Entertainment Issue

Page 1


The Art, Music + Entertainment Issue

Anthony David

on why his religion may surprise you + everything else that makes him anything but jaded

Fashion Frenzy Surviving NYFW

Iconic Styles plus more!

Cool Jobs

Land the career you’ve always wanted




6 beauty experts share their must have beauty items of the season


Money Matters: Can cash ever really be KING?


Making the Cover Photographer > Darnell Wilborn


Events Around Atlanta


10 FAB Finds

11 7 6

Gentleman’s Corner


Food for Thought

Accessories+ Wardrobe Stylist > M. Crawford


COVER STORY... Anthony David opens up about love, his religion, new music and his future in the music industry.

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Editor’s Note Contributors


Photographer > Chanda Scott Wardrobe Stylist> Deena Poythress

Spotlight: Tiffany Young


Top Female DJ’s


Cool Jobs

Little Black Page {By Gary Johnson}

July 16th- Sleigh Bells at Center Stage Theatre; p.m. 17th- Adult Swim’s Eric Andre Show live at The Earl; p.m. 22nd- Nicki Minaj at Fox Theatre Atlanta; p.m. 22nd- Frank Ocean at Center Stage Theatre; 9:30 pm 25th- The Influence Tour Feat. Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller at Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood; 5:30 pm 28th- Seal with Macy Gray at Chastain Park Amphitheater; p.m. 29th- Bary Manilow at Chastain Park Amphitheater; p.m.

Sleigh Bells Live at Center Stage

Art, Music,+Entertainment Issue



Iconic Styles {Remixed}


Stylists You Should Know

40 43

Surviving New York Fashion Week

46 47 53

Vernon Davis: Football to Design

Beauty 13

6 Experts give their must-have beauty items of the season


Street Chic: Natural Hair


Expert Grooming Tips

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56 63 67 68 78 84 87 88 93


Arts & Culture 5 Things we’re talking about around Atlanta The One to Watch Book Nook: Entertainment Books to Read

Lifestyle One-on-One with Anthony David Top Female DJ’s You Get Paid To Do What? Cool Jobs Grand Velas Riviera Maya All-Inclusive Luxury Serenbe Lane: A little piece of Serenity Sweet Auburn Curb Market Uncorked Glass Company Cocktail Recipes Become the Perfect Hostess

Little Black Page {By Gary Johnson}


4th- Mindless Behavior at Fox Theatre Atlanta; p.m. 5th- American Idol Live at Arena at Gwinnett Center; p.m. 5th- Ledisi with Eric Bennett at Chastain Park Amphitheater; p.m. 8th- Kelly Clarkson and The Fray at Verizon Amphitheater; p.m. 12th- Anthony Hamilton at Chastain Park Amphitheater; p.m. 14th- Meek Mill at The Tabernacle; 7:30 p.m. 17th- The Adams Family Atlanta at Fox Theatre Atlanta at p.m. 18th- Eddie Griffin at Johnny Mercer Theatre; p.m. 29th- Enrique Iglesias and Jennifer Lopez at Phillip’s Arena; 7:30 p.m. 31- Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves(Promo: Fireworks) 7:35 p.m.

Ledisi Live at Chastain Park August 8th

[Atlanta TASTEMAKER ] Editorial Director

Tiffini Gatlin- @theatlgo2girl

Lifestyle Editor




Andrea Janise-@atlfoodwriter

Contributors Gary Clark

Aisha Stith

Briana Augusts

Toby Cooper

Aisha Toussaint

Britney Easton

Carmen Blakely

Mary Walker


Photographers Chanda Scott

Carl Semien

Darnell Wilborn


How to Reach Us: Phone: 404-884-8296


Email: editor@tastemakermag.com or Click or scan our icons to the right and let’s get social.

PIN WITH US 6 Tastemakermag.com| July/August 2012


Please Don’t Stop the Music.

I recently attended the 18th annual ESSENCE Music Festival for the first time as press, and although a lot of work and sleepless nights, I had the best time ever! I love music and, I’d like to think of myself as an advocate for keeping the Arts and Entertainment alive and well in our school systems. As I thought of ways to support the Arts and my love for new and independent artists, I developed the ‘One to Watch’ Section on page 31. I’m always seeking people with a unique sound, look and story that can connect an uncommon group of people by a single thread. All the talent you see in the One to Watch section have one thing in common—drive. I’m excited for you all to get to know our cover guy, Anthony David, a little more intimately! In an exclusive interview with David we chat about his new single ‘So Jaded’, his ability to love;forever, his religion [which might comes as a surprise] and his sustainability in the music industry. He was so much fun to work with and my hope is that you’ll continue to support his career as an independent artist. Speaking of support, I had the opportunity to allow my sister, Simeone, to style our fashion spread and i’m so proud of her finally pursuing her dreams and developing quality work. How awesome is it to have an outlet that can allow her to showcase her talent. This issue has definitely been a labor of love, more than any other issue. It’s not easy doing something you don’t really know how to do [i.e. design] and sometimes you want to give up, but to push forward and reach an end feels so good! To continue to persevere in the midst of ‘anything that can go wrong will go wrong’ is an awesome feeling! As always let me know what you think of the issue, it’s your magazine, I just write it!

Tiffini Gatlin Tiffini Gatlin Editorial Director

From Top: Blogger and ATM contributor Carmen Blakely, Blogger and ATM contributor Mary Walker, and me at the 2012 ESSENCE Music Festival; I took this shot of Anthony Hamilton getting down while performing at the 2012 ESSENCE Fest; My best shot of Chaka Kahn; Me rocking my ‘Kinky’ shirt c/o Creatology Lab and my Pink Beats by Dre.

10 A List of Fab finds that we think are Perfect!

St. Tropez >

Treat your nails to a luscious coat of polish by Dior that is surely worthy of an instagram moment. ($23; dior.com) By Mary Walker 8 Tastemakermag.com| July/August 2012

10 FAB


Feeling Myself > Forget going to the tanning salon, or using sprays that drip, the single use tan glove fits perfectly onto your hand for a quick, express drying non-sticky application. ($28; modelcocosmetics.com)

< Ride Around + Get It It’s not just a scooter it’s vintage luxury travel. Let your hair down and go for a spin, you’re guaranteed to turn heads. (Price available upon request; allvintagescooters.net)

< C4 Belts We love how cool these belts not only make you look, but feel! An eco-friendly belt line for men headquartered in Atlanta come in over 400 different color combinations and can be custom fit to any size; they’re even waterproof! The best part... you choose one of four charities to support at the end of your purchase! ($25; c4belts.com)

Take a Bow > There is something about a man in a bow tie that says confidence and you’ll garner the attention you deserve in this Brooks Brothers silk woven tie. ($55; brooksbrothers.com)

10 FAB

Pretty Pluckin’ Cute >


Cythnia Rowley has been on a roll with her designer collabo’s and recently teams up with Tweezerman to make fun-looking products for less-than-fun grooming routines. It’s unisex so get crazy and buy them all! Find starting July 19th ($15-$25;Sephora)

Let’s Roll


If it’s good enough for Beyonce, Rihanna and more, it’s good enough for us! Actually we’ve tried them and well...they’re the best thing since lip gloss! They’re clutch worthy too! ($38-$49; Bloomingdales+ Happy Feet Atlanta)

EYE See You! >

YSL has created a declaration of love to its YSL facebook fans. called ‘Pure Chromatics Devoted To Fans’. Thy are making a limited 1650 palettes, of which only 500 will available to customers in the US. Play around in four shades inspired by Facebook: the signature royal blue, steely gray, inky black and striking white. For sale on July 19th. ($55; Facebook.com/YSL)

< Your Lip Gloss is Poppin’ Tom Ford gives us ‘Wet Violet’ an ultra sheer lip gloss convenient enough to fit in our clutch, and Tom Ford is all about structure so we love how he didn’t skimp on the design! ($45; neimanmarcus. com)

<Stars and Stripes Forever

The 4th of July may be over but that doesn’t mean your patriotic spirit has to be! Walk proud in these All Star Flag sneakers by Converse. ($65; converse.com)

Gentleman’s Corner What Gets Him in the Mood? [Do you know what type of music turns your man on? Meet 3 guys who spill the tea on their fav tunes] -By Mary Walker

Alfred-Khalil White, 32

I like listening to up tempo tunes when setting the mood. I enjoy Nina Simone’s ‘Remixed and Re-Imaged’ Album as well as Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’. I always imagine love scenes from movies like Contra Corrente’ and music played during them, to inspire my sexual theme.

Jovan D. Miles, 31

The type of music that gets me in the mood varies. If I’ve been out partying and drinking I may go for something sensual and bass heavy like Marathon, Guess Who Loves You More, or She’s Not You by Raheem Devaughn. After a romantic night out I play some Jazz bands like Naima by John Coltrane.

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Ryan Colby Taylor, 32

I have always been an Isley Brothers fan. It’s timeless, smooth, and straight to the point without being over the top--kinda like me! LOL

To be featured in our Gentleman’s Corner email submissions@tastemakermag.com

Shanti and Antoinette from Around the Way Curls share their must have beauty items of the season + see more of what your favorite beauty experts are using!


Seasons Must-Have Beauty Items | The road to a well groomed mane | Natural Street Style

Beauty| Must-Have Products


Antoinette Henry Title: Co-Editor In Chief of Around the Way Curls Find Her: Brooklyn, NY Name:


Burt’s Bees Facial Clarifying Toner is gentle, affordable and all natural. It does a great job at removing excess makeup without any drying. My skin always feels fresh and clean after each use. $10; burtsbees.com

*Beauty tip: Wear sunscreen daily! Moisturizing any textured hair is a two step process that consists of moisturizing and then sealing

moisture into the hair shaft. I have very thin hair that does not respond well to most sealants (oils and butters).

Aloe vera gel is the perfect lightweight, ultra nourishing sealant for kinky curly girls with fine hair types. Adding a quarter size drop of aloe vera gel to my leave in conditioner has not only helped me retain length, but given me quenched curls that last all day and night.$21; olehenriksen.com

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Karen’s Body Beautiful Sweet Ambrosia Leave-In Conditioner provides a great slip for detangling, tons of moisture for hair health and is affordably organic. Every curly girl should have a good leave in conditioner. $16; Karensbodybeautiful.com

Beauty| Must-Have Products


Name: Shanti

Co-Editor In Chief of Title: Around the Way Curls Find Brooklyn, NY Her: www.acurlsbf.com

Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave In Conditioner is incredible! It is made of all natural ingredients and smells heavenly! It moisturizes my hair like no other leave in conditioner that I have ever tried without being too heavy or tacky in consistency. I am a tried and true believer! $12; kinky-culry.com

*Beauty Tip: Using peroxide as a teeth whitener! I attribute my white teeth to rinsing and brushing with a capful of peroxide daily.

