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FASHION

Features

Precious Threads and The Fashionable Escape Escape by Fashion

Arabic Abaya Fashion Event Fashion Photography is a Story An Introduction to FG Couture

SHELLEY JARRETT: Finding My Voice and Creating My Path Hair and Her: Over the Years From the Desk of FG COUTURE Photo Shoot

SUMMER 2019 $6.99 CANADA

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Table of

Image 7. From The Desk of Shelley ... by Shelley Jarrett SMJ BEAUTY CLOSET 8. SMJ Photo Shoot with FG Couture 9. An Introduction to FG Couture ... by Shelley Jarrett 28. The Voice of Vulnerability ... by Karlene Millwood 29. Red Lipstick Smile ... by Leandra Vanessa Louis

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Lifestyle

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19. Arabic Abaya Fashion Event: A Photo Essay ... by Claris M. Manglicmot 22. Fashion Photography is a Story ... by Claris M. Manglicmot 27. Your Health is Your Wealth ... by Dr. Lisa Ramsackal 30. Affairs of the Heart: Ideas for a Romantic Date at Home ... by Akua Hinds

BUSINESS

11. Precious Threads and The Fashionable Escape ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka 13. Escape by Fashion ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka

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feature

16. Shelland House of Films Gifts Women’s College Hospital Foundation ... by Shelley Jarrett & Andrew Terry Pasieka 17. It Was a Dark and Stormy Night ... by Andrew Terry Pasieka

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Founder & Publisher Shelley Jarrett Editor-in-Chief Andrew Terry Pasieka Layout Sheri L. Lake Chief Photographer Lubin Tasevski Fashion & Design Editor Claris Minas Manglicmot Contributors Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Claris Minas Manglicmot Dr. Lisa Ramsackal Akua Hinds Leandra Vanessa Louis Karlene Millwood

HAIR AND HER: OVER THE YEARS The SMJ behind SMJ has had an interesting journey both as an entrepreneur and Publisher of this magazine ever since it was launched just over six years ago. She has also had an interesting evolution with her hair. It was one year ago in May that Shelley went ‘au naturelle’ and wrote about it in an article called “The Big Chop.” (SMJ Issue No. 22, Fall 2018) There you can read about her thoughts on hair and style and being a trend setter as a black woman and how it evolved over the years. Now one year and a bit later, she has done it again! This issue’s cover shows Shelley’s latest look. This is the 8th cover she has appeared in, five of them on her own. As an admirer of black women and their hair in general, and this one in particular, I wanted to present a male perspective on Shelley’s style as I have seen it ‘over the years,’ from the time we were conceiving this magazine up until the photo shoot a few short weeks ago. (Editor-in-Chief )

Photos Rawa Photography, Arvin Cruz, Asian with a Camera (Chris Cheung), Kit Chan of R A Enterprise, Jim Orgill Nathaniel Johnson F. Crawford Publicity WOH Communications Website www.smjmag.com Contact publisher@smjmag.com SMJ Magazine is a division of 1994903 Ont. Corp.. Summer 2019 Issue 25

PRICE CHANGE In our last issue, with our special two season regular issue featuring the release of our first documentary and our front cover feature, W’AT ABOWT US, we initiated our first price increase since our launch six years ago. We had a onetime price of $9.99. If you remember, last fall we did a visual survey of 16 similarly sized and styled publications that appear on your neighborhood drugstore newsstand, and found that the median price was $6.99. As of this issue, the price of SMJ Magazine moving forward will be $6.99,

To our readers, thank you for your patronage in the past. We hope you continue to support SMJ Magazine in the future; a diverse, ‘good news’ publication of inspiring and uplifting stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things; to dream bigger, reach higher and achieve greater. (Editor-in-Chief )

DISCLAIMER: We reserve the right to edit all content for space and clarity. All submissions when edited become the property of Seventh House Publishing Arts. No part of this magazine may be produced in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher. We make a conscious effort to ensure complete accuracy of all content; however we accept no liability for any inaccurate information. SMJ Magazine is published with limited print editions four (4) times a year. To advertise in our publication, be featured or for more information, please contact us at publisher@smjmag.com or visit www.smjmag.com. For editorials contact atp11th@gmail.com

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Sheri L. Lake (647) 272-3624

SHELLEY JARRETT AWARD WINNING IMAGE/STYLE CONSULTANT, MENTOR, SPEAKER & PUBLISHER

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Couture designs truly inspired my taste for fashion, and I talked about that and other things in a short interview with her. Finally, I was also involved in a fashion non-event, concocted by my obsessive (where my hair is concerned), Editor-in-Chief. Apparently Andrew has a thing for chronicling my changing hair styles since we start conceiving this magazine six and a half years ago. Who knew?

