Queen City Magazine - Summer '17

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QUEEN CITY MAGAZINE Volume 1 Issue 2 Summer 2017 Publisher Elle Johnson Co. Staff Photographer Glen Graham Editorial Elle Johnson Editor-at-Large Rashon Carraway Homme Editor Contributors Chrys Crockett, Chronicles Photography, Crown Town Photography, Dee Her Photography

MISSION: Our mission at Queen City Magazine (QCM) is to uplift, celebrate, and highlight women who live and work within the Queen City. ABOUT US: We are a diverse publication dedicated to embracing all women regardless of color or race, culture, religion, social or economic status. We believe that ALL women are beautiful, and every woman has a story. Initially launched in the fall of 2016 as a digital destination for all things QC, we have since transitioned to a print publication released quarterly with engaging content, sponsored advertisements, advice on beauty, health, style, and much more! SUBMISSIONS: If you have a suggestion for a story line featuring a woman who lives or works within the Charlotte Metro, please email us at info@queencitymagazine.com. You may also submit photo content as it relates to the issue we're working on via the email address as well. Please note, we do not accept model submissions. PRODUCT REVIEWS: If you have a product and would like to submit it for review, please mail samples to: PO Box 480956, Charlotte, NC 28269. Please note that items will not be returned and we cannot guarantee reviews on all products received.

subscribe for $12 annually DISCLAIMER: All magazine content is fully researched prior to print, however Queen City Magazine cannot guarantee accuracy. QCM cannot be held liable for the goods or services provided by the advertisers within this magazine.

Marketing & Distribution Elle Johnson Co.

For all inquiries: PO Box 480956 Charlotte, NC 28269 info@queencitymagazine.com www.queencitymagazine.com Published Quarterly by Elle Johnson Co. All Rights Reserved.

Photo: Chronicles Photography

CONTENTS QCM Mission & Masthead (pg. 4) Publisher's Page (pg. 6)

FEATURED WEDDINGS Jessica Pointer and Jerrin Strayhorn (pg. 10) Dianne Gallagher and Alan Cavanna (pg. 26) Sheena Steele and Donta Jovon Byrd (pg. 20) Essential Elements to a Great Wedding (pg. 24)

COVER PHOTO: Dee Her Photography

Get Fit with Chrys (pg. 8) Q&A with Ash Jewelry (pg. 12) Q&A with Durrett Designs (pg. 16) Glam The Runway (pg. 15) HOMME FEATURE: Mr. North Carolina (pg. 17) Q&A with She's in the Mood (pg. 25)



Birth Place Presbyterian Hospital Charlotte, NC Zodiac Libra - October 14th Favorite Color blush and mint (any pastel) Favorite Food breakfast Children 13 uear old daughter Pets Allergies What I like most about myself I'm a critical thinker. What I like least about myself I'm a critical thinker. Morning or Night Definitely a morning person. Favorite Travel Destination Charleston, SC Favorite Place to Shop Kate Spade NY (I'm a die hard fan)

PUBLISHER - ENTREPRENEUR - BRAND STRATEGIST Welcome back QCM readers! I'm so excited to release this second print issue, our weddings issue, and continue sharing with you in this journey to celebrate women of the QC. In case you missed the first issue, I'm Elle Johnson, Publisher and Editor-at-Large of QCM, and a Charlotte native. I'm a divorcee, and the mother of an incredibly gifted and entertaining 13 year old. As a native, Charlotte is near and dear to my heart, and I wanted to publish a magazine that would showcase our beautiful southern culture, promote city awareness, and most importantly support women. Our summer issue is dedicated to all things weddings! It's that time of year when we attend beautiful ceremonies, lavish receptions, and grand send offs. In the pages to follow we hope that you'll find inspiration, as well as a roster of esteemed vendors to assist in making your day even more special. It's amazing to see how weddings have changed from years ago when brides picked a modest dress, standard floral bouquets and classic centerpieces (not that there's anything wrong with those things as I'm a classic girl myself). Today's bride is discriminating in taste, frugal, yet stylish, and certainly demanding in what she does and does not want (that's a good thing, I think, lol). Enjoy!

