The Empowerment Project

I think it’s so incredible when a local group can bring together people for a message that needs to be heard nationwide-and this week I had the opportunity to go to one of these inspiring events.

Carson Ronketto, one of the women I profiled for my Girl Em[Power]ent series invited me to this event called The Empowerment Project, put on by the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and The Power of the Purse. The event was basically a screening of the documentary created by Sarah Moshman and Dana Cook, which was incredible.

Sarah and Dana, along with their all women film crew traveled across the US for a month, interviewing 17 women in powerful and interesting roles, asking what they thought should be done about empowering women. It was so interesting to see how different each woman was, yet how they all wanted to achieve the same goal-to empower women and men.

The event was really thought provoking also, as after the documentary screening, several women doing great things at the university were brought on stage for a discussion panel, as well as Sarah and Dana. It was so neat seeing the goal of the film play out in real life-as the creators wanted the documentary to start a conversation about empowerment, and really get the audience thinking. I especially loved this message-to have the film screened in large events, as opposed to sitting t home by yourself, so that a discussion could be had, and you would use your mind and think.

After leaving the event, I felt so empowered-like I could literally take on the world. With my Girl Empowerment series, I was able to profile women of all different ages and in different careers, not only in the NWA area, but all over the US. It is so important for young women and all women alike to see ladies they can identify with and relate to, So many women growing up didn’t have women that looked like them, or talked like them-and now that there is more diversity, I think we should really be shining a light on this so that girls don’t get discouraged and give up. I think it’s essential to really talk to women in different careers with different goals and views, because that’s when you really discover that all women are reaching for the same goal no matter what-to be empowered and empower others, but also not bring others down.

With that said, I am starting up my Girl Empowerment series again in a few weeks, finishing with a few women I think should be know, and that are doing great things. I hope you’ll keep following along!

xo, flancake

 

[for how to how to host a screening of The Empowerment Project, look here]

 

 

Fun Fearless Weekend

First off let me preface with how terribly late this post is.
A few months back, Ellie and I ventured up to NY for the weekend. It was set to be a short trip, so we were already a tad sad about that but it was still a fabulous weekend no less. The entire weekend was centered on Cosmopolitan magazine’s Fun Fearless Life conference that was on Saturday that I was able to attended last year – it was so incredible that I told several friends about the event in hopes that they would also come.

 

FullSizeRender-4.jpg

Friday we were up way early. Ellie and I were out and about by 3.30am, catching the red eye flight. After we landed, we went straight to the hotel for an early check-in. We were both starving so we ventured to one of my favorite places in the city [the amount of times that I’ve written about it – you would think that I was being endorsed to do so!], Cafeteria in Chelsea. It has been a favorite of mine for several years now, as I visit it every time I’m in the city. We split a delicious chicken and waffle meal, them had a little while to kill before visiting the gals at Lulu Frost, so we went to another one of my favorite places in the city – Citi Pups, the puppy store that has French bulldogs [eek!]. After saying hi to the Lulu Frost gals, I took Ellie to another one of my favorites – ABC Carpet and Home. ABC is essentially an Anthropologie, but with actual artists creating the incredible goods. We browsed the amazing Christmas selection, and then headed back to the hotel. We really needed to recharge, so we took a moment to just chiiiiiill. We then headed to another favorite, Rosemary’s, for dinner with my NY roommate, Frances, from two summer’s ago. I had fabulous ravioli, while the other girls got a salad and yummy tasting pasta. We then met up with a friend from the China trip I took a few years back, then headed to Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar. We split some amazing s’mores along with a delectable cake. Of course a chocolate martini was in order as well. After a while we were all worn out, so we headed back to the room to prepare for the intense but also amazing day ahead.

