White Flower Earrings

Details: Baublebar Earrings / Thrifted J.Crew Top (Similar) / Articles of Society Jeans / Jack Rogers Sandals

These white flower earrings are my favorite new piece of jewelry. I’ve been wearing them all summer with everything from casual outfits like this one to party dresses. They add such an interesting element to any outfit whether my hair is up or down. I especially love them with this white and red striped J.Crew top I found at Goodwill. What kind jewelry have you been gravitating toward lately?

P.S. My jeans are currently 40% off at Nordstrom.

Pink Tassel Earrings

BaubleBar Earrings / Banana Republic Sweater and Top / Articles of Society Jeans / Everlane Loafers

The sun is out and it’s getting warmer and nicer by the day, which means it’s time to start adding bright colors and fun textures to your wardrobe. In preparation for the summer months, I purchased these BaubleBar Tassel Earrings because I knew they would be the perfect complement to white jeans and nautical tops and many other combinations. They’re versatile enough to wear with a maxi dress for dinner and drinks or with a white t-shirt and jean shorts for strolling around town. Right now I’m slowly starting to introduce them with outfits that are yearning for a pop of color, like this navy blue sweater with jeans. What are you starting to wear more of now that the weather is nice?

Ily Couture Statement Necklace

I got this Ily Couture Statement Necklace for $16 after redeeming a promotion code from J’s Everyday Fashion. She is a must follow as she is always sharing great outfit inspiration as well as special offers like this one.

I had been searching for a budget-friendly version of this necklace for a while and had passed up on some other versions because they did not look very high quality. When I saw the offer on J’s blog, I knew I had to jump on it because unlike the other versions I had seen, this one looked promising. After opening the package, I was happy to see that the quality was indeed higher than some of the other necklaces I had seen. Immediately, I wanted to pair it with my chambray shirt and pencil skirt. It’s such an easy look to pull off and the chambray shirt is such a simple back drop for this colorful accessory.

Where do you find great deals on accessories?

Here is another statement necklace I found at a great price.

Details:
Target Chambray Shirt
Ily Couture Statement Necklace ($16)
Consignment J.Crew Pencil Skirt
Nine West Shoes

Cleveland designer: R.Levine

“Enjoy this Day” print cotton scarf in cream- 100% cotton, 16″ X 93″, retail $36

“Peacock” Hand-dipped and painted silk sash-100% silk, 5″ X 70″, retail $120

“Peacock Paisley” print collar necklace in aqua- cotton and silk original print strips with hand-painted silk button with crystal embellishment, retail $88

 “Silver Queen”, Hand-painted original print, retail $68

“Inspiration Rose” Wristwrap- Rayon band with hand-painted silk button with crystal embellishment, retail $42

I am constantly amazed by the talented people that live in Cleveland. Outsiders have no idea. The more people I meet, the more interesting stories I hear. I first met Rebecca Levine, of R.Levine designs, at a social event hosted by the Cleveland Alumnae chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Already, we are tied by sorority bonds. Then I find out that she designs her own line of scarves and accessories. This girl is seriously impressive. I mean check out her work above. Every piece looks like a wearable work of art.

She attended the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago for Fashion Design. She is inspired by everything from her travels to Spain to conversations with her clients. And she started out as a girl from Solon, Ohio, who loved doodling and coordinating outfits. A girl after my own heart. Please check out her other designs on her website, and read my interview with her below:

How did you start designing your own jewelry and accessories?

I grew up in Solon, Ohio. I found myself doodling patterns in a notebook and coordinating outfits with the perfect accessories at a young age. My friends always asked me for fashion advice and I enjoyed making handmade gifts for as long as I can remember. I started off by painting designs on canvas and adding decorative pieces (fabric, ribbon, gems, dimensional paint) to “dress the walls.” I continued to paint through college at Miami University (OH). However, it wasn’t until I went to grad school at the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago for Fashion Design that I found my true calling. I took a surface design class and I was introduced to silk painting. I absolutely fell in love with the art of painting my designs on fabric. It gave movement and functionality to my work. I started painting silk scarves on my own and from that my business was born. My business has expanded to original prints for clothing and accessories (scarves, collar necklaces, headbands, wristwraps). My accessories are unique in that each print comes from a sketch and then it is manipulated into the final print. All of the accessories are made of fabric (a combination of silk and cotton) and utlilize the R.Levine signature fabric strip design.

Any other interests?  

