DIY Astro Guide: What Your Horoscope Means This Week, 5/3/2015
We don’t know about you, but we’re still reeling from all the special effects in the newest Avengers movie… and secretly hoping Captain America will save us from our mountain of email. In between daydreaming about our own super powers, we’re also locking down those bouquets and nailing our brunch recipes so we can treat our moms to a swanky Mother’s Day. Take a break from your own plans and check out what the planets have in store for you this week with the best parts of your AstroStyle horoscope.
This week has you itching to travel, but before you whip out the passport and splurge on a spontaneous (and costly) trip, we bet there are a few easy ways to get those jitters out of your system. Something as simple as visiting a landmark in your city (especially while the rest of the world is brunching away) could give you new appreciation for your trusty hometown.
Read This: With Mother’s Day around the corner, invite your original partner in crime, aka your mom, on your local getaway. We’ve got 28 Getaways ALL Moms Will Love for Mother’s Day. (Photo via Give Me Some Sugar)
GEMINI: MAY 21 – JUNE 20
Beware of the I-had-a-few-too-many-drinks confessions at this week’s work happy hour and save the complaining for your BFFs — you know, the ones who can’t report you to HR. Instead of bringing down your work rep, turn that griping into something positive with a killer workout, and you’ll save yourself an apology or two.
Read This: A marathon can seem ambitious, but when the workouts are broken down over a month, suddenly it’s not so tough. If that’s not your speed, we bet one of these 10 Free Printable Workouts to Get Fit Anywhere will do the trick. (Photo via PopSugar)
CANCER: JUNE 21 – JULY 22
You’re in full treat yo’ self mode, and let’s face it: You deserve it. Pampering yourself doesn’t have to involve giving your credit card a workout — sometimes it just means whipping up a luxe and decadent treat for one.
Read This: Who needs sheet cakes or dozens of cookies when you can easily make a single-serving of dessert? After picking your poison — chocolate, caramel, fruit or all the above — scope out these 16 Sweet Single-Serving Desserts for One. (Photo via Baking Magique)
LEO: JULY 23 – AUGUST 22
Sparks are flying this week, and it’s not just for the single Leos. If you’ve got a boo, a spectacular date could make you forget all about those dirty socks that keep missing the hamper.
Read This: Go on one of these Majorly Creative Date Ideas Inspired by Traditional Anniversary Gifts, and laundry will be the last thing on your mind — we promise. (Photo via Ciara Richardson)
VIRGO: AUGUST 23 – SEPTEMBER 22
If you’ve been feeling kinda grumpy lately, it’s time for some self-reflection. Are your routines providing you with the creativity you crave? If you don’t have a creative nine-to-five, an easy DIY here or there can help keep those creative juices flowing.
DIY This: Whether you’re rockin’ it at date night or Mother’s Day brunch, a made-by-youf piece like this DIY Blake Lively Top from Her Gucci Campaign, can serve as an awesome reminder of your creative skills.
LIBRA: SEPTEMBER 23 – OCTOBER 22
You’ve been daydreaming about taking your side project public, and it’s finally time to cash in. Set financial goals for your passion project, and use this week to figure out just how long it’ll take you to get where you want to be.
Read This: If you’re ready to start reaping in the profits now, check out these Six Must-Download Apps That Make It Easy to Pay and Get Paid, including Payzo.io, which lets you set up a payment page that includes your name and logo.
SCORPIO: OCTOBER 23 – NOVEMBER 21
We’re all about the fancy dates, but let’s be real: Not every night needs heels, a full face of makeup and a night on the town. This week, skip the grand gestures in lieu of a casual hang and maybe a pizza or two.
Read This: It’s finally spring, and that means bare-legs season, even if you’re hanging at home. In between dusting off those mini skirts and shorts, we’ve got 11 Ways to Get Your Legs Skirt-Ready ASAP. (Photo via About.com)
SAGITTARIUS: NOVEMBER 22 – DECEMBER 21
We know the last thing you want to do is add one more task to your endless to-do list, but hear us out. Building in a few moments for reflection into your busy schedule will actually make you feel calmer and more in control. That sounds like a win to us.
DIY This: With a journal this gorgeous, you’ll want to journal ALL the time. No matter what color scheme you’re going for, check out these 10 DIYs to Beautify Your Notebook. (Photo via Craft a Doodle Doo)
CAPRICORN: DECEMBER 22 – JANUARY 19
While we’re not quite onboard with Drake’s #nonewfriends mantra, it might ring true this week as one or two new acquaintances inspire some sideeye. Save the confrontations for another day, and take it as a sign to celebrate your old friends even more.
AQUARIUS: JANUARY 20 – FEBRUARY 18
There’s something about spring that makes us crave our fruits and veggies, and you’re definitely feeling the healthy vibes. Splurge on a new cookbook or take a class from a local restaurant to really switch up your menu.
