Junkyard Jewelry

December 3rd, 2014


“Imogene” Earrings

You read correctly!   Yes jewelry from vintage cars and trucks.  It’s a magnificent idea for using old vehicles.  I’m always about using what you have rather than waste so I love the idea.   My earrings and bracelet are from a 1960’s ford truck.  I was hoping to get a year and vehicle and name that had significance.  Rather it had none,  just beautiful unique pieces of artwork you can’t find anywhere.   I came upon this jewelry artist at the Austin Art Fair in April of 2014.    You Got Mojo Jewelry


“LAVONNE” bracelet




Your Unique Image

July 30th, 2014

Steven Spielberg, one of America’s greatest directors had a mentor early on in his career. He said he failed at times but more importantly for Spielberg, it allowed him to learn from his mistakes and come out stronger on the other side. A mentor was exactly what Spielberg needed. As Spielberg puts it, “the delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” 

I couldn’t have said it better. This is and always has been my objective from the day I began my business.  Shopping and dressing can be stressful for you and many people because that’s not of interest to you and where you excel or choose to excel.  I’m not here to judge you.  In fact, I’m glad, otherwise there would be no need for my services.   On my initial consultation with a possible client I ask questions and listen to their likes, dislikes, lifestyle and the ideals they hope to gain in our working together.   I always tell my clients we need to be honest with one another from affordability to how you love or hate an outfit and know that “no question is stupid”.  While shopping or organizing with you I want it to be educational and fun even though it’s stressful for most of my clients that’s why they hire me.   My image is who I am and I want your image to be yours.


We All Start Out Knowing Magic

July 16th, 2014




“We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand.

But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow path and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake.

And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.”

~ Robert R. McCammon, American Novelist, Boy’s Life (1991)


Peeling away the layers

June 18th, 2014


Kelly…The Before and The After

Kelly has transformed from the inside out.  I’ve gotten to know Kelly on one of the fun portions of her journey.

I interviewed Kelly about her weight loss journey.  Here are some of the facets of her journey:     

Why and how did you begin your transformation?

I was always healthy, happy & self-confident and didn’t let weight control my life.

Morbidly obese at 316 pounds at 5’4” my endocrinologist told me if I continued on this road my life would revolve around eight hours a day in a dialysis unit.  After two years of researching weight loss surgery, I realized I needed to be serious if I moved forward with the Vertical Gastric Sleeve.

How did you feel before losing the weight?

I felt sad and apathetic about the way I looked.  I was non-energetic.  My daily routine:  wake up, go to work, come home, watch TV, and go to bed.  My husband would always tell me I had to get off the couch.  I was a size 28 and hated clothes and hated shopping at plus-size stores.

What’s been the biggest emotional hurdle?  

Head games have been the hardest part of my journey.   At my highest weight, I felt uncomfortable and physically inactive.  I never saw myself as big as I was.  I never felt frumpy or fat.  As I began losing the weight, I realized more and more just how big I was and suddenly I didn’t like that much about me.  Wrinkles in my skin and excess skin were all I saw.  I continue to see a fabulous counselor to help me see all the positive around me.

How did you manage your weight-loss?  Did you feel like giving up?  

I felt overwhelmed at times.  I continue to have long and short-term goals.  The majority of what kept me going was my day-to-day goals.  Smaller goals such as: weighing less than my husband,  getting under 250 pounds, making it to “Onederland” (199 or below) made my goals attainable.  I had weeklong weight stalls at times where it felt like I would never lose another pound.  As frustrating as it was, I knew if I stayed the course the scale would move again.  My  “Non-Scale Victories” were other big factors that gave me incentive other than the number on the scale.  Such as my clothes fitting better or moving down a size in clothing.

When presented with new concepts do you or did you ever-put up walls?

My nature is to swiftly move forward when I decide to do something. I’ve always had high expectations.  So I jumped in with both feet and embraced the challenge of finding my personal style I realized early on that it was important to be open-minded.

What would you tell others dealing with weight or any issues in their life?