Happy summer 2019; it took enough time getting here, didn’t it?! In this issue we are doing something we did once before, but in a different way. In Issue No. 15 (Fall 2016), nearly half of the content was taken up with African Fashion Week Toronto. In this issue, nearly half of the content is taken up by fashion & design again. However, this time, the content is made up of four separate events. For the second time we are featuring a rising star in the field of women’s wear, Abiola Akinsiku and her line called Precious Threads. Our Editor-in-Chief did a second piece on Abiola and her unwavering commitment to use fashion to tell her story of escape from domestic violence and her need to help others with the assistance of Women’s Habibtat. Abiola’s unique ‘luxury line’ is making waves across Toronto and I have no doubt it will soon go beyond the GTA and southern Ontario. Our Fashion & Design Editor Claris Manglicmot has two articles from two different corners of the world: a photo shoot of Arabic designer Zahra Mirjan and interview with Filipino fashion photographer Arvin Cruz. I was involved in the fourth event; a photoshoot wearing my latest hairstyle and showing off my newest African print, courtesy of emerging Botswanan designer Onty Kan. I also wanted to spotlight this newcomer whom I have grown to admire. Her FG

This year the trajectory of my life changed as I did something that was completely out of my comfort zone. I produced my first documentary which was indeed a big deal. With no previous experience, and only the grace of God on my life, it took us exactly eleven months to complete. It was at times scary; there were many up and downs; I learned how to navigate the good, the bad and the ugly. Having great people skills helped. One lesson painfully re-learned was that people say one thing and do something completely different. They can change without warning and damn the consequences. But finish the film we did and show it we did. And oh, what a story we can tell about the night W’AT ABOWT US was premiered!! (This is where I stop teasing my husband!) Andrew wrote such a beautifully dramatic story about that night that I was swept back to May 9th just reading it. And you know what…I feel another project in the making! Success means different things to different people, and it comes a different times. You cannot assume you are going to share in the success of every project you undertake, because you have to take into account the demands placed on each person involved in that project . You will make mistakes along the way; people you cared about will chastise you and let you down. My motto this year and moving forward is: I am anointed, appointed, and have authority in my calling. You will find on our masthead page (page 5) confirmation of a price increase that we first mentioned in our previous issue. I think that the quality of our original content has stood the test time and will do so in the future.

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CLOSET

DESIGNER: ONTY KAN HAIR & MAKEUP: Instagram @Alex_themakeupartist BRAIDS: Instagram @braids.by.kita PHOTOGRAPHER: Nathaniel Johnson

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AN INTRODUCTION TO FG COUTURE By Shelley Jarrett Onty Kan is a true African fashion designer. She comes from Botswana, one of the small landlocked countries surrounded by and within the huge sphere of South Africa. She works exclusively with African prints, which in true African fashion, celebrates color. I was honored to have her make my latest fashion statement for me, and to showcase it in this issue’s front cover and in the photo gallery on the opposite page. I asked her a few questions so that our readers would know something about the ‘woman behind the color.’ SMJ: When did you first realize you had a love for fashion, and this was what you wanted to do? OK: I have always loved fashion, I like dressing nice. From an early age back in my home country I always loved making something to wear out of anything I could lay my hands on; be it paper, plastic or boxes. And I would take a dress from the store and make it something different and people would ask me where I got the dress. It was 2017 after one of the services at my church when I told my friend I wanted to start designing. Her response was to think about it first. I didn’t think about it because the preacher had said something that made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to do. I went ahead that week and bought machine and fabric and started making things for myself. It was later on that year when the Lord used his prophet my spiritual father to declare that this was what I was destined to do. From that day on I started taking it seriously and started designing for people to buy. SMJ: Where do you get your inspiration for designing? OK: My inspiration comes from the fact that God has said it and God knows what I’m doing. So it is settled. I’m focused and I keep pushing. SMJ: Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?

w Website: www.fgcouture.com Instagram: fgcouture7

OK: I want to build my brand, become a household name globally, get into stores and work with professionals to provide high quality designs for women…for now. Eventually I want to do clothes for everybody.

