Afternoon Inspiration: Madame Noire’s ‘She’s The Boss’ Series (I LOVE These HWICs!!!)

“It has been wayyyy too long since my last post. This should not happen!!! Especially with all the beautiful lessons that I am learning, and the amazing people who I meet daily. I vow to do better.” –@ BCSTARKS

HWIC = Head Women In Charge

Kela Walker, Series Host of Madame Noire's "She's The Boss"

Most recently I have bounced between a new fabulous job in the industry that I love most (Hair), and my final thesis project before graduating with a Master’s degree in Public Relations. My last project happens to be on the brand which I am currently working for, which I am beyond excited about. Today, while doing research on the history of African-American hair care enterprises, I came across some amazing videos that were posted to Madame Noire, a blog that I subscribe to on Facebook, and frequent occasionally.

The videos, which are part of an interview series titled “She’s The Boss” that the creators of the blog started to showcase the stories and accomplishments African-American businesswomen and entrepreneurs, are phenomenal! So much so, that I had to share them with my readers… or those of you that are left. Lol  (I’m so sorry y’all!!)

Please check out each one of them if you can, yes, even if you are not African-American. They are inspiring for any human being that aspires to do something special with their purpose and talents in life. In addition, they represent a little bit of everything, for everyone. From music lovers, to fashion, to public relations, to business, to sports… You name it, these women are LIFE!!!!

More about She’s The Boss:

Twenty episodes. Twenty phenomenal women. She’s the Boss captures the business savvy, style and spirit of New York City’s most successful black businesswomen. Created specifically to cater to the unique environment of online television viewing, the series features intimate one-on-one interviews and the day-to-day activities of corporate executives, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs. She’s the Boss offers practical advice and inspiration to the largely female demographic among MadameNoire.com fans.

Hear that “click-clack?” That’s the sound of their stilettos dancing on the glass ceiling!

Check out some of my faves!:

Marvet Britto, President And CEO Of The Britto Agency

Episode 18 – Carmen Murray, Founder And CEO Of Title 9 Productions

Episode 5 – Karine Méhu, Director Of Digital Marketing At ESPN

Episode 1 – Ericka Dotson Of Indique Hair

Don’t ever say I didn’t share anything wonderful with you all. 😉

Love,

@BCSTARKS

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My New Inspiration: Josie Natori, Founder of NATORI Fashion Empire (Spring 2012 Josie Photo Shoot)

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting fashion extraordinaire, and true dream maker, Josie Natori at a luncheon hosted by The Commonwealth Institute, a support organization dedicated to women CEO’s, entrepreneurs, and senior corporate executives. I had been invited last-minute by a mentor and colleague from the University of Miami’s Launch Pad center for student and alumni entrepreneurs, Susan Amat. Thanks to Susan, I am forever a fan of Mrs. Natori’s amazing story and journey of becoming the successful business mogul and inspiring woman that she is today.

As the keynote speaker for the event, Mrs. Natori shared her story of growing up in the Philippines and being surrounded by female entrepreneurs. Figures such as aunts and cousins, and even her own mother selling things in the local market painted a picture of independence. It also helped that Josie was taught at a very early age by her grandfather, “don’t ever depend on a man.”

These seeds led her to persue an education in America, and later to become the first female president of investment banking firm, Merryll Lynch. After working on Wall Street for several years, and with no experience in fashion whatsoever, she began selling uniquely designed night gowns from her home country to department stores that would eventually become the 35-year old fashion empire known as NATORI. This family owned and operated brand represents all things free spirited,   fierce, and fabulous!! And NATORI is coming to a Target store near you this season!!!

I was so inspired by Mrs. Natori’s story that I politely walked up to her as she was leaving the stage to introduce myself. I told her how much I admired her work, and how inspired I was to hear her story. I was also bold enough to ask her if she would be a mentor to me, and she gracefully replied, “But dear, I’m all the way in New York!” Of course that isn’t an  issue for me, and so I replied,”That’s fine, we can make it work long distance.”

Optimistic I suppose, but I’m a believer of speaking and going after the things you want even when they seem impossible.

