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5 Timeless Fashion Styles Inspired by YOU!

5 Timeless Fashion Styles Inspired by YOU!

In the world of fashion, timeless fashion styles are always reintroducing themselves generations later, sometimes with a new spin and other times they are just as we remember them. This 5 Timeless Fashion Styles Inspired by YOU list was inspired by those traditions thriving in the 1970’s that have came back around to become a staple for any generation to add to their wardrobe.

Regardless of the era you grow up in, younger generations can bond to wiser generations through fashion. From raiding your mother’s shoe collection to inheriting your grandfather’s pull overs to digging deep at the local Goodwill, clothing has always presented a thread of connection between lived experiences and the past. Here’s to shedding light on how anyone, of any generation, can slay fashion this fall.

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National Black Business Month Brand Spotlight: The Taylor Jay Collection

National Black Business Month Brand Spotlight: The Taylor Jay Collection

Every year in August, here at Queen Anna House of Fashion, National Black Business month is an event we take pride in. As a Black Owned Brand, we know the importance of sharing our brand partner's stories while also letting the world know who we have as vendors in our boutique that we can stand by as a brand partner. 

When Black engineer Frederick Jordan and Black historian John Templeton ushered in this themed month in 2004, the innovators wanted to highlight and firmly underscore the importance and benefit of Black businesses of all sizes in the US. Championing is our top-shelf priority at Queen Anna House of Fashion. We’re delighted to put a loud-and-proud spotlight on our Black-owned businesses for this illustrious month.

The business we’re highlighting: Taylor Jay Collection.

Taylor Jay Collection Founder

 

Bay Area native Taylor Jay has been a fashionista since day one. She sojourned to Los Angeles to hit it big and made sure to achieve nothing less than that. After carving her path through the California School of Design, where she studied fashion merchandising, she stamped her indelible mark on the fashion industry and opened her boutique at the age of 23.

Taylor’s created momentum stayed steady uphill, and upon her return to her old stomping grounds in the Bay Area, she opened her second boutique in her hometown. Despite already achieving some very lofty goals, Taylor created her eponymous line with the inspiration of her journey and body challenges.

Spanning decades, women in fashion have notoriously been tailored to a particular body model. Brands like Taylor’s have risen out of the ranks to remove the stigma of differing body types and replace it with well-deserved self-adoration campaigns regardless of size or shape.

A word about her body-positive brand spread across the masses, and her fanbase grew exponentially. Today, Taylor Jay Atelier operates out of Oakland, California. From her words, she will “…continue to design beautiful clothing that lasts a lifetime and makes every woman feel and look amazing.”

We are incredibly proud purveyors of Taylor’s line at Queen Anna House of Fashion. Here are our favorite pieces you can shop online or in-store with us.

Grey Taylor Jay dress

The “London Dress” from the Taylor Jay collection is a refined and contemporary design suited to the modern-day woman. The wrap-around maxi dress is elegantly assertive for workwear and quickly out on the town, adding next-level class to your relaxed vibe.

Black jumpsuit from Taylor Jay Collections

The Taylor Jay Collection “London” Jumpsuit is a versatile necessity for your closet. Complete with long, full pant legs, L waist-band, and three-quarter sleeves, this jumpsuit can be worn at the office or out in town.

Black Stretch skirt fro Taylor Jay

The Taylor Jay Collection Black Midi Skirt is a closet essential. This skirt is made from a super-soft, stretchy French Terry fabric that hugs your curves in comfort and style. 

 Wrap skirt dress in black from Taylor Jay

A modern and feminine, one size fits most, the Taylor Jay Collection convertible black wrap dress has just taken wrap dresses to the next level. The black stretch terry cotton material is soft to the touch and is convertible to be worn in several different ways. 

Taylor on the importance of National Black Business Month:

"At Taylor Jay, we take inclusivity very seriously; that’s one of our non-negotiables. Especially, being a Black-owned fashion business for women, this has been the central point of our work- making sure there’s a proper representation for every body type, every woman. And when we talk about inclusion, we mean it for every sector, most importantly in entrepreneurship. But lack of representation and biases from social construct has held us back, and we need to collectively work towards growing despite it, and abolishing this disparity."

"It was a challenge that led our founder Taylor Jay to start this business- when the mainstream fashion brands didn’t cater to her body type, she tailor-made one for herself and now we are proud to do it for you. And this has been possible only because of the unhinged support from our kind customers who recognize us for our quality of work and our values."

"This Black Business Month, let’s work together to educate each other, ask questions, discuss solutions and uplift the underrepresented."

Taylor Jay image

We align ourselves with the Taylor Jay brand ethos that gone are the days when women were only one shape and one size, and those credentials were the lone “standard of beauty.” Queen Anna House of Fashion embraces the concept that beauty radiates from everyone, period, and we’re proud proponents of getting rid of the former ideals to make way for more than one “standard.”

