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Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

Lydia Folks, a freelance actress and model hails from Cleveland, Ohio. With her mother in the military, she grew up traveling the world cultivating her craft as a young actress. Lydia’s first career choice after graduating from high school was to obtain a business degree, but with courage and determination she has switched gears to pursue her real dreams. Currently residing in Washington, DC her career is beginning to blossom.

Get to know a star in the making, Lydia Folks…

 

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 What was it like growing up as a military kid? Was traveling from place to place difficult or delightful for you?

It was both. I was being exposed to outside cultures and constantly meeting new people. The downside for me though was friendship. Good friends are not that easy to come by, and leaving all the time was hard emotionally. Saying good-bye was the absolute worst part. When I was younger, I felt that it would just be best to not get too close to people or even my surroundings. But sometimes it’s okay to let my guard down, and after taking a few chances, to just put myself out there, I now have friendships that will last forever.

Plus, relocating so much got me in gear for that “go” mentality of the entertainment business. And it helped to make me the person that I am today. Being thrown in unfamiliar situations no longer scares me; it just dares me to rise to the challenge.

Why did you choose to settle down in Atlanta? Why not Los Angeles or New York?

Well I was actually in Augusta, Georgia, but only for about 8 months. I had moved down there from the DC area to help out family. My cousin called me up, told me the military was sending her to Iraq, and asked if I could move down south to help watch 5 of her kids while she was gone for a year. Having no kids of my own had me on the ‘fence’, but when she explained the possibility of being “kicked out of the military”, I told her no problem.

Los Angeles or New York is an absolute dream! I’ve wanted to move to either place for awhile now, but finances play a big part in that hold up. One day, I might be brave enough to just hop on a one-way flight, but until then, I’ll keep working and saving on the east coast.

What prompted the decision to move from a career in business to an entertainment career?

Constantly being fascinated as a child by actresses, models, and these beautiful triple-threats, I would see myself on a stage with bright lights just as they were. More than a dream, I involved myself in school plays, community theaters, and choirs. It wasn’t until one night, when I was sitting high up against my mom’s oval wooden table, filling out college applications; I realized I needed to choose a major. I was told to focus on something guaranteed to pay the bills. Good points were made, so that’s what I did. I chose Marketing. Interesting field, and I have a lot of valuable skills in this area, but the joy I got didn’t come close to what I felt while acting.

I found it easy for me to score parts in college plays, but auditioning for their fashion shows was a different story. The rejection had deterred me from future modeling auditions; I just became too nervous. It wasn’t until a different campus organization saw something great enough in me to allow me to be a contestant in their annual pageant. It gave me was the push I needed and I haven’t looked back since. (Much love and Thanks to the Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity of Central State University)

  

How would you describe your attitude when you are modeling?

Definitely, some type of Alter-Ego hits that runway. It’s kind of bad, but GOOD! I barely want to tell you…but when I’m modeling, I want to be seen, and I want everything that I’m wearing to be loved. The audience is there for a show, and the designer desires to please, therefore my walk and persona needs to sell every outfit. Showing confidence and assurance on the runway is very important. If you don’t feel confident, the audience will notice, so my advice is, if you love this, you better walk like you mean it!
 

Which do you love the most acting or modeling? Which would you consider to be your first love?

Bright lights shined on me first when I was on a stage, therefore my love begins with acting, but my heart made room for modeling soon thereafter. They both have attributes that I just can’t live without. They bring out sides of my personality that some people never get to see. It allows me to let go; become care free in discovering my true range of emotions; whether it’s quirky, odd, fun-loving, comedic, or just straight up diva!

 Can you tell us about “Misunderstandings”? What was your role in the movie; what was your character like?

I think I can divulge some juicy details! The film is a romantic-comedy about an adorable couple who break-up based on a huge misunderstanding. Everyone around them is fueling the fire allowing very few voices of reason to break through. It’s completely entertaining and yet, still relatable.cast_misunderstandings

My role was short and sweet, but I loved it all the same. I played “Pilar”, the waitress. I’m serving the four leading ladies martinis and appetizers as they discuss the unfolding drama of their friend’s situation.

 

 

 

Has your experience as a production assistant on the movie led you to consider a career behind the camera as well? Did it give you a greater appreciation for what goes on behind the camera?

