Monday, June 30, 2014

Behind the Brand: Katie and Kelly of Muchana

We are so excited to introduce the dynamic duo, Katie and Kelly of Muchana! These sisters recently started their own line of gorgeous Ecuadorian hats, and we couldn't be more pleased to feature them! Read about how they started & learn a little more about them below! Plus, we've got a special discount for Midwest Bloggers! Use code "mwstyle" at checkout and receive 30% off your order at

Name: Katie Garcia and Kelly Cook
Business Name: Muchana
Location:  Kansas City
Occupation:  Katie: Publicist Kelly: Architect  (Owners of Muchana)

Hobbies: We both love to travel and sleep in!
We couldn't live without our: Instagram accounts (we’re obsessed!).  Find us at

What is your business & what do you specialize in?
We work with a artists in Ecuador to import handmade goods such as panama hats, handbags and scarfs! Our hats are made from paja toquilla and can take up to two weeks to make. Our handbags are also handmade from paja toquilla. Shh…we’re currently working on designing a paja toquilla shoe line for next spring! Ecuador is known for its rich textures, fabrics and handmade artisanship and we love to share Ecuador’s wears with the world!

Of all the creative aspects of your job, which part is your favorite? 
Our favorite part is working with the artists in Ecuador to customize our products. We’re constantly trying out new colors, patterns and styles to perfect our accessories. We have weekly, sometimes daily skype sessions (thank goodness for technology!) and we are looking forward to our next buying trip this fall.

Are you a full time, two-woman show? 
We are sisters! We work together on everything and we both currently also have full time jobs. We work every night and every weekend on our biz. We are having success and you can currently find our accessories in four retails locations in Kansas City. Our motto is work hard, play hard!

When & why did you decide to start your own business? 
Katie: My husband is from Ecuador and moved to the United States in 2005. I started traveling with him to Ecuador to visit his family and I would always bring back handmade goods for family and friends.  Everyone loved the accessories so much, we decided to start working with Ecuadorian artists to support their craft and bring the products to Kansas City.

What advice would you give to those who would want to start their own business? 
Our best advice would be to write a business plan before you start, so you have clear direction on what you’re working towards. The business plan will help you stay focused and on track to the business of your dreams We also recommend you stock pile some cash for start up money!

What's your favorite thing about your job? 
We love knowing that we are helping to support Ecuadorian artists and their families. We know our investments are helping to preserve their art form and bringing income directly to the people who hand make our accessories. Plus, we love sharing these fab goods with other fashionistas!

When you're not working on Muchana, what can you be found doing?
Katie: You can probably find me sipping wine on the patio, at the gym or planning my next travel adventure! My very fave thing in the summer time is to lay by the pool in a panama hat.
Kelly: I’m currently training for a tri-athalon so you can either find me in the pool, hitting the pavement running or on a bike. Your best guess is as good as mine!

What's the best fashion brand advice you can offer bloggers?
When you’re working on developing fashion line or brand, know your target audience! Experiment, do research and learn what makes them tick. This will help you customize your marketing and products to fit your customers the best. They’ll love your products and you’ll love them right back!

Contact info: 
We’d love to hear from you! You can insta, email, pin, post, tag and tweet us!

Wanna shop? Use discount code “mwstyle” to receive 30 percent off your entire order!  Shop now:
XOXO, Katie & Kelly

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fashion Meets Function with Rendi

You can definitely tell a lot about a person's sense of style from their phone case! We had the opportunity to review Rendi's new Customized iPhone Otterbox Cases and each of the Midwest Bloggers founders chose their own unique colors, patterns & personalization options.  

As fashion bloggers & social media lovers we're constantly on our phones so we need a case that is both stylish and sturdy. What we love most is that the Rendi iphone cases is that they're Otterbox brand & they  absorb shocks and cushion drops- yet still offer a streamlined silhouette.The customization process makes ordering your phone cover fun too. You have the opportunity to choose your favorite pattern, colors & monogram or name style. This lets them feel truly you.

See how each of the girls styled their phones:

Samantha, the Brunette One, was excited to design her case with her brand new initials - she just got married a few weeks ago! She loved the summery florals and pops of color in the pattern she chose.

Katelyn, Katalina Girl, went for a classic gray & white striped case and let her initial & name stand out with a pop of light pink and bold blue. 

Lauren,  La Petite Fashionista, chose a hot pink & turquoise to match her blog colors (& her #armparty!)

Maya, Charmingly Styled opted for pink stripes and a matching pastel "M". As someone who tends to drop her phone (a lot...) she's been loving the fact that Rendi's cases are made with Otterbox durability!

This is the perfect product for bloggers because it helps you stay social media savvy - in style & make the design your own with customization! Let's call it LOVE!

We have a special discount code exclusive for our Midwest Bloggers- Save $5 off your customized Rendi Otterbox iphone case(& free shipping!) with code: MDWST5.

