SERENA AND VENUS WILLIAMS

It is a rivalry that in terms of importance and longevity compares with Chris Evert-Martina

Tennis superstars Venus & Serena Williams photographed as 14- and 12-year-old tennis phenoms at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy

Tennis superstars Venus & Serena Williams photographed as 14- and 12-year-old tennis phenoms at the Rick Macci Tennis Academy

Navratilova and Steffi Graf-Monica Seles. Venus and Serena Williams have met 26 times, 13 in Grand Slam events and eight in Grand Slam finals. The 13 Grand Slam meetings are the most of any pair save for Evert and Navratilova, who met 22 times.

The Williamses’ latest match, Tuesday night in the United States Open quarterfinals, may be the most important yet, as Serena is bidding for the first Grand Slam since Graf in 1988.

But it is also a rivalry between sisters, and that brings with it some ambiguity or even discomfort. The sisters have said they do not especially enjoy playing each other. “It definitely doesn’t get easier,” Serena said after their most recent meeting, in the round of 16 at Wimbledon this year.

Amélie Mauresmo and others suggested years ago that matches between the sisters might be fixed. Fans and tennis writers often call their matches passionless.

Still, Serena told reporters of Tuesday night’s match: “I’m playing the best player in the tournament. She knows how to play, how to win. She knows all my weaknesses.”

Continue reading the main story

Sister vs. Sister in Grand Slams

Venus and Serena Williams have met 26 times, 13 in Grand Slam events and eight in Grand Slam finals.

Year Tournament Round Winner
1998 Australian Open Round of 64 Venus
2000 Wimbledon Semifinal Venus
2001 U.S. Open Final Venus
2002 French Open Final Serena
2002 Wimbledon Final Serena
2002 U.S. Open Final Serena
2003 Australian Open Final Serena
2003 Wimbledon Final Serena
2005 U.S. Open Round of 16 Venus
2008 Wimbledon Final Venus
2008 U.S. Open Quarterfinal Serena
2009 Wimbledon Final Serena
2015 Wimbledon Round of 16 Serena

The sisters met for the first time professionally in the round of 64 at the 1998 Australian Open. Venus, though playing in just her fourth Grand Slam event, was already a United States Open finalist. Serena, a year younger at 16, was making her Grand Slam debut. Venus won, 7-6, 6-1. “It wasn’t so fun to eliminate my little sister in the second round,” Venus said.

Venus dominated the rivalry at first, winning four of the first five meetings as well as their first Grand Slam final, the 2001 United States Open. But beginning in 2002, Serena took over.

The heyday of the rivalry was from 2002 to 2003, during the so-called Serena Slam, when Serena won four consecutive Grand Slam events. All four of the victories came over Venus in the final.

Venus beat Serena in the Wimbledon final in 2008, but has not beaten her at a Grand Slam event since. That was also Venus’s last Grand Slam title, and her performances have slipped as she struggled with an immune deficiency diagnosed in 2011.

The most controversial match between the two came in 2001 at Indian Wells. At a news conference after losing to Venus in the quarterfinal, Elena Dementieva suggested that the sisters’ father, Richard, would decide who won the semifinal between them. A few minutes before the match, Venus pulled out, citing tendinitis.

Courtesy of New York Times.

LEADERSHIP PROFILE: RAY EDWARDS JR

The Sweet Science of Ray Edwards Jr

Written by Linda “Pearl” Fils-Aime

 

“Pearl throw punches at Bethany, and work on your jab. Three rounds!”, says Biggs.

Biggs is the owner of Biggs Boxing, and has been my trainer for the past two years.

(The bell rings for the third round)

“Last round!”, Biggs announces, as Ray Edwards Jr, a visiting fighter and his trainer walk in the gym towards the ring.

Ray Edwards Jr at ESPY

Ray Edwards Jr at ESPY

Ray Edwards Jr is a former NFL Defensive End turned professional boxer, with his sights set on becoming  the undisputed heavy weight champion of the world. After looking further into his story, I found his journey to be very interesting.

Here is the Sweet Science of Ray Edwards Jr. 

Ray Edwards Jr was born on January 1, 1986 in Cincinnati, OH. He grew up with his mother and older sister; his father was not present in the home. The family lived in the public housing projects of Cincinnati. Early on in life, Ray hung out in the streets, and began smoking and drinking with an older crowd. “I was going to school high in the 5th grade. I was way too young to be doing that kind of stuff, but that’s what happened.”

In the sixth grade, Ray began playing basketball for his school. Shortly after, he met two individuals that changed the path of his life, Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins. They became Ray’s mentors. “It felt like divine intervention for them to come into my life. Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins instilled in me that you can go a long way with education, but that there are no guarantees in athletics.”

While hanging out in the streets, Ray found that his peers were getting into trouble or going to jail.

