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Meet the AJS Workshop Team:: Cassandra LaValle

  MeetTheAJSCassandra
When I started my style+photo workshops, I knew that I wanted to provide a great experience. If I was providing a world-class workshop experience, I knew I needed an equally fantastic team. Cassandra LaValle is the founder behind Coco+Kelley, a design and style website and blog. She also happens to be our social media instructor for some of our workshops! I know you’ll love learning about Cassandra below.

Q:
Tell me a little bit about yourself:
A: Your full name? Cassandra LaValle
Where are you from? Seattle, Washington
What do you do for a living? I’m the founder of the lifestyle site coco kelley and an interior designer and stylist for my company, The Emerald Studio.

What is your role on the AJS Workshop Team? I’m the Social Media girl! I educate our workshop attendees on the importance of using social media for their business, how to style images for social media, and best practices.

Q: Tell us about your background.

A: I started out in event design, but was always into interior design and editorial work. So, I quit my job, moved to LA, started my blog, and worked for a couple of years down there in the interiors world. In 2009 I moved back to Seattle, and really focused on the blog… by 2011 I was writing coco kelley full time, and was also the Market Editor for Rue Magazine. These days, I still produce and oversee our lifestyle site, as well as run our interior design and styling business – The Emerald Studio.

Q: Describe your expertise for the workshops.

A: Having seen social media grow firsthand over the past 10 years from basic blogging to apps like Instagram and snapchat, I see what works and what doesn’t for those who are just getting started in using these tools. I love to dig into the analytics of it all, as well as helping our attendees simply find their voice and feel more confident in the way that they are using all these platforms together to create a cohesive brand.

Q: What do you enjoy most about being a part of the AJS Workshop Team (or if this is your first experience, what are you most looking forward to?)

A: The people!! The locations don’t hurt either. But really, connecting with these designers and entrepreneurs who sign up for the workshop is so rewarding. Plus I love our team! To get to hang out with an intimate group of women on this level is really special.

Q: What is one app (business related or not) you absolutely cannot live without?

A: Google Maps. I have ZERO sense of direction.

Q: Where is your favorite place to travel?

A: Africa. I realize that’s covering a lot of ground, but everywhere I’ve been so far in Africa has stolen my heart. I can’t wait to see more of it! South Africa and Morocco have been my favorites. But there are MANY places I have yet to see, so that could change in an instant!

Q: What is one travel destination you hope to cross off your bucket list?

A: Fiji!! But I’d be happy just to make it to Australia. The design scene there is insanely good.

Q: What is your favorite part of exploring new destination?
A: Oh gosh – so hard to choose. In the moment it’s the food and the architecture and the culture. But really it’s about what you bring back with you – everything from new recipes and spices from the markets to inspiring photographs and little items for the house…
Q: What is one travel essential you’re sure to pack on every trip?

A: Good shoes. Bad shoes can ruin a trip! And hand sanitizer!

Q: Just for fun (and in true Annette style), what is your go-to cocktail?

A: I love anything with grapefruit in it! A quick one I make during the summer is Grapefruit, Prosecco and Campari with a splash of Strega if you have it handy!

Photos via: Sarah Dorio
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