Tag Archives: fashion

In Dedication to Mark England

On January 18, 2014, the very talented Mark England left this Earth.

Some people call him their stylist. I refer to him as the man who cultivated my style.

Some people call him fashionable. I refer to him as a fashion guru.

Some people call him inspirational. I refer to him as a mentor.

Some people call him Mark. I refer to him as my friend.

It’s been a long time since I lost someone who I cared a great deal about. Mark England was one of the few people in my life who I knew was genuinely concerned about my success. The only thing he expected of me was for me to do my very best. That was very important to me. I’m glad I didn’t wait until the end to tell him that I cared about him and how important he was to my life and career.

Mark will be laid to rest before his family, friends and celebrity clientele on February 1, 2014. I’m extremely sad about the death of my friend, but I know my friend would expect me to continue moving forward with my career plans to the best of my ability in spite of my grief. So that is what I’m trying to do. Mark England had such a positive influence on me that I have decided to dedicate my upcoming book “Breaking Through the Black Ceiling” to his memory with a portion of sales of the book going to Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, pending their approval. I also dedicated the Friday, January 24, 2014 broadcast of The FabLife Radio Show to Mark’s memory. Mark and I had made plans for him to be a guest on the show this year. Since that can’t happen, dedicating a show to him and dedicating my book to his memory are the very least that I can do for someone who did so much for me over the last few years.

The Mark England Collection wasn’t just clothes, it was the embodiment of style, grace, class, and haute couture. Mark England took me from pretty to amazing. Mark made cameras flash at me even though photographers had no idea who I was, and often didn’t bother to ask. Mark England gave me a reason to embrace my feminine curves with every dress he made for me and every ensemble he personally selected for me. Mark made me look ten times more confident than I may have felt inside every time I walked into a room or stood before an audience. Mark England will forever be an influence on me and how I do business and what I wear. I thank God I had the chance to have such a wonderfully inspiring person in my life while I did.

If there is someone in your life that means a great deal to you, please take a moment to tell them so. 

 

The LeBron James Factor

Being an entrepreneur is not the same as having a business of your own. It takes more than that. Being an entrepreneur is not a selfish attempt. Being an entrepreneur is a great deal of responsibility and to whom much is given, much is required. Entrepreneurs have to be able to make decisions for  themselves and others, understanding how others may react to those decisions and yet be strong enough and willing not to feel pressured to make the “popular” decision just to appease someone else. This factor is sometimes what separates the successful entrepreneur from someone who just wants to own a business. An entrepreneur is often the person who will build a business from an idea into a brick and mortar building with employees, whereas a person who wants to be in business for themselves may only want to do the type of work that someone else tells them will generate additional income. There’s nothing wrong with the opportunity to generate income, but most entrepreneurs will sometimes bypass an opportunity such as that because they are concentrating their energy, time and talents into building their idea into something tangible.

I’m an entrepreneur. A media entrepreneur, specifically. In my field I have to find better, different and interesting ways to do what I do. I am The Company, The Woman and The Brand. I have goals that I’m striving to attain that will benefit my entity as a whole. I am responsible for the failure and success of Super Woman Productions and Publishing, even with other people working with and for me. If I do well, I’ll receive the credit. If I fail, I’ll be stoned. Not literally, of course, but you get the jest of it. Being ‘the boss‘ requires that I sometimes make decisions that may be unpopular to others or even upset people. It’s necessary to protect the brand. It’s what I call the LeBron James Factor. When LeBron left Cleveland he was doing so to improve the level of his success and to achieve goals that he had set for himself. As we all know, it wasn’t the popular decision and resulted in the entire city of Cleveland turning their backs on him. However, LeBron’s decision was necessary for him, regardless of how others may have felt about it. He was strong enough and willing to upset others for the growth of his career. He didn’t kill, assault, defraud or otherwise violate anyone in his decision – even if the residents of Cleveland felt like he did at the time. He did what he had to do. In my opinion he didn’t owe an explanation or apology for it either. It was a business decision.

I recently had to make a business decision to protect the Super Woman Brand. That business decision has resulted in the creation of The FabLife Radio Show along with Andre “Mista Ecks” Harris. I didn’t expect to be in the position where I’d have to make this business decision after only four short months of co-hosting a previous radio show, but when an entrepreneur is faced with a situation that requires a decision, the entrepreneur makes a business decision. Period. It’s the LeBron James Factor. The decision I made may not have been the popular one and it may have upset others in the process. However, in order to achieve my goals, I have to be willing to make the tough decisions and live with them. In order to achieve my goals, I have to be able to see a better opportunity for the Super Woman Brand when it presents itself. In order to achieve my goals, I have to sometimes overlook other people’s opinions and feelings if they contradict what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m responsible for other people and my success helps them. If I lag or stay in situations that don’t allow growth, I’m not just hindering myself, I’m hindering them as well. That is not acceptable.

The FabLife Radio Show will be an information sharing radio show. Meaning we are going to entertain you, enlighten you and inspire you by providing current events, entertainment, lifestyle and fashion news going on in Detroit and elsewhere. So far, the show has not yet aired, but we already have interest from potential advertisers and people are already asking to be guests on the show. I thank my Super Fans for that. You help people become more aware of me and what I do by sharing my newsletters, blogs and tweets with your audiences, friends and family. I appreciate you very much.

