Tag Archives: Michigan

Estrogen Economy

It is true that people, in the Black community, in particular, need to cooperate with each and support each other more. In a time when we should be learning to co-exist more peacefully with one another we are often too divisive among ourselves. We self segregate and hold onto mindsets that set us up for failure instead of embracing those that encourage us towards greatness. I recall sometime ago when speaking with my mentor about my business goals, he asked me what my demographic is. I told him “Detroiters” are my demographic and he told me I was wrong. I said “Black folks” are my demographic and again he told me I was wrong. I admitted to him that I was confused and didn’t quite understand what he was leaning towards. He told me “Your demographic is women. Not women in Detroit. Not Black women. Women, period. No matter where you go or where you’re from, women will be able to relate to you because you are a woman, too.

Although somewhere deep down, I probably already knew that, on that day it was like the hand of God Himself granted me infinite wisdom.

Some of what I was already doing in my business model was fitting my demographic; I just needed to be fully conscious of it. 

Yes, I’m from Detroit and I love my city, even when it doesn’t love me back. Yes, I’m Black and I love my people even when they don’t treat me or each other right. But at the end of the day, I love myself. And I am a woman.  I understand what that means from the bottom of my feet to the top of my head. I understand how women often are working and trying to achieve in male dominated fields, but lack support from other women and from men. I understand how many women have to work, go to school themselves and send their kids to school as well. I understand what sacrifices women make for their loved ones. I understand the issues women have with men, relationships, self-esteem and finances. I get it because I am a woman.

I’m also smart enough to know that if I sit around and just wait for specifically Detroiters and Black folks to embrace and support me, I will never get to where I want to be.

One of the things I’m most thankful for is that I understand and embrace diversity as well. Although I’m “prowoman, my Super Team is very diverse. We range in age, experience, race, class, education and culture. However, the majority of the members on my Super Team are, in fact, other women.  This wasn’t intentional or determined by company policy. It is what is meant to be and therefore it has developed into what it is. Simple. I don’t discriminate against men, but I do find it more difficult to work with them sometimes because of their preconceived notions based on physical attraction or what their experiences tell them a woman should be able to do…and not do. I’ve had more men claim that they would love to work with me then turn around and be deceitful and dishonest in their business practices, than women have, because unfortunately, the men started off with an agenda that wasn’t about business at all. I’m not the only woman who has had this experience with men in business either. I operate my business with integrity and character and I expect the same from all the people I do business with. It just so happens that the people I can work effectively with are other women.

This year thus far has had many amazing developments for The Brand. This month has been another fast paced, yet amazing one in my Super World. And throughout it there has been a common reoccurrence. I was being approached and embraced by the women in the room, no matter where I was at. It’s one of those things you have to step outside of yourself for a moment to realize and reflect upon. It’s a moment I have to enjoy at that moment. Which I have learned to do.

Women’s Day Tea was a complete success on Friday, March 8, 2013. It was a celebration of women in hip hop and women owned businesses. At the event we had Mae Day, Lola Damone, Smiley Davis and El DeBarge Jr. in attendance. Everyone that attended said how much they enjoyed the event. Many of whom wanted to know when we’d have another event and if we’d have another Women’s Day Tea in 2014. The answers are ‘yes‘ and ‘yes‘. I was so happy that everyone else enjoyed themselves. All of the stress was definitely worth the smiles and ‘thank you’s‘ from everyone.

We’re working towards completion of the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference this August. The goal is to reach young women and show them possibilities that will help them become stronger, better, more confident adult women; and help adult women become stronger and better as well. The goal is not to make women into what men think they should be, but to teach women to embrace what womanhood truly IS.  Womanhood is not us tearing each other down (‘she’s fake’, ‘look at her, she thinks she cute’, ‘I don’t like her because of her shoes’); it’s about us building and lifting each other up. Building and lifting each other up sometimes will require positive reinforcement, correction and constructive criticism. Those things are not esteem or dream killers; they are strength and confidence builders. We’re looking for ways to save money on the venues and materials as well so that we can have the young ladies ages 11 – 18 attend for free and then pass the additional cost savings on to women attending over the age of 18. We’ve also added the option of In-Kind donations for the items that we need to make the event a success, such as beverages, lunch, marketing materials and advertising. We’re seeking media partners across Metro Detroit who may be interested in being title sponsors in exchange for helping us get the word out. I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference is promised to be another successful Super Woman Productions and Publishing event held in Detroit, just like the two we’ve had so far in 2013.