DIY This: Thankfully, eating healthy doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite treats. If you’re hosting this year’s fiesta festivities, we’ve got Four Healthy Recipes for Cinco de Mayo.
PISCES: FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 20
Oh yeah, you’re feeling yourself this week, and it’s magnetic. You’re fielding invites from Cinco de Mayo to Mother’s Day, and you’ll need an outfit or two to go with that easy-breasy spirit. Thank goodness for all those spring sales!
DIY This: If your bank account hasn’t caught up with your shopping ambitions, DIY your new wardrobe by Updating Old Clothes With Bleach + Stamps.
ARIES: MARCH 21 – APRIL 19
You’re gearing up for some major changes heading your way, and in a few weeks, you’ll find yourself in a major leadership position — wahoo! We know you’ve got the #GirlBoss attitude nailed down, and all you need is the confidence to rock it. If you’re feeling unsure, “fake it ’til you make it” works like a charm.
Read This: Even if your college graduation was years ago, you’ll appreciate these 10 Questions All Soon-to-Be Grads Have, Answered (Photo via Andy Kropa/Getty)
What are you planning to do this week? Let us know in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out your full AstroStyle horoscope!
This Jewelry Designer Infuses ‘90s Hip Hop, Caribbean Spice + Vibrant Hues into Everything She Makes
This Jewelry Designer Infuses '90s Hip Hop, Caribbean Spice + Vibrant Hues into Everything She Makes
Vibrant hues, '90s-era boldness, and raw artisanal beauty — these are just a few of the characteristics that make the work of today's creative crush truly swoonworthy. Named for a potent Caribbean pepper, Tracey-Renee Hubbard's Scotchbonnet is a gorgeous line of earrings and accessories made by hand with love, thoughtfulness and a resolute passion for the art of making.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and super fan of Scotchbonnet! Like so many creative connections these days, I first connected with designer Tracey-Renee when she DM'ed the @britandco IG account and we featured her work in a story roundup of BIPOC makers. A few weeks later, she applied and won a scholarship to our first session of the Selfmade program where Brit and I both had the privilege of mentoring and working with Tracey-Renee on her brand, her business plan, and her mission. Since then she's been awarded a minority creative grant from JOANN Fabrics, and seriously upleveled her production process thanks to a collaboration with Glowforge. (PS: B+C readers can get 20% off their own Glowforge Pro by clicking here!)
Now I am thrilled to be able to share more about this brilliant maker's journey, inspiration and creative process in this edition of Creative Crushin'.
Anjelika Temple: Before we get into learning all about your creative inspiration, tell us a little about your background.
Tracey-Renee Hubbard: I was born and raised in Wisconsin. Yep, lots of cheese and cows. Growing up in Wisconsin right outside of Milwaukee provided me with a surprisingly diverse and eclectic foundation. My parents stressed the importance of academics, but they didn't believe that excelling at school needed to come at the expense of creativity or other hobbies. Art, music, books and softball were a big chunk of my childhood. Crafting and creating have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
One of my favorite shows to watch when I was growing up was "A Different World." It was about the college experience at a fictitious HBCU (Historically Black College/University) called Hillman College. Watching that show inspired me to go to Florida A&M University (an HBCU) where I received a BS in Business Management and an MBA.
The world changes quickly and I love learning new things! After completing my MBA program, I studied graphic design, multimedia art and completed the Merchandise Product Development program at FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising) in San Francisco. My academic and professional experiences have given me the opportunity to live and work in lots of interesting places; but for now I am based in the San Francisco Bay area.
Anj: Did you always know that you wanted to be a professional artist/creative?
Tracey-Renee: Yep, but for a long time I was afraid to do it because of the "starving artist" stigma (all lies, btw). I tried to compartmentalize my creative practices as just a "hobby", but when something is truly in your spirit the desire never really goes away…and so now here I am!
Anj: What do you love about making things? What keeps the spark going for you?
Tracey-Renee: I've been inspired to create for as long as I can remember! I've always been fascinated by color, texture, travel and cultural connection. I grew up watching my grandmother quilt, sew and mend garments, I saw my Mom create beautiful home décor and heirloom holiday decorations and spent time in my Dad's workshop. Being surrounded by unique handmade items that hold special stories has fueled my passion for being a designer and maker.
Anj: Like so many artists, you've got a day job in addition to your creative hustle. Tell us about your career path.
Tracey-Renee: My first "real job" was in pharmaceutical sales and marketing. I loved the left brain/right brain mix of processing all the data and scientific information and then finding creative ways to relay that information to doctors and health care providers. That role really opened my eyes to the power of messaging and visual communication tools which ultimately led to me returning to school to study digital design and multimedia arts. I've had fun using my marketing and digital design skills in several different industries. I currently work as the Director of Marketing and Creative Strategy for a candy company. I spend a lot of time working in the digital realm – I think most of us do- and that makes me really appreciate the time I spend making handmade jewelry for Scotchbonnet.
