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Tootsies Celebrates Launch of the Susan Scarf During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
Curated Cotton
LUSH Grand Opening at Memorial City Mall
Kissue Grand Opening at Memorial City Mall
“Recycled Runway” Fashion Show – Pearland Town Center
Brunching with Tagspire at Downhouse HTX
The Big Sizzle: Poolside Grilling Competition and Sizzling Fashion Show

Tootsies Celebrates Launch of the Susan Scarf During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

One of Houston’s most prestigious and luxurious retailers- Tootsies, kicked off Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month by hosting a chic cocktail party that celebrated the launch of the Susan Scarf– designed by Manoosh in collaboration with the Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation. Over a hundred guests mingled and shopped Manoosh’s Fall 2015 collection, as well as tried out the “build your own” agate jewelry station at the Agate Ranch + Marfa booth. Houston lifestyle blogger, author and ovarian cancer survivor (and Susan Scarf model)- Megan Silianoff was on hand, signing her memoir 99 Problems but a Baby Ain’t One. Fashion Illustrator- Rongrong DeVoe was busy live-sketching guests. Light bites were passed around by B&B Butchers and Restaurant.

Manoosh is the brainchild of three generations of women- Marilyn Biles, her daughter Nancy Guthrie and Nancy’s daughter-in-law, Anna Wilson. The brand was officially launched in September 2014 and is known for luxurious scarves in a variety of colors. The women saw the need for a company that improves the accessibility and exposure for local artists by bringing art out of the galleries and into the hands of the consumer. The scarves are available in cashmere and silk blends and are rich in vibrant colors, as well as more subdued, neutral tones. They illustrate a range of artistic styles including abstract and impressionist. When Anna saw Marilyn’s abstract artwork, she knew it would translate well onto fabric. They usually end up spending months hand-selecting and testing out fabrics to perfect each collection (in collaboration with other artists). For the SPB Foundation collaboration, she met with Buck- who is Susan’s son and founder of the Foundation. Together, they ended up choosing Marilyn Biles’ “Outcrop”- a 25 to 30 year old print for the Susan Scarf. Susan Poorman Blackie was known for wearing bright, artistically designed scarves after loosing her hair to chemo. Scarves have since been known as a symbol of beauty and strength during the rigors of cancer treatment. Susan lost her battle with cancer in 2014. This scarf not only tells her story, but was created to help empower women about the knowledge of the risks and symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Being a fan of West Texas and Marfa myself, I gravitated to the Agate Ranch + Marfa booth. The wonderfully handcrafted statement pieces resonated the beauty and landscape of the area. Kathy Bracewell launched the brand in 2010, centering her inspiration around her daughter-in-law and stepdaughters, as well as the ranch they bought in the area several years ago. Kathy enjoys walking around the property and looking from Indian artifacts. One day, after gathering up a pile of unique stones, she went into Marfa to the local rock shop – Moonlight Gemstones. The owner- Paul Graybeal, explained that she had a Marfa Agate, which is from the area, but not everywhere in the area. When Paul visited the ranch one day, Kathy and her husband took him for a drive around the property. Paul helped to train her eye to areas specific where the rocks would be. He now plays an important role within her company by cutting the rocks, while Kathy stays at the rock shop and polishes them. The end result is delicately polished Marfa Agates on leather and hand-beaded chains. For the event, she offered a “build-your-own” agate jewelry station, where people could chose from a selection of West Texas agates, various chain styles, vintage Milagros and more. Knowing that teal was the color of ovarian cancer awareness, she included feather attachments, with proceeds from the sales going to the SPB Foundation.

For more information on ovarian cancer awareness, go HERE.

Curated Cotton

Curated Cotton came through my radar via Houston Tidbits. I checked out the website and loved the tees (especially the cactus print tees), which are made locally in Houston. I learned that they were going to have a trunk show at Saint Cloud in Rice Village, so clearly I had to go check it out. During the event, I was able to meet with Shelly, one of the co-founders of the brand and also picked up a tee for myself.

Curated Cotton was officially founded June 2015 by Shelly Bishop and Paige Thompson- who are both working in the creative industries. Shelly started sewing and crafting in high school. She graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising. Since then, she has held an extensive career is just about every aspect of the fashion industry. She is currently a fashion stylist by day and co-founder of Curated Cotton by night. Paige- also a Baylor grad, majored in Studio Art and Graphic Design. While there, she explored multiple mediums in the art world, which included designing t-shirts. She then moved on to study at Chicago Portfolio School. After graduating, she worked for an advertising agency, before eventually moving on to Nashville, where she is currently based. She is an Art Director by day, and freelance designer, fine artist, and Co-Founder of Curated Cotton by night.

