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Thursday, April 28, 2016

A DIVA'S Display of Kindness

When we initially built this window display we set out to do something totally different than just fashion. Our goal was to send a message of POSITIVITY. We never would have expected the overwhelming response that it has ignited in people. We have had an outpouring of comments from customers and an unexpected amount of locals in the community who have stopped in to thank us for our inspirational messages. We didn't realize how big of an impact this could be in individuals daily lives and how much people are in need of a little positivity. We hope that this encourages people to be kind to one another and...
~ Be the change you wish to see in the world ~


Friday, March 4, 2016

20 Years of TANGLED LOVE



It’s been 20 golden years at The Divas & Devils HOUSE OF STYLE. Beginning as a love story fueled by fashion and music, these past two decades hold cherished memories and carries an air of immense value and rich history. This HOUSE offers so much and is a true specialty boutique... This HOUSE, full of life, has a story...This HOUSE is a home. A home and refuge for those seeking artistic expression, creativity and even comfort. Its spirit influences many and evokes a feeling of passion.
The soul of this place lies within the heart of its creator Michelle Torregrosa.  Her unbridled passion is real; both palatable and contagious.  Her mission is to deliver an experience that provides an inexhaustible source of inspiration that is personable and memorable. Through this, an attachment has formed and a family created. Walking through the door you are greeted with a feeling a nostalgia. Stevie Nicks’ vocals float over you as you shop, whispering tales of our store’s great past. Divas & Devils has seen and cherished a long legacy of Diva Doves that transcends through the generations. Together, we have grown through extraordinary situations, from rocking fashion shows and music festival pop up shops, to live window mannequins and champion parade floats. It has also gifted us invaluable experiences that have touched our souls and left a lasting effect: including our work in Haiti through Soles 4 Souls, efforts in the fight against cancer, and countless events helping individuals within our local community.
In our 20th year, we are embarking on yet another journey.  A journey set out to give back, pay it forward, and recognize the goodness in ourselves and others.
The first step in this mission has been our creation of a unique collection of jewelry we call TANGLED LOVE.  A section in which the customer interacts, designing a personalized collection by mixing and matching layers of charms, chains, leathers, and mixed metals that tells a story of their unique journey.

TANGLED LOVE is meant to promote the connection of where you've been, what you've experienced and where your journey will take you next.
However, it was truly designed to serve a purpose far greater; to spread awareness and knowledge of the challenges faced around the world. We have discovered a variety of highly respected organizations that are accomplishing great things.  In an effort to support these causes, we are donating 10% of the total cost from everything purchased from this collection. You will be given tokens that represent one dollar each, and will have the opportunity to choose which of these organizations you wish to support.

The first organization that truly inspired this entire project was the David Shedlrick Wildlife Trust Fund and their exceptional work in elephant conservation and anti-poaching initiatives. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust started as an elephant orphanage, rescuing many baby elephants whose mothers and entire herds were viciously attacked and killed for their tusks. This organization rescues and rehabilitates abandoned baby elephants who have experienced immense emotional trauma and starvation. Elephants are extremely emotional creatures, developing the same types of bonds and relationships as humans. The babies are not only rehabilitated but raised into new herds and conditioned to be released back into the wild once they’ve reached adulthood.
The David Shedlrick foundation works together with the Kenya Forest Service and Community Group Ranches in order to promote conservation of elephant habitats and prevent or arrest poachers who are illegally hunting elephants.Elephant populations have been threatened for many decades due to a variety of environmental factors, but the rise of the ivory trade in the black market of China has brought elephant deaths to an all-time high within the last decade.
According to a report by National Geographic, “Ivory-seeking poachers have killed 100,000 African elephants in just three years. During 2011 alone, roughly one of every twelve African elephants were killed by a poacher.” However, elephants have a much higher economical value alive, promoting the tourism industries of Africa and Asia; “Ivory from a poached elephant sells on the black market for about $21,000, while a living elephant, is worth more than $1.6 million in ecotourism opportunities. Elephants are the largest land animals in the world, playing a vital role in the ecosystems of Africa and Asia. National Geographic discussed their importance as a keystone species, helping to balance all other species in their ecosystem.

