An Award-Winning Digital Marketing Strategist and Personal Publicist, Joy Kennelly has covered the worlds of entertainment, red carpet events, celebrities, travel, technology, politics, food and fashion festivals for many years.
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Award Winning artist and coach on NBC’s hit show The Voice, CeeLo
Green sat down with Christina Milian today to
exclusively confirm that he and his own management team at Primary Wave Music, are now co-managing former “Team
CeeLo” artist Juliet Simms.
(Remember this little Janis Joplin sound-alike? So happy for her! This information is from Ceelo's people. Just felt like sharing something fun after my last heavy post and thought you'd appreciate hearing the latest. Enjoy!)
Since coming in 2nd on The
Voice last season, this savvy, sultry rock star wild child has
been dedicated to writing and recording new music, touring the world, and
recently signed with Republic Records to release her new
single, “Wild Child,” available on iTunes Dec. 11th. Fans
can also expect a debut solo album from Juliet this spring 2013.
“Juliet has that
electricity in her voice, originality, likability and real brand-ability,” CeeLo
Green passionately explains. “As I told her from the beginning, I’m
dedicated to building her career and with the help of Primary Wave’s resources,
I’m confident that she’ll be the girl to watch in 2013.”
(Love me some Ceelo!:)
This new management deal
formally solidifies CeeLo Green’s true belief in the artists that he turns
around for and specifically recognizes Juliet’s rock star ability to
potentially become The Voice’s big breakout star.
As a favorite
throughout the competition last season, Juliet’s unapologetic growl, edgy-style
and powerful pipes made a real impression on America, especially during her
renditions of James Brown’s“It’s A Man’s Man’s Man’s World”
andThe Police’s“Roxanne”, both of which
peaked at #1 on the iTunes Rock Chart.
Never turning her back on her rock-roots, prior to joining “Team
CeeLo” on The Voice, Juliet Simms broke onto the
music scene as the guitarist and lead vocalist of the pop-rock band Automatic
Loveletter, who was signed by RCA after being
released by Epic Records.
The band put out two albums and logged in
countless miles on the road building a strong fan-following and sharing the
stage with Secondhand Serenade, From First To Last, Say
Anything, and Craig Owens, plus making memorable performances
at Bamboozle and the Vans’ Warped Tour.
focusing on the development of her solo career, Juliet Simms is
definitely sticking with her rocker-origins, yet infusing that sound with her
strong pop sensibility, and emerging as a modern day Joan Jett.
It's been a while, I'm not who I was before You look surprised, your words don't burn me anymore Been meaning to tell you, but I guess it's clear to see Don't be mad, it's just the brand new kind of me Can't be bad, I found a brand new kind of free
Careful with your ego, he's the one that we should blame Had to grab my heart back God know something had to change I thought that you'd be happy I found the one thing I need, why you mad It's just the brand new kind of me
It took a long long time to get here It took a brave, brave girl to try It took one too many excuses, one too many lies Don't be surprised, don't be surprised
If I talk a little louder If I speak up when you're wrong If I walk a little taller I've been on to you too long If you noticed that I'm different Don't take it personally Don't be mad, it's just the brand new kind of me And it ain't bad, I found a brand new kind of free
Oh, it took a long long road to get here It took a brave brave girl to try I've taken one too many excuses, one too many lies Don't be surprised, oh see you look surprised
Hey, if you were a friend, you want to get know me again If you were worth a while You'd be happy to see me smile I'm not expecting sorry I'm too busy finding myself I got this I found me, I found me, yeah I don't need your opinion I'm not waiting for your ok I'll never be perfect, but at least now i'm brave Now, my heart is open And I can finally breathe Don't be mad, it's just the brand new kind of free That ain't bad, I found a brand new kind of me Don't be mad, it's a brand new time for me, yeah
I don't know what I want to write, but I know I have to. Listening to Alicia Keys new album is perfect for the mood I'm in. Her lyrics and voice speak to me. Always have, always will.
Especially this one.
Didn't realize when I attended my Bible Study tonight I would leave in tears, but it struck a chord deep in my heart that hasn't been touched for a very long time.
I think it's been building up ever since recently re-connecting with some of the girls from Harvest Home, a maternity home for unwed mothers, where I lived 14 years ago when I was pregnant, alone and scared for my future and my unborn child's too.
This time of year is always really hard for me. I wish it wasn't the case, but it is. Sometimes more than others. Don't know how this Christmas season will be, but hoping for the best. I totally relate to how lonely people can feel (even when you're surrounded by family and friends, or worse, when you're not.) It's also my birthday on New Year's Eve so pile on that with being single and you may have a tiny peek into how I feel every so often.
I realize it's why I try to fill my life with lots of activities. Easier to forget, ignore, or stuff down. It works normally and I'm fairly happy overall. But tonight's Bible lesson hit home and I couldn't avoid it any more.
The over-riding theme of our Bible Study is "Be Life Ready" and each week we learn a different spiritual application. Tonight Suzie, our women's ministry leader, was discussing the comparison between Eve and Mary's life which I had never heard before.
