Author Archives: J. Daniel

words are just words quote Jackie R Daniel

So I absolutely love a good quote. If I could end all of my arguments and make all of my points in quotes, I probably would. Why? People have short attention spans and language is complicated. There’s so much satisfaction to be had in using a simple quote to paint a clear picture of a complicated principle. For that same reason, I find that quotes actually help me settle many of my internal conflicts. “Should I take this risk?” “Yes, of course you should ‘Just do it’. I have been motivated time after time by simple quotes that have somehow altered my way of thinking and thus changed my life. It may seem far-fetched but some words are just so powerful, so impactful, that they not only resonate in that moment but the clarity they provide, the epiphany you experience, can last a lifetime. Here are a few of my favorites and how they have and are currently impacting my life:

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog. — Mark Twain

I heard this one while in high school. As an introvert, it was a total confidence builder. What it meant to me: As long as you have the heart you can conquer the biggest and the toughest obstacles. I’ve built a mental toughness over the years that has served me much more than my physical fitness ever has.

 

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. — Confucius

My Professional Development professor in college put me on to this one. It struck a cord the moment it left his mouth and I’ve been chasing it ever since. I still haven’t found this utopia yet but I’m relentless in my pursuit of it.

 

You teach people how to treat you.  Dr. Phil

This may or may not belong to Dr. Phil but that is where I heard it first. The other version is longer and attributed to Tony Gaskins. That version states: “You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce.” Sure the person in question might have been raised by wolves but what have you been teaching them about what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to you? This quote is a constant reminder for me to not accept the unacceptable. Life changed for me when I grew some metaphorical balls and started putting my foot down.

 

Personality can open doors, but only character can keep them open. Elmer G. Letterman

I’ve always been drawn to a magnetic personality. After struggling to understand why someone who seemed so great on the surface was eventually sickening to be around, I understood that I put way too much weight on personality. Yeah… I don’t do that anymore.

 

A liar should have a good memory. Quintilian

Alternate version: “No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.” – Abraham Lincoln. Recalling memories is easier then recalling stories. I learned to play close attention to the things people say especially when trust is in question. I learned that my silence was my most successful bait when trying to catch a liar. A liar will fill uncomfortable silence with tall tales, fables and details that may or may not be available to his memory later. I just learned to pay close attention.

 

Trying is lying. Unknown

When I first heard my brother say this I thought he came up with it but it looks like this one’s been around a while. After responding to a question with “I’ll try”, this was his not-so-subtle way of telling me that my response was a cop out, a set up for failure, if you will. Nowadays I’m more conscious of replacing “I’ll try” with "I will.” As you can imagine the “I will” has been more effective in helping me get sh!# done.

 

Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can't.” Student of Warren G. Tracy

Honestly, I owe one of my biggest accomplishments in life to this quote.  While going through a tough financial period, I made a decision to deal with my discomfort instead of chasing comfort in order to save money. It was difficult, sometimes near torturous but I knew the sacrifice would pay off in the long run and it did. I crossed a major item off of my goals list and continue to make the sacrifices that I know may be uncomfortable today but will allow me to luxuriate in comfortable later.

 

Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. — Mike Tyson

I’m a planner by nature. I plan the hell out of everything. Give me an obstacle and I’m working my way though it in a spreadsheet with considerations for different scenarios. But no matter how detailed your plan there is still a chance that you’ll get hit with an unknown variable and variables sometimes feel a lot like being punched in the face. What I learned: preparation won’t make me invincible and I’m going to have to deal with some BS when I least expect it. I can’t feel sorry for myself. I just have to take the blow and keep it moving.

 

I got my start by giving myself a start. Madam C. J. Walker

I’ve just added this one to my list. If you read my last post on Madam C. J. Walker, you’ll understand where it comes from. It might be a little too early to determine if this quote actually helps to change my life but it definitely feels like it provides the type of clarity that can be life-changing. When it comes to career or success, I’ll admit I’ve been guilty of waiting for someone to give me a shot. My new outlook is to give myself a shot.

 

There you have it. A couple of quotes that have helped change my life. There are a couple of others that I didn’t mention and I’m sure there will be more along this journey I call life. Let this be a friendly reminder that words are powerful. Listen closely – apply them wisely.