I must have a satin scarf on my head every night or else I can not sleep comfortably knowing my hair is rubbing against the cotton fibers of my sheet, resulting in hair breakage and dryness. $8.99; Wal-mart

I’ve been using Home Health’s Almond Glow Coconut Skin Lotion on my skin for almost 10 years now! It smells great and the cost reasonable given the quality of ingredients like peanut oil, olive oil, lanolin oil and vitamin E. Apply directly after showering while still wet; it dries almost immediately! It can also be used in your hair! $6; organic store


Beauty| Must-Have Products


Kimberly Walker

Title: Contributing

Beauty Expert

for Ebony.com Find Her: Atlanta,GA @KimmyGotSoul

“The Body Shop Honey Bronze Shimmering Oil – I love morphing into a bronzed babe every summer. This oil gives me an instant tan and gives my legs a more toned look.” $22, Thebodyshop-usa.com

“Lumene Sensitive Comforting Touch Night Cream – I have incredibly sensitive skin and this rich cream saves the day! I routinely use night creams during the day to soothe my irritable skin.” $21; CVS

“Carol’s Daughter Sugared Violets Dry Oil Mist – I was incredibly excited to learn that this new fragrance is the descendent of the cult favorite “Pearl,” a sweet-smelling product that hasn’t been on shelves for a few years.” 18; Carolsdaughter.com

“Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner – As a ten-year natural, I’ve scoured the aisles searching for the perfect curl crèmes and this conditioner gives me the slippery, slick curls of my dreams. Detangling is a breeze.” $7; Sally’s Beauty Supply Store

“C. Booth Derma C 24 Vitamin C Micro Delivery Facial Scrub – Exfoliating is the best gift you can give to your skin, and this scrub is pretty much microdermabrasion in a bottle. Its formula, which is chocked full of vitamin C and botanical extracts, delivers the ultimate summer glow.” $13.99, Rite Aid

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“MAC Russian Red Lip glass – I’m a total lipstick girl and I live for a glossy pucker. This decadent rouge looks amazing on top of practically any of my matte favs.” $14.50, Maccosmetics.com


Beauty| Must-Have Products

Kristina Ross Title: Makeup Artist Find Her: Atlanta,GA www.kristina-ross.com Name:

“Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics(OCC) Lip Tars- I am in love with these tubes of highly pigmented lip tars. 100% vegan and cruelty free, these can be mixed to create new shades.” $14.50; occmakeup.com

“Makeup Forever HD Foundation is one of my absolute favorites and I wear it just about everyday. It offers medium to full coverage and once on, there is no need to re-apply this foundation. It has a high definition formulation so it photographs great, no need to worry about a ghostly white cast from the camera.” $42; Sephora.

“NYX Gloss is my go to lip gloss when I’m not wearing lipstick. They are highly pigmented, long lasting, and the texture is great. I’m not a fan of sticky glosses so the fact that these glide on easily they are a must have for me. Good quality and affordable.” $5.50; nyxcosmetics.com

“I love Fashion Fair Beauty Highlighter “Golden Lights” for its versatility. I use it to highlight under the brow bone , as an eye shadow if I want a nice shimmer, as a blush or cheek highlight for a natural glow. This is especially great for darker toned women who don’t like blush but want a natural sun-kissed glow.” $22.50; fashionfair.com “Simple Skincare is a UK line designed with sensitive skin in mind. The Smoothing Facial Scrub gently exfoliates helping to soften and brighten the skin. Beautiful skin is the start to beautiful makeup.” $6; simpleskincare.com

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“Lime Crime “Quill” eyeliner has to be the blackest liquid eyeliner I have ever worn. I am really impressed by the staying power of this product; once this dries it stays put. They are also available in a variety of colors, 100% vegan and cruelty free.” $13.99; limecrimemakeup.com

Beauty| Must-Have Products


Jor-El Caraballo Title: Creator/Editor Mane Man Blog Name:

Find Him:

New York, NY


Curly Kinks Coil Jam made with an abundance of natural oils and botanicals, has quickly become a “holy grail” product on my fro maintenance list. Curly Kinks gives my fro a textured, curly look despite the Summer humidity. $5; curlykinks.com

Pantene Pro V Intensive Restoration Treatment has to be one of the best products I’ve ever used to give my mane a little T.L.C. I use this treatment weekly to keep my fro feeling soft and looking its best. 6; Wal-mart

Tresemme Naturals Nourishing Moisture Conditioner is always in my rotation as it softens my hair and helps me detangle the fro when I need to. Made with avocado and aloe vera, this should be your next staple product. $6: Walgreens

Shea Radiance Moisture Rich Hair Butter is in a league of its own when it comes to hair pomades. Made with unrefined shea butter and a host of other awesome natural ingredients, this product revives dry coils in no time. It provides a healthy shine to even the driest of manes. My only qualm; not discovering it sooner! 16; Walgreens

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Evolution Man Wash & Buff: With Summer hitting us full force, it’s important to keep your skin clean and clear from all that oil that excess sweating produces. Evolution Man’s Wash & Buff is the perfect daily cleanser and I honesty can’t live without it. $19; evolution-man.com

Shea Moisture Shave & Groom Set is a must have in every man’s grooming kit. The kit adds moisture to my shaving routine and protects from those stubborn nicks that use to make me hate shaving. Nowadays, I don’t mind it so much! $15; By Phone Only 631-842-8800

Beauty| Must-Have Products


Deida Massey Title: The Makeup Maven Name:


Chicago, IL www.deidamassey.com

“Honeysuckle + Gardenia bath sponges from Saint Johns Sponge I purchased at the Grove in LA! I fell in love with it because it leaves your skin feeling soft and smelling great!” Prices Range; saintjohnssponge.com “Essie Nail Polish in Aruba Blue is vibrant and beautiful; perfect Summer color. Goes well for the color blocking trend.” $8; essie.com

“Aqua Shadow Waterproof jumbo eye shadow pencil in matte navy blue or pearly pink are my fav. This product has an easy application for the everyday woman, with colors that will enhance any lip color.” $20; sephora

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MAC Hyper Real SPF 15 “Foundation Beyond Bronze FX is a great highlighter to mix with foundation: adds an illuminated glow to the face!” $27; MAC Cosmetics

“Buxom Big & Healthy Lip Stick gives you a matte shine with moisture. Colors work on complexions from darkest to lightest. Matte is in!” re $18; bareescentuals.com lors a o c e it vor My fa l, Wardrobe a Scand tion and nc Malfu on Tape xo t Caugh

“Creme blend blush pro palette by MAC in warm neutral is great for Summertime makeup. Not too heavy.” $20; MAC Cosmetics

Beauty| Street Chic: Natural Hair

O’Naje Taylor



Make a bold statement with your natural hair!

Now, more than ever have African American’s have begun to embrace their kinky and curly hair and we’re loving it! From locs, to teeny weeny afros, to curly manes check out some of the styles we’re loving while hitting the street to be naturally Chic!

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Beauty| Must-Have Products Marisol Correa, Hyattsville, MD Blogger

Tekela Murray Vlogger Buena Vista, GA

Janelle Woods Sr. Human Resource Coordinator Atlanta, GA

Stephanie Johnson, Jacksonville, FL

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O’Naje Taylor, Atlanta, GA Musician

Beauty Scoop| Grooming for Men

Scoobie Recommends:

There is nothing worse than going to show some love to a man and the stubble from his facial hairs prick you! Ugh! So we turned to Atlanta experts Ryan Christopher and Scoobie West to share how to get the best shave ever!

Pre-Shave Oil-$22; Macy’s

Tend Skin- $20; sephora

Barbasol; drugstore. com

Profile pictures provided by J.A.S Photography + Ryan Christopher

The #1 mistake Ryan Christopher, skin care expert and director of Spa Sentio, sees men make while shaving is shaving against the growth direction of the hair. Christopher says most men believe this gets them a much closer shave but doing so really rips the hair follicle leaving redness and irritation i.e. razor bumps. Christopher suggest instead, shave with the growth of the hair and use short strokes, then rinse after every couple of strokes to clear the blade of debris.

Ryan Recommends:

Jack Black beard lube;$16; Sephora

Gillette Mach 3- $9; Wal-mart

Expert Tips to becoming a well Groomed Man !

Nivea Sensitive Shave$7.00;Walgreens

If you haven’t had much luck grooming yourself, seek to find a good aesthetician; it’s not as difficult as you might assume. Scoobie West, Hair and makeup professional, says men should ask friends for reliable recommendations. “When looking for a solid groomer look to friends and colleagues for recommendations; if they’re well groomed that is! If you see someone that has a nicely trimmed beard, don’t be afraid to ask them who their groomer is.” Sometimes turning to the professionals is not a bad idea! “Receiving professional skin treatments will always keep your face looking it’s best” says Christopher. Christopher admits his male clients get the best shave after a microdermabrasion treatment, and since men have mostly oily skin due to testosterone; microdermabrasion will also minimize the size of the pores on the face. To protect and maintain a healthy appearance of the skin, West says, “Cleanse (shower), use shaving cream, shave with a good razor, cold splash/ towel to close pores, then be sure to use an aftershave balm.; don’t forget to moisturize” Christopher adds “Be sure your razor has at least 3 blades and your moisturizer is alcohol free.”

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Moments Living life dreams without boundaries

“Every Dreamer soon learns that the road to the future you really want is clogged with Dreamthreatening obstacles.” —Bruce Wilkinson

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Living life dreams without boundaries

Party Like a Rockstar

From owning her own pastry parlor to having a show on OWN TV, Tiffany Young is living each day to the fullest with no signs of slowing down.

Tiffany Young Owner, Pink Pastry Parlor Alpharetta, GA

It’s almost impossible to fit Tiffany Young’s humongous personality into one room, but we somehow managed. Young, a party planner for kids, was known nationally for her reality show on OWN TV, Party at Tiffany’s. However, she is known to Atlanta as the bubbly owner of Pink Pastry Parlor, the ultimate pastry dining and entertainment parlor for all ages that is located in Alpharetta, GA. With little celebrities like Chance Combs, daughter to Sara Chapman and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, who packed out her 7,000 square foot facility to entertain little girls with pink tutus and ponytails, no matter who you are, Young has only one policy in mind; the customer first. Every time, the First Time. In an attempt to not over saturate the cupcake market that has seemingly taken over Atlanta, Young says her goal was to be different. “The party experience is like no other. I even saved an extra

year to make sure that I was better than anything I’ve seen in Atlanta. The cupcakes are just icing on the cake,” says Young. Young’s business may seem like a cake walk, but her journey to owning her own facility in one of the most prestigious neighborhoods in Georgia, Alpharetta, didn’t come easy. After the company Young was employed with did a layoff in 2009, she decided to take her severance package and begin her plight to form Pink Pastry. Young’s Master’s Degree from Valdosta State University, coupled with her 5 years of sales experience as a pharmaceutical representative would inevitably prepare her to be an entrepreneur. “It’s a tight rope that’s not for everybody; it’s the dirty work that you have to get through. I sacrificed a lot. I have no husband, no kids, no life. Especially when you don’t have the funds. When you come from a package, and you still need $30,000 more, and you’re over

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qualified for the jobs that are out there,how are you going to do that?” asks Young. So how do you raise $30,000 to start the business of your dreams? “You do what you have to do,” says Young. “I have two college degrees, and I was waitressing and bussing tables at Cheesecake Factory. Whatever I had to do.” Young was determined to reach her goal, and although the position wasn’t readily available, she yet again asserted herself for the job. “When I first walked in to say ‘hey do you have any positions that are open’ they said ‘we have a server position, but it won’t be available for six weeks’. I said, ‘well I see some tables that need to be bussed’.” Young may not have fit the prototype for a server, but she says it’s what she had to do, and in 11 months she managed to save $22,000. “I didn’t go for a $2 tip I went for a $12 tip; I rocked my tables,” recalls Young. Saving every penny meant selling her South Atlanta home which she says she received nothing for due to the economy’s housing decline; but doing so helped her keep every penny she earned. “Doing what I had to do meant sleeping on my coworkers futon; once you put pride to the side, you’re good,” exclaims Young. Now, after securing a bigger location, after opening a second location in Atlanta’s swanky upscale Buckhead area, and with her upcoming televised wedding on ‘Say Yes to the Dress’ on TLC and more of ‘Party at Tiffany’s on TLC’, Young is busy as ever; but not too busy to extend her brand to the community through her non-profit organization, Pink Prep. “Twice a month we bring in underprivileged girls from the inner city and throw a Pink Pastry Party in an effort to pamper them, give them girl time and [allow them to] bond with


girls they don’t know. It’s my way of showing my staff that you get paid and have a great job and go on trips with me, but let me show you some girls who don’t have someone showing them the way.” Living life dreams In one year, Young has experienced what only a small percentage of companies see in five years. without boundaries Through determination, sacrifice and faith, Young continues to build her brand and go for what she knows. “The word says we are to have dominion over this earth, meaning you are not supposed to have a lemonade stand; you’re supposed to have a lemonade company. You are not supposed to be sitting waiting for things to happen for you; you are supposed to go get it. The go-getters are the ones who are going to make it. You can’t get me to not do what I need to do.” As far as television, she’s excited about the opportunity, but keeps her eyes on her business. “TV is TV. Sometimes they have you and sometimes they don’t, but Pink Pastry is the dream, and if they want to come along for the dream they’re more than welcome, but it starts with Pink Pastry.”—Tiffini Gatlin

