Meet the Community Manager of Popular Social Media Site Copious

Almost right when I arrived in SF, I had the amazing opportunity of meeting Kaitlyn, Community Manager for Copious through involvement with a Copious photo shoot.  Instantly, I felt that Kaitlyn was  going to be a great person to get to know as a newbie in SF– the whole combination of new fashion tech start up plus creative opportunites was encouraging.

We have been very impressed with how our relationship with Copious has evolved– ArielSimone has been super successful with 6000 followers to date! We have Kaitlyn to thank. So now, we want you to meet her because she is just sooooo cool!


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AS: Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?

KB: I’ve worked with start-ups for three years now ranging from international communication platforms to social enterprise.  I’m currently working in the social commerce space as the Community Marketing Manager of Copious, a social marketplace to buy and sell the things you love.  Right now, marketplaces are set up as a ‘one size fits most’ package.  Copious, however, creates a unique experience for each user based on the their interests and social connections- essentially, an E-bay meets Pinterest marriage.


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AS: Could you tell us about some of your work?

KB: With Copious I’ve had the privilege of getting my hands dirty in all types of projects, from marketing videos to fashion shoots to creative marketing campaigns.  I’m the touch point to our community which is an amazing privilege since our community of buyers and sellers include some of the most creative and inventive people across the US.

Right now I’m managing the sweepstakes we’re running for a trip to New York City for Fashion’s Night Out.

AS: What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

KB: The Copious team is incredible.  I work with some of the most intelligent and innovative people in the industry so I’m constantly learning and trying to push boundaries.


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Not only that, but I get to interact with our eclectic community of buyers and sellers directly who inspire me on a daily basis .  I love finding ways to collaborate, like when we were able to get ArielSimone pieces in our first fashion shoot [styled by the elle tee].  After all, the only way Copious succeeds is when our sellers succeed.

AS: What is something that you always carry with you?

KB: Purse essentials: Android phone, wallet, gum, a spare of flats and five shades of lipstick (you just never know).

AS: What is the hardest part about your work?

KB: Both the hardest part, and in my opinion, the most rewarding part of working at a start-up is the unknown element.  You have to constantly poke, prod, innovate, redesign and take big risks in order to keep moving forward.  There’s never a dull moment working at a start-up, but then again why would you want things to be dull?

AS: Could you share one goal that you have?

KB: To be on the cover of Forbes.

AS: How would you describe your style?

KB: Boho rocker meets gold-centric drag queen.


AS: What it is that you love about your work?

KB: I’m constantly introduced to incredible minds within our Copious community of online sellers and buyers.  That always keeps my wheels turning.

Working in Silicon Valley has allowed me to meet so many brilliant entrepreneurs.  It’s a really inspiring environment and always keeps you thinking about what’s next.

AS: How do you bridge the gap between business and art?

KB: Give artists a social and sustainable platform to do business.

AS: Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs/artists?

KB: I think it was best said in Galaxy Quest: “Never give up.  Never surrender”.

by Nkechi Njaka

We All Know Peter = Photography Genius

OK, so we kind of feel like this Friday Feature doesn’t need much of an introduction, but in order to stay true to our format (a little consistency goes a long way!), we have a wonderful local artist to share with you this beautiful Friday the 13th. Peter Jamus of Peter Holme Photography is a reputable and extremely talented Minneapolis-based photographer that we have had the pleasure of getting to know and work with.


