Tell me about the name "Chris Leeann". Where does it mean and how did you come up with the name?
The name Chris Leeann is very dear to my heart. After weeks of trying to come up with a name that I could truly identify with, I finally decided to use something that would remind me about my driven purpose and that's my baby brother Chad. He's the world to me. I wanted him to know when he got older that he gave me so much drive. More then what I had before. He made me set out and want to follow my dreams. I wanted him to believe that anything was possible if he believed in it and himself. He's just the world to me. He opened my eyes and I want to do the same thing for him. Half of him is half of me so I decided to use half of his middle name Chris (Christopher) and half of mine which is Leeann (Natasha Leeann).
In your press release, it states that your former aspirations were to be the next Barbara Walters, but the railroad to reporting was derailed by your passion for fashion. How did that come about?
I just felt that there was another calling for me and it no longer lay in news reporting. I'm pretty sure that in the future I will be a fashion correspondent but my calling right now is to build the empire of Chris Leeann Boutique. People can call it shallow or a silly change of profession but I call it me filling a void that needs to be filled. I call it putting a smile on someone's face when they can find themselves in something that fits their needs and makes them feel glam. Every woman wants that. Every woman needs that. I'd like to call it Fashion Therapy. And I am the Fashion Therapist.
Do you think you'll ever return to your first goal of reporting?
Of course. I will be working on a weekly fashion report show that will air on Chris Leeann Boutique.
Tell us about the boutique's motto. "The chic in class, the stylish in sass, the fab in funk..."
It's the first thing I think about when I look into my closet, go shopping, or staring down the fashion streets of New York. It's a unique look that will separate one from the rest. It's not just a plain black suit when you go on an interview. It's wearing that black suit with a sun, bright, yellow clutch and leopard print shoes. It's stepping out of the gap and stepping into Chris Leeann. Stepping into your own fashionista's. It's glamming a plain look and making it fashion!
With this being your first big fashion endeavor, it must feel pretty good to finally be open for business. What was the most difficult part of the journey?
Everything was. LOL. I had a tumultuous road getting to this point and journey is only 30% complete. I had a vision and I refused not to have it carried out as pictured. This was my dream. My baby. And the road to get here was nothing easy. But at the end of the day all the sleepless nights and many other sacrifices were well worth it.
What was the easiest?
Listening to my judgement.
Who did you collaborate with on the boutique? Or was this a solo endeavor?
Solo. But I do owe a lot to the many people who have assisted me and given me great encouragement. I can't take all the credit 100%. I couldn't of done it all without certain people in my life being great mentors and others offering assistance when needed.
Whose collections are you selling?
Its a small inventory but each piece is something sensational. I have nothing but confidence for each item I've hand selected myself. Toot Toot (That's me tooting my own horn. LOL)
On chrisleeannboutique.com you are selling about five articles of clothing and ten separate accessories. Do you plan to add more fall merchandise to your boutique?
The next items will be Winter and Holiday.
So what's next for Chris Leeann Boutique?
Everything. There's no stopping. I'm building an empire. I'm branding a name. There will be a store front eventually, a fashion talk show, and something very dear to me will be the various charity programs. But not jumping too far ahead, Spring 2009 will be the launch of my own women's singlet collection exclusively to none other than Chris Leeann Boutique. So be on the look out for La Ture - my singlet collection.
And lastly, how does it feel to be CEO and Owner of your very own boutique?
Sometimes I have to sit back and let it really absorb. Thinking to myself "I did it." I really own my own company. I'm a mini mogul (watch out Kimora!). It reminds me of how far I've come and much farther I will go.
Check out Latoya Gordon's boutique at chrisleeannboutique.com.