 

Yes it did. The experience opened my eyes. I am in awe of what goes on behind the camera. I feel the more you know about your craft, the better. My first experience working as a Production Assistant was eye opening. It gave me an understanding of how much work actually goes into making a film. Every part that is played “off camera” is a position of necessity and value. From the Assistant Director to the office intern handing out script copies, I give props to what they do, what I had to do, and what I would like to learn more about. Before this opportunity came along, I saw myself directing movies down the road. The big difference now is I have more of clear picture of how I may get to this goal.

I’ve seen the trailer for the movie and it’s intriguing. How will people be able to get their hands on a copy of Misunderstandings?

The movie hasn’t been released on DVD yet, but the Red Carpet Movie Premiere was held on August 23rd 2009 in Washington, DC. For the latest updates, you can visit the website http://misunderstandings2008.blogspot.com/

 

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Who in the entertainment industry has given you the most insight and guidance in your career? What did they teach you?

More than a few have shared valuable insights into this industry, so it’s hard to pick just one. But I will! Before her first music video was released, Amerie and I use to email back and forth during my first year of college. We were linked through our parents, who happened to be stationed at the same base in South Korea.

I was having difficulty deciding on how to manage my time between school-work and campus activities. When I first got to school, I tried to become involved in everything under the sun that interested me. Amerie taught me to strategize, advised me to focus on using my skills in key areas, in hopes of gaining access to things which encompassed my ultimate goals. We’ve lost touch, but the encouraging words will stay with me.

What has been your favorite performance to date?

The Stilettos & Curves Fashion Show Tour in Baltimore with the Full-Figured Diva Academy, now named Full-Figured Gems.

Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Living comfortably just outside of a city, supporting myself through modeling shows, films, and on-stage theatrical productions. On my down times, if I’m not starting up on a business venture, I’d like to still be hanging out with friends and trying to keep family close.

What actors /directors are you most interested in working with? Why?

I would love to work alongside Angela Basset, Julia Roberts, and Taraji P. Henson. Each one of these women has been able to pull different emotions out of me, as I empathize with their characters. I consider them very strong in their field of acting, and I only hope to be as breathtaking of an actress as they’ve become.

Did you learn much from your experience while shooting for “The Wire”?

Yes! I discovered a new world. It was my first professional filming experience on the set of a television series. I learned that everything to do with the location of the filming is extremely secretive. They told the Background Actors to park at a certain location, and then a van showed up to haul us off somewhere, only to sign in, and walk somewhere else to the actual place they were shooting in front of. I was the most confused, but happy person you could’ve met. Honestly, I felt as if any second, someone would tap me and say, “Are you supposed to be here?”

Has acting ever been a release for you emotionally? How So?

Yes. I remember a role I played in college from the book, “For Colored Girls who have considered suicide when the Rainbow is not Enuf”. Monologues were performed, and of them, I had three or four. One of mine titled “No more Excuses” really helped me release some tension off my back about someone I had to let go. That monologue gave me a free pass to tell off every man sitting in the audience each night of the performance. LOVED IT!

Lydia 4To gain experience, some actresses opt to write and produce their own one woman show. Would you ever consider this an option? What would the show be about?

Honestly, I’ve never thought of doing that. I’m sure it would be challenging, and very self-fulfilling. It’s an option. There are so many things I would love to talk about and share, not sure what I would focus on right now.

Did you have other dreams before you decided to have a career in entertainment?

Yes! Planning outdoor community events for families, sports fans, and music lovers peak an interest and I still have dreams of starting my own event planning/production company. Let’s see what happens with that!

Do you feel that your size has ever hindered you from getting a job?

Not too much. And if so, I’ve been oblivious, trying not to play the victim, and thinking it was a character or work history flaw. At this point, I analyze rejections from within. Regardless of size, I feel I should have the capability to win them over with my talent and personality. If not, then maybe it wasn’t meant to be. Actually, a lot of promotional jobs are based solely on looks and size if you’re trying to promote products at company functions or night life events.

Was there ever a time when you doubted this would happen for you? How did you get through it?

Every now and then I worry myself that I’m not doing enough to make it. I question whether or not I have the tenacity one needs to become successful in this business. Taking it one day at a time seems to work best for me.

Do you have any other up and coming projects?