I seem to always have a sketchbook/paper on hand to jot down my ideas. I find that I’m always working-thinking of my next project. I enjoy designing and creating a new piece so much that is just becomes a part of my everyday life. However, when I’m not designing, I enjoy working out. I like to be active-whether it’s at the gym or getting outside. I love to play golf. It is my way of taking it all in. I also like to travel. Traveling gives me the inspiration to come up with ideas and make new connections. I think it is exciting to see new places and meet people.

It says on your site that many of your designs are inspired by travel, is that something that is important to you in your life? 

Yes! Travel inspires many of my designs- whether it is a texture/color I see in architecture or a design interpreted from the people and energy of a place. Oftentimes, it is the nuances of a place that inspire me. It can be something as simple as a pattern  I see in passing. Some of the best ideas come in the simplest form. Outside of design, I think travel is important for a healthy mind and body. The challenge of taking on an adventure and experiencing a new place gives me perspective and helps me grow as a person. It doesn’t have to be a far trip either. I think getting out of our routine once in a while helps to keep us fresh and sharp. At least that is what keeps me motivated and inspire.

What is your favorite travel destination? 

Spain! I have only been twice, but my study abroad experience in Salamanca, Spain, while I was at Miami University (OH) was one of my most memorable trips. In fact, the experience heavily influenced my design aesthetic and my extensive use of bold colors and patterns. There is a lot of passion in the people and culture surrounding Spain. I strive to express that same strong emotion in my work.

Do you have any packing tips?  

Comfortable, stylish, compact clothing! I try to keep that in mind when I’m packing up my bag. I also designed my pieces keeping it in mind. My shirts, scarves and other accessories are all easy to pack. Best of all, I create prints throughout my collection that complement each other so everything can be mixed and matched to make more outfits. Another great aspect of my line is that I create accessories that can be paired with what you already have in your closet. You can take your favorite shirt or dress, add an R.Levine accessory, and it instantly gives you a new look!
What else inspires your designs? 

Everything around me. It is amazing how much inspiration is all around us. Inspiration can come from something as grand as the Eiffel Tower or as simple as a pattern left in the sidewalk from a day’s rain. I have even gotten a lot of great ideas from talking with people at my shows. I find it interesting to hear what people are looking for and what they want to wear. I have had many conversations that have sparked ideas for new designs.

I see that you have an online shop. Are there any brick and mortar stores that carry your designs?  

As for now, I’ve been focusing on selling online as well as doing shows in the area and around the country. The most exciting show I did was at Henri Bendel in NYC. I stood in line at a casting call and they picked my scarf collection to debut at a trunk show in the NYC store. I did the One of a Kind Show in Chicago over the holidays and the California Gift Show (LA) a couple of months ago. I’m looking into shops to carry my line, but for now I like to show/sell my work directly to the customer. It is a great way for me to personally tell people about my brand and to get great feedback so I can offer products people are excited to wear!

Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in starting his or her own business? 

I would say find your passion, something you can do around the clock- because to do it well, you will be doing it around the clock! You have to really want it and you have to feel the need to pave your own path. It is an exciting opportunity to share your dream/vision with others. It is important to stay true to yourself and follow your instinct. However, it is also essential to do plenty of research and network as much as possible. A great idea/product is nothing without the support of people around you. The people who support you make your business relevant and enable it to thrive. Above all- you have to keep on-be persistent and patient!

Lastly, who is your favorite designer(s)?

Nicole Miller is my favorite! I love her use of color and detail. I had a chance to intern at Nicole Miller in NYC during my time at the Illinois Institute of Art as a fashion design student. It was an unforgettable experience. I also like Ralph Lauren for timeless, sophisticated style. And Balenciaga for his creative pieces with Spanish flare.

Etsy Find: Black Satin Shoes

Black Satin Shoes is an Etsy shop that I have recently discovered. Chante makes and sells headbands, hair and shoe accessories, and jewelry. The pretty flowers, peacock feathers, and bows all encompass this cute, girly vintage look that I love. And it is all really affordable.

Chante took the time to answer some questions for me:

CP: Is this your full time job?
BSS: My full time job is gong to school but Etsy does take more time since its just little ol’ me making everything. It actually brings in more money than when i was working so in a way it is my job.

CP: What inspires your designs?
BSS: I find inspiration everywhere! Lately whenever I see gardens I think of tons of new hair accessories that i want to make for spring.
Shoes really inspire me. I either want to make shoe clips to go with a certain style or make shoe clips based off a certain style. Its my obsession right now.

CP: How long have you been doing this?
BSS: I have only been doing this for a year. I just had my one year anniversary with Etsy on the third of this month, but October is when I really had my shop fully representing me so it took a while to get it going.

Thanks Chante! Visit Black Satin Shoes for more.