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‘All Eyez on Me’ Actor and Music Artist Went from Disney to the Big Screen’

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From Disney to Diddy, Stefon Dominick Washington is one up-and coming artist
to look out for. His energetic and expressive personality keeps you smiling, while
his intelligence keeps you engaged.
Born in Washington DC into a musically inclined family of performers, dancers,
and musicians; music was something that came as second nature to Artist &
Actor Stefon Washington. Always looking up at great performers like Ginuwine,
Bobby Brown, Puff Daddy, Usher, Pharrell and of course Michael Jackson,
Stefon became more than he would ever imagine: singer, songwriter, producer,
actor, and all around performer.
His bright personality threw him into the acting world rapidly when Disney caught
wind of him and signed him to the “Disney Channel Rocks Show”. He also
worked with Disney as host of the “Mickey’s Not So Scary Street Jam”, and
“Mickey’s Very Mery Christmas Party”.
In  2016, Stefon was on set of the Tupac biopic film ;All Eyez
On Me as an extra and ended up leaving with the legendary role of Puff
Daddy which opened the door for him to also play Diddy in Oxygen
‘Snapped’
Stefon is also on a TV show executive produced by Kodak Black, “City of War”.
Currently in Atlanta pursuing film and music full-time, Stefon has been taken
under the wing of many power-heads in the entertainment industry, while forming
a lane of his own. He has embarked on multiple musical projects, the latest being
his anticipated album BAE, which features the musical talents of R&B group
Pretty Ricky, rapper and reality star Yung Joc, and rapper Shya Lamour.
An amazing songwriter, producer, and actor, with a Nostalgic New Jack Swing
sound that draws everyone’s ear instantly, the talented performer is charismatic
with an undeniable personality that captures all ages and demographics.
Between His Debut EP Krack The Internet debuting #38 on ITunes top R&B
Albums independently, the movie, the undeniable sound he posses and his
addictive charismatic charm. it will become impossible not to hear about
Stefon4u.
Get ready world because the era of Stefon4u has arrived!

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TRGB MEDIA: TELL US HOW YOU STARTED OUT WITH DISNEY

STEFON4U: Disney they do auditions once a year, a real one–unless you have an agent in LA.  They do a big audition once a year and it’s always at a different place.  They don’t even give you a real head start, they just let you know three days before.  Most of the Disney auditions are personality-based.  Auditions already starts when you first walk in.  I’m pretty goofy most of the time so I was just being a goof-ball.  I didn’t know how to act before Disney–so that’s how basically I got in the door.

TRGB MEDIA: HOW DID YOUR OPPORTUNITY WITH BEING IN THE MOVIE ‘ALL EYEZ ON ME’ COME ABOUT?

STEFON4U: That was the biggest blessing in the sky for me.  Getting that Puffy role took me out of Disney completely.  Getting that role was an accident because I originally was suppose to be an extra.  I showed up with my boy , he was going to be in a Death Row east scene.  I have real curly hair and I was just making fun of whoever was going to play Diddy.  I started doing Diddy voices, then they called me over, I thought I was in trouble or something.  They asked me if I had any experience acting and I told them kinda.  Next thing I knew, I was standing beside the other guy that was suppose to play Diddy.  They were looking for the old Puffy from back in the day instead of the Diddy now, so I guess I resembled the old Puffy.

TRGB MEDIA: AFTER ‘ALL EYEZ ON ME,’ DID YOU HAVE MORE OPPORTUNITIES TO DO FILM?

STEFON4U: Yes, I ended up joining a television series called ‘City of War’ where Kodak Black is the executive producer.  I guess he is trying to get his Tyler Perry on LOL.  I also been jumping into a lot of videos as well. I’ve been in the City Girls videos and others. I was in a short film series called ‘Love You like That,’ I played an abusive boyfriend that had a very secret life, then his girl finds out and I get shot in that one. Also I’m writing a television show actually working with my brother Lil’Zane with that one.  It’s kind of like a spin off from my favorite movie ‘How to be a Playa’ We’re kind of taking back 25 years later.  It’s definitely a funny script called “Hard to be a Playa.’

