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Meet Jewelry Designer Lorraine West!

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Feature, Latest | by — November 24, 2020

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.  

(Instagram)

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!

(Giphy.com)

  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!

Instagram: @itzcaseyyb

Youtube: itzcaseyyb

~ Kiarra Charlemagne, teen blogger

#Freshman5 x Kene Kae!

 
Take note of Kenechukwu’s #Freshman5 Must-Knows for your freshman year in college!
 
Name: Kenechukwu Uwajeh

What college/university do you attend:

The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Friendship/Relationship:

Don’t feel obligated to stay with the first people that you meet in college! It can be really easy to get stuck in a bubble. I encourage you to branch out until you find your place with friends you genuienly connect with on campus.

Classes/Studying:

Utilize the 20 to 5 or 30 to 10 studying method. Essentially, this means studying for 20-30 minutes (no distractions) and breaking for 5-10 minutes to rejuvenate. You’re brain will love you for this.

Budgeting Money:

You do not need an elaborate budgeting plan. However, you SHOULD ATLEAST give yourself a cap on how much to spend each month. You can even get more specific by putting a limit on specific categories like food/groceries.

Time Management: 

If you don’t have a planner, get one immediately. I recommend getting one that has times listed for each day so you can get a better glimpse of what that specific day should look like (even if you don’t strictly follow it). This has changed my life!

Self-care:

Try to schedule a little bit of time each day and/or one day out of the week to do something that you enjoy. You don’t want to burn out by over indulging in work and school.

Follow more of Kenechukwu’s journey:

Instagram

Dark-Skinned + The Makeup World…

(Tenor.com)

The Struggles of Having Dark Skin in the Makeup World

~ By Mariam Sikiru, Teen Blogger

The makeup industry is starting to become diverse, but how much of the makeup industry is changing. Every Year black women spend 7.5 billion dollars on beauty products and that number continues to grow. The beauty industry is valued at $532 billion and In the U.S the cosmetics industry made 93.5 billion dollars in 2019. African Americans have a 1.7 trillion spending power but, have no representation in the fields they spend their money in. In the makeup industry, it’s hard for dark skin women to be able to find makeup that matches them, they often have to mix two shades or use contour as a foundation.

A story that hit home was when an influencer named @okaysophi talked about having to use black eyeshadow or black eyeliner to contour her face for some time. But, after the release of Fenty beauty’s new contour stick called “caviar,” she found her shade of contour and has been using it ever since.

These success stories are made possible due to brands being inclusive and not putting the same three “medium-dark shades” for a group of people who should be boxed into 3 shades. The majority of the time those shades have warm, or orange undertones making it very hard for black women to even use them. It turns their skin ashy and sometimes pale white. Many brands started to become inclusive after the successful launch of Fenty Beauty, starting with 40 Foundation shades and developed 10 more shades. Rihanna set the tone for the makeup industry and many began to follow suit. 

(Nyma Tang, Tenor.com)

Some Influencers that shed light on the discrimination and the lack of diversity are Jackie Aina, Nyma Tang, Shanygne is also known as Ya Girl Too Much, and many more people who don’t revise recognition.

Here is a list of 10 Brands that are very inclusive  and have shades for darker skin toned women.

  1. Fenty Beautyhttps://www.fentybeauty.com/
  2. UOMA Beautyhttps://uomabeauty.com/
  3. Flesh Beautyhttps://www.fleshbeauty.com/ 
  4. NARShttps://www.narscosmetics.com/
  5. Beauty Bakeriehttps://www.beautybakerie.com/

    (Mariam Sikiru, Photo by E.J. White)

  6. Anastasia Beverly Hillshttps://www.anastasiabeverlyhills.com/
  7. Too Facedhttps://www.toofaced.com/
  8. Mac Cosmeticshttps://www.maccosmetics.com/
  9. Elf Cosmeticshttps://www.elfcosmetics.com/
  10. Revolution Beauty –https://www.revolutionbeauty.com/us/us/home

It’s 2020, put your money where your mouth is, don’t spend your money on brands that don’t support you nor the values that you hold. 

~ Mariam Sikiru, Teen Blogger

 

Toni + Tyanne: Falling Into Girl Chat?

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Latest | by — October 8, 2020

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Waving bye ✌🏾 to summer with a dose of girl chat with sisters Toni + Tyanne!

