A Conversation With… Alexandra Chang

Alexandra-Chang

What inspired you to start your own fashion line?

Growing up in Los Angeles, I have always been surrounded by copious amounts of creativity, particularly in the arts. I appreciate creativity in all forms, and although it was certainly a process overtime, in the back of my mind, I always thought it would be fun to be a designer. However, writing was my first love, and I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my company. The blog portion of The Zeitgeist actually came first. One day, after doing my market research, creating a business plan, and talking to a bunch of manufacturers, I decided to exert my own creativity and start my line.

You started your business at a relatively young age, did you encounter any challenges and how did you overcome them?

Business-wise, my biggest challenge has been time. I’m competing with brands who have a full team of people behind them who can dedicate their entire day to the company. As much as I would love to work on The Zeitgeist 24/7, I am still a full-time high school student. Juggling school work and college applications, as well as maintaining a balanced social life, can sometimes be tricky!

‘The Zeitgeist’ is a very unusual and original name, how did you come up with it? 

I’m so glad you think so! “Zeitgeist” is a German word and translates to the phrase “spirit of the time.” I wanted my company and blog to represent everything current, so it seemed like the perfect name. Initially, I heard the word “zeitgeist” from my grandmother, and at age 82, she was the youngest person I knew because she was constantly adapting, learning, and interested in everything going on around her. The first shirt I ever designed has the “zeitgeist” definition on it, and I named it after my grandmother: The Suzanne Tee. The word has become really popular in recent months which makes me happy because now more people know what it means!

Your clothing line very much embodies female empowerment, what do you love most about being a woman?

Women get to play dress up every day! Although there’s nothing wrong with men’s clothing, I feel like wearing a suit or a striped shirt every day would get very boring very quickly. Women, on the other hand, get to choose from a variety of amazing fabrics, textures, and colors, and most importantly, we’re able to accessorize! Also, women have incredible bonds with one another, and I feel so lucky to have many close friendships that will last a lifetime.

Where do you get ideas for your designs?

I’m constantly thinking of new ideas, and my brain goes so fast that I probably have a hundred ideas a minute, and maybe one or two are actually plausible! I always listen to what people are discussing around me, whether it’s related to pop culture, current events, or anything in between. I also have a wacky sense of humor and coming up with funny slogans is one of my favorite things to do. If people laugh, that’s my main goal. Making people smile is the best feeling! I want Zeitgeist girls to feel happy and empowered.

Are there any designers you look up to? 

Yes! There are so many, but Victoria Beckham is a particular inspiration. It’s incredible how she transformed her personal brand from being a pop star to an established designer. Also, my favorite designer in the industry is Iris Apfel— in fact, we share the same birthday! August 29th.

Sadly, there isn’t much information for young females looking to start their own business. Do you have any tips for young girls looking to start their clothing line?

It’s important to take your ideas, passions, and dreams seriously, but never take yourself too seriously. Once you decide to take the risk of starting your own business, surround yourself with other entrepreneurs and ask lots of questions. In other words, get advice from people who have done it before. Finally, stop talking about your idea, and just go for it! It’s always important to be a champion of others and support other entrepreneurs because all of us know how hard it is to get a business off the ground!

You donate some of your profits from “The Emma Tee” to Girl Up.  Can you tell us more about the charities you work with and what drew you to them?

Ever since I first decided to launch The Zeitgeist, I knew I wanted to include a philanthropic element. Giving back is one of the most important and valuable things an entrepreneur, or any individual can do. I regularly work with several organizations, including Girl Up, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Planned Parenthood, and The Humane Society. I felt particularly drawn to Girl Up because I attend an all-girls high school, and realize the lack of access that many girls have when it comes to receiving or pursuing an education. Girl Up’s mission of empowering women and girls through learning very much appealed to me.

You can follow Alexandra on Twitter: @thezeitgeist or Instagram: @thezeitgeist
Photos by Little Drill
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A conversation with… Sky Katz

Sky Katz is more than just your regular 12 year old, the New York native is an actress, rapper, dancer and all around superstar. Her talent knows no boundaries and she has demonstrated resilience and determination at such a young age. Sky found fame on America’s Got Talent and has gone on to wow bigger audiences ever since with her love of Hip Hop and bubbly personality… She is now starring in the Disney show Raven’s Home alongside alums, Raven-Symone and Annalise Van Der Pol.

