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Lentheus Chaney EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Clorissa X. Wright MANAGING EDITOR Dennis Malcolm Byron LIFESTYLE EDITOR Clyde Anderson FINANCE FEATURES EDITOR Monica Compton TRAVEL EDITOR Brice Esso STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Ish Holmes STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Kudzi SirGarde Karidza FASHION EDITOR Carlton Powell DIVERSITY FEATURES EDITOR Janssen Robinson FINE ART EDITOR Dr. Rondrick Williamson HEALTH & FITNESS EDITOR

FOLLOW US EVERYWHERE! @urbanluxmag Š Urban Luxury Media, LLC 2014. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be used or reproduced without the written permission of the publisher Urban Luxury Media. The views expressed in Urban Lux Magazine are those of the respective contributors and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or its staff. The registered office of Urban Luxury Media is 6040 Dawson Blvd., Suite F, Norcross, GA 30093. All information contained in the magazine is for information only and is as far as we are aware, correct at the time of going to press. Urban Luxury Media cannot accept any responsibility for errors or inaccuracies in such format. Readers are advised to contact manufactures and retailers directly with regard to the price of products/services referred to in this magazine. If you submit unsolicited material to us, you automatically grant Urban Luxury Media a license to publish your submission in whole, or in part, in all editions of the magazine, including licensed editions worldwide and in any physical or digital format throughout the world. Any material you submit is sent at your risk and, although every care is taken, neither Urban Luxury Media nor its employees, agents or subcontractors shall be liable for loss or damage. Published four times a year by Urban Luxury Media, LLC 6040 Dawson Blvd., Suite F, Norcross, GA 30093


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A NOTE FROM THE EDITOR

Photo: Ish Holmes

REINVENTION ‘I like words like transformation, reinvention, and chameleon. Because one word I don’t like is predictable.’ - Naomi Campbell

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uring the planning of this Reinvention Issue, we found it Ladies, we kept you in mind when we chose the multi-talented Tank necessary to take things a step further than the predictable self- for our cover. He too has a story of reinvention and along with his improvement messages that bombard us all every New Year. editorial; you are assured to enjoy every image we captured. Messages of eat this, don’t eat that, wear this and don’t wear that are on display for the first three months of every year—just long enough for the curse of broken resolutions to work it’s black magic. Rather than telling what to do, sharing a message of inspiration is our mission for this issue. We spent time with several individuals and wrote their stories of reinvention and survival. Conquering homelessness, weight issues, illness and gossip represent just a fraction of their success stories. Their bigger message is that of perseverance.

Our LUX picks of the season, expert advice, ideas to consider, in addition to our 2014 auto previews from the Miami International Auto Show, are just a few of the dynamic articles we have selected to keep you motivated and intrigued from cover to cover. So sit back, relax, enjoy this issue, celebrate the New Year and the new you!

URBANLUX

Lentheus Chaney


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CONTRIBUTORS

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Tia Aikens is a 21st century muse who has always embodied the arts. She has served as a source of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for many. Her progression through the arts has led her to currently release inspiration through writing. Tia’s mission is to always inspire individuals to do their best and live their truth. @sungoddess7

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Danica Hobbs is a freelance writer and spoken word poetess. Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, she found a passion for the power of the pen at a very early age. She believes that powerful words can positively affect the world for a greater impact. @deemhobbs1

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Amelia Pavlik is a freelance writer and editor with a weakness for all things fitness and wellness. Her “spare” time is spent writing about a range of lifestyle topics for regional and national magazines, teaching everything from cycling to resistance training classes, and trying out the latest spa treatments and boutique fitness classes for her weekly blog. Learn more about her editorial and fitness experience @fitbelleatl.

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Shantay Robinson is an Atlanta-based writer and blogger. After receiving an MFA in writing from SCAD Atlanta, she started an arts and culture blog called The Third Eye Site. @ShantayRobinson

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Spencer Greene is an Atlanta/NYC-based creative writer, blogger and author. A graduate of Morehouse College, he stays on top the latest trends, fashion and nightlife happenings around town. @SavvySociety

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Melanie Mueler is Founder and Creative Director of Mel Boteri, a company inspiring women to discover their unique style and to express it confidently through one-of-a-kind custom and bespoke accessories. In addition to being an entrepreneur, self-taught designer and business school graduate, Melanie recently added “writer” to her resume. Follow Mel at @MelBoteri.

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Lamar Dixon is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. When he’s not thinking of ways to integrate Old Bay seasoning into cocktails, Lamar spends his time memorizing scenes from Martin and hosting the Just Different lounge series at Drinkshop inside W Atlanta Downtown. @Marlicioso410.

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Carletta Hurt says during a Grammy event she attended, Jimmy Jam shared a story about working with Bill Cosby that ended with sound advice: “The answer is ‘no’ until you ask!” Since then, Carletta S. Hurt, a Georgia native, has been asking and pushing for a YES! @CarlettaHurt

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Andre J. Ellington is a student at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He is currently majoring in Journalism and minoring in Arts Management. Andre studies different art forms and enjoys reading and writing about news and music. He looks forward to finishing his degree and pursing his Master’s in the near future. @TheSuitMaster

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Doc Holliday is a young, vibrant entrepreneur who views the world through the lens of cultural, spiritual and mental responsibility. He is willing to give it all away to see the world and its people better than he found them. URBANLUX


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CONTENTS

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12 FIND YOUR INSPIRATION

Expert Advice, Thoughts & Ideas to Consider

18 LUX ESSENTIALS Weathering Winter

19 LUX MARKET WATCH Reinvent Your Personal Style

20 LUX APPROVED Our LUX Picks of the Season

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22 STYLE Kudzi’s Charisma

31 CULTURE REINVENTION: Stories of Renewal

• Tory Johnson • Stacii Jae Johnson • Billionaire PA • Phoenix White 38 COMMUNITY Superstar Dreamz & No Losing

42 THE URBAN LUX INSIDER • Miami Auto Show Previews 2014 • Sips for the Hip 44 FEATURE TANK: The Man, Musician & Mogul

53 LUX DESTINATIONS Luxury on the Lake

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54 LUX LUV Atlanta Power Couples Revealed

55 DIVERSITY CORNER MADIBA: Mandela’s Atlanta Connection

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ON THE COVER: TANK Photography: Phoenix White Makeup & Grooming: MakeupbyNecee Styling: Manny J Style Cover Design: AllWays Open Creative

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FIND YOUR INSPIRATION EXPERT ADVICE, THOUGHTS & IDEAS TO CONSIDER

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FYI - LUX PULSE

CAN A HEART REALLY BREAK? ‘You can die of a broken heart – it’s a scientific fact – and my heart has been breaking since that very first day we met. I can feel it now, aching deep behind my rib cage the way it does every time we are together, beating a desperate rhythm: Love me. Love me. Love me.’ - Abby McDonald, Getting Over Garrett Delaney

Seen most often in postmenopausal women, the condition occurs usually in healthy individuals. The name BHS is misleading because most would associate a broken heart with a ‘broken relationship.’ This discounts the other triggers that can cause BHS.

DR. RON DID YOU EVERY THINK a life situation could be so stressful that it could cause damage to your heart? This is exactly what happens in ‘broken heart syndrome.’ Broken heart syndrome is a transient heart condition caused by stressful situations such as the death of a loved one. It mimics a heart attack but is triggered by acute emotion or physical trauma. This condition can occur following a variety of emotional stressors such as fear, extreme anger, and surprise. Stress is the body’s response to situations and things it perceives as abnormal. Patients diagnosed with broken heart syndrome (BHS) or stress cardiomyopathy can have similar symptoms to patients with a heart attack including chest pain, shortness of breath, congestive heart failure, and low blood pressure. These symptoms ensue in minutes to hours after the individual has been exposed to a severe, and usually unexpected, stress. Stress cardiomyopathy can definitely be life threatening in some cases. The syndrome involves severe heart muscle weakness; therefore, patients can have congestive heart failure, low blood pressure, shock, and potentially life-threatening heart rhythm abnormalities. The condition improves very quickly with appropriate medical care.

