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Style Line-Up: Azaila

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Fashion, Latest | by — May 11, 2021

 

Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Philly-based fashion-lover, Azaila!

 
 
What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?
Azaila, I’m 16 years old, I am from Philadelphia!
 
Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to line-up your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?
Long skirts! Cardigans, and Knee-High socks!! They are the cutest fashion trend I adore so much!
 
Describe your style in 3 words:
I think my clothes are described as Bright, Colorful, and Child-like!
 
 
Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?
My fashion icon is @fionnaleigh! I have been following her for almost two years now! I have always loved the “Soft-girl” aesthetic she goes for, and she inspired me to be confident in what I wear and the clothes I like.
 
Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?
Omg!! I always try to plan my outfits the night before! But, If I fall asleep or forget I go for my light blue angelic mingalondon dad jeans, a plain tank top, a cute-stylish cardigan, and vans! For hair, I will either leave it in a bun or two pigtail braids!
 
 
What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?
My number 1 rule when it comes to fashion is to wear something that really makes you feel comfortable and confident. I love dressing up!! And when I wear something that I find is cute or stylish, I feel so confident in myself and feel really comfortable. Also platforms!! You can never go wrong them, they also just make me feel 10x more confident in what I am wearing!
 
Follow more of Azaila’s style here:
 

Healthy Habits? The Struggle?

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — March 30, 2021

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By Teen Blogger: Claudia Lopez

Healthier Habits, Healthier Life

Being healthier is perceived as a very difficult task sometimes. Well, to tell you the truth leading a healthier life isn’t as hard as it seems. One of the easiest ways to lay the foundation for a more wholesome life is by creating healthy habits. 

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Being healthy is a lifestyle. So your habits just don’t necessarily have to be about “eating healthier” all the time. It could be to start a self-care routine, clean your room every morning, or even simply to read books! 

The best way to create habits is to start off with small goals. For example, if your goal is eating better, you can simply start by eating three meals a day and drinking lots of water! Then as time passes, slightly increase your goal to switch out the not-so-healthy foods with better options. When creating these habits it is crucial that you don’t just jump right into the deep end of things.

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 You also need to make sure to give yourself a break. If you break the cycle of your habits that is okay! Don’t give yourself a hard time for being human. Just make sure you get back up and start again where you left off. This is important because if your habits begin to cause you stress or makes you feel bad, you more than likely will quit altogether.

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Good habits are essential for our day-to-day lives. Once you have gotten used to the feeling of doing them, it will come natural to you!

Teen blogger, Claudia Lopez

Follow more of Claudia HERE

Style Line-Up: Avery!

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Fashion, Latest | by — March 16, 2021

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Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Tulsa-based fashion-lover + blogger, Avery!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

Hey y’all! My name is Avery, I’m 18 (soon to be 19) and I’m from Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to lineup your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?

Neutrals are probably my favorite trend from the winter, especially brown and grey since they’re such versatile colors. Besides that, I really live for collars under sweatshirts for that ultra preppy look, and I love plaid shackets (shirt/jacket-hybrid).

Describe your style in 3 words:

I would describe my style as feminine, fresh, and ever-changing because I’m always shopping for the newest trends!

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

My ultimate fashion icons are easily Blackpink. I love their onstage wardrobe SO much. Their outfits really embody a good mix of masculinity and femininity, and their individual styles always complement one another. I want to raid their closets so bad!!

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?

Hmm..my go-to currently would probably be my white turtleneck, ripped mom jeans, white forces with white socks, topped off with a gold necklace + hoops.

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

My number one rule is to wear what you want as long as you’re comfortable. Somebody is always going to have something to say about your clothes, whether you wear what you want or not. So just do what you want with your fits anyways. Life is short!

Follow Avery here!

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Meet Designer Tori Nichel!

