Meet fashion stylist, actress, and filmmaker Weyni Elder. Known for her love of fashion and film, as well as her desire to merge both worlds perfectly, this creative starlet is the definition of a fabulous mama on the move. I connected with the eccentric Weyni to discuss her diverse hustles, as well as her commitment to balancing her family and future pursuits. Take a peek at the ever so glamorous VIP:
Konnectshun: Who is Weyni Elder? What makes her a force to be reckoned with in the film and fashion arena?
Weyni Elder: I think the answer will forever be evolving. I used to think I had to fit myself into this “box.” It was the “I’m a fashion girl” so I don’t ever do anything if its not an industry event, then it was the “I’m an actor” so I have to do the bartending thing because that’s what I thought was expected of me. I gave up one passion to pursue another passion, not realizing, at the time, that I could’ve pursued both. I didn’t have the mindset that I possess now, where I can make both of my passions a successful marriage. Being a force is only about knowing your potential and not letting society or any other entity decide what works. I believe that is the space I’m in now.
Konnectshun: We know that you love fashion and filmmaking, tell me, what are your sources of inspiration – and when did you first fall in love with both?
Weyni Elder: I first fell in love with fashion when I was a little girl. My mother and my aunt would go to reggae and soca parties wearing the coolest clothes in life. I’m talking about architectural skirts, sheer dresses down to the floor, bustiers, and sequined everything. It was all about Patricia Fields then, too. When my mom and my aunt went out, back then, it was truly epic. I didn’t realize at the time but that really trained my eye to fashion. Seeing them in the most outrageous edgy outfits, then seeing it on the runway was a seamless transition.
I remember reading an article in Elle magazine when I was a teenager. It was about all the stylists to the stars. I never heard of a stylist before. Then I read the interview featuring Derek Kahn, and I was so inspired. After reading that article, I then knew what I wanted to do.
Film came long after, at least it was acknowledged long after. I got the acting bug after working in fashion for a while. I’ve done a couple of commercials, films, and plays. The audition process was grueling to me. I hated it. The concept of auditioning messed with my pride.
I met a couple of filmmakers that basically empowered me to create my own projects. That in itself is a process. I started producing a documentary and it was incredibly rewarding. I love that feeling.
Konnectshun: Where do you see yourself as a brand, in the next year, and the next 5? And how does film/video bring that alive?
Weyni Elder: I want to be recognized as an authority in fashion. I would like to write and direct romantic comedy based on fashion, art, and the women I can relate to within the next two years. In five years I hope to be working on my second or third film project. I would love to create a few faith-based films. It’s really a great passion of mine. Fashion will always play a major role in my life.
As far as my brand, I’m not sure what that is as of yet. I know I’m a mom, a fashion lover and a filmmaker. Perhaps, I am the brand. Not much more I can be but myself. Staying true to me will help to create something others will relate to and be inspired by.
Filmmaking forces people to see things the way you see it from your perspective. The same script directed by Spike Lee and Martin Scorsese would be two different films. I want to show people what goes on in my mind, and how I see life. Hopefully they would be able to relate.
Konnectshun: What projects are you focusing on right now, and what are your biggest challenges?
Weyni Elder: We are in the process of finishing up a music documentary. We are also in pre-production for a feature film with Harry Davis. He directed a film called Joy Road that has a major cult following so we hope to recreate that feeling for people in this new film.
One of the biggest challenges for me is to keep a schedule with a start and end date. I’m not so good with the minute details. Keeping a schedule of what’s going on and what’s come keeps me focused and on point.
Konnectshun: Who are some of your past or present clients in the business?
Weyni Elder: In the past, as an assistant, I worked with P Diddy, Christina Milian, Ashanti, Jah Rule just to name a few. As of late, I’ve had a few NBA players, and Vicky Jeudy of Orange is The New Black is simply lovely. There are some project in the pipeline but none that can discuss right now.
Konnectshun: As a parent, how challenging is it to balance children and your career?
Weyni Elder: It’s always a challenge. What I learned years ago from a dear friend, Melissa Davis, was to put my kids first. I could never grasp that idea as a young mom. It was all about me making money by any means- kids or no kids. It was not until I truly and whole-heartedly put my kids first did everything organically fall in place for me. Putting your family first just makes sense to me. Jobs will come and go, but my kids will always be number one.
Konnectshun: Are your children creative as well? And do you hope to teach them the ropes?
Weyni Elder: Right now my kids are into their friends, so they don’t care about fashion or film much. My daughter has done a few films but she doesn’t want to pursue it right now. My son loves sports. I would support them in whatever they decided on.
Konnectshun: What advice would you give to your supporters who want to venture into film and fashion?
Weyni Elder: My advice would be to master one of the two before you pursue the other. Then you can do both. Being mediocre in any craft ruins your credibility.
Konnectshun: What are some your favorite pieces in your closet?
Weyni Elder: My Ralph Lauren Black label military coat, and my Chanel Classic purse.
Konnectshun: How can every day moms turn up their style on a budget?
Weyni Elder: There’s really no excuse these days to not be polished and chic everyday. Finances are no longer an excuse, particularly for NYC moms because there is a sample sale every week in the city. Moms can buy designer threads for a fraction of the cost. If you live in a smaller town where there isn’t a TJ MAXX or Marshalls then scour the vintage and thrift stores. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve never met a sales rack I didn’t love at Bloomingdales. You can get some great buys on the sales rack-sometimes better than the sample sales.
There are too many options these days for moms not to be able to pull it together. What I love most are sites like Shopstyle.com that will alert you when your favorite piece has gone on sale. Come on, you gotta love that!
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Originally posted on Mommynoire.com