Just because Small Business Saturday is behind us doesn’t mean you have to stop shopping small this holiday season. No matter what day of the year, it’s always important to support small businesses!
In Part I and Part II of my 2014 Holiday Gift Guide advocating shopping small, I shared two of my favorite small businesses: Native Bear (based in my hometown, Atlanta, GA) and Woodbury Lane (founded by fellow blogger Katelyn Kosinski of Katelyn Now, located in Milwaukee, WI). Today, I’m showcasing gifts from another small business that is near and dear to my heart: the Chicago-based brand Must Love Sparkle.
You may have seen some beautiful jewelry from Must Love Sparkle in previous posts on ARTicles of Clothing blog. Specifically, I used MLS jewels to style singer/songwriter Erica Bryan for one of her shows last summer.
If you’re hoping to give the gift of jewelry this holiday season, look no further than Must Love Sparkle! For a limited time, use the code shopsmall50 for 50% off all orders or subscribe to the MLS mailing list for 10% off your first order.
M U S T L O V E S P A R K L E
I must admit I was skeptical of the two-finger ring until I tried this poetic and adorable tortoise and the hare ring from MLS. It’s surprisingly comfortable and incredibly unique and fun. Great for a gift or stocking stuffer.
The palace cuff is the ultimate lightweight statement bracelet. It’s cute, comfortable, and instantly completes any girl’s outfit. I used this cuff while styling singer/songwriter Erica Bryan, so it’s performance approved! Whether you’re looking for something stage-worthy or just a great gift for everyday, the palace bracelet is perfect!
These are two of my favorite pieces from MLS. This necklace and bracelet are part of the Jocelyn Negron Collection, a group of pieces fashioned by Jocelyn Negron, jewelry designer and founder of Must Love Sparkle. This collection has a stunning design and exceptional quality. A truly beautiful holiday gift for any special woman in your life.
About the Business:
Must Love Sparkle is a Chicago-based a jewelry destination characterized by a unique aesthetic, exceptional quality, and attainable prices. Jewelry designer and founder Jocelyn Negron has a keen eye for buying and designing, which has allowed her to curate a diverse collection of her own jewelry designs as well as that of other designers. The MLS girl likes to mix it up by wearing hoodies with high heels or Nikes with fur. However, at the end of the day, MLS is for anyone who wants to shine, no matter your style.
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!
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
I’ve been so excited about my recent photo shoot with Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography. Angie and I had the opportunity to shoot on location at Osteria Mattone, a restaurant combining the casual spirit of an osteria with the more formal dining of a trattoria. I can’t resist a quick post to share a sneak peek inside the shoot. Today, Angie shared this preview image on the Suburbanite Photography Facebook page:
Stay tuned for more images from the shoot!
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!