Halfstack Magazine Fall 2013

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the man behind






























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181 BACK TO COOL Halfstackmag.com


editor’s letter

Welcome to the Fall 2013 - Annual Music Issue , Halfstackers! I can’t believe that summer flew by so quickly. As much as I am sad to let the long days of summer go; I’m incredibly excited about what fall holds for me, the team, my friends and family. Fall always represents a season of change for me. As Halfstack continues to grow, we are seeing change all around us. New faces, new roles, new relationships and of course new readers! I’d like to extend a hand and welcome anyone who is just stumbling upon us for the first time and offer a gratuitous thank you for those of you readers who continue to return to read the content that we put together for you. As always, I want to quickly thank the team who works tirelessly alongside me to organize, execute and release each issue. Take a minute to learn who they are on the extended family page and visit our website: www.halfstackmag.com and click on “team” to learn more about each of them. This issue is dedicated to the amazing Chicago music industry and music in general. We have an underground street style vibe to our music and fashion editorials that I’m sure you will all enjoy.


Each fall Halfstack makes it a point to shoot a great rising independent artist. Last year we featured “Lights Alive” and this issue, the talent is ever present in our latest feature: Southside Jake. If you are a fan of hip hop and a fan of classic rock, Halfstack is so excited to share this budding star who has an amazing lyrical ability. His verses are more than skin deep and he explores the troubling and relatable issues that the people of Chicago need, want and deserve to hear about. Check him and his story out on page 24. This issue also highlights some new artists on the indie scene - The Berets - along with a great piece by our newest e-intern,



Cheyenne, showcasing “Austin City Limits Music Festival” and her amazing writing skills. The music articles in this issue are abundant. So, get lost in them, but don’t forget to check out everything else! This is our largest issue to date. We continue to push the fashion envelope with our Anna Hovet fashion feature (pg. 72) that we shot in Gramaphone Records (a Chicago landmark record store that is continuing to thrive despite the onset of the digital industry). Anna Hovet is an indie designer that has truly made Chicago her home and continues to push for recognition of Chicago’s ever present fashion industry. As a Macy’s Incubator Program alum, her business sense is as on game as her fashion sensibilities. It’s no surprise she has continued to see success. We are so grateful to continue to share the wonderful talent that we find in Chicago with the world. We hope this issue continues to inspire you and give you direction as you all pursue your dreams. Take a moment to visit our site www. halfstackmag.com after you read this issue to check out our behind the scenes video of our fashion shoot. In this Digital Age, it can be hard to connect with the people behind the words and images you see online, but we hope the video gives you some insight to who we are as a team. Continue to chase your dreams readers, we’ll see you again in the winter! If you can’t wait to connect with us, then make sure you visit our blog and social media pages to keep up with all of the happenings right here at Halfstack.

As always, we appreciate you! Till Next Time,





jennifer veguilla eic & creative dir. @ chicLezan

mariana quaranta fashion director @ missmarc40

kate roth fashion director @ halfstackmag

PHOTOGRAPHY stephanie battista lead photographer

laura lopez lead photographer

& Jr. Art Director

pickapose photography

jennifer pontrelli sales & pr director

sophia sanchez digital content director & editor


meet the 6



KALI KOLLER Graphic Designer & Creative

STELLA ESTRELLA Beauty queen, mommy, fashionista & blogger.

JEROME THOMAS Music lover & Proud Daddy!

DANIELLE PULAK Beauty know it all, fashion diva to the max.

JUSTIN WILHOIT Nutiritionist, trainer & Health Nut!

Heather Blazek Writer & Designer Extraordinaire




Fashionista & blogger

Chi-town fashionista & style maven


Fashion enthusiast & talented graphic designer










In the height of the digital music industry, a small shop stands alone – mighty and still in business - despite the fact that analog music sales have declined drastically over the last 10 years. That shop is Gramaphone Records. The store has been around since 1969 and the current owners took over the shop right before the economic downturn in 2008. To say they’ve been on a rollercoaster ride of education is an understatement. The team has learned to change how they buy and sell music in a brick and mortar setting and has made it a point to incorporate a digital aspect to their core business. With combined strengths of business savvy, tech savvy and strong customer service, it makes sense that the shop is continuing to thrive. The store caters to a niche market and is known for house and techno and as the place to find local hip hop artist cuts. The market that



Gramaphone caters to is well informed and are looking for the quality that one gets from analog music and due to this, the store is continuing to thrive. They showcase vintage vinyl’s and are one the only places you can go to find vinyl in tip top shape. Whatever they are not selling in store, you can find online in their discogs.com shop (think e-bay, but for music). When asked what was in store for the next 5 years, Gramaphone is looking to grow both in store and online. They are also launching an indie label that is set to go live September/October 2013. With this new venture, they will continue to showcase local artists and genres ranging from house, to techno to hip hop. The shop will continue to showcase local bands, DJs and musicians during their Thursday events and hopes to continue to push for the evolution of the music industry while still maintaining their analog roots.




SAVING PETS WITH MUSIC This description… Imagine a life confined to a small, cold, dark cage. Imagine never having the opportunity to step out for a quick walk or a stretch of the legs. Imagine being riddled with illness due to malnutrition, a life with zero socialization; a life full of so much loneliness and neglect that you’ve become terrified of people. Imagine a life whose entire worth is measured in only one way; your ability to reproduce.

How One Woman Is Making A Difference



The life of a typical

commercial breeding animal.

Most of you have heard the term puppy mill. And most of you have made the connection that puppy mills, for lack of a better term, are bad. But do you know why? Envision a farm full of livestock. And envision how those animals are kept before being slaughtered to distribute to the food industry. They are given a number instead of a name; forced to sleep in foul smelling barns, grazing until some person decides their time has expired. The health and welfare of these animals takes a back seat to increasing profit. Does it seem too farfetched? Not quite…. That puppy you bought last month from the pet store down the street? Chances are, his mom lives the life just described. A commercial breeding farm is governed under the same arm of the law as livestock. With few and very lenient laws in place to protect these animals, their lives are seen as nothing more than a means to an end. Forced to breed every time she is in heat, a commercial breeding dog could have given



birth to ten litters at the mere age of five. It’s not uncommon that these animals are treated so badly that they develop physical health defects – decaying jaws, swollen paws, ear infections, dehydration and even blindness. And when their breeding life has run its course, they are often auctioned off for mere pennies or even worse, taken out back and killed. No guilt, no compassion; just another day in the life of a commercial breeder. This is legal.

Dahna Bender, a Long Island resident, was stuck in traffic one day when she saw picketers standing outside a pet store. She pulled over to find out what the cause was and in that moment she realized, she was exactly where she was supposed to be. This is where her journey began… Knowing she couldn’t sit back and let thousands of defenseless animals fall victim to the hands of commercial breeders, that gnawing feeling that she needed to help, would just not dissipate. But how could one woman help make a difference? Bender has been given a gift. The gift of a beautiful singing voice. And through this gift, she intends to help put a stop to the ugly business of commercial dog breeding. Bender has partnered with the National Mill Dog Rescue (www.milldogrescue.org) for the release of her first album, “Christmas, Giving of the Heart,” in which all of the profits will go to the efforts of the National Mill Dog Rescue, which is to not only put a stop to puppy mills, but to rescue as many of the breeding dogs as possible, rehabilitate them and find them their forever homes. “I’m not an artist. I have a talent and I’m using that talent as a vehicle to bring funds to this organization. The project is for the organization. I do not intend to become an artist or make money off of this. I believe in what this organization is doing and my mission is to help create awareness.” Having had the chance to sit down with Bender, Halfstack learned firsthand what it truly meant to her to get involved. “Having grown up with a blind father, we always had dogs growing up. ‘Seeing’ people (people with sight) don’t realize what the power of touch can do for a person. We seek it out without even realizing it. For a blind man, touch is everything. And it’s almost as if animals can sense that.” With philanthropy and the fight for animal rights being the driving force in Bender’s life, she is

leveraging her talent as a singer to benefit those who have devoted their lives to saving animals nationwide. The National Mill Dog Rescue has rescued and rehabilitated over 8,000 dogs since it was founded in 2007, and those numbers continue to soar with every passing day. “Why Christmas? Because, Christmas is a beautiful time of year that everybody can relate to. I hope to do this every single year for as long as possible.” Did you know that every year, retail pet stores across America sell over 500,000 dogs, most of which come from puppy mills; while five to seven million dogs enter shelters? Please help put a stop to commercial dog breeding and buy Bender’s album today. Her rich & melodic voice, in conjunction with the beauty of Christmas carols, are sure to inspire you to want to help make a difference! You can find it on Itunes or buy it directly from her website at www.dahnabender.com.

For more information pertaining to this cause, please visit www.dahnabender.com to make a direct donation, please visit http://www.milldogrescue.org/. Like Dahna Bender on Facebook – www.facebook. com/dahnabender

I believe in what this organization is doing and my mission is to help create awareness.



Ladies AND GENTS Please welcome, from San Antonio, Texas...


The folks at Halfstack Magazine are still shocked daily by the success of our growing business. When Jenny, Kate, & Mariana founded the magazine in March of 2012, they never imagined that in less than two years time, they’d be surrounded by a growing team of over 20 ingeniously creative individuals. From the brands, writers, & photographers to the creatives & graphic designers, each day we are blown away a little more by the talent that continues to pour out! With a growing brand, comes more responsibility & a lot more work. Sooo… Over the Summer, Halfstack Magazine held it’s very first creative writing contest. The prize? The chance to intern for us, & the winning article to be featured in our Fall 2013 issue. Let me just say…. People have a hard time following instructions (haha). Weeding through some very bizarre entries… including one about the existence of Bigfoot; I stumbled across a few that were quite terrific. One in particular was written by a young woman by the name of Cheyenne Hendricks.; an 18 year old high school student with a prominent philanthropic background & a passion for writing.This San Antonio resident blew me away! The maturity in her writing & the fluidity of her words, it was as if each sentence came together like the lyrics to a song. Quite frankly, a talent I’ve rarely seen in other’s her age. I’ll be honest in admitting that her age concerned me a bit. Would she be able to handle the time commitment & the pressure of working under tight deadlines? But in the end, it all came down to one key factor. She is talented. I’d be an idiot to pass up the opportunity to help her grow within this field. And hey, if she teaches me. a few things in the process, then I’d say it was a good day! So, without further ado, please help me welcome Cheyenne Hendricks, the newest Blogging Intern & Winner of Halfstack’s first ever Writing Contest! In her winning submission, she shares with you the details of a true Texas Gem and nationally renowned venue, Austin City Limits Music Festival. -Sophia Sanchez Director of Digital Content Halfstack Magazine

Cheyenne Hendricks



City Limits

b Austin

Music Festival Written By: Cheyenne Hendricks


and the crown jewel of Texas, is home to one of America’s most vibrant music venues available, Austin City Limits. The popular music program, featured on PBS for over thirty seven years, is filmed in Austin where there are weekly events showcasing musicians of all genres. Every weekend, the neon city comes alive with the rhythmic beat of Austin’s heart as the locals pour into the Moody Theater to be entertained by dazzling acts and talented musicians. From budding artists to big name bands, this spectacular scene has it all! Not only is it the longest running concert music program on American television, but it has become so popular that it inspired the creation of the Austin City Limits Music Festival, an annual celebration of music and art held in Zilker Park. This nationwide, cultural phenomenon captivates nearly 230,000 roaring fans over its three day course each year. Due to its exponential growth in popularity, the 2013 festival will be held over the course of two three-day weekends, rather than one. The festival is a musical amusement park which presents a myriad of artists, genres, and events! It is one of the most popular music festivals in the United States and has attracted many of the greatest names in music including Stevie Wonder, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Coldplay, and Kanye West.



Photo courtesy of Austin City Limits Instagram Page This year, it kicks off with a scintillating performance by international superstar Lionel Richie! During its duration, there will be multiple games, events, and food provided for the fans. Everyone who has attended leaves wanting more! It is packed with an energetic atmosphere which welcomes people of all ages. Children ten and under get in free, and there is a kid’s tent which offers family friendly games and entertainment. There are also multiple beer vendors and tents to supply the adult crowd with cold beer, dancing, delicious food, free sunscreen, and complimentary ice water! This October, Kings of Leon, Jimmy Eat World, Fun., and many more will be peppering this festival with the music America loves! Not to mention, there will be a plethora of local art exhibited throughout the festival grounds. With over forty vendors, there are arts, crafts, jewelry and all kinds of nifty merchandise available for purchase each day! Every year people are eager to buy hand-made art which can easily be shipped directly to



their home via USPS. This convenient service allows customers to enjoy the festival without having to carry around their new treasure, but this isn’t the only accommodation for the customers There are four hundred buses which provide free shuttle service to and from the concerts, art market, and food vendors. Come experience the best of every musical genre available, or come just to enjoy the upbeat environment and tasty local cuisine!




Not only do people come to enjoy the music, but this festival has some of the most unique, signature eats in the state! Austin City Limits Music Festival offers both vegetarian and gluten free options which stretch far from the typical festival food. Foodies are encouraged to try some of the quirky favorites like Salt Lick Barbecue, Truffle Oil Fries covered in Parmesan, and Guinness Steak and Potato Pie! This place has more than thirty food vendors which serve enticing treats all day! The festival has everything from music and entertainment to food and football, yet on top of all that, it still remains one of the cleanest and most charitable concert events in America.

It offers a warm sense of Southern hospitality with thrilling entertainment, unique art, incredible food, and priceless environmental efforts. It has become a staple in American culture; it has the eclectic variety which attracts audiences from around the globe and the eccentric charm that keeps Austin weird! People of any age can come to enjoy the bustling excitement or just sit back in a lawn chair and relax. The wide variety of music combined with the festival’s picturesque park setting make for a magical, musical experience that you won’t want to miss!

Tickets are still available for this upcoming October fesAustin City Limits Music Festival is regarded as one of tival. For more information go to www.aclfestival.com the most environmentally friendly concerts in the coun- www.facebook.com/aclfestival try. Free “Rock & Recycle” T-shirts are given away to Instagram - @aclfestival all its attendants who collect and recycle bags of cans, Twitter - @aclfestival cartons, and glass bottles. Because of the festival’s efforts, the 46 acre fields of Zilker Park remain trash free. The festival also supports multiple charities. This year, the festival will host the “Art that Feeds” food drive for the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. Patrons who bring ten or more non-perishable food items will be rewarded with a free poster by Anthem Branding and the satisfaction of knowing that they helped people in need. Other charities which help fight cancer, conserve and protect water sources, provide teen out reach programs, and more will be featured at the concert. This is a festival which gives back to the community in every way. They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and Austin City Limits Music Festival is no exception!



