ATTAIN THE IMPOSSIBLE
Last year I reached a milestone: my 14th year in business. As I glance back at the major business projects and personal relationships that helped to build ATTAIN, I marvel at the small stones (the trials and tribulations) that would have, could have, and should have caused one to doubt the journey of entrepreneurship. Instead of allowing them to trip me up, those stones have paved a path of determination, strength of character, and promise of future possibilities.
Entering into 2017, I've found powerful motivation from the iconic image and unforgettable words of one of my personal heroes, Muhammad Ali:
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Ali's fist was not only a representation of his strength and defiance; it was also a symbol of solidarity, support, and unity.
Re-imagined, it is a fist bump salute or a pound of respect and encouragement to those who continue to make inroads in the face of opposition.
In sharing the highlights of ATTAIN's 2016 projects, I want to take a moment to give a "fist bump" and recognize 16 of our clients, business associates, and Creative Heroes who inspired me with their own accomplishments last year. Continue to ATTAIN the Impossible in 2017.
ATTAIN's '16 POUNDS
Pound to DANNY SIMMONS, renowned abstract-expressionist painter, author, and oldest brother of “Rev Run” and Russell Simmons who opened Rush Arts Philly (RAP) gallery space on Sept. 3, 2016. The gallery is modeled after the New York City nonprofit organization, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (RPAF) that Simmons and his brothers founded in 1995. RAP mirrors the mission of RPAF and aims to support emerging artists by providing space for exhibitions and varied cultural programs for underserved communities. ATTAIN has had the honor of working with Danny and his producing partners in the development of his presentation marketing materials for his movie project Eighty-5, based on his novel Three Days as the Crow Flies.
Pound to HARMONY “H-Money” SAMUELS, the Grammy-nominated songwriter known for collaborations with Maroon 5, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Ciara, Chris Brown and Fifth Harmony. He introduced us to his new artist MAJOR who made a major debut with two singles — “Why I Love You” and “Keep On” featuring Kevin McCall. After a studio visit and listening session I can testify that H-Money has some musical heat we can look forward to for the Summer of 2017, including the forthcoming album from Rhyon Brown, who starred as Michel’le in the Lifetime movie Surviving Compton.
Pound to DIANN VALENTINE, the internationally acclaimed wedding mastermind, interior designer, and event production superwoman who continues to embody the dictionary definition of hustle. ATTAIN has had a longstanding working relationship with her company DVLW providing creative support services on various projects from Hennessy to Chris Paul to WeTV. In the summer of 2016, under her lead I witnessed her achieve the impossible for Nike Basketball Chicago — in her miraculous management and remounting of the Chi-League Basketball Classic with less than 30 days of production time. Simultaneously, Diann was planning the nuptials for Ray J and Princess, for broadcast on the new season of VH1 Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood while also co-executive producing and traveling internationally for a new show premiering in 2017. #theRealWonderWoman
Pound to JB SMOOTH, friend and fellow alumnus of Norfolk State University for his stand-out, scene-stealing, comedic roll in the 2016 Box Office hit “Almost Christmas,” a film by David E. Talbert. JB is returning in 2017 with more jokes as Larry David’s freeloading roommate Leon Black in HBO’s sitcom, Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Pound to ART SIMS, one of the few art directors of color who was given the opportunity to design some of the most iconic Hollywood movie posters for popular African American films. In 2016, his design work for Do the Right Thing was selected for the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s permanent collection. As a creative professional with 25+ years of experience, I’ve come to believe that knowledge is infinite so, I was honored by his interest in partnering with ATTAIN for future business opportunities in 2017.
Pound to ISSAE RAE, for her first Golden Globe nomination for her work on HBO’s Insecure which she produces, writes, and stars in. It was 2009 when I first met her at California African American Museum as a docent for the “America IAM” exhibit. At that time she was already in the early stages of producing webisodes for Misadventures of an Awkward Black Girl —the brainchild and essence of her popular cable TV series. I know I’m looking forward to the bingeing on the 2017 season.
Pound to MALCOLM STAPLES, President/CEO of Malcolm’s Custom-Made-to-Fit, a fashion company founded on the belief that men and women should look good in a suit that fits and accentuates their sense of style and purpose. Before business starts…before you shake hands...even before you reach for your business card… an impression is made – a fine tailored suit says everything. ATTAIN developed the brand label logotype that is stitched on the suits of his A-list clientele.
Pound to DAVID E. TALBERT, for addressing the need for more diversity in Hollywood and for continuing to giving the next generation of minority actors, writers, directors and producers an opportunity to see their dreams come true. In 2016, David launched the third installment of his Actor’s Workshop & Talent Search concurrently with the release of his highly anticipated movie, Almost Christmas, which premiered in theatres nationwide on November 11th. For over a decade, ATTAIN has provided creative support through art direction, design management, writing generation, and marketing consulting for Mr. Talbert’s brand, entertainment events, and various film projects. In 2017, Talbert will celebrate his 25th year in urban theater as a playwright with several collaborations that include an Actors Guidebook, a new BET series, and a highly anticipated stage play, which will tour nationwide, sponsored by AEG. www.davidetalbert.com
Pound to VALENTE FRAZIER, Emmy Award winning makeup artist, good friend, and fellow Alumnus of Norfolk State University. For years, Valente has toured the world working with A-list clientele including Tyra Banks, Iman, Rihanna, Anglea Bassett, and first lady Michelle Obama. In 2016, Valente embraced to his passions and talents in painting into abstract fine art. In 2017, we are anticipating his first gallery exhibitions.
