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Local Creative: Jessica Chrastil, the founder of Pocoapoco

 

Pocoapoco taken quite literally means “little by little”. When navigating our way through life we often forget to approach each day slowly or one moment at a time.

Jessica Chrastil is the founder of Pocoapoco, a multidisciplinary residency in Oaxaca, Mexico. The residency was founded based on this philosophy that encourages people who visit to consider the experience of living as a creative act in itself. Jessica insists that you don’t have to be an artist to live a creative life. As a lifelong learner simply engaging with our surroundings creates unique experiences of our own.

Pocoapoco is where these ideas can be practiced at a pace slow enough to see results. It is a destination where active observation and accumulating knowledge are recognized as keys to the creative process. Pocoapoco hosts residents from varying fields around the world and allows them to merge their research, conversations and ideas while exploring process and purpose.  Jessica is the most gracious host swiftly facilitating each project, connecting her residents with fruitful resources and sharing her expansive knowledge about the community she has created.

As inspiring as the community she organizes we were lucky enough to spend some time with Jessica and learn about her personal journey to Oaxaca and the idea of life as art.

 
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Where you are from is just as important as where you are going, is there a specific person or memory that has shaped where you are today?

My mother and my grandmother, her mother, two of the smartest women I know.  Both have a fantastic ability to offer people such deep connection and support  — and I believe this stems not solely from compassion, but also from a pure fascination with how and why we, as people, exist and interact.  They both have an incredible lust for knowledge and information — a combination of spiritual and intuitive exploration within a logical and intellectual-based grounding.  This combination of an innovative and creative approach to learning and research, along with a more linear investigation of the psychological, spiritual and metaphysical has been incredibly influential.

 

What does Pocoapoco mean? How did you choose Oaxaca as the home for your residency?
 

"poco a poco" means “little by little” or slowly, gradually -- the way in which I find most of the really good and important things unfold.  Slowly, over time, whether that is a piece of work, a sector of knowledge, or a deeper understanding of what we want, how we are.  The solid things usually take an incredible amount of patience and often much less action than we are accustomed to or comfortable with.  

Oaxaca, to me, exemplifies this slowness, an understanding and respect for the unfolding of time and self. Maybe this is what makes it such a beautiful, inspiring and culturally rich city.  A very proud place, and one that is much more about the history and community than the individual.  I think this is what makes it such an important place to step back, reground and reasses. To explore, let go of ego and focus more on connections, observation, purpose.  How to do this with ourselves, with others, with places, with work.

 
 

Currently what captivates your attention?

So many people.  Probably too many ideas.  But at this exact moment, the ocean. The sluggish pace of coastal life.

But generally what's been on the mind is how to stay in touch with the overall purpose of this project and the connective tissues of it rather than getting swept away by pieces, details, logistics that are important but also distracting.  Exactly what the residency project aims to encourage to residents. I need to maintain that.  

So, balance.  Balance always captivates my attention.  I'll never get bored with trying to keep balance.  

 

Most valuable lessons so far.

Learn Spanish as a child, not as an adult. Don't expect too much, definitely don't expect too little.  

 
 

You often describe experience as art itself. Through your residency and own experiences what led you to this idea and what do you think others could benefit from embracing this way of life.
 

Many things, probably everything, led up to this.  I could write a million essays on these thoughts.

Meeting my close friend Jessica Niello at 18 was one of the first times I felt so actively conscious and curious about this concept and how it was experienced and manifested. She has a fascinating way of viewing and moving through the world, seeing every person, object, event as a facet of her creative practice, which is probably why she is such an inspiring artist and person to be around.  When we first met I couldn't figure out if her life was actually twice as rich and full and exciting than everyone else's or if that was just the way she saw it.

It’s probably a balance of both for all of us.  I think, or I hope, the more we enjoy and engage, the more we tend to seek out joy and engagement.  The more we approach life in a interested, creative, or "beautiful" way, the more likely we are to draw interesting and beautiful things into our lives.  

 

What are you currently reading?
 

How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher, Sarah got this for all residents during the Saipua workshop in December, I’m just getting back to it.  Also my friend Molly Prentiss’s new manuscript, which is brilliant.  

 
 

When you are home alone what's your favorite thing to cook for yourself?
 

My friends always say that I don’t cook, I assemble.  I usually have a good supply of avocados, fruits, vegetables, tortillas, salsas from the market.  Jars of things from Suculenta, Bread from my two favorite bakeries here. Coffee, wine.  Maybe an egg on top of everything.  No, that’s a lie, I don't even make an egg.  Now that i think of it, not only do I not cook, I rarely eat cooked food at all, anywhere.

I  suppose I'm very boring when it comes to these things, I like routine, I could eat the same things for weeks and sometimes years if the opportunity presented itself.  I'm lucky to have many friends that are amazing cooks that keep me from drowning in my own habits.

 

For someone visiting Oaxaca for the first time, what are some of your favorite neighborhood spots?
 

Mostly friends' homes and gardens.  But that isn't helpful is it?  Also Pan con Madre, my friend Jorge's bakery.  Cabuche, a restaurant near the textile museum, Central de Abastos, Museo de las Cuturas de Oaxaca (the museum next to Santo Domingo)  Boulenc, Suculenta.  Orquideario La Encantada.  El Diablo y La Sandia. La Chicharra Cerámica.  Lanii.  Colectivo 1050.  Mama Ropa.  IAGO.  

 
 

Next workshop or project for Pocoapoco.
 

Las Mujeres Fuertes — I am so incredibly excited about this project -- its a 5 day residency / conversation with women entrepreneurs, community leaders, and artists of Oaxaca.  The project is in partnership with photographer Andrea Gentl, she's going to be creating a portrait series of the women involved to show in both Oaxaca and New York.  The residency (April 25-30) is open to 10 women from outside of Oaxaca of to come down and be part of lectures, discussions, and visits with Oaxacan partners (bio-engineers, weaving collectives, mezcaleras, museum directors, chefs, industrial designers, dancers etc) along with fellow participants.   Also some really beautiful meals and other collaborations happening this week -- still a few places open too :)

 

Visit Pocoapoco’s website / IG


 

Local Creative: Sissy Sainte Marie

 

To define style can feel subjective in a sea of options. One’s personal style can be crafted through experience, notes, and trial and error. Sometimes it might be an intuitive feeling that helps you find yourself in what you wear. Often we develop style from those we admire from afar.

Sissy Sainte Marie is an Los Angeles based stylist who has captivated our attention with her precision to detail, elegant composition and subtle quirk that keeps us on our toes. She diligently studies collection after collection to somehow craft a look that can always read signature Sissy. Her direction and eye for color, movement and shape is constantly a source of inspiration.

There is a simplicity to the way she dresses but it should not be understated for simple. Each garment lives implicitly in its considered place. Touches of sophistication are not without a playful mark as Sissy proves she is serious as a stylist but light and approachable as well

Viewing Sissy’s new work is always a high point of our week. We wanted to share with you a peek into the ritual and routine that drives her creatively. The new year is approaching and you do not want to miss Sissy’s suggestions for rejuvenation.

 
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What captivates your attention?

Good design, intelligent humor, delicious food
 

Who are some of your favorite media creators, photographers and artists?

Karim Sadli, Zoe Ghertner, Lotta Volkova,  Penny Martin’s The Gentlewoman, Simon Porte, Phoebe Philo, The Row, Christophe Lemaire and Sara Linh-Tran , Louise Bourgioise
 

Do you have a personal ritual to share?

My favorite rituals are waking up to coffee in bed with my husband, HIIT workouts first thing in the morning, listening to This American Life while cooking a meal, listening to Audible on headphones while getting a gel mani/pedi, and doing the archived New York Times crossword puzzle app while half watching TV. Seems like most of my rituals involve multitasking.
 

In what ways have you become the woman you’ve always wanted to be, in what ways are you still improving?

I care less about trying to please everyone else these days. I’m more OK with myself as I am now than I've ever been before. I’m more tidy and disciplined than I’ve ever been, but not 100%. I still need to work on my impulse control and I think I rely on my husband too much. I’m underdeveloped in maintaining adult life stuff like managing finances, negotiating with people, saving money, getting oil changes and what not. I could not imagine riding the NYC subway system on my own. The maps look like spaghetti to me.

 

What do you make for dinner with friends?

Paella and Pimm’s cups.
 

Periods of feeling uninspired can be difficult. What do you do to feel rejuvenated during periods of creative stagnancy?  

Let myself off the hook, try to relax, cook, exercise, go for drives, do nothing and be okay with it, wait patiently knowing the work and the inspiration will eventually return.
 

Describe a turning point in your career.

When I decided to start focusing on doing more commercial work. I realized I would never get the editorial, campaign or runway opportunities stylists in NYC, Paris and London get and I would never have the career of my idols. I could only make the most of what was available to me within my reach. I’m selective about which projects I take on, but not unrealistic about my limits.
 

What are you passionate about outside of styling?

Living my life on my own terms. Forging my own path. My marriage. My health. My home. Good meals. Sleep.

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A few thoughts on travel.

Honestly I love my home life so much, I don't hunger for travel . My husband loves to experience new places and always wants to take me on trips.  I feel terrible about it.   What's wrong with me? I think I'm missing the wanderlust chip.
 

The best place you’ve been this year.

Las Brisas resort in Acapulco for my 10-year wedding anniversary.
 

A dream destination on your “to visit” list.

I want to go back to Acapulco and this time I want a tour of Lautner’s Arango house. I also want to take a roadtrip or train across America. See all of the National Parks.  
 

The next trip you have planned:

Nothing planned at the moment , but there are talks of a trip back to Copenhagen and Berlin.  And Mexico City.


Visit Sissy’s website / IG  

Photography by Eddie Chacon

 
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Local Creative: Nahvae Frost

 

A true Renaissance women with an appétite for culture, community and simple, nourishing fare is always a friend you need. Nahvae Frost is the owner of Eleven36 café and catering and L’Atelier Vert rentals and props, and her knowledge and zest for life exactly fits the description. Her experience in the kitchen is extensive and melds effortlessly in her interests of design, objects, bringing together the best kind of people and travel.

Through her gentle air she strives to introduce people to incorporating seasonal vegetable-forward meals into their daily routine. Nahvae’s mindful and nurturing nature encourages an accessible approach to maintaining a well-rounded diet. The café in Eleven 36 offers some delectable dishes and pastries to-go, but Nahvae also offers cooking classes and private catering to make it even easier to have her local sourced meals at home. If you are looking for some thoughtful plating to accompany your new approach to healthy eating look no further than L’atelier Vert for your next gathering or to add to your own personal collection.

Nahvae’s grounded and positive outlook for a more bountiful life, resonates deep with us. She was gracious enough to share a bit of her process and her favorite things to cook for herself. You’re going to want to take notes!

 
 

We know you’re going to be traveling to Oaxaca, Mexico this winter with p o c o a p o c o, can you tell us a little bit about what you have planned?
 

There’ll be a lot of exploration, both of the unique Oaxacan culture and landscape – we have trips planned to botanical gardens, an afternoon at a temazcal and another at the ruins - but more importantly it’s extraordinary opportunity to reflect and res-set. The purpose is to unearth some inspiration, and leave seeing things a little differently. I think when we do what we love for a living we often get caught in a cycle that can subvert inspiration and creative growth - things can become unintentionally stagnant; so what I’m hoping to do while I’m there, and what I’m hoping the residents do as well, is to allow myself to be curious, acknowledge my habits and knee-jerk reactions, release any expectations I have of myself or my process and create some space for something new to evolve.

 
 

When you are home alone what's your favorite thing to cook for yourself?
 

Generally I keep it fairly simple!

It really varies for me according to season…and I tend to eat the same thing over and over again. This Summer, it was avocado, tomato stuffed bread, saucisson sec, mustard, and olive oil – so, less cooking, more assembling!

In the Spring it was a lot of popcorn doused with butter and brewer’s yeast and an unreasonable amount of vegetable or fish curry with coconut milk.

This Fall – I’ve been obsessed with fish sauce. Twice this week I made short-grain brown rice with ginger, garlic and shallot, shitake mushroom and kale (which I thought I’d be over by now, but it seems to have a withstood the test of time) topped with a fried egg and a dash of fish sauce. Last night I had sautéed cabbage with roasted carrots, garlic and leeks, over toasted jasmine rice with mint, chive, a ton of cilantro and chiles -  all doused with fish sauce and I’ll likely eat that again tonight! There’s just something about the funk for me at the moment!

Whatever it is, it usually takes less than a half hour to put together and I almost always eat more of it than I should!

 
 

What objects have been most significant to you lately?
 

I just moved out the apartment I’ve lived in for the last ten years – and am generally incredibly sentimental about ‘things’. I’m a bit of a collector and have been trying hard to streamline; to release a few of the things that historically held some significance to create a bit of space both physically and psychically/emotionally.

That said, change has an extraordinary way of drawing nostalgia and sentimentality right to the surface!

Photographs are highest on the list, this one lonely coffee mug I use every morning that feels especially perfect in my hand, postcards and notes from old friends, sweaters that I’ve had since high school… things that have history are most significant to me now and always.
 

New York can become a bit of an energy drain at times, do you have a quiet place where you can re-energize?
 

I bike a lot when it’s warm enough and that feels quiet, and solitary. And the ocean. There’s almost nothing a dip in the ocean can’t fix for me

 
 

What do you make for dinner with friends?
 

It’s been so long since I’ve done that! I usually forage through the walk-in, draw some inspiration from what we have and pull something together as quickly as possible! That sounds terrible! But work has kept me busy for the last few years, and my time with my friends has been less frequent than I’d like for it to be – and as a result, especially important. So, I try to spend less time cooking and more time talking, lounging, and just being with them instead.

Do you have a personal ritual to share?
 

I try to ride to the beach in the Summer once a week if I can on my own – it’s usually a five or six hour round-trip endeavor (with ocean dips and naps and whatnot), but it's so rejuvenating!
 

One long term goal, one short term goal.
 

Short term, I’d like to be more patient. In all things.

Long term, I’d like to travel for a spell; immerse myself somewhere else for a while, learn another language. Or two.

