Black BeauTEA Talk // Shopfe-line + Black Woman-Owned Business

Black BeauTEA Talk // Shopfe-line + Black Woman-Owned Business

Hey beauties, it seems like this has been a long-ass month, or am I tripping? Either way I have been waiting to come chat again; did ya miss me? I’m sipping some Teavana tea; it’s a winterberry blend, and it is amazing!! Seriously you all have to google it and order some and then let me know how you love it?! It is a loose tea and has like grapefruit and strawberry flavors; it tastes so good so if you’re into tea, then grab some! Onto the tea you’re all here for. This month I am doing another interview and actually trying something new! I want to add some “spotlight articles” where I will interview a business owned by a black woman that caters to black women. So this month I am putting the spotlight on my girl Felicia. She is the owner of Shopfe-line, a brand that if you follow me you are very familiar with, as I do makeup for her product shoots! So let’s see how the interview went with this bossbabe, shall we?!

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Black BeauTEA Talk // Celebrated, Not Tolerated: Woke AF Vendors List

Black BeauTEA Talk // Celebrated, Not Tolerated: Woke AF Vendors List

One part that really seemed to stand out last month according to the feedback was the story about none of the vendors posting photos of the black bride's wedding. Her story really drove home why I push the phrase, “Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated,” so much. It's very important that on top of realizing these issues, we do our part to support those who truly support us! How many times have you been online and come across a new viral post about yet another business owner coming out as having been racist?! How many of these business owners had you supported in the past? Yea, I know girl, me too, and the worst part is there is no way for us to be able to tell, right?! Well of course there isn't, but we can damn sure look for the businesses that SHOW us that they are here for us. It's really easy to do; if you go to their website and don't see anything close to a representation of you, peace out! You'd be taking a chance with giving this business your support, or in other words, your coins!!

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The Personal is Political...and So is Consumerism

The Personal is Political...and So is Consumerism

It has been brought to the wedding community's attention recently that Kevin Swan, the founder of KISS Books, has been using his personal Twitter account to spread hateful, bigoted, Islamophobic, misogynist sentiments. You can find  (can be glitchy), but please be advised that it includes hateful, triggering content. We encourage anyone who has worked with or is considering working with KISS Books to compare his current, cleaned-up feed (post-controversy) with the cached version (available through http://cachedview.com/) and draw your own conclusions about what kind of people and businesses you choose to support with your spending power. We believe that the personal is political, and we inadvertently support the ideas that we financially back.

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Molly Reeder Is Baking Cakes and Bringing Visibility to Women Chefs and Bakers

Molly Reeder Is Baking Cakes and Bringing Visibility to Women Chefs and Bakers

We first met Molly last February around the time she was planning the Galentine's Day pop-up in Charlottesville, Virginia. It quickly became clear she was a talent to be reckoned with, both as an artist and a baker. She creates beautiful wedding cakes, as well as portraits of couples, but her influence goes beyond the wedding industry. She has developed an artistic series focused on highlighting women bakers and chefs. While the kitchen may stereotypically be the place for women domestically, commercial kitchens have often excluded women and made professional baking and cooking a male-dominated industry. She wants to change that, and step one is to bring focus to the women who are already excelling in the professional realm. Read on to learn more!

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Keeping it Real with Elaine B Jewelry

Keeping it Real with Elaine B Jewelry

We are so excited to introduce our newest sponsor, Elaine B Jewelry! We sat down with founder Elaine Butcher to learn more about her sustainable and thoughtful approach to jewelry design. We love what she has created and we know you will, too. After seeing these pieces, you'll never go back to a traditional engagement ring again.

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Thankful Registry: Root Gift Giving in Gratitude

Thankful Registry: Root Gift Giving in Gratitude

In my 20s, I found myself buying wedding gifts on registries for friends who were getting married. Those experiences were so impersonal and transactional I started to wonder if I could build something better. Before Thankful, I was a copywriter at design agencies working on big corporate websites and also small, fun brands with lots of personality. So I started with the tone I wanted the site to have. Since gift giving is so emotional, I knew the brand would be more about the relationships between people, and less about "stuff." That's what set us apart from the way retailers were doing registries.

