Minority owned businesses you should SUPPORT

Now more then ever it has become very important to support minority-owned businesses. Not only to pour back into the very community we come from but also to be equipped to compete with global players that want to swallow us up for the unique value proposition we offer as well as the strong relationships we’ve built with our customer base. We all have stayed in business because we solve a specific problem that other companies weren’t able to solve in the same manner we do. Why do we invest in a company we have absolutely no relationship with instead of helping build up our fellow minority business owner? I understand that the options will be more limited and might be a little more expensive but it will pay off in the long-run. I strongly encourage you to pour back into your community when possible. I have listed various minority-owned businesses you should consider supporting:

1. Fashion

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Photo Credits: Thomas Garza Photography

Esé Azénabor’s designs are inspired by the arts and her culture. Whether you need a couture garment for a special event or your dream wedding gown. Nigeria born Esé Azénabor will create a one-of a kind garment just for you. The designer is based in Dallas but serves clients internationally.

William Okpo is lead by sister Duo Darlene Okpo and Lizzy Okpo. The young label offers ready-to-wear designs inspired by the sisters’ love for 90’s hip hop. Their talent even moved Solange Knowles to recruit the designers for a collaboration on a Puma Disc Sneaker.

Jacque M. Handbags is a Dallas based company that prides itself by hand-crafting unique handbags ranging from clutches,  tote bangs and even the most stylish fanny packs. Celebrities such as Kandi Burruss or Draya Michelle have been spotted rocking Jacque M. Handbags.

Hashtag Heels Shoetique  is a Dallas-based company that is passionate about bringing international shoe trends and the most popping style of heels to shoe-fanatics all across the nation. They have a storefront in Dallas as well as an online-store.

2. Hair Products:

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Photo Credits: http://www.fabellis.com

ShaeMoisture is personally my favorite hair care line, the Curl & Style Milk specifically works best for me. Despite the outrage caused by their latest promo video (which was racially too inclusive for some supporters) I still believe we can’t let them hang just because of 1 mistake or 1 misunderstanding. The CEO explained in an interview on The Breakfast Club that the ad had leaked without approval and he repeatedly apologized for offending their core customers. He also pointed out that in order to grow and not be crushed by multi-billion companies they had to start including other markets. Watch the full interview here. I continue to love and support ShaeMoisture! They have sponsored various of my events and are giving back to the community in a major way through their  Community Commerce Program.

CURLS was founded in 2002 in Elk Grove, California by CEO, Mahisha Dellinger. Now greatly expanded, CURLS is available in major retailers such as target CVS, Target, and Walmart. Celebrities and influencers such as Natasha Hastings swear by their blueberry bliss curl selection.

4. Make-Up

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Photo Credits: Neveen Dominic Cosmetics

Neveen Dominic Cosmetics is a Canada based luxury beauty company redefining beauty standards. Hailing from South Sudan the CEO Neveen Dominic struggled with bullying due to her darker complexion all her life. When Neveen saw other dark skinned women turn towards extreme methods such as skin bleaching to fit more Eurocentric standards of beauty, she knew that the issue was more than skin deep. Consequently she created her own Luxury Cosmetics and Skin Care line Neveen Dominic Cosmetics

Black Opal was one of the very first make-up companies that catered to darker skin tones. They have paved the way for other minority owned businesses and reinvented themselves over and over again.

4. Food & Drinks

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Photo Credits: Taylored Wines

Pudding on Smiles is my favorite dessert company in Dallas and run by a married couple. They are the definition of a power couple, she produces the treats he takes care of sales, marketing, events and distribution. Their infamous pudding jars are available at the Grapevine Farmers Market, at Royal Blue Grocery in Highland Park, Market Provisions in Dallas, Roy Pope Grocery in Fort Worth and many more.

Elaine’s Kitchen is one of my favorite hole in the wall spots on MLK Jr Blvd in Dallas. The Jamaican cuisine in this particular restaurant is simply off the chain I recommend the jerk shrimp or the oxtails.

Tacos La Banqueta  became my favorite Taco Joint after a very disappointing experience with my former love interest Fuel City. I came across this taqueria after reading an article on D-Magazine about the best tacos in DFW. Unlike Fuel City which is white-owned Tacos La Banqueta is still Mexican-owned.

