(First in a series of periodic features highlighting the amazing accomplishments of some ladies whom I am blessed to call friend)
Hey, Mocha Divas!
Well hello, February! It seems like January was a blur. One moment we were saying, “Happy New Year!” and the next moment we are making plans for the opening night of “Black Panther” and Valentine’s Day. Funny how time flies. January was an awesome month. The Mocha Divas Blog is officially one month old! The feedback has been incredible. I appreciate all of the support. It is my sincere hope that within the last month, all of you have been inspired and encouraged to live your best life NOW!
This week I am kicking off what will be a periodic feature that highlights some amazing ladies. I believe the old adage, “You become like the people you hang around.” If your friends aren’t pushing you to be better, get some new friends. I mean it. If you’re the most awesome being in your circle, your circle is square (ha!). Because I am in constant awe of the brilliance, creativity, and overall dopeness of my friends, I believe that I need to share them with the world. Thus the series, “When Your Friends Do Dope Stuff, You Celebrate Them!”
Sequins, Kimonos, Fab Friends, Oh My!
Most of us have a style of clothing that just speaks to us. When we see it, we want it – and in every color that is available. I love shiny pieces and I love bling. No, they are not the same. I love gold and silver (the shiny) and I love sequins (the bling). In the last couple of years, I’ve fallen for kimonos and dusters and such. I thought I was too short for them, until I started trying them on. Amazing! They have quickly started to take over my closet. Now imagine what happens when bling meets kimono. A match made in heaven.
Yes, I want to talk about that amazing piece, but I have to tell you about the creative behind the piece. Monde Chisenga, founder of Monde’s Threads, is so talented. We met several years ago when she showed up at my home for a holiday gathering that I hosted for some ladies from my church. We had not met prior to that evening. Although she didn’t know anyone there, it didn’t stop her from showing up to fellowship. She later told me that she was hesitant to come initially, but was determined to meet some ladies since she was fairly new to the city and the church. I’m so glad that she showed up! We have had so much fun getting to know each other over the years.
Amazing that although I have known her for several years, I didn’t find out that she could burn on the sewing machine until a few years ago. Imagine my surprise when I found out. I had been slowly discovering her gifts and talents – running (although she denies this), singing, and who knows what else. She is also an amazing volleyball player. I discovered this after she joined a church league volleyball team with me. A quiet and humble soul, this native of Zambia, by way of Canada, has stormed into Memphis and is making her presence known.
OK, back to that piece. I was planning to attend native Memphian Brandice Daniel’s Harlem’s Fashion Row event in Memphis. I wanted a haute look for the evening. Monde and I had discussed a jumpsuit – another favorite of mine. I love a jumpsuit! My mind was instantly changed when I received a text from her stating that she had a sequin kimono that she wanted me to try. Two of my faves in one? I didn’t have to think twice. I saw me in it before I even saw it. When I arrived to try this masterpiece on, I immediately fell in love. I know…dramatic. It fit perfectly! The sleeves were wide, yet the tailored fit with pintucks kept it from overwhelming my smaller frame.
I styled the kimono with track pants and open-toe booties for the fashion show. I wanted to be a bit over-the-top for the event, so I paired it with a tank that had metal grommets. Sparkle and shine, darling. The best part of the evening, Monde attended the fashion show with me, and each time I was complimented, I immediately turned to her. I’m pretty sure that she gained some new clients that night. Winning!
I love the versatility of the jacket. I’ve paired it recently with frayed hem jeans and a polka dot tank, and it popped. I am looking forward to taking it from season to season. It’s not heavy, so it will work in warmer weather too. It’s one of those pieces that I want to wear all of the time, but I have to stop myself. I like what I like.
My collection of pieces from Monde’s Threads is growing. I’ve rocked her pieces all over the country – New York, DC, Virginia, New Orleans, and of course, Memphis. People immediately recognize that these aren’t your ordinary off-the-rack pieces. Monde definitely has that touch. After she decided to sew full-time almost two years ago, I sent her a couple of pictures of jumpsuits that I liked. I told her that I wanted her to make one for me. One year later, I got my jumpsuit, and it was well worth the wait! The magic behind the moment wasn’t about the jumpsuit (although she took the vision and ran with it), it was about her leap of faith and the manifestation of her dreams. So glad to have a front row seat to cheer her on because I know the best is still yet to come for Monde!
When my friends do dope stuff, I celebrate them out loud. Stay tuned for more highlights in the future. Here’s to living our best life NOW!
Live. Laugh. Love.
“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17