Monday, August 10, 2015

Graphic Designer Liv of Livinelay.com

I'm excited to announce that Media Monday is here with a spotlight on Liv, graphic designer/owner of Livinelay.com! I've been on the look out for a great graphic designer for a very long time so it's great to feature one on my blog.

I discovered her in a Facebook group I'm in and after asking her a few questions there, I wanted to talk to her more about her services. I found out that she does super cool, stylish urban illustrations in addition to her design work. I figured it would be a good idea to interview her for the blog so others can see her work. Without further adieu here is our interview, enjoy!




1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your graphic design services.


Well, I am a professional Graphic Designer and Illustrator, residing in Los Angeles, CA. I grew up as an artsy shy kid, the typical story..I was always into fashion, but it wasn't my main focus because I didn't get encouragement to pursue it via my parents, as it seemed to be an unrealistic profession at that time. I knew, however, that my future would be somewhere in the creative field from an early age. When I was about 15/16, I started familiarizing myself with Photoshop..that was my first love. A few years later, I happened to network with some graphic designers and I grew an interest in digital Illustration. I picked up on the basics, and expanded from there. Everyone around was into my style, and I started getting requests to illustrate for money. I was certain of my career choice in this field about 2 years later, when MTV Germany featured my Hip Hop Series Illustrations on their website. Now, some 14 years later, I am working in my field as a professional illustrator and graphic designer and offering my creative services to companies and people of all backgrounds.


2. I think your work has a very stylish, colorful, fun vibe to it, which may be a great fit for other fashion professionals. In what ways do you think fashion stylists/fashion bloggers can especially benefit from your services if they want to hire you?


I believe that my style is very unique, and people of all professions, especially fellow creatives, can see that I make my illustrations come alive. I always look for depth, I try to bring out the best in a client's reference shot. I have limited knowledge of the people that commission me for work, so their photo is what builds my idea of what they are, how they see themselves, and how they want to be perceived by their personal or professional surrounding. I make it my responsibility to present them in their best light through an amazing, stylish illustration.  I have a thorough eye for shadows and highlights, depth fields, and I love fashion. I think people can tell that I am passionate about style and I love strong features, bold lines, vibrant colors and tones.




3. What are some of you visual influences and the inspiration behind your graphic design aesthetic?


Truthfully, my background is in urban art. I have always loved graffiti, hip hop, and style. As a teen, I was super inspired by East Coast hip hop and R'n'B. I grew up at a time when this music (think Nas, Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, The Roots, to even early J.Lo, Ashanti, Ja Rule days in the early 2000's) was super inspiring, and everything sounded different. Many videos at that time had a very clean style, vibrant colors, stylish urban settings. I loved that. So that's what inspires me. I've always lived in big cities, capitals and traveled a lot since childhood. So I am inspired by people I meet, fashion, music, and street vibes.




4. What are 4 resources that you recommend all fashion pros know about?


As I am not truly a fashion professional, I can share some general artistic advice. As a professional Creative, I can say that a major resource for me is just simply networking and bouncing off ideas with friends and potential friends. You never know who you're going to run into. It's OK to look at other people's work and get inspired. I usually look at my favorite celebrities, think of who I might just want to illustrate for myself - a non commissioned piece. I think it's important to remember to create pieces for yourself that allow you to expand your skill sets. Experiment. I like to browse fashion and urban magazines, photographer portfolios, instagram etc. for inspiration.


5.  Where can my readers connect with you on social media?


You can follow me on Instagram @livinelay. I am on twitter @livinelay, but I am not really active there. Feel free to visit me on www.livinelay.com as well.


6. Is there anything else you'd like to add that wasn't previously covered?

I'd like to just thank you for featuring me in this interview :). I am usually super low key. But I appreciate this. I'd like to encourage your readers to get in touch and network with me, if they are interested. I love working with other creatives. If anyone needs Graphic Design or Illustration services, just drop me a line and I'll happily discuss your project with you.

What did you like about the interview? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, taking care.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Photographer Kiki Price Offers Blogger Photo Shoot Services

I first found out about Kiki Price, owner of Kandid Kouture Photography in my blogger group when someone asked a question about photography and she shared some insights. I discovered that she is preparing a photography package just for bloggers. I also had a few questions myself. So I took the opportunity to invite her to share her ideas, insights and tell us more about the services that she offers bloggers.


Kiki Price 


Here is our e-mail interview, enjoy!


1. Talk a little bit about how you got started in photography and your blog and photography services for bloggers?


I have always had a love for photography. Since the year of 2003, I was rarely ever seen on an outing without my camera. However at that time, I had no idea that I was so in love with photography that it'd serve as my full time source of employment. One day after posting yet another collage of pictures on my facebook page, a friend of mine who's been a professional photographer since the late 90's asked me why I did not photograph as a business. He saw potential. It's a beautiful thing when you finally see the promise that others saw in you before you.


Long story short, he encouraged me to take the plunge and gave me advice on the very first camera I should start with. I went out, purchased (a T3i), I learned the ins and outs of the camera, I started booking, and the rest is history. I've recently decided to offer services to bloggers because, let's be honest, not everyone's a jack of all trades. Just as a fashion stylist knows an abundance of knowledge about how to get the best out of fashion, a photographer knows best about angles, lighting, and scenery to bring the photo to life. When you put a master photographer and a master stylist into a room together with one Subject, one should be prepared for an astounding editorial like image to be produced effortlessly.


2. For fashion stylists and fashion bloggers who want to break into photographing their styling clients or other bloggers what tips would you give for getting started?


For fashion stylists/bloggers that want to break into photographing their styling clients my tip would be to first find out if you actually enjoy photography or if you simply want to get a good clear picture of your client in that snazzy outfit you styled them in. Because you love to style does not mean you would love putting in extra time to get the perfect shot to showcase your styling work. My advice would simply be to put together a team. Comprise the team of a photographer, a hairstylist, and an MUA. If you don't have enough funds to cover paying everyone consider bartering or collaborating on a project together.


3. What type of concerns should be outlined in a contract and discussed before beginning to photograph clients?


Before photographing clients, one of the main concerns that should be outlined in the contract is how you will share the photograph over social media platforms. Clients must have the option to opt out of having their images displayed publicly if they so choose. This is huge and it is something that is many times overlooked.


4. What are 4 essential fashion photography resources that you feel every fashion stylist and fashion blogger should know about?


Everyone fashion stylist/blogger should have a subscription to their favorite fashion magazine(s). Me, I love Vogue and I absolutely adore Essence Magazine. When you are reading and checking out the latest trends/fashions in these mags, you are subconsciously studying other things that are just as important in a good fashion photo. These things are poses, colors, and settings.


5. Who are some of the photographers that influenced your work and why?


One of my favorite photographers Sue Bryce. She is widely known in the photographic world and she shares a vast amount of knowledge on how she achieves many of the looks in her work. While I have never met her in person, she seems to be an amazing photographer and person via social media. Sue's work is very exquisite and reminds me of refined glamour. Those two things alone in my world of photography will always tickle my fancy.


6. Where can my readers see more of your work and check out your social media?


My work can be viewed via my website at www.kandidkouturephotography.com, my blog www.kandidkouturephotographyblog.com, twitter @mskikiprice
Email kandidkouturephotography@gmail.com You can also find me on PERISCOPE @MsKikiPrice. Every Tuesday I share quick tips about different areas of photography.


