Beauty / Style Finds: Get Your Carrie Bradshaw on with Carriage House Heiress Tutus! 

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Michelle Dowell , owner of Carriage House Heiress and Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique

Tell us about your fabulous tutus! What are they made of?  What is the cost?
My tutus are made from 100% nylon tulle and are cruelty-free. There is never any part of my process or my materials that involve animal testing or anything pertaining to animals. I also make sure that my material suppliers are cruelty-free as well.

An average tutu can start from as low as $38 and custom orders start at $41. My price incorporates cost of labor/time (what I pay myself) to create the items and the cost of materials. I always will keep my fashions budget-friendly because being a price-conscious fashionista myself, no one should pay high prices for high quality. It’s where the name “Carriage House Heiress” came from. You get Heiress quality on a Carriage House budget!

What lead you to start your business? What is your business philosophy / mission?
Carriage House Heiress was originally birthed from my kids clothing store, Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique, which is also located in the Etsy marketplace. I named my women’s tutu collection “Lady RRNB” and gave them their own spot in my boutique.


After a while, though, I had ladies requesting custom orders for adult tutus until the demand was so high that I felt that it was time to give those designs a home of their own. And so, Carriage House Heiress was born.

I didn’t want to just open up another cute boutique to make extra money for my family. I wanted to start something where I could give back to causes that speak to my heart and to what I strongly believe in.

Being a mom of furbabies and an ex-cat-colony-rescuer, my heart strings tug at the mere mention of animal rescue and animal rights. I never could comprehend the harming or killing of animals for the vain purposes of fashion. So not only are my designs cruelty-free, but a portion of their sales goes to charities that support animal rescue, helping the environment and bettering the lives of women and children.

Our business philosophy is Christian-based, and sharing the love of Christ through serving and giving. I believe that we are here to make a difference in the lives of others, and I am humbled to use my talents to do that one tutu creation at a time. 


What inspires you to keep creating?
I love the “art” of creating art. It sounds so cheesy, but the creative in me is drawn to all things artsy tartsy. Whether it’s acting, writing, fashion design, crafting D.I.Y. home decor, baking or even creating homeschool printables for my kiddo, I need to be creating something awesomesauce at all times to be fulfilled. It’s the satisfaction of working hard at something and seeing it come into fruition that fuels me to keep making.

 

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Michelle Dowell , owner of Carriage House Heiress and Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique

Share 3 random fun facts about you!
I love veggie “cheesesteaks”! I love a good chicken philly, too, but over the years the cruelty-free version appeals to me more. I can’t get enough of it!

My cats rule my house. I am sooo not in charge of our homestead.

I wore my Batgirl tutu design to see the original Batman, Adam West! I’m not sure if he liked it, but I had a blast!

Michelle Dowell of Carriage House Heiress rockin’ her own beautiful creation

If you could chose one quote that summarizes your biz, what would it be? 
“Compassion over fashion, cruelty-free is the way to be!”

Coupon for Live In Color Blog Readers!

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Follow Carriage House Heiress:
Carriage  House Heiress on Etsy

Instagram

Photo Information:
Black Tutu
Photos Provided By Model

Adult Bachelorette Tutu
(white/lace/little pink), Jamie Bragg Photography

Punk Rock Black & Fuchsia tutu, Jamie Bragg Photography

Harley Quinn Tutu
(red/white/black), Illusions Images Photography By Angela

Multicolored Punk rock tutu
(purple/fuschia/black/hot pink/lavender)
Illusions Images Photography By Angela

Hot Pink Tutu
(multi-pink)Photos Provided By Model

Cranberry Wine Long Tutu
Illusions Images Photography By Angela

All photos of Michelle Dowell, owner of Carriage House Heiress, provided by her.

Be Gentle & Loving With Yourself Everyday

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.” – Kurt Vonnegut

Becoming an adult often means we swallow pieces of ourselves, hide vulnerabilities under the guise of responsibilities. Frequent crying  is labeled juvenile, a personal weakness… Yet if ever there were a period to be gentle with ourselves, it is now, when the energy in the world tugs at us daily, assaulting our psyches.

As women and Moms we are relentless with self criticism. I wake up with a mile long to-do-list and silently berate myself when things fall by the way side. Often I struggle to even feel worthy of rest.

There is so much to do, I tell myself – homeschooling, blogging, planning meals and errands for the week. How can I possibly lay down, or go sit in a cafe  and read (one of my favorite past times)? And yet, each time I surrender to rest or doing something only for me, I feel renewed.

Why is it so tough for us to show compassion towards ourselves?  It’s a habit, y’all, and like everything which becomes part of our daily lives, we have to do it over and over again.

When you and I feel overwhelmed the next time, the weight of responsibilities suffocating us, we have to first begin to breathe. It instantly centers you, becoming your sole focus during that moment.

The hubby, Kes, says that to me whenever I become frantic. Take a deep breath, baby.  And then, because he’s perfect for me, he follows up with something hilarious: “I’m gonna start calling you ‘Mel & The Frantics’ cause you always in a panic.” Now I am laughing so hard I almost snort. If y’all could see his face, eyes wide with amusement, you would bowl over with laughter, too.

Audrey Hepburn, whom I admire for her kindness, humanitarian work, and gracious beauty said: “I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.”

All of us need those moments when joy erridicates worry. Sometimes, we have to look in the mirror and crack up at our own mess!

Releasing judgement, anxiety, and silencing all those “should voices” in our minds is another essential part of embracing gentleness. American culture is very much rooted in a kind of personal gratification based on what you do (work hard and then play). Yet there are days when we must relax without having done everything.

This is a tough on for me, y’all. I am goal / project / achievement-oriented-person. But the longer I foster self care and love in my spirit, the more I come to increased clarity, understanding gentleness means releasing fear, the fear of not measuring up.

You and I are enough. Our strength and beauty is not inextricably tied to productivity. We are more than our accomplishments. Gentleness, compassion, honesty and humor are the way forward, illuminating our day-to-day paths. Each one of us deserves a life overflowing with lasting gentleness and joy.

 

Are you gentle with yourself? If so, in what ways? If not, how can you start? 

Sending Compassion When Judgement is Easier

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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“To speak ill of anyone is to speak ill of yourself.” – Afghan proverb

Her voice sounded harsh, an abrupt contrast to subtle smiles in the children’s eyes, their faces, the color of pennies and cinnamon were filled with naive wonder. I thought of my own young daughter, and waved hello, but felt her stiffen, moving further away.

I watched her patience quickly lessen with each of their attempts at closeness. I wondered how someone could eschew such innocent affection. I dismissed her, and turned my attention back towards waiting for the bus and heading to work. I forgot the incident until weeks later when I watched The Price of The Ticket , a documentary about my favorite writer James Baldwin.

He spoke candidly of a childhood marked by his stepfather’s bitterness and stern manner not with anger, but compassion for that man’s own struggles – poverty and suffocating stubbornness. Again I thought of this young mother on the bus stop, and how easily I judged her, how quickly we all judge in various moments, without reflection and compassion. What do any of us know of someone else’s life, but what we assume?

Social media and the Internet make this particularly effortless; comments on websites are sometimes shared anonymously, there is little regard for others feelings. We hurl criticisms blindly, mostly because of the fear to face our own inadequacies and insecurities.

Compassion requires looking deeply, embracing vulnerability and love. Many of us struggle with this in one way or the other. Yet if we are ever to begin judging less, the first step is committing to seeing others not as separate from you, but as a part of you.

How can you be more compassionate in everyday life?

Live In Color – Emelda