Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Urban Paper Girl -Myisha Croom-Turner

Myisha is another one of those super women who seems to do it all with style: wife, mother, jewelry maker, blogger..and more..

Who are you:
My name is Myisha Croom-Turner and I'm a jewelry designer and owner of Brace Yourself Boutique an online jewelry store. I create bohemian inspired jewelry, in limited quantities for women who aren't afraid to adorn unique, bold, and colorful pieces.
How long have you been making jewelry.

How dod you get started?
I started designing jewelry in 2000 due to the lack of "boho" or untraditional designs in retail stores. I could never find what I was looking for, so I decided to start designing my own jewelry. Brace Yourself Boutique launched 7 years later when I became ill and took a leave of absence from my day job as a correctional officer.

What inpires you?
I'm definitely inspired by decor, fashion, and traveling. But my daily inspirations come from my everyday life events like family outings, client meetings, world events, social gatherings, etc. My current fall collections (Shanti and Euphoria) were inspired by the need for more peace and happiness in the world today.

What is your vision for your business?
I'd like my jewelry to reach people worldwide. My main goal now is to branch out and have my jewelry sold in online and independent boutiques, and ultimately Anthropologie stores.

In ten years you will be:
In ten years I'll still be a true bohemian girl and I'll be owning my own brick and mortar jewelry boutique in a beach town, teaching yoga, and bike riding on weekends with my husband and son.

How can we get your stuff?
You can get your bohemian baubles at http://www.braceyourselfboutique.com/ and sometimes freebie baubles on my blog at www.BraceYourselfBoutique.com/blog

Monday, September 28, 2009

Things I've learned

As I approach another landmark birthday in an few months- yeah, the one half way between 30 and 40, I've been talking with my friends a lot about how your personal style evolves and the things you learn over the years. Yeah, some my mom told me years ago, but I just didn't listen. Others I've just picked up.

All in all, I'm pretty low maintenance. I usually arrive at work with no makeup on. At about 8:30 I may put on some powder and lipstick. I love clothes but I'm not a slave to fashion. I like nice stuff but not really tied up over names. Malls exhaust me. But I do like looking nice, having my own style and having what I need to 'pull it all together' when needed. So here's the short list of things I've learned:

1. At some point, no matter how much you love it. No matter how good it made you feel 5 years ago. It's got to go.
2. Planning your wardrobe purchases seasonally makes shopping less stressful and makes it easier to discern between wants and needs; impulse buys and investment pieces.
4. A bra will make them look better, bigger, perkier or whatever else you are going for.
3. One woman's trash can be another one's treasure. Goodwill can be your BFF, you just gotta go frequently to get the good stuff.
4. Your dry cleaner and alteration shop are gift's from God.
5. Getting your eyebrows done is the best bang for a few bucks. (Still workin' on this one).
6. Closet: Edit Edit Edit.
7. Stalking is only appropriate when it comes to clothes. There is nothing like the thrill of the chase of watching an item until it goes on sale or clearance and then going in for the kill..
8. ..but sometime you've got to bite the bullet and pay full price.
9. It doesn't matter how cute the shoes are if they hurt your feet.
10. 30 is the new 20 and 40 is the new 30 but sometimes you got to dress your age. I'm not saying go old lady or nothing but c'mon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Gotta Have It- Handmade Ceramics-Shevon Gant

I signed up for a pottery class, once. It was a free class offered when I was a student at FAMU. The class was at Florida State. I went to the orientation. While I was smitten with the idea of making my own pottery, I guess I realized in order to make something that would even pass for pottery, it was going to take more time/patience/commitment/energy than I had . End of pottery career. But I am absolutely in love with hand-made ceramics and I love with artist Shevon Gant's gorgeous work. I am having having visions of having my friends over and serving organic herbal tea out of one of these gorgeous teapots. Her work is available here .

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

And now for some good old fashion self promotion....

I am just finishing up my new for 2010 desktop calendars..and I am tickled by how cute they turned out, if I do say so myself. So in honor of the 12 months, here are my top 12 reasons you should order one
1. You'll be inspired by quotes each month.
2. Made in the good old USA, Post-Consumer Recycled Paper.
3. Somehow, you'll be helping to fund Ayi's golf lessons and keep Malcolm in pull ups.
4. I love you.
5. I worked on really hard on 'em, really hard.
6. Great for Holiday Gifts, ship easily to long-distance friends.
7. You know you're gonna be looking for a calendar soon anyway.
8. Because I said so.
9. They are really a good deal.
10. Support Small Business
11. 12 months of original art.
12. Because you love me!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Urban Paper Girl - Asata Reid

It would be fair to say Asata and I go way back...back to the days when we were 20 somethings running around the set at Florida A and M University. I'll save the old college stories for another day and just say that..my girl can cook. I remember going to her apartment in college and her having a big pot on the stove. "Whatcha makin', "I asked. " She replied, "Homemade fish stock." I mean ... who makes homemade anything in college? My idea of homemade was poppin' open a bag of boil in bag rice..But I digress, without further adieu, my girl, Asata Reid.

Chef Asata is a culinary instructor, chef, journalist, mama and world traveler who teaches people how to make foods that fit their lifestyle with her Atlanta-based company Life Chef. Her focus is creating dishes that are healthful, fast, affordable and delicious.

How long have you been a chef? What was your journey like?
I've been a chef for a decade. I've always loved food and in my sophomore year in college I considered transferring to a culinary school, but I went ahead and graduated from Florida A&M University w/ my BA in Journalism. About two years later, I went to the International School of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute, Atlanta for my professional culinary training. Meanwhile I started up the traditional career ladder for chefs in those days working jobs from dishwasher to garde mange, saute, grill and eventually tournade and Sous Chef. I stopped there. I don't think i want to Exec Chef a restaurant until I'm ready to co-own one! LOL. During those years as a restaurant chef I also worked in catering, asa private chef and also was freelance writing.

Eventually I developed a journalistic "beat": food and wellness, and began speaking with a lot of doctors, patients, families of patients and non-traditional and traditional wellness workers. One common theme from all of them in maintaining and rebuilding good health was a healthy diet. And as a chef, I think I have a more intimate understanding of food that the lay person so writing about food in this way was interesting to me.

Still, the idea for Life Chef, wasn't born until one day I walked into a newly opened Walmart in my neighborhood and saw these endless lines of obese parents and obese kids and their shopping carts LADEN with pre-packaged convenience foods, sodas and frozen treats. THAT'S when it occured to me that you can tell people to eat 5-9 servings a day every day of their life, unless you SHOW them how to do it in a way that's cheap, easy, quick and delicious, they're not going to do it. No one has time to cook, much less LEARN something new and laborious. And THAT'S when Life Chef was born. I know how to make healthful, delicious, cheap and easy foods that focus on fresh produce and whole grains and minimize saturated fats and meat products. Life Chef is about making food that fits your lifestyle, because diets don't work, and no matter what your eating habits are like now, there's always room for improvement. If you food fits your lifestyle you're more likely to make healthy choices over the long haul, and lifestyle changes are how life-saving changes are made.

What inpires you?
Food itself inspires me. It's a very sensuous medium that addresses sight, smell, taste, texture. Food is never stagnant because it's a result of the seasons, the preparation, or even unpredictable elements like humidity or drought. Food is like art in that it's perceived differently by everyone: what the cook intends isnt' always what the diner experiences! LOL. But food is also a basic human need, along with shelter and love. It's a way for humans to come together for shared bonding experiences, breaking bread, calling for peace, or just asking "How was your day today?" The kitchen is the heart of the home, and the dining table is the common ground of the family regardless of how many generations are seated there. Whatever is going on in your life, to me, food can make it better, if only for few moments. I get asked about my "style" of cooking and it's really a blend of international inspiration of "soul food" all over the world, foods that mothers have been making for families for centuries, but with the application of information provided by modern scientific research into nutrition, and bit of social concsiousness about sourcing ingredients and supporting local economies by shopping locally. And I always remind people, "I'm from the south, so if it doesn't taste good, it ain't food. I don't care how good it is FOR you." LOL.
What is your vision for your business?
I would love for it to expand, but keep the same essence: teaching people no matter how you eat right now today, that you CAN make good, healthy, wholesome food fit your lifestyle. My goal is to put video short up on the web, land a regular television series that works in the kitchen AND out in the world where food is grown, prepared and purchased by regular folks like us. I see cook books as well, especially because the demand has really grown, and I'd love to keep doing demos and classes -- especially for children and adults concerned with The Big Four: hypertension, diabetes, cancer and obesity.

In ten years you will be:
Still cookin', honey. Til they light the fire under my pyre I'll still be cookin', and heck even then it'll be a barbeque!

Where we can catch you next?
Visit www.lifechef.net for a list of this month's classes, demos and appearances as well as the recipes from those classes. >

Friday, September 18, 2009

Etsy Love

Have you ever been looking for something and it was right under your nose? A few weeks ago I ran across the Etsy Artists of Colors website and was flabbergasted. I have been a fan of Etsy for some years now. If you aren't familiar, Etsy is the premier marketplace for indie artists and crafters to sell their work. I just relaunched my Etsy store for my KiaNicole brand in late July and have been looking for other artists to share and network with. Well, I found 'em. Be sure to look for the Etsy Artists of Colors notation that appears on member's shops. I'll be blogging about my favorites soon.

ps Checkout my Etsy shop at kianicole.etsy.com

Wisdom from the world of Hip Hop

"There is universal law, whether rich or poor
Some say life's a game, to more, life is war"
Don't Get Me

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Every Little Girl Wants to be A Princess..

..It's true. And we all want to see ourselves reflected in the characters we see on TV and in movies, in print and in the products we use daily. I know that there has been some controversy surrounding Disney's newest movie, The Princess and the Frog which debuts the company's first black princess. Controversy can sometimes be good, because it gives the public a voice to have conversations about what their needs and wants are, and hopefully influences and holds responsible companies like Disney. Until I see the movie I will hold off an opinion on the movie's content.

