EXPLORING THE COMPLEXITY OF WOMEN'S INTERESTS: MY INTERVIEW WITH CREATIVE AND FUTURE EDUCATOR COACH CANDO

Written by Sharra Greene and Candace Scott

     Working with all types of creatives from models to makeup artists to photographers, I'm always intrigued by how versatile women can be when it comes to their passions. One thing that I love is meeting someone who's super creative and then discovering that they also have interests that are on the opposite end of the spectrum, or something that is unexpected. Meeting people like this inspires me not to ever limit myself, or feel like I only have to stick to one thing as a creative. I can be as versatile as I want.

     This brings me to my latest guest on the Walking Art Blog, creative, youtuber, and aspiring educator Candace Scott, aka Coach Cando. Having known Candace since we were young teens (we're in our 20's now), I've been able to see just how much she's grown. Not only is Cando a gorgeous girl with a bomb sense of style, who unapologetically pursues several of her passions, but she also has a genuine spirit and a heart of gold. In this interview, Candace and I talk her interests, and what drives her to pursue her passions, issues women face when it comes to being "categorized", as well as personal style. 

First things first, Why do they call you coach?

     It's a long story, it's a name that just stuck after my sophomore year of college. I just claimed it after one of my guy friends needed some advice on how to handle a situation with a girl he liked and he responded "thanks coach" and it went from there. I also think a coach is better than a teacher so it fits my lifestyle pretty well too. 

I talked briefly with you before about how complex your interests are... Your passion for creativity and art is evident through your various photo shoot collabs and unique sense of style, yet you are majoring in education, what drove you to want to study this and what changes would you like to see/ contribute to making in the system?

     Well, initially I wanted to be an actress and I wanted to pursue this dream more than anything before I fell in love with the idea of being an educator. I made my mom take me to an agency, she paid for acting classes and I even went to Baltimore Talent for acting my freshman year of high school. I left Baltimore Talent after a that year because my mom was concerned about my safety, Baltimore Talent was over west Baltimore, I was fine with being in the hood (laughing) Well, I ended up being enrolled at Mergenthaler high school/trade school for my sophomore year and the only trade available was teacher academy. Clearly, the choice was already made for me and I felt like it was a start to see what my true purpose in life was.

       I was reluctant at first and if I did have a better choice it wouldn't have been education. But it was like it was picked for me to see my true purpose in life. I was a weird child, I failed the 5th grade, I was bullied, I was emotional, I hated school... Children deserve someone who will fight for them, push them to succeed, open their minds.. and our school systems need help, severely. I'm going to make my way in and make some serious changes. 

How did you discover that you like being in front of the camera? 

     It's really just for fun. A lot of people would ask me to do shoots so I would just yes, I'm pretty awkward in front of the camera at times. It's something that I'm still practicing. 

Talking more about diverse interests, in addition to being apart of dope photography projects and studying to be an educator, you also have produced positive content for women via your youtube channel, Girls Tour, where you and your best friend Maya feature everything from tutorials, to personal friendship milestones, to women's empowerment keys with special guests, specifially my blog boo and self care activist Jasmyn Ruja (see our interview here), what inspired you to start the channel and what can we expect from you via youtube in the future?     

     It's funny you asked that because I've actually been M.I.A from the social media scene for some time now. I needed some personal time away. So many things were going on in our personal lives we had to make a decision to end Girls Tour. BUT, I've been working on a big project for everyone and I'm super excited about creating a new channel! I should be coming back officially in August and I'm really happy with everything right now. 

In society, we as women often encounter people who are uncomfortable with our versatility/ our diverse interests, gifts, and skillsets. If we look, act, or dress a certain way, people often want to only see us in that light. Or, they want to use certain attributes to define for us, what type of woman we are. However, I feel like there's no better time for women to pursue and succeed in a range of different things, regardless of what others may think, especially with so many of us taking our creative, and financial destinies into our own hands. Have you ever encountered this issue in your own life and if so, how do you choose to respond?

      As women we face many injustices and inequalities on an everyday basis. People are intimidated by women that have any power, if we have a strong work ethic, have goals that are fiercely set or they don't settle for less they are automatically labeled the meanest names in the book when they should be admired!!

