GIRL BOSS SOPHIA AMORUSO Fashion Book Club: #GirlBoss By Sophia Amoruso + 5 Lessons Learned


Folks who start businesses are always writing books. It only seems like a logical step on the branding pole. But, when I found out that Sophia Amoruso, the lady boss behind vintage retail empire NastyGal was going to publish a book, I was so ready to read it…like in the galleys-read-it-read it. Here are some things I learned from Sophia…

1. “When you’re a sandwich artist, don’t live like a CEO”.

You probably know one of those people who act like they’re balling, and they’re really not…it’s just for show. To me this was the best advice ever…live beneath your means, and even when you get to CEO-level, live like you’re still a sandwich artist.

2. “Money looks better in the bank, than on your feet”.

How many times have you walked into Macy’s and Nordstrom and spent a whole month’s salary on a pair of shoes or a purse? This same purse can get torn, can get stolen, can get snatched by a greedy/entitled relative…and the shoes…well, things can happen. Money is best left in the bank, where you can get access to it on a rainy day.

3. Set clear boundaries.

Sophia mentions how she got overly friendly with a fellow employee, and made a between-us comment to her during a meal. This said comment came back to bite the #girlboss in the gluteus maximus. What I gathered from that was: watch what you say around people, and if you’re in a situation where you’re a figure of authority, know your place. I think that Sophia Amoruso’s humble nature was just misapplied in this situation. She wanted her employee to feel relaxed around her; she wanted her employee to feel that she (Sophia) was “one of them”, but Sophia wasn’t! She’s the #girlboss

4. “Embrace your inner weirdo”.

Some of us aren’t made for the corporate world. We aren’t made for traditional careers, and that’s okay. We’re getting to the point where what our parents and grandparents did may not necessarily work in our lives and careers.

5. Don’t forget to treat yourself.

Sophia Amoruso gifted herself a shiny Porsche. Yay, for her. But keep in mind that when you treat yourself, you must be in a financial position to do so!

Melissa Bonzant Photo

How I Became A Celebrity Manicurist—The Melissa Bozant Interview

You know you’ve got it as a celebrity manicurist, when no less than Lady GaGa has you do her manicures. Melissa Bozant is the celebrity manicurist in question. She’s given Lady GaGa Dracula-eerie nails. She’s given Jennifer Hudson French manicures for a magazine cover. And she was the one who polished the beautiful hands of Jessica Simpson for a magazine layout. When Kim Kardashian is getting the Cosmopolitan cover, the beauty editors at the publication can think of no one more qualified than Melissa to pretty up Kim’s mani.

Read on, dearest glamniacs, to see how she got her start, and how her career has shot up ever since.

Melissa Bonzant Photo

Glamniac: Who gave you your first nail polish bottle?

My grandmother. It was clear by Sally Hansen when I was 8 years old. I used to polish her nails.

Glamniac: When did you seriously start looking at being a manicurist as a career?

When I started working at Burke Williams after training with massage therapists and creating the experience for clients, I feel more in love with the Art of Spa Time.

Glamniac: Kindly take us through a day in the life of Melissa Bozant, celebrity nail and manicure artist.

I start with my morning 5:00 am journal [and light up] my pages with a candle. I focus on praying and thinking. I start with my inspiration board for future shoot’s and event’s. I plan events and theme parties weekly.

Glamniac: Your motto is: “Never Give Up On Your Greatness”. Towards the beginning of your career, how did you handle the downs, the hurdles and such?

There were times I wanted to throw in the towel, but I wasn’t going to give up on something I did naturally. I focused. Created a new way and re-created myself. I’ve always been a teacher. This came easy and became a passion to help young artists [and keep] creative energy [from going] to waste. There’s an artist inside everyone.

Lady GaGa

Glamniac: Your list of clients range from movie stars like Angelina Jolie, Eva Mendes and Gabrielle Union to music stars such as Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson, and Sheryl Crowe. What’s the secret to building such a great celebrity clientele?

