Archives for November 2010

November 10, 2010

Spotlight on…….

Veteran’s Day


Marvin Hume

Growing up in a small town in New England, parades were always a big event.  Normally I was not watching them, but as a member of the band/girl scout troop/sports team, I was marching in them.  When you marched in them, you were part of the opening and closing ceremonies as well.  I remember many of them ending at cemeteries where we laid wreaths and flags on the grave stones.  Memorable experiences even for an elementary school kid.

I always enjoy watching small town parades.  It brings me back.  Not that I don’t enjoy the NYC parades. I certainly do, but they are on a much larger, grander  scale.  I have seen many over my years in the city, but the one I try to attend every year is the Veteran’s Day Parade.  It is one parade where having it on a larger scale makes even more of an impact.

Veteran’s Day originally began as Armistice Day, in commemoration with the signing of the Armistice ending World War I.  November 11 officially became Veterans Day 0n May 24, 1954 by an Act of Congress.  It is the day set aside to honor all of those who have fought and served in the defense of our country, in times of war and of peace.

The Veterans Day Parade in New York City has been organized since 1929.  Over 20,000 people participate in the parade each year. It begins with a wreath laying ceremony at The Eternal Flame in Madison Square Park.  This year’s parade marks the 91st Anniversary. The New York City Veteran’s Day Parade is the oldest and largest of its kind in the nation.

Regardless of how I personally may feel about war or a particular war in general, it is a day I need to put my feelings aside. It is a day that I need to respect, honor and thank all of those who have sacrificed, and served our country.  It is extremely emotional to see the veterans as they parade by.  They have preserved our freedom and have made sacrifices that I thankfully, did not have to make.

We may not get the chance to thank our WWII vets for much longer as they are up there in years.  And for that reason, even though this may be more of a Memorial Day tribute, I would like to spotlight Marvin Hume of New Jersey.  Marvin, a WWII navy vet himself, bought the Sunset Beach Souvenir Shop in Cape May, New Jersey in 1973.  The old owner had flown a flag daily and asked Marvin if he would mind keeping the tradition.  He had the idea of using a casket flag.  A casket flag is the flag a family is awarded for a deceased veteran.

Marvin put an ad in the paper seeking people who had a casket flag to use in the flag lowering ceremony.  One ad ….in 1973…..and he’s never had to seek another flag. People kept coming, bringing flags  and spreading the word.  They have never been without a flag in almost 40 years.  The flag ceremonies, which start on Memorial Day and run through mid-October, are booked through next year. He shows that each service person has a story, a family, and it is a way of honoring their sacrifice again.

Here is a video from Comcast that will show more of Marvin’s story. You may have to cut and paste it on your browser, but it is well worth the watch.  And from me to Marvin and all the other veterans……a very sincere and heartfelt thank you.

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November 10, 2010

Explore “Your” wine personality with Style Expert Bobbie Thomas and Black Tower Wine

It’s always exciting for me when I get the opportunity to interview Style Expert, Bobbie Thomas.

Bobbie’s creativity is so diverse, and I was really curious about the topic of exploring one’s “Wine Personality”.

As we started our conversation, Bobbie mentioned that she had grown up with wine in her life since her parents had a Greek restaurant in Los Angeles. Now I couldn’t wait to find out more about her Color Blocking Guide with Black Tower wine.

Bobbie spoke about the cooler weather and upcoming holiday season right around the corner, and what a fun time it is to get together with friends.

She also loves to reach out to women, who, though often versed in fashion, didn’t want them to be intimidated by wines.

The Color Blocking Guide offers the perfect way to express our different moods at different times by trying different wines, break barriers, and really have a great time a trying variety of new experiences.

“Black Tower is a wonderful wine and you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy it,” noted Bobbie. “It also comes in a beautiful bottle and makes a wonderdul table accessory” she made a point to mention.

Find out more about Black Tower Wine at:
Black Tower~ Easy ends the day

Before closing, Bobbie made sure to remind you to be responsible and have a designated driver while drinking.

