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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

My Super (Crazy) World

Some days I wake up and wonder what in the world is wrong with me. Why am I so driven and ambitious? Why do I try to make my best day better than the last? Why can’t I sit still and do nothing, even when I’m on vacation? Being super is a blessing and a curse. If you’ve been following the development and evolution of me and Super Woman Productions and Publishing, you probably either think I’m a genius or that I’m bipolar. I heard somewhere that being a genius isn’t far from being crazy. If that is true, I probably qualify.

Everyday presents a new opportunity in my life. Some of those opportunities are also coupled with challenges. And I’m not ashamed to tell you that since I’ve been in business, I have yet to make a profit. The part of me that serves a higher purpose doesn’t care too much. I know that my greatest commodity is my intellectual property and that as time and technology catch up to what I want to do, I’ll be able to do a lot more and make money at it. The part of me that has bills to pay, however, gets frustrated because my business isn’t showing a profit and obtaining financing from banks is impossible because my business is based on the creative process. Banks don’t invest in people, they invest in profit and loss statements. In spite of that, I’m always encouraged by others in entertainment and business who remind me that although I haven’t turned a profit yet, unlike some other businesses that have turned a profit in their first five years, I’m still in existence and I’m still growing. I’m told that because I’m growing slowly and paying my dues, my rewards will be more consistent and long-term than experienced by many other entrepreneurs. It’s also very encouraging when I hear Len Burnett Jr. from Uptown Media Group and Chris Genteel from Google, speak before a group of business professionals and entrepreneurs and list the things I’m already doing as things that entrepreneurs should be doing to market themselves to the public and become successful is this growing digital age.  

I’m also undereducated. Meaning, I don’t have a degree. In anything. But I’ve been to college. In fact, I was a straight A student and on the Dean’s List my last attempt to complete my degree in Business Management. I was also bored. After being employed in various businesses since I was 19 years old, and having been a business owner more than once myself, I knew everything that was being taught in the classes I was taking. On more than one occasion, my instructors would ask me why I was even there. My answer: I was told I had to come to this class to get that piece of paper called a degree. Well, I’m going back to school, again. This time I’m going to obtain my Bachelor degree in Digital Cinematography so that I can produce and direct the film and television projects that I write. I’ll get an honorary Bachelors in Business, one day. And if I don’t get my degree in business, it won’t limit me as much as it would in Corporate America. I’m not saying being educated isn’t important. I’m a huge champion for education and I believe it is a necessity. But not having a degree will not hinder a person as much if they have applicable skills, knowledge and experience in place of that degree.

This last year has already been an amazing experience for me, and it’s only half way in. Sometimes it has been exhausting. Sometimes it feels like it’s moving too fast, and I want more time in a day to do all the things I want and need to do. Sometimes I have wanted to throw the towel in and quit because it seems like it’s not moving fast enough. When I have those days, something usually happens that makes me change my mind. I get a phone call or an email from someone who seems really excited about meeting/talking to Super Woman. Or I’m out publicly and I’m recognized by someone and they refer to me as Super Woman. Or someone tells me how I’ve inspired, motivated or blessed them with my words or deeds. I like those days. Those are days of reassurance.

There are still thousands of people who have no idea that I exist or know what I do. I swear more than half of my Facebook friends only friend me because I’m pretty. If you asked them what I do, they couldn’t tell you if their lives depended on it. But that’s ok. Twenty years ago, everyone didn’t know who Oprah was right away either. Everyone didn’t like Wendy Williams when she started as a radio personality years ago. People thought Tyra Banks was just a pretty model and that she didn’t have the ability or brains to become the media mogul that she is now. We all have our hurdles to jump in order to get you, the public, to acknowledge and embrace us. It’s actually part of the job description when you work in entertainment.

Over the next year, I hope to give you all the opportunity to know more about me as a person and learn more about the Super Woman Brand. I also hope to gain your support in my endeavors and community outreach. I’m accepting many opportunities that are coming my way, which will allow this to occur. Although I fight tooth and nail to avoid being in front of the cameras, I don’t really have a choice. So when I’m in front of the camera, I’m going to make sure that I’m doing a good job. When I’m entertaining you, I want it to also be informative. If you see me when I’m in public, don’t be afraid to talk to me. I’m told I’ve very personable and I’m not as shy and introverted as I once was. I plan to also make you more aware of what I’m doing in different ways. However, it is best to subscribe to my newsletter so that you receive the information quicker than through social media. Please, don’t be afraid to share with other people. Forward my blog posts to your friends and relatives, trackback to them if you have your own website (just don’t plagiarise me because I have people who check for that) and follow me on social networks. I’m everywhere that you can imagine and in some places you haven’t heard of.

Here is a brief list of some of what is currently taking place in my Super (Crazy) World.

  • The Blaqe Rocket Blast Radio ShowEvery Friday 7 – 9 pm EST online at www.blogtalkradio.com/the_blaqe_rocket_blast 
  • Mission Small Business – Vote for Super Woman Productions and Publishing before June 30, 2012 so I can qualify to win the $250,000 Grant at www.missionsmallbusiness.com These funds will be used to fund media projects, hire and train people in media and increase community outreach initiatives like the upcoming I Feel Good: Mind, Body and Soul Women’s Conference.
  • #FabLife Apparel and Accessories – Coming to this website soon. I’m interested in retail partnerships, so if you own a boutique and you’d like to carry my line, please use the Contact Us page to reach out to me to schedule a meeting.
  • Super Video Blogs coming to the OfficialSuperWoman YouTube Channel beginning this week. Because time is becoming limited for me to write blogs, I’m starting quick video blogs that you can watch periodically that update you on my Super World.  
  • The Goodie Bag is almost sold out. There’s only about 15  paperback copies left. It will continue to be available in eBook and for Kindle (in 5 languages). Go to The Brand to buy.
  • Sequins & Suits is being held on Thursday August 16, 2012, 6 pm until midnight, at Crave Lounge in Dearborn, MI and the I Feel Good: Mind, Body & Soul Women’s Conference is being held at H.Y.P.E. Athletic Community on August 18. Tickets will go on sale for both very soon.   
  • I’ve been nominated for Crain’s 40 Under 40 and Who’s Who in Black Detroit – results are still pending. I feel honored to have been nominated for who I am and what I do.

I’m still interested in signing aspiring authors who want to become published. I’m also available to speak at various functions (in and outside of Detroit). If you need a keynote speaker, I’m your girl. Use the Contact Us page to reach me. My media kit will be available at this website soon and will list my rates for different services.

As you see, I’m increasingly busy. Busy is good and I’m not even half way done with everything. There are still many other projects and ventures taking place that I’m keeping under wraps until they are finalized. That way, you have something to look forward to – just like Christmas.

Thank you again for your support of Super Woman Productions and Publishing.