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CHIC Biz Spotlight

CHIC Biz Spotlight: Jewel Posse

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CHICBiz is back, and we have an amazing brand that we are super excited to share! Jewel Posse is a jewelry and accessories line that offers unique handmade items! We had the pleasure of working with Jewel Posse this month for our winter shoot and let us tell you; the owner Nikki is a joy! We can see why we love her brand so much. Her passion and enthusiasm is infectious and we are so honored to be able to work with a woman of such a great energy and spirit! So check out our interview with Nikki as we get to know her and her fabulous brand Jewel Posse! 

1. First, tell us a little bit about yourself. 
My name is Nikki and I’m a young entrepreneur with passions for fashion and humanitarianism. I was raised in Baltimore and work here full-time in advertising. In 2015, I launched Jewel Posse, my own online jewelry and accessories brand for women with an effortlessly cool style.

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2. What was your defining moment that made you go for it and start your own brand? Were you nervous about starting your own business or did it come naturally?
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I went to grad school at Wake Forest University and earned my Master of Arts in Management … fast forward four years later and I wasn’t using my degree at all (but I was still paying off those school loans!). So I decided to start a jewelry and accessories brand as a side gig.

I was definitely nervous about starting my own business but I think it was something I was always meant to do. When I was in the planning stages for Jewel Posse, there was a lot going through my mind: will people like my pieces? Will the brand be successful? Will I be able to balance my regular 9-5 with this new venture?

But I was more excited to try and fail than not try at all — so I went for it!

3. As we all know starting a business takes a lot of time and dedication? What drives you to keep going?
Honestly, it’s fun! Running a jewelry business allows me to be creative and connect with other creative people, and it combines design, business, photography and marketing into one project. I am the CEO, the CFO, the CMO, the designer, the minion and everything in between, so I’m empowered by the fact that Jewel Posse’s success is 100% in my hands. So while it’s definitely hard work, it’s fun and empowering work, which makes it easy to keep going.

4. What was the inspiration behind the name?
Jewel Posse is for women who have something in common: an effortlessly cool style. It’s a club of sorts for women who value exclusivity in their look and pride themselves on their own personal style. That made me think of a “posse” and of course, I’m making jewelry so — Jewel Posse.

5. What makes Jewel Posse so unique?
Jewel Posse is a collection of cool, stand out pieces that I design and make myself. I’m either assembling interesting pieces that I find and love or I’m making entire pieces completely from scratch (designing, sawing, sanding, polishing, soldering ,etc.).

I also only make a select number of each piece. I think jewelry (and fashion in general) should be an expression of your own personal style — not a cookie cutter version of everyone else’s — so I only make a few of each product so that anyone who shops JP can rest assured that whatever they buy will be pretty unique and unseen.

6. What is your target audience and why?
Driven women, ages 18-35, who have an effortlessly cool style. The jewelry I make is fun, edgy and cool. I make a mix of statement pieces and complementary pieces that aren’t for the fashionably lighthearted.

7. Tell us about the campaign you are doing this month and why you started it.
February is National Cancer Prevention Month and as a 3x cancer survivor (beating cancer most recently last year), I thought it was important to do something to honor the month.

Jewelry making and cancer have always been linked for me. I’ve been making jewelry since I was 9 years old. It started as a hobby that my mom got me involved with during my second battle with cancer as a way to keep my mind off of the disease. I have stuck with it over the last 17 years and actually started Jewel Posse in the midst of dealing with my most recent diagnosis.

Now that I am once again cancer-free, I’ve decided that a portion of all of my proceeds this month will go to a cancer support organization in Baltimore that helped me through my diagnosis last year. So anyone who buys anything from jewelposse.com in February will be supporting other young adults battling cancer.

8. Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
In five years, Jewel Posse will be a household name amongst young, driven women with an edgy style. I also plan for Jewel Posse to develop a voice to address and tackle major issues relevant to young women — everything from cancer to racial and gender inequality and everything in between.

9. What advice would you give to women looking to start their own business?
Fill a void. Be prepared to invest. Don’t half ass it.

Fill a void: It’s important to make a product or service that people want or need — something that’s different. Jewelry is a commodity. Everyone and their mother is selling jewelry but not everyone is selling limited edition, custom handmade jewelry at an affordable cost. Figure out what product or service you want to offer and then decide how you can make it more valuable than every other business out there selling the same thing.

Be prepared to invest: While it is possible to build a business with a limited budget, if you’re starting off on your own without investors (like myself) be prepared to put your own money into making it a success. Unpaid public relations and general word of mouth are incredibly valuable, free ways to get the word out about your business — but they shouldn’t work alone. Be prepared to strategically invest in advertising, social media promos, blogger relations, etc. to get your name out there on a large scale to your target audience.

Don’t half ass it: Just creating a company isn’t enough these days. You have to be willing to invest the time, money and effort into creating a high quality brand that presents itself well, looks professional and makes people want to shop with you. If you have a rushed launch that you’re ill-prepared to handle, your company will appear unestablished and unprofessional — and you may even discourage people from wanting to spend their money with you. Take the time and energy to launch your business the right way the first time — with a concept, a budget and a business plan. It will be worth it in the long run

  • Keep up with Jewel Posse by following their below social networks:

CHIC Biz | Thrift Outside The Box

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Every Fashionista loves scoring the perfect piece at a GREAT price. Thrift Outside The Box is one of the best business concepts we have come across. Thrift Outside The Box is a monthly personal styling service owned by Kreasha Williams. Her brand aims to show how CHIC, trendy, and fashionable you can be, all by THRIFTING! When you sign up for Thrift Outside The Box, you will receive a curated box of hand selected pieces. The items can range from blazers, to blouses, jeans, to skirts. Each style kit also comes with a personalized style guide for your items specifically tailored to you. We had the opportunity to have the Thrift Outside The Box team hand select personal items for us, which you will get to see how they nailed our  style!!! But for now, let's learn a little more about Kreasha and her CHIC Biz: Thrift Outside the Box.