November 2014, Shelly picked up a copy of Sophia Amoruso’s #GIRLBOSS and finished it in two sittings. This helped ignite the concept for Curated Cotton. She further explains, “There are a few different points she made in the book that really resonated with me, and sparked the idea to design and sell tees. Right away I knew I wanted to ask Paige to help me execute designs, as we’ve worked together on projects in the past, and I love what she does. The timing was right for Paige, as she had also been thinking about starting something on the side. We each shifted our vision a little, and the result is Curated Cotton. Even though I first had the idea for Curated Cotton last November, our site didn’t officially launch until June. There is so much that goes into everything, and we really wanted to take the time do it right. We are based out of Houston and Nashville. Our tees are hand-pulled at Black Swan Screen Printing in the Heights, and shipped out from Houston, but we sell them on our website. I am a night person, and as I was winding down for bed, the name Curated Cotton came to me. I’m a huge sucker for alliteration, so that was a big plus, but I also love the meaning when you break it down. Originally, a curator was someone who was responsible for artfully and meticulously piecing together the best of the best to bring together a fantastic art or museum collection. The term curate is now much more commonly used, especially in the fashion world, to describe something that is thoughtfully and stylishly put together. Using what we’ve learned in school, along with our own experience, Paige and I place so much attention on detail and every decision we make to “curate” our brand. On the other end of the spectrum is cotton, which is casual, organic, effortless…We don’t ever want to take ourselves too seriously, so we thought about how funny it actually was to say that you ‘curate cotton…’ something so simple being so scrutinized.. But it’s actually the perfect way to describe and sum up who we are and what we do.”

Shelly credits her styling background to helping build the brand’s chic ‘west coast’ vibe. “Probably because I grew up in San Diego, I feel best in jeans and a white tee. My personal style is sporty, relaxed, and a little retro. I love mixing high and low pieces to achieve that cool-girl look. Styling for Curated Cotton is very personal for me, since it’s working with our own designs. I think a tee is a super versatile piece. I love to dress mine up and wear them out to events. I like that it’s ironic to wear a tee for evening. Each design we have kinda takes on a personality of it’s own. I like to envision the personality of that tee as an actual girl, and style it from there…how I would picture her wearing it..”

What sets Curated Cotton apart? “I’m a big fan of vintage, and the thrill of the hunt – the feeling you get when you take the time to find those special pieces that no one else has. Paige and I put a lot of effort into researching tees, and selecting the best fit and style out there. We then spend even more time on the design process, going back and forth making adjustments until we are 110% in love with the design. Once the perfect tee and design are in place, our screen printers hand-pull each shirt. When you buy a Curated Cotton tee, you know not a single detail has gone overlooked,” Shelly explained.

The tees range from $40-$55, depending on how many colors and screens are used to make them. Each tee is screen printed by hand on soft, high-quality shirts made of 100% cotton.

Be sure to also visit their Facebook and Instagram for future happenings!

LUSH Grand Opening at Memorial City Mall

LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics was founded in 1995 by Mark Constantine, Liz Weir, Mo Constantine, Helen Ambrosen, Rowena Bird and Paul Greaves in Poole, England. The story goes that the group held a contest for naming the company. One customer suggested “lush,” which is defined as being fresh, green, verdant and drunken women. The name stuck and has been the household name for years. The first U.S. store opened in San Francisco in 2003. There are now over 200 stores in the U.S., which are being supplied by two cosmetic kitchens in Canada.

The environmentally green brand recently opened a branch at Memorial City Mall…well…more like re-opened, as they were originally in Macy’s. They opened up a larger space near the ice-skating rink to better serve their ever-growing clientele more efficiently. The Grand Opening event was rather crowded. The space was still small enough to where they could only let a certain amount of people in at a time. The first 100 people in line (and RSVP’d) received a limited edition tote bag. Associates handed out fresh juices from Juicy in the Sky, healthy energy bars and vegan snacks by Good Cravings to the guests anxiously waiting in line. Once in, I browsed the shelves of products in happy and naked packaging. I learned about their fresh face mask bar, which was definitely a new concept since the last time I had been in a LUSH store. The masks are made fresh daily and are preservative free. They also incorporate nutritious fruits, vegetables and the finest essential oils to soothe and rejuvenate the skin. The examples (clay with fruit) that they had for viewing only looked good enough to eat!

