Saturday, October 15, 2016

How to shake hands, and what your handshake says about you !

Hello all,

I can't believe it's the middle of October already ! Halloween is just around the corner and the Holidays will be upon us before we know it. Time just seems to fly anymore....

In all the hustle and bustle, let's get into the "greeting" scene.  How do you shake someone's hand when you introduce yourself? What is the proper way to shake someone's hand and what does that handshake say about you.

I have observed a few You Tube videos and I selected one that I thought was really good in showing the different types of handshakes and how they have become a sign of introduction and respect.

I have also seen a few small presentations, over time, on this very subject.

My Mom used to say that she hated people who shook your hand as if their hands were
WET NOODLES !  Wow, what do you think that says about you !

From my own learning and observation, it is a sign of respect to stand up, and to greet someone with a firm handshake. I'm not talking about a BONE CRUSHER shake, that you will hear about in the little clip below, or the WET NOODLE shake that will always make me hear my Mom talking.

Your handshake should be web to web, straight across and with a firm and confident grip.
A handshake knows no gender, so keep that in mind as well.

Since we are in an age of confidence and empowerment, I wanted to share the fact that there IS an art to a good solid handshake.

If you are in business, your handshake can say a lot about your confidence.

There are also acceptable ways to shake someone's hand when it is in a more relaxed, or personal setting and not in a business environment.

So take a look at the clip I found and make your own assessment of the HANDSHAKE.
It's about 5 minutes long.... I like the way this is presented so enjoy it....

Have a great weekend and we will talk again soon !

Enjoy !!!


Friday, September 30, 2016

When Fashion is your Passion....

Hello All !

What a great day to discuss a Passion for Fashion.....
With our line of handbags and accessories getting closer everyday, bumping into fashion finding designers/events/ bloggers easy....finding quality in those bump-ins is something else.... I have always had the ability to read people. It doesn't always work out the way we plan , right? That said, more often than not, I am able to find the richness and the beautiful people I want to spend my precious time with , collaborate with, and share life's joys with.... First, let me start by introducing New York Model, Fashion Concierge, Runway Coach, Event Coordinator and proud to say,
 4 A STAR Model  among other places.....Nanette Rhodesia Swain..... Nanette will be doing a fashion blog segment on our web page for the next few months...head over there and check it out...Nanette's Fashion Blog at    See her wonderful introduction.....

Today, I want to celebrate Designer and fellow fashion expert  Clavon Leonard of Clavon's Wear.

It's always interesting to me when I make these great collaborations, how the story evolves.... and I love this one..... 

So let's go back in time to Clavon's 12th Birthday.... only a little way back... LOL.....
.... he wakes up, day before his Birthday, with a dream in his head of a runway.... people walking down the runway.... bright lights, cool clothes all that goes with that image..... 
So he proceeds to tell his parents about this dream he had..... he says that his parents thought he was crazy....
 Now let's fast forward to 2014 and Clavon's Wear is walking the runway in it's first show. WHERE is that runway???? You think it might be in a hometown show, a friend of a friend or something like that but no....Clavon makes HIS debut at NEW YORK FASHION WEEK !

Let's back up again..... it's 2013 and and Clavon is attending Fashion Week in N.Y.  Afterwards, during the mix and mingle, one of the producers of the show is talking with him and says, "Hey , that's a really nice suit. Where did you get it?"  "I made it", replied Clavon. "Really?", says the producer, "Are you a designer?"  And the story goes...... 
Clavon was studying HR at Rutgers. He learned to sew from his family tree and he made his own suits from time to time. He made them so well that he wound up making suits for a few friends too. A week after that encounter in 2013, Clavon was called to N.Y. by this producer to put a line of clothing together to show...... and the rest is History ! He put 15 pieces together for that show in 2014. Many things have just blossomed from there. He took a trip to Europe handing out LOOK-BOOKS wherever he went. Befriended someone who said that he had to see HIS friend who makes leather goods..... Now, Clavon makes gorgeous Leather Duffel bags and is expanding into wallets.  He has traveled the World and is ready to keep things moving in the Fashion Industry. He has even expanded into model management/talent management and we talked about a collaboration in those areas too.... as I also did with my Awesome friend, client,  and Global Designer Samina Mughal !
Clavon's Daughter Lelsie Leonard is the lead model in his Couture Line ZSA ZSA
Clavon's other daugher, Alexis Leonard, is a make-up artist and her name sports the leather bags as LEXI BAGS.
Clavon's Son , Luis Leonard, is a photographer and model. 
Clavon is making gorgeous men's and women's suits, couture, leather bags and more to come......

