Inspired by Design

I was date raped in high school. As I read the news of Jeffery Epstein (and thousands of other stories) unfold, I find myself thinking why have I never had the strength to talk about my experiences. I realized I there have been countless times for decades that I have been a victim. I found myself wondering why I have never had the courage to speak up.

I no longer feel powerless. As a single mother raising two boys, teaching them respect and accountability for their actions has been my top priority. The feminist writer Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object, has some valuable advice: “It’s important to normalize a healthy reaction to the rejection of affection.

Thank you Leigh Ann Barnes for inspiring me to find my voice. Leigh Ann who was a victim of date rape in college found her passion designing handbags.

Let’s rewind….
Leigh Ann Barnes was sparked by a challenge from her family: create a transparent stadium-approved bag that is stylish, functional and fun. What came to be: a dynamic accessory collection providing jobs for women in-need.

Hit play….
Emboldened by the challenge, Leigh Ann harnessed her ingenuity and created a chic convertible handbag. During the creative process she realized a sense of purpose was needed that went beyond the Gamechanger Bag.

The Aha Moment: connect ideas with action, need with purpose and, ultimately unite women of all ages. The smaller leather goods could be made by survivors of abuse. Creativity, kindness and compassion through hands-on manufacturing.

Fast forward…..
Leigh Ann Barnes is defined by transparency, creating joy and making change happen. Her long-term goal is to introduce other brands to the Cottage Manufacturing Model in Los Angeles and Georgia.

The end [but really, it’s just the beginning]…..

Leigh Ann Barnes business model is more than a handbag or an accessory; it’s about recognizing and embracing that we are all equally important and deserve the same opportunities. Though Leigh Ann Barnes is only one step in the journey to these women restarting their lives, it connects ideas with action, need with purpose and ultimately unites women of all ages.

From this game changing foundation, Leigh Ann Barnes partners exclusively with accredited factories when manufacturing overseas to ensure women working abroad have a safe work environment.

In the U.S. company aspirations include growing the Survivors Cottage Manufacturing Program in Los Angeles and Athens, Georgia. The goal is to incorporate brands and manufacturers into the Program as a resource for reclaiming and repurposing their own excess materials. A duality of doing good as they support work for women in need of reclaiming and repurposing their lives.

image: @photo_flo

You can buy her bags at Neiman Marcus, via her website or her pop up shops {where you can find Leigh Ann telling her story and inspiring other young women}.  Cast your vote for Leigh Ann via the Accessories Council Design Excellence Award.

Game on.

  • Bonus for all readers. Save 25% off your purchase through September 30th, 2019. Use code #sostylate at check out.




Fitness Resources

Social Stylate Fitness Resources

Working out and being active are important for, not only your body, but your mental health. We find that breaking a sweat at least once a day, even if it’s only for 15 minutes, makes a huge difference in how we look and, more importantly, how we feel. Sometimes it isn’t easy to make the time, but we find that a cute workout outfit and a little inspiration is all it takes to get us in fitness mode.

For fabulous workout gear we go to…
(but we always go directly to the sale rack)
Under Armour
TJ Maxx
Forever 21



For motivation we use…
Map My Run
My Fitness Pal




Next Thing Now: Linda Rottenberg

On Tuesday morning we attended The Next Thing Now‘s fall lecture with Linda Rottenberg, author of Crazy Is A Compliment and the Co-founder and CEO of Endeavor. To say we were inspired would be an understatement; Linda left us feeling motivated, confident and excited to start the day. She talked about entrepreneurship, taking smart risks, work-life integration and shared stories about her company and businesses she’s helped.

linda rottenberg

Our favorite sound bites from Tuesday’s lecture

  • “Leaders today need to be less super and more human.”
  • “Integrate your passion and values into your work.”
  • “It’s important to have a pay it forward mentality.”
  • “Stop planning and start doing.”

A little about Endeavor
Endeavor is a global nonprofit that helps entrepreneurs from around the world turn ideas into action. While living in South America, Linda discovered that there wasn’t a word for “entrepreneur” and the concept of starting one’s own business wasn’t top of mind. Endeavor works with 22 countries and has recently expanded to U.S. cities. Linda’s goal for her company; “to have dreamers and doers feel that they come come and get unstuck.”




Best Dressed Celebrity Halloween Costumes

A fabulous Halloween costume calls for something fun and a bit dramatic. For inspiration we look to the celebrities who kept it classy and original. Below includes our roundup of the best dressed celebs at Halloween time. You may just see us in something similar… image of halloween costumes

Lauren Conrad as Mary Poppins
Ryan Seacrest and Julianne Hough as Bonnie and Clyde
Kate Moss and Jamie Hince as Gomez and Morticia Addams
Mindy Kaling as Captain Hook