Workspace Wednesday :: New Beginnings . . .

Burlington Arcade, the new place of residence for my design studio + showroom!!

South Pasadena, the new location of my design studio + showroom!!

Hey guys! Hope all is well in your world. Things have been crazy busy lately and I have been doing a lot of plotting, planning and a lil bit of packing over here. Why you ask? Well, I’m super excited to share with you that, come Friday, my “bedudio” (the word I made up for the “bedroom studio” that I have worked out of for the last few years) will close it’s doors to all working activity. Don’t fret, what that actually means is that I am gearing up to move said “bedudio” into a real. live. workspace. that is NOT inside, near, adjacent to, attached or even in the same city as my bedroom! It’s definitely a milestone for my business and something I have been diligently working towards and praying about for some time now. I’ll be sharing more about it and bringing you guys along for the ride in the coming weeks. In the meantime, have a happy Wednesday!!

xx
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FIELD TRIP:: LA Textile Show + 5 Quick Tips

The Los Angeles Textile Show starts September 26th and runs through Wednesday, September 29th at the California Market Center in Downtown LA.

Fabricated feels in the CMC lobby before entering the show . . .

Fabricated feels in the CMC lobby before entering the show . . .

1.Start the show by checking out the fabric displays in the lobby. It’s almost like being a kid in a candy store. But more importantly it allows you to take note of vendors you may want to visit inside the show which helps to make you more efficient if you don’t have all day to spend at the show.

I haven't attended the show the last 2 years; it felt good to be back . . .

LA Textile Show Day 1 . . .

2. Plan to attend the show on the first day. The vendors are eager to make contact and the aisles aren’t as crowded. It’s been 2 years since I last attended this show and I found quite a few new vendors that made for some contacts this time around. The show felt fresh, and I’m excited to reconnect with some of the new vendors I met next week.

Loving up leathers in the European Textiles section . . .

Loving up leathers in the European Textile section . . .

3. This one seems obvious but, be sure to bring enough business cards. Regardless of how many I bring, I always seem to run out of cards. My advice to you is: Bring more cards than you think you will need. They don’t take up much space in your bag and vendors like to be able to follow up with you after the show. This time I did okay. I had exactly enough cards to hand out to necessary contacts.

Allow yourself time to recharge . . .

Allow yourself time to recharge . . .

4. Allow yourself time to recharge + stay organized. To be efficient, I like to take a break (often during lunch or in between vendor appts.) and organize my orders and contacts I’ve visited thus far. I make notes of pertinent info on the backs of the business cards I receive, and try to keep them all together. In the past I have brought a mini stapler and stapled the cards into a notebook while making notes on the same page. If you are writing orders at the show, vendors usually attach their cards to the order form.

 5. Follow up the week after the show. Whether you are purchasing or just visually sourcing, be sure to follow up with vendors the week after you attend. Vendors meet thousands of people during the shows and they want your business, so be proactive and follow up. I like to let the week finish out and reach out the week after. Many vendors have traveled to the shows and this allows them to travel back to their home state and get settled. It also allows them time to get any outstanding information for you that you may have asked for during the show.

Will you be attending any of the shows this season?
xx
ayanna_listenbee_logo

Click here for more information on the LA Textile Show

5 Tips to Maintain Balance as an Introvert Entrepreneur

5-tips-to-maintain-balance There is so much daily activity that comes with being an entrepreneur. If you also happen to be a small business, you may be doing everything yourself. That means that you alone are the one who deals with all of the activity that surrounds your business. Donning your customer service hat, dealing with the UPS guy, acting as your own sales rep and assuming the role of social media manager for your business are all in a day’s work. As an introvert + business owner, the never ending stream of interaction can be mentally and physically draining. I say this not to diminish the fact that our UPS guy is actually pretty cool, and I love interacting with customers when I get the opportunity. Most of all, I am grateful for the blessing of all of my current, past and future customers. I even pray for them! But as an introvert, the constant interaction can be exhausting. Top that off with working in the extroverted world of fashion, and I’m on energy overload. For those of you who can relate, here are 5 things I do to conserve energy and maintain a balance so that I can be my best me on days when I have to don my social hat:

  1. Start your day with quiet time, prayer and/or a review of your To Do list for the day.
    I’ve noticed that when I don’t allow for quiet time in the mornings, my days are off and running before I am, and it leads to a more stressful day.
  2. Schedule clients, shows and meetings later in the week whenever possible. 
    One of the main reasons I became an entrepreneur rested in my desire to work in a way that allowed me to flourish. I did the traditional 9-5 . . .  (or 9-8, 9 or 10 in the fashion world) for many years, and lets just say, I much prefer working that hard for my own business. Running my own design studio has allowed me to set my business up in a way that works for me. By scheduling in person visits, meetings and events later in the week, I am able to ease into the week starting with the things I love to do most and building up to do those things that don’t quite come as easily for me. It also allows me to visualize how I would like events and meetings to go, so that when they actually take place, I’m working from a blueprint of familiarity.
  3. Schedule a specific time each day to handle phone calls.
    Everyone who knows me knows I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. I love to take photos with it, document ideas and text with it. But when it comes to making calls . . . well, lets just say that’s not an area where my strength lies. So I’ve learned to schedule my outgoing calls and call backs during a specific window in the day. This allows me to work freely, uninterrupted when I have big projects going. I’ve also noticed that once I make my first call, its easier to just keep going with calls . . . kinda like a phone-call-momentum if you will. I realize this may not be something that will work everyday, but I have found it to be a great work around when possible.
  4. Schedule the number of in-person events you will participate in monthly. 
    These days there are numerous industry related events held every month that can be beneficial to business owners. And honestly, as an entrepreneur, every opportunity to mingle with people is another opportunity to promote your business or meet a new client/customer. However, events can be seriously draining for introverts. I keep a folder on my desktop of events I am interested in attending as I come across them. I try to schedule no more than 3 industry related events/month. I’ve found that if I can schedule what events I will be attending at the top of the month, it allows me to, in turn, schedule downtime between events. It also leaves space for any surprise gatherings that may pop up.
  5. Play to your strengths and recognize your differences.
    It has taken me a long time to realize that being an introvert doesn’t mean that I can’t do certain things, it just means that I do things differently, and that’s okay. It’s a process to discover what works for you. Seeing how different situations impact you and how you relate to the things you do on a daily basis is important to maintaining that necessary balance we need to keep us feeling whole.

How do you maintain a balance that allows you to flourish as an introvert in business? Please share in the comments!
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The Rules of Fashion Were Made to be Broken . . .

The Eros Day Bag in Buttermilk . . .

The Eros Day Bag in Buttermilk . . .

Back in the day wearing white after Labor Day was just something you didn’t do. In my experience, things were a little more lax on the west coast, probably due to the warmer weather year round, but back East, it was thoroughly frowned upon. I remember watching freshman Left Coasters being publicly ridiculed on campus, during my first semester at Howard. As they crossed the campus in white pants and shoes after Labor Day, their fellow students would yell out the Labor Day “rule,” while laughing and pointing. Since I’ve never been one to adhere to the “rules of fashion” it struck me as odd how seriously people took the notion of “No White after Labor Day.” I mean it was just another color in the rainbow of life. I’m guessing it signified the transition into the Fall season, which is actually a visible, tangible thing back East. Honestly, I don’t know how you can choose any color that God made and make a rule as to when it can and can’t be worn. The way I see it, if the color white still presents itself in nature at a certain time of year, then that’s my cue that its okay for me to present myself in that color (think snow). So much of fashion is about figuring out what works for you and how to utilize it in a way that suits your personality and style. It’s funny to think that at one point in history, denim was strictly a uniform created for and worn by gold miners. I even remember when it was considered inappropriate for children to wear black. Someone had to initially break those fashion rules, because all over the world people are basically living in denim, and black t shirts and dresses can be seen on many a child (not attending a funeral) on any given day. I don’t know about you, but I am thankful for the change.

Are there any fashion rules that you have broken on the regular?

xx ayanna_listenbee_logo

Shop the Eros Tote in Buttermilk here.

Life in Pictures . . . Abbot Kinney

Last week I hooked up with my girl, and fellow designer, Diana of DeZe Star and headed out to Abbot Kinney for a little inspiration and designer talk. I love this area of Venice for it’s chill vibe and aesthetic. It’s come a long way from the sleepy street I remember growing up. Honestly, I could do without some of the faux LA Hipster vibe that permeates the area, but Abbot Kinney never ceases to inspire my creative juices in some way shape or form.

Wabi Sabi Solana . . . the interior was just as good as the sushi.

Wabi Sabi Solana . . . the interior was just as good as the sushi.

We were starving when we got there, and spotted Wabi Sabi while looking for parking. I had never eaten here before, but it was such a treat, both aesthetically, and edibly! There’s a beautiful bar in the front that you pass through to get to the restaurant area. I didn’t partake of any libations on this trip, but I will definitely be back.

I snapped a pic before they brought the crispy spicy tuna . . .

I’ve been using my Bee Keyper fringe as a tassel for my handbag. An option that will be available to you guys soon!

Look at this fabulous wallpaper... I mean how could one pass up an opportunity to snap a selfie??

Look at this fabulous wallpaper… I mean how could one pass up an opportunity to snap a selfie??

I'm always inspired by bright white interiors + natural light . . .

I’m always inspired by bright white interiors + natural light . . .

Loved the little back room at _______ and the Antik Batik handbags were my fav.

Loved the little back room at The Piece Collective . . . and of course the Antik Batik handbags were my fav.

stalking the black and white tile floors @ Velvet . . .

stalking the black and white tile floors @ Velvet . . .

I just love a beautifully tiled wall . . .

a beautifully tiled wall gets me everytime. . .

Rag & Bone had their own bike rentals and a great outdoor lounge space . . .

Rag & Bone had their own bike rentals and a great outdoor lounge space out back . . .

the addiction to brick walls continues . . .

the addiction to brick walls + foliage continues . . .

I love this plaster relief artwork by artist Alexandre Farto . . .

I love this plaster relief artwork by artist Alexandre Farto . . .

Wishing you a fabulous week. Stay inspired or be inspiring!
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Limited Edition Bee Keyper Fringe Keychains Available Now!

Look Who's Here! . . .

Look Who’s Home! . . .

The Bee Keypers are here! These limited edition beauties are now available in the shop. Eight inches of fringy goodness can be yours today! And, to kick off the launch you can enjoy FREE SHIPPING TODAY ONLY! No code necessary. Click here to grab yours now! Your keys will thank you!

Have a fabulous weekend!

xx
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Bee Keyper Fringe Key Chain -Coming Soon!

You'll never have problems finding your keys again . . .

8 inches of fringed fun . . . your keys will thank you! . . .

It's all in the details . . .

It’s all in the details . . .

Hey guys, I’m excited to share that I’ll be adding our new Limited Edition “Bee Keyper” Fringe keychains to the shop on Friday. I love how substantial the fringe is. I’ve have had this design in my back pocket for a while, and now they are finally here! Not your average keychain, these babies are 8 inches long, made of soft 100% cowhide, boasting a chunky metal cap and 1″ ring to load your keys onto. Available in 3 colors: Granny Smith, Metallic Orange + Gunmetal. The Bee Keyper is an instant style upgrade for a daily essential! UPDATE:: Available at ayannalistenbeecollection.com now!!

xx ayanna_listenbee_logo

It’s Been a While + A Slice of New Orleans . . .

a beautiful New Orleans mansion . . .

a beautiful New Orleans mansion . . .

Crescent Park, New Orleans . . .

a view of the Mighty Mississippi from the Crescent Park Bridge . . .

a colorful home capture . . .

a colorful home capture . . .

On our way out of New Orleans, we got yummy beignets for the road . . .

on our way out of New Orleans, we got yummy beignets for the road . . .

the infamous Music Factory in the French Quarter . . .

the infamous Music Factory in the French Quarter . . .

a Canal Street restaurant . . .

a Canal Street restaurant . . .

so in love with the Live Oaks + spanish moss . . .

so in love with the Live Oaks + Spanish moss . . .

Hello friends, it’s been a while! It’s been a wonderful summer so far. So much has transpired in the last few weeks, one thing being that my family and I took a 17 day road trip across the country last month and it was absolutely ah-mazing. We saw so much of this beautiful country and our spirits were thoroughly rejuvenated. There’s nothing like travel for renewing the mind, spirit, body and soul. I basically took a mini work hiatus during travel time with the fam and was able to fully dedicate myself and my energy to enjoying each moment. Fortunately, the way I have set up my business has allowed me to be able to take these necessary breaks and I swear, it’s part of what helps me to stay motivated to continue creating, and building my business. I’ve returned from vacation fully motivated, and full of new designs, ideas and projects to implement and share with you guys over the next few months. In the meantime, hope you enjoyed a few snaps from our time in New Orleans. :)

Stay Tuned!
xx,
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Workspace Wednesday . . . Floor Exercises

work in progress . . .

work in progress . . .

Steadily working away quietly on some new items. I’m excited to share them with you when the time is right. Hope this summer has been treating you well. It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. We have been traveling and immersed in summer activities with the kiddies. The break has been good for me, but now that my brain is getting back in to work mode, I’m allowing myself to miss working, LOL. Anyway, I’m hoping the month of August has many blessings in store for you and yours!

xx,
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