Inside Out Series: Natalie Daemi Designer

Natalie Daemi is not just a designer she is an overcomer, she is a mentor, she is a walking inspiration. I met Natalie two years ago when I walked into a connect group (connect groups are the heartbeat of Hillsong NYC. They are small groups combined of liked minded individuals pursuing an all loving God.) The first thing that stood out to me was her long curly hair, but as she started speaking I felt the passion flow from her heart. She has an overwhelming passion for women and when you meet Natalie it shows. Now Natalie’s passion is showing through the custom made gowns that she makes for her special brides. Each gown giving back a portion of the proceeds to Restore NYC, an organization that rescues and houses victims of human trafficking. Shop 4 Play would like to present our Inside Out Series where we focus on creatives who not only inspire people with their work but they inspire people through their work.

S4P: You mention on your website that moving from Iran, at a time of war, to Sweden led you to your calling. Can you tell us how that journey influenced your dreams of being a designer?

ND: Honestly I never thought I would be a designer. I thought I would be a doctor and join doctors without borders. Then I moved to LA to work with homeless youth through an organization called the Dream Center. I lived and worked there for several years. That's also where I learned that in order to help people, I didn't have to be a doctor. I had to do something I love, be the best at it and that in turn would give me a platform to influence others. After the Dream Center I moved to Norway to work so I could save up some money and to gather my thoughts and see what I should do next. While there I had a vision for my life: I saw a runway show. I was standing at the end of the runway. On the wall was projected: "In the beginning God created heaven and earth", at that moment, I saw models come down the runway. As they were walking down the runway, I saw heaven and earth be created on to them in shapes of beautiful garments. I KNEW I had designed that and that it was where I was going next in my life. I opened my bible and it opened to a scripture (exodus 28:2) "And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty" That's when I knew that I had found my calling in life. To make garments for beauty and for glory. 

S4P:  It seems that helping those in need is your mission statement. Was there a moment that was significant in you creating a business that helps others?

ND: Well I knew from the day I had the vision in Norway that I wanted to create a company that gives back. How much money do we really need? It wouldn't hurt by any means to give some of it away to others that don't have the same opportunities! 

S4P: You give a portion of your tailor-made wedding gowns to Restore NYC, an organization in NYC that houses and focus to restore the lives of foreign national women who’ve been sex trafficked. How did this partnership come together?

ND: I was having coffee with a friend who has an organization (10000 PB&J). I was frustrated with where I'm at in my life. Felt like there was no purpose to my day job. So I was meeting with him to see if we could do something together. We also talked about all kinds of other charity organizations that are interesting. He asked me: what's really something that is a burden on your heart and I immediately knew it was human trafficking! I'm always so shocked that it's 2015 and we have slaves!!!! How is this possible?!? So I wanted to partner up with an organization that is local as I'm in NYC. I know human trafficking is a huge problem in cities like NYC and LA. Gown Photographed by Chandler Kim Gown Photographed by Chandler Kim

S4P: On your blog you stated that “I believe there is a shift coming. I believe we live in a generation that is going back to caring.” Do you feel like we are coming out of a time where there were more takers then givers?

ND: I think we are. Honestly how many cars or houses does a person really need?!? I think there is great joy in giving back instead of just taking taking taking...

S4P: Your blog is so inspiring and motivational. You discuss many topics from love to living your dreams. How do you hope to encourage others through your blog?

ND: I think we live in a time where it's easy to pretend you have a different kind of life than everyone else. On social media you see a glimpse of what someone's life looks like. I think it can be quiet discouraging when you compare with your own mundane everyday life. I want to be real with people. I struggle, you struggle, we all struggle! I want to be open and share that DESPITE my struggles, I'm still standing. It's not important how you fall. What's important is what you do next and how you rise up again... I hope my words will speak life into your dreams. I hope my words will make you see yourself in a different and positive light.

S4P:  In creating your blog was it your purpose to encourage others?

ND: Absolutely. I spend a lot of time mentoring amazing women. I figured that maybe putting some of those words on my blog would encourage more people that I can't reach on a daily basis.

S4P:  You had a dream to become a designer. Did you see yourself making wedding gowns?

ND: Never for one second did I think I would do wedding gowns. I was again frustrated with where I was in my life. Praying and just trying to figure out what I needed to do next. I received a text in that moment from a girl who was getting married. She asked me if I could do her wedding gown. I thought if that's not a sign, I don't know what is! So I made her dress. Then one dress led to another and another. Gown Photographed by Chandler Kim Gown Photographed by Chandler Kim

S4P:  Your journey as a designer has not been easy. How has your obstacles influenced you as a person and as a designer?

ND: Easy come, easy go... Sometimes I wish my life would have been easier and things would have been handed to me, but hardship builds character. For that reason, I am grateful that I have gone through many things and am still standing. 

