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The world witnessed the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, and whatever your political beliefs are the one critical piece of information I took away from President Obama was that we can’t do anything alone. We were never designed to tackle anything by ourselves. People come in and out of our lives to sometimes help us get to our next step in life and others come to teach us lessons. This year I resolve to become more open to the fact that I can’t do everything by myself and it’s okay to either ask for help or accept that someone else is more qualified and or a bit more capable than I to complete a task. Contributing writing Ruksana Hussain helps us once and for all reach our resolutions in 10 easy steps on page 32. Although not a part of my resolution for 2012, on Christmas I found out I’m having my third child and I’m
excited. I’m feeling blessed to have been chosen to be the mommy to this baby. I always admire women like myself who seemingly appear as a modern day superwoman and I’m always curious on how they do it all--or maybe not. Contributing writer Bernetta Knighten takes us behind the brands of a couple of pretty (pun intended) amazing women, on page 34, who give us a sneak peek of their budding empires. In addition to learning about superwomen, I love the stories of my supermen too. I had an awesome experience interviewing Marlon Wayans, and he has a hysterically raunchy movie out so you’ll want to check out that exclusive interview on page 22. I hope you’ll enjoy this issue, it’s filled with lots of great content! Be sure to tell me what you think about this issue by emailing me or sending me a tweet! I’ll tweet you back! Can’t wait to hear from you! Enjoy.- Tiffini Gatlin
-Follow Tastemaker Magazine on Twitter: @tastemakermag -Email us your thoughts about the issue: email@example.com -Join our Facebook community at facebook.com/AtlantaTastemakerMagazine -Pin with us on Pinterest at pinterest.com/tastemaker -We’re on Intagram too at Tastemaker Magazine 7 TASTEMAKER | January/February 2013
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[ Natural Beauty Buys ]
Juno is loaded with botanicals and Omegas 6 and 9 to leave the skin luminous and helps to restore elasticity. Barneyâ€™s
Natural Beauty luxe beauty buys to naturally enhance your good looks. Get more buys at tastemakermag.com -By Carmen Blakely-
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Tarte Amazonian Clay Bronzer gives you an insane glow all day without wreaking havoc on your skin. Tarte Cosmetics
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[Style Buys ]
From Jackie Kennedy, The Beatles to Michelle Obama, they’ve all inspired fashion that has helped us to bridge the gap between decades of impressionable styles. -By Taé Chivon
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[Style Buys ]
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[Style Watch ]
Guest Style Blogger:
Trina Small is an Atlanta style blogger sharing all things fabulous for both stylish youth and moms who refuse to forego fashion for hideous “mom jeans”. Trina is known to have a mean shoe game, so we asked her to show us how she works her pumps overtime by styling them for two separate looks!
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Kimora Lee Simmons is back! Ms. Fabulousity herself returns to the Style Network for an hour long series taking viewers inside the trendsetting offices of JustFab. Follow Fashion Icon Kimora Lee Simmons and her fab friends as they show you what it takes for a thriving young company to succeed. Tuesday nights 9/8c on the Style Network.
Meet the Belle’s. Follow this Atlanta family as they manage the ups and downs of operating an upscale soul-food restaurant while keeping their personal relationships in tact.
Couch Potato After a long day of work, sometimes you just want to watch good T.V. Check out the shows we’ll be watching this season!-By Tiffini Gatlin
Belle’s premiers on TV One February 1 at 10/9 c
Now in its 3rd season, Downton Abbey is a British period drama television series set in the fictional Yorkshire country estate of Downton Abbey and depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants in the Edwardian era. Downton Abbey is now showing on PBS Sunday 9/8 c
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Marlon Wayans By Tiffini Gatlin
In control and seriously funny...
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With projects like Super Bad James Dynomite, a movie based on a comic book series of the same name; Pretty Ugly with Dream Works; The Year of the Living Biblically; an animated series for TBS entitled, The Black Family; the release of his new movie, A Haunted House—a gumbo of paranormal activity and horror comedy with parody moments; and whispers of a film that could cause Oscar buzz, 2013 could be shaping up to be the best year yet for comedic actor Marlon Wayans, who got his start in Hollywood on the Emmy award-winning comedy series In Living Color.
