- “Pizza Girl”
“I love the food business and bringing quality products to everyone”
Couple PJ & Tim Where they are now! Where now
With Top Model & Author
Our Goal is to inspire & to be inspired. We know that everyone has a story; we want to know yours
Founder & Editor Amina Touray
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On the cover: Caroline Dâ€™Amore Photographer: Amina Touray Makeup & Hair by: Niehla O Page desigen: Moses Dalton
Photo: David Bartus
Shari Nycole 8 14 Beatriz Cazares Chris Battle 16 22 LonyĂŠ & Peyton Perrine Liris Crosse 29 39 Caroline Dâ€™Amore PJ & Tim 51 60 Brittney Castro 68 Everlayn Borges 79 Eleonore & Peter Mott 86 Patrick A. Lewis Beyond the Lens
The Rise of Cartoons
Funny Married Stuff
Become Financially Wise
Ever on the Edge
I Got Next
Letter From The Editor Crosse that is teaching us all about being confident in our bodies. I also had the opportunity to watch the California sunset with world-traveling couple PJ Madam and Tim Noonan from Netflix show Extreme Engagement. They talk about what traveling has done for their relationship and where they are now. Furthermore, we learn about essential money principles, with the woman behind Financially Wise Inc - Brittney Castro. I hope this issue will bring you joy, confidence, and wisdom.
Photo: Brittany Del Soldato
August marks my eight years in the U.S. which is why this month brings me back to a lot of memories; everything from landing at Los Angeles International Airport without a return ticket (!!), to having my magazine seven years later. This issue is our fifth! And Iâ€™m excited to present you all with some incredible stories to read, for example how our cover girl, entrepreneur Caroline Dâ€™Amore (also known as Pizza Girl) personally walked into Bristol Farms and got herself a shelf space for her organic pasta sauces! We have top model Liris
Photo: Victor Freitas
Beyon with S
d the Lens
hari By Mia Nicole Photo graph y by A mina Toura y
here has never been a time in basketball history as electrifying as the 90’s Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty. Men were unapologetically shaving their heads – whether they needed to or not, trying to copy Jordan’s “swag;” while ball players on every basketball court in America who could dunk, wanted to prove that they too “could fly.” And Gatorade confirmed through clever marketing, that Jordan was “The GOAT” and had the entire world chanting, “I want to be like Mike!”
and took some getting used to. “My mom felt my dad was pushing me too hard in the early days,” said Shari Nycole, “and because I was a girl, she wanted me to have a true childhood and create balance in my life. However, she soon understood that I loved the sport and it wasn’t going to stop.” Although not a professional athlete, her father did everything necessary to put his daughter on the path to become an elite athlete. “There was no WNBA at the time, so there was really nothing for young girls to aspire to, as far as basketball was concerned,” Shari said. “But my father is an extremist similar to me. So when he digs his heels in and makes up his mind about what he wants to do, he goes 120,000 % in” Shari Nycole laughs, “so when I told him I wanted to play, he put all of his energies into making sure that he put me in the best position possible to actually do that, which ultimately made him a great coach. By the time I was in the 6th grade, I was playing in the highly competitive AAU program. Then when I got to high school, he stepped aside and allowed my other coaches to step in,” Shari Nycole said. Her father realized that he had taken his daughter as far as he could and that someone else would have to take her to the next level.
In the suburbs of Chicago, watching the Chicago Bulls play was a big thing in the Welton household and something they did as a family. Falling completely in love with the basketball and entranced by “Air Jordan,” eight year old Shari Nycole began to study every game they watched. On one particular evening, she had an epiphany. Turning to her parents, she pointed to the television and said, “Daddy, I want to play basketball!” Looking at his daughter, her father excitedly looked at her and replied, “What?” Oh yes, Shari Nycole knew that she too wanted to be like After high school, Shari Nycole Mike! received a full scholarship to the University of WisconWhile her father was hap- sin-Madison. Although acapy about his daughter’s demically it was fine, and she decision to play sports, her learned a lot, her time there mother thought it was odd came with some challeng-
People tell me I should be on camera all the time and that is what I will eventually do! ”
es. At the encouragement of her academic advisor, who felt she was a talented writer, Shari Nycole changed her major from business to journalism. And even though she had good experiences athletically, she soon realized that the basketball program was not for her. Only staying at Wisconsin-Madison for two years, she then transferred to Northern Illinois. “When I was at the University of Wisconsin, I started to look at basketball differently. It felt like a chore and I didn’t have my happy at the time,” Shari Nycole remembered. It was at Northern Illinois, where she discovered something that she was good at - television. “I have loved television my entire life. I didn’t realize how deep my passion ran for television until I started getting into my major. I wanted to do TV stuff” she said. She had fallen deeply in love with television, reporting, editing – in other words, all things television!
Because basketball had been Shari Nycole’s definition of “success” her entire life, she wanted to separate it from everything she did. With so many more gifts and passions outside of basketball, she wanted to explore those. Becoming a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., was something she is extremely proud of. Once she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications: Media Studies and a Minor in Journalism, Shari Nycole’s 10
passion for journalism grew deeper and she due to knee injuries, decided to put the ball down for good. In August 2011, she earned a Master of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious Medill School at Northwestern University where, “most students were from Ivy League schools and I was from Northern Illinois,” she laughed. Even though she went to school to be on camera, Shari Nycole was blessed to be able to do it all – report, edit and be on camera! Not quite sure which direction she wanted to take, there were a few things that she knew for sure that she didn’t want: to be away from her family, work “in some Podunk town” and be poor! Shari Nycole concluded that production was where the money was and would allow her to grow in the industry. “It is very difficult to go from production to in front of the camera,” her instructors stressed. “People will want to associate you as a producer and will be reluctant to have you in front of the camera. But people tell me I should be on camera all the time and that is what I will eventually do! My instructors were preparing me for these challenges, because I was a talented producer.” Shari Nycole said. “Going to Medill helped me. I didn’t have to start off as a production assistant. I have never been a PA in my life. Medill gives you that kind of a bump. It gave me tools that I still use today. Because I went through that program, people know that there is a level of experience and care that you are going to put into your work.”
Shortly after receiving her master’s degree, Shari Nycole’s career in journalism began as an Associate Producer for Towers Productions in Chicago, IL. While at Tower Productions she gained a solid docu/reality foundation, working on television series such as, “Find Our Missing” and “Parole Diaries for TV One and also “Mobsters” for the Biography channel. In October 2013, Shari Nycole relocated to Washington, DC and joined TV One and a production team at the newly launched, first black daily news program in broadcast history, “News One Now”. In addition to broadcasting producing, field producing, packaging and so much more in the world of production, Shari Nycole had the opportunity to attend many red carpet events, most notably, the NAACP Image Awards, the Trumpet Awards, the McDonalds 365 Black Awards, The Triumph Awards and The Stellar Awards. One of her most memorable interviews was Hilary Clinton as she covered the 2016 Democratic and Republican Conventions. During her time in Washington, DC, Shari Nycole also served as sole producer for the PBS talk show, “The Rock Newman Show,” a weekly one hour series featuring interviews with celebrities, political figures and community leaders. “I have been in this business for the past 8 years and I have worked with such great people and have a great support system. I have to thank Susan Henry, my executive producer at “News One Now” and its host, Roland Martin. They weren’t
We don’t just sit around. Producers have stories because we tell stories all day. That’s what we do and we love it!
micromanagers and allowed me to create which has really helped me in my creative process,” she says. Always determined to take her career to the next level, in May of 2017, Shari was presented with an amazing opportunity – one that would take her to “the Hollywood of the South,” Atlanta, Georgia; TV One offered her a chance to be part of a new talk show called, “Sister Circle Live.” Grateful for this new adventure, Shari Nycole produced segments that have featured various celebrities, lifestyle experts, political figures and sports stars. “I absolutely love my job! I love the people I work with because we are like a family. My executive producer and the creator of ‘Sister Circle,’ Helen Swenson, - is very open to my ideas and says, ‘you have an idea? Let’s put it to work! Let’s see what you got’ – which gives me confidence about my producing abilities.” When Shari Nycole speaks of her coworkers, you sense a genuine love and respect for them. “A lot of producers have personality. That is why I like to show my coworkers so much on social media. We don’t just sit around. Producers have stories because we tell stories all day. That’s what we do and we love it!” Another highlight in Shari Nycole’s day, is working with the four hosts of the “Sister Circle”, who inspire her daily and she knows it is a blessing. “Syleena Johnson, Rashan Ali, Quad Webb and Trina Braxton” Shari Nycole says, “are four women who are insanely smart, beautiful 12
on the inside and out, uber talented and unapologetically about being who they are. And as for me as a 33 year old Black woman who is trying to figure it out – to see them every day, with everything they have to do in their personal lives and they have a lot going on - seeing them stand in their truth everyday is impressive. A lot of people would kill to be around them like I am. I have learned so much from each of them, and I am really blessed to have them as examples.” Equipped with a very strong relationship with God, Shari Nycole knows that without HIM in her life, she wouldn’t be where she is today and she is grateful. Additionally, she has awesome accountability partners who “make sure she doesn’t complain when things are tough.” “I can’t do anything without God. I let him lead me where I need to go in this industry and in my personal life. And if you don’t have great accountability partners, you can forget about greatness. Where there is no accountability, there is no greatness, they have to co-exist or it won’t happen.” As a producer, Shari Nycole is proud of the content that she puts out on television and hopes to one day go into film. A blessing came her way when she was asked to be a part of Hollywood producer, Will Packer’s new interactive Twitter series, “Power Star Live.” “I am in awe of Will’s success! I study how he moves business wise and he is a genius! He has such personality. And it is effort-
“I can’t do anything without God. I let him lead me where I need to go” less! And to see how he applies that – whether it is in front of the camera or behind, I really admire that about him.” Shari Nycole is very passionate about what she does and the caliber of the content that she puts out. Whether she continues in television or eventually movies; in front of the camera or behind the lens - Shari Nycole knows that it is all in God’s timing and she is grateful for all who believe in her. Her advice to other aspiring producers is to, “be grateful for where you are and enjoy the projects you are working on. “As Black content creators, we don’t have a lot of opportunities. I want people to be empowered, inspired or motivated by the content I put out. If I am not imparting something to them, when what am I doing? God gave me a gift to give to others.” Next time you see a project produced by Shari Nycol, remember her name! Because one day the world will be chanting, “I wanna be like Shari Nycole!”
Photo: Bruce Getty
If you are an employee and you see the janitor, thank them for their work in keeping the bathroom stocked, floors cleaned, and offices neat.
If you are a student, do the same as #1 and feel gratitude for having the opportunity of having access to education, for not everyone does - especially women.
If you have a car, feel gratitude for all the men and women that have toiled to build these roads.
If you are an entrepreneur, give thanks for being in a country that allows you to do what you love.
Love your body as a precious temple and it will thank you for it.