Take a chance – trust the experts- and give yourself permission to take care of yourself.  So many times we are so busy taking care of everyone else that we neglect our needs.  What I have learned through this process is that when I feel good about me I do a better job of taking care of those that are important to me.  In addition, I am also much more confident and successful in my career and my world is a much happier place.

Where are you now in the process?

I am 19 months out and have lost 136 pounds with 7 pounds left to my personal goal.  It isn’t always easy, but it is worth every struggle and I have gained so much more in my life than I ever imagined possible.

I’m designing my own signature jewelry pieces from copper wire and semi-precious gemstones!  Copper Designs By Kelly

I was running up to three 5Ks a month and now I’m doing one 5k a month.  I go swing dancing with my husband and I’m constantly on the go enjoying life.  Now my husbands says “don’t you think you could just sit down for a bit”?


Amethyst, Agate, Jasper & Swarovski Crystal Wire Wrapped Pendant…Made By Kelly





Advanced Style Documentary

June 11th, 2014


I received this email from Naomi, a client of mine:

Hi Bonnie, Hope you are well. I just wanted to get in touch and say, I have been thinking about you recently, and especially when I watched the documentary, “Advanced Style.” Because as an image consultant, I was curious about your perspective on these older women, who had decided not to go quietly into their golden years, but instead, had chosen to embrace a very colorful and bold, personal fashion statement. I bet you have seen this film, but if you haven’t, you might enjoy it.   Best, Naomi

My response:

Hi Naomi!

I did not see the documentary you referred to but I just checked out a trailer.  My thoughts on the documentary…all I see with these older women are they feel young mentally and ready to take on life.  They look forward to challenges and dare to be different in this world rather than what the world says they should be at a certain age.  I wish all women would “let loose” as that’s a freedom in itself when we can choose our artistry & our love and display it on the outside.  They’re very colorful women who I’d love to be around as they like taking a curve in the road.    All the women seemed happy and it made me happy to watch them.  I want to be as free and different as them.






One Thing Led to Another

April 23rd, 2014

My client was so excited after her beginning closet makeover she suggested I write a blog about her.    She hired me to shop and organize her closet in her small 2 bedroom condo.  Upon viewing her first closet which was overflowing with clothes and shoes, she proceeded to show me the next closet  overflowing in addition to sweaters and shoes in huge plastic containers.  My goal was to give her a fall/winter and spring/summer closet.  The issue, I was unable to make the closets organized without having to put things in the proper places.  One of the first things I noticed in the second closet she had her tool box and a tent along with miscellaneous items she would not wear or put on her body.  I asked her why she stored it in the clothes closet when it should’ve been stored elsewhere. Her response this was the only place she could put them.   I suggested we put the toolbox in the closet where it ergonomically should be stored.  She took me to that closet and it was overflowing with everything you could name.  Six pairs of sheets for a single bed, light bulbs, batteries, etc. strewn in various places.  She said I’m really sorry things are a mess, but I’ve been through a messy divorce, raised my 16 year autistic son who recently went to live in a group home and my mother passed away last month so my father brought over clothing and household items he thought I should have.  We downsized her from six sheet sets to two.   I told her  I needed nor wanted any apologies as this was a challenge I LOVED.  I let her know I wasn’t judging her because she really had no time for herself and whatever she could do to simply survive was all she could do.  I had and continue to have a huge respect for her because she realized it was her time to clean the clutter from her home so she could clear it from her mind and be able to have time for herself and enjoy the present and could see the future without having clutter to fog her vision.  We made a pile of her son’s toys and mementos for her to take to her son’s group home.  However, we had to take items meant to be in the kitchen which meant clearing and reorganizing the cabinets.   From 9:00 am to 9:00 pm  and we were half way there.  Twenty bags of “stuff” for donations and 5 trips to the garbage bin.  She was smiling and at times sad because of her son and her mom but said she wanted and needed to cleanse herself.   She brought clients into her home so she too needed a place of comfort for them.    We are on the second journey and she’s made some life changes starting by ending a relationship with a man who she then clearly could see he was adding clutter and insecurity in her life.  What I want from you?  Give yourself compassion and clear your mind and your path to become even better than you truly are.


