Friday, March 24, 2017

Black in Vermont: Vermont Maple Syrup

Hello!!!! It has been FOREVER since I have done a Black in Vermont post. Before I came to Vermont I would eat the nasty fake syrup. However, even though I no longer live in Vermont, I am only able to eat PURE maple syrup and my favorite is VERMONT MAPLE SYRUP. I recommend that EVERYONE tries Vermont Maple Syrup because it is healthier and just tastes richer! Rant complete lol! 


This photo is the property of Aunt Jemima 


This photo is the property of VMSMA 

How I Saved my Hands from Winter!!!!!

My hands usually get ashy and disgusting during winter. However, while I was getting a facial at Sephora, I was told to use exfoliating glycolic acid wipes ON MY HANDS. I was told that this would be way better than any hand scrub. This made sense to me because physical exfoliants are nowhere near as good for your skin as chemical exfoliants are. I recommend that you try Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Correction Pads. 

The photo is the property of Sephora. 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. 

Hair Update !!!!!!!!

Hey !!!!! I just wanted to let you all know that I will be getting my hair done on Tuesday!!!! I will be getting  REALLY long jet black extensions (with a blue undertones). I can't wait to show you the results!!!! Also, expect more videos coming soon.

Photo is the property of Vinkankel

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Interviewing with Kay Kay: Tag

Earlier, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki SooHoo. In that article, I stated that I had another interview with SooHoo coming your way and here it is! Today, SooHoo discusses her heartwarming project called Tag. Disclaimer: You may shed a few tears if you are as emotional as I am.

Kay Kay’s Way: How would you describe Tag?

SooHoo: Tag is a passion project I started to ignite a movement of spreading more positivity in the world. My goal was to show people that simple random acts of kindness (like the act of gifting your small bracelet to someone else) can cause a ripple effect of goodness. Usually, when someone does something nice for you, it lifts up your spirit and makes you more likely to do something nice for someone else. Tag was all about starting that movement so that we could raise everyone’s vibration to a more loving, happy, and positive space.

Kay Kay’s Way: How did you come up with the name Tag?

SooHoo: One of my best friends, Angelia Trinidad, who also happens to be the genius behind the super awesome company, Passion Planner, was helping me brainstorm names for my project. We came up with Tag because we thought it fit well with the saying “Pass the Tag,” and “Tag you’re it,” and hashtags that are used on social media since all of those elements are incorporated into the project. The point is to tag someone that you want to spread love and kindness too. After you tag the person, you then pass on a bracelet to them, use the hashtag engraved on the back of the bracelet to stay in touch with the person who gave it to you, and then pass the tag to someone new so the cycle continues.

Kay Kay’s Way: What was the hardest part about creating Tag?

SooHoo: The hardest part about creating Tag was manufacturing the bracelets. I had a very clear vision of how I wanted them to be made and I only wanted to make them with wax nylon string. However, it seemed that this material was only found in Spain and various countries in Latin America. I had gone to manufacturing companies in China and in India and paid hundreds of dollars to have them send me prototypes. However,  none of the business I went to could make them correctly or with the material I wanted. I was about to give up because I didn’t want to make bracelets that I was not in love with. Eventually, one of my friends recommended that I go to Venice Boardwalk, where a bunch of artisans line the street with their artwork and craftsmanship. I ended up finding this amazing lady named Yuka (who I came to find out was homeless at the time) and she had a towel rolled out with about twenty bracelets made of the exact string I was looking for and they were tied the exact way I wanted my bracelets tied. She was a blessing sent from the skies. Had I not met her, I most likely would have given up on the project. However, I ended up being able to commission her to make me 2000 bracelets over the course of the year. I was able to pay her such a nice commission that she was able to return to Mexico City with her then two-year-old son, settle into a home, and open up her own shop.

Kay Kay’s Way: Where do you see yourself and Tag in the next five years?

SooHoo: I hope to continue to speak at schools and events. I also hope to continue gifting bracelets to people who are positively impacting their community. I hope that these people will use this bracelet as an additional tool to help them to continue spreading goodness. I also want to start to produce larger events help other non-profits find more volunteers, raise more money, and get more publicity so more people know how they can help. I love helping people grow to their fullest potential and I hope that with Tag, I can inspire people to become better people.

Kay Kay’s Way: What made you want to create Tag?

SooHoo: I used to wear bracelets all the time and it would start a lot of great conversations with strangers. They would ask me about my bracelets and where they could get them. I just loved that interaction so most times I would just end up offering them one of my bracelets. I made new friends and was able to do something nice for someone that would put a smile on their face. Just that simple act of giving seemed to make a pretty impactful difference in some people’s day. Then one day, the favor was returned to me and someone passed me a bracelet. I thought it was so crazy that someone did to me what I do for people all the time! I then realized how cool it would be to be able to stay connected with the people who were gifting bracelets to one another. Therefore, I created my own bracelet with a unique hashtag engraved on the back so people could log that special hashtag on social media and others would be able to find them and stay connected.