Sociologie Wine offers a fruit forward Red Blend and a lovely Blushing Rose. The founder and CEO Amy Hampton started off by serving her delicious wine blends to family and friends at various gatherings. Soon after her guests began requesting Amy’s wines by the bottle, she knew she had to turn her passion into a business.

5. Fitness

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Photo Credits: Jacoby Veals FB

Choice Training will satisfy all your fitness needs, whether you’re looking for boot-camps, group fitness or even a pole dancing class. They got you covered!

Veals Fitness is one of your top choices if you need a more intense body transformation and are ready to completely change your lifestyle. Founder and CEO Jacoby Veals went through a drastic physical transformation himself (see picture above) and his clients’ testimonials speak for the quality of his work. He will create custom workouts and meal prep plans for you. If you need daily motivation to live healthier you can also follow his social media @fit_veals :-).

Please share and let me know if this was helpful. Also if you know a minority owned business the world needs to know about please comment below or send me an email.

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

 

Esé Azénabor and My Refuge House celebrate strong women while fighting sex trafficking in Dallas

Esé Azénabor debuts its new collection titled Woman X Power at the brand-new Fashion Gallery on 100 Cole Street, Dallas TX 75207 in the Design District February 7th 2016.

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Fashion Designer Esé Azénabor

The designer’s inspiration for her 8th collection stemmed from observing powerful female business, industry and community leaders all across the world that give the weak a voice. My Refuge House (MRH), a non-profit that supports and empowers girls rescued from human trafficking in the Philippines, was one of Esé’s inspirations. In particular, MRH’s Director of Engagement, Kim Jones, who has devoted her time and energy into supporting the recovery of these precious girls became one of the new collection’s muses. The designer was so touched by the heart- breaking stories and the mission of Restoring One Life at a Time through MRH that she had to get involved.

 

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My Refuge House Team & Girls Photo Credits: My Refuge House Facebook

Nigeria-born Esé created the Woman X Power collection to demonstrate that strong, confident and almost-intimidating women can be sexy as well as feminine. The entire collection pays homage to women powerhouses that lay the pavement for the following generation of women leaders to come.

 

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Sneak Peek of one of the new pieces Photo Credits: Malek Photo Films

Esé Azénabor is known for its beadwork, but in this collection the envelope was pushed even further by creating 3D beadwork that will tell a story of its own. One can expect simple and clean lines. However, be prepared to gasp over beautiful green, white, gold, silver, and blush tones with some dark tones to complete the color palette. The runway show will also feature Esé’s first bridal couture collection, created after several of her bridal designs went viral on the internet.

February 7th won’t be your typical fashion show, in celebration of strong women, 30 Influencers will walk the runway to showcase that powerful women come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. These are as follows:

Esé Azénabor, Stephania Schirru, Mebrat Pahlavan, Kim Jones, Rhonda Sargent Chambers, Christine Butcher, Erika Salter, Joanne Herda, Carinthia Kishaba, Brooke Branagan, Cathy Vieth, Phyllis Comu, Jennifer Cassidy, Emily Cassidy, Hillary Kennedy, Ruqaya Hamza, Carmen Surgent, Stephanie Hollman, LeeAnne Locken, Dawn Mellon, Yana Greenstein, Melissa Rountree, Melissa Enriguez, Donna Richardson, Ilana Narosov, Jessica Chinyelu Anibowei, Tama Tran, Shabnam Pahlavan, LaToya Jones and Naila Malik.

Empress Gilbert, CEO of Expressive Geo Design will entertain the audience with her southern charm as the evening’s emcee.

Silent auction items, light bites, treats by Pudding on Smiles, and an open bar sponsored by Kruto Vodka will be available for guests to enjoy throughout the evening.

A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to My Refuge House to help support their work of restoration.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.womanxpower.eventbrite.com

For press and sponsorship inquiries please email sschirru@dynamicallybpr.com

 

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

Smith II “SS 17” Collection inspired by Police Brutality

Charles Smith II, the visionary and creative mind behind Smith II, did not cease to push the envelope with his latest “Do Not Touch” collection for the Spring/Summer 2017 season. We simply can’t put this artist in a box, every time I think I figured him out he comes up with something new. A new message, new lines, new accessories, new colors and new materials.

