Tastemaker Tuesday – Kalyn Johnson Chandler of Effie’s Paper

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Kaylyn and her favorite accessory!

This month, we’re introducing you to one of our favorite new friends, Kalyn Johnson Chandler of Effie’s Paper::Stationery&Whatnot, an energetic lifestyle authority who is setting the trend on lifestyle accessories, travel style, and the power of Black Girl Magic

Kalyn and I met at a recent Black Southern Belle conference in Charleston.  Her enthusiasm for female entrepreneurs , her smile and love of stationery and pretty things made us fast friends.  With her signature pops of pink and encouraging words, she is a chic and engaging tastemaker, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Three words that describe your style?

Downtown, chic, hip

As a fashionable city woman, what’s the source(s) of your inspiration?

Believe it or not, walking down the streets of Manhattan and riding the subway are a font of inspiration.  New York city has some of the most fashionable people I’ve ever seen. I take my cues from the people around me.  What I love about New York is that each neighborhood has it’s own style – for example, on the Upper East Side, people are generally classic dressers with clean lines and solid colors.  While downtown, in Tribeca, the vibe is decidedly expensive hipster.

Name three people (alive or dead) you’d invite to your dream dinner party…

Agatha Christie – I’d love to spend the evening with AC, as I affectionately call her, to get a sense of how her mind works because I love a good murder mystery.  In fact, growing up and to this day, my parents, sister and I read murder mysteries voraciously.  Lately, I’ve become addicted to all of the British murder mystery shows on Netflix and Acorn – Vera, Midsummer Murders, Broadchurch, Unforgotten and the like. What I love about the British shows is all of the twists and turns, they’re quite cerebral. Who knows, at a dinner party with AC, there might be a murder in the drawing room that needs to be solved!

Maya Angelou – I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid. One of my fondest memories is spending the weekend at my grandparent’s house and finding a copy of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, I was probably 11 or 12.  I read it cover-to-cover that weekend and she instantly became one of my sheros.  Maya Angelou had an amazing life, was a generous soul, a prolific writer and an extremely wise woman.  I think she’d be the dinner guest everyone would be clamoring to sit next to just hoping to gather a few nuggets of her vast knowledge.

Michelle Obama – I just kind of love everything about her!  She brought a level of class, graciousness  and openness to the White House that I haven’t experienced before in my lifetime.   Her infectious smile and her ability to make fun of herself with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show will forever endear her to me and many.  I would love to sit down and chat with her about what it was like to become a part of the upper echelons of society while not losing who she is at her core.  She’s a woman I admire greatly; she stepped into a role she was very hesitant to take on … it took her a minute to figure out how to make it her own, but that she did and then some!

stationery, paper, tastemaker
Pretty and professional stationery

A pieces of/type of accessory you couldn’t live without

I never leave home without a silk scarf or a bandana.  For some reason my neck tends to get cold, so I learned a long time ago that rather than be uncomfortable, it was just easier to always have a little something to put on my neck.  And I’m super excited because I just designed the some really chic bandanas that we’re selling now.   In addition to keeping your neck warm, they add the perfect pop of color to your outfit, look great tied around purses and do double-duty as a hat on bad hair days!

Do you recommend people follow a particular set of rules when writing letters?

My only rule when it comes to letter writing is sit down and write!  I find that people love to receive handwritten notes in the mail, but rarely take the time to write them.  I’ve heard all sorts of excuses from I can’t find nice stationery to I never seem to have stamps.  These two “problem” are easily solvable – you can buy both stationery and stamps online nowadays.  Of course I think everyone should be using Effie’s Paper to write their notes on, but whatever you have – please use it!  A simple note with just three sentences can make someone’s day.  And, the satisfaction derived from taking a minute to express one’s gratitude to another is priceless.

What would be the one thing you would have to have if you were stranded on a deserted island?

My Kindle and some kind of super duper charged battery pack. I love to read.  So, being stranded on an island with nothing to read would be a kind of purgatory for me.  I’m often reading more than one book at a time, which is why I’m partial to my Kindle, although there’s nothing like holding an actual book in your hands.

paper, stationery, tastemaker
Write it down, in a pretty book of course!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please share a piece of advice you’d offer to an aspiring stationery creator.

Go for it!  I get asked this question a lot and as I result, I wrote an e-book to help folks who are thinking of starting their own product-based business.  There are a lot of players in the marketplace, so do your research and figure out what will distinguish your products from those that are already out there.  Identifying your target audience up front – know who she is, what she buys and why up – will save you a lot of time and energy.  Then before you jump in, learn what you can about the industry to make certain it’s a good fit for you.  Next, think about your strengths and weaknesses to determine which gaps you’ll need to fill.  I have a great team of young women I work with, I LOVE my girls; your tribe is your vibe! And finally, assess the direction the industry is headed in to determine where your products will fit in best and come up with a strategy to court those customers and retailers.

Bonus:  Here’s a quick round up of some of our favorite ‘whatnot’ from Effie’s Paper, just in time for summer hostess gifts and even Father’s Day gifts!

