Friday, September 30, 2016

The Sisterhood Extravaganza: Turning Tragedy Into Triumph

So what IS the Sisterhood Extravaganza?

The Sisterhood Extravaganza supports and promotes women and girls in any and all endeavors throughout life, relationships, and business. 

Educating women and instilling empowerment to rise above adversities and building one's self-esteem is a strong focus of the Sisterhood. 

Founder/CEO Pat Gillum has dedicated her life to personally and professionally coaching individuals and businesses in areas of growth and development. Creating a positive path in life leads to success.

Pat Gillum

Pat Gillum's own fruitful life gave her cause to establish the Sisterhood Extravaganza Organization in order to build a foundation of women who uplift and inspire each other through collaborations of education and exposure to like-minded values. 


Pat Gillum alongside seventeen co-authors penned a phenomenal book which touches the very soul of its readers.

Each woman told their tale.

When they say there is strength in numbers, they mean there is STRENGTH in numbers. Each chapter is rich in feelings and genuineness. Some women spoke on issues in which many of us can relate. Others spoke about life-altering situations in which they felt emptied.

Keynote Speaker Aqueela Maddox delivered a powerful message on building trust and lasting relationships through spiritual beliefs and positiveness. 

"Helping individuals Live their BEST life" is a mission of Aqueela's.

To celebrate the release of the book "Empowering Women To Succeed...Turning Tragedy Into Triumph" a shindig was held at the Halle Heart Museum which turned out to be a phenomenal children's museum dedicated to a healthier lifestyle for our kiddos. 


"Our mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. That single purpose drives all we do. The need for our work is beyond question."

 All contributors to the book "Empowering Women To Succeed...Turning Tragedy Into Triumph" are listed below:

Pat Gillum - Founder/CEO of 501(c)3 non-profit The Sisterhood Extravaganza;Certified Life and Business Empowerment Coach with Pat Gillum Consulting, LLC

Shelley Callahan - Survivor of life threatening illness/chronic illness; Survivor of Lupus

Ann Wells - Founder of Klave4Joy Ministries establishing support and               networking through spreading truth in the Word      

Carmen Ray - Established and facilitates growth through education, nurturi     and empowerment; Be Well Events providing encouragement, self-                   awareness, and overall well being amongst others 

Angie K. Elliston - Author of "Phoenix Bound" an adoptive mother of 13         traumatized children from all different backgrounds and ethnicities

Maria Luna - Co-founder/CEO of Fintech Company Bravo Tip or Pay; Serial       entrepreneur with 20 years experience in leadership and team building

Dr. Brenda Combs - Author of "Finding My Shoes"; The epitome of "turning     tragedy into triumph" after 10 years homelessness; Motivational speaker

Lateef Owens - Recording Artist; Wrote theme song for The Sisterhood           Extravaganza; CEO of Unique Apparel 

Quintina Latrice Merritt - A true believer in the power of prayer continuosly     helping others in their strife

Kiana Maria Sears - Founder of Hand and Hand Business Solutions and           Consulting, LLC; Relationship management over 20 years in nonprofit               bridging communities together in a supportive manner

Laysha White - Survivor of life's hardships; Strives to empower women to     rise above their own trials and tribulations

Lisa Marie - Founder of HHH Publishing, LLC which provided a platform for       recording artists and now serves as a place to elevate every women to             achieve better greatness

Shine Smiley - Encourage. Inspire. Mentor. Push for you to be the best self     you can be

Bettina Vance Johnson - Founder/President Urbanly DIVA(Divine,                 Inspirational, Virtuous, Anointed); Philanthropic

Kathy Blaze Jefferson - Founder/CEO Blazing Curves a plus size models         empowering them with self-love and confidence; Co-founder of FAB                 Weekend hosting fashion and runway events

Ericka M. Joshua - Survivor of life's adversities

Beverly Brown - Survivor of Breast Cancer; Katrina Survivor

Susan Ho - Wife. Mother. Passionate Volunteer

I was so exhilarated at the end of the celebration. It was as if I were in a euphoric state of mind. The energy that coursed through the room was contagious. It was a real moment listening to each woman speak on "why" they chose to be a part of the book. So moving! 

If you want to know more about the Sisterhood Extravaganza please visit their website. I am even more excited for the big empowerment seminar March 2017. So inspiring!

See you on the runway!


Presented by   @chronicbehavior

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Hidden Gem In the Arizona Desert

by Toy Taylor - It's not that often one comes across a designer who not only makes your mouth drop open in "awe" but gives you a sensation of, "I gotta have that"! This is how I felt at Phooenix Fashion Week's launch party earlier this year when emerging designer ACONAV hit the walkwayThis designer is so unique in his own right, a piece of this collection demands to be in your own wardrobe. Designer Loren Aragon infuses Native American cultures and sleek designs with a modern twist of bold daring colors. I cannot tell a lie...I was captivated.

