Style Sunday | Style in the City

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When you think of destinations for fashion you the New York, Paris, Milian, I’m sure Cincinnati, Ohio never comes to mind. It should the University of Cincinnati has highly rank fashion design programs and with more millennials staying in the city after graduation a scene is emerging. I can’t give the millennials all of the credit for shining a light on style in the city there are established outlets like Cincy Chic that have always held the torch for style in the city.

This weekend I attended the Red, Pink & Blue Event the night focused on women’s health and of course fashion.I loved that fashion had a theme of little black dresses, which were all much sexier than expected which I appreciated.  Cincy Chic regularly holds fashion events at excited and hip venues if you need fashion inspiration follow them on Facebook to find out about their next event. 

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More Style, More Cincinnati

Did you know there is a mobile boutique in Cincinnati?? Trouvaille Mobile Botique has everything you need to put a stylish look together from accessories, clothes, and shoes. The best part is they will come to you! You can book them for a bridal shower, birthday party, or just because. Just get your friends together and shop. You can also find out where they will be next on their Facebook page. Fashion Trucks are the new food trucks!

 

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Style Sunday |That Looks Great On You

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESSince I have begun sharing my personal style with the world wide web the one comment that has perplexed me most is, “that looks great, on you.” After I read that sentiment I sit staring at my laptop thinking it doesn’t just look good on me it could look good on you too! Especially if the comment is referring to wearing a print or a bright color. When I planned to talk about swimwear, I prepared myself for the “that looks great, on you!”

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Looking Good Is a State of Mind

I think confidence can easily be mistaken for being conceited. My body confidence comes from knowing the power of my body. My body has walked miles, given birth to my daughter, it’s been injured, it’s healed, my body is getting me through life. I refuse to be ashamed of it because it doesn’t look like what society says it should look like.

Lately, I have read several articles about clothes that flatter. There is a whole anti-flattering movement happening, am I the only person confused? Do I keep wondering, why would someone want to wear something that isn’t flattering? I recently began to understand the whole issue about flattery. I feel most confident when I’m wearing shapewear or if I’m wearing something that gives the appearance looking slimmer. I basically want every swimsuit I own to have shapewear built into it.

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I’ve owned this swimsuit for a while now, and I’ve just never worn it, it’s not “slimming.” It didn’t guarantee that I would look 10 pounds slimmer. I bought it because I liked the details and the color of the swimsuit. Sometimes you just want to wear something because you like it and not because it creates the illusion of being thinner. Let’s be real my body is there whether I have on shapewear or not. Here’s another reality if you are hiding behind clothes or swimsuits that say, don’t notice me, we can still see you. Now that you have our attention what do you want to say?

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

4 Branding Tips I Wish I Knew Before Starting A Blog

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I was so nervous when I started my blog that I had to devote all of my focus to getting up the nerve to click the publish button. My anxiety was out of control. I was overwhelmed at the thought of people judging me thinking, “Who does she think she is?”  After I finally shared my concept with the social media world, I quickly understood that I was a small fish in a global ocean. I began researching how to stand out in an oversaturated market. The more you know, the more you grow. I still wish I had so many of the tools and techniques that I am finding out about every day.

I’m not Instagram famous, yet, but people have asked me about how I keep my blogging approach so effortless. The answer to that questions is that it’s never effortless, and I work hard and at times, it’s bordering obsessive. Through my research, I noticed what separated the popular blogs, small businesses, and online communities from those that were struggling was branding.

Well, because you asked….

People hate to be sold to or feel like they are being asked to do something. When you first create a new venture, your first instinct is to say “read my blog”, “buy my product”, “come to my show”. That tactic isn’t working because you had to ask. A brand isn’t asking you for anything. A brand is welcoming you into a world that you want to be a part of and providing you with an experience that you can’t get anywhere else.

