ASW’s Top 5 Blogger Looks of the Week!!

Good Morning lovely people!! I would like to thank you all for the sweet feedback! I’m thrilled that you all enjoyed this new series on ASW. After starting this series last Thursday I decided to continue to post my favorite looks on the same day each week. Let’s take a peek at the my favorite looks of the week. 
Doesn’t Ariel of Fashion Devotee look sensational in this cream strapless dress? The dress fits her very well and I absolutely adore the accessories and shoes that finished the look. She purchased this dress from Forever 21 to wear to one of her birthday festivities and this dress was perfect for the occasion. To find out more details on Ariel’s look click here.

Tanya of Major Must Haves is wearing a trendy chic outfit! I love the mixture of yellow, gray and black. She looks fabulous and ready for a fun evening out. The pants are fitting and the shoes are BAD! Make sure to head over to her blog for more information!

Nifesimi of Skinny Hipster is rocking a v cut high low dress from H&M. The color orange compliments her skin and the beaded necklace by Restycle is beautiful. I could definitely picture myself wearing this dress. She looks great! Be sure to visit her blog for more details on this look!

Krystal of The Feisty House wore black floral romper to the Style Colorfully Mixer in New York during Fashion Week! I’m in love with the fit of the romper and how versatile it is. This piece can definitely be worn year around and the purple pumps really make this outfit special. Check out Krystal’s blog for more information on her look!
This look by Kela of KelasKloset is fun and can be worn during the day or night time. The sequin jacket adds a twist to the look and jazzes up the outfit! To find out more about Kela’s look check out her fashionable blog!

I really enjoyed putting this blog post together and these ladies inspired me to take a few risks this fall when choosing outfits for different events! Thank you all for reading and have a terrific Thursday! Before you go I’d like to know…

Which look is your FAVORITE?

With Love,

Ashley

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ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight: Cortnie Hutchinson – Founder of Love, Cortnie

Happy Friday ASW Readers!! We made it to Friday ::Cheers:: Does anyone have any cool plans for Labor Day weekend? Mine will be spent hanging out with family and friends. Moving right along, today I will spotlight the talented and determined, Cortnie Hutchinson!

Born and raised in Maryland, the 28 year old Cortnie Hutchinson is the owner of Love, Cortnie Handbags. She attended college at the University of Maryland, College Park where she graduated with a BS in Kinesiology. She had originally wanted to be a Physical Therapist. Realizing that she really wanted to do something in the fashion industry, she decided to go to fashion school. Months after graduating she moved to California to attend the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. There she got her second degree in Merchandise Marketing. She moved back home to MD about a year and half later where she worked in retail management for a few years. It wasn’t until she learned to sew that everything changed.

::Let’s Chat::

ASW: What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?

I’m not even sure that I would call it a spark. It just kind of happened and out of curiosity started selling a couple to see how they would do. They were an instant hit and it just took off from there. It all started when I wanted to learn how to sew. My grandmother can pretty much do anything. She’s very handy around the house. So I had really wanted her to teach me. I found myself with extra time on my hands last summer in 2011 and decided it was a good time to learn. She was more than excited to teach me. When I was playing around on the sewing machine I had mentioned to her how cool it would be to make a clutch. Again, she was excited to show me how. She had spare fabric and zippers laying around and we made one out of that. She took me to the store where we picked out a couple of fabrics and ended up making about 3 clutches. I learned to sew one week and was selling my clutches on Etsy the following week. I started with just 3 bags and today I have about 40 different styles available.

ASW: What differentiates Love, Cortnie from other clutch bag brands?

I think the prints and patterns I use differentiate my clutches from other brands. The reason I started making them is because I always knew what kind of clutch I wanted, but could never find them online or at the mall. I wanted something other than just a solid color or lined in black. I love using fun prints inside and out or bold colors. Anything other than black!

ASW: How many hours do you work a day on average on creating new clutches?

I try to put out a new clutch every week or every other week. I’m constantly coming up with new ideas. I try to sketch them from time to time, but I always write them down. I don’t set aside time every day to come up with something new. It usually just comes to me at a random time and I’ll jot it down in my phone.

ASW: What motivates you?

My customers! The love and support I’ve received for Love,Cortnie has been overwhelming. The positive feedback keeps me going. I love to hear what people think about my newest bag or even suggestions. I had a couple of people mention that it would be cool to use bright colored zippers. I’ve started doing that. You guys definitely keep me going!

ASW: Who has been your greatest inspiration?

I’m not sure if I’d say who, but what. I’ve been so inspired by the things around me. The trends in fashion (neons, for example) and now with Fall approaching I’ve definitely been thinking about the use of deeper colors.

ASW: What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?

– You have to stay driven. You will have ups and downs, but to keep pushing helps a lot.
– Believe in yourself! No one else can make it happen but you. No one will have your vision.
– Network, network and network some more. If people love what you’re doing, they will share it with their friends and people they know. You never know who you’ll meet.
– You must be very involved in Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. I have a Pinterest account and my blog (Stylelustpages.com) has helped me tremendously. It’s always nice that your customers or potential customers can check out your work and interact with you.
– Research. Check out others that are doing what you’re doing. See what they are and are not doing. Try to make your brand stand out from the rest.

