Category - Brands

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Drop the Label Movement Tackles Body Shaming with Encouraging Tees
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Everything’s Rosy with Rosehip Essentials Skin Care
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Kimono Playdate with Kimono Zulu

Drop the Label Movement Tackles Body Shaming with Encouraging Tees

Drop the Label Movement, Phoenix based clothing, indie clothing brand

Who you are is more important than the size you wear.” – Drop the Label Movement

Throughout history, women have been put through the wringer. Society has constantly dictated how women should dress, act, eat, think, and be told what the ideal body standards should look like. It is now 2018, and quite frankly, things haven’t changed much. Women are battling eating disorders. Dieting and the so-called “diet culture” run rampant. Fatphobia. Body shaming. Fashion and women’s magazines that are constantly throwing the wrong messages at the adults and children who read them. I could go on…

Phoenix-based indie company, Drop the Label Movement, has decided to help put an end to this nonsense. I had first heard of the brand through Instagram. I then personally met co-founder Angela during the Phoenix Arts Festival last year, and had a chance to check out her line of tees, buttons, pins, and stickers. Some of the merchandise bear quirky messages, such as: ‘I Love You Elote,’ ‘Self-Love Cactus,’ and ‘Anti-Diet Donut,’ and ‘I Love Myself a Latte’; while the tees boast encouraging messages like, ‘Worthy,’ ‘Resilient,’ ‘My Size? Strong,’ ‘Slay Mode’… and so on.

Angela grew up in a family full of strong and powerful women. There were times when she’d notice that they would often say negative things to themselves in the mirror, which, at that time, she thought was normal. It was only normal until she went to college, when she watched her peers’ interaction with the mirror. That’s what began her journey of being more compassionate to herself.

Now, years later, she’s seeing all the pressures of society. Angela explains, “If I feel pressure to meet certain standards, then I can’t even imagine what it’s like for someone in a larger body, or disabled, or someone who’s black. It must be that much more intense. I wanted to do something to help with that. Drop the Label Movement is a small gesture and a little tangible, or at least as a reminder to show yourself compassion, essentially.”

Angela and her mother, Leslie, launched the brand in August 2016. “We took off all the traditional size labels and replaced them with positive affirmations in the form of an ‘I am’ statement. We have two different labeling systems. One is called the ‘OG,’ or ‘original gangster,’ and other one is om-inspired, in reference to yoga. We have just those two scales of sizing with various affirmations that are not related to physical appearance. That was really important to us. We don’t want it to be about any kind of physical. We didn’t want to say ‘I am beautiful’ or ‘I am pretty,’ we wanted internal things. Things that are more important and can do more for the world.”

On the fun designs of the brand… “I enjoy the process of creating. I wanted to put fun designs on the shirts and then also ones that are a little more serious. I came up with ‘Self Love Cactus’ because I’m from Arizona, and so is my mom. So I wondered if there was a cartoon cactus hugging itself with its’ arms, and I haven’t seen one out there… So decided I gotta make it. It just fits with our brand. Then I did ‘Anti-Diet Donut’ because I thought it was appropriate. Who better to be the mascot of no diets than a donut!? Then one of our most popular, ‘I Love Myself Elote’ which is a play on ‘I love myself a lot’ with Mexican street corn.”

Angela leaves us with this, “People can take whatever they want from it {the brand}. I don’t want to tell people that they HAVE to love themselves. That’s a personal and hard journey. I hope they take it as that it’s more of that we’re encouraging compassion…Just to be gentle with yourself in a world that tells you otherwise.”

Be sure to also check out Drop the Label Movement’s ETSY!

