The Monthly Round-Up

A collage of five vertical images

Our client, Lilliana Vazquez, launched her first podcast, DNA of a MAKER, where she has one-on-one conversations with true trailblazers for change. By partnering with MAKERS, she is fueling the women’s movement through storytelling to ignite change. Episodes reveal what individual traits set these high achieving women apart and how these traits shape who they are.

We’ve been working behind the scenes with Free Reign for over a year and are so excited that the site is launched and products will be available soon. They’ve created an innovative top with a built-in bra perfect for smaller-busted women that’s eco-friendly and built to last. Check out their kickstarter campaign going on now.

Our very own co-founder, Carroll Ivy, got engaged to her fiancé, Doug, on July 12th in St. Barts! We are elated and wish them a lifetime full of happiness and love.

Our client, Sunny Goode of LOVEVOLVE, created a mural in Richmond, Virginia to represent the need for evolving as a country through love, trust, and peace. Baby swaddles have also launched on the LOVEVOLVE site with a mission to create social change with the movement of love starting at infancy.

We would like to wish a belated congratulations to our PR Manager, Kathleen McFadden, who had a beautiful baby boy named Jude on February 11th! He is blessed with a wonderful momma and is so loved by the Social Stylate family!


Julia Johnson Designs

Tangerine flower sculpture

“I’ve been into art since I could grip a pen…or a piece of sidewalk chalk,” says artist Julia Johnson. Illustration was her first love, introduced to her by her mother, who is an artist herself! Julia’s childhood was peppered with artistic influences, such as children’s books showcasing famous paintings, and she experimented with several different artistic mediums, including photography, stenciling, painting, knitting/crochet, and more. But she always circled back to black and white illustration. Sculpture is now a large part of her work, as well, and what drew her to it was the way she learned to cast shadow to create “lines.”

Artistic Growth
Much of Julia’s most recent work consists of line illustrations and flower sculptures. The sculptures came about as a byproduct of her 2011 senior thesis, which was an interactive calendar product design. A professor recommended the same waterproof, tear-proof synthetic paper for this project that she still uses today, called Yupo.

She started experimenting with abstract floral forms in 2012. “The forms and folds used in my current sculptural work are rooted in the experience of designing that thesis product,” she tells us, “so you could say every floral sculpture has been a riff on that. The heat and coloring applications I currently use were developed in the following years.”

Julia finds much of her inspiration in viewing other artists’ pieces of work. “The most inspiring experience for me is to attend a fine art show,” she says. At art events, she describes the concentration of energy as artists’ work meets enthusiastic patrons as “electric.” Art shows only come around once or twice a year, so she turns to natural history museums for another great place to foster inspiration. “Organic formations such as fossils, bones, plants, and (of course) flowers always catch my eye,” she explains.

More artists she admires include Patricia Urquiola, recommended by her mom, and Dale Chihuly. “I have viewed [Urquiola’s] Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition at least five times! Lately I’ve been looking at Dale Chihuly for sculptural inspiration, particularly his large sculptures,” Julia says of her artistic influences.

As inspiration hits, the medium Julia uses depends on what she’d like to create. For something expressive and abstract, she turns to sculpture. “I tend to sketch first, but sometimes you just have to ‘make the thing’ before the feeling evaporates. If I’m inspired to work in color, which is much less frequent, it’s usually a quick, energetic application,” she says about her process.

Exhibits and Current Projects
Julia’s latest project s a stunning floral sculpture and designed for placement on a large brick wall in the lobby of a hospital. The display consists of two “sister” pieces, each measuring 4.5 x 7.5 feet. (One piece is shown below.)

White and gray floral sculpture

“The client was looking for an assembly of floral forms that echoed the hospital’s brand with gray accenting. On a technical level, we were working within depth parameters, so I used these gray accents to enhance that. It was important that the pieces had a soft, peaceful feel and my goal in creating them was to bring some tranquility to the space. The compositions are purposefully asymmetrical, not at all visually challenging but rather free-flowing. I truly hope that future viewers of the pieces can find a brief moment of calm in front of them,” Julia shares.

Since 2016, Julia has exhibited in 13 shows and events in Delaware, Florida, New York, and Pennsylvania and looks forward to the next opportunity to display her unique and gorgeous work alongside other talented artists.

To view more of Julia’s artwork visit her website, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook. To purchase her prints and sculptures, click here, or contact her for a commissioned piece!


5 Ways To Mark Juneteenth

On this day 155 years ago, enslaved Black Americans in Texas were finally informed that they were free — two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation — when Union Army soldiers arrived in Galveston, TX, to announce the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery. Back then, Texas was the last of the Confederate states where enslavement continued.

