Good evening, fellow bloggers and readers,
It’s been a long time since I’ve touched based with you here. After two years as a law student and creative spirit, I decided to continue my entrepreneurial path at Nikkipanache.com. There, you will be able to witness my recent expansion of products that stretches beyond bow ties and catch a glimpse of my new interests at The NP.
The NP is my other blog that caters to young professionals. There, I discuss entertainment, music, and personal experiences. Additionally, I’ve begun blogging on intellectual property law suits. This is a recent addition since I’ve been added to the Law Review at my law school as an Associate Editor. Fun stuff. I assure you. However scholarly, I’ve tried to blog in manner in which makes the law interesting and easy to understand. I attempted to achieve this also by writing about subjects and topics that are hot in today’s world of fashion, music, and entertainment.
Besides being a law student and continuing my journey of building and branding an online boutique, I’m currently researching trademark tacking in preparation of a case note that could be published in Spring 2016.
I’m also working my way through a bar exam application. I swear that bar exam application asks for everything but a blood sample. I probably should send one in for good measure.
Nonetheless, this is my update on my life … my workings … and undertakings. And at this time, I invite you over to Nikkipanache.com to take a look at what I’ve been cooking up. Should you have any feedback, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me here: email@example.com.
Thanks for waiting so patiently … for my return thank you for visiting this website during my absence.
Oooh I love food! I do. And most times I try to hide it especially in social settings because it’s socially unacceptable for anyone to lick their fingers after finishing a basket of wings. It’s also unacceptable to moan and groan while slurping down a sundae … so they say.
Fortunately for me, #bloggersfeast permits me to enjoy my food in a real socially unacceptable way because the purpose is for us to review local eats, meanwhile, really enjoy the food. We eat and tweet all night.
Last Friday, I joined #bloggersfeast to break bread at Tupelo Honey Cafe of South End Charlotte. The food is so darn awesome. I’ve never been to a place where everything on the menu is excellent. I swore somebody’s grandma was in the kitchen whipping up honey wings and serenading over homemade banana pudding. And the blueberry preserves are heaven. It’s spreadable heaven for Tupelo’s homemade biscuits. It’s takes me back to my childhood where I spent my summers in the South, catching bees and licking stems from honeysuckle plants.
Tupelo is southern, and it is good!
Not only was the food delicious, but we were also in good company as Tupelo’s service is top-notch. Our server–Dawn–was charming and attentive. Good service is imperative, and Tupelo ranks high in quality service. The other patrons were very patient with us as we snapped foodie pictures and feasted on Tupelo’s entrees (as if it were our last meal).
Without further delay, here’s a highlight of what I feasted upon:
Fried Green Tomatoes over Goat Cheese Grits: If anyone knows Nikki P, they know that I love fried green tomatoes and goat cheese. I never thought about putting these two items together, but when I tried Tupelo’s app, it was a party in my mouth. I’ve had fried green tomatoes at other places in Charlotte, and I now prefer Tupelo’s fried green tomatoes, mainly because it’s served with goat cheese grits.
Sparkling Blueberry Punch: This is one of Tupelo’s freshly-made beverages made with handpicked blueberries and club soda (I think). It’s more than what I expected. This is a refreshing drink that isn’t packed with sugar. If Tupelo mixed this with vodka, it could be to the South what Limoncello is to Italy. Seriously.
Tupelo Wings: These are “Amen in the Morning” good. I don’t know where I got that phrase from; however, I think you get the point. Go on and say it: “Amennnn in the morning.” Tupelo’s wings are sticky and finger-lickin good. Yes I moaned and groaned eating these bad boys. The meat is tender and cooked to perfection. The skin had the right amount of season. I strongly recommend these for lunch or happy hour.
Tupelo Biscuits & Blueberry Preserves: Sweet intermission. While our eats were a-cooking, we enjoyed biscuits made from scratch, seasoned with pepper accompanied by blueberry preserves. These were so good that I ordered a to-go box of ’em.
Tupelo’s Crab Cakes: These crab cakes are more meaty than they are breading. It’s a must for all of you Northerners out there who love Maryland crab cakes but have yet to find a substitute here in the South. Give it a try! I think you might consider this a close second to what you’ve grown accustomed to while in the North.