TRGB MEDIA: NOW THAT YOU HAVE GOTTEN YOUR BIG BREAK STARTING WITH DISNEY AND YOUR ROLE AS DIDDY IN ‘ALL EYEZ ON ME,’ WRITING YOUR OWN TV SCRIPT AND WORKING WITH KODAK BLACK IN ‘CITY OF WAR,’ TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR MUSIC BACKGROUND

STEFON4U: I kind of been doing that since I was a kid.  But it really didn’t really hit until I was in Florida and I met this guy named Static Major. I started hanging out with him just picking up traits to how to write songs.  Also hanging out with Pretty Ricky, that’s how I learned how to do my own stuff. I also co-wrote some of their record they did in Miami because I know their sound.  So I decided to work on my own project to see how it would do and it’s doing really good right now.

TRGB MEDIA: TELL US ABOUT YOUR ALBUM ‘BAE’

STEFON4U: I put ‘Bae’ out as an EP first.  It was doing really well but I had other songs that I did for the album that I didn’t put out.  So after two months I made a deluxe edition.  I added some features that wasn’t on the last one, that’s how Yung Joc got on.

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TRGB MEDIA: WHAT WAS THE THEME/INSPIRATION OF YOUR ALBUM?

STEFON4U: It all started out with the EP. It was about a relationship I was going through; I kind of just told it from front to back.  From the good times until the time that we fell apart.  I was kind of upset and wrote more attacking-level lyrics; that was my moment of how I felt.  I had her number still saved to my phone with a blank and the word ‘BAE’ so I just dropped her name and called it ‘Bae’ I started the album being mad and sad then at the end all good.

TRGB MEDIA: WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?

STEFON4U: Besides getting these videos out, I think the next move for me is getting out ‘The Lavish Savage,’ I’ve had some records I’ve tested in clubs that has been doing really well.

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TRGB MEDIA: HOW CAN PEOPLE REACH OUT TO YOU AND CONNECT WITH YOU ON SOCIAL MEDIA?

STEFON4U: They can reach out to me on Sound Cloud, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter at Stefon4u.

 

YouTube

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Instagram

Face Book

 

This Interview has been brought to you by TRGB Media, LLC

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Virginia Native and Music Artist Taz Releases New EP ‘Mentally Ill’

It’s officially out! Hampton, VA native, Taz has just dropped her new EP called ‘Mentally Ill”.  The short album has seven songs you do not want to skip! With her unique barz that tells a story of her depression and dealing with anxiety, it is more than an EP.  This teaches others about mental health and how it affects those living with it.

“This is the best project I’ve ever made and I’m excited to share it with the world, this is the most vulnerable and transparent I’ve been” stated Taz”

You can download the new EP wherever music is streaming and you can also download on Apple Music as well! This is one of those projects where it really shows you and teaches you what someone is going through.  Suicide and mental health is definitely important and if you know someone who is going through, please try to get them help as soon as possible.  Not only is Taz a music artist, but she is an entrepreneur of her own business/record label called ‘C.A.S’

 

The EP includes:

  1. F***ck Your Feelings
  2. Snatch Yo Soul (featuring Ventage)
  3. Look What You Did
  4. On God
  5. Mentally Ill
  6. Damaged Goods
  7. The Great Depression

 

You can connect with Taz on IG @tazmaniashow 

http://www.thecasagency.com C.A.S.

bookings@thecasagency.com 

Follow her on other social media platforms @tazmaniashow

 

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Young Rapper Plans New EP for Spring Release

2019 is the year for Blesdtharapper!  This 22-year old rapper is here to stay!  If you don’t know by now, he is speaking his dreams into the atmosphere including being on the big screens!

Blesdtharapper is a gay rapper with big dreams and knowledge. His music speaks volume and with a purpose.  His single “Wrong N****”” is making a lot of noise on the charts.  He is now working on his first official EP called “Angels are Real” 

“Expect a lot of noise in 2019.  It’s seven songs and the mood is malatic; very high-tempo,” said Blesd

Although this is his first official EP, he has several singles already out like ‘Nicki Drip,’ ‘Belguim,’ ‘Did you Right’ and others.  His EP is set to be released in March 2019

“I’m always coming out with new songs. Expect a lot of noise in 2019!”

