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CONTENTS BUSINESS Getting Proactive at Work

13 Granola Goes Gold

16 Become a Renowned Leader

14 Kerry Washington Speaks Out

20 Paradise City Arts Festival

21 Witching Hour







Veronica Marché Miller Illustration courtesy of Veronica Marché Miller


Published by The Lioness Group. Founder, Natasha Clark.

Editor-in-Chief Katelyn Gendron Art Director Leo Pilares Director of Photography Denise Smith Columnists Kristina Chapell Aliyah Cherrisse Brenda’s Child Michelle Perry Higgins Tara McCollum Contributing Writers Erin K. Corriveau Carley Dangona Lamara Hunter Paige Cerulli Emily Thurlow Jennifer Sawyer

Š2013 Lioness Magazine is the first online magazine geared toward female entrepreneurs. We deliver sharp and compelling information on a variety of topics that are relevant to female entrepreneurs and professionals. Our mission is to elevate, educate and support female professionals. We celebrate the unique challenges and achievements of women in business. We believe women are multi-dimensional creations who flourish, personally and professionally, when they take time to nurture their spirits.

welcome to editor’s letter Katelyn Gendron

Passion for the craft is inspiring There’s something about the September Fashion Issue that makes me giddy for the fall season. Please don’t misunderstand me, I’m fully dedicated to each of our issues but a whole month of my life earmarked for reading copy about fashion is a win for my calendar, especially when we’re talking about fresh faces on the runways. We all know of Louis Vuitton, Versace, Oscar de la Renta and the like, but I’m more interested in designers you don’t see being worn by the masses. Veronica Marché Miller, our cover story, is one such up-and-comer whose work has been picked up by TJMaxx for the holidays. The passion she has for her craft is something many don’t have in the workplace, making her designs, in my opinion, that much more appealing. It is also important to note that the illumination of Veronica’s story would not have been possible without the talents of the newest member of the Lioness pack, Tara McCollum. Having taken a few years away from writing, Tara’s first foray back into the craft is with our publication and we’ve come to believe ink must certainly run through her veins. She’s penned not only this month’s cover story but also a feature on pro-triathlete-turnedentrepreneur, Jasmine Oeinck, founder of Bulumu, a line of all-natural granola. I always marvel at what women like Veronica, Tara and Jasmine can accomplish when they embrace their talents and release their work to the world without any reservations. Let’s be honest, without independent, artistic leaders to inspire us, who will fill the pages of future magazines or clothe models walking runways around the world? Certainly not me, well, not the runway part at least.












veronica marché miller



Veronica Marché Miller: The Girl on Fire!

Miller’s passion for fashion creates nationwide retail line By Tara McCollum

How many times in your life have you had an idea, a whim, a sudden spark of inspiration that you kept only to yourself? Have you ever wondered what could have become of your imaginations if you just went for it?

Veronica Marché Miller, 30, doesn’t wonder. She acts, no, she creates.

This coming holiday season will see Miller’s creations come to life at TJMaxx locations nationwide, with an array of illustrated

Christmas cards and gift bags, all featuring stylish African American women, an idea that Miller says “started on a whim.”

Miller, a current graduate student studying fashion design at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa., was on a school break when her “whim” inspired her to illustrate “pretty brown girls” in greeting card fashion. She saw the lack of such images and thought someone should do it. “Why not me?” she asked herself. Focusing her illustrative talents on African American women, Miller teamed up with Redbubble, an online marketplace that allows artists to sell their art on the Internet without hassle and with a broader public outreach. Not too long after submitting her illustrations online, Miller started receiving orders.

“It took off more than I thought it would,” Miller confessed. “I was surprised at the num-

ber of cards that people bought. My email was pinging constantly. It was cool to see so many people supporting it and getting excited.”

Through her self promotion on social media and friends telling friends about her product, the growing interest and excitement was affirmation to Miller that she wasn’t the only one who saw the lack of fashionable, confident looking African American women in the fashion industry. Suddenly her “whim” brought her to the attention of retail buyers and a licensing agreement with a greeting card manufacturer that works with TJMaxx. It almost seems the typical route that one may think of for a woman studying design and fashion, but the most surprising, and perhaps inspiring, part of Miller’s story is that just a few years ago, she was on a different path, one that didn’t completely fulfill her and one that didn’t

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Photo courtesy of Sean Dyroff Illustrations courtesy of Veronica Marché Miller

VMM: The Girl on Fire! involve fashion at all.

Knowing since she was a child that art and fashion were her passions, Miller did eventually succumb to the traditional fears and worries of an unsteady and risky life working in the arts could bring. Though her parents always encouraged her talents, they worried that a career in the arts would be a difficult one. “They thought I would be struggling,” Miller recalled.

With her mom in banking and dad in broadcasting, Miller chose to push her creative talents into broadcast journalism. Following a 2005 graduation from Howard University, Miller worked the major news outlets in Washington, D.C., for about seven years, but was never satisfied.

