Cultural Diversity

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Cultural diversity is defined as, the cultural variety and cultural differences that exist in the world, in a society, or an institution.

“Human cultural diversity is vast; the range of cultural practices, beliefs, and languages that we speak is vast.”–Mark Pagel

In this photo-shoot we took it back to Africa , traditional inspired make up!
The reason why i actually focus on the topic “Cultural Diversity” is because This blog post and photo shoot feature people from different countries. Ghana, Niger, Togo USA and Liberia.
I appreciate them falling in love with the African culture in general and accepting to portray that image through these photo shoot.

 

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I was born in west Africa , a small country call Togo, i moved to the state at the age of 16, and started school from 9 grade. When i first started my high school here in the state, i went to Northwood High school. Well everything was different , i was completely in a different world, I met so many different people , Latinos, Africans, Haitian , Black Americans, White , German , french and so on. The first thing that caught my eyes ,  was actually seeing two young people kissing in class. I know (right)  i was shock, that seems very weird to me,  these kids were kissing everywhere , i really didn’t get it, actually that was something i was aware of, duh (everybody knows what kissing was lol)  but never actually seen people do it in class or perhaps all over the place. 😀

 

 

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Then i also saw this 14 years old pregnant girl coming to school , acting like everything was ok, while in mind that was not ok! ( am not being judgmental but it was weird back then) like in my country you get pregnant at 14 , you are a disgrace to the family and people don’t have the kind of mindset that , you can get pregnant and still go to school. Beside you will be so ashamed you can’t even come out of your house until the baby is born.( and those case where pretty rare back then)  So technically in my mind i was right .

 

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Was it my fault to think that way ? no , is just because culture differ everywhere, but with time i learn to accept and embrace this culture, I understand that my culture was not as perfect like i used to believed it,(even though i want to say it is , i can’t because , there is always a pro and a con in every culture) to me it was perfect because that was how i was brought up while growing up, therefore they(Americans and other people ) might feel the same way about me too.(i don’t blame them either). I actually got curse because i wasn’t wearing a socks, how crazy that sounded to me back in those days? wow ok these are my feet you are talking about! if i wanted, i would have be wearing socks , but back where am from nobody cares about those things. Well, the funniest part was the fact that i didn’t said anything back to the girl because ,  i was afraid she will beat me , and i don’t even know how to fight, (i never fought before,said no to violence) 😉  so i just walk by , well i was a bit hurt, but very scared because those girls, we don’t play with them. The once that come to school just to get into trouble. That girl her name was Shaniqua 😉 (not her real name tho) but one day she fought this other girl and pull her hair out and the blood was actually coming out. What?? how can i mess with someone like that?? seriously i love my pretty face and my head this way :).

 

 

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The more i grew in the state , the more i learned new things, the more i learned to embrace other people culture and the respect they have for it, especial while going to school, i understood that in life we can’t just be ethnocentric but in other to spread love we most learn how to be open minded and not judgmental toward others culture . It took me a while to embrace different culture, but the truth is , i love it, i love meeting new people from different country. I get excited meeting people from different countries of  Africa  I’ve never been to or even heard about before moving to the state. Only  if it was in my power i won’t mind traveling the whole world, it sounded very exciting now that am talking about it.

 

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Cultural diversity bring different approach about the way we view life in general and how we see and accept others.

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“THE AFRICA WE LOVE”

White is the New Black

White is definitely the new black, this photo-shoot to me was definitely inspired by Solange wedding theme and Tina Knowles wedding theme.

When i think about the color white , you can actually agree  with me that it reflect purity,love and beauty. I personally love white, so here it is, when we came with our theme board i was actually excited to see what we will be able to come up with and these pictures are just breath taking. Here are some pictures that actually inspired this photo-shoot theme.

Quick story about these necklaces inspiration.