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Feature, Latest | by — February 16, 2021

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(Interview by teen bloggers: A’Yanna Rouse, Sidney Charlemagne + Kiarra Charlemagne)

Tori Nichel is a fashion designer and entrepreneur who has carved out a major lane for herself in the fashion industry! Growing up in Detroit Michigan and throughout her childhood, she had a passion for fashion and sketching. After dedicating her time apprenticing with a retired designer, she later attended Michigan State University and Fashion Institute of Technology where she earned multiple degrees in Fashion Design. She went on to design and played pivotal roles in the fashion industry such as Senior Designer at Kenneth Cole and Head Designer at Tibi. She was also a contestant on NBC’s hot show, Fashion Star where she competed against other talented designers.

Having a passion of expressing herself, Tori launched her own business and label that represents her style and aesthetics!

She is currently also the Design Director for Kohl’s New York Design Office, she has led design teams to collaborate with numerous brands and celebrities like Jennifer Lopez. 

 Although she is one of the few African Americans in her position, she is committed to paving the way for the next generation of Black design talent through coaching, mentorship and career development.

Let’s get to know Tori a little better…

What inspired you to have a passion for the fashion community?

When I was about seven years old, I knew that I would be a fashion designer. All the women inspired me in my family; my mom was the oldest of six, which included four sisters who were all fashionable. I always chose to hang out with them because they were always shopping. I believe that this somewhat inspired me. Also, seeing pictures of my grandmother, my mom, and my aunts inspired me. They were so stylish and would wear gloves and hats while going to church which I absolutely loved.

From your website, you mention about helping the next generation and helping invent brands, what does it mean to you to uplift others and help others stand out?

I genuinely believe that you have to reach behind, pull someone with you, and pass the baton.  It is important, and many reasons why I am passionate about this is I didn’t have that trying to navigate the fashion world. No one in my family knew what to do with me in the fashion industry at all. When I got to New York, and when I got into the  industry, I realized no one looks like me. It is so important to take the learnings, the opportunities that I have been able to explore and pass that on to the next generation. I know how important it is because when I was creating my business, it was very hard, and it felt like it was only one of me. If I only had one source where I can rely on, that was only half of the battle.  I want to be that resource to give others what they need to be in their career.

I learned early the importance of building relationships and the importance of nurturing your network as well. It is also important to have representatives of black women and to make sure that we share our resources with our community and setting everyone up for a successful future.

FASHION STAR — “Sex Sells” Episode 202 — Pictured: Tori Nichel — (Photo by: Tyler Golden/NBC)

What inspired you to start your business? 

I felt like the movie Mahogany! I just wanted to have my own business. I set my goal, and I achieved it, and now I think, “now what do I do?” I was very strategic in the jobs that I took because I knew that was my endgame. I had great professors and people. I would go to a lot of speaking engagements and just listen to people talk on businesses. Work for somebody and learn the in’s and out’s of that business on someone’s elses dollars before you spend your limited funds. As I got into those roles, I took on more work to learn all aspects of the industry. For my second job, I shadowed many other fields like PR, production team, etc., and it worked for four and a half years. Then I changed from a big corporation to a small company because I needed to work hands-on to learn how to start my own business. For people who know, I think I was an entrepreneur before a fashion designer. I still want to be an entrepreneur, and I think there is nothing better. If I can contribute that to my community and leave a legacy, that would be wonderful. 

What is your proudest project, and why?

My proudest project would have to be launching my namesake collection Tori Nichel.  It had always been a dream of mine ever since I was a little 7-year-old girl,  and to be able to live my dream was remarkable truly.  I sometimes still pinch myself!

What are the steps that you took to become successful and the women that you are today?

One of the things that definitely helped me at a younger age, shape myself as a designer was getting into sketching, dedication, and being curious. Although I didn’t have anyone to teach me sketching, looking at magazines definitely helped me. One thing that was very pivotal in my career was that, from high school to my junior year in college, I started apprenticing with a retired designer, model, and professor from the Art Institute in Chicago. By doing this, I learned pattern making and draping as well as professionalism. Later on, I got accepted to FIT and that foundation helped build the person I am today.

What is your advice for someone that wants to follow in your footsteps?

