Tim Reid’s Cultural Fashion Showcase

richmond1

An Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, and the aroma of culture, filled the venue as I walked in the door. I had finally arrived, after a one hour plus drive to the all interesting city of Richmond, Virginia.  I came for the fashion extravaganza presented by actor, producer, and first time designer Mr. Tim Reid, along with his lovely wife Mrs. Daphne Reid, who slayed the runway with her first design collection.

Perfection may be an understatement when describing Tim Reid’s Cultural Fashion Showcase. The RVA event space was lit on April 27th with local and international lovers of fashion. Well-dressed attendee’s mingled about, smiling at one another, greeting folks who’ve attended in the previous years, from my observation the event was some type of reunion amongst fashion connoisseur’s. People watcher number one, that would be Moi, was here for all of it…..insert handclap emoji three times!

The breathe taking beautiful co-producer and event host Salome was mesmerizing, wearing her beautifully unique designs as she graced the stage hosting simultaneously with Tim and Daphne Reid.

“Fashion models enhance the designers creative masterpieces”

richmond15

Step to the side while I shout out the sharp dressed male runway models, wearing designer Malcom Staples, of Malcom’s Custom Made to Fit. The women in the audience began to “oooh and ahhh”, snap fingers, while displaying the biggest smiles as the older more distinguished models hit the runway. Malcolm’s classy fitted suits gave favor to a trendy vintage look, full of pops of color, and fun patterns. I loved the sexy-sexy female tuxedo suit, well put together featuring a cute top-hat, perfect for a swanky dinner party. I haven’t worn a women’s suit in a while, however, if one can be created for a special holiday party, with a little sparkle, I’m all in for it.

Actress, producer and first time designer Daphne Reid, hit the runway with flowing color pops, floppy hats accentuated the swing jacket style, giving you the NYC street look of an older woman, out and about her business of the day. Comfy, eye-catching designs to turn heads, as you walk on by….

I’m excited to attend Tim Reid’s fashion show again, unfortunately I had a family emergency in the middle of the show, causing me to leave early. I missed a lot of amazing designers, international and local. All the fashion chatter for weeks after the event came across super positive, highlighting the charity who benefited from the proceeds, congratulations to the recipient Legacy Media Institute.

Bravo to all on a job well done…

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville

 

 

Advertisements

You Do Not Have Permission To Quit!

Mikia Shae Troche – Founder and CEO

What does the word “ENDURE” mean to you? Many of us would define the word as a form of suffering, or going through something to achieve a specific end goal. If you’re a living breathing human being, you are at some point in your life enduring through a storm. For some, it may be a little less difficult than others, which would have a person in the midst of enduring without even realizing it.

On Saturday, June 1, 2019 my spiritual soul was set ablaze from the moment I set foot into the Semi-Annual Enduring Conference, held at the Holiday Inn, in the lovely city of Virginia Beach. Author, visionary, motivational speaker, and business mentor Mikia Shae Troche greeted her conference attendees looking simply angelic in an all-white attire. You could feel the peacefulness in the room, filled with eye-catching  tones of yellow and blue, as encouraging sounds of gospel music played in the background.

I pride myself on being able to pick up positive energy vibes. Every single speaker who spilled their life’s transparency, gave me inspiring levels of goose bumps! I’ve always heard, sharing is caring, yet somehow in the process of sharing, each and every single testimony intentionally gave the room full of attendees, food for thought. Anyone who was in attendance will more than likely tell you of at least one important aspect he or she learned as a knowledgeable take-away. When you can gather together our young millennials, and our respected senior generation at the same table, smiling, chatting, and breaking bread, you’ve accomplished diversity. Vendor stations created a very relaxing experience for those who enjoy stumbling upon something a little special to take home.