“It was this nagging thing,” Miller recalled. “Whenever I read a fashion blog I would get so jealous, to the point that I was mad. And then I remember I heard or read somewhere, ‘pay attention to what you’re jealous of.’

“It means there’s something more that I should do,” Miller continued. “I had trouble at my job, wasn’t doing as well as I could and I heard or read this question that made me ask, ‘without this job, who am I?’ Don’t rely on

a title or who you work for. At your core, what am I? I answered, ‘I am a creator.’ That got the ball rolling. I liked what I did, but it wasn’t that thing I was on fire for.”

It was about a two-year internal struggle, but eventually Miller made the decision to be the creator she wanted to be, left D.C and packed up her life for Drexel University, enrolling in a three-year master’s program designed for those without any formal training. Learning from the ground up, she now works tirelessly from project to project, fueled by that fire she was searching for.

Greeting cards are just the beginning. Miller is currently learning animation and also works with logo design and imagery for womenowned businesses in the fashion and lifestyle sector. She also has her future sights on the “massive animal” that is clothing, having already worked in costume design, finding it to be a wonderful fantasy world. “You can make things you literally would never see in your life, like a tie-dyed body stocking,” she said.

Miller hopes to one day work on a plus size collection that would make women feel appropriate, confident and fashionable. However, that is down the line, as this Jane of all trades is trying to tackle one thing at a time.

“I have to get it right or it won’t serve anyone,” Miller said. “Today I’m an illustrator, but I’m always involved in everything. The biggest thing that helps to keep it all together is a deadline. When I have a deadline in front of me I can get things done. Also knowing what I need to devote to each task, even if I don’t sleep.

“My immediate future is in illustration; I can do it at my desk, or on the bus,” Miller continued. “I just see a lot of importance in imagery.”

Inspired by the old Hollywood likes of Dorothy Dandridge and Eartha Kitt, Miller works to illustrate everyday life “in a really stylish manner,” always having some sort of movement in her pieces. Miller’s ideal customer would be on par with the likes of Solange Knowles, a woman who has her hands in everything, her own unique, interesting style, appreciates illustration and has a quirk in her. A woman, some may say, close to her own heart.

Reflecting further on her own inspirations, Miller mentions a professor who has become a mentor of some sorts for her.

“I don’t think she’s ever had ‘A’ job, just a mish mash of whatever interested her,” Miller said. “That’s where I’m headed.”

Tara McCollum, a New York native, currently resides in Houston, Texas, where she has learned to trade in cosmopolitans for margaritas, contemporary décor for bedazzled embellishments, and white winters for palm trees, but has held stead fast to her great love for the Yankees. With a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from State University of New York at Purchase, she manages an office for an electrical company by day and is a loving mother to three beautiful furry animals by night. Never giving up on her dreams of one day becoming a novelist, she has slowly been documenting the crazy and unexpected soap opera-like turns of her life in the hopes of one day entertaining the masses with her unbelievable tales. Stay tuned.



The Lipstick Chronicles

I want to be on TV too!

By Kristina Chapell

Since moving down to the Atlanta area I have met some fabulous people! My friends are my lifesavers as well as the ones who open new doors to meeting new people. So I can’t tell a lie when I say I have always wanted to be famous – have my own talk show or be on TV. I mean what girl doesn’t dream of this, right?

Kristina Chapell with the stars of Lifetime’s “Pretty Wicked Moms” Photo courtesy of Kristina Chapell

I had a web show for a while, “Chapell’s Corner,” on The Businews Channel where much like here I talked about dating, love, life, and being a 30-something female professional. Then life got in the way and eventually my move and the show took a backseat. Plus I wasn’t sure who really wanted to listen to me spew my words of wisdom or my experiences but I still haven’t given up on being famous or having my own talk show. In fact I have decided I would be a good fill-in for Kris Jenner and her new talk show, “Kris,” because we share the same name spelt the same way; it’s kismet.

Not only do I want a talk show (or even a radio show will do) I want a small part on a TV show. In Atlanta there are so many reality shows … can’t I just have a small part? I can call everyone back home and have them watch their daughter, friend or neighbor who moved and “made it big.” Ha! But, I do want to be on TV and I probably would broadcast it everywhere too.

Well, I am not sure this will get me on TV but I am thankful to my hair stylist for getting me one step closer. I share him with many of the stars of “Pretty Wicked Moms” on Lifetime. I almost died when I found out. I felt like I was sitting in the chair royalty sits in. I mean come on, it’s not every day you find out TV stars get their hair done by your stylist. Thanks to my stylist we all connected on Twitter and/or Facebook and I wasn’t just a “crazy fan or stalker” but I was a true fan. Yes, I have seen the show and watched the crazy story lines but I have also heard the wonderful things my stylist says about them. We would tweet each other, comment on our Facebook posts, and share a piece of our lives. I felt like I was getting to know some of these women and to my surprise was invited to a Trunk Show a few were hosting. I know I wasn’t the only “fan” invited but I still felt honored.

