Zambi Swim Wear
Nine5Four Fashion: Chandra Maharaj: Zambi Swim Wear
Jason “Prince of the city” Prince
Photos: Robin V Photography
Model: Mayara De Asis
Nine5Four Magazine is always trying to stay on the pulse of what’s new and innovative to the culture. We like to feature upcoming artist that have a unique gift. This Month we Focus on up and coming fashion designer Chandra Maharaj. Chandra is the creator of Miami based “Zambi “swim wear line.
Let our readers know who you are? My name is Chandra Maharaj, and I am a fashion designer, with specific focus on swimwear for the moment.
Tell us about your Line? My line is called "Zambi" and it was inspired by a recent back packing trip I took through South East Africa. It's my interpretation of Africa's beauty through my swimwear :) >
What inspired you to get into the fashion industry? I have always been very a very creative soul, I enjoy creating and I enjoy fashion, so i combined the two and became a fashion designer.
Who were some of your inspirations in the fashion industry? I have always loved the classic works of Valentino and Carolina Herrera, but to be quite frank I am more inspired by the average, strong beautiful woman.
What made you want to go the swimwear route? I have always lived close to the ocean, and I have always been passionate about swimwear, so it was just seemed the most logical way for me to start my career.
What do you think sets your brand a part from the rest of the pack? I design with a lot of love, and take all women into consideration.
I know that you recently had a fashion show for your line in New York. How was that event? The event was amazing, the support was beyond anything I ever imagined and many amazing doors have opened for me. I am very grateful.
I know that you are currently based in Miami. How has your clothing line been received there? Miami has shown me a lot of love, the diversity here makes it the ideal client base.
Do you have plans on getting your line in boutiques or department stores? Yes, absolutely! I am currently in negotiations with a few stores, hopefully you will see my line at a store near you soon :)
Are you hands on with the production and designs of your collection? Most definitely! I am extremely hands on with the designing, I make all patterns, and cut a lot of fabrics myself while in Brazil. Once I am back here, then my production team there takes over.
I know that you have quite a unique background with Brazilian and Trinidadian influence. Do you incorporate these styles your swimwear? Yes!!! I always put all of myself into all of my designs and I can't ever get away without putting that Brazilian-Trinidadian flavor into it. It has become a bit of a signature of me i suppose :)
What is the ultimate goal for your collection? My ultimate goal is to have a successful collection, so that my client base, and brand recognition grows which would all contribute towards making my next collection even more amazing :)
You have any fashion shows or events coming up in the future? I have been invited to be part of quite a few shows, but I have a lot going on right now, so I have to weigh out my options, I do plan on doing a show in Trinidad soon though.
How can consumers purchase your swimwear? Consumers can purchase my swimwear at www.chandramaharajswimwear.com and you can follow me on twitter @chandramaharaj and on facebook/chandramharajswimwear for updates.
Frock Fashions encompasses high quality, classic pieces transition-able from season to season and wearable for years to come. The class and versatility of Frock Fashions apparel is impressive enough, but it gets better. Frock Fashions offers affordable prices and fashion lines that few if any other boutiques carry and products discovered and “handpicked” from markets across the country by General Manager Jacqueline Holmes and her 16-year-old daughter. Walk in the Madison or Starkville, Miss., store and you will see chandeliers, a dress form covered with classy and funky jewelry and a dressing room/lounge area decked in lime green zebra print. The store’s décor is indicative of its fashion: classy with a refreshing twinge of modern. As original and eclectic as the store’s décor is, it cannot compare to the spirit and heart of the store: Frock Fashion’s apparel and products. Frock Fashions has it all: outerwear, denim, shoes, basic, sorority fashion, and of course frocks (dresses.) Entire outfits are laid out, as well as jewelry and accessories that coordinate with particular pieces. It’s a dream. Convenient shopping in a boutique atmosphere for beautiful, classy fashions at affordable prices. Ahead of the trends and other stores, products are selected six months prior to being available to customers. Holmes tells us about the story behind Frock Fashions, why this store is like no other, what new pieces we can expect for Fall, and the art of retail shopping. For Frock Fashions, its not just about selling clothes, but educating people about fashion.
How did you and your daughter come up with the concept of Frock Fashions?
HOLMES: When my daughter was younger, we had a hard time finding clothes that she liked and that fit well. I have always loved fashion and from there, it evolved.
I love the concept of a mother-daughter team scouring the country for products worthy of the Frock Fashions brand. What is it like working with your daughter?