Quote of the day: Neisha Himes – G.R.O.W. Foundation

“Your crown matches every outfit, never take it off”

This well-organized event included a wonderful host, comedian Ryheem Johnson captured the audience with his clean cut, and let me add entertaining humor straight out of the gate. His intermittent jokes proved to be just what was needed to change up the mood during the conference. Life is not always kind, healthy discussions of how to step up and endure any adversity being thrown at you is a topic we should all be interested in hearing. Telling a story in mime, or standing on a stage takes courage, but the healing begins way before making a choice to share your life with others. Manny Mitchell spoke enthusiastically on the storm of rejection, how starting a career with no arms proved what we all know to be true….”What GOD has for you, is for you”…

We all have a story, are you empowering others with your enduring journey?

I had the pleasure of a short interview with the founder of the Enduring Conference, Mikia Shae Troche, her spirit of authenticity glowed as bright as any diamond in the swankiest of jewelry stores. Having survived a stroke, being wheel chair bound, amongst other adversities, never gave her permission to quit. This beautiful queen endured every negative emotion imaginable, she cried, she prayed, and then with the help of her loving husband, she got up for the win.

Mikia captured the attention of her audience with a powerful heartfelt speech as she ended the conference. The topic, “You Do Not Have Permission To Quit”, resonated throughout the entire room, as if she were standing on stage with a bullhorn.

Every head nodded in agreement, without blinking an eye….

Thank you, for the amazing opportunity to blog your event, while interacting with your panel of fascinating speakers. Every testimony held value to someone in the room. Bravo Sista!

Honorable Mention: Nicole Armstrong, Juanita Ricks, Ryheem Johnson, Manny Mitchell, Jada Danielle, Jay Harris, Suzette Meeks, Neisha Himes, Shakeya Nesbitt, Tanisha Thompson, and keynote speaker Mikia Troche

Follow Enduring Conference via Facebook, be sure to attend the 2nd Semi-Annual conference on January 25, 2020.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Enduring Conference, Mikia Shae Troche, Dakota Somerville

 

 

Teach One ~ Reach One ~ Invest

 

 

Plant the seed, and show them the way…

Nonprofit organizations serve many purposes. Feeding the hungry to name a few, however, nothing stands out more than a community group with a vision to serve our youth. The children are our future leaders, they are our future in a nutshell. Our beautiful brown babies from impoverished neighborhoods deserve every single opportunity of exposure to learn the when, where, and how’s of success.

 

I am truly honored to share with my readership a group of young boys who are truly making a name for themselves here in Hampton Roads, Virginia. They are learning a multitude of important life skills from some very influential pillars of our community. The Young Investors of Virginia Club comes highly recommended for any young man who has a desire to learn about entrepreneurship, real estate, and the beginnings of stock market investment. This newly formed group in my humble opinion speaks volumes to the idea of teaching one, while reaching one.

Young Investors of Virginia Club Mantra:

I am a young investor

I invest in myself

I invest in my community

I learn the generation before

I teach the generation behind me

 

Her smile is infectious, her soul is contagious, her energy is magic, and all the accolades of community merit go out to the founder, Ms. Keyzia. We first met about two years ago, at a summer dinner celebration. She sat across the table from me, filled with her vision, ready to share with the whole world, how she literally wanted to make a change. I was a bit mesmerized at first, and then I began to really listen to what she was saying about the importance of creating opportunities for our young boys to enhance their life skills. It was at that very moment, I knew she was going to embark on something special. Congratulations queen, you are the epitome of motherhood, taking a stand to help children from the lower income and high crime areas of Chesapeake, Virginia, to see a whole new world beyond their wildest imagination.

 

“A sense of pride and opportunity can make a difference”

Many of our young African American boys face an uphill battle on a daily basis, systemic poverty, and the juvenile judicial system are more often not interested in how a young man may be making strides in turning their lives around. Two of the fifteen year old’s in the Young Investors of Virginia Club, are facing unfortunate circumstances. Joining the group created a sense of leadership, they were able to see hope, and began to recruit the younger boys in their neighborhoods to join the group as well. In September of 2018, the group had a fantastic opportunity under the leadership of a licensed real estate agent to host an open house, allowing potential buyers to see their young efforts.

What about our young girls you may ask? Well, as of June 2019, Ms. Keyzia has now implemented a Sister Section to the group. I am certain, Young Investors of Virginia Club will flourish as they grow with love, and support from the Hampton Roads Community!

