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Spotlight: Pharrell Williams’ 1st Annual Kidult Youth Leadership Conference

Submitted by on July 7, 2010 – 9:46 am14 Comments

I recently co-chaired the “Dress For Success” panel (with my good friend, GlobalGrind.com EIC Datwon Thomas) at the inaugural Kidult Leadership Conference. Created by Kidult.com founders Pharrell Williams and journalist Mimi Valdes, the conference focused on encouraging individuality and the development of skills that will allow young people to one day realize their dreams.

I want to shine some light on the incredible attendees I met that day. Below are some of the young entrepreneurs who attended the conference. (I’m pictured above with Jerel Jones, 20, and Danielle Harris, 17, of HABO Apparel). We thank them for inspiring us in our own careers, and wish them (and all their peers) nothing but the best on their upcoming journeys.


What is your full name, how old are you, and where are you representing?
Ayana Gibbs, 19 and Shevonne Francis, 19 (both from New Jersey)
What is the name of your website?
The Von Iman Affair (www.thevonimanaffair.wordpress.com)
How would you describe your brand?
We would describe the Von Iman Affair as…something so bad that you must indulge. It’s eclectic and unique, definitely not the status quo. We refuse to be put in a box carved out by the mainstream that tell us we’re not “cool” if we do or wear certain things! We set the trends and break them. We’re college students with other things on our minds besides finals, which takes us out the books and onto the fast track of making our dreams a reality by constant networking and internships. A dynamic female duo that embodies strength, beauty and power. A force to be reckoned with.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Our inspiration comes from the urban streets to the runways of New York. Feminine florals to wild animal prints are us to a tee. You can always find us at thrift stores trying to find one-of-kind garments. We are not afraid to try new things and stand apart from others who walk a chalk line. In a nutshell, any entrepreneur who has ever taken a leap out on faith is an inspiration to us; they let us see it’s possible to be successful at what you love doing.
What would you like to achieve with your site?
With our site, we would like to achieve exposure to the masses! We want to turn our blog page into a website that’s dedicated to helping you achieve your personal style, from image consulting to personal shopping to trend forecasting—these are just a few select things we hope to do. We love fashion and just hope others can appreciate our creative outlet. We are up and coming, we are hot, we are fierce!
What’s your Twitter?


What’s your name, how old are you and where are you representing?
Christopher T. Powell II. I come from White Plains, NY and I’m 19.
What’s the name of your brand?
How would you describe it?
Artistic mogul.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Life’s instinctual aspects.
What’s your official website and Twitter?


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What’s your full name, how old are you and where are you representing?
My full name is Shayna Safford (above, left). I’m 18-years-old and I’m representing Philadelphia, PA.
What’s the name of your company?
The name of my company is Make It Entertainment. The slogan is “Take Your Talent and Make It Ent.”
How would you describe it?
I would describe my company as a company that will empower and motivate youth to express their inner talents to entertain others. This company will offer unique opportunities for upcoming artists to “Make It” in the entertainment industry. It also will enable artists to fulfill their dreams and let the world see how talented they are. Make It Entertainment is a company willing to make a difference one neighborhood, city, state and country at a time.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from the many talented youth who are told they will never amount to anything and their dreams will never come true. This is why I founded the company. Make It Entertainment will allow the artists to launch their talents to the world.
What would you like to achieve with your company?
The success of my artists will be the success of my company. I want more than success for my company; I believe the fulfillment of one dream can change the world in a major way. I want Make It Entertainment to be nationally/internationally known. I see this company as a home and a family where everyone can be comfortable and happy and work as a team. I want Make It Entertainment to have its own magazine, TV and radio show.
What’s your Twitter?
Twitter is: http://twitter.com/makeitentceo
Website is: http://www.wix.com/MAKEITENT/MAKEITENT


What’s your full name, how old are you and where are you representing?
Ayannah Noni Johnson, 20-years-old, Union, NJ
What’s the name of your website?
I represent two different Web sites: Rogersbelt.blogspot.com, which is where my pictures are posted, and I also work closely with the founders of LifeVisioneers.com (website under construction).
How would you describe it?
LifeVisioneers.com is an upcoming Web site designed to help kids that don’t have any direct connection with role models and people to aspire to follow in a positive manner. It’s a chance to see videos of real life professionals saying inspirational things and give them tools for life.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My goal has always been to give back and help kids. I grew up with a mom who did it on her own, but I never felt like I went without anything I needed. Granted I wasn’t able to get every pair of Jordan’s that came out, but I was raised by a village of family that cared. I had people to look up to, I saw people around me go to college, so it made me do the same. I could have easily taken every bad situation that came my way, but I learned that being optimistic and knowing where I stand in my life helps me not settle for anything other than greatness. I just want to pass on everything I was taught and pass on things I had to go through in the hopes that the kids I help will never have to go through the same. Where you’re from isn’t necessarily where you’re going.
What would you like to achieve with your site?
I want kids to understand their purpose and just because you’re not given the best cards you still play your best hand. I want them to see their potential and see the world and not only read about it in books. Anything is obtainable. I want them to dream with their eyes wide open.
What’s your Twitter?


