The youngest daughter of music legend Diana Ross, Chudney Lane Silberstein is a mom to the adorable three year old Callaway Lane and an owner of a little bookstore gem in Santa Monica, called Books and Cookies, where Chudney teaches music class to toddlers. I sat down with Chudney at her Santa Monica store to talk about her life, her business and her personal style.
J. You started as a model. What inspired you to open kid's bookstore business?
CR: I was actually a teacher first! I taught for 3 years in the Washington DC and Los Angeles Unified public school district. When I retired from teaching (at 22 years old), I was focusing on trying to be and writer and got an opportunity to try modeling, as well. Though, I had a few exciting opportunities on runways in LA and NYC, I truly was never very successful as a model, but it gave me the opportunity to find confidence in my beauty, to walk a little taller and strut more gracefully. In the end, I knew my life would steer back to working with children as it did!
J: You are the youngest daughter of legendary Diana Ross. Was your mother your role model when you were growing up?
CR: My mother has always been my role model. I am constantly in awe of her strength, talent and beauty. She is a hardworking, passionate, loving independent woman, which I too strive to be.
J: Is she your role model for style?
CR: My mother is known for her style for the stage. She does costume changes of sequins, sparkles and extravagant ball gowns. I was always in dazzled by how she shined on stage, but took to a much more understated style of my own. I do love to get dressed up in pretty dresses, though and I got to play with a bigger, more extravagant version of my style at my recent wedding (this past June in Maui). I worked with the amazingly talented designer Lazaro on a custom two-piece ball gown with ornate gold leafing. It was spectacular!
J: Do you follow fashion trends ?
CR: I love to watch fashion trends, but I would only follow the ones that suit my body type! You would never find me in a crop top or high waisted, booty baring shorts. I do love however, to try new things and see what is hot right now.
J: I heard your voice in the music class for kids at your bookstore, you have an amazing voice. Have you ever thought about being a singer like your mom?
CR: Thank you very much, but absolutely not! I sing strictly for children. I think my tone just works for tiny ears! HA! I can definitely carry a tune and I have rhythm, but I am not pop star!
J: What brands will we find in your closet ?
CR: Sadly, I am usually in workout clothes, but I do love dresses! Party dresses, floaty beach dresses, Strapless dresses, Mini dresses! My closet has dresses from Top Shop, Alice and Olivia, Keepsake, Marc by Marc Jacobs, but most of all, I love a boutique find!
J: On what do you spend the most: clothes, accessories, perfumes, lingerie, or anything else?
CR: Truly, at this point in my life, I spend the most on my daughter! She is an ultra-girly girl and I love to buy the tutus, sparkly dresses, tiny ballet flats… I can’t resist! For me, it is definitely shoes! I can always justify the expense of a perfect boot or heel (even though I spend the majority of my days in flip flops and sneakers)!
J: Leather or Lace?
CR: Lace! I am definitely more girly then edgy.
J. Do you love art? Who is your favorite artist?
CR: I do love art. Art is like a story, where anything is possible. Right now, I’m digging Classic and Modern Pop Art like Warhol, Asquint, Lichtenstien, Haring, but appreciate all art forms and eras.
J: What is next for Chudney Ross?
CR: Who knows? Isn’t that what makes life exciting! Of course, I would hope to continue to see growth with Books and Cookies. I would love to get back to writing and to continue to build my family! Truly, I am not sure where my future will lead, but I have found that being open to change and new experiences can bring exciting growth and development and for that I am ready!
To learn more about behind the scenes story of Chudney Ross visit The Project for Women.