About a week before Women’s Day Tea, a brilliant concept popped into my head from God. It was two simple words:

Estrogen Economy ©

What is it? What can it do? How do we get it? And yes, I’m copyrighting it. It’s about to be huge.

Prior to the concept being gifted to me, I was already contributing to the concept. Women’s Day Tea on Friday, March 8, 2013 was clearly evidence of that. Super Woman Productions and Publishing was the only company in the state of Michigan that held an official celebration of International Women’s Day. That’s one point for the Estrogen Economy© already. Over the next several months, my other upcoming projects will also contribute to the Estrogen Economy© in many ways as well. I hope other women, and companies throughout the state of Michigan, will join this initiative over the next several months. Some have already indicated that they will. That makes me smile.

#EstrogenEconomy – 2013 through ∞ 

 

Making History

On March 8, 2013, Super Woman Productions and Publishing will host the first annual Women’s Day Tea in celebration of International Women’s Day. This event’s theme is Sip and Sushi and has been a plan for the last year from the time I was first introduced to the concept of International Women’s Day by a friend of mine who lives in Italy. He informed me that it is celebrated different ways in different cultures, internationally, and even informed me of the Italian tradition celebrated by women on March 8th of every year for as long as he could remember. I immediately began to feel like we (women), particularly in Detroit, were missing out on something fabulous and empowering. So I began to do my research. My Super Team and I then began to determine how best to celebrate the occasion here in Detroit on March 8, 2013. Needless to say, we had some very grand and amazing ideas. As expected, it was turning into a rather large-scale endeavor. Unfortunately, because people aren’t as quick to embrace new ideas in Metro Detroit, we also had to contend with the funding of such a large-scale event. So we decided to trim it down from grand to fabulous. As usual, in my Super World, that resulted in all of the pieces coming together quickly and very well.

Then we ran into a dilemma, completely of my own doing. What do I do about The FabLife Radio Show broadcast for that same night, during that same time? Mista Ecks and I had decided that in celebration of International Women’s Day, on that night, we’d honor the women who were most instrumental in hip hop on the show. We had already contacted the appropriate people to book those guests and had already received positive responses.  How can I be in two places at the same time? My business manager said not to worry because we ‘d just broadcast The FabLife Radio Show from the Women’s Day Tea.

Brilliant!! Problem solved!

We found our ideal location, which is a woman owned business, called Socra Tea Detroit, at 71 Garfield in Midtown Detroit, a few days later. We posted our tickets online and within a week we sold all of our vendor spots to other women business owners. Tickets started selling and inquiries and offers started flowing in. Some offers we’re not able to accept because they cost money that we don’t want to spend. After all one of our goals for the Women’s Day Tea is to raise money towards the cost of the I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference this August; not just give money to other companies and people to do what we can do ourselves at little or no cost. But we were able to accept the majority of offers provided by other women business owners in Metro Detroit to assist them with receiving additional exposure for their businesses through our event.  

Women’s Day Tea – Sip and Sushi is a reality!

HERE ARE SOME FUN FACTS:

  • Internationally for 2013, there are over 500 events taking place for International Women’s Day
  • In the United States there are 83 different official events planned for March 8, 2013 in celebration of International Women’s Day.
  • In Michigan there is only one official event planned for International Women’s Day. It is mine.
  • In Detroit, Michigan is there is only one official event planned for International Women’s Day… Also, mine.

I was initially very shocked at the idea that Super Woman Productions and Publishing was the only entity with an official International Women’s Day event in the entire city of Detroit. Then I was really astounded that it is also the only event being held in the entire state of Michigan. Now, many of you know there’s a  big difference between someone throwing words on paper or in a press release (i.e. in celebration of International Women’s Day“) in order to increase their audience, and someone being granted the use of the name/brand/logo of an establishment for their event because it is legitimate. I have been granted use of the name/brand/logo for International Women’s Day because MY EVENT IS THE ONLY OFFICIAL INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVENT IN THE ENTIRE STATE OF MICHIGAN. Proof of this can be found by searching the events here → International Women’s Day

Super Woman Productions and Publishing under my leadership has made history in Detroit and it was completely unplanned. Plus, we’re not done. We’re adding additional amenities to Women’s Day Tea, including a live performance by someone who shall remain nameless for a few more days. His performance at Women’s Day Tea is his first performance in Detroit, Michigan. So now we’re making history twice with one event. Of course there are still those who don’t see the value in such an event, have no interest in attending  and don’t much care about what it can do for Detroit as a city. That is fine. They just won’t be present to witness history being made. For those who do attend or participate by making a donation of a raffle item or addition to the gift bags for attendees, they will forever be a part of something amazing and historical that took place in the City of Detroit.