     I was in a emotionally abusive relationship where that person made me feel like I couldn't be better than him, it was like competition. I couldn't say certain things, wear certain things, it was painful. I decided that I'm going to do what I want and go for what I want no matter the circumstance because I only have 1 life to live and it won't go to waste because of what people THINK of me. Women are making changes in this world, great changes with even greater limitations and that's why it's important to encourage and empower young girls and young women to keep the change going. 

The Walking Art concept is all about expressing an attitude/message through style. Since I've known you since we were young teens, I've watched your personal style evolve and you're always serving such bomb, versatile looks. How would you describe your personal style and what do you think it says about you?

      Aw Thank you beautiful, my style definitely evolved a lot. I felt like I didn't find my style until later on in my life. I was always the one that dressed weird or I guess "couldn't dress". I was a bit tacky to be honest (laughing) I honestly just wear what I'm feeling and I've gotten better at it now that I have an adult budget and I can piece cool things together, I feel like I have a fetish for weird conversation pieces like my shoes and bags that make my style more unique. 

What would you say is your dream creative project to work on? 

     My dream project is probably working with "She's the First" She's the First is a non-profit organization based in New York City, they sponsor education for young girls in low-income countries. I also would like to work with the boys and girls club!

Comment your thoughts below. Candace, I'm so proud of you and I'm looking forward to your success in your future endeavors.  

Stay tuned for more inspiration and new looks coming very soon to the blog!

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art." 

THE VALUE IN A VAYCAY: HOW MY LATEST GETAWAY REAWAKENED MY CREATIVITY AND HUSTLER SPIRIT

Written by Sharra Greene

     When you're in the process of leveling up and doing some things now so that you can live the way you want later, after a while, you can start to feel burned out, and even somewhat uninspired. This was exactly how I was feeling a few weeks ago. Though I was still actively producing content and working towards my short term goals, my vision of my long term goals started getting a little blurred. I was honestly beginning to feel a bit overwhlemed as I'm at a point where I'm trying to focus on a lot at once,for my brand, my personal life, and for the people that care about me. I was beginning to notice that I wasn't as easily inspired and motivated when it came to creating, as I usually was. These were the reasons why I was especially looking forward to my vaycay to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. By the time I returned from my trip, all that I felt I was losing sight of, I regained focus there. 

     Though I've been out of the country several times before, this time was different. I'm currently in a different chapter of my life and I really believed that made all of the difference for this trip. While there, I really spent some time relaxing my body, mind, and spirit. I stopped worrying about my day to day life and started living in the moment. I took time to appreciate the nature and change of scenery around me. I ate amazing cuisine (around the clock, lol),  I grew closer with family, and I also had some great conversations with so many people, especially natives of Mexico who dream of coming to the states or having a better opportunity to provide for themselves and their family.

     This made me feel particularly grateful, as I reflected on my journey and progress thus far and all of the experiences I've been able to have in my lifetime. Most of all, this trip really made me excited for the future. This includes all of the things I am working towards coming to fruition, sharing more experiences like this with family and friends, and all of the amazing things that I have yet to experience. Needless to say, it definitely raised my level of drive, creativity, and focus. I arrived back feeling rejuvenated, inspired, and ready to work. 

     This vacation has definitely taught me how important self awareness and self care is and how crucial it is that we make time for ourselves to enjoy life and what it's currently trying to teach us. Stay tuned, I will definitely be investing in a break from the day to day grind more often, even if it's just for a quick change of scenery and a fresh perspective. You should, too. 

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Stay tuned for more projects and insight by me, coming very soon. Xoxo

P.S. Shop My look: 

My tribal print swimsuit is from whatwears.com but they took forever to deliver so order at your discretion, bangle: forever 21, earrings: my wardrobe. My olive scuba bikini is from nakedwardrobe.com, bangles and earrings: my wardrobe.

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."

