Entrepreneurship Highlight: Myriam Taylor of Muxima

One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.
 
Myriam Taylor, of Portugal, is the daughter of Angolan war refugees who sought asylum in Europe. Taylor found it to hard to fit in Europe especially as a black child with textured hair. Only in recent years has it become trendy for women of color to wear their hair naturally. Taylor had a vision for women of color to wear their hair with confidence while embracing it and without compromising it.
 
When Taylor became pregnant, she decided to refrain from using chemicals in her hair.  She found it challenging to find good products for her hair type. In 2016, Taylor decided to create a luxury hair-care business, Muxima and a biotechnology company, Muxima Bio. Her product line includes caviar-based shampoos, conditioners, and oils made from bio ingredients to nourish the hair. Each product was made with love and from her heart; Muxima in the Angolian language of Kimbundu, means “heart”.
 
Her products have been featured in Essence and Forbes magazines. Myriam is not just an enterpriser,  she is an advocate for social humanitarian causes! She believes in being a voice for inequality especially for victims of domestic violence and war orphans in Angolia! She continues the fight for social justice by giving her time to these causes in various European cities.
 
View/purchase her products at https://www.muxima.net/
 
Follow her on Instagram: @muximaofficial
 
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls
Photo Credit: Kazanuba, Instagram: @musximaofficial
 
 

Designer Highlight: Galatea Berger

Galatea Designs

Our designer of the week goes to Galatea Berger. What’s in a name ? This is the real name of the magnificent jeweler Galatea Berger but you probably don’t know it’s meaning. The Greek myth of Pygmalion, is about a mortal who sculpted a statue so beautiful he fell in love with it. Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love took pity on the lovesick artist and brought to life the exquisite sculpture, which was named Galatea.

The name Galatea Designs carries connotations of striking visual appeal and a man’s love for a woman. You will definitely fall in love with Galatea’s exquisite jewelry designs. From a simple engagement solitaire, to more ornate designs,  she creates from precious stones and metals. After attending the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Galatea’s early designs were the focus of attention while she worked in a local financial institution. Many customers were dropping in just to see what she was wearing. She began selling jewelry way before she opened her own business.

Known originally as “ Jewelry and Gift Exchange” when founded in 1985, Galatea Designs quickly secured reputable and reliable contacts with jewelry manufactures. From its inception, it has offered a superior line of jewelry designs and personalized jewelry creations. Galatea Designs serves men and women with refined taste. They work by appointment only which allows customers to select a diamond or consider the design of their jewelry in a more relaxed setting, free from distraction, which permits Galatea to give you her undivided attention.

Follow her on Instagram: @galateadesigns

Photo credit: Galatea Berger

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

 

 

Designer Highlight: Diane von Furstenberg

Best known for her iconic “wrap dress”, you have not lived until you own one! Diane Simone Michelle Hafflin was born in Brussels, Belgium to Jewish parents.  Eighteen months before Diane was born, her mother was a prisoner at Auschwitz concentration camp. She credits her mother with being a great influence in her life. Her mother taught her that fear is not an option.

After studying Economics at the University of Geneva, she moved to Paris and worked as an assistant to fashion photographer agent Albert Koski. She then moved to Italy to be an apprentice for the textile manufacturer, Angela Ferretti. In his factory warehouse, she learned about cut, color, and fabric. It was there she designed and produced her first silk jersey dress.

Shortly after her marriage to Prince Egon von Furstenberg, she decided she wanted a career of her own and not just to be a plain little girl who married beyond her “desserts “. After separating from her husband in 1973, she moved to New York and met Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who said her designs were absolutely smashing.

In 1974, she introduced her knitted jersey wrap dress. After the success of the wrap dress, Furstenberg was featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine in 1976 and was declared the most marketable woman since Coco Chanel. She has gone on to launch a cosmetic line, fragrances, and a home shopping business to name a few. Many celebrities have worn her clothes from Madonna to Michelle Obama.

You have not lived, until you have worn this iconic wrap dress!! here are 45 free standing shops world-wide.