And I've been going to church since I was a child. Even studied for a year at a Bible College, attended a Christian Liberal Arts University, and yet never heard this before.
That's why I wasn't expecting any great deep spiritual application, but sometimes when you least expect it, get ready; God chooses the perfect timing to speak into our lives through others and his scriptures I've come to realize.
Suzie shared from Robert Lewis' book, The New Eve, "Eve's foolish chioices are used to introduce sin and death into the world. Conversely, Mary's courageous choices play a central role in helping bring forgiveness and life back to the world. Eve is the model of an outside-in lifestyle; Mary the model of an inside-out lifestyle."
She had a little graph to compare the two women in greater detail too and reading it is when I started crying.
Refused to believe God’s ways were best and tried to accomplish the
impossible; a better life without God.
Chose to believe that God’s ways were best and accepted the
impossible; a virgin birth (Luke 1:45)
Was enticed to seize control of her life
Was willing to release control of her life.
Became dissatisfied with all the good things God offered her and
chose instead to focus on the one forbidden thing she couldn’t have.
Was willing to rejoice in the one hard thing God offered her and
chose not to focus on all the difficult challenges it would bring to her
I realized right then and there I was both Eve and Mary back when I was pregnant. I had chosen to sin like Eve and slept with someone I shouldn't have, resulting in pregnancy. At that time, I had recently broken up with a man I had been seeing for three years and had slept with, never using protection and never got pregnant with him.
After our break-up, I didn't believe God would ever bring the right man into my life, this new guy was handsome, smart, and I succumbed to his charms. (Worst sex of my entire life, but perhaps that's T.M.I.:)
When I found out I was pregnant, secretly I thought I would raise my child in NYC away from everyone.
What a joke.
No, I didn't get to escape the humiliation, shame and pain. The guy did, but I had to live it on a daily basis. I lost my career in film and had to start over from the bottom. I remember picking up trash as a server at Paramount Pictures back lot during a party honoring Grease for some reason (anniversary? DVD release? Who knows...) and that was the very same studio I had produced a awards ceremony for my hugely successful online film festival, ME Fest, just a short time earlier.
Imagine seeing people you once were considered an equal to and then them seeing you picking up trash and dirty dishes. Talk about shame and pain. I gave up a lot to have my child. It's one of the reasons I couldn't watch independent films for years afterward. It was too much of a reminder of everything I had lost.
My son most of all.
I'm not writing this for pity. It would make me angry to feel you do so please know I have come a long way since then. Counseling, healing and peace go a long way. Love how Kelly Clarkson always also captures my mood perfectly.
Remember these ads too? That's how I feel sans the cancer stick.:) I've come a long way baby.
Back to Mary and Eve.
Luke 2:7 "And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn."
I had never heard that the word "inn" in the Greek isn't referring to a hotel room in this translation, but actually a guest room in someone's home. Suzie laid it out like this.
Imagine a 15 year old girl, a virgin, pregnant, and traveling with her fiance and his family turns them away because the shame was too great.
I love my parents, but I know my being pregnant out of wedlock was extremely hard on them. It's one of the reasons I chose to go live in a maternity home rather than stay with them. The shame and pain I was causing them, as well as myself, was too much to bear.
So I ran away to Venice where I lived with some amazing women who became like sisters to me despite our different backgrounds, races, upbringings and life experiences (including some real ghetto ho's I didn't like. Just keeping it real people.:)
Renee aka Sunny was one of the cool girls I met at the home. She was also one of the girls who was instrumental in my choosing to place my son in adoption since she had been through her own adoption prior to this child, Max, she was carrying when we met.
So imagine my pain and heartbreak over learning her beautiful child, Max, was killed by a drunk driver over this past summer. You bond when you live with someone and I felt the loss of her son like he was my own even though it had been years since I'd seen or heard from either of them.
I've always warned my Harvest Home "sisters" I would write a book about my experiences living there and about my adoption because I want women to understand you can survive and actually thrive after an adoption. You're not stuck with either aborting your unplanned child or raising it as a single mother. I spoke on this very topic in DC during a conference and said if you say you're pro-choice, then make sure you offer all choices, not just those which are currently offered by Planned Parenthood.
But I digress. That's a whole other story and political discussion for another time.
Another girl, not living at Harvest Home, but who upon hearing of my situation through friends began volunteering as a massage therapist soon after, also helped me make my decision because she too, had chosen adoption for her son.
This is where I felt I related to Mary in tonight's lesson.
I am by no means as saintly as Mary in the Bible, but I could relate to the feeling of surrender once I made my decision to choose adoption and just trust in God that everything would turn out ok even despite all the challenges.
It didn't come easy. Believe you me.
I fought against the 10pm curfew, the cleaning, cooking and rules of the home. I railed against God for my loss of my old life for a long time while living at Harvest Home. I missed going to Hollywood red carpet parties, mingling with celebrites, attending Tim Story's Bible Study (remember those?!:)
But I also distinctly remember when I finally surrendered and gave up any thought of having my old Hollywood life, that's when God brought the perfect couple to raise my son into my life.
At the very last moment too.
