Search This Blog


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WCW #15: Renaissance Zafi Meets World

It's Wednesday- so let's just into our next WCW feature! 

Meet Zafi of Renaissance Zafi!

  • How long have you had your blog?

It’s technically been two years. I launched it last year when I lived in Ohio. Although I went on a hiatus when I was looking for jobs. I decided to restart and switch platforms once I was settled in NYC this spring. 

  • Where do you draw your inspiration?

I draw inspiration from pretty much everywhere. First of all, I live in one of the most inspiring cities in the world- NYC. Everywhere I look is inspiring from the people to the images in the subways and on buildings. I also draw inspiration from other bloggers, the Instagram community, Pinterest, my friends, family and students. 

  • How did you come up with Renaissance Zafi?

I had always wanted to start a blog, and get involved in the fashion community. I also have always juggled many hats in my many interests- art, teaching, blogging, design, calligraphy, photo, fitness. My blog is mostly fashion, but as I continue the plan is to grow into a well rounded lifestyle blog of my many loves. 

Also- Renaissance means rebirth. At the time when I created this blog I was making big changes in my life.. moving, new job, new friends, it was a re birth of a new point in my life. 

Lastly, I absolutely love staring at some renaissance paintings... my favorite. How can you not love admiring master works of Michelangelo, Rafael, Donatello … I’m not talking about the ninja turtles. 

  • How did you get started?

I started by one day just taking the leap. I knew that If I wanted to start, I just needed to stop talking about it and just do it. Same thing with my re launch. If I kept letting time pass by.. I would never do it. I signed up, shot some photos and bam. 

  • How do you measure success?

I measure success in inspiring others and seeing what I have created, and reflecting on what I have accomplished on my own. Looking back- I got a job, I up and moved in two weeks and am living in NYC now, not knowing anyone. Now I love living in the city and have great friends, and documenting my life through this blog. I feel successful for that. 

Do you have a 5 year plan? Is it necessary?

I think right now I don’t have a plan. I feel like any twenty something person has plans, but you never know what life has in store from you or what you will be doing even next week. I think its important to have goals, but having things planed with an exact itinerary is hard to keep. Plans change and everything happens for a reason. 

  • Is this your sole job? If not, what else do you do?

Eventually I would love for this to become more of a job but as of now, no. I am an art teacher! I have always wanted to inspire children to be creative! It’s a pretty great job. I also run my own photo business, and am an artist. I never like to be bored. 

  • How do you spread the word about your brand?

I have really been working hard to maintain consistency in posting on social media. Social media is today’s word of mouth. It’s a free advertising, and it’s also a great community of creative people. 
  • How important is social media?

I think social media is very important. Everyone today is on it, and if you want people to see your work .. you have to put it out there. I also think social media in itself is an art. Anyone can post a picture of their brunch... but you really have to think about your brand. Consistency in aesthetic, consistency posting all the time... consistency is key. 

  • Who do you feel like is your audience?

I feel like my audience is our generation- of fashion lovers, artists and designers. Also the dreamers, “if you can dream it you can do it” My good friend Walt said that... and it’s true. 

  • Who is your fashion icon?

This is a tough one: When I think of all time icons... immediately Audrey Hepburn, 

I look up to many inspiring women in the fashion world: designers- Rebecca Minkoff, Rachel Antonoff, Mara Hoffman, Anna Wintour. 

Lastly, the trendy, fierce celeb ladies that are always on point. – Kate Middleton, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Emma Watson, Lady Gaga. 

Do you have a mentor/mentee?

I think the creative community online and artists and bloggers are my mentors. I am part of the community The Rising Tide Society and I think that has helped me this second time around as I continue to grow my brand. 

  • What is your greatest professional achievement?

Getting a teaching job and moving to the city. 

  • What does the average day in the life of Zafi look like?

During the school year, early wake up, a quick breakfast ( cereal or a smoothie), inspiring kiddos at school and making art, come home, work out, blogging or some sort of work, relax, then bed.