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Stylist you should know| Mary J. Blige, Diana Ross + EnVogue Remixed| NYFW

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Style| Iconic Re-mix

Remixed style

Look Book

They were the fashion’s we loved from Mary J. Blige, Diana Ross+ En Vogue— now we’ve remixed them into styles you can wear now! Photographs by Jackson Michaels

Styled by Simeone Snowden Hair by Jevon Graham Make Up by Dominica Tillary Models: DasJia J., Indira Ali, Ashley Barnes

Lace Confection Gracias Black Puff Sleeve Top- $65.00- Consignment; Stars2ndStory Black Body Con Skirt- $14.95; H&M Gold Sparkle Platform Stiletto$$70.00; Steve Madden

Gold Fusion Black + Gold Sequin TopConsignment; Stars2ndStory Black Crop Pant- $24.95; H&M platform booties- $56.00; Sreve Madden Disco Ball Drop EarringsConsignment; Stars2ndStory

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High Expectations Yellow sheer balloon top-$19.99; Honeycomb Hideout Black faux leather shorts- $24.95; Forever21 Silver sequin thigh high boots-$100; House of Deron

Stars and Stripes Ruffle front sheer nude top$26.00; Honeycomb Hideout Gold Sequin skirt- $14.95; H&M Pink & Blue platform pumps$65.00; Steve Madden

What’s the 411? Tribal print body suit $26.00; American Apparel Black wide leg pant-$34.95; H&M, Yellow Belt- $12.50; H$M Blue Blazer- $12.95; H&M Chunky Pearl necklaceBracelets Consignment; Stars2ndStory

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Shell Shocked Juju spike bra dress-$65; Consignment; Stars2ndStory Satin Gloves- $12.00; Consignment; Stars2ndStory Mustard colored Heel less pumps-$125; Consignment; Stars2ndStory Earrings- Consignment; Stars2ndStory

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Style|Stylist You Should Know


You Should

Know Get to know the stylist we know and love!


Ronnie Rashon Carraway Age: 28 Hometown: Darlington, SC www.rashoncarraway.com

Known by many by his alter ego Mr. Goodwill Hunting, Rashon Carraway is a design expert who has a keen eye for combining both new and old to create a look that is anything short of fabulous! How did your career take off? Rashon: Well I wouldn’t say my career has taken off, but I did get a huge amount of support from the Nate Berkus Show as a design expert. I appeared on his show several times as an expert guest and from there people started paying close attention to my personal style as well my interior decorating style. How are you able to create stylish looks from items that people donate? Rashon: As with anything its about creativity. I mix both second-hand and high-end pieces together. I may wear a classic plaid second hand suit, but I pair it with a $500 pair of statement shoes, custom shirt and high end tie. My focus is not so much the thought that it is thrifted but the unique personality of a piece that isn’t mass produced and available to everyone.

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2 t

Keren Charles Age: 36 Hometown: Born in Trinidad, grew up in New Orleans and now Atlanta is my home. www. twostylishkays.com

You’ll love her Trinidadian flare, with a mixed rich culture hailing from New Orleans. From styling our May/June cover to transforming everyday clients who can’t seem to figure out their personal style; Keren is your Goto-Girl. We warn you not to challenge this nifty thrifter to an aisle running contest, she likely has the blue print to every thrift store in Atlanta!

Who is your target client? Keren: My target clients are busy women who do not have the time to shop for their wardrobe or need expert advice on how to build a wardrobe to match the image they want to portray socially and professionally. What does fashion mean to you? Keren: Fashion provides the means for you to express yourself. The key is knowing how to choose the pieces that complement you, your personality and lifestyle.

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3 t

Nyssa Green Age: 40 Hometown: Leesville, LA, but raised all over as an army kid! www.thegreenroomagency.com

Five-time Emmy winner Nyssa Green is the owner of The Green Room Agency in Atlanta, GA and specializes in Image Development. Green’s resume reads like an A-list movie credit, working with major networks like MTV, BET, CNN, HGTV, TV One and more. Green currently writes the “Beauty and Balance” column for Gospel Today magazine, and is the featured fashion and beauty expert on Fox 5.

What do you love most about styling a client? Nyssa: Favorite part about styling is the instant gratification when clients are happy, and being a pop culture junkie, I get to meet some of my favorite stars!!! Who would be your dream client? Nyssa: I would love to make over Hillary Clinton… Head to toe!!!

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Deena Poythress Age: 31 Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio @deenajpoythress

Former fashion editor of Atlanta Tastemaker Magazine, Deena has styled models in the industry’s most coveted designers. Her styling expertise with brands such as Forever 21 has further enhanced her ability to be bring editorial pages to life. Instead of trend setting she has the uncommon ability to forecast what the season will crave. She’s definitely a notch on your who’s who of fashion.

What matters to you most as a fashion stylist? Deena: Individuality, finding yourself in every trend. What is your biggest fashion NO-NO? Deena: There are so many. I’m always down for “doing you” but know that there are limits, like age, weight, etc. Don’t go beyond your limit!

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Apuje Kalu Age: 30 Hometown: Washington, DC www.apujekalu.com

Certainly if ever there were a word to define the creative genius of Apuje Kalu, it would be indefinable. His ability to take the eye where it has never traveled, feels almost magical. So magical, Apuje caught the eye of the powers that be at Disney. He was asked to style an editorial for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons Marketing Division, and was featured in the Winter 2011 Martha Stewart Weddings issue! AH-Mazing! He says he’ll travel for fashion, food and anything Red Velvet...we may have to take him up on one of those!

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Where does your inspiration come from? Apuje: My inspiration in part comes from my culture. I’m Nigerian and we have to be some of the most fearless people when it comes to fashion. Nigerians are not afraid to take chances and mix different medians, forms, textures, patterns and colors. It’s innate. I also look to three of my stylist icons for inspiration, Rachel Zoe, Karl Templer and Grace Coddington. What is your favorite part about styling a client? Apuje: I enjoy transforming my clients from the outside in. When people look great, they feel great. You can see it the way they walk, talk and carry themselves. It’s amazing what clothes can do for the psyche.

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Marlissa Crawford Age: 36 Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio www.nikkidarling.com

Marlissa Crawford is the owner of Nikkidarling&co. a showroom + boutique located in the Historic Hotel Row District in Downtown, Atlanta. Her expertise as a former model and celebrity stylist has afforded her the opportunity to represent independent clothing and accessory designers, by giving them a platform to showcase their designs. She’s always known to have a conversation piece when she makes an appearance. See what everyone’s talking about and plan to make her boutique your next visit!

How did you get into the fashion Industry? Marlissa: I dibbled a bit in modeling when I was younger and used what I learned along the way to finagle my way back to the industry. In your opinion, what is a big fashion NONO? Marlissa: Allowing fashion to wear you. I believe that one must be able to express themselves confidently, and wearing fashion that doesn’t fit your personality, or size, shows in everything you do!

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Wintter Alex + Mia Moto Age: We never tell :) Hometown: We are from the South Pole www. plrgvintage.com

Stylists Wintter Alex and Mia Moto are the owners of Poor Little Rich Girl Vintage Boutique located on Main St. in College Park. If you are seeking one-of-a-kind garments that will inevitably turn heads, you’ll want to shop their collection. The pair have a unique perspective on styling that Atlantans love and the attention they give to their clients is unmeasurable. We always crave to see their next move, because frankly it’s sure to be unconventional.

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Where does your inspiration come from? Winter + Mia: Our inspiration comes from everything that we see, touch, and feel. There isn’t a definite answer. We make sure that we travel enough so we can be inspired by this amazing universe we dwell in! How would you describe your personal style? Alex: It depends, but always thought about. Moto: Moody.

Style| NYFW


New York Fashion Week Tips, Tricks + Expert secrets to navigating NYFW like a pro.—Kelli Flournoy

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Style| Tips,Tricks + Secrets to NYFW

How To Get in The Shows:

As a young publicist I learned it really is about who you know so I set out to know every one in fashion. Through networking, I was able to acquire a list of the shows as well as contact information for the show producers. List in hand, I hunkered down for the day and took to email, sending literally hundreds of emails to show producers and simply asked for tickets hoping for at least a few responses. I got 50.

What You Should Learn:

Photo credit: fashionmefabulous.com

What you take away from the shows depends on your position (blogger, editor, budding designer etc.). The one thing everyone takes away from the show is an undeniable sense of inspiration and the excitement of what’s to come.


2011 Jason Wu Fashion Show

ashion week, the culmination of months of prepping and planning all leading up to an elaborate production. Young fashion enthusiast clamoring for any sign of entry into the coveted white tents while A-list celebs and editors casually take their front row seat and peer the crowd as if they would rather be anywhere but. The illusion of it all is very intoxicating, but an illusion nonetheless. There is complete chaos backstage just moments before statuesque beauties hit the catwalk ever so graceful and make no mistake that everyone in the audience wants to be there…no matter how annoyed they appear to be. So what’s the secret to securing a spot and surviving the week?

How is Seating Determined:

Most often if you’re not an employee of a wellknown publication or other type of fashion celebrity, you’ll be assigned “Standing Room Seating” which means you’ll be standing behind the seated attendees. What could be good about being assigned ‘standing room seating? If someone doesn’t show for their seats in the first few rows, the producers began to pull people from Standing Room to fill-in…that’s What to Wear: It’s always best to wear at least one piece from the designer’s right, you could end up front row wedged between Anna Wintour and Beyonce if you’re in the right line of the show you’re attending. Most importantly, this is your opportunity to push the envelope and get a little crazy. place at the right time. The other great part about Breakout a super funky accessory…who knows you may end Standing Room is you actually can see better from that angle. up on a street style blog.

Style| Tips, Tricks + Secrets to NYFW

You’ll travel from show to show in flats but once you arrive, you’ll change into a fabulous platform pump…perfect for providing support (in case you’re standing) and they also give you great height advantage. $295; Alice+Olivia:Bethis Snake Print Pump

How to Network: Often times the show will run a little behind, use this time to chat up the person next to you; share your excitement to see the new collection and of course chat about who’s front row and what they’re wearing. Post show, you could discuss the change in direction from the previous season or where you think they should go next. At the very least dish about your favorite pieces. I once attended a show and started a conversation with the young man “standing” next to me, turns out he had tickets to the Carolina Herrera show and couldn’t make it so he gave me his ticket. It pays to be chatty!

Tips for Surviving the Week: 1. Organize-The night before, review the list of shows you will attend and map out your route so you can move quickly from uptown to downtown or eastside to westside

When you’ve got mere minutes to get from one show to the next, you need a watch at the ready to keep track of time…it just so happen to be gorgeous! $250: Michael Kors: Bradshaw Chronograph Bracelet Watch

2. Pack a snack-tart the day with a great breakfast and pack snacks to take with you. With all the excitement and depending on your show schedule you may not have a chance to stop for lunch. 3. Prepare-You will be literally running around all day from show to show, on the subway from uptown to downtown so carry along a pair of CitySlips…super chic foldable ballet flats perfect for on-the-go. They even come with a cute little pouch so you can store them in your bag once you arrive at your destination and change into your “real” shoes…



Snacks, check…travel flats, check…show schedule, check! Keep it all organized with this versatile handbag. Comes with a crossbody strap perfect while in transit and converts to a beautiful tote. $1280; Jerome Dreyfuss: Etienne Tote

Opt for a blouse in a bright color like neon…you’ll be sure to stand out amongst the crowd. $87; SuperTrash

NYFW Suggested Must-have Items to Pack:


A chic pair of oversized sunnies is essential…especially when you’ve been dashing all day and are completely exhausted. These hide it well. $295;Jimmy Choo: Cat’s Eye Sunglasses

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A skinny Cargo is the ultimate versatile piece, dressed up or down they’re comfy enough to dash about the city but chic enough for front row! $248; Current/ Elliot: The Skinny Cargo

Style| Tips, Tricks + Secrets to NYFW

Vernon Davis: It’s a totally different world because football takes up a lot of my time, but interior design doesn’t take up too much time because I have people in place to help me run everything. At times it can still be a lot if you get too many customers. Some wise words I got from a very good interior designer is to never have too many clients at one time. Tastemaker: I read that as a child you lived in an impoverished environment and had little support. How does this affect your life and how you handle your business? Vernon Davis: It makes me more determined for success. Any time you grow up struggling and not having much it makes things easier for you as far as being dedicated to your craft or whatever it is that you’re doing. One thing about someone who has endured tough times as a kid is things that seemed hard [aren’t] really hard to them because they have been through a lot.

