Category Archives: Video

Sharon Wang: Love is a Decision

Photography by Sharon Wang, Copyright 2021

Photography and Text by Sharon Wang, Copyright 2021

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Love is a Decision

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“Ah, Moon – and Star!

You are very far – 

But were no one

Farther than you –

Do you think I’d stop

For a firmament

Or a Cubit – or so?”

The decision to love is never an easy one to make. It is a mutual commitment from each person that chooses to be in love. The story in this series exhibits a girl who is deeply in love. The setting is my room, where all my emotions are witnessed. 

Just by looking at the Polaroids on the wall saturates the room with the smell of sweets, the sound of laughter and the sensation of rising adrenaline. Love offers us the highest highs and it is the energy that gets people through the tedious work. It is the happy annoyance of choosing what to wear for a date. However, love is also a poison.

There is no way for two individuals to share the completely same emotions, and that is when miscommunication and disconnection comes into play. The sadness and disappointment that accompanies the fact that some of our love is not being echoed compels the individual to do silly things — like talking to stuffed animals, wondering what they are thinking, or using substances. Love sometimes loops us into despair. However, the only antidote of love is love itself. It is a touch, a kiss and being in the vicinity of the person on your mind.

After all, love is a decision that we make. It is a fancy trap that lures everyone that falls for it to enter the swirl of every possible feeling, but hey, it is love.

“But, Moon, and Star,

Though you’re very far –

There is one – farther than you – 

He – is more than firmament – from Me – 

So I can never go!”

— Poem by Emily Dickson, #240

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About The Author:  Sharon Wang is a sophomore enrolled at Haverford College, Haverford, Pa.

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Cameras, Current Events, Environment, Erotica, Film, Haverford College, Health Care, lifestyle, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Interview: Riza Oliva

Self Portrait by Riza Oliva, Copyright 2021

 

Text and Interview by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2021

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Riza Oliva: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

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We are one year into a devastating pandemic in this country, and everything is changing. Instead of doing my own recap I decided to start promoting women empowerment. Not meaning being a feminist; In waking up to your true potential and building together. When we collaborate, anything is possible.

We have a woman vice president! Your opinion if she should be there is irrelevant. The drive, determination, and hustle were there. No one can deny her of that! The day of the mean girl, and attacking others you are jealous of; is over. I cannot tell you how unattractive and embarrassing that is to watch. If you are that girl work out your  insecurities and stop worrying about everyone else. Trust me, you just might start to like yourself.

More and more I am noticing the rise in female entrepreneurs who are going away from the traditional 9-5, or even dating for that matter. Prioritizing themselves over just claiming ownership of their partners/previous employers’ status. 

Social media has become a place to network and build your community. It is where I have found many of the interesting people I have interviewed. Instagram, Tik Tok, and Club House are all excellent avenues in the day of distance. 

This time I happened to come across a woman named Riza Oliva. She is a highly creative photographer and brings whatever concept she comes up with to life. Not only does she manage being a woman in business, but she is also a mother & partner as well. Riza seems to be balancing it all while never giving up on her dreams! 

You can have it all when you structure your life for your goals. 

The photo that caught my attention was Alice in Wonderland themed. If you know me, it is my thing. That landed me on her Instagram page only to find photo after photo of fierce women in well thought out outfits with themed back drops. 

Riza’s range is why I see her being able to scale the way she is with multiple studios. From glamour maternity, baby’s first birthday, couples, erotic, music video recording/editing, and gorgeous women of color.

She just so happened to have one of her studios in my parent’s area in Delaware County, and soon to be a second in Ohio.

Before I messaged Riza I watched her stories to see what she was putting out there. I noticed she was posting a lot of things about women supporting women, and that is what sparked me to ask for the interview. 

Building a community of likeminded woman hustlers doing alternative things.

