Style // September 2, 2014

If there are two things every Made Woman loves it’s travel and fashion. Now there’s one app that brings the two together: 1st Class Fashion. Designed by Cindy Nkem, co-founder and creative director, 1st Class Fashion marries the love of style with the love of travel. More than just an app, the lifestyle brand has expanded to include events and merchandise. The company is a family affair as Cindy works with her brother Dr. Collins Ezeuka, who came up with the idea while traveling over the holidays. The company grew and Cindy eventually left her job in public relations to sign on to 1st Class Fashion full time.

Made Woman Magazine is excited to be a media partner for 1st Class Fashion’s Luxe Lane event this Thursday. Get more details here and learn more about Cindy and 1st Class Fashion below!

Co-Founder of 1st Class Fashion Cindy Nkem 

Serena Watson : The idea for 1st Class Fashion is pretty unique. Can you tell me about it in your own words?
Cindy Nkem: 1st Class Fashion is a revolutionary and interactive social media platform designed to provide sartorial and travel related content to style savvy consumers around the world. Through the platform, we strive to foster luxe, in-person experiences for our online users. Fashion lovers connect online by sharing photos of their daily style, then their friends and other community members "like" the photo. At the end of each month, those who receive 300 likes or more are awarded a 1st Class round trip ticket to anywhere in the world. This unique experience is designed to empower members to showcase their style and inspire new trends, while celebrating their individuality.

SW: How do people enter?
CN: Participation in the platform is easy, just upload a photo of your daily style to our Style Cycle and get your friends, fashion community members and family to like the photo.

SW: Where are some of the places you've sent people thus far?
CN: We’ve had winners from all around the world travel to culturally rich locations like Istanbul, Ghana, Tokyo and England.

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SW: We are so looking forward to your event! What are your goals for the event and what can people expect?
CN: We’re super excited as well, and we have so many fun things in store. There will be unique vendors offering exclusively discounted merchandise, complimentary cocktails, a premier screening of our latest promotional video, sounds from LA’s finest DJ’s NoMBe and Ariel, and last but not least, the official presentation of our new 1st Class Fashion mobile app.


SW: What's next for 1st Class Fashion? Tell me about some of your other initiatives.


CN: If there’s one thing you can say about 1st Class Fashion, it’s that we’re always progressing and on the move. We’ve got a number of exciting projects in the works, including a unique and ultra luxe line of luggage, small leather goods and accessories. While this line is still in the development stage, the gorgeous materials we’ve been sourcing for the products already have us eager to see the final pieces!

Entry in 1st Class Fashion Style Cycle

SW: What has been the response from your user base?
CN: Audience reception has been extremely positive and enthusiastic about the platform, and we find those that engage with 1st Class Fashion to then become loyal followers of the brand. There is an appreciation for a company that is willing to give more in return to its users than any other photo-sharing platforms on the market.

SW: Why do you think it is important for young professionals to travel?
CN: Travel and self-discovery are important in the development of an individual. As a team of young professionals ourselves, we have each personally benefited from our international travel experiences. Our travels have taught us greater understanding of different cultures and points of view, which in turn have made us better real-world communicators and listeners.


@AvantBlargh Winner From Current 1st Class Fashion Style Cycle

SW: How long did it take to develop your app?
CN: The entire process has been a labor of love. We’ve gone through numerous iterations and design schemes over the past eight months or so, and started putting the technical development gears in motion about two months ago. The app is currently going through Beta testing to be ready very soon for our 1st Class Fashion members who are always on the go! Look for it in the iTunes app store on September 5th!

Published in Current

Personal Finance // July 21, 2014

Credit cards. Bank statements. Rent. Mortgage. Car payment. College loans. Heck, even nights in (someone still has to pay for those fancy ingredients and that wine you love, right?!)


With all this money being thrown around it sure would be nice to find a simple way to manage it all.  Don’t worry, that smartphone in your pocket provides you with more than just an easy way to check  your Facebook during those long staff meetings.

I challenge you to put aside five minutes of your time to click through this article and then perhaps another half hour or so to dig a little deeper into the following apps to set them up for your needs. You, your finances, and your CPA will thank you for it.


Mint.com

You’ve probably heard the name, but do you really know what Mint can do for you? If you’re like any young professional, you most likely have three things: Income, debt, and some money you’d like to spend. Imagine being able to organize all of that in one compact user interface, for no dollars spent. Link any and all accounts (obviously for optimal benefit, we recommend linking all) such as your personal checking, savings, loans, and credit cards.  Mint will tell you who you owe and by when. It won’t pay the bills for you, but it will make it easier to maintain a realistic budget.


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Walla.by

Own multiple credit cards that each offers unique rewards?  It’s difficult to think on the spot which one you should be whipping out at any given time.  If you want to maximize your rewards while shopping, then walla.by is the app for you. Simply load your cards into Walla.By’s virtual wallet and the app will tell you which one to swipe --all you have to do? Just tell it where you’re shopping.  Feel free to set preferences, like telling walla.by to stop suggesting a certain card once it’s reached a certain percentage of your credit limit.