It actually took me about a year to come up with these neck piece. funny tho my boy friend inspired me with this collection. He is a really simple guy so i wanted to go for something simple but unique. Well i used some pretty unique beads. What happened was he ordered them, he wanted them customized , so he paid (yes he paid) lol and i spent the money and never gave him the necklaces. I kinda figure he was never going to wear them, so made him something else instead of the necklaces. Of course i had to keep them , i value my art way too much to have them sleeping somewhere lol.  The coolest thing is ,he helped me picked the beads and well at the end of the day we made a deal. I will keep the necklaces because i just felt in love with them, so i will just make him lapel pins instead. Ok guys don’t give me that look, this was a win win situation 🙂 .

 

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          Reintroducing our version of the all white theme.

 

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“White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, purity, and virginity. It is considered to be the color of perfection. White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. As opposed to black, white usually has a positive connotation.”

 

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White is the traditional color worn by brides in the western world, as well as in Japan.

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Strictly speaking, white is not a color, but the manifestation of the presence of all color – the complete energy of light. It stands for wholeness and completion. In many cultures it represents openness and truth. White has a cold quality. It can provide clarity as its energy is complete.

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White has purification vibrations and can be used to clear blocks from your path.

It holds the potential to move toward every other color and this makes it a good choice for new beginnings, and development in any direction.

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We can definitely relate white to love since the both stand for purity ”

“True love is eternal, infinite, and always like itself. It is equal and pure, without violent demonstrations: it is seen with white hairs and is always young in the heart.” Honore de Balzac

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I can see Boyz II Men —> can you pictured back in the 90’s , ( Jagged age , jodeci , to name a few)  Love this 😉

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“Brotherhood” Isn’t just a word, it’s Total dedication to each other or your club, not just when it’s convenient… Many people say it but very few live it.

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In the Bible, white represents the color of light and is an emblem of the divine.

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The appearance of white in a dream is thought to represent happiness at home. White castles are a symbol of achievement, destiny perfectly fulfilled, and spiritual perfection.

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“You can’t claim brotherhood if you don’t stretch out a hand  to lift a fallen brother or at least raise your hand in supplication when he’s in need. “- Sheih AbdulBary

 

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“To pray together, in whatever tongue or ritual , is the most tender brotherhood of hope and sympathy that men can contract in this life.”Madame de Stael

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“White…is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black…God paints in many colours; but He never paints so gorgeously, I had almost said so gaudily, as when He paints in white.” — G. K. Chesterton

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“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.” -Lao Tzu

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“A girl doesn’t need anyone who doesn’t need her”- Marilyn Monroe

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“In your life time , you will find and meet one person who will love you more than anybody you have ever known and will know. They will love you with every bit of energy and soul. They will sacrifice and surrender and give so much that it scares you. Someday , you will know who that is. Sometimes , people realize who it was” –

It is ok to be scared of loving someone or letting someone love you, after been hurt. Then think about it, what is life about ?? experiencing and learning. People will hurt you anyway , life will get tougher , but we have to learn how to be easy to forgive, quick to let go and moved on, in other for us to receive the best of what is yet to come.  I personally  believe that their is someone out there for everyone of us and all we need is patience, self acceptance, self love and forgiveness. With that in mind i believe that one day you can walk down the isle with your beautiful white gown, or you can be waiting for that specially someone down the isle in her beautiful white.

Out of all this, i do believe that white stand for purity and for true love!!

To true love, may you be that special someone, may you find that special someone , may you live that special day!!

Model Spotlight

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Name: Yaw Osei

IG: feelinmaselff

Email: Yaw_a_osei@ymail.com

 

Black is Beautiful !!!

 

 

This is a project that we worked on for about a month ago tittle ” Creative mind”. It is basically a photoshoot i wanted to do for my website. In this project i featured with two other professional make up artist  Sylvia Diata  of pro makeup by Aicha and Grace of Truface makeup. This same project  also featured two professional hairstylist Cherokee Bailey  and Keasha Hackett of Lovelei Duo . We came up with 4 different theme for this photo shoot; the first theme was an all black outfit , the second was an all white, the third was a color block outfit and the last one a traditional inspired look.