 

Thank you for reading. Now… Let the power moves continue.

madam cj walker at Villa Lawaro with quote

You may not ever discover the ever-mythical secret to success but if you play close enough attention to successful people, you’ll quickly come to realize that the secrets are often hidden in the obvious. In honor of black history month I thought it was only right to explore not only one of history’s greatest black entrepreneurs, but one of history’s most successful female entrepreneurs, period, Madam C.J. Walker, America’s first female, self-made millionaire.

Born Sarah Breedlove, daughter of and sister to former slaves, she was the first person in her family of eight to be born into freedom. Her life was plagued with hardships, from abuse, to failed marriages to hard labor. So how did Sarah Breedlove go from being born on a plantation to becoming the wealthiest and most successful female entrepreneur of her day? She’s often quoted as saying “I got my start by giving myself a start.” Well Amen sister!

Rather than try and write a short-form version of a biography that has already been written (please check out Walkers official biography On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker by great great granddaughter A’lelia Bundles), what I want to do is highlight some of the strategic moves that helped make Walker a success.

 

1. Learn From the Best — Then Do It Better

Forget a formal education. All Walker needed was an unofficial apprenticeship to get the ball rolling. She went to work for Annie Turnbo Malone, owner of the Poro Company, one of the times most successful African American hair-care entrepreneurs. As a commissioned sales agent, one could say she received on-the-job training while also working to develop her own product line. Walker would work for Malone just one year before branching out to start her own line and subsequently become Malone’s biggest rival in the industry. Sneaky? Maybe, but she positioned herself to learn from the best at the time and as a result, most likely identified a weakness and seized an opportunity to capitalize on it.

2. Make Them Remember Your Name

Madam C.J. Walker understood the importance of Personal Branding and Brand Identity before they were buzzwords. She didn’t just sell product she sold a brand. In an era where white people commonly disparaged black women by calling them by their first names or the further belittling “Auntie”, she adopted the moniker Madam C.J. Walker after marrying husband Christopher Joseph Walker, mimicking the distinctive naming convention often used by elite French hairdressers.1 By design, Walker’s reputation preceded her. Her brand had a distinctive look and she, not a paid model or spokesperson, was the face of it.

3. Surround Yourself With Excellence

From the start Madam C.J. Walker surrounded herself with extraordinary talents. From her start with Mahone to her partnership with husband Charles Walker who was an experienced sales and advertising professional, to long-time employee Marjorie Stewart Joyner, a legend in her own right, who was responsible for patenting the permanent wave machine while working for Madam Walker. She would align herself with several other history-making African Americans throughout her career.

4. Become a Master Seller

Madam CJ Walker sales agents at her home villa lewaro
Photo courtesy of Madam Walker Family archives www.madamcjwalker.com

Widely recognized as a master seller and expert marketer, Madam Walker understood who she was targeting, where she could best reach them with her advertising and showcases and how she needed to speak to them. She brought drama to the sale, using live demonstrations to engage potential customers. Perhaps learning from Malone before her, she was one of the first to successfully institute a multi-level marketing or direct sales marketing organization which trained thousands women on sales principles and tactics, appearance guidelines and brand advocacy.

“Having a good article for the market is one thing. Putting it properly before the public is another.” − Madam C.J. Walker (1916)

5. Be Bold

Meekness was not a trait one would associate with Madam C.J. Walker. She was humble in some regard but also audacious. There was a confident swagger about her and she wasn’t afraid to make an example of her success. Who could blame her? To accomplish what she did during the time period in which she did was an extraordinary feat. When she commissioned New Yorks’ first licensed black architect, Vertner Woodson Tandy, to build her 20,000 sq. ft., 34-room mansion in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York among some of the countries riches families including Wall Street’s elite such as the Rockefellers, she asked him to position it close to the village’s main thoroughfare so it was easily visible by travelers en route from Manhattan to Albany.2

6. Give Back (the bonus power move)

Madam C.J. walker was a successful entrepreneur but perhaps more importantly she was a dedicated philanthropist. She gave regularly to causes that benefited the lives of African Americans. She set a precedent by giving generously in amounts that were nearly unheard of at the time. For example in 1910 she donated $1,000 (present-day value: approx. $ 24,500) to the building fund of the “colored” YMCA in Indianapolis and in 1916 she gave $5,000 (present-day value: approx. $111,400) to NAACP’s anti-lynching movement. She sought to be an example inspiring others to give back as well. In regards to her $1000 gift to the "colored" YMCA she wrote: “… and do not say that I am the only one. You might say that I was the first and caused others to awaken to the sense of their duty in helping deserving causes for the benefit of the race”.

