Boss Lady: Kendra Edwards

Kendra Edwards looks over her sunglasses in this black and white photo

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we talk to Kendra Edwards. Kendra is the eCommerce Director of J/Slides Footwear, an original footwear company inspired by the streets of New York City and its local surf spots.

1. How did you discover J/Slides Footwear and what prompted you to choose them as your next career venture?
Not too long ago I had started my own consulting company, K.Consults, and was looking to take the leap into working for myself full time. Around the same time, I was invited to meet with the J/Slides team and we instantly clicked! I’m a fan of the product and I knew this was a brand that I could grow with. I also knew that I would be coming in at a critical stage in their Ecommerce growth. I felt like this brand HAD to be a closet staple every NYC girl owned and I wanted to be a part of making that happen!

2. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
I am naturally a very driven person, so when that drive is met with a brand and/or product I truly believe in it sparks a fire in me that is exciting and intoxicating. Doing what I love and seeing a brand grow to its potential before my eyes, is the most gratifying feeling. It’s addicting, to be honest. It’s like this baby you get to mold into the dopest, flyest human being and send them off to take over the world. I can’t really describe the feeling. When you are on the right path of working with a brand you believe in you can’t turn the creativity off. You find yourself inspired by everything and New York is the perfect muse.

3. As Director of Ecommerce, what does your day usually look like?
Every day presents its own set of challenges and accomplishments. From the moment I wake up, I’m checking all our media channels to see if we’ve gotten press hits. Then to my email and the website to make sure there aren’t any major tech issues before I’m en route to work. As soon as I walk into the office I need to be on my game! There are times when I arrive and I have to spearhead an impromptu photoshoot because a new shoe went viral and we need to continue to promote and create content to drive sales. However it doesn’t end with the visuals, with all of our content production comes the need to edit our marketing calendar, update email templates, social media sites and homepages all before I’ve had a sip of coffee! But this is what keeps you on your toes in this industry.

4. What is J/Slides’ most successful form of marketing?
Organic and word of mouth marketing have been overwhelmingly successful for us. We have a loyal following that loves to share and post their love for J/Slides! Most of our online followers will hashtag us and then we gain new fans through them. From homemakers to teachers to travelers to influencers – they all have their own style and show how truly versatile the brand can be. It’s a beautiful thing and it really shows the essence of the J/Slides brand.

5. How do you stay ahead of the latest marketing trends and strategies?
It takes a village. J/Slides owners Jay Litvack and Dimitri Mavridakis are incredibly creative with years of experience powering some of the world’s biggest footwear brands. Their wealth of experience and foresight keeps us current and on-trend. I also have an amazing tribe of stylish international friends in a wide range of industries that keep me on my toes when it comes to what’s trending. Networking is also key, a casual conversation over coffee can get your brand included in a top publication or TV segment. With all of this in mind, I would argue that the most important part of our company’s strategy is consumer insight. Listening to our customers, responding and making the necessary changes to attain and retain customers.

6. Share one piece of advice you have for someone getting into the Ecommerce industry.
It’s a rollercoaster ride! The highs are high and the lows are the best teachable moments you will have in your career. The best thing about Ecommerce is the ability to carve your own lane, put your creative stamp on your brand or the brand you work for and see the fruits of your efforts in real-time. The best part about my job is I get to single-handedly shape the way our consumers shop and interact with the brand.

7. Who is a boss lady who inspires you and why?
I don’t have just one, I have many. I am inspired on a daily basis by my Girl Gang made up of badass women that are killing it in their respective careers. It’s inspiring to be around other creative women who push me to explore my creativity and boldness in the digital space. They uplift me in moments of self-doubt, hold me accountable to my goals and aspirations, and are always on standby with a dirty martini to celebrate my accomplishments 🙂

Just for fun!
How I take my coffee: Medium Roast with two sugars with a splash of almond milk
My favorite book is: Becoming by Michelle Obama
The tv character I’m closest to is: Maxine from Living Single
A song that I can’t help but dance to is: Anything by CiCi Peniston or circa 1990’s.
The last new thing I tried was: Kundalini Yoga

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8 (Digital) Things To Do While Stuck At Home

A lake with a ring of ripples against mountains in a purple wash
The Social Stylate team wants to take a moment to send our love and support to our clients and community. Things might be anything but normal right now, but as Fred Rogers said, “Look for the helpers.” There are so many people out there who are generously offering their skills and services virtually while we’re spending time at home. Whether it’s a tour of a museum, free meditation classes, or access to Broadway shows, people and companies are really stepping up to help one another during this time of social distancing.