I'll say it time and time again.... it's all about the collaboration and learning how to help each other grow and prosper in all areas of our abundant lives..... THAT is how we move forward....together.... 

Find Clavon's newest event coming up with his own show on Feb. 10th, 2017 featuring celebrity host, model and Chef=  Carla Hall..... Make a day of it in N.Y.C. and attend Samina Mughal's Global Catwalk event on Feb. 11th, 2017. You can come and meet me there..... I can also offer you vendor tables and info on getting your designs onto the runway !  Just contact me at for any and all information...... 

I  want to give a huge shout out to just a few of the amazing people I am excited to move forward with in the industry.... including:
Supermodel and Fashion Blogger  AVADORA MIMOUNI find her on Facebook
4 A STAR models from N.Y.  Glenda Collins, Naim Keyes and Nanette Rhodesia Swain....find them on Facebook and check out Nanette's Fashion Blog on our web page through the end of this year.....
Magazine Moguls: Orlando Gordon ( Olanquan Fashion Networking)  Tirusha Dave of Bravura Magazine  Sofia Davis of Fashion Avenue News Magazine 
Gio Delavicci, Anne Laura West, Jeana and Lamont Bowling, VeVelle scarves, Swag Kueengs, Lainy Gold Designs,  and Awesome TV.....
 Our Liaisons in Las Vegas and Florida Keoni Alferez and Lisa Diane Hall........All of our connects here in New Jersey.....Wow, the list goes on and on..... these are just a few of the amazing people I love being connected to..... and there are tons keep your "Eye" on our Fashion Blog at 4 A STAR as we keep our "Eyes" on you and your success  
You can always come here to  Ava's Allocations and be sure to check out the Amazing 





Thursday, September 22, 2016

Are YOU familiar with Sneaker Violence?

How the Universe Works from one Holly to another Holley......

What is sneaker violence anyway?  Did you know that 1,200 people die each year over sneakers???

Let's go back to how the Universe works... it's amazing. I think if more and more younger people would take heart into the way of the Universe, the World will become a better place overall. I see it every day and I'm constantly saying that I want to instill the laws of the Universe into our youth...... so let's go back....

Some years ago, I had the pleasure of working with one of the nicest men you'd ever want to meet. His name , David Holley. Since we shared the same last name minus the "e", we would always address each other as Holley. Didn't know him well, yet we did have many a cool conversation. He met my Mom a few times at some special events... Funny, I saw David just a few days before he passed away.....he looked right into my eyes and spoke about my Mom, who had already passed away.... the Universe was speaking as I felt a haunting when he was talking to me.....
As if my Mom was talking to me.......

Now, years later, I meet a bright young man, my daughter's age, on the radio where I am now doing a segment on Saturday evenings....
 His name, Dante Holley.  I didn't make any connection at first. I fell in love with what he is doing and wanted to interview him for this blog.... as we spoke about meeting etc... I asked him if he knew David. I mean they had the same last name AND they both had the "e" in it..... Dante is David's son.............. and here is the story...............

Last year, on Sept 17th, Dante and his family lost their home to a fire.  At first, he was upset having lost many "material things" including his sneaker collection. When the initial shock wore off and Dante went to re build his life..... He saw a TWEET from Kanye West about a contest he was having. The winner would get a pair of brand new  Yeezy Boost Private Blacks. Boy, did he want them..... he had to answer a question . He answered 5 times and his 2nd answer was the right one. There were 30 winners..... the other 29 all came in 2nd . Dante had the first winning answer.... not only did he get the sneakers, he also got VIP treatment at one of Kanye's shows.... he was interviewed on MTV, Fox News and countless other places.... it was overwhelming............
When he returned home, social media wasn't the same anymore..... it was filled with notes from teens and young adults all over telling Dante how inspiring he was to be there representing N.J.  and all that......Dante said to me, "There was more interest in this Sneaker Contest then there was about him losing his home."  Over 3 million people entered this contest......
The Universe was starting to talk to him...... He realized that kids were classifying others by their shoes !!!!   What do they look at first? Do you have this sneaker? This shoe? If not you are bullied, robbed and the like............ to the tune of 1,200 deaths a year !

