August 05, 2017

Success Tips from The BrowGal: Tonya Crooks

Hello all you beautiful souls! I hope this week's been well. I got the opportunity to meet the brow expert, CEO and Founder of The BrowGal as she was speaking at FIDM this Tuesday. She was such an inspiration as she gave great advice on what made her a successful entrepreneur.

Put Fuel in Your Tank

Tonya spoke about how she listens to music, YouTube videos, podcasts, or listens to something that's going to put positivity into herself as a way to start her day. I actually do this too which is why I was so glad to hear that she does this because it's true. Your day will be what you start it out to be. 

Be Honest

When it comes to business, it's important to be honest especially about finances. Tonya expressed how finances were tough in the beginning, but mentioned that you do have to be honest about what's going on when it comes to paying bills, or repaying loans and people will respect you for that. 

Draw Hard Boundaries and Don't Feel Guilty

I'm sure we've all seen those people who take care of their business as if it were a child, but Tonya mentioned that there was a point in time where she missed her husband and her son's birthday for a business trip and vowed for that not to happen again. She expresses how important it is to be there for family and friends, and sometimes it involves you having to say 'no' to certain business owner responsibilities when necessary and you shouldn't feel guilty about it. It's a balance that's hard times, but you do what you gotta do! 

You Will Have to Make Sacrifices 

I realize I was just discussing the boundaries that need to be made, but at times there will be moments where you do have to make sacrifices. Tonya mentioned that even on vacations, as a business owner, you're still thinking and worried about your company. My dad, for example as a entrepreneur himself, has hardly been able to take a vacation in over 10 years. During my recent graduation, my dad was at his hotel's business center working to make sure things were taken care of. Sometimes you will have to sacrifice your free time. My dad gets up everyday around 2 or 3 AM just to get a jump on the day because when you're working from home with no other employees, you have to do everything yourself. 

Who You Surround Yourself with is Important

As a business owner looking for people to work with you, you have to think about what kind of people are willing to help you fulfill your dream. Hiring employees is a serious investment to make when considering how they will contribute to the dream your building.

Be Humble with Your Team 

When you have a team of people you know you're going to work with, it's important to treat them well. Tonya says she treats the janitor with just as much respect as she would a CEO. She also shares how there was a delay with a product shipment because the products weren't in boxes, and she went to the warehouse with her team to box up these products. This is one of the things she said I respect so much. I love seeing leaders who are willing to perform each and any job. Which brings me to her next point.

Know Everything There is to Know About Your Company

This point is so important because when you have a business, you need to know everything. From finances to PR to product development at all stages, to production, and so on. A successful business owner knows everything about the company and should be the first to know about any problems that pop up. If not, your company could be falling apart and you wouldn't know it until it's too late. 

Don't Be Afraid to Admit What You Don't Know 

Since we're all human, there are things we don't know. It's much harder to BS our way through life when it's much easier to simply ask questions because as they say, "the more you know". It's always a good idea to ask questions when you're not sure of something.

Be So Good They Can't Ignore You

When you're good at what you do, you don't need to tell people how good you are because the work speaks for itself. I've heard this before, but it's always good to hear other people living by the same principle. So spend time improving your skills and gaining knowledge that will sharpen your saw. 

There's Always a Way

Anytime you face challenges when starting up a company it's important to have a creative problem-solving mind because business is like a roller coaster. There's always a way to solve problems whether it be financial or product related. 

Face Challenges Dead On 

 No matter what you face big or small do it dead on, don't beat around the bush. People will respect you more when the going gets tough and you put your big girl pants on. Challenges are always hard, but it gets easier after you've dealt with them. I think back to when I was working on my first college degree at FIDM, there were assignments and projects I really wanted to give up on, but I stuck with it and here I am with a degree. I promise you, it gets better when you get to the other side of the mountain. 

Thank you so much for reading! This was a fun post to write because Tonya Crooks' advice stuck with me personally, and I just had to share it with you. You can follow Tonya on Instagram @tonyacrooks as well as her brand @thebrowgal. As always...

Stay Beautiful <3

July 29, 2017

Song of the Moment- Manic Drive "Mic Drop"

Hello all you beautiful souls! This week is another musical post about a song I'm loving. Manic Drive is a Christian rock band I've been following since middle school, but they rock and this is a song from their new album "Into the Wild" set to be released in September! I'm so excited!! This is the lyrics video for "Mic Drop" which gets me jumping out of bed in the morning.