Facebook page: FG Couture

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PHOTOGRAPHS: F. Crawford


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PRECiOUS THREADS

and the

FASHiONABLE ESCAPE

By Andrew Terry Pasieka A slow start to spring had blossomed into a beautiful breezy early summer evening on June 26th, as we drove into Toronto. SMJ Magazine’s destination was the still new Wychwood Barns just northwest of the downtown district. This eclectic mixture of studios and offices was punctuated by a stunning high ceiling presentation space, with the oversize old TTC doors open at either end to give an outdoor feel to an indoor space. Quite an impressive setting for Abiola Akinsiku’s coming out runway party called The Fashionable Escape. Her company Precious Threads was presenting its first seasonal collection, Fall & Winter 2019. When we last saw Abiola at African Fashion Week Toronto 2018 where she won the Women’s Wear Designer of the Year Award, she said she wanted to launch her first seasonal line within a year. Despite a personal setback due to family circumstances, she was still able to make good on her prediction. A production like this cannot be done alone. Abiola partnered with Women’s Habitat, an outreach organization that provides emergency shelters to women and children fleeing domestic violence. The proceeds received at The Fashionable Escape will go towards a sewing and entrepreneurship learning space at Women’s Habitat outreach center. Abiola will also be volunteering her time there. Abiola’s ambitious goal is to purchase twenty machines by summer’s end so that she can start a sewing course for ten women by the fall. When looking at women fleeing domestic violence, one thing that is often overlooked is their economic suppression. Abiola says,

“Many of these women are completely dependent on their husband or male partner for their financial support, so often when they make that courageous decision to run, they do so with nothing but the clothes on their backs and their children, and no access to money or means of self-support.” The women will be able to learn how to sew or enhance their skills, and sell what they produce at market value. The only portion being held back will be for servicing the machines and the purchase of fabrics. For those women who do not have an interest in sewing, Abiola will have a corresponding entrepreneurial course with guest lecturers from various professions in a workshop setting.

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An incentive for the first set of graduates in both courses is that after structured interviews, Abiola will hire one of them to join her team. Regarding this fundraiser at Wychwood Barns, Abiola said that she styled the event to resemble something you would walk into during New York Fashion Week. The collection she was introducing she called ‘a luxury line.’ “I’ve really stepped out of my comfort zone. I am using a whole new set of fabrics that I’ve never worked with before.” It has become a well-established trend over the 2000s that the primary fashion target market is upscale women of all cultural backgrounds between the ages of 25 and 45. Abiola says absolutely, that is her primary focus as well. However, she has some fun, comfy, night-out-with-the-girls outfits for the slightly younger demographic and sophisticated formal evening wear for the slightly older demographic. Above all, she is targeting the woman who perhaps is a little hesitant about wearing head-to-toe African prints. Credits appear at the end of this article, but Abiola want to single out her amazing stylist Janielle Mckoy, her head make-up artist Jacque Artistry, and the phenomenal PR work headed up by Janice Ronan of Fashion Foundry. Abiola wanted to recognize Women’s Habitiat once again, who came through with the food sponsor Chef Tony of Liaison College, who added that ‘New York’ touch of class to the event. The open, airy presentation space added to the ambience, making the audience (and everyone else) feel relaxed and

unencumbered. In fact, if truth be known, SMJ noticed the different mix in the crowd from other fashion shows we have attended. We got the sense that one half of the audience had never met the other half. It made for engaging and progressive networking. Abiola said it was all intentional.

“I wanted a space that was representative of who I am as a person, because that was something that I often didn’t have the privilege of feeling in my past. Even with the chairs, I wanted them clear so the light would shine through and make them look inviting to the guests as they were arriving.” One of the stressors that Abiola had to encounter was unpredictability of models. She had a number of no-shows, even after a re-casting. As a result, a number of pieces could not be shown. But irrepressible Abiola just looks at it as another opportunity to introduce more pieces at a later date. A good place to end our story is something she was especially proud of. Abiola wanted all of her team, models and all, to feel valued and appreciated, even if they weren’t selected to be part of The Fashionable Escape. One model that wasn’t picked wrote her and said that the experience was so positive that she felt validated and walked out with her head held high. And one model that was selected has been inspired to make fashion a career, even if it meant travelling abroad. Abiola smiles. “She said she wanted to make an impact as I have.” Quite a testimony.