HOLMES: It is great to work with my daughter. She has a wonderful sense of style and can put her own spin on things as well as check merchandise quality.
It is very helpful in finding merchandise that appeals to a wide range of customers. At the Madison store, the demographic is from age 12-60. In Starkville, the mindset there is geared more towards the college student. (A majority of Starkville’s population is made up of Mississippi State University students.) But we hope to extend the target audience in the upcoming year.
How would you describe the style of Frock Fashions?
HOLMES: Classic with a cool twist. The entire store is a juxtaposition of a little lower and higher end. There is a bit of a throwback to 60’s style. I don’t like super trendy. Frock Fashions has pieces that you can wear the next year. It is not Forever 21. The store is very organized with entire outfits laid out for you. Frock Fashions is very inviting, clean-cut and botiquey. No clutter. Our customers appreciate convenient shopping.
On your website you mention New York fashion and retro style. What style or pieces do you look for when you shop for Frock Fashions?
HOLMES: A lot of dresses. We are known as the place to go if you need dresses. We have to remind ourselves to buy tops and bottoms. We do sell formal dresses for homecoming and prom, but usually, it’s the everyday dresses that can be worn for a wide range of occasions. The Frock Fashions store in Madison, Miss., offers dresses for weddings. We carry a lot of jewelry in the Starkville store. Because many of our Starkville customers are college students, buying a necklace or one distinctive accessory is more affordable than a dress or entire outfit. Currently, we are helping girls find the perfect (sorority) rush-appropriate dress. Four girls in the Miss Mississippi pageant came to us for their arrival and interview outfits. When shopping at markets, you really have to have jurisprudence and only buy what you absolutely love. Racks and racks of left over clothing are a sign of poor buying skills. We look for pieces that immediately catch our eye. We want things that are reasonably priced but look much more expensive. Research is key. For a reference point, we go to high-end boutiques and then markets for a lower price point.
Wow, there is an art even in the way you shop for Frock Fashions. How do you select where to shop for what? Is it more likely for you to find a great piece after careful research or just coming across something that screams Frock Fashions?
HOLMES: All the time, we run up on something and think, “We have to have this!” but there has to be a consumer market for it as well. For a reference point, we go to stores like Saks and Barneys to see what the designers are doing. What details (beadwork, trim) did that $115 jacket have? Some stuff is so Avant-Garde. People think that going to market is so fun. I don’t shop for myself but others-consumers-many consumers. That’s the difficult concept.
What pieces and outfits are currently available in Frock Fashions?
HOLMES: Pieces that transition. Now we are getting in sweaters. You can wear a dress by itself, and to carry it through winter, layer on a sweater or leather jacket, or wear shoe booties and tights. The goal is to teach people to shop so if they spend a bit more on a piece, it is wearable for the next couple of years. Good quality means things hold up and wash well. I have pieces in my closet that I got 15 years ago and that would devastate me if they fell apart. As you get older, you should start building your wardrobe.
To build a wardrobe, what pieces should one start with?
HOLMES: A good pair of slacks-skinny or wide leg. You can throw on a funky jacket for a completely different look. Everyone needs a black skirt that you can wear with platforms, sandals or heels. There are certain staples that everyone should have-pieces that you can literally wear forever.
Frock Fashions’ shoes are in styles and shades that work for any outfit, and I love the idea of how footwear can give the same outfit a different look.
HOLMES: Yes, the first thing you notice about people is their feet. That is how you take your basic blouse and adjust it into your personal style. If you buy the right pieces, you don’t have to ditch them.
Great advice. Quality over quantity. Aside from the fine quality, how is Frock Fashions different from other clothing stores and boutiques?
HOLMES: I don’t think there is any store exactly like us. We have tried to set ourselves apart by having fashion lines that others don’t have, excellent and honest customer service and a variety of price points.
Frock Fashions has its own models. Can you describe the model recruitment process and what you look for when recruiting?
HOLMES: Each year, we do a model search and have a model squad in Madison for fashion shows. We are looking for several models for Starkville. Our models are paid and get store discounts. They must be able to do runway and be photogenic. We prefer models to have something going on in their lives. One of our models is an excellent ballerina. Another is a recording artist in Nashville.
What about sales and discounts? Are those fairly frequent for Frock Fashions?