By Beatriz Cazares 14
Photo: Carl Attard
The Rise of Cartoons
ecently while watching Cartoon Network shows such as Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, and Samurai Jack, I was inspired by the arts and story. I decided to reach out to Emmy and Annie Award-nominated, animation character design artist - Chris Battle, who helped bring some of the most classic cartoon characters to life! Currently he’s working on projects for both Disney and Marvel. We sat down to talk about the creative process of his
By Moses Dalton Photography by Amina Touray
designs and a 25+ year long - “What do we do to encourcareer in the world of imag- age him?” and they would reination. spond - “Let him keep drawing”, so they did! My parents Moses Dalton: Tell me all would also take me to wherabout your life ever there was an exhibit of animation or movie art. I Chris Battle: Well, unlike so was one of those Star Wars many people in Los Angeles, kids, so whenever there was I actually grew up out here: an exhibit with the art of Star I was born in Santa Moni- Wars or some Disney artists, ca. I had an artist mother we would go. And of course and a photographer father, here in Los Angeles, there are and they were always very tons of entertainment exhisupportive of my interest bitions, often with the people in the arts. As a kid (like any who worked on those movies. kid), I loved drawing, so they The whole six degrees of sephanded me papers, cray- aration is more like three deons, and pencils, and when grees of separation out here! they saw how much I loved it, It was not uncommon for me they would ask my teachers to visit Disney Animation Stu-
dios or Lucasfilm as a child any kid, I’d draw cartoons, because of family friends but also draw more realistic who worked there. comic book characters like the X- Men; There were no MD: When you were grow- style boundaries. But later, as ing as an artist and seeing I got older, I thought to myself the landscape of what art is - I don’t think I’m going to go as a professional, was there the super-real route to draw a point in your life when you comic books, and I don’t want made the decision to be- to do 200 drawings just to come a professional or did it make the ball bounce across choose you? the screen for animation. So, as I was trying to figure out CB: I luckily stumbled into it the whole adult-life-thing, I because, you know, as a kid, had to get a job. As a young everybody has a dream. But adult, I wanted to go out and I had plenty of support from have fun; you need to make my family because here in LA, money for that! So I figured I a career in the entertainment should try to get a job where industry isn’t just a fantasy it’s at least kind of fun. So I - it’s a valid career choice! got a job working at the flagI also went to a high school ship location of the shortthat had a serious art cur- lived Hanna- Barbera retail riculum and I had a teacher stores, which was run directly who encouraged my cartoon by Hanna-Barbera Studios. art, but I didn’t know where to They would take us up to the go with that. I thought I could animation studios just so we get some scholarships, but could understand where the the majority of the art facul- art came from and how it ty didn’t give scholarships to worked. I, being an animation cartoons – They would say nerd, already knew all about “That’s not real art.” that part! But because of that job, I got to know a lot of the MD: Because you’re saying artists, because they would that there is a distinction be- do in-store signings. At the tween real art and cartoon- time, my manager was daring... ing me to show my artwork to the head of design when he CB: Yeah...it was back in the came down to the store with ’80s, and the public at large this family. I sheepishly took didn’t give much respect to out this little folder that was animation. That changed filled with doodles I would do once the ’90s came around on my breaks. He told me it and people saw the new was cool and to come by the Disney films, Toy Story, and studio and show them some what-not. The rest of the of my more finished stuff. I did world caught up to all of us that, and he told me to keep art-minded kids I guess! (he in touch. This is before email, laughs). Anyway, before all so I would do promotional art that, as a child, I made it my pieces, get color laser copfocus to go after cartooning ies and mail them to him at rather than comic books. Like H-B Studios. Then one day he
called and said - “A bunch of us just left Hanna-Barbera and we formed MGM Animation, and we’re doing a new Pink Panther cartoon and we need young hungry artists.” He was probably also looking for inexpensive artists too so maybe that got me there! (he jokingly says, and laughs) MD: And that was the call to action! CB: Yeah, that was it! There was this big change in animation that was just starting because at that time, coming out of the late ‘80s, you had The Little Mermaid and Roger Rabbit, and then in the early ’90s, there was The Simpsons and Beauty and the Beast. All of a sudden there’s this wave of change started, and I hopped on with no experience, did not go CalArts, had no training - just got in there and learned by doing. MD: You can see the distinct shift in animation between the ‘70s and ‘80s. Once you
“The rest of the world caught up to all of us art-minded kids I guess! “ Trustworthy Magazine
“luckily I learned by osmosis, just by being around them”
get to the ‘90s, there is a style that is unleashing of creativity, everybody does whatever they want to do.
old Genndy was back then), and suddenly it was all of us young snots running around with the keys to the kingdom.
CB: Another thing about luck and timing is I got in right as that big creative shift happened, so I got to work on some great stuff that was part of that shift. After a few years in the business, I started working at Hanna-Barbera on Dexter’s Laboratory, which I was really excited about because I had seen the first Dexter’s short and some of the early episodes and I was like, - I want to work on that! That was a BIG career change for me. I was working with tons of amazing artists - not only Genndy[Tartakovsky], Craig[McCracken], Paul Rudish, Rob Renzetti, and all of these guys who are just the best of the recent graduates of CalArts, but also half of the crew from the original Ren and Stimpy Show as well. So I like to think that at the time, I got a free “CalArts-Lite” education, but I really had to play catch-up, because these were people who were just at the absolute top of their game, and luckily I learned by osmosis, just by being around them and soaking up their cartoon knowledge.
MD: Talk about a character that you influenced
MD: In an environment like that, it seems like it lends itself towards someone like a young growing artist CB: Well, we were all young artists, and all of a sudden, that’s who was in charge! You know, they weren’t always giving shows to 26-year-olds at the time (I think that’s how
CB: Once, on Samurai Jack there was an episode [XXV -“Jack and The Spartans”] where they had a rough storyboard where Jack fights this giant robot. After fighting through this whole army of robots, they go into this big castle, and inside, there was this robot that was drawn as just really big ball that had tentacles coming out - just really rough sketches, very little detail. So Genndy goes -” Just do something cool with it”. Genndy is great at art direction when he thinks you’ve got the skills. He’ll just tell you to make something cool. Maybe he’ll reference something he wants, but the biggest order of the day is to “just make something cool”. He just knows that you got the skills. So when I started looking at how [the episode] was all based on the Spartans, I looked through historical books at Greek or Roman vases and jars that had artwork with a specific color scheme, like, this reddish-orange and black. So I decided to make it all black with a reddish color, because it’s an aggressive color, with linework and graphics that matched that ancient Greek style. When I showed it to him, he thought it was great and gave it the stamp of approval. My design played a big role in that whole sequence – I even got a shout-out from Genndy on the DVD commentary!
MD: Are there any core inspirations that you might find yourself referring back to very often in your art? CB: I guess it all depends on what the project is. For example, if I’m doing work for Marvel, of course, I’m going to look at all the classic Jack Kirby stuff. There’s always a particular era or artist you’re referencing (especially with so many of us working on new versions of classic properties these days), whether it’s for a direct, up-front call-back for the audience to appreciate or just for invisible, behind-the-
scenes inspiration. It usually goes back to the artists that always inspired me. And not just animation or comic book artists: a lot of mid-century animations or children’s book authors are great sources of inspiration for my work. As an artist, you’re always the sum of your influences. Visit: Chrisbattleart.tumblr.com
“As an artist, you’re always the sum of your influences.”
Follow: @Chrisbattleart Check out: Original art pieces on Etsy.com/shop/chrisbattle Trustworthy Magazine
Photo: Daria Shevtsova
Funny Married Stuff Peyton & LonyĂŠ Perrine
Photography & Interview By Amina Touray
arried couple Lonyé and Peyton Perrine take us on a joyful ride, as they talk about their award-winning web show Funny Married Stuff, which is a parody of their daily life!
season 1. Season 2 we had a team of writers: Peyton, Nika King, and Lia Martin. The show came about from having a conversation with our friends Natalie and Dennis, who are also on the show. We were talking about the funny situations that happen in marriage and how marriage can be hard. Many people are getting divorced now and they look at marriage like it’s something you easily enter without really considering what it takes to be married. Some of these things that people get divorced over are little things that build up over time. We wanted to highlight these situations in marriage, give a marital lesson, and to do it with a bit of humor.
Emmy ballot for consideration in the short form category. He was like - “wow that is amazing, I haven't seen it why don't you show me”. So he put my dental check-up on hold, waited for me to pull out my tablet, and show him episode 1 of season 2! And the funny thing is this is a 70 something-year-old dentist, been in the business for like 50 years. He stands here next to me while I'm leaned back in the dentist chair cracking up laughing, in Beverly Hills. LP: And that's an older white man. We've realized that our show crosses the ethnicity barrier. The stories are being told through a majority black cast, but it's so relatable that everybody can see themselves in these situations. And I agree with Peyton that the biggest compliment is that people are saying it's relatable. Our audience comes from different demographics (our highest being black women) and all ethnicities get it.
PP: It might be an accumulation of little things over time that cause them to get di Amina Touray: What vorced. If they just address should we know about you it, communicate and have some dialogue, potentially guys? they wouldn't end up in diPeyton Perrine: I am a fun-lov- vorce. ing husband and father, I am very supportive, a huge Phil- AT: What kind of response adelphia sports fan and I'm have you received from the PP: We're getting likes on our show? Facebook page and content willing to step out on faith. every single day and it’s so Lonyé Perrine: I am a very PP: I think one of the biggest diverse. People are enjoying outgoing athletic mom of compliments for me as a our content and sharing it. two boys, who is determined writer is that people come up to live her life fearless, faithful to me and say how the show AT: What has it taught you is so relatable. That means about each other to work toand with no regrets. a lot because if people can gether in the creative space? AT: You're both the creators, get it, then that means that producers, and writers of we're doing something posi- LP: It's interesting because the web show Funny Married tive. A week and a half ago I “we work together in this Stuff. Who came up with the had a dentist's appointment, marriage” as far as managand my dentist knew that we ing our lives and our kids. I feel idea? did a web series. He's like - “so like over the past 15 years...20 LP: We're both the creators how things going?”. So, I was years of knowing him, you get and we're producers of both sharing with him all the cool to know a person, but everyseasons, but Peyton wrote news, the web festivals and day we're still learning and the fact that we were on the growing together to make
details to make that happen”. And I'm like - “Yes I guess you're right.” We balance out each other because sometimes I want to go super big and she's like - “yeah maybe we need to scale it down a little bit.” AT: How long did it take for both of you to get to that middle ground, realizing your roles in this creative process? PP: Real talk, we're still doing it. It's a work in progress.
our marriage work. But then throwing in a project we're both working on, having our other careers -- he has a fulltime corporate job and I’m a working actress -- it turns into a lot! Auditioning and trying to help our kids with their lives and school work is already a full-time job. So the biggest thing for me was trying to respect the time management. I audition/shoot, I get the kids, I have dinner ready, school work is done and all of that. He comes home after having a full day of work and I look at him and go - “Here's our checklist! We gotta get these things done for the production, you got to finish writing this episode, and we have to call and interview this person.” And he's looking at me like - “I had a full day at work and I need a minute.”, so I had to remember to respect that. The good thing about working together is we both have our strengths so we were able to divide and conquer successfully. I would 24
say - “Hey Peyton you're good at negotiating, so here, you're going to talk to these particular people and negotiate rates”. Then I'm good at organizing the project time-wise, creating a plan, creating a budget, and all of that. So we have different skill sets and it works, but the hard part is managing and respecting each other's time and space because we're living together, we’re working together, and we're raising kids together.
LP: And I think too, what helped with season 1 is that Peyton and I had our director Roger Melvin come in, so we had a third person to bounce off ideas. Then in season 2 we had Nika come on as a writer and producer so we had another person who had a different perspective on things and who helped divide the workload since season 2 was a larger production. But, I feel like each season Peyton and I learned something about each other. And we were constantly trying to figure out how to work better together and if it wasn't working out we would have our Kumbaya moments like - “Okay I'm sorry I said it this way” or whatever. We were literally using the advice we were pushing on our show about communicating (she laughs) until we figured out how to get through it and how to do better next time. So we're still learning and working towards working together better.
