50 Blogs To Take Into 2015: 2nd and L


Lindsay of 2nd and L
Lindsay of 2nd and L

Throughout January and February, I will be featuring several of the bloggers from my 50 Blogs To Take Into 2015 list. I’m kicking off with Lindsay of the blog 2nd and L.  

When #BlackGirlsWhoBlog launched last year, I had a pressing thought: “Who designed that awesome illustration on the shirts?” It didn’t take long to learn that the woman behind the image was Lindsay, an illustrator, management consultant, creative consultant and part-time student at Parsons–just to name a few roles. She is at the helm of 2nd and L, a lifestyle blog that showcases art, fashion and writing.

Lindsay is a beautiful spirit. We stumbled into a friendship last year sort of accidentally. I was going to hire her for some freelance work and our consultation turned into an hour-long conversation about life. This woman is a warrior, a resilient beauty and a talent with the world at her feet. Meet Lindsay.

Name: Lindsay Adams
Location: Washington, D.C. area
Age: 24

Tell us a little more about 2nd and L. What’s the inspiration for the name? What motivated you to start the blog?
2nd and L’s official inception was on October 11, 2013, my 23rd birthday! Earlier that year, my friend Sarah wanted to start a blog, and asked me to join her. That was my first time really taking a front row seat to blogging. As I became more interested, and began exploring my creativity and art further, she suggested I start my own. It is essentially just an outlet for me to share things I like, love, and appreciate with others. Even though it is heavily fashion-based, it is also very much just my creative expression. I do a lot of art work that I often forget to blog about and when there’s something heavy on my heart or mind, I focus more on writing. I want to touch and inspire as many people as possible. I was born with cerebral palsy, so I’ve owned up to my story, which I previously strayed away from, and share it with people. The name of the blog is a combination of my line number from my sorority, and the first letter of my first name.

You are a management consultant, creative consultant, art director for #BlackGirlsWhoBlog and student at Parsons. Phew! What’s your key to finding balance?
Geeesh that is a lot! I’d like to answer honestly and say I haven’t quite found the best key…but I’m in the process of figuring that out now. My full-time job is pretty demanding, so my time is spread thinly with my other responsibilities. I try to stay really organized, and write things down, and make lists. Organization and time management are so key. When that starts to dwindle, it’s usually time to holler for help. Eventually I hope everything comes together, and collides into somewhat of a beautiful disaster. Until then, its really just about prioritizing, and still making time to rest.


What is your vision for 2015?
I’m really excited about 2015 and everything that it has to bring. My vision is to continue to share my story, and continue building my art/graphic design portfolio. I really wish to embrace every moment, good, and bad…and really focus in on all of the good. I want to continue illustrating, though I may be focusing on fewer, bigger projects, rather than pushing out illustrations every other day. Although I don’t have a concrete idea of where I hope to be at the end of the year, I hope to take in every moment with an open heart.

How do art and fashion influence your life?
Art and fashion are my life! Well not really, but they are big parts of it! Faith and family fall directly before them, but they all help me keep going. I really like to see the beauty in all things. There is art in everything. A crinkled leaf on the ground, a cracked piece of glass where the light shines in, a classic Chanel bag, a Cezanne painting, or a pair of Jimmy Choos. Fashion and art are just a subset of the beauty that is in everything. It is a way for me to express that which is within me, and to sprinkle a piece of my soul onto the world.

What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever received? Best advice as an artist? Best advice as a woman?
The best fashion advice Ive ever received is, ‘You can never be overdressed, or overeducated.” It is an Oscar Wilde quote, but it inspires me to always make sure I am content with how I am presenting myself. No matter what others think, if I like it, and I feel beautiful and confident…Go for it.

As an artist: Don’t get too comfortable. Once you think you’ve mastered something, move on to something else, learn something new and overstep boundaries. Be happy with your final product, and do it because you’re passionate about it, not just because you can.

As a woman? Hmm…that’s a bit tricky. My mom has given me the best advice I’ve ever received. My favorites are “Know your worth, and be intentional and diligent in everything that you do.” and “There are no shortcuts.”

What advice would you offer to someone looking to begin working as a freelance artist or creative consultant?

