I Am featuring..
Explore celebrity stylist Middleman Fresh’s personal playground
Dr Courtney Hammonds Priceless advice from the Fashion Foodie
BIG RICH ATLANTA
DJ BABY YU EXCLUSIVE
THE HUMBLE GENTLEMAN LAKYLE THOMAS MONEY BAG $WAG RADiiO DOLLS
A VERY EXPENSIVE HOBBY JANELLE FORD
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M J M
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Work Flow: Dj Baby Yu
Image Architect : Dr. Courtney A Hammonds A Very Expensive Hobby: Janelle Ford BIG RICH ATLANTA: The Triple Threat
Studio 11: Middleman Fresh
The Humble Gentleman: Lakyle Thomas
Money Bag $wag: Radiio Dolls
One Man Band: Qwanell Mosley
Dare to Accessorize
Hottest Winter Ever
Image Architect By: B.Whyte
A few months ago I got to pick the brain of one of Atlanta’s most fashion forward individuals. Here are the highlights of a 40 minute conversation with the very articulate Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds. JM: Please begin by introducing yourself to our JMariie audience CAH: Well my name is Dr. Courtney Hammonds, I’m Lead Faculty over the fashion, retail and management program at the Art Institute of Atlanta (the Decatur Campus). I’ve been there full time since 2010. Before that I was the Assistant HR Manager for Neiman Marcus for six years and before that I was a lead sales associate for Luxxotica Eyewear (manufacturer of eyewear for companies such as D&G, Coach, Chanel, Burberry, Polo & Prada) at Neiman Marcus for a year. Prior to that I owned a high end women’s boutique in Phipps Plaza for two years and before that I taught Special Education for three years. Dr. Hammonds then proceeded to explain that he never studied fashion. His undergrad is a B.A. in Special Education, his M.B.A. is in Business Administration and his Doctorate is in Business Administration Consultations/ International Business. Fashion to him is basically a birthright. He was born in Columbus, GA to a high end model that worked with the likes of Beverley Johnson and spent six years of his early child hood in Berlin. With fashion in his blood and a background in business as well as education, Dr. Hammonds combined these elements to create the mantra “build, educate and style” which is in his words “…my light in life.” When working with a person one on one he first builds them up from where they are then educates them with the tools needed to succeed. The style, as Dr. Hammonds goes on to explain is not necessarily how you dress. It is the intangibles such as proper etiquette, how to interact with people and shaking a hand correctly. When asked to explain his personal style of dress Dr. Hammonds simply replied “…I never think twice about an outfit. I’m delivered from people and I really believe that what I do others would like to do, but they are afraid to do it. I do not follow trends I set trends and there is a big difference. Contrary to popular belief I don’t pay a lot of money for clothes but my accessories yes, because my feet can’t hurt and I will always have a fabulous bag and a nice pair of glasses.” Clothing that is transcending however
is worth spending money on. A nice white oxford shirt, a black suit and a blue blazer are pieces that Dr. Hammonds believes every person should have in their closet. SpendPhoto by: Calvin Evans ing good money on these items is worth it because they are multi purposeful. One can where a blazer to church on Sunday and then put on that same blazer with a nice pair of jeans on Monday because that’s a reversible piece. As the interview progressed I asked Dr. Hammonds how he gets someone to trust the vision he has for them as far as wardrobe is concerned. CAH: A lot of times they don’t see it at first, but I tell them you have to dare to be square in a round world. It’s more to it than just dressing and I tell people that. It’s a mindset, a lifestyle change and it won’t happen overnight. What I ask is that they give me the opportunity for change and to embrace the change. If they don’t give me the opportunity and they don’t embrace it then they’re just setting themselves up for failure and I’m just taking their money. Now the services provided by Dr. Hammonds are not free, but he does believe in giving back which is why he serves as the Fashion Ambassador to the charitable organization Easter Seals. He also believes in strategic partnerships and has no problem referring clients he may not gel with to others in his profession. What does separate the Dr. from a lot of his peers is the fact that he is not just a stylist. He is a licensed Image Consultant. Having studied at the London Institute of Image Consulting allows him to put on dress for success seminars for major corporations such as AT&T, AFLAC, Earthlink and Comcast.
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Photographer: Nathan Pearcy MUA / Hair: Geno Freeman Stylist Vanne McMillan Creative Director: Chishala Chibuye Models: MarKeisha Bella Karras Jordan Ivan Williams Darnell James Micheal Bolwire Marvin Green
JMARiiE I Am MAGAZINE
Publisher : Bolton Whyte Editor in Chief: Chishala Chibuye Senior Editor: Jasmond Hatch Financial Director: Tylon Layne Creative Director: Nathan Pearcy Lifestyle Editors: Nicholas Mayberry, Dex Taylor Social Media : Jasmine Marie Beauty Advisor: Patrice Story Staff writer: China Reed, Ivan Williams, Lawrence Ellis, Jasmine Marie Style & Fashion: Vanne McMillan, Lawrence Ellis, Jasmine Marie Public Relations: Kay Williams
Winter 2013 Issue Copyright 2013 by I Am JMARiiE Magazine, LLC., All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission from I Am JMARiiE Magazine. To our readers: I Am JMARiiE Magazine invites you to share your thoughts, ideas and critiques of our publication. Please send comments to email@example.com. Mailing address: P.O. Box 312114, Atlanta, GA 31131 Subscriptions: Please subscribe online at iamjmariie.com To advertise: Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914-297-7968 iamjmariie.com 12.
DARE to ACCESSORIZE A funky belt, a nice cuff, an oversized watch
r a custom made necklace will often catch someone's attention before your outfit... fabulous shoes are a no brainer!
