Feature Friday


Whew!  We made it to Friday and not just any ol' Friday; it's FEATURE Friday and today's feature is Maui Bigelow of P.H.A.T Girl Fresh.

Recently I had the opportunity to catch up with Maui and chit chat a bit about this and that.  We talked as if we were old gal pals.  She was very open and transparent about herself; see for yourself...

TSK - As a single parent, how to you balance motherhood and growing and maintaining your brand?

     PGF - Well my kids are at an age where they are really self-sufficient.  However, I make it a priority to never get so busy or overwhelmed to the point I'm not paying attention to them.  Me being a womens, women and my youngest being a girl; I incorporate her into my business.  Matter of fact, she's employed Daja at Phat Girl Fresh

TSK - What does PHAT represent?

     PGF - Passionate | Happy | Appreciative | True - These are characteristics that every women should have.

TSK - Do you have any restrictions when it comes to trends and your personal style?

     PGF - Although I watch trends, I don't follow them.  I say do what makes you happy and whatever you're comfortable with in regards to fashion.  There are ways to alter and manipulate clothing to fit your body type.  You have to find a way to be cute.

TSK - Tell me about "Life Styled"

     PGF - It's first a celebration of the Phat Girl Fresh brand anniversary.  Secondly, this event spotlights women who are in the business of empowering other women. 

TSK - Do you consider yourself a plus-size blogger or a blogger who just happens to be plus-size?

     PGF -  A blogger who is a plus-size.  I would really consider myself as a feminist lifestyle blogger, because everything that I do and everything about my blog is catered to the souls of sisters/women (all women).

TSK - Do you feel that you've "arrived"?

     PGF -  Honestly, I don't think that I've arrived.  I'm not sure I would even understand what arriving would feel like.  I do, however, appreciate the growth a lot.  I found an envelop that I guess dubbed as a vision board from 2012.  After reading over it, I realized that I had accomplish quite a bit since then.  And things are continuing to move upwards for me.  

*Words to live by: "Anything is possible" and "If you learn to live outside of your situation, you can overcome it."

Follow Maui on social media: http://phatgirlfresh.com/ Instagram

FEATURE Friday w/ Kiwi The Beauty

As the saying goes, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"  
Today's feature for this FEATURE Friday is KiSheyna of 

I met Kiwi just a little over a year ago and from day one she's been real.  I found her to be down to earth and full of blogger knowledge.  Our conversation went a little like this....

*What were your life plans before you started blogging?
     ~ I was going to college to be a publicist.  To past the time away, because there wasn't as many of the current social media platforms of today, I starting blogging.  

* How has blogging affected your life?

     ~ Blogging has effected a big part of my life, mainly my income.  Through blogging, I've experienced some great opportunities.  So much so that if I'd have gone the PR route I don't think I would have encountered them.  It has changed my life dramatically.  It's almost surreal at times just looking at where writing has taken me...  I love it!!!!!!!!!!!! 

* What are some of your greatest blogging accomplishments

     ~ Oh gosh!  Being on billboards for Miss Jessie's, magazine features and more recently, making the cover of It's My Hair! Magazine.

* What do you like least about blogging?

     ~ Editing!  Don't get me wrong, blogging is beautiful.  It's just that this piece can be the most time consuming piece.

* Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?

     ~ I guess that depends on how social media goes... Definitely blogging to my highest potential.  Having an extremely high reach, over the 100k mark.  Making six figures all while continuing to create a brand from my blog.  I would really be doing myself a disservice if I wasn't operating with multiple streams of income.  This is my goals  

* Being a social media-lite, what would you do if social media didn’t exist?

     ~ Social media effects not just bloggers, but everybody.  Without it a lot of people would be lost.  Social media is how we connect with people.  It has changed the game for quite a bit of people.

* Describe Kiwi in one word?

     ~ Creative

* As a blogger, what would you say is your area of expertise?

     ~ Being a creative being, I don't have any one specific area.  My niche is media, beauty and lifestyle blogger

* What advise do you have for rising bloggers? 

     ~ Don't get caught up on what other bloggers are doing or social media numbers.  Don't be intimidated.  In the blogging community, there's enough room for us all.  And most importantly, be willing to learn.  Read books, take workshops, even attend conferences.  If you don't believe in your brand, no one else will.

Photo Cred: ZOA Photography

Keep in touch with Kiwi: 
FB, Twitter, IG and Periscope 

FEATURE Friday: Chrisette Michele

It's FEATURE Friday and today's Feature is singer-songwriter 

Let me first say that this interview was a chance encounter.  I received a text message asking me if I was going to the Chrisette Michele event; No, I wasn't.  So the reply text was if you'd like, you can be my +1.  Before I got to excited, I had to check with the hubby, since the event was the next night and I had already been running for the past 2 weeks.  Obviously he said YES!  

