High Profile Magazine: The Bridal Edition

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APRIL’S EDITION EDITOR’S NOTES Dear reader, I’m pleased to bring you the May edition of High Profile Magazine – The Wedding Edition. This is also our sixth edition since we launched as a digital magazine, which is huge for us! The magazine just keeps getting better; we recently became an official media partner for the Oscars, and we have some really exciting things in the pipeline that I hope to be able to share with you very soon. I love this edition, it celebrates love, fashion, and everything else that goes into planning a wedding. We've really enjoyed putting it together, as always, and I really hope you enjoy reading it. There are some really amazing articles this month, and I think it might be one of our best editions yet!

We have some really exciting things in the pipeline.

Let us know what you think of this edition, we’re always happy to hear feedback from our wonderful readers! And of course, if you have a story you want to share, please get in touch at editorial@highprofilemag.com See you next month, RAFAEL DOS SANTOS Editor-in-Chief

Hi and welcome to another amazing edition of High Profile Magazine! Our first cover star this month is the incredible Sarah Jessica Parker, whom I was honoured to be able to write the cover piece about. Her career has spanned several decades, and she’s fast become a global icon for her acting and fashion alike, and I'm really excited to have her on the cover this month. As Rafael said, we recently got the news that we are now official media partners of the Oscars, which is so incredible and is testament to all the hard work we have been putting into the magazine over the last few months. I can’t believe this is now the sixth edition I've worked on since starting as Assistant Editor! It's flown by, and I've learnt so much along the way, I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us. I'm really pleased with how this edition has turned out, as I think it’s a great edition that will bring a lot to our readers. I hope you enjoy it, and I'd love to hear from you to know what you think of this edition! Until next time, LOLA SHERWIN Assistant Editor

I can’t believe this is now the sixth edition I've worked on since starting as Assistant Editor!

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CONTENTS 3 5

EDITOR’S NOTE

TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT

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MEET THE TEAM

MAIN STORIES

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HER HIGHNESS QUEEN DIAMBI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO

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THE CLASSIC VIVIENNE WESTWOOD CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING DRESS 5 ESSENTIAL HAIRCARE PRODUCTS SO, I'M A BRIDE, NOW WHAT?

HEALTH & WELLNESS

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NEXT STEPS WHEN YOU ARE DATING OUTSIDE OF YOUR RACE

PRODUCTS

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WEDDING GIFT LIST

HARNESSING THE POWER OF EMPLOYEE NETWORKS TO ADVANCE RACE EQUALITY.

BUSINESS

SARAH JESSICA PARKER FROM BRIDE IN BLACK TO BLUSHING BRIDE

BEAUTY & FASHION

MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS BEFORE THE BIG DAY

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MARKETING & BRANDING

28 23 44 60

TURN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE INTO PROFIT WEDDING COLOUR TRENDS FOR 2021 HOW VIDEO CAN CAPTURE YOUR WEDDING 5 STEPS TO INCREASE YOUR NET WORTH

CELEBRITY & INFLUENCE

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THE 93RD OSCARS

ROMANCING YOUR CUSTOMERS

CULTURE & SOCIETY

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THE COMMONWEALTH WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURS SUMMIT LILIAN MAGESKI EMPOWERING WOMEN TO TAKE UP SPACE THE PALACES ARE REOPENING!

ENTREPRENEURSHIP

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COULD YOUR CONFIDENCE BE HOLDING YOU BACK FROM SUCCESS?

EVENTS BEYONCE - AN EMBODIMENT OF SUCCESS

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KWAME KNIGHT MAKING YOUR DREAM EVENTS A REALITY


MEET THE TEAM

Rafael dos Santos, Editor in Chief

Lola Sherwin, Assistant Editor

Rafael dos Santos is the owner and editor-in-chief of High Profile Magazine as well as a writer for Forbes. Rafael is the CEO and co-founder of GuidedPR.com, an artificial intelligence platform that connects journalists with business owners. He has won seven awards including the Sunday Times 'Top 100 Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs in the UK'. His award-winning TEDx Talk 'What It Takes To Be A Migrant Entrepreneur' has been watched over 157k times. With over 18+ years running businesses in the UK, USA and The Netherlands, he combines real world-experience with an MBA from Henley Business School to manage his several businesses.

Lola is our Assistant Editor. She started at the company as a Journalist Trainee and progressed up the ranks after a few months of working with us. She is also a First Class Honours graduate in Hispanic Studies from The University of Nottingham, and is currently studying for a Masters in International Journalism at The University of Leeds. Lola runs a personal blog in her spare time, which has over 6,000 all-time views! She also speaks 4 languages and has spent time living in Spain, Mexico, and Brazil, as well as her home country, England.

Junior Negrão, Graphic Design

Sahar Hechme, Video Editor

Junior Negrão is a graphic designer from São Paulo with 20 years of experience designing magazines, books, publicity material and brand identity creation. He graduated in Graphic Design from UMC-SP, and he also completed specialist design courses run by renowned schools in São Paulo.

Sahar is a video editor who studied in Lebanon, and now has over 4 years’ experience. Her clients include SME businesses, influencers, fitness gurus, and many more. With over 1 million views across YouTube and social media, Sahar helps clients grow their social presence and stand out in a competitive market.

Andrei Koscina, Fashion Photographer

Wanja Muthee, Contributor

Andrei Koscina is a corporate, lifestyle and fashion photographer from Brazil. He is currently based in London, and has a degree in Advertising from PUCRS, as well as a HNC in Photography from LCCA. In 2020, he reached over 1.2 million views and 270,000 downloads on Unsplash. His main clients are entrepreneurs developing their personal branding.

Wanja is an avid reader and writer who lives in Nairobi. She’s a PR Assistant and Blogger at GuidedPR. She holds a Bachelors in Mass Communication from JKUAT and has worked in print media and in academia. When she’s not researching current affairs, you’ll find her on social media, keeping up with what’s hot!

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MAIN stories

HER HIGHNESS QUEEN DIAMBI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO Interview by Rafael dos Santos

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Her Royal Highness Queen Diambi, Democratic Republic of Congo Interview by Rafael dos Santos Full name: Queen Diambi Kabatusuila Tshiyoyo Muata Mukalenga Mukaji Wa Nkashama Wa Bakwa Luntu Wa Baluba Wa Kasaï, Democratic Republic of Congo Meaning: Mukalenga: King Mukaji: Woman, Female Wa Nkashama: of the order of the Leopard Diambi: The Bearer of good news Kabatusuila: who always has to be aware of her surroundings, vigilant Tshiyoyo Muata : of the King Tshiyoyo Muata Royal House Wa Bakwa Luntu: of the Bakwa Luntu People Wa Baluba: of the Luba Ethnic group once known as the Luba Empire (a confederation of Luba Kingdoms) Wa Kasaï: Of the Kasaï region Congo: of the Democratic Republic of Congo Hello, Your Highness, thank you for speaking to me today! Could you tell me a bit about the Democratic Republic of Congo and its relationship with Portugal and Brazil? The Democratic Republic of Congo as we know it today, with its current borders, was only incorporated as a nation in 1885 at the Berlin Conference. Africa has of course always been populated by African people, and as I'm sure you know, the modern human being, the Homo Sapiens has been around for at least 200,000 years. Homo Sapiens have been on the continent of Africa since the beginning of our existence, and over time we have developed into different societies. Around the 13th century, Europeans, most notably the Portuguese, began doing a lot of commerce on the West Coast of Africa. They did not discover Africa, because Europe and Africa have always had a relationship, for as long as anyone can remember, but the Portuguese were the ones who really began commerce along the West Coast all the way down to what we now know as the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Democratic Republic of Congo had a great relationship with Portugal for quite some time, to the extent that the Kings of Congo were considered to be equal to the Kings of Portugal. Portugal had ambassadors in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but then, when the 15th century came around and the Americas were discovered, the Portuguese started needing people who could work in the labour force, which is when the transatlantic slave trade began. They would capture and deport Africans from their home continent to bring them to the new

world. Around 40% of the people who were trafficked from Africa to Brazil during the entire 400 years of human trafficking came from the Democratic Republic of Congo, so I can say that the people of the basin of Congo had a huge influence in developing many countries and cultures in the Americas and Caribbean’s like Brazil. Wow, that’s a very high percentage! I don’t remember learning this at school. Obviously, we know that as Brazilians we are almost all linked to Africa in some way, for example I have Nigerian DNA. Every human being in Brazil, and on the whole planet, will find some link to Africa in their DNA, because this is where humanity emerged. Absolutely! When I first moved to London, I worked in Selfridges on the Chanel counter, and I worked with some Nigerian girls. It was only then that I learned more about the similarities between Brazil and countries like Nigeria. In Brazil I didn’t have many contacts from Africa, and then I realised how similar we were, and I was like wow, we really do all stem from Africa. You know, there’s a similar warmth and happiness, and both cultures are very into dancing and things. It was a huge eye opener for me, and now talking to you, Your Highness, I am learning about the huge influence that Congo has had on my country. Shortly we will talk about your visit to Brazil; Brazilians loved having you there, and it is clear that Congo is a great nation with wonderful people such as yourself. Let's talk a bit about your story now. I know that we often think about royalty as being like it is in fairy tales with princesses in towers and dragons,

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but in reality, I know you do a lot of work travelling and representing Congo. What's it like to become Queen? Well really that links back to the first question you asked me about the early history of Congo and Brazil and Portugal. After abolition, slave trafficking was obviously no longer allowed, and what happened was they took the continent and at the Berlin Conference they gave pieces to the UK, to Portugal, to France, and then there was a big piece which is now the Democratic Republic of Congo which was under the rule of the Belgian king Leopold II for 23 years. They exploited the country’s natural resources for rubber and other things; it was a really abusive period in our history, and around 12 million people in Congo were killed during that time. After that, Congo became a Belgian colony from 1908 to 1960, which is where my story begins, I guess. My father was born during the Belgian colonisation of Congo. When independence finally came in the 1960s, my father went to Europe to study because we needed better educated people to manage the country, because the Belgians didn’t leave us with anyone who could manage this brand new gigantic country properly. Many young people left to go to Europe and other parts of the world, and it was in Europe that my father met my mother, who is a Belgian European. They got married and I was born in Belgium. When I was 6 months old, we went to the Democratic Republic of Congo, because by this time my father was working as a diplomat in the Congolese embassy in Brussels. From the age of 6 months to the age of 16 years, I lived in Congo, and then we moved to Europe and then, later on, to the USA. The history is important because colonisation was extremely destructive, it destroyed kingdoms, cities, families, entire cultures and the pristine natural environment. For four centuries sub-Saharan Africa was almost like a huge refugee camp; people are constantly moving and fleeing because they are afraid of being captured and sold into slavery. There was a lot of turmoil, and then after that, colonial powers crushed our governance structures so we couldn’t build kingdoms. We were organised by families, my family is of the Luntu people, there are around three million Luntu people, but we are part of another kingdom called the Luba Empire which was one of the biggest tribes in Africa. When the colonial powers came, they imposed the European system of governance on us, they superimposed Western structures on the traditional structures which have existed in Africa for thousands of years. We are still connected with our communities, though, and we have a strong power to represent them now.

