#SitDown #SoundOfTheWeek

The #SitDown w/ 8Degrees Melrose owners (An Interview With) MTV's Syrus & Kristin White

Friday, June 28, 2013MsAvaBella

8Degrees Designers and Co-owners Kristin White and MTV Real World's Syrus launched a new shopping destination for designer jewelry in Hollywood, CA. 8Degrees, located at 7451 Melrose Ave, offers fashionable, one-of-a-kind jewelry and collections. With over 50 designers that use a variety of materials including precious metals, leather, stones, vintage materials and gemstones in a wide array of styles and prices, you are sure to find your one-of-a-kind piece that's speaks to you!

8 Degrees Melrose 7451 Melrose, Hollywood, California

So picture this, its March 2013, and I've moved to Los Angeles, California. Its a beautiful day! The sun's beaming(perfect day to shop) and I'm out and about on the path of discovery. Before I even arrived to Cali I completely and immediately wanted to immerse myself in the culture, the eats, the arts, the music, and yep, you guessed it; the fashion of LA! By this time, I'd already seen the Hollywood stars on the Walk of Fame, been to the fashion district, (which takes patience, might I add), and I'd even been to Beverly Hills! I had seen a lot in a few weeks, but I had not yet been to Melrose. I wanted to really see what all the fuss was about. I've been told by the natives and tourists alike that I would totally go crazy when I saw all of the fashions that Melrose had to offer. I was skeptical, but I must say, if you know anything about AvaBella, you know I am a self proclaimed fashionista, but more importantly, you know I crave handmade pieces that will truly reflect the colorfulness that is me ;)! I digress.

Soooo, I'm walking from La Brea on Melrose and absolutely nothing draws me in or excites me, that is until I see thee dopest accessories and decorative art from the window. I immediately bee-line! Angels sang(in real life), and I found the place where I could not only purchase, but design my own accessories(if I wanted to take a class under the direction of an actual specialty designer)! I was in heaven!


I'm still smiling after my #SitDown with co-owners and designers, Kristin White and Syrus (of MTV Real World Boston - Season #6)! Now right off the bat, I want my readers to know, yes, Syrus is really that cool, and yep, there is life after reality TV, and no, we didn't really discuss Real World! What we did talk about is Kristin the designer(who has an absolutely beautiful spirit) and Syrus the designer and philanthropist!

It was extremely refreshing to meet people that are down to earth and provide so much balance and creative energy to one another! It was quite evident that their passion for art lends to the overall professionalism, presentation, and offerings at 8Degrees Melrose! Now I did initially think they were about to get totally "Hollywood" on me, because with the very first question, they both retrieved glasses from the counter, put them on, and sat back extra comfortable...lol!
So let's get into it:

Ava: So, tell me your name, sir?!

Syrus: I'm Syrus, no last name, just Syrus

Ava: Just Syrus, and ma'am what is your name?

Kristin: Kristin

Ava: (I say out loud) ...and they both just put on sunglasses, I am in the midst of celebrity star powerSyrus: You know you in Hollywood right?!

Ava: I am! I'm here in Hollywood, right here at 7451 Melrose at 8Degrees! Thank you for talking to me for the #AvaTheAnarchist #Blogazine! Now Kristin, what do you do here?

Kristin: I'm the owner

Ava: ...and you do all the work?

Kristin: No, its split duties. He's the "face" of 8Degrees, I'm the operations (and a designer).

Syrus: (glasses off) She's the beauty, but she's also all the brains, and I'm the marketing and the braun, basically and we both design and come from designing backgrounds. Kristin did clothing for years and actually designed what she has on now, its our best seller:

Gatsby Inspired 8Degrees Headband

 (Click the pic(s) to see the variety of Gatsby Inspired Headbands on the 8Degrees website)

Ava: That is gorgeous! What is it called?

Kristin: (glasses off) It's the 8Degrees Headband. It's Gatsby inspired, but I've been making them for over a year now, so it was well before the movie.

Syrus: We also have the Rock Star (pictured below)

Rock Star 8Degrees Headband

Ava: Oh, now that's dope! Now tell me more about the design class offerings. I'm interested in taking them because I see that your designs are a lot more intricate and detailed than the glass bead work (the easy ones) that I do myself??