Tastemaker caught up with Marlon in Atlanta while previewing his new movie A Haunted House. If you were a fan of Little Man, White Chicks, Norbit, or even Scary Movie and Scary Movie 2, multiply all that by three and you still may not be ready for what Marlon has in store for you in the movie that he calls “a classic love story”. A Haunted House is anything short of raunchy and Marlon is not apologizing one bit for scenes that depict a Ghost raping him from behind, a scene he calls mild compared to what was actually filmed, but cut from final production. “Look, we never do anything to
My brother always told me you can’t just be a black actor, if you want your black actor to work, you have to learn to be a writer, director, producer and be a force of nature...
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offend anyone. We always do things with kid gloves on. We are equal opportunity offenders. I wanted to go there. We live in the You Tube generation, these kids see everything. They see death, they show people getting shot in the face on You Tube. [They] are so desensitized that you need to go somewhere and hit some kind of nerve to make them go see the movie. People are gravitating to R-rated films because the PG-13 laugh is just not the same. R-rated laughter is just some guttural, make your abs hurt kind of laughter and I wanted to evoke that type of laughter. Either you are going to laugh or walk out of the theater and if you stayed, you liked it---or you tolerated it.” It’s likely you won’t walk out of the theater, but there will definitely be times that you question your reasoning for laughing hysterically at Marlon and his interesting mix of notable comedic co-stars like Cedric the Entertainer and Essence Atkins, known for her role as Dee Dee Thorne on UPN’s Half & Half and who had given birth only three weeks prior to her being casted. Marlon said his cast was the perfect choice and
was put together by God. “Everybody got casted the day of. We had people in mind but a lot of actors schedules didn’t work out because they were working on television shows. Cedric gave me a taste of some of the things he wanted to add to the film and I immediately knew he’d ‘kill it’.” Marlon says he purposely set out to write and direct a low budget found footage comedy, which was produced for under $10 million dollars, because no one had ever done a found footage comedy and wanted to be the first. “I felt like Janet Jackson when she did the control album. This movie was a necessity. Hollywood is making less movies these days, and if they are making less movies chances are there are going to be less roles for Black actors. My brother always told me you can’t just be a black actor, if you want your black actor to work, you have to learn to be a writer, director, producer and be a force of nature just so you can write and create material for your black actor, or you are not going to work. Hollywood is only giving big budgets for superhero movies---and I’m not a superhero.” Most actors who make their first directorial debut write films that can be respectfully honored by a group of their peers, but not Marlon. Writing a film that gets recognized for an Oscar is far from his mind, in fact he says his greatest satisfaction of his work doesn’t come from a gold statue. “I just wanted to put out some funny shit. My Oscars are laughs. Ya’ll laugh-I’m thanking God. I don’t do it for statues, statues are all subjective. When [they] give you statues it’s you’ve done what [they] want you to do in their criteria and what [they] deem is good work. Sorry. I do what I feel my audience wants to see. I don’t make beautiful movies, I hit a nerve in comedy. To make thousands of people laugh across movie theaters at the same time is a math---a science, now that’s good work.” Marlon may not purposefully set out to make or star in an Oscar worthy film, but his upcoming plans to play Richard Pryor in a biopic, which has reportedly been in production since 2012, has started some chatter about his ability to potentially walk away from this film with an Oscar nomination. Still, Marlon is not overly motivated by the thought. “Playing Richard Pryor would be great and if I actually get the opportunity to do so, it would be great to get an Oscar for playing a comedian, but I never go into a role thinking ‘I’m going to win an Oscar’, I say ‘I feel good about this, and it’s
going to make people laugh’.” Meeting Marlon, the youngest of 10 siblings, you expect him to be in comedy mode at hi, but he’s refreshingly mature. He has those moments when you forget that you’re talking to a college educated man, but then you realize it’s part of his DNA that he interject a laugh here and there. “I don’t give a shit about everything. I do have a serious side, everybody expects you to be a fool and wear a smile. People think that because you’re so silly you are a fool, not understanding that sometimes the fool is the smartest person in the room. The scarecrow has a brain---I see it all.” When he discusses his family his demeanor quickly changes and you can immediately tell you’ve hit on a topic that he’s not only passionate about, but strategically private in letting everyone in. Romantically speaking, you can’t really pinpoint him to any young lady other than Chilli, one third of the group TLC, who says he’s the one who got away, and although he won’t get into the schematics of their brief relationship,
