Boss Lady: Elissa Bloom

Elissa Bloom, executive director of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator - Boss Lady - Social Stylate

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week, we chat with Elissa Bloom, the executive director at The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator, where newly emerging fashion designers grow their brand in a designers-in-residence program. Elissa “brings a unique and fresh understanding to the world of fashion and business.” 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I grew up in Boston and am an alumnus of UMASS Amherst.  I always had a love of travel and have lived in London, Los Angeles, Paris, and New York before moving to Philadelphia in 2008.  While in New York, I worked in product development at Bloomingdales and traveled on many international buying trips to Asia and Europe to finalize samples and attend trade shows.  Once I learned about manufacturing and production, I launched my fashion brand – Elissa Bloom New York, a line of colorful and functional accessories that sold in departments stores, boutiques, spas, and museum gift shops.  When I moved to Philadelphia I started teaching fashion entrepreneurship at Drexel and Moore and I was amazed at all the fashion talent in Philadelphia and became inspired to help women build their fashion companies in Philadelphia.

2. What is The Fashion Incubator and what is your role there?
The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator is a one-year residency that teaches the business of fashion to six emerging fashion designers.  Throughout the program we offer space at Macy’s Center City, dynamic workshops on the business of fashion, selling opportunities, business resources, mentors, trip to NYC along with exposure in the fashion eco-system of the city…all to support designers in building and growing their businesses to the next level of sustainability.

3. Last year marked Philadelphia’s first Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and also the city’s first WED conference. As the WED Philadelphia Ambassador, what changes do you hope to see in the women’s entrepreneurial community?
It is an exciting time for female entrepreneurs in Philadelphia.  There are more business resources (co-working spaces, mentorship, education) available to support women in launching and building their companies in the region.   What I would like to see more of is investment opportunities for women-owned companies.  In addition, more networking opportunities for women from various sectors to connect and collaborate together.

4. As a woman passionate about supporting other women, what do you think of the conversations happening in our culture right now?
There is a strong paradigm shift taking place with women becoming more fearless in speaking their truth, strong in standing up for others and themselves along with being courageous in stepping in their power to lead themselves and others.

5. Who is a Boss Lady you admire and why?
My favorite boss lady is Donna Karan.  I recently heard her speak and she is the ultimate female entrepreneur – combining her extraordinary talent passion and vision to build her Donna Karan empire, sell it and then reinvent herself by launching Urban Zen and giving back to the global community through teaching and showcasing talented artisans from around the world.

6. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Develop your product/services, do extensive market research and launch as a side hustle before leaving your day job.  Know that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of a ride and you will have many highs and lows along your business journey, to create an advisory board and support yourself and your goals with a strong team. Focus on the next three months, build slowly and if you love what you are doing it will never feel like work.

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A Color Story: A Guide to Building Color Palettes

Julie Johnson here, Social Stylate’s Graphic Designer. This month I’m taking a break from spinning scary tales of online advertising click trackers in favor of some good old-fashioned color theory. When I approach a project one of my first three questions will be about color. Color selection gives your piece its identity. Naturally, when the question of palette comes up, the response is often emotion based. We tend to know “what” we want our colors to say. Over my career I’ve had plenty of these exchanges:

Designer: Do you have a color palette in mind?

Client: Something punchy! Va va voom! Like, pow! You know?

I’ll never hold it against a client for coming to a graphic design project meeting without a composed palette. After all, as a designer, that’s what I’m here for! Whether it be a logo, an event poster, a pamphlet, a business card, or a website, our color choices give projects their personality. I’m here to help bridge the gap between “what” we want our colors to say and “how” to get them to say it! Here’s a basic guide to working a color palette for your piece:

Step 1: Get emotional – define the “what”

Define that vibe! In the exchange above, the Client is well on their way. Most folks know intrinsically “what” they want their piece to say. If you’re not sure, write down a list of words to describe your event/piece/business that the piece is for (e.g. cheerful, holiday, joy, comfort, warm, cozy, family).

Step 2: Choose your hues based on the “what”

Take that “what” and assign some color hues to it. Was your “what” energetic and exciting? Let’s do warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows! Were you going for something serene and relaxed? Go for greens and blues! You don’t have to be specific at this stage – focus on hue, that is, simply the base color. We will get into tones in a bit.