Her organization also proudly advocated for the empowerment of women and sought to help them become economically independent. The Walker Company not only trained them in sales and grooming but also provided guidance on budgeting and building their own businesses. Additionally, she made a point of placing women in leadership roles in her company. With the exception of legal counsel Robert Lee Brokenburr and Freeman B. Ransom, many of the key executives and those in management roles were women.

I didn’t write a report on Madam Walker in middle school. I never got to draw her name out of a basket of carefully-chosen, African American, historical figures and I didn’t get to stand in front of my social studies class and confidently share what little information I knew about her to a group of my peers who likely knew even less than I did. Today, I’m grateful that I didn’t. I somehow doubt that as a tween I would have truly appreciated the complexities of this remarkable woman. Nor would I have realized how I could apply her leanings and accomplishments to my life. America’s first female, self-made millionaire was a force to be reckoned with and I’m determined to be one as well. Thank you Madam C.J. (Sarah Breedlove) Walker for empowering me and women like me long after your departure from this earth.

 

Thank you for reading. Now… Let the power moves continue.

 

  1. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/african-americans-many-rivers-to-cross/history/100-amazing-facts/madam-walker-the-first-black-american-woman-to-be-a-self-made-millionaire/
  2. Madam Walder Essay  — A’Lelia Bundles  http://www.madamcjwalker.com/bios/madam-c-j-walker/

There's no doubt in my mind that this little girl went off and had an absolutely amazing day. Why? Because she drew that energy to her. How many of us drag ourselves out of bed in the morning dreading the start of another lackluster day? We may even sit at the edge of our beds in deep thought. Scratch that, in deep, negative thought, already dissatisfied with a day we have yet to begin (I'm not judging you. I've done this). If we only stopped to think about how powerful our thinking is and how much of an impact our thinking has on our daily lives and wellbeing in general. Everyone always says "You are what you eat." but equally as true is, "You are what you think".

I've always liked the idea of positive affirmations but after reading and watching a couple of inspiring books and videos recently, I’ve started to really make the act a habit. The root of so much failure and dissatisfaction in our lives often comes from how we view ourselves and how we think others may view us. Self-esteem is a large determinant of our success and happiness. You're a lot less likely to become successful if you're viewing yourself as worthless or less than and you're definitely not going to be happy or satisfied in life with that mindset. The good thing is, you have the extraordinary power to change that with one simple thing: positive thinking.

natural hair girl kissing herself in the mirror

I have a couple of daily morning rituals that I've enacted recently that have really started to make a difference on my outlook on life. One of these rituals is my positive affirmations routine. In the morning after thinking about and expressing gratitude for the often-overlooked blessings in my life (sight, hearing, mobility, etc.), I begin to speak, out loud, positive things about myself. I begin with "I am..." And complete the thought with a positive attribute. Some of the statements I believe wholeheartedly, 100%, others I may need some work on. But the point is to remind myself of how great those attributes are and speak those iffy ones into existence. I won't delve into all of my affirmations but to give you an idea, I may say: "I am smart. I am compassionate. I am creative. I am beautiful. I am successful. I don't have them memorized. There isn't a script. Sometimes some new affirmations creep in. Sometimes I forget some of the old ones. I usually remember the one's that are most important to me and I think that's what makes the major difference.

If you don't already do this exercise, I implore you to get started. It's a simple activity that can make a huge difference on your life. Take my word for it. There are few things more powerful than the power of positive thinking.

Thank you for reading. Now… Let the power moves continue.

 

mardi gras mask be yourself rec

So who are you going to be today? In my quest to capture success there have been many an instance where I've found myself putting on airs so that I exhibit certain qualities or attributes that I think the person on the receiving end of my personality may be more comfortable or impressed with. I was determined to show people how outgoing, talkative or high energy I could be. Why? Because people really buy into that stuff. People in general, have a tendency to think that these characteristics are some of the strongest indications of ones ability to lead. The trouble is these traits aren't second nature to me. I'm chill ­– mellow – easygoing. I don't bounce off the walls I lean on them with dark shades on, a la The Fonz from Happy Days. I don't raise my voice to get my point across. I don't interrupt others to assert my dominance and thus prove my leadership. I don't blurt out ideas without taking at least a few seconds to think them through. That's just not how I roll.

 

mask be yourself

I used to spend far too much time concerning myself with how I would standout from or compete with these people who exhibited these in-your-face implications of leadership potential. The funny thing is, even though I feel like I don't naturally exude everything I thought I needed to command attention, I've come to learn that when I speak people listen. People have no problem taking direction from me or trusting my judgment.  I realized that I had my own set of characteristics that implied leadership potential. They may not be in your face but they are plain-as-day visible for anyone who is at least somewhat receptive.

I made a decision to shine the way I shine and let others shine the way they shine. I am at my strongest when I'm holding true to what makes me unique. There is no one way to lead. There is no one way to be successful. There is no one personality that is fully harmonious with all other personalities. So even though it may sound cliché, I would say put away the mask and just be yourself. Really, just be yourself. The key is to know your strong suits and lead with those.

Thank you for reading. Now… Let the power moves continue.

Girl Boss New Mission web

 

I'm on a new mission. We'll sort of. The thing is, I really need to acknowledge and nurture my passion, my raison d'être. I want to pay more attention to the things that feed my soul. If only I didn't want to do a million things at once. Lets talk about the blog. Shamefully, I've been neglecting it. Something I started with so much promise and excitement has fallen by the way side so I can be more productive in other areas. At first it was the struggle in trying to balance it all, a heavy workload from my "day job",  juggling a slew of personal projects and just the regular trappings of every day life. However, once I got into the habit of neglecting it a little bit, it became easier to neglect it a little more and a little more until I reached the point where someone should have called child protective services on me for neglecting this baby of mine, as I so often put it. She is malnourished and I am now an unfit parent.

The good news is I’ve pinpointed a problem and I'm ready to fix it. Part of the sorta-new mission that I mentioned before is really to conduct a self-evaluation and in the process be honest with myself about what I want out of life. Career, family, spirituality etc. What is going to make me feel whole? I have so many different interests that it's hard to pinpoint where it is that I should place my focus. I've tried to do everything at once before and have learned that spreading myself too thin gets me a whole lot of nowhere.

It might be time to pull back a bit from my mission to reach the upper echelons of the corporate ladder and come up with a definition of personal success that really means something to me. What does that mean for the blog I created with a heavy focus on taking corporate America by storm? The power moves and female empowerment are still important to me but those things may take on a whole new meaning as I really define my true mission and vision for my life. The power moves I make going forward don’t necessarily need to be confined within the walls of a mega corporation. Why not explore making power moves in entrepreneurship, real estate, stocks, investments, social responsibility, powerful connections and more. If you're reading this, I'm glad you're still with me on this journey. I apologize for leaving you hanging. I'm talking to you and myself. You hear me self? I apologize for leaving you hanging. We're gonna get this together. As always...

Thank you for reading. Now… Let the power moves continue.

How to Create a Vision Board

It's the beginning of a brand new year and if you've never created a vision board, now is as good a time as any. For those of you not familiar with what a vision board is or its premise, the concept has been around for a while but was made especially popular by the book The Secret.  In the book, the principles of the law of attraction are discussed. Essentially, the idea is that we have the ability to attract the things we want out of life through positive thinking and more specifically, visualizing precisely the very thing(s) that we would like to have or would like to have happen to us.

To be honest, I don't completely buy into the idea that just thinking of something incessantly will actually make that thing appear before you. However, I do believe that keeping your vision prominent in your train of thought can be an extremely useful tool in helping to keep you focused.

Some people have the ability to envision what they want and just go for it, while others need a precise plan of action. I'm a planner, so for me I make it a point to not haphazardly place items on my board without thinking about what I can do to make them happen. The goal is to look at my board in terms of vision and action. I'm not just thinking about how bad I want those things but also thinking about the actions that I can take to get me those things. The board itself is a daily, visual reminder to put in the work (and prayer) for the things I want.

How to Make a Vision Board

If you want to get started on one but you're not quite sure how to make a vision board, rest assured it's fairly easy. First get your thoughts together. What is it that you want to accomplish? Think about what you want to see happen in your career, family life, health, etc. Once you’ve put some serious thought into that, you can get started on building your board. You’ll need the following supplies.

  • Poster board
  • Scissors
  • Magazines/photos/printed images
  • Glue or tape
  • Markers/pens

Traditionally the base for your vision board is a poster board, which works great but some people choose to get creative and use things like corkboard or presentation board, or even dry erase boards. Corkboard is great because you can pin things on and swap items out as you please without ruining your board.