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Who else needs this coffee mug?!

 

 

 

 

 

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Go ahead and stock up for your Fourth of July summer hostess gifts

Now get going and don’t forget to write to someone. You’ll make their day.  Thank you to Kalyn of Effie’s Papers for being part of our Tastemaker Tuesday series!  We can’t wait to see what’s next on the horizon for you and Effie’s Papers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating Father’s Day

Today we honor dad. And, really, all the men in our life who teach us some of life’s most important – and unimportant lessons, ha!

Thank you to the father figures out there who show us what it means to be a great parent.

Happy Father’s Day!

~ The steve mckenzie’s Team

Have a Fantastic Father’s Day!

Here’s to all of the dads in our lives – it’s your day, enjoy it!!

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Sidenote… How great are these vintage Gibson advertisements we’ve been finding lately?!?

And don’t forget to wish all the dads, grandpas, uncles, and father figures a very happy day today!

Five Fantastic Finds for Father’s Day…

It’s only a few days away – have you found something for your father?!? Fear not, your tardiness will not impact your thoughtfulness… Let us take care of a fantastic gift for dear ‘ol dad! In fact, we have five finds we think your father will love:

Leather Wrapped Igloo Cooler

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Is there anything cooler (pun intended) right now than a totally rad cooler?!? Forget those basic models and go for the Rolls Royce of coolers for pops – a leather wrapped igloo cooler! The ultimate in form and function, this drool-worthy cooler will be the crown jewel at any tailgate or outdoor function. Heck, dad may just keep it indoors for his cold brews, and, thanks to the beautiful leather wrapping, mom won’t have a problem with that!

Duke Messenger Bag in Waxed Canvas

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He’s over the briefcase, but still needs something to tote to and from the office? Enter the Duke messenger bag. Pictured here in Dark Oak, this rugged bag featured a magnet closure, interior zippered pocket and three outside pockets for east access. The cross body style leaves your hands free.

Biscotti Tote Bag

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This green waxed canvas tote bag is the epitome of handsome. Leather handles, a fully lined interior and both inside and outside pockets make this the ultimate, low profile tote. It’s spacious enough for the essentials, but won’t leave the wearer weighed down. Our Biscotti tote bag is ready for anything and only looks better with age!

Cast Iron Mermaid Bottle Opener

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Add some personality to dad’s next poker night… As soon as the mermaid appears, so will the fun! A definite conversation starter, this bottle opener is a serious piece of equipment. Crafted from super sturdy cast iron, this babe will open even the toughest of caps. Watch a smile appear on dad’s face when he unwraps this gift on Father’s Day!

Acrylic Tumbler

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Whether your dad is a discerning beverage connoisseur, or tends to be a bit clumsy, this is the glassware for him! Combining the look of cut crystal with the durability of acrylic, this tumbler will become his go-to glass… The cobalt blue color is beautifully versatile, which mom will appreciate. As an added bonus, it comfortably holds 16 fluid ounces!

So – what’ll be your pick this Father’s Day?!? Remember, even if you don’t see just the right gift on this list, contact our team today and we’ll be sure to help you select something perfect for your father. Plus, we always offer the option to ship anything and will include gift wrapping!

What’re you waiting on. Take care of that Father’s Day gift right away!

Happy Father’s Day from steve mckenzie’s!

Our best wishes for a wonderful day to all those dads out there… Whether you’re fathers, grandfathers, uncles or father figures, we think you’re pretty important and are grateful for you every day!

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And a special shout out to Steve’s dad, Francis, who, pictured above, obviously inspired Steve’s love of painting… Maybe not as much drywall, but on canvas, for sure!

Happy Father’s Day!!!

Fantastic Finds for the Finicky Father

Are then men in your life tough to buy for? Join the club.

“What should I buy for my father/husband/brother (etc.)?” is a frequent question we hear – especially this time of year, with Father’s Day right around the corner.

Fret no more! We’re here with a curated list of the most fantastic finds for even the most finicky man in your life… And best of all, they’re all available in-store at steve mckenzie’s, ready to be gift wrapped and enjoyed!

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So many options in one image… Pictured above is a plethora of fantastic Father’s Day gift options; a hand made leather bag, custom leather-covered igloo coolers (great for school colors), leather and cow hide flasks, vintage bottle openers, and Native American pillows made from vintage U.S. Army surplus goods.

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For the Don Drapers in our lives: martini buffet hand crafted in Asheville NC, and cow hide pillows.

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Next up, Taki watches. Sure, watches may be a traditional gift for the men in our lives, but these fun accessories from Taki offer an exciting, yet casual twist to the otherwise stuffy timepiece our guys may be wearing. This will be a gift they’ll enjoy every time they slide it on their wrist!

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Make this Father’s Day one the man (or men!) in your life will remember for years to come and make a visit to steve mckenzie’s today to select the perfect gift for them. Our team will be happy to guide you to just the right item that’ll be sure to fit you and him!