Showing posts with label Interviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interviews. Show all posts

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Candace Smith introduces the Lady Warrior shirt

The beautiful Candace Smith
wearing one of the Lady Warrior
shirts.
If you haven't noticed this Summer, Bravo's "Millionaire Matchmaker" made the move over to WE tv and rebranded the show as "Million Dollar Matchmaker".  There is a new format along with matchmakers from the past, but one thing remains the same is Candace Smith. In fact, matchmaker Candace Smith returns as a senior matchmaker; actually the only matchmaker to appear in every episode this season. In true Candace fashion, she keeps it sexy and so much fun every Friday night at 10pm/9c.  
 
In addition to the new show, Candace stars in the film My Father, Die, which premiered at South by Southwest and will be in theaters at the end of the year. This action thriller is set in the South and is written and directed by Sean Brosnan and produced by Pierce Brosnan, Sanja Banjic and Orian Williams. Amazing right?
 
And if that wasn't enough, the beautiful and brilliant philanthropist created the Lady Warrior Shirt, which gives a portion of proceeds to the Downtown Women's Center in the heart of Los Angeles, where she has been a longtime volunteer.  
Miss Hawaii 2014 Moani Hara
wearing the Lady Warrior shirt.
The Lady Warrior shirts are available
at Candace's official store.
 
When asked about the inspiration behind the shirts, Candace said, "The Lady Warrior Shirt was inspired by all the fascinating women in my life who are not at all the one-dimensional image perpetuated by the media. Some of these women include the young girls I have the pleasure of coaching; the resilient women at the Downtown Women’s Center I interact with; the boss women in the entertainment industry; the strong, Southern women in my family and my Miss USA sisters."
 
"Many have endured much more than anyone would ever know because of how high they hold their heads, the warmth in their hearts and the swag in their steps. I worked closely with Frank Denbow of Startup Threads (Shopify) to bring my vision to life and I'm eternally grateful," she continued.
 
What is Candace's mission? What inspired her to create the Lady Warrior Shirt? "I hope to not only spread awareness for the Downtown Women's Center but to also empower women of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds to find their inner warrior.  We are taught as young women to be ladies but it is also crucial that women learn to be fighters as well.  Women should be comfortable with this duality and celebrate it," she shared.
 
The Lady Warrior shirt is all about
women's empowerment. An
incentive to the soul.
So, how will the purchase of a shirt help the Downtown Women's Center? According to Candace, they will help the shelter immensely. "I worked with the Downtown Women's Center, where I have volunteered for many years, to arrange for a portion of all proceeds to go directly to the center. The Downtown Women’s Center is so important because it is not just a shelter; they provide permanent supportive housing and a safe and healthy community fostering dignity, respect, and personal stability with the goal of supporting the women until they feel strong again to be independent."
 
To support the Downtown Women's Center, simply purchase a Lady Warrior Shirt at Candace's official store. Just remember, when you do rock it to share the link along with the hashtag #LadyWarriorShirt all over social media.
 
Catch up with Candace on her official website as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
 
Check out my latest interview with her about Million Dollar Matchmaker here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

From 'Million Dollar Matchmaker' to 'My Father, Die', Candace Smith talks dating

The beautiful and talented
Candace Smith.
(Photo by Kelly Fajack)
Candace Smith first made her television appearance in 2003 when she represented Ohio in the Miss USA pageant. As one of Barker's beauties on the hit game show Price is Right, Smith went on to do bigger things, making appearances in both television and in film. Then, in 2014, Smith made an appearance on the 8th season of Millionaire Matchmaker as the director of recruiting working with Patti Stanger, star and producer of the show. As her career continues to evolve with Million Dollar Matchmaker, the beautiful star has appeared in Pierce Brosnan's feature film My Father, Die which was released earlier this year. It's been quite a while since I spoke with Smith and recently, I had the opportunity catch up with her about the hit reality series Million Dollar Matchmaker, dating and her latest feature film, My Father, Die. Here is what she had to tell me...

(Q) Hello Candace. How are you? It is so great to speak with you again. What have you been up to since we last spoke?

C.S: Thank you for asking! I have been absolutely amazing, but insanely busy. I have a new TV show and a feature film both premiering this year, which is such a blessing. Patti Stanger and I are back for “Million Dollar Matchmaker” premiering July 8th on WE tv. It’s a brand new show with a fresh concept that will be must-see Summer TV. I’m most excited about starring in the feature film, My Father, Die, which will hit theaters at the end of the year. I play Nana, the heroine of this gritty action thriller set in the South. I had the opportunity to perform many of my own stunts and work with fire arms which is a tomboy’s dream come true.

(Q) Million Dollar Matchmaker is one of the hottest reality shows on television. Your role on the show has been outstanding. Is it true that you are going to have a bigger role this season?

C.S: Yes it’s true and “Million Dollar Matchmaker” will undoubtedly be a summer hit! The show has a fresh concept which allowed for my role to be expanded in our new Southern Californian office. I am beyond grateful to Patti, WE tv and Thinkfactory Media for trusting me with the bigger role. I essentially run the new office, but some of your favorite matchmakers will make appearances. “Million Dollar Matchmaker” will take you on a roller coaster ride with nonstop laughs, emotional breakthroughs and drama.

(Q) Is it true that if you love yourself, you can rely less on others to love you? Is there really a golden rule to finding your true love?

C.S: Yes, it is true and actually self-love is the most important lesson I teach my clients. I wouldn’t say it’s so much about relying on others, but more about not looking to others for affirmation in life. It’s important to invest your energy into being the best you mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically outside of a relationship. A relationship can easily become toxic when someone is looking to his or her partner to fill a void. Your partner should be the cherry on top of your already amazing life sundae.

The golden rule to finding true love is simply to be willing to do the work and make the necessary changes in your life to achieve your goal. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. This applies to your love life as well. Most likely, if you have decided you are now willing to settle down with a life partner, there are changes you need to make in your lifestyle in order to prepare. It could be changes professionally, socially and even spiritually. All great things in life require sacrifice and work.

(Q) It seems that a lot of love today is short-lived. Is it because most people feel like they are in love, but really are not? What do you think is the main reason a lot of relationships never last?

