I have never known Tessa Clark to be bored. Since college, she has been a hard worker who is constantly putting her ideas to the test. With a goal to create clothing that lasts a lifetime in your wardrobe, Tessa began building Grind and Glaze in college. Grind and Glaze launched its first collection for sale at the end of 2018 that includes eight styles. The company is working towards zero waste, finding a purpose for all scraps before needing to purchase new fabric. Tessa’s determination, creativity, and friendly personality will continue to get her far in the sustainable fashion world. I truly admire her goals and work ethic! I speak with Tessa below :)

Photo by  Brooke Shanesy  - Art Direction by  Jessie Cundiff  - Styled by me

Photo by Brooke Shanesy - Art Direction by Jessie Cundiff - Styled by me

1. How did Grind and Glaze start, what led you to this this first collection?

Grind and Glaze is inspired by my rural, and pretty atypical upbringing in Greenville, Ohio. My mother is a self taught ceramicist, and my father is a miller in a working, historic flour mill. My parents are my inspiration; grind and glaze. Through my education I realized my aesthetic lended to things I was exposed to back home: Japanese aesthetics in pottery, a love of history and nature, woodworking, good taste. I originally named my thesis collection Grind and Glaze, and my brand followed suit. (Tessa graduated from The University of Cincinnati’s DAAP program in Fashion Design in 2016. Her thesis and final collection for school was titled Grind and Glaze)

2.  With Grind and Glaze being heavily inspired by your upbringing and your family. Where do you find new inspiration?   

I let my upbringing and my values ground my designs. I hope to create clothing people want and love to wear. I love to travel, and I love people watching. I like to see what types of clothes people wear, what they are comfortable in, and how they style their looks. It’s important to me to create garments that will be worn multiple times for multiple occasions. I often look to art and architecture for inspiration as well.

3. What is the largest challenge you've experienced when it comes to creating this sustainable line in Cincinnati?

Before Sew Valley, my biggest challenge was finding production. Now that Sew Valley exists and my studio is located next to the production room, everything seems to be falling into place. My biggest challenge overall is financing my business. It takes so much money to launch a start up fashion brand. I also feel more pressure to justify and explain to consumers in the Midwest why sustainable garments made in the USA have a higher retail price. Overall, I’m excited and happy to have my brand based in Cincinnati, a city I love.

4.  With sustainable/ethical design what steps do you take to incorporate what you can into your brand and how you design/produce?
I do my best with the small amount of money I have to invest in all natural textiles, and when I can, I opt for sustainably produced textiles. I’m giving my first attempt at being minimal or zero waste; I recently sorted through all of my scrap fabric and produced zero waste garments and accessories from the scraps. While limited edition, it’s worth it to make something from these small pieces! It’s definitely something I’ll continue doing as I design. And, I encourage consumers to wear their garments often and give them a long life.

Photo by  Brooke Shanesy  - Styled by me

Photo by Brooke Shanesy - Styled by me

5. Why was sustainability such an important factor to your brand when you started Grind and Glaze?
Every brand should have a sustainability plan. I’m still figuring out my plan.“Sustainability” is such a buzz word right now, and I think it’s important to clarify what sustainability means to me. To me, to be sustainable means harmony of all moving parts. I also do my best to be as eco-friendly with my business practices and designing as possible. The textile and fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, and I don’t want Grind and Glaze to be part of that statistic. I also believe sustainability also refers to how much wear you can get out of a garment. I try to design garments that are unique but timeless, so the wearer doesn’t feel like it’s out of style in a year. My plan is evolving and changing, but I will always be an advocate for timeless, eco-friendly fashion.

6. Can you tell me about your experience with Sew Valley, what got you excited about working with them?
I had been searching for production since I graduated in 2016. It has been my dream to have my own brand and I didn’t think it would be possible to do that in Cincinnati. Now that Sew Valley is established, I’m working towards that dream!


7. What is next for Grind and Glaze?

Collaboration and exploration. I’m preparing to introduce custom woven textiles to my collection, all made on a loom by Toby Ganz of By Hand Textiles, here in Cincinnati. I’m also gearing up to work with Handspun Hope– a fair-trade, ethnically made knitwear company based in Rwanda. 