Kay Kay’s Way: What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs?

SooHoo: Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs while you are trying to get your business on its feet because it is nice to be motivated by the people around you. They don’t have to be your business partner, but you guys can feed off of each other’s energies and bounce ideas off of each other. It also reminds you that you aren’t a weirdo. When the rest of your friends are sitting at desk jobs from nine to five and you are the only one working at the cafe from ten to midnight, you may start to feel left out. You might also start to feel weird or uncomfortable because everyone is doing something else. Therefore, you should surround yourself with people who are trying to do something like you. Also, surround yourself with people who would choose to work on a social media campaign at two in the morning rather than be coming home from the club. Lastly, surround yourself with likeminded people and it will help you become more of what you aspire to be.

Kay Kay’s Way: How did you get started opening TAG?

SooHoo: I spent a lot of time creating presentations, business plans, and hashing out ideas with my other friends who were also inspiring entrepreneurs. I talked with a lot of people that I admired or looked up to and asked them to give me advice about my project. I realized that the best way for me to keep motivated was to continue telling people about my idea and what I was working on because it made me feel like I had to get it done. In addition, it always helped spark new ideas to help me make it better.Finally, I created a plan of action for what I wanted and needed to get done and then I just hustled to figure out how to do it.

Kay Kay’s Way: How was it like to be on Oxygen’s show, Quit Your Day Job?

SooHoo: It was an interesting experience being on a reality TV show. I probably will never do it again because I am not a fan of how unrealistic it actually is. Producers are trying to get a good story so they try and prompt you with questions so they can get you to say certain phrases and words and then go into the editing room and create the story they want. I went on the show in hopes of getting mentorship because I didn’t actually need money for my project. However, I wanted to know how to introduce my project to as many people as possible. I found out that even though they say they are going to help, they don’t really mean it. So, I was a little bummed that I didn’t come away with any real help or mentorship. On the bright side, I am grateful that the reality TV show pushed me to take my project to the next level. I don’t regret the experience, but I definitely learned what I like and don’t like to do.

Special Thanks to SooHoo for being so amazing and for allowing me the opportunity to interview her! Never forget to #PASSTHETAG!!!!!!

All photos are the property of Tag

Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: Cee Cee’s Closet NYC

Cee Cee’s Closet NYC celebrates the unique beauty of West African prints and designs through its various handmade accessories. In addition, Cee Cee’s Closet NYC designs its products in Nigeria because the company wants to make a positive impact on the lives of its artisan partners. Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo are the dynamic duo behind Cee Cee’s Closet NYC and it was an honor to interview them.
KAY KAY: How would you describe your style?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: We would say that we both have very different styles which help Cee Cee’s Closet NYC appeal to many people. Chioma likes more classic silhouettes and most often wears neutral colors. She will add bold accents from time to time, but she often prefers simpler styles. Uchenna loves pairing bold accent pieces with trendy neutral pieces. She is not afraid of taking risks in order to express herself through fashion, which can be seen in our most popular prints for Cee Cee’s Closet NYC.
KAY KAY: How would you describe the style of Cee Cee’s Closet NYC?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: We like to think of Cee Cee’s Closet NYC as the perfect marriage of both of our styles. We feature both modern and old school prints that can bring any look to the next level.
KAY KAY: What was your background before you opened Cee Cee’s Closet NYC?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: We are both recent college graduates. Uchenna has experience in finance, non-profit, and education. Chioma has experience in finance and consulting.
KAY KAY: What was the hardest part about opening Cee Cee’s Closet NYC?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: The hardest part of opening Cee Cee’s Closet was climbing the learning curve of e-commerce. First, we had to realize what we did not know about e-commerce. Then, we had to teach ourselves everything from basic coding to photography so that we could provide our customers with a beautiful, seamless shopping experience.
KAY KAY: Where do you see yourself and Cee Cee’s Closet NYC in the next five years?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: We hope to expand internationally and broaden our product offerings. We are so excited about the things we in-store for this year!
KAY KAY: What do you love the most about Cee Cee’s Closet NYC?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: We love our customers, the artisans we work with, and the communities that we have been able to create along the way. We could not do what we do without their support.
KAY KAY: What made you want to open Cee Cee’s Closet NYC?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: We wanted to find a way to express ourselves creatively while also having a sustainable economic impact on the community that has given us so much.
KAY KAY: How did you get started opening Cee Cee’s Closet NYC?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: We founded Cee Cee’s Closet NYC after a trip to Nigeria. Chioma brought back these beautiful Ankara print clutches that both of us fell in love with! We saw that all of our friends fell in love with the bags as well. Later, Uchenna designed some bags, created them with the help of Nigerian artisans, and tested the market to see if we could sell them in the United States. After positive responses from our customers, we both collaborated to design different bags that were handmade in Nigeria. It was extremely important to us that the bags were made in Nigeria by local artisans to ensure that we were not only celebrating the beauty of West African culture and design, but also the craftsmanship of local artists. After selling handbags exclusively for a few months, we decided to expand into other accessories such as headwraps and jewelry. We literally couldn’t find any headwraps that suited our personal styles. Therefore, Uchenna took a trip to Nigeria to help us expand into headwraps, and they have now become a significant part of our business.
KAY KAY: What advice would you give to future designers and entrepreneurs?
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: The best advice that we can give a future designer and/or entrepreneur is to just get started. The timing will never be perfect, and you will never know everything before you start, but Google is a great teacher. You can get really far with dedication and support from friends and fellow entrepreneurs.
KAY KAY: How did you come up with the name Cee Cee’s Closet NYC
Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: Hahaha, that’s a funny one. We went through a few names before we settled on Cee Cee’s Closet NYC. The Cee Cee is for Chioma and Uchenna’s nickname Chenny. And we put NYC in the name because New York is a huge part of who we are as well.
Photo of Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo: Property of Cee Cee’s Closet NYC

