Reflecting on the past can be an important part of moving forward. I often choose to end each year looking back at what has transpired and what I’ve accomplished. When a portion of your life is documented online – through social media or a blog – it’s easy to travel back in time through the past 365 days. Sometimes this is a blessing and a curse. There’s a point at which spending too much time on the past can hinder our journey into the future. There’s such a fine line between constructive and detrimental reflection on the past.
For me, the past year – my first year of freelancing and blogging full-time – has been a lot of learning what not to do. I’ve made a number of poor decisions as I’ve taken total and complete control of carving and shaping my career. While I know it’s all part of the learning process, it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking back with a negative mindset – the could-have, would-have, should-have mindset. Of course there are many, many things I could have, would have, should have done differently. The key to reflecting on these moments in a productive way is to acknowledge and examine what can be learned from them as I head into a new year and fresh start.
Whether it be self-imposed or a force from the universe, there’s a lot of pressure on year two of freelancing and blogging from New York City. So, I’m spending the last day of 2014 focusing on my energy – mental, physical, emotional energy – and reflecting on 2014. As cheesy as it sounds, I have this intuition that this is my year. It’s scary to proclaim in writing on such a public forum, but perhaps this is my first step in telling the universe I’m ready!
W I N T E R
S P R I N G
S U M M E R
7. Blogger Bazaar Milwaukee
8. Midwest Style Blogger Happy Hour
10. My Best Friend’s Wedding
13. Just Knotted ARTicles of Clothing Blog Bands
F A L L
24. Birthday in NYC with blogger GaBrielle Pedriani of Look Sharp, Sconnie
One year ago today I launched ARTicles of Clothing Blog. I can’t believe it.
A successful one-woman business is a myth. If I’ve learned one vital thing over the past year, it’s that you can’t do anything alone. As a blogger and freelancer, most days it’s just you and your computer. It can feel lonely and isolating, but it doesn’t have to be. It shouldn’t be. The minute I started connecting with others, particularly fellow artists, entrepreneurs, and creative spirits, my work improved drastically. I could not have pressed forward day after day and continued to compose this blog without the support and contribution of many, and to those invaluable people, I want to say THANK YOU and CHEERS TO YOU!
Thank you to…
I met Jessica at a seminar at AmericasMart in January 2013. She was the first style blogger I connected with, and over coffee she told me one of the most important things an aspiring blogger can hear – you just need to sit down, and do it!
Angie Webb, Suburbanite Photography
Angie started a blog in college, and through it, I grew to know and love her. In the spring of 2013, Angie and I sat down over dinner to catch up and discuss my desire to establish my own blog. She gave me a great deal of advice and encouragement and, most importantly, a branding questionnaire that was vital to my creation of AOC. Since then, she has contributed to AOC as my primary photographer and an avid supporter.
Over the years Denise has had many roles in my life – dance teacher, Pilates instructor, mentor, friend. Since venturing out as a freelancer and blogger, she has taught me about being an entrepreneur, helped me make meaningful connections in my industry, and always been there at the right time with a piece of advice, encouraging word, or relevant music video.
Erica Bryan, Singer/Songwriter
When Erica reached out to me about working with her as a stylist, I could never have imagined what an impact she would have on me and my career. From the moment we partnered together, Erica became my advocate. I truly believe Erica and I are kindred spirits, placed in each others’ lives at this point in time for a specific purpose. Erica’s passion is contagious, and I’m continually inspired by her enthusiasm and commitment to her artistry.
Catie has been my hair stylist for the past five years and over that time has become a close friend. Earlier this year, Catie connected me to her longtime friend, Nikki, owner of an upscale boutique, Encore. I partnered with Encore for the first time for a feature on their spring 2014 look book, and since then, Nikki has continued to be a dedicated supporter of AOC.
Tova Gelfond and the Eide Team, Eide Magazine
For years I’ve admired Eide for their dedication to narrative voice and carefully curated aesthetic. In June, they reached out to me about reviewing their summer issue, and I had the opportunity to interview the magazine’s founder, CEO, and Editor-in-Chief, Tova Gelfond. Speaking with and learning from Tova and working with Eide is an undeniable milestone in my career and highlight of year one of AOC.