PP: Sometimes my wife is very detail-oriented and sometimes she has what I like to call “paralysis by analysis”. So sometimes I have to pull her out of the weeds and take her to at least a middle ground so she can get out of her head. But to her point, we do complement each other. Sometimes I will come up with these high-level concepts ideas that are so big and grandiose and she goes AT: Well that is what life is all - “Yeah but you need more about. Never stop learning
and making progress to- “Team Perrine”. I was selfish gether. So is there a season 3 when I was single. But, now coming? with Peyton and the kids, I would do absolutely anyLP: Well, hopefully on TV as thing for them and I realized that is the goal! Season 1 and when you're in a marriage season 2 are proof of con- and you have kids, you have cepts of the bigger picture. to, of course, think of yourself but a lot of times I think about AT: You guys have been to- myself last, because they're gether for 20 years and mar- so important to me. ried for 15 years. What has marriage taught you ? PP: One other thing marriage has taught me, espePP: Wow... marriage has cially with some people that taught me that there are dif- I see who are either single ferent levels of love. We both or divorced is that it is tough have evolved and are con- out there! I’m thankful I don’t tinuing to evolve as individuals but also as a couple. And just when I think that I can't love this woman any more, she does something that shows me her strength that much more or shows me that she's much more compassionate than I thought she was. She just has so much drive and determination and it just makes me fall in love with her even more (Lonyé breaks out in the biggest “awww” sound and laughs)! have to worry about that (he LP: I would say selflessness. laughs). There are so many Being single for so many people looking for love. I think years and growing up the way no matter if you have had I did, not seeing solid rela- poor experiences in the past, tionships, I never knew I could you can find a person to enhave that until I met Peyton. joy spending time with. I think Growing up I was closed off the dating scene is so much as I was trying to protect pro- more difficult to find sometect my heart. Then meeting body, but it is possible. I just someone who so real, open, feel so blessed. Everybody and honest with me allowed doesn't have the opportunity me to open up and be hon- to find somebody they truly est with him. Before I knew it, enjoy spending time with, to I fell in love with this fun guy I be friends with, to trust, and was hanging out with and we love. started this journey of life as
LP: One other thing I want to say, specifically to the women out there is to be open. You never know when, where, or how you're going to find love. Lastly, when you’re married with kids, don't feel as though that’s the end of YOUR story. Marriage and being a mom is the beginning of a new chapter and your dreams and goals are still valid! I believe the happiest moms are the ones having a career that they're passionate about while balancing family life because they have a full life. Same goes for men, just because you're a dad doesn't mean you're just a provider you have other goals as well, so work as a union with your significant other to make it happen!
“marriage has taught me that there are different levels of love.”
Check out: funnymarriedstuff.com for updates on their show! Follow: @funnymarriedstuff, @lonyeperrine & pizmoney
Kimono by OTT @ottdubai, provided by Maison Privée PR @maisonpriveepr_la Dress by OTT @ottdubai, provided by Maison Privée PR @maisonpriveepr_la Swimsuit by Miracle Suit @miraclesuit Shoes by Paloma Barceló @palomabarcelo Earrings by Iris Trends @eyeofiris, provided by Maison Privée PR @maisonpriveepr_ la Ring by Krysia Renau @krysiarenaujewelry, provided by PR Solo @pr_solo
Model & Author Photography By Amina Touray Styling By Keisha L. Turner Makeup by Niehla O.
ne of the definitions of the word confidence is, “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.” And that was exactly what Liris Crosse possessed as a young child – confidence. Growing up in Randallstown, Maryland, it was in elementary school when Liris realized she wanted to become a model. “I used to ham it up in front of the camera and at family events,” she said. Her mother is the one who ignited the “fashion flame” in her. “My mother and I would take trips to the library and she would always make me get ten books. So 6 of them would be books and the other 4 were fashion magazines like, Seventeen, Vogue, Elle,
Liris Crosse By Mia Nicole
and Harpers.” While still in elementary school, it was when her father was running for Congress that an unexpected event happened for her. “One day a photographer came to our house to take pictures for my father’s campaign brochure. He asked my parents if he could take extra pictures of me and they were like, sure!” Liris remembers. “Then weeks later, the photographer returned with a large picture of me and told my parents that I was very photogenic and said they needed to get me into modeling. That was the seed that was planted in me, “Liris said, “I felt like – he sees me! He sees the talent in me! Somebody believes that I can do this.” However, being that her mother and father were pastors, and as most parents are protective of their
children, they did not see modeling as a priority. Liris says, “They didn’t want me to grow up too quickly. But time moved on and I did local church fashion shows and other things. Then when I was a junior in high school, a model’s convention came to town and had a big casting call to see if you could make it to the convention.” After being invited to the convention, Liris received 4 call backs and two were Elite models and Seventeen Magazine. She says, “I had a subscription to Seventeen, so that was amazing.” “They all loved me but wanted me to lose weight. Being a full time athlete in high school, it was really perplexing to me to think that I needed to lose more weight.” With even less success than the previous year, Liris felt defeated but refused to give up. “I think my life has been Trustworthy Magazine
Mock Neck Dress by OTT @ottdubai Maxi Dress by OTT @ottdubai Turban by OTT @ottdubai Ring by Krysia Renau @krysiarenaujewelry Ring provided by PR Solo @pr_solo All clothing provided by Maison PrivĂŠe PR @maisonpriveepr_la
“I was making history and changing the plus modeling world.” a testimony to not giving up'', she said. “I graduated from high school and enrolled in college, but something in my spirit told me to tell my parents that I really wanted to move to NY to pursue modeling.” Supportive, her parents gave her one year to pursue her dream. “I moved to New York and I never looked back.” After moving to the Big Apple, Liris was directed to the Curve division of Wilhelmina Models by an agent. “She wanted to send me where the women looked like me. I had no idea that division existed! I had no idea that plus modeling existing. The women were beautiful, they just had more meat on their bones” Liris said. Liris was offered a contract and ended up being with them for quite some time. “I was making history and changing the plus modeling world.” Currently, at Dorothy Combs Models, Liris has been with them for years. “I am just continuing my journey, living out my dreams as a model. Some of the by products of that has been 32
Kimono designed by NyLaurent @NyLaurent Swimsuit by Becca @beccaswim Skirt by jaline @jaline_resort Earrings by Krysia Renau @krysiarenaujewelry Necklace by Krysia Renau @krysiarenaujewelry Ring by Krysia Renau @krysiarenaujewelry Look 2 All jewelry provided by PR Solo @pr_solo
being able to be a pioneer in the industry. Being able to inspire and motivate others to live their best lives and feel comfortable in their skin - that’s really been a blessing.” Making history as the first plus size model to win the model competition portion of Season 16 of Project Runway, “ The Plus Size Naomi Campbell” has been featured in magazines from American Vogue, Essence, British Cosmopolitan, and Vibe. Liris doesn’t see an issue in being called a ‘plus size model.’ As an advocate of diversity in the industry, she embraces it. Working with campaigns for stores such as Lane Bryant and Ashley Stewart, Liris believes, “we are all wonderfully and beautifully made. For years plus size has been believed to be one type of look. Plus size comes in different heights and body shapes. We are all set up differently. And truthfully, that is why some designers are afraid to design for us. There are so many variations of plus size. Curvy, doesn’t come in one certain look. I don’t look at plus as a bad word. Plus means more, who doesn’t want more? Sometimes we give negative power to certain words and we accept it! Change the stigma and embrace it. Plus is a descriptor just like tall, short, black, white, freckles, redhead – it’s a descriptor!” As someone who likes to 34
inspire young women, Liris has attended the At the Well Conferences summer camps at Princeton University. “It is basically a conference to help this new generation of young girls, especially minority young girls.” While the ages of the attendees vary, Liris has a special place in her heart for one particular age group. “There is just something about the 9th graders that I love,” she says. “They have this special energy and excitement; they are a bit more open and free. And to be able to speak to them and give them the tools to empower themselves, to look at themselves as the beautiful, mighty creations - to motivate and inspire them to go after their dreams - there is something about pouring into young women when they are that pivotal age that I really love. They learn about who they are and what they want, as they step into womanhood. Two thousand and nineteen has been an amazing year for Liris and it keeps getting better! Not only is she grateful to have been asked to be the curvy ambassador for wedding designer, Maggie Sottero, Liris has added author to her name. Her new book, Make the World Your Runway: Top Model Secrets for Everyday Confidence and Success, is an inspirational roadmap to help build self-belief, so you can create the joy and success
in life. “I am excited about my book tours! I share my modeling secrets to help build everyday confidence.” In July, Liris had the opportunity to appear at the 25th Anniversary Essence Festival. “I have been there before but this time I had a book signing and had the opportunity to be a part of different speaking events and gigs. I had an amazing time!” With a successful career, a new book and a plethora of gigs, where Liris is taking her brand is a beautiful thing to watch! And with a great team in her corner, the sky is the limit! “My publicist Lisa is amazing! It is great to have someone that you can trust and who looks out for you by making sure they get you and your brand out there. I just love her!” As Liris gets to the end of every runway, she just stands there...in her power. Keep standing in your power Liris Crosse, as you continue to take the modeling world by storm!
“I don’t look at plus as a bad word. Plus means more, who doesn’t want more?”
Photo: Suvan Chowdhury
Photography & Interview By Amina Touray Makeup & Hair by Niehla O.
Caroline D’Amore Pizza Girl
We sat down with Caroline D’Amore to talk about her entrepreneurial journey, how she got the nick name “Pizza Girl”, her new organic pasta sauces, family jam sessions at home, and the empire in the making that she’s building!
I love the food business and bringing quality products to everyone”
t’s safe to say that pizza is a timeless dish that is appreciated by any age and culture. It’s one of those dishes that has a memory attached to it - whether that entails a recollection of a birthday weekend in your childhood, grabbing a pizza slice during a late night out, a candlelit romantic dinner for two, or even ordering pizza after long hours of labor. It’s simply appreciated on any occasion. Caroline D’Amore - also known as Pizza Girl understood the concept of pizza early on in life. Raised by her legendary father Joe D’Amore; known for his authentic Italian pizza and pasta sauces, it seemed like she was destined to follow in his footsteps, but also branching out and creating her unique lane in the food industry. As an entrepreneur and CEO of Pizza Girl Inc, she has found workspace anywhere around the world. It wasn’t a smooth way to get there and it certainly takes a sharp, determined and passionate woman to wear all the hats that D’Amore has on.
I believe in evolving and being open to opinion, but you have to know your vision”
Amina Touray: You grew up with your father, who is a legendary pizza restaurateur. What was that upbringing like? Caroline D’Amore: I grew up with mostly a single father, my mom passed away unfortunately when I was five, so he had to sadly give up his dreams and get a real job. He hated the pizza out here on the West Coast, he’s from Boston, and he decided to open a pizza joint and use my grandmother’s recipes to bring an amazing product to everybody out here on the West Coast. I grew up going to catering gigs and helping my dad, working in the restaurant, every aspect from; delivering pizzas, when I got my license, to customer service. It was a wild adventure and every birthday party was a pizza party. Every time someone was coming over to our house to play, they expected there to be pizza if there wasn’t, people were very upset. Even at my parties now, it’s like - “what no pizza?!” I’m like - okay fine! So now I just have to have pizza at all of my events or people are just devastated. AT: So it’s pretty much expected… CD: Right, super expected. So it was fun! Pizza is enjoyable for everyone. It’s really rare to find someone who doesn’t love pizza, especially ours because it just has all the elements of that amazing thin crust, East Coast style. We use only the best ingredients.
AT: How did you get the name Pizza Girl? CD: Well, Pizza Girl I got because everywhere I went it was like - “oh there’s the pizza girl”. I kind of hated it when I was younger and a teenager. I was like - I don’t want to be known as the pizza girl. So I did everything I could to get away from that. Once I became a bratty teenager, I started DJ-ing and that took me in a whole different artistic direction, which was really fun. But even crazy enough at my shows, my world started colliding - like people in the crowds held up signs that said “Pizza Girl”. They started putting two and two together, maybe from googling me or just seeing my life. I mean, there are so many photos of just pizza parties. Paris Hilton threw my 18th birthday party for me at her house and we had the pizza truck upfront. So it just became one of those things where all these fun fabulous parties I ended up going to or having, people wanted the pizza truck. So there was nothing I could do. Not even in my cool wild party days could I escape the “Pizza Girl”. AT: Since it followed you around, even when DJ-ing, did you feel like you had to continue the legacy? CD: Yes! I also took over one of my dad’s restaurants. I took over the West Hollywood location with my husband. I think just finally realizing how incredibly difficult
Working in the family business is what inspired me to go off and do my own thing”
that business is. I was always the girl that just got to go in, grab some pizzas for a party and bounce. So I never really saw what a major undertaking it was to have a restaurant like that. My dad’s getting older and I learned over the past five years of having my restaurant just how much of a labor of love it is. I however don’t love the restaurant business. I love the food business and bringing quality products to everyone. What I didn’t love about the restaurant business is that no matter how hard you work, it doesn’t help when a cook doesn’t show up and when things that you can’t control go wrong, and it still affects your business. I wanted something that no matter how hard I work, the business will grow and people will love it. AT: Is that what also inspired you to start creating your sauces? CD: Working in the family business is what inspired me to go off and do my own Trustworthy Magazine
thing. I realized after trying so hard to change a few things in my father’s business - like updating it to the current times. But it was really hard! I realized my voice is never going to be heard, this isn’t my business. I wanted to do something so that my vision could easily come out. I tried to do so much for D’Amore’s, but nobody was receptive to it. Like...I tried to change the logo and I tried to bring them into the world of social media. But it wasn’t my business, so I was ready to start my own. Luckily, I have these great recipes and organic products that just literally blow people away. I walked into Bristol Farms and Erewhon... AT: Really, you walked in there personally?