An example of Kiki's work:

"Still one of my favorite fashion photos was this gorgeous grunge look shot in San Diego, California. A photographer must understand lines, curves and scenery. This young lady shot in a grunge look but this particular photo was meant to show her softer side. Shot almost 2 years ago, I still to this day absolutely love it!"



Friday, July 31, 2015

Roxanne Carne Fashion Stylist




Roxanne Carne is an L.A. fashion stylist at the beginning of her career. She and I recently became acquainted in a Facebook group when a Facebook friend in the group mentioned that she met Roxanne at a styling class. So I naturally had to ask questions about the class and Roxanne.


I came to find out that she is just starting out in the industry. It's awesome because my blog is all about supporting and encouraging fellow stylists who are at the beginning or a few years into their careers. I'm especially exciting to feature a brand new stylist!
Here is our e-mail interview, enjoy:


1. Since you're new to the styling industry, talk a bit about what inspired you to become a fashion stylist. What are a few of the goals you've set for yourself and where do you hope to be this time next year?


My love affair with fashion started at an early age! I was born and raised in New York City (need I say more?) and for many years my mother worked on Fifth Avenue. As a result, I was exposed to some of the very best shopping experiences in the world. I always enjoyed dressing up and being photographed as a child. My first homemade fashion shoot was when I was in 3rd grade!


But really my love for fashion, clothes, and pop culture made me decide to want to become a stylist. Over the years that I've spent in Corporate America, I definitely came across people that made me wonder, "What are you wearing and WHY?" My passion is to help others better understand their body types and develop a stronger sense of their style.  When you look great, you automatically feel great and I want to help my clients get there!


2. What is your signature personal style and your favorite style icons?


My signature style is a combination of classic and minimalist. I prefer clean lines and structure, solids, and dark & neutral colors. Designers/fashion houses that come to mind who match my sense of style include Calvin Klein (I LOVE the Ready-to-Wear Collection for Fall 2015), Alexander Wang, and Burberry. Hand on heart, I'm also gravitating to more edgy looks as well - designers like Tom Ford and Alexander McQueen's fashion house fit the bill. Fashion icons whose style resonates with me include Victoria Beckham, Kerry Washington (a la Olivia Pope) and Audrey Hepburn.  


3. Tell about your recent experience at the Simply Stylist workshop and the School of Style program that you attended. What key learning insights do you feel will help you the most?


Both the Simply Stylist workshop and the School of Style's program were great!  The Simply Stylist workshop in July was a high-level overview of what a stylist's life is like in the entertainment industry.  Celebrity stylist, Daniel Musto, was the guest speaker and it was great learning about his experience and how he got started in the industry. What impressed me most about him is that he's so young (he only just turned 30) but he's had a very interesting journey as a stylist and a TV personality. At one point in his presentation, Daniel highlighted a simple, but famous Maya Angelou quote, "When you know better, you do better." This is so important in this industry because it's inevitable that you'll make a mistake, but if you do, you lick your wounds, learn from it/don't do it again and keep it moving! As you grow and learn, you really will do better!


Now onto the School of Style (SoS) which I'm so excited to talk about! I've actually taken two classes with them so far for the year (Personal Styling & the Styling Certification Program) and will be taking their Menswear class this fall. Taking these courses solidified my decision to move forward with my Personal Styling business. Lauren Messiah & Luke Storey are the founders/instructors - not only are they experts in styling but they are funny, offer great hands-on exercises & activities (both in and out of the studio), and foster a community of sharing in their Style Society Network (this network is available only to graduates from the program). Lauren's personal styling class walks you through every aspect of the business from an operational and marketing standpoint. The certification program is more centered on working as a fashion stylist inside the entertainment & media industries. This program is a little over a week long where you have onsite class days, but also offsite days to work on various stages of an editorial project. I don't want to give too much away but you're participating in activities where you are actually engaging with stylist industry insiders as part of your final project. Lauren & Luke are a great team and have so much industry insight you walk away knowing exactly what to do and more importantly, what not to do!


4. What are 3 fall 2015 fashion trends and 3 fall makeup trends that you're excited to use for yourself?


For the coming fall season, I'm in love with textured statement coats that are are shiny. I used to have one years ago, gave it away and now I want it back!  I'm also loving statement coats with big furry cuffs - I think those look so classy & feminine. Another look that I'd like for myself that came off this season's runway is high-waisted skinny pants. As with most women, I like my legs to look as long as possible and these pants do the job! They're also very sexy when paired with the right shoes and overcoat.  


When it comes to makeup, I'm pretty much minimalist but I'm tempted to move away from my staple lip glosses to embrace a bolder, deeper lip color which is popular this season. Deep plum & Bordeaux colors are especially catching my eye. Speaking of eyes, smoky eyes have also been big on the runway - although this is something that I do regularly regardless of the time of year!  Another favorite trend of mine for the upcoming season is graphic eyeliner - if done right, you really don't need to do too much of anything else!


5. What are 4 must-know resources that you'd recommend for emerging fashion stylists? What advice would you give stylists like you who are just starting out?


Big Brand System Blog - This blog has a plethora of free articles and advice about how to build your brand through your website, communications, etc. In the styling business, since YOU are your brand, a resource like this is a must-have to help you define how you want to market yourself in the industry.


Style.com - While this may seem like an obvious resource, I don't think many emerging fashion stylists leverage this site as much as they should. This is a free online encyclopedia of practically every top designer and fashion house.  There are archives upon archives of fashion shows that go back several years. This can be great reference material for styling projects and it's comprehensive way to see how designers have evolved their style over time. Their work is forever memorialized on this site and I think that's so cool!


The School of Style - In addition to their awesome styling classes, SoS also has a deep archive of blog postings that are centered on helping stylists develop their business, market themselves and navigate through this fast-paced industry. Their blog is the most comprehensive resource I've seen for up-and-coming stylists.


Women's Wear Daily (WWD) - I love this resource because it's a great education tool - specifically highlighting business & economic aspects of the fashion industry. It's important that you know and understand this because it greatly affects what we see on the runway and in stores. WWD is also one of my favorite resources because it fulfills the business/nerdy side of my personality! And, if you happen to be a student, the annual subscription fee is discounted! 


6. Anything else you'd like to add that was not previously covered?


Network, network, network. You have to put yourself out there and literally make things happen. It's like jumping into a cold pool, you just have to trust yourself & your abilities and dive in. Meeting people, as in the right people, will help propel your career but remember consistency is key. Like P. Diddy once said, "Don't talk about it, BE about it!"


What did you like about this feature? I'd love to hear your feedback in comment section below.


Thanks you for reading, take care.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fashion Pro Spotlight: LaShon, Chloe + Isabel Merchandiser and For the Love of Curls blogger

This is the second Fashion Pro Spotlight for today. You're in for a treat because I've interview LaShon who is a fairly new Chloe + Isabel jewelry merchandiser. She has a lot to share about growing her business selling these beautiful adornments. She also blogs at For the Love of Curls.com.



1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog For The Love of Curls.

