Thursday, July 31, 2014

#GIRLBOSS Book Review

#GIRLBOSS Author: Sophia Amoruso

After literally just finishing this book I cannot wait to write about it so everyone knows how #AMAZING I thought it was! I like to read business books so I came across this one on instagram and instantly knew by its classy, but edgy, author and the hot mama cover that it would be a #mustread.

I found it at my local Barnes & Noble and began reading it immediately in the car on the way home (I just had visions of me reading while driving which would be very unsafe--don't worry, my husband drove me home safely). I enjoy how the book begins with a spaced out timeline. The last two entries are what really draw in your attention to how much of a #badass Sophia is! The 2006 post is about needing health insurance which led to a dead end job checking IDs at a local school. It ends with Sophia opening an eBay store called Nasty Gal Vintage because she was "dicking around on the internet". Right below that there is a timeline post dated 2014 saying, "I am the CEO of a $100-million-plus business with a fifty-thousand-square-foot office in Los Angeles, a distribution and fulfillment center in Kentucky, and three hundred and fifty employees." I would say those are two starkly different events and gets you more excited to read her story of how she got there.

"I stopped feeling like I didn't belong anywhere, and realized that I actually belonged anywhere I wanted to be."
 —Sophia Amoruso

While Sophia had a speckled past (which we don't share--I have never even received a speeding ticket), she did not let that stop her. Which is another person proving that it does not matter where you come from, because if you have it in you to be a #GIRLBOSS it is possible for you to make your dreams come true. While Sophia and I share common dreams, each with our own distinctions, we also share a similar drive and hustle mentality. Hustle may be the most important word in my vocabulary. I keep seeing it used more and more in business which makes me incredibly happy that others share this indescribable need to be successful in our own way. I hope that everyone can find someone to look up to in the way that I admire her. I know that may seem cliche but it is completely true.

It doesn't matter in what field you are interested in going into--this book can help you in many areas. She discusses self-confidence, business principles, fashion, money, and becoming the true person that you are. I think that this book, while I feel did represent so many things that I talk about or believe in, it also helped me to feel more comfortable with all of those things. She has allowed me to feel free to write and express myself to a truer version of who I am or how I am in person compared to how I may come across while writing. Buckle up ladies because I am going to let it all hang out! Okay. . . so I may always be on a #tinysoapbox preaching how I feel and what I believe, but it will never be boring.

Anywho, since I have actually owned and operated a business before I understood a lot of the struggles that Sophia went through in the beginning. Now that she is a 100 million dollar plus company I cannot relate as much, but its only a matter of time. #Cantwait #needtolearnpatience I have more than once paid models by bribing them with food or product to help a sister out. My company also grew very quickly and out grew multiple spaces in a short amount of time. The major difference is that we each had it the manufacturing or lack their of our clothing. My store was an all handmade clothing boutique. I literally did everything from fashion design, accounting, legal, marketing, management, social media, and being a seamstress for each item. Looking back, sewing each and every product is the only part that I will not miss in the future. It was too much, and therefore, why I am here backing it up and refocusing myself into the #GIRLBOSS that Sophia would be proud of.

I really appreciated the insight of not only having a job but keeping it. I have been in leadership positions for just about everything that I have been involved in since middle school. Therefore, I have seen a lot of people interview really well and then not hold to their potential during the time with a company. I recently read a #quote that is applicable here, "To do any job well is noble." In chapter 8, Sophia discusses the four words that thou shalt never mutter (love the phrasing here). Can you guess what they are??? I have heard them all to often "That's not my job"....#Really?!? Something that is never taught to you in school or all too often not by your family either (obviously not in my case. . . I will get into my love for my parents and brothers later) is how to be self motivated. If you are not willing to do whatever is being asked of you that company will easily find someone who is willing. She touched my soul with this because so much of my previous experiences have been at work (just realized that I just past my 10 YEAR- that's a decade- anniversary of working). An amazing life lesson is to do something that humbles you and it truly shows character. #Keepthatinmind

In chapter 9, Sophia discusses how important social media and customer service are to the business. Customer service is so often done through social media now, but nothing beats a personal message or a phone call. If something is wrong it needs to be corrected as quickly as possible. But don't forget that customer service is just as important before, during, and after the order has been placed in an online store (and especially in an online store since you typically are not #facetoface with a customer). Responding to all comments and feedback and appreciating that your customer base is responsive enough to let you know what is going on are two very important parts of social media in business. I also loved the insight to dealing with an investor, because I also started my business with no money (#nodebt). In the future if I need investors I will definitely heed her advice. Basically, pick the right partner kids! #TRUTH