S4P:  What advice would you give someone who has a dream of becoming a designer?

ND: You have to believe in yourself and your dream!!!! Make sure to meditate on that dream so it's as real as if it was happening right now because a lot of nae sayers will come around. It's not always ill will but people just don't understand the greater picture that is in your head. Those are the moments that you have to listen to the advice in one ear and out the other. In the end, no one else has to live your life other than you. Make sure that it's the kind of life that you want to live! 

S4P:  Where do you see yourself as a designer in the next five years?

ND: My hearts desire is to have a socially aware high end fashion house. I'm hoping that it's a full brand running and allows me to focus on what I love the most, which is people. 

Stay Tuned… for more with designer Natalie Daemi. In Part II Natalie explains how her Iranian and Swedish backgrounds inspire her, and how she’s connected to Selena Gomez.

Want to know more about Natalie Daemi follow her on instagram @nataliedaemiofficial and check out her website



Inside Out Series: Patrice Williams MUA Part II

Photograph by: Taylored Genius Inc

Photograph by: Taylored Genius Inc

When I first came across makeup artist Patrice Williams model mayhem page (model mayhem is a premier casting and networking website for professional models, photographers, makeup artists, stylists, designers and digital artists) what stood out to me wasn’t her amazing portfolio full of an array of beauty but it was a quote in her about me section. “I truly believe that we all have someone flawless on the inside of us and when we can transform the outside to match the inside, then we become a ball of beautiful POWER.” Beauty is not surface level. True beauty comes from within, and how we use that beauty is what radiates to the world around us. Shop 4 Play would like to present our Inside Out Series where we focus on creatives who not only inspire people with their work but they inspire people through their work.

S4P: If you could define your makeup style what would it be?

PW: I would define my makeup style as “natural glam”.  My style can be bold enough that it intimidates, but natural enough that you still want to try it for yourself.

S4P: How do you keep up with all the new trends and styles of the season?

PW: Social media keeps me current. Because I don’t live in a major city, trends aren’t knocking at my door. Thank goodness for YouTube specifically! You’ll never miss a beat with heavy hitters like Niraa B, Jaclyn Hill, Jackie Aina, and Nicole Guerriro (to name a few) that are walking you step-by-step through the trends and how to achieve them for yourself.

Youtuber Jaclyn Hill

Youtuber Jaclyn Hill

S4P: What trends are in for fall 2015?

PW: Fall 2015 is all about the smoky cranberry or chocolate eye and the vampy lip and I cannot get enough of it! I also feel like 2015 in general is the year of the winged liner, which is a must have with just about every look for me.

S4P:  Some trends can be too much for some women. What are some ways to take these beauty trends and make them more subtle to fit people’s comfort zones?

PW: I always say, if you like a bold look, but there are parts that are too bold, make up in your mind (haha-makeup/make up – I love self-entertainment) what you would take out to make it more wearable for you. Once you made your decision… just do that! It’s literally that simple. There are some looks that I see, where they have the full blow colorful eye with the purple lips. That may be too much for me on a given day, but if I want to adjust it to fit my needs, I’ll just start with the eye and do a nude lip. Or if the eyes are too much for me on a given day, no worries! Neutral eye, bold lip!

S4P: What are your favorite products for fall?

PW: A personal favorite of mine has been a MAC lipstick in the shade “instigator”. It’s such an awesome deep berry-chocolate shade and it goes perfectly with a cranberry or a chocolate smoky eye!

I am also really loving the Lorac Pro Matte palette! Literally ANY fall eye look can be created with this palette!

S4P: If we looked into your everyday bag what would we find?

PW: Surprisingly, my purse is extremely bland! I’m not the kind of makeup artist to carry makeup with me everywhere I go! I actually don’t carry any with me at all (I know there is someone reading this and clutching their pearls). I literally just keep my wallet, some hygiene essentials (passionberry vanilla body spray from Ulta, deodorant, and a tide pen since I’m always spilling on myself), and maybe some mints and Tylenol. My purse is certainly not a reflection of myself. It’s more of a reflection on things I actually use throughout the day!

S4P: Today’s women are very busy. What are some quick tips to take a day/work beauty look to a night out?

PW: To change a day look to a night look, you want to reflect what happens in nature. Of course, during the day, it’s bright, and at night, it’s dark. This will work the same way with your makeup. This can be applied easiest to the eyes and the lips. For the eyes, you can deepen the outer corners of your crease by adding a darker chocolate or black to smoke it out (when in doubt smoke it out). You can also amp up your nighttime look with a nice, dark, bold lip!

If you are really feeling it, I always suggest increasing the shade of your blush about one or two shades deeper.

S4P: What would be your makeup advice for a woman who is just starting to experiment with makeup?