"My name is LaShon Renee and I'm a natural hair, beauty and lifestyle blogger based in Los Angeles. I started blogging about natural hair after I started transitioning to team natural because I was so enthusiastic about learning how to care for my own hair. That was almost four years ago so now I've widened the scope of what topics my blog covers." 

2. Talk about why you decided to become a Chloe + Isabel merchandiser. Your enthusiasm for the brand has rubbed off on me especially after you sent me that spring catalog. Their jewelry is just so darn gorgeous!

"I originally got into direct sales with another jewelry company at the end of July 2014. Things were going well at least so I thought but then abruptly in December they announced they were going out of business. After getting over the initial shock I decided to look for another company who's jewelry I loved and I came across Chloe + Isabel. I fell in love with their vintage, classic styles and their bold statement pieces. I also loved that they offer a lifetime guarantee on all their jewelry." 

3. Show and tell about your top 5 favorite C + I pieces and ideas for styling them.

"It's hard to choose but I love the Pave North-South Ring, which I wear on my pointer finger as a cocktail ring.

The Jardins Du Trocadero Statement Bracelet is another fave that can easily be worn dressed up or down.

The Medina Hexagon Pave Bangle set have a unique shape that makes them stand out and the crystals add that extra touch of bling.

We have Bead-Chain Multi-Wrap Bracelets that come in several colors and can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, headband or anklet.

Last but not least I love, love the Multi-Strand Chain Bib Necklace with pave crystal clasp that just makes me feel so classy every time I wear it!"

4. What are your 3 favorite fashion and 3 favorite makeup trends this spring?

"I'm not really one to follow trends as I'm more into classics that stand the test of time but spring is my favorite time of year fashion wise because of all the color that is in the stores. Every spring I'm like bring on the orange, yellow, blue! I tend to go a little crazy in the spring."

5. What are the 5 must-know resources for every fashion blogger and young fashion brand owner? 

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6. Tell us about your favorite promotional tips that we can us to spread the word about our fashion brands?

"My favorite promotional tip is network, network, network. I have found it always pays to know a lot of people from various backgrounds. You just never know when knowing the right person will come in handy. Of course when you network you want to be genuinely interested in the people you know. Genuineness really comes through."

7. Talk about your current C + I promotion

"Our current promotion until April 30th is our Friends and Family Sale which gives everyone 25% off of my entire boutique. This only happens twice a year so it's an excellent time to shop and get some new bling for spring!"

8. Please provide a link to all the social media you want us to check out for your blog and C + I business.


9. There anything else you'd like to add that wasn't previously talked about?

"I just want to thank you for the opportunity to be interviewed. This is a perfect example of the power of networking because we met via a blogger Facebook group and now I'm featured on your blog. How cool is that!"

I hope you'll all stop by LaShon's blog and social media and enjoy!

Let me know what you liked about this interview in the comments section.

Thank you for reading,

Take care

Fashion Pro Spotlight: Simone of Fashion Runs the World blog

Hello and welcome to another Fashion Friday with a great spotlight I did featuring Simone who owns the blog Fashion Runs the World.



1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your blog.

"I was never fan of this question because sometimes I never know what to say and then I end up saying too much and rambling. But here it goes, I'll try to keep it short. I graduated college in 2011 with my Bachelor's in Journalism/TV & Radio. During my time in college I did the worst thing possible which was not intern.
However, my time spent at Brooklyn College did not go to waste. I wrote for the school newspaper, became an editor and co-hosted a radio show on my campus. I kept myself fairly busy but that wasn't enough to land a job at a fashion magazine. I did not want to start a blog but after my boss Danielle gave me the whole "print is dying" spiel, I decided to start my blog.

I use my blog as my digital resume. I write about what I'm passionate about (fashion and beauty), whilst honing my skills as a writer and making my way into the fashion industry. I was always into fashion. When I was younger I use to watch America's Next Top Model every season, still do sometimes. I was fascinated by the photo shoots and runway shows that I couldn't wait to get older and go to New York Fashion Week.

I always watched the red carpet specials before the Grammys and Oscars so that I can see what everyone was wearing and critiqued them. I just stared getting into makeup a few years ago and that was because of YouTube. I just love the creative aspect of makeup and creating different looks. I make some of my favorite tutorials and try to recreate them.
I am a huge movie buff. I love going to movie theaters and my favorite part is watching previews. I can watch previews to upcoming movies for days. I like to read as well. I try to read whenever I have free time, which is barely nowadays. My favorite book series is Harry Potter.

Also, I love music. I like listening to different genres of music. I'm also into video games. I was into to it a lot when I was younger and sill am, I just wish I had more time. Um, I'm a foodie. I love to eat and go to different restaurants and try the food. I also love to travel. One of my goals is to go to London and Paris Fashion Week and explore the city all the while looking at amazing clothes."

2. Awesome blog name, Fashion Runs the World. It sure does, in so many ways! How did you come up with the name and how do you believe fashion runs the world?

"To me fashion runs the world because no matter where you go, one of the things that people can bond over is fashion. Everybody has such different style. Even if a person isn't into fashion or what's trendy their clothes and style tell a story of who they are or where they come from. People always want to know what another person is wearing, where they can get it from and what's trendy.  

At the time when I created the blog, Beyonce's "Run the World" had just came out and I loved that song! I was watching her documentary about her album 4 and when they did the behind-the-scenes on the video the song was in my head and I started thinking about what I wanted to showcase on my Tumblr-which was mainly fashion and then I said to myself, "Fashion Runs the World sounds very catchy and people who look at my site or hear about it will know exactly what it is about." 

3. Talk a little bit about your personal style. What are the essential wardrobe components you love wearing on a daily basis?

"My personal style is a little bit all over the place. How I dress depends on my mood and where I'm going mainly but I always like to challenge myself with my personal style and try different things. When I'm shopping I try to not look for trendy pieces. Whatever I gravitate towards and looks cute I will buy.

I try to not fall into the "typical blogger style" and buy the same pieces that all the bloggers are wearing. Like the asymmetrical skort that all the bloggers were wearing two years ago. I like to be a little different with the items that I wear. So sometimes I try to find a unique piece to add to my wardrobe.

But I mainly like to dress casual if I'm hanging out with a group of friends or running errands. I can't put my style in a box especially since it's constantly  evolving as I get older and I like to experiment with my style. I have so many essential pieces that it depends on the season to me. However, I do feel you can never have too many  tops  especially basic tops."

4. This season what are your favorite three spring fashion items and your favorite three spring makeup trends?

"My favorite fashion items for the Spring are wide-leg trousers, full skirts and leather jackets. I'm really digging the whole 70's style coming back into fashion this season and I think wide-leg trousers are great for Spring. Also, full skirts and leather jackets are essential items that every woman should have in their closet. 

For makeup, I'm really into glowing skin, bright lipsticks (corals, pinks, red-orange colors) and colored eye liner; especially blue! I think that blue (cobalt blue especially) looks beautiful against brown eyes. I'm normally keep my eye makeup pretty neutral but now I'm heavy into layering with different colors." 

5. What are 5 must-know resources every fashion blogger should know about? Especially for those in NYC.

"I had a friend who told me that I can use Eventbrite to attend fashion parties or networking events. I didn't know that you can look up fashion events (which you don't have to be a well-known blogger to be invited to), pay or RSVP and go! It's a great way to network with other bloggers and fashion aficionados and put you're blog out there. Fashion week is also a great resource for networking and meeting other bloggers as well.