C.S: I feel a lot of relationships are short-lived in today’s society primarily because of technology, specifically social media. Most people have a lack of attention span and are constantly looking for the bigger and better deal. People are literally shopping for partners on dating apps in the same manner they would shop for groceries so the sad reality is many relationships are superficial. Instead of taking the time to truly get to know someone and work through the growing pains, many people move on when it gets a little tough. So a solid foundation is not established and the love does not last.

(Q) As we Spring into Summer, a lot of people are traveling as they are also enjoying the weather and the time off. For all of those people reading this interview, what advice do you have for them when it comes to dating this Summer?

C.S: When dating during the Summer, there is always more of a significance placed on the physical because people are in swim wear and revealing clothes. My biggest advice is not to get caught up in the physical unless all you want is a Summer fling. Also, be open to the Universe because love knows no geography. I met my man while vacationing in Honolulu and a year later I’m in an amazing relationship resulting in me splitting my time between Los Angeles and Honolulu. So you never know!

(Q) What are three things you should never ask on a first date?

C.S: On a first date I think you should avoid questions about someone’s financial status, religious beliefs and political views. It’s too soon to discuss topics that can result in strong judgment. The goal should be to establish a genuine friendship first.

(Q) You offer great advice when it comes to relationships and dating. I have to ask, Candace, if you could share one important dating tip, what would it be? Why is it important?

C.S: I truly appreciate that and like to believe I follow my own advice. A very important dating tip is to be as authentic to your true self as possible on a date. Allow the other person to meet the real you, not who you think this person would be attracted to. Many failed relationships begin with both people attempting to put their best foot forward but failing to reveal their true selves. We must all remember none of us are perfect and we are all flawed. However, that does not diminish our value and what we contribute to a relationship. Over time, your authentic self will be revealed. So why not allow that person to meet the true self from the very beginning?

(Q) If you could go on a date with anyone living or deceased, who would you go on a date with and why?

C.S: Of course I would go on a date with my man, but if I were single I would want to go on a date with Viggo Mortensen. I have been a huge fan of many of his independent films but I’m more drawn to his artistic, low-key nature. I had the opportunity to meet him and it was refreshing to find him so humble and grounded.

(Q) Describe your perfect date...

C.S: My perfect date evolves around amazing wine and food. I live for food, love to cook and explore new restaurants. I find a superb meal to be an aphrodisiac and allows two people to connect versus a movie. My perfect date is a very slow meal coursed out with stimulating conversation and laughter. The end of the night would most definitely involve live music, which I can’t get enough of in Hawaii along with some slow dancing. People have forgotten all about old school romance. It is really doesn’t take much if you are willing to turn your phone off, be open, positive and put forth effort to bring happiness to someone else.

Catch up with Candace on the hit reality series Million Dollar Matchmaker. The new season premieres Friday, July 8, 2016. Check your local cable listings for specific times and other info. For additional information visit Candace Smith's official site today.

Friday, May 20, 2016

SKAM Artist remember Prince


Prince doing what he does best, performing live
at Coachella in 2008.
Photo by: Flickr.com-Penner
Prince was an iconic superstar, as he was songwriter and singer, the man was a true entertainer. As a little bit of rock n' roll, soul, funk and even jazz, Prince was a composer and a multi-instrumentalist who mastered over 20 instruments by the time he was 30. He also laid out the tracks and produced a majority of his music too. He was an innovator, creator, a teacher and most importantly, a hard worker.

And on April 21st the world cried nothing, but purple tears as Prince tragically lost his life at his Paisley Park home and recording studio in his hometown, Chanhassen. The world was shocked, as the world continues to grieve by the loss of perhaps the greatest artist the world of music has ever seen, Prince Rogers Nelson.

“Prince was in a class all his own. He inspired everyone in the music industry, from DJs, to singers and rappers, producers and beyond. Prince changed the game with the way he fought for his craft every single day. He will be missed beyond measure.” Sujit Kundu, founder of SKAM Artist told AXS.

To read more, simply click here right now.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Exclusive interview with Justine and Katie of LOVE GOODLY

The amazing founders of LOVE
GOODLY, Justine and Katie.
LOVE GOODLY is one of the hottest subscription boxes right now. It features an array of healthy and natural as well as eco-friendly and cruelty-free products sent directly to your door. Everything is non-toxic, vegan and free of GMOs. And the best part is, every single purchase from the store supports a cause. What started out as a simple plan, LOVE GOODLY turned into one of the best ideas in the world today. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the creators of this amazing subscription box, Justine Lassoff and Katie Bogue Miller. Here is what they had to tell me...

(Q) Hello Katie and Justine. How are you? Tell me a little more about LOVE GOODLY...

Justine and Katie: We are doing great.

Justine: Katie and I co-founded LOVE GOODLY, a subscription box service and e-commerce boutique for discovering the best healthy, natural products delivered to your door.

Katie: From non-toxic, cruelty free beauty, to stylish eco accessories, wellness and healthy snacks, every purchase on our site always supports a cause.

(Q) Creativity is definitely in your forte. LOVE GOODLY is such an inspiring subscription service. I have to ask, what inspired you to create LOVE GOODLY?

Katie: We wanted to do something we are passionate about while making a difference. We help women discover amazing products that are better for them and better for the environment, and with each purchase we give back to a cause. Plus everything in our boxes and website store is always cruelty free, vegan and non toxic. We love discovering new brands!

Justine: Having worked together at our last company LovingEco, where I was co-founder and Katie head of merchandising, we already had the experience and great connections with some of the best brands in the industry. After LovingEco was acquired a year after launching, it was a natural evolution to start LOVE GOODLY where we can bring the best brands right to women’s doorstep.

(Q) Is it true that every product included in the LOVE GOODLY subscription is non toxic and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?

Katie: Yes! We have 12 values that we measure all of our products and brands to if applicable. We try everything, vet everything before we offer it to our customers. We have very high standards for what we out in our body and what goes into our body.

(Q) I am so impressed with your philanthropic efforts. I have to ask, is it true that 5% of every purchase from the LOVE GOODLY store supports a cause? Tell me a little more about this...

Justine: Yes absolutely, 5% from all box sales and shop sales go to one of our two charity partners Farm Sanctuary and Cure Cervical Cancer. We really stand behind these charities and work closely with them. Farm Sanctuary promotes compassionate living while exposing the horrors of factory farming while Cure Cervical Cancer is on the ground in third world countries training doctors how to detect and prevent cervical cancer to women in need. We are impressed daily with our partners.

(Q) You recently curated with the iconic actress Alicia Silverstone for a special Earth Day box. Tell me a little more about this...

Katie: We have always admired Alicia Silverstone as the leader of the kind movement, and a strong health advocate. Personally, as a longtime vegan woman and now mom, she has been an inspiration. Alicia is also a passionate supporter of Farm Sanctuary. We are honored to have her guest curate our April/May box for Earth Month where she has selected some of her favorite vegan products.

(Q) What is your stance on animal cruelty?

Justine: Of course it should not be tolerated. We like to give a voice to the voiceless and speak up for animals.

(Q) For all of those eco-friendly enthusiasts including cruelty-free lovers reading this interview - what would you like them to know? What is next for LOVE GOODLY?

Katie: Stay tuned, we are launching a lower priced box to make our subscription accessible to even more people, but we will still feature the same full-size, eco and cruelty free products.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Matrix SoColor stylist George Papanikolas talks Glow in the Dark hair

Matrix's Glow in the Dark hair.
When it comes to 'Glow in the Dark' hair, the trend is one of the hottest in hair right now. Whether you are looking to change your style or simply searching to make a statement, this is one of the best ways you can make that happen. Matrix Lacquers are the perfect tool to create an amazing new hair look. But, why is this trend so popular?

According to Papanikolas, it is edgy and modern. "Instagram and social media has made this trend global. It's an edgy and modern look, especially in a club environment where the use of UV light, and black lights are most prevalent."

So, how is look achievable? Two words: Matrix Lacquers. "You will want to use Intense colors like Matrix Lacquers which are temporary, and then a glow in the dark dye to accent where you want your hair to glow. They are most visible over highlighted or previously lightened hair, but can also be layered over darker hair for a subtler tone. Then you will want to be sure you go somewhere with UV light so that the glow in the dark effect can be visible," Papanikolas told me.

Who can wear 'Glow in the Dark' hair exactly? "This would be a great look for club kids, night clubs or parties inspired by Coachella’s "Neon Carnival" where they heavily use Black Lights to bring the glow in the dark colors to life. I would also recommend for artistic people who tend to have less limitation on their appearance," Matrix SoColor stylist George Papanikolas said. "This look is super easy for blondes because they are able to skip the pre-lightning process, but if you have dark hair, it can take a few sessions before you can get to the “glow” but do not fret! You can start small, and apply small slithers to the ends because this look usually starts with pre-lightening of the hair."

Matrix Colorgraphics Lacquers include six semi-permanent shades. These shades include: red, orange, yellow, purple, magenta and clear. For more information about the 'Glow in the Dark' hair trend as well as the Matrix Lacquers, visit Matrix today.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Allan Shoemake co-founder of LuMee talks smartphones, selfies and Kim Kardashian

The LuMee case.
LuMee is a revolutionary front-lit smartphone case that is changing the way people take pictures from their phone. It's obvious that everyone wants to be in seen in the perfect lighting and LuMee is the type of innovation that allows you to shine at your brightest. The beautiful and iconic Kim Kardashian West recently shared how much she loved the case saying "I really love my LuMee case so much." Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Allan Shoemake, the co-founder and partner of the brand. Here is what he had to tell me...

(Q) For those individuals who are unaware of the LuMee case, can you kind of shed some light on what the LuMee case is and what it does? Tell me a little more about the LuMee case...

A.S: Yes. The LuMee Case is the first (and patented) smartphone case to offer front facing lighting. The case has lights around the edges to create perfect lighting for the best picture. Think of a lighted make-up mirror, that bathes the user's face in soft, beautiful, professional quality lighting.

(Q) Behind every great creator, great genius lies a source of inspiration. I have to ask, what inspired you to create the LuMee case?

A.S: I have been a professional photographer for the past 25 years, photographing CEO's, United States Presidents and celebrities, so I understand the importance of great lighting. When my daughter was in her freshman year at NYU in Florence, Italy, we would Skype once a week. Her dorm room offered very little in the way of good lighting, especially in the evening. I thought, why are there no lighting solutions available, especially with so many front facing cameras and laptops. So, I rigged Christmas lights around my laptop and the first LuMee prototype was born! Other colleagues suggested transferring the technology to smart phones and we applied for our patent.

(Q) One thing that I really love about technology is the fact that it evolves faster than most things. Is it true that you really use LED lights in the case?

A.S: So true. We use small high quality LED lights to surround our case with the perfect color balance. This enables us to offer bright lights without the heat or battery drain. And yes, we have a rechargeable battery built into the case so there's no battery drain from the phone itself.

(Q) Selfies really capture the moment and are quite popular right now. How will the LuMee case improve my pictures in terms of resolution and overall quality?

A.S: Yes, indeed. One thing about smartphone cameras was that they produce a lot of noise (multi-colored pixelation) when used in low light situations. The LuMee case solves those problems. It offers a soft lighting and gives you the perfect selfie, or FaceTime or Skype session anywhere, anytime. Also it's great for applying make up on the go or just used as a functional flashlight. Very convenient!

(Q) This case if fantastic for improving pictures, but will the LuMee case protect my phone?

A.S: Thanks so much! Yes, the LuMee case is made out of a tough ABS plastic material and will protect your phone when dropped. We are constantly making improvements to our case to make it even more protective as well. We understand that it needs to be both functional and fashionable.

(Q) Why should one choose the LuMee case?

A.S: One of my pet peeves on social media was all of the bad self images, sometimes wondering, "why even bother posting that poor image?" Then I realized that the folks posting wanted to memorialize their outing or date or get together, or location, they just did not have any way to light themselves. Now, that problem is solved with the LuMee case. At the touch of a button, everyone can now have perfect, beautiful and professionally developed lighting wherever they happen to be.

(Q) For all of those smart phone users and technology junkies (including myself), what would you like them to know? What is next for the LuMee brand?