Follow Blesdtharapper on IG @blesdtharapper Check out his music on all platforms where music is streaming. 

 

Stay tuned for the official magazine interview with  1 World Mag COMING SOON!!!

 

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Michael B. Jordan Kicks off First Campaign with Coach

Photo Credit by Coach

 

This millennial actor is no stranger in the film industry and definitely knows how to flaunt style with that 1 million dollar smile in all of his photos!  It was announced last year that Michael B. Jordan will be the new face of Coach.  He is surely kicking off the new year with plenty of chic style.  

Bringing heat to the Spring Menswear Campaign by Coach, Jordan shares with his fans on social media thanking his photographer Craig McDean.

According to Foot Wear News, Jordan is the first celebrity to represent the men clothing line with Coach. What an honor!

Michael B. Jordan New Face of Coach

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Photo Credit Craig McDean and Michael B. Jordan Instagram page. 

 

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Recap of MBK4L Annual Bday Bash Tour

By Tyra Grayson, Graphic Designer, Photographer and Musician

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MBK4L Ralo’s Annual Bday Bash “Bag Season Tour” took place at the Legacy Arena at the BJCC In Birmingham, Alabama with MBK’s artists “Lil Bam, YBN DayDay, Rudy Ru, Whitt, along with special celeb guests Pap Chanel, Hoodrich Pablo Juan, Key Glock, and Lil Baby. This concert was a different vibe for the city. This was also one of the biggest shows I’ve ever shot, lineup wise.

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It was great to get these artists under my portfolio. I also connected with other fellow photographers and press members there. It’s always good to network because you never know who you’ll run into and who could be your lifetime business partners or potential clients. Shout out to DJ Dirty Vegas, DJ New Era, 3000Ent, and MBK4L for putting on such a calm, collective, and good event. 

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Freelance Writer, Tyra Grayson can be reached on IG @tyraisme 

 

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Love N Hip Hop Star Bianca Bonnie talks on New Music and New Projects

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It was all a dream….until it came true!

It all started when Bianca started singing all the lyrics to songs including some songs from Luther Vandross.  She has been writing songs since elementary school and it carried on to Junior High and High School.  Before she even thought about singing/rapper, Bonnie was also a dancer.  This talented individual is definitely what this industry need, a bright young individual who is serious about her craft.  She has been on tours with other celebrities such as the scream tour with Bow Wow and with Chris Brown.  Bianca has traveled just about anywhere making moves.

Big Break with Love N Hip Hop New York

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“It was a point in time where I was on a hiatus and I wasn’t sure what to do about music.  All eleven years of making music, I wasn’t signed to management.  Everything I was already doing, I was doing on my own,” said Bianca “Love N Hip Hop actually dm’ed me on Instagram.  When I went to the interview, they announced that it was Love N Hip Hop,”

The Portrayal of the Show

Although the show only portrayed the “negative” scenes of Bianca with her fighting, outside of the show, she was constantly grinding putting out new music.  She was already a fan show and was already established as a music artist long before Love N Hip Hop New York.

“It helped me build my fan base.  People are still finding my chicken noodle soup video,” Bianca said “I just have fun with it! As long as I’m happy, I don’t try to stress,”

New Music

Bianca has that sultry unique voice that can hypnotize you indeed! With her curves and smooth skin, her lyrics will definitely give you the business!  Her latest album “10 Plus” is now available to download on I tunes and other music platforms where music can be downloaded.  Bianca is currently working on new projects which is planned to be released next year.

