Her Royal Cuteness

Has anyone ever made you smile so big your face hurt? There is a girl I know that does this to me (and probably everyone she meets). She is charming and sweet, like a princess from a fairytale. She even has an animal sidekick that follows her on her adventures, and a wonderful fiance who loves her with his whole heart. Her name is Carla. She is talented. She is stylish. She is fabulous. Prepare to fall in love.

Her Royal Cuteness, Carla Morales

AGNC: “Tell me a bit about your creative background. What you liked to do as a kid, where you went to college, what you studied, what you do now?”
Carla: “As a kid, I was obsessed with playing store. I’d rearrange the shelves in our house to look like merchandise, and use the Nintendo Duck Hunt gun as a scangun. I went on to study Graphic Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Along with working as a graphic designer, I sew clothes and Fancypacks® and work with glass at my job at Brazee Street Studios.”

Carla at Brazee Street Studio

AGNC: “What‘s the story behind your delightful line of Fancypacks®? How did the idea hit you, and how has it evolved?”
Carla: “Fancypacks are a fashion-forward fannypack I designed and developed in the shape of a bow. The idea came to me when I was working on a rectangular purse with a big bow on it. Halfway through, I thought, why not eliminate the box part of the purse, and just use the bow somehow to hold stuff. So I constructed different pocket mechanisms until I came up with the Fancypack®. Immediately they were a big hit in my Etsy shop so my lawyer sister Jennie helped me get a registered trademark.”
How to rock the Fancypack
The new Fancypack Purse!
AGNC: “Do you make every Fancy Pack by hand?”
Carla: “Every single one. So far I’ve made close to 500 in my Littlest Sweat Shop.”

AGNC: “Where do you get your color and fabric inspiration?”

Carla: “Food, candy, glass.”

AGNC: “Where can I purchase a Fancypack?”

Carla:Fancypack.net, Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) Store, Nest, Rosie’s Handmade Revolution, Consider, Queen of Hearts, Chicken Lays An Egg

AGNC: “When you aren’t designing, what are you doing?”
Carla: “Playing with my rabbit or my 5 year-old nephew Nico. They’re my two favorite little friends.”

Carla Rocking Out with Neon Vomit

AGNC: “Who/What influences your personal style?”

Carla: “When putting together an outfit, I like to make things match in a fun and obnoxious way. I also like carrying out a theme, be it ‘shades of gray,’ or a character from a movie, or something more abstract, like a delicate pastry.”

AGNC: “Where do you go to beef up your closet and what is your favorite garment/accessory in your closet that you would have a meltdown over if you ever lost it?”

Carla: “I love shopping for vintage and handmade clothing on Etsy. I’m getting married in June, so right now my favorite garment hanging in my closet is my Anna Sui wedding gown. It would be really bad luck if something happened to it, right?”
AGNC: “You always look amazing, I want to know where you get your style!”

Shades of Grey

Carla: “Here’s an example of the ‘shades of gray’ theme I mentioned earlier. Pretty much I just grabbed things around my room in variations of gray and pieced them together into a depressing rainbow. I love wearing berets because my rabbit’s name is Paris. The animal around my neck is a Foks scarf by Celapiu, an Etsy seller in Poland. I love it, even though the wool gives me dreadlocks.
“The second outfit features four of my favorite things: leggings, wedge heels, bows, and the color black. The sweater is vintage Todd Oldham. It’s missing a button, so I attached a sparkly vintage brooch in the center to keep it closed. I like to wear something vintage with all my outfits. I have quite an extensive collection of antique animal brooches—rats, sheep, spiders, rabbits. The bow-shaped purse is my latest evolution of the Fancypack®. I love it in Barbie pink.”

Pretty in Plaid

“In this photo I’m wearing a metallic plaid ruffly jumper I designed and made. Because I love to match excessively, everything I’m wearing is orange or purple—shoes, eyeshadow, even my underwear. …If only I were drinking grape juice.”
AGNC: “If you could be doing anything right now, what would it be?”
Carla: “I wish I was in Japan, riding around Harajuku on a seafoam green moped.”
I told you she was a cutie. Be sure to check out Carla’s etsy shop SAVE ROOM FOR CAKE to purchase your very own Fancypack. If you want to learn more about Carla, be sure to visit her website Carla Rabbit.
All photos were provided by Carla.


My friend is better than your friend.

Just joking! But seriously, I do have a really amazing friend. She might be one of the most beautiful women on earth. Well, maybe beautiful isn’t quite the right word. This girl makes men salivate. She literally makes taxi drivers crash into things, angels sing, and straight women question their sexuality (me included). I don’t know if it’s the endless legs on her 5’10” frame, her doe eyes, or her easy-going smile that makes you fall hopelessly in love-lust with her, or the fact that she is completely genuine and totally grounded. I emphasize grounded because she is kind of famous. This friend of mine is Althea Harper, an American fashion designer who dominated season six of Project Runway (I don’t care if she came in 2nd, she is still the winner in my eyes) .


My Fabulous Friend

I totally pulled the friend card and asked her to let me interview her for my blog. I already know other bloggers have already written the obvious questions and answers surrounding her new-found fame. So I decided to ask the really important, deep questions that we really want answered.

I love this girl!

AGNC: “You are in the public eye a lot and are always surrounded by people. What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you while you were doing an event?”