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Photo Credits: Demarcus Mitchell

Let’s start with his new message:

His latest collection was inspired by the on-going incidents of racism and police brutality against the African-American community. But his message goes even deeper as to holding our personal space which is often taken for granted at a high value. When we read “Do Not Touch” we automatically take a step back, pay more attention and become more respectful. Smith II wants his clients to feel untouchable when they wear his clothes, not in a cocky way, but in a more individualistic matter. The ultimate goals is to eliminate the necessity to fit in or yearning approval from others.

Charles Smith II practices what he preaches, because he sure doesn’t care about what others think of him by now. His confidence wasn’t a given but instead developed while overcoming a myriad of obstacles ranging from financial hardships to being burned by people in the industry.

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Photo Credits: Demarcus Mitchell

During the runway presentation I loved seeing denim skirts, chokers, asymmetric jackets, lace capes (my favorites) and two piece ensembles. I was also impressed by the color range utilized, we have been used to primarily blacks and whites by Smith II but this collection also included yellow, red and a lovely burgundy.

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Photo Credits: Demarcus Mitchell

Watch the finale walk here:

Do Not Touch raised awareness on socio-political issues and pleased our eye with ready-to-wear fashions while raising funds for DISD scholarships. His audience was so diverse showing that we ALL can come together for a great cause regardless of ethnic, social, economic or political background!

Bravo Charles! Well done!!!

 

Best Events in Dallas

April and May are definitely the “Gala Months” in Dallas. Here the top events worth your money and time.

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1. Mad Hatters Tea April 21st

This event has been extensively featured on the last episode of The Real Housewives of Dallas. According to Sharon Adams of Your Park Cities blog, this fabulous and fun party has been an ongoing fundraising event sponsored by the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Funds raised develop and maintain A Woman’s Garden key element of the Dallas Arboretum.
Over 500 guests enjoy this over the top spectacle showing off their extravagant hats.
The event includes a champagne reception in Ginsburg Plaza, professionally staged and choreographed fashion presentation inside Rosine Hall and afterwards, hats are judged in different categories and contest winners are announced at the fashion show and strut the runway. The fashion show festivities are followed by a seated al fresco luncheon under elegantly draped tents.

Tickets: Sold Out

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Steve Kemble and Dawn Neufeld. Photo Credits: Dawn Neufeld

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2. 2016 Emmitt Smith Celebrity Invitational May 6th/7th

The May 6th Friday Night Party will be held at the Omni Dallas Hotel. The night begins with a VIP red carpet, followed by a celebrity reception, dinner and live auction. The evening will be emceed by comedian and entertainer Broderick Rice with a live performance by Daughtry. This year’ s Roger Staubach Award will be presented to Dr. Phil and Robin McGraw. The Saturday, May 7th Charity Golf Tournament takes place at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney with players and other sports and entertainment celebrities partnered with each foursome, followed by an afternoon awards ceremony.

Tickets: Friday Night Party, tickets begin at $500 each, and tables at $5,000
Saturday Golf Tournament, Pavilion passes are $50 each

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Pat Smith and Vivica A. Fox on the Red Carpet. Photo Credits: emmittsmith.com

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3. House of DIFFA Circo Rouge May 21st

This extravagant Fashion Spectacle will take place at the beautiful Omni Dallas Hotel for include a silent and live auction – featuring DIFFA/Dallas’ renowned designer jacket collection, seated dinner, and the legendary DIFFA/Dallas runway production and after party. Produced by my all time favorites Jeffrey Horn  and Rhonda Sargent Chambers of RSC Productions, attendees can expect the unexpected this season with a theatrical production featuring surprise guests, elaborate performances, and some of the hottest fashion trends by Traffic LA, TenOverSix, & Forty Five Ten.

Tickets: Start at $375 (officially sold out, but I have still have access to a few, just comment below)

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Finale Walk. Photo Credits: diffadallas.org

Let me know what you think. Which one is your favorite Gala in Dallas? Or which one would you love to attend? I might do a give-away for tickets.

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded