In the Spotlight



Angel Fant

What makes you You?

I am a social justice focused Fashion Designer. I am also blessed with the ability to sing, dance, act, draw, paint, sew, build, and create art using a variety of artistic mediums.

I am an artist to my core. I am in competition with no one other than myself, and my dreams. Both my inner world and my outer world revolve around the arts. Art is my heartbeat, and it has saved my life quite a few times.

Art was a refuge for me as a child. As an adult, the first thing I turned to after leaving my abusive marriage was my art. It’s often said that if you don’t use it, you lose it. I have not found this to be true. My artistic skills never left, even during the seasons of life when I didn’t use them regularly. I consider myself blessed and talented.

What are you most proud of?

My proudest moments are creating art with my children and the children of others. Creating art with my children is what led me to showcase our art on the runway at Paris Fashion Week.

In Paris, I went on a riverboat ride. As I fully absorbed where I was, and what I had accomplished, I was really proud of the hard work and perseverance that brought me to that place. In that moment, I gave myself permission to feel proud of myself.

There were other opportunities before Paris that afforded me the opportunity to do art with children in Nicaragua through Habitat for Humanity. Working with Habitat for Humanity allowed me to serve 200 children a day as a UNCSA AmeriCorps ArtistCorps Visual Arts Instructor for 2 years.

What keeps you going when things tough?

Things in my life have always been tough. I have never had it easy.  Seeing my dreams manifest even in small ways gives me hope that I can achieve even greater things. I was taught to be a fighter and pray. I realized that both fighting for my dreams, and being a person of prayer are important. The prayers are what keep me enlightened. And the battles that I fight and overcome give me experience for the next storm. Life has plenty of storms that only fighters can get through.

What keeps you up at night?
At night I am sometimes restless due to past trauma and my short journey as a 911 Operator. Beyond that, I’m sometimes kept awake from reflecting on the promise that I made to my children that we have the ability to be and do anything we set our minds to.

Tenijah Renee
What makes you YOU? 

I am an artist, fashion designer, urban farmer, activist entrepreneur, and hairstylist. I became interested in hair as a young girl, and started doing hair when I was ten years old. I started creating my own recipes when I was thirteen. I went down the path of entrepreneurship and developed my first business around fourteen, No Punching Bag fashion brand. I developed an interest in farming and graduated from Urban Farm School at sixteen. I opened my first independent business at age 18. I was born with artistic talent that I have worked to develop throughout my life. I have learned to be independent minded, and to stand up for what is in alignment with being true to myself.

What are you most proud of?

I was a contributing member of our family team that worked to have No Punching Bag featured in both Paris and New York Fashion Week. We have also been featured in magazines, newspapers, radio shows and news stations. Hajinèt Beauty is the beauty brand I launched within the last year. I am running for Miss North Carolina USA as Miss Winston-Salem USA 2021. I had been person of the year for a newspaper. I have many dreams, but I realized I am living my dream. I learned to stop planning and do. I am most proud of myself for not giving up, and for understanding that it is a long journey to success. For me it is a journey that is currently still in progress.

What keeps you going when things are tough? 

I focus on remembering what I have accomplished thus far, and focusing on the legends in the past that started small and worked their way to the top of their art. There are a few songs that I listen to for motivation. They encourage me to get up again and keep pressing on when I have a down moment.

What keeps you up at night? 

I’m very innovative and am always researching ways I can make my ideas work more effectively. I try to figure out what I am doing wrong and how I can best make improvements.

 


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