Photographer: Nathan Pearcy | Model: Alana | Stylist: Jasmine Marie | MUA: Patrice Story | Hair: Leatha Morgan
W 19. iamjmariie.com
radio, production, tours, mix tapes, club dates and designing...we are on the job with DJ Baby Yu
By: B. Whyte
Photography: Nathan Pearcy Hair: Tynisha Gibbs Stylist: Lawerence Ellis iamjmariie.com 20.
ourteen years ago for his first gig, he rocked a party that was packed with three hundred people from his high school. Lots of DJs grew up doing this, but for DJ Baby Yu it was a hobby that he didn’t get into until his junior year of high school. Back in middle school he collected cassette tapes of music from all genres, which made him the go-to-man when it came to music for school functions. After crashing a house party with his crew and listening to a DJ whose music collection wasn’t as impressive as his own Baby Yu thought “I can do better…” and decided to buy his first set of turntables at the age of eighteen. Fourteen years later that decision has led to him being the resident mix DJ for Atlanta’s largest radio station V-103. Baby Yu provides V-103’s listeners with a live mix at noon every weekday and again during rush hour. He also has a live broadcast on V-103 from club Reign on Friday nights starting at ten PM and serves as DJ for rapper Young Jeezy’s tour. DJ Baby Yu also controls the music at Vanquish which is one of Atlanta’s sexiest and more prestigious night spots. He also travels the world treating crowds from Canada to Asia to his unique mixes.
JM: So you’ve been djing for about 14 years. How did you get into djing exactly? YU: Accidently. It all started out with me just collecting music. I just loved music. When I was in seventh and eighth grade I would collect cassettes. Not Cd’s back then, but cassettes. Whenever there was a school function (like the school dance or whatever) everybody went to me for the music because I had everything. I wasn’t a DJ though; I just had a collection of music. Then when I was about seventeen or eighteen I went to a house party and bumped into an old friend of mine who I didn’t know was djing and he had all of this equipment. I kind of got fascinated with it because I was collecting music so when I saw the records I was just like oh wow. Then the next day I went to a record store and bought turn tables and that’s when it kind of started. It was a cool hobby. I had a lot of friends who were break dancers and jazz dancers so I would go out with them on the weekends and I started thinking maybe I can do better than some of the dj’s we were listening to because they weren’t really that good. I mean I wasn’t a real DJ and I could do better, so that’s when it started. JM: This is in Canada? YU: Yeah. The first gig I did I had three hundred people from my high school came out to support me.
JM: And you were 17? YU: 17, 18 JM: So you’re like a real bboy. You said your crew had break dancers in it. YU: Yeah JM: What’s the hip-hop scene like in Canada? YU: Well it’s there! It’s huge, I mean it’s not like New York or like Atlanta, but the culture is there. It’s so diverse and multicultural especially in Toronto. There were hip hop stations that started all across Canada in markets like Vancouver, Toronto, Winterberg and Calgary. They all didn’t last because Canada’s a little different when it comes to hip-hop. There’s a content rule that states 40% of the music has to be Canadian for radio and TV, so within the hour if there’s twelve songs being played like four or five of them have to be Canadian. Now when you’re listening to the radio and a Notorious B.I.G. song is followed by a random up and coming Canadian rapper it just doesn’t flow. I mean I can’t diss Canadian artist because there are very talented artist out there, but that’s the reality of it. Everybody doesn’t want to hear the locals. They want to hear the hits! So you know the hiphop stations didn’t last and all had to switch formats. It’s like one still going in Toronto, but that’s about it. It’s not that noticeable on pop stations because we have artist like Justin Bieber, Celine Dion and Avril Lavigne who are all Canadian and
“I wish I never had to sleep (laughs)”
Shirt: Frunk & Oak Shorts: Davud Beckhumfor H&M Tights: David Beckhum for H&M Shoes: Reebok iamjmariie.com 22.
popular worldwide. JM: Have you ever had to deal with any prejudice in the music scene due to your Asian background? YU: Oh no! It’s never been a problem. Some of the most popular DJs in hip-hop were Asians also. You know like from DJ QBert to a lot of the L.A. DJs, so it was never really a problem. I only encountered it when I moved to Atlanta JM: Really? YU: I thought it was funny. I’d go to a club and they wouldn’t let me in because they didn’t believe that I was djing the club. I’m like the only Asian there and they’re like ok, yeah right, give me a break and I’m like yo I’m djing. Once they realized it they would be like oh sorry (laughs). JM: So what made you choose Atlanta out of all the spots in America to be a hip hop DJ? YU: I didn’t go to New York because too much competition. L.A. is more for acting and I didn’t have any Miami connections. Besides that, the music out there was more electronic back then. I knew I would have to leave from Canada to step my game up, so since I had a good relationship with one of the top promoters in Atlanta I came here. I thought it would be easier to stand out here because, everyone is so segregated. Back in Toronto if you’d ask me to do a hipster, indie rock, hip-hop, dub set or electro party I could do it. Here in Atlanta though, a DJ is hip hop, house, reggae or mash-up. Nobody crosses over. That’s why I thought I would have a better chance to stand out here in the city. JM: You felt the need to leave Canada in order to grow, but you were pretty big in Canada already. You were doing 4 or 5 spots a week. Then you were still touring and you had 2 satellite radio shows. Where did you find time to do all of this? YU: You just have to make time. Even though I had so much on my plate I felt like I stopped growing. That’s when I knew I needed to leave Canada and change my environment a bit. Now I’m in a place where a lot of celebrities and artist live. Those who don’t live here come here often because major events happen here. JM: But you were working with major players in Canada… YU: Yeah. Even though I worked with guys like Kanye and opened up for everyone from Rihanna to Black Eyed Peas, it still got frustrating. Sometimes I wouldn’t see these guys for another two
to three years after working with them. Then I had to kind of build my relationship with them again. Now that I’m in Atlanta I see these same people every weekend and they can hear me on the radio every day. JM: Explain your relationship with Jazzy Jeff because he vouches for you big time. YU: I still don’t get why. He’s such a legend when It comes to DJs so I don’t know how I caught his attention. I remember the day my manager said to me “…you’re sitting down right now?” I’m like yeah, what’s up? He’s like Jazzy Jeff wants you to DJ his 40th birthday party. I was like OK and that’s where our relationship started. JM: Didn’t you get signed by Violators Management while you were still in Canada? Violator is like hip hop royalty. YU: Yeah, I’m good friends with Jazzy Jeff whose good friend Terry Hunter is one of the main guys at Violator. Jeff connected us and that’s how it all happened. DJ: Do you part take in any of the DJ battles? YU: Oh no. Like I said, I didn’t start off trying to be better than anyone or trying to battle anybody. I just fell into it because I love music. JM: You’re one of the only DJs in Atlanta who still blends. Where does that come from? YU: I don’t know. I just love hearing one popular song over another song’s instrumentals. We then got into a conversation about my first time hearing Baby Yu on the radio and how rare it is to still have a DJ who mixes live on the radio. Yu told me that he does all his mixes live because it’s more fun. “Mixing live allows you to live in the moment” he stated. “If I’m in the middle of a mix and Teddy Riley walks in the studio I can just drop one of his records in and the fans get to feel like there’re part of the show because I can throw in requests.” Yu also opened up about his fashion designer aspirations that he put on hold after realizing how much time, dedication and financing is required to really
get a quality line established. I was surprised to learn that Yu actually buys records and gets them signed by the artist whenever he meets them. This humble DJ then shared with me his desire to branch off into record producing. When I asked him to give me a wish list of artists he would love to work with he chuckled and said “they are all dead.” His wish list would have included people like Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Aaliyah and Michael Jackson. I asked if he had any production credits under his belt already and he said no, but if had to choose from today’s artist he would work with his fellow Canadians Drake and The Weekend along with songstress Adele. JM: You are referred to as the Remix Kid. Is that because of tracks you’ve remixed or is that from the way you mix songs on your mix tapes and radio show. YU: It’s from the mixing, but ultimately producing is my main goal and I wouldn’t mind remixing some stuff as well. As a matter of fact when I get off tonight I’m going straight to my studio and getting at it. JM: So sleep isn’t something you do? YU: No, not much. I wish I never had to sleep (laughs).
