THIS IS ME: Matthew Brinston mixes it up

The man that was given a second chance at life made sure it would be one full of purpose. Matthew Brinston creates abstract works of art that evoke what it means to reflect & realize your true potential. His works are vibrant with color & contrast, & his home offers much of the same. 

“I like mixing styles a lot,” he says. “It’s retro & modern all at the same time.” 

Much of the artwork comes from Brinston’s friends--fellow artists & musicians from the Dallas scene.  

“Sometimes we’ll find a piece of furniture or work of art that we love, but it’s always organic, & most of it is from people I know.”

“That way, the art tells the story of the community.” 

That story, according to Brinston, is all about moving forward--a theme he knows all too well. Five years ago, a motorcycle accident left him in a coma, & Brinston actually died for several minutes before being revived. That experience changed him, & on the three-year anniversary of his death, he hosted a showcase of his work with over 50 original pieces. Those pieces--& his work since--has all been about moving forward & influencing others through his art.  

This is clear the moment you set foot in his house--a studio loft that doubles as his workspace. Through original artwork & pieces by his friends, Brinston has created a safe haven that cultivates inspiration for his art & his music.

His experience changed his lifestyle & it reflects in his studio loft that doubles as his working space. He has created a safe haven that cultivates inspiration for both his art & music.

“It’s all organic,” Brinston says when asked how he decorates his home. “If it brings a new perspective to the table, then I want it in my home.”

He hopes his original work for Pier 1 customers--some custom-made tote bags--do just that.

Stay in touch with Matthew on Instagram. Join him as we roll out a new Pier 1 experience today, April 21, in Allen (170 E. Stacy Rd., Suite 2314, Building 2300) from 3 to 5 p.m. as he shares his home décor favs with us in person over a glass of rosé. In the meantime, see what’s new online as Pier 1 gives DFW a sneak peek into their new look! Pick up one of the artist's custom totes in-store today only, hand-painted by Brinston himself.

Written by Tyler Hicks. Images courtesy of Jeremy Biggers for Pier 1. 

THIS IS ME: Nothing but good vibes with Sam Lao

Sam Lao exudes creativity. The rapper-singer from Dallas, Texas enjoys decorating her loft with the art from which she draws a lot of her inspiration. In effect, her & her partner--photographer/artist Jeremy Biggers--have transformed their home into an expressive mecca; a monument to artistry.

“I like a lot of visual noise to go along with my audio noise,” she says.

She is constantly writing or workshopping music in her home & needs a vibrant environment to keep fueling her creativity. The end result: Lots of colors & patterns.

“I actually assign a color to every song,” she says. “It’s a bit like synesthesia, & my home is a collection of those songs & colors.”

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Each room aids in her creative process, fostering as an atmosphere of innovation & experimentation. If Lao is ever in need of inspiration, all she has to do is turn to the artwork adorning her home.

“The furniture is pretty minimal,” she says with a laugh. “But what we do have, we now get from places like Pier 1.”

“Beyond that, it’s a lot of work we find at art shows.”

When her & her partner seek out new works to add to their home decor, they never embark on a shopping trip with a specific agenda.

“A lot of what we buy is just pieces that inspired us in the moment,” she describes. “We let it speak to us.”

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A lot of the time, that means supporting underrepresented artists.

“I empathize with groups that yearn for representation. Whether it’s artists of color or LBGT artists, I always try to support their work.”

Lao has carved a niche in the Dallas music scene with her signature style & sound. Her music & music videos have already landed her numerous accolades. She now hopes to bring that style into your living room with a playlist made exclusively for Pier 1 customers. 

“It’s all about creating good vibes,” she says of the playlist. “It’s great to listen to when you get off work, you’ve finished that daily grind & now you’re just trying to unwind.”

As Sam Lao knows, unwinding isn’t too difficult when you surround yourself with a decor that speaks to you.

Stay in touch with Sam on Instagram. Join her as we roll out a new Pier 1 experience on April 21 in Arlington (4145 S. Cooper St.) from 3 to 5 p.m. as she shares her home décor favs with us in person over a glass of rosé. In the meantime, see what's new online as Pier 1 gives DFW a sneak peek into their new look! Follow Pier 1 on Pinterest to check out Sam's playlist. 

Written by Tyler Hicks. Images courtesy of Jeremy Biggers for Pier 1. 

 

THIS IS ME: Embracing the unexpected with blogger besties Heather & Tiffany
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Heather & Tiffany are not your typical blogger besties. These fashionistas use their platform to encourage self-expression & serve up sage style advice to readers of all ages. With elegance & class as their motto, Heather & Tiffany united to create something that specifically empowers women over the age of 40. And while their roles as mothers will always be their favorite, don’t think for one moment that their suburban lifestyle lacks lavish style.

When I bought my first home, it had an old-world feel,” Heather recalls. “I replaced a lot of the furnishing with soft, contemporary furniture. My style now is a lot more minimalistic and modern, but still beautiful.”

That minimalist, modern style can also be found in her personal wardrobe.