 

Visit Nahvae’s website / instagram


 
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Local Creative: Laura Schoorl

 

The intimate world of our peers can often feel inviting through captured imagery that defines their collections. An artist and designer who has captivated our attention with her vision on ethical, goods with purpose is Bay area resident Laura Schoorl. Building not one but two businesses through her love of textiles, comfort and ease, designer Laura Schoorl is improving our wardrobe while keeping grounded values in mind. She is the co - founder of Pansy, a coveted organic underwear line with a palette of vibrant colors inspired by fruits, flora and other gifts from nature. In addition to Pansy, Laura has a namesake clothing, and leather slides collection that completes her dreamy, idealist lifestyle that she easily encourages all to join.

Scenes from Laura’s world include backyards, sofas, beds, farms, beaches, and meadows. These places might be familiar to all of us, but it’s her unique perspective that lends  itself to an ease that makes Pansy and her collection so accessible. She keeps in mind that not every two bodies are the same and makes it a priority for her pieces to feel inclusive. Laura has found a balance between keeping an authenticity with her photos in conveying a women she is attracted to and connects with but also photographing a wide gamet of women who feel joy in her garments.

We are grateful for the products, imagery and community Laura has created through her projects. Below she has shared with us how she discovered her calling as a designer and the source of inspiration for her work.

 
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How did you find your way to calling to be a designer?

I fell into it in a way. I was bored and wanted to start making things so I started taking classes and experimenting in different mediums and realized I have lots of ideas.
 

The imagery you produce to present your work is a constant source of inspiration for us. Do you ever find inspiration in unusual places?

Thank you! I try to live a simple life and my images are snapshots of that life—the food I eat and the places I visit. I am very drawn to agriculture and the natural world.

 
 

What are some cultural touchstones you consider a part of who you are today — i.e.: what films, books, artists, places, etc., have been most influential to you?

Agnès Varda is very influential; the films she made in LA in the late sixties have always stuck with me, especially LIONS LOVE. I love fairy and folk tales. I could read those forever. Clarice Lispector and Octavia Butler are two of my favorite authors. Oscar Wilde always makes me laugh. California is my favorite place in the world. I've traveled a lot and I always come back. I've never lived anywhere else.
 

How do you find ideas come to you most naturally? Is there a certain time of day, a place or activity that triggers creative thoughts.

I get very inspired when I'm driving. When I'm in the car alone with pretty music and the open road, my mind lets go.

 
 

Describe a turning point in your career.

When I quit my office job in LA and moved to Oakland at 25. I gave myself space to do nothing and enjoy life. I gardened and cooked and made sandals. I got to a place where I felt good about who I was without needing any external demarcations of success to define me.
 

What do you make for dinner with friends?

It depends on the season, but if it was now, mid-fall in California, I'd make risotto bianco with roasted delicata squash and a big salad and chocolate pavé with strawberries for desert.

 
 

What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned?
 

I've learned that kindness is everything, being kind to others and kind to yourself. Gratitude is essential. Knowing that everything is in flux and can fall apart at any moment (and it will). Believing in abundance and trusting that I'll be OK.

 

We all struggle in finding ourselves and our way, how have you found yourself becoming the women you've always imagined? In what ways are you constantly improving?
 

When I was younger, my conception of self was very different from what it is now. I was much more limited. With age has come more freedom and better understanding of all the possibilities in life. I have less fear. I am constantly trying to operate with less ego and more kindness. With each day of existence life becomes more enjoyable.

Visit Laura’s website / insta

 

PHOTOGRAPHy credits: CARISSA GALLO,  NASTASSIA BRÜCKIN, NASTASSIA CLUCAS, AMANDA JASNOWSKI


 
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Local Creative: Rubi Jones

 

A hair story is unique to each individuals experience. From tangles, curls, waves, blunt ends and bangs; hair can be personal, complicated and often times most beautiful when you learn to embrace your own natural texture. If this rings true to you hairstylist, Rubi Jones, is a women you should to know.

Besides being one of the most kind and wonderful we've met in this city, Rubi styles hair for magazine editorials, ad campaigns and fashion weeks from New York to Paris. She also teaches styling workshops internationally and sees private clients at Little Axe Salon (who we also love!) once a month.

Even with her high profile gigs Rubi maintains a sense of approachability to her personal work. Collaboration and community are things she holds dear in her creative process. Rubi has worked with some our of favorite photographers, stylists and art directors to create lasting, memorable images that continue to inspire hair season after season. Rubi is also fluent in braid, it’s one of her expertise and no one does them better. You can learn her wonderful techniques yourself at a class or just pick up her book The Art of Hair and teach yourself.

We’ve long been fans of Rubi Jones' hair magic and thought it was time to introduce her to you. Lucky for us, Rubi was happy to share some of her best advice on juggling jobs freelance style, and how she has learned to push herself out of her comfort zone to do what she loves.

