interview

Fashion Edition Featuring TiKeDi “TiKeDi was not built and designed with one type of female in mind.”

TiKeDi

1. Where did you come up with the name TiKeDi for your fashion line? And how many are behind the brand itself? The name TiKeDi was derived from our names. Ti is the first two letters of Ti, Ke is the first two letters of both of our middle names Keenya and Kenya, and Di is the first two letters of our last name Dickenson. There are two people behind the brand TiKeDi, Ti and Asia Dickenson.

2. Explain your line for those who have no clue on what you create and sale..
TiKeDi offers a modern twist to your favorite basics, embracing every individual ability to be unique. We offer shredded pieces (dresses and shirts) suitable for every women and any occasion. All of our produces are fully shredded, made to order, and the entire process is done by hand. Because our customers are our number one priority every piece is made for the individual.

3. What is a day in the life of you and your brand like? A TiKeDi day is filled with waking up in the morning and checking all emails and orders. After checking emails and orders made overnight we then ship out orders that has been already processed and completed. We then go ahead and start on all new orders, and we work on those all night (usually up until 6 am). And every other Friday and Saturday we drop off pieces/ orders to ATL boutiques as they are demanded.
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4. From your experience, what are 5 key components to running and maintaining a successful business?
–> Customer service is always key, we would not be where we are today without our customers and their loyalty. And as consumers ourselves we know what it is like to have good customer service, and we know what its like to experience bad customer service
–> Organization For us organization is the number one component, it drives our customer service, marketing, communication, and our fresh ideas. By staying organized we are able to maintain stability in our work environment and with each other. If we are unorganized or one thing is out of place it messed with the order in our work space, orders get messed up, and that is something that we can not only not afford but it is also unpleasant for the customers.
–> Marketing Social networking and marketing is the fuel for our business. You have to market so that your product can be seen. Instagram has been one of the biggest contributers to our marketing platform. We live in an age of visual stimulation, so when people can see our products on people other than models, on people who look like them and I, they are more likely to buy.
–> Communication Communication with our customers and supporters is very important to us, but communication with one another is even more important. Because we are twins, and the fact that we live together and work together, it can be easy to mix business with personal. Lucky for us we are each other ying and yang so we balance one another out. We are a team and we work as such, so there are no mix ups, no hard feelings, and we are able to deal with each other when we are not in TiKeDi mode.
–>Fresh ideas In order to continue to gain new followers and customers and to keep the ones we already have we have to always come up with new ideas. In this industry it is so easy to fall over to the waste side or to be forgotten. Fresh ideas keep us current, it keeps us in the spotlight and it keeps the consumers wanting more.

5. As the designer, what do you hope the consumer understands about your pieces just by seeing, touching and/or wearing Tikedi?
We just want the consumer to understand that TiKeDi is made for them. TiKeDi was not built and designed with one type of female in mind. Everyone can be comfortable and sexy in TiKeDi.

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6. Describe the type of woman the Tikedi line is made for.
TiKeDi is made for all women. If you are confident in your skin then TiKeDi is for you. If you are a little shy and sweet then TiKeDi is for you. If you want to discover your “sexy” then TiKeDi is definitely for you. All TiKeDi pieces are offered in a range of sizes from xs to 4x because we want everyone to feel included. TiKeDi is not geared towards just the “normal” size woman. Anyone can wear our pieces and they do.

7. After following you on several Social sites, the one thing I’ve noticed and what stands out about you to me is your confidence. What can you say to the young girls reading this that may help them love the skin they are in?
We will tell them what our mother always told us “You will never know what it is like to be someone else, you will always be you, love and accept the skin you are in, it makes no sense wishing that you are/ were someone else.” You will always be black/white/spanish, you will always be female. These are things that we cannot change. You can only be the best you that God and the universe has intended. Pray for mental stability and then live for you.

8. If you could choose one person, dead or alive, famous or not, to be the face of your brand, who would it be and why?
The one person who would be the face of TiKeDi would have to be our current model Crissy. More than anything TiKeDi is a family business and she has stuck with us from day one. Being in the business for years and being signed to an agency she never told us no or acted as if she was too big for TiKeDi, we can never thank her enough for that. Second runner up would be Rihanna though. We love Bad gal RiRi
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9. If you don’t mind sharing, what’s next for Tikedi? and do you have any plans on incorporating men pieces to your collection?
Our current goal is to be placed in at least one boutique in every major city (NYC, LA, ATL, Vegas, etc.) We will also like to make enough of a profit to start donating a portion of every order to a charity whose focus is the well being of girls. We hope to reach ladies worldwide and make everyone feel beautiful and sexy when they wear TiKeDi. We pray that TiKeDi becomes bigger than our dreams and the brand becomes a go to brand for shredded pieces. We definitely would love to be placed in international boutiques at some point. Also we are currently working on a sister site filled with fun and affordable accessories, the website for that is www.keenyab.bigcartel.com