The day of the Trunk Show I oddly had a hair appointment so I saw my stylist and we chatted more about the ladies I was going to see. I couldn’t wait; I was like a kid in the candy store. When I got there I saw Marci, Nicole, and Meredith. It was busy but with time I introduced myself to them and they immediately knew who I was; I felt like I was on cloud nine. We talked about our lives, the show and of course our stylist; we are so lucky to have Daniel in our lives doing our hair! These

Kristina Chapell is a single gal in her 30s making her way in the world. Passionate, savvy, and stylish; Kristina is a social relationship builder. You can often find her on Facebook and Twitter keeping up with the latest news and always supporting causes she is passionate about such as the Alzheimer’s Association, Link to Libraries, and The Business Channel.



ladies were so sweet and frankly the fact they knew me made me love them even more. I couldn’t wait to get a picture with them.

I left that Trunk Show with a picture and feeling like I was important, someone people “in the know” know. That picture went on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I also sent it to my friends and family and my dad’s response, “so when are you going to be on the show?” He knows me so well. I am not sure I will be on “Pretty Wicked Moms” anytime soon but what I do know is I still communicate with Nicole, Marci and Meredith because regardless of them being on TV they are genuinely nice people and to me, that is more important than being on TV; OK, OK being on TV would be nice too. But who knows, maybe I could be one step closer. After all, I would be fine with a cameo role, I don’t need a story line or anything, I can just be a wallflower! The best part, while I am worrying about a small part on TV someday, my cousin who lives a bit further north from me was an extra in Adam Sandler’s new movie that is filming in town. Really? She gets a movie role and I can’t even get on TV? Was I putting the bar too low for myself?

I am not giving up. Atlanta has many more opportunities for me to be famous via TV or film. And in the mean time I can say “hey, that’s my cousin” when the movie comes out, as well as look at the picture of Meredith, Nicole, Marci and me when I want to feel famous. Do you ever dream about being on TV? Am I the only one? ~ xoxoxo KC

How Are You Spending Your Day? Proactive Passively or Productively?

By Leslie Shreve

My clients often tell me on the phone – or on the surveys they fill out prior to working together – that they’re feeling far too reactive in their work day and would prefer to be much more proactive and productive. Does that sound like you?

OK. So what’s stopping you? What’s getting in your way? Why aren’t you more proactive? If you can recognize the symptoms of rampant reactivity, you’re more likely to start making better choices about how to use your time, strengthen your systems and track your tasks. So here’s why you might be suffering from rampant reactivity, let’s see if we can turn this around. You’re a slave to your Inbox

I’ve heard so many clients say they’re “living from their Inbox” on a daily basis. One client, a president of a mid-size company in Virginia, said, “Leslie, I’m waiting for my Inbox to tell me what to do next.”

Are you waiting for your Inbox to tell you what to do?

If so, then you’re not in charge of how you’re spending your day. You also don’t have a really great, complete and comprehensive task list to drive you, which includes all the tasks that come from email.

Sounds like you need a little more time to clear out your Inbox – deleting things that aren’t useful to you and setting up strong systems for everything you want to reference in the future. And with a strong electronic Task list, you can incorporate tasks from email and get that Inbox to zero.

And zero in the Inbox means your Inbox is not he boss anymore. You are. You’re “there” for everyone

When I listen to my clients, or members from some of my live audiences, I hear people say they have to be there for their staff, their team or pretty much everyone else but themselves all the time.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or an executive, you need to realize that you can be there for your staff or team and be there for your own priorities, every day. Trust me.

I want you to take an hour or two each day to shut your office door or disappear into a conference room or work from home (if you regularly work at an office), and get things accomplished on your agenda.

Think of it this way, when you disappear for a two-hour meeting or you’re spending time with your children for a school sport or play or you’re working 1:1 with a colleague on a special project, you’re not available to anyone during those times. So why are you reluctant – almost refusing – to protect your time for your priorities? If you can do it in the examples I gave above, you can do it for yourself.

Start protecting time on your calendar and stop making excuses. You can do this. You just have to set expectations with those around you so they know when you’ll resurface and be available again. And you have to be strong. Don’t pick up the phone or fall prey to any distractions. Focus. Get something done and enjoy checking it off the list! You’re always saying “I’m sorry”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t find that file.”

Leslie Shreve is the founder and CEO of Productive Day and the creator of Taskology: The Science of Getting Things Done. Taskology is a unique branded system that teaches business owners, executives and motivated professionals how to get more clarity, confidence and control in their work day so they can enjoy more time, freedom, progress and success. Visit the website or contact Leslie at for more information.

“I’m sorry I was late.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you.”

“I’m sorry I couldn’t find the check. Could you mail it again?”

These are all real statements that are communicated between my clients and their colleagues at work and they tell me about their deep desire to put an end to these “I’m sorry” statements.

If you’re saying you’re sorry more often than not, then you’re definitely stuck in the land of reactivity. To operate more proactively and put an end to the cause of your “I’m sorry” statements, what has to happen for you? What part of your work day are you apologizing for the most? From the statements above, which do you resonate with?