I’m looking forward to this. Meanwhile, check out the photos from her beautiful Spring 2012 collection below (Images courtesy of Josie Girl blog- posted by Josie’s daughter in law).

UPDATE!!!!!:

After completing this post, it dawned on me that approximately 6 months ago I was inspired to design my PR portfolio after coming across a beautifully designed bedding set. The story is that I was searching for a new comforter set to redesign my room. I wanted lots of color that made me feel warm and in touch with life. I saw this the following bed set and fell in love with it!!!

But it was much too expensive for a college student such as myself. So because I could not afford it, I loved it so much that I used the colors from it to inspire how I present my professional work.

The irony was that I had no idea who or what NATORI was, yet it was the name that was plastered on the tag of this bed set. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and I end up meeting the same person who inspired me months ago… and I had NO CLUE! Nothing in life happens by coincidence… Im convinced. Thank you NATORI!

See original Spring 2012 Josie Photo Shoot post here.

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My Unexpected Degree In Psychology ( I Didn’t Do It On Purpose!)

When I signed up to get a Master’s Degree in Public Relations, I was signing up to do what I had always done ever since I was a little girl… Try to gain understanding so that I could create understanding among many. I didn’t realize that life was leading me towards my purpose until a couple of days ago…

It’s funny how nothing in life is ever coincidental. It all means something in the grander scheme of things. And it all has to happen the way that it does, to get you where you need to be. No matter how good or bad things seem in the moment.

I recently wrote a post on my Public Relations blog that reflected on the nature of public relations being closely tied to the field of psychology. I never would have thought that what I do, and what I’m striving to become, would mean so much to this world… because regardless of the scenario, at our core, all human beings want to be understood and to know that they matter.

Who would have thought that GOD would use me in this way. I now get that my life is being used for a purpose greater than myself. Yes, even when the issues that I  deal with seem all too personal, they are merely reminders that my lessons are not just my own. They are life lessons to be understood by me, and then shared with many others so that they too can understand themselves and other people.

I’m thankful for this revelation… But, I also know that I make a better PR professional than I would a psychologist. There’s still so much to learn.

Love,

@BCSTARKS a.k.a. The Dream Maker

Featured Dream Chaser: Misha Vaidya, The Ultimate “Tea Time” Fashionista

Although she may never know how much our mere chance meeting has inspired me, “Misha V” as I know her, is an up-and-coming fashion force to be reckoned with.

I first met Misha during her last semester as a Public Relations graduate student at the University of Miami (It was my second semester in the same program, and we just  happened to be in the same class). What was most impressive to me was that Misha was probably the youngest person to ever graduate the program… she was only 21 years old then.

Since I too am a fashion and beauty junkie (thanks to my mom and business partner who is a longtime cosmetologist),  this London native caught my attention right away.

What I first noticed about Misha was that she was always so well put together from head to toe. From her delicately placed and beautifully embellished hair clips, her perfectly manicured nails and flawless makeup, on down to the choice of her outfit for the day…  Let’s just say if fashion is truly her calling in life, then she embodies every bit of it everywhere she goes… and she makes sure that her little Mac Book matches (yes, pretty in pink… Love it!).

On the day that I introduced myself to Misha, I noticed that she was working on a design program on her laptop just before class began. I decided to ask her about it, and sure enough, she explained her passion for fashion and her hopes to one day design a collection of her own. That was less than a year ago and Misha V has already begun her reign in fashion.

I was inspired to write this post because I recently stumbled upon her fan page on Facebook, only to be absolutely floored by the latest designs in her debut 2012 Tea Time Collection By Misha.  Between now and then Misha has had some of her pieces featured in Funkshion Fashion Week Miami Beach, and recently did a fashion show hosted at the luxurious Mondrian on Miami Beach.

Misha is exactly one of the reasons why I started this section of my blog. She is driven. She is passionate. She sets goals, and achieves them one by one… and she always looks absolutely FABULOUS while doing it.

I’m super proud of Misha V and wish her success beyond words. Check out her website for more on what she’s all about, and what to expect from her in the future. LONG LIVE FASHION!

Love,

@BCSTARKS

#TeamDreamChasers!

P.S.-  I couldn’t resist posting some of my favorite pieces from this collection. ENJOY! 🙂

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