blogger

12 WAYS TO SLAY ALL OF 2019 (FEAT. FELLOW STYLE BLOGGER LYNN SHAZEEN OF STYLE ME SHAZ)

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE & LYNN SHAZEEN

The new year is finally here and me and my fellow blogger bae, Lynn Shazeen have created a list of 12 style tips to help our readers slay 24/7, 365. What’s better? They’re all super simple and easy to apply! If you listen to my podcast, you’ve probably heard of Shaz. But if you didn’t already know, Lynn Shazeen of Style Me Shaz is a stylista, blogger, and content creator, who curates looks and advice for “luxe baddies on a budget”. She combines her eye for great pieces with her talents for hunting down affordable places to shop to bring her audience bomb digital content that they can apply to their own personal style. Check out the tips we came up with for 2019.

SEE WHAT SHAZ SAYS…

IMG_0486.JPG

Wanna see what advice Shaz is giving style lovers for the New Year? Head on over to stylemeshaz.com for the first 6 tips… See mine below.

 

7. INVEST IN LONG, LAYERING PIECES

IMG_8644 2.jpg

Long outerwear is definitely my secret weapon. It allows me to get away with shorter, skimpier pieces while still keeping warm and still having a chic look, appropriate for any occasion. This year, especially, while it’s still Winter, invest in long kimonos and duster coats. It will automatically widen your wardrobe options because you'll be able to layer them over your sleeveless tops, shorts, and mini skirts during any season.

Shop My Look: I am wearing a snakeskin print top and maxi faux fur coat from Boohoo, faux suede mini skirt from Missguidedblack thigh high boots from Miss LolaHouse of Rehab quilted crossbody bag, and earrings that I bought from who knows where forever ago.

8. STEP UP YOUR LBD GAME

tumblr_o5go3kmxB01u1gq49o1_500.gif

Not saying that yours has to be as poppin' as RiRi's but every girl should have a little black dress that makes her feel like the baddest thing walkin'. This year, step outside of the popular spandex dress trend and opt for a black dress that has more detail to it. Whether it be a corset shape, lace or fringe detail, or flirty ruffles, explore different silhouettes to make your "classic" black dress stand out. Also, adding on belts with gold accents and eye-catching designs can instantly make your look appear a lot more expensive. Here are a few LBD picks that I’m eyeing right about now: black vegan leather zip front dress, viktoria black matte sequin dress, vegan leather shrug your shoulders mini dress, fawn black feather skirt bodycon dress.

9. SPICE UP YOUR SWEATS & DENIM

around the way girl look - fashmates.jpg

Casual doesn't have to equal boring. No days off can still apply to an everyday slay. During those days where you only feel like throwing on your fave sweatshirt, hoodie, joggers, or plain jeans, you can instantly elevate the look with statement earrings and a BOMB printed handbag. Pro tip: Nareashawillis.com and Houseofrehab.com sell some BOMB statement sweats.  

Shop the look: hoodiejeansbootsbagearrings.



10. DO AN ACCESSORIES HAUL

Model Amanda Nell, #styledbysharra. Photo by  Travis Curry .

Model Amanda Nell, #styledbysharra. Photo by Travis Curry.

Sometimes we don’t realize just how important the finishing touches are… Planning (or not planning) even the smallest details can really make or break an outfit. Instead of waiting til the very last minute to throw on accessories from home to complete your look, try doing a shopping trip beforehand that focuses only on the details: earrings, bags, hats, bangles, watches, rings, etc. You’d be surprised how much stocking up on the extras can shift your style.

Though you want to make sure that you buy pieces that speak to your style, when shopping, reach outside your comfort zone and explore a few different jewelry shapes, bag colors, and textures, and styles that you normally don’t gravitate to. It’ll add in an element of surprise when you get dressed. A couple of my current fave places to grab bold accessories are houseofrehab.com & olayemii.com.