MY INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA WILLIAMS, DESIGNER OF IRREGULAR EXPOSURE CLOTHING

WRITTEN BY SHARRA GREENE AND JESSICA WILLIAMS

      As promised, I'm back sharing the stories of more inspiring creatives who are building a brand and building up others in the process. As a stylist, I'm always researching new designers and brands that I would like to collab with (and shop with, of course). Upon discovering Irregular Exposure on my Instagram explore page, I noticed that the brand offers really chic pieces that can also serve as capsule wardrobe essentials. I also couldn't help but notice that IE designs were being worn by the likes of Evelyn Lozada and Claire Sulmers (founder of Fashion Bomb Daily and my favorite blogger, ever).  Even better, I discovered that the designer had just recently held the grand opening of her showroom in the downtown area of my city, Baltimore, Maryland. I had to know more... Read my interview with Jessica Williams, inspiring Designer and Creator of Irregular Exposure and IE Fashion Academy, where she coaches other aspiring fashionpreneurs.

Upon tuning in to an Irregular Exposure IG LIVE this past week, I heard you say that you yourself sketch and design the pieces. How long have you been designing?     

     I currently sketch all of my designs. I have multiple manufacturing companies that I partner with to create the collections. I used to cut and sew all designs however I am in a place where I simply don't have the time anymore so I am now outsourcing. This is pretty common with most fashion designers. I've been designing for 11 years. I began as a custom seamstress and I've been a ready to wear designer for about 4 years now.

The name of your brand is definitely one of the first things that caught my attention. How did you come up with the name Irregular Exposure?

     I created the name when I was really young. I actually was inspired by a footwear line, "Irregular Choice." I was infatuated with their crazy designs and I really began to sketch clothing around their shoes. I always wanted to help women expose their irregular vibes and there it was, the name was birthed!

On the Irregular Exposure blog, you talk about how you reached out to over 100 emerging designer shows in hopes of showing at NYFW and were told "no", only to be told 3 days before a show (and with $200 to your name) that you were next in line and accepted. After this show, sales grew by %238. what did you end up doing to prepare for something so major at such short notice and what has this experience taught you?

     Well I am a firm believer in the motto, "don't get ready, stay ready." I had created my collection in advance with faith on my side knowing that God would cover me and allow my collection to be seen by who it was intended for. I was actually working a 9-5 making good money however this particular week was bill week and I was broke! I had faith and it turned out to be the opportunity that changed my life. The experience taught me that consistency, faith, and determination is required. It also taught me that someone is always watching so remain humble and clear on your brand story at all times. Your next opportunity is already watching you.

What does your Fashion Academy offer and what inspired you to start it?

     The IE Fashion Academy is a digital coaching program for aspiring and emerging fashion entrepreneurs. We offer 6-12 month programs to guide emerging designers, stylist, bloggers, fashion show producers and other fashionable creatives, through the process of concept to profit. With my education and experience, I am able to guide clients through the online classes and events. We are known for our 3 day quarterly retreats which is when the clients meet for 3 days to build. We just wrapped our NYC Fashion Retreat which is when we take clients through the garment district, fashion week and more. My academy is the most important thing to me right now and we are growing. We currently have over 25 private clients in 16 different cities so it's definitely worth the value. Check us out online at IEFashionAcademy.com 

So, Claire Sulmers is one of my favorite women in the industry. I seriously love her. I especially love how she's contributed to the black fashion community. What opportunity allowed you to meet her and how was the experience? 

      I was able to meet Claire at an event in Atlanta almost 2 years back. I reconnected with her through one of her Cocktails with Claire events and she really spoke highly of my brand so we agreed to wear a look on social media. She noticed the investments I was willing to make to be in a room with her. Whether it meant flying to ATL or vending at an event she attended, I knew I wanted her guidance within my network. The experience was very natural. She's a regular lady from the ATL with cool vibes just like us lol! I always am very chill when I meet people. I never like to come off as too much of a stalker lol so I remained calm and gave clear intent. It was really just me going to her letting her know that I wanted to build with her and the rest was history! She's a great person.

What would you call this chapter of your life and why?

      I would call it womanhood. I feel that I am becoming the woman I will be for my lifetime. At age 25, I am seeing clearer. My life consists of God, family, love & business and that's all that really matters. The business allows me to have more time for what matters. I feel so grateful at this point. I just opened my first store and my business is extremely successful. I am at a point where I just want to help others and that's definitely grown woman tendencies lol.

Any advice for aspiring creative entrepreneurs out here?

     Man's rejection is God's protection. Those "no's" you keep hearing are getting you closer to those "yes's." Cover and protect your energy and thoughts. Only share with like minds. Do things for the first time because that's where the opportunity lies.