You’ll want to gather a couple of different magazines covering different topics or interests so you can find and cut out all of the various images you want to have represented on your board. Some of the things or events you want may not be well represented in the magazines you’ve chosen. That’s okay. For hard-to-find imagery or very specific ideas you have in mind, you can always do a web search and print out the best images you find from there. Start gluing/taping/pinning your selected images to the board. There doesn’t have to be any rhyme or reason to placement. Do whatever feels right. I don’t like for my board to feel cluttered. I want to see everything clearly so prefer to have plenty of white space around my imagery.

What Do I Put on My Vision Board?

Put whatever you want on your vision board; short-term goals, longs-term goals, emotions, material things, spiritual things, words, phrases, drawings. This is your board to do with as you please. Use images from your magazines, personal photos, word cutouts and hand drawn messages that will inspire you.

Where Do I Put My Vision Board?

Put your vision board where you can easily see it everyday and take a moment to reflect on everything displayed. This can be on your closet door, next to a mirror, above your office calendar, or any other can’t-miss area. Mine currently sits right above my monthly dry erase calendar.

In today’s digital age, many people are creating digital vision boards using creative software or mobile apps like Wishboard or iWish. In this case, your vision board can literally be with you anywhere you go. If you’ve created a traditional vision board but would to keep it handy, you can do as I’ve done and take a picture of your board and use it as a screen saver for your laptop and/or mobile devices.

There you have it. You now know how to go about starting your vision board. Good luck and may all you’ve envisioned come to fruition!

Thank you for reading. Now… Let the power moves continue.

 

Swizz Beatz and Jackie No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015 IMG_0126

So Art Basel/Miami Art Week has come and gone.  If you missed out, well, you missed out. About the same time every year, the most wonderful time of the year, the Magic City comes alive with its yearly art festival. Artists, art dealers, art enthusiasts and celebrities from all over flood the city for Art Basel and satellite fairs in Miami Beach and Wynwood. I love Basel but unlike last year where I attended a different event every night for a week straight, this year I played it slightly low-key but I enjoyed it immensely nonetheless. Here's the round up of how my Art Week went.

Conception Art Fair

Beyonce Conception Art Fair Art Basel IMG_9832_1024

Wednesday was the press preview for the Conception Art Fair. Conception was billed as the only art fair founded, owned and run exclusively by women. I thought this would be a great fair to cover for my audience because I know we are all about girl power. With the event scheduled to begin at 6 o'clock, my colleague and I arrived with five minutes to spare. Unfortunately, when we arrived full-fledged construction was still underway on the venue (picture giant ladders, power tools and hammers).  There was no one up front to check in with the visitors and the place was essentially a holy mess. However, once you got past the fear of a large object potentially crashing down on your head, there were some really great pieces to take note of.

Conception Art Fair collage
Much of the art work featured images of strong women including the center image dipicting Frida Kahlo as Wonder Woman.

Vibes 305

Vibes Art Basel 2015 Toe Jam Gil Green IMG_0008v2

Each year this is the one party I vow to not miss.  You may not know Gil Green by name but if you're a fan of hip-hop music, you definitely know his work. The mega-successful filmmaker/video director has worked with many hip hop legends and today's brightest stars including Nicki Minaj, Usher, P. Diddy and more. Each year Green and friends host the unconventional art party at the ToeJam Backlot in Wynwood. This ain’t your artsy-fartsy art party with wine and assorted cheeses. Food trucks however, those were aplenty.

Ace Hood Vibes Art Basel 2015 Toe Jam Gil Green IMG_0032
Rapper Ace Hood performs.
Shaggy Vibes Art Basel 2015 Toe Jam Gil Green IMG_0087
Reggae artist Shaggy performs new and old school songs.

I've seen the event change and grow from its first year where it was much smaller with a very eclectic crowd of hip-hop lovers (young and older), appreciators and newbies to the scene, to a massive crowd of attendees who pretty much all look the same. Vibes 305 used to be more of a hidden gem. Like your favorite little bakery before they became super popular and started lining up customers down the block and skimping on the cupcake icing. Don't get me wrong Vibes is still a good ol’ time, but for me it's just not what it used to be and for some that's great. I however, look fondly back on being able to casually run into one of my absolute favorite Miami Heat players, and seeing local celebrities hanging out among the crowd sans security vs. this year watching rappers race by with a 6-person security detail/entourage. Oh, and let's not talk about the chaos at the door, hour-plus long, line to get in, and the non ticketed line that was three times faster than the ticketed line (side bar: Thanks to the young lady who eventually helped with my guest list fiasco).