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“My fans don’t care about nothing else but me putting out new music.  I like writing.  I’m good at writing music,” Bianca said “I don’t care about becoming a star.  It’s my passion,”

There is also another project/song/visual she she creating calling “Celebration

Besides being a singer, rapper and television personality, is working on a documentary for You tube so that all of her fans can see her more on a weekly basis and what she actually does behind the music scenes and when she isn’t in front of a camera.  It’s like an up-close and personal part of her life waking to be awakened.  Even though none of these female rap artists or singers inspires her, she loves some good ol’ R N B Music!

“Growing up I loved R N B Music.  Some of my inspiration came from artists like Aaliyah, Missy Elliot and Lauryn Hill, people that does both rapping and singing,” Bianca said

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The Goddess Bianca Bonnie modeling “The Pink Collection” by Stevie Boi at the New York Fashion Week

 

What’s Next for Bianca Bonnie?

She is looking to get singed to a management team/record label, putting out more music and visuals and to keep her fan base growing.

You can connect with Bianca Bonnie on Twitter, Instagram and You Tube

You Tube Bianca Is King Global

Instagram: @Biancaisking

Twitter:  @biancaisking 

 

 

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Wal-Mart Picks up Possible Cosmetics for Online Selling

Possible Cosmetics is growing each and every day! CEO and Owner Renata Roundtree is making major moves within her company and plans to expand larger into retail stores all over the globe.  Move over MAC and Clinique, Possible Cosmetics will soon be taking over!

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TRGB Media: It’s been a few months since TRGB has interviewed you about your success and beauty line Possible Cosmetics. Since then, what have you been up to?

Renata Roundtree: Oh Honey lol SO much! I think the BIGGEST thing that We’ve been up to is FINALLY getting into Major Retail! Im too excited of course we’ll discuss this more 🙂

TRGB Media: Congratulations on Possible Cosmetics being apart of Wal-Mart online. What was your reaction?

Renata Roundtree: Honestly, lol I still can’t process it, I’ve been secretly going back and forth with Walmart for a long time. I didn’t tell anyone because I really wasn’t sure the outcome! In fact, they denied me first but I literally called, emailed (and Walmart is actually impossible to reach) I did not take NO for an answer! There’s still LOTS of work to do but we’re in there!

TRGB Media: How has sales and marketing been going? Do you have a team that helps you push sales or are you the only one?

Renata Roundtree: Let’s just say I’m not a Millionaire yet lol… I do have a virtual assistant that helps when need be. However, the bulk of the marketing and sales are driven by me or by other channels that I use. Social media has been a big help but I absolutely plan to have a team to help me plan and execute better. Marketing to be honest is my weakness I actually hate it lol

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TRGB Media: Let’s talk about current and future projects. Are you working on anything exciting?

Renata Roundtree: Yes. We are gearing up to hit a MAJOR retailer in Atlanta!!! Everyone knows that ATL is my second home. I can’t announce it just yet, but 1st Quarter 2019 Possible Cosmetics will be in stores in Atlanta GA!!!

TRGB Media: Also, I see that you are the guest speaker for Dreams to Founder Workshop and one of the panel spotlights for Glambitious. Tell us more about that.

Renata Roundtree: Yes, Im EXTREMELY excited to be apart of these events! One thing about me is I enjoy the empowerment portion of business. I like it more then selling Cosmetics lol I was born for it I have a radiant personality I can capture almost any audience I’m in front of and I have a story to tell. I’m serious when I say empowerment is so much more fulfilling to me, I’d much rather be doing these sorts of events more often!

TRGB Media: Are you still teaching young professionals how to start their own make up line? How has that been going?

Renata Roundtree: Yes, I actually just launched our digital course “ How to start a cosmetic line 101” on our website! That’s another thing that I enjoy.  Its selling pretty good and I take pride in helping someone establish a business! I’m a believer that you are able to share the information you have, especially within your community!

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TRGB MEDIA: Does Possible Cosmetics have any new products in store?

Renata Roundtree: We actually just launched our pressed shimmer powders!! The customers are responding to those very well and I’m getting amazing feedback!

TRGB Media: How many years have you been in business?

Renata Roundtree: Well, I started this business journey in 2010 with designing custom shoes! I must admit at that time I had NO idea what I was doing. Lol I just knew I was gifted to create sells, Instagram ads; all those other things didn’t click to me yet until I started Possible Cosmetics in 2016! I’m a much better business owner now.

