As much as I love fashion and partnering with different brands there really aren’t too many that actually make the base of their company all about giving back to the community or even partnering with charities all around the world. When I get the chance to work with a company that gives back, I jump at the opportunity. I’m excited to introduce you all to ESPEROS, a company that believes education is the key to overcoming the cycle of poverty and that it should be available to everyone. To help make this vision a reality, ESPEROS creates stylish, functional, and durable products. With every product sold, they will fund one year of education for children in the developing world.
Raise your hand if you are a fan of helping empower women in other countries? I want to introduce you to Raven + Lily; an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand created to alleviate poverty among women. Currently, they employ over 1,500 women at fair trade wages to give them access to a safe job, sustainable income, health care, and education. All of their products are made by hand and follow fair trade standards. As of 2016, Raven + Lily employs women in Ethiopia, India, Cambodia, Kenya, Guatemala, the USA, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Haiti. They were even named Best for the World in Community Impact and their clothing is pretty dang cute too!
Wedding season is upon us and that means diving right into everything wedding planning entails. Speaking from experience; it’s quite overwhelming, as I’m sure most of you know! There are so many details to be considered, including dressing your bridesmaids from head to toe! Sometimes, well actually, most of the time, that can be a daunting task! Realizing this frustration, I have partnered with Bailey Banks & Biddle and Honora to hopefully ease the stress when looking for classy jewelry for you and your bridesmaids.
Let me take a moment to introduce you to Being Apparel. An elevated athleisure brand based in Austin with all clothes being ethically sourced and produced. The capsule collection is comprised of interchangeable seamless active wear, draped jersey dresses, and soft tailoring pieces empower women to embrace a healthy, active, and fulfilled lifestyle. Inspired by traditional Asian dress codes, Being Apparel fills the gap between fitness-orientated athleisure wear and womenswear designed for business or social events. This collection simplifies the lives of busy modern women, like me, who still love the comfort and versatility of their yoga pants, but need to elevate their look throughout the day. Being Apprel believes in making every second count and doing it with poise and grace.
As you will see in the Kickstarter video, this collection is based on 3 layers to mix and match.
Layer 1 – Seamless Active Wear: Perfect for low impact activities including Yoga, Pilates, or Barre, our beautiful seamless garments offer maximum support and comfort. They are the foundation of Being Apparel’s three-layer signature style.
Layer 2 – Luxurious Drapes: Loose and slouchy, feminine, long-line or wrapped – draped jersey dresses and mid-layers let you dress up or dress down for any occasion.
Layer 3 – Chic Soft Tailoring: For chic and effortless style, elevate your look with a top-layer or over garment. Softly tailored pieces are multi-functional – smart enough to wear to a meeting, and modern and flexible enough to wear for cocktails.
I personally fell in love with this entire line when I first came in contact with it. Not only are the fabrics extremely soft and comfortable, but they aren’t heavy nor bulky. They drape perfectly and will definitely work well in the Texas summers and easily transition into Fall.
Being Apparel’s Kickstarter launched TODAY and they need your help! As an added incentive, people who support us now on Kickstarter will also receive early bird discounts of up to 30% on their garments!
Want to know more about this awesome brand? Click HERE for their Press Kit!
All photos by Katie Jameson
The moment Austinites have been waiting for! SXSW is finally here and has taken over the city one musician, fan, designer, techie and blogger at a time!
I have partnered with SkinnyPop to share with everyone my SXSW essentials for those long, event-filled days! If you haven’t heard of SkinnyPop you are definitely missing out! It’s by far my favorite snack at home or on the go. SkinnyPop Popcorn is a scrumptious ready-to-eat popcorn that is free of GMOs, artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, preservatives and all major allergens including peanuts, tree nuts, dairy and soy! I mean, how perfect could it get. Not only is it extremely healthy, I can eat an entire bag in one sitting… 🙂 Not the snack bags either… But those big ole’ bags! Anyone who has eaten this yummy popcorn can totally attest to my addiction!!
Anyway, I am getting off topic thinking about yummy popcorn!!
I have brought you all here to share my SXSW essentials; what I need to survive not coming home for an entire day!
First off; the most important thing for me is a SNACK! I can’t even begin to tell you the days I went without eating anything because restaurants are way too packed, too expensive or it’s just a hassle to get anywhere besides the events I am supposed to be at. This SXSW SkinnyPop has been my absolute best friend. I carry 6 snack bags with me and eat them throughout the day if I can’t make it to get a full meal. And even better?? There’s a SkinnyPop pedi-cab that is handing out free snack bags to any of their passengers! There’s nothing better than that! Actually, there is… SkinnyPop rides are FREE!!