Perhaps you need more visibility of everything you committed to, said “yes” to, or have on your plate. Perhaps you need better task tracking so you know where you are at any moment on any task or project. Or maybe you need stronger systems for finding what you need when you need it.

When you get a strong system in place for managing tasks, time, email and information, you’re more likely to be clear on what you need to be doing and when. When you’re really clear on your priorities, you’re more likely to feel a greater sense of urgency for getting things done and when that happens, you’re going to want to protect more of your time to get these things done.

Focus on one area at a time and start fixing it so you never have to say “I’m sorry” again.

Jasmine Oeinck

Granola goes for gold

By Tara McCollum

It is no question that the world around us is becoming increasingly health conscious. The market for “natural” and “organic” foods is on the rise but many products geared towards those who want to eat healthier, aren’t always what one would expect, especially on some of our more sensitive tummies. Pro-Triathlete Jasmine Oeinck wanted a better solution for herself and now she offers it to us as well, with Bulumu, a truly all-natural granola.

As creator and co-founder of Bulumu, Oeinck and her team offer the only granola line that uses absolutely no oils. With three delicious flavors to choose from (Red, White & Blueberry, Cinnamon Chai & Walnut and Orange Ginger & Cranberry) and a short line up of all natural ingredients (think rolled oats and honey) Bulumu offers the tummy a lighter granola that won’t sit heavy in the stomach.

“I always try to eat healthy as an athlete,” said Oeinck, who would eat bowls of granola each day in between training sessions while living at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Co. Though she tried to fuel her body with the healthy granolas available to her, she noticed frequent stomachaches and discomfort.

“Granolas can be really heavy and saturated so I decided to start making my own,” she recalled.

It started there, as a personalized solution that soon friends and teammates started requesting Oeinck to share with them, but as a professional athlete, a two-time world silver medalist no less, founding a company was not yet in her sights.



It wasn’t until an injury and illness temporarily sidelined Oeinck from her athletic career, that Bulumu started to take shape.

During her time off recovering, she managed to turn a granola skeptic, now her Bulumu partner Brandon Bailey, with her granola recipe.

“My business partner did not like granola at all, but when he tried it, I saw the light go off in his head. I turned a skeptic into someone who said ‘wow this could be something,’” said Oeinck who finally started to see the potential in her product.

Starting with a very grass roots method, Oeinck and Bailey, designed, packaged, labeled and promoted Bulumu themselves to local stores and markets. They marketed their brand as a company that wants to “inspire and support the pursuit of passion” and everything in their product and story reflects that. The name Bulumu is actually an acronym used between Oeinck and her mother in letters and emails that stands for “Buckle Up. Love You. Miss You.” Eventually the pull between Oeinck’s athletic career and new venture became too much.

“Ever since I can remember I was always doing some sort of sport. It was never something I had to do, it was something I was able to do,” Oeinck said.

“I put my career on hold because I found it was really hard to perform at the top level and run a business at the best of my ability. I still have the passion and love for it, but I was no longer learning from it, not finding the challenge in it,”

she added.

With Bulumu, Oeinck, now 28, says she has found a “blob of Play-Doh” where in she has a huge potential of creativity and challenge that she can have a direct influence on.

“It’s my new biggest passion,” Oeinck said.

About nine years removed from her first kitchen trials, for which she has “lost count” on the times it took to perfect the recipe, Bulumu is now sold in six states and online nationwide through Amazon. Making bounds and leaps in an overgrown market, Oeinck is surprised and proud at where she’s come to, but is still her harshest critic.

“I am always saying ‘this could be better,’ it comes from being an athlete, you can never be complacent,” said Oeinck, who has not gone to school for business, yet already has the attitude and gusto for it. “It’s learning as you go, I consider this whole process as my business degree.”

With the continued success of Bulumu, they stay on track with their mission to support and inspire, supporting local athletic events and reaching out to those who are looking for a healthier lifestyle. Granola, it seems, may just be the beginning.

“I’m not sold on just making granola, who knows,” Oeinck said. “Life’s too short. Why not just jump?”

Oeinck certainly jumped, proving that not only can one’s body, but also one’s mind accomplish anything.

How to have a great life, become renowned leader By Rev. Dana Rondel

Who doesn’t want a great life? Who doesn’t want to not only succeed in their chosen field of business and/or service, but standout and be recognized because of how you show up, and because of what you do when you show up?

Your attitude, your character and your deeds are an awesome representation reflecting what you think about you. What and how you think about yourself matters tremendously. Your thoughts, perceptions, feelings and doings create your life. If you had an empty page or blank canvas allowing you to create and recreate your life each day, what story would your words tell? What picture would not only you see, but what would the world see? Your mind is that blank page or empty canvas letting you choose what thoughts and images will evolve and be made by you into tangible life experiences. Choosing what you will allow onto the page or canvas of your mind is therefore an important life practice.

