Spotlight Designer: Jockabed Soto Muñiz

Who doesn’t love to own a beautiful and unique piece of jewelry? I found an amazing Jewelry Designer named Jockabed Soto Muñiz from Puerto Rico owner of Soleils Kreations, she was born in Aguadilla PR and has a bachelor’s degree in Microbiology(2000) with a Medical Technology certification(2007).

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She has been designing jewelry for more than 15 years, at first it was a hobby and personal enjoyment, but the passion for design was so strong that it turned into a professional career. After a metals craftsmanship course with designer Denise Elizabeth in PR she refined her skills and gave her passion an expression outlet. Being the daughter of a Master Model Maker of the jewelry industry and the niece of an art teacher she likes to think that she has been bestowed with generational passion and skills.

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As a jeweler her approach is unconventional. Her creations are made to be a wearable pieces of art, unique and exquisite, no creations are alike. Most of her creations are inspired by the Amoeba her distinctive patterns and rare shapes are captivating and translate into beautiful designs. Another of this designers many inspirations takes the form of a puzzle pieces, she has a personal attachment to this expression, they remind her of her son and all the kids that struggle with autism.

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As unique as each puzzle piece is so are each and every one of these kids, it makes Soto proud as a mother to wear these pieces because it gives her the opportunity to educate people about autism and let them know how special each one is. Soleils Kreations was created 12 years ago with the birth of her beautiful daughter Soleil. “”She is my best collaborator, friend and assistant.

ss4Our logo is an original design by her.” Soleils Kreation’s collections of distinctive handcrafted designer jewelry include beautiful one of a kind pieces designed to set the wearer apart from the crowd.

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Whether classic, contemporary, rustic or bohemian, each piece is unique, meticulously handcrafted and made from top quality materials. Her designs also include unique clutch purses, makeup bags and bandanas. She owns an Etsy store where you can find the beautiful designs and in PR they can be found at Artesanias 203 in Calle San Justo in Old San Juan. Check out her creations here…. https://www.facebook.com/soleilskreations/

Marta Rivera is a blogger from Puerto Rico, she is an English professor and a Plus Size advocate on the Island, an Island that is mainly for thin models, but she is trying her best to change that. Marta will be blogging for Curvy Girl on a Budget letting us know everything that is happening in the Plus Size community from fashion to events in Puerto Rico.
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Mixed Up Clothing…”Building friendships through fabrics”

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Working with Sonia Smith-Kang on a Maternity Shoot was a dream come true as she is a lady I so admire. I met her through my good friend Delia Douglas, Angeleno/DDHPR OWNER.

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 We have so many things in common, we are both  born in Puerto Rico  and Military Brats. This amazing woman is a social entrepreneur, founder and creative executive of Mixed Up Clothing, Inc., a multiethnic children’s clothing line inspired by the textiles, cultures and people of the world, to develop friendships through fabrics.

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Mixed Up Clothing’s mission is to inspire your mini global citizen to embrace and appreciate the beauty of the 21st Century’s Americana family. Sonia is a writer and has contributed articles for NPR, Huff Post, Babble, and The Mixed Up Blog Sonia and her designs have been showcased on NBC’s Today show, The Real, Latina Magazine, Huff Post Live, CBS Los Angeles, Celebrity Baby Scoop and Babiekins Magazine, as well as cultural events across Southern California.

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A proud military brat born in Puerto Rico to an African-American father and Mexican-American mother, they were stationed on Oahu before calling California home with her Korean-American husband and 4 children they raise celebrating their cultural diversity and inclusion as she is a special-needs mom.

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As multiracial/multicultural advocate, she serves as VP of Multiracial Americans of Southern California (MASC).

Check out her website here. http://www.mixedupclothing.com/

 

 

Marta Rivera is a blogger from Puerto Rico, she is an English professor and a Plus Size advocate on the Island, an Island that is mainly for thin models, but she is trying her best to change that. Marta will be blogging for Curvy Girl on a Budget letting us know everything that is happening in the Plus Size community from fashion to events in Puerto Rico.
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Diseñadora Nelly Trinidad y Don Erico Diseñador abren Atelier y Agencia para Modelos Plus!

Pronto se abrirán las puertas del Atelier de la Diseñadora Nelly Trinidad y Don Erico el Diseñador.

nelly                           Estará ubicado en la calle principal del pueblo de Gurabo, Puerto Rico. Diseñarán desde alta costura hasta sastrería.

nelllyTrinidad, la cual llego recientemente de su viaje a California está muy entusiasmada con sus nuevos proyectos junto al Diseñador Don Erico, el cual incluye la apertura de su nueva agencia de modelos llamada Newtalents Plus, ya empezaron a dar talleres a sus modelos y pronto anunciarán sus actividades.

nelllyy                                                              Mucho éxito a estos dos Diseñadores que apoyan a la mujer de talla grande!