As we continued our research we found an endless number of causes that need help around the world, and believed that helping one cause wasn’t enough. We wanted to find an organization making a difference within the environment and quickly discovered the Eden Reforestation Projects. Forests are being destroyed at an exponential rate, “some 46-58 thousand square miles of forest are lost each year—equivalent to 48 football fields every minute.” The Eden Reforestation Projects have stepped in to help save these trees and our environment, but they do much more than planting trees. They support local economies by only hiring residents within the community for their job positions, pulling thousands of families out of extreme debt and slavery. The organization began planting the Malagasy mangrove in 2007 and continues planting at a rate of 1.4 million trees a month.
The Eden Reforestation Projects also build up schools by setting up farming and gardening projects. They teach and emphasize the importance of trees and eco-friendly living. One of the final steps in this plan is teaching individuals within the community how to produce and maintain sustainable farming methods, securing the survival of all trees planted. Once they are experiencing consistent success within one community, they expand into other suffering countries. They have already established successful planting nurseries and farming projects in Ethiopia, Haiti, and plan to expand into Nepal. The Eden Reforestation Projects are drastically helping the staggering number of forests by planting 79,730,000 trees in Madagascar to date, all while creating 797,300 consistent work days within Madagascar alone, improving the lives of families and the environment all in one movement.
Through our journey of looking beyond ourselves and into the future, we couldn’t help but think about our real future… our children. We knew exactly which organization to help, someone we have been donating to for years. We chose St. Jude Children’s Hospital, an organization that has been improving the lives of millions of families and children for decades, conducting research and paying hospital bills all in the fight against cancer. Imagine if your child was diagnosed with cancer. Imagine the total devastation you would feel as a parent. Imagine a place like St. Jude acting as a guiding light for your family while providing emotional support and financial relief. You will never receive a bill from St. Jude for anything- not for treatment, travel, housing or food- because they believe all a family should worry about is helping their child live. It is one of the world’s premier research and treatment centers for childhood cancer. With their unique clinical trials, innovative science and comprehensive patient care, their physicians and researchers are defining new frontiers in pediatric oncology. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is more than a hospital, but a home. They are saving lives and saving families.

We are truly amazed and humbled by the magnificent accomplishments achieved by these three organizations. We carry the same passions and concern for elephant conservation, environmental restoration, and the never-ending battle against childhood cancer. The goal of our TANGLED LOVE Collection is to raise money and awareness for these organizations, while inspiring others to go find a cause that’s special to them.  We hope this ignites a spark of passion to pay it forward, starting a ripple effect of positivity. So come spread the love! Create a special piece of jewelry, channel your inner tribe vibes, and begin your journey of being the change you wish to see in the world!


Written and Edited by: Barbara Engel


Tuesday, January 5, 2016


Time to re-FABULOUS

Even though it seems as though nothing really changes in the transition from December 31st to January 1st each year, other than the leftover smog in the sky from trails of fireworks and golden confetti scattered throughout your entire house from the night before, a new year provides us the opportunity to re-evaluate. In the same way each morning feels like a breath of fresh air, the morning of January 1st provides the same feeling in tenfold – you get to decide what the next year will bring, and how you can make that happen. You think about all of the great things you accomplished the year before, and reflect on the things you wish you perhaps could have changed. A new year means leaving those things in the past, bringing the learned lessons along with you, and making a few changes in order to grow and experience more. We make resolutions we may or may not keep, but in the end, even if just for a brief moment, we feel brand new again.

2016 brings to Divas & Devils HOUSE OF STYLE its 20th year anniversary, and with that being said, it also brings a lot of exciting changes and plans ahead. To start, we are bringing back our beloved blog, to share with all of you a glimpse into the life of being a Diva Dove, and how you can join us in our fight to bring to the world (or maybe just Tallahassee) peace, love, good music and of course – great style. To begin this new era of Diva-hood, each of us in-house divas began by each looking at our own styles, and thinking about each of our biggest fashion goals for the New Year. Even a Diva Dove sometimes needs to mix it up a little in her own wardrobe.

To begin we have Mother Diva herself, Michelle. For those that don’t know, she is the owner of Divas & Devils, and charms almost everyone she meets with her quick fashion sense and creativity. For those that do know her knows that not a day goes by that she ever looks disheveled or not put together. It’s only sometimes aggravating, but we love her all the same:


"It seems as though the last year turned from ‘fashion’ to ‘fashion work out.’ Even though it makes me proud to see that we are starting to incorporate health into that of an entire lifestyle, I fear that sometimes we get complacent with this comfortable attire. There is a time and a place, and that time and place is when you are working out or engaging in physical activities. I don't want ‘comfort’ to take the place of fashion.
Fashion is artistic and creative. Style is your way to express your innermost feelings to the world. When you look good, you feel good. Style belongs to you and it is all your own. Own it! Love it! Most importantly, you should be having fun with it.
One of my goals for 2016 is to wear all the fun things in my closet. I don't want to feel as if I have to wait for a special occasion. The special occasion is today. Each day is a precious gift and we should be celebrating that we are alive today and have the freedom to express ourselves. Remember one very important thing - The BEST part to EVERY outfit is your smile and a peaceful heart.”