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November 9, 2010

Gifts For The Entire Family

WallCandy Arts

Have a nursery you want to cheaply decorate? Or do you need to change a child’s room as they grow?  Need some more whitewall for your office? Like a chalkboard for the entire family to use?  Check out WallCandy Arts.  WallCandy is the most innovative way to decorate nurseries, kid’s rooms, play rooms, and rooms for teens and adults.  WallCandy Arts is the home of hip, modern, wall decals.   Best yet, all of the decals are removable, and won’t damage walls. 

WallCandy Arts began when Allison Krongard was hired to design a room for a three year old Max.  Allison’s career at Knoll International had given her a keen eye for design.  So when Max’s mother needed help in designing Max’s kingdom, Allison pulled together inspiration, swatches, paint chips to match his obsession with dinosaurs.  Max, however, proved to be one tough customer.  He informed her that he was way over dinosaurs, he was now into spaceships! This gave Allison a big idea…….if kids’ imaginations can grow as fast as their bodies, why not create a decor element that is easy to change and easy to apply.

Ready for a change?   Have the kids gone from forest friends to safari animals? Want to add a more chalk boards to keep notes in the office? Peel the decal  off and reconfigure it.  Move it to a different room.  Or adhere it to its backing and store it away for later use.  WallCandy Arts need no special tools or instructions.  They are easy to use and to maintain.  They create a unique atmosphere, enhance any living space, add to functionality, and do so with the ease of a peel and stick application.

Made in the USA, they are non-toxic, lead-free, and VOC free.  WallCandy is a family company, owned and operated by moms.  Even their chalk for their chalkboards is dustless and do not contain any of the common allergens; latex, dairy and casein, egg, gluten, peanut, tree nut, or soy. Extremely economical, fun, useful and safe…….fabulous! 


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November 7, 2010

Bambola Beauty’s Hydrating Eye Gel is a great solution for those dry and irritated “Winter Eyes”

We all are aware of the importance of taking care of our skin, but it is essential to pay special attention to our eyes!

The tissue around the eye area is so thin and needs to be hydrated and cared for not only year round, but especially during cold weather.

Winter is right around the corner, and that means the heat gets turned up in our homes, and at work. As a result, the air becomes dry and really takes it’s toll on the delicate eye area. Outside, the cold air can really irritate our eyes, and it’s crucial to address the problem before dryness and irritation occur and those aging wrinkles start to appear.

Not to worry!! Coming to the rescue is Hydrating Eye Gel from BAMBOLA BEAUTY’S new complete line of organic skincare.

Hydrating Eye Gel’s key ingredients will:
1. Help lessen dark circles with Arnica Extract.
2. Minimize the appearance of fine lines with Shittake Mushroom.
3. Detoxify, nourish and hydrate with vitamins and minerals from Seaweed.
4. Calm, stabilize the skin, and decrease fine lines and dark circles with Red Bush Tea.
5. Plump dry under-eye skin and slow the aging process with powerful antioxidants using Green Tea Extract.

I like to carry my Hydrating Eye Gel with me and lightly apply under my eye throughout the day! It imparts a healthy youthful look to the under eye area. I also will mix a bit of my concealer with the Hydrating Eye Gel for a sheer afternoon touchup.

You can purchase Hydrating Eye Gel, learn more about Bambola Beauty , and check out all of Bambola Beauty products sold exclusively online.

By the way ~ Each order comes with a free deluxe sample in reusable packaging, and better yet, a portion of the proceeds benefits Save the Earth Foundation!

Bambola Beauty ~ Combining Nature and Science !

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November 6, 2010

Gifts That Are Green

Desert Essence

Want to go green?  We all think that we have an idea what it means to be green. But, even though I think I know what it means to be green, a purist, and environmentally conscious, when I look at the list, I am dumbfounded.   It is a lot lengthier than I realized.  In order to be green….it needs to be vegetarian/vegan, recyclable, biodegradable, made from a renewable source, cruelty and fragrance free.  It can have no animal derived ingredients, or be tested on animals.  It can contain no parabens, artificial dyes or fragrances, petroleum compounds including mineral oil, petrolatum, and paraffin.  It can also contain no SLS, PEGS, PPG, MEA, DEA, TEA, glycols or phthalates.  It must also be made by a company that is socially and environmentally conscience.  The company needs to ensure that both their products and practices reflect the serious commitment to the health of our planet.   That is a pretty tall order…..does it truly exist?