It was a pretty interesting experience for me personally, even though it wasn’t my first time doing a collaboration. What i really liked about it was the fact that everybody was really involved, from the makeup artist , to the hairstylist to all the models, i was really honored to have work with this team. Everybody gave their 100 and the pictures came out Amazing. We took about 2000 pictures and i had to actually pick 40 for the photographer to edit but then i end up with 70, i couldn’t let the other 30 go.

At this point i would love to share one of my favorite scene (black) with you guys.

Oh! well what i did for this particular blog post was that, i quoted each picture with its reflection.

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Where there is love there is life…

 

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“Jewelry has the power to be this one little thing that can make you feel unique.” -Jennie Kwen

 

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“People will stare. Make it worth their while”- Harry Winstone

 

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Accessories are like vitamins to fashion as such, you should use them liberally.”

 

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“Only a king can attract a queen & only a queen can Keep a king focused”

 

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Success, seem to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes but they don’t quit.” -Conrad Hilton

 

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The strongest factor for success is self-esteem: Believing you can do it , believing you deserve it, believing you will get it.”

 

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“In both business and personal life, I’ve always found that travel inspires me more than anything else I do. Evidence of the languages, cultures, scenery, food, and design sensibilities that I discover all over the world can be found in every piece of my jewelry.” –Ivanka Tump

 

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“Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself.” -Paul Bryant

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“Step into my shoes and walk the life I’m living and if you get as far as i am, just maybe you will see how strong i really am.”

 

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“Smile and let everyone know that today, you’re a lot stronger than you were yesterday.”

 

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“Jewelry is something that has to do with emotion. That aspect of jewelry really interests me.” -Ann Demeulemeester

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“Courtesy is as much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” Theodore Roosevelt

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“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. ” -Nelson Mandela

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“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” – Bob Marley

 

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“I had to find my own language in jewelry. That was important to me; it really had to be what I would love to have myself.” -Ann Demeulemeester

 

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“I just love clothes! I’m a girl who loves clothes, accessories, shoes, bags and jewelry.” -Kelly Rowland

 

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“My favorite thing in my wardrobe is my jewelry.” -Kate Reardon

 

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“Beauty is the opposite of perfection-It’s about confidence, Charisma and Character.”

 

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“Happy is the man who finds a true friend, and far happier is he who finds that true friend in his wife.” -Franz Schubert

Models Profile

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Name:Whiteney Edney

IG: Whitney_joanna

Email: Whitneyedney1@gmail.com

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Name: Cherokee Bailey

IG: W_cherryontop

Email: Cherrygarrette@ymail.com

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Name: Kiaura Lee

IG: modelxk

Email: kiauralee@gmail.com

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Name: Kossi Sokou

IG: Togostyle

Email: kossisokou@gmail.com

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Name: Nathan Manneh

IG: AdmirerGQ

Email: AdmirerGQ@hotmail.com

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Name: Trell Green

IG: Trell_ville

Email: malemodel_07@yahoo.com

 

 

Makeup Artist Profile:

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Name: Sylvia Aicha Diatta ( Pro makeup by Aicha)

IG:Sylvia_themakeupartist

Email:promaq.aicha@gmail.com

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Name: Grace

IG: Trufacemakeup

 

Hairstylist Powered by:

Lovelei duo

Name: Cherokee Bailey

IG : W_cherryontop

Name : Perfectlymperfect88

IG: Keasha Hackett

 

Photographer : DjTeck

Project Powered By UniqueByReelia

 

Losing an Angel

Fashion has always been a way for me to express myself. I usually tell people that my line has not only been about the money; it has given me more than that. Everything that I encounter in life as a challenge always sends me back to my creativity, is it a show ?, a shoot ?, or the making of a jewelry ? it always carries a meaning that i don’t usually disclose: family related,  love , or maybe an inspiration about what is going on around the world at that particular time.

