Central MA Up + Comer: Dancer + Designer Kayleigh Lucci
Thursday, March 06, 2014
Her proudest accomplishment thus far is starting her own line of bow ties called The Magnetic Bowtie, released in February of 2014. They are handmade bow ties that are held on with a magnetic back. Currently, these bow ties are being sold online, but soon will be available at local shops. Lucci prides herself in staying up to date with the latest fashion trends and styles and finds enjoyment in expressing her creativity through fashion and design. She also expresses herself through dance with a group based out of Boston called Static Noyze.
SW: Fashion has played a big part in your life since you were young. How are you incorporating that into a career?
KL: In Fall of 2013, I decided to take fashion styling seriously by making it my full time job. In just a few months, I was fortunate enough to have my designs featured on TedxTalk and in Baystate Parent Magazine. I have styled a number of photo shoots for local companies including Coco’s Closet and Sweet Bakery.
Combining my love of fashion and dance, I have become the wardrobe stylist for the award winning and nationally known dance company Static Noyze. This theatrical dance company allows me to be as creative possible with their fun themes and stories. Working with a dance company also makes me constantly challenge myself to create attire that is eye catching as well as functional. Recently, I won an award for my costume design at the well-known World of Dance competition.
SW: You are, first and foremost, a dancer. What type of dance?
KL: I focus mostly on hip hop, but I love to explore and try as much as I can. Currently I dance with Static Noyze as well as act as wardrobe stylist. We combine hip hop and contemporary to create theatrical performances. We are storytellers. I am also in an all girls group called PROject Nailz. PROject Nailz also focuses on hip hop, but we also like to get a little more feminine. Dancing is my passion. It’s what I love to do, and I want to continue growing and learning. My major fear has always been an injury that would keep me from dancing.
SW: In November of 2013, that fear became a reality. What happened?
KL: Two times a week I watch a 4-year old girl. She is adorable—bright blue eyes, blonde hair, and the sweetest personality. While watching her, I quickly went to use the restroom but the door behind me was swollen shut. I tried everything: kicking, pulling, prying; I even tried to unscrew the doorknob. Nothing worked. No matter what I did, it would not budge. I tried calling the little girl numerous times to see if she was okay…of course, there was no answer! I started panicking and the worst possible scenarios crossed my mind.
The only way I could get out fast enough was by climbing out of the window and swinging to the nearest balcony. I knew the door on the balcony was unlocked. Apparently, I thought I was a superhero. I know now I am far from that. I fell 2 stories. I had enough adrenaline to get myself into the house and up the stairs. Thankfully my charge was okay, but my foot was completely shattered. I have never felt so much pain in my life, but once I saw her face, a sense of calmness came over me.
I went to the ER right away, and about a week later I had surgery. I broke 8 bones, and had a Lisfranc Fracture. My entire foot split in half. The doctor’s told me the one thing I did not want to hear: that I most likely will never dance again.
SW: How did you handle hearing that your greatest fear could be reality?
KL: I was crushed. I cried for days. I have been dancing for years. Suddenly everything was taken away from me. I have never felt depressed before; it was such a weird feeling. I hated everything.
SW: What changed everything for you?
KL: After moping for way too long, I knew I needed to do something to get my mind off of my “useless future”. I knew I would be out of work for a long time and this REALLY freaked me out. I have college loans to pay off! Instead of watching every season of Gossip Girl, I wanted to do something useful with my time. I was done being sad. That’s not who I am. I wanted to do something that would benefit me, as well as challenge me. I wanted to do something that I never thought I could do. So I started my own business.
SW: I think it is such a wonderful feeling when you make the step forward to be an entrepreneur. What is your new business?
KL: I started my own line of bow ties called The Magnetic Bowtie. They are handmade and whimsical bow ties that are for adults and children. No pin piercing backing, no awkward fastening, no permanent holes in your clothing; these bow ties are attached with just a strong magnet and easy for kids to put on themselves. I found a new passion while injured and I still get to be creative...just in a different way.