TRGB Media: What are some unique things that Possible Cosmetics offers that no other make up line offers?

Renata Roundtree: I don’t really see other makeup lines sharing their “secrets” here at Possible Cosmetics. We not only sell you a product, but we sell you information as well.  We also educate you to start your own business. So I’ll say the empowerment part is what is different about us!

TRGB Media: What is next in store for you and your business?

Renata Roundtree: RETAIL, RETAIL AND MORE RETAIL.  We WILL BE in every major retailer in America; I don’t care if it take me forever! We are planning a Possible Cosmetics TAKEOVER. We will be mentioned with the household names like MAC, Loreal, Este Lauder, Cover Girl etc…

TRGB Media: How can readers connect with you and purchase products?

Renata Roundtree: They can purchase our wonderful products along with our Courses at www.Possiblecosmetics.com also on walmart.com put *Possible Cosmetics* in the search bar 🙂

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CEO of Possible Cosmetics Renata Roundtree

 

 

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Savon Luxe Brings the Heat and Quality to New-Style Virgin Hair

Savon Luxe launched in 2014 and is based in Detroit, MI. What makes the Savon Luxe unique is the high end quality, longevity, and customer experience delivery.  Clients can purchase hair from www.SavonLuxe.co

 

TRGB Media: What made you want to go into a business that deals with virgin hair?

Savon Luxe: I’ve been wearing sew-ins since I was about 16 years old. Back in the day girls would rock the pack hair that would only last as long as the install. I was really tired of dealing with beauty supply hair so I started buying virgin hair. In college I was a YouTube beauty blogger in college growing out my natural hair wearing sew-ins, spending THOUSANDS of dollars on hair extensions. I decided I wanted my own line. I didn’t think to seriously of it at first, then I started deep diving into the beauty business and fell in love. Four years later we’re still here!

TRGB: How did you come up with the name Savon Luxe?

SL: Whew, I went back & forth with the business name for about 3 months. At first the brand name was going to be “Luxe Life”, but I wanted something a bit more personal. The “Savon” derived from my first and middle name and the “Luxe” while cliché is part of me really enjoying luxury things. I knew when I attached my name to it I would take it seriously as it would be a direct reflection of myself.

TRGB: Because the hair industry and various of sellers are in the same business, competitors can be tough. What keeps Savon Luxe different than most other companies that sell virgin hair?

SL: So true! The biggest part I’ve learned in owning a business is staying my lane, and only mind the business that pays me. Even with a multitude of virgin hair companies, I know how to cater to niche. As I’ve grown to be more business savvy, I’ve learned everything is not for everyone. So I (my brand) can’t be either. And that’s okay. Everyone is so focused on high sales, but I focus on the relationship with my customers and business longevity. I’m not interested in being a “fad” business. I’m here for the long run, so what separates me is trust.

“At first the brand name was going to be “Luxe Life”, but I wanted something a bit more personal. The “Savon” derived from my first and middle name and the “Luxe” while cliché is part of me really enjoying luxury things.”

TRGB: For a potential client, how would you sell your products?

SL: The primary thing I do is ask them what THEY are looking for and how can I best service THEM. I’m never a “pushy” sales person. I’m a listening ear before anything, then I guide them to my products that best fit their need and I give them time to decide for themselves. This is vital.

TRGB: When creating a company for women of all colors, what did you have in mind?

SL: Being one helps lol. But seriously, empathy helps when catering to WOC. We aren’t catered to on a national level, so when they shop with me, I don’t want them to have to feel like their “fighting” or “forcing” a product to work for them because I selected my textures and products already with them being the priority.

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TRGB: What are some suggestions when it comes to hair care?

SL: One of my best suggestions when it comes to hair care is research hair type. Hair care is not a one size fits all. Everyone has different likes, dislikes, routines. Knowing what YOU like best is a trial and error process. If an individual is not comfortable caring for their hair themselves, seek a stylist you are comfortable with. But the basis are cleanse and hydrate, that goes for extensions and naturals.