Not A Trend, A Movement…

~ By Fatoumata Sanneh

BLACK LIVES MATTER. Black lives matter,  is still a controversial statement and for what, why is that such a bad thing to say? Why is it that if I said ‘dog lives matter’, no one would be mad; but when I say black lives matter, I’m deemed racist by some and an activist by most. Black lives matter affects me as a black person everyday, and it should affect everyone, but it doesn’t. Why, you ask? Because people have a tendency to turn a blind eye to everything that doesn’t drastically affect them.

The Black lives matter movement was started in 2013 after Trayvon Martin’s murderer George Zimmerman was acquitted. After Trayvon’s death, there were many, many more. The acquittal of Mr. Zimmerman just showed that the so-called justice system acts as if black lives don’t matter. And that’s how the movement was started. Soon after, Tamir Rice, who looks eerily like Emmett Till, was murdered by Timothy Loehmann. No Justice was served. Black Lives Matter continued to gain movement  + attention this year after the  death of Breonna Taylor + George Floyd.

 The problem with ‘all lives matter’ and ‘blue lives matter’ is that all lives matter is inherently racist. Police officers are facing a fraction of what BIPOC have faced in this country for centuries. Except there are no true blue lives, if police officers don’t want to be ‘oppressed’, they can take off their uniforms,  BIPOC can’t take off our skin.

Black lives matter has solved some dilemmas in our corrupt ‘justice’ system, but the struggle of simply being your authentic self as a black young woman is a constant struggle. It is a constant battle that affects me and the rest of the black girls everyday of dealing with navigating racisim. It has shed light on the fact that the lives of many black people are riddled with microaggressions and just blatant racism. 

Here is an admission by my friend who chose to keep her name anonymous for reasons of her own:

So I didn’t grow up the way that most people think that black people are supposed to grow up. I lived in a country suburban home in Richmond, Texas. For a lot of my life I’ve gone to predominantly white schools and even though it was fun, I never truly felt like I belonged. My classes were mostly white, my teachers were mostly white. When I walked into a room I always felt like everyone’s eyes were on me, I was the odd one out. 

I didn’t realize it at the time but when people heard me speak loudly or ‘catching an attitude’ while I was just speaking my mind, people stereotyped me. That I was just another black girl or whatever. When I finally got to schools with more black people it felt like I wasn’t “black enough”. I didn’t talk a certain way, act a certain way, or carry myself in the same way that the other black kids did. So, sometimes I feel like I’m too black for white people and not black enough for black people. Because of that, I’m now learning that no matter how I act or behave prior, one wrong move and I’m either another “ghetto” black girl or “white-washed.”

Luckily I’ve befriended people who just see me for who I am, but those feelings of not belonging are still there, they’re just lying dormant for a situation to come up– Anonymous.  

Most of my community either owns a confederate flag or still preaches “all lives matter.” The minority who supported Black Lives Matter, only used it as a trend. Everyone doesn’t seem to care and our statistics show that, for example, black people make up a fraction of the American population, but are disproportionately murdered or stopped and searched for no reason. What we need right now is not equality, but equity.

 We need reparations and policies to be put in place, what we don’t need is black tiles on our instagram feeds, we don’t need  performative activism. What we need is recognition and for our voices to be heard. We need to say their names.

