WCW-Victoria Gousse-Real Estate Muse

It is Wednesday, peeps, and you know what that means: Women Crush Wednesday! Today’s post is real estate professional/blogger: Victoria “Vickie” Gousse. Vickie happens to be one my best friends. We met in high school and have remained close friends to this day. We ran our school like Serena and Blair in Gossip Girl. Well, at least, in our heads we did, ha ha!  She was the Wilma to my Betty, the Ethel to my Lucy, and the Gina to my Pam. She was my partner in crime and I am so grateful to have her in my life after all of these years. 

When we graduated, Vickie went on to study at Fordham University and has worked in the real estate industry for 10 years. She is absolutely amazing and I am very excited to share her story with you and tell you exactly what makes her rad! Vickie has had great success as a real estate professional in her career. However, that is not all, she also has a blog where she writes about real estate as well as fashion. With the oversaturation of the fashion blog, this one brilliant, merging two very different genres together. I encourage all of you to go read, you will fall in love with it and learn in the process!

Now, if those are not enough reasons for Vickie to be my Woman Crush Wednesday, I have a few more for you. She is one of the few people who will still call me out if I need it. Let's be honest, we all need an awesome friend like her in our lives. I admire her so much. In a nutshell, she is driven, kind, beautiful, and creative. In between both of us coercing the other to get that “must have item of the week” lol, we managed to pull this Q & A together, enjoy!

O.C.O: Why real estate? What about the industry gave you a connection "BAM" this is what I want to do?

V.G: I started my real estate career as a temp in college, doing marketing for Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects in NYC. When I discovered the lengths that cities and states go to, in order help developers create affordable housing for those in need, I thought it was very special and something that I wanted to incorporate into my career. Its not just real estate, its public policy, and it directly impacted the quality of people's lives.

O.C.O: How do you keep a balance of being fashionable, yet dressing appropriate for the work place?

V.G: The basics of being fashionable is to know who you are and how you want to project yourself to the world. From there, invest in some business wear basics such as a good blazer, high-waisted slacks, and a great watch. Keep it conservative and don't over-accessorize- I'd say that's a good place to start.

O.C.O: What made you decide to start your blog?

V.G: I have a very creative spirit, and it comes across in the way I dress and the way I work everyday. So I wanted to find a way to bring real estate concepts to audiences in a way that was stylish, contemporary, and that incorporated my love of fashion.

O.C.O: With shows like the Million Dollar Listing Franchise inspiring many to draw their hand in the real estate game, do you think this is helping or hurting the real estate industry?

V.G: It certainly makes real estate brokerage more entertaining than I ever imagined! And it’s also helping to recruit lots of aspiring real estate dealmakers and professionals.

O.C.O: Last article of clothing/accessory you have purchased?

V.G: A matching 2 piece knit top and wide legged pant from Zara. The pants fit like a glove and the fabric feels so smooth, I can't wait until the weather is cool enough to wear them. 

O.C.O: What/Who inspires you?

V.G: Being in New York City everyday inspires me. The mixture of old and new architecture, the unique economic drivers behind real estate projects and the availability of the best in design and fashion really keeps me inspired to do and learn more everyday.

O.C.O: What advice would you give someone who wants to break into the world of real estate?

V.G: Do your research. When people think of real estate, they may only imagine the work of a real estate agent. But the real estate industry is vast, spanning from property managers, real estate developers, fund managers, asset managers, lawyers, and accountants to residential and commercial real estate brokers that help us lease, buy and sell all the properties you see around you. Each of these professions requires different skills and education levels. So I would recommend they do research to determine their areas of interest, read the real estate publications and familiarize themselves with the movers and shakers in those fields.

O.C.O: Outlets like Refinery 29 and Time Out NY are writing about real estate developments and the glamour of them. Where do you see the real estate industry in the next 5-10 years?

V.G: In order to keep buildings close to full occupancy at all times, real estate owners are relying more and more on technology to find their next tenants, to manage revenue and to keep marketing efforts going. I see the industry increasingly merging technology and social media into their operating platforms.

O.C.O: Favorite Vickie/Kosi moment in High School? ;)

V.G: Doing our stage rendition of the "PopStars" audition in our senior year, we were competing for who's V.G: the best member of the group and your name was "Koko Shavita-Jones", I crack up everytime I think about it!