1. First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Kreasha Williams but I like to go by Kay. I live in Austin Texas and I thrive on finding really dope stuff at the thrift store and giving back to my community. My passion lies in the place where women feel good about themselves and don’t feel the need to compete with labels, money or status but with good ol fashion personal style.

2. How did you come up with the concept for Thrift Outside the Box?
The concept was engraved in my DNA from my grandmother. Growing up she always went to the thrift store to find us dresses for church; she also would go for everyday clothes. Every time we went over to her house, which was, “BigMamas House” she always had a bag of clothes for us to try on that she found at the thrift store what did not work she would donate of give to other kids around the church. When I say my grandmother could dress that is an understatement she was very meticulous about the things she bought but she always found some really great items. So growing up I began to thrift myself not just out of want but need because I couldn’t always afford the latest trends but I could always create them from thrift store finds, thus birthing Thrift Outside The Box.

3.What was your defining moment that made you go for it and start your own brand?
I graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelors of Science in Fashion Merchandising and started working retail management for different retail stores. Can I say BORING!!!! I hated the repetitiveness, I hated the thought of working very hard for someone else and getting a tenth of what the company was making. With all the frustration I decided to just go for it. I was still thrifting in my free time so I just thought why not create a system where I can do what I love, get paid for it, and give back to the community as well. 

4. Were you nervous about starting your own business or did it come naturally?
Nervous isn’t exactly the word. I was more anxious than I was nervous. I just felt as though I wouldn’t last much longer as a retail worker and something had to be done.

5. What was the inspiration behind the name?
So Thrift Outside The Box comes from the popular phrase Think Outside the Box. When you thrift and you want to thrift fashionably you have to think outside the box, you have to have a creative eye and you have to think of what something could be not necessarily what it is at the moment. So our moto when we thrift is Thrift Outside The Box.

6. What makes Thrift outside the Box so unique?
Thrift Outside The Box is unique because our members can rest assured that no two members will get the same thing. Thrifting is truly a unique experience, you will always find something new every time you thrift, NOTHING will ever be the same and we find excitement in that. Our members are always pleasantly surprise every time they receive their Style Kit.

7. What is your target audience and why?
We are targeting the fashionable woman who is also budget savvy. We want the women who wants to live good, dress well, and do it all without breaking the bank. We love young professionals who are making more money and finding their personal style, we love college students who thrive on that unique gem, or the businesswoman who just wants to refresh her wardrobe monthly.

8. You picked some pretty dope pieces for us! What is the method to how you scout your clients to find the perfect pieces for their box?
So Instagram is a big tool in our business. Instagram tells such a big story of everyone. We can find your style, the areas you struggle with in style, and how we feel we could enhance what you already have in your wardrobe all from Instagram. We do a deep sweep of your Instagram create a layout or style board for what our vision is for you and then we thrift baby. We thrift with all of those things handy, your Instagram, the style guide we created, and our own personal stylist touch.

9. Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
The ultimate goal is to open a luxury Thrift Outside The Box flagship store. We want our members to come in grab a glass of wine and thrift in a high class retailer with everything organized, dry cleaned and fashionable pieces lining the walls. 

10. What advice would you give to women looking to start their own business?
My advice would be to do it! Create something centered on what it is you love to do. You can make a living doing what you love, it sounds so cliché but it is really true. Once you discover what you love create a system that could still go on years after you are gone and STICK TO IT!!! Work it, hustle, grind, strive and pray, pray and pray some more and it will all come true. You must be willing to put in the work, the frustration, and the tears first before God will show you your true success. If you need any advise, help, motivation shoot me an email kay@thriftoutsidethebox.com

To get the Thrift Outside The Box experience, check them out below:
www.thriftoutsidethebox.com
Instagram: @thriftoutside, @kreashawilliams
Twitter: @thriftoutside

Facebook: www.facebook.com/szthriftoutside
Shoot me an email: kay@thriftoutsidethebox.com

CHIC BIZ| Dear Naturalista

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What do you get when you add creative, catchy, natural hair sayings and effortlessly CHIC tees? Dear Naturalista!!! We can’t help but obsess over Dear Naturalista and their super cute t-shirt line! We are all about making a statement, and these tee’s do just that!! We took a moment to get to know the genius behind Dear Naturalista, Nikki and what inspired her to start her line!! She also hooked us up with two amazing t-shirts that we styled! So sit back, relax, and get to know Nikki the founder and her brand Dear Naturalista! Also check out how we styled our shirts!!

First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Nikki and I’m the natural behind Dear Naturalista! I love fashion and natural hair and want to share those interests with others who feel the same.

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What inspired you to start Dear Naturalista and when did you start it?
I was inspired by the beauty of natural hair in all of its forms. I’ve been natural for several years now so I also wanted to create t-shirts and other items that I would like. I hoped that others would like them too! The Dear Naturalista site came to life in February of this year (2015).

What was the inspiration behind the name?
I wanted a name that expressed how amazing I think natural hair is! The name Dear Naturalista is meant to convey the fact that the brand is dedicated to naturals.

Did you ever see yourself starting your own online boutique? Why or why not?
I’ve loved clothing, fashion, magazines and drawing since I was a kid. I went to fashion school and I always saw myself starting something of my own that was fashion related.

Describe to us what makes Dear Naturalista unique in comparison to other online boutiques?
First, I think that all of the sites that do something similar to Dear Naturalista have a message that needs to be shared. The more we can spread the natural hair love the better! Dear Naturalista is meant to serve as a space that sparks a positive conversation about natural hair and the experiences that stem from being a wearer of natural hair. I really try to tap into what makes the natural hair experience special and fun.