When I arrived at the Pose and Post Symposium (which at first I had no idea what it was about), I saw a few people I'd networked with before.  I got to meet two bloggers I follow and admire, one of which I've feature before (Marie Denee of - The Curvy Fashionista.)  It was an eye opening experience.  The first two hours was dedicated to media and bloggers to have a sit-down with the soulful songstress.  Since I was a tag-along, it never crossed my mind that I would be able to interview Chrisette.  Like I said, this was a chance encounter.  Her publicist came around asking people if they
had already had their interview.  So when she approached me about interviewing The Chrisette Michele, I was like ummm Yeah!  She said then you'll be the last one. I didn't care if I was the first, last or middle one.  This was an opportunity that I wasn't going to let pass me by.

It's kinda amazing when you see people in print or on television and then you get to see them in person.  Some look totally difference, however, Chrisette is just a pretty in person as she is on tv or in a magazine.  The other part that intrigued me about "Chris" is that she was very hands on in the setup of this event.  She wasn't just dishing out commands and demands; she was grinding.

Since this was an impromptu interview I had to quickly think of something to talk to her about.  I figured most people would talk to her about her music and maybe even her being on the show R&B Divas: LA.  I decided to talk to her about one of my all time fave pastime - Thrifting.

TSK:  Do you have a favorite thrift shop?

CM: My fave thrift shop is Beacon's Closet in New York.  I prefer the little smaller non-franchise shops over the bigger stores.

TSK: Do you look for anything in particular?

CM: My favorite thing to get is what I call "Grandpa Jacket".  They look really good with a pair of skinny jeans and a "T".  I'll usually scrunch up the sleeves.  I'll also look for the worn looking jeans so that I can cut them up and make them "booty" shorts...

TSK:  What items would you say you thrift the most?

 CM: Besides the "grandpa jackets"; I really like cool vintage jewelry, accessories and sunnies.

TSK: How much of your wardrobe is thrifted?

CM: Well, it's mostly jewelry and accessories, but I would say about 12%.

TSK:  How did you come up with Rich Hipster?

CM:  So I was hanging out in New York (Williamsburg) at a coffee shop and I saw all these people living in these amazing high rises with dirty Chuck Taylor's on.  Because of the area that I was in, I knew these people had money.  It was like they didn't even care if we knew that they were rich or not.  For some people, their richness resides on the inside of them.  Although they dresses like hipsters, they were still ballers; So I called them Rich Hipsters.  Rich in spirit, yet free to be creative!


FEATURE Friday with 

Since I've been blogging, I haven't come across a more inspiring blogger than this lady here.  As a new blogger, it's really nice to be able to reach out to a seasoned blogger and actually receive a response back.  

See what Tami had to say to me....  

* What does fashion and style mean to you? 

Fashion is a popular trend, especially in styles of dress and ornament or manner of behavior according to the dictionary. I find a fashion a way to express yourself. Style is just how you put it all together. 

* Within the last few years thrifting has become really popular.  As a fashion lover, do you thrift?
  How do you feel about this thrifting crave?   

Yes I thrift but not like I use to. Where I live, they have some awesome thrift stores to shop at but I just don't have the time like I use but still, I try to stop by at least once a month. I love that people are finding unique ways to save money but still look stylish.

* Pink being your favorite color, what percentage of your wardrobe consists of pink? 

I actually do not have a lot of pink in my wardrobe believe it or not. I think I might own 5% of pink items. That's shocking huh? LOL.

* As a lifestyle blogger, what are you most passionate about? 

I’m most passionate about enjoying my job as a professional lifestyle, beauty and fashion blogger and showing the world that we too have a voice. I love working with brands and enjoy being invited out to cover events on a daily basis in and out of town. I feel very blessed to be able to make a career out of something I truly love. 

* How do you balance life as a wife, mother and blogger? 

With lots of prayer I must say and with a very supportive husband and my two teens, its become much easier over the years. 

* What has been the most unbelievable moment of your blogging career? 

One thing that comes to mind right off the top of my head is when I had a free car given to me from Ford Motor Co to drive around for a year as a Ford Fiesta Agent and with free gas too daily, that was pretty awesome, I must say! 

* What has been the best gift you've received as a result of your brand? 