I had searched for the right family ever since my film festival had ended and was becoming desolate I would never find a couple that fit my criteria.
I had met with a counselor who suggested I write out the ten qualities I wanted the couple to have. I did and called an attorney for help who told me I would never find a couple like that. I was devastated! I called him after my adoption to tell him he was wrong and he should NEVER speak to anyone like that again.
Made me feel good.:)
I did eventually find a Christian attorney who told me God had a perfect family out there for my child if adoption was what God had in mind and I began the process of reviewing family profiles. It was still futile and I was beginning to wonder if God wanted me to be a single parent after all.
It was while I was participating in the filming of a news feature promoting A Window Between Worlds, a charity supporting battered women where I was working off some community service, I began crying during the art exercise and couldn't stop. They stopped filming and the kind AWBW counselor took me aside and encouraged me to write out my feelings.
It was then I surrendered to God and told Him if he wanted me to raise my child, I would. I walked home after that and that's when the package was waiting for me from the couple I would eventually choose to raise my son. All the girls were as excited as I was because we were all in this together at that point.
I grilled the potential couple and really had to pray, get counseling and think about whether or not I would go through with it when it actually became a possible reality because I had grown to love my unborn son. But also knew I wasn't prepared to be a single mom. I could barely take care of myself at that time.
I remember laughing in recognition during the documentary, Kingdom Come, hearing one filmmaker share how he was so focused on creating his film he went on welfare with his wife and newborn child to keep working on his film.
I did the same thing.
I continued to produce my film festival from the shelter and put all thoughts of adoption, or what I was going to do with my unplanned pregnancy, on hold until after I had completed my festival. Looking back I can't believe I put the needs of the filmmakers and everyone else above my own, but hearing the other filmmaker did the same made me realize sometimes film takes over everything else like a mania.
I'm not like that any more.
I don't allow things to consume me above taking care of myself first. It's like the flight attendant's admonition to put the oxygen mask on your own face before putting it on anyone else. I remember having that same thought after producing a toy drive for Hungarian orphans for five years, putting their needs ahead of my own, until one day I saw an ad for some other needy group and realized I couldn't help them until I helped myself.
I don't know why I'm sharing all this, but it feels good to finally share. I produced my film festival for five years and had many high profile people in the industry participate, even Forrest Whittaker, among many others. It looked like my future would progress just like any other successful film festival director in town.
Until I became pregnant.
Then everything stopped.
I don't regret my child, or my decision. That's not the reason I'm sharing. It's just that hearing about the woman who was an alcohol counselor who went out on a binge, then hit a man and dragged him stuck in her windshield around for miles ultimately taking his life reminds me even though I've not raised my son, I still have the potential for a real relationship with him as he grows older.
My friend Sunny doesn't have that luxury. Her precious child was killed by a drunk driver this past summer and Sunny will never see Max again. She barely survived the accident herself and when I saw her I was shocked at her appearance. That drunk woman has caused so much havoc in Sunny's life and it was her 3rd DUI.
Sunny has most of her teeth missing in front, her jaw had to be wired to rebuild it, she had a tracheotomoy, her knee is busted up, and she lives in constant pain. She can't remember the accident, was in a coma for a long time, and in the hospital for two months afterwards.
She's not the same, but continues to move forward because she has another son she adopted soon after having Max she cares for. It breaks my heart to see her post on Facebook how much she misses Max. I can only imagine the depth of this pain.
All because of a drunk driver.
Now can you see why this made me emotional? Imagine someone you love being treated this way by someone who has complete disregard for human life when she chose to drive while drunk. I know alcoholism is a disease, but it still breaks my heart.
It just does. I still have my son. I spoke to him on his birthday and got pictures. I know he loves me. I know I love him. I did what I did out of love and always want him to know that. He's doing so well.
Makes me happy.
But little Max doesn't have that opportunity any more. I think that's why reading the story of that drunk driver hit me so hard. And why I fought so hard politically against all the drunkenness at the Six Man Volleyball Tournament in Manhattan Beach and the excessive drinking in Hermosa Beach.
I value human life. I know there's so much life people who drink excessively miss out on. They don't know it yet, and maybe never will, but there's a whole world out there that's fun and exciting that doesn't involve drinking.
I'm tired. I think I've written this all out of me now. Just know, I'm doing well. My son is doing well. It's Sunny I'm concerned about. If any of you are dentists and feel like helping out, please leave a comment or contact me via my bio where I list my email.
I just feel like helping her as she did me so long ago. Love that girl. Love my son.
May even love you if I get to know you. LOL
Hope this made sense and helped you understand adoption a little better. It's a deeply personal sacrifice I rarely if ever talk about because it's so misunderstood and still secretive, but I feel like it was a good choice for me and my son at that time in my life.
God was there for me then. He's there for me now. I have accomplished a lot in my life, but my biggest accomplishment is choosing a good family for my son and seeing my son succeed. Makes me very happy. Now I want to help Sunny find peace and healing too.
Maybe this Christmas season will be different after all.
(Sharing this for a friend of mine. Enjoy! Been having technical difficulties getting pix, but figured it out over the long weekend and plan to blog about the recent Silicon Beach Fest event and APU Concert and dinner. Thanks! Now, enjoy the read!)