10. Where can the audience keep in contact with you and your work?
We can be reached a number of ways.Website: www.tikedi.bigcartel.com, Email: shoptikedi@gmail.com, Instagram: ShopTiKeDi, Facebook: TiKeDi, Twitter: ShopTiKeDi. For those who are in Atlanta or metro Atlanta our pieces can be found at Envy ATL boutique in Little Five Points.
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EYE CANDY || Meet Keston Karter

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You may remember this face as LeToya Luckett’s love interest in her music video “Good to Me”. He may even ring a bell as a candidate on What Chilli Wants. Well meet Keston Karter. He is more than just a handsome face and a sexy body. In fact, we’ve had the chance to interview Mr. Karter and ask Keston a few questions about his career, background and love life. You don’t want to miss his answers. Be sure to click HERE for the interview and follow the links to stay in contact with him.

Happy 1st Day of Spring.

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No Boiz Allowed Introduces Pretty Ego

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At No Boiz Allowed we strive to promote the positive woman. This also includes FASHION! With so many online boutique’s these days, it becomes hard to decide just where to spend your hard earned money. Why not put your money into the pockets of a positive business woman? NBzA would like to introduce an up and coming online boutique, Pretty Ego! With the motto, “You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to be fashionable. Pretty Ego is a unique boutique that provides high quality fashionable apparel & accessories to fit anyone’s budget” you can’t go wrong! Offering Chanel Inspired pieces, an assortment of leggings and printed bodycon dresses as well as unique accessories, Pretty Ego is a one stop shop for your online shopping needs. Prices currently range from $7.50-$65.00 and arrive in pretty pink packages! The CEO also wears several of the pieces herself. We got the chance to catch up with the San Diego CEO Risa to get an exclusive interview as she introduces her line and tells us about her first time experience at her own pop-up shop and at this years Magic Convention in Las Vegas!

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1. Risa, give us a little background on yourself and what inspired you to become a business woman?
Well I have been on my own since I was 16, so I have always been a go getter. I have always juggled 2 jobs to make sure my bills are always paid. I started modeling, doing a few magazines and videos and generated a small buzz from that. I dare to be different. I hate fitting in or being the same as everyone else. People began to compliment me on my style and were always asking where I got my clothes from or asking me to style them so I figured I would give them what they asked for. I have always wanted to start a business I just woke up one day and said ok today is the day I get the ball rolling and that’s how Pretty Ego was born. I have always handled my business and have never been a lazy person.

2. How do you balance your daily life with managing a business?
It’s hard to own a business and still have time for school and relationships. Luckily for me I have living, supportive, understanding people in my circle so they understand my crazy schedule. I rarely have time for me but it has always been business before pleasure for me. My priorities have and always will be in check. I take care of the most important things first and the rest gets done when time permits.

3. What is your advice for anyone who wants to start their own business in fashion?
Don’t copy other people because what works for one person may not work for you. Nothing comes easy. If you don’t grind you don’t eat! If you aren’t tired at the end of the day you need to work harder.

4. Who is the Pretty Ego customer? Who does your brand speak to?
My brand speaks to the working woman, the busy mothers, the full time student, the hustlers and the fashion addicts. Everyone has a “pretty ego” regardless of their shape, size or skin color. Some woman wear a suit all day, carry around a backpack or diaper bag. Pretty ego boutique offers my customers a chance to get dressed up in some dope gear and get pretty to go out and enjoy themselves after handling their big girl duties. It’s an alter ego..one side of you is handling your priorities and your other ego is a pretty mufxxa that wanna dress up and go have fun! Lol

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5. What can we expect for the future of Pretty Ego?
My men’s line launching spring/summer 2013 and a brand new woman’s line, along with a full website make over!

6. How successful was your first “pop up” shop?
Very successful! It was nice to see women getting together to support one another. Shout out to “B’Swank” and “Body by NC”.

7. What did you do mentally to prepare for this event and what would you do differently next time around?
All I had time to do was mentally prepare lol . It was so last minute and I had a ton of things going on I was not able to fully prepare how I wanted. Thankfully my sister was able to help me, next time I would definitely plan better as far as little details and promo goes.

8. What was your favorite part of this event, least favorite?
Favorite part of the event was promoting my brand to people who didn’t know about us prior to the pop up shop. The least favorite part was standing up for 4 hours in 6 inch heels lol

9. Las Vegas Magic Convention is coming up and this will be your first appearance as well, how are you feeling about this event?
Excited and nervous!! Eeeek!
(we have spoken to her since as she concluded it was a success and lots of fun!)