Yes, and I’m excited. I will be modeling in the Fall/Winter fashion show given by Isis King of America’s Next Top Model which will feature designs by Colors by Nitra. I believe the show date is November 7, 2009. Also, I have begun to get things organized for my new production company. So, as the details come together for that, I will be updating at www.myspace.com/5105productions

What causes interest you? What world issues (American or otherwise) speak to you the most?

Poverty hurts my heart the most. It makes me appreciate what God has granted me, being thankful for what has been provided, and a reminder to not complain unnecessarily. Being Green is of great importance as well. We need to invest in, build up, and protect the very earth we walk on.
What would you like for young girls to gain from your experiences and work as an actress and model?
I want young girls to be comfortable in their own skin. I want them to have confidence and self assurance and to know how important it is to respect and cherish their friendships.

Do you have advice for women who would like to travel down the same path as you professionally?

Do not get distracted! Keep going. Stay with it and do not stop. It will get rough, but once you’ve come to the realization that, “Hey this is my dream”…no amount of rejection will stop you. Learn from constructive criticism, and move on to the next audition or project with even more confidence. Also, always be prepared and never be late! If it’s modeling, spend 30-60 minutes a day working that imaginary runway. If it’s acting, make sure you have 2 monologues by memory ready to go for any sudden auditions. Bookstores have various books to help you with this. Also, consider a local improvisation class. Much Love and Luck!

Do you love fablove?

Of course!

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Thank you so much for your interview, Lydia. It is great to see a woman with great beauty forge ahead in the industry in multiple areas. I look forward to seeing a lot more of you in the future.

Thank you as well, I’m absolutely honored that you’ve taken interest in me. You are the first to have profiled me and I give humble thanks to you for this. I wish you success in your endeavors.

 

Check out Lydia on these websites!:

Myspace

Model Mayhem Page

IMDB

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Priscilla, a 26 yr old stylist, entrepreneur and fellow blogger from Chicago, IL, is the owner and operator of Prissi Chic, the image consulting firm and online boutique. Her distinctive talent for styling and her love of business, (acquiring a BS in Business Administration-Management), have allowed Priscilla to create a truly unique fashion experience for plus size women.  Fighting against the all too common evil of insecurity, she has used her inner strength to become a business woman, a mentor, and a fabulous diva.  In this installment of the “Meet a Diva” Series she tells us about Prissi Chic, mentoring younger women, and the top 5 things a curvy gal should have in her closet.

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I love the name and the spelling of Prissi Chic.  How did you come up with it?

A moniker of my name is Prissi. I wanted my company name to embody all things: fashion, fun and individuality, which is my personal definition of chic, so I combined the two to get Prissi Chic.

When and how did Prissi Chic come about?

I’ve always loved fashion but I also loved aspects of the business world. My time spent in retail management made me realize I could have the best of both worlds with my own business. It took a lot of praying, hard work, and perseverance to get to this point, but I’m here and there’s no turning back now.

When will the store be up and running?

The online store is up and running now. You can shop, browse pictures of my styling work, as well as book appointments and contact me with any questions you may have.

You blog at OnSugar…What would you like for your readers to gain from reading your blog?

My blog is called Fashion Loves Curves (www.fashionlovescurves.onsugar.com/). The blog is just an open line of communication expressing all things fashion, love, and curves, hence the name. I want my readers to embrace their curves and use fashion to be more expressive and creative in their lives.

What do you use as inspiration when styling your clients?

Inspiration comes from everything, movies, music, nature, partying, practically wherever my mind takes me. I try to incorporate elements of my client into a particular look. First and foremost I want them to be comfortable, but I also try to take them to places with style they wouldn’t have ended up on their own.

What are your favorite print publications, blogs or other forms of information that keep you up on current styles and trends?

As far as print I browse pretty much everything from newspapers to journals. I enjoy the usual suspects Vogue, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Essence, Ebony and I love CS-Modern Luxury always good for inspiration.

I also love the blogs and online magazines that are out. The Curvy Fashionista, Belle Noir, curvy life style, fatshonista, and of course fablove are a few my fave curvy reads, My list of favorites is full [of] sources way too many to list.

Since you’ve become a stylist, have you found any plus size brands that fit a wide range of body types? What are those brands?

I will say this, there is no one fit solution when it comes to plus shopping, every woman’s curves are different so the brands that work for an apple might not be adequate for a pear body type, but there are a lot of options, plus women need to experience for themselves (with my help of course).

