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Eugene Daily News
Jennifer Rose

Jennifer Rose

Jennifer Williams attended Junction City High School where she was the Editor of the Maroon and Gold school newspaper back in 2008. She spent time writing for the Tri-County Tribune a newspaper based in Lane County. Jennifer lives here in Eugene and enjoys touring local breweries, hiking the butte, and is an avid reader of the classics.
jennifer.rose.boyer@gmail.com

The Defiant Divas

A diva is best described as a person who exudes great style and personality with confidence, and does not let others influence who they are or want to be; a Diva is a person whose character makes them stand out above the rest.

Michelle Lyons, owner of the Defiant Diva Boutique, in Springfield, opened the resale women’s clothing boutique almost three years ago. The store carries all sizes ranging from x-small to 6x, in all styles of fashion. Lyons chose to extend her Diva brand into doing something good for women and the community. She saw the ability to do fashion shows with her clothing and photo shoots as an opportunity to not only help boost confidence in women, but take it one step further to benefit local charities.

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“When I had my first fashion show it was to promote my store, but what I saw in the women while they were walking it gave them confidence,” said Lyons. “I loved it. I love helping women feel good about themselves no matter what size they are, and that is what started the Divas.”

There are a total of 25 Divas who work with Lyons to help with local charities, and participate in the fashion shows to help empower other woman in the community. This past weekend the Diva’s put on a fashion show at the Hilton Garden Inn, in Eugene. This was their fifth show the Divas have put on, and all proceeds went to benefit First Place Family Center.

First Place Family Center is a refuge and place of support for children and their families who are low income, at risk of losing their housing or are already in transition between homes due to job loss, health issues and other critical problems.

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The event showcased clothing for the Defiant Diva Boutique, ChaCha’s Boutique, and music from DJ FastLayne of Bodacious Beats Inc. It also featured photos from the Diva photo studios with photos by B. Marie Photography.

“We have a great group of ladies. All willing to help and want to make a difference,” said Lyons.

Lyons hope is that the Diva group will grow and flourish separately from the boutique and continue to do good for all women. One of the 25 Divas, Crystal Lee, is especially passionate about the work the organization does for the community, and being able to empower other woman by doing these fashion shows, and photo shoots.

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“I have so much fun! We are all unique and special. When I do a show, I feel strong and confident! Normally I’m out of my comfort zone being in front of a large group of strangers, but when I’m with my Divas I feel like we are all in it together,” said Lee. “I’ve met so many wonderful ladies and made some really great friends. It’s such a relaxed atmosphere and we can just be ourselves without judgment. It’s hard to find that in such a large group of people sometimes. It’s amazing how much support the ladies give each other. It’s hard not to feel strong, beautiful, and confident.”

Lyons has been contacted by ladies in other cities and states who are currently making connections to create their own Divas. She is working with a group in Salem, and hopes to work with local charities there similar to the work she has done in Eugene.

The Diva brand is growing, and Lyons hopes that her work will help change the negative perception of what a Diva means.  Her hope is to redefine the meaning of the word Diva in our community, and it all starts with this incredible group of ladies.

***The next event up for the Divas will be April 22nd at Old Nicks Pub in Eugene; all proceeds go to benefit Girls Empowerment. You can like their Facebook Fan page for upcoming dates and details, or to show your support for these ladies.

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