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10. NBzA promotes the positive woman, what is one thing that PrettyEgo and/or yourself does to do the same?
I am always supporting women as far as giving business advice or any other kind of wisdom I can offer. I am always supporting woman who are doing positive things. Pretty Ego is making a Brest Cancer Awareness shirt for Breast Cancer month and 100% of the proceeds will go to Susan G Kolmen Foundation towards finding a cure. Pretty Ego also donates at can food drives, toys for tots and we are always looking to get more involved in charity work.

View some of the Pretty Ego merchandise below:
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“California” Two Finger Ring- $19

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Denim and Leather Moto Jacket- $38

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Printed Body Con Dress- $35

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Black Fringe Top- $24

More Pictures From Pretty Ego

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Connect with Pretty Ego
Twitter- @ShopPrettyEgo
Facebook- Pretty-Ego
Instagram- @PrettyEgo
Website- www.prettyego.com

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Alena and Myiah introduce Gyrl Talk App to NBzA Audience

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1. Ladies, for those that have no clue, tell us exactly what the GyrlTalk app is?
GyrlTalk is a messaging platform for women full of expression. It provides an all-inclusive communication suite for instant messaging, group chatting and photo sharing. GyrlTalk also integrates social media so you can remain connected with your networks such as Facebook and Twitter. GyrlTalk also introduces over 50 never-before-seen emoticons to create the ultimate chatting experience between women.

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2. Introduce yourselves. How many ladies are behind the creation of GyrlTalk App?
The GyrlTalk team includes Alena McCord-Estes, 27 and Myiah Hughes, 28.  We were both born and raised in Atlanta, GA. Our life journeys connected us at Florida A&M University and again in New York City with similar goals to conquer the big city in our respective industries.

3. How has the response been so far from your customers and the users of GyrlTalk?
The response has been overwhelming. Women of all backgrounds, ages, colors and etc. are really excited about this exclusive communication suite. They are especially eager about chatting with such a variety of emoticons with their girlfriends. The app merges so many (multiple) features and applications that we all use on a daily, some users have found themselves “GyrlTalking” 50% of their day! We are enthusiastic about the response and eagerly working on original ideas to keep the app fresh and innovative.

4. Where did the general idea of GyrlTalk App come from?
The iPhone 4S was Myiah’s first introduction to Apple. Shortly after its release, one Saturday morning, the two of us were chatting about the upgraded features and installing emoji onto her device. She noticed there were no emojis that represented people of color. We both immediately began to search for an app that would fill this void in the iPhone world and came up empty. From that conversation we decided to create an app that would represent a variety of women and our unique expressions. This was in October of 2011.

5. When it comes to business, what or who keeps you ladies motivated?
Freedom.
Millions of women are confined by society’s definition and trajectory of our skill sets. In 2011 we founded Star at Heart, LLC the umbrella under which GyrlTalk falls. Star at Heart’s mission is to inspire women to rebel against those limits and pursue every single thing that brings them joy. The ultimate goal is happiness..living it and inspiring it.

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6. Are there any famous Gyrl Talk faces that we may recognize when downloading the app or is it your everyday around the way girl that looks like you and I?
GyrlTalk’s Star Keyboard is a reflection of a mixture of women from all walks of life. We really wanted everyone to be able to identify and have ownership in the expressions of each Star on the keyboard. So the characters are you and me!

7. With so many expansions of GyrlTalk, how does GyrlTalk app plan to expand with it. What
should we look forward to?

We have an arsenal of innovations for the GyrlTalk app, including the monthly release of more fun and flirty emoticons. We will be introducing new sharing features exclusive to the app that are centered around things that women love to discuss, i.e. clothes, shoes, makeup, food, etc. We also plan to constantly enhance the interface and usability to align with our users most frequently accessed features.

8. What technology devices are GyrlTalk compatible with?
GyrlTalk is currently available on the iPhone, iTouch and iPad. We are very excited about sharing it with our Android girlfriends as early as this Summer.

9. If each of you could give your favorite quote that sums up your focus, what would it be?
“If it doesn’t exist, create it.” ~ Alena & Myiah, Star at Heart Founders
“What is now proved was once only imagin’d” ~ William Blake

10. How can the viewers keep in contact with you?
twitter: @GyrlTalkApp
instagram: @GyrlTalkApp
facebook: www.facebook.com/gyrltalkapp
Web site: www.GyrlTalkApp.com

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HERstory – Tryneal Addison – 16 year old Creator, Co-Producer, Host, Spokes model, Actress and Writer… – Get Inspired

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Meet Tryneal Addison, 16 year old Creator, Co-Producer & Host of What Girls Think Web Talk Show! This unique talk show features teen girls and young women from different cities and cultural backgrounds discussing important and fun topics of interest to young people.  They’ve never met in person — but convene “virtually” each week using web technology. Tryneal is also a Spokes model for Foundation Golden Runway! Actress and Writer. She is setting the tone for young ladies around the world and providing them with a platform to express, support and relate. I had the pleasure of interviewing Tryneal hoping to inspire the readers of No Boiz Allowed. Age truly is nothing but a number when you are passionate about your dreams.