EMMETT TILL – MEDGAR EVERS – GEORGE JUNIUS STINNEY JR. – DR MARTIN LUTHER KING JR – HENRY SMITH – JOHN CRAWFORD III – MICHAEL BROWN – EZELL FORD – DANTE PARKER – MICHELLE CUSSEAUX – MARY TURNER – LAQUAN MCDONALD – MALCOLM X – TANISHA ANDERSON – AKAI GURLEY – TAMIR RICE – RUMAIN BRISBON – JERAME REID – MATTHEW AJIBADE – JAMES N. POWELL JR. – FRANK SMART – ERNEST LACY – NATASHA MCKENNA – TONY ROBINSON – ANTHONY HILL – MYA HALL – PHILLIP WHITE – ERIC HARRIS – WALTER SCOTT – WILLIAM CHAPMAN II – ALEXIA CHRISTIAN – BRENDON GLENN – VICTOR MANUEL LAROSA – JONATHAN SANDERS – FREDDIE CARLOS GRAY JR. – JOSEPH MANN – SALVADO ELLSWOOD – SANDRA BLAND – ALBERT JOSEPH DAVIS – DARRIUS STEWART – BILLY RAY DAVIS – SAMUEL DUBOSE – MICHAEL SABBIE – BRIAN KEITH DAY – CHRISTIAN TAYLOR – TROY ROBINSON – ASSHAMS PHAROAH MANLEY – MICHAEL STEWART – FELIX KUMI – KEITH HARRISON MCLEOD – JUNIOR PROSPER – LAMONTEZ JONES – PATERSON BROWN – DOMINIC HUTCHINSON – ANTHONY ASHFORD – ALONZO SMITH – TYREE CRAWFORD – INDIA KAGER – LA’VANTE BIGGS – MICHAEL LEE MARSHALL – JAMAR CLARK – RICHARD PERKINS – PHILLIP PANNELL – NATHANIEL HARRIS PICKETT – BENNI LEE TIGNOR – MIGUEL ESPINAL – MICHAEL NOEL – KEVIN MATTHEWS – BETTIE JONES – QUINTONIO LEGRIER – KEITH CHILDRESS JR. – JANET WILSON – RANDY NELSON – ANTRONIE SCOTT – WENDELL CELESTINE – DAVID JOSEPH – CALIN ROQUEMORE – DYZHAWN PERKINS – CHRISTOPHER DAVIS – MARCO LOUD – JAMES BYRD JR. – PETER GAINES – TORREY ROBINSON – DARIUS ROBINSON – KEVIN HICKS – MARY TRUXILLO – DEMARCUS SEMER – AMADOU DIALLO – WILLIE TILLMAN – TERRILL THOMAS – DEMETRIUS DUBOSE – ALTON STERLING – PHILANDO CASTILLE – TERENCE CRUTCHER – PAUL O’NEAL – ALTERIA WOODS – BOBBY RUSS – JORDAN EDWARDS – AARON BAILEY – RONELL FOSTER – STEPHON CLARK – COREY CARTER – ANTWON ROSE II – TAYLER ROCK – MALICE GREEN – RAMARLEY GRAHAM – ELIJAH MCCLAIN – AIYANA STANLEY JONES – BOTHAM JEAN – PAMELA TURNER – DOMINIQUE CLAYTON – SEAN BELL – ATATIANA JEFFERSON – JEMEL ROBERSON – JAMES LEE ALEXANDER – RYAN MATTHEW SMITH – DERRICK AMBROSE JR. – ADDIE MAE COLLINS – CAROL DENISE MCNAIR – CAROLE ROBERTSON – CYNTHIA WESLEY – NICHOLAS HEYWARD JR. – CHRISTOPHER WHITFIELD – WILLIE MCCOY – VICTOR WHITE III – MARCUS DEON SMITH – CHAVIS CARTER – MARTIN LEE ANDERSON – CHRISTOPHER MCCORVEY – BRADLEY BLACKSHIRE – TIMOTHY THOMAS – REGINALD DOUCET JR. – DANROY “DJ” HENRY JR. – KARVAS GAMBLE JR. – ERIC REASON – KORRYN GAINES – REKIA BOYD – KIONTE SPENCER – DARIUS TARVER – WAYNE ARNOLD JONES – MANUEL ELLIS – VICTOR DUFFY JR. – KOBE DIMOCK-HEISLER – CLINTON R. ALLEN – DONTRE HAMILTON – TIMOTHY CAUGHMAN – SYLVILLE SMITH – COREY JONES – TYRE KING – ERIC GARNER – MILES HALL – KENDRICK JOHNSON – CHARLEENA LYLES – MICHAEL LORENZO DEAN – TRAYVON MARTIN – RENISHA MCBRIDE – KIMONI DAVIS – KIWANE CARRINGTON – OSCAR GRANT III – BREONNA TAYLOR – KALIEF BROWDER – DARRIEN HUNT – TROY HODGE – WILLIAM GREEN –  ARBERY – DION JOHNSON – TONY MCDADE – ANDREW KEARSE – JAMEL FLOYD – GEORGE FLOYD – RAYSHARD BROOKS – ITALIA MARIE KELLY – DAVID MCATEE

~ By Fatoumata Sanneh

Music Mood: On Repeat

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Daily Blog, Latest | by — September 15, 2020

Quarantine Playlist! What’s On Repeat?

By Lynara Richards

Being quarantined is a new expereince for this generation. Adjusting to doing everything at home on electronic devices isn’t easy and can be beyond stressful. During this time music has been a great tool for staying sane!

(Giphy.com)

Personally, I don’t listen to one genre of music and my musical taste is all over the place. I like old school, new school, hip hop, pop, soca, basically everything. I’ve been listening to a lot of Burna Boy, ChloexHalle, Harry Styles, etc, and their music really keeps me together. 

