Saturday, April 4, 2015

Female Fashion & Civic Engagement "Fashion To Figure" Quakerbridge Mall Lawrenceville NJ

March 2015

On Saturday March 21, 2015, Trenton 365 coordinated a fashion event to showcase several women from the Mercer County Region who are committed to civic engagement and enjoy the art and craft of fashion!

This event was held in partnership with Fashion To Figure a women’s fashion retailer that specializes in trendy fashions for women size 12-26.

Store Manager Alicia Thomas and Regional Manager Sandra Havertong were immediately on-board with the concept and handled in store logistics.

CEO Michael Kaplan understands the importance of the surrounding community where his stores are located.  Have a listen to our chat.

Company founders Michael and brother Nick are the great-grandsons of Lena H. Bryant the revolutionary businesswoman and visionary dressmaker who pioneered plus-size fashion more than 110 years ago.  The great-grandmother of the Kaplan brothers affectionately known as “Gram” had a passion and belief: “never ask women to conform their figures to fashion, but rather bring fashion to the figure.  This statement continues to inspire the Kaplan brothers and drives their mission as they encourage the notion that fashion is a state of mind, not a size range.

Will Foskey of Trenton Going Global handled the photographic documentation.

Kakeya Floyd of The Doll House handled the hair and makeup for the participants.

Participants included
Megan Wear – Visual Fine Artist and Endangered Animal Activist.

Megan is continuing her work on her endangered species series as well as working on some new repurposed furniture.  Megan states, “civic engagement is very important, if one cares about ones community one should be active and supportive of people and institutions fighting for change. It doesn't have to be on a grand scale all the time but just being aware of what you can offer and do to help is what's important.”

“If I could say one thing to encourage it would just be to do it, don't over think it do it. Cause if u don't u never will, and you could miss out on a life changing experience.”

Neisha Kelly – Writer and Spoken Word Artist.

Neisha is currently working on her first novel "Trapped: Inside the Mind of an Addict" a three volume series on my personal battle with addiction.

My quote about civic engagement is "Kindness and courtesy goes a long way, learn to give a little bit each and every day." 
A quote to encourage others "Never let a dream be deferred." Inspired by Langston Hughes poem A Dream Deferred 

Marisol Sanchez – Street Outreach Counselor with Anchor House NJ (A Multi-Service Agency for Runaway and Homeless Youth & Their Families)
609-218-5630  office

Currently, Marisol is a Street Outreach Counselor at Anchor House, Inc., a non-profit multi-service agency for runaway and homeless youth and their families.  “Anchor House’s mission is to work with homeless, runaway and abused children and youth to utilize their strengths and the support of their families and communities in order to ensure a stable and successful home.  Anchor House offers a continuum of care from birth to 21 years of age.”  Marisol is responsible for providing outreach and education services to run away, homeless and street youth, she provides crisis intervention to youth who are at risk for sexual abuse and exploitation, emergency shelter placements, referrals, home based interventions and counseling and education services throughout Mercer County and the State of New Jersey. 

Marisol is a dedicated mother of a 16 year old son and a 10 year old daughter, a member of the Mercer County Council for Young Children, an advocate for children and literacy, an advocate for the youth, for families, for the homeless population, for the undocumented community and for education; her most important advocacy is for Juvenile Diabetes.  

“Civic engagement cultivates and shapes communities for the better.  I strongly believe that we must engage and enable people in the community to enact the changes they want in their community and thrive.  Through civic engagement, we have the power to bring residents together, encourage local leadership, cultivate creativity and strengthen neighborhoods.”

“A confident woman is BEAUTIFUL…especially when she knows who she is, why she is and what she’s supposed to do.  A confident woman is not afraid to be herself and she understands her purpose.  She knows that there are certain things only she can contribute to the world!”

“This is where Fashion to Figure comes into play….Fashion to Figure brings out the Beauty and Confidence in all Full-Figure and Curvy Women; through their vibrant and trendy, affordable, everyday fashions!!!”

I had an amazing experience at the Female Fashion & Civic Engagement Event.  I was able to share some great laughs and the spotlight with beautiful, positive, talented, inspiring and extraordinary women from our community…doing great things!  Thank you for the opportunity and experience; it was an honor to be a part of this event. 

“Sometimes the BEST thing you can do for yourself is REFLECT…”

6. Taylor Pickett Stokes – Performing Artist and Instructor

Facebook: Taylor Pickett-Stokes
Fanpage: SoulfulT&TheBand
Instagram: Soulful_tee
twitter:Soulful T 

Soulful T and The Band at Ramapo College May 2nd more projects to be confirmed in the month of May.

A quote about the importance of Civic Engagement
Give 100% or Don't Give at all.
A quote about your experience at Fashion To Figure
Love the Skin you're in, You are S.O.U.L.F.U.L
A quote to encourage others
You Never Lose you either Win or Learn.
If you have any questions feel free to contact.   
Taylor Pickett-Stokes A.KA. Soulful T @ 609-643-3971

Thank You.
"God. Requires. Obedience. Worship. Truth. & Humility."