Vernon Davis

San Francisco 49ers Tight End takes his passion past the grid iron

On the football field Vernon Davis is known as the tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, but off the field he’s known for turning enthusiast into art collectors and overseeing home beautification projects through his interior design firm; Modern Class Design. Davis talked with Atlanta Tastemaker while in Atlanta for the launch of his firm in which he collaborated with the Museum of Art and Design to promote art and philanthropy. Tastemaker: What influences did you have to start Modern Class Design? Vernon Davis: I was influenced by the whole idea of art studio. I majored in art studio at the University of Maryland and from that point I pretty much fell in love with the world of art. So that’s what led me to come up with my own interior art design, Modern Class Design. Tastemaker: What was the transition like going from playing football to owning your own interior design firm?

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Tastemaker: So what did your colleagues and friends say when you first told them about your firm? Vernon Davis: They started joking. They couldn’t believe me, because when you have a masculine football player, like myself, it’s hard for your peers to believe you’re into interior design. It’s very uncommon for an athlete, professional athlete at that, to be interested in interior design. My whole philosophy is that you can be or do whatever you want to if you put your mind to it. You shouldn’t have to worry about any one judging you. The only person that can judge you is God. This is something very important that I keep in mind because I have to spread the word to other kids that want to do exactly what I’m doing. Tastemaker: In the future do you plan on expanding your firm? Vernon Davis: I do. I plan on taking my firm to the next level. Just like anything you start from [the] ground up, it takes time. You have to go through some things before you get to the point you want to get to, but it can happen. You have to really strive and aim for your goals and anything is possible. Tastemaker: Is there a certain area in the home that you prefer over others?

Vernon Davis: Yea, my favorite part of the house would be the master bedroom. I love the master bedroom because that’s somewhere where there’s privacy. Somewhere where individuals relax and get comfortable. My least favorite is the kitchen. I’m not good with kitchens because I can’t cook. So with the kitchen I never know what direction to go in. Tastemaker: Where do you see your firm in the next five years? Vernon Davis: In the next five years I see us on top of the world. I see us at a point where we can go out and just have all types of people because we have a ton of business. I see us making a difference. Not only are we helping people but we are making a difference in people’s lives because we are saving them time and energy. We’re not out to take money or anything, it’s not about that. It is about helping at the end of the day. Tastemaker: What is the most difficult design challenge you have had so far? Vernon Davis: Probably designing one of my teammate’s backyard. He wanted all kinds of crazy things like zebras and lions. We didn’t want to just do anything so we had to find the

Vernon Davis: right people and that took up some time because we did not expect that. It was our first time doing something like that. Tastemaker: Are there any celebrities that you haven’t designed for that you would like to help? Vernon Davis: Yea, I would love to help Stacey Dash. I think she is a tremendous actress and she’s someone that I have always admired growing up. Tastemaker: I read that among the projects you’re most interested in working with, some include building and/or designing youth recreation centers in housing developments and schools, and revitalizing parks, homes, resource centers and schools in low-income areas. Where do you plan to start? Vernon Davis: All these projects we started in Richman, California. We have a thing that we’re doing in Richman, California for low income kids. These kids need a lot of things, one being the internet. We are going to go in and paint and fix up their recreation center. We plan on making it a home for them so they can have somewhere to go and be happy about what they have.

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Tastemaker: So do you actually have a foundation that you run your community service through? Vernon Davis: I do; it is called the Vernon and Devante Davis foundation. Tastemaker: Explain the Vernon and Devante Davis foundation. Vernon Davis: Right now there’s two parts to it. There’s the art which is my part; and my brother Devante Davis, the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, deals with helping both men and women who are battling with addiction. Tastemaker: If you could tell a child from the inner city anything, what would it be? Vernon Davis: Be a leader. Never follow anyone because you are the one who [has] to live your life and deal with any consequences that come your way. Always stay focused and try to strive to achieve everything. The harder you work, the more successful you will become.

—Britney Easton

Art + Culture Cultural Topics| The One’s to Watch| Book Nook: Best Reads| Who is T. Lang?

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Local, National+International

Topics Were Discussing

lture u c & arts dition e

One Hundred Days It has been over 16 years since the Rwanda genocides and the country is still suffering. One Hundred Days, a non-profit organization founded in Atlanta, Georgia, is playing a major role in helping the restoration of Rwanda. With the help of volunteers, they will meet the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of the Rwanda community. Click to volunteer now!

Almost does count! After being placed in the bottom three, contestant Jessica Sanchez was singing her last song before being dismissed from the show, when the judges bombarded the stage and ordered her to stop singing because they were not letting her go home. They then told America to make sure to vote for the BEST. Great example of fighting ‘till the end! Creflo Dollar is arrested.

Adidas Gets It Wrong In a matter of days, the use of social media stopped an entire production line of JS Roundhouse Mid sneakers from Adidas, because the shoes featured rubber orange chains and a cuff that strapped around the ankle, which critics say, is a mockery of slavery. If the chains were replaced with solid strips of rubber, would it then be a cool shoe?

The summer is heating up more controversy in the church. Creflo Dollar was recently arrested on simple battery and cruelty to children charges. His daughter called the police after Dollar told her she couldn’t go to a party; she then told police her father choked and beat her. You have the right to bear arms but not punish your children huh? What’s your view?

Who Approved this? In June, Thailand’s show ‘Thailand’s Got Talent’ aired a wellknown female contestant painting on a canvas with her bare breasts on national television. Of course you know folks were upset. The cultural minister demanded a meeting with show organizers; Oh to be a fly on the wall!—Aisha M. Toussaint

Art+Culture| One to Watch

The One’s to Watch

We continue to be amazed at the talented musicians, entertainers, artist and the like cohabitant in Atlanta. The only way to expose them is to continue to talk about them, so we’ve made a conscious decision to highlight individuals who you’ll want to keep an eye out for. Other than talent, it’s their drive and passion that fuel their dreams and aspirations. Get to know our list of amazing up and comers, as they are ‘The One to Watch!’

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Art+Culture| One to Watch


family to attend college and graduate with a degree, when this Philadelphia native sets his eye on the prize, he’s going after it — like a hawk. Talent Unleashed Warren admits balancing his nine to five and his Hollywood’s next leading man new acting career isn’t easy, but exclaims “if you want it bad enough, you’ll make it happen.” This is likely a little advice he learned while matriculating at Clark Atlanta University. “I have a great group of people I work with at my job, so it lends t first glance, Caiseen Warren could be to some flexibility. Most of the projects are on the weekend or mistaken for actor Lance Gross, but take a closer look; you may have caught a glimpse of him if you’re after 5 pm, or perhaps I go to an audition on my lunch break.” If ever it be a time to stay open and ready for new a supporter of independent films. Since becoming television and film industry’s newest up and coming opportunities, it’s now. Warren explains that his ability to audition for projects such as ‘The Game’, ‘Let’s Stay Together’ star in less than two years, Warren has taken advantage of the growing opportunities in the film and ‘Single Ladies’ came from networking and being open to work projects nobody else wanted to pursue. industry and added experiences to his Actor Reel If you’re wondering with all that Warren is doing in his that is already making him a hot talent. life if he has time for a special woman — of course he does. Warren attributes his military background Warren doesn’t miss the opportunity to talk about how his to how aggressive he is about going after what he mother’s own entrepreneurial efforts sparked and encouraged wants. “Having the discipline and structure to say, his current journey and says she’s his biggest supporter. “My if I’m not working, 100% percent of my time is dedicated to what I want; and if I can’t do that I am mom is the strongest person in my life. She shares my desires not committed as much as I say I am,” says Warren. as far as finding something I love.” Currently, Warren is busy working on several projects Warren is no newbie at setting the bar high, earning and with his drive, don’t be surprised if you see him soon on a Master’s degree in electrical engineering from screen with his favorite actor Hill Harper. Meanwhile, we’ll Cornell University and a bachelor’s degree from have our eyes on Warren; who is definitely the one to watch! Clark Atlanta University. Being the first one in his

aiseen Warren


Photo Credit Lost Star Imagery

Art+Culture| One to Watch

Eryn Woods

{Imperfectly Perfect}

Eryn Woods is a 22-yearold funky and fresh new artist who seems to have a unique view about life. Perhaps her style and sound may be quirky, but like one of her songs says, “Gangstas, geeks and freaks make the world go round,” and she is destined to take the world by storm. Woods is a perfect example

of the saying, “don’t judge a book by its cover”. “Many people assume by the way that I look I party all the time, but I rarely ever go out to parties unless I’m working,” says Woods. This eccentric young lady may look like a party girl, but she is about her business. “I’m a workaholic’” she says; and her success and amazing

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accomplishments at such a young age proves her statement to be true. Woods’ sound is unique and it paints a picture of her personality. “I’m a spunky outgoing person and it shows in my music,” says Woods. This artist is all about positivity and bringing an optimistic light to people’s lives. Her music is not the only thing that is distinctive however; her style is also one of a kind. As an independent artist, Woods supports a lot of independent designers such as Joy Rich and NYOB, which explains her rare outfits. The young artist walks with her own swag and isn’t afraid to be herself. She says that the person that we see on stage and hear in her songs is who Eryn Woods is. “I’m not perfect but my imperfections make me who I am. No one is perfect, and I try to use my imperfections to help people with what they are going through,” says Woods. Woods is a very transparent individual, unafraid to share her experiences with others. “I am very open with who I am, what I feel, and what I believe; I believe that that is another reason why a lot of my fans connect with me,” she says. Woods wants her fans to know that you can’t be anyone but yourself. “No two individuals are alike and that’s what makes everyone special,” says Woods. She seems to adore her diverse group of fans and calls them her “Cupcakes.” Woods explains how she came up with the concept by saying, ““Cupcakes.” No matter how you bake them, even if they are from the same batch, each cupcake is going to come out differently.” One can only imagine what personal things Woods is going to reveal about herself next. All we can do is sit back and enjoy this unpredictable ride.—Aisha M. Toussaint Click the Boom Box to see Eryn’s new Video.

Art+Culture| One to Watch

Grand Prize Winners From Last Year -What makes their music so FLY?

Slaughter, Believe and No Name make up the band GPWFLY and have been regarded by Rolling Stone Magazine as a full-band OutKast for their ability to blend rhymes while rocking out stages, such as The Roots Picnic and SXSW. They have a look that’s far out, but anything short of unforgettable. Although flattered, let these guys tell their story and they’re unlike any sound you’ve ever heard, using instruments as a means to create their Avant-garde pop sound. “We’re trying

to get away from sampling and taking other people’s music and we wanted to get more into created our own sound. Bringing in live music has helped us do that,” says band mate Believe. GPWFLY say they approach their music as a business and a brand that is here to stay. “We don’t want anybody to go anywhere else and get what we’re doing, so we focus on making music that our fans love, says Slaughter. Being independently major means approaching everything like a

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democracy. Keeping communication at the forefront of their business is the fundamental ingredient that they say keeps them focused on the goals. You never know where you’ll see them next. One of their goals is to perform live on David Letterman. “There is no telling when your big break comes, you just have to be prepared when it does,” says Believe. Why is this band so fly? Well, they’re extreme determination to win coupled with their drive is super fly! Plus it doesn’t hurt that their music is dope!