Second, I HAVE to have a portable phone charger. Ventev is my go-to for portable charging devices and it has saved me the past 6 days and nights while I am out and about! I can’t worry about having to find an outlet with a long cord and then sit by my phone waiting for it to charge. That’s just not practical anymore. This is the tech age and everyone needs to stay connected; especially at SXSW!
Dressing cute and appropriately is the next most important essential. Since being enthralled in the fashion world I am definitely more conscious of what I am wearing when I am in meetings or speaking engagements. I have to still look put together but still be able to walk miles a day! Carrying a backpack or tote is my definite must-have. I can store a pair of flip flops after an event and then quickly change shoes and put my wedges or heels in my bag. I always suggest that people bring a light jacket if they are heading out early in the morning. Austin has some chilly mornings since we aren’t full fledge in the summer temps yet. But definitely have something to put your jacket in or tie it around your waist because you will be quite toasty in the afternoon Texas sun!
Next, I always suggest bringing some sort of water bottle. Stay hydrated, y’all! It gets hot out there and most places only want to serve you alcohol. No one needs a headache, or even worse a hangover!!
ALWAYS WEAR SUNSCREEN!!!
Lastly, I always have my camera with me. You never know when you’ll see something photo-worthy or need some outfit shots of yourself! 🙂
Flatly Outfit Details:
Walking Outfit Details:
Introducing jewelry designer Shaesby and his latest Isla Collection. Drawing inspiration from nature and travel, the Isla Collection is an exploration of oceanic textures, mixed metals and celestial patterns. Each piece of jewelry is hand cast and made to order in his Austin studio and can be customized by metal or stone (depending upon the design). Pricing then varies based on what you select.
We started off with melting pieces of silver, shown below. He used an incredibly hot blow torch to melt the bowl of silver and then poured it into a cast. (Did you know it has to be 1,763 degrees Fahrenheit to melt silver?) Multiple rings could then be produced off of this single ‘tree.’
Next, the cast was taken to a tub of water to cool. In a matter of seconds the metal was cooled and ready to be examined. As you can see, this cast produced 4 rings, one being the Isla ring I am wearing. Once the silver cools each piece of jewelry is then removed from the silver ‘tree’ and smoothed. From here, the finishing touches were put on my ring; diamonds!
We also experienced how each and every piece of jewelry produced is hammered and shaped, by hand. The attention to detail in each and every piece is simply amazing. You can see Travis working on an earring. He used several different types of hammers and tools to shape and create detail from a raw piece of silver.
Next, I was shown how a custom wedding ring/band is produced. First, the diamond is selected and a custom design is then made. The diamond is placed on a wax mold that will create the actual ring setting. Then, the band is shaped and sized with a wide array of tools to create a mold for the final product.
The jewelry making process was an unbelievable experience. Witnessing first hand how multiple pieces of jewelry are made, from start to finish, was a true treat. This has really allowed me to appreciate the craftsmanship of all handmade jewelry, especially my Isla ring. Each jeweler is trained to create a piece from start to finish so there is no lag time in the process.
Custom jewelry is one of Shaesby’s fortes. Ranging in style and price, they can create anything your heart can imagine. Even producing an engagement ring in under 24 hours for one man eager to make his girlfriend his bride on their upcoming vacation.
More About Shaesby:
Born and raised in Louisiana, Shaesby Scott attended Colorado State University where he pursued his passion for fine art. He began his career as a sculptor and furniture maker. While living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Shaesby soon discovered his calling for jewelry and in 2001 he decided to dedicate himself to the craft, launching his namesake brand. From a modest start, setting up shop in his garage to moving into his current studio, which now employs a small team of talented craftsmen, Shaesby has been on quite a journey; one that has been intertwined with his hometown of Austin, Texas, where he finds inspiration for the creative process.
Each piece of Shaesby jewelry is comprised of responsibly and ethically sourced materials and is created by hand utilizing old world techniques such as hand forging and lost wax casting. Shaesby believes it is the relationship between the maker and the wearer that give purpose to his process. Jewelry takes on new life, when worn. A selection of Shaesby is available in Austin at Eliza Page, Anna Gray or Neiman Marcus.
Find the full range of collections available for purchase at: