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0 In Art/ Lifestyle

Success and Failures Check-In

Oh my goodness, where has the time gone?! I cannot believe that it is already November (even though it’s still crazy hot outside). But more importantly, it has been 5 years since I started this blog! I have been a bit slow keeping up, but this is where I remind myself gently how much I have been busy with.

I am attempting to be more kind to myself since I constantly feel guilty about what I am spending my time on. As some of you might know, I decided to go back to school in January, and really focus on growing Marvi Beauty. I am excited to be heading closer to my goals, but unfortunately, that has meant that Gillannie has fallen through the cracks. I thought it would be great to step back and check-in with a few successes and failures I mean “bumps in the road” that I have had since I set out on my journey of living with intention. And hopefully picking up the pieces with Gillannie while I am at it!

Marvi Beauty has felt a lot more refreshing this entire year. We have seen growth in wholesale accounts and just the consumers we am attracting. We also got Best of Atlanta from Creative Loafing, along with some of our favorite Atlanta makers, which was a delight and a humbling honor. We are doing more craft and art shows, which has been such a huge learning experience. The shows have given us such an amazing opportunity to speak with our consumers directly and get their reactions and opinions on the products instantly. What I have struggled with is marketing and really getting all the operations and logistics streamlined in the business. Currently, I am the only one working full-time on Marvi, and finding time to do everything has been a challenge. But hopefully, this upcoming year I can slow down and make necessary changes that’ll help us meet more goals. It is definitely a growing process, but I am loving every single second of it!

Personally, the 100 Days Project was a very gratifying experience. As adults we don’t really make time to do art projects ourselves. Especially as someone who has a creative job, it is difficult to do something imaginative for yourself, on your own time. So forcing myself to get into a habit of taking time out daily to do calligraphy was absolutely rejuvenating! During the project, I connected with a lot of strangers (some even became friends) and reconnected with a lot of familiar faces that sent suggestions or encouraging praises. It also became such an amazing ice-breaker for many that were acquaintances. People would bring up seeing my project on social media, and it was very inspiring to know that others were connecting with something that was personal to me. I had a lot of people reach out when I didn’t get a chance to post something, and a lot that said they were making it a habit to look for my daily post. I realized quickly that it wasn’t just my project anymore and others were investing their time in it as well! I hope to continue doing these sort of projects every year, and just seeing where the journey leads me. I really truly hope I can inspire at least one other person to do the same. Maybe even someone who hasn’t connected to the arts as I have because as I always say, everyone is an artist, they just don’t know it yet! 

After the 100 Days Project ended, I decided to take up reading again, which I hadn’t done as regularly as I would love to, because I didn’t think I had the time. But as soon as I began, I was starting to make time. And it has been sooo invigorating taking time out to just escape into the pages instead of becoming a digital zombie in front of the T.V.! I really hope to keep reading into the new year, and am always open to suggestions if you have any!

I didn’t mean to come back and write an entire essay or make excuses for not keeping up, but just wanted to share how I was doing and where I was heading. I hope everyone has had some wonderful days that are full of creative energy! And I hope you’ll check back in every so often to find inspiration to try something new, or just enjoy the remarkable creative adventures other artists and designers are on!

0 In Interiors/ Lifestyle

Tigmi Trading – Hidden Artisanal Treasures

Summertime always makes me dream of Moroccan inspired spaces. The colors, textiles, and the bohemian beauty of it all is perfect for outdoor parties. If you love artisanal treasures as much as I do, check out Tigmi Trading.

Tigmi Trading 1

Tigmi is Berber for ‘home’

Tigmi Trading is a global store that curates responsibly sourced hand made product from Morocco and around the world. We seek to unearth beautiful pieces that are unique in their workmanship and story, and are committed to supporting centuries of traditional methods of production by artisans around the world.

Enchanted by the mysticism and magical world of Morocco and drawn to the richness and history of the Berber culture and people, the journey began in the souks of Marrakesh.  The magic of the souk, the heat of the desert, the vastness of the landscape, the food, the smells and the incredible artistry which has been passed down through centuries. The excitement of unearthing the treasures within an Aladdin’s cave.

Tigmi Trading 2

Tigmi Trading 3

Tigmi Trading 4

Tigmi Trading 6

Via Tigmi Trading

0 In Design/ Lifestyle

Nature is Speaking – Julia Roberts is Mother Nature

In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, I wanted to share this powerful video on Mother Nature. This video is one of a series done by Conservation International (watch them all here). All the videos are awe-inspiring and powerfully narrated. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do, and that it inspires you to make a small change in your life, whether it be recycling or conserving water. Anything really.

After all, “Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature.“- ‘Humanifesto’ by environmental organization Conservation International.

0 In Lifestyle



Resolutions are so daunting. Last year, my husband (then fiancé) and I sat down and created a list, for each aspect of our lives that we wanted to work on during the year (health, finance, relationships, etc). The problem is that while we kept up with them at the beginning of the year, we seemed to fall apart by the end. Because I get to celebrate the New Year twice (see my post on Navroz), I always re-evaluate and adjust my resolutions according to how honest I have been with myself in the past 3 months.

This year, I changed it up. Instead of making a long list, I chose a word:

Intention –
“is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought” – Wikipedia

Reflecting upon the past years, I realized that the resolutions I seemed to have accomplished were ones that I created a habit around intentionally. Because I was getting married towards the end of the year, I was very intentional with all my workouts, and marked it visually on my calendar. And I literally checked off glasses of water when I drank them on an app! So many other resolutions, however, fell through the cracks over time. Within the past three months, I have already seen a huge difference in my mentality and commitment just by using “intention” as a mantra of sorts.