Again you don't have to be a well known blogger to attend, just email the PR people. You can find their contact emails on Modemonline.com. Tell them about your blog include stats and the reason why attending the designer's show will be good for your blog. And hope you get a response because majority of the time you won't get one.

Joining blogging communities such as the BLM (Bloggers Like Me) group and Lucky Contributor are great because everybody helps each other out. Plus you can create or attend a meetup and meet some awesome girls!

To make amazing graphics, Canva is a great tool to create Pinterest-worthy images. I learned that through the BLM girls community that you can also edit and it's free to sign up.

Lastly, having a great app to edit your photos for Instagram is a great resource that every blogger should know about. Some good ones are Afterlight, Photogrid, Camera Plus, Diptic and Vsco Cam. A person doesn't need all those apps but they are good to download and play with them to see which ones are must haves." 

6. Is there anything else you'd like to add that wasn't previously covered?

"Not really except that I am currently re-branding my blog and hopefully will be starting my YouTube channel soon,. So stay tuned for that and thank you so much Leah for featuring me!"  

Check out Simone's blog at
Fashion Runs the World.com. Also, follow her on Instagram @simonedanielle11 and on Twitter @S_Danielle11.

Tell me what you liked about Simone's spotlight in the comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Take care

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fashion Pro Spotlight: Chakayla Taylor of Stylishly Decadent blog

Hello everyone, it's been a while but I've got a wonderful treat for you! I interviewed (via e-mail) Chakayla Taylor, blogger at Stylishly Decadent. This multi-talented fashionista foodie is releasing her first e-book called Maximize Your Wardrobe. Read on to be inspired by her great insights on writing a book, her tried and true style tips and so much more. Plus, find out how you can get her e-book for yourself. Below is the interview, enjoy!

1. Tell us a little bit about you, your blog and your style.

This is an awesome question! At times, I struggle with this question because I evolve each and every year. But let me take a stab at it! Well, my name is Chakayla Taylor and I am a 23-year-old career woman working in the marketing and advertising field. I have a handsome 1-year-old son named Emmanuel who keeps me and his father super busy, but I would not have it any other way.

Stylishly Decadent is the continuation of my first blog I started in college, Classic.Raw.Beauty., but with a clear lifestyle focus on food and fashion. I am truly inspired by food because it can be as stylish as a pair of killer shoes.

I call myself the fashion obsessed foodie because both are synonymous with me! It is not a rare occurrence for me to scour cookbooks like Milk: Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi or surfing YouTube for my favorite beauty and fashion trends.

I have eclectic interests with eclectic taste, in which the core to my style is rooted in thrifted, vintage or vintage-inspired pieces. Paying attention to detail or pairing a modern piece with a vintage statement item is the base to any outfit I put together. I eat to live, I dress to impress other women ... this about sums up my life of food and fashion!

2. What inspired you to create this E-book? 

The crazy thing about creating this E-book is that it came out of left field for me. After graduating from undergrad in 2013 with a Bachelor's Degree in English, I've always toyed with the idea of writing a book.

A few years ago when I was working a crappy tween retail job, I would jot down style tips and tricks that I've learned from working in the mall. Honestly, it was a release from hotdog infused scent of the mall and annoying teenage girls looking for crop tops for prom.

That first "book" idea came and went, but when I connected with a fellow Blogger Like Me Girl, Lisa of Lisa a La Mode, and she shared the most vital piece of information that I think about daily, "In order to become an authority in your field, you have to share with your audience how your passions can come to life."

Through the course of this discussion, she also mentioned creating an E-book to stamp out how I could connect with my new audience. Since that day, the rest has been history!

2A. Tell us briefly about the process you went through to create your book. Also, did you hire an editor and graphic designer to help you or did you do it all on your own?

Creating Maximize Your Wardrobe was a fun process to go through! I literally opened up a PowerPoint presentation and began to format the E-book as if it were an educational blog post. This E-book allowed me to produce a few core style hacks on how to start loving your current wardrobe all over again.

With that being said, at times it would be difficult to get ideas out of my head. Many times during the writing process, I had to take myself out of the equation and just purely think of the 21-35 woman who reads my blog or who would be reading this book.

Some of the questions I kept asking myself were, "What are some of the challenges she faces when pulling outfits from her wardrobe?" or "What makes her tick, what inspires her?" At the end of the day, this is an E-book that she could use every day to fuel her inspiration for picking out a fabulous outfit that makes her feel great.

As far as the design process, I did work with a designer and copy editor who both work in the ad field with me. Since we are all colleagues and have great professional bonds, it was extremely easy for me to communicate my ideas with them. It was a blessing to work with both of these professionals free of charge! It is always important to use your resources wisely!

3. What style tips and tricks can readers expect to find in the book?

When you crack open Maximize Your Wardrobe you will find an array of affordable style hacks on how to extend the life of your wardrobe. There are plenty of ladies, like myself, who want to look great but on a budget! If you asked any friend of mine, they would tell you how much I love going into Goodwill and finding a piece that is a diamond in the rough!

Taking trips to Goodwill helps train my perception of fashion and personal style. The great thing about this E-book is that I touch on a few of these things in quick, easy-to-read sections with interactive checklists and creative ice-breaker activities to help you revamp the way you think about style.

4. What are your 5 essential style tips for curvy women?

This is just fabulous, I love when I can share my favorite tips and tricks for curvy ladies! 

Know what type of clothing (i.e. bodycons or A-line skirts) flatters you most Try on, try on, try on! The hangers and racks in stores are not loyal and will make you think a piece is too small or too big. Do not be afraid of the tailor ladies!

There are small alterations shop in the mall that can hem and take-in/out pieces in your wardrobe for as little as $10! Shape wear is your best friend! I'm not talking corsets here, but more so your undergarments! A high waist panty for instance, will help smooth and control your curves. Always be confident! 

5. For those interested in creating an e-book what advice would you give them?

Candidly, just do it! Literally! Open up a Word Document or PowerPoint and begin constructing your e-book. Research some topics that other bloggers in your category are talking about. Why Chakayla?

Because it will inform you on the topics they are not talking about, this is a great way to capitalize on that. There is nothing that can stop you. And no, price should not stop you either! I spent $0.00 on this e-book, because when you have a great idea the resources will begin to reveal themselves.

Outside of my agency connections, Pinterest was a fabulous resource for learning how to construct, launch and publish an e-book. Use your savvy social media knowledge and genuinely connect with bloggers who have written or who are writing an e-book and get advice from them or bounce ideas off of them. Just remember the resources are there, you just have to find them.

6. What are 3 spring fashion trends and 3 makeup trends that you're excited about trying this season?

This is fun! I am always dabbling and trying anything makeup or fashion. I am currently loving:

Fashion

Sneakers, sneakers and more dope sneakers! 

Flowy A-line skirts

Refined athleisure (athletic leisure wear)

Makeup

Natural foundation

Coral lipsticks and lipglosses 

Sleek cat eyes

7. What are 3 essential resources that every fashion blogger should know about?

There are tons of resources out there for bloggers now-a-days! One of the main categories of resources that are essential to success would be networking tools/organizations that allow you to connect with other bloggers. Some of my favorite resources include:

Blogger Like Me

Independent Fashion Blogger...