There are many empowering women groups in the area. They can be great, but a lot of them that are your cookie cutter wellness based, or self-improvement sort of talks. I want to see the women going against the grain. Break the cycle of thinking you belong in one category and take it all on. Riza does that in almost everything she does. 

I hope some of her life will inspire more females to take on their dreams despite other opinions. 

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Photography by Oliva Reza, Copyright 2021

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 Interview Q&A: 

Name: Riza Oliva

Industry name: Riza

Age: 32

Hometown: Cebu, Philippines 

Current city: Philadelphia, PA

 

KK– Were your career choices accepted as you got older having an alternative to a 9-5? 

RO– No, unfortunately not. Not too many people were supportive when I decided to get into modeling. It was outside of the “norm” for my family and it went against my family values. 

KK– Has that been easy to overcome?  

RO– It was hard at first. When you do not have many people supporting your goals and ambitions, it almost makes you feel alone in the journey. It made me stronger as a person and the value of believing in yourself. 

KK– Are you single or involved? Is your partner supportive of your lifestyle if so? 

RO– I am involved, my partner is a photographer, so he is incredibly supportive in everything that I do. He has taught me many things in the photography world and we both have grown together in our careers. 

KK– Do you have children?

OR– Yes, I have one son.

KK– Were you ever judged for working a lot and being a mother?

OR– Yes, I had my son during the end of my senior year of high school. I walked at my graduation ceremony just a week after giving birth. Growing up with a child and trying to find yourself at the same time was very hard. I worked a lot but also was lost at times trying to figure out who I was as a person. I tried my best to be the greatest mother I could be. People who did not understand judged me a lot. I think people did not understand until they had to grow up and go through the situations I went through.

KK– How can we change that zone of heavy judgment? 

OR– I think people need to be more open minded. Women are expected to do a lot, become providers while being a mom along with going through life’s challenges. It is hard and I believe people are judgmental because they have never gone through it. We must stop judging one another and instead, praise one another for what we have accomplished. 

KK– What are your hobbies outside of your job? 

OR- I enjoy playing flag football, watching movies/shows, and traveling. My work feels like a hobby at times

KK– Did you attend college?

OR– Yes, I graduated from Temple University.

KK– What was your degree in?

OR– I have a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management.

KK– Do you have any other certifications, or academic achievements that helped you along the way? 

OR– Cosmetology license, Honors Society: Phi Theta Kappa

KK– How old were you when you discovered your talent for photography and editing? 

OR– I grew up in the AIM/AOL era. I would say around 13 years old. I loved being on my computer 24/7 and would use photoshop to edit background/templates for personal pages and other people’s pages. My dad is really into technology and he purchased this Sony camera which I started borrowing. I would take pictures of myself, my family members and then my friends. They wanted photos for their myspace profiles so they would ask me to take them. I ended up purchasing my own camera and would bring it everywhere. I would be the “event” photographer to many of my family events. I still have these photos uploaded on my Facebook and I believe I still have my first camera that I owned somewhere at home. 

KK– When did you decide you wanted to be an entrepreneur? 

OR– I have always enjoyed learning and using my skills and what I have learned to create and perfect. I used to create and sell many things like cakes, gift baskets, t-shirts, etc. I didn’t apply my knowledge and my love to create until I started modeling. I realized as a model that I could help grow other businesses including my own. There’s such an importance of being an “influencer” in today’s market and there’s so much potential in helping not just my own brand but other businesses/brands around me. I think I was blessed to meet many people who were on the same path as me in the business aspect who have taught me their world and they really believed in my worth. 

KK– What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome to achieve that being a woman in business? 

OR– They have that saying that it is a man’s world, well, I grew up always being around men. I was taught that I could not do things my boy cousins were doing because I was a woman, so it has always stuck to me to “prove them wrong”. I did not understand why there were boundaries between me and my cousin, so I made sure to be the over achiever.  I never noticed that I was always the “only female” in the group so growing up, I had to make sure the men around me took me seriously. I had to prove my worth as a business woman and make sure my work spoke for itself. Many of my close friends are men and they respect me a lot. 