 
 

Background and upbringing can play such an special role in creative work, what are some of your most significant memories?

I grew up in a family of three girls. My dad was definitely outnumbered by my mom and my two older sisters, we were all different but loved playing dress up which is basically what I do for work now! I also think that my immigrant upbringing plays a huge part in my creative work because I grew up thinking anything was possible and that I should completely follow my dreams since that was the sole reason my parents moved to America. It has given me the support, drive, and perspective to continue to follow my passions and be grateful for everything I have.

 

If a stranger stumbled across your Instagram account today, what would they be most interested to know about you?

I try not to think about my Instagram too much and have it be a reflection of the things that I love in my life, which of course includes more than just hair. I've definitely got a lot of images of my work, but it's also sprinkled with pictures of my baby, my dog, and travels.

 
 

Who are some of your favorite media creators, photographers and artists?

I'm a big fan of Andy and Kate Spade. I read about their career path and story when I first moved to NY in a New York Magazine article and it really resonated with me. I remember there was a part in the article that explained why they chose to sell the Kate Spade brand when they did, and part of it included acknowledging how much they had done so far and just stepping back and being proud of it instead of sticking to the NY mindset of "what's next?" and "nothing's ever enough." That's something I always try to be conscious of, and I really respect the way they did that and now are doing such incredible things outside of those original brands.

 
photo yudi ela

photo yudi ela

Photo by Robin Stein

Photo by Robin Stein

Do you have a personal ritual to share?

I almost feel like nothing in my life has rituals because everyday is different, due to the nature of my work. I sometimes get to be with my daughter when she wakes up, or only when she goes to bed and there are days when I don't see her at all and random days during the week when I get to have glimpses of being a stay at home mom. I try to take care of my skin by seeing facialist Kristina Holey once every four to six months, she is the best!  


In what ways have you become the women you've always wanted to be, in what ways are you still improving?

I think I'm always improving and trying to become the woman I've always wanted to be. I know that ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a working mother. I had my daughter last year and thankfully I feel like I set up a great support system for my family that allowed me to go back to a job I love when I wanted to. I'm still improving myself every day, and I am constantly working on mindfulness, which I've found to be really helpful with my lifestyle as a freelancer who is constantly juggling different jobs in different locations, along with invoicing, bookings, and everyday life.
 

One long term and one short term goal.

A long term goal I have is to someday write another book, and a short term goal is to get agency representation for my hairstyling work.

 

 

What most captivates your attention?

I'm such a visual person so images and paintings really captivate my attention. I did an art history program in Paris for a semester while in college and spent hours at the Louvre every week, and I now find that background has really influenced my views on fashion editorials and advertising. I can still look at paintings in a museum or go through pages in a good magazine for hours.

 

What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned?

I'm a huge cheerleader and I am also not afraid of trying different things in regards to my work. My career path so far has been very unique, and I think that fearlessness has opened a lot of opportunities in my life that I would never have imagined coming forth. My decision to even go to beauty school, moving to NY, moving to Paris, eventually doing hair workshops, which eventually led to a book deal. All of these things happened because of taking little risks and saying yes to opportunities that came along even if they didn't fit the formula I originally had in my mind. Sometimes I feel like I have jumped into the deep end of the pool and I have no other choice but to swim - and it's hard - but If I let the fact that it was hard stop me from continuing to take risks and pursue projects that I'm passionate about, then it leads to a stagnant and uninspiring period of time with work. I've learned to keep pushing myself to be outside my comfort zone because it's more rewarding to struggle swimming in the deep end than to not swim at all.

I also feel like as a woman in my niche of the beauty industry, I've constantly been looking for a formula to follow, but there are literally only a handful of women "making it" and they each are paving their own path and I've tried to follow their paths but honestly there isn't a formula yet. What worked or works for them won't necessarily work for me and I keep learning that that is ok.

 
photographer brianne wills 

photographer brianne wills 

Visit Rubi’s website / Insta


 
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Local Creative: Claire Cottrell

 

An eye that seemingly always finds its way to beauty is often cultivated through life experiences and archived influences. Years of visual research for film and television have shaped Claire Cottrell’s point of view, especially when it comes to her recognized roles as photographer and film director. Through her media exploration she has also given life to the project  Book Stand, an online art book shop that curates to Claire’s feminine, unexpected and gently avant garde edit of titles. The site also begins conversations on identity with artists she loves and supports personally.

Based in Los Angeles, Claire’s own identity is deeply rooted in the place she calls home. It’s no surprise everything from the soft California light, the ocean, desert, sunhats and sandals to the food she eats has an impact on her work. Through a diary like presentation we feel close to Claire and her subjects through her personal work. Capturing beauty in intimate moments that are nostalgic of a time and place, we are transported to a feeling or instance that Claire knows well and we are invited to stay a while. An advocate for not waiting for things to come to you, Claire is constantly in motion and evolving her understanding of all things human.