SW: What is your advice for others facing adversity?
KL: Look at life in a different way. Even being injured can spark creativity. Don’t use this time to feel bad for yourself, take advantage of it. Do something you have always been too scared to do. It has been over 3 months and I still can’t walk, but I can honestly say that this injury has been a blessing in disguise. I have created something that is my own, and it’s a really great feeling! Don’t just sit in your bed watching Netflix, and stop replaying the moment before you got hurt in your head; it will make you go crazy. Do something that you never had the time to do before. I guarantee if you try it will make the time pass by...and who knows, maybe you will find a new love! Use time to your advantage!
SW: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
KL: Hopefully The Magnetic Bowtie will be selling in stores nationwide! It’s a really fun and different product that I stand behind 100%. I would also love to own my own clothing boutique, as well as a styling company. I love working with kids and want to focus on children’s fashion. I want to sell a lot of local artist’s work, as well as my own. Of course my bow ties will be there too! I would use the clothing in my store to help style different photo shoots and events all around the east coast. I would also love to be dancing again. If I could work with fashion and dance, I would be the happiest person alive.
Central MA Up + Comers is a weekly profile of a member of the next generation as they are making their mark on the Central Ma workforce and community. Join us every Thursday for a look at the careers and lifestyles of the local digital generation. If you have suggestions for a profile, please email [email protected].
Susan D. Wagner is president of Susan Wagner PR, a boutique public relations firm invested in meeting client's goals with integrity and creativity.
Related Slideshow: A Shopper’s Dream
The Kittery Outlets in Kittery ME is a shopaholic’s paradise! Located only 1.5 hours from Worcester and 2 hours from Providence, so much is so close. Choose from great outlet stores—with great outlet prices—like Levi’s, Coach, Old Navy, LOFT and more. If you are looking for something more outdoorsy, be sure to check out the Kittery Trading Post, which carries outdoor apparel and equipment to please even the pickiest New Englander. Oh, and there’s a Lindt Chocolate Outlet store—enough said.
306 US Route 1, Kittery, Maine. 1 (888) KIT-TERY.
Burlington is home to great universities, Lake Champlain and is the birthplace of Phish. But did you know that this Vermont city also has first class shopping? Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor shopping haven, is the center of the action. Perouse the cobblestone streets, featuring great shops like Urban Outfitters, Saratoga Olive Oil Company, Sweet Lady Jane, and more. If the weather doesn’t cooperate with outdoor shopping, pop into the Burlington Town Center Mall to check out the 802 Store—a place dedicated to everything Vermont.
North Conway, NH
North Conway, tucked away in the White Mountains of New Hampshire is the perfect weekend retreat. There are picturesque mountain views and some much needed peace and quiet. Shopaholics need not fear, though, because this little New England town has got their back. Settlers Green Outlet Village is chock full of all your brand name favorites, plus some specialty shops well worth taking a peek in. In total, there are over 60 shops! If you’re got a sweet tooth, be sure to stop into White Mountain Cupcakery—their cupcakes are the best around. Don’t forget, New Hampshire shopping is tax free!
Route 16, North Conway, NH. (603) 356-7031.
West Hartford, Connecticut
Located in West Hartford, Ct, Westfarms Mall is only about an hour’s drive from Worcester and a two hour drive from Providence. This elegant shopping mecca is stocked with designer names and delicious dining. Makeup lovers will appreciate the handmade cosmetics at Lush while fashinistas will fall in love with the styles at Anthropologie. Of course, it never hurts to look inside Tiffany & Co. either...
1500 New Britain Ave., West Hartford, Connecticut. (860) 561-3024.
Providence Place Mall
Okay, so this one is super close to home—but it had to be included! The Providence Place Mall is a destination that people from all around travel to visit, so why not take advantage of it if it’s close by? This multi-level shopping mall is any fashionista’s dream come true! Banana Republic, the Apple Store, dELIA*S, and Nordstrom are some retail favorites; while The Cheesecake Factory is a top choice for a bite to eat.
