Indie Find: Independent Artist Lady Flava

  • Sumo

Susan Koshi aka Lady Flava is one of the hardest working individuals in the independent (indie) artist game. She is a die hard lover of the arts, which makes her push so hard to get the word out around the globe about positive indie artists.

Many times people complain about the problem and do nothing about the solution. Many feel the other guy or gal will take care of it. Well, I am here to tell you that Lady Flava is the other gal and she is doing a phenomenal job.

I’ve known Lady Flava online for over five years. Last year was the first time that I met her in person. It was a gorgeous day in Seattle, WA, however there was a blizzard going on in my home state of Maryland, and I was stuck alone in Seattle for two days or so I thought.  Lady Flava opened up the doors to her home to me. She took me into her home with open arms as though I were one of the family. Her children and extended family welcomed me with open arms as well. I would have gladly slept on the couch, but she let me have her bed for two days – – what a humanitarian.

Lady Flava aka Susan Koshi bio

On July 7, 1960, a child was born. The loving miracle child of a Japanese father and a German American mother, the proud and happy couple knew that they had created something special. Her father, a Baptist Minister moved his family from Kansas City to Seattle before his daughter’s birth due to what he felt was his spiritual obligation to God to preach and teach his word on the west coast. The love that her father had for his congregation and the rest of the community resonated into Susan’s spirit and had shaped and molded her into the wonderful woman that she is today.

Susan was raised in a predominantly African American community, and attended schools of the same ethnic makeup. It was during this time that she learned to embrace people not for the color of their skin, but for beauty in which God created us. At the age of twelve, Susan began to work in a local flower shop through her school’s work study program, and that is a passion of hers that continues to thrive in her even to this day.

Motherhood and its hardships:

Shortly after high school, Susan gave birth to her oldest daughter, Mariko Cheree Elizabeth. A few years later, she gave birth to another beautiful baby girl, Brittany Claudine Alexandra. With the joy of motherhood, came the pain of marriage. A time that was supposed to be a blessing, turned into a tragic nightmare due to periods of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband. Over the years, Susan and her daughters shared living conditions with several troubled teens who still to this day call her “Mom” for all that she has meant to them in their lives.

Philanthropic Work and Flava Coffee House:

In the year 2000, Susan embarked on a career as a Domestic Abuse Advocate as well as a Homeless Advocate, working tirelessly for two separate agencies. Her commitments to her philanthropic duties come only behind God, and her family. In the year 2002, a gentleman came into her life and discussed with her the thought of starting her own business. Soon after that conversation, Flava Coffee House was born. Serving as the multicultural epicenter of Seattle, Washington, Flava Coffee House was a place where everyone who entered the doors left as a member of the Flava family.

Owning this business was not without its hardships. Susan lost out financially. She was forced to leave her home after seventeen years. Is she bitter about this loss? No, and that is what makes this woman special. Throughout the pain of it all, Susan continued to persevere. She started to make many, many connections within the literary industry. She became a book reviewer for APOOO Book Club, as well as a source of inspiration for many authors within the industry. She slowly drifted away and became an independent book reviewer and seller through her Flava Coffee House. Thus, Lady Flava was born.

She began hosting open mic nights through the birth of Flava’s Night of Creative Expression (Adult), Center Stage (teen), and Children with Flava. People came from all over to perform and share in the beauty of the art. But such as in life, all good things must come to an end. Flava Coffee House closed its doors in May 2008.

Susan Koshi is a busy woman, and she is showing no signs of slowing down. She was a recipient of the Smart Venture Grant from the Seattle Mayor Greg Nichols Cultural Affairs Office along with being recognized as a recipient of this grant on the Mayor’s Website for her efforts in bringing and hosting a major literary event to the city. She has two small grandchildren who are only two months apart keeping her young and really busy. Susan is a part of an organization called Joseph’s Vision that provides support to the at risk youth in the community that are crying out for help. She also holds down a weekend position at a transitional housing facility for at risk, and homeless youth.

Flava News

Supporting Underground/Indie Artists of all Art Forms since February 2007.

To read more about the backstory of Flava News click here

Lady Flava’s passion is to help push the underdogs of the art world out there anyway she can and to bring attention to these artists for them to receive the much needed and deserved recognition. Although, she has her favorite mainstream artists…her push is for the independent artists. The journey has not been an easy one for the lady that calls herself The Artists Cheerleader, but she learns, she grows and continues to evolve into branding herself and sharing the journey with so many artists. This is her legacy, this is her blessing and the journey continues…

4 Responses to Indie Find: Independent Artist Lady Flava

  1. Janice B. December 2, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Great article!!

  2. Janice B. December 2, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    Nice to know there are good people out there! Great article April!

    • April Sims December 3, 2010 at 12:51 PM

      Thanks Janice. It is DEFINITELY comforting to know there are good people like you and Lady Flava out there.

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