Desert Essence was founded in 1972 to promote the countless benefits of Jojoba Oil and Aloe Vera.  They were the first company to introduce Australian Tea Tree Oil to the United States market.  In the 38 years that have followed, they have expanded their line to include natural and organic beauty care products specifically formulated to improve the lifestyles of today’s most health-conscious consumers.  Their products continue to evolve as more natural ingredients are discovered.  They have promised to bring the benefits of healing, beauty and renewal to our life, and to the life of the world we all share.

 Desert Essence ( is inspired by the healing spirit of the desert.  The desert is not only their inspiration, but it is the source for their ingredients.  Native cultures have revered the healing properties of the nutrient-rich desert botanicals for centuries.  The desert landscape, even with its limited resources, is a model of pristine balance and sustainability.  The desert also offers the body and spirit untold benefits.  Desert Essence believes in renewal; renewal for the body, mind and spirit. 

Jojoba oil, aloe and tea tree are naturally effective.  They have no harsh chemicals and work in harmony with our body to nature, soothe and restore. Desert Essence has an extensive and award winning product line.  They encompass skin care, bath and body products, oils, hair care, dental care, organics, and travel and gift packs.  The organic line includes the addition of ingredients such as pomegranate, almond, coconut, pistachio, pumpkin, citrus, vanilla chai, and Bulgarian lavender.  They are often cited in nationally recognized magazines, especially those promoting health, wellness and organic living.

Desert Essences corporate practices reflect their serious commitment in protecting and preserving the world we live in. They use natural and organic ingredients from around the world.  They support a federation of Australian plantation farmers who have signed a pledge not to use any artificial pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides.  There is also no animal testing on their raw materials or finished products.

In addition they offset 100% of their electricity annually by purchasing energy credits.  They print all of their brochures on paper recycled from chopsticks.  And they do the simple things, like turning off the lights when leaving any office or room.  Practices that hopefully other companies will incorporate.

Giving a gift of essential beauty, that is totally green and made from a company whose product and practices ensure the safety of the planet???   Priceless….

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November 5, 2010

Perfect Stocking Stuffers For All Fashionista’s!







For a woman, I have a very small shoe collection.  And it isn’t because I don’t like shoes.  I LOVE shoes, boots, and sandals! The problem is that they don’t always love me back! It never seems to fail that as I am reaching for that pair of beautiful, sexy, 4 inch stilettos there is my inside voice asking me “is it practical???” Of course we all know they aren’t practical, (and not that it has ever stopped me!) but as soon as I envision myself having to walk cross-town in them because I can’t find a cab, they go back on the shelf! Nothing against “taxi” shoes, I have several. However, I’d say I still need to do some serious foot work to get to or from where ever I am going. It isn’t pretty! Lots of discomfort, blisters and throbbing feet! There are also times that carrying another pair of flats or bulky sneakers is not an option!  

We all know the pain associated with wearing those heels. While attending Shecky’s Beauty Night Out last night (in my sensible boots no less!)  I came across a fabulous solution to help me fully embrace my inner “killer” heel cravings! FUNK-tional Footwear and their brilliant portable footwear lines CitySlips and AfterSoles.  They are lightweight, (weighing in at 2 ounces) compact and portable roll up ballet flats, one with a durable heel to wear on city streets.  They roll up and can fit into the tiniest clutches.  They also come with an expandable travel bag, perfect for carrying home those skyscraper stilettos home in.

 CitySlips ( were created by two very entrepreneurial NYU students, Susie Levitt and Katie Shea.  These two fashonistas are also 5’2”, and very familiar with the pain caused by high heels. Classes, internships, daily life, and NYC nightlife led to painful, aching arches.  Unwilling to sacrifice the femine touch and the confidence that their towering heels gave them, they knew there had to be a better way to undertake their daily city life.  When scouring the market for “emergency footwear” products left them empty handed, they used an online platform called to manufacture their own.  With savings of $10,000, and by juggling classroom papers and corporate term sheets throughout their senior year, they brought their product to market in June 2009.