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“Every human being on the planet will find some link to Africa in their DNA” I understand that Congo is similar to the UK in that you have a government who is voted by the people as well as royalty, how does that work together? In our Constitution we have articles of law which recognise what we call the traditional and customary authorities. Depending on the country, the setup is different, for example in Ghana they have a Chamber of Kings in parliament. That is something we don’t see all over Africa yet because colonial power really oppressed a lot of traditional culture. We are now seeing a resurgence of recognition for our own culture, and we understand that it is very precious and can bring a lot of solutions to today’s problems. Even as Queen, my father was supposed to sit on the throne, but he was not interested and so he refused because my father wanted to conform to the European standards; like many he had been conditioned to think that it was better that way, and by then that generation of the African independencies thought that it was the only way to govern their newly created nation states, a concept which had never existed in Africa before. They let him refuse, but they had to bring someone else from his bloodline, so I was chosen. We have several houses from which we can call the King or Queen, and there is a committee or council of elders who decides who the next monarch is, because if you are King and the first born child is not a good person, or is not smart enough, it may not be appropriate to bestow him with a power that he may misused. So yes, we do have a relationship with some houses who help us to select the King or Queen. I see! So, being born into the family as the first born doesn’t necessarily mean you will automatically become the next ruler? Not always! The King or Queen is more like a representative of the culture and an embodiment of our history and heritage. They are a spiritual figure more so than they are a governor, really. We have chiefs, too, who act more like governors, whereas the monarch is largely symbolic, however we do have the authority given to us by our people. The councils are the people who decide. We have the council of elders, the council of notables, and the council

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“Come in peace, and let’s see what we can do together.” of women, who all decide how we’re going to make decisions which affect the people. I understand that you want to show the world that change is happening, you want people to see the best in your country. How do you bring change about? It can be hard to bring about change in our own houses, let alone in a whole country. What three things are you doing to bring positive change to Congo? I wasn’t prepared to be a Queen, I didn’t even know much about me being related to it, because my father was a very modern African and he would reject tradition because he felt it was old. To undertake this role, I had to really understand what it was about, and for me the main thing is rewriting the narrative about Africa. I've travelled all over the world, even before being Queen, as I came from a diverse background, and I realised that people really don’t know Africa, they have an image of Africa which is not accurate. They can be very demeaning and degrading as they have only seen the worst of it. Often, people talk about African history as if it only start-

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ed during slavery, when actually there is over 200,000 years of African history. We have had amazing civilisations, we invented sciences from mathematics to medicine to astronomy, so many things started in Africa! We were doing mathematics in Africa 35,000 years ago, and in Congo we found the first calculator, called the Bone of Inshango, which was used about 25,0000 years ago, you know, Africa’s contribution is often ignored. We are the cradle of humanity; everyone comes from here! But people deny Africa’s contribution to humanity, and they focus on the negatives, such as being victims of human trafficking for almost 8 centuries, when you look at the Arab slave trade from East Africa and then the European slave trade from central and West Africa. We also have huge natural wealth, of course. During slavery, human capital was our most desired resource, now it’s diamonds and oil and all of those things. Africa is great, the climate is perfect for planting almost anything. A lot of conflicts here are fuelled by the desire of some people to exploit these resources without redistributing the benefit equitably to the African countries and their people. The problem in Africa is not underdevelopment but rather over-exploitation.


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My first job as a queen was to go out there and present Africa to the world in another light. I want people to wake up and to show more interest in Africa. I want people to understand it better and to create more equitable partnerships which can yield long-term benefits for the African people. That's why I'm involved in different start-ups and businesses, to help create a more positive vision of Africa. We are one human family, yes some of us are dark and some of us are pale, but we are all originally from Africa, and Africa can be fully for humanity. Africa is not yet as damaged as many places in the so-called developed world. Development thinks that technology will solve everything, but really technology often creates as many

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problems as it does solutions. We should live more in harmony with our planet! Africans should have a seat at the table, we need more diversity so we can be more creative with our solutions. I hope that everyone will find a place in their heart to hear Mother Africa calling them. This is our land, it will never exclude anyone who comes here with a good heart, you will always be welcome. Don’t come here like your forefathers, who came with guns and the idea that nothing about us was good enough, they even demonized everything about us ultimately to have us change who we were, our appearance, our languages, our traditions, our religions, etc. Come in peace, and let’s see what we can


“I want people to wake up and to show more interest in Africa.” do together. Africa will give us all another chance. We've reached a point where we can destroy our entire planet with just one bomb which is already a sign of a civilization in decay!. We need to start anew, not necessarily abruptly, but we can transition to something better if we work together in a way that we are equal and respectful. People need to realise they don’t know it all, and that we need to work together to preserve this planet. Africa can be a safe haven for every human if we work towards that. Let's learn about living together in peace, we need to reframe the narrative and unite on equal grounds. Don’t just look at the superficial things about Africa, look deeper and learn about our culture and our history. I can see you dress in a way that is traditional to your culture, and that heritage is very important to you. I think your fashion is beautiful, it combines the worlds of community and projects; tell us a little bit about your fashion design and this project. As you mentioned earlier, Queens are normally associated with fairy tales and things like that. Growing up as a little black girl I had never seen a black Queen or a black princess on TV or in film, so it was not something I could identify with. When I took on the role of becoming an African queen, I accepted the responsibility of presenting myself to the world in a way that really represented our culture and our people. I of course blended my identity as a modern and contemporary woman with the attributes of my ancestors, because that is what a Queen should do. A Queen should represent the longevity of her ancestry and culture and history, so the elements you see here are part of my tradition. I am a Queen who goes on the international stage, so I need to have a wardrobe which represents my country. I didn’t have any suitable clothes at first, so I called on tailors and designers from very modest backgrounds to help me. They have excellent skills and training although they lack proper equipment and have meager means to start their own businesses. They are from the modest neighborhood of Kinshasa, where I grew up. My parents were very modest, I didn’t grow up in a wealthy environment at all. I remember people would sew clothes outside on their machines and the kids would grab little pieces of cloth to make dolls out of, and I wanted to include that in

my self-expression, and to give these people a chance to make a name for themselves. I admire the great works of big designers, but my world is so far from that. I want to be able to give these small designers the appreciation they deserve and give them the opportunity to showcase their abilities and ingenuity. They work in very difficult conditions, but they create some truly beautiful fashion art. I felt that there was a place for their voices to be heard; it wasn’t so much for me to engage in business, as I'm not a businesswoman, rather it is to showcase what these designers are capable of. I want to make people realise that African people can make beautiful things, and I want to help the communities by creating companies for them. Most of our clothes come from China, but it’s us that send them the cotton, so why not start making the clothes here? We can make our own fabric, we have incredible people in the fashion industry learning how to work in fashion, and of course there is no problem in partnering with foreign experts from all over the world to achieve these objectives but we can create amazing things here which are inspired by our culture. I hope people love my Queen Diambi collection! I think we need more Queen Diambis in the world to advocate for change and to bring us back to our roots collectively to make a better world! What would you like your last message to our readers to be? I do a lot of charitable work with orphanages in the Congo where I help support homeless children. I work with seven orphanages, and I always go and talk to the children and invest in them. Children are the future of our planet! I always say children with no parents can be some of the luckiest, because they can have all the parents in the world, we are all collectively parents for these children. Also, I'd love for you to know that Brazil is really dear to me! I love the country, I think it has a lot to work on, just like everywhere else, but once Brazilians understand the power and wealth that the African community can continue to bring to Brazil, then they will continue to grow into an even more beautiful country. Inclusiveness and connectivity is essential, that’s my message to everyone. Everybody is different, but we can all enrich each other if we connect with love, kindness and respect.

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watch rafael’s ted talk

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What It Takes To Be A Migrant Entrepreneur click on the icon to watch


MAIN stories

SARAH JESSICA PARKER FROM BRIDE IN BLACK TO BLUSHING BRIDE

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Sarah Jessica Parker is an award-winning actress and producer. She was catapulted to global stardom after starring as sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw in the hit TV show Sex and the City, a character who has since been recognised as one of the greatest female characters in American TV history. Since 2005, Parker has run her own production company, Pretty Matches, creating content for HBO among other channels.

Early life Sarah Jessica Parker was born on the 25th of March 1965 in Nelsonville, Ohio. She is the fourth of eight children from both her parents’ marriage and her mother’s second marriage, and her childhood was a far cry from the life of luxury she lives nowadays. During her childhood, her parents struggled to support such a large family, and there were times when their electricity would be cut off, or when they would have to forgo Christmas and birthday celebrations due to their being unable to afford them. When Parker was 3 years old, her parents divorced, and her mother later remarried to Paul Forste. From a young age, Parker helped to support her family, making money through singing and dancing gigs, which she would then bring home to her family. Despite not coming from a wealthy background, Sarah has said she wouldn’t change any of it for anything, commenting that her mother made efforts to immerse the children in cultural activities, often taking them to free ballet and theatre shows in Cincinnati to give them a rich and full childhood.

Acting Aged 11, in 1976, Sarah was cast in her first Broadway role in a revival of The Innocents, and at this point her family moved to New Jersey in order to get her specialised training. As her career progressed, she and four of her siblings appeared in a production of The Sound of Music, spending time over the next few years touring. Parker's big break came when she was selected to take on the title role of Annie on Broadway in 1979, after having spent two years in the smaller role of July. She played the role for a year, before her career really started to take off in the early 1980s. 1982 saw Parker gain the lead role in CBS sitcom Square Pegs, which despite only lasting one season, saw her performance be acclaimed by critics who loved her performance in the show. The show paved the way for further success, and in the years that followed, Parker was cast in four films, including Footloose in 1984, Girls Just Want to Have Fun in

"Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with." Carrie Bradshaw 1985, and Flight of the Navigator, a Disney sci-fi film, in 1986. Alongside her film roles, Sarah’s career remained steady with constant work in TV. In the early 1990s, she made the jump from teen to adult roles, starring alongside Steve Martin in 1991’s L.A. Story, which laid the groundwork for further significant film roles in the years that followed. 1992 saw her star as Ni-

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"Maybe the best any of us can do is not to quit, play the hand we've been given, and accessorize the outfit we got." Carrie Bradshaw colas Cage’s fiancée in Honeymoon in Vegas, which earned her credibility among critics and fans alike. She then played one of the main characters in Disney’s Hocus Pocus in 1993, as well as acting as a police diver alongside Bruce Willis in Striking Distance that same year. It seemed that her career was continuously on the up, and in 1994, Parker took on a role alongside Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s biographical drama, Ed Wood. Meanwhile, Parker was continuing to develop her career on stage, starring in plays including Sylvia and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, alongside future husband Matthew Broderick. She earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for her role in Sylvia, testament to the positive reaction her work was provoking in the critical space. 1996 was a film-heavy year for Parker, who starred in 5 films that year, among them The Sunshine Boys along with Woody Allen, of whom she was a big fan, The First Wives Club, which was a huge commercial and critical success, and Mars Attacks!, another Tim Burton film. Her real big break came in 1998, when she was cast as Manhattan sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw in HBO’s new show, Sex and the City, a show following the lives of four friends who are inseparable despite

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their completely different lifestyles. The show was an instant success the world over, and it was the break that Sarah had spent all these years working towards. Initially, Sarah had had doubts about joining a long-term TV series, but it turned out to be just what she needed to take her career to the next level. Parker won two Emmy Awards, three Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards for her performance as Carrie, testament to how well-loved she was by fans and critics alike. In the years since the show’s end in 2004, Carrie Bradshaw has been recognised as one of the greatest female characters in the history of American TV, and in 2009, The Guardian named the character as an icon of the decade. In the years that followed the end of Sex and the City, Parker took on a number of film roles. Her role in The Family Stone in 2005 earned her a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress (Comedy), and the film was a huge commercial success. 2005 also saw her start her own production company, Pretty Matches, which has seen her release a number of independent films, as well as shows for HBO and other channels. Pretty Matches was founded by Parker and Alison Benson, and has the aim of increasing female representation in media and production work through its projects.


For years after the end of the Sex and the City series, rumours circulated about a film version being released, and in 2008, fans’ dreams became a reality with the release of Sex and the City: The Movie. Despite not receiving rave reviews from critics, the success of the film among fans led to a sequel being commissioned, and in 2010, Sex and the City 2 was released to great commercial success. It was in Sex and the City: The Movie that Carrie wore the iconic Vivienne Westwood bridal dress to appear on the cover of US Vogue prior to her wedding to Mr Big - the one where he didn’t show up, sadly. The strapless gown featured ivory silk satin and ivory silk Radzimir tafetta, and was absolutely stunning. In 2018, Westwood designed piece for her Spring/Summer collection which were inspired by Carrie’s dress, and for a limited time they displayed the original Carrie dress at the Vivienne Westwood flagship boutique in NYC. In 2009, Parker starred alongside Hugh Grant in Did You Hear About the Morgans?, which was a moderate commercial success, though it earned Sarah a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress and did not receive much positive feedback in critical circles. She received a further Razzie nomination for Worst Actress for her performance in Sex and the City 2, as well as for roles in 2011’s I Don’t Know How She Does It and New Year’s Eve, though Parker was not put off by these nominations as she continued to blaze a trail in the worlds of film and TV in years to come. In 2012, SJP made her first return to TV since the end of Sex and the City, playing Isabelle Wright, Kurt’s mentor at Vogue, in three episodes of the hit FOX show, Glee. In 2013, she voiced a character in animated film Escape from Planet Earth, as well as playing Gloria Steinem in deleted scenes of the biographical drama Lovelace. 2015 saw her star in indie romcom All Roads Lead to Rome, playing an American journalist visiting Italy with her rebellious daughter. In 2016, Parker became the executive producer and star of HBO dramedy series, Divorce. Running for three seasons, the series was acclaimed by critics, wiping away the negative nominations she had received at the Razzie Awards a few years earlier. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance in the show, showing that Sarah Jessica Parker was well and truly back, and that she was here to stay. In 2018, Sarah produced and starred in independent drama Here and Now, in which she plays a New York City singer who receives a life-changing medical

diagnosis. In February 2020, Parker and her now-husband Matthew Broderick starred in a revival of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, with the show originally being scheduled to make its full debut in April 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was pushed back to March 2021, and now the show is expected to run through July 2021. In January 2021, it was confirmed that a reboot of Sex and the City the series will be airing on HBO Max in the not-too-distant-future, which was met with widespread excitement among devoted fans of the show. The reboot is set to be a 10-episode limited series, and Parker will star alongside co-stars Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis. Kim Cattrall, who played Samantha Jones in the original series, will not be returning.