Designer Loren Aragon
Aconav is one of twelve emerging designers being featured this year at Phoenix Fashion Week at The Talking Stick Resort.

Loren and his team have been working non-stop on what I expect to be a top notch collection for the big event, while trudging through the 4-month demanding Phoenix Fashion Week designer boot camp and debuting on the runway at New York Fashion Week. 

Let's just say Aconav has been going strong in 2016. So I was quite pleased when they took some time for little ole me to give a personal interview. 

Here's private look into the world of ACONAV....

How would you best describe your brand?
My brand is Native American fashion. It’s a Native American fashion brand that is authentically inspired by my Acoma Pueblo heritage. It’s the Acoma pottery art culture put into a wearable art form.

Are there any inspirations within your culture that inspire you specifically?
       Absolutely! I am inspired by the stories, traditions,
traditional dress, and pottery art of my Acoma people. At the foundation of my inspiration is the matrilineal idea which we live by in our culture. 

Our women, our mothers, our grandmothers are the power by which we’ve continued in our existence. 

It’s embracing that idea and presenting it in my work along with all the ideas of life and empowerment, which we still believe in today. It’s telling our story in a living art form.

Do you have a favorite designer that may inspire you?

       I was drawn to fashion by the designs of Native American designer & artist, Virgil Ortiz. His works encompass many of the same ideas and interests that inspire me, so in a way I connected with him. He comes from a neighboring Pueblo in New Mexico, Cochiti Pueblo, so our beliefs are very similar and we also connect in the pottery arts. Ortiz is a pioneer in the Native Fashion scene and it’s always inspiring
to see the next new venture from him.

What do you believe makes a quality piece of clothing?

Something that isn’t fast fashion. A design that will last for years to come. A timeless piece, one that can be worn time and time again and still be fashionable for any occasion.

What is your favorite part of conceptualizing a new design?
My favorite part of coming up with a new design is bringing together inspirational elements that will tell a story, my story, and the story of the Acoma people.  

What was your first piece ever created?

The first piece I ever created was a traditional Pueblo dress utilizing my first ever custom printed fabric. The dress was created as a show piece which I entered for judging at the 2013 Santa Fe Indian Market Fashion Challenge, in the traditional category. I took first place with that design.

How is Phoenix Fashion Week’s designer boot camp going?
The designer boot camp is a lot of work. For someone who hasn’t come into the fashion industry knowing the business of fashion, it can be quite intimidating and I feel like I’m behind on many aspects of the business. 

However, it’s very helpful and educational. There is a lot to learn and much to apply.

What type of knowledge will you be taking away from the experience?
I’m walking away with a ton of knowledge. There are things I never knew, things I always was curious about, and tools I now know how to use better and more effectively. 

It’s all knowledge in running a more effective, and sustainable business. I’m learning about my strengths and especially my weaknesses. I feel better equipped to speak of my brand more intelligently and make better decisions on what’s best for my company.

What are your fashion goals, meaning where do you want Aconav to be in 5 years?
I want ACONAV to be a sustainable brand. I hope to see a brick and mortar shop or fashion house develop from all this. I want it to grow beyond the designing of couture fashion. I’m fortunate to have touched on so much as an
artist and engineer so I’d like to apply what I’ve learned in those practices. I want to progress my fashion into other realms of fashion namely accessories, ready to wear, haute couture, more jewelry, more street wear, home d├ęcor, etc.

With all the current trending fashion, how do you come up with new looks in order to standout from others?
I don’t want my designs to be considered “trendy”. To me trendy implies that it will go out of style. I challenge myself to stay unique as I always have in being an artist. I love evolution in my designs. I’ve introduced collections that are still evolving. I start in on one idea, but as I draw it out I end up with numerous variations to a design which then becomes a collection.
  I want to be a trend setter, I’m working to set a new standard, I want to stay true to my message of “Cultural Designs Embodied in Timeless Elegance”.

Loren Aragon

I you enjoyed this journey with designer Loren Aragon of Aconav. I cannot wait to see Aconav's collection in its entirety on October 15th at Phoenix Fashion Week. If you do not want to miss the event get your tickets here NOW so you don't miss out on the big shindig.

See you on the runway!

Presented by   @chronicbehavior

A big thank you to Aconav for all photos used.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Creating an Industry in AZ, Fashion with Arizona Apparel Foundation

Happy to share this announcement for the Arizona Apparel Foundation now located in Tempe, AZ - Press Release Below



Contact: Shannon Sowby, 602.615.6235, 
City of Tempe Contact: Kris Baxter-Ging 480.250.5198

Three fashion entities collaborate to create one-of-a-kind fashion resource center
in the heart of the Valley

TEMPE, Ariz. (Sept. 9, 2016) – LabelHorde, Arizona Fashion Source and Arizona Apparel Foundation (LH/AFS/AAF) have joined forces with the City of Tempe to create a one-of-a-kind fashion hub in Tempe. This business incubator, production facility and educational resource will position Tempe as the upcoming U.S. fashion city.