Urban music

awards Written By: Jerome Thomas

Have you ever put in a lot of work into something and felt that nobody recognized the time and effort you put into it? The music industry has a way of doing that to a person; but thanks to VA Production and Dianna”Mz D” Fourte, you don’t have to feel that way. Halfstack Magazine had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual Midwest Urban Music Awards 2 day event held at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary, IL and the Olympic Theater Cicero, IL. This event allows artists, djs, record labels, and more to come out under one roof to celebrate urban music. Currently the Chicagoland area is one of the top hot spots where music is being born. So what better way to show love to all hardworking artists who are making their own names? The5thAnuual Midwest Urban Music Award was started to showcase our local artists and their talents. The event



was supported by many companies in the area; MPact Public Relation, Divine Diva,5th Ave Boutique, Blok Club, D.U.B. L.I.F.E. ENTand Out the Box. The first day was the Rappers Ball and Convention. Starting off the event, they pulled out the red carpet out for all of the artists and most of the artists were interviewed on their way into the event. There werea lot of local artist out for the event; CHI-P, YS4L, Chella H, and Killa Clint. A few artists came all the way from Little Rock to attend. Tha Real Undaground Radio Show on KABF 88.3FM came all the way to Chicago to make the event. Pink McCoy with the Source Magazine attended the event. One the biggest name at the event was Bo Deal. Bo Deal is an artist from Chicago who signed with WakaFlockaBrickSquad

Monopoly. He brought has Killa Klan team with him for the event. Once you got inside, they had DJs playing all kinds of local music.Chi Blizz from Power 92.3 hosted the event.A hand full of artist performed on the first day. Bo Deal performed some hits and brought one of his artists, P. Rico, to join the show. Currently, Bo Deal’s song “We don’t run from drama” has over eleven million hits on WSHH. The show was not just music but there was also great fashion at the Midwest Urban Music Awards. Everybody came dressed to impress. There were models hitting the stage during performances to display new fashion in the urban community. The models were wearing the best style of shoe for the event. The best shoes were light up heels by a

local designer. The second day of the event was the Midwest Urban Music Award Ceremony in Cicero, IL. It was a beautiful day for all of the artists who’d been doing shows, mixtapes and events throughout the year. There were more performances, however the sole purpose of this event was to recognize local artists for their hard work and talent. One of that artist which has been featured by Halfstack Magazine, CHI-P, won two awards this year. This event is what Chicago artists need to stay focused and to know they are loved by the city, friends and other local artists.







alfstack loves to be out and about meeting new artist chasing their dream. We were out at an show and met this wonderful group call the The Be rets. I had a chance to hear the band perform in a live personal setting in Downtown Chicago. They play their song “Shadows”, which became one of my favorite songs. I was drawn in by the unique and took some time to speak to the band. The Berets is comprised of Graham Henderson on Guitar/ Vocals and Lauren Serra on vocals. Graham is a recent student at Loyola Chicago majoring in communications and alien studies. As a musician, he has been in many bands including Peach Orchard and Starbeast. In his free time, Graham can be found acting or drawing cartoons on his Nintendo DS. Graham’s Bertlien Art Prints sell online for seven dollars featuring original art on www.beretsband.com. Lauren is a recent graduate from Loyola Chicago, majoring in theatre and dance. Outside of The Berets, Lauren can be found performing in musical theatre productions around the Chicago area. Lauren has been



in theatre show like “Annie Get Your Gun, Pippin, Into the Woods, Little Women the Musical, and Joseph/the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. She also is an amazing choreographer who did show like The Electric Baby, Seussical the Musical, and Wolf Den Swing Dance. She is currently finishing up a show called “Cabaret”, where she was a Kit Kat girl.

name out and doing performs all over the city. On July 23, The Berets were happy to announce they have been recently hired as musicians for Potbelly Sandwich Works located in the Old Orchard Mall! They played at the North Shore Festival of Art. There most recent event was playing at the Sip & Shop event representing Potbelly Music. The band has been posting videos on Youtube and you can subscribe to them. They also Why is their background important, because it’s all just open their SHOP page available with merchandise, about Chicago from theatre, art, and music. They are music, and magic on their website. Plan on hearing Chicago. After putting these great minds together you more about The Berets in the Chicago music indushave The Berets. They perform a lot of acoustic melotry scene. They are already looking forward to move dies. This allows you to hear the great voice when they show and event to showcase their talent. Halfstack will perform. Their music range from talking about love, be here to watch them grow, fly and follow their on shadows, and true meanings for the heart. Graham the journey to the top. play the guitar with Lauren light opera tune has made the style a great combo. If I had to compare them to www.beretsband.com a current band it would be John Meyers with Ingrid http://laurenserra.com/Lauren_Serra/Home.html Michael. https://twitter.com/ThisIsLauren Over this summer the band has play at a number of locations. As a new band to it is important to get your





SOUTHSIDE JAKE WRITTEN BY: JENNIFER PONTRELLI LAYOUT DESIGN: JENNIFER VEGUILLA In early September, as the raucous backyard parties and festivals of the summer give way to cooler weather and the sobering reality of school nights, the city is breathing a collective sigh of relief. The madness of summer is over and as the city settles in for the impending deep freeze, the grand hustle, and flow of life seems to stall for a moment as we all collect and reorient ourselves i¬n a new season and ever-changing modes of living. One figure, however, refuses to give up the hustle, the flow, and the relentless drive. Out of the shadows of the Ford City Mall, the MC known as Southside Jake is poised to make a major strike on Chicago’s independent music scene. With a fresh blend of hip-hop, classic rock, and even a little ska in his repertoire, Southside Jake is ready to turn it up to eleven and keep the party going with his music all year round. Born and raised in the south side, working-class neighborhood of Ford City, Jake Tuton found even at an early age that he could not simply check a box to define him or his philosophy on life. He found that definition in music. The Tuton household



was somewhat of a cultural outlier in the rough and tumble area of Ford City. Finding themselves the minority in a predominantly African-American neighborhood, the Tutons emphasized hard work, manners, etiquette, and, interestingly for a future rapper, proper English. Jake showed an early aptitude for athletics but found real inspiration to the world he wanted to be a part of through his grandmother. As a professional artist, Jake’s grandmother would take him all over the city to cultural events and expose him to what he calls a “hodge podge of influences.” It was these bits of art and culture that taught Jake to find the creative outlet that, combined with a bluecollar upbringing in a south side neighborhood, would find its way into rhyme writing and hip-hop music. And with a relentless work ethic and drive to establish himself through what he loved to do, hip-hop MC Southside Jake was born. Jake’s first foray into the recorded rap world was not as promising as he probably would have hoped. Throughout high school and college, Jake’s playful rhyming and weaving of music would grab the attention and fervent encouragement of his friends, however he lacked any type of formal sound engineering education or training. Despite this chal-

Just as Southside Jake is not your typical rapper, “The Classic Rock Mixtape” is not your typical album.


lenge, Jake took it upon himself to create music anyway… and in the spring of 2011 he made ten really terrible songs. “I mean they were pretty bad. The words and writing were ok, but they just did not mesh with the music,” he recalls, “It was kind of frustrating because I was making really shitty music, but I had a lot of great stuff to say.” In an effort to keep his dream alive and learn from this “failure,” Jake sought out the advice of local artist and mentor Kidd Russell. Russell, a veteran producer and personality on the local hip-hop scene, invited Jake to his recording studio. Along with Russell’s own producer, the two listened to the ten songs and promptly laid in on Jake, explaining precisely what was wrong about it and how he could make better music. “They basically told me that my songs sucked, gave me a lot of tips and sent me out the door,” he explains, chuckling at the absurdity of it all. Some time later, using their advice and his growing influences and experiences, Jake came back to them with an impressive new song, “City Kids,” prompting a brand new reaction of excitement, respect and an offer to collaborate on more music. With Kidd Russell, his crew of music gurus, and a new fervor for creation and expression, Southside Jake got to work writing, rapping, and making music. He released four songs as an LP in June of 2012, receiving promising reviews and a decent number of downloads through iTunes and Spotify. In the spring of 2012,



Jake collaborated with a sultry vocalist known as PA on a well-received track called “Stand Tall.” The collaboration helped Jake reach new creative heights as positive reception provoked the shooting of a music video and helped to establish Jake as the unofficial seventh member of The Reunion, PA’s Arlington Heights based band. As recently as September 2013, The Reunion and Southside Jake have performed together at venues all over the city including Wise Fool’s Pub and The Tonic Room, blending their respective styles of ska, rock, and hip-hop to create an intoxicatingly fun show. As a solo act, Jake has performed at festivals and venues all over as well, though staying away from his beloved south side, “It’s a whole other scene on the south side, but something that I would love to show to the rest of the world.” On June 18, 2013, Southside Jake released his most recent opus, “The Classic Rock Mixtape.” The mixtape is a collection of tracks that pays homage to bands and songs that Jake grew up on such as Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, and even The Beatles. Hip-hop meets the Beatles you say? Yes, and it works. Over the lovingly familiar strains of classic rock songs, Jake filters his own thoughts and philosophies through smart rhymes and rhythms that make one wonder how much fun it would be to step into a studio and record with your favorite artists of all time, dead or alive.

Just as Southside Jake is not your typical rapper, “The Classic Rock Mixtape” is not your typical album. He deftly samples famous songs and raps alongside an impressive gang of local artists including Kidd Russell and The Fatman, but nowhere in Jake’s recordings or live act can one find a hint of pretentiousness that comes with mild success or the attention whoreing aspects of your every-day, south side, wannabe rapper. Jake raps with the pleasure and graciousness of someone that loves what he’s doing and is eager for wherever this ride is going to take him. At a recent show, Jake explained his goals for the future. “I don’t want to be famous guy— I want to be self-sustaining, happy to be what I’m doing guy,” he relates in his deep, south side drawl. When he hops up on stage, he tips his favorite, old baseball cap to a rowdy, beer addled audience and offers a boyish smile… in one moment revealing his respect for the moment and that he is indeed a happy-to-be-what-he’s-doing kind of guy.

Over the lovingly familiar strains of classic rock songs, Jake filters his own thoughts and philosophies .



On June 18, 2013, Southside Jake released his most recent opus - The Classic Rock Mixtape








With a relentless work ethic and drive to establish himself through what he loved to do, hip-hop MC Southside Jake was born.






In an effort to keep his dream alive and learn from this “failure,� Jake sought out the advice of local artist and mentor Kidd Russell.





They basically told me that my songs sucked, gave me a lot of tips and sent me out the door. Halfstackmag.com




Jake came back to them with an impressive new song, “City Kids,� prompting a brand new reaction of excitement, respect and an offer to collaborate on more music.



Nowhere in Jake’s recordings or live act can one find a hint of pretentiousness

that comes with mild success.







ALBUMS By: Jerome Thomas

He started from the bottom, but now his CD is here. Drake will be releasing “Nothing was the Same” his Third studio album. Set to be released on September 17th, Drake has collaborators including 2 Chainz, Big Sean, Jay-Z, Future, Rick Ross, Justin Timberlake, JheneAiko, J. Cole, TLC

Even after being robbed, Mr. 2 Chainz plans to rob the number one spot on the chart September 5th with B.O.A.T.S II: Me Time. His lead single “Feds Watching” featuring Pharrellhas everyone watching for this album.

After taking Maxim’s Hot 100 number 1 spot, Miley Cyrus is working toward the number 1 spot on the billiards with her leading single “Can’t Be Tamed” off her fourth album “Bangerz”. The new blond bomber single is already hit #1 in the Uk and New Zealand. Released on October 8th.

Katy Perry new single “Roar” was released on Aug 12th for Youtube. Seven days later it had 14 million hits. Just with this one single, the world is aiming for 525,000Plus downloads in the first week. The album is entitle “Prism” scheduled to be released on October 22th.




Mixing the old with a new sound, Pearl Jamis back with their 10th studio album “Lightning Bolt” October 14th. Their leading single “Mind Your Manners” is getting mixed review online but being that it is Pearl Jam,most don’t doubt the album.

After watching Lady Gaga’s‘Abramovice Method’video (yes she was nude), I’m ready for album “ARTPOP”. We have been waiting 2 years for this album. On her website during 2012, Gaga revealed that Artpop will contain complextro, J-pop, dance and what she describes as “underground gay Chicago trap.” ARTPOP release date is November 11th.

Kings of Leon is single “Supersoaker” is clearing the way for their 6 album “Mechanical Bull”. The song slow appeared out of nowhere, but is surprising wining on Youtube. The release at is September 24th.


On July 10 during their concert in Chicago, the Jonas Brothers revealed their album title “V” (the roman number 5). Since this is their fifth studio album, it makes sense. “V” scheduled for release on under Jonas Enterprises .

“To All the Girls;”upcoming album by country singer Willie Nelson to be released on September 20th. The tracks consist in a series of duets recorded by Nelson with topfemale country singers;Dolly Parton, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, The Secret Sisters, Roseanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Mavis Staples.

ten Halfstackmag.com

Layout Design: Kate Roth

“The Paradigm Shift” is the eleventh album by Korn. The album will be released on October 8, 2013,with Don Gilmore as producer. It will be the first Korn album to feature original guitarist Brian “Head” Welch since 2003’s “Take a Look in the Mirror” album.






oncert Concert

Concerts of 2013

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

By Jerome Thomas

The King Wizard Kid Cudi will be at UIC Pavilion Sep 20 - 7:00 PM. After leaving Chicago’s own K. West G.O.O.D Label, lets hope we can still so him so love.

For the true music love Lionel Richie is closing the United Center down with his classic on September 29, 2013. And “No” he is not bring his daughter, just great music.

The Irish are here. Celtic Thunder will be here Oct 18 - 7:00 PM at The Chicago Theatre. Please be ready enjoy some green thunder. Tickets start at $61 at findticetsfast.com

Eagles are flying in to Chicago to rock the Allstate Arena on Oct 19 - 8:00 PM. Eagles will be playing “Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975” was named as the bestselling album of the 20th Century with 26 million sold.

Mr. Thrift Shop aka Macklemore & Ryan Lewis is coming to UIC Pavilion Nov 4 - 7:00 PM. This is a concert you can sing too. Cant Hold Us, Same Love, and Otherside.

I’m still into my fire head lead of Paramore. They are November 24 to the UIC Pavilion. They will being playing all their hit from their first album to debut at number 1 on the Billboard 200.

The Mrs Carter Show World Tour starring Beyonce at the United Center Dec 13 - 8:00 PM. You never know who may come out on stage; Jay-Z, Blu Ivory, and Kanye West.



Layout Design by Kate Roth

P!NK: The Truth About Love Tour will be at the United Center Nov 5 - 7:30 PM. Her ticket are on sale at ticketliquidator.com start at $73. That’s cheap to learn about love.







Cultured Spotlight: Designer Katie Jeanes of HelenJean


By: Stella Quimby

Designer Katie Jeanes center middle along with models in her custom dresses.


