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.

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