Currently, there are no standard treatment guidelines for BHS. Treatment is similar for that of a heart attack. Additional episodes can occur. Preventative measures are recommended and include oral medications that relieve stress on the heart. Managing the amount of stress in your life is also important in preventing additional episodes. The biggest question is how do we deal with the stress of a ‘broken heart?’ If the stressor was a broken relationship, how does one cope during holidays such as Valentine’s Day? The reality of dealing with the emotional stressor can be painful and hard to accept. It is important to have someone close by, whom you can confide in. Realize that you are not alone. If at times you do not feel like sharing with others, create a journal. Write your thoughts down. Involving yourself in activities that are of enjoyment to you is also integral to your healing process. Get rid of anything that reminds you of your ex. Frequently reminding yourself of what once was can only prolong your getting past the incident. Taking the necessary steps is key to regaining control of your life. - Dr. Rondrick Williamson Named as one of the ‘Most Beautiful Doctors in America’ in 2013, Dr. Rondrick Williamson literally built his entire career on hard work and dedication to excellence. He is currently board certified in Diabetic Wound Care and Management and is also a fellow of the American Professional Wound Care Association. His new book, ‘Dr. Ron Speaks The Journey Begins VOL. 1’, is available at drrondrickwilliamson.com

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FYI - LUX PERSPECTIVE

RESOLVING YOURSELF res·o·lu·tion noun \re-za-lü-shan\ : the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. : the act of resolving something - Merriam-Webster

Now, don’t get me wrong I do believe in resolutions. The word itself is defined as “a decided course of action” but allow me to challenge you with a single thought that could indeed change the start of your year and ultimately your life. What if instead of making a resolution to change yourself, you opted this year to change the way you see others? Consider looking closely at people, see who they really are and how best you can respond to them. If each of us made a conscience effort to look around and notice the people that cross our paths, we would see a common thread of humanity. We all want for the same things in this life but the one thing that bonds us all is that we ultimately care about something more than just ourselves.

DOC HOLLIDAY

Are you handing out a lunch or clothes to a homeless man or woman and not asking his or her name? Are you passing by and tossing left AS THE NEW YEAR BEGINS, it is typically customary to over coins into a cup without interacting with the person in need? Do identify a part of ones life to improve upon. A new year means a you walk past the store clerk without giving them a glance or a smile? new “you” and allows for a fresh start as our calendars roll over into Everyone wants to be noticed and having another person actually January. care enough to take the time to be “present” is priceless. You should Often times we become temporarily committed to rid ourselves of endeavor to be proud of the way you carry yourself and the words that the undesirable habits we have indulged in during the passing year. come from your mouth. We may strive to lose a few pounds or make the choice to avoid a particular weakness with the ‘good’ intentions of becoming a much If we resolve anything this year, it should be to see those around us as “people” and not just passing shadows. We are the ones who will be improved person. better for the positive interactions we have with those we meet. Why does staying committed to resolutions seem to be so challenging? Why would promising yourself to change have just It is a radical, revolutionary and life-changing movement indeed! enough uncertainty attached to it that it seems certain to fail? Could - Doc Holliday it be that with so much emphasis on ourselves we are left with very little room to succeed? I believe the greatest improvement to ourselves is not what we see on the outside but rather what lies within us.

Doc Holliday is a young, vibrant entrepreneur who views the world through the lens of cultural, spiritual and mental responsibility. He is willing to give it all away to see the world and its people better than he found them.

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FYI - LUX ECONOMY

NEW YEAR, NEW THOUGHT, NEW MONEY goal, you must create a new thought process that reduces or eliminates the negative while accentuating the positive or possibilities. Your mind is more powerful than any supercomputer; therefore, it has the capacity to run new programs that create new thoughts and manifest new results. To experience this New Thought and New Money Mind-set, you must be willing to let go of what has been keeping you bound. You have to identify with what works and what has not worked for you in the past, and then determine what patterns or habits stay and what must go. Here are a few tips to help:

CLYDE ANDERSON THE ECONOMIC WINDS have shifted and negatively impacted the so called “Middle Class” in a major way. While overall consumer spending has slowed, the buying power of the Black dollar continues to increase. According to a recent study, the current Black buying power is estimated at $1 trillion but is forecast to increase up to $1.3 trillion by 2017. This is positive, but if only we could hold on to some of it and not be “Super Consumers”, flying from store to store buying everything in sight. The question becomes are you ready to make a change? If so, it is time to stop telling yourself what you do not want to happen and speak new life into your financial life. The truth is it’s not always about the money, but rather the mind-set behind the money. It is easy to fall into a rut and let your mind wander, speculate and allow negative thoughts to manifest. Understand that whatever seed you plant in the soil of your mind is what will spring forth. If you plant negativity, worry or lack that is exactly what will manifest in your life. Instead, focus on what is possible reminding yourself daily of all the great possibilities before you and allow those thoughts to marinate in your subconscious. This is where the foundation of increase begins. True, it takes more than telling yourself what you want, but that is where it should begin and the action follows. You have to do the work. Once you realize we are living in what I call the “New Normal” you will soon recognize things have changed drastically from an economic standpoint and won’t be turning back to the days of old. However, you will also begin to see the opportunities within the adversity, which many new millionaires have discovered that in order to get ahead of the change you cannot do things the way you used to. If financial success is your

• Eliminate any remnants of a poverty mentality. Think abundance instead of lack. • Define financial success for yourself. Do not let the world define it for you; decide where you need to be financially to live the life you envision. • Create a better relationship with money. Understand how it works, how you respond to it and find out the best way to keep more of it. • Determine your current financial position. Be real about where you are currently and take inventory to identify the gaps and financial shortcomings. • Establish financial life goals to change your current situation. Without a written goal, it is just a wish and those wishes do not come true without a concrete game plan to achieve them. • Identify non-monetary assets. Explore what gifts, talents, and relationships you have that may help you reach the financial level you seek. • Pinpoint your motivation for financial change. You must identify “Why” you want to make this shift. You have to use your “why” to motivate you towards your financial success. • Create a plan for a financial foundation developed with disciplined financial thought. Nothing great was accomplished without some type of plan. You must have a blueprint to follow in order to build a strong foundation. If you just let go of the past, believe what is possible for your future and start fresh by setting a goal to become financially sound, you become a part of the solution. You now enable yourself to become a contributor of community revitalization, economic stimulation and income creation that can help lead to generational prosperity. This happens once you implement the steps to overcome obstacles, and embrace opportunity to experience financial freedom like never before. Although money as we know it, is still money, everything else around us has changed, therefore we must change. You must embrace a new thought process that fosters success and eliminates bad habits, remove the word “can’t” from your vocabulary and instead of trying, just do it. It is time out for living by default and being stuck. The essence of living in your ultimate financial wealth and freedom requires a shift in your thinking. You have to change your thought process and recognize those opportunities that will positively impact that for which you desire. - Clyde Anderson Financial Lifestyle Coach Clyde Anderson is a seasoned TV Personality and Finance Expert who has been lending his advice and valuable expertise for more than six years. Clyde is the founder and CEO of FinancialLifeConnection.com.

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FYI - ASK DR. RON

ASK DR. RON Q: Dr. Ron, does drinking alcohol make you fat? A: Drinking heavily or even occasionally increases the body’s release of cortisol - the hormone that breaks down muscle and retains fat. This loss of muscle creates a huge slowdown in one’s metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. Q: I have been suffering with acid reflux. What are some things I can do to control it without taking medicine? A: Simply altering your diet and avoiding specific foods, including fatty foods, spicy foods, tomato products, citrus foods, alcohol, chocolate and caffeine can help reduce acid reflux. Losing weight and keeping your head upright while sleeping and after meals have proven to provide additional benefit. Q: I am a 36 year-old woman who is trying to lose weight. There is only one problem: I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I can work out for two weeks straight. The third week the pain is too horrible to workout. The fourth week I spend days trying to motivate myself to start again. I’m on medication for fibromyalgia. How do I break this cycle? A: There are medically recommended fibromyalgia programs available. Water aerobics have proven to be beneficial in some patients. You can design a wellrounded fitness program even with exercise intolerance concerns. The American

STRAIGHT

Academy of Family Physicians recommends you begin with five-minute daily sessions of low-impact exercise such as stationary bicycling or water exercise. Increase sessions to 30 to 60 minutes at least three times weekly. Q: My father has a history of gout. What foods should he not eat? A: Several factors increase ones risk for gout. Poor dietary choices are one. Avoid alcohol, certain fish (tuna, herring, and anchovies), red meats, turkey, and beverages high in sugar. Vegetables such as asparagus, spinach, mushrooms and cauliflower are gout-causing veggies. Limit consumption of these. Organ meats like liver are off limits. Q: My daughter had a painful sore on her finger. When I took her to the doctor, he said it was a wart. How can we prevent my other children from catching this and my daughter from spreading it to other areas of her body? A:Warts are caused by a virus and are normally acquired by touch. There are several things that you can do to reduce the risk of your other children contracting the wart virus. If the wart is touched, wash your hands immediately afterwards. Limit interaction with items that may have been exposed to the wart, i.e. nail clippers. Do not scratch, rub or pick at the wart. This may spread the virus to other areas of the body. Submit your health related questions to Dr. Ron at urbanluxmag.com.