Attempts to explain this two and a half year delay in the receipt of this important news have yielded several versions that have been handed down through the years. Often told is the story of a messenger who was murdered on his way to Texas with the news of freedom. Another is that the news was deliberately withheld by the enslavers to maintain the labor force on the plantations. And still, another is that federal troops actually waited for the slave owners to reap the benefits of one last cotton harvest before going to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation. All of which or none of these versions could be true. Certainly, for some, President Lincoln’s authority over the rebellious states was in question. Whatever the reasons, conditions in Texas remained status quo well beyond what was statutory. [Source:]

Now recognized annually on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates Black freedom in America, and it serves as a time for reflection, celebration, and education.

Here are five ways you can commemorate this important day in American history:

Educate yourself and those around you on antiracism and systemic prejudice. There are so many books, shows and films out there. (When ordering new books, make sure your dollars are going to Black-owned independent bookstores.) Also be sure to check out free content like 1619, a podcast from The New York Times, as well as resources from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Donate to organizations working to dismantle systemic racism and fighting for justice for the Black community, such as Black Lives Matter, The Bail Project, ACLU, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Also, consider these 137 ways to donate in support of Black lives and communities of color.

Call on elected officials to defund the police. Contact your state representatives and city council members and demand that they reduce police resources and reallocate those funds to education and social services. And sign the national Black Lives Matter petition.

Support Black-owned businesses in your community. Use tools like Black Nation, EatOkra, WeBuyBlack, and Support Black-Owned to discover ones near you.

Vote in November for candidates who will address racial injustice, police brutality, and criminal justice reform. Make sure all your friends are registered to vote. If you haven’t done so already, set up your mail-in ballot with your state’s elections office to make participating in the political process even easier.


Morning Reads: Sites and Newsletters to Start the Day

Morning Reads: Sites and Newsletters to Start the Day - Social Stylate

Where do you get your morning news? From political debates to humanitarian crises, to the newest technological advances, staying up-to-date on current events should count as a fulltime job. The news changes fast and it changes often, it’s important to our team that we foster a well-rounded outlook and stay current on as much as possible, using only reliable and honest sources, all while maintaining a sense of hope and humor.

These are our favorite morning reads that help keep us informed.

Tech Crunch
For stories about up and coming medical technology, Silicon Valley’s latest news, and all things app related. We love knowing what’s happening in the tech world since most of this stuff affects us on a daily basis and we’d like to be the first to know when our robot vacuum can start running errands outside the home.

The Good Stuff
Every day should begin with a smile. The Good Stuff, a CNN newsletter, features uplifting stories, inspiring events, and heartwarming tales. Because who doesn’t love videos of watching an adorable deaf baby’s reaction when her hearing aids are put on every day? Spoiler Alert: All stories are happy and you might cry a little.

The Newsette
Featuring wellness advice, lifestyle tips, and career inspiration all in a bright and bubbly format. We learn how to streamline our own morning routines while reading about the routines of powerful women in all sorts of industries. It’s confidence-boosting and makes us want to binge true crime podcasts on the way to work!

The Skimm
A condensed newspaper delivered straight to your email, The Skimm teaches us how to be adults in a fun, light, and informative way. The material is easy to read and feels like it was written by our best friend who somehow keeps up-to-date on everything…and then gives us the Cliff Notes with corresponding links.

BBC News
Our go-to international news outlet, BBC features a well-rounded collection of articles in a wide range of global topics including work-life, culture, and business stories. We can learn where in the world the best dumplings are made, the latest in climate change science, and what’s happening with technological advances in space.

Articles curated for powerful women and about powerful women, Fortune’s daily newsletter solely focuses on influential women in the world, their stories, and their achievements. If that’s not empowering for this female-founded company, we don’t know what is.

Billy Penn
Knowing what’s happening in our own backyards is equally as important as staying informed on international issues, and that’s where Billy Penn comes in. Philadelphia’s local news source, we look to them for reliable and relevant stories close to home.

Cheddar Need2Know
We love Cheddar. The cheese, the news, we love it all, especially when we’re on the go. We turn on Need2Know videos when we’ve got our hands full or would rather watch our news than read it, and we listen along as we’re checking in on clients, both driving around and on the train to the city. From topics like the latest opinions on the upcoming last Star Wars film to predictions of corporate mergers and acquisitions in 2020, we know we’re gathering important intel.

5 Things
Life gets busy, so we’re loving this streamlined version of the news. The efficient and trustworthy information from CNN’s 5 Things is the perfect way to start our day. With 5 stories in 5 minutes, we get the important news while still sticking to our morning agenda.

The Hollywood Reporter
Seen any good movies lately? This is a common question around the Social Stylate team. We love shows and movies across many genres, so it’s natural for us to regularly check in with the happenings of the entertainment world. And yes, we attend Oscar viewing parties, as if you needed to ask.

The New York Times Morning Briefing
An informative summary of the day’s news, this snapshot (with links to more in-depth info) of important topics is sent directly to our inboxes each morning. We learn about what’s happening now in politics, new recipes, and what the top comedians are saying about it all.