Designer Highlight: Cleah Murray

Designer of the week – Cleah Murray 

             At the age of just nine-years-old, Cleah took her mother’s dress and redesigned it for herself.  Even then, she knew what she wanted to do with her life! She enrolled in and graduated from the Louisville Technical College of Merchandising and Design. Cleah’s avant-garde vision has allowed her to work as a designer, consultant, and an educator. She has been inspired by fashion from the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s eras.

            Early on in her career, being a woman of color, Cleah found that she was not taken seriously. She said once she realized her worth and what she had to offer, the struggle became easy, but still not without struggle.

            Cleah started her business in Louisville KY and moved to Atlanta in 2000 and has been in business for over 25 years.  Her clients are celebrities, socialites, and fashionista’s. Her couture designs have been featured on the Red Carpet at both the 2011 and 2012 Grammy celebrations. She designs for the woman with impeccable taste who understands quality. She is known nationally as well as internationally and her specialty is custom clothing from ready to wear to bridal.

            Her criteria for success is waking up knowing that your day will be great regardless of your circumstances.

Visit her website at: https://cleahdesigner.com/

or follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter: cleahcouture

Call (404) 586-9729 or email:@cleahdesigner.com

Photo credit:

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Caitlin Ann Gooch

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.
 
Caitlin Gooch is a Wendell, NC native who grew up on an 87 acre farm. Her father built a racetrack where he would allow horse races. She is the founder of Saddle Up and Read (SUAR), a nonprofit organization she began in 2017 when she learned the literacy rates in North Carolina were extremely low. Gooch partnered with her local library to create an incentive for young readers. She proposed that if a person checked out more than three books, she would enter them into a raffle and gift the winner with a free trip to her family’s farm to ride their horses. 
 
Gooch noted that 36% of the fourth graders in the state of North Carolina were reading at proficient or higher according to the 2019 Nation’s Report Card.  Gooch wanted to encourage reading amongst youth and has gone as far as organizing book drives and school-wide reading competitions. To date, she has raised more than $20,000 from donors around the world to help expand her services and open an in-house library and equestrian center.
 
Gooch is the mother of three young girls and wife to a member of the US Navy. She says she has her family’s full support. Although she no longer lives in North Carolina, she travels monthly to her family’s farm to continue her mission. She has been coined, “The Black Cowgirl” To learn more about her organization visit her site at: https://www.saddleupandread.org/
 
You can follow her on Instagram: @theblackcowgirl and @caitlin_gooch
 
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Photographer-Stanford Moore of www.blackreignsmagazine.com, www.saddleupandread.org

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Tyla-Simone Crayton

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.

Meet Tyla-Simone Crayton, the 17-year old founder and CEO of Sienna Sauce. She and her family, originally from Brooklyn NY, created their own sauce and would sell chicken wings weekly out of their home in Sienna, TX. Miss Crayton conceptualized packaging her sauce at the age of 8. On August 17, 2017, Sienna Sauce formerly, Sienna Wings was established. 

Miss Crayton’s vision is to have her chicken wing-style sauces become a household name and have a business that will be passed down through generations. She has been more than resourceful, raising nearly $200,000 through crowdfunding investors and an additional $45,000 through pitch competitions. Not only is her brand important to her but her education also.  Miss Crayton balances homeschooling and takes additional business classes because she believes in constant learning. Her motto is, “Never be afraid to ask questions”. She befriended Shark Tank star and billionaire Mark Cuban who is also an advocate of lifelong learning and has helped Crayton with business advice. 

Her products have been featured on Essence, ABC, NBC, CBS, Inside Edition and more. 

Visit her website: https://siennasauce.com/ or Follow her on Instagram: @siennasauce, @ceosauceboss

Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Voyage Houston & Sienna Sauce

Designer Highlight: Jerry Lorenzo

Jerry Lorenzo
 
     Jerry Lorenzo is the founder of Fear of God, a luxury street wear label that was founded in 2012. He was born in Sacramento, California in 1977. After studying at Florida A&M University, he moved to Los Angeles, California to obtain a Master’s in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount. He worked in retail in the stockroom at Diesel while studying for his MBA. Lorenzo went on to manage corporate sponsorship for the LA Dodgers and then worked in marketing for a sports agency in Chicago. In 2008, he returned to Los Angeles where he was a successful party promoter. There he formed relationships with people in the fashion, sports, and entertainment industry.
 

     Despite having no formal training in fashion, he decided to change career paths after becoming a father by setting up his own clothing line. He used $14,000 of his own money to launch his first collection. His debut collection was a success, and he was summoned to Atlantic City to share some of his pieces with Kanye West. A relationship was formed, and he went on to collaborate with West on several other projects.

     Early influences ranged from 90’s Hip-Hop to Grunge. His style is known as fluid casual; a wardrobe that allows one to move seamlessly through the consistent inconsistent times we live in. For instance, a man might go to the gym, carry a blazer with him, and then from there, go to a meeting.

His celebrity clientele includes former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick to Beyonce. He has also designed clothes for Justin Bieber and Kendrick Lamar’s tours. With no external investors, Fear of God, is completely independent.

Follow him on Instagram: @fearofgod # jerrylorenzocollection # jerrylorenzo

Visit his website at: www.fearofgod.com

Photo credit: Lifestyle.com

Contributing Writer: Gail Preddy, Secretary of the Pearls

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Candace Marie

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.

