Friday, December 17, 2010

Arm Candy

Recently a hype has been created about the newest arm candy known as the wrist band and the effect it has on one's look. When completing a look, one of the accessories that helps complete the overall look is a wrist band that speaks for its self. People are crazy about it and so are celebrities, a number of celebrities have been spotted rocking them on their arms and that number is sure to increase. As seen on TV and magazines, Di Manno Designs offers a wide range of wrist bands to its customers, from traditional designs to its daring leather and animal prints you are sure to find one that compliments your taste. They also make a great holiday gift for your loved ones. Modernize your look with a leather wrist band for a young and edgy-er look.

Visit http://www.dimannodesigns.com/ and start shopping.









Friday, December 10, 2010

Ruth's Interview with Stefany regarding Kelly Ripa's new TV show on TLC, Homemade Millionaire


Ruth, one of Di Manno Designs interns, wanted to interview me about my experience with being on TLC's Homemade Millionaire. I thought it was a good idea and so here it is...

Did you hear? Di Manno Designs exclusive collection was featured on Kelly Ripa's new hit reality show Homemade Millionaire on TLC and today Stefany is dishing about her experience on the show! Check out what the buzz is about on TLC and don’t forget to visit http://www.dimannodesigns.com/

How did the process of appearing on Homemade Millionaire come about?
My friend Juan actually told me about the casting call they were having, and I almost didn’t go because I did not want to be on a reality show, but when I thought about all the effort, money and time I have put into Di Manno Designs, I decided I owed it to the company to go because it could be a good opportunity.

What was the first thought that came to mind when you found out that they were interested in Di Manno Designs?
I was so happy and excited to be able to be part of the show! I was also shocked because when I went to the audition, I knew the odds of actually booking it, so I wasn’t expecting that! I was just thinking it was a good exercise for me to go through and good to also get my product in front of the casting agents/producers. And I was relieved because they had me on hold from December until March. I auditioned in August, was called in December to be “on hold” and in March was booked to be on it and we started taping shortly after.

How was your experience on the show? What word/s would you use to explain or express it?
With one word, NERVE RACKING!!! They wouldn’t tell us ANYTHNG about what we would be doing on the show, we found out that day right before we had to do something so I had to think on my feet. I felt like one big ball of anxiety! I like when I have time to prepare and practice, but on this show, that wasn’t the agenda while making it. Working with Kelly was great though, she is so kind, caring and humble. She was cracking jokes to break the ice and make us feel comfortable. At one point she even apologized for getting her lines wrong, saying we deserved better! I was like, uhhmm…if it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t even be here! LOL It was refreshing to see her, a celebrity, so down to earth and genuine. It was also great to meet Wendy Robbins, who was also on the show, who invented the Tingler! Always inspiring to meet people who have so much passion and are successful. I liked the fact she was so positive and upbeat. Even after being eliminated, she told me to never stop at no for an answer and encouraged me to keep trying to open doors and get my product out there. Take advantage of all opportunities! Was great to hear that at that moment. After all, one door closes and another opens...:)

How do you think the show will add on to the success of Di Manno designs?
I am hoping it will open doors for my company. I am looking for mass production. I think regardless, the press is good because it shows people that the product has potential and that there is something special about Di Manno Designs for it to be chosen out of thousands of contestants to be on an episode of the show. I see the potential it has to go mass, so it will be good when I have that mass selling platform to prove it!

What’s next for the company/ where do you see your product in a couple of years from now?
I see it selling mass on TV, on the web and in more retail stores in the US as well as overseas.

What can the customers of Di Manno Designs look forward to next?
More collections and possibly even different accessories! Stay tuned! :)


Friday, November 12, 2010

Michelle Cleveland and Roberto Gonzalez, my Hair and Makeup Team for Kelly Ripa's Homemade Millionaire Show on TLC







Michelle Cleveland
"the hair extension expert"
did my hair for the TLC's Homemade Millionaire episode


Before I turned 30 years old, I decided to treat myself to long and luxurious hair and since then, haven't been able to stop! She told me they were addictive and she was right! And the good news is they are not bad for your hair, so you don't have to compromise tearing out your hair, like some of the other extensions out there do. I love the way those lovely locks look on my head and I love Michelle Cleveland, the woman behind making that magic happen. I was introduced to her through Maria Lacomme Salon and have been going to her since, or should say, she has been coming to me, as she comes to my apartment for our maintenance appointments every 2 months. Over the past 3 years, it has been truly a pleasure getting to know this beautiful woman. When we are together we have time to talk and that is what we do! She likes to listen to my crazy stories, she often says she lives vicariously through me, lol and I like to hear her thoughts and opinions. I respect her and what she stands for. She started doing copper lock extensions after working for another extension brand, that she saw was ruining people's hair. She couldn't bear to see that, so she turned to copper locks, to continue doing the work she loved, but doing it, knowing she wouldn't be responsible for ruining anyone's hair. She often talks about the integrity of your hair, she firmly believes in keeping it and won't do anything to jeopardize your hair. She follows her heart and her passion and has one of the biggest hearts I know, and that is what I love about her. She is real, down to earth and genuine. So for me, it has been like getting 2 treatments in one, getting the hair done and getting to spend time connecting with a friend! Another thing I love about Michelle is that she has been so supportive and has believed in me and Di Manno Designs from day one. She had and has nothing but positive things to say about my company ever since I first started it, which has been so inspiring. She touched me most when she came to the hotel and stayed overnight with me to prep my hair and did it in the morning before we started taping! You don't meet people like Michelle every day and that is why she is dear to me and in my heart. It feels good to see the people who stand behind you when starting a company, so thank you Michelle for that. I love you and keep up the good work! She lives in NJ and has clients both in NJ and NYC, so if you are looking to get extensions in, and for a good person you can trust with your hair, you can reach her at: mcleveland1020@aol.com.