1 Providence Place, Providence, RI. (401) 270-1000.
Yankee Candle Vlg. Store
South Deerfield, MA
Here’s another one that is close enough to home to make it a great day trip! Yankee Candle Village Store in South Deerfield is a kid at heart’s dream come true! This place is in the Christmas spirit 365 days a year, featuring keepsakes and ornaments alongside 400,000 of your favorite Yankee Candle scented candles. Head out on Nov. 16, 17, 23, or 24 to see Annie—everyone’s favorite musical; or on November 30 to see Santa arrive by helicopter!
25 Greenfield Road, South Deerfield, Ma. (877)636- 7707.
Manchester, Vermont, is a vibrant community nestled in a beautiful Vermont setting. Besides its rich history and fabulous mountainside location, Manchester is also home to Manchester Designer Outlets. MDO features a unique blend of specialty and designer stores, such as Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren and Armani Outlet, alongside first class entertainment and dining. If you are a shopaholic who loves the outdoors and long, scenic rides—but don’t want to give up the convenience of a one stop shopping mall, this is the place for you!
97 Depot Street, Manchester Center, VT. 1 (800) 955-SHOP.
Boston is the largest city in New England, so of course it has to have larger than life shopping. Enter Newbury Street, an urban shopping favorite. Newbury Street is made up of 8 blocks of marvelous shopping and dining. Whether you go to Boston’s fashion district to window shop or splurge, there is something for everyone. Crush Boutique, Rinascimento, and Bobbles and Lace are just a few of the shopaholic approved boutiques that call Newbury Street home.
Newbury Street, Boston.
Photo: Rudi Riet/flickr
The Umbrella Factory
Picture a place where you can get a henna tattoo; visit a petting zoo; listen to live acoustic music; peruse or purchase goods from all around the world—all in one place. This is all possible at the Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown, RI. This cool outdoor shopping bazaar and has been delighting visitors since 1968. Six separate shops and a café each have their own unique twist, making a trip to The Fantastic Umbrella Factory anything but ordinary.
4820 Old Post Road, Charlestown, RI. (401) 364-1060.
The magic of the cape has been delighting artists and poets for centuries. Of course it is befitting that they have inspired shopping options as well. From the whimsical and free to the beautiful and dramatic; if you can dream it chances are it is on Cape Cod. Looking for sea glass jewelry, Cape Cod bracelets, or other great gift ideas? Check out Heart of Stone in Sandwich. For great art, take a peek in the Coastal Craft Gallery in Orleans. If something offbeat is more your style, Cape Kaleidoscopes in Mashpee is a do not miss!
For more on Cape Cod Shopping, visit http://www.capecodchamber.org/.
Photo: Cape Cod Travel Guide
L.L. Bean has long been the pinnacle of New England retailers. The company’s flagship store, which is located in Freeport, Maine, is a destination for all things outdoors. Visitors are greeted by a giant boot before they walk into the multi-level store. Inside, there is a plethora of men’s, women’s, and kids clothing and equipment that puts other sportswear shops to shame. If you decide to stay in the area, be sure to pop back into the store throughout the week for special clinics and courses. Oh, and don’t worry about closing time. This store is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
95 Main Street, Freeport, Maine. (877) 755-2326.
Vermont Country Store
Weston, VT & Rockingham, VT
Sometimes there’s just nothing better than good old fashioned hospitality and great products. The Vermont Country Store, with locations in West and Rockingham, provides just that. The Orton family, who opened the first Vermont Country Store in Weston in 1946, are self proclaimed “Purveyors of the Practical and Hard to Find.” This store has got everything and anything that you can’t find anywhere else, from old-fashioned games and candy to high end, high quality wool apparel, to house wares and more. The Rockingham location is even complete with a covered bridge dubbed “The Kissing Bridge!”