SavedPlus.com

What are we Millennials good at? No...great at… No, no, FABULOUS at! You got it: Spending!  And what’s not so easy for us? Saving.  But what if every time you SPENT that hard-earned cash there was an app that automatically transferred a percentage of that purchase to your savings account? Not only would you be more likely to think before you spend, but you would also have peace-of-mind knowing that SavedPlus is doing the work for you.  How it works: You can select a percentage between 5%-20%. At the end of each week, SavedPlus will automatically transfer the accumulated amount to your linked savings account.   Scary? Maybe. Smart? Heck yes!


All right, your five minutes are up. You know what to do next.  Here’s to keeping our wallets flush with cash!

Published in Personal Finance

MW University // May 4, 2014

Lengthy classes, hours of homework, hefty loans: graduate school is stressful enough without the added pressure of dating and being in a serious relationship. Yet you’re actually preparing for your future as an adult, so you’re likely thinking that it’s time to settle down and find your spouse—or maybe you’re just sick of being lonely and would love somebody with whom you could share your agony over grad school. Either way, it’s tough to find somebody while you’re buried beneath projects and exams and staying in to keep up with the workload.

It’s also a difficult time to date during such an uncertain point in life. You may be attending school in a certain city, but what if your hometown is on the other side of the country? What if you have no desire to use your degree in the city or state in which your school is? Graduate school is probably the last, and most vital time, in which you should be selfish. This time is yours to work hard and succeed in school, so you can actually utilize that degree in which you’re investing vast amounts of time and money. Remember, to pursue your dreams before pursuing a ring on your finger, unless you are certain you could do both at the same time.

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That being said, if you’re still looking to date and are prepared to worry about a future with someone later, below are some great ways to meet people:

Tinder

Probably the easiest and most convenient app for (grad) students to meet.  It’s free and super easy to use. Tinder connects to your Facebook account (but hides your last name) so you know the people you’re looking at are least legitimate enough to have a Facebook account. You simply swipe through pictures of people and you can “Like” or reject whatever you see. If you like someone and they “liked” you back, it’s a match and then you have the option of messaging them. Be sure to actually put interesting details in your profile and your most flattering pictures.

DateMySchool

In order to fully use this service, you have to purchase a plan specific to your desires. It can be as low as $3 a month or as much as $18 a month, which isn’t bad since this site allows you to see people who have accessed your profile, exchange private messages, and customize your privacy settings so only people from the schools you designate with a certain age limit can contact you.

Networking events

Most graduate schools frequently host networking events or even parties where the students can congregate. Don’t skip these! Gather up your equally-stressed friends and have a blast. Get to know some classmates you’ve been overlooking because you never know who may be your soulmate.

Friends

However, if you don’t want to defecate where you dine (so to speak), simply ask your mutual friends to hook you up with someone they know from their job or other graduate school. In return, find a single pal from your school and bring them along for a fun double date. It might be an old fashioned, but it will at least keep traditional romance alive—meeting someone in person, rather than using a phone app to do so.       


Published in Dating
Monday, 23 September 2013 02:21

Dating | Get Closer With the Closer App

Dating // September 23, 2013

Are you a bit like Cher from Clueless… always looking to make the perfect match? Or are you like Tai aka Brittany Murphy who was open to getting matched up by her best friend?

If you answered yes to either of the above, you’re in luck!  Two young entrepreneurs -- aided by the advances in technology (thank you, iPhone!) -- have come in to save the day with a new app called Closer which is “totally bangin!” (sorry, had to bring the Clueless references full circle). Closer lets you play both the matchmaker and the matchmakee all in one place. It’s a mobile tool that makes getting people connected simple.

Here’s how: the application works by connecting with your Facebook account and loading in all your friends. You simply click the friend that you want to match up and the person you’d want to match them with and it sends them the introduction. And if you are looking to meet new people, you can handpick specific friends on Facebook whom you trust and request them to set you up with people they suggest. You just slide to the right or slide to the left to either “get matched” or “start matching.” It’s easy to use and has a very sleek, cool vibe to boot!

Adding on to the basics, there are a few cool extra features like the “You are Close!” feature that allows users to receive push notifications when matches are close by them and the “Matchmaking Feed” that allows users to see when the friends they set up interact on Facebook (become friends, get tagged in a picture together, change their relationship status, etc.)


So, who spearheaded this awesome idea? Ladies of course! The concept came from two friends, both serial female entrepreneurs in their twenties. Pretty awesome, right? Eugenia Kuyda and Taisia Antonova went to school together in Moscow, but lost touch for many years, until they randomly ran into each other at a bar, reconnected and then came up with this idea for an app.

The co-creators say that Closer is their way of fostering authentic human connection -- because at the end of the day, our friends really know us better than any computer algorithm can. Who better to match us than the people who know us best?

Taisia and Eugenia look forward to expanding this project and opening this up as a way for people to not only meet new dates, but also meet new quality friends and business connections. “The tool is there to create matches and this could support various types and forms of relationships throughout life,” Taisia says.

If you’re digging their mission and want to check out Closer, it is FREE on the iTunes App Store. It’s not yet available on Android or on the Web, but that is in the works as well, according to inside sources.

They are looking for feedback on their app as it continues to grow and improve, so if you can, add some comments below and tell them what you think! Cheers to amazing matches in our lives!

Published in Dating
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