First and foremost, own your truth, own every ounce of that authenticity that you were given by your family, and why you are here on earth. Do not let anything stop you from achieving your goal. Show up in your truth, own who you are with any stage that you are given. Be fearless; if you don’t engage yourself and ask questions you’ll never know the opportunities that you can have. 

What are the responsibilities that you have on a daily basis?

I am the design director for Nine West at Kohls and my day usually starts around 9 in the morning. Typically I have 3 fittings a week. I also guide and present various ideas to my team at meetings for seasonal clothing so that we can receive a sign-off from our merchants and leadership. Usually, a couple of hours of my day are spent discussing details with my designers and guiding them on development. 

What qualities do you think an entrepreneur should have and why?

Passion and love. Whatever your business is, you’ve got to love it! There are going to be times where you are on top of your game and times where you are down and wondering “what did I get myself into”. You’ve got to love it because, on those harder days, your love and the passion alone is going to get you out of those hard days and back on level ground. Also it needs to feel like it’s not work because you love it so much. Hence, discipline, because as an entrepreneur you don’t have a boss, so you have to give yourself a structure and stay on track. Be curious and willing to learn as well.

Follow more of Tori’s journey here:

ToriNichel.com 

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Style Line-Up: Chelsea!

Scroll through the Style Line-Up of Maryland-based fashion-lover + blogger, Chelsea!

What’s your name, age + the city you’re from?

Hayyyy! My name is Chelsea, I am 20 years old— soon to be 21 yasss. I currently reside in Waldorf, Md.

Style is showing who you are without having to speak! If you had to lineup your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season what would they be?

I am ALLL for the corset-like belts that go around your waist. They can really turn an outfit into a look!  I’ve also been loving the platinum eyebrows. Finally, statement purses/bags are everything! I love unique bags that stand out.

Describe your style in 3 words:

I would describe my style as eye-catching and diverse. I also would call my style “ a look”.

Style inspo is everything! Who’s your ultimate fashion icon + why?

Teyana Taylor’s diversity is everything! From her hair to her style— she never lets herself get confined to one category.

Getting ready in the morning can be fun but stressful if you’re in a time crunch, what’s your go-to outfit if you’re in a rush?

To be completely honest, if I am in a rush I will grab a pair of sweats and my nearest hoodie. Add a bun or a scarf and some lip gloss and I’m ready to go!

What’s your number 1 rule when it comes to style?

Serve looks and be yourself. Don’t let anyone’s opinion determine what you wear. Don’t follow the trend, be the trend! <3

Follow more of Chelsea’s style here!

Remix Your Closet For Under $30?

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Finance, Latest | by — January 19, 2021

It’s a new season and also time for your closet to get a new look. An unlimited budget is ideal for anyone, but if you’re working with tight funds, you can still give your closet the upgrade it deserves. There are a plethora of options!

Having a frugal conscience now will benefit your future self. Here is how we take a $30 budget and stretch it for a closet revamp:

Rings and Things | $5

Accessorizing can take an outfit up a notch. Try adding things like midi rings, bracelets, pins, headscarves, and uniquely designed earrings to your closet—all of which can be found for a low price at your local shopping store. You can find plenty of inspiration by swiping through your Instagram feed! 

Repurpose | Up to $10

Use your creative eye and check out your local thrift store to see what you can find. There are endless ways to take something and put your own spin on it. For example, find a pair of jeans and add rips to them or take a shirt and cut it into a crop top. With the 90’s trends becoming popular again, you might luck out and find something that doesn’t need to be repurposed at all!

The Unique Bag | $15

Add a bag to your closet that is out of the ordinary—something you normally wouldn’t lean towards. Whether it’s a bright color or a cool shape, make sure it stands out. You can take a simple outfit and make it the center of attention or make a dope outfit even more dope.

~ Tia Banks, Content Editor

Battery On Low: Recharge!