Roberto Gonzalez "the make up and hair artist"
did my makeup for TLC's Homemade Millionaire episode

Roberto and I go way back! Years ago we met, I was in the modeling industry, and he was my make up and hair artist for a JCPenney ad I did for Amercian Tourister. At the time we met at Michael Keel's studio for head shots I was getting done. He worked with Michael Keel and Bill Morris, 2 NYC photographers, who at the time shared a working space for years. We worked on other projects together as well and used to meet up in Hell's Kitchen for happy hour to catch up and just have a good time. Love him! He is fabulous and has a huge heart. A fellow LEO, we instantly connected! Always learn new little tips on how to do my hair from him. Am currently using a curling iron he gave me as a gift to curl my hair.:) Over the years, Roberto has done many different projects and has been booked consistently because he loves his craft and is simply good at it. It was so special to me that Roberto did my makeup for the TV show, considering we knew and worked together YEARS ago. It was nice to reconnect with him in a new light with a new project. Thanks for all of your help Roberto over the years and for the memories of my NYC experience, love you! If you want to reach Roberto, you can email him at: roberto.face.artist@gmail.com. Check out his portfolio at:

I always used to love and STILL love getting my hair and makeup done! It is so relaxing and it is fun to create new looks! Glad Di Manno Designs has let me tap back into that. Also feel blessed that I have people like Roberto and Michelle in my life who I know I can call and they will be there to help me out, know my needs and in return, I will be happy with the results!:)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Check Out the “IT” Accessories of the Season



In the fashion world, accessories are the icing on the cake, the growing trend of headbands and other accessories have taken the industry by storm. Many celebrities are embracing this trend and Di Manno Designs is doing the same! Di Manno Designs has all the latest hair accessories with a twist, not only can it spice up any look, it completes it with a finished and polished look. With an array of textures, prints and designs, it can also showcase your personal style. So whether you enjoy leather or animal prints Di Manno Designs has the headband, ponytail holder and wrist band that will compliment and take your look from flab to fab.



Visit http://www.dimannodesigns.com/ and shop for your new favorite accessory today!









Celebs in Ponytails







Celebs in Headbands


























Kelvin Gary, Passionate Personal Trainer at Equinox






Kelvin and I go WAY back! We met freshmen year of college at the University of Miami and quickly became friends. Kelvin is one of those people that has a kind disposition, easy to get a along with, genuine and is just one of those all around GOOD guys. He is the kind of guy that would be there to help you out of a bind. On a personal level, I will never forgot our inside bonding jokes from the stories we shared in college and one of our interesting excursions to South Beach! On a business level, I am impressed with his enthusiasm and admire his intelligence, drive and passion for life and doing what he loves to do, which is personal training. Kelvin has always been into fitness, one of the places I saw him most at University of Miami was the gym! When I first ran into Kelvin in NYC, it had been years since I had seen him, I was promoting some liquor, and at the time, he was working in finance at Pfizer and before that as an engineer at Merck. I had no doubt that he was great at these jobs, but when he decided to start doing work as a personal trainer, I was happy and so excited for him, because I feel this job fits him best. He is a natural at it, which I have seen just from knowing him at college. He was always consistent with his work outs and challenged himself each and every time he was at the gym. Now in less than 1 year of working as a personal trainer at Equinox, he has over 30 clients! His passion and knowledge in this field is paying off!
Here is my interview with Kelvin.

What inspired you to become a personal trainer?

My Inspiration came from a great piece of advice that was given to me by a mentor years ago. He told me that to really succeed, you have to do what you love and love what you do. After almost 10 years in the corporate world I woke up one day and asked myself if I was doing what I loved and loving what I was doing and the answer was no. At that time I had already gotten my personal training certification, because I thought it would help me with my own health and fitness. With the help of a few close friends and a really supportive wife, I started to put my certification to use training others. I quickly found that personal training was the right path for me. I’ve always seen myself as a motivator and someone who loved working with people in a positive way. I also loved the health and fitness field. Becoming a personal trainer was a perfect way for me to do what love and love what I do.

How many clients are you currently working with?

I currently work with over 30 clients, in both 1 on 1 and semi-private settings.

What do you think sets you aside from other trainers out there?

I like to think that there are a couple of things that set me aside from other trainers. If I had to choose I’d have to say my people skills and my attention to detail set me apart. I treat each of my clients with the utmost respect, no matter who they are. If they’re having a bad day I try my best to change that for them. I want my clients to leave sessions with me feeling like it was the best part of their day.

