Resist Trumpism and Rock the Button!

Hello Friends!

It has been almost a month  (doesn’t feel like it) since the election took place. Some of us (raising my hand) have vented on social media, un-friended a random, cursed out a coworker, cried out of frustration, and just woke up at times during the month of November feeling angry and confused. It raises the question, what do we do now?   

We RESIST! 

Phone your local congressmen and express your concerns; participate in peaceful protest, volunteer, and donate to organizations that need the support.  I have decided to highlight products or acts that fight back against the upcoming Trump Era, and I am beginning with the Rock The Button initiative!

Rock The Button was created to support the progressive organizations fighting against Trumpism.    “We are fighting Trumpism, one button at a time”.   The Rock the Button pack includes all 8 buttons: one Pussy Power, Rights for Women, Not My President,  Tried. Cried. Allied,  Not in My Locker Room, Free Melania, Love Thy Neighbor and Amad Al Projimo, (Love Thy Neighbor in Spanish) they are all crafted in Brooklyn, New York.   The initiative pledges to donate 100%  of their profits to progressive organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood and The Trevor Project

Rock The Button is a collaboration between  Amy Werblin a copywriter and Mel Stammer an art director, two Brooklyn residents I might add, woot!   Mel and Amy have worked together for nearly a year and a half and have been fortunate enough to find themselves creatively, professionally, personally and now, political aligned. "We have influenced each other tremendously throughout the campaign and our desire to do something meaningful and creative that improves our world has only grown in recent weeks.” Says Werblin.

I was able to do a small Q & A with the dynamic duo on this much needed imitative:

OCO: What was the inspiration (besides the upsetting win) behind this project? 

RTB: Following the election Amy had a trip to Europe planned and, rightly so, she did not want anyone she met along the way to think she was a Trump supporter or ask for an explanation. So she started to scour the internet looking for a "Not My President" button/pin to wear during her travels, a phrase that had just the day before become a movement in the streets of every major city in America. Surprisingly there were none, or at least none with an attractive design. Melissa quickly volunteered to make her one and as a designer, she loves a good side project, and threw herself into the project. After doing some research on the process of button making they quickly realized it was a complicated, and pricy endeavor but they were determined.  So they jumped in with both feet, purchased a button-making machine and decided that instead of making one button, they would make a thousand. 

I was able to do a small Q & A with the dynamic duo on this much needed imitative:

OCO: What was the thought process behind the charity selection? 

RTB: We wanted to chose progressive organizations that help soften the Trump Effect. The weekend after the election we marched up Fifth Avenue to protest in front of Trump Tower and saw a great need emerging across America that only looks as if it will grow and grow as his administration takes shape. Initially we thought our resources could best be used by the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) who as been vocally and consistently supportive of Democracy and equality throughout Trump's very odd and offensive campaign. But as feminists, we also felt it was our duty to support the women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood as well as the LGBTQ community, another historically marginalized group, that stands to be disenfranchised by this new '"regime." Our initial round of buttons and designs will help support the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and The Trevor Project in equal kind. 

OCO: What advice would you give people who want to use their talents to give back? 

RTB: DO IT! We were surprised the find that once we had made the decision to spend the time and money it would take to get this idea off the ground, it was easy and simple to make decisions and get things done. We were committed! Doing something with our creativity that has a real, tangible impact and help gives other the feeling that they are standing up for themselves and others has fueled us to meet our deadlines and push or ideas further. Giving back is such a rewarding experience, and when you get to do it in a way you enjoy it makes the process even more fun. It makes the late nights, the early mornings, and the panicked moments exciting instead of stressful. We've also found it empowering that we can contribute to a specific cause in a way a lot of people cannot. 

So, my Friends, in these days ahead, I am hopeful when I see my fellow American’s channel their pain and rage to create something that will help those in need. Trump has made a point of scapegoating just about every minority group, and the appointment of white supremacist Steve Bannon, former head of the nationalist Breitbart News, as his chief White House strategist proves wedo not have the luxury of hoping that Trump willbe a president for all Americans.  This holiday season,  let us focus on how we can make our voices heard and what we can do to Resist.   Bravo Mel & Amy

To purchase the Rock the Button collection click here.

xo

Kos

WCW: Candy Washington-Renaissance Woman

Happy Wednesday Folks! I am starting my WCW (Women Crush Wednesday) series again J Those not familiar with the WCW series, it 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 dear friend, influencer and actress Candy Washington be this week’s WCW!

I met Candy in 2011 at a trade show I was working.  She was covering trends for Fashionedits.com.  We kept in touch online, doing the typical “let’s grab a drink soon”, then we ended up running into each other at the same events, and since we both lived in Brooklyn at the time, we ended up being each other’s plus one becoming great friend’s in the process. 

Candy is a true Renaissance woman.  She attended Georgetown University in Washington, and the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.  She’s worked at the Louis Vuitton public relations department and the merchandising department at Urban Outfitters, Inc.  She has showed off her acting chomps on MTV, TBS, and FUSE TV, performed on-camera fashion segments with top industry influencers including Teen Vogue’s Elaine Welteroth, NBC’s fashion and style expert Lilliana Vazquez,  and has appeared on ABC 7 as a film and entertainment expert.

She is also the founder of a popular lifestyle website  - Actress with Style - a site targeted to the wants and needs of millennials, the Billionaire Blogger Society, and her recent secret project (even to me): 1214 by candy washington.

