Sweet Taste of Freedom: TnT Burlesque


TnT Burlesque & Variety Troupe


When did your business launch? 

What is your business about? 
TnT is a vaudeville style burlesque & variety show that produces theatre quality productions three times a year in Oklahoma City with 3 performances per show.  We do old fashioned theatre runs because the idea of working for months to perform a routine once makes no sense to us! 

What is it that you do/sell?  
We sell the art of entertainment with titillation.  TnT brings Oklahoma City a fun, bawdy, hilarious and sexy experience that they can't get from any other show in town.

What gave your the inspiration or motivation for your business?  
I saw an amazing show in Indianapolis that was produced by Katie Angel (of Angel Burlesque) and it changed my life.  I saw women and men of all sizes performing their hearts out and the crowd just loving it!  Before seeing this show, I thought burlesquers had to be perfect physical specimens, like Dita Von Teese, but this show made me realize that anyone with the skills, talent and guts can do burlesque! 

Do you do this full time/part time?  
I do this full time.  I enjoy being part of the performance scene and the World Wide burlesque movement!

How has your life changed since starting your business?  
How hasn't it changed?!  Before TnT and performing burlesque I was definitely a behind-the-scenes entertainer.  I wrote for various publications covering fashion and events but I hadn't been in the public eye since I did Top 40 radio back in the late 90's.  I love being able to inspire other women to do what I do and to just find the confidence to be who they really are.

What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered?  
Myself.  I am not great at the self promotion portion of this business and I know that it has been an obstacle to my career.  I'm getting better at it but it still is difficult for me, sometimes. 

What is something you thought was going to be hard, but turned out to be simple, in regards to your business?   
I think it would have to be organizing the big shows.  I love producing and have the most amazing team behind me but there are always going to be things that go wrong.  I believe it's how you react to those hiccups shows who you are.

What has been your biggest success to date? 
TnT just celebrated it's 4 year anniversary!  We are still going strong and getting a bigger following with every show! 

Do you have any big plans/ideas/launches planned for 2015?  
Merchandise!  Our fans want to show their TnTSizzle and we are finally at a point to give it to them!

What would you like to share with COAST readers about your company/business?  
If you're in the OKC area and have ever had the desire to be part of an all inclusive burlesque & vaudeville show, contact me!  We are always looking for fun, new talent to add to the TnT family! 

Lastly, what is the advice you would give to someone looking to start a company or business similar to yours?  
Do your homework.  Research the area you are wanting to begin performing in before you start your own performance group. 

If you're only burlesque reference is Dita Von Teese... you have a lot of work ahead of you.  Burlesque has been around for a very long time and there are so many amazing performers and Legends that you can get in touch with.  Ask questions.  Don't think you know everything. 

AND REMEMBER... this is a BUSINESS.  Too many people get into this business thinking it's all about fun.  It is fun, yes, but it is also a lot of hard work.  Burlesque (good burlesque) requires hours of rehearsal time and dedication.  This isn't a business to get in if you are looking to get rich!  Have the passion for it before you focus on the dollar signs. 


Doing:  Today it is 84 degrees outside.  That is crazy!  It is the last week in October, and it's 84.  I will take it, but I still think its nuts.  As for today, or most recently, I have been updating my wardrobe.  In the last three months I have lost 31 lbs, since being diagnosed with cancer.  That is enough weight to have clothes that no longer fit.

Thinking about: I recently saw a quote that said to find changes in your daily routine to help find your way to greatness.  I think the reason that this struck a cord with me is that is getting into routines and then get very stuck.  Before I know it, I look around, and think what am I doing? I have lost touch with why I choose to do certain things and I get very bored with what I am doing, why I am doing it, etc.  I am going to start looking at choices that I make, and using it to further my desires, my passions, and such.

Watching: I just started watching How to Get Away with Murder. I.  Am.  Addicted.  Ugh I love the story line, I love that it keeps me on my toes, and I love that there is a strong female lead.

Looking forward to: This week is the Nosferatu play, accompanied by the KC Symphony.  I cannot wait. I already got a new dress for the occasion.

Sweet Taste of Freedom: Ains & Elke StyleHaus with a special GIVEAWAY!

Ains&Elke StyleHaus

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AinsElkeStyleHaus?ref=bookmarks
    IG: @ainselkestylehaus
    Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/Hesitantsmile

 When did your business launch:  late 2012

What is your business about? What is it that you do/sell:  Our motto is "Recreating the past...one stitch at a time!"  We recreate clothing, usually from the 1920s through the 1960s, in an attempt to help our clients feel as though they're wearing a piece of history.  Everything is customizable, so the client get exactly what he/she wants! 
What gave your the inspiration or motivation for your business: My kids!  To be completely honest, I haven't always been hot and heavy into the vintage lifestyle!  I joined the Navy when I was younger and spent 6 years traveling the world, going to school, and being a single mom.  Then, I met my future husband while we were both in Japan on detachment.  We married and I left the Navy to have my second kiddo.  We were restationed to a small town in California, where jobs were scarce, even for a person with a Bachelors degree!  After an endless search, I gave up and turned to my passion....sewing.  I had a few vintage patterns lying around from a Big Band dance I had attended years before.  I thought to myself, "I really love these dresses...I wonder if anyone else would too?!"  We were dirt poor and I couldn't even afford fabric, but I had an amazing friend who gave me her fabric scraps from the aprons she made. From there, I was able to start
 making  small amount of clothing.  After my first order, I reinvested in more fabric and so on.  Today, I'm able to add an income to my family's funds and feed my kids better food than hotdogs!

