When it comes to our young pop culture icons, all too often the answer to the "Where Are They Now?" question ends in disappointment. From the downward spiral of Dana Plato (Diff'rent Strokes) to the drug-fueled exit by Cory Haim, it seems that all too often the dazzle and pressure that come with big-time fame are too much to handle. Our childhood stars burn out far too fast.
However, every once and awhile we hear of someone who has been strong enough to leverage the power that a short time in the spotlight provides without succumbing to the dark and deadly trappings that accompany the adulatory noteriety. Of course, you don't see these folks on TV as much as the flashy failures and sad-sack addicts. The ratings aren't as good.
But recently, as I searched for custom home products for a friend down in Georgia, I chanced upon one of these successes; a beautiful young woman you may remember from a certain playground in Atlanta back in 1990. She was the object of much affection from five young African American kids and was quite the Nintendo player.
When she broke onto the national stage, she got caught up in a whirlwind of meetings, high-pressure sponsorship deals, televised appearences and all-afternoon parties of varying legality. But, unlike many of our past young stars, she was able to pull out of it and turn her life into something more.
Powered by the momentum of near-fame and capitalizing on her new-found ability to access serious capital, the girl embarked on building a thriving business based on her love of custom-crafted window coverings. Now, with a headquaters in Atlanta, her unique take on traditional window treatments, blinds and modified curtains has expanded across much of the southern United States. She is often called on to speak at local colleges and civic organizations and is will be launching a monthly podcast titled "Look Through Any Window" in early 2012.
When asked about her time on TV and her association with one of the hottest R&B groups of the time, she said "My faith and family really kept me from sliding into the dark of side of fame. I'm lucky to have made it through that experience alive."