For tips on how to style these pieces from the Taylor Jay Collection, read One Posh Closet's blog on Taylor Jay's Style Guide and check out the other Black-owned brands we feature at Queen Anna House of Fashion.

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Understanding the Purpose of Black Business Month

Understanding the Purpose of Black Business Month

Being a Black Woman and owning my business has been a journey of ups and downs, long sleepless nights, and joy. I speak about my journey, acknowledging that I have certain privileges that are not often afforded to many others, including financial support from loved ones, access to advisors, and staff to assist me in the day-to-day operations of most parts of my business. 

Nicole Jennings, Owner of Queen Anna House of Fashion

That small amount of privilege still does not negate the hurdles and challenges I have and continue to face daily. Examples include (and I am 100% serious) being denied loans for my business even with an 820 credit score, or one of my favorites is when I was in my store and asked if the store I was the owner and then, without even stuttering, was asked: "Is your husband white?" As if Black and white were the only two options I had and that I just had no other choice but to be heterosexual too. Hmm.. all very interesting, to say the least, on so many levels. 

Representation matters. Normalizing Black Owned Business as a real-life thing and not some few and far-in-between concept is my goal with this blog, as well as to answer a few questions that I am sure many folks may be wondering. Stay with me until the end and walk away feeling empowered to go out and make the world bigger, better, and more equitable. (I hope). 

Why is Black Business Month Important?

Black Business Month is important because it allows us to focus on a community far too often underrepresented regarding access to capital and opportunities to build wealth. It isn't about creating an atmosphere of division or "woe is me, I am a Black person and own a business, so spend your money with me this month," but rather about recognizing that we live in a country where resources are not as easily accessible to every demographic equally. When those barriers were created and layered in with other nuances, something blatantly apparent by those being oppressed often gets overlooked by those who are not similarly impacted. Many people appreciate things without thinking about who makes them; usually, there may be something just as good if not better being made by a person of color but because they have not afforded the privilege to obtain bank loans or find investors quickly. Moreover, often, times than not, you never get the chance to learn more about these businesses and the incredible things that they have to offer. 

Who created Black Business Month?

Founded in 2004 by historian John William Templeton and engineer Frederick E. Jordan Sr., Black Business Month was created to bring the attention of more than 2 million businesses owned by black people into the light of the mainstream media and acknowledge their many accomplishments. When we celebrate the contribution of black business owners and entrepreneurs, it pays respect to them, their contribution to society, and their legacies. 

Is Black Business Month All About Spending Money?

No, but yes, LOL. As a business owner, I must say that it would certainly help. But in all seriousness, another important aspect of Black Business Month is paying it forward, whether by being a paying customer, following someone on social media, sharing their message with your friends and family, or even something as simple as re-sharing their content. Awareness and equity are the ultimate goals; however, that needs to look for you. You are doing something that benefits the business in a valued and authentic way; I am sure the company will similarly appreciate your gesture.

Let's State the Facts:

  • In the U.S., 10% of the Nations business owners are Black. In comparison, Black-owned businesses account for 30% of all minority-owned businesses. 
  •  Eight out of ten black companies fail in their first 18 months
  •  During the pandemic, 58% of Black business owners claimed their health was at risk or distress. 41% of Black business owners are in debt due to health care costs, while 24% have no health care insurance. When Black businesses fail, it contributes to the racial wealth gap and costs all Americans money. 
  • According to the Harvard Business Review, despite starting businesses at a high rate, 3% of Black women are running mature businesses. In contrast, white women are more than twice as likely to be mature business owners (7%), despite starting at lower rates. This disparity between high startup and low established business activity among Black women suggests potential issues with sustaining a business. Enabling access to entrepreneurship for all social groups benefits us by creating employment opportunities, increasing innovation, combating income inequalities, and bringing a diversity of ideas to fruition. 
  •  61% of Black women self-fund their total startup capital. 
  • The primary sectors in which Black-owned businesses operate include health care, social work, repair and maintenance, beauty salons, restaurants, and more. 
Support Black Owned Businesses

What Can I Do to Help?

  • Follow a Black influencer on a social platform. Share their stories and their business with your network. 
  • GIFT CARDS, folks. Even if you won't shop with a business, that doesn't mean someone in your network wouldn't appreciate what that business offers. Buy a gift card and give it to someone you think would value what that Black Owned Business has to offer. 
  • The civil rights advocacy group Color of Change launched Black Business Green Book to support Black-owned businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Business Green Book offers ways to browse enterprises in many categories, including home goods, fashion, health and wellness, books, and art.
  • Forbes has also highlighted ways to be an ally (or accomplice if you have some skin in the game) in the fight for equity for Black Owned Businesses.
  • Black Woman Owned is a community of those who understand the need to amplify and purchase from Black Woman Owned businesses. Its mission is to give Black Woman-Owned businesses visibility through social and digital media to help increase their annual revenue.
  • EatOkra is a directory of Black-owned restaurants featuring over 2,500 restaurants around the United States. Users can search by cuisine and location and even order delivery—the app will connect you to Grub Hub or Door Dash so you can seamlessly order from those listings. 
  • Check out the collection of Black Owned Businesses at Queen Anna House of Fashion

There are many more ways to aid in the fight for equity for Black Owned Businesses, but this will get you started in the right direction. Be sure to share this little note with anyone you think may appreciate the information. 