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he did tell us he’s in no hurry to get married. “I’m not difficult to be in a relationship with, but I am simply complex. I have never been married because I don’t want to cheat on my wife. Maturity is knowing when you are too immature for something. For me, you can love without having perfection. I don’t claim to be perfect because I’m not, and even when I am, it’s not for me to tell my significant other that I am. I’m respectful, responsible and sweet as all hell.” When we asked Marlon if all that meant he was single or dating multiple people he cleared it all up humorously. “Am I single? No...that’s a tricky question right there---I’m not dating multiple people. I do have a girlfriend and kids and I’m very faithful to them. I just don’t get all into it because honestly I don’t want to be that dude that’s on the news, on the cover of Jet Magazine and walking red carpets---that’s when the media goes to tear you down. I like my shit nice and quiet. My family is my family and my work is my work.” Marlon has certainly put in work over the past two and a half
decades, and turning 40 last year has made him that much more excited about the years ahead. Marlon says it’s by far not over and he’s just in his alpha and plans on developing more content that his fans will love over the next 20 years and says if he somehow doesn’t do it, the next generation of Wayans will. “A Haunted House is a big step for me because I did this one independently. I’m trying to move towards the business of ownership and the business of not being a work for hire, but becoming a studio and really building an actual studio where you are a production company and you own copyright. In my eyes I want to build Disney. That’s where I feel our family brand can be. It’s an evolution.” Marlon is clearly setting the framework to making his family dream come true and showing off more of his artistic writing skills Marlon is the executive producer for his nephew’s Damien Dante Wayans and Craig Wayans new show “Second Generation” Wayans which premiered on BET January 15, 2013 and will run for 10 episodes following Kevin Hart’s “The Real House Husbands of Hollywood”.
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He’s playing Sandra Bullock’s love interest in the movie “The Heat”, writing a script for ABC based on his life and hinted at a reality television series as well as a sketch comedy along the lines of an In Living Color. He just returned from the start of his stand-up comedy tour in Las Vegas at the Orleans Hotel with his brother Shawn Wayans, and the two will be in Australia throughout the month of May touring. Being the youngest has its advantages and Marlon says he’s learned a lot from his siblings that has helped him and his family sustain in the entertainment business. “Most of my lessons have been through failure. You want to learn something? Fail. You want to learn about money? Lose some---go broke. You want to learn about successful movies? Bomb and then re-create. Creating is easy, re-creating is hard; that’s what the legends do.” A Haunted House debuted in theaters Friday January 11, 2013. Be sure to tell Marlon what you think about the film via twitter @MarlonLWayans
fact that Gary Owen was crowned the Funniest Black Comedian in San Diego ought to tell you that he’s got to be one funny white dude. Although having a black wife might have earned him some brownie points in the black community, Owen holds his own and is making his mark in the comedy realm on stage and screen and joined fellow comedians on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta during Shaquille O’Neal’s All Star Comedy Jam at the Cobb Energy Center. And if you enjoyed Owen alongside Kevin Hart in Think Like A Man, you’re in luck because he just wrapped up a cameo in Hart’s upcoming comedy along with Ice Cube in called Ride Along. Although he’s now rolling with comedy big-wigs like Kevin Hart, Owen is becoming a household name himself. And even though his bank account enables him to buy a big house now, it wasn’t that long ago that Owen was just a kid from a trailer park in Cincinnati Ohio. After high school Owen enlisted into the U.S. Navy where his passion for standup comedy surfaced. He never truly understood his calling but knew that he was talented enough to tickle the funny bone of every individual he encountered. After completing his serviceman duties, it was then that he decided he would take on comedy. “Either I would be broke telling jokes or make it big. There was no fall back plan,” Owen said. With no Plan B in place, Owen went on to win stand-up comedy contests such as, “Funniest Serviceman in America,” “Funniest