Candace Marie is the former social media strategist who spent ten years in the corporate world before creating her own social medial consultancy company for luxury brands. Candace endured systemic racism and found herself working harder than her peers who were not black. To help other black people navigate the corporate world, Candace created Black in Corporate. Black in Corporate is a mentorship program; a virtual space for black professionals to receive mentorship, relief, guidance, and support from professionals of all backgrounds. Candace wanted to provide an avenue for black professionals who many not normally have access to a mentor, to have a resources as their dispose. 

Black in Corporate launched November 1, 2020. If you are interested in applying to the Black in Corporate mentorship program click here: or, visit the site on your own: https://www.blckincorporate.com/virtual-mentorship

You can follow her on Instagram at: @blckincorporate @marie_mag_

Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Photo Credit: CFDA, Business Insider

Pearl shoots with StewdioSpace

Founder Pearl photographs with Stewdiospace, a team out of Atlanta, GA compose of a photographer and MUA.  Michael is a photographer, videographer and editor and Stephen is a brilliant makeup artist with over 20 years of experience. Stephen has served as Kim Kardashian’s primary makeup artist for several years.

The are a great team for models seeking to build their book. Learn more about their work at https://www.stewdiospace.com/

BETTY MARSHALL – NEW CEO OF ALNP FOUNDATION INC

A Lady Named Pearl Foundation Inc has appointed Betty Marshall as its new CEO. Linda “Pearl” Fils-Aime, the founder will serve as the President.

In the role of CEO, Betty will guide the operations of Pearl School of Modeling, Pearl Model Agency, Pearl Magazine, and Pearl Books, the divisions of ALNP Foundation Inc.  

Pearl and Betty met 12 years ago in Bentonville, AR, while working at corporate Walmart. Pearl served as a real estate analyst, and Betty served as the Regional General Manager/Vice President of Sam’s Club. Pearl and Betty formed a bond, in which Betty served as Pearl’s mentor.

In the role of RVP, for 13 years, Betty was responsible for the day-to-day management and operations of 113 Sam’s Clubs and approximately 10,000 associates within the Southeast Region of the United States which included North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Florida and Puerto Rico. Prior to being promoted to Regional General Manager, Mrs. Marshall served as Vice President/Divisional Merchandise Manager for Sam’s Club. Her responsibilities included purchasing, merchandising, sales and profit for all frozen/refrigerated foods and cafes for Sam’s Club’s U.S. locations.

Mrs. Marshall joined Sam’s Club in 2003. Prior to joining Sam’s Club, she served as Chief Administrative Officer and Senior Vice President of The Phoenix Restaurant Group. Prior to her position with Phoenix Restaurant Group, Betty was Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Community Relations for Shoney’s Inc., where she provided leadership and served as spokesperson during the company’s critical cultural transformation phase. During her ten year tenure with the company, she was responsible for women/minority business development, corporate communications and corporate image advertising.

When asked about joining the ALNP Foundation Inc team, Mrs. Marshall said, “I am honored and energized to be a part of this great organization which builds character, confidence, leadership skills and entrepreneurship in our next generation.”

Photo: SkyyWonders Photography

 

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Beau Shell

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.
 
Meet Victor “Beau” Shell; a 15 year-old entrepreneur who has been running his own business since the age of eight. At age eight, Beau received an ice cream cart for his birthday. Beau is the owner of Cool World Ice Cream Shop in Athens, Georgia. Beau, affectionately known as “Lil Ice Cream Dude” is more than just a business owner; he’s a fighter. Diagnosed with pneumonia and emphysema, Beau was confined to his home for weeks but was determined to make his ice cream business a success. Beau received his medical treatment at the Scottish Rite Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. There he was introduced to UGA Miracle and Dance Marathon which he now supports with some of his proceeds. He has sold his ice cream in more than 400 events and to more than 10,000 customers. Beau desires to inspire all. 
 
Visit his website: https://lilicecreamdude.com/ and/or follow him on Instagram: @lilicecreamdude
 

Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls

Photo Credit: Travel Noire, UGA Miracle, Marjoni-Janee

 
 
 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Entrepreneurship Highlight: Mikaila Ulmer

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.
 
Meet Mikaila Ulmer! At the tender age of four, this spirited young lady launched her business at the Children’s Business Fair in Austin, Texas. When Mikaila was young, she was stung by two bees. Her parents encouraged her to turn her negative experience into a positive one! They challenged Mikaila to channel her fear into a research project about bees. She discovered how important bees are to the food system and before long, the Ulmer family launched a beverage business using flax seed honey and added it to a family recipe for lemonade. 
 
Mikaila secured over $60,000 from Shark Tank and $810,000 from NFL players. Mikaila’s products are sold in nearly 380 stores worldwide including Whole Foods. Mikaila’s company donates a portion of its proceeds to local and international organizations working to save the honey bees meanwhile, Mikaila launched her own organization, Healthy Hive Foundation.
 
A word of advice from the now 13 year-old Mikaila, “If you’re going to start a business, do something you love. Or you probably won’t be very good at it”.
 
Visit her website: https://www.meandthebees.com/ Purchase her book Bee Fearless at: https://www.amazon.com/Bee-Fearless-Dream-Like-Kid/dp/1984815083
 
Contributing Writer: Lauren Burford, VP of the Pearls
Photo Credit: Children’s Business Fair, New Hope Network, Typewriter Labs