Until next time, bye-bye!

XO,

~ Nicole

PS

A big shout out to my mini me Amya for helping me with this Blog Post. 

It's for you sweetie that Mommy grids. Love you to life!

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Queen Anna House of Fashion Presents: 2021 Holiday Season Gift Guide

Queen Anna House of Fashion Presents: 2021 Holiday Season Gift Guide

2021 Holiday Season Gift Guide

Queen Anna is happy to help you take the guesswork out of gifting this holiday season by providing you with comprehensive gift guides throughout the remainder of the season that will make your shopping simple. Whether you’re the last minute gift giver, or you plan weeks in advance we’ve got you covered.

Our world has changed so much in the past 8 months which means so has our gift guide ideas. Queen Anna carries all of the essentials you will need to stay stylish all while in the middle of a pandemic; (who would’ve thought face coverings and hand sanitizer would become some of the most practical gifts?!) We are all wearing face coverings, for good reason, but they have tended to take a toll on our skin.

Silk is a cool and breathable textile that causes less friction which helps to prevent breakouts. Our KES The Dreamer Silk Face Covering is the answer to breakouts and lackluster face coverings. The KES Silk Face Coverings come in several varieties; give the gift of good skin!

Silk Face Coverings

Since many of us are spending ample time in the house, our ambiance should be impeccable; that’s where candles come in! Queen Anna has a special affinity for candles, as we light the same scent everyday to set our own ambiance. The Voluspa candle in the scent prosecco rose is our in-store favorite! (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s scent is reminiscent of a popular adult beverage). We have these candles in several sizes and other gift set combinations that will be perfect for gift giving this holiday! These sets have a variety of scents including bourbon vanilla, prosecco bellini, crisp champagne and more! (more adult beverage scents, right up our ally!)

Voluspa Candles

Along with maintaining the good energy throughout our homes, it is important to keep our good energy and spirits high as well! Motivational mementos are some of the best ways to do that. Giving the gift of inspiration and hope is unmatched, particularly with the 2020 that we have all experienced.

Expressions Bracelets is black women owned brand that we carry throughout Queen Anna that provides just the right messages of encouragement that we all need. From keychains, to super stylish cuffs, Expressions Bracelets has the perfect reminders of resiliency and strength that we all could use a little bit more of this year. 

Expressions Bracelets
Now moving on to gift giving for the fashionista in your life; we’ve got them covered too! Since it is winter and many of us have been pulling out our extra layers, so we have some fashionable options for that special someone.

Our Allen Schwartz Mel Faux Fur will make the ultimate style statement. Gift this piece with a cashmere hoodie to complete the chic, yet comfortable look. The Grace Willow Caspian Coat is another fashionista must. This coat comes in two hues and is so fashion forward. Gift this piece with a stylish neckerchief to complete the look. 

Hue and Stripe Look

We are here to take the heavy lifting out of the holiday season. We have compiled a gift guide catalog through our luxury fashion concierge styling service that will easily guide you directly to the gifting ideas mentioned above. Click here to browse these top gift giving picks and more! Queen Anna will help you give the gift of inspiration and style which is something we could all use a little bit of this holiday season.

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5 Thoughtful Gifts to Give this Holiday Season

5 Thoughtful Gifts to Give this Holiday Season

It's the most beautiful time of the year! There'll be many things that should bring you good cheer because it's the most beautiful time of the year...At least, that's what we have all been conditioned to think. That's why we have curated a gift giving blog that will help you give a gift straight from the heart. 

 

5 Ways to Give Impactful Gifts This Holiday Season.

 

After an eventful 2020 and a seemingly not too far off 2021, we have found that the things that once mattered had little to no significance or impacted the world in a significant way. So this year, we are proposing giving something to your loved one bigger and better than the hottest new iPhone. If you're stuck on what that might be, we have just the list to get your creative gift-giving juices flowing. 

 

Maybe you want to be thoughtful about shopping with women-owned or BIPOC owned businesses; if so, we have a collection of thoughtfully curated options just for you. Is the environmental sustainability of brands vital to you or charitable contributions? We strive to connect our clients in meaningful ways through fashion, style, philanthropy, and culture, so connecting our clients to give impactful gifts perfectly aligns with our brand.

