August 15, 2012

NALI!

Hey Dolls!!

If you guys follow me on Instagram, then you know that I had the opportunity to attend a local Fashion Show at the beginning of June.  My friend and What's More Important Than Fashion Fly Girl of The Moment Tre'Esa was a  model in the show so of course I went to support her.  Plus, its a Fashion related event and I couldn't miss that, right?
The fashion show was for up and coming Tampa designer Naomi McGregor and the launch of her chic ready-to-wear label "NALI"!  Inspired by the tropical island of Jamaica, NALI brings exquisite retro style with a vibrant Caribbean feel. The clean lines conform to the feminine silhouette of the every day Fashionista.  NALI is an acronym for "Not Another Like It" how HOT is that for the name of a Fashion Line?!?!
With me knowing that this was a Caribbean inspired line, I wanted to wear something colorful to tie in to the theme of the line.  I was highly complimented on this Paper Crane Peplum top I picked up from Marshall's back in March.  Isn't it so cute?  This was also the first time I wore my ChoklatTea ring which I LOVE!  

What I’m Wearing –   Shirt: Paper Crane (via Marshall's)/Jeans: The Limited/Shoes: Zara/Earrings: Target/Ring: ChoklatTea/Bracelets: Guess & Marc Ecko

I managed to snap some decent pictures from the show of Naomi's fabulous creations.  Sorry but, I'm not the best at shooting moving objects. But don't worry, I'll get better, LOL!  In the meantime, enjoy these photos that I snapped of Naomi's NALI Line Spring/Summer 2012 "Yvette" Collection.





I just love the colors and textures in this collection!!  Naomi did a fabulous job with this launch.  I've got a feeling the BEST is yet to come.  She has more upcoming collections in the near future.  For more of Naomi and NALI, be sure to check her Facebook page for details.  

When the show was over, I did get a chance to meet with Naomi and snap a few pictures.  She was such a sweetheart.  She told me about quite a few upcoming Fashion related events coming up in the Tampa Bay area.  I'm looking forward to attending them all! 


Love You for Following,


G


August 13, 2012

Chill Mode

Hey Dolls!!!!

Well, how old are these pictures???  Very old, I actually forgot about these.  I took these pictures earlier this year in March.  This is actually the day that I met Trice from High Heels and Good Meals in person for the first time.  I can't believe we didn't take any pictures together either.  

 

Trice was in town for a conference and we met up and went shopping at H&M since there isn't one where she lives, poor girl right?  I know how that feels, because I LOVE me some H&M and I used to drive to Orlando very frequently to go to theirs before Tampa FINALLY got one.  


Anyhoo, this outfit is nothing special.  I just threw on something easy because I knew I'd be in the mall doing a lot of walking and shopping so I wanted to be comfortable.  

What I’m Wearing –   Shirt:& Belt Target/Pants: Zara/Shoes: Converse/ Necklace, Bracelets & Earrings:  Forever 21/Hat: Burlington/Sunnies:  Steve Madden


I guess better late than never huh Dolls?  I think this may be my last set of what I consider "old" pictures.  Going forward, we'll keep it current.  Well, at least a little more recent, LOL!!!!

Love You for Following,

G

August 9, 2012

Bad Pile?

Hey Dolls!!!

Ever have "one of those days" or for my fellow bloggers "bad picture taking sessions" or outfits that just don't hold their weight on  camera like they do in person  Well, this post is dedicated to those kinds of situations.  I know I can't be the only one!!  I  battled back and forth on so many potential titles for this post.  Some of titles that didn't make the cut were:  The Rejects, Unsubstantial, Not Good Enough, Cut, and The Outtakes.  I finally settled on:  "Bad Pile" because that's where these pictures belong.  

They didn't start out that way, I wore these looks with the intention of them being solid Blog Post material, but something about them just wasn't good enough for their own individual posts.  Either, my hair wasn't right, I didn't take enough pictures, the pictures don't capture the outfit, or I may have been feeling P.H.A.T. (Pretty Hot and Tempting), LOL!!!  But that is strictly my opinion.  Sometimes, we are our worst critics.  Dolls, I want you guys weigh in on these pictures and tell me what you think of the looks.  Do they belong in the "Bad Pile"?  Or am I tripping?  

This first group pictures are from a post that was supposed to be called:  "Chocolate Wave"  Although, I like this look, this is before I had a decent camera and had to "over-edit" my pictures.  Notice the difference in color and brightness on these pictures?  I also, needed a hair cut so I wasn't feeling my hair that day either, LOL!  This is when I was just getting started with blogging.  I guess these pictures can get the "newbie" pass.  