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Marta Rivera is a blogger from Puerto Rico, she is an English professor and a Plus Size advocate on the Island, an Island that is mainly for thin models, but she is trying her best to change that. Marta will be blogging for Curvy Girl on a Budget letting us know everything that is happening in the Plus Size community from fashion to events in Puerto Rico.
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Designer Spotlight: Marita Aikonen

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Let me tell you how excited I am to share this interview about the amazingly talented  Marita Aikonen of eevamarita that has been long overdue. I spoke to her a few weeks ago and the conversation was enthralling, we share the same views about fashion and how the retail world see’s it’s plus size consumers ; and how she want’s to change that with her beautiful luxurious line that has the plus size consumer in mind. Here is an interview I did with Marita, I hope you guys enjoy getting to know this fabulous designer as much as I have.

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 Why did you decide to become a fashion designer?

 I don’t know that I have an answer to the ‘why’ … I think it’s more about ‘how’. I grew up with my grandmother being a seamstress who would make all of our clothes growing up. I would watch her take measurements of her clients , making them into a simple pattern or sometimes just drawing the lines directly on the fabric, she would pick up her huge scissors and cut the fabric into dresses ,skirts , shirts, pants .. you name it the scissors were huge and sharp –she would peddle her singer sewing machine so fast that I would just be mesmerized by her talent and how easy it was for her.I didn’t know it then what an influence she would have on me … yet I made my 1st dress with her help at the age of 7 … and I still have it hanging in my closet – thanks to my mother who saved it for me.

Thru out my teenager years I would keep making my own clothes – I would ‘hide’ in our sewing room late at nite and make things because I felt that I wouldn’t find anything in the stores that I liked – hah- already then I had a vision of my own for fashion I guess …and yes – growing up in Finland – you were most likely to have a separate sewing room.After graduating high school I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do so I decided to go to college and ‘kill’ time by going to Arts and Crafts school and specializing in design. One of my teachers made me realize that this is my passion/talent and she truly brought the best out of me during that 2.5 yr course. I kept making my own clothes and not until I had taken few years off by living in Germany and in California I then decided to finally get a degree in fashion design here in San Francisco. 

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How did you get into designing your line? What was the inspiration?

    I had been in the corporate world of design for about 20 years and had been specifically designing for the special size divisions and successfully grew the businesses for these companies. It was a great way to learn about this customer- yet there are also limitations of who you can be as your own creative soul in that environment. I also felt that even the big companies still today even though they are carrying plus size assortments – don’t really give enough support and attention to this customer that she so deserves. So over the course of time – the idea – can I do this on my own and really speak to this customer who is still so under served in fashion and great fit for her – with my own personal style- and accessorizing it – showing her how to wear it – that idea- I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I also got tired of my friends telling me that I should start my own line of product based on the looks I would wear as a size 12/14! So here I am – with my 1st collection – fall 2015 !

     My inspiration truly was my frustration of product that exists at the market place for women that are average or bigger than average size in United States which is a size 14. All the well known fashion brands in a contemporary or better market stop their sizes at 10 or 12… some go to XL but that size doesn’t fit a ‘typical’ XL body. So you are left with the fast fashion brands that offer the season’s hottest looks or brands that cater towards mature more matronly looking clothing for this size range. Where are the brands that offer every day/every where, trend right yet sophisticated apparel with quality product for a woman that wants to look current regardless of her age or her size? Why should you be wearing product that is either too trendy/young or too mature/matronly if you are a size bigger than 12 and why shouldn’t you have the same looks to wear as your straight size girlfriends do?

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Please tell us about your line eevamarita. 

   eevamarita is about quality , not quantity…it’s for women that are confident regardless of the size or the age they are…. it’s about making you feel pretty and feminine…depending how you accessorize the items – you can go casual yet comfortable for the day – and sexy and sassy for the nite ! eevamarita is about having pieces of items in your closet that will last past the trends that might come and go….personally I invest in pieces in my closet that I can still pull after 5+ years in my closet and feel like I don’t look ‘so past last season’ and that’s the philosophy for the collection of eevamarita product as well….eevamarita is about luxury pieces that are effortless yet fashionable… eevamarita’s fits are based on fitting on a fit model size 20 – my fit model for the past 8 yrs…so the product is not just ‘sized up’

I size up and down from size 20 again to take the real curves into consideration to provide the most flattering and comfortable fit for us all…sizing … another different story …eevamarita comes in the size range from 10-24 starting with S being the 10-12 all the way to XL for the time being … there is room to expand the size range in the future to cover the sizes from 2 to 28 and truly be a brand for all sizes… when you think about when the ‘sizing’ chart was created in the 50’s – size 8 was the average size back then and considered as a M in the industry… well…times have changed and now the average size is 14 – so that’s how eevamarita’s M is 14-16…

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What were your inspirations for the designs you create?