As a freelance artist and a creative consultant, you have to be open minded, and willing to step out of your comfort zone. Know your strengths and your weaknesses. If there is a type of art you are not comfortable with, say that. Be willing to work with your clients in a way that captures their vision and yours. Its really all about team work and relationship. Be diligent and always provide your best work.

What 3-5 posts on 2nd and L best represent the blog’s brand?

“Why Settle?”

“I Paint in Heels”

“Growth and Gratitude” 

“You’re Enough”

What’s next for you?
I’m going to keep creating! Thats my gift, and thats my call. I’m a creative. I’m not always sure in which way, but it ends up leading back to that road one way or another.

How do you stay inspired?
I do a lot of reading. I look at art, pins on Pinterest, read blogs,and take photographs. Through these avenues I can always see and learn something new, which usually gives me an extra boost!

Check out Lindsay…

Blog: 2ndandL.com | Instagram: 2ndandL | Twitter: 2ndandL | Tumblr: Ipaintinheels.tumblr.com

Some of Lindsay’s illustrations…

Christmas IllustrationScan 12Screen Shot 2014-11-29 at 6.36.16 PM.png

Actor Unscripted: Sam B of “You’re So Talented”

Sam B
Photo by VAM Studios

If you’re talking to anyone in the film/television world, it’s hard not to ask the inevitable Lena Dunham question. Hell, if you’re talking to any other twenty-something, it’s hard not to ask that question. When I sat on the phone with actor and writer Sam B of the upcoming web series “You’re So Talented” and asked her opinion about Lena Dunham’s “Girls”, she sighed.

“Lena Dunham is doing her thing and she should be telling her story,” Sam said. “I just don’t watch her show because I’m sick of not seeing representations of color on the screen. It’s hard to see a show called ‘Girls’ and not see that [color] reflected.”

Where Sam B does see that color reflected is in her upcoming web series, “You’re So Talented.” 
“You’re So Talented” (premiering January 2015) follows Bea, an out-of-work Chicago actress as she navigates her twenties and the drama (no pun intended) that ensues. In this Q&A, Sam reflects on her inspiration for the series, the close-knit Chicago theatre community and why it’s not enough to just be “so talented.” Meet Sam B.

Age: (optional) 25
Current Project: You’re So Talented: a new web series
Current Location: Chicago, IL

Tell us a little more about “You’re So Talented.” How did you come up with the concept and what message do you hope viewers receive from the series?
You’re So Talented is a series I wrote following Bea, an out-of-work Chicago actor, as she navigates her twenties and all its inevitable dramas. I had been toying with the idea of writing a web series for the past year and a half but finally decided to start generating some material this past February. I was only certain about a few things: I knew I wanted to highlight young artists in an urban setting. I knew I wanted Ashleigh Lathrop(Devin), Gabe Franken(Jesse) and I to play best friends. I knew I wanted to showcase the Chicago that I know and love. Those were my only launching points and from there I just started writing.

You were born and raised in Chicago and have been heavily involved in the theater community there for years. How is the Chicago theater community? How does it differ from New York or Los Angeles?
I love the Chicago theatre community. I only lived in New York for a bit but I know I didn’t feel that same sense of camaraderie that I do here. I have absolutely no idea whatsoever what the theatre scene is like in Los Angeles. Chicago’s scene is very much the foundation of who I am as an artist. I think what differentiates the Chicago community from the coasts is that everyone is super committed to making the work-for close to nothing. The amount of work that gets done in this city and the caliber of art and talents that’s been cultivated here-I think is unparalleled. Having said that, because I love it so much I can also be hyper critical of the community: I know we have huge strides to make when it comes to representation of different lives and stories on stage. We’re just not where we need to be in that aspect.

Sam B on the set of "You're So Talented"
Sam B on the set of “You’re So Talented”

How have you infused your own life and stories into “You’re So Talented”?
Obviously, the character of Bea is loosely based on some of my own experiences. What it’s like to be a young woman in the art scene in Chicago is part of my story so it was easy to write some of that into the series. But as far as the way Bea behaves-she’s a lot more reactive then I am. Which was fun to write. Here’s a girl who will say things or do things that I normally would be way too ashamed to say or do.