Dante again said to me, "How are people going to take a 20 year old, black teenager, with no college under his belt yet seriously?"  He found one of the largest foundations out there donating shoes to people who can't afford them.... SOLES 4 SOULS (
He partnered with them to create awareness and preparedness for what he is on a path to unleash......

Sat. is the first 5K run to raise awareness for SNEAKER VIOLENCE.  The event is 9/24 Sat. from 8AM-2PM starting at Kennedy Plaza on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. If you are in the area, you still have time to register at   Proceeds to benefit God's Gift a non profit organization associated with the Kingdom Academy. They offer kids instruction  during after school hours to pursue their passions.....singing/acting...whatever they dream....

Over the past 3 months Dante, along with the efforts of  soles4souls  , has collected over 1,000 shoes. Saturday will be the last drop off location and shoes will be distributed Globally. Dante wishes to set up these 5k runs across the Country. There were drop off locations set up all Summer all across N.J.   See the list below.

Thank you, Dante Holley, for raising awareness..........for helping us to realize that material things are fun to have. They are not EVERYTHING. They are not to be used to bully people , to rob people over and to kill. Shame on those that do that !

More to come on this story as we follow it into the future and see where we can tie it into some of our other work !


- Kingdom Academy Pre- School (253 North New Road, Pleasantville NJ 08232)
- 2nd Chance Sneaker Boutique ( 130 new jersey Ave, Absecon NJ 08201)
- Atlantic City PAL (250 N New York Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401)
- Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City (317 N Pennsylvania Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401)
- A&O Barber Shop (1002 New Road, Northfield, NJ 08225)
- Mt. Zion Baptist Church (353 S New Road, Pleasantville, NJ 08232)
- Sneaker Villa (1625 Atlantic Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401)
- Pleasantville Rec Center (400 Brighton Ave, Pleasantville, NJ 08232)
- Highgate Apartment Building (655 absecon blvd ac nj 08401)
- Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore (75 south Pomona road, galloway 08205)
- Price Memorial Ame Zion Church (525 Atlanta Ave, Atlantic City 08401)
- Highgate Apartment Building of Atlantic City (655 Absecon Blvd, Atlantic City, NJ 08401)
-   All Wars Memorial Building (1510 Adriatic Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401)

Enjoy !

Friday, August 26, 2016

For the Love of BREAKFAST !

Hello all,

What better way to set up this next blog post than to center it around FOOD !  LOL

I had the honor and the pleasure of meeting Melanie Ruggles today at a new hot spot to eat breakfast and lunch. For me, it's all about the Love of Breakfast.... the most important meal of the day !

We have our share of great places to eat here in Galloway , NJ.  Hopefully, I'll get to share some of them with you in the blogspot !  We have even had Guy Fieri out at a few places in the surrounding area... Maybe we can get him to visit the new Hot Spot.........THE CRACKED EGG. 

If you want to chat with Melanie, the first thing she will tell you is that she is NOT Norman Bates' Mom !  Guess you have to be a local to understand that one. You know you can always send in questions or comments and I will do my best to answer and get to know you better .....

So Melanie, originally from NJ, had a business in Florida. She studied Hotel Restaurant Management and found herself living in Florida. She came back to NJ with her husband and wound up working for Ford. Yep, she worked in the Ford Dealerships. Wanting to get into a business in her field, she decided she would move back to Florida to pursue that dream...

One day, her husband was driving down the road and saw the restaurant space for lease at the Ten Acre Motel in Galloway. The rest is history as they say.... ( Who is THEY anyway???)

After a remodel and a run through of a couple of chefs, Melanie hit the hot spot with an article in the Atlantic City Press .  She also wound up hiring Chef Marina, a  former Restaurant owner herself....

OMG the Omelets are so delicious !!!!!  I'm going back Tuesday and bringing someone new too !!

Find THE CRACKED EGG CAFE  on Facebook !

If you are in the Galloway area of New Jersey stop in at the Cracked Egg at 637 New York Rd. Galloway, NJ  and of course....tell them Ava sent you !

                                                                CHEF MARINA

Monday, August 22, 2016

Want to expand your brand? Think Radio !