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LUX ESSENTIALS

Weathering Winter

Photo: Shimel Kemoa

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he beauty of wearing natural hair is that it’s carefree. Very often Naturalista’s forgo professional treatment for the convenience of doing their own hair. However, natural hair should be treated just as well as processed hair. It might not be necessary to have natural hair professionally cared for on a weekly basis, but visits for trims and deep conditioning are essential to maintaining a glowing mane.

There is definitely maintenance involved, but with the help of a professional, you will get the results that prove natural hair is and can be beautiful. One thing to keep in mind is that as the seasons change so too should your hair routine especially when caring for it yourself. The winter months can dry out natural hair so it is important to moisturize and protect it. Although natural hair does not necessarily require curlers or flat irons, having the basic tools will make all the difference between loving and loathing your hair. A good comb and brush set are essential. Try Taya’s 3-piece wood comb and boar bristle brush set. Optimum hair care offers 6-in-1 miracle oil treatment, which can be good for anytime of the year, but is especially necessary during winter. And no Naturalista should be without a silk head wrap after a long day out in the elements. A silk head wrap from Hairdz is affordable as well as functional.

Here are some essential products for winter natural hair care:

Taya 3-piece wooden and boar bristle brush set - $34.00

Optimum Supreme Hair Nourishment 6-in-1 Miracle Oil - $8.99

Hairdz Silk Wrap Scarf Made with 100% Indian Silk - $6.99

If trying out new natural hair products is a little costly and finding the right solution to your hair problems has become a hassle, try Curlbox. For a $20 a month subscription, Curlbox will send you product samples from an array of hair manufacturers, from established to up and coming brands. If you find that you have found your product, you can cancel at any time. - Shantay Robinson

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LUX MARKET WATCH

- Melanie Mueler

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d wellr to be ss as a dn’t be g from

out any n. She

woman, n such ds that er, her to not women

all o ver s b oo k is d wom en

- Clorissa X. Wright

FIERY AND LUXURIOUS Making a debut in 2012, the s’Adonner line of scented candles are a must have! With full-bodied scents and 50-hour burning experiences, they are a perfect enhancement to a cozy living room, a relaxing bedroom or even a professional office space. With all candles zinc free and made from natural soy wax, these robustly fragrant candles are a step in the right direction for going green. Also philanthropically conscious, 5% of s’Adonner product sales are donated to scholarships for college bound students. If you enjoy flowers and fruits, Bamboo For Breakfast is a sure bet. If you enjoy woods and musks, Middle Eastern Delight is just for you. s’Adonner Candles - $27; sadonner.com

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SINGLE IN THE CITY In 2013, Sabrina Rowe—cast member on Style Network’s Big Rich Atlanta—penned her debut book, Single in the City...­My Passport to Boaz (MBP Publications), and it opened to huge success in Atlanta. This self-help book proves relatable as Rowe invites readers along for tales about her journey to find love and ultimately Mr. Right. A page-turner to say the least, Single in the City is rooted in truth, godliness and reality for today’s society. Without filters, Rowe (@SabrinaBrieRowe) recounts dating experiences, her struggles with celibacy and staying in-tune with the Lord. Motivational, empathetic, and empowering, Single in the City...­My Passport to Boaz, every woman’s guide to finding true joy and meaning in life—with tips and pointers along the way. This book is for women, written by a woman—a sure hit! Outside of writing, Rowe and her twin sister, Sharlinda own the Atlanta-based nail salon Tula 2 Nails—as they got their entrepreneurial start as celebrity nail technicians. When she is not behind a computer or checking on her business, you can catch Sabrina on the red carpet at any of Atlanta’s who’s who events. Single in the City, M ­ y Passport to Boaz - $15; amazon.com

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LUX APPROVED

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photo: Bill Curry

ESTABLISHMENT Brandon Lewis, owner of Establishment, took an idea by the horns—or antlers—and used them in place of plain old doorknobs. An avid lover of history, Lewis admits that a lot of the furnishings found in Establishment (@EstablishmentATL) were held in storage in his home for many years. Paying homage to the founder of the ritzy part of town, Henry Irby, hanging near the bar is a massive acrylic painting capturing the area’s founder in 19th century garb draped in the American flag and atmosphere. For some who may not know, back then Henry Irby’s tavern boasted a buck’s head as an ornament outside of his tavern and later gained popularity as a community focal point, thus spawning the popular phrase, “Meet me at the buck’s head.”

Every inch of this 2,000 square foot bar is drenched in rich American history from the cobblestone floors, to antlered chandeliers hanging from wood beams and actual buck heads adorning the walls. Also lining the walls are three paintings: the aforementioned “Portrait of Henry Irby” and two others, “Handmade” and “Buck Rising”.

rises and so too did the city of Atlanta after the Civil War. This burning cauldron extended and expanded to the point where a small town once called Irbyville became subsumed by its flames. As time passed and progress continued, the symbol of a stag’s head, ubiquitous in its own right, became the reality we now know as Buckhead.”

Acclaimed artist and NOW Painter, Janssen Robinson (@JanssenRobinson), was commissioned to paint the extravagant pieces. Robinson describes “Handmade” as, “The duality of current perceptions and historical awareness of symbols such as the American and Confederate flags evoke strong and immediate passions and perceptions regardless of one’s own history and background.”

Open from 6pm to 2am Monday through Saturday, bar goers can expect extensive and innovative drink and food menus. You can’t go wrong with a plate of bourbon glazed beef sliders and a deconstructed Cosmopolitan; believe us, you’ve got to sip and taste for yourselves!

He further describes the meaning behind “Buck Rising” as well. “From out of the ashes, the Phoenix

ESTABLISHMENT 3167 Peachtree Road NE Atlanta, GA 30305 estbuckhead.com

ZACH FARLOW, a recent transplant to Atlanta, has something to say and he’s saying it loud and

clear—on wax. Reared in Tennessee and Kentucky, music has been a part of his life since early childhood. Dabbling in the arts all of his life, his career was catapulted after a tragic injury sustained during an act of good samaritanship. This summer, after securing an opening spot for fellow rapper Rich Homie Quan, the singer, rapper and songwriter became a staple on Atlanta’s music scene. Between him mixing and mingling amongst hometown musical royalty, we had the pleasure of getting a sneak peek into the “Black Diamonds” star’s mind: ULM: What’s the one thing you want new listeners to know about you? ZF: That you can do anything you set your mind to. If you can dream it, you can bring it to life. ULM: Why are you passionate about music? ZF: Because music is powerful! It’s a language that allows you to express yourself, to tell a story and at the same time it evokes emotions and recalls memories. Music has the power to transcend time. ULM: What’s your biggest accomplishment so far? ZF: Just 9 months ago I was living in Kentucky, dreaming about the music I’d be making and the people I’d be working with. Now, I’m recording out of the iconic DARP Studios, working with some of the best producers and doing what I love. Overall, living out my vision is my biggest accomplishment so far. ULM: What’s upcoming for your career? ZF: I’ll be dropping a mixtape mid January. For more information on Zach (@ZachFarlow), his mixtape release or appearances, visit zachmusic.com.

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STYLE

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Photography: Ish Holmes & Brice Esso Models: Sydney Turpin & Kudzi SirGarde Karidza Styling: Kudzi SirGarde Karidza Hair: Angelia McCall Makeup: Dye Unique

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STYLE

GardedNvelope Black Russian Fur Cover, WildBees Vintage Leather Biker Jacket, Hennes & Mauritz Cranberry Camo Buttondown, Jach’s Plaid Pants via ThreadzAtl, Dr. Marten Green Boot, American Immigrant Army Flag Scarf, Happy Socks PRICES UPON REQUEST

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STYLE

Styling flows through his veins as deep as the Nile River runs.