Art+Culture| One to Watch

Behrens, strived to make each of her pieces balanced between casual and dressy, making it impossible for her clients to feel over or under dressed. “The sleek lines, bold colors and unexpected details represent the cool, downtown New York City lifestyle and appeals to customers beyond that base,” said Denise. Behrens experience with shooting stills and videos for fashion forward brands such as Gap and MAC, with her husband Rainer, has likely given her a keen eye for designing what her customers crave. Behrens stressed how the most important thing to her regarding her clothing line is maintaining a consistent design message along with continually evolving with her customers. “I am happy and proud to create a line of clothing that resonates with women from all walks of life.” —Britney Easton View and purchase the Mostly Grace collection at mostlygrace.com

Mostly Grace [redefining comfort]

Aiming to appeal to young women, Mostly Grace is quickly making a footprint in the fashion industry, by attracting buyers from around the world. Founded this year in New York by Denise Behrens, the unique line of clothing, consisting of a variety of comfortable shirts, dresses, skirts and pants, are made out of T-shirts with a comfortable jersey material.

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Denise + Rainer Behrens

DJ Kidd Koby Roc Prepping for Super Producer

You can teach a talented person skill, but you can’t teach a skilled person talent, and DJ Kidd Koby Roc is a prime example of a naturally talented individual who has developed an extraordinary skill. DJ Koby Roc is a 16-yearold Atlanta native, known for his diverse disk jockeying skills, and creative style. The young DJ began his career at the age of nine, as a result of being heavily influenced by his musical atmosphere. According to him, he first found out that he had this natural talent while at a family cookout. “My father bought turntables for my older brother, who is in the army now, and on Sundays we would invite people over for

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a cookout and have DJ battles. Then one day I decided to get on the turntables and my dad was like ‘Yo, that was you?’ and then I was like umm I don’t know, I think so,” said DJ Koby Roc, as he chuckled. DJ Koby Roc then started dj’ing outside of the neighborhood music store after school where he would make money from tips. “One time I made $100 in tips; I thought I was doing it then,” said Roc. He must have had the whole neighborhood jamming in the street, to make that kind of money just in tips. He also talked about his first paying gig where he dj’ed an event in a barbershop and was paid $20 plus tips. Since he’s so young in such an adult dominated industry, I am pretty sure that people may have some doubts about DJ Koby Roc; but he is confident in himself and his craft. “Because I am only 16, people take me for granted; they say he’s 16, he doesn’t know. But I can do any kind of party that is out there, for all diversities and backgrounds,” Roc explained. Disk Jockeying for kids and adult audiences, his age and early experience has played in his favor, and taught him how to be diverse and accommodate all age groups. DJ Koby Roc is wellrounded when it comes to the genre of music he plays. He explains his growth of musical knowledge and experience by saying, “When I was younger I was doing more old school and rap but when I was 13, I used to do more of soul because I used to do Centennial Park Wednesday wind down and that strictly is 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. Now I do more pop, European mixes. I mix everything together. I feel more worldwide now.” DJ Koby Roc definitely likes to travel and play for different crowds but he also has another career plan up his sleeve. “I wanna be known for DJ’ing but I don’t wanna do it my whole life. I wanna be more of a producer. I’m working on producing as we speak; I have songs and everything,” said DJ Koby Roc. He just wants to make beats for everyone. This young, impressive DJ is on the rise and seems to be working hard to achieve his ultimate goal. Look out, because in the next few years DJ Koby Roc has the potential of being the next major music producer. — Aisha M. Toussaint

Art+Culture| Books to Read

The Zen of Social Media Marketing gives you the scoop on how to utilize every aspect of social media to market your brand. Writer Shama Hyder also tell the benefits of each media outlet.

Hollywood insiders Aina Appleton and Daniel Yankelevits explain techniques and strategies of entertainment and negotiating in their book Hollywood Deal making.

Put Your Dreams First, Handle Your Entertainment Business is also known as “mentorship in a bottle” for the music industry according to author, Thembisa S. Mshaka. She uses her 15 years of experience in the music industry to show women how to keep their self-respect while gaining successful in the entertainment industry.

Book Nook

6 Books to navigate your way through the Entertainment industry- Aisha M. Toussaint

Law and Business of the Entertainment Industries, 5th Edition provides a variety of examples of legal documents allowing everyone to keep up with the ever-changing law. So in depth the book took 5 authors to narrate.

Media Training 101, written by experienced journalist and public relations professional, Sally Stewart guides the reader through detailed steps on how to effectively communicate through the media. She also talks about how to create and maintain a positive brand through the media. She gives real-life case studies that help you know what to expect in the media world.

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Winning With the News Media was written by one of the nation’s most experienced news media consultants, Clarence Jones. He helps you understand the behaviors of news media and how it operates.

Art+Culture| Art in Motion: T. Lang

T.Lang with dancer

Who is T. Lang? Anyone can have rhythm, but it takes a special person to educate people through artistic, poetic movement. If you are looking to be entertained while being educated about a pressing issue, then turn to artistic director, T. Lang. Lang is a Chicago native and former dancer with New York City's Metropolitan Opera, Marlies Yearby's Movin’ Spirit Dance Theater and Nia Love's Blacksmith Daughter Dance Theater. Lang is not your average choreographer; she takes generic movement and makes it unique; she describes her own work as “physical with a sincere intent.” Lang says her parents put her in dance classes at the age of 5, to keep her active. There she began jazz, tap, and creative movement; this sparked an artistic fire within her. In high school she was a part of the step team, dance team and Middle West Dance Academy where she fell in love with modern dance. In 2006, Lang founded

her Atlanta based Dance Company, which brought a new air to the industry through her daring and poetic movements. In addition to being an artistic director and managing her dance company, Lang is also an assistant Professor of Spelman Dance Theatre at Spelman College. It definitely seems like Lang is a busy woman with an intense schedule, but when asked how she manages her time, she says it’s a balancing act. “I look at the structure of other dance professors, such as David Dorfman and Ray Miller and implement it. I found my balance and found that it is possible,” says Lang. With balance, Lang still finds time to spend with family and takes advantage of their quality time by using it as an opportunity to stem ideas for new work. We all know how intense a game of cards can be and the controversial discussions that derive from the social game. Lang recalls a time when she attended her

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family reunion and was playing cards with her cousins when her uncle walked over and asked them what profanity was their favorite. She answered, “motherfucker,” because the word has various meanings. Next thing you know, the festive atmosphere transformed into a serious educational lecture. Being that Lang comes from a family full of educators, her uncle gave her a rundown of where the word originated. Lang explained, ““motherfucker” came from plantations, and the word was used to call women slaves who were forced to breed more slaves.” Lang instantly became frustrated, agitated, and sick that she hadn’t known this and that the strength of her ancestors stemmed from the exploitation of capitalism. An idea for “Mother/Mutha,” an envelope pushing dance piece that explored the word “motherfucker,” was instantly birthed. Lang uses life experiences to inspire her work and has touched upon many social issues through her dances and plans to continue to do so. Lang plans to explore issues such as recycling, insets, video games, young relationships and dating. There seems to be something different and refreshing about Lang’s dance pieces. You’ll leave her performance wondering what she will come up with next. Lang is not an easy woman to figure out and even she recognizes that. “I am a woman of complexity and never want to be put in a box,” says Lang. —Aisha M. Toussaint

Lifestyle Features| Top DJ’s| Cool Jobs| Travel + Leisure| Serenbe Lane|Food + Cocktails

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One-on-One with

Anthony David Photography by Darnell Wilborn Styling by Deena Poythress + M.Crawford

Anthony David may be one of the most underrated, underestimated independent artists on the music scene right now, and perhaps that’s why I was fascinated to know more about the man behind the raspy voice and body tattoos. If you’re not familiar with David, he’s considered an R&B singer-songwriter who is best known for his 2008 song “Words”, a duet with India Arie and most currently his song ‘4Evermore’ featuring Atlanta’s Algebra and rapper Phonte from Little Brother. That song became David’s first top 20 hit on the Billboard chart, peaking at #18. And if you really want to feel his depth, he remade a ‘Tears for Fears’ song with another famous artist — who happens to be his cousin. From seeing him out at many many events, I couldn’t ignore the fact that he seemed like a man with a story; a good looking man might I add, but with a story that hadn’t been told the way I wanted to hear it. I sought him out to find out more about Anthony David Harrington the person, his love life, his spiritual life and his ability to sustain in the music industry. After walking past a few wild turkeys at Atlanta’s Goat Farm, he made his way across a vacant alley to sit down with me for an intimate one-on-one.


On the Cover:

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ATM: Thank you so much for coming. Let’s jump right in. You bear a lot in your song writing, but what would most people be surprised to know about you?

ATM: So I hear you have a famous cousin, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men. Were you both close growing up — what was that relationship like?

Anthony David: “Most people may be surprised to know that I worked at Inserections [chuckles] selling sex toys for nine and a half weeks! Right over there off Northside Drive... I was also in the Army, which is something that often surprises people.”

Anthony David: “I didn’t grow up with Shawn, however I visited him a few times; but the summer he was signed to Michael Bivens was the summer I caught a tape of him singing and was like ‘whoa’ literally shedding tears. It was that summer we hung out a lot...shooting slang from each other's city and stuff and really hanging tough — but we kept in touch over the years. When I started pursuing my music career, I was India Arie’s manager, writing her songs in the beginning and just helping her get whatever she needed. We put a demo together and I took it to Shawn; he loved her but couldn’t really do anything at the time. She ended up getting a record deal on the same label [Motown] as Shawn and then that’s kind of how my career started and [Shawn and I] finally collaborated on my last album with the song ‘Rule The World’. But yeah, Shawn was always supportive.”

ATM: You seem like a serious guy ... do you over contemplate things? Anthony David: I think I’m a funny guy. If you don’t catch all the details in my music, you may think I’m serious, but I think it’s funny; turn the check type of music, but many people don’t get that from me. I like comedy, and actually that’s what I listen to more than music — I like listening to talking. My strength in song writing is contemplating. I like to leave things open for interpretation. I don’t believe in extremism or say ‘I’ll never do xyz’. ATM: I’m curious to know what were you like as a child growing up; were you really that funny? Anthony David: “ Yes. Mostly clowning. I probably wanted to be a comedian. I was so goofy that people only took me that way. When I found things that were serious and that I was passionate about, I found it in music.”

ATM: Let’s talk about your family ... did they ever think you would become a musician — and how do they feel about your music? Anthony David: “My family NEVER thought I would be a musician [laughs]! They knew I wrote music, but when it came to singing and playing the guitar, they were taken aback. Actually, my brother was the first to take notice and then my sister. But they are all great supporters.”

ATM: How did you go from being a writer to actually singing and playing instruments, like the guitar? Anthony David: “When I was in the Army, I joined an acting group that took me out of my unit for about three months; no uniform, so it was like a break and it was ordered by the general! In order to be in the group, there was a requirement that you had to sing, but I wanted to act, so I thought I’ll act like I can sing [laugh]. I ended up singing something I wrote because I didn’t know any other songs. My friends that were already in the group were like ‘what was that [laugh]?’ I never sang anything out loud, so naturally people were surprised, but thought it was dope... As far as the guitar, I didn’t start playing until I was an adult, and when I played I played the BLUES-- that’s how I found my Voice!” ATM: You have a unique sound, yet it’s one I feel we’ve heard before; partly because of the way you make us feel when we listen to your music...it’s familiar. Who or what are some of your musical influences?

I feel I have sex appeal to a degree because I know who I am; and I think that’s kinda sexy...