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — December 15, 2020

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By Teen Blogger: Claudia Lopez

I think that we can all agree that this year hasn’t been the greatest. From the presidential elections to the unforgettable pandemic, the last couple of months haven’t been what anyone expected.  Let’s not forget the impactful and life-changing BLM movement, along with issues going on in places like Vienna, Yemen and Tasmania, just to name a few. My point being that with so much going on it’s easy to forget about ourselves. And yes, I’m referring to your mental health. If you were feeling physically ill or broke a bone you would seek out help; the same goes for when you’re feeling mentally drained.

During these hard times, you’ve probably experienced stress, anxiety, fear, and sadness. All can be increased from the events of this year. Surveys show a major increase in the number of U.S. adults who report these same symptoms, compared with surveys before the pandemic.

Now, I’m most definitely not encouraging anyone to self-diagnose but be aware of yourself and habits. If you see that you might need help, seek it! It is so important that we ask for help when we need it. By nurturing your mental health you can also help prevent chronic physical illnesses. So, by caring for your mind you are also caring for your whole body! 

Now, to talk about ways you can make sure you stay mentally fit. One way is to simply find something you enjoy doing! Maybe that’s music, art, a sport or even skating. Invest some time in that hobby, it could help keep your mind off things, blow off some steam, and it can also increase your productivity.

Another way is to surround yourself with good influences and people you can trust. If there are people in your life that you feel have a negative influence, cut ties with them. Now, I know that’s easier said than done, it also sounds a little rude, but it’s better for you if you know who in your life takes a mental toll on you.

You should also learn to know your limits and leave room for mistakes. Many times overachievers put a lot of pressure on themselves to be ‘perfect’ at everything. This might make your work-ethic seem strong but it can also lead to anxiety and stress. Lastly, you want to make sure that you are getting your sleep. I cannot stress this enough! The minimum amount of sleep that you need to be getting is 7-8 hours. If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxing routines (which you can find basically anywhere on the internet) before your designated sleep time. Not getting enough sleep can cause depressive episodes and stress… so get your sleep! 

We need to start practicing self-care both physically and mentally. In the long and short run, your mind will love you. It doesn’t do us any good to not care for our beautiful minds, so let’s do it!  

~ Teen blogger, Claudia Lopez

Follow more of Claudia HERE

Vibe Check With Jojo!

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Health/Beauty, Latest | by — December 1, 2020

Whew! This year has been a whirlwind that has shifted our mind, body + overall chill vibes when it comes to life.  Maryland-based college student, Jour’dan Haynes, drops her gems of how she stays grounded, protects her peace and elevates her wellness!

Let’s vibe out with Jojo…

This year has given us many surprises we weren’t expecting, whew! What are some of your go-to affirmations or quotes that you say to stay motivated?

The infamous year 2020 will never be forgotten. To get me through it, I remind myself daily of my mission despite the obstacles being thrown at us over the course of this year.

1. Continue saving money

2. Spend time with loved ones

3. Be about your grind! Prioritize your time!

4. Finally, every day at 11:11 I wish for everyone that I care about to be healthy, happy & successful.

What’s your spiritual morning routine? How do you unclutter your thoughts before you start your day? 

The first part of my morning routine begins with preparing a cup of tea, followed by cleansing the exterior of my body. I sage myself from head to toe, allowing the aroma to spread through my bedroom removing all negative energy and thoughts from my space and mind. Next, yoga to awaken and relax my muscles and meditation to center my mind. Then, a big glass of water, and depending on the severity of my stress levels I will take a warm bath.

I find that the best way to declutter my thoughts is making a to-do list. Accessing the most important things I need to get done by the end of the day.

Being a student + budgeting can be stressful! How do you still eat healthy on a budget? How does food affect your mood? 

Maintaining a healthy diet is extremely important when you’re a student. The workload can stress you out! The best way to not grab for the ramen noodle packs and candy bars is to consciously choose healthier alternatives that will still fulfill the craving. Instead of having ice cream, I will make a smoothie! Something that is healthy, equally delicious, and will curb my craving for sweets. Implementing these sorts of habits into my life I have seen a drastic change in my focus and mood.