“I’m definitely a jeans and T-shirt kind of gal,” she says. “It’s chic but effortless, & it’s consistent no matter where I go.”

“I’m a big believer in mixing highs & lows—you don’t have to spend a ton of money on everything, & not every item has to be from a premier designer.”

Her co-blogger Tiffany shares that passion for mixing the unexpected.

“That’s part of what makes me unique as a street style blogger: mixing a soft modern oasis of light, fresh palettes throughout my home,” Tiffany says. "The color scheme highlights our collection of bold artwork, making our house feel like a home.”

She believes that juxtaposition is a key element of her mature style--a style she has meticulously honed with her wardrobe & home. She likes to keep it simple, with a distinct edge.

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“Whether it’s your home or personal style, I’m all about knowing & pursuing what you want,” she says. “For me, that means combining sleek, simple modern pieces with artwork that stands out, & a lot of fashion-forward edgy statement pieces mixed with something modern, simple.”

“Whatever your style is, you have to find you.”

Finding herself was what inspired Tiffany to start blogging in the first place.

“I was looking around, & all these bloggers were in their 20's,” she recalls. “I didn’t see a platform that resonated with me, so I created my own.”

Yet Heather & Tiffany both believe that their blogs are accessible--& inspirational--to readers of all ages.

“My goal is to always inspire,” Heather says. “If I can do that, I’ve done something right.”

Tiffany shares a similar view: “The point of the blog is to feel beautiful, inside & out.”

Stay in touch with Heather & Tiffany on Instagram & check out their blogs & Street Style Squad. Join the blogger besties as we roll out a new Pier 1 experience on April 21 in Dallas (Galleria - 13710 Dallas Pkwy, Suite A) from 3 to 5 p.m. as they share their décor favs with us in person over a glass of rosé. In the meantime, see what's new online as Pier 1 gives DFW a sneak peek into their new look!

Written by Tyler Hicks. Images courtesy of Jeremy Biggers for Pier 1. 

#TEAMHYPE SPOTLIGHT: AUSTIN RETTIG
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Our team is full of hardworking dreamers who take off on new opportunities to expand & grow their professional & lifestyle experiences. Which means, it’s about that time for our next spotlight on former #TeamHype employees who are making their mark in the creative industry since spending time on our small, but mighty team. Today’s spotlight shines on the one & only Austin Rettig!

After interning for CultureHype last year, Austin went on to pursue a graduate degree & play basketball for The University of Tampa in Florida. Now, he resides in Manchester, England where he’s currently pursuing a master’s while playing basketball for the Manchester Giants. Austin makes the CultureHype fam proud as he continues his journey spreading his love for sports & education. 

What is the best part about playing for the Manchester Giants?

“I enjoy getting to live in Manchester the most. The city is vibrant & full of different cultures. My experience here has opened me up to a lot of new perspectives & views, which is something I take away as the biggest asset.”

You’ve played basketball for a while now, how do prepare yourself for each game?

“I eat a ton of carbs the morning of a game, study my opponent(s), & blast my pre-game playlist the entire day to pump up that adrenaline.” 

How do you perfect your professional skills on & off the court?

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“On the court, it’s all a matter of repetition. You have to be anal in getting comfortable making shots, making plays, etcetera to the point where every game situations are simply muscle memory. Off the court, it’s the same strategy. I fully immerse myself in consuming content specific to my field & try to produce as much content as I can to actively interpret what I’ve learned.”

When & how did you realize basketball was the career path you wanted to take?

“I guess this can be the first time I say this publicly...it’s not. I’ve always had a natural ability in basketball so I utilized it to get the things I really wanted without having to pay for them, such as my undergraduate degree, masters degree, & various travel experiences, including living in the United Kingdom for a year. However, now that I’ve gotten all I wanted from basketball, I can say farewell to the game & shift towards my real passions.”

What advice would you give to those wanting to pursue school & sports at the same time?

“Understand the necessary sacrifices you need to make. It is a directly competitive game so consistent progression & focus will consume a lot of your time. Also, see everything as a chance to learn & grow. Nothing is a failure.”

What is the most useful skill you’ve learned as a contributing writer for DFW Style Daily & an intern at Culture Hype?

“To simply trust my own creativity. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I would second guess my work a lot or try to make it ‘perfect’ all the time. But, perfection isn’t really possible, & that made me hesitant to release content. As a writer, I grew more when I accepted that everything won’t be perfect to me, but still may be great to others as is.”

How have your relationships with people help get you to where you are today?

“I personally think sustaining relationships is the most valuable key to my success. If you have a good reputation, in the eyes of many, you’ll be the first on their minds when an opportunity arises.  Networking is key, but I try to assure my reputation makes an impact.”

How do you maintain relationships with people in your industry?

“Two things: adding value & lunch/coffee. The best way to keep a good relationship with someone is to add value to their lives in whatever way you can, consistently.  Lunch & coffee sessions are great for maintenance, as well. It’s an actionable method that allows you to quickly & effectively connect & catch up.”