But I am super excited that Carol's Daugther has teamed up with Disney to release special edition products to coincide with the movie release. I'm glad Disney chose a quality African-American owned company like Carol's Daughter. I do think that the newest Disney princess is beautiful and I can't wait to see the movie and sample the products. What do you think?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Urban Paper Girl- Shelley Chapman

Shelley Chapman is an architect of life changing natural beauty creations, culinary artisan, creative genius and a global citizen destined to traverse our lovely planet and learn the secrets of the Universe for our ultimate nourishment, health and beauty.
Shelley is the founder and CEO of Naturi Beauty Concepts, LLC, which focuses on radiance from crown to core. She studied Psychology at Spelman College and Harvard University all the while tending to her palate by traveling and dining at unique eateries, collecting recipes, tips and culinary stories for her own delight and nourishment. She also noticed that there was a lack of natural hair products that delivered, so she embraced her shine and shared her sparkle with the world by creating her own hair care line in 2004. Her passion for "natural, green from scratch, quality ingredient meals and hair products" led her to consult on natural haircare, meal preparation, planning and holistic product use and consumption.

At the encouragement of friends, family and Naturi supporters, she officially incorporated in 2007 and launched Naturi Beauty Concepts.

Find her:
Check out her awesome site at: http://www.naturibeauty.com/

We're looking for movers, shakers, beauty mavens, fashionistas and entrepreneurial women to feature on our blog. If this sounds like you (or someone you know) shoot us an email to kia (at) kianicole.com with a picture, a link to your website or blog and a quick bio. We'd love to feature you here!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Urban Interiors

Here are a few interior shot of fab designer Lotta Jansdotter 's Brooklyn Pad. Lotta is a surface designer who creates very distinctive and uniquely beautiful products ranging from paper to fabric. I was thrilled last year when my friend Sune gave me some of her paper products for the holidays- I still have most of them-they are too pretty to use (thanks Sune!). Anyway, her design work is elegantly simple, contemporary and organic- so it is no big surprice that her home is as well!

As featured on Martha Stewart. Love the colors and her patterns.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Gotta Have It -Smug Design

Sterling Silver/Titanium Earrings and Necklace from Smug Designs

Monday, September 7, 2009

Artist - Jerod Gibson

I found these incredibly stunning works by Artist Jerod Gibson on the Society 6 website.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Suited for Fall

The last week here in Atlanta has been a bit...cool. Not pull-out-the-coat cool, but I definitely get the feeling that I need to ramp up my wardrobe and plan for an early fall. Plus, I did a massive closet overhaul this spring and let go of a lot of my oldies but goodies. So I'm in need of a bunch of basics. I work at a pretty casual office, but my plan for the fall is to invest in a few good day suits and separates.

Express, Vogue

My goal is to get a handful of really good separates that coordinate. I want to get a few Michelle O dresses and suit jackets, that have a good cut for everyday. My Polyvore board really helped me stay on track for Spring (I got just about everything I planned --and wasn't overwhelmed in when I sopped 'cause I knew what I was looking for), So I'm trying the same thing for fall. So this is the plan for fall basics. What do you think?

fall basics
fall basics by kianicole featuring Diane von Furstenberg dresses

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

But enough about me...

But enough about me…
I haven’t really taken a chance to say Hi! I’ve been a bit busy. So someone called out the fact that I haven’t done much in terms of a bio on this site. If you want to read my professional bio, go to www.KiaHowey.com. But here’s the bio for my friends …and you are my friend right?I thought so.

I’m a working entrepremom of two brilliantly fun, smart and loving boys –ages 8 and 2. I’m lucky enough to share my life with my wonderful husband of 9 years (sounds mushy, right?). I work full time as a website communications manager at Plaid Enterprises, a large craft manufacturing company. There are a lot of things about my job that I love including the fact work with wonderfully creative and fun people and love working in the online space. Plus, Plaid makes great products that I promise I will use more when I have time. LOL. I especially love working on social media and community web projects.

So I run two primarily online businesses, http://www.kianicole.com/ , which specializes in personalized gifts, invitations and home d├ęcor for kids of all colors. And of course http://www.urbanpaperloft.com/ which I started at the top of this year. So here’s a typical day. Wake up late (but still early for many). Hurry to get dresses; get to work where I may be planning website promotions or something like that. Go to lunch and plan world domination with one of my entreprefriends like Jonetta or Jasi, while running errands. Go back to work. Work. Leave work, pick up boys. Cook, do homework, baths, while planning my evening work. Bedtime and then I work on my business for 15 minutes to a few hours at night. On the weekends we explore Atlanta and rest.Glamorous, right?

I equally love design and the internet business part so basically that’s what I do in my spare time. I also like to read and am a big foodie. I cook a lot. As I am quickly approaching my mid 30s, other things are becoming more important like taking better care of myself and finding little ways to pamper myself.I love hip hop, urban culture, cities, Atlanta (most of the time), arts, fashion and design. I love meeting and learning about inspiring women and entrepreneurs. I love letting people know about the things that make my life more enjoyable, beautiful and fun. And that’s what this blog is about. Hope you enjoy and thanks for checkin’ in.
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