ASW: What is next for Love, Cortnie?

I hope to expand. Right now my clutches are being sold in 3 boutiques and 2 online stores. I want to increase these numbers and I’m always working on doing so. Somewhere down the road I’d love to have a boutique of my own to showcase my clutches.

To stay updated on what is new at Love, Cortnie follow her on Twitter & click the HERE to shop!

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by ✌,

With Love,

Ashley

ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight: Kristen Henderson, Founder of Lily Kai Vintage Boutique

Good Morning Beautiful Readers!! We made it to another fabulous Friday! I would first like to say that this week has been a long and busy one for me. Hopefully next week will be more relaxed than this week so I can post more. Anywho, today I am so excited about spotlighting the stylish owner of Lily Kai Vintage boutique, Kristen Kai!

Kristen Kai Henderson, 32, is the owner of Atlanta based style firm; Lily Kai Consulting and Vintage Boutique.  The Los Angeles native journals her stylish life as an entrepreneur, wife and mother in her blog, Style with Kristen Kai. Throughout her 14 years in the fashion industry Kristen Kai has worked styling celebrities, athletes and musicians for photoshoots, fashion shows and red carpet events. Not to mention her time consulting for Nordstrom and Dillards.

Kristen Kai’s love and appreciation for fashion is more than just following trends. She understands that personal style should be worn boldly, confidently and without regret. Her mission is to make sure that her clients and readers embrace whatever life has to offer with style!

::Let’s Chat::

ASW: What inspired you to start Lily Kai Vintage Boutique? How long have you been in business?

Lily Kai Vintage began from my love of fashion. I wanted to sell vintage so that I could offer customers pieces they wouldn’t be able to find by just walking into a mall. I launched LKV 2 years ago as a subsidiary of Lily Kai Consulting.

ASW:  What is the best part of your job?

That’s easy; I get to shop for a living, lol. Honestly, I feel it’s a blessing to be able to do what you love to do. I enjoy hunting for amazing vintage and awaken clients confidence through personal style.

ASW:  Not only are you a Boutique owner, but you are also a fashion stylist. Has styling always been a passion of yours?

Yes, I started my fashion career as a stylist. Between college classes I would work on photoshoots, movie/tv sets and fashion shows as a assistant and lead stylist. There was never a question what field I wanted to work in. It was always fashion!

ASW:  I absolutely adore your personal style blog. What inspired you to have a blog in addition to your business? 

Thank you!  My blog was just a way to show women especially moms that you can have it all. Regardless of how crazy and hectic your life is you can tackle it all with style!

It has also helped my business. I have the outlet to showcase what’s new in the boutique as well as our consulting services.

ASW: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

My husband owns his own business so I’m no stranger to benefits of working for yourself. You get to call your own shots but with that comes a great deal of responsible and discipline.

Being an entrepreneur has been great for my family. My husband has a busy schedule and travels a lot and with a 2 year old I need a lot of flexibility.

ASW: How would you describe your style? What are your top five pieces of clothing that you love to wear on a regular?

My personal style is classic and chic. I love to blend designer, vintage and moderately prices pieces together.

-YSL Muse Handbag

-Thrifted Levi Boyfriend Jeans

-Zara strapless maxi dress

-Christian Loubtian Peep Toe Pumps

-Any of my vintage jumpsuits

ASW: What are your three favorite things in Lily Kai right now?

-E.D. Michael’s floral dress with cutout back

-Avalon Classic sectary dress

-Floral pencil dress with hanging off the shoulder sleeves

ASW: What advice would you give to young women like yourself who want to go into business for themselves?

Trust your gut, set goals, and understand that quitting is never an option!

ASW: Where do you see yourself and Lily Kai in 5 years?

Wow! On the personal side I see us having another baby of course, hopefully that will be sooner than later. As for Lily Kai I see us moving out of our home office and into a physical location. I would love a space where customers can shop in store as well as online. More importantly continue to grow with my consulting clients and brand Lily Kai (Cosulting/Boutique/Blog) as a serious source of all things stylish.

 ASW: Since starting your business, what has been your most rewarding experience thus far?

The most rewarding has been actually seeing my growth. The increased in customers, sales and readers has been extremely rewarding. It is just a little confirmation that I‘m doing this right and that people are paying attention; like God is saying a job well done!

(above) I’m rocking a a silk floral skirt as a strapless dress from Lily Kai Vintage!

To stay updated on what is new at Lily Kai follow her on Twitter & visit LilyKai to shop!

Lily Kai Vintage has an AMAZING Sale going on right. Click on the pictures below to access the website ↓

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by ✌.