photo: Glen Graham | GBurke Images


It’s that time of the year! The blissful season of sunshine is here, leaving many of us scrambling to find ways to tighten up. The good news is, there’s a way to do it without opting into one of those get-fit-quick trends. You can start by building habits that you can sustain, even when the summer months are gone. Here are some quick things you can do now to make some adjustments to your daily habits, and get ready for some summer-time fun. 1. Clean up your diet. When you hear people say “abs are made in the kitchen,” most of that is true. Cutting down on the processed sugar, and constantly filling your diet with more whole foods is key to getting rid of the unwanted belly fat. 2. Drink More Water The more water the better. When you're dehydrated the fat burning process is slowed down. Your liver processes fat, and water is what helps it perform its job properly. You can tell when you're drinking enough water when your urine is pale yellow. 3. Get Enough Sleep Getting enough sleep is very important when it comes to burning fat. Without it, your metabolism slows down, and it can impact your hunger levels throughout the day. Make time for your sleep, like you would any other important factor of your day. 4. Prepare your food Being prepared helps big time! By preparing your meals for the week, your temptations don’t stand a chance. Not only does prepping your food help cut cravings it also cuts costs.


5. Increase your workout intensity Way too often people get in the gym and don’t give it their all, barely leaving with a sweat. The higher your body temperature, the more fat you’ll burn. Increasing your workout intensity will help you get a better sweat and burn even more calories. BIO Chrysten, who also goes by Chrys, is a fitness entrepreneur in Charlotte, NC. From training clients on fitness strategy and nutrition, to teaching Zumba and corporate fitness classes, her passion for helping people change their lifestyles is what motivates her to strive to be better every day. Though Chrys has been active for most of her life, it wasn't until the people around her began to ask for help, that she felt her mission grow. Her pursuit of spreading healthy living has led her to being featured on the Today Show, as well as Charlotte’s own Fox 46, and the Charlotte Agenda. "For me, its about getting people motivated to take care of their bodies and love doing it. I want to motivate people to focus on being the healthiest THEM, they can be, everything else will handle itself." Website www.getfitwithchrys.com Social - @getfitwithchrys photo: Get Fit with Chrys


Photographer: Chronicles Photography Location: The Big Chill Florals: Designs by Deveraux Planner: Elana Walker Events, LLC Makeup: S Davis Makeup Artistry Bride and Groom: Jessica Pointer and Jerrin Strayhorn



Q & A with Ashlee Meadows of Ash Jewelry Studio Q1: Tell us a little about yourself. Hello. I’m Ashlee. I’m from Raleigh originally, but currently residing in Charlotte. I’m a wife, a mother and a creator. I’ve been creating as long as I can remember. As a child I loved painting, gluing, sculpting . . . etc. Pretty much anything that made a mess, although I wasn’t always good at cleaning up. Not much has changed. I work in my at home studio moving from surface to surface, only stopping to clean up when there is no more table space available work on. Q2: Share with us about your art form and how you came to fall in love with it. I fell in love with clay during high school and ended up going on the get a BFA with an emphasis in ceramics. I found it very exciting to create something from nothing. There was no canvas to restrain the size or shape of my creation. I got to make my own one of a kind canvas. Another thing that drew me to clay was the magic of the firing process. There are many steps to this process, normally including multiple firings. It’s just amazing to me that I can make something out of clay and glaze, which in its unfired state is dull and chalky, but after it’s fired the end product is vibrant and glassy. My favorite part of the entire process is opening the kiln after the final firing to see the finished product. Q3: What inspires you? Tell us about your creative process and approach. Sometimes I’m drawn to the work of another artist, such as Piet Mondrian’s paintings which inspired the design I paint on my petite square studs. Other times I’m motivated by something I see in nature or even on Pinterest. Once I see something that inspires me I usually first sketch out some ideas on paper to explore how I might apply that idea to clay or metal. Then I take my sketches and get to work creating in the studio. Once I create a few dozen ideas out of clay I can more clearly see the direction I should focus on, which is often times very different from what first inspired me. At this point I find my favorites and my mind opens up to all the possibilities for shapes, sizes, colors and textures within that direction. At the end of the process, hopefully I have a collection of beautiful pieces of jewelry that I’m proud of.



