photo shoot prep last week . . .
How are you guys? How were your holidays? January is in full swing and moving full steam ahead. I’ve been working hard on several projects that will ultimately result in a subtle restructuring of my business. It’s both exciting and slightly nerve wracking, but such is life. Sometimes that’s how change feels, and its not necessarily a bad thing. I’m a firm believer that many of us need to spend more time outside of our comfort zones, because that’s the place where you experience the most growth . . . and I’m all about growth . . . unless we are talking waistlines, and after the holidays, thats something thats been on my
stomach mind as well. But I digress! I’ll be checking back in soon with more updates, as well as previews of the new collection. Take care of yourselves out there!
The Verdana 3-in-1 in Liquid Gold + Gunmetal
Verdana 3-in-1 in Camoflauge
Verdana 3-in-1 in Noir
Hey guys! Can you believe it is already September??!!! Where did this summer go? So much has been going on in my camp, I don’t even know where the time has gone! My kids start school next Tuesday, and this year we have decided to homeschool them, so our family is in the midst of an exciting new experience.
Our booth at Unique Markets Summer Session @ Barker Hangar
My booth partner, Renee Hulett of The Silver Feather (an awesome jewelry line!) and I @ Unique LA
The Verdana 3-in-1 makes it’s debut @ Unique Summer ’17 Market . . .
Day two, chatting with other makers and creatives . . .
Two weeks ago I participated in the Unique Summer Market @ Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. It was a two day show for makers + designers that I’d been contemplating doing for a while. Before I had surgery this summer, my friend Renee approached me about getting a booth together. She has a wonderful jewelry line called The Silver Feather. You can check out her wares here. Doing shows are really out of my comfort zone, but seeing as I was facing a dire prognosis, I thought it would give me something to shoot for recovery-wise, so I agreed to participate. I’m so glad I did. It was definitely an experience that pushed me outside of my comfort zone, nonetheless, it was a really fun show. I was inspired to create a new style which we debuted for the show: The Verdana 3-in-1 waist pack/cross body/clutch is an exercise in fashion + function. It can be worn 3 different ways which allows for ultimate versatility. We sold out of the black + camoflauge colors at the show, and have since sold out of liquid gold. So I am opening up pre-orders for a new batch! I’ve added the styles to the website so click here to check them out and preorder one for yourself or a friend!
Bringing sexy back . . .
Been working on new colors for the Bee Keyper fringe tassels/keychains. I love the movement + interest they create when used as handbag tassels. These tassels are a great way to add a dramatic edge to bags, especially when you choose a contrasting colored tassel or one with a metallic finished leather, like the Liquid Gold color above. What are some colors you would like to see the Bee Keyper available in for summer?
Do tell . . . !
All Pre-Ordered Cheetah Day Date Zip Pouches have shipped, but it’s not too late to grab one for yourself or a friend. Click here to order for immediate delivery, or visit www.ayannalistenbeecollection.com for more handcrafted luxury!
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!
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).
How’s your week going so far? I’ve enjoyed having back to back Mondays off. The kids were out of school the past two Mondays and Rob was off as well. I love how 3-day weekends pack a double bonus…. first you get a day off, then you follow that up with a short work week. Problem is, I always seem to go through the week a day off. For instance, I didn’t post on time today, which is my usual day to post, because I’m still thinking it’s Tuesday! But I digress… Things have been going well. I’m definitely keeping busy with production and delivery which is a true blessing. I’ve got a new contractor that I am working with and things seem to be going quite well. I was getting so many orders for the Mailer clutches that I had to farm out production. I was truly enjoying making them myself, but with all the hats I am wearing at the moment, I realized that I had to let go of what I could. This has been an ongoing lesson for me . . . learning to let go and delegate where necessary. I tend to think I can do it all myself. Moreover, I almost want to do it all myself. It’s been a slow process but I’m learning that the beauty of letting go of some of your tasks is that it allows you to have time to devote to other things.
Is there anything in your life you can delegate, which will in turn, free you up to focus on other things? Think about it . . .
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!
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!
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!