Black Comedian in San Diego,” “BET’s ComicView Grandstand” and was proclaimed by Ebony Magazine as “Black America’s Favorite White Comedian.” Since rolling the dice on an entertainment career, Gary Owen is now a very familiar face in the entertainment world. Owen has starred in his own featured one-hour comedy specials Breakin’ Out The Park and True Story both available on DVD and Netflix. A side-splitting performance by Owen was delivered on “Martin Lawrence Presents: 1st Amendment” on the Starz Channel. He has been seen on the film Daddy Daycare with Eddie Murphy, in the films Little Man and Rebound with The Wayans Brothers, as a regular guest on the Tom Joyner Morning Show radio show, acted as the recurring role of ‘Zach’ on Tyler Perry’s Sitcom House of Payne, and most recently starred in the film Think Like A Man alongside of Kevin Hart and Gabrielle Union. During a recent interview with Tastemaker Magazine, Owen spoke fondly about his love for comedy as a metaphoric drug. “When you’re a comedian and you get your first big laugh it is the best drug you will ever have. Like how drug users always want to get their first high, comedians want the high of their first big laugh. Standup is like a drug.”
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He explained that similar to drug users comedians want to feel the euphoria of making others laugh. When asked rather he prefers standup comedy or being on the silver screen, Owen chose standup comedy. “Standup comedy was my first love. The more movies that I do the better I can do standup. There is nothing like having immediate gratification from an audience.” Currently, Owen is touring with Shaquille O’Neal’s All Star Comedy Jam. This is his second year on the comedy tour, and is this year’s host, and enjoying every minute. “Gives me more freedom to mess with the audience as the point guard of the show.” The conclusion of the tour was on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta, GA at the Cobb Energy PAC. Owen will also be co-hosting a sketch/video show working with Shaquille on TruTV, Upload, which he describes as “A casual show that is a cross between America’s Funniest Home Videos and In Living Color.” Episodes will begin to air in mid-2013. Owen recently finished wrapped filming Ride Along, with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube for Universal Pictures. The comedic action film is set to release in early 2013. Rumors of Think Like A Man sequel could not be confirmed.
Find Gary Owen on Twitter @GaryOwenComedy and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GaryOwen
Called the “New Hollywood,” Atlanta is home to a high concentration of successful actors, rappers and entertainment executives. But it has also materialized into the new Mecca for large-scale movie and TV production thanks to Georgia’s engaging tax incentives.
What is it about the Peach State that makes movie production in Atlanta so sweet? Could it be the lure of well-connected blacks like Tyler Perry, Ludacris and Cee Lo, who call Atlanta home, that draw movie-makers into the epicenter of the black glitterati? Or could it be that Georgia has figured out that Atlanta’s A-list and direct economic benefits could generate billions of dollars in revenue for the state.
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“...the new Mecca for large-scale movie and TV production thanks to Georgia’s engaging tax incentives.” Because of the Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act, production companies can earn up to 30% in tax credits by producing in the state of Georgia. It’s broken by down offering a 20% tax incentive for productions made in the state and an extra 10% tax credit if the Georgia promotional logo appears in the finished feature film, television series, music video or video game project.
In 2011 alone economic benefits from film production in Georgia came to nearly $2.5 billion. That means hotels, restaurants and grocery stores are seeing a generous influx of business. And where job growth has been stagnating in the Peach State, it also means more than 25,000 real jobs have been available for the picking. Hair and makeup stylists, caterers, electricians, painters, and the like, are gladly stumbling upon gigs on movie sets. Georgia is recognized as one of the top five states in the country for film production, drawing movies like “Fast & Furious,” “The Blind Side,” and Tyler Perry’s comedic catalog through the state’s corridors. Just recently Kevin Hart and Ice Cube wrapped up filming on a movie called Ride Along as well as many other movies. Atlanta’s prime retail marks the place for filming. For instance, Jekyll Island was a location transformed into Cuba for the finale’ of X-Men: First Class. You wouldn’t naturally think of Georgia’s Southern countryside as the place where superheroes would be pitted against US and Russian navy ships. But it works when you consider large-scale productions like X-Men is strengthening Georgia’s economy and providing jobs and economic stability for families all over the state.