The fact is that setting intentions isn’t all that new an idea. It is something I hear at the beginning of every yoga class. Even so, it has taken me this long to understand what it really means, and how powerful a tool it is in getting past internal obstacles and setting goals. I am trying my hardest to put more purpose and effort into everything I do, whether it be school, health, spirituality or business. And because I am being more intentional, I truly see what matters to me at this point in life and what I am forcing upon myself. Therefore, I am better able to manage my time and expectations accordingly.

I can also let go of unrealistic goals with no real plans in sight. Just by setting and expressing intentions, I find myself planning to achieve them. Basically, in a way I have found the way back to my high school self. The difference this time is that I am not setting sights on specific results, but rather hoping for contentment and growth in the process, and opening myself up to possibilities. I am releasing my intentions into the Universe and letting things work out however they might, believing with all my being that it will be as it should be.

But don’t get me wrong, setting intentions isn’t enough to accomplish anything. Actions are what matter. Being open to opportunities from the Universe is one thing, but you still have to do your part, and make the most of those situations. No matter how good your intentions are, if you are lazy and can’t seem to move past the goal-setting phase, then nothing is going to make a difference. Not your resolutions. Not your intentions.

Intention is merely the beginning.

The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads reads,

“You are what your deepest desire is.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

So this year, intention is where I’ll begin. again.

I truly hope that this inspires you in some way to set up goals for yourself with intention, and reflect upon your own resolutions. Follow along to see where mine lead me. If you like what you read, or you want to add to the conversation be sure to comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts! In the following weeks, I hope to share more of my goal setting plans, and perhaps a few freebies on the way. So if you haven’t already sign up with your email so you don’t miss out!

Good luck!

0 In Art/ Lifestyle/ Typography



Today’s hand lettering piece rings especially true for me watching the current Presidential run. Normally, I choose to keep my political beliefs to myself and am very diplomatic on the blog. But the way things are going with Trump, I feel I need to say something.

“Truth is not measured in mass appeal,” and I really hope that remains true when it comes to the state of this country. I am flabbergasted by all that Trump is saying, and all those following him. The fact that he continues to win states is scary to a Muslim American like me! It seems so ridiculous, and yet it’s terrifying to think that people actually support him, and his message of hate. I am hopeful that people will take hatred out of the equation, that bigots will not win, and equality can continue to be nurtured, but I, like many I know, remain nervous.

That is all. For now.

0 In Lifestyle

Moving Forward by Looking Back


I, like most, reflect upon my past resolutions at the beginning of each year. Have I accomplished all that I wanted to? Did I come closer to achieving my dreams? Questions that you probably ask yourself as well. Growing up I was the planner type, someone with a 10 year plan. Within the past few years, I have found myself evolving into someone who “goes with the flow,” and doesn’t dwell on missed deadlines. I have become a firm believer in being open to all that the universe has to offer, even then somehow I seemed to have gotten lost on my path.

A conversation I had with my best friend continues to resonate with me. On February 13th, while we were on the way to a Valentine’s day event being held at Made Again, I made a comment about how upset I was because Facebook had reminded me that a few years ago on that date I was sitting front row in a NYFW show. My best friend, Anisha, instantly got mad at me for my negative attitude, and proceeded to recount a few of my achievements within the past year:

  1. I got married (surviving the planning stage being the bigger achievement of course)
  2. Started Marvi Beauty with Mom
  3. Was on the way to a boutique carrying Marvi Beauty
  4. Went back to school

That got me thinking about how wrong I was. I had accomplished a few personal and professional goals, but because I was so caught up with moving forward, I was actually doing the exact opposite. I realized that sometimes you have to look back and evaluate all that you have achieved and failed at, in order to prepare yourself to move forward with your best self. By looking back and seeing all that I have learned, I am equipping myself with the best tools and skill sets to better myself creatively and intellectually. The questions I should have asked all along are: How have I grown with the past year? What skills have I nurtured? What steps will I take to gain more? It sounds simple I know, but it honestly hasn’t been. Within the past few years I left New York City, a city I obsessed over most of my life, a career that I worked hard to build, and moved back home to a slower-paced life I wasn’t all too familiar with. I have been so caught up with getting somewhere that I never gave myself a chance to actually slow down and appreciate how far I have already come.

This might be very obvious to some, but if you, like me, have been in a rut creatively and have been not very kind to yourself, I hope you take time out to think about all your achievements – no matter how small. Make a list and look back and see how you have grown personally, intellectually, and financially; and if you haven’t – look at how you can change and what steps you can take to get better yourself this year. Have you been so caught up in getting somewhere that you aren’t really enjoying the path? Perhaps this is the year you change that. This is the year I hope you are more aware of the tools you carry, and how you will pave your path to your best future self.

Good luck on your journey!

0 In Lifestyle

Nostalgia Machine

Been watching music videos on this all morning! Check it out (by clicking on the image below):

Screen Shot 2014-07-22 at 1.06.46 PM

0 In Art/ Lifestyle

The Stories of our Lives

Stories have been around since the beginning of time. The values, emotions and soul of humanity can be found in the shortest of tales throughout the world. While technology makes it very easy to capture moments through photographs and videos, I find that the essence of the moment can only be heard through vocalizing the emotions.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

Take time out to check them out. It’s such a beautiful effort going strong for 10 years now. You can also schedule an interview for yourself or a loved one, perhaps as a wedding or anniversary gift!

Via StoryCorps

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