Vibes 305 Art Basel Party Crowd Toe Jam

It also seemed like the art used to be much more prominent. This year seemed to lack a little in newness, showing several pieces that were on display last year. I had one guy come up to me and ask me where the art was? He was being facetious of course and obviously not of the culture so it was hard for him to get it but it speaks to the sense of lacking. I think part of the problem is we were all packed in there like sardines. If you really take a step back to look at the venue, the ToeJam Backlot in and of itself is a work of art. Every square inch of the actual building is covered in some eccentric "thing" for lack of a better word. You have to think beyond seeing something hanging on a wall. I mean there's an actual cockpit and hallowed out school bus in the backlot for Christ sake but that may be hard to appreciate when your vision is obstructed by a thousand people. Maybe.

Bottom line: Cool event. Cool venue. Great music. But... gone to the masses.

 

No Commission Art Fair X The Dean Collection

Swizz Beatz and Jeffrey Deitch No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015 IMG_0165
Swizz Beatz gives art world legend, Jeffery Deitch the tour of the No Commission fair, stopping to discuss a piece by Sandra Chevrier.

 

So you've probably heard of mega producer Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean but what you may not know is that the musical superstar is also a passionate art lover and collector. Last year he was asked to curate a collection for the Scope Art Fair, which he branded The Dean Collection. This year he branched out and expanded, partnering with Bacardi to launch his own art fair and concert series entitled No Commission.

The interesting thing about Art Basel is some events are free, some are pricey, some are open to the public, some are super exclusive, some are of the highest quality and some are a damn joke. How Swizz managed to create an experience that was, of the highest quality, free, open to the public while also being exclusive says a lot about how much effort was put into this project.

Sue Tsai No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015 IMG_8376
Artist Sue Tsai poses next to her piece entitled "Rooted in Love", inspired by the quote: "You fell in love with my flowers but not with my roots. So when Autumn arrived you didn't know what to do." One of my top two of the entire week.

The No Commission fair afforded the participating artists the opportunity to show and sell their work at one if the worlds biggest art events without the burden of having to pay a gallery a hefty commission, hence the fair's title. Swizz curated the collection himself, handpicking the artists for the showing but giving them the opportunity to pick the pieces they wanted to show and set their own sale prices. Up and comers showed alongside more established artists like Sandra Chevrier for a collection Swizz describes as "by the artist for the artist”.

Sandra Chevrier No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015
Amazing piece by Sandra Chevrier. Close up look at the intricate details.

Sandra Chevrier No Commission Dean Collection Art Basel 2015 IMG_0159v2

I for one ate it all up. I loved the concept, loved the execution, loved the pieces selected, loved being able to chat with all the artists, and loved how gracious a host Swizz Beats was. This clearly wasn't something he just slapped his name on and took credit for. It was quite evident how passionate he was about making his vision come to fruition.  Hat's off to you Mr. Dean.

Simply Gallery

Simply Gallery Wynwood_IMG_0198

So I ventured to some other galleries after the Dean Collection and found some really great pieces. The Simply Gallery hosted by Simply Jess, Alessandra Gold & MJA, mixed art with fashion, showing off paintings sculptures and a couple of boutique-like setups with unique articles of clothing and footwear. One of my favorites included one from artist Aaron Maybin who I discovered at Basel two years ago and a crazy bullet-themed piece from Charles Soto aka Soto Ink.

Simply Gallery Aaron Maybin paintings

Alexander Mijares

Alexander Mijares Art Basel 2015 IMG_0210

Near by was an absolutely amazing gallery exhibition by Cuban-American Artist Alexander Mijares. The exhibit entitled, Freedom was centered on history, exile and redemption and featured a large-scale installation of a Cuban refugee boat that recently brought 16 exiles to American soil. Displayed with the original contents still left inside, the boats sail was painted in customary Mijares fashion.

Alexander Mijares Art Basel 2015 IMG_v2

Gallery 212 & Wynwood Walls

Gallery 212 Art Basel 2015 IMG_0235

I also managed to stop by local spot, Gallery 212 and Wynwood staple, Wynwood Walls. If you’re unfamiliar, Wynwood Walls was born in 2009 when a section of warehouse building walls were turned into giant canvases for graffiti and street art. It brings in all kinds of artists from around the world. For this year’s Art Basel, 14 new large-scale murals and installations were included. As usual, Wynwood Walls was a sight to behold.