FullSizeRender

Saturday was another early one, as we wanted to get out the door as quick as we could for Fun Fearless Life! When we strolled in, we were greeted by the incredible Hearst escalators I was able to ride up every day during my Seventeen internship. The first person we talked to was an amazing women I met last year [be on the lookout for her Girl em[Power]ment profile in a few months]. Next we talked to a few fashion editors about our BFF jackets – they were quite the talking point! After some chitchat we headed upstairs to the 42nd floor for the main event!!! [drumroll please]

IMG_9812

Our keynote speaker was the equally funny and smart Chelsea Handler. I was honestly so impressed hearing from her – she talked everything from politics to running her own brand/business. What I really loved and also took away from her was a quote in regards to trying to get a job and it being the right fit. Her words of wisdom, “if they want you, they’re going to want you no matter what, and they’ll pay you. Like a hooker!” It’s Chelsea Handler, what do you expect. She also touched on how if you’re ever down in the dumps that it’s important to get moving, which I’ve tried to apply to my life these last few weeks, and so far it has been amazing how much it helps to simply get moving.

IMG_9723

The next speaker was one of my favorites, Aliza Litch – former DKNY PR Girl. She spoke about how to establish and keep up with your own brand identity. What I got from her speaking was that it’s important to have your own brand DNA as well as a particular filter for your social media outlets. She touched on how it is important to figure out what you stand for, figure out what describes your brand, and think about what makes sense for you to speak about – and ignore on your blog or branded website. In regards to content, she reminded us to think about if what you’re writing adds value to your brand, and to always voice the best version of yourself. What is your brand message really giving off, she asked. She touched on making a statement – a visual identity about what your brand stands for.

FullSizeRender-5.jpg

My next favorite speaker was Adam Rosante, who is the resident fitness guru for Cosmopolitan. He got everyone up and out of their seats for a quick one-minute jog in place to get our blood pumping [this was real fun in my 3 inch heels, let me just tell you.] Adam talked about when thinking about goals or things you are doing in your life to remember two things. 1 – be crystal clear on your core values and big picture values. 2 – master the art of saying no. He discussed how these two things are linked in a very important way, and why when you are clear on these, everything else gets filtered out. A favorite quote from Adam was to “cut through the bullsh*t and make room for the good sh*t”

FullSizeRender-6

My next favorite speaker was the amazing Ivanka Trunk. Honestly, I wasn’t extremely looking forward to hearing her speak simply because I didn’t know much about her. However my opinion quickly changed! Ivanka not only spoke with such grace and elegance, but she spoke with such honesty and truth about her work which I really respected and appreciated. She also gave such great advice about being a woman in a man’s business world and how she didn’t let that affect her work.

FullSizeRender-7

Among the other speakers were Stacy London, Laverne Cox, Christian Siriano, Elizabeth Gore [Dell Entrepreneur], Opal Tometi [Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter], Hannah Bronfman [DJ and Digital Personality], and Fifth Harmony and Rachel Platten were also both in attendance.

Throughout the entire day we got to sneak downstairs and take part in several of the fun activities Cosmo had for us like a GIF photobooth, fashion illustrators who created [way better] illustrated versions of yourself, a red carpet to take photos on, and a photobooth that created a Cosmopolitan cover with your picture on the front.

 

IMG_9896

Also after the event Cosmo hosted a cocktail party to mingle with editors and other Fun Fearless attendees. Ellie and I chatted the night away, met some great women and men, and then headed out to enjoy our last night in the city.

IMG_9924

The next day was a rather short one, but we were able to grab brunch at Jack’s Wife Freda and then walk around Washington Square Park for a bit. We walked around that area for a while before heading back to the hotel to grab our bags and also go catch our flight home.

 

Overall the weekend was an incredible one. Ellie and I really met some amazing women, along with hearing incredible advice on life, career, and love. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!

 

Xo, Flancake

Girl em[Power]ment – Anna E. Cottrell

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them .

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

I’ve been waiting to share today’s influencer for a long time now, as she was one of the original women who inspired the series. I first met Anna in person forever ago at a fashion event, but I had been following her and her blog for much longer. Our paths finally crossed when I decided that I wanted to somehow get involved in what she was doing with Lola last year. Fast forward – she has now been my lady boss for almost a year now [insert a happy eek here!] and I’ve learned SO much under her fabulous wings. She’s taught myself and the others around her what perseverance looks like – that it you want something you’ve got to not only hustle to get it, but also put forth a positive attitude and be kind to get it. Anna is always open to new ideas [even when I think she’ll think I’m cray-cray], and even if she’s not totally into, she’ll help you to make it bigger and better. She is always looking to uplift those around her, she is always teaching myself and the other Lola gals that although perfection isn’t real – being the absolute best you can is absolutely attainable. Oh, and along with all that she’s accomplished so much in her career, and is more than happy to share advice daily.