During LA Fashion Week 2012, Blacklisted Couture by Shellice Beharie literally rocked Plus Size Fashionistas with her innovative, edgy and sophisticated styles. With her debut, guests were treated to glamorous and stunning showpieces. Blacklisted Couture takes a cue from previous predecessors such as Prada, Dolce and Gabbana and Miu Miu. Bringing cool, daring and bold looks to design rather than sweet prints featuring florals and pastel colors.
Blacklisted pumps up the volume and gives the curvy figure more room to be viewed as stylish verses frumpy. Why all Black? because it's sleek & chic. "We're not hiding in black, we're thriving in black" - Blacklisted Couture. Her current collection is inspired by the Glam/Goth Rock movement which embodies mostly young, sexy and fearless women.
Shellice Beharie is a Los Angeles based Fashion Designer who brings stylish solutions to more fashionably expressive full-figured women. Her cleverly named collection, Blacklisted Couture (founded in early 2012) grew out of necessity, offering full-figured women alternatives to their mundane wardrobes, transforming them into fierce Designer wardrobes.
This collection’s aim is to bridge a significant gap in an otherwise deficient and underserved market sector. Seemingly frustrated with the typical unflattering, unstructured plus size silhouette, dowdy prints and lackluster designs, Shellice created a line of clothing that dares to be different. Her designs not only make a statement but challenge the “rules” of the fashion industry.
With her experience in working in the creative field of Universal Music Group and Fashion Editorial Staff of Source Magazine, Shellice’s fearless approach to design breathes new life into an otherwise marginalized market sector of Plus size fashion. With her dark edgy designs, structured garments, textured fabrics and definitive lines, this young talented Designer makes no apologies.
Whenever you deal with mental illness it's touchy and strikes a cord. Throw in crazy family relationships, a sex nympho acting out, betting, Eagles football, dancing, violent outbursts and you have the potential recipe for disaster.
But not in the case of Silver Linings Playbook.
Throw in a little Robert DeNiro, a little Jennifer Lawrence, a dash of Julia Stiles mixed with Chris Tucker, a few East Indians, a delightful mom played BRILLIANTLY by Jacki Weaver and the ever surprising Bradley Cooper, and you create a film that is poignant, funny, captivating, moving and soul quenching.
Maybe I'm glossing it on a little thick, but I loved every minute of it because I could relate to so many aspects. It's not for everyone. It's a little dark. Not what you expect Bradley Cooper to be in whatsoever, but the warmth, love and realness makes it worth pushing through the dark to come out the other end to the light.
As I walked away from the theater tonight I couldn't help but think, we all have a little crazy in us. It's how we work it out that sets us apart as humans. Some drink. Some do drugs. Some overeat. Some get violent. Some sleep around. Some hibernate.
But the bottom line is, we all want our craziness to be understood. We want someone else to be crazy enough to get us and in so doing, to love us just where we are at this moment in spite of ourselves.
It's when you recognize that your craziness isn't that crazy in light of someone else's crazy that you heal. I think that's why 12 step programs are so healing for so many. It's like you see yourself in others and realize if they're feeling what I'm feeling, or have done what I've done, then I must not be too crazy after all since I'm not alone.
I don't know if any of this will make sense, but I just felt like sharing because this movie touched me on a very deep level. I loved it's truth, honesty, rawness and sensitivity with a very difficult subject. You actually saw Bradley Cooper healing in front of your eyes which to me is a testament to his talent as an actor. He's not just another pretty face as I would have believed before, but someone with intensity, range of emotion and depth beyond his good looks.
I liked seeing this film before going to Thanksgiving with my family because it helped to see another family in action before the holidays. The love, the loyalty, the fighting, the making up, the trust, the caring, and the support. It's there in every family. Sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper. Robert DeNiro is brilliant as always playing the father.
I just love him.
I also enjoyed seeing this film because it reminded me of my Philly friend because it's set there. A scrapper and I mean that in the most loving way.
So, if you've been waiting for the next Little Miss Sunshine movie that will come out of nowhere and knock you off your feet among the crowd of big studio films, look no further. I highly recommend it! It's excellent. I hope you see it and leave me a comment when you do.
(And for the record, I do moderate all comments. If you don't have the guts to leave your real name and email address, don't expect to be published. I can't believe there's still people stupid enough to try and hide beyind a pseudonym online any more!:)
Oh, and I have to give credit to Ellen for my decision to see it. I watched her interview Jennifer Lawrence and thought if Ellen likes it, so will I.
And I was right.:)
Happy Thanksgiving! Drive safely and leave the light on...
Designed to Counteract
Female Bullying, Teen Pregnancy, Self-Mutilation, Depression & Sex
Trafficking, More Than 2,500 girls Have Gone Through This Life-changing Journey
Los Angeles, CA Becoming A Modern Day Princess,
a Rite of Passage self-discovery course, has helped teenage girls from the ages
of thirteen to eighteen to overcome and escape female bullying, teen pregnancy,
self-mutilation, depression and sex trafficking as it teaches them the ten key
character building steps every girl needs to become a young woman of integrity
and influence. It also provides a way for parents, mentors and leaders to make
life-changing, positive impacts in the lives of adolescent girls who are just
• One in three
females will become pregnant out-of-wedlock before the age of 20.3
• Median age which
young women have their first sexual experience is 17.4, outside marriage.