“Seeing people going to jail, living check to check, and struggling around me, motivated me to want a better future, for myself and my family. Once I started playing football, I knew that the NFL was my ticket out; it became my dream. So I made a sacrifice to leave the streets, and dedicated my heart and all my energy to education and sports.”

The sacrifice paid off. Ray attended Woodward high school, graduating second in his class; amongst the top 1%. He also exceled in basketball and football.

COLLEGE YEARS

Ray attended Purdue University on an athletic scholarship, and started in 18 of 36 football games.  As a Defensive End, he recorded a total of 16 sacks and received many honors including All-Freshmen team choice by The Sporting News (2003), honorable mention All-Big Ten (2004) and semifinalist for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award (2005). After his third year at Purdue, Ray was drafted to the Minnesota Vikings.

ALNP: How did you stay focused during your college years?

Ray: I knew college was a stopping point. My main goal was to get into the NFL.  I knew I had to play at least three years. I worked hard every off season, and during school. You got to be willing to sacrifice for success. I really don’t go out, I really don’t hang out, I work.  

NFL YEARS

During his first year, Ray started in 15 of 16 games for the Minnesota Vikings, a rarity for a rookie.

Ray Edwards Jr

Ray Edwards Jr

 

ALNP: What was it like, once you got to the NFL? Was it everything you dreamed it would be?

Ray: It was the beginning of everything. I was twenty-one, and I had a great signing bonus. You go from having nothing to something, then you realize you can get more, and help more people. I was blessed to have Karl Dunbar of the Minnesota Vikings as my position coach. He is a great coach and great mentor of men.

As the years progress in the NFL, Ray encountered a suspension. The suspension was due to suspected “steroid” use, but Ray explains that it actually was a testosterone booster in a male enhancement drug that he took, that created the red flag.

“While on suspension, I picked up boxing, and it’s what I do now for a living. Everything happens for a reason. You never know why it happens, but it happens.”

In his comeback season, Ray had a break out year with 8 sacks.

ALNP: Do you feel the training you received from boxing, helped you have a breakout year?

Ray: “Absolutely. Boxing by far has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to train for in my life. It helps me strength wise, endurance wise, and mentally as well. In boxing you always got to think, it’s a thinking man’s sport. That’s why they call it the sweet science.”

Ray played with the Minnesota Vikings for seven years; afterwards, he played with the Atlanta Falcons. Due to various differences with the coaching staff, Ray stayed with the Falcons for a short period of time. Shortly after, Ray transitioned into boxing full time.

BOXING CAREER

Ray made his professional boxing debut on May 20, 2011, at a Minnesota casino, during a lockout period for his football career.

Ray Edwards ANLP: What was your first fight like?

Ray: I was a nervous wreck of course. I was still playing football at the time, working on a big contract. I was not sure when the lockout was going to end, but I knew I was going to go back to playing football. You have that on your mind, all your teammates that you’d played football with, there to watch you fight, and your family. I believe it might have been 2,500 people in the building. In football you have 100,000 people in the arena, but they are watching everybody play. For boxing, those 2,500 people were  focused on me and my opponent. Once the bell rang, and I got to moving around, I got loose, and continued to have tunnel vision with the goal to win the fight.” 

Ray won his first fight victoriously. Currently, as of August 2015, Ray has an undefeated record of 10-0 with 5 knockouts.

Ray Edwards won his professional boxing debut Friday night at Grand Casino in Hinckley, where he outscored heavyweight T.J. Gibson in their four round bout. Gibson fights out of a gym in Duluth.

Ray Edwards won his professional boxing debut at Grand Casino in Hinckley, where he outscored heavyweight T.J. Gibson in their four round bout.

THE FUTURE

In addition to boxing, Ray will be going back to school to pursue his degree in Criminal Justice. Furthermore, Ray has aspirations of building a community center in his home town of Cincinnati, OH that will develop quality women and men as leaders in society.

“My first goal was to have my first professional fight. As I continued to grow in boxing, my spirit began to speak to me more saying that when you become the heavy weight champion of the world, your next goal will be to become the undisputed heavy weight champion of the world. After that, your next goal will be to establish a center for kids in your community, where they can learn how to be men and women in society, no matter where they come from. I grew up in the projects, I grew up around drug and violence. No matter where you come from, you can be what you want to be, as long as you believe in yourself. ”

 

 Pearls of Wisdom from Ray Edwards Jr

“Look to be better than the situation you come from.”

“No matter what, stay true to your end goal.”

“We all have talent, are you willing to work?”

“Give back and help others.”

“You got to be willing to sacrifice for success.”