What is your name, how old are you and where are you representing?
Danielle Harris, 17, and Jerel Jones, 20, both from Cleveland, OH.
What is the name of your brand?
Help A Brother Out! [Habo] Apparel is an up-and-coming brand focusing on the young, creative, and beautiful talents of this generation and the generations to come.
How would you describe it?
Our mission is to deliver high-quality, stylish clothing at an affordable cost. Another one of our main objectives is reaching out, giving back and helping others. Habo Apparel plans to donate a percentage of each sale to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Our products currently consist of shirts, zip-up hoodies, sweatshirts and accessories.
Where does your inspiration come from?
We’re inspired by everything around us. A color scheme, a pattern, a persons conversation, etc. A few brands we admire are BBC/Ice Cream, Playcloths and Fur Face Boy.
What is your official website and Twitter?
Our website is www.haboapparel.com and our Twitter page is twitter.com/HABOapparel.


What’s your full name, how old are you and where are you representing?
Kareena Cleveland, I’m 20 years old and I’m from Brooklyn, NY.
What’s the name of your website?
The name of my site is Gilded Glam Society which is at www.le-society.blogspot.com.
How would you describe it?
My site is basically a mere reflection of me—fashionable. I blog magazine events or fashion shows such as Fashion Week, but at the same time I also put style tips here and there to open people’s minds to other designers, trends and also my vision as an inspiring fashion journalist, designer and stylist.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Since I was a kid I was inspired by mogul Kimora Lee Simmons and her glamorous fashion line Baby Phat, but it wasn’t until age 19 my eyes would truly open when I landed an internship with Kanye West‘s wardrobe stylist [at the time] Renelou Padora from Margaret Maldonado Agency. I was truly inspired to explore and network my way further into the fashion industry. So my blog is like my own reality show where people follow the road to my dreams.
What would you like to achieve with your site?
I would like for my site to become popular enough to where I’m one of the top people on the press list to blog shows for Milan Fashion Week, magazine events and any other event that helps me network my way into the fashion industry.
What’s your Twitter?


What is your full name, how old are you, and what city are you representing?
My name is Allyssa Munro and I am a 19 year old writer. I’m also a street promoter for Bluu Dreams, my brother Anderson Munro’s (he’s pictured below) new clothing line, and we’re representing Wyandanch (Long Island), New York.

What’s the name of your website/clothing brand?
The name of Anderson’s clothing line is Bluu Dreams and the website is www.bluudreams.com.
How would you describe both?
The purpose of the Bluu Dreams clothing line and website is to inspire others to follow their dreams, wherever they may lead. “Bluu” represents water, which symbolizes the tides, or obstacles, through which people must swim to follow their ideas or “Dreams.” Our logo, the Deep Sea Diver, has no color or gender. It represents that little person in all of us who was always been overlooked in the search for success and greatness. The Diver shows no matter how deep the sea of obstacles that may lie ahead, if you persevere you can withstand the pressures of life and society and never truly get lost.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Our inspiration comes from seeing others succeed after working hard to build their ideas from the ground up.
What would you like to achieve with your site and clothing brand?
As stated above, the Bluu Dreams Clothing Line and website aim to inspire and spread the Bluu Dreams message to the world of “following your dreams and not the crowd.” Anderson himself wants to be a prime example of how hard work, dedication, and believing in yourself can lead to success.
What’s your Twitter?
Bluu Dreams is on Twitter at: twitter.com/bluudreams. You can also find updates on Bluu Dreams Clothing Line at: twitter.com/allyssaaxox and twitter.com/rellrocksBLUU.


What’s your full name, how old are you and where are you representing?
Terence Oliver, 18, Philadelphia, PA
How would you describe your music?
Emotional, soulful, imaginative, dream vs. reality.
Where does your inspiration come from?
My surroundings, other music, books, movies, and life.
What would you like to achieve with your career?
[Be able to] make a living off of entertaining people by providing good music and branding.
What is your Twitter and MySpace?
www.myspace.com/localkhemistry and www.twitter.com/localkhemistry.

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