•Other sponsors: EfE Magazine, Osato Erebor, Annalay Accessories, Sweetpea Lounge Wear •Pearls & Sequence, Want Management, B&M Model Management, Adam Quang •DJ TNT, Your Host Sethi, LITE it Up, Earthtones Naturals, Warsh Cloth •Event Supporters: Vlisco •New Leaf Yoga •Photographers: Asian with a Camera (Chris Cheung) •Kit Chan of R A Enterprise •Jim Orgill Go to https://www.preciousthreads.ca/ Find Abiola also at https://www.instagram.com/ preciousthreadsbyabiola/?hl= en 12

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Abiola Akinsiku is not only a fashion designer par excellance, she is a survivor of domestic violence. Part the inspiration for her work in the two and a half years she has been in the industry hearkens back to when she was a victim in two separate relationships, and residing in women’s shelters. Looking back at those times, Abiola realized what that experience did for her in building the strong, independent woman she is today.

ESCAPE

by

“I am grateful for every single incident I endured when I was being abused. For every time I was hit I am now grateful. If you have faith, it makes you stronger. When you finally put a stop to it and come out of that place, you realize how good God is, because He didn’t let it break you. When I am talking to the young women I teach now, I know what to say because I actually walked in their shoes.” Despite the positive reinforcement that she can bring, Abiola also remembers that her progress was slowed from time to time. Seeing another woman arrive at the shelter, battered and bruised, with hardly any possessions and children crying brought her right back to the time she first escaped. In those and other worst moments, Abiola stated, “I didn’t see a tunnel, a way out. I just saw a brick wall. There was nowhere to go. My hope and prayer is that I can be that light even for just one woman to say ‘you are worthy. You are going to be OK.’” She goes on to say that when a woman makes that courageous decision to flee, they do so bringing the shame that forced this decision on them. “Often when you are hurt or abused in any way you want to hide. You don’t want to be seen with the bruises or

FASHION

By Andrew Terry Pasieka

the scars. You want to fade away. Yet we hastily make much of certain behaviors and label that as a problem the woman has without understanding what may be causing it. Curious clothing choices have deeper meaning. For instance, long sleeves in summer to cover bruises. Wearing sunglasses both indoors and out to hide black eyes. My collection says I am no longer afraid to embrace who I am. My life has value.” Abiola goes on to say that Africans are trend setters in fashion because they love color. Life is to be celebrated, even the end of a life. That is why the by now famous African prints in their specialty cottons are worn not only to weddings, anniversaries, and church, but also to funerals. It too is a celebration of life. Africans don’t wear black. Color is accentuated in stylish headpieces. Abiola Akinsiku is celebrating the escape from her old life into a new life through the fashion she creates. The women who escape should wear their scars of battle like true war veterans. They are all heroines to others that follow them. Their escape is singled out in a mixture of dark and bright. A cross of hope. “There are no rules. I create what I feel.” SUMMER 2019

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FASHiONAbLE ESCaP

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PE PHOtO Ga LLe RY

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SHELLAND HOUSE OF FILMS GIFTS WOMENS’ COLLEGE HOSPITAL FOUNDATION!! By Shelley Jarrett and Andrew Terry Pasieka

May 29th was a special day. As the heart and soul of SMJ Magazine, we often thought of the pride we would feel in being able to collaborate with a major player in the area of fashion & design, arts & entertainment, health & wellness, or faith & community. Well, we had that proud moment today as we presented a $500 cheque to a pillar of health located in downtown Toronto, the world-renowned Womens’ College Hospital, and its Foundation’s Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Center. The cheque came from proceeds associated with the premiere of our first documentary W’AT ABOWT US. A specific percentage was designated in support of the SA/DVCC. On behalf of the two of us and everyone associated with both the magazine and its sister company Shelland House of Films, we want to thank everyone who supported this documentary in some way, and thus had a hand in our contribution to this worthwhile cause. To those who came to believe in our vision of revealing the diversity in the #metoo movement and beyond, whether they be family members, friends, investors, sponsors, or complete strangers, please know we appreciate the love knowing we are all in this together, making a difference in the lives of the ordinary doing extraordinary things. Remember greatness lies in the willingness to serve others. #documentary #w’atabowtus #wau #storiesoftruth #metoo #timesup #webelievesurvivors #share @ Women’s College Hospital@wchf@shelland_house_of_films @chinproperties @cibwe