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Anthony David:“Uh, I’d say Anita Baker; when I was younger, a lot of 80’s R&B groups, Rock, Hip Hop. Bill Withers, because once I started playing I didn’t think of myself as much of a singer... Bill didn’t have a tricky voice, but the simplicity of his writing was what I wanted to do. And, when I went into labels, I wanted to start thinking seriously in terms of who has been successful at doing what I wanted to do...and so I could identify.” ATM: Let’s switch it up and talk about love...you sing forever is a mighty long time...You recently came out of an engagement, and no kids; what is your love life looking like? Anthony David: “I won’t get into how COMPLEX my love life has gotten... just as of yesterday, but it’s good... I’m dating and I love love.” ATM: I read in an interview you did earlier this year, that you like the ideal of marriage but don’t really know if it can work; what’s that all about? Anthony David: “You know I think about it all the time and read stuff, but I don’t know. As a society we should really open that up. People that have alternative lifestyles shouldn’t be off in a corner somewhere defending their ‘thing’ against the world. I like the idea of a commitment and a lifelong partner...BUT [sigh] it’s just so hard and maybe it’s because we’re putting the square peg into a round hole.[I Don’t Know] maybe it’s supposed to be hard. I just think it should be open to interpretation. I think there is a prevailing big voice; a big brother type of thing that’s like ‘no, it’s got to be like this’. You see that when gay people want to get married they’re like ‘no you can’t’ and it’s like WAIT, what? So I’m not sure.” ATM: You’ll be turning 41 years old this year. You don’t feel the least bit pressured to get married and have children;do men feel like that the older they get? Anthony David: “No. No. No. I’ve seen people do that. People that say ‘I’m not getting any younger, and then they do it and get a divorce. Now you owe money to somebody. No, you should do it [marriage] if you feel you are qualified to do IT! And if you never feel that

way and you never earn that privilege, then don’t do it. It’s like everything in life...you gotta go hard or go home. I won’t feel less than a person if I don’t do neither.” ATM: Do you feel you have sex appeal? Anthony David:“Yeah...Yeah to a degree, because I know who I am; and I think that’s kinda sexy. That’s a funny thing for me in terms of the way I use to view the word sexy in that regard. I mean obviously, I don’t look like Brad Pitt or anything, so I don’t look at it as that type of sexy.” ATM: A lot of people are shocked to find out that you are an Atheist. Why do you think people are so shocked to find this out about you? Anthony David: “Because I’m from the south and I’m Black, and most of the time when people hear the word Atheist, they think it means devil worshiper and all kinds of stuff.” ATM: So, can you help clear up what people are thinking in regards to your religion and gives us your definition of what being an Atheist means to you? Anthony David:“It means that everything that we’ve made up so far is not necessarily true,.and that’s IT! I understand that people want this big answer and we don’t know what the answer is. We don’t know. We shouldn’t even be making guesses. The people who wrote most of these books, wrote them a long time ago. People just don’t open themselves up to re-evaluation — like most things in life. I like to be in a position about anything that when I learn something new, I want to be able to say ‘Oh my bad’ and I don’t think you can do that in religion. It’s a form of open mindedness to me, and I think it’s more about philosophy. The reason I even tell people is so they don’t ask me to sing a Gospel song...not that I hate it; but I like to sing about stuff that’s true to me. You should know that about me, but you should also judge me on me–not on that.”

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ATM: Do you feel ostracized by society because of your beliefs? Anthony David:“I do and that’s the scary part, and I think that’s wrong. I’m finding out that I’m not as ostracized as much as I thought...which is encouraging — I like that. But there are pockets of people that hear the word [Atheist] and run. It’s almost like being gay for some people; they have to hide that when there’s really nothing wrong with it. Get over it, it’s just a word.” ATM: On a much lighter note...let’s get all the way into your new single ‘So Jaded’. Tell the fans what they can expect; and why the title ‘So Jaded’? Anthony David: “[Yeah!] Again, I think it’s a turn the cheek song, but I’ve seen people who have reviewed it and they think I’m really serious; I think it’s funny, but it’s true too. It’s about being jaded and some people stay in that all their lives, but lots of people pass through it. You lose love and it’s hard to even think about opening yourself to the next one. There is a line that says ‘I probably would have loved you if you still had a heart’ because you might meet someone who is really nice and they’re trying but you’re like...mmmm...you seem nice, but I don’t really feel like all that right now. Producer and songwriter, Shannon Sanders came up with the title and we talked about it for a long time before I wrote it. I remember it was ‘You’re So Jaded’ at first and I said I don’t like to point fingers...I just wanted to talk about me and see who else could identify with it.” ATM: Your sound is next level in my opinion, but do you feel like you have staying power in the music industry? Anthony David: “I think so! But it isn’t up to me really. I’m doing everything that is up to me. I’m writing, practicing and I get a good enough response; but we’ll see.” ATM: You were nominated for a Grammy in 2009 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for ‘Words’, how important is it to you to win a Grammy?

Anthony David: “It’s not really, a nomination is winning in itself; there are good people that I idolize that haven’t gotten one. The goal is to sustain. It’s a passive goal and I have a few ideas of how I would give my acceptance speech [laugh], but succeeding and having a great career are far more important. I wouldn’t turn it down [chuckles] and I definitely have a lot of respect for the organization.” ATM: Often artists flee to LA or NY to further pursue their career, what is it about Atlanta that makes you stay;tell us your favorite spots in your ‘hood? Anthony David: “I live in the Historic Old Fourth Ward and I love that it’s Black,progressive and we have a big fancy lineage of achievers. I feel that the progression of music and entertainment in Atlanta is cool. We represent very well. The nation follows us now, especially when it comes to hip hop. We have everyone from Big K.R.I.T— Outkast to Janelle [Monae]...we have diversity — in music.” My favorite places to eat in my neighborhood is Corner Tavern; I eat there a lot... it’s easy and they have a great menu. I like Six Feet Under, Nan; expensive but great Thai, and I hang out at Cafe Circa.” ATM: Tell us what we should expect from you in the next 5 years? Anthony David: Keep expanding and really just create other outlets to express myself in different ways and be free! —Tiffini Gatlin

Hey Mr.. DJ! s M

Female DJ’s at the Top of their Game!

DJ’s make the party jump and they introduce us to the hardest beats and newest music by our favorite artists. What you might not expect to see, is a gorgeous woman in 4 inch stilettos, glossy lip balm and wearing a killer pair of sequin skinnies, keeping the party hype behind the turntables. DJ Lady Splash, DJ Kiss and DJ Traci Steele give us a peek into their lives as their city’s party starter—Aisha M. Toussaint

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DJ Lady Splash The summer time is heating up and it is the party season, but don’t sweat; I know a DJ that has cool beats to keep the party jumping. If you are from Los Angeles, California then I’m sure you have heard of DJ Lady Splash. Sandra Luesse, who goes by the entertainment name Lady Splash, is a creative producer and performance DJ known for her unique mix of house and Latin music. When you hear about her distinctive background, then you’ll understand where her style of music comes from. Lady Splash was born in Berlin, Germany. Her mother is Peruvian and her father is a musician who played with well-known artists such as Jimmi Hendrix, Manfred Mann, The Walker Brothers, and Led Zeppelin. See? I told you. Lady Splash uses her worldly upbringing to inspire her diverse beats. “Growing up in Berlin, Germany, there is a lot of house music, and I got inspired by the house music genre,” Lady Splash exclaims. She says she has always enjoyed listening to it. I’m sure you are wondering how she became a DJ. Well, she tells us that she used to follow a lot of DJs and watch what they were doing, without thinking that she was going to become a DJ one day; she just truly enjoyed the music. “How I got into the whole DJ’ing thing, I was an actress for a few years, and on my down time I would DJ as a hobby and little by little I bought all the equipment. I also had DJ friends who would show [me] all the ropes,” says Lady Splash. She talked about her first gig as a DJ, which was for one of Cindy Crawford’s private events in Beverly Hills. When asked if she ever gets nervous during a performance she

said she doesn’t get nervous in the traditional way; she gets an excited feeling of nervousness and loves performing to get the crowd hyped. “For me, DJ’ing is my drug. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke; so for me that’s the biggest high I get,” says Lady Splash. Her goal as a DJ is to be like no other. “I wanna leave an experience with people to remember so they could come back and want more. It’s about the energy I bring and the show that I give; whether it’s the lights [or] the beats that I create, I wanna make it a fun and amazing time for them,” says the L.A DJ. Lady Splash loves to travel and within the next five years she sees herself DJ’ing around the world. She says, “Combining my passions, travel and music, I think this is the perfect career for me.” What’s next for Lady Splash? Well, she is organizing a tour and shows in Europe, so if you like traveling like she does, maybe you can catch her overseas.

She’s far from her residency at Gold Bar, a once popular spot in New York City, now Kiss is spinning behind the turntable on DJ Friday’s on Good Morning America and has even spun for the “GMA” pre-Oscar and post-Oscar shows at the El Capitan Theater in Los Angeles. With all that Kiss has going on, one may wonder how she balances her relationship with husband DJ M.O.S.; who is equally as talented. The two celebrated their one year anniversary in March and Kiss says it’s about understanding your mate. “It can be challenging at times, but my husband is a DJ also, so he understands my hectic schedule. We try to always schedule a date night to spend time together.” When she’s not DJing, we’d like to think she’s shopping a fab pair of Christian Louboutin pumps or shuffling through the racks in an upscale boutique in Soho; looking for another great find that she’ll post on her fashion blog. Whatever, she’s doing while away from the turntables, we know she’s plotting her next move. “I’d love to have my own TV show at some point. I also want to start doing more charity work because my husband and I really believe in giving back!”

DJ Kiss If the name JaKissa Taylor-Semple doesn’t ring a bell, then just ask any famed celebrity, politician, party-goer or journalist if they’ve heard of DJ Kiss and the answer will likely be yes! DJ Kiss is quickly becoming a household name. It’s almost impossible not to mention her name when talking about the most exclusive events around the world. In fact in March, Kiss kept a crowd entertained at a fundraiser for President Obama in Atlanta, which proves she’s far more than a DJ seeking her next party gig. Although her resume is getting increasingly longer and more impressive by the job, Kiss continues to work hard, setting her sight on new goals. “It’s rewarding for me to be able to play music that I love for people. It’s also great to be able to make my own schedule and have the option to branch off into other things.

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DJ Traci Steele Traci Steele, most known as DJ Traci Steele, is a hot, multi-talented, hard worker who’s originally from Bronx, New York, and is known for more than her DJ‘ing skills. This woman is also a radio personality and celebrity host. DJ Traci Steele is definitely a triple threat. Being driven and determined to take over this dominant male industry, Steele has branded herself as one of the top DJs in Atlanta. She has been a Radio Personality and DJ for over 10 years and currently works for Hot 107.9 FM in Atlanta. She is a single mom to her 6-year-old son who she dedicates her success to. “He motivates me to work hard and to build a legacy for him,” says DJ Traci Steele. Steele began her start in the music industry as a radio personality in Virginia Beach at Hampton University. “That was interesting; I hosted a Jazz

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show as well as Slow Jams. I didn't know much about Jazz, but I was determined to do anything it took to get in radio. It’s funny looking back now, because I knew none of the Jazz artists and couldn't even pronounce their names properly,” says DJ Traci Steele. Well, I’m sure she played it off well. Steele is a prime example of the saying “It’s never too late.” She explains, “I was 22 years old, which is pretty late; most DJs I know started in their teens, but I had a natural ability to blend music from the very start, so I had to develop that and I'm so glad I did.” It was a good thing she followed her heart and passion because it opened up the opportunity for her to work with amazing artists such as Musiq Soulchild and NeYo, just to name a couple. “I got to tour the world and the experience is unforgettable,” says Steele. She considers her world tour with Musiq Soulchild to be her big break. Well, I’m guessing that you all are wondering what type of music DJ Steele is into; but like I said she is very diverse. “I listen to a lot of Reggae; I have a West Indian background. My parents are Jamaican, but I love all types of music. I try to play a lot of Top 40, Rihanna, David Guetta, Jason Derulo, [and] Lady Gaga mixed with hip hop, Future, T.I, Luda, [and] 2 Chains,” says Steele. Steele has earned her respect in the industry by branding herself as a classy woman with a bit of sex appeal, and always keeps everything professional. But she couldn’t build her brand alone. Steele says, “I first had to realize that this is a business, and in order to build my business I needed to brand and market Traci Steele. I also realized that I needed a team to help. I can’t be a one woman army. I hired an assistant, recruited interns and a manager, and went from there.” Her brand is now known by other personalities and celebrities alike. Now that she has built a household name, her next goal is getting on television as a host. So, what can we expect from her? Steele says, “You can expect to hear my name, DJ Traci Steele!!!”

her name for something else. Dylan cultivated her passion for candy and art at Duke University and opened the first store in 2001. Since 2001 Dylan has opened a total of 5 stores and a renovation to the first store has made Dylan’s Candy Bar the largest candy store in the world.