A fraction of “You’re So Talented” deals with twenty-somethings who are, well, talented, but may not have the drive or means to really pursue that talent. How do you make sense of talent vs. drive vs. life’s realities?
I think that talent is only a small factor when it comes to dreams coming into fruition. At some point you’re actually going to have to do the thing you set out to do if it’s going to become real.

What is the best advice you’ve received as an actor? A twenty-something? A woman?
I’ll give the same advice one of my mentors, Sheldon Patinkin, gave me in college (and a host of other artists in Chicago): “Better an asshole than a chickenshit.”

What advice would you offer to other up-and-coming actors?
Find your voice, don’t expect anyone else to want to tell your story, and it’s totally ok to say ‘no’ to projects you aren’t passionate about.

How did you build a community around “You’re So Talented”?
The team behind You’re So Talented is, by far, the best group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure to create with. Chris (director/editor), Mateo (DP), Morgan(Sound), and Dakota(AD/Shawn) came on at a time when I really needed a production team and they were immediately jazzed about the project. The same goes for Samantha Lee, Alistair Slaughter and Vince Martell. Getting a group of people together that believe in the project is the foundation to building a community. Their excitement is infectious and I think people on the outside feed off of that and want to be a part of it.

Sam Bailey is an actor and writer from Chicago. She attended Columbia College and is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf. She has worked with many theater companies around the city including The Gift, ATC, and Strawdog Theatre. Her written work has been seen on live lit stages like The Paper Machete, 2nd Story and Guts & Glory. 

Check out “You’re So Talented” via Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a link to the trailer: http://vimeo.com/110619586

Feature: Ariel of Revolutionary In Pink Pumps


Editor’s Note: I stumbled upon Revolutionary In Pink Pumps by happenstance one day on Twitter, but the concept immediately struck me as something unique, bold, brave and beautiful. Ariel, the woman at the helm of Revolutionary In Pink Pumps, is the kind of person who strikes you as wise beyond her years. She tackles issues such as race, body image and culture with poise, guts and deftness. After starting the blog as a hybrid of fashion and social issues, the space has evolved in conjunction with Ariel. Read more about her journey as a writer, goals for the blog and why she calls herself an “accidental feminist.” Meet Ariel. 

Age: 22

Location: NJ/ NYC Metro Area

How did you come up with the name Revolutionary in Pink Pumps? What does that name represent for you?
When I started the blog I had two big passions, fashion/style and culture/society. I wanted the blog to stand out from all the fashion blogs so I thought that the title would show that I encompassed both fashion and social commentary. As the blog developed I lost the fashion aspect of it, because I cared so much more about the lifestyle and social commentary aspect. Revolutionary in Pink Pumps has grown to showcase that wanting to be involved in societal discussion doesn’t mean you burn bras and picket MAC counters. The blog tag line is “Glitter, Heels, & Social Revolution” because I can’t imagine my life without all three and I want people to know that they do not have to exist separately. I’ve presented academic papers on Black women in media in gold-heeled DVF pumps.

 You tackle topics such as race, body image and culture on your blog. What empowers you to write about these topics in such a powerful way?
The most important thing to when I tackle a topic is that I know what I am talking about. Anything I write is typically based off of experience, or the opinion that I give on a topic is based off of my experience. If something doesn’t move me or relate to me I typically won’t write about it, not because it isn’t important but because I recognize that someone else can probably give it a better voice than I can. I grew up in the midst of an ongoing conversation about race and culture, because I was consistently the only Black face in a lot of my settings so I feel comfortable discussing race and culture. As someone who has battled and overcome an eating disorder, I feel like body image is so important and should be discussed more. People don’t realize that race and body image even cross over into each other. I remember reading teen magazines and wishing that my voice was represented, that my issues were talked about, and they never were; so I write for all the brown girls like me who didn’t have a space growing up. Knowing that what I write relates to someone reading it reminds me that I should keep writing.

What are your upcoming goals for Revolutionary in Pink Pumps?
Right now I think visibility is my biggest goal. I want to increase people’s interest in topics and find my niche, since I hang in the balance of a few niches. Once I’ve got a concrete audience I want to start developing a few series for the blog and maybe expand, I want to know what else people want to know.

ariel for twenties unscripted

Who are some of the bloggers and writers you follow and consider revolutionary?

