Edgy elegance is what came to mind when I had the opportunity to see BJ Johnson Fashion group featured during a show last fall. I was excited to know that the designer was located in the same city as me, so I jumped at the opportunity to invite him to showcase his designs at last month’s show, Rip the Runway MOCOStyle. If you ever have the chance to watch Bryan Johnson in action it will become immediately evident that he is dedicated to his art, a passionate and cerebral creative. I had to introduce him to my favorite fashionistas who read Truly Charmed. Read on to get to know fashion designer Bryan Johnson, creator of BJ Johnson Fashion Group.
Tidbits On Bryan Johnson, Fashion Designer
I am Bryan, owner of BJ Johnson Fashion Group. I was born and raised in Sumter, South Carolina. I spent 10 years of my life in Atlanta, Georgia starting my business from the ground up. I became a designer because I have always loved the creative aspect of personal style and I wanted to give people more options.
The Launch of BJ Johnson Fashion Group
I studied at American International University of Atlanta concentrating in fashion design and marketing. During my senior year, I decided to break out and start the beginning processes of my business. BJ Johnson Fashion Group was launched during the summer of 2014. After spending time in the big city, I moved back to South Carolina to establish a home base for the fashion group and in hopes of expanding sales and networking with more up and coming artists like myself.
The Designer’s Inspiration
BJ Johnson Fashion group aspires to change the way of fashion, establishing no rules, only guidelines.
We love to keep it simple, sexy and classic. We look to push the envelope, create, and have fun with clothing. We provide custom clothing for men and women, consulting for shoots, art direction, make-up, styling and hair services. To be a working artist-placing orders and the joy of fulfilling them- is my greatest accomplishment. It is a gift that not many get to experience.
What’s Up Next!
We are headlining our second show, entitled “Jump”, on Saturday March 31, 2018 in Sumter, SC. This is our first show in Sumter. This showcase will be a celebration of Jumpers and everyday risk-takers, whether it be risks that you take in your careers, relationships, or your personal style. In addition to fashions by BJ Johnson Fashion Group, “Jump” will feature two other designers based in South Carolina, Dpresident Attire and Anton & Maxine Clothing. Go HERE for all updates and announcements about the show!
Advice to Aspiring Fashion Designers
To someone striving to start a career in fashion, I would say PUSH THROUGH!!! It's super hard out here especially when you’re starting out alone. Jump!
Connect With BJ Johnson Fashion Group
BJ Johnson Fashion Group on Facebook
I recently watched the Ralph Lauren episode of the series Bloomberg Game Changers and it is amazing to see how one’s fantasy can evolve into a fashion force to be reckoned with. I have no doubt that BJ Johnson Fashion Group will leave an amazing legacy, and I am looking forward to all that is to come for this talented designer.
Are you a fashion lover? Comment and tell us about your favorite designers.
Check out other Charmed Fashion and Style posts!
Style Post: Charmed Life Sunnies
Charmed Life Fashion Feature: Fashionably Correct
When I started my online boutique last year (2017), I was pleasantly surprised at how much people love sunglasses. I began offering them because I feel that they are the perfect accessory. I have learned that I am not alone in my affinity for fashionable eyewear. When the summer passed, I expected sales to decline but people clearly want to have their trendy frames on hand year-round. Charmed Life Sunnies have become Charmed Life Apparel’s signature product. I enjoy offering my customers the latest in stylish and unique sunglasses. Customer favorites change from one season to the next and I look forward to watching the trends. Read on to find out which frames have been popular so far this winter.
Stellar Clear Sunnies
Clear lenses can carry you from one season to the next. Yes, I still call glasses with clear lenses “sunnies” as those offered by Charmed Life Apparel have UVA/UVB protection. Customers of Charmed Life Apparel can’t get enough of the Stellar Clear Sunnies. These classic frames are simple yet attention-grabbing. I find these sunnies to be sort of preppy in appearance. The Stellar Clear Sunnies are plastic frames with gold tone stems and shatter resistant lenses. These frames fit a range of face shapes. They’re currently available in black and tortoise shell. Cost: $10.