You Get Paid To Do What? Imagine doing something you love everyday and getting paid for it. That’s what many people would love to do but some never get the chance or they lose their passion. Believing in yourself is the first step to making your dreams a reality. Meet some of America’s finest and see exactly how they earn their living. Mindy Weiss- Author and Lifestyle coach Mindy Weiss is the most sought after party planner in the U.S. She has planned everything from weddings to baby showers for some of the most notable people in the industry. Some of her most infamous weddings include Fergie & Josh Duhamel, Ellen Degeneres & Portia Rossi, Lala Vasquez & Carmelo Anthony, and Heidi Klum & Seal. Noah Stephens- Stephens calls himself a “one-man media content provider,” and spends a lot of his time finding and shooting subjects for The People of Detroit photo project. “When I select a subject for the project, I make sure that person tells me something about Detroit you would not otherwise know. He felt that the media only depicts the negative things about Detroit and not the positive. Dylan Lauren- An infatuation with Willy Wonka turned into a lifelong dream for fashion extraordinaire Ralph Lauren’s daughter Dylan. When Dylan was 14 her dad wanted to name a new fragrance after her but she told him she wanted to use

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Nathan Sawaya- Nathan started his career as an attorney making six figures but he wasn’t passionate about law. He left the practice to pursue his passion of art. His favorite childhood toy of legos is how Sawaya earns his living. He has made everything from self portraits to larger than life animals with the small bricks. He currently owns over 1 million legos. Jasmine Goodman- The professor/CEO is well on her way to making a difference in digital media. In the mornings she is the professor of Video Production at the Art Institute of Atlanta. The rest of her time is devoted to Project Blaq, an online TV network that features high-quality black web series, documentaries and short films. Her online company makes her enough money that she could quit her teaching job if she wanted to and still survive.

Quick Tips For Job Readiness • Identify your dream! Where are your passions? What gets you excited? • Network! Begin to see yourself as a product. meet many different people and follow up with the people you meet. • Are you resume ready? Does your resume stand out? Have you sold yourself on paper? Keep it professional, informative, and enthusiastic. • Practice Interviewing! Practice explaining your strengths and why you’d make a meaningful contribution to the company. • Be Prepared and Look Like The Top Candidate. Review the company dress code before your interview. —Briana Augustus

Grand Velas Riviera Maya:

A New Reason to Experience Sophisticated Ultra-Luxury at an All-Inclusive Resort Words + Photographs by Tiffini Gatlin

I never had an interest in traveling to Mexico. In college I would frequently hear my classmates discussing their plans to go to Cancun for Spring Break, but for whatever reason I never going my priority. In May, my husband and I had an opportunity to travel to Riviera Maya, Mexico to experience Grand Velas Riviera Maya All-Inclusive resort and spa; a luxurious destination located along the lush Yucatan Peninsula. Upon arriving to our destination our driver pulled up to the sealed gates of our resort and said, “Welcome to Paradise”. I must admit, I didn’t yet, understand what he meant by Paradise. At the point of entrance I had seen nothing but a mile long trail of jungle flora and fauna and protected mangroves. It wasn’t until we reached the Grand Class area for final check-in did the 300,000 sq ft resort began to unfold before my eyes, and indeed Paradise was before me. From the moment we departed our shuttle we were treated like royalty, immediately being assigned a personal concierge to handle any personal needs during our stay. Our concierge escorted us to our suite, and as the doors swept open, I first noticed the panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea just minutes away from our balcony. If you only came for relaxation, you would never really have to leave your room to have a great time. With 491 spacious suites at the resort ranging in size from 1,184 to 3,767 square feet there are more than generous accommodation sizes for every need, and if you want to dine-in; their 24-hour in-suite dining is amazing. Moments after settling into our room we self toured the facility checking out their multiple state of the art fitness

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facilities, their open-air snack bars situated around the property, five diverse bars, their five fine dining offerings and headed over to the activities center to see the list of free daily water sports and games. You’ll notice how manicured the resort grounds are, which makes for the perfect backdrop to your photos. Before heading back to our suite to freshen up for dinner, we noticed a pair of waterfront cabanas and I wanted to stop for my photo op; I made a mental

note that this is where I would be coming back to relax with cocktail in hand. The resort seems to think of everything! Each room is equipped and restocked, as used, with essential items you’ll need for your trips to the beach. Check out the wicker beach bag next to my cabana in the picture above, this is available in your room with a pair of him and her flip flops and is what I used to pack all of our goodies when heading out and about on the resort. Later in the evening

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we caught up with our group for drinks at the Sky Bar, before dinner at Piaf, where native Frenchman Michel Mustiere serves foie gras, escargot, black truffles, duck confit, and pillowy souffles in a cabaret-inspired dining room awash with Swarovsky crystals and red velvet- a lavish ode to the great, late singer/actress from who the restaurant borrows its name. I would argue to say that out of the three restaurants that we experienced over our visit Piaf was one of my

favorites. I ordered the Sea Bass and it literally melted in my mouth and all the flavors in my mouth felt like an exclusive party. I must say I couldn’t bring myself to try the escargot [snails] but the general consensus from the group is that they were scrumptious. Dessert concluded our evening and our group purposefully ordered different items

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I ordered the assorted sorbet, which was absolutely heaven. My husband ordered the chocolate lava cake which was equally as good. As you can see presentation is everything when you dine at one of award winning restaurants.

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The next morning we wanted to experience the dine-in option for breakfast and I can’t tell you how good our salmon egg white omelets, smoked gouda cheese, assorted sweet breads, diced fruit and guava and papaya juices were; not to mention how beautifully decorated and colorful everything was. Since the weather was so nice, we decided to dine on our balcony while enjoying the view. If only everyday could be like this!

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Remember that mental note that I made to go back and relax under the cabana? I’m back! I had to find time to relax and take in everything I had experienced the first night. Once I was relaxed, I was up for a challenge my husband in a game of ping pong; which I’m proud to say I won! The board you see next to our ping pong table is a list of ongoing activities at the resort, so there is plenty to do; especially if you’re bringing the entire family.

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After my rest and relaxation and healthy dose of competitive ping pong, we headed to the resorts Spa sanctuary. Surrounded by a verdant jungle, Spa Grand Velas Riviera Maya features over 89,000 square feet of pure indulgence with 40 treatment rooms and suites complemented by native artwork and furnishings. The spa was one of the most rewarding experience of my trip and I highly recommend adding a spa treatment to your visit. I opted to try the Cocoa Ritual and the Purifying Vanilla Facial. After being greeted with a specialty tea and a cool towel for cleansing my face and hands, I began my journey with an hour long relaxation water journey ritual built around the use of eight, specially designed water-based facilities. As guest we refreshed in the Spa’s adjoining men’s and women’s hydrotherapy facilities, which feature dry saunas, cold plunge pools, vitality pools, whirlpools, herbal steam rooms with color-therapy, clay and ice rooms and experience showers. This is an experience that you have to have in order to understand how magnificent this was. My Cocoa Ritual smelled so yummy, and consisted of an application of a smooth, fresh mint chocolate cream

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body wrap. I opted for the facial because with the dry heat that I had experiencing, I want to give my face a fresh lift. I declined the facial extractions but that along with the option of two facial masks are included. My morning was complete and I wanted to take some time to explore Playa Del Carmen, so I set out in a cab with another couple for an afternoon of exploring, shopping and authentic Mexican Food. A cab from our resort to Playa Del Carmen was about $20, and if you travel with other people [always suggested] this becomes a cheap mode of transportation. I couldn’t miss stopping by Senor Frog and having a frozen margarita, while swinging at the bar. It’s one of those moments where you just have to say— I did it! All the locals wanted our business as we walked the streets of Playa Del Carmen. I decided to get some handmade trinkets for my kids and watched while they went to work; sewing by hand the names of my kids in colorful friendship bracelets I had chosen for each of them. My husband is an aficionado of cigars, so we stopped by a famous cigar shop where they rolled one of the largest cigars I had ever seen. All the walking we did around Playa Del Carmen had us fatigued, so I put to use the little spanish I knew and asked a few locals

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about good authentic Mexican Restaurants they would recommend. After little deliberation, we ended up at La Parrilla throwing down on enchiladas, tacos and fajitas! Best afternoon ever! After our return from sight-seeing, I decided to take advantage of the free water sports at the resort. I had never gone Kyaking, and decided i would give it a whirl. The most difficult sport ever in life [lol]! I was extremely happy that the life guard went out with me in the boat. I told him if my life depended on me getting back to shore, they would have to have somebody to rescue me. The amount of arm strength you have to muster up is insane, and take my hat off to anyone who Kyaks as a sport. It take a lot of endurance. Nonetheless, I was delighted to have had the experience. After my water adventure, it was time to wash up for dinner at the two time AAA Four Diamond Award restaurant Frida on Cinco de Mayo. Don’t expect to have a big party in Mexico like they do in the states, they don’t celebrate their independence until September. Although, no big sombreros here for Cinco De Mayo, we had our own party with fare by Chef Daniel Garcia Gomez, in an elegant indoor/outdoor setting with a bougainvillea-covered terrace overlooking the beach. Once dinner concluded, Chef was so nice to invite us in his kitchen and show us around. The night was young, so we headed over to the Karaoke Bar until almost 2 a.m., and that’s where I got the party started! Check out the picture of me singing my heart out! What an awesome ending to a perfect day. Grand Velas Riviera Maya has so much to offer, from spa services given by the regions largest spa facility, to games and activities and fine dining, there is simply something for everyone. Hailing at #1 on my list of amazing vacations, Grand Velas Riviera Maya has redefined my definition of what an All-Inclusive luxury vacationing experience should feel and look like.

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A Little Slice of Serenity Photographs by Chanda M. Scott

In June was invited to Serenbe for a southern summer block party, where they unveiled the Bosch Net Zero Model furnished by Ballard Designs as well as offered guest a complimentary tour, equipped with hospital booties to protect the floors, of the HGTV Green Home; which by the way I didn’t win. I had never heard of Serenbe before and was surprised that the location was only 20 minutes from my Southwest Atlanta home. Immediately upon arrival I no longer felt like I was in Georgia, yet a small town where everyone knew your name. I was greeted with peach cobbler from the neighborhood Fern Market, cool treats from King of Pops, and light Southern bites and signature cocktails from The Farmhouse at Serenbe; all I needed was the dotted line, because I was ready to sign up for this type of easy living. Since my mom is an HGTV fanatic, and it’s practically the only channel that stays glued to her flat screen televisions, I’m aware of the homes, cash prizes and vehicles they give away each year in various states, but this was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to participate in a live tour. I was extremely impressed with not only how eco-friendly this home is, but how everything was masterfully designed and well thought of; nothing was left to the imagination! Check out my sightings and why I love Serenebe so much!

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Clockwise: Lemon wafer cookies...were awesome!; dip the wafer in chocolate and add ice cream...sinful!; It’s always a good time when King of Pops shows up; My photographer never takes a bad shot...love the kids!; The Farmhouse at Serenbe served delicious cocktails; Check out the peach cobbler I mentioned earlier.

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All the items I loved from the Bosch Net Zero Home...yes even the guy in white! Although he doesn’t come with the home—he was classic!

