Back in my New York living days I would frequent the Hell's Kitchen flea market on a lazy Sunday afternoon. One such day I came across a pair of Simple Sew Rag Toys, a duck (pictured below) and a young maiden. I thought they were beautiful but a little expensive. So I tucked them under some fabric hoping no one would find them while I continued browsing the market. Well, when I came to my senses and returned to the stand someone had purchased the young maiden and left the duck. I'm glad I at least got one. I just love the simplicity of the design and the idea of putting together your own toy.
There are three things I am really obsessed with right now:
1. I LOVE Aloe Blacc's album Shine Through. I play it on the way to school, while I'm on the computer and when I'm cooking, EVERYDAY!
2. Neutrogena Triple Moisture® Healing Shine Serum is great in my naturally curly hair. I just started using it and so far so good.
3. Brown Betty is a cute little dessert boutique in Philly and their red velvet cupcakes are ridiculously delicious. I treat myself to one whenever I can.
According to the New York Magazine chunky necklaces are back. I remember going through my mom's jewelry boxes as a little girl and piling on her costume jewelry like the styling in these photos.
Who? Erin, 22 and Tiffany, 24
ERIN: Queens, New York all day everyday.
TIFFANY: Born and raised in Queens, NY. Relocating to Brooklyn VERY soon
What do you do?
ERIN: I'm a children's wear designer but I enjoy making art dolls. I loooove fashion and being creative. I graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology majoring in Fashion Design, specializing in Children's Wear. My ultimate goal is opening my own " Mommy and Me" stylish boutique!
TIFFANY: I'm currently a coordinator at Warner Music Group. I love art, design and children! Recently I applied to an Art Education graduate program. I would love to become an art educator at the Brooklyn Children's Museum.
What inspired you to start Love, Mama? WE LOVE DOLLS, ART, COLOR,FUNK, SOUL and FUN! We grew up with cloth dolls in our home. Our mother began collecting cloth dolls when she had us. She found the dolls in TOY R US didn't represent her black daughters and were not unique. So when she attended her first black doll show she FOUND HER ANSWER! Soon our grandmother began her own doll line named Mama Love dolls. It was their goal to have positive images in our home to refer to. And our dolls were some of those images. They were brown, stylish, colorful, well made and individual. It's our goal to continue that legacy. Therefore we began Love, Mama in 2001 with the guidance of experienced doll artist like Adrienne McDonald. Currently our dolls can be found on lovemamadolls.etsy.com
What inspires you?
ERIN: Art and people.
TIFFANY: Frida Kahlo, textiles, NYC, music, African and Indian art, children and my elders.
Why are you fly?
ERIN: Because I'm a down to earth, intelligent,creative, funny and loving young black woman.
TIFFANY: I'm fly because I acknowledge the FLY in everyone. I'm open-minded, supportive, caring, funny, happy, stylish and focus! And because my sister and I are the youngest black doll artist I KNOW! Doll making in our community was once essential because dolls of color weren't produced. Doll making is a dying art form now. But I hope some more creative people join us by learning the craft. Now that would be REALLY FLY!
ERIN: Education is your freedom. Love and stay true to yourself. Don't talk to boys haha. Don't be afraid to go after what you want. Don't wear black and orange together, you'll end up looking like a Halloween decoration.
TIFFANY: Erin said it best EDUCATION IS YOUR FREEDOM! Everyday challenge yourself to learn something new. Acknowledge the past so you know how your present was created and so you know how to make a better future. History is so important! Keep an open mind because you can learn a great deal from simple conversations with your peers and elders. Follow your own path. Keep positive images & people around you. Don't be afraid to be an ARTIST! Create every moment you have. Find your voice and love who you ARE FIRST! And loving yourself may take time. Be patient with your growth! Don't rush life! And yah orange and black is a hard look to carry off. However hard never means impossible.