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orn in Zimbabwe, the Atlanta based wardrobe stylist and fashion designer Kudzi Karidza’s (@SirGarde) grandfather was a tailor and his grandmother a seamstress. Over the years, many other family members followed suit in the fashion business as well, whether it was modeling or tailoring—if it existed, someone in the family did well at it. Growing up, his mom would often take him on shopping trips in London— where his sense of style began to develop. Trips like these cultivated something inside of him and his inner stylist began to emerge. He began making clothes when he was eight years old followed by sewing classes in high school. Although he indulged his sports side by playing football, he never lost his passion for sewing, constructing garments and sense of style. He won several awards because of his talents. After attending college for fashion design and marketing, he took his education, forged new relationships and became heavily involved with clothing lines and different brands.

Kudzi’s top tips for reinventing your style for 2014 are formulated around three basic ideas: BE FREE IN YOUR STYLE We all have freedom in what we wear daily. Style is about freedom of expression and individuality. “I love to style outgoing open minded people, individuals who are not afraid to step out of their comfort zone. I often cater to people who are truly free with themselves. People like Porsha Stewart who recently put her trust in us to do our job, entrusting us to present her in a positive light. Some people pay attention to watches, rings and shoes but a woman should always have an accent piece.” NEVER DRESS FOR WHERE YOU ARE GOING Dress for how you are feeling. “For my style I may put on some black jeans and black boots but will add color for a more classic look. Karl Lagerfeld has fifty pairs of the same pair of pants and matches them with shirts to make a statement. Even during the Great Gatsby era they dressed in beautiful clothes just to sit and have tea.” TRENDS CHANGE Trends and fads are like reading a books, they guide you and helps you to evolve. Trends will guide us in how to put looks together from a good suit to a pair of ordinary jeans. “I am open minded enough to wear anything…even a kilt! Being different and actually breaking barriers is what differentiates us. We all have individuality. We all have the ability to use it.” To date, Kudzi’s work has been displayed worldwide—most recently featured in a makeover segment on Atlanta’s CBS Better Mornings show where he transformed the look of two deserving people. Kudzi’s career forecasts include working on his own collection embedded with lots of color—with a tentative March launch. “I’ve just been tuning it up! It’s always in the details,” says Karidza. With a nickname like Sir Garde, we expect that he will continue to push the style envelope to help us all celebrate the spirit of newness in 2014. URBANLUX

- Danica Hobbs


STYLE Zara men’s Camo button down,GardedNvelope Armor Vest, Alfani Camo neck tie, Duck Dynasty Bow tie, Hennes & Mauritz Oversize Scarf, Betsy Johnson Tie up Shoes, Margiela Bracelet, GardedNvelope Unattached Hoody. PRICES UPON REQUEST

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STYLE GardedNvelope Black Russian Fur Cover, Pink’s White and Black paneled top, ArdenB Black Sleeveless Peplum Accessories by Hennes & Mauritz. PRICES UPON REQUEST

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STYLE Pink’s Multi colored sequence dress, GardedNvelope Black Net Dress, Hennes & Mauritz Plated Necklace, Accessories by GardedNvelope. PRICES UPON REQUEST

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American Immigrant Vintage jacket, Margiela Camel Cashmere Trench, Hennes & Mauritz Collection Oversize Button-down, Hennes & Mauritz Grey Denim, Happy Socks, Margiela Treated Slide On Leather Loafer. PRICES UPON REQUEST

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Cuffips® _____ ________

H & Hang

For the Distinctive Gentleman www.cufftips.com


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Reinvention

stories of renewal TORY JOHNSON

.S T A C I I

JAE JOHNSON

. BILLIONAIRE

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PHOENIX WHITE


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Tory Johnson With proper eating, portion control, exercise and faith, Tory shed a substantial 72 pounds of unnecessary weight.

BEFORE

AFTER

Photo: David Beilinson

SOME KNOW HER for her weekly contribution on the hit morning

In an effort to yet again empower and share with others, she chronicled her journey on paper, spawning the New York Times best seller, The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life. Citing the advice from that TV executive as her inspiration, she gratefully dedicated the book to her. Praised by readers as “...amazing, ...insightful and ...a motivational mustread.” The Shift sheds light on the correlation between physical wellness and life happiness. After about six months Tory began to actually like working out. After nine months, being fit started to become the new normal.

show, Good Morning America. Others might know her as the genius behind a New York Times best-selling book. No matter where you are in the world, chances are that you or someone you know has heard of the multi-talented Tory Johnson.

With each passing month she genuinely came to believe that you can’t perform at your best when you don’t feel well—mentally or physically. She decided that instead of wasting her power, she’d harness it and use it for something positive.

The veteran author, motivational speaker, coach and entrepreneur is the brains behind the two multi-million dollar corporations Spark & Hustle and Women For Hire. She is a role model for millions of women who have been laid off and in need of hope and guidance on how to move forward and come out on the other side. She is a champion for women’s empowerment.

Now her motto is, “When you’re at your best, you can do great things for others.” Followers of her shift can join the movement by visiting: shiftwithtory.com and signing up for the weekly newsletter for advice and encouragement.

“My goals are not about ‘besting’ men; it’s just that my primary focus is on women.” After being laid off herself and with a mentality of, “No one is going to rescue me,” she set out on a mission to improve her situation—and ultimately her life. Her personal journey led her to personal success, which would go on to benefit women across the world. Her company Spark & Hustle equips women with the necessary tools to turn their passions into profits. Believing that every woman has spark, they just might need a little prompting to find it. Women For Hire is a recruitment company bringing together thousands of professional women and legitimate organizations for a perfect company/employee match. Outside of these ventures, Tory mentors men and women from all walks-of-life. Johnson doesn’t hide the fact that some days are absolutely fabulous and she wakes up feeling like everything around her is too good to be true. Even while being immersed in a world dead-set on instant gratification, she’s aware that one must “pay it forward” for goodness to come full-circle. Beyond professional successes, her transformation carried over into her physical being, as she was able to win a decade long battle with her weight. After a 2011 reality check in the form of a conversation with a TV executive, she decided that finally she would wage war on the scale—and won.

Even though her thinking cap is always on, the busy mother of 16 year old twins enjoys spending time with them and Peter, her husband of almost 20 years. They are all huge and active supporters of her and even join in on her charitable efforts. In 2013, the family banned together with Tory’s office and raised $100,000 in 10 days for Hurricane Sandy victims. Going a step further, Tory and her staff took several displaced residents shopping to purchase replacements for items lost in the storm. “Seeing the faces of the people we were serving was priceless,” states Johnson. Growing up, Tory’s grandmother always told her that charity starts at home and that you must be a great doer for other people. To know her today, it’s evident that little Tory was listening. One last bit of life advice she’d give to anyone is, “Hope is not a strategy. You have to be responsible for yourself and have patience. If it’s a paycheck, a job or weight loss you want—you have to strive for it yourself!” Visit toryjohnson.com to learn more about Tony’s books, local appearances and scheduled conference dates. - Clorissa X. Wright

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Stacii Jae Johnson On the early days: “I went to Spelman College and I wanted to be an actor, but I ended up majoring in political science and theater. After I graduated from Spelman, my little sister and I would watch Martin, and I told my little sister that I was going to work for him one day. I have always believed that you should speak what you desire, release it, and work hard to achieve that which you desire. I worked hard on my goal of one day working with Martin Lawrence and an opportunity presented itself when The Martin Show was looking for a production assistant. I applied for the position and got the job!”