Other up-and-coming bloggers! Create your own trusted resource network.

8. Where can we buy the book? Please provide links to your blog and social media were readers can follow you.

Here is where we insert great news ... my E-book will be free to those who subscribe to my weekly newsletter. See, don't you love a fab deal? For e-book updates and other blogger/lifestyle content, please follow me:

Blog: www.stylishlydecadent.com

Instagram: @chakaylataylor

Twitter: @cktaylor13

9. Anything else you'd like to share that wasn't covered?

If I haven't said it enough, please use your resources! They are out there waiting on you to capitalize on them. You are the beholder of your success, do not hinder your progress because you "didn't know." Always stay in the know loves!

So tell me what your favorite takeaways are from Chakayla's interview in the comments below. Be sure to visit her site, say hello and subscribe to her newsletter for great tips as well as her e-book Maximize Your Wardrobe. Thanks for reading, take care.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Updates and Reality Check!

It's been a while since I've posted but I want to give a few updates.

1. I've been in the midst of rebranding my myself as a stylist and online visual presence. That takes time, a lot of reflection and soul searching to get everything just right. So I won't be blogging regularly until my new brand and vision is in place and implemented.

2. I'm preparing to leave NYC and go back to my home state where I'll resume the building of my fashion styling career.

3. Having the basics of styling down pat, I  want to begin sharing what I've learned and help others back home who were in my spot wanting to become a stylist but don't know how to even begin.

4. I've realized that perhaps a fancy NYC or Hollywood styling career is not for me. BUT helping advocate beginners wanting to do that is more my speed. My true passion is really to help people learn what they need to get from point A to point B and beyond. It makes me so happy to help others especially in the area of fashion and style.

5. I'll still be styling, just on a smaller scale for local businesses. Also, one of my goals is to work on pulling together fellow fashionistas in my town to build a fashion community. One of the things I didn't have growing up was anyone who shared my interest in fashion. That definitely needs to change when I get back home.

That's all for now. I'll keep you posted on my progress as it happens.

As always, thanks for reading.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Mind Right Monday #4-#6

Hey everyone, welcome to Mind Right Monday! I missed the past two weeks of posting so I'll just be combining Mind Right Monday #4, #5 and #6 (this week) into one little neat package. Hopefully, you know the drill or if you're new to the blog here's the deal. Mind Right Monday is a link up in which participants write down what they are grateful for and their goals for the week. It's that simple. Let's jump right in!
What I'm grateful for:
1. This is pretty much the same thing all the time: great supportive family, living in NYC to pursue my dream career, great opportunities and all that good stuff!
2. Lightbulb moments and epiphanies.
3. Smart people who offer me guidance.
4. Branding geniuses!
5. Webinars.
6. The variety of business coaches out there that are super duper gifted at what they do.
7. My recent breakthroughs!
Now for my goals:
1. To create the final draft of my personal  branding inspiration board--in words!
2. To start on my personal branding inspiration board on Pinterest.
3. To tie up loose ends from last week's Mind Right Monday.
4. Check out the clearance sales.
Check out the hostesses of Mind Right Monday at:
What are you grateful for and what are your goals for the week? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading take care.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Timeless Essentials for New Fashion Stylists

As fashion stylists, we all hear about seasonal trends, fads and of course timeless fashion essentials. But there are other timeless essentials that are a must in any stylist's A-game arsenal. A lot is riding on your shoulders since you are an intern, assistant or newly appointed head stylist or freelancer. No matter what stage you're in, you're no doubt trying to build a long, successful career. Here are 5 timeless must-haves that will never go out of style and you should never be without.

1. Juice: And I'm not talking the kind in bottles! I'm talking about the portable battery recharging kind because you never want to have a dead phone, tablet or laptop. When duty and opportunities call you want to be able to rock and roll at a moment's notice.

2. Giving a Damn: A lot of people these days especially in the fashion industry have blasay attitudes about everything-- life, work, relationships, you name it. But having a care-less attitude gets noticed in the worse way possible. Be mindful, be on the ball, have your attitude right, your head on straight, be open to feedback and GIVE A DAMN!

3. Communication Skills: It's so important to express yourself well verbally, non-verbally and in writing in a timely fashion. Listening is also a super important communication skill. Learn and consistently practice all of these things and you'll be golden.

4. Personal Responsibility: No excuses, no whining, no lateness, no BS! Just own your actions, mistakes and missteps. They are all part of the journey and learning. Celebrate your triumphs, growth and lessons learned.

5. Business Acumen: YOU are your business and brand. Protect that with crafting the right professional persona. Professional behavior is an essential component of having good business acumen. Far too many people get sloppy and too comfy letting their mess hang out where it needs to be shored up and tidy. It's not like you have to be a pious saint but being an unprofessional jerk is no good either. There's a middle ground. Be fun, positive, keep things light, be receptive to and learn to exude good energy.

I've learned to come correct with a lot of these or just learned to do better as a rule. But we can ALL do better. I always include and remind myself that we are all works in progress as my mentor has pointed out for years.

What are some of your favorite personal development essentials? Anything that wasn't listed here? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading, take care.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mind Right Monday #3

Another short and sweet Mind Right Monday. Let's get to it now!

Grateful For:

1. Having warm cozy winter gear!

2. Iced vanilla lattes at Dunkin Doughnuts.

3. January clearance sales.

Goals:

1. To keep forging ahead in my progress and endeavors.

2. To get the new header image up with a week or two.

3. To print up some more biz cards.

Be sure to check out the fabulous blogs of the Mind Right Monday hostesses.

www.okdani.com
www.deardarrica.com
www.mamademics.com

Let me know what you're grateful for and your goals for next week in the comments below.

That's all folks, thanks for reading. Take care.

  

Friday, January 16, 2015

What Content Will Matter Most in 2015?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you! For 2015 I want to get an idea of what content matters most to you as up-and-coming fashion stylists?
Here is a list of the types of content I already post:
- Media Monday: Various online/media related content.
- Fashion Friday: Various fashion related content.
- Mind Right Monday- Sharing what I'm grateful for and my goals.
- How-to's
- Pro Spotlight: Q & A
- Event Recaps
- Personal Career Essays: What I'm learning in the styling biz
- Essential Resources
- New Designer Feature
- Indie Designer Feature
Of these topics, which would you personally like to see more of? Is there anything you'd like to see that's not listed here? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading, take care.

Monday, January 12, 2015

StyleWerkshop Link-Up: Scarves

This week Bloggers Like Me (BLM) is doing a #StyleWerkshop link up with the scarf theme. Scarves are one of my favorite accessories, so I wanted to jump in and join this one.
In the photo I'm wearing a really old super fave scarf and new winter headband from H & M, jacket, turtleneck and legging pants from Uniqlo.


 photo 50c1f424-388d-4501-88fb-fb198458aae5_zpsb57caad4.png
 

Mind Right Monday #2

Hello, welcome to Mind Right Monday! I am still recuperating from a severe bout of food poisoning that I got last Thursday, a day after I few back to NYC. It has zapped my energy A LOT and I'm still not feeling great. A terrible way to start out the new year.
With that said, I'll jump right in with what I'm grateful for and my goals for the week. This time it's going to be super short and sweet.
Grateful:
1. To be back in NYC.
2. To have a chance to rest and recoup before I get back to work.
Goals:
1. To feel totally better by the end of next week.
2. To have my blog back in full swing by the end of next week.
So that's it for now...
What you are you grateful for and what are your goals this week? Let me know in the comments below.
As always check out the hostesses of Mind Right Monday:
Thank you for reading, take care.