HOLMES: We are not a big sale store. We have discount coupons and Frock Fridays where tops might be 20% off. I would rather offer customers descent prices instead of them waiting for a sale. I don’t shop on sales racks and don’t want leftovers. When it comes to Frock Fashions, I want the newest thing to hit the door and I want it first. We don’t mark up an item up 30% just so we can later mark it down 30%. At Frock Fashions, if you don’t buy it when you see it, the piece will be gone the next day. I only buy one pack of merchandise. I don’t want 30 girls wearing the same top.
How has Frock Fashions evolved since it was first opened?
HOLMES: We have plans for expansion in the future. Madison’s Frock Fashions is in a new, bigger location. For the fall, I would like to go back to more of a high and low-end price point variety for the Starkville store. When people think Frock Fashions, they should think quality. There won’t be $100 items, but possible $70/$80 unique game day pieces, many in maroon that would instantly make you the coolest girl at Mississippi State football games.
William Boston has quickly become one of the most successful fashion designers in the South East. You cannot go anywhere in the South without seeing that unique WB logo on peoples clothing. Since the release of his apparel line his clothing can be found in over 300 locations. You would think that he has a big corporate machine behind him, but truthfully his team consists of himself and a small collective group. Boston’s independent grind has allowed him to make major moves in this industry. I sat down with the young fashion mogul to see his vision and what his next steps will be.
Let the people know who you are and where you from? To da world, they know me as William Boston young entrepreneur form Miami, Fl...But to friends and family, they call me Travis (my middle name); you can call me either or, just call me when check right.
You been grinding a long time on the urban fashion scene. When did You get in the game? Yeah, it’s been a while...still grinding too! But as far as the fashion thing goes, I got real deep with it in 2002
What made you want to get into the fashion game? I got into the fashion game, from a friend who went to college with me, named Terrence Snelling aka Sapp, because we thought he looked like former NFL player Warren Sapp. He used to paint shoes in school, one day we linked up started painting the shoes together, but then I needed clothes to match the crazy colors we were making, and I couldn’t find them in the stores so I started making my own.
When did you know that you could make Money off your skills? I think the first time I knew I could really turn this into a business, was one day at a football game, I had my gear on with the colorful shoes, and a guy asked me how much would I charge him to make a fit like mines, made my first dollar from doing something I liked and from there it was on
Who were some of your fashion influences growing up? Fashion influences growing up were all the young black guys doing it, like karl kani, Fubu, and Sean john. They really made me believe it was possible, because I was able to relate to them and their style more than I could with a Tommy Hilfiger or Polo
There have been a lot of clothing lines that have come and gone, how has your brand been able to stay relevant in the streets? You aint lying, some of these lines be dropping out the game like flies at a bug light, my line has been able to still be relevant because I put God first. Fashion is not a fad to me; I truly have a passion for this. People come up with one design print it on t-shirts and say “Check out my clothing line” Not thinking about what they going do once that design gets old. I understand the game and know what people like, and I take that and mix it with my touch and have been able to still be relevant to this day because of that.
I know that you independently manufacture your own clothes. What Would you say the Pros and cons of that is? Yep, everything we do is made in house by hand and other machinery, the pro about that is that I get to see everything that goes out, there is no group of people just making designs and tagging my label on shit. I see every piece of clothing before it hits the streets. The con is that I have to work longer hours because we don’t have a huge manufacture, but its equivalent to being an independent artist. If you’re successful moving units on a independent scale, the only thing you need a big manufacture for is to help you move more Units faster, but until then We independently getting ours.
How would you describe your line? Our tag line is “The art of fashion” because we bring urban couture art to the fashion world, when you mix the two together you end up getting William Boston Apparel.
What makes your line stand out? Our line stands out and is unique because there are two parts to it, you have the hand painted abstract side, where we have one of a kind hand painted apparel, and then you have the signature collection, a more conservative swagphisticated style of apparel. That way, we’re able to hit the urban and hip-suburban sides of the clothing industry.
What is the process like when you create your clothing? Man, sometimes it can be from a song, the day, something I experienced last week, it just varies. That’s why we’re different because a lot of emotion and passion goes into our clothes
If you could choose any celebrity to endorse your line who would you choose and why? Barack Obama! lol, that would be dope to see the president in my shit tho, But if I really had to choose I would say somebody like Andre 3000. I think that he understands fashion; he knows you don’t have to match from head to toe and shit. You always want TO see what the hell Andre gonna where when he in public.