Fashion Parker's role as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City made her a global fashion icon with huge commercial

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In 2014, SJP started the SJP Collection, her very own footwear line, which is sold at Nordstrom. The collection has enjoyed great success and continues to be sold to date. She has also launched a bridal shoes collection, featuring satin bridal pumps in classic shades of cream and white, as well as more non-traditional colours, including a royal blue which resembles the gorgeous pair Carrie received from Mr. Big for the big day. In June 2015, Parker was announced as the latest spokesmodel for Jordache Jeans, a brand known for its designer jeans which were popular in the 70s and 80s. In April 2018, Sarah partnered with Gilt, launching a ready-to-wear bridal range for modern non-traditional brides, which was met with huge excitement among fans of her fashion. Her status as fashion icon is very much cemented after so many years in the industry, and we can be sure that the revival of Sex and the City will bring with it many more iconic looks which will be lusted over by fashion fans all around the world. appeal. In 2000, hosting the MTV Movie Awards, she changed into fourteen different outfits throughout the show. In August 2003, she signed a lucrative deal with Garnier as the spokesperson of their Nutrisse hair products. In 2004, Parker signed a $38 million deal with Gap, which was the first multi-season contract in the company’s history, with Sarah due to appear in their fall adverts and continue into spring of 2005. The adverts faced a lot of criticism as many people didn’t think Carrie Bradshaw’s glamorous fashionista persona was in keeping with Gap’s image, which had always stayed away from high-end fashion. Despite the criticism, the adverts were a success, with Parker giving the company a new, fresh face. In 2004 Parker was also elected as the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Fashion Icon of the Year, a huge accolade for her in the fashion world. 2005 saw the launch of Sarah’s first perfume, Lovely, and following its success, she released Covet in 2007. Since then, she has released a number of other fragrances, all of which are sold through her company SJP Beauty. In March 2007, Parker launched a fashion line, Bitten, in partnership with Steve & Barry’s, a discount clothing chain. The line was launched exclusively in Steve & Barry’s stores and featured a range of clothing items and accessories which all cost under $20, in an effort to appeal to the masses through Sarah’s huge commercial credibility.

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Personal life From 1984 to 1991, Sarah was in a relationship with Robert Downey Jr. During this time, he was struggling with a drug problem, which put huge strain on their relationship, and ultimately, they broke up. She then briefly dated John F. Kennedy Jr. Since 1997, she has been married to Matthew Broderick, who she has starred in some stage performances with over the years. On her wedding day, Sarah opted for a ruffled black dress, in stark contrast to the gorgeous Vivienne Westwood gown that her character Carrie wore to get married in Sex and the City. She says she chose a black dress so that she didn’t attract attention, but now she says the only thing she would change about her wedding was the fact she didn’t opt for a white dress! The couple has three children, a boy, James, who was born in 2002, and twin daughters, Marion and Tabitha, who were born via surrogate in 2009. Parker and Broderick have lived with their children in Greenwich Village for over a decade now. The family also has a second home in County Donegal in Ireland, where Broderick spent a lot of his childhood summers. Broderick himself has also had several successful roles, including as the title character in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and as the voice of Simba in Disney’s The Lion King. He is currently starring alongside Sarah in a revival of Plaza Suite, scheduled to run through July 2021.


"A relationship is like couture; if it doesn't fit perfectly, it's a disaster." Carrie Bradshaw

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Marketing & Branding

BY NICOLE WEATHERBY

WEDDING COLOUR TRENDS FOR 2021 Nicole is a senior graphic designer and the “boss lady” of Green House Media. She is based in South Africa, but has worked with businesses across the world. Nicole is passionate about animal welfare, and her dream job is using graphic design to help animal charities to promote the work they are doing. Spending the rest of your life with your soul mate and partner for life is what all couples look forward to following their wedding. One of the other main aspects of a wedding is of course the colour scheme. So why is colour important in a wedding? I always get excited when Pantone release their new colours for a year. I am not sure if it is the creative names they come up with for the various shades or just the fun of seeing what is going to be hot for a new season of weddings, designing, fashion, etc. Either way, it is fun, and it breathes new life into the designs we see flooding our screens and inboxes, which is always a good thing. Pantone says the yellow-and-grey colour duo for 2021 carries a message of strength and optimism. “We need to feel that everything is going to get brighter,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Color Institute, giving a nod to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. According to Pantone, the colours were selected to represent “fortitude” and some much-needed positivity. The “Ultimate Grey” represents a “stable foundation,” while the “Illuminating Yellow” is like our light at the end of the tunnel, or sunshine on a cloudy day. Together, the two colours show the world’s resiliency as we carry on with 2021. YELLOW in weddings symbolises optimism, cheerfulness, and a strong appreciation for friendship. Yellow

is 100% angst-free. It’s also Martha Stewart’s signature colour, so yellow often goes hand-in-hand with that clean, grounded New England look, with lots of buttery porcelain and handmade papers. GREY in weddings symbolises modern, understated, retro-informed, and sleek. Lately, grey has deposed champagne as one of the hottest neutrals in weddings. Bridesmaids in grey with deco-rhinestone buckled sashes look up-to-the-minute… and stunning. Pair with wheat or heather for the ultimate urban, slightly Swedish palette. Your choice of wedding colours, supposedly, tends to be a subconscious reflection of your personality and an indication of how you imagine your future marriage will be. Your choice of colours may be in your wedding invitations, your table decorations, your flowers, your bridesmaid dresses, or your wedding gown. A guestbook and the sign-in table are a necessary part of any wedding décor, and it is usually one of the details your guests will see first! It is important to make this spot colour-coded to incorporate the essence of this colour duo. So, to all the couples planning your wedding for 2021, be sure to remember Ultimate Grey and Illuminating Yellow, and do your best to incorporate them into your plans.

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Beauty & Fashion

THE CLASSIC VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

BY WANJA MUTHEE

Wanja is an avid reader and writer who lives in Nairobi. She’s a PR Assistant and Blogger at GuidedPR. She holds a Bachelors in Mass Communication from JKUAT and has worked in print media and in academia. When she's not researching current affairs, you'll find her on social media, keeping up with what's hot! Dame Vivienne Westwood DBE, who recently turned eighty, has had an incredibly dynamic, revolutionary and eccentric life and career. This grand dame of British fashion is inarguably one of the greatest architects of British style. Westwood found fame in the 1970s explosion of the punk movement with her partner Malcolm McLaren as they normalized punk fashion. She is thus regarded as the ‘Queen of punk fashion’. The two helped shape British pop culture at the time, with their unapologetic, non-conformist spirit and ideas. Though now channelling her energy more into political activism and championing causes she’s strongly passionate about, particularly climate change and environmental conservation, Vivienne refuses to stop fanning her fashion flame, acknowledging that it provides her with the platform to advocate for the change she truly desires to see in the world. She remarked in one of her interviews, “People don't realise how quickly we are marching towards a possible mass extinction. Once the global temperature goes up beyond two degrees, you can't stop it…” Born Vivienne Isabel Swire on 8th April 1941 in a village in Derbyshire, north of England, this trendsetting queen of fashion never thought a career in fashion befitting for her. She especially never pictured herself as a world-renowned fashion icon. Despite having developed an interest in design and enrolling for a jewellery making course, she left after one semester, opting for a more

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predictable and safer career in teaching. However, while being a primary school teacher, Vivienne made jewellery on the side which she sold at a small stall on the Portobello Road. She has said previously, “I didn’t know how a working class girl like me could possibly make a living in the art world.” In 1962, Vivienne met Derek Westwood and they got married; she designed her own wedding dress. They soon after had a son, Ben Westwood. However, she felt ruffled by domestic life and childcare. She craved to explore more of the world. Thus, when she met the free spirited and adventure seeking Malcolm McLaren – future manager of the Sex Pistols - her marriage to Derek just had to end. Out of their partnership, Westwood’s second son, Joe Corre was born. Vivienne brought punk fashion into the mainstream as she made avant-garde fashion for the Sex Pistols band, which her partner managed. Additionally, their boutique on 430 Kings Road in Chelsea, where all the artistic magic happened, became a haven hangout for punk devotees including students, artists and new romantics. The store started out selling second-hand 1950s vintage clothing and McLaren’s rock and roll record collection but soon became famed for churning provocative, fetish streetwear inspired by BDSM costume, notably bondage trousers and rubber dresses. She also sold repurposed, customised T-shirts which were ripped and emblazoned with appalling anarchic graphics and slogans like the Queen with a safety pin through her lips or naked breasts printed on the chest. One of these shirts worn by Westwood herself in an old photo reads, “Be


reasonable, demand the impossible.” They also made fashionable the wearing of tops fitted with metal chains and safety pins. In true punk style, her designs carried a D.I.Y. aesthetic which signified the democratisation of fashion away from the dominant pristine, neatly put together acceptable fashion that was the norm.

Owing to their disruptive spirit and grasp of pop culture, Vivienne and McLaren’s store metamorphosised several times. Its name changed variously to coincide with their creative flow at the time and the evolution of the punk subculture, from ‘Let it Rock’ in 1971 to ‘Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die’ in 1972. In 1974, in a show of defiant toughness, they rebranded to ‘SEX’ in reaction to prosecution under the obscenity laws, creating a more hardcore brand. Their slogan was “rubberwear for the office”. In 1976, the song “God Save the Queen” by the Sex Pistols went to number one but the BBC refused it airtime. This sparked another rebranding of the boutique into ‘Seditionaries: Clothes for Heroes’ in 1977. In 1980, disillusioned by the absorption of punk into the mainstream, this is after the collapse of the Sex Pistols, Westwood renamed the store – ‘World’s End’, which remains its name to date. According to her, the new entrants into the punk scene were not made of the requisite mettle: their ideas lacked bravado, were bland and ordinary.

political issues around the world. In the 1990s, Vivienne ventured into teaching, forged new commercial relationships and also entered more sophisticated fashion. Vivienne has managed to build her own mini-fashion empire opening up numerous boutiques, producing multiple menswear and women’s wear collections annually as well as interior design items, shoes, bridal wear, eyewear, hosiery, knitwear, scarves, cosmetics and perfumes. It is while teaching Fashion Design at the Vienna School of Applied Art that she met Andreas Kronthaler, who later became her assistant. Their first joint collection was the Spring-Summer 1991 collection labelled: Cut and Slash featuring Renaissance-inspired gowns. The two married in 1993 and have continued to create collections together including the latest Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood collection Fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection titled Mayfair Lady. Westwood has been feted with numerous awards including: the Womenswear Designer of the Year award from the British Fashion Council for two years in a row - 1990 and 1991 - as well as the Order of the British Empire Award in 1992 and the Dame Commander of the British Empire Award in 2006. More recently, in 2018, she was awarded the Swarovski Award for Positive Change for her climate change activism. She has also been at the forefront of advocating for ethical fashion. For her Autumn-Winter 2011-12 Ethical Fashion Africa collection, Westwood enlisted thousands of local women to use their skills and make bags for Westwood, earning a fair wage. She also ensures to source leather sustainably from the Maasai community in Kenya. In recognition of the negative contribution of consumerist fashion to the climate, Vivienne is currently a staunch supporter of quality fashion products over quantity. Vivienne Westwood’s Global Brand Director Christopher Di Pietro has said, “Fashion has a disproportionate effect on the environment, and to remedy that we have for some time been changing the way we make clothes to reflect the need for the industry to change the way it operates.” Westwood is also a vocal advocate of, “Buy less, Choose well, Make it last.” With her unapologetic punk attitude, she is no stranger to controversy. In her fashion career spanning over 40 years, she has upended the fashion industry with bizarre, erotic designs and exhibitions; including staging semi-nude bare-breasted models at her shows in Paris and other places. This is the same woman who in 1992, upon receiving her OBE at Buckingham Palace, with the cameras turned on her, swirled her skirt about revealing that she had worn no underwear. She has once been quoted as saying, “Fashion is about sex.” Despite being labelled a pervert and her designs decadent, Westwood has never shied away from making her stand.

