REST IN THE MESS

The second quarter of 2018 is underway and if you’re anything like us…you are in the mess of it. Understand, I am not referring to a mess in a negative way. In the first quarter, we tend to place our focus on tearing down a lot of pre-existing habits and infrastructure to dissect where we can do better. It is our goal of course to level up continuously.

So, here we are: nearing the end of April with our “sleeves rolled up”, standing in rubble, excitedly piecing together some of the old with the new. Like anything worth holding on to this takes time. Unlike previous years, I’ve actually scheduled a pause in the end of each quarter. Nothing too long…2-3 weeks at the most. In this time, myself and the CHF team focus on our next step — the next big thing for us. I will not go into detail of what we are doing, but we’re pushing limits, diving into deeper topics, and building a platform where serving our audience is priority.

In the meantime, be sure to catch up on our past series, follow our Instagram (this is where our mini-blog content will be posted in the interim), sign up for our newsletter (how else will you know when something new is poppin’ off) and share with us some of the things that you wish to see in the near future from CHF (feel free to drop those in the comments below).

[H]ere we are: nearing the end of April with our “sleeves rolled up”, standing in rubble, excitedly piecing together some of the old with the new.

We thank you for your continued support and will see you again very soon!

With Love + Style,

Crystal Lariece

The COLLECTIV | STATUS K

“In partnership, the result is harmony, respect, love, and an explosion of creativity and joy.”

-Marc Allen

Some couples just have it. From the moment you meet The Laws, it’s unmistakable that their love  and partnership is one that was masterly shaped before their first ‘Hello’. My first acquaintance was with Kalan in 2013 when he joined on as our men’s style blogger. Soon after, Kira joined our conversations about life and style as a lifestyle blogging contributor. Both were important creative voices in the development of the first issue of CHF Magazine. 

Over the last five years, I’ve watched them grow as a family (expecting their second child this month) and taking their collaborative magic to the next level with the launch of Status K — which happens to be the subject of our recent interview. So, without further ado, welcome Kalan and Kira Laws, Founders of Status K to The COLLECTIV.


In the time that I’ve known you, I can honestly say that I’ve never met a couple more supportive and in sync with one another’s creative aspirations. For those who are new to CHF, please share your story.

We are 10 years in the making and have been building for us since day 1. We met briefly in 2007, started dating and were engaged in 2008. We married shortly thereafter. Our relationship has been a whirlwind. Honestly, we wish we could have captured all the earlier moments more; but we jumped right into our roles of riding for each other and making one another our very first projects, especially as it related to completing goals. We sacrificed a lot earlier on to be who we are today and even, where we are today as a couple… and, it has been worth every bit of it. We believe our oneness is what has opened doors and drawn a lot of people to us.

How did the concept of Status K come about? What is your vision for the brand?

We have been working with different companies and projects for years together, and people kept asking us when we would launch our thing. For us, we already were doing it, so we initially did not act. However, for anything to live and last, you must give it a name. So, with that thought, Status K was born.

The vision is for it to continue to evolve — we started off ghostwriting paths for others and now we are producing and directing major projects for ‘all’-scale endeavors. Though we have amassed a catalog of projects, we are currently our biggest project with so many things going on from the development of commercial content to staying authentic and relevant.

Our focus for what we each take on and how it contributes to the overall vision is a huge undertaking…so we are taking steps to moving the brand, marketing it in different outlets, and of course, staffing because we are working a lot of angles.

What cornerstones of your marriage can be found in the philosophy of Status K?

Effective communication – everything we do as a firm has to do with ensuring that the creatives we work with are communicating to their audiences effectively – whether that is in style or word. That’s something that we are always working on – even personally. For us, it’s important that our words/message is clear and not blurred.

“Working together helps you master the art of communication as well as help you identify each other’s strengths, and not only maximize them but continue to build upon them and use them as points of edification for growth.”

It is said that you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure. Status K seeks to disprove this theory. Were there any apprehensions in going into this venture together? If so, how did you work through them?

No apprehensions whatsoever. What we have learned is that we bring the best out of one another and when we work together, there is nothing we can’t do. We are literally a force!

What is some advice that you would give to other entrepreneur couples that may be sitting on a joint concept in fear of jeopardizing their relationship?

