Chastity Garner Valentine is proving that fashion isn’t her only beat.
Valentine, whose notoriety up to this point has been a culmination of her successful style blog Garnerstyle.com, 300,000 Instagram followers, and work as co-founder of TheCurvyCon (a three-day convention that brings together celebrities, body-positive influencers and their fans to celebrate diversity and fashion inclusivity), is now adding a new and unexpected role to her resumé: DJ.
The music industry has been overwhelmingly male-dominated, despite women musicians penning, crafting and singing hits throughout history. However, Valentine believes she can “lead by example,” and she reaffirms the power brands like TheCurvyCon possess in helping to pave the way for women.
“For instance, we had Lizzo at TheCurvyCon before she popped,” Valentine tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We want to be the vehicle to propel plus-size careers forward. Yes, we have a business and we have to incorporate a level of celebrities and influencers, but we also have a platform that can help others who may not have a platform at their level. Someone gave us our opportunity, so we can give it to others. We can incorporate grassroots with the big names. We keep our eyes and ears open to the street to hear what’s happening and who people are talking about.”
As this year’s TheCurvyCon, Garner will be spinning her own DJ set. She says, “This is different and new territory for me. I have always been a rebel of what women can and can’t do, so anything that allows me to say, ‘Yes, we can do that!’, I take the chance. I want to show women that we can do whatever we want to do and that it’s okay to grow.”
“A lot of women just starting out want to move their careers forward, but they’re afraid to stand up for themselves out of fear of being blacklisted,” Garner says. “I get to walk into the space and have a certain level of credentials with me.”
This sense of self-assurance is what brought Garner to DJing, a skill that requires a sense of intuition, passion and relentlessness. She tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “I’ve always been drawn to music in general. I grew up in a multicultural household, and my taste reflects that.”
She continues, “I love fashion, I love propelling the plus-size fashion conversation forward. At this point, I’ve been doing it for years. I need a new challenge, I need something that gives me a new creative outlet.”
Valentine started out in formal DJ classes before eventually hitting up a well-known producer to shadow. “I wanted to DJ, and when I was in California, I had looked at classes. But I actually reached out to someone I went to high school with. His IG handle is @kriscoldblooded. He’s a very well-known producer in Atlanta and he’s a popular DJ. I told him I wanted to learn how to DJ, and I’m so happy he was open about it.”
Full of confidence, Valentine has learned to embrace imperfections, as she embarks on a new journey. She explains, “One of the biggest things about DJing is that it’s taught me that I’m going to make mistakes and it won’t always be perfect. But it’s okay to not be perfect — it was hard putting things out on Instagram, but you get better with time.”
Go to TheCurvyCon.com to buy tickets for the 2019 convention.
Visit Yahoo Lifestyle on Friday, September 6th and Saturday, September 7th to watch our live-stream of TheCurvyCon 2019, and follow us on Instagram for some fun activations before the event!