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8-year-old Makenzie Bradford, fashion designer Oonarissa Bernard, SwagHer magazine publisher Francheska Felder, and Bayou Cafe owner Frank Brown
8-year-old collects 1,000+ items to MAK-e It Happen for women’s shelter
When 8-year-old Makenzie Bradford decided she wanted to do something special for others, she didn't know how much she could truly do. So, she wrote a script and recorded a short video for her family. "Help me help others for those in need at the women's shelter," she said.
"I am proud of her intentional and thoughtful efforts to help others," said her mother, Charlaya. "Mak was resolved to MAKe It Happen."
The third-grader’s goal was to provide toiletries for women and children in a Baton Rouge center before the holidays. For two weeks, Bradford collected enough funds to purchase three boxes packed with hundreds of toiletries and special hygiene items for the center. After making her special delivery earlier this month, Bradford videoed her thanks to everyone for helping to "make the world a better place."
"We are thankful to our family and friends for supporting her goal," said Bradford’s mother. "I'm sure she'll have more brilliant ideas, like this one, in the near future."
Get Ready New York! Baton Rouge native Oonarissa Bernard is poised to make history during Fashion Week
For the third year, Oonarissa Bernard has been selected by the Fashion Gallery of New York to showcase new fashion designs during New York Fashion Week. In February 2019, she debut her womenswear line as an Emerging Designer, April 2019 as a Collective Designer at New York Bridal Fashion Week, and recently in September 2021 as a Pret-a-Porter Designer. Next February, the Baton Rouge native will return to New York as Pret-a-Porter Menswear Designer to produce high-end fashion garments for men. She will debut the DoubleOSeven by OonaNicole menswear line with high-profile models.
Historically menswear has been presented by male designers from London and Russia. Bernard said she will make history at the 2022 Fashion Week as the only Black female designer creating and showcasing menswear.
"There are no African-American female menswear designers in the USA. I've done the research for years," she said. "I'm literally going to be making history."
In the fashion industry, designers are responsible for their production costs for their brand. So, OonaNicole supporters who want to be a part of this historical occasion are contributing online at https://gofund.me/5fcb0d50.
Local publisher Francheska Felder launches ‘The Higher South’ newsletter, Bayou Cafe granted US Trademark
Francheska Felder, has launched The Higher South newsletter on Facebook Bulletin to illuminate Black American life and news in the Southern states. The newsletter which she launched in August celebrates the South and all the culture and beauty that it holds despite the pain that it also bears. Fender said the newsletter's name is inspired by the words of community activist Gary Chambers who used the motto, “Let’s go higher,” during his Congressional campaign last year. "We asked ourselves how we can inspire and make an impact with those around us, those closest to us, our community? We came up with showing those we care about just how beautiful and brilliant we are." As publisher of SwagHer magazine, Felder is not new to publishing empowering lifestyle stories. Higher South will include weekly news from Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Texas, and the Carolinas that the SwagHer Magazine and Media Team writes and Felder curates.
The Southern University Law Center Technology & Entrepreneurship Clinic has successfully obtained federal trademark registration on behalf of the local landmark, the Bayou Café. Owner Frank Brown graduated from Scotlandville High School and Southern University and A&M College. The Vietnam veteran opened a chicken wing shop before acquiring ownership of the Bayou Café in 2000 which remains a place for delicious and flavorful Louisiana cuisine. Brown has announced plans to retire and pass ownership to charitable use with Bayou Kitchen, a local nonprofit. Brown initiated a training program in tandem with Bayou Kitchen to provide career paths for at-risk youth in culinary arts and business management. Bayou Kitchen will teach at-risk youth how to manage a restaurant at all levels.
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