Glasses: Moscot, Short: H&M, Blazer: Zara, Pants: H&M, Shoes: Cole Haan
Book Review A Cold Piece by Ni’cola Mitchell Power, respect and money are just a few of the contributing attributes to Anthony Oliver. His was a classic story of the good boy from the great family. Wanting for nothing & still striving for everything. Anthony quickly learned that sometimes what seems too good to be true, may indeed be just that. A wife with a sordid past and a new woman who quickly guilds his future adds a host of climatic events that will leave you holding your heart in your hands. These are the making of “A Cold Piece”. This novel vividly allows you to see every intricate detail of the events unfold as if you were there yourself. The ending leaves readers determined to jump in the book to confront Anthony’s now past head on. I was quite surprised at this books ability to showcase the stimulus of various characters with different backgrounds, areas and cultures. I was even more impressed with the author’s ability to intertwine romance with drama, suspense and action. “A Cold Piece” went on to give the readers much more than expected, while simultaneously & successfully engaging your every thought, desire and palate for more. I highly recommend “A Cold Piece”. It is an excellent read that keeps the readers highly engaged and feverishly trying to keep abreast of what is going to happen next. The plot keeps you satisfied, and the ease of its flow becomes contagious as it sets a precedent for the expectation of your future reads. “A Cold Piece” displays the author’s obvious God given gift of literary expression & revitalizes your faith in an author’s ability to surpass the readers expectation, while staying committed to retaining you as a long time fan.
By China Reed
The Temptation of Love by Amore Goodman When you ask Amore what led her to become a writer, she will tell you she is not quite sure. What she is sure about is that ever since she can remember she was always writing. Be it in a journal, short story or poem, as an adolescent Amore truly developed an innate love for writing. Fast forward a decade plus, Amore would go on to create the premise behind her debut novel “The Temptation of Love”. The Temptation of Love tells the story of Alexander Love and Jada Whitman. Two young, highly successful attractive professionals. The two who met through Alex’s cousin, instantly become mesmerized by the insatiable, undeniable raw attraction that quickly envelopes between the two. Both previously scorned, and both determined to never become hurt again, they get caught up in a cycle of cat & mouse as they try to dodge their real emotions & desires. Just when the two can no longer suppress their real hearts, an ex from Alex past resurfaces and threatens to destroy the ounce of solace that Jada has finally shown. Will their hearts temptation of pure love be destroyed? Or will it co-exist in unity to become one? I highly recommend reading this book. The Temptation of Love not only vividly depicts an example of an authentic romance, but it supersedes the notion that a truly good old fashioned love story no longer exists. This novel goes on to show that this genre can never grow old, but that it can indeed just keep getting better!
By China Reed
Boutique Highlight By: B.Whyte
Family owned and operated by husband and wife team Moise and Channel Fils, Threadz Atlanta is a boutique that carries menswear only. You heard me correctly, this is an upscale men’s boutique. The philosophy behind carrying menswear only was as Channel put it “men are easier to cater to.” Moise then chimed in saying “women have to many options.” Their “men are simple creatures theme” can be scene in the design of the boutique. Walking through the front door is like stepping into an oversized closet. This closet however comes with stylists and personal shoppers. There is even a private shopping suite behind the boutique that is reserved for high profile clientele. Those fortunate enough to make it to the back can sip cocktails while watching a flat screen TV and be catered to by the in-house style team. Exclusivity is what sets them apart from competitors though. It is Threadz policy to never carry more than two items in any size. Moise worked retail for over thirteen years in Boston. He mastered the art of making a sale and was eventually able to purchase the store he was working in. This lead to the birth of Threadz in Boston. After conquering the Boston market he and Channel decided to relocate to Atlanta. Back in 2011 the two spent about 6 months scouting the city before deciding on a location. During this time they took notes of what the other
boutiques were carrying and figured their niche would be more of a contemporary look. The store makes a concentrated effort to avoid carrying anything trendy. Brands carried in the store includes Cult of Individuality, AG Jeans, Under Two Flags, Dolo and Marc Nelson Denim. Threadz Atlanta does not discriminate against designers. Their motto is if you have the right colors and design, matched with the right price, they can sell your brand. They pride themselves on brand knowledge and use that knowledge to sell items to buyers who may not be familiar with the brands. Threadz Atlanta is located at 1060 St Charles Avenue in the eclectic Virginia Highlands section of Atlanta. The store has been at this location for just over a year and also sells products online. Threadz ships orders all over the country and utilizes Instagram as a powerful marketing resource.