I recently got the chance to chat with Sky about her career, goals and favourite rappers. Check out our interview below!

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am 12 years old. I’ve lived in NY my whole life, but now live part time in LA so I can film Raven’s Home. I’m the youngest of four siblings – I have two older sisters and an older brother.  We are all really close but definitely fight like siblings do!  People tell me I’m “wise beyond my years,” or mature for my age because my siblings influenced me so much. I love to act, rap, spend time with my friends, and play basketball.

What are some facts about you that people might not know?

-My dad and I are obsessed with animals. We used to have a basement filled with different reptiles – like snakes, lizards, geckos, etc. My mom got so grossed out by the reptiles, that she agreed if we gave them away, we could finally get a dog. So we did, and now we have two dogs that I love so much.

-Another fact is that I love to bake. I make cakes and cupcakes for my family whenever it’s someone’s birthday. I love to experiment with fondant, icing and all kinds of different toppings.

What was it like being on America’s Got Talent?

Being on Americas Got Talent was truly like living in a dream. It’s a show I’ve watched for so many years, and then there I was, standing on that stage. Behind the scenes was a lot of fun because there were so many different types of people with different talents, and I loved getting to know them all.

What inspired you to pursue rap music? 

I pursued rap music because it’s the only music we listen to at home. My parents grew up during the beginning of hip hop and always play it for my siblings and I.

You’re working on your debut album, can you tell us a bit about it?

This album is going to be fire. We’re taking it slow and making sure each song is perfect and upbeat. They need to be the type of songs my friends and I would be excited to listen to.

Who is your role model and why?

My dad is my #1 role model. He has always supported and encouraged me, and continues to push me to be as great as possible.

This year you made your acting debut as Tess on Raven’s Home, what was the audition process like?

First I sent an audition tape of myself to the Disney casting executives. After doing that a few times, I flew to LA to meet and audition for them in person. I had to pinch myself when Raven walked in the room. I was thinking to myself, “This is NOT happening omg!”

Did you always want to pursue acting alongside music? 

I have always wanted to do everything. I love to act, I love music, and I love sports. I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day so I wouldn’t have to choose between activities, and I could just do everything!

What advice would you give to young girls looking to break into the entertainment industry?

The advice I’d give other young girls would be to keep trying, never give up, and never take no for an answer. If one opportunity doesn’t work out, keep going and another one will!

Favorite rappers?

My favorite rappers are Nicki Minaj, Logic, Eminem, and of course, Biggie Smalls.

Do you ever see yourself experimenting with other music genres?

I like to listen to other types of music besides hip hop, but as far as performing, I’m hip hop 24/7!!

Twitter: @skykatz
Instagram: @skykatzraps

Interview: Mary Sarah

Hey Doves,

I recently got the chance to talk to country singer Mary Sarah for Ramona Magazine and  I am excited to share it with you!

Firstly, Mary, how are you? 