XoXo,

Ashley

ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight: Ju’lia Samuels, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Worthy Magazine

Good Morning lovely ASW followers! We made it to another Friday and I am sure we all are looking forward to enjoying the weekend. I will be packing this weekend because my family and I are vacationing in San Francisco and Napa Valley for a week starting Monday! Which means I have lots to pack. Since the weather will be more comforting than this South Florida heat I plan to take many pictures and share with you all throughout the week.

Anywho, I love meeting new people and learning about small/big businesses.With that being said, today I will spotlight the creative and intelligent, Ju’lia Samuels.

Ju’lia Samuels,24, is a journalism graduate from the University of Florida. She possesses a genuine love for written words. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, founder and editor-in-chief of  the multi-cultural Worthy Magazine, staff writer and social media consultant for the historical 89-year-old Black newspaper The Miami Times and blogger for her personal style blog Ju’lia Catherine. In the past, Ju’lia has written for ABC News on Campus, Miami Fashion Blog, The Fresh Xpress and Sister 2 Sister magazine, to name a few. Ju’lia Currently resides in South Florida and  fashion, writing, food and music are Ju’lia’s life right now.

::Let’s Chat::

ASW: What inspired you to start Worthy Magazine?

JS: In all honesty, I always knew that I wanted to have my own publication. I just always thought I wouldn’t get a chance to start my own publication so soon. I found myself in graduates’ limbo. Fearful that I wouldn’t find a job I began blogging. From there, it was really my mother who pushed to me create something of my own. I wasn’t working and I was only landing occasional freelance jobs. So I figured why not? I didn’t want to lose what I learned in school and I felt like my blog had become too personal to adopt a serious tone.

ASW: What makes your magazine different from others on the market?

JS: I am going to say what others feel I shouldn’t say, which is fine because my magazine has been a labor of love. So if we only get 10 views per issue from here on out, I will still feel blessed to be able to do what I love.

With that said, I believe that my magazine is different because it is our goal to uplift our readers. I showcase my READERS– I tell their stories. A lot of publications I have worked for have admitted to believing that a publication’s priority is to sell not to uplift. But if I am not featuring a reader, I am featuring someone to inspire my readers.

With every issue I focus on and encourage my readers to confront their potential and to put it to use. I want them and I implore them to appreciate their own beauty. The motto of my magazine is “Because you are worthy.” And that is really a doctrine I am trying to live by. I am just hoping it sticks to other people and hopefully people will like it. But in all honesty, the magazine has been a great help to me, as well.

ASW: Where do you get article ideas?

JS: I read EVERYTHING. I love referencing other online magazines. Clutch is my inspiration, Fashion Bomb Daily, The New York Times, Elle Magazine, Sister 2 Sister, Sheen Magazine, Essence, Glamour, GQ. GQ, GQ- the list truly can go on.

ASW: What age does your magazine target?

JS: The truth is I have avoided this question. I will say 18 and up. I don’t like putting a cut off age on the magazine. I think anyone at any age can be inspired, which is what Worthy strives to do.

ASW: How many hours per week do you spend working on your magazine?

JS: It’s embarrassing to admit but over 30 hours a week. I would say at least 6 hours a day, if I delegate my time.

ASW: Do you have a staff that helps contribute to your magazine? How do you go about the hiring process?

JS: I have the occasional interns and because I was blessed to attend the University of Florida, I have been able to pull my resources from fellow Alumnus. The key players have been Whitney Johnson, Andre Samuels (my big brother), Gavin Samuels (little brother), Toni-Ann Martin, Marcus Williams and William Kennedy. But my hiring process has been pretty relaxed especially since all the positions are volunteer. People normally send in their resume and writing samples to me at Julia@worthy-magazine.com

ASW: What’s your final advice to other writers?

JS: Believe in yourself and remember that writing is subjective. I have met people who LOVED my writing and I have met others who were like “Um, sure-good for you.” You don’t become successful until you believe you are good at your craft.

ASW:  Where do you see Worthy Magazine in the next 5 years?

JS: Hopefully having a huge following and offered in your local bookstores, or at least being offered on the Kindle Fire. I am so grateful that the magazine can now be seen on iPads.

For more information head over to

Worthy Magazine,

Follow and/or Like on Twitter & Facebook!

Ju’lia also has a personal blog called JCatherineThoughts!

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for stopping by ✌.

XoXo,

Ashley

ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight: Eboney Johnson, Founder of AlwayzLadyLike, Inc.

Good Morning Lovelies!! We made it to another Friday. This week went by extremely fast and I am one week away from my Trip to California with my family ::Cheers Cheers::. Anywho, I would just like to say Thank You to all of you who have given me great feedback on this category that I added to ASW. It is great to spotlight those women and men who are doing there thing and deserve to be recognized! With that being said let’s get right to it. Today I will spotlight a kind hearted woman by the name of Eboney Johnson, who currently resides in Miami, FL and is the founder of a non-profit organization for young girls called AlwayzLadyLike.

Eboney Johnson was once a teen mom but today she is a mother of many and considers herself to be a “Lady”. As a product of a broken home, Eboney has matured over the years into the woman she is today! By having a mother figure to intervene and encourage Eboney it allowed her to finish school even with a child and become a role model for young ladies.

