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Posts tagged “Atlanta

HIGH Event: Fashion Uncorked Kicks Off At Barami In Phipps Plaza

Photo by James L. Young Photography

On Friday night, BARAMI inside of Phipps Plaza hosted the kickoff party/pre-event for Fashion Uncorked, a jewelry-inspired design competition. As soon as I walked in, I was greeted by Norma Center, Development Coordinator for Easter Seals Disability Services. She was very kind and gracious and answered any questions I had about the event and the organization. I was also greeted by two lovely ladies offering wine, bottled water, and hors d’oeuvres. There was also a table at the front with a representative from the Easter Seals organization who was selling tickets and offering information about Easter Seals.

Photo by James L. Young Photography

A live DJ spun great music while attendants browsed the store and shopped while mingling with the other guests. It was a great turnout of fashionable individuals from all walks of life.

I was pleased to see that while BARAMI is located in Phipps, which is known for catering to high-end clientele, the store offers chic business casual attire and beautiful accessories that are actually affordable. I spoke with the store manager, Marguerite Bobkin, who informed me that BARAMI is approaching its 3 year anniversary of being inside Phipps Plaza yet the store is based out of New York and has been around since the late 70s! Wow!

While I was there, the trendy store also offered a giveaway for everyone who submitted a business card. I won’t name any names but some lucky person won that lovely handbag I had my eye on!  My personal highlight of the evening: being able to not only meet the competing designers but also talk with the judges and Mrs. Theresa Howard, the creator of the bold jewelry pieces that will be featured in the competition.

Anastasia Southwick, The High Up's Karissa Parker (Center) and Theresa Howard Photo by James L. Young Photography

All in all, it was a great event and a great way to kick off Fashion Uncorked, which will be held this Saturday, February 11th at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center located 40 minutes outside of Atlanta. The proceeds from Fashion Uncorked go to the Easter Seals Disability Services so its great to see an event like this benefit such an amazing cause. I definitely encourage people to purchase a ticket and lend your support.

See more highlights from the Fashion Uncorked pre-event and fashion show in the new issue of The IMPRINT by Aspire Online Media on February 20th! Subscribe here.

Karissa J. Parker for The HIGH UP. Follow @CurlyRissa on Twitter for the latest in style, fashion and beauty updates!

Urban Active’s Get Active Challenge “10 Cities Tour” Successfully Motivates People Around The Country!

Image by Jay Young

Urban Active Fitness wrapped up a successful “Get Active Challenge” 10 cities tour on January 19th in Atlanta, drawing nearly a thousand participants across the country. The challenge, inspired by the report on “America’s Most Sedentary Cities” by Men’s Health Magazine, aimed at inspiring communities by providing a free boot camp, an educational session and tips for staying motivated all year long. The “Get Active Challenge” was lead by Urban Active’s fitness guru and Quality Control Director, Josh “JB” Bowen and visited the cities of Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Omaha, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville and Atlanta.

A slew of friends joined Urban Active to motivate people to embrace a healthy lifestyle, including Q Parker of 112, the Georgia Force Cheerleaders, former Ohio Buckeye football players Braden Joe, Joshua Harris and Jimmie Bell and Olympic hockey medalist Joe Gimaldi.

“Discipline is what separates those who set and achieve goals,” explains Josh Bowen. “Get out of the mindset of simply setting goals – marry your goals, own them and crush them! More often than not, you get in the way of you results and this year Urban Active seeks to break that cycle.”

One of participants, Rosemary Walton in Columbus, OH, shared her special story of how working out at Urban Active has helped her lose 100 pounds and how her life has been saved.

“This boot camp was off the hook full of energy,” exclaimed Walton on her personal fitness blog post on the challenge’s special blog site “My friend Rachel came to the gym to participate and it was wonderful to have her meet the best family in the world…my gym family. She had a great time too, and for me it was a blessing to see her doing the things she was because of her past year with breast cancer, surgeries and chemo. I was excited for her to see where life began for me at Urban Active Grandview.”

