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Meet Tomiko Fraser Hines

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tomiko Fraser Hines.

Hi Tomiko, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I am originally from New York. The Bronx to be exact. I have been modeling for almost 30 years and my career has taken me all around the world. I am most known for being the first African-American woman to land an exclusive contract with Maybelline Cosmetics in the late 1990s. I am thrilled to still receive messages from Black women who attribute seeing me in those ads for giving them the confidence that they were beautiful too.

I moved to Los Angeles in 2001 to expand my career to include acting. I had some success and appeared in several movies and television shows. Most notably, Head Over Heels, I Really Hate My Ex, Monster-In-Law, Soul Food, CSI and The Game.

It was a few years after arriving in Los Angeles in 2001 that my women’s empowerment and support brand, “Tomiko’s Goddess Gathering” was born. What began as my inviting my female friends to get together once a month to talk about a variety of topics of interest to us quickly morphed into a full-fledged business. In addition to our monthly gatherings, we also offered outreach and support to women in our homeless communities, as well as participated in workshops and speaking engagements where our unique brand of sisterhood and support was highlighted. I am so proud of the fact that the “love work” we’ve done over the years had impacted thousands of women around the country, and the world for that matter, and has given them a foundation of self-love, strength and an ability to persevere in spite of their circumstances. These women are my Goddess Sisters and our bond is strong and long-lasting.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, my business was forced to switch to virtual offerings. And with that also came a new name and expansion of our services. We are now known as “The Goddess Life With Tomiko” or TGL for short. Along with my two amazing TGL team members, Ana and Blakelee, we now offer a variety of inspiration and encouragement to the women in our virtual community.

Our website, www.thegoddesslifewithtomiko.com, has a monthly newsletter where we highlight women in our community who are lighting the way for themselves and other women. We also have a monthly topic of discussion and an affirmation for the women to turn to for encouragement. We hold a variety of monthly events in support of our topics. We have had fun and life-enhancing events like a sensual movement class, a “Sip & Chat” Instagram Live show, and our now quarterly virtual “Goddess Gatherings”. We have a much-anticipated “Paint & Sip” virtual event happening in June. And the list of offerings continues to grow. The goal is an actual “bricks and mortar” space where all of what we offer can be housed and available for all women to take part in.

I am also an intuitive guide, empowerment coach and Reiki Master and offer these services virtually via my “Empowered Living With Tomiko” brand. More information about that can be found via my website.

I continue to model and am traveling for my first job in over a year this weekend. My agency, Iconic Focus Models, has a roster of women ages 40 and up and we are changing the face of the fashion industry! I happily share my age of 53 as I believe there is no shame in a women growing older and wiser. I am happily married to my husband of 15 years, Chris, and we are the proud and exhausted parents to our 8-year old fraternal twin sons, Bryce and Kaden.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
There has definitely been struggles along the way and I chose to take a break from my business many times over the years. Whether it was financial issues or dealing with my infertility, to my questioning if this was indeed the path I wanted to take, I’ve had to step back and re-evaluate numerous times. But I am certain, now, that women’s empowerment is my purpose and calling in life because I always find my way back to this work that brings me and others so much joy.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am most proud of my strength and my transparency. I believe that both act as an inspiration to the women in my community that I happily serve. I share both my tragedies and my triumphs.

And what sets me apart from others is that I am completely and unapologetically myself. Most people have a preconceived idea of the type of person I am. And most are pleasantly surprised at my warm and supportive nature. I genuinely care about people. I’m also very comfortable in my skin. I don’t put on airs and make myself uncomfortable so that others can feel comfortable. I’ve worked hard to get this place of self-love and self-acceptance and it is now my truth, foundation and wings.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
What I love most about Los Angeles is the ease at which I can commune with nature. Being a loud and proud New Yorker, I will always love being from NYC. But I can now say that I also love Los Angeles for its unending access to nature.

And while I wouldn’t say that I like this the least, I am saddened by the amount of homelessness in Los Angeles. It hurts my heart to see so many people livings on the streets. And this is an issue that is prevalent all over Los Angeles.

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