Dearest Creative

KORI & KIRSTEN
Photo Credit: Meron Menghistab

Kori Dyer & Kirsten Pincket

Brooklyn, NY

Co-Founders, Dearest Creative


How did you get started with your career – and how does it reflect your personal aesthetic?

Kirsten from Florida, Kori from Philadelphia—it was always both of our dreams to live in New York. We met at VOGUE where we formed a working relationship and as we explored the industry together our bond grew stronger. From music, to fashion and beauty, our experiences have been rooted in cultivating genuine connections and crafting brands. That’s why we decided to build our own.

How have the women around you been instrumental in your lives and careers? 

Both of us growing up in a house of three sisters and incredible moms, feminine strength and independence was continuously instilled in us. We were both extremely lucky to have been raised in an environment where we were told that “you could literally do anything you wanted as long as you worked hard enough for it.”

From music, to fashion and beauty, our experiences have been rooted in cultivating genuine connections and crafting brands. That’s why we decided to build our own.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve? 

Although NYC is magical and has many advantages, it can get overwhelming to try to “keep up” with the ever-changing trends. Constantly moodboarding, reading, attending museums, seeing shows and creating just for fun is the most natural way to stay afloat and relevant. We also have an incredibly talented and successful group of friends who run the gamut in terms of career paths – which is very inspiring. Keeping the conversation with your community flowing is also a great way to stay connected.

Our initiative, Dearest, is a creative studio whose passions lie in human interaction and mindful communication. At the end of the day, we just want to work with brands we like.

Dearest Creative

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)? 

Personally, it’s a constant battle to juggle multiple projects, keep up with family and friends, exercise, get enough sleep and also feel wildly creative at the end of the day. I think that keeping everything organized and in perspective is the most effective way to be productive and happy in all aspects of life. Our mission is to visually problem solve in a visceral way. We stay curious, keep learning and know that risk is our friend.

At the end of the day, we just want to work with brands we like.

How important are mentors? Who are your mentors? 

On a day-to-day basis, we are each other’s mentors. In a larger sense –

Kori: Emily Dickinson—the original riot grrrl created deep and dark poetry in isolation. My favorite: “Forever is composed of nows.”

Kirsten: I have always looked up to Charlotte Bronte (1 of 3 sisters also!). She was an incredible author, poet and feminist trailblazer.

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business? 

Focus on your strengths. Don’t ignore your intuition.

Our mission is to visually problem solve in a visceral way. We stay curious, keep learning and know that risk is our friend.

Place that inspires us the most…

Kori: The Magic Tree—a giant whimsical Japanese hackberry in Green Valleys, PA. As a nature camp counselor every summer there, I’d read stories under this massive deciduous beauty which re-roots to create a fort-like getaway. It’s my definition of an escape where you forget your worries.

Kirsten: The Galleria Borghese in Rome, Italy—the most breathtaking place I’ve ever been.

We feel most powerful when…we’re collaborating with like-minded people.

We love what we do because…we get to create beautiful things for a living.

Focus on your strengths. Don’t ignore your intuition.

Best advice we have ever received…

Kori: Be so good they can’t ignore you.

Kirsten: Be grateful that thorns have roses


Kori: @korianndyer | Kirsten: @kirstenpincket | Dearest: @DearestCreative + DearestCreative.co

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Riana Stellburg

TITTAHBYTE

RIANA STELLBURG AKA DJ TITTAHBYTE
HONOLULU, HAWAII

Music connected me with Honolulu-based DJ Tittahbye a couple of years ago and I’ve been vibing to her mixes ever since from this side of the world (New York City).

How does your craft reflect your personal aesthetic?

For as long as I could remember music was behind everything I did. ​As a child I was exposed to different genres of music because of my older brothers and the hobbies that my mom signed me up for. Throughout middle school and high school, I would research and ‘Mp3 dig’ for music that I liked and would record songs on the radio and make mini mixtapes for myself to listen to and became very protective over my tracks whenever someone asked about it. For some reason I never liked revealing my sources because I felt like my music taste was what made me different. I grew up in a Filipino-dominant middle school where all my classmates were listening to Top 40 and there I was in the back listening to my Black Flag and Gorilla Biscuits. Eventually my music taste started to expand in college and I began to share the music I was listening to.

I went out to a lot of underground hip-hop and punk shows taking photos, wrote about them in my school newspaper, and then eventually started putting together and promoting shows. My main mission was always to shed light on those underground underrated artists…something I still focus on today.

​I started dating a DJ and that’s when mixing music entered my mind. I was writing a piece for a magazine and I gave him a track list to mix and then he said, “Why don’t you just mix it?” He ended up showing me the ropes starting from vinyl first and then taught me how to DJ on basically any format. He stressed to me that my music selection was important and that I should never lose that. People still ask me, surprised “Wow you DJ now?” but then in my mind it’s like…​about time.

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?