 

Gift Idea Number 1:

A women-owned and operated brand that ALSO designs and distributes her own handbags AND stands behind them 100% offering a full refund for LIFE. GASP! Yes, we said for life! You have to love the concept of buying a handbag and knowing that if the brass hardware or leather are ever defective beyond repair, you have a brand that is ethically founded and run to reach out to. And did we mention the brand is women-owned??  Tah Bags is hands down one of the best handbags you will find for the professional or busy woman on the go. 

 

These handbags are not only fashion-forward but, most of all, functional. Tah Bags creates its products on-demand, a sustainable production method that allows fewer products to waste. One of our favorite go-to's is the Tah Bags Perfect Mini. Perfect to gift to anyone conscientious on where products are made, love women-owned brands, and need a multipurpose handbag. 

 

Tah Handbags

 

Gift Idea Number 2

ABLE is another brand carried at Queen Anna House of Fashion that prioritizes women by offering them crafting jobs that allow them to support themselves and their families. Women across the globe benefit from ABLE's mission. The receiver of an ABLE gift will benefit as well because they make super fashionable and practical pieces. Giving back while being in-style; what could be better?! From Jewelry to shoes to clothing, ABLE offers quality pieces perfect for everyday wear and will never go out of style. Shop our collection of ABLE pieces and give back while you gift give! 

 

Able Fashion Brand Clothing Line at Queen Anna House of Fashion

 

Gift Idea Number 3

Now, there is no better gift for the wine lover in your life than a bottle of One Hope Wine. One Hope has a mission to nourish future generations with every bottle of wine sold; they fulfill this purpose by giving organizations access to clean water, hunger relief, health research, and education. To date, One Hope has donated 7 Million dollars to support causes they care about. Check out their 2020 impact report here, which proves that they are the real deal! Consider a wine club subscription for your loved one, or give a classic bottle of pinot noir; either way, you're going to make a lot of folks happy with this one; without question. 

One Hope Wine

 

 

Gift Idea Number 4

How about for the shoe lover in your life? We recently introduced another Black-Owned brand, Rebecca Allen, that has us all excited. We love Rebecca Allen so much because her brand ensures that women of all shades are represented. When we purchase a 'nude' shoe, one shade will not fit all. Being innovatively disruptive, Rebecca Allen has discovered a solution to this problem in the most stylish way. Rebecca Allen's collection features shades that range from dark to light and are finished in classic and timeless styles. Whether you are attending a board meeting or heading to a night out, this collection of shoes has you covered. Consider picking up a pair as a thoughtful and practical gift, all while supporting a BIPOC brand! 

 

 

Rebecca Allen

 

Gift Idea Number 5

Give back in the name of a loved one or particular person in your life that has passed on. We have a host of people, places, and things that you can donate to in honor of your special loved one and wrap the donation receipt in a box with a bow or even put it in a stocking; whatever you choose, there isn't a better gift than one of service or community impact. If our list isn't quite right, a quick Google search will get you to many others like one created by Forbes Magazine found here. 

 

We share this information just as a prelude to the many other great gifting ideas that can be found on our website. If you haven't already been sure to download our app from the iOS Store or Google Play Store because all of our holiday promotions will be shared via our app this year, and we will be closed on Black Friday. 

 

Don't worry; we will be back in action on Small Business Saturday with a weekend women-owned holiday pop-up all weekend long starting November 27th. Be sure to stop in if you're able or tune in on Facebook or Instagram Live at 11 am on Saturday, November 27th, and at 5pm on Sunday the 28th and Monday 29th!

 

We want to give you as much access to the in-store pop-up experience as possible, as well as be by your side as you roll in the holiday season; Like we said before, you won't want to miss a thing because, as we all know, it's the most wonderful time of the

 

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5 Must-Have Pieces for The Perfect Capsule Wardrobe

5 Must-Have Pieces for The Perfect Capsule Wardrobe

It's a new year and with that, we usher in a new decade. This year we look to the 2020 clothing trends to identify our latest closet must-have pieces and what, if anything, should be added into the rotation.

When building a capsule wardrobe there are a few things to consider... What do I already have? What do I have that needs to be replaced? What do I need to add to my closet entirely?

If you're looking to create a capsule wardrobe for the first time, check out our recent post on how to get started with a capsule wardrobe and build off those initial timeless pieces.

Now, if you're looking to refresh your current closet, let's jump right in. Here are five pieces to add to your capsule wardrobe.

Travel-Friendly Blazer

Jet-setters rejoice! We have found the ultimate travel blazer. Wish Australia's collection of travel-friendly blazers are equally comfortable and stylish. Plus, their tailored, slim-fit design doesn't add bulk to your look.

From the board room to the airport lounge, these jackets look polished and professional without sacrificing comfort.

Wish Australia Persuit Jacket

Updated Trench Coat

A top fashion pick, the updated trench coat. While a classic trench coat is always a good idea, this season look for a sleeveless trench (like this beauty from J.ING)  that can be worn multiple ways - add tights or leggings and wear as a dress or pair with a turtleneck and trousers for a chic workwear look.