A.S: I'd like them/you to know that LuMee is not just a great product, but a great and rising Brand. We have partnered with Kim Kardashian West, who understands social media and is a fashion mogul, and Robert Pedersen II, the founder and former CEO of ZAGG, who is now our CEO.

LuMee has a focus on innovation in a perfect way like has not been done before. Look for a great new lineup this year with everything from new designs of our patented LuMee Case, to product breakthroughs and an expanded lineup. You're going to want to stay tuned!

Currently, LuMee offers smartphone cases for the iPhone 5/5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S6. For more information visit LuMee today.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Dr. Edwin Williams discusses scarless rhinoplasty

Dr. Edwin Williams
Dr. Edwin F. Williams is world-renowned double board certified facial plastic surgeon as well as, board certified in Otolaryngology. Edwin Williams, III MD, FACS is also the current President of the American Academy of Facial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) . Located in the heart of Latham New York, Dr. Williams is also the founder of Williams Center Plastic Surgery Specialists where he is devoted to his patients, committed to emphasizing safety, passionate about treatment outcomes and dedicated to improving lives. He specializes in giving patients only aesthetically natural results. Dr. Williams offers an array of surgical and non-surgical procedures for the face and the body, but he primarily specializes in scarless rhinoplasty.

Recently, I spoke with Dr. Williams directly about scarless rhinoplasty. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) You specialize in scarless rhinoplasty, which means there are no external incisions at all. How does that work?

E.W: The earlier versions of rhinoplasty worked this way, in the 1970s they used to do it this way. Then in the 1980s, it became popular to open the nose up. Fast forward to now, and we're seeing that we are destabilizing the nose.

(Q) Not very many doctors are trained at doing rhinoplasty this way.

​E.W: Your skills are rare, highly refined and yet very much needed for patients. If anyone wants scarless rhinoplasty, you are the surgeon to do it.​ I was lucky enough to have a mentor to teach me closed and open approach, so I learned both ways. If you're trained on the open approach it could be intimidating to do closed. The popularity of opening the nose- it's fun to do. I did that for years. It takes years for training . I happen to be an early adapter because I was very fortunate to have a mentor who did everything closed. I've never been happier with my results, my patient's recoveries.

Usually the nose is opened up. How does the closed approach work and differ? The closed approach is very precise and uses limited dissection, limited removing of tissues. A well- balanced nose looks smaller. You do the closed approach by understanding the principles of rhinoplasty, using small incisions and fiber-optics and small instruments. Instead of opening up the hood of car, you do it all internally. It is more intimidating and technically demanding and that's why a lot of people open the nose. Through small incisions, micro-instrumentation, a balanced approach, we do a scarless rhinoplasty.

(Q) How does closed rhinoplasty affect the recovery and surgery process?

E.W: It's much easier. Instead of a three hour surgery, it's an hour and a half. I don't have to pack the nose. With the open technique, the patient will have more swelling and recovery since the whole nose is opened up. There is no question that there is much more of a recovery when opening the nose. And of course, there is no scar with the closed approach.

(Q) How does it affect the results?

​E.W: Patients will have no scar because there has been such a movement towards opening the nose. there are more and more severe complications opening the nose. With the closed approach, I have more control as a surgeon with my outcomes. My outcomes are more predictable. less dissection, fewer variables. Since I specialize in natural results, this is all important to me.

(Q) What else do you do in rhinoplasty surgery that makes it a most positive experience for the patient?

E.W: We have an amazing system here. We have a smooth landing every time. The person who does the rhinoplasty anesthesia, that's all they do. We work as a team in unison to create a perfect symphony. It comes down to our team, which is very caring and experienced. We specialize in doing it right the first time and natural results. We specialize in scarless rhinoplasty.​

For more information or to schedule a consultation call visit the official site or call 1 (800) 742-2797 today.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Drew Jackson talks My Bedroom Spice, Fifty Shades of Grey and Kim Basinger

Co-founders Drew Jackson and Clayton Ferguson.
My Bedroom Spice is an online retailer who’s aim is to add some flavor to your love life! That is their slogan and something they live by each and everyday. And My Bedroom Spice does it by providing their customers with only the best selection you can find online. With over 3,000 high quality, body safe products distributed across 150+ categories ranging from highly respected brands like LELO, Jimmyjane, We-Vibe and more, My Bedroom Spice you will also find hundreds of product videos, buyers guides, customer product reviews, and detailed product descriptions that are engaging and fun to read.
The amazing staff behind My Bedroom Spice loves and appreciates the adult industry in more ways than one, as their customer care team is available 24 hours a day - by chat, phone and/or email. They are also extremely friendly and provide you with extensive knowledge, as they are extremely customer centric and kindly solicit feedback daily on their service and offerings. Your shopping experience is not only fun, but safe and discreet too. Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up with Drew Jackson, the co-owner of this world-renowned adult store. Here is what he had to say...

(Q) What is the inspiration behind the brand? What inspired you to create My Bedroom Spice?

D.J: If you look around the industry, it won’t take you very long to realize there is a large disparity in the quality of information presented by the endless number of adult toy stores online. It’s true that many retailers carry the same brands and products, to varying degrees, but very few companies are giving the customers quality information they want in order to buy those products (for example, listing product features and benefits, product specifications, details on how the product can be used, even product videos so you can see exactly what the product looks like and how it functions)
This is what inspired My Bedroom Spice. Being in the industry for over 3 years, we’ve realized how much more we could do for our customers, in the products we offer them, but more importantly in the information we provide. Building amazing educational resources, buyer guides, tutorials, product videos, review videos, industry expert interviews etc. in order to provide our customers the knowledge they need when buying adult toys, in an extremely trust worthy and comfortable environment.

(Q) Is it true My Bedroom Spice is a re-branded site?

D.J: Yes, My Bedroom Spice is our second adult store. I guess we just love the industry that much.

(Q) How will My Bedroom Spice be different from your previous storefront?

DJ: My Bedroom Spice is relentlessly focused on the customer experience. Educating the customer and creating a comfortable, non-intimidating environment that’s easy to shop in even if you’re a complete newbie when it comes to adult toys. Our main focus is creating amazing content and resources that customers can refer to when they are going through the buying process to help clear any confusion or questions they may have (and learn something in the process). This includes things like buyer guides in every category, product comparison videos, videos on every product page explaining our products, and videos on every category page to explain the types of products in the category and so much more.

