Feature: The House of Vaughn with Ms. CEO, Tammy Vaughn

House of Vaughn is a clothing company that specializes in “fashion for the classically edgy”.
This line brings a very unique style to the fashion industry. I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing founder and CEO, Tammy Vaughn. Below you will hear all about this lovely lady, her designs, and what’s coming next for The House of Vaughn.

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(Founder and CEO, Tammy Vaughn, rocking her custom made Ms. CEO shirt.)

Miss Jones: For those who aren’t familiar with you, tell us a little about yourself.

Tammy Vaughn: I am a Christian. I was born in Alabama, where I spent two years before moving to New York with my family. I am the eldest of four children. And I also work with the Board of Education. I went to High School of Fashion, took some classes at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), received my BA from the College of Nee Rochelle, a BA from United Christian College and received my Masters in Organizational Behavior from NYU.
Miss Jones: How did you start your clothing line?

Tammy Vaughn: I started the business in June of 2014. I made my debut at a fashion show at my church. I have an advisor board of three people which gives me different perspectives. They each have their own specific field; one is a business owner, another works with a Project Runway winner, and the last is in the marketing field.
I started with a dream and a sewing machine. Because of school, I knew my way around the industry a little. Such as pattern making and the basics of a dress.

MJ: When did you discover your love for fashion?

TV: When I was about five years old, I found my passion for fashion. I always liked drawing. I would also make clothes for my dolls out if paper towels, aluminum foil, socks, or whatever I could find.
It came easy for me. In the third grade I was entered into a contest. It was just fun for to be able to draw. I ended up winning the contest and having an article in the Daily News about me. The best part was, at the very end of the project I added the sky quickly, and that was the part of the picture they liked the most. However, things went haywire in high school. Senior year is always the year that you showcase your own designs at the fashion show. When I asked my teacher when I’d be able to focus on and showcase my design, he told me I wouldn’t be. He told me that I wasn’t good enough. Because of this situation, I decided to go another direction. In the process, I became discouraged by people who were important to me, they thought I was wasting my time. At those moments, I wasn’t strong enough emotionally or spiritually. But I found my way right back to fashion.

MJ: What were some of your biggest struggles?

TV: Some of my biggest struggles are time management. I work a full time job and have obligations to my church, so it’s been difficult to create a balanced schedule. However, I’ve decided to take time out everyday to focus on my line. And I’ve learned to say no sometimes. I feel as though I’ve been gifted with this and I’d be dishonoring God if I don’t share what He has given me. I have a responsibility to use what I’ve been given, so I’m learning to set my priorities in order accordingly.

MJ: Who or what were some of your biggest inspirations?

TV: I would say over-comers in general. Whether it be someone with a handicap, or someone who was able to continue their education and graduate. It doesn’t have to be a celebrity. It’s encouraging to see older people especially who go back to dreams and goals they’ve once created in their life. I really had to push myself, so I love to see others who have have been able to overcome and accomplish their goals.

MJ: What has been your biggest accomplishments?

TV: I would say my biggest accomplishment is actually stepping in this direction and enjoying every experience. Every step is an accomplishment, taking strides.

MJ: What do you hope to gain?

TV: My ultimate goal is to have an international store and brand. I want to be able to help others, be a resource, and give back. I can be able to use the fame to be a blessing to others.

MJ: Do you do any work with young people?

TV: Yes, I’ve worked with the the summer camp at my church, teaching the youth work ethics and giving them tools. I’ve also just gained a mentee. She just bought a sewing machine and I’ll be helping her start with her interest in fashion. I also teach the young people in my church to praise dance. Helping the young people develop their gifts.

MJ: How do you want your company to be perceived?

TV: A company with great customer service and integrity. If it’s not something you like, I will make it right. As well as being compassionate.

MJ: What was your driving force?

TV:My relationship with God. The more I availed myself to God, the more I was able to overcome. It helped me build my strength. My advisors have also helped me as well. They constantly push and encourage me.

MJ: We’re your family supportive in your interest as a child?

