Fashion & Beauty

Chicago Fashion Incubator

Chicago Fashion Incubator Welcomes 2019 Class of Designers

A photo of the Chicago Fashion Incubator designers

The Chicago Fashion Incubator’s 2019 designers (from left): Barbara Keisman, Cara Farella, Goli Parvinian, Kpoene’ Kofi-Nicklin and Rakan Shams Aldeen (not pictured: Adilah Muhammad)

The Chicago Fashion Incubator, a two year-long residency on the business of fashion, welcomes the most diverse class in its 10-year history.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES, April 26, 2019 / — The Chicago Fashion Incubator at Macy’s on State Street (CFI), a two-year residency focused on the business of fashion, welcomes three new designers-in-residence for the 2019 year. These designers join three continuing designers-in-residence to receive mentoring and training to take their independent fashion businesses to the next level.

The CFI workroom welcomes Barbara Keisman, Kpoene Kofi-Nicklin and Goli Parvinian, as they join Rakan Shams Aldeen and Cara Farella, who began the CFI program in 2018, as well as Adilah Muhammad, who returns for a third year after beginning with CFI in 2017. Brief descriptions of these talented designers are listed below.

The CFI provides emerging Chicago-based designers with resources, including work space, mentoring and workshops, to help grow their careers in fashion. Workshops range in topics from media training, creating business plans, cost analysis, and building a brand strategy to more artistic sessions like preparing patterns for production to color and proportion theory. Throughout the two-year program, the designers have the chance to establish relationships with a network of industry professionals including lawyers, accountants, fashion buyers, merchandisers and branding, marketing and communications experts.

“In the 10 years since CFI was founded, this is the most diverse class we’ve had – diversity of race, religion, country of origin as well as of design background and business expertise. This diversity will truly help to enrich the experience for all of the designers as they are able to learn, grow and collaborate, unified by their shared passion for the art and business of fashion,” said Andrea Schwartz, CFI Board President. “CFI’s past designers have been successful in building their careers, and we expect the same from this talented class.”

2019 Designers-in-Residence:
Barbara Keisman of Feel Good Fashions
Barbara Keisman got her start in fashion as a professional model and then a fashion photographer. After stepping away from the industry for many years to raise her children, in 2011 she started her own brand Feel Good Fashions, a figure-flattering, affordable fashion line made entirely in the United States. Feel Good Fashions’ name was inspired by two things: its comfort-forward style and the company’s commitment to donating 10% of profits to disaster relief efforts and female empowerment organizations in developing countries


God’s Perfect Timing

There’s a story behind how I came up with the cover of my book, “Financial Storms.” I was visiting my sister Judy, who lives in the middle of Florida, and was leaving her to go to the coast. Before I left I said to her, “I need to photograph a cover for my book and I have it in my mind to make a sand castle on the beach with the waves coming in to destroy it.” I told her that I would have to buy some buckets to make the castle when I got there. I arrived to the coast and I checked into my hotel room. I decided to take a quick walk on the beach before I went shopping for sand castle making buckets,. As I was walking, I noticed some women pointing at something on the beach and I looked to see what they were pointing at and there it was …….

Someone had made the most beautiful sand castle I had ever seen. I hurried back to my hotel room to grab my camera. I took photos of the sand castle and the waves and went back to my hotel room to work on the photos. So excited! Trust me the sand castle I would have made would not have impressed anyone. The next day, I took a walk on the beach and when I came to where the sand castle was, it was almost completely washed away. Talk about God’s perfect timing!

Health and Nutrition

Benefits of taking a daily probiotic

Benefits of taking a daily probiotic:
I am convinced that taking a daily probiotic is imperative for good health and great skin. I had a sinus infection for 2 weeks and finally had to go to the doctors to get an antibiotic. My sister advised me to take a probiotic along with it to keep from having complications in my gut from the antibiotic. I followed her advise and bought an expensive one at Walgreens name brand Align. I bought it to last 6 weeks. All I can say is I cannot believe the difference it has made in my skin condition.
I started to think about it. All good health starts in a healthy gut. If your gut is not healthy you won’t get the full benefits of the good foods you are eating. Makes sense right? I eat some foods containing probiotics like yogurt so I didn’t think I would benefit from taking a probiotic. I think differently now.
As I was thinking about this I thought of a person I know who has been attending a wellness chiropractor because of chronic skin and respiratory problems. The first step they addressed was getting their gut into a healthy place and that meant taking probiotics. I noticed that this person’s skin never looked better and now I am experiencing the same benefit from taking a probiotic. Anyway that is my thought for today.
Health and Nutrition

Anti-aging, Health and Happiness

I just turned 65 and I can say that the subject of nutrition has been a passion of mine for many years.

At the age of 20, I remember reading a cookbook, (Sugar Blues) for health reasons. Who does that? Then, when I was around 35, I remember reading the Cancer Battle Plan, after watching the author give her testimony of being healed from terminal stomach cancer after she radically changed her diet. As I watched her on TV,  I noticed how vibrant her skin was and it was hard to believe that she had escaped the very same cancer that had taken a close friend of mine a few years earlier. When I saw how healthy she looked, it got my attention. I read her book and started to do some of the things she did to reverse her cancer.

Over the years, I have noticed that our human bodies will only put up with so many years of abuse before they start to protest through various sicknesses or organ failures. This protest usually starts to happen around the age of 40.  I am in my 60’s now and the following behaviors are what I do today to fight this good fight. I truly believe that my quality of life is more dependent on my good health choices than ever before.


When you ask most people if they eat healthy foods they will tell you they do. But if you are sick a lot, you most likely are not giving your body what it needs. Bad gas will not run a car for long and neither will a bad diet run your body for very long. When my children lived in my house we ate very little junk food and we experienced very little sickness. Then, when they became young adults and moved out, they started to eat their food according to convenience and taste. Soon, they noticed they were sick a lot and it didn’t take long before they returned to eating healthy foods once again. Continue reading “Anti-aging, Health and Happiness”

Biblical Healing

The Neighborhood Witnesses Our Son’s Healing.

When my son was five years old, he was playing with some of the neighborhood kids when one of them knocked on my door to tell me that they had gotten into our van and accidentally shut the van door on Sean’s fingers. When I ran out to where he was, he was screaming at the top of his lungs and several people were surrounding him trying to open the door to the van. Ten minutes later a man with a crowbar bent the door frame releasing his fingers. Afterwards, I prayed for Jesus to heal my son and He did. Two hours after his fingers were released from the van door, you could not tell which hand had been injured. This healing was witnessed by over 7 people who had come out of their homes when they heard his screams.

Biblical Finances, Hearing God's Voice

Starting a Business God’s Way.

I had taken on a second job so I could afford to advertise a new photography business I just started, when the Lord let me know that He wanted me to give all the money I had planned on spending on advertising and to give it to Him instead. What happened next forever convinced me that you cannot outgive God. He always gives you more back than the seemingly small amount you gave to Him.