Social Saturday 6/28/14

June 29th-Iowa Blogger Coffee Date from 10am-Noon at Smokey Row (RSVP: Katelyn at

February 22ndGo Blog Social - GBS "Workshop"! This event will take place February 22, 2015 at River Market Event Place! Save the date and stay tuned for more details.

Have an event you'd like us to share? Email us with the subject Social Saturday

Friday, June 27, 2014


Hello, my name is Samantha and I am the author and creative behind Samantha Elizabeth:A Lifestyle BlogMy blog is about all things I hold dear to my heart… my faith, family, cooking, photography and travel. My hope is that my blog will bring inspiration, positive encouragement and perhaps a laugh or two to its readers. I am wife to a wonderful guy named Dusty and mother to an adorable fur-baby named Gus. I am looking forward to meeting more lovely mid-west bloggers through this FridayLink Up.  Be sure to add a link to your post below!  I am highlighting a select four lovely bloggers below who hail from different areas in the Mid-west and I think are fantastic. Be sure to check out their blogs too!

1) Lindsay is the voice behind the blog, The Newlywed Notebook, a lifestyle blog that chronicles the everyday adventures of a newlywed and the lessons learned along the way. Here you can find posts on everything from fashion and home remodel ideas to relationship revelations and more! 

2) The honeebee blog is a lifestyle blog about the lives of two newlyweds (chad + heather,) who live in Minneapolis. honee bee  is filled with musings of marriage, recipes, and daily fashions. Not only does this duo take some amazing photos, but they both have style that screams classic hipster. Too fun not to check out!

3) Erika’s blog, Stethoscopes, Style, & Grace, is about her life as an emergency medicine resident, wife, and new mother in Minnesota. She also writes about style, my love for J. Crew, and things that inspire her. Her style is wonderful and any mommy’s-to-be can learn a thing or two from her previous postings on “bump-style”. 

4) I do deClaire, is a blog written by Laura, who loves to remix her wardrobe into stylish, but comfortable outfits and show off her thrifted finds. Delicious and easy recipes are also something she loves to share! (Her recipes are to die for FYI).

Don't forget to share your favorite post of the week below!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Brittanie's Thyme- Midwest Based Organic Skincare

We love to support & spread the word about Midwest based companies that have brands that we believe in! We're excited to share a review of Brittanie's Thyme a Michigan based Organic Skin Care company. Their products are USDA certified, non-gmo, vegan and gluten free and we had the honor of testing them out and reviewing them.

Check out each Midwest Bloggers' founder review of their organic skin care product line below:

"As I get older, skincare has become much more important to me. Between what I use to remove my make up to the moisturizer and SPF I use, I am very conscious of what goes on my skin. I particularly love the eye oil. My favorite part of my face to play up with make-up are my eyes. Which means primer, concealer, highlighter, eye shadow, liner, plus mascara. While this eye oil not only protects the precious skin under my eyes (aka the bags), it also gently removes my eye make-up. A double-whammy product. I also love that it's organic, I can read the label and know exactly what was used to create the product."

"As someone with self-proclaimed problem skin, I'm always looking to try new all-natural products. While my skincare routine usually involves cleanser, moisturizer and acne spot treatment, I've loved adding some toner into the mix. Usually toner makes my skin burn, but Brittanie's Thyme is actually totally refreshing! Plus, it smells like peppermint which I love, especially before going to sleep."

We all know that moisturizer is one of the most important finishing touches to our skincare routine and it’s OK to be picky about which ones we use—I know I am. I tend to have combination skin meaning I breakout out but my skin can also get really dry and having both at the same time can get really confusing. Do I use drying acne medication or moisturizing lotion? #HELP I was extremely excited to try Brittanie’s Thyme Organic Everyday Moisturizer because I’ve been jumping on the all-natural bandwagon lately.+

  The consistency was not too thick and not too then, but just right to soak into my face and nourish my skin while helping maintain its natural balance. I’m definitely a huge fan of it and at $20 how can I not be. I’ve spent A LOT more on other products that are just so-so. I love it so much that I’ve been adding a little to my foundation or I use it in the morning as a primer. The silk-like texture creates a smooth canvas to evenly apply my makeup. 

I've slowly been trying to transition my beauty & skincare regimen over to all natural & organic products and it makes a world of a difference (& gives me some added peace of mind)! I was excited to try out Brittanie's Thymes product because they're based out of the Midwest and have all of the qualities I care about. The facial cleanser was right up my Florida girl alley because it had a faint citrusy scent. I loved that it felt lightweight without any tingling and still made my face feel so fresh and so clean (clean)!

Everyone be sure to check out their site & help support Brittanie's Thyme- a  fantastic (& fantastic for you) Midwest organic skincare brand!