In 1981, Westwood and McLaren staged their first and only catwalk together. It was of their commercial, ready-to-wear collection titled Pirates (Autumn/Winter 1981). Their personal relationship ended soon after. They did, however, maintain their professional partnership for a further five years until it became too toxic. This collection was inspired partly by Westwood’s interest in the silhouettes and portrait paintings of the 17th and 18th century. The collection included buccaneer trousers and oversized shirts; these designs dominated the 1980s. The period of Westwood’s career between 1981 and 1985 was dubbed as the ‘New Romantic’ phase. It is a season where she began to morph into her own identity as a fashion designer, separate from McLaren. Her Spring/Summer 1985 collection marked a cardinal change in her designs as she moved away from flowing styles towards more fitted styles. In this season, she took inspiration from historical attires and reworked them. Other notable designs she made in the ‘80s included the mini-crini: an abbreviated version of the 17th century crinoline dress; the corset-as-outerwear and the fitted Harris Tweed jacket. Hereafter, Westwood continued to create numerous eclectic designs and collections, drawing inspiration from different sources including historical British dress; medieval armour; the monarchy and relevant

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Beauty & Fashion

BY RENATA ARON

CHOOSING YOUR WEDDING DRESS Renata Aron is 2020’s winner of the Fashion category at the Best of Brazil in Europe Awards. She is the founder of Nothing To Wear Image Consultancy and the NTW app, as well as being on the board of AICI Portugal and having created the Impulse Method. Wedding days are one of the most important days of a woman’s life. Her wedding day is the day where she will be the centre of attention. As well as all of the planning and details that a marriage requires, I believe that the thing that causes a bride the most stress is choosing her dress, her hairstyle, and her make-up. Many women have had dreams of what their wedding dress will look like for years before they even get engaged, just like in the fairy tales. Others have endless doubts, and don’t know where to begin with choosing their look. I definitely agree that choosing your wedding dress is no easy task. This is where image consultancy comes in! The first step is to understand the personal taste of the bride. You need to understand everything that she likes and has dreamed of right down to the smallest detail. Understanding the person’s personality is also an essential part of the process. All women have different styles and tastes in fashion. That's why it’s important to respect those individual tastes when searching for a wedding dress. For example, you need to know if the bride is a romantic, a modern woman, traditional... every detail is important in this process. The second step is understanding the details of the wedding day – you need to know the location, the time of the wedding, the number of guests. I'm sure you’re thinking, is that really necessary? Of course it is! Imagine if the bride is wearing a thin high heel and is getting married in a beautiful garden. How do you expect her to walk across the lawn in those shoes? It wouldn’t be easy! Understanding the schedule and style of the wedding is essential to make sure you don’t make any faux pas in the bride’s dress code. A lot of times, the bride has an idealistic view of what she wants to wear, but she hasn’t thought about all the details.

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Knowing the bride’s budget for her dream dress is also incredibly important, as showing her dress options which do not fall within her budget is only going to frustrate her and make the process more stressful than it already is. The third step is to understand the bride’s body shape, so that you can perfectly match her dress to her body type and ensure that she feels secure, confident, and comfortable. And the colour? Ah Renata, wedding dresses are white, I hear you say. But not always! Did you know that there are various shades of white? There are beiges, off-whites, and who says you can’t use any other colour? The colour of the make-up, all the details matter. Increasingly, modern brides are moving away from wedding traditions in favour of highly personalised ceremonies which better reflect the couple, and that includes breaking the rules around the wedding dress. Amongst the preferred colours these days are lilacs, pinks, blues and even yellows. The British actress Elizabeth Taylor wore a yellow dress and a floral tiara when she married in 1964! Even if you don’t want to go for a more unique colour palette, through your personal colouring we can work out if you have a warmer skin tone and therefore will work best in a pearlier white, or if you have a cooler skin tone and so will suit icy whites better. This test also helps to choose the colour of the bride’s make-up. You might be thinking, wow, what a lot of information, is that really necessary? No, it’s not necessary, and I didn’t have an image consultant for my wedding day 17 years ago, in fact, I didn’t even know they existed. However, it is a job that is increasingly sought out by brides for their dream day, as it helps with the whole process, and allows them to ensure they will feel secure and confident, as well as helping them to find the dress of their dreams.



Marketing & Branding

BY RAGNE SINIKAS

TURN YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE INTO PROFIT Ragne Sinikas is the Founder of World Women Conference & Awards, which is the foremost international gathering of women leaders designed for women to share their opportunities and experiences in a number of areas. She is also the Founder of Starpreneurs TV, a digital marketing platform, as well as being a speaker and award-winning podcast host.

I am honoured and excited to have the opportunity to provide you with information about the TV revolution that many business owners and marketers are not yet aware of. As a global marketer focused on helping brands go from presence to profit, it is my mission to help every person realise and unlock their full potential. I believe that everyone has a powerful message that can help impact the world and when coupled with cutting-edge tools and technology, one can help accelerate this process through omnipresence. Every individual has an area of expertise, experiences, knowledge, know-hows, ideas, programmes, services, and even hobbies that can be captured through amazing content and published to multiple platforms in order to impact others. When someone has a powerful message, life-changing expertise or deep understanding of a hot topic, 28

I empower them by teaching them to turn this wisdom into purpose-driven income streams online. What better than to turn their presence into profit by leveraging their own knowledge? I love helping you to learn about and leverage cutting-edge tools and resources at a time when we are living in an ever-changing technological society. By understanding the power of getting in early to brand new digital marketing channels, such as having your own custom-branded TV channels and TV Shows on Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV, you will be able to get ahead of your competition.

The Future of TV is Connected With 195 million U.S. viewers predicted to watch Connected TV this year, television is the next big digital channel (Simon, 2018). Connected TV is a


true digital channel, because the ads are dynamic or customisable, and programmatic or targeted by audience. The advertiser community is just becoming aware of the scale and value of this relatively new channel, and they have already started pulling their advertising spend from YouTube and putting their dollars into Connected TV platforms. Major and niche brands alike can buy the audiences they want. They can then show them a commercial as they watch any of the popular programmes that they’re already streaming through a variety of devices using premium content apps. For the first time ever, the power of TV can be a measurable and manageable part of your digital strategy.

Technology is driving the TV experience As is true with every major industry shift or technology breakthrough, the brands who find the opportunity fastest and use it to better connect with their audience will be the ones that come out on top. But why is it important for your business right now? Well, because streaming TV apps are bringing in a “new age” of video which will help you to stay relevant and profitable well into the future. These apps allow you to stream video from your favourite providers, on your preferred devices, whenever you want. You don’t need a cable subscription or an expensive satellite package to do it, either, which allows you to bypass all of the “usual” services

and avoid paying for channels you don’t want or use. Over the past five years, TV viewers have embraced connected devices from brands like Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and others as a way to watch programming. 63% of TV connected device usage occurs in the living room. 42 hours per month of usage uses connected TV devices. I am proud to bring to market a brand new digital TV channel called Starpreneurs TV. It is my goal to help individuals and businesses reach millions of people around the world, tap into a multi-billion-dollar market, add new income streams to their business portfolios, be on the cutting edge of technology, and take advantage of a brand new digital channel through the power of TV. At Starpreneurs TV, we showcase world-class influencers, industry experts and those who have a powerful message by having their own custom-branded TV shows or mini-series on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. It has been a pleasure to serve many individuals and businesses by helping them to harness the power of building new income streams through various means. My team and I continuously serve others through empowerment and education on how to use omnipresence to become a market leader, leverage social media channels to grow leads and sales, build authority-driven business ventures and discover game-changing innovative technologies like streaming TV.

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Products

Wedding gift list by Lola Sherwin

100 Picture Ivory Photo Album, £13.44, Amazon (Buy here)

Swarovski Champagne Flutes, £29.95, Amazon (Buy here)

This beautiful photo album is a wonderful gift for your friends on their special day. Either give it to them blank to fill with their favourite photos from the special day, or take plenty of photos of your own on the wedding day, fill the book, and give it to them as a lovely way of remembering their day.

Nothing says wedding quite like a champagne flute, and this elegant pair of flutes is the perfect gift, embellished with Swarovski crystals and presented in a stylish box.

Personalised Egyptian Cotton Towel Set, £14.99, Amazon (Buy here)

Help your friends level up their bathroom now that they’re married with this luxury Egyptian cotton towel set, which you can personalise with their names and the date of their big day.

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Premium Cheese Board and Knife Set, £38.99, Amazon (Buy here)

This beautiful cheese board and knife set is a great gift to give to a newly married couple for them to enjoy in their new home, whether they’re hosting or just fancy a romantic cheese and wine night for themselves.


Joma Jewellery A Little Something Blue Bracelet, £14.99, Amazon (Buy here)

As the saying goes, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue! This bracelet is perfect to give a close friend or relative on their wedding day as their little something blue.

Mr and Mrs Embroidered Bathrobe, £20.99, Amazon (Buy here)

These beautiful luxury terry towelling robes make great gifts for the happy couple’s bathroom! They're soft and stylish, what’s not to love?

Kingware Home Cake Knife and Server Set, £32.99, Amazon

Luxury Wooden Wine Box, £22, Amazon

(Buy here)

(Buy here)

This stunning two-piece set will bring a sense of elegance to your friend’s wedding, and plus, everyone needs a cake serving set, right? Let your friends serve their wedding cake in style with this beautiful set.

This personalised wooden wine or champagne box comes lined with satin and is the perfect gift for your newlywed friends to remember their special day with.

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Training & Development

BY MARY SENKOWSKA

MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS BEFORE THE BIG DAY Mary Senkowska is the youngest PCC Certified Coach in the world. She has been shortlisted for “The 20 Most Successful Businesswomen to Watch in 2021”. With 10 years of experience in training and development, she is passionate about inspiring leaders to create sustainable positive change in their businesses. Big day coming up soon? Stressed, much? Maybe instead of reactive techniques it is worth looking at building some emotion management muscles. At the end of the day, stress comes from nothing else other than emotions, and these are a result of conscious or unconscious assignment of meaning to every single event. I probably don’t have to tell you that this is where anxiety, irritability or mood swings are coming from. So how do we manage that?

ner may seem like you are indifferent. His/her process of framing that observation will begin instantaneously, letting negative vibes brew.

First, we need to look at how our brain makes sense of reality.

Identify a more precise word to describe what you felt. Is it sadness or perhaps disappointment, feeling rejected, feeling unappreciated?

