Thursday, August 18, 2011

MET Fashion Photo Show Presents Athenia "Tina" Rodney

Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to the MET Fashion Photo Show blog. After taking a very long Spanish class in summer school, and two wonderful trips to Florida and Costa Rica/Nicaragua, it is good to be back in New York. I am also looking forward to introducing you to some of New York's movers and shakers like yourselves. Today I am proud to bring you a young woman who does the work of several women. One minute she is organizing an event in the park for young people. The next minute she is organizing a hat party for some of Brooklyn's most powerful women. The next minute she is working on four projects simultaneously including a breast cancer fundraiser. At this time it is my pleasure to introduce you to Mrs. Athenia "Tina" Rodney.

ME: Good afternoon Tina and thank you for participating in today's edition of the MET Fashion Photo Show blog.
TINA: Hello, and good afternoon

ME: You do a lot of volunteer work in the community. Would you consider yourself a “Community Activist?” (Tina is directly involved with the Juneteenth Celebration, The Hat Affair, her own businesses and an upcoming fundraiser for breast cancer.)
TINA: I don't personally consider myself a community activist. I love working with people and my community. I am also involved in, and a former scholar with the "Posse" program. The Posse program awards merit scholarships to top high school seniors from New York City to top liberal arts colleges. As a student I attended Middlebury College located in Vermont. I am also a member of the Middlebury Alumni of Color Board. I organized events, started websites for alumni networks and mentorships for alumni students interaction. I also have a small business called "UMOJA Events & Balloon Decorations". This is an event planning business that organizes and creates unique birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers and the like at an affordable cost. I organize a lot of gala's for not-for-profit organizations that helps them raise money. I'm looking forward to doing more events with for-profit organizations in the future.

ME: You recently organized and participated in an event called "The Juneteenth Celebration", please tell the audience about the Juneteenth Celebration and what it means to you and your family to be participants who are directly involved with the planning and coordination of the event.
TINA: This is our third year doing the Juneteenth Celebration. Each year we want to see it get bigger and bigger. We have enjoyed seeing families come out and enjoy themselves in a supportive, clean environment that allows them to see the arts and other talent in the community. I have enjoyed being involved because it feels great to see children, parents and father's come together. My initial involvement with this weekend was to support Father's Day and to promote father/child interactions. It is always good to see all the men out and about enjoying their families. UMOJA Events was the first major sponsor along with the George Walker Jr. coalition.

ME: About two weeks ago I also photographed an event that you were involved in at the Mount Piscah Church called “The Big Hat Affair.” It was well attended and you and your organization helped out a lot of people in the community. Can you tell us more about this event and how people can obtain more information about it if they would like to participate?
TINA: The Big Hat Affair is an event to highlight the women in the community that are encouraging, loving and going above and beyond for others. UMOJA Events sponsored the decor and music and entertainment. We also provided a full table arch, center pieces and event planning expertise.

ME: And if anyone in our audience wants to donate their time, money or both, who can they contact for more information?
TINA: Feel free to contact me to help out with any of these events, or if you would like to learn how to create balloon decorations please contact Athenia "Tina" Rodney at (646) 522-9869 or email,

ME: Today’s music is being provided by the Demolition Crew DJ’s of New York City. Your husband is DJ Basiq and like all of the members of the crew, when they are playing music, everyone else is dancing and having a good time. Who are the other members of the Demolition Crew and what’s it like to hang out with them?
TINA: The other main DJ's in the group are: DJ Fame, DJ Demo, DJ Pockets, DJ Tommy Lee & Barry Blends. Let's not forget the ring leader "Twizzle". Hanging out with the crew has been a real experience. I would say I am the glue that keeps everyone on the same page and organized. When you get a bunch of DJ's together all they want to talk about is music and who has the latest songs, or an older song that's no longer out. All you see is laptops with skinits of their names and external drivers during our meetings.

ME: You are an activist, mother, wife and more. You have a very busy, and I’m sure at times, “hectic” schedule. Despite all of this, you are probably going over your next group of projects and events in your head. Please describe for the audience what it’s like to juggle all of these responsibilities.
TINA: Don't forget to add my Mary Kay business to the fold. I have always kept myself busy and involved as a young person so as an adult I had to do the same. Getting involved with things that matter to me and my family are important to me. I stay organized with my trusty planner. My family works because we all enjoy the same things, family, God and fun. As long as that is together we know we can concur it all.

ME: With that being said, what’s your next event and where and when is it taking place?
TINA: My next couple of events include two events that are taking place this Saturday. The first event is at DUMBO. We are hosting a children's concert. Immediately following this event, we are hosting a fundraiser for Haiti at a gala in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn. My school (Middlebury College) is having its homecoming in Middlebury, Vermont and I will be assisting with the planning for it. In addition, I am looking to put together some fund raising events for the Breast Cancer Walkathon coming up on October 16th, 2011 in Prospect Park.

ME: As you know this is a blog about real New Yorker’s wearing real New York fashions. I need you to describe the suit, and the hat, that you were wearing at the Big Hat Affair.
TINA: Let's see, the hat was from my favorite place to shop, the Aqueduct Race Tract. My suit was from a boutique called "Mary's Place" located in Queens New York.

ME: I understand that today’s event is very casual but you have still managed to hook it up none the less like a true diva does. Wear did you purchase these items from?
TINA: For the Juneteenth Celebration I was wearing a custom made shirt from "Team Screen" located on Georgia Avenue located in the East New York section of Brooklyn. My shorts came from an Old Navy store.

ME: And where did you get your hair done?
TINA: I get my hair done at "Sister's Salon" located in the Downtown Brooklyn area on Lawrence Street.

ME: Can you please describe your fashion style for the audience?
TINA: My fashion style is simple, elegant and always affordable. I always look good without the hefty price tag unless the event calls for it. On my wedding day, my dress was hand made.

ME: Please use three words that would best describe you and why?
1) Leader

2) Organizer

3) Program Developer

My husband and my son motivate me to be the best at everything I do and never settle for anything less.

ME: Thanks Tina, now finally, in your opinion, what are three must have items for this summer?
1) My husband and my son

2) Foundation from Mary Kay (For these really HOT summer days!)

3) My loving and friendly Blackberry smart phone when it works

ME: Tina I want to thank you for taking the time to participate in today’s blog.
TINA: Thank you for caring. God continues to bless me so I bless others.

ME: Well ladies and gentlemen, I want to once again thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to read this edition of the fashion photo show blog. Now some of you have expressed an interest in advertising your business, showing off your products, and/or simply wanting to participate as a subject of my blog. All you have to do is contact me at (646) 294-1936, or send me an email at so that we can set up the interview and photo shoot session. It is that simple. You will also receive copies of the photographs taken at the photo shoot to help promote your business, products and/or services. With that being said, until next time, have a safe, and blessed day!