Category Archives: The Creative Process

I was Featured on The Phoenix Rising Collective!


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!


Mood Board Mondays: Motivational Grays + Black and White

TLBP_ColdSpringCollage all images via pinterest + personal archive

Well, things are finally getting back to normal. Today was the first day back to school for Rob and the kiddkes. And I am finally able to sit at my desk uninterrupted for a few hours. I use the term uninterrupted loosely. My mind has a bad habit of reminding me of the thousands of other things I could/should be doing around the house as soon as I sit down to work. But, I digress… we had a great holiday vacation, which actually seemed longer than the 2 weeks that it was (in a good way)! I am excited about things to come both business and work wise. Keep an eye out, I’m super excited that The LookBook Philosophy will be getting a new look soon. I’ve been wanting to change things up a bit, refine them if you will, and what better way to start the year off than with a new look?☺

Do you like today’s mood board? It’s another board I created to help with the direction of the new line. I’m excited to say that I am excited again about designing. It’s been a long slow road back, but I can’t wait to share the new bags with you! In the meantime, enjoy this fabulous Monday! Keep creating, being, and doing everything you can to get closer to your goals and dreams. It will all be worth it in the end!

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Thankful Thursdays: Blessed.


I spent this morning working on some renderings for an interior design company that I am very fond of. I love that I am able to freelance and keep my hands in different areas that are interesting to me. If I wasn’t so in love with fashion, interior design would be my full time love. But luckily, I am blessed to be able to do both!! I love rendering and it keeps my creative juices flowing. Plus, watching projects go from paper to reality is always a great source of joy and inspiration for me. So, today I am thankful for the humble opportunity to contribute to the bigger picture. I am thankful that God has given me an opportunity to use my talents in a way that can allow me to earn money, and fulfill a need for those who need it. It’s good to be needed. It’s good to be challenged. It’s all good.

Happy Thursday!!!

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O Happy Day!!! New Samples Have Arrived . . .!!!

I’m so excited! Last week I mentioned that I was expecting new samples to come in any day. Well they arrived on Monday! These are samples of 2 of our best selling styles from previous seasons. I had the manufacturer make a few changes to see how well they could follow my instructions, sketches & notes. The samples allow me to get a better feel for the quality of their work and sourcing capabilities before I commit to working with them.  I think they look fab!! What do you think? The leather is really soft and supple and the construction is sound and clean. I also like the changes made to the styles!! Don’t look now, but these revamped styles may just have to be reworked into the new line!!! Next up, new samples for the 2012-2013 Season . . . I.  Can. Not. Wait. #itsgettingcloser

I hope today is bringing you all you have hoped for. ♥


Interior Motives | ReDecor Project: Phase I

these are the sofas I mentioned Rob painted 2 years ago . . . paint is an amazing thing. ☺

Well, it seems I’ve taken a week off! That totally was not planned. I thought of you often, but was too engrossed in life to stop and write about it. I hope you don’t take that the wrong way. My house is basically upside down right now due to my near-terminal case of paint thisrearrange thatmove this here-no, on 2nd thought, there . . Yeah, you know how it is.  I put Rob to work this weekend. He was probably secretly glad the weekend was over. LOL. Seriously though, he’s such a good sport, thank God I have him to do all the tedious, heavy moving & annoying stuff!! ☺ Anyway, I am making progress in my ReDecor project. But being the overly anxious, impatient person that I am, of course, it’s not quite moving along as fast as I want it to! So far I have painted my closet doors, the back door, the kitchen shelves and 2 chairs in our living room. I still have yet to paint the dining room walls, living room doors (and possibly walls). I’ve also decided to paint the kitchen cabinets. Most of the major painting (walls) will not happen until November. That’s just how it is when you are working with a budget, or boo-jay as I like to call it. But in the meantime and in between time, you bes’ believe I am tweaking and crafting and utilizing everything I have at my disposal to create the desired outcome . . .  or as close to it as possible!! Here are some of the things I have been working on . . .

I created 5 new apothecary jars . . . I am addicted to them. I plan to purchase larger ones soon, but these were all made from jars found @ the Dollar store. Yep, I know how to save a dollar!!!  They will look great mixed in with the larger ones I plan to purchase. The cool thing is these only cost $6 to make! I’ll post a tutorial soon, then you can make your own!!

