Savvy & Chic Business Corner- Designs by Estell

Cherika Hart, the owner of Designs by Estell, is quietly and quickly taking over the trending craft of sewing and designing. Self taught, minus the one class she took at Joann's Fabric, Cherika's craftsmanship and attention to detail is amazing considering she has only been sewing and designing for 10 months. With designs ranging from tea skirts, monogrammed clutches, maxi dresses, and even head wraps, Designs by Estell is a brand to be on the look out for!

Cherika Hart owner of Designs by Estell

When asked what inspired her to sew, Cherika states, "I have always wanted to sew but was afraid of the actual sewing machine itself. Watching my grandmother and aunt sew until they passed away was very inspirational to me. To see a piece of fabric become my uniform for school was like magic to me. Once I got older, I was so curious about sewing that I would look inside of my clothes to figure out how everything was attached to make the actual garment. However, I was still afraid of the machine. Until one day, I left a very depressing job that I could not take another day of. I decided that I would start selling bows to gather enough funds for a sewing machine. Bows turned into tutus, monogramming and bow hangers so the money came quicker than expected. September 2015, I knew this was not something temporary. I knew this was a passion that was buried in me for years. My husband decided then, at that moment I needed a logo and a name before we moved any further. Well…. Considering nobody knew my middle name but my close family, I decided it was time to break out of the shell of embarrassment. Yes for 30 years I was embarrassed that I was named after my grandmother, Estell. I lied to several friends about it. Because my grandmother was my inspiration to sew, it was only right, I carried her legacy on with OUR name."

In January of 2016, Cherika realized that this was more than a hobby/ penny pincher. "I actually felt good waking up and starting on projects and orders. It was refreshing!" Cherika started sewing different items and started receiving orders immediately. "It amazes me how far I have come in this little time but I know I have a long way to go in this industry. I’m excited to learn more so that my business will expand."

Her biggest challenge to date when it comes to running a business- "My biggest challenge at this point is stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new pieces. I’m more comfortable with creating skirts and little girls pieces more than anything. However, I have created dresses, rompers and peplums as well, which I find very challenging. I’m in a sewing academy now learning how to self-draft and I’m getting comfortable with making adjustments with commercial patterns." Cherika is also looking to expand her line to include items for tall women."It is hard trying to shop for apparel that really fits tall women. Most of the time, the real issue is the length. A maxi is not considered a maxi if it stops above the ankles, right? lol. It feels and looks funny. As a tall and slim woman it is frustrating when I see beautiful pieces to only try it on and be disappointed with the length."

We asked Cherika what's next for Designs by Estell "I  also plan to teach my daughter Joi Lei the basic of sewing because she seems to be very interested and curious like I was. The only difference is, she is not afraid. Her business will “Blossom” later.

For more info on Designs by Estell

Like Designs by Estell on Facebook 
Follow @Designsbyestell on IG. 

My Love of MCM

I have been fascinated with the Germany based brand of MCM ( Modern Creation Munchen) since I was a little girl. It all started with a cognac MCM print jacket that one of my aunts had. She had recently moved back to Memphis from Vegas and bought this luxury item with her.

The jacket that started my fascination  

I can still remember the softness and the smell of the leather. Fast forward 20 years and the luxury brand is style making waves in the fashion industry.  The brand was recently featured on cycle 21 of America's Next Top Model and I had to take a look of the latest campaign for the brand.

Autumn/ Fall 2014 Campaign 

The Autumn/Winter 2014 collection has some incredible pieces. A brand that is inspired by the world traveler, the MCM brands delivers great handbags, totes, and luggage.

MCM Pop Croco Wallet

Romantic Chandelier Clutch 

Keana Medium Boston Style Handbag

Visit the site for more details about this amazing brand.

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

I will make it to fashion week one day, but until then, I love to visit to see all the happenings from the week of fashion greatness! I have discovered a few new designers, and have fallen in love with the concept, construction, and styling of their runway presentations. Take a look and a few pics from my favorite designers for the Spring 2015 season. 

J. Mendel

Herve Leger
Grungy Gentleman



Cute Circuit

Ricardo Seco

Kithe Brewster


Here are a few videos as well of my favorite shows. Which line will you be looking out for the coming season?
Love the hologram effect of this show!

DVF never disappoints!

The POWER of Wardrobe

Starz's new original crime drama series Power is a hit!! The story lines, the actors, and music all came together flawlessly to set the mood for the show's first season.  Omari Hardwick plays James “Ghost” St. Patrick, a nightclub owner who is also a drug kingpin. His dream to make his nightclub Truth, a new and permanent feature in his life is met with resistance from his wife Tasha (Naturi Naughton), his best friend and partner Tommy ( Joseph Sikora), and the past life he is trying to leave behind. 

The thing that really sold me on the show and the authenticity was the wardrobe. The true power of merging the actors into the characters they portrayed, was seamless and flawless when it came to the costume design.  Frank Fleming, the costume designer, sat down with the show's creator, Courtney Kemp Agboh to discuss the inspiration behind the looks for power. 

Merging the high end glamorous life that Ghost and Tasha portray, along with the gritty street life that they came from, can be seen in both subtle and in your face ways on the screen. Here are a few of my favorite looks from this season. 

Hardwick as James St. Patrick

Tasha wears the wife and boss look very well in this pencil dress, gold plated belt, and swing over coat.
Angela, the other woman in James' life wears this sexy and seductive look very well also.

The street style and relaxed look that Tasha gives here is subtle but still screams fashion.

Tommy, James' partner is always relaxed, sleek, and simple. A style that allows him to blend in while doing the dirty work. 

Simon Stern represents money and all the things that James wants his life to be.  

I can't wait for season 2 to start. I guess I will get my Hardwick fix when Being Mary Jane starts back up again.
Photos courtesy of