Tag Archives: ayanna listenbee collection

I was Featured on The Phoenix Rising Collective!

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Hey Friends! Last month I was interviewed by the lovely Ayanna Jordan, founder and empowerment coach of The Phoenix Rising Collective, for the “She Makes it Beautiful” series. “She Makes it Beautiful” is a professional development series that features women entrepreneurs who share how they started their own businesses. For those of you who are not yet familiar with The Phoenix Rising Collective, you will definitely want to check out this empowering website! PRC creates coaching seminars and training that supports women’s professional growth in leadership, entrepreneurship, and passion-filled work. Ayanna and I connected via social media and bonded over the fact that we share the same name, spelled the same way :) . It was a true honor to be interviewed by The Phoenix Rising Collective. Through her work, Ayanna provides women-centered workshops that help transform the lives of participants by focusing on putting self love into action. She even provides free bonus worksheets developed from each interviewee’s interview to help you get your dreams off the ground. (click here to get the worksheets from my interview). Her life’s work could not be more in line with my philosophy and desire to encourage women to believe they can, and to strive to create the lives they want to live. Here is a snippet of the interview below:

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This SMIB interview is with luxury handbag designer and artist, Ayanna Listenbee, owner of Ayanna Listenbee Collection and creator of The Lookbook Philosophy.

Ayanna is definitely a creative force to be reckoned with – a determined business woman with impeccable style and a strong will to fulfill her God-given purpose; it’s awe-inspiring. I hadn’t met her before this interview, but social media can most certainly be a positive space for connecting with like-minded women on a mission to do great things in the world through passion-filled work. This is most certainly the case with Ayanna, so by the time we finished the interview (which felt more like two friends catching up after a long hiatus) we both agreed that we should have been having our conversation over coffee…even though we live miles apart!

She most certainly embodies the meaning of her name, Beautiful Flower, and as you can see from her handbags, she’s an entrepreneur that creates from a soulful place that is in full bloom.

What sparked your interest to become a designer? How did you know this was the avenue you wanted to take?

I’ve always drawn. I’ve always made things and was creative as child. It was encouraged a lot by my father who painted sometimes in his spare time. He eventually became an art dealer. I never thought about pursuing it as a career. I never took it seriously as an option because I didn’t think it was something that could sustain me financially. You know, the funny thing is when I look back I never heard that from my parents; it was just something that I picked up along the way that if you’re in the arts you’re not going to make money. You’re going to be struggling. I can’t say that it’s been dollars falling from the sky since I started, but I went away to school and had many majors. I was a ballet major at one point – which didn’t last very long. I was also a graphic design major, communications, and then long story short, I ended up as an English major. I was about to graduate with a semester left and I thought, “This is not what I want to do. I’m not happy.”

Click here to read the full interview . . . and check out the PRC website. There are interviews from some amazing women that are sure to inspire you in your journey, complete with free bonus worksheets to use as a personal toolkit to help you push your dreams into reality. Enjoy!

xx
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Workspace Wednesday | You Don’t Have to Love it All . . .

I have a serious love-hate relationship with my phone , , ,

I have a serious love-hate relationship with my phone . . .

Currently inspired by this beautiful, super soft blue leather . . .

Currently inspired by this beautiful, super soft blue leather . . .

Hey guys, I hope your Wednesday is going well. I’ve been out of the office a lot these past few weeks, I feel like there are so many things that are falling by the wayside! It’s definitely a juggling act, and I’m hoping to get the balancing act back on track soon . . .  or not. Lol. In the meantime, I have been working to add some new pieces to the collection for Summer. I’m really excited (as I always am when working on the design portion of my job). This is the part that gives me life. Last Friday I spent the day at Wisdom Elementary, participating in Career Day. One of my best friends is a 4th grade teacher there, and she invited me to come and speak to a few of the classrooms. The children had a lot of great questions and one of the questions that I kept getting was “What is your dream job?”  It actually was funny to me, because I had the same answer every time I was asked: THIS!!! THIS IS MY DREAM JOB!!! I am doing exactly what I want to be doing, and No, I do not like every aspect of it. In fact, there are parts of it that I hate! (babysitting contractors to get me my s*&%! before my delivery dates, revising styles to fit within the allotted costs for the line, selling, and tracking down pricing for materials and pretty much anything having to do with a phone or making phone calls to name a few) but there is always some aspect of what we do that may not hold the most pleasure for us. Perhaps those are the parts we need to grow in, or become stronger in. Regardless, I’m happy to say that the good, and the fulfillment of my job outweighs the bad.

PS. is there anything in particular you would like to see added to the collection, made from that beautiful blue leather above? Share with me in the comments section below!

xx,
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Behind the Scenes . . .

The Magic Corner . . .

The magic corner in my bedroom studio . . . or “bedudio” as I like to call it . . .

I recently had lunch with a few creatives and we got to talking about the ins and outs of running a fashion business. We talked a lot about social media, and how it is playing a crucial role in our businesses in different ways. One of the women in the group asked me who takes the photos for my instagram account. I kind of chuckled when she asked me, because at the moment, having someone else photograph + curate my Instagram account is not something I can do, but I was flattered that she thought the images were something I was outsourcing. I explained to her the reality of my photography set up which usually consists of the following . . .
1. bedroom floor
2. window (I use natural light only)
3. products and
4. cell phone to snap the shot.
I dream of the day when I am able to shoot my collection in a studio, with light boxes, backdrops and props, but for now this is what I have and I make the best of it, and thats what a lot of creatives are doing. The thing is, we usually just see the end result… the perfectly staged photo or scene. We don’t always see what it takes to get the shot. Since I am usually shooting when the kids and Rob are at school, theres no one to take a pic of me balancing on the edge of my bed and shooting down on top of the bags, or crouching down to get the shot while trying to keep my feet and knees from making a guest appearance in the corners of the image. It’s pretty amazing what we can create with our phones and laptops these days. It’s also amazing to see how it’s done. I’ll be sharing a little more of the behind the scenes process in the coming months.

Have a fab Thursday, peops!

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#ALCMyWay : Modern Style Icons Series

ALCMyWay_ayanna_listenbee_collection_style Today I am launching a longterm campaign called #ALCMyWay which features modern and respected style icons while celebrating their one of a kind take on styling the classic clutches and handbags from our line. Read below to find out a little more about the series . . .

THE ENERGY OF THE SERIES AND WHAT IT REPRESENTS

I am passionate about the deeper layers of style. I wanted to create a campaign that reflects that. I am a spiritual creative and I honestly think it completely undermines God’s creativity when we all end up looking the same. SO even though we may be attracted to the same pieces, I love to celebrate the art of styling them differently than our counterparts. Our style is one of the few things we can attempt to control, so the “how” and “why” we style things the way we do speaks a lot to the deeper layers of the woman.

THE DEEPER INSPIRATIONS + PURPOSE BEHIND WHAT I DO

The philosophy of my line is rooted in beauty, individuality, and the resulting stories that style statement pieces can create when expressing that. I love it when handbags are passed down fro mother to daughter. I love when I can pull out a scarf and remember my mother doing the same as I watched her dress when I was a child. I love when a woman can pull out a piece of clothing and remember what happened while she wore it. While some may see fashion as superficial, I believe it plays such a memorable roll in the backdrop of our lives and memories. Seeing the deeper meaning attached to a woman’s style choices makes my heart happy. Hearing why someone chooses to put what they put in the  bag, how they feel when they wear a bag they feel confident about, or even how the bag influenced their outfit choice . . . I’m just fascinated by that. Those are the things I think about when making the bags. I care about the woman who the bag will eventually belong to.

WHY I FOCUS ON LIMITED EDITIONS + HOW THAT INSPIRED THE CAMPAIGN

One of the reasons I started in design was because I didn’t like seeing the same outfits everywhere I went. I loved having things that were different. Most of my bags are limited editions because I like to keep things interesting. I believe that how the bags are made are part of the overall story of the piece. i want them to feel like a treasure to the women who invest in them. Our silhouettes are classic which makes them timeless. Changing out colors and textures on timeless silhouettes gives the styles new life. It also allows me to frequently add in new designs based on inspiration from my travels and life in general.

Follow along and meet our style icons here on and via instagram (where I spend obscene amounts of time @ayannalistenbee).

xx
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#OOTD Style Inspo:: Pattern Mixing . . .

Mix + Match Pattern Styles for Spring . . .

Consider this:: Mix + Match pattern styles for Spring . . .

So I guess I just need to face the fact that Spring is here. The trees outside my window are finally full again with big, beautiful, fresh green leaves. Birds are chirping, and butterflies are flitting about. Albeit, I never got the winter I so desired (El Nino, anyone?) I am glad to see the flowers and leaves return. In honor of the springtime feeling that is in the air (at least here in Cali) I put together this #ootd style inspo for pattern mixing. There’s nothing that gets me more in the mood for a season than choosing the clothes to wear during it, LOL. Hope this inspires you to take a few chances with patterns in your wardrobe this season!

Would you wear these items together?
xx
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Wanderlusting . . .

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Every few days or so I’m struck with wanderlust… honestly, I think that is my normal operating status. I basically live in a constant state of wanderlust. As a child, my family moved around quite a bit and I loved it. Discovering new neighborhoods, finding new places to shop, hang out and stroll through, that was adventurous to me. Being the new kid at schools wasn’t always fun, but even though I was shy, I made great friends all over the country that I’m still friends with to this day. As of now, I’ve been living in the same place for 14 years. I’m so thankful for my home, I love it, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t restless. Until that next move, travel is my best friend. Travel doesn’t have to be long international trips, (although those are wonderful). Travel can be short one nighters, day trips or weekend jaunts, just as long as there’s a change of scenery. When I am traveling and immersing myself in new surroundings, observing the locals, and ogling architecture, I am in heaven. It’s totally mind refreshing and inspirational to me.

Here’s to finding new places to discover!

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outfit deets:: Forest Tote, Ayanna Listenbee Collection (no longer available) | Striped poncho: Zara | leopard slip ons: Steve Madden | Bangles: Asos

New Colors Coming Soon . . . !

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The Boston Mini in Electric Blue makes a great lipstick holder…

How are you guys? This week has been so busy that I forgot to post on the blog yesterday! I’ve been working hard to fill orders, which is always exciting. But the kiddies have been sick off and on so there has been a lot of logistical juggling. I’m so thankful that I am able to work from home and that my parents and mother-in-law are local and as involved with my kids lives as they are. It really does help to have a trustworthy “village” within which to raise children. But I digress. Did you see the new electric blue color we are introducing this month? It’s a patent leather texture that I really love. The shine adds extra pop to the bright color. I’ll be adding them to the shop early next week. Oh, and be on the lookout for the Helene mailer in a beautiful Cherry Red. It’s made from the same textured patent leather. Perfect for Valentine’s Day. :)

Enjoy the rest of your week! It’s already Thursday!
xx,
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Friday Morning Essentials . . .

Haight Fringe Clutch | Ayanna Listenbee Collection

Haight Fringe Clutch | Ayanna Listenbee Collection

Headed out to lunch with an old amiga this afternoon. We’ve been friends since freshman Algebra in college. We bonded over our lack of numerical abilities. I was her Maid of Honor and she returned the favor as a bridesmaid in my wedding. We both have kids now and 10++ years of marriage under our belts. True friends are such a blessing. And the icing on the cake is when your friendship spans enough time for you to witness your friends grow, blossom and take on other roles in life.  Feeling grateful this Friday.

Have a great weekend!
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Workspace Wednesday

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Filling orders in the studio today! My laptop died a few days ago and she’s in the shop, so I’m posting from my phone.  It’s amazing what you can do with your phone these days. I hope you are all staying busy + having a wonderful Wednesday!
xx

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