The budgeting portion really comes naturally once you realize how much you save cooking at home or in your dorm. But treat yourself from time to time! Set up a reward system. For example, every two weeks if you completed your class assignments, studied hard for an exam, or just completed some personal goals, then you can take a day to eat out. This will motivate you so much more because you have something to look forward to that excites you after the hard work is done.

Why are manifestations important? 

It helps you get a clear understanding of your goals, and acts as a reminder for when things start to get hard.

Being a free spirit is a beautiful gift! How do you protect your peace + stay true to who you are?

Being a free spirt is about staying true to your “real” self. Once you understand yourself, you develop values, rules, and expectations to live by. The best way to protect your peace when you unlock such gift is to quickly remove anything that is not serving you for the better.

What type of music elevates your energy? Your go-to songs?

I am an old soul. R&B records from back in the day “hit different” how young adults my age would put it. LOL.  My favorite artist is Charlie Wilson! And Some of my go to songs are: For Real by Amel Larrieux, Off The Wall by Micheal Jackson, Angie Stone: Do what you gotta do, Corinne Bailey Rae: Put Your Records On, Even Closer by Goapele and Stephanie Mills, Love Like This Before. These songs stay, and I repeat, stay on repeat. They never fail to get me out of a funk.

Does moving your body + fitness impact how you feel?

Exercise really is a mood booster. Taking a walk, riding a bike, strength exercises really wake me up in the morning. I would advise at least working out for 30 mins a day. If you have not worked out in a while start light and just monitor to see if your experiencing any changes in your mood.

What words of wisdom would you like to leave with other girls creating who they want to be?

It’s not always going to be easy as Erykah Badu said “evolving involves eliminating!”

Be about your grind and prioritize your time! A personal quote of mine.

And something I heard recently “if one can do it you can too, if none have done it you can be one!” Stay true to yourself, be authentic, and trust your intuition. This way you will build the lifestyle you want and become the person you desire.

Follow more of Jojo’s journey here:

Instagram @theyallknowjojo 

Meet Jewelry Designer Lorraine West!

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Feature, Latest | by — November 24, 2020

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Interview by teen bloggers: Lynara Richards + Aiyana Lockley

Lorriane West went from being intrigued by her mother’s jewelry as a child to creating a successful jewelry brand. Her interest in jewelry and art began at a young age and ever since then she never lost sight of that dream to become an artist! She went on to go to FIT and gain a degree in Fine Arts. Years later in 2010 that’s when she became a full time entrepreneur.

Her beautiful designs have been worn by Erykah Badu, Keke Palmer, Serena Williams, Zendaya, + Beyonce in the Black Is King video. Ms.West is still continuing to create dynamic + captivating jewelry today!

Let’s get to know Jewelry Designer Lorraine West a little better…

LynaraOk so my first question is what did you study in high school that showed you that design was your passion?

Lorraine: In high school, I had many subjects but art was my main focus.  I loved art and visual art which led me to take drawing and painting classes. You have to start somewhere, right?  I had a lot of support from teachers, friends and family because I always knew I was an artist since the first grade.  

Aiyana: What challenges have you faced as a Black woman in the jewelry design industry? 

Lorraine: Oh, that’s a good question as well! The challenge I faced the most was not having the support from the industry. I would say half of my career I was mostly around other women and men of color that appreciated my work and it did help lift me and catapult me to a certain level of success.  I didn’t have access to the so-called standard of the industry though. The industry is primarily ran by Caucasions which I didn’t have those connections nor did I seek for access. 

I told myself I’m just going to live in this realm and rock out with the people that appreciate me. In terms of support from Caucasians it was a small percentage.  I just got used to that. I got used to  when I apply for a job they probably wouldn’t hire me. They’ll tell me my work is great. They’ll see my name a lot of the time and think “oh Lorraine West sounds great, love your name” and then when they see it was a brown person it was a very different reaction.

I went on an interview with a designer named Alexis Bittar who is a legendary designer. I used to revere him so much and loved the work he did. It was early 2000 that I saw there was a job opportunity on Craigslist for Alexis Bittar. I was so excited to possibly have a chance to work with him. I happened to get an interview. 