AT: I love the persistence that you have! As an entrepreneur, when you look back, what has been among your greatest lessons? CD: Honestly, being an entrepreneur, I would say some of my greatest lessons are - don’t let everybody’s opinion infiltrate your vision. I’ve done that before where I had this vision...I had
“It’s something that I’m proud to feed my fouryear-old.” derstand your vision and your product and you can’t let anyone steer you away from that, because then it’ll just become this muddy product of all these different opinions. It needs to be a “personality” almost on a product.
“I’m so proud of my husband that he’s willing to take a little bit of a backseat to empower his wife to be a CEO”
CD: Yes personally. I walked in and I said Hey, try my product... and it totally worked! So don’t let anybody tell you that it’s impossible, because I did get those calls like - “you’re never going to get shelf space. It’s such a flooded market. There are so many sauces out there.” I was like, - yeah, but there’s no one like this. No sauce or product speaks to Millennials, who care about the environment and care about what they’re putting in their bodies. This is a product that people can be proud to have in their cupboard. There’s no added sugar and there are no preservatives. It’s something that I’m proud to feed my four-year-old. So 42
I just knew that something with a fresh outlook hasn’t been done in this space yet. So I didn’t let anybody tell me no!
a label - somebody walked into a tasting event that I had and they were like “these labels are shit. You need something cooler”, and you know, I wish that I just didn’t let everybody’s opinion infiltrate mine when I started because I was right the whole time and then it ended up steering me in all these different directions. I believe in evolving and being open to opinion, but you have to know your vision. You have to thoroughly un-
AT: It’s so true, I’ve learned that too. The more inputs you get, the more confusing it gets and you end up losing yourself and what you believed in originally, which is almost always the right way.
CD: Yes 100%! I’m somebody who’s lost myself in a sea of opinions. So I refuse to do that anymore! AT: I get it! On a different note, you’re still DJ-ing, you have a little daughter, you’re married, you have your restaurant and brand. How do you balance all the roles in your life?
vision and everything. AT: I just have to say, I think it’s so beautiful how you have found that connection and support each other and make it work. From your mistakes to everything that you have learned along the way, what do you want to teach your daughter? CD: So balance is a tricky thing. We haven’t done the whole “nanny thing”, with the child, which people are like - “how have you done all these things without a nanny?”. We do have a babysitter that comes and helps here and there, but we were kind of like - let’s not do it if we’re not going to be the person that spends the majority of time with our child. We both had interesting upbringings and we both just knew that we wanted to be there at least 80% of the time, no matter where our lives took us. So if it was my husband going on the road, then I would take time off and go with him, with my daughter. I’m lucky to have an amazing husband, and Pizza Girl is something that we both see as being a really big thing for the family. So we are doing what it takes to make sure that Pizza Girl is successful, which means that my husband is spending more time with our daughter, and me taking on that CEO boss role. I love and I’m so proud of my husband that he’s willing to take a little bit of a backseat to empower his wife to be a CEO. He believes in me, the 44
CD: I just got the chills for some reason because I was like - oh my God! What do I want to teach her? I honestly just want to teach her to be proud of whatever it is she’s trying to put out into the world. I’ve done some things just because it was the thing to do and I wasn’t so proud of it after the fact. I just went along with some things, like reality show stuff, or like a song that I thought may have been cool at the time, just because I wanted the label or people to like me. I just want her to be proud of whatever it is she does. As parents, we want to give her the tools to do what it is she loves. AT: What’s she like by the way? CD: Isabella Viking… AT: Wow “Viking”? CD: Yes that’s her middle name. My husband and I were on this beautiful boat in Iceland and we found the ticket for the boat when we got pregnant and it was called The Isabella. It was on the Viking line. So it said “Isabella Viking”, and when we
found it we were like - oh my God! That’s her name! AT: That’s a strong name! CD: It is, right? It’s soft, beautiful and strong. That’s something that I think is amazing about women; you can be pretty, sexy and also a badass. So that was something that I wanted to pass on to her name. AT: So she lives through that! How cool! So, I know you’re very busy pulling everything together. What do you do for yourself in your spare time? CD: My husband and I try to make sure that we have some serious quality family time. Sure “me time” is great, I go get a facial at Kate Somerville. I’ve lived there! I also like to work out - I just put on workout clothes and I run! I run all over Los Angeles. You can see me just running down La Cienega or running along Melrose. I run everywhere; I run to my facial appointment, I run to the meetings, I run to Robertson’s to
” it’s okay to be vulnerable and still be a badass in the office” August 2019
buy gifts and things, I’m always running to Alice & Olivia to find a new dope outfit. So yeah, I love being able to just be on foot and seeing people in the community. I like to look up and stop looking at my phone, you can’t run and look at your phone. But then we also like to do “music days” every Tuesday. Something people don’t know about us is that there will be a full-on jam session, with my daughter and my husband, her friends and their dads, who are also musicians. They always come over on Tuesdays and everybody just jams. So yeah, that’s what we like to do for fun. AT: Is there anything about you that people don’t know?
AT: Which sauces do you have now? CD: Currently we have the; Marinara, Vodka sauce, which is just blowing people away! And Puttanesca, which has Kalamata olives and capers. It’s very flavorful! It’s so good for cooking
something that won’t have as long of a shelf life because it will be more organic and something you are okay with feeding your children. So I want to do the frozen pizzas, frozen lasagnas, and pasta. Possibly do a pizza making kit for families to do on the weekends. I have a lot of great ideas about developing the brand. So the next five years not only will our sauces hopefully be available across the entire US, in supermarkets everywhere, but will also be expanding the brand with more amazing delicious organic products.
“If you fully love your brand and your product, it will show. Nobody can sell something you love better than yourself”
CD: I’ve always been an open book. So a lot of it you can see on my Instagram and everything in my stories. I think to be vulnerable and being an emotional human being, people don’t know that about me because I tend to always have a tough exterior (she laughs). You kind of have to, to be a female in this crazy work environment that I’ve been in my whole life. I think that it’s okay to cry and it’s okay to be vulnerable and still be a badass in the office. AT: Absolutely, I agree! Where do you see Pizza Girl in the next five years?
CD: In the next five years we’re going to expand on the sauces. So I’ll do every sauce you can think of. The next one we’re rolling out is the Arrabbiata sauce…
chicken dishes; do a onepan chicken dish and just pour the sauce and let it absorb all the flavor. I definitely want to continue to expand on the sauces. Then under the name Pizza Girl, there’s so much we can do! I want to get into finally making something delicious for the frozen food section that I feel is still missing. I just want
AT: Where are your sauces available now? CD: Currently my sauces are available at Bristol Farms. I thank Bristol Farms so much! I grew up going there. I give them so much credit for taking on something new and getting something new a try, which is super amazing of them!
AT: And you mentioned earlier that you went up there by yourself. You do everything by yourself, which is amazing! When you went up to the Bristol Farms, how did you even prepare for that? CD: I say, don’t prepare! If you fully love your brand and your product, it will show. Nobody can sell something you love better Trustworthy Magazine
than yourself. You need to be the one going in there and explaining it with this joy and passion. I think that’s what’s getting my foot in the door is that people see how incredibly passionate I am about this project, that they just take a leap of faith because they know that I’m going to be there backing it every step of the way. I think a lot of people develop a product, they put a lot of marketing dollars in it and then they just hope that it does well on the shelves. That’s not my method at all. I’m in the store, I’m going into all of the Bristol Farms and doing demos. I’m giving out samples personally and talking to people about my product because I do believe when you have a food product - sample, sample, sample! Hiring demo companies don’t always work because these people aren’t as motivated about the products as you are. So I say, hire in house. Right now it’s just me and my assistant Kara, who loves the brand and product and we’re out there speaking to everybody about it. We have all these big events coming up. We’re sponsoring the backstage of KidzCon next weekend, which is going to be huge! We’re doing Live & Dine in LA. We’re doing all these big awesome sampling events. Right now I just want to get the product in people’s mouths, because once they try it, they buy it. AT: I love that! So what’s next? CD: Right now I’m just tak46
ing meetings with markets. I have some really exciting ones coming up with some really big supermarkets. I’ve fully funded this project myself, so it’s been a little crazy. I know that I will need an investment done soon in order to scale. So I’m just taking meetings. You can mess something up by merging with somebody who isn’t right for your product or your brand. So A - I just want to make sure that someone doesn’t rob me of my company, and B - I end up working with people who also have the same vision, and C - me as the CEO. I’m not stepping down, I’m very opinionated. If I don’t find the right person then I’m just going to keep self-funding this myself and go as far as I possibly can. AT: And you’ve already come very far just on your own CD: Thank you so much! AT: Anything else we should know? CD: We have some upcoming new supermarkets. We’re going to be in Erewhon, Follow Your Heart, Rainbow Bridge in Ojai, Jimbo’s Naturally in San Diego, Vintage Grocers Malibu, WestRidge in Ojai, Little Tokyo Market Place, Cardiff Seaside in Encinitas, and Jayde’s Market in Beverly Glenn. AT: Oh you are ?! And you can also get your products from the website, right?
“Right now I just want to get the product in people’s mouths, because once they try it, they buy it” CD: You can get it at Pizzagirl.com. Shipping is very expensive because it’s a heavy product. For my customers, because I love them so much, I’m breaking even on those right now or losing money (she laughs). Most business people would tell you - “that’s really dumb”, but honestly, I just don’t want to tell them that they can’t get it. I also don’t want them paying those crazy shipping fees. So Amazon is the route for us! Follow: @Carolinedamore & @Pizzagirlofficial for updates!