Situation: Imagine you have cake-tasting scheduled and your partner is late or particularly indecisive during that process. It’s not your first attempt to make this decision and you’re a little tired of having to dedicate attention to it. Having one piece of information, our brain is naturally wired to create an entire story around it. Since human beings are evolutionarily used to predicting the future based on the past, your brain will very swiftly filter the memory for all the past mishaps in your partner’s behaviour and emotions you have associated them with. Having that cognitive load, it will follow an earlier established mental habit, e.g., when people reject me, I cave and become absent. If in the past you saw people not arriving punctually to meetings with you as a form of rejection, very quickly, your brain will arrive at the conclusion that this is what is happening right now. This in turn will trigger you to follow a behavioural response to rejection, here, switching off, which when looking at it from the perspective of your part-

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If you’re feeling that emotional tension more often than usual, take time one morning, or evening, to reflect on the broader picture of what is happening. Recall 5 recent situations of frustration or sadness and follow these 3 steps:

Relate your reaction to a past situation where you felt the same emotion. Was it similar? Is there a pattern you follow when you experience a specific feeling? How does that behaviour/reaction/thought serve you? Once you do this initial analysis, you can start working towards REFRAMING the mental habit and communicating it to your partner. This builds your self-awareness and indirectly impacts your ability to let go, recentre and manage your mental health more effectively. And you’ll do a favour not only your relationship, but also to your professional life. Emotions travel with us to work, no matter how hard you try to bottle them up. So let us continue this conversation and learn techniques of dealing with specific emotions and mental patterns through free 45-minute masterclasses organised in the Creative Brain community monthly. On the 27th of May, we’ll dive deep on REJECTION, an ever-present emotion in our lives. Join with your partner now: https://bit.ly/33adBMf


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Culture & Society

THE COMMONWEALTH WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURS SUMMIT In light of the passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the organisers of the 1st Commonwealth Women’s Entrepreneurs Summit have joined many organisations across the Commonwealth and beyond in expressing their sadness over the Prince’s passing. The Duke of Edinburgh pioneered important work over his many years by the Queen’s side, the best examples of which lie in the Commonwealth Studies Conferences, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, and his advocacy on biodiversity. Following consultation, the organisers have decided that, out of respect for the two-week mourning period for the Royal Family, the Summit will be postponed from 21-22 April to 19-20 May. The 1st Commonwealth Women’s Entrepreneurs Summit aims to reflect much of Prince Philip’s visionary and vital thinking and approach to inclusivity, internationalism and innovation which have never been more needed than they have in this moment. The convenors offer Her Majesty and all those close to His Royal Highness Prince Philip their heartfelt condolences and sympathy.

Each message can be re-recorded until the recipient is happy, and it will then be stored on CWES’ account with Shoutout Productions, until the video is shared, either by CWES or by you!

Heroine Entrepreneurs In videos of 60 seconds or less, women tell their stories of becoming and being entrepreneurs. They discuss the challenges, the successes, the hopes and dreams of a woman entrepreneur. CWES will share personal stories by women entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the Commonwealth in celebration of the first Commonwealth Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit. To submit a video, please click here.

Personal Messages To record your own message, please feel free to click here.

The organisers of the Summit intend to spend the next few weeks promoting the Summit, with a focus on content and on gathering material for their Heroine Entrepreneurs series, their 20x20 video talks, and on 2-minute personal messages from VIPs.

The organisers of CWES would like to invite government officials, policy makers, and senior officials to record a video of 2 minutes saying why this summit is important, and to give them the opportunity to shares their successes and progress in the area of gender equality for women entrepreneurs.

Here at High Profile Magazine, we would like to encourage our readers to follow the step-by-step instructions on the links which we will share with you below to record your video messages for the summit.

To register for the summit and read more about each workshop, please see the CWES landing page which is in the process of being updated: https://www.worldlabs.org/cwesummit

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Culture & Society

Photos: Diego Sants, DS Photo Studio Make-up: Raquel Menegaz

Interview by Rafael dos Santos

LILIAN MAGESKI EMPOWERING WOMEN TO TAKE UP SPACE

Why did you move to the USA? I am from Recife, Pernambuco, which is in the Northeast of Brazil. I moved to the USA to explore the world, to study, to learn the language and to meet new people from a different culture to my own. I was only supposed to stay here for 6 months, but I've been here since 2007 - I love it here.

Boston was an incredible place. It's very peaceful, very family-orientated, and it has the best business opportunities, the best salaries, and the health and education systems are fantastic here! I have lived here for many years now, and I have been able to build a beautiful story here. It is here that I became a mother to my beautiful daughter, Lara Mageski, and I have reinvented myself several times during my time here.

What do you like best about the USA and the city that you live in?

Why did you launch AME, and what is its mission and its vision?

At first, I went to Florida, but within a few months I had moved to Boston. At first it was really difficult to get used to the cold weather, given that I was used to the hot climate in Brazil, but then I saw that

In Brazil, I got a degree in Speech Therapy, but here I took on any work I could in order to establish myself. I worked as a cleaner, a babysitter, a waitress, a nursing assistant, I had so many jobs! Then I started to

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study and learn about the areas of marketing, advertising and public relations, and I fell in love with the field. I used my communication and leadership skills along with my people skills to work with the Brazilian community here, and in 2014 I discovered what my true mission in this world was. That's when AME, the Association of Women Entrepreneurs, was born. I realised that my purpose was to impact the lives of Brazilian immigrant women who were just like me, and I founded what is now the largest NGO and women’s movement in the USA. I felt a great need for women to be able to discover resources, connect with one another, and support themselves. There was a need for support, refuge, and social events. In addition to that, I realised that many women had suffered from domestic violence, depression and had dealt with diseases such as breast cancer, and they were left to deal with it alone, without even their family to support them. That's how AME family was born. Our mission is to empower Brazilian women entrepreneurs, who are considered a minority class, by offering them professional and personal support so that they can open, legalise and/or expand their businesses. I want to motivate them to believe in their abilities, develop their skills, exchange experiences, establish themselves as successful professionals and have their businesses prosper within the United States, contributing to the growth of the local economy. Our vision is to be a reference point for Brazilian women in the United States and around the world who are seeking assistance to establish themselves professionally on American soil, enabling them to become more productive and promising in their careers, and generating benefits for the community in general. We want to prove that when women are united, they reach their goals faster and go further, encouraging mutual help. Our motto is "Together we are stronger!", and so many women had not only their business impacted by our work, but they were also pulled out of loneliness, depression, and they started to feel strong and to have the courage to say no to situations of abuse and domestic violence.

What's the biggest challenge facing women entrepreneurs in the USA today, and what do they need to do to overcome that challenge? For immigrant women, there is the difficulty with adapting to a new language, a new culture, as well as being far away from her family and her roots. It’s important for these women to understand that they can conquer their space, and that this country has so many opportunities – all she needs to do is grab them when they appear! It's important to persist, to focus, and to use all the tools available to her, and if she does that, she will succeed. It isn’t easy, and it never will be, but we have two options: to be strong, or to be strong! Immigrant life can be hard, it can be painful, but if we have faith in our ability, then the sky is the limit, and everything is possible. I always advise people on the importance of networking, too. Having contacts and a social network is so important, and can be used to your advantage, so don’t neglect networking! If you had a magic wand that would let you change one problem in the world, what would it be? The problem I would want to solve would be that of violence against women. I work with hundreds and hundreds of women, and I am deeply saddened to see how many of them are stuck in abusive relationships with abusive partners, not just in terms of physical violence, but also in terms of psychological violence. I always say that women should raise other women up, but men should also lift their women up! What are AME’s plans for 2021 and 2022? AME currently acts in 11 US states and continues to grow. We want to continue being able to do events and working with women in order to impact more lives and continue to make history. We want to empower as many women as possible through entrepreneurship! To learn more about what we do, visit our website and social media channels. Website: www.empreendedoras.org Instagram: @empreendedorasbrusa / @lilianmageski I want to end by telling women that: A woman's place is where she wants it to be! Believe in your dreams and the power of fulfilment that exists within each and every one of us.

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Events

Interview by Lola Sherwin

KWAME KNIGHT MAKING YOUR DREAM EVENTS A REALITY

Kwame Knight is the Creative producer of Events by Knight, an events management company based in London. With almost two decades of experience in event planning and production, Kwame has produced everything from fashion shows to luxury weddings to corporate conferences, brand launches and everything in between. The service offered by Kwame is exceptional, and each project receives a bespoke approach which is completely tailored to what the client(s) wants. Why did you decide to pursue a career in the high-end events sector? By chance, really! I come from an entertainment background; I trained as a contemporary dancer & choreographer at Trinity Laban it was called The Laban centre back then. After training I pursed a career in the commercial dance scene working for artists including Sir Tom Jones, Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud, and the Sugababes. As a choreographer, people often asked me to organise other elements such as set design, backdrops, PA systems & room décor. As I was so used to organising things, the transition into event planning was seamless. Event planning has the same sort of characteristics as choreography

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in that you need to be organised, you need to be great at time management and delegating, I also found that I really enjoyed it, right from the very first event I produced. I have a passion for organising, I have a passion for managing, and I have a passion for creating, and event planning combines all of those passions in one – it's really good fun, I love doing it. What makes Events by Knight different to your competitors? Our bespoke approach to every event we work on! It's not a one-size-fits-all approach, because every single event is different. What one person envisions is going to be completely different to what somebody else dreams of, so every project we take on is tailored to suit the individual client’s vision of what they want.


We start from the initial enquiry right through to the aftercare. Every project I work on is like working for a friend, it’s a very personal thing. I take on these events because I want my clients to have an event that they will always remember as having been an amazing experience, rather than just being another event. What's been the biggest challenge that you’ve faced in your career, and how did you overcome it? Definitely the Covid-19 pandemic. Everything I did before the pandemic was live, from corporate conferences to luxury weddings to milestone events, it’s always been live. So, for us the pandemic was challenging, because it meant we had to stop doing live events. For the first few weeks I really struggled to get my head around how we were going to make the transition to virtual events, because our service is so bespoke that at first it seemed like it was going to be impossible to offer the same service virtually. I spoke to some experts in the field and they started showing me options on what was possible, it was fascinating understanding the possiblities within virtual events and to be able to bring the same sense of connectivity online as we do in our live events. There was one event where we had 2,000 guests from all over the world online for a corporate Christmas party, and to think that we managed to connect so many people in different locations was really amazing. The pandemic has really made me realise that absolutely anything is possible, if you can just change the way you see things. There will always be challenges, for example, a supplier might not turn up, the power might go out at a venue, but what you need is a contingency plan, and if you’ve got that, then you’ll be alright. You need to remain cool and calm-headed and work to find a solution, rather than focusing on the problem. With the pandemic, at the beginning, I was far too focused on the fact that we couldn’t do live events, when really, I should have been thinking about how else we could bring people together and give them that sense of connection. Events are all about connection, and as human beings, we need that connectivity and togetherness. So, once I understood that all we had to do was find a new way of connecting people, I was able to overcome that challenge.

Who would be your dream client to work with, and why? It would have to be producing the opening ceremony show at the Olympics, for a few reasons. Firstly, the Olympics shows are watched globally, so everybody across the world would get to see my work. I also love that it brings together so many nations together to celebrate. The shows are so spectacular, and the planning and creativity required would make it my absolute dream job. Seeing that materialise on a global stage would just be incredible. What's been your favourite event that you’ve worked on to date? I love every event that I work on, but of course some stick out more than others. I'd say there are two that stand out the most. The first is a live fashion show I produced at the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. We had to use the walkway that connects the two towers as the runway for the fashion show, and it was just spectacular. At 452m above sea level, it was the tallest fashion show ever, and nobody had done anything like it before at the time. It was such a challenge, but it was incredible to watch it happen, and I was so proud of it. The other one was a corporate event that I produced at the Victoria & Albert Museum in Central London. I had two hours to get the space ready for the event, because obviously it’s a functioning museum and you have to wait for all the guests to leave, so I literally had two hours to get everything ready before the corporate guests started to arrive. The logistical challenges leading up to the event and during the event were immense, but when I finally pulled it off, that feeling of wow we did it was just incomparable to anything else, it was amazing. How do you ensure client satisfaction on every project? By totally understanding what my client(s) want, right from the initial enquiry. Truly understanding what they want to get from the event and how they want to feel during and after the event is absolutely essential to helping me create an experience that will live with them forever. I make sure to find out exactly what the client wants, and then I work alongside them to ensure that their vision comes to life. This isn’t about me telling them what’s going to happen and how it’s going to go, it’s about me extracting their vision from their minds and then showing them that it can be done, then making that vision a reality.

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Celebrity & Influence

Preparations continue for the 93rd Oscars® on Saturday, April 24, 2021. The Oscars will be presented at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA and televised live by the ABC Television Network Credit: Matt Petit / ©A.M.P.A.S.

