Welcome to the Ms. Hollywood Magazine family.
1. Let’s start by telling the readers a little more about yourself that they may or may not know about you?
I’m originally from Pittsburgh, PA. I grew up in a single-parent household and spent a lot of time with my grandparents in my younger years. My mother was really into art and dance and she loved to sing. Growing up she exposed me to high-end fashion and designing jewelry. Sometimes I would sneak into her fabrics and try to design my own t-shirts and sweatshirts. I got my first sewing machine when I was 16yrs old. I guess you can say that’s how I was introduced to the world and art of fashion design.
2. How did you get your start in the entertainment industry?
I attended Howard University and graduated with a degree in Business Marketing. I actually started out pursuing a degree in Fashion Merchandising but my mom made me change my major because she felt that my talent in fashion design came naturally but I needed to learn the business. After college, I got a job at Enterprise Rental Car and I hated it so my friends and I started our own entertainment company.
We started throwing shows for independent artists. I was so determined to break into the fashion industry that my friend and I made resumes that included our individual work styling our friends. My friend Adiclere introduced me to one of the owners of a production company called Strange Fruit Films.
They were looking for a stylist for a Pastor Troy video at the time. They hired me for the video and from that point on I began my career as a wardrobe stylist in the entertainment industry doing music videos. From there, the rest is history.
3. Tell us about your latest endeavors?
Currently, I am the Head Costume Designer at Tyler Perry Studios and responsible for designing The Oval, House of Payne, Assisted Living, Ruthless, and I recently ventured into independently designing for a Home and Gardening show on HGTV. Separately, a friend and I launched an online women’s clothing boutique called Shop Which Bitch that sells on-trend items from sportswear to dresses at affordable prices.
4. Can you tell our readers more about the difficulties that you’ve faced early on as a Fashion Stylist?
The biggest challenge for me has been time management and balancing the demands of being creative with short turn-around times due to the speed of filming schedules. Early on I thought that I was going to be able to sit with ideas for a while before filming but I had to realize that here at Tyler Perry Studios we move at a much faster pace than others in the industry so I’ve had to adjust on the fly and still maintain a high level of creative flexibility.
5. Who inspires you in the industry and who do you look up to?
Ruth Carter hands down. Early in my career, I had a chance to work with her and observe her creative process. Her commitment and ingenuity inspired me and taught me so much about different fabrics and how important it is to pay attention to fabric choices when designing from scratch. I really look up to her and others like her such as Trish Summerville. She is a creative genius. Her work on “Hunger Games” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was absolutely amazing.
6. If you could have a sit-down conversation with anyone dead or alive who would it be and why?
Barack Obama for obvious reasons. What he’s been able to do for America and The Culture has inspired me and others like me for a long-time. I am highly interested in his personal motivation, inspiration, and internal compass.
7. How do you turn a negative into a positive?
By trying to keep a mindset that is focused on solving problems instead of feeding them.
8. What kind of advice would you give a newcomer trying to pursue a career in your line of work?
Believe in yourself and be willing to learn all aspects of costuming. This job requires true commitment and passion. To be successful you have to be flexible, persistent, and open to working odd hours. That level of commitment truly takes an exceptional amount of determination, motivation, and a lot of prayers.
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself producing my own shows and continuing to mentor aspiring men and women like me.
10. What has been the highest point of your career so far?
Honestly, I really can’t decide. Everything has been unfolding so fast that I haven’t taken a moment to soak it all in. I feel like I’m still ascending so it’s hard to choose.
11. If you could go back in time and speak to a younger you, what words of advice would you give yourself?
Don’t put yourself in a box.
12. If you could change one thing about your life what would it be and why?
Nothing. I believe everything happens for a reason but I would like a husband though.
13. If your life could be summed up in a single quote what quote would it be and why?
Live life to the fullest. I like that quote because you never know how life will go and you don’t want to live with regrets.
14. In conclusion is there anything that you would like to leave all of our readers and your fans with?
Don’t be afraid to pursue exactly what you want out of life. Closed mouths don’t get fed. If there is something that you truly want to do then find someone to mentor you and reach out. You never know who is willing to help you and give you an opportunity.
Enterprise | Thrive.com