In her spare time she enjoys reading and is obsessed with reading fashion magazines and of course shopping! She also loves to  cook and has recently found a love for several new hobbies including interior design and refinishing furniture. Listening to good music and watching movies brings her joy and she likes to collect old movies that feature beautiful iconic women such as mahogany Lady Sings the Blues and  the Dorothy Dandridge story to name a few.

Eboney founded AlwayzLadyLike because she personally knew how important it was that young girls are given that guidance and nurturing that they need to be successful in life. Many young girls today seem angry and lack self confidence and this non-profit organization prides itself in changing a young girls out look on life by placing special emphasis on their personal development to encourage the growth of a happy confident young lady.

Additionally, she believes that girls in today’s society need to be taught to be ladies and it is in her heart and personal goal to reach out to these young girls about issues ranging from their own self worth to their goals and aspirations.  Alwayzladylike reinforces the message that young women need not objectify themselves or relinquish their anatomy. Alwayzladylike has boldly taken on this crisis with our female youth and understands that this is a critical time in grooming a girl into a young lady. Eboney humbly takes on this task with great honor and pride to fully teach young girls that they have a purpose in this in the world that we live in.

::Let’s Chat::

ASW: What is the history behind your organization?

EJ: I personally Feel that the Art of being a Lady is lost among today’s youth so AlwayzLadyLike Inc. was founded simply to encourage girls to be more LadyLike .

ASW: Is there a certain criteria that the girls have to meet in order to be admitted into the organization? Or is it open to everyone?

EJ: It’s open to every girl however they must submit an essay telling us why they want to be apart of AlwayzLadyLike Inc. & right now we are recruiting our fabulous 50.

ASW: What are the ages of the girls?

EJ: 11 ~ 17 But we do have a Baby Caterpillars Program for Girls ages 9~10

ASW: How much time {a week} do you spend with the girls?

EJ: As much time as Possible per week  but we Meet Twice a Month

ASW: What community service projects has your organization participated in so far? Which one did the girls thoroughly enjoy the most?

EJ: We have volunteered at Joe DiMaggio Childrens Hospital . We would give Mani Pedi’s to Girls who are in the Hospital for the holidays, I think that made alot of the girls, if not all, realize how lucky they really are .

ASW: What is next for Alwayz Lady Like?

We plan to be an international organization that encourages Girls all over the world to be more LadyLike. We plan to expand our brand and introduce our motto & our PSA all over the World.

 

To stay updated on what is new at AlwayzLadyLike feel free to Like and/or follow the company on Facebook & Twitter!

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog.

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and thanks for stopping by ✌.

XoXo,

Ashley

ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight: Ayesha Ibrahim, Founder of ASMI Designs

Good Morning My lovely Readers!! We made it to yet another Friday. I am actually about to get ready to leave town and head to Orlando for my friends wedding today! It is going to great to witness the two individuals jumping the broom as well as see my fellow USF alumni buddies! Anywho, lets get right to it. Today I spotlight the talented Ayesha Ibrahim.

Ayesha is an electrifying, radiant Fashion designer from the island of Barbados; her designs are glamorous, enticing and romantic while maintaining a true Caribbean vibe.

With her mother being from Barbados and her father from Tanzania, Africa; Ayesha’s background and culture is displayed in her designs. Growing up in Barbados she always had an eye for style and fashion. At the age of 16 Ayesha began modeling, undertaking various print and runway projects. Those experiences opened her eyes to the intense world of fashion and the variety of avenues this industry has to offer.

At the age of 20 Ayesha relocated to Miami, Florida to pursue her Bachelor of Business with a focus in International Business but throughout her studies she kept her eye on fashion and its trends and as a result began styling various clients located in the Caribbean and United States.  It was upon completion of her first degree that Ayesha encountered a revelation, realizing that she was not expressing herself fully as the artist she is.

Since then her latest projects include ASMI featured in a series of magazine shoots throughout South Florida and designing a gown for Filmmaker & Humanitarian Nominee, Alison Thompson to be worn at the  Australia 2012 Instyle Red Carpet Women of Style awards.

::Let’s Chat::

ASW: What does Fashion mean to you?

AI: Fashion is an art; a form of expression. I have heard people make statements such as “ I am not fashionable” or “I am not interested in fashion” but we are all involved in the art of fashion and our personal sense of style and dress showcases this art daily.

ASW: How would you define your city’s fashion?

AI: I would define my city’s fashion as “summer chic”. In Miami we have the advantage of enjoying  sunshine all year round and as a result we dress to suit. Elegant, flowing summer dresses, shorts and loose light-weight blouses are favored pieces in Miami.

ASW: When did you realize you wanted to be  a fashion designer?