Being a Renaissance woman as you can see, doesn’t happen overnight.  It takes drive and dedication.  With a 3-hour time difference and our busy schedules, we managed to set up this lovely interview for all the modern Renaissance women out there!

1. What inspired you to become an actress? I've always loved storytelling and creating characters. Becoming someone else always fascinated me and being able to connect with others on such a creative level gave me a rush. It's my favorite way to escape while creating a meaningful experience with others. 

2. When was your first role as an actor? My first role was when I was a little girl and did plays at church with my family. My first paid acting gig was an industrial for Pepsi. I booked it my first year in NYC.

3. What character was the toughest for you to change into? I played this super ghetto fabulous yet strong and funny woman named Nu'Mani in a web series called, "The Ratchet Pack." She was so unlike me that I literally created a new speech pattern and physical mannerisms for her. She was awesome to play and really stretched me as an actress. 

4.Who is your favorite actor? Steve Buscemi. He's a chameleon and just captivates me. He's a force as a character actor but also seems like the leading man in every scene. I'd be honored to work beside him one day.

5. You took a risk moving from the east coast to the west coast. What was the inspiration behind that? I was ready to live my dream. I had a moment where I realized that I couldn't wake up in 20 years and just be in a bigger cubicle living someone else's dream. I owed to myself to try. I now have a very specific vision for my life, which includes being on a TV show and in films, and the opportunities are greater here in L.A. to realizing those goals. I take inspired action everyday to fulfill my destiny. 

6. What does a typical day in your week look like? I wake up around 7:00am, make coffee, meditate for a bit, check my emails, go for a run, and then I come home and make breakfast. If I have a blog campaign due, I'll write my blog post, take photos, and then post on my blog and social media sites. Then I'll pitch and research for an hour or so and then its lunchtime. Next, I'll connect with my manager and see what I need to do acting-wise from going to a class, working on a scene for an audition, or submitting for auditions. I usually have an event at night, so I'll meet up with a friend and head over to the event and then home for a later dinner and unwinding with a book or my ultimate guilty pleasure, reality TV shows on Bravo.

7. You recently started the Billionaire Blogger Society. Please tell us about that. What made you start it? The Billionaire Blogger Society is a way for me to share insights, tips, and tricks on blogging and personal branding that I've learned over my career as a professional blogger, actor, and entrepreneur. It's also a way to inspire other people to live creative lives. There's a library of free resources for bloggers, grab them here, and there's an e-course coming soon on how to create a branding blueprint as a blogger or creative professional. 

8. What advice would you give to bloggers starting out now? Besides joining the Billionaire Blogger Society ;)  To just start, not to worry about being perfect, be yourself, don't hate on other bloggers - learn from them and collaborate with them, don't get discouraged, and forget about stats - it's all about engagement. Focus on what makes you happy, charge what you're worth and let the "no's" slide off of your back. There are thousands of brands out there, don't let one steal your joy.

9. What's the one wardrobe essential you can't live without? My black leather jacket and black leggings.

10. What made you want to start your blog? I was bored at home over a holiday vacation and was inspired by Fashion Toast and Alexa Chung. I literally started on Blog Spot and I haven't looked back since. I started my blog before Twitter was invented. 

11. Do you have any specific goals for the rest of this year? Booking a big TV role. That's my number 1 goal for the Fall. Hopefully on ABC or the CW. I really respect David Rapaport, so I would be honored to be on one his shows. I also have so much respect for Linda Lowy, so anything on Shondaland would be amazing. Felicia Fasano, Venus Kanani, Lesley Wolff, Gayle Pillsbury, and Nancy Nayor are also casting directors that I respect and admire. I also have a pretty awesome manager, Brandon Cohen of BAC Talent. 

12. What's the biggest difference in your life post-blogging? I'm still blogging and I love being a blogger and a social media influencer. I've shifted my focus back to acting as well, I'm happiest when I doing both. So I guess I'm just living my most authentic life possible and hopefully I'm adding value to the lives of others in the process.

13. What's next for you? Can you tell us about 1214 by candy washington? It's my baby! 1214 by candy washington is my new collection of super comfy t-shirts, tanks, and sweatshirts. The designs are literally inspired by my Instagram feed. The collection is designed to make you laugh, think, and feel empowered. I can't wait to really promote it and create more designs. 

Below are two of my favorite styles from the 1214 collection! There’s always room for a sweatshirt or tee in my closet and yours too!  

Follow Candy on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram!

 

xo

Kos

Catbird Fever

Whenver I get off the Bedford Ave L stop, I CANNOT walk pass Catbird. It's one of my favorite boutiques in the city. And that is saying a lot as this gal likes to shop online ;)

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Catbird sell's the most unique jewelry (engagement rings too, hint for my future husband out there), beauty, and homegoods. The boutique is now a E-tailer as well for you folks that are not able to head to Williamsburg! 

My favorite piece from their store so far is the baby serpent earrings, handmade right in Brooklyn! A rad Christmas gift from momma! I wear them all the time:

By. Brooklyn designer Leo Black, lovely isn't it?!

By. Brooklyn designer Leo Black, lovely isn't it?!

Since then I started to have a "thing" for snakes :) Really more snake designs from Catbird:

I highly recommend paying a visit to Catbird, try going on a Thursday or Friday if you can! Weekends are slammed :)

xo

Kos