The last chapter is called Chances. The chances are next to none that this amount of success can happen to you. Sophia and I are on the same page that success doesn't just "happen" it is a lot of hard work and dedication. I don't believe that you just "catch" the #girlboss bug. You develop it over time with a lot of learning about yourself along the way. With the right positive mindset, hard work, and good decision making all of us can become a #GIRLBOSS.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Wednesdays We Wear Blak -- Danyell

Today we are featuring Danyell in her official The New Blak T-shirt! 
If you want to get your hands on this tee just click on our shop tab and it will bring you right to it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How-To Tuesday -- Dying Fabrics

There are so many ways to re-purpose your clothing, and dying them fun new colors is my favorite!

Here are the basics!

I prefer to dye in my stainless steel sink as opposed to on the stove! Less to clean up and Stainless does not stain... go figure! Some other things you'll need are:
     - Your preferred dye
     - Hot water
     - Some salt (opt.)
     - Splash of vinegar (opt.)
     - The item you want to stain

1. I like to start off by boiling water in a large pot and then pouring it into your sink.

2. Add more hot water (as hot as it comes out of your tap) to fill the rest of your sink.

3. Add your colors and mix well.

4. I always add some salt and a splash of vinegar which will help seal the color into the fabric. Also, I would suggest to use a scrap piece of fabric as well! You don't want to ruin your project if you could have prevented it!

5. Add your fabric and mix every ten or so minutes until you get the color you want. If you are wanting a light color, stick around 'cause the color will finish rather quickly, but if you want something dark, you have time to get other things done while it soaks. Your time to dye is depending on your item and how dark you want it.

6. When you get the color you like, take it out, rinse it and pop it in the washer to get out the extra dye. After it dries you are done!

Good luck!

Ombre is also a cool option for clothing! I am planning on dying a lot of fabrics soon!  We will have tutorials later on this!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Street Style | Emily

This is Emily. She is such a hard working girl, but boy did she rock that super cute outfit. Usually we don't say much about our street style posts, but I just wanted to share with you all how much we love all of you #GirlBoss ladies! You rock.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


All of the New Blak Girls love each other so much, but we all have a girl crush on Diane Lane! Seeing here in the these photos of floral outfits only makes us love her even more. We all talk about fashion and if there is something we want to wear but don't think it would be something that we can pull off then we say. . .
"(#) Hashtag Diane Can"

Therefore, #DianeCan came to be our go to saying for this lovely lady!

We can't wait to see more from her in the future! Monday we will post her Summer Look Book Photos! She told us that florals are not just for spring and showed off her wardrobe full of floral pattern pieces. Watch the video below and let us know if you love them to in the comment box.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

#BreeBaresAll -- Let's Talk About Sex, Baby!

Alright Ladies! I'm about to shock all of you. In this crazy world of little girls having sex at the age of twelve and teenagers getting pregnant when they're fourteen, I managed to stay a virgin until a month before I turned twenty-one. Now I know what you all are thinking, "Bree is about to give us a big speech about how you should save yourself for the perfect person and quite possibly until marriage." This is absolutely 100% not what I am going to tell you. This is what I was told my entire life, but it didn't quite work for me that way.

Here's the back story:
In high school, I dated the same guy off and on; and even still talked to that guy once I got to college. He ended up being my first heatbreak, not not my "first". Sure he tried, but it just never felt right to me. And to his credit he never pressured me into anything. He's actually the only serious boyfriend I've had really. Our situation ended badly, and yes I did hold a grudge for a while, but now I wish him nothing but the best.

Once my high school boyfriend relationship finally ended for good, there were a couple of guys I talked to; but, nothing was ever really serious. Then I met this really nice guy. He was in college and had a job. He was family-oriented and actually wanted to get to know me. I thought I had found the "Holy Grail" at that point. There was the first kiss. I expected it to be awkward and figured that the next time would be better. I was wrong.

He asked me to come visit him and I was so excited. (It was my first overnight with a guy!!) So me trying to be responsible, brought a condom just in case. I didn't think that it would be used, but you never know.

I was right. They did NOT get used. He got sloppy drunk. I was TOTALLY turned off.
The situation just felt so wrong to me. We talked for a bit after that, and then civilly parted ways.