Yes and I posted up that embarrassing pic of us as “PopStars”, my eyebrows were cray haha! Follow Vickie on Instagram, Bloglovin, and Twitter

xo

Kosi

WCW: Nubia Mejia of Nubiasnonsense.com

Happy Wednesday Peeps! You know what time it is WCW! Every Wednesday I will highlight an awesome chick that has been inspiring to me and many! This WCW is my fashion/geek twin: Nubia Mejia, of the popular blog Nubia's Nonsense. Nubia’s Nonsense is a very unique blog from the over-saturation of fashion blogs out there. Her content goes beyond fashion; Nubia also posts about geekery, self-help and beauty.   She also is a brilliant social media strategist, who witnessed the profession evolve into the necessity for brands today.  Originally from NYC, Nubia took a major gamble and moved to Las Vegas (more on that below).   Check out my interview with Nubia, which is anything but nonsense.

O.C.O: How old is your blog, what do you think of the blog invasion over the past 3 years? What do you do to stand out?

N.M: The Ups: My blog is a few years old now... 5 or 6 maybe? There have been a lot of ups and downs in the blogging industry. So much that I can probably write a short novel on the topic. I recently wrote a post on my blog Nubia's Nonsense about how I lost passion for blogging for a long time and just recently started regaining it again.  I think the blog invasion has been great in a sense that it has created an urge for young people to become entrepreneurs and start their own business ventures. That's amazing! It's also a creative outlet and a way to influence a worldwide readership in many ways, positive ways hopefully.

The Downs: I think the down side of blogging is that not everyone does it genuinely. Now that there are so many blogs, too many of them are way too alike. Carbon copies you know what I mean? Some people are using it solely as a way to make a quick buck and don't care about their readership or review products honestly which is sad. I would like to see more people challenge themselves and push creative boundaries. For example: 10 girls can wear the same pair of jeans, but probably only one of them is going to make me want to buy it. Maybe it's the things she said, the photo she took, the way she styled it stood out, maybe she wrote a damn poem about the jeans I loved... It could be so many different things. When things are too alike or people are doing things for the wrong reasons, everything loses value. The youth today has a crazy short attention span, it's bad. No one is paying attention to detail and it's the details that make things beautiful. A lot of sites I visit barely even write. Like, what? 2 sentences? What's up with that?

To Stand Out: I just try to be myself, I'm pretty kooky. Right now, I'm in the transition of implementing a lot of new stuff on my site so that's going to be exciting. For years on my style site I did things such as cover New York Comic Con where I would shoot cosplay outfits and compare the looks to fashion trends and such (I even attended the very first NYCC in 2006). I would write post about things such as "How To Bring Out Your Inner Wonder Woman". I would cover Lolita fashion, Harajuku trends and even dressed myself up for the Japanese festivals. These were things my peers weren't really doing much I guess you can say. I very much incorporate comics, pop culture, and my urban roots into my site. This week I have a post coming up called "Pretty Things To Wipe Your Butt With" It's about pretty toilet paper ha ha. I try to think out the box, be silly and have fun with it. I do what feels right. I've had cool sponsorship opportunities along the years and I hope to have more. Maybe I'm not getting as much as a lot of other bloggers sometimes but I'm not like them. I'm being me and I like me! I refuse to change who I am for a sponsorship opportunity. 

 

O.C.O: Describe your personal style.

N.M: I wake up and dress how I feel in the morning. It could be a pinup, grunge, 80s, or flower child. That's the best way to describe my style. I don't really stick to one look. One thing I have always loved though is bright colors. I would wear neon’s all day if I could. I guess if I had to label myself I would say funky/fresh/urban.  

 O.C.O: What are you looking forward to seeing at this years NY Comic Con?

N.M: I'm always looking forward to seeing the cosplayers and what new craziness they come up with. Discovering new artist, attending panels. I've very much enjoyed the Women of Marvel panel the last few years. I remember going to the first one and it being nearly empty, now it's packed! So amazing. Meeting new people. I look forward to the full on experience of it all. It's always different.

O.C.O: What has been your favorite cosplay you have done from all the Cons you have attended?

N.M: I think my favorite Cosplay has been Emma Frost. I was inspired by art I've seen from Jim Lee in some of the older comic books. I'm planning a pretty mean gambit this year though. That Cajun might just top it ha.  