While there, I decided to get a skin consultation, where one of the expert associates gives you a one-on-one consultation on your skin and then chooses the best products that she/he thinks would be a great fit. Mary Alice was kind enough to help me and I enjoyed how she explained everything as she demonstrated each product she had chosen for me. The products chosen for my oily and acne-prone skin were: Ocean Salt facial and body cleanser, Coalface facial cleanser, Vanishing Cream moisturizer and Tea Tree Water.

It wasn’t a proper ending to an event without stopping by the shop’s photo booth! Say CHEESEEEEEEE!

Do you guys shop at LUSH? If so, what are your favorite products?

Kissue Grand Opening at Memorial City Mall

Texas sisters- Kailey Tissue McCollum and Kaygan Tissue recently celebrated the grand opening of their flagship store- Kissue– at Memorial City Mall. I remember attending one of their trunk shows back when they were just selling online or out of their residence back in 2014 (you can read about it HERE). Now, you can shop their affordable hand-curated clothing and accessories that are distinguished in detail, such as: clean cut, modern, sharp and fine lines at their brick-n-mortar. They carry a variety of brands that are for the most part, from either Los Angeles or New York, such as: Ark & Co., English Rose, Nameless and C. Luce (which are their favorite brands as well). Their store’s mainly black and white decor stays true to their minimalistic esthetic, which I think helps to draw more attention to their products, which also now includes costume jewelry and the latest sunglasses styles from Quay Australia. When walking around the shop, I saw a small lounging area, complete with a Kissue lookbook and books on McQueen and general style; several dressing rooms; a crazy cool white room divider (perfect for spontaneous outfit shots) and black and white posters of a model wearing Kissue’s latest looks.

Kissue is located at 303 Memorial Way Houston, Texas 77024- Inside the Dillard’s wing of Memorial City Mall.

Below are photos from the event, including shots of my fave pieces!

“Recycled Runway” Fashion Show – Pearland Town Center

On August 9th, the City of Pearland, TX held it’s inaugural “Recycled Runway” Fashion Show- at Pearland Town Center. Myself, along with nine other contestants designed a garment for the fashion show and contest. The outfits that we designed were made using recycled and reused materials. The fashion show was the culmination of the Recycled Runway Fashion Program, which was a collaboration between Keep Pearland Beautiful and Dawson High School Fashion Club. Starting in May, when we signed up, we were given the rules and advertising. We were invited to attend a few workshops that could help hone our skills. We also had to turn in an environmental factoid that related to the materials used in our outfits. This process, including our mini interviews in front of the judges, lead to our final scores. We were divided into two categories: individual and group. Since it was just me, myself and I- I was in the individual category. The other contestants were: Zuldery Alvarado, Tran Trinh and Samantha Hathaway also in the individual category. Lisa & Kimberly Bass; Caroline, Liana & Kelly Miller; H-E-B Plus Pearland-Tonisha Whyte, Jaeanette Stovall, Sonia Cordona and Alicia Reddick; Ivy Hathaway & Emily Anderson.

The fashion show was emceed by Kevin & D’Arcy Murphy. The judges were introduced as: Regina Beam- StyleMe Resale, Melissa Washington- Consultant for J. Hilburn and Shawnte Thomas- Orange Theory Fitness. Along with the Keep Pearland Beautiful booth, Bianca Springer of Thanks I made them, Sew can you! was also a vendor.

The designers’ outfits’ materials ranged from vintage afghans, 70 Capri Sun and Kool-Aid pouches, wire hangers, soda pop tops, paper, pages of magazines, bubble wrap to latex gloves, coffee sacks, trash bags and Solo cups.

The show was a blast and I enjoyed showing off my creation. Huge thanks to Cintrena Johnson for being my model. Another HUGE and heartfelt thank you to Paulisa Winsong at Pearland Convention and Visitors Bureau for graciously stepping in to do her make-up and hair, when the original MUA unprofessionally fell through.

The winners were:


H-E-B Plus Pearland-Tonisha Whyte, Jaeanette Stovall, Sonia Cordona and Alicia Reddick


Heather Petrey (ME!!!!)


Tran Trinh


Caroline, Liana & Kelly Miller


Lisa & Kimberly Bass

FAN FAVORITE- $20 Gift Card to BJ’s Restaurant

H-E-B Plus Pearland-Tonisha Whyte, Jaeanette Stovall, Sonia Cordona and Alicia Reddick


KPB appreciates the Youth Resource Library Grant Program funding they received from Keep Texas Beautiful to support this program. Funding for the grant came from H-E-B and Central Market.