Wow...hello and where does the time go???
It seems to move faster and faster the older we get, huh?

In this industry, as many of you know, time even goes faster as you are setting up events, meetings, and plans for months, weeks and sometimes years in advance....

That said, we still move forward with those little "clock" hands ticking and we do it with hope in our hearts, pep in our step and a vision of a bright future for our families ....

The best way to move is to move.... and forward looks pretty good wouldn't you say?

Today, I had the honor and pleasure of being interviewed by long time friend and business associate,
LISA DIANE HALL ( Link for casual chat video)

For those of you that remember Lisa, she was on the local media scene here for many years. Now her talents take her to Florida where she has spent the last 4 years doing the same. She is currently the regional sales manager for National Christian Network Radio. Along with her sales manager role, she also produces shows for the network including her own LIVE WITH LISA DIANE.

So how do we do that???
The nice thing is that many  people today are moving into radio with support from networks such as this. In Lisa's case, you can buy your own block of time on the network from a 15 minute block all the way up to an hour block. You can obtain your own sponsorships , if you like, and really take your brand to another level. As Lisa says, " It creates a platform for people to promote and expand their brand".

Catch us today live-streaming on Facebook at the Lisa Diane Hall page and also on the 4 A STAR page...

You can listen to Lisa's show every Monday from 3-4 PM on WJFP FM 91.1 out of Coca Beach , Fla.

This is just one of many stations under the Christian Radio Network. Also, it doesn't have to be a religious show  that you set up for yourself. You can promote a business, service you offer, etc...

With over 25 years in sales , marketing and media I am honored to be partnering, and representing Lisa Diane in the dreams she follows that align with mine.

We will see more of her.... catch her on Facebook at Lisa Diane Hall where you can find her radio show and much more.

Other areas that house this network include :
WCNO 89.9 FM Palm City/Boca Raton/Ft. Lauderdale
WJFG which houses 5 are a few:
91.1 FM ( mentioned above) Ft. Pierce/Port Saint Lucie/ Vero Beach
107.1 FM   The Palm Beaches/Riviera Beach
88.5  FM  Clewiston-Belle Glade,Fl

Rejoice 103.7 FM  Orlando Fla.

WWBC 94.7 FM  Freeport, Bahamas

There are also a few AM locations on the airwaves.  Many choices for this network.

If you are thinking about radio to expand your brand, consider Lisa Diane Hall and stay tuned as we explore other areas in this field.

Once again, thank you Lisa for spending time on the CASUAL CHAT today and for interviewing me on your show.....

Enjoy !

will have a whole new look in a few weeks !

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What does "Social" mean anyway and how do you get it ?

Hello all,

Back from Vegas with another awesome experience there ! We are in talks with an affiliate there to bring you our "Eyes" from the West.... 4 A STAR West.... so stay tuned for that.... so much happening as we move into the Fall Season...

Let's talk about "Social".  How do you get that?  Well, many of you may remember that a SOCIAL was sort of an event where you went out to meet people and mingle. Today, you do the same meeting, AND you do it on line !  Hence, Social Media...

I am not the social media guru. Everything I know about anything on line I pretty much taught myself. I am, however, and expert in meeting and connecting people and today we are connecting you with one of the best in the Social Media World.... ERIN MERCER 

Let's go back a little..... Erin got started in the social media arena when she was working at one of the Casino's in Atlantic City. She was trained by a Social Media "EXPERT" along with other responsibilities she held there. When the Casino downsized, she was the one who was out....

She started looking for Social media jobs in the local market and couldn't fine anything.....
That's when she realized that Social Media didn't exist in this area yet !!!

The light bulb came on and Mainspring Social Media was born. She started offering her services, in the Social Media World, to small and mid-sized businesses. Among her clients were Restaurants, Real Estate Agencies and also doing speakers pages to name a few.  Now she offers these same services to anyone .  She even now has a band she manages social media for. She has expanded to include Attorneys, Wedding agencies and is available to speak and train at businesses who may want to keep their Social Media IN HOUSE.   Wow !

So you get a feel for her background, Erin has a Bachelor's Degree in Communications. She's a member of the South Jersey Network, was featured in South Jersey Magazine and has a staff that has been trained through schooling with degrees in marketing and journalism ( and/or communications.)