cont. Q4: What's your favorite art work (yours or another artist)? I’m not sure I’m capable of choosing a favorite artwork from all the amazing works throughout history, so maybe I’ll have to pick the one that has moved me the most. While studying abroad in Spain during college I was able to visit the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. The Reina Sofia houses “Guernica” by Pablo Picasso, which depicts the sufferings of war. It is an enormous painting that portrays an abstract yet highly emotional scene. It’s not something I would want to hang in my house because it exudes pain, but seeing it in person was an experience I will never forget. Q5: Describe your dream project/collection? Something I think about often is expanding my product line into home décor, maybe modern ceramic wall art or handmade porcelain light fixtures. If I had 100 hours to work each day I would make that dream a reality. Q6: Where can we find and purchase your pieces? You can find the widest selection and most current designs on my website, ashjewelrystudio.com. To see my pieces in person you can stop by the Bechtler Museum Gift Shop or Moxie Mercantile at Plaza Midwood. Q7: If you weren't a creative, what would you be? I honestly can’t imagine not being able to create, but if I were forced to work in a different field I would probably choose education. I think I would love being a kindergarten teacher. I just love little children. I love the way their minds work. I love the way their faces light up when they feel proud of themselves. What a rewarding job that must be! Good thing I’m a mom so I get to experience these wonderful things with my three girls.

www.ashjewelrystudio.com photos: Ash Jewelry Studio


15 Saturday, October 21, 2017 Silent Auction - 6:30pm Runway Presentation - 7:30pm Infinity Ballroom 4038 Old Pineville Rd, Charlotte NC 28217

The future is FEMALE



Glam the Runway is a charity fashion show that is hosted and presented by Lady Q Events and Designs Inc. This event is inspired by the mother of the owner of LQED, Quiana Gee. She is a 5 year Breast Cancer survivor. This event is to bring Breast Cancer awareness and celebrate beautiful women who are not only survivors, but are Glamorous! We will be spotlighting “Glam Survivors” on the runway while we feature emerging fashion designers and boutiques. A night of Glam and Elegance. Part of the proceeds will be donated to a Breast Cancer support group. Come be a part of the most talked about charity fashion show this year in Charlotte. You don’t want to miss it! Follow us on Facebook at @glamtherunway for date of ticket sale and all event updates. Entry $10 at the door OR you can donate an item off of FLOCLT's wish list for FREE ENTRY! For sponsor and vendor opportunities, call 704-780-5522 or email GlamtheRunway@gmail.com



cont. and share the same birthday, September 14th. I’m technically a Virgo but consider myself a Libra. Both of my parents are happily remarried and I have a younger 14-year-old brother named George. I love mid-century modern furniture. My two favorite colors are coral and teal. Q2: Share with us about your art form and how you came to fall in love with it. Majority of my work is done on either stretched canvases or canvas paper using an acrylic medium. I’d describe my painting style as “realistic-impressionism.” I like to keep things real but not exact and definitely fun! The subject matters I do consist of landscapes, skylines (in particular CLT), house portraits, pet portraits, spirit animals, funky floral, and abstracts. According to my parents, I traded dolls in for coloring books. My grandparents were actually the first ones to introduce me to the painting world. In sixth grade they gave me a gift certificate for a years worth of painting lessons from a local (Apex, NC) artist, Cathy Martin (Red Canvas Studio). Her has a free- spirit teaching style and expressionistic paintings made her art lessons the highlight of my week. The way she used spontaneous color combinations and free form style are part of how I fell in love with painting!

Q & A with Sydney Durrett of Durrett Designs Q1: Tell us a little about yourself. Originally from Cary, NC; I moved to the Queen City a little under a year ago. Before moving to Charlotte, I lived in Raleigh shortly after graduating college. I attended East Carolina University, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and minor in Merchandising. Before moving to Charlotte, I was working for a Southern Living Homebuilder (Corbitt Hills Construction, LLC) as a designer and living in the Triangle. It wasn’t until a turn of events and a new city, that lead me to pursing my passion for painting as a full-time career. I moved to Charlotte (Southend) with my boyfriend, Cameron, last September with our puppy Sir Raleigh. Those two have been my rock through the entire process. None of this would have ever been possible without them and an amazing support team of friends and family. Fun Facts: My first car was a 2001 5-speed lime green VW punch buggy. The first day I drove it to school, I took as many friends as I could pile in and stalled out in the middle of an intersection. To this day they still make fun of me. My all-time favorite TV show is “Friends”. Don’t watch it with me, I own all 10 seasons on DVD (before Netflix) and can recite every line. My Grammy and are both left handed