• The CDC reports
that 48% of teens have had sex at least one.
• One in four will
contract a STD (sexually transmitted disease) before the age of 18.
• One-third of all
teen pregnancies end in an abortion.
Launched in 1999 under the auspices of
King’s Harbor Church by Founder/Author/Speaker, Doreen Hanna, her Modern Day
Princess curriculum has been taught and shared nationally, and now internationally,
since her book, Raising A Modern Day Princess
co-authored with Pam Farrel, was published in 2010 by Focus On the
A 7-week, community-based MDP program was established in
2006 at the request of the State of New Mexico and has been embraced by various
state-funded organizations for at-risk girls.
Doreen Hanna’s personal mission
statement, “Empowering Women To Equip Our Teen Girls,” is not just a
proclamation, but a vision she has seen fulfilled since 2000 as she has trained
and mentored over 300 BMDP leaders who have guided more than 2,500 girls on
this life changing journey to find value and strength in the lives of
participating girls, their families and others who have joined them in their
journey and public celebration.
said, "The greatest
reward for me is watching
these girls go through
the program and see them
become confident, gracious,
Sessions within the BMDP program include: 1) Discovering the Princess Within;
2) My Legacy Empowers My Destiny;
3) The Wealth Found in Obedience;
4) The Portrait of a Prince; 5) The Treasure of True Friends; 6) Looking & Acting Like a Princess;
7) The Princess in the Mirror;
8) Beyond My Kingdom; 9) Dancing with the King; 10) Remembering My Crowning Celebration. Central to this process is the final
rite-of-passage ceremony—a defining moment in which girls are blessed by the significant
father figure in their lives as their family and community celebrate and
support them as they step into womanhood.
recognizing a teen girl’s need for fatherly affirmation and the importance of
celebrating her step into womanhood, developed this final public ceremony where girls are
affirmed by the respected man in her life, as the culmination of the
Just having been asked often
begins to unlock the hearts of the men." Hanna said. "This is a
structured opportunity for men to reflect, opening up their
hearts and minds to often express things they've never said to their daughters or the
girl they care for.”
frequently happen such as fathers expressing their love publicly for the first
time, reconciliation of father/daughter and family relationships, and positive
male role-models which includes grandfathers,
uncles, teachers, coaches and more who step in to bless these girls and
often promise to remain in the lives of girls who may not have fathers.
a Modern Day Princess’ was an indescribably uplifting experience for our entire
family,” says Max W. “As we celebrated our little girl's ‘rite of passage’ into
young womanhood, an overwhelming sense of pride and melancholy welled up inside
of me. What a profound honor to bless our daughter. This program is essential
in continuing the moral well being of our daughters and young families, not to
mention future generations as well.”
Doreen Hanna, Founder of Treasured Celebrations (the non-profit umbrella for all MDP
resources) created and implemented the first Becoming A Modern Day Princess
Biblically-based program in 1999 at King’s Harbor Church in Redondo Beach,
CA. By 2006, upon the request of the State of New Mexico, Doreen
developed a 7-week community-based program, titled “Today’s Modern Day
Princess” that has been embraced by various state-funded organizations for
In 2010 the book, Raising A Modern Day Princess co-authored with
Pam Farrel, was published by Focus On the Family/Tyndale. It has sold
more than 24,000 copies throughout the US and internationally. Additional Modern
Day Princess Resources include leadership guides, journals, and most recently, a woman's program
titled, "Still a Princess~Becoming a Bride." Doreen and her husband Chad have two
grown daughters, four grandchildren, and reside in Los Angeles, California.
Pacific University Choir & Orchestra Holiday Dinner Concert Presented by South Bay Christian Business Men's
Tuesday, Nov 20, 2012, 6:30
We invite you to join us for the
South Bay Christian Business Men's Association holiday dinner and concert
featuring the award-winning, 100 member University Choir & Orchestra from
Azusa Pacific University. An evening of spectacular Christmas music awaits you
and your family!
Catch the Holiday
Spirit as you enjoy a delicious buffet dinner followed by uplifting music of
the talented APU Choir & Orchestra whose accolades include: the Dove Award
for Exaltation, and a Grammy
nomination for the Amen Gospel
recording with the Cincinnati POPS! Orchestra.
reserve your space today for our 2nd Annual Holiday Dinner &
Asuza Pacific Choir & Orchestra Concert!
WHERE: Carson Community Center801
E. Carson St. Carson CA 90745
WHEN: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 Doors open at 6:30pm
TICKETS: $35 per adult; $25 per child (12 and under);
or $350 per table (each table seats 10)
For more information, please contact Dr. Dennis Paustian at (310)
702-6231 or Pat Kennelly (310) 328-3664. A limited amount of tickets will be available for sale at the door tonight since we've been given permission by the site to do so. See you there!