How do you keep your creative juices flowing?

“I’ve noticed that I’m most consistent with creativity when I’m exploring & curious. I’m always looking for new music, art, places to see, etc. That enables my perspective to stay open & learn new things that will inspire new creativity.”

THIS IS ME: Home cookin' with Chef Jenna Kinard
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A jack-of-all-trades, Jenna Kinard has dipped her toes into acting, modeling and now cooking. Kinard currently resides in Fort Worth—the city where she developed her love for crafting creative cuisines. Inspired by multiple art forms, Jenna has created a space that enables her to have fun in the kitchen while still living in a relaxed, peaceful environment.

“I am a lover of quirky knick-knacks, abstract art & everything pastel and shiny,” she says of her home decor. “My inner child is still very alive & well!”

But that doesn’t mean Kinard relies solely on the past for inspiration. In fact, she & her hubby are known to branch out in search of new items to add to their home.

“Once every couple of months, he and I will go to a new place—whether it’s a new shop or a new city—& explore to find something new & unique to add to our collection,” she says. “I like a lot of bright happy colors in my home, & lucky for me, my husband digs it too!”

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And things certainly get colorful--& flavorful--in the kitchen.

“I love having a big kitchen to create in,” Kinard says. “We spend a lot of time with our friends, & when we host parties at our place, I like to throw down on a spread that will please everybody!”

She’s certainly hoping that the Savory Goat Cheese & Chive Scones she made exclusively for Pier 1 customers do the trick.

“I love this recipe because it is incredibly easy to make, super delicious & is not something you’re likely to find packaged at the grocery store!” she says. “This recipe will also bring fun color & tastes to any tablescape put together at Pier 1.”

Kinard notes that she never has a master plan when she approaches a new recipe or starts to craft something in the kitchen. Instead, it’s all about how she feels in that moment.

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“Usually when I’m grocery shopping, I have no idea what I’m going to make while entering the market. I let the produce speak to me, & put a meal together as I go depending on what fresh new items are in store & how I’m feeling that day.”

But the grocery store is not the only place where she carries this mentality.

“I do the same thing while shopping for interior decor,” she says. “I let the seasons speak to me, & enjoy letting a festive spirit take over and inspire me.

Whether shopping for produce or accents for her home, Jenna tries to incorporate her personality into everything she creates. Her hope is that anyone who tries her recipes or sets foot in her home can learn more about her through the process.

“My personality definitely shows in my food & the atmosphere that I create around it,” she says. “I will take my magic with me everywhere that I go, & do my best to share it with anyone who crosses my path.”

Stay in touch with Jenna on Instagram & visit her website here. Join her as we roll out a new Pier 1 experience on April 21 in Fort Worth (433 Carroll St.) from 3 to 5 p.m. as she shares her home décor favs with us in person over a glass of rosé. Don't miss her tasty scones in person & stay tuned for a how-to video on Pinterest. In the meantime, see what's new online as Pier 1 gives DFW a sneak peek into their new look!

Written by Tyler Hicks. Images courtesy of Jeremy Biggers for Pier 1. 

THIS IS ME: Glowing UP with fashion & beauty vlogger Christian Craven
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Christian Craven is a creator. The 25-year-old fashionista and beauty blogger has a bold, established sense of style, but is also never afraid to mix things up. A true style guru, he knows the importance a home can have when it comes to making fierce statements and standing out. His home is actually a testament to the various artists who have empowered him to chase his dreams.

“I love to surround myself with icons who inspire me in my career and those who mean something special to me. I have a personalized signed book from an idol of mine Jeremy Scott that I love to keep out as well as an original framed McQueen met gala poster.

“I also have a great portrait of Barbra Streisand in my favorite movie, ‘Funny Girl’”, he says. “This piece was the first thing I ever bought for my first  apartment, and it always reminded me of a joyful time in my childhood when I could rent a $1 movie musical from blockbuster and sing all night to the VHS.”

“I was a weird kid.”

As you can tell, Craven carries his sense of humor with him at all times. When asked how he incorporates his love of beauty into his home, his first response is, “lots of mirrors.”

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All jokes aside, he tends to avoid bringing his work home with him.

“To avoid being totally consumed by work, I keep most of the skincare products I’m reviewing or studying tucked away.”

But that doesn’t mean his home is devoid of bold styles--quite the contrary, in fact.

“I love texture and color, and I think that rings true from my wardrobe into my home,” he says. “Bold hues, mixed prints and textured rugs have my heart doing backflips!"

Christian’s creative space is a dining room transformed into a studio, and this is where his skincare YouTube videos come to life. When it came time to create something exclusively for Pier 1 customers, accessibility was his number one priority.

“Great skincare doesn’t have to be inaccessible or even a luxury,” he notes. “It was important for me to share a mask anyone with 15 minutes can do to brighten the skin, rehydrate and achieve a great spring glow!”

“Grab some gorgeous Pier 1 bowls to mix up the mask and get to glowing!”