My inspiration is the heritage that I have from growing up in Finland – the design aesthetic of Scandinavian design – simplistic yet elegant – bold yet sophisticated . In fact the paisley print  was inspired by a dress my mother used to wear in the 60’s…and for some reason I had saved it all these years in my closet to ‘wear’ it one day …well… now I wear it all the time as the Julia Blouse… I also used to handknit my sweaters every winter growing up hence having half of the collection focusing on sweaters…

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What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

Patience ! It takes time to build the trust with your customer ! I would be skeptical myself if all of the sudden I was told to buy an unknown brand that isn’t ‘cheap and cheerful’ and is an investment in your wardrobe ! So with that I had to learn to be better at self promoting myself – the talent –the passion – the knowledge of fit and design – and the aesthetic that I have for the overall design and specifically for the woman that is not a perfect size 0-10. 

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What designers inspire you? 

·Malene Birger …Danish designer Brand that is a life style brand…that understands the form of the woman’s body and how to make her look and feel sexy in the simplest designs…she’s my inspiration for starting my collection…

·Alexander McQueen – his designs are pieces of art…

·Vivienne Westwood– she stands for her style and who she is as a person …

·Marimekko….the boldness of the prints…my favorite pieces in my closet are the dresses in Marimekko prints..

What is your most proud accomplishment as a designer to date?

   Starting ‘eevamarita’

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What does the term Plus-Size & Plus-Size Fashion mean to you?

    I’ve never understood the ‘category’ of plus size and being treated differently…what is a difference between a size 0 and size 20 in terms of what fashion she wants to wear ? that used to be my biggest pet peeve working in the corporate world and convincing the teams that she does like to wear fashion as much as anyone in the marketplace… the only difference is that you will need to fit the product to her size … the proportions have to be slightly different .. but in the end … why should she be left out of the skinny jean trend for example… I still remember the conversations of naming the product for ‘plus size’ … oh we shouldn’t be calling it ‘skinny’ for her … and I was like why not ? that’s the trend in the denim market right now and she should be able to be part of it as much as the size 0 girl does…so starting my own collection my biggest challenge has been …still is… do I call it plus size ? and I don’t .. because I start with size 10 since the contemporary brands think we are too big for their product … but how do we define where ‘plus size’ means and what size does it start with ? 

Even having been in the industry and specifically creating product for plus size and plus size fashion my belief is that she should be treated with the same amount of passion as her straight size friend is and offer her the fashion that exists in the marketplace and not to leave her out of it.

 What do you predict for the future of Plus Size Fashion?

 We have a long way to go still…I entered the world of plus size 15 years ago…and the progress being made is remarkable…yet it seems like the ‘true believers’ of this customer are the small brands that are coming to play in the marketplace to make the difference myself included…I recently had a conversation with someone in the magazine world and as I was telling about my Brand she share her frustration of finding quality product in the plus size fashion that they would feature in their magazine…as I mentioned earlier …my frustration is about the quality and the aesthetic of the fashion that exist in this marketplace for her …it’s time to change that ! The bigger fashion houses need to realize that she has a lot of spending power and that she can’t be an afterthought and that ‘one size fits all’.

 Some brands are scared of going out of a mold they created when they make plus size clothing, why do you think that is? What can we as a community do to help change this? 

I think they are scared of going after the plus size clothing for few reasons … one … it’s not the ‘desired’ size in the fashion industry so it’s not considered the glamorous designer role at all … two… you really need to spend time understanding this customer… in all sizes …three…you need to have the knowledge of fitting the garments to her body – one size does not fit all…

    How to help … I think it’s designers like Ashley Nell Tipton that are making a difference …having to be the 1st at NYFW to show plus size collection and have plus size models walking the runway..i think it’s also teaching the reality of woman’s body/size at the design schools …currently the school have you design and fit garments for the runway size 1-2 girls … so unless you are a bigger girl yourself and making designs for yourself will you ever be exposed to learning how to design and fit for a woman who is the average size woman in States…  

 

What are some fashion pieces every plus size woman should have in her wardrobe?

I believe that you should have the best fitting jean in a fit that is the most flattering to your curves …I am still in the skinny jean trend– in dark denim and in white , clean and/or distressed – so you can use them as the blank canvas to dress to the mood of your every day looks

·       The blouse that truly expresses your personality…

·       The leather moto jacket …. It goes with anything ….

·       A good heel … makes you look sexy any day or time of the day …

·       Something with sequins…there’s nothing better than brightening your day/nite with some bling

·       A Dress that can be dressed down for the day and dressed up for the date nite whether is a date with your girlfriends or your hottie date…

                                                                           What favorite quote/mantra do you live by?

 There might be few ….