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Keeping it Real with Vivian Chen Photography

Keeping it Real with Vivian Chen Photography

My mission as a wedding photographer is to capture and share authentic wedding day stories. Whether my couples are eloping at San Francisco City Hall or getting married on a rainy day in the middle of an Oregon forest, my job is to be there to photograph all the candid moments in between beyond the epic posed portraits. I want my wedding photos to feel true to my couples and the reality of their wedding day. I’m drawn to catching the tender glances my couples share throughout the day, the times when nervous anticipation gives way to liberating laughter, and the elation in their eyes when when it hits them that, "Yes! We’re getting married today!"

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Where To Find Catalyst: With These Rings in Washington

Where To Find Catalyst: With These Rings in Washington

I try to live a pretty low-impact life both at home and in my studio practice. Materials used in jewelry can be incredibly harsh on the earth and so many of the people who live in places where metal and stones are mined. The jewelry industry tends to make it kind of hard to make informed decisions about these things. So in my business I consider it my responsibility to be transparent with my clients and supply metals that are one hundred percent recycled and gemstones that have been ethically sourced, lab grown or recycled. 

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The Progressive Wedding Book

The Progressive Wedding Book

Christie Hardwick, the author of The Progressive Wedding Book, has been a wonderful supporter of Catalyst, and we are stoked to share an excerpt of her book, aimed at addressing the needs, concerns, and dreams of the LGBT community in the wake of the federal legalization of same sex marriage.  

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{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Jen Aprahamian + VINA!

{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Jen Aprahamian + VINA!

Our panel at (un)convention is made up of three amazing business owners who we absolutely adore. They will be sharing their best tips for finding your ideal clients, running a successful business, and generally how to rock. Today we're introducing one of our panelists, Jen Aprahamian, co-founder of VINA!

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{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Oriana Koren

{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Oriana Koren

Little-known fact: Oriana Koren was the originator of the term "Wedding Space Disruptor," which Catalyst has adopted as a name for all our wedding professional friends who shake things up and run their businesses boldly. Oriana has recently moved from weddings to editorial work (and moved from Chicago to LA via the South) and has loads of experience to share from her time as a go-against-the-grain photographer. We're excited to welcome her as a panelist for (un)convention San Francisco!

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{un}convention San Francisco: Introducing Slingin Pretty!

 brandon kirk and marita cardenas of slingin' pretty

Brandon Kirk and Marita Cardenas are Slingin Pretty, a powerhouse team out of Richmond Virginia serving up the freshest hair, makeup, and lifestyle looks for modern brides + grooms (and beyond.) Their signature blend of sass and class make them one of our favorite businesses EVER. They have been at every (un)convention thus far (Richmond '14, Brooklyn '15) and are completely jazzed to be crossing the country this time for our San Francisco event! ALL ATTENDEES will get free headshots with hair and makeup touchups by these babes. Yeah, you're welcome. Learn more below!


What’s distinctive about your brand/company/work and where did you get the idea?
We are relatable. We are real live people. We have a personality- we are funny and sassy. We know trends and set trends. We care. We are really into what we do. We are in to each other too- like we are actual real life besties! Our brand/logo comes from the trend of the hashtag and our company name means exactly what you would think! We sling it all together and make our client look pretty. It’s pretty simple. And that’s our approach to beauty, to customer service, to contracts, to our personal style- simplicity. Even our business cards and website reflect that. Simple. Black and white and some grey. Effortless, like us. We just show up and the pretty happens!

Did you have a background in your industry and if not what emboldened to do it
We both previously worked in high end salons for years. But, working for “the man” in this industry, often stifles your creativity (and your money making power- lets get real).

When did you know you wanted to own your own business?
When the owners of the last salon we worked for suddenly closed up shop and we realized we had clients on our books who would be left stranded (including a bridal party of 10 in two days!)… we knew we had to do something. We made it our mission to do whatever it would take to take care of clients, especially this bride and her family.

What were the main steps between having your idea and making it a reality?
After finishing hair and make up for that bridal party, looking at our work we did outside the salon, taking inventory of what exactly it took to pull this off - to make ourselves available, to travel where our client is, lug our tools and cups of coffee and and kick ass attitudes with us… we went to Panera for lunch. And, over a doughy turkey bravo sandwich (with chips NOT an apple… who gets the apple?!) we decided to start a business. We thought, this can’t be that hard, right? We just offer our services and be flexible and completely mobile. This had proven to be key in our success!

