In today’s competitive world of blogging, competition is very high and tough. Â A great deal of bloggers work hard at Â expressing their unique voices and defining their niche. Â Jomarie “Shutitdown” Malcolm is truly an example of Â an innovative blogger who’s certainly a force to be reckoned with. Â At 19 years young, the Jamaican native is a final year law student who is also a fashion enthusiast, graphic designer, writer and all around creative spirit. Â Her industrial art-like lifestyleÂ blog, Lace & Zippers, lures you into the fast- paced and controversial world of entertainment and fashion. Â The busy editor-at- large took some time out to talk to us more about the magic behind L&Z.
BM: Jo, you have one of the hottest entertainment blogs out there. Â Tell us a little about the meaning behind the name Lace & Zippers.
JM: The name is really a product of absent-minded thinking. All I knew was that I wanted a name that would capture the essence of what I intended to do which was to set myself a part from other fashion/lifestyle blogs. The name speaks to the different shades of fashion with some being sophisticated and elegant (lace) and others being edgy and more eclectic (zippers)
Lace and Zippers is a blog geared towards brightening the vision of the fashion forward Jamaica that comes alive both casually in the streets and after dark in the nightclubs. There are 10 free-standing pages with original content all capturing accounts of lifestyle both locally and internationally.
I have been working towards capturing snapshots of entertainment, cuisine, fashion and the unique lifestyle that is a bright tinge of black green and gold.
BM: You recently and most deservinly won for “Best New Blog” at the Jamaican Blog Awards. Â What kind of impact has your win had on L&Z? On you?
JM: The impact on L&Z was that it led to exposure and after reading the commentsÂ Â Â Â that people wrote I could see that the brand L&Z was viable and worth broadening and continuing. It’s awards like that, that really give one the impetus to lose doubt and to pursue the mission with conviction and fearlessness.
Personally, I felt proud of myself for finally listening to all the comments about my writing being exceptional and creating an avenue for not only myself but for the supporters and fans of Lace and Zippers. It was truly a great way to start off my year.
BM: Your style has been described as unique, edgy and controversial- this is evident in the design and layout of your blog. Â Who or what inspired your artistic vision and talent?
JM: Being a graphic designer, I take inspiration from all elements and at the core of my inspiration is the desire to not look like anything else out there. I was not prepared to settle for a pre-done template and I spent two days just looking for the image that would capture my style aesthetic and voice. A major consideration was the fact that whenever I see this image/design I should always be inspired and feel the same level of enthusiasm as I did the first time I posted.
The female image on the blog speaks to being comfortable in your own skin and her body language conveys a sense of appreciate me for who I am, a message that I believe is powerful and transcends the boundaries of race, gender and class. Having the L&Z signature was very important to me because I wanted to convey that every element of the blog was my vision and was not borrowed from somewhere.
BM: What drives/motivates you to be the best at what you do?
JM: Writing is one my passions and they say that when you do what you love you will never work a day in your life. This motivated me to really dig deep and to create something that I would be proud to say I conceptualized and that would give me creative pleasure, knowing that my work is out there for people to see, critique and like.
Furthermore, I am always driven by the philosophy that heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight but there while their companions slept, were toiling upwards through the night. I am always advocating for pursuing your dreams until they metamorphose into a reality and thus I feel obliged to practice what I preach.
The words of encouragement from family and friends and support from the fans of Lace and Zippers really push me to take this idea and concept all the way to the top.
BM: Tell us about your R.E.L.A.X. Photo contest.
JM: This idea was the brainchild of myself and Shelly-Ann Dunkley from E.C.C.O. Magazine . Project R.E.L.A.X. (which means Renewing. Enjoying. Life. to An. Xtreme) is a campaign geared towards getting people out of their houses and into the intricacy of mother nature. Not only is it healthy, but it is a great feeling when we can bathe in the rays of the sun, swim in the tranquil pools of the sea and rivers and climb to her peaks; all with a feeling of accomplishment.
Entrants were asked to submit photos of them being outdoors or pictures taken by them of the outdoors and we would select the best one and award them. The competition recently wrapped up and we were pleased with the participation and the quality of the photography was superb.
BM: So what’s in store for the future of L&Z?
JM: L&Z will no longer be just a blog. I have decided to take steps to make it into more of a fashion entity which will allow me to showcase my talents of conceptualizing, graphic designing and writing. I have started collaborating with designers and stores to really extend brand L&Z deeper into the fashion fraternity and also to help those budding fashion designers, enthusiasts and store owners to create an image that would be viable and attractive to their prospective audience. I also plan to launch a campaign soon which when all the details are ironed out, promises to be something truly spectacular.
I am also very interested in collaborating with international bloggers and fashion entities so as to give richness and diversity to the blog.
In the distant future I plan to extend the fashion entity into event planning which is another passion of mine and to produce a print magazine, something a lot of people have been asking about. Overall L&Z will become a brand encapsulating sophistication and service with guaranteed satisfaction spanning the realms of fashion, entertainment event planning and media.
Interested persons can view us at