What made you decide to cater to natural hair lovers and what do you love most about natural hair?
Well, I have natural hair and I am so inspired by how excited and creative naturals can be when it comes to their hair. Personally, I love how versatile my natural hair is. For the most part my hair has a mind of its own ha!, but sometimes I can work it to match my mood.

You have created a unique concept with Dear Naturalista, what do you love most about what you do? Thank you! The best feeling is when customers let me know that they feel like they’ve found something that was made just for them! Then I know I’ve done my job. Even if someone sees the site and doesn’t end up buying anything, I like the idea of someone feeling more confident about wearing natural hair after coming across the brand.

If you had to give three tips for starting a business what would they be?
Ha! I feel like I’m still in the starting stage myself but I’d say:
1) If you have an idea you want to get out into the world just go for it and see where it takes you 2) make sure you’re really interested in what you’re doing because it won’t always be easy, but try to find a way to make even the not so great parts enjoyable 3) Have support in place…someone you can talk to for encouragement, someone to bounce ideas off of or vent if you need to. It’s helpful to have someone who is also starting a business or someone who is further ahead than you. They’ll likely understand the unique position you’re in.

Where do you see Dear Naturalista as a brand in the next 5 years? That’s a great question! In five years I’d love for Dear Naturalista to be a lifestyle brand with an expanded range of products and proceeds consistently going towards supporting a worthy cause. I’d like for Dear Naturalista to be THE go-to place that naturalistas turn to get their fashion fix!

Since we love fashion here at CHIC Naturalistas, can you describe your own personal style? I dress to fit my mood and I must always be comfortable! I’d describe my style as cute ‘n casual or approachably chic with several twists thrown in!

Come say hi at:
Website: http://dearnaturalista.com/
Instagram and twitter: @dearnaturalista
**Check out the ther CHIC Items that Dear Naturalista carry!**

CHIC Biz Spotlight | Lotus Halo

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Our CHIC Biz Spotlight is Lotus Halo! It was started by two best friends that both share a love of fashion. They came together to create the ultimate fashion destination! Melanie and Asha hail from the Los Angeles area and breaking fashion rules is what they do best! Once you visit their website you will understand exactly what we mean! Check out their story and how it all began!

1. First, tell us a little bit about yourself!
Melanie- I'm from Los Angeles, CA. I worked as a Data Analyst for a non-profit organization until one day I had to stop working to take care of my sister who suffered a traumatic brain injury. So, I became a 24hr caregiver over night. I am also a mother of a 17 year old boy and I have a niece that is 14 years old. With me being an overnight stay at home mom and caregiver, I was able to tap into another passion of mines, which is fashion. I always wanted to work in fashion but being a single mom I did what I had to do to take care of my child, so I never took the time to do what it took to be where I wanted to be.  '

Asha- I was born in San Diego, but most of my family is from Los Angeles, so when I graduated from high school I chose to go to CSULB so I could be closer to them. I have been living here since I started college in 2001 (almost 14 years). While in college I worked a couple of different jobs, many helping local youth with education. Although, I loved working with education, music and fashion has always been my passion. I eventually found an internship at Virgin records and got a job in their Urban Promotions department.  I later began working for Interscope Records Urban Promotions department.  I also have a nine year old daughter and a 3 week old son.  With the long hours in the music industry I am not able to give my children the attention they need.  My dream is that I can be my own boss allowing me to make time for my kids while bringing quality fashion to consumers.  Also, to eventually be able to tie our brand to community service and charity.

   2. Describe your personal styles and how it fits within your brand.      Melanie-   My personal style is just that "personal style", because I don't like rules, I wear what I like but if I had to lock myself into a category, it will be a "Simple Chic", and Vintage styles are also close to my heart. At Lotus Halo we like to keep our picks "simple" trendy but not with a lot of design or print on the clothes, just to allow others like us to be able to express themselves through fashion while still keeping it trendy.    Asha  - My personal style definitely depends on my mood! For the most part, I also like to keep it simple with a little bit of edge.  I like to try new things but I always end up coming back to the simple basics, but I love to add an awesome pair of shoes! Just like Melanie said, Lotus Halo aims to offer basic pieces that you can make your own depending on your individual style.

2. Describe your personal styles and how it fits within your brand. 
Melanie- My personal style is just that "personal style", because I don't like rules, I wear what I like but if I had to lock myself into a category, it will be a "Simple Chic", and Vintage styles are also close to my heart. At Lotus Halo we like to keep our picks "simple" trendy but not with a lot of design or print on the clothes, just to allow others like us to be able to express themselves through fashion while still keeping it trendy.

Asha- My personal style definitely depends on my mood! For the most part, I also like to keep it simple with a little bit of edge.  I like to try new things but I always end up coming back to the simple basics, but I love to add an awesome pair of shoes! Just like Melanie said, Lotus Halo aims to offer basic pieces that you can make your own depending on your individual style.

4. How did you ladies meet? How long have you been friends?
We met about 4 years ago through family friends.  We shared our love for fashion and we have been friends ever since!

5. When did you start Lotus Halo, what made you decide to team up to create this brand?
We started our journey in December of 2014, and by February of 2014 we were bringing Lotus Halo to life. We did a soft launch of the website by September 2014 and we are now starting to bloom, and are very excited about the future of our company. We both were tired of looking for clothes at the mall; we wanted to create a place that had fashion forward pieces that were individualistic as well as affordable. We both are also committed to bringing something positive into the world, and hope to achieve this through linking our business to a charity or local community service.  We teamed up and started mapping out a plan to make this dream a reality.