TRGB: Who does your brand market to?

SL: I’m actually in the process of re-developing my demographics. Initially it was a younger adults, because I was in college. As I’ve matured, I’ve learned what I really want which is more young professionals who still are into chic & glam. I can’t wait for my re-development so stay tuned!

TRGB: How fast does your product sell?

SL: Our products sell out pretty fast, especially our Straight Bliss extensions. I’m actually testing out some new patterns now to potentially add that I think my customers will love.

TRGB: Does your brand participate or has participated in hair shows?

SL: I haven’t participated in any to date. There are a few I’d definitely consider going to. I’m still a one woman show for the most part, so once I develop a “team” a trade show will get on our books for sure.

TRGB: How can readers connect with you?

SL: Easily! They can experience Savon Luxe and submit inquiries on www.SavonLuxe.co and see our extensions in action at www.instagram.com/SavonLuxeHair

 

 

 

 

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New Fashion Trend Pyper’s Collection Brings Plenty of Chic and Style

Fashion has always been changing the game with new trends all over the world, nationally and internationally.  But there is one person who is taking her business to the top and that is Pyper Collection! She is a game changer with lots of taste and fashion trends for both men and women.  O taste and see that Pyper’s Collection will have you begging for more!

 

TRGB Media: How did you get into the fashion industry? Was it something that motivated you to branch out and try it?

Pyper Collection: My love for clothes. Reconstruction has always been interesting to me since I was young. After finding out Alabama offer a fashion apparel program I  started my journey. I came to college as a pre-med major but an old friend was a fashion major. She would always have me to do her projects and I enjoyed doing them so I decided to change my major and follow my dream.

TRGB: So, you graduated from the University of Alabama. How did college prepare you for what you wanted to do?  By having a concentration in apparel and textile help your visual skills?

Pyper: The program was great and fairly smaller than the other classes on campus. I enjoyed the intimacy. The variety of courses required put the lifestyle of the fashion industry in perspective for me. When I graduated I felt confident in moving forward in the industry and pursuing a career.

TRGB: Why did you choose this particular industry for your career?

Pyper: My love for beauty and fashion! My family’s brand is also a beauty brand so it was ideal.

TRGB: Tell me about the family business, Salon Lisa Brown. How long have you been working there as a hair stylist?

Pyper: The salon has been open for 7 years now. I worked as a shampoo assistant at the age of 17, went off to school and worked on weekends until I graduated. I then became a junior stylist for a year and was recently promoted to senior stylist and salon supervisor.

TRGB: When starting the fashion retail business, what were your goals and visions for your business?

Pyper: I want to build an empire. My goal was to be affordable but fashion forward. “pypercollection” is a lifestyle brand. I want everyone to be able to shop and be apart of the collection, even the dogs. (We do offer doggy apparel as well)

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Model wearing a chic bathing suit in Pyper’s Collection

TRGB: Did you have a business and marketing plan?

Pyper: My publicist went to school with me and happens to be my best friend. She had plans to expand via social media. We recently flooded social media on my release of the collection which fell on my birthday. The idea came from my sister, Chyna. We created a countdown to create anticipation and now we are 86 days in.

TRGB: How did the creation and birth of “Pyper Collection” came about?

Pyper: My name is Pyper so originally it was going to be “Pyper”. I wanted a retail store and needed something catchy but ever-lasting. “pypercollection” was given to me by my mom. I admit it had to grow on me but now I love it.

TRGB: Tell us more about the Closet Collection. How did you determine which collection gets what?

Pyper: The closet collection is a super great deal, I recommend it to any one looking for fashionable things at an affordable price. The items in the closet belong to one of my family members and either has never been worn or worn one. If you think about it people wear the clothes in your favorite store all the time. Being in the retail industry taught me that. So it is consignment, but high fashion.

TRGB: How was the Chyna and Phillip collection transcribed?

Pyper: They are my two siblings and family is everything to me. Chyna is my manager and my brother has a t-shirt line called “#Details” so when I came up with the business I wanted them to be a part of it.