Everyone Loves Homegirlâ€™s Hummus
Engagement Photography by Amina Touray Assisted by Irma Vasquez
“We’re dedicated to documenting the chapters of our life” When Australian couple Tim Noonan and PJ Madam got engaged, it got off to a pretty rough start! Noonan, an award-winning filmmaker, got the opportunity of a lifetime to travel around the world for two years while filming his own show. The achievement meant wedding plans were put on hold and communication with his fiancée PJ,was limited. When they reunited, they decided to travel for one year together and visit the most extreme and remote places around the world - living with tribes and putting their relationship to the ultimate test. They experienced challenging engagement rituals that would show whether they would survive as a couple or not. In their new Netflix show Extreme Engagement, Tim and PJ take us through the 8 destinations
they visited, from Nigeria, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and more, where we got to witness the development of their relationship. I had the pleasant opportunity to sit down on the beach with Tim and PJ while they visited California, to ask them all the things I had wondered about after binge-watching their show. Amina Touray: First of all, how did you guys meet? PJ: I was a reporter on a program which is very similar to your CBS 60 minutes, called Sunday Night where I met Tim. At the time I was coming out of a divorce, and I was a little bruised and broken and probably not thinking that anything could happen. But Tim did catch my eye and I thought he was special. Things didn’t develop for a while, and then when they did it was fantastic. Tim: PJ sat down next to me at work and I was just besotted instantly. Everybody waits for that feeling when they meet someone, and they know they're ‘the one’. I know that we've been around the world and put that to the test, but I still feel like that now. It was indescribable for me. But I know she was scared of getting hurt again as she'd been married and divorced before. PJ: I come from a big Catholic family, so it wasn't just the divorce, but there were feelings of shame, embar-
rassment and failure. I’ve come to realize that all of it is just a perception, a fear that you think everyone is talking about you and judging you. But in the end your parents just want you to be happy. I had to be quite courageous and forgiving of myself to take that leap and start again. AT: Would you recommend other couples to do the same (travel the world) to see if they’re a match? Tim: I’m not sure I'd recommend it to a normal couple! (Laughing). PJ: Yeah, I feel we’re currently existing in a time where we have a bit of a fantasy of what a relationship and marriage means. Not everybody, but I know I did! I grew up thinking - you grow up, meet a guy, fall in love, settle down, get married, have children, a job, and live happily ever after. And that didn’t work for me. We’re all human beings, we disappoint, we make mistakes, we hurt each other intentionally and unintentionally. If you look on social media, a lot of people think a relationship needs to be “hashtag couple goals”. Well, we are definitely NOT that (laughs). You’re not going to see this pretty version of us. It's going to be rough and tough, ugly and bad and sad, but that's what the truth is! We just wanted to embrace that. Tim: We went on a journey to discover something about ourselves and Trustworthy Magazine
ine sitting down on a Tinder date saying – “hey, what do you do?” and then explain the year I just had. It’s just insane! We’ve been through so much and redefined what marriage means which works for us. AT: That’s what I loved about the show, it just felt so raw, authentic and relatable in many ways. Those conversations you had at night for example. You weren’t trying to portray this perfect couples
each other and I guess we were searching for answers about whether or not we should be together? How could we survive when we have to rely on each other in these extreme situations? Because if we couldn't survive this, then how were we going to survive the normal tests of married life back in the city? How do you navigate life with kids? Or the challenges that life throws at you? We were hopelessly 52
in love and we always believed we could get through it … we just didn't expect it would be quite so hard! PJ: A lot of people who have watched the show ask “are you guys still together?” And “are you married?”. And I think, did we not take you on enough of an emotional roller coaster? (Laughs) When you go through something so hectic with somebody, you can’t imag-
Tim: We both committed to keeping it as authentic and real as we possibly could. So, it meant keeping the camera turned on even if we were quite close to breaking point and that was a commitment that we made and upheld. Because ultimately, we wanted to puncture this fantasy that everybody believes when you get engaged to be married or you get married. Like PJ said, you expect life to be perfect and everything will just be wonderful from that point on. But the reality is far more complex. You don't get support without getting challenge. You don't get pleasure without pain. They come together, right? And so, we wanted to show a real-life view of what it takes to be in a relationship. AT: How did you even plan for a one-year-long trip? Tim: This is my interest outside of filming anyway, like I love remote adventure travel. For years, I was making a
TV show called Boy to Man, where I traveled the world, putting myself through different male initiations in different remote cultures and tribes around the world. So this was a natural progression. I'm already fascinated by these places, so it wasn't too hard to work out the logistics of getting there. PJ: We wanted to work out a way where we actually work and play together because every time he’d go, I'd miss him! And you can't just text or call, when he’s so remote and only has a satellite phone. We would sometimes only talk once a month when he was away. And that’s a very long dis-
tant and absent kind of relationship. So when we decided to merge it all together for the reasons of seeing if we were compatible enough, then we started to plan where to go, the rituals, the tribes, the cultures and so on. Once we did that, the logistics followed. The production side is a different ballgame. It was our company that made the show and we had a team around us as well. But that part is another beast! Tim: We went to some of the last places on earth where people still live traditionally but in the next 10 years or so, that will start to shift and change because mo-
“PJ sat down next to me at work and I was just besotted instantly”
bile phones and Facebook, believe it or not, has made its way into the most remote corners of the earth! So it's getting easier and easier actually to find the last few places where Instagram and social media hasn’t made it. You get on the internet, you go libraries and start scouring photo galleries and magazines, trawling through articles and everywhere you possibly can to find those last few places. Then, you try to plan as much as you can for life on the ground. Sometimes we didn't know exactly where we were going, so we’d land in a country, know the general region, the general area that we were heading for and then get our supplies and go out on an adventure to see what we could find.
pending on where we’d go…
sad because we’d all been through something big toTim: Yeah, you can see in the gether. Everybody had made first episode we've got armed the film together. guards with us because just getting there was dangerous. AT: Yeah, you became a We went to some pretty hairy family. Some of the places, places where there were kid- I guess the majority of the nappings or terrorist activity, places didn't have internet so we had to be mindful and and phone access. Was that make sure that we were safe a good thing for you? Like at all times was it a good detox, or was it frustrating in any way? PJ: We’re like … ‘we’re just making a relationship show!’. PJ: I think at first I was a lit(we all laugh) tle put out because I usually have a routine. I like to see what's happening around the world, on the news. I check my Instagram or whatever...not often, I hadn’t posted for like, years. But I also love my online shopping and then suddenly there was nothing. So that silence took a little bit to get used to, but then afterAT: How did you wards it was recommunicate ally good. It was with the locals? Did you have quite refreshing. As soon as a translator? Tim: But the cool thing was I’d get used to the silence, I’d that because we filmed it get back into range and then PJ: We had a local team ev- ourselves, the village would I’d be flooded with so many ery time we moved around, become the crew. emails, like 1000 of them! so we’d form these families, like inner circles who’d AT: So they would take over Tim: Yes, going on that techcome with us. We’d have a to assist you guys? nology detox was the most translator who would interincredible thing because pret everything - sometimes Tim: Yes, so we would throw you've got no way to know two - because you've got them a camera if we had to, what's happening in the outthe national language, but and they would be with us side world so the only thing you also have a tribal dialect. telling us about the rituals that matters is human relaThe translators would be with and what we could do from tionships and that’s refreshus all the time. And we had day to day. So, by the time ing, time slows down. to have security as well de- we left, it was extraordinarily
“If you look on social media, a lot of people think a relationship needs to be “hashtag couple goals”. Well we’re definitely not that”
Oasis Camel Dairy Photography & story by Amina Touray & Moses Dalton
PJ: I think you realize that our world isn't the center of the world when you're out in these places. You do get perspective on the problems we might face and the bills you've got to pay or the stuff that gives you angst in the morning, getting ready to sit in traffic or running to get the groceries. When you don't have to worry about it, it's nice. It's nice to have that freedom from modern-day life as we know it. Don't get me wrong. It's not easy, but it's a deeper type of detox in a way. AT: So now that you look back, do you have any regrets or is there anything that you would have done differently? Tim: Never! PJ: Easy answer - never! Tim: All of the challenges and obstacles we faced, we were genuinely going through them at the time. Heck, we almost broke up! But it only made us stronger and there's no way we’d trade going through that together and coming out the
“You don’t get support without getting challenge. You don’t get pleasure without pain”
“going on that technology detox was the most incredible thing” other side, for the world. AT: I have to ask both of you. What was your favorite place to visit and your favorite cultural ritual that was practiced? PJ: Hope this isn’t a spoiler, but the ending! Because that was our take on marriage. So yeah, that was my highlight. It’s hard to single out my favorite place, because every single one had a charm about it. The last episode in Yanaba, which is part of Papua New Guinea, was really special for the genuine reason of what happened there. Gosh, now I feel bad singling out one place because I also loved Nigeria, I loved Mongolia, I loved China, I loved Cameroon, I loved the highlands of Papua New Guinea. I loved ALL of them...I loved Indonesia! But there's something incredibly special about the last episode, which was our final chapter. It was amazing! 56
Tim: Yeah, it’s kind of like running a marathon. We wanted to give up at some point and then coming to the very end, we were on this remote beautiful paradise, and it was like - we got there, we’re done! So that has got a very special place in our hearts. AT: Would you guys do another world tour again? PJ: Oh, yeah! Maybe not on the same subject though because you evolve and grow, so I feel like we're good, so we don't need to do another engagement! Tim: We’re dedicated to documenting the chapters of our life, so whatever we're genuinely facing, we’ll try to find out the answers by go-
ing on a journey to discover what it means to get married or what it means to have a baby, what it means to be parents. PJ: The only thing I will say, is that while we love disappearing into the wild and meeting all these amazing people, being off grid is a little taxing. I missed my parents and family for a start! But what happens though is that you do kind of get sucked away. It took us two years to do this adventure when you include the planning and research back in 2017. The world is quite fast-moving these days and people want things very quickly so if we did this again, we’d have to work out another way to
to be face-to-face, and of course, we’re exploring new things to do. AT: I have one final question for you guys. What advice would you give to anyone; couple or solo for anyone who just wants to explore and travel the world? What should they keep in mind? PJ: For me, as a firm city girl: Be open to growing! Be open too surprising yourself, to being moved, be being uncomfortable, and be open to change - because you'll never regret it.
put this together, so the turnaround isn’t so long. Tim: Yeah, if we're going to go on another world tour, we’ll have to find another way that we can do it that is more immediate, so it's not taking another two years for people to see it. PJ: Trust me, you're not the only one who's asking. We've been bombarded with so many messages of people saying “what’s going to happen next? Can you tell us when your next adventure coming up” and you know, we've only just finished this one! (laughs). AT: Well that just shows the response! It’s been a very
successful show and even after that last episode I was like looking for more episodes like - is there a second season?? So, where are you guys right now, I mean other than in LA (I laugh). PJ: We’re going back to Sydney. We've had to still finish off the production of the show. In the short term, we would love to have a bit of a break, like a real holiday.
Tim: I think I would say try not to have unrealistic expectations on your partner because you're already setting them up to fail. Don't expect anything from anyone and you'll always be happy and they appreciate that the other person has a different set of values to you, and is going to see the world differently, and recognize that there's good in that.
Tim: Yeah a holiday from the holiday (all laugh). AT: So what are you doing in LA, is this a vacation? PJ: It’s half work and half vacation. We’ve got some business here, so it’s always good Trustworthy Magazine
SET your Intention
Photo: Public Domain Photography
Photography & Interview by Amina Touray
Top 8 money principles by Financially Wise Inc, founder Brittney Castro 60
said, - “go ahead and accept the job as you may end up liking it.” So that is what I did. I worked at Ameriprise Financial for about 5 years and got excellent training in financial planning, marketing, management, and leadership. But after 5 years I was working too much and was sick often because I was not being authentic to who I was. I realized that if I was going to stay in the financial planning industry, I had to find another way. So that is what I did. In 2010, I left that Brittney Castro has many company and went to an titles to her name - a CFP, independent financial firm CRPC, AAMS, founder and called LPL Financial where I CEO of Financially Wise, Inc, rebuilt my book of business which is a financial planand got my CFP (Certified ning company based in Los Financial Planner) desigAngeles. She graduated nation. By getting this deswith a degree in Business ignation I was building my Economics and a minor in credibility as less than 20% of Sports Management from financial advisors CFP’s and UCSB. Other than building of that figure less than 20% of wealth she enjoys dancthem are women. So being ing, meditating, traveling a young woman in finance and spending time with her was how I was going to sepfriends and family. When we arate myself from the rest. meet up with Castro around After two years of rebuilding the sunset on Melrose, she my clients and branding tells us about her recent trip myself as the “go-to finanto Japan, where she had cial planner for women” I left a speaking engagement. that company and started About once a month or so my own firm Financially Wise she travels to New York City Women. I was 28 years old for work. “I just set an inten- and leveraging social media tion to travel more for work,’’ and email marketing so to she says... say I was rare in the industry is an understatement. She was brought into the Now after 6 years, we have world of finances after evolved to FInancially Wise, graduating - “I was offered Inc. and offer fee-only finana job as a financial advisor cial planning services, online at Ameriprise Financial. I courses, financial wellness remember asking my career workshops, brand partnercounselor what she thought ships, paid speaking and as I had no idea what a fimedia and more. We have nancial advisor was and she a team of 4 and our typi-
“I wanted to create a firm that I would want to work with. And that is exactly what I did”
cal client is a professional woman or couple in their late 30’s-40’s who have high income but still not sure how to manage their money for their goals. They hire us to help educate, empower them and implement the right financial strategies and systems to reach their financial goals. The inspiration behind Financially Wise Women came from her experience of feeling alone in the world of finance - “Being a woman in finance, I often felt alone. And I realized that if I felt alone and I was in the industry, imagine how the rest of the women out there who were making money and in charge of managing the household money must feel. I talked to so many women who felt intimidated by the traditional financial industry and felt too ashamed, afraid or talked down to when they asked questions regarding their finances. So I wanted to create a firm that I would want to work with. And that is exactly what I did when I created Financially Wise Women. We offer fee-only financial planning which means we don’t sell products and receive a commission nor have a minimum of assets you need to work with us. We are in the business of helping clients of all ages and stages in their financial lives and focus on educating and empowering our clients with the right financial tools and strategies to simplify their financial lives and maximize their results. Trustworthy Magazine
“Being a young woman in finance was how I was going to separate myself from the rest.”
