Tag Archives: Timi Komonibo

My Portfolio

Hello to those of you who are new to Naturalechronicles.com!

Allow me to introduce myself professionally:


Here is my resume:


Many of you are well-acquainted with my fashion-oriented side, but haven’t seen me operate in a professional arena. I will create a portfolio tab on the navigation menu so you all can occasionally check in and see what I’m up to.

Thanks for reading,

Timi Komonibo
“Naturale Chronicles”

10 Steps to Hosting a Clothes Swap


1. Make an evite or Facebook event

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Tip: Invite your friends whose style you like and those who you think would enjoy the swap

Be sure that you explain what a clothes swap is in the info section of the evite. Many people are apprehensive about swaps because they have no clue what to expect.

Watch this quick video to learn more about clothes swaps:

2. Find a Venue

Depending on the kind of atmosphere you want to create, you need to pick your location wisely. I have been to a clothes swap in a small boutique with strangers (as an attendee) and I’ve hosted many in living rooms of homes with friends. Both were entirely different experiences. The boutique was interesting because I was getting to shop in strangers’ closets. It was nice to meet the other ladies and sample treats from local vendors. The swaps I had in homes felt comfortable and fun. I saw old friends and made new ones. I have concluded that there is no right or wrong location for a swap. You simply need to find a space that is big enough to store and display the clothing, a mirror for guests, and perhaps a private area (like a restroom) where they can try on clothing.

Another thing to consider is the size of the venue. In my experience, it’s best to over-invite. Cancellations are expected of any event. On average, I have about 15 guests at my swaps. This is a good number for such an event. 15 people will provide variety among the clothes, yet it is a small enough number for the event to still have an intimate feel. Make sure the venue can hold the number of invited guests and their belongings.

3. Collect donations

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Some guests, like my friend Bunmi, prefer to donate their items before the event.

There are a number of ways to get clothes to your swap. First, look in your own closet. Purge it of any items you no longer wear. Wash the items and put them aside for the swap. Then you can send a reminder to your guests to start putting aside some items about a week before the event. Guests often ask me what to bring. I throw the question back to them.

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Here’s an example of the poll I posted on the Facebook event.

Most guests opt to come to the event with their donations in hand.

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I asked my guests to bring a minimum of 5 items.

4. Sort through the items (guests can do this themselves)

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Tip: Keep an eye out for the condition of the items. I occasionally have a “shop at your own risk” box for items with rips or tears 

5. Mix and Mingle

You and your guests should set aside the first 15 minutes of the swap to sort through the clothing. My guests and I enjoyed some light snacks while we waited for the swapping period to pass. The snacking continued as the swap went on.

6. Setup and Organize the items into their designated areas

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Tip: Use racks and hangers, if possible.

If everyone sorts and organizes what they brought, the process is much faster.

7. Shop!

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Tip: As the host, you can help your guests shop.

Shopping is the easiest and the best part. There are a couple options when deciding how gets are going to shop:

Option #1: One-for-One trade- This means that the more you bring, the more you get to trade.

Option #2: First Dibs Goes to the Highest Giver– The person with the most donations gets to pick their items first

Option #3: Free-for-All– Everyone can shop to the hearts’ content, regardless of how much they brought.

All of my swaps have been free-for-alls. I have never had anyone complain or fight over clothes. The free-for-all has the potential of appearing a little chaotic, but as long as your guests put back the items they don’t want, this option is a lot of fun.

Don’t forget to shop for yourself too. It can be easy to forget that you are a shopper as well when you’re floating around doing host-duties. By all means, help recommend clothes for your guests

8.Choose a charity or resale store to donate the remaining clothes

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Tip: Donating to a thrift store you often shop at is a great way to give back.

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10. Fill out a donation receipt

If the donation is big enough, it just may help you out on your taxes.


Planning a clothes swap might take some work, but you and your friends will get more out of it than you put in. Give it a try!