As a kid, you didn’t want name brand cereal because General Mills asked you to buy it. Every cereal has an associated cartoon with their world, and the correlating cartoon had a thirty-second commercial that invited you into their world. Captain Crunch invited you onto his ship, and by the time you got to the grocery you wanted to purchase his cereal. Whatever it is that you are promoting, create a world for it and invite people to experience it. Asking doesn’t create loyalty, it creates disinterest and guilt, and that isn’t a feeling that will create followers or return customers.

You Don’t Know Jack

Everybody knows something, and you may be an expert in your field, but you don’t know what you think you know. I had written stage plays and performed all over the country as a spoken word artist. I knew what it was to get likes and engagement on a social media platform. I even knew how to post a picture on Instagram, but I didn’t know jack! It seemed as though the moment that I wanted people who engaged with me on an everyday basis, and to engage with me on my blog all I heard was crickets.

When people don’t immediately take an interest in your business ventures it can be hard. You can feel like they don’t support you, but before you lash out in a really long Facebook post, stop and think.  Maybe you’re taking their support for granted. Don’t complain, get better. Maybe it’s not what you are doing, but how you are doing it. It’s okay to stop and reevaluate the plan and amend some of your tactics. Get more information and read books about how to engage with people. Research your industry.  Follow brands that you are loyal to and figure what it is about that brand keeps you coming back. You don’t know jack because you can never know everything.

If you are using Facebook to promote yourself on your personal page ,and you don’t have a business page, create one. A business page has analysis.  It tracks how much traffic comes to the page and how many people saw a post.  (Facebook has a shady algorithm so be sure to share everything onto your personal page to generate more traffic.) Pay attention to what post work and which post generate the most engagement and adjust your approach.

If you promote more on Instagram, you need to takes some time and research hashtags that relate to what it is you promote. Trust and believe that everything has a hashtag and lucky for us, Instagram now will show you related hashtags. Be sure to pay attention to what time you get the most engagement, you may be posting great content, but you’re posting it when no one is online and that is like talking to an empty room. If you don’t use Instagram I don’t know why not. Facebook limits you to who you know and Instagram limits you to who cares. If you find a way to engage on Instagram with people who are interested in what you are providing you are opening up a world of opportunity for yourself.

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ABS (Always Be Selling)

I know I just said people don’t like to be sold.  Let me rephrase.  People don’t like to feel like they are BEING sold. That doesn’t mean we can’t play to their subconscious. Use social media, don’t let it use you. If you post a cute selfie, make a quick reference to your brand in the caption. Then you seem carefree like, “I’m just out here in enjoying life and oh, by the way, stop by my ______.” You may want to limit how many post you make that don’t pertain to what you have going on. I’m not saying never post personal pictures just try not to oversaturate yourself, or create mixed messages with your brand.

The best example of ABS that I can think of is my super suave and handsome friend Ron . Ron is always selling and he makes it look effortless. He pays close attention to when something is working, and he remains consistent. He started a whole movement with pictures that he would take of himself along with his friends.  He posts the pictures and says, “Look Who I Ran Into.” His pictures are always fun, and he is always at a happening spot, so you look forward to seeing where Ron is and who he ran into. Soon he got the suggestion to make, “Look Who I Ran” into a hashtag and into his brand. Once the hashtag grew in popularity, he put the hashtag on t-shirts and they selling like hot cakes!

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Do you see how Ron created a world by consistently taking pictures when he went out? He would also tag his friends (which is genius because now his friends and their friends see the picture). Unintentionally, Ron created a soft launch by promoting himself, creating a hashtag, and then launching a product. A soft launch is a business term that refers to the process of establishing a brand before there is a product to sell.

So if you have a business or blog that you want to get started I encourage you to get started now. Even if you don’t have the money or all of the tools you need to get started, start now. The most advantageous part of a soft launch is that you create a loyal following so that when you launch your product there is someone to buy it.

Image is Everything

The scroll is real! The images that you use to brand yourself and your products are essential. The majority of people now access social media on their phone and not on a computer which means your images are being seen on a smaller screen. If your images aren’t clear and compelling than it’s getting scrolled past until something is captivating enough to make the person’s finger stop scrolling long enough to look at what is on their screen.