I’m really looking forward to the airing of The FabLife Radio Show each and every Friday at 7 pm eastern for however long we are blessed to remain on air. I’m also looking forward to my business partnership with Andre Harris, who is very talented. You’ll get to see more of his talents in upcoming months. If you have an upcoming event or a business that you’d like to advertise on the show, feel free to submit the Contact Us form to receive the ad rates by email. Thank you in advance for your support of my next step in entertainment!

 

“Maybe those ones burning my jerseys were never LeBron fans anyway.”- LeBron James

 

The WRONG One

In this economy people are willing to do a lot of things they normally wouldn’t do to make ends meet. Some people look for creative ways to make money. Some people look for enterprising ways to make money. Some of those things may even be considered morally wrong. Some people even stoop to doing things that are illegal. Some people are predatory and offer “options” to people and take advantage of their need to make more money. A person’s individual boundaries are their own to live with and so are the ramifications of their choices. My boundaries are firmly set. Regardless of how much I need money, there are just certain things I’m unwilling to do. I will not rob an old lady of her social security benefits. I will not attempt a Nigerian bank scam (why do they even continue to try?) and I will not take my clothes off for men I don’t know. I have the tendency think about my future goals and aspirations and how doing certain things can deter those goals and aspirations. That allows me to keep a reasonably cool head even in the face of stupidity.

The last boundary I previously mentioned, is the subject of this blog. This week, I received a message from a man on Facebook asking me if I’d be interested in burlesque dancing with a blues shows in a downtown Detroit bar. Instantly, I was offended. I didn’t know this man from Adam. He wasn’t a Facebook friend, an acquaintance or anyone that I’d had any interaction with at all. He obviously didn’t know anything about me. I replied to him, “Nothing on my Facebook profile, or website says I’m a burlesque dancer, a stripper or exotic dance, so why would you ask me that?” That question was actually rhetorical. I already knew that he assumed I would “strip” for money because of whatever his misogynistic ideas are related to women, along with the stereotypical belief that an attractive woman  doesn’t have any brains. He also believed that women in general are willing to take our clothes off for money because times are hard. Therefore, anything he said, would definitely not surprise me.

His response was “I apologize if that sounded rude. Burlesque is classy entertainment. I thought you were affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment”. To me that was hilarious. Here’s why. Of course asking a woman you don’t know to take her clothes off for men she doesn’t know is RUDE, I don’t care if it’s burlesque or ballet. Secondly, being ‘affiliated with modeling or some form of entertainment’ doesn’t mean getting naked for men you don’t know. We don’t all have to resort to that and many of us don’t. I told him that what I found “rude” was that for some reason he assumed that the entertainment I’m involved in relates to taking my clothes off at a bar. Obviously this small minded man thought that in order for a woman to be involved in modeling or entertainment, she must either be naked or nearly naked, in order to be considered a “model” or “entertainer”. Last I checked serious models and entertainers don’t have “I will take my clothes off in a bar” on their resume.  

I told my boyfriend about this exchange. His first response when I told him the man’s initial words to me was “Uh, oh. He picked the wrong one”. What my boyfriend knows is this; I’m not that caliber of woman and I don’t accept men saying offensive and disrespectful things to me, simply because they think they can. I don’t believe what a woman is wearing defines her character or her worth. It’s that woman’s actions that matter most. Therefore, if a woman isn’t behaving like a hooker, you can’t call her a hooker because you think she’s dressed like one. It might be Halloween or a bad fashion choice, not a profession that she’s exhibiting in her attire. The truth is, as women, it doesn’t matter what we wear or don’t. There’s always some idiot who thinks women are only good for what’s between our legs because that’s the limitation of their braincells. Yes, there are pictures of me that are sexy and sensual related to the marketing of “The Goodie Bag“, but I could have been completely covered up from head to toe in a  berka and that man would’ve still sent me the same message. Because that is what he thinks women are worth – dancing at bars without clothes for men that they don’t know.

By the way, I also told him had he done his due diligence prior to sending me that message in the first place, he would’ve discovered that I am an entrepreneur, publisher and author and the picture he was looking at was related to “The Goodie Bag” and nothing more. But that would’ve been too much like right. I think he knows I’m the wrong one. Maybe he learned his lesson. Maybe not. I do know he won’t be sending me anymore messages. After all, he wouldn’t have sent that message to Oprah and gotten away with it. There are a lot of women who would’ve been offended that probably never would’ve responded to him at all. So I spoke up for them. And there are probably some women who gleefully signed up to burlesque dance for him when he messaged them. They will probably make $250. In this economy he can’t afford to pay a woman thousands of dollars to take her clothes off. And he knows that some women don’t have the boundaries I have. That’s what makes him a predator; lurking and waiting for someone to become desperate.

Lastly, I told him he can’t afford my rates so I’ll gladly burlesque dance for my boyfriend in the privacy of our bedroom. At least I know what I’m getting into and what I’m getting out of it. I also know, it won’t deter my goals, cause me to be posted naked on YouTube or give him anything to sale to the Enquirer when I become the next Queen of All Media. That’s a boundary I can live with –  and that is priceless.