AS: So tell us about your involvement or interest in fashion…

PJ: That’s a pretty interesting story, actually… as I have never really been invested much in fashion. It was only until I was invited to shoot a show a couple years ago that it started to snowball into what it is now. Initially I had a bit of a distaste for most things fashion, really. I never really liked the images I would see, whether it be in magazines or otherwise. Besides not knowing (or caring about) anything in the fashion industry, I found most of the (mainstream) fashion material I would see to be empty content-wise and conceptually there was nothing which interested me about it. They were vain, luxurious, and so ‘Americanized’ (if you catch my drift) that it was actually kind of disgusting to me. This of course changed as I learned and saw more but at the time I had those feelings, I was very focused on being a fine artist (even though at the time I had no idea what that really meant).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things changed slightly as I started to shoot fashion shows. The first fashion show I ever went to, I probably shot more images in a small amount of time than I ever had before. I remember filling up both of my memory cards and having to borrow a friends in order to keep shooting. It was nuts! But I wasn’t ever really shooting the runway, ironically enough. What interested me more was everything else; the luxuriously-dressed fashionistas, the waiters, the wine glasses…the atmosphere. It was all so foreign to me, it was like I had entered another world– one which I only saw in film or some magazine or something. So, I kept going to shows and kept shooting. Eventually I even grew to appreciate what these shows were organized for…the clothes themselves. When I actually was able to shoot backstage things started to get even more interesting! I would be shooting these models right before they hit the runway, finding interesting ways to contrast the dirty, grungy hallways they came out of with the lush, rich…high class clothing they were wearing.

After a while I would go to shows only to shoot models, but not necessarily for beauty (although I was able to get numerous beautiful shots of them before they hit the runway), but for the interesting contrast they would provide in a brief moment, with them usually unaware. It was all very interesting to me. Here we have these models…these ideal human beings, beautiful people… walking up and down a runway simply as canvases to the art they were wearing. In that moment they aren’t usually seen in the same way we look at people. They were simply objects. Where else in culture do you see something like this? I found it fascinating, and still do… although showing that in my images is the real challenge. I feel like I still haven’t really breached the same hard-hitting ideas that I think of when I shoot, but I enjoy the challenge.

AS: How would you describe your personal style?

PJ: Fhew… That’s REALLY tough for me, as I love to dabble in different ‘genres’ of photography. I still always think of myself firstly as an artist, and a photographer second. There are so many things one can do with photography, it is such a flexible medium. And I’m young, I used to be very conscious about my age, as many would confuse me for someone older, but now I’m proud to be where I am and doing what I’m doing at only 20. I feel accomplished in that sense. But as far as style? I think I could probably verbally describe it, but not visually, as it changes every time I click the shutter. In words, I would say that I am a finder of truths; more specifically, I unveil ironies and like to show the reality of moments. A lot of my artwork and projects tend to revolve around the city, or around popular culture and how our society or ‘cultural ethos’ shapes us…and what I dislike about that. While I love living in the city, there are many aspects of that lifestyle that deep down I disagree with wholeheartedly; I try to show that in my work as best I can.

Besides that, I am a portrait photographer by trade (gotta make the dough somehow, right?)… and I love it for different reasons than I do my artwork. It’s amazing, really. I love to capture people being who they are… I feel very much like a psychologist at times. I have to examine and realize what makes my subject ‘tick’…what makes them smile naturally, what makes their eyes tell the entire story. Then I have to have the abilities to capture it at just the right time. I love it.

AS: What are you impressions of the Minneapolis fashion community?

PJ: It’s very interesting. I like how small it is for my needs…as most know me and my work by now, and I can easily get backstage and shoot what I want… however for everyone else? Not so good. I think it’s a relatively hostile environment to new-comers who aren’t as lucky as me…something needs to change in order for it to grow and flourish to support the kind of amazing artists we are known to create in this lovely state. I would love to see more shows which are focused on the art…the creations made by creative designers…instead of the focus on selling. Yes, I understand these designers may have mouths back home to feed…but I do wish they would make art for arts sake every now and then (and they do! just not very often…). I also wish the events were more opening to the rest of Minneapolis, instead of stuffy, private shows which only those in the industry (or press) get to ever really see firsthand.

AS: What is your creative process like?

PJ: Very spontaneous, I take an idea and run with it. Either that or the opposite… I spend months developing an idea in my head, putting it to paper, then to photoshop, then I go out and make it happen finally.

AS: What projects are you currently working on?