Take yourself out of the box

April 2nd, 2014

An out-of-state client hired me to do a full makeover.  She was tired of looking old and feeling frumpy.  She wanted change and she wanted it immediately.  Prior to our get together I suggested she meet with my stylist.  She said her son who she was visiting in Houston  had set up an appointment with a hairstylist  so she would go there prior to us meeting.   We met and went shopping.  I had pulled  pieces of clothing back for her at some stores after she had explained what she wanted for her new look.   She liked some while others she had not.  After 3 hours she had finished for the day ready for the next time.  I told her to take the clothing home and revisit it in the morning when she was fresh and we would meet in a few days.  She’d changed her mind about having her hair done as she didn’t care for how the first stylist did her hair so she had me schedule an appointment with my stylist.  While we were waiting to meet the stylist she told me what she disliked about her new cut from a few days ago and what she really wanted.   My advice to her: suggest to the stylist your needs, i.e. easy to fix,  sassy look, etc.  rather than “a certain length, bangs, cut, etc”  as she was not allowing the stylist to use her artistic abilities and give her a new look.  I asked her “do you want to have a different look or stay the same”.  She said “of course I want it different”.    I explained that she was giving the stylists so many guidelines of the cut she wanted it was going to look exactly the same way.  My client confirmed I was absolutely right that she was again putting herself in the box.  I explained she’d done it with some of the clothing she’d purchased as well.  Now she was ready for the stylist and decided to let go of giving direction rather minimal criteria.   She got out of the chair and LOVED her new updated look which she left to chance.  She then wanted to go shop and return some of the clothes she’d purchased that were putting her back in the very box she didn’t want to be in.  As we shopped she reminded herself and allowed me to do the same that she needed to open herself up to new ideas and looks.  Each time she tried on clothing she asked herself, is this who she was or who she wanted to be.   By days end she was excited she really did have a new look and  a new outlook on life and learned a valuable lesson about giving up control.


St. David’s Fashion Show a Huge success!

March 26th, 2014

The first annual fashion show for St. David’s Bariatric patients was a huge success.  I was extremely proud of the 20 women who modeled the outfits I’d chosen for their lifestyle and personality.  The beauty was they were REAL women, moms, grandmothers, teacher, office worker,  executive, nurse no models among the bunch.  They used their energy, nerves and family and friend’s reinforcement to go onto the stage and show their new look compared to their before photo.  Amazing!   I had a fantastic team working with me.  Holly Taylor Kottwitz styled and colored the models hair and Natalie Gauci of Arbonne applied the women’s makeup.   Dillard’s provided the outfits and accessories worn by the women.  I promised the women I would not make them wear anything they wouldn’t feel comfortable in.  I asked them to open their minds to new possibilities to show off their true personalities and that’s exactly what most of them did.  I thank all of these ladies for taking a chance to get on stage and flourish.  They’ve had beauty all along and this was their time to show it.




A Beautiful Young Lady

February 26th, 2014

I was asked to judge the Miss Teen Austin 2014 pageant.  While I hesitated for more than a week I opted to participate instead of “judging from the outside” all beauty pageants I wanted to “judge from the inside”.  I along with four other judges interviewed girls ages 16 through 19 years.  We were to  get the girls to talk about themselves rather than ask questions that were answered with rehearsed lines.  One girl walked in with poise, shook our hands and introduced herself.  She sat down waiting for questions.  We clearly saw she had vitiligo, a condition when patches of your skin suddenly lose pigmentation. We asked questions about her life avoiding the issue of her vitiligo.  A question was presented midway through our conversation, “what challenges have you had in your life and what have you done to overcome them”.  She began to tear up, yet remained poised and explained when she was 18 she developed vitiligo.  She explained the embarrassment and loneliness she felt to say the least.  She wouldn’t leave home and became depressed.  However, she had love and support from her family who encouraged her and reminded her she was still beautiful inside and out and she couldn’t let vitiligo defeat her and consume her young life.  They encouraged her to enter the pageant and hold her head high and prove to younger girls beauty is not skin deep.  She won runner-up in her division, but that was unimportant compared to her picking herself up and proving she can do anything.  I wish her much success.