 

LEADERSHIP PROFILE: DREXINA NELSON

DREXINA DEFYING THE ODDS

Drexina Nelson

Drexina Nelson

Written by Pearl Fils-Aime
Edited by Denise Sarkor
It is 3pm. I enter her office for our interview.
“Pearl,” says a warm and inviting voice from behind a wall—she must have heard the sound of the door shutting behind me. I follow her voice into a photography studio. There, a sprightly
Chihuahua runs up to and greets me. As I look up from the Chihuahua, I recognize a team of people—all seated—having lunch together. Drexina is among them, but rises to welcome me with a beautiful smile and warm hug.
Drexina Nelson is a beauty, fashion and advertising photographer with a remarkable eye. She is defying the odds in the photography industry, being one of few African-American female photographers in the business.

Drexina has captured some of the most beautiful and talented people in the world of entertainment, including Idris Elba, Kanye West, Tracie Ellis Ross, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Ludacris, Kandi Burgess, Cynthia Bailey, and NeNe Leakes to name a few.

 

 

I had the opportunity to shoot with Drexina in December of 2014, and the experience had a profound impact on me. Beyond awe at her accomplishments, I was so greatly impressed by her spirit that I had to acknowledge her in this featured article for the launch of PEARL, the magazine.

Drexina was born in Albany, GA and raised in Atlanta, thecapital—and most densely populated city—of Georgia. As a child she dreamt of being Motown’s pop star, Diana Ross. She loved beauty and fashion, and envisioned a career as a fashion designer. While attending the illustrious Clark Atlanta University, Drexina commenced her studies in Fashion. However, like many college students, she switched her major after realizing it
was not the right path for her. Drexina became an Art major; it was a perfect
fit. After graduating, she immediately pursued her MBA.
To be completely transparent, Pearl, I did not want to be a starving artist. So, I
got my MBA right after I graduated with my Art degree
.”
With an MBA in her toolkit, Drexina served as a global implementation analyst for a major corporation. She worked in this capacity for several years before transitioning into the beauty industry as a full-time, make-up artist.
I remember taking my portfolio to an agency. They said they loved the make-up,
but the photography wasn’t strong
.”
Unafraid of a challenge, Drexina purchased a professional camera and lights, and became the photographer for her make-up work. She began shooting dolls and neighbors as her first subjects. Her competitive drive kept her studying hard, day and night. Soon after, Drexina
became a sought-after photographer.
My first big shoot was with Akon. Opportunities were coming left and right. Within a
year, I was able to shoot Idris Elba for Vogue
.”
How did she separate herself from the rest of the market, and get noticed so quickly? Drexina explains that when she entered the market, many photographers were shooting for magazines such as KING and Black Men, using a style that focused on the assets of women.
I aimed to capture the beauty of a woman as opposed to the booty of a woman,
Drexina says with a chuckle.
Next Chapter for Drexina
Photography is spiritual to me. Recently there has been a shift in my work. I have a life
coach/healer, and she has helped me work through certain blocks in my life;
it’s changing my approach to photography. I used to see things for what I
wanted them to be, now I see them for what they are
,” says Drexina.
Drexina is in her 10th year of photography. “I am more authentic. I am
ready to come out the way that I am supposed to with my work. It is about
women’s empowerment. That’s why I started. It’s about making women feel
beautiful, and changing lives.
The Society Salon
One of Drexina’s newest ventures is The Society Salon. It is a branch of her
beauty empire. The Society Salon is a membership-based salon geared towards empowering women through its network of members.

 

Pearls of Wisdom from Drexina Nelson

It’s not about the spotlight. It’s not about the fame. It’s about staying true to your
passion and mastering your craft.”
When building your business, be sure not to be influenced by everyone else. You can
only be you. Stay true to yourself.
Don’t expect anybody to give you anything. You have to work for it. No free lunch.
I believe in growing like a tree. I don’t want to grow fast, and have no substance. I
want to be a tree that lasts forever.
For more information on Drexina, visit www.drexina.com.

FLAIR CHARITABLE GALA!

A Lady Named Pearl and Keri Hilson

A Lady Named Pearl and Keri Hilson

A Lady Named Pearl and Andrew Young and wife

A Lady Named Pearl with Andrew Young and his wife

A Lady Named Pearl's Leadership Academy

A Lady Named Pearl’s Leadership Academy

A Lady Named Pearl

A Lady Named Pearl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FLAIR CHARITABLE WEEKEND
Flair is a 501(c)3 that is composed of former Ebony Fashion Fair Models, Commentators and Designers. On the weekend of August 20th – August 22nd, FLAIR held various events for the benefit to raise funds and provide scholarship for upcoming designers.

PEARL ON CBS46 NEWS!

11026186_10152951147716750_119180911285875774_n(1)Former Ebony Fashion Fair Models Pearl Fils-Aime and Princess Filmz, designer Edouard and commentator Carla Fisher on set at CBS46 News with anchor Karyn Greer.