J.ING Exposure Sleeveless Trench Coat

Remix the Classic T-Shirt or Sweater

Every closet must-have a basic white t-shirt, even better, the softest white t-shirt. Our favorite basic t-shirts are from Commando.

Made from luxurious European model blends, their selection of tank tops, t-shirts and long-sleeves will take you from season to season. We love the Commando Covet Oversized Tee in the winter. It can easily be worn under your favorite cardigan or on its own due to its drapey look.

For those that have already found that perfect white tee, opt for updating your white button-down shirt, a wardrobe staple.

Covered in the classic white shirt department? Take inventory of your sweaters. Neutral hues in cashmere are the perfect way to get you through the cold weather months and great for transitional temperatures. If you're looking for something a little bolder, check out a classic crewneck cut in a color blocking or two-tone pattern.

Either way, you can't go wrong. Both the classic crewneck sweater and t-shirt are must-have wardrobe-essentials.

Maison de Papillon "Ronika" Colorblock Sweater

Silk Dress

Fashion trends come and go, but the LBD is here to stay. This year invest in a timeless piece that can be layered, worn alone, dressed up, dressed down... the options are endless with a silk black dress. With a flattering length that hits just below the knee, this dreamy Maison De Papillon tank dress can be worn all year round.

Maison de Papillon "Therese" Silk Slip Dress

Leather Pants

Joggers, cropped flares, leggings, trousers, you name it, we love it when it comes to leather pants. As one of the main clothing trends, leather has taken over.

A seasonal favorite here at Queen Anna, pleated leather trousers. Complete with pleats and leather-feel the J.ING Yooni Faux Leather Cropped Trouser provides all of the chic. The edgy pants pair perfectly with a simple turtleneck, button-down blouse or sweater.

Really loving leather? Level up your look ever further by mixing and matching leather separates - throw on a faux leather moto jacket, or accessorize with a leather micro bag for a fun winter outfit.

Feeling good about your winter style and the capsule wardrobe you've built for the season? Look ahead to spring styles, including an updated denim jacket (dark wash denim, anyone?), vibrant fluro pieces and leathers in pretty spring shades.

As always, shop our curated selection of women's clothing on queenanna.co, in our mobile app or visit our North Loop Minneapolis boutique.

 

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5 Must Have Pieces for Spring and Summer 2021

5 Must Have Pieces for Spring and Summer 2021

With Covid-19 Vaccinations abound, I'm sure you're just as eager as us to get outside wearing the pieces that have been longingly awaiting you in your closet! Queen Anna House of Fashion and One Posh Closet are here to make sure your closet is equipped to take on the summer! Let's start with the number one layering essential; the white t-shirt! 


Spring/Summer Outfit Styled by One Posh Closet
This look is a casual weekend day's dream. Pair your white t-shirt with a wide legged pant, add a sandal and a wide-brimmed hat and you are ready for brunch with the girls! White t-shirts are great for layering underneath a slip dress paired with sneakers for an edgy finish, or underneath a blazer paired with denim shorts for an unexpected style twist. The white t-shirt also layers perfectly underneath this next spring and summer wardrobe; the denim jacket!

One Posh Closet



The denim jacket is a wardrobe essential and the perfect layering piece especially in warmer weather. The look that is styled here by our One Posh Closet stylist includes a light wash denim jacket paired with joggers, a graphic tee and a pair of sneakers. Try knotting the graphic tee to add an extra element of style. Keep a denim jacket handy to stylishly tie around your waist or to throw on your shoulders when indoors or when it gets cooler at nighttime.

p.s. for more tips on how to style the classic denim jacket, click here to check out our One Posh Closet personal stylist's tips on jazzing up your denim jacket even further! 

One Posh Closet

The next warm-weather must have this season is a pair of boyfriend jeans. The silhouette of boyfriend jeans is relaxed and makes for a super easy styling. The look above takes a light wash pair of denim (check our our Denim Edit to help you find the perfect pair for you) and pairs it with a simple tank, and a sandal that provides a pop of color. Try opting for a lighter-wash pair for spring and summer and throw on a pair of sneakers to effortlessly style your denim. Speaking of sneakers... The next spring and summer essential is a pair of white sneakers! 

One Posh Closet
We are still a long time away from Labor Day, so now is the time to wear all of your white, including sneakers! Sneakers add the unexpected to a look, try adding a pair with a dress or jumpsuit to give it a stylish twist. This look includes a pair of white Converse (a closet essential!) styled with a super feminine dress. This mix of dressy and casual is so edgy and one of the easiest ways to add flair to your look. 

Since we have been cooped up inside for over 12 months, who wants to spend hours getting ready when daylight is a-wasting?! That's where the jumpsuit comes in! Our last spring and summer must-have is a jumpsuit, and we love it so much because it is your entire outfit in one piece, so you'll be saving time getting ready and have more time to enjoy the weather and maybe sip a cocktail or two! 