The Black Collegian 

Mixed Fat Chick 

The Haitian American 


In Her Shoes 

For Harriet 

There are a ton, honestly  can’t even keep a list, I typically just add articles I like to my news app and let it do the work for me. I also read a lot of news Black news outlets. I also love to use Instagram to discover new content, it’s like a blog all its own.

You’ve mentioned before that you do not consider yourself a feminist. In what ways has society made it difficult to assert the “feminist” label?
I like to consider myself an “accidental feminist”, I’m in the midst of defining that myself at the moment, via a blog post, but I think that because feminism has always been somewhat of a counterculture, society has made those who align with it very much the ‘other’. Feminism has so many definitions from so many different outlets and lately it’s gone from the “othering” to an everyday word. It’s kind of like love, I don’t think it should be tossed around as loosely as it has been. All of the sudden because someone claimed that Beyonce is a feminist, every girl wants to slap on a t-shirt that says ‘”This is what a feminist looks like.” And while I think it’s great that feminism is gaining a viable visibility, I think it’s really important for people to be educated about what they’re claiming to be. If you can’t tell me anything about bell hooks I feel as if maybe you should tuck your feminist shirt away until you can find the nearest library.

On your blog, you’ve said, “The goal of this blog is not to tell you you’re wrong or change your belief, it is in fact to give you a different perspective.” How do you deal with Internet trolls or people who approach you with comments that are not constructive?
I don’t think that you can be a writer without having tough skin. When you put your opinion out there you’re open to some hurtful stuff and I’ve had a few trolls who really tried to come for my neck. Trolls love confrontation; I don’t. Everything is case-by-case for me but more often than not I’ll respond with facts. I don’t like to drag anything personal into a battle with trolls, because then it becomes a back and forth of “yo mama” proportion. If they’re nasty about my writing or the context of the blog, I simply thank them for taking their time to sit and read it, let them know they’re entitled to their opinion, and if it fits, then I throw in some facts from the piece or the blog to kind of shut down their snark.

What are some of the Revolutionary in Pink Pumps posts that most reflect your brand as a blogger?

Why Sharing Jill Scott’s Nudes Is A Violation of Every Black Female Body

The Beauty Salon Taught Me Self Hate

Diary of a Fat Fat Shamer: The Breakthrough

From A “Strong Black Woman Who Don’t Need No Man”

What keeps you inspired?
Sometimes I’m convinced that the only ones reading my blog are my friends and relatives and while I love them, I know they already understand a lot of what I’m trying to put out in the air. Sometimes I think it won’t matter if I blog this week or not, but honestly I can’t keep my mouth shut. There are too many things I see happening that I can’t chime in on and bring light to. We miss a lot, because mainstream ignores a lot and even if my post only reaches 10 people, I recognize that it may be 10 people who never would have known about something before the post. When I don’t feel like writing I remember what it felt like to cruise media and not see myself in anything as a young brown girl and remember that I write to try to contribute to the space for faces like mine.

arielAriel is a college graduate with a bachelors degree in English/Journalism and Professional Writing and a concentration in African American studies. Her writing experience spans past editorial work in publications and encompasses PR work, administrative writing and social media use. She has experience writing lifestyle, events, food, fashion, beauty, and social/racial commentary, but is most often found on her personal blog Revolutionary In Pink Pumps. Follow Ariel at @RevInPinkPumps

Feature: Alisha Nicole of TheAlishaNicole.com

Editor’s Note: I don’t remember exactly when I stumbled upon Alisha Nicole of TheAlishaNicole.com, but I know I was immediately drawn to her brand. Her work has a distinct look and feel, and it’s obvious she knows a thing or two about branding and entrepreneurship. In today’s feature, Alisha discusses her path to being self-employed, her mantra as a business owner and what advice she would offer to budding entrepreneurs. Meet Alisha.

Age: 26

 Location: High Point, NC

Tell us a little more about you and your business.
Almost two years ago I took a major leap of faith and quit my comfortable job to pursue my online shop full-time. Not knowing what in the world I was getting my self into, I started my blog as a way for me to vent and sort of share my journey as a new full-time entrepreneur. I never knew that me ranting on my blog a couple days a week would turn into another business where I share business/blogging tips and coach other creative women on how they can turn their passion into a profitable business.

 What mantra do you live by as an entrepreneur?
“I will have a productive, prosperous and profitable day.”