Plus, we’ve recently launched a podcast to interview industry experts and get their insights and opinions to even further educate ourselves and our customer base. Essentially we’ve taken all the knowledge and experience we’ve gained from running our previous store for 2 years and put it into My Bedroom Spice – and we are so excited to see what it will become.

(Q) You sell everything from classic adult toys (everything from vibrators, dildos and more) to sensual lingerie and more. Currently, what are your best-selling, most popular products?

D.J: That’s an easy one. On a sheer volume basis, our vibrators are by far the most popular products on our website. More specifically: G-spot vibrators, clitoral vibrators, dual action vibrators and luxury vibrators. They have always been the highest traffic sections of our website, and for good reason. The majority of our customers are female and the best products for women are generally vibrators. There’s a lot of reasons for this; there’s the quality perspective, vibrators are perfect for any experience level, and vibrators are less taboo than other more niche categories (although this is changing too).

Some of our best-selling products include: Solid Steel Jeweled Butt Plug, the Butterfly Kiss G-Spot and Clitoral Vibrator, Wild G-Spot Rabbit Vibrator with Clitoral Stimulator, the Original Sex and the City Rabbit Habit Vibrator, LELO Liv 2 Luxury Rechargeable G-Spot Vibrator, the Original Hitachi Magic Wand, Rocks Off Ammunition RO-80mm Bullet Vibrator, LELO Mia 2 USB Rechargeable Clitoral Vibrator, LELO Ina 2 Luxury Rechargeable Rabbit Vibrator, and Vibratex Mystic Wand Vibrating Waterproof Massager. As you can see it’s largely dominated by vibrators!

(Q) Is there a golden rule when choosing the right adult toy?

D.J: It’s no surprise that these toys will be coming in to contact with some pretty sensitive parts of your body. It’s so important to know and understand the materials of the toys you’re considering purchasing, to ensure they won’t irritate your skin or body. This is why we offer an in-depth breakdown of the materials on every single product page, so you know exactly what you’re getting before you purchase. Other than that, it’s all personal preference! And we truly do sell something for every preference.

(Q) What did you think of the movie Fifty Shades of Grey?

D.J: I think it's great what 50 Shades did for the industry - bringing it more mainstream and less taboo in the eyes of the general public and that's good for all of us! Sales definitely increased since the movie came out. The more movies they release the better it will be for the industry as a whole.

A funny side note, last year, we moved into a beautiful loft in downtown Vancouver for a few months while we were getting settled, and we had a few friends over who said they felt like they've seen it before. It turns out the loft right above ours (same lay out, etc) was actually in the movie - it was the red room. We thought that was fitting!

(Q) What is your opinion of Kim Basinger playing Elena Lincoln aka Mrs. Robinson in the sequel, Fifty Shades Darker?

D.J: I love Kim Basinger. She has been in a lot of great films.

(Q) How can My Bedroom Spice up your love life?

D.J: Carrying over 3,000 products and counting, we truly do have something for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner or a 5-year veteran, you’ll find something on our store to satisfy your sexual appetite.

(Q) For all of those adult toy enthusiasts along with entertainment lovers reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for My Bedroom Spice?

D.J: The next few years will be very important for My Bedroom Spice, as we continue to innovate and move into new areas of the business we have yet to explore. We’ll be expanding our lingerie line, focusing on bringing in bigger brands that our customer know and love, as well as launching our My Bedroom Spice private label line, starting with high quality, organic lubricants and moving into luxury vibrators and beyond.

Pasties talk with Pastease

The amazing owners of Pastease,
Stephanie and Todd.
When it comes to embracing freedom in a fun and sexy way, Pastease knows all about it. Created over a decade ago, this amazing pasties brand lets your spirit shine proudly. Whether you are a burlesque dancer, an exotic dancer, a raver or just a regular gal looking to spice up your love life, Pastease allows you to explore your inner tease. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to Stephanie from Pastease. Here is what she had to tell me...

(Q) Hello Stephanie. How are you? Tell me a little more about the Pastease brand...

S.P: I'm doing great! How are you? Pastease is our online business, we make self adhesive nipple pasties. All of our styles are made with medical grade, latex free, waterproof adhesive. We've been making these since 2002 in the good ole USA!

(Q) Behind every great creative genius lies a major source of inspiration, a major source of influence. I have to ask, what inspired you to create Pastease?

S.P: My husband used to frequent the Lake Havasu scene. Women were getting ticketed for going topless regularly. Todd started looking into the various laws around the US regarding toplessness. As it turns out, most states only require the nipple to be covered for women to go topless. The idea was born! He originally started selling them in small quantities, the sales would cover beer and gas money for a weekend out on the lake. From there, he grew the brand by creating a website and attending various Lingerie Trade Shows. Several distributors picked up Pastease brand Pastease. From that point on the brand has steadily grown.

You offer an array of pasties in so many themes and varieties. What are the most popular right now? We offer a huge variety of shapes and styles, there's something for everyone on our site. We have a few styles that are popular year round and others that are that gain popularity around upcoming holidays. Right now our Leaves, Pizza, Red Glitter Hearts, Aliens, and Shamrocks are super popular!

(Q) Everyone from burlesque dancers to ravers to exotic dancers to regular women (like myself) use pasties from the Pastease brand. Let's not forget the men who love them too. As a fan of the brand, I think it is so amazing.

S.P: Thank you! We love that we have such a diverse group of women and men that enjoy Pastease.

(Q) I noticed that you have a special line called Tease. Tell me a little more about this line and how it is different from the pasties already available through the Pastease brand...

S.P: We started Tease about a year ago. We wanted to offer a product that would reach out to a different end user. Pastease has bright, crazy packaging that doesn't always speak out to the bride to be or the woman trying pasties for the first time. This time around, we went with fashion forward packaging and styles with a more seductive look and feel. Pastease is all about Sexy Fun Freedom. Tease is all about Soulful Seduction. In the end, we found that a lot of the same people enjoy Tease as much as they enjoy Pastease. A lot of the stores we sell to are selling both lines, as well. I have found when showing the two lines at trade shows, to friends and family that they usually gravitate towards one package or the other though. Internet shopping and shopping at your local favorite boutique are two different experiences. I think it's only when shopping and touching the different packages is when the underlying themes and packages call out to different people. Both lines are made with love and the same medical grade adhesive.