The desire and drive that Castro has to help people come from her parents - “My drive comes from a part of me that loves to serve and help people. I have a great work ethic I learned from my dad who always pushed me to work hard and my Mom who always supports me in my efforts and believes in me. I also have an amazing spiritual teacher and community who believe in me and always help me go for my personal growth in life. It is 62
all about me feeling inspired to grow as a spiritual person having this human experience and that awareness has helped me continue and keep going regardless of the setbacks, challenges and life circumstances. It is all about learning and using life as a curriculum in which I can become aware of myself and become a better, more conscious person throughout all of life’s stages. This is ultimately where my drive comes from.” Some of the biggest mis-
takes people make with money management are the way they think - “Most people just avoid their money and this is one of the biggest mistakes they make. It is a fear that holds them back from really being honest about their current financial situation and how they can improve it. This fear can keep one in the victim mentality with their money instead of understanding that you are in the driver seat and at any moment can change your mindset and behaviors to have a different outcome for yourself.” The biggest difference Brittney has noticed between women and men when it comes to spending and finances is quite distinct - “Typically women are more planning oriented, meaning they think about the long-term and want to have enough money to take care of themselves and their loved ones. Whereas men may be more focused on the day to day aspect of making money. Women are
typically more emotional about money and connect with their behaviors with money more easily than men. In general, we find that women want to learn how to be better at managing their money and are okay with asking for help in that area of their lives.
Top 8 Money Principles
What you can expect from Financially Wise Inc, is a well-structured plan! Comprehensive Financial Planning Services: We chose a 3-month engagement after finding out that clients wanted more and more short-term initial planning engagements. The comprehensive financial planning services include: FINANCIAL PLANNING PROCESS First Month: Data Session (60-Minute Session) *Review your current financial data. *Define your short-term and long-term financial goals. Strategy Session (60-Minute Session)
*Present customized financial road map. *Implement your customized financial road map. *We may carry out the recommendations or serve as your guide, coordinating the whole process with you and other professionals such as your attorney or CPA.• Determine the next action steps. Second & Third Month: Review Sessions (Two 60-Minute phone sessions) *Monitor your progress and life-changing circumstances to make sure your plan remains in sync with your life vision and aspirations.
*Review specific strategies *PLUS: 90 days of email/ to help address each of your phone access for the continfinancial goals. ued support *Time to ask as many questions as needed (no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed).
Our clients for this service are usually professional women and couples in their late 30’s early 40’s who have six figures in income, sav*If necessary, we’ll edit the ings, and some investments recommendations based on but still want more clarity your feedback and propose with growing their financial alternative strategies. wealth. The most common Implementation Session topic amongst all clients is (60-Minute session) how to save more and in-
vest more to reach their long-term financial goals such as retirement. Currently, we have about a 30% conversion ratio from these one-time financial planning clients to ongoing financial planning clients. Let’s dig a little deeper into Brittney’s top 8 money principles Check Your Credit Score Credit plays a big role in your future and has a tremendous impact on your ability to achieve life’s milestones. A lot of credit cards and banks now offer their customers a credit dashboard in which you can see your FICO® Score each month with a graphical analysis of their 12-month score history and a summary of their Credit Report to see the factors impacting their credit score.
Increase your savings by 1% The household savings rate in the US is about 3.1%. That’s not good news given the fact that
“Most people just avoid their money and this is one of the biggest mistakes they make” Americans should ideally be saving about 15-20% of their income for their financial life goals. Start by at least saving 1% of your income this year. You can open a high-interest online savings account and have an automatic deposit made from your paycheck. If you’re already saving, increase your savings amount by 1% until you get to about 15-20% of your income. Trim and Protect The reality is that every year you need to review your spending and cut as much waste from your budget as possible. Whether it’s going out to eat too much or signing up for too many memberships you never use, reviewing your monthly expenses will give you clarity on what waste you can cut out so you can save more of your monthly income.
Create a deadline to get out of debt The best way to pay off your debt is to tackle it head-on. Start by listing
out what you owe on your credit cards, the interest rate, and minimum payment. Then, add more every month toward the card with the highest interest rate. You can also look into doing a balance transfer to help pay down debts faster. For example, some credit cards offer a 0% BT rate with no balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open. Whatever debt reduction strategy you choose, make sure to stick to a deadline so you can track your progress and pay off your debt faster.
really does work like magic when it comes to growing your money for the long term. The simple way to understand the power of compounding interest is by the rule of 72. Basically, the rule of 72 tells us how many years it will take to double your money given a specific interest rate. For example, let’s say you have $5,000 that you can invest in a lump sum today into an investment that returns on average 4% per year. By using this rule, 72 divided by 4 is 18, so every 18 years your $5,000 will double. $5,000 today, 18 years from now $10,000, another 18 years from then, $20,000 Continue to ask and so forth. What if you took for more money that same original $5,000 every year investment and instead got If you work hard, an average annual return don’t be afraid of 8%? Now your money will to ask for a raise, double every 9 years. So bonus, or increase after the same 36 years inyour fees year after year. stead of $20,000 from the 4% Income is a huge factor in investment, you can potenwealth creation over time, tially have $80,000. That is so learn how to get better how compounding interest at asking for more of it. Use will help you build wealth sites like www.shenegotiates. over time. It helps your moncom to improve your nego- ey make money which of tiating skills or comparably course is a very wise finanto research average comcial move. pensation for your industry. With more knowledge and Diversify education, you can become Don’t put all your comfortable asking for a eggs in one basket. higher salary or higher fees I know this sounds in business on a regular easy, but yet so basis. Try to put your new many people still earnings into your savings or don’t understand the importo pay down debt instead of tance of having a diversified spending more. portfolio. It means to have a little bit of everything in your Understand com- portfolio. So a mix of differpounding interest ent types of mutual funds This can truly be whether they are stock muthe 8th wonder tual funds or bond mutual of the world as it funds, real estate and pos-
sibly business equity in your overall investment portfolio. Think of it like a pie, if one slice of the pie is eaten and no longer has value then it’s okay because you still have the rest of the pie remaining. Diversification helps minimize your risk over time as you never have all your eggs in one basket, i.e. one investment category, one company, etc. I know investing can be confusing, so start by reading and learning more about the differences between a stock, bond, mutual fund, real estate. This will help you have a better understanding of what is most appropriate to hold within your own investment portfolio. Remember everyone is different so your mix of investments may be different from your neighbors and that is okay as you may have different goals, timeframe, risk tolerance, etc. Find the mix that is right for you and keep that diversification going! Focus on the longterm and keep the emotion out of it One of my favorite investing quotes is from the successful investor Warren Buffett who says, - “be greedy when everyone else is fearful and fearful when everyone else is greedy.” What this means, is you have to be clear-headed when it comes to your long term investment strategy and not let your emotions get the best of you when the stock market fluctuates up and down. Most people react to the swings in the stock mar-
ket and panic when Chicken Little on TV is telling them the sky is falling so they make irrational decisions regarding their investment portfolio. If you can remember Warren’s quote, then during those times of stock market dips, if you were in control of your emotions, you might be able to see that there are investment opportunities to take advantage of, for example buying more of a position if you found it a value in the market, versus being fearful and panicking and perhaps selling at a loss like most people end up doing. Again, investing is complex and what I am saying may not apply to everyone so please do your homework and work with a financial professional you trust to help you build the right investment game plan so you can stay the course for the longterm.
Visit: Financiallywisewomen.com Trustworthy Magazine
Photo: Szelei Robert
On The Edge
Photography & Interview by Amina Touray
hen Everlayn Borges was 17 years old, she escaped in the middle of the night to cross the border between the desert of Juarez, Mexico and El Paso, Texas. She ran through dangerous terrains with extreme risks, for a life lived in freedom! When I had the opportunity to listen to Everlayn’s story I was taken through an intense, emotional roller coaster where we shared laughter and tears. Everlayn - “I am originally from Cuba. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been involved in the world of performing arts. I studied classical ballet, contemporary dance, and drama. When I was 17 years old I left Cuba to perform in Merida, Yucat-
Styled by Nirosha Peltier an, Mexico. I had a contract with a Cuban company that was extremely serious and communistic. The Cuban company that I was a part of, had a problem with the Mexican director of my show who they had made the deal with - meaning the deal of the Cuban show representing Cuba, in Merida, Yucatan. At the time I was underage, yet always very aware of what was going on politically. Although I had a contract for six months that the Cuban company wasn’t allowed to break, they still did. Due to the disagreement with the Mexican director, The Cuban company flew to Mexico, while the artist group was there to set up a meeting with all the artists from their company. - “The Cuban company I was part of told us to pack our bags, and that we had
to be at the airport the following morning to go back to Cuba. That was very hard for us because the opportunity that we had as Cubans being able to travel with our talents was rare. With a limited connection to the outside world of Cuba, the ability to travel overseas was small for Everlayn and a once in a lifetime opportunity. - “We didn’t have anyone overseas that was helping us since my father’s disappearance when trying to leave Cuba on a raft for freedom. My father was a talented and amazing man. I looked up to my father for the courage, and I said to myself - I’m staying to work! Even though I was only making $10 for two shows a day.” Almost no one from Everlayn’s group showed up at the airport the following Trustworthy Magazine
day like they had been told to. - “We all stayed at a very small hotel, so the Cuban Consulate of Merida came knocking on the doors of everyone, shouting that everyone who didn’t show up at the airport (how we were told to do) would be sent to jail when we got back to Cuba. We didn’t open the door. My entire life in Cuba was a boarding school. Ever since I was eight years old I lived and breathed in the school, so it felt like I got shot in my head when they told us that! When Everlayn started reflecting on her life back in Cuba, she knew that she had to make a drastic life decision right then and there. - “So I escaped through the window of my hotel room since I couldn’t go through the front door, because I was underage, and there was always someone there watching who was leaving.” A lot of things were going through her head when she had made up her mind to escape and convinced her two girlfriends to come with her. - “It felt like an adventure, and I was very young, so I was extremely positive that everything was going to work out for the best. I believed I could conquer the American dream. I always knew that if my father could jump on a raft for freedom, I could jump from the second-floor window of my hotel room for it as well. So I escaped with two other girls, after convincing them to do it, although I was the 70
youngest one. I assured them that we’d go to Miami and become millionaires. I told them that in one year, we’ll be so rich so that we can bring our families (she laughs). I already knew that after a year and a half you can get your residency in the U.S. So I was willing to sacrifice myself for a year and a half to make that happen. She later found out that going to jail was a scare tactic the Cuban company used to manipulate them into leaving Mexico. - ”Now obviously we were not going to go to jail. I found out much later that when the Cuban company realized that what they said about us all go-
ing to jail didn’t work out, after three more girls had left to cross the border, they changed their statement and said that no one would go to jail, but instead get their names on a record, that wouldn’t allow them to ever travel out of Cuba again! After jumping out the window from the second floor, Everlayn’s life was never the same again. “My life completely changed! After my escape, we managed to hide in a house for 15 days. Everybody (authorities, the venue, the Mexicans and Cubans) were looking for us in Mexico, so we wanted to wait until everything had quiet down. Eventually, we were able to catch a
plane and fly from Mérida Yucatán to Mexico City, to meet with “the coyotes” the coyotes are the people that help you cross the border. We paid them, and the following morning we met two of them at the bus terminal in Mexico City. They were brothers, it was a family business. The two brothers came with us on the bus to Juarez City, which took 24 hours. Everlayn and her friends got on the bus without any legal documents or passports. Now they just had to wait. - ”The most difficult moment with this whole journey was when the authority came inside the bus and asked for identification. We had to fake that we were sleeping and ‘the coyotes’ had told us to not lift our heads when we heard someone walking inside the bus because if they suspected that we were not Mexicans, they would ask for identification. I think that was the most stressful part of the whole journey because if something happened I knew I wouldn’t be able to run from it, being trapped on a bus. Luckily nothing happened. We arrived in Juarez City. This was the final city where we were going to cross the border from, to El Paso, Texas. They gave us food, a nice place to rest and towels to shower. My two girlfriends had gone out drinking that same night and came home
drunk hours later. I didn’t go because I was still 17 years old. Instead, I stayed in the house with another Cuban lady, who was a painter, that I had met through ‘the coyotes’. ‘The coyotes’ had made a structured escape plan for Everlayn, her two girlfriends and the Cuban painter, to cross the border and get to Texas. - ”So in the middle of the night, the ‘coyotes’ woke us up to cross the border.
ican & American base, and helicopter spotlights were so strong. It had an enormous power intensity! We had been directed by ‘the coyotes’ to not stop running no matter what. Just run run run! And that’s exactly what we did! We ran two and two together - first, it was the painter and I. Then my two girlfriends after us. By the time I looked back, the police were really close to my two girlfriends and I was thinking to myself - what am I doing crossing the border with this painter lady, whom I hardly know ?! If they catch my girlfriends I’m going to go to Miami by myself. ‘The coyotes’ had told us that we needed to follow a straight line when we ran, and when we crossed a specific tree, there was going to be a fence that we needed to pull up, it had already been prepared for us. Once we got under the fence, we’d officially be in El Paso, Texas. Then we would keep going straight until we’d reach a Burger King. From Burger King, the other brother was going to wait for us, give us plane tickets, and take us to the airport! So everything was a mission! We never got caught, although we were very close to it. After the intense escape, we managed to make it to someplace that looked like an outside warehouse, or a place where they fix cars. There was a fence everywhere that we had to jump
“I always knew that if my father could jump on a raft for freedom, I could jump from the second-floor window of my hotel room for it as well.”