Do you do this full time/part time?  I'm a full time stay at home mom and seamstress! (and yes, those are two full time jobs lol!)

How has your life changed since starting your business: I've fallen in love with vintage!  The more I research past fashions, the more I live for it!  I've met a ton of people who share the same feelings I have for the lifestyle and the fashion and I couldn't imagine my life without them!

What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered:  My biggest obstacle to date has actually been my shyness!  I used to be incredibly shy and wasn't ever able to market myself well, because I'm not one to talk about myself.  I've been able to get much better at this, but it's still a work in progress! 

What is something you thought was going to be hard, but turned out to be simple, inregards to your business:  I honestly thought it would be most difficult to juggle my business, kids, and maintain a healthy loving relationship with my husband.  But it's actually become the one thing I never worry about!  I involve my husband in a lot of aspects of my business, which he enjoys.  It gives us a lot more time together and makes him feel special to help out :-)

What has been your biggest success to date:  I consider my biggest success to be waking up in the morning to a message in my inbox from a client, telling me how well my clothes fit her and how she feels so pretty!!

Do you have any big plans/ideas/launches planned for 2015:  my dream would be to create a collection to display on the runway at Viva, but I'm unsure how to go about it!  I will be constantly adding to my available clothing items, creating more designs to chose from!

What would you like to share with COAST readers about your company/business?  I'd like to share that we are always open to new ideas, requests, and are always happy to accept a challenge!

Lastly, what is the advice you would give to someone looking to start a company or business similar to yours: I would tell someone, go for it!  It's soooo much better to work hard for something you love than work hard for something you don't!

Use code COAST for 20% off your ready to wear Etsy purchase (exp 11/24/14)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sweet Taste of Freedom: Karloff Kouture

Karloff Kouture

I have a shop on etsy: Etsy.com/shop/KarloffKouture
A tumblr page in the works:  KarloffKouture.tumblr.com

 When did your business launch?
Around June of 2012, I opened up my shop on etsy.

What is your business about? What is it that you do/sell?
In my shop, I do a lot of Horror themed hair accessories, along with things revolving around the geek culture. I've focused a lot on Star Wars, as I'm a big fan, but I also reach out to the fandom universe, like Supernatural and Doctor Who.

What gave your the inspiration or motivation for your business?
Honestly, I have always been a firm believer in the DIY attitude. If I can do it myself, then I will. I just remember going through sites online and seeing so many overpriced items that weren't even of a good quality (not everywhere, mind you, there are PLENTY of shops that sell quality items at a decent price) and just thought to myself,"Damn, I could do that." It started out with just making things for myself, but I ended up getting so much positive feedback on my accessories that I figured,"Screw it, why not me too?"

Do you do this full time/part time?
I actually run my shop full time.

How has your life changed since starting your business?
Honestly, prior to starting Karloff Kouture, I had plenty of creative outlets, but none that received much recognition. Since opening up the shop, I have sold countless orders to women all over the US and all over the world, for that matter. When I would receive feedback and photos of people wearing my merchandise and being so happy with what I made for them, it almost gave me a sense of accomplishment. It drives me to do better.

What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered?
Standing out from the crowd was a bit of a struggle at first. You go through the pages on etsy and there are countless shops making hair accessories. In the beginning, I was discouraged thinking my shop would just be white noise amongst the sea of shops on the site, but over time and thanks to tumblr (I had an account prior to the one I just started), I had a lot of support and exposure and my shop did very well after a while.

What is something you thought was going to be hard, but turned out to be simple, in regards to your business?
In my shop, I mostly make Made To Order products, and I was worried that it would be a bit overwhelming in the beginning. I work incredibly well under pressure, so it ended up being a breeze for me.

What has been your biggest success to date?
Other than breaking the 400th order mark on my shop, I haven't really had anything major happen yet. I would like to start working with models to wear my accessories in shoots, though.

Do you have any big plans/ideas/launches planned for 2015?
I am currently working on a new line of items to come out this year! Hair accessories, purses, and a lot of DIY punk and Psychobilly vests. I also have some ideas in the air regarding my place in the Body Positivity community, and I will be bringing my logos and message to the shop as well. And finally, I will also be listing certain hair accessories that when purchased, all proceeds will be donated to The Joyful Heart Foundation.

What would you like to share with COAST readers about your company/business?
I'd like to express my thanks to anyone reading that has supported my shop in the past, for one. You guys helped turn something I love into more than I could have ever hoped for. This shop is so much more than just making money to me, it's also helped me meet so many wonderful people.

