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It’s not easy to be frugal AND fashionable. That’s why this local fashionista launched a blog with tips to stay on-trend without breaking the bank. Read on for more.

 

Tania Lockhart, the blogger behind Selective Closet.

Tania Lockhart hasn’t always been the fashionista she is today. In fact, she says that it wasn’t too long along that she herself was struggling to put together outfits.

“If you don’t have a sense of fashion, it’s really hard to come up with eye-catching outfits that you feel comfortable in,” she says.

To combat that obstacle, Lockhart says she dove deep into the basics of color combinations and carefully studied what popular style bloggers were doing with colors, patterns, and styles. Soon, she was able to create a colorful, fun, and outstanding sense of style that everyone can relate to.

In an effort to showcase what she’s learned, and continues to learn everyday, Lockhart launched Selected Closet in September 2016, a blog focused on chic and modern fashion on a budget.

“We love big name brands but we know not everyone can afford it – nor should they have to,” says Lockhart. “So I search for boutiques (and even Amazon) to bring my followers fun, chic outfits that are affordable and of great quality.”

Everything that is showcased on Selective Closet has been carefully curated and styled to save you the hustle of searching, picking, and styling outfits. “All you gotta do it click on the outfit details and boom!, a new outfit,” she adds.

When asked what keeps her going on her blog, Lockhart says she is inspired to continue to bring her blog to life by her followers who are out there struggling with fashion like she once did. “In fact, I got a few direct messages recently about how Selective Closet has inspired my readers to be bold and more daring when it comes to colors and patterns,” she says. “It feels nice to know Selective Closet is achieving the goal that it’s meant to.”

Aside from her booming blog, Lockhart is also a 26-year-old part-time English teacher who enjoys reading, writing, and lifting heavy weights in addition to walking her puppy and cooking.

There’s also an eye behind the lens of each Selective Closet post thanks to photographer Chelcie Lister.

Lockhart takes pride in curating outfits that people wouldn’t normally think of putting together. “Our readers are always mentioning how much they like that and the compliments they get themselves when they recreate Selective Closet styles or looks,” says Lockhart.

When asked what her favorite part about Selective Closet is, Lockhart says that while she enjoys shopping, photo shoots, and putting outfits together, her absolute favorite part is interacting with followers.

“My favorite part has to be interacting with my followers and going through my emails and direct messages,” she says. “They always say really sweet things and they even send me pictures of outfits they have in mind to get my point of view. I just love they trust my sense of style!”

Lockhart is looking forward to the rest of the year with Selective Closet as she prepares to not only maintain her blog but open an online boutique as well.

“Everything will be handmade and custom made,” she says. “Our readers will be able to find skirts and dresses they already love and ideas on how to style their items. I’m really excited about that!”

To read Selective Closet, click here, where you check out new posts and subscribe to the newsletter. You can also follow Selective Closet on Instagram.

 

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See how a local bookstore’s unique program teaches kids science, writing, art, and music — all while they enjoy a fun, engaging experience!

Blue Manatee is offering new activities for kids.
Author and illustrator Noelle Dingeldein leads a fun clay activity.

The Blue Manatee Bookstore is a unique, child-friendly space that seeks to provide the best in children’s books and related activities to engage young minds. One way it accomplishes this is through the ActivAtees program.

Paige Seck, the events coordinator at Blue Manatee, describes the ActivAtees as “kid-friendly, multi-faceted events” that “support the importance of reading, conversation, and real-world experience for children to reach their full potential. We strive to exercise all parts of our ManaFriends’ brains with music, movement, reading to, reading with, art, writing, science demonstrations and experiments, etc. We bring published authors and illustrators to the store for children to meet and greet.”

The goal of ActivAtees is more than just to entertain kids, though. With the ActivAtees program, the Blue Manatee Bookstore aims to make reading fun and to “provide engaging experiences centered around literature,” says Seck. “We add flavors of art, music, science, movement and much more to create and develop age-appropriate and innovative programs that are fun and memorable.”

This is in keeping with the Blue Manatee Bookstore’s philosophy to create a space for families to learn and grow. Seck says, “Our inventory borrows from Goldilocks: Not too big, not too small, just right. Sections and shelves are well-organized, with developmental stages in mind. We provide welcoming places for families to read together. If we’re out of a title, we offer to order it, and welcome suggestions of favorite titles. And most of all, we will seek to be a destination for families, an active participant in our community, and a fun place to work; a unique, inspiring place where kids will take their own children someday.”

October ActivAtees include Make-A-Mess on October 3, an outlet for children’s artistic sides; story and snack time in honor of World Smile Day on October 7; a party for Brown Bear’s fiftieth birthday on October 11; a Halloween meet-and-greet with author Nick Bruel on October 26; Read for the Record on October 27; and Miss Meghan’s Music on October 29.

Children (and adults) of all ages are invited to the ActivAtees, but different activities target different age ranges. ActivAtees are scheduled on most days except Sunday, but occasionally there is an activity on Sunday as well. All ActivAtees are listed on the Blue Manatee website and listed on the bookstore’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, newsletters, and printed calendar in the store. Some are free and some have a small fee, and some are drop-in events and some require preregistration.

Blue Manatee Bookstore is located at 3054 Madison Road on Oakley Square. Learn more at http://www.bluemanateebooks.com.

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