Photos by: Nathan Pearcy
ARCTIC cIRCLE Photographer: Nathan Pearcy | Model: Ansley Hord | MUA: Geno Freeman | Hair: Leatha Morgan | Nails: Kalea
A VERY EXPENSIVE HOBBY
Photo provide by: Janelle This is how Janelle Ford describes her work as a luxury handbag designer. Even after having her product featured on hit TV shows such as Real Housewives of Atlanta and Single Ladies. Americans spent $8.5 billion on handbags in 2011 according to Accessories magazine, so the industry is definitely alive and well. Why then would someone with a superior product not take full advantage of this opportunity you might ask? Well, for years Janelle Ford only saw herself as the wife of successful jazz violinist Ken Ford and mother of four children. She never intended to sell her designs much less have them featured on national television. Making handbags was just a hobby to satisfy her own desire for luxurious crocodile and alligator handbags. A very humble woman who tends to shy away from attention is now being drawn into the spotlight. The demand created by national exposure along with celebrity plugs is making it hard for Mrs. Ford to remain the introverted housewife and mother of four that she is so comfortable being. I would like to invite you all to join our conversation as Mrs. Ford and I sat down to discuss her journey to this point. Listen up as she shares her plans for mass production and distribution. She also lets us in on her reservations about Janelle Ford becoming a household name. JM: In preparation for this interview I visited your site and noticed all your bags were sold out. You must have a huge back order list. JF: They are sold out. Now they didn’t sell out all at the same time, but over time they did. I’m trying to find the right audience for my bags because they are handmade and quit expensive. It’s a process you
know. It requires a lot. Trying to use the best materials and I do put a lot of my heart and soul into making each bag. Right now it’s just really about finding the market where they appreciate the designs, the work ethic and the craftsmanship of the bag. JM: Can the bags only be purchased on your website or do you have them in boutiques? JF: They can only be purchased on my website. At one point I was going to do small luxury boutiques, but I had a change of heart. I was advised by consultants to go big and seek placement in stores like Niemen Marcus and Bloomingdales. I didn’t follow through with that though, so now I’m leaning towards placement in luxury boutiques here in Atlanta, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Hopefully within the next year customers will be able to just drive down to a store and see the product. Touch it, smell it and all that good stuff. JM: You’re “Self Taught” as far as making bags are concerned. JF: That is correct. JM: Did you have any type of design experience at all? JF: No not really. I mean I’ve always been creative. I used to make jewelry and my mother was a seamstress so she used to make me help her sew. I even designed my own prom outfit and some of my girlfriends’ prom outfits. I was just always a creative person who could do anything I put my mind to. JM: So what was it about bags that really caught your attention to make you see this as the lane you wanted to stay in? JF: Well I didn’t know that it was a lane that I even wanted to get in from the start. I was just in the store and saw a bag that I really liked, and it was a really simple bag. A couple years later I was in the store and I saw this really nice red bag and it just came back to me like I can truly make this bag. I (pauses), can really make this bag. I bought the bag and I studied the bag. Then I went into my closet, found one of my old bags and took it apart. I analyzed the construction of the bag, what was inside of the bag making it sturdy how everything was put together. Next thing you know I was cutting up some old jeans and making my first bag. My husband was in shock when I finished. He was like wow! You actually made that bag? You designed that bag (chuckles)? I was like, yeah. So, it just kind of started from there and it’s been a lot of trial and error being that I am self-taught. Each bag was harder than the previous bag and the next bag was harder than that bag. I kept trying to push myself. It’s very repetitious making the same bag over and over and over again, so I kept pushing myself. I kept telling myself I can make this kind of bag and that kind of bag. I wasn’t doing it for the purpose of having a career, to be in magazines or TV shows. I just wanted to make bags for myself. JM: So how did it get to the point where people were able to order your bags? JF: My daughter who was about 18 or 19 at the time (which was during the MySpace era) set me up a MySpace page and put all my bags on there without me even knowing. After that it was just like Boom! Everyone just started loving my bags. JM: So your daughter did all of the marketing JF: Yes she did. I didn’t know what MySpace was (Chuckles), but she set it up all by herself. I began getting comments in my email and I was like wow, people really love my bags. My first order was from someone in Louisville, Kentucky. Then a person in Australia placed an order and I’m just like oh my goodness. From there it just kind of took off. I took breaks in between, because it’s a very expensive hobby. It’s not like a Michael’s where you can go and buy all your crafts in one place. It’s not like that at all. It’s very expensive. JM: So you still consider it a hobby at this point? JF: I did up until last year. I just never really allowed myself to take it so serious because of the fact that it’s so expensive. I’m not a single person. I have a family. I have a busy husband and active kids. Manufacturing the bags full time would require a lot of money to get started and I never wanted to take food off our table. JM: Your husband had your back from day one though. JF: Yes he’s very much in my corner, so I’m blessed in that way. This past year he’s been urging me to take it more serious and just get the business to
JF: That would be the Celebrity Satchel. It’s the bag that I get the another level. He’s like you’re not getting any younger (laughs). most requests for. The first one I made was the green bag that I’m JM: I can see why it’s so expensive. I mean, you don’t make plain holding on my website. I was actually asked to make that bag for leather bags. You use high end, quality materials. Kelis. After I made the bag I went to California to present it to JF: Yeah, I mean; I have champagne taste. That’s probably why I Kelis, but she never showed up. Lauren London was there howam so creative. I really like nice things and I’m not a wealthy person, but I have the knack for liking the most expensive thing in the ever so I wound up giving it to her and she loved it. That’s why I store. I don’t like just any leather. I want the alligator or the croco- call that one the “Celebrity” because I was asked to make it for a dile or ostrich. It’s crazy! I don’t understand myself sometimes, but celebrity. That will be the first bag that I bring to the manufacturer for mass production. that’s how I am. I make bags to cater to my personality and they JM: Do you still buy bags from other designers? are luxury items. It just so happens that other people seem to like JF: I have not bought a bag since I started making bags. I carry them also. my bags all the time. Fendi has a beautiful JM: Well I think your location bag called a Peekaboo Bag that I’d just die definitely helps, with Atlanta befor though. There aren’t many other bags ing an entertainment hub. that I have a desire to carry. Maybe I’ll buy JF: It does help. The music a Prada or a Gucci bag once I’m out there industry is big here and the film and making a lot of money. Who knows, but industry has started to come out right now I really like my bags. They fit me. here within the last five years, so They’re all my style and I carry my bags it really is the perfect location. because I really do love my bags. JM: Let’s talk about product placement. Weren’t your bags featured in the show Single Ladies? JF: Yeah, I’ve had some excelIf you are interested in having a lent opportunities and you know certain exclusivity bragging right, the funny thing is I never seek you can visit www.janelleford. any of it out. I didn’t try to get my bags on the Real Housewives com to view her catalogue and of Atlanta or Single Ladies. It’s possibly treat yourself to one of just something that happened. her bags while they are still handJM: Really? JF: Yeah, when you’re really made. passionate about something it seems like opportunities just kind of come to you without even trying. It all felt wonderful and even at that time it was still a hobby (laughs). JM: With all those wonderful opportunities constantly presenting themselves to you, why do you keep taking time off from making the bags? JF: It’s not so much that I fear success as my husband likes to say. I just fear not being able to produce enough bags to cover the demand. There’s no doubt in my mind that distributers will pick up my bags, but once they do I’ve got to be able to turn out however many bags are ordered. I know that with me making them by hand I can’t cover large orders now and I don’t want to be known as the girl who couldn’t come through by the distributors. JM: You still make all of the bags yourself? JF: Yes! I still personally make all the bags myself. I punch every hole by hand. I cut the leather myself and I do every stitch by hand. JM: So what’s next for Janelle Ford? JF: I’ve been invited to Henri Bendel‘s Open See Event in New York. JM: What exactly is an Open See Event? JF: It’s like a casting call for designers. If they pick my bags they’ll do a trunk show and put my bags in 4 stores. I wasn’t sure about putting my bags in the event, but I talked with my husband and he said “it’s time to do it big!” So, I’m at a point where I’m ready to talk to manufactures now. JM: Do you only make handbags? JF: I make handbags, purses, cuffs, sterling silver jewelry and clutches. JM: So which of your bags would you consider to be the Janelle Ford signature bag?