First question you may have is what is HelenJean? Is it a brand of jeans, since jean is in the name? Actually, no; HelenJean is a new upcoming brand that doesn’t believe in sizing products. It consists of custom made dresses for game changing women. According to the brand creator and designer Katie Jeanes, if you’re one of a kind than your clothes should be to. Here at HalfStack we had the privilege to have a little chat with HelenJean designer Katie Jeanes. Designer Katie Jeanes grew up in North Vancouver, British Columbia, and for a long time wanted to become a physiotherapist. She completed her degree in Kinesiology and Health Science at the University of British Columbia and then decided last minute to go into research instead of physio (no fashion in sight then). After a year working in a lab she left to work for a startup organization that eventually didn’t work out and ended up starting her first company; a social media consulting business called A Little More Good. After two years of social media work she started HelenJean (named after


her grandmother) with her first collection being the 2012 Fall collection. With no fashion experience at all, she had a drive to start a line with no official sizing. Katie’s motivation behind HelenJean was “I really wanted to help women realize that they are worth more than a size (number). I always had issues with finding the right size and that leads to insecurities and I wanted to stop that cycle.” Katie makes it an effort to promote that ALL women are beautiful and sizes are just a number, therefore she concentrates on only designing custom-made dresses. So which person inspired this entrepreneur? All the women in my life; every single one of them has a different body, and every single one has issues finding clothes that fit. It can get frustrating, and at a certain point, the focus started to shift from, “nothing fits”, to “my body is wrong and that’s why nothing fits”. That’s a pretty slippery slope so I wanted to make clothes that were custom fit to each woman’s body and really celebrate all the amazing things about being a woman. HelenJean currently offers only custom-made

dresses but other garments will be added soon. Each dress is named after a lady who has inspired Katie such as family members friends and even celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor. Where can one get a custom-made HelenJean dress? Stating at only $197(bargain for a custom-made garment), you can purchase at helenjean.com or through private trunk shows. Katie will also be traveling in pop-up shops in Fall 2013 (in Canada), as well as a charity fashion show on September 26 with Project True where she is featuring models who are REAL women and not models. She also had some advice for all you future designers out there “Don’t be intimidated; for me at least, there was a long period of thinking about starting, and then being afraid to tell anyone what I wanted to do. I was worried about my lack of credentials, my lack of experience, and whether people would take me seriously or not. It turns out, once I began to dip my toes into the fashion industry, everyone I met was incredible supportive.” Katie Jeanes, a dreamer with a new innovative brand, new in this size orientated market is making waves by inspiring women and showing them that size is really just a number. So what’s her end goal with her line? “I want to impact women, change the way they feel when they shop and overall the way they feel about themselves.” Now, if only all retailers would follow suit…. To be a part of this fashion revolution make sure to visit her website and check out the custom-made dresses at helenjean.com and become empowered.

Halfstackmag.com Photos courtesy of HelenJean.47


Gents By: Heather Davis


Los Angeles-based men’s lifestyle brand, Gents (www. gentsco.com), established in 2012 after designer, Josh Reed, the former PR Director at Gilt MAN, decided that he needed to fill a hole in the market. The truth was, his family, friends, and colleagues were not able to find a great, upscale cap without a sports logo, a flat brim, or snap back. After spending 15+ years in the industry, he developed this new concept, which has since evolved to include other high-quality luxury items, like apparel and beanies. Using adjectives like “luxurious,” “sophisticated,” and “minimalistic” to describe his line, Gents baseball caps are oneof-a-kind, allowing options for color, design, monogram, and of course, size, for less than $70 a pop. This season’s “Sketch” and “Signature” collections were influenced by American iconic imagery, military design, and abstract design. You will find simplistic geometric lines and shapes, and even variations of bar codes for a more modern day visual. Looking for a more luxe fabrication? Their Fall collection includes brand new denim, herringbone, french terry, and cashmere caps. In the coming seasons, you can expect to see new Gents products ranging from burnout henleys and tank tops, to a collection of caps with even more fabrications, including leather. Where will men wear these caps? Reed responds, “Anywhere. That is the best thing about them, they can go from the gym to the red carpet and everywhere in between. They were designed specifically with a minimal and upscale aesthetic to fit any occasion, even dressier ones.” In fact, you may have probably seen these caps worn by some of the hottest stars in Hollywood. Adam Levine, Bradley Cooper, Mark Wahlberg, and the Hemsworth brothers have all been spotted wearing these customized caps, as well as actress Reese Witherspoon and model Zoe Saldana.



What sets Gents apart from other baseball cap lines? Josh Reed: First and foremost, the fit and structure. I spent almost two years making a cap that would mold perfectly to every size head without loose space or gaps to give a very sleek and fitted look for any guy. This is why there are only two sizes. Secondly, the design aesthetic. I developed the stretch fit band outside the U.S. because I wanted to make it my own to perfect the fit AND look good. Royal purple is the color of the Gents brand and I made the taping straps on the underside of the cap to match the purple band, the signature of all Gents caps. I made the rear of the front panel and the underside of the brim the same color as the rest of the cap, surprisingly something many other caps don’t do, so there are always only two colors on your cap. The color of the cap and the royal purple. The fabrication was important as well. I tried so many combinations of materials before the primarily

cotton blend proved to be the best to breathe in warm weather AND keep your head warm in the cold, at the same time as providing a strong structure and foundation. We continue this standard of quality and design aesthetic with all the other Gents apparel and accessories as well.

What personality traits fit this line? Athletic. Masculine. Minimal. Clean. Sophisticated. Fashion-forward. Luxurious. Aspirational.

What is the most popular design this season? Definitely the Director’s cap. It was inspired by the classic image of the Hollywood director in a sleek black fitted cap with no front design or embroidery. It is our best seller in black, then navy, charcoal and all the other colors, as well.








Whilst festival goers, students and so many summer lovers say goodbye to their beloved 90 degree days in the Chi, there are those of us who welcome the arrival of the crisp air, falling leaves and most of all…Fall Fashion! There is literally no other fashion season more exciting than the fall. In the summer we can’t find enough ways to strip away clothing to stay cool; frankly, leaving us with very few fashion options. The fall however, is a completely different story. It’s all about layering on and giving us plenty of ways to experiment with trends. The good news is that for you summer souls, there are plenty of trends this season to help you transition into the fall effortlessly. There is a little bit of everything for everyone this time around. Much like our issue this month, it’s heavily inspired by music. Punk makes a big splash this fall especially with resounding tartan prints for both guys and girls. Guys, if you didn’t already have a leather piece in your closet, you’ll definitely want to have one after this fall season. If you’re a real girly girl, you’ll have plenty to choose from with this season’s 50’s inspired skirts. On the flipside if you tread more along the tougher side, there’s a plethora of menswear inspired pieces this season. So don’t fret about summer coming to an end, it’ll be here before you know it. In the meantime check out all the trends that will make you take full advantage of the fall, won’t break the bank and will keep you looking amazing every step of the way!



If there is a theme this fall season in fashion it’s really the blurring line between female and male. Menswear has always been a recurring trend in women’s fashion. Not like this season though! Everything from blazers to pant suits and yes even our beloved shoes. Everything was inspired by menswear this season. The easiest way to wear this trend without looking like you walked out of your boyfriends closet is with an oversized coat. You’ll be surprised how amazingly it actually works!


Saint Laurent Fall 2013 RTW Checked Shirt $59.90 www.zara.com



Leather Ankle Boot $159.00 www.zara.com

Strappy combination lace dress $49.90 www.zara.com

Twisted Grunge Plaid Shirt $22.80 www.forever21.com


Borrowing from the boys

If there is a theme this fall season in fashion it’s really the blurring line between female and male. Menswear has always been a recurring trend in women’s fashion. Not like this season though! Everything from blazers to pant suits and yes even our beloved shoes. Everything was inspired by menswear this season. The easiest way to wear this trend without looking like you walked out of your boyfriends closet is with an oversized coat. You’ll be surprised how amazingly it actually works!


DKNY Fall 2013 RTW Hooded Wool Coat $139.00 www.zara.com


ASOS Limited Edition Salt & Pepper Longline Coat $202.51 www.asos.com

Masculine Double Breasted coat $189.00 www.zara.com

Masculine Studio Overcoat $299.00 www.zara.com

Skirting the issue

The mini and the maxi had there moment. Now, it’s all about the midi. This trend is reminiscent of the 50’s and works well in the office and in the evening. It’s the absolute perfect length for fall where you need that little bit of extra length to keep warm. The perfect midi meets right at the curve of your calve. It looks ultra-feminine and chic! If you’re feeling extra girly opt for a full midi that cinches your waistala Dior’s new look!


Lanvin Fall 2013 RTW ASOS Linen Midi Skirt with Belt $47.25 www.asos.com

ASOS Full Midi Skirt in Scuba $64.13 www.asos.com

ASOS Full Midi Skirt with Box Pleats $64.13 www.asos.com

ASOS Midi Skirt in Kilt Style $67.50 www.asos.com




Sheer genius

Yes, sheer may seem more of a spring/summer trend, but it translates into fall with a different twist, in the details! Sheer detailing is big this fall seen in everything from sweatshirts to tees and skirts to dresses. My suggestion is to pick a good sheer layering piece, like a cami or tee. They will turn into investment pieces in your closet and work well into the next season. For a night out, go with a skirt with sheer detailing such as the one from Leith.


Chloe Fall 2013 RTW byCorpus Mesh-Inset Pullover Sweatshirt $49.00 www.urbanoutfitters. com


Leith Sheer Pencil Skirt $62.00 www.nordstrom.com

Cutting edge

Cameo Megalomania Halter Tank Top $158.00 www.urbanoutfitters. com

What would any season be without an update on shoe trends? Cut out boots and booties are the shoes to have right now. Again, it goes back to the androgyny effect in women swear this season. Tougher shoes like these work great with a more feminine outfit. The cut out detailing on boots actually gives a really cool effect and makes them even more interesting to look at. There are a ton of versions out there that won’t break the bank this fall.



Cutout Double Buckle Ankle Bootie $40.00 www.charlotterusse. com



Open Ankle Boot Style Court Shoe $89.90 www.zara.com

Cinch Suede women’s bootie $149.95 www.zara.com

Leather Sling Back Ankle Boot $99.00 www.zara.com





for the


Batter up

A jacket is a necessity in a guys’ closet. For fall nothing says cool better than a baseball jacket. These jackets were shown all over the runways and you’ll be seeing an array of them this fall. The baseball jacket is perfect for dressing down but still looks really put together when done in a darker tone. Most of these are combined with leather which comes at a hefty price tag but check out any of these budget friendly options for the same look.


Oliver Spencer A/W 2013 Mossimo Supply Co. Men’s Varsity Jacket $29.99 www.target.com

Grey Blue Suede Tipped Bomber Jacket $250.00 www.topman.com

ASOS Varsity Jacket $67.50 www.asos.com

Faux Suede College Jacket $89.90 www.zara.com




Lathered in leather

Leather never goes out of style and this season was proof of that. Leather detailing on pants, jackets, T-shirts and even coats. Proceed with caution of course! Don’t go overboard with the amount of leather you wear at once. Wearing too much leather will read more costume than fashion savvy. Can’t afford an authentic leather piece? Don’t worry, faux leather does the job and at a fraction of the cost.


Viktor & Rolf Fall 2013 RTW Sweater with Leather Applique $89.90 www.zara.com


Leather Jacket With Fur Collar $299.00 www.zara.com

Embossed Synthetic Leather Jacket $189.00 www.zara.com

Black Contrast Yoke Cable Knit Sweater $76.00 www.riverisland.com

Workin’ it

The saying is “head to toe” for a reason. Shoes can make or break an outfit. The workboot is the “it” shoe this season. Totally comfortable and edgy all at the same time. Usually these boots are pretty casual but are done in several ways for fall which makes it so much easier to dress up.


Hermes Menswear Fall 2013 Hermes Menswear Fall 2013 $75.94 www.asos.com



Wolverine ‘Birch’ Moc Toe Boot $190.00 www.nordstrom.com

Dark Grey Low Worker Boots $12.00 www.riverisland.com

Suede Ankle Worker Boot $129.00 www.zara.com


King of scots

Guys get their fair share of tartan prints this fall. For guys the tartan print takes on less of a punk look. It’s a little more polished than that. The tartan print is done in a variety of colors and is really universally flattering. Wear it as an accent under a sweater or try an updated version of the print on the sweater itself. What’s so great about tartan print is that you can virtually find it anywhere for really cheap.


Dsquared² Fall 2013 Menswear Blue Dark Wash Red Tartan Yoke Long Sleeve Denim Shirt $64.00 www.topman.com


Fred Perry Fine Knit Pattern Tartan Crew $185.64 www.asos.com

Tartan Check Shirt $42.19 www.asos.com

Green Tartan Short Sleeve Shirt $64.00 www.topman.com


Quilting may seem like something you would only find on an old blanket, but nope! It’s one of the biggest trends this fall for men and women as well. The quilt detailing is most common on jackets this fall but it’s popped up on shirts and even pants. It adds just a little something extra to any outfit.


Calvin Klein Collection Fall 2013 Menswear River Island Riverwood Quilted Gilet $67.50 www.asos.com

Grey Quilted Crew Neck Jumper $64.00 www.topman.com

Jacket With Knitted Back And Sleeves $139.00 www.zara.com

Shirt With Quilted Yoke $59.90 www.zara.com



men's style


Green Trend:

Earlier this year, Pantone decided that Emerald Green was the official color of the year; For Fall, menswear designers opted for a manlier and season-appropriate shade: dark green. This shade provides the convenience of mixing and matching easily with neutral colors. Just be careful not to wear this color from head-to-toe! Introduce it into your wardrobe by wearing key items as the ones mentioned here.

Military Boots:

Best worn with skinny jeans and a motorcycle jacket, you can never go wrong with military boots! Nowadays they come in different styles and colors. This has to be one of the most versatile items in fashion and an easy transition from Fall to Winter!


The classic topcoat is a must for everyone! It doesn’t matter if you work at a bar or are stuck at in a cubicle, this coat, will give you a slim and modern look. This design from Zara is a single breasted, wool/polyester blend that looks great on any man. It’s slim enough to wear it with a infinity scarf, suit or a simple tee! Depending on your height, the bottom of the coat should hit you four inches above or at the knee. Stay away from wide lapels and oversized coats.




A classic fall fabric that will keep you warm and in style, tweed reigned all over fashion week. Designers like John Varvatos, Gucci, and Dsquared2 showcased tweed designs that range from suits, blazers and topcoats. Pairing a tweed blazer with jeans and a shirt is a great last minute outfit.

Motorcycle Jackets: One of the trends we noticed for this season were the motorcycle jackets. They’re no longer for motorcyclists (as the name suggests) but for the edgy and modern man. From day time to night time, from weekday to weekend this jacket is for men on the run. Pair it with a simple Vneck for a casual look or with a shirt and tie for a formal look. Avoid the bulky and long jackets as they’re outdated and don’t really help show off your physique.

Double Breasted Suit Jackets: Double Breasted suit jackets are a trend that we’ve noticed has returned to the menswear scene. In the Spring, menswear designer Michael Bastianwow’d us with his representation of modern men in this style. No longer is this style for older gentlemen. Today designers like Giorgio Armani, Versace and Z Zegna, just to name a few, have double breasted suit jackets all over their Fall collections. Though this style is not for everyone, with the right styling and confidence, you’ll be sure to be the talk of the night! Important to point out, always think slim fit when rocking this look and be careful selecting the right tone for you as one color may look good on your friend but not on you.



MA CY ’ S G L A M OR A M A Written By: Heather Blazek Photographed By: Stephanie Battista Layout Design By: Kali Koller

THE WHAT Lights, Camera, FASHION! On Friday, August 9, 2013, I was able to have a first look at all the glitz and glam at the fashion show Glamorama: Fashion in a New Light, presented by Macy’s Passport. The Glamorama took place at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in the heart of our lovely city Chicago. The show featured fabulous performances by Cirque du Soleil, Macy’s iHeartRadio Rising Star contest winner, The Summer Set, and Grammmy Award Winner, Sheryl Crow! The event once again benefited the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Ronald McDonald House Charities is a cause that is dedicated to caring for families of children with complex medical needs by providing a ‘home away from home’ feeling.


the fashion It was a total honor to be invited and see firsthand some of the trends the designers highlighted. Each designer’s stage set up and style was uniquely based on the brand and theme of their collection. The talented designers featured during the show included:

RIGHT: Tommy Hilfiger’s back-toschool themed collection

Tommy Hilfiger: This collection definitely screamed back-to-school. It was simple, classic, and all American. The women wore pleated skirts, blue jeans, knitted dresses, and sweaters (paired with knee high socks of course). The men wore varsity jackets, cargo pants, and striped cardigans. The preppy, classic, and all American collection was made up of navy blues, whites, reds, greens, browns and burgundy. Burgundy is a popular color again this fall season.