In regards to attention to detail, I feel that my background as an engineer helps me look at the human body for what it is, one of the most complicated pieces of machinery ever created. With that in mind I try to make sure that everything my clients do has a purpose and is specific to their goals. If they want to tone up and lose weight, I make sure their program is designed to get them there quickly and safely.

Would you say you have a niche?

At the moment my client base has a pretty broad range of goals. The number one goal of my clients is weight loss and body fat reduction and so far I’ve been pretty successful at that. My athletic background however has drawn me towards sports performance, so I would say that training athletes is my “niche”. I have runners, cyclist and multi-sport athletes as clients who I’ve helped get better through corrective exercise and functional strength training.

Do you incorporate any eating suggestions in the session?

Since I’m not a registered dietitian, I’m limited in the nutritional advice that I can give. With that in mind I do provide my clients with information on diet and nutrition within the scope of my certifications.

What is it like working with Equinox?

Working with Equinox has been a great experience. When it comes to health and fitness clubs you can’t ask for better facilities. The members are also really serious about their health and fitness which makes my job easier.

Why does your routine work so well for your clients? And also, do you customize routines according to the individual?

Every one of my clients has a program designed specifically with their needs and goals in mind. Their program takes into consideration any postural or movement issues they may have and their current health status. This is all information that I collect in my initial assessment of each client. If corrective exercise needs to be incorporated into our routine I start there so that I make sure they are in the right condition to get into shape. Said another way if my client has issues that if not corrected can lead to an injury, I address those issues as a part of their routine. If my clients are injured they can’t be in the gym with me working towards their goals.

Also some clients progress faster than others and need to be challenged accordingly. My view is that “If it’s too easy then it’s not for us”. With that in mind I definitely vary in the way challenge each client based on their skill level.

Lastly, I make sure I change my teaching style. Some people learn by doing, others learn by seeing and others learn by listening. The way I see it, it’s not my client’s responsibility to adapt to my teaching style, it’s my responsibility to adapt to the learning style of each client. That’s what allows us to get more done.

Where do you see yourself with personal training in the next 5 years?

Over the next 5 years I see myself becoming one of the top health and fitness professionals in New York City and eventually the Country. It’s a large order but I really love my job to I truly believe anything is possible.

Congrats Kelvin on your success! It is always good to see people doing what they love to do! It's no fun being with a trainer who just goes through the motions, with Kelvin you are with someone who genuinely cares about your goals and the effort and time it takes to achieve the results. He is always up to date with his craft and will work with you to find a routine that is specific to your needs. So if you are in the market for a personal trainer, I highly recommend Kelvin Gary!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Urban Interns, the Go To Site to Get Help


I was introduced to Urban Interns through Collective-E, the entrepreneur group I am a member of. Urban Interns is an online service for companies to find interns and for interns to find jobs. They have a database of interns looking for work, and as a company, you can post a job posting, that stays on their website for 1 month or for however long you are subscribed. Urban Interns is owned by Lauren Porat and Cari Sommer. I decided to try out their service last year and found my first intern for
Di Manno Designs right away! She worked out well, for months assisted me in research, lists and phone calls etc. This year, I signed up again and am happy to say that in my first week of being on Urban Interns, found an intern who is helping me out! I was very impressed with my intern's resume and experience. She is awesome! I have personally met Lauren at a Collective-E event and can say she is pleasant, professional and when you have a question about the site, it is sure to be answered promptly!:)

Here is my interview with Lauren:

How did you come up with the idea for Urban Interns?
My business partner Cari Sommer and I started working on the idea for Urban Interns in the late summer 2008, so the world looked a lot different then. The recession was in full swing and full time hiring had come to a screeching halt, but we saw that companies were still looking for help to grow their businesses. But they were trending towards part time hires, interns and freelancers because of the inherent flexibility in this type of help. On the other side of the employment equation, job-seekers were increasingly looking for this type of work to build skill sets, build resumes, and get the phenomenal experience of working with start ups and small businesses. So we created Urban Interns to connect growing companies with people seeking part time jobs, internships and freelance positions – and the idea really took off.


What ways do you market your business?
To date, we’ve had phenomenal press (Fox Business News, WSJ, Crain’s, Inc. and most recently TechCrunch) and done a lot of social media marketing. We are frequently cited as experts on hiring-related topics, and we write a monthly column on hiring related topics for Entrepreneur.com. On the job-seeker side, we work closely with top tier universities to get the word out about our business. Going forward, we’ll be expanding our marketing efforts online.


In your experience, was it hard to get people to sign up and/or companies?
It’s really a no-brainer for both job seekers and employers to try Urban Interns. For job-seekers, it’s free to post your profile and your personal information is protected, so there’s no downside if you’re looking for a job. Employers pay to post on our site (consistent with most other job boards out there), but it’s a very affordable price for a small business - $39.95, which gives you one job post plus unlimited database access for 30 days – especially relative to the competition. Other job boards cost hundreds of dollars to post (and don’t give you database access), and Craig's List is cheap but can be spammy and is also not a database. Employers like having the ability to BOTH post AND search (or one or the other). So if you’re a growing company looking for an extra set of hands – which many are in the areas of social media, PR, email marketing, blogging, research, admin, etc. - it makes a lot of sense.