Take it from Christian--it’s always time for a glow-up.

Stay in touch with Christian on Instagram & visit his vlog here. Join him as we roll out a new Pier 1 experience on April 21 in Plano (1805 Preston Rd., Ste. A) from 3 to 5 p.m. as he shares his home décor favs with us in person over a glass of rosé. In the meantime, see what’s new online as Pier 1 gives DFW a sneak peek into their new look!

Written by Tyler Hicks. Images courtesy of Jeremy Biggers for Pier 1. 

THIS IS ME: Lauren Vandiver uses decor & style to tell her story

When blogger Lauren Vandiver writes, you can’t help but smile. The fashion & lifestyle specialist is at once inspiring & down-to-earth, exuding an accessible & friendly charm that is guaranteed to fill your day with color. Her home isn’t too shabby either--if anything, it’s a reflection of her work with the VandiFair blog. As is the case when she writes, Lauren loves to craft open settings that leave you feeling comforted & welcome. 

“When it comes to decorating my space, I like to create rooms that instill a feeling that’s meaningful for me & my family, & also a vibe that makes sense with the particular room.”

“This is especially important to me since my home doubles as my office, so I spend a whole lot of time there.”

Take her bedroom, for example--the room she incorporated her favorite new Pier 1 products into. Her & her husband both love to travel places near the sea, so Lauren filled the room with a lot of bright white & light blue hues, as well as some other ocean-inspired elements.

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“Those colors & those seaside elements help to create a clean & calming tone that’s perfect for the bedroom,” she says.

Before Lauren embarks on any trip to enhance her décor, she always envisions the room she’ll be decorating next.  

“I can’t walk into a décor store without knowing what room(s) I’m focusing on beforehand. Going into a store with a particular room in mind--& inspiration for that space--makes shopping so much easier and fun!” 

Ultimately, Lauren’s goal is to use décor & style to tell a story.  

“The most inspiring rooms to me are the ones that tell a story. I love walking into a room & feeling completely immersed in it,” she says. “Whether it’s a particular color, a time period, or a place you’ve traveled, the home décor that inspires me makes you feel a certain way or remember a special place."

With a baby on the way, Lauren’s home is about to get even more special. Something tells us the new addition to the family will be a great source of inspiration.

Stay in touch with Lauren on Instagram & visit her blog here. Join her as we roll out a new Pier 1 experience on April 21 in Southlake (1275 E. Southlake Blvd., Suite 401) from 3 to 5 p.m. as she shares her home décor favs with us in person over a glass of rosé. In the meantime, see what's new online as Pier 1 gives DFW a sneak peek into their new look!

Written by Tyler Hicks. Images courtesy of Jeremy Biggers for Pier 1. 

#TEAMHYPE SPOTLIGHT: SARAH BADRAN
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As part of our #TeamHype Spotlight series, we introduce the incomparable Sarah Badran. From CultureHype intern to founder of Creative Currency, Sarah has truly hustled her way to the top and created a name for herself throughout the Dallas scene. Sarah Badran is the true epitome of a go-getter and a great story to boot!

We interviewed Sarah and got to touch base on what the creative mastermind is up to, how CultureHype helped hone her talent, obstacles she overcame, and how she engraves self-care into her hectic routine.

What skills did you acquire or build upon while working at CultureHype?

"Amber is the ultimate girl boss & she instilled a lot of knowledge & confidence in me. She allowed me to learn by asking an infinite amount of questions & getting to see the world of PR first-hand. She taught me how to be relentless in going after what you want & how not to get discouraged by this business. A degree can give you a fundamental knowledge of what you need to know but experience is everything. She always encouraged me to get creative & empowered my ideas; it truly gave me the confidence to branch out on my own & create my own company."

What was your greatest hardship as you transitioned from college to a post-grad lifestyle? How did you overcome it?

"Figuring out how to channel my talents & skills was probably the toughest part. I had so much ambition & passion that I felt I could do anything but it was tough to focus on one thing and project & start to build from there. Also letting go of the stigma that I needed to get a job right out of college or I was a failure. I interned with CultureHype my last semester of college and I continued to learn & build with the company after graduating. I always find joy in forever being a student of life."

As a founder of Creative Currency, has this new journey changed your perspective of the world of public relations at all?

"It was hard and scary to branch out at first. My strength had always been in events & that’s what I chose to focus on. I also wanted to work with an underrepresented sector of the music industry & try to be as innovative as possible with how to brand an artist. It has definitely made me realize that you have to wear many hats & that the industry is constantly evolving. You need to stay on your toes & not get stuck or complacent in how you view PR strategy."

What has been your most rewarding moment in life, thus far?

"One of my most memorable events is getting to work with the local hip-hop community to plan a red carpet event at The Bomb Factory to honor it. Getting to learn how rich Dallas's history is & being in the forefront of getting to showcase it was such a dope experience. I got to work with Erykah Badu, The DOC & even Micheal Finley from the Dallas Mavericks. I think the most rewarding aspect is getting to see an idea come to life & become successful. I love getting to inspire and help people through it all."