THE 93RD OSCARS Here at High Profile Magazine, we were recently approved as an official media partner for the Oscars, which is a huge honour for us! This year, the press room was virtual due to the pandemic, but we hope that next year we will be able to attend the Oscars in person and chat to celebrities on the red carpet! Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Oscars, which usually take place in February, were delayed until April. As the situation is much better than it was a few months ago, Los Angeles was able to host the Oscars on the 25th of April at Union Station and in the traditional Oscars theatre in Hollywood. As is the norm at this glamorous event, trophies were handed out to the best actors, actresses, directors, designers, and more during the ceremony. Big wins were seen for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Nomadland, Judas and the Black Messiah, and The Father, among others. Here we bring you a list of the winners at the 93rd Oscars! Best Director: Chloé Zhao for Nomadland Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins in The Father Best Actress: Frances McDormand in Nomadland Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and the Black Messiah Best Supporting Actress: Yuh-Jung Young in Minari

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Best Adapted Screenplay: The Father Best Original Screenplay: Promising Young Woman Best Animated Feature: Soul Best International Feature Film: Another Round (Druk) Best Documentary: My Octopus Teacher Best Cinematography: Mank Best Costume Design: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Best Film Editing: Sound of Metal Best Hairstyling & Make-Up: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Best Original Score: Soul Best Original Song: Fight for You, from Judas and the Black Messiah Best Production Design: Mank Best Sound: Sound of Metal Best Visual Effects: Tenet Best Documentary (Short Subject): Colette Best Short Film (Animated): If Anything Happens I Love You Best Short Film (Live Action): Two Distant Strangers


Peter Spears, Frances McDormand, Chloé Zhao, Mollye Asher, and Dan Janvey pose backstage with the Oscar® for Best Picture during the live ABC Telecast of The 93rd Oscars® at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Credit: Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Chloé Zhao poses backstage with the Oscar® for Directing during the live ABC Telecast of The 93rd Oscars® at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021. Credit: Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Daniel Kaluuya poses backstage with the Oscar® for Best Actor in a Supporting Role during the live ABC Telecast of The 93rd Oscars® at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Jamika Wilson (Centre), Sergio Lopez-Rivera and Mia Neal pose backstage with the Oscar® for Makeup and Hairstyling during the live ABC Telecast of The 93rd Oscars® at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Credit: Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Credit: Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Michael Govier and Will McCormack pose backstage with the Oscar® for Animated Short Film during the live ABC Telecast of The 93rd Oscars® at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Yuh-Jung Youn poses backstage with the Oscar® for Actress in a Supporting Role during the live ABC Telecast of The 93rd Oscars® at Union Station in Los Angeles, CA on Sunday, April 25, 2021.

Credit: Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

Credit: Matt Petit / A.M.P.A.S.

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Marketing & Branding

BY SAHAR HECHME

HOW VIDEO CAN CAPTURE YOUR WEDDING Sahar is a video editor who studied in Lebanon, and now has over 4 years' experience. Her clients include SME businesses, influencers, fitness gurus, and many more. With over 1 million views across YouTube and social media, Sahar helps clients grow their social presence and stand out in a competitive market. Like most things, weddings have changed significantly over the past year. This is something I can personally relate to, as I got married in October 2020, just weeks before the UK entered the second national lockdown. Pre-Covid, couples could expect to have a massive celebration, with a photographer and even a videographer. The organisation required to pull this all together meant that couples would take years to plan every detail. Where should the celebration be? Should it be local or on the beach? Who to invite? What colours should they use? Everything had to be perfect for the big day. During these Covid times however, the focus is less on large, complex, ceremonies, and more on beautifully intimate events, with just immediate family and close friends present. I know this from personal experience, as in February 2020, my husband and I had decided to organise a wedding which was to take place in August in Cyprus, with our family members and friends from both Lebanon and England. We called the travel/wedding agency and started to plan everything, only for the pandemic to result in Cyprus closing its borders, meaning we had to come up with a Plan B. Ultimately, we ended up getting married in the UK. Instead of a big celebration with all our friends and family, we had a very small ceremony and then a private meal at a hotel next door. This is just one example of how things have changed, and videographers and wedding-related businesses need to be able to tailor their services to this new normal.

Capturing Intimacy There are many techniques that can be used to capture the intimacy

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of the special day. Close-ups of the bride’s bouquet, the groom’s tie, and the smiles of them and their family capture the small details, and, alongside clever editing, can make those awkward spaces which result from social distancing rules less obvious, and create a sense of togetherness which the couple can look back on with fondness. The use of music also plays an important role in creating a sense of intimacy, and a common technique is to use the same song that the couple used for their first dance, which ensures that the video will transport them back to that special moment.

Creating a Celebration For those businesses who specialise in wedding-related products or services, maintaining the celebratory nature of the wedding in their promotional videos will help tap into the people’s desire to celebrate after the stresses of the past year. Products or services should be positioned as enabling people to show their love without the shackles they have faced during various lockdowns and restrictions, and to celebrate that freedom. Again, music is going to play a key role here, and the main focus should be on upbeat music which pairs perfectly with the couple happily embracing or energetically running along a beach together, interplayed with smooth transitions and scenic images.

Creating the Perfect Experience Whether you are a videographer putting together a video of the special day, or an entrepreneur trying to show how your product or service can support couples in the celebration of their love, it is important to make sure you consider the “new normal”, whilst also tapping into the sense of tradition and freedom that they will want to remember forever.


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Business

BY NAEEM ARIF

ROMANCING YOUR CUSTOMERS Naeem Arif is a Director of United Carpets and the founder of NA Consulting, a Retail & Hospitality Consultancy in Birmingham. He is the Chair of the Midlands Retail & Hospitality Forum, a Vice President of the Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Forbes Business Council. Naeem is the author of several best-selling books including ‘Customer First’ and ‘Customer Experience’. As businesses start to see the return of customers this month, many have brushed up on their approach to customer service during the lockdown. The phrase that is being used a lot is about the pent-up demand being released on the High Streets, for both the customer and the business owner.

them a positive response, they are then trying a little more polite conversation to ask them about how their day is going, and a few more pleasantries before asking them if they have any plans for the weekend and then finally asking if they would like to go out for some dinner.

At this time, it could be very easy to forget some of the basic principles of customer service. I have been reminding my clients that their role is to provide Customer Service and not to be sales focused. I often use an example of human relationships, talking about how to create better relationships through a little romance, which makes people chuckle.

Now this approach needs more time, needs more planning and is more difficult to do. It is likely to get you a better result though, in terms of a date with someone who is more suited to you. You would expect this to be a better date, with a better chance of a follow-up date. I relate the ‘chatting up’ activity as an important part of understanding your customer and seeing what they like and don’t like.

Imagine there are two people walking down a busy street with the aim of getting a date for the weekend. The first person is simply proposing a date night with every single person they see. They are simply asking the question ‘Would you like to go for dinner and a movie with me?’ They are not introducing themselves; they are not thinking about who to speak to or how to approach them. They are simply asking the same thing over and over again and they are not even reflecting on what the person is saying back to them. You can imagine this kind of approach is going to is not going to be very effective, with a low chance of success. Whilst you may get a date, it is likely to not be your ideal choice of date. You can also imagine the type of date this will actually end up being, where both people have not a lot in common or much expectation. Now on the other side of the road, another person has the same aim of getting a date for the weekend. This person is being a little polite, smiling and wishing people a ‘good day’. If anyone gives

On reflection, which of these approaches is likely to lead to a longer-term relationship? In business, we should be looking for these longer-term relationships with our customers, so we should be prepared to invest a little more time in talking to our customers before we ‘propose’ to them. If you work in sales, then think that your role is not to sell, but to be ‘of assistance’ and because you will be helpful, you will naturally make a sale. This is especially true when someone is simply browsing or enquiring. You should try and be helpful, even if there is no sale in sight. So, what am I suggesting? The next time you see a prospective customer, instead of trying to sell them something, start by finding out who they are and what they are looking for. Show them that you are interested in helping them, rather than simply trying to take their money from them. Bring a little romance to your approach and you will see the start of a relationship that you both enjoy.

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Celebrity & Influence

BY BELINDA NYADEJE

BEYONCE AN EMBODIMENT OF SUCCESS

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Belinda Nyadeje is a writer from Nairobi, Kenya. She writes for change but also for the complexities that life brings. She is inspired by where she is from, by the diversity and potential the place has. When not writing, she is probably hooked on a documentary or spending quality time with friends. can see it through her music, but also through her BeyGood Foundation. She has contributed millions of dollars to help with injustices, COVID-19, and recently the Texas storm. She also supports small black-owned businesses. Hard Work. I don’t know about you, but when I need to get up and get things done, a Beyonce song will get me up. It is the hard work she put in her work, it’s the access to “spice of fabrics” ha-ha for me. Beychella is a show of hard work, we see the product and we see the journey to making the product. The journey of hard work, sacrifice, resilience and having a vision. We can sit and debate if you love her music, but we can never argue on the hard work she puts in, the sweat and details in her work.

Beyonce is an embodiment. An embodiment of success, hard work, women empowerment, activism and strength. Her story begins on the 4th of September 1981 in Houston, Texas. It is a story that is filled with hard work from the age of 7. 3 decades later, she has 8 albums and has sold hundreds of millions of records worldwide. Her music is what introduced her to us, but it’s more than just music, it’s a movement. It deals with female empowerment, activism, success, hard-work, black lives and strength. “I wanna say I lived each day, until I die And know that I meant something in somebody's life The hearts I have touched will be the proof that I leaveThat I made a difference, and this world will see” …Beyonce “I Was Here” lyrics

Platform. There is no denying that she has a platform. A platform which gives access to resources and whenever she can, she gives access to people who need and deserve that platform. She has always given young artists a chance to showcase their talents. Recently, on her Coachella performance, she gave many artists, musicians, and dancers a chance to showcase their talents. I can’t forget the time she went to great lengths to find Tofo dancers from Mozambique who appeared on her “Run the World” music video because she saw talent in them. Oh! And her “Black is King” visual album. She featured various artists from Africa to portray African culture and music. The platform she gives usually helps in opening doors for artists to a world they had no previous access to. In the society we are living in now, there is a lot of entitlement going around on celebrities’ personal lives and some submit to the pressure on the fear of being irrelevant, but Beyonce has created that line for years in her career without bowing to the pressure and if there is a story she has to tell, she tells it through her work. Her work speaks!!! Beyonce has left a legacy that will live on to future generations!!!

I want to go ahead and say she has lived, she was here, she has left a legacy, she has made a difference; through her music, the platform she has created, through her BeyGood Foundation. Beauty. I connect with Beyonce on so many levels. But recently, she made me fall in love with my skin all over again. Black is king is a cultural phenomenon which celebrates black roots, culture, skin, and music. Through this cultural phenomenon I was reminded to appreciate who I am after feeling not worthy for such a long time because I didn’t meet the societal definition of beauty because of my skin colour. She created a cultural shift. She has been very vocal on the beauty standards set by society, especially since she has experienced that discrimination in the industry that she is in. In the music industry, a lot of emphasis is put on how you look and what you wear, and she has admitted to being insecure and at some point, to caving to that pressure. Activism. Black Lives Matter, Mental Health Awareness, and Female Empowerment are movements she rallies behind. We

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Training & Development

HARNESSING THE POWER OF EMPLOYEE NETWORKS TO ADVANCE RACE EQUALITY BY LYDIAH IGWEH

Lydiah Igweh is the Director of Enterprise Support at Oxford Brookes University. With over 17 years of C-level experience, Igweh specialises in innovation, entrepreneurship, organisational change, leadership and digital transformation. She’s committed to championing women in business and advancing race equality. Lydiah enjoys writing, mentoring and presenting. The importance and value of equality and inclusion in driving and enhancing corporate and business performance is irrefutable. Understanding the mix of differences and how employee representation impacts performance is critical. Progressing racial equality is one of the most stated goals of many organisations globally. According to McKinsey & Company, since the murder of George Floyd, 32% of the top 1000 US companies made statements supporting racial justice, 22% made external commitments to promote racial equity, and 18% made internal commitments to promote D&I. Research by McKinsey & Company, Catalyst and others, reveals the importance and benefits of leveraging the diversity

of employee network think-tanks to achieve D&I goals. Institutions globally have used knowledge from these networks to create tools to diagnose barriers that potentially prevent diverse and underrepresented employees from reaching their full potential. Recently I spoke to Race and Multicultural Employee Networks leaders at leading professional services firm Deloitte and leading public services provider Serco. We discussed the importance and benefits of engaging diversity employee networks to advance race equality in the workplace. These fabulous four are changing the status quo and creating a positive impact through their efforts:

Richard Kuti is the Race at Work Programme Manager at Serco, leading Serco’s race and ethnicity strategy to drive better D&I throughout the UK and Europe. He founded the Serco Embrace network in 2018, which, under his leadership, grew to over 300 members. It facilitated several events and programmes to help educate senior leaders on the lived experiences of colleagues and communities from BAME backgrounds.