What I’m Wearing – Blazer: Thrifted (also seen here)/Skirt: Zara/Tank: Banana Republic/Shoes: Aldo/ Necklace: Charlotte Russe/Earrings: BeBe/Belt:  Target

This picture is from a post that had a working title of:  "Color Me Pink".  When I decided not to use these pictures, I actually used this title for another post (here).  This was probably taken shortly after the "Chocolate Wave" post from above if you look at that outgrown haircut.  But, anyhoo this post didn't make the cut because the outfit just didn't translate on camera for me and the pictures didn't come out cute.  This was the best one of the bunch.  
What I’m Wearing – Tank: Marshall's/Shirt & Pants: The Limited/Neck Tie: Taken off an Express Shirt (also worn here)/Shoes: Zara/ Bracelet: Forever 21/Earrings: Street Vendor (FAMU Homecoming 2009)

In my opinion, this attempt was a FAIL by my standards.  This was from a post that was to be called "Trying to Winterize".  Where I took a piece I wear in the Summer and making appropriate for Winter, well a Florida Winter, LOL!!!  I do this all the time, but this one just didn't turn out right.  So I chose not to post it.  But I'll let you guys see now.
What I’m Wearing – Dress: Ross/Sunnies: Kenneth Cole/Zipper Earrings: H&M/Bracelet: Burlington Coat Factory/Necklace: Gifted/ Purse: Target/Feather Earrings: LA Lynn's Accessory Shoppe/ Jacket and Scarf: Target 

This post was to be called:  "Blue Jeans and Busch Gardens".  I had just got my cute little "BLUE" jeans and decided to wear them to our annual company Christmas outing at Busch Gardens.  The jeans felt fine, but this day I felt so P.H.A.T.  and the pictures did not turn out good in my opinion.  But these two were OK.  



What I’m Wearing – Jacket & Jeans: Marshall's/Shoes: Converse/Earrings:  Thrifted/ Necklace & Bracelet: Old Time Pottery

I actually LOVE this look!  I had been wanting to wear it for a while but we hardly got an opportunity to wear any "Winter Clothes" in Florida this past Winter (and I'm not complaining), but on this night I was rushing out of the house to an event that ended up starting late, UGH!!!!  I was upset when I got there because I could have spent more time taking pictures and perhaps they would have come out better.  I didn't have a name for this post because there weren't enough pictures to create one.  These are the only two I was able to take. 
What I’m Wearing – Jacket: Old Navy/Dress: Zara/Earrings & Necklace:  Charlotte Russe/Bracelets: Baker's/Tights:  Target/Boots:  Ann Taylor

Now this was a funny day when I was taking pictures.  It was WINDY as I don't know what outside!!!  So the working title for this post was: "Hats Off", it was TOTALLY fitting because I was literally chasing my hat on the ground because it kept blowing off my head.  It was craziness.  But this was another P.H.A.T. day for me too. So they didn't make the cut either.  


What I’m Wearing – Blazer: Thrifted/Jeans, Camisole & Necklace: Forever 21/Earrings:  Burlington Coat Factory/Bracelets: Baker's/Ring:  ABC Trading Co./Shoes:  Steve Madden/Sunnies:  Steve Madden/Hat:  Gifted

This day, I don't know what happened.  My look was cute in person, but I was rushing again.  This was another Marathon Day, too many events and not enough time.  So there a lot of hit or miss cute shots in this outfit.  I was actually going to name this post "Untitled", I just couldn't come up with anything better.  I guess that's why it ended up in the "Bad Pile".

What I’m Wearing – Shirt: Thrifted/Pants: Express/Necklaces & Ring:  Forever 21/Earrings: Baker's/Purse & Shoes:  Aldo/Belt:  Target

Well Dolls, there you have it.  Tell me what you think of these pictures that ended up in the "Bad Pile".  Fellow Bloggers, if you have some similar experiences, please share.  

Love You for Following,
G

August 6, 2012

ChoklatTea

Hey Dolls!!!!

You know I'm all about spreading the LOVE on this blog.  I want to introduce you guys to Miss Natalie Jones, the Fabulous Woman behind ChocklatTea.  The first time I met Natalie was actually at one of her brother's event's here locally in Tampa.  Upon entering the event, she already knew who I was and she was very nice and friendly.  We also, attend the same church where Natalie's dad is the Pastor.  To add to that, Natalie is also FAMU Alumni like myself!  Its so crazy how many FAMUANS I have met post college here in Tampa.  While in college, Natalie was a member of one of  FAMU's Premier Modeling Troupes - Epicurean.  I remember seeing her strut her stuff in the Fashion Shows, but had no idea until recently that she was the girl I used to see on stage in the shows.  CRAZY! 
Well enough with my rambling, I want you Dolls to get to know Natalie, what she's about, and what she has to offer through her lovely jewelry line ChoklatTea.  I'm sure that you will gain some enjoyment as well as inspiration from this Interview with Natalie.  

Who is Natalie Jones?     Wow, this is a tall question, LOL! Natalie Jones is a genuine, loving, talented, educated uber creative being. I have been involved in everything from sports, theatre, & modeling to dance, leadership & design. I take risks, love hard, accept challenges & live a unique life. I’m a singer, songwriter, designer, stylist, model, sister, godmother, aunt, daughter, friend, natural hair rocking fashion induced supreme music aficionado! I see in colors, patterns, melodies & textures...everyone and everything has their own unique mix.

So, when did you fall in LOVE with accessories? Great question. My love for accessories evolved with my growth. I was a girly girl as a child then morphed into a tomboy through sports and now I’m just well rounded.  One day I’ll be all dolled up and the next relaxing in my sneaks. So I’ve rocked accessories accordingly...from my MASSIVE charm necklace as a young girl to sports inspired baubles during my track years to now all things different, colorful & one of a kind. I’m a statement piece type of woman.


Seeing as though you’re an accessory LOVER, what are your Top 5 FAVORITE pieces in your personal collection? Only 5? LOL...let’s see. In no particular order...1) Even though I no longer have it, my old school charm necklace b/c I believe that collection started all this accessory madness in my life! 2) Blue Agate MultiStone Neckplate. Its from my line and the first one I made. I was very proud of the outcome so it has become a staple for me. 3) Camel Colored Agate Ring, also from my line. Topaz is my birthstone but I never found a standout piece I liked to represent my birthstone ring so I made one. This is the ring I normally wear daily. 4) Vintage Collection...there are multiple pieces involved here. I got this bright idea to go to all the senior members of my church one day and ask if they had any vintage pieces I could have. I figured “you have not because you ask not,” so I asked and received. I really love them...very grateful for the artistry and history of these beauties. I will definitely pass these on to my daughter(s) some day...as soon as I have them. :-) 5) Vintage Clutch...its an oversized clutch I got from my Mom but I believe she got it from my Grandma. Its this buttery caramel leather with red and green accents. Everytime I carry it someone tries to steal it. For the record that will NEVER happen! 

Tell me about your Etsy Shop ChoklatTea.  What made you decide to launch it? My shop is filled with rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, cuff links and more. I am driven by color so that comes out in my work. I also have some designs for men but they sell out so quickly so I’m currently working on some more male additions. There is actually a story behind my Etsy launch. An artist named Liv Warfield, who is amazing was on Twitter one night looking for suggestions on designers to get into. I had some designs made but, at the time, no visual presence anywhere so I gave her a few names of others but I also included mine. I then rushed over to Etsy and created an account after she inquired if I had a website. My response to her was www.ChoklatTea.etsy.com. That started it. I ran the shop from my Blackberry at first. That was hilarious. I always wanted a website but having gone back to school full time, it was not in the budget at the moment. So, Etsy provided me the opportunity to not only create a visual presence for my brand but to do it in an economical way.

How would you describe your brand?  How did you create it and what does it mean to you? ChoklatTea represents all things creative...if I think it I will find a way to incorporate it into my line. Its classy yet edgy with just the right mount of funk and color. I consider all of my work statement pieces  however every piece is not this massive structure of adornment. Most people hear the word statement and immediately think GINORMOUS but you can wear a petite piece while still making a statement. It can be a statement of color, a statement of obscure shape or texture. I like my jewelry to invoke conversation. I design it in love so that it brings happiness/joy to the wearer. I am inspired by everyone and everything around me. It starts with a visually mental idea and I sit and just zone out and create. I normally keep all my prototypes and then build off of them for my clients. I am a walking billboard, people see it on me and inquire thereafter. My brand means everything to me, its who I am. ChoklatTea is the creative being within me manifested to visual/physical interpretation.