KK– What current Business/ businesses are you involved with? 

OR– I currently co-own a studio in Drexel Hill, PA called Lokahi Photography studio and we just opened a 2nd studio in Columbus, OH called Hustle House Studio.

KK– Being in the entertainment industry; what is it like working with mostly men? 

OR– Being in the entertainment industry with mostly men means that you have to make sure you set boundaries. You must make sure that they understand that it is all business and not pleasure. I made sure to not work with people who I believe may take advantage of me. 

KK– The pressure to be pretty in that world is heavy. Have you had any plastic surgeries and are you happy with them?

OR– Yes, only one but I had it prior to modeling. Yes, I think it gave me some self-confidence.

KK– How can we normalize accepting women’s choices that do so? 

OR– I think with this day and age, plastic surgery has become so much more common, in both men and women. It is more accepting and almost normal.

KK– Do you find respect is an easy thing to achieve in your area(s) of work?

OR– No, I think respect always has to be earned no matter what industry you are in. 

KK– What do you do to overcome stress? 

OR– I usually travel to overcome stress. I call it my refresh button. It helps me reflect outside of my surroundings and gives me a clearer mind.

KK– Do you have a wellness routine?

OR– Yes, I usually go to the gym and drink a lot of water. 

KK– Your photos are so creative, how do you come up with concepts for shoots? 

OR– I watch a lot of movies, shows and go to museums. Once I think of the idea, I find images and put together a mood board. 

KK– Best and worst filming/shooting moments? 

OR– My worst moment would be having someone smack my butt. I never worked with the photographer again. I have so many great moments that I don’t think I could choose which one is my best.

KK– What camera and editing programs are you currently using? 

OR– I am currently a Canon user and mostly use photoshop for editing.

KK– Are you currently happy with your endeavors?

OR– Yes, but there is always room to grow and achieve other goals.

KK– What are your goals for the future?

OR– To be happy, and to hopefully open more businesses so I can quit my day job. I also want to retire young.

KK– Do you invest in the stock market, crypto, or real estate? 

OR– Yes, I recently started investing in stocks during covid.

KK– What tips would you give women just starting on their road to entrepreneurship?

OR- You can achieve whatever your heart desires. I always believe that you are your biggest obstacle so do not ever be afraid to take the leap. Also, you are your biggest motivation and support so do not look to other people for this or you will give up easily. If you believe in yourself and what you are doing, you can go far in life. Also, always plan, brainstorm, and continue learning.

KK– Lastly, how can we spread positivity and support to other women trying to rise-up as well?

OR– I believe we must be there for one another and be able to give advice when we can. Knowledge is power, so helping others grow is always the key. We also have to learn to be happy for each other’s achievements instead of hating on them. 

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Photo: Reza Oliva, Copyright 2021

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Riza is in the process of acclimating to her Ohio studio, Hustle House. This was something she had not intended to do. One of the investors backed out and Riza saw an opportunity to expand what she was already doing here  in a different state and dove right in. 

When I sent Riza this long E- mail of questions; I did so because they are the questions holding most women back from starting. I did not expect her answers to be like how I started writing a year and a half ago. Modeling for Tony has led me on my own journey of self-discovery in a world that typically has judged women since the beginning of time. No negative opinions have stopped me. I started here, and now it is taking me places that I was hoping for. Meeting likeminded individuals that want to create and grow together.  Until you start talking to new groups of people and understanding them; your circle and life is not going to grow outside of your comfort zone. 

Ladies let’s start stepping outside of the box together!