Jocelyn Negron, Must Love Sparkle
Jocelyn is the founder of Must Love Sparkle, a jewelry destination characterized by a unique aesthetic, exceptional quality, and attainable prices. She has a keen eye for buying and her own collection has a stunning design. Jocelyn has contributed jewelry for a personal photo shoot and for styling singer/songwriter Erica Bryan. Throughout our partnerships, Jocelyn has been a meaningful advocate AOC.
GaBrielle Pedriani, Look Sharp, Sconnie
GaBrielle was the first blogger I connected with in the Midwest. After visiting her blog, my perception of personal style bloggers completely shifted. Gabby defies the typical personal style blogger aesthetic ,and she’s a skilled writer. Although I only got to know her for a short time before she relocated to NYC, Gabby made a profound impact on me as a blogger and my Midwestern fashion experience.
Pamela Wilson, Iona
Pamela has been key influence in my Midwestern fashion journey. Upon meeting Pamela at a fashion event, she immediately welcomed me into the local fashion community. I’ve learned a great deal from her approach to fashion and entrepreneurship, and I’ve made some invaluable connections through events hosted at her boutique.
Amsterdam Station, Alternative Rock Band
Amsterdam Station approached me this summer while in the process of re-branding. As part of creating their new look, they enlisted me as a stylist. The band has an invigorating energy that translated into our work together. Amsterdam Station not only furthered my styling career but also broke me into the world of styling men.
Sonali Prabhu, So Narly
I connected with Sonali through mutual friends and was immediately impressed by her social media presence and following. Sonali is wise beyond her years and, in my opinion, represents the future of social media. She’s innovative, committed to her brand, and confident yet humble. While composing my first YouTube video, Sonali was a take charge director and brought a fun energy to the shoot.
Ryan Pernice and Micki Kimberly, Osteria Mattone
Ryan and I went to high school together, and he’s now the owner of two successful restaurants in our hometown. I had the opportunity to do a photo shoot on location at his Italian restaurant, Osteria Mattone. A portion of the shoot was dedicated to today’s celebration, AOC’s one year birthday. Pastry chef and personal friend, Micki, composed a special dessert for the occasion: Budino Caramellato with Fior di Latte Gelato (yes, we ate it after the shoot, and yes, it was as good as it looks and sounds).
Midwest Style Bloggers, Community
I’ve connected with a number of the founders and members of the Midwest Style Bloggers at various events. They have welcomed me into the Midwest fashion community and have been invaluable to the growth of AOC.
My friends, family, and the AOC Blog Focus Group
Despite the fact that most of my friends and family are far more traditional and practical than I am, they have offered me unlimited love and support over the past year. I could not have launched this blog and continued to grow and improve it without the feedback of my Focus Group. I want to express my particular appreciation for the following people: My boyfriend, who has no interest in fashion whatsoever but has never failed to listen, lend a hand, or provide a second opinion; My mom, who has fueled my creativity from a young age by enrolling me in my first dance classes, buying me countless notebooks, and exposing me to art in various forms; My Kitty Kat, for serving as my co-stylist on my first photo shoot; and My Boo, for setting the foundation for my reader spotlight series.
YOU, My Readers
I only make up 50% of this blog, the other 50% is YOU, my readers. Without your loyal readership, this blog would just be words and images floating around cyberspace. ARTicles of Clothing blog is both by you and for you.
CHEERS TO YOU ALL!
This summer I had the opportunity to work with the Atlanta-based alternative rock band Amsterdam Station. When I was approached by band member Greg Jarvis (vocalist, bassist, and keyboardist), he explained that the band was in the process of re-branding. They released their first album three years prior and have since developed a more polished, mature sound. Amsterdam Station was looking for a united concept across the board that both reflected and complimented their new album, “Stories from the Subtext.” The band recognized that their personal style would be a key component of their new look, so they enlisted me as stylist.
The first step was styling Amsterdam Station for a photo shoot for their new album. We started by discussing the band’s style influences, which included Interpol, The Killers, and Queens of the Stone Age. The next step was, of course, listening to the new album to gain inspiration. After going back and forth with a lot of notes and ideas, we landed on four cohesive yet unique looks, each of which were slight variations on the dressed down suit – replacing a blazer with a trench coat, trading slacks for jeans, adding a tee under a button down, opting for suspenders instead of a tie.