And, I’m excited to see where Project Runway takes Grind and Glaze. If anything, I want it to give me a platform to speak up about sustainability in the industry.  

Tessa Clark just launched her first official Grind and Glaze line in December of 2018. Her line is available for purchase at or you can find her pieces in store at Idlewild Woman on Vine Street. She continues to release new pieces made from her scrap waste so follow her on social media to stay in the know. Additionally, Tessa is a contestant on Project Runway Season 17 premiering this March 14th.

Go follow her Instagram to stay up to date here — @grindandglaze

Follow Tessa here — @_tessaclark

Shop here —

and read about her Project Runway debut here

Photo by  Brooke Shanesy  - Art Direction by  Jessie Cundiff  - Styled by me

Photo by Brooke Shanesy - Art Direction by Jessie Cundiff - Styled by me

Photo by  Brooke Shanesy  - Styled by me

Photo by Brooke Shanesy - Styled by me

Photo by  Brooke Shanesy  - Art Direction by  Jessie Cundiff  - Styled by me

Photo by Brooke Shanesy - Art Direction by Jessie Cundiff - Styled by me



Sex, vaginas, menstruation and all of the lovely things we dream about...just kidding. But seriously, this very broad subject is something that needs to be talked about more often and more publicly.  So while, hi, yes I am a 'style blogger,’ I also want this to be a place where I talk about all of the things that cross my mind (basically my diary?). So to my 5 readers, we're probably good friends and we've probably shared all of these things before, but if not, hey I recommend this product, sorry I didn't bring it up sooner!

I've always wanted to make it obvious from this blog that sustainability doesn't just have to do with your clothing. It expands to all aspects of how you live your life. You can live and shop sustainably when it comes to household products, makeup, skincare, etc.


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Fur ..  a brand that pulls at the heart strings, and I’m only half kidding here. I think one thing all women can agree on (& probably men) is that razor bumps are the absolute worst. I have very sensitive skin when it comes to just being touched. I can use any chemicals on my face but yet just scratching my neck gives me a huge red rash & people think I am having an allergic reaction (I am not kidding, people ask me all the time). So no surprise, shaving is super irritating to my skin. I have started using Fur Oil on my bikini line, on my armpits and sometimes on my legs or really wherever I feel like I need it. I have been religiously using it down there and lemme tell you, it is as soft as a baby’s bottom. But seriously, it has helped with razor bumps, and ingrown hairs. Better yet, all of Fur's products are vegan and cruelty-free. They also have a stubble cream fully dedicated to helping after you shave as well as an ingrown concentrate just for ingrown hairs. So while I applaud Fur for creating a much needed product I also applaud them for speaking up and letting people know that their private regions need love too. We all have bodies and we all have hair and none of this should be news to you. So don't be ashamed to share your tips and tricks and products and experiences and all of the things that have to do with your body.





Part 2 of my Glossier Reviews .. The first review  (linked here)  consisted of all of the Glossier products I had tried up to that point. This edition is to review some new additions to the Glossier fam.  Honest reviews only as always. Glossier is a company I stand by through and through. They are creating amazing cruelty-free products and as a company they work with their customers and encourage interaction to make the best product they can. As a business they are also changing the retail environment and beauty industry.  As always, feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions, hesitations etc, I love helping people find the right products for them and am always always honest about my experience and friends experiences with a product.  :)

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Invisible Shield - My plan is to buy this for the rest of my life. I have lovedddd the smell of suntan lotion since I was a kid, so getting to put this on everyday makes my nose happy. Invisible Shield has zero white residue and doesn't make my skin oily. I can use it with my everyday makeup routine or my super light makeup routine and you wouldn't even know it was on my skin. It also makes my skin 100% happier and healthier.

Priming Moisturizer Rich - A great primer. Truly is very rich, thick, and creamy in the best way and moisturizing for your face. I will use my jar with no complaints but I personally like their other priming moisturizer better because of the squeeze bottle and consistency.