11. FIND YOUR “RIDE OR DIE” PAIR OF HEELS

IMG_2700.JPG

 Your "ride or die" heels are the heels that will be there for you through everything! They go with just about any look in your closet, you can dress them up or down, and most importantly, you can wear them for a long time without your feet hurting! My black thigh high boots (above) are my go to. They've been with me when I worked at a boutique and had to be on my feet for hours at a time, on movie and dinner dates, and even handling business in NYC.

      To find YOUR ride or die heels, it's important to know your heel tolerance (how long you can wear them without wanting to pull em off your feet), what heel shape fits your foot shape best (for my deep arch sis, you probably can do stilettos like me, if you have more of a flat foot, you can try platforms with a chunkier heel), and also what type of fits you wear most of the time (that way, you know whether to do an open toe, thigh high boot, ankle boot, etc. Here are a few of my current fave places to shop heels: Miss Lola, Jessica Rich, Steve Madden.

12. SHOP FOR YOUR SUMMER WARDROBE, NOW.

tumblr_osl8u8rz6Y1tovmb9o1_500.gif

Even though it's January, It's never too early to get a head start on your summer wardrobe. The smartest way to shop is to buy summer clothes in the Winter, and vice versa. Instead of just keeping an eye out for cute summer pieces, start creating full looks from all of the summer pieces that are on clearance right now!

Which tips will you be applying this year? Comment below! Stay tuned. New content coming very soon to the blog! Happy New Year, loves!

Sharra,

“The definition of walking art.”

SHE LEFT THE CORPORATE LIFE FOR HER LIFE'S CALLING: MY INTERVIEW WITH EDITORIAL STYLIST + BLOGGER KRYSTAL J. BENSON OF #INSPIREDBYKRYS

SHARED BY SHARRA GREENE

IMG_6409.jpg

Back in May, I met stylist Krystal Benson while attending a fashion networking event. Pretty, poised, and dressed to kill, Krystal delivered major keys concerning business, networking, and the power of spirituality, while serving on the panel. I had to catch up with her during the intermission. I instantly vibed with her... It could be a stylist thing, or maybe a Leo thing, or both. Needless to say, I had to bring her wisdom and knowledge to The Walking Art Blog! Check out my Q&A session with her as Krystal weighs in on how she stays motivated, how she deals with different demands and personas in the industry, what trend she's had enough of, and more!

So, what has inspired your career as an editorial stylist + content creator and what motivates you during the not so sexy parts of styling? 

     I've always loved to create and be creative. From doing DIY projects at home to making my own clothes, being creative is one of my favorite pastimes. Since I was a child, I would play store and draw sketches of clothes and sell them to my family members. As I've grown, my love for fashion has also evolved. At first, I wanted to be a personal stylist or a stylist to the stars, but I soon realized that my joy came from digging deeper. 

When it comes to fashion, I love telling a story with clothes, which is why I chose to go the editorial route. After 3+ years in Corporate America, I decided to quit my 9-5 and follow my dreams of being a freelance wardrobe stylist in New York City.  This avenue allows me to have fun and create a story that can spark a conversation. 

     When it comes to styling or content creating, what motivates me to keep going is the finished product. I know that nothing worth having is going to be easy. But the end result is always great when you push through! 

Krystal Benson 3.jpg
"The Girl Next Door" styled by    Krystal J. Benson   . Photo by    Dominique Guillaume   .

"The Girl Next Door" styled by Krystal J. Benson. Photo by Dominique Guillaume.

So you’ve just recently wrapped a major campaign with Nike + Amazon.. what was your experience like with this campaign? Were there any challenges along the way and if so, how did you push through to deliver? 

Yes!!! The Nike + Amazon campaign was my biggest job to date. I was the main assistant for the head stylist on the job which meant I was with him for the duration of the entire project. I knew all of the ends and outs and did a lot of the leg work. One of my biggest challenges was dealing with his type A personality. He was very demanding and overthinking throughout the entire campaign. The way that I pushed through was by praying each morning before I walked on set and staying organized! Organization is key!!  

You’re currently working with Brooks Brothers on some online content.. is working with this brand teaching you anything new about the styling / fashion industry? 

     Yes, I'm definitely learning a lot about the e - commerce side and what all it takes to get content put up on the site. Some may think that you just take a picture and post it, but there is a science to all of the webpages that you do your online shopping on. You'd be surprised, all the work that goes into it. Aside from that, when we shoot mens clothing, I'm learning a lot about mens tailoring and the different terminology for the essential garments that make up a man's wardrobe. 

"Like a Boy", styled by    Krystal J. Benson   . Photo by    Pierre Walker   .

"Like a Boy", styled by Krystal J. Benson. Photo by Pierre Walker.

I personally think that styling as a skill / profession that is really slept on or underrated.. have you experienced people sleeping on your skills personally and if so, what do you do when in this situation?

     To be honest, no. Thankfully, my friends and family have all been supportive of my career choices thus far.. and on the days when I find myself questioning my abilities, I'm reminding by my circle that I am the shit, and that I shouldn't doubt myself for one second! I can't lie, when your peers are becoming doctors, lawyers and dentists making 100k out of college, you can find yourself thinking you picked the wrong major. Trust me, I've done it. But when I sit and think that each day, I get to wake up and do what I love and that means so much more! 

      Now, let’s talk style for a moment! What is one trend that you think is slept on and one trend that you think is highly overrated and/or won’t be around much longer?

The trend that I think is slept on, in my opinion, is minimalism, which is an overall vibe. I think in today's society, people love to be extra. Extra with the colors, extra with the prints, extra with everything and sometimes that's cool! But nothing can beat a classical, minimal ensemble. They always say that "less is more" and I agree!

I am OVER the fanny pack trend, especially for men. I think it has ran its course and it's time to get into some new statement accessories! 

"Fearless Brown Girl" styled by    Krystal J. Benson   . Photo by    @torrij_

"Fearless Brown Girl" styled by Krystal J. Benson. Photo by @torrij_

There are a lot of aspiring stylists / fashion creatives who struggle with what their daily /weekly grind should look like. As a wardrobe stylist myself, I’m constantly revisiting my to do list and adding and taking away certain tasks to make sure my focus is where it needs to be. I know this process is different for everyone but could you give just a little insight on how to stay productive and not just “busy” as a wardrobe stylist? 

I think we all struggle from time to time with staying focused. As creatives, our minds are forever thinking of ways to create and evolve. That's the fun part of doing what we do but it can also be one of the hardest things to manage. First, I would say to write out your goals, short and long term. Then, devise a plan that will help you attack it in pieces until you accomplish your goal. And finally put that work into action. Like I said earlier, organization is key so be sure to write everything down and give yourself deadlines to hold yourself accountable. 

Also, whatever you do, remember that you are your own person. Don't compare yourself to the next person. Your journey is different. Your ideas are different. Nobody else can be you and that is your super power. 

Krystal Benson 2.jpg

     Krystal, thank you so much for sharing your insight! I'm glad that we crossed paths back in May! Keep up with Krystal's journey on her site and social media!

The goal was to give aspiring creatives some advice from a style pro so I hope you got something from this highlight! Comment your thoughts below! 

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art." 

STYLE WITH SHARRA: THE PODCAST SERIES IS HERE!

Produced & Shared by Sharra Greene and Apple Podcasts

IMG_1516.JPG

So, if you follow me on Instagram, you've probably already heard BUT, I had to be sure to let my day one readers know. The very first episode of Style with Sharra: The Podcast Series is now available to stream and subscribe to, via the iTunes Store and iOS podcast app.

I wanted to take the time and personally just say thank you to my blog subscribers and readers because if it weren't for your support and encouraging feedback, I may not even have the courage to take on new endeavors such as this one! Thank you. 

With this series, I really want to provide an “on the go-style experience” for listeners who love all things fashion, style, and inspiration. All topics will be communicated from the point of view of a young woman building her brand from the ground up in today’s ever-changing industry. The podcast's theme is produced by D. Brown the Begotten Son, an all around amazing music creator and sound engineer. Definitely check him out for all of your music needs!

Every Tuesday, I will be featuring shopping and styling tips, event recaps, interviews with style pros, and much more. This podcasting journey is brand new to me! So be sure to tune in and leave me some constructive feedback in the ratings and reviews.  Enjoy! 