PJ: Currently I’m still working on my fashion series (have been for a few years now). As well, I have quite a few commercial and fine art projects that I have been keeping under wraps for a while now until they are published (yes, published!). Excited to share them once everything is finished. I also am in the middle of a ‘365’ project, where I take images every day. Although it has evolved into a ‘take photos on the weekdays, rest on the weekends’ sort of thing…I still want to be pushing myself as often as possible to create work. It is very demanding on me, as I am quite the perfectionist when it comes to my imagery. I have just returned from Peru and Washington state!

AS: Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to your work?

PJ: Oh man, too many to say here in one long-winded post… but I will say that I am deeply inspired by the ‘masters’, the classic artists who shaped what photography is today.

AS: If you weren’t creating, what would you be doing?

PJ: I used to play soccer 5 days a week on a very competitive and demanding team, but quit because it was too draining. I was pretty good, I played with an Olympic Development Program for a few years before I found my feet deeply seeded in art. I think if I hadn’t been exposed or pushed to explore that more, I would still be kicking balls in the net. I still play a couple days a week, but nothing like I used to… I was even given a few scholarships to various colleges, but never went through with that.

AS: Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring artists?

PJ: Do what YOU have to do in order to create exactly what you want. Opinions matter… and are a very important part of growing as an artist/photographer…but you need to follow your own gut. Also, never give up, and never be satisfied with where you are with your form… challenge yourself and you will find opportunities await around every corner.As ‘fortune cookie’ as that may sound, it is very true; if you focus on creating good work, people WILL eventually notice and you will find yourself being desired by those who need your kind of imagery.

Friday Feature: Realia by Jen

Finally! We have the full feature of our interview with Jennifer Scheffler of realia by jen! Sorry to keep you waiting, but I think it was worth the wait!

AS: Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you started in this field?

J: My name is Jen Scheffler and I am an educator, creator and a jewelry designer.  I am from a small town in Minnesota called New Prague.  I have dabbled in the arts ever since I could dabble!  I have taken a variety of classes over the years in jewelry making and have figured out a number of things on my own.

AS: How would you describe your personal style?

J: I would describe my style as an eclectic mix of subtly sexy, revived vintage and Parisian-inspired.

AS: How would you describe the style of your work/art? How has this changed over time?

J: I would describe the style of my work as innovative and dynamic.  I think that like all artists, their work changes over greater periods of time, and from moment to moment as well!


AS: When did you first discover your creative talents?

J: I was “that girl” in grade school…possibly even elementary school…you know the one?!  The one that people wanted in their groups if there was going to be some sort of visual presentation required…kind of nerdy, but very outgoing.  I could always make things look good by free handing my own big block letters.  Even back then visual organization was something I loved and seemed to excel at.

AS: Did you always know you want to be an artist?

J: I would say that I always knew it, but it took some time for me to accept it.  For a long time, there was an internal battle between my desire to be constantly creating with no real outlet and the pragmatism of the every day grind of life.  As with everything, I strive to find balance with this.

AS: What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

J: I am inspired by so many different things – and I think that is what helps me stay motivated!  I love helping people accessorize and creating pieces that hold a lot of sentimental value and can tell a story, whether past, present or future!  Artistically I am very inspired by color and light.  I love going to various exhibits and exploring paintings, photographs, music, movies and the history of all of the different cultures of the world.

AS: What is your creative process like?

J: Circular, cyclical……something like that.  I see something, get inspired, sit down wherever I am and work away at it until something calls me away.  Then I come back to it, tear it apart or add to it and at a certain point declare it done…enough!

AS: What is something that you always carry with you?

J: Something that I wear every day and hold near and dear is my AIDS bracelet.  It was given to my by my aunt who passed away from the virus in 1996.  She was a very special person to me during some of the more formative years of my life.  It reminds me of her and reminds me not to take things for granted.

AS: What do you find is the hardest part about your work? 