Personally the brands I love are JAG Jeans, Johnny Was LA, Live A Little (find it on ebay), I adore Monif C, Svoboda, [and] Missphit, those are just my personal favs of the moment.

What would you consider the most important accessory for any woman to have on any day?

Without a shadow of a doubt I would say confidence. You can own any look if you possess the confidence to do so.

List the top 5 pieces a woman should have in her closet?

1. Proper undergarments- girdles, bra, panties—they are not all created equally

2. Little Black Dress – I suggest you go sleeveless or for a classic sheath for your 1st lbd, they allow limitless styling options

3. Well fitting jeans-I would suggest finding a designer pair that fits and flatters, the difference is worth the price, trust! (SVOBODA, JAG, David Kahn)

4. A layering piece- denim/khaki jacket, cashmere cardigan, stylish V neck sweater. This piece will give you many options as well as provide warmth on a cool day

5. Statement piece-Something that shows off your personality, a bright sweater, a statement piece of jewelry, a designer bag, a vintage dress, it doesn’t matter what it is as long as its totally you.

(My statement piece is 4 inch peep toe, platform, hunter green heels that transcend season and trend, instant hotness)

What is the difference between a stylist and an image consultant?  Can you tell us what you do as an image consultant?

Technically-

  • An Image consultant works with a client usually at achieving a certain goal and projecting a new image; new job, recent weight loss, social status updates, etc.

  • A stylist usually works towards achieving a certain look for print, media, runway, etc.

I consider what I do at Prissi Chic to be a combination of both. I work with clients to determine where they are in terms of their personal appearance and where they should be depending on factors such as body type, style preference, comfort level etc. I present clients with options for how to best enhance their curves and achieve a certain look. I also like styling people for photo shoots and events because its lets me be creative and it’s really fun and expressive.

Styling: Prissi Chic; Photograpy: Visionkwest Photography

Styling: Prissi Chic; Photograpy: Visionkwest Photography

High fashion designers tend to snub women with curvy figures.  But someone has to dress the Queen Latifah’s and Mo’nique’s of the world.  Have you found any high fashion designers that cater to plus size women?

The funny thing is, if you have enough money, you can locate a designer who will dress you. They may not mass produce those items or even broadcast it for the masses to know, but they will take your money and provide you with clothing. Please believe when Oprah carried her weight she was not rocking Lane Bryant originals.

Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue carry many upper end designers for plus women. As a diva on a budget (I’m honest) I always check their clearance and sales, you’d be amazed at the designers you can get for “typical plus price points”. Also don’t be afraid to splurge for quality outside of sales, you can’t stay within your shopping zone when you want to expand into fashion, especially if you are seeking designer pieces.

Part of your ability to give back to your community is mentoring young girls.  What do you try to impart on the young ladies you mentor? Do you have a specific age group you like to focus on?  Why are they your target audience?

I look at mentoring as something you constantly give, whether it’s in daily/weekly involvement or in a onetime encounter with a person. I believe we all have gifts and talents to share with the world and one of mine is to encourage and show people that their dreams are real it’s just up to them to make it happen.

I got into mentoring from my niece. She is a curvy girl, and I noticed that she along with a few of her friends weren’t enjoying their teen years as a result of their curves. This saddened me b/c at one point I was that exact same girl. I talked to them and constantly stressed that they love themselves where they are now, b/c that’s what motivates one to strive for something better. I’m glad to say the girls I am involved with are more active in school and social settings as well as playing in their high school bands, sport teams and volunteer activities.

It doesn’t take a lot of time to impact someone’s life; I think it just takes a genuine desire to help.

Your “FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT” concept for success is really intriguing. Please tell us more about how women can use it to be successful in life.

For the longest time fear and insecurity kept me idle. I didn’t pursue my interests, I didn’t challenge myself personally, professionally, or physically, and I was too wrapped up in my own thoughts to live out my dreams. I was just the girl waiting for life to happen. One day I realized that until I got up and got out in the world nothing would ever happen, but at this time I was still afraid. So I started telling myself to fake it, and the more I faked it the more it became real. I faked confidence, faked the ability to interact with strangers, anything I was too scared or shy to do I faked it, and one day I realized that by faking it I was able to make those attributes a reality in my own life. I envisioned the person I wanted to be, and slowly I became the confident, outgoing, charismatic young diva you see today, lol.

