Thursday, March 28, 2013

TruDynasty teams up with Carnival Nationz for Carnival 2K14

In case you didn't hear the breaking news that was posted on twitter and facebook, TruDYNASTY Carnival is teaming up with Carnival Nationz for their 2K14 presentation the Reef!
Here's the post from TruDynasty's facebook:

"BREAKING NEWS!!!! The TruDYNASTY family has joined Carnival Nationz for Toronto Carnival 2013. Get ready to be blown away with the presentation of The REEF. We hope all of our supporters continue to join us on the road where you will get the same fantastic service and an even better costume experience. Don't forget to come to the Carnival Nationz launch on April 20th at the Kool Haus and look out for the TruDYNASTY section. This is a season you won't wanna miss! See you on the rooaadddd!!!"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Goddess Intellect

Thanks for checking out The Collabo!

In January I posted the blog's first feature of the year. The purpose of these posts is to highlight the initiatives, events and businesses of some of Toronto's young professionals and entrepreneurs. This month I had the privilege of interviewing Goddess Intellect. Check out below for the Q&A with The Collabo (TCB) and Goddess Intellect (GI). 

TCB: In reviewing the “About” section of your blog, you are described as a talk show host, relationship coach, author of Goddess Intellect blog and weekly columnist in Hello Beautiful magazine. Can you tell us about your personal journey into each of these ventures?

GI: I feel like all of these ventures and opportunities are in a way related to each other. Everything that I do is tied into promoting open dialogue, connecting people; building relationships and helping people grow.  Being a talk show host arose from my ability to start and encourage active conversations with others. With respect to the blogging, this venture originally stemmed from me relieving frustration by reading other blogs and posting comments. When I would post my comments and note that they were pretty long, I started to think to myself maybe I should start my own blog. With many of my readers gravitating towards my posts on relationships, this was reassurance that the content was relatable and engaging.  I consider my role as a relationship coach stems from something I do naturally; I truly enjoy listening and helping people. Lastly, my weekly column for Hello Beautiful began from being referred from another blogger to start writing for the magazine.

TCB: For readers that may be new to your blog, how would you categorize or describe the content?

GI: Goddess intellect is my personal journey and thoughts on relationships. The blog is geared towards women but men read the blog as well which I think is great. In fact, I have had males write to me asking if I could write about a particular topic. In general I think what my readers appreciate and respect is that on most topics, with a few exceptions, I can see and understand things from both perspectives. I think they also enjoy the casual style of the blog.  

 TCB: In addition to the blog, Goddess Intellect also offers a variety of workshops. What inspires or propels you to develop workshops? 

GI: Everything I create I have to feel a personal connection to the initiative. Many of the relationship workshops, for example, were derived from things that I have learnt personally and knew would be helpful to others when shared. The Bedroom Eye social which was a past event hosted by Cocoa Bloom Cosmetics and myself, is an example of an initiative that was presented to me and I was happy to be involved in. From past recollections of being misinformed about makeup as a woman of color, I felt connected to Cocoa Bloom Cosmetics being that it is a line designed for all women, but specifically for women of color. Hosting that event was great, as it had a girl’s night out type of feel to it.

Another source of inspiration for my workshops also arises from emails I receive from readers. I receive emails in response to articles I have written on the blog and magazines. Since there is only so much that can be written in an email, I found myself identifying the common themes that I could deliver in a workshop.  I always try to make sure the content of the workshop is relevant to what readers want to know and what would be helpful to them. I think sometimes it may be easier for people to seek advice from an objective perspective. It’s not a matter of them not being able to talk to the circle of friends and family who love and care for them, but rather getting an outside perspective is sometimes easier.   

TCB: Another Goddess Intellect initiative that has been a great success in Toronto and within the United States is the Battle of the Sexes events. I noticed there will be a battle of the sexes tour in the upcoming future. Can you tell us a little bit about this tour, such as which cities it will be taking place in, and a little bit about the decision to expand the initiative abroad?

GI: Battle of the Sexes started from a radio show Ménage a Talk. The premise was three people, each with their own unique personality and perspective, would talk about various topics, such as body image, business and entertainment. When we ventured into doing a live show, we opted to do it in New York, since the majority of the audience and co-host at the time were based in New York.  The first show was called Ménage a Talks live: Battle of the Sexes. That show was a success, and I was later asked about doing a live version in Toronto. In 2012, I did two Battle of the Sexes shows in Toronto shows.

As I started networking, and considering that I have a large US following due to writing for Hello Beautiful which is based in the states, I thought it would be a great opportunity to take Battle of the Sexes abroad. The cities where the live show will take place include Oakland, Atlanta, Washington DC, New York, Los Angeles and Toronto. 

In order to take the show abroad, I have launched a crowd funding campaign. This is when you elicit donations from the public, whereby contributions can be made from an individual or on behalf of a business. I am trying to raise 10, 000 in 45 days. It is a bit nerve wrecking to know whether I will get it, but I didn’t want to put this dream on hold or loose creative control from getting a huge sponsor. People can donate a low as dollar. I also do my best to support entrepreneurs and small business at the show, by encouraging them to be vendors at the Battle of the Sexes pop up shop.  

TCB: Can you tell us what is your desire or goal for readers to take away from reading your blog or attending a Goddess Intellect event?

GI:The goal of Goddess Intellect is to promote better and improved relationship among men and women. I want readers to be more curious and open about their own life and connecting with the opposite sex. 