Gallery 212 Art Basel 2015 IMG_v2
Cuteness at Gallery 212
Wynwood Walls Art Basel 2015 IMG_0240
The infamous Wynwood Walls

Another great year of Baseling as I like to call it, has come to an end and I’m going to miss it. I already can’t wait until next year. See you there!

Check out more photos below:

chanel pillow
Photo Credit: Grace Jayde www.gracejayde.com

We haven’t discussed workplace décor in a while so I thought I’d create a short series for you all based on some ideas I’ve been shooting around. Why a high-fashion office? Well, whether you work in fashion or simply have a great appreciation for it, introducing a couple of fashionable elements to your space can really help give it a completely new feel.

designer logo pillows couch setting

Let’s Talk Pillows

So, I've been thinking about some possible designs for my own home office and have been toying with a couple of style themes that would certainly keep things interesting in what can easily be a rather boring space. I mean this is where you work, pay bills, and very likely do a fair amount of stressing. While your office might not be your favorite place to be, who's to say that it can't be a comforting retreat where you're surrounded by all sorts of wonderful pieces that are a reflection of your personality?

Pillows are awesome! They're soft, comfy and welcoming. On top of that, they can also be pretty damn chic. If you're thinking about ways to glam up you're office space, a couple of smartly placed, designer-inspired, throw pillows just might do the trick. A couple of pillows on a desk chair, guest chair, or couch can instantly up the chic factor. Add a couple of designer logos to the mix and we’re talking off the charts. I would just advise this: Don’t go crazy with the pillows. Every inch of the room need not be covered in massive logos. Also try to stick with a color scheme, using no more than two main colors and two accent colors in the room.

If you’re ready to throw some pillows around now, I’ve included a few finds from some sellers on Esty. For you crafty types, here’s a great DIY tutorial from YouTube.

chanel no 5 Chanel No 5 pillow

standards pillow High Standards Coco Chanel quote pillow.

classy fab pillowClassy and Fabulous Coco Chanel quote pillow

white black louboutin pillow Black Classic Christian Louboutin pump pillow

neutral louboutin pillowCream Christain Louboutin Logo pillow

Red louboutin pillowRed Christain Louboutin Logo pillow

 

Jackie Daniel Salvation Army Redesign Bash IMG_9805

You'll have to forgive me. This post is really late but life is chaotic right about now (I'm getting things back on track. Just bear with me). Now, if you don't ready know, I'm a big fan of home design and if I happen to have any free time, something you're very likely to catch me doing is taking in some good ol' HGTV. From the shows about fixer uppers to finding new property to beach homes or finding homes out of the country, I just can't get enough. So, without question when fellow blogger Whitney Kidd, of Stiletto Life & Lipstick Rules asked me to join her for a special design-theme, charity event put together by The Salvation Army, I happily and eagerly accepted.

Jackie Daniel Carter Oosterhouse Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_6994
Me with rehab guru, Carter Oosterhouse.

 

FYI Network’s very own Carter Oosterhouse  (previously of HGTV) hosted the event. Proceeds were to benefit Salvation Army programs, which aim to help homeless people turn their lives round. The event was billed as an evening of fun, food, and inspired design, and it surely did not disappoint. Twenty-five “ReDesigners”, which included both professional and newbie designers, were tasked with rehabbing an old piece of furniture. But a simple rehab just wouldn't do. The volunteer participants literally transformed these pieces, in many cases making the final product was almost unrecognizable from the piece in its original form.

Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_9777 Carter Oosterhouse Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_9817 Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_9821

My favorite piece, a luxury dog bed crafted from an old end table. Christine Griffin Smith flipped this table on its head and added some amazingly intricate detailing. Even the underside of the canopy bed was upholstered and fitted with whimsical lighting. It was remarkable to say the least.

Dog Bed Salvation Army ReDesign Bash IMG_9789

 

The top redesigned pieces were pieces were selected for the auction. Even Carter submitted a piece to the auction, a handcrafted wood box that housed two bottles of wine from his personal winery. It was a great event with a great turnout for a great cause. To learn more about the Salvation Army’s Florida Division, visit their site here: salvationarmyflorida.org