Past to Present: The Style Road to Now

by Lyv Martin

December 2014


I fell in love with fashion in 7th grade staring at the pages of my first Harper's Bazaar.  I knew I wanted to develop my own style; however I didn't have a clue where to begin.  This began the journey of "hits and misses" because we all have them.  Half the time my outfits dance on the line of too much or tacky and I'm ok with that, because that's me.  I don't mind walking that line.

My first job was at Charlotte's Bridal, a high end bridal boutique.  I started when I was 15 and worked there through high school and college to the age of 23.  It was in this little shop where so many of my lessons were learned.  For 8 years I helped brides, mothers and their closest family and friends find the proper fitting gowns at the right price for their needs.  I learned to have an eye for dressing every age, size and shape.  Not only that I learned to be a buyer for clients I didn't even know yet at the Apparel Mart Atlanta.  Some of my most cherished memories were created walking the halls of the Atlanta Mart as a buyer, a pageant contest (OMG! Yes, I was a pageant girl for a very short period of time), and a bride.

I will tell you now the most important thing I learned over those 8 years is it did not matter if you spent $3,000 on a gown or $300 on a sale gown it all came down to the proper fit.  It's about finding the right lines for your body type and feeling beautiful in your own skin. 

After I graduated college in 2008 I moved to Charleston and became an Area Sales Manager with Dillard's.  I quickly learned a life lesson when three month's into my job I was called into the office and told my position had been eliminated nationwide.  Wait, what?!  I would love to tell you that I took this unpleasant news in stride that day.  But that would be a complete lie.  I fell to pieces in the General Manager's office and cried my eyes out.  Thankfully, they still had a position for me within the company as a Clinique manager.  I took a major pay cut and blow to my self-esteem, however I soon learned you get a TON of free makeup and skin care when you work for a cosmetic line and that was pretty awesome.  I also learned black eye liner isn't for everyone.

During my time with Clinique I crossed paths with a District Manager for BCBG.  He was fabulous.  He scared me to death and I loved him.  I became a BCBG girl. 

I lived and breathed BCBG for 3 years.  During this time my personal style really evolved.  I started taking risk and mixing great expensive pieces from BCBG (that I got a hefty discount on) with equally awesome pieces from Target.  I also need you to know that Target is my happy place.  I built a clientele that inspired me to be a better woman.  I had two favorite clients.  There was an elderly woman who refused to let age define her style, she was effortlessly classy and I wanted to go to her house and sleep in her closet.  She would stop in on Saturday afternoons to see me and see what new blazers we had in, jackets were her statement pieces.  My other favorite was Melissa Barton.  She and I clicked instantly when she stopped in one afternoon.  This is an example of a typical phone conversation between us: 

Melissa:  Do you have the new striped dress in? 

Me:  Yes. 

Melissa:  Have you bought it yet?

Me: Yes.

Melissa: You bitch.  I'm coming in this weekend to try it on.

Me:  I'll pull it for you now.

My true respect and appreciation for Melissa grew when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She maintained a successful business, stayed spunky and chic and beat cancer.  She is a true badass.  Despite my run at BCBG ended we still stay in touch and she continues to do great things.

In the middle of my love affair with fashion at BCBG I met a man, a man who embraced my eccentric style and was not threatened by it.  He picked up the torch where my dad left off when he taught me being an original was more special than being a copy.  In April of this year that man became my husband.  He is the reason I am even typing these words right now.  He has been my biggest supporter and encourager in starting this project.  I am so thankful for what a strong man he is, because it allows me to be better and stronger too.

I don't know everything there is to know about fashion and I certainly am not pretending I do.  My goal through this blog is to shed light into developing or evolving your own style and adding to the greatness that you already are.  We all have a right to feel confident and glamorous in our own skin so let's feel that way together.


This post is dedicated to my husband Chris.  You saw an empty spot in heart for my passion and encouraged me to find it again.  You are a great man.


Artie Walker -

Artie Walker -

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