Tickets are still on sale. Come out and support the only OFFICIAL International Women’s Day event in the entire state of Michigan on March 8, 2013. You can buy tickets here.

Come join Super Woman Productions and Publishing in making history.

 

 

 

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.

Detroit Sparkles

It’s not everyday that I can say that I’m extremely proud of Detroiters. However, I am able to say it more often lately. I attended the Sparkle Red Carpet Premiere Party at Emagine Theaters in Royal Oak on August 16, 2012. Thanks to Detroit’s own Bill H. McKinney and Kern Brantley, their Sparkle Team and many enthusiastic supporters, the event turned out fabulously. I enjoyed the live performances by the band from the movie, the Whitney Houston tribute and the opportunity to be in a room full of diverse and talented individuals. Elijah Connor sang [and I do mean SANG] and I was blessed to have a few moments of his time for an interview.

The energy in the room was all positive. People truly enjoyed themselves. As I sang along to Whitney Houston’s hits and songs from the movie, Sparkle as sung by the Sparkle-ettes, I was truly proud of us. I was proud of Bill McKinney, Kern Brantley, and Paula Clark for a phenomenal premiere event, worthy of my Mark England dress.

I also met the founding members of POI Entertainment (Power of Integrity) at the Dipson West River Theatre  for their Sparkle event, where I had the opportunity to interview them live on The Blaqe Rocket Blast Radio Show and find out more about their amazing business enterprise. Power of Integrity is truly a trailblazer and I commend them for their think outside the box, do something different mindset when it comes to business.

Sparkle is a fabulous film, full of good music (courtesy of R. Kelly), well choreographed stage performances (courtesy of Fatima Robinson) with powerhouses in writing, directing and producing behind it including Mara Brock Akil (“Girlfriends“, “The Game“, “Single Ladies“) her husband and partner, Salim Akil, Debra Martin Chase, T.D. Jakes and Whitney Houston, who made her last, and very grand, appearance on the big screen. There were small variations from the original film, but that’s due to creative liberties and those changes didn’t alter the overall film in a negative way. I won’t write a spoiler, so I encourage you to see the film for yourself. And no, Sparkle is not a chick flick. It’s a good movie that happens to have a female lead character, which the movie is titled after. It’s a movie that everyone can relate to or knows someone who can. Plus if you’re from Detroit, you should go see it simply because it gives us the positive light that we deserve. The film was well cast from the stars, to the Frank Lloyd Wright house, and the old school Cadillacs. Even the costume styling was something to be proud of.

We looked good.

Detroit looked good.

This past few days proves one thing if nothing else. We can do better. We can revive our city.

Detroit sparkles, if we give it the positive energy to do so.

View my videos for both events here: Official Super Woman YouTube Channel

Teachable Moments Woven Into Fashion – Part 2

Lights…camera…fashionand teachable moments. Rip The Runway Detroit Style took place last Thursday at The Fillmore Theater in Detroit, Michigan. It was modeled off of the hit fashion show that airs yearly on BET, also called Rip The Runway. The organizer spent two years putting together the event, and she made a commendable effort.  However, she missed some small, yet very key elements to keep her event from being viewed as unprofessional by many of the veterans  in fashion who attended with expectations of something grand. The will call list vanished. This is never good. People who pay money may not want the hassle of keeping up with their tickets and prefer will call because they expect to be able to enter the event without issues. This was not the case. Many seats in front of the stage were empty, yet the back of the theater was full. Whenever you have empty chairs towards the front, it’s customary to invite people sitting towards the back to fill those empty seats. This is particularly important for televised or video recorded events because it gives the illusion of a full house, even if there isn’t one. The NBA does this all the time for basketball games that don’t sell out but are being televised. It’s a free upgrade that is mutually benefiting to the organizer and the patron.