“ Each designer’s stage set up and style was u n i q u e ly b a s e d o n t h e brand and theme of their collection. ”

Jean Paul Gaultier: This designer had to have my FAVORITE looks. The models were embellished with long necklaces. Metallic tops and pants in gold, silver, copper, and green shimmered as the models stomped across the stage. I loved that butterfly and floral print dresses were paired with an oversized puff vest and eye popping yellow tights. Jean Paul Gaultier always knows how to mix color with patterns successfully.



RIGHT: Weekend Max Mara shows elegance with a fur shawl.

TOP RIGHT: Jean Paul Gauliter mixes bold colors.

MIDDLE RIGHT: Jean Paul Gauliter shines in metallics.

TALLIA Orange: This designer featured dapper looking men in blazers and jackets. The colors of the blazers were rich plums, rust orange, navy blue, and the staple brown and black. Some of the jackets and blazers had fun patterns like plaid and dots, while others had fun fabrics like velvet and seersucker. The outfits were paired with dark denim, black jeans, and classic snazzy bow ties for that casual yet dressy look.

Rachel Rachel Roy: Several items of the line looked like modern club wear. There was a gorgeous sleeveless orange jumpsuit with a slit in the back exposing very little skin, a black dress with gold detail, a copper sequin skirt and dress, and a leopard print dress.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Tallia Orange claims the name with this rust orange blazer.




Rachel Rachel Roy

the show goes on Maison Jules: For this collection, models wore berets while riding glow in the dark bicycles in front of the eiffel tower. Maison Jules showed us the Paris style of neutral colored skinny pants with patterned shirts/sweaters, denim jackets, and belted dresses. Outfits were given a pop of color paired with a pair of simple flats.



Men’s Impulse: This segment was all about the night life. These male looks were very urban with cuffed skinny pants/jeans, leather/camo jackets, and printed dress shirts. Layers were a must for Men’s Impulse, that is except... some of the models hit the stage shirtless, with just a jacket. These outfits were paired with gym shoes with neon shoe laces.

Weekend Max Mara: For this designer’s look, female models were walking in the “rain” holding umbrellas in front a thunderous backdrop. The models wore gorgeous colorful/patterned dressed with draping in the front, colored tights, knee length skirts, and puffed/tweed coats with fur collars.




Limited Celebrates years 50


success fifty years and

counting� Written By: Teresa Espinoza




10 year anniversary is good, 25 is even better …but 50? Now that’s really something to celebrate! The Limited is one of the select few brands that have stood the test of time and now turns 50 in a big way. In celebration of their 50 year anniversary the brand has focused its attention on an extremely worthy and commendable cause, Dress For Success. This organization may sound familiar but if it doesn’t here’s a little back-story. Dress for Success is a nonprofit organization that offers professional apparel, support and career development tools to women who are re-entering the work force. In today’s world it can be extremely difficult transitioning into the work force both financially and mentally. It’s such a simple and basic cause but with a much deeper meaning behind it all. So much so, that The Limited has invited women to share their success stories/life lessons (both personal and professional) online at www.thelimited.com/50th. For every submission, The Limited will donate $1 (up to $50,000) to Dress for Success. As if that wasn’t enough, The Limited took an extra step and is donating the proceeds from a limited edition clutch and commemorative bracelet. What better way to celebrate 50 years then to give back to the community? This is exactly what The Limited is doing with their 50year anniversary and Elliot Staples, Senior Vice President of Design for The Limited explains why Dress for Success was the choice organization to work with. “Dress for Success is focused on providing professional apparel, a network of support and career development tools to women who are entering or re-entering the work force and The Limited is excited to continue its partnership with an organization whose mission so closely mirrors our own. Since the beginning, The Limited has offered high quality, private-label apparel designed to help women succeed.”The Limited helps women, just like those from Dress for Success, really develop and build their professional wardrobe.

personal and professional lives. At The Limited, we offer women everything from suits that give them the confidence to excel during an interview, to event dresses that help her feel beautiful during those special occasions. We are committed to making clothes that help our clients succeed”. By providing apparel that helps women feel their best in both professional and personal life, The Limited has managed to continue their success through the last 50 years. With professional apparel, variety is extremely important and at The Limited you can find numerous options. More importantly, they have quality options that won’t leave you with buyer’s remorse! According to Elliot Staples, they attribute so much of their success to their ability to help women find top quality clothes at competitive prices. “The Limited stores are a place where you can find on trend and chic styles for every occasion.”

“The professional woman needs a few basic staples to feel confident at work. To start with she needs: a classic suit, a black blazer, a crisp blouse, and a classic little black dress that’s appropriate for the office and after-work events,” Says Elliot Staples. And lets be honest, there are a lot of occasions to get dolled up for when you are a woman. A lot of those occasions are milestones and special events. Though, the most daunting of all occasions is the dreaded first interview. The ultimate of professional occasions, the first interview is an opportunity to present the very best you. Much like Dress For Success, The Limited feels its essential to look the part in order to have that confidence you need. Honestly, we’ve all been there. Stuck trying to figure out what’s appropriate and what’s not. It all goes back to that basic concept, “Look good, and feel good”.There are certain staples in our closets that are a must and will help us get through those occasions such as interviews.

Sometimes it can be easy to overlook the residual effect of dressing for success. It’s silly to think that the way one presents themselves has no effect whatsoever in their professional life. It’s essentially a first impression to others as well as a huge confidence boost and Elliot Staples explains why. “The right clothes can empower women to succeed and thrive in their We all know we need certain staples in our closet but



what are they? “The professional woman needs a few basic staples to feel confident at work. To start with she needs: a classic suit, a black blazer, a crisp blouse, and a classic little black dress that’s appropriate for the office and after-work events,” Says Elliot Staples. These are absolute essentials to make sure you’re ready for any interview. They are go to pieces that you will always need. Elliot explains that the perfect interview outfit consists of a classic suit, with a stylish blouse and minimal jewelry. “For interviews, it’s usually best to air on the classic and conservative side,”Elliot Staples points out that The Limited offers lots of great options for the upcoming fall season but the absolute must have is the new modern trouser made in ponte fabric. These will be available during the Fall 2013 season and can be found in your local stores and online. While you’re shopping at The Limited this season make sure to take some time and make your own contribution to other women and their success. There are a number of ways you can take part in the 50-year anniversary. The quickest way to contribute is to go to www.thelimited.com/50th and share your success stories in your personal or professional life. Every submission will be a $1 donated to Dress For Success, up to $50,000. Be on the lookout for other in-store/ online promotions and sweepstakes this season that will commemorate the 50th anniversary and continue to help women succeed. I leave you with a little closing thought. I offer you my own personal success story. Not much of a story per say but more of a personal insight. As a little girl, dressing up seemed so much fun and dressing up for even the smallest of occasions was a must. I still remember my favorite dress, a little white dress with red polka dots all over it. I literally felt like a princess in that dress! It was just so much fun! The truth is that somewhere along the line as we reach adulthood we get wrapped up in our own stressful lives and responsibilities that we forget this. Dressing your best and dressing the part everyday gives you that extra boost of confidence before you even step out the door to face



the real world. The real world is a scary place and gets the best of us a lot of the time. This is why I always try to dress the part each day. Its one of the few things I can control and the one thing I know will never fail to give me the confidence I need each day. Don’t forget that sometimes we all need to throw on that little white polka dot princess dress to attack the day and do it with the most confidence you can. The Essential Shirt : $49.95 http://www.thelimited.com/product/essential-shirt/4524699. html?ppid=c26&start=26&cgid=new-womens-tops&dwvar_4524699_ colorCode=1 Piped Pocket Marled Ponte Jacket & Piped Ponte Tailored Flare Pants: $118.00 & $64.90 http://www.thelimited.com/grey-piped-pocket-marled-ponte-jacket-%26tailored-flare-pants/August13_suit_19.html?ppid=c19&start=19&cgid=bus iness-suits-for-women Exact Stretch One Button Jacket: $118.00 http://www.thelimited.com/product/exact-stretch-one-button-jacket/24260681500003.html Side Bow Dress: $79.90 http://www.thelimited.com/product/side-bow-dress/3148875.html?pref n1=colorFamily&ppid=c21&start=21&dwvar_3148875_colorCode=150&c gid=dresses&prefv1=Black ***All photos above are directly from The Limited website and found in store & Online*** ***All campaign photos for 50-year anniversary are directly from The Limited***



Lady Gaga or a messed up version of the Joker?

Photo By Getty Images/JB Lacroix When I first saw this picture I thought “Whoa there, who the hell is trying so hard to look like the damn joker?” Then my second reaction was “ Is that a girl or a boy?” It turns out it is Lady Gaga trying to do her makeup in the dark. Apparently it was pitch black in there. She’s not trying to be weird but creepy now, almost as scary as the damn Conjuring film. Scary, nuff said.




__ layout by Sarah Gaynor

__ ___

By: Stella Quimby

An Examination of Star’s Modas.

I am guessing this guy really likes Paisley. To wear paisley throughout your ENTIRE garment for a movie premiere, it really must be LOVE. I don’t know who created this “look” for him or if he went to his grandmother’s room and stole all her paisley comforters and tried stitching it together; that explains the second button not being closed. This look is ALMOST as frightening as Lady Gaga’s face. Ouch!



Robert Sheehan A.K.A The Giant Walking Paisley

_____________ _______ Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic



Lilly Collins A.K.A Vampire Tramp

It’s daylight in the picture, why is she out? I thought vampire hookers slept during the day?? The only item that isn’t super dark or lady of the night looking is those damn pale legs, insinuating that she’s been hiding in those shadows. Lilly, if you are going to enter the daylight like the rest of the world, best dress like your used to it.

____ _____ WTF?

Photo by Getty Images/Gilbert Carrasquillo



Ryan Cabrera (if you actually call THAT a


Kate Upton A.K.A Boobzilla


Photo by Amanda Schwab/startraksphoto.com Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely not a Kate Upton hater whatsoever, but this dress, on her looks HORRIBLE. She has a fantastic hourglass figure, but unlike the former famous hourglass, Marilyn Monroe, Kate is not leaving anything to the imagination. She looks like a Mega Boob!!! It looks like they are about to burst any minute in that dress. Her chest normally doesn’t look that exaggerated, but in that dress they seriously look like kid’s kick-balls ready to fight you. Like grandma always said “cover that chest up honey, here take my cardigan.” Grandma always knows best Kate, always.

Photo by PacificCoastNews.com I am speechless, not because he looks good but because I don’t know what I’m looking at. Is that Garth from Wayne’s World making a comeback?? No, he wouldn’t even go out looking like that. Go hide back in your trailer and please to all industry folks out there, STOP inviting him to your events!! We just cannot deal with another outing of his

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Written By: Teresa Espinoza Designed By: Brittany Jorgensen

Fall Selects H&M 49.95 H&M 59.95

H&M 14.95

H&M 149.00

H&M 149.00

Who hasn’t heard of H&M? They’ve had some of the most notarized designer collaborations including Versace, Marni and Lanvin. H&M stands as one of the single largest retailers in the world offering fashion forward apparel and quality basics. It’s easy to see why. Walk into an H&M and you’ll find everything and anything you need to kick your Fall season off the right way. They offer everything from tops, blazers, t-shirts, jackets, coats, shoes and accessories for men, women and kids. What sets H&M apart from so many other retailers? That’s simple; They are environmentally friendly. So much that they are the largest user of organic cotton in the world! While they offer amazing up to the minute trends at affordable prices, they never sacrifice quality in the process. Most recently H&M embarked on a major milestone. They opened their online store to the U.S. at H&M.com! This means serious shopping for those of us who are obsessed with the trend-setting retailer. Even more locally though, H&M opened a huge 25,000 square foot store at Roosevelt Collection in Chicago in July. The grand opening was a huge success due in part to the “store within a store” concept. Accessories, Lingerie and sports apparel are all available in their own specialized section within the store itself. Fuss free shopping at its best! Everything you could possibly need for this fall season is at your fingertips at H&M. Their fall styles have rolled out and do not disappoint. Take a look at some of my favorite fall selects directly from the retail giant. Also make sure to check out the newest H&M store located at Roosevelt Collection, 150 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60605. H&M 14.95

H&M 69.95

H&M 49.95

H&M 149.00



H&M 149.00

H&M 149.00

H&M 14.95 H&M 14.95

H&M 99.00

H&M 129.00 H&M 149.00

H&M 39.95

H&M 14.95 H&M 99.00

H&M 149.00

H&M 179.00

Fall Selects

H&M Halfstackmag.com



Fall Selects H&M 49.95

H&M 149.00

H&M 59.95

H&M 49.95

H&M 24.95 H&M 59.95

H&M 34.95



H&M 34.95

H&M 69.95

H&M 59.95

H&M 79.95

H&M 59.95

H&M 49.95

H&M 29.95 H&M 99.00

H&M 34.95

H&M 129.00

H&M 34.95

Fall Selects




Trends for the Busine ss man:


Fall is here! The season of multiple layers, fabrications, and colors. Take advantage of the cooler weather by experimenting with new ways to stay on trend. Choose one, choose all, and stay chic, Chicago! Here are some fashion tips on how to be the most fashionable man in any workplace: This season, it’s all about the Alpha Male. Rich and polished, fitted suits are so clean and dashing, especially in black, navy, grey, blue, and other tonal colors. Body-hugging (but not TOO body-hugging!) and tailored to perfection, these suits should cater to the utilitarian. Practical, yet simplistic, invest in the sleek suit with pockets for your iPad mini and cell phone! The Downtown Abbey look is also in, taking your workwear on a trip to the English Countryside. Tweed, wool, cashmere, and Tartan plaids are the fabrics of the season, providing a posh vintage appearance. Focus on preppy shades of hunter green, red, navy, mustard, and neutrals, and don’t forget to wear that sweater with the crest!

her Davis Written By: Heat Designed By: Brittany Jorgensen



Let’s face it: Outerwear is no longer just for the outdoors. It is definitely a must-have this season in all fabrics and weights, from those tweeds and wool from the Countryside, to corduroy, leather, and suede. Layer on your blazer or peacoat because these pieces are not overlooked – they are now a key element in every wardrobe! Ombre and color blocking are back this season! First of all, don’t be afraid to mix clashing colors. Second, be sure to mix primary and secondary colors, like royal blues and bright yellows, bold oranges and deep reds, anything you feel comfortable with. Feel free to layer a neutral over or under these pieces to subdue your color selection!

OMBRE is in!



Colors to wear include the shabby neutral shades of off-white, soft greys, and taupes; natural tones, like earthy browns, organic fall and autumn hues ranging from yellows and greens to deeper oranges and reds. Also, purple is more popular than ever. Associated with wealth, this is a great color for the businessman. Only spend money on pieces you know you’ll wear again. Classic and timeless blazers, neutral outerwear, and bold-colored Oxford shirts that can be worn, transitioned, or updated multiple seasons, are all closet staples. If the idea of Finally, don’t overdo any one trend. You’ll feel like you’re wearing a school uniform instead of going to work! Mix-and-match, and have fun!