I hope you love the song as much as I do. As always...

Stay Beautiful <3

July 22, 2017

Simply Stylist Fashion and Beauty Conference 2017

Hello all you beautiful souls! Last Saturday, I worked this the Simply Stylist Fashion and Beauty Conference for the second year in a row and it was, as always, an amazing experience. Just the fact that I got the opportunity to interact with some of the most important influencers in the industry made me want to share that experience with all of you.

This was the incredible view of Downtown LA.

 This event took place at The Grove shopping center on the 8th floor parking garage. 

JustFab Inc.
The Brand Experience had about 30 vendors with sections fortune telling, handing out H2Rose drinks, ice cream, Sunday Cats popsicles, and Smash Mellow samples and much more. This was a great way for me to try products I might not have bought before, but now considering to purchase for future purposes.
Rebel Juice Samples
The best part of working this event was being able to be in the green room taking care of the speakers before they had to speak to the press prior to their main session. They were so inspiring to talk to and hearing their stories and about their backgrounds was amazing to hear.

Ashley Greene

Mariale Marrero addressing the press.

Logan Browning

Ali Grant

Monique Coleman
The fun part was observing the break out sessions and panels offering great style, business, and social media advice for the attendees.

(Left to Right.) Logan Browning, Nastia Liukin, Monique Coleman, and Laurel Mintz " Creating Your Voice and Making Your Impact"

(Left to Right) Toni Ko, Mandy Fry, Sazan Hendrix, Stephanie Mark, and Melinda Fleming "Steps to Building Your Business From the Ground Up"

(Left to Right.) Julie Solomon and Sydne Summer "Staying True to Your Brand"

(P.S. Sydne is one of my favorite fashion bloggers!! It was so amazing to see her again at this year's conference.)

(Left to Right.) Gina Ybarra, Elena Hansen, Lana, Becca Tilley, and Gabrielle Korn "Upping Your Social Media Game. How to Master the Perfect Instagram Shot"

Daniel Musto, Celebrity stylist and FIDM ALUMNI!!
"Streamlining Your Closet: How to Stay Organized and Declutter"

(Left to Right) Amber Farr, Audrina Patridge, Michael Costello, and Vanessa Simmons "The Art of Wearing 50 Hats in the Fashion and Beauty Industry"
(Left to Right.) Lauryn Evarts, Mariale Marrero, Jadene Munson, and Sarah Eggenberger "Staying on Trend with Makeup: How to Shop for the Products for Your Skin"

Overall, this event had a successful turn out. I was so excited to know that Project Runway Star (who is another FIDM Alum Candice Cuoco made an appearance at this conference. The people who run this annual event are great people and I hope to be presented with the opportunity to work with Simply Inc. in the future because Sarah Boyd (Founder of Simply Inc.) and her awesome staff put on another great event so if you ever get a chance to attend, it will be totally worth it. As always...

Stay Beautiful <3

July 16, 2017

Tip of the Week-Being a Yogi Will Change Your Life

RĂ©sultats de recherche d'images pour « yoga practice »

Hello all you beautiful souls! I realized that I haven't done a Tip of the Week in quite some time. So I wanted to go in-depth with yoga and meditation. Did you know, according to a book called Yoga for you Mind and Body: A Teenage Practice for a Healthy, Balanced Life by Rebecca Rissman, that practicing yoga for about 30 minutes a day can increase your memory and concentration. So if you're a student then you won't really need to study, or as a working adult you're more likely to remember tasks and important detailed information better than those who don't practice yoga. So let this be a reason to roll out the yoga mat and breath deep!

Stay Beautiful <3

July 09, 2017

Behind the Blog with Luci from Luci's Morsels

Hello all you beautiful souls! I bet you were wondering where I went, but I have exciting news! The author of this post currently has her first college degree! On June 19, 2017 I, Jazz Cole who hasn't turned 20 yet, received my Associates of Arts (A.A.) in fashion design. It's been a journey this past year and a half busting my butt to get to this moment. However, I'm not done yet. This coming Monday I will be continuing my education in the Bachelor of Science for Apparel Technical Design program to pursue my dream of becoming a technical designer.