How many interns and/or companies are currently subscribed?
We have thousands of people in our database, but we don’t divulge more specifics than that.


Do you have any plans for growth or expansion in the near future?
Yes! We’re working on a fantastic relaunch with a new and improved look and feel, and better features and functionality, all to make the process of connecting that much easier. We’re really excited – stay tuned!


I am happy I was introduced to Urban Interns and am impressed with the level of professionalism and the caliber of people their site attracts! And of course I am most happy with all the hours of valuable help I am getting from my interns.:) My hope is that they are learning and gaining experience, which they can use in the future. I realize it is a 2 way street and want them to get what they need out of the internship. Most of us have had an internship or two in the past, doesn't seem like that will ever change, so congrats to Urban Interns for putting together this company and site to make it convenient and easier for us to find qualified interns!


Friday, August 13, 2010

Zumba with Jeannine at Club H Fitness

I just joined Club H Fitness and I have really been enjoying the Zumba class there with Jeannine. This is the first time I have ever heard or taken a Zumba class, apparently it is pretty big and is getting tons of press because it is so popular! I love it because Jeannine is amazing, it's fun to be in a class with her because she exudes such great positive energy!!! And those of us who take gym classes regularly know that the instructor can make or break the class and Jeannine definitely MAKES it! The music is awesome and it's fun to dance to it. Besides her great spirit, Jeannine's class is also popular because you can pretty easily pick up the moves, which makes it appeal to people on all different levels, even those who have never even taken a dance class. Zumba is Latin inspired dancing mixed with a little bit of hip hop and funk. It is a great cardio work out! You don't even realize that an hour goes by, because you are having so much fun! Also fun to watch her body move, she is so good! I am a big believer in maintaining good mental, spiritual and physical health. I think it is important to have a balance of all 3 to be healthy, have a focused mind and good spirit. When you do, a clear mind brings smart and innovative ideas, you attract positive energy and people because you feel good and a healthy body and good metabolism gives you the energy and stamina you need to run your business. I know when I am feeling mentally, spiritually and physically balanced, I am most productive, so I don't neglect any one! They all work together.:) If you work out at Club H, check her out and be ready to shake your hips! Although the classes are getting so crowded... think we will soon need to hold them in a bigger room...You rock Jeannine! Thanks for making working out fun:)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Friends are an Inspiration Source for your Company






Sometimes you don't have to go too far for inspiration. Some of your friends maybe be a source for your inspiration. My friend Tori is that for me and Di Manno Designs. We hung out today in NYC to bounce ideas off one another. He took me to some cool fabric stores in the garment center where he buys some of his fabrics for Toriola Designs. I found some great stuff that we are going to use for a new line Di Manno Designs will be coming out with soon. Tori makes his own pieces and offered to make me some samples of some of the pieces that will be in the new collection. Do friends get any better??? He has a talent to create dresses, shirts and accessories and I am lucky to be his friend:) He is teaching me that things can get done without spending a ton of money and for that I am thankful. Thanks Tori! I will be happy to reward him with part of the profit!:) We were getting so inspired in the stores, our minds were both filled with so many ideas we couldn't even voice all of them! lol After the stores we went to my manufacturer's office to see some of the new samples he has been working on. Sometimes I forget how important days like today are. It is not ALL about the phone calls and emails, your company needs a balance of all elements and today, the brainstorming and visuals were definitely needed to jump start the new line. So fun to do that with a friend! The new collection will involve more print fabrics, designs, hardware and will be for a mass market. Stay tuned to see the new DD line!!!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Vanessa Hudgens Ponytail Discount


Just wanted to share some of our recent press with you.
Di Manno Designs is featured in the August 2010 issue of Glamour Magazine. In this picture, the beautiful Vanessa Hudgens is wearing her hair up in a black leather pony narrow. (p.141)
Check it out!
Good news! We are offering 20% off the black leather pony narrow now until July 31st. Just go to www.dimannodesigns.com and at the check out put Vpony as the coupon code. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Benefits of Being an Accessories Council Member


I first heard about Karen Giberson (President of the Accessories Council) and the Accessories Council through my dear friends and founders of Collective-E. I went in one day to meet with Karen and joined Accessories Council as a member. I place a high priority on networking and felt it was the right thing to do. I am so glad I did, Karen has helped me with some really important decisions with Di Manno Designs, I cannot thank her enough. I never even took 1 business course in college, so everything I have learned I have had to teach myself through other people's knowledge in webinars, classes, one on one's, networking events and simply just asking questions. You would be surprised just how much you can learn this way and it's free! So groups like Accessories Council and Collective-E have been very valuable to me starting my business. I've learned so much from them in the last 2 years.
You can never do enough networking and Accessories Council is an outlet where you can do just that. They have panels and events where you can go, listen, learn and meet all different types of people in the industry. Most events are free for members. I really enjoyed the Doneger Group presentation, hosted by the Accessories Council I attended, where they did an animated overview of trends for the season on the accessories and fashion industry. It was like a sneak peek preview of what was to come out in fashion, very cool! Great for brainstorming new lines! You can set up your company profile online on their website http://www.accessoriescouncil.org/ where retailers are free to check out your brand. Accessories Council is not-for-profit, has been around since 1995 and has over 150 corporations as members including brand names, designers, publications, retailers and associated providers for the accessories, eye wear and footwear industries.
For me, Karen's knowledge of the business and eagerness to help out up and coming designers has been the greatest benefit of being an Accessories Council member. For more information on Accessories Council, go to: http://www.accessoriescouncil.org/
Thank you Karen for all of your help, insight and inspiration! You have been amazing!:)
In the picture above Karen Giberson and I at the Next Generation awards event.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Collective-E and 85 Broads Giving Back Event