Syrus: Well, the classes came about because so many people wanted to do this. So we offer it and we've had a great response. We've actually had some of the 8Degrees designers come and teach the class. (Click here to see the class scheduling).

Ava: How many designers do you have at this moment including yourselves and who have we seen wearing 8Degrees and may not have known?

Syrus: Right now we have 54 designers and over 4000 pieces and Eva Longoria, Russel Brand, Carrie Underwood, and Johnny Depp are a few people... 

Ava: Awesome, that's quite a clientele and variety! I can't wait for my class! Now I just learned Syrus, you're really an all inclusive brand and you're also involved with designing. Kristin, too, she models and designs accessories and clothing, Can you tell me about your other irons in fire and your ventures outside of 8 Degrees?

Syrus: I mean we're both pretty much (the essence of) a one stop shop!

Ava: What can you tell me about the BKC alumni group and the work that you've done with Burger King?

Syrus: I played basketball from high school all the way to pro for a while, and they were looking for a host for the "Next Best Move" tour. The tour consisted of 42 cities, we actually had Barak Obama's bus and his driver as well, beautiful bus! You pressed a button and the door like slid to the side, it didn't open, it was a dope bus! It was me, along with a camera crew, photographers, etc. We documented 5 cultural pieces per city and 5 of the crews per city. The first stop was here in LA, right on King Boulevard, in Compton! It was a reflection of 41 of the roughest cities or "hoods" in America. We even went from there to Dallas during All Star Weekend and that was the tour. Burger King wanted to show case "game changing" community service initiatives in each of the pieces to offer a fresh perspective on community service in the urban core. We were able to really recognized the importance of the individual acts of service and giving back , which encouraged them to continue. It was really awesome for me to be apart of that! Giving back is what its all about.

Syrus talks with Third Coast Clothiers L. Morgan on the "Next Best Move" tour

Ava: So I know you all just had your one year anniversary here at 8Degrees.  Tell me a bout the meaning of the name and what was that incredible party like?!

Kristin: We had 2 photographers, 3 cameras, red carpets, free drinks, it was great!

Syrus: Over 100 people showed up, we had Sparkles Angels giving out shots, business partners and friends, and we also had Mr. Pink! Energy drink come through as well as Vitamin water; great times! The title 8Degrees means two circles of life, meeting(the number 8). Kristin and I chose the number 8 in the title 8Degrees to represent Never Ending.

Kristin: It means Never Ending creativity, Never Ending fashion, Never Ending love... two circles together - never breaking. If you turn the 8 on its side it becomes the infinity sign. Degrees in the title 8Degrees means fashion can allow you to express the way you feel, to any degree you want.  

Syrus: 8Degrees is what allows your jewelry and accessories to pull it all together - an infinite possibility of choices to any degree you want ...  8DEGREES.  It's wearing great pieces that make men and women look and feel beautiful, powerful and expressive.

...and that's why this is my new favorite boutique!

I also learned during the interview that Kristin is not only amazingly beautiful, but she's a braniac! This chica got thru Collegiate statistics with just over a 99% without opening the book, heck she said she didn't even buy the book! Syrus told me, when it comes to business she just has this incredible photographic memory and is just "a numbers person" and she consults for other businesses, too! Kristin's a #LadyGun for real! #SwagOnThat

Since Syrus appeared on the scene he's been on the business side of entertainment. He's done A&R work with Real Swag and a few other indie acts, booked other past Real World cast members for a few gigs, and he's even been a casting director for the MTV & BET networks (to name a few). He wouldn't be the Syrus that we came to know if he wasn't also touring, running a club promotions & event planning business, and even a few cameo's in videos, and as for philanthropy, he continues to tour colleges and lecture on diversity and race relations.

Again, I have to say that this is my new favorite spot! Until I post some of my newest finds from 8Degrees Melrose, be sure to check out there website at 8DegreesMelrose.com,  schedule a class, and get some Never Ending fashion for yourself!

As a treat to #AvaTheAnarchist #Blogazine readers 8Degrees is offering 10% off total order or 50% off (select items) when you 1)mention the blog 2)add them on Yelp! & 3) "like" them on Facebook! 

Follow 8Degrees Melrose on...
FaceBook: 8DegreesMelrose
Syrus on Instagram/Twitter: @SyrusMTV
8Degrees Melrose Twitter: 8DegreesMelrose

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