In my book, “Rise and Reach: Life and Leadership,” I aim to provide informative and uplifting messages as well as innovative,

mindful, yet practical ideas. The following is both a quote and excerpt from the book.

“When we Rise and Reach greater and loftier heights in our lives, we allow others to not only see the splendid realities that we have made possible, but we open another window in life so others can see a more perfect reflection of themselves through us, and experience as well through us the brilliance of The Most High visibly manifested in the world. We become that reachable light that others can witness and experience as tangible when we are being our Greatest and Highest Selves.

“I share this world with many, many people, so why wouldn’t I want to ensure that our individual and collective realities are as bright as we can make them. When I encounter others, whether a family member, friend or someone I have yet to become more acquainted with, I want our interaction to be of the highest regard. Why shouldn't we smile at one another? Why shouldn’t we find pleasure within the space that we are occupying and creating together? Why shouldn’t we leave the experience, whether temporarily or permanently, feeling greater than we did before the experience? Why not allow ourselves to be open to – The Gifts of MIND?

“Within my ministry and through my books, talks and other creative endeavors, I am offering others the opportunity to witness and experience a greater life based on the truths that have brought me personal happiness and career fulfillment. I love my life and am extremely grateful for the gift of service, which creates a space for me to both give and receive.

“Reciprocity is a blessing of openness, a blessing that prospers when I am expecting nothing but allowing for everything I aspire for. The Universe is abundant. There will never be a time when we will not have what we want for ourselves. It all is always here, yet we must see it, even before it is physically visible and tangible. And we must hear the voice inside that says, ‘Trust the Omnipresent, Omniscient and Omnipotent Life that is everywhere, in all that exists, in all places, spaces and people at all times.’ Know that there can be only good for us and will be only good for us all, if we trust and know this truth without fear, without doubt, without worry. Trust.” Always sending forth love and light.

Rev. Dana Rondel is the founder and lead minister of the Wisdom In New Dimensions (WIND) Foundation, Temple and Spiritual Center, an international panoptic organization (church), focused on expanding awareness regarding the life of the spirit world, the mental mind and the intuition of the heart through the universal and creative arts and sciences. She is also the founder and president of Partners In Goodwill Publications & Media, formed to write, design and create inspirational content for all media platforms. Rondel has built two organizations that for several years has significantly and positively impacted and transformed the lives of people and of communities globally. She is still moving forward, innovating creating and broadening her community initiatives and writing more inspirational works of literature that will each continue to touch peoples’ lives in the most miraculous and intriguing ways. For more about Rondel, her organizations and her work, visit: and/or



Stiletto Statement

This fall season will be a fabulous one for all of my “fashionista’s.”

Floor length pieces, color blocking, metallics, big and bold creations, and then some will be available to you at the click of a button or a ring of a tag. I decided to give our lovely readers a jumpstart on where you could possibly look so that this fall season you can stand out, show up, and show out! I hope you love these designer picks as much as I do because believe me ladies, each of these designers bring something different to suit the personality of each individual woman. Keep coming out of your shell as you fall into the designs of some amazing women creating a shopping experience made just for you this season.

Fall into greatness this season By Aliyah Cherrisse


I fell in love with this designer and her collection from the moment I was introduced it. Created by designer Theiry Sims, YK is a collection for the modern day and chic women, like myself. Vibrant, yet soft colors and comfortable materials gives any woman wearing one of YK’s pieces that all day comfort thus leaving her with the confidence she needs to show stop at any occasion or location for that matter. If you crave to stand out, bold colors are essential to any woman’s wardrobe, and Youtheary Khmer has you covered for this fall season.

ing, you will be pleased to know that the YK collection will have you ready to show up and stand out! We all love a designer that can take us from work to play with just a switch of a shoe and with the metallics, sequins, lace, color blocking and more, I am positive that YK will have something to suit your personality. As seen on the runway of BET’s “RIP The Runway,” as well as during “Full-Figured Fashion Week,” this Atlanta, Ga.-based, reasonable priced collection is ready-wear for any time of the year but their fall season collection is breathtaking.

“Youtheary Khmer is an innovative, contemporary collection of woman’s ready to wear clothing. Youtheary Khmer wants every woman to love her curves and can feel beautiful just walking down the street.” — Theiry Sims, SERITA BELL

Whether you are in need of a little black dress with a twist of lace, color blocking or a floor length gown that is sensual and body flatter-



Unique is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this chic couture line. Serita Bell will have you Red Carpet ready with her one-of-a-kind pieces. I had the pleasure to walk the runway in one of her floor length gowns during Curves Rock Fashion Weekend in Baltimore, Md., and I felt like a goddess heading to the Grammy’s. The fit was perfect, the material was very comfortable, and most important, I felt confident in her garment not only behind the scenes but on the runway as well. I am certain that Serita Bell is about to take the Fashion Industry by storm.