Tupelo’s Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf: I’m so glad @YBBGBlog ordered this, so I could have a guiltless taste! Very good. Loaded with onions and tomato-based sauce.
Cajun Skillet Catfish: Another highly-recommended dish. The catfish is fresh, and the grits are buttery and cheesy. Served with a pickled okra and salsa. Yummie.
Carolina Mountain Trout with Capers: This entree came with goat cheese grits, capers, almonds, and asparagus. I loved it so much that I saved the other half for lunch the next day. It made a good meal even after refrigerated. Can’t beat that. 2 for 1. Win!
Pecan Pie for dessert: I had Tupelo’s Brown Butter Pecan Pie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Caramel Sauce! While Tupelo has other tasty desserts, this outshines all others. It reminds me of a traditional pecan pie but better. I loved it, and I highly recommend it. Took this home too!
Charlotte has a lot of new restaurants to offer, and if you are up for trying something new, I recommend that you place Tupelo Honey Cafe at the top of your list. The appetizers are meals in it of themselves. The entrees are made fresh, so if you have left-overs, I advise that you pack them to go. And the items on the menu are so unique that there isn’t any other restaurant in the city of Charlotte that comes close to its taste. When you find an entree that you like, you’ll keep coming back for it. After having such a great dining experience, I’m scheduled for brunch this weekend. I hope to see you all there. Tupelo Honey Cafe is Nikkipanache Approved!
Reality has it where we experience fear. But is fear real? Is it the misapplication of our past experiences? Instead of learning from the most challenging occurrences in our lives, do we then, now, negatively apply these experiences to our next steps in life?
I cannot answer these questions for you. Only you can do that. But as for me, I can remember plenty of times where I let fear supersede my positive self and dictate my next steps in life into a world of disarray.
For instance, once, I delayed action to accept a job offer in order to find out what I had been waiting on would never come.
“Seize the opportunity God has offered” has become one of my biggest self mantras and a word of affirmation. This self affirmation has allowed me to focus on what God has for me. It has allowed me to focus on his cues and clues which he has set out for me (and you) daily. I’ve achieved this through meditation and prayer.
Even when we fall short, in our steps towards our destiny, we often find that there’s still hope if we can, once again, gain footing. “Get on the good foot!”
On this day, may your steps be ordered. And even if you lose footing along the way … I pray that you never lose HOPE.
Follow @dgmovement as @msracheld discusses “Letters of Hope” regarding women and entrepreneurship, and join her at her next event “Desserts and Skirts| The Bow Tie Edition.” Ms. Rachel sets out to inspire change through life-changing experiences with the “Desserts and Skirts” event being one of them. See Dream Girl Movement’s website for more info about her and her non profit organization.
Join in the conversation using #dessertsandskirts telling us about your life-changing experiences that helped you find your purpose or has inspired change in your professional/personal life.
I wake up every morning to the usual–emails, instagram notices, and Twitter alerts. Last Thursday, I woke up to an out-of-the-ordinary … a white guy sending a special texts– “Good morning, Nikki. Wishing you a wonderful day.” text. I thought nothing of it … (at first) but to be polite and thank this … guy. Then he went on to ask if he was being too forward. I never thought wishing someone a wonderful day as “forward.” So I replied. Then he goes off to text “What I meant was … ok fine … you are the best thing since sliced bread. You’re beautiful. And … I just couldn’t contain myself … I had to tell you …” There’s more that involves keywords “pouring” and “thick.” I didn’t even tell my boyfriend. You guys and gals are the first to hear about it. It kind of got a bit … hmm what do you call it? … vulgar. I had to stop him …
Here’s the thing, I didn’t mind the flattery. I don’t believe any woman does. However, he really laid it all out there … just out of the blue. I had no idea on how to react. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, discouraging him from confidently approaching other women. Damage control. But I wanted him to know that he could not go on like this …
…especially when I’m … HIS … client. White guys don’t go flirting with Nikki and laying your heart’s desires all ecstatically on the first approach. It’s overwhelming. You gotta learn how to build up to it. Where’s the beginning? Where’s the climax? Then lay out your heart’s desire.
