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:

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: 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 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!