Contributors

Nakia

Founding Editor

Company: StyleChile * Hometown: Bronx, NY via St. Ann, Jamaica * Lives in: Philadelphia, PA + NYC

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." – Henry David Thoreau

I'm a dreamer, lawyer and fashion lover who first conceived of StyleChile as a website through which I would share my experiences styling photo shoots. As my interests evolved, so did StyleChile—and now the focus is on fashion and lifestyle oriented topics, including interior décor, beauty, travel, food, entertaining and fashion law, among others. StyleChile is my baby, finally maturing into a more sophisticated version of itself. I’m thrilled to have the following contributors help with the care and feeding that StyleChile deserves. It takes a stylish village . . .

Photo: Lash to Lens

Alicia

Contributing Editor - Ferment {Intoxicant Elixirs}

Company: Grapes, Hops & Stills * Hometown: Philadelphia, PA * Lives in: Washington, DC + NYC

"Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!" – Père Dom Pérignon {French monk and father of modern fermentation upon discovering Champagne}. "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." – Benjamin Franklin

As a lover of food, art, design, adornment, study and travel, the realm of "fermentation" has long drawn me in as an engaging and unique backdrop for the exploration of aesthetics, science, history, culture, business and current events. This is in part why, after obtaining advanced degrees in business, law and international studies, I am also a Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers) – via the International Culinary Center's Intensive Sommelier Program. I am most inspired by the way in which this field unites the abstract with the concrete, as it challenges us to explore the nature of individual subjectivity, community, celebration and the human experience. Follow me on Twitter and here on StyleChlilePhoto: Daniel

Gina

Contributing Editor - Emergent {Emerging Designers}

Company: Avantur * Hometown: Mt. Laurel, NJ * Lives in: Brooklyn, NY

"Life is meant to be lived! Have fun and wear fabulous clothes."

I’m a lover of fashion and all things new. Always the crafty one, I began sewing with my mom at age 10, finding clothes to be a creative outlet and a medium of self-expression. Today my craftiness finds its way into my clothing company Avantur, amateur knitting experiments, as well as into other media. As a member of the Board for The Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia, I’ve become a passionate student of art in wood. For me, the best part of fashion is discovering a new designer that suits my style just right or finding that new piece from an established brand that makes things fresh again. Expect to see fashion and design from emerging talent big and small in my contribution to StyleChile, or even to rediscover something old shared in a novel way to make it new again. Follow Avantur on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Jamie

Contributing Editor - Embellishment {Decor}

Hometown: Longmeadow, MA * Lives in: Philadelphia, PA

"The details are not the details. They make the design." – Charles Eames

I'm experienced in visual design, interior design and tagline development. Art runs deep in my family, and my early exposure to design and art came from my mother (an artist), my uncle (an architect) and my dad (an art collector). I excel at blending unique elements into a cohesive story, by drawing inspiration from the cultures and regional differences of the numerous cities I've called home. My years of diverse retail experiences, from J.Crew to Anthropologie, have given me a unique perspective on design and enable me to blend form and function for specific client preferences. I'm currently finishing studies in interior design and interning with Floss Barber (an interior design firm specializing in hospitality and commercial design) and Harrington Group (a resource for fine furniture, fabrics, lighting and trim). Photo: Bruno Quintana

Keisha

Contributing Editor - Enhancement {Beauty}

Company: KMass Hair Studio * Hometown: Bronx, NY via Spanish Town, Jamaica * Lives in: Brooklyn, NY

"Treasure Your Hair"

I'm an Aveda Institute-trained cosmetologist, owner of KMass Hair Studio, and spokesperson for Deva Human Hair—a distributor of luxury hair extensions. I've worked with Salon 718 and Wellington Hair Spa; as a consulting hair stylist for Lash to Lens; and as an assistant stylist for Oscar de la Renta and Pamella Roland (during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week S/S 2010). I also completed studies at Parsons The New School for Design and Syracuse University. I look forward to sharing my haircare and beauty expertise with you via StyleChile! For more about me and to view my hair styling portfolio, please visit styleseat.com/keishamassop. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram too! Photo: Kevin Harry

Pamela

Contributing Editor - Movement {Travel}

Company: flee.too, Hometown: London, UK * Lives in: London, UK

"In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again." – Lewis Carroll "I'm in love with cities I've never been to and people I've never met." – Unknown

I'm a city girl, born in London, but framed by my parents' move from Ghana, and I am forever trying to be just as brave. I spent my teenage years exploring Europe with my best friend and her French mother; my twenties dreaming of being a travel presenter; my late twenties commissioning books and articles on other people's adventures and now my thirties having as many of my own as I can. I want to see it all. Do it all. And have loads of pictures to prove I've been there. I'm a Londoner perpetually fueled by my curiosity and eternally grateful for my passport; who seeks mini adventures (at home and away) and I enjoy sharing my discoveries. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Raza

Contributing Editor - Nourishment {Food}

Company: M. Raza Khan * Hometown: Westlake, OH * Lives in: Philadelphia, PA

"Eat What You Like."

