AND SO IT GOES.

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It's 1:15 in the morning and I've been avoiding writing this post as this will be the most important post I write. 

There's something so calming about typing, the way it sounds with my thoughts pouring out, hoping to find the translation from my mind to the keys. And yet, this calming feeling I crave, I haven't done in over six months. Not in a notebook, not on a post-it and not on this blog. And, I've found it's come to a rest. 

Profresh Style was built on the simplest idea; find a community that loves vintage and fashion as much as I do. And, I did. Thank goodness. I was so thankful to have a home on the internet where I could fully express myself because, at the time, who really took notice? Not many I'd come across. I loved it, loved how it brought me closer to like-minded people, provided incredible experiences I couldn't imagine my life without, and showed me it was okay to be who I was, floral neon cloak and all. But, then it became a business. Something I don't think many of us who had started in the blog world so early would have imagined. And at the time, it wasn't wrong, it was welcome. It was exciting to have this collaboration with local brands and larger companies taking notice of us regular people. It was honestly one of the coolest things ever. Until, it wasn't. 

It slowly happened but PR companies took notice and so did I, loved this idea that I could work with brands, make money and create cool content for the blog outside of what I normally post. It made me feel a whole lot cooler than I really was and in a way, validated me, my ideas and high school-educated self. College was for the birds, and I just knew that I was destined for greater things outside of a degree. So, collaborated with brands I did and made money, I did. It was fun and exciting - I landed internships and opportunities I never thought I would. And, I believed it was all thanks to this little space on the internet. Which, when you think about it, is pretty cool. 

I had this desire after several trips to NYC for fashion week, to move there. So, I did. I found that my blog was an interest of agencies and companies who were looking to work with bloggers and influencers. Luckily for me, those people were my friends. So, I took incredible jobs thanks to the blog, simply to make my friends money with dope brand deals. It was an experience I'm thankful for; I understood my worth in this space and how I could benefit being on both sides of the coin; the influencer and the brand. I helped brands understand influencers needs, their worth and why they are worth the dollar to spend. I helped influencers negotiate fees and understand how to pitch to brands. I felt like I had found my career calling. Though, I still had my blog. 

It was great to have this as a diary, as a way to express my feelings, what was going on with me, heartbreak and sometimes, irritation and anger. What made it greater was being able to keep both types of content; fashion & beauty alongside my honest words. It was a unique take on content, especially back then, and I'm thankful I let my honesty show. Although, to be honest, it burned me quite a bit. I often think it's why I never had an opportunity to "take off" or "make it". But, that's neither here nor there. I'm happy I've been able to be so honest and not lose what was most important to me, you. 

As most of you know (or notice), I don't maintain this blog, not as much as I did before. I gave up the idea that fashion and style were an interest because to be honest, it is not. After almost 10 years of blogging and everything that goes on in the blog world, I realize I'm not as passionate about the relics of blogging; lookbooks, tutorials, my latest purchases (and freebies), etc. I no longer felt I had control over who I was portraying because of the influence I allowed in. The amount of blogger advice being tossed around on how to reach success just felt like bullshit and I didn't care to be a part of it any longer. At least, not in the way others were. I didn't want to be a pawn.  

With the death of blogging for the sake of blogging and the rise of skinny teas and gummy hair growth, who can blame those who want to call major bullshit on it all? The authenticity is dead, almost everywhere. Not many blogs or youtubers are sharing content just to share, so what are you left with? Left deciphering whether or not you want to support that influencer, even if it means they are promoting something that they would of never if they weren't one. And, so, it begs the question, why would anyone want to be associated as one, as that kind of influencer? I can tell you, not me. 

I want to create authenticity, support influencers who use their powerful voice to cause change alongside their sponsored posts. I want to build campaigns that create awareness, opportunity, and understanding. I'd like to continue working with influencers who give a shit, who spend their time doing great things for not just themselves, but others and use their money to make things grow; be it businesses that provide jobs, non-profits that truly give back, for the collective good. I want to build up communities, support women who want to take their businesses to the next level, to really soar. 

This blog was the perfect catalyst that caused my career to be what it is today, and taught me who I really am; year after year. I discovered what I love, who I don't love and how to transition everything in my life to make me happy. I don't want to be part of something that feels inauthentic but rather creates a space for realness and a place where collaboration reigns. 

I've loved everything about Profresh Style; all the opportunities and content I've been able to take part in. I'm no big-time influencer so this isn't nearly as dramatic if others were to shut down, but for me, it's an end to my beginning. I'm closing the books on Profresh Style as she is no longer a part of the journey I'm about to partake in. There has been this desire to create with no motivation to do so and after feeling this way for a year, I now know its time to put my efforts to something that matters, something that gives opportunity and something I couldn't imagine NOT doing. 

JIG+SAW has been an idea for 5 of the 10 years during Profresh Style. I now have the best opportunity to make my real dreams a reality. I get to create something beautiful with creators, entrepreneurs and most importantly, women who give a shit. It's powerful and exciting, something that has nothing to do with me and what I'm wearing or what brand is sponsoring my latest shoe purchase. JIG+SAW is what's next for me, and I hope you'll understand. But, of course, you will because you've always been the dopest part about all this. 