Photo is the property of Cee Cee's Closet NYC

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Interviewing with Kay Kay: Nikki SooHoo

I have started a new series on Kay Kay’s Way called Interviewing with Kay Kay! I hope you will enjoy my new series and I know you will enjoy my interview with Nikki SooHoo. I have watched the talented Nikki SooHoo shine on the screen of hit movies such as The Lovely Bones, and popular shows like Phil of the Future. Therefore, you bet it certainly was an honor to be able to interview SooHoo!

Kay Kay’s Way: How did you get started in acting?

SooHoo: I was fifteen years old and I was approached by someone at the Grove who told me that I should get into acting. They recommended an acting coach to me whom I ended up working with. Thankfully, that acting coach happened to also be a manager and represented me for the first seven years of my career. In addition, I was also blessed to have parents that were open to me trying new things and were willing to take me to classes and auditions. It all kind of fell into place. I didn’t grow up thinking I was going to be an actress, but the industry found me and I fell in love with acting.

Kay Kay’s Way: What do you love the most about acting?

SooHoo: Acting has given me a platform to positively impact people’s lives. It has allowed me to be a part of projects that have brought light to issues that needed to be addressed. It has also allowed me to be a representative for Asian Americans in the media. Finally, it has allowed me to connect with many people all over the world and inspire these people to turn their dreams into realities.

Kay Kay’s Way: What advice would you give to those trying to break into the acting business?

SooHoo: Create a strong circle of support around you. The support can come from the people in your life, other passions that keep you motivated, meditation, and/or self-wellness practices that can help you come back from the ups and downs of the business. This business is unpredictable and unstable, but having a strong support system around you will help a lot.

Kay Kay’s Way: What has been the hardest part about acting?

SooHoo: The hardest part is that this is not a linear business. Sadly, hard work does not always mean you will get the job. Also, one job doesn’t guarantee you are moving up in your career. One day you can be the star and the next day you could be forgotten. Sometimes it is hard to not take it personally. It is also hard to remember that your abilities and hard work are only a fraction of the equation that is used to cast people. There are so many reasons that are out of your control as to why you did or didn’t book the job. Though hard work doesn’t always mean you get the job, I do still believe that if you continually work hard, it will eventually pay off (maybe just not the way you expected).

Kay Kay’s Way: I have been a fan of Pretty Little Liars for the longest time. You were on the show and I was wondering if you could please tell me about your experience. I can only imagine!

SooHoo: It was really fun getting to work on Pretty Little Liars. My scene was actually the first one of the day so not all of the actors were on set yet, just Troian (who plays Spencer, the one I was in the scene with). Her and I got to hang out a bit. She was a very sweet and smart woman. I literally got there, went through hair and makeup, shot my scene, and was all done within four hours! It was super quick. As I was leaving I saw Ashley. This was nice because her and I went to high school together but hadn’t seen each other in years!  Also, one of my favorite things was that they had pink golf carts on set that were driven around the studio lot. They were super cute!

Kay Kay’s Way:  Last year I registered with a company to pursue being a background actress. I found myself getting frustrated with the lack of roles available to even background actors of color? While on set, I spoke to many actors and actresses of color who expressed their frustration with the lack of diversity in the film industry. You are a very successful actress. Have you experienced any of situations similar to what I just mentioned?