Yesterday evening I attended Collective-E and 85 Broad's Social Ventures and Celebrating Businesses that Give Back to the World event. It was yet another evening filled with intellect and inspiration! There was a panel with Beth Schoendfeldt of Collective-E as moderator, and the panelists included: Karen Chien, founder of Cheeky Living, Sharon Gaffney, who will soon be launching a new website, Michele Kotler, founding director of Community-Word Project and Susan McPherson, a board member of Bpeace.


Karen shared her story of how her business, Cheeky Living is positively affecting the lives of 160 people in Peru who help to work on her products of hand knit baby alpaca gloves, hats, scarves and throws through the skilled work of the weavers. It was touching to think of that many people having jobs there, who are less fortunate than we are, because of one US business! She could choose to manufacture her products anywhere, but yet, she feels content to know that good is coming out of the fact that Cheeky Living products are manufactured in Peru. Karen also helped to build an orphanage there with a donation from Cheeky Living sales!


Sharon is in the midst of launching a new website that offers consumers the ability to give back to their favorite causes quick and easy online... Stay tuned!


Michele shared how Community-Word Project, which is an organization that helps youth in the Arts in under served communities at NYC public schools, has helped over 10,000 youth to date! Every year they train 40-50 artists, each of who are given $1500.


Susan spoke of Bpeace, which is an organization dedicated to giving pro bono consulting to women entrepreneurs in regions of post conflict. Susan also helps with the marketing for Charity Water, an organization that builds water resources in countries that don't have access. Currently working at PR Newswire, she made a good point, to keep your message clear and concise with whatever organization you are going to give back to and/or start. This will help the cause all together, as people are extremely busy in their day to day lives. The more simple and clear the message is; the better the results you will get.


It was nice to hear of each of these stories, as they were all different, but shed light on all the different ways you and/or your business can give back. No matter whether you choose to give back to a small or large non for profit, the intention and energy you are sending will end with a positive result regardless. Some of the topics covered were about why people give back to the organizations they do and it almost always comes down to giving from a personal experience or something you are passionate about. I liked the quote Susan referred t0: "people protect what they love." This is so true and is how I feel exactly. I would like to give back with Di Manno Designs and will definitely do so, but I don't want to just give back to a cause that doesn't have much meaning to me. So this panel opened my mind up to how and what could be the cause and the way I could give back. And I liked the fact a "give back day" was brought up, which I think is a great way small companies can give back in an easy way, by writing a check to an organization with a percentage of sales from a particular day or time period. We also discussed the cynics out there, customers who question "where is the money going or how can I see my return on investment?" Unfortunately, in life there will always be cynics. What we can do is not let them hinder us from giving back, be honest about our story of why we are giving back, explain where the money is going and feel good that we are doing something good in this world!


Thank you to all the panelists who candidly shared their experiences and stories and thank you for all of your hard work that makes this world a better place!:) And thank you to Collective-E who keeps me on a good path!:)




In the picture above: Me, Sabina Ptacin of Collective-E and Red Branch PR, Katie Danziger of Nomie Baby and Beth Schoendfeldt of Collective-E. (I am wearing a Di Manno Designs Black Croc Wrist Cuff)