POWER, PASSION & PERSEVERANCE! These three principles describe Black Girls Radio, which is a radio show that political and entertainment influencer Stacii Jae Johnson hosts in Atlanta. These three words are powerful examples of how a black woman should carry herself regardless of any situation that should occur in her life. “I believe when a woman allows herself the freedom to discover the fullness of all things her, personally and professionally, is when she truly lives,” says Johnson who is involved in many endeavors both personally, and professionally. Since entering the entertainment business as Martin Lawrence’s production assistant for The Martin Lawrence Show, Johnson, who is originally from California, has been active in the Atlanta entertainment, social, and political scene for the past 7 years. She eventually became top advisor to Mayor Kasim Reed’s leadership team and also inspired many youths in the Atlanta area to vote for the first potential female president, Hillary Clinton. She also raised money for the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012. “The opportunity presented itself to become involved with politics through relationships and connections that I had built with different individuals. Just to see how hard Mayor Reed and his team works, and to be a part of two electoral campaigns, these things and more have made me realize how important progressing as a community can positively impact its members.” My phone interview with Ms. Johnson was very inspiring and informative from start to finish. Here are some excerpts from the hour-long conversation that she and I had:

The Do’s and Don’ts of the entertainment industry: “In this industry knowing who you are and being confident in your own skin is imperative. Do identify with yourself how others perceive you and find a way to make those attributes work for you. Do stay true to who you are and be honest with yourself. Do: understand and know the path you are willing to take and be committed to it. Do remain focused and certain of your direction. Often times in entertainment you can be lead down a less than desirable road. I am grateful that my mother raised me to be sure of who I am and to know and value my self-worth. Deciding what type of entertainer you want to be can be difficult and misleading. Do your research.” “Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you can’t do something. Don’t let anyone tell you that you have a limit. Don’t: stop until it’s finished, and don’t allow what’s in front of you to dictate where you’re going. Don’t allocate any energy to being fearful of moving forward. Instead, concentrate and look at the small wins and the small wins will add up to the big wins.

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Use your energy reading about and studying individuals whose dreams have come true.” Controversy from the media and individuals alike: “I have to remind myself all of the time that no weapon formed against me will prosper. It’s simple, I stir clear of controversy and negativity. I focus on winning at all times, which I feel is my general make-up. I concern myself with being the best person that I can be, loving people and putting positive things in my mind.” On writing ‘What I Know For Sure’: “I know that people will study me one day so putting my experiences in writing is a necessity. You have to pass your experiences on to make sure the next generation moves forward.” Success for me: “No one in my family has been able to accomplish the things that I have. The most rewarding experience for me has been seeing the mayor of Atlanta in motion working hard to fulfill the ideas and goals set by his constituents and seeing his team collaborating with him to accomplish those goals. Another rewarding experience for me was the success of raising money for the Obama presidential campaign of 2012. I feel like I have inspired others to vote and I realize the importance of moving forward as a community and as a country.” Most recently, Ms. Johnson has been focusing her time on other ventures including Black Girls Radio. Stacii Jae Johnson is constantly working to positively impact our culture while staying true to herself. - Andre J. Ellington

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Billionaire PA

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION is a major factor for success, especially in the world of real estate. However, this saying means more than just physical space—it’s mental as well. That’s what Billionaire PA realized after finishing up his eight plus years on probation in Alabama.

“The day I left Alabama my evolution began,” he explained, when asked when did he see the reinvention happening. “You become the environment you live in, so I jumped on Hwy. 10 and drove for 3 days.” His destination was to get as far away from Alabama and his troubled life as possible. His grandmother told him while he was in jail that they may confine your body but not your soul. “She felt like once you start going to jail it never stops. I told her I didn’t want that be me. I was so fed up with where I was, I didn’t care where I went,” he shares. “I didn’t have a plan I just started driving.” He would have kept driving but the Pacific Ocean got in the way and he landed in San Jose.

‘I don’t put limits on myself – that’s for other people to do’

With 150 job rejections, a felony conviction, miles away from home and little money, Billionaire PA was already low on faith. He felt like God wasn’t the answer. “I was so frustrated after a conversation with my mother, who kept telling me to just pray, I screamed, ‘I don’t look for jobs, I create them!’ That was my first quote and I didn’t even know it,” he shared. “I went back to my truck and wrote it down, read it and started to believe it.” While living in his truck for over three months he accumulated more than one hundred quotes which became the source of his forthcoming book, My Mind is Wealthy.

Because they knew me the paper [felony record] didn’t matter.”

PA’s company Wealthy Minds started in 2008. He used the record industry formula as his business model. He decided he needed to release a single to get the world ready for his album. “The clothing line was just the “single” and the first t-shirt was ‘Damn a Recession I’m in a Succession’, because I was tired of everyone talking about not having and things being bad.”

In the reinvention process, Billionaire PA found a new faith in God. “I spent over 20 years lacking faith in God because I was a very logical person, so it made it hard to believe in God. One night I wrote a list of 10 specific dreams I had no control over and felt like if there is a God then he can make these things happen for me. Everyone of those 10 things came true.” - Carletta Hurt

The reality of his world didn’t stop his dreams of making it and making it big. Billionaire PA’s passion to help other people was another major part of his evolution. Why a billion people? He responds with a laugh, “Why not? I don’t put limits on myself— that’s for other people to do.”

On living without limits, Billionaire PA gives the following tips For the Billionaire PA, success has been a long hard road. He had to stop running on how to create your own path to reinvention: Deactivate your MIND from his past and make a change—the process took years. It also took the kindness 1. 2. Build your dreams on faith and support from strangers whom he now calls his friends. “If you want to know Environment – put yourself in a position to succeed my story, talk to Myra Scott and Maurice Moore. Myra is the reason that I got out 3. 4. Step out of your comfort zone the truck and Maurice gave me the wealthy mind-set,” he explains. “They watched 5. What you put out is what you get back me build a brand and create wealth.”

The mindset it takes to sell 5,000 t-shirts in 3 months is the foundation of Billionaire PA’s Wealthy Minds. “I wake up every day knowing that my success depends on me!” His confidence and renewed faith in God gave him the notion to call himself a billionaire while he was still broke. “I had to stop making excuses because don’t nobody care about your problems.” An unpaid internship at BET would be the catalyst Billionaire PA needed to see the fruits of his labor materialize into his dream. “I interned at BET for relationships,” he explains. “I knew that piece of paper [felony record] didn’t define me but I needed people to see me, my work ethic, and what I had to offer. So BET gave me my first real job after I got out of jail and off probation.

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Phoenix White photo shoot, the energy of her smile and cinnamon toned skin radiate through the screen. However, under the title “Survivor”, the inclusion of footage capturing her surgery and recovery strike the loudest note. The eleven seconds of the video show her weak and mostly confined to a hospital bed—a far cry from the vibrant ingénue of the previous clips. A metal immobilization unit used in radiation treatment adorns her head, its screws pressing all around her skull. Her once luxurious and meticulously styled hair is shaved closely, and she wipes away tears as they fall down her cheeks. ASHES TO RISE FROM

PHOENIX’S FOCUS “The brain surgery completely changed me as a whole.” Speaking from her home in Los Angeles in an unmistakable southern California accent, Phoenix White recalls her 2010 battle with a cerebral arteriovenous malformation—an abnormal connection between the brain’s arteries and veins. “For me it helped me to go on a really big journey to find myself. Sometimes when we’re not paying attention, we lose track and end up on the wrong side of the road.” Cyclically consumed by fire and reborn from the ashes of its predecessor, for centuries the mythological bird, the phoenix has been synonymous with rebirth, renewal and resurrection. For Phoenix (née Jesseca White), the sobriquet seems almost destined. A native of San Diego, her resume as an actress and singer is lengthy- having released several singles and videos on her own and also history working with the likes of Jamie Foxx, The Dream, Anthony Hamilton, and Tyrese. Featuring segments with titles like “Recording Artist” and “Actor”—a press kit video showcases her in front of the camera, in the studio and traveling among other things. Belting notes into a microphone or stretching her toned frame across a set during a

“That caused me to reevaluate my definition of success and what ‘making it’ was.” she continues. “[I asked myself] what am I supposed to be doing? Who are you really? Without all the weave, without all the fake nails, without this stuff. Without what you think makes you a superstar, are you still happy? I found that I wasn’t.” The condition necessitated two major neurosurgical procedures within a week. In a high-risk category for post-surgery complications, she was advised by doctors to avoid stress at all costs—something not conducive to a burgeoning entertainer in Los Angeles. The quest for stardom was abruptly put on hold and in search of renewal. White left Southern California for Miami. “I knew that LA was stressful and I had to be away from everything I knew. I didn’t even talk to anyone after the brain surgery,” she says, her voice lowering in reflection. “I was just quiet. It was just my son and I. People didn’t really hear from me. I didn’t really do much. I just listened