So, let's talk about you for a second. I've been on here with complaints, happiness, sadness, depression, anxiousness and celebration and all the while, you've been here. You've read each story, supported each success and rewarded me with love when I felt less than. I've never had a community like this in my life, never one that felt so reachable, one that made me so emotional when meeting you. I'll never forget the times I've run into you on the street, in the coffee shop, in a bar or in Whole Foods, where we've had a passionate conversation about life and not about petty things. I'm so thankful you were who you all were. So, very thankful. You've helped me to see that authenticity is what matters and to never sacrifice that for anything, not a dollar or a trip. You've made this better, this space on the internet. And, I hope you continue to support others on their journeys, even though different from mine. We're all searching for something that makes us the happiest, we're all wanting to feel accepted and understood, feel like we've got the world behind us and nothing could stop us. Continue to support influencers who use their voices as a platform, support those that make incredibly, beautiful content. Support the talented and the disregarded. It would mean the world as I leave my post. 

I hope you'll come hang at JIG+SAW, come see the journey that's led me there. It's going to be amazing and I'm thankful to relieve myself from Profresh. But, to be fair, who knows? I could stop by, write a little letter to you all again. Never say never, right? 

And at 2:49am, I want to close by saying thanks for being rad little blog. I appreciate it for all that it was. 

MEET ME AT THE MOTEL

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All the summer vibes brought me to wear ALL THIS COLOR. Also, this entire crummy motel inspired me to get up and start shooting again. 

My brother and I have been doing a ton of content brainstorming now that I feel like I'm back in the swing of things. I can't wait to share with you and as I'm sure you know, there's not much of a story to this outfit or most, so look out for the next story time. 

Products in the outfit are all mega expired. 
However, shoes/sunnies + dress are all linked to where they came from. 

Photography: Tyler Topacio

 

ALL LIVES MATTER?

I don't know if I start with personal experience, with what I have seen and been a part of to validate my feelings expressed here today or just share my feelings. But, my stories don't matter - they add to the heap of sympathizers looking to contribute, selfishly.  So. Stories aside, let's talk.

I've been fairly vocal on my platforms to share and express my feelings about things that are happening in our world, in our country. But, I've never taken a moment to write out my thoughts here on the blog. I'm not sure if I was waiting for approval, unsure of my place in the thought process or what it would mean if I put it on the internet. This morning, none of that questioning mattered. I wake up to another human gone because of some horrendous human feared another human with no threat on his life but took it because he feared his complexion. 

Why is my Facebook feed filled with unnecessary thoughts like being annoyed with a young woman recording her partner's death by cop? That livestream is what created evidence for a potential just case. If your life was in danger on a daily basis, would you not want to ensure your word was solid by capturing it live for anyone to see before you could be gone too?

Why is my Facebook feed filled with #AllLivesMatter? If that's the case, why are we not speaking up and being enraged with anger about black humans being murdered by the ones sworn to protect? As devastating and heinous as Orlando was, why is there more importance placed with your hashtags and social posts of that mass killing and not understanding that black men and women are being MURDERED because of bigoted, fearful, "protectors" in our communities? What makes Alton, Philando. Antwun, Jessica, Michael, Trayvon, Eric, Dante, Akai, Tamir, Walter and the hundreds more any less important to you as a mass killing effort of a population? If you don't believe it, do the research. Dive in and read what is happening to a targeted population. The facts are there, try to argue that this isn't a targeted, racist action against a population of humans.

Why is my Facebook feed filled with puppies, a new balenciaga bag or what you ate for dinner? Are you afraid what your friends or family will say if you stick up for what you know is right? Well, maybe you are actually racist and feel it's right to kill off a population. So go ahead, post your puppies and bags and bullsh*t. I'll see myself out. 

A friend of mine shared a written work of her friend that says exactly what many non-POC do not understand:

"Black people don't need to be convinced that anti-black racism, structural inequity and skin privilege are facts; white people do... White people have to do the hard work of figuring out the best ways to educate themselves and each other about racism. And I don't know what that looks like, because that is not my work, or the work of other black people, to figure out. In fact, the demand placed on black people to essentially teach white folk how not to be racist or complicit in structural racism is itself in exercise of willful ignorance and laziness." - sally kohn

This is on me and you and those who stay quiet because they aren't sure what to say, aren't sure who to support, aren't aware of what's going on in their communities. For those of us who have voices, with our fashion blogs and our little social media followings, we can support Orlando but we can't support a human population being executed? Why aren't we lifting our voices as a community for all accounts of murder, by reckless humans AND badge carriers taking an oath to protect? And please don't hear me wrong; I'm not saying all police are racist and murderers. But, there are those that are bad seeds and there are few that are speaking out against the bad ones which causes a majority of us to think all police are bad/corrupt/racist etc. 

So, what are the next steps, you may ask? SPEAK. UP. Stand up. Stop being silent because you're white or because you don't think people you know will react well. Stop being afraid of sticking up for your FRIENDS, your FAMILY, your LOVED ONES. I'm asking you to think about your black boyfriend, your black niece, your black uncle, your black teacher, your black best friend, your black role model, your black communities. Speak up because of them, because you give a sh*t about them, just like you do any other group of humans being murdered like in Orlando, Baghdad, Paris and Turkey. 

*Update: Listen to Savanna, an example to us all. 

Give a shit.

 

Image via Zoë Kravitz on racism in hollywood for i-d magazine

THE LIFE OF AN ENTREPRENEUR

▽ press play below ▽

WHOA. It's a blog post AND a video. Yo, what's even happening? 

So, here we are with another JIG+SAW thing aka we were asked to be on panel for Lululemon Residency last month and it was incredible. I met so many incredible women on their journey of starting and existing in their business and I'm so thankful to have been given the opportunity to be present there. Thanks to my girl, Jess of Haute Hope, I sat on panel with Michele and Jordan with Jess to talk about how we started but more importantly WHY.  Here's to more coming together and more growing from one another.

Continue creating dope sh*t.

CATERER: BANG BANG BRUNCH // EVENT PARTNER: LULULEMON // HOST: JESS PUCCINELLI