What do you think of the Stellar Clear Sunnies?
The Phoebe Sunnies, also with clear lenses, are stunning oversized frames. Oversized frames (and cateye) are always my favorite. They can instantly add flavor to a simple look. The Phoebe Sunnies are unique in that they offer a retro vibe. These sunnies are definitely a throwback to the 80’s. The Phoebe Sunnies have gradient lenses and are available in black and tortoise shell frames. These glasses are best for round faces. Cost $11. Are the Phoebe Sunnies your style?
The sun still shines in the winter, so darker lenses will always be in style and of great use. The Foxi Sunnies offer darker lenses and are available in gold, black, and silver frames. These cat-eye frames are for those who aren’t afraid to make a fashion statement. You won’t go unnoticed while wearing these. The Foxi Sunnies have a smaller frame, so they are best suited for narrow to medium faces. Cost $10.
Vega Metallic Sunnies
Vega Metallic Sunnies made waves after being featured in a runway show last fall. These are stunners! These unisex sunglasses have been a favorite for women and men. The Vega offers a heavy-duty frame with mirrored lenses in a variety of colors. The lenses are impact resistant. I will be sure to keep these in stock. They’re hot. These frames fit a range of face sizes. Cost: $14.
Stellar Metal Sunnies
Stellar Metal Sunnies were among the first line of frames that I offered, and they are popular among those who like a simple but stylish frame. The Stellar Metal Sunnies, with dark lenses, are versatile. They fit a wide range of face sizes. Available frame colors: gold, silver, and black. Cost: $10.
I have so much fun assisting my customers with choosing the frames that fit them best and I look forward to expanding the collection very soon. Be sure to visit Charmed Life Apparel to browse the current selection of fashion eyewear. Check back often as new items are posted weekly. Drop a comment to let me know which pair of Charmed Life Sunnies fits your style. Do you feel that sunnies are wearable throughout the year?
Shop Charmed Life Apparel for trendy women's clothing and accessories! Join the Facebook group HERE
Charmed Life Fashion Feature: Fashionably Correct
In the words of Bill Blass, “Style is primarily a matter of instinct”. Fashion stylist, Randy L. McKnight, certainly has an amazing fashion instinct. Through his work with his wardrobe styling and consulting firm, Fashionably Correct, Randy makes attaining a trendy, fashion-forward look seem effortless. Randy launched Fashionably Correct in March of 2017 and is making great moves on the fashion scene in South Carolina. Read on to learn more about Randy L. McKnight and Fashionably Correct.
Tidbits About Randy L. McKnight, Fashion Stylist
I am 23 years old and a native of Marion, SC. I have lived in South Carolina all of my life. I am a very outgoing person who loves to travel and explore. One thing that people should know about me is that music is one of my first loves—I enjoy singing.
The Launch of Fashionably Correct
I have a heart for people and I use my love of fashion to make others feel beautiful. I have always had a passion for fashion. My love for it has grown more over the years, and the deeper I get into it the more I love it. I have always wanted to become a stylist and making others’ dream looks come to life gives me so much joy. Services that I offer through Fashionably Correct include wardrobe styling and consultations. Clients can also purchase or rent apparel from my Fashionably Correct Shopping Rack.
Celebrity Style Inspiration
I aspire to become a celebrity stylist, so I am in tune with the fashion of certain celebrities. I admire Pharrell Williams’ style. He steps outside of the box. Pharrell is not afraid to express himself through fashion. Much like myself, he is unique and he stands by what he wears. He creates his own lane with his style.
Randy’s Favorite Spring Fashion Trends
My favorite fashion trends for spring are bright, soft colors. I love the preppy loafers without socks and nice button-downed shirts with the first three buttons open. I also love floral prints and patterns of all kinds for spring.
What’s Next for Fashionably Correct?