6. How did you come up with the name?
The name derived from the story of two women (Melanie &Asha) and the everyday hustle of trying to reach our goals. So, the Lotus represents the hustle because a Lotus flower blooms in the murkiest of waters.  The Halo represents the strength and guidance we believe comes from our Angels.

7.  Did you ever see yourself starting a clothing boutique? Why or why not?
Melanie- I always hoped that I would get the opportunity to have a boutique, but who knew God would slow my life down enough that I would be able to do so. I would always talk about being my own boss as a boutique owner who styles her customers. I never thought that would make me go for it. GOD put me in a position that made me do everything for everyone but myself, this boutique allowed me to do something for me. Starting this boutique has gave me back life and allowed to me to do something for myself.

Asha- About 4 years ago after working in the corporate world for some time I realized I wanted something different.  This is when I began to see myself starting my own business.  I decided on clothing because it will never bore me, it will always spark my interest, and no matter where you go fashion and self expression will always be around

8. What is your target audience and why?
Our target audience are Women, ages 18-35 yrs old. (Halle Berry) Although, Halle is not 35yrs old, her style is always so simple but clean and comfy. Halle can put on anything and look good going from day to night wear, with just a change of shoes. We don't like to make age a factor, because anyone can wear our pieces, that's just how we pick them

9. Describe what makes Lotus Halo’s pieces unique.
What makes our pieces unique is that we find pieces that will make a person push their fashion sense a little further; we try to get pieces that will allow creativity.

10. Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
Lotus Halo in 5 years will be continuing to work hard toward providing women with affordable but quality and trendy wear, and also incorporating our own designs with that. We love to give back and help children and caregivers so charity events are definitely a huge part of our 5year plan. So with GOD as our head we know that we will have helped and touched so many lives through fashion within that time and growing.

How to keep up with Lotus Halo:
Website: www.lotushalo.com
Instagram: @shoplotushalo
Email: info@lotushalo.com

 

CHIC Biz Spotlight | Closet Piece

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We came across Closet Piece through Instagram, and let us tell you, we instantly fell in love with their brand! Closet Piece is a fashion blog and clothing boutique founded by two lifelong best friends.  They created a movement of “The Cool Girl” that embraces the sophisticated, stylish woman andthe “Boss Mom” that embraces the do it all effortlessly stylish mother! If you know anything about us, these two titles embody us perfectly! We had to learn more about these ladies and the Closet Piece brand. Check out our full interview with Shah and Aliyah of Closet Piece! Trust us, after reading this you will definitely fall in love with Closet Piece and want to join the Boss Mom and Cool Girl movement!

First, tell us a little bit about yourselves individually, where are you from, what do you do etc?
My name is Aliyah Muhammad. I from Oakland, CA and now live in Atlanta, GA since 2000! At heart, I’m a creative and a strategist. I love to come up with new ideas and figure out ways to improve systems and operations. Yeah, I know it’s sounds a little boring but there’s a brighter side to me. I love glitter! What I mean by that is making things shine and look pretty!

My full name is Shahidah Al-Amin but my people call me Shah :). I’m from Oakland Cali also known as “the town”. I grew up in Atlanta from the age of 15 to 22, and moved back to Oakland when I got married 9 years ago. I’m a true Cali girl at heart so it’s only right I ended up back home! I love to come up with creative ideas and ways to market our brand through photo shoots and other visuals.

How did you ladies meet? How long have you been friends?
Shah- We’ve been friends for as long as we can remember basically. We consider ourselves sistersoulmates (one word) lol

Aliyah-We met through our mothers...they were both pregnant at the same time. Shah and I are a month and about 20 days apart! We went to preschool together and have been intricate parts of each others life ever since. Yes, that’s 32 years now!

Describe your personal styles and how it fits within your brand.
Shah- My personal style is super chill on one level but I love to turn it up a notch with a lavish detail or two within my accesories. Relaxed Lavish is what Aliyah and I consider to be the new contemporary and my daily style truly embodies that. “Comfort is KING” is my motto so above anything I must be comfortable.

liyah- Our brand style is #RelaxedLavish. We’re all for the modern woman on the go. My style of dressing fits perfectly into our brand culture. I love being comfortable and pretty and dope! That’s the idea of being Relaxed Lavish. Although my closet is full of some of everything from sequin to leather, my staple pieces are t-shirts in all styles. I love to dress them up and down.

When did you start Closet Piece, what made you decide to team up to create this brand?Shah- We started ClosetPIECE on a random whim initially. We were two moms sitting on the couch on the phone 3,000 miles apart. Taking care of our children and thinking of a way to start a money making business of our own. We both loved fashion and understood how often women shopped so we chose to open what we considered an online boutique at the time. After about a year of  selling cute trendy clothes to girls who loved to shop, we decided to re-brand ourselves. Our vision grew and what was just a business turned into a lifestyle with major meaning. A lifetstyle we live, a lifestyle we love. Now we’re on a mission to build a community full of “Cool Girls” and “BossMoms” like us.

Aliyah-Closet Piece was necessary for us. It represents the women we are and the women that we know exist...The Cool Girl. It is about community and the remarkableness of being a woman. Even further for us, it is about being a mother. A badass mother, better known as a Boss Mom. For the longest of time, motherhood was like the plague. The ambition of mothers was to become a Soccer Mom...ewww! We say, Death to the Soccer Mom and life to the modern mommy. For this brand, it's all about the community of the Relaxed Lavish!

How did you come up with the name?
hah-It was a lot of brainstorming!!!! and closetPIECE made the cut.

Aliyah-For us we realize the PIECE makes the closet. Once the name came around, it was a no-brainer to go that direction!