Learn to leverage one another and appreciate the differences that make each person unique and valuable. Many times, business and relationship do not mix because the idea is that we both must go about things the same way — Not true! Working together helps you master the art of communication as well as help you identify each other’s strengths, and not only maximize them but continue to build upon them and use them as points of edification for growth. Of course, there may be challenges as it relates to how each person wants to go about a venture, but we believe that is just an opportunity for planning and strategy. That’s our Status K way!

Kira Lawsborn in the ‘Big Apple,’ but raised in ‘H-town’ is a lawyer by training, but a creative at her core. Departing from expectations, Kira took a hiatus from the traditional practice of law to seek out a niche that was specifically designed for her. With her gift of ingenuity, and her desire to build a legacy, Kira began business consulting, curating inspired events, and creating innovative digital content. This birthed and gave life to her epithet and brand The Modern Day Cindi. In addition to being a wife and mother of two, she is a professor of business; a partner in Status K, a conglomerate founded with her husband which focuses on Arts, Entertainment, Media and Urban Development; as well as a co-host on Society Now on The Sphere Podcast Network. Kalan Laws also known as Señor Guapo, is the Polysci Fashion Guy. He is an aspiring designer, burgeoning stylist, and manages his own men’s style and fashion blog. He is setting both coasts on fire as a noted lecturer, public speaker, entrepreneur, and one of the foremost developmental minds of our generation. Kalan brings his unique fashion sense, world-class style savvy, and educational prowess to The Sphere Podcast Network, with “G is for Gentlemen” a show that highlights gentlemanly culture, as well as “Society Now” aimed to inspire dialogue about critical events that are happening locally as internationally, which he co-hosts with his wife also hosted on The Sphere Podcast Network. Staying busy, there is not too much that Señor Guapo cannot do!

Together they are…

Follow Status K (@StatusK__) on Instagram

Keep up with Kira on Instagram (@themoderndaycindi) and Twitter (@TheMDCOfficial)

Keep up with Kalan on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook (@senorguapo713) and SenorGuapo713.com

Reimagine | Fashion Meets Design

In 2015, CHF featured a segment entitled, CHF Life which included regular features of interior design. Our resident interior design contributor was, Jacquin Headen of Interiors by Jacquin. One of the regular series that she features on her site, and introduced to our readers, is Fashion Meets Interiors (formerly Fashion Meets Design). For each post, she chooses one of her favorite home designs and partners with a style blogger/influencer to put their spin on it through fashion.


I have chosen to remix my second contribution to the Fashion Meets Design series. As the Spring kicks off, I thought that the aesthetics of this decor would be perfect for highlighting some of my favorite trends of the season.

PLAIDS PLEASE!

The lines and patterns, in the room decor, immediately brought to mind the addictive trend of plaid that dominated the Spring 2018 runways. Prabal Gurung and Fendi both featured looks that highlighted the fun and fierceness of mixing plaid patterns and pops of color.

Prabal Gurung | Spring 2018 RTW, Image via vogue.com

I saw this Prabal Gurung frock and thought, “That would look great in pants!”

plaid and pattern
What I love about plaid is the ability to mix and match it with striped patterns. In this look, the different weights in the vertical patterns of the handbag, tassel earrings, and tassel adornment on the mule pulls the look together flawlessly. Develop the look further with accessories, such as the rose brooch that compliments the ruffled sleeve of the top. Click look for deets!

I am a mother in my mid-30s with a toddler boy, comfort is KEY…but it does not mean I have to skip sexy. Pairing a lightweight slack with a cropped blouse can take a look go from day to night instantly. An outing can be cut short with an uncomfortable heel. So, why not choose a chic flat to make the fun last longer!

Why stop there? The elements of the room design also led me to the Spring 2018 collection of one of my personal fave women’s designers, Alice + Olivia by Stacey Bendet.

NATURE’S CALLING

Who says business can’t have a fun elelment? A+O has a unique and effortless way of bring nature’s beauty into it’s collections season after season. And I just can’t get enough. | Image via vogue.com

CHF is a brand about authenticity. We play by our own rules and applaud those who are unafraid to do the same. Naturally, I had to put my spin on this look for you as well. The colors used throughout this ensemble are reminiscent of the colors mixed throughout the room decor.

 

a+o inspired
It shouldn’t make sense to the majority when it’s authentically you! The high-waist of the A+O skirt meets the hem of the sheer emerald blouse, keeping the look classy. Don’t ruin the fun of a sheer top with a basic cami. Add a lace bralette or bodysuit to compliment the blouse. Click look for deets!

