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.
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
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 ( 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
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
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 . 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.

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.

2 Month Blogiversary TODAY!!

Hello everyone, it's my two month Blogiversary! Yay, for me! I've learned and experienced so much in this short time.
Here are 5 of my favorite highlights:
1. Attending my first New York Fashion Week!
2. Interviewing great, inspiring women bloggers and entrepreneurs.
3. Joining the Mind Right Monday Linkup to share my goals and what I'm grateful for. It's cool because it helps me stay motivated to keep aiming high, striving for my goals, actively practicing gratitude and documenting it all.
4. Interviewing Chrisette Michelle during a blogger press conference via the phone. Stay tuned for the interview coming up soon.
5. Making it through Fashion Month on my blog. I celebrated it by writing about various topics that are relevant to me and other up-and-coming fashion stylists.
What are your big blogging highlights so far? Let me know on the comments below.
Thanks for reading, take care.