My greatest accomplishment so far was being the creative director for my very own promotional photo shoot for my fashion show that’s coming up this April. Stay tuned for the official announcement. As for the future of my business, I plan to branch out and offer my very own fashion pieces.
Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
My advice: consistency is key and investing in yourself is a must. Future business owners should focus on working hard and putting their work out there non-stop. Things may seem hard, but you can’t give up or take the easy way out. Continue to work hard and always keep your head up. Networking is a major part of a successful business. Connecting yourself with key people in your industry can help to get your foot in the door. You can’t be afraid to talk to people.
Connect With Fashionably Correct
If you are looking for the best fashion looks on any budget, Fashionably Correct is available to service your fashion needs! Future clients can email me at email@example.com. I invite readers to connect with me on all of my social media pages.
I can't wait to see all that is in store for Randy L. McKnight and Fashionably Correct. Be sure to visit Facebook.com/TheeFashionExpert and Instagram.com/fashionably_correct to keep up with the day-to-day fashion grind of Fashionably Correct.
Interested in having your fashion business featured on Truly Charmed? Contact me HERE
Don't leave just yet! The cold temps have us looking forward to spring fashion. Comment and tell us your favorite spring style staples.
Sassy Ladies Boutique is a new retailer of trendy women's fashions in Manning, SC. I am beyond excited to be collaborating with the ladies of the boutique, Angelia Wicker (Owner) and Charlene Frazier (in-house designer, founder of Until Then Creations), on the Sassy Summer Fashion Meet-Up. We are inviting fashion lovers from the area to this fashion mixer and summer style showcase. The event will feature a panel of fashion influencers from the Carolinas who will share their fashion POV and their take on the summer pieces from Sassy Ladies Boutique and Until Then Creations that will grace the runway during the fashion showcase. Keep on reading to find out who our style-savvy panelists will be.
Kelli Williams founded M-WAM (Modeling With A Message) in 2015 as a women's empowerment platform in conjunction with a modeling agency. M-WAM focuses on 3 key attributes: modeling, mentoring, and motivational speaking. Women in the program are provided opportunities to break free of boundaries to become extraordinary women, and are encouraged to follow their aspirations. “M-WAM is about women's empowerment and celebrating our achievements,” said Williams. “ My goal and vision is to inspire women to have a voice, to build a strong socially conscious platform and to change the world."
Kellli comes with impeccable style and great knowledge about the fashion industry. We are looking forward to having her at the Sassy Summer Fashion Meet-Up.
Lear more about M-WAM at www.facebook.com/modelingwithamessage/.
Latonya Franklin is the owner of Moodswing Fashion & Glamour Photography and the Editor-in-Chief of Moodswing Magazine, based in Sumter, SC. Latonya is an Air Force veteran and a Louisiana native. Fashion and glamour enterprising is her business and passion. She has earned a Master of Science degree in Management and has taken several business and photography courses to perfect her skill set. She contracts some of the best talents in South Carolina to create the highest quality product possible. Latonya has shot live behind-the-scenes at the annual Hair Walk-The Movement fashion event(benefiting Cancer Survivors) and Columbia Fashion Week. She networks with some of the most forward-thinking creatives in the Carolinas. Through Moodswing, Latonya has mentored young women and helped to launch modeling careers for aspiring models through her Brand Ambassador program. Her Moodswing brand ambassadors have been featured in fashion magazines, fashion weeks, to include Florence Fashion Week and Columbia Fashion Week, walked in multiple runway shows in the southeastern region (SC, NC, GA & FL), and received features in brand advertisements for local boutiques and designers in the SC area. Latonya’s goal is to bring South Carolina to the fashion forefront through collaborations and innovative recognition.
Latonya is making major moves in the fashion industry and we can't wait to learn more about her fashion influences when we meet up at Sassy Ladies Boutique!
Get the details on how to subscribe to Moodswing Magazine by visiting www.mspglam.com.
