Monday, October 20, 2014 11:07 PM
Artis finds niche in music and fashion
Featured in FYI Network show show ‘B.O.R.N. to Style’
By Amanda JenkinsTimes Staff Writer
As a boy growing up in Wilson, Terry Artis knew at 8 or 9 years old that his passion was music. His dream was to go to New York. In his early 20s, with $35 in his pocket and a one-way bus ticket to follow his dream, he was on his way to a successful career that now includes a regular spot on a TV show.
“It was crazy,” he said of taking a 13-hour bus trip to New York where there would be no family waiting to welcome him there. But a phone call with a friend landed him a place to stay while getting his start in the Big Apple, where he developed his talent as a singer and songwriter.
Artis celebrates his dreams coming true with his newly released music single, “Something About You,” that is climbing the iTunes music chart. He was surprised that the younger crowd is liking his music. And his mother, Vera Artis, who is in her 60s, likes it too.
His music is described as soulful RB friendly with a pop edge, and his sound is compared to Baby Face and Usher.
He’s also in the cast of the FYI Network television show, “B.O.R.N. to Style,” beginning its second season.
His role as store manager in the reality television series allows him the opportunity to manage the team of the show, decorate the shop with his eye for glamor, and to ensure that the star of the show takes care of everything he intends to, since he has a lot on his plate.
The team helps guests on the show with fashion, encouraging them to be their best. Beginning from the real life everyday opportunities that occurred at the B.O.R.N. boutique, the television series imitates the inspiration that the employees there gave their clients. “B.O.R.N. To Style” got its name from the Harlem boutique where Artis works with his life partner, Jonathan Bodrick, owner of the shop and star of the show. The eclectic boutique was named for items that are borrowed, old, refurbished and new.
Members of the team visit people in their homes where they see their clothing collection, ask questions to get to the heart of the person’s fashion, and then take the person away for a transformation.
“It’s amazing that we can have a platform through a T.V. show to help others,” Artis said. With a large percentage of guests being women who have been through a tough situation, Artis, 37, and the crew of the show encourage them to realize their true selves and teach them how to embrace their new self with an updated look. He said that it’s a spin-off of the popular TLC show “What Not to Wear” with a twist on helping the guests to put themselves back together.
“Spread as much love around the universe as you can, and it comes back to you,” Artis said. At the end of the show, it’s not all about the fashion to the crew. “It’s really about the person,” he said. “The show is heartfelt.”
Artis was born in Wilson and attended Beddingfield High School and Wilson Community College in the 1990s. He calls his mother every Tuesday night after his show, and he says that she tells him that she just still can’t believe that she has a son on television. Artis’ brother and sister and their families also still live in Wilson. He said that he last visited locally about four years ago.
As a stylist at the boutique in New York, Artis noticed that it’s a place that people don’t want to leave once they visit, and that it was that way even before the show began. He said that most of the employees there have Southern backgrounds and are down-to-earth people who have been together for years. A cast didn’t have to be found because the employees at the boutique fit the needs of the show.
Sometimes guests break down on the show, and the team is known for its “therapy.” Artis said he’s grateful for the opportunity to help others. He also said that eventually he plans to help battered women and children, the homeless, and to start college funds for children as a way to give back, and he wants to start in Wilson.
He wanted to make sure that the public knows that having faith is always, always the key to being successful. His advice is, “Get ready for some retail therapy.”
B.O.R.N. to Style airs on the FYI Network on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. It can also be watched on demand, and video clips and information about the show can be found at fyi.tv. A sample of Artis’ music can be heard online at cdbaby.