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to my spirit to get more in tune with myself.” “I thought ‘What else can I do?’ I used to take pictures and people would ask me if I could do creative direction for them. So I started doing it and people found [the photos] to be really good. And that’s kind of how Emkron was born.” Her voice bubbles with excitement in discussing Emkron Studios, the brainchild of her creative renaissance following her return to Los Angeles after a year and a half in Miami. Through Emkron, she provides photography, graphic design and creative direction services with celebrities such as rapper Big Sean, actor Michael B. Jordan and singer Melanie Fiona as part of her clientele. White also uses Emkron to produce “The More You Know,” a web series showcasing quick and easy ways for people to improve their diet reflecting on her decision to become a pescatarian after her illness (Note: through a partnership, The More You Know is featured on Urban Lux’s website). While at home in front of the camera, the move to working behind it didn’t come naturally. “I’m not formally trained in any of that stuff. I just picked it up and started doing it. I studied a lot on my own, I’m a big researcher,” she says. “When you first start in a new lane, you have to do some work. So I did a lot of it and in the process I built up a portfolio that was good enough to show to people, so they can just judge me on my work instead of anything else. I did a lot of interning and shadowing of really great photographers and creative directors.” - continued on page 36

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In the midst of finding herself, White also sought to restore the relationship with her young son, which suffered in the shadow of her entertainment career. “I had to get to know my child - I didn’t even really know him that well. We were just roommates. I was still taking care of him, [but] I was operating on autopilot like many parents do. I didn’t really know him because I spent so much time focusing on being a star.” Of all her endeavors, she confirms that she now wears the badge of mother the most proudly. In the aforementioned video, a segment is dedicated to them spending time together and her Twitter account proudly displays photos of them roasting marshmallows, on their way to birthday parties, and after karate practice with actor Lamman Rucker. MORE ASHES FROM WHICH TO RISE In looking back at the elements leading to her reincarnation of sorts, she penned a book titled Redefining Strong. “It’s more so a journey about healing. I feel a lot of people are broken and they don’t know how to start to heal. I think people have an illusion of what healing is supposed to be, like ‘pray about it and just keep going’. And that didn’t work for me. There was a process to purge and to find myself and to get to know me—what my purpose was for the journey. It details all the stuff I went through. As well as giving people an outline to heal. There’s quotes in there and exercises, so it’s more of a workbook in addition to a story of my life.” According to the myth, after resurrection, the new phoenix is destined to live as long as it’s old self. For Phoenix White, you get the feeling that with a renewed sense of purpose and clarity, the new Phoenix White is destined to shine brighter than previous incarnations.

‘My life has turned into a bigger picture’

“My life has turned into a bigger picture, so much bigger than singing or acting,” she says. “You can still find me doing those things, but doing them now with purpose. Everything has to have purpose.” - Lamar Dixon

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COMMUNITY

Photos: Dream Photography Group

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Superstar Dreamz WHEN WE’RE YOUNG, most of us dream of becoming superstars. The glamorized lifestyle serves as inspiration for us to make it out of our current situation. Some people give up on those dreams. The ones who fight to make their dreams a reality despite hardships are the ones who make it. Superstar Dreamz: The Musical is about a group of teenagers destined for stardom.

Presented by Star House Entertainers and Wanda Smith, former radio co-host of V-103’s Frank & Wanda Morning Show, Superstar Dreamz is a musical about a group of teenagers who are determined to make their dreams a reality, while dealing with the difficulties of being an inner city teenager. The musical sheds light on common issues that teenagers go through, such as: bullying, peer pressure, and family conflicts. It also touches on poverty and crime. But in the midst of these issues, these teens push to live out their dreams, making this story an inspiration for anyone attending the show. The magic in this musical comes from the amazing cast. Superstar Dreamz is performed by a cast of Atlanta’s most talented youth, ranging from age 8-18. These young stars come from Star House Entertainers, a talent development company. Star House Entertainers is a one-stop shop for aspiring entertainers. The organization is ran by Tameko Star and Janice Paschal, who also wrote the screenplay for Superstar Dreamz. Star House Entertainers cultivates musicians, singers, actors and dancers into well-rounded entertainers. The expertise of Star and Paschal is shown in this musical through their students. “It is a magical experience,” said Wanda Smith. “I knew that I could take this cause to the next level. It was already good; I wanted it to be great!” Wanda was motivated to get behind the project after viewing it. She teamed up with her former manager Denise Howard, to fuel the marketing and promotions for this production, helping the musical to become a huge success. “There’s nothing else like it. When I first saw the musical, my heart started to beat faster. Finally, an outlet for African-American kids.” Superstar Dreamz gives a raw look into the dark side of a teenager’s rite of passage before adulthood. The emotionally charged scenes leave you understanding just how strong you have to be as a teenager in the 21st century. Smith, Paschal, Star and Henderson have a vested interest in propelling this work of art to the masses by pooling personal funds to see production through completion. Each of them identify with the fact that this production is bigger than just an informational after-school program. It’s about life, choices and growth. Statistics show that when youth have something relatable and inspiring within their grasp, it has an lasting impact and affects them positively. “Our goal is to go on a global tour. Our children need this. Today’s parents need this,” says Smith. Learn how to support, sponsor or inquire about Superstar Dreamz casting by visiting starhouseentertainers.net. You will also find information on upcoming dates and youth-geared workshops. - Spencer Greene

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Photos: Casey McDaniel

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NO LOSING

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HERE IS A POINT in every person’s life when the feeling of being completely lost ensues. Reaching an ultimate low point in life can fuel depression and regret. However, it can also push you to a level of ambition and determination that can change your life forever. There is the possibility in the midst of changing your life; there is the ability to inspire others. The desperation and determination to never to lose again is what birthed Sam Collier’s No Losing Campaign. On December 13, 2013, Sam Collier was informed that No Losing, Inc. had just received its 501(c)(3) status. An overjoyed Collier began to scream out of excitement as he saw his dream come true. The battle to receive non-profit status started for Collier over two years ago. The vision for a campaign to change the lives of Atlanta children, particularly Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School students, was a personal goal for Collier. “I was going through so much in the music industry, I felt like I kept hitting a brick wall. I literally got so frustrated over a three-year span, that for the first time in my life, I felt this emotion of losing.” Sam Collier is a minister and a music artist. After having a rough year of setbacks and disappointments, Sam made a New Year’s resolution to never to lose again. “No Losing! I was going crazy on facebook.” The phrase, No Losing became a motto for Collier which became the title of his mix tape as well as his way of life. “When I made the declaration, my entire life started to line up. I declared No Losing, but first, what does that even mean? What does it mean for me to win? I realized I never asked myself the question, what does it mean for me to win in life?” Sam changed his life around after discovering what it meant to win and he soon felt compelled to spread the word. “Awareness brought freedom. I thought this was crazy; this is a new philosophy. I have to take this to the people. Where do we start? The most logical answer: it starts with the kids.” Collier began holding career days and assemblies at different schools around Atlanta. “We don’t go in with an agenda, yet a vision to help them win,” said Collier, on the success of his No Losing assemblies. He teams up with the school’s administration to figure out what work needs to be done in the school; whether it is improving low test scores or ending violence. Sam creates a unique assembly and program to help everyone benefit. Because it is the goal of most high school and middle school students to become famous, Sam uses that desire to inspire them to do better academically. “We leverage popular culture and its influence as a tool to make education relevant. We invite a notable celebrity, such as T.I., to visit school assemblies and motivate the students to excel.” Sam decided to focus on measuring the impact of No Losing campaign by concentrating on one school and tracking the progress of the students. No Losing campaign conducted a pilot program at Miller Grove Middle School which has 1,000 students. They held their normal assembly with a special invited celebrity guest, but only allowed students with all A’s and B’s to attend. There were three assemblies in total. “At the first assembly there were 130 kids. By the third one, there were 280.” Sam’s vision was a success and the campaign proved to be effective. Sam took the program he started with Miller Grove Middle School and spent 2013 running it in the same fashion at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. “It’s only 400 students. When we started, there were 51 kids with all A’s and