Contact: via Facebook Page  – Nonprofit Organization

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Young Investors of Virginia Club/ Keyzia Nikole

 

 

 

 

Check -Your -Soil

ADV1

As I Open my Mind

my petals become free

to be the woman

God intended me to be

As I Open my Mind

my soil becomes healthy

embracing the universal gift

that someday I will be wealthy

As I Open my Mind

i learn to SEE

with the third-eye

that was given to me

I check my SOIL

so my petals will flourish

my mind will be nourished

As I Open my Mind

weeds with thornes disappear

allowing a ray of sunshine

to miraculously re-appear

I Opened My Mind

Today.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Dakota Vibe

 

 

 

“Bea Great, Bea Positive, Bea You”

Chefbea10

Mouth Watering Sweet Potato Cheesecake Dessert

Have you ever dreamed of having your own personal chef? Of course, we sometimes crave those delectable homemade yummies we see displayed on our television screens. About a year ago, I became acquainted with a young single mother, who also happened to be an aspiring chef on the rise. She was somewhat soft spoken, but I could see she was ever so hungry to succeed. I really connected with Chef Bea, also known as Chef Beatrice Copeland, owner of ‘Oh My Loaf, LLC.

Chefbea9 Chef Beatrice Copeland

It gives me a tremendous amount of pleasure to watch this young chef blossom in the business woman she always hoped to be. Its inspiring, anytime a single mother works towards her dreams, you can find me somewhere in the background cheering her on. I had a chance to stop by Chef Bea’s pop up Sunday Brunch, located in Virginia Beach, at the well known Phoenix Restaurant and Lounge. Now listen, I’m nowhere near being a food critic, but what I admittedly am is a foodie girl. The atmosphere was warm and friendly, highlighting my down to earth palate with every food item I love, including an omelet station, shrimp and grits, with an assortment of fruit.

Chef Beatrice, your new positive mantra is certainly appropriate for the trajectory of your culinary path, salute from one single mother to another.

Bea Great, Bea Positive, Bea You

Exciting moves are on the horizon for this lovely young chef, soon she will be blessing us with a bakery filled with sweet treats, and vegan choices, as well. Plans are underway for a easy to access location in the Military Circle Mall food court. Currently Chef Bea has a variety of vegan, dairy free treats available in Norfolk, at Jikoni Café. Stop by and grab a vegan banana bread loaf, or perhaps you’re a chocolate chip lover, is so, check out her newest creation…Chocolate Chip Vegan Banana Bread! O’ My Loaf….Well done baby girl, keep baking your way one loaf at a time, success is closer than it appears.

Fresh product shipping is available as needed. For your unique personal chef experience, you can find Chef Beatrice via social media.

Instagram: Chef_bea7          Facebook: ChefBea Copeland

Photo Credit: Dakota Somerville & Chef Beatrice Copeland

Author: Dakota Somerville

 

Men’s Fashion Extravaganza 2019

MFW7 Media Blitz

Men’s Fashion Week Virginia 2019, set the fashion industry ablaze, making it very clear, Southeastern Virginia has arrived on the men’s  runway stage with great panache.

MFW10

“Real men do wear pink”

Designer: Kenny “Kas” Flanagan – Model: Marcus DeVaughn Sr.

The week of April 8th through April 13th will be remembered in the Hampton Roads community, as the week local and national men’s wear designers elevated our fashion consciousness to the next level. Celebrity producer/host Ron Cooke, along with assistant producer/designer of “Reckless Brand” Mario Daughtry, put together an unforgettable collaboration of new spring designs.

I emphatically feel confident in saying, with a limitless diversity in style, there was something pleasurable to the eye, for each and every event attendee.