Women will appreciate her designs for the sophistication behind her collection, which will leave her setting the bar for designers to

come. This fall, ladies will be blessed with many options and Serita Bell will be among the list of must-haves for those elegant occasions. I look forward to seeing her pieces hit the runway this year during “Fashion Night Out /Plus Night Out 2013” during Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. Prepare yourselves for the astonishing collection of Serita Bell for she is sure to be a sell out and since she is a one-of-a-kind type of girl you won’t want to miss out!

“Serita Bell is a contemporary ready-to-wear clothing line for plus size women. The line is bold, edgy, sexy, with feminine silhouettes. The designer’s technical knowledge of garment’s proper fit, combined with her innate creative abilities, results in a new confident line for plus size women. The modern styles reflect the kind of women she is herself; strong, sexy, fun and fearless.” — Serita Bell, SHANDA FREEMAN

Now here we have a designer that truly loves to “Honor Curves!” Shanda Style is one who loves to transform any woman into the image of a goddess. Her floor length, weightless, and form fitting designs are the epitome of sleek and sensual pieces that any woman would want to have to be apart of their wardrobe. Whether you are going to a special dinner, a VIP affair, or a girl’s night out this fall season,

Stiletto Statement fun and creative ways to make design dreams possible and affordable!” – Shanda Freeman, QRISTYL FRAZIER

Now we as women love to get a bang for our buck. We love to feel as though the money we spent is worthwhile. Well ladies, I unleash to some and remind others of the oh so versatile designs of Qristyl Frazier. Who said dresses could not be worn backwards? Frazier offers an array of pieces that can be tied two to 10 ways, dresses that can be worn to the front or the back, and jumpsuits that may have heads twisting and turning just as much as the amount of options you will have to tie it.

Freeman will have something for you. You ladies know I always stress the fact about form-flattering clothing so I must let you in on a secret; it’s almost as if Shanda’s designs conform to your figure. The stretch of her materials give cling to your body in all the right ways! As seen on BET’s “Rip The Runway,” and as the spotlight designer for “Curves Rock Fashion Weekend,” where I had the opportunity to walk the runway in one of her pieces, I must admit I appreciate the quality of her collection as well as the versatility. If soft, sensual, yet sexy styles are for you, then you will love this collection.

“Style and design with a conservative budget in mind. Shanda Style is about encompassing distinguished style and design with a conservative budget in mind! Great design should be accessible to all! I love creating and instituting

Designer specializing in sex appealing feminine dress, casual separates, flattering swimsuits, and versatile cover-ups.

“‘Fashion with a passion’ is Qristyl’s lifelong goal. In addition to creating figure-flattering designs for shapely women, she aims to empower and serve her community. Qristyl has created: ‘Plus Sexy and They Know It!’” — Qristyl Frazier, – Signing off, Aliyah Cherrisse!

Her collection caters to the curvier woman and might I add that how her pieces accentuate your curves, will leave you coming back for more. She is a designer that listens to the wants and needs of her consumer so with her feedback option on her website it may just be you who may assist Qristyl in creating a new masterpiece.

With great pricing and quality you’ll be pleased when you share the presence of yourself as well as your assemble at a major fall event this season. As seen on BET’s “Rip The Runway,” as one of the first ever full-figured designers to grace their runway, Frazier prides herself on providing satisfaction every time. Yes ladies, you can thank me later!

“QRISTYL FRAZIER [kris-tl] [frey-zher] – noun:

Aliyah Cherrisse, born and raised in Atlantic City, N.J., has grown to be a very educated, vibrant, and driven intellectual. As a graduate of Morgan State University, with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Marketing, Aliyah has put her studies to use in branding herself as the “Multimedia Personality” she is to-date. Currently pursuing her love of entertainment, Aliyah is known for her titles of “Fashion Show Production Assistant, Radio/TV Personality, Curvy/Full-Figured Model, Red Carpet Correspondent, Host, and Blogger,” but let's not forget to mention: this is all while being a single mother! With no intentions on slowing down, Aliyah anticipates what God has awaiting ahead for her!



Kerry Washington named keynote speaker at Massachusetts Conference for Women Kerry Washington, star of the ABC hit drama “Scandal,” accomplished film and stage actress and women’s rights activist, will be a keynote speaker at the 9th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women. Washington will address this year’s theme “The Power of Us,” along with other nationally recognized speakers including Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, media executive and bestselling author Cathie Black and leadership advisor and author Erica Ariel Fox. They are among the more than 100 speakers who will address the conference.

“We are thrilled to host Kerry Washington, Doris Kearns Goodwin and other inspiring women at this year’s conference,” Gloria Larson, board president, Massachusetts Conference for Women and president of Bentley University, said. “These women are activists and leaders in their fields and their collective wisdom challenges us all to make the most of our own lives, talents and experiences – in short, to believe in our own power.”

Registration is now open for the conference, which will be hosted at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center on Dec. 5. The nonpartisan, nonprofit conference is Massachusetts’ largest event for women, attracting nearly 10,000 attendees who come together for a full day of networking,



professional development and personal growth opportunities.

