Meet the Laguna Beach storefront that’s home to the Queen of Crayons

Written by By Amanda Dahlmann, CNN

From glitter hues to dresses topped with dazzling cuffs, designers hoping to command a desirable spot in TLC’s newest store are looking out for their fashions at home — and in store.

Though her first clients were her own friends and family, James is just as eager to help share her insight into pop culture, such as her thoughtfully curated reports from the red carpet circuit (they’ll be published on CNN’s website weekly).

“I’m really excited that my books will be available to buy here in this store,” James told CNN. “I really want all my clients and fans to get to enjoy them.”

TLC’s first store shares store space with the Project Runway: The Fashion Show on Design Incubator series. “Ever since I can remember, in high school, I’ve always had a dream of owning my own shop,” said James. TLC was specifically eager to have a store in Laguna Beach, California because of the positive perception the real estate community has toward its tenants. “It’s been great with the collaboration,” said James, and “a very wonderful first step” to a more full-fledged partnership.

We’re sampling a few of James’s favorite decorative picks from the Beauty BIPOC-owned lines. Check out her picks below.

Candy bonds and quilts

“I love everything candy,” said James, adding that she’s been collecting these treats for the past 20 years. These savory gems come in unexpected shapes and sweets are meant to be used as decoration as well as an affordable indulgence.

Ribbons and textiles

James is a “tweaker,” and for that reason finds it easier to design unique patchwork and print accessories that are complementary to her accessible fashion brand. “Not every piece is expensive. My jewelry pieces cost under $100, so anything that I offer is something that my client can buy but also be unique,” James explained.

Craftsmanship and Crayons

TLC’s new collaboration with its popular Outcast handbags, the collection pays homage to the memory of James’s grandmother who was a “proficient handbag maker” back in Nigeria.

The outcast backpack pays homage to the memory of Aurora James’s grandmother. Credit: courtesy project mama


Twitter @project_mama

Instagram @project_mama

Leave a Comment