Take a look at some of our favorites right now!

Go to a concert
The Metropolitan Opera is streaming opera performances each evening, look for your favorite artists to see if they’ve released anything new, and check in with Gal Gadot for some star-studded karaoke, no balcony necessary!

Meditation at your fingertips
Take a deep breath in, deep breath out, and download the Calm app for a few free meditation sessions. For when you need a minute or 30 to decompress and realign your perspective and priorities.

Visit a museum
Many museums are offering free virtual tours of their collections right now. Take a slow walk through the Smithsonian, The British Museum, and Van Gogh Museum. For a comprehensive resource of works around the world, check out Google Arts & Culture!

For the audio-lovers
The Social Stylate squad loves a good podcast! They’re so easy to fit into your day, whatever you’re doing, and have such a wide variety of topics. Take a look at our Squad Highlights on Instagram, there’s something for everyone!

Storytelling
Celebrities are reading children’s storybooks via Storyline Online and #savewithstories!. Both sites are great resources for children to listen to books being read aloud by some of your favorite actors!

Head to Broadway
Broadway shows are available for viewing without the crowds, without the traffic, and in the comfort of your own home. Channel your inner stage personality and brush up on all the shows you’ve been missing!

Go for a dip in the ocean
Check out aquariums around the country for live webcams and a behind-the-scenes look at all things under the sea. Don’t forget to visit the Shedd Aquarium on Twitter for the latest in their penguin escapades, as they let penguins explore the aquarium to keep them (and us!) engaged, entertained, and curious.

Keep following your favorite brands and blogs
Social media can be a healthy way to stay connected to each other during this time of social distancing. Our content creator, Sarahanne Alexander, writes her own blog and on the latest post is talking about what’s been helping her, while she continues to share photos of her town. Make sure to check in with each other often. Sending positive messages and beautiful images can brighten people’s day!

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BOSS LADY: BECKER WHITE


Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we talk to Becker White. Becker is the owner and illustrator of Made by Becker, a collection of bold line art inspired by fashion. “She uses an atypical style to distort and therefore deemphasis the female form while still capturing the beauty and confidence that women exude when wearing clothes that they love.”

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
In 2015, I graduated from the University of Georgia with a BFA in Photography and decided to pursue modeling while taking work as a freelance artist. Since then, I’ve had jobs in corporate fashion working as a stylist, graphic designer, and creative director. I moved to Atlanta last year and later began painting full-time. I sold my first big collection, and that was a terrific launch for my business and client base. My work has evolved a lot over this past year, and I’m currently focused on creating fashion-inspired artwork!

2. How did your career as a photographer and model influence your work?
Working as a photographer and model deepened my appreciation for the artistry behind fashion and design. My love for both has always been a huge part of who I am and how I express myself. Wearing so many hats within the industry has fueled my passion and kept me coming back to fashion illustration time and time again. Whenever I have a blank sheet of paper, I end up sketching women in bold ensembles!

3. What’s your preferred medium?
It’s tough for me to choose a favorite medium. I get bored quite easily, so it’s important for me to change up my creative routine! Working with my Wacom tablet is great because I have the luxury of being able to pick up and go. On the flip side, I feel like there’s more at stake when I work with paint or pastels. The sensation of putting a mark on paper feels exciting and adds energy to my brushwork. I love that!

4. How did you feel when Rosetta Getty shared your illustration on Instagram? (I love her designs!)
That was an exciting moment for me! Rosetta Getty’s brand is so understated, elegant, and modern. I’m a huge fan of her designs, and being able to connect with her through my own artwork was very rewarding.

5. Who are some of your dream collaborators?
I’d love to work with Darling Magazine, Tibi, and Alexa Chung. I adore Alexa’s style and sense of humor!

6. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
When it comes to personal work, I like to scour Pinterest for street style photography or fashion editorials, and it’s usually an expressive pose or the vibe of a person that makes me want to capture the shot on paper. My work is as much about the people as it is about the clothes they’re wearing, so I also draw inspiration from people-watching in coffee shops and exploring the city.

7. How do you decide what pieces get color, when to keep it monochromatic, and what words to include, if any at all?
I work very intuitively, so it’s not a very refined process. Whether painting or working digitally, I’m constantly adding and deducting color until I feel like the piece is complete.

Adding words to my work is a rarity. I’ll add a line of text now and then if I’m feeling playful, but I usually prefer to let the image speak for itself. I tag posts on Instagram if my illustration is inspired by the work of a photographer, model, etc., but sometimes I also draw in the names of a magazine or designer because I like to provide further recognition for their work.

8. Share one piece of advice you have for an aspiring artist and entrepreneur.
It seems so simple, but make artwork that you enjoy. As artists and entrepreneurs, I think we can easily fall into the trap of creating what we think will sell. We look outward rather than inward to define our subject matter and style. The best way to ensure that you keep on creating (and love it!) is to start from within.

9. What do you see for the future of Becker White Art, any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
Right now, I’m primarily focused on taking my own advice: to create artwork that brings me joy. My short-term goal is to visit more art events, and I’d love to collaborate with local entrepreneurs this year!

I can’t comment on any current projects, but I recently completed some Valentine’s Day illustrations for Rosetta Getty, which came about through our connection on Instagram! You can check them out on her feed, @rosettagetty.

10. Who is a Boss Lady who inspires you and why?
Oh wow, I could list so many! Sarah Dubbeldam, founder and editor-in-chief of Darling Magazine, is a big inspiration of mine. Her magazine does a great job of challenging our cultural ideals of beauty while sharing content that is meaningful and relevant to all types of women.

Just for Fun!
Best way to drink coffee: With cinnamon and a splash of foamy milk!
Go-to shade of lip color: I’m all about that 90s brown! If you’re looking for a steal, check out Gone Greige by Maybelline.
Last magazine you read: Vogue’s February Issue featuring Florence Pugh.
If you could travel anywhere, it’d be to: Right now, my dream trip would be to visit London and then train to Scotland.
A song that always makes you dance: I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston. There’s a reason it’s a classic!

FOR MORE ON BECKER
WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

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International Women’s Day

International Women's Day 2020

Today is International Women’s Day and we’re celebrating by talking about women who have moved us with their work, drive, and passion. Social Stylate is a female-founded company with an all-female team, so you can imagine that representation in the workplace and support of one another is an important part of our day-to-day. There are women all over who have changed the world and who continue to change our future. Here are a few who have inspired us along the way.

Carroll’s pick: Amelia Earhart
“Amelia Earhart once said, ‘Women must try to do things as men have tried. When they fail, their failure must be but a challenge to others.’ She was a force to be reckoned with.”

Jessica’s pick: Malala Yousafzai
“She has fought and continues to fight for girl’s education. Malala strives to impact the world cultivating change for girls to learn and lead.”

Kelly’s pick: Brene Brown
“She has been a culture changer in the field of mental health.”

Kathleen’s pick: Greta Thunberg
“I really admire her courage to stand up for what she believes in, and she is such a good example of the positive impact just one person can have. She’s inspiring her generation (and frankly, every generation!) to care about the climate crisis and be politically active at a young age. I think it’s really impressive how she’s been able to communicate the urgency of climate change — for years so many have been warning us but she has broken through and is making more people get it, on a global scale.”

Carly’s pick: Malala Yousafzai
“She fights for the education and rights of women and girls. As the mother of two girls, I couldn’t ask for a better role model.”

Lauren’s pick: Jane Fonda
“Never one to shy away from speaking her mind, Jane Fonda is a powerhouse woman who gets up, shows up, and stands up for what she believes in. I love it.”

Sabs’ pick: Amelia Earhart
“She was brave, adventurous, determined, and she was doing something very few women were able to do at the time. It’s women like her who show little girls that they can truly do anything they put their mind to.”

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