A publicist sent me this and since she's been so persistent over the past few months, thought I'd help a colleague out and publicize her cool client, Earnest Sewn. Maybe they'll send me a pair of jeans or a cute t-shirt now.:)
Read on for her exciting announcement which I have copied below.:)
Earnest Sewn recently re-vamped the shopping experience with an outpost store in SOHO. The company joined forces with WRK Design, a full service design company that built and helped design three of the four Earnest Sewn stores and helped the brand with its first outpost location in Malibu.
Due to the success of the Malibu location, the two creative forces reunited to create their second outpost in the WRK Showroom at 32 Prince Street.
The rustic atmosphere of the WRK showroom serves as the perfect venue to showcase Earnest Sewn's vintage styles which numerous celebrities enjoy.
All Earnest Sewn merchandise is heavily discounted at 70% off retail value. The Earnest Sewn x WRK Design outpost in SoHo is permanent and is open Monday-Sunday 12pm-7pm. There is one in Malibu too.
About Earnest Sewn:
Founded in 2004 by Scott Morrison and currently designed by Benjamin Talley Smith, the Earnest Sewn Co is a privately held company.
Established as one of the finest denim and lifestyle luxury brands, Earnest Sewn designs and manufactures its iconic denim in Los Angeles, CA and wholesales and retails premium denim and sportswear for men, women and kids globally through corporate retail stores, National Department Stores and key specialty accounts in the USA, Canada, UK, Japan and Australia. For more about Earnest Sewn, visit www.earnestsewn.com.
About WRK Design:
WRK Design was founded by Joshua Farley and Jermy Floto. Joshua previously worked as the director of visuals for Earnest Sewn. About a year ago the dynamic duo decided to combine their talents and start WRK Design. Within the year they have inspired and built several projects including Rudys Barbershop in the Ace Hotel, Brooklyn Winery, True Religion Showroom, PRPS Showroom and The Woolwrich Showroom.
WRK Design works to create sustainable and environmentally conscience designs through salvaging old materials and restoring forgotten objects. Rebellious in nature, refined in approach, they employ a broad spectrum of ideas, materials and objects, an alchemy that results in projects that go beyond design and rise to the level of cultural reflection. www.wrkdesign.com.
Taylor Lautner wore Earnest Sewn on the red carpet at the Breaking Dawn Part II premiere in London. Lautner looked suave as he posed in his Earnest Sewn Dean tee ($49) alongside co-stars, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson for the final installment of the five-series Twilight Saga. (Now he has a great stylist!:)
Last night I was invited to hear Twitter, Uber, Instagram and Kickstarter Investor, Chris Sacca, speak at Pando Monthly by a female entrepreneur I respect and admire online and as a result, really not knowing what to expect, plunked down my $20 for a chance to experience this "fireside chat."
I had no expectations because I don't read Pando Daily and was just introduced to it with little time to research or read before arriving at Zephr's door filled with curiousity and hope. However, my friend has started numerous businesses and is very connected which made me trust her judgment.
I will admit, after hearing all the companies Chris has invested in, which if you're not familiar, are super hot right now in the tech world and elsewhere, coupled with the fact he appeared to be huge fan of Obama via reading his Twitter feed, I kinda expected him to be arrogant, full of himself and annoying, but was pleasantly surprised the opposite was true.
He was thoughtful, humble, generous, revealing, honest, kind, and inspiring.
(Too bad the moderator didn't take a page from his book, but that's another story. We're chalking it up to the fact she's pregnant and probably doesn't realize how bitchy she comes across. Sorry lady, but someone from our gender needs to speak truth. And I'm not just saying this because you said, no questions from the seated audience after I stated mine.:)
Anyway, I was so inspired after hearing him speak for three hours, I felt compelled to share my experience with you. Although, I will admit, I slept on it because some guy called me a poser the other day (to which I responded he was a dick and an ass - good Christian that I am.:) and wondered what people would say when they heard I was privileged to hear one of the richest, smartest, coolest investors in the tech world (in my humble opinion.:)
But after sleeping on it and waking up at 4am buzzing still, I don't care. Think of me what you will because to be honest, I don't write for your opinion. I write for mine. If you're a writer, you know there are times you are compelled to share your thoughts in writing to process it yourself and this is one of those times.
Back to my story.
When I arrived, I was super early and would have been super lost except for overhearing another guy asking directions too. Jackie was very cool and helpful which I generally find among tech heads. No pretension, just mass knowledge just like my programmer friend Paras.
We traisped through Zephr's offices, which are very hip and sound like an incubator for digital-focused filmmakers, and out into the alley to arrive at their large warehouse space where we were promptly shushed out into the street by the zealous organizer because we were so early.
Hey, what can I say? I was excited!:)
I left briefly and when I returned the alley was filled with eager programmers, startups, entreprenuers and the friend who had originally invited me, Espree. Know her? Cool girl and reminds me a lot of one of my young GA room-mates who works in tech with Oracle whom I admire too.