MFW11   MFW12

Fashion Week is exciting, every year the designers get to showcase what they’ve been working on. The models get the prestigious honor of presenting those designs to the public, and they walk proudly each night. The added element of the pedestal used in some of the shows, give a fascinating mannequin look to the overall presentation. Virginia is not only for lovers, the state is also a mecca for brilliant fashion designers, as proven by the spectacular talent displayed during Men’s Fashion Week 2019. This being the third year solidified the hashtag usage seen all throughout social media, #MFWV is trending globally amongst the who’s who in the industry, and beyond.

“Some people wear clothes that reflect their mood, others wear clothing that changes their mood, hence we have fashion”

MFW35     MFW2

MFW18     MFW30

MFW22     MFW21

Local designers were impressive with urban clothing styles, and edgy streetwear, for a more comfortable lifestyle. I loved how their clothing lines reflected a super cool hip-hop vibe.

MFW6     MFW9

With a total of six fashion shows during the course of one week, Men’s Fashion Week embraced every genre of style, from sexy European to kick-back Eclectic. As a blogger, I’m always paying attention to the audience comments, and how they respond to the models. Listen! I just want my readership to know, most attendees were amazed to find out some of the shows had no cover charge at all. 

Dillards – Featuring Spring/Summer Fashions

Springtime in southeastern Virginia has a special meaning. These two models are wearing the perfect attire to check out all the happenings along the beach. This years fashion week didn’t snatch my edges, but I must admit a number of female event attendees left with sore necks! 

From the opening night reception at Baila Fuzion Dance and Creative Arts Studio, to the closing night men’s fashion story “Read” at the gorgeous Slover Library, the energy level never changed. The production team, models, and D J’s (Dave Champion and D J Pynk Dyamond) gave a stellar performance, on each and every night. Bravo…Bravo…Bravo, to a successful men’s fashion extravaganza.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Runway Authority, Dakota Somerville, Facebook

Event Designers:

Marva Nelson – House of LaMaica

Tracey Langford – 360 Vintage Designs

Kenny “Kas” Flannigan – Kas Collection

Malcolm Staples

Kevin Dickens – KD Sports

TEAM L.A.M.B.

STALLIA – Premium Urban Apparel

PURSUIT

Reckless Kids

Sponsors:

Phillip Michael Fashion for Men

Upscale Men’s Fashion

Dillards

 

 

 

 

~Custom Living by Darmeshia Guyton~

memegpic2

Owner and Designer, Darmeshia Guyton

Coastal Virginia is no sleepy little piece of the world, it’s quite the opposite, the area is well noted for its luxurious beach homes. I had the distinguished pleasure of meeting one of the areas top interior designers today. The beautiful, soft-spoken Darmeshia Guyton, owner and lead designer of MeMe G Home Designs repeatedly captivates her TV viewers attention during her weekly segment, every Wednesday morning, filmed on the local TV program Coast Live.

“I love to help my clients bring out their decorating vision, one room at a time”  

Darmeshia Guyton with host April Woodard

memegpic3

We sat down today for a quick blog interview, catching up with this savvy fashionable business owner in her own element, made for a very enjoyable dialogue, which I am certain you will enjoy immensely.

question: Tell us what do you most enjoy about home decorating?

answer: I enjoy helping my clients create their achieved look, especially those who are clueless when it comes to decorating. I enjoy being able to walk into a space, and sharing with the client the vision I can see.

question: Do you decorate commercial property, as well as, home decorating?

answer: Yes, I am a designer, which means I have technical expertise and background. I prefer small commercial properties, because of all the building codes involved. My heart leans more towards home decorating, because I can put more of my signature stamp on that type of property.

question: You are always dressed so beautiful, do you have a fashion stylist?

answer: No, I buy what I like, all the outfits you see on Coast Live, I purchase from an online store. Thank You, I am my own stylist, as you can see, I do enjoy looking my very best, (insert big smile).

question: Our readers want to know, what is your favorite room to decorate?

answer: That’s a hard one to answer, but, I would say a kitchen remodel from top to bottom. I love to work with a full gut job, kitchens are the easiest room to go into, and because the flooring will include extensive design work, the challenge is all mine.

memegpicC

memegpicA     memegpicB

“Anyone can place a pillow, or hang a curtain, but a designer with passion, can change a room”

Darmeshia is a refreshing addition to the Coast Live morning program, from what I observed in the studio today, host April Woodard and Cheryl Nelson seem to all mesh together like a hand in glove. Being a part of a show that celebrates its people, places, and local events has to promote exposure, along with the highest level of creativity.

