From Fashionista to Businesswoman
still growing. Recently, she organized the new Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti chapter of the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce.
Thomas comes from a well-connected family. Her father, Jobie Thomas, was a member of Enchantment, a Detroit R&B group that charted a handful of hits in the seventies; her uncle, Michael Stokes, produced records for Bill Withers and Dennis Coffey. Most crucially, Thomas' aunt, Linda Stokes, owns LSO Designs, which lists the likes of Cher, Will Smith, and Jennifer Lopez among its clients. Thomas grew up on Detroit's west side, but her parents began sending her to spend her summers with Stokes in Woodland Hills, California, at age twelve. "She basically put me on all these projects," Thomas says. "So here I was in high school, working on these big projects for Will Smith and Prince and Britney Spears." Her tasks, she says, could range from sewing to styling for photo or video shoots.
"All my girls were really good at their tasks," Linda Stokes says, speaking of Thomas and her other interns. "I think that [Thomas's] working here gave her a little edge and insight, but I work with a lot of celebrities, and all my staff get hands-on experience with that."