In any case, pretty soon the doors opened and we all streamed inside to enjoy pizza and beer (and in my case, Coke) before the interview began. Jackie had been kind and saved me a seat, but Espree suggested we move to the front and pretty soon, her young skateboard friend, Dante, herself, her other lawyer friend, Damion, and myself were staring at the stage face on for the next three hours.
Talk about butt ache!:) But soooo worth it! Chris is amazing! (This is prior to launch during set-up.)
But if you can, watch the Pando Monthly video if they share it. Not sure how that works yet, but assume they'll be doing something with the footage and/or interview. Kudos to Sarah Lacy for landing Chris because this is one of the few interviews he has given since moving down to LA part-time. (Yes, he's here! Sound the trumpets! Los Angeles is totally becoming the tech hotbed and I just love it!)
The reason I suggest watching vs. reading is because you will see the essence of who this guy really is without someone else's filter, including mine. He is nothing like I expected and totally someone I feel I could be friends with, he is that down-to-earth, funny, and real.
I also admired his integrity. He may not always have had it growing up a young, brash, arrogant investor when he day traded his student loan money in college, but losing 12 million and ending up 4 million in debt like he did has a way of humbling you.
What I really liked hearing him say when this happened, was, he "declared I wouldn't declare bankruptcy." And took the next five years working hard to repay all the debt he owed. That impressed me immensely. He said when he paid it all off, "you have no idea how good zero feels."
He shared how he accidentally overpaid his student loans and they sent him a check for, I believe it was, $38, and to this day he says it's pinned on his fridge because he likes seeing they owe him money. lol
I thought it fascinating because Financial Guru, Dave Ramsey, always talks about how the rich don't carry debt and they live debt free. Hearing Chris say it too was only confirmation of what I'd learned in Dave's class. Makes me glad it's one of my top goals to which I'm very close except for my student loan ironically enough.
I also liked how Chris refuted the moderator when she accused him of using Goldman Sachs, to which he replied, "No money from Goldman Sachs - you should fact check."
He shared how he started day trading and when it's going great, it's easy to think it's because you're a genius, and when things go bad it's because you're unlucky, but now he's learned it's actually the opposite. When it's going right, that's when you're lucky and when it's going wrong, you're f-ed.
He shared how easy it was to fall into that trap when all his ski buddies were telling him how wonderful he was because they had been able to buy boats and homes investing through him back then, but he realized it's important to have people in your life who will call you on your BS like his wife does now.
For me, it's my parents. lol
Moving right along.
He shared how he hustled to make money any way he could and was one of the first lawyers on Elance doing odd jobs, even once doing a VO for a famous black athlete in a low, modulated voice similar to that guy's style which cracked me up because Chris is about as white as they come.
He also wrote contracts for porn companies and said he's the only guy to make money in the business without removing his clothes. Chris is just clever with words - a writer's dream which is why I took so many notes cuz I knew I'd want to write about him once he started speaking.
The moderator, Sarah Lacy, whom I admire for her moderating skills in asking great questions and her deep knowledge, asked him some hard hitting questions which seemed to stop the flow every so often because it seemed antagonistic rather than forward moving. Overall though, great job at moderating on one level.
That said, I'm sure her style is what tech readers love, but meeting her for the first time and hearing it in person for the first time, I was a little put off because I really felt they had a great repoire and he was opening up and sharing stories he admitted at the end he will probably regret the next day, and hearing someone ask him what he thought about negative reviews about himself is enough to make anyone shut up and mistrust the agenda of someone you're speaking to.
I loved hearing Chris reveal how hard his life had been before he made it. If you've been an entreprenuer for any length of time, like I have, you know it's not easy and it was great to hear I wasn't alone in this. Chris really had compassion on those who are struggling in this economy although he doesn't seem to compute that Obama played a part in this and appears to blindly support him, although it was encouraging to hear he invested in Uber which is run by a Libertarian and often has passionate political discussions with him.
My kinda guy.:) Not the Libertarian per se, just anyone who is willing to passionately talk politics and have intelligent discussions not filled with name calling. My style.
Chris even admitted Silicon Valley is a bunch of group thinkers politically and although that was disappointing to hear, at least now I know. Sarah did ask him if he was as disappointed in Obama as many are at the end of the interview and I appreciated her doing that, to which he spewed the party line which I hope young people will research before blindly accepting it because someone they admire said it.
But what do you expect from someone who raised 100 million for Obama and has taken meetings with the President? Maybe I might even think differently about Obama if I had been invited to give my feedback on females in the workplace and in small business at the White House too.
I did, after all, attend the man's inauguration. What?! You didn't know?:) Yes, it's true. I attended Obama's inauguration at the special invite of Rep. Jane Harmon to whom I am very grateful. I consider it one of the highlights of my life to be part of history, especially as one of the lone conservatives in the audience.
Trust me. I was a novelty! lol But enough politics. I have to leave shortly and want to get this out.
I think that's where we left off. When asked about why he kept on going despite incredible odds against him when he first started out, he said "I didn't have a choice." It was in his dna. He said, stories of bouncing back aren't just about titans of business. People fought in wars, have lost their homes and jobs and come back, you just don't hear about them. I admire him for not being prideful about his personal comeback too.