Tasneem Said is a founding member and the Chair of the Embrace network at Serco. She is an experienced senior in-house counsel acting for Serco’s most significant and complex contracts. At Embrace, she started out as the Deputy Chair and from April 2021 took over as Chair. In her time, the network has gone from strength to strength and she has been instrumental in advising and influencing Serco’s direction in relation to diversity and inclusion.

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Niharika Khanna is also a founding member and newly appointed Deputy Chair for the Serco Embrace Network. Over the last couple of years, as Events & Communications Lead, Niharika has been the driving force behind the company’s recognition of different multifaith cultural events such as Ramadan, Diwali and more, with over 20 events attracting hundreds of colleagues. She leads business-critical projects ranging from Strategic Planning, Corporate Renewal to Serco Management System and operational performance reporting to the Board. Richard Odufisan is a Manager in the Deloitte Consulting Practice, co-Chair of the firm’s Black Network and a leader in the firm’s Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing agenda, as an Inclusion Lead, Mental Health and Wellbeing Champion coordinating and supporting initiatives to build greater cultural change. As a Steering Group member, Richard works with the leadership to design and implement Deloitte’s Black Action Plan with a core message that through diversity and inclusion, we celebrate our differences, and no one gets left behind or forgotten. Employee Networks are strategic catalysts to unlocking and harnessing the power of diversity, realising equity and equality, creating inclusive cultures in workplaces, and supporting organisations to achieve their D&I goals. These networks are made of passionate volunteers connected through shared experiences, orientations, and common workplace inclusivity challenges. Richard Odufisan provides a powerful narrative explaining the importance of a network. He says: “When it comes to pushing for equality of experience, the network provides a collective voice to speak to and actively address areas of inequality”. Incidents against racial diversity have added pressure on these groups to do more sometimes without additional support and resource allocation. Some organisations have hastened to increase support towards D&I. A 2020 article by McKinsey & Company indicates that last year alone, 57% of Fortune 1000 companies committed to racial equity initiatives by pledging a total of $66 billion. It’s essential for organisations to progressively re-evaluate support and resource these networks through budget allocations and internal support structures. As voiced by Richard Odufisan: “We have an annual budget and access to our central functions teams such as recruitment, comms, HR who help amplify the efforts of the network.” Tasneem Said echoes this: “Organisations could show support for Employee Networks by allowing these groups time to network and share best practice within and outside the network. The benefits and value of these efforts are invaluable both short-term and long-term”. Through Employee Networks, organisations can get feedback on the D&I initiatives and draw from the lessons learnt to build sustainable equity and equality goals. They instrument accountability at the leadership and employee

level towards more inclusive and equitable workplaces. Richard Kuti says: Where possible, we try and challenge root causes, especially where they are apparent. Our network provides anecdotal data on people’s lived experiences to senior leaders to ensure that change does happen in the right way. Niharika explains several initiatives instrumented by the Serco Embrace network: “We’ve increased our pace and efforts to make Serco a fairer and more equitable organisation. The network has been key in getting people’s thoughts and views, making key recommendations and actions to improve inclusion. Specific actions: (1) Safe space sessions, (2) Resources for the multi-ethnic community and allies, (3) Support leadership on company comms, (4) Signed up to the Race At Work Charter (RAWC), (5) Ran masterclasses on “overcoming unconscious bias” and 50+ inclusion workshops in seminars and team meetings. When effectively supported, Employee Networks feel listened to, they develop a higher vested interest in staying and seeing their objectives. Richard Odufisan demonstrates this: Our Black Action Plan came as a direct response to the death of George Floyd. Listening sessions organised internally by our Multicultural Network provided real insight into the lived experiences of black colleagues. Since then, we have continued to push forward the agenda to improve all underrepresented colleagues’ experiences and build a culture with allyship at its heart. Through their impact, Employee Networks help employees develop a sense of belonging and enhance organisational growth commitment. This reduces turnover & absenteeism, increases productivity, improves corporate competitiveness, making Diversity Employee Networks a fruitful value proposition that all global organisations should undoubtedly embrace and inculcate in their current and future goals.

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Beauty & Fashion

5 ESSENTIAL HAIRCARE PRODUCTS Cristina is a Brazilian hairdresser from Rio de Janeiro. She graduated 8 years ago from Adam & Eva Skolen in Oslo, Norway, and is now the salon owner of C² Cris Christensen, specialising in keratine treatments. Cristina won the Best Brazilian Hairdressing Salon in Europe award in 2020. BY CRISTINA CHRISTENSEN

Redken Hydration Mask

Redken All Soft Mega Shampoo & All Soft Mega Conditioner

A hair mask for dry, dull and rough hair. This product seals its nutrients into the tips of your hair so that the result is lasting.

Perfect for thick, dry hair, this shampoo and conditioner work together to clean the cuticles of the hair and return its softness and shine.

Fudge Tri-Blo If you use a hairdryer or any other type of heat when styling your hair, then this heat protection spray is perfect to protect your hair from damage, as well as leaving your hair smelling wonderfully fresh.

Kerastase Chronologiste Thermal Protection

Moroccan Oil Glimmer Shine Spray

This leave-in spray defines and softens the hair, as well as giving it a healthy texture. It is also a heat protector.

A finishing spray which gives your hair shine and contains argan oil, antioxidants and vitamins.

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Entrepreneurship

BY SIMONE VINCENZI

COULD YOUR CONFIDENCE BE HOLDING YOU BACK FROM SUCCESS? Simone Vincenzi is a multi-award-winning serial entrepreneur and author who helped people launch more than 500 profitable businesses before he reached the age of 30. He writes for Forbes and Entrepreneur Magazine and regularly features on TV and radio. In this article, he will teach you how to make quick profits from your businesses. Over the last decade, I have had countless clients with the same problem:

Their confidence Now you may be thinking that that isn’t really a big deal, but let me explain. I know that there are a lot of people out there that get distracted thinking they need to buy a specific strategy or service thinking it will help them, but then they get overwhelmed by too many things... and I am still one of those people sometimes too. I am only human. My instinct is always to try and test something new but at some point, you have to stop because that is really going to mess with your business and your mind.

Spreading yourself too thin One of the worst things you could do is go after 5000 different things at the same time.

ness is that you only have the capacity to do so much. You need to be really careful about where you are spending your time and focus and where you are allocating your most important resources. A lot of people think they need to be able to have more money or a bigger team or a new strategy...but actually, your most precious resource is time. Let me tell you why: You can actually start growing your business when you're managing your time effectively.

Confidence distractions This industry and the world today are designed for you to be distracted and it is all about managing your distractions. The shiny penny syndrome happens when two things come into play:

Now you may think, “Why is this bad?”

→ Lack of certainty and confidence in what you are doing.

The reason that this is a danger to you and your busi-

→ The lack of a stable and focused strategy.

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Let me expand further. The lack of confidence can manifest into either always wanting someone to save you or to be the catalyst of your changes and so on. When we are not confident in what we are doing, it is more likely we will go after other external things that can give us a false sense of security saying, “if you have this it will give you the confidence you need in order to work” or giving you a false sense of security by thinking that implementing this strategy or tool is going to get you ahead or is going to have all the answers you need. This is a very reactive approach that will not help you out in the long run. When you are confident in the work you are doing, which is something you develop over time, you start to filter things out. Because suddenly you don’t need a saviour to come and save you and you don’t need the next tool or service that is going to make you the money you are looking for. You can actually do something not because you need it, but because you want it, and it is a very different place to be. A lot of people in the business world operate from a place of need; in particular, when things aren’t going well.

Mistakes I’ve made I’ll give you a personal example. I personally can tell you that I have made a lot of stupid decisions and mistakes within the business world over the last decade or so. One of them being a few years ago when my business wasn’t going well, and I had a rough couple of months. I had no more cash and was living month by month with crazy monthly expenses of around 20k. We

were making 10-15k on average a month. Some months we made 30-40k and then would go back to 10-15k. So you can see it was very unstable. So, we weren’t always able to cover our monthly expenses easily. One of the things I started doing was spending more money that I didn’t have thinking I needed to find something to save me or make stuff work. Now I’m not saying you should stay stuck where you are, but I was looking for that thing that could save me and I truly believed I needed it because I had no other option. However, it was just my mind playing tricks on me which really hit my confidence because I couldn’t see the results. The mistake a lot of business owners make is attaching our confidence to the direct results of our businesses or how much money is made, which is utter nonsense if you ask me, because that has nothing to do with your self worth... it is what your business is worth in that moment of time (which could just be temporary).

My new approach Being able to detach myself and creating that space knowing that I can follow my intuition and don’t need the next thing or strategy, but rather wanting it, has changed my perspective. Because now I have started looking for things that I really wanted, and can filter out any extra distractions. In doing this, I found that my confidence from within was much stronger because I was valuing my time and what I was doing with it. Don’t underestimate the power of confidence, because that could be the one thing holding you back from great success.

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Marketing & Branding

BY PIERRE COOMBES

5 STEPS TO INCREASE YOUR NET WORTH Entrepreneur Pierre Coombes is considered a leading authority in Sales & Marketing. He recently featured in BBC One’s show ‘Call That Hard Work?’, where he showed what it’s like to spend a day as a Telesales person in his award-winning B2B lead generation agency Big Wolf Marketing.

I love hearing people talk about money. It's amazing how divided we are in the way we think of ‘wealth’. For some people, understandably, a million is a ‘dream’, whilst for others a million isn’t ‘rich’ anymore. With constant inflation and over-population, 1 million in most Western capitals, some would say can barely afford you a reasonable house and comfortable way of living, yet it's still the benchmark for so many. Right now, you could probably retire in a less economically developed country, where the cost of living is far less. However, should you have a million in your pot when you retire at 60, living to the ripe old age of 100, 1 million spread over 40 years is just £25,000 a year. This is £13,600 under the average UK salary according to the ONS, which comes in at a surprising £38,600. If you factor inflation into the equation, you won't be living the dream, you may well be struggling to afford simple things. What does it matter? Isn’t money just money after all? Yes and no. Personally I would say that of course money itself can't buy you happiness, mainly because the things that make us the happiest are the things you can't buy, like love, family and friendship. That said, money gives us options, and choice is the major factor giving us freedom. The more options, the less we are limited, and the further we can pursue our own voice. In some communities and cultures, they see ‘money’ as a dirty word. The easily offended are mostly restricted by their limited passed down beliefs and learnings. The power of money, capi-

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tal, wealth is incredible, it holds the keys to solving inequality, to funding future technology and healthcare research, but more importantly, to funding investment in education. Yes, greed is ill-natured in contrast to poverty and suffering, but this is the veneer. The veneer is the impression of wealth, what it means, what we believe it ‘looks’ like. For the younger generation on Instagram, I believe they call it ‘flexing’. The deeper you go into the psychology of the veneered segment, those few trapped in a pocket, the clearer you see that the excesses are really just reflections of need. ‘Wealth’ to a high proportion of these many, means importance, adoration, and by a deeper motive, ‘love’, which is primitively wired, and yet so sad to see as reality. However, real wealth accumulators, some who may have initially journeyed through this veneer, ultimately have the self-realisation of what money means. Money is options and by way of options and freedom, it is power, and therefore responsibility. This is why most billionaires don’t have a gold wrapped car, or a Gucci belt between them; ‘lavish’ isn't in their peripheral, for the most part they got to where they are by solving a problem or adding value to the world. They go onward mostly into philanthropic areas. When you are fundamentally wired to give, you receive, yet many don’t understand this. So how is this relevant to you and helping you reach your goals? Not your ‘dreams’, because dreams are just that, what you


have at night, when you close your eyes. Goals are what you have when you keep your eyes open and take action and head towards an objective. Well, it's in the way you think about money, about your business. Through working with many highly successful businesspeople during my career and having huge progression in my own situation, here are my tips to add more zeros to your net worth. STEP ONE: This is the most important step. FORGET WHAT OTHERS THINK! (That was so important I had to shout it out in capital letters). Ask yourself this, ‘Who do I live for?’ – It's not your friends, your neighbours, even really your outer family, it's for you and your close family. Therefore, stop needing to tell the world you have arrived by wearing the latest designer top, or driving the car you can't really afford, unless these things are of huge importance directly to you, because they don’t mean anything to anyone else on a higher level. Once you deal more directly with the reason you are so concerned with other people's view of you, then you are free to care for your own mental wellbeing and decide a route to your goal. STEP TWO: Leverage – This is a huge one and a word you will see in countless business books. What it truly is, is knowing your time is limited, using money power or people power. I could be wrong, but I don’t think there are any freelance billionaires. What I mean by that is if you're in design, if you're in investing, if you're in practically any industry, if you expand and use people to create an outcome, you can focus on the business and on growing rather than working in the business. STEP THREE: Invest your money. (I must note, I’m not a financial adviser so please seek your own advice on this one, this is my opinion for what it's worth). It sounds odd, but making money is only the initial step. Cold hard cash sitting in the bank isn't healthy, there is, as I mentioned previously, inflation, and interest rates aren’t great. Rather than let your money lose its value, look to investing. Investing is a wide and open category, you can opt for anything from investing in traditional stocks and shares, or daringly as you will crypto (which has positive arguments), or even property or fine art and wine (just don’t drink the wine one night when you're feeling stressed). Whatever you do invest in, it should be an area you’re passionate about and that you understand - you need to think about the future, if you are wanting a safer bet with reasonable earning, look towards ETFs.