657 Main Street, Weston, Vermont. (802) 824-3184.
1292 Rockingham Road, Rockingham, Vermont. (802) 463-2224.
Do you love the feel and aesthetic of handmade pottery? If the answer is yes, Wesleyan Potters in Middletown, Connecticut, has got you covered. These guys have been the go-to specialists for pottery in New England since 1948. Take your pick of an assortment of beautiful crafts to give as gifts or keep for yourself. They are having a sale until December 15, so head over soon. They also offer tons of unique classes as well!
350 S Main Street, Middletown, Connecticut. (860) 344-0039.
The Northeast Kingdom of Vermont is renowned for its striking views and world class winter sports opportunities. People flock here in the warmer months to bask in the sun; in the fall to take in the foliage; in the winter to fly to down the slopes. Why not come do all of that and more—plus get some shopping done? While you’re in the area, head to Stowe for upscale boutiques and specialty shops galore or head to Johnson for some warm country apparel at Johnson Woolen Mills. Designer shopping is located less than an hour away in the bustle of Burlington.
Fifth Avenue, NYC
No shopping getaway list could possibly be complete without 5th Avenue. Although this street is not located in New England, it is unrivaled for its shopping selection that is the epitome of upscale, elegant and classy. Where else in the world can you find Saks Fifth Avenue, Sephora, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Prada, and Apple all on one street?
Photo: St. Simon/Flickr
- Central MA Up + Comer Niki Luparelli, Marilyn Monroe to Boozy News
- Central MA Up + Comer: Estate Attorney Alicia O’Connell
- Central MA Up + Comer: Paint NIte’s April Kennedy
- Central MA Up + Comer: Yoga Professional Abbey Oliver
- Central MA Up + Comer, Sr. Account Exec + Marathoner Nicole Solera
- Central MA Up + Comer: Financial Advisor Wendy Davidson
- Central MA Up + Comer: Photographer Stefany Flynn
- Central MA Up + Comer: Anna Maria College’s Jessica Sabourin
- Central MA Up + Comer: Barry Communications VP Lindsay Gerhardt
- Central MA Up + Comer: GH2 Fitness Owner and Trainer Heather Baker
- Central MA Up + Comer: Rushmie Nofsinger
- Central MA Up + Comer: Aviation Entrepreneur George Charles Allen
- Central MA Up + Comer: Clark University MBA Student Abigail Donahue
- Central MA Up + Comer: Health Coach Andrea Davis
- Central MA Up + Comer: Sales & Marketing Specialist Stephanie Ramey
- Central MA Up + Comer: Digital Credit Union’s Victoria Blandin
- Central MA Up + Comer: Coco’s Closet Founder Jonelle Garofoli
- Central MA Up + Comer: Health Coach Connie Kanella Aramento
- Central MA Up + Comer: The Queen’s Cups’ Renee King
- Central MA Up + Comer: Ivy Child International’s Shan Yi Koay
- Central MA Up + Comer: Consigli Construction Co.‘s Sarah Irving
- Central MA Up + Comer: Linda T. Cammuso, Elder Law Attorney
- Central MA Up + Comer: United Way’s Heidi Charlebois
- Central MA Up + Comer: The Owl’s Zack Photakis
- Central MA Up + Comer: Crompton Collective Owner Amy Lynn Chase
- Central MA Up + Comer: NKD Worcester’s Kristie Lee Laskes
- Central MA Up + Comer: Unum Underwriting Consultant Lori Crowley
- Central MA Up + Comer: Trial Attorney Lynette Paczkowski
- Central MA Up + Comer: Entrepreneur Ivania Nicole
- Central MA Up + Comer: Olga Kwasniewski, Restaurant Owner + Model
- Central MA Up + Comer: Yoga Instructor Claire Koepke
- Central MA Up + Comer: Dancer + Designer Kayleigh Lucci