Detroit: Urban Feel, Small Town Appeal, Big Possibilities

This weekend I was given the privilege of attending The Fuller Woman Expo at the St. Regis Hotel. I’ve always wanted to attend this expo in the past, but was unable to due to conflicts in my schedule. This year, I was allowed to cover the event for this blog and for my Entertainment and Lifestyle Report on The Blaqe Rocket Blast. On Saturday, in a sizable banquet room at the St. Regis Hotel, vendors, entrepreneurs and attendees gathered to hear workshops, panel discussions, ask questions, network with each other, buy from each other, listen to the phenomenal comedienne and actress, Kim Coles and see a fashion show.

Vendors who were present include Von Stiff Clothing, Endless Chic, SoZo-eme (who makes a delicious smelling shea butter based body scrub), Steffie Kakes (her six flavor sock it to me cake is sinful), Tricia’s Simple Treasures, Queen Grace Collection, Pheline, Gi”Amour Women’s Accessories and I’m Pretty 2 Cutting Edge Jewelry.  Model Allison McGevna provided attendees with tips on how to safely and professionally navigate the modeling industry. She discussed the kinds of modeling jobs available, including fit modeling, print and editorial modeling, and e-commerce modeling. She informed the ladies in the audience to make sure that they are aspire to model for the right reasons and not to attain self validation because the industry will “chew you up, spit you out and run you over“. Allison emphasized that it’s important to refrain from sending pictures of yourself in sexy (or sexually explicit) poses to agencies if you want to become a clothing model. Sexy pictures won’t get you the modeling jobs with Macy’s, Target or other clients in that market. Allison’s body of work is extensive, including modeling for Apple Bottom and Baby Phat. She even discussed wearing clothes that make you look good regardless of your size or shape.

The “body positive” event included a discussion panel moderated by The Fuller Woman Expo’s Executive Producer, Cassy Jones-McBryde, featuring Lorna Litz Baez (Curvy Girls Nuvo TV/plus size model), Stephanie Penn, (Daily Venus Diva Magazine), Georgia Greenwood, Creator/Canadian Director of The Fuller Woman Expo and Marina Zelner, President and CEO of Queen Grace Collection.

I also had the pleasure of being a special invited guest for the Detroit CEO Magazine Launch Event, Saturday evening at the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel. Let me preface this by saying, I didn’t know what being a special invited guest would entail. Remember, I’m new to being a “celebrity“, so I still hear people say things about me and I look around the room and wonder who they are talking about. I’m extremely excited about the possibilities that Lacretia L. Rogers is bringing to our city with her magazine.

Now you may be thinking, “Super Woman, we already have a bunch of magazines in the city of Detroit, so what makes her’s different/special/better/worthwhile?” Let me say this: there are a lot of magazines here, Ambassador Magazine, Crain’s Detroit Business, Uptown Detroit and others. However, one thing that erks me about these other magazines is that they primarily feature individuals based solely on their name recognition or net worth. Yes, I said it. If you’re not rich, already on the cover of everyone else’s magazines, in politics or sports, you may never make it into those magazines. They often overlook people doing something tremendous simply because they have yet to hear of them.

Not to offend anyone, but several of our local magazines are simply popularity contests in print format. They miss the mark when it comes to introducing their readers to something or someone new, right in their own city. But there are thousands of people who deserve to be mentioned. You can almost take the city of Detroit map, throw a dart and hit an area occupied by someone doing something spectacular anywhere on it. I believe that Detroit CEO Magazine will be the mechanism for more business owners and operators to become familiar with each other and for the public to become familiar with them as well.

Detroit is a city where many people know each other but at the same time, don’t know as many people as they should. We are tremendously blessed to have a lot of talented individuals, entrepreneurs, businessmen and businesswomen in Detroit. We need events like The Fuller Woman Expo to continue to be successful so that we can all become more exposed to them. We need Detroit CEO Magazine to highlight the individuals that we may not have heard about so that we can bring our economy back into the black by supporting their businesses. I truly believe that if you don’t take a step outside your door to meet others, you will miss someone truly worth meeting.

I’m thankful for all the publications that have included little ol’ me inside their pages (Rolling Out Magazine, Front Page Detroit, Who’s Who In Black Detroit), even though I haven’t been nominated for an Emmy yet. When I reach that point in my life, they get first dibs on writing about me again. In the meantime, I will continue to strive to give them something positive to write about.

I encourage you as readers, members of society, women of color and every other demographic that you fit, to become more familiar with Detroit, its people, its businesses and what it has to offer. If you don’t reside in Detroit, please come visit us. Don’t believe everything you see on the news or read in the papers. Come and find out for yourself what we have to offer and make an informed decision based on your experience, not based on the fears that the media perpetuates.

Detroit is the birthplace of soul music, fashion and automobiles. That is our history and our legacy. There are many people here doing the right thing to continue moving that legacy forward in a positive way. Lend them your support and our city will make the resurgence that it is capable of.

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