How would you describe your personal style?

Urban chic, with lots of femininity and an eclectic vibe. A bit weird to sum it up.

Name a few of your favorite places to shop (online and physical stores).

Thrift stores, Nordstrom’s, H&M; online I do Missphit and b&lu; I also love Aldo for their shoes bags and belts.

When did you start cultivating your love of fashion;is there a particular piece that set those fashion flames ablaze?

It really started when I began to accept and appreciate my body, probably around 17 or so. I know I started late, but before then I was very tomboyish and afraid to accentuate my figure, although I did sew dresses for my dolls as a kid.

What would you tell a woman who wants to switch up her style (Reinvent herself) and doesn’t have money for a stylist or image consultant?

Find a piece of clothing, jewelry, shoes, something you already own that inspires you and build from there. Get some scissors, needles and thread and update a few pieces in your closet (particularly those you wouldn’t mind living without) and let your creativity or your bootlegging of someone else’s work take over. In the event you can’t sew, fake it until you make it, get some pins, fabric tape, whatever you can use to get that desired result.

What curvy celebrity would you love to style?  Which curvy celebrity do you feel is styled to perfection every time?

I would love to style Jennifer Hudson, I think she’s amazingly talented and gorgeous, but sometimes I’m not too sure where she is going with her look. I think Jasmine Sullivan is a curvy girl always on point, and Chrisette Michelle always looks nice.

Should we expect to see a clothing line from you?  What sense will the pieces in your line evoke?

Currently I’m researching a clothing line as well as contemplating design school or grad school, so I can’t put a date on it, but it is in the works. My line would push the envelope as far as what plus women want to wear. I also want women to be able to live in my clothes, in a fashionable yet approachable manner. I totally get that every curvy woman is unique; however I want to channel my creativity towards a line that fits us all in some aspect or another.

Since the self-esteem of women is an important topic for you, what would you like to tell your curvy sisters about this issue?

Fall in love with yourself and be genuine with other people and watch how things change. The sooner you learn to let go and just be despite your flaws, imperfections, you can progress towards living a more fulfilled life. Everyone on this earth has a purpose and if you are not in a good place within yourself you’re cheating the world and yourself.

Give us one reason we should love ourselves.

Because God doesn’t make mistakes and God created you!

Do you love fablove?

But of course!!!! What’s not to Love.

You are an inspiration to women who want to pursue their dreams and live their lives to the fullest.  Thank you for being a part of fablove and the “Meet a Diva” Series.  I hope all the best for you in your endeavors.

I thank you for taking the time to interview me. Check out my site at www.prissi-chic.com and stay on the lookout for more to come.

Also check out her blog @ fashionlovescurves.onsugar.com.

Read  the first “Meet a Diva” posting here.

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Vive La Femme is the only plus size boutique located in trendy Bucktown onIMG_0058 the North Side of Chicago.  On Saturday of this past weekend, I was given the opportunity to hang out with the staff and shoppers during one of the store’s 7-year Anniversary events.  The owner, Stephanie Sack (a high-energy, doll of a woman), held three days of events along with her staff (fascinating women themselves).

Friday kicked everything off with a book signing with Kate Harding, the Co-Author of Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere.  Kate is also the founder of Shapely Prose, a blog of which I am a fan. Saturday was the day for customers to receive Mini-Makeovers from Nars, but the make-up artists never showed up (tisk, tisk Nars representatives).  Sunday capped off the events with a shoe trunk show with Kathryn Kerrigan; her shoes go from U.S. sizes 6-15 and Euro sizes 36-46.

When  I arrived, I fully expected to see a store with women eager to find something perfect (which I did), and racks of clothes to die for (which I also saw) and I thought I would only have the opportunity to write about Vive La Femme as a great store that you must visit (and buy something 🙂).  IMG_0063

However, what I did not expect was to get a chance to meet a group of employees who have such great stories to tell about becoming Vive La Femme staff members.   

