You may know her from gracing the covers of the top fashion magazines in the New York fashion world during the 1980’s and 90’s.  If you missed that, you may have seen her in various advertisements and television commercials such as: Revlon Clairol and Avon.  

In fact, one of her sites reported “before Vera Wang became a national symbol for creativity and success, she (Wanakee) was a talented and spirited fashion editor for Magazine - Vogue in 1981. In 1981 she began featuring a new face in her glamorous editorial pages. Today artist Wanakee Pugh credits Ms. Wang for giving her a tremendous start and a successful twenty-year modeling career.”

Recently, I had the opportunity to chitchat with Wanakee Pugh to find out what recent projects that she is working on and what are her future endeavors.

Tunya: Wanakee what is a creed you live by? 

Wanakee: I know that in order to be the whole person I was created to be, I need the help of God Who made me. I’m too old to beat around the bush about it, neither do I cram it down unwilling throats. God is the order of the day and Christ Jesus is the joy of my life. From there we can cover any and all subjects with relish and glee, being certain to season every one with the salt of truth.

As I continued to ask Wanakee questions, I learned that she had experienced unfortunate setbacks similar to that of many women. Specifically, she pointed out  “Some of the worst pain yielded the most valuable lessons. I was never a great judge of character. I’d pity the wrong person and love the one incapable of returning love back. I became friends with the unfriendly, making that awful discovery just the knife had to be surgically extracted from my back. I, like most people, have made the wrong calls consistently in every area.”

However for Wanakee a brighter day arose out of the ashes and tragedy would turn into triumph. 

“But I am happy to say that for every wrong call I made, I got one right. Good turns happen in the midst of woe. Along with every trial, extraordinary things would happen. It’s still that way now. I’ve realized that every bad thing that happens isn’t a bad thing. Every fight is not a setback, but a setup. During the worst moments of my life I experienced the most extraordinary things; things that I could never have arranged for myself.  

My pain, I have come to learn, is of great price and is of high value, if I will let it teach me. I used to trip over what I wanted, blind to what I had. I no longer do that. I’ve learned to utilize the things I do have, rather than grasping at what I don’t have,” stated Wanakee.  

As I read over Wanakee thoughts, I could sense that she is a woman who has found her purpose, but that certainly does not come without being inspired by other people.  

Wanakee stated, “It change with life’s seasons. For example, “this is the season of my mother’s inspiration. She’s older now, but she is a great resource for inspiration, always getting things started with her sharp sense of humor. She keeps all of her advice raw, real and funny! She is a visionary, right down to earth, and always puts her personal twist on the Wisdom of Solomon. She’s wonderful.”  

Today, Wanakee has discovered her love as an artist. She became exposed to art through her world travels. In particular, her long-time residency in New York, NY and visiting the Museum of Art ( The Metropolitan Museum of Art ). For her, the Museum was an incredible place to cultivate her artistic ability, because the Museum of Art wouuld become her classroom, and the keen observation as her instructor. And the rest is history. 

As Wanakee discussed with me her career as a model, artist, actress, ordained minister (office of a teacher); I was curious so I asked, “What is there for her to do next?” It seemed as though she has been there, done that, and the only thing left for her to do is to enjoy the rest of her life. And that’s exactly what she is planned for her future. “I plan to be in the arms of a husband. I’ve been waiting for all my life to meet. He’ll find me soon, but it’s safe bet that he’s not using a GPS System,” exclaimed Wanakee Pugh. ( ).


Happy and Healthy LifeGiver

LifeGiver by Tunya M. Griffin | Empowering & Encouraging women!/TunyamGriffin

"Changing Women Lives All Over The World: One Woman At A Time"



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