I see that you are very active on social media. How has twitter and Facebook helped your business? I fucking love facebook and twitter, because it allows you to interact with people that never ever met you before, and the minute that they feel like they are connected to you, or know you a lil bit due to your updates or tweets, It pretty much helps you and your business. Because now you’re not just on the net advertising your business all damn day, your actually giving them a piece of you as well, which make them want to be associated with whatever your associated with.
People on Facebook always look forward to your True Talk Tuesdays. What made you come up with that? Lol, man True Talk Tuesday started one Tuesday afternoon when I was just asking random debatable questions, the shit went ham, every post had over a hundred comments, then one of my FB friends in boxed me and said man you should do this every week and call it “True Talk Tuesday” and that was two years ago, we been doing it every Tuesday @9pm ever since. That shit is damn near like a Tv show, I wish Mtv, vh1, bet, tv one or some damn body would cut da check and help me make this shit world wide
You seem to have your hands in other things besides Fashion. Let our readers know what else you got going on? Trrrruuu, I’m just a hustler. Why get paid only one way?, when you can have them checks coming in from every angle. But I have a youtube show called “Round table With the Buffet Boys” which is like a comedy talk show, I got the music thing I do with and artist named Dukwon, I’m more of a hype man and business partner with him, I also co-own the website mediarundown.com, so I’m just stretched all over the place, just trying to make it happen from every angle.
I know that you have your own shop in the Jacksonville area. How has that been working out? The shop here has been great, we’re in the process of getting a bigger spot, so by the time this drops we’ve probably have moved, but customers can always reach us at 904-257-5654
What is the ultimate goal and vision for the WB Brand? The ultimate goal for my brand and line is to have it in stores across the world, such as Macy’s, Belks, sears, and things of that nature, we’re really trying to go nationwide and WE WILL, I GUARANTEE!!
You recently just had a huge Fashion show. How was that? Yeah, that fashion show was a blessing, it was my first time doing a solo fashion show we’re I only displayed my clothes, usually I’m apart of everyone else’s shows and I get a little 10 minute segment, but we did a 2 hour show, displaying the spring, summer and fall collection and it was a packed house, not enough seats for people to sit, we had a little over 300 people at my first show. The feeling was amazing, to see so many people come out to support something that started on a dorm room floor in 2002. But the show was great, shout out to all the models, all the performers, skyline sports bar for letting me have the event there and to all the supporters, couldn’t have been a success without them.
What can we expect from you in the future? The future looks brighter than ever for my line, I know we’re planning the fall fashion show now, call F.A.M.E (fashion art music and entertainment) I believe it’s going to be a big one thanks to the one we just did, hopefully things go our way and we make an introduction on this year’s BET’s rip the runway, we’re also opening up a store in Atlanta, a nice boutique style store, and just grinding our way to the top
Where can people purchase WB apparel? They can purchase 24/7 at www.williambostonapparel.com or if you’re in Jacksonville, Fl stop by our shop at 5757 Arlington rd, for more info call 904-257-5654
How can fans get in contact with you? Lol, fans? I aint got no fans... I just got real supporters, but any supporters that want to holla @ the kid, hit me on facebook @ facebook.com/iamwilliamboston or twitter @william_boston I would give ya’ll my myspace but hell, I forgot that shit, I’m sure you don’t know yours either
Do you have any final thoughts? Yeah, I just want to tell everybody who believes in me and my brand THANK YOU! I truly appreciate the support, thank you Nine5Four magazine and thank YOU for taking time to read this!
Christopher Correia is a Boston based photographer who has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. He has received certification in the Complete Course in Professioanal Photography through the New York Institute of Photography, a Photoshop course through Better Photo and has been in business since June 2010.
He is a contributing staff photographer for Florida’s Nine5Four Magazine. His work has been featured in numerous local newspapers (Stoughton Journal, The Enterprise) and a variety of male fitness blogs. Specializing in fashion and fitness his print work includes fashion editorials in 954 Magazine, cover/photographer of the month for Model Up Magazine, feature in Florida Magazine, and Smokescreen Magazine (cover). September 2011 marked his first time at Boston Fashion Week being part of the press pit for Prajje’s runway show.
His mission is “to create memories one picture at a time.” To be able to have someone look back on his/her photo and recall a memory, a feeling, is what CJC Photography is all about. He has always had a love for photography from an early age and his passion is evident through his work. His focus lies in portraiture (fashion, fitness, family, newborn, maternity, seniors) and events (bridal/baby showers, birthdays, and runway).
