Monday, June 16, 2014

Featured Vendor: DVus Photography

I had the opportunity to interview Atlanta, Georgia based photographer Val of DVus Photography! I  learned so much about her passion for photography.

"We want to help people to let out their alter egos." - Val

Clarissa:  How long have you been a photographer?

Val: I’ve been doing photography for the past 8 years. I remember I used to take my parents camera all the time and upset them. When I graduated high school my sister bought me my first camera and I remember having over 1000 pictures in the first day.

Clarissa: When did you launch your business?

Val: I decided that I wanted to branch out and do my own
business about 6 months ago. I had spent so much time working for other
companies and I really wanted to branch out and do my own thing and have
freedom of creativity. I asked my friend Destini if she would join me and she
said yes and we’ve been growing the brand successfully since then. 


" My favorite part of being a photographer is being able to be the fly on the wall for someone else’s life." - Val 

Clarissa: Where did you get the inspiration from in terms of
naming your business?

Val: Destini and I took weeks combing and brainstorming through different names and one day DVus just came to me. She’s the “D”, I’m the “V” and together we’re “us”, giving you “DVus”.

Clarissa: What's your slogan....or your "Target " client? What type of client? Edgy? Traditional? Family?... Ect?

Val: We have many different slogans and catchphrases but our favorite is “Let’s be DVus.” We want to help people to let out their alter egos. We want people to step outside of the box and let themselves be freed from all of the stereotypes and judgments of the world. We want the girl with
no self-esteem to feel beautiful, the 40 year old mom of 5 kids to feel sexy
again, to capture the soft and sensitive side of the guy who stays in the gym
all day. We all have a side to us we keep guarded and hidden from society for
fear of what they might think of us. DVus is all about saying “who cares!” and
letting that part of you shine through. DVus is for everyone and everything!

Clarissa: What inspired you to become a photographer? 

Val: I’ve always had a fascination with the camera. The thing about a picture is that once you take it, that moment is gone forever. That millisecond of time will never occur again. Being able to take that moment and treasure it for all times is incredible. Photography is different from videography because it is so easily shared. No need for equipment or any devices. Print it out and pass it on to the world. Memories and videos are nice but photography has the potential to be everlasting.


"I’ve always had a fascination with the camera." - Val

Clarissa: How did you learn photography?

Val: I studied darkroom photography in school for 2 years. My teacher pushed me to learn digital but I always made my way back to the darkroom one way or another. After that I went on to work for the photography studio, Picture People. They opened me up to a world of different styles of photography. Here I learned all about the human body and how to make it look its best, how to pose subjects as well as create a good composition for the portraits and photo editing. After that I went on to work for a company doing newbornhospital photography. This really taught me to improvise. You can only work with what you have in the room already so you have to get really creative! I would literally have grandmothers removing their shirts so that I could use itas a backdrop, anything to get that perfect shot. Along with all of this I was always perfecting my craft in my free time. I was reading photography books, reading camera manuals to help me to understand my camera better and practicing any time I had the chance.

 "Booking a photographer is so important for life’s moments and events." - Val

Clarissa:  What are some new and upcoming happenings within
your business? Projects? What are some past projects you loved?

Val: Well DVus is branching out to as many people as possible.
Our next big project is actually a photo-shoot for 3 poverty based day-care
centers in South Carolina. I’m really excited because we will be helping the
schools to raise funds for their programs. I am also focusing on some product
shoots so that I can build up a really strong portfolio in that area. We are
also gearing up for prom and graduation pictures as well! One of my favorite
shoots that I’ve done was actually spur of the moment. A few days ago I was
photographing a newborn and his big brother was just so adorable and filled
with personality I told the parents that I would love to photograph him as well.
He was dressed up from church so I literally made a make shift backdrop out of 
some bed sheets and started taking his pictures! They turned out great!

Clarissa: Can you tell us the steps it takes to book your services?

Val: Booking a session with us is quite easy. You can always contact us through Facebook, email or phone. We suggest calling and booking about a month in advance but there are times where we can drop in some last minute appointment sessions. We will come out to almost any location in or around the Atlanta area and sometimes even further. We recommend everyone contact us and do a personalized consultation whether by email or phone since every session is unique.

 Clarissa:  What's your favorite part about being a photographer?

Val: My favorite part of being a photographer is being able to be the fly on the wall for someone else’s life. Being a photographer is all about capturing and commemorating the moments, good or bad, of someone else’s life. Having someone to invite me into such important and sometimes delicate or fragile moments of their lives is just breath taking. I couldn’t be more honored to have the opportunity to successfully get the job done.

