Jami Svay an Artist with Makeup 

By Gabriel A. Fraire

 Every beautiful face that peers out from those glossy magazine covers has one thing in common, a great makeup artist. Jami Svay, of Charlotte, is one of those artists.

Being an artist and creative is in her nature. Jami studied fashion design at Bauder College in Atlanta but finding work in design proved to be quite difficult. However, her artistic talent and skills developed there proved to come in quite handy in another way.

It was a friend of Jami’s that suggested she try her hand at being a makeup artist. Jami said, “I figured, ok, I’ll try.” Five years later she finds herself traveling from New York to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and back providing just the right shades of color and highlights to those beautiful faces in print.

During a brief interview, while she waited for models to arrive at a recent Greensboro photo shoot, Jami said. “I just sort of fell into it and I love it.”  She said it did take her a little while to find the right niche. There is a wide variety of work for a good makeup artist. First Jami tried working with runway models during runway fashion shows. “That was too hectic. It’s a really crazy atmosphere.” She said she didn’t like working with the rush and panic found behind stage at those runway fashion shows.

With print media, however, she found a place she could work with less chaos and more importantly help set the tone. “With print work you can set your own pace.” She also likes the idea that since she is the first person at a photo shoot with which the model works, Jami can help set the mood.  “If I’m upbeat they become upbeat.” Jami has also found herself being a “coach” to the models. Helping them prepare for the days shoot. “I enjoy being the beginning muse.”

Married with two small children, Sean Michael age 4 and Scott age 2, Jami is the typical modern mother balancing her career and her home life. “It’s definitely a juggling lifestyle.” She says a lot of credit has to go to her husband, Sam, who is a big help with the children.

The key to the balancing act, she adds, is good time management.

Although she enjoys being a career woman, Jami has a lot of respect for the stay-at-home mom. “They are, after all, raising our future.”

Probably the hardest part about her work is the travel. “I get tired of living out of a box.”  But for now she wouldn’t change a thing. “I never dreamed in a million years I would be doing this for a living. But I love it.”

FRAIRE HAS BEEN A WRITER ALL HIS ADULT LIFE. He has had three non-fiction books published and two of his plays have been produced for the stage.  He created a planetarium script that featured Hispanic history with star study. He wrote the lyrics for the highly successful musical CD  Speak to The Madness. His latest publication available on is "Latino Jesse" an autobiographical fiction novel about being Mexican-American from a steel mill town.


Fraire latest book is "Mills Rats," a fictional account of five steel mill workers and their involuntary involvement with an international people smuggling scheme.

return to home page          go to photos page          go to design page





  A Writer All My Life

 Aging with Grace

   Do You Suffer from OPT?

    Crossing that Invisible Line

    The Next American Revolution


Black and Gay in Guilford County

Obama Wins

Sixteenth Street bridge nearing completion

Help needed for new refugees

Summer reading program supports the fundamentals

Greensboro Scenic Tours

Awareness program helps youth

Black History Expo Friday

Black Rabbi reaches across faith and race lines

Gene Banks new basketball coach at Smith

Chess Tourney more than strategy



Tea Party members are guilty and scared

Haitian recovery through sweatshop labor

Healthcare, peoplecare, the fight is not over

Put those negative campaign “hit-pieces” in the trash

Neo-Nazis coming to town





Return to Home Page


The new Design Center at Pierce Homes of Carolina

  Pierce Homes of Carolina, one of the leading home builders in the Piedmont Triad offering quality living arrangements that include condominiums, townhomes and single family homes, is adding another layer of service for local homebuyers.  Pierce Homes now offers a new high quality Design Center.

The Design Center will afford homebuyers the opportunity to give their home the professional custom look that only a fine design center can offer. Pierce Homes of Carolina’s Design Center will provide the new homebuyer with a highly trained professional staff which brings years of interior design experience to the table. Whether one wants to make all their own design choices or have the expert guidance of a trained professional the new Design Center will make the entire process easier.

At the Design Center homebuyers will have everything they need to decorate their home right at their fingertips. Imagine being able to go to one location to choose your kitchen floor covering and your kitchen cabinets.