TV: Growing up, my parents outlook on life differed from mine so encouragement in this area seemed useless and nonexistence. However, as I grew up, my sisters would encourage me to go after my dream.

MJ: How were you able to overcome your obstacles?

TV: It feels good good when I’m in a quiet place sewing. I can feel life coming back to me. Going to a fabric store is like a drug for me. Being able to work on what I love helps me to overcome any obstacle.

MJ: What’s next for The House of Vaughn?

TV: I am currently working on new designs. I am planning to compete in a business competition hoping to introduce a bridal line. This will be my second time. I didn’t win the first time around, but I want to continue to keep going.

MJ: What advice would you give to others?

TV: Read up and do your research. Get to know as much as you can, and talk to someone else that’s going down the same path. Set up appointments to see how much they know and can impart into you. Also, be happy where you are. Take small steps if you have to. Also, be realistic and honest. Ask yourself these questions: Can you dedicate the time? What are you willing to give up?

Below you’ll see a few designs from The House of Vaughn:

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(Tammy Vaughn debuting The House of Vaughn, June 2014.)

The following pictures were taken during the interview at the Marriott Marquis in NYC:

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Here’s a sneak peak of what you can look forward to from The House of Vaughn. These are exclusive sketches from Ms. CEO herself:
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As you can see from these various designs, The House of Vaughn is a great asset to the fashion world. These current designs are beautiful and these sketches will have you waiting in anticipation for what’s to come. It was a pleasure to take a glimpse into The House of Vaughn and share it with you all. Tammy is not only a wonderful designer, but a wonderful person with a great heart. Her story, her passion, and her enthusiasm is amazing.

To check out more designs and to purchase a Ms. CEO shirt or any other pieces, please visit The House of Vaughn networks. Website: http://www.houseofvaughn.com. Instagram: @thehouseofvaugn. Email: thehouseofvaugn@gmail.com.

Feature: Vintage Wealth Apparel

Vintage Wealth was created in September of 2013. The idea originally came from the lead designer (Fa$tLyfe), disappointment with one of his favorite clothing lines to wear. Once they started to mass produce merchandise, he took it upon himself to start up his own line to bring back the exclusive feel that he prefers. That was the birth of Vintage Wealth.

The goal with Vintage Wealth is to have a high-end, yet affordable brand that appeals to all ages and races. Typically with a black owner, clothing lines get pushed into the urban market, but not Vintage Wealth.

Vintage Wealth wants to be mentioned with names like Chanel and Ralph Lauren. What makes the clothing so different is that its hand painted and there are only three of each size made; so once a item is sold out its no longer available. Which gives the consumer a better feel because they paid for exclusivity and quality.

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The picture above is with creator and designer of Vintage Wealth (Fa$tLyfe) displaying one of his custom, hand painted shirts worn by myself, Miss Jones. The shirt says, ‘Good Things Come.” Which goes with what Lovely Miss Jones stands for.

When asked, Fa$t gave the meaning behind those words. “To me it’s a message about having faith. So many people usually put “Good things come to people who hustle”, etc. I want people to know if you have faith “Good Things Come” that’s it. No hustle, etc. The way is through GOD & having the faith of the mustard seed. Media spends so much time breaking people down, its time to bring people up and assure them that “Good Things Come”.

Along with this shirt, vintage wealth has many other T-shirts, tanks, sweatshirts, beanies, and snapbacks. High end fashion, at affordable prices. Below are a few of the many designs.

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To see more and purchase your perfect fit, visit vintagewealthapparel.com. Also visit the Instagram page, @vintagewealth. Let’s show support to this small business as it reaches new levels in the fashion world.

Beauty Within TV

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit and talk with Anissa Rochester, CEO of Beauty Within TV. We decided to meet during fashion week so she could not only tell me about herself and BWTV, but to fill us in on Fashion Week. Our meeting place was at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

I started the interview with getting a better feel of who Anissa is. She has been in the entertainment industry for years. Since the age of 19, she’s been a fit model, actress and toured as a dancer. So she’s no stranger to the field of entertainment. Anissa graduated from LIU with a degree in media arts. When she decided to pursue her love for acting and dancing, she received a scholarship to NYU’s theatre program. When Anissa found out she was pregnant, she decided to go another route. Somewhere down the line, she mixed her knowledge of beauty and fashion with her media skills and created Beauty Within TV.