Clarissa: Can you tell us how to keep in contact with you?

Val: The best way to keep track of what DVus is up to is by following us on
Facebook. We offer promotions and discounts on our FB page. You can also find us on Instagram at dvusphotography. Over the next few months we will also berolling out to other marketing venues as well as starting a newsletter showcasing all of our upcoming sessions and promotions.

Clarissa: Please leave some valuable advice to clients, and brides-to-be ( why it's
important to book a photographer) and why your services are unique?

Val: Booking a photographer is so important for life’s moments and events. Life should be about living. No one has time to stop and take a picture of every detail of their life when they’re
busy enjoying it. And no one should have to be left out of the picture because
they have to work the camera either. We’ve all seen that picture of mom with
the kids, while everyone’s wondering where dad was. That’s where we come in.
Let DVus be the one to take care of that. We will capture everything while our
clients enjoy their events, family and friends. Our services offer both posed
yet candid shots of events. We have personal relationships with our clients so
that we know what they value. That way we can capture what they find to be
important. Our services put our clients first, where they should be.

So whether its events, family, glamor shots, products or any other session, let us come capture you
being DVus.   

Photo Source: DVus Photography
By: Clarissa, The Sweetest Thing Events
Have a Sweet Day,

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Featured Vendor: Neon Fleur

I had the opportunity to interview  Artesia Rose, Owner of "Neon Fleur".  Her journey is really incredible, and facinating,  I cannot wait to share all the amazing happenings within her business!

"We're new, fresh and different and we try to produce items that cater to women with all sorts of styles and personal expression." - Artesia

Artesia's journey has led her to many places and they always point back to the arts, design and fashion. It's been a lifelong battle of personal discovery and self appreciation and we hope you join us in the movement to glow brighter and to glow better with each passing moment.

Clarissa:  How long have you been a Fashion Designer/Artist, and Jewelry designer?

Artesia: I have been an artist since I was a child and I started sewing when I was a young girl. I took summer classes in a program called "College for Kids" at Onondaga Community College when I used to live in New York. Between my time at the local college and home economics classes in middle school and high school, these were my first introductions into sewing. I guess one could say I've been an artist pretty much all my life. I remember doing this painting of a squirrel when I was in the 2nd grade and it turned out looking just like one! My parents did an excellent job at exposing my siblings and myself to the arts throughout my childhood. I'm a firm believer that creativity expands the mind to a different way of thinking and can bring about great personal discoveries of one's self. Also, alongside my older brother, I've participated in NAACP ACT-SO back in high school. In addition to sewing and jewelry making, I paint, draw and create props for photo shoots.

Artesia: But more professionally, I'd say within the past four years I've actually called myself a fashion and accessories designer.
Clarissa: When did you launch your business ?
Artesia: I officially started my company Neon Fleur on February 3, 2013

 Clarissa: Where did you get the inspiration from in terms of naming your business? 

People often ask, "How did you come up with the name Neon Fleur?" Quite simply it's personal story about family history and personal strength.
Neon: Stars glow in the midst of darkness. To shine brighter and brighter and being unapologetic for authenticity and individuality. We are all unique and we all have our own stories on this stage called life. Why not be yourself? Everyone else is taken.

Fleur: A rose, by definition, is a woody perennial of the genus Rose, within the family Rosaceae. Yes, family name it is. A name that traces back to New Orleans, Louisiana where Artesia's father was born and raised. Given the French influence on ancestry and her studies in high school and early college, the language of love will always follow her life path.

Clarissa: What's your slogan....or your "Target " client? What type of client? Edgy? Traditional? Ect?

Artesia: Our target client is a hip and trendy young adult female between the ages of 21-30. She likes to have fun and isn't afraid to let her style speak for herself. She decorates her apartment/home the same way she dresses herself for her daily outings. Bright and vibrant yet sophisticated and chic.
Clarissa: What inspired you to become a Fashion Designer/Jewelry Designer?

Artesia:  It's actually been a lifelong dream. I've always had a high interest for fashion design since I first discovered E! Fashion Files with Tim Blanks. That was my first true and real experience with discovering fashion. I guess I didn't realize all that time playing in my mother's closet and watching her put on make-up was considered fashion until I saw models strut down the runway on television. It all came together in that one instant of watching that television show.

"The mind is a powerful thing but once you apply your hands and your heart, the outcome is extraordinary." Artesia 

Clarissa: How did you learn and master your craft ( Education/Training, Mentorship, Self taught)!