Alexis Bittar comes in to interview me and at the time I didn’t have as much jewelry as I have  now.  I was meeting with him  and thinking “I can’t believe it, this is crazy” but something shifted in me when I sat down with him. I didn’t feel he was better or greater. I felt like we were on the same page. Here I am a black girl, no publicist, no money,  just kind of making it work with whatever I sell, investing back in the business and I was able to get my work on celebrities. 

He told me I had a strong point of view.  I have a degree in Fine Arts so I showed my illustrations. He said. “Your jewelry has a point of view and I don’t know if you would be a good fit here because I need someone who is going to shadow me.” Right then and there I told myself that I am not applying for these jobs anymore. I’m going to keep doing my work and that was the switch!

The universe wanted me to meet him. The universe knows what’s up! If I were to work for him I don’t think I would be where I’m at now and where my work is now. If you feel like you’re trying and trying and people are not hearing you, you gotta go harder for what you do. 

Lynara: It was great to hear your insight and to hear of the opportunities you took to make yourself greater! When did you know that this was your passion and something you wanted to do with the rest of your life?

Lorraine: Well, I knew that I always wanted to be an artist because I do consider myself an artist first.  I just happen to be a jeweler at the moment. In first grade I entered a contest and my drawing came in second place! I knew then that I wanted to do art. Sharing your point of view and getting rewarded for it, I loved it!  I just felt like I had a talent for it and  kept doing it.

I remember when I was in college something came over me. I had an impulse to go to a store on 38th street. They sold beads, wire, plated wire and all this different stuff. It was almost like the ancestors whispered in my ear “go inside there and go buy some stuff and try it out”.  I  started playing around and giving things to friends. They would wear it and some of them weren’t even anything great, but people believed in me at the time and I guess it was cool. When I made my first sale I knew this was for me! I made my first sale in like ‘97 or ‘98. But I continued doing it ‘98 to ‘99 and that was when I started selling custom work. I did meet a few influential people in the industry that invested in me.

I didn’t really know what I was doing that well. That was the time around the, late 90s early 2000s a lot of people were still sort of coming into themselves. Not to say that you aren’t coming into yourselves now but 20 years later so much has advanced. If you’re in any industry now you can advance quicker than maybe when I was in the industry because I wasn’t using the internet then. I don’t think I got an email address until the early 2000’s. I knew that this was what I wanted to add to my repertoire as an artist. And I just went with it and truly tried it. It wasn’t like I wanted to be the best jeweler in the whole world. I simply wanted to create and the fact that I could make money was awesome! It’s been 22 years that I’ve been selling my work as a professional.  

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Aiyana: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a jewelry business?

Lorraine: The advice I would give is learn the technicality of jewelry. Learn what type of jewelry is going to float your boat. If you’re wire wrapping I would say take a class. YouTube is phenomenal! You can learn how to make jewelry.

There  cold connection, wax modeling and CAD. There are some people who only use cad. They work for companies and work for designers. The designer gives you the sketch or the ideas and they punch it into the cad. They create the model where they can print and then cast.

There are also hand fabricators. There are people who do all of that. A little bit of everything. Then there’s the designers that focus on the look and the feel and the technical designers who will produce it. 

Once you jump into the professional realm you have to deliver a really good product to the expectation of the customer because they’re paying you. Start somewhere, start at whatever piece you’re into first. Start from there + do whatever type of design you feel connected to.

Lynara: How do you get your ideas for your jewelry pieces, what influences your ideas for the jewelry?

Lorraine: That’s a good question. Honestly, I feel like a lot of my influences, I don’t even know where it comes from. It just comes at  different times. I feel like we’re constantly seeing things so they’re stored in our subconscious mind. I mean in my bio I have my inspiration being geometry, symbology and experience. I really love symbols and love to abstract symbols.