In all honesty, I’m all about expression. You should find several ways to express yourself. However, don’t go expressing your every thought when approaching any man/woman, possible love interest, for the first time. White guys … you don’t have to do this with Nikki. Ease into the situation with consistency and then lay it on her … or approach her in person with a compliment and then enjoy an intriguing conversation.
When White Guys Go Flirting with Nikki, don’t OVERWHELM her in your approach.
Besides … she’s simply unavailable.
Long time no see, eh? I know, I know. I’ve been out gallivanting, living life and working on the TFHApparel.com business. Even so, I’ve been managing to get out and mingle a bit. First, off I wanted to recap Charlotte Style Mag’s 25 Most Stylish where they honor 25 Most Stylish in business and entertainment in Charlotte. This year’s event was held at Suite which is located in the Epicenter of Uptown Charlotte.
Katie McKeiver was the red carpet correspondent, and lots of people showed up in the best attire. The running theme, of the crowd, was brightly colored dresses, suits, separates, and lots of bow ties. I even spotted a woody (a wooden bow tie) which was nicely adorn by Keith (of Silverfly).
Other special guests included artists Sunshine Anderson and Special Ed.
This Friday NikkiPanache.com has been invited to the Freestyle Funny Comedy Show at Club Secrets in Winston-Salem, NC. The comedians are on a tour and I already know how funny a couple of them are from the radio station 102 Jamz, but have yet to actually witness a show. If you’re like me and want to experience the laughs live, tickets are now on sell and make sure to check out NikkiPanache next week for the review!
I caught up with Bambi who graced the city of Winston-Salem, NC with her presence as she hosted the newly re-done Club Secrets (formerly Club Platinum). Not only did she show up to the club, but tore down the mall in the city after coming all the way from Atlanta. In person she was down to earth, her camp was great to work with, and her performance definitely got the party rocking. I would definitely recommend anyone to book her to host a party! She even allowed fans to take pictures with her beautiful self on stage. Shouts out to Jay Lee for showing us such a great time. Photo Credit: Orlando Wright Davis Peep the pics below.
Bambi released her sophmore mixtape, “Shimmer” July 4th, 2012. Shimmer has a bi-coastal vibe, with lots of different styles; it consists of features only by underground Artists from the East Coast to the West Coast. You will hear features from Indie Artists’ such as Fly Tye, Joseph Foreal, Luey V, Nina Blanka, Tez Banga, T Husstle, Levi Leer and more.
Upon releasing her first mixtape Bamlanta, the reviews were quite impressive for a debut release. She’s had hundreds of downloads and thousands of views. In addition, she won the top spot on Hot 107.9’s Battleground Radio seven days in a row with her single Look at Yo Body ft. Cap Richie of the Duffle Bag Boyz.
Being a female Artist doesn’t come with ease, but Bambi’s progress is rapid and is soon to be a legacy in the Rap arena. Keep your eyes and ears open, she’s the next to blow.
Amanda R. McRae
Without shame, my main reason for watching this show is to see the relationship between Joe Budden and Tahiry that I have only caught glimpses into through rap lyrics and Youtube clips, play out before my very eyes. Tahiry teaming up with Joe’s mom in this episode to express support for Joe comes as no surprise (see Joe’s lyrics at the end of his song Momma said – “Momma said that Tahiry called/ That ain’t shock me, they speak a lot/ She’s helpful…”) but was surprising was no Kaylin Garcia in sight. The question is, is the absence of Joe’s new girlfriend a good or bad thing? It’s definitely a bad thing for people who want to see Kaylin’s beauty, but her being so secure in her and Joe’s relationship to not have to be around whenever Tahiry is around, is a quality I admire in a young 20 year old girlfriend.
This season is definitely more about couples then the previous more female-sided seasons. The biggest mix of business and pleasure being Erica Mena and Rich Dollaz. In this episode, Erica pops off on everybody from female rapper Lore’l to Yandy and Olivia. I can’t stand to watch such a beautiful women display such an ugly attitude From the streets to social networks, Erica has to put her two cents in. On Instagram alone she’s stirred up drama by commenting on her baby father’s pics he doesn’t buy his son’s sneakers, and on a photo posted by video model Yaris Sanchez (which Yaris later took down but not before this blogger screenshot it first!).