What are the biggest pleasures of your job? What could you do without?
Seeing our client’s face when they look in the mirror and they realize, “I am f*cking hot!”  Their posture, presence and awareness of their potential completely changes in that moment and gives us that instant affirmation that we did what we were supposed to do.  Also, not going to lie, we have the coolest clients.  At first glance, our clients may not resemble our personal ride or die crew but then we hear their clever wedding hashtag, they start their email off with “Greetings Slingin’ Pretties” or someone drop the F bomb and Brandon and I look at each other and think, “I’d totally hang out with them.”  

We could do without the pleasantries sometimes.  Meaning - if you don’t like your hair or your eyeshadow, just say you don’t like it.  While we always appreciate working with kind and polite people, no one is doing anyone any favors when a client is so worried about not offending our work.  As much as we appreciate the thoughtfulness, dancing around your dislike for something hinders us as professionals to deliver what it is you really want.  Clear and honest communication is the fastest way to getting what you want.

Has failing at something or quitting ever lead to success for you?
Totally!  Brandon and I started #slinginpretty when the salon where we were working suddenly closed.  Based off of our experience, we naturally went to work at another salon fairly immediately because we had to maintain some sort of income while exploring our own business venture.  After a few months and with the participation in the first {UN}convention, inquiries just began pouring in.  We realized that we couldn’t commit to someone else’s business that conflicted/competed with our own.  Quitting our salon jobs allowed for us to accommodate more clients, participate in more creative projects and nurturing professional and personal relationships that have only bolstered our confidence in our brand.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Marita: A pop star. Or a spy. I pretty much just wanted to be a Bad-ass.
Brandon: This is really full disclosure here… I wanted to work for Donald Trump in New York City in Trump Tower. I grew up in the 80’s and would see Trump on tv shows like, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous and was obsessed with rich, 80’s big hair and shoulder padded affluent New Yorkers. Now, I squirm with ickyness and shame just thinking about it! 

What’s your drink of choice? No one said it better than Biggie Smalls. Now we sip champagne when we thirsty - Juicy

 Pictures from slingin' pretty's past work

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Kristen Poissant!

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Kristen Poissant!

One of our favorite parts of (un)convention BROOKLYN was the three interactive stations! Our friend (and sponsor) Kristen Poissant was the leader of the Instagram Challenge Station, where she shared tips about styling for instagram and encouraged attendees to design and share images that captured the spirit of the evening. Scroll down to learn more about Kristen and see a bit of our challenge submissions!

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Brooklyn Dogwood

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Brooklyn Dogwood

Brooklyn Dogwood and Catalyst go WAY back. In fact, Catalyst co-founder Carly and Brooklyn Dogwood owners Corinne and Margot went to the same ELEMENTARY school! And isn't it so delightful when people from your childhood turn out to be the most awesome, savvy, creative business owners? We can't wait to see their creations decorate the space at Atelier Roquette at (un)convention BROOKLYN tomorrow!

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Kellee Khalil, CEO of Loverly

{un}convention BROOKLYN Panelist: Kellee Khalil, CEO of Loverly

Everyone in weddingland has heard of LOVERLY, the company that shook things up back in 2012 with their gorgeous and data-driven approach to connecting couples with wedding professionals. We're so excited that the CEO and Founder of Loverly, Kellee Khalil, will be one of our panelists at (un)convention BROOKLYN!

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{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Slingin' Pretty!

{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: Slingin' Pretty!

We get inspired by something that's different. We were sick of seeing our instagram feed chock full of only white brides in floral crowns. We decided to start trends. What is the next floral crown? What can wedding style and beauty look like if it isn't featured with white heterosexual woman? How can we influence this?

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{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Julia Lovallo!

{un}convention BROOKLYN Sponsor: Julia Lovallo!

Get your new logo, sweet website, or social media brand strategy ready, (un)convention attendees! At (un)convention you'll get a quick-and-dirty brand consult with some of the brightest branding experts in the industry. Meet one of them, Julia Lovallo

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{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: EQ Events

{un}convention BROOKLYN sponsor: EQ Events

As event planners who specifically invite clients who might otherwise worry about discrimination, we're expanding the industry to meet with the 21st century.  There are so many couples now able to celebrate their unions equally, and we are ready to celebrate with them!  

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