I’m an investment professional who loves to eat and, in order to feed the beast, taught myself how to cook. Through trial and error and self-study, I’ve become skilled in the kitchen. I have an appreciation for travel and, as a result, my food is influenced by cuisines from across the globe. I see food and the presentation of food, as an expression of my right-brain creative thinking. Oh, I’m also a certified doughnut fiend! I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and knowledge of food with you on StyleChile. Follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Robyn

Contributing Editor - Infringement {Fashion Law}

Hometown: Queens, NY * Lives in: Philadelphia, PA

“Believe with faith, anticipate with hope, wait with patience.”

My alter ego is The Empress because I am in charge of an ever-expanding empire – I’m a mother of four young boys, trademark and copyright lawyer, fitness enthusiast (CrossFit rocks!) and a model with Reinhard Agency in Philadelphia. And now, I’m thrilled to add StyleChile fashion law contributor to the list. Not only is StyleChile a platform through which I can meld my legal skills and interest in the fashion industry, it is an awesome opportunity for my growth and creative expression. Hopefully, this journey will be as fun and inspiring for you as I am sure it will be for me. Photo: RML Photography

Samantha Carrie

Contributing Editor - Nourishment {Food}

Company: SCJ Real Food  * Lives in: Philadelphia, PA + Atlanta, GA  * Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Samantha Carrie Johnson is a chef, farmer and lifestyle educator who shares guidance on the elements of “real food” culture. With an organic farm to table ingredient approach, her instruction dispels anxiety for non-food professionals, encourages mindful food decisions while giving way to a lasting connection to nutrition and wellness. This former Miss Pennsylvania USA has appeared in Glamour magazine for her unconventional kitchen style as well as MTV's popular documentary show “MADE” as a lifestyle coach proving that she is not only a pretty face, but also a vital resource to those looking to drastically change their health and way of life. Johnson received her BA from Temple University and is certified in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. She is a member of the Philadelphia chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and a former member of the Future Farmers of America. Follow me on Instagram and TwitterPhoto: Brian Michael Lauer

Shirley Kali

Contributing Editor - Sentient {Yoga + Wellness}

Company: soulistic wellness  * Hometown: New York, NY  * Lives in: Oakland, CA

"ecstasy is our natural state reflected through wellness."

I am a yoga teacher, reiki healer, astrologist, psychology graduate student and lover of all things sensual and glam! As a young adult, I stopped moving my body as I did while dancing and playing sports as a child, and felt disconnected from my intuition and power. Consequently, I created soulistic wellness, a boutique healing practice, specializing in helping women reconnect to their bodies, pleasure and intuition through astrological intuitive coaching, reiki, and yoga. My teachings are based on infusing self-love and self-care into one’s wellness practices and creating healing rituals that incorporate pleasure and glam—and, as my studies in psychology is fostering a fascination with relationships and sacred sexuality, I’ve developed programs that help to deepen intimacy! I am thrilled and full of gratitude to join StyleChile and its fabulous team. Photo: Fino Balanza

Shontae

Contributing Editor - Embellishment {Decor}

Company: Lavender Home  *  Hometown: Philadelphia, PA  *  Lives in: Brooklyn, NY

"Your home should make you feel enveloped in warmth and character and should be a direct reflection of you."

I’ve worked in the entertainment industry for over ten years, and during that time discovered my love of home décor and knack for interior decorating. My experiences led me to create Lavender Home: a lifestyle brand dedicated to the latest in home fashions, trends and home decorating. My signature style is chic and feminine with a touch of masculinity. I love classic design and contemporary style with a fashion forward approach. Much of my passion is inspired by the glamour of Hollywood and New York City’s culturally rich neighborhoods.  Visit Lavender Home on Facebook. Photo: Daniel

Yaz

Contributing Editor - Entertainment {Entertaining + Event Design}

Company: pop! by YAZ  *  Hometown: Bronx, NY  *  Lives in: Jersey City, NJ

"A great event is one that encapsulates the personality of the host and/or theme in all of the details."

I have over fifteen years’ experience in the events world, working for companies such as ESPN, music.com and most recently as VP of Operations and Special Events at SoHo Experiential. Along the way, I founded pop! by YAZ. At Pop, I produce weddings, fashion presentations, launches and other events. Accolades include winning Best Nightlife Marketing Campaign (2007) for client 1800 Tequila; I have also made a number of guest appearances on Arise TV; and have been a guest speaker for the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fashion Publicity and Events Planning panel. I appreciate good food, great drinks and trips to locales around the world. To view more of my work visit popbyyaz.com, or follow me on Instagram, Twitter and here on StylechilePhoto: Vanity Fair