#wcw: Cy Gropse Chen of Any 2nd Now

#wcw You’ve seen the #wcw and thought what the heck does that mean? For those not social media savvy peeps it stands for Women Crush Wednesday. It it could be your mom, best friend, girlfriend,co worker, celebrity or overall woman you think rules the world and is in a simple definition at #badass. But what does this women, got that others don’t or aspire to be? She’s fierce, she has that fire to inspire kindness, create beauty, and make the world a better place. One Wednesday a month, I’m dedicating a #wcw post featuring  one of those fabulous ladies out there. If you have a woman who has her own business is a mommyentruepenure, craft or talent and think they would be great addition to this series, shoot me an email.

This month’s #wcw I met recently at ThePulseSD’s Cindy Matalucci women’s networking group  Elite Networking. We met at the group’s August meet up at Wysh Boutique in the Carlsbad Village. Cy was the night’s speaker and she talked about her blog, Any 2nd Now, her family and even styled some fall outfits!  As a full time manager, wife and mother, I admire Cy’s ability to manage it all and find the time to be creative with her lifestyle blog. Read on for my interview with Cy and her passion for fashion.


Natalie Neece: What is your background?

CY:  First and foremost, I am mother to a wonderful 7 year old boy and wife to a wonderful man.  My degree is Bachelor of Arts Visual Arts, Film & Media emphasis from UCSD.  I originally was going to pursue a career in the film/television, which I did for a short period of time.  But I found that I also had a strong affinity for customer service, so I maintained an actual career in working for telephone call centers, where I would manage the Customer Service departments for different health care related companies.  I currently work as a Senior Manager for Customer Service at a laboratory as my day job, and I blog as a creative outlet.

NN:  What is the purpose of  “Any 2nd Now” ?

CY: The very first Any Second Now blog was created back in 2004, after the passing of my father.   I felt that my friends may have needed a barometer of how I was feeling during the time following my father’s death, one of the most traumatic events in my life to date.  I emailed many of my closest friends to let them know I began a blog.

A friend of mine turned me onto Cupcakes and Cashmere, by Emily Schuman.  What a wonderful blog and just the right spark to get me to start writing again.  I even sent her a note to thank her for the inspiration and to congratulate her on a wonderful blog.  She wrote back immediately with a the same earnestness present in her writing:  “I think it’s great that you’ve resumed blogging as I find it’s a selfless thing we can do for ourselves that has a tremendous outcome.”

Any Second Now Version 2 is much simpler…just about the events and happenings in my life with my friends and family.  I am a classically trained pianist, budding writer and photographer with a visual arts (film and media emphasis) degree from UCSD.  Additionally, I have 10 years of post-graduate experience in the entertainment industry in television and cinema (IMDB listing).   I’m always looking at utilizing my creative background in every aspect of my life, so this blog really helps showcase my love for music, fashion and the arts.

I also want to show that it’s ok for mom’s to have a full personal life in addition to their family life.  That it’s completely ok to still be fashionable and current while caring for your family.  Finally, I want to show that creativity and artistry, along with leisure and fun can all fit if you just take time to do it.  It’s never a selfish thing to still want to look and feel great because as a mother and wife, you should!

NN:  Where do you find inspiration?  

CY: For my blog, I find inspiration from my everyday life.  I’m a big music fan (especially 80’s music) as well as self-proclaimed fashionista, so I really try to incorporate the two when possible.  I also draw inspiration from my husband in son and our everyday lives.  We really try to do a lot of creative things together in the way we spend time together, so we try to think of interesting places to travel and activities to do together.  And I’m inspired by my parents.  Before my father passed, he did a lot of things with us as a family, including going to concerts, traveling, going to sporting events and just simply being a family together.  I feel family comes first and if you realize that and secure that first, then everything falls in place as it should for you to do things for yourself.
NN: What is your favorite topic to write about?

CY: Really, it’s all of the things that are the main topics on my blog:  Fashion, music, family, life.  I think fashion and music is the easiest because it’s my own personal taste and strictly about me.  I’m a bit more choosy about what I write about when it comes to my family.

NN:  What is your fashion inspiration?

CY:  Mixing my love for the British 80’s alternative/punk with “classics”, mainly what most consider classic French styling & British mod or nostalgic 50’s styling.  I hope the pictures I provided showcase how I love to play with all of those notions in my style.

NN:  What is your must have item?

CY: I have 3: A great haircut/hairstyle, good bag and even better shoes!

NN: What’s your best fashion advice?

CY:  Be comfortable in whatever you are wearing so that you can easily be confident in it.  I can be “comfortable” in pajamas, but that doesn’t mean I would be confident in that outfit when I’m out and about.  I mean, know who you are in that outward “skin” of your outfit and be comfortable enough to be confident and carry it off.  When I’m wearing something particularly eye catching or when I’ve just changed my hair color from purple to magenta/dark pink, some people often say “I could never pull that off, but you do it so well!”  I “pull it off” because I’m comfortable in knowing I can walk confidently in what I’m wearing.

I also mentioned when I was speaking at Wysh Boutique that I use my outfit as a palette: when I know I want to showcase my shoes, I make sure my outfit doesn’t overpower where the eye is drawn.  If I’m wearing an awesome printed skirt or pants, then everything else is more subdued.  In the pictures I’ve attached where I’m wearing a printed skirt, the rest of my outfit is plain.  The eye is drawn to whatever I’m trying to feature.

Fashion is fun, and “rules” seem limiting.  Iris Apfel is a style icon because she no matter what anyone says about “advice”, you still have to march to your own drummer and own it.  Here’s a great quote from her: “There’s no road-map to style.  It’s about self-expression, and above all, attitude.”

xoxo, natoutandabout




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