Q3: What inspires you? Tell us about your creative process and approach. Inspired by light, movement, surprising color combinations and texture I try to collaborate these elements to form realisticimpressionistic compositions. Out of all of those, I put color at the top of the list. My moto is “Mo color, mo betta.” I’ll bring home a new paint color, or several, and just go to town painting. It can make or break my creative juices. Texture is another big. There is nothing better than splatting a big ol’ glob of paint and letting it dry to make it part of artworks’ story. I also find inspiration through my love of interior design. If I’m ever in a creative slump, I like to find rooms that peak my interest with eclectic style and unexpected flare. I try to imagine what artwork would look like to stand out in the space and then just see where it takes me… Q4: What's your favorite art work (yours or another artist if you like)? Gosh that’s a toughy, I am really into the abstracts these days…and anything with lots of color. Charleston painters Leslie Weaver, and Teil Duncan are two female artists that I LOVE. They both have totally separate styles but are vibrant colors and carefree vibe to the work. I have followed both artists for years and its super inspiring watching them become successful in their art career.



cont. Q5: Describe your dream project? I’d have to say the coolest project, I’ve ever worked on would be designing four of Lenny Boy Brewery’s beer can labels. My good friend and owner/founder of Lenny Boy, Townes Mozer, came to me with this idea to paint four different beer can labels: “Life in the South,” Citraphilia India Pale Ale, Dat Pale Ale, and Laughing Yogi. The color schemes, shapes, and patterns on the labels were inspired from the ingredients and flavor of the beer. The most surreal part is walking into a Harris Teeter or food and beverage shop and seeing those cans on the aisle. It has been such a cool experience being a part of this project and watching Lenny Boy grow as a business. Stay tuned to see what we have cooking for the next CAN-dy coming soon! Q6: Where can we find / purchase your art? I’m excited to announce that my new website www.durrettdesigns.com is being remodeled completely. This new site will allow people to directly add paintings and prints to a cart and purchase immediately. This should be up and running by the end of the summer/start of fall. As of now I keep a lot of my artwork at my home studio or displayed in a couple of the local breweries (Lenny Boy Brewery and Birdsong Brewing Co.). I offer studio appointments to come by and see what’s available. You may also email me directly (durrettdesigns@gmail.com) for inquiries about custom artwork and available paintings. I try to schedule Popup events, trunk shows and live painting events in Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, and hopefully, this fall some in Ashville, NC and Charleston, SC. Follow me on Instagram: @durrett_designs faceBook: Durrett Designs to find out more about upcoming events and paintings. Q7: If you weren't an artist, what would you be? Hmm…well, when I was younger I used to want to be a forensic scientist. I get super into crime shows and murder mysteries. My parents even sent me to a couple forensic science camps when I was younger and we got to solve murder cases. It was awesome! photo page 16: Durrett Designs

Doraza Sings, Mr. North Carolina United States 25 year old Charlotte native, and graduate of UNC Charlotte, Doraza Sings holds the title of being Mr. North Carolina United States. As a current adult probation and parole officer, Sings loves working with people from all walks of life, and is quoted as saying, "Everyone has had their share of making mistakes and are going to continue to make them while on their personal journey on this Earth. As a Probation Officer, I'm able to motivate and encouraged those to right their wrongs and learn from their mistakes.". Headed for the National Pageant, which will take place in New Orleans, August 11-13th, Sings has taken advantage of the Socal Medial Challenges incorporated by the pageant to advocate for schools and family resources, in particular, the Boys and Girls Club. If crowned Mr. United States, Sings plans to structure his platform around redefining societies definition of what it means to be a man. By implementing forums for young and middle aged males, Sings will offer an outlet for team building exercises, peer and licensed counseling, and mentoring. photo: Paris Love Photography "So many males out there don't fit in society's man box, leaving them feeling isolated, depressed, developing low self esteem and self identity problems. All of those unfortunately, leads to suicide and anger management problems. I think it's important to encourage males to be themselves and not conform to what others want them to be. I want males to focus on the internal attributes and characteristics of being men such as being honest, confident, responsible, and expressing their emotions. Potentially, creating a definition that has more fluidity and also making more gentlemen." - Doraza Sings, Mr. North Carolina United States