Introducing Anna E. Cottrell, owner of Lola and Tulip Louise.
Website + Blog: ShopLola.comTulip Louise.com
Insta: @lolaboutique + @tuliplouise 

Q: What is your current job title and can you please explain your career path?
A: First off, hi flannery!  Thank you so much for having me.  My name is Anna and I am the owner of Lola.  I always knew that I wanted to be in the fashion world from a very young age– it was just in my blood.  I have vivid memories of when mom would take me ‘back to school shopping’ before the start of a new year and I would get home as quickly as I could with my new loot and a simple spiral notebook.  From there, I would work to stretch my new clothes into as many different outfits as possible, try them on [down to the accessories], and jot down every detail of my final look.  Once I wore it, I would mark it out in my little notebook.  As it turns out this is eerily similar to what I do for personal styling appointments now!  I digress.  

[Focus, Anna] Career path.  I interned at Findings Showroom in New York for my college internship, which is when I first fell in love with the pace of the city– even though I was filing, faxing, getting coffee, wheeling massive trunks to the Javits Center for market, etc… I couldn’t have been more energized x this was when I paid my dues.  First job out of college was with the e-commerce division at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas.  Having zero background in .com at the time, this was a major leap of faith [on both parts!] that I accepted as a learning experience and [quite frankly] for the chance to add a powerhouse of a company to my résumé.  So small-minded. While the cubicle life didn’t turn out to be my jam, I learned endless lessons about workplace professionalism and company protocol within a corporate environment [i.e. e-mail etiquette, managing an editorial calendar, balancing workload, etc . ].   Honestly, just to be a fly on the wall and learn how the “big dogs” communicated was a major turning point for me , for instance the opportunity to sit in on calls with David Yurman about  new products that needed to be uploaded by a certain holiday deadline .  It was fun to be a point person between the buying office, graphic designers, copywriters, marketing department, and vendors– this opened my eyes to many different avenues within the fashion industry, and also the importance of everyone having a niche x working together for a bigger goal. Pretty cool now that I think about it.  

Hitting your first career stride out of college is kind of like having your first love– there’s nothing that can compare to the growth you experience, and you find yourself eternally grateful because it taught you so much about yourself. 

When I was in Dallas, I became even more interested in learning about the arts–spending weekends over wine + french film, gallery openings or the Nasher Sculpture Museum [still a favorite].  When I moved back home to Northwest Arkansas, it was to be the Web Director at a local boutique.  Note: I said “Web Director” as if there was an existing site, but there wasn’t.  However! This was an amazing opportunity to enter into a small business and try to make a big difference with an e-commerce site, by utilizing what I had learned at NM.COM— it was a fabulous time in my career.  

A couple of years later, I decided to turn what was then a hobby of blogging x styling, into my full-time gig… Enter: Tulip Louise.  This was a life of hustle. It was creatively stimulating because I was shooting with talented photographers x makeup artists for the blog non-stop, getting endorsed / written up, started covering backstage at New York Fashion Week for Revlon every season + getting some publicity, rubbing shoulders with some of the greats, and then brands started sending me things to wear.  Before I knew it, all of my shoots were subtly endorsing things that I hadn’t hand-selected for myself, which is when blogging began to lose it’s luster for me.  I needed to take a break and press the reset button on it.  Fast forward a couple of years, and I’m living back in New York as a freelance Art Director… but on the weekends shooting blog photos eating / endorsing a new Wendy’s frosty [huh?] — I guess it paid the rent, ladies.

In 2013, I returned home to my native Northwest Arkansas as owner, buyer, and creative director of Lola.  I remember telling my now business partner that I felt that my experiences in the industry [showroom, e-commerce, marketing, blogger, stylist, business owner] had melded together to help best prepare me for this peak opportunity!  Now, only a mere two years later, Lola has a beautiful e-commerce site x will be opening the doors to a third storefront this month.  Whirlwind, but none of the growth we’ve experienced would ever have been possible without the tremendous x inspiring team we have [including you, Flannery!]

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I studied fashion x marketing at the University of Arkansas. 

Q: How/or do you deal with negativity towards women in the work place? 
A: You know, Flannery, there was a time in my life when I would have had time to dwell or deal with negative people x thoughts, but I just don’t anymore.  I was telling someone recently that something shifted when I turned 30– ha — unless someone [or something] is additive to my life x what happiness I’m working towards, it has to go. We only get so many days on this planet, and I have less and less tolerance for toxicity. I know it sounds harsh, but it truly just isn’t worth the energy– I’d rather spend that priceless time with people that I love, or working to build something great… instead of devoting energy to anything negative. It is a conscious effort I make every day.  If you knew me a couple of years ago, you’d know this is a new lease on life for me!

Q: Who are three of your role models or mentors, and why?
A1: My mom, Jill.  If you’ve ever met her, you’re lucky enough to know why she is a great role model. She is unbelievably kind x thoughtful x warm.  Family and  faith is everything to her, and I would be lucky to become half the woman she is.


A2: Jeannette Balleza Collins.  This woman is a powerhouse.  She is so eloquent, as business savvy as they come, and has a pure heart of gold.  Just an overall lovely human, that makes me want to be better.


A3: Jade Terminella. She is the perfect no nonsense counterpart. A woman with a strong moral compass, get sh*t done work ethic, and gentle soul.


Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”?
A: Oh, of course!  Some days are harder than others, which is why we have to encourage women in our network.  Life is hard… but really beautiful.


Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: Photography, art, travel.  I used to be really into music — would like to get back to that.


Q: What do you do in your free time to relax?
A: When I get the chance, I honestly live for a spa moment; manicure, pedicure, facial, or massage?  Sign me up.  Totally the way to my heart.


Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty year old self?
A: 1- Always go the extra mile– it is so worth it.  2- Life can be very tricky, but keep your chin up– one day, all of those little twists x turns will make sense.  

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed Anna’s profile. She’s an incredible driven woman with such a drive for what she does! Hopefully we can all catch a bit of this spirit.
Stay tuned for Sunday’s profile – you won’t want to miss it!

Xo, Flancake

Girl em[Power]ment – Wendi Rosenblatt

Girl em[Power]ment – A Series of Short Essays.

Over the next few months Flancake.co will be bringing you the Girl em[Power]ment series, which consists of interviews with several working women of all ages in different stages of their career. These are women I not only find inspiring and interesting, but who I think women of all ages should know about and learn from. These women hold careers in several different industries, from creative design to politics. They’ll give us an inside look into what their job is like, how they got there, share their advice for twenty-somethings, and touch on what Girl em[Power]ment means to them.

[be sure to follow along on insta – @girlempowerment]

For today’s influencer, I’m so excited to introduce you all to a women I was able to get to know over the summer, but have known for a few years now. We were first introduced by my mother, who knew each other from being sorority sisters. Over the months that I got to know her, I loved her spunk and charisma, and also how her intelligence inspired me to go above and beyond.

Introducing Wendi Rosenblatt, of Hearst Television 

Q: What is your current job title, and can you please briefly explain your career path?
A: I am the Senior Director of Financial Planning & Analysis for Hearst Television. We own 30 local TV stations and two radio stations spread across the US. I started with the company over 10 years ago back in Kansas City, MO at our TV station there and moved to NYC in September of 2008 to advance my career with our Corporate team. In a nutshell, I make sure we make money!

Q: Where did you go to school and what was your major?
A: I graduated from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with a degree in Business Administration. My major was Accounting.

Q: How do you deal with negativity towards women in the workplace, if at all?
A: I have been in the workplace for over 25 years and I have seen or felt negativity from time to time, although it is generally more indirect than direct. Indirect negativity takes the form of not enough women in high profile roles in certain companies I have worked at. It is also interesting to me that I find myself the only woman in a meeting with five men (or more) occasionally. I always try to see if there is a way I can improve that ratio by nurturing other women and working to include them in the discussion.