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IT WAS A

DARK AND STORMY NIGHT By Andrew Terry Pasieka

It’s a phrase that I think all readers have heard before, whether or not you are reading the first page of an adolescent mystery novel, watching the opening scene of a film noir from the 1940s, or…chuckling at Snoopy’s latest attempt to create the next great whodunit in the Peanuts comic strip! We actually lived the phrase on the night of May 9th, 2019. It was the date of our premiere of the documentary W’AT ABOWT US. We had to load our car with far more paraphernalia than we anticipated just days before having to do, and we had to traverse almost the entire width of the GTA, from northwest Mississauga where we reside all the way to the Beaches area of east Toronto, the location of Fox Theatre, our venue for the screening. We allowed for the extra time needed in loading and left our driveway in good spirits, excited for the evening ahead of us. It was hot. It was humid, unusual for what had been an unusually cool and wet spring thus far. Traffic was building, but we were making good time…until we found out we would need to make one and a half trips to reach our destination! It really doesn’t matter what happened, all that you need to know is that we had to start out from home all over again. Traffic was now very heavy, and the sun stopped playing peek-a-boo with the clouds and had now disappeared behind some nasty looking thunderheads. Raindrops soon became steady rain and we were faced with the prospect of being late, and not just by a few minutes. An angel was watching out for us in the person of a mutual friend from our church. He casually mentioned the 407 as an alternate route. We never take the toll highway because we don’t have a transpotter, but it is just a few minutes north of our house. Shelley and I looked at each other…we instantly knew that was the only way. By now the sky had darkened a fair amount and the wind had picked up, which seemed to intensify the rain. When we got on the 407 we could barely see in front of us. We

had no choice but to go through this wild raging storm on a highway I hardly knew. I picked the center lane, accelerated the car, and it was then that an incredible thing happened. It was like a protective tunnel had formed in front of us. It was wild, wet, and windy all around us but there was a wet open lane of road in front of us. From time to time cars appeared, but had changed lanes or were exiting by the time we reached them. We went from Mavis in Mississauga to Warden in Scarborough in 25 minutes, a distance that should have taken twice as long!! Long story short, we made Fox Theatre 10 minutes before the doors were to open. Everything from that point on was about 15-20 minutes behind schedule, but now it could be attributed to the weather as many patrons arrived later than they meant to. The premiere was well received by an audience, which amounted to about 60% of the 248-seat capacity. A generous amount of funds was raised for our charitable benefactor, the world renowned Women’s College Hospital, and its Foundation’s Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Care Centre. You can find out more about that on the opposite page. We hope that future screenings will bring education and awareness to the root causes of sexual, physical, emotional, and even financial harassment and abuse, and effect change from a grassroots level. On May 9th our documentary premiere was set in docudrama night. We were lent a spiritual hand, and by a miracle, went through a literal and figurative storm to come out the other side. It remains to be seen what rewards await us now that we are on the other side.

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ARABIC ABAYA FASHION EVENT By Claris M. Manglicmot

This past April 28th wasn’t a usual Sunday at Maroon Decors. The posh showroom of Interior Designer Rand El-Sheikh was transformed into a fashion haven to launch the Satin Stitch Embroidery brand of Zahra Mirjan. Couture Culture and Arts (CCA) handled the fashion part of the event. The models looked like goddesses in the exotic surroundings of the showroom, highlighting the assortment of Abaya gowns designed by Zahra Mirjan. The crowning achievement was in fashionably mixed match looks of a variety of accessories such as purses and jewelry. The event was a combination of a model walk about showcasing the gowns, but also an impromptu fashion shoot. We let the guests join in and take selfies at one point. It was an inspired way to advertise the gowns and other items for purchase. The tandem of Rand El-Sheikh and Claris Minas Manglicmot with the support of their team made the evening more than a usual fashion trunk show. The venue ambiance and the products display set against the medley of good food and drinks with live soft vocals and string music was a complimentary party mood amidst the fashion presentation. All in all, it was a huge success.