“I really enjoy the fact that people have something special in a Janelle Ford bag. Some of my customers have one of a kind bags that they will never see anyone else with.”
The Triple Threat By: B.Whyte with each other on the show.” If I told you that I met a woman who was driven, independently successful, charming and beautiful you would probably think I’ve met the perfect woman right? Well, if you take all those qualities and multiply them by three, you will have Sharlinda, Brie and Kahdijiha. Stars of The Style Network’s latest reality smash Big Rich Atlanta. Sharlinda (who is married to Q. Parker of the R&B group 112) and Brie (who is single and ready for ‘Mr. Right’ to come and sweep her off of her feet) are twins. Kahdijiha (who is all about her business) is Sharlinda’s daughter and collectively they are the Rowe’s of Big Rich Atlanta. The ladies admitted to having reservations about doing the reality show when they were first contacted by the production company (Fly on The Wall Entertainment) associated with Big Rich Atlanta. Kahdijiha expressed concerns about being portrayed in a negative light, but felt it would have been a big mistake not to take advantage of this opportunity to market their brands to such a large audience. The ladies did not know any of the other cast members prior to joining the cast, so they all approached the filming of the show with positive attitudes and then adjusted to other cast members accordingly. Sharlinda wears many hats. Wife, mother, sister, entrepreneur and now reality star. Having turned down a prior request to be on another popular reality show filmed in Atlanta, being able to work side by side with her sister and daughter is what made Big Rich Atlanta a must do for Sharlinda. When I asked how her husband felt about the show she replied ” He’s a very confident man and you will see us interacting
Brie, who describes herself as Kahdijiah’s second mom may be the ‘diva’ of the group. When I asked if she was single Sharlinda and Kahdijiah began teasing her about her list of requirements for a man. She does admit to being picky when it comes to her men, but doesn’t believe her requirements are unrealistic. Many men however are intimidated by her success and the high profile circle that she moves in. More than just a pretty face, Brie is co-owner of Tu La 2 Nail Salon with her sister Sharlinda. Other projects that Brie is involved with includes the Beyond The Game charity and an accessories line named Duo by Tu La 2. She is also in the process of developing a nail polish brand with Sharlinda as well as a line of aprons and in Fall 2013 the ladies plan to open the first Tu La 2 Nail School. The entrepreneurial spirit of her mom and aunt did not miss Kahdijiah. She has plans to launch Platform Koutures, which will be an online shoe boutique this Spring. Kahdijiah names cast member Meagan as the person who she could see herself being BFF’s with because of how innocent Meagan is. She then described another cast member who shall remain nameless as a not so pleasant person. We weren’t given any details about her interactions with the un-named cast member, but Kahdijiah promises that there will be lots of fireworks this season on Big Rich Atlanta. Big Rich Atlanta can be seen on Style Network on Wed at 8 pm EST
Photos by: Nathan Pearcy iamjmariie.com 36.