Tell us about your current collection? Currently, my collection is infused with rope, cord & neon. I got inspired after recreating a DIY project. Unfortunately, a friend bought my prototype so I have to make another for myself but the neon detail sent my mind on a journey. The Rope Collection is the result of that. These are up-cycled creations, with use of rope, construction line cord and silk thread. 
The end product has a nautical/tribal/elegance vibe to it. It’s perfect for summer but capable of holding its on once fall and winter come around. The best part...it’s light weight which is ideal for these hotter months. No one likes an accessory that weighs you down. Oh no!


Are the creations your own personal design? Yes, I design everything. The DIY project that inspired the Rope Collection was not mine. However, I loved the fact that once you got the hang of the original piece you could structure it your own way so it was no longer a copy.

Who is Choklat Tea’s audience? My audience is anyone who loves unique, one of a kind designs. Its that woman or man that desires to make a statement, whether large or small. Its a line that speaks to the personal style of the individual so my clients tend to be those who hold their own fashionably. My audience ranges from strict conservatives to the insanely open-minded out of the box individual. There is no age restriction either.





What is uniquely different about ChoklatTea compared to other accessory lines? No two pieces are alike. Even if it seems similar no two pieces will be the same. I take time to properly craft every piece so the wearability is tried and true. I hate when I buy a new piece then wear it a few times and it starts falling apart or losing that spark that prompted me to initially purchase it. So I work hard to ensure my clientele is happy with their selection. Customization is big with ChoklatTea. I would say 60% of my orders never make it to the Etsy shop b/c they are customized from, color, size, fit, style, etc. I know of some amazing accessory lines out there and I support them. ChoklatTea is unique because Natalie Jones is. What is within me comes out through my line and I know and believe that no one can do what I do the way in which I do it & that alone is a standout characteristic.

What are the price ranges for your pieces? $10 - $150, currently on Etsy. Customized pieces: $20 & up, depends on the piece.

How do you plan to expand ChoklatTea’s product offering? I work a lot with agate and other stones. Going forth I plan to incorporate wood, sand, paint, chain and more! I plan to expand the men’s line with more offerings as well as eventually incorporating elaborate metalwork, and whatever else is birthed through me. 

Where do you get inspiration for your pieces? Music, landscape, fashion, relationships, various textures...pretty much any and everything around me. Sometimes it comes in such random forms, and other times more precise.

Where can we find you?
Boutique Location/Address: Moods Music 1131 Euclid Ave, Atlanta, GA
                                Bombay Gal Butik 674 A N Highlands Ave  Atlanta, GA
                                Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/myChoklatTea
                                Twitter: www.twitter.com/ChoklatTea
                                Website: www.ChoklatTea.etsy.com


As you know, What’s More Important Than Fashion is all about being Fashionable and Financially Aware.  Tell me how does Natalie Jones and ChoklatTea embody that motto.  I used to be an impulse shopper. If I liked it I bought it, if the shoe fit I would buy it in two colors, etc. Once I started designing, my eye for the impulse changed and I started making my own. Now I shop more economically. If I LOVE it I buy it, if I like it I leave and if its still there when I come back then I weigh my options and either take it or leave it. I’m not a big “trendy” shopper b/c trends fade so instead I shop my personal style which has provided me with some timeless staples. Trendy pieces for me tend to be an accessory or two, or I will just save money and recreate it for myselfFor example, I am tall, so I make my own maxi dresses b/c those in-store are too short for me & I refuse to pay more $$$ for my height to be accommodated. With ChoklatTea, I keep the client in mind making sure not to price-gorge. I believe you can be uberly fashionable without having to take out a loan or refinance your life in order to do it.

Please list any upcoming events, sales, etc. for Choklat Tea. Follow @ChoklatTea on Twitter and Like ChoklatTea on Facebook to stay up on the latest. I will be having a sale very soon...within the next month. Frequent the Etsy shop as the Rope Collection will be arriving within a few days. I will be doing a trunk show in Tampa this Fall. There is so much more on the horizon, so just stay tuned...


Wasn't that a fabulous and inspiring interview!  Being a Blogger, I come across so many DIY and Entrepreneurial Divas doing their thing.  Natalie is definitely making her mark with ChoklatTea!  She makes it seem so easy, right?  Be sure to click the links above for more ChoklatTea!  I'm in LOVE with her line and I am so happy to see a line that includes items for both men and women and she even provide custom pieces!  Dolls, make sure you show Natalie and ChoklatTea some LOVE.

Love You for Following,
G