I love that that is your first question!! I am doing mighty fine!
What are some facts about you that your fans might not know? 
1. I have 5 tattoos
 2. I am pro at crossing my eyes!
 3. I can roll my belly like a wave (Yes, sounds weird but totally possible! LOL)
 4. My natural hair color is brunette
5. I was a Kidz Bop kid when I was 12!! (Not the CD’s, the tour!)
IMG_6873-2You were on season 10 of The Voice, what was your favorite thing about being on the show?
I’ve got to say the whole experience! It was like nothing I’d ever done before and I learned so much about myself and how far I could push myself! It was incredible.
Your new single ‘Without You’ is a powerful breakup anthem. Did you draw upon past experiences when writing the song? 
I did, yes. I was in a relationship that ended after 3 years of being together. It was tough. It happened at the worst time possible for my career so not only was it tough breaking up, it became an issue of, how do I move on and fairly quickly because it was the last thing I needed to keep my attention. Because of the situation, I was somewhat forced to make that choice which honestly, I am so happy that it did. It made me realize that it wasn’t so much about how much of myself I lost in someone else, but the excitement of finding myself again! And, that’s what Without You is about! It was never meant to be mean…it’s just saying, hey I’m good, Without You!
How do you feel about being a role model for young women? Who were your role models growing up?
It’s crazy for me to imagine. I am so thankful to have a platform to be a role model but it’s also something I hope I never take for granted. I am not a perfect person…I will make mistakes…but I will always do my best to do what’s right! I think as an artist, I hope my fans see that.
I’d have to say a couple of my role models growing up were Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, my mom of course, my sister, friends, family! I mean role models don’t always have to be the ones in the spotlight to count!<3
What advice would you give to young women looking to break into the entertainment industry?
It is tough. But, no one ever said life would be easy. I’d say the most important things are knowing who you are, loving and truly knowing why you do what you do, and surrounding yourself with people who believe in you more than you believe in yourself!! And of course, PRACTICE!
Do you ever see yourself experimenting with other music genres?
I do! I love all types. I have such respect for all types of genres and I also love to be challenged and get outside of my comfort zone. You can’t grow if you don’t try new things!
I read that you are an advocate for juvenile diabetes, can you tell our readers more about the cause and why it means so much to you? 
I am! I am also the National Ambassador for Caiden’s Hope Foundation. Both of these charities mean a lot to me because my brother was born at a pound and half, had a ton of surgeries as a baby, then had a liver transplant, and he now has diabetes. He is a walking miracle and the toughest man I know. He somehow, even as a baby, couldn’t keep the smile off of his face. Even through the hard times. I am so proud of him. Both of these charities help families and children in need and I couldn’t be more proud to represent them.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: @MarySarahMusic
Snapchat: MarySarahSnaps

Prima J Interview

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Firstly, girls how are you?
Hey!! We’re doing great, thank you for asking!

You guys took a break for 8 years and are finally making your comeback, what did you get up to
during your break?

Life! Ha-ha , Honestly, the music industry is tough and can get the best of you, so we decided we
needed not only time away from the industry but we needed time apart as well. We grew up like
sisters and did everything together, so taking time apart to grow individually was so important for
us. I think in some ways it’s the reason we are as close as we are now.
Janelle had a beautiful baby girl named Anastasia who is 1 years old now, and she’s Janelle’s world! I
decided to go back to school and gain some real world experience in the corporate world… And
we’ve just been growing and learning and changing. It’s been an amazing journey.

Prima J has always embodied female empowerment and feminism, what are your thoughts on
the progression of feminism in 2017?

You know, we think it’s beautiful to see so many woman coming into their own power, realizing
what they are capable of, no matter what society may tell them. We have always stood up for
woman empowerment and think it’s so important that we as women empower not only ourselves
but also empower one another. We can’t expect society to lift us up if we can’t even lift each other
up ya know? We see so many woman comparing, and bashing and being so judgmental to one
another, and we believe that constantly trying to compete with one another is a waste of power…
together us woman can accomplish incredible things!

How do you feel about being a role model for young women? Who were your role models
growing up?

We actually love knowing young girls look up to us! We’re definitely not perfect, but I think the
biggest message we try to convey is to be yourself! Love yourself! We are definitely promoters of the
body positive movement, and are currently involved in a campaign for domestic violence, which is
such an important topic for us.
We do have loyal fans and followers, so any platform we can use to promote these important topics
is such a blessing to us.
Growing up we definitely looked up to strong powerful women. Aside from the women in our family
we were huge Spice Girls and TLC fans. Both of those groups embodied self-love and female
empowerment, oh and their music was amazing!!

What are your thoughts on the current political state of America?
Prima j has always done our best to keep our political views to ourselves. While it’s such an
important topic, we respect everyone’s views, even if it’s far different from our own so, with that
being said, no comment.

How has your Hispanic background empowered you as women?

What they say about Latin women is definitely true! We are sassy and fiery and strong, so those
parts of us have definitely contributed to us finding our voices and standing strong in our beliefs.
Also, us Latinas fight hard but we love harder and love really fuels us more than anything.

What advice would you give to young women looking to break into the entertainment industry?

Wow! Where do we even start?! I guess the main thing is, create a team of people you trust. The
industry is tough and if you don’t have people around you to keep you strong and grounded, and
have your best interest at heart, you could lose yourself. Also, believe in your vision. People will pull
you in all different directions and make you second guess yourself, but at the end of the day, you
need to feel proud of the work you did. Be yourself, work hard and stay focused.

Do you feel that feminism is inclusive of women, from all backgrounds?

Absolutely. No question.

Can we expect more girl power anthems from you guys in the near future?

Absolutely! We have been really focusing on our domestic violence campaign and some other things
at the moment, but we definitely have some great ideas and plans so, keep an eye out for us!

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INTERVIEW: Hayley Orrantia

*This interview was conducted by myself, on behalf of Celebmix*

Hayley Orrantia is both an actress and a singer and is best known for her role as Erica on The Goldbergs where she stars alongside personalities such as George Segal, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jeff Garlin, Hayley, Troy Gentile and Sean Giambrone. However, she was a singer long before she was an actress and is starting a journey to cement her position in the country music hall of fame.

Orrantia’s latest single ‘Give Me Back Sunday’ details her experience with homesickness. After leaving home at 19 on a journey to pursue her dreams, the star found that it wasn’t as easy she thought.

I got the chance to catch up with her and talked about the single, The Goldbergs and her fingers crossed eventual CMA performance. Check out the interview below!

Hey Hayley, how are you? 

I am good! Been living in Nashville over the hiatus between seasons of The Goldbergs and absolutely loving it!

What are some facts about you that your fans might not know? 

I can talk with my mouth closed, I love making dream-catchers (that’s why it is my symbol) and I have gotten really involved with interior design and recently looked into going to school to learn more.

You play Erica on the hit ABC show The Goldbergs. Did you always want to get into acting? 

Honestly, I never intended to become an actress. I have always been a singer first and acting kind of fell into my lap in a weird way. Now that I work on The Goldbergs, I love it and it’s a fun challenge for me every day.

Your new song ‘Give Me Back Sunday’ details your experience with homesickness. How hard was it to leave home at such a young age?

Being an only child and having never lived anywhere, other than my childhood home, it was difficult moving out, to say the least. I had to learn a lot about doing things on my own, being an adult and having roommates for the first time. I missed my parents, my friends and the familiarity of my hometown. However, I learned so much and met so many amazing people that I don’t regret any of it.

Do you have any advice for young people considering leaving home to pursue their dreams? 

I would say if you have thought of all the logistics of moving away from home then you should do it! But you have to be sure it is logical for you financially and emotionally. You should always chase after your dreams, but be sure you’re ready to take such a big step. Finally, never be afraid to ask for help and guidance from family or friends back home! They will always be a safe place to land.

You attended the CMA AWARDS last year, and looked incredible, might I add! Could we expect to see you taking the stage, sometime in the near future?

Thank you! I had such a blast presenting this past year. I would love to perform one day, as nerve-wracking as that sounds, but that’s up to a lot more people than just me!

Any plans to tour? 

Right now touring just doesn’t make sense for me. For one, there just isn’t enough time between seasons of The Goldbergs to make it happen, as well as recording and writing new music. My goal is to write as much as possible and keep putting new music out there. But I want to tour one day!

Lastly, can you give us an exclusive on whether you have any cool acting jobs lined up for this year!

No other acting gigs quite yet, besides The Goldbergs! The day after we finish a season of the show, I usually pack my bags for Nashville and focus fully on music. Until that right project comes along, you’ll only be seeing me on the show.

Interview: James TW

James TW was discovered by Shawn Mendes on Youtube, who soon organised a meeting with his record label that led to James being signed to UNIVERSAL/Island records- a label that has signed talent such as Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Mike Posner and Shawn Mendes.

James was the sole opening act on the sold out Shawn Mendes World Tour and even performed on Ellen in January. He is a rising British star and I got the chance to interview him this week just before his gig at Bush Hall, Shepards Bush in London.

I spoke to James about his album, touring with Shawn Mendes and who he would most like to vs in a game of Basketball… watch the interview below to find out everything he said!