Being patient. Always be Continue reading

Celebrity Manicurist Gina Eppolito

How I Became A Celebrity Manicurist–The Gina Eppolito Interview

Hey glamniacs! Today’s interviewee is celebrity manicurist Gina Eppolito. Guess who calls on her when they’re looking for the perfect manicure? Folks like Thalia, Tina Fey, Eva Mendez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kelly Ripa, Julia Roberts, Glenn Close, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Drew Barrymore. And she’s given the guys shiny nails too, even the ones with the tough-guy images—Al Pacino, Michael Douglas, Tommy Mottola, Paul McCartney, Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill. But someone doesn’t just wake up one day and gets this stellar client roster…Gina has worked as hard as nails (cute simile, or no?) to get to where she is.

Celebrity Manicurist
Above: Gina Eppolito, Celebrity Manicurist gives great manicures and good profile too. Continue reading

Fallon Mercedes

Interview With Fitness Queen and Trainer Fallon Mercedes

Fallon Mercedes

Bet you’ve sat there and wondered about fitness experts and trainers. Admit it. You probably think that they eat celery and asparagus all day and that they sleep with weights under their pillow. And that all the TV screens in their house is set to a fitness channel. Celebrity fitness trainer and reporter Fallon Mercedes probably does some of these things, but if she did, who would blame her? She is the owner of Fit With Fallon, her own fitness and training firm, and regularly appears on TV as a fitness expert. She has to practice what she preaches, no?

Glamniac: Were you the type of kid who was really into fitness growing up…the type who would do forty jumping jacks when the teacher asked for twenty?

I so was! [Laughter] I was so hyper that my parents had to put me in gymnastics to help me get all of my energy out. There are home videos of my family hanging out at the house on a Saturday morning. My sister and brothers are watching TV or cooking and I am the only one outside working
out—trying to practice for my next gymnastics meet.

Glamniac: How did you get interested in taking things professionally?

Well, I went to school for broadcast journalism. When I graduated I had a difficult time finding work as a reporter, so I started using my spare time to workout. I lost over twenty pounds, then started helping my family and friends lose weight and I decided to become a trainer.

Glamniac: What goes into a day in the life of Fallon Mercedes, fitness coach?

I like to call myself a “fitness reporter”. I do train private clients part time, but my passion really is interviewing and reporting about athletes and celebrities and their health and fitness regimens.

Fallon Mercedes In The Gym
Glamniac: “You have to look the part.” That’s a piece of advice that’s given to career professionals in certain fields. The beautician’s makeup and hair has to be on point. The fashion stylist has to look well put together. The English teacher’s grammar has to be no less than flawless. And of course a fitness coach has to be and look fit. How do you personally stay fit?

I workout, but I have to be conscious of what I eat as well. This, to me, is the hardest part—looking the part. But, I love the fact that I am comfortable in my own skin. I am half-Dominican, so I am curvy. I do not down play my curves at all. I embrace them! I am not skinny, but I am still fit. I feel like a real woman, and I think that is why a lot of people identify with me. You don’t have to look like a model to be fit and healthy.

Glamniac: Do fitness magazines play a role in your work?

Yes! I get lots of great ideas and things to report on from Magazines. I am obsessed with Oxygen magazine. I enjoy fitness websites as well, like You can see real people and their stories and body transformations. They give great examples of workouts and meal plans.

Glamniac: And what about sports and fitness related shows?

I love to watch ESPN and Dr. Oz. There are no real set fitness shows out there other then workout DVD’s etc. I plan to change that in the near future.

Glamniac: What sort of measures do you take to stay knowledgeable about what’s going on in your field?

I am always exploring new grounds. Trying new classes and products. I love acupuncture! It such an ancient chinese practice, but still is used today. They even have weight loss Acupuncture. I also love Crunch gyms Anti gravity yoga. It’s a yoga class where you are suspended in the air in sheets.

Fallon Mercedes Weight Loss
The best testimonial of all…Fallon Mercedes’ Before and After.

Glamniac: There’s physical fitness, and there’s mental fitness.