7. Caitlin Fair – Community Organizer and Activist

The OneTrenton Project does a monthly Books and Breakfast program at Shiloh Baptist church every third Saturday of the month. We serve hot breakfast to the community and give out books to youth 18 and under. Our next one will be a special edition in the month of May in conjunction with the Capital City Book Fair. We will be having a #BooksAndBBQ in Mill Hill Park on Saturday, May 2nd from 12pm-2pm. We will have a DJ, food, books, and children's characters for the kids to take pictures with. We also do a weekly Teach-in at the Carver Center on Thursdays from 6:30-8. We discuss various civic engagement topics, as well as Black history, current events, and social justice issues. We also run a "Poetry in Protest" campaign, through which we use various mediums of art to promote awareness about issues of social justice and raise money for grassroots organizations around the country.

Civic engagement is the difference between a reactive community and a proactive community. The more we engage with each other as a community, the stronger and more powerful we become. If we believe it is the responsibility, or the intention, of our administrations to educate and empower us, we are sorely mistaken. It is both our responsibility and our most powerful tool to educate ourselves and each other, and therefore empower and embolden our communities to create the kinds of places we want to live.

The Fashion to Figure event was both fun and powerful. I think that often times, women are the silent workers and unsung heroines within our communities. They are quietly and unassumingly doing much of the work, while getting little credit. I think these are often the same women who tend to overlook themselves in order to help others. To have a whole event not only to honor, but to pamper and celebrate those women, is outstanding. It gives those women the opportunity to be the ones in the spotlight for once, and rightfully so.

Keep pushin. I tell myself this daily. This kind of work is never easy, never pretty, and never glorious. And that's not what its about. If you do this work, it's because you know it is way bigger than you, and way bigger than all of us. And for that reason, we always gotta keep pushin, and may to God be the glory!

Ayana Tru Beauty Rah – Educator and Owner of Timbuk2 Academy Pre-School and Daycare

Public contact info
Work for TPD in the Juvenile Unit as a Youthstat coordinator.
CEO/Director of Timbuk2academy Academy, LLC 
Phone: 6099776406
PO BOX 267
Ig&twitter @timbuk2academy

Currently we are fundraising to purchase supplies for the academy. Our goal is to raise between 10-15k, however, if we raise more this will help us to secure all of the things we need. Payments can be sent or via mail Timbuk2 Academy, LLC 
PO BOX 267, Trenton, NJ 08602. 
In addition, we are selling items at the school store all shirts are on sale for $15.00, all proceeds benefit the Academy. Link here:
We will have a Gofundme posted this week, be on the lookout for it. Last, we will host something very special for Mothers day so please be on the lookout for that as well. Please follow us on facebook and instagram for daily updates, and share our information with family and friends. ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT THE ACADEMY!

Civic engagement is about bringing communities together to identify, disect and solve our problems together. It's about applying the knowledge, skills and values to improve the lives of those within the community. It's a form of empowerment...people need to know that they have a voice, a right and a responsibility to speak out on issues which effect the quality of their lives. We have to start working together and we must instill such values in our children to do so as well. 

The fashion to figure experience was uplifting, fun and empowering. As women, we must remember to embrace our femininity, be soft, yet confident and love who we are unapologetically; be a woman. I work with young ladies daily and weather I choose to accept it or not, these girls look up to me, they watch how I move, how I dress, how I style my hair, the way I speak, how I treat myself etc. This event reminded me to always keep that in mind.  In addition, the other women who participated in the event are pretty amazing. 

My advise for others, especially our youth, is to always stay true to self. Be honest.  Whatever you do, do it with integrity and good intention; good character goes a long way. Find your purpose in life and never give up on yourself or your goals.  Lastly, have fun and don't be afraid to celebrate you!! 

5. Tina Hamlett – Proprietor of House of Fashionz

I had a wonderful experience! The staff was very professional and pleasant. I felt like a celebrity! 

We should all work together to become successful. Always compliment and support the next person.

I am a true believer in customer service! Always treat others as you want them to treat you. I was taught that when I was younger and I never forgot. I tell my kids all the time.

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I received a lot of positive feedback.

House of Fashionz LLC
Instagram: houseoffashionz

8. Penny Praline – Performing Artist

Latonia Brown-Dickerson
(973) 444-0876

Brown Magnolia Presents, "BROWN FACES ON THE GREENS" Junior Golf & Enrichment Summer


Brown Faces on The Greens is a Junior Golf and Enrichment Program offered to the youth of Trenton, Hamilton and the surrounding areas ages 5 to 16.

This program introduces the youth to the game of golf while they learn to apply the principles in golf to their everyday lives. Our program Core Values (Dignity, Accountability, Integrity, Loyalty, Fortitude,Dedication, Sportsmanship and Civility) are integrated throughout the entire program. The program also introduces enrichment and empowering workshops to help address the concern of the youth. The workshops focus on Positive Self – Esteem, Healthy Lifestyles and Anti – Bullying/Peer Pressure.

Trenton 365 is committed to encouraging civic engagement as a model to improve communities.  To accomplish this, partnerships are critical to be successful, thank you to:

Hot Sauce 4 Good
Happy Wanderer Bakery

Joe Canal’s

Thank you to all of the partners for this event and an extra special thank you to the staff of Fashion To Figure Quakerbridge!

1 comment:

  1. What great event it was!! This event was the inspiration for many ladies. Good job! Keep organizing such events guys! I wonder if there are such fashion events at any DC venues! If yes, then please share the details!