You have to think about what story you are trying to convey about your brand with the picture that you are about to post. Also, keep in mind that large retailers, national companies, and major brands are also using social media. Their pictures are being styled and photographed by professionals.  You’re competing to get engagement in the same newsfeed. If you bake, take pictures of your cakes and make sure that they are in the context of your brand. Style your products and services in a context that people can understand. Create a world and invite people in with your pictures.

I know the thought of competing with the big brands seems overwhelming but work it at your own pace. I borrowed a friends camera when I first started blogging until I could afford the camera I wanted. I’ve seen people create magic with iPhone cameras. You might not be able to use a graphic designer for every promotion, but there are free online options like Canva that will allow you to make anything from a Facebook promotion to a full-size poster.

 

I still wish to this day that I had known what a soft launch was before I published my blog. Like I said before, the more you know, the more you grow and to that I will add more opportunities will come your way. I am always taking online classes  and reading books learning more about photography, business launch strategies, and the fine art of promoting yourself. Like I said, I’m borderline obsessed.  If you run into me and get me talking I will probably tell you about the latest podcast about how to grow your Instagram following. Dreams are great and bringing them into reality is hard work, but hopefully from the outside looking in it appears effortless.

Be sure to check out Ron on social media to find out more about him and #lookwhoIraninto Facebook and Instagram.

For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

Style Sunday | My Wardrobe Secret

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The weather is beautiful, there is something to do every night of the week and every time you turn around another one of your friends is getting married. I get anxious with every new invitation because after the excitement wears off I’m left wondering, “What am I going to wear?”

This summer I will be the BDG (Best Dressed Guest) at every function. I’m sharing my summer secret… It’s Gwynnie Bee.

Gwynnie Bee is at my service and all of my “what to wear” fears have gone away. Gwynnie Bee is a plus size clothing rental service. I get to try the latest designer plus brands without the commitment. You don’t have to worry about cleaning the clothes after you wear them Gwynnie Bee dry cleans everything after you return your items. Everything is shipped two-day by USPS. When I’m ready, I just send the items back in my prepaid postage bag, and Gwynnie Bee sends me another item from my online closet. It’s like Netflix for clothes, and I’m addicted!!!

Both of these dresses can be found on Gwynnie Bee. I have a special offer for all of my Oh Wize One readers click here and try Gwynnie Bee for yourself  for FREE!!

Gwynnie Bee Unboxing

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Aww wasn’t that nice they included a sample 🙂

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If you fall in love with an item don’t worry you can purchase the items from Gwynnie Bee at a discounted price!

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For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe I Do Care About Alicia Keys and #NoMakeup

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It was just a regular lunch hour for me endlessly caught up in what I like to call “the scroll” it’s when I just mindlessly scroll through Facebook like a zombie. I came across an article, Alicia Keys Has Started A #NoMakeup Movement, And It’s Amazing. I see a picture of Alicia she’s not wearing any makeup, and this is my immediate reaction:

“Alicia Keys with no makeup.”

“She’s still beautiful.”

“She’s pretty.”

“A pretty girl with no makeup.”

“If Alicia Key’s has come into self-acceptance, that’s awesome!”

“This is a lot of praise for a pretty girl who is a celebrity that has been photographed without wearing any makeup.”

“A celebrity who can afford to go to the dermatologist and get regular facials.”

“#NoMakeup????”

Basically, my first thought was that she looked beautiful. I hadn’t fully formed my opinion, but the disadvantage of a trending topic on social media is that people get cynical (myself included). I wasn’t going to bash Alicia Keys for her Aha moment, I just wasn’t about to give her a cookie for doing something I do all the time, show up to work with no makeup on.

Then I read the comments….

Women were not happy about #nomakeup because they said they didn’t want to stop wearing makeup. In the article. Alicia never stated that other women shouldn’t wear makeup.  She only said SHE didn’t want to cover up anymore. Her statements were about her personal journey. How did this picture of a bare faced Alicia Keys turn into a brawl?