Some important takeaways from our interview with this warm and moving personality are, things are beautiful if you love them, changing influences don’t necessarily mean one is more important than the last, and the Alice Waters book she turns to in between periods of creativity along with much more below.

 
Havel River in Grunewald; Berlin, Germany.

Havel River in Grunewald; Berlin, Germany.

 

What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?

The French playwright Jean Anouilh said: Things are beautiful if you love them. I think this is true. It’s a nice way to talk about beauty. Something is beautiful if it means something to me. I fall in love with it because it reminds me of something or someone. If it takes me to another place. Or, if it makes me feel a way that I like feeling. Something I want to hold on to. Light, a color, a sound, a place, the way someone’s sitting on a bench, holding their head, what someone decided to put on that morning, etc.

 

Travel and exploration are, in many ways, a state of mind. What’s a favorite recent discovery?

A toss up between the communes in Berlin (Shetland ponies !) and The Belvédère du Rayon Vert, an old art deco hotel on the coast of Southern France. Also, passionfruit and Franzbrötchen.

 

(2) Le 3e arrondissement de Paris. (03) Le Marché Noir, Paris, France.

(04) Collier Schorr. (05) R Y O K O, Berlin, Germany. Manual Therapy, Zazen meditation and a boutique to connect with our senses.
 

What are some cultural touchstones you consider a part of who you are today — i.e.: what films, books, artists, places, etc., have been most influential in shaping you?

This is a great way to ask this question and a really hard one for me to answer - so many things have been influential. For me, influence changes all the time and I don’t know if any one thing has been more important than another. A few things …  

Growing up: “Out of Africa,” The Faraway Tree, Chalet School series, San Diego, Switzerland, the North of England

Recently: Collier Schorr, Elfie Semotan, Miyako Ishiuchi, Marco Tullio Giordana's  “The Best of Youth,” Berlin

Always: Alice Waters, Christina Kim, Luigi Ghirri, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, Californi

 
(06) Le 10e arrondissement de Paris. (07) Fishermen’s sweater with pale pink cotton skirt at Du Pain et Des Idées, Paris, France.
 
Margaret Howell, 36 Rue Debelleyme, Paris, France.

Margaret Howell, 36 Rue Debelleyme, Paris, France.

 

Do you think there is a time of day when you create your best work?

Definitely the morning.

 

A low-brow essential: A high-brow essential:

Top Chef OR Peter Zumthor interviews on YouTube

 

(09) Arles, France. (10) Malick Sidibé at Les Rencontres dArles.
 

Periods of feeling uninspired can be difficult. What do you do to feel rejuvenated during periods of creative stagnancy?

Go for a walk or get in the car and drive.

I go back to Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution. It’s the best book I’ve ever read about creativity and staying true to you.

 

Please describe your last month in a word.

Love

 
(11) Cap de Creus, Costa Brava, Spain. The easternmost tip of Spain. The first place in Spain to see the sun when it rises every morning.
 
(12) David Ryan & Jérôme Joy at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France. From the exhibition catalog: "Using actual events as the basis of their work, the project is deployed both within the Palais de Tokyo itself as well as at the heart of a specific geographic area, situated in Brittany, yet whose precise location the artists wish to keep under wraps. The narrative they develop recounts the birth of the clover hunter, as well as the course of events related to his existence, and its uncertainties... They have developed artistically poetic work, which is both committed and discreet, and continues to question forms of liberty and the pursuit of happiness with delicacy, tenderness and kindness.

Visit Claire’s website / insta

 
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Local Creative: Clémence Polès

 

Recently everywhere we look we have been getting a glimpse into the previously private lives of those around us. With so many people connected via social and online outlets we are getting a look into the lives of those Passerbuys whom we once wondered about–their personal tastes, what they do on the weekend, what do their homes look like and most importantly where did they get those shoes?

Often we get so caught up in our day to day it’s a welcome relief to find a site that explores what else is happening around us and how other women approach the daily grind.  Clémence Polès gravitates to these detailed nuances in people. With a love of people watching, Clémence has created the ultimate site to learn about women doing inspiring things with an easygoing, street style approach. She shoots each women in their homes with no frills, to get a real and in-depth look into their lives. The site is shoppable and full of tips you wish you had known but didn’t know who to ask. Passerbuys is full of your new favorite friends who know where to get the perfect pair of denim jeans, best place for coffee in every neighborhood and what kind of movies and music you should put on queue.

Clémence was sweet enough to share her own personal rituals, creative process and her travels from growing up in Dubai to finding her way to Brooklyn to begin Passerbuys.

 
 

If a stranger stumbled across your Instagram or Tumblr account today, what would they be most interested to know about you?

