work. When I make mistakes, he corrects me. He also teaches me how to protect my voice on tough songs. est of all he makes it fun.” Find an audience- “You have to perform regularly to get over your nerves, and try new performance skills to figure out what works for you,” says Riley. “I’ve performed wherever people will let me, fashion shows, coffee houses, music festivals, local talent shows, community theater, school choir and even volunteer work at nursing homes and senior centers.”
These performances gave Riley excellent practice, but they can also be the start of something bigger. “My first five National Anthem performances were in front of 100 people at amateur boxing shows,” says Riley. “After my fifth show, a professional boxing promoter offered me the opportunity to sing in front of 1,000 people live. From there, it just kept growing, eventually leading to 20+ shows on pay-per-view or on major television networks.” 64 KidFashMagazine.com/July 2018
Maximize an online presence- Riley’s YouTube, Facebook, Musically, and Instagram have been integral to her success, but one, in particular, has stood out from the rest. “Without question, Instagram has been the outlet that helped me the most,” says Riley. “Instagram lets you give great moments of a song, and that's all it takes is a moment to grab someone.” “Instagram has allowed me to develop friendships and collaborate with super talented artists all over the world. I've received amazing messages of support and developed tremendous career changing relationships.”
Beyond the collaborations, Riley also recommends the many online talent contests, such as ones hosted by @crazygoodvoices and @allthebestsingers. “This was something I was heavily involved in when I first started. They are free and fun and a great way to meet other singers.”
Assemble your team- You have the fans, you’re booking the gigs, now what? It is important to have a support system to help make wise choices. “Dad handles the business stuff, and Mom runs the schedule and day-to-day with me, my sisters, and my brother,” says Riley. Of course, Mom and Dad are perfect for protecting your best interest, but having the support of someone familiar with the industry can open you up to more opportunities. “I have a manager, Christina Jones, Vice President of Talent at Digital Brand Architects in Los Angeles. She is amazing,” says Riley. “My dad went through a long search trying to find the right fit. You can have a cool agency name or big management name, but that doesn't mean success. You have to have somebody that believes in you and your talent and puts you in the right position for success.” Riley also enlists the help of an attorney and an accountant. “It really takes a team, and I'm super lucky to have great people with me.” Think before you sign- Riley had her first offer to sign with a music company when she was 11 years old, but has chosen to wait. “We are taking our time to try and make sure we find the right fit and the right situation,” says Riley. “Music is changing so much with social media and streaming. We want to feel that who we partner with is on top of the game and fully believes in me for the long-term. It's tough, you’re so excited to get
offers, but you have to trust your team. My mom and dad, manager, attorney, and accountant handle all that stuff. My job is to do well in school, sing, and have fun with my friends and activities. I like it that way!” “You can't get too excited or too sad about any opportunity. I had a tv show that I really wanted to do. The contract could have shut me down on other opportunities for two years, and we decided against it. I understand the decision. I sing because I love it, and I'm chasing my dreams, but if contracts don't make sense, you have to keep moving, learning, and growing for when the right opportunity comes along.” Never give up- If this is truly your dream, then you can make it into reality. “I just want to continue to learn and get better, so that when the door opens for me, I'm ready to run through it,” says Riley. “I'm learning every day, and I love it.”
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