I remember the first time a wore a pair of patent leather shoes mixed with ruffled socks. That might have been the first time I realized the power of fashion, and how beautiful things could make me occasionally happy.
For Ariel, the now 15 year old woman behind Swedroe by Ariel, fashion became her biggest passion since the first time she touched a sewing machine, and realized the power it had to materialize her fashion-driven dreams and ideals.
And of course: fashion is an emotion. It’s empowerment. It’s a tool of liberation of the confinement of the self in a body.
But I’ve always been amazed of how early on she knew what she wanted, and found a way to make it happen. Between you and I, I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up…
This is part of a bigger project I did in February 2018 with Go Daddy to highlight some entrepreneurs in the city, and the path that led them to dare to build their own business.
Looking back, this project was a huge support to make my own brand a reality. Canvas would probably not be ready yet, if it wasn’t for them.
Andy Faerman, better known as @miamifashioninsider, understands the value of community like not many people do. Her curly blond hair, big blue eyes, and red lips are unmissable as she walks the streets of Miami wearing beautiful combinations.
Her followers love her beyond compare because of how real she is. Through hashtags such as #MADREPROMEDIO (average mother), and #SEVALEREPETIR she portrays her life, with a lot of humor, humbleness, and understanding for the daily struggles we all face everyday in the different aspects of our lives.
I know that for a fact.
I met this very special woman at the opening of Tomas Maier, at Bal Harbour Shops when we were both new to the city, and we became instant friends in the girliest of ways, (complementing each other and sharing a laugh) and the more I know her, the more I admire her.
She is a stylist, personal shopper, influencer, but also a professional juggler: three children, husband, styling, community management, career and lots of driving are among her daily tasks.
More on this beautiful woman as part of MADE IN MIAMI, a project I worked on earlier this year in which Go Daddy showcased very special entrepreneurs in this city.
Celebrities. We have all idealized them at sometime or another, and yet, what makes them so inspiring is that they also go through heart-breaks, complicated relationships, they need to manage their time take risks, decisions, break stereotypes, fight cultural barriers, negotiate, deal with hate, deal with love, deal with parenthood and family in the public eye, and yet they are faithful to themselves and to their dreams.
It all starts small. Sometimes by mistake, or by family ties, others it’s a powerful dream that transcends everything. Loved talking to PJ Aviles, an emerging artist Made in Miami, who is building himself up strongly, and creating beautiful music.
This interview was part of a project I did with Go Daddy, where we interviewed local entrepreneurs to showcase what Miami is made of. Hope you enjoy it!
Remember your first day of school? Every year while growing up, we faced the awkwardness of being around others at school, trying to be liked. It’s not easy for anyone, but for children with limited resources and for their families, it’s extremely challenging.
Meet Rachel Russell-Saiger, an amazing woman who garners the power of the community combining fashion and philanthropy in Miami, to help thousands of children every year, making sure they have everything they need to start the school year.
When you think of it, it takes thousands of dollars to make this happen, and thousands of families need help.
In this interview, which is part of my ‘Made in Miami’ series for a journalistic project I did with Go Daddy, she shares her mission in life, and the story behind Style Saves, which is also a source of inspiration for upcoming leaders emerging in our community.
Head pieces are extremely powerful; when you enter a room wearing one, they become a way to identify you, and can even turn into the focus of unexpected conversation. Suzy Buckley, who has an extensive background in fashion, created Shapoh in 2014, as a solution the lack of beautiful fascinators in the United States bringing a glamourous touch to the market. Her selection is quite unique, and very often ends up featured at Vogue US coverage of hat luncheons across the country.
In the following interview recorded as part of a journalistic project I did with Go Daddy showcasing local entrepreneurs in Miami, she shares her story.
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I’ve shared a piece of myself on Instagram and my blog/journal for the past year, and it has really helped me grow in many ways, and I’ve learned a lot in the process. You see, putting yourself out there it’s a psychological adventure where your perception of who you are is often challenged.