“Only spend

money on pieces you know you’ll

n. i a g a wear



Fall 2013




Chicago’s Own Hot New Lifestyle Brand


Launched in July 2013, Chicago-based lifestyle brand, Maven Collection, is already hitting the world by storm! The line features beautiful globally-inspired and ethically-sourced product, for her and for the home, from artisans around the globe. Founder Laura Hebden started this socially-conscious brand after spending several years collecting stamps on her passport through school, work, and while on her own spiritual journey. It didn’t take long before she realized how much she loved visiting foreign marketplaces, admiring each region’s different crafting techniques, textiles, and bold colors, and meeting the local artisans who were always so passionate and devoted to their work. However, hearing stories about their financial struggles time and time again, Hebden finally decided to do something about it – she started Maven Collection.

Maven’s mission is to support the undiscovered artisans around the world, that specialize in various indigenous crafts, and work alongside them to develop and produce products for their line. Each artisan is provided a fair wage for their craftsmanship, while building a mutually-beneficial relationship with a brand that provides sustainable employment opportunities and access to market distribution. Their first curated collection features one-of-a-kind accessories, home décor, and unique flea finds from Morocco, India, Peru, Guatemala, France, Bangladesh, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Gorgeous block print silk scarves, wedding blankets, rag rugs, Kilim boots, and animal print flats are just a few of Maven’s hot items this season! See a product that you love on the website, but not sure how to style it? Maven recently launched a complimentary personal styling service through email. The brand also has a blog, entitled “Styling with Maven,” that regularly provides style tips and lifestyle shots of all of their products, making it easy to keep up with fashion and interior design trends. Products range from $30 to $550 and are available for purchase at mavencollection.com.



Who shops at Maven? Laura Hebden: Our target client is a female between [ages] 26-46. She is a career woman that has graduated from college, and maybe even has her Masters. She is adventurous. She shops at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Anthropologie, and/or J Crew. She keeps up with the trends, enjoys traveling but maybe hasn’t done as much as she’d like to. [Our customer] is married or in a committed relationship, has 0-2 kids. She enjoys trying the latest ‘trending’ restaurant and loves getting dressed up for a date night out on the town.

flats)! [I wanted] to show them that artisan-made does not mean kitchy, but [instead the term means] amazing products that are well-crafted, not to mention, one-of-a-kind.

Where do you see Maven Collection in a year? I would love to see Maven have a storefront or a showroom in either Chicago, California, or New York.

What inspired your first collection? Often times, when you hear ‘artisan-made’ you think kitchy! I hate that! I made it my mission to curate a collection of pieces that were trendy and fashion-forward, but still have that global feel. I wanted to reach the shopper that wanted to invest in a killer statement piece, as well as the shopper that is just looking for the basics (like our black tote or leopard






Let’s Go Behind the Scenes with

Anna Hovet

Photograpghy by Stephanie Battista



Interview with fashion designer Anna Hovet

streetwear comfort. Manufactured in Chicago, the young contemporary collection includes reversible jersey dresses, cozy sweatshirts, and beautifully draped outerwear How would you define your personal style? My style is very mod with geometric silhouettes and bold colorblocking. I love incorporating vintage trends subtly into my collections and exaggerating them through styling. What is the process of creating your designs?

Tell us about your background? Where did you go to school, etc.? I was born and raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I moved to Chicago in 2003 and earned my BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. After graduating, I was hired by Kids Headquarters where I designed layette for Ecko, Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, and Target. Due to the poor economy, I was laid off and started my own company in January 2009.


I begin with a concept and pull hundreds of inspiration images. I sketch tons of ideas and narrow them down to my favorite 20 looks. I drape, pattern, and sew these looks which become my samples. I photograph the samples and send the photos out to potential retailers. Once I determine how many of each style to produce I grade the patterns into different sizes, have the fabric cut, and send everything to a sewing contractor in Chicago. I receive the complete garments, tag them, and ship them out to stores.

Tell us a little more about Anna Hovet?

I love that you buy fabrics from California and everything is manufactured here, do you seem get a lot of positive feedback from this?

Anna Hovet is a delightful fusion of designer style and

I’m very proud to have apparel that is make in the USA


, since very few apparel companies are domestically manufactured. It is a challenge though and raises my prices. Most people really appreciate that my clothes are made in Chicago; conversely, others don’t understand the value and think my prices are higher so that I make lots of money. This is always funny because my margins are much small than large corporate apparel brands manufactured overseas. How long in advance to you start designing a new line/season? I begin designing a collection about 9 months before it hits the racks. I need that time to design, sample, market, sell, produce, and ship. When did you first realize that designing was what you wanted to do? I always knew I wanted to be an artist. When I was 9 years old I began watching music videos and was entranced by the over-styled fashion. We did not have much fashion growing up in North Dakota, nor did we have the internet yet so most of my fashion knowl-

edge came from television and magazines. Where do you get your inspiration from? Everywhere. Colors anywhere can inspired me. My Spring/Summer 2014 Collection color palette was inspired by a set of vintage dishes my roommate bought. What inspires me the most is the women wearing my clothes. I like to think about what they need in their wardrobe and what they would feel good in physically and mentally. What are some of the struggles of being a designer and how do you overcome them? The biggest issue I face is cashflow. I’m producing garments up to six months before they sell and most of my sales are direct-to-customer so I don’t have enough signed purchase orders to take to lenders. I’ve overcome this by taking out private short-term loans and having flash sales during weeks when I need the cash to buy fabric for upcoming collections or to buy for vendor booths at shopping events.







Inside Look What are you favorite fabrics to work with and why? I love knits. Especially jersey and sweatshirt fleece. They are comfortable to wear, washable, drape beautifully, and have stretch to play with. What are some future goals for Anna Hovet? I’m currently looking for a showroom on the West Coast to help me get into more national stores. I would love to manufacture in Chicago and sell worldwide. Do you have any advice that you would give to young designers just starting out? Make sure you really love fashion before going into it. There is a general misconception that fashion is easy. It is not. It is extremely competitive and requires a wellrounded set of skills including math and communication. If you’re definitely up for the challenge, never quit! Keep working hard and putting yourself out there and things will come to you.



Clothing By

Anna Hovet Skala Jewelry and Accessories Jewelry by Amani Skalacki

Photography by

Laura Lopez from pickapose Photography

Special thanks to

Annie Wojitowicz for makeup Karlen Koril for hair And Gramaphone Records Halfstackmag.com























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WISHFUL THINKER CLOTHING www.wishfulthinkerclothing.com

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An interview with beauty expert

Jackie Silver By: Danielle Pulak

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Do you ever wonder what you will look like when you are older? Are you dreading that next birthday because you can’t believe what age you’ll be? I know I do all the time. This next birthday of mine will be a big one, as I start a new decade of my life. It scares me to think that the age I will be, used to seem so old to me. Now that I’m practically there, it no longer seems so old. Fortunately for me, I don’t look my age and people are shocked when I tell them how old I really am. I can only hope this will last forever, but truth be told, I won’t always look this young. The closer I get to my birthday, the more and more I’ve become interested in finding out the key to staying and looking young. But you are in luck. Jackie Silver has the answers to staying young! She is the number one resource for anti-aging, as she has been a leading expert for over 25 years in the aging/beauty industry. After years of research, she’s come up with a solution she likes to call “aging backwards.” When I was approached with the opportunity to interview Jackie, you can imagine, I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn’t want to get up close and personal with an expert to ask the questions we’re all dying to know the answers to?

1. What made you want to get into the Beauty/Aging industry? When I was 5 years old I would brush my hair and I would ask my father if I was beautiful. I always wanted to be beautiful and was always interested in all thing in the beauty industry. Plus I love always helping others. That is why I created Aging Backwards back in 2006, I wanted to share my secret with everyone on staying young and looking good.

2. When do you think the proper age that a woman should start an antiaging regimen? We start aging the minute that we are born. Therefore, girls in their teens should be thinking about how they are going to look at 40. The top things that teens should do to prevent aging is no tanning beds and smoking. At a young age it is also important to start a good skin care routine consisting of cleansing, toning and moisturizing not only to your face but also your ear lobes! Your ear lobes also show signs of aging. Also wear SPF daily on your face, neck, chest and hands.

swear by a supplement called Skin Defense Complex (available on drugstore.com) , this helps with keeping your skin youth looking. Just be sure before taking any kind of supplement, to consult with your doctor. Another thing is doing face exercises, I recommend doing Face Magic by Cynthia Rowland (www.cynthiarowland.com). This is just as effective as Botox without the needles!

4. Do you believe that there are some habits that our youth should be doing in order to prevent aging? 1. Exercise 2. Portion control at all times 3. 7-8 hours of sleep 4. Good skincare (cleanse, tone, moisturize, SPF and remember don’t skip the earlobes!) 5. Remove makeup every night period. 6. Whiten teeth/good oral care 7. Take care of your hair LAYOUT BY: HEATHER BLAZEK

3. What are the most important things for one to use or do when trying fight aging? As mentioned before no smoking or tanning. Also exercise, to me it is the “fountain of youth”. Also eating right, “I have been a lifetime member of Weight Watchers for the past 41 years, I have to be one of the longest lifetime members.” Also I




Nordstrom’s Shave Bar The time has come that now men have their own counter in a department store. Yes, that is right, as of July, Kiehl’s has setup a shave bar at the Nordstrom in the Shops of North Bridges, located at 520 N. Michigan Ave., in the city. The shave bar is stocked fully with a variety of different men’s skin care products including the new Facial Fuel line. The Facial Fuel line is full of all types or products besides your typical face washes and moisturizers. This line also contains some anti-aging products. Not sure about what to try? See below for some recommendations. If you are still unsure of what to try. They offer a starter kit which contains 6 different products from not only their Facial Fuel line but from some of their other men’s skincare lines.

Facial Fuel “Heavy Lifting” Anti-Aging Moisturizer The time has come that now men have their own counter in a department store. Yes, that is right, as of July, Kiehl’s has setup a shave bar at the Nordstrom in the Shops of North Bridges, located at 520 N. Michigan Ave., in the city. The shave bar is stocked fully with a variety of different men’s skin care products including the new Facial Fuel line. The Facial Fuel line is full of all types or products besides your typical face washes and moisturizers. This line also contains some anti-aging products. Not sure about what to try? See below for some recommendations. If you are still unsure of what to try. They offer a starter kit which contains 6 different products from not only their Facial Fuel line but from some of their other men’s skincare lines.

Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub The energizing scrub is a perfect way to start your morning. It gives you your caffeine fix before you even get your cup of coffee. Also because this a “scrub”, it helps remove dead cells and other impurities.

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Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Energizing Scrub Available at Nordstorm $20.00

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel “Heavy Lifiting” anti-aging moisturizer Available at Nordstrom $40.00



Did you know that a big step to getting healthy hair is having a healthy scalp? It is the foundation of your hairs health. Taking care of you scalp should be just as important to you as taking care of your skin. In reality your scalp is skin and can develop conditions that can not only be embarrassing but also uncomfortable. You should also be aware that your scalp can get sunburned just like any other part of your body. There are some products out there that will provide some protection however, it is still best to wear a hat when out in the sun. If you don’t like wearing hats such like myself, try pulling your hair into a pony so that you don’t have any parts of your scalp exposed.

Healthy Hair Tips just for the guys


WRITTEN BY: DANIELLE PULAK LAYOUT BY: JENNIFER VEGUILLA The most common condition that one’s scalp can develop is dandruff. Even though there isn’t any real harm to having dandruff, it can still be embarrassing and bothersome. Who wants to been seen scratching their head and having white flakes fall everywhere? The best way to get rid of or control your dandruff is by using an antidandruff shampoo. There are plenty of drugstore brands out there that make these types of shampoos. Just be sure to use it daily and leave on or around 5 minutes, in addition to rinsing your hair out well. If you notice that the issue is a little more serious where the dandruff is yellow and greasy, it could be an indication of a bigger problem. If your normal dandruff regimen is unsuccessful, please visit your doctor who can provide you with prescription medication. I must admit that I, too, have a mild case of dandruff. Occasionally, my scalp will itch and when I scratch I will get the white flakes. I am not one for using antidandruff shampoo since I use special shampoo for my color treated hair. Therefore, I have found two products that are more like treatments that still allow me to use my regular shampoo and conditioner.

Ouidad Mediterranean Bay Leaf Exfoliating Hair and Scalp Treatment This scalp treatment helps lightly exfoliate the scalp while also getting rid of any type of product buildup that you may have. If you have an oily and dry scalp it is recommend to use every other day. This is so simple to use and is very easy to add to your routine. After you shampoo, massage in and all over your scalp for 1-3 minutes. Rinse it all out and follow up with conditioner if needed. Quidad - $36 - www.quidad.com Ouidad Mediterranean Bay Leaf Exfoliating Hair and Scalp Treatment This scalp treatment helps lightly exfoliate the scalp while also getting rid of any type of product buildup that you may have. If you have an oily and dry scalp it is recommend to use every other day. This is so simple to use and is very easy to add to your routine. After you shampoo, massage in and all over your scalp for 1-3 minutes. Rinse it all out and follow up with conditioner if needed. Philip Kingsley - $29 - www.philipkingsley.com

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Back in June, The Makeup Show made its stop in Chicago. The name says it all, all of the major makeup companies and artists are under the same roof. With that being said a lot of the top industry artist come and do workshops, seminars and keynote speakers. It is seriously heaven on earth for anyone who has a passion for makeup. Amongst all the excitement, I had the amazing opportunity to get a one on one interview with the Merrell Hollis, industry leader and celebrity makeup artist (he is Wendy William’s guy)!

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asks you why are you using a certain product or shade you will understand the whyand be able to explain beyond the simple reasoning “because it’s pretty”. Continuing your education is key. Were there any obstacles that you faced while you were pursuing your career and what did you do to overcome it? I’ve learned to love myself and my work while learning that no matter how hard you try, you can’t please everyone. Sometimes there are things that aren’t perfect that have nothing to do with you and you have to remember it’s not personal it’s business. Not everyone’s going to be your friend and not everyone’s going to like you. I continue to hone my craft move and forward without letting anything set me back. I’m still learning but I try. What is the one beauty tip that you feel that every woman should follow?

How did you know that you wanted to be in the makeup industry? The art of transformation still ‘til this day wows me. I’ve always known that I wanted to work with women in some capacity and wanted to do some sort of makeup. I wasn’t sure if it was hair or fashion so I went to school for design and marketing. I also went aesthetic school, got my cosmetology license and barbering license because I wanted to know everything about the field. I guess you can say that I love to learn. I’m now I’m thinking about going back to school for photography. What is the one piece of advice you can give to someone who wants to get in the makeup industry? Only do it if you love what you do. Do not do it for the fame, money or celebrity status. That is not the making of a great artist. Learn everything about your craft – color theory, skin tones, etc. - so when someone

I feel that every woman should know how to correctly pick her own foundation (all shades of it), how to do their brows and how to do light makeup – e.g., a lipstick that looks good on you or an eyeshadow that compliments your eyes. What do you love most about working in the makeup industry? What I love the most about working in this industry is having the ability to meet such awesome artists and to learn from so many different artists.The comraderyis amazing. We love each other equally and sometimes if a colleague is slow with work, I’ll throw them some work. This industry is all about teamwork and I wish that all of the industries felt this way. By keeping the comradery going on we ensure that we all have work. These people are like my family. That’s what I love; it’s a new family that I’ve found.



