Celebrate Your Milestones

fashion

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Well, it’s official! A personal goal has been reached. It started with a vision which lead to a sketch and has now become a reality. Wow! What a feeling. As you know I love everything and anything to do with fashion but I’ve always dreamt of being a creator, a fashion designer. I took a few fashion illustration classes in grad school and enjoyed it but never mastered the skill in my mind. But then I realized the sketch for a design is all about a concept and doesn’t have to be perfect. Below is my initial sketch for the dress you see me wearing. I love anything leather-like. It makes me feel empowered. And I love lace because it’s so feminine. 72CE5789-66C8-4D73-B1C4-E7F65389FD05.jpeg

I posted this sketch on Instagram one day over a year ago and a manufacturing company had messaged me stating if I ever wanted to produce this look to give them a call. Now, I don’t know how many of you believe in things happening for a reason but I sure think that way. Rather than thinking they’re just reaching out to me because they want to make money, I decided to view it as an opportunity. Not necessarily meaning that I need to mass produce this design but I should definitely produce at least one and give it a shot; bring my sketch to reality.  I put lots of thought into the details of this dress and who I could reach out to that has the skills to help me. I took a few sewing classes but not enough for me to feel confident in constructing something like this so I reached out to an old friend, Allison Dittebrand. I hadn’t seen her in years but because of the power of Facebook I’ve been able to keep up with her life and knew that she went to fashion design school. I chatted with her and we decided that yes, she could do it. We went over the details and what it would cost to produce something like this. Well, at the time I didn’t have any additional income to spend on something like this but I was blessed enough to have someone in my life that believed in me and what I was wanting to do. She gifted me a check to cover the expenses for this and her name is LeAnn. Talk about an overwhelming feeling of having someone believe in you enough to help a dream come true. So, LeAnn if you’re reading this, you have NO idea what that meant to a gal like me.

Things started to get real for me. Okay, this is supposed to happen. So here is the reality of what goes into producing a custom dress made from patterns that you can’t buy at a JoAnn’s. Allison fit all the different pieces to fit my actual body and then had to produce two different sample dresses; one to see if the item fit my body properly and the second to see if the type of fabrics I wanted to use would work properly together. She was PHENOMENAL and she put a lot of hours into making this happen.

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Unfortunatley, Allison did what she could but got very busy with school and wasn’t going to be able to finish it very soon and suggested maybe I try doing the final dress. I loved that she felt I could do that but I wanted to leave that to a professional ha ha! But thank you Alli!! I was asking around town seeing if anyone knew of a person that could do something like this. I had all the things that were needed to complete it; fabric, pattern and me! And what do you know, my dear friend Andi Roberts mentioned that her mother, Sheila Roberts knew how to sew but she didn’t live here. I was bummed but wasn’t giving up just yet. Well guess what ended up happening? Sheila moved to Marietta and I got to talk to her about my dress and she was confident in being able to construct the final dress for me. Hallelujah!! I was overwhelmed with excitement and couldn’t get over how the universe, God or whomever you believe in was allowing these little doors to open to make this happen for me. I have a faith in God and I knew it had to do with him allowing a dream of mine to come true. Well listen to this…it gets even more exciting! My wonderful friend and makeup artist, Tonya Winebrenner fell in love with my dress and wanted to be part of this special vision of mine. She did my makeup in these photos and nailed it! I told her my vision and she rocked my world with her skill. Hair and all!

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The final portion of this story is behind who took my photos. Her name is Kelsey Preston and I met her through social media of all things. I follow her and her husband who is also a local fashion influencer on instagram, Ashton Preston. We would comment on each other’s photos but nothing much more than being friendly through comments. I got a message one day from Kelsey asking if I would ever be interested in letting her test a new lens for her camera on me and how she would enjoy photographing a female fashion lover. I jumped at the opportunity because 1. I think she’s pretty awesome and I enjoy following her on Instagram. 2. What a perfect opportunity to get my dress photographed! Divine intervention? I think so lol❤️

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I share all of this with you because of course I’m celebrating and happy that I achieved a goal of mine. But I also hope you are inspired and realize that when you have a goal or dream, watch for signs, believe in yourself and never give up. Persevere.

I chose the fabrics I did because behind every darkness in your life there lies a rainbow. So when life has you down look for those glimpses of light that can turn into your personal rainbow.

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

 

Your Journey to Self-discovery through Fashion

fashion

Yesterday I hosted my first Fashion Workshop at the Hot Tomato Studio. I had such a wonderful time listening to the fashion obstacles people were encountering. There were people from different backgrounds, ages, sizes and styles. But the common theme amongst all of them was a lack of confidence. Most of them felt like they couldn’t take risks or felt like they were in limbo with their style and not sure what to do; you know, feeling too old for Forever 21 but too young for “granny” clothing.

I continue to talk about the psychology of fashion with my students and how we get in our own way when it comes to transitioning into different phases of life; graduating college, starting a new job or lifestyle and then of course either getting older, gaining weight or having children. Life is busy and crazy but it can be so much fun as long as you don’t take it too seriously and want to have a more positive spin on it. When fashion doesn’t come so easy to people it can become this exhausting task and fill your mind with dread or negativity. The thought of getting ready for the day or a special occasion might even make you cringe. When you attend a workshop with me, my goal is to empower you to be brave and take those risks. Tear down those barriers that keep us in this box of how we think we should be dressing. Don’t limit yourself.

After the workshop I was so proud to hear and even see pictures of some of my students that went shopping immediately after the workshop. And get this…they tried things on outside of their comfort zone! Hey girl, hey (High-five)! Now we’re planning a shopping trip with the attendees from this workshop! How fun is that?

I’m here to tell all of you that YOU CAN DO IT! Have patience with yourself and enjoy this process of self-discovery. How do you want to be portrayed in the world through your style? I personally want to show my eclectic view on life by mixing crazy patterns and making it work.

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As always, please feel free to contact me with any fashion obstacles you encounter!

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Tone on Tone Fashion

fashion

A lot of questions I get from women revolve around what colors to wear.  Well, this is an interesting question and to me, there is no simple answer.  Everything is more on a case-by-case scenario.

I truly believe you can wear any color you want as long as you find the right shade of that color for your skin tone.  It’s also dependent on what accessories you pair with it. With that being said, I wanted to do a post on something that is a popular trend right now, and that is wearing different shades of one color.

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In this image I paired two different shades from the same family; burgundy and oxblood. This is one of my favorite family of colors to wear so I decided to try two different shades together.

What does this have to do with knowing what colors you should wear? Well, everyone has one color they feel good in, right?  Try pairing your favorite color with another shade from the same family.  It’ll probably get you out of your comfort zone and help you discover another shade that you didn’t know you’d like on yourself.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I also paired a blush toned earring with this look because it is the pastel version of the same color family. Now I’ve played with three different shades from one color family!  Look at us getting all experimental now!  😉

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Apparently, my little Harper Simone is going to make a debut every week 🙂  Love her little personality ❤  As always, feel free to share a look you put together using multiple shades from one color family with me. Harper and I would love to see it!

 

Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney

Capturing the Dreamer

Journey

I’m in my third month of blogging and I can’t believe how many little blessings have occurred.  I’ve made a few leaps of faith and have put myself out there and formed new friendships!

If you live in the Mid-Ohio Valley you’ve probably already heard of the Hot Tomato Pin-up Academy.  If not, now you have and you should look them up!  I’ve had the pleasure of befriending these lovely and kind ladies all through the power of social media and networking.  It’s funny how a simple “friend request” isn’t always taken so literal.  If you really think about it, how many people have you either sent a request to or accepted a request without really wanting to be their real life”friend?”  I used to view it that way until I kept thinking of how powerful and positive facebook could be.  Imagine using facebook for positivity and forming real life friendships rather than venting about negative things and stalking “strangers” profiles! 🙂 Get to know some of your facebook friends by sending a positive note or liking more of their pictures just to simply show that you are enjoying their “friendship.”  I met Andi, Jesse, Jocelyn and Jessica all through facebook.  I had actually met Jocelyn in person on numerous occasions before anyone else and always knew their was something special about her.  Little did I know she was going to be a shining light into this new journey of mine.

Social media and networking are such powerful tools and led me to these new group of empowering women and a group I’ve craved and sought out to have in my life.  The Hot Tomato gals invited me to collaborate with them during a special event they were heading up this past month called Sparkly Ladies Night.  They entrusted me with something very important to them and I can’t begin to describe how incredible that feeling was, and a little stressful but in such a great way! I mean a girl wants to make a good impression, right?  I viewed that as my initiation ha, ha!  I believe this relationship is the beginning of something beautiful.

Ran.dom.o.si.ty 7.4.0 is going to do something exciting this coming new year!  I will be collaborating and assisting Hot Tomato with photo shoots, guest blogging and conducting fashion workshops in their space.  During these fashion workshops women will learn to become stylish while discovering a new version of themselves; self-love and positivity.  Once the workshops have been lined up, I will post the dates and times on the website and will also be creating events on my facebook page.  So, if you haven’t “liked” my facebook page or Hot Tomato’s please make sure you do now.  I’d love for you to be a part of this journey.   Also, if you haven’t subscribed to my website yet, please do so.

Now that I’m going to be a part of the Hot Tomato crew it was only appropriate to experience what it was like to be a client first-hand.  They gave me one of the best experiences while shooting my head shots.  I didn’t know what to expect when it came to their version of head shots because I knew with their style it was bound to be something unique.  I gave them one little request; I wanted them to capture the fact that I was a dreamer. Now, I didn’t even know what that would look like exactly but they nailed it! I told them a little bit about my dreams during the “getting to know you” portion of the shoot. Check out my “head shots” below and make sure to scope out some of their other work because it is absolutely lovely!  A huge hug to all of the Hot Tomato crew ❤  I can’t wait for our collaboration!

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Your Faithful Dreamer,

Courtney