B’s.” Focusing on a school with a small population has allowed Sam to be extremely hands on with their academic progress. However, he has every attention on expanding and No Losing has the potential to go beyond Atlanta. “My goal is to create a duplicable solution for African American achievement across the United States. Sam’s work this year at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School has proven to be effective and inspiring. There were a number of students with F’s who now have passing scores. “Look at the difference culture is making.” No Losing is a vision that can be beneficial for students all across the country. “All it requires is community involvement to shift the culture.” Sam has managed to turn his personal goal and New Year’s resolution into a program that has the ability to change the lives of many children. His selflessness and ambition has already done wonders for schools and students around Atlanta. No Losing is a lifestyle and movement that is impacting young lives for a better tomorrow with a spirit and determination to WIN! - Spencer Greene

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THE URBAN LUX INSIDER

THE MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW

A

s an invited guest of the 43rd Annual Miami International Auto Show, I had a sneak preview of the gorgeous and sometimes ostentatious automobiles set to grace the showroom floors in 2014. Here are a few that stood out due their dramatic reinvention both inside and out. For all automobile enthusiasts looking to purchase a new ride or simply appreciate their physical and technological advancements, it’s going to be a happy New Year! Happy motoring! - Photos: Dennis Malcolm Byron

Cadillac’s 2014 ELR and all-new 2015 Escalade wowed the crowd.

Of course, Mercedes-Benz’s 2014 CLA45 AMG and G63 AMG Wagon stole the spotlight.

The all-new Range Rover Sport garnered enough SAMA votes to win the Best Utility Vehicle.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee was certainly an eye catcher.

BE SURE TO VISIT the always electrifying Miami Auto International Show November 7th through November 16th and enjoy the beautiful weather while you’re at it. There will be special attractions including Topless In Miami, highlighting the coolest convertibles cars, Havana Classics’ flamboyant autos from the 1950s, Camp Jeep’s off-road experience, Memory Lane’s celebration of the cars from yesteryear, the exotic rides parked on Million Dollar Alley, plus Ride & Drive Events allowing you to get behind the wheels of new products from General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, and Chrysler to name a few. Visit sfliautoshow.com for more information. - Dennis Malcolm Byron aka Ale Sharpton

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THE URBAN LUX INSIDER

SIPS FOR THE HIP 2014 IS FINALLY HERE and we are all going to be thirsty for

something new. With special attention to vodka, we have been hit with a tidal wave of flavors over the past five years ranging from pecan pie (Cathead) to buttered popcorn (360). And just when we thought these adventurous distillers have reached their limit, premium vodka maker SVEDKA is set on “raising the bar in the flavor game” by treating our taste buds to a brand new duo to put us in liquid bliss—Mango Strawberry and Strawberry Lemonade. Being the Urban Lux Insider, I had a chance to create and sample a couple of cocktails to, shall we say, confirm how good these newborn SVEDKA family members are. Yep, it’s official—they will be instant favorites in 2014! Here are a few recipes for you to try using these new all-natural flavors. Cheers!

[ ADVERTORIAL ]

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- Dennis Malcolm Byron aka Ale Sharpton

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FEATURE - TANK 44

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T AN K

THE MAN, MUSICIAN & MOGUL WHEN YOU PEEL BACK THE LAYERS on most things, you’ll eventually get to the core. The deeper you go, the more you discover. The more you discover, the more your curiosity is piqued—it’s just human nature. We had the pleasure of interviewing Grammy nominated R&B singer, songwriter and producer, Tank. Behind the public persona lies a hard working father, athlete, entrepreneur and visionary.

Photography: Phoenix White Makeup & Grooming: MakeupbyNecee Styling: Manny J Style

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FEATURE - TANK

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FEATURE - TANK

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‘I’m here, but I haven’t arrived yet!’ - TANK BORN ON JANUARY 1ST, Durrell Babbs grew up singing in the church and while he didn’t always know that his journey would lead him down a musical path, his passion for the arts was always there. Learning to play the piano and drums at a young age, music would remain an integral part of his DNA, even when he was focused on other things. Lovingly nicknamed Tankhead by his family, young Babbs was an applauded athlete—a force to be reckoned with on the basketball court and football field. With impressive high school academic and sports careers, it was no surprise when he received a full music scholarship and a partial football scholarship to attend college. Being aware of family funds he made the financially conscious decision to accept the music scholarship with the hopes of still playing collegiate football. Dedicated to earning his education, he stayed steady with the mind-set that sports was “it”, but he needed the music to help him continue to pursue that dream. Shortly into his first semester and to his dismay, Tank’s academic schedule collided with sports practices, leaving him frustrated and unenthused. Divine intervention reared its head as the admittedly stubborn freshman decided to leave school and revisit his talents rooted in music. Giving credit to music icon Barry Hankerson, Tank (@TheRealTank) pursued his music career and shortened his childhood moniker and moved forward. Under the wing of Hankerson, he was afforded the opportunity to work with Aaliyah, Ginuwine and others. Spending over a decade sharpening his skills and offering his gift to others, Tank became a highly sought after writer and producer. He’s penned some of the new millennium’s hottest party songs including Jamie Foxx’s “Unpredictible” and heartfelt ballads like his debut hit, “Maybe I Deserve.” He’s written notable songs for fellow artists, Marques Houston, Monica, Donnell Jones and Pitbull and collaborated with the likes of Letoya Luckett, Chris Brown, Omarion, T.I. and Busta Rhymes. When asked if he’s ever regretted giving one of “his” hit songs to another artist, he remarks that he’s never given away a “Tank” song. Further noting that he does music for all people and that every song given away was meant specifically for them. His career was never meant to be that of a one-trick-pony. He admires the versatility of music mogul Babyface as a complete entity. Tank understands that younger artists look up to him and accepts that he owes more to the industry than just his vocals over a tune. Lending his brand to a group project, Tank is one-third of the supergroup TGT with friends Tyrese and Ginuwine. Their debut album THREE KINGS has already spawned hits, “Sex Never Felt Better” and “I Need.” Their healthy competition makes them all better artists, blending their individual styles to produce good music for everyone to enjoy. ~ continued on pg. 50

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ON REINVENTION: ‘It takes a lot of discipline to make mass changes, you’ve got to find your rhythm. People may not understand, but they will come around.’ - TANK

In 2013, Tank expanded his business Sound Beat Entertainment to include newly signed female rapper, Siya from Brooklyn and a group, REMIX out of Mississippi whose members are all 15 years old. He cites that he’s laying a foundation with these acts—proudly stating that Siya will break the mold with her anticipated 2014 single release and with REMIX close behind as they are immersed in the label’s artist development program. The transition to his physical reinvention started in 2013 when he established himself as a strict pescatarian. He’s an athlete at heart so being fit came natural, but on a higher scale he desired overall health and total wellness. Giving up pork and beef 15 years ago came easily; however giving up chicken, turkey and dairy proved to be a much more difficult feat. He noticed drastic improvement in his physical appearance starting with more definition followed by expanded mental and spiritual benefits. 2014 kicks off a busy season for the musician as his group TGT and himself, as a solo artist, have singles dropping in January (his full album anticipated in the summer). Still remaining on his list of to dos is working on a compilation album with R&B greats like Charlie Wilson, Babyface and others—to remind the world of real R&B music.

Propelled by passion and the effects that his music has on others, Tank is motivated to always keep moving. He’s not going anywhere anytime soon and vows to keep loyal fans happy, surprised and satisfied. - Clorissa X. Wright URBANLUX


URBANLUX Denim shirt by J.A.C.H.S - Denim striped shorts by 3rd & Army


LUX DESTINATIONS

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hether you are looking for a spot for a ladies spa weekend or for some quality family time, The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation offers something for everyone. And the drive from Atlanta to the lake side lodge (it sits on the banks of Lake Oconee) only takes a little over an hour. When I arrived for my weekend stay, I was immediately struck by how this hotel feels like a cozy family lake house crossed with a lux resort. For example, I came across a community puzzle in progress in the lobby on my way to a gourmet dinner at Georgia’s Bistro. If you’re looking for more of an active vacay, guests can partake in guided Segway tours of the property, golf, tennis, kayaking, and ice skating (though early February). And there’s no better spot to cool off during summer months than the infinity pool (which overlooks the lake) or on a lounge chair at the lake side beach. But for me, this visit was all about relaxation, so I spent much of my Saturday enjoying a little pampering at the hotel’s 27,600 square foot spa. Whether you are looking for a full-body treatment like the Georgian or a 50-minute manicure, this relaxation haven has you covered. The spa boasts a steam room and sauna, an indoor pool, a fitness center offering a variety of fitness classes and personal training options, and several spots where you can curl up and lose yourself in a good book.