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Riza’s contact and social Media Links:

www.RizaOvi.com

Instagram: @O.Riza

Hustle House 614

4430 Westerville Rd

Columbus, OH 43231

www.hustlehouse614.com

Instagram:@HustleHouse.Studio

Instagram: @HustleHouse614

Lokahi Photography Studio

4043 Garrett Rd

Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Instagram: @Lokahi.Photography.Studio

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional article by Katie Kerl, click herehttps://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-the-ascension/

 

 

Also posted in Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Erotica, Fashion, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Jewelry, lifestyle, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Tatiana Lathion: The Man, The Basement

Photography by Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

 

Photography, Video and Text by Tatiana Lathion, Copyright 2020

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The Man, The Basement

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In this series, the artist chose to shoot in a basement. Why a basement? Well, in many ways, the basement symbolizes a sort of dark unfinished place, a place where our emotions dwell, where we experience the raw affect of feeling. In reality, many use the basement to store unwanted or unneeded items. It is often a place in a house that remains in a constant need of repair and disorder or casual place of gathering. It is never the first room to be shown to guests and is often times never shown to guests. In horror movies, it is the place where a character meets their death and is often associated with uneasy feelings. A finished basement is never the norm and is often met with surprise as people expect its rough edges. In this series, it symbolizes the place where we hide away our emotions. It represents the darkest and innermost sense of self, where we are allowed to express ourselves.

The subject of this series is a young black male, dressed in all black clothing. In this series of images, he expresses four emotions: sadness, despair, happiness, and love. In the hyper masculine society that we dwell within, there exists a societal standard that inhibits a free, uncritical expression of emotion from the male population. In many ways this is only intensified by the subjects blackness. In our society, the black population in the United States cannot afford to express emotions freely for being fearful of being viewed as weak, irrational, or unhinged by the ruling state. Instead, a burden is enforced in many minority households of this population to uphold and withhold their emotional state from others. Emotional expression is thus rejected two-fold for the subject of this series. However, in this darkened place, the subject is encouraged to express an emotional state. This symbolizes the inner emotional conflict of the subject, which is often never revealed to the general public.

In short, this series of images constitutes a small glimpse into the soul of the subject. It symbolizes the raw emotional state of the self and the continuous growth of human emotion. The subject and the setting are juxtaposed against shinny silver garland that is hung on the exposed pipes of the basement. For me, the reflective material represents an attempt to dress the dark unfinished parts of the human soul. It reflects the light and seems unnatural in the space and yet it adds to a concept of improving the self and allowing for emotional expression. I feel as though self-care and self-love has become this very surface level movement that attempts to improve years of trauma and emotional suppression with a face mask or some trivial material fix. However, to really heal and fix the human soul, it takes work and emotional upheaval of that suppression.

This series, attempts to create a visual representation of an abstracted construction of the holding place for the subjects emotions. It touches on the suppression of emotion by the subject and an expanded identity as well as attempts to reconstruct the artificial attempts to heal emotional trauma.

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About The Author: Tatiana Lathion is a senior enrolled at Haverford College majoring in Political Science and Government.

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Environment, Film, Friends of TWS, Haverford College, lifestyle, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Women

Katie Kerl: Tis the Season for Giving

 

Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Tis’ the Season for Giving

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This year I took a different approach to the holidays. I packed an entire townhouse and moved two times in November (yes again). If you have followed my previous year in writing I felt like a nomad; finally feeling like I’m at HOME in my new PERMANENT space. Through the two moves I was able to complete my small food drive before Thanksgiving. Being short on time I wanted to do more. Realizing life could be much worse in many ways; I did not want my hectic personal life to change my demeanor, but enhance it. Let me tell you, if you are struggling mentally the best thing you can do is keep busy. Doing nice things for people who are REALLY STRUGGLING improves your overall well being.

 I also joined The Philly Influencer Mixer during that time run by Davida JanaeThey cover everything exciting going on in Philly while looking fabulous. I never really considered myself an influencer, but I guess promoting my lifestyle ,interviews, & blogging qualifies as such. If I can influence people to just be themselves despite criticism & stigma; I am doing what I set out to do.  