February 5th, 2014

Mommy Brobe


The Recovery Brobe

I want others to be successful in their endeavors.  I feel there is room at the top for all of us, if we allow ourselves to work hard reaching our dreams.  Allison Schickel a friend of mine designed the Brobe.  I find her creation essential for women and am excited her passion came to fruition.  Here’s Allison’s story:


B: Why did you invent the Brobe?  Describe the Brobes you created.

A:  I created the Brobe to support women at all stages of their life.  The garment consists of a supportive bra built inside a robe with specific nuances for each Brobe type.  The Recovery Brobe helps women who have undergone mastectomy or reconstructive surgery.  Constructed with pockets built inside the robe for post op fluid drains as well as pockets built inside the bra for ice packs and/or a prosthetic breast.  The Mommy Brobe was created for the new mom who is nursing and needs privacy as well as support.  Made from luxurious modal cotton, this robe bodes a flattering fit and provides both comfort and support for mom and baby.  The hook and eye, super supportive nursing bra makes for easy access during nursing and, it’s detachable, to take mom through the day.  It’s a birth through babyhood go-to, promotes skin-on-skin contact with baby, and is the perfect gift for new moms.  I hope to create the Brobe for the everyday woman in the near future, brand name TBD.

B:  Did your inspiration of the Brobe come overnight? 

A:  Sort-Of.  10 years ago I was working three jobs, taking care of a very sick husband and a toddler.  Everyday I would get ready in my robe and find a sports bra to put on underneath to refrain from sweating in areas I shouldn’t be.  I instantly thought “why won’t someone just make a bra inside a robe?”  This way I wouldn’t spend so much time searching for sports bras, nor being concerned about getting sweat or makeup on my sports bra.  I spent the next 5 years searching for a bra inside of a robe and never found it.  Almost 9 years after the initial idea, I created my first Brobe.

B: What disappointments developed in the process?

A:  Many.  I’ve made some mistakes.  I’m disappointed in myself for not being as patient as I should have in the beginning.  It cost me a lot of money not being patient.  I trusted and hired people not fit for the job.

B:  How has the Brobe benefited other and what has it brought out of your personal being?

A:  I’ve realized my company is more than just a piece of clothing to some people.  The Brobe, specifically the Recovery Brobe has helped so many women, more than I ever could’ve imagined.  It gives them dignity in an otherwise very difficult time in their life.  I realized I not only want to create other functional garments, I want to create a brand and a company that people admire.

B:  How has the creation of the Brobe affected your family life? 

Before receiving my first shipment of Brobes I gave birth to my second daughter.  These past two years have been exciting to say the least.  Working from home with a baby (now toddler) has turned out to be much more challenging than I realized.  My husband Matt takes up much of the slack when he’s home so I can finish up my work day which at times is difficult, considering Matt works 60-70 hours a week.  We also have an 11-year-old daughter who started middle school.  Balancing schedules, soccer practice, dinners, homework, his schedule, and my schedule.  It gets a bit hectic however we both agree family ALWAYS comes first.  We try to eat dinner as a family if we can.  No electronics, just us.  Matt and I work very hard to continue our date nights and give each child individual attention.  Overall, our family knows the Brobe will pay off in the long run.  We have to work together to make it happen.

B:  How can you help others considering a business of their own?

A:  I would like to think I am now in a position to help others in building a business from the ground up.  I talk to several entrepreneurs who need help with manufacturing, design, business plans, etc.  I’m not familiar with everything about a business but I can help with what I’ve learned in the past 2-3 years.  Honestly, I am still learning but helping someone find certain factories, attorneys, CPA’s to help make their business run a little smoother is something I am always happy to help with.

Thank you Allison and I wish you the utmost success!   “Shop the Brobe”










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