Anj: Tell me more about your brand Scotchbonnet! How would you describe your brand's mission?
Tracey-Renee: I want to make pieces that are cherished - special but not so "precious" that they sit in a box stored away for special occasions that are far and few between. My accessories are known for their bold shapes, bright colors and eye-catching patterns. Each piece is handmade with love (I hope my customers can feel it when they wear their Scotchbonnet accessories)!
Scotchbonnet jewelry has been described as "conversation starters" and I love the fact that they connect people and get them to start conversing. I am excited about elevating those conversations by creating capsule collections connected to social causes; that way the chat can go beyond just "cute earrings, where'd you get them?"
Anj: At Brit + Co, we are enamored with bright colors, patterns and geometric shapes -- and clearly, you are too! How did you hone in on your aesthetic?
Tracey-Renee: I chose the name Scotchbonnet for my jewelry brand because scotch bonnet peppers add a distinctively potent spice to Caribbean food and I feel that my jewelry has the same vibe. My accessories are known for vibrant hues, bold shapes and eye-catching patterns. I am inspired by the flashiness of 90s hip-hop, the simplicity of modern luxury, and the raw beauty of artisan goods from the African Diaspora. My aesthetic continues to evolve based on the things I love, the places I've been and the community I want to serve.
Anj: We LOVED mentoring you + helping your business grow during our first Selfmade session. What were your main takeaways from the program and experience?
Tracey-Renee: Selfmade helped me understand the importance of having a clear vision and trusting my intuition. It can be inspirational watching other entrepreneurs "hustling and winning" on their social media feeds, but without clarity about my vision that "inspiration" can be overwhelming and make things confusing. It's easy to confuse movement with progress – Selfmade helped me craft an action plan that ensures each step builds momentum and accelerates me toward my goals. Selfmade also provided me with a vibrant, uplifting community of founders, entrepreneurs and go-getters.
Anj: When you get creatively blocked or burnt out, how do you reset? Do you have tips you can share?
Tracey-Renee: I take a break. We're inundated with "hustle culture" that can make us feel guilty for taking a break, but at the end of the day we're of no value to anyone when we're burnt out. When I have a creative block I usually log off for a while… there's this duality with the internet where on the surface it seems to be an endless pool of inspiration, but in reality everything that's on the internet has already been filtered or curated by someone else. Sometimes it's helpful to see things through a new lens and find inspiration in ("real" physical) books, at a museum or out in nature. Seeing things in a new light from a different angle can be a really refreshing creative jolt.
Anj: What does your workspace look like? What tools do you use and how has it changed over the years?
Tracey-Renee: I'd describe it as "choreographed chaos". It's organized enough so that I can be efficient with the administrative parts of my business like: inventory management, packing and shipping. It's creative enough so that it still feels inspiring, and it's tidy enough that it doesn't feel overwhelming to sit down and start working. It smells like coconut or tropical fruit (thanks to my candles) and it sounds like hip-hop, dance hall, soca or afrobeats.
The primary mediums I work with are wood, paint, glass beads and recently brass. With that being said my paint brushes, needle & thread and jeweler's saw are always within close reach. The most recent addition to my studio is my Glowforge Pro 3D laser printer; it is a game changer! It shrunk my product development cycle time infinitely. Prior to the Glowforge the process was time consuming and costly; now, I can literally "print" a new design within minutes of sketching out an idea. It's also been awesome when it comes to inventory management and sustainability. I no longer have to worry about over-producing or wasting materials; I can make exactly what I need right when I need it without any waste. The Glowforge can make millions of things and I'm excited about trying new design ideas in the future. I have a ton of sketches and inspo photos on my magnet board and in my notebooks waiting to be explored. (ICYMI: B+C readers can get 20% off their own Glowforge Pro by clicking here!)
Anj: What advice do you have for emerging artists and designers just getting started? What advice do you have for creatives struggling to find their unique voice?
Tracey-Renee: Start with your "why" and not your "what". Your "why" will be the secret weapon that competitors will never be able to touch. Once you have that part figured out; dive in! I think that now is a really exciting time for creatives. The rise of entrepreneurship powered by social media has removed a lot of barriers that used to make creative careers seem out of reach. Protect your work, but don't be afraid to put yourself (and your stuff!) out there. Connect with other artists and build a community, it's so important to have a sounding board for difficult times and a crew with whom you can celebrate your successes.
Anj: What's next for your brand?
Tracey-Renee: Scaling and growing in a way that feels authentic. I have new colors and new products coming soon and I am super excited about that! My upcoming premium capsule collections are close to my heart; designing jewelry inspired by social causes and having a "give back" component means the world to me. I want to keep having fun with my brand, sharing joy with fun colors and patterns and infusing love into each handmade piece.