Washington and other speakers will share their experience and expertise on a range of topics including personal growth, career advancement, money management, health and wellness, small business and entrepreneurship, social media branding and more. This year’s conference theme “The Power of Us” encourages women to take a greater role in changing the course of their own lives and in being a force for change in their communities.

A native of the Bronx, N.Y., Washington has received high acclaim for her work on stage, on television and in film. Washington was recently seen in Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” along with Jamie Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel Jackson. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Picture. In television, Washington currently stars in the hit ABC drama “Scandal.” In 2013, Washington was awarded an NAACP Image Award for her portrayal of Olivia Pope and the show won for Best Drama. The NAACP also honored Washington with the President’s Award, recognizing special achievement in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service. An activist, Washington was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee of the Arts and Humanities in

2009. She is also an active member of the V-Counsel, an esteemed group of advisors to V-Day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls.

Exclusive to the Massachusetts Conference for Women, Local Leader Meet Ups offer attendees the chance to have one-on-one conversations with local businesswomen and community leaders, and intimate Expert Exchange sessions offer a focused discussion with industry veterans. Conference attendees also have the opportunity to participate in the popular Career Pavilion, featuring resume reviews by human resource experts, Coaches Corner (one-on-one “speed coaching” sessions with local career coaches and executives), workshops on communication skills and social media, and much more.

The Conference Health & Wellness Pavilion showcases speakers and companies dedicated to improving women’s health, while an onsite Exhibit Hall boasts hundreds of organizations and companies with products or services that appeal to women. An early bird rate of $150 per person, $1,450 per table of 10, and $75 for students is available until Oct. 24. To register or learn more about the 9th Annual Massachusetts Conference for Women, visit its website, which is located at

Female ingenuity exhibited at Paradise City Arts Festival

The Paradise City Arts Festival marks its 19th year as New England’s premier showcase for fine and functional art, with a breadth of exhibitors and activities that will astonish and enthrall visitors in Northampton, Mass., Oct. 12 to 14.

Cavernous barns are transformed into elegant exhibition halls, remarkable sculptures are installed in beautiful gardens, peaked tents will appear, a soundstage is built and local chefs fire up their grills. Two hundred and seventy-five exhibiting artists arrive from every corner of the country to showcase the very best in American craft, design, art and sculpture.

It’s also American Craft Week, bringing together galleries, fairs and fine craft organizations from all 50 states in recognition of the countless ways hand-made objects enrich our daily lives and contribute to the national aesthetic and economy. Joining this season’s festival are 41 artists who are making their Paradise City Northampton debuts, including Ayesha Mayadas and Raphaela McCormack.

Mayadas was born in Calcutta, India, moved to the United States at age 15 and earned her MFA in Metals from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. There she studied the techniques of hammering and forming sculptural and abstract vessels made in copper, silver and steel, in addition to silversmithing.

“Movement and fluidity were key elements of these sculptures and remain so in my work today,” she said, noting that much of her inspiration comes from nature, with water as a focus.

“I work gold like clay – pushing, pulling, and sculpting, not with fingers but with hammers and stakes. The result is a metal transformed into soft contours of the natural world: the ripple of water, the fullness of a raindrop, the ragged edge of a dried leaf,” Mayadas explained.

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“Cassowary Mask” by Kest Schwartzman Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival

Paradise City Arts Festival

“Ruby Swirl Necklace” by Ayesha Mayadas Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival

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Mädchen Amick, Rachel Boston, Julia Ormond and Jenna Dewan Tatum star in the all-new Lifetime drama “Witches of East End,” premiering Oct. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime. Photo by Joseph Viles

Lifetime turns best-selling novel into new series The witching hour is coming … get ready to meet the Beauchamps, the Witches of East End. Lifetime’s newest drama, “Witches of East End,” featuring an all-star-cast headlined by Emmy Award-winner Julia Ormond (“Temple Grandin,” “Mad Men”), Mädchen Amick (“Mad Men,” “Damages”), Jenna Dewan Tatum (“American Horror Story”) and Rachel Boston (“In Plain Sight”) as a family of witches living in the secluded seaside town of East Haven, will cast its spell beginning Oct. 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Also set to star are Eric Winter (“The Mentalist”), Daniel DiTomasso (“CSI”), Jason George (“Grey’s Anatomy”) and Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee Virginia Madsen (“Sideways,” “Anna Nicole”).

Inspired by Melissa de la Cruz’s New York Times best-selling novel, “Witches of East



End” centers on the mysterious Beauchamp family: free-spirited artist Joanna (Ormond) and her two grown daughters, wild-child bartender Freya (Dewan Tatum) and shy librarian Ingrid (Boston), both of whom are unaware that they are gifted (and cursed) with a magical birthright. Freya is recently engaged to the man of her dreams, wealthy playboy Dash Gardiner (Winter), but when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to Dash’s troubled, enigmatic brother Killian (DiTomasso), bizarre occurrences begin to manifest in her life.

