RaeShanda Johnson (top left) of Louisville is featured on TLC’s “Say Yes To the Dress. ” with her associates Dawana Clarkson (top right), Amber Peppers (middle row left), “Say Yes To The Dress” host Randy Fenoli (bottom left) , Ashley Bennington (bottom row middle) and bells adviser James McAlvanah (bottom row right) at Kleinfeld Bridal New York City, NY. (Photo: RaeShanda Johnson)
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Louisville-based administrator and adept RaeShanda Johnson has said “no” to affluence of things in her life, like homelessness and poverty, but this weekend she’s ready to “Say Yes To The Dress” on TLC’s berserk acknowledged absoluteness alternation hosted by appearance authority Randy Fenoli.
“After I got affianced in July of 2018, one of my bridesmaids suggested I administer to ‘Say Yes To The Dress,'” Johnson told The Courier Journal. “I about didn’t bother because I anticipation they’d never aces me.”
A above boyhood mom, she had her aboriginal adolescent aback she was 13 years old, a affiliate of the United States Army and a alum of Kentucky State University, Johnson, a afar mother of four, accustomed in Louisville in 2011 bankrupt and homeless.
But she didn’t break that way for long.
Johnson explained to TLC appearance producers how she created a dream board of the affairs she capital afterwards she accustomed in Louisville. She afresh started a Facebook appearance folio in October 2012 that grew quickly. Afterward a advancement from a Facebook follower, she opened an online bazaar and earned a six-figure assets aural 10 months of aperture the online abundance in 2013.
Today, “All is Fair in Adulation and Fashion” has a amusing media afterward of over 500,000 members. The brand’s aboriginal flagship-style appointment opened in September 2015 in city Louisville’s celebrated Heyburn Building, 332 W. Broadway.
Between active a acknowledged business and adopting four kids, Johnson is accepted for giving aback to her community.
Each year she holds two account appearance shows. The “Scholarship Brunch” provides academy scholarships to boyhood moms who appear the Westport TAPP school in Louisville. She additionally curates “Fashion on Fourth,” a appearance appearance which supports veterans captivated at Fourth Street Live anniversary fall.
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This bounce she’ll add a third appearance appearance to the annual band up. On March 14 at the University of Louisville Alumni Center, 200 E. Brandeis Ave., Johnson affairs an accident focused on appearance for girls ages 12 months to 9 years old.
Background: She came to Louisville homeless. Now this adept earns 6 abstracts as a appearance designer
“My ambition with aggregate I do at ‘All is Fair in Adulation and Fashion’ is to educate, abridge and empower through appearance and beauty,” she told The Courier Journal.
TLC producers admired aggregate about Johnson’s adventure and her can-do attitude and alleged her to be featured on the absoluteness affairs from the bags of acquisitive brides-to-be who additionally activated to be on the accepted show.
RaeShanda Johnson of Louisville is featured on TLC’s “Say Yes To the Dress” with appearance host Randy Fenoli and bells adviser James McAlvanah. Kleinfeld Bridal New York City, NY. (Photo: Ashley Benningfield, Pickin’ Daisies Photography)
Johnson, who is additionally active for a bench on Metro Council apery District 2 application her affiliated name Lias-Lockhart, and three of her abutting friends, Amber Peppers, Ashley Bennington, and Dawana Clarkson, were aureate to New York for the taping of “Say Yes To The Dress,” which takes abode at Kleinfield Bridal in Manhattan.
“I said I capital a dress that would accomplish me attending like a queen,” laughed Johnson. “Randy, the show’s host was there to advice and we taped for eight hours until I activate the absolute dress. I cried aback I saw myself in the mirror. I didn’t anticipate a plus-size woman could abrasion a white clothes and attending so beautiful.”
To abide the affair of the queen, Johnson additionally said “yes” to a 180-foot-long veil.
But adhere on, that isn’t the end of this fairytale story.
Once Johnson and her associates alternate to Louisville, TLC came animadversion again.
“They capital to blur my absolute wedding,” Johnson said. “Now I knew aggregate had to be above perfect.”
By the time the big day arrived on June 6 of aftermost year, Johnson and her accomplice had accumulated an enormous wedding affair that consisted of 30 associates of their ancestors and friends. The bells and accession for added than 300 guests was held at The Olmsted, 3701 Frankfort Ave.
Johnson’s four accouchement alignment in age from their mid-20s to backward adolescence were in attendance. “They were aflame to apperceive Mommy had found accurate love. It’s an amazing feeling,” Johnson said.
Guests were told the accoutrements for the black was formal, ballgowns were encouraged and no one was to be late. The doors to The Olmsted would be shut (and locked) at 5:45 p.m. and the commemoration would activate at 6 p.m.
“Right afore the doors were closing I saw my acquaintance and appearance artist Frances Lewis active beyond the parking lot cutting one shoe and aggravating to blooper into the other,” said Johnson. “Frances was on ‘Project Runway’ Season 17 and lives in Los Angeles now, and she’d flown in for the wedding, so she was active a little late. I apparently would accept still let her in.”
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After the ceremony, the bells affair funneled outdoors for photos abutting to a cat-and-mouse hot air balloon. Johnson had ordered white peacocks for the bells photos too, but the agriculturalist who was activity to accumulation the birds had alleged with adverse news.
“He said the peacocks had died, but if it was article white I was attractive for, he had white lamas,” Johnson said laughing. “Lamas were not the attending I was activity for, white or not.”
All is Fair in Adulation and Appearance CEO RaeShanda Johnson is cutting Lotus, $98 (Photo: All is Fair in Adulation and Fashion)
Besides the absence of peacocks, aggregate abroad was account perfect. “After the photos, we went aback central for the accession and the bells affair performed to Beyoncé’s ‘Homecoming’ — we apposite already a anniversary for two months and no one absent a step.”
Although the bells admirers will see on TLC on Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. and on Jan. 19 at apex will attending extravagant, Johnson said it was added reasonable than you ability guess.
“We didn’t absorb money on invitations. I created a clandestine Facebook folio to allure our guests and a website for RSVP’s,” she said. “And we cut bottomward on aliment costs by requesting that no one accompany a date or plus-one who we didn’t know.”
Also, Johnson said they adored a few thousand dollars by captivation the bells on a Thursday black rather than a weekend. Altogether the savings, accustomed the brace to absorb money on the capacity that absolutely mattered.
“Everything was perfect, and I am captivated I didn’t say ‘no’ on applying to ‘Say Yes To The Dress.'”
Reach Kirby Adams at [email protected] or Twitter @kirbylouisville. Support able bounded journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/kirbya.
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