They had described these trails we had to take to get to a river. Once we got to the desert in Juarez, the helicopters were already in action, circling, and looking for us! I started running and jumped into a river. As soon as I came out of the river, I hid behind a tiny tree, but within seconds the lights came on and I started running through the desert! I remember it being pitch black, but the headlights that came on from the Mex-
”The most difficult moment with this whole journey was when the authority came inside the bus and asked for identification
across. Since we hadn’t run straight like we had been told by ‘the coyotes’, we were completely lost. Yet we were so happy at that point, because we felt freedom, but still so much uncertainty. We had escaped but were wondering what to do next. We continued walking in the dark, and in the middle of the street, I saw a car that was going very slow behind us. I started sensing that it could be the other brother, that we were supposed to meet us outside the Burger King. He got out of the car and asked if we needed a ride. You know he tried to be low key because he knew how the police worked. We didn’t speak any English, so he told us in Spanish to get into the car immediately! That’s when we knew it was him! He had started looking for us when he didn’t see us at the Burger King we had agreed to run to. We got into his car, and he gave us our plane tickets to Miami. We took off 72
to the airport and had to stop in Dallas first. Before we left, he warned us that Texas is very conservative and that we should walk directly to our separate gates at the airport, and not to stay around, chit-chatting, because the police would already be out looking for us, and had certainly informed the airport! But Everlayn and her friends took his instructions very lightly - joking around and filled with adrenaline after the extreme night they had just experienced. - “Of course, we did exactly what he told us not to do! While at the airport, we were so excited, we were having so much fun in the bathroom playing around, filled with adrenaline, and talking about all the things we had gone through. And of course, I started seeing these people in the corner of my eye - one by one, coming to drink water from a water fountain next to us. It appeared to me that they were listening to us and leaving. All of a sudden three of them came up to us and ask for identification. We were speechless! In broken Spanish one of them asked Everlayn and her friends if they had crossed the Mexican border. - ”We responded yes, and they told us to come with them. We were so scared! But they were actually very nice and told us that we needed to complete
some paperwork because if we made it to Miami without any documentation or record that we had been there, we wouldn’t be able to ask for asylum when we reached Miami. After the girls provided the civil dressed immigration police with their information, they were free to proceed to their gates. - ”I had to tell them the whole story from the beginning when I was born, who my mother and father were, all the schools I went to while living in Cuba. They asked me about EVERYTHING! Afterward, they walked us to the planes and we were free to go. Fast-forwarding time - it was a very rough start for Everlayn once she finally reached her end destination - Miami. What did you do once you got there? - ”It was very hard in the beginning because I didn’t have any source of income. I came to Miami with $40. After several months in Miami, Everlayn missed a court date to see an immigration judge about her case, back in Texas (where her paperwork had been prepared, before getting on the plane to Miami). - ”I eventually got a deportation order, because I had been unable to see the immigration asylum judge at a given date, since I didn’t have any money to buy a plane ticket to fly back to Texas, and I didn’t speak any English. At the time we were living with a lady, in her house. She’s rented out rooms to us, and she knew
my situation so she took me to see a Cuban American lawyer, who told me that I didn’t have to pay him anything at all since he loved helping other Cubans, his father was a Cuban born lawyer as well. The lawyer that was supposed to help Everlayn with her case, had told her he would transfer the case to Miami and would take care of the immigration legal process from there, as well as getting the deportation order removed. However, he didn’t keep his promise and didn’t do anything that he’d said he would help her with, instead, Everlayn’s case was closed! - ”He never answered the phone, he didn’t do anything. Years passed by... Back in Cuba, Everlayn was very successful in school. Being that she had performed on television since the age of 15, she knew a lot of artists that were popular in Cuba, and had political asylum and established in the U.S. - “So I reached out to them in Miami, because they were my friends. And thanks to them my two girlfriends were able to get jobs as dancers at a show. Why not me? - Because I still looked very young and had a very unique look. But I was still so happy because now we were a team! We shared all the food, we shared ev-
erything. I was very blessed because I was able to attend an audition through my friends show, for a film called The Specialist, with Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone, and James Wood. I booked the film as a principal dancer. It was my first job in the U.S! Because of that opportunity, I was able to survive. I met the choreographer for the film, who started hiring me for everything! That was my oppor-
some friends, I was able to receive social security, but that was about it. One day I lost the parole paper, and I couldn’t request another one. I had to wait for a year to get out of Miami again! At that time, a good friend of Everlayn felt so bad for her, so she scheduled an appointment for her with her friend’s husband who was an amazing lawyer. Everlayn agreed to see him, without any information about who he was. - ”At that point, I didn’t have much hope, because I had already been through so much. When I finally went to the meeting that my best friend, at the time, had scheduled for me, I walked into the office. To my shock and disbelief - it was the same lawyer I had seven years ago, who hadn’t done anything for me! He looked at me, I looked back at him, and we almost had this ‘out-ofbody experience’. He told me to have a seat. I knew it was him, but I wasn’t going to say anything. After I sat down, he said to me - “I’m sorry”, with a very sympathetic and soft voice…“how are your girlfriends?”. I responded that I don’t know, that we got separated, that one got married to a comedian, and the other one I haven’t talked to much. I told him that I had been working for Julio Igle-
“I eventually started performing as a soloist dancer and backup singer for the legendary singer Julio Iglesias” tunity to audition through his company for Julio Iglesias. I eventually started performing as a soloist dancer and backup singer for the legendary singer Julio Iglesias, at the biggest and most iconic venues all around the world. But it was so difficult for me because I had to travel with a piece of paper called ‘parole’, after being in this country for seven years, because my case wasn’t able to re-open. Luckily, through some friends of
sias for many years, traveling. The lawyer looked at me and said - “I’m sorry, I’m not going to charge you anything. I’m going to do everything possible for you as fast as I can so that you can get an appointment with immigration and receive your residentship within 6 months”. He asked me to make an appointment to get my biometrics and bring the papers back to him. After several months of waiting, I was finally able to get an appointment at the U.S immigration office. I was called into an office, once I arrived - a lady walked in, carrying a huge ‘tower’ of files, ALL MINE, from the past, as I was trying to reopen my case (file folders). It was probably thirty files with all the different lawyers throughout the years that I had hired to reopen my case, after it was closed in Texas. It was all in a stack! She went through the papers one by one, opening different folders, and shaking her head, and then she looked at me and said “I’m so sorry for all that you have been through. I am going to give you your residentship right now!”. And I couldn’t believe it! When Everlayn finally received her residentship after seven years in Miami, she was finally able to see her mother, who she had been in phone contact with throughout her entire escape. - “My mother fainted at the airport when she saw me,”
a tear-filled Everlayn says. Today Everlayn has both American and Cuban citizenship, and has her own TV show called “Ever on the Edge”, where she shares an amazing journey of getting people out of their comfort zone, and showcases extreme lifestyles around the world. - “I think the sky’s the limit,” she laughs. Some of the places that Everlayn has traveled to in her TV show include Bolivia and Peru. - “I went to Salar de Uyuni salt flats in Bolivia, one of the great wonders of the world - Machu Picchu, and Cusco where I met Panchito - the beautiful alpaca that is in my teaser for the show. I’ve been to the Mecca of the surfing world - Teahupp’o in Tahiti, also known as one of the deadliest places to surf in the world. I got VERY into Freediving. I’m extremely blessed to have met the genius cinematographer Bob Gordon, who has become a mentor to me while bringing to life EVERONTHEEDGE - without him, I couldn’t have done it.”
amazing crew of wonderful people. I came to Los Angeles for the show which is “my baby”, but suddenly I had the opportunity to also be representing DP Hue. Everlayn continues to stay busy - “I’m working on a movie called Invisible, with Bert Hesse, who is the CEO of Studio South, South Carolina Film Studio and executive producer of the film. It’s a film that is based on an incredible true story about homelessness. It’s featuring American Idol contestant Bo Bice and myself! We haven’t started filming yet, but this is another project that I am very much looking forward to being working on”. And I can’t wait to see where Everlayn will take us next, while conquering her American dream! Follow @Everlaynborges for updates Visit Everlaynshow.com to learn more about her
Currently, Everlayn resides in Los Angeles California, to promote her TV show and work on a broad mix of work and creative projects - “I’ve been working with DP Hue hair company on a campaign that they are launching on social media. It’s a miniseries for Instagram and the media outlets. They are an
Photo: Ylanite Koppens
Villa Exodus Retreat
The Ultimate Caribbean Getaway
Photo by Amina Touray
ith 50 5-star TripAdvisor reviews, a feature in Maxim and New York Post, this old hang out spot of Bob Marley still has a wow factor and according to Forbes Feb 2019 is “a sophisticated cannabis smoker’s dream come true”. We can’t help but want to know more, so we chatted with the Jamaican/Swedish/Tunisian duo who is responsible for this beautiful and popular place.
Peter & Eleonore Mott sunset paint the sky orange. All while passing the ganja between friends for the last round before the plates of jerk chicken with rice and peas, plantains and vegetables are served. At Exodus Retreat, all these fantasies can come true. Trustworthy Magazine sat down to chat with married couple Peter and Eleonore Mott - the couple behind Villa Exodus Retreat in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. Trustworthy Magazine: Hello Peter and Eleonore! It’s a pleasure meeting you both and just hearing about a Villa in Runaway Bay sounds so amazing! Where is Runaway Bay, exactly, in Jamaica?
The thought of going to Jamaica instantly takes my imagination for a swim in the turquoise water, dancing to reggae music by Bob Marley, sipping on some rum while watching the Eleonore Mott: Greetings!