Next is Barbara, our boutique’s store manager. She is the definition of a sweet heart and a kind soul, and not a day goes by without her welcoming in our customers as if they were a part of her own family – I mean everyone that walks in is absolutely apart of our divas family, she just makes it especially apparent.

“My goals for 2016 are to find more variety in my wardrobe while creating consistency. I know these two things sound like a contradiction, and they are, but let me explain. Rather than dressing a certain way some of the time, I want to live my style all of the time! I have a tendency to look like a rockstar one day and questionably homeless the next. I hope to find the passion to live through my style every day of the year, regardless of what that day may have in store for me. Through making this commitment, I also hope to develop more variety in my every day wardrobe. It's easy to fall into a rut, wearing the same general pieces or outfits day to day. I tend to obsess over a certain accessory or clothing item, wearing it over and over until one day I stop wearing it all together. This year, I plan to find more creative ways to utilize pieces in my closet that I already own, while also staying true and consistent to my style. I don't want my wardrobe to simply have the same boring outfits - I want special pieces that identify who I am, while representing my style and energy to everyone I meet! I refuse to limit myself to the same boring habits or rituals this year. I'm making the commitment to freedom, creativity, and being true to myself and my personal style all day, every day of 2016!”

If you frequent our shop, at some point you’ve seen a small lady running around making sure all of our in-house tasks are complete and that the Divas & Devils machine is well-oiled and everything is running smoothly. This is Thu, our director of operations, and while she may be small, she has a huge personality and one that is integral to our Diva’s family.

“Simple, clean, mod - just three words, but also just enough to describe everything that's dwelling in my closet. The phrase ‘less is more’ has always been something I have grown so accustomed to. Fashion is constant, trends come and go, but something that's always been around are bold prints and inviting patterns. I love seeing colors dance with one another as if they're doing a waltz and the spotlight is on them. They've always teased my eye but never enough to fully commit my heart. It's the start of a new year and I'm challenging myself to take on this new relationship with ornate patterns and prints. I always see intimate pieces on such wonderful men and women and envy how much confidence is emanated from within themselves as they wear these pieces. Fear of trying something out of the norm is not a part of me anymore. It's time to be courageous! Don't be afraid to try something that's completely out of your comfort zone, because someone wise once said ‘Outside of your comfort zone is where the magic happens.’ Flirt with fashion! Embrace who you are as a wonderful human being with a unique sense of style that is your own! But I have something to ask you, do you dare to dance with design?”
…And then we have Tayler, the newest addition to our little in-house family. She is our lovely intern, and is still learning the ropes of the everyday adventure that is Divas & Devils HOUSE OF STYLE.

“Without fashion, life just isn't as exciting. Fashion gives you the opportunity to change how the passersby on the street interpret who you are. You have the ability to be a new person every day. This year I want to expand my variety of style. I want to mix old with new, put pieces of vintage with the latest trends, style homemade items with designer brands and create an image that sparks interest. This is the Divas & Devils way, and I really want to start incorporating all that I have learned from this experience thus far into my style. This year is the year I will blossom as a fashionista and as my own person. I am ready to take every opportunity the universe provides for me to become the most stylish diva I have the potential to be.”

Lastly, but hopefully not least, we have me – Lexi Graham, the social media and marketing guru for our little humble fashion abode. What are my fashion goals for this year, you ask? It’s pretty simple, and been nagging on my brain ever since I started getting into the fashion world my junior year of high school. And perhaps it would surprise people, as most of my peers and friends would definitely agree that I’m not shy – when it comes to my style or otherwise.

Unafraid. In 2016, I want to learn and become unafraid. At first that might not appear to be a “fashion goal,” but fashion and one’s personal style, to me at least, is an outward expression of who you are, and in this case most importantly, who you want to become. When looking at my style, most of my friends and family would say I’m not at all fearful. They see me pair a shaggy jacket with some crazy velvet embroidered pants (that I’m obsessed with) like it’s no big deal, when really, every time I step out of the box with an outfit I’m constantly questioning if I look “okay” to the average Joe, or if what I’m wearing is acceptable for the event or activity I’m partaking in that day.

But what I’m realizing, and what I want to grow to accept, is I’m not the average Joe, nor should I be appeasing him or her with my personal style. I’m me, a girl who is a little crazy, a little fun, and very out of the box. If I want to wear an awesome vintage top that has sequins all over it to the grocery store, I’m going to! In 2016 I’m going to step a little farther out of my comfort zone, I’m going to own it, and the best part? – I’m going to shine.



We hope that some of you could relate to these fashion goals, and encourage you to look at your own closets and reflect this January. What are some things you want to try out this year? What are some pieces you absolutely love but have been waiting for some distant and far-off special occasion to wear them to? Share - we would love to hear!

