Book of the Month
My favorite book is the bible. I read a scripture from Proverbs everyday; it’s perfect as 31 Proverbs for 31 typical days a month sets my day in perfect order! It’s the food I need to feed my spirit and give…
On this rock Jewelry line inspires me. Created by Janet Hill a former book editor who quit h…
Dec 9, 2012
Over 20 years ago, I visited a magical place whose friendly prideful people, seductive waters, buttery soft sand beaches & burnt orange sunsets pierced my heart. I discovered Anguilla after traveling the world as a flight attendant for years often canvassing destinations many would only dream of experiencing. As a young woman, I explored each region often relying upon the cultural vibes of each place to guide my discoveries, allowing me to learn the spirit & DNA of each destination through its strongest currency…..its people. When I landed on the shores of Anguilla, I instantly knew THIS island was special. It was as if God set aside a haven on earth from which he would some appoint himself a retreat. A place where everything he created “the best of” resided in one space, on one island and only those curious enough to venture would discover.
I had at this point in my life learned that anything easily attainable generally wasn’t worth having, so knowing that Anguilla was an exclusive haven requiring “by appointment travel” made it all the more unique and intriguing. I took the 10 minute scenic breezy ferry adventure over to the island from St. Marteen and my life has been empowered and enriched ever since I stepped foot on their pristine shores. Little did I know, when I subsequently plastered a postcard of Anguilla obtained during my trip on my vision board, along with every other desire of my heart that I would not only soon amass by grace and favor most of what was added to that board, but I would one day be representing the very island and its people that I happened upon over 2 decades ago. Life will give you what you ask of it!
Those who have discovered Anguilla desire to protect the island’s heritage, resources and integrity like a mother does her child. We covet & speak fondly of Anguilla, while wanting to preserve it as if it were virgin uncharted land. Anguilla, you see, only consists of thirteen thousand three hundred and sixteen (13,316) residents – smaller than neighborhoods in most major cities. Years ago, I was told the history of when the slave masters stumbled upon Anguilla and realized there was no cash crop. They wanted to take the slaves with them to neighboring islands where there was an abundance of resources, which could be easily exploited and sold. Anguilla was not lush enough to grow crops, so there were no resources for barter; therefore, no trade or money to be made. Many times, Anguillians were offered a choice to either stay on the island or leave for greener pastures. Most decided to stay and suck salt to survive & those who did split the island among families and to this day the island is still proudly 95% owned by local Anguillians. It is that symbolism that heroic portrait of courage and badge of honor that makes Anguilla special in ways other islands can never be. It is this reason that it became my home away from home and the reason why I have been passionately referring people from afar with an unwavering commitment and why now that I’m blessed to work alongside the distinguished government and its people, I have been relentless in my pursuit for the world to discover this best kept secret and hidden jewel of an island.
Becoming an over developed commercial destination, Anguilla will never be, but they are a region solely dependent on tourism dollars. Each Anguillian’s handprint has weaved the fabric of what Anguilla was and will become and I understand that the job of my agency is to mirror and magnify what has been built and shaped by the ancestors who toiled to preserve ownership of the land. The authenticity and original spirit of the infamous “Fountain Cave” that was used by the Amerindians before either Europeans or their human cargo still prevails. It is that same Fountain that is one of the most preserved and important pre-European sites in the Caribbean. Legend has it that it was the ‘Mecca or Holy land’ of the Arawaks and this spirit continues to permeate throughout each Anguiilan host and embodies each and every person who is from or becomes a resident. There is so much talent within their small population, spanning museum curators, chefs and restaurant owners, a sailing and boating community; including builders, a cycling community, a large talent pool of dynamic music artists, even Olympic athletes, groups and festivals, authors, actors, business owners and entrepreneurs to name a few. In my relentless pursuit of shining a light on all the obvious picturesque beauty and attributes that have intoxicated all who have visited, it is my hope that the burgeoning community and the next generation of undiscovered talents will blossom and be fully realized as well.
Anguilla is a region, like myself that believes in qualitative versus quantitative growth. Simply put, they desire a discerning traveler one that will appreciate the heritage, pride and integrity the island has maintained throughout its development and evolution. Some believe Anguilla is only for the rich…not true, it is; however, quite simply for those who seek the finest world class accommodations and services as the island offers hotels and villas that range from a few hundred dollars a night to several thousand. It has been touted for having the friendliest people of any Country. It is home to over thirty three (33) of the world’s best beaches rated by respected media outlets, such as; Conde Nast Traveler, the New York Times and many others. It boasts over one hundred (100) restaurants and is widely known and celebrated as the Cuisine Capital of the Caribbean. It has been said that if anything were to happen in Anguilla that half the world’s net worth would be lost as the island is inhabited by billionaires and millionaires, who are left in privacy and solitude to explore the wonders and treasures of the Island. What is profound is that the cab driver who may transport guests, while on island is likely a millionaire himself and owner of tracts of valuable land, in which one of the island’s major resorts or magnificent villas’ most likely occupies.
It is in that spirit that I worked tirelessly to bring the Housewives of Atlanta to Anguilla. As a Public Relations and Brand Strategist that has worked alongside some of the world’s most iconic brands, the Atlanta series of the housewives franchise has not only pioneered and paved the way for a genre of similar shows to be birthed, all looking to build and find their own carbon copy of Nene and the supporting cast, but it is one that promotes aspiration at the highest level amongst an urban backdrop, one that is a globally adopted and often exploited culture. The symbolism of bringing the housewives to Anguilla for me reflected cast mate Cynthia Bailey’s love of the Island having visited many times and the vision and handprint of her husband Peter Thomas, whose crafty impact can be found on the blueprint of South Beach, Miami being one of a few key individuals that engineered the early growth, economic development and tourism dominance the city enjoys to date. Similarly, I am hopeful Anguilla will soon prosper by virtue of this heightened platform and exposure and the others that will surely follow. Peter was an integral part of the movement that transformed South Beach from the old and retired to the young and desired (To learn more about Peter’s impact please read here: http://marvetbritto.com/2012/12/the-handprint-of-peter-thomas/ ). Therefore, I wanted him to experience the fertile and inspiring Island of Anguilla and offer his insights as a change agent spreading Anguilla’s attributes among his influential community.
So, as the excitement builds with tonight’s airing of the Real Housewives of Atlanta viewers will experience Anguilla and journey to paradise, tranquility wrapped in blue. Anguilla as become a memory vessel to many and holds an endearing place in the hearts of all who visit. It is my desire that the amazing spirited people of Anguilla will benefit exponentially from the natural resources they have worked hard to nurture and protect, yet openly share with the world!
Now, the world will get to see what I cherish, covet and love about Anguilla!
In 1993, the year of my firm’s inception, I worked alongside a man named Peter Thomas, as I watched him, among several others, transform South Beach, Miami. Peter orchestrated an event, in December 1991, for Fab Five Freddy with “Yo MTV Raps” that drew hundreds from out of town. That event led to Peter hosting Ed Lover and Dr Dre’s birthday and the launch party for the film Juice, in February 1992. Actor Omar Epps hosted and the affair conjured up and comers and soon to be hip hop icons Tupac, Biggie, and Puff Daddy, actor Khalil Khan and again hundreds of out of towners. That attendance started a movement to create the first hip hop convention on South Beach and the following Columbus Day weekend. In 1993, the first “How Can I be Down Convention” took place at the Omni Hotel drawing over 500 registered attendees.
Three (3) years later, in 1996, over one hundred thousand (100,000) people descended upon South Beach to attend the burgeoning “How Can I Be Down” conference. I recall boutique hotel pioneer Ian Schrager offering bungalows at his famed Delano Hotel, the standout property that birthed a legion of boutique duplicates that would soon follow for $200 dollars a night, those same rooms currently sell for over $4k a night! Puffy, Russell, Andre Harrell, and a group of other hip hop luminaries attended year after year and as they came mass consumers soon followed and the equity of South Beach began to explode.
The elasticity of the demographic expanded beyond hip hop, growing beyond the conference and the season swelled to over 100% occupancy all year long. Club Z and Club Nu were pioneering South Beach nightclubs. Peter Thomas opened Club Manhattan, in 1985, on Red Road by the University of Miami, followed by 5th Street – the first black owned nightclub of note on South Beach, in 1988, long before Chris Paciello opened Risk, in November 1994, followed a year later by Liquid, with partner Ingrid Casares, in November 1995. October 1996 saw Peter Thomas opening Savanah – the first black owned restaurant of note; a place where Oprah Winfrey spent New Years Eve ringing in 1997 at the restaurant.
I was the fiery laser focused brand strategist that Peter commissioned to help build his” How Can I be Down Music Conference” into a globally recognized brand. As the conference grew, so did my firm amassing a roster of clients spanning iconic talents and global brands; such as, Motorola, Payless, Microsoft and Pernod Ricard to Angela Bassett, Mariah Carey and Kim Cattrall, along with Sports Stars, Political dignitaries and destinations, including; the Bahamas and Dubai. Over the years, I watched as people began to flock to South Beach, Miami, as it fast became the epicenter for global travels and party seekers. Peter Thomas, along with Sean Combs, are a few of the gatekeepers of urban culture who were largely responsible for igniting the fire that has become the burning flame of South Beach. Exactly who those key players were will vary based on the lens from which each person experienced the growth and awareness, but I can share the truth of the transformation as one that actually had her own finger on the pulse and witnessed firsthand, just as I watched Sean Comb’s White Party infuse celebratory energy and fuel the Hamptons, St Tropez, St Barth and Ibiza. Were these destinations uncharted before urban culture arrived, of course not, but without question the culture magnified the brilliance and provided gravity to the offerings of each and served as a magnet to draw in the mass consumer adoption that followed. When I visited each of these destinations on Sean Combs’ yacht over a decade ago, a boat slip was only a couple hundred dollars a day – now, that same slip costs several thousands of dollars per day. St Tropez was already a party town, but the arrival of Sean Combs’ glaring presence and his infamous umbrella carrying valet, Bentley, sparked world-wide attention and that was only the beginning of the impact of urban culture.
Two (2) decades later, Peter has continued to evolve, flourish and reinvent himself – his journey continues in Anguilla……………
Aug 27, 2012
In light of his drug abuse scandal, it was announced that record breaking athlete and worldwide inspiration, Lance Armstrong could potentially lose the endorsements he acquired while at the top of his game. Though the allegations are real, it would be inhumane to discredit the good he has done for a large community of people. More than 80 million of his “Livestrong” bracelets have been sold since their creation in 2004 and continue to represent strength and courage for the Cancer survivors and supporters who wear them.
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have household names for several reasons. They are the epi-center of the multi-million dollar franchise that is the Twilight Saga and finally gave their fans what they were looking for by turning their on-camera romance into reality. On July 17th, the media was a buzz as a photo of Kristen Stewart and her director, Rupert Sanders kissing surfaced in US Weekly Magazine. The pair then admitted to cheating on their significant others. So what does all this mean? Check out what I had to say about the scandal above.
Aug 24, 2012
I recently did a hit on the Insider about what a great move it would be for the “Live With Kelly” team to select Michael Strahan as Kelly’s new host. Check out the story!
Jan 17, 2012
I attended the festive and entertaining Trumpet Awards show in Atlanta, Georgia. The Trumpets have always been one of my favorite award shows created by the courageous Xernona Clayton who worked alongside Ted Turner for many years.
2011 ended with me being grateful for the abundance of blessings that have been bestowed upon my life. This NYE was spent in Miami with my family and with my girlfriend Kim Porter and my God Babies Jesse James and D’Lila Star at the Star Island Estate of their Father Sean “P Diddy” Combs.
I attended the launch of my friend Rona’s collection Coquette Atelier being added to the highly coveted clothing haven of Bergdorf Goodman. Rona has been a style icon and vintage collector for decades and this achievement culminates her many years of hard work and dedication.
I attended the launch of the book Commander in Chic. It is a luminous collection of antidotes that truly personifies and unveils all the wonders of being a fab, chic, diva like Mikki Taylor. Mikki is one of the most elegant, polished and refined women I know.