Posts tagged culturehype
My music taste mimics my personality, jumping from latin classics like Mana, or funky music like the Internet.
— Rebeca

Meet Rebeca, CultureHype’s new PR Assistant. She was born in Chihuahua, Mexico but is a Dallas girl at heart. She loves learning about everything new in Dallas and enjoys taking pictures in cute places! Having worked in retail for 6 years, she has learned to take life on the spontaneous side. On her days off you can find her hiking/kayaking, or sipping fancy cocktails at the newest spots (current favorite The Henry). 

Her choice of music mimics her personality, depending on her mood she will she will jump from latin classics like Mana, Afro Beats like Davido, or funky music like The Internet. This list is her most played at the moment!

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My music taste can jump from Reggae to Rock or R&B depending on the type of mood I’m in. Sometimes I’m in the mood for all three in one day!
— Kiana

Meet Kiana, CultureHype’s new PR Assistant! Kiana is a Senior studying Public Relations at the University of North Texas in Denton. Coming from a musical background filled with singers & musicians, she learned to appreciate music at a very young age - she fits right into our creative, music-obsessed team.

Kiana’s creativity is expressed through fashion, makeup, & music - she even moonlights as a freelance makeup artist. She’s obsessed with Stevie Wonder, Erykah Badu, Ari Lennox, & Alina Baraz. You can find her at the nearest Barnes & Noble reading poetry or murder mysteries! Listen to Kiana’s #MUSICMONDAY playlist below.

This track-list is ‘the inspiration’ behind “Demigod”, every song means something special to me
— 7 Tha Great

Phantom City Records is on a mission to help Dallas artists reach their maximum potential by providing & sourcing professional recording studios, & executing & implementing 360-degree branding & marketing initiatives. No one knows this more than local rapper 7 Tha Great, whose recently released sophomore album, “Demigod,” is a Phantom City production.

7 Tha Great, aka Ladarrion Burton, has worked incessantly for over a year, writing, recording & packaging the long-awaited record. “Demigod” is a follow-up to his debut mixtape “7 Days,”

“Dude’s a hip-hop thoroughbred,” says producer & Phantom City Records co-owner Chris Nicolaou. “It’s like he was born to do nothing else but fit words together in 16-bar increments to spit at the world. But it’s his determination to learn, hustle & grow that sets him aside from everyone else.

That hustle made 7, a native of the Dixon Circle neighborhood, a perfect partner for Phantom City. The rapper’s homegrown label FGMG teamed up with a then unknown Phantom City Records in 2017. Since then, 7 has jumped at every opportunity to provide support, mentorship & corporate resources to help hip hop artists thrive in Dallas. The rising star plans to help transform Dallas’ hip hop scene for good.

Partnering with artists like 7, Phantom City Records strives to help artists get their music heard without tying them down with contracts that limit creativity.

“We’re changing the culture of hip-hop in our city,” 7 says. “Period.”

Stop Everything & Read These Quotes for a Dose of #Inspo
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As an entrepreneur, I often need a dose of #inspo in my life. Navigating the highs & lows of the day-to-day isn’t always easy. What do I do when I need to kick ass on a presentation or send a daunting proposal? I look for inspiration in podcasts, online articles & books. Podcaster & entrepreneur Lewis Howes & his School of Greatness podcast is one of my favs. Last year, I took the leap & attended his live podcast conference event in Columbus, Ohio. This year I returned with some huge takeaways that I wanted to share with our network. His podcast serves as a vessel of knowledge, chock-full of interviews with incredible entrepreneurs from across the globe. Read on for a few quotes that really stuck out to me from speakers at his 3-day conference.

Lewis Howes, Athlete/Author/Podcaster – The School of Greatness

Lewis Howes, Athlete/Author/Podcaster – The School of Greatness

Self-doubt is the silent killer of BIG dreams.
I’m not attached to when or how, I’m just committed to making it happen.
Go all in on your fear until it disappears
Jay Shetty, Filmmaker/Viral Content Creator/Storyteller

Jay Shetty, Filmmaker/Viral Content Creator/Storyteller

Create a life, not a resume.
You can’t be anything you want, you can be everything you are.
Make small, incremental changes consistently. Small step, BIG priority — rather than BIG step, small priority.
Lindsey Stirling, Violinist/Dancer/Artist/Author

Lindsey Stirling, Violinist/Dancer/Artist/Author

If you’re not enough without a gold medal, you won’t be with it.
Some of my most defining moments were my failures, because I didn’t let them define me.
By finding the courage to be ourselves, we gain the power to make a difference.
Dr. Mark Hyman, Physician/Medical Director/Author

Dr. Mark Hyman, Physician/Medical Director/Author

You’re the CEO of your own health, live your life on purpose.
The power of community to create health is far greater than any clinic or hospital
Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist/Author

Dr. Shefali Tsabary, Clinical Psychologist/Author

Unless you’re willing to let your old self die, you’re just a living pattern.
We’ve been raised to look outward. When we look within, we find the truth.
To be free is to trust that you are whole, abundant & worthy.