SooHoo: When I first started acting there were much fewer roles for Asian Americans. However, over the past decade I have seen the number of roles available to Asian Americans grow immensely. Slowly there are becoming more roles that aren’t ethnic specific, meaning they aren’t just looking for Asian people to play laundromat owners and nail stylists and African Americans to play gangsters. In my opinion, I believe that the industry is definitely taking steps in the right direction. I think that creators are broadening their perspective and their minds to what is possible and have started to give others a chance. Of course, there is still a misrepresentation in the media of what America actually looks like, but we do have to remember that a majority of the content creators are not people of color. This movement to be equally and rightfully represented in the media is not at the fault of any one person, but we need more creators of color as well. I think we are moving in a good direction for sure.

Stay tuned for my second interview with SooHoo where I discuss her project called Tag!

Photo of SooHoo: Kreative Vue

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Kay Kay's Two Cents: Rachel Dolezal Changes her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo

Allison Daroie: Paridaez

Women today live life on the go. I remember when I lived in New York City last year, I had to carry a backpack with me to change clothes right after my internship. Thankfully, Allison Daroie created Paridaez (Pah•reh•deez) to fix this problem. The Paridaez line transforms into completely different articles of gorgeous minimalist clothing that will satisfy your minimalist taste buds. It was most certainly an honor to interview Daroie and learn more about this brand.

KAY KAY: How would you describe your style?

Daroie: I wear Paridaez pretty much every day. I am very into elegant essentialist pieces and neutrals. I often combine the Paridaez collection with a cute vintage jacket and booties with a small heel. I wear very little jewelry these days. The hats or jackets I wear are usually my loud statement pieces. However, Paridaez is always a conversation piece. I always get compliments when rocking Paridaez, so why not wear it every day.  Some describe my style as effortlessly chic.

KAY KAY: How would you describe the style of Paridaez?

Daroie: Paridaez is minimalistic and transformative, meaning I use minimalistic principles in terms of the design and aesthetic, but the pieces are transformative in that they have added functionality. Each piece transforms into completely different articles of clothing. Women can confidently move through any environment wearing Paridaez. For example, the Paridaez Albatross transitions from a pencil skirt, to a dress or tank top.

KAY KAY: What was your background before you opened Paridaez?

Daroie: I am a non-practicing lawyer and I worked in different roles at, an online retailer of streetwear. My last role there was Director of Corporate Partnerships. I also had a wearable art jewelry business at one point and I have a background in urban styles of dance. Today, in addition to running Paridaez, I am also a yoga instructor and an adjunct professor in a fashion merchandising program.

KAY KAY: How did you come up with the name Paridaez?

Daroie: I came across the etymological background of the word paradise when I was researching parallel meanings for the setting of a short story I was working on. It stemmed from an ancient Persian word that meant a garden or walled enclosure. It was then adopted by the Greeks to mean Garden of Eden or Heaven and later came into English as paradise. When I decided to use it as a brand name, I removed a few of the vowels from the translation.

KAY KAY: What was the hardest part about opening Paridaez?

Daroie: Learning the entire production process from start to finish was a challenge, especially since I had no experience in cut & sew or a formal design background. Also, figuring out how to design pieces with added functionality was also a challenge.

KAY KAY: Where do you see yourself and Paridaez in the next five years?

Daroie: I see Paridaez expanding into an entire lifestyle brand that encourages women to pursue big dreams while taking care of their bodies, minds, and having lots of fun. In addition, I hope to have some brick and mortars by that time as well.

KAY KAY: What do you love the most about Paridaez?

Daroie: I love that I had an abstract vision that I brought to fruition and that I am improving the lives of many women. I created utilitarian fashion for busy boss ladies. I want women to feel empowered and that they can do anything.

KAY KAY: What made you want to open Paridaez?

Daroie: I realized I was often missing out on opportunities because I felt that I was not dressed appropriately for certain settings and I didn’t have time to run home for a quick outfit change. There was one day in particular where I had a conservative meeting to attend, a yoga class I wanted to check out and I planned to meet friends at a hip bar later that night. I couldn’t attend the meeting looking like a bag lady and didn’t have enough time to run home for an outfit change. I knew other women must have similar experiences.

KAY KAY: How did you get started opening Paridaez?

Daroie: I came up with the concept of transformative apparel and started looking for a designer. After having trouble finding the right designer, I decided to get cracking and figure out how to design on my own. I’m pioneering a whole new category of clothing and it’s challenging for a traditional designer to think outside of the box. It’s almost looking at design from the perspective of an industrial designer/engineer.

KAY KAY: What advice would you give to future designers and entrepreneurs? 

Daroie: It is a very hard path and many will fail. You have to be very resilient when you start your own venture. If you have a great vision and have endurance, then you should start your own thing. If you need greater financial stability and predictability, then I would suggest working for someone else. A question to ask yourself is what would the older version of yourself think of your present choices.

Photo of Daroie: Property of Paridaez

All other photos are the property of the Kay Kay’s World LLC