Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - February 4, 2011

Celebrity designer motivates girls to define themselves

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Award winning fashion designer and star of MTV's House of Jazmin made her debut Jan. 22 in the world of motivational speaking at Ruby Hill Golf Club at the Defining Girl Academy, a workshop aimed at empowering teen girls to find their passions in life.

Jazmin Whitley, 22, spoke to about 50 teens on how obtainable individual dreams really are. At 17, Whitley was the youngest designer ever to show her line of clothing, Li Cari, at New York Fashion Week. Now she dresses Hollywood's hottest celebs, including Paris Hilton.

Defining Girl was the idea of Twisted Silver Jewelry designer Deb Mitchell.

"The world has such a loud voice -- TV, movies, music, magazines, what 'the crowd' is doing -- that it can be hard for girls to hear that quiet voice inside that can lead them to success," Mitchell said. "I want to show girls that it can be done. My message is you define you, or others will do it for you."

Jazmin Whitley spoke to the girls about her passion for designing and her drive from early on, saying that her faith is her guidepost in a loud world. Then, shaking off the seriousness, she got down to fashion, demonstrating how to change a look in a flash by shrugging off her jacket and switching around her Twisted Silver Jewelry.

Whitley told the girls to stick with their goals, never following the crowd, and she attributed her success to her family, including her business manager mom.

"When the going gets tough, I have had someone to fall back on, someone to lift and encourage me, and someone to always point me in the right direction," Jazmin said.

"Jazmin's message was so real, in fact the importance she puts on family and family support struck a cord with me -- I called my mom right after the event and told her how important it has been having my family always there for me, and how I never want that to change!" said Twisted Silver intern Candice Newell.

In classic Hollywood style, each Defining Girl in attendance was able to meet, greet and have a photo op with designers Whitley and Mitchell, leaving the event with a swag bag of goodies.

Girls from everywhere are invited to join the Defining Girl page on Facebook, noted organizer Donna Garrison.

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