AI: I realized I wanted to be a fashion designer soon after I completed my BA in International Business.  I faced the decision of doing what was expected, which was continue in the field of business and obtain an M.B.A., or to go after my passion and thus follow my heart. At the time I was also a stylist but I still felt a void like I was not truly expressing myself and exploring the art of fashion as I wanted to. After much thought, I finally decided to pursue my Master of Fine Arts with a focus in Fashion Design and the result of such a pursuit led to my clothing line ASMI.

 ASW: What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

AI: The first piece I ever designed was my cocktail dress for a New Years Eve party  a few years back. I remember feeling a bit confused with regards to the fabric types needed and the cutting of the pattern but I enjoyed every step and two weeks later I was quite pleased with the result and also very proud of myself.

 ASW: How long does it usually take you to construct a piece?

AI: It usually takes me a couple days to construct a piece however, this all depends on the complexity of the design, in some cases a gown can take about 10 days including fittings and possible alterations but there have also been those occasions where I hear last minute of an event occurring maybe the next day and I really want to go wearing my own design so I spend all night with a cup of coffee and create a fabulous ASMI design.

ASW: What are some of your accomplishments as a designer?

AI: As a new designer, it is hard for me to note my accomplishments because I am so focused on improvement. I am constantly brainstorming how I can improve myself, my art and of course ASMI. But I can say that I am still happy and I am grateful;  this year I’ve had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with noted stylists and photographers in Miami with them featuring ASMI in their shoots . Also, I was able to meet  humanitarian and film maker Alison Thompson, and design her dress for the Instyle Red Carpet awards held in Australia and ASMI is now available in stores so even though this is quite a journey and there is always room for improvement  there are some great moments throughout.

ASW: Who are some of your favorite designers?

AI: This is a tough question for me because I truly have immense appreciation for all designers because each designer adds their own unique touch to the design. I am a big fan of Diane von Furstenberg her signature print and her  wrap dress is simply iconic, I love the designs of Michael Kors they are elegant but yet practical and of course there are the legendary designers such as Azzedine Alaia and Valentino who I look up to.

ASW: Where can readers buy your clothes?

AI: My designs are available for viewing on my website www.asmidesigns.com and I can easily be reached through my site, also ASMI is available at The Loft located at 3190a Commodore Plaza, Coconut Grove FL 33133 and at Haus Fashion Lab located at 2527 NW 2nd Ave, Miami FL 33127.

ASW: What are some of your favorite clothing stores/catalogs/websites?

AI: I cannot say I have a favorite store because I  usually try to visit most malls quite often and look for other new boutiques every week, I like to stay informed with regards to fashion trends, looks and new designers especially in my area. A couple of my go-to websites are style.com and wwd.com (womensweardaily),  these sites have all the up-to-date information for designers with regards to fabric trends, color trends and seasonal looks.

ASW: Where do you buy your fabrics and other sewing materials?

AI: A lot of my sewing materials like my scissors , various rulers and tapes I order from the internet or buy from a local sewing supply store but for my fabric I usually go to downtown Miami for my prints and I head to  North Miami for the unique fabric types that I love to experiment with but it must be noted that with fabric there is no limit, it is a joy for me to find a new fabric store or to travel out of state and find fabric. The more distinct and unique the fabric the better the design.

ASW: What advice do you have for aspiring fashion designers?

 AI: My advice to aspiring fashion designers is to follow your heart no matter what; pursue your passion. This is what I tell myself daily; words cannot express the joy and sense of achievement I get from my designs and even on my toughest days and sleepless nights I cannot imagine doing anything else.

ASW: What do you like best about designing clothes?

AI: What I love about designing is that I get to explore my art and talent daily and the result is always a unique and special ASMI design.

ASW: How would you define your personal style?

AI:  I would define my personal style as casual meets elegance meets a dose of funk.

Beautiful swimsuit wrap-ASMI Designs

To stay updated on what is new at ASMI Designs follow her on Twitter & visit ASMIDesigns.Com to shop!

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and thanks for stopping by ✌,

XoXo,

Ashley

ASW Entrepreneur Spotlight: Julia Davis, Founder of Simone Vivian, LLC

Good Morning Lovelies!! We made it to another fabulous Friday! Since I have started this new entrepreneur series on ASW I have received great feedback from you all and I’m glad that you enjoy learning about the talent in different areas of our country! Today I spotlight the fashionable Julia Davis.

Julia is a bright, innovative stylist with the ability to define style and anticipate the fashion industry’s constantly changing trends. She is 30 years old and a native of North Carolina. Using her ingrained and learned talents, Julia has trained her eye to determine which essentials are lasting trends as well as which components can create one’s personal style.

Julia moved to Washington, DC, and attended Howard University where she received her BA in Advertising with a minor in Fashion Merchandising. But for Julia, it was the fashion that inspired her. Her senior year she assisted wardrobe styling at a Saks Fifth Avenue Breast Cancer benefit. To add to her fashion profile, Julia also held retail, visual, and merchandising positions as well as personal shopping to the elite clientele at legendary department stores such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus. While in these positions, Julia found herself surrounded by the creations of the leading, most celebrated and cutting-edge designers.