Friday, January 9, 2015

What to Do When You Outgrow People

This is tough topic, so let's just tackle it head-on! In our personal and professional lives we will always be faced with outgrowing people aka exploring new horizons and going in new directions. It's a natural part of life and shouldn't be feared.

The first time I realized that I'd outgrown certain people was a few years ago. I was really stressed out and sad because I thought "oh no, now what?" The realization was accompanied by a whole range of emotions that go with change and moving on from people you shared good times with. But change is necessary for growth, variety and ultimately becoming who you want to be.

If you find that you've outgrown people and want to explore new horizons here's what to do.

1. Keep calm, carry on: Yes, cliche...I know, I know but it's helpful to be calm about it and just keep it moving like normal. Don't lose sleep over it because life and more great people are abundant in this world. You just have to look for the abundance.

2. Have Gratitude for the Good Times: Tell the person what you've appreciated about them and thank them.

3. Do Not Burn Bridges: Just because you're moving on doesn't mean you need to burn bridges, keep it classy and mature. In fact, the person doesn't even need to know you've moving on without them. You're simply not putting any new energy into interacting with them, that's all.

4. If They Say Anything, Be Honest: Yes, be honest just say something like, "I've been putting a lot of energy into activities that are fulfilling to me." That's all you have to say. It's about your own choices and owning what you do with your time. You're keeping it positive. Or you can say anything that fits your situation without making the other person feel bad.

5. Enjoy Your New Horizons: Now that you've moved on, enjoy it to the fullest!! Remember that life's full of possibilities and sometimes you just have to do some relationship housecleaning to make way for the new.

Have you ever outgrown people and didn't know what to do? Or you were blindsided by someone outgrowing you? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mind Right Monday: First One of 2015!

Wow, I can't believe this is the first Mind Right Monday of 2015!! Last year just seemed to go by so fast and now we're into a new year. It's been a long time since I've done a Mind Right Monday post, mainly because my Android died last year and I lost my blogging momentum. Especially since my phone is my only internet connection right now and it took a while to find the right new phone. But now that I have a great new phone I'm back and better than ever. With that said, I'll jump right in and list what I'm grateful for and my goals.

Grateful for:

1. All the career enhancing opportunities that I received this year. 
2. Being able to come home for Christmas vacation for a month!
3. Getting a much needed new phone with great technologically advanced features to increase my productivity.
4. Getting through JFK airport without suffering poor treatment and the resulting stress and inconvenience at the hands of rogue employees for the first time ever! I guess Delta Airlines is stepping up its customer service game, woohoo!!
5. Smiles and hugs from family.

Goals for 2015:

1. Connect with a clientele that can afford my rates!
2. Meet great new, positive-energy, like minded people such as clientele, friends and business associates.
3. Build an amazing clientele that value my work and send referrals my way.
4. Start eating healthy again.
5. Begin an exercise regimen.

As always head over to the hostesses of Mind Right Monday:



What are your goals and what are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading! And Happy New Year.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Career Goals 2015

It's a new year, ripe with possibilities! Hurray for 2015, y'all! It's time for goal setting. Here's my top five for the year.

1. Knowing My Worth & Stop Doing Free Work: My Fall internship was enough. I already know I'm excellent at what I do so I'm stopping the free for all madness! Unless I'd be interning for a prestigious company.

2. Building a High Paying Clientele: Individuals and business to business clients.

3. Assist other established stylists.

4. Continue to network and cultivate relationships with industry peers.

5. Continue to make learning and honing my craft a priority.

What are your fashion styling career goals for 2015? Let me know in the comments below.


Thanks for reading, take care.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Stop the Free for All Madness!

Ah, free work: the bain of the creative pro existence...... It is usually necessary to do it in the early stages of our careers in order to build up a portfolio. But how much free work is enough? It is highly debatable but I'm going to throw out a vague idea for you to think about.

Do as many projects as it takes to gain a minimum of 5 flawless projects. These projects must best represent your abilities. They must visually speak for you and tell the world you're an AMAZINGLY talented fashion stylist. 

The amount of free work aka practice it takes will vary from person to person for a variety of reasons. Always count internships as free work too not just the projects you do for TFP (time for portfolio or prints). The point of doing it all is to get enough diverse experience to earn a coveted assistant job with an established stylist and even your own clients. 

Along the way, if you want to start charging people, do it! Please tell potential clients the rate that you feel you deserve and DON'T LOWBALL IT EITHER. Try it and you might be surprised that you'll get paid more often! High quality potential clients don't respect free and low rates, so charge what you're worth as early as you have your very first portfolio piece to show. 

Also, do free work for the biggest names possible whenever you have the opportunity to do so and they just won't pay. It will look the best on your resume and client roster.

Here is a suggested list of the 5 types of flawless photo projects you need in your starter portfolio. Of course this will be different for everyone since everyone will have different opportunities. But you get the idea.

2 Editorial Photo Shoots
1 Print Advertisement
1 Designer Lookbook
1 Online Store

Plus, an internship for a stylist and/or fashion company.

I hope this gives you a basic framework to start with. Let me know in the comments how you handled your own free work conundrum.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mind Right Monday #10

Here we go, it's Mind Right Monday folks, welcome! This is week #10 for me. I'm proud of myself for sticking with it!

My Goals for This Week:

1. To finish up strong for my final project in Fashion Styling for Celebrity Images.

2. To start creating a plan for outreach to new and low level entertainment people.

3. To revise some of my services and rewrite my service descriptions.

4. To add new services.

5. Redesign and print more of my business cards.

6. Upload my styling client photos to my blog.

7. To design my first fashion story exclusively for my blog.

Gratefulness:

1. For my first fashion internship!

2. For all the continued blessings and opportunities coming my way.

3. For the great people I'm meeting along my career journey.

Be sure to check out the lovely hostesses of Mind Right Monday:

Ok Dani

Mamademics

Dear Darrica

What are your goals for this week and what are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Celebrity Styling Class Session #3

I'm in the home stretch for Fashion Styling for Celebrity Images at FIT. This is my second to the last week of the class. I'm like yay, in some ways because I'm eager to go out and apply what I'm learning. But I'm sad in other ways because it's great class.

I've learned a wealth of insights from professor and stylist Pamela Macklin. I love that she is teaching this course as more of a practical life lessons for how to navigate the intricacies of a styling career.

The lecture in this session focused on meeting the style needs of a celebrity client for various occasions. First, you have to determine the purpose of the celebrity's presence at the event. Then, dress them according to the time of the event, their activities at the event, location, weather, purpose of event etc. But that was just the top of the iceberg.

With that said, I will jump into the 5 key insights that I've learned in tonight's session.

1. You develop your client's image based on their needs, wants and style sensibility.

2. You can't change your clients from zero to 60 when you first start working with them. Just like anyone, their style evolution is going to be a gradual process.