Now that it’s summer and no school- It still like to get up early. I don’t like to waste my day. 

Early morning, still a light breakfast, workout ( I like to mix it up on the daily- pilates, trx, yoga, barre, aerial) , eat, work on something ( blogging, art, photo), sometimes a fun activity in the city, and sometimes an evening shoot for the blog, then dinner, relax then bed. 

I like to keep a pretty good routine of working out, working on stuff and eating, but there’s so many fun things in the city that sometimes my adventures change on the daily!

  • What would you say your personal brand is?

My personal brand I believe right now is not fully clear and is a work in progress. It is me as a creator of many things.  

  • What is happening in pop culture right now that has your whole attention?

I think my love for theatre has returned. Theatre was my life in high school, literally was the only thing I talked about... I thought I was Idina Menzel. How could I not get back into theatre in the city of The Great White Way of Broadway. Other than moving to the city, thank you to Hamilton for bringing so much love to Broadway community. Hamilton is so addicting and just beautifully written... how can you not love it? I even went to a Hamilton Soul Cycle class... true love right there. 

  • Are you a member of any organizations? Trade organization? etc.

As I said before I am part of the Rising Tide Society, I am also apart of IFB – International Fashion Bloggers. 

What would be your dream job? 
I think my dream job is just to create every day. I think right now I’m working toward developing that brand and work of what exactly that is. It could be prints, fashion, design.. 

  • What can’t you leave home without?

Chap stick, My sunglasses and either a cardigan or jacket. (I’m always cold) Even on the hottest days I need to be prepared for the air conditioned subways.

  • What are your thoughts on fast fashion?

I think fast fashion is great. When I want to sport an outfit of a current trend, I can buy a cheap piece that will be a great addition to my outfit. Although, as I get older and grow up and look at my closet I am working on building a lasting collection. Items that will last a lifetime and are timeless in itself. 

  • Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do simply because I love it. It’s always been important for me to love what I do. 

Thanks Zafi!



Photography credit: Rachel Hanon of

Friday, August 19, 2016

Flashback Fashion Friday: OOTD Round-Up




Work DAY means JEANS DAY!

Edith Head & Company closed on Sunday- so Monday was just staff, for the first time in awhile.


Another Work Day! Yay jeans!




TGIF-- Moving is a betch, and this week has been SO HARD!

Tonight, one of my BFFs is teaching her first class at Art & Clay- we're making a plate with Lilly Pulitzer's sailboats motif- to say I'm excited is an understatement!

Stay tuned!


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WCW #14: Courtney's Cut Outs Meets World

Meet this week's Woman Crush Wednesday- Courtney Boyer of Courtney's Cut Outs!

  • How long have you been doing Cut Outs? 
    • It will be 4 years this December.

  • Where did you come up with this idea?
    • I did cake decorating in 4-H when I was in jr. high, that is how I learned how to use piping bags. I always enjoyed making cut out cookies with butter cream icing for family holidays and when I was a senior in college I started experimenting with royal icing recipes. I finally found one I liked and then it took off from there!

  • Where do you draw your inspiration? 
    • The internet, Pinterest, decorations, I love looking at holiday napkins and drawing inspiration from those for cookies (Weird, I know…but there are some cute napkins out there!) 

  • Have you always wanted to do this?
    • I would have never dreamt I would be running my own business after going to college for something way different then BUSINESS! I always have enjoyed baking so it is definitely a dream of mine. (Owning my own bakery is my BIG DREAM!)

  • How important is social media?
    • Social media is VERY important. Most people that order have seen my cookies before on some sort of social media site. 

  • What does the average day in the life of Courtney’s Cut Outs look like?
    • On Sundays and Mondays I mix up dough and roll out the cookies, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays are for icing and fine details on the cookies!

  • What was your big break?
    • When my husband started me a business Facebook, the word spread very quickly!