Julia took her fashion curiosity across the pond to London, England, where she proceeded to study fashion and styling at the London College of Fashion. Utilizing her attentive eye for fashion, Julia combined the latest American trends with European flair, and concocted a style that is all her own.

After London, Julia moved to Miami, Florida, emerging as one of fashion’s rising stars styling magazine and video shoots. Julia later moved to New York, NY, where she worked at Sean John clothing company as an assistant stylist and visual merchandiser. There Julia styled photo shoots for national retail campaigns. Julia also styled a national Ad campaign for Baby-G watches. In 2007 at the age of 25 Julia started her own company Simone Vivian, LLC and has appeared on San Diego Living Morning Show and Good Morning Arizona as a guest fashion expert. She has since written a book and taken on an array of projects including image consulting, personal shopping, and styling. Julia is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

::Let’s Chat:

ASW: What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture? How did the idea for your business come about?

JD: I had recently moved to Arizona after working for a major fashion house in NY. When I arrived in Scottsdale I was unable to find a job. That’s where the idea came about and then the spark came to actually create the company. It was a ton of hard work but it was worth using all my savings, all the sleepless nights, and the sweat and tears.

ASW: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful Image Consultant?

JD: To be a successful Image Consultant, you definitely have to know your clients needs.  If you understand your client then you’re able to style them better because you can think like them.  The second skill you need is confidence.   Being confident in your abilities is a necessity because your clients rely on you to guide them.  The last skill you should have is a flexible schedule.  An Image Consultant that has the ability to work around their clients’ schedules and lifestyles is guaranteed to stay busy.

ASW: How many hours do you work a day on average?

JD: I can work anywhere between 3 to 10 hours a day. Honestly, it just depends on the clients and their needs.

ASW: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

JD: It’s been great! I have to admit that being a first time mother has its challenges and there are days that I feel like I’m on a trapeze trying to balance everything: wife, mother and entrepreneur. I get to schedule my work around my family time and my personal life. Being the boss is definitely one of the perks of being an entrepreneur.  I like having the flexibility that I need to be a mother and a wife.

 ASW: What motivates you?

JD: Success. Achieving my goals is truly a motivation and self-gratification is also.  I want to be great at what I do, and give 100 percent to each role that I play in life.

ASW: Who has been your greatest inspiration?

JD: June Ambrose and Rachel Zoe. I admire their confidence, they also have two different styles that I find appealing.

ASW: To what do you most attribute your success? What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?

JD: Its funny but I attribute my success to being a middle child. It gave me so much ambition to achieve things in life that I wanted. Because growing up getting praise or attention wasn’t easy as a middle child therefore I always tried to do better than my two sisters, in a sense it was like a competition.

 First you should have a plan and determine your success, basically decide what you want to achieve before starting your business. Next you need to know the industry, always remain competitive, and step outside your comfort zone. You should take chances.  You have to put yourself out there.  Steve Jobs is a great example of an entrepreneur when he started his company.  I’m sure contemplated his decisions and I’m sure he knew that his business venture was going to be a major success or an epic fail…and luckily, it was a huge success.

ASW: In 2010 your book, “Mani Pedi”, was published and sold in Barnes & Noble Bookstores. That is an amazing accomplishment! What inspired you to write your first book?

 JD: When I graduated from college I did not have a job offer.  I struggled to decide what I needed to do next in my life.  “Mani Pedi” is a guide for college students and recent graduates that are approaching a new chapter in their lives. 

ASW: Do you plan to write another book in the future?

JD: Yes, I really enjoyed writing my first book.  Being an author is something I enjoy doing.  My next one will probably be more fashion related, and a chapter on motherhood it’s very hard to keep your sexy style and I feel many women would be able to relate. “Mani Pedi” is about creating your own rulebook and my motto is, “Author Your Life.

ASW: Since you have styled a couple of fashion shows, how far in advance do you prepare? How do you go about styling the models?

JD: We are currently working on a fashion show in November and we started preparing for the show in May 2012.  The idea can arise 6 months ahead of time, but it usually only takes a few months to organize the entire show. 

First I pull the clothes from the selection I have been provided by the vendor or designer.  Then I complete outfits based off of the pieces I’ve been given.  After I select the clothes, I style the models by fitting them for each outfit.   

ASW: What is next for Simone Vivian?

JD:  Simone Vivian is making its mark in the DC area.  I plan to expand clientele and work on more fashion shows.  And I would also like to write another book in the future.

ASW: Do you have any advice for future image consultants?

JD: My advice would be to make sure that this is the right line of work for you.  Be confident in your abilities because this job is a lot of hard work.  Also, be open to styles that are different from yours because your clients are different from your personal style.

To stay updated on the latest at trends like and/or follow Simone Vivian on Facebook & Twitter!

Also, if you are in need of a good read please click HERE to order your very own copy of Mani Pedi!

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog. 

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by ✌.