I guess my extensive wardrobe from fashion brands plus my shoe and makeup collection that I receive on a daily basis. I haven’t worn the same outfit twice in years. I haven’t had to buy clothing, makeup or shoes in a long time, that’s pretty amazing I guess! Ha! 

* Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

I hope to own my own branding agency for up and coming bloggers, work with a major fashion label, design a couture fashion line or perhaps judge something on a fun tv show, that would be cool. 

* What advice do you have for rising bloggers? 

Be consistent, do the right thing and enjoy life and treat people well, even if sometimes they don’t do the same. 

Visit my site at www.talkingwithtami.com or follow me on social media at @talkingwithtami


FEATURE Friday with
Parker Simmons

Changing the world one bad outfit at a time!

* Who is Parker Simmons?

     Believe it or not, this is a somewhat challenging question.  However, I'm a straight forward person; what you see is what you get.  I'm fiercely loyal and I believe that my purpose in life is to help people whenever I can.

* What do you find most exciting about being a fashion and lifestyle bloggers?

     Seeing how what I do impacts other peoples lives.  Encouraging people to take a risk, wear a bold color or wear a fitted shirt or a bodycon dress even though they may feel like they don't have the perfect body.  I feels great to be recognized for my talent.

*What's the most rewarding opportunity that you've experienced as a result of blogging?

     I've had a lot of amazing opportunities.  Working with Henri Bendel and hosting events for them.  Most recently I was able to travel to New York with Lane Bryant.  On a personal note, my most memorable experience was when I was hosting an event and I noticed a young lady who was on the verge of breaking down because of her weight.  Being able to relate, I made it my mission to help her see how beautiful she was and we (the store manager and I) worked to pull together a few looks for her 16th birthday party.

*What's your biggest challenge about being a blogger?

     Blogging is challenging period.  Having to deal with all the politics of the blogging community.  Or the attitudes and the feelings of entitlement.  Some relationships have changed or have been lost all together.  Right now I'm in a place of rediscovering myself, so I haven't been blogging as much lately. 

*Who does your amazing photography?

     For my professional photos, I work with a few photographers.  My everyday pics are taken by my co-worker/work husband using my iPhone.  I use my selfie stick when there isn't anyone around.

* As a stylist, what are the top 3 staple pieces to keep in your closet?

     A great pair of jeans.  A good ol crisp white button-down or a denim shirt.  And of course a statement skirt (gotta have it.)  

* Do you have any fashion rules when putting a look together?

     I always start with my shoes.  Whenever I start putting together a look, I build it from the bottom up.

* In 3 words describe your personal style.

     Flirty / Classic / Chic

* How often do you shop? What item(s) do you splurge on?

     I really don't shop a lot.  I prefer to recycle looks or see how many ways I can recreate a piece.  I shop maybe once a quarter.  If I do any shopping it's mostly for shoes and accessories.  I splurge on my custom made skirts or really nice statement pieces.  

* How did you come up with Everyday Runway?

    It was originally named Parker's Playground for a column in a digital magazine I used to write with.  About a year into writing I changed it to Everyday Runway.  When the magazine dissolved I continued writing under Everyday Runway.      

* Is there anything you'd like to add?

Words to live by (from my grandmother): Look as good as you can, as long as you can, and look bad when you can't do any better

"Make the world your personal runway and see you on the front row."


Happy Friday Stylenista's

Today is FEATURE Friday and who better to feature than the first blacks in the fashion and beauty industry.  These fashion pioneer's helped to pave the way for the thousands of blacks in the industry today.  Imagine how awesome it would be to just sit and converse with a few of them.

During my research I came across an article that had already highlighted a few of these great people.  Sometimes it's not necessary to reinvent the wheel.  Click the link below for a great read...


FEATURE Friday with

Fashionably: chic, smart, modish, voguish, elegant.  
Bold. Be Fabulous. Be You - Natasha Bernard


Can you get into these fabulous palazzo pants sown and styled by stylenista Natasha.
Check out our conversation....

* How did you come into sowing as a hobby?  What's your best work yet?

     I first learned to sew in home economics class back in high school.  Once I entered into college, sewing got pushed to the back burner.  I was inspired to start sewing again after viewing a few sewing blogs.  At least 30% of my wardrobe contains pieces that I've sewn including my best work yet; which are these magenta colored Italian wool palazzo pants. OMG, they are my go-to, my staple, my most prized possession.  I can be 70 and I will still be rocking them.

* What's your signature style?

     I'm very diverse.  My style can be put three categories: urban, vintage modern and sophisticated chic infused with lots of colors and prints.