(Q) When it comes to creativity, it is definitely in your forte. I can tell that when you created the merkins, you definitely embraced it in more ways than one. For those women reading this interview, can you explain what pasties are?

S.P: We started making the merkins for people that wanted to bare as much as possible. Our strapless bikinis are for those that love rocking micro bikinis. We fondly call Pastease + merkin a strapless bikini. Merkins are meant to be worn over the bikini area, but we've found that a lot of customers like wearing them as a triangle top bikini. Like most of our Pastease fans, we found that people come up with the most creative of uses for our products. The merkin also works great as a pant liner for those wanting to go commando, but want to feel a little less naked, just peel and stick to the inside of your pants. I've also had a marathon runner use the merkins on the inside of his thighs for prevention of chaffing.

(Q) Can you really customize your own pair of pasties? Tell me a little more about this...

S.P: Yes, you can! For many years we've been custom imprinting large quantities of Pastease for the topless pools in Vegas as well as, the various business, parties, clubs, personalities, etc. We now offer customs to anyone wanting as little as 5 pair. You can visit our custom page here. It's super easy to order, pick your shape, color and upload the image you'd like! Since we started offering them in smaller quantities, we've done them for birthdays, anniversaries, and so on.

(Q) So, if a guy who is a Pittsburgh Steelers fan, a Denver Broncos fan, a New England Patriots fan, or a fan of anything that includes specific fan colors decides to surprise his wife, fiancĂ©, girlfriend, or friend with pasties that represent those colors, he can do that?

S.P: He sure can! We offer a large variety of sports themed colors. We had a lot of requests for these over the years and our sports fans are happy to see these.
 
(Q) Other than the official website, where can you find Pastease pasties?

S.P: Pastease are available all over the web. They are available at: Yandy.com, DollsKill.com, iHeartRaves.com, NastyGal.com, Amazon.com, and so many more!

(Q) When it comes to sizes, you offer virtually every size for every woman out there. I just love that you embrace diversity. I have to ask, what do you think about the diversity in the lingerie industry?

S.P: What's not to love about diversity?! Sexiness comes in all shapes and sizes. We love offering something that brings out the inner goddess in us all. By offering so many shapes and sizes, I feel we are able to ignite the inner tease in every woman out there. I think the lingerie industry offers a lot of diversity. Black lace is no longer the only sexy thing out there for women. You see everything from neon fishnets body suits to sheer vintage style babydolls that are sexy. We, of course make a Pastease that can be paired with any piece of lingerie.

(Q) How can pasties spice up your love life?

S.P: Pastease are great for spicing up your love life. Some of my favorite tips and stories for turning up the heat are get one of our glow styles and play glow tag or turn all the lights off and come into a room with two bouncing stars or hearts. Here's a video I did a few years back about our glow styles. Another idea is to put a pair on before a date night. Let your partner know what you have on at dinner or maybe even text them a picture. The excitement and heat will continue to brew until you are able to rock out with your pasties later that night. Most importantly, Pastease make the person wearing them feel sexy, sultry and empowered. When we feel good, we look good. When we feel sexy, the world can hear our silent purrs. Pasties are the equivalent to getting a new sexy matching bra and panty, no one needs to see them or know you have them on for you to feel good. Sometimes we just need to turn up the heat for ourselves.

(Q) For all of those women reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for Pastease?

S.P: I want every woman on the planet to know she is nothing short of a goddess. Love yourself, take care of yourself, nurture yourself, compliment yourself, and fix up for yourself. We live in a time where advertising leads us to being sexy for others, impressing others, be any and everything for others, but that is so wrong. When you love yourself, that love radiates out of you and shines onto the world around you. Know that. Embrace rocking your inner goddess and everything will fall into play perfectly. When I honor myself, my attractions, do, wear and eat things that make me feel good, I feel and look my best.

What's next for Pastease? I can't give you all my secrets. You can expect a bunch of sexy, fun styles over the next few months and of course more shiny, sexy things too! I'll just say there is something for everyone in our next set of new styles, the foodie, the hippie, the disco queen and so much more.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Shapewear talk with Bubbles Bodywear: Exclusive interview with Karen E. Jones

Love My Bubbles is one of the hautest secrets to achieving a flawless figure. Offering an extensive selection of shapewear, this brand is a pioneer in the world of curve-enhancing. Since 2003, the Bubbles Bodywear brand has not only changed the way women and men look, but feel too. Recently, I had the chance to speak with Karen E. Jones, the founder and CEO of the Bubbles Bodywear brand. Here is what she had to tell me...

(Q) Hello Karen. How are you? Tell me a little more about the Love My Bubbles Brand...

K.J: The Bubbles Bodywear brand offers innovative underthings that not only boost the figure, but more importantly, our self-esteem. We strive to create high-quality, effective shapewear designs at affordable prices for women (and men) who want to boost their backside. Throughout the history of women’s foundation garments for the bottom half of our bodies, the primary focus has been on slimming, but without discretion (flattening everything including our natural backside curves). In contrast, Bubbles’ focus from day one has been to flatter, boost and flaunt those female curves. We believe that when we look great, we feel great. When we feel confident, we put ourselves in more challenging situations, we experience more and we become stronger people. We know from listening to our customers that our shapewear can be a small but important part of this process.

(Q) What inspired you to create this amazing shapewear brand? Tell me a little more about the inspiration behind Love My Bubbles...

K.J: I started Bubbles Bodywear in 2003. I launched our website with 3 patented “booty lifting” shapers that I invented to boost my own curve-deficient figure. My timing was great! Heroin chic was out and J-Lo and Beyonce were in. I listened to customers’ style requests over the years, and began developing and designing more padded and lifting shapewear. Making our own original products gave me control over the style, quality and sizing of our product offerings as well as our supply chain. As a result, Bubbles Bodywear has evolved from a “house brand” on our website LoveMyBubbles.com to our primary focus. Regarding this, we have some exciting news! As of January 2016 we now offer women’s shapewear only designed and made by Bubbles Bodywear!