What are three things you’d like to improve on this year?

"Improvement is always key. I always take every downfall as an opportunity to learn & grow. The main thing I seek to improve on is balance. I tend to take a lot on & sometimes I may disregard my personal relationships or taking time to work on myself in the midst of it. I'd also like to get a better understanding of the direction I'd like to take my company in & not fear that change. I also hope to empower women & mentor as many as possible."

Public relations tends to take a lot of energy out of one. Do you implement any self-care practices into your weekly routine, if so what are they?

"When I take the time to take care of myself it usually is in the form of massages or getting my hair or nails done. It's still important to take care of yourself & continue to be confident inside & out. I also love to go to concerts. It helps reaffirm why I love this business so much and helps to keep my creative juices flowing! I also love to travel, eat good food and experience as much culture as possible.

If you had the opportunity, what would you tell the 18-year-old Sarah Badran from the past?

"I would tell her to start early if you can to get as much experience as possible. To not be so hard on herself & to learn to enjoy the journey. Trust in the process & her ability to do anything she puts her mind to. Never doubt yourself & learn to appreciate all the special moments that life throws at you."

What are a couple of your favorite tracks, currently?

"Everything Cardi B, she is my spirit animal."

Current On Repeat: 

"Kings Dead" Kendrick Lamar
"The Weekend" SZA
"Say Something" Justin Timberlake and Chris Stapleton
"Stir Fry" Migos
"Icon" Jaden Smith
"The Middle" Zedd and Maren Morris
"Mine" Bazzi
"All Night" Steve Aoki

#TEAMHYPE SPOTLIGHT: ABBY JONES
   

 

Our team is awesome. 'Nuff said. Now it's our time to spotlight former #TeamHype employees who are kicking some serious ass since spending time on our small but mighty team. Today, it's time to *air five* rockstar Abby Jones!

After interning for CultureHype last spring, Abby went on to write for the Dallas Observer and now lives in The Big Apple (NYC) as an editorial intern for Billboard Magazine. As a graduate of the University of North Texas, Abby makes the CultureHype fam proud as she continues to spread her love for creative writing.

How has working at CultureHype helped you in your career so far? 

"Working at CultureHype taught me a lot about how to effectively work with people at different authority levels. Prior to my internship, the only people I really had to work with were my peers or my professors. Working in PR helped me become more comfortable in how I worked with & addressed people in different positions."

Would you say interning at CultureHype was a beneficial experience? 

"Working at CultureHype helped me come to the conclusion that I wanted to work in the music industry, so I’d say it was pretty beneficial! Although I’m currently in music journalism, I had been applying for PR & marketing jobs related to music and I think I could have easily thrived in those, as well. CultureHype is unique in the way they foster clients in the local music scene & I’m thankful I got to work closely with that. I’ve always been interested in music, but CultureHype reinforced my decision to implement it into my career."

How was the transition from college into the workforce? 

"Honestly, rough at first! As plenty of graduates do, I moved back in with my parents while I continued a seemingly never-ending job search. The opportunity to intern at Billboard came suddenly—my life did a total 180 in one week. It was equal parts exciting & exhausting. I think when you’re in that post-grad limbo before employment comes around, you have to be prepared for something like that. Now that I’m settled in NYC, I feel like I’m supposed to be here. It’s very fulfilling."

What is your day-to-day life now working as an intern at Billboard?

"I have the early shift! I get to the office at 7 a.m. and pretty much immediately start plugging away at news stories from overnight. I get assigned articles throughout the day whenever news comes up, which is pretty often. If things get slow, an editor will likely have me transcribe an interview. I’ll probably end up working on longer feature articles as my internship goes on."

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What do you love the most about working at Billboard?

"I love that I feel like I’m actually contributing to the digital component of Billboard. I was immediately thrown into writing on my first day & I’ve always felt productive & helpful. It’s a very positive work environment, & I feel like the editors really want me to grow & finish the internship with an impressive, varied portfolio. The only person I fetch coffee for is myself!"

How is it working for North Texas Daily and the Dallas Observer?

"I learned so much more from working at my school’s paper than I did in any of my classes. I got to explore Denton in such an immersive way by reporting on the things that make the city unique, all while improving my writing skills week after week. When I consequently became an editor for the Daily, I became a more confident leader but also a more careful, in-depth writer. Those are experiences you can get at any campus paper, not just UNT’s! Freelancing at the Observer was cool because that was the first time I was ever paid to write something. I got to interview some really cool creatives in Dallas & I felt extremely rewarded to see my byline in a major publication like that. It served as a good stepping stone for me between my schoolwork & what I do now."

What are some tips you can give readers to enter the job of their dreams?

"Apply, apply, apply. The pessimist in me comes out when I go job hunting. It’s silly, but I never feel qualified enough for any of the jobs I want! But just keep looking & applying—it never hurts. Do whatever you can to better yourself in the meantime. For me, that meant freelancing & contributing to music blogs on a volunteer basis."