* As an interior designer, how often do you redesign or revamp your home or work space?

     My approach whether it's interior or fashion is from a modern perspective.   When I establish my wardrobe or an element of my home, my mind set it to be modern enough to be able to transition for years to come.

* Does your family express your enthusiasm for style and fashion the way that you do?

     My husband is a very conservative dresser.  I'm trying to get him to incorporate more color into his wardrobe.  Although, he has peaked outside the box a little bit.  My son, on the other hand, has inherited my fashion sense.  I think he's going to be a dabber / debonair type of dude.  At 5, he's already aware of his appearance.

* If I looked in your closet, how would I find it arranged?

     By color, then by function.

* Heels or Flats

     Although I'm not that crazy for shoes, I still love shoe a good shoe.  My preference is more of a classic approach.  I have a nice selection of flats, however, my favorite shoe type are pumps.  I love a classic pointed toe pump.

* What's your favorite season as far as fashion goes?

     Fall, I like being able to layer.  In the fall you can still incorporate some of your spring/summer pieces into your fall look.

* You have fabulous photos.  Who does your photography?

     Believe it or not, my husband.  I have to give credit to my husband (who has no training) and the settings on my camera (with minimal editing).

* Fashion Fab Style Academy... What's the motivation behind this venture?

     I've always looked at my blog as brand.  So I wanted to do something to expand it.  Since I was always giving out advise, I thought it would be a good idea to have a symposium.  This would be my platform to give style tips, demonstrate how to style for your body type and how to integrate colors and prints into your wardrobe from my prospective.

I would like to thank Natasha Bernard of Fashionably Fabulous for her time and advice. 
Twitter: @fashionfabstyle


FEATURE Friday with 

When I think of vintage fashion with a twist, this thriftanista always comes to mind.  I've followed her on Instagram for a while now and she never disappoints.  Meet Vinty_Fresh.

Recently I had the privilege to talk with Brittany about her love for style and thrifting.  Check out our conversation.

*What does style mean to you?

     I think style is how you wear your clothes.  Anybody can wear clothes, it's how we express our self (in most cases).  It's when you allow your own personality to make the difference and to make it your own.  

*When did you first develop your own sense of style?

     I don't think I really found my own style until I graduated from high school.  Even though I've been a thrifter from a very young age; I was always creative, mixing and matching different colors.  I do think that thrifting helped me to develop my style.  
*Do you shop for particular labels/brands when thrifting?

    No, I don't really look for anything in particular.  Whatever catches my eye is usually what I go for.  Since I inherited the gift of thrifting from my grandmother and mother, I've mastered thrift shopping.  I can usually spot out true vintage pieces.  My mom and I have a thing where we say we're putting things out into the universe and sure enough we'll find it.

*What was your worst thrifting experience?

     I must say, I've never had a bad experience.  The most annoying this is if I have to stop because I either have to use the restroom and the store doesn't have a public restroom or if I'm really hunger.

*How did Vinty_Fresh come about?

     Well... When I first got on Instagram I had a different IG name.  It wasn't until I started to get recognized when I felt that I needed to change it.  My little sister actually came up with the name.  Not only did I like the name, I thought it embodied who I am.

*Tell me about ReInvinty_Fresh?

     ReInvinty_Fresh is the re-launch of my old online vintage store.  Over a year ago, I ran a very successful e-boutique (Vinty_Fresh Clothing).  I had to close it as it had become overwhelming with all that I had going on at that time.  I was very disappointed about having to close the store.  But! At the urging of family, friends and social media followers I decided to re-open the store.  I've only been open a week and I've already had 17 sales.

*What is your opinion about the recent thrifting trend?

     I think it's cool that people are getting on board.  It wasn't until Macklemoore came out with Thrift Shop that I think thrifting became so popular.  As a veteran, I've been trying to tell people for years to at least try it.  I even like seeing the burst in resale businesses online.

*What would you do if thrift stores didn't exist?

     That's kind of hard to think about.  I would find my way to try and find a vintage store.  Or I would open up my own thrift store.

*Do you follow trends?

     I feel like I do, but I don't.  If I see something that I like, I'll try to recreate the look in my own way.  I do try to make sure that I carry trendy pieces in my store.  I wear what I feel.  Right now I'm really into furs.  I'm not into following trends, even if it's not a trend anymore, I'll still wear it.

*What's something that people would find interesting or hard to believe about you?

     I'm really reserved.  I don't like being the center of attention nor do I like big crowds.  Growing up I was a "nerd" so I feel like that nerdy girl.  Although it may not look like it in my pictures, I am reserved.