“...large-scale productions like X-Men is strengthening Georgia’s economy and providing jobs and economic stability for families all over the state.” EUE/Screen Gems, a New York City company that also operates studios in Manhattan and Wilmington, N.C., has invested more than $6 million to convert the 30-acre former Lakewood Fairgrounds site near downtown Atlanta, and its Spanish colonial-style exhibition halls, into Georgia’s biggest studio. The studio is the production campus for the BET Network and the home of the hit show “The Game”, filmed in Stage 4. BET also shoots “Let’s Stay Together” and “Sunday Best” on the Atlanta lot. USA Network’s, “Necessary Roughness”, also filmed two seasons on the lot. Seems like now Georgia will not only be known for its peaches but its power in luring major movies to its southern set.
Georgia is recognized as one of the top five states in the country for film production, drawing movies like “Fast & Furious”
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Reservations for Two: Date Night Restaurants in Atlanta
Del Friscoâ€™s Grille
By Andrea Janise
As Valentineâ€™s Day draws near, make plans to treat your loved one to an exceptional date night. But before you pick up the phone to make reservations at your usual neighborhood eatery, wow them this year with something different. Lifestyle Editor Andrea Janise gives tastemakers a round-up of five Atlanta hotspots to check out that have great locations, amazing menus, and the perfect ambience to create a memorable experience.
Del Frisco’s Grille
counter clockwise: photo 1 courtesy of Del Frisco’s Grille; Photo 2 courtesy of Andrea Janise
3376 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30326 404-537-2828
Grab your special someone and head to Del Frisco’s Grille, one of Atlanta’s newest destination restaurants. Fine dining coupled with vibrant nightlife makes this Buckhead gem a fun place to take a date. Serving a variety of delicious dishes like the Ahi tuna tacos; jumbo lump crab cakes, pimento cheese fritters, and the highly recommended cheesesteak egg rolls, you and your date can nosh on some small bites before mingling at the bar or hanging out on their amazing upstairs patio with a scenic view of the bustling city.
The Lawrence 905 Juniper Street Atlanta, GA 30309 404-961-7177
When planning out a fun day in the ATL, start with brunch at The Lawrence! This midtown Atlanta hotspot serves a traditional breakfast menu with nontraditional embellishments, taking brunch to a whole new level. With reasonably priced dishes like the seasonal omelet, savory potato hash and fluffy buttermilk pancakes topped with goodies like kumquat syrup and foie gras butter, you’ll be more than pleased with any menu item you try. Couple brunch with a handcrafted cocktail from their full service bar or sip on a warm cappuccino and take in the scenery; every seat in the house has a great view of either the open kitchen or the downtown city streets.
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11th Annual Honda Battle of the Bands For over a decade Honda Battle of the Bands invitational showcase has provided the unique opportunity to focus on various styles and excellence exhibited by Historically Black Colleges and University marching bands, and through this event Honda has annually awarded more than $205,000 in grants to participating marching bands during the program period. This years “House Party” theme further demonstrates Honda’s support of music and the impact music has on eduction. Grammy Award-winning artist Brandy will be bringing her musical talent during a performance, alongside eight of the nation’s top HBCU marching bands and an on-thefield fan participation dance contest You don’t want to miss it! www.HondaBattleoftheBands.com
counter clockwise: photo 1 courtesy of Cook Hall; photo 2 courtesy of Do at the View
3377 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30326 404-523-3600
Located inside of the W Hotel in Buckhead, Cook Hall’s dim lighting, cozy seating and gastropub theme provides the ideal relaxed setting for your date night. Chef David Gross (formerly of Market Buckhead) continues to wow customers with his attention to detail and preparation of sharable dishes like the Thaispiced baby back ribs, blue crab deviled eggs, pork belly sliders and local cheese plates. But the cocktails share the spotlight at Cook Hall. Order their do-it-yourself cocktail kit that comes to the table complete with everything you need to make your own custom libation and challenge your date in your own personal cocktail competition.
