A Nail Date with Tryna B Leslie

Working with what you have.

This summer at the release of Amōre's summer collection pop-up shop at Versus ATL, I mingled with the minds that keep the shop functioning at its best. The next week, when classes started, lo and behold, one of the managers for Versus and I were placed in a semester long group project. We were talking about Atlanta's streetwear scene and he kept mentioning @trynabestudios. I reached out to the designer, and when we met it felt like I was visiting with an old friend.

Leslie Gomez is an independent, Mexican designer all about supporting and uplifting women. She moved to Atlanta earlier this year and hit the ground running. You may have bumped into her while she was working at Social Status, but that era of her life has officially ended. Now she is a full-time designer for her women's brand: TrynaB.

She's been working ever since she was legally allowed to, and even had to work to earn her first sewing machine at age 14. Her brand started on resale platforms like Depop, but has since evolved into creating and deconstructing original pieces. The most recognizable piece being the Nike socks with frill at the top.

Her latest project is aptly named "Repurposing with a Purpose", focusing on sustainability within fashion. 

The day of her nail date, we met at her creative studio apartment, and it was overflowing with motivational energy.

Her boyfriend, Spiff, was also a part of the experience and all I can say is that their relationship proves that creatives should be with creatives. They're really big on the concept of fate and the story of how they met will put you on your back. Just know that Spiff and Leslie are winning at love right now.

What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told ? 
That my ass is fake - Kim Kardashian 

Religious or spiritual? 
I feel like I can't choose one...I'm like in the middle because with religion...My parents and family members going from being your typical Catholics...like all Hispanics...to transitioning to being Christian. It's just like you grow up thinking and believing certain things and then all of a sudden when your parents are like 40 and they change up everything. It makes you question what you really know. I feel like you do have to believe in something higher than yourself. There can't be one without the other. 

What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for someone?
Since we're artistic people, I ordered products for Spiff that he didn't know about. Like I ordered his artwork on a pillow and on an actual planner/sketchbook and had it shipped out to him in Jersey. Everyone wants to see their artwork on something physical. So I did that and he went crazy for it. I mean that's romantic in my eyes, I value things like that more than fancy dinners.

Once again, I did not come prepared with a wine opener. The creatives pictured above are demonstrating the heating method of opening a wine bottle (which ultimately led to us stabbing it open with a fork).

Who is your role model?
For nails it's Vashtie for sure. 
But I wouldn't actually said I have a role model. I've never really looked up to any one that I've studied them. I mean you have your typical women that are doing similar things that were doing that I always watch out for. Like Vashtie obviously...she's actually one of the few I want to get my clothes out to eventually...Aleali...I feel like there's only so many that are doing what we do. 

I realized how these people could end up next to you one day so I don't wanna idolize anyone.

Just like freakin Dani Leigh....I LOVE her music. I actually did an interview where they asked me what's my fav album and it was hers...it got me through it. Now, its crazy because I'm speaking with her and I'm sending her clothes. 

If you were a crayon what color would you be and why?
Yellow...I don't wear color, but when I do, it's always yellow and it just makes me feel better. You wear what you feel a lot of times and yellow is bright and happy. Like a Chick-fil-a honey mustard yellow. 

What were you like in high school?
I was very quiet. The type of quiet girl that everyone knew. I was always really shy, and I didn't like to be involved...but I don't know why everyone just involved me in everything! Like all the teachers and counselors I guess they knew that if they put me out there I would work. I would get awards for the randomest thing.
When I was a freshmen, I created the soccer team. I got the sign-up, the coach, made the team and it's still around now. 

Spiff collaborated in doing Leslie's nails by painting the check on her middle finger (pictured at the beginning of the article).

Do you have any pets?
I have one kitty and his name is Artist. He lives under the couch and he loves to play with my thread and he hides it. I have a dog living with my mom...a Pomeranian...I feel like its a way of keeping a piece of me with her.

Where have you traveled?
Outside of the states I've only gone to Mexico, I JUST got my passport but I think with my family not really being able to leave its difficult to leave the country. I've done Miami a lot I really like it. I've done LA...I used to go to festivals a lot so I would go to Camp Flog Gnaw, you know rolling loud all that type of stuff. I've gone to New Orleans. 

Where do you get your inspiration?
A lot of times I just have an idea in my head and I. Just. Go. In. I rarely sit down and sketch it out...I know that's untraditional but I just gotta get it started.

How do you stay motivated?
What motivates me the MOST is looking back at what I've accomplished. Like if I could handle that back then I could handle what I've got right now. 

If you could recommend anyone to participate in a Nail Date with Kim Cao, who would it be?

Be sure to check out her pieces and follow her on instagram.

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