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Anissa Rochester

Here’s a deeper glimpse of the interview:

Miss Jones: How would you describe BWTV for readers that may not know?

Anissa Rochester: Beauty Within is an outlet to inspire women, ages 18-30, to believe and fulfill their dreams. I’m passionate about helping others to pursue their dreams and finding their inner beauty. BWTV started out as a television program on public access, where we interviewed many celebrities. Ranging from Kerri Washington, Kim Kardashian, Tina Fey, Miguel, R. Kelly, Sherri Shepherd, Iman, and several others. BWTV also had the opportunity to cover red carpet events, including the TLC Story and The Best Man Holiday. About two years ago we relaunched with an entertainment website.

MJ: What was one of your most memorable interviews?

AR: I would say that my interview with Iman was the most memorable and inspiring. She was so nice and classy. She treated us with respect being a small unrecognizable name. There are many celebrities who don’t take the time to support your passion. However, she was the complete opposite. Iman was very welcoming as well as professional.

MJ: How have you applied your passion for helping others rediscover their inner beauty as well as fulfill their dreams?

AR: In my experience of business and fashion, I’ve done a few workshops in schools for young girls. We split them up in different groups and gave them their own fashion houses and taught them about the business of fashion, rather than just the model aspect. There’s more behind a pretty face. All the groups were given the task of creating a name and an idea for a logo. After that was done, each of them were assigned a specific task. For example, one of the girls may have been a stylist, while another was on the financial end. They were given paper dolls and asked to design different things. Then they had to write a proposal showing how they planned to be successful based on their ideas.

MJ: What grade/age group did you work with?

AR: This particular session was with 4-6th graders. I also did another program with 12th graders on their way to college, it was the Beauty Within mentoring program. We came at the very end of the year, they’d all been gotten accepted into college. We partnered with another organization that prepared them for school. My segment was to do makeovers, and we posed the question “what makes you beauty within?” We also asked what motivates and inspires them. I was very surprised by the answers I received.

As we continued on with this topic of mentoring, I saw this as a great opportunity for these girls at such a young age. I’m sure it will most definitely lead them down the right path. Anissa plans to continue to do more hands on activities and projects with young people as soon as the next phase of BWTV has launched.

MJ: What’s next for BWTV?

AR: BWTV will be launching a magazine in October. It will be another outlet to deliver what we cover on the site. With something tangible, it’ll be a faster way to reach and build our audience.  We will have fashion content, as well as various celebrity interviews. On the cover of our first issue will be Fifth Harmony, an all girls group that started on XFactor.

MJ: What are some of the struggles you had to face in this industry?

AR: One of my biggest struggles were finances and funding. As entrepreneurs starting out, we just don’t have the money. Which can lead to frustration. I’m still an artist, so as artists, we get frustrated easily because we want to live our passion. I didn’t just want to work at any mediocre job. Even if it was a job on wall street, I didn’t necessarily want to do it because it wasn’t my passion. But I had to work jobs that I didn’t want to work in order to make money and still do this at the same time. Funding is very difficult. But you have to have perseverance and resilience. I could’ve quit a long time ago when we were just a program on public access. I had camera guys not show up for interviews and hosts that would argue with me and not show up. I didn’t have much money and most of them were working for free. Working on a zero budget, everything came out polished. Even my team now is comprised of interns who only receive a stipend or credit for school. It’s been a struggle, but when people see my work, they know it’s polished. My work speaks for itself, therefore people believe in it. This also shows my leadership skills, to have as many people as I’ve had work with me with no budget says a lot.

MJ: What are some of the results you began to see thus far?

AR: I would say completion and growth. To see how far I’ve come, close to completing and accomplishing my goal is the most fulfilling thing. The connections that I’ve made are also great results. It’s all about who you know. I’ve learned not to burn bridges. My network is my net-worth.