 O.C.O:  The female nerd is having a presence from Cosplay articles on Elle and Refinery 29 to Instagrams like Style By Marvel. The female nerd is now cool, do you think social media had a hand in that?

N.M: I have to start by saying the female nerd has always been cool! Maybe now she's just "trendy”. I think social media has had a hand in that because of all of the traffic these conventions generate online. People want to cover what's popular and trending naturally. Was Elle covering Comic Con Cosplay before social media got crazy popular? I'm not sure but I doubt it. Also, I think all the Marvel and DC films being released play a big role. Now we have tons of X-Men, Spiderman, Batman fans who've never even picked up a comic. They see girls dressing up and they're like "Whoa, she's hot. That's cool". I hope the films and all the social media movement have inspired a few people to pick up a comic more often. Style By Marvel is interesting. I hope they keep doing what they're doing and reach out to the right people to work with in terms of fitting their aesthetic.

O.C.O: What made you move from NY to Las Vegas?

N.M: Show me the money!!!! No, I'm kidding. I'm not a crazy gambler... even though thanks to my boyfriend I do enjoy making some $$$ during Football season (so excited it's starting). I moved because I'm young and because I could. I am a born and raised New Yorker and though I've traveled a fair amount, I never moved out of Queens. I thought it would be enthralling and inspire me to do new things.

O.C.O: You have seen social media take on a life of its own the past 4-5 years? What advice would you give aspiring social media professionals starting out?

N.M: I have absolutely seen social media take an insanely crazy and hectic life of its own. It's like the "it" girl in high school full of drama who's unpredictable. My advice would definitely be to make sure this is the correct path for you first and foremost because it's only getting wilder. When I first started my social media career, the main social sites were Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You would also use sites such as YouTube and LinkedIn too but for daily purposes it was FB, Tw, and Insta. Now there's something new coming out every day! You have to be like a tech trend forecaster and predict what you think is going to stick. This goes back to me talking about short attention spans... so many of these apps are so similar, where's the value?

Anyway, on the bright side it is a cool career. I think if you work for a company you actually respect and are passionate about you'll be good and you could have so much fun. I used to do fashion week every season and do live coverage of the runways where I got to see and touch all the clothing, meet designers and celebrities, it was tons of fun! My main tips are try to work for something you love and stay on top of trends. Oh and also, everyday is a #National_______ day.

O.C.O: What inspires you?

N.M: I get inspired by the streets mainly and art. I like to watch people and how they dress especially in other countries. It gives me a fresh perspective. Lately I've been inspired I think by the 90s a lot. Kind of starting to love the baggy attire again. We'll see where that goes.

O.C.O: Do you think the power of the blogger/influencer will die or only evolve in the next 5-10 years?

N.M: I don't think it will die, it's always evolving. We rarely see fashion/style bloggers anymore, now everyone is a "Lifestyle Blogger" covering more than just fashion and incorporating fitness and home decor etc. I feel like any day now a blogger is going to make some sort of show that lives online about something and it's going to be so popular that Netflix will pick it up. I see things moving in that sort of direction. I think if people push their creativity more and keep attempting to be unique, the names and the deals are only going to get bigger.

O.C.O: Team Marvel or Team DC?

N.M: This is a very difficult question for me ha, you have no idea. I initially started my passion for the comic book realm through watching the X-Men animated series on Fox Saturday mornings that aired 1992-97. It made me want to get up early on Saturday morning! Almost no kid wants to do that lol. I will be forever grateful for that series.  Then again, it didn't take me long to gain an immense love and admiration for DC's Batman shortly after. This hurts but... considering all characters, story lines, comic books and movies... I'm going to have to side with Marvel. Sorry Batman!!

Photos taken from www.nubiasnonsense.com

Photos taken from www.nubiasnonsense.com

Ha! I am team Marvel as well, yet my favorite cosplays have been DC characters very ironic! Follow Nubia on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.  And there will be an impromptu photoshoot with me and her at NY Comic Con in October!

Xo

Kosi


WCW: Koko Ntuen of LADYGUNN Magazine

Happy Wednesday Peeps!

