Tastemaker Tuesday – Kalyn Johnson Chandler of Effie’s Paper

coffee, girl, tastemaker, Kaylyn
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!

coffee mug, donut
Who else needs this coffee mug?!

 

 

 

 

 

stars stationery pink
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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Part 2: A New York State of Mind

Last week, we shared “Part 1” of a post on Steve and Jill’s recent trip to New York, which focused on their time at the What’s New, What’s Next event. For part two, we’re talking ART and inspiration… One of our very favorite subjects!

First things first, Steve and Jill’s daughter, Molly, met up with the duo to become a trio on this art expedition… and they set off to MoMA – specifically to see the Robert Rauschenberg: Among Friends exhibit. It is “the first 21st-century retrospective of the artist, presents over 250 works across mediums from his six-decade career.” And it was excellent!

 

While there, the trio caught a glimpse of the upcoming Louise Bourgeois exhibit and spotted this amazing spider – anyone up for another visit to MoMA?!?

Next up was the Donald Judd Home tour in the city, which offered an incomparable experience with his art and vision. The group was able to visit is formerly private living and working spaces, as well as enjoy Judd’s concept of permanent installation in downtown New York. Talk about inspiring – this is a not to miss portion of any minimalist appreciator’s visit to the city!

Together, Steve, Jill and Molly ventured to Bergdorfs, where even more inspiration was discovered, thanks to the Gucci home decor on view!

Can we please help to work this gorgeous pillow or this spectacular chair into someone’s home?!?

There was no lack of enthusiasm for color, texture or pattern matching here. Although you may know a Gucci piece when you see it, it’s truly the details which make these items so special.

Now, for a little Gucci motivation in interior design…

The new Jayson Home store in SOHO was practically calling out to Steve, who could just about move right in and feel at home. The art, natural elements and color palettes were awe inducing.

As a showroom retailer, it’s so much fun to visit other, inspirational showrooms and enjoy what they have to offer!

Finally, our traveling trio were ready to hop in their rental car for the drive out to Beacon, NY…
But – leave it to these three to hop into a sporty yellow convertible for the journey. It was the ideal mode of transportation to enjoy a bit of autumn in the Northeast!

Beacon is home to the Storm King Art Center, which is “widely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks… Located only one hour north of New York City, in the lower Hudson Valley, its 500 acres of rolling hills, woodlands, and fields of native grasses and wildflowers provide the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully sited sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time.” Storm King was simply spectacular. The way the sculpture plays into the landscape and the Hudson River Valley setting is truly unmatched.

While in the Hudson Valley, the group couldn’t pass up a visit to the brand new Magazzino Italian Art museum. Founded in June of 2017, this museum is a private warehouse which hosts select works from the Olnick Spanu Collection, most of which have never been exhibited stateside.  Its mission is “to widen public appreciation and education of Post-war and Contemporary Italian Art in the United States.”
As you can imagine, the trio has returned to their respective homes after this art adventure feeling more inspired than ever! For Steve, who enjoys travels such of these from both an artist’s perspective, as well as that of an interior designer, making the time to experience art in all its forms is imperative. And being able to do it with family makes it all the more special!