Saturday, August 6th was epic for me... Why? Because I blogged at the Women on the Rise Expo aaand I styled two models for the mini fashion show! The expo was coordinated by two amazing entrepreneurs- April Swapshire of Beautiful Struggle and Latisha Taylor of You Can & You Will, and was held at Loft 65 (a hidden gem of an event space inside Cleveland's Detroit-Shoreway district).
The overall theme of the Women on the Rise movement is support- "It's nothing wrong with supporting each other," explained April Swapshire to the mixed gender and generational crowd. "Pull someone else up."
Th expo was jam packed with vendors, food, prizes and giveaways, a mini fashion show, an engaging panel discussion and a back to school drive where guests received two book bags full of supplies for school age children. Cleveland socialite Sundae Wynn hosted the fashion event which featured models wearing rocking designs by Beautiful Struggle Love, Industry Styles, You Can and You Will, and two House of Fly by Lady Silk models Tiffany and Tonicha who wore outfits sponsored by Lillie's Fashion Bar in Maple Heights OH.
Guests mingled and munched on a smorgasbord of food from Jewels Fine Dining and Winner's Cafe. The atmosphere was laid back and casual, but intimate while watching the show and listening to the panel discuss topics ranging from support and paying dues to bullying and self love. The speakers had great RL advice and the audience ate it all up, prompting a lively and passionate Q&A session immediately following.
"I think it turned out well," stated Latisha Taylor. "(We) received great feedback and our next event will be in November in Alabama.."
I am grateful to have been a part of such an uplifting, empowering and self motivating event! The ladies really drove home the point of building a team of support and helping out the next person. Sometimes we get so caught up in self that we don't realize small things like compliments, encouraging words, hugs and sometimes just listening can impact an individual. I hope they continue this movement in other cities because it can bring communities together and other people who may not immediately interact with each other. I can see this movement getting bigger and expanding to huge proportions in the next few years and I'm honored to have been in the very first one....
I originally contacted the ladies to blog at the event, but after speaking with April she found out that I was also a stylist and asked if I wanted to participate in the fashion portion of the show. Hell yeah! I said with no hesitation lol. Which I really should have hesitated a little bit because how could I be behind the scenes and style a scene too?
I immediately went to work, first by looking over my notes from the Power of One Fashion Show to see what I needed to do better this time around, cause I had made some terrible rookie mistakes (late arrival, both phone batteries dying, not live streaming certain parts or uploading quick enough, insufficient storage etc... whew!) So I knew what to look out for this time around and I could concentrate on my part in the fashion show. I figured with two models it would be easier to style and I usually work with their personal wardrobe, but this time I wanted to try to put my boutique relationships to work and reached out to Ciera of Lillie's Fashion Bar. I told her what I was doing and after some discussion she agreed to let me pull/borrow two outfits for both models. I was ecstatic! Now i just needed the models lol. I knew I wanted two ladies with completely different body types to illustrate a certain point.
Whenever I do a show, a photo shoot or a video, I always ask myself what's the point I'm trying to make and this was no exception, especially since I would only be using two girls. Lillie's Fashion Bar offers a range of sizes from small - 3XL and I knew I wanted a petite model and one with curves so I chose Tonisha and Tiffany and picked out a few pieces that I thought would fit their individual body types. I told the girls to bring a few shoes and accessories and that was it! They looked great in their outfits and had so much fun and you know we had our own private mini photo shoot and video shoot in the bathroom right lol? Enjoy the photos and videos below and tell me what you think?
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