For More Information on Goddess Intellect check the links below:

Battle of the Sexes Indiegogo campaign:

Tour launch & blindfold speed dating Event link:

Monday, March 11, 2013

Trinidad Carnival Experience (Part Three: Fetes, Jouvert & Carnival Monday/Tuesday)

As a foreigner, securing tickets for fetes and some events can seem like having to jump through a lot of hoops. The requirements of having to know a committee member or having to be there in person for early bird registration can definitely pose a bit of a challenge. I am very grateful for having both friends and family that were able to help me out with getting tickets. As an alternative, I would highly recommend using services like The Carnival Connection to try to secure tickets (Remember the key is to contact TCC early!)

Caesar's Army Ambush

My first fete for the carnival season was Caesar’s Army Ambush. Caesar’s Army is considered an alternative jouvert. It is alternative because unlike most jouverts that take place Monday morning, this one takes place on the Saturday. 


After returning from picking up my carnival costume and liming on the avenue, I was able to squeeze in a power nap for about 3 hours. I had to prepare myself mentally for the 4am start time of this fete. I was quite accustomed to the fetes in Toronto that ended at that time, rather than start! 

My friends met me at the hotel around 2:30am with our jourvet packages. My package included a white t-shirt, wristband, Caesar’s Army bandana and a Caesars army cup. The drive to get there was an interesting experience. I read past recollections from bloggers like Lehwego about the drive to the meetup point being in a dark secluded area and it definitely was! 

Once we got to the meeting point, we were happy to see a bunch of maxi vans on the side of the road and people gathering. After about 5 minutes of liming as the crowd grew, we were then instructed to get into a maxi. After showing our wristband, we were shuttled to another secluded area. And the madness began! Ambush was epic! We started like this:

And ended like this…  

It was liberating letting go of all inhibitions and getting dirty with paint and powder. I’m usually one who likes to be put together, but that night all that went out the window. Special appearances from Super Blue after his win at Soca Monarch, and Bunji Garlin were nice surprises to the event. When dawn broke and you could hear Bunji’s "Differentology", the feeling was incredible.Overall the event was fun, and it has definitely made my list of must-dos for next year.


Later that evening I attended Scorch.  The venue was at the stadium, which was set up with two stage areas and drinks/food tents on the left and right perimeters. One difference I noticed from the fetes in Trinidad compared to the ones in Toronto, is they have the outdoor event experience nailed to a tee. I had heard this event attracts a lot a good looking crowd and that was an understatement. A friend who had arrived at the fete before me, texted me to give a heads up that she felt the crowd was a bit stush. I must have arrived at a perfect time, because I didn’t get that stush vibe and saw many people enjoying themselves. Overall I had a pretty good time.

Vale Vibe

I had tickets to attend the Vale breakfast party, but unfortunately the event was cancelled. I was really looking forward to this party as I heard from my cousins that it was one of the best during the carnival season.  I was impressed though with the professionalism that was exhibited by the promoters with regards to the refund process. Within a few days of leaving Trinidad I had received my refund for the tickets. 

Carnival with Bliss

Experiencing my first Trinidad carnival with Bliss was amazing. The band truly lives up to its name, it was complete bliss. I had a great time on both the Monday and Tuesday. My experience with them began with costume pick up. My cousins and I went to pick up our costumes on carnival Friday at the Hilton hotel. After paying the remainder of the balance, we were escorted to the distribution room to collect our costume and goodie bag. I was impressed with the goodie bag, which was a purple duffel bag, that had an assortment of the sponsors products and souvenirs, such as flip tops, customized water bottles, and a tube top to match your costume. The information brochure was also a nice touch that provided information to masqueraders on the order of sections, wrist band policy, meal schedule, drink list, meeting point and lunch stop.
When I had got my costume the bliss employee went through all of the contents of the box to ensure all of the pieces and accessories were there. One issue that I did experience was the bra size I ordered was not what I was given. I really am thankful that my cousin was there to help get that sorted out, because the first lady we had spoken with in the customer care department insisted there were no other smaller sizes available and that nothing could be done. Fortunately, with a bit of persistence, I was taken to the back to try on the bra and was assisted by Kirt Jaimungal. With a few tugs and folds, he took a mental note and drew a picture on a sticky note of the adjustments that were needed to be made to the bra. He advised he could fix it and that it would be ready for pick up tomorrow. Surprisingly he sewed the adjustment that same night, but my cousin had offered to get it for me on Saturday. Not only was I grateful that the bra fit perfectly, I was more so surprised by him remembering and walking up to me on Monday to ask me if everything was good with the adjustments he made. Talk about great service, and not feeling like just a number! Thanks Kirt! In terms of the costume, it was beautiful and well-crafted. It is also still fully intact, without any beads or gems missing. 

Playing with Bliss was great. The music was on point, security was on point (so much so that I felt more safe and free from stormers playing in Trinidad then I do playing in Toronto), the rest stop and food selection was on point. I was surprised by all the options that were available, I had bbq chicken both days and it was tasty. The variety of drink options were endless, however since I don’t drink, I had my fill of flavored snow cones, water and Gatorade.

I had a few moments on Carnival Tuesday when it felt so surreal: crossing the stage was incredible! Also chipping down the avenue with confetti in the air was another unforgettable moment.  Carnival Tuesday culminated with the band heading to a venue for the Tribe and Bliss after party. Though this ended early, it was great to see the two bands coming together. Seeing the waves of people flooding in (Tribe had soooo many masqueraders) was another surreal moment. 

With that said, my first carnival experience was overall amazing. Considering the few setbacks I encountered prior to getting there, I am really happy that I went and had such a great time.  I can see why playing in Trinidad can become addictive! I myself am already planning to come back next year for my friend’s wedding in Tobago (which just happens to be a few days after carnival!) Woot woot!