Once accepted to the group, I noticed there was a charity event that needed to be covered. The Black Tie Gala with Sneakers, benefiting the Trauma Survivors Foundation. The event took place at The Queen concert hall in Delaware. The evening included Two VIP tickets to the event and hotel accommodations. The curator of this event and head of The Trauma Survivors Foundation, Dennis Carradin is an angel of the trauma survivors.

I spoke with him briefly on the phone before the event and got a few tips to promote it. Dennis is a licensed therapist and goes into crisis situations to help the people in need. He also teaches a class training people to become crisis internationalists all over the country. This event had been running for a number of years with a traditional sit down banquet Hall event. 

This year they wanted to make it less stuffy, and that it was.

The Queen is a really cool event space and everyone looked amazing. I brought Rob Li with me my acro friend I previously interviewed as well. Rob is a great date for events. He comes ready to have a good time, and takes photos with the bomb lighting. Doing mini photo shoots through the night was also really fun. 

There were MANY chances to win cool prizes. Two awards for the best sneakers his and hers, 50/50 raffles, silent auction, and at least 5 major vacations that were given away through the night.   

The Trauma Survivors foundation runs many events through the year. You can find this information, and the link to sign up for the crisis intervention training program listed on their web site. This year’s proceeds from the Taste of Philly went to the organization as well.

This charity really hit home for me because I have been through hell and back; yet would not change a thing because I am completely different person now. When you leave a part of you behind that felt dead; it is a large weight lifted off your soul. That is what I call healing, and I did it on my own mentally, and with the support of really good friends helping me through the last few months.  

The world needs more caring people like Dennis and his whole crew that put the event together. The thing with trauma is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  It’s easy to feel defeated and give up, it’s not easy to change life and fight for what you really want.

That is what they are here to help survivors do.

For information on the Philly Influencer Mixer and Davita Janae visit:

https://phillyinfluencermixer.com/

For more information about Dennis and the Trauma Survivors Foundation please visit:

https://www.denniscarradin.com/

https://www.thetraumasurvivorsfoundation.com/

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 The second event I was invited to was The Ronald McDonald House Lighting. This was really a cute event for families, kids, sponsors, and employees there. The evening was filled with a catered buffet, The University of Pennsylvania band playing holiday music, beautiful house lights, Philly sports mascots entertaining everyone, history characters, Lego Land experience, face painting, Disney princesses, and all the positive holiday joy one could ask for.

 I took my girlfriend Aimee with me and we brought a bunch of unwrapped toys. When leaving, we both felt like the families there are very fortunate to have such a positive place to recover. Seeing all of the kids having a great time with the band and mascots was really heartwarming. After being there I wanted to let people know about their mission.

Ronald McDonald House History:

 Dr. Audrey E. Evans saw families spend night after night in the hospital while their children received life-saving medical treatment. She knew there had to be a better way and envisioned a house where families could stay during these stressful and uncertain times.

At the same time, the Philadelphia Eagles were raising funds in support of player Fred Hill, whose daughter, Kim, was in treatment for leukemia at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Eagles’ General Manager Jimmy Murray approached St. Christopher’s about making a donation, Dr. Lawrence Naiman suggested there was an even greater need for funds resting with Dr. Evans. Mr. Murray met Dr. Evans and became a champion for her cause. He reached out to Eagles advertiser, McDonald’s, with the idea that they could offer the proceeds from their Shamrock Shake sales to benefit this new house. McDonald’s agreed, and the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House was born on October 15, 1974.

Thanks to the generosity of dedicated donors, the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House has grown from a single idea to the model for over 365 Houses worldwide. 

The Ronald McDonald House Philadelphia care program is also listed on their site, and is as follows:

“Our two Ronald McDonald Houses provide temporary lodging, transportation, meals, and social services to families who travel to Philadelphia for pediatric care. Our three Ronald McDonald Family Rooms extend the support of our Houses into the hospital setting and offer a quiet respite space for families at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Ronald McDonald Camp is a week-long overnight camp for children with cancer and their siblings held in the Pocono Mountains every August. The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, operated in partnership with St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, provides comprehensive and continuous oral healthcare to children in North Philadelphia.