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Paper Crown Gallery going beyond the typical Layout & Written by: Jennifer M. Veguilla


won’t lie, when I usually think of a gallery, the terms pretentious and stuffy typically come to mind. Yet, when I first walked into the Papercrown Gallery, my assumptions were thrown out the window. Founders, Dennis Quijano and Jay Turner, have done more than open up a place for artists to showcase and sell their work. Rather, they have created a haven for artists to create, connect with the community and to teach others about art. Both Jay and Dennis along with Jeff have all worked creative fields such as advertising with backgrounds in graphic design, marketing and brand development. Therefore, it is no surprise that these serial entrepreneurs have created yet another successful venture. This success comes from the fact that the team has great chemistry and each does the work that best suits their skill set. Just like most successful partnerships each owner comes to the table with their own strengths, but they are all artists and understand the needs & nuances of the field. The beauty behind the Papercrown Gallery concept is that it goes beyond just purchasing art. The team opened the gallery in order for people to experience the art work and allow relationships to be built

between the artists and clients. This idea of transparency is a lifeline within the business ideals that run Papercrown. The team also has a great eye. They understand that art is incredibly subjective, but they make it a point to bring on artists that are different and have something to say with the art they create. The goal is to also bring affordable original art to the masses. With the crash of the economy, spending on things like art came to a lull, yet the Papercrown team utilized that as an opportunity to share local and affordable art to those who were seeking it. The idea has proven itself worthy as the gallery enters its second year running. While visiting Papercrown Gallery, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the main men behind the business: Dennis Quijano. Despite all of his successes, Dennis is a down-to-earth good-natured guy with a heart of gold. What struck me most is the fact that he is not out there to seek success on his own, he wants to see success for all the people he works with – business partners and artists alike.

works with at Papercrown Gallery. There is this quote I once read by John Quincy Adams, it states: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Dennis and the team at Papercrown are doing just that with the people they surround themselves with on a daily basis. They are looking to inspire and to push the boundaries of the norm and mundane within the art industry. Dennis most definitely has an entrepreneurial spirit. His background includes working as a corporate marketing director, 10 years of freelance experience and running/designing a fashion and toy line. It is no surprise that he continues his entrepreneurial ventures while running Papercrown Gallery. He is currently working on a few new ventures: a wall space app that is still in production as well as a collaboration with artist Barret Dvorsky dubbed: Black Cloud Collective. Once again the idea of sharing success is the basis of BCC. The team represents street artists all over the world and helps to raise awareness by released limited edition art sticker packs.

I think this struck me due to the fact that Halfstack has such a similar vision. The idea behind the Halfstack brand is to showcase local talent that is on the rise and Dennis wants to do the same with the artists he



“ Find a mentor on your journey, one you can learn from and grow with. � 116 Halfstackmag.com



“find your voice & vision and once you have, help others do the same. �

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“ Always be a lifelong student.

You should always be striving to learn and grow. �

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Running a business, let alone multiple businesses, is no easy feat and when I asked Dennis if he faced many obstacles on his journey, his honest answer was, “a ton.” Art can be considered a non-necessity in hard economic times, so of course getting art to sell can be difficult. Another big obstacle is the fact that art is subjective, but when you associate an artist with the work – people can connect and see how their purchase can help another individual on their journey. Despite the obstacles the brand has faced, they’ve overcome through hard work and due to the fact that they are a business that is about the community. Papercrown Gallery is making it a point to leave their mark on their community. Whether it is through charitable causes and fundraisers or through educating the community with art classes, they plan on leaving the world better than it was before they arrived on the scene. When I asked Dennis if he could provide our readers with some tips on how to navigate their own journey in any creative field, he had the following thoughts to leave you with. 1. Find a mentor on your journey, one you can learn from and grow with. 2. Pull yourself out of the typical industry expectations – do something different and find your voice/vision and once you have, help others do the same. 3. Finally, always be a lifelong student. You should always be striving to learn and grow. We can never know everything, but we can always try to learn something new.

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New Industry Rising Stars “FILM” Director, Writer and Producer Carlos Mendoza From the Film “Things

Written By: Stella Estrella

will be Different” gensen Designed By: Brittany Jor

Carlos Mendoza

Chicago native, born and raised in the Pilsen neighborhood, Carlos Mendoza can now add

Director, Writer and Producer to his resume. Newly graduated film student has

recently produced a film called “Things will be Different” that is now going to be featured in local film festivals such as the Austin Film Festival; along with many others. The film,

being his first is even listed on IMDB, which itself is a dream to many up and comers in the movie industry. So what is this first film about? We at Halfstack had a chance to grab a drink and chat with this future Pedro Almodovar about his film, future endeavors and more.

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Director Carlos Mendoza viewing film in process.

Carlos, looking like a celebrity himself in designer jeans and a fitted t-shirt

looked like a

modern day James Dean, laughed when he got asked if his film was about a

married couple. “No”, he smirked, “It is about 2 brothers who haven’t seen each other in several years.” So the background story about his short film which is being shown in film festivals such as The Williamsburg Independent Film Festival, San Francisco Independent Film Festival and many more; is about 2 brothers who are finally seeing each other after several years and they are reconnecting. It all takes place in one day and there is a lot of dialogue along with unspoken dialogue despite it being considered a short film.

Still from his film productionHalfstackmag.com of Things will be Different. 131

Filming of Things will be Different.

“Viewers can relate to the characters, it is all about relationships.” OK, so two brothers meeting after many years of not seeing each other, exciting? Carlos states that it is because his films are relatable to the audience. “They are about real life situations.” Carlos’s film and future films to come are not some fantasy stories like many directors and film producers prefer these days, instead they are about keeping it as real as possible. “Viewers can relate to the characters, it is all about relationships.” Things will be Different is about an estranged relationship which anyone can relate to since it happens all the time in many of our lives. I

borrow inspiration for my films from real life.” So what’s to come for this up and

comer who’s currently living in Austin, Texas? “I have a few more films coming” he stated with a smirk; and we are smiling because we cannot wait to see them.

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“I have a few more films coming� he stated with a smirk.

Scene of Things will be Different.



January First One Families Journey of living with Schizophrenia WRITTEN BY: SOPHIA SANCHEZ LAYOUT BY: JENNIFER VEGUILLA

Did you know that 46.4% of the population has a mental illness [as reported by the National Institute of Mental Health]? That number seems astounding. That is almost half of the population.

- The average age of onset is 14 years old. - Approximately 1 quarter of adults are diagnosable with one or more disorders. - 5.8% of the population is classified as suffering from seriously debilitating mental illness such as Schizophrenia.

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Perhaps at some point in our lives, we’ve all joked about some person we’ve known, someone who’s seemed a little out there or for lack of a better word “crazy;” but the reality is that mental illness is no joking matter. It is a real issue, one in which almost 50% of the population suffers from. And to be quite frank, it is something that as a society we have very little understanding of. Halfstack Magazine had the pleasure of sitting down with Michael Schofield, author of the very powerful and moving novel, ‘January First.’ A firsthand account of the struggles he and his family endured in the journey to find diagnosis for his very young daughter, January. From the very start, January [or Jani, as she’s come to be known] was unlike other children. Reading at the age of two, solving math problems that most adults would have difficulty with at the age of three, and holding full length conversations as a mere toddler; it was as if a grown woman was trapped inside a tiny body. To put it simply, Jani, was a genius. With a savant on their hands, it took great strides by this family to stimulate

such an extraordinary mind. And that, came at a lofty and exhausting price. “She has to be well past the point of physical exhaustion by now, but if she is, she doesn’t show it. Not that it matters. It’s not her body. It’s her mind. I have to wear out her mind. That has been the only way to get her to sleep since she was born.” A quote from ‘January First,’ Jani’s mind just wouldn’t tire. Just before the age of 3 years old, Jani’s first imaginary friend manifested. A dog named Low. Soon after came 400, the cat. And then there were her 7 pet rats, each named after a day of the week. Eventually, there were too many to keep track of. But the common thread that connected each of her ‘new’ friends was that they all descended from a place called ‘Calilini.’ It was through these manifestations in which Jani’s sudden bursts of anger and frustration soon erupted. As the parent of a child genius, it was normal to believe that their child simply had an over active imagination. But to Jani, her imaginary friends were very real; and tantrums consisting of earsplitting screams and the attempted destruction of whatever crossed her path surfaced at any sign of dismissal.

Michael and his wife Susan simply thought, ‘this is the price you pay to have an extraordinarily gifted child.’ It was when her hallucinations began to turn violent that they knew something was terribly wrong. At the age of six years old, Jani was diagnosed with ‘Child Onset Schizophrenia.’ One of the youngest children ever to be diagnosed with a severely debilitating mental illness and one of the worst cases of Schizophrenia that doctors have ever seen in both children and adults alike. What is Schizophrenia? According to the National Institute of Mental Health, Schizophrenia is a chronic, disabling brain disorder that may cause a person to hear voices and misinterpret reality. In some cases, schizophrenic patients believe people are plotting to harm them, which causes extreme agitation or depression. Hallucinations, delusions, hearing voices and even suicidal thoughts are common characteristics amongst those who suffer from this disorder. In having the opportunity to discuss Jani’s situation with author, Michael Schofield, it prompted a desire to learn more. The statistical discovery was eyeopening.

There is no cure for Schizophrenia and it is a condition that still boggles the minds of some of the world’s leading experts. A serious disorder of the brain and mind, the leading theory for cause is genetic predisposition. In layman’s terms, if someone in your family bloodline has/had a mental disorder, the likelihood of developing Schizophrenia or some other mental illness skyrockets exponentially for you. 1.1% of the world’s population over the age of 18 suffers from Schizophrenia. Hardly seems relevant in comparison to the world’s ever-growing population. How’s this for terrifying? That percentage equates to about 51 million people worldwide. And in the United States? 7 of every 1000 persons suffers from this disorder; meaning that in a city of 3 million people, over 21 thousand individuals will have Schizophrenia. It can be controlled, and is most often treated through antipsychotic drugs and through therapy. However, a wide variation occurs in the course of Schizophrenia. Some people have psychotic episodes of illness lasting weeks or months with full remission of their symptoms between each episode. Others have a fluctuating course in which their symptoms are continuous, but rise and fall in intensity. And



Our lives have been compressed into moments. It’s all we really have. We are trying to give her as many happy moments as we can.

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there are those who have relatively little variation in the symptoms of their illness over time. At one end of the spectrum, the person has a single psychotic episode of Schizophrenia followed by complete recovery. At the other end of the spectrum is a course in which the illness never abates and debilitating effects increase. Recent research would suggest that the disease process of Schizophrenia gradually and significantly damages the brain of the person, and that earlier treatments seem to result in less damage over time. The idea of mental illness, Schizophrenia most prevalently, is terrifying to people. It continues to carry a negative stigma because people have a tendency to fear those things of which they do not understand. As a society, we are lacking a functioning system to truly help those with severe mental illnesses. We lack a system that will help us to better understand these conditions that are often accompanied by violent outbursts and those characteristics that seem abnormal to the general public, but are very much a part of everyday life for those suffering.

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In speaking with Michael about his little girl January, the question was asked if he feared what could potentially lay ahead for Jani as she grew into adulthood. What would happen if she had a violent outburst in public? What if she lost herself in her alternate reality unable to find her way back?

“It is something I fear every day. There will come a time when her mother and I will no longer be able to protect her. I fear she may be thrown in jail, or worse, killed because someone just didn’t understand her condition.” There is the argument that there is no more risk of a mentally ill person becoming violent, than a person who is nonmentally ill. We see it every day in the news. It’s an interesting notion however, because while it is true that not every mentally ill person will ever show signs of violence, the threat is a very real one. What happens to a non-mentally ill person when he or she attacks another person? They are thrown in jail and are chastised by the public as being a terrible and evil human being. What happens to a mentally ill person when he or she has a violent outburst? The possibility of being thrown in jail and also being chastised in the

very same way is a very likely outcome. It’s been known to happen. As human beings, we do not like accepting theories for those things or ideas of which we have no control over. It’s a scary thought to think that your mind and body could betray you and force you to do things you ultimately wouldn’t otherwise do. It’s easier to label a person as “evil,” than to find some rational explanation for what is really taking place. Mental illness is all around us, and of course there will always be varying degrees of severity amongst those who suffer, but for January, Michael, and their family, every day is a struggle. A struggle to find some normalcy in every day routines, a struggle to find acceptance amongst those who don’t understand, and a struggle to keep Jani from slipping away forever. January is now 10 years old and has finally found a rhythm and treatment that allows her to have normal and childlike moments. However, since the age of three years old she has been hospitalized more times than her parents or she can remember and has attempted suicide numerous times. Year after year, Jani’s hallucinations change and evolve, but the threat that she could slip away into ‘Calilini’ forever is a fear her parents



face with every passing day. “While some people have good days and bad days,” Michael says. “Our lives have been compressed into moments. It’s all we really have. We are trying to give her as many happy moments as we can. She has already tried to kill herself a couple of times. We want her to feel that our world has enough to offer her so that she wants to stick it out.” After 30 years of people diagnosed with this condition, only 25% of people completely recover. 35% improve greatly and live relatively independent lives. 15% improve, but require extensive support networks. 10% are hospitalized and considered unimproved and 15% result in death, mostly due to suicide. Schizophrenia is considered the most debilitating and costly mental illness, consuming over $63 billion a year for direct treatment, societal and family costs. The greatest cost however, is the non-economic costs to those who suffer from it and their families. ‘January First’ is a powerful and telling tale of the journey of one family’s struggles to find their light at the end of the tunnel, as one of the most debilitating illnesses known to man attempts to steal their little girl and destroy a family. As January, a mere child, descents into

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madness, her family refuses to stop fighting to save her from slipping away forever. This memoir is one of redemption and resilience and one you will not be able to put down.

“Schizophrenia is a little like cancer. You can’t trust that it will ever go away completely. Even if one is asymptomatic, once cancer has been inside your body, the chances of it coming back remain forever until the day you die.” To learn more about this incredible little girl and the continued efforts of her family, please visit The Jani Foundation on Facebook at www.facebook. com/janifoundation. A nonprofit organization, this group provides support for other children suffering from mental illness and their families; a place free of judgement for all involved.

To buy this incredible novel, please visit your local Barnes & Noble store or visit http://www.barnesandnoble. com/w/january-first-michael-schofield/1110871811 ?ean=9780307719096

To learn more about this disorder, please visit the National Institute of Mental Health website at www.nimh.nih.gov. Statistics and citings provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, the British Columbia Schizophrenic Society and the Laboratory of Neuro Imagaing, UCLA. Many thanks to author Michael Schofield for taking time to discuss his daughter’s journey with Halfstack Magazine.

To read an excerpt of this novel, please visit http://www.scribd.com/ doc/100326567/January-First-by-Michael-Schofield-Excerpt#.UiEfEzakqaU






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CLICK HERE > Halfstackmag.com




the cuckoo’s calling BY: ROBERT GALBRAITH


A brilliant mystery in a classic vein

The Cuckoo’s Calling is a 2013 crime fiction novel by J.K. Rowling, published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. A brilliant mystery in a classic vein, Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel’s suicide. A New York Best Seller, Galbraith has delivered a highly entertaining book. Even better, he has introduced an appealing protagonist in Strike, who’s sure to be the star of many sequels to come. Its narrative moves forward with propulsive suspense. More important, Strike and his now-permament assistant, Robin, have become a team. A team whose further adventures the reader cannot help eagerly await.

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a true crime must read!