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Event Organizer: Rand El- Sheikh of Maroon Decors Fashion Organizer: Claris M. Manglicmot of Couture Culture and Arts {CCA} Photographer: Rawa Photography Hair and Make Up Artist: Candace David Models: Lita Bates, Karen Pastrana, Mary Bobko and Arielle Lopuck CCA Creative Production Sponsors: Jewels Box {Jewelry and accessories) Designer Lea Fortaliza {Purses) Risque Artisan Shoes {Made to order Shoes) Maroon Decors Production Support: Elite Staging {Physical arrangement) RT Designs {Flower Arrangement} Blue Art INC {Event Organizing) Chef Nadeen Al Farisi {Catering)

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Fashion Photogr is A Story by Claris M. Manglicmot

I learned a lot about fashion photography from a dear friend Arvin Cruz. He may be known as photographer but he is much more than that. In one of our International shows (Couture Culture and Arts; CCA) he was there to do his magic with his creative lens. The night before the show something happened. Our director was not going to be able to make it for the show. Arvin and I ended up covering the task. He wasn’t able to take a single photo during the show but we were successful in filling in as co-show directors for the night. Not to mention he even jumped in to curl my hair so that I was able to go to the venue as early as possible looking the part of my expanded role.

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@arvincruzphotography https://www.instagram.com/arvincruzphotography/


raphy

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An interview with this talented multi-tasker was long overdue. SMJ: When did you realize or when did you start liking fashion photography? AC: I started photography at a young age using my film camera. I liked taking landscapes and still life. It was only 8 years ago when I started fashion photography. I took up formal training at Jo Avila School of Photography and an enhancement course at School of Design and Arts, De La Salle College of St. Benilde. SMJ: What do you do related to fashion and entertainment aside from photography? AC: I do graphic design and creative directing on fashion shoots and commercials. SMJ: What is your most memorable photoshoot? AC: My international shoots are very memorable to me because aside from the fashion photography part, I get to learn more about the country. I also find shoots with beauty queens interesting. SMJ: What is your dream fashion editorial photoshoot? AC: I always dream to shoot in Paris and in Milan. I am fascinated with these cities being two of the fashion capitals of the world. SMJ: Where do you get your inspiration in your shoot? AC: I am an inspired artist showing my expressions in images. I work with a team most of the time and believe in collaboration. The inspiration in every shoot is not limited on what I like but it is usually born during team meetings before the shoot. I am very flexible in that sense. My interview with Arvin ended in a happy note reminiscing about our fashion experiences since 2013 in Canada. I am sharing some of my favorite results of his work. Watch out for his upcoming international travel fashion shoots this fall.

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YOUR

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By Dr. Lisa Ramsackal

The Weekend Warrior It’s summertime and there’s a lot to be excited about. Many of us have spent all winter cooped up and now we’re bursting with energy. Whether it’s hiking, swimming, training for that marathon, or something less strenuous like getting back your golf swing, we can hardly wait to get back into the summer sports and activities that we enjoy. With our busy lives, working 9 to 5, and having our children enter the equation during summer vacation, a lot of parents have limited time with their own activities. Making time for ourselves and our health can be challenging. How can you do both with limited time, and especially working around other people’s schedules? Do you find yourself powering through the weekend trying to fit in all of your physical activities in just two short days before your work week begins? If this is starting to sound a little bit like your reality you may be into a weekend warrior mode and you may not even realize it. When it comes to staying active and keeping fit, quality is always better than quantity. If you work hard and play hard there are a few things that you should know in order to prevent injuries. Even for the fit individuals injuries can occur. Give yourself rest days in between your heavier workouts or intense training days. Spacing out your training days allows your body to recover from intense physical activity. It also helps avoid deconditioning during longer periods of inactivity. Take time to warm up properly before your activities. Injuries commonly occur due to improper warm-up or not warming up at all. A simple warm-up can be a 5 to 10 minute activity at a lower level of the activity that you will be engaging in. For example, if you are a runner, a 5 to 10 minute light jog can be your warm-up. A warm-up allows your body to increase blood circulation to muscles that will be working during the physical activity while also preparing your cardiovascular system for that activity. Stretch regularly after physical activities and in between on rest days. Working your muscles intensely on back to back days does not allow the muscles enough time to repair rest and recover. It is important to stretch muscles after physical activity so that they can recover and work more efficiently the

next time and avoid injuries due to tight and shorted muscles that can become strained easier. Wear proper gear for the activity that you are engaging in. Wear the right shoes for the right type of activity. Walking is different than playing soccer, basketball or running, so ensuring that you have the proper footwear will allow you to avoid sprains, strains and overuse injuries. Summer is short so make the most of it. Go out and have fun but be smart with your physical activities. Adopting good injury prevention strategies can help keep you in the game, stay fit and most of all enjoying your activities without interruption. Innova Integrated Wellness Centre (905-814-9355) 49 Queen St. South Unit #8, Miss, ON, L5M 1K5 Web: www.innovaintegratedwellness.ca Web: www.chiropractor-drlisa.ca Email: contact@innovaintegratedwellness.ca Email: drlisa@innovaintegratedwellness.ca Facebook: @InnovaIntegratedWellness Instagram:innova_wellness / Twitter:@InnovaWellness

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THE VOICE My main purpose for starting Karlene Millwood International was to help vulnerable women find their voice by cultivating and bolstering their sense of self-worth, significance and value. Today I take a step back to reflect on that mandate especially in the wake of the death of little Raya Rajkumar at the hands of her father in February 2019. Prior to this tragedy, the Canadian population was shocked to learn about the death of Dr. Elana Shamji at the hands of her husband and Neurosurgeon, Dr. Mohamed Shamji in November 2016. A Global News report in January 2019 states that, for the past four years, a woman or girl is killed every two and a half days in Canada. On the heels of the #metoo movement, pundits are bringing awareness to these heart-breaking occurrences with the hashtag, #callitfemicide. Abuse exists and is perpetrated in many forms, such as: Physical, Sexual, Verbal/Emotional, Mental/ Psychological, Financial/Economic, and Cultural/Identity. Experts have recently added affluent abuse to this list, and the two above examples show that vulnerability exists across the gamut of social and economic statuses. So now when I talk about my niche or target market being vulnerable men and women, you cannot assume that it means working with the urban population, or those living in low socio-economic conditions. Isn’t it time we took the blinders off and see that many successful people are among the most vulnerable in our society? Social status does not stem the effects of abuse, leaving an individual with feelings of unworthiness from being belittled, manipulated or controlled. It’s this prevailing mindset that often causes these forms of abuse to go unreported. The fears of reporting instances of abuse are real

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SUMMER 2019

OF

VULNERABILITY By Karlene Millwood

for both lower and upper-class victims. How will it affect the children? This is usually the biggest of the fears, and while some victims will try to tough it out for the children’s sake, there is a danger in doing so. Remember that the family unit is the blueprint for your children’s relationships going forward. They practice what they see at home. We do not want to spawn another cycle of abusers or victims of abuse. We reproduce who we are therefore it’s important to ensure that, as adults, we live in a way that instills self-love as a basic foundation in our children and empower a generation of leaders and thinkers. If you or someone you know is in an abusive situation, I encourage you to seek help immediately. Say something! Find someone you trust and confide in them and devise a way to remove yourself or the individual from that environment. Call the Crisis Prevention Hotline, the police, a friend or family member who will give you the support that you need.

We’re also here to help. At KMI we work with vulnerable women and men to help you (re)gain their confidence by reintroducing you to the true essence of who you are. We shift your mindset to see your worth and value as powerful and significant individuals. We empower you to overcome adversity and live authentically and purposefully every day. It’s time to break the silence! BIO: Karlene Millwood is an award-winning author, screenwriter, playwright, speaker, and life strategist who is passionate about empowering others to live their best life. She has written two published books, written, produced and directed the 2014 play, Forgiven, and produced two short films, one of which she also wrote and directed.


SMJ MAGAZINE

RED LIPSTICK

SMILE

By Vanessa “SLUR” Louis

This summer, I’m putting on my best Red Lipstick Smile, even though sometimes, not even the brightest smiles or the best laid foundation can mask the pains of life. And such is my truth. I’ve been hiding behind the facade of my best red lipstick smile. I’ve been doing what I believe is normal due to a stigmatization so great that not even l, one of the most confident women I know, could accept that as my truth. It was about the beginning of last summer, a little after I gave birth to my third child, that I fell into depression. It’s not something that I take pride in admitting because to do so is breaking some code within which I feel I’ve been forced to accept. Mental Health within my community is not often openly discussed. It’s something families keep hidden and many in my family have. But it’s my dirty laundry. I was having the classic postpartum symptoms. I became moody, emotional, I started having trouble eating and sleeping amongst other things, I became angry. I was on edge. I could not control these raging emotions, the extreme highs and extreme lows. There were so many things going on around me and coupled with the stress of having three kids, including a newborn, plus a fiancé who lives in another country, I was forced to a breaking point.