“Proceeds from donations made at local McDonald’s restaurants make up approximately 10% of our annual revenue, with the remaining 90% generated through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations. It costs the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House $148 a night per family to provide housing and supportive services; however, families are only asked to contribute $15 per night. No one is ever turned away due to inability to pay and the House waives approximately half the nightly fees annually.

For more information on volunteering, donating, or using services for your family please visit:

 https://www.philarmh.org/about-us/mission-history/

Both of these events were really something anyone could get behind. What saddened me was most of the attendees were all baby boomers. I feel like the notion of giving back and service has gone out the window with the home telephone and kids playing outside. It has been replaced with IPhone 11’s, and video game consoles. If you unplug from your own life you might just be able to help someone else. 

The New Year, and decade is approaching 2020!!

Ask yourself, “What change do you want to see?” Make the effort to promote it and stop complaining about the THINGS you do not have. No matter how small the service you are still doing something to promote your passion.

 To me that is much more valuable than any present one could give.

Happy Holidays Friends!! 

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Katie Kerl. December 2019

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Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: https://tonyward.com/katie-kerl-derek-bailey-green-car-innovator/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Health Care, lifestyle, Philadelphia, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, Women

Katie Kerl: Derek Bailey Green Car Innovator

Derek Bailey Interview by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

 

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Photography by Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

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Derek and I came across each other on Instagram. After seeing what he was doing I immediately asked to interview him. He welcomed any positive press and agreed. I had the Opportunity to sit down with Derek after the interview as well.

I was able to learn a little more about his company, but more importantly what kind of person he is. The questionnaire part of the interview was completed a  few months ago. Derek’s car just recently arrived in the United States a few weeks back. I went to Hatfield, Pa to check it out in person last weekend. Also, I was able to meet part of his growing sales team; leads coming from the top Volkswagen and Lexus dealerships in the area.  They just like Derek were very welcoming, informative, and excited about what was happening there. 

The car industry is pretty cut throat, but I was pleasantly surprised at what gentlemen and active listeners they all were. 

No pretentious bullshit in this crew; he cut right to the chase and had quite the sense of humor about him. A very family oriented man. He loves his two daughters, and speaks highly of both of them. Derek’s mother and brother all are in the area as well. They take part in many charity events giving back to the community. Being so busy he still takes the time to give back and show gratitude for all his accomplishments. 

For me not knowing the first thing about cars; after talking with Derek I feel like Id be able to speak intelligently about his new innovation. One cool feature not seen on many electric cars; the Avani’s fully retractable sunroof. Most electric car dealers leave this out not wanting to waste precious battery charge. The Avani will not have that issue.

Derek broke it down in a way anyone could understand. That is what you need when trying to sway people into the clean energy movement; understanding. If we don’t educate the public, how will they make informed decisions about helping our declining environment? Tony Ward actually took the photos for this article. Derek had a drone flying the day of inspection. That was also taking place at the same time as Tony was capturing his shots. The drone capture was a pretty monumental; a famous photographer capturing a new leading green car mogul. 

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Derek Automotive started taking pre-orders with a $2,500 refundable deposit starting in September 2019. Deposits will also earn the first 200 buyers one thousand shares of company stock, as a founding buyer incentive.  

For all the information you’d need to know about Derek’s green car, please visit his site : 

https://snapshot.derekautomotive.com/

Derek Bailey

Derek Automotive

INTERVIEW

K.K. Tell me a little bit about yourself please?

D.B.  I was born in New Orleans and I’m 50 years old. I studied Economics – Major and a marketing minor, at Virginia State University. I went on to study for an MBA at the University of Edinburgh, which I did complete – due mostly to the interruption of launching businesses.

K.K. Being a serial entrepreneur how many businesses have you had since the beginning of your career; were you happy with all of them?