FLAIR, a charitable association comprised of Ebony Fashion models and deisgners will be having an event on August 22nd to raise scholarship funds for students interested in the fashion industry. Clothing and jewelry designs by Edouard. For more info visit www.flairinc.org

BENEFITS OF BEING IN NATURE!

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7 Scientifically-Backed Health Benefits of Being in Nature

1) Vitamin D – The sun supplies us with best source of Vitamin D. Getting enough of this hormone (that’s right hormone, not a Vitamin) is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system.
2) Eye Health – Preventing Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), the term used to describe eye problems caused by staring at a screen close to your face for prolonged periods. Furthermore, Artificial Light Provokes Nearsightedness.  New research is showing that our ever increased exposure to artificial light may be having a negative impact on nearsightedness.
3) Improved Sleep – Poor sleep is often caused by poor sleep patterns.  Our sleep patterns are regulated by an internal body clock called the circadian rhythm.  Our circadian rhythms are naturally tied to the sun’s schedule.  Spending too much time inside – away from natural light and with increased exposure to artificial light, can alter our circadian rhythms.

4) Clean Air – Someone telling you to get some “fresh air” is more than a subtle way of saying “go away”.   As it turns out, outdoor pollution is bad for your health, but indoor pollutants are far worse.  The EPA New England states that indoor pollutants are normally 2 to 5 (and up to 100) times higher than outdoor pollutants.

5) Grounding – Perhaps still on the fringe of mainstream science is the practice referred to as grounding (or earthing), which results from bare skin contact on a natural surface (dirt, sand, etc.).  The theory states that because the earth is negatively charged- and has a greater negative charge than your body- we absorb earth’s electrons.

6) Exercise – Let’s face it, it’s hard to get outside without exercising.  Even a light walk has immense health benefits, especially contrasted with sitting- which has been referred to as the smoking of our generation.  Sitting too much results in impaired fat burning capacity, decreased bone density, increased blood pressure, and a shortened life span.

7) Psychological Health – Spending time in nature has been linked to improved attention spans (short and long term), boosts in serotonin (the feel good neurotransmitter) and shows increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for empathy, emotional stability, and love (whereas urban environments do the same for fear and anxiety).

How often do you get out in nature?

Source

 

THE TRUTH ABOUT BEAUTY

Pearls….have you read the Dove study on beauty entitled “The Truth About Beauty”?

Here are some statistics:

  • Only 4% of women around the world consider themselves beautiful (up from 2% in 2004)
  • Only 11% of girls globally are comfortable describing themselves as ‘beautiful’
  • 72% of girls feel tremendous pressure to be beautiful
  • 80% of women agree that every woman has something about her that is beautiful but do not see their own beauty
  • More than half (54%) of women globally agree that when it comes to how they look, they are their own worst beauty critic

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What are your thoughts on these statistics?

Download the full report below.

19_08_10_The_Truth_About_Beauty-White_Paper_2

GIVING BACK

Volunteering has always been viewed as good for your soul. We at A Lady Named Pearl, LLC believe in giving back to our community.

 

image.axdBenefits of Giving Back:

1) Giving makes us feel happy.

2) Giving is good for our health.

3) Giving promotes cooperation and social connection.

4) Giving evokes gratitude.

5) Giving is contagious.

 

What organizations are you contributing to, and what have you gained from the experience?

PEARL HOSTS WORLD NATURAL HAIR SHOW!

World Natural Hair Show

Pearl interviews Bravo’s Reality TV Star of Atlanta Housewives and Married to Medicine.

A Lady Named Pearl

Pearl interviews fashion designer Patrick T Cooper.

A Lady Named Pearl

A Lady Named Pearl serves as host of the Social Circle for 18th Annual World Natural Hair Show.

A Lady Named Pearl

Pearl interviews WeTV Reality TV Star of Cutting It In The Atl, Beautii J.

World Natural Hair Show

World Natural Hair Show

The 18th Annual Taliah Waajid World Natural Hair Show is the largest show globally catered to the natural hair market. It draws thousands of attendees from around the world, seeking knowledge and the best products for natural hair.

From winning the crown as 2013 World Top Natural Hair Model to serving as the host of the Social Circle for the Spring show, it is always a pleasure to come back. I had a great time interviewing some of the most interesting sough-after personalities such as Naturalista blogger Naptural Nicole, to Dwight Eubanks of Bravo’s Atlanta Housewives and Married to Medicine, to International Singing sensation Leela James, and much more!

If you are considering going natural or seeking an event to attend for additional knowledge and products on natural hair and healthy body, this is it! Next show will be in the Spring of 2016!

For more information on this event visit www.naturalhair.org

SPRING SEMESTER GRADUATION

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15 Students graduated from our first level course, PSM 195 – Intro to Modeling – Spring Semester 2015.

Special thanks to our Teacher’s Assistants Joylette Dulaney and Torie Daniel, and to Highland Bakery for serving as a sponsor.