For example, I have an astrological collection that I’m going to be relaunching. They’re cuffed bracelets and their a glimpse of the Astro signs where I like to stretch them out so they can cover your arm. I designed those almost 20 years ago and sold some here and there but never put out a full the collection.  I’m excited, but I made the samples and realized that because I evolved as a designer the sketches I used then I have outgrown so now I’ll be updating it.  I even did a little film for it with a director that looks beautiful and will eventually be released.  I’m constantly thinking of how I can improve.

The next stage for me is passing off the work and getting trusted manufacturers. When I say manufacturers it can be a small company of 1-4 people that are masters of the trade and are used to being in the business of producing the inventory of collections.

The more your business grows you have to learn to articulate your vision. You can sketch something but how thick do you want the gauge to be? What size stone are you gonna put in the piece? How many stones? You have to be clear because the manufacturer doesn’t know those details. Only you know what you want.  If you have a little bit of experience with designing and making pieces yourself, you’ll be  able to communicate it.

Aiyana: Do you have a favorite piece that You have made, if so what is it?

Lorraine: Well my favorite pieces are the ones that I’m wearing now! This is actually bezel wire. This is a wire that you use to put around a setting but because I feel like I wasn’t classically trained I use certain materials in different ways. I saw this garland and I loved the way the shape looked with the round beads.

Growing up my mother had a horseshoe over the door for good luck and she’s like if you have it facing up all the good luck will poor in and if you face it down you want to give it to others. So this is one of my favorite pieces!

My other favorite is my open heart ring which is kind of an evolved version of wire wrapping and bending.  I started  with wire and you can use wire and make it more sophisticated.

 I like jewelry to be a part of me. I don’t have any tattoos so the jewelry serves as like a tattoo. Then these are one of my favorite hoops, they are called the nipple hoops and this is actually inspired from bangles that I made almost 20 years ago. Serena Williams actually wore the same ones I’m wearing. So when pieces get seen and worn by people particularly people of high influence it does kind of give you that confidence.

You have to develop a thick skin because there is a lot of competition and when I say competition I don’t mean in a negative way. You are competing. It’s like athletes when they are playing they are competing with each other and they are competing with the best. If you are at that high level you are competing with the best. 

Follow more of Lorraine’s West jewelry  journey here:

Lorraine West

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Bored + Alone? Find Your Tribe

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — November 12, 2020

(Tenor.com)

Finding Relationships During Qarentine…

It feels like quarantine has really taken a toll on our social life, right? It gets a bit boring not to see our fam and friends. However, quarantine is a great time to sit back and think about maybe making new friends or perhaps finding a significant (if you’re ready but make sure you get to know them)! It’s even a good time to reconnect with your old friends or old classmates you’ve wanted to talk to but were too busy.

Now here’s some tips into finding new relationships virtually: 

1.MEETING FRIENDS OF FRIENDS:  

 You and your friends can create a group chat of  their extended friendship circle. This is a way to get to know each other through your crew.  It can be a bit weird at first but also comfortable because you both have a mutual friend. Even though there aren’t many places to go you can still find time to link up but of course maintain social distancing and wear a mask!

2. RECONNECTING WITH OLD FRIENDS OR CLASSMATES:

Social media is a huge platform  to connect with your past! Even if you don’t know their social handles you can perhaps find them through other friends profiles, recommended pages or simply ask a friend. Once you find them, you can shoot them a message. I know it’s not a new person but, you guys can start all over again and have a new bond.  It  can be best friends or boyfriend/ girlfriend, you never know!

3. PMOYS (put me on your story):

On snapchat or instagram have a friend put you on their story putting a photo of you  with your user in it.  It seeks a bit more attention in which people will add or follow you. You can get to talk to someone new or just grow your profile. But it helps!

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  1. BRING OUT THE FRIENDS APPS:

Well there are pros and cons to it there’s apps like Yubo, Spotafriend,Wink and more that are in our age range. Make sure you stay safe and don’t just jump into things, keep alert, get to know each other. Remember,  don’t share your personal information that includes your phone number till you get to know them for awhile. If you guys are ever gonna meet, tell your parents, bring a friend and NOT AT NIGHT! 

Thank you very much for reading all my tips!

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~ Kiarra Charlemagne, teen blogger