Body Hero Body Wash - The scent is soo fresh and clean,  you come out of the shower smelly like a hip new baby (? idk but it's true). The consistency is great and I enjoy the lil froth it creates. 10/10

Body Hero Lotion - Loveee this lotion. Same scent as the body wash in case you didn't already guess that. But what I love about this is a little goes a long way. It truly helps my skin especially when I have freshly shaven. I will say if you use too much you may feel oily but it does eventually soak into your skin. So just be smart at home much/when you're applying it. ((also would like to say this isn't something I thought I would love because to me lotion is lotion but I will most definilty buy this again)

Soothing Face Mist - Exactly what you would expect out of this baby. Refreshing and smells lovely. Keeping it in the fridge makes for a happy face if you want to spritz in the morning to wake up your face or on a hot summer day. 

Solution - So, of course I forgot to take 'after' photos of my skin after using this product. When solution first came out I ordered it right away and it was at a time of inconsistency with my skin. Lots of small bumps and then the occasional (but huge) pimples-  on my chin, around my mouth, and forehead. I started by using Solution once a day and sometimes twice for a month. My skin cleared up very quickly. It exfoliates well and you can feel it working. It toned down some redness in my skin and the texture of my skin changed. I had gone from using no exfoliator at the time to using this and my skin became insanely soft. In my experience with this product it works best if you moisturize well after using it. You don't want to be too rough on your skin so my routine while using it consisted on a light fragrance free face wash, Solution and then a heavy moisturizer and that was it for skincare. The only negative effect I had while using this product was, two seperate times during this time period, I got 2 'cycstic' pimples on each of my cheeks. I stilll am not 100% sure it is because of solution but I do know someone else who had the same thing happen to them.  So me being me didn't want to give up Solution because of that reason, I wanted to test it more. So since then I use solution 'when needed' aka a couple times a week on my main problem areas. For me that is my T-zone and my chin. Previously I had been swiping it over my entire face all the way to my hairline. I have never had any problems since then and have had 0 cystic pimples. So I still use solution all the time now. It's a big part of my routine and really helps me calm any breakouts I do have because of my caffeine addition and that hormonal time of the month.




Lip Gloss - I have never been a lip gloss but now I am becoming one??? Not super sticky, perfectly clear and shiny and adds a little something especially for someone like me that doesn't wear lipstick often but likes to play around.

Lash Slick - I meannnnnn I will be buying this again and again. I am super picky with my mascara and I love this one. I used to curl my lashes everyday and it always irritated them and so I have stopped once I started using Lash Slick. It doesn't curl my lashes but it really accentuates and lengthens them. I wear two layers on each eye. It also comes off easily with some Milky Jelly Cleanser. It does come off in flakes when washing (which gets stuck in my sink bc my water pressure sucks so it drains slowly) but it also stays on my face all day and doesn't transfer to my skin. So in my opinion it is a step between normal mascara and waterproof mascara, sweat will not make it come off but jumping in a pool and rubbing your eyes will.

Perfecting Skin Tint - My true love for this developed this summer. I had used it in the winter but found I just needed some more coverage when I was that pale. With some sun and some magically clearer skin (thanks to solution) this has become a product I wear everyday. I have minimized my makeup routine by just wearing this and some wowder, boy brow, and lash slick. I truly can't express how much I love this for summer. It makes me feel glowly and makes my skin look so natural but just evened out and I love it. It's truly making me love my skin more because it isn't covering it up.  So, again, because people often ask, it is NOT a full coverage foundation, it has a dewy finish but it can also be layered.

Lidstar - The color options are what make this product truly amazing. I own blank Herb, fawn, and lily. Lily is one I find myself grabbing all the time. You can wear a little or you can build it. Glossier successfully made this an insanely easy and fun product to use and you can throw in your purse easily.



Otherwise here's a reminder of some of my all time favorite Glossier products not mentioned above that I use almost everyday/have reordered at least twice:

Milky Jelly Face Wash, Mega Greens Mask, Cloud Paint Blush, Boy Brow, Haloscope, and Wowder :)



You can use my link below to shop my favorites and all other Glossier products and receive 20% off your first purchase