4478 Chamblee Dunwoody Road Chamblee, GA 30338 770-668-0435
Vino Venue is Dunwoody’s coolest wine school and bistro. Start off your date with an interactive wine tasting using their self-service Enomatic Wine Dispensing System, where guests can sample from a rotating roster of highquality wines. Then pair your favorite with a few of their tasty menu items like the mushroom flatbread, duck confit Panini or the wild Georgia shrimp. And don’t skip dessert—the apple tart a la mode is perfect for sharing. Take home a souvenir of one of more than 200 bottles from the wine shop. To add, you can even sign up for a wine class taught by some of the city’s top wine instructors.
Do at the View
955 W. Marietta Street Atlanta, GA 30318 404-541-9060
Bring some excitement to date night at this technologically-savvy restaurant where you are in complete control of your experience. The name Do (dough) represents the musical tone while showcasing their menu of over 12 specialty pizzas offered through a hands-on iPad ordering system. Scroll through the menu and click a button to place your customized order and in a few minutes it arrives to your table, voila! But the fun doesn’t stop there; download the music app to your smart phone and you instantly become the DJ as you select your favorite tunes and music videos to play on supersized wall projectors.
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2013 SUV’s To Look Out For
Crossovers are the ideal transportation for sedan owners ready to make the switch to something that drives just as smooth, but with enough room to pile in family, friends, suitcases, shopping bags and everything else they’re juggling day to day. Here are some of the SUV standouts that you’ll see on the highway in 2013. By Andrea Janise
The sleek 2013 Lexus RX 350 brought a wave of luxury to the crossover SUV. Boasting every feature you could want in a multi-use vehicle and then some, the 2013 version surpasses its 2012 model by adding special exterior touches to delight its customers. Inside you’ll find the Lexus premium audio system with 6 disc CD changer, USB iPod/mp3 control, Sirius XM Satellite radio, blind spot monitor, and dual auto climate control with heated front seats. Retails at $53,000.
2013 Nissan Murano SV FWD
The Nissan brand has a solid reputation of winning awards for their cars, and they’ve used all of their savvy to provide an impressive SUV in the Murano. Under the hood, its 3.5 liter DOHC V6 engine roars while the interior comes complete with all of the bells and whistles including a rearview camera, push button start, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, and 7-inch color touch screen monitor. Getting 24 miles per gallon on the highway, the 2013 Nissan Murano is a great buy at roughly $36,000 MSRP.
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2013 Lexus RX 350
2013 Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5 is responsive on the road and comes equipped with the standard 2.0L engine, 6-speed automatic transmission and wheel mounted audio and cruise controls. Equipped with Mazda’s new SKYACTIV Technology, you’ll benefit from convenient perks including a sleeker body and better gas mileage at 35 MPG on the highway; reportedly the most in any North American SUV. The interior boasts an in-dash navigation system and rearview camera, push button start, blind spot monitor and HD radio technology. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is a steal at the base price of $20,695.
Behind The Brand
Starting a business is a labor of love. Business owners Adjua Leon Ferguson and Tiffany Krumins give us a sneak peek behind their budding empires.
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[Careers: Behind the Brand] Where did the name PJ Tuttles come from? “The P and J are actually the first initials of my daughter’s first names (Priah & Jayda). Tuttles is a one of the many nicknames I called them as we played around. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to create a name that was fun, child-like and recognizable. Tuttles is a family name that could easily translate into a TV show, a family book and more.” Where did the inspiration to start PJ Tuttles come from? “The idea came when I was shopping for my daughters. While looking in major retail stores, I saw there was a void of our demographic representation. It happened more than once, and I was tired of the usual princess fantasy characters. I wanted a trendy, contemporary character. I was looking for another alternative. I first created PJ Tuttles for my daughter’s birthday party but the response was so overwhelming I thought it might be a need for this.”