Photographed by Alyson Jarvis of Alyson Jarvis Photography
The next step was styling the band for their Album Release Party. We wanted to keep with the established style while ensuring the ensembles were performance friendly. Originally we discussed sticking to basic jeans, button downs, and strong accessories, like great shoes. As the show grew closer the band’s vocalists decided they were going all out and adding ties despite the potential for hindered movement during the performance.
Greg opted for a bold, statement look with mixed patterns on the tie and button down. He added a solid vest to neutralize the prints and finished the look with dark denim, classic leather shoes, and fun socks for a unique pop of color.
Chris Connelly (vocalist and guitarist) complimented Greg’s look with a solid black button down, patterned tie, jeans, and some amazing black boots that I sadly didn’t snap a photo of. He also coordinated his guitar with the ensemble, bringing in burst of color.
Having the pleasure of watching Amsterdam Station perform live was an unparalleled experience. The night of the show I realized I had never been to a concert where I personally knew the musicians. Their new album, “Stories from the Subtext,” is characterized by thought provoking lyrics, seamless composition, and an elevated sound. While you can preview and purchase the album on their brand new website, I highly recommend you attend one of their concerts if you’re in the Atlanta area. Amsterdam Station has an outstanding stage presence and a contagious energy. Bottom line: they put on a kick ass show.
Their next performance is set for Friday, October 24 at Smith’s Olde Bar in Atlanta – show starts at 8pm, Amsterdam Station goes on at 9pm. Stay tuned to their Facebook and Twitter pages for more details on the event!
I had the pleasure of styling singer/songwriter Erica Bryan AGAIN for her recent concert in Atlanta. This time, Erica and I wanted YOU to be involved in the styling process. So, we complied two distinct looks reflecting Erica’s style and the aesthetic of the show, then we launched a Viewer Vote for you to weigh in on which look she would rock at the performance.
For this show, Erica opened for the alternative rock band Amsterdam Station. While Erica performed some of her country/folk classics (like her single This House is Haunted), overall, her set incorporated an indie vibe with covers of Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, Avicii’s Wake Me Up, and Maroon 5’s Sunday Morning. So, as we complied both looks, we strayed slightly from Erica’s typical country/folk aesthetic. We started by selecting the denim dress with stud detailing and patterned romper as the key pieces for the two ensembles. Then, each outfit was completed with some staples from Erica’s closet: western style booties and belt for the Dreaming in Denim look and wedges and fedora for the Rompin Around look. Jewelry was the finishing touch to add a little edge to each ensemble. Erica and I worked with the Chicago-based jewelry brand Must Love Sparkle to accessorize both outfits. The rest was up to you to determine the Fan Favorite Look! And the winner was…
What’s next for Erica Bryan??
She’s a guest blogger for Beaver Dam USA…
She’s part of the Nashville Songwriters Association International Top 40 List – go VOTE for her single This House is Haunted NOW to keep her on top…
AND She’s debuting her music video for This House is Haunted next Wednesday, August 13 – watch the teaser here!!
Romper: Jessica Simpson
Jewelry: Must Love Sparkle
Fedora: Her Own
Wedges: Her own
Romper: Blaque Label
Two Finger Ring: Must Love Sparkle
Earrings: Jocelyn Negron Collection
Necklace: Wouters & Hendrix
Photographed by Alyson Jarvis of Alyson Jarvis Photography
Hello Readers and Happy July!
To put it mildly, this month has been particularly busy with work projects, events, travel, a dear friend’s wedding back in my hometown, and some very exciting opportunities for ARTicles of Clothing Blog. Over the past several weeks, my digital presence has been somewhat diminished. Fortunately, the brunt of the busyness has passed, and I’m on the home stretch. So please continue to bear with me through the end of the month as I continue to come to you with slightly limited posts. In the mean time, I encourage you to explore past posts – there might be something fabulous you may have missed! Also, here are a five things to look forward to in the coming months:
1. The reveal of the FAN FAVORITE look for singer/songwriter Erica Bryan.
2. A feature on styling the men of Amsterdam Station for their NEW album “Stories from the Subtext” and their exclusive Album Release Party.
3. A fusion of storytelling and fashion celebrating Madison-based designer women’s boutique, Iona.
4. A spotlight on Jocelyn Negron, the designer behind my new favorite jewelry destination, Must Love Sparkle.
5. The ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of ARTicles of Clothing Blog!