There were too many lags between designers being presented. The Rip The Runway fashion show that is held by BET is edited after the live event to accommodate for commercials. However, the live event is a steady and consistent stream of performers and models. In between, the hosts should fill the time until they are prompted for the next segment to begin. Although veteran DJ Gary Chandler played music during the lag times, it was annoying to people who came to see a fashion show, not a DJ. There were times when you had no idea who the designers or performers were because the monitors weren’t displaying the information and they weren’t properly introduced. This created a lot of “who IS that?” conversation among the audience. Comedian Coolaide and Horace H.B. Sanders hosted the event and were pretty funny, which kept people entertained, however was still annoying to those who came to see a fashion show, not a comedy show.

I heard a lot of complaints about the design of the set. The set was a huge brick wall that resembled a rooftop, with graffiti that wasn’t very artistically done, and two doors for the entertainers to walk out of. There were trash cans on the set, with simulated “garbage” on the floors, which were marked to resemble streets, and street signs posted on poles on both sides of the stage. The street signs didn’t seem to be an issue with anyone because they had the names of the designers and stores on them (clever). However, the trash cans, brick wall and simulated “garbage” came across as offensive because it saidSo, this is what you think Detroit looks like?”  It was one of those concepts that required more due diligence prior to execution. Much like the owners of Biggby Coffee calling themselves Beaners when they first opened, or the JS Roundhouse Mids from Adidas that had chains around the ankles. Everything that we think is new hotness at the time, could be offensive to others if we’re not careful. I also heard a lot of quips about the clothes themselves. The complaint was that most of the clothes were too plain and were clothes that people either already own and were wearing. Sound familiar? People attending the show were more fashionably dressed than the models were. When you produce a fashion show, it’s not always about what you like; you have to consider your audience and what they may like as well.  

Some of the rappers who performed passed out their cds to the crowd before or after their performances. Instead, it would’ve been a better idea to have the performers provide their cds to the event organizer by a specified date so they could be included in the VIP gift bags, since the gifts bags were empty. Yes, I said empty. Large, gold, sparkly gift bags with two fliers inside were passed out to VIP attendees. VIP attendees were also given beverages in fast food cups with lids and straws. Yet, if you bought a drink from the bar, you received a more tasteful cup to drink it from. What’s the point in being a VIP if you have to drink from a fast food cup?

One of the better performances of the night took place by John Brown. Having been blessed to have heard John Brown sing a capella, I can attest to his vocal talent. John seemed in his element on the stage, without over shadowing what was taking place around him. John put on a show. It would’ve been nice if some of the other performers had put on a show during their time on stage as well. It’s what we’ve grown to expect from Rip The Runway.  

This may seem to some as me being critical. Those of you who know me, know that I don’t get paid for my opinion therefore I’m not obligated to lie. This review includes actual feedback that I received from veterans in the fashion industry that were in the room, not just my opinion. It is constructive criticism which is necessary, and should be welcomed, when you are attaching your name to something that is synonymous with style. Although a good attempt was made, it could’ve been better. This wasn’t the worst fashion show I’ve seen. There were two others that come to mind that were worse than Rip The Runway Detroit Style. I will also commend this event for taking place at an indoor theater, with air conditioning, that had kind, professional and considerate staff. The Fillmore is a very nice facility and their staff should be commended for the work they did to assist with the event overall.

Again, you are welcome to formulate your own opinions when it comes to fashion shows in Detroit. I truly believe that in all of our business ventures and creative productions, we need to raise our standards and our personal expectations, and stop being afraid of doing something different. New is not a bad word. We also have to know our strengths and develop our teams based on who possesses the qualities and abilities that we may lack.  Just because you have been a model, it doesn’t mean you can produce a fashion show or design the clothes. Sometimes we have to stop being too proud and ask people who have more experience with the production aspect to become involved. There are a lot of people in the fashion industry in Detroit, who are subject matter experts. They have made or witnessed mistakes so that you don’t have to. Hire them. Ask them to consult on your event. If you’re putting on any kind of show, hold a dress rehearsal and video record it so that you can watch and see what people attending will also see. This will give you the opportunity to make adjustments and improvements to protect your brand. In the end you’re likely to have a better production that you will be proud to have viewed by the entire world.

~ When you know better, you do better.

Click here to watch a clip of John Brown’s performance and the Rip The Runway Detroit Style Show