D.B. Actually, I’ve not had a job where I received a paycheck since I was about 19. I’ve launched many businesses, with many failures, but also a few big successes.  One being a Company called Popa Media which I sold for $11 million. I’ve been in the Temporary staffing business for over 35 years. It’s been the financial fuel for my other bigger endeavors like; Wolverton Bailey the company I co-founded to design and patent our new engine supercharger technology. After receiving two patents, I decided to launch Derek Automotive Technologies to commercialize our engine technology, as opposed to asking other companies to include my technology in their products.

K.K. When did you realize you wanted to be a part of the clean energy movement, and produce an electric car that has the ability to be self charging?

D.B. This whole effort has been about saving our planet, without harming our economy, as most approaches to climate change solutions seem to do. There are trade-offs to going green. When people talk about electric cars it’s as if they think the electricity comes from magic. Over 70% of the electricity produced in the world comes from burning fossil fuels, like coal and natural gas. If all electricity was created with nuclear energy or wind and solar, then electric cars make a lot more sense – no emission at the source of the energy, and no emissions at the vehicle – totally carbon free! What we have today is a situation where electric cars are pollution-shifting; no emissions in the car, but emissions are created far away at the electric plant. Our grid is so complex; it’s difficult to know the carbon footprint of a specific electric vehicle because we might not know where the power is coming from. I wanted to empower us to know the carbon footprint of every electric vehicle. The reason I wanted to build an electric vehicle that recharges itself is to get consumers to purchase electric cars! Electric car adoption has been slow because consumers don’t trust them and find them inconvenient (i.e., being able to recharge, the long time period required to recharge, etc.) plus they’re expensive. It’s my goal to solve these problems, and deliver an electric car that the masses will want to buy.

K.K. Can you tell me how the technology works?

D.B. We’ve created a technology we call a Proteus Supercharger. Of course Proteus is the god of nature /sea that could take any shape. The super charger is based on two patents we’ve been awarded. One patent is for a highly efficient combustion engine that burns all of its fuel (most of the pollution coming from vehicles today is unburnt fuel) so it emits 83% less carbon than today’s engines. The second patent is for a special amplifier-generator that intakes 1-volt on input end, runs it through a magnetic field and outputs 1000-volts on the other end. Our clean engine (technically, it’s called a prime-mover), which runs on a small amount of gas, turns the generator to create an abundant amount of electricity (gas-to-electric power generation) for the batteries and interior cabin in the electric car. The supercharger only creates electricity; it does not help power the car like in a typical Hybrid-car. So, effectively, we’ve put a small power plant inside the car to make it more convenient for consumers. We believe that most consumers will enjoy driving totally on electric power, but also spend only 2-minutes putting a few dollars of gas in the car, as opposed to sitting for a charge for 35-minutes up to 5-hours.

K.K. Who did you turn to for production of this new venture?

D.B. Unlike Tesla and others, we can’t raise the hundreds of millions required to build our own plant, so we’re using the Apple model where we design and have more experienced manufacturers build for us. The Chinese are actually leaders in building electric vehicles and we’re partnered with a Chinese manufacturer to build our electric car, and we will integrate our supercharger into it here in America, to create American jobs.

K.K. Is gaining investors easy considering it’s a form of clean energy, or is it difficult being it could shut other vehicle producers down?

D.B. We’ve been powered mostly by my own capital, and capital from small investors who share our passion for workable green tech solution to carbon emission from the transportation sector. It’s unfortunate to say, but minority-entrepreneurs don’t have the same access to venture capital as others. Seeing genius from us is still a little hard for many investors, so we have to be willing to bleed-alone to get things done – but hey, that’s the American way – entrepreneurship is for the rugged. As far as shutting down other producers, our goal is to produce a great vehicle, using our technology, get it into the market, have consumers go crazy for the power of electric driving, the recharging convenience, and then license our technology to all the other car makers.  Licensing is another billion dollar opportunity for us.

