As I approached the black benches that lined the walkway to SOCO, the venue for the Pose n Post Symposium in the capital city of Columbia, South Carolina, hosted by R&B singer and flower child Chrisette Michele, I was greeted by a life sized poster of the songstress that had already become the face of the event.
I turned to my right and was taken by the polished wooden staircase leading up to suite 220. It was there that I passed by a nice backdrop featuring all the Pose n Post sponsors—– until I was greeted by the pleasant atmosphere of pink, candles, glittering stones, floral arrangements, finger food and drinks still being set up around the hundred or so seats padded with gift bags for attendees.
I was ready, having heard such great things about this event, I couldn’t wait to get started. As I walked to get a feel for the place prior to the public’s arrival, I caught quick glances of a young lady who walked the floor a couple of three times. She appeared determined, focused, and yet calm, ready to entertain, greet and share with all those who dare to find out how to produce, grow, and design their businesses, blogs and social media presence in a favorable, positive way. Her name – Chrisette Michele.
Not long after that was I, along with a member of my crew for the day, Nina Ross, were called toward the backdrop for my first interview with the singer. She sat in small, black chair, wearing a comfortable plaid blouse with shorts, and when I reached her, I’d sat in the same type chair, directly across from her. She smiled, and we greeted one another. Then, the interview began – one of my first questions being why the Pose n Post Symposium and why she felt it important to bring the symposium to others in social media?
Chrisette Michele: It’s really exciting to watch young businesses grow, young black businesses grow, and young female businesses grow. It’s really exciting to be a part of the new millenial generation. We are the great minds, that went through something called the recession, and figured out a way out. And then we took social media and figured out how to use that as our inexpensive marketing tool. So tonight, I’m getting together with some of my favorite bloggers, vloggers, youtubers – Lover4_fashion, Brosia Malbrough, Courtney Adeleye of The Mane Choice – who have grown their businesses from the ground up, all the way up to being multi-million dollar businesses. And they’re going to share some tricks on how they did that. It’s gonna be really fun.”
Curiosity about what is in the mind of a singer prompted me to ask the second question, only because I love to understand each artist with whom I speak, therefore, my question of how difficult it is to remain true to herself in an industry that’s always pulling at the artist and changing rapidly?
Chrisette Michele: “I have a hard time hearing suggestions that don’t suit me or hearing ideas that don’t make any sense to who I am…so I don’t allow [it] to traffic my space. So I don’t really feel pressured to be something that I’m not. I’ve got to much other things to do.”
As she spoke, I smiled which made me adore this particular side to this artist because I am one for remaining your own individual, so this was and should, to me, be an inspiration to others to do their own thing when it comes to their art. Fabulous, I thought. Just fabulous. I enjoyed the interview.(left to right) Courtney Adeleye (The Mane Choice), Fash (Lover4_Fashion), Ambrosia Malbrough (BrosiaLove.com)
Afterwards, I walked inside and saw Fash (Lover4_Fashion), Courtney Adeleye, and Ambrosia Malbrough sitting on a black leather couch, all very stunning and relaxed. These were the females who exercised their own knowledge and passion into something beyond what magic or something a mere trick would cause to happen. They all started their own fashion business ranging from hair, styling, and jewelry along with healthy living, to grow top notch followings in their businesses via social media.
Gratefully, I was able to speak with Ambrosia Malbrough with whom I identify on many levels. Watching her on youtube as well as familiarizing myself with her jewelry, I was more than ready to sit before her and find out if her love for fashion and living as a minimalist ever clashed at some point. First, I wanted her to discuss what her lifestyle as a minimalist entailed, and she came through.Mirika Mayo Cornelius (left) and Ambrosia Malbrough (right)
Ambrosia Malbrough: “It’s really a simple lifestyle where you minimize the amount of belongings that you have to just the things that you absolutely need and the things that you absolutely love. Along with that, it’s not just a journey in your home, but it’s also a journey spiritually, in your brain, all of that.”
She then proceeded to answer the question of her lifestyle and her love for fasion ever clashing. By the way, Brosia studied fashion design in Los Angeles at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Jewelry design is her first love, and you can find her jewelry on the site BrosiaLove.com.
Ambrosia Malbrough: I created a video. It’s called The Fabulous Minimalist, and it just shows that you can be a minimalist but you can still be fabulous. And that’s just incorporating those key pieces, you know, things that you absolutely love, classic colors, and creating capsule wardrobes with colors that are everlasting that matches your skin tone. So, you can have a little bit, but make it look like…wow… a lot.”
As she spoke, I was able to see what a natural beauty she is, and as she continued speaking about how to be fabulous in the minimalist lifestyle, I was pushed by my internal self to get one more question to learn about how she has kept her brand afloat.
Ambrosia Malbrough: “I’m consistently updating things, and I never do a drastic change within my brand but I’m consistently kind of tweeking things, making it a little bit better because I’m still learning a lot. So, within that process I’m changing, but I’m never making it a like a night and day, quick change.”
If you think these are simply words, well, think again. During panel discussion, upon Brosia’s intro by Chrisette Michele for panel discussion, it was revealed that while the other panelists had lots of luggage, it was Ambrosia who took one piece of luggage on this Pose n Post ten city tour and was able to change into a completely different outfit at each event. That’s working a minimalist fashion lifestyle at its finest.
While speaking on the panel discussion, which was after Chrisette Michele sang beautifully three pieces for the crowd, I need to mention that the venue was packed. There were absolutely no empty seats, ranging from people all over the state of South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina. I mean it went from this…
…all in a matter of minutes. And yes, the crowd is Posing and Posting, meeting each other and greeting each other, exchanging names, becoming friends, and planning for the future.
Allow me to back track. Before the event even started though, the line continued to grow as I stared from the second floor window. I traveled downstairs where I could get a better look, and the ladies were thrilled and ready to learn, grow, and succeed in their budding businesses, hear the featured panelists, and learn from some of the best…while of course hear Chrisette Michele on the microphone in song and her own opinions on specific social media marketing strategies.
After taking in the excitement from the awesome crowd, I rushed back upstairs where I got an up close look at Courtney Adeleye’s hair, founder of The Mane Choice, and I had to compliment her on her body of hair which was absolutely gorgeous. She replied with a gracious and warm “Thank you.” while later allowing me to take a photo. Stunning, right…and yes, look to the right. She has some of the most gorgeous hair that I’ve seen on a human being. No exaggeration. You have to be up close and personal to know what I mean, but you get eighty-nine point five percent of what I am writing about just by looking. No seriously…click the picture to blow it up. See what I mean?
By the time the event was over, we’d all networked, met one another, and the entire crowd walked away with something new and brilliant to make a part of their lives. As for myself, although I’ve done this for years, I grabbed my pen and pad when I got new and improved ideas that I’d never even thought of!
Upon exiting the venue we all posed…and posted. Bravo to an event well planned and worthwhile.(left to right)–Fash(Lover4_Fashion), Ambrosia Malbrough, Mirika Mayo Cornelius(me), Chrisette Michele, Courtney Adeleye of The Mane Choice