​My mother is your classic 63-year-old stubborn twice divorced Filipina, 1st generation to move to United States. Growing up she instilled great strength and determination in me and ​always made sure my back bone was unbreakable. She taught me that you could get anything you wanted as long as you made it your mission. One of the toughest generation barriers between us was that she was stuck in the traditional mentality of me becoming a doctor or lawyer to make money. Her rejection of my career choice just made me more determined to prove her wrong and it still fuels me.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

​I observe research, absorb and adapt. There are times I do feel defeated as if I’m going nowhere fast but then I snap myself back to reality and remind myself that nothing is going to happen if I’m not doing anything about it. ​

DJ Tittahbyte

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

​I’m a die-hard fan of to-do lists and I have all kinds of them: short-term, long-term, daily, personal, business, etc. I’m a ​huge procrastinator and work well under pressure (even though I’m stressed out haha) and I always need a deadline. If I’m on a time-constraint for the day for example, I won’t eat (and I do love to eat) or stop till the task is done.

My schedule is usually busy so I always make it a point to separate my personal and business environment. When I’m at home I try not to take my work with me and remind myself that my bedroom is for relaxing, unwinding, and taking a mental break, which is all very important to me.

As far as creativity goes, I can’t force it or rush it otherwise it’ll come out wack. If I’m stuck I’ll go do something that doesn’t require a lot of thinking until I’m re-energized to start again.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

Extremely important. Without their influences on me, I wouldn’t be who I am today.

DJ Revise is my mentor, who is also my boyfriend and business partner, inspires me to strive for my best potential not only as a DJ but also as a person.​

As far as people I look up to…Sosupersam, TOKiMONSTA, Miss Lawn of Hellz Bellz, all bad ass girls doing all things that I love, running with the boys and killing the game. DJ Delve for his music programming and music taste. His mixes are the only ones that I can run back to back all day and I never get sick of it.

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

​Be prepared to work and to constantly adapt. Have true intentions and purpose behind what you do and don’t ever lose sight of your roots.​

Place that inspires me the most…

Currently L.A. I went there back in April for my birthday and it was such a good break for me to get re-inspired and connect with some artists that I admire. I love the hustle that everyone has, it was very infectious.

I feel most powerful when… I’m DJ’ing on stage and everyone is dancing. ​I have such a great adrenaline rush and seeing people smile and move to the music I’m playing makes me crazy happy and just reminds me why I do what I do.

I love what I do because… it makes me feel vulnerable because I’m sharing my music taste with everyone and at the same time excited because the music I’m playing is making them dance and feel the way they do.

Best advice I have ever received… Do you boo boo.

DJ Tittahbytes’ Upcoming Events:

+ June 24th – Green Leaf Check at The Safehouse [greenleafcheck.com/rsvp]
+ June 27th- Ginza Nightclub
+ July 2nd – Chitty Bang at The Safehouse
+ July 3rd – First Friday at Fresh Cafe
+ July 11th – White Rabbit at The Safehouse
+ July 30th – Green Leaf Check at The Safehouse [greenleafcheck.com/rsvp]
+ August 20th – Kehlani at The Republik [bampproject.com]

Connect with DJ Tittahbyte on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Hannah Garrison

Hannah Garrison

HANNAH GARRISON
MOTHER, DESIGNER & CO-FOUNDER OF WEAR YOUR MUSIC
NEW YORK CITY

Best Advice I Have Ever Received: “Do what I love.  I know it sounds cheesy, but if you are doing something you love then you are helping the world turn.”

Hannah Garrison is the co-founder of Wear Your Music. She started out handcrafting bracelets made of recycled strings for family and musician friends. Her hobby eventually expanded into a profitable business whose philosophy celebrates music, style, and philanthropy. Wear Your Music bracelets are collected from earth-conscious students and budding musicians around the world, including used guitar strings donated by acclaimed musicians such as John Mayer, Eric Clapton, Joan Jett, etc.

Describe a day in the life of Hannah Garrison.

Can we start with the fact that I am mostly in bed by 9 PM? Yes, that’s what running a few businesses and having two kids under 4 will do to you.  My days start and end early.  My time is split between my home office and Wear Your Music office.  I love that the Internet has made all of this possible.  My days are busy, but also flexible. There is a lot of nursing the baby, many, many emails, lots of healthy food, a bunch of social media, number crunching, and the occasional burst of creativity to keep things fun. I love my life.

How did you get started with Wear Your Music – and how does it reflect your personal aesthetic?

Wear Your Music was my first baby.  I met my business partner on Craigslist before we knew there might be crazy people on there. =) I was a creative maker and he was a savvy businessman.  Now, he’s creative and I’m all business-y.  We rubbed off in each other.  But as far as aesthetic, it is totally reflective of me.  It’s jewelry for the person who doesn’t wear jewelry.  It’s simple, unique, elegant, and gender neutral.  I love subtlety – and it is that.

Wear Your Music

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career?

I’ve found that with women it can go either way.  Either you grate up against each other with evil or you lift each other up.  I’ve been lucky enough to have a village of women that lift me up.  In my life and career (which are so linked) there have been women who’ve shown me that it is all possible; that you can have your cake (work) and eat it too (family).  This subject is so fraught, but it is important too.  We bring our personal values along with us to our businesses, so we better be damn clear about what they are.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve?