Follow her on Instagram: @DVF

Photo credit: DFV.com

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Model Highlight: Joan Smalls

Joan Smalls Rodriguez was born in Hatillo, Puerto Rico, USA. She began her modeling career after graduating from InterAmerican University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology in 2007. At the young age of 19, she was signed to Elite Model Management and began modeling for department stores such as Nordstrom’s. She then moved to IMG models and landed brands such as Givenchy and Victoria’s Secret. In 2012 she was named, Model of the Year!  Smalls appeared on 11 international editions of VogueHarper’s Bazaar, i-D, Interview, Porter, Love, American ElleT Magazine, and more. Aside from print advertisements and runway, she took a leap of faith and made a small business venture; Smalls partnered with Estee Lauder. She still enjoys modeling but feels that it is important to contribute to her community. She is involved with various non-profit organizations and is very socially cognizant of the issues all of over the world. One of her favorite organizations is the Garden of Dreams Foundation; an organization dedicated to helping children facing obstacles such as homelessness, extreme poverty, illnesses, and foster care challenges.

Joan always remembers the words of her mother, ” Joan remember, you’re the star…not star as in celebrity star, like a bright star.”

Follow Joan on Instagram at: @joansmalls

Photo Credit: IMG Models, Getty Images
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

 

Designer Highlight: LaQuan Smith

LaQuan Smith was born in Queens, New York. At the tender age of 13, his grandmother passed on her old singer sewing machine to him to use. She instructed him and instilled in him a passion and skill for sewing and pattern making.

He started his brand at age 21. Since its formal debut in 2013, the brand gained acclaim for its distinctive garments and details. His work sparked interest among fashion icons and risk- takers such as Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Kim Kardashian, all of whom were early supporters of the gifted designer.

LaQuan has also cultivated a private order clientele which spans the globe from Lagos to London. His glamorous aesthetic has also been tapped by world recognized brands such as Heineken, Samsung, and Verizon to name a few. LaQuan and his label are headquartered and manufactured in Long Island City, NYC and deliver worldwide.

LaQuan sums up his style as “Unapologetic Sexiness”

Follow him on Instagram:@laquan_smith

Photo Credit: trendcouncil.wordpress.com, http://www.ciaafrique.com, www.elle.com

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

 

 

 

 

 

Model Highlight: Shanina Shaik

Hey Lovelies!

Our model highlight goes to the beautiful Shanina Shaik! Shanina Shaik was born in Melbourne, Australia. She is of Pakistani and Lithuanian descent! Her modeling journey began at the age of eight years old by appearing in a TV commercial for Hyundai!
 
When Shaik began high school, her modeling career took a pause, she was in an accelerated program that allowed her to graduate a year before her classmates. At the age of 15 years old, Shaik entered an Australian reality show called ” Make Me A Supermodel” and finished as runner-up! 
 
 In Autumn/Winter of 2009 Shaik walked in eight shows and opened for Yeolee. She has worked with Mara Hoffman, Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret, Jason Wu, Vogue India, Harper Bazaar’s Singapore, Arabia, Australia, Vietnam, and many more!  In an interview Shaik shares her upbringing as a Muslim and states ” I was born and raised Muslim and I lived a very normal lifestyle. My father is very open to my job and understanding and he is grateful of who I have become. I’m a very sophisticated and respectful woman. I had a great upbringing and a great lifestyle with my sibling.”
 
Photo credit: Emirates Woman, Vanity Fair

Contributing Writer: Jeysika Henry, Fashion Show Production Manager/Social Media Manager

 

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Stephen “Seven” Hudson

One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.

Stephen “Seven” Hudson began producing fashion shows and dance shows as a senior in high school. His creativity and eye for detail continued on as he honed his skills in the salon. For the past 11 years he worked in the salon but also in editorial fashion, the film and television industry, commercial advertisement, at personal events, and weddings. He is continuously building his brand Beauty by Stephen. He most recently appeared in Essence Magazine promoting his CTRL Edge edge control and tamer.