Shop Irregular Exposure online or stop into their new showroom at 910 S. Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland. I know I will! Keep up with Jessica and all of her upcoming events by following her on Instagram and comment your thoughts on our interview below

Images from the IE lookbook. 

Images from the IE lookbook. 

More photo shoots and inspirational content coming very soon. Xoxo

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."

 

 

"ATTITUDE" IS MY MUSE IN THE WORLD OF STYLE: WHAT INSPIRED ME FROM THE START AND CONTINUES TO INFLUENCE MY CREATIVITY

Written by Sharra Greene

Credits:

Photographer/Creative Director: Kelvin Bulluck

Makeup Artist: Ayiana G.

Featuring and Styled by Me

      Above all of the things that serve as inspiration for me, attitude has always been the nonstop source that has moved me and  influenced both my passion and my aesthetic as an artist. Without it, true style is not really complete, in my opinion. In retrospect, observing attitude and the many forms that it takes is what drove me to pursue a career in style in the first place... many may be able to relate when we think about the way that style and attitude affect our inner and outer worlds. 

     I come from a long line of women who love expressing themselves through personal style and aren't afraid of fashion. Growing up with my mom being a social worker by day and a bartender by night, I was always inspired by how my mom transformed her wardrobe throughout her day. Watching her look go from dressy casual, chic, and fabulous during the day and then coming home and transforming into an edgy glamazon for the night life really opened my eyes to the way that what we decide to wear can affect our confidence, posture, and demeanor. As her heels clicked around the house and fringe details on her gorgeous dresses and jackets swung behind her, I was in tow, not too far behind (getting in the way and getting on her nerves as she got dressed) and I couldn't help but notice how after each glance of her reflection in the mirror, she held her head a little higher, walked a little sexier, and moved a little differently. It was beautiful. It was then that I realized that a woman's style of dress can serve as an essential form of self expression that can enhance her confidence and reveal different sides of her inner being.

     My mom often shared throwback pics of my grandmothers and great grandmothers (my grandfathers' style was pretty on point too) in everything from sexy high waist shorts, bold tops, and sky high heels, to mink furs sometimes paired with custom made dresses, chic berets, etc. (My very first shoots included so many of these pieces, they're so bomb)... They looked unique, beautiful, and incredibly confident. All of this has pushed me to always be led by the attitude that I want to be conveyed when putting together looks, rather than the "technicalities" of fashion...To this day, on set, I'm always intrigued by the way that a woman poses and carries herself in a look that I put together for her.

     Attitude as it relates to style, includes but is not limited to the way that a woman chooses to put things together. What she chooses to include or exclude and accessorize can be used to make a statement about herself and/ or the way she's feeling. None of it is really "right" or  "wrong", it's all about a feeling, a vibe, an attitude. That is the way that I choose to look at it. Looking at fashion and style as an art from and not a science has driven the concept of my brand, "the definition of walking art." That perception of style is what has and will continue to inspire me my entire life. 

P.S. SHOP MY LOOK: Me in my fave Bebe faux suede crop top and wrap skirt, nude strap sandals. bangle and earrings from my wardrobe. 

Sharra,

"The definition of walking art."

MORE GORGEOUS LOOKS INSPIRED BY THE ROSE, STYLED BY ME & FEATURING AMANDA LANG

Photography and Creative Direction by D. Rice Photography, beauty by idris

Get the Look: Amanda wears a black floral embroidered top, black faux leather tie belted mini, lace tights, harness choker.

Get the Look: Amanda wears a black floral embroidered top, black faux leather tie belted mini, lace tights, harness choker.

Get the Look: Amanda is styled in a mesh mock crop over a sleeveless pvc plunge dress (worn as a top), red jacquard pleated hem mini, plated earrings, hair bow, and Nasty Gal (the OG one) Delicate Danger Lace stilettos

Get the Look: Amanda is styled in a mesh mock crop over a sleeveless pvc plunge dress (worn as a top), red jacquard pleated hem mini, plated earrings, hair bow, and Nasty Gal (the OG one) Delicate Danger Lace stilettos

"A rose's rarest essence lives in the thorn. A thorn defends the rose, harming only those who would steal the blossom."

More looks from this series to be featured in N'Trigue magazine, coming soon. Xo

Sharra, 

"The definition of walking art."