XoXo,

Ashley

ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight: Ketta Vaughn of Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics

Good Morning ASW Readers!!! Before I get started I just need to shout…again lol! ::GOOOOO MIAMI HEAT:: I am still in shock that My Miami Heat are the 2011-2012 NBA Champs!! So proud and happy for them! Ok now that we got that out of the way I would like to introduce this week’s Entrepreneur Spotlight, Ketta Vaughn. 

As founder of Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics, a premier cosmetics and beauty service line, Ketta Vaughn has created a lifestyle beauty brand committed to empowering and inspiring through creating iconic beauty.  Over 10 years of experience working for one of the most popular beauty brands and the daily hands-on client interaction fueled the development of her keen sense of color theory. After years of an incomparable, priceless grind on the retail floor, doing makeup for bridal parties, celebrity clients and events, editorial, film, television, and video projects, Ketta decided it was time to launch her own beauty brand. 

In addition to the strong retail background and understanding, Ketta Vaughn’s experience breeds creative collaborations and provides the foundation for her phenomenal line of cosmetics.  Her experience has fostered collaborations with major publications and networks including Lucky Magazine, Enterprise Magazine, Reader’s Digest, VH1, BET, HSN, Fox, CBS, ABC, and CNBC, just to note a few. Ketta Vaughn is a line designed with you in mind, developed and tailored from the perspective of a makeup artist.  Therefore, the line embodies everything you need for an everyday, casual look to the intense color range and supplies entertainers and makeup artists need. 

:: Let’s Chat ::

ASW: What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?

I have had a love for makeup artistry since I was a teenager.  I applied to MAC cosmetics starting at 18 yrs old and they did not hire me until I was 21!  Yes, I pursued working with MAC for 3yrs before I got in the door!  I went on to work with MAC for over 10yrs.  Around 2004, the spark began brewing within to start my own makeup line and in 2005, my first company Alabye Kozmetix was born.  I had a partner in Alabye Kozmetix, but the partnership did not work out and was later resolved in 2008.  In 2009, I started over and Ketta Vaughn Inc. was born and is now 3yrs old.

ASW: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Being persistent,  being a solution finder and problem solver,  and of course being a hard worker!

ASW: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

Being an entrepreneur can definitely put a strain on your family life if you don’t have strategy in place.  It brings my family closer together and forces us to constantly re-invent and adapt to change.

ASW: What motivates you?

My Family!! As I am typing these answers to the interview questions, I can hear my husband and our 4yr old daughter exchange “I love you’s” in her bedroom, just before he is about to read her a bedtime story…..#motivation.

ASW: Who has been your greatest inspiration?

This is such a difficult question to answer, because there are so many great inspirations in my life.  I am inspired by people that don’t give up, that understand mind over matter, that push beyond limitations others may “try” to put on them, that are ambitious, and that know how to lead.

ASW: To what do you most attribute your success? What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?

I attribute my success to my many supporters along the way on my journey.  Being a supporter is one of the most selfless things one can do.  It requires you to relinquish your desires and needs for whatever timeframe, to pour into someone else’s.

ASW: What makes you happy?

My family and being content with life as it is in the current moment.

ASW: Since your business deals consists of selling make-up, what are your top 5 pieces from your line?

The top products from my makeup line are:

1.  Lip Gloss colors like”Top Shelf”, “It Factor”, “Muah”, “Encore”, and “Mauvelous”

2.  Blush colors like “Radiate” and “Sweet Cheeks”

3.  Dual Powder Foundation

4.  Eye Shadow colors like “Ancient Bronze”, “Meditate”, “Prodigy”, “Fantasy”

5.  Lipstick colors like “Vintage”, “Naked”,

To those ladies who are looking to add to their make-up collection or are looking for new brands, I highly suggest you check out Ketta Vaughn Cosmetics! If you would like to stay updated with all that is going on with Ketta Vaughn feel free to Like and/or Follow her on Facebook & Twitter.

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog. 

I hope you all have a fabulous Friday and thanks for stopping by ✌.

XoXo,

Ashley

ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight: Kipri Johnson, Founder of Kips Mix Bakery

Good Morning Lovelies!! It’s Friday..Woot Woot!! I hope everyone has some great things planned for the weekend. So as I mentioned last Friday, I added a new category to my blog which will highlight different entrepreneurs who have small or big businesses. Last week you all had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know the lovely LaShara Bostic of Love Child Essentials! If you didn’t get to read her feature from last week click here. Today we will focus our attention on delicious desserts that are created by the lovely and talented Kipri Johnson.

Kipri “Kip” Johnson, owner of Kip’s Mix, specializes in the production of traditional American desserts.  Kip grew up in South Florida and spent much time with her family who enjoyed cooking and baking.  In 2001, she began baking desserts for her friends and coworkers.  Now at age 38, her hobby has grown into a business selling her delicious baked goods online, and works out of Homestead, Florida.  Though her primary customers are in the South Florida, her clientele has extended along the eastern seaboard as far north as New York. Most recently, Ms. Johnson was recognized by the Small Business Administration for her accomplishments.  When she is not baking, she enjoys watching movies, reading, music, and spending time with close friends.