   For eevamarita it’s …’style is not a size it’s an attitude’

     For my everyday sanity …. ‘just go with the flow’

                              For keeping it real when things seem to be overwhelming … ‘happiness is a place between too little and too much

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Please tell us more about you! 

·       Omg… what else is there to tell !! I love accessories …. There is nothing better than good pair of sexy shoe …. Lots and lots and lots of bracelets and a statement necklace…the ring that can be seen from far away …when I used to work in the corporate world … sometime I decided my outfit based on what shoe I wanted to wear that day … I know … kind of crazy…

·       I love hiking …there is nothing better than a good long hike to clear your mind and thoughts …in fact … it was one of those about a year ago exactly when I decided to start my own brand…

·       Wine … you need to wine in your life …I love going up to the wine county here in the Sonoma / Napa Valley area …

·       I can’t live without my tunes …. Currently I have my top 5 on my playlist…Adele, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber , Coldplay, Gwen Stefani…. And as my background music playing right now is european lounge tunes … calm … yet with a good beat…

·       I grew up in a little village in Finland on a farm …yes… quite a long way to make it over here and starting my own brand !

·       I love to travel ….most of my inspiration comes from my travels… to Europe … to India …and of course my home county …

·       I can’t live without my korean skin products …skinfood is my absolute favorite…

·       I have 2 black cats … they keep me entertained …

·       I love having a good laugh… keeps me going thru out the day….

 If you would like to learn more about Marita and her amazing line click here Also stay tuned because I have a few more exciting post featuring her line!! Make sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram to get updates! 

My Name is Violet i am a Fashion/Beauty Blogger I’ve blogged for more than 3years. I’m originally from Brooklyn, New York,i have spent 15 years in South Beach,Florida. I started blogging about Fashion and Beauty, plus events i attend frequently around the USA. As a Plus size or Curvy girl its hard to find nice clothing on a budget. Well at least that’s the case for myself. I Only shop in the clearance rack or when there is a sale i cannot pass up. It is possible to shop for fashionable clothing on a budget. And i’m here to help and give tips on how to achieve this. I want to show that you can still be a Fierce and Fabulous Curvy Gal on a thrift store budget.
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Christian Siriano going Plus and we love it!!

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Finally years of waiting,hoping and dreaming are over!! It was announced today that renowned Ready to Wear designer Christian Siriano will be creating a limited-edition line exclusively for Lane Bryant. It will hit stores Spring 2016 and will be sold under the Christian Siriano for Lane Bryant label. I couldn’t be more excited about this collaboration! 

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Christian Siriano combines old-school glamour with a modern whimsical twist using beautiful tailoring and intricate detailing. A member of the CFDA since 2013, Christian brings a fresh point of view to American sportswear. Christian Siriano will be the fourth designer collaboration for Lane Bryant joining the successful Isabel Toledo, Sophie Theallet and Lela Rose collections.

lanebryant Isabel Toledo, Sophie Theallet and Lela Rose collections at Lane Bryant! 

 I am so excited that yet another designer sees there is a market when it comes to creating clothing for plus size consumers, that we WANT fashionable high end pieces as well. Recently he created a stunning wedding gown for Nicollete Mason who is contributing fashion editor/columnist at Marie Claire and esteemed blogger! I can already tell that is collection is going to fly of the shelfs by looking at Nicollete’s stunning wedding gown! 

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Christian Siriano is a real star…from his highly publicized debut on television, his millions of social followers and through the years as he has successfully designed and shown his own beautiful ready to wear clothes worn by some of the best known celebrities, he has proved his talent on the world fashion stage.It’s a delight to welcome him to Lane Bryant and to be able to offer his exclusive designs for us beginning in the spring of 2016.” said Linda Heasley, CEO of Lane Bryant.
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Dubbed “the new king of old-school glamour” by Elle, his designs have appeared in countless editorials and have been worn by the world’s leading ladies, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Sarah Jessica Parker, Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Solange Knowles, Nicki Minaj, Tina Fey, Lea Michele, and Christina Hendricks to name just a few!  I will be impatiently waiting for this collection in 2016 and will be first in line to snag a few pieces!! 
 
What do you think of Lane Bryant collaborating with Christian Siriano?
 
My Name is Violet i am a Fashion/Beauty Blogger I’ve blogged for more than 3years. I’m originally from Brooklyn, New York,i have spent 15 years in South Beach,Florida. I started blogging about Fashion and Beauty, plus events i attend frequently around the USA. As a Plus size or Curvy girl its hard to find nice clothing on a budget. Well at least that’s the case for myself. I Only shop in the clearance rack or when there is a sale i cannot pass up. It is possible to shop for fashionable clothing on a budget. And i’m here to help and give tips on how to achieve this. I want to show that you can still be a Fierce and Fabulous Curvy Gal on a thrift store budget.
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