   Sharra,
"The definition of walking art."

P.S. Have a topic suggestion for the show? Send your ideas to styleadvicebysharra@gmail.com! I'd love to hear them!

 

MY WORDS ARE MY SUPERPOWER: MY INTERVIEW WITH WRITER JASMYN RUJA

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE AND JASMYN RUJA 

FullSizeRender.jpg

     Since reading In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney, a curation of motivational and insightful content from over 100 women creative entrepreneurs (review coming soon) I've been particularly inspired to share the stories of young women who are using their gifts to cultivate brands that not only create great opportunities for them, but also uplift and inspire others in the process. So, expect to see more interviews and collaborations in future posts. My latest interview is with student, self care advocate and writer Jasmyn Ruja who believes that her words are her super power. 

     Jasmyn and I follow each other on both Twitter and Instagram, and I always found myself encouraged by her tweets and posts. Upon checking out her blog, JasmynRuja.com, I was even more inspired by the genuine words of wisdom that come from such a young soul, via Jasmyn's written pieces that she shares with the world. I had to know more about this positive spirit. Check out my interview with Jasmyn on the topics of her life's purpose, what it means to be successful in today's world, women collaborating in business, personal style, and more.       

Tell me about yourself! Share whatever you feel is necessary. 

    Hello all! I'm Jasmyn Ruja. I'm currently a student at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, studying Psychology. I love all things women's empowerment. I love all things mental health. Writing is my passion. It's like an escape for me, really. It's so fun for me because I learn so much about myself through my writing. Sometimes I don't even realize how amazing my mind is until I read things I've written. People that follow me on social media probably don't know that I'm really weird. Ask my friends.

    I'm really artsy. I love museums, books, HGTV, and space. I follow all of NASA's IG and twitter pages.(My dad works there, so I get it from him.) The corniest things can make me laugh. I love nature. I love being outside. My friends call me a flower child, mother earth, things of that nature because I love the environment and the earth. I'm just really in tune with myself, the world, nature, God, everything..to sum my personality up. My brothers and some of my friends call me a "hipster", but I don't think I'm a hipster. I don't like putting my personality into like a label/category because then it's like I have to fit that label all the time. I'm just Jas, and I'm constantly growing and evolving, so whatever things come with that are apart of "me".

What do you believe is your life's purpose?

    I believe my life's purpose is helping people. I believe you get your purpose from where your passions meet the world's needs. There's a lot of people in the world that struggle with how they view themselves and being ok with who they are. There are so many people that are scared to talk about things that they go through because they fear they'll be judged. There are so many people who feel like they're alone and that's not ok because that's so not true. Everyone is fighting their own battles in different ways, but we are essentially all trying to find ourselves daily. Whether or not people choose to show their struggles is a different story, but we're all trying to figure ourselves, and life, out. I feel like it's my job to let people know that. Like, we're all in this together. It's a journey that we can't do alone. So, I just like to make sure people understand that and help them get through it any way that I can.

What inspired you to be an advocate for self care?

     I've always had a very compassionate and caring spirit. When I was younger, I was always caring about people I didn't even know. People that would be left out, the people that got made fun of, etc.I had moments in school when I was bullied, when people I thought were my friends betrayed me and excluded me, so I understood. I never wanted people to feel the way I felt. I'm always curious about people like that. (which is probably why I'm a psychology major) So, everything that I went through in life led me to want to start telling people about the importance of self care. It really is so important, because we can get so caught up in the world that we forget to deal with ourselves. My great-grandmother always told me to take care of myself, so that I could take care of others.

Tell me about JasmynRuja.com. It seems to be a bomb destination for uplifting, spiritual content and inspiration. What drove you to create it and how do you develop the content for it? 