Behind the Brand with Adjua Leon Ferguson owner of
How long have you been in business? “I have been in business for one year, although I originally wanted to do this more as a hobby. I started working on it 2.5 years ago by doing custom things. I placed them in a Wal-mart contest and it went all the way to the gifting category. The exposure I received made me want to work even harder on PJ Tuttles. Although I didn’t win, the grand prize was $10,000 or to work with product development to get the product in-stores.”
By Bernetta Knighten
Have you ever searched for something but could not find it? Have you ever been inspired to create what you wanted because it was just not available? Well, you are not alone. A huge percentage of people become entrepreneurs because of this very thing. Adjua Ferguson is no different, creating a stylish party line which celebrates girls of color. She is the creator of P.J. Tuttles, a charming yet trendy little girl who can go from a tutu to a superhero while Adjua plans your party from invitations to cakes! Adjua shared with Tastemaker Magazine, the inspiration that turned her passion into profit.
What are your goals for your business? “I want to expand the line. I am working on adding a little boy character & friends. I am still debating on culture but the boy is heavy in demand. I plan to do more events and partnerships in addition to working on more custom packaging. I desire to build stronger relationships with other vendors as well.” Do you have any major regrets or pitfalls? “Everything happened so fast that I wish I would have taken more time in strategic development, social media knowledge and website design. I just wish I had more time to actually develop and/or launch the idea initially. I am working towards relaunching the PJ Tuttles line in Spring 2013.” How do your daughters feel about Mommies business? How do you manage Marriage & Business? “They do know what I do, and are very supportive although they get territorial sometimes and say. ‘That’s my party stuff!’ when they see me preparing for a party. I think it’s so cute when they have their play time - they act like party planners. They build and plan their own parties. I have a very supportive husband but there are times when he gets frustrated when I am TOO BUSY. But I had to learn to be realistic with schedules and allow one day on the weekend for family time. I make my schedule and I stick to it. I’ve learned to turn the business off. I do a lot of work at night when my house is totally still. Visit www.pjtuttles.com for more information about parties and products
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[Careers: Behind the Brand]
Behind the Brand: Ava The Elephant
Since airing on Shark Tank, AVA the Elephant is available in more than 10,000 retail stores in the US and sold in multiple languages internationally
By Bernetta Knighten
If your child has ever been sick then you’ve experienced the dreaded responsibility of trying to give your child medicine only for them to spit it out, move their head, or just downright refuse to open their mouths!
What has been the biggest challenge? With any new endeavor there is a learning curve and that was no different with Tiffany. “The biggest challenge for me was learning a whole new industry I knew absolutely nothing about.” Retail is a scary business when you are green. Working with so many retailers, she had to learn FDA rules and regulations for each one. Since appearing on Shark Tank, Tiffany still doesn’t have a full staff. “I am still the only one, along with Barbara’s help, running my business hands on.”