One will be able to choose from a variety of floor coverings: vinyl, carpet, tile, wood, or laminate. All coverings are found in a variety of styles and colors. Kitchen cabinets are one of the highlighted features at the Design Center. One will have a choice of color and style. Cabinets are available in oak, birch, maple, and cherry and can be light or dark in color.

With the addition of the Design Center, now Pierce Home buyers will be able to see how their color schemes will coordinate since the center will have six kitchen vignettes as examples of possible design combinations.

Brian Pierce, Vice President of Pierce Homes of Carolina, says, “We want to provide a beautiful space that is not overwhelming for the consumer. What we have is a boutique approach to design.” Pierce adds, “The entire home buying process can be overwhelming. We want to make sure the design aspect is enjoyable and in a comfortable setting.” The center is available by appointment and is located at the Pierce Homes of Carolina main office near the intersection of Guilford College Road and McClellan Place in Greensboro.

Appliances are also available to view and choose at the new Design Center. Another offering is fixtures. The homebuyer will be able to choose everything form the type of sinks in the bathroom and kitchen to the type of fixtures that go with that sink. Light fixtures are another amenity available.

Kay Tolbert, Design Coordinator, says, “We are here to help the homebuyer select features that are important to them.” She adds that there is no reason for a homebuyer to pay for features they will not use or do not want. Being able to select one’s own amenities makes the new home more tailored to the homebuyer.

Another important aspect of the Design Center is to remind the consumer of the possibility of re-sale. Tolbert notes, “The average homebuyer moves every seven years.” Often a non-informed homebuyer will put money into design features assuming they will get that money back on re-sale. This is not always the case. Tolbert says, “We want our homebuyers to be well informed in every aspect of home design.”

Family owned and operated, Pierce Homes has always taken pride in providing only the highest in customer satisfaction and the new Design Center is just another example of this effort.

One of the largest builders in the Piedmont Triad for more than a quarter century Pierce Homes has provided quality built homes where craftsmanship is word one. Working with subcontractors, quality tradesmen, and other building associates Pierce Homes has created 16 quality home communities throughout the Piedmont Triad and beyond and now hopes to enhance their customer satisfaction with the addition of their new 3,000 square foot Design Center.

Whether one is looking for an efficiently designed condominium, a quality built townhome or beautifully built and located single family home Pierce Homes can help. The homes range in price from $90,000 to $600,000 and are of the finest quality regardless of one’s price range.

In addition to quality construction Pierce Homes has built a reputation of creating homes in some of the nicest locations. From Burlington to Winston-Salem, from High Point to Greensboro, Pierce Homes has consistently discovered small attractive tracts of land that afford the homeowner a unique sense of lifestyle. Cookie-cutter homes are not on the Pierce building block.

Hobbs Landing, in Greensboro near the Friendly Shopping Center, is one example of luxury living offered by Pierce. These 16 luxury style homes from 2800 to 5500 square feet offer five different floor plans. Floor plans may offer a first floor with a kitchen, dinning room, breakfast room, great room, study/guest room with bath and master bedroom with bath. There is also the option of a sun room. Additional bedrooms and baths are found upstairs. Of course, there is also a two car garage with ample room for storage.

If your lifestyle insists that smaller is better Pierce Homes offers the Guilford Glen three bedroom two bath luxury condominiums. This unique community offers 1449 square feet of living space that includes oversized closets and ventless fireplaces. These homes start in the low $140,000s.

To learn more about any of the Pierce Homes offerings one can contact a Pierce Homes representative at: Pierce Homes of Carolina, Inc. 908 McClellan Place Greensboro, NC 27409 (336) 852-3320 office (336) 852-3343 fax. Or email To set an appointment with Design Consultant Tolbert one may call 852-3320 ext. 125.



Helping prevent baby deaths

Program wants to reduce racial disparity in infant mortality rates

By Gabriel A. Fraire 

Sixty-five babies under the age of one died last year in Guilford County, according to a recently released report by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

According to Charmaine Purdum, coordinator of the Guilford County Coalition on Infant Mortality, “Historically non-whites have two to three times as many infant deaths as whites.” And, she added, the non-whites are predominately African American.