  • How do you measure success?
    • My costumers that return to me for more and when they refer me to others. 

  • Is this your sole job? If not, what else do you do?
    • I am also a Jr. High teacher and during my summers off I coach a summer swim team!

  • What did you go to school for?
    • I went to OU and got my bachelors in Middle Childhood Education and I am currently getting my masters!

  • What’s the impression that ofter’s have after an interaction with you?
    • Outgoing, Loud and talkative

  • What makes for effective time management?
    • I am great at getting things done on time HOWEVER, I am a HUGE procrastinator. I tend to work better under pressure. My husband is the complete opposite and hates my procrastination. He says “I live life on the edge.”

  • What does the average day in the life of Courtney Boyer look like?
    • During the school year I go to school from 7am-3pm and when I get home from school I ice/bake cookies from about 3:30-7 or 8pm depending on the work load. I average 20 dozen cookies or more a week. I try to have all cookies done by Thursday evening so that I can have my Friday nights off, BUT that doesn’t always happen! There are many times I am icing cookies on my Friday night (exciting right?!) I like to have all my cookies done so that my Saturdays are free and I can enjoy my weekends! 

  • What is your greatest professional achievement?
    • Well so far… Getting a teaching job and starting my own cookie business! 

  • What did you want to be before you grew up?
    • I wanted to be a baby sitter! I have always loved babies. Once I got to high school and started helping with the kids at swim team I knew I wanted to be a teacher. 

  • What’s your guilty pleasure?
    • Crafts and decorating! 

  • What would be your dream job?
    • To be Joanna Gaines off of HGTV’s fixer upper show. I love her decorating style, her husband and her family. And they just opened a BAKERY! I have also always wanted four kids too ( I currently have none) and she has two girls and two boys…how perfect is that!? 

  • Who is your fashion icon? 
    • I love turning to Pinterest and fashion blogs like this for inspiration! Jordan always looks adorable, love her style!

  • Where do you shop? 
    • TJ Max, Target, Khols, Old navy 

  • What makes up your wardrobe? A little bit of everything. I LOVE shoes! I have over 200 pair (it drives my husband crazy!) I could have a slight problem with shoes…maybe? I also love purses (which is an expensive problem!) 

  • What advice do you have for young women?
    • Follow your dreams and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t! Hard work will eventually pay off (I still tell myself this!)  My motto is: Work hard, Play Harder. 

  • Why do you do what you do?
    • I love to come home from a noisy day at school and ice cookies…It’s like therapy for me. I  like to come up with creative designs and I love the stories behind each set of cookies. It’s a great way for me to interact and meet new people. I love when my cookies bring joy to others. 

Thanks, Courtney!



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Flashback Fashion Friday: Round-Up, Going Up On A Tuesday!


Going to Easton on a Saturday- had Piada, spent money- what else is new?!


Going to IHOP on a Sunday!


Wearing Red, White and Blue on a Monday! Go USA!


Wearing a sweater in the middle of summer on a Tuesday.

Wardrobe Change on a Tuesday!


Another Wardrobe Change on a Wednesday

Just Call Me, "Miss Dionne" on a Thursday
 FRIDAY: Moving Day!

Donating On A Friday!


Celebrating my HALF birthday (24 1/2) on a Saturday!

Have you had enough of my puns- are they puns?- just yet?!



Saturday, August 13, 2016

AWESOME AF: Gallery Four

You already know that I LOVE Gallery Four, I mean Rupert Everett AND MERYL friggin' STREEP!!

I detest all things Tim Burton, but I love me some Colleen Atwood!

Sammy Sheldon, I mean BRAVA! BRAVA!

The attention to detail and the workmanship on this costume, and further- every other prince's costume in Stardust is awesome AF.

Thank you for taking this trip through Edith Head & Company, I hope you enjoyed it- stay tuned for the next exhibition, An Ohio Childhood: 200 Years of Growing Up- coming September 10!