The true story of the gruesome murder of Travis Alexander, Jane Velez-Mitchell, an award winning broadcast journalist and best-selling author goes deep into the grisly nature of his death, with twenty-nine knife wounds, his throat slit and a gunshot to the head. Travis was left to die. Jane reveals Jodi Arias’ sexual secrets and takes us inside her twisted mind to get to the root cause of why she butchered Travis Alexander. A true-crime must read!




blue is the warmest color


winner of the palme

d’or 2013

A graphic novel adapted into the film ‘Blue is the Warmest Color and winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. In this tender, bittersweet, full-color graphic novel, a young woman named Clementine discovers herself and the elusive magic of love when she meets a confident blue-haired girl named Emma: a lesbian love story for the ages that bristles with the energy of youth and rebellion and the eternal light of desire. Grab the tissues, this is one is sure to pull at the heart strings.

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the husband’s secret BY: LIANE MORIARTY

“ provoking novel ”

A gripping thought

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . . Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves. Shocking, complex and thought-provoking, this is a story people will devour!





TO JOIN TODAY, IT’S EASY! 148 Halfstackmag.com




Behind Skala Designs


les, chain link, industrial wire, vintage crystals, and other forgotten odds and ends to a place a little less explored. Mixing high and low materials such as recycled industrial chain with vintage crystals to create unique works of arts is a task she takes upon herself in every new creation.


I see the comedy in things and I see the beauty in the misfits

What kind of world do you think it would be, if we could all take a moment to appreciate the beauty in those things that just don’t seem to belong? Perhaps a more vivid world? A more obscure world? Certainly, a more beautiful world… Just ask Amani Skalacki. A Chicago gal, now located in Kansas City, Missouri, Amani has always had an eye for detail; an eye for the beautifully mundane. Having spent the majority of her life as just another ‘corporate minion,’ Amani found herself drudging through life’s daily tasks not so long ago, and asking herself, “How did I get here?” Something was missing. Something had to change. It was through this manifestation in which Skala Designs was born. Vintage fasteners and buckles from the late 1800’s to unique buttons from the early 1900’s, Amani infuses new life into rare treasures, resulting in one of a kind, limited edition jewelry pieces that add classic elegance; exquisite and unique beauty to the modern woman. Made from recycled materials, Amani takes buttons, buck-

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It takes a special kind of person to be able to see the potential in those items having been long forgotten; so where does Amani pull her inspiration from? “Growing up, I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother. Everything was always beautifully and perfectly tailored and she had stacks and stacks of buttons. I can remember spending hours playing with and sorting through the endless supply and that is something that has always carried with me.” An art history major in college, it was through this exploration of materials that also came the interest in those objects no longer ordinary in today’s world. The antiquity and story behind each unique piece, only further drove her desire to not only create jewelry that would make a woman feel beautiful, but that would tell a tale of a time long gone. “There is a rare beauty in these buttons that can’t be replicated,” she beams, when asked about her reason for being drawn to these types of materials. Looking up to and pulling inspiration from designers such as Dolce & Gabbana, Marchesa, Rodarte and Somarta out of Japan, it’s easy to see why Amani’s own designs are inventive, original and modern with just the right spice of vintage. Amani’s atten-

tion to detail can be seen in every single design as every element is special right down to the selection of the clasps. “It’s the designers that really have an amazing eye for detail. Because I, love all the little details and try to pull them from past eras, I love the designers that still have a focus on those details and highlight them in their work.” And of course there is Lillian Bassman of which Amani beamed excitedly over. A fashion photographer and a pioneer in her day, she pushed the limits of the way fashion was shot. “The way she experimented with non-traditional processes, blurring the lines between fashion and art! I believe there is so much crossover between the two. My inspiration from Lillian is to experiment and push the limits within my own work.” The Collections: Heirloom Collection…. Amani’s very first collection which includes buttons, vintage glass globes, and crystals that have been recycled and set in gold and silver. A little bit of history in each piece with a story to tell. Drunken Bloom Collection…. Recycled fabrics cut by hand and dyed in wine spirits which helps achieve an effortlessly chic and feminine appeal. Heavy Metal Collection…. The mixing of recycled industrial chain with more feminine touches, such as pearls. Having begun to dabble in ‘jewelry making’ as early as 2007, it wasn’t until 2009 that Amani decided to pursue taking her passion and turning it into a career. So what has she been up to since then? “I’ve been truly blessed to have come in contact with amazing people who see my vision for what it is that have helped me achieve the level of success I’ve seen thus far. I’ve been in the West 18th Street Fashion Show, here in Kansas City. I’ve had my work shown in galleries that are known nationally, including Kansas City Blue Gallery; I’ve had my work in magazines as well as been interviewed by editors and magazine blogs. I’ve worked with some amazing photographers and performers in the

music industry that have really been responding to my work. Seeing my work on stage in something other than a fashion show is exhilarating and really quite wonderful! And I’m even working on a bridal collection with Blue Bouquet, a wedding and events planning boutique here in Kansas City.” And through it all, Amani was kind enough to connect with us at Halfstack Magazine to be a part of our Fall Editorial Fashion Shoot featuring Anna Hovet Designs. Having created original pieces for the shoot, we were once again left with no shortage of “ooo’s and aahhh’s” Featuring simple pieces with bold vintage touches, the jewelry includes materials such as silver, leather, recycled metals, woven metals and some bold pops of vintage elements… the buttons, fasteners and buckles. Offering versatility in the way the pieces are worn, some of the necklaces can be wrapped around the wrist, wrapped around your arm or worn as a belt. When asked why she went the simple route when so much of her jewelry can be considered unique and eclectic, she responded simply, “Anna Hovet’s collection is very athletic, casual and street with pops of color and interesting geometric shapes, so I wanted to keep the jewelry simple to add an element of femininity and power to the photos.” Another perfect example of Amani’s keen eye for style! Not only are each of Amani’s designs classic and original, even within those duplicated pieces, Amani does work with her customers to create custom pieces all of the time. In fact, it’s one of her favorite aspects of her work. “It’s how I got my start. Friends, family, and friends of friends would come to me with broken pieces of jewelry or come to me with a story and say ‘my grandmother passed away…’ I think it’s important, to know the person you are making the piece for. It means more when it has that personal touch.” Having become a kind of signature for Amani in her custom pieces, it takes her back to her art history roots in which telling a story is a vital piece of her brand. So where can you find her designs?! Many of her collections can be found in boutiques around Kansas



City, including bluegalleryonline.com and tomboystudio.com. However, Amani is currently in the process of building her Etsy Shop which will be directly linked to her website – www.skaladesigns.com – so definitely check back frequently to be the first to get your hands on her lovely designs, including those found in the Anna Hovet spread in this issue of Halfstack Magazine! “I see the comedy in things and I see the beauty in the misfits.” In having spent some time getting to know Amani, her quote about seeing the beauty in the misfits, really resonated with the team at Halfstack Magazine. With a strong passion for fashion, Amani reminded us that artistic beauty is all around us and can be found in the most unordinary of places. With each of her designs being exquisitely beautiful, there is no shortage of confidence that Skala Designs will reach the utmost of success and we encourage you to take a look, become a fan, and show your support by rocking a piece or two of her jewelry collections! “It took me awhile to be comfortable with being called an artist; a designer. It was weird for a long time but you have to embrace it. This is who I am. I make jewelry. I am an artist.”

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/ SkalaDesigns Instagram - @skaladesigns




CHECK OUT SKALA DESIGNS ONLINE! Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SkalaDesigns Instagram - @skaladesigns


You have to embrace it. This is who I am. I make jewelry. I am an artist.


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THE RUG COMPANY Written By: Sophia Sanchez Layout Design: Kali Koller


ummer has winded down. And with that, so have the lazy days of lounging at North Avenue Beach, the outdoor festivals and the brisk drives with the top down off Lake Shore Drive. But, the beauty of Chicago in the Fall, is that you are never without something interesting to do… to try… to experience. The Rug Company, the leading design company in the world featuring handmade, contemporary rugs, is bringing something new, eclectic, charming and original to the Windy City this Fall. ‘Demons, Yarns & Tales, A Banners of Persuasion Exhibition.’ Contemporary art…. Perhaps conceptual art comes to mind; or abstract paintings, photography, graffiti artists, or maybe even film making. But, what about tapestry? Think about this for a second. What is tapestry? A wall-hanging that is typically hand woven together by any number of textiles, often times containing links to royalty and aristocracy and typically depicting battle scenes or telling Biblical stories. Hardly seems contemporary. In fact, many consider tapestry a ‘lost art;’ a craft that faded long ago in much the same way as the magnificent tapestries themselves have disintegrated. Halfstackmag.com 157

Leading name for handmade contemporary rugs

A passion for quality

With ‘Demons, Yarns & Tales,’ The Rug Company charters into the unknown bringing together a group of fifteen internationally renowned contemporary artists in an experiment within this lost world of wall-hanging tapestry to explore a medium completely foreign to their usual practices.

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Three years in the making, artists Kara Walker , Peter Blake, Grayson Perry, and Paul Noble are among the collaborative team to form this exhibition in which fourteen tapestries will debut in Chicago for the very first time. The subjects ranging from fictive landscapes and architectural abstraction to fashion

and flora, while considering politics, race, gender, international conflict and the environment. Through this exhibition you can see these artists step out of their comfort zones, adjust to this new medium while adapting to unfamiliar textures and surfaces while still maintaining the ongoing themes of their work.

Rug Company, founded by Christopher and Suzanne Sharp has been bringing the world the best in traditional rug making since 1997. Established in London, there are now 18 stores worldwide, in cities including Chicago, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Renowned for its forward thinking and imaginative designs, The Rug Company’s in-house collection is designed by experts and each rug is made by hand, by highly skilled artisans using the finest in natural yarns; each rug being a unique work of art. In 2000, The Rug Company established its Designer Collection, collaborating with leading artists such as Nina Campbell and Cath Kidston. As their reputation has grown, some of the world’s leading design talent has accepted the invitation to work with the company including Paul Smith, Diane von Furstenberg and Tom Dixon. They’ve even expanded beyond the art of traditional rug making, and partnered with designers such as Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood in a collection of entirely handmade cushions, making each piece especially covetable and highly collectible.

he urges us to join the fight, but against whom? Following the historical tradition of using the medium to tell stories of power struggles and war; Perry’s tapestry is a Bayeux tapestry for modern times. The artists are Kara Walker, Fred Tomaselli, Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh, avaf, Peter Blake, Jaime Gili, Gary Hume, Francesca Lowe, Beatriz Milhazes, Paul Noble, Grayson Perry, Shahzia Sikander, Gavin Turk and Julie Verhoeven and range in age from 29 to 76. Whether the pieces are politically charged or not, each tapestry is exquisite in detail and as original as the artis who created it. ‘Demons, Yarns and Tales,’ presented by Banners of Persuasion will be open for viewing September 19th through October 19th, 2013. The exhibition is free to the public and can be visited at The Rug Company showroom located at 320 North Clark Street in Chicago. Coinciding with Expo Chicago, The International Exposition of Contemporary and Modern Art, don’t miss out on the opportunity to experience this one of a kind exhibition in Chicago this Fall.

Demons Yarns and Tales sees the artists translate familiar laguages of paint, paper, pencil, ink on canvas, ceramics or wood panel into that of hand woven stitch and silk thread.

With a reputation that highly precedes its name, we can expect nothing short of incredible from ‘Demons, Yarns, & Tales.’ Halfstack Magazine had the opportunity to preview the exhibition pieces and the imagination, intrigue and highly decorative abstractions of each piece is without surprise, breathtaking. A Halfstack Favorite – ‘A Warm Summer Evening in 1863’ – The Design of Kara Walker uses an image published in Harpers Magazine during the American Civil War, captioned ‘The Destruction of the Coulored Orphan Asylum on 5th Avenue.’ A black silhouette of a lynched female figure hangs in front of this historical scene of racially motivated violence. Another, - ‘Vote Alan Measles for God’ – Designed by Grayson Perry, is a tapestry riddled with images often associated with the threat of global terrorism; Osama Bin Laden, the Twin Towers and guarded oil fields. The Design is dominated by Alan Measles, the teddy bear the artist cherished as a

“The notion of tapestry, an art form with a complex and well documented past, is thereby transformed, enabling us to reconsider it as an illuminating and revelatory format for today’s world.” To learn more about The Rug Company or this exhibition, please visit therugcompany.com and bannersofpersuasion.com Visitor Information: Address: The Rug Company, 320 N. Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60654 Hours: Monday – Friday, 9AM-6PM, Saturday, 11AM-5PM, Closed Sundays



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“The Rug Company was born out of a passion for passion for quality, design, craftsmanship and service,

credentials which have enabled it to transform an industry and

establish itself as the leading name for handmade contemporary rugs.�



Small Space Living Key items to have while living in a small space.

Living in a small space can be a bit overwhelming and leaving you unsure of what to do with all your stuff. All it takes is some creativity and some key products to help your space come together.



Canary Storage Ottoman from Target.com also on sale for $137.99! A great way to store blankets and add another color into the room.

Canvas Room Divider found at homedecorators.com on sale for $138.99! This divider will add character to your space as well as cover up any storage that you may want to hide


Stenstorp Ikea.com $199.00. Having a island in your kitchen adds extra counter space and this one is easy to roll to the side when entertaining a group of friends.

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Sofa bed Ikea.com $479.00. It’s great to have either a sofa bed or a chair bed that folds out into a bed for when you have guest stay over.


Black Tchotchke Shelves and the Conceal Book Shelves are both from containerstore.com ranging in price from $9-$30. Both of the options are a great way to store books, etc to keep items off the floor and create space in the room.


Old Dutch Oiled Bronze Book Shelve Rack homedepot.com $84.99. This is a great way to store pots and pans and well as gives you space on top for other storage space.


Bed Ikea.com $449.00. Having a bed that gives you storages space underneath is always a must in a small space. Another DIY option would be to place your bed atop a storage unit.



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for bookings visit us online: www.pickaposephotography.com

DON’T JUST GET FIT CHANGE YOUR LIFE Justin Wilhoit is a certified L1 CrossFit Trainer, CrossFit Football Trainer, CrossFit Movement and Mobility Trainer, USAW Sports Performance Coach. Justin is currently pursuing his Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T) at Northern Illinois University. To learn more about booking training sessions, nutrition plans & other fitness related quesions contact him at: wilhoitj@gmail.com


TODAY wilhoitj@gmail.com



what is the diva dash and can i do it? Written by: Stella Quimby

So what’s this Diva Dash that everyone has been raving about?? First, it was created by Shape magazine (leader in fitness journalism), second it is a women’s only 5K Obstacle course. I personally recently ran and conquered the ShapeDiva Dash taking place in Sandwich Illinois. This 5K Women only obstacle course was not as simple as one thought. Yes it is a “Diva’s” dash, but honestly, all those Diva’s (such as myself) were probably regretting signing up for this course. There wasn’t any mud (sigh of relief) or barbed wires that would purposely hurt you or even scary Fire, but instead we had crazy monkey bars (that plenty of women fell off from), tire hills (that were extremely high) and an entrapment course (I believe it was inspired by the movie of that name except I didn’t look as hot as Catherine Zeta Jones did while doing it). It was difficult but unlike other obstacle courses, one didn’t have to worry about getting burned. The entire Diva Dash was like a large festival of its own. There was a super large Shape dome tent that had shopping, relaxing and even a spin a wheel to get a prize area (I won a handkerchief). There were areas for the runners to stretch out in or even shade to get away from the sun. Many vendors were around such as Oakley sunglasses and even a Women’s Workout World area where you can literally spin on a pole!!