Thursday, May 20, 2010

Get Healed with Dar Gardol at Chelsea Healing

I met Dar, a close friend and the best acupuncturist I have known, when I lived in Chelsea. One day I wasn't feeling well and his office was next door to where I used to live, went in, got a treatment and ever since have been hooked on it and him! I never knew the many ways acupuncture can heal you, mentally and physically. It is truly amazing and I love learning about all the different points and what they do every time I see him. I loved that not only could Dar make me feel better, but I would learn so much during every treatment. He inspires me so much and has healed me so much! I really don't know where I would be without him. When I thought I was moving this June to San Diego, I started sobbing during a treatment saying, "What am I going to do without you?" and Dar said "Don't worry, I will come to San Diego and treat you there." And that is what I love about Dar, always doing what he can to please everybody, he is so generous. His ora is zen and he is one of the most genuine people I have ever met. Whenever I feel I am a bit under the weather, I get a treatment and take Yin Chiao for a couple of days, and so many times that has served as a remedy from getting sick! Love it! Dar and I bonded when one day when he was giving me a treatment. I was thinking of my daily routine in my head, at the time, I worked in an office and I pictured myself putting my hair back wearing a nice suit and/or dress and how much I hated wearing just an elastic band to hold my hair in a ponytail. It was then the concept of Di Manno Designs was born. I came up with the idea of making a leather covered ponytail holder with an elastic band attached.
I shared it with Dar and he was so inspired, we started to brainstorm together. We met a few times to go over concepts and ideas for the brand. He came up with Di Manno Designs and I liked it. At the time I was focusing on a name more specifically for ponytail holders, but I liked the fact that I wouldn't be limited to just ponytail holders under the name Di Manno Designs for future lines and I also liked the alliteration. Ever since we have been friends. I love being around his energy, because every time I am around him I feel so inspired and that is such a great feeling. It is so special to be treated by someone who is not only brilliant in his field, but such a kind spirit that is so pleasant to be around. I also go to Dar when I am feeling any physical pain, either in my back or once when I pulled a hamstring by jumping up and landing down in the splits when I was out dancing at night! lol The treatments he gave me sped up the recovery time! When my mom was in town, he treated her a few times, as her back and knees bother her and she swears by him! It was great, she was able to walk around NYC more at ease because the treatments helped her a great deal, so of course we were all happy.:) Since then she has seen an acupuncturist in South Carolina, where my parents live, and said he is nowhere near as good as Dar! Dar said when he is out that way, he will stop by and give her a treatment. She can't wait!
So needless to say, I highly recommend Dar for whatever ailment you may have or just to maintain good health, I'm sure he will make you feel better than you did before you walked in. Thank you Dar for teaching me, inspiring me, supporting me and Di Manno Designs and healing me. Love you!:)
Chelsea Healing is located on 24th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues (212) 645-6447.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Tori with Toriola, a Very Dear Friend and Entrepreneur





































I am ecstatic to say that one of my best friends, Tori just launched his own line, Toriola (In the picture above, Tori is sewing the skirt I wore in the picture below.) In the other picture are 2 of his pieces he designed and made, on the right, I am wearing a Toriola wrap skirt, which can also be worn as a dress. I paired it with a white button down, but can also wear it with a black halter or tank top, the designer and stylist Tori is in the middle and Vanessa on the left is wearing a Toriola wrap dress.

Born in the USA, but raised in Nigeria, Tori came back to the USA to attend college in Maryland. Graduated with a Bachelor of Science in International Business with a minor in Economics. While he was in college, he started working at American Eagle as a sales associate before he was promoted to Visual Specialist. An opportunity presented itself for him to open American Eagle's first urban store in NYC, he took it and has been in NYC ever since. He worked at American Eagle for about 10 years leaving with the title Regional Visual Manager for the New York Metro Area.

After American Eagle, Tori worked as the Senior Visual Merchandising Manager/Visual Director of Victoria Secret, where he was in charge of flagship development and branding. He also hosted all the successful events with the Victoria Secret super models that were televised.


While working, Tori began styling photo shoots on the side for fun and simply because it comes natural to him. For years he has been creatively dressing displays, why not transition to dressing models for photo shoots, especially when they were asking him to do so?! So he did, he does and he enjoys it so much he wanted to brand himself as an entrepreneur who can freelance as a stylist, visual merchant and designer of Toriola fashion, which brings him back to his roots, adding a flare to Nigerian fashion.

He styled the shoot we did for Di Manno Designs fashion accessories. He picked out every one's outfits and accessories for the shoot. The group shot Tori styled is on the contact page of http://www.dimannodesigns.com/contact.htm.

A man of many talents, he also does beautiful memory books. (pictures above of a book he did for a friend's wedding) I already signed him up to do mine when I get married!:) I went to an event he was hosting at Victoria Secret and saw a concept book he had made for them, which was out on a table for customers to look at. It was so unique and creative with magazine cut outs, fabrics, trinkets and more to show different themes and trends. It was truly one of a kind, I was blown away and then started seeing dollar signs of him selling these books for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays etc! lol My mind was spinning with all these different ideas of him making these special books for people and starting his own business! If you would like your own custom memory book made by Tori, reach out to him at: toriolafam@gmail.com.

On a personal level, I met Tori through our mutual friend Vanessa (in the picture above with Tori and I and also in the picture above in a Toriola top made by Tori). I instantly adored his bubbly, loving, charismatic, fun, genuine character and his edgy sense of style. Getting to know him over the years, I can now say that I also respect what he stands for and his morals, his strength of character, his perspective on life and his zest for life. He has been a true inspiration in my life in every sense of the word, as a person, through his work, spiritually and as my friend. I feel truly blessed to have him in my life.

