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.

Beauty / Style Finds: Jewelry with a Message, The Sassy Trashionista

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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I started Beauty / Style Finds to highlight small shops and vegan / eco-friendly  brands. Normally, I focus on both small shops  / boutiques and larger brands, but after reading April’s responses (founder of The Sassy Trashionista) to my questions, I was compelled to only highlight her work this week. She’s quite inspiring! She’s  encouraged me to give these small shops their own features. Enjoy the read, lovelies!

April, The Sassy Trashionista
April Lemmon, founder of The Sassy Trashionista

What is your jewlery made from?
I upcycle as many materials for my jewelry as I possibly can. The handstamped pendants and bracelets as well as the knife end tassels pendants are made from vintage and antique silver plated flatware. I like the idea of using beat up, broke down and long forgotten materials {let’s face it, very few of us are using silver plated flatware for our daily meals} and transforming them in to something beautiful and new.

The scarves and leather I use in my tassel necklaces are created by repurposing vintage scarves and leather furniture swatches. We live in such an incredibly disposable society, it makes me feel good knowing I might be saving something from the landfill.

I’m always poking around at my local thrift stores to see what I might find that can be turned in to something new. My granny called this “make do.” When she was growing up in rural West Virginia they didn’t have all the necessary materials they needed to get a job done, so they learned to improvise. I’d like to think I carry on some form of this Appalachian ingenuity.

The findings {clasps, closures, etc.}, and stringing materials are brand new as I want to ensure the structural integrity of each piece. Additionally, I use new Czech glass and natural gemstone beads, however every now and then I get lucky and find some fabulous vintage beads that I throw in to the mix!

LICBLOG 1What led you to start your business?
I have been making jewelry as a hobby for the past 10 years or so, but what eventually led me to make this a full time job was a swift kick in the pants called losing my job. The company I worked for went out of business after 18 years, and I lost my job as a graphic designer. So the family and I talked it over and I decided to go for it!

I literally started out with a $20 set of stamps and a set of spoons I found at the thrift store. I started my company with zero dollars in capital and no investors. Looking back I see how incredibly crazy the idea was, but somehow I made it work.

A year ago I felt like I was just stamping words in to metal, and to be honest I guess I was. It was only recently when I started to heal some old wounds and deal with past issues that I found the courage to stamp the things I wanted to say, or that touched me personally and not to worry so much about the things I think people would want to buy. At that point there was literally a switch in my work and the intention I put in to it.

The Sassy Trashionista necklace

I did a lot of shows and to see the expression on women’s faces…the work really resonated with them. I have seen women cry because they felt like someone understood how they felt. That’s when it really hit home for me…my purpose was to make jewelry to inspire and empower women. 

Since then I’ve reworked my website which just recently relaunched and I’m working on getting my Etsy shop updated as well. I also have several wholesale accounts here in Ohio as well as Kentucky and Virginia. In addition to that, my work is featured at the Arthurdale Heritage Museum Craft Shop in Arthurdale, WV which is the site of Eleanor Roosevelt’s first New Deal Community.

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What are your creative sources of inspiration?
There are a lot of things that inspire me to keep creating. I am continually inspired working with women to create their personal “I Am” pendants. This pendant is completely customizable and allows you to choose up to 28 words to describe yourself.

It occurred to me that, as women, we’re really good at pointing out all of the magnificent things about our girlfriends and female family members, but when it comes to ourselves, we sometimes struggle. I want to inspire women to think of themselves in a more loving and positive light and to wear their pendant as an affirmation of who they truly are. I want every woman to recognize her personal and unique beauty and the gifts she has to offer this world.

LICBLOG COUPON

 

I am further inspired by my recent partnership with The Domestic Violence Project. Ten percent profits from sales are donated to the organization and we are currently in discussion about how else I can be of service, be it through speaking or hands on activities with residents of the shelter.

I am organizing a benefit October 1, 2016 {October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month} called “Stamp Out Domestic Violence” with all of the proceeds from auction items going to benefit the Domestic Violence Project.

All product photos taken by April Lemmon

Keep up with The Sassy Trashionista! And don’t forget to claim your discount by April 30 (see details above).

Shop at The Sassy Trashionista

Follow along on Instagram and Facebook.

 

The Sassy Trashionista

 

Eco-Friendly, Vegan & Small Shop Style Finds: From Queens Knits to Global Jewelry 

Emelda De Coteau
Follow Me:

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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Christine Gibson, founder of Queens Knits.   All images courtesy of Christine Gibson.

 

Featured Small Shop ▶️ Queens Knits 

Creating and running a business while raising kids is challenging, but certainly possible. And I admire my fellow creative Mamas, who juggle so much and remain committed.

I met Christine Gibson, founder of Queens Knits, on Instagram and was immediately drawn to not only the beauty of her handmade knitted pieces cowls in vibrant colors, coffee cozies (check out the adorable Mom one I linked to), scarvesturban style earwarmers, and hats – but her warmth and down-to-earth personality.

Like many mompreneurs, Christine began her business for a simple and quite practical reason:  “I was seeing adorable kids accessories on blogs and online that I couldn’t afford so I made them myself !” Her business continues to grow, and now you can outfit your whole family in Queens Knits from hats to cowls and stylish hair accessories.

Alongside merchandise, you will find photos of her fresh-faced kiddos and happy customers rounding out this creator’s  IG feed, and immediately it feels like you’re in Queens, baby!

The lovely hair clips below are made of felt and ribbon, and attached to a metal clip. The cost for these is $3 each, or two for $5.
Keep up with all Queens Knits is doing on IG and Twitter, and of course visit her shop.

Ten Thousand Villages

I discovered Ten Thousand Villages in my early 20s in Baltimore’s historic Fells Point, and was later thrilled to learn their stores are all over the country.

You can find everything from products for your skin to jewelry, home decor, clothing, home decor and skincare. The artisans, who come from all over the  world (Nepal, India, Kenya, etc.), are paid fairly and customers can learn about who created what they wear on product tags. There is also  an opportunity to go in depth by visiting their blog .

The pieces below are my new favorites:

 

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Find these heart inspired earrings here (handmade in Kenya).

 

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages
Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Find this stunning jewelry set here (handmade in Guatemala).

Photo Credit: Ten Thousand Villages

Step out in style with this ornate evening bag. Find it here (handmade in India).

Have an amazing weekend, lovelies!

p.s.

Don’t be shy! Tell me what stylish clothing or jewelry (eco-friendly, vegan, or small shops) you’re wearing these days. Know of a small shop or product  I should feature? Feel free to leave the info.