Housed in the Tempe Performing Arts Center, LH/AFS/AAF will combine their unique expertise to support local visionaries and entrepreneurs by taking fashion from beginning to end, including everything from business consulting to design services and apparel manufacturing.
“Tempe is known as a creative, innovative city. It is the dream of many people to start their business and work for themselves. Thanks to LabelHorde, Arizona Fashion Source and Arizona Apparel Foundation, the world’s next Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren or Vera Wang could come from Tempe and this fashion incubator,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said. 
LH/AFS/AAF is Arizona’s first and most comprehensive resource for independent fashion companies that puts everything under one roof, including all of the fashion-related services that they need to operate and grow their businesses. It will mean that local brands will no longer have to source their manufacturing outside of the state, while also attracting out-of-state brands looking for resource alternatives. Producing apparel locally keeps money in the state while creating jobs and nurturing the growth of a creative, sustainable and in-demand industry.

“The Valley is home to incredible designers and fashion-centric businesses,” said Angela Johnson, Founder of LabelHorde. “We want to create a fashion industry environment to make it easier for Arizona students, brands and fashion lovers to learn, source, create, network and ultimately stay in Arizona.”

Beyond the creation aspects, the new venture will create opportunities for networking and business growth through events, a co-working space, a showroom and educational services, all in one convenient location.

Today, many Arizona schools are training students to work in fashion, but there remains a lack of hands-on training opportunities and even fewer employment opportunities after graduation. This new fashion center is estimated to create eight jobs immediately, with countless more as the industry takes root locally. More than a dozen independent designer brands will work out of the space, as will several photographers, videographers and fabric printers. Six companies will receive scholarships to work in this fashion hub each year. Approximately 50 people will fill this space immediately.

“In the U.S., there are only about a dozen similar manufacturing facilities, but none are quite like what’s happening in Tempe,” said Sherri Barry, Founder of Arizona Fashion Source. “The distinctive combination of services will create unprecedented opportunities for both new and existing Arizona-based companies that are looking for ways to keep their business local, sustainable and socially responsible.”

Expected to open at the end of this month, the center will create scholarship opportunities to assist budding design entrepreneurs in scaffolding their businesses, along with no-cost classes that will be open to the public. Classes will include everything from sewing to sketching and marketing.

Beyond the creative designs and new businesses this fashion incubator will bring, the city will become just a bit more colorful. People can expect to see fashion shows on Mill Avenue and inside the new facility. The Arizona Apparel Foundation has partnered with the 2016 Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts to bring local designer clothing and fashion shows to the event.

Tempe recently announced the opening of a coworking and entrepreneurial space inside the Tempe Public Library. The Business Resource and Innovation Center (BRiC) is designed to help entrepreneurs network, attend workshops and get the skills they need to launch businesses. Those working at the fashion incubator may also benefit from the opportunities at BRiC. 

“Many cities have business incubators and art galleries. Tempe leads the way with this innovative concept that not only helps people follow their creative path but also gives them tools to open successful businesses,” Mitchell said.    

LABELHORDE is a category-driven directory of fashion businesses enabling users to easily locate local emerging and established designers, boutiques, manufacturers, photographers, models, stylists, industry supplies, fashion schools and all things fashion related in Arizona. also features a Fashion Classifieds page for local fashion jobs, a Fashion Calendar that lists all local and important national fashion events, lessons/classes, tech pack services, consulting and design studio resources that designers need to start and run their businesses.

ARIZONA FASHION SOURCE is an apparel manufacturer that uses sustainable and state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to create samples and production runs with no minimums. AFS manufactures heavy- and light-weight knits and wovens on industrial sewing equipment and the latest CAD programs.

ARIZONA APPAREL FOUNDATION is an Arizona non-profit corporation applying for 501(c)(3) status. The Foundations mission is to provide the knowledge and resources needed to foster Arizonas fashion industry. Its vision is to support cutting edge research and innovation in wearable tech and to build a sustainable and exciting new industry in Arizona.

CITY OF TEMPE, ARIZONA Located in the heart of the Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Area, Tempe, Arizona offers an innovative, urban environment, a central location and border to border light rail. Home to the nation’s largest university and named the nation’s best college town, Tempe is one of the state’s most educated communities. Arizona State University, downtown Mill Avenue and Tempe Town Lake give people opportunities to create a perfect work/play balance.