Then I had a lightbulb moment, DUH, because women are a minority and when a minority makes it into the public eye they now represent all of us. Alicia is no longer allowed the same privilege that I take for granted of showing up to work not wearing any makeup.  Her job depends on how she looks. A perceived image can make people sensitive. I understand. I sometimes feel betrayed when an actress I thought looked perfectly fine loses weight. I feel like she’s falling into the ideals of society and leaving us regular women behind to join the stick thin Hollywood Illuminati. (If that’s even a thing)

Maybe the sea of makeup devotees felt left behind on a train they didn’t want to board because unlike Alicia; they can’t afford a dermatologist or get weekly facials. Alicia is a pretty celebrity who on the outside looking in doesn’t have much to hide. Hell, even without makeup Alicia is sitting under good lighting being photographed by a professional photographer. I thought to myself,  “Alicia just doesn’t understand our struggle our everyday woman struggle.  Kudos to you Alicia on the self-acceptance, but I won’t be throwing away any of my $60 eye shadow pallets anytime soon.”

Then I checked myself

I had just had a conversation with my best friend about how people try to pressure you into being the “old you”. When you truly experience growth you can’t go back to the “old you” and you don’t owe anyone an explanation on why you can’t live up to a past version of yourself. When things don’t change you get stale. Ready, ripe, rotten that is the process of fruit and people. Unlike fruit, we can’t force people into fermentation. (Alicia is a person, not wine! You can’t freeze her in time to make yourself more comfortable)

One woman’s journey does not represent us all and that concept needs to die. (period point blank). We can’t demand to be seen as multi-dimensional and then condemn women for evolving. In the great words of Queen Bey, Ok ladies now let’s get in formation. Form into a line where we support and applaud the change, growth, and evolution. As long as the next woman’s metamorphosis is healthy, I see no reason to take it as a personal attack on how you chose to be a woman. There is no one right of being a woman.

#NoMakeup For Real

The thought of not wearing no makeup doesn’t faze me. Ok, it does bother me I’m a confident person, but I prefer to control how people see me. I’d be a liar if I said the way I look doesn’t play into how I feel. As a matter of fact, my 7th-grade guidance counselor could expose me as the world’s biggest hypocrite.She could tell you a story of a student sent into her office crying hysterically. I mean full on tears, loud sobs from losing your breath while crying, snot, the works. You would have thought someone had died. When the student’s crying finally calmed just enough for the guidance consoler to ask what is wrong. The student shrieks, “MY HAIR IS NOT DONE!”

That crying student was me. I thought I could stay home sick (sick because my hair wasn’t done) from school. My mom didn’t care about my hair.  She made me go to school the with the world’s stingiest, harden gel filled, deconstructed french roll turned into a ponytail. My mom just dropped me off at school like she didn’t care about my feelings. (I was thirteen. I wasn’t picking up on the whole school is more important than your hair concept.) Like she couldn’t understand that a thirteen-year-old can not show up to school looking anything less than perfect. That day I learned a valuable lesson, always wash and blow dry your hair the night before or things can get ugly in the morning.

As women, some of our identity is attached to being visually appealing to the eye, as though we have nothing else to offer the world other than the way we look. Like our unpolished, bare faced selves aren’t worthy of being considered beautiful. The societal beauty standard is continually being raised and what we find visually appealing is starting to look less and less like #nomakeup. Real is becoming the new ugly.

Maybe I will send Alicia Keys a cookie because women deserve a prize for accepting their authentic selves. Maybe #NoMakeup isn’t about never wearing makeup again but about embracing our truth. Maybe it’s about finding the beauty in celebrating “I woke up like this, no for real.” Maybe it’s the strength some thirteen-year-old girl needs, so she doesn’t deep breath sob cry in her guidance counselor’s office. Maybe if we all just got into formation and stood in line with Alicia, then we could create a norm where showing up to work with no makeup on is an option for every job, even if your job is being a world renown entertainer like Alicia Keys.

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For more Oh Wize One be sure to subscribe by clicking the follow button.  You can also follow me on Facebook OhWize One, Instagram@ohwizeone, twitter@ohwize1. Remember to share the wisdom with friends!!