TRGB: How long have you been in business?

Pyper: 86 days, almost three months.

TRGB: When it comes to choosing the pieces and look for your fashion collection, what was your motivation? How did you create the look? What was the motivation behind it?

Pyper: The first collection was inspired by nature and traveling the world. It is called the “butterflycollection”. I use my mentor/seamstress Sonia and myself to create the items.

TRGB: Have any pieces of the collection been modeled in fashion shows or events?

Pyper: Not yet, but definitely keep an eye open for us on the runway.

TRGB: Any future projects/events coming up?

Pyper: Yes, we have winter community service events. I love giving back. We also will be hosting pop up shops at your favorite stores.

TRGB: What is next for Pyper Collection?

Pyper: More to come. We will expand and begin to add more as we grow. We are going global this fall and expanding to other countries. I vision my brand as being a fortune 500 company. We also are looking forward to being on the runway for NYFW. It’s all in God’s plan.

TRGB: How can readers connect with you and shop?

Pyper: Visit the website www.pypercollection.com and connect via Instagram. @pyper____ and the store Instagram @pypercollection!

 

 

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Author, Singer, Songwriter Talks about Upcoming New Book ‘Guide Me Home’

 

Ana Gibson is a Professional singer, songwriter and the 2018 Award- Winning Fiction Author.  She has published already two books and is about to release her third book “Guide Me Home,” that will be published in October.  

 

“As I learn myself more, I’m also being intentional about bringing others along with me to begin to understand what it means to recognize ourselves—flaws and all—and to grasp a hold of the version we desire to be.”

 

Tell us about your journey as an author

AG: I started writing fiction at the age of 14. I didn’t get serious about self-publishing until I turned twenty-five. That’s when I released both books, My Brother’s Secret 1 & 2. Writing has always been a creative outlet for me since I could remember. I believe one of the first books I’ve ever read was “The Skin I’m In,” by Sharon Flake. And from there, I was fascinated with story-telling. Over time, I challenged myself to learn how to write and write better—the formatting, plots, character arcs, scenery, deep point of views, etc, which gives me all the confidence today to put out Guide Me Home. This is my BEST work to date, and it’s completely different from any other story I’ve written. It’s an Inspirational Romance—borderline, Christian Fiction (Got too much cursing in it to be officially qualified as that LOL) Looking back on all of the stories I’ve done, reminds me of how much I’ve grown as a writer and the evolution shows, even from my previous two books that I have out.

My journey is still writing itself, but I can say that right now, where I am, I couldn’t be happier. I’m definitely not where I used to be and I’m certainly looking forward to where I’m going.

 

So, you have written other books in the past. What genre are they?

AG: The other two novels are considered Urban Dramas.

The title is really catchy. How did you come up with the title?

AG: Guide Me Home came about when I was watching Tyler Perry’s, “Temptation: Confession of a Marriage Counselor.” The end credits were scrolling by and for once, I was actually paying attention to them. One of the songs listed was called “Guide Me Home” and that’s when it hit me. I was like, ‘that’s the name of the book.’ It makes all the sense in the world.

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When writing this book, what were your inspirations behind it?

AG: The book started off with me just wanting to write something similar to what Tyler Perry did when he released Good Deeds. So, it was originally going to be talking about homelessness and helping those in need, but after three years of revisiting the manuscript and the need to feel connected to it, it shifted into something more than just homelessness. Its theme is on the topic of Childhood Emotional Trauma and its effects of it into adulthood. I think many of us, on some level, will and can find ourselves in the storyline. When I did my research on what Childhood Emotional Trauma was, it blew my mind away. The things I found, had me nodding in agreement because I could see myself or someone else. This helped me to also write my character’s, Devin and Faith, better because they suffered greatly behind this particular issue. It’s a subject that’s rarely discussed and if you were to ask someone if they knew what it was, 9 times out of 10, they would not know unless you went down the list of symptoms.