I think they might just be confused because it's very different to Passerbuys' feed, I just post things that I find funny, and that usually involves less stylish imagery, and more pixelated zooms of things. 

 

What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?

It's hard to define since it's pretty emotional for me, based on the moment... I don't believe that beauty is inherit so it really comes down to how I perceive and structure things I encounter, the same as a director's choices in a film. Floor tiles could be beautiful, so could the way a person holds a book.

 
 

Do you have a personal ritual to share?

I'm weird in that I always have to watch something while I'm eating breakfast, otherwise I get cranky. 

 

Background and upbringing can play such an important role in creative work, would you please share some of your most significant memories?

I grew up in Dubai in the 90's so I was pretty starved for "western culture" as it were. I did discover the band Tool at an early age and I think they inspired me to question norms and think differently. My most significant memories were about wanting to leave and explore the world. This all fed into my general curiosity about people, which inspired Passerbuys.

 
 

In what ways have you become the women you've always wanted to be, in what ways are you still improving?

I wouldn't say that's really a goal for me. Accepting that life is a process is probably your best bet. 

 

Periods of feeling uninspired can be difficult. What do you do to feel rejuvenated during periods of creative stagnancy?

I go to the movies. 

 
 

One long term and one short term goal.

Long term goal: Learn photography. I got a chance to dive straight in with Passerbuys, but there's still a ton to learn. Short term goal, reacquaint myself with my French side, i.e. relax more. Living in New York City makes it hard to think about anything other than making rent.

 

What’s your mantra?

Focus on the pasta, not the basta.

 

Visit Passerbuys Insta / Site


 
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Local Creative: Lucia Zolea

 

Never underestimate simplicity and a raw, pure moment with Lucia Zolea. Lucia has caught our attention with her straightforward, uncomplicated styling of thrifted, vintage and coveted independent designer pieces. Always a source of inspiration you will find an elegant presentation of a woman in Lucia’s snaps. Tending toward a love of neutrals, we are captivated by the texture, subtle appearances of muted color and thoughtful detail she includes in her composition. Through Lucia’s photos we feel as though we can almost share the moment in time she captures along with her. Her images are intimate, unconcealed and natural still of life as it was many times using film as a the medium.

Thrifting is a developed skill many feel passionate about. Lucia is exceptionally gifted at discovering one of a kind pieces and has helped spread the message that things that were once considered old and unwanted can feel new and loved again.

Lucia took a moment to share with us her personal thrifting rituals, why mornings are sacred to her and an easy piece of an advice for separating work and life. As a Local Creative, Lucia shares many ideals that a near to our own hearts and we were so happy to get to know this lovely women a little better.

 
 

Please describe your last month in a word.

Consuming. But in the best way possible. I have been so busy with working, creating, and applying for graduate school this past month and also starting my last year of university.

What are you passionate about?

So many things - life, little moments, love, certain feelings you can’t describe. I try to capture these moments through my photos. I feel that film as a mode of shooting also helps to capture these moments that I encounter and want to keep in their purest form.

Do you have a personal ritual to share?

Whenever I come home after a day of thrifting I always clean and press the clothing that I find. I love to appreciate the clothing and put them away nicely. It has something I have always done and it gives me a sense of happiness – bringing older clothing to life and appreciating them again like they once were.

 

 

Do you think there is a time of day when you create your best work?

The morning is when I feel most in tune with myself. I have always been an early riser and feel that my day is off balance if I don’t have that hour or two for myself to get things done in the morning before the day really starts. I always get a sense of inspiration from early aspects of the morning – the way the light seeps into my room, the stillness, the feeling of my body waking – these moments incite a wanting in me to want to photograph moments that feel that raw and pure.

Separating work life from personal life can be difficult, have you set any rules for yourself?

I don’t set any specific boundaries – just because I love what I do so much that I don’t mind it seeping into my personal life a bit. One thing I do though is that when I am in the company of others I put my phone in my purse. I want to give others my undivided attention, I never want to seem uninterested or that their time is not valued.

What are some of your favorite neighborhood spots?

I live a few blocks away from my favorite restaurant in the city, Kuba Kuba. My boyfriend and I laugh because that is always my first choice on where to go out to eat – always. There is also an overlook over the James River not too far from my house. I will ride my bike or walk over and sit underneath my favorite magnolia tree and just take everything in. Another favorite spot is behind the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts there is a beautiful lawn where I will sit with friends and enjoy the evening.

What are some of your favorite neighborhood spots?

I live a few blocks away from my favorite restaurant in the city, Kuba Kuba. My boyfriend and I laugh because that is always my first choice on where to go out to eat – always. There is also an overlook over the James River not too far from my house. I will ride my bike or walk over and sit underneath my favorite magnolia tree and just take everything in. Another favorite spot is behind the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts there is a beautiful lawn where I will sit with friends and enjoy the evening.