So for a while, I just stayed completely SINGLE. I decided that I needed to work on me and try to just be okay with myself. (Every woman needs to be okay with being alone by the way)This was a good decision for me. So I stayed single and tried to focus on what was important  for me. This process probably lasted about a year.

That's when I found the guy that has changed my life permanently. He might not be the man I'm going to marry and all that, but he is a pretty good guy. We talked and hung out for a couple of weeks and had so much fun together. I decided to stay the night after I went to hangout with him one time. I knew what I was doing. We just hung out and drank a little, which is just... the thing to do in Indiana. This gave me an excuse to stay the night too. He didn't pressure me into anything. It was probably more my idea than is to be honest..... Here is the most important thing ladies... It just felt right: the timing, the situation, and everything else. It all just felt right. I will never regret him being my "first," regardless of what happens with our relationship in the future.

So I'm not going to lecture anyone. Religious views are different for each on of you! Girls are raised differently. I personally never had the sex talk with my mom. I learned everything from school, friends, and magazines. I was never the girl that vowed to stay a virgin until I was married. I never said "I am going to wait for that special person."

I have always said that I would wait until it just felt right. 

I am a big believer in trusting my gut! So Ladies, go with your gut feeling!!!

A woman's intuition will rarely lead her astray.

If it feels right, do it. If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.
Just always remember that safe sex is the best sex!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How-To Tuesday -- Networking Advice for the Fashion Industry

It’s the most important thing in the fashion world. I’ll give some tips on the best way to network and build up your resume. The New Blak is going has a younger target market, but our networking must be appealing to everyone. Why? It’s important to be noticed by anyone and everyone.  Some things to keep in mind if you’re trying to sell clothing or start a business or just impress people with who you are.

#1 – NEVER burn bridges!!!
It has been the one rule my fashion colleagues and professors have taught me.  It’s a small world, and you never know who could have a say in your next job interview!

#2 – Be smart with social networking.
Want to have it all one day? Well then don’t post inappropriate pictures or use profanity online.  Anyone interested in you or your business will keep these negative and insulting things in mind when you are advertising yourself.  After your name is out, sometimes your social networking is your first impression- so don’t ruin it!

#3 – Don’t be shy!!
Sometimes this is the hardest advice to take, but when in a social setting, get your name out there! Now don’t make a tragic scene, but get to know as many people as you can.  It’s the easiest networking and ends up being the most fun, making new friends and acquaintances that can maybe one day help you with that “Big Idea”.

Good luck! Have fun and be wonderful!

Monday, July 21, 2014

#AskAmandaDare -- Wedding Advice

What was the best piece of wedding advice that changed my life?

I was working retail the month that I got married. While I was chatting with a customer about my wedding (and my nerves about the wedding) she told me a great piece of advice. She said that she received the advice from another stranger and wanted to pay it forward. She told me "during the reception, stop dancing, talking, drinking, or whatever you are doing and walk away from the dance floor." I was taken back by this and a little confused why I would want to step away from the party. She continued,  
"Take a few deep breaths as you walk away, then turn around slowly to have the entire party in view. Take a few moments to revel in the fact that everyone there loves you, your husband, and the love you share for one another. That it doesn't matter what happened earlier that day or if you didn't get the wedding you exactly dreamed of, but what matters is all the love in that room."

I have since shared this advice and have had girls return to shop that thanked me for the advice. I am not sure if I will be able to explain with words how warm my heart felt and how my worries washed away at the moment I took this advice, but I am so grateful to the woman that shared it with me. When I think of my wedding I think of so many memories but mostly I think of how much love filled the room for my husband and myself and I am truly humbled. After you take this moment grab your new husband for a big kiss and rejoin the festivities.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Closet of My Dreams

This closet has it all! The beautiful carpet is my personal favorite design touch! Adding the carpet makes the closet feel luxurious and one-of-a-kind. The bench seat at the end (which I am sure has hidden storage, as well) is a place I would spend all of my days reading fashion magazines and fictional novels. The circle staircase adds a touch of elegance to the room and brings you right into the purse and shoe walls below. . . sigh. . . oh how I wish this closet were mine. The only thing that would make it better is if there were wooden hangers, but wait I already have those! Building my imaginary perfect closet has begun. . . in my dreams.

What does your dream closet look like to you? Is is a soft sanctuary or a creative cave? 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

#WednesdaysWeWearBlak -- Amanda Dare

Post your photo of you rocking that black outfit every Wednesday for a chance to have a shout out from The New Blak! Use the official hashtag #WednesdaysWeWearBlak and tag @thenewblakblog.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How- To Tuesday -- Rethink the Classic T-Shirt!