Welcome to my WCW (Women Crush Wednesday) series.  My WCW series will include women who inspire me and inspire many.  They work in various fields but they all have one thing in common: DRIVE.  I am happy to have my friend Koko Ntuen be the first post!

Koko is the Editor-in-Chief of LADYGUNN Magazine, a quarterly magazine based in NY and LA.  The magazine gives a refreshing take on emerging fashion, music and art.   

After receiving a graduate degree from Manhattan’s The New School, Ntuen worked at Elle Magazine and Paper Magazine before making the leap to launch LADYGUNN.  She’s a busy gal, we missed each other when she was visiting NYC (damn you AC’s for getting people sick) but she was kind enough to answer a few questions. I really ask the important questions here. First things first:

O.C.O: LOL, Team Drake or Meek?

K.N: I'm a big tabloid gossip hound so from what I hear Meek got his ass handed to him. But why? I don’t think he was that LAME. I'm team Nikki because she is the one in charge at the end of the day and she has a better flow than both of them combined.

O.C.O: What made you start LADYGUNN magazine?

K.N: When I started the magazine in 2008 it’s because I couldn't really find a diverse voice for young indie fashion, indie music, indie culture that I could identify with, especially for young women. At that time I was working in the photo department at ELLE surrounded by all these supermodels and pop stars during the day and then hanging out with super creative amazing buzzy artists and events at night. I thought I would much rather read about these people and do look at editorial shoots with my favorite indie brands. So me and my friend Lydia Hyslop who lives in LA just started putting together bicoastal stories about our friends and people and things we wanted to read about and shoots we thought were cool it took off from there.

O.C.O: 2015 is halfway gone what has been your favorite shoot so far?

K.N: I have to be diplomatic and I say I love them all for various reasons but this year we have shot some really amazing people and worked with really awesome teams. Wiz Khalifa shot by John Michael Fulton was a big highlight, he also shot Banks for us, which was amazing. I got to work with Isaac Sterling shooting Nicole Richie this summer which was fun, and our Creative Director Spencer Kohn’s shoot with Marina and The Diamonds went viral online. So many amazing fashion stories, too many to count. I always look forward to working on shoots and getting back shoots that our international teams produce. It's like a Christmas for my eye every other day. I don’t know how I got to know so many talented people but it’s amazing.

O.C.O: Where print magazines are coming extinct what sets LADYGUNN magazine apart from the rest?

K.N: I don't think print is extinct or will ever be extinct. There are more and more indie magazines popping up now than ever. I think with digital culture, agencies and artists want to have a more tangible way of communicating with their audiences outside of a computer screen. LADYGUNN might be set apart from the rest with our positive vibes? I don't know. We tend to gravitate towards creative, strange, awesome people. I’m super down to earth and I think our vibe is very approachable and welcoming to our readers. 

O.C.O: Who were your mentors?

K.N: I've always looked up to strong woman in the industry like Jane Pratt from Sassy and Jane. I loved Jeanne Beker from Fashion Television. She was so bold. Kelly Cutrone is another lady boner! . I didn’t really have anyone show me the ropes in the industry though. I just kind of looked at their work and did my own thing while I admired from a far. I think I gave up on having a mentor in this industry after sending hundreds of emails and not getting anything back. I thought I need to mentor myself!

My biggest mentor in life is probably my mom. She's the one who really inflated my ego and made me think I could be/do anything I wanted and always thought my ideas were great.

O.C.O:  Since Ladygunn mixes music, art, and fashion, who are your muses?

K.N:  The beautiful people in my life, my mom, my sisters, my friends. LADYGUNN editors and advocates, like Erica Russell , Tiffany Tso, Wilford Lenov, Carl Stenqvist, and Jessica Plummer, who are the definition of cool. My friend Gina Tron who makes me laugh more than anyone and slays in writing. Strong bad- ass women who take no prisoners, good music, good fashion, good food, good smells, good places. I guess life is my muse!

O.C.O: What do you have planned for LADYGUNN in the future?

K.N: We have so much planned! You just have to stay tuned and see!

O.C.O: What advice would you offer for anyone wanting to start his or her own business?

K.N: Be dedicated; be brave, be passionate. Don’t be an asshole.

Great advice, yes lol don’t be an asshole is major! Follow LADYGUNN Magazine on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!  The magazine is available nationwide at Barnes & Noble pick it up and support!

xo

Kosi