To view more examples of my work visit: www.cjc-photography.com ; www.facebook.com/cjcphotography ; www.twitter.com/cjcphotos
THE BLOG SPOT IS ON LOCK WITH JENNIFER BRIX
Interview by R. B. Jones – Photos by Christian Phillips
As the blogging boom continues, more and more people are going to fill the internet with topics about anything and everything known to mankind. It’s actually big business (well sort of) as several bloggers get picked up and sponsored due to the size of their fan base created. Companies are willing to dole out cash if you have eyeballs in exchange. Well, we’ve found a young lady out of Charlotte, North Caroline who’s looking to put her stamp on the entertainment blog universe. She’s a self-starter go-getter who’s laying the ground work for a business venture she started as a freshman in college. Her hard work is paying off because her name is starting to circulate in the entertainment industry due to her growing number of followers and interviews she’s secured. JenniferBrix.com is the name of her site and we wanted you to get to know her before she takes off and hits the stratosphere.
Welcome to Nine5Four Magazine Jennifer, how are you today? I’m well! Thank you. Excited to be featured in your publication!
And we are excited to have you as well. Tell me a little about your growing up in North Carolina? North Carolina is a great state in general. It’s a little country, a little city and a lot of suburbia with the latter being where I grew up!
Now I understand you started your blog JenniferBrix.com in 2009 as a freshman at The University of North Carolina @ Charlotte. What influenced you to do so? I’ve always been passionate about writing. I aspire to work in entertainment journalism one day and I am an avid reader of celebrity-focused magazines. So I wanted to create a niche and express myself creatively.
Tell us about your site and what it has to offer? My site is not only an entertainment news site. I also cover topics in fashion, music, current events and pop culture. I touch on topics that you may not see on other blogs catering to an audience that is predominately minority. What’s more, instead of merely posting content, I also share my perspective on the subject in a personal manner thus relating to my readers.
I know it is very important to you NOT to be viewed as just another “gossip site”. Can you give us specific differences between your site and the rest of the landscape? Foremost, I believe in quality over quantity. I think the prospect of greater revenue motivates too many bloggers to post content that is not worthwhile for their viewers. While making money doing something that you love is a great feeling, I feel as though posting recycled content from all over the web (from an objective standpoint) is an insult to my readers. I also believe in honest blogging, meaning that I don’t believe in posting stories that are unverified or merely rumors for the sake of blog hits. I aim to make JenniferBrix.com a trustworthy news source.
Very well stated. Why do you think so many people are interested in the lives of celebrities? Curiosity...Inspiration...Fascination! The list goes on. However, I personally enjoy living vicariously through the lives of some of my favorite media personalities. Never seems to be a dull moment.
Who are some of the entertainers/celebrities that you have had the pleasure of interviewing? Fantasia Barrino , Wiz Khalifa, B.O.B., Chrisette Michele , Miguel…
I’ve seen a couple of your interviews on YouTube. Who was your most interesting interview? Fantasia Barrino , for sure! I’ll never forget how kind she was. I was invited to her home for a charity event courtesy of my mentor. I was 19-years-old in the media room with the likes of FOX Charlotte News and Good Morning America. I remember her coming downstairs, saying hello to all of her guests and then, she made eye contact with me. She asked who I was and why I was there -- once I told her I was a blogger there for an interview, she held my hand and walked around with me until I got my feature. That was my very first experience with celebrity interviews and I’ll definitely never forget it.
That sounds like a memorable experience, very nice of her to do that for you. Who was your most interesting blog story written about? No one story in particular, too many to choose from! However, Big Ang (of VH1’s “Mob Wives”) seems to be a popular topic. She’s one of my favorite reality stars of the moment.
You’ve been featured on VH1.com, Vibe Vixen, Examiner.com and Black Sports Online and others to name a few. How are you adjusting to all of this new found exposure and how has it helped you? At the end of the day, I’m still a broke college student and intern attempting to brand myself and embark on my career. So I’m definitely grateful and overjoyed for any and all acknowledgment of my work, however, I remain humble because I have a long way to go!
I must say congratulations on your 2011 CBS Most Valuable Blogger Award nomination. That’s a big feather in your cap at such an early point in your career…right? Well, I discovered that I was selected to be in the same category with a few other Charlotte bloggers for the award, which was definitely exciting news. Needless to say, I was very happy to be considered alongside other awesome sites.