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Atlanta’s one stop shop By: Lawerence Ellis
MiddleMan has been on my radar for some time now. One has to respect a person who works as hard as MiddleMan and his approach to fashion. One of the premiere celebrity stylist in Atlanta, MiddleMan has made a name for himself by styling every celebrity that you can think of. He was the first to introduce studded sneakers and jackets to hip-hop artists such as Future. It’s only right that he proclaims the title of “I styled your stylist.” With the help of Glen Moodie, an astonishing photographer of Complex photos, he created Studio 11, which is Atlanta’s one stop shop for styling, photography, and photoshoots. Studio 11 stands alone in the Atlanta market by being the first showroom of its kind. JM: Good day to you. I thank you for taking out the time to converse with me on behalf of I Am JMARiiE. First off I would like to give the people a little background on you, who is MiddleMan? MM: Aye Man, You have enough time for this interview? Afraid I’m going to adlib to break it down. My name is Robert MiddleMan Flood. I’m a wardrobe stylist in Atlanta. I’ve been doing it for the last 11-12 years. My relationship with Glen is actually a 20 year friendship. We were roommates back in College then we linked back up about 4 years ago and we’ve been working together since then. JM: Alright, I like to hear a little history behind the friendship. How long have you been doing photography Glen? G: At this level probably about 5 years but altogether throughout my life. My dad always carried a camera around and I guess that kinda rubbed off on all of his sons. My dad has 5 sons and we kinda dabbled with photography somehow someway. JM: Describe Studio 11. G: One-Stop Shop. The only one stop shop in Atlanta that’s going to give you the hottest wardrobe stylist in the city and photography. We do a lot of beauty, makeup and fashion work. We work with a lot of different models. We also do printing. We do custom printing in house. MM: Basically a one stop shop like he said. This is the show room area and we have spots for emerging designers to place their product. We also do a lot of product placement. With Glen being the photographer and me being the stylist we do a lot of product placement with a lot of up and coming designers. JM: I’m actually impressed because there is nothing like this in Atlanta, like a one stop shop. You have your showroom and photography you have it all in this one building. What convinced you guys that “now is the time” for this? G: It was the time. Timing, timing is everything. MM: He was coming out of another space and it just happened to be perfect timing. Glen didn’t even see the space. He just trusted my judgment and put the money down. That’s when we created Studio 11. Me being from Atlanta, I really wanted to put fashion on the map. Everyone says that you have to go to New York or Los Angeles for fashion. Being that they are doing a lot of film and television here, I wanted to have a spot where they
can actually come for fashion. Also, other stylist can come here and pull from this spot. JM: You feel good about it? MM: This is like my second home. We’ve been working hard and overall we’ve been in here doing well. JM: What’s your target audience that you’re looking attract to the doors of Studio 11? MM: A lot of celebrity clients and any up and coming artists or models who we can brand. G: To piggyback off of what he said, a brand new face. We can mold them and give them that look. We already have the styling capabilities and with the lighting I do photographs come out perfect. JM: Studio 11...5 years from now? G: Studio 11,000! MM: Branch out. We want to have this whole block. From this spot to a graphic room to a design room, makeup the whole building. Each one teach one. JM: That’s exactly how it should be, building each other up. MM: Exactly, I’m in Atlanta so I want to do it for Atlanta. I want it so everyone in New York, Miami, Los Angeles know about this spot and can come here. JM: Certainly appreciate you guys giving us a look inside the operations and the vision of Studio 11. MM: No problem at all. G: Appreciate you coming out.
To get a more detailed description of services offered at Studio 11 and pricing visit www.studio11atl.com. For press inquiries
you by IVAN WILLIAMS
Focus on full body and not spot training. Split up your workouts. For example upper body, lower body, and abs and 30-45 minutes of cardio.
Select a good multivitamin and steer clear of dangerous fat burners.
PROTEIN SHAKES AND POWDERS ARE GOOD!!!!
10. The most important rule of all is to The best exercises in the world will not produce the results you seek if you are not incorporating a healthy and effective diet. You are what you eat, and as you get older the food you were able to eat at a younger age has more impact on your body because your metabolism begins to slow down. Key thing with exercise is that muscle burns fat thus increasing metabolism. Here are some tips to help with shedding fat and building muscle.
Get your carbs from fruits and vegetables not wheat or added sugars.
Eat lean meats such as fish, chicken, turkey, and lean beef.
Cut or moderate dairy products to help decrease bloating.
Stay away or moderate high sodium seasoning and dressing.
Your eating should range from 3-5 meals daily.
Start a workout regime 3-5 days a week and 2 rest days.
“STAY CONSISTENT”. Rome wasn’t built in a day and consistency, motivation, and personal drive (good positive support system) will get you where you need to be BUT IT STARTS WITH YOU!!!!!! These are a few tips to help the average person looking to shed some pounds and not sure on the right direction. FOLLOW these simple rules and the path to a healthier living will be a rewarding experience.
Empowering perfecting your exercise routine
Money Bag $wag! By: B.Whyte
Photo by: Radiio Dolls
RADiiO DOLLS At 13 years of age twin performers Camille and Hanna already have a performance resume that some of yesterday’s top artists would die for. They have already toured the country and shared the stage with several noteworthy acts. They have made prime time television appearances and have been asked to cameo in over ten music videos, three movies and five stage plays. Features in publications such as Sister 2 Sister, The Source Magazine and Hip Hop Weekly can also be found on their resume. The sisters also write, produce and direct their own web series entitled Royal Maddness. Affectionately known to many as 2TooCute, Camille and Hannah are in the process of transitioning to RADiiO DOLLS. I was told the name change is just a part of their progression as artist and maturation as young ladies. “We’re 13 now, so we kinda outgrew 2TooCute” is how one of the twins explained the name
change. The group’s name may have changed, but their signature spiked mohawks with braids on the side remains their look for now. The sisters began performing at the age of 7, so now at 13 they are like seasoned veteran’s in the music industry. I asked why haven’t they signed a record deal yet and the response was “...because we want to remain in control of what we do. The labels are always surprised when we say no, but we don’t want anybody telling us what we can or can’t do as far as our music goes. Plus we like being able to put out songs whenever we want to.” I really enjoyed my time with the RADiiO DOLLS. They are 2 very charismatic and humble young ladies. With friends such as Mindless Behavior you might expect a certain level of arrogance, but I never saw any of that from Camille or Hannah. These girls definitely got it together. They are both straight A students who are very talented and devoted to their craft.