If you wear yoga pants you will always be relevant… No! Did I just type that? Crap! Yes, culture is ever changing.  (Oh no! Are yoga pants here to stay?)  But truly, I think the best thing I know how to do is to be in touch with all different types of people and all different ages.  I am friendly, and care about people in a genuine manner.  Different people are my go-to for different things.

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)?

Number 1) I am always exhausted. That means 2) I am über focused.  Like, laser focused.

I have to make use of all of my clarity so I need to work fast and efficiently.  I tend to pick a task that suits my mood.  If I am all drifty and far out, I write a copy, think, draw, and come up with ideas.  If I am fully caffeinated and settled in, I do numbers.  Picking a task that you are in the right state of mind for is key.

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor?

I think mentors are super important.  I’ve had many people who’ve influenced me.  But I am on the lookout for a serious mentor.  So if you have one, send them to me!

What is your advice for women entering creative fields or starting their own business?

Take care of yourself!  Self-care and work/life balance are really important. All the other shit matters, but it won’t happen without you – so you come first.  Eat breakfast, save some money, hire a coach.

Wear Your Music

Place that inspires me the most:

The passenger seat. Seriously, with someone else at the wheel and the world spinning by…

I feel most powerful when:

I launch something beautiful into the world.  I love seeing ideas come full circle. Birth. It’s magical.

I love what I do because:

What I do helps people. That’s what I am here for – to figure out ways to help each other and lift each of us up.

Best advice I have ever received:

Do what I love.  I know it sounds cheesy, but if you are doing something you love then you are helping the world turn.

Follow WearYourMusic.org!

Twitter.com/WearYourMusic | Instagram.com/WearYourMusic | Facebook.com/WearYourMusic

Quiana Parks

DJ Quiana Parks

QUIANA PARKS
NEW YORK CITY
DJ & FOUNDER OF DJ FOR A CURE

DJ Quiana (Quiana Parks) describes a day in her life as, “… a roller coaster of art, music, and expression, but focus is the essence.” Although Quiana never has a set schedule, she has her daily rituals: fitness routines and above all – prayer.

Music started at home for Quiana and it does not come as a surprise that she would eventually follow her path as a DJ, “Growing up everything in my household came with a personal playlist: cleaning, homework, family time, summer gatherings, and everything else in between. I owe it to my parents for my wide span awareness of different genres and the development of my love to DJ.”

Quiana has been cancer-free for nine years, but when she was diagnosed with lymphoma – she remembers feeling completely numb, “I did not feel anything until I looked in the mirror. I would not look at it. But, when I did – that was when it really hit me… I hate chemo. Chemo was not my friend. I know it helped me, but it was more like a mean teacher there to help. I could not stand it.” It was a challenging time, but Quiana drew her strength and resilience from a higher source: God. She was not DJ’ing during her chemo sessions, but when Quiana overcame the battle in 2005 – it propelled her to start DJ For A Cure, a foundation that aligned her craft with a cause that she strongly believed in. DJ For a Cure aims to educate, support, and raise the awareness of cancer – by gathering DJs, visionaries, and survivors who use their creativity to empower patients and connect them through the power of music.

PUMA® and DJ Quiana Parks will kick off the summer with DJ For a Cure‘s 2nd event on June 26th in New York City (flyer below). There will be board games, prizes from Krink, music by DJs Austin Millz and Charles Browne, and hosted by DJ Kiss and Chef Roblé. Quiana will also be auctioning off one of her oil paintings as a donation to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

DJ For a Cure Flyer

As a cancer survivor, what advice would you give to women who are going through the same thing you went through? Put yourself in the mind frame that you are cured. No matter how things look, there are two ways you can come out of a situation: feeling ugly – with a veil of fear OR having faith – and the beauty of never giving up.

Where can we learn more about DJ For A Cure? How can we help out? www.djforacure.com and www.twitter.com/djforacure – for more info check out the website and please donate to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

How have the women in your life been instrumental in your life and career? My mother introduced me to music. My sister supports me in everything I do. My mentors DJ Kiss and Sapphira M. HIll guide me along the way.

Cultural trends constantly change. What do you do to stay relevant, connected, and ahead of the curve? I just try to be myself and never worry about the trends.

How do you keep track of your personal and business goals – and stay creative at the same time (even when you’re exhausted)? My sister Qyera keeps me balanced with all that I do!

How important are mentors? Who is your mentor? DJ Kiss and Sapphira are amazing and influential women who have helped me when Google could not, haha.

What place inspires you the most? Art Basel for their amazing music and artists.

When do you feel most powerful? When I am behind the DJ booth and everyone is dancing – even that one person in the room that you never thought in a million years would bust out a move, haha – that is when I feel most powerful.

Why do you love what you do? I get to live for a living.

Define your idea of success. Happiness.

PRESS PLAY

Follow Quiana Parks on Instagram!