Clothes Swap: A Philanthropic Shopper’s Dream




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This past weekend, I threw what must have been my 6th Clothes Swap. When I started planning for the swap, I reached out to Pennywise Resale Center, one of my favorite thrift stores in Houston. I have been shopping at Pennywise for years, so naturally it came to mind when I was thinking about what store to donate the remaining clothes to. Few people actually know about Pennywise’s philanthropic efforts. Pennywise is dedicated to “Assisting survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children.” I sat down with Liz Moreno, the chairman of Hispanic Business Division- Fort Bend County Womens Center. I was impressed by the great work the Fort Bend County Womens Center, in conjuction with Pennywise, is doing to help the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in the city of Houston. Keep an eye out for my upcoming feature on Pennywise.

I had a blast organizing and hosting the clothes swap. It’s one of those experiences you have to see to believe. My post today is mostly going to consist of pictures of the event. Enjoy!

The guests came bearing donations.

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We sorted their items in the designated areas:

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Jackets & Sweaters on the left rack; Dresses on the right rack
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Shoes and accessories on a table

Once they sorted the items, everything was a free-for-all! They could pick up anything they wanted     . It is always so civilized and 
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They helped each other shop:Clothes Swap 3264x2448-010


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Happy shoppers!

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It was a chance to hang out and make new friends.
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Guests always leave satisfied and happy, knowing that their shopping spree didn’t cost them a dime.
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Happy Swapping!

Special thanks to my sisters, Mom and Dad for helping with setup and tear down of the event. Shout out to Pennywise for letting us borrow the giant racks to put the clothes on!

I brought a lot of clothes to the swap and found some great pieces at the swap. I honestly prefer clothes swaps to thrifting. They are a great way to introduce new items into my closet without going broke. Now that I’m moving up North for graduate school, I’m changing up my style quite a bit. This swap helps me, but it helps others even more. At the end of the swap, we had more than 500 articles of clothing left. Because I donate all the proceeds to a charity, my love of clothes is doing a world of good to people I may never meet. That makes it all worth it.

Pop Shop Houston 2013

We parked the cars and walked a couple blocks to the PopShop Houston event on Spring Street. I felt like I had stepped into Austin. I’ve never seen so many hipsters in one place in Houston before. The Heights is turning into mini-Austin.

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Cute teeny chain necklaces by #abbiedrue popshophouston
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Hair on hide clutch by @Modmadegoods. Yaaaas.
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Cute elephant earrings by @yokovintage #popshophouston
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Dooney & Bourke #popshophouston #vintage


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Beautiful display by @shopbirdsonawire

We met Laura, the owner of Birds on a Wire, and I she was very sweet . Laura was a teacher, like Bunmi and I, and we were surprised  to see that Birds on a Wire was a non-profit. Head over to her blog to see the story behind her shop (it’s a good one!). Her jewelry display was creative and chic. I loved the necklaces hanging from the branches and the door-knocker necklace.

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Checking out the #UrbanIzzy fashion truck.
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@bunmi_ishola trying to find Waldo unsuccessfully at @thebptl (Billy Pilgrim Traveling Library)


Outside there were vintage business trailers all over the place.

Height of Vintage

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We stopped by PhotoMoto, a vintage truck with a photo booth set up inside with props included. We paid $5 and got a set of two photo strips.

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I stopped in the middle of the street for some jumping pictures. I’m a little rusty.

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Special thanks to Bunmi for the great pictures!

Good Eats: EMPIRE in Syracuse, NY



My friend, Gabby, from Undergrad at UT was kind enough to let me stay with her while I check out Syracuse. We went to a brewery restaurant called EMPIRE.

Looking at the menu, I saw a few items that made me wrinkle my nose and arch a brow. I settled with the unique San Francisco burger. I’ve been meaning to try a black bean burger and I really liked this one. I had to trade out the poached eggs because I don’t do that  preferred scrambled eggs. It actually was pretty good! I was full after one half of the burger. Goodeats Empire

Gabby chose the catfish burrito, which sounded like a terrible idea but ended up tasting fine, according to her.

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Overall, I’d give EMPIRE my stamp of approval because of the interesting meal options. They were vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. There was a live band and a nice light vibe.

How to Not Drink Like A Lady (Part II)

So here’s the part some of you been waiting for. You’re thinking “I’ve decided not to drink, but how do I do that?”Over the years, I mastered the art of declining drinks offered to me. I had to figure these things out by myself, but I figured I’d save you some time and energy by giving you a few tips on how to not drink like a lady.


Tip #1: When in Rome, at least look like you’re doing as the Romans do.