Have a lot of older t-shirts in your wardrobe? 
Trying to hold onto the memories that each shirt has from school or a trip?

Rethink wearing them only as pajamas because that's not the way it has to be. Pair one tucked into a floral circle skirt and sandals to bring it into the light of day. Or try it with a jean jacket and sandals for a great farmers market shopping trip, and if you don't enjoy having it tucked in you can tie off the bottom or cut it off right above the belly button. Try multiple rings or a bold nail color, your hands will look fabulous as you pick out fruit and veggies!

T-Shirt Re-Style

You can try wearing it with colorful jogger pants--a comfortable replacement for the skinny jean. Paint it with a black bootie and a fringe bag for an evening night out look. Make sure to accessorize with metallic bracelets and a bold lip color. Very rocker chic!

T-Shirt Re-Style 2

For an unexpected look try a monochromatic t-shirt with a more dressy piece. I am loving the oversized tulle skirts with a tucked graphic tee. I am definitely going to recreate this look as soon as possible. I am not sure how practical it is but I can't get over the amazing fashion impact. You could also try it with a metallic skirt or colorful trouser. But don't forget to accessorize with a statement necklace and a scrappy heel.

T-Shirt Re-Style 3

We hope you like these trendy ways to style basic tees. Us girls had a fabulous time putting these styles together for you all!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

#BreeBaresAll -- You Are So Beautiful

My first post is dedicated to all women and making them feel good about their bodies. As women we put so much pressure on each other to look a certain way. Different people feel you should look different ways. Some women think that we should look like the super skinny models on magazine covers, while others think that we should all be curvy and thick.

Personally, I’ve realized as I’ve gotten older that no one else’s opinion (besides by doctor that is) should matter to me. I want ALL women to realize this. No man or women, no matter who they are, should ever make you feel bad about the way that you look. To quote Eleanor Roosevelt, an amazing lady, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” I suggest that we, as women, stop giving anyone consent to make us feel inferior.

Tall skinny women need to embrace their height and their modelesque beauty while still being themselves. Short curvy girls need to realize that they can be gorgeous and beautiful without being sexualized all the time. All the heights, shapes, and sizes in between are beautiful as well. I think that to accomplish this women need to give out compliments more freely (without expecting them in return) and learn to accept them without being suspicious. (I’m guilty of fishing for compliments and being suspicious when I get them!!)

I am actually 5’3 and wear a size 12/14. I could lose a little weight and be a little healthier, but I am happy with myself how I am. Being happy with how you look will take so much pressure off of your life. I’ve noticed that I eat better and have actually lost weight since I stopped stressing about my weight and how I look. Sure there are days where I just can’t find anything to fit right or I think I look, dare I say it, fat. Then I realize that no one is looking at my body or judging my body as harshly as I am.

So I challenge you ladies! Do not let others make you feel inferior because you are a little taller, a little shorter, skinner, or chunkier. I want everyone to work on how they give and take compliments. I also want to work on banning the word fat. (I want it to be a four letter word.) I also want everyone to realize how beautiful they are. Everyone deserves to be told that they are beautiful and I will be the one to say it. YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL!!

This video is totally awesome and relates to how I feel about self image. I want you all to watch it and reflect on your own lives. Being beautiful is about thinking beautiful, loving yourself, and not taking any shit! Go rock your image girls!!

Monday, July 7, 2014

#ASKAmandaDare -- Swimsuit Confidence

How do I feel comfortable in that exposing bathing suit?

This is a question I get all of the time! Honest, if you find a suit that is fun and sexy, and one that flatters your body... then all you need is confidence! Rock that suit!!

Check out this video I linked below. I think my close friends know that I am obsessed with Bethenny Frankel. She is amazing and such a warrior for women (checkout her website for more: . This clip shows four different body types in four different swimsuit styles. See what one relates best to your body type and try that style on next time you are shopping! I bet you will surprise yourself and love the way it looks on you too!

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For me, I relate to the last two women the best. My tummy is what I am least comfortable with so I am a one piece swimsuit kind of girl! I love the last woman wearing black and lace. She says she is looking to wear it to Las Vegas on her anniversary, how cute! This sassy and sexy look is so perfect for VEGAS! I will definitely be looking out for a suit like this one for my future beach vacations!