That’s where Tiffany Krumins comes in. Facing the same problems with children she worked with on a daily basis, she saw the pain in their face when it came time for medicine and therefore invented “Ava the Elephant”. Ava is an easy to use medicine dispenser that talks to the child and then says “Good job!” once the child has taken the medicine. Tastemaker Magazine talked to Tiffany and learned more about the woman behind the brand. Tiffany has been married for 8 years, with a lovely 4 year old daughter. After talking about what it’s like to run a How was Ava the Elephant created? business and home at the same time – I think we both Tiffany actually had a day job but the inspiration came while she agreed the answer would be, ‘Mommy Guilt’. You want was volunteering at a children’s hospital. Working with children to be all things to everyone, especially your child. Tiffany is also a passion for Tiffany. “While working with a little boy who says, “I understand that I have to do both and have learned had to take medicine often, I saw the discomfort in his eyes and how to split the time between the two.” She hopes to it touched my heart. I went home and created Ava the Elephant home-school her daughter when it’s time for kindergarten from fabric and a drug store medicine dispenser. I took it to work next year and she has hopes to expand her family with a the next day and it worked like a charm. That is when I knew I new bundle of joy. really had a something great on my hands.” In addition to expanding her family, Tiffany is also The biggest turning point for Tiffany was actually becoming the expanding the Ava product line with Thermometer first contestant on the hit ABC show Shark Tank a few years ago. Stickers. The stickers are Latex Free & Hypo allergenic and “I was able to secure an initial $50,000 investment & partnership great for all ages, infants to adulthood. They will work for with Barbara Corcoran. When I appeared on the show, there up to 24 hours. was no other product like this on the market. Meaning, I had no real competition. I still had a long road ahead of me and a lot to Since her first mock-up of Ava the elephant, to television learn.” Since airing on Shark Tank years ago, AVA the Elephant is debut on Shark Tank, life for Tiffany has been a whirlwind available is more than 10,000 retail stores in the U.S. and sold in and non-stop ever since. “I am always busy. I get many multiple languages internationally. requests to speak at all types of engagements, hundreds of emails a day from budding entrepreneurs wanting to know how I did it and even people trying to pitch me ideas.”
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[How Did You Get That Job?]
Alicia Quarles E! News Correspondent
At 31-years-old Alicia Quarles is living out her life passion as a journalist, so having to fly to Dubai on a whim to interview Jennifer Lopez, or sitting down with Brad Pitt for E! News never feels like work. If you’ve ever wanted to be a journalist, here’s Alicia’s tips on how to do it. Best Advice: Seek out mentors and if you want to be a journalist, beyond studying the craft, just get out there and do it. Career Perks: It is fun!!! Working for E! beats sitting at a desk any day of the week. My career is an adventure and I work with amazing and talented producers and writers. Plus, there is the glam squad. When you come in and have a team doing your hair and makeup and helping you with fashion, you can’t help but to be happy. Consider this: This is not always a stable business. You have no control over some decisions that get made. The hours are also crazy. This is not a 9 to 5. News happens when it happens which means you will work nights, mornings, weekends. If you don’t have tough skin, this is not the career for you. 37 TASTEMAKER | January/February 2013
Ikea’s “Karlstad” Sofa
oving into a house is one of the most exciting times in a persons life, and at the same time can be the most exhausting moment; especially when it comes to decorating and turning your house into a comfortable home. Atlanta designer Dayka Robinson worked with a young couple to transform their family room into a modern design that consisted of a great high/low mix that didn’t skimp on style!
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Tip #1: How to work with color Dayka’s client loves color as you can see from the before pictures. To allow for easy transition in the future and simultaneously create a space that was warm and inviting, Dayka worked with her client to choose a neutral background for their walls and offered a solution for their love of color--fabric schemes with pops of color!
custom colored pillows give the right amount of color.
Tip #2:Splurge Wisely:
Give thought to where and how you want to spend your design dollars. Custom pillows are a great way to add personality and a one-of-akind look without breaking the bank. Paint treatments and wallpaper, even if it’s only one wall, can add a lot of bang for your buck as well.
Tip #3: Work within your budget
Budgets help you stay on track. Dayka helped her client stay within their modest budget yet meet their demand for spacious seating. Dayka recommended one of her favorite go-to sofa’s from Ikea, “The Karlstad”, as a U-shaped sectional with an upgraded slipcover.
Tip #4: Shop your home: Always, always, always. No matter what your budget, always shop your home
first to determine the items you want/should/need to keep and if you’re working with a designer, let them take a look as well. What’s trash to you can easily be treasure to them! Unless your stuff is just really, really ugly (hey, it happens) there is sure to always be something that can be re-purposed from your current look.
Tip #5: Hire a designer: There are many different ways to work with an Interior Designer these days (paint
consultations, hourly shopping, full service) and even if you can only afford E-Design, there’s nothing like having a well thought out plan to achieve the look of your dreams. Take for example the drapes Dayka used. They are Ikea’s Ritva drapes. Designers have the best secrets to giving you exactly what you want! 39 TASTEMAKER | January/February 2013
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