3. Look for cues in the way your client dresses to help you figure out what they like and feel comfortable in.

4. Take a minute before entering a room. Relax and focus on having good energy.

5. Be mindful of your walk-in impression and how you look when you enter a room. Also, be aware of your leave behind impression and energy.

What are some valuable insights that you've learned during your styling career thus far? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mind Right Monday #9

Today is Mind Right Monday, yay! Here we go:
Goals This Week
1. To plan my post for covering the Get Geeked (www.getgeeked.tv) tech event this Thursday!
2. To write a good pitch for my Fashion Styling for Celebrity Images class.
3. To find new people to feature in my Fashion Pro Spotlight on Fridays.
What I'm Grateful For
1. My blessings.
2. A supportive family.
3. Yummy food!
4. Cookie dough ice cream! ;-)
Be sure to check out the lovely hostesses of the Mind Right Monday Linkup:
Ok Dani
Reese & Coco
Mamademics
What are your goals for this week and what are you grateful for? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks for reading, take care.

Friday, October 10, 2014

How Experienced Professionals Can Support Early Career Professionals

This is an important topic to me for personal reasons. As with all topics that are close to my heart, I like to talk about them in detail. Especially when I notice something is wrong and needs to be addressed and corrected. This topic is how experienced professionals can better support early career professionals or newbies as I call them here on the blog.

Recent input from some experienced professionals when responding to a mere personal observation of mine really got me thinking. Sometimes these old pros are far removed from their days of just starting out, not just age wise but also emotionally. As such, they find it hard to empathize or sympathize when they are giving input or even unsolicited advice to newbies in their field or other fields. This point couldn't be more painfully clear, given some of the things that I've been told by professionals during my career journey thus far. Honestly, it's been hard to tell if they are in fact well-meaning or just have chips on their shoulders.

With that said, here are 5 ways that experienced pros miss the mark in offering advice to newbies:

1. They think that just because they accomplished a certain result or achievement you should be able to do it too. IF you just follow their advice.

Sorry, things don't work like that. Each person has their own unique path in their career and their strengths and abilities are different from the one giving the "advice."

2. They take a self-righteous, sanctimonious tone, saying "Well I did this, that and the other."

But they don't just merely state the facts. They gloat, they can get huffy or they may even throw in judgmental, criticism at you when they don't even know you personally. The latter is what I find most bizarre. I've had this specific experience when I went in for free business counceling at a non-profit.

I did come away from the experience with more clarity and advice to focus on one narrow specialty area, which was beneficial. I just couldn't help but feel really torn down and for what? Business counceling, just like any other counceling should be designed and delivered to building you up and empower you. Not lay you low.

3. They think research is the cure-all to stop what they deem as dumb questions from happening.

One experienced professional told me that they don't help people unless they have proven to have done their research before asking them anything. Because they don't have time to help everyone. Ok, fair enough.....NOBODY HAS ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD! But I feel that that way of thinking is one-track minded.

Usually helping someone doesn't involve actually doing much more than having conversations--surprise, surprise! Unless, of course you're presenting an audio visual tutorial to someone on a difficult subject, now that's truly helping and making a huge effort.

4. They think you're not confident in yourself if you ask a lot of questions and have any apprehension whatsoever.

An experienced professional pointed out that she thought I wasn't confident because I kept mentioning that I was new in the industry. Also, I basically asking what's normal within the industry. I was really taken aback by her ridiculous assumption that I wasn't confident. Not knowing how to do things and being honest about it or not knowing how to gain access to industry resources isn't the same as lacking confidence.

I believe it's smart AND perfectly alright to ask someone with more knowledge than you if you don't know something. And no Google doesn't have all the answers I need either, I checked! LOL.

But I digress, I'm guessing that the woman is the type that barges up into a place with guns a blazin' and thinks others should do the same. However, that's not what I do, I'm smarter and more strategic than that.

5. They think you should fake it till you make it.

This principle may work in other areas of your life but not really in your career. If you lack knowledge, but pretend like you do and get really lost or frustrated on the job, people will notice that. So just humble yourself, embrace your newbie status and become a knowledge sponge instead. Go to every optional training opportunity provided by your company.

Also, take advantage of every outside resource and learning opportunity you can get to. You will be glad you did because the more specific and targeted knowledge you have the better.

Here are 5 ways they can remedy their mistakes with newbies:

1. They must realize that new professionals don't always know things they should know when they should know it. That's natural and should be a given. If they did, they wouldn't be a beginner!

2. They should LEARN to exercise patience and understanding when asked for basic advice or how to do things by newbies.

3. Not everyone does things the way the old pros might do them because everyone is different in how they get the job done. That's OK!

4. New people to the field just might have some fresh perspectives and insights that old pros can learn from.

5. Newbies don't always know what resources are available to them at the beginning stages of their career. Not even if they research their brains out!

Let me note that this post is solely my commentary about my bad experiences with experienced pros. But don't get me wrong, I've had so many positive experiences with AMAZING old pros. I feel blessed and very grategul to have received their support and encouragement over the years. But this post is simply a "teachable moment" I'd like to provide for experienced pros who's come on strong with unfounded criticism or unsolicited advice.

Some I'm sure are not even aware of what they are doing or how their input can impact newbies. They also have the power to make great positive impacts on us if they could understand from our perspective of what's generally helpful to us and what's not. This is also for newbies. I wanted to explain and decode some of the behavior that they may encounter so they're not totally blindsided.

So, tell me what you think and if you've experienced similar input from experienced professionals in your career.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Celebrity Styling Class Session #2

Tonight's session two of Fashion Styling for Celebrity Images was great. We talked about requesting clothes from designers for a celeb's events, appearances and more. This request is known as the pitch, which is emailed to the designer's press contact. The pitch subject line must be compelling enough to make them want to read it.

But before you email the pitch, you must email ahead of time to ask who the press contact is (my professor said stylists are considered press). Once you have the right contact info you can send your pitch to that person. The pitch should only be two paragraphs long and include the following info:

-Who you are

-Your celebrity client

-Their top accolades (if they are not an A or B-lister)

-What occasion(s) they need clothes/accessories for

-What kind of items you want to borrow or have custom made

-Call to action

The homework assignment is to write a compelling and sendable pitch letter, due next week.

Now onto the 5 key insights that I learned:

1. You have to train people to work with you the way you WANT them to work with you.

2. Use better, more descriptive words when you're styling.

3. Styling celebrities on press junkets are big money paid by the movie company.

4. Know who the influencers are.

5. Figure out who's going to be next. Look for untapped pools of clients that no one is paying attention to.

These are the great pearls of wisdom professor Pamela Macklin taught us this week.

In the comments section, please share your own insights from your styling experience so far. I'd love to hear them.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Mind Right Monday # 8

Mind Right Monday! You know the drill, here's my goals and gratitude.
Goals for This Week:

1. To start my November editorial calendar.

2. To apply for more events to cover as press.

3. Write one essay and submit it to a blog.

4. Apply to internships and jobs.

5. To revisit Josh Groban's music. He's one of my all time favorite singers!

What I'm Grateful for:

1. Opportunities continuing to roll my way!

2. The Fashion Styling for Celebrity Images course I'm enrolled in.

3. The great new people I'm meeting.

4. For being able to attend events as press.

Tell me what your goals are for this week and what you're grateful for in the comments section.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Check out the lovely hostesses of Mind Right Monday:

Reese and Coco

Mamademics

Ok Dani

Friday, October 3, 2014

Beauty Pro Spotlight: June Smith, Founder/CEO of TAJJ Cosmetics

This week's spotlight is the first Beauty Pro Spotlight and it's a pleasure to feature June Smith founder and CEO of TAJJ Cosmetics, which is based in Toronto Ontario Canada. Below is our interview, enjoy!