It was great just getting to know the girls and their stories.  They love the store and they are some of the best sales people I’ve met in a long time.  Let me introduce you to the women of Vive La Femme…

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To start, there is Hannah, the first person who greeted me when I walked in the store. She pulled some of the best clothes for me. I nearly passed out when I tried on theKiyonna Posey Patio dress.  It fit wonderfully, but alas, my money is funny at the moment, and I had to leave the dress at the store :-(.  Hannah is a recent graduate of Inidana University Bloomington, (also my alma-mater), where she majored in Design and Apparel Merchandising.  This is how she described her move to work at Vive La Femme, “I walked in for interview clothing and I walked out with a job.”  Very cool.  She wants to start a line of scarves in the near future to get her feet wet in the clothing industry.  I’ll let you know when they are available, as I am hoping they are the flowy, feminine kind.

 

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Anna was the first employee I was able to interview.  It was only her second day on the job.  Anna is originally from Miami, Florida and she recently graduated from Florida International University as an Art major.  She was introduced to the store by another employee, Amanda, and invited to attend an event called Curves and Cocktails (you gotta love that name), where customers were shown how to wear 1960’s-styled clothing.   When Anna saw the clothing and bought a couple of pieces, she knew she had to work there.  Oh, and I must mention, Anna offered me cookies…one of my weaknesses, they were very tasty and I wish I’d taken two more of the peanut butter :-).

 

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Stephanie, (a.k.a. Stephanie 2.0), is also a customer-turned-employee.  She lives in the area, and as a customer would hang out at the store because of the “relaxed atmosphere” it has.  When she found out there was an opening, she jumped on it and she’s been there now for over a year.  Stephanie says that plus size fashion is a prominent part of her life and that’s why she enjoys working at Vive La Femme.  She still shows up just to hang out sometimes.  It’s always great when work is a place where you can also relax.  She just graduated from Loyola University with a degree in Social Work, so look for her to be changing lives in the future.  IMG_0068

 

And last, but certainly not least, there is Amanda.  Amanda shopped at Vive La Femme for a year before becoming an employee.  Her initial introduction to the space was as a designer.  She rents the basement of the store as studio space for her line of skirts, Red Skew.  Amanda has agreed to do an interview for fablove and I’ll be showing her pieces and giving more of her story in a future posting.

 

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I will also be doing an interview with Stephanie Sack, who had to focus on the customers in the store.  Giving them tips and helping them find what looked best on their bodies.  Although, whenever she had a few seconds she gave me some really good tips on what to mix and match in the store.  She really knows her stuff.

 

Here’s a customer testimony about Stephanie Sack of Vive La Femme:

“….I love Stephanie, she cuts the fat and doesn’t BS you [on what looks good on for your body type].  I told her she’s my new best friend.” 

The customer, Gale, has only been shopping at the store for one month and came out to support the 7-year Anniversary events.  That shows you loyalty builds quickly at Vive La Femme and the clothing selection is wonderful. 

 

It really is a great store and I wish I lived closer to it.  Vive La Femme is highly recommended by fablove.  I will definitely be going back.

Stephanie was nice enough to give me a free container of lip gloss as recompense for the Nars Reps’ absence.  It’s her own brand, Belle Du Jour and it’s very creamy and luxurious.  Thanks, Stephanie :-)!

Visit Vive La Femme @ 2048 North Damen Avenue, Chicago Illinois, 60647 and on the web @ www.vivelafemme.com.

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The “Meet A Diva Series” is new to fablove.  The Diva Series will highlight women from the Midwest and include all women from around the world…

Meet A. Nichelle Preston, a gospel singer and resident of Gary, Indiana, born and raised.  Ms. Preston is the Minster of Music and Director of Fine Arts at Christ Baptist Church in Gary, as well as the Executive Administrator of Young Saints (a youth gospel ensemble) of Charisma Music Group.

Very active in gospel music, she is an active member of SWV (Saints with a Vision) and EVANS, she is also a past member of Ricky Dillard’s New Generation Chorale.  She has been blessed with an incredible vocal talent; her beautiful voice is powerful yet moving.  Aside from her talent as a singer, she should be a make-up artist (always flawless) 🙂. Ms. Preston is currently working on her options as a solo artist.

Angie 1

How long have you been singing?

Ask my Mom and she will say since birth, but my first cognitive memory was at age 4, the song was entitled “I Have Decided To Follow Jesus”

Can you remember the first time you sang and people reacted positively?

I was in sixth grade and I sang at a PTA assembly.