When I’m calm and just want to relax Sunflower, Vol 6 by Harry Styles is it for me. This song is upbeat but calm and just gives you summer beach vibes without the sand in uncomfortable places. 

All we got (feat. Kanye West & Chicago Children’s Choir) by Chance the Rapper gives you the bass and trumpets that makes you put it on  blast for an upbeat feeling. Since we’re on more upbeat songs This Side (feat. YG) by Burna Boy gives you the Caribbean/afrobeat vibe. 

For more recent album release ChloexHalle has been on repeat! This album deals with relationship issues, but in a BOSS way of moving on to better things.

Lynara Richards

My personal favorites are Forgive Me,Babygirl, Ungodly Hour, and ROYL. Forgive me gives you the boss vibes + we’re moving on to better things. Babygirl gives you the message to remember who you are no matter what and stay your truest self. Ungodly Hour is more or less advice. There is a message of not falling for nonsense and knowing your worth. ROYL is the last song on the album. ROYL tells you to live your life, go out, and take risks while you’re young. The whole album is filled with beautiful vocals and gets stuck in your head.

All of these songs give you different feelings. These songs have allowed me to relax and even feel better when I was having a bad day. These artists have other great songs, but these are the ones that have been on repeat for literally all of quarantine. There are other great songs out there that can make you feel better like these did for me.

Hope these put a smile on your face and put a beat in your heart. Go and find your artist, genre, and happy songs!

~ By Lynara Ruchards

Toni + Tyanne: Dating Apps?

Being single + dating in college can be tricky already? Now, on top of that add quarantine. *sigh* Sisters Toni + Tyanne Bryce dive into on this episode’s topic on dating + dating apps with C.O.R.E Mag!

Style Diary x Tia!

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Fashion, Latest | by — September 4, 2020

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Scroll through the Style Diary of Dallas-based fashion-lover + blogger, Tia!

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

Hey, my name is Tia and I am a 22 year old + a recent grad from Tuskegee University. I’m originally from Dallas, TX.

Style is showing who you are with out having to speak! Name your top 3 trends you’re feeling this season?

The top 3 trends in feeling this season is corsets, split hem trousers, and mules!

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

My most favorite fashion icon is Teyana Taylor. She had that perfect mix of sassy and urban.

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

My go-to look in the morning is cropped pattern pants, a graphic tee, and a blazer. I top it off with some Nike Cortez’s.

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

My number 1 rule to style is : You wear the clothes. Don’t let the clothes wear you!

Follow more of Tia’s style here:

Instagram

Tia’s Interlude

Skate With Sade!

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Feature, Latest | by — September 1, 2020

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ROLL, BOUNCE, SKATE vibes is what skater Sade is serving all of 2020!  Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, the talented 19 year-old rekindled her love for roller skating + has inspired her digital community during qurantine to lace up, have fun + zone out. Documenting her journey as she masters her ‘Skater Bucket’ list showcases her bubbly personality matched with her addictive playlist. Sade’s  fresh skills + style will leave you feeling inspired to not only roller skate but conquer your goals!

Let’s get to know Sade a little better…

Watching your skating videos makes us want to lace us + head to the rink! What or who inspired you to start roller skating?
I have been roller skating ever since I was around 6 years old when my dad would take me to the rink and taught me how to skate. As I got older, I went to the rink maybe 2-3 times a year up until recently when I finally decided to get into skating more! I was always inspired by seeing amazing skaters at my local rink that would just glide across the floor with such ease. It was something extremely mesmerizing to watch and I would also tell myself I’d love to skate like them but never actually tried. The only thing I really knew how to do in skates was go forwards, turn, and stop by running into the wall! However, all of that changed when this February 2020 I was scrolling through my timeline on Instagram and randomly saw a skater who I now know is @lilyskatesalot on Instagram and was blown away by her skills! I didn’t realize it was possible to roller skate outdoors until that moment and I was hooked!

For hours after I found myself deep into watching other skate videos on instagram and spent the rest of the month researching different types of skates to buy. And now here I am today doing the 365 days of skating challenge!

Whats your fave ol’ school + new school songs you like to skate to?
Oh man there are so many! A large majority of my playlist is made up of old school songs and some of my favorites to skate to are “Get Off” by Foxy, “Love Come Down” by Evelyn “Champagne” King, “Give It To Me Baby” by Rick James, “Hollywood Swinging” by Kool &  The Gang, “Let it Whip” by Dazz Band, “Stomp” by The Brothers Johnson, and “Let’s Get Married –
ReMarqable Remix” by Jagged Edge.