Josh Bowen was touched by her story and related how there wasn’t a dry eye in the house thanks to Walton’s personal story. “The challenge is not only for fitness but encouraging others along their journey of wellness. We want to show the world that together, we can make a difference in the lives of our neighbors in the communities that our fitness clubs call home.”

Though the 10 cities tour is over, the Urban Active “Get Active Challenge” continues all year long to encourage and support communities to participate in exercise and a healthy lifestyle. For more information about Urban Active and the challenge, please visit or

Read Josh Bowen’s exclusive interview in the upcoming issue of The IMPRINT by Aspire Online Media scheduled to be released on February 20th! Subscribe here!

Photos by Andrew Snook

Fearless Weirdos Celebrates 1.75 Years Of Swag

ATLANTA – Saturday marked the first day of October and the 1.75 year anniversary of Fearless Weirdos – a colorful boutique which showcases Japanese inspired clothing and vintage finds for those who like to keep it playful, funky and original. The approximately 1200 square foot gem is tucked away in the heart of Little Five Points and can easily be overlooked if you’re not on foot while perusing the popular entertainment district in Atlanta. Parking was stupid crazy so it took me a minute to join the spectators who were already entranced by the upbeat sounds of HERO The Band which had set up shop right outside of the trendy store. The four member group is comprised of young brothers who describe their sound as soft rock/alternative. The band’s laid back vibe fused perfectly with the amber sunset and the cool, outdoor temperature that reminded onlookers that fall was officially here.

After taking in the street festivities, I went inside the boutique along with AOM’s Karissa Parker who pointed out some super cute, modestly priced items to include a couple of vintage handbags, denim vests, flats and plaid jackets. The store even carries Japanese candies and sodas. YUM! Fearless Weirdo’s Operations Manager, Juanchella (Chella) Kemp showed us around the hot spot and introduced us to the boutique’s stylist, Tee Mott who was just as prismatic and charming as many of his displays. Chella was really excited about the celebration and is currently promoting “The Last Days” sale where items can be purchased for $35 and under until the end of the month.

Alva Glass and Tee Mott

Fearless Weirdos is owned by Alton Glass and Alva Glass, an accomplished brother and sister duo whose passion for music, art, fashion and entertainment is quite evident when browsing their Atlanta boutique. Alton is a Los Angeles based award winning film producer whose credits include The Confidant starring Boris Kodjoe and Richard Roundtree. Alva is a reputable fashion designer who’s had the opportunity to share her artistry with BCBG Maxazria Group and Elevee. Some of Ms. Glass’ clients include professional athletes, celebrities and business moguls. The boutique will soon carry the Fearless Weirdos private label where Alva will serve as lead designer.

To learn more about the boutique, visit or stop by 426 Seminole Avenue when you’re in Little Five Points. You’re definitely in for a “Weird” treat!

Me, Tee Mott and Karissa

-N. Renee for AOM & The HIGH UP. Photos by  Dreamma Photography.

Southern Fried Poetry Slam Sizzles

Queen Sheba

The 19th annual Southern Fried Poetry Slam 2011 brought the verbal heat to Atlanta this weekend. The Castbleberry Hill district was on fire with the baddest poets from across the south.  This is the largest poetry slam in the south and Atlanta was honored to be the host city this year for the first time ever!  To put it all into perspective, think of it this event like the “Olympics” of poetry. Everyone deserved a medal.

Thirty-six teams and eighteen independent poets, who are called indies, traveled to Atlanta to compete for the slam champion crown!  And it was well worth the trip, because there was over 7,500 dollars in cash and prizes to claim in exchange for verbal talent. And guess what the prizes were? Moon pies and RC colas! It is a southern fried tradition, but one of the organizers, Queen Sheba is calling for a change for the 20th  annual slam and suggests they use  snickers to replace the moon pies.  Sheba, Sheba, the rule breaker.  🙂

So, here is how it worked.  A little slam education:  In order to qualify for the finals, the teams and individual poets had to compete in at least three bouts from June 8th to June 10th.  The four teams and the four indies with the highest overall score went on to the finals.  The four teams with the highest scores were Chaos Theory, Sacred Sounds, Slam Charlotte and Java Monkey. The four indie poets were Bluz, Cuban, Reggie and G.