Dawson High School Fashion Club- Mrs. Dunham and Ms. Jourdan and their students

Stadia Sports Grill (located in the Town Center)- Manager David Shetsky

Pearland Town Center

Courtyard by Marriott- Pearland Town Center

Luz de Luna Studios (located at 708 Telephone Rd, Suite A in Houston, Tx)- Adanary Jacques for sponsoring the photography today and donation for the door prize. Check out her gallery of the show HERE.

Stella Roberts Recycle Center

BJ’s Restaurant for donating gift cards

StyleMe Resale– Regina Beam

Generous Donors:

Stadia Sports Grill

Orange Theory Fitness

JCS Credit Union

Any Lab Test Now!

Berkeley Eye Center

Smart Financial Credit Union

Stella Roberts Recycle Center

Keep Pearland Beautiful

Kelly Miller of Kelly Miller Photography for donating her services the week before the Recycled Runway for a photo shoot at the Recycling Center. View the photos from the shoot HERE.


Brunching with Tagspire at Downhouse HTX

Tagspire is the latest app to enter the blogosphere- let alone the overall “social media-osphere.” It recently launched in May 2015 in Austin, TX and was inspired by the need for a social media platform to support user-generated content for product recommendations and a direct way to buy from content. “Other social media giants are just now getting “buy now” buttons and only support brand advertisement. Our platform is built with a consumer-first approach that makes an individual’s content directly shoppable and discoverable in a trusted network among friends, family, and other trend makers. Plus, individuals are rewarded for sharing their recommendations and earn cash any time someone makes a purchase from their post,” Amy Chait – VP of Marketing- explained.

The brand recently invited Houston influencers to brunch at Downhouse, where we were able to learn more and try out the app. Below are some key take-aways that were provided by Amy:

* Tagspire is not only an app, but a community where you don’t have to fill out an application. It includes the tools to share outbound to other social channels and blogs as well. The brand built their own technology so that we don’t have to rely on other technology platforms to do our core business (i.e. how Pinterest took away affiliate links for bloggers and they are no longer able to directly monetize their Pinterest posts).

* Tagspire has other tags, including the video and link tag, that are not provided by others.The video tag allows you to include YouTube tutorials or reviews to compliment whatever you are promoting. The link tag is a convenient option if you are not able to find product in the database or want to link back your blog. Also, other bloggers have used the link tag for their ShopSense links since they don’t provide a pay-per-click program (they pay per conversion). The brand doesn’t mind if bloggers use their other affiliate links, but they can’t guarantee payout if they don’t use the Tagspire sell tag.

* Tagspire is transparent. You can see your balance dashboard to see clicks and sells. It will enhance the dashboard overtime. It always passes back 80% of the merchant commission back to the user.

So when it comes to monetizing apps, you may want to check out Tagspire, especially because it’s more accessible than other platforms that either require an application, are for influencers only or that require a minimum amount sold.

Huge thanks to Leah and Amy for inviting us and sharing the world that is Tagspire. Thank you to Downhouse for the wonderfully-good Russian Pancakes!

The Big Sizzle: Poolside Grilling Competition and Sizzling Fashion Show

The Monogram Apartment Collection‘s MUSE at Museum District recently hosted “The Big Sizzle: Poolside Grill Competition and Fashion Show.” The day was hot and sunny, which were the perfect elements for a poolside bash at one of Houston’s hottest new apartment complexes. The event took place out at the lush community pool, where several local vendors were set up and DJs from Hot 95.7 FM were spinning the latest tunes. Five teams from other Monogram Apartment communities put their cooking and grilling skills to the test, while local celebrity judges tasted and scored their favorites. The celebrity panel of judges included: Ricky Cruz- Executive Chef at Grotto, Ebony Niicole- Miss Central Texas USA, Natasha Barrett & Katherine Whaley- KTRK ABC 13, William Gilchriest- Executive Chef at Brooklyn Athletic Club, Mike Chabala- Veteran Houston Dynamo Soccer Player and Keola Lui-Kwan from Hot 95.7 FM.

Guests were welcome to enter raffles, nosh on bites by El Tiempo and more! The event concluded with a sizzling fashion show, featuring a myriad of summer ready-to-wear looks by Danny Nguyen.

The Muse team ended up winning the grilling competition. Proceeds from this event benefitted The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance.

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