 

Did you ever see yourself starting a clothing boutique? Why or why not?
Shah- It was never really in the plans for me, although my mother has worked in the fashion industry for as long as I can remember, it was never a dream of mine to do the same.I have evolved within my own style and realize how necessary it is for a woman to have the correct pieces in her closet to live  a well dressed lifetsyle. Within that I have a new found love for the idea of a uniform and that’s what we desire to create for our community. Staple timeless pieces that every woman who lives a Relaxed Lavish lifestyle should own to move smoothly throughout her day. Whether she be in a boardroom or her home office, she can LIVE in our brand.

Aliyah- Personally for me, not necessarily. I wasn’t against the idea but it wasn’t at the top of my bucket list. I’ve always envision how I wanted to dress and knew it would fit for many women. We were right. People were pleased with us but it still didn’t allow us to really give the world what we wanted to. Shah and I decided to move away from the idea of the boutique and get into our own brand quickly. The purpose of the Boss Mom and Cool Girl shirts is to give women a new identity they can brag about and know truly supports them. It’s a movement. There is still much to come for our Relaxed Lavish community from us Cool Girls.

What is your target audience and why?
hah-Any woman, any age who lives for comfort in her clothing. The woman that loves to silently stand out from the crowd. Our audience is all about women  empowerment and supporting one another

Aliyah-Our market is not identified within an age group, it’s defined by the mindstate of our culture and community. We target women who fit into the Relaxed Lavish lifestyle, where life is slightly undone but comfortable and lavish. You won’t see sexy vixens in our advertising or even cookie-cutter trendy fashionistas! The Cool Girl stands out, while fitting in. She knows who she is.

We love the BOSS MOM and COOL GIRL concept of your brand. What made you focus on these two themes to start and how will you expand upon your brand in the future?

Shah-Well first let’s touch on the Cool Girl, at the time the whole “You can’t sit with us” movement was popular and we were NOT feeling it !! Aliyah and I are pretty much the coolest girls you’ll ever meet and when I say cool I mean down to earth, approachable, sweet, warm, and friendly. So we wanted to created a culture that was geared more to the girls like us, we’d love for you to come sit with us!! That’s our attitude :)

The Boss Mom is who we have become since we’ve had children. As mothers WE ARE THE BOSS period. We pretty much run the show in our households, of course our husbands hold things down and are the providers but we all know the momma is the caretaker and makes sure things run smoothly. Soccer Mom has always been a well known term referring to busy mother’s juggling children, work and extra activities but we prefer the word Boss in front of mom much better. It just fits!

As for expanding, we’re currently working on releasing pieces from our ReLaxed Lavish uniform/collection. That’s our current focus for the near future as well as growing our community of course. We really love meeting new women who we can inspired and be inspired by, so staying connected with our “Cool Girls” & “Boss Moms” as we grow will always be important.

Aliyah-The Cool Girl is our girl! She’s the one that everyone loves. She embodies all things cool. She’s interesting, funny, ambitious, caring, stylish, and all the amazing things Beyonce talks about. LOL. The Boss Mom is her with children. But there’s something special about the Boss Mom. The key ingredient in being a Boss Mom is maintenance and progression. Being able to maintain yourself and progress, all while caring for your babes is straight up Boss! It challenges the ideal of the soccer mom, where you just let yourself go and you become synonymous with standing on the sideline of your kids games. There’s not a lot of marketing geared toward the Boss Mom in mainstream advertising. You’re either the sexy twenty-something or the washed up mom. We wanted to cater to these very relevant women.

As our brand currently stands, we are inviting women to join the movement of the Boss Mom and Cool Girl. For this we have our line of tops which started as only t-shirts and we now carry, thermals and sweatshirts too. We will eventually expand our brand to pieces that will make up a Relaxed Lavish uniform. There’s no immediate rush. We want to organically grow and really get to know what our fellow Cool Girl’s want and need.

Why should CHICNaturalistas shop at Closet Piece?
Shah-Because they are Cool Girls and Cool Girls do cool things!! Like shop with a brand that has a bigger vision far beyond the clothes we sell.

Aliyah-Because they deserve to be part of something that is dedicated to them. Plus, our tops are not just words across any old t-shirt. They feel good! I often hear that they are new favorites for people’s closets. We took the time to select things that work and we would wear too! We are consistently in the process to become better. With every reveal, something will be a little doper than last time. As we say, every woman deserves to #LIVEINPIECE.

Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
Shah- Having a closetPIECE design house where we create greatness all day. Greatness within the quality of our clothing as well as great content to inspire our readers. We’d also love to see Piece for closetPIECE in major department stores all over. Big dreams poppin’ over here!!

Aliyah-In five years, we see ourselves producing PIECE for closetPIECE for major department stores and possibly a flagship store. We expect closetPIECE.com to be recognized as a prestigious online magazine. And of course, Boss Mom to be a household name!

Now after reading this interview, I know you are super excited to check out Closet Piece and pick up some BOSS MOM and COOL Girl apparel! Check them out below!


Business: www.closetpiece.com / @closetpiece


And to keep up with Aliyah and Shah personally, you can find them here:

Personal Aliyah: @aliyahmh on instagram

Personal Shah: www.shazareef.com



CHIC Biz Spotlight Lace N 80s

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Lace N 80s is comprised of 3 ladies that decided a few years ago that they wanted to follow their true passion, fashion! They knew they wanted to be their own boss, so they started a company called Ladi Couture in 2011. They traveled to tradeshows to find clothes that spoke to them but weren’t having any luck.

After a short break and prayer; they started Lace N 80s. These 80s babies were inspired by their love of vintage clothing and red lipstick! Tatisha (owner of Lace N 80s) says she never saw herself owning her own vintage boutique; she actually started out modeling. “God completely shut that door and opened another one,” she proclaims.

Lace N 80s has acquired sales in many different countries, included the UK and Australia! They have learned that many women in other countries really love their street fashion!

