Brand Spotlights + Investing: Rebecca Allen & Salone Monet

February 24, 2021


Ever since the great Kimye skin-toned band-aid snafu in 2018, big-name brands have worked to expand the shade range of "flesh" tone products from bandages to concealer to pantyhose. Smaller, independent brands have been doing this work across a variety of industries for decades and in 2019 I learned about a revolution happening in the footwear industry.


After years of working on Wall Street, at Goldman Sachs, no less, Rebecca Allen noticed that the company's strict dress code was easier to adhere to for white women, who more often than not wore nude pumps. "But a white person’s nude looked absurd on me," Allen said in an article published by The Helm. In 2017, Rebecca Allen left her job and started to "build a brand that could help women of color feel seen and supported as they move through their day." She started with the classic pump in five shades and has since expanded her product offerings to include a strappy sandal and a flat.


Rebecca Allen's story struck a chord with me. As a Black female finance major who has put on a pair of "nude" heels and flown to NY to interview at the same company at which Allen used to work, I whole-heartedly support her mission to empower Black women in professional spaces. Do I think that Rebecca Allen's shoes will combat racism and exlcusivity in the space? No. The exclusivity of the finance industry and business in general is so much deeper than shoes. But we all know how important self-confidence is to putting your best foot forward (no pun intended) and if a darker shade of shoes can do even a little bit to empower Black women in the workplace, then we should do everything in our power to support the cause.


Over the past 3 years, I've taken an interest in investing both personally and professionally. The stock market is a relatively-easy way to start investing and understand the industry, but over the past year I've wished for ways to get involved in privately owned company, specically early stage investing through venture capital. I'm nowhere near close to being an accredited investor, so my access has been limited to my work with the BLK Foundation as a member of the investment committee (and recently, co-chair of the endowment committee). That was until I learned about crowdfunding, which allows everyday people an opportunity to invest in companies that are raising money. 


One platform, called Republic, led me to discover Salone Monet, a "nude" footwear company that sports the slogan "nude is not a color" and creates pumps, strappy sandals, and flats in six shades. Salone Monet has caught the eye of Beyonce, Gabrielle Union, Keke Palmer and many more with over $25k in sales in 2020 (a year which was dominated by a global pandemic). More importantly, Salone Monet expects to reach over $100k in revenue in the next six months and expects a TAM of $4.3B. To be clear, this is an investment that I find extremely attractive with a discount rate of 15%.


Rebecca Allen and Salone Monet are two brands that I am spotlighting because not only are they both founded by Black women, but I believe in their missions and want to support them in any way I can. For me, that means showcasing both brands on my blog, buying their shoes, and investing in the businesses (Rebecca Allen is available for sale and investment on The Helm and Salone Monet is available for sale on the company website and investment on Republic). I encourage everyone reading this to support both companies however they see fit.


*Editor/Writer's Note: One of the images in the graphic is from Kahmune, a "nude" footwear comapny founded by Jamela A Acheampong and offers 10 shades with more inclusive sizing.


*I am not an investment professional. All investment strategies and investments involve risk of loss. Nothing contained in this website should be construed as investment advice.*

Personal Style: A Year of Evolution

February 17, 2021


It's been a year since I wrote "New Year, New Wardrobe: Curating My Perfect Closet" and even though 11 out of the past 12 months have been in a pandemic, I've been intentional about curating and refining my personal style like I set out to at the beginning of last year. I could try to define my style in words, but I think it's more fun to show the looks that I wore last year and let the vision/aesthetic speak for itself.

I've taken quality vs. quantity to heart and created almost a capsule wardrobe for the fall/winter season. Here are my go-to pieces for the season.


Leather pants

I love a leather pant to elevate any look from a cropped sweater to a plain white tee. The Spanx leather leggings are a gem being both comfortable and flattering. My favorite pants are great for winter because they're lined with thick fabric on the inside, but they're no longer sold so I included this chocolate brown pant from Asos that is part of an amazing set and currently in my cart. I've also had my eye on the House of CB Inaya pant and the Aritzia Melina pant.


Ribbed tee shirts

When wearing a plain white or black tee shirt, I prefer a ribbed tee to add some texture to the look. My go-to is literally called the Go-To t-shirt from Aritizia, but I also love these short and long sleeve options from Asos and Missguided.


Neutral Jackets and Coats

Black and navy coats can be paired with any look and can either take the lead or function as a background/warmth-only accessory depending on how they are styled. This black faux leather/faux jacket is by far my favorite thing in my closet and I wear it all the time. My navy coat was purchased from J.Crew years and years ago so I linked a similar style in black from one of my favorite brands, Matt and Nat.


Denim

People either love or hate wearing jeans, I love it. My favorite pair of jeans is, again, from Aritzia. The Denim Forum Lola High Rise Skinny is the jean that I have in many different washes and continue to purchase when I need new denim. I'm short, so the 26L is perfect for me. I don't only wear skinny jeans though, I love a good straight leg or bootcut to change the look of an outfit.


Silk Blouses

A silk blouse pairs well with denim and leather, which you already know are two of my closet staples. I'm obsessed with this champagne-colored blouse because it has endless styling possibilities. The navy blouse is similar to one that I have and I'm in love with the style.


Sweaters

Finally, good sweaters are essential for cold weather and I love the way the feminine knit texture looks with leather. I have this cropped fluffy sweater in cream and brown because it's just that good. This RL is in my cart right now as well, I love the preppy academic look and think it would be a great winter to spring transition piece.

What's in My Cart: Beauty Edition

April 24, 2020
I've rediscovered my love of makeup and skincare just in time for Sephora's spring savings event! I always try to wait and buy some of the pricier items I've been eyeing during the sale. Different levels of rewards members have different sale periods and discounts, so make sure to check the dates so you don't miss it! Here are the items in my cart!

Sephora Spring Sale Event




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