I felt alone. I felt unattractive. I felt fat. I felt worthless. I felt anxious. I felt angry. I felt irritable. More than anything, I felt invisible and that broke me. And when my breaking point came I was lucky enough to have been aware to reach out for assistance. My elder sister, though miles away, became my savior. She walked me through my anger, through my sadness and through my thoughts. It is still an ongoing process, and perhaps may always be. And as a new summer is on the horizon, I acknowledge that it is because of her that today I can reflect on last year’s events and be hopeful. I’m learning to simply embrace myself with all my flaws and just live everyday thankful for the last. I acknowledge now that I was depressed. I’m taking this summer to “find” myself once more. I will dedicate this summer to my sanity and to my mental health. And I’ll be giving back this summer. I’d like to volunteer with organizations that deal with young single mothers with mental health illnesses and offer some consultation on body image. I may not be able to help much but if my presence can change one single young woman’s post pregnancy view of herself, then I’d have made a contribution. And to cap it all off, I would also like to host a panel discussion for new mothers who are overwhelmed and perhaps unaware of the dangers associated with postpartum depression. The panel could feature women who’ve experienced this form of mental health issue. My ultimate goal would be to show that these vulnerable women do not have to hide any pains… behind even a smile. Until then, I will continue in my journey of healing and breaking down the barriers of a depression that tried to engulf me, all while wearing my Red Lipstick Smile. SUMMER 2019

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SMJ MAGAZINE

Ideas for a ROMANTIC Date at Home

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SUMMER 2019


SMJ MAGAZINE

By Akua Hinds

Both men and women can have very demanding schedules, and they can often lose focus on spending quality time with each other. Dating inside your house is the ideal way to build lasting memories with your loved one without breaking the bank! Turn your phones off, find a babysitter for the kids or put them in another room to watch a movie while you and your partner woo each other in the comfort of your own home.

Glenn Ford. When you watch this, you’ll get lost in the smoldering passion between the characters of Gilda and Johnny, and you’ll appreciate each other even more after watching the conclusion. Another way to enjoy a romantic date at home is to start if off in the bathroom. Lighting candles and drawing a fragrant bubble bath for the two of you should make the evening one you’ll both enjoy and remember. Or, if you don’t like bubbles, you could fill the tub with Jell-O! Be sure to have some wine by the edge of the tub in case you get thirsty.

Start your date off in the living room. If you are fortunate enough to have a fireplace in your home, build a fire to set the scene, even if it’s a warm evening. A little extra warmth in the room will make you and your partner feel mellow and relaxed, and the flickering flames will remind you of that special spark between the two of you. While you are both relaxing by the fire, give each other a massage and use sweetly fragrant and edible massage lotions. Many people are strongly affected by aromatherapy, and a sweet-smelling massage lotion should make both you and your loved one feel as though your cares and worries are melting away. After the massage, try having a picnic in your backyard or on your balcony. Although your picnic will be at home, go all out and pack a picnic basket to add some realism to the loving scene you wish to create. If you are married, a good idea for a picnic menu would be to recreate the menu for the food that was served at your wedding. Or, if you aren’t married, a good menu idea would be the type of food you both ate together on your first dinner date. You may or may not be a strong singer, but your partner will most likely enjoy being serenaded by you. So, pick a song that’s special to you both and surprise him or her with your own loving and personal rendition of it! There’s nothing more romantic than being serenaded, especially in your own home by the person you love. After the picnic and serenade are complete, you can snuggle up on the couch and watch a romantic movie. Many of the most romantic films were made during the 1940s era. A notable film classic that most people like is Gilda, a riveting film noir starring Rita Hayworth and

With all of these tips for creating a romantic date at home, you may never want to leave the house again! Remember, your home is supposed to be your sanctuary, and home is where the heart is. Your home is truly the best place to express your love for one another and remind each other about why you both fell in love to begin with. Akua Hinds, journalist, actress, music performer & instructor, founder & marketing owner of dating sites www.InterracialDesires.net, www.RichSinglesDate.net, www.ChristianPartner.co & independent business owner at www.PureRomance.ca/AkuaHinds and www.PureRomance.com/AkuaHinds. Please visit www.AkuaHinds.com

SUMMER 2019

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SMJ Magazine issue #25 Summer 2019  

SMJ Magazine is an image Lifestyle and business publication, issued four times a year online. We cover arts & culture, beauty, fashion healt...

SMJ Magazine issue #25 Summer 2019  

SMJ Magazine is an image Lifestyle and business publication, issued four times a year online. We cover arts & culture, beauty, fashion healt...

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