Some of my favorite new school songs to skate to are “Toast” by Koffee, “Tadow” by Masego, “Work REMIX” by A$AP Ferg, “Jerry Sprunger” by Tory Lanez, “Spaceships + Rockets” by Bas; LION BABE, and pretty much anything by Childish Gambino or Chris Brown! The music you listen to can really make skating an even more magical experience and feel as if you are in your own world.

Practice leads to perfection which is easier said than done! What’s the hardest move youve nailed?
Toe spins! After lots and lots of practice, frustration, and determination I can say I have nailed the ability to do toe spins. However, there is still lots of room for improvement in store for me since toe spins have a ton of different variations that I am currently working on!

Being able to express yourself is such a gift! How does skating make you feel? What’s your ultimate goal as a skater?
The first thing I think of when someone asks me what it feels like to skate is like a butterfly. I feel like I can fly and go wherever I want to with my skates as if they have a mind of their own. Roller Skating is an amazing form of expression, self care, emotional release, and utter joy. Whether that’s lacing up at the rink, trail, skatepark, tennis court, parking lot..really any place I can roll is happiness for me. It is freedom on eight wheels and there is never a day that I regret joining the skate community.

My ultimate goal as a skater is not only to achieve a list of moves on my “skate bucket list” but also have a certain flow and style that I am comfortable with. It can be hard to explain in words but it’s something I feel will take a couple years to finally feel “achieved” and I look forward to that moment!

Being young, juggling responsibilities while reaching your dreams can sometimes get to be a bit overwhelming, how do you regroup and motivate/inspire yourself when you’re feeling a little defeated?
Recently, skating has been my way to regroup and motivate myself when I am feeling defeated or overwhelmed as a way to “escape”. However, my main way to do that especially before skating was through music! Listening to music is something so therapeutic and powerful for me and I do not know what I’d do without it. There are so many talented musicians out there that have no idea how big of an impact their voice, sound, and message have not only on me but on so many others as well.

One song I have gone back to for many years whenever I am really feeling down is called “All Right” by Carolyn Malachi. It is something about the combination of her voice, the violin in the background, and her assuring me that I am going to be alright helps every time. On the other hand, even songs that are more catchy and created for fun and dancing can have a huge impact on my mood as well!

Oftentimes black girls are labeled with numerous stereotypes, what’s a way we can continue to break barriers and create an authentic representation of ourselves?
BE OURSELVES!!! We are way too often put down, judged, or expected to act and look a certain way and for those reasons it can be difficult to live out our dreams and best lives. It can create a pressure to feel as if we need to change ourselves or act like someone we are not in order to be successful and respected but that is NOT the case at all.

As black girls we have so much strength, passion, and intelligence within us that is just waiting to be shared with the world. We are the beauty and the brains that are needed in so many fields in society whether that be STEM, Healthcare, Law and Policy, Arts, Education…you name it. We need to continue to break down the barriers that keep us from entering the fields of our dreams and showing the world the black girl magic we embody everyday.

What’s one mantra or positive quote you live by?

I don’t really have a mantra but one thing I do always live by is to never pass up an opportunity. No matter how big or small, an opportunity is an opportunity and you never know how far it can take you! It could be something as small as going to a community event to as big as attending a career fair. If you don’t go, if you don’t speak up, if you don’t take the chance then you will never know what you may have missed out on. The same thing even applies for me when skating! There are some things I thought I never in my life would do such as dropping in at a skatepark. But one day the park was empty and I had the chance right then to attempt to drop in and I did successfully! Even though not all opportunities will end in happiness and success, at least a valuable lesson was learned!

Time for faves! Artist? Food? Movie? Celeb crush?
My favorite artist of all time is Childish Gambino and seeing him in concert for the first time two years ago was one of the most memorable experiences of my life! I also really love Maxwell, dvsn, and Erykah Badu.

As far as eating goes, I love all pastas especially spaghetti, Taharka
Bros Honey Graham Ice Cream, and Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn.

For movies I could watch Spiderman Into the Spiderverse, Do The Right Thing, and Let it Shine a million times and never get tired of any of them! And a Celeb crush I don’t think I really have a set one but I am sure there are many that I would very likely become speechless if I was approached by any one of them HAHA. 

Follow more of Sade’s skate journey here!

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