How did you transition from a 9-to-5 life to being an entrepreneur? What are the biggest challenges? What are the biggest rewards?
I really just wen’t for it! Now that I look back I realize it was probably a little irresponsible but I was in a position where I felt like my sanity was on the line, so I walked in one day and just put in my two weeks notice. Thankfully I had some extra money in savings to back me up.

The biggest challenge for me at first was to definitely get out of that mindset of knowing that I was going to have a paycheck coming in every two weeks. It took me being dead broke a few times for me to really realize that I had to make this thing work. Another challenge was getting used to being on my own. You don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder telling you what to do or when to do it. It’s really all on you. Sink or swim.

Thankfully being out on my own was also my biggest reward. I value my time and freedom. Nothing is better than being able to get up and go when you please, being able to work from wherever there is an Internet connection and not having someone constantly telling you when you can go eat or go to the brathroom.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently revisiting “You Are A Badass” by Jen Sincero for maybe the 12th time this year. Seriously one of the best books I’ve ever read.

What advice would you offer to someone during the following stages of launching their business?

First 30 days – Don’t lose that drive and momentum that you currently have post launch. Create a solid plan for the future and continue to work your ass off.

First six months – Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. New businesses pop up everyday. Make it your business to stay relevant and in front of your customers face. Also don’t get discouraged if your plan has slightly changed. Readjust, keep it moving and never stop learning.

First Year – This is the time to start thinking about growth (what areas of your business would you like to expand into?) Also think about what worked in your first year and what didn’t. If you don’t have a clear understanding, don’t be afraid to ask your clients what they liked and disliked. Base your next year goals off of the feedback you receive. Most importantly, go celebrate! Many business don’t make it to see one year and you did it!

 You recently took a blogging break. What did you learn from your time off and what tips and tricks would you offer to other bloggers looking to step back from their blogs for awhile?
I learned that no matter how long you have been doing something or how passionate you are about it, EVERYONE needs a break every once in awhile. I would tell them to first off actually take a real break! Like give yourself a few days to do absolutely nothing blog-related. The first couple of days of my break I literally had to stop getting on the computer because I couldn’t help but to work. If you are afraid of losing readers while you’re are away, see if you can get some of your blogging buddies to step in and post for you while you are gone. I had some amazing ladies take over the blog for the full two weeks I was away and it was like I never left!


Alisha Nic
Alisha Nicole

After a couple days of rest I suggest really sitting down and thinking about what you want out of your blog and the direction you want it to go in. Think about the areas of your blog where you feel a disconnect and think of a few ways you can resolve it and what will make you fall in love with it all over again. Even if it takes you going through a mini rebrand. If you still need a little help relighting that fire, try writing out your ultimate goal for your blog as if anything were possible (because it really is). There is nothing like allowing yourself to dream BIG to get you motivated again.

Where do you see yourself and your work headed in the next five years?
I definitely see myself being invited to speak at a few major blogging and business conferences within the next few years. I also wan’t to begin offering workshops in my surrounding area for creative women to come learn and network. As for my shop I want to expand that into selling small home decor items and have my brand featured in a few major magazines. Overall for myself, I just want to continue to be happy and genuinely enjoying every moment of this ride!

What is the best entrepreneurial advice you’ve ever received? Best writing advice?
The best entrepreneurial advice would definitely have to be to stop comparing my part one to someone else’s part six. I would get so frustrated that I wasnt growing at the speed that I wanted to and I would constantly wonder why it felt like other businesses were speeding past me. I had to be taught that it’s a journey and not a race. My best writing advice was to “Write from the heart and the rest will come.” When I first started blogging it was so easy to start writing about what I “thought” my readers wanted instead of writing about topics that I truly had a passion for.

 Round of mad libs:

 Can’t leave home without: my iphone and planner.

 Must have __________ in order to get into my creative space: silence

 Love __________ and _____________ to start the day: prayer and gospel music.

What are some of your favorite posts you’ve written on TheAlishaNicole? http://www.thealishanicole.com/blog/2014/05/06/my-journey-i-quit-vlog



What keeps you inspired?
Knowing that I am inspiring other women to take control over their life and do something that they truly love. And knowing that one day I will be able to give to my mom like she has ALWAYS given to me.