Step 3: Apply some theory

Now that you have some hues picked out, refine them by applying some theory! You may be wondering “do these hues work well together?” Good news! Someone has already done that work for you! You can decide to create an analogous palette (colors that are adjacent on the color wheel), complementary (opposite sides of the color wheel), or another configuration. There are many possible configurations in color theory (we’re sticking with simple here), and they will help take the guesswork out of color harmonizing. Get started with the examples below:

Step 4: Tone it up (or down)!

Now that you’ve finalized your base hues and configuration, go back to those “what” items you defined in step one to inform your tones, shades, and tints. This is a fancy way of saying adding white, black, or gray to your existing hues. Keeping it bright? Maybe you don’t need to add any neutrals to your hues at all! Want to soften things up? Tint it up by adding some white to the hues to get a pastel palette. To go for something deeper and moodier, add in a little shade with black. If you want to desaturate or “muddy up” your colors a bit, add gray. Keep it uniform though!

Keep in mind that this is a simplified, high-level guide to get you started. We could fill a book on color theory and palettes (and plenty of talented individuals have!). Hopefully, these steps will give you some confidence to approach your next project!

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A Mindful Meditation for Parents: Coping with This Chaotic World

Looking to help their kids navigate the pressures of social media — without pulling the plug on the positives we spoke to Dr. Michelle Maidenberg who maintains a private practice in Harrison, NY, and is the president and clinical director of Thru My Eyes Foundation. She is an adjunct graduate professor of Mindfulness at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University and author of Free Your Child From Overeating.

Is social media really the cause of all this anxiety? It’s complicated. Recent studies have noted a significant uptick in depression and suicidal thoughts over the past several years for teens, especially those who spend multiple hours a day using screens.

Twenge’s research found that teens who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent more likely to have one risk factor for suicide. And that’s regardless of the content consumed. Whether teens are watching cat videos or looking at something more serious, the amount of screen time — not the specific content — goes hand in hand with the higher instances of depression.

A Mindful Meditation for Parents: Coping with This Chaotic World

I have read articles recently describing how we are becoming immune to all the chaos. Although coping by way of cutting off my feelings could come in handy right about now, I’m finding it impossible to ignore or distract from them. Just as an atrocity passes, it seems like another follows soon afterwards. In the past several weeks our news has been flooded with attempted terrorist attacks, mass murders, hate crimes, raging forest fires, among other things. I find myself and my patients relying on a combination of coping skills including ignoring, distracting, or being dismissive of our feelings. Along with feeling profoundly saddened and mournful, and becoming considerably anxious about the possibility of these atrocities directly impacting us, our families and those we know and love. Read more.

Have a mindful and Happy New Year. Guided Meditation For Mindful Parenting (click to listen). Sit comfortably and gently close your eyes. Mindful Meditation

Dr Michelle Maidenberg

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Giving Back This Holiday Season

Alexis Kletjian - YoungMoms Stocking Raffle - Social Stylate

Win a holiday stocking full of goodies from select Kennett Square and surrounding businesses!

This holiday season, our client Alexis Kletjian created a contest to benefit YoungMoms, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing local young mothers with the tools, motivation, and support needed to overcome challenges and create a stable future for their families.

Inspired by events in her own life and in the lives of her loved ones, Alexis understands the difficulties that mothers face. “When my brand gained traction, I decided to use the jewelry I created to bring meaning and joy to women,” she says. This season, Alexis is working to assist YoungMoms in their effort to support women in overcoming obstacles and making positive choices.

In addition to donating all raffle ticket sales to YoungMoms, Alexis is gifting one of her beautifully crafted and designed Mini Shields to each of the moms currently in the community. So 43 lucky women will have their very own shield talisman! “Jewelry is transformative; something to be cherished and passed down,” Alexis believes. “It is my hope that these shields will become their armor and inspire the passion to pay it forward one day, if and when they can.”

To enter to win a stocking, buy a $5 raffle ticket at Alexis Kletjian Fine Jewelry, Kennett Brewing Company, or Marché until Sunday, December 16. The winners will be announced Monday, December 17, so you still have time to enter!

All ticket sales will be donated to YoungMoms. For more information, click here.

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