How is your internship with NBC Universal working out? Well, I’m working in television production with The Maury Show as well as the forthcoming Trisha Show, the latter debuting on NBC in the fall. It’s been a really wonderful experience thus far. I’ve been able to meet some really great people, learn the in’s and out’s of television firsthand and acquire experience in the entertainment industry. I’m loving it!
Sounds exciting! What are some of the other talents, passions or goals you possess? Talents? Aside from writing? Definitely have the gift of gab. Passions or goals? I’m very passionate about my career goals and I ultimately aspire to be a successful television journalist.
I know growing your brand is very important to you but what specific goals do you want to achieve with JenniferBrix.com in the not so distant future? My primary goal is to make JenniferBrix.com a brand that’s more visible offline. I also seek to generate more video content for brixTV, from exclusive celebrity features to personal vlogs.
You are definitely on the right track to achieve your goals and dreams. We wish you success in all that you do and I encourage everyone to log onto the site and find out more about this young ambitious woman now before she BLOWS UP! Any final words for the readers. Thank you so much for this opportunity! Follow me on Twitter for more updates @JenniferBrix.
All photos by Barbara
Merci-Handmade Vintage encompasses artsy style and originality in the form of satchels, photography and jewelry for both women and men. No two pieces are exactly the same. Everything is made from recyclable materials and costs no more than $75.00. Barbara Pate, the creator/designer/artist/manager, works from her house on a vintage card table until the early hours of the morning with fabrics and leathers strewn on the floor. Pate is the brand. Merci-Handmade Vintage embodies Pate's character, inspiration and love for bohemian and all things Indian-inspired. Her public relations strategy is good business and word of mouth. Now the artist and free spirit is moving from Starkville, Miss., to Austin, Texas, for expansion and new business opportunities. Pate speaks of the stories that become ingrained in each Merci product upon purchase. Possibly even more amazing is how well her products hint at her own.
Tell us how Merci-Handmade Vintage came about. PATE: Merci means thank you. I have been very blessed and cannot wait to see where this takes me. It started with a leather bracelet three years ago. It stemmed from me not being able to find any jewelry I liked and from a friend's request. Curiosity drives me to see what different products I can create. As a designer, I try to maintain simplicity and originality.
I think we should be saying "merci" to you. How challenging is single-handedly running your own business? PATE: I work a 40-hour week and do this on the side. I try to meet customer demands. I want to dothis full time because it is my passion. It doesn't feel like a job. The final product is always an exciting surprise.
What is your design background and photographic inspiration? PATE: I have a graphic design degree. I envision items before they collaborate into artwork. Germany is the setting for many of my photographs. I love landscape, portrait photography, capturing experiences and black and white effects. My photos are done digitally and with specialized textures to achieve a vintage feel.
Your handmade bags were a big hit at Starkville's 2012 Cotton District Arts Festival. One was in the shape of a dress and another had twig-like straps. It is no surprise that when customers buy one, they come back for more. Tell us about your bags and design process. PATE: They are very eclectic. A bag may take one or three hours. I do not sketch anything out. It is very spur of the moment. I create my own fabric by cutting up and reconstructing other materials. Details of the bags, like the buttons, closures and zippers, are adjusted according to customer preference. Custom designs are done regularly. Customers deserve durable, yet unique products. The older something gets, the more story it has. The love of a certain thing comes with age. It takes on another story after it leaves my hands.
It is amazing that you can create such products without sketching and meticulous planning. The satchels and other products have a wonderful texture and artistic look to them. What materials are used? PATE: The materials have their own personality, and each bag has a theme of its own that cannot be reproduced. I like materials that make a bold statement and that shine through as artwork. I often incorporate drawings and engravings onto the leather canvas on the backs of some bags. For jewelry, I do burlap, hemp, suede, leather, textile material, metal and copper. Products are often a collaboration of different fibers.
Your products are one-of-a-kind. I love that when people purchase from Merci they have something unique and that they won't see someone else carrying or wearing. How can people purchase you products? PATE: I don't want to take Merci away from Starkville. I have an opportunity to sell at another store-Revolution-in Starkville and possibly in Tupelo, Miss., as well. I have sold at festivals, markets and events in the past three years. I hope to expand in Austin and am working on setting up an Etsy website. Anyone can buy Merci-Handmade Vintage at the official site: www.merci-handmadevintage.com.