Erica isn’t the only who caught acting up on Instagram, Mendecees and Yandy discuss her scratching his face by throwing an Ipad at him because he liked booty pics. Despite that they still discuss getting married, which is a concept that’s hard to find in Hip-Hop. Jen the Pen and Consequence being another example of a live in couple with a kid who has yet to make the big step towards marriage (which may not be a bad thing considering they can’t even agree on what religion to raise their one year old together.)
Olivia posts pictures of her happy relationship with professional basketballer Tarence Kinsey, but still battles with letting the public into her personal life this season. She refuse to do a track with Erica Mena, smart move to not make a track with someone she does’t respect in the industry, but the way she goes about it makes her seem like she thinks her career is hotter than it really is. Especially from someone who still has 50 cent’s picture in her plaque on her wall (you can keep the record up Liv, but I would take the shirtless pic of 50 off of it). All in all, not a bad episode of Love and Hip-Hip: New Jersey 🙂
As an avid fan of Joe Budden, I have been following both his rap career and personal life since he first blew up in with the single “Pump it up.” The radio hit made me interested in the mixtape Joey, who isn’t ashamed to put everything he is going through and his emotions out there for the public eye. When Joe and Tahiry first got together, their YouTube videos made you feel like you were right in the relationship with them. Their break-up pushed Joe to make one of his greatest tracks ever, “Downfall.” “With 5 years of blood sweat and tears but there was obviously a disconnect/ we turned that into a disrespect/ said she been holding it inside for years, she’s unhappy/ so the girl I wanna marry was afraid to come and tap me.”
Joe’s tribulations give fans music they can relate too, I still listen to “Ordinary Love Sh*t Parts 1-3” about his break-up with Ester Baxter where Tahiry is also mentioned, “The f*ck else I do but go right back to Tahiry/ I’m sleeping on her couch, not discussing sh*t/ Staring at the fattest ass, not f*ckin it/ I guess despite everything that she showed me/ It felt good to be around a broad that really knows me.” And between every break-up with Joe, Tahiry was still there for him. Tahiry actually tried to move on from Joe many times, most notable with New York Knick’s player J.R. Smith who last year, was fined for tweeting a picture of her in a thong in bed. They ended it when Joe Budden tweeted both JR and Tahiry and JR tweeted he realizes they will never stop dealing with each other. Joe addresses Tahiry about it on Fabolous’s The Soul Tape 2 on the track “Want You Back,” “Told you you’re gonna f*ck around and end up sick/ You chose dick from this n*gga off the New York Knicks…”
Now Joe’s happy with the beautiful Kaylin Garcia, and everyone who follows them on Twitter or Instagram can see it. It’s also all over Joe’s latest mixtape, A Loose Quarter. My favorite track is “More of Me” which tells the story of exactly why Joe loves Kaylin so much. But if you’re still wondering where Tahiry fits in Joe’s life listen to “Momma Said” followed by “Off to the Races” where Joe says his mom and Tahiry are still close but ultimately, he found a happiness with Kaylin he could never find with Tahiry. “3 years after that break up, should’ve had closure by now/ We’d be best friends, you’d have let this end we’d be closer by now/ What you want is upset, hostile, angry, evil, jealous, bitter sh*t/ F*ck makin your bed and lying in it, you bought that house, live with it…” The track hit Tahiry so hard, she then took to Twitter to rant about how Joe actually can’t leave her alone. But the question is, are they ever really going to be done dealing with each other? Guess we just have to stay tuned.
*Photos not property of NikkiPanache.com
It’s a new year for new beginnings especially for R&B Artist/Singer Fantasia who is now preparing to release her new album.
This morning, I caught a glimpse of her promo shoot, thanks to lifewithbrandon.com.
Here, Fantasia is serving up a new look to compliment her new sound … She has evolved. And says it here while sporting a new coat of glamour; check out the fur. POW!
If this photoshoot is any indication of her upcoming album, then I’m anticipating feverish lyrics and a long-way-from-Kansas Fantasia. This shot right here is hot!