She describes the style of Lace N 80’s as Denise Huxtable meets Whitley Gilbert meets Dynasty. Imagine that! Tatisha is very selective when choosing her pieces for the boutique!

She thinks of the average girl and what they would see in each piece. Each piece must have multiple uses and be versatile. We can certainty appreciate that as CHICNaturalistas!

Speaking of CHICNaturalistas, there is something for every girl at Lace N 80’s. If vintage clothing isn’t your fancy, Lace N 80’s also sells sunglasses, flash tattoos, and their own t-shirt line; all while supporting women, especially African American women.

In 5 years Tatisha hopes to have a loft style store front in their hometown of Waco and Dallas, TX. This will be a one stop shop for all your needs! Massages and eyebrow threading, along with volunteering opportunities, such as working with the elderly are just a few of the many things that will be offered at their shop! They have a great vision and we'll be cheering them on!

Check out their Etsy boutique: etsy.com/shop/lacen80s
And here's how to keep up with Lace N 80's:
instagram.com/lacen80s
facebook.com.lacen80s

ChicBiz Spotlight | AmberElle

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I met Amber in 2012 when we both were bridesmaids in our friend Alissa’s wedding! Amber and I immediately clicked. The first thing I noticed was that Amber was extremely CHIC and had her own sense of style. She was even wearing a vest she had cut and designed from an old jacket! Not to mention she had a great personality! When I saw that she had started a business I just had to reconnect with her and find out more about it! 

Amber was born in Chicago, IL and moved to Michigan when she was in first grade. She attended Bible College in Columbus, OH in 2004 and moved back to Michigan in 2007. She currently works as a Genius Administrator at the Apple Store where she lives in Michigan. She is a mom and a wife, she enjoys singing, shopping and loves God!

She started AmberElle just 3 months ago. She explains that one day she saw some fabric earrings from a shop in Australia. She started doing some research but couldn’t find exactly what she wanted. With determination and some research she started creating exactly what she envisioned for her earrings. She wanted something that gave a “wow factor” and I believe she did just that! The name AmberElle comes from her name and her daughter’s name, Ella.

Amber never thought she would have her own business. With her faith in God, in herself, and her obsession with jewelry, she took the leap to start AmberElle.

Her customers include college students, who go from class to work and work to a night out with friends; “mom's who just don't have time to dress up; classy sophisticated women who enjoy nothing more than a signature piece for their outfit or people who enjoy a simple look." Amber will be expanding her brand and making earrings for little girls as well!

Her vision for her current earring line is simple. Her passion behind her product is to make practical and fashionable earrings that boost confidence and enhance beauty.

Amber explains, "CHICNaturalistas represents such a bold and fierce essence and it's inspiring! AmberElle earrings are made for you!”

She believes both AmberElle and CHICNaturalistas both share a passion for fashion and embracing who you are in every shape and form!

As far as her personal life goes, Amber is still learning how to juggle her business, working full-time, being a mom and wife. She says to not juggle all these things would be giving up and that is definitely not an option for her. She says she takes time for herself and allows God to give her the wisdom to balance her time.  

Amber believes her brand will be bigger than she ever imagined in 5 years. Although she says that it may be overly confident, she is meant to be apart of something extraordinary! “Even if things take a different route, I know this is just a stepping stone to the best!”

Don't forget to log on to her website! Today through Friday you will receive 15% off your purchase!

How to keep up with AmberElle:
Website: www.amberelle.com
Coupon Code: CHIC101
Instagram: AmberElleShop
Facebook Fan Page: AmberElle Fabric Earrings
EmaiI: amberelleshop@gmail.com

Stay CHIC,
Brittany

CHICNaturalistas X NDSLA

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Last week in our CHIC biz spotlight we featured NDSLA, a brand that mixes art and fashion to create customized pieces with their unique art pattern! Their designs are so dope! We are so honored to be brand ambassadors and show off their designs! We sent NDSLA two pieces; one oversized thrifted Men’s white button up shirt and one vintage GAP denim button up. They sent us back more than unique shirts, but works of art! We are so pleased with their work and professionalism. Check out our pics from the shoot that we did. Also check out NDSLA’s site! If you’re interested in having any item(s) of your own customized, please let them know that we sent you!


Special thanks to our good friend Emily for being our photographer for this shoot!


N D S L A Contact Information

Web: www.nds.la

Instagram: @ndsla

Twitter: @ndsla

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ndsla


CHIC Biz Spotlight | NDSLA

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This week we are spotlighting a brand that we found on Instagram that we have fallen in love with! The brand is called NDSLA, it is a fine art and vintage wear company specializing in creating unique and customized pieces. NDSLA was founded by Rob Hill and Slim Jefferson two cousins who have merged both of their artistic talents to create this dope, and one of a kind brand that we are so excited to be ambassadors for. Their unique and vibrant designs are tailored to match all individuals and their personal style. We had the ultimate pleasure to have two pieces designed for us that we can not wait to share with you all next week, but first we want to spotlight NDSLA and the two men behind it all.

Check out our interview with Rob and Slim.

First tell us about yourself, where are you from, what do you do etc.?
Rob: I'm a visual artist/designer from Los Angeles, CA. 
Slim: I'm a performing artist/designer from Los Angeles, CA.

Why did you start NDSLA, and how did you come up with the name?
Rob: Slim encouraged me to start painting again while I was hospitalized last summer. NDSLA is a new adaptation of a street wear brand I started called Ndastarz. 