Likewise and thank you for featuring our Villa, the pleasure is all ours. Peter Mott: We got married in Runaway Bay so it’s funny and I guess only natural, that we ended up in Runaway Bay, on the North coast of Jamaica, 50 minutes from the airport in Montego Bay. We are in an exclusive residential area of Cardiff Hall, with large Villas and the Heart Hotel neighboring us, and we have a 180-degree view of Jewels Golf Course right in front of us, and an ocean view. TM: I see it looks so green and lush on the pictures! EM: Yes, it is, we are only about a 12 minute walk from the beach and being so close to the water, this hillTrustworthy Magazine
“Jamaica is one of the most peaceful countries in the world.” side offers a beautiful and bountiful garden with fruit trees including mango, bananas, sugar cane, coconut, etc. Anyone staying with us can simply request fresh sugar cane, coconut, mango and bananas, when in season, and our staff will pick and prepare them for you. PM: We are also fortunate to have the Caribbean trade winds breeze through the property. My heritage is full Jamaican and when you get to grow up around and be in the middle of so much beautiful nature, you want to do every single little thing you can to keep Mother Nature happy, so we are an environmentally and cannabis-friendly Villa. We focus on offering space and services that help our guests truly relax when they are here, so we have a full staff who stand ready to service them: a housekeeper, a private chef, a poolman and a groundsman who have all worked at the Villa for many years and can help you with anything you may need, even babysitting. EM: Exactly, that was a big 80
part of why we chose to buy this Villa. We visited once as guests and at the time, I was an exhausted mother who could eat dinner undisturbed with my husband for once, while one person in the staff took my baby for a walk in his stroller. I will never forget that feeling of relief. Having staff to take care of you while you are in a “home away” environment was so rejuvenating, I remember saying “Now THIS is the way to vacay”. PM: Yes, I agree, it’s so relaxing and luxurious and we want more people and families to be able to experience that feeling, that’s why we keep the price point reasonable so we feel that we are offering a casual luxury Villa vacation. We also have a fantastic massage therapist, Miss Daun, who truly has healing hands and even just her presence is warm and therapeutic. Everyone who has ever experienced her massage poolside, in the garden or up on the penthouse patio loves it. Most guests book this feature as an add on but we also do full wellness retreats where yoga, massage, sound therapy, and horseback riding are included. TM: Ahh, I see. Is that the niche of the Villa then? EM: The concept of the Villa is to be an oasis in the world where anybody can come to relax, release and rejuvenate in a casual yet luxurious way. For my hus-
band and I, a daily massage, cannabis, babysitting, the turquoise Caribbean sea, a tranquil nice size pool and amazing meals with fresh fruits and drinks is our recipe and we customize each experience based on what our guests express interest in. Many come here to recharge their batteries, spend quality time for a family reunion or to venture out and visit the healing waters, go on river rafting adventures or attend or hold a wedding here at the Villa. When you arrive, you can feel the zen energy, get a clear mind and allow creative energy to fill you up. PM: We are proud to offer an authentic Jamaican experience in a beautiful environment with lots of natural wood and leaf-inspired interiors, combined with the flavors of home-cooked food and drinks, other than the location, a much appreciated great customer service experience. TM: Sounds wonderful! So how do you manage this sort of business when you aren’t on the island? EM: Our team is truly great and well experienced, and over the years I’ve learned that I must have a touch of
“Out of many, one people”
humor and “just dust it off your shoulders” type of attitude, because the Caribbean business moves in its own tempo and ways, a lot of time. When we are on the island, I’m there as the hostess to greet my guests and I check in with them every second day to make sure they and the Villa, and staff are all doing great under my supervision. When I’m not on the island, I have a beautiful Rasta Yogini lady named Miss Orah with long brown dreads, who greet the guests for me. TM: What about safety and the political climate in Jamaica, is that something one should be concerned
about? EM: We are not concerned regarding safety as we benefit from the 24hrs security post at the Heart Hotel directly across the street. The residential area we are in is known as an exclusive and quiet area and as far as the political climate, Jamaica is one of the most peaceful countries in the world. China, Russia, the USA, Spain, England, and many other countries all love and do business with Jamaica. The national Jamaican motto states ”Out of many, one people”, which is exactly what you see and feel when you are here. Everyone is welcome and Jamaicans
come in different colors, accents, and styles. TM: Well, I’m sold! I want to book it! So how much does it cost to rent your Villa? EM: For a couple, we start at $420/night and go all the way up to $1200/night for up to 16 ppl based on how many guests and therewith bedrooms are needed. The staff is always included in the price no matter the size of the group. The Villa includes one horseshoe-shaped building that has four bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms together with a large pool, garden access, staff and walking distance to the private residential beach. Trustworthy Magazine
If more than 10 guests are coming we also include the taller building behind us named Studio Villa, where we have two basic bedrooms downstairs sleeping up two ppl and a penthouse suite upstairs with a private patio, bathroom, kitchen, loft, lounge and bedroom in an open space that sleeps four. We welcome anyone to contact us directly with questions, budget propositions, etc, as we often put together special rates for bachelorette trips, wellness retreats, etc. We take pride in curating creative camps where we combine team-building excursions such as hiking waterfalls for groups looking to come to do creative work. Last year, we hosted a camp of Gram82
“There are many ways to enjoy, one Exodus Retreat” my-winning artists, songwriters, and producers including a few famous names you would know and this year an international TV production team is booked to stay at the Villa while they film on the island. So like the Jamaican motto “Out of many, one people” we are like - “There are many ways to enjoy, one Exodus Retreat”.
TM: Thank you for your time and good luck with spreading your message, I believe a lot of people in the world could benefit from visiting Villa Exodus Retreat. EM: Yes indeed and thank you so much for featuring us, You and your readers are welcome anytime! Let me offer a 15% discount to all your readers, just contact me directly and mention that you heard about the Villa in Trustworthy Magazine and you can save hundreds of dollars. PM: Ya man, big up Trustworthy Magazine. One luv!
Photo: Rakicevic Nenad
Thoughts become things
Thoughts become things
Photo: Simon Matzinger
Go someplace you have never been
“I Got Next!” – Celebrity Stylist Patrick A. Lewis
Photography by Amina Touray By Mia Nicole
rmani, Christian Dior, Valentino – just a few shops on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills that are synonymous with elegance, style and high fashion. But, whether or not you are a lover of fashion, you inevitably recognize these iconic brands, do you not? As a celebrity stylist, Patrick A. Lewis can tell you the names of designers from around the globe. And like most stylist, he can style you in the look so exquisite that it will have you Ubering all over town looking for a red carpet – any 86
red carpet! Yet, it is his interpretation of fashion that sets him apart from any other stylist. Patrick peers through the world of fashion with a keen, artistic lens. He insists that every detail – from the color, texture of the fabric, right down to the smallest piece of thread on the garment, creates a story - your story. And as a storyteller, this is how Patrick stands out in a sea of stylist. So how and when did he realize that he would become a personal stylist? Growing up in Houston, Texas, Patrick found his ‘passion for fashion’ while
Because my family didn’t have a lot, I didn’t have many name brand clothes. So I had to be creative with the few pieces that I did have.”
My goal is to brand my clients through style, setting them apart and creating their own identityâ€?
in middle school. It was through his Aunt Agnes that he learned that he had a genuine zeal for fashion. “My Aunt Agnes had an incredible style and I loved how she always looked classy and put together. I would look at her Spiegel Catalog and my GQ Magazine. They inspired me to try different styles, colors and looks.” Patrick states. “Because my family didn’t have a lot, I didn’t have many name brand clothes. So I had to be creative with the few pieces that I did have.” It was his creativity that made “the popular kids” notice him. “They noticed that my style was a little versatile and different, and they liked it. Because the cost of clothing was high, it forced me to tell a story with less. I didn’t want to look like everyone else, so I learned how to tell my story through style, without knowing that was what I was doing,” he laughs. “I didn’t have a specific look, when I was in school - I was more or less known for wearing different colors. It became a game changer for me when I started to learn how to rock colors like cool water blues, powder blues, and salmon. And it got the attention of everyone – but especially the girls which is what I wanted!” He also adds, “I would play with those looks. I couldn’t run with the horses when it came to style, so I created my own race, and my own lane where I could stand out, even though I couldn’t stand in.” It was in the early 90’s when Patrick took his infectious smile and swag to Corporate America. Working as a clerk in the law library of a pres-
tigious law firm in Houston, Patrick noticed that everyone wore the “basic classic look.” However, everyone certainly observed his look! “Most attorneys were shopping at a store called M. Penner, which sold the Yale or Harvard look – your classic suits,” Patrick fondly recalls. “But I would come to work looking GQ and more stylish.” At 6’2” and handsome, with model good looks, his impressive style superseded theirs. Several attorney asked where he shopped, while some in the building thought he was an attorney. An interesting turn of events happened one day when an attorney secretly called Patrick to his office. “He wanted to know everything about my style,” Patrick said. Moreover, this “secret meeting” produced an amazing opportunity for Pat-
rick: he was asked to personally shop for him. “Then, other gentlemen who worked in our office building, asked me to shop and style them as well. And that is when I realized that styling and personal shopping was something that I really enjoyed!” These unexpected opportunities also unveiled Patrick’s desire to become an entrepreneur, which led him to start his own accessory business. “I started a business where I sold ties, cuff links, tie bars – all accessories. I was good at accessorizing.” A few years later, Patrick’s big break came when he accepted another corporate job and left Houston for the City of Los Angeles to work for Morgan Stanley - one of the largest investment banks in the world. Upon arriving in LA., a whole new world of Trustworthy Magazine
fashion was introduced to Patrick, giving him a different perspective in how he styled his clients. One evening while attending a Warner Brothers Studio event, a gentleman spotted Patrick in the crowd, approached him and asked, “What do you do for a living?” After telling him, the gentleman said to Patrick, “the way you look I would have thought you were in fashion” to which Patrick replied, “yes, I am also a freelance stylist.” After this, he began receiving gigs from several different individuals in the entertainment industry as a freelance stylist and shopper. Although, it would be after meeting Hollywood Designer, Warden Neil that Patrick’s career really took off! “I met Warden at a fashion designer class at Mood Fabrics in Los Angeles. He became my mentor and he helped me get my first costume wardrobe gig onset of a small film in downtown LA. Then my next gig was in Fashion Week in LA as a lead wardrobe costumer (stylist). Patrick has an unconventional approach to styling. “As a stylist, I don’t style my clients just based on a popular designer or the trend of the day. My goal is to brand my clients through style, setting them apart and creating their own identity. I am truly an artist whose passion is driven through interpre90
tation. Any client that I am styling, I like telling a complete story about and bringing a look to fruition – though where they come from, who they are and where they are going. I am always thinking about their brand. It doesn’t matter if they are a well known celebrity or car salesman. I have to make sure that how I style them, doesn’t affect their brand in a negative way.” Patrick feels art and fashion go hand in hand – which is a heavily debated topic by some. A supporter of the Arts, his admiration for the famed Spanish painter, Pablo Picas-
my artwork. I try to create art, living art, though style.” When asked if he styles women, Patrick quickly responds, “Indeed! I love the ladies, believe me! My plan is to create a special line for plussize women that gives them amazing style, elegance while not forgetting about the fit. But most of my clientele consist of men. Being that I make sure my style is always tight, it is usually men that ask me to style them. My business partner calls me, ‘a fashion chameleon’ because my style is always evolving. I am also creating a men’s clothing line – that consist of formal, semi formal and urban wear.” When you choose Patrick A. Lewis as your stylist, be prepared to go on a fashion excursion – a fun filled journey. He breaks down every facet of fashion for his clients. “Listen” he says slowly, “There is only one you! And as a stylist, I am trying to discover and create that one you through your fashion! I am about the ‘DNA of fashion’ not the designer name on the tag.” Duly noted, Sir! Well Patrick, hand your assistant your Montblanc pen and appointment book; seems like the remainder of 2019 and 2020, will be lit! If you would like to have your “Fashion DNA” examined, call Celebrity Stylist Patrick A. Lewis expeditiously! Then you too will see how and why – HE’S GOT NEXT!
“I am about the ‘DNA of fashion’ not the designer name on the tag” so shows in Patrick’s work. “Picasso’s paintings brought about a dramatic flair. He was an innovator who revolutionized the world of painters. I see myself mirroring him. He created unique looks. Every stroke of his brush told a story through his paintings. And he did it with such grace, elegance and power. I connect with the same artistic lens as he did when I sit down with my clients, and create a masterpiece for them, just like Picasso. That is why I call myself, ‘The Picasso of Fashion’ he boldly admits. “My clients become the object of
Tomáš Malčo Malík
Photo: Paul Voie
In this issue: Cover girl - Caroline D’Amore (aka Pizza Girl), Journalist Shari Nycole, Beatriz Cazares, Animation artist Chris Battle, Crea...
Published on Aug 10, 2019
In this issue: Cover girl - Caroline D’Amore (aka Pizza Girl), Journalist Shari Nycole, Beatriz Cazares, Animation artist Chris Battle, Crea...