I am so happy he started his own company! I saw his potential long ago and wished he would branch off on his own with all of his talent and personality. I can't say this about too many people, but with Tori, I knew he could handle the challenge, had the talent and most importantly is a good honest person, who is loved by many, who I know will succeed. So hats off to you Toriola Famuyiwa, it is your time to shine as an entrepreneur, just like you have as my best friend. Love you:)

To see his work, go to: http://www.wix.com/torifam/creative

Monday, April 26, 2010

Luxury Marketing Council Event for Giorgi Gucci's New Launch and Nirali Shah Pop Up Shop Party Night




I started off the evening by meeting my friend Erik Tancun of Imperial Jets at a Luxury Marketing Council Event. The event was a preview of the launch party for Emperor's Brand, which is a new line of collectible cognacs and vodkas owned by Zina Mashin and Andre De Vickont in partnership with Giorgio Gucci, grandson of Guccio Gucci, founder of the Gucci brand.
We tried and drank the Imperial Vodka with mixers, which was smooth and did not give a headache the day after! There was also a collection of wines that were being sampled and a presentation on the black tie event for the Emperor Brand launch, which will be in both Washington DC and NYC. Mingled before and after presentation, then headed to the Nirali Shah pop up shop party in a loft in Tribeca. Really fun, open bar, models walking around with all the different fashion pieces and accessories being sold here from different vendors. Met up with friends (in the picture) who also came to the event. In the picture above to the left: Sabina Ptacin of Collective-E and Red Branch PR, me, Tori of Toriola (also a stylist), Brian, Vanessa and Michael Quinlan of Red Branch PR. In picture below is Erik Tancun of Imperial Jets and I. (I am wearing 2 Di Manno Designs ponytail holders in my hair, a black leather narrow at the base of the braid and a custom made (shorter) black leather narrow at the end of the braid.)
What an eventful night!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sally at Kent House for Presentation Boxes, Packaging and More





One morning last year, bright and early, I attended my friend Lori's BNI (Business Networking group)marketing meeting at 7:15 am as a guest. I met Sally, owner of Kent House, which is a company that makes gift items, display boxes, packaging, photo albums and more. I needed a house for my ponytail holders, so decided to go meet Sally at her office in Chelsea to see if she could do presentation boxes for me, which I could take to meetings to show my accessories. At the time, I was using a black leather box with a Di Manno Designs logo on the outside, but all the accessories were just in the box and I felt I could use something that was more organized and looked better! Sally can pretty much do anything you would like, she does custom orders all the time, so I told her what I was looking for and together we came up with the idea of these 2 boxes to hold the ponies. The pictures don't do the boxes justice, because you miss some great details. I will try my best with a written description! The black box holds Di Manno Designs leather, patent leather, exotic skin and canvas collections. There is also a space with a box which now holds business cards, but if I would like, I could use that space for another future collection. (Sally made the box this way with that as the intention) Inside each division, there is different fabric to match the look and feel of the different collections, for the leather I chose a white canvas material, the patent sits on a red felt fabric, the canvas is on a creme canvas material and the exotic skin sits on a black velvet fabric and the material on the box itself is black python print. Sally made a pouch on the inside to hold the pouches with logos for display. I wanted everything together, so when in meetings, if a buyer wants to see packaging, I could show him/her the pouches as a suggestion. The white box houses Di Manno Designs crystal collection made with Crystallized-Swarovski Elements. I chose a gray felt fabric for the interior to mesh well with the crystals and the outside of the box is a white python print. We also included Swarovski's Crystallized logo in the box since the complete crystal collection is made with Crystallized-Swarovski Elements. We had the Di Manno Designs logo made into a stamp that Sally could use to stamp the boxes with the logo. We went with gold for the black box and silver for the white box. Sally is very creative and passionate about her work. When you see her in action in her space, you can see she pours her whole heart and soul into her company, which makes you feel comfortable knowing this woman is going to create something unique and special for your brand! So if you are looking for packaging, display boxes or anything original, I'm sure you won't be disappointed with the results at Kent House!
You can check out Sally's work at: http://www.kenthouseinc.com/#/about-us/4527994020.




Wednesday, March 24, 2010

How to Use a Di Manno Designs Ponytail Holder

videoAfter many requests to do a demonstration video on how use a Di Manno Designs ponytail holder...here it is! In this video, I am putting on a Di Manno Designs black patent ponytail holder (standard) in Sabina Les, a friend of mine's, hair. Watch if for yourself and see how easy it is!

Sabina Les is also wearing a Di Manno Designs black patent wrist cuff

I am wearing a Di Manno Desgins black croc wrist cuff

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Interview With Printed Scarf Designer, Sabina Les


Over the past few months, I've gotten to know Sabina Les, the woman who designs fabulous scarves, really well. We are both Collective-E and Accessories Council members and are at a lot of the same events together, so eventually we started talking at one of the events, and discovered we live nearby each other and have been close since! She gave me great styling tips when she showed me all the different ways I could wear my Sabina Les scarf...I was impressed! I wanted to take the time to ask her a few questions that you may be interested in hearing the answers to.
What made you decide to get into the scarf business?
I wanted to have an accessory line for a long time, something I could relate to. Scarves were a perfect choice because I'm a big fan and I couldn't find prints that I liked. With that in my mind, my designs have distinguished elegant, artistic and graphic personality.
Do you plan on adding any other lines?
Yes, I'm planning on expanding into other accessories starting with bags. Also, I'm collaborating with other designers.
How did you get on the Today Show?
I was doing my own PR and did a research on stylists. I "cold emailed" a fashion stylist pitching my scarves. Lucky for me, she emailed me back right away saying that she was looking for interesting scarves for the Today Show's fashion segment with the In Style magazine. She loved my scarves and asked for a few styles. About a week later, my scarf was on TV.
What were you working on previously and is it helping you now with your business?
I developed textile prints, branding, worked in merchandising and fashion design for some of the largest companies in the industry. Combining this experience with understanding of production process really helped me to stay on track with designing my own line and understanding that there is a lot of nitty-gritty details involved, sometimes more work than glamour!:)
If you would like to learn more about Sabina Les, go to: http://www.sabinales.com/