Essential Elements to a Great Wedding! Proper planning and preparation The saying goes, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.", and the same holds true for weddings. The key to a stress-free wedding is effective and realistic planning. On average, you should start planning your special day, nine to twelve months in advance. Large weddings can take even longer depending on guest count, design concept, and budget. Most couples enlist the services of a wedding planner to make the process run smoothly, and to take advantage of key vendor referrals. A great benefit to hiring a planner is their connections. A major element to the success of your wedding is the vendors and event professionals involved. These people are equipped with the tools and creative power to turn your vision into reality. Honesty goes a long way . . . . . . especially when it comes to BUDGET Most brides have dreamed of their wedding day since they were young girls. What you didn't consider, were the costs involved. Based on a recent poll of planners, one of their top concerns when working with couples is the issue of budget. As tradition would have it, the bride's father (or parents of the bride) are to cover the costs of the wedding, but in today's society, many couples are footing the bill themselves. When planning, be very realistic about your finances and communicate them upfront with your planner and event professionals. As professionals, they work with various budgets, and can almost always provide tips and recommendations of how to pull off your event within budget, and/or give you comparable alternatives. Event Design vs Decorating While we all have that auntie who's crafty, your wedding may not be the time to experiment. Granted, saving money is at the top of every bride's list, but there are certain elements within your wedding you simply have to pay for. Traditional brides were satisfied with the church attendant decorating the pews with satin bows and lattice arches, but today's bride calls for a design approach. Memorable events incorporate well thought out elements of design and cohesiveness. From your ceremony entrance, to your table settings and reception sendoff, there should be a centralized theme, a story that can be captured by a skilled photographer, so that the moment can be relived time and time again. Enjoy the process Lastly, enjoy the process of being engaged and planning your special day. While there will be many things to potentially stress over, you must remember that the most important element to the wedding is YOU, the bride and groom. So take a deep breath, trust your hired professionals, and enjoy each other!


25 Q3: What inspires you? Tell us about your creative process and approach. As cliche as it sounds, I'm inspired by everything, from an avocado to the pyramids, to memes I see on Instagram, and everything in between. If it makes me feel, then I do my best to illustrate it, most of the time adding some sort of humor. Q4: What's your favorite art work (yours or another artist)? I have several favorites, I'm forever in love with the greats such as Matisse, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Roy Lichtenstein, Basquiat, Andy Warhol, even some of the current artists that are making a name for themselves such as Khinde Wiley, Jordan Casteel, Donald Robertson to say a few. Well I've said a little more than a few, lol, However, my ultimate spirit animal, I must say is Frida Kahlo, she personifies women of every creed through beauty, creativity and struggle. Her work is more than fascinating, is life changing. Q5: Describe your dream project? My dream project will probably have to be to illustrate for CR fashion book or Porter Magazine. I see my brand becoming the modern day Lisa Frank, equipped with stationary, wrapping paper, planners, coloring books, pens the whole nine, that's my focus right now, but I'm always open and in the mind frame of manifesting what God has in store for me. Q6: Where can we find / purchase your art? My art/greeting cards can be found and purchased on shesinthemood.com. Also my Instagram @shesinthemood showcases artists from around the world. I share my followers art on the daily because I want it to be a platform for the unheard. Please check out both social media and my website.

Q & A with Cheryse Burton of She's in the Mood Q1: Tell us a little about yourself. My name is Cheryse. I am a 27 year old, mother of 3 girls; Kaleigh 12, Teighlor 8, and Bailey 3. I was born and raised here in Charlotte NC. I will honestly say I'm a jack of all trades, but the master of none. I like to say I know a little bit about a lot. I've done hair, learned to sew and thought I was going to be the next dedicated designer, to currently hardcore into stationary designs. It's safe to say I'm a dreamer with ambition. I was adopted at 2 days old by 2 amazing older parents, who raised me heavily in the church. I've always had a love for reading and conversing with people of all walks of life to figure out their story. Q2: Share with us about your art form and how you came to fall in love with it. I feel like I haven't discovered my art form yet. I would like to say I doodle when I'm inspired by something. I just pull out my sketchbook and start doodling. I came to fall in love with it by mimicking other artists and not being as good as them, but ended up a result, which is what you see today.

Q7: If you weren't an artist, what would you be? Believe it or not, I don't consider myself an artist yet. I feel it's so much more for me to learn and express before I'm worthy of that title ... but to answer your question, if I weren't doing this I would rather be a wild woman in a ranch house in the middle of nowhere doing yoga, reading, resting, doodling and making up fairy tales with my girls....a girl can dream right?

Photos: Crown Town Photography Location: Foundation for the Carolinas Planner: The Silk Veil Florials: April's Floral Expressions Rentals/Design: Simply Unique Designs Hair: Kathyrn Geither Makeup: Bryce Carey

Dianne Gallagher &Alan Cavanna

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