What are some cool events you attend now because of Billboard?  

"So far, I’ve been able to watch bits of some in-office acoustic sets that Billboard live streams on Twitter. Sometimes, some pretty big names will come in, & I can take a break from staring at my computer screen to check out a super intimate performance! What else could I want?"

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#TEAMHYPE SPOTLIGHT: JUSTIN CHAVEZ
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Happy #HumpDay! We're launching a new series highlighting local creatives from our fam who give us a serious dose of career inspo. As an intern for CultureHype in 2015, 23-year-old Justin Chavez went on to make some major moves after graduating from the University of North Texas. Now an on-air personality for the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show, Justin works for a nationally syndicated radio show on 106.1 KISS FM airing 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. From interviewing celebrities, attending lavish events, & traveling as perks of the job, he really is living his BEST life.

How has working at CultureHype helped you in your career so far?

"CultureHype gave me the experience I needed to understand how the media works. Public Relations is all about communication & relationships. Amber created an environment where you are meeting new people and networking. It was my first PR internship & made my resume stand out because of the skills I obtained through the CultureHype experience. Creating media lists & setting up events caught my employer’s interest!"

How was the transition from college into the workforce?

"I graduated with a full-time job! It was smooth as a butter. I knew from the start going into the workforce that employers are looking for experience NOT a GPA. I sought out as many internships as possible to build my experience. I had three PR internships & two jobs tailored to PR. For my last internship, I was a social media intern for the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show, tweeting out to 96 thousand people. Interning for the show turned into a part-time job and finally into a full-time salary!"

What is your day-to-day life now working at Kidd Kraddick Morning Show?  

"Day-to-day I am constantly thinking of ideas & content for the show. If I’m not planning a segment I’m thinking of something for the next one. It’s a lot of conversation, social media scrolling & people watching for this kind of job."

What are some cool events you attend now because of the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show?

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"I’ve been to ACL, Jingle Ball, resorts in different countries, etc. The coolest experience of them all was Kanye’s concert when he was on his Saint Pablo Tour in Dallas. Also, our boss took us to Las Vegas for the weekend to celebrate new staff contracts & we stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel, saw Rihanna perform & I won $250 in Scrapps."

What are some of the weirdest interviews that you have done for the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show?

"My first celebrity interview was V Awk. It was Demi Lovato & I fanned girled all over the place. I touched her arm like thirteen thousand times, squealed & brought up old stuff she was trying to move past like her Disney Channel show, 'Sonny With A Chance.' All she did was smile & gave me fake compliments. It was the coolest & most stressful time of my life."

What do you love the most about working at Kidd Kraddick Morning Show?

"The thing I love most about working at the Kidd Kraddick Morning Show is working with the team. Everyone knows the cast: Kellie, Big Al, J-Si, & Jenna. They are just as lovable in person as they are on air. The support staff & my producers, Robert & Nick, are so supportive & encouraging. They are constantly giving me ideas & helping me up when I take a radio tumble. We’re a small team but we are a very close team. The love is there. I honestly could not ask for a better group."

What are some tips you can give readers to enter the job of their dreams?

"Britney Spears said it best 'You want a hot body? You want a Bugatti? You want a Maserati? You better work bitch.' Don’t wait until you graduate to find a job. Start looking now. Start gaining experience. Start building your resume. Get more than one internship under your belt that way you stand out from all the other candidates. If you show that you are capable of taking on the tasks of a job you are applying for you are more likely to picked over someone who doesn’t have any. Feed your resume! Get to work bitch."

#MUSICMONDAY feat Aashni Pabley
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New #TeamHype intern Aashni Pabley is a Junior at SMU studying PR & English Lit. The twenty-one year old, Dallas native enjoys music & reading. Barnes & Nobles, CD Warehouse, and Monkey King Noodle Co are her favorite spots to hang out during her free time. Aashni believes it is important to treasure old music to value new music, so her taste varies from the old classic to contemporary hits. 

"The following ten songs are songs that define me as an individual - classic but different, familiar yet eccentric. "

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Relvyn "Vinny" Lopez
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Introducing Relvyn Lopez aka “Vinny”, a new intern at #TeamHype & music playlist guru! Graduating from UNT this May with a bachelor’s degree in PR, he aspires to use his knowledge & skills to work his way into the music industry & become a recording artist of his own. He wants to raise Latin/Hispanic representation in the music industry & eventually become a creative director for a major fashion brand. His favorite artists range in genre, from Banks and Florence + the Machine to Frank Ocean, SZA, Daniel Caesar, and Sabrina Claudio to Lady Gaga and Dua Lipa. Ultimately, R&B is where his soul lies.

“These songs are not only pretty fresh but have had an everlasting effect on me. These are the songs I’ll listen to years from now with nostalgia and remember the exact relative emotion I was feeling while listening to it. They’re happy, they’re sad, they’re corny, but above all these songs are just beautiful.”