Friday, February 26, 2010

Di Manno Designs Zebra Headband Appears on Ugly Betty







I was watching an episode that I DVR of Ugly Betty one night and in the last scene noticed that Betty was wearing a Di Manno Designs Zebra Headband! I was so excited! I knew there was a chance that my accessories could appear on the show so I was watching out for it. My sister Angela was home with me watching it as well and said "this is a special moment" after seeing the look on my face when I actually saw the Zebra headband on Betty after it had been months since I sent the accessories to ABC. I called ABC just to confirm and sure enough it was a Di Manno Designs headband:) I was glad that one of the accessories made its way on an episode before the show goes off the air, which I believe is after this season. Don't know why, my friends and I watch and love this show! My mom and dad are also bummed that it is going off the air! Please don't take Ugly Betty off the Air ABC!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Another Way to Wear Your Pony; Lauren Conrad's Low Side Ponytail Look


Don't forget about all the different ponytail hairstyles you can do! In this picture Lauren Conrad is sporting a low side ponytail with soft curls with a chic white dress. The low side pony is a great way to wear your hair with elegant attire. I like the fact that it shows some hair from the front, but is not all down, making your facial features stand out and the soft curls add a touch of romanticism to the look. The other thing that is great about wearing your hair in a ponytail is once you are done doing your hair, there is no more fussing with it all night! With this dress, I would wear a Di Manno Designs White Patent Leather Pony (narrow size). It would add to the sleekness of the look without taking away from the diamond earrings.:)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Alexander McQueen, Style Legend of Our Time


This week we heard the tragic news of the designer Alexander McQueen found dead at 40 years of old at his home in London. This comes as a shock to the fashion world who embraced his brilliance and to all those who simply just loved his clothes, like me. I remember going into the Alexander McQueen store in the Meatpacking District, NYC and just was in awe of all the fashion works of art around me. I can't remember the last time I was in a store wanting every single piece in it!!! That is when I knew I loved his work; his sense of fashion. His designs were so bold, edgy and daring, but yet so tailored, feminine and sexy. I like the fact that when you wear his clothes, you know you will be making a statement! I respect him as a person and a designer because he didn't follow the norm, if anything went against it. I admire his strength and confidence to follow his dreams, make them real and not conform to the norm. I think that is why he has the following he does, because his clothes aren't boring and plain, they are extravagant and unique. I think people like to stand out in a crowd and Alexander McQueen clothes let you! I have a pair of Alexander McQueen black rimmed cat eye glasses. Funny, when I picked them out at the counter, I didn't know they were his brand. I am not really a label girl, I just like to wear what I like. But when I read the label, I thought, now I know why I like them!!!
So sad to see such an extreme talent leave this world at such a young age. But in his time here he managed to be named British Designer of the Year--- four times, named International Designer of the Year at the Council of Fashion Year Awards, was chief designer of Givenchy, creative director of Gucci Group, had Alexander McQueen boutiques in New York, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Milan, collaborated with Puma on a line of trainers for the brand and was the first designer to participate in MAC's promotion of cosmetic releases created by fashion designers.
He was quoted in LOVE magazine saying, "I'm 40 now, but I want this to be a company that lives way beyond me, and I believe that customers are more important to making that happen then press. When I am dead, hopefully this house will still be going. On a spaceship. Hopping up and down above Earth."
I am sure the Alexander McQueen brand will live on and continue to inspire designers and people for many years to come.:) Thank you for that Alexander, may you rest in peace.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Accessorize Your Dress With a Di Manno Designs Wrist Cuff, 20% off Your Order, Valentine's Day Special Coupon


Who says wrist cuffs are only for casual attire?
Taylor Momsen in this picture shows that mixing a little rock n roll wrist cuff with an elegant dress works! It is a way to make your look unique and personalized. It also shows how one accessory can completely change a look. It lets you get a lot of use out of one dress! There are many ways to wear a dress depending on your mood...get creative and put that wrist cuff to use!
As much as I enjoy wearing my wrist cuff with jeans, I also like wearing them with dresses. I like pairing a Di Manno Designs black patent or black crystal covered wrist cuff with a black cocktail dress or even with a black tailored skirt paired with a white blouse. Or if I am wearing a red dress, I will throw on a black patent wrist cuff with it. With white dresses, I usually wear a red leather or red patent leather wrist cuff to add a little color. In the summer, with my colored dresses (purple or green, some of my favorite colors), I bring out a white leather or white brass studded wrist cuff to jazz up the dress.
Valentine's Day is coming up and we are running a Valentine's Day Special! 20% off all Di Manno Designs accessories from now until February 14th. Just type in VDAY SPECIAL as the coupon code at check out on our online store at: http://www.dimannodesigns.com/.
Add a little splash of red to your outfit on that special day!:) Enjoy!