"...these loaves that I will share with you, were baked with love, and what I know so far. I'm a firm believer that we are what we eat, and I pray the bread I share here with you, will nourish and encourage you".

Saturday, May 30, 2009


When I was younger I went through a period where I didn’t want anything home-made, even though my mother was a professional seamstress and was capable of constructing anything and I do mean anything. I wanted to dress like my friends, so I didn’t want to wear anything that did not come from the store. Now, being the loving mother that she is, she indulged this foolish whim with one shopping trip which resulted in a pair of too short jeans from the Wooden Nickel and an ill fitting top from Gimble Shuster’s bargain basement...

You see, I have been 5’9” sense I was twelve and back then store bought clothing wouldn’t accommodate my long frame. My mother knew this of course but she wanted me to learn it for myself. The next time I went back to my mother to ask her to make an outfit for a class field trip, (which I’d often done and she’d sometimes sew through the night to accommodate my last minute request) it resulted in a sewing machine and loving “Do It Yourself.”

Man, had I offended her? Who knew mothers had feelings? Well I learned that they did, but that wasn’t all that I learned, I really did learn how to do it myself. Of course my mother helped me, she would show me how to trim a pattern, how to measure it and make allowances where needed to ensure that it would fit my then size 10 hips and size 6 waist, as well as how to lengthen it so as to be long enough. Because she sewed for people she always had fabric and she would let me pick from some of her choice-pieces. (this was a phrase of hers).

Of course I always wanted to rush through it, but she would check my seams and make me do it right, saying “It should look as good on the inside as it does on the outside. You should be able to wear it inside-out”. Which I thought was silly. Who would ware a dress inside-out? But like so many other jewels my mother gave me, this too became invaluable. As I went on to design for entertainers exacting a high price, and saw many a seam checked.

D.I.Y. My mother could have coined that phrase, for it was what she believed in. She taught me to be independent. Independent of the hair salon, the nail salons, the clothing salons. Her mantra, “Learn to do with excellence anything that you would pay to have done”. Well I took her advice, and I am now the ultimate Do It Yourselfer. As a matter of fact I do it for others too. All the time. Because of the wings my mother gave me, I have earned income as a Clothing & Jewelry Designer for such artists as the late Phyllis Hyman, Nancy Wilson, Abby Lincoln, The Manhattans, Frankie Beverly & Maze…I worked as a stylist doing hair & make-up for a nationally published magazine. I am very capable of doing my own nails. Yes, the left hand is done as well as the right. I build furniture and do window treatments. I am a personal trainer, motivational speaker, talk show host, and a professional ($$) Jazzy Singer. But am I special? Nope, not in the least. I’m just free, free to do it myself. You see, at an age when I was still listening, I was told that I could, and just in case your still listening so can you! You to can D.I.Y.

Something happened, we have advanced ourselves into dependency. Why learn to do it, just pay to have it done. We have become so reliant upon others. Instead of encouraging our children to learn simple skills we have crippled them. Where we used to have to be D.I.Y’ers, we have become the ultimate consumers. And sadder still, many of us seek our worthiness in the amount of that which we are able to consume.

Because I am a D.I.Y’er, I work very hard. My jobs though are not drudgery, I enjoy the work I do. I have turned all of my passions in to dollars, and all because I was told to D.I.Y.
So I’ll give to you the same gift my mother gave to me. “Do It Yourself.” What ever it is, or pick one thing that you are paying someone to do for you, D.I.Y. just try it.

Because I promise you, this is what I know so far;
You will never know what you are capable of doing until you at least try to D.I.Y. And there may never be a better time as June is Entrepreneurs "Do It Yourself" Marketing Month and in this economy the more one is able to do for oneself the better.

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The ALL NEW Cassandra!

The ALL NEW Cassandra!
It's finally here- The ALL NEW click ENTER to visit!


Cassandra takes center stage at The Marcus Center For The Performing Arts to sing the National Anthem, at the 2010 Birthday Celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.