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Green Home Architect

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The Sweet Auburn Curb Market is becoming the new epicurean destination

Lunch time will never be the same again once you experience it at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. Founded in 1918, the curb market is one of Atlanta’s most historic food venues originally created to give city-goers direct access to farmers and their produce. Although you can still visit the market for an assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables and wholesale meats along with a sprinkling of retail stores, the local food scene is reviving the market and bringing a fresh wave of foodies looking for a variety of delicious options. Haven’t been there in a while? If not, it’s time for a visit to see how the Sweet Auburn Curb Market has turned into a complete epicurean destination. —Andrea Janise

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Former food truck owner Lis Hernandez found her new home when she opened up a permanent space at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, making her delicious Venezuelan arepas (grilled corncakes filled with a combination of cheese, meat, and vegetables) available for the public six days a week. These hand-held treats come in several varieties; a favorite is La Pelua made with shredded beef, caramelized onions and peppers, and cheddar cheese. With a menu of Central American specialties including empanadas and cachapas (corn pancakes filled with cheese); plus mouthwatering sides like black beans and fried plantain, you’ll get a true taste of the Venezuelan street food experience. Arepa Mia www.arepamiaatlanta.com

After a home-based delivery service’s demand grew beyond supply, Bell Street Burritos made a home at the curb market. Simplicity is what makes the food at Bell Street Burritos so delectable, serving a selection of burritos, quesadillas and tacos using fresh ingredients and straight-forward recipes. The signature burrito is made with flour tortillas, pinto beans, Monterey jack cheese and rice, with the option of customizing your selection with extras like cilantro and guacamole. Add a side of tortilla chips, house-made salsa and a Mexican coke and you are definitely in for a treat! Bell St Burritos www.bell streetburritos.com

Grindhouse maintains a steady line at the cash register due to their flavorful, freshly ground and seasoned patties made to order. With beef, turkey and veggie burger options, you’ll love the suggested combinations like the signature Grindhouse Style topped with grilled onions, lettuce, American cheese and grindhouse sauce (smoky mayo); and the Apache Style topped with roasted New Mexico green chiles, grilled onions and pepper jack cheese. Sides include crinkle cut fries, crispy sweet potato chips and thick-cut onion rings. Pull up a stool at the counter and be sure to ask for extra napkins. Grindhouse Killer Burgers www.grindhouseburgers.com

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Owner Deborah Kudelka of Ciao Bocca (meaning “hello mouth” in Italian) is aiming to change the way you think about Italian food. She takes pride in serving lunch options made with fresh breads and classic flavors using only a few select ingredients and avoiding the heavy creams and sauces. Menu items include soups, sandwiches, antipasto and pasta salads. In April, Ciao Bocca was highlighted by Eater Atlanta for having one of the best gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches in the city, thoughtfully made with provolone, asiago and mozzarella cheese, basil and tomato between two slices of artisanal bread. We couldn’t agree more! Ciao Bocca www.ciaobocca.net

Hot dog lovers, get ready to tantalize your taste buds at Yum Diggity, one of the newest food vendors at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market. The crew that brought us Yumbii (ATL’s first food truck) took a step outside of their food truck empire to deliver “gourmet franks” made with local high-quality links, sausages and brats that are free of fillers, MSG and artificial flavors. Hot dog connoisseurs can top their franks with a variety of toppings such as sautéed onions, sport peppers, coleslaw, cheese whiz and jalapenos to customize the perfect meal. Yum Diggity www.facebook.com/Yumdiggity

By the way, don’t miss dessert! Sweet Auburn Bakery has been wowing customers for years with its notable sweet potato cheesecake and decadent red velvet whoopie pies. High Road Craft ice cream will be serving up their cult-inducing frozen treats, including the Brown Butter Praline ice cream and their Red Berries & Prosecco sorbet. Sweet Auburn Curb Market is located at 209 Edgewood Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30303. Visit them online at www.sweetauburncurbmarket.com

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Uncorked Glass Company

Recycled bottles become the ideal glass for a refreshing summer cocktail Ever wonder what happens to the hundreds of used wine bottles from bars and restaurants? In Atlanta, some of those bottles are recycled by the Uncorked Glass Company and turned into unique, wine-inspired glassware. Uncorked Glass Company is an Atlanta-based company with a mission to make the world a little greener by collecting empty wine bottles and turning them into eye-catching glassware. These hip and trendy tumblers are a useful solution to reusing bottles that could be thrown away. With that signature wine bottle dimple in the bottom of the glass, these 100% post-consumer recycled vessels make the perfect dinner conversation, so make a point to have them at your next get together. They come in a variety of colors, but all have smooth, rounded edges and durable glass, making them ideal to pour any drink,

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wine or cocktail in. They are also great as gift ideas – get them engraved for a wedding or anniversary gift. The clear tumblers are perfect for summer entertaining. With its transparent glass and unique shape, a cool and colorful seasonal cocktail will surely make your guest’s mouths water. For the perfect summer libation, test out your mixology skills with a well-balanced sweet and citrusy Blood Water cocktail, created by award-winning mixologist Miles Macquarrie – a big hit at the StarChefs. com Rising Stars Atlanta gala held in June. Don’t let the name sway you, this deliciously balanced cocktail showcases vibrant yellow and red hues while providing a refreshing, citrusy drink.—Andrea Janise

Photo Credit-kellymelissaphotographyblog.com

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BLOOD WATER COCKTAIL 1 ½ ounces Death’s Door gin ¾ ounce lime juice ½ ounce orgeat (rich, almond flavored syrup) ¼ ounce Bitter Truth creole bitters ½ ounce ginger syrup (to make: use equal parts fresh ginger juice with simple syrup) Shake the gin, lime juice, orgeat, and ginger syrup with ice. Strain into glass over one big ice cube. Float the bitters on top.

Recipe by mixologist Miles Macquarrie + StarChefs.com Rising Stars Gala

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MOTHER OF PEARL 1 ½ oz. Death’s Door gin 2 dashes Fee Brothers celery bitters 3-4 oz. Fever Tree Tonic water Build in an old-fashioned glass rimmed with celery salt. Top with bottled tonic water and give a gentle stir. Garnish with a fennel frond and celery leaf. (celery salt we use is a blend of commercially made celery salt, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper)

Recipe by The Optimist | Photo Credit Andrew Thomas Lee

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DRINKS BY THE POOL Peaches (fresh) Berries (fresh) sugar Homemade lemonade Your favorite splash of vodka, rum, tequila Make a ‘simple syrup’: cut the fruit into small pieces, and a little sugar and water, bring to a boil and then let thicken while cooling. Place ice into your sexiest cup, and let your syrup drizzle; add lemonade and a splash of your favorite liquor.

Recipe + Photo by Aisha Stith 91 Tastemakermag.com| July/August 2012

I was in one of my favorite natural food stores, and I stumbled upon a purple sweet potato, I had previously seen purple potatoes but a purple sweet potato was foreign to me, I grabbed a few and added some fresh rosemary from my mother’s urban garden. Incredible twist to a classic dish!

Sweet potato(s) Purple potato(s) Honey Butter Fresh rosemary Slice your potatoes into small cubes. Boil until soft. In a small pan, melt butter, honey and chopped rosemary, toss your potatoes in this savory sauce. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. The rosemary adds such a unique taste and with the contrast of the colors of sweet potatoes, this dish is sure to impress.

Yum Yum Yamsfor thought with Aisha Stith food

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Be the Perfect


Being the hostess for your one of your BFF’s most important milestones can be a lot of pressure. Lucky for you Blackbride.com has come to the rescue and gives 5 tips to becoming the perfect bridal shower hostess!

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3. Select a theme - The location can play a part in choosing a theme. Host should be inspired by the bride’s personality and the inspiration should be used throughout to complement the bride, everything from the food, favors, music, pretty cupcakes and or cake, dessert station, and decorations. Speaking of favors, favors can also do double duty like using personalized custom gifts as seating card.

The bridal shower is truly a special event that will be remembered for a lifetime. It is a lovely precursor to the wedding and the perfect time for family, friends and of course the bridal party to get together and have fun while bestowing gifts upon the bride-to-be. The host should find out if the bride would like to go with the tradition of having the groom show up with flowers just before his fiancée opens the gifts. The gesture is very touching, and will also give guest who haven’t met the groom-to-be the opportunity for an introduction prior to the big day. Just in case the groom isn’t able to attend, you can place a framed photo of the couple on the gift table.

1. Choose a date – Be sure to select a date that is convenient for the bride. Keep in mind when choosing a date for the shower, the closer it gets to the big day, the bride will have a lot on her plate. 2. Advance planning – Once you’ve selected a date, let the planning process begin! Selecting the perfect venue, caterer, and photographer in advance will avoid missing out on the opportunity. Early planning will also avoid being overwhelmed by waiting until the last minute. Consult with the bride to see if she has a special place in mind that has meaning, and memories to create a real personal feeling during the shower.

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4. The Invite - Be sure to get input from the bride regarding the guest list. A host should know not to invite anyone she may not want on the list. Invites should go out at least a month in advance and no more than six weeks in advance. Choose shower stationery that fits the bride’s personality, and the overall theme of the shower. It may be a design that is trendy, classic, couture, or sweet and frilly. 5. Stay focused - Above all things remember to keep focused on the bride. During the planning process it’s easy to get carried away with what you may want to do for the bride, and ignore what the bride would like. The day of the bridal shower make her feel that she is the luckiest girl in the world, not only because she is embarking on the journey of a lifetime into marriage, but also because you are the planner/host for this lovely precursor to the wedding. Most of all remember to be a charming gracious hostess, and keep the shower moving along by sticking to the planned schedule.

My Black Is Beautiful :

A commitment to celebrating +connecting African American Women The Essence Music Festival (EMF) proved to be what it claimed; a party with a purpose. While the Superdome ruled the night;,the Ernest N. Morial Convention center was the place to be during the day. Empowerment sessions, brands, vendors and refreshments were available at no cost. The My Black is Beautiful hub was bustling with, well, beautiful black women. The My Black is Beautiful movement is Proctor and Gamble’s commitment to celebrating and connecting with the African American woman. The 2012 EMF started the “Imagine a Future” initiative. In collaboration with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Black Girls Rock! (BGR!), the campaign is designed to impact the lives of one million black girls over the next three years. These girls will be given the tools to cultivate a strong sense of self confidence and self-esteem. There were “activation stations”; attendees could have their makeup done, hair touched up and get tips from makeup artists, such as Ashunta Sherrif. While learning more about MBIB, I ran into Bevy Smith (MBIB ambassador) and the OMG GIRLZ (Officially Miss Guided ). I chatted with the GIRLZ, and they are sharp as tacks — starting with the group name. Officially – speaking, Miss- stands for the ladies (Miss STAR, Miss BEAUTY, and Miss BABY DOLL), Guided in positive ways. The girlz talked about their Essence Music Festival; humbled, they were excited about all the positivity surrounding EMF. When asked about how they balanced their studies with touring and performances, the response was a resounding, “we push each other”. Star (daughter of Tiny Cottle) said that they have tutors, and they stay on top of each other about finishing assignments. Unanimously, they told me they will graduate from school; they feel education is extremely important. The GIRLZ undoubtedly have their heads on straight. It was great to see teens using their talents to entertain while enriching the lives of others.—Carmen Blakely

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Monica wows in Alexander McQueen Click to see more details on her BET look

2012 Downtown Restaurant Week

The 11th annual Downtown Restaurant week kicks off with 25 of the finest Atlanta restaurants and we had and official sneak peek ! Click here for the details.

Maroon 5 ‘Payphone’ Tops Charts Alicia Keys Does the Big Chop! Read about Alicia Keys’ big transformation she debuted via instagram click here to read Fashion, Beauty, Entertainment We have you covered...it’s the latest fashion tips you want to know about, the hair trends that keep you looking fabulous and the entertainment that’s relevant and now! Go Now: tastemakermag.com

Gone too soon, Kile Glover. We remember his spirit through his family and pray that they are healed through their difficult time of grieving. -Tastemaker Magazine

Maroon 5 is currently sitting at the top of the Billboard charts with their single ‘Payphone’ featuring Wiz Khalifa. Check out the video here.

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