What She’s Wearing and Credits
Maximilian fur Bloomingdales
Louis Vuitton runway collection shoe
Styled by Brandon C. Young (lifewithbrandon.com)
Gold body chain: stylist PCM
Hair by derickus Crawford
Shot by porter garner
Sweet Tea. Honey. Lemonade. Vintage wear and patio living. These are a few images that come to mind as I pour all over The Southern Gent. As you can tell from The Modern Outdoorsman, I’m truly inspired by my southern -sphere and enjoy some elements of country! And this beautiful bow tie striped in navy, rose, cream, and green says, “C’mon ovah and have a look.” Here’s the first of twelve limited-edition bow ties for TFH 12 Days of Christmas!
Well, whadd’ya think? Lend me your feedback on the comments section below. And if you have inquiries, please direct them to my mailbox– firstname.lastname@example.org. I can’t wait to reveal the others.
“This oughta be fun.”
Photo, copy, and video credits: Nikki Panache Inc.
Friday is just another excuse for me to indulge in spirits!
And my drink of choice, my preference rather, would be brown. Some say, “brown will bring you down.” Chuckles* But I don’t know what those people are drinking on … Cause brown lifts my spirit!
And on that note, I’d like to introduce you to the cocktail of the day: The Grown Man. Such a cocktail was inspired by the grown men that I know who love sipping on brandy or Grand Marnier but never got the inclination to mix the two. Try it. You’re in for a treat.
I prefer it on the rocks, a modification for grown women. Enjoy.
1 oz cognac
1 oz Grand Marnier
Mix contents in a shaker. Serve straight up in a brandy snifter. Garnish with an orange slice.
On Monday, I woke up with every intention on mailing out my bow ties, purchasing shipping goodies, and cutting fabric. By 1 o’ clock, I had it all done.
Then I ran across an interesting tweet that required action … It had me intrigued, pondering over the possibilities. At the moment, at the time that I saw the tweet, I decided that I was going to react!
At 4:15p, I headed for S Blvd. Found my destination and parked my car. I believe that your actions are prayers in themselves, but I said another quick one anyway.
By 5p, I was waiting in the lobby of CBS radio stations along with about 14 others. Some familiar faces … Some you might know.
A lady soon swung around from the back to take our names and line us up. In tandem, we walked and was led to an open room filled with seats and long tables.
Nervous, I chatted a bit with a few familiar faces and waited my turn.
And then … I was called.
I was instructed to give MTV all kinds of permission to use my face and footage. Thereafter, I stepped into the room to meet Nick Cannon and audition for the new season of WildNOut!
Nick? Oh yea he was really cool and laid back. He wore a purple-pink long sleeve dress shirt and a gray vest and matching pants. He greeted me with a smile and asked me to introduce myself.
Then I auditioned. I won’t disclose the details of the audition. But I will say that I enjoyed myself. And I may do other auditions in the future. If nothing else, it was a great experience.
Here’s the face of nervousness, anticipation, and exhilaration wrapped into one. A silly face to help me remember this moment.
Good Day, Readers!!
Guess who made other blogs? Nikkipanache.com, yours truly! I love it when bloggers collaborate for the sake of getting other blogs out there. It’s all about that cyber love (don’t you think?) that gives these wonderful posts that we write day-to-day meaning. So on that note, I wanted to introduce to you two new blogs created by people I know.
Please check out Cocoa Classy Blog which is a digital magazine for women of color and beyond. Cocoa Classy took the time to highlight Nikkipanache and my new venture with bow ties. You can check out her site here. Read the article on Nikkipanache Bow Tie venture here.
Furthermore, a young, enterprising blogger–Maya Hicks–created a blog–HowIlandedmydreamjob–about how people, like you and me, are landing their dream jobs every day. Some happen by a shock wave of lay-offs and sometimes “-ish just happens,” and people find their ways to their dream jobs, nonetheless. Read more about Maya and the people she’s interviewed here. Read the article on Nikki “The Female Haberdasher” Panache here. Also, Maya will be hosting a bow tie giveaway for her blog. You can enter by just subscribing by email.
Ok, now … don’t delay. Go check out these other blogs today. Thanks, All.
Coming up: Attending JSWMedia Red Pump/Red Tie Affair on Saturday, Dec1. Will post. Here are pictures from last year. If you’re in the Charlotte area and would like to attend this year’s event, click here for details.
Nikki Panache introduces Nikkipanache.com and the Female Haberdasher Bow Tie Shop. She defines “panache” and “haberdasher” and why she chose to use those words to define her brands.