agave Being one of the first restaurants in Cabbage town, Agave is Atlanta’s best kept secret. They offer an amazing menu full of flavorful and authentic southwestern dishes. It is also one of those places where you automatically feel at home because of its neighborhood eatery feel. The service staff is fun and friendly and the bartenders are always on point when it comes to making a stiff drink. We had the opportunity to meet with part owner Tim Pinkham to taste some of his favorite and most enjoyed menu items. Everything on the menu sounded delicious, so we put it in his hands to decide what he wanted us to try. He was very knowledgeable of the ingredients within each dish and gave us somewhat of a brief history lesson on particular items they serve. Our bellies instantly began to groan with the anticipation of sharing an outstanding meal. The overall experience was great. We started with 1st course and were shocked at how quickly we were served after ordering. The first offering was Potato Corn Chowder with shrimp, bacon and Hatch Chiles. The owner explained to us that the Hatch Chile is only grown in the Hatch Valley of New Mexico. This really speaks to their desire to provide guest with authentic southwestern cuisine. As we basically inhaled the chowder, our 2nd course was ordered and showed up pretty soon after. The three dishes consisted of Southwestern Shrimp and Poblano Eggrolls, Smoked Chicken and Hatch Green Chile Quesadillas and Chile and Lime Fish Tacos. I must say these items came to the table as a trifecta of yumminess. Each dish had distinctive flavor profiles and would be enjoyed by most palettes. The main course was the highlight of the night. Tim suggested we try the New Mexican Lamb and the Chile Seared Jumbo Diver Sea Scallops. First of all the presentation of the two dishes was absolutely beautiful. They say people eat with their eyes and we devoured that meal with just one look. The Lamb was perfectly cooked and the Yukon Gold mashed potatoes had the right balance of garlic to
By: Nicholas Mayberry, Dex Taylor
butter to potato, which is sometimes hard to achieve. Grilled asparagus garnished the dish and was a nice compliment to the lamb and potatoes. The Chile and garlic rub placed on the Scallops was like a dream. The chefs at Agave obviously know how to combine flavors and take care to not overly season. Now we all have had grandma’s grits and collard greens, but not like they do it at Agave. The grits, served with fire roasted tomato were smooth, packed full of amazing flavor and free of clumps. The greens were smoky from the bacon and sweet and tangy from the honey cider. Grandma might not recognize these items, but they were something delicious. The last course was dessert. We are not really dessert kind of people but the desserts at Agave were all too tempting. Tim brought us out three options and again we instantly were in love with his choices. The Belgian Chocolate Mousse with a Creme Angliase was a chocolate lovers dream. The Key Lime Pie on a Peppery Ginger Crust was tart and tangy with a slight kick at the finish. The banana cheesecake was smooth and creamy like the best cheesecakes are. All in all the desserts were perfect for those desiring sweet eats at the end of dinner. Our experience at Agave was one to truly remember. The servers were pleasant, the owner was very knowledgeable and welcoming, and the bar made sure we had great drinks throughout the night. Agave is a neighborhood eatery that caters to those who enjoy great food, strong drinks and service that can’t be beat. We will always support anyone that appeals to all of our senses and Agave definitely does that. So the next time you’re in Cabbagetown and the hunger strikes you, stop into Agave to partake in authentic southwestern cuisine.
ND Restaurant Score: 1 (poor) 5 (excellent) Decor: 4 Service: 5 Food: 5 Final Score: 14 Photos by Mark Petko iamjmariie.com 42.
THE HUMBL LAKYLE THOMAS
By: Chishala Chibuye
At first glance Lakyle Thomas has the face every woman wants to wake up to (and some fellas too), but as soon as he begins to speak you realize he is a man that your son can look up too. This actor and model moved from Macon, Georgia in the first part of 2012, slept on a friend’s couch and within a year has made appearances in VH-1’s Single Ladies, BET’s The Game, several music videos and signed to Ultimate Model Management. When you ask him how he did it he simply smiles and says “I put God first in everything.” My interview with Lakyle was filled with laughter and inspiration. He came to the table looking like he stepped fresh off a Ralph Lauren runway. However before I could open my notebook he starts the conversation by saying:
LE GENTLEMAN Photo by: Lakyle Thomas Lakyle: Thank you so much for this opportunity, I really appreciate this! JM: No thank you for coming out today and spending a little time with us. Tell me who is Lakyle Thomas the Entertainer? The man? Lakyle: Wow! The man… I am a father who is family oriented and I love the simple things in life. As far as the entertainer, I am hard-working, ambitious and eager to learn. JM: How did you get your start in entertainment? Lakyle: My PR submitted me for Single Ladies and I loved it. I have been modeling for 7 years but I enjoy acting so much more because of the diversity. JM: Who would you want to work with past or present? Lakyle: Morgan Freeman and Lucille Ball!! I love Morgan Freeman, especially in the movie Lean On Me. I am inspired by his story and how he got his start. I said Lucille Ball because as a kid I would always watch “I Love Lucy.” She was hilarious. I was probably the one kid in my neighborhood who watched black and white shows on a color TV. JM: Whoa! You went way back I really didn’t expect those two individuals to be your choices but both excellent choices. Lakyle: (laughing) Yeah, but I understand we have to learn from the ones that came before us. Morgan Freeman has played phenomenal roles like “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Glory.” JM: Yes with Andy Dufrain (in my Morgan Freeman voice) We both breakout in laughter Lakyle: I would also love to work with Tom Cruise as well. The older he becomes the better his acting is. JM: I agree. Now reality shows are everywhere. Do you
think that Reality TV is taking away from real actors? Lakyle: Yes, but I wouldn’t knock them for it. Reality TV is a quick way to make money, but real actors understand you have to put in the time to perfect this craft. I have an acting coach and let me tell you it is work, but I love it. And to be honest I have done a reality show pilot. JM: How did you like it? Lakyle: It was cool and I enjoyed the experience. I appreciate every opportunity I am blessed to get. JM: I completely agree and I could also see you doing voiceover work (Lakyle has this raspy voice with an undeniable Southern charm). Lakyle: I have heard that before. I welcome all things that would enhance and expand my career. JM: I can’t wait to hear your voice over the radio waves, sweet talking the ladies. Lakyle laughs then looks around and unexpectedly said “ These are some well-dressed waiters and waitress in here today! I feel like a part of management today (laughing out loud). I am about seat some people hold on a moment.” He then proceeds to instruct new patrons where to sit announcing he is a manager, never cracking a smile and finally they realized he was only joking. JM: Have you ever done anything else besides modeling and acting? Lakyle: Yes, I am a barber by trade and actually attended Fort Valley State on a football scholarship, but I left school early to pursue modeling. JM: What would you tell the 10 year old Lakyle? Lakyle: Stay in college!!! Man, I look back and wished I would have stayed in. I would finish if I could do it again.
B Wardrobe courtesy of Threadz Atlanta
Qwanell Mosley is A
ONE MAN BAND By: B.Whyte
Photographer: Nathan Pearcy | MUA: Renitra Canty | Stylist: Lawerence Ellis
Suit by: TOPMAN
hat do the following groups all have in common? I’m talking bands like O-Town, Da’ Band, Danity Kane and Day 26. Well, they’re all groups that were put together on MTV. All of these groups had successful debut albums. Another similarity is that all the groups featured solo artist who were put in a group situation. Three of the four groups were put together by music mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, but the commonality that stands out the most to me is all of these groups broke up and none of them produced a successful solo artist. Qwanell Mosley is on a mission to be the first to stand alone from this group. Formerly known as Que, who was the youngest member of Day 26, he has signed an independent distribution deal through Capitol Records and is currently in Atlanta recording his debut solo project. The album does not yet have a title and Qwanell says there will be no major celebrity features or producers because his main goal is to showcase his talent. What he does promise is a very versatile album that will smoothly transition from R&B to urban and pop sounds. After working with Diddy in a very structured environment over at Bad Boy Records, Qwanell is really enjoying the creative control he has over this project that’s being put together through his management company Sky’s The Limit Entertainment. To my surprise, the transition from Day 26 to being a solo act has not been a difficult one for Qwanell. He described the experience of Making the Band IV and Day 26 as “a blessing” and had nothing negative to say about his former band mates. As a matter of fact, he described the others as four very talented singers and said that though they are not the best of friends, but that they will call each other up here and there. After leaving Day 26 “Que” sought to make his own identity by using the stage name Anthony Q. After dropping a mix tape and a couple singles under that name the artist decided once again to change names. Now performing under his full legal name Qwanell Mosley, he is dropping YouTube videos and making guest appearances at different events in an effort to allow the fans to get to know him and see his personality. He is also the face of the upscale men’s boutique Threadz Atlanta.
G GABE can
By: Chishala Chibuye
When New Orleans native Gabe Lustman was doing karaoke in the bathroom, he knew music was his destiny. Known as just GABE to his fans, he uses his soulful pop sound to amaze audience everywhere. He has appeared on MTV, The Craig Ferguson Show and even opened for Chris Brown. Being a military kid gave him an appreciation of all cultures and a love of all music. “Everything inspires my writing even seeing other’s experiences influences my writing” says GABE. Currently working on an EP set to drop Spring 2013 and promoting his mixtape “The Memiors”, GABE shows no sign of slowing down and what keeps him going you may ask? “My fans are my best friends, they push me to be better and that is gratifying” he states. GABE draws musical inspiration from everyone from The Temptations to Justin Timberlake because he says “I never want to be put in a box. I am an artist first and I CAN SANG!!!!”. GABE is looking forward to getting the opportunity to work with Super Producers Rodney Jerkins and Will.I.Am. Please don’t think this talented man is stopping at music, not yet in his 30’s he has already made appearances in USA’s Necessary Roughness and worked with comedy powerhouses Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.
GABE can also be seen in upcoming films The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Getaway starring Selena Gomez and Ethan Hawke. In his future GABE wants to have his own vodka line and a men’s cologne. Judging from the way he’s taking on the music world there is no doubt he will achieve all he has his sights set on. With all he has going on GABE still wants to find his own leading lady. When asked about his status he smiles and says “Yes GABE is single and ready to mingle! I am fond of older women but I respect and adore all women. My ideal date would start with a couple’s trip to the spa, dinner at the restaurant of her choice and finishing the night at a lounge filled with good music.” Now that is a GOOD TIME! This young man is a supporter of charities such as VH-1’s Save the Music and the Susan G.Koman Foundation. He stays humble by keeping a good group of people around him who allow him vent and release when he needs to. In his words ”Keeping good people around you and keeping a good routine will keep you balanced.” For Bookings info contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“I DONT DO FASHION,
I AM FASHION”
- COCO CHANEL
Photographer: Nathan Pearcy | Stylist: Lawerence Ellis Ass. Willie Walker | Models: Kayla Patterson (smart models agency) Jessica LaVelle, Keith Anthony (smart models agency) | Hair: Leatha Morgan | MUA: Chawana J. Jones
Jacket: H&M Shirt: H&M Pants: H&M
Cardigan: H&M, Shirt: BCBG Skirt: H&M Shoes: Jeffery Combell
Shawl Zaru Knit Sweater Fatigue Pants Gold cable necklace: UO
Shoes: Red Tag Pants: H&M Sweater: H&M Scarf: H&M
Fur vest: Vintage Shirt: UO Pants: UO
Bolton Whyte, Publisher of I Am JMARiiE
NEVER STOP Have you ever had an idea that everyone thought was too grand? Whenever you talked about it to others they would tell you there’s no way you can pull that off. Have you ever tried your best to succeed at something only to realize that your best just wasn’t good enough? Yeah? Well, what did you do at that point? Did you throw in the towel? Did you quite under the guise that you gave your best effort or did you go back to the drawing board, come up with a new plan and give an even better effort? If you chose the latter then you just may understand what it means to buy champagne with beer money. Those of you who quite after giving your best effort are encouraged to continue reading because there just might be a lesson to be learned here for you. In 2003 the Florida Marlins baseball team won the World Series by beating the almighty, perennial baseball powerhouse, New York Yankees. That year the Marlins had a team roster payroll of $52,000,000.00. Now that’s a lot of money to someone like you and I perhaps, but it was peanuts in comparison to the Yankee’s payroll that was well over $150,000,000.00. In 2003 the Yankees had the biggest payroll in all of sports and on paper they looked to be one of the greatest baseball teams ever assembled. Everyone was expecting a short and effortless sweep of the Marlins by the Yankees, but the Marlins took the series in six games by shutting out the Yankees 2-0 in game six. That was the best David vs Goliath analogy I could think of from recent times. Far too often we stunt our own growth by convincing ourselves that our dreams are too big, unrealistic or unattainable. While putting this project together we
were faced with obstacle after obstacle. Everything from budget issues, staffing problems to lack of credibility and doubt, but never did I think this wasn’t going to work. To ensure success I surrounded myself with people who are more knowledgeable than I am. Instead of being intimidated by their expertise I embraced it, THANKED THEM ALL for believing in my dream and tried to learn as much as I could from them while in their presence. People say well what if you don’t succeed in this venture and my response to that is we’ve already succeeded. Our initial goal was to create an online magazine that will serve as a platform for creative people to express themselves and highlight people within the local community who are making a difference. We accomplished that with www.iamjmariie.com and now we are taking on the world of print. With limited resources we were able to bring the public a website that is on par with most fashion sites and online magazines out of Atlanta and now we are releasing our INAUGURAL print issue. I would like to take this time to thank you in advance for supporting I Am JMARiiE and make a pledge to never become complacent. Our staff knows there is always room for improvement and we accept the challenge that lies ahead. With that being said I encourage you all to dream big, face your fears and embrace success.
JMARiiE I Am MAGAZINE
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