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Starting my jewelry line about two and a half years ago, my Mother was one of my biggest supporter. She encouraged me and told me I should not have any limits. My mother has been the most influential person in my life, and my biggest inspiration, even today in her grave she still is; and in everything I do, I always want to make her proud.  As a Christian we usually say let the dead bury themselves and I understand and respect that but the motherly love is still alive and that is what is keeping the inspiration alive.

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I heard so often that I am rushing and it made me laugh deep inside, because personally, I didn’t even see that rush. But maybe if I had rushed a little earlier, I wouldn’t be writing this, or maybe the story would have been different. Yes I lost an Angel – a beautiful selfless angel, her smile her personality and her beauty; Gosh everything about her makes her an angel, but I called her my mother. As a Christian, I believe in angels, and I believe my mother is one of them; perhaps that was the only way I found strength …

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My God! I lost my mother 6 months ago, and when you check how I have been spending my life daily, you would ask me if I ever loved her. I would smile and if she was around she would smile as well.. My mother knew me better, she knew my flaws and my strength; she knew my taste and she also knew how picky I was; she knew what type of friends I can keep for long and the ones that don’t really suit me. She knew them by their names and how close I was to each and every one of them. She would smile when I said something stupid and just call my big head out, and she always had an issue with my nose and my big Cheeks in a really funny way! She just liked to call them out, and I would tell her I got them from her. I Am not like my mom, she was so peaceful and very calm as a person , I had to shake her sometimes!

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When I first heard my mother was sick… She didn’t tell me herself, she said she didn’t want to worry me. Then after a while, she told me she got better and when she was better, I just thanked God because I knew we were still fighting a battle, and we will definitively win.
 Losing one of my parents was the worst thing I ever wanted to think about. I planed on going to visit my mother this summer in Togo, West Africa. I had it all planned out: how I was gonna make her laugh and take her shopping and give her hope and pray with her and show her pictures and video of things I’ve been doing in the USA because I haven’t seen her for 8 years.

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Usually when I call her, after we talk about everything and I’m ready to hang up the phone I always made her promise she’d wait for me. And when I lost her, that was the only thing that got me really. She promised to wait, but she didn’t keep that promise.. she just didn’t! but funny how that feeling lasted just for a day. Yup I know she loved me and she would have wanted to keep that promise if it was only up to her, but it wasn’t. So I forgave her so she can sleep at peace for me and I moved on after a week just so she could be proud of me and because I wanted her to be happy wherever she was.
Then I look around and think about those kids who never met their parents and were orphans since birth, look at my cousins who lost their mother while she was giving birth to their little sister, and I look at my younger brother who was trying to be stronger for me.. for us… then I realize how blessed I was.

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Because of my mother I believe there are angels more than ever; I believe she is with God dressed in all white dancing perhaps when she feels like (maybe when me or brother does something great) because she doesn’t really dance often , eating all kinds of fruits and just looking gorgeous in a beautiful Garden. Yes I lost an angel and I believe I will see her at the right time and we can definitively catch up on so many things.
What it feels like losing somebody? It is painful. just imagine that you will never ever hear from that person again , you can’t call or even text message that person, those warm hugs gone.When you have faith as a Christian you survive it through knowing that you have an angel in heaven.
When I first lost my mom, I just wanted a picture of a beautiful black angel as a profile picture. When I Google it, I couldn’t find a black one so I ended up with one that looked like a cartoon, so I decided to do a shoot.  I’ve planned this shoot since last year, but then gave up on it, until a friend that had no idea I wanted to do the shoot, texted me out of no where just to tell me that I should think about it. At that point, I knew it was something I was definitely going to do.

