Spotlight Feature: Joy Gaines (Vintage Lovee 1988)

I am so excited to share this wonderful interview with you, I had a chance to sit down with my sister in Christ to gather some amazing insight on her business. Special thanks to Joy Gaines for giving me the opportunity to shed my spotlight on you!

 1.When did you become interested in fashion?
     Honestly, as a teenager I was not always interested into the latest fashion trends until I left for college. Fashion became an interest of mine around my early 20’s. It was so fascinating watching reality shows such as America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway. Moreover, vintage fashion has always been an interest of mine because of the unique patterns, material, colors and style. During my childhood I was always intrigued of these influential woman Coretta Scott King, Diana Ross, Gladys Knight and Dorothy Dandridge just to name a few. 

2. Is there a meaning behind your brand name "Vintage Lovee 1988"
   Vintage Lovee 1988 came to mind overnight after spending hours online trying to create a name I gave up. Honestly, after praying for a couple of days the name “Vintage Lovee 1988” came to me while I was surfing one of my favorite websites Pinterest. I have always been a lover of vintage fashion so the name was created with that thought in mind. While thinking about the name I wanted to make it different and unique so the 1988 came into play being the year I was born. 

3. What do you want your customers to know when they are searching for quality vintage pieces?
   When looking for vintage fashion it is important to understand how sizing works depending on the piece you are looking for. Vintage clothes are usually sized smaller than your normal size but it is important to try on the garment if possible. In addition, depending on the fabric for some it may feel itchy so you may want to try on the garment to see how it feels. 
4. How many vintage items should a woman have in her closet?  
    Ordinarily women love fashion but a person has to have a love for vintage to wear it. Personally, not everyone will love vintage but if you are into vintage fashions having a few pieces in your closet is a must. 
5. What are your favorite pieces in your collection?
Founder & Owner
    My favorite pieces in my collection are my earrings, dresses and brooches. While vintage clothing is not for everyone, I enjoy dressing up with vintage fashion wear. While some vintage dresses can come off old fashion. My collection is tailored to my personality. Vintage jewelry is unique because of the patterns, colors, sizes and material used to make the jewelry. Depending how a person feels their jewelry should fit their personality.

6. When did you start your business?
   Vintage Lovee 1988 was started in the spring of 2015. At first the business started as a hobby because of my love for vintage fashion. While the years progressed, that is when I decided a hobby could turn into a business. 

7. What do you want your customers to know about your business?
     Vintage Lovee 1988 offers unique apparel and accessories to women who value versatility, class, style and grace. 

8. What has been your biggest highlight or monumental moment since you started your business?
    Since starting my business, the biggest highlight would be the opportunities to sell at festivals, conferences, pop-up shops and church events. While doing these events I am able to network and expand my knowledge as a business owner. 

9. How can others stay in contact with you? 
Customers can stay connected with me by following me on Facebook and Instagram @Vintagelovee1988.

Learning How To Be Present! By: Hanha Hobson

You ever have a moment when you finally notice something and realize that you've been taking it for granted the whole time? Let me explain. I was taking a Zumba class at the gym and the mirrors were covered because it was National Eating Disorder Awareness week. The gym covered the mirrors because they wanted everyone to focus on exercising and the way our bodies move rather than looking at the mirror to see what we looked like.

Before I dive deeper into this topic, I think it’d be neat to note that God acts in the same way. Think about it! A mirror reflects the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the perfections and the flaws. We may be mirrors reflecting all of those characteristics, but God covers us because He wants us to see ourselves as something beautiful simply because that’s how He already sees us. I love this dude, man!

But back to the story. Usually when the mirrors aren't covered, I am absolutely killing it in my little imaginary square that is a dance floor. I always look in the mirror because I'll really be feeling myself. (You know you do it too..) But that day, the mirrors were covered and I couldn't look to see if I got the moves right. I couldn't see if I looked sexy or cool, and I couldn't look at other girls to see how they were dancing so I could "out-dance" them. (I get really serious during my Zumba classes, y’all..You can read more about how to rediscover your worth here, or where to find your beauty here.

But that day, I couldn't do anything but focus on the way I was breathing, and the way I moved to the beat. It was absolutely amazing, and I remember tearing up as I danced to the music because I was so thankful to be blessed with the ability to move my body. It was a small moment where I was thankful to be alive, dance around, and have fun. Honestly, a blessing that many of us probably take for granted when we really take time to think about it. 

And I say all of that because there’s a lesson we can learn from this. 

Be present. Fully present.

People always reference Jeremiah 29:11 to talk about the future, but have you ever stopped to think about that verse within the context of the past? The verse says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
So that means that 3 months ago, the hope and future God was referring to is exactly where you are now. You are walking in your prosperity, and it’s only going to get better. But as a people, we become so easily worried about our surroundings, about what people think about us, about whether or not we’re doing the right thing.

We allow worry to drive our thoughts and we allow our lack of control to become an idol in our lives. I talk more about this here, but I’m all about practicality, so let’s talk about a practice we can apply to our lives to overcome this.

When Jesus prayed the Lord’s prayer and taught His disciples how to pray, he asked God to give Him His daily bread. But then later on, He told his disciples that He was the bread of life and that anyone who comes to Him will never be hungry (John 6:35). 

If we take time to reflect on this concept, there are so many stories in the Bible that talk about this. For example, the children of Israel received new manna every morning. In fact, God told them to throw out any leftovers they had each night, and if they kept any, then it would spoil. Or what about Elijah? He had to depend on the birds to provide him with food each and every day. 

In the same way, lean on Matthew 6:34 where it says, “Do not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow has enough worries of its own.”

Stop worrying about whether you have friends or good people in your life when you’re facing some of life’s greatest challenges. Stop worrying about whether or not you are motivated, or if you have passion. You do not have confusion because you have peace. You are enough and worth more than the world’s most precious diamonds and pearls. You won’t always struggle with your finances, and you will have that child that you’ve been waiting on. 

You shouldn’t think about any of those things unless they are affecting your today. So when you wake up each morning, ask yourself: What is my daily bread? Or what is the one thing that I can do just today that will be pleasing to God? 

If that’s school, then focus on school. If that’s work, then work hard. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, then focus on your child and the needs he or she has for the next 24 hours. Seek Jesus first, because then will everything else be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). It’s time we put Him back on the throne and remove ourselves from it. 

Focus on that. Focus on today. Be thankful for where you are in the present moment and what God is providing in your life. Let grace rule over you because His is sufficient


Loved reading this post? Let me know what you think by stopping by my page on Instagram, and tell me how you plan to be more present! I would love to get to know you and hear your thoughts!

Hanha is the writer behind Transparency Blog, and she is superpassionate about encouraging others and sharing the love of Christ. She grad from the University of National Champions—Go Heels!—and she is currently pursuing plans to become a physician in the near future. A few fun facts? She’s addicted to Grey’s Anatomy, has a special place in her heart for tacos, and podcasts are her present obsession. In her spare time, she daydreams about places she can travel and loves connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!