You can find Erin Mercer on Face Book.
As always you can contact me for any and all info on my blogs at 
If you find old info on that site, just be assured it will updated this week. We are moving to a new format and the web page will have a new look in August.

Thank you for all of your continued support. We are now up over 13,200 readers !

Be back soon with lots of stuff to share from the International eWomen Conference.....

                                                     Meet Erin Mercer- Social Media Expert

                                                               Visit Our Web Page

Saturday, July 9, 2016

So how can you FLOAT your troubles away ?

Hellooooooo all,

So good to be in here talking with you today. It's been a little traumatic as my daughter suffered a freak accident a couple of weeks ago and nearly lost one of her fingers. Not out of the woods yet. Doing fine after surgery.... just praying for an "infection free" 4 more weeks.....

Hope you had a chance to check out my post about being the LOCAL BARTENDER.... if not, take a moment and go back to it. I had the pleasure of meeting a local bartender who exemplified exactly what I was talking about. He has now taken something he stumbled upon to a new level. If you trust your instincts , they rarely let you down. I felt so comfortable with owner and operator
 JAMES GRISINGER, I could have sat and chatted with him for hours.....

So let's take it back a little.... James had been suffering from neck pain for quite some time. Working and standing up for long hours at a time didn't help his situation. He tried much medication, which he wasn't crazy about, and visited Doctor's to find out that he had some deterioration in his neck having bones rubbing together pretty much bone on bone.

Stumbling across a place to relax....James began to float ! Yes, I said it.....FLOAT !  What??? you mean just float?????  Coming from a family of swimmers , coaches, lifeguards and having a Sister who now owns 2 great Swim Clubs here in Galloway etc.... I just couldn't wrap my head around this concept. Me, the one who is always open to new things, didn't get it...... until yesterday !

This is such an up and coming form of meditation, relaxation, exercise for those who need extra sleep, stimulation etc....  Studies are even showing that floating can help with the stress of ailments such as Fibromyalgia  and Parkinson's Disease. Remember the word Disease...."Dis- ease" . Floating is designed to put your body at EASE. You can control your lighting with a small light up ball or use the lighting provided in the tank for a calm ease of your float. When your time is up, a gentle sound of music will come through the system to take you out of your "Zoning" or "Zen" experience.....

So let's get back to James.... owner and operator of STAYING AFLOAT right here in Galloway Township, N.J.  So when James started feeling better from floating, he was going to put one of these float chambers in his home !   Nah !!!!!!!    He kept telling people about it and they all wanted to try it. Well, here is the power of your connections. Through some friends, James was able to find and secure this great space as part of a chain of the new "common area" restaurants going up all over as well.  So in my talks with James, I found that there are 4 other float places in our general area..... 3 of them are about an hour away each.... now we have one right in our backyard in beautiful Galloway close to Stockton University.

The list is long for the benefits of floating. Just to name a few things:
It relieves physical and mental stress
Great for Meditation
Raises your "good mood" chemical body make -up  ..... 
......and much more.....

Your private tank area ( as pictured) contains about 10" of water and about 1,000 pounds of Epsom Salt.... Don't you remember the old adage, ".... go soak that in Epsom salt !" Well now you can and feel really good about it.

This is a very reasonable way to relax and rejuvenate  too. ( sorry for getting you with eyes closed in one of the shots, James... I know you couldn't wait to jump in and sleep.... haha)
And sleep you can as the Epsom Salt keeps you up and you can't roll over.  It's very hard to describe the feeling so my suggestion to you is to give it a try.... This is an up and coming trend so if you are not in THIS  area, look up FLOATING, and check it out....  If you are here, though, go visit James at

Staying Afloat  at the Exchange
80 W. Jimmie Leeds Road
Galloway, NJ 08205

Make sure you tell them Ava sent you and let me know how YOUR experience was...
You can float for only $65.00 for 90 minutes
3 floats for $ 140.00
a 3 1/2 hour float for $110.00  and there are also member packages available.
If you are a Veteran, You can float for $40.00 for 90 min...... Way cool !

I'd love to hear about your floating experience.... stay tuned as we are going to feature James and Staying afloat at the Casual Chat sometime the end of this Summer.....

Enjoy and Float On.....

                                                                  Visit our web page
Page is under construction so bear with us. You can still get there. A new and exciting page will be coming at you end of July !  Thanks.