Did anyone catch the American Music Awards last night? I missed most of it, having tuned in at the beginning of Stevie Wonder’s performance. And during that very flashy and over-the-top performance of Psy and Hammer, I caught a glimpse of one of my favorite actresses–Kerry Washington. She looked stunning in a canary yellow, lace, see-through number designed by Stella McCartney. Kerry “Olivia Pope” Washington can do no wrong in whatever she wears. And you would know that if you watched ABC’s hit show Scandal! Hah! Here she is looking stunning as ever as usual.
What started out as a blogging meeting with the intent to watch the results from the 2012 Presidential Election turned out to be more! More fun. More laughs. More of an event than a meeting.
At around 7:35p, I met with @Nxl21Charlotte @CurtisWalls for a casual meeting at Smokey Bones. The place was pretty dead, so I thought it would be perfect for discussion and to enjoy the suspense of election night. However, it just so happened that Smokey Bones recently turned their audio system, so that it excluded (what I call) the portable speaker box. You know the kind that you use to listen in on sporting events at bars? Well they had none, so it was on to the next bar!
So we ventured a few miles away to Fox & Hound at Northlake. But they had no boxes either. Through the cold, we walked to Chili’s who claimed that they were NOT to play anything but sporting events. Really? It was only the most historical, political night for the next 4 years that we, the nation, would experience–when Obama won a re-election. Chili’s was a huge loss that night based on their failure to acknowledge anything but sports. Got to do better!
So we finally returned to Fox & Hound for apps, beer and a mini election party, and that’s when the fun began.
Without unleashing all details, I’ll grant you a few highlights, quotes, and more!
Me: How do you like your hotdog?
Curtis: I feel uncomfortable with you asking me that!
By the way, this conversation ended in “with sweet onions, mustard, ketchup, and or chili/slaw” for all of you who are wondering! But his initial comment … Well you know … You’re smart!”
At one point, we commenced a challenge involving extra drops of Tabasco sauce. Hmm … No further comment there.
Around 11p, I hit the karaoke stage to croon Maxwell’s “Fortunate,” yet it didn’t sound anything like Maxwell. It was a shaky performance which I believed startled all the barmaids, wait staff, and bar folk alike. I mean I tried really hard, and I thought it was going to be a an awesome performance since I practiced just before … oh who am i kidding?! It was less than stellar. Like a good sport, Curtis hid in the corner, grinned, and laughed. Sigh.
The night ended with a final discussion surrounding the CNN’s reportings, analyzing and keeping close watch of electoral and popular votes, and a challenge to see who could hold the Thinker Pose, Alpha-style, the longest! In my mind, I won!
Well that was my election night. Productive. Fun and eventful. I was glad to witness history, Obama’s re-election (2 TERMSSS), same-sex marriage legalized in MD (my insurance policy), and CO committing to growing more trees in order to save our planet Earth. Snickers*
Find me on Twitter @Nikkipanache
I’ve never been to France; however, this is how I envision one of their quaint lounges to be–designed with vintage furniture and reclaimed fabrics and filled with lots of smoke and potent brown spirits. In my mind, this is France made perfect for me. Though it may be until “soon” before I see “Pair-Rhee,” I’ve got one of semblance here in my backyard–Red on 28th. Check out my good times with friends at this bar and hookah lounge, nestled in the NoDa neighborhood of Charlotte.
Charlotte’s multi-talented promoter–Curtis Walls holds a weekly “happy hour” event at Apostrophe Lounge that features live music from @harveycummings who plays a combination of music-R&B, Hip Hop, Jazz, and Pop. Today Apostrophe Lounge becomes a part of the art crawl in SouthEnd neighborhood of Charlotte which gives Curtis Walls an opportunity to bring out his vision for fusing art and culture into Charlotte’s nightlife. The venue will feature a live band and an art presentation.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Curtis Walls who is co-founder along with Damu Winston of Nxlevel Charlotte, an event planning company that started in Greensboro, NC. NXL21 Charlotte is a brand of Nxlevel. He is also the owner of a service-based company TIME. Walls is a man who has a passion for the arts, and he intends to incorporate that passion into event planning and creating charity events. To my surprise, I found out that he is also an athlete. Let’s get into that first before we get into Walls’ vision.