The greatest athletes, and people who are in amazing shape, you know they are not just physically fit but mentally fit. It’s starts in the mind. If you think you can, you can. When your body gives up, it’s your mind that says one more rep and pushes your body. That’s where champions are made. In the mind, it’s a mind set.

Glamniac: Word of mouth goes a long way in building a client base, but so does social media.

Social media is amazing! It’s one of the greatest platforms we have to date for networking. I have met so many amazing people, and have been blessed with great job opportunities because of social media.

Glamniac: What advice would you give to someone who’s looking into making fitness coaching a career?

If you’re passionate about it, do it. Start with getting certification as a trainer. Then, figure out what field of training you want to go into. Decide what your long term goal is. Maybe it’s to have your own gym etc.

Glamniac: Do you have some tools that you favor in terms of helping others look their best?

Put in the work, and have discipline. There is no magic pill to this.

Glamniac: Now, workout wear is a big deal with you or not?

Yes! I love funky workout clothes. It does not improve your performance, but it can improve your self-esteem if you look good and feel good, then perhaps have a better workout. Again it’s all mental.

Glamniac: Sometimes when a previously physically unfit person becomes fit, mentally he or she still may have a bad self-image. How can a sense of balance be maintained where this is concerned?

I think it’s important to work on the inside as well as the outside. A lot of times, people can do the work on their own, but they have a trainer to coach them thru it all. To push harder physically and mentally. That’s why Jillian Michaels is a beast! She will break you down and build you back up, stripping away that negative image you may have of yourself building a new one, while you body is physically changing on the outside.

Glamniac: How are you planning on growing your brand?

I plan to produce a health and fitness talk show one day. That’s the goal! The Oprah of Fitness. In the meantime, I will continue to do interviews, reports and workout using social media, and my website FitWithFallon.


Fashion Boutique Profile

Fashion Boutique Owner Interview: Sara Zamikoff of Miami’s Emporium Boutique

Fashion Boutique Profile

Emporium is where Miami’s trendiest go when they need a unique outfit to where to an event. And you all know Miami…everyone has to always outdo someone else, and Emporium is the place to go if you want to outdress your peers and leave the mouth of haters agape. Sitting on the cobblestoned Ponce de Leon Street, Emporium offers lots of one-of-kind pieces for the picky dresser who can’t afford to be seen in just any little old thing. Hello!

Glamniac reached out to Sara Zamikoff, the owner and curator of the Miami hotspot, for the gratification of all you lovely glamniacs.

(Co-)Owner: Sara Zamikoff

Boutique Location: Coral Gables (Miami, FL)

Glamniac: How did you get your start in the fashion industry?

I have always loved fashion! When I was 15 I lived in Nice for a summer, and I was so inspired by the innate style that French women just radiate. I was fascinated by the way they were able to make things look so chic. Ever since that summer I’ve been passionate about fashion, and developed my own style that was different from what everybody else was doing. I knew that I wanted to be a business owner and work for myself, and when I started looking at different business models my friends and family really pushed for me to open a boutique. It kind of just clicked and made perfect sense.

Glamniac: Take us through a day in your life as a fashion entrepreneur….

There’s no typical day for me, which is part of what Continue reading

South Florida Restaurant

My Eating Adventures: Café Emunah, Fort Lauderdale

Café Emunah

Café Emunah. 3558 N. Ocean Boulevard| Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308 954.561.6411| Kosher Dairy Restaurant under ORB Supervision |Wi-Fi available. Web: | Open Sunday-Thurs 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. | Open Saturday, 1 hour after sunset until midnight

I wanted to eat something healthy, and the name Café Emunah came up.

As I drove down the pre-rush hour traffic down Oakland Park Boulevard, I didn’t try to picture what the interiors of the place would be like or nothing. I was too busy looking at the street numbers, and making sure I didn’t miss 3558 N. Ocean Boulevard.

Now, if you drive down A1A a great deal, and you’re a law-abiding citizen like I am, you know U-turns are mostly forbidden—all the more reasons to take heed of building numbers.

So, if you’re heading from I95 North, and get off Oakland Park, know that Café Emunah is just a few blocks away, after you’ve made that left turn on N. Ocean Boulevard.


I found a parking space right away—a rare thing for walk-to-the-beach types of establishments, like Café Emunah, so of course I was really grateful. The minute I walked in the door, I was met with Chris, one of the employees, who flashed me a nice smile, and made me feel like he was expecting me, when he hadn’t really.

South Florida Restaurant Menu

Looking at their menu, I couldn’t decide what to order. Everything sounded so yummy and so healthy…whether it was their Emunah Salad, which comes with walnuts, candied ginger, red pepper, radish, cucumber and mango—or their wahoo tataki which comes with jalapeno, red onions, along with sesame seeds with a little bit of ponzu sauce thrown in. They serve shrimp, but it’s imitation shrimp…otherwise it wouldn’t be kosher, would it?

Cafe Emunah

That’s Chris (left), who served me what Chef Greg (not pictured) had prepared for me. And that’s Annette Lipszyc, the manager to his right. Aren’t their smiles cute?


My Restaurant Adventure…

Well, this is what I decided on…the Continue reading


Erika Degraffinreaidt: How I Became A Fashion Stylist


Above: French Vedette founder Erika Degraffinreaidt strikes a pose.

Hey glamniacs! Have I got a treat for you…an interview with fashion stylist and creative director Erika Degraffinreaidt, also known as the stylish maven behind the avant guard styling firm French Vedette.

“French Vedette” is the English equivalent of the words “French star” and, how appropriate is this name. Erika Degraffinreaidt captures the Hollywood glamour of golden eras of the past. In styling the model Elmira for a fashion shoot, Degraffinreadidt puts her client in a sweeping gown of fair tale proportion—a dash of tulle, sweeping wings and lots and lots of elegance.

Growing up in Barlett, a suburb in the north of Chicago, Degraffinreaidt was much more into fashion than the average school girl. She solidified the relationship with clothes by attending Chicago’s International Academy of Design and was awarded her BA in Fashion Merchandising Management four years ago. The goal-digger wasted no time in establishing French Vedette.

Growing up, fashion-wise I was definitely the awkward kid I would say that my since of style even at a very young age was a bit eclectic. I knew that whatever I wore I had to make it different from others, whether it was cutting or layering pieces on top of each other it just had to be different and that it was. Many people didn’t understand my style and I did get made fun of but I always kept to what made me happy and confident not depending on the opinions of others. I would say it prepared me and helped shape me into the person that I am today.

The idea of being a fashion stylist first appealed to me when…I was in college and during my internship for a Los Angeles eco-friendly designer. To tell you the truth, I didn’t know what a fashion stylist was until I was a junior college. The designer that I was interning for asked me to come to her shoot to style and after researching all I knew was that as a stylist you put together outfits (which is totally not just what you do), but during that time that’s what I thought it was so that’s what I did. Long story short, the designer and photographer loved how I put things together and the end result is that my very first photo shoot ended up in a national magazine…and the rest is history!

_DSC1555 copy

My first break….to tell you the truth I couldn’t really pin point on what was truly my first big break! I’m definitely very humbled and honored that the many magazines, photographers, designers, bloggers, etc..have taken the time to work with me and has contributed to my success and for all of this I’m forever grateful! Continue reading


7 Questions With Eyewear Designer Edward Beiner

Eyewear design king Edward Beiner landed in the industry quite interestingly. Beiner was going to enroll in college at a university in Toronto and was undecided as to what he wanted to study. Then inspiration came his way! He bumped into an optician and immediately took a liking to the crossing of retail and medical. Then it hit Beiner: why not combine a “need” product with a “want” product and mold that into a career?
This led to the genesis of Edward Beiner Eyewear: smart, trend-conscious, and functionable eyewear. Beiner’s irresistible designs are staples at many a design shows, including Mercedes Benz Swim Week, and clients rush to his boutiques in Palm Beach and Miami. Celebrities like Miami-vacationing Rihanna, and Miami Heat star Dwayne Wade, and Lewis Hamilton are among the celebs that have used Beiner’s stylish hater blockers.

Beiner keeps innovating, and with his eyewear customization and personalization program, he’s pushing the boundaries in the industry. His creation Ottica Su Misura—which means Optical made-to-measure—was developed to give customers unique fitting options, while keeping in tune with their lenses prescription.


Glamniac: Once you decided that eyewear design was something you really wanted to do, what steps did you take to make your vision come alive?

I always had and entrepreneurial spirit, and early on dove into every aspect of the industry. In order to become a 30 year “overnight success”–I always tell people—it Continue reading


The Owner of Shop Risqué Tells You How To Run An Online Fashion Boutique


Don’t think that Gessica Chevry is exaggerating when she tells you that she grew up surrounded by fashion. Her grandmother Anne-Marie Michel was a top seamstress and she—along with Chevry’s great-aunts—were downright fashionable types. Granny Michel bequeathed her sense of style to her daughter—Chevry’s mom. And on the paternal side, the fashion scale was pretty much in balance, with Chevry’s paternal aunt always killing the fashion game, and giving her lots of indirect pointers about the role of jewelry in making an outfit spark.

Chevry nurtured all her fashion-related memories to create her own online boutique Shop Risqué. A Shop Risqué shopper can expect to find flashy spiked necklaces to attention-snatching tops. For the fashionista who wants to go all out, Chevry has flashy wrist chains, and oh, thigh chains, and shiny knuckle rings. What fashionistas like about shopping on Shop Risqué is that they can do more than virtual window shopping. They can actually log on, and get an entire outfit for less than $75, and still come up with an envy-inspiring get-up for work, for the clubbing scene, or for a romantic night out.

But okay, glamniacs, let’s talk to Ms. Chevry and her ecommerce creation Shop Risqué.

Glamniac: Who taught you how to dress?

It’s kind of a combination of influences. I have to give credit to my mom for teaching me about colors! She’s the master of basic, classic tones and would spice up her wardrobe with only a few pops of color. My grandma really taught me the freedom of expression through clothing. I would find pictures in her fashion magazines or dressmaker, sewing catalogs she had for clients and modify my picks to exactly what I wanted. In a matter of days my dress, pajamas or anything i could think of creating would come to life. That was just amazing to me! My sister Carlisha was the person to tie it all together. We’re about 3 years apart, so growing up, we were always together and almost always dressed the same. Being the oldest, she hated it of course, but all of my happiness lied in dressing alike and having identical toys! Fast forward a few years, and the roles were reversed; she would dress me up in her outfits and take me to parties with her. Though I didn’t show it so i could look cool, I was super excited to be amongst the teenagers. [Laughter] I don’t think I’ll ever have a better shopping partner!

Glamniac: How did the idea for Shop Risqué take shape?

I’ve known I wanted to be a business owner for as long as I can remember. I might Continue reading


Life of A Wardrobe Stylist: Leslie Arnelle

Welcome back to another segment of Glamniac’s Life of…series. Today’s person of interest is Leslie Arnelle. As one of the most popular trendsetters in the Washington, DC-area, the Wardrobe Stylist-Photographer-Boutique Owner has worked with NBC, MTV, and Fox affiliates in perfecting the complexion of male and female clients. When she’s not working with makeup palettes, she’s volunteering with Bread for the City, a non-profit initiative that supports abused and disadvantaged populations.

Like many other enterprising wardrobe stylists, she’s delving in other avenues. There’s the Leslie Arnelle boutique which sells trendy fashions to fashionistas who want to know what’s the newest thing is…yesterday! There’s the Leslie Arnelle newsletter, that the style conscious quickly sign up for. They all want to know what Leslie Arnelle knows.

Here she is, discussing her work.

Glamniac: How did you get started in fashion styling?