Interview By: R. B. Jones
Many people are all feeling the crunch of this current financial downturn. Unemployment still remains high and many companies continue to be cautious about adding to their workforce. People aren’t spending like they use to in fear of the situation getting worse before it gets better. Well we found a company that can help you out of this funk. The name of the company is Nu-Source Revenue Management, LLC nestled in Tamarac, Florida run by President/CEO Joseph Jones III. Mr. Jones, along with his lovely wife LaWanda, have created a business that can help put people back to work or add additional income on a part-time basis. And you can do this from the comforts of your own home. No, this is not a get rich pyramid scheme…thank God! This dynamic company assists you in becoming “your own boss” by providing customer service to several respectable Fortune 500 companies. Business is booming for this couple and they are looking to help others experience the same success. They are looking for motivated money earners to share their knowledge and experience with in hopes of helping you find financial stability. This is a must read interview you will want to share with family and friends.
N54: Welcome to Nine5Four Magazine Mr. Jones, it’s a pleasure to be speaking with you today. Thank you for inviting me.
N54: Tell me a little about your educational background and work history. I spend a great deal of time guiding, developing and mentoring people. Educationally, I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from The Great Bethune Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Florida. I have used that degree to assist young people & adults in making positive choices and obtaining stability. Whether on the football field, where I’ve been both a player and a coach, in the classroom, the social service arena or in the business market, I have continuously promoted life enhancing opportunities that have proven beneficial over time.
N54: What was your motivating factor for starting your own business? After 11 years of tenure with the School Board of Broward County, I felt as though I would be safe when news about School Board job cuts began to surface. However, before the start of the 2010-2011 school year, I was informed that my position had been cut. I was completely caught off guard and unprepared for the financial hardship losing that job would present. Thankfully I was called back to work within weeks of being cut, but that scare forced me to reevaluate my status. I promised myself that I would never put my family in that kind of predicament again. So, I decided to search for a source of income that I could access at any time.
N54: Thus you created Nu-Source Revenue Management, LLC. What services does your company provide? Right! Our preferred vendor, Arise Virtual Solutions, is a Business to Business (B2B) Entity that only contracts with registered corporations to provide customer service to their blue chip and fortune 500 company clients. They will not hire an individual. Therefore, Nu-Source Revenue Management, LLC stands poised as an authorized Virtual Services Corporation (VSC) under the Arise Business Model to offer individuals, like the readers of Nine5Four, to sign up under an established corporation, become an Arise Certified Professional (ACP) and provide inbound customer service for these well paying clients from the comfort of their home. It’s important to note, that the ACP’s who work under our corporate flag are independent contractors who essentially work for themselves. Our IC’s make their own hours, work as much or as little as they choose and truly have the freedom to, as our tag line states, “make money on their own terms”.
N54: I understand that ARISE has received positive reviews from credible news outlets as well as from President Obama himself. Currently Arise is receiving a lot of press, especially with so many people being unemployed. We have posted the most recent video clips from news outlets such as MSNBC, CNN, Good Morning America and even the White House on our website. If that’s not enough to convince people of the legitimacy of this business, we don’t know what will. We invite your readers to check them out at www.nusourcerevenuemanagement.com.
N54: How long have you been in business? Collectively, my wife and I have four years of experience. Many people dream of working for themselves and it’s a lot easier said than done. Working for yourself requires a drive, persistence and tenacity that catch many budding entrepreneurs off guard. While answering inbound customer service inquiries seems to be a simple undertaking, knowing the inner workings of the business presents a vast learning curve. My wife worked as an ACP for two years prior to me becoming a VSC. Since we understand the business from the agent side as well as the corporation side, we have an inside track that helps us develop successful ACPs who experience both longevity and employment satisfaction.
N54: I think it’s great you and your wife work together in your business. What role does she play and how do the both of you like working together? Oh, she is really The BOSS!!!! My wife has been very instrumental in bringing the corporation to life. As the Vice President & Corporate Secretary, she is the backbone of the company. She initially introduced me to this business model. I love working with my wife. She brings the administrative expertise that has propelled our growth over the past year. We both work for Arise Client Companies under our corporation. We basically run a call center from our home! We both maintain full-time jobs and consider this to be an extra stream of revenue, which we encourage everyone to have in this economic landscape.