Worthy Tee

Drop the Label Movement tee

I Love You Elote tee

Slay Mode tee

My Body, My Standards tee

Resilient tee

Self-Love Cactus Sticker and Button

Everything’s Rosy with Rosehip Essentials Skin Care

Brittany Moore- owner of Rose Hip Essentials in Houston

I had first heard about Rosehip Essentials back when Pop Shop Houston had their retail space on 19th Street in The Heights. I was shopping around the store when I realized that my lips were extremely dry, and I didn’t have a lip balm on me. Luckily, the shop carried the brand’s soaps, lip balm, and assorted lip tints. I sampled the Citrus Cream Lip Balm, and my lips instantly just felt smooth and fulfilled. Let’s just say, from then on, I was hooked!

Several weeks later, I was able to meet the owner- Brittney Moore in person. She personally introduced me to her products, such as the French Clay Rosehip Mask, the Rosehip Seed Oil Facial Renewal Serum, Aromatherapy Mist, the Rosehip and Citrus Oil Cleanser, and the Rose and Lavender Hydrating Facial Toner.

Moore has been in the skin care industry for about ten years now, in some form; though skin care has played a major part throughout her entire life, since her mother worked as an esthetician. From a very young age, she was taught the age-old ritual of cleansing, toning, exfoliating, and moisturizing. In the better part of 2006/7, she studied holistic nutrition. Her ah-ha moment came when a woman who worked in the skin care industry came and spoke to her class about all the ingredients used in most skin care, which freaked her out. From that point on, she knew she had to do something about it. She started slowly, creating only a few items, then she took a soapmaking course. Soon after, she ventured to India, where she did yoga and studied the art of Ariveda and natural medicine, with focus on skin care, oils, herbal tinctures, and massages.

After returning home, her husband and she moved from Toronto to Houston. They had children, and she re-branded herself. Her business has been growing organically ever since. She officially launched the brand in 2015, with a focus on soaps, but in 2016, she rolled out the skin care line that we all know and love today.

Most of her products are derived from the rosehip seed oil, which is high in nutrients, vitamins, omegas, and antioxidants. Since the oil is cold pressed, Brittney recommends that the products be used within a six-month period. Nothing is artificially preserved, but instead is preserved naturally with vitamins that have been blended in. “Our skin care should be similar to our food- natural, fresh pressed,  organic, and also good for your soul. That’s where the essential oils come in, and that’s the time to just relax. That essential moment that we all need during the day,” Brittney commented.

Brittney recommends using a mask once or twice a week to deep clean and get all the gunk from the environment, and makeup out. Another nice thing to do is oil cleansing, instead of using soap. It’s gentle, and may help clear up the skin and regulates oil. She incorporates clay in almost all her soaps, and the mask. “Clay has been used for thousands of years and is amazing for your body and health. It draws out toxins in your skin, bath, body, and helps you if you’re feeling sick. Also, the hydrosols in the toner. It’s plant water, so what better way to nourish your skin than with pure water from a plant. I would encourage people to start using essential oils. They help you sleep, They help regulate your emotions, they help overall balance.”

Her favorite products from the brand? The Rosehip Seed Oil Facial Renewal Serum and the Mineral Lip Tints. “They are natural, so you can feel better about wearing lipstick. They are extremely moisturizing and have anti-aging botanical benefits.”

Rosehip Essentials can be found ONLINE, as well as at LAUNCH HTX (Nov-Dec), as well as upcoming markets: The Heights Artisan Market, HTX Bossbabes Holiday Market, and Pop Shop Houston Holiday Festival.

Blogger’s Notes: After using the serum, mask, lip tints, and cleansing oil for a couple weeks, I’ve really noticed a huge difference in how my face feels. It feels smoother, looks more radiant and young. My friends have also commented on how great I look. I also love how I’m putting ZERO chemicals on my skin. Plant-based is really the way to go in terms of leading a healthier lifestyle. I’m SO SO glad I was introduced to Rosehip Essentials. Brittney is a gem to the Houston localist community, and I shall continue to brag about her brand, and be a long term customer.