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The reason why I chose a Maasai for this is because, a Masaai’s history is really related to a mother-and-daughter love; it is a neck piece passed on from generation to generation. In the culture, a mother would pass it on to her daughter on the wedding day, and this daughter passes it on to her own daughter. This specific recycle Masaai is a 100 years old Masaai I remodeled to my vision. To some, a mother’s love also goes from generation to generation which makes that love unconditional and immortal.

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I had the opportunity of working with an amazing model on this project. It was really easy for me working with Amina on this project, because she lost an angel too. A year ago, she lost her closest friend – her brother. During that period, I knew it was hard on her, but I just didn’t know how bad she had it, until my turn; and even though she was out of town when I lost my mother, I felt her love and it is amazing having a friend like her.She knew where I was coming from. She cried with me when my mom was alive at the hospital, and she cheered me up when I was down; so there is nobody that could have played this role better!  When I first contacted her  for the project, she was really excited giving me all kinds of crazy idea. She actually told me “Dede , we should shoot a scene with tears”, goodness I laughed so hard but the truth is, today looking at the picture with the tears, it is my favorite because the message behind is very deep.

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I enjoyed working with Joey on set. We had a lot of fun. He kept telling us how great the idea was and how he loved the introduction of fashion into an angelic shoot, and how different it was. I just wanted both of them being a part of something that meant a lot to me.

Happy early Mother’s Day to anyone reading this and enjoy your mothers while they are still alive because once she s gone, she gone!
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Model : Amina Hamza
MUA :Amina Hamza
Accessories UniqueByReelia
Creative Director :UniqueByReelia
Photographed By the one and only Joey Rosado
Best Artistic Work: Amina actually cried during this shoot—> She is officially a model / Actress :p

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Free yourself <Art is the best therapy 😉

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Mom & I 1990 <LOVE YOU MOM>      ❤

 

“Boss Lady”

Boss Lady, Was what came to mind when I first saw this picture of mine.

I craved so long to shoot with the photographer NeefFresh from NYC, since the year 2012. Faithfully my dream came to pass this past March 2015. It was a one day trip from Maryland to New York, that early morning around 6 am. our shoot was scheduled for 12pm and I didn’t want to take any risk at getting to NYC late, therefore I made sure I leave pretty early.

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Bellow, was one of the first picture that catches my eyes when I first started following Neeffresh on Facebook. I fell in love with this picture and the accessory the girl had in her hair. Which was a bow that Inspired my second line “I ❤ Africa” and was the early beginning of my brand. Well i never told her but i tried and made the exact bow with an African print featuring the chain as well, except the safety pins. Of course i wanted it unique to my own vision so i did it my own way. I believe that, it was the reason why I was so desperate to shoot with her , am just grateful my dream actually came to pass. Funny how when I first started following her all I can do was liking her pictures. I knew back then I couldn’t ask for her pricing, I respected her work so much that i didn’t even want to go there, deep inside me, I knew it was something I couldn’t afford, i didn’t have much at the time to even think about it. I actually did promise myself that one day I will definitely shoot with Neef.So when the opportunity presented itself, I quickly grab it, the truth is, for this shoot I wanted something different, something that wasn’t expected from me and at the same time staying true to my personality. The truth is, when Reelia set her mind on something she just has to get it.

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We went for a pink blazer and a thrift style floral pent.

Shade and ring  powered by UniqueByReelia

Styles , Makeup and photographer: Neeffresh
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Up : This is the picture that i felt in love with “The Bow with chain” This style is pretty rare and i like unique pieces.

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The Unique By Reelia version of the Bow “2013” My Model was a real good friend of mine from Ghana Audrey AkA “Africanwoman” . Of course I was the photographer back in New York while I was studying at Long Island University in downtown Brooklyn.

Well something important to learn from this first blog of mine is, To faith it, until you make it, but not only to faith it, to also work for it as well, because anything that is worth dreaming and worth having , is worth working for.