Why do you enjoy singing?

Singing is like breathing to me, it lifts my spirit immediately. I hear music in everything.

Why is gospel music your chosen genre?Angie 6

Gospel music allows me to express my love for God, it is the perfect outlet. I do appreciate all music genres from Rock to Bach.

Was your first experience in a singing group difficult for you?

No, because from an early age I sang with my cousins so it’s like I was born into a ready made group.

Tell us about your experiences when you traveled to Europe with Ricky Dillard’s New Generation Chorale.

I will never forget my experiences in Europe. It showed me how large our world really is and how music can bridge cultural differences. There were nights that we would perform in front of audiences of non-English speaking people but as soon as we would start to sing, you would see them crying and praising God and they were so happy for that profound privilege.

Besides having the opportunity to sing, were you able to be a tourist?

Yes, our days were free unless we were traveling to another destination. Shopping in Europe is great!

How has becoming the Minister of Music at CBC changed your life?

My life has been changed tremendously. God has allowed me to accomplish a great deal in my life, but my assignment at CBC, I know has been ordained by God, He called and qualified me for such a time as this.

What artists are you looking forward to working with in the future?

Well, to be honest when I traveled with Ricky Dillard & the New Generation Chorale I was fortunate to work with most of today’s influential gospel artist. I am being produced by my friend and brother Pharis Evans Jr. who is an outstanding artist in his own right. He has written and for produced for Stevie Wonder, Yolanda Adams, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Kelly Price and numerous others, he also traveled with The Williams Brothers for many years. So working with Pharis put’s me in the company of some very distinguished artist.

I have to ask you…Are you really a mime?

Lol, absolutely not! That is just a part of my weird sense of humor, I love to laugh.

How did you acquire this skill?

What mime skill, no answer needed…lol

What other passions do you have besides singing?

My FIRST passion is my family, I adore them!

What would you consider the most joyous day of your life?

The first time I ever held my daughter (which was when she was three days old, because I was in intensive care).

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What is the message behind the music you are working on?

It is personal worship, music that ministers to me.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years musically and in your ministry?

WOW! Prayerfully still Minister of Music at CBC and maybe working on my second CD.

What would you like to say to other plus size women out there who want to achieve their dreams?

Remember that the only person inhibiting you is YOU, let no one deter your destiny and BELIEVE, BELIEVE AND BELIEVE!

Last but certainly not least, just because they make it in our size it doesn’t mean we need to wear it 🙂.

Is there a place readers can go to hear your music?

When my music is ready I will have a MySpace music page but until then, I invite everyone to visit us at Christ Baptist Church to hear our choirs and be empowered as we are by our Dynamic Pastor, Rev. Dr. W. Maurice White Jr.

You have been blessed with an amazing gift and I hope more of the world gets a chance to see (or hear).  Keep up the great work and continue to be a blessing to others.  Thank you so much for being a part of the fabloveMeet a Diva” series.

I am not your cookie cutter mode of beauty that is the general American standard but Psalms 139:14 tells me that I am “Fearfully and Wonderfully Made” and I have learned to live that scripture. Every inch of me has been designed by God and in the last two years I have learned to honor my body and take better care of my temple. I may never ever be a size 10 but I can be the healthiest size 28 I can be. I encourage you to love yourself as God loves you. Plus size sisters I want you to rise up and defeat any oppressor you may have, including YOURSELF.

Much Love…Angie

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A. Nichelle’s Myspace

Face book info: Angela Nichelle Preston

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Full Figured Fashion Week will commence on June 25th –June 27th of this year in New York City and buzz is not only surrounding the event, but also its creator, Ms. Gwen DeVoe.

gwenGwen DeVoe is the Founder and CEO of DeVoe Siganature Events (DSE), an event production and managemnent company for plus size affairs.  Ms. DeVoe is a former plus size model and has created numerous events that cater to plus size consumers, models and the plus community as a whole.   She travels the United States with DSE uplifting and empowering plus size women with workshops, fashion shows, and a remarkable sample sale experience. Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Ms. DeVoe.  In the interview, she speaks to fablove on FFFWeek, other events that highlight plus size women and fashion and plans to take FFFWeek international.

For those who are just being introduced to you, how long have you been in the fashion industry?

Collectively, I have been in the fashion industry for over 15 years.

