On a dazzling evening filled with glitz and glamour, I had the privilege of attending “The Color Purple” shopping experience at Matte Argyle, a beautiful and modern boutique located in Playa Vista (LA), California.  

Tashiba Jones-Wilson, the Founder of the store, is a celebrity fashion stylist who understands the power of self-expression through fashion. Tashiba decided to create a glorious and memorable night with specially curated items that celebrated the prominence of the iconic movie, “The Color Purple” and the upcoming musical set to be released on December 25th. The store is approaching its three-year anniversary on December 18th and Tashiba is grateful for all the support she has been given. Being that Oprah serves as Tashiba’s role model, it was a pleasure for her to create an event that honored the impact of “The Color Purple” and the spirit of sisterhood that surrounds it. Tashiba explains, “Oprah was the first woman that I identified with as a black woman growing up. She was my skin color, she was curvy, she was a complete inspiration to me in so many ways.”  

Amidst the buzzing atmosphere of fashion and art, and alongside my esteemed colleague, Dr. Moshe Lewis from the Music and Medicine show, I had the opportunity to interview prominent personalities such as Simone I. Smith, the wife of LL Cool J and creator of the empowering “Sis” jewelry line. Additionally, Tiffany Burgess, a cast member of, “The Color Purple” musical, whose role as Olivia serves as an inspiration to black girls and boys alike. Actress Lela Rochon also graced the event with her presence and shared some wonderful memories of how “The Color Purple” inspired her.

Simone I. Smith: Living A Beautiful Life That Encourages Others 

Beautiful, poised, and transformative are just a few words that describe Simone I. Smith with her exquisite “Sis” jewelry line. She has not only created a beautiful brand but also transformed her personal health battle into something inspirational not only for herself, but for others. Through her designs, she encourages women to stay empowered and embrace their own strength. During the interview, Simone shared that her venture into jewelry design stemmed from her own battle with cancer. Her journey of resilience and how she found healing through her artistic expression is commendable. Her story serves as a testament to the power of turning pain into purpose. Her designs are more than just accessories – they are a testament to her journey and a source of healing for others. Each piece was crafted with love, intention, and a deep understanding of the power of self-expression. As I listened to Simone, it became clear that her jewelry was not just about aesthetics, but about creating a movement centered around self-love and resilience. Her journey as a cancer survivor has given her a powerful voice and the ability to inspire countless individuals around the world. Simone I. Smith’s jewelry is a true reflection of her heart and her commitment to making a positive impact. Her story clearly speaks to the transformative power of art and the incredible strength that can be found within oneself.

Tiffany Burgess: Inspiring Generations

As I sat down with Tiffany Burgess, who plays the role of Olivia in “The Color Purple” musical, it became evident that she was much more than an actress. Tiffany’s portrayal of Olivia resonates deeply with black girls and boys, serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration for those who may have faced adversities. With humility and grace, Tiffany expressed how playing Olivia was a dream come true. She shared how she connected with Olivia’s journey of self-discovery, resilience, and finding her voice in a world that often tried to silence her. Tiffany emphasized the importance of telling Olivia’s story, a story of hope, love, and the triumph of the human spirit. Tiffany’s dedication to her craft and her reverence for the character of Olivia shone through in every word. She acknowledged the weight of responsibility that comes with portraying a character beloved by so many and expressed her commitment to honoring the legacy of The Color Purple through her powerful performance. Her dedication to her craft and her commitment to uplifting others make her a true role model in the industry. 

Lela Rochon: Embracing the Spirit of Empowerment

During the electrifying Color Purple Shopping Experience at Matte Argyle, I had the privilege of interviewing the talented actress, Lela Rochon. As we delved into a conversation about the iconic movie “The Color Purple,” Lela expressed how deeply it had touched her spirit left a lasting impact on her. She spoke passionately about the film’s themes of empowerment, resilience, and self-discovery, resonating with her own personal journey as an actress. Lela’s heartfelt connection to the movie served as a reminder of the film’s enduring power to inspire and transform lives.

The Impact of “The Color Purple” Movie:

“The Color Purple” movie, adapted from Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, has left an indelible mark on countless hearts and minds over the years. The film’s powerful themes of resilience, love, and empowerment have resonated deeply with audiences worldwide. Its exploration of the African American experience, particularly the struggles and triumphs of black women, has provided representation and validation to many who had previously felt unseen or unheard.

Meeting Alex Martin and Other Supporters:

In addition to these wonderful encounters, I was fortunate enough to briefly speak with Alex Martin, daughter of the beloved Whoopi Goldberg. It was clear that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Alex exuded warmth and passion for supporting initiatives that empower women. Alongside Alex, numerous other attendees came out to support this wonderful event, all united by a shared appreciation for the impact of “The Color Purple” in various forms. 

The Impact Of Sisterhood Remains Strong:

The night at Matte Argyle’s “Color Purple” shopping experience was nothing short of magical. Having Simone I. Smith in the building helped boost record sales for the store since its opening three years ago. From the inspiring interviews with Simone I. Smith, Tiffany Burgess, and Lela Rochon, to my interactions with Alex Martin and other passionate supporters, it was a celebration of art, empowerment, and the triumph of the human spirit. The Matte Argyle Color Purple Shopping Experience brought together a group of extraordinary women who formed a sisterhood unlike any other. These women, connected by their love for fashion and their shared experiences, created a support system that was both empowering and tremendous.

Before the shopping experience even began, there was a sense of anticipation and excitement building among the women. As they connected through social media and online forums, they discovered common interests, struggles, and aspirations. It was within these virtual spaces that the seeds of the sisterhood were planted.

Once the event commenced, the women came together physically, and the bond they had developed online quickly transformed into something real and tangible. There was an instant recognition and understanding between them, as if they had known each other for years. They embraced one another with open arms, ready to support and uplift their newfound sisters.

Whether it was helping each other choose the perfect outfit or offering words of encouragement when self-doubt crept in, they were there for one another every step of the way. It was a beautiful sight to witness this sisterhood in action, as they celebrated each other’s successes and provided comfort during moments of vulnerability.

The connection fostered during the Matte Argyle Color Purple Shopping Experience went beyond just fashion. These women shared stories of triumph, resilience, and personal growth. They listened intently to one another’s journeys and offered wisdom gained from their own experiences. This sisterhood became a safe space where they could be vulnerable, honest, and supportive without judgment.

Oprah would have been proud to see all the love and feel the positive energy surrounding this beautiful event amongst all the women and men who attended. The support shared between everyone was immeasurable, and it served as a reminder of the power of unity and empathy. Through this experience, guests not only found stylish new looks but also discovered lifelong friends who would continue to champion and uplift them on their respective journeys. May events like these continue to uplift voices and shine a spotlight on stories that deserve to be heard.

Photo Credits: Donna Dymally Photography