Nikki: Would you introduce yourself and tell the people what companies you own and what you do?
Curtis: Alright my name is Curtis Walls. I have a service-based company called TIME–Taking Initiative Moving Efficiently, and I also have a marketing company and an event planning company called Nxlevel. NXL21 Charlotte is a brand of Nxlevel. And I’m an athlete.
Nikki: You’re an athlete too?
Curtis: mmhmm I was just released from my team in Canada-CFL, and that’s why I’m back in Charlotte.
Nikki: And you look real muscular. I mean I was thinking this dude most be on protein, drinking milk everyday.
Nikki: So what sport and position do you play?
Curtis: I play football. Wide Receiver and Returner.
Nikki: Ok, so let’s talk about NXL21. You’ve been throwing some parties around Charlotte. And you have a little bit of experience … You’ve hosted parties at …
Curtis: NC Music Factory, Republic, Enso and a little of bit of everywhere.
Nikki: And tell me about the focus on your events? Are they going to be like everyone else’s events? Are there going to be some go-go dancers? Is there anything unique going on?
Curtis: Well … I’m a Libra, and I believe in balance. I like a splash of ratchedness from time-to-time. But really my main focus is really bringing another type of atmosphere, a cultural environment to Charlotte’s nightlife and finding that demographic of people who can appreciate it.
Nikki: A lot of event planners and promoters have been trying to achieve that goal and trying to fuse in art and culture. Tell me how you plan to achieve that? Do you have any bright ideas as to how you’re going to fuse both nightlife, art, and culture?
Curtis: First I have to reach out to the right network in my circle and create a certain caliber of events for people who already get it. Marketing 101 is that you go after the people who already get it. My main thing is that I’m reaching out to people who get it. I know some promoters wanted to do it, but then they started to compromise their vision just to get the dollar. My vision is to have a band and create a LIVE atmosphere. I think it’s going to happen. The key to it happening is creating consistency. Whether it’s the first or 40th night of the event, it will look the same, have all the same [elements].
I’m also finding that I have to reinvent my whole following.
Nikki: So what does your following look like?
Curtis: My following? It has to be young professionals, athletes, musicians, artists, eclectic … you’re tailored, clean males, educated. It doesn’t mean college, a 4-year. It means ambitious. I envision my following on a more conceptual level, because when you get to specific with what they look like, you weed out too many people. The concept governs the specifics.
Nikki: So what do you know about the arts? I understand that you want to create art and cultural events … but how what makes you qualified to do so?
Curtis: I appreciate you asking me. I’ve been playing the piano since I was five then played for the church, starting at the age of ten. I’ve been in that type of atmosphere all my life. My mom is a singer. She’s an educator now. But she started off singing. As far as art, I’ve always been an artist.
Nikki: Do you draw? Paint?
Curtis: Yea yea … I like a lot of mix-media. I draw as well. And I haven’t made that time for art recently; but I want to get back into it. I’m an architect by degree. I was offered a job while at A&T, a position in Aspen, Colorado. So I worked out there at Design Workshop who are known for their resort planning. I was the first black architect to work there.
But I later decided that being an architect is not what I wanted to do. And that’s the reason I wanted to create Nxlevel because I know the power behind exposure … exposing people to different elements.
And that’s what I was telling you about my non-profit organization–T.I.M.E–which I will use to expose these young kids to new things. I didn’t grow up in the best neighborhood. I grew up in Hampshire Hills/Hidden Valley. But my mom saw that I was gifted in a lot of areas, and she exposed me to a lot of stuff. Looking back, I understand how exposure can lead to more possibilities.
Apostrophe Lounge–1440 South Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28203
Spent last night at @Apostrophelounge located in SouthEnd of Charlotte. I had to make b-line to see a live performance by Charlotte’s Indie Musician @harveycummings and his live jazz band, including “sax man” @jorrellsixx.
Although I did not get to strut to my theme music upon arrival–James Brown “The Payback,” I’m sure there will be next time since Harvey and his band will be performing every Friday night at Apostrophe. Next time, I need it on cue. Wait for it …
Cocktail of the Night: Remy and Pineapple
A few shots from last night! Enjoy. Thanks @nxlevelcharlotte for the invite.
Harvey Cummings, @harveycummings, ladies and gents!