With such an intense competition, there were other activities on the agenda for the poets and other participants to do so they could relax and enjoy. They could choose from a long list of fun activities like a cookout, workshops, community service, Zumba, yoga, morning jogs, and late night open mics. This was truly more than an event; it was an experience!

Okay, I won’t make you wait any longer! The Saturday night battle was bananas, and the atmosphere was charged with so much positive and intellectual energy. I could feel it the moment I walked into the room.  The ballroom was packed from wall to wall, and there was only standing room, all for the love of poetry!   I have never seen anything like it!  The poet’s words owned the room and for that moment, it was you, the poets and the stage.  Everybody else disappeared. All the poets poured their hearts and souls onto the stage. You could feel their words, their pain, their fear, their happiness and their joy as the ink from their pen came to life.  I am so serious when I say that I literally experienced every emotion humanly possible that night!  And then, just like that, we were down to the final two poems.  The battle was intense until the very end and then it was over!  The winners were announced. The 2011 team slam champions are Java Monkey from Atlanta, Georgia and the indie poet winner is, G  (George Ya Mazawa) from Durham, NorthCarolina.  Congrats to all the poets, it was well deserved!

T. Monet poses with Java Monkey

My final thoughts:  This event was very well organized, and well thought out. It takes a lot to be able to handle such an event of this magnitude and the Atlanta team pulled it off.  They were very professional, as well as all the volunteers.   Shouts out to the Atlanta organizers; Queen Sheba, Dorian (Paul D) Rogers, Akinbiyi (Shadow) Sawyer, Walter (Wally B) Jennings and Keith (Keboi) Rodgers, founder of Black on Black Rhyme. Job well done, my friends!

The next annual Southern Fried Poetry Slam will be held in Tampa, Florida next year. Tampa will have big shoes to fill, but I am confident the torch of excellence will be passed on.  I give this event 4 ½ stilettos!

Also, look out for my exclusive interviews with some of the teams!  Follow me on twitter @tmonet and @aspireonline!

See photos of the entire event at

-T. Monet is Special Correspondent for AOM and The “HIGH UP”. 

Sip, Shop & Give Back! A Big Hit For Emerlyn & Ester

How many of you can say that you shop for a cause? Not many, right? Be honest, Divas. Especially to my shopaholics out there! You know what happens. We go to the mall and we have every intention of buying for our mom or sweetheart, but we see that cute little blouse or those fly jeans and….Ooops! We accidentally slip the card though the machine, and there you have it – shopping with only us in mind.

Well, not all of us are so “self-absorbed”, and I got a chance to see ladies shopping with others in mind, on Tuesday night at an event called Sip, Shop, and Give Back!. This event was hosted by Monyetta Shaw,  Karli Harvey and Brandi Harvey. Karli and Brandi are the daughters of Steve Harvey. The event was held at the upscale and very classy boutique, Emerlyn and Ester, owned by Monyetta Shaw (R&B Singer Ne-Yo’s significant other).  Monyetta, who likes to be called Mo’, partnered with a wonderful group called Grow Kids, Inc.  to help raise money and awareness about their organization.

Monyetta (Mo') Shaw - Owner, Emerlyn & Ester Boutique

The event was set up so beautifully! First, it was hosted inside an elegant boutique new to the affluent Buckhead area of Atlanta. Second, the boutique served excited guests champagne and cake pops while they shopped.  Now, before you ask, no, I did not get to sip on the bubbly because I was working! 🙂 Third, the atmosphere was pleasant and guests were in attendance to support a great cause. Yes, although people were shopping possibly for themselves, a part of the proceeds from every single purchase was donated to Grow Kids, Inc. So, shopping for a cause definitely eased that guilty feeling of spoiling yourself.  See the difference?!

Grow Kids, Inc. Founder Menyuan Smith, AOM's T. Monet Sims and Brandi Harvey

There are many great organizations in existence but I am really excited about Grow Kids, Inc., because the founder, Menyuan Smith really ‘gets it’ and in her words, “I believe it really does take a village.”  Menyuan has taken this old African proverb to heart and created a support network for teachers, parents and the community to help promote,  Grow Kid’s motto:  “safe spaces, green places and happy faces for our children.”   Menyuan says, “We grow kids better together!”  I absolutely love it!  One of the organization’s signature events coming up on September 20th is called P.E.A.C.E 4 Preschoolers (Promoting Early Action for Calm Emotions). Menyuan will have all kinds of activities on that day that will involve kids using their hands to create and not to bully or hurt each other. I give my stiletto approval to this organization! Will you volunteer with me on September 20th?

Last but not least, the boutique!! It is not hard at all to spend your money at Emerlyn & Ester. Since Mo’ is the buyer, she picks all the pieces herself and I must say, she does a great job! She has stocked her store with some really great designers from all over like Marc Allison (exclusive jeans to E & E), Melodies, shades by Mary J. Blige and her favorite shoes  by Raphael Young out of Paris. Mo has great style, so you know I had to ask her what is in for the summer.  So, to all my Fashionistas, listen up! Ms. Mo’, says you will need a romper, a pair of Marc Allison jeans – which she swears by, a fly bag, a maxi dress, Melodies shades and you will be up on the latest trends for the summer.  And guess what??! You can find these trendy items at Emerlyn & Ester Boutique. Go check her out and tell her T. Monet sent you!

To see more highlights from the charitable event click here.

-T. Monet is Special Correspondent for AOM & The “HIGH UP”, Photos provided by AOM’s Britt Hutchinson

An Effectual Evening of Fashion, Networking and Culture

February 3rd 2011 (Atlanta, GA) – Last night, three relatively important

It’s cold and wet outside, but the styles are “crazy hot” inside 200 Office

milestones occurred within a single space in the heart of Metro Atlanta – and only a few handfuls of people where there to experience it. The impact of each, independently, could be powerful and when you connect the proverbial dots, it could prove to be game changing in how business is done in the city’s center.

The Event was hosted by the Atlanta Fashion Industry Meetup (AFIM), which is an organization that was founded to bring together fashion industry professionals for the improvement of industry professionals, relationships, marketing and regional (Atlanta) awareness. Tonight was a milestone celebration of the membership nearing 900 and was appropriately titled “The Nines.” Designers, models, photographers, media and vendors filled the main room to witness the lines of some of the up and coming designers the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean have to offer. For more information about “The Nines” or AFIM, click HERE.

The event was hosted in a new, yet not so new, space located at 200 Peachtree Street , in Atlanta. The former, long time Macy’s Dept Store has

A couple passing by the event, from the street, can’t but watch in amazement of the activity

been renovated to provide an innovative mixed-use retail and entertainment space. 200 Office, located within the historic building, offers economical access to a mobile office concept perfect for entrepreneurs and mobile workers who don’t need the overhead of a “static” office. The feature set includes high-speed internet, mobile work stations, access to the main room and nearly a dozen “private rooms” you can rent as the need presents itself. To read more about this groundbreaking service and offer, click HERE.


Janice Lawrence-Clarke (far right), Founder of CAFÉ 2011 w/ two attendees of the event

The third, and possibly most impactful, of the trio of milestones was the CAFÉ 2011 presentation. This presentation was hosted by JLC Productions – founder of the Caribbean American Fashion Exchange (CAFÉ.) Their primary goal is to facilitate the entry of Caribbean designers, and their lines, into the U.S. Fashion Market via the Atlanta Apparel showings at AmericasMart Atlanta.  This effort should not only showcase the style and creativity of our neighbors to the South, but help to build vital relationships in both Fashion and Business with the talent and resources abroad. A number of the fashions from several of the lines were on display, many of which included the brilliant combination of color and elegance that we’ve come to expect from the region. To learn more about CAFÉ 2011, navigate to HERE.

We arrived with little expectation of the Thursday night event and found ourselves, three hours later, fully engrossed in conversation with people from four different continents. Not bad for a rainy, cold night in the “A”… Maybe the city really is growing up.

-Jay Young