I knew since I was in elementary school that I wanted to be in the entertainment industry. I grew up with a mom who loved glamorous people such as Diana Ross and who watched shows like Dallas where everyone seemed to be fabulous. I guess in some sense I thought if I too were glamorous I would make her happy. So on the journey of trying to make my mom happy I discovered that I was multi-talented and believe it or not that was also my downfall. I wasted too many years trying to figure out which talent to use. The more I tried to limit myself to one talent the longer it took for me to step out on faith and be who I am today. Although I am nowhere near what I believe for myself, I do believe that I am on the right path. So to answer your question, after fighting myself for so many years, I stepped out on faith. I went downtown here in DC and registered my business and from there everything just started falling into place. I had no guidance and no help from anyone that I reached out to, so I decided Leslie Arnelle would be all my talents rolled into one.

Glamniac: On a typical Monday, what goes into running Leslie Arnelle?

Now after many years of mistakes I’ve learned to be more organized. Mondays entail [everything from] bookkeeping to making cold calls to possible clients.

Glamniac: One of the things that fashion stylists say time after time is that one does not have to have a lot of money to have a decent wardrobe. Do you share that philosophy?

A wise closet entails key pieces and statement shoes and accessories. You can wear the same outfit for one week straight without anyone noticing if you have key statement shoes and accessories.


Glamniac: You run an online fashion boutique as well. How do you balance the demands that come with both?

I have a vision board that breaks down my entire schedule as a photographer, stylist and boutique owner. It was never in my DNA to be talented at just one thing. If ever I am limited ,I am not being true to myself.

Glamniac: What would you say to a newbie who’s pondering on building multiple beauty brands, as you’ve done?

My advice is to first believe in yourself. Second, have a plan—and third—be humble because you will get rejected more than accepted in the beginning.

Glamniac: Some think of fashion as being a shallow industry. But plenty of beauty industry people such as yourself prove otherwise. You work with a non-profit, Bread for the City. Tell me more about that.

I light up whenever I hear the name Bread for the City. I was at my lowest when I found Bread for the City. Bread helped me feed my children at a critical point when I had no money for groceries and for that very reason I feel as if I owe them for a lifetime. When I got to a place in my life where I knew I would be able to commit to an idea I had to give back to this wonderful organization, I pitched an idea and Bread loved it. Now in the NW and SE location the Leslie Arnelle “Live Well . Live Fabulous” Giveaway takes place every month once a month for 6 years now. The giveaway simply gives a fabulous gift card to one lucky person in each location every month. The giveaway was created to simply give hope to the people in their program. A reward for not giving up and to experience delicious eats and treats that they never have thought they would experience.


Glamniac: That’s really awesome. TJ Maxx, MTV, NBC, and Fox are all on your client list. How can those starting out build such an impressive list of clients?

I too wondered how do people get on TV and get invited to exclusive fashion events. I will say this again no one wanted to help me. Maybe they saw a threat or maybe they simply did not want to help. My advice is first get a website and business cards. Watch the credits of movies and your favorite shows and call the studio of where the film or show takes place and ask until you get the information of the right person and you go from there. Last, find an upcoming photographer and a model and create a portfolio of your work. From there, you can be very successful as long as you continue to perfect your craft and remain professional.

Glamniac: What are some of your favorite brands?

I love Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Miu Miu, Prada, Eli Saab and the list goes on.


Glamniac: What do you like about them?

What my favorite brands all have in common are great structure and craftsmanship to their label.

Glamniac: How do you stay current on all aspects of the field?

I’m always on the blogs. I follow fashion bloggers, watch shows regarding fashion and I subscribe to a few fashion mags.

Glamniac: Have you made some errors towards the beginning of your career?

Wow, in the beginning I was all over the place. As I’ve said before being multi-talented can work for or against you. I almost ended Leslie Arnelle many of times because I simply lacked direction.

Glamniac: How did you deal with them?

Today, I’m finding success because I’ve earned that every single one of my talents work hand in hand. For example, when I shoot a model my styling and items from Leslie Arnelle are used. It’s nothing like figuring out your purpose. I would not be the brand that I’m growing into without the mistakes and disappointments.

Visit Leslie Arnelle’s Website | Check Leslie Arnelle out on Facebook |