Chelsea was born on March 30, 1993 in Columbia, SC. After many requests, Chelsea created a separate social media account for: fashion, inspirations and outfit recreations. This separate account led into one of Chelsea’s proudest creations, her very own blog. The Same Girl, Different Slay blog had one goal in mind, to show that a woman does not have to be confined to one style. The blog includes: swimwear fashion for curvy women, thrift fashion, DIY tips and even church fashion. Being born into a family of unique and fashionable people, it was not hard for Chelsea to find and be comfortable in her own lane, as a fashionista. Aside from blogging, Chelsea is newly engaged, a full time student, and has personal styling services that are offered, locally. As the Same Girl, Different Slay blog reaches its second year of existence, Chelsea has plans to collaborate and further push her brand and all that blogging has to offer.
Chelsea's experience as a fashion blogger and influencer will be a welcomed addition to the event.
Check out her blog at samegirldifferentslay.com/momackstyles.
The Sassy Summer Fashion Meet-Up is a unique style event and we are ecstatic to bring it to our local area. We are extremely appreciative to Chelsea, Latonya, and Kelli for signing on to celebrate fashion with us. This is an event that you should certainly make plans to attend. Join the Facebook event page for all updates and announcements HERE. Share with a friend!
The event is free to the public!
As you may know, one of the missions of Truly Charmed is to serve as a platform for local creatives. You would be amazed at the undiscovered talent around us. I always look forward to introducing you to new artists who are destined to make their mark. I am very excited to introduce you to gospel artist Tia Renee. Read on to meet this talented inspirational vocalist…
Who is Tia Renee?
I am an up and coming gospel artist from Columbia, SC. I am currently the praise and worship leader at Triumph International Ministries in Columbia, SC.
What would you say are three of your greatest accomplishments so far?
1. Becoming a cosmetology instructor
2. Recording my first single
3. Recording my album
What has been a major obstacle in achieving your dreams?
I would have to say fear. I have overcome fear by truly believing in myself and what I have to offer to the world. I know that I am built for this.
What is one source of inspiration for you?
I would have to say music. I've been singing since the age of 3.
What advice would you give to someone who is at a major crossroads or potential setback in their life?
No matter what it looks like or no matter how you may feel, you will make it. God would never put more on you than you can bare. There is nothing too hard for Him. You will MAKE IT!!
How can readers enjoy the music of Tia Renee?
I will be releasing my first single entitled Jesus on January 20, 2017. Follow me on social media for all updates and announcements.
Go HERE for a snippet of Tia Renee’s beautiful vocals!
Tia Renee on Social Media
Here’s my favorite part of modeling: photoshoots! I love the creativity behind coordinating a good shoot-everything from scouting the perfect location to choosing a storyline or theme to striking unique poses. I love showcasing the talents of up and coming designers or the latest offerings of my favorite boutiques. It may look easy but photoshoots are hard work. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes, but I enjoy every minute of it. Read on to check out tidbits and pics from some of my latest shoots.
Moto’Chic Photoshoot with Photographer Rodrick Williams
This was my first time coordinating a photoshoot. The biker concept was influenced by the huge biker club scene present in South Carolina. We had to bring the chic component by showcasing fall looks from Outter Wear boutique. Photographer, Rodrick Williams (Agent 31 Studios) has an eye like none other, and an endearing appreciation for the full-figured community. It shows in the final product!
Styles from Beautiful Sisters United Meet and Greet
Last week, I told you about my experience at the Beautiful Sisters United Luncheon. While this wasn’t technically a photoshoot, we got in a few great shots at the event.
Bad Gals Unite, a production of Styled by Mea and K. Felder Photography
Stylist and model, Mea Davis, of Columbia, SC is known for her unique and cutting-edge fashion projects (including events and photoshoots). In addition, she is a thriftinista like none other who simply has an innate eye for fashion. Last year I had the pleasure of participating in Styled by Mea’s AfroPunk photoshoot. It was an unforgettable experience. This year, there was Bad Gals Unite! As expected, great things were created at this shoot. K. Felder Photography did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the shoot’s theme.
