Northland News

Charity fashion show to benefit literacy initiative

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Ronnie Bolden, 19, of Columbus, strikes a pose Sunday, May 18, at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library during modeling tryouts for the Step in Style charity fashion event.

Magnificent Affairs, the event-planning business Northland resident Taressa Caldwell launched just under a year ago, mostly deals with arranging children's parties, but she also helps stage the occasional fashion show.

So when an uncle, Larry Smith, suggested she host a fashion event through his Masonic Lodge to raise funds for the charitable side of her operation, which focuses on literacy and getting books into the hands of children, it was right in the young woman's wheelhouse.

"I plan events anyway," Caldwell said last week. "I plan fashion shows. That's nothing new to me. And to be able to work with his organization, York Masonic Lodge, that's amazing to me. They do a lot of community service work."

The Step in Style Charity Fashion Event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 28, at 867 Mount Vernon Ave., where Triumph Temple 1 has space.

Tickets cost $20 per person or two for $30.

The show will feature fashions from local designers and boutiques; some have brick-and-mortar stores and some are online businesses only, Caldwell said.

The clothing and other items will highlight the start of summer and will include dresses, evening wear and denim apparel, she added.

Although Caldwell could tap into a ready supply of models she knows from previous fashion shows, she put on an open model call earlier this month at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library to fill out the roster.

"It was a great turnout," she said. "We ended up finding basically all of our models."

Caldwell, 25, who majored in journalism and public relations at Northern Kentucky University, launched Magnificent Affairs in June 2013 with the dual purpose of planning events and collecting children's used books to be distributed to youngsters in homes without them.

The Northland resident has said she fell in love with event planning by accident. The literacy efforts resulted from her experiences working in a day care center. She said she came to realize that providing books to children is not merely an afterthought for some families, but something that's not thought of at all.

Not long after Magnificent Affairs was incorporated, Caldwell decided to add a literacy dimension to the business by collecting gently used children's books to be distributed in the Northland and Linden areas.

She held four such events in the first year of operation and wants to have eight in the second year. More than 75 children received books and prizes at an Easter giveaway, she said.

Caldwell said she is hoping the June 28 charity fashion show serves to increase community awareness of her childhood literacy campaign.

"I wish it was going faster," she added. "I'm not going to say I'm dissatisfied with any of the results I've gotten. There has been progress, but it's been slow progress."

The featured designer for Step in Style is Cathy Lee of CLee Designs and Embroidery. She owns a shop at 6145 Radekin Road and does alterations as well as designs clothes, according to Caldwell.

The other three designers are Zsavotia Caldwell, who operates an online boutique at; Eric Davis from Self Made Denim,, who creates denim pieces and customized hats; and Karlida Porter of Presidential Pretty. She has a boutique on Brice Road and offers ready-to wear-apparel for women, Caldwell said.

More information is available by calling Caldwell at 614-446-4785 or emailing