One Posh Closet

This jumpsuit used in this look is styled more formally by adding a pair of heels and a tiny, chic hand bag. This jumpsuit could be easily styled more casually by adding a denim jacket on top and adding a flat sandal! Interested in this look or the ones above? Shop our Warm Weather Must-Haves HERE.

Already have several of these pieces in your closet and need some refreshing styling inspiration for them? Then you've come to the right place! Our stylist are here to provide you with style and shopping inspo, click HERE to get started on having your very own personal stylist. 

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Reflecting on 2020 & The Many Lessons Learned

Reflecting on 2020 & The Many Lessons Learned

Reflecting on 2020 & The Many Lessons Learned

Well, here we are... the year I have coined as the "Year of the Unexpected." 2020 has been difficult, but as I progressed through it, I recognized that it was up to me on the perspective and approach that I took. When I changed my perspective and mindset to find what I like to call "pockets of gratitude," I was enlightened in more ways than one.

I was enlightened about myself, about others that I thought I knew, about things that mattered, something that didn't, as well as reconfirming my purpose in life. Owning and operating Queen Anna House of Fashion and One Posh Closet in such a time as this and being the person I am was necessary. The platforms that I have been blessed with and the opportunities I have been afforded allowed me to do things this year I would have never thought I would do in a million years. Even now, I still find myself challenged, mentally, physically exhausted, and at times emotionally drained. All areas of my life have their own set of challenges; as a working mother who now homeschools her children, a wife, identifying as a Black Woman, and let me not forget operating the two businesses that I own..but even in the midst of ALL of that, I am yet, filled with joy.

One of the first things that I learned this year that has changed my perspective on life is that autopilot is only made for automobiles and airplanes but not for humans. Autopilot is only supposed to be a guide and used for a while. The plane, train, or car can only go so far before stopping so that it can be refueled. Not us as humans, we go, go, go until we can't go anymore.

We continue to press on as if our life depends on it, not realizing that actually, our life is counting on us stopping to refuel, just like cars. Before you know it, you look up, and then once 5 pounds 11-ounce baby you brought home from the hospital is in high school...at least that's what happened to me anyway.

Nicole's Daughter Amya

I learned that toilet paper is essential in a pandemic and not dry noodles or rice. At least that what the isles showed me when we walked through the stores earlier this year. And Amazon confirmed it when they stopped my auto-shipment of toilet paper that I have had for years due to the shortage. You do learn something every day. When we have our financial planning session, I am eager to buy stock in whatever toilet paper we can so that the next time we have a pandemic of this size, our rear end will be covered! HA! (super corny, but I had to.) But in all realness, I think stock in toilet paper is the way to go for sure.

I learned that people believed that we lived in a society where all men were treated as equals; and until the murder of George Floyd, had no idea that police brutality, racism, or the systems that allow it to be woven into our lives so much that it is undetectable, was a thing.

I learned that l had been lulled to sleep in the comforts of my own privilege and keeping my kids safe that I forgot to put into action anything for the kids of others who have the same skin color as my kids but not the same privileges. As other people were becoming woke to the concept of racism, police brutality, and its systemic roots, I was coming to grips with knowing all about it and not actively doing what I could to take a stand against it like I do anything else that goes against my value system of dignity, love, and respect for all humankind.

 I learned that there is power in your voice and that as minuscule as I thought it was, I realized that my voice carried weight. It mattered, and some people wanted to hear my voice more, and these people were not friends, family, or loved ones. They were people who truly wanted to know more about my world as a Black woman entrepreneur who was also a mother and a wife and valued my experiences motivating many to also use their voice and do what they could for not just me but others that look like me. The adventures of hurt, loss, and despair have been felt in several ways this year by all. Still, I used that emotion for good. I used my voice to start my own podcast on uncomfortable but necessary conversations. Although the topics of discussion are not topics that I wish I needed to talk about, it was still enlightening and liberating, to say the least, that I could use my voice for something bigger than myself and that people cared about what was being said.

I learned that if I went on that TV show "Are You Smarter Than a Second Grader," I might not win if I couldn't use Google. The number of times that I had to research how to do homework with my second grader this season as we were homeschooling was wild. But it showed me that there was a part of his life that I had been so removed from as it relates to him and homework that I need to rethink how we got to that point, so I can know and understand his assignment and not miss out on this part of his life even as an entrepreneur. Believe it or not, I love having our kids at home as long as I was there too.

There is always a level of "mom guilt" that I experience on any given day. Still, nothing compares to the level of mom guilt I feel when my humans are all at home, and I am at work 8-10 hours of the day. So the days that I am home with them and we get to work in the same space, eat lunch, and take gym breaks together was a joy and one that I would not have brought the chance to experience if it weren't for COVID.

