Tanaya Henry is working hard to be a new generation's Model-Tee.
The 2006 Prior Lake High grad has launched SheWearsYourTee.com, which doesn't officially begin business until next Wednesday. For a fee -- between $1 and $365 -- determined by the day of the year for which you've booked her body, the model will wear your company's T-shirt everywhere she goes in New York City, where she now lives.
On Wednesday, Henry was on her way to a video shoot for rapper Fabolous. "Most of the videos I do are acting roles or something where I have to portray someone," she said.
"Acting is my main goal. It's been an easy way to get experience and be around directors and people [from whom] I can learn. I think I've done about 10 videos at this point," said Henry, who sounded distracted and drained from the media attention, including Stylelist.com pub, generated about her through a PR Newswire release. "It's been pretty crazy."
The tees now on her website are some that her Twin Cities marketing director, Kareem Ahmed, came up with just to get the venture going. Ahmed and web designer Mike Schwengel were among the friends who brainstormed this concept for Henry. Can't help noticing the tees are skimpy.
"I guess," said Henry. "I'm sure if they are bigger companies they're going to want more conservative looks and T-shirts."
One also can't help noticing that when Googling "Tanaya," the name of singer Trey Songz comes up. Henry laughs: "That's always the first question that comes up with some people."
I wouldn't have known who Songz was if he hadn't planted a much publicized stage smooch on Toni Braxton, who confirmed on "Wendy Williams" that Braxton's marriage to Minnesota's Keri Lewis has fallen apart.
(Songz's stage name with the "z" for the "s" is almost as silly as fabulous without the first "u" -- no wonder we can't spell these days.)
Songz's unabashed appreciation for the lips of beautiful women made me get gossipy.
"He is one of my good friends," said Henry. "I met him when I moved to New York at Fashion Week. He's been one of my friends for a long time."
Songz is not more than a friend? "No, he's not," Henry said.Talking smack
"I don't know which one it is. Is it Eli or Peyton? Which one am I playing?" asked former Viking and current Saint Darren Sharper, smack-talking to ESPN for the Super Bowl. "Oh, Eli's the little one."REALLY moving a house
ReMax Realtor Rebecca Brown was opposed to the direction she received in putting together an ad on "moving a house" on Youtube.com.
Jeff Kaufer, a former KARE11 photog, "wrote the script. I said, 'No way,'" Brown told me Tuesday.
"I fought that commercial so hard. 'Why couldn't it be something nice where I tell them how I offer these services?' And he said, And no one will watch it. I said, 'That's fine, I'll do it, but I look like a dork.'"
She doesn't look like a dork, but she does sound about as hardheaded as the hardhat she dons in the spot.
It begins with Brown wrapping up a phone call in her kitchen. "Yep, the kids are off to school. Yep, you too. Gotta go help move a home," she says. Then she goes outside and moves a house -- literally. (The ad can be viewed at tinyurl.com/ylrufd6.) In upcoming spots, she robs a bank and pretends to do karate.
Brown sent me the link to her spot last week when we were finalizing details of my appearance as a celebrity dealer at the "5th Annual Pay It Forward Fund" casino night at the Medina Entertainment Center.
Working with the North Memorial Foundation, serving patients at North Memorial, Unity, Mercy and Monticello-Big Lake hospitals, the organization raises money to help women with cancer pay their living expenses.
Or as the slogan puts it so much better, "Cancer doesn't care if you get behind on your bills. We do."
The event for 600 is sold out. "Last year we had around 500, but this year we sold out. Never sold out before," said Brown. "You're a draw."
She'll say anything to get me there. "I picked you because I love your column and I think you're a hoot, and I watch you on FOX 9. You just tell it like it is and you're not afraid of that. I hate people who sugarcoat everything."
The only thing scarier than the key of me, so to speak, is me doing that while dealing cards, which may go flying.
C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or email@example.com.