I hope these quotes inspired you as much as they inspired me! Stay tuned for my fav quotes & takeaways from Day 2 at the Summit of Greatness. Learn more about Lewis Howes & the event here.

xo, Amber aka “HBIC”

Image 1 courtesy of ShineText. All other images courtesy of individual speakers.

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Joshua Fleming from the Vandoliers
I’ll start you off with our title track from our latest album. All of these songs are different & have an influence on me as a writer. They’re favorites from my friends, bands we’ve toured with, & those who inspire me. All great bands, all great writers, & different from the norm.
— Joshua Fleming

The magic for Joshua began the night he went to a Bad Religion concert with his sister, where he was inspired to create his own sound. Catch the Vandoliers onstage this weekend at Smoked Fort Worth, a BBQ showcase of the best Texas barbecue & live music. The all-day celebration will take Fort Worth by storm this Saturday, Oct. 13 from 2 to 6 p.m. in front of the Livestock Exchange Building at the historic Fort Worth Stockyards. It’s a can’t miss & the Fest’s first-annual Fort Worth event.

We’ve got a double win for everyone, on this #MUSICMONDAY! Love a bit of country music & BBQ? Well keep reading, because we’re giving you a treat. Meet Joshua Fleming, the mastermind behind the alt-country band, the Vandoliers. Joshua brought together a group of DFW musicians who felt extremely proud of their marvelous homeland. They put their own spin on Texas country & threw in a dash of punk roots to create a sound that caught Rolling Stone’s attention. This Texas lover wanted to express his love for the great Lone Star State with the new single “The Native.” One listen stirs up memories of “East Dallas dive bars, Pantego pool halls, small towns, big cities, & the rolling ribbon of bluebonnet-covered highway that stretches throughout the state”.

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Buffalo Black

"Buffalo Black is an unprecedented synergy of soul, expressionism, & lyricism, unlike any previous rapper or performing artist to date. Born & bred in the inner city of Dallas, Texas, Buffalo is a 5 year veteran & an alumni of the University of North Texas. With one listen, you discover why Buffalo Black is one the best kept secrets in hip-hop from a lyrical & visual perspective. He not only continues to push the envelope artistically, but he shines a light on modern issues in a progressive manner. He incorporates cinematic elements with his story-telling while soulfully weaving lyricism with righteous fervor.

On February 13th of 2015, Spike Lee released, "Da Sweet Blood of Jesus", by which Buffalo Black scored a major placement with his record "Enter The Void" from his debut LP "Buffalo Black LP". The record is not only featured in the film but was released on the soundtrack distributed by EPIC Records & soon became a fan favorite of Vice Magazine online when reviewing the film.

This playlist is a reflection of the energy & attitudes I’ve been on so far this year. There are some tracks that’ll make you jump, think, & love someone all at the same time.

His song, "1984" & latest album "Surrilla", garnered attention in national outlets such as 2dopeboyz, DJBooth, & Hip Hop DX, while being nominated as, "Best Song", "Best Music Video," & "Best Hip-Hop Act" at the 2015 Dallas Observer Music Awards. In 2016, the artist won again in the "Best Songwriter" category. Buffalo Black has been billed with such prominent Acts as GZA, Mos Def, D.O.C. Kool Keith, Rakim, Ty Dolla Signs, Living Colour, Jose James, Doomtree, Young Fathers, Isaiah Rashad, Bishop Nehru, & more." Most recently, he released, "Be Like Water", a powerful piece that emphasizes his ability to flow & apply his style behind diverse, vivid audio landscapes. 

#TeamHype Spotlight: Nelli Tokleh
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Here at #TeamHype, we're all about celebrating our peers! In today's #TeamHype Spotlight, we are highlighting a CultureHype OG, Nelli Tokleh, our first ever employee -- besides co-founders Amber & Jarrod, of course.

After jumpstarting her PR career at CultureHype back in 2012, Nelli has had the opportunity to work at some amazing companies. With some persistence & dedication, she's been able to reach her career #GOALS. The CultureHype fam is super proud to show her off!

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

“In grad school, I was working for Amber to gain PR experience while finishing my MBA program. I was trying to stay ahead of the curve in the PR industry while in school. So when Amber offered me a gig at CultureHype, I snagged it quick! I was actually Amber’s first hire for the agency. My role was to work with several consumer brands & find them editorial opportunities. So gaining these skills early on in my PR career was very valuable!”

How was the transition from college into the workforce?

"It was an emotional roller coaster. From moving back into my parent’s house from my college apartment to looking for a full-time PR job, there was a lot of stress. But the hard work & all of those internships paid off when I landed my first job about a month after graduation. Then adulthood happened...working an 8-5 job, paying bills, (& student loans!), etc. Most new grads will agree that it’s not an easy transition but having supportive friends & family around you can make all the difference as you ease into a new routine."