These “back-up flats” promise comfort, portability and casual luxury for the overworked feet of everyday women, both urban and suburban!  They have been tested on the harsh pavements of NYC streets and are the perfect work or travel bag companion.  There will no longer be a need to sacrifice fashion for comfort. They are also perfect for home, office, gifts, wedding, travel, nightclubs, dancing, commuting, and maternity and any time tired feet need a break.  Retailing at under $30 at Neiman Marcus and Dillard’s nationally, (as well as on their site) not only can you get them for your BFF’s, you can also get a pair for yourself!

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November 2, 2010

OMG—Less Than 2 Months To The Holidays!!

As we all know, they will be here before we know it.  I want to share some of my “finds” with you to help in the holiday shopping!!



 It is cold in the northeast today!  A little colder than usual for the first days of November…..and winter will be here quicker than we know it! As will the holidays! What to get a new baby? Especially one that will be experiencing a winter! Having had a recent addition to my immediate family circle, I know that he will be spending a lot of  his first winter days being carted back and forth, and exposed to the elements…….is there a  great gift that will  manage to keep him warm, comfortable, safe and snuggled?

I saw a wonderful and unique gift idea at a product show in the city last week.  SnugglePie! SnugglePie is a warm, luxurious and natural New Zealand Shearling footsack for a baby stroller.  SnugglePie is the brainchild of Karolin Falk and Dana Moyal Kolevzon, themselves mothers.  And mothers-on-the-go at that! Karolin, who is from Germany, is a fashion model and producer.  Dana, from Israel, is a producer of documentaries and a co-owner of nepa-laya, a production services company in Nepal. 

Seeking to keep their children as warm as possible for their outdoor strolls in New York City winters, Karolin and Dana could not find an alternative to the synthetic stroller sacks on the market.  They created a cozy and stylish cocoon made from natural New Zealand shearling.  Their friends, once having seen these masterpieces began begging them to make them one.  And thus, SnugglePie was born!

SnugglePie works with strollers that use the 5 point harness.  You can use Snugglepie even in the warmer months since shearling is naturally thermostatic (insolating from both heat and cold).  The front of the sack detaches, adding to babies comfort.   Unlike synthetics, wool fibers absorb up to 33% of their own weight in moisture.  Wool also insolates better than synthetic material, keeping babies warm and happy.  Synthetic sacks may look comfortable, but they cannot match the true luxurious warmth and healthy breathability of all natural shearling and lambs wool.  Shearling is also extremely soft and dense.  Synthetics can lose their shape and their “plushiness” quite quickly. Especially when washed frequently.

What about cleaning the SnugglePie?  Karolin and Dana told me that while SnugglePie is dry cleanable, they themselves have always been able to wipe away any spills or stains that have occurred.  It is extremely durable. SnugglePie is not just for stroller use either.  It can keep baby warm while lounging and snuggling on the floor. It comes in yummy caramel or delicious chocolate. SnugglePie will keep both babies and toddlers alike in a warm, soft cocoon that will shield them from the winds and cold.

SnugglePie may not be a household name yet, but it soon will be. New mom,  actress Drea de Matteo (Sopranos, Desperate Housewives) has snapped up a SnugglePie for her little one.  Actress-turned-entrepreneur Phoebe Cates carries it at her Madison Avenue Shop Blue Tree (  It is coming to more stores in NYC and Tokyo this fall/winter 2010-2011.  NYC baby boutiques stocking the SnugglePie include the West Village’s Yoya ( , Tribeca’s Koh’s Kids ( and Capucine ( Gramercy’s Little Folks ( , the West Side’s Albee Baby ( and of course SnugglePie’s website

I intend on picking up one for my little one (my biggest question, which color!).   After all, I have favorite aunt status to maintain, both to Julian to keep him warm and his extremely glam, stylish and practical mother, Sabina!

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November 1, 2010

UNITE Hair Care ~ “Combines the high quality of European ingredients with the cutting edge of American technology”

I saw UNITE Hair Care the other day in a presentation of “Must Have” products for hair on a national morning TV program. I also read that UNITE has a number of celebrity enthusiasts including Heidi Klum, Trya Banks, and Jennifer Hudson to name a few.

As a result, when I was presented with the opportunity to try UNITE Hair Care products, I was very excited, and looked forward to experiencing them, first hand.

Needless to say, I was intrigued. With all of the things we do to our hair from coloring, straightening, using a hot iron, and the list goes on… Caring for our hair with the proper products is essential. Sometimes choosing the right product for our needs can be a bit overwhelming. I believe product knowledge is essential for the consumer.