Our TV died last week. Sad thing is, it was already a replacement TV for the original large one we had in the LRM. We are probably the last family in the 21st century to jump on the “flat screen” bandwagon. But  we couldn’t justify purchasing another TV when we already had 2 working TV’s sitting in the garage and the ones in the house were working fine. Well, seeing as the TV in our bedroom died about 6 months ago, and now the living room TV has passed on, (God rest it’s picture tube) it’s about that time yall!   Since the armoire was no longer needed, I, Rob moved it to the dining room. It has now been repurposed as a homework station! I will show you the before and afters soon. It really makes a difference because now all the homework papers, pencils, backpacks, jackets and madness are confined behind closed doors!! I love repurposing furniture. Once the now defunct armoire was out of the living room, I,  uh, Rob moved a rather large bookcase I had in my office bedroom to the living room. We really needed a place to put all of our books and the bookcase is now serving that purpose. I have another idea to upgrade the look of the bookcase, but I will post on that when I get to it.

Thank you for listening to my ramblings on this phase of my ReDecor project. Can you feel my excitement???? This is therapeutic to me. If I can’t move, I must change my surroundings in some way, shape or form. I dunno what is is, but it is ingrained in my bones!!! Stay tuned!

Are there any home interior or exterior projects you plan to do in the near future?

Inspiration Round Up . . . .

Absolutely Gorgeous!!! via

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme!!! Jean Paul Gaulthier Spring 2012 via

So warm & cozy via West Elm

Love. via

Natural, raw textures via

This beautiful pic is from my files, not sure where I got it, so if anyone knows let me know and I’ll credit it!! So pretty!!!

Want. Want. Want. via

Sparkles, Sparkles, Sparkles! via

Bring it on!!!! via

There’s just so much stuff that’s inspiring me right now!!! What’s on your radar??

I’m Already Down 1 1/2 Cups . . .

Starting off my day a little late this morning. Took a while to pull away from the kiddies. Yet that has not stopped my coffee intake. In fact I think it has contributed to an overindulgence. Lots on my plate today. I am finishing up some sketches for a fun project that is due tomorrow . . .  And those “beloved” tech packs are still hanging over my head. One day I will learn not to push those things that are not fun off till the last minute . . . . or will I? It’s been 40 years of this, so maybe I am set in my ways on this one. The beauty of it is that it always gets done before the deadline. Anyway, Happy Friday guys!!! July is almost upon us. Time is marching on!!! Soak up your day and radiate its beauty! xo

Thankful Thursdays: In Praise of Modern Technology . . . Apps That Rock My World

Pandora Radio



Sometimes I am just so grateful for the technology that is available to us today!! (I am often annoyed by it, but this is a happy post, so I digress . . .) Being the music buff that I am, I am just so thrilled to be able to create music stations that play the music of my choice and liking. Pandora internet radio is what I rely on daily when I am at my desk. I just can’t get enough of it!!! I am always being introduced to new music that inspires and invigorates me. Pandora leaves me wondering how I ever managed without it!! My other fav, which to this day I still rave about even though it’s been around since 2002, is Shazam. OMG!!! I feel as if this app was created specifically for moi!!! I must use this thing about 100x/day, and it still amazes me that Shazam (9.5 times out of 10) can tell me what song is playing, show me the album cover and provide lyrics and artist info!!! Gone are the days of  asking “Do you know who sings this song?” My other go-to app is Evernote. This app has been a real savior for me business-wise, and I haven’t even graduated to sharing notebooks with others. Evernote lets you create different notebooks of information that can be compiled  of notes, screen captures, & photos. I am able to carry my design presentations, inspiration images and notes with me wherever I go. I am also able to take pictures in the app to create inspiration notebooks while on the go!!! Love this app. Anyway, I was sitting here working at my desk, grooving out to Pandora, using Shazam to catalog different songs I want to buy, while reading through my notes from yesterday’s vendor visits in Evernote!!! Wow. I just found myself being thankful for the little apps that make life more organized, interesting and fun!!!

What are some of your favorite apps?

Randomocities: Dysfunctional Design

From mess . . .

. . . to success!!!

Okay, so after I dropped the kiddies off @ school I came back home with my brain set to “work-mode.” I don’t know HOW I’ve been doing it, but apparently I have been working in complete and utter chaos!! I have been so ensconced in designing that I haven’t even paid attention to my surroundings. This post is for all my friends that think I am so organized. Look at the craziness that I was allowing myself to work in!!! It didn’t start out this way, but apparently this is what happens when genius’ are at work! LOL!!! Anyway, as I walked back into my room with coffee cup in hand, ready to sit down and resume the creative process, the veil was suddenly removed from my eyes!!! There was no way on God’s green earth that I could make one more move in my surroundings as they were . . . One hour later, clarity and function were restored. Yay!! The day already seems brighter, and more filled with possibilities!!!  . . . For the remainder of my time here at my desk, I will be more focused and, dare I say . . . excited!!! This is what organization does for me. It creates excitement and energy!!

(never mind the fact that my calendar says it is the 27th day of the month… that’s how I stay a step ahead of myself. LOL.)

What kinds of things get you geared up and ready to work?

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