K.K. What are some of the road blocks you have had to overcome along the way in testing / production?

D.B.  You ever hear that song “no one knows the trouble I’ve seen?”  Well, our roadblocks have been plenty. No one believed we could build a better engine. Once built, no one believed we could get a patent. Now we have two. No one thought I could get a car built. Now, that I’m introducing the car, no one believes I can build a car company against the big competitors and in the current car market. At each step it’s an excuse not to invest in us. Always with the assumption that I won’t make it to the next step.  Yet each time I do – and now the incredible thing is I find myself still owning 65% of the company.  Now, I’m only a few steps from shocking the world. I learned a saying a few years back – “as an entrepreneur one might have to bleed and cry by him/her self, but we also get to go to the bank by Ourselves.”  It’s that thought that keeps me going.

K.K. Is this more of a luxury car, or will it be something that is affordable to everyone on a scale that will stop the way we pollute the environment?

D.B.  This first vehicle is an SUV; its styling is like that of a Range Rover. We needed to design something that consumers would recognize and have an idea of its value. Once we make some money with the luxury vehicle, I will build an affordable car that I already have on the drawing board and named. That is a secret for now.

K.K. How do you deal with stress of starting something so new?

D.B. That’s a great question and I’m not sure I’ve found the answer. I workout, take long drives just to play music and think. I’m not in a relationship right now, the place where one would find the best stress relief, assuming the relationship is a good one. So, I struggle a bit with managing my stress – I’ll admit I sometimes turn to Mr. Jack Daniels and a mindless TV show. The key is I’m always ready to get back on the grind every morning.

K.K. What are your hobbies?

D.B.  I like to hit golf balls, play chess, ride bikes, but business is my hobby. I also love cooking and the construction because I can see the results of my efforts quickly, as opposed to the years it takes to build a business.

K.K. When will your self charging electric car be released to the public?

D.B. As I said earlier, I still have a few more steps to my ultimate goal of the self-charging car. This first car I’m revealing in September 2019 is an all-electric SUV. The strategy is to sell 150 all-electric units (same as what the other automakers are selling) and plow that money back into reducing the size and completing the integration of the supercharger into the electric vehicle – it’s a lot of work, still. To answer your question, I think we will have our self-charging vehicle on the market in early 2021, maybe sooner if all the stars align.

K.K. I noticed you were granted the right to import vehicles as well. What are you planning to do with that?

D.B.  That import license is important because one can’t import vehicles into the USA without approvals from the EPA and DOT. This was a stepping stone for us.

K.K. Where do you see this taking you in the next 5 years?

D.B.  In 5-years Derek Automotive Technologies will be known as America’s first minority-owned car manufacturer and the leader in carbon emission reduction from the transportation sector. We’ll operate in 3 countries, have sales in excess of $600 million and valuation of more than three billion; minting me as a new American billionaire.

K.K. What are your personal, company, and environmental goals?

D.B.  My personal goals are to see my two daughters finish their schooling debt free, or near debt free, find my forever girl, and leave a legacy of having had a huge impact on climate change by reducing carbon emission in the transportation sector.

K.K. When will the launch party be?

D.B. The launch party will now be this fall. We had a bit of a trip through The Department of Transportation and got a bit delayed.  Fall is the perfect time for a launch Party, everyone is back from vacation and ready for what’s new. I’m looking at a few locations as I couldn’t book anything because I was not sure when we’d get all our approvals. 

Awww the stress of it all!

I’ll put out a notice on social media and my e-mail once the date and location is decided.

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Katie Kerl checks out the new Avani by Derek Automotive

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Katie Kerl was raised in Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. She is currently living  in Northern Liberties, Philadelphia. Katie has a background in Psychology from Drexel University. She is a manager in the commercial/residential design field . Katie can be reached  on Instagram @kerlupwithkate 

For collaboration e-mail: Kate.kerl32@gmail.com

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To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here:https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-weed-the-people/

 

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