Wanting to find out more about this line I had been seeing on TV, reading about, and now going to try, I went to UNITE’s website, and I must say I was totally impressed:
Not only is it informative, but offers complete areas dedicated to educational class opportunities for professionals, media exposure, and a product education section that will help you find just the product you’ll need! You can also order your product right online.

UNITE’s line consists of 30 hair care products in the following categories:
All are free of parabens, sulfates, gluten, dea mea, and animal testing.

How do I like UNITE Hair Care? It’s great! My hair feels clean, and looks so healthy with amazing volume , texture and shine. Due to special ingredients, Moringa seed and Botansil, my color is locked in, my blow-dry time cut down by 20%, and breakage by 80%!

Remember, Winter and all those wonderful holiday events are right around the corner. Get your “Picture Perfect” hair with UNITE !
Now’s the time to visit the UNITE website and shop in the comfort of your own home.

“UNITE is exclusively in over 1400 salons nationwide, 150 salons in Canada, 200 in Europe, and exclusively available at Harrods in the
U.K. ”

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November 1, 2010

Fashion Institute Of Technology’s First Ever Global Fashion Show

On Friday October 22, New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) held its first ever Global Fashion Show.  The event was organized by Fashionjunkii and brought together a group of 8 extremely talented designers, they themselves from all over the globe, which benefitted The Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project.  This was a well anticipated event; it not only allowed these designers to show case their collection, but it allowed the audience an opportunity to see many of a one of a kind pieces, as a plethora of them are not mass produced.   The group of talented designers included:  Mataano, Louda Collection, Nike Kondakis, African Mosaique, Thula Sindi, Prajje 1983, Amparo Chorda, and David Tlale.  For pictures of the show see  For more detailed information on each of these talented designers, as well as well as information on the Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project, see the more detailed blog. Congratulations to all for a very impressive show!

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November 1, 2010

FIT Global Fashion Show Designer Information

FIT’s First Ever Global Fashion Show did not disappoint! Mataano opened the show.  Mataano, which translates as “twins” in Somali, was founded in 2008 by identical Somalian twins Ayaan and Idyl Mohallim.  The twins, having fled their native Somalia when they were 9 to escape the country’s civil war, relocated to Washington D.C. and completed their education at the University of Michigan and Boston University, respectively.  The twins aimed to stand out from the rest of the world of fashion and design.  They experienced the industry from the ground up, through careful study and practice.  Oprah Winfrey, the queen of daytime TV if there ever was, invited the twins on her “Young Millionaire Moguls” show in October 2008.  Oprah lauded the twins for their inspiring story and much deserved success, and introduced them to a national stage as an emerging brand with a rich cultural heritage.  You can see their cultural heritage throughout each meticulously designed piece.  See their amazing collection at

The second collection featured my friend, designer Louda Larrain.  The Louda Collection consists of fashions created by Louda using her own hand-made fabrics and embroideries.  She works on each one as if it was a painting.  She takes her time creating and giving life to each of these exquisite creatures.  Louda came to Paris from Moscow in 1996.  She arrived full of ideas and with a few of her hand made textile swatches.  Miracles then ensued.  Karl Lagerfeld went crazy over her fabrics.  Chanel Couture was her first client.  She has had artistic collaborations with Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Thierry Mugler, Emanuel Ungaro and many others.  Her foray into America began while she was wearing one of her jackets while shopping at Bergdorf Goodman. They noticed and began buying her clothes.  As did Neiman Marcus.  Making her home in NYC since 2006, she continues to be inspired and create fabrics and designs.  You can see her work in NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Temple of Dendur exhibit as well as

The Kondakis collection came next.  The collection consists of creations by Nike Kondakis, which she “re- designs” by creating garments from recycled parachutes and accessories from dead wood and found objects  using her artistic passion for fashion.  Nike Kondakis, who is Greek and Danish, grew up in Europe.  She joined the KaosPilots in Denmark, which is a 3 year program in responsible entrepreneurship.  She now lives in Kenya where she puts her background in art, design and responsible entrepreneurship to good use.  In addition to creating designs that can be worn in multiple ways, she set up a development project, The Lorika Foundation, for 30,000 Maasais in the Kenyan bush.  The project is now run by local manager, but Nike herself still contributes to the education of Massai girls.  See her stunning creations at