I know that in professional settings, I can’t very well screw up my face and say “Eew, I don’t want that yucky drink” like I used to when I was 2. I must at least look the part. I once walked into a networking event and everyone in the room was conversing with a glass of the house wine in their hands. As I shrugged off my coat, the server placed a glass in my hands. I took a cautious sip of the drink and instantly regretted it. Just as I was swallowing the rising bile in my throat, an individual with a gold platted name tag stepped forward to shake my hand. I was stuck with the offending glass of wine for  the rest of the night. The appearance of that glass of wine was powerful. I at least looked like I belonged in a room of young, up and coming professionals

Tip #2: Never be caught empty handed 

Always have something in one of your hands. A plate of food, a glass or cup work fine. If you have your drink in your hands, it is unlikely that someone will ask you if you’d like a drink because you already have one. If you have a plate in your hand, you can respond “I’m still working on this plate.”  Only one hand should be occupied. You need the other hand to reach out and give an assertive handshake (web-to-web, firm yet not overpowering, two pumps) and to gesture as you speak (if necessary).

Tip #3: Do not draw attention to the fact that you’re not drinking

Although I find it absurd that one would consider someone’s personal decision not to drink as an insult, I have had people tell me it has happened to them. If someone has gone out of their way to provide you a drink that you do not want, your best bet is to distract them from the fact that you are not drinking. Hold the drink while talking comfortably and listen attentively when others talk. When you’re engaged in a good conversation, food and drinks often go untouched. Be careful with the option of saying “No thank you, I don’t drink.” It can send off signals to people and make them form conclusions about why you’re not drinking. You can’t hold your liquor. You’re a recovering alcoholic. You’re pregnant. You’re…in big trouble if you open that up without explaining. You can say “I’m driving tonight so I’m going to have to pass on the drink.” People rarely argue with you when because they’re applauding your safety precaution.

Tip #3: Know Your Drink Options

There are “grown drink” substitutes everywhere. You can mix anything, you just have to march up to the bar with some authority and ask for it. I once ordered a

“cran & Sprite with cherries on the rocks with a tiny pirate sword.”

The bartender took down my order with an derisive smirk but she still brought me the drink.

Here are a few Virgin (non-alcoholic) drink options at the bar:

– Citrus Soda (7UP or Sprite) with grenadine, mint leaves, or pomegranate added for color

– Cranberry juice and lime juice (looks like a Cosmo)

– Apple juice or Sparking Grape juice (both look like wine or champagne)

If you’re feeling fancy, you can try throwing out these signature-named drinks

Shirley Temple (grenadine and Sprite)

Bloody Mary, hold the vodka

Roy Rogers (cola and grenadine)

Arnold Palmer (lemonade and iced tea. Looks like a Long Island ice tea)

I hope this article helps any of you who are struggling in this area. Being an adult doesn’t require you to compromise your values. Anything that even asks you to do that probably isn’t worth your time.

Spotted: “3Fifteen”- A Thrift Shop in Syracuse

This may sound crazy, but as I have been preparing to move away from Houston I had already started mourning my thrifting lifestyle. I would miss the unique prints and trendy finds that set me back less than a Happy Meal. From what I had seen from my trip to New York in the summer, clothes in the Big Apple did not run cheap. Fortunately for me and my closet, Syracuse is not quite the Big Apple…more like the Little Orange (get it, because Syracuse’s colors are orange…nevermind). But really, the small town is more budget-friendly and affordable.

So imagine my delight when my new friend Kelly showed me this cute little thrift store called 3FIFTEEN on campus. Click the link for their Non-profit Facebook page.

The store had a boho vibe to it and there was a cute cafe on the inside. Kelly tells me the cookies are to die for. When I saw the face-sized cookie she bought, I made a mental note to go back and try one myself.

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I’ve always had a thing for wooden pallet furniture!

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The skirt and the polka dot blouse caught my eye. I was only browsing though, so I left the items in the store for the next lucky shopper.

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I absolutely love this sign! Philanthropic fashion is one of my passions.


Here’s Kelly checking out the selections.ethnicpurses 3fifteenrack3

One day I will cut back on thrifting. Looks like that day won’t be coming for another 2 years! Cheers to Thrifting!