1. Using only 5 words, how would you best describe yourself?
Determined, Passionate, Outgoing, Sassy & Creative.

2. Tell us about your talk show “What Girls Think” and what was the inspiration behind creating it?
I think what motivated me the most, is the cry I am hearing from our teens. I see their hurt, their pain, their sorrow, their unanswered questions. I want to Motivate, Educate and Recreate the lives of youth. To do that, I wanted to create a platform that gave us a voice, where we felt that we had our own special place to release our thoughts. I feel like we deserved that much. The platform of it being a talk show is a bonus. I came up with the idea, when I was 14 years old, I typed up my proposal, I sent it off to a bunch of production companies, and I never got a response. Then one day I was scrolling on the internet and I ran into my Disney Producer and we created an idea, and now the rest is history!

3. How does it feel being pegged as the “Oprah” of your generation? Is it pressure? motivation? how do you feel?
Yes! It is A LOT of pressure. See the thing is, I love Oprah.. I really do. But I was never in my life trying to be the next chapter of her. That is a lot of work and I am not to sure If I’m ready for it. It does give me a lot of motivation though. It keeps me humble that so many people see in me what they see in her, and for that I am grateful. It makes me feel empowered, self-efficient , nervous, excited… I mean the list can go on. I’m just honored that so many people see that type of power she has in me, but it most def can get overwhelming.

4. How did you find the courage to set yourself apart from your peers and move forward with your dreams at an early age?
Honestly, there was just something deep down in my soul that yearned for accomplishing my dreams. There was always this deep determination ( I call it an “Old Soul” ) since 5 years old, about getting what I wanted and never taking NO for an answer. I was that kid that got bullied, picked on and laughed at. I was the girl that was tallest in my class. I was the girl that had a little extra weight on her. So I basically took all of that pressure and hurt and I turned it into determination to go after my dreams, and I said to myself, “Just wait. We will see who has the last laugh.”

5. Aside from the business side of things, what are some of your favorite past times?
I loved my young life as a kid! I loved the summers from ages 5-10. I had such a fulfilling life, going outside to play in the sandbox, going to the swing set and seeing which one of my friends I could beat by getting the highest in the air! I loved, when the Ice cream man would come down our street and Id buy everyone of my friends a 25 cent Popsicle! I loved rolling down the “Big Hill” in summer and I loved sledding down it in the winter! Now a days, I love listening to music, reading, shopping, dancing, hanging with friends & family and just having fun!!!

6. For girls and women that look up to you, what advice would you give them when it comes to moving forward with their dreams?
I would say, just always love yourself. I really mean, LOVE YOURSELF. Find out what it really means to love yourself and when you figure that out, you will realize that you deserve the best at all times. Love is a very easy but hard feeling. It can be tricky and hard to understand. I feel that loving yourself should be easy and that If you don’t love you, who will?! Believe and always trust God. He has your back. Don’t ever be afraid to run to him in your time of need. Lastly, “Smile because you can, Because you have the right ,and because your worth it”

7. Up to this point in your journey, what has been one of your most humbling experiences?
I think just getting my show on a network. That was VERY hard to do and I Thank God for opening major doors for me. He has had my back for as long as I’ve lived and I am just so passionate and grateful for the blessing. I will continue to work hard and just wait on God to see what he has set for my future!

8. Who are some well known women that you have yet to work with that you would love to if the opportunity presents itself?
Well of course Ms. Oprah Winfrey!!!! I would love to work with Wendy Williams (How You Doin Wendy!) Katie Couric, Ricki Lake, Tyra Banks, Tyler Perry, Amber Riley, Raven Symone… The List goes on! So many amazing people that I look up too!

9. What can we expect and look forward to from your talk show What Girls Think since it launched in July?
With the past launch of July 2012, I think you can expect more shows, more excitement, more show guests, more fun , more laughs and just more of us opening ourselves up. We will be truly letting our fans know who we are and what we stand for. It going to be amazing!!!

10. Where can the viewer keep up with you and your power moves? 
You can find my on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TrynealAddison or Twitter @TrynealAddison @GirlsThinkTV You can visit “What Girls Think Website at www.whatgirlsthink.tv and visit my persoanl site at www.TrynealAddison.com

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