 

It’s a great mental health piece, especially advocating for emotional health in African-American men. So that’s where the biggest inspiration came from—just learning about what that looks like amongst many other things and being able to put it into story form.

 

As a published author, what challenges do you find? (If any)

AG: In the beginning, when I first considered publishing my stories, I didn’t understand how much work I needed to put behind it, like focusing on your target market, making necessary edits, saving money to be able to take care of the small stuff, marketing and promotion etc. So, the first two novels didn’t work out so well, but with Guide Me Home, I’m revisiting those lessons and applying them to this particular project which seems to be helping. A lot of preparation has gone into making this book a potential bestseller. With God, all things are possible. I’m claiming it.

 

Let’s talk about your Book Launch event for next month. How long did it take for you to plan the event?

AG: I started planning for the book launch sometime in December of 2017. Everything I do has to make sense and be done with quality and with order. So far, it has been a solid nine months of planning for the big day. I have quite a few things happening that I don’t think has really ever been done for a book launch party. I’m excited about it.

 

What makes this event stand out than any other book launch events?

AG: I think the biggest thing that stands out for this event is the fact that I’m including a one act play; where I have a few people acting out a scene from a chapter from the book to give people a visual of what they’re about to read. I have not heard or seen that done before. Also, most authors are not singers. I am. I have written a song for the book, (soundtrack single) which I will be performing on that day as well. It’s called ‘Thankful.’ It’ll be available when the pre-order drops.

 

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I find it amazing that you are having the event on your birthday! How amazing!

AG: Yes! My birthday is actually the 26th of October but it falls on a Friday, so I chose the 27th because you know most people are available on weekends. LOL But I’m including my birthday because this is a major thing for me. I’ll be turning 31. When I turned 30, I told myself that I have to make this decade count, and doing this book and launch is a part of that declaration. So yes, I get a two for one deal.

 

What do you want readers to take away when reading your book?

AG: This is kind of a loaded question. Hmm. I want people to take away that no matter the adversities, the situations or circumstances standing against you, that there is a power within that is ready and willing to help you overcome. I want people to know that in life, it’s important to have the right people around you, especially when facing difficult and dark times and to understand how important Faith, Grace, and Forgiveness is to one’s healing.

 

I was looking on your website and I see that you have a book launch team for your new book. Tell us more about that.

AG: My Launch team is pretty cool. It’s about fifteen of us total. I decided to create a launch team for this book because I understand that I cannot do all of this by myself. It can get pretty stressful. It takes a village to really make something successful. Ooo that rhymed. But anyway, I can post and shout to the mountains all day long about the book, however, people get tired of hearing it from just one person, right? So why not include others who equally believe in what I’m doing to help push the product to the masses? And that’s what the team is all about. They’re helping me to succeed because they believe in the story just as much as I do.

Do you have any goals for the book? Media appearances? Interviews? Book tours?

AG: Yes. I definitely have plans to market and promote to local news stations, do podcasts interviews, blog interviews and hopefully reach two national TV shows like The Real and Sister Circle. Book tour is definitely in the works all along the east coast. And if things go right, maybe a stage a play or movie deal.

 

Being an author can have its ups and downs. What do you believe is the best way to remain humble as an author when things can be challenging?

AG: Best way to stay humble is to always know you have more growing and learning to do. You’re never done evolving or expanding in your writing. Something or someone new always comes along and can easily take your spot. In the words of Kendrick Lamar “Sit down, be Humble.” Reality is, things can go either way.

 

Where do you see yourself five years from now? Ten years from now?

AG: Five years from now, I see myself growing and being able to build an empire from this book alone. Ten years, maybe be on the same caliber of Oprah or somebody.

 

Who are some of your favorite authors?

AG: I don’t have many, but I would say Eric Jerome Dickey and Devon Franklin. That could change later, though.

 

How can readers connect with you? How can they pre-order your new book?

AG: Readers can connect with me by visiting my website at www.officialanagibson.com. All of my social media buttons are available on there. Guide Me Home pre-orders will be available September 12, 2018 wherever books are sold. Official release date is October 22, 2018.

 

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