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

Rosehip Essentials, clay mask, natural skin care, Houston

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimono Playdate with Kimono Zulu

 

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Tina Zulu knows kimonos. The niche market PR and branding guru launched her passion project- Kimono Zulu – September 2016, and it has been growing organically ever since. She officially launched at Launch HTX, and currently hosts pop-ups, trunk shows, and even offers kimono playdates; one of which happened while I was visiting Houston a couple months ago. I met up with Tina, along with the brand’s muse-  Zoe “Fashion Plate” at Launch, where the kimonos were set up on a clothing rack. Tina also brought along other fun props and accessories. We also utilized some pieces from Launch HTX, such as: gloves from Inclan Studio, bracelets from Burdlife, handbags from Magpies & Peacocks, and necklaces from Modern Artifacts. As you can see from the photos, we clearly had a blast!

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Tina, in a way, is like my soul sister, at least in regards to fashion. She’s always had that eclectic style and creative spirit. “Vintage is a part of my personal style — I love mixing old and new, high-end designer pieces with vintage gems and thrift scores to express myself.

Throughout the 90s, she ran an event production company called Urban Sugar Productions, where she met a thorough list of artists, models, designers, etc., most of whom she still works with today; like graffiti artist- GONZO247. “On a whim, GONZO tagged a couture evening gown for me for a graffiti themed gala. I loved it so much, and it inspired me to work with other artists to embellish our kimonos. GONZO really inspires me and I’m so proud of the work he does to brand and represent Houston’s creative spirit.”

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Tina has always been a fan of Japanese culture, which started with Hello Kitty (I mean…who isn’t a fan of HK…). She’s been collecting the cute cartoon kitty memorabilia since its’ launch. When she took her son to the Japan Festival last year, she came across a booth that offered vintage kimonos. She immediately connected with the vendor and invited her to do a booth at Houston Vintage Festival. When that vendor was unable to do so, Tina offered to do the booth on her behalf. “I think it was at that moment, that I realized I wanted to be a kimono hustler! So, while filling out Houston Vintage Festival vendor form, I had to enter a company name and upload a logo so that’s when I came up with “Kimono Zulu” — when you marry someone with a cool family name like ZULU, believe me, you’ll use it for everything!”

So the concept of Kimono Zulu was born…..

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

“Our brand muse- Zoe is a long-time friend and personal inspiration — not only in the fashion sense, but also by the way she lives her life. Zoe’s fun-loving attitude, creative energy, and generosity is contagious and we are grateful to have her support as we spread Kimono fever to all.”

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Since launching, the brand has collaborated with several fashion designers and multimedia artists to reimagine and embellish vintage kimonos. These artists have done anything from screen printing, hand painting, to spray painting their designs on the kimonos; while the fashion designers cut and re-design the kimonos, transforming them into new and sometimes more modern silhouettes. Collaborations to date have included: Selven O’Keef Jarmon, Katsola, Christy Karll, Rene Cruz, Elijah Coccetti, Dandee Warhol, Jennifer Gabiola of Dawning Soul, Royal McGee, Ann Brooks, Mina Gaber, Soi-K, Judy Masliyah of My Flaming Heart….and stay tuned for more!

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to be showcased among so much local talent. I made great relationships with fellow designers and wonderful people that have since kept in touch with — and even collaborated with. They helped me “launch” Kimono Zulu and introduce it to a broader audience and for that, I’m forever grateful!”

Every kimono I have is special, a one-of-a-kind treasure. One of the oldest I’ve had was patchwork silk kimono of beautiful shibori (Japanese form of tie-dye) fabric from the 30s.”

Prices start at $150-$325 for vintage kimonos and $250-$525 for artist collaboration pieces. For more information, visit the brand’s Facebook page, and follow on InstagramFollow @kimonozulu on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to find their next trunk show or pop-up! Or schedule a kimono playdate with Tina Zulu, tinazulu@zulucreative.com, 713.581.4788.

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

Kimono Zulu, playdate, dress up, kimonos, accessories, houston, Launch

 

 

** All images c/o Tina Zulu **

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