Did you ever see yourself starting a clothing brand? Why or why not?
Rob: Yes, I've started two clothing lines in the past. The first, in high school, and the second when I was hospitalized during 2011. The brand I started in high school was self-titled, Rob Hill. That's where I first introduced the concept of clothing as canvas, hand painting t-shirts, jeans, etc. I sold one-of-one items to high school kids all across the Greater Los Angeles area. It was a very successful effort, but I entered the U.S. Coast Guard directly after graduating high school. I was able to travel the world, but I couldn't continue to operate the business away from home. After I achieved local success as a young entrepreneur I was confident I could create something even better when the time was right. 

Slim: I definitely saw myself starting a clothing brand, but I knew it had to be done with the right person. Someone who was just as committed to the grand vision as I was. I've witnessed Rob create a successful brand twice. I thought his fashion line in high school was an incredible idea. I knew if I introduced him to the world of fine art he would hone his skills, and we could refine the brand to expand our market. I really encouraged him to start painting again because I know how talented he is. In less than a year I've watched his work progress non-stop. Ten years after he first incorporated art and fashion the idea is still fresh. It only made sense to do something unique.   

How would describe your design style?
Rob: My art would be best classified as abstract geometric art. I incorporate a "hard-edge" style. Line work, shape, and color theory are the main components of my art. 

Slim: NDSLA is many things. It also includes my creative outlet, which is music. As an emcee, I would describe myself as a witty lyricist. I vibe heavily with classic boom-bap hip-hop, soul, jazz, and oldies. You can clearly hear those elements in my rap style.

How would you describe your vision and/or concept for NDSLA?
Slim: Our mantra is "to each their own." NDS translates as Individual Stars. LA is our home. We believe in fashion as art, in music as art, in life as art. In regards to fashion, we believe each creation should be unique to its owner, something that can't be duplicated.

Why should a CHICNaturalista shop at NDSLA?
Slim: ChicNaturalistas should feel at home with NDSLA. We understand your desire to be unique and authentic. We respect individuality as a supreme idea. We provide one-of-one custom designs, tailored to each individual. As humans, we are moving canvases. The way you style your hair is art. The way you style your clothes is art. The way you move is art. We are all artists. We provide wearable fine art that meshes with who you are. We can incorporate things about your personal life or experience right into our designs. We want to know who you are. That's more than any clothing line can do. Nothing at NDSLA is mass produced.  

Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
Slim: We see NDSLA becoming more of a creative hybrid. Our philosophy is not limited to fashion only. We see ourselves incorporating street art, gallery exhibits, events, etc. We see Slim Jeff becoming a huge force in music. We see ourselves collaborating with the most influential artists in the world. 

What advice can you give others that would like to start their own businesses?
Rob: Work hard every single day. Never stop. 
Slim: Never sacrifice your vision. 

S O C I A L  M E D I A 
Web: www.nds.la
Instagram: @ndsla
Twitter: @ndsla
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ndsla

Slim Jeff
Web: www.slimjeff.com
Instagram: @slimjeff
Twitter: @slimjeff
Facebook: www.facebook.com/slimjefferson

Check out more pics of how we styled our NDSLA customer made products!!

CHIC Biz Spotlight| Savage Glow

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This week is a special week for our CHIC Biz Spotlight! Why, you ask?! Becuase we are featuring a company called, Savage Glow which is owned and created by a very good friend of ours, Morgan Turner. Morgan lives in Columbus, OH and works as a Analyst in the Finance Department at Verizon Wireless, Corporate Office. Morgan is currently expecting a bundle of joy early next year and says she only looks pregnant when she drinks a lot of water and now completely understands the show "I didn't know I was pregnant." When she's not crunching numbers or painting pictures for the nursery, she is mixing up awesome sugar scrubs! 

Morgan decided to start Savage Glow because she has always had sensitive skin. As much as she wanted to try new skin care products that claimed to treat her dry skin and leave it soft and radiant, she couldn't. So she started making sugar scrubs for herself after using a "natural" scrub she bought online that led her to the dermatologist. She knew then she waned to make scrubs that were 100% natural but smelled great! Savage Glow specializes in "Beautiful Skin in the Raw," raw products perfectly mixed to give that natural glow she always wanted!

Morgan never saw herself starting a skin care business. Her initial business started with 4 short mason jars, 7 grapefruits that she squeezed while watching Scandal, vanilla beans, olive oil, and sugar. Her one and only customer at the time was her best friend who loved sugar scrubs! She enjoyed the smell so much she wanted to eat them! After sharing her scrubs with other friends, family, and coworkers; her business started to bloom! They loved them so much that they were willing to pay for them! After tons of research and some refinement, Savage Glow was born!

The vision for Savage Glow, Morgan explains, "is pretty simple and will stay that way, raw ingredients matched to create unique smells but also aid with common skin issues," such as dry skin, rough patches, and cellulite, to just name a few. This fall Savage Glow will be replacing three of the current products with three new scents! Morgan will keep the Signature Vanilla Grapefruit, White Pepper, and Blood Orange. The Signature Vanilla Grapefruit will also be available in a lotion bar! 

Morgan says, "One thing I admire about ChicNaturalistas is that they are unique. They aren't satisfied with what everyone else is doing, they are their own person. They aren't one fits all women. Beside fashion, ChicNaturalistas values the ritual of hair, and Savage Glow values the ritual of skin care."

When asked how does Morgan juggle being a business owner with her personal life she says she has an amazing support system. Her family and friends were very helpful during her startup, by serving as guinea pigs for different recipes and offering opinions. She says she is especially grateful to her boyfriend who put up with boxes upon boxes of jars, crinkle paper, raw sugar etc. being all over their old apartment. Her advice to juggling both business and personal life is patience, the power to say "No", and organization. She says she would die a thousand deaths without her iPad, a pen, and her notebook.

In 5 years, Morgan sees Savage Glow growing in both product quality and selection. It is very important  to her that Savage Glow stays an online retailer.