STEP FOUR: Understand compound effect. If we talk in dollars for the example and I gave you options between $2 million now or a penny that doubled for just 30 days, many of you may opt for the millions, unless you know the power of compounding of course. That’s right, $5,368,709.12 in 30 days, and if you were to double it for 60 days that's even crazier, it’s $6,300,478,422,152,314.88, which is around 20 times the global world debt of $247 trillion dollars, when looking at records a few years old (it’s likely somewhat less now, with the pandemic fuelled money printing). What this is designed to illustrate is the power of compounding, which is used by many coaches. How something small, repeatedly, can make monumental results. This why one of the greatest minds of our time, Albert Einstein, said ‘compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world.’ Knowing the power of your actions and small steps is what can and will define you achieving your goals. Whether it’s blogging a little every day, going to the gym every day, writing a book bit by bit. Everything in this world of monumental greatness took time, remember that. STEP FIVE: Give back – its sounds cliché and overly popularised, but it's so important. It's my unfaltering belief that religion aside we are truly all one. While we all speak different tongues and celebrate different differences, we are all united in being one entity. Everything on this planet on one level resonates to the same frequency. By giving back, we balance the energies. It's too easy to look out on the world and see the suffering of others as distant and unattached, but this is wrong. It’s like your eyes looking down at a cut on your foot and not feeling the same pain. Too many people look at injustice, suffering and inequality and think ‘why?’, when really they should be thinking ‘how can I help?’. Just because you don’t know a stranger’s name, doesn’t mean he’s not your brother. In summary, you can increase your wealth with steps and ways of thinking, to better your life and the lives of those around you. Know that true wealth however is more than the veneer. If you want to be ‘rich’, if you want to go from zero to a million or from where you are to a billion, the key within all of this is to understand why. Because if you know why, you will work out the how! If you have enjoyed my article and want some further reading in this area, please check out my book ‘Think it. Pitch it. Sell it.’ Available on Amazon.

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Culture & Society

THE PALACES ARE REOPENING! BY LOLA SHERWIN

After a long winter lockdown, the UK’s beautiful royal palaces are finally due to reopen in the coming months! As government restrictions begin to ease, with indoor spaces largely being permitted to open from the 17th of May, the palaces have announced a gradual reopening. This is great news for us, as it means the Best of Brazil Awards are very likely to go ahead in person this year, if things continue to move in a positive direction!

Houses of Parliament Currently, there has been no date announced for when the Houses of Parliament will reopen to the general public, and tickets are not available to book as of yet. In light of the announcements by the royal palaces and residences, it can be hoped that the reopening of Houses of Parliament lies in the not-too-distant future, though! Watch this space, and keep your fingers crossed if you’re hoping to visit soon.

Tower of London The Tower of London is one of England’s most iconic tourist attractions, and it was recently announced by the Historic Royal Palaces charity that the Tower will be reopening on the 19th of May 2021, in line with government guidance. At the Tower of London, you can expect to be dazzled by the breath-taking collection of 23,578 gemstones which make up the Crown Jewels, you can marvel at the historic armour of kings from times past, and you can meet the famous ravens of the Tower, known as the guardians of the Tower of London. In May half term, the Tower is running an event called Knight School: The Show, where you can find out what it takes to become a full-fledged knight, between the 29th of May and the 6th of June. It's a perfect family day out!

Buckingham Palace The Queen’s official London residence will be reopening for tours in May. Tours of the palace’s State Rooms will run through to September. Guided garden tours restarted on April 17th, and much to royal fans’ delight, there is now also the option to take yourself on a self-guided tour round the palace’s beautiful gardens. Visitors will be free to stroll through the gardens, having the unique opportunity to enjoy a picnic on one of the sweeping lawns. Certain parts of the garden will remain exclusive to the guided tours, but the vast majority of these famous gardens will be open for visitors to roam at their own will. A wonderful exhibition titled Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace will also be welcoming visitors from Monday, 17th of May. One small difference when visiting Her Majesty’s residences is that you are now required to book a ticket in advance to help keep yourself and others safe during your visit.

Kensington Palace Kensington Palace is the birthplace of Queen Victoria and has been home to young royals for over 300 years. You can walk in the footsteps of young Victoria through her wonderfully reimagined childhood rooms, and take a peek back in history in the King’s State Rooms and the Queen’s State Rooms. Kensington Palace is due to reopen to the public on the 26th of May, with tickets available to purchase online now through the Historical Royal Palaces charity. On the 3rd of June, a temporary exhibition called Royal Style in the Making will open to the public. Here visitors will be able to learn about the process behind some of the most important pieces of royal couture in history. On display will be Diana, Princess of Wales’ wedding dress, in addition to a rare surviving toile for the 1937 coronation gown of The Queen Mother, King George’s royal consort.

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Beauty & Fashion

BY CRISTINA CHRISTENSEN

SO, I'M A BRIDE, NOW WHAT? Cristina is a Brazilian hairdresser from Rio de Janeiro. She graduated 8 years ago from Adam & Eva Skolen in Oslo, Norway, and is now the salon owner of C² Cris Christensen, specialising in keratine treatments. Cristina won the Best Brazilian Hairdressing Salon in Europe award in 2020. Brides, dressed in their princess dresses, with their tiaras, their long veils, and their bouquets with fresh flowers in vibrant colours. But what is the real meaning of all this? Where do all these traditions come from?

The dress We know that the colour white is representative of the purity of the bride, and it has its romantic tone, but did you know that it only became popular after Queen Victoria’s wedding, when she wore a glamourous satin dress? It became super popular amongst the nobility and high society of the era. Automatically, the big stylists across the world adopted the idea, and it continues to be the most popular choice of wedding dress colour in the modern day.

you are and the more status you have in society.

The bouquet Created in Ancient Greece, the first bouquets were made with herbs and garlic to ward off evil eyes and attract prosperity for the bride. It was adapted to use flowers in the Victorian era, with the intention of demonstrating the bride’s love for her husband. As a way of sharing her good luck, the bride throws her bouquet in the direction of her single friends, and whoever manages to catch it will be the next to marry. Now, let’s talk about something I haven’t yet mentioned!

The veil and the tiara

The hairstyle

The tiara represents wealth and power. It is a means of crowning the bride as a queen for the day. The longer the veil, the wealthier

Normally, the dress is the first thing a bride chooses, and following that we can start to think about hairstyles. So, let’s talk about hair.

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If you plan on getting married in a year, remember that your hair will only grow around 12cm in that time, on average, and so if you want to use your natural hair on your wedding day, it isn’t recommended to have a radical haircut. Save your hair and only cut off the necessary amount for it to keep growing. If you want to change your hair colour, make sure to do so well in advance, that way you’ll have plenty of time for it to look hydrated and healthy on your wedding day.

right. If possible, book your trial appointment as if it was your actual wedding day. For example, if your wedding is at 1pm, start at 8am and see if that’s enough time to do your hair and make-up. Plan it so you don’t have any stress on the most magical day of your life.

One of the best ways of finding your hair stylist is by asking your friend who is already married and whose hairstyle you loved who she used. Ask for help and suggestions. Book a call with a stylist, show them a photo of your dress, as it’s super important to have a hairstyle which is appropriate for your dress. A little chat allows you to get to know each other so you don’t feel like strangers on the day. Once you’ve chosen your hairstyle, get a date booked in to do a trial. At the trial, try and wear clothes which are the same colour as your wedding dress to fully test the hairstyle out – trust me, it makes all the difference to see yourself in the mirror in a similar colour.

Organise your schedule, making sure you book in any treatments in good time. Massages, spas, manicures, get it all booked in.

Bring along your tiara or hairpiece, as it’s important to use it on the trial day so you know how it looks and how long it will take to place it correctly in your hair. The time needed is an essential component of getting your hair

Talk to your stylist about your wedding day, and organise it so that they go to wherever you are, be that your house, a hotel, or anywhere else.

A little bit before the big day, take out what you’re going to need. Light clothing which will prevent you from sweating is ideal. Have you thought about who is going to help you? It's very important to have at least one person to help you get into your dress and share your happiness with you on your big day. Relax, have fun, take a lot of photos and enter into the atmosphere of love. We often pass through life searching for our other half. Some of us are blessed with finding them at a young age, allowing them to build families and watch their grandchildren grow up. Others decide to spend their lives married to their own company, and they are very happy, too, and as the saying goes: Love has no age, you just love. The important thing in life is to be happy.

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Health & Wellness

BY SHAWNA BYRD

NEXT STEPS WHEN YOU ARE DATING OUTSIDE OF YOUR RACE Shawna Byrd (M.A., L.M.H.C., CCM) is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in private practice in Florida. Her focus is helping working professionals overcome psychological barriers that hinder success. To learn more, see her Psychology Today profile at Shawna Byrd, Counselor, Clearwater, FL, 33763. You’ve started dating someone special and you can really see a future with this person by your side. How exciting! The problem is that your family is very traditional and doesn’t approve of your choice to date outside of your race. Now what do you do? Let’s assume you’ve found a way to tell your family and didn’t stage a “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” type of reveal (reference to the 1967 Spencer Tracy/Sidney Poitier film. Great movie but don’t do this!). Now you need a way to move forward. Here are some tips that might help you and your family gain a better understanding of each other. Listen to their concerns and validate them with empathy. This will require you to be open-minded and non-defensive when you talk with them. Many parents view any kind of dating relationship as “potential mate material”, so chances are that your family is looking for any barriers or struggles that you might have should you marry this person and have children with them. Your parents may also view your choice to date outside of your race as a clue that you are turning your back on your culture, or that you are embarrassed of your family. For example, if Dad says, “you don’t share the same culture,” an empathetic response might be, “You’re right, Dad. We don’t share the same culture. You and Mum did a great job of imparting a love of family, faith and respect on me and I don’t see that changing (if that is true for you). It’s very important to me that any life partner that I choose shares those same ideals. Justin and I are just getting to know each other. We are trying to figure out if our values might work with each other. Right now, I see some character traits in Justin that I like, but I also hear your concerns and really value your ideas too (again, only if that is true for you).” As some of the resistance might come down to your family’s concern about culture and tradition, you might also express the values that you intend to pass down to your children. For example, do you intend to speak Spanish in

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the home, raise them Catholic, observe certain holidays? This conversation needs to impart to your Mum and Dad that you still align with your family and their values. Save your differences for later. Make an inventory of what your value in your new relationship. Write a list of traits, behaviours and shared values. This inventory is more for you than for you to share with Mum and Dad. This will help you to clarify your thoughts and will give you solid talking points to share with Mum and Dad when the time comes for a real heart-to-heart talk. You may also want to jot down the things you two have in common (job, school, shared hobbies, goals, etc) to make the thought process easier for you. If you and your partner share the same circle of friends, let your family know. If your parents already know your friends and approve of them, then they may eventually see those same positive qualities in your partner. Keep an open and honest dialogue with your partner about the challenges your parents are having with accepting the relationship. Let him* know that you love him and choose him* (if that is true for you). If you feel that you would ultimately end up walking away from the relationship because of pressure from your family, the relationship may not survive. If the first meeting has not happened yet, arrange it. Many of your parents' concerns and biases may fade away when they meet the person that has won your heart. They may end up seeing the great qualities that you see in your partner. Good Luck! *Him is used in this instance to assist with the flow of writing and in no way is intended to exclude any gender identity.


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