(Q) Is it true you are offering new seamless additions to the Love My Bubbles (Bubbles Bodywear) brand? Tell me a little more about the new seamless essentials...

K.J: In 2015 our design and manufacturing focus shifted to seamless shapewear. It’s a popular category in the shapewear industry and an area where we were lacking. Finding a manufacturing partner was key which is why we had not launched a seamless collection in previous years. Italy was my primary target as they are known worldwide and throughout history for their superior quality. In 2014 we began working with a “mom and pop” operation in Italy to create our first seamless booty-lifting shapers that we call our “High End” Collection. In just one year we grew this category from zero to eleven new, beautiful, innovative and comfortable seamless body shapers that I’m very proud to offer our customers.

(Q) Diversity is definitely in your forte, but I have to ask, what are your thoughts about the diversity in the lingerie industry?

K.J: We have an incredibly diverse customer base! This is both a challenge and an opportunity for us to create products for everyone who comes to Bubbles looking for problem-solving shapewear. At trade shows and throughout the industry I have seen a shift in the past 13+ years from the basics (bras and underwear for the masses) to more focused product offerings. For example, since our inception we have focused on increasing curves – people thought I was crazy in the beginning, but I thought “if I need it, there are other people out there who also need it”. I think this is the prevailing attitude with entrepreneurs in the industry, meaning that you don’t have to create a brand that will take over the world…just focus on satisfying an untapped market. If there are more companies like Bubbles, everyone will be able to find the products they want or need in the marketplace.

(Q) When a woman thinks they need more control of an area, do you think they should go up or down a size?

K.J: Definitely not! This is a great question because the fact is that, especially when shopping online, people often do exactly this. Wearing the wrong size shapewear may result in the garment not functioning properly, an extremely uncomfortable fit, or product damage. Instead, look for a product that is described to do specifically what you need (ie: cinch the waist, slim the thighs, etc). And at LoveMyBubbles.com we encourage customers to follow on our size charts and customer comments about fit and sizing.

(Q) What is the most common mistake women make when trying to find the right shapewear?

K.J: Buying the “bestseller” rather than buying what is right for them. Bubbles pioneered the industry of booty-defining shapewear and in doing so we have spent these 13 years educating our customers on how to buy our shapewear. Not only choosing a garment size but choosing the type, thickness and width of booty padding can be a big challenge. This is why we produce product videos, offer an extensive FAQ on our website and offer very detailed descriptions of our products. Many of our customers study our website for ages before they finally buy! When in doubt, we encourage customers to call. Currently all of our Customer Service operators have 18 months up to 10 years experience advising customers on the right Bubbles for their needs.

(Q) Is it true that men are wearing shapewear now days?

KJ: Yes! We’ve heard them called “mirdles” which is my personal favorite. But our specialty is padded underwear for men. They are a very popular item for a wide demographic of men. The fact is that anatomically men have fewer fat cells on the gluteus maximus. So technically, they need padded underwear more than women do! We have a regular male customer who’s a doctor. He wears our “Jackpot!” padded boxer brief at work because he feels self-conscious about his sagging scrubs as his residents walk behind him during rounds.

(Q) Who can benefit from using Love My Bubbles?

K.J: After 13 years I still hear about new and creative uses for our products. It’s not just about looking better in a pair of jeans. It’s also about self-esteem or even comfort. We supply movie sets, photo shoots, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, plastic surgery offices, cancer centers, the theater, costumers, fashion designers, stylists, new moms, people who have experienced weight loss (intentionally or as a result of illness, medication, etc) and people sitting for long periods of time. I could go on and on!

Many years ago we received a note from a customer thanking us. She had lost a dangerous amount of weight as a result of stress during her mother’s bout with an illness. After her mother passed she was not going to attend the services for fear of what people would think of her appearance. She told us that wearing our products (to help her look as if she was a healthier weight), gave her the confidence to stand up in front of family and friends to give the eulogy. I never anticipated that our products would have this type of benefit or effect when we started out. But I’m so happy to know that we help people in so many different and unexpected ways.

(Q) For all of those shape wear enthusiasts reading this interview, what would you like them to know? What is next for the Love My Bubbles brand?

K.J: More original and creative shapewear solutions from Bubbles Bodywear! As our fiercely loyal brand ambassadors already know, Bubbles is a different kind of company. We’re not here to make and sell typical shapewear styles. We pride ourselves on innovation. We strive to serve markets that are otherwise ignored by bigger companies who require huge margins and a massive customer base to justify product development. Instead, we focus on our customer and a very different kind of bottom line!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Lingerie talk with Chad Horstman, CEO and founder of Yandy

Chad Horstman, CEO and
founder of Yandy.
Yandy offers some of the greatest lingerie and costumes in the world. Offering a huge selection, you can also find swimwear and clothing there too. With low prices, it is one of the most popular stores on the world wide web. Founded over a decade ago by Chad Horstman and his brother Evan, this world-renowned lingerie store started out in Horstman's garage in the heart of Scottsdale, Arizona and evolved into one of the biggest stores to hit the intimate scene. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with the man behind the brand, CEO and founder of Yandy, Chad Horstman. Here is what he had to tell me...

(Q) Thank you so much for speaking with me today. Yandy is such an amazing store to purchase everything from lingerie to costumes. I have to ask more about this amazingly underrated store and it's innovation. Tell me a little more about Yandy...

C.H: When we first started Yandy, we were solely a lingerie company. My brother Evan and I started Yandy in 2005 out of my garage in Scottsdale, AZ. I had a background in digital marketing and computer information systems and Evan had a background in supply chain management so we brought our diverse skill-sets together to create Yandy. We soon discovered that many of the lingerie manufacturers also manufactured costumes so that first Halloween we gave them a shot.

That's when business really started to boom. We recruited friends and family to help pack orders. My entire garage was filled and we eventually had to spill into my closets and spare bedrooms in order to house all of the merchandise. We were packing and shipping around the clock. We used all of our earnings from that first Halloween to purchase our first warehouse. From there, we expanded to an even larger warehouse a few years later. In 2012 we moved to our current, 35,000 square foot warehouse and we're packed to the rafters. In addition to offering lingerie and costumes, we also have a wide variety of clothing, dresses, swimwear, and club wear available.