Morgan even gave us a great recipe for oily skin:
Natural face scrub recipe for oily skin (perfect for summer)
-  1/2 cup of uncooked oatmeal
-  2 tablespoons lemon juice
-  1 teaspoon baking soda
mix with water (should be a paste consistency) apply, relax until it drys, rise and enjoy! 

Here's how where to find Savage Glow:
www.savageglow.com
www.facebook.com/SavageGlowSugar

Order Savage Glow sugar scrubs today through October 1st and receive free shipping!

 

CHIC Biz Spotlight | Ladie Cloth

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We had the pleasure and honor of having this beautiful fashion Illustration created of us by Jasmine Terry, owner of Laidiecloth. Laidiecloth is an ultra-feminine and fabulous custom art and fashion design brand aimed at providing custom designs for the everyday fashionista!

Laidiecloth was founded in May 2010 by Jasmine Terry. Jasmine is a fashion Industries graduate and a native of New York, born and raised in the Bronx. She has always enjoyed fashion and for the past ten years has been involved in fashion shows and teaching sewing and garment construction classes in local community centers. Jasmine has accumulated over 10 years of experience in draping, pattern making, sketching, and garment construction. With her love for fashion and extensive knowledge of the fashion industry, Jasmine decided to create a shop to cater to individuals who wanted to express their distinct personal style, while working collaboratively with a skilled seamstress. Jasmine not only created Laidiecloth for personal garment construction, but also to create fashion illustrations that can perfectly accent any space. Laidiecloth is such a unique brand, we enjoy the fact that it brings its clients’ fashion visions to life through complete partnership and customization!

Jasmine’s 5 year goal and vision for Laidiecloth is to open up a store in Beacon, NY. It will offer full service custom garment construction as well as a fashion illustration of the customized clothing piece- how fun is that?

We asked Jasmine “why should chicnaturalistas shop at Laidiecloth?” and she answered:

Chicnaturalistas are a distinct group of women beautiful and fierce, they have an eye for creativity and style themselves accordingly. The moment we decided to go natural we broke the chains of what other’s defined as beauty and put a twist on it so alluring that it encourages others to follow. Laidiecloth epitomizes self-expression and personalization. You don’t have to conform to any standard of fashion laidiecloth is feminine, bold, bright and undefined. Sounds like a match made in heaven, shop here because you are laidiecloth.” - Jasmine Terry

We absolutely love Laidiecloth’s amazing work, creativity and style. We cannot thank her enough for the awesome drawing of us! All ChicNaturalistas should have a custom fashion illustration of themselves hung in their closet, office, or home! This is such a fun touch.

If you would like to purchase a sketch from Laidiecloth there are several for sale in her Esty shop, she can also be reached on her website for consultation on custom garment and made to order Fashion illustrations. Check her out ladies!

Website: http://dressfest.wix.com/laidieclothEtsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/laidiecloth
Instagram: @laidiecloth

CHIC BIZ Spotlight: Washington Ave Styles

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In this week’s ChicBiz Spotlight we showcase the talented Kaye Washington! Kaye is the owner of Washington Ave Styles, a funky, CHIC, and graceful line based on recreating vintage pieces by making them revived and new. Washington Ave is a brand built on the scripture Job 14:7.''For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, it will sprout again and grow new branches''. Most of Washington Ave Styles are renewed vintage pieces; which go hand and hand with the meaning of the scripture: ''making old things new”. We absolutely love this concept of fashion that Kaye is showcasing in Washington Ave Styles.

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Kaye Washington is from a small town in northern Louisiana and currently resides in Houston, Texas. She started her brand because she could not deny her passion for fashion any longer; she felt like women should be able to express their soul through style without trying to fit into the norm of today’s society. So with that, Kaye set out to create unique one of a kind pieces that would appeal to the chic and fashionable woman. The name Washington Ave Styles was given to her by her dear friend Raymond Valdez in 2008, it was originally a joke, but she loved the name instantly and thus Washington Ave Styles was born!

Kaye would describe her target consumer as “Women of the Sun;” women after something higher than themselves; a woman who is comfortable in her natural state. This type of women is what inspires Kaye to create these amazing pieces.

Being a business owner is never easy, but Kaye balances work and her business by having faith, and staying grounded. Kaye’s ultimate vision for her brand is to be a light to inspire women to grow in faith and confidence- through internal style.

We are so glad that we have found Kaye and her brand through Instagram! Her pieces and designs always give us life! Check out Washington Ave Styles. She will be launching her fall collection tomorrow and we cannot wait to see all of the amazing pieces!

www.instagram.com/_washingtonavestyles
www.washingtonavestyles.etsy.com

CHIC Biz Spotlight: Respect Your Struggle

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Jessmina Archbold who is better known as Minaa B is the founder and creator of Respect Your Struggle (RYS). Jessmina  is a psychotherapist who works primarily with the substance abuse population and specializes in group psychotherapy. Through her powerful life changing work with her clients Jessmina combined her love for fashion and psychotherapy and birthed RYS. Jessmina believes that everyone has a glorious struggle and a glorious story to tell. She believes that in order to be strong you must first understand your darkness and respect your pain so that you can fully appreciate your gifts.

With every shirt purchased, one has the platform to share their story and explains what “Respect Your Sturggle” means to them. RYS believes that there is power in one's words. Your words can change someone's life.

We love everything about what Minaa has created with RYS. This is more than a t-shirt line, it is about telling your story and respecting your struggle.

Want to tell your story? Head over to www.respectyourstruggle.com and get a tee and let the world know how far you have come, and that you are respecting your struggle!

Check them out
Website: respectyourstruggle.com
Instagram: Instagram.com/respectrys
Twitter: Twitter.com/respectrys
Tumblr: respectyourstruggle.tumblr.com