I would say with a great degree of certainty, Darmeshia Guyton has arrived. Impressive would be an understatement, when describing her unique talent. You can contact her business via her website, http://www.memeghome.com or MeMe G Home Designs via Facebook.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: MeMe G Home Designs, Dakota Vibe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m a grown woman with Moods and Attitudes”

attitudeblogpi3 Model, Kate Melde

Have you ever felt like a chameleon? If you are a woman, of course you have, based on the circumstances surrounding your day-to-day life. There are moments of loneliness, when the only thing you can do is to close your beautiful eyes, embrace yourself with positive affirmations, and secure your head space with self-love.

attitudeblogpic1 Model, Vanessa Frances Chini 

Have you ever felt like a princess? I can personally answer yes, maybe even a vintage princess, one who knows he’s not coming into your life riding the proverbial white horse. No….he’s stepping to your world, fully confident of his capabilities to make you happy.

attitudeblogpic2 Model, Gilca Lorenis Perez

Have you ever felt like the queen of side-eye? At some point in life, you will need to give them the business, and own every single glare. Remind your mental psyche that you are a grown woman with moods and attitudes.

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Bronze Magazine, photographer Shanal Belton

 

A Dream Girl’s Spectacular Sale

mansionpic6

The Double R Mansion as we know it has a NEW Name—Now known as the Double L Ranch.

Yes, the Suffolk Ranch Is SOLD. The luxurious historic mansion at Double L Ranch, located upon 32 acres of pristine privately owned property in Suffolk, Virginia, was quietly sold & closed on February 27, 2019 by Hampton Road’s very own Queen of Real Estate. This Harvard Graduate does not believe in being average. She will tell you that failure is not an option. Claudine Ellis is a top-notched real estate agent who is sought after around the world. Dream Girl of Real Estate, Claudine L. Ellis, CEO/Broker accomplished the largest residential property sale of her fifteen plus year career. Ellis can take credit for singlehandedly raising real estate values in the rural 23737 area as this was the most expensive home listing in Suffolk.

“This Harvard Graduate does not believe in being average”

Claudine is outstandingly talented and well versed in the area of luxury, residential, and commercial real estate sales. A million dollar home in Hampton Roads usually averages a year on the market from list to close, but our readership shouldn’t be the least bit surprised to know that this queen sold the mansion in record time—less than 90 days.

The mansion itself holds many special memories, as a premier event venue. I’ve heard about the first floor classic billiard room, theater room, and the exquisite white baby grand piano, captured in the lavish wedding portraits of couples from near and far.

mansionpic5

“Nothing speaks luxury like the alluring tone of a baby grand piano”

mansionpic3       blogcorrection

Beauty, brains, and a savage beast at what she does, would sum up the challenges Claudine faces on a daily basis with her clients. What I admire most about this real estate professional is her ability to not judge her clientele, anyone who wants to purchase a home can contact her for a property showing, whether it be a huge multi-million dollar mansion, or a simple two-story traditional colonial. As a first time home buyer, you can attend one of her training sessions, affording you the knowledge needed to make a wise decision, based upon your family’s needs.

“In addition to a successful real estate career, Claudine makes it a priority to give back to and serve the community”

I personally support her non-profit endeavors, each and every first class charity event sponsored by DREAM DAP, Inc. has been a huge success, designed specifically for any Hampton Roads single parent seeking home ownership. The mission statement to help single parents with down payment assistance in purchasing their first home, should warm the hearts of any one reading this blog post. Congratulations are definitely in order, Claudine L. Ellis has made her presence known in the real estate world, as a million dollar agent, the one to watch, as well as, the one requested across the globe.