PW: Take your experiment in stages. Don’t feel obligated to go out and get a full cream contouring and highlighting kit right off the bat. I started by experimenting with eyes first, and I recommend that to anyone getting in makeup. The first thing that people look at are your eyes! So start by experimenting with a small, affordable eyeshadow palette. Nyx makes great small but mighty eyeshadow palettes. Choose one with neutral colors and don’t underestimate the amount of looks that can be created from a neutral palette.

Once you become more and more comfortable, then move on to experimenting with foundation, then lipstick, then move into the contouring and highlighting realm! And don’t put yourself on a timeline. It’s your face, so you can take as long as you want on any particular stage! And if you have an inclination that you want to do something daring, DO IT! It’s just makeup! It’s not like you’re tattooing your face! You got this!

Want More… Follow Patrice on instagram @patricewilliamsmua and check out her website at

Know someone that inspires you and you would like them to be featured in our Inside Out Series email us at or tag them on our instagram page @shop_4play.




Inside Out Series: Patrice Williams MUA Part I

Photographer: Taylored Genius Inc

Photographer: Taylored Genius Inc

When I first came across makeup artist Patrice Williams' model mayhem page (model mayhem is a premier casting and networking website for professional models, photographers, makeup artists, stylists, designers and digital artists) what stood out to me wasn’t her amazing portfolio full of an array of beauty but it was a quote in her about me section. “I truly believe that we all have someone flawless on the inside of us and when we can transform the outside to match the inside, then we become a ball of beautiful POWER.” Shop 4 Play would like to present our Inside Out Series  where we focus on creatives who not only inspire people with their work but they inspire people through their work.


S4P: On your website you state that your love for beauty runs deeper than your love for making people look absolutely gorgeous. How did your love for beauty start?

PW: I was at a time in my life where I was involved with a network marketing company with the person that I was dating at the time. As our relationship started to go south, my business started to go south because I was so focused on making sure that the relationship stood strong, that I neglected my business. Because I felt like everything in my life was just going downhill, I started hating myself and the way I looked and the way I acted, and more importantly, the way that I felt. I was falling into a rut and a depression that I couldn’t dig myself out of. When I left the house, I would put on makeup because I believed that if I could convince my eyes that I was beautiful, I could convince my soul that I was. And because of the nature of the relationship that I was in, doing my makeup was also the only time where I truly felt that I was catering to myself and doing what I wanted without concern of what another person wanted me to be and how they wanted me to look. Because I felt independent and I had so much free will to do whatever I wanted, I knew that beauty was going to transform my life.

S4P: How has your artistry transformed from the beginning stages to now?

I actually still feel like my artistry is in the beginning stages. I’m constantly learning how to clean up or perfect or enhance different looks. What I can say, however, is that my artistry was very… CHUNKY and THICK when I first started. I did dramatic thick brows all the time on everyone and a super bold, winged out liner and eyeshadow. When I first started, that’s what I did on myself, so that’s all I knew how to do on other people. Now, I am cleaner with my work and more controlled. Of course, if a client wants drama, they’ll get drama, but I’ve softened my hand since starting.

S4P: On your website you also spoke about your artistry journey. What advice would you give someone on the same path?

PW: I recommend practicing on as many people as you can and don’t be afraid to photograph and post your work. The first face I did was HORRIBLE (in my opinion), but I was able to compare that same face to my work now and the transformation and growth let me know that I’m not where I want to be, but I’m also not where I used to be.

I would also say, don’t be discouraged or afraid to take free work. I’ve gotten most of my paid work from someone who saw a face that I did for free.

Photographer: Taylored Genius Inc

Photographer: Taylored Genius Inc

S4P: You are based in Pottstown Pennsylvania correct? That is a suburb of Philadelphia. How do you think the makeup industry differs from a suburb like Pottstown to a big city like New York?

PW: Pottstown, Pennsylvania is a suburb that’s actually about an hour outside of Philadelphia. Because Pottstown is such a small town, there’s not much of an “industry” here. The only local product that we can easily obtain comes from drugstores. If you want a taste of the industry trends, then there’s some traveling that needs to happen to stores like Ulta, Sephora, MAC, etc. New York is a melting pot with fresh, raw, and updated industry trends, far from Pottstown.

S4P: Do you believe that a MUA can have an amazing career without living in a major city?

PW: With the help of social media, I absolutely believe that MUAs can have great careers without living in New York, Chicago, LA, or even Philadelphia. You just have to be willing to travel to those major cities for client work or just to network.

S4P: Your instagram @patricewilliamsmua is composed of your work of your clients, but you also do makeup on yourself. How different is it doing makeup on others vs doing makeup on yourself?