Chris has tremendous empathy for the struggles we all face which endeared me to him because he gets it. Those who have money handed to them and have never faced failure or loss don't understand the depths of despair and self-reflection you go through when all you have is you and God (in my case) and you have to pull yourself back up from rock bottom.
Chris does. That's why my friend and I were so inspired by him. He was empathetic, compassionate, honest and very transparent on how hard it was and how he relates to those who are going through it now. He even acknowledged he knows how much $20 can be for someone when they're bootstrapping because he encountered that when he was flat broke trying to network and he used to sneak in through the kitchen to attend events because he spoke Spanish.:)
When I was younger I read a book of 100 biographies of world famous people and the running theme throughout all was those at the top gave back, they were humble and they treated all people with respect. The most successful companies, churches, institutions, and organizations are also run by these kinds of people I have observed over the years.
Now for those of you who have a company which is doing well and you're starting to receive bids because people want to buy it, here's some advice Chris gave which you might want to listen to:
"If someone offers you money for your company, walk away and think about what really matters. Money - how much do you want? Do you want to continue working in the company and if so, how does that look? Where do you want your company to be based? Who do you want your boss to be? Ask yourself all kinds of questions to allow yourself to really think about what's important to you."
Chris said, armed with that self-awareness, then go back and negotiate on your terms. He said there's no better negotiator than an engineer because they have no filter. They just tell it like it is. I agree, having grown up around so many. That's why we get along - we're both blunt.:)
What I hope every young investor will heed is this next bit of advice too. "Good investors are in the service business." Chris says he gets involved in companies to help and as long as he's helping he sticks around. He probably got more involved with Twitter than they liked at first, but when he was dragged into investing the initial $25,000 he invested, he didn't have that money to lose and wanted them to succeed which is why he was so hands on.
Now, not as much, but he continues to buy Twitter stock because he feels it's the next Google. Interesting, eh? I love smart people.:)
He also said, along those lines, a VC's role is to "empower the entrepreneur" not to be the star and take credit for stuff. It's like when a publicist jumps into every promo shot with their client on the red carpet - I hate that because it's not about the publicist, it should be about the client, just like it's not about the VC either.
Are you listening to us? STOP WITH THE SELF ADULATION.
What I also enjoyed learning is how Chris thinks about Twitter. He says the real value is in the community, the users, and it's created a venue where people communicate. So sparse and simple, it's all about what's not there vs. what it's like on Facebook. Or as Eric Schmidt, whom he quoted regarding Twitter, says, "It's the poor man's email."
Chris, having worked for years at Google, also said, "Twitter is an art problem. Google fails at social because they don't get art." Isn't that interesting? That's why even though Blogger is among the top something of websites, Google has never put money or energy into it. They don't care. They're more about the science than the look.
The part of the evening that really quieted the room, which by the way, was standing room only in a space designed to fit about 500 maybe, correct me if I'm wrong, was when Chris shared how much more people matter than money and holding grudges. You could have heard a pin drop then and also when he said he went from 12 million profit to 4 million in debt over night.
It's life lessons like these that make powerful people resonate with their audiences. He shared how someone in Silicon Valley had once betrayed his confidence and he held a grudge for years after, even ignoring his emails when that guy wrote to tell him he was going to bike ride cross country like Chris had done in 2009, in essence, "joining his tribe" as Chris so eloquently stated.
Then recently he learned this same guy was in an accident while riding and did a face plant at 27 mph and is now in a coma. It's made him ask, how meaningful can it be? He may still hold grudges, but it's so shallow. He passionately said, "People matter more than an investment in a company that isn't even around any more."
It was so deep there for a moment, even Chris said, can we get back to talking about the fun stuff. I think it was important for him to share this though because I know so many people who hold grudges, myself included, and I find once I let it go, I'm so much freer. It's just not worth it people. Friendships should always matter more than money.
Or politics for that matter. Get over it. That's me, not Chris saying that part.:)
Some other great words of wisdom Chris shared is don't let you inbox dictate your day. Be on the offense and look at your To Do list before your email. Make what you feel is important, your priority, not what others think is important via their email.
He also shared how he invites people over to his home for the weekend to get to know them better on a whole other level since he moved to Truckee and counts many of those people as his closest friends. He moved because he was running out of excuses on why he couldn't go to coffee with people. LOL
He told us he was inviting so many programmers over at one time, it got to be too much and took the money he would have spent on an office and bought the house next door to host them now, calling it Camp LowerCase (lowercase?:) which I thought was brilliant.
Chris loves helping people and said, he wants to be obsolete by Series B. He's not on any boards, he just helps them get things going and likes to fund opportunistically, under the radar. Now he's focusing on the intersection between tech and media.
My alarm is set to go off now telling me it's time to wake up which ends conveniently at the same time I have wrapped up my blog. I hope some of my blog helps you with your startup, your life, and your goals because after hearing Chris, and everything he's accomplished, I believe anything is possible with hard work, dedication, drive, ambition, and focus.
Have a great day! I leave you with this fun shot of the door prize he gave to the person who came the farthest...