I can't wait to bring you images from my next photoshoot. Do you love to be in front of the camera? Comment below and let me know what you think about my 2016 shoots.
Around this same time last year, I had reached a point of feeling miserable with life. I could not pinpoint the reason that I felt this way. I’ve heard others say that God makes you uncomfortable in your situation when it’s time for growth. Looking back on things, I believe this to be true in my case. Here’s a blog post that I wrote about the adventure that started after I decided to pursue my dreams. In this post, I want to focus on how YOU can put doubt aside and live your charmed life. Here are five tips to pursuing your passion.
Identify Your Passion
One of my favorite quotes from Oprah Winfrey goes “you know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it”. This goes hand in hand with finding your purpose. What is that thing that you always think about, that you always want to know more about? What makes you happy and fulfilled?
Make Time for Yourself
As women, we wear so many hats. Unfortunately, we often give ourselves the leftovers, or nothing at all. After we’ve been everything to everybody, we often neglect our own needs. Having “me time” is not selfish.
Stop Doubting Yourself
No matter what you have been told about yourself in the past…no matter how hopeless situations may seem…muster the courage to live the life that makes you happy. Let go of anyone, anything, and any thought that causes you to doubt yourself.
Do Not Give Up On Yourself
We all come across disappointments at some point. The key is to push forward toward your goals despite them. In fact, use those stumbling blocks as lessons learned that will only strengthen you and not defeat you.
Press the Mute Button on the Naysayers
Those people who don’t believe in you because they don’t believe in themselves…yea…those people. Don’t give them the time of day. Give no credence to the negative seeds that they try to leave with you. Understand that naysayers are often those miserable people who love company. Don’t sit with them!
Since making the decision to not only live but, THRIVE, I have had the most amazing experiences. In the past year, I’ve traveled more than ever. My confidence is better than it has ever been. Now, anything seems possible. Is everything perfect? Absolutely not. However, the good far outweighs the bad. I feel that I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing in life, and I just know that there is so much more to come. I wish the same for you. Throw caution to the wind. Take care of yourself. Insist on living the life that you deserve. It’s why you’re here! Go for it!
Here are some shots from my latest fashion shows!
The 2nd Annual Evaluation Plus Size Fashion Show
by Esteem'd Productionz
Special thanks to Jay Sweat Photography, Charlotte, NC!
Stylon & Blvd. by London Douglas
Special thanks to Careese Robinson Digital Photography!
I’ve said this many times before- great things happen when positive women come together with a purpose in mind. This was certainly the case at Hats & Chats, a networking event held by Daisy Mack creator, Kimberly Suber. Twenty-seven enthusiastic business women came together, adorned in beautiful hats, ready to mix, mingle, and make new business contacts. The mixer was held at a lovely new spot in Columbia, Jonez, located at 1004 Gervais St. You should definitely check it out (classy atmosphere, great food and staff).
This was not the first Daisy Mack event that I attended, so I came with expectations of Hats & Chats being a powerful event. Powerful event? Yes, it was. The event began with each lady introducing herself and giving her business’ elevator pitch. A diverse range of businesses were represented, from charitable organizations to event planners to real estate firms. Being among such driven women was a great experience, and several attendees seemed to have similar sentiments about the event. Ladies described their experience during Hats & Chats as “motivational”, “inspiring”, and one attendee even expressed that the information received during the event has encouraged her to go in a completely different direction with her business.
I do have to say that Ms. Suber offered extremely valuable information during the work session. I had the pen and paper in hand, as well as my voice recorder going to be sure that I did not miss any of the gems being dropped during the session J. One piece of advice that will stick with me and seemed to resonate with many of the ladies in attendance was Ms. Suber’s statement to “never think that you have arrived”. Check out the slide below for more savvy business tips from Kimberly Suber.