The next collection came from Anna Getaneh, African Mosaique.  Swedish born, with her roots from Ethiopia, Anna Getaneh first found success as a model.  She worked with top designers such as Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan and Escada.  She has graced many a catwalk in fashion capitals like Paris, Milan and New York.  It was during her modeling years that she noticed how under-represented African designers were and felt compelled to do something about it.  She founded African Mosaique – a high-end South African based fashion house that specializes in the design and manufacture of Africa-inspired clothing and accessories in 2004. African Mosaique is a collection of celebration, imagination, and is as warm and colorful as the kaleidoscopic, diverse and unique landscapes as well as the rich heritage of Africa itself.  Since its launch, African Mosaique has been a truly positive force in the African fashion industry and Anna, in addition to running her successful company, spends a lot of time supporting various projects aimed at supporting the budding fashion designers across the continent, making it a unique African Luxury Brand.  To view her wonderful collection, see

South African born Thula Sindi showcased his collection next.  He studied in Johannesburg as well and London, and made his debut as the head designer of the Dutch textile company, Vlisco.   Creating his own line, he creates exquisite and delicately crafted masterpieces.   The South African Fashion Industry describes the designs by Thula as “A tale told in the clothes as languishing luxury, love and a little lavishness.  Taking you into a magical fantasy and capturing your imagination.” 

From South Africa, we jump to Haitian born, and Massachusetts College of Arts and Design educated Prajje Jean- Bapiste, and his Prajje 1983 collection.  In just a few years, he has become one of Boston’s most promising young designers.  His inspiration? His grandmother! Since he was young, his grandmother’s style and grace has influenced him.  As a child he remembers seeing her dressed to go to church.  Pencil skirt, Chanel-like jacket, stilettos, long gloves and a clutch purse.  His grandmothers’ philosophy was “it don’t matter how hard times are, you always have to leave your house looking presentable.  ‘To leave your home looking bad is a crime!”  Prajje’s designs are quickly gaining recognition as the work of a hip young fashion designer with exquisite craftsmanship.  His gowns are unique and luxuriously realized.  His designs are instantly recognizable yet befitting the individuality of the woman who wears them.  His line is inspired and drawn from the majestic and artistic cultural elements from his native Haiti.  He wants you to be inspired the colorful and spirited soulfulness of their culture.  His grandmother would be proud!

Our next collection comes from Amparo Chorda.  Amparo comes from Valencia, Spain.  She is a perfectionist to the extreme and has given herself entirely to her profession. This European designer has distinguished herself in a long career, both in the fashion world, designing custom couture for a selected clientele, and along with costumes in theater and television.  Her designs are directed to highlight the body of sophisticated and glamorous women.  Luxury and modernity are constant in her creations.  Her designs are free and innovative; a celebration of the eternal feminine elegance and style.

Rounding out our very talented global designers was South African David Tlale.  David’s designs are both daring and dynamic, and yet manage to be young, bold and elegant.   He impenitently employees unpredictable use and understanding of fabric, color and texture.   In 2008 David received many accolades, awards and nominations at the annual South African Style Awards, Mzansi Star Awards, and Mercedes Benz Fashion Awards.  He has also been chosen to be an ambassador for the Change-4-Ever Campaign which aims to alleviate poverty in Sothern Africa.  He is extremely hands –on in this program.  He prefers to spend time with people, rather than donating a dress to be sold at auction.  “Charity does not improve people’s lives. Development programs impart skills, get kids to school and teach them how to sustain themselves.”   David’s designs embody beauty without pretense.

It was a very successful first show! Congratulations to all of the designers! And 100% of the proceeds after expenses were donated to The Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project (  Bisila Bokoko ‘s mission is to promote literacy among the African people by building well equipped, modern and sustainable efficient libraries with the aim to bring the gift of ideas and education in Africa.  There is no better start in life than having a great education.  One of the greatest gifts that one can give a child is an education. 

Again thank you to all of the designers for unselfishly sharing their designs with us!  And here is to the continued success of the Bisila Bokoko African Literacy Project!

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