J: Finding the time to get it all done!  Isn’t that the case with any job worth having?!

AS: What is your approach to artistic work? Or your method or ritual?

J: I am the ever lovely juxtaposition of organized chaos!  I am a “station” worker.  I get started on something and if I don’t have creative flow I ditch it and move on to the next thing.  If I have creative flow there, then away I go!  Later, I will come back to all of the discarded “stations” and if I have creative flow at that point – work on it and if not, keep it moving!

AS: Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to your work?

J: Absolutely!  I am a student of the world so I am constantly seeking to learn all aspects of my business from the design end to the flow charts and inventory spread sheets.  I am also a student of human nature and love to travel and see the sights, eat the food and meet the people!  I also love all things vintage.  A few of my fashion icons include Coco Chanel, Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior & Anna Sui.

AS: If you weren’t creating (or designing) what would you be doing?

J: I would be in education.  Growing up I was constantly playing teacher.  I went on to get a Masters in Education.  Hopefully some day I can join my two passions!

AS: Where do you see yourself in the next ten years either personally or artistically?

J: Creating new and dynamically innovative things!

AS: How do you bridge the gap between business and art?

J: With lots of support and consultation.

AS: Describe yourself in 5 words.

J: Witty, genuine, fast, focused and fun!

AS: Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring artists?

J: If you want to make money – make sure you have a business plan!

We love working with Jen– her creations are so amazing. Shop realia by jen online and become a fan of hers on facebook!!

A Shara Smallwood Update!

Professional dancer and choreographer, Shara Smallwood is the NEW up and coming artist to watch!  She is also a friend and fan of ArielSimone and we wanted to follow up with our feature of this dazzling LA star.

When we last spoke to Shara, back in November, she had just finished working on a project for Glee, where she was as a dancer as well as choreographer. She had also just begun choreographing a new dance project focusing on African American music. If you are in LA, you can catch Shara’s latestwork in the upcoming 2012 African American Film and Arts Festival in Los Angeles, California, where her original piece, “The life and struggle of James Brown”, will debut. We will make sure to post a video of the final work when it becomes available!

While pursuing a professional dance career in LA, she has begun to put her mark in the entertainment industry as a dancer, choreographer, and private coach. After performing for clients such as; Beyonce, Glee, and Lula Washington Dance Theater, she has now mixed her dance experience with fitness and artist development, creating a line of classes known as Shara Smallwood Master Classes.

Shara Smallwood Master Classes includes dance and fitness based classes, as well as private coaching services for ages 18 and up.  Her cliental includes professional artist and athletes to intermediate artists and training athletes. Master classes include; power hip-hop aerobics, artist performance development, audition preparation, zumba fitness and more.  Private coaching is for the serious performer, who wants to accelerate their development. Whether you want to burn a few extra calories, stand-out for your next stage performance, or fine tune your dance skills, Shara Smallwood master classes are for you.

Currently, Shara is holding master classes in Los Angeles, San Diego, Minneapolis, and Madison, Wisconsin. Bring out the artist in you and book Shara today! To register for master classes and for more information, visit her site.

A Success Dress


What have you got planned this weekend? Adrienne is out taking LA by the horns in the most fashionable way posible. Even if you have no plans at this moment for anything special, we have something that is.

This provincial inspired dress is a wonderful addition to any wardrobe and an ArielSimone favorite.

Plain and simple: The generous, billowy sleeves look great with the gathered skirt. As seen above and below, this combination looks fantastic belted or not. The fabric in this dress gives a comfortable, rustic feel– appropriate for a Friday night out with the girls or a Saturday morning brunch.

We LOVE the zipper detail around the neckline (we will let you in on a little secret: they are an adorable and trendy addition), while the bodice has a wonderfully fitted shape. But the best part is saved for last! This piece has large pockets hidden in the pleated circle skirt  that can hold many items without making the skirt look weighed down. This means you can go for that smaller purse after all!

Simply can’t resist the temptation?!?! Its all yours!