Homeschooling

2020 exposed many things and people for who and what they indeed are, and that includes me. I had so many areas in my life on autopilot that until I slowed down and experienced a complete shutdown in my business and wholly altered life as I know it at home, did it rear its ugly head. It was like I had miniature holes in areas of my life that were covered by cute little area rugs, and they had been there so long that I never questioned them or what was under them. It wasn't until COVID hit, and I had the chance to do some internal "house cleaning," did I notice that there were areas that needed to be addressed, internally and naturally, too. Nothing, and no one, went untouched by the pandemic or the racially driven civil unrest in the world, but we all had choices to make afterward. Were we just aiming to get by and wait for things to pass over, or were we impacted enough to make life-altering changes for the betterment of ourselves and for others? I chose the latter.  

2020 and all that came with it doesn't end on January 1st, 2021. The change that everyone is so eagerly looking for started many weeks back for me and my personal "mini holes." If I need to put a date on it like we traditionally do, 2021 started about 6 weeks early for me, and I have been on a mission to get things in order ever since. It was when my perspective on things changed that I felt like everything else did too. My mission as a mother, wife, and entrepreneur has changed and very different than ever before. It feels good to know that for once in my adult life that, I didn't "auto-pilot" these findings. Instead, I was forced to slow down, live, listen, learn, and adjust. If it weren't for 2020, I can't say that I actually would have and for that reason alone, I will be forever grateful for the lessons learned, the challenges that made me tap into my bucket of resilience that I never knew was there, for the lives changed by my voice and for all that is to come from the many holes in my life that I had the chance to fill.

Vision Board Event

I talk through my process on January 16th and walk you through a strategies  that may help get your thoughts in order as we progress through another year of life. Cheers to 2021 as we enter into a New Year, and cheers to you for being a part of it along with the rest of the Queen Team and me. We are grateful for all the support and look forward to being a part of great things with you in 2021.

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Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Last Minute Holiday Gift Guide

The holiday season has arrived for all! From mothers, best friends, to yourself. We have carefully picked out our top picks for the holiday season!

Mothers can be challenging to shop for, but we have got you covered! Check out our top picks for your mother or mother-in-law this holiday season.

alibi-nyc-organic-diffuser-oil        phenomenal-women-action-campaign-phenomenal-mother-t-shirt

ALIBI NYC Organic Diffuser Oil - $45

Phenomenal Women Action Campaign Phenomenal Mother T-Shirt - $50

soia-and-kyo-meena-leather-gloves        j.ing-long-scarf

Soia & Kyo "Meena" Leather Gloves - $120

J.ING Long Scarf - $45

 

Mothers love to feel relaxed because of the responsibilities they have on a daily basis. So we recommend the ALIBI NYC Organic Diffuser for ultimate tranquility. The Phenomenal Women Action Campaign Phenomenal Mother T-Shirt also serves as a lovely tribute to all mothers as well.

In the winter, one always needs good protection. Choosing gloves from Soia & Kyo and a scarf from J.ING will give your mothers the warmth she needs this holiday season.


 alibi-nyc-organic-hand-sanitizer-spray        the-copper-cul-de-sac-element-candle

ALIBI NYC Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray - $15

The Copper Cul de Sac Element Candle - $60

know-purpose-resilient-sweatshirt        j.ing-mickey-colorblock-oversized-sweater

Know Purpose 'Resilient' Sweatshirt - $65

J.ING Mickey Colorblock Oversized Sweater - $180

 

Whether she is your best friend, co-worker or sister, something she could use is hand sanitizer in these uncertain times. We are loving the ALIBI NYC Organic Hand Sanitizer this holiday season. 

Candles also make beautiful gifts as they provide a sense of comfort for your loved ones. This candle from The Copper Cul de Sac is stunning and unique! For your always resilient best friend, gift her the Know Purpose Resilient Sweatshirt.

For your sister, give her the beautiful J.ING sweater for her everyday life. She will surely stand out in this piece! 


 dress-the-population-emilia-dress        tony-bianco-latoir-sling-back-heels

Dress the Population Emilia Dress - $290

Tony Bianco Latoir Sling Back Heels - $190

allen-schwartz-holiday-turtleneck-top        allen-schwartz-trinity-shirred-waist-pant

Allen Schwartz Holiday Turtleneck Top - $290

Allen Schwartz Trinity Shirred Waist Pant - $330

 

Even though we aren’t celebrating the holidays the same way this year, we can still have a blast! First, try pairing this sequin dress from Dress the Population with classic black heels from Tony Bianco. 

If you aren’t a dress gal, try this two-piece outfit idea. Pair this Allen Schwartz sequin turtleneck with shirred waist pants. Whether you are in your living room alone or out with family, you can still celebrate with fun and laughs.

We hope you love our holiday picks for 2020 this season! Here at Queen Anna House of Fashion, we encourage you to be your unique and authentic self. 

Our team enjoys putting together fashion and style tips for your ease and convenience. Have a fun and safe holiday with your loved ones this year! Cheers to 2021! Find more gift ideas here!