Lastly, what is the advice you would give to someone looking to start a company or business similar to yours?
My advice would be to put your heart and soul into what you make. Let your imagination run wild and create something beautiful. Even if you're discouraged, never give up on doing what you love. It's a long road ahead of you, but once you find yourself where you need to be, you'll look back on all of the hard work you've put in and it will be so worth it. When it hits you that people around the world are happy with what you've made, what you've put so much effort into, it will make the struggle worthwhile. And lastly, take pride in what you do and don't ever let anyone cause you to second guess yourself.

FREESHIP13 gets Free US shipping on orders of $25 or more.
FLASH13 for 13% off orders of $10.
My Star Wars items are a BOGO item right now, where you buy two and get a surprise Star Wars bow free.

Weddingway Bridesmaid Post

Gothic Noir Bridesmaid

Gothic Noir Bridesmaid by katty-de-lux featuring black eye makeup

I was contacted by Weddington Way  and for the month of October, we would like to honor Bridal Fashion Week by virtually hosting our very own October Style Challenge here at Weddington Way!  The look that I put together was inspired by an evening wedding, featuring the autumnal tone of Oxblood.  

To me, an evening wedding means black tie affair with tons of drama in the design.  Be sure to visit the website to check out all the styles of dresses they offer, most of which not only would serve as a bridal party dress, but homecoming or prom, as well. Find a wonderful selection of dresses here.

Makeout Monday: Things I love this Week

// Would love this set for spring // 

// This is true, so I shouldn't put so much pressure on myself //

// Love these for fall //

// I would accept this as a proper bouquet of flowers //

// Dia de los muertos Mermaid //

// A favorite Halloween Movie //


Doing:  For the moment, it is all about really getting together with my friends.  I am highly involved on social media, which is a good and bad thing, all rolled into one.  It is so easy for me to "feel" like I have spent time with people by commenting on their IG posts, or posting something on their FB timeline, when in reality I haven't seen them in a long time.  So the past couple of days I have got together with some pals and really just talked to them, enjoyed their actual company, and I have to say I have really missed that human connection.

Thinking about: I have decided to develop a more concrete plan of how to say no.  No to things I don't want to do, no to things that I don't have time for, and no to overcommitting myself.  The ability to say no to people is something that is really hard for me.  I want to say yes to everything, and then I find myself burnt out, tired, and with little time to do the things that I actually want to do.  I am turning over a new leaf people.  We will see how it goes!  I have purchased an actual paper planner and am blocking off time.  I have been using it for about a week, and so far so good.

Watching: Well, I watched the premiere of American Horror Story: Freak Show.  I was a little disappointed.  I think I was expecting the first episode to really, really wow me, and I just wasn't.  I am going to keep watching and hopefully the story will pick up.  A friend of mine pointed out, that he thinks the first show really was made to people who aren't a fan of the show already.  This makes sense, because if you are a fan, you would already know some of the character arcs.  Which, in that case, if you didn't follow you would have been, perhaps, shocked when they showed the two headed lady, etc.  

I am, however, super excited for The Walking Dead.  Like, I cannot wait.
Looking forward to: I have tickets to see Nosferatu at the Kansas City Performing Arts Center.  It will be accompanied by the KC Symphony.  This should be really amazing.  I can't wait!

Sweet Taste of Freedom: Dollface Desserts

 Dollface Desserts

When did your business launch? 
June 2009

What is your business about? What is it that you do/sell? 
I sell custom desserts (cakes, cookies, cupcakes) for all occasions!

What gave your the inspiration or motivation for your business? 
My daughter's 1st birthday. That is when I first discovered the world of elaborate cake design!

Do you do this full time/part time? 
Full time.

How has your life changed since starting your business? 
Since starting my business I have become much happier and confident in myself. I love being able to be creative every week and being able to make people happy with my food.

What is the biggest obstacle you have encountered? 
The first year of business I took on a cake way bigger than I was prepared for and it literally fell apart in my lap on the way to the clients party. I ugly cried & offered a full refund to the customer, needless to say she was beyond sweet and paid anyway.

What is something you thought was going to be hard, but turned out to be simple, in regards to your business? 
When I first started I thought there was no way I could handle more than a couple of cakes per week. Now I can do  at least 8 cakes per week, easily! It's all about time management (and an extra fridge!)

What has been your biggest success to date? 
Reaching over 3,000 likes on Facebook. It sounds silly, but 80% of my business comes from Facebook!

Do you have any big plans/ideas/launches planned for 2015? 
I would definitely like to do more wedding cakes. Also bigger cakes, most of the cakes I do now do not feed more than 150 people.

What would you like to share with COAST readers about your company/business? 
That this business is very special to me. It allows me do what I love and put food on the table for my child. As a single mother, this is very important to me.

Lastly, what is the advice you would give to someone looking to start a company or business similar to yours? 
Never underestimate yourself and use your resources. The first year I basically donated my services to get my name out there, do what you have to and be confident. Practice makes perfect!

Daily Candy

Check out this daily candy post on Steady Clothing Blog

Makeout Monday: Things I love this week.

// I love cracker barrel, and this cake is delicious. //

// A perfect laptop bag //

// Bra Perfection //

// This blog, might be a new favorite //

// Perfect Shoes and Perfect Fall Style //