This year, so far, there have been 27 baby deaths and 21 have been to African American women.

Why is it so many more African American babies die? Purdum says, “African American women often face a unique set of challenges.”

La Donna Warren, who is a health educator with Guilford County, explains. “With African-Americans there is often a lack of education about the risk factors, like alcohol and drug abuse.”  She also said there are factors like single parenting, domestic violence and uncertainty with issues like breastfeeding, something Warren believes is beneficial to babies. She said, some think breastfeeding will hurt; others do not have the father’s support. “That is why education is important.”

Warren is also the supervisor of a program called, Triad Baby Love Plus. This program has a goal of trying to reduce the racial disparity in infant mortality rates. The program has four outreach workers, two in High Point and two in Greensboro, whose main focus is to disseminate information to “at risk” clientele, women who might not have traditional support, financially or emotionally.

“Our outreach workers go door-to-door to find women who may not be receiving the assistance they need.” Warren said.

The challenges all pregnant women face include: being healthy which means, plenty of the right food, exercise, no smoking or drinking, finding a good support system, taking vitamins with folic acid.

Warren said. “It has been proven that folic acid helps reduce birth defects.” She recommends 400 mg of folic acid per day.

Is there one major contributing factor for infant mortality?  Purdum answered, “Premature births.” More than 60 percent of the babies that have died in recent years were born 24 weeks or less into their gestation period. A healthy full term pregnancy is 40 weeks.

Purdum notes when the Coalition on Infant Mortality came into existence, in 1991, they studied mortality rates and what they discovered was that a majority of infant deaths were directly related to premature births.

And a major contributing factor to premature babies is, “A women is 3 times more likely to deliver a low birth weight baby (less than 5 and a half pounds), without prenatal care.” Purdum said.

According to Warren, the Baby Love outreach workers try to find women who are not getting prenatal care and she also emphasized that prenatal care is very important to having healthy babies.

Lydia Monk, a case manager with the department of public health, provided another important health tip. She said, “Mothers need to start pre-natal care as early as possible in the pregnancy.”

Purdum said coalition studies also showed that premature babies were often birthed from “mothers who fell through the cracks.” They were women who had no insurance, and could not afford proper diet, support or prenatal care. To help combat the problem the Adopt-A-Mom program was created.

In their first year the Adopt-A-Mom program helped 28 women by providing much needed prenatal care. Since its inception in 1991 they have provided help and care for more than 3,000 women. Continuously growing, last year alone the program reached 500 women.

Another contributing factor to premature births is stress. All those interviewed agreed that stress during pregnancy could be a problem.

Purdum said, “We don’t completely understand how stress relates to premature births but stress can be a negative factor.”

Monk suggests, “Eliminate the (stressful) things you can and use your support systems.”

Monk advises pregnant women to ask for help from family, friends and any of the various agencies available to help.

Warren adds, “Talk to us (Triad Baby Love Plus). She said that they are there to help with any issues a pregnant women may have including issues related to housing, jobs, childcare, Medicaid. To reach the Triad Baby Love Plus program call 641-6340.

 Coming in October there will be a “Best Birth Outcomes Training Academy” sponsored by the Triad Baby Love Plus program. It is a free two-day workshop for minority pregnant women, less than 30 weeks pregnant. Topics will include: Benefits of folic acid, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, benefits of breast feeding, and family violence. Lunch will be provided and there will be prizes. The Greensboro event is Oct. 16-17, at Guilford Child Development, 1200 Arlington Street, Greensboro. The High Point event is Oct. 30-31, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Millis Regional Health Education Center, 600 N. Elm St., High Point. For more information on either event call 845-6143.

Pregnant women need prenatal care. Help is available for those who do not have traditional support systems. But no pregnancy or birth is guaranteed and finding or placing blame is not the intent of any of these organizations. Purdum adds this note of caution. “Remember, you can do everything right and still have something go wrong.”