The Fashion Runway of Tomorrow, Today!
Island Child Style: Boss Mom helps children to believe in their power
The stage is set, lights glaring, music pumping, and works of art come to life on the Island Child Style catwalk. Over 100
girls and boys embracing their newfound confidence in every step, as they grace the runway in show-stopping kids’ designer pieces.
Michelle Gordon aka Boss Mom conceptualized the first and only Caribbean runway show dubbed Island Child Style (ICS), which features children’s fashion pieces made by local and regional designers. Along with Runway Coach Brandon Ferguson and Style Director Norma Williams, the trio have placed ICS on the international stage of runway events dedicated to kid’s fashion. Global cities such as Hong Kong, New York, Paris, and London have long celebrated the fashion industry for children and the collective Caribbean makes its mark once again in Kingston, Jamaica. (Island Child Style, 2022).
The three would have met during their tenure at the then National airline, Air Jamaica – the institution they credit with being a part of the foundation for excellence and high standards that they each bring to this collaboration. “Delivering excellence is the baseline from which we operate,” shares Norma Williams. Norma is the Style Director of Island Child Style whose passion and vision for fashion will be seen through the 15 collections set to be on display on December 3.
For the event’s Runway Coach Brandon Ferguson, who trains the children to deliver international standards on the runway, this is a stellar opportunity to teach very valuable life lessons. “My expectations for the children that I impact is for them to become global citizens who can walk on boldly on life’s runway,” he shares.
Through Island Child Style, the children undergo an 8–10-week comprehensive training programme that focuses on poise and presence, confidence building, grooming, and etiquette that will help them to become a better version of themselves. After these sessions, these children are transformed into what they call a “BOLD model.”
“A lot of our children struggle with confidence issues, and it really manifests itself in different ways. You have kids who become bullies, some who become followers, kids who are not doing well in school, and some with eating disorders. There are so many different issues and all of them we feel are confidence-based.” Michelle shared.
To play her part in lowering these spiraling issues among children and their parents, Michelle has built her platform to implement creative and impactful initiatives. During Michelle’s first pregnancy, she made a commitment to be fully invested in her parenting journey. Moving from her job as a flight attendant with Air Jamaica where she spent 19 years, Michelle then embarked on her first entrepreneurial venture and transitioned into the role of a Parenting Consultant, after observing the gaps in traditional parenting patterns, both locally and internationally.
Her aim is to bring a new outlook and perspective to the parenting sphere. For Michelle, parenting is a lifestyle, and when parents recognise this and invest a more practical approach to parenting their children, she believes that parents, and our nation on a whole, will see different results. Her passion for nurturing led her to publishing a Caribbean quarterly magazine that spotlighted the modern parenting lifestyle. The magazine is titled B3 as it includes applicable resources and serves as a go-to guide for everything Bump, Baby, and Beyond.
One of Michelle’s most significant achievements to date is redefining the landscape of parenting as a lifestyle, through the implementation of programmes and events that impact and empower children. Because of the notable work she has been doing in her community, Michelle has been able to land contracts with small and large companies and has worked closely with their staff to sharpen their parenting abilities. Michelle and her team have hosted parenting seminars and workshops that include parents and their children and crafted special products for these events. “Sagicor has an event called SMS which is an internal motivational event. Norma, Brandon and I created programmes and activities for the children of the employees who attend the weekend event.” Michelle explained.
Business took a turn when the COVID19 pandemic visited the Jamaican shores. The pandemic has immensely affected Michelle’s annual in-person events such as her parenting expos and her signature events OurSons and A Big Baby Shower, however, it has created new opportunities for her consulting business. In a quick chat with her, Michelle revealed that she was able to tap into international space, which was one of her goals.
“Online started to thrive. It was very easy to now consult with someone in a different country. Now I have clients in New York, Germany, and as far as Lagos, and that happened because of COVID. The good thing about that is that my online community still exists.” Michelle explained.
As a parenting consultant, Michelle would love to see more consultants entering the space. She believes it is an underserved area that is extremely critical and well-needed.
“I think parenting consultants can operate very well within the school system, partnering with PTAs, and also partnering with human resource departments in companies. When parents have access to the right tools, it makes parenting easier.” She shared. Michelle continues to be a source of love and inspiration to children and their parents.
Island Child Style returns in fine style after a two-year hiatus. This year’s event will be the fourth staging of ICS and will feature over 100 children. The premium family event will be held on 3 December 2022 at the Port Royal Cruise Pier.
To keep up with Michelle, follow her on all socials (linked below).
Ashagaye is a Media Practitioner, who is competent in writing, content creation, and marketing. Check out her Instagram here.
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