MJ: What would you say your ultimate accomplishment would be?

AR: My ultimate accomplishment would be for BWTV to be known nationally/worldwide. I hope to gain more finances to expand my company, build my team and create jobs. I ultimately want to grow.

MJ: What advice would you give a young person that desires to go down the same path as you?

AR: I would tell them to make sure they have a great support system to surround and encourage them. If finances are an issue, don’t let that stop them. Continue to pursue your dream. Also sit back and reflect, make sure this is really what you want. And don’t be afraid to try different things until you find exactly what fits you.

MJ: So let’s talk Fashion Week

AR: I thoroughly enjoyed this week. I attended many shows, but the Michael Castillo show was my favorite. David Tlale’s show made me feel like I belonged with the African rituals. However, Castillo’s designs were amazing. My favorites were the long gowns.

Lovely Miss Jones is just as passionate about helping others, so I commend Anissa and BWTV for the work that she is putting forth and look forward to working with her soon. To stay up to date on the upcoming magazine as well as other exciting ventures coming from BWTV, visit the website, beautywithintv.com and follow on instagram @beautywithintv. You won’t be disappointed!

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Miss Jones & Anissa Rochester

Fashion: BET Fashion Week Premier

This past Wednesday night, September 3rd, I was given the opportunity to volunteer for BET On Fashion/ B real BET show. This private event was a great way to kickoff New York Fashion Week 2014.

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(Tianna Robbins)

The event was held at the lovely Escape NY located on the west side of New York City. Escape is a beautiful venue, with two large rooms to be utilized. One room for the cocktail hour and the other for the main show. The check-in began at 7pm where guest came flooding in starting with the cocktail hour. There were two bars on opposite sides of the room, a few high tables draped with a gold sequence table cloth, a photobooth that everyone wanted pose in front of, and mingling.

There were many a-list guest who were invited to attend. Of course Debra Lee, Chairman and executive chief of BET Networks was in the building. Other guests included, singer/songwriter Elle Varner who hosted the red carpet show, Mikki Taylor who for 30 years served as groundbreaking Beauty & Cover Director as well as editor at large of Essence Magazine, amazing writer Vanessa Bush who is the editor-in-chief of Essence Magazine, lifestyle expert and brand strategist Emil Wilbekin, cohost of The Chew Carla Hall, and cast member of Being Mary Jane Richard Brooks. Just to name a few.

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At 8pm the guest were invited to enter the next room, where the 25 minute fashion show would take place. The models did a fabulous job strutting the runway in amazing pieces by amazing designers. The designers are listed below.

Tashia Senn’s love for fashion at a young age is shown through her collection. She Received her degree from FIT in 2009, October of that same year she launched her first collection of high end women’s evening wear. Her collection displays romance, charm, and creativity. Senn’s passion is also reflected in the creation of her non-profit organization Savvy Girl, which is an organization geared towards reaching, assisting, and mentoring young women. This is all in hopes of changing their lives personally and professionally through fashion.

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(BET Network)

Viktor Luna’s collection is said to be for the woman who is “empowered, elegant, and edgy.” As shown here.

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(Jonelle Alert)

Andrew Nowell Men’s Fashion is a tailored sportswear line inspired by what may seem to be two opposite worlds. He creates his designs based off the music cultures of Hip Hop, Rock and R&B; along with connections of British Tailoring at Central London’s Savile Row.

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(BET Network)

Helen Castillo of designer Helen. project runaway finalist. New Jersey native and FIT graduate.

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(Music of Brando)

Lastly Natt Taylor who’s Inspired by the sassy, sophisticated spirit of all women. Her line celebrates the feminine body, with bold colors and shapes. Her line was one of my favorites. Great designs and typical affordable prices as well.

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(Dionne Michelle)

After the show, the guests stuck around for the after party. Where they continued enjoying the open bar, photobooth, and other guests.

Overall, it was an incredible event. Everything came together nicely. Glad I was able to be apart and experience such a beautiful night. Special thanks to Tianna Robbins for the invite.