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10 Easy Outfitting Ideas for a Quarantined Holiday

10 Easy Outfitting Ideas for a Quarantined Holiday

Welcome back to the Style Mark Blog! We are ecstatic that the holidays are upon us, and find there to be even more cause to celebrate especially after the 2020 we’ve all had. STILL, we are not on the other side of Covid-19 just yet, so we must stay diligent and continue to mask up for the remainder of the year. 

Just because we are practicing social distancing and quarantining ourselves in the house doesn’t mean that our style has to be compromised. Join us as we take you through some easy outfitting tips that are festive and work perfectly for a quarantined holiday season! 


#1 Sport your Favorite Matching Sweatsuit or Tracksuit 

Whether it’s tradition in your household to get the entire family matching pajamas for Christmas or you just crave comfort, a matching sweatsuit is the place to start! Our Maison de Papillon Eros Hoodie and Jessica Joggers are the most luxurious way to sport your sweat suit as they are crafted in all-over cashmere. Just throw on a pair of slippers and you are ready to open gifts with your family all Christmas morning long. 

 Cashmere Hoodie and Joggers

#2 Dress Up for Fun! 

So many of us have been stuck in the house for months working from home which hasn’t permitted anyone to really get fancy, but what better time to change that then in celebration of the holidays? Pull out your sequins and heels for holidays at home and snap a few pics while you’re at it! Our new Allen Schwartz Holiday Top paired with the Allen Schwartz Carolina Skirt would give your look just the right amount of “extra” to appropriately celebrate the holidays.  

 

#3 Mix and Match Casual/Comfy with Dressy Pieces 

Use the holidays as an excuse to still get wear out of your going out pieces, but style them more comfortably with casual pieces! Take our Phenomenal Women Action Campaign Crewneck for example and layer that underneath a Bano eeMee Leather Jacket and your look has the perfect balance of dressy and comfort. 


#4 Wear Something that is a Conversation Starter 

Maybe you haven’t seen your family or in-laws in several months and the traditional small talk has begun to run dry, wear a comfortable graphic tee that has a statement that you are passionate about and let it do all of the talking. Try pairing one of our Know Purpose Tees with joggers or denim and explain to your family what your t-shirt means to you! 

Graphic T-Shirt and Joggers

 

#5 Add Excitement with Color! 

The holidays are the perfect time to add some color to your look, and it doesn’t just have to be red or green! Try an unexpected shade like the lime green of our One Fell Swoop Forme Dress or a royal blue similar to our Amanda Uprichard Keely Top to add a pop to your outfit! 


#6 Bring Back the Culottes! 

The nature and silhouette of culottes just automatically lends them to be comfortable, which makes them especially ideal for any food belly that may occur! Whether your a leather person or tend to prefer a printed style we have options! The Grace Willow Vera Leather Culotte comes in two shades and will have you reaching for them constantly this fall and winter. The Inclan Studios Andi Culotte feature a subtle houndstooth print that makes for the perfect touch of variation to your outfit.

Culotte Style Pants


#7 Support Your Feet! 

Whether you are in the kitchen serving up holiday meals or you are spending coveted time with your family it’s a must to make it a priority to preserve the comfort of your feet. Our new Vision Quest Shoes Pebble Grain Shoes are the perfect combination of style and comfort. They are crafted with environmentally conscious materials and feature a foot bed of memory foam that provides all the comfort!

 Vision Quest Shoes


#8 Bring Out the White

Snow is likely falling where you are and the holidays are in full swing, so why not incorporate some winter white into your wardrobe to compliment the season. Try a cream outerwear piece like the Grace Willow Caspian Coat; this shearling coat is so cozy and versatile that it will work layered over a hooded tracksuit or over a more formal dress or jumpsuit.


#9 Use Jewelry to Accessorize and Let your Family Know Who’s the Queen of the House 

At Queen Anna we strive to make everyone that walks through our doors feel like the royalty that they are, and we have some jewelry pieces to complement that sentiment. The Nina Berenato line of crown jewelry features earrings and rings that give all of your visitors this holiday season a subtle reminder of who’s castle they’re staying in ;)

Crown Earrings


#10 Silk, Silk, and more Silk!

The holidays are the best excuse to pull out your luxurious silk pieces, even in the house! Now is the time to reach for our Maison de Papillon Josephine Silk Blouse and use it as a layering piece this holiday. Throw a cardigan on top and your look is both luxurious and comfortable. 

Use this holiday season to be grateful that we have almost made it through 2020 and are headed into a new year. We hope you have the opportunity to spend time with your families whether distanced or simply in your homes and find these quarantined styling tips helpful this season. At Queen Anna and One Posh Closet we are always standing by to assist with any of your styling or fashion related needs! Click Here to fill out a simple form to begin your journey to securing your very own personal stylist. Meet us back at the Style Mark Blog for more holiday themed fashion! Continue reading