How did DeVoe Signature Events (DSE) come about; was this an idea of your own or did it evolve from a team of individuals?

DeVoe Signature Events, was a company that I started on my own after having been a party promoter under the name of Diva Affairs.

gd interview curvesity_awards_21DSE does lots of events/mixers for plus size women, what makes you focus exclusively on plus size women?

I focus on plus size women because I am a plus size woman and I know the challenges I sometimes face when I am looking for events that are specifically targeted to my interests.

One of the events coming up very soon is Full Figured Fashion Week (FFFWeek)…Can you tell us a little about the inspiration and concept behind this event?

I was inspired to create FFFWeek because plus size fashion designers have traditionally been left out of the traditional Fashion Week events.   Also, I believe that plus size consumers need to know that there are other choices available to them besides those that they are accustomed to hearing about.

Is the goal for FFFWeek to become as respected and anticipated as say, New York Fashion Week or Paris Fashion Week?

That is absolutely the goal.  But, in order to get this respect, we need the support of the plus size community and the media, or it will be just another “event” or another “fashion show.”

Do you have plans for this event to travel the globe?

Absolutely!  We already have partnership offers from individuals in London and Australia to bring the concept there.

Are there other cities involved in FFFWeek this year?

We anticipate adding at least one more city to the calendar this year.

Is there anything you wanted to add to this year’s event, but were not able to?

Yes, there were a few components that we wanted to add to the event.  But, I won’t spoil the surprise element of those components because we intend to nail it next year.

What do you think of all the excitement surrounding FFFWeek?

I am thrilled, but not really surprised about the excitement.  It’s time for this type of event to happen and I am happy to be able to turn the concept into reality.

Now, tell us about some of your other ventures such as, Full Figured & Fabulous, Dangerous Curves…the Tour and Project Curves; what do those events entail? gd interview MANNEQUIN3

Full Figured & Fabulous is a runway model competition for aspiring plus size models; Dangerous Curves…the Tour! is our traveling runway show and sample sale; and Project Curves is our traveling plus model workshop….we do A LOT of traveling 🙂.  DSE is New York-based but we want to be able to afford women in other cities the opportunity to receive the benefits of all that we have to offer them and, as such, we are willing to travel to them.

What is DSE’s objective during the Summer Networking Party?

The Summer Networking Parties are a way for my staff and I to unwind during the summer.  Typically we travel during the Fall, Winter and Spring months.  It slows down a bit during the summer so when we’re home we like to have events that re-connect us with our friends here in NYC.

Will there be a Summer Networking Party this year?  When?

We have already begun having monthly networking parties this Spring.  They are monthly events held at the beautiful Katra Lounge in Soho .  Dates are announced via our website and on our Facebook page.

What other causes are you involved in outside of DSE?

DSE and the rest of my brands have me pretty busy, but I do host other events for organizations whose mission involves empowerment of women.

Do you see yourself as a pioneer in Plus Size events and promotion?

Indeed, others have told me that I am and I graciously accept that label.

Lastly…Is the fashion world ready for Gwen DeVoe and DSE?

I think the fashion world is definitely ready but whether or not they accept us is another story.  I intend to do it like it has never been done before.

gd interview PA_Lane_Bryant_Event

I have to tell you, I am very excited about Full Figured Fashion Week and I hope it gets bigger and better with each passing year!  Thank you for seeing fit to focus on women with a curvy figure and those who make fashion happen for them.  It is truly an honor to have you on fablove Ms. DeVoe.

Full Figured Fashion Week will be a monumental stepping stone for the plus size industry.  Many of us have joined forces to create a forum that will showcase the best fashion and plus size models in the nation.  We encourage every plus size consumer who has ever felt the frustration of not being able to walk into a store and find something as simple as a black dress to help us spread the word about FFFWeek.  Follow us on Twitter, visit our website, read our blogs, and tell your curvy friends to tell their curvy friends. We WILL make a difference, but we need your help.


Find out more information about Gwen DeVoe and DSE at the following websites

DeVoe Signature Events websites:  www.dseventsinc.com

Request to be a friend on Myspcace:  www.myspace.com/devoesignatureevents and on

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/DeVoe-Signature-Events/42123642849

Watch DSE-TV

Find out more information about FFFWeek here:  fablove May 1st post and www.fffweek.com

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