Artesia: I'm a learner. I'm constantly seeking new ideas and processes to benefit my company as well as add to my personal growth. I've had a few professional fashion design experiences. I took a community education class at the SCAD Atlanta campus back in 2009. It basically was a crash course in fashion design basics which included how to make a mood board, to sketching, down to garment construction. Also, that same year my parents gave me the opportunity to participate in the Parsons Summer Intensive Studies for Fashion Design. It was a one month course where I received college credit for Fashion Illustration and Fashion Design Concepts. There wasn't really any sewing or garment construction involved in the lessons. Mostly the concepts of fashion design and a heavy focus on fashion illustration and fabric rendering. My time at Parsons opened up a whole new world for me as far as my knowledge of fashion was considered. I learned a lot about the NY Fashion District as I had to scout for fabric swatches at Mood Fabrics and window shopped at M&J Trimming. I bought high fashion magazines during my 1-month stay in the city. I discovered magazines at newsstands where one could only discover in a fashion capital.

As of more recently, I am currently enrolled in 3 classes on Craftsy.com thanks to my mom. I'm taking "Patternmaking Basics: The Bodice Sloper," "Patternmaking + Design: Creative Darts & Seam Lines," and "Patternmaking Basics: The Skirt Sloper." As clothing is my main goal with Neon Fleur, taking these online classes allows me to not only learn and develop my fashion design skills, but gives me the opportunity to keep my business running with current sale items. Also, I have a mentor Jenine Cotrice Addison that I call on for advice and help when needed. She's an excellent resource as she has years of industry experience.

 Clarissa: What are some new and upcoming happenings within your business? Projects? What are some past projects you loved?
Artesia: We just showcased at RAW Atlanta presents "MOSAICS" on 3.27.14 and we're participating in another showcase at RAW Charlotte presents "SPECTRUM" on 4.17.14 at Tremont Music Hall.

A past project that I absolutely loved was the first official Neon Fleur shoot with 4 models posing with the fabric necklaces. I had a lot of fun as I was able to collaborate with talented friends of mine and act as creative director. The vision came to life and I believe it shows in the pictures how hard and how well we worked during the entire process.

   Clarissa: Can you tell us the steps it takes to purchase your products, or utilize your services?
Artesia: All products can be purchased at www.neonfleur.com or etsy.com/shop/neonfleur. We do our best to keep inventory stocked with new and popular items.

   Clarissa: What's your favorite part about being a fashion designer/artist, and jewelry designer?  

Artesia: My absolute favorite part is being able to see the finished product. Of course the actual process of creating is exciting, but seeing an idea that was once in my head come to life in 3D form is the most rewarding part of it all. It's like they say, if you can dream it, you can do it ;) The mind is a powerful thing but once you apply your hands and your heart, the outcome is extraordinary.

 Clarissa: Can you tell us how to keep in contact with you? Email address, social media pages, website, phone, ect...

Artesia: You can reach us via e-mail at info@neonfleur.com. Otherwise, you can follow us on almost all social media outlets LOL. Instagram: @neonfleur, twitter: @neonfleur, http://www.facebook.com/neonfleur, http://www.pinterest.com/neonfleur, blog: http://trendfleurish.tumblr.com/, youtube.com/neonfleur (videos coming soon). Also, if you want to keep up with our events, visit http://www.neonfleur.com/events/ or scrolling to to the bottom of the neonfleur.com homepage and clicking "subscribe to our newsletter."

Clarissa:  Please leave some valuable advice to your prospective clients/customers. What makes your business unique?
Artesia: I believe Neon Fleur is unique because it doesn't look like everything else you see in fashion. We're new, fresh and different and we try to produce items that cater to women with all sorts of styles and personal expression.

  Clarissa: Give us a snap shot of what the day in the life of Neon Fleur is like?
Artesia: Everyday is different. Some days are updating neonfleur.com with new inventory and pictures. Some days involve shopping for fabric or supplies and organizing ideas. Some days are simply promoting on social media or coming up with creative ads to attract new fans. With being an artist and entrepreneur at the same time, it's all about balance. On one end you have to manage your business, on the other you have to create your business. It's only been 1 year in the making and there's so much more that is desired to be done. One day soon, I expect to hire an assistant to keep up with it all ;)

" I believe Neon Fleur is unique because it doesn't look like everything else you see in fashion." - Artesia

Have a Sweet Day!


Interviewer: Clarissa/The Sweetest Thing Events
Photo Credits: Neon Fleur