 
Amber LaFrance
60th Annual Grammys: Fashion Makes a Statement

Stars gathered Sunday evening for the biggest night in music - using their status and style to make statements about social issues. The show displayed iconic moments paying homage to survivors of the #MeToo movement and bring attention to the injustices in the minority and LGBTQ community through the clothes they wore. Our DFWSD Team selected their favorite fashion moments from the show.

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Beyonce’s Black Panther themed gown left Boss Girl Amber Lafrance in complete awe. She joined husband Jay-Z, who was nominated for 8 awards, sporting a black floor length velvet gown by Nicolas Jebran using the tradition of social injustice as inspiration. Wardrobe stylist Marni Senofonte added drama to the look with a large floppy saucer hat, Alain Mikli sunglasses, jaguar shaped clutch and titanium geometric earrings worth $6.8 million dollars. Beyonce slayed this sleek all black look, along many other celebs showing support for Marvel’s upcoming Black Panther movie.

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DFW Style Daily  Intern Jessica Smith loved the versatility in actor and rapper Eve’s ensemble. The black two piece pant suit by Naeem Khan glistened in diamonds as she graced the red carpet. Over-sized tuxedo suits have become a widely popular trend  in women's fashion, embodying confidence and female sexual empowerment.

 

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Of course there is no best dressed list without an appearance from the American superstar, serving two of my favorite looks of the night. Singer, actress, and businesswoman Rihanna won her ninth Grammy for  Best Rap/Sung Performance with rapper Kendrick Lamar wearing a chocolate leather, Macy Gray themed Haute Couture  trench coat by Alexandre Vauthier. While performing hit song “Wild Thoughts” with DJ Khaled and Bryson Tiller, Rihanna switched up her look utilizing Hispanic culture . No one could contain their Wild Thoughts watching Badgalriri prance around in a custom pink A-line dress infringed with diamonds and fringe running down the perimeter. The flower placed in her crown full of luscious curly hair helped complete the look.

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Singer/songwriter Ke$ha sent a powerful message through her performance, describing the sexual and emotional abuse she experienced from her former manager. She wore white in support of the Time’s Up movement, symbolizing safety, cleanliness and new beginnings. The feeling of emotion overcame the crowd as other female singers joined in matching white, standing in solidarity.


The 2018 Grammys was one for the books! If you missed it, visit CBS News to view the biggest moments from the show.

Keyana Underwood
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Jessica Smith
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Meet Culture Hype intern Jessica Smith! She is 21 years old. Born in Austin, Texas & grew up in  McKinney, Texas. She is a Junior, public relations major with a minor in marketing at UNT.  She is passionate about writing, music, fashion, poetry & art. In the future, Jessica aspires to work as a publicist  in the entertainment industry. 

I like to think my music varies. Although my favorite music is R&B (80s-early 2000s) and Hip-Hop, I also love alternative music. I feel like I have a new favorite song every week. There is just so many good music being made that it makes it hard to choose! But here my list is…for the time.
#MUSICMONDAY feat. Keyana
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“My playlist describes me perfectly: A pretty girl that likes trap music! I'm also obsessed with R&B music from the late 90's & early 2000's.”

It's #MUSICMONDAY time! Meet Keyana Underwood, a new #TeamHype addition & 22-year-old senior at UNT. This CultureHype intern has a unique style & one-of-a-kind personality.. Keeping up with the latest trends & celebrity gossip has always been an interest of hers, she could not see herself doing any other job besides PR! Born & raised in Memphis, Keyana can spot great food & entertainment from a mile away.  During her free time she likes to travel, shop, go to concerts, seek new adventures & work on her blog Key's Kloset.

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Gabi Saithsoothane
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Gabi Saithsoothane is the Culture Hype dream team's former intern. Three words to describe her: creative, outgoing, and unconventional. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, she has always loved the different types of cultures and styles that can be found here. She just graduated from the University of North Texas with a degree in public relations and a minor in anthropology. Music, fashion, and makeup are just a few of her favorite things. She aspires to continue expanding her knowledge in public relations, music, and fashion. She has her own unique style and has a very diverse music taste. From EDM to rap to pop, she basically loves it all. 

"These are some dope songs that I've probably listened to way too many times." 

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Patrick Smith
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"There are so many bands and songs that influence me heavily, so narrowing this playlist down was tough! Rock and Roll!! 🤘"

Since Patrick was little, he was fascinated with music. He recorded songs off the radio since he was 7 or 8 years old. When he turned 17, he played drums for a few months and then got hooked on the guitar. He played guitar for 5 years, writing and forming many different bands that never got off the ground. Finally in 2010, he switched to bass. Within a few months, he started getting offers to play bass with other people and he decided that he was going to go all in. He has been playing, teaching, and recording music full time for a living since 2011. He's traveled around the U.S. and a little bit around Europe. He currently plays with BJ Stricker & The Kings, Jim Suhler & Monkey Beat, SuperNova Remnant, Ryan Berg & The Velvet Ears, Nick Snyder & The Real Deal, Holy Roller Baby, and BadKid. 

