If you’re not a fan of Carnations & Lace already, you will be after getting to know the Utah-based, body-positive blogger behind it — Krychele (pronounced Cri-Shell) Valenzuela. Not only does she serve up some seriously inspiring plus-size style, but she also constantly reminds her fans and followers to love themselves as they are right now. We think the world could use more curvy fashion bloggers like Krychele with a message of self-love. So, naturally, we were thrilled when she said yes to a Q&A so we could get her message out to the Glamorise community, too.
Hi, Krychele! It sounds like you have a lot on your plate right now— running a business, being a mom and wife, and, of course, putting together killer outfits. How do you keep track of it all?
For me, the key to managing the chaos is staying organized! I have multiple planners and don’t leave the house without them. I’m also lucky to have a great support system that helps me a ton! There is definitely no “average” day for me, and I love it! Each day brings a new set of challenges to keep life interesting. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Growing up in a small town has its challenges, especially when you don’t look like everyone else. Did you have an ah-ha moment when you realized being different is a superpower, not a set-back?
It was tough growing up in a small town and being a minority. It wasn’t until I was in high school that it clicked for me that I had a huge opportunity to be a leader for young girls growing up the way I did. People who looked like me weren’t in the media, so I want to be that role model I never saw on the cover of magazines as a young girl. Being different than those around you can be an advantage, not the other way around!
What advice would you give other young girls who look around and don’t see themselves reflected back — whether in media, on TV or in their own community?
Don’t get discouraged. Even though they might not see it everyday, they aren’t alone. I’d also tell them to be the change they want to see. Surround yourself with people who build you up, and remember you are strong and capable and most importantly, you have a voice, so use it!
Who has had the biggest impact on shaping who you are today and why? What was the most important lesson you learned from them?
My mom is definitely the reason I am who I am today. She taught me to be strong, to not care what others think, and to never stop dreaming. She instilled the confidence in me that I always knew I had, I just needed to find it! The most important lesson she ever taught me was to be kind to everyone, because you never know what’s going on in their life. Something I still try and remember every day.
You run a beautiful blog, Carnations & Lace, that focuses on fashion, self-love and navigating the changing terrain of mamahood. What inspired you to start sharing on this platform? And how has the journey been so far?
I was inspired to start my blog pretty soon after the birth of my son. Motherhood is so special, but I definitely felt like I lost a part of myself in the first few months, so I knew I needed something that was just mine. I started C&L as an outlet and a place where I could help others (and myself) learn to love their body no matter how it looked. It’s a tough process watching your whole life change from the inside out to bring a baby into the world. It’s amazing and terrifying all at the same time, and as women I think we need to lean on each other to get through and actually enjoy the process!
How do you think the fashion industry at large is doing in terms of meeting the needs and style aspirations of plus-size women? What could brands be doing better? While I think the plus-size fashion industry has come a long way in the last five years, there is still more work to be done and I think it needs to start with consistent sizing. I’m a 14 in some brands and an 18 in others. It makes it pretty hard to shop online, which is where the majority of plus-size fashion can be found. With that said I think there also needs to be more brick-and-mortar stores for curvy gals.
What are your go-to brands who are killing it with plus-size style? Over the years I’ve found a few awesome retailers that I can count on. ASOS, Eloquii, and Chic Soul are my faves right now!
Do you remember your first bra? Love it? Hate it? Give us all the details!
Growing up as a bit of a tomboy, all I would wear were sports bras for the first few years! When my mom finally talked me into a real bra, I actually never took it off haha! I even slept in it, which makes me cringe even thinking about today. Now I can’t wait to take it off when I get home! Crazy how things change.
Do you think clothes, especially intimate items like bras, have an impact on our body image? Like, is there a relationship between what we wear and how we see ourselves? Can a good bra make that a better relationship?
Absolutely! I believe in the saying “when you feel good, you look good” and that all starts with what you’re wearing under your clothes. Never underestimate the power of the perfect underwear and bra combo!
Do you have a favorite Glamorise bra? Tell us what you love about it!
My favorite bra from Glamorise is the Easy On/Off Front-Close Underwire Bra because it’s so comfortable! I love the thick straps and front closure detail.
What do you love most about being a body-positive blogger?
Getting DM’s and emails saying that I helped someone gain the confidence to wear something they never thought they would, like a two-piece swimming suit or tighter jeans than they’re used to. That is what keeps me going and makes my job so fulfilling!
We talk about “community” a lot. But that word has taken on a whole new meaning in our digitally connected world. Do you think this has helped the body-positive movement?
Absolutely. We as plus-sized and curvy women got the topic of body positivity trending, and I think it’s amazing! More and more companies are starting to cater to a more inclusive audience all because we got the conversation started. We should all be proud to say we had a hand in the movement!
How do you work through the negativity of media or a society not yet there with body acceptance? Any go-to self-love hacks you want to share with our readers?
My best advice is to hit the unfollow button! Anyone who makes you feel like you’re anything less than beautiful isn’t worth your time and can be seriously detrimental to your body-positivity journey. Make your life a self-love bubble!
And last but not least, which artist is at the top or you workout playlist right now?
Post Malone! He’s got so many good ones to get you hyped up!