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Luna Bars even made an appearance handing out free samples of yummy Luna Bars such as double chocolate cookie dough protein bars!! There was also beer (Budweiser) and wine available to all the runners after the race. We all sure did earn those free beers/wine. Even though there was music, games and even drinks, don’t forget it was a race. There were timed waves, where runners were running to win a chance to win a prize and there were no-timed waves where we ran to have fun (women could still win prizes based on their costumes; thus the many tutu’s and batman outfits). Overall, Diva Dash has an amazingly addictive fun atmosphere; all the participants and workers are very friendly and overall was an enjoyable event!! I personally cannot wait for next year, hmmm...maybe I’ll even do the timed competitive wave??? Maybe. In case you are all wondering there are still some cities left that the Diva Dash will be running in so make sure to log on to divadash.com and plug in the code BLOG to get $10 off!!!



Something most people can relate to, are the memories of playing sports as children. Hitting that soccer field during the first frost of the season, feeling the cold air nip at your nose as adrenaline coursed through your veins, waiting for the referee to blow his whistle. A clear indication of the start of the game. Nothing was going to stop you from connecting with that ball‌. For most of us, the thrill of the game ends with high school. For a select few, college level is an option. For even less, professional sports. 168 Halfstackmag.com

CoachUp: Helping Athletes Thrive

F OUNDER: Jo rd a n Fli egel

Interview By: Sophia Sanchez Layout Design: Kali Koller


ut what if it didn’t have to end after high school? What if we could actually train at a level where playing in college could be an attainable goal? When we look back, a common thought might be, “sure, I played decently growing up and in high school, but I’d never have been given a second look beyond that.” What if it didn’t have to be the end there? Halfstack Magazine had the pleasure of sitting down with Jordan Fliegel, a 26 year old entrepreneur from Cambridge, MA and co-founder of CoachUp; a service that connects athletes at all levels with private coaches. He, himself, had fallen in love with the sport of basketball at a young age however, wasn’t very good at it. Until someone saw the potential in him. As a result of his one-onone training, Fliegel went on to play basketball for Bowdoin College

and even went on to play professionally in Israel and Europe. Having experienced firsthand what the benefits of private coaching could attain, Fliegel knew he wanted to do the same for others. And through this passion, CoachUp was born. HSM: Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background? Fliegel: I grew up in Cambridge,

MA. I fell in love with basketball at a young age but wasn’t very good at it. Until I randomly met up with a camp counselor who saw potential in me and agreed to work with me one-on-one. As a result of his coaching, I improved. I went on to play basketball in college and then went on to play professionally overseas. I later became a private coach to pay forward what I had learned, and to make a similar impact on the lives of youth basketball players in my



hometown of Boston. After going to business school, and working at a venture backed online marketplace, I felt compelled to start a company that would provide all athletes access to a private coach in their area, at an affordable rate. Private coaching is such a transformative experience; it simply should not be limited to an elite few. . Similarly, coaches and potential coaches, need help building a website, marketing their services, and managing their business. I wanted to help coaches do what they love, and wanted to help athletes receive the help they need to reach the next level of sports and in their lives. CoachUp really has been born from my personal experience with basketball; as an athlete whose life was transformed by a private coach, and as a private coach who wanted to make a similar impact on others. Through CoachUp, we are trying to scale that experience for both athletes and coaches, making it possible for them to connect and build a strong, mutually beneficial and long-lasting relationship with the help of our service.

HSM: Tell me about CoachUp?

Fliegel: CoachUp is a service that connects athletes with private coaches. We’re the leading private coaching company in the country. We launched CoachUp.com a little over a year ago, and we now have 10,000 coaches and over 60,000 athletes utilizing our service.

HSM: Are you the sole founder? Fliegel: I have a co-founder, Arian Radmand, and another founding team member, Gabe Durazo. Both are incredible engineers and even better people.

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It’s been a joy working with them, and watching each other grow as the company grows. HSM: What inspires you and what was the motivation behind CoachUp? Fliegel: As a former professional basketball player and a private coach, I started CoachUp to help coaches meet new athletes, as well as, help alleviate both the stress and time spent on coaching related administrative and marketing work.

That’s what our mission is, to help change the trajectory of children’s lives through sport.

As a player who benefited from private coaching, I started CoachUp to help all athletes receive quality one-on-one instruction in order to help them reach another level in their sport or discipline. Private coaching had a positive impact not only on my athletic abilities, but on my life. It opened doors to many valuable opportunities and experiences I’ve enjoyed in my life. Just like our coaches, I want to help “pay it forward” to future generations. That’s what our mission is, to help change the trajectory of children’s lives through sport.

HSM: Is CoachUp an affordable service for the everyday athlete? Fliegel: It absolutely can be. Session rates can range from $20 to upwards of $100. When searching for a private coach, an athlete or parent has the option to look based on price in order to meet any budgetary constraints. Athletes also have the option of booking in small group sessions with a private coach. Booking small group sessions of 2-4 athletes can help make private coaching even more affordable when the session rate is split.

HSM: Is CoachUp tailored to a specific sport or a specific kind of athlete? Is there an age demographic you cater to?

Fliegel: CoachUp coaches work with athletes of all ages, across all sports. Certain coaches may express an age group they best have an impact on or a position in which they specialize. There are coaches in over 60 sports, ranging from basketball to yoga, to track & field, to paddle boarding, and beyond. Athletes are as young as pre-teen through the college level and many adults utilize CoachUp, as well.

HSM: Since the company’s inception, how much has your business grown?

Fliegel: We are very proud of our growth. We’ve grown from zero, to a passionate community of over 10,000 coaches. Our bookings have grown at a compounded rate of 27% month-over-month since our launch, the same rate as Uber in their first year. All of our success stems from our talented coaches, and the passion that our team has for sports, coaching and mentorship. We enable people to do what they love to do for a living, by “coaching up” others, and passing on what they learned. How cool is that?

CoachUp Cares is committed to giving back to its communities at both the local and national level, especially those that help us accomplish our mission of changing the trajectory of children’s lives through sports.

HSM: Impressive! Can you tell me a little bit about “CoachUp Cares?”

The CoachUp Ambassador Program also falls under CoachUp Cares. A CoachUp Ambassador is a professional athlete that partners with CoachUp to auction off a private coaching session. CoachUp donates 100% of the auction proceeds to a charity or nonprofit organization of the pro

Fliegel: CoachUp Cares is the philanthropic division of CoachUp that focuses on supporting charitable causes and efforts.

Under the CoachUp Cares division, we have our CoachUp Scholarship Program that we launched just this past year. We award, on an annual basis, three outstanding student-athletes with a $2,000 scholarship for academic related expenses and $500 toward private coaching sessions.




Fliegel: It’s not easy. I had a steep learning curve as a first time entrepreneur. I’ve benefited so much from having incredible colleagues, advisors, board members, and investors. I’ve learned something from everyone at CoachUp.

athlete’s choice. The auction winner scores a dedicated private coaching session with the professional athlete at a predetermined date, time and location. CoachUp Ambassador Program auctions are held throughout the year and across the country.

HSM: What do you hope for the future of CoachUp?

HSM: What are some of the goals you’ve accomplished since starting CoachUp?

Fliegel: It all comes down to impact. We’ve been able to do a lot of work through our charitable arm, CoachUp Cares, to benefit the community. We have created thousands of jobs for amazingly talented coaches, and jobs at CoachUp Headquarters for equally talented engineers and marketers. Through our internship program, we have helped provide access to “the startup life” to dozens of college student-athletes, and it’s been great to see their interest in startups grow from their experience with us. Above all, we’ve seen so many amazing stories from athletes and their parents of how much their private coaching experience has mattered to them. Our #1 goal is to help athletes reach the next level in sports and in life, and we have made that dream a reality for hundreds of families, which is just so cool and rewarding to me.

HSM: How has the process of starting your own business been?

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Find something that you are personally passionate about.

Fliegel: That we continue to grow so that we can help more athletes and more coaches to fulfill their potential. Talented people should be able to make a living doing what they love, passing on their passion to the next generation. My hope for CoachUp is that we can enable that vision on a massive scale, extending our reach to everyone who can benefit from our service. Along the way, we need to stay humble, and give back to the community however possible.

HSM: Do you have any advice for individuals who may want to follow a similar entrepreneurial route? Fliegel: Find something that you are personally passionate about. When you go a few months without being able to think about anything else, then set out to make it happen, and don’t ever give up.

Catching up with Jordan and the on-goings of CoachUp really has been a fantastic experience for the Halfstack team. To see such an ambitious young man, making the dreams of hundreds of thousands of people from athletes, to coaches, to families, all while making his own dreams come true is extremely humbling to see. It is exactly the mission of this magazine; to create awareness and share the stories of those people who are making something out of nothing. To learn more about CoachUp, please visit www.coachup.com.




The story of Johnny Cash is no mystery. His claim to fame in the 1950’s with his No.1 Billboard topping hit, “Walk the Line,” sold over 2 million copies and stayed atop the charts for an incredible 43 weeks. Hit after hit; “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town,” “I Got Stripes,” “Ring of Fire,” “Understand Your Man,” and “The Ballad of Ira Hayes,” Johnny Cash, to this day, remains one of an elite few in music legends who has been bestowed the honor of being in both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But such astounding fame, came at a lofty and heavy price. With the making of the movie, “Walk the Line,” it is no secret that Johnny Cash’s life was filled with drugs, sex, arrests, scandal, and destruction; a story the public has come to know well. But what about the man behind “The Man in Black?” Did anyone ever stop to question how the one man who managed Johnny Cash for most of Cash’s career kept himself from spiraling out of control right along with him? Or did he have his own demons hidden? The late Saul Holiff was the man behind Johnny Cash. And to the public’s eye, he was a man who had it all together… Manager to a superstar, wealth, a nice home, fancy cars, a wife and two young children. And at the peak of Cash’s career, Saul quit his job as manager to Johnny Cash in 1973; something to this day that no manager has ever done before. And until Saul’s death in March of 2005, when he committed suicide without a single word as to why, his reasons for leaving behind a million dollar, international superstar remained a mystery. Halfstack Magazine had the pleasure of connecting with first time filmmaker, Jonathan Holiff, in an exclusive interview to discuss the inspiration and meaning

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The late Saul Holiff was the man behind Johnny Cash.

My Father &

The Man in Black Capturing the Mind of the Man Behind the Music Legend: Johnny Cash



behind his award winning documentary, “My Father & The Man in Black.” A fresh angle on the Johnny Cash mythology and a long way from “Walk The Line,” Jonathan takes us on a journey of discovery to uncover the secrets of the 60’s & 70’s as seen through the eyes of his father, Saul Holiff. In a pre-screening of the film presented to Halfstack Magazine, it is discovered that Jonathan, whom was named after Johnny Cash, and Saul had a troubled relationship since the day Jonathan was born, just weeks before Cash’s arrest in El Paso for drug smuggling. Jonathan and Saul had been estranged for more than 20 years, until the day Saul took his own life. It wasn’t until after his father’s death that Jonathan discovered a storage unit which was home to more than 60 hours of audio diaries, hundreds of letters and thousands of photographs documenting what really happened to Johnny and Saul during the singer’s pill-fueled 60’s, triumphs at Folsom and San Quentin, marriage to June Carter, and his sudden born again Christianity in the early 70’s. In this documentary, which took 7 and ½ years to research and film, Jonathan constructs a family memoir and learns who Johnny and his father really were around the secret archives of his deceased and largely absent father. Were his reasons for being misguided in parenthood a direct result from is years spent trying to “fix” Johnny Cash, or did it go deeper still than that? In a powerful scene in the documentary, Saul, at the age of 75, speaks of being a father….. “You ask about parenthood? Well that’s the toughest question of all. In some ways, publicly, I appeared to be mature and even reasonable. But in most ways, I was as screwed up as I had been

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“ If it had to happen all over again, I’d probably make all the same mistakes.”



most of my childhood…. Parenthood? If I hadn’t lived such a chaotic life being constantly away, if I had been smarter or better adjusted…. If it had to happen all over again, I’d probably make all the same mistakes.” A scene in which Jonathan admits needing to leave the screenings each time because of the emotional weight carried in those words. HSM asks, “Obviously, we will never truly know, but do you believe Saul could have been a better father if Johnny Cash had never been a factor in his life?” ….. “I don’t blame Johnny Cash for the way my father was. I think my father would have been the same person more or less had he been a doctor, a lawyer or something else. On the other hand, there is no question that Cash was unique and very challenging… he was all but unmanageable. I’ve heard people say to me that it’s interesting that just as my father seemed to be losing control over Johnny, he seemed to be exerting more control over me. I was named after Johnny and in watching the film you’ll see that my father made me sign contracts and his disciplinary methods were that of which would be handled between a business man and his clients. He saw my brother and I as a kind of clay that he could mold into exactly what he wanted as children. And just like Johnny, I rebelled. And so my father didn’t get what he wanted ultimately.” So has Jonathan made peace with the man he thought he’d never know? “I approached the story as a hostile witness. I was no more a fan of my father than I was of Johnny Cash, but over the course of getting to know him and listening to him speak, I got to learn my father’s inner most thoughts about parenthood before and after I was born. It was a very cathartic experience. Sharing his story has allowed me to forgive him but also to reconcile what we didn’t have.”

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Johnny Cash passed away on September 12th, 2003. Saul and Johnny hadn’t seen each other in over 20 years at the time of Johnny’s death. Less than 2 years later, Saul would commit suicide, just 8 months before “Walk the Line” hit movie theaters. “When his health began to fail, just as he had done when he quit Johnny, Saul drew up a list of pros & cons for committing suicide. My father put Josh and me in the pro column. Writing, [detente with boys (instead?) of total alienation.] Saul considered this a success. Rather than risk serious illness and giving up control, my father committed rational suicide on March 17, 2005.” Winning 9 awards in the Film Festival circuit all over the world, including the “Orson Welles Award” at Tiburon International Film Festival in the U.S., this documentary has captivated audiences in over 15 countries worldwide since its release internationally in June of 2012. The debut of the documentary hit the United States on September 6, just 6 days before the 10th anniversary of the death of Johnny Cash. It’s as if the universe opened up, and the stars karmically aligned to bring you this intense personal adventure featuring one of the 20th century’s greatest music icons to tell you an inside story on “bad boy” Johnny Cash, his talented but highly troubled manager, Saul Holiff, and a son searching for his father in the shadows of a legend. “I’m very gratified that I am able to tell a story that no one has heard before. People thought that everybody knew Johnny Cash and so the highest compliment I’m paid by reviewers and audiences alike is [We thought we knew Johnny Cash].” “My Father & The Man in Black” is touring the U.S. and hitting movie theaters in only select cities. To find a city near you, please visit: http://johnnyand-saul.com/screenings. Buy your copy of the film at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MyFather-Man-Black/dp/B00E0P8ZLC or on Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/id687555496.

“ I got to learn my father’s inner most

thoughts about parenthood before and after I was born.”



My Father &

The Man in Black CONNECT TODAY

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back to school cool


It’s that time of the year, when the temps start to drop & we are all reminded of bouquets of sharpened pencils and back to school. Even if you haven’t been back to school in years, now is still a great time to add to your office supplies, fashion collection or to get great deals on notebooks! Check out our selects below.



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