Althea: “Oh no, there’s been a million embarrassing moments… let’s think. Oh my, there are so many. How about the most recent? We [Althea and fellow PR castmate Logan Neitzel] had this event in LA, so I went up there and wore a knit dress I designed. It was a meet and greet, the kind with lots of one on one experiences with people. We were doing personal shopping. People were taking pictures with us. There were lots of kids. I mean lots of kids. The photographer guy sent me some of the pictures from the event and with the flash from the camera, you could see right through my dress! I was wearing a one shoulder dress with a strapless bra and a thong pulled up really high, like to my natural waist. I always wear a strapless one size too small and pull my thong up really high so everything stays where it should, so not only was my dress see through, but my undergarments were completely awful! And all these little kids were staring at me all day, taking pictures with me! It was pretty bad. So embarrassing. And the pictures weren’t even sexy like they were purposeful, it was awful!”

AGNC: “Oh my god, you totally scarred those children for life! Those poor little boys are going to be dreaming of your too high thong and boob squeeze for the rest of their lives. Will you send me the pictures; I swear I won’t show them to anyone. I just want to laugh. Okay, next question. So you just got engaged, how did Stewart propose to you?”

Althea (Laughing): “It’s not a good story. Stewart’s a weirdo. He told me to sugar coat it, but I’m not going to. I was going up to New Haven. I spend half my time there and half my time in New York. We had already looked at a ring so I knew it was coming. I came up to New Haven on a Friday after work on the train. When I got to the train station he was late, so I read a book. He came in finally and he asked me and I was really embarrassed because I had purposely asked that he doesn’t do it in a public place. He had ordered the ring right after we saw it and it came two days later. I asked why he did it so boringly and he said he just couldn’t wait; he had to ask me right away.”

AGNC: “That’s not bad at all, that’s a good story! He couldn’t wait, that’s really sweet! The ring is stunning. I am the same way though, I told my boyfriend not to do it at a sporting event or on a holiday. His response was, “What makes you think I’m going to ask you?” I’m sporting an unhappy face right now.

So now that you are rich, famous, and skinny (are you eating enough?), what would you like to say to all those meanies who tormented you and doubted your amazing talent? Think of this as your “in your face” speech.”

Althea: “You know how I eat! I eat a lot! It’s just the posing that makes me look skinny. Thanks, though! Are you trying to get me in trouble? I guess I would just say to them that in the future they should just focus more on themselves. Take all that negative energy they spend putting down other people and spend it making themselves better. I would tell them “You shouldn’t be so quick to judge, you never know what the future is going to bring.” ”

AGNC: “This might be the most important question ever. What are you going to be for Halloween this year?”

Althea: “For Halloween I saw this really cute picture of an innocent and sweet looking girl from either the 1930’s or 1940’s in little black shorts and a tied crop-top holding a sign that says “I’m evil.” I think it’s really fun and cute. I would like to do a couples thing with Stewart, but if I can’t think of anything for us to do or something better, I want to be the girl because she’s so cute. Or maybe Pocahontas. I used to call myself Pocahontas when I was little.”

AGNC: “Okay, last question. I’m writing a blog not a novel. What advice can you give for making it in this crazy world? I mean, you take huge risks and really put yourself out there. Your work ethic and spirit is really something out of the ordinary. What motivates you and keeps your eyes focused forever forward? I think that’s two questions….”

Althea: “Pretty sure it is two questions. As far as part one, what advice, my biggest thing is believing in yourself. If you don’t think you can do it why should you expect someone else to? To answer the second question, I would say some days I wonder myself! I can be really lazy. There is this really great quote that I am going to totally butcher that says something like “success comes to those who keep standing.” You always take hits, people always say no. Keep standing. Eventually what you want will come to surface. Don’t let the little hits get you down; success could be on the other end. When I get frustrated because this business is hard and I need money and sales to keep going, I say “all I need is one major account and I am so close. Why give up now?” Life is never success after success after success. You always take a hit somewhere. Keep believing in yourself and asking yourself “what else would I rather do?” If you can’t answer, you know what you have to do; keep going! Always take the bad with the good and keep going for it.”

If you haven’t checked out Althea’s collection, do so now at www.altheaharper.com .

Make sure you check out her trunk show calendar to see if she is coming to a city near you. She really is something special. You just have to meet her!

Who I Am

This is the part where I talk about myself.

I am a girl named Charley. I’ve got a lot of words jumbled up in my head and I have decided to write them down, or I guess I should say I have decided to type and display my ramblings for all to see on this blog.

When I was but a wee lass, I used to sit at the dining room table and sketch dresses until my shoulders ached and my crayons were whittled down to nubs. At school, since I couldn’t see the board (background info- my parents didn’t believe me when I said my vision was bad. My grades were good so they thought I just wanted glasses because my friends had them. Mom cried the day we finally went to the Doctor and he told her how amazing I was for being able to do anything. My first pair of glasses were total soda bottle bottoms), I used to hide novels in my text books and read during math classes. At indoor recess, I used to write sci-fi stories about slime monsters using my friends as the characters. I swear I had friends, despite how obnoxiously nerdy I was. I still have those friends, too. And I haven’t stopped doing those things today. I just do them a little differently.

I sketch clothing at work until the computer screen has given me a headache and my hand starts throbbing from the early signs of carpel tunnel. Every minute that I know someone isn’t watching, I read blogs at my desk. I get caught all the time. It was a lot easier to hide in school. When I get home, I usually sleep. But now I am going to write!

I can’t guarantee that I won’t write about slime monsters but I can guarantee that I am going to write about personal style, the fashionable crafts that I attempt, and the places you should shop. Be prepared for questions because I am going to ask a lot of them. I am not the most interesting person in the world, but you might be. So please think of me as your best nerdy friend and tell me what you think. You can be honest with me. I can take it.

Let’s have fun like we did when we were little.

With Love,