The CultureHype Collective: Meet Jen Kanne
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What is your favorite perk of being in the graphic design business?

I get paid to do something that I’m so passionate about which is super rare.

If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be?

Driven. Passionate. Pop-Cultured.

What is your random special talent?

I’ve just recently realized that I’m quite good at hearing the first note of a song or just the instrumental & knowing the name of the song & the artist. I play a game with my husband where he plays the New Music Friday playlist & I guess who the artist is based on the music & voice.

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If you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I have like three that are my go-to: "Lady Wood" by Tove Lo, "X" by Ed Sheeran & "When It’s Dark Outside" by G-Eazy

Who is your celebrity crush?

Probably Andrew Garfield because I think he looks like my husband & he’s British.

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Welcome to a little something called The CultureHype Collective. What is that? One could call it a dream team, our crew of preferred vendors who are killing it in the Big D & beyond. Meet The Collective.

Meet Jen Kanne, she's a badass Art Director at the Marketing Arm. On the Lays account currently, this graphic savvy designer has experience working with household names like JetBlue, Indeed, Hyatt & i360. For us, she's our go-to for professional, yet creative album art for local artists like BJ Stricker. She also happens to be the new bride of Michael Kanne of local pop group Northern National.

When you find yourself in a creative rut, where do you seek inspiration?

I’m constantly finding inspiration in fashion, music & architecture. If I ever feel like I can’t figure something out, I put in my headphones and go for a walk.

What is your biggest goal/dream for your career?

The dream would be to do something in sports advertising or to work with Marshawn Lynch doing ANYTHING, I adore that man.

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What is your go-to karaoke song?

I’m terrified of karaoke! Singing in front of people is not my thing! But when I’m in the car pretty much anything Sam Smith or Astrid S.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?

My black leather jacket.

How did you come about being involved in the business you’re in? When did you know that’s what you wanted to do?

I started out as fashion merchandising & quickly realized I didn't want to work retail hours. I kind of stumbled upon advertising/graphic design in college & became instantly addicted.

Tattoos?

Five & counting...don’t tell my mom

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Milan Merlo

CultureHype intern, Milan Merlo, is the girl that spent her youth plopped in front of the T.V. watching E! News and liberally applying Jergens at home gradual tanner. Milan obsessed about the day she would grow up and be the career girl fashion icon behind a big name fashion magazine. Milan is a PR student at the University of North Texas and is a Texas girl born and raised. Her free time is spent drinking copious amounts of coffee, blogging and vacuuming after her always-shedding beagle, Moose. Check out her amazing lifestyle blog, Milan Darling, here

"This is my mecca of playlists with all my favorite songs and artists in one. They're all a little more laid-back picks I like to listen to when I'm driving, working or just in the mood to listen to something chill with a good beat."

The CultureHype Collective: Meet Shabby Talebi
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EVERY FRIDAY we'll be rolling out a little something called The CultureHype Collective. What is that? One could call it a dream team, our crew of preferred vendors who are killing it in the Big D & beyond. Meet The Collective.

Meet Shabby Talebi, another badass boss-babe that makes up the team here at CultureHype. Account Executive Shabby is here for the music and passionate about everything on the scene. Shabby started as an intern in the spring as a graduate from the University of Texas at Dallas and has blossomed into a PR maven. Making friends with everyone along the way, Shabby is dynamic, creative and one-of-a-kind.

What is your favorite perk of being in the music/pr business?

My favorite part would probably have to be getting to listen to music and go to shows for a living.

If you had to choose three words to describe yourself, what would they be?

I think three words would probably be kind, loyal, and odd...

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What is your biggest goal/dream for your career?

My biggest goal has always been to help others get their music out there. Watching artists grow is truly so inspiring.

What is your random special talent?

I’m actually a pretty good cook but also I can put my hair up without a hair tie… is that a talent?

If you had to pick one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be?

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This is probably the most difficult question I have ever been asked. I feel like it would probably have to be Ed Sheeran…. Probably 

Who is your celebrity crush?

Probably either Liam Payne or Nick Jonas.  

What is your go-to karaoke song?

Burning Up by the Jonas Brothers

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your closet?

One of my flannel shirts

How did you come about being involved in the business you’re in? When did you know that’s what you wanted to do?

My whole life I wanted to work in music but that was often shut down to the point where I accepted it wasn’t going to happen and pursued being a teacher. When I turned 21, I realized I wanted to work in music and it WAS going to happen. I began researching jobs I could get into when I realized I have a close family friend working at Sony Music. I reached out, got a job as a College Marketing Rep. and flew out to New York that October for annual meetings. That trip was life-changing. That’s when I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do than work in the music industry and help artist get their music out there.

Who is your fashion icon?

I don’t really have one. I’m not really that into fashion to be honest.

Tattoos?

Workin’ on it

What is unique to you about living/working in Dallas?

I think Dallas isn’t often considered a creative scene but that is changing and watching it change is really cool.

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Amber LaFrance