Monday, June 30, 2014

Good Measure: The Secret to Jack White's Sexy

Full disclosure, I love Jack White. Pretty much everything about him. Musically he blows my mind and everything else he has going on I'm more than comfortable with. So yeah, I think he's sexy. There is something about him though that I'm not so sure he is given full credit where credit is due. The good news is the secret behind his sexy is not his rock star status, although it doesn't hurt, but something that we can all tap into when it comes to looking our best. When it comes to finding the perfect fit, Jack nails it every single time.

Jack White knows good tailoring and this is showcased by the wide variety of different wardrobe choices he makes. Sure his color palette is minimal, totally smart by the way, but the texture, design and prints are always bold choices and fit perfectly. From t-shirts to suits, coats, and skinny jeans there is rarely an outfit that is too tight or too loose. He always looks good and given his often complex pattern choices, this can be difficult for someone of a more average frame. He's not your typical too skinny rock star. He's got a bod just like the rest of us and one that he needs to be able to move around on stage. If you happen to catch a Jack White appearance on stage or TV, here are a few points of fit to look for and ones that you can emulate when shopping for yourself. 
  1. Find a tailor. It doesn't matter if it is the one on staff at Nordstrom, at your local dry cleaner or an uber fancy one that requires a secret handshake. Find one you like that can work on reasonable notice and can get to know your measurements.
  2. Stay true to your style. Jack has a definite style. He does not wear loose fitting clothing, his suits are slim cut and his t-shirts are always the perfect combo of fitted but not too tight. Whatever your jam when it comes to fit, be consistent. If you like a longer arm on your suit jacket then stick with that. A certain type of cuff, be loyal. I'm not discouraging you from trying new things, but if you want to venture out into texture and pattern like Jack does, keeping the silhouette simple and consistent is key. 
  3. Double check the shoulders. Shoulders need to be perfect. There I said it. Whether we are talking about a suit jacket, leather, or a dress shirt, make sure the shoulders fit you right. This can be a dead giveaway and really make an otherwise pulled together look appear disheveled. If you need a bigger size for the shoulders to fit, get the rest taken in. A smaller size, have the sides taken out. A tailor will know what to do. 
  4. Do not be afraid to tailor knits. That's t's, sweats and sweaters, people. If you like a longer t-shirt, great, I do too, buy a bigger size and have it taken in. The same goes for sweaters and sweatshirts.
  5. You are beautiful just the way you are. Really, it's true and unless you fit a very narrow margin of who a garment is actually sewn for, things are not going to fit properly. Don't take it as a personal failure. It's not. Not even close. This is why having a tailor you trust is so important. Wear what makes you comfortable, just like Jack does. If something doesn't fit quite right, it doesn't necessarily mean it is not for your body type, it might just not fit you properly yet. 

Got questions? Leave them in the comments below, and of course share your photos with #goodmeasure



Friday, June 27, 2014

Alt Summit Recap Part 4: Building Your Business on Instagram Cheat Sheet

Photo by Sarah Deragon
One of the highlights of Alt Summit for me this summer was teaching an Instagram Design Camp class with my gal pal and tag team teacher Sarah Deragon from Portraits to the People. If you have taken one of our classes before then you know we LOVE to teach together! We had such a great time meeting all of you and dropping some serious science all over your Instagram game. With over 200 million monthly users and some incredibly creative ways to promote and monetize your brand, Instagram is here to stay. If you haven't tried it out yet, or feel like you don't have the camera skills to help your brand soar, we want to encourage you to give it a go and see what it can do for your brand. If you missed the class or were busy furiously taking notes, some of our top 5 Instagram tips are below. Got questions? Want us to bring our class to your office or community? Comment below and we will elevate your Instagram game in no time!

A big thanks to Alt Summit for such a great time! And a special thanks to Nate Mahoney of Moving Image Design for helping our presentation come to life. 



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Alt Summit Recap Part 3: Martha Stewart is a Beech

Photo by Lisa Anderson Shaffer
I wish I could say that when I learned Martha Stewart was speaking at Alt Summit this summer I had an amazing moment of excitement and reflection but alas, no. To be honest I found out in the middle of juggling a busy day at work, a vomiting dog and a screaming 3 and a half year old. Such is the endless glamor of my life. I barely had time to think about it other than, holy crap, I'm speaking at the same conference as Martha freaking Stewart, I wonder what her hair smells like.

As the conference neared I began to get pretty excited. Martha has been an icon of mine for a long time now. She is an incredible business woman and in her own way made creativity something to build a serious business around. I think those of us taking part in the maker and small scale manufacturing movement should indeed give a nod to the woman who 84 published books later, started an empire from a secret kitchen in her basement.

In preparation for Martha Day, the best I could muster was to order a set of Tattly temporary tattoos for myself and gal pal Sarah Deragon so we could show our Martha pride. When I went as so far to think about a question I might ask her, I couldn't even narrow it down. I wanted to hear it all. Every little thing.

Photo by Justin Hackworth
Let me say first that Martha doesn't disappoint. She is seasoned in every way and clearly has some serious media training. While answering Gabbie's questions she panned the audience and it was like she was having a private conversation with each and every one of us there. Martha exudes a confidence and self assurance that I imagine can only come with age. It is not a brash or arrogant confidence, but a very comfortable and warm one. She is who she is and is totally unapologetic for her successes, failures, beauty, and humor. It is both relaxing, reassuring, and contagious. I will call upon that feeling in moments when I feel other than myself.

I took some notes and compiled them below as best I could. They are the funny, inspiring, and mind melting bits and pieces that I took away from the experience. I think Martha's essence, and the experience for all of us that day was captured brilliantly by photographer Justin Hackworth. These images give me chills and I decided to include the more private images of the day with my quotes below.

Photo by Justin Hackworth
"I was the beech tree, not the bitch tree. That's the beech tree."

"Media leads and merchandising follows."

"Careers evolve, leave room for that."

"Everyday is a kind of turning point."

Photo by Justin Hackworth

"I have zero privacy, I've learned to love it."

"Entrepreneurs work 7 days a week."

"Rely on your mothers, we are not so stupid!"

"I don't like going to cocktail parties."

Thanks Martha



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Alt Summit Recap Part 2: With Gratitude

Photos by Sarah Deragon
The first time I attended Alt in January of 2013 I didn't know what to expect. I had been blogging for a few years as a contributor but hadn't really connected with the blogging community outside of people I met as part designing for ZR. I knew some local bloggers, knew they worked really hard, but I had no idea the business savvy, creativity, and all around ass kicking that we bloggers do daily. I quickly learned that this is a serious business and as a community we want all of us to tell our stories and be super successful doing so.

I am a Mom. A Wife. A Fine Artist. A Fashion Designer. A Psychotherapist. A Stylist. A Photographer and a lot of fun. Being a part of this world of creative, brilliant, and very brave women, is really the only place that I have felt I can be all of these things equally. We can be as many things as we want. They can change or stay the same. Being at Alt instills this feeling in me each and every time. It is a POWERFUL thing to be surrounded by women who are smart, strong, brave, and beautiful. All of that is being a woman.

I feel so fortunate to have met so many incredible women this time around along with seeing a few old friends. To all of you who said hello, reached out, and took a chance, I want to say thank you. I really do have love in my heart for you.

From Tuesday - Thursday, here are the deets!


Photos by Justin Hackworth
The week started with a bang thanks to Tiny Prints!  Maria and Julie can throw one hell of a party, not to mention Audrey of French Knot Studios, who provided some serious styling! I learned a thing or two from you lady! Thanks so much to Tiny Prints for the beautiful food and goody bag filled to the brim with inspiration. Getting to meet Maria and Julie from Tiny Prints was so lovely. Tiny Prints has been a part of our lives since my daughter's baby shower nearly 4 years ago, when we ordered the sweetest little invitations from them. Dinner with Tiny Prints was the perfect way to start the conference.


Photos by Sarah Deragon and Justin Hackworth
Okay Wednesday was kind of a big deal. Not only were there incredible classes and speakers, but Sarah and I were on that afternoon with our Instagram Design Camp.  First up Tuesday was Keynote speaker Joy Cho of Oh Joy! Joy is an incredibly accomplished designer and has just launched a very successful party and entertaining line with Target. Her sense of style is iconic and her resume is about as impressive as it gets. What stood out to me about Joy's speech was her love of learning and trying new things. She never seems to let anything get in her way. She approached many if not all of the companies she started working for in the beginning and reached out to people she admired when she wanted to learn a new skill. Joy really hit it home for me when she said that work/life balance is not a balance, but a "juggle." Finally!  Thanks Joy, I'm throwing balance right out the window. Juggling is a lot more like it. Thanks to Sherwin Williams for bringing us a little Wednesday morning Joy!

Next up was Brands and Bloggers Working Together. This was a great panel and I especially loved listening to the dynamic Trisha Antonsen of Wayfair. We had met just the night before and oh my gosh is she funny! The big take away for me from this class was to embrace your job as an art director. Be clear about expectations for an advertising campaign and just friggin own it.

After lunch I headed over to MBA's Turned Bloggers & The Business of Blogging. Reachel Bagley of Cardigan Empire who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Tiny Prints dinner, gave a business school based presentation on your target market and finding your niche. Reachel started the class off with talking about how our brands get broken into tiny shards and our job is to remain recognizable even when someone picks up a tiny piece of glass from the bottle of our brand. Genius! I really enjoyed this class and picked up a ton of tips like, what you do not say about your brand is just as important as what you choose to say. Whoa. That one is still sinking in!

Design Camp: Sarah and I had a blast presenting our How to Build Your Business on Instagram Design Camp. We were totally blown away by the warm reception and loved the questions and comments from our students. We LOVE teaching and getting to do it together at Alt was a dream come true. More to come in a special post all about our class on Friday...

Wednesday night's city themed part was like Alt reached inside my head and guessed that at every moment I am thinking about break dancing! That's right folks, Wednesday night was filled with not only break dancing, but a little thing I like to call old school jams. Montell Jordan, check! That's all you need to know!


Photos by Sarah Deragon
Thursday morning I attended Essential Techniques for Making a Video with Jesse & Kimberly Moore. Admittingly I know nothing when it comes to video. I have never shot one, but I am on board with the idea that it is the next big thing and essential to having a powerful brand. I walked away with enough basic tips to feel like I could give it a go behind the camera. My favorite tip, which I am totally using for photo styling by the way, is to use foam core as a clean wall backdrop for video background. So smart! Also this class made me really want to get a slider.

Next up was Pitching and Partnering with Brands with Meg and Maddie of A Practical Wedding. I love these ladies and their presentation did not disappoint. This class was all about crunching the numbers of sponsored posts and I loved that Meg and Maddie brought the facts. Sometimes it is really helpful to see the numbers and stop wondering if you are ready to pitch to big brands. I appreciated that Meg and Maddie emphasized that it's all about quality of the engagement and not the quantity.

Okay, it's Martha time. More on this Wednesday, but for now, just know it was magic. She is a bad ass boss lady for sure. Hearing her speak was a big life event for me for sure. She's smart, quick, and funny as hell. Thanks to Bing for bringing Martha to us!

Pinterest Time! This class was my favorite and I can't stop talking about it. Alex Evjen of Ave Styles and Rachel Faucett of Handmade Charlotte dropped some serious science all over my Pinterest game. There was so much that I didn't know and a lot that I was doing wrong. I LOVE having room for improvement and after a nice post class conversation with Alex, I'm super hopeful about expanding my Pinterest influence. Look for big changes people! My favorite takeaway? People pin to PLAN + DREAM. So important to remember in every aspect of becoming a pinning expert. Also, being a pinfluencer is like being a visual DJ. Yes to that!

Thursday Night Garden Party:

Photos by Sarah Deragon
The weather was perfect. The food delicious and the company spectacular. When Alt throws a party they do it right! It was a stellar ending to a perfect week. I am so grateful to Sara and Gabrielle for such a fantastic conference. I definitely have some serious post Alt glow and I am hoping it lasts until the next one!

What were your favorite moments?



Monday, June 23, 2014

Alt Summit Summer 2014 Recap Part 1

Photo by Sarah Deragon
Thinking I was going to recap my Alt experience in a single post was kind of crazy. I had such an incredible experience that it was difficult to even decide how to break it up! Presenting at Alt was a dream come true, not to mention hearing Martha Stewart and Joy Cho speak, along with all the memorable presenters. I definitely had my favorites, and never fear, that entire post about Martha is coming, but in the meantime I thought I would start at the very beginning with answering the question so many of you asked when I announced that I was going..."What are you wearing?"

You know I jump at any chance to style the hell out of a photograph, so showing you what I wore, along with the items I collected each day was a lot of fun. I never sweat what to wear for big events because even if I cannot find the right thing in my closet, I have spent time learning what stores and designers fit me best. You will find the usual suspects in this post, Anthropologie, J.Crew, Madewell, and Nordstrom for shoes. I included the info under each photo, but please comment below or find me online with your questions. For scale, I'm 5'10" and the dresses range in size from a 4 to an 8 (the off size being the red + black Cynthia Rowley from Anthropologie). My feet are let's just say, really, really big.

As a special treat for any Alt attendees who came to my Build Your Business on Instagram Design Camp Class, if you guess the process and tools I used to create these shots, you win a piece of ZR jewelry! Give your best guess below in the comments. Good luck!

Day 1 + Night 2 

Photo by Brooke Dennis
Shirt: Madewell | Shoes: Hasbeens | Hat: Gift from Daytona Beach | Bag: JCrew | Cards: Tiny Prints | Sherwin Williams | Amber Housley
 This is Women's Work
Day 2 + Presentation

Photo by Justin Hackworth
Dress: Cynthia Rowley for Anthropologie | Bag: JCrew | Ipad Case: Tiny Prints | Shoes: Nordstrom | Lisa Necklace: Straight outta Long Island | Cards: Alex Evjen | Charming Details | Julia Fain | Bing | Thrift Me Pretty | Red Stamp | Dear Miss Modern

Day 3 + Martha!

Photo of me and the luminous Emily McDowell by Sarah Deragon
Dress: Tracy Reese for Anthropologie | Bag: JCrew | Necklace: Straight outta Long Island | Shoes: Seychelles | Kona Cotton from Pin cushion | Reusable tote from The Honest Company Cards: Stationary Academy | Noteworthy Paper and Press | Studio Calico | Wayfair | Bing | Rad Mom Cool Kid

Night 3 Garden Party

Photo by Sarah Deragon

Dress: Anthropologie | Shoes: Seychelles | Belt: JCrew | Bag: JCrew | Necklace: Straight outta Long Island | Face + Body Lotion The Honest Company | Martha Stewart Living Magazine | Moulin Roty Doll | The Honest Company hair elastics | Cards: Courtney Khail | Handmade Charlotte | Cardigan Empire | Cyndie Spiegel