Your resume runs long - Chief Creative Officer & Co-Founder of YUTE INC., Writer, Consultant, Creative Producer, Director, Certified Elite Trainer and Nutritionist. With your long list of creative and career accomplishments, what do you feel the most proud of and what advice would you offer to your younger self?
Honestly, I feel the most proud of the fact that I'm able to hold so many titles because I worked hard for them, all while being a young single mom. As a creative entrepreneur, who also has a passion for health/wellness/fitness, it's possible to do them all and live a balanced life — if anything, they play positive factors to one another and go hand-in-hand. What advice would I offer my younger self? There are no limitations to what you can do — think it, dream it, manifest it, and make magic happen for yourself! Continue to take the leap of faith and provide yourself with as many opportunities! Be versatile and keep yourself bulletproof. You'll always be good.
Your creative agency, Yute Inc. was co-founded with your son. How do you feel your son has influenced and inspired your work over the years?
He had the idea to start his own company at the age of 10. He didn't have a clear vision but all he knew was he wanted to give back to other youth. So the brand ethos and brand why has always been about philanthropy and social impact, while being cool, relevant, and timely to youth through creative storytelling. Because I had my son at 16, we naturally grew up together, and I was able to stay relevant with what's cool and upcoming within the next generation. I had the cheat codes to the Gen Z culture because I was living with one! I'd say my son and his friends have influenced and inspired my work and ways of thinking to be a futurist in all my creative projects through marketing / branding /producing/ directing/etc.
Given your extensive experience in the fashion and beauty industry, how would you describe the evolution of your personal style over the years? Could you share how your style has transformed from your earlier years to the present day?
I've always been a girly-girl-tomboy so my sense of fashion has always represented that — it's a balance of fits that I can dress up and dress down, and wear sneakers or heels with. When I first started getting into the fashion and beauty space, I started writing and covering men's fashion and lifestyle publications (including Complex), and that lead to me being a men's stylist at Holt Renfrew, working at Stüssy, and dabbling in the eyewear styling and design industry. So naturally, I'd mix men's clothing or oversized fits into my style. My go-to look is usually a baggy pant (jeans or cargos) and fitted tank with sneakers or heels. As for the beauty space, I'm SUPER minimal and more about skin care than I am makeup. The older I get (mid 30s now), the more relaxed and minimal my style and look is, with an elevated touch.
It's a Friday night and you're not working - where can find you and what are you wearing?
You can find me exploring new restaurants and cocktail bars/lounges in the city. Either date night with the girls, or I'd take myself on a cute little date (which I love!). Or on a whim, I'd randomly catch a quick flight to NYC for 24 hours, enjoy the city, spend hours at an art gallery, and eat really good food! What am I wearing? Likely jeans, a simple yet sexy top (open back), pair of heels, gold accessories, and maybe a red lip. Or a slip silk dress and sneakers.
What do you look for in the perfect pair of jeans?
The perfect pair of jeans would be one I can be versatile with, that'll take me from day to night with my crazy schedule, and be able to dress up and down in. I'd want it to be simple yet interesting (whether it be the cut or wash), one that fits me really well (length and the way it frames the bum area... super important), and it has to be comfortable (because your girl loves to eat). Is that too much to ask for?
What fashion item can you not live without?
A classic, black t-shirt… one that fits just right!
What’s one fashion trend you’ve seen too much of recently? Which fashion trend are you most excited about?
I’m not really into the sneakers with the really thick soles. You know the ones? They just aren’t for me. I do love that the comfort and ease of the 90s is returning though!