Vol. XXXV Aphro Chic

Vol. 35 Aphro Chic

LIFE BRANDED….Jeanine Hays

“Even a single life can have diversity”

We are delighted to speak with Jeanine Hays, a woman who speaks and designs from her soul. She shares about her products and blog. She has a full line of pillows, wallpaper, shower curtains, and tabletop accessories.  What makes AphroChics approach different….it’s soulful and ethnic inspiration.  It’s presented in a fun, funky, and modern setting and could add an extra little something to each of our homes.  Jeanine has created a unique Life Brand, and her products bring a little cheer to any room.

We had a chance to ask her about her Life Brand, and her influences.  It’s a pleasure and delight to see someone living and benefitting from their dreams. 

She shares….

AphroChic began three years ago, as an interior design blog - the brainchild of a mind obsessed with interior design. I have been interested in styling interiors since my mom first let me decorate my room at age 6. But it all finally crystallized for me in law school when design became my haven from the stress of classes, briefs and exams. And even though my work as a policy attorney occupies a large portion of my time, the chance to share my views with those who shared my passion had – and still has - an irresistible allure.

Social media such as Blogging, Facebook, and Twitter have become a major way for consumers to actually connect personally with a brand.  Jeanine has created a highly successfully blog, aphrochic.blogspot.com. This has opened many doors for her and created an outlet for her to reach a broader audience.

Blogging presented me with a unique opportunity. It allowed me to participate in an emerging global conversation on interior design, carried out by designers and customers alike connected through the worldwide web. It did not take long for me to identify an open niche to which I could dedicate myself. As a professional woman of color, I am aware of the significant presence of women of color as consumers of luxury design products. Yet there were few voices speaking meaningfully to that experience within the design world.

AphroChic became a means of looking at design from a new perspective. Highlighting artists and designers from around the globe as well as all that was interesting and new within modern design, I set out to prove that ethnic heritage and culture could go hand in hand with the luxurious and the modern. I coined the phrase, “Modern, Soulful, Style,” to embody my personal vision of a new kind of design – one that embraces culture and the unique admixture of the traditional and the contemporary that helps to define us all.

By the beginning of the blog’s second year, I was ready to go beyond defining the niche and begin filling it. I partnered with my husband, Bryan Mason, an academic pursuing his Ph.D. at University of California Berkeley. With both of us pursuing full-time careers, we made the decision to develop a business that would specialize in small but impactful pieces.

The journey from law to design has been an interesting one. Since our launch in 2009, AphroChic pieces have been featured in Lucky Magazine, Nesting Newbies, Chesapeake Home and various interior design blogs. I also had the honor of being an online guest judge for the 2010 season of HGTV’s Design Star. And this year, I am excited to launch our second collection, Brooklyn Renaissance. Offering unique pieces including pillows, wallpaper, tabletop and bath items, AphroChic remains committed to bringing modern, soulful, style home.

We love to learn more about people who’ve created Life Brands from their soul.  It’s seemingly effortless to think about and create beautiful ideas.  We understand the execution may be challenging but the outcome is very rewarding.  It’s our dream and mission to assist individuals in the process of allowing their dreams to be realized.

Jeanine has definitely created a spirit filled design house.  She has multiple talents and creativity.  It was a joy and pleasure to learn a little about her personal side.  This is truly where a well designed Life Brand is formed.  It’s our insides that creates an exterior of greatness, that we then share with the world.

Jeanine’s personal points….

I wish I was...able to conjure up magic powers that would let me fly to anywhere I wanted in the world in an instant.

I'm honestly afraid of....the dark.

My favorite place is....my home. It’s a comfortable and cozy nest just for me.

My biggest regrets....not starting my own business sooner.

Someday I hope to....live in a foreign country.

What I love to do more than anything is.....laugh.

My biggest pet peeve is....people who don’t have manners.

The best advice I've ever been given....dare to follow your dreams.

What is next for you.....Pursuing more creative designs that make people’s homes happy.

What is your guilty pleasure....chocolate candy and Dorito’s (not together).

What does AphroChic mean to you....It’s my voice, an expression of who I am and what I believe in - beautiful design that is sustainable, and speaks to one’s own identity.

If we didn't know you as Editor and owner of AphroChic, how would we know you....as a lawyer/policy-associate for a non-profit organization working to end domestic violence.

What would you like in AphroChic's future?

I would love to see AphroChic turn into a full design house, offering our homewares collections, styling and interior design services.

Finally, What part of Jeanine's DNA is in AphroChic?

AphroChic is a full reflection of who I am - a person who loves beautiful and comfortable pieces for the home that reflect cultural and ethnic style.

“Anyone can have modern soulful style.” Jeanine Hays

Be Inspired and Live Life Blissfully…L+B

AphroChic products are sold online at aphrochicshop.com.

They are also sold in two retail stores – Nest in Dallas and Lotus Bleu in San Francisco.

Photos: AphroChic