I started staging investment property that I owned and for other investors. I finally took the leap and began offering full service design in 2018. We are a boutique design firm based in the Kenwood/Bronzeville area of Chicago. We love creating boldly curated and artfully designed homes for clients who want function and style in their spaces.
Buzz Magazine Chicago
Born and raised on the south side of Chicago, Maurice Shelton, who would late become commonly know as “Chef Blāque”, always had a passion for food and an eye for creativity. Hailing from a diverse background in retail, management and programming, Maurice began exploring his culinary passion in 2006, when he enrolled in Chicago’s Le Cordon Bleu School for Baking & Patisserie, building on the influences of his mom and grandmother.
In 2007, he decided to take his passion to the next level and started his bakery, Black Rose Pastries! A skilled baker and sugar artist, Chef Blāque, has traveled the world teaching and training, showcasing his award winning signature style – in over 42 states and 4 countries – blending realism and modern techniques to create show stopping masterpieces.
Since, Chef Blāque, has been features in several publications and media outlets including American Cake Decorating Magazine, The Northwest Indiana Times, The Miami New Times, Something Sweet (UK Based Magazine), Modern Luxury Chicago, and WCIU The Jam just to name a few. Most recently, he and his partner were crowned Season 1 Champions for the Netflix Original Series: Sugar Rush with judges Candace Nelson. Adriano Zumbo, and Betsey Johnson.
Today, Chef Blāque continues to travel the world spreading his passion for sweet treats and confections. He hopes his son Pierre continues to express interest in the craft; and continue making “Simply Delicious Incredible Edibles!” TM.
Where there’s a Whisk, there’s a way!
I am a minister, author and a filmmaker. I love to encourage and inspire others, specifically adults, reminding them that it is never too late and you are never too old to LIVE ON PURPOSE. I am a living witness. I obtained a degree in accounting and worked in various areas in the accounting field. I started off as an auditor with a top public accounting firm. I spent some time in banking, worked for the U.S. Government and even a radio station. I actually never planned on staying in the field of accounting, but every time I wanted to make a change I just ended up taking another position in the field. I actually took acting classes when I was in my twenties. I even had the opportunity to get paid as an extra in a Nike commercial which was directed by none other than Spike Lee. Eventually I decided that it was too much work to try to get into entertainment and accounting paid the bills.
It wasn’t until the year 2010 that my life changed forever. At the age of forty-three I was called into ministry and ordained Minister Aretha Tatum. I went on to publish my first book in 2014 at forty-seven and in 2017 completed my first short film which I was blessed to write, direct and produce at the age of fifty. I realized that media arts and entertainment is the area that God wants to use me in to minister to people and to use the books and films as ministry tools.
Usually when you reach forty you think you know who you are but God is good for the wow. It turns out that my early desire for the entertainment industry was actually part of a divine direction. So now instead of making my own plans now I just follow His.
Being a visual artist has always been part of my identity, but it took me a while to figure out where I wanted to situate myself within the field. In some ways, I’m still figuring this out, as I’m known to do a little bit of everything. I studied Fine Art at the University of South Florida, and got my Masters two years later at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I got involved in the comic scene when I met some really awesome people tabling at conventions, and from there have been devoting myself to the medium. That being said, my practice has taken the form of large scale drawings, small graphic works, murals, etc.
Im an actor out of Detroit Michigan, I began in fitness just trying to stay healthy, young as possible and motivate others to do the same. I was asked to do a few model shoots for some clothing and it transitioned into some bigger names such as nike and adidas from there shot many romance novel book covers for authors who are well known sellers in the New York Times. I then was told about movies filming in the area and was submitted to play extras parts and loved it. Its actually very hard to do and I like a challenge. From then on ive pursued acting full time playing in multiple shorts, web series and feature films as well as music videos and commercials.
I never in a million years imagined that I would be an artist. I went to college for social work and my first job was at a rehab facility for teenagers. A 15 year old heroine addict introduced me to the guitar for the first time and I became obsessed. I was trying to change his life, but he wound up changing mine.
From there I was introduced to the youtube guitar world. I had devoured every single video you could find on the internet, but there was not a lot of guitar videos teaching R&B/Soul music. I thought I’d take a stab at it, and I started posting guitar covers of my favorite songs and teaching the few things I knew. The videos began to go viral and I got a call asking if I wanted to go on tour with Fifth Harmony. At first I thought it was a joke, and I almost ignored the email. Over the next 2 years, I traveled all over the world and played in some of the biggest rooms I have ever seen in my life. It all felt like a scene out of a movie.
I started my journey honestly by not getting into law school. Being an attorney was my life long dream and once it didn’t happen I fell into a state of depression. I got my makeup done a few times to feel better and after that I was like I’m about to buy makeup and figure this out, maybe start a youtube for fun. Once I got good my friends told me to start taking clients so I was like hey I could make some cash why not, right? Fast forward two years in I was taking clients for prom and still calling people to come to my house to let me practice on them I found that I wasn’t happy with how the makeup was looking on everyone so I enrolled into an esthetics program so I could learn about the skin, skin types and how to take care of each so my makeup applications would become seamless in style no matter what the skin issue.
I’ve spent the last 5 years learning and gaining knowledge not only about makeup but skincare, Brazilian waxing, eyelash extensions, chemical peels, food and nutrition for skin concerns and overall wellness as Reiki healing and tons more. It took me a some time to weave out what I wanted to offer but now I offer makeup, skincare, Brazilian waxing and reiki healing as a freelancer.
In 2013, we opened a traditional smoke shop in St. Louis, MO. After that, we began attending various trade shows and learning more about CBD and Kratom products. At the same time, customers were coming into our store and asking if we carried the products. Due to customer demand, we began selling these products in our store in 2014. Customers would continuously return and tell us how these products were positively changing their lives. Even close friends and family who were suffering from pain, anxiety and other ailments became increasingly excited about the benefits they saw when using CBD and Kratom products. Because the products varied so dramatically, we opened our first CBD Kratom to house the CBD and Kratom products in 2016 in Bucktown, Chicago. The company grew from there, and we have gone from one location to over 30 in Dallas, Chicago, St. Louis and Houston.
Kelsey, my business partner, and I linked up at a cooking club back in 2012. I had no idea that I had just met my future business partner, but in 2014 we started a company with two clients as we were moving on from our past careers. Our first two projects, a website build and a food festival, created the framework for our company and outlined our core offerings. A year into our business we began exploring how we could solve issues or streamline processes. Our company is about to celebrate our 6th year in business, with our main work being with Week of the Website – a company we started to build websites in 1 week. We have built over 200 sites using a proprietary process that helps make building websites fun, easy, and efficient.
I was born into a culture that valued traditions like henna and I was blessed with an unconditional love for art, and that’s how my henna story begins. The first time I picked up a henna cone I was 13 years old, driven, but not very good. Still, I made an Instagram and started to post. Pretty soon, people wanted me to do their henna and were willing to pay for it. I became involved in the henna community on Instagram, learning from them but also comparing myself to them. I looked at the work of other henna artists with years of experience and wondered why they were so much better. Only years of practice and several sacrificed hands later, did I realize practice was the secret. If I learned anything since the start it’s, always make time for your art. It’s important.