What is your day-to-day life now working at Dala Communications?

"I’m a Senior Account Executive at Dala, & I do a lot of traditional PR work, which I love. I’m working with several clients from the B2B to B2C space, as well as nonprofit."

What do you love the most about working at Dala Communications?

"In PR, every day can be different, so it keeps things exciting. The clients I get to work with have such great stories, & I love being the storyteller for their audiences and the press."

What are some tips you can give readers to help them find the job of their dreams?

"If you’re in college get internships in whatever field you're majoring in because it’s a valuable experience to put on your resume, & it’s a great way to get portfolio samples. It makes you more marketable for a job when you graduate. Also, don’t be shy to connect with someone who you would be interested in working for one day. So if you’re interested in sports, for example, contact the PR manager for that team. Send them a Linkedin request, follow them on Twitter, reach out online to ask for opportunities.

How do you think persistence is important in this industry?

"Persistency allows you to grow & develop. You press on, even when the situation can be tough. As a result, you can achieve that goal you're going for & become a stronger, successful person in your career." 

What has been your biggest accomplishment within your career in Public Relations?

"It's hard to name just one. I love working with nonprofits and getting to tell their story to the public. The best feeling is knowing you've made a difference for an organization who may not always have the help & resources available. Whether it's increasing their Facebook likes or getting them an article in a local community paper, the small things can have a huge impact on an organization." 

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Kelsey Shoemaker
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Monday’s can be difficult because your mind is tired & unproductive. I wanted to make a playlist that can set the tone for the week with beats that wake you up from that lazy Monday coma.

It's a new week & that must mean we have another #MUSICMONDAY playlist for you! Meet Kelsey Shoemaker, CultureHype’s new content creator. Kelsey is currently a Senior at the University of North Texas (UNT) studying Photojournalism. She is passionate about photography, having previously interned at D Magazine, College Fashionista, & now CultureHype. Kelsey loves surrounding herself with other talented individuals who have a strong visual & aesthetic style, the reason why she loves serving as Visuals Editor for her college paper North Texas Daily.

In her free time, Kelsey loves pouring wine glasses & putting on her Netflix queue which includes teen soap operas & murder documentaries. Kelsey also enjoys reading, coffee, cheese, and is obsessed with pasta.  

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Stephanie Beckers
Photo credit: Tyler Dozier

Photo credit: Tyler Dozier

My playlist really describes my taste in music. From R&B to country, & everything in between, these songs will always make me feel something!

Meet Stephanie Beckers, a recent graduate from the University of North Texas (UNT)! Stephanie, one of our new #TeamHype summer interns, majored in Public Relations with a double minor in business & Spanish. The bilingual communications maven has a passion for dancing, music, & traveling. Catch her getting her fitness on, planning her next trip or concert, or looking for the cheesiest 'zza in town when she's off-duty. 

She loves watching videos of sloths on the internet & dreams of traveling to Thailand one day to make her dream of hugging baby elephants come true. Stephanie aspires to spread positivity & good vibes while bringing humor into people’s lives. The music aficionado has diverse tastes, spanning genres & languages.

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Tori Loudenback
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“The music I love can be described as a compilation of a multitude of genres with a focus on pop, alternative & indie music.”

It's #MUSICMONDAY! Meet Tori Loudenback. From an early age, music has been a driving force and creative outlet for her. Graduating from the University of North Texas in 2018 with a Bachelors in Journalism with a focus in Advertising, Tori is pursuing a career that celebrates and values artistic endeavors.

During her free time, she likes to travel, read, shop at thrift/antique stores, and is always on the lookout for the best Thai tea in town. Tori loves painting and knows the heart required to make authentic art. The love of her life, Scottie, her 15-year-old dachshund, can always be found sitting by her side napping away.

#MUSICMONDAY feat. Tyler Dozier
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Ever since I was able to comprehend music, I knew what my favorite genre was, R&B, & Hip- Hop. I was heavily influenced by my parents & grew up listening to artists like Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Salt’N’Peppa, LL Cool J, TLC, Boyz II Men, Whitney Houston, & more. My preference in music has shifted over the years, influenced by my friends & the people I interact with.

Introducing #TeamHype's tallest intern in company history, Tyler Dozier! Standing at 6'5" with a size 15 shoe, the brand new 21-year-old is still growing. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, the North Texas transplant moved here when he was just five years old. Now a senior at the University of North Texas (UNT), Tyler is studying Media Arts with a minor in Marketing. Passionate about music, dance, culture, and art, he spends countless hours watching dance videos on YouTube, trolling for the best Spotify playlists, and sharing his life on SnapChat. 

Like most college students, Tyler is still finding his footing in the industry - but who knows what they want at 21? He's excited to get his start as a part of our small but mighty creative team.

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.”


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.”


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

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.


“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. 


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’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

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!”


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.


“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

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.”


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.


“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. 


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


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?


"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."