Take inspiration from all around you. Be adventurous. Try new things. You never know what you like until you experiment. And if you need help...... Guess who is here for you. 
❤️
The Diva Doves


Created by: Lexi Graham


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The STARLIGHT SIX

                               THE STARLIGHT SIX

Looking for Scott's (one of the largest antique markets in Georgia), Chelsea and I found ourselves lost.  Curve after curve, green field after green field, we were on these back roads for a while. The song on the radio began to fade as the station was now going in and out. "Are we even headed in the right direction anymore?" Up this hill then around another curve I expecting to see a pasture. My eyes strained as I saw something in the distance... Is that an old Drive-in movie theater?? I sat up straight in the seat as the excitement rushed in.  I began telling Chelsea a story about growing up in Miami and going to the Tropical Park Drive-in Theater on Bird Rd.  Every Saturday and Sunday morning, a huge flea market filled the rows.  We would get there before the sun came up and looked through peoples junk with flashlights. My memories go as far back to me being pulled around the market in my red Radio Flyer wagon.  The market and the Drive-in are no longer there but those memories sure are.  As my story was coming to and end, we approached the sign.  "Oh wow! It's actually still showing movies!" The sign read.... Starlight Six Drive-In Theater now showing Bourne Legacy, Spiderman and Brave.  

I thought it couldn't get better than this BUT.....IT DID!!!  As we rolled by, my head whipped around.  "Is that a flea market going on?" It's a good thing there were no other cars around because I hit the brakes and made a U turn in the middle of the road.  As our car filed in line to enter, someone approached the car and said it would be 50 cents to enter.  50 cents??? Seriously?? Who charges 50 cents these days?  Is this real or I am dreaming?? It's kinda like seeing a merage in the desert.  I found a parking space and anxiously jumped out barely waiting for Chelsea.  As I began down the first isle, I smiled momentarily at the sound of salsa music and the smell of popcorn coming from the concession. I HAD NOT BEEN LOST AT ALL!!! I AM EXACTLY WHERE IM SUPPOSED TO BE!!! 



As Im paying for an Army jacket from Vietnam, Chelsea holds up a floral maxi skirt she found.   Oh! Did I mention the pink elephant??















I live for the hunt, dont mind gettin a little dirty and love a good find.  One mans junk is anothers treasure.  It's the little things in life that make me happy and this day was one of them. Sometimes you may think you are lost ONLY to find that you are on a new path.














by: Michelle 
Torregrosa





























Thursday, July 25, 2013

MUSIC Fuels My STYLE

      It was May 4th, 2012 when twelve of my friends and I were in Memphis, Tennessee arriving at the 36th annual Beale Street Music Festival.  IT was just past 8 o'clock as we began snaking our way to the front of the stage to see Florence and The Machine.  There was already such a powerful energy of excitement and anticipation before Florence even took the stage.  Fifteen minutes later, Florence glides to the front of the stage draped in a beautiful black chiffon cape, embroidered in gold and white with her bright red hair pulled away from her angelic face.  As she began her first song, "Only if for a night" my soul overflowed with joy and I felt as though I could have lived in that moment forever.  Not only did Florence's powerful voice and performance make it the most memorable show I have yet to see, but it was what she was wearing that left me in awe. It was in this very moment, I realized my two strongest passions in life, Music and Fashion.
  
    






When I wake up in the morning  and I am trying to figure out something to wear, it all stems from my mood.  The first thing I do is turn on music.  Music brings color into the room and flight to the mind.  Florence and the Machines Ceremonials album is the source of my inspiration.

      One of my favorite songs of hers is "Shake it out." It's a song that holds a lot of emotion. The song has very loud and upbeat instruments, yet the lyrics are dark and empowering.  When envisioning what to wear when I am dancing to this song, it tends to look something like this...





  I can listen to her music and envision what Florence would wear.  I use that to create my own look.  Florence wears a lot of of hats with flowy kimonos and chiffon capes that have beaded embellishments.  I take that look and dress it down for a softer everyday look.
Florence's outfits have a tendency to replicate her music in a way that go hand in hand.  She has a song called,"Seven Devils all Around You."  It's a little dark but I love it because of the emotion and power it embodies.  When I listen to this song it inspires me to wear something more chic and edgy, rather than flowy and bright.  Music has molded my fashion and morphed my style.  Next time you're struggling with what to wear while you are staring blankly into your closet in need of direction, try turning on your favorite album.  Listen to the music and let it  guide you on a journey of creation.  Use the music as an outlet to trigger your creativity allowing it to flow through your mind, body and soul resulting in outfits that bring out your inner goddess!

by: Rachel Shireman