Meanwhile, Joanna’s long-estranged sister Wendy (Amick) shows up with a warning that could change the Beauchamps’ fate forever, forcing Joanna to reveal to her daughters they are, indeed, immortal witches who possess great untapped powers.

With their idyllic small town life now turned upside down, and a formidable and ancient enemy intent on ending the Beauchamp family line, will Freya and Ingrid be able to accept their true potential before it is too late?

Produced by Fox 21 (“Homeland,” “Sons of Anarchy”), “Witches of East End” is executive produced by Maggie Friedman (“Eastwick”), Jonathan Kaplan (“Without a Trace,” “ER”), Erwin Stoff (“The Matrix”) and Josh Reims (“Brothers & Sisters”). Kaplan will also serve as the producing director on the series. The pilot was directed by Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”) and written by Friedman.

“Witches of East End” will be Lifetime’s second scripted drama to premiere this year.

Paradise City Arts Festival “Dream Boat” by Raphaela McCormack Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival

Evening dress, designed by Patricia Palson Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival

McCormack’s sculptural sailing ships and ceremonial urns are inspired by her native Ireland. She uses pulp, fiber, rope, cord, driftwood, stones, seed pods and other detritus to create colors of lichen, the sky and earth.

“The vast ocean, the barren land with its bent trees, the wind sending clouds racing across the big skies, the brown bogs stretching as far as the eye can see, gray stone walls surrounding a field, a landscape in a gap between two stones, the ancient mountains cloaked in sweet smelling gorse, live in my bones,” McCormack said of her inspirations. “Vessels are my major form. When the vessel transcends my initial idea, my journey is complete and the vessel is ready to continue its journey beyond me,” she added.

McCormack has exhibited her ceremonial vessels and sailing ships in galleries and museums around Rochester, N.Y., where she lives. Her many collectors live in Ireland, Finland, Germany, as well as in the United States.

“Hocus-Pocus,” the festival’s special exhibit, celebrates all that is mystical, magical, mysterious and make-believe. Discover secret compartments, masks, imaginary worlds, trompe-l’oeil, surrealism and fantasy creatures. Some artists are alchemists, visually turning glass into stone, ceramics into wood, or metal into fabric.

Valerie Bunnell’s ceramic and mixed media figures will be featured in “HocusPocus,” the Festival’s special exhibit. Photo courtesy of Paradise City Arts Festival

The 19th annual Paradise City Arts Festival will take place Oct. 12 to 14 at 3 County Fairgrounds, 54 Old Ferry Road, Northampton, Mass. Hours of operation are Oct. 12 and 13 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Oct. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for seniors age 65 and older, $8 for students or $16 for a three-day pass; children age 12 and younger are free. Parking is free. For additional information about the Festival or for a complete list of artists and vendors, call 800-511-9725 or visit



Money with Michelle

Time to say so long (for now, at least) Dear Lioness Readers,

Gosh, it seems hard to believe that nearly a year has passed since I started writing for Lioness Magazine. As much as I’ve enjoyed sharing my expertise and hearing from all of you, it is time for me to bid you a tearful goodbye. Most of you know that I am a partner in my financial planning firm as well as being a full-time mom. If that weren’t enough to handle, I am also writing a book and launching a financial product that will hit the shelves in the next few months. Whew! It’s been an exciting whirlwind of activity, but balancing it all has made me a stronger woman.

The book is entitled “Stocks, Bonds and Soccer Moms,” and it’s all about finding balance as a working mother in the 21st century. I wrote it from my experiences as a young wife and mother to my first daughter many years ago. The book details seven essential steps I found along the way to bringing sanity and equilibrium back into my life. Without it, who knows where I’d be now. Certainly not happily married with two wonderful girls, that’s for sure! I hope you will enjoy reading it.

My financial project is an easy-to-use, step-by-step system for keeping track of all your personal affairs – medical, assets, liabilities, security, insurance, funeral arrangements, final wishes and much more. This will come in handy for your loved ones if something unexpected happens to you. It’s called The Everything Binder, and it’s a workbook of sorts, as well as a storage method for everything your family would need when you’re not there anymore. It’s not something we like to think about, but it’s something everyone needs to do before it’s too late. Like now.

Keep an eye out for both of my books in the next few months. You can visit my website for the most up-to-date information: Please keep in touch with me via Facebook ( and Twitter (@RetirementMPH). Keep tabs on what I’m up to, get more of my financial tips and let me know what’s going on in your life. Also, please feel free to ask any questions you might have. Like always, I’ll do my best to answer them. As for me, I’ll say “goodbye,” for now. I hope that we meet again down the road. It’s been my privilege and honor to be a part of the Lioness Magazine family. Stay financially fit,

Michelle Perry Higgins is a financial planner and principal of California Financial Advisors in San Ramon, Calif. Higgins specializes in wealth management, and has built a successful practice advising executive professionals into retirement. Her passion for financial management has helped hundreds of individuals better understand investing and financial planning. For more information, please visit



Lioness Magazine - September 2013  

For the Female Entrepreneur