 Alisha is an online shop owner, blogger and business coach to creative women. Always knowing that she wanted more out of life than she felt like the average 9 to 5 could offer her, she decided to take the giant leap of faith into full-time entrepreneurship. A little of a free spirit and always with her head in a book or blog post, Alisha spends the majority of her days helping creative women like herself turn their passion into a full-time profitable business.



Feature: Thais Francis

I first learned about Thais Francis through Chaédria LaBouvier, another amazing filmmaker I had the opportunity to highlight during Twenties Unscripted Takeover. When Thais reached out, we had the chance to have a phone conversation where her light, intelligence and beauty all resonated with me in a really lasting way. She is certainly a woman who knows her purpose and is chasing that purpose with everything she has. Thais, who has previously been featured by The Root as one of its Top 25 under 25 Innovators, is currently working on her short film “Late Expectations”, a piece that tackles the intersection of adulthood, identity, social media and sexuality in a relevant and meaningful way for twenty-somethings. The “Late Expectations” team is raising money through Indiegogo for the post production of the film until Wednesday, Sept. 24. You can donate here

Meet Thais.

Thais Francis
Thais Francis

Tell us a little more about yourself, your life and how you got started in theater and film.
I live for the moments on stage, when the spot light burns, and all eyes are on me. I feel incredible, that is where I belong. My first encounter with the performing arts came at the age of 10. I had just moved to Maryland from Trinidad and Tobago and discovered dance. It began at church, and as I progressed, I studied ballet and modern. I then moved to New York to pursue acting at New York University. After graduating I did theater, but discovered film would give my work more visibility. Film didn’t come as easily and I knew nothing about it. I went to the Brooklyn Public Library for months and spent hours reading, teaching myself how to write a screen play. A year later, we have shot my first short film.

You talked about your work being born out of “a place of necessity” and having to teach yourself about film in order to seize certain opportunities. How has that approach to your work empowered you as an artist?
Maybe on the outside looking in, creating a product is empowering. However, when you’re in the process of creating said project, it can be overwhelming and intense. I’m in a vulnerable space right now. Maybe after it is finished, and I sit back and watch it on screen, then I’d feel empowered. To that end, I do know that seeing it on screen will be one of the most humbling and beautiful experiences. To know that I put so much work into the film, withstood people’s judgments, disinterest and rejection, and persevered… now that is empowering.

One of the main messages in “Late Expectations” is that of not believing the illusion people portray on social media and not being afraid to be who you truly are. How do you think social media inhibits twenty-somethings from exploring and expressing their true selves?
We are so caught up. Caught up in the witty tweet, the filter that flatters the most, the status that reveals our accomplishments. I do it. We all do it. This story is about a girl who likes girls, but dates boys. She’s pretending. I think a lot of us in our 20’s pretend, and social media allows us to do that.

“Late Expectations” has been created by a team of women. Tell us more about that team and how these women have contributed to the success of the project thus far.
It’s important to me to work with women, we exist, let’s show the world what we do. My director executive producer, music supervisor, casting director to name a few, are all talented women.

What role does music play in the film?
I love music! I have many musician friends, and as an artist it’s really important for me to build with other emerging artists. You’ll be hearing songs from artists who are definitely on the rise, some are current NYU students, recent Alums of NYU, people that I knew growing up in Maryland and so forth.

What advice would you give to aspiring creators?
I once had an acting teacher who always said “Do the work.” It really is that simple.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by Bob Marley and unicorns. Bob, because he wasn’t chasing fame (that was simply a by product of his hard work) rather he was chasing art.  He loved what he did and it was not a walk in the park for him. Yet he did it. He made music, he broke barriers, his music was heard from Trenchtown, to… Croatia. I know what it’s like to fight for what I want, and get rejected time after time, but I also hope to be impactful like he is. I’m inspired by unicorns because they represent an ethereal entity that I can’t quite comprehend; they are mysterious and intriguing, elusive, similar to my career. I’ll always be chasing my art, just like I’ll always chase understanding the unicorn.

Remind us where we can we go to contribute to the “Late Expectations” Indiegogo campaign.


Thais is an artist, living in Brooklyn. You can follow her on twitter @shebethais. Her next venture is a feature film, and an EP.