Hudson is talented, ambitious, and ready to conquer the world. He is the senior stylist at Suite Life Salon and Spa in Freeport, Long Island, NY.  He is a platform educator, his skills are top-notch, and soon, he will be the most sought after creative in the industry!

Follow him on Instagram:@sevenknows

Shop his beauty products at: https://www.beautyxstephen.com/

Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Essence Magazine, Beauty by Stephen

Model Highlight: Ugbad Abdi

Hey Lovelies!! 

Our model highlight goes to the beautiful Ugbad Abdi! Abdi was born in Kismayo, Somalia! Due to the Somali Civil War, Abdi and her family quickly left for a refugee camp in Kenya and from there they moved to Des Moines, Iowa with the help of UNICEF.  After she graduated high school, Abdi was discovered on Instagram, she went to New York to meet with representatives and signed with Next Management!
 
Abdi’s career began when she debuted on the runway for Valentino’s Haute Couture show in 2018/2019. She has worked with New York Fashion Week, Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs, Chanel, Miu Miu, Burberry, Fendi, and many more! In 2019 she graced the issues of American, British, and Arabian editions of Vogue magazine. Abdi stays true to her Muslim faith by wearing her Hijab while modeling and became the first runway model to wear her Hijab in Fendi and Lanvin’s fashion show! 
 
Photo credit: Vogue Japan, British Vogue, and Twitter

Contributing Writer: Jeysika Henry, Fashion Show Production Manager/Social Media Manager

Model Highlight: Liya Kebede

Liya Kebede was born and raised in Addis, Ababa, Ethiopia! Kebede was discovered by a film director while attending school at Lycee Guebre-Mariam and was introduced to a French modeling agent. Once Kebede finished her studies, she relocated to France to pursue her modeling career through a Parisian agency. Her career in the fashion industry skyrocketed when Tom Ford presented Kebede with the opportunity to have an exclusive contract for his Gucci Fall/Winter 2000 fashion show. In May 2002, she graced the cover of Paris Vogue in which the whole  issue was dedicated to her. From there, she has been on the covers of Japanese, French, American, Italian, and Spanish Vogue, V, and many more! Kebede has also been in campaign ads with Gap, Yves Saint-Laurent, Victoria’s Secret, Revlon and more! In 2003, she became the face of Estee Lauder Cosmetics and was the only Ethiopian to do so!

Kebede is not only a model, actress, and entrepreneur, she is also an activist. Her activism is dedicated to reducing the maternal, newborn, and child mortality in Ethiopia. She founded her non-profit organization called Liya Kebede Foundation: https://www.lemlem.com/pages/lkf

Kebede is a true inspiration who does it all!

Contributing Writer: Jeysika Henry, Fashion Show Production Manager/Social Media Manager

Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz

ENTREPRENEURSHIP HIGHLIGHT: RIZOS CURLS

One of our three pillars at Pearl School of Modeling is entrepreneurship. We challenge our Pearls to create a business plan, implement it, and begin their business in their semester. We felt it important to add an entrepreneur highlight to the newsletter” to bring awareness to the numerous business owners that could positively influence our readers.
 
Julissa Prado struggled finding the right hair care products growing up as a Latina. She was determined to one day create the perfect formula for girls like her.  After years of working on her formula, she created the all natural Rizos Curls, one of the first Afro-Mexican hair care lines. Her products have been featured in Glamour, People en Espanol, Hip Latina, Teen Vogue,  Target, Cosmopolitan and many more. Prado believes in paying it forward and launched her first Latina Entrepreneur Summit. Prado attributes her entrepreneurial spirit from coming from the hood and  her father who started as a dishwasher and later became a restaurateur.
 
“Rizos Curls is created from the heart and is my perfect formula for defined, bouncy, shiny, frizz-free, soft, voluminous curls.”- Julissa Prado
 
Shop her product line at: https://rizoscurls.com/ and follow her on Instagram: @RizosCurls #RizosCurls