N54: Sometimes “work from home” businesses carry a negative stigma attached to them because of different scams that have gone on over the years. How does your company separate itself from that stigma? We acknowledge that stigma and know that many people are very leery of “work from home” types of businesses. Extreme caution should be used as there are many scams out there. There are legitimate “work from home” opportunities out there and we are one. This opportunity is not for everyone. The biggest difference with this business model is we are not a Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) or Pyramid type of company. You don’t have an “up-line”, “down-line” or “side-line” nor do you have to bring people on board to solidify your success. You don’t have to sell anything (if you don’t want to), go to any “presentation meetings”, handle supplies or pay exorbitant amounts of money to get started. This is basic inbound customer service phone calls that you provide from home. We are simply here to offer the opportunity to earn extra money, conveniently and comfortably.
N54: What is the process of getting started? We have provided step by step instructions on our website from building the profile to completing the proficiency tests. There are some minimal fees associated with getting started for things like a background check and training, which are all outlined on the website as well. There are no hidden fees or surprises. We pride ourselves on being 100% integral in our business dealings and part of that promise is to be as thorough as possible. The process can be a bit cumbersome, but that’s where being under an established VSC makes the difference. We are here to help you through the entire process so you can start earning faster.
N54: Which Fortune 500 companies can prospective independent contractors have the opportunity to work with? Contractually we are unable to disclose the names of clients, however, we can tell you that Arise has contracts with major travel & cruise line companies, the largest national mobile phone provider; the most renowned Emergency Roadside Service in the country, timeshare providers, pest control companies, office supply companies, major pharmaceutical companies and the list goes on. Arise boasts over 18,000 ACP’s and shows no signs of slowing down. Being the leader in the industry comes with the respect and the leadership to attract the best talent, the best clients and the best perks.
N54: Describe the training process involved in order to take on these companies as clients. Once an individual becomes certified and joins our corporation, they will have full access to the portal , which allows them the opportunity to see and select the client that best suits their needs. The portal will provide the name of the company, the number of hours required each week and what the responsibilities are. In addition, it will clearly state the length of the training class and how much the training class costs. All of these factors must be taken into consideration prior to enrolling in a class. Once a client is selected and you are enrolled in the class, we suggest that you fasten your seat belts and get ready for a “fast-track” learning experience. Classes can last anywhere from 14 to 30 days. During that time, you will feel like your head is going to explode as you learn your client’s processes and procedures. So you must be mentally prepared going in! After that, you post your hours and start earning your money.
N54: Give me an idea of what type of earning potential that can be gained doing this business? My wife uses her personal experience as an example on our social media outlets all the time. She provides customer service for an Emergency Roadside Assistance Provider, which requires her to work 15 hours per week. She never works more than the required 15 hours and earns (depending on volume) between $700 - $900 per month. However, in September 2011, she went on a cruise to Alaska. Her client is a 24 hour client and in the weeks leading up to her vacation, she worked as much as she could. She took $1,500 cash on the cruise, which she reportedly had a ball spending because it did not come out of our household finances. That’s what this opportunity provides: freedom and results. Check out the recent photo of her working at home while doing the laundry. This is the reality of how awesome this home based opportunity really is!
N54: Is it rewarding for you to know that you are providing job opportunities during the worst economic downturn this country has seen in some time? True story….this business morphed from that very place. We started our corporation for ourselves and when my wife’s 70 year old Aunt needed to make some money we signed her up. She began working and became a stellar contractor earning $500-$600 bi-weekly. We have not looked back since. We’ve been working with and signing up new ACP’s on a regular basis and look forward to helping your reader’s as well. We love payday around here. Sending out those checks gives us personal pride. We are honored to serve so many self-motivated and entrepreneurial-minded people. We are truly grateful to be in this position, sincerely thankful.
N54: How can interested parties contact you to get started in this incredible business venture so they too can begin to develop some financial stability for themselves in today’s tough job climate? We invite your readers to visit our website at www.nusourcerevenuemanagement.com, review the information and make sure this is the right opportunity for them. If they choose to move forward, simply complete the contact form on the website and either myself or my wife will follow-up as quickly as possible.
N54: It’s been great speaking with you and it sounds like your business can really provide options that can help a lot of people change their current financial situation which is greatly needed at this time. We applaud you for your efforts and wish you continued success. Thank you! Longevity and success to Nine5Four! Man, you guys are changing the face of the Indie market and are a much appreciated voice. Thank you for choosing to feature Nu-Source Revenue Management, LLC. We are honored and look forward to partnering with you in the future.
We look forward to the opportunity! Thanks.
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