Pound to RAMONA WRIGHT, serial entrepreneur, MojaMoja Innovation Fund manager and co-creator of the annual MojaMoja Brunch and Benefit Concert, a pop and international alternative music event during GRAMMY® Awards weekend. MojaMoja presents breakout artists like GRAMMY nominee Anderson .Paak and honors music industry icons who have included Nile Rodgers and George Clinton. All of the performers donate their time to raise awareness and funds for the MojaMoja Innovation Fund at Liberty Hill Foundation. The fund supports initiatives and nonprofits working with underrepresented, multicultural youth pursuing education and job preparedness opportunities in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM). ATTAIN has had the pleasure of providing brand consulting and design development services for this special musical event. Click here to watch a promo of last year's event celebrating women in music. Follow @themojamoja on Twitter and Instagram for ticket sales info about this year's event scheduled February 11, 2017.
Pound to Byron Ward, President/CEO of Central Coast Minority Enterprise Resource Affiliates (CCMERA). Mr. Ward envisions flourishing businesses in underserved communities of color along the California coast. He sought ATTAIN as a consulting partner to navigate the organization’s brand development. We produced several promotional networking events that accentuate CCMERA’s mission to bride the gaps between entrepreneurs, innovators, small businesses, and key supply chain decision makers. In 2017, CCMERA will host an inaugural awards gala to recognize people and companies that “help businesses do businesses.” www.ccmera.org
Pound to LELA CHRISTINE, CEO of Honey Nail Glam, Inc. an emerging new GREEN beauty brand company. Lela, a seasoned publicist and publisher of several online magazines, has worked with ATTAIN for a number of years on various marketing and design projects. Her love all things eco-conscious inspired her to develop a nail lacquer product that was both chemical and cruelty free. In the summer of 2016, she launched the Honey Nail Glam Signature “Color Therapy” Collection: 9 delectable nail polish lacquers with captivating, memorable names like, “Sugar Diamond”, “Crystal Couture”, and “Fashion Week.” The polishes are glossy, fast drying, last for up to 3 weeks with out chipping and provide a sweet, sensational smooth finish to each nail. There signature sweet cuticle oil is created with vitamin E, almond, safflower and essential aromatherapy oils that heal cuticles. Her fashion/beauty brand gained quick momentum and harnessed the interest of various media outlets and celebrities. In 2017, Lela will introduce new color collections of Honey Nail Glam. www.honeynailglam.com
Pound to CHRISTOPHER WRIGHT, owner of the Wright Design Group. In addition to being ATTAIN’s go-to senior freelance designers during crunch time on our major assignments, this past year I was proud to witness the tremendous creative growth and business development of his company. We got to work on some great portfolio projects such as, The Legacy Foundation’s, “My Little Black Dress” gala in Hartford, CT; rebranding the corporate identity for the The Ana Grace Project’s, “The Dance for Ana” fundraiser; as well as a CD packaging design for socialite soprano Mina Tulchinsky’s debut album, “All Heart” with listening party promotions at Capitol Records.
Pound to LORRAINE GANTT, for “owning her age.” By her looks and youthful energy, you would never guess she’s 64 years old. Lorraine’s become a motivational fitness instructor after a career of 40 years as a registered nurse. Her enthusiasm to create better lifestyle habits for herself using exercise came when she decided that she wasn’t going to be a victim to divorce, single motherhood, stress, smoking, and depression. With the help of ATTAIN, she launched “Own Your Age,” a 7-workout DVD fitness program to defy aging. We established the credibility of the OYA brand, built their social audience, community engagement, and generated leads to sell their flagship product. To quote Lorraine: “There are some things you can’t stop. You’re going to age, but you don’t have to get old. It’s not about getting older; it’s about getting better.” Visit her website at www.ownyouragefitness.com for more wisdom and inspiration.
Pound to Du$haun Thompson, for being fearless in the pursuit of his dream. In 2015, I was introduced to this talented Norfolk State University student who was a “quintuple-threat” - he could sing, rap, model, act, and dance his butt off! Shaun passionately expressed his desire to move to the West Coast upon graduation. His passion for his craft reminded me of my younger self so I provided as much support through mentorship and career guidance. The following summer, I got a phone call from Shaun telling me, “I’m here!” He packed up everything he owned and relocated to Los Angeles with only a mustard seed of faith that he would grow into successful career. With minimal resources, Shaun began doing street performances on Hollywood Blvd., Venice Beach, and Universal City Walk to earn money to support himself. Wisely, he used every opportunity to network and showcase his talent. His work is beginning to pay off as he has found representation, has begun working with several production companies, and can be seen in a few commercials and music videos.
Pound to SCOTT HAMILTON and VINCENT HOLMES, Co-Founders of Better Brothers Los Angeles. In 2016, the organization presented its second major gala event, “The Truth Awards” at the historic Ebell Theater in Los Angeles’ Wilshire District. The Truth Awards represents an unprecedented endeavor to highlight the contributions of the Black LGBTQ community and its allies. It provides financial support to youth pursuing college and vocational training. In 2017, ATTAIN will continue to help Better Brothers in its brand marketing efforts to highlight examples of courage and leadership, shifting the lens through which the LGBTQ community is seen and perceived. Follow @BbrothersLA on Twitter and @BetterbrothersLA on Instagram for ticket sales and information about this year's event, scheduled for March 11, 2017. www.betterbrothersla.com
ATTAIN 2016 PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS