Tuesday, June 19, 2012


She is a trendsetter, knows how to make a statement, and creative beyond measure. Who am I talking about? Fashion Designer Jasmine Elder of JIBRI brings amazing and out of the box fashion to Plus Size Women. We love her bold prints and unique designs. I was able to talk to Jessica about JIBRI and see some of her  designs that will turn heads on any woman that wears them. You’re in store for a great interview…

What made you become a fashion designer? Why the name JIBRI?
I've been creating my own garments since I was a kid so 
I think that is something that has always been a part of me. When I was in high school, I’d stay up every night making some crazy overly costumed get up (Dresses made from pennies-skirts covered in rhinestones etc). I was basically a club kid in Georgia (which was hilarious on so many levels).  I met a friend who had her clothes custom made by this designer named JIBRI MANN. I was immediately drawn to him. He taught me to really construct a garment. He taught me to make patterns--He taught me so many things including the fact that it was necessary that I never ever stop dreaming big dreams. (Corny I know…but that’s exactly what he’d say).  A whirlwind of events (including fashion study in NY and Europe) lead me back to my sewing machine after an almost 10 year break and I started the line aptly named, JIBRI.

How does your fashion line stand out of the ordinary?
The main stand out point is that JIBRI is dedicated to plus size women only.

Jasmine, I see in your clothing line you use very daring lines and bold prints. How do you come up with such appealing designs for plus size women?  
JIBRI is designed for the strong yet feminine curvy woman. This woman is also confident. She deserves bold prints and vibrant colors because she is bold and vibrant. I don’t water down the design because of the size of my consumer.

Do you feel there is a lack of designers catering to curvy women?
 I'm actually really impressed that designers are starting to expand to plus sizes. Plus sized clothing is definitely a lot "sexier" than it used to be, but it's still a void in fashionable pieces that say "chic". I’m eager to see the industry embrace and appreciate fabulous fit and quality construction. Overall, the industry is growing at an astonishing rate and that makes me happy.
What or who has inspired you in fashion?
I’m heavily influenced by music, art, vintage cinema, underground culture
& iconic female figures. I’m also a travel junkie so I pick up inspiration from different parts of the world all the time.

What should every woman have in her wardrobe to make her feel fabulous?
A signature haircut, a lip color that mesmerizes, a classic trench coat (this creates glamour regardless of what’s underneath), a pair of shoes that creates crowd frenzy and at least one dress that makes her smile every time she looks at it.
What do you see in the future for JIBRI?
I hope to be able to solidify JIBRI as a globally recognizable boutique
brand for the glamorous, sophisticated and highly fashionable curvy woman.
Describe your fashion line in 3 words?
Elegant, chic & classic

Thank you so much Jasmine…


Natural beauties Wendy and Jess take healthy living to another level. You won’t find these ladies on television karate chopping but chopping up tasty veggies. Wendy and Jess are creating heavenly dishes that will have you eating and feeling better. I was able to catch up with the two ladies of Food Heaven Made Easy and ask them questions about the show, natural hair, and personal style. Check out what the ladies have to say. I’m sure you will enjoy!

Why did you start the show Food Heaven Made Easy?
The rates of obesity and obesity related diseases, such as diabetes, are running ramped our communities. We’ve done lots of work surrounding nutrition and we noticed that folks don’t always feel empowered to make healthy eating choices.  A lot of reservations came from budget constraints and lack of knowledge regarding healthy cooking. We created Food Heaven as a platform to show folks of the Diaspora that healthy eating is attainable for everyone.
Do you feel that your show will make a difference in the black community?
Yes. We have been so grateful to already have amazing fans that watch each episode!  We get emails and comments everyday from people saying how much they appreciate the show or how they tried the recipe and loved it. It’s great to know that show is really inspiring folks and making a difference in their eating habits.
What are some easy steps you can do to eat healthy?
We recently did a post on 5 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget. Be sure to check those out on our site! Below are 3 bonus steps that can be easily incorporated into your daily regimen.
Plant-Based Diet
The majority of your diet should be plant based. This includes veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans and grains.
Make sure to eat balanced meals that include lots of veggies, lean protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.
Portion Control
Portion sizes have increased significantly over the past few decades. Try eating on a smaller plate to ensure you are consuming less at each meal.

What foods are great to help make your hair grow?
Foods with B vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin E all work together to maintain healthy hair. Good sources for B vitamins include whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh and beans. You can get vitamin A from carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, collards, pumpkins, cantaloupe, mango, papaya, and eggs. Vitamin E is found naturally in wheat germ oil, Sunflower oil, Safflower oil, nuts (like almonds and hazelnuts), avocadoes and green leafy veggies. The moral of this story: If you eat a well balanced-plant based diet you are sure to get the proper nutrients to promote hair growth.
How long have you both been natural?
Jess: For about 7 years.
Wendy: It’s been 3 years.
Name you favorite hair care product and why?
Jess: Devachan one conditioner. It’s the only thing I use. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to my hair. I don’t have the patience to experience with a bunch of hair products, so when I find something I like, I stick to it.
Wendy: Jojoba oil because it's so flexible! I use it for my skin, hair, and home. It leaves my hair super moisturized, my skin glowing, and serves as a great base for burning my essential oils.
On the show I love your chemistry and style… Describe your personal style?
Jess: I like to experiment with bright colors and patterns, but at the same time, I am a big fan of keeping it basic. I buy 80 percent of my clothes from the thrift stores (read: goodwill!), and sometimes I cop a couple of pieces from Forever 21, HM and Target (or ‘round the way stores like Conway and Pretty Girl….stop sleepin’!) I also love having clothing swaps with friends to exchange what I’m no longer feeling and cash in on new treasures.
Wendy: Well I don't really go clothing shopping due to lack of funds, but usually I'll just recycle the clothes I already have and cut em up into something that looks totally different. I'm also a fan of clothing swaps and consider them a great way to get free funky clothing, and bond with my sister friends. When I do have some money to splurge, I'll go to small boutiques in the city, or support independent fashionistas that are doing their thing. I also hit up H&M and Forever for some basics. Lastly, I can't leave my house with some big earrings on. 
What should every woman have in her closet to make her feel beautiful?
Jess: Clothes (and shoes) that make you feel comfortable. I feel the most confident when I am comfortable in what I am rocking.
Wendy: Comfortable underwear! It's really annoying when I'm wearing panties that I can barely walk in because they give constant wedgies. Underwear that compliments your body in a sexy and comfortable way is a thumbs up in my book.

Finish the statement… In the future Jess and Wendy will be
…shining superstars! We're both working towards expanding the show and making this a movement that includes visual media and personal community interaction and organizing around food sustainability. One of the greatest things about our show is that we are able to be ourselves and do things that we want to do. When working for other people or organizations, you don’t really have that flexibility. We see our show as a step towards our personal and professional independence.

 Check them out!!!     http://www.foodheavenmadeeasy.com/