(Q) What inspired you to create Yandy? Tell me a little more about the inspiration behind the brand...

C.H: It all began after I had a disappointing experience shopping for some lingerie for my then girlfriend. I started the lingerie hunt by going to an extremely well known and popular lingerie brand. I quickly discovered that the selection I found was small and there was a real lack of styles and options. It was also a really uncomfortable in-store experience overall. After that, I thought I might have better luck finding the right lingerie gift online, but when searching found the products that were carried on various lingerie sites were just as underwhelming as the lingerie I had looked at in person. My discovery and own frustration as a lingerie consumer is what then sparked the idea to correct this and offer a diverse selection of lingerie, at an incredible price point and in the privacy of your own home.

(Q) You offer a wide-range selection of lingerie, costumes, bras, panties, swimwear, clothing and shoes as well as, accessories. Currently, what are the most popular, best-selling items right now?

C.H: Our current top 5 products include everything from sexy to sweet including teddies and chemises and everything in between. They include the Unwrap Me Satin Bow Teddy, the Hollywood Chemise Set, the Victorian Lace Bustier and Thong, the Elegant Bra with Garters and G-String Set, and the Faux Leather Venice Lace Corset.

While we make sure our staples, like these top sellers, are always available, we are constantly adding new on-trend products into our assortment every season. This spring we will be unveiling our very own private bra label featuring many of the top trends for Spring like soft pastel, candy-colored pieces.

(Q) That is amazing. I noticed that Yandy's prices are the best on the web.

C.H: Thanks! It’s nice to hear that feedback from an avid lingerie lover. Price is something that is very important to us. Although price is always of high relevance in retail, I think that with lingerie it’s especially significant since lingerie isn’t typically worn as an everyday wardrobe item. At Yandy you can purchase stylish lingerie sets that are high quality and on-trend at less than half the cost of major lingerie retailers.

(Q) When is Yandy the busiest?

C.H: We are typically the busiest the week before Halloween, the week before Christmas and the week before Valentine’s Day. But lingerie sells year round and with our upcoming 2016 swimwear launch and private label bra line, we expect to have really explosive growth all year long.

(Q) The bustier and corset debate continues. What is the real difference between a corset and a bustier?

C.H: Good question. Both items date back quite far historically. The main difference is actually in the overall intent of the bustier versus the corset. Bustiers were designed with the purpose of accentuating a woman's bust line and cleavage, whereas corsets were made to provide definition and a slimming effect to a woman’s waist and hip area. Corsets tend to be much tighter and are made to be more confining than bustiers based on their purpose of creating a well-defined hourglass shape when worn.

(Q) If someone is searching or hosiery, where should they start?

C.H: On the Yandy website of course! In all honesty, when shopping for hosiery, like with lingerie, bras and other undergarments it's all about the fit, material quality and with hosiery, durability. We look for hosiery that has great elasticity and stretch built-in. We provide a great selection of hosiery and our sizing charts are very accurate unlike other brands I’ve seen that are all over the map with sizing and measurement recommendations. Our customer service is fantastic and very knowledgeable about our product and helps guide customers through picking the best size and the desired fit that they are looking for when it comes to hosiery, as well as the thousands of products we offer.

(Q) I absolutely love the concept of Club Yandy. It is the lingerie version of Birchbox and Ipsy. For those individuals reading this interview, can you explain what Club Yandy is and who it benefits?

C.H: Thank you! We are actually getting ready to unveil a new and improved Club Yandy and we are very excited about what it will offer our current Yandy loyalists and all of our potential new Club Yandy members. We created Club Yandy for any woman who loves collecting lingerie and feeling sexy. We wanted a program that was extremely affordable and still offered the best on-trend lingerie sets at a fraction of the cost each month. Every month, club members receive a lingerie set typically retailing for between $20 - $40 for up to 60% less. Besides the great savings, Club Yandy provides a fun surprise element to the shopping process too and now it will be delivered to each member in our new packaging that we are very excited to add to the program. We’ve also added a lot of additional perks like birthday and seasonal gifts and great birthday savings the week of your birthday.

(Q) If someone loves pinup, retro, vintage and burlesque lingerie, can they find something at Yandy?

C.H: Yes, we have an entire category dedicated to popular burlesque styles that features over 100 unique items. Also many of our looks throughout all of our categories are based on pinup and retro lingerie. Burlesque lingerie for instance. Classically sexy styles are something that we use as inspiration at Yandy!

(Q) I would love to know, what do you think of the diversity in the lingerie industry?

C.H: I think diversity in the lingerie industry is currently changing. More lingerie brands are now including products for a broader range of body types. Yandy has always been ahead of this trend. We are proud to have a very extensive line of plus size lingerie that includes nearly 2,000 unique styles, more than any of our competitors. Today, a lot of competitors are beginning to feature smaller lines catering to plus size women within their overall product mix, probably because plus size now accounts for an ever increasing amount of retail spend. I always felt that it was important to have a highly diversified selection of lingerie for all body types from petite to curvy.

(Q) The big question is - why should one choose Yandy?

C.H: Yandy carries the largest selection of quality made lingerie that you’ll find at the prices that seem hard to believe. We carry lingerie in hundreds of colors and thousands of styles guaranteeing that whatever look a woman may be seeking she’ll find it with us. Another main reason to shop with us is that we make the experience easy, fun, enjoyable and always hassle free. Every aspect of the shopping process and areas within the company that facilitate it, from our website, to our customer service team, to our shipping and return policy was created to make buying lingerie the best possible experience for our customers. If we ever discover that something could be made better, we change it. I think our customers appreciate all of this and we have some really loyal fans including 1.5 million followers on Facebook.

(Q) For all those Yandy enthusiasts including women and lingerie lovers reading this interview, what is next for the brand? What is next for Yandy?

C.H: It’s important to us that we always stay innovative and fashion-forward when it comes to trends and what’s next for us. One fashion category expansion that we have coming up this spring is the launch of our Yandy private label bra line that will feature more of an “everyday sexy” selection that women can wear from day to night. Each piece within the collection is comfortable, versatile, very fashionable and also extremely affordable. We’re also very excited about our Summer 2016 swimwear line that will feature many new on trend and fashion forward styles.