1. What is you blog/website/venture called? Our website is TAJJ Cosmetics.  Our company provides cosmetic products specifically for women of color.

2. When and why did you start it?
I started my cosmetics company in the summer of 2009.  After years of feeling self-conscious about the discoloration on my toes caused by corns.  I developed my first product, The Incredible Corn Concealer, from the realization that women all over suffer from “corns” a podiatric ailment that not only causes pain, but is also unattractive. 

I decided to create a concealer; a product that would provide that instant fix to the appearance of corns, yet one that offers a long lasting coverage, waterproof and last for up to 24hrs. In January of 2011, after overwhelming responses from customers about our product and the need for more products for women of color, we began intensive studies into ethnic skin care and launched our complete line of makeup. Developed and designed specifically for women of color.

3. What has been your most exciting and proud moments so far in your venture?
My proudest moment was developing the Incredible Corn Concealer. I was thrilled to see the product that I had created finally come to life. I was extremely proud that it was no longer a thought but developed into a product.  Since our launch in January of 2011, we have been featured in several magazines and news media. Our products were also included in swag bags for film makers at the Real World Film Festival for held here in Toronto Canada.  

I am Jamaican, so when I was featured in the Panache Jamaica magazine, I was very excited about that, as I know that my Jamaican family would be proud and excited for me and to know that I am doing amazing things here in Canada.  Being honored as one of BBWO50 Fabulous Women Entrepreneurs in 2014 & 2011 is still one of my proudest moments.  It is exciting to know that others acknowledge your hard work and recognize you for it. BBWO Network celebrates the accomplishments of women's innovative contributions, passion, hard work and dedication of women entrepreneurs.  And finally, I am living in my moment of opening my first flagship store.  

4. What growth and opportunities are you striving for during the rest of 2014 and in 2015 for this venture?
We opened our first flagship store in October 2013. Our goal is to continue to promote our brand.  Our store is located in a new mall, so promoting our store is our priority.  Our mission for 2015 is to focus on our next step. Our goal is to open our second and third store here in Canada in the coming years and to also expand our brand in the United States and Europe.

5. Where can my readers learn more about you and your work?
Information about our company can be found on our website http://tajjcosmetics.com . Our social media links are Twitter: TAJJ COSMETICS, Facebook: TAJJ-Cosmetics, Pinterest: tajj girl.

6. What are your 3 Fall beauty and skincare must-haves?  
Every woman should have a good mascara, preferably TAJJ Cosmetics Eyedolize mascara, as our mascara was recently described by one celebrity fashion stylist and designer as one of the best mascaras she has ever used.  

bright bold lipsticks are hot for the Fall. Every woman should have one in her purse. Red, purple and deep rich burgundy are perfect for the Fall.  Gone are the dull days of Fall. Women are now embracing bright colours and you simply cannot go wrong with it no matter your skin tone.

Blush is also a must-have. It adds dimension and Enhances your best features. It also gives the illusion of having great cheekbones.

Skincare:
Taking proper care of the skin should be a priority for everyone, not just for women but also for men. A proper skincare regimen is important and is the key to having healthier looking skin.

1. Cleanser: Invest in a good cleanser. One that will remove impurities effectively and is gentle on the skin.

2. Exfoliating scrub is also important and should be done at least twice a week. Exfoliating removes dead    skin and will help to reveal a new layer of skin. 

3. Toner: Toning the skin after exfoliating will help to restore the PH balance. It will also help with removing the excess dirt and oil that remains after cleansing.  It also hydrates and nourishes the skin.

7. What are the 3 resources every beauty professional needs to know about and use regularly? Beauty professionals need to understand and identify the skin undertone. Knowing the undertone is key to choosing the right shades of colour. Stay in the know, know what’s going on in the fashion world. We all know that beauty and fashion goes hand in hand and what you wear has so much to do with the makeup you are wearing. 

Also know when to keep it simple. Makeup is fun, it changes everything about you. Makeup should be used to enhance the natural look, we all have something about us that we absolutely love, so it’s important to know and understand your best features.  

8. Any closing statements or things you want to add that weren't discussed? 
Thank you so much for the opportunity to spotlight me and my company.  This opportunity will give readers more insight about TAJJ Cosmetics and our amazing products for women of color. 

To all your readers and followers, continue to believe in yourself, follow your dream, your passion, be persistent, pray fervently and learn how to persevere. Don’t listen to the noise around you, listen to your heart, it is the voice of God.

It was a pleasure to feature June and I wish her the best and much success in her company! 
Below is a picture of her products including the Incredible Corn Concealer, to keep feet looking flawless!

What did you like about the interview? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, take care.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Attending Another Fashion Styling Class!

Tonight was my first session in Fashion Styling for Celebrity Images, a four week continuing education class at F.I.T. I was eager to take the course because it tells   "how to get experience and acquire your own clients," according to the course catalog description. I'm always looking to expand my horizons in terms diversifying my client base.
Here are my 5 take-aways from tonight's class:
1. Stop using the word cute for describing clothes and accessories. Come up with better words.
2. Don't say you have a passion for fashion when asked why you want a job in the industry.  Come up with a stronger set of reasons, create a S.W.O.T. analysis to discover those reasons. S.W.O.T. stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
3. Sometimes people will be so terrible to you, but you have to suck it up, finish your job and cry later. I know this one first hand.
4. MANAGING PERSONALITIES IS ESSENTIAL! Figuring how to navigate each one successfully is the challenge, which is the only way to get the most out of your career and experiences.
5. You have to have an OBSESSIVE attention to detail and remember and write down what went where, what goes back to who's etc..
3-5 I have down pat! 1-2 through, eh, not so much. But I'll work on it's.
Oh and we each had to draw a name from an envelope of a celeb that we have to come up with styles for two occasions. That is for our final project. I picked Miley Cyrus, so I have to come up with an outfit that she could wear to the Kentucky Derby and to the American Music Awards. Wow, just wow, was my internal reaction, LOL. This will be interesting. And the professor said to study our chosen celebrity's style very closely.
Also, the key thing professor Pamela Macklin emphasized was to learn how to package our unique personal brand as stylists. Define what differentiates us from the rest of the competition. One of the prof's students who worked for her during the summer was a guest speaker. She talked about displaying the fancy wardrobe of an HBO movie for its executives to see and to have photographed. She had to make sure every detail was taken care of so it would look flawless for the viewing. She had a few mishaps along the way but powered through it to get the job done. She also spoke about the importance of maintaining a professional demeanor when interning and assisting. She also said not to act "too familiar" with the talent because they usually want their space and privacy. Having that respect to keep your distance yet still being courteous is key.
The professor is a lively, expressive lecturer, nice classmates, great class, I enjoyed it and so glad I registered! :-)
Have you taken this class or any of the fashion styling continuing education courses at FIT? How did you like them? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading, take care.