As the wonderful afternoon of fellowship, networking, and learning came to an end, Ms. Suber informed us that we had been “Daisy Macked”, her signature phrase giving homage to the people who influenced her entrepreneurial spirit: her very stylish and powerhouse grandmother (Daisy) and her grandfather (Mack) who, though he was paralyzed for 32 years, managed to find great success as an entrepreneur.
Hats & Chats was a wonderful learning experience, to say the least. Follow Kimberly Bella Suber on social media so that you can catch the next opportunity to be “Daisy Macked”!
View photos from Hat’s & Chats below. Photos courtesy of Daryn Murphy/Visions Made Plain.
Until next time…
Nshiraba Serwah of AfricStyle Initiatives is launching her “I Am Just Beautiful” promotion. Through the “I Am Just Beautiful” movement, Nshiraba aims to encourage women to embrace self-confidence and acceptance of their own unique beauty. Here’s what Nshiraba had to say about this upcoming event:
“We are all made unique, and we have to embrace and celebrate that. Women in particular are so centered on our physical appearance. We try so hard to look like others, instead of looking like ourselves. This is why I want to do this project. “I Am Just Beautiful” is not a question. It’s a statement. We are all beautiful in our own way”—Nshiraba Serwah, AfricStyle Initiatives
Nshiraba is calling women of all shapes and sizes who are comfortable in their own skin, as well as those who may be struggling with self-esteem issues to come out and participate in this shoot for AfricStyle’s “I Am Just Beautiful” promotion. AfricStyle Initiatives will put together a movie/slideshow using the beautiful images captured at the event.
Let’s Support This Event!
“I Am Just Beautiful” by AfricStyle Initiatives
A promotional shoot encouraging women to be confident and embrace their beauty
Who: Women of All Shapes and Sizes!
When: Sunday June 14, 2015 at 3:00 p.m.
Where: Finlay Park, Columbia SC
Questions? Email AfricStyle Initiatives at firstname.lastname@example.org
About AfricStyle Initiatives
AfricStyle Initiatives is an organization established in 2013, focused on promoting African culture and heritage. The group sponsors wonderful community events, including service projects, and fashion events. Follow AfricStyle Initiatives on Facebook so that you won’t miss an event!
Truly Charmed is all about women coming together to uplift one another so that we can claim our Charmed Lives! I am in full support of “I Am Just Beautiful”, and I know that it will be a great success!
Just a few months ago, I found myself suffering an identity crisis. I've been a single mom for almost 16 years now. All of this time, my existence had been completely wrapped up in Zaire and Christal: nurturing, providing for, grinding for, dreaming for, and everything else...for Zaire and Christal. I was and I still am determined to be the best mom possible to my children. But, a few months ago, reality hit. My babies are no longer babies. They're both teens now, and they don't need me as much as they used to. I found myself with more "me" time on my hands. Typically, "me time" is golden to a busy parent, but I truly did not know what to do with it. Over the years, I had neglected to nurture my own interests and talents, so who was I now that my children have become older and more independent? This was a hard pill to swallow.
I would come home from work and wait for them to finish with their various after-school activities. I would lay on the couch, watching tv, bored out of my mind. I found myself becoming depressed, and decided that I had to do something about it. When I made that decision everything seemed to blossom at once. I started living. I have always identified writing as my God-given talent, but I had been doing nothing with this gift. I had been sitting on it for years. It was finally time for me to write and share it on a public platform. So, my blog, Truly Charmed was born on November 22, 2014. It's a labor of love for me! Another dream of mine---modeling. One week after starting my blog, I started rehearsals for my very first fashion show. It was an awesome experience, and now I am hooked.
As parents, we work so very hard to care for our children, but we can't forget about ourselves. I know that so many of us do it, but let's LIVE. What's a dream of yours that you keep putting off? What gifts are you sitting on? While you're nurturing your children, be sure to also feed into your own interests. I am so happy that I decided to get up off of that couch. You can, too! What will be your first move?
Check out photos of my first photo shoot, first fashion show, and upcoming shows in the gallery below!