Written by: Dakota Somerville

Edited by: Claudine L. Ellis

Photo Credit: The Double R Ranch, Claudine L. Ellis

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charity Personified With Elegance

 

strawberriesChocolate Dipped Tequila Infused Strawberries

February is the month of love, it is a time when giving comes second nature, the air is filled with decadence and luxury. We find ourselves thinking of others, our heart’s beat to a different drum, charity can also be described as a universal gesture of love. I stopped by to share with my readership all the juicy deets from an outstanding philanthropic event that took place in Norfolk, Virginia, held at the impressively alluring Slover Library, on Saturday, February 9th. A charity with a godly purpose will attract those who support a noble cause. I can’t begin to think of anything more important than lending a supportive hand to a single parent needing down payment assistance, while holding near and dear, a deep desire to become a home owner. Claudine L. Ellis, CEO of Dream DAP, Inc and her team are making it happen.

“HEART FOR HOMEOWNSHIP FASHION GALA 2019”

claudinegirls.jpg

Regina Mobley, Queen Claudine Ellis, Quenie Burnz

Hollywood hit Hampton Roads, as each and every guest was greeted with valet parking, and baby it was cold outside. Walking into the venue proved to be upscale upon being welcomed at the door by actor and model Mr. Jack Rose, adorned in white glove attire. Bellissimo, is an understatement describing the ambiance, and elegant décor, I felt so much love in the room as the jazz band played a medley of mood setting tunes. The highlight of entertainment literally flew, twirled, and flipped magnificently above the beautiful architecture, capturing stares from the balcony to the lower level. Can you imagine a beautiful aerialist, floating with the grace of a butterfly? She did just that!

ambiance aerialist band.jpg

Hampton Roads has quickly become well noted on the east coast as a mega fashion hub, providing some of the best professional models in the game. I want to personally bow down and congratulate all of the event models for a wonderful job done on the runway. Special mention and all hand claps go out to the one model who turned the catwalk, and staircase into an unforgettable theatrical performance. Screaming bravo…bravo…bravo to model Shawanda Lamb, you my dear are a show stopper, with the epitome of what is commonly referred to as the “It Factor” in the industry.

Shawanda Lamb – Queen of the Runway

  gownshawanda1

shawandastaircase

queen

As I buzzed around mingling with the distinguished guest, it suddenly came to my attention everyone was smiling, dancing, chatting it up with one another enjoying all the special moments of the night. This is the foundation envisioned as a successful charity event, hashtag happy people. The V.I.P guest co-mingled with the general ticket holders, which is something special to see, in my opinion. Food galore, delicious edibles made the rounds, one tray after another, filled with crab cakes, bacon wrapped scallops, steak kabobs, fruit kabobs, cake pops, and my personal favorite of stuffed mushrooms. For all the foodie lovers in the room, heaven had officially landed in a scrumptious kind of way!

crabcakes guest

“One thing is for certain, Dream DAP, Inc has arrived in a major way”

Major kudos go out to the DJ, Mr. Dave Champion for the music selections of the night. The media deserves special mention as well, I saw the lovely Ashley Dennis supporting the cause, along with many celebrities, photographers, and lets just say the who’s who tribe of Hampton Roads. We were especially honored to see the prestigious Virginia Beach City Council woman, Sabrina Wooten in the building. I have a very keen eye for celebrity spotting, without hesitation, this freelance writer made her way over to capture a quick video with Patti LaBelle’s exclusive holiday decorator, LaVoris Pace and friends, what a dapper looking trio they were. All V.I.P guest received personal catering with delicacies’, compliments of the Executive Chef from Plaza Azteca restaurant, and jaw dropping Furry Swag Bags complete with unexpected high-end goodies, including fur gloves, exotic soaps, designer glasses, and more. Don’t fret if you missed the 2019 gala, team Dream DAP has already put the wheels in motion for the Heart for Homeownership Fashion Gala 2020…..

“Congratulations Claudine, I deem you queen of the red hearts personified”

claudinegala.png sign

Author: Dakota Somerville

Photo Credit: Facebook, Dakota Vibe, Organixx Photography

Follow: Dream DAP, Inc. via Facebook