Time To Chat

ASW: What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?

Honestly, I had a small desire to have my own business many years ago when I was still in college. Years later, I took a pound cake to my friend’s party. By the end of the night, her sister offered me money to bake a cake for her…and that was the spark!

ASW:  How many hours do you work a day on average?

Sun up to sun down!

ASW: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

I am a single woman so I haven’t had to deal with any of those issues; however, my family as a whole has been very supportive and instrumental to my success.

ASW: What motivates you?

I get a lot of motivation from seeing the success of others. It reminds me that I can reach my goals and whatever I want is possible to have.

ASW: To what do you most attribute your success?

Strong faith in God and believing in myself.

ASW: What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business?

Receptive to new ideas. The belief that you have a good product or service. Willing to sacrifice personal time to work your business. Good time and money management skills. DETERMINATION!

ASW: What makes your bakery uniquely different than other bakeries?

Living in South Florida, there is a heavy influence of the Latin and Caribbean culture. I am African-American and my family is from Florida and the Southeast. Kip’s Mix offers traditional American desserts that are not easily found in South Florida. Our sweet potato pie is the best in the state!

ASW: Where you do you see your company heading in the next 5 years?

I see myself opening a store front in Miami Dade County. I also see several new additions to my menu. I want Kip’s Mix to be the premiere dessert company schools and organizations use for fundraising.

To stay informed on what’s new on Kips Mix Like and/or follow her on Facebook Twitter! To place an order click here!

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog. 

Thanks for stopping by ✌.

XoXo,

Ashley

ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight: LaShara of Love Child Essentials

Good Afternoon ASW readers!! I hope you all are doing well. I’m starting a new category on my blog called “ASW’s Entrepreneur Spotlight”. Each week I will highlight different small and big businesses that you may or may not be aware of. It is always great to support our entrepreneurs because without the support of consumers it makes it very hard for them to be successful. Without further ado our first spotlight is LaShara Bostic. 

After making the decision to “go natural” LaShara literally walked into a local beauty supply store and purchased every natural hair product on the shelf. The 34 year old Miami-native has always been considered bold and some may even say a little over the top, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She is a lover of the arts and a hard core political junkie. LaShara is the founder and CEO of Love Child Essentials™ (LCE). She recalls countless trips to local retailers on a mission to find natural hair products that bloggers raved about. Her disappointment gave birth to Love Child Essentials, South Florida’s premiere natural hair care boutique. Love Child Essentials was created so that naturals in South Florida can be bold, free and have access to high quality, 100% natural hair care products.

Time to Chat ↓

ASW: What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?

When I decided to go natural in 2010, I searched the shelves of numerous beauty supply stores in South Florida trying to find products for my hair. My growing frustration with the process gave birth to a concept which later became Love Child Essentials™

ASW: What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Confidence, perseverance and faith!

ASW: How many hours do you work a day on average?

I work from the moment after I say my prayers in the morning, to the moment before I say my prayers at night. I’m always looking for the next best thing for #TeamLoveChild. I’ve always heard others say when you find something you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. It’s true… LCE isn’t a job, it’s a way of life!

 ASW: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

My family has been amazingly supportive! The day my dad started calling to check on the progress of LCE or to help me brainstorm, I knew LCE was something special.

ASW: What motivates you?

My desire to live my life’s purpose. I want to be right on course with what life has for me. I always say “Stay ready, and you’ll never have to get ready!”

ASW: If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

My great grandmother (Naomi Bishop). She was the matriarch of our family. Her strength and wisdom was mysterious to me as a child. I would ask her how she was able to hold everything together while staying true to herself.

ASW:  Who has been your greatest inspiration?

My parents. My Mother is the funniest and most amazing woman I know; she has always been my rock. My Father is my everything… he’s the epitome of what a man should be. Because of who they are, I am able to be me!

ASW:  To what do you most attribute your success? I attribute my success to my faith. I knew it was coming I just never knew when. What would say are the five key elements for starting and running a successful business? First you have to have a vision and a plan to execute your vision, but more importantly dedication, perseverance and tough skin.

ASW: What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?

Aside from being a self proclaimed foodie, I’m a lover of the arts, a huge political junkie and I also LOVE traveling.

ASW: What makes you happy?

I find happiness in the little things, like being able to give unexpected gifts. The look on a person’s face after a random act of kindness is priceless. I know it sounds a little cliché, but I’m serious!

ASW: Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Omg… it would have to be curlBox™. Great concept, great story, great marketing. I respect the hustle! To be able to grasp peoples’ attention and create a movement takes skill. Being a product junkie and ultimate consumer, I understand the excitement that builds waiting on a product like curlBox.

To stay updated on the latest natural hairstyles and trends like and/or follow Love Child Essentials on Facebook & Twitter!

*If you shop or love certain small/big businesses and would like for them to be featured on A Sassy Woman please don’t hesitate to contact me through the “Contact” tab at the top of my blog. 

Have a wonderful Thursday and thanks for stopping by ✌.

XoXo,

Ashley