            L’image contient peut-ĂȘtre : 11 personnes, personnes souriantes, personnes debout

So for this week's post, I was able to interview a dear friend of mine who has been my biggest social media mentor since I moved to L.A. She is a fashion and lifestyle blogger by the name of Luci Petlack from Luci's Morsels as well as a social media instructor at FIDM who I met at the Social Media Saturday event hosted by the FIDM Alumni Association last year. Luci has been an inspiration for my own blogging from the day I met her which is why I'm beyond excited to share her story. 
Luci Petlack

How long have you been a blogger?
I started blogging in early 2012. I’ve been taking it seriously (as a career) since the beginning of 2014!

What did your career look like prior to your initial first post?
I was in grad school earning my PhD in History. I planned to be a university professor of history,
publishing books and teaching!

What made you realize that blogging was for you?
I started blogging as part of an “on-the- side” baking business I hoped to create. The blog was
supposed to be part of my business plan to sell baked goods (hence the name “Luci’s Morsels”).
After the first week, I changed my blog from just dessert to fashion and food. A few years later, I
added travel. There was no singular moment when I realized blogging was for me. I had an
interest in it from the beginning and my excitement and passion about it has only grown since

Can you take me through a day in your life? Is there something new every day? Are there any repetitive daily tasks?
A normal day in my life is rather boring actually. Most days, I check in on email around 7. Then I
head to the gym. When I get back to my office around 10, my first priority is making sure the
next day’s blog post is good to go. Sometimes I’m way ahead on these things and other times it
feels a bit last minute. After that, the day is filled with whatever needs to be done, which at the
moment is a lot of backend stuff on my site. Some days, however, I have to make a recipe and
shoot photos. I use only natural light, so the morning is the only time I have. This can take
anywhere from 45 minutes to a few hours. On days when I have meetings or events, I fit my to
do list around those. Flexibility is the name of the game!

From having realized this would be the career for you, what challenges did you
face having to build up a following, getting a professional site, or even producing
quality photos?
I’m still facing those challenges and I think every blogger always will. Producing quality photos
just takes practice. Each year my photography and editing gets better and better and yet I can
still improve! I hired someone to create my site. I had an idea of what I wanted but decided I’d
rather pay someone who know exactly what they were doing than spend time trying to learn a
new system and try to be creative. I don’t regret that one bit. Gaining a following has been my
most difficult struggle. The blog world is a bit saturated, so standing out is a very difficult task.

For my readers who aren’t familiar with the blogging and social media industry,
how would you say a blogger makes an income?
There are a variety of ways to earn an income blogging. My biggest source of income is
sponsored posts. Companies pay to have their product or service featured on my website or
social media channels. Advertisements, event hosting, and product collaboration are other great
sources of income as you grow!

I noticed on your about page that you describe your blog as “fashion, food, and frivolity – all from an approachable and fun perspective”, would you say these topics stem from your own personal interests or hobbies?
That is exactly right. One of the questions I used to get was why I didn’t just focus on fashion or
food because success is easier when you have a specific niche. And the truth is that I would lose
my mind and probably quit blogging if I had to do just one. All three interests make up who I am
and I think it’s the balance between them all that really represents the lifestyle I’m trying to
achieve and that so many women out there are as well. My work is representative of who I am. I
know what I would do normally and what isn’t a priority for me. For example, I like designer
jeans and I hate wasting food. I don’t DIY but I love having people over for dinner!

From viewing the photos on your blog and social media feed, I think they look amazing, very professional and you’re always stunning. I understand that the perfect photo can often times take about ten times to shoot, or sometimes I even get insecure about how I look; what’s the story behind your photos? Do you ever find a perfectionist coming out of you or do feelings of insecurity come up?
Haha. So many things here. When I first started blogging my now husband would take 15 photos
and I thought he took too many. Now we take 50-100 for every single post and sometimes only 4
look good. It’s hard to get my clothes, the lighting, and my face to all look right at the same time!
One of the things I used to do a lot during photo shoots (and still do honestly) was to make
myself laugh between photos by making silly faces at my husband. He was always so focused on
photography and I had to find a way to lighten up, so I looked comfortable in the photos! If you
ever want to know how much of a perfectionist you are, edit a photo of yourself! I can tell you
every wrinkle, imperfection, and terrible tendency of mine because I stare at photos every day.