PW: Oh my goodness, it’s completely different. You know every dip and crevice and curve on your face, so you automatically know how to hold different brushes to achieve desired looks on your face. The challenging part of doing makeup on yourself is when you are testing looks that you’re not familiar with, but since you know your own face, half the battle is already won. When doing makeup on someone else, you’re going into foreign land. You have to hold your brushes differently. Their crease won’t be your crease. Their cheekbones won’t be prominent where your cheekbones are. Their lips may not be as full or shaped like yours. This makes it very different, but also very beautiful at the same time. I could be wearing the same look as a client, but it will look different between us because we have different face structures.

S4P: “If I lived off of compliments, I would die off of criticism. Don’t depend on the opposite sex to tell you that you’re beautiful, you have to believe it for YOURSELF!!!” That is a quote off of one of your photos on your instagram page. How do you hope to inspire other women to be confident in their own skin?

PW: I hope to inspire women to be confident in their own skin not necessarily by putting makeup on their face, but by the conversation and the message that can be on my heart for that particular person. Many women that come to me are moms that don’t have time to apply makeup or women that never thought they actually could wear makeup. Because confidence comes from the inside out, I like to take the time (when I’m applying makeup) to just talk… to get to know the person and learn what brought them into my chair. Many times, the reason that they want to look beautiful stems far deeper than the event that they are going to on that particular day or night. I don’t think it’s by coincidence that I work with the clients I work with.  I believe that God chose me to give women encouragement through conversation first (so their inner self can feel beautiful).  Then, when they look in the mirror and see physical beauty, transformation happens. When spiritual and physical beauty sync, that’s when confidence is ignited.

Photographer: Taylored Genius Inc

Photographer: Taylored Genius Inc

S4P: As of recent a few models have spoken out about the lack of diversity in the fashion industry. In particular model Nykhor Paul who interviewed with the Huffington Post on her views of the industry (  Do you feel that there is a lack of diversity in the industry?

PW: I believe that there is a lack of diversity in the industry, but I also believe that the industry is taking steps to bridge that gap. Of course, when I go to a store to buy shades for African American clients or even for myself, there’s a wider array of Caucasian-catered shades than there are African American friendly shades. What I wish the industry would understand is that if there can be five, ten, or fifteen shades of “ivory”, there can also be the same amount of “ebony” shades available. African Americans aren’t born in two shades.

But like I said, there are strides that are taking place. For example, I was interested in the Too Faced Born This Way foundation when it first came out, but they only came out with a handful of shades and they didn’t have a color in my shade (and I’m of a relatively lighter African American complexion), but I just saw that they are rolling out new, darker shades, which I think is awesome. I also have to give honorable mention to brands such as MAC, Makeup Forever, and Lancome for having such a wide variety of shades. So the potential for a full shift is there and I think we will see it to pass sooner rather than later.

S4P: Paul believes that if the influential people at the top speak up that the industry could change. What do you think the industry needs to cause change?

PW: I don’t full disagree with Paul. But, I do believe in the power of those that are also at the bottom (consumers). I think that if there is more consumer support (from all races) towards those brands that can cater to all women, those at the top will have no choice but to get in line with that the supported brands are doing. So, we have to be careful not to look at the people at the “top” as gatekeepers. We have power as consumers because our money and our marketing and our support keeps them successful.

S4P: Do you believe that beauty has a particular face that defines it?

No way! And I say “no way” because we all have different face structures and skin tones. What may be physically beautiful to or on someone else, may not be physically attractive to or on me. Also, I don’t believe that beauty is defined by the face. It’s defined by the spirit. The face is just a bonus.

S4P: How would you define beauty?

PW: I would define beauty as an outward display of inward elevation.

People don’t care to take care of themselves physically or spiritually because something good died in them and something evil rose up and let them know that there’s no hope for confidence for them. It pains me when I hear women, or even men, say that they don’t care how they look… EVER. Taking pride in your appearance is not a superficial act. It’s a declaration from your spiritual man to your physical man that says “I’m totally fleeked-out (yes, I said fleek – I had to at least once) on the inside, so outside, I command you to LINE UP!”.

S4P: You have a diverse clientele. As a black MUA do you feel like you have to set yourself apart from everyone else?

PW: As a black MUA specifically, I want to make sure that those who are interested in becoming clients of mine know that I’m not just skilled on African American faces, but I can cater to ALL races. I try to set myself apart from other black MUAs by making sure that I have a balanced clientele and that I advertise the balance in my work.

Now, as an MUA alone, I feel that I have to set myself apart by what I bring to the table as a person, rather than just as a makeup artist. Because the industry is so, so, so saturated with makeup artists, it’s important for me to leave my clients not only looking better, but feeling better than before they sat in my chair. If they feel better because they look better, that’s great. But it’s my goal for me to ignite and bless your spirit man (self), not just your physical man.

Stay Tuned... for more with makeup artist Patrice Williams. In Part II learn what "Natural Glam" means and what fall trends go well with a vampy lip!

Know someone that inspires you and should be featured in our Inside Out Series? Please email us at or tag them on our instagram account @shop_4play.