Q: Who are your role models or mentors that you look up to?
A: My Mom was my first major influencer and besides being a great person she showed me at an early age that women can and should be accepted in the workplace and that we can accomplish anything. She was the bookkeeper for our family business when I was young and I think that is where my interest in and aptitude for accounting and finance began. Hillary Clinton was my UofA commencement speaker and I always recall how eloquent she was that day and it sparked my desire to use my degree to the best of my ability while also giving back to the greater community. My Dad has also been an important mentor to me. He has always been very proud of my achievements and supportive of my life and career choices. He reminds me that it is OK to be proud of what you have done, enjoy life and never forget your family is there for you along the way. He has always been in my corner and encouraged me to “go big”.

Q: Have you ever felt unsure of yourself or felt that you weren’t “enough”, and how did you overcome that?
A: I have felt the need to prove myself from time to time during my career, most importantly when I am starting a new job or large project. I have also had some times when I wasn’t sure I could live up to expectations I set for myself or others had of me. In those times, I remind myself to start with the small things and once I have a few victories, move on to the larger tasks.

Q: What are other things you do [hobbies, projects, interest] that you feel passionate about?
A: I love to sing [my extrovert side, although I still get major stage fright], read [my introvert side, especially autobiographies of strong women] and of course, I watch a lot of television [come on, it’s my industry!].

Q: What career and/or life advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
A: Honestly, don’t work so hard! I have sacrificed a lot to advance in my career and I continue to work on finding a good work/life balance.

Q: What does Girl em[Power]ment mean to you?
A: I’ve been fortunate to always live in a world where I never felt excluded as a woman or that there was anything that could hold me back from achieving my goals and dreams. I encourage all women to live their lives with that feeling as a starting point. Believe in yourself and great things will happen!

I hope you enjoyed hearing from Wendi – I love her honesty when discussing not working as hard, but rather to find a balance.

Xo, Flancake

Special Projects // Alligator Food Design

Although this happened a bit ago, I still wanted to share the awesome experience I had working with the Alligator Food Design brand. A friend from a freshman class [tip – always keep up with your contacts, you never know when you might need them//when they’ll need you!] reached out to ask about help with her brand, specifically editorial styling for the product. This brand aligns perfectly with my aesthetic, so it was a perfect match.

We met to discuss how the shoot would work and what her ideas were, and of course I added some. The really cool thing that made this project different than any I’d ever done before was that the brand had different collections based on people, which gave them each personalities. This was a fun dynamic to work with, as we wanted each collections to really speak to the person it was inspired by and of course be visually pleasing.

Once we had our ideas drawn out and we agreed on several visual inspirations, we set up shop in a garage to get the magic going! It took a few hours to get everything right, but it the work definitely paid off. Check out Alligator Food Design’s website to read their story and get some prints! [Of course] I had to get some. Enjoy!!

// The Ashley Collection
For the jet setter: A travelogue that shows just as much complexity as the places they’ve visited, the Ashley Collection is for the girl boss inside us all. A neutral palette with pops of color, emphasize the sassy, yet inspirational phrases. The Ashley Collection encourages one to get stuff done while being fabulous as ever.

unnamed-79

// The Ashlyn Collection
For the Wanderer: Rooted in adventure, the Ashlyn Collection is for those who are constantly seeking to discover more. Its natural color palette,reminiscent of faded photographs and old postcards, gives texture to the wanderlust sayings that characterize this collection. The Ashlyn will inspire you to pack your bags, and embark on an unknown route to an unexplored world.

unnamed-78

// The Ava Collection
For the modern romantic: The Ava Collection combines a passionate sentiment with a classic color palette. Hand drawn watercolor illustrations are the background for tender dedications. The Ava Collection inspires one to rejoice in love, for it truly can and will “save your soul”.

unnamed-77

// The Emily Collection
For the party girl: Sassy and social, the Emily Collection is for those of you who love to put on your red lipstick and hit the town on a Friday night. The neutral, high contrast color palette draws attention to the witty quips you’ll be sure to use in your everyday vocabulary. The Emily Collection encourages you to put on your best pair of heels and just live life to the fullest!

unnamed-76

// The Mimi Collection
For the southern sweetheart: As sweet as apple pie, the Mimi Collection is for those who always see the good in things. Light and airy pastels fill this collection with a carefree sense of joy. The Mimi Collection inspires one to laugh, dance, and just enjoy things as they come. After all, life truly is sweet.

unnamed-75

Hopefully you love the beautiful prints paired with the layout design, and be sure to check out the
Alligator Food Design site and go grab some awesome prints and other products!!

Xo, Flancake

If you’re interested in using visual display services I offer, shoot me an email at flannerylyle@gmail.com and let’s chat.
*all images from Alligator Food Design website*

An Update – Gov Ball

Screen Shot 2015-09-10 at 4.43.12 PM

During my first weekend back in the city, my roommates and I got the chance to go to one of New York’s music festivals – Governors Ball, on Randall’s Island. One of the big reasons I wanted to go to this was because one of my ALL TIME favorite bands were playing – THE BLACK KEYS!!!!!! Sorry for the yelling. But I was extremely excited you guys.
Of course I was pumped to see the other acts as well, there were some pretty big names! I’ll break it down by day to make it easy.

Friday June 5 – This was the first day of Gov ball! My roommates and I headed to the ferry around 12, because who we really wanted to see wasn’t performing until around 4, and luckily we left early because we got there just in time!! Names you might know that performed that day were Charlie XCX, Future, Chromeo, Vance Joy, Odesza, Florence + The Machine, St. Vincent, Ratatat, My Morning Jacket, and DRAKE. Such a fun day it was, I must say the best acts were Vance Joy, Odesza, and Florence. Be still my heart to Florence, so wonderful.

Saturday June 6 – Saturday was a pretty full day, with big acts again. We didn’t roll up until around 2, since we were extremely tired from the night before. But we did get there just in time to get some yum truffle grilled cheeses! Oh, and to have a tasty drink the size of my hand that was $23…….I held that drink with my life. Besides going to the concerts, we also participated in different events around the Gov ball grounds. Our favorite was Silent Disco – everyone was in a tent, and were given headphones that played various techno music with whichever DJ was in. It was SICK. Not even kidding, some of the best fun was had there. The actual artists we hear that day were Clean Bandit, Marina and the Diamonds, Kiesza, Little Dragon, Bjork, Flume, SBTRKT, Deadmau5, and Ryan Adams. All so good.

Sunday June 7 – This literally was the day I had been waiting for. I can’t even begin to explain my excitement. We were lazy again getting to the venue, but we did get there in time to see Echosmith – who was SO good. We spent more time at Silent Disco, and just kind of relaxed on the grounds. I got a coconut filled with coconut water, which was new and exciting! The bands we saw were Hermitude, Weird Al, Big Gigantic, [I didn’t see her-due to conflicts] but Lana Del Ray was in attendance. Sadly my roomate had to leave, but ~obvi~ I was staying for The Black Keys. They did not disappoint, not one bit.

It was such a fun weekend, filled with music and friends, gourmet truffle grilled cheeses and $20 drinks – but oh so worth it. See ya next year Gov Ball.

Xo,
Flancake

The Outfit Chronicles

Outfits1Outfits2

During my time in New York + Seventeen, I was able to really let my creative juices flow into my outfits. This is something I really love about NY, is that no one really cares what you look like – good or bad. At my internship however there was a dress code, business casual, and of course I had to abide by this. It was great though because I was able to dress it up or down, and let my creative side shine through. I was able to document my favorite outfit moments, and I’m sharing the details above – click the pictures to enlarge them.

What was great about dressing with a dress code is figuring out how to make my closet work, or rather what didn’t work. It was challenging every day to make sure I not only was appropriate, but was utilizing my closet instead of buying new clothes – and mixing up how I wore certain items.

More about my summer in the city is to come – promise.

Xo,
Flancake