How would you build a look from a room inspiration? Have some ideas? Drop them in the comments below!

With Love + Style,

Crystal Lariece

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The Turn Up

“It’s not about going to a party. It’s life as a party.”

Diane Von Furstenberg

As the saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun”…or is that the case here?

Five years ago, two best friends decided that it was time to set a new standard for the fashion, beauty, and art industries. We were tired of seeing fashion passed off as style, cookie cutter looks, and trends gone bad. The vision began on a much larger scale, and a blog was the furthest from our mind (more on that in this series). In our case, the time flew by because we have been trying to make sense of our own little plot twist. And sometimes the journey was far from fun!

Founders Ariel (Allen) Woodson + Crystal Lariece, circa 2013 Photography | Stehlik Fotos (Tampa, FL)

In the midst of it all, lessons have been learned, we’ve gained an extraordinary tribe, and most importantly, our mission has become a reality — we are inspiring and celebrating creative entrepreneurship. We have much to celebrate and we couldn’t imagine doing it with anyone else but YOU!

 

So, join us in our month long celebration of our five year milestone! Time to turn all the way UP — ISSA PARTY!

With Love + Style,

Crystal Lariece

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The Closer | Stay the Course

“Never give up on something that you can’t go a day without thinking about.”

-Winston Churchill

The mind of a creative entrepreneur is multi-dimensional. The aspirations that fill our heads are often, if not always, rooted in a deeper place than any book or formal education could tap into. We’re rooted in life experiences and passion unparalleled. So creating and maintaining a business that will continue to serve us, as well as, our audience must be made clear through planning each step along the way.

Having a clear and concise vision of what was to live beyond the launch was a huge lesson learned in the building of CHF. Too often our focus on the next thing happened as the NOW was reaching its end. Through trial and error, we found that it was imperative to have a plan in place if we wanted to fulfill our mission. Here are some of my key tips to staying the course:

Image | pexels.com

DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE

CHF has always faced the challenge of not fitting in. Our mission, aesthetics, and voice are far from what you would find on a typical lifestyle and fashion blog. Although a challenge, not fitting in is what we’re most proud of. It’s easy to see what’s working for the majority of an industry and believe that you have to do exactly what “they” are doing to make a name for yourself. Remember: That idea that you are quick to emulate was once the radical in a world of normalcy. Enlightening an industry on a new way of thinking and doing is a greater feat then blending in to what already exists.

PLAN OR PLAY YOURSELF

I am guilty of not taking the art of planning seriously. I’ve mentioned earlier in this series that I’ve only recently implemented formal planning into the growth of CHF. This tip seems like a no-brainer, but in today’s climate it is more attractive to skip the necessary work or seek out shortcuts. If you are at this point, here are a couple of things I’d wish you to consider:

Planning is more than time management Yes. It is a key element to planning. It also serves as a way to adjust with the times. For instance, you may set a clear perspective of what you wish to produce, but a shift in your industry or society as a whole may deem the idea antiquated or in need of refinement. Having a plan in place allows you to see the grander scheme of things. It allows adjustments to be made that will keep you ahead of the game and prevent setting yourself back.

There’s no wrong way No plan is created equal. Just as your vision is unique, so should your plan to bring it to reality. I personally have multiple planning tools. For my day-to-day and life planning I go to my Law of Attraction planner. For all things CHF, I have an editorial blogging calendar, social media content calendar, google calendar, and a human being to keep me engaged and on track. There’s no wrong way nor a limit to how you plan ahead.

“Remember, the idea that you are quick to emulate was once the radical in a world of normalcy.”

MISTAKES ARE A STARTING POINT

The trend in entrepreneurship has been to skip the bad stuff, the challenges, the misguided decisions, and all things ugly. To just share the successes of your journey is a disservice to your audience. It falsifies what it means to be and live as an entrepreneur. Look at every mistake made as a fresh start for yourself and for the struggling entrepreneur who may be watching. Being authentic in your ups and downs can change the course of how business is done. Effective change erupts in our mistakes.

I’ll leave you with this: Despite what the moment feels like, you are closer every day to living your dream. Stay the course, the journey is never over. It has its twist and turns, but the road is infinite. I encourage you to believe that all things are possible if and when you stay ready.

Thank you for being a part of the Unusual Business series. We can’t wait to share what’s next…


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