After enjoying a cup of tea in the relaxation room, my technician whisked me away to begin the facial. For the next 50 minutes, a number of potions and products were applied (including the squishy collagen mask), and I left the appointment with a face that felt rejuvenated and ready to take on the cooler temps the winter brings.

After my 80-minute Georgian experience and a moment in the steam room, I ran up to my room to freshen up before dinner at Georgia’s Bistro. At Georgia’s I enjoyed the fried green tomatoes with a peach chili dipping sauce and the Carolina rainbow trout topped with crayfish and spiced pecan butter sauce—and I couldn’t turn down a side of the mac n’ cheese with broccoli rabe and country ham. Needless to say, my mouth was very happy.

Before I knew it, I’d grabbed yet another bite to eat in the lounge (the mini sandwiches can’t be missed!) and it was time to head back to the ATL.

Sunday brought a New York Times (delivered to my room) and a buffet breakfast with all the fixins’ in the club lounge. Before I knew it was time to head back to the spa for treatment number two—a collagen infusion facial.

To arrange your getaway, visit ritzcarlton.com.

It was tough to say goodbye, but I left knowing that the next time I need a spot for a girl’s weekend or romantic rendezvous, I’ve found my solace from the city—a spot where I can find a little luxury by the lake.

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- Amelia Pavlik


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ATLANTA POWER COUPLES THE PRESENCE OF A POWER COUPLE represents a team—a dynamic duo who have achieved personal and professional success—who also happen to be married. They understand that focused partnership is a catalyst for intense influence. They present an image of financial wealth and encourage others to strive for the best. Here and all over the world, a power couple has the ability to transform the face of their community, and even the world. Through life lessons, tangible success, philanthropy, and teaching others they catapulted as individuals then as a team—inspiring other up and coming pairs to follow in their footsteps. Just think, where would the world be without the brains, efforts and impact of Mary and Joseph, Bill and Hillary, Martin and Coretta, Nelson and Winnie and nowadays Michelle & Barack and Kate and Will? The following couples make Atlanta proud as they serve as an inspiration for us all. Let their advice and guidance help you to create your own success story! FRED WILLIAMS & BO TALLEY Fred Williams is the GM and head coach of the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream. Bo Talley owns Blaq Pearl Entertainment and is the founder of the non-profit organization, Take the Time Foundation. Married: Six years

Makeup: JayTee / Wardrobe: Ben’s Design (Atlanta)

How they maintain unity: “It is essential that you create time each day for one another. Whether it is twenty or thirty minutes in the morning or the evening. Creating that quiet time to discuss major/minor events that are occurring in your life is so important.” DANIEL & SHAUNA WILCOX Daniel Wilcox is a retired NFL player (stateside and international), entrepreneur and Tucker High School’s football WR coach. Shauna Wilcox is a make-up artist, beauty product developer and actress. Together they run a foundation, Empowerment M.I.N.D.S.—where both serve as mentors. Married: Five years How they maintain unity: “Being successful couple does not make you a Power Couple. Having a true connection with your partner creates power. We are a complete package.” COLE & VANESSA PARKER Vanessa Parker is the founder of Pink Boss, providing business development, 501(c)(3) tax exemption, branding and marketing to female-run corporations. Cole Parker is the founder of the female focused self-defense company, Divas in Defense and consults small businesses on development and rebranding. Both are avid volunteers and advocates for women’s safety. Married: Four years

Makeup: Sophie West / Wardrobe: Marlissa Crawford

How they maintain unity: “Our situation is ride or die. We are around each other 100% of the time. We work together, play together, live together and love together.

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Community impact: “We are always supporting each other and the community notices this support system. We’re designing a presence whether we are on the red carpet or taking pictures and we do realize the influence that we have on others. We receive lots of compliments and requests for advice.” Advice to other couples: “1. A couple has to read their own success story, a relationship is like a book, and that is what you are writing every day. 2. Loyalty has no expiration. 3. Focusing on addressing battles that matter are important in any relationship. 4. One must always keep an open mind and a passionate heart. 5. If you do not know where you are going, you will end up somewhere else.” Community impact: “We are mentors and we see the progress in the lives of the people we are connected to. Daniel and I help people see how beautiful they are. You never know a person’s story.” Advice to other couples: “You have to put each other first. As human beings, we all want to be loved. We have all that we need to provide love and support. Sometimes in relationships, we forget to love the people who are closest to us. God and family have to be the priority of the relationship.”

As long as we put our Heavenly Father first, we know we are striving forward.” Community impact: “When family and friends come into our presence, they see the demonstration of our love. We are in it to win it and people look at us like we are the definition of what love is to be.” Advice to other couples: “We believe in blending everything that we’re involved in. We are both entrepreneurs and we have children. We have to carve out time for our family then ourselves. Sharing time together is vital in our relationship. We ensure that we are investing into our marriage and our businesses.” - Tia Aikens

Photos: Ish Holmes


DIVERSITY CORNER

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Madiba A

s we celebrate the legacy of Nelson Mandela, we also remember and appreciate his connection to Atlanta.

In June of 1990, Nelson Mandela was in the midst of a six-week world tour when on June 26, he landed in Atlanta. He had previously met with thenPresident George H. W. Bush in Washington and was making his first trip to the South. He wanted, amongst other things, to visit the Southeast because of its rich Civil Rights history. Nelson Mandela’s arrival in Atlanta was designed to link the South African nationalist to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. During his stay, the 71-year-old African National Congress leader’s itinerary included a visit to the King Center to renew his acquaintance with Coretta Scott King and to lay a wreath at Dr. King’s grave. He also met with civil rights leaders at Big Bethel A.M.E. Church and addressed an evening rally at Georgia Tech. In addition, as part of his visit, Nelson Mandela received thirty-seven honorary degrees during a special convocation at Morehouse College, which included the honorary doctor of humane letters from Morehouse College.

“Africa has been depicted for more than [a] century as the home of black cannibals and ignorant primitives ... Africa does have spectacular savages and brutes today, but they are not black. They are the sophisticated white rulers of South Africa who profess to be cultured, religious and civilized, but whose conduct and philosophy stamp them unmistakably as modern-day barbarians.” Noting, “the shame of our nation is that it is objectively an ally of this monstrous government,” King called for a “massive international boycott” involving the U.S. and other industrialized nations. However, in both the southern U.S. and South Africa, the combination of organized resistance and international solidarity was able to overcome legalized segregation, if not fulfill the larger ambitions of both movements for broad social change. In his 1990 visit to Atlanta, Mandela invoked the legacy of both freedom movements in calling for a continuation of the struggle for human rights: “We are ... conscious that here in the southern part of the country, you have experienced the degradation of racial segregation. ... Let freedom ring. Let us all acclaim now, ‘Let freedom ring in South Africa. Let freedom ring wherever the people’s rights are trampled upon.” - Carlton Powell

His ties to Atlanta and the U.S. Southeast were close because much of the struggle for social justice in South Africa and the United States were parallel in their cause. In 1960, the Sharpeville massacre, where South African police opened fire on black demonstrators in a Transvaal township, killing 69 people, helped propel apartheid into the news headlines, inspiring more U.S. civil rights leaders to take action. In 1962, Dr. King and Albert Luthuli, a leader of the African National Congress when Nelson Mandela became active, issued an Appeal for Action Against Apartheid with ACOA signed by 150 world leaders. In December 1965, a year after Mandela had been jailed for life, Dr. King was asked to speak at a benefit for the American Committee on Africa, a New York-based group founded in 1953 to support African independence movements. King’s speech began: Photos: Ish Holmes

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INTRODUCING THE NEW LOOK OF SVEDKA FLAVORS PLAY RESPONSIBLY. 35% alc./vol. (70 proof) © 2013 Spirits Marque One, New York, NY.

The Reinvention Issue January 2014  

In this Issue Urban Lux spent time with several individuals and wrote their stories of reinvention and survival. Conquering homelessness, we...