    Well,  jasmynruja.com started off as so many things. The name changed so many times. I started and stopped so many times. I used to watch youtube faithfully. So, I really started it wanting to make a youtube channel. I found that it was easier and more helpful for me to get all of my words out on paper. I love when I can see the things in my mind on paper because it makes it make sense to me. So, I figured why not start a blog. I doubted myself a lot, like a lot. But, one day I just kinda said to myself: "Girl, you have all of this stuff that you hold inside of your mind that could be helping someone" and I just went for it. It's like, why sit there and doubt myself over things, you know? Nobody can really say anything negative about it because it's my mind, and if they do it's none of my business. If it touches someone, I've done my job. 

    Another big part of it is my twitter rants. If something is on my mind, I might rant about it on twitter. They are always positive though. So, essentialy, jasmynruja.com is a website built on my own personal journaling and twitter rants.

     All of my content comes from my notebooks. I write every day. It helps me to clear my mind. One of the things I do the most is write letters to myself. I started this a long time ago when I started the self love journey. I would have days where I was being really hard on myself, and I would just write myself a letter of what I needed to hear in that moment. I would tell myself I was beautiful, talented, smart, worthy of amazing things. I love that I experienced whatever it is that I felt that drove me to start writing letters to myself because now, when I write. I just write the things that I feel like I need to hear the most. Then, I just share it with you all.

What are some projects/goals that you are currently working on and how do they tie into your overall life purpose?   

    Well, my biggest project/goal right now is getting my undergrad degree and going to Grad school for Social Work. Then, to go get that PhD in Social Work, yes ma'am. I'm also working on some photoshoots and collabs with other bloggers. Fun stuff. I'm really focusing on my happiness at the moment, so anything that can add to that I'm open to trying out.

    One other big thing I'm working on is something I really think the people that follow my blog and inspiration are going to like. I'm not going to spill that tea yet, but just know it's coming. 

What is your definition of success and happiness and how do you work to create that success in your everyday life?

     When you find what you're passionate about, it makes it easier to figure out what you want to do in life. The ultimate success is waking up everyday and not having to work. The way you do that is by finding something that makes you happy and turning it into your career. When you're doing what you love, you never have to work a day in your life. So happiness and success go hand in hand in my eyes.

     You're more successful when you're truly happy with what you're working towards or producing. So, I found a lot of things that make me happy. I love love love kids. I love their spirits. I love helping people. I'm truly passionate about the way children are raised, how they view themselves because I believe it has a big effect on their adult lives. So, that led me to want to be a Community Social Worker focusing on children and families, which is what I'm going to school for. 

The Walking Art Blog concept is all about artistic self expression through style. Besides a lot of uplifting, positive, insightful content on your website and social media, you can also catch a slay on your feed! What does expressing yourself through personal style mean to you?

     Thank you!! Girl, I be trying. Expressing myself through my personal style is so fun for me. I love to do my makeup. I love getting all cute and taking pictures. I think I express myself the most through my hair. I can never keep a single hairstyle for too long. I love different looks. It's so fun. It's like "Who do I want to be this time?" I actually do my own hair most of the time because I really enjoy it. It's therapeutic, and I know exactly how I want it to look so it's just easier.

     I love urban looks. Chunky twists, braids, faux locs. I love colors too. I'm always trying new things with my hair. I love doing my natural hair, also. Personal style is literally whatever makes you feel the most beautiful and the most like yourself. I don't think I have one exact style. If I like the way something looks, I'll wear it and I'll slay. I have a lot of fun getting dressed and made up though. I have my own mini fashion show most of the times. 

With the whole era of the "girlboss" going on, what is your perspective on women coming together on professional/ business ventures? 

     Honestly, if women worked together more instead of competing and hating on eachother, we'd be so unstoppable. I don't even think we understand how powerful we are individually. We LITERALLY give life. We are such incredible creatures, so imagine us actually coming together to work on projects, and events, and things like that. I mean, I think it would be so bomb. Unfortunately, we're taught by society that we have to compete with eachother or be better than the next woman to get ahead. But, girl if we worked together and built each other up? It would really be magical.

Thoughts? Leave your comments below, keep up with Jasmyn on her Twitter and Instagram and tune into her blog for more amazing, insightful content. 

 Sharra,  

"The definition of walking art."