There is so much more to it than what is visible to the eye…
From the fun to the gloomy, whether you are in the same industry I am, or just curious, here are a couple of insights from this filtered life.
Yes, we all experiences Fear of Missing Out, but when you live a big chunk of your life on instagram, many of your friends tend to be fellow insta-addicts who post in relationship to everything they do, and your feed becomes asphyxiating with reminders of the event you totally missed out on.
2. Perfect shots that didn’t happen.
The total frustration of being in the perfect spot with the perfect outfit, and not having a single soul, or tripod close by to take a picture of you #thestruggleisreal
3. Mistakes happen.
The anger that comes from pressing ‘decline’ by mistake to a message you really wanted to answer, aka really good looking guy if you are single, or really heartfelt message from someone whose handle you can’t recall.
4. Nights when looking at how your life looks on the screen is so much better than your actual life.
Yeah. Sometimes it does, and looking at the girl in the pictures gives me strength as I rebuild myself to try to go back to being her.
5. The not-that-real friendships behind many love messages. I really wish I saw many of these friends more often. Apparently time management is an issue in every universe, and there’s often more posting and less conversations.
6. How hard it is sometimes to live in the moment.
You are exposed to all these amazing experiences, and yet it’s part of your work, so you’d better take a ton of material. I often save normal pictures and videos and post until I get home to try to live the moment.
7. Sometimes it hurts.
How hard your blood boils when someone who follows you, or works with you ‘re-imagines’ your look or your ideas without even mentioning you. It sucks. The only answer for that is to realize they can replicate a look, but never your journey. Keep creating, get over it, and credit all those who inspire you in hope the world dynamics will change one day. I also tend to block those people.
8. It’s stressful.
The anxiety of a post not getting the response you thought it would get. Sometimes I change the caption two or three times because of the anxiety of my audience not ‘getting’ what I’m trying to say. I know many influencers who would rather delete the pictures that don’t perform to their expectations.
9. People expect you to work for free.
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it’s the right fit because the product or the story behind the brand makes sense, but creating good content takes time, money and experience. There comes a moment when too many people want a chunk of your time, and it’s just not possible to give it away for free. The experience, exchange or commercial agreement needs to always be a win-win situation. I have so much respect for those agencies and people who realize the value of my work, and will always deliver above expectations to them.
10. It’s hard work.
It looks simple and glamorous, but behind the scenes there are many hours in front of the computer, a life-time of experiences, way to many decisions to take and lots of planning.
11. It’s worth it.
The joy of knowing you had an impact in someone else’s life, because you found your voice, and it resonates with a total stranger. All the above is worth it when that happens. You also get to work and create with brilliant people that change the way you see things. It’s magic.
To be continued…
Pictures by Celia . Luna at the Moore Building during RAW POP
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On one of my first outings when I first moved to Miami, I discovered ‘Plant the Future‘, a unique sanctuary with very special energy. A year after, I met Paloma Teppa, the woman behind it. Her intimate relationship with plants has taught me a lot about life, and has shifted the way I understand nature.
In this interview, which is part of my ‘Made in Miami’ series for a journalistic project with Go Daddy, she shares her mission in life, and the reason why we should all move a little bit closer to plants and create a universe of our own. You are going to love it.
Entrepreneurship takes courage. A lot of it. I got to work on a project with GoDaddy where we focused on entrepreneurs and small business owners in Miami . During the interview we were able to highlight their entrepreneurial journey and how they made their own way pursuing something they love. I wanted to take that a step further and showcase more about these beautiful people in Miami and what they bring to the community.
My first stop was AWOM Club.
The entrepreneur behind it, Sarah Akiba, believes in the power of community, and women helping each other. She works closely with teenagers with difficult economical situations to help mentor them and lead them in the right direction through Angel Watching Over Me Foundation, which was created in loving memory of his father, who lost a battle to lung-cancer recently. As an entrepreneur she has also created a female only co-working space and photography studio, called AWOM LAB, and a clothing brand, AWOM CLUB.
More on the way she sees life, and defines success on the video below.