I noticed you’ve been traveling lately, and you mentioned you have yet to be on an expedition to Africa! What’s it like traveling internationally? Do you normally travel for leisure or for work?
I just got back from three weeks in Zimbabwe and South Africa. It was one of the most fantastic
experiences of my life and I hope to do it again as soon as possible! My travel mostly starts as a
need or a desire to travel somewhere and then I research hotels, restaurants, and entertainment.
I reach out to the companies I’m interested in working with and see if they’re also interested in
collaborating. I do some travel just for work, but one of the wonderful/terrible things about
travel writing is that every vacation is a work opportunity, but every work day could include

When traveling outside the country, what’s the first thing you look forward to the most when experiencing a new culture?
THE FOOD! I think food says so much about a culture, its history, and the kind of people who
live there. I love eating at trendy, new hotspots and holes in the wall because that’s how I eat
when I’m home. And my favorite thing to do when traveling is to go to farmers’ markets and
grocery stores in each of my destinations!!

Any time you travel, what would you say is a common feeling or message you take away from each experience?
That we really are all the same. If you don’t travel, all you know is the differences between us all.
But when you travel somewhere, you see that yes there are differences, but we’re all human. We
all have imperfections and we all love the exact same way! For this reason alone, I wholeheartedly believe travel is mandatory in everyone’s life.

As a social media influencer, is there a specific message or influence you communicate to your viewers?
I try to convey a message that you can find happiness in the little things. The name of my blog is
Luci’s Morsels – the little things that bring me happiness and joy. Everything from my favorite
pair of jeans to a tasty ginger cookie can bring a smile to my face. Life can get pretty serious, so
it’s important to take a moment to appreciate those little things!

I know that blogging or even YouTube is completely different than it used to be. When I was in middle and high school, there were beauty/fashion YouTubers who were super mainstream when YouTube became the new entertainment industry. I think sooo many people are now piggybacking off of that to where I lost interest. For instance, this was before Jeffree Star became as big as he is now, but I remember when Michelle Phan, Chriselle Lim, and even Elle and Blair Fowler were major influencers at the time. Based on your observation from the beginning of the blogging era to modern day 2017, what changes have you noticed? Were
there any influencers you were into at some point in time?
Blogging, vlogging, and social media are constantly changing and it’s a lot of work to keep up.
There used to only be a few influencers who weren’t celebrities, so everybody followed them.
Now there’s so many, you can find the one(s) that are exactly what you want. One of the reasons
I keep blogging is that I haven’t really found a blogger who does exactly what I want. There
aren’t many fashion bloggers who really speak to my fashion sense at my price point. And there
really aren’t many bloggers who cover fashion, food, and travel equally and from a perspective
similar to mine.

In parting words of wisdom, what would you say is the crucial foundation for anyone looking to start a blog or build a social media presence?
I would say just to start. Once you start a blog, your voice and content will continue to evolve
and that’s good. That evolution and honing in won’t happen unless you start, however. So just
do it!

I hope you enjoyed this week's post, and I hope you check out Luci's blog at to see all the fun contents she has. Thanks for popping in and as always....

Stay Beautiful <3

May 20, 2017

Songs of the Moment-Emilie-Claire Barlow

Hello all you beautiful souls! I apologize for the four week blogging Sabbatical, but working on new content to present to you. This is another post where I'm sharing songs I can't get out of my head. I fell in love with this artist while I was listening to Pandora under my French Cooking Music station. Emilie-Claire Barlow is a Canadian jazz singer with such a beautiful voice. I hope you'll love her as much as I do because I'm trying to convince my parents to host her for their annual 3-day jazz festival on year.

Thank you for viewing my page this week. I have some new content to share with you next week.

Stay Beautiful <3

May 06, 2017

Tip of the Week-Take a Rest Day

Related image

Hello all you beautiful souls!  This week is a simple tip to keep you happy and healthy. Make sure you're taking some time during the weekend to pause. You don't have to always be doing something every weekend to prove to anyone that you have a life or anything. If you're really exhausted on Friday and/or Saturday after a long week's worth of work, take a load off to rest up. Tell your friends you're taking a weekend sabbatical, maybe cancel that hiking trip this one time. It's important to take time to work on yourself once in a while, chill out with yourself. You don't have to prove anything to anyone justifying whether or not  you have a busy or exciting life. What matters most is that you're living a content lifestyle. As much as I tell everyone I get up at 4 AM to do yoga everyday, some days I do need to take a rest day or two, and you should do the same. Just so you know, next week will be a post about FIDM Alumna of '77, Priscilla Burris who is currently working as a children's book illustrator. I will be telling her story as to how she followed her dreams and made it happen for her. I hope you've all had a good week, and I'll catch you next Saturday! As always,

Stay Beautiful <3