What do you make for dinner with friends?

One thing that I would like to change about myself is making the time to cook. I honestly hardly ever make the time to make a nice meal for myself. Coming from an Italian household, I grew up on the most amazing dishes and would like those recipes and styles of cooking to be something I carry on. When I do have company over, I love a beautiful charcuterie tray. I will go out and get some of my favorite cheeses, olives, meats, nuts, and fruits.

A low-brow essential: A high-brow essential:

Low brow essential – Basics from the thrift store. I have found the most beautiful and quality items that are not staples for my wardrobe – and all for under 5 dollars.

High brow essential – Shoes. I love the elegance that certain shoes can bring to an outfit. Shoes are one thing that I will spend more money on than others.

Visit Lucia’s Insta


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Local Creative's Co-founders: Jenna Saraco & Nicole Steriovski

 

Through our experiences we’ve come across many inspiring individuals that continually push us to grow, learn and most importantly evolve creatively in the midst of a constantly changing media landscape. On occasions these individuals have often greeted us warmly as the Local Creatives. It’s become evident that Local Creative has much significance not only to us, but also to our community, as we are all local creatives working toward goals of wellness, happiness, success and purpose. Through our images and words we share the stories of those who move us in ways that embody a fulfilled, intentional lifestyle, filled with beauty and curiosity. We thought it was only fitting to share our story as Local Creatives with you.

Through our growth as a lifestyle collective, we have been able to use this platform to showcase our creative talents and skills beyond just a website. The formation of Local Creative Studio as a boutique agency was a natural step for us as we create all the content here ourselves. Through The Studio we guide brands small and large in sourcing creative solutions deeply rooted in community, collaboration and storytelling. 

 
 

At our core, we are content creators who provide visual and written language to compliment a brand’s presence digitally and in print. Jenna comes from a design background at Parsons, with extensive photography and studio experience. Her love for home, style and design quickly rose to the surface throughout the years while experimenting with Local Creative. She found herself comfortable taking on roles of art direction, and styling in addition to her photography and design for the collective. Jenna’s immaculate eye for the nuanced, and dedication to detail is meticulous. She brings creativity and solutions without end to any project we touch. There is always an organized and thoughtful way around any task when Jenna is at helm.

Read Jenna's q+a below:


Who are some of your favorite media creators, photographers and artists?

 Contemporaries like Celia Rowlson-Hall, Lotta Nieminen, Roanne Adams are incredibly motivating and aspire me to continue to work towards building something of my own everyday. Over the years I’ve also found inspiration through photographers and artists like Nikki Lee, Annette Messager, William Eggleston, Nicholas Nixon, Bresson, Sophie Calle, Matisse, Picasso’s sculptures, Richard Serra..the list can go on and on, each artist’s message affecting my visual language in a different way.

What’s your mantra?

Less is more.

 
 

What captivates your attention?

I find myself entranced by the littlest things. I would consider myself an observant person, finding beauty and pleasure in the details of what most might consider mundane. Whether its a flutter of a leaf and it’s shadow, or how someones hair falls perfectly over their face. I love finding those moments as they are happening. I think that’s what drew me into photography. Being able to catch those specific moments I love.
 

Separating work life from personal life can be difficult, have you set any rules for yourself?

This is one of my biggest challenges. I constantly struggle to strike a balance between my personal life and my work life. But being an owner of your own business makes this a very fine line to walk. It’s incredibly hard to turn off, especially when you live and work in the same space (and your space is a studio apartment!!) For me, food and nutrition play a very important role in setting these boundaries, and allowing myself turn off. Cooking is my de-stressor, I love it, it’s my meditation after a long day, or a necessary lunch break to step away from the computer screen.

 
 

What objects have been most significant to you lately?

I’ve always considered myself a collector. Whether it’s visual imagery, memories, or physical objects I love the idea of holding onto things. (I think they also call this hoarding, but oh well!) I can find significance in most things I own, and love them all for it. Some that hold the most significance for me are my old journals, and agendas. I love keeping list, and records, I love the paper, and bound books. They are amazing little time capsules from years past, and fun to reference to see what I was reading, or artwork I was into, or adventures I was taking. I have journals dating back 10 years now, and they act as a reminder of projects I’ve wanted to create, goals I’ve wanted to achieve, and inspiration for new projects and new adventures.

 
 

Nicole fundamentally identifies as a writer and storyteller. From these roles she has expanded her experience to creative direction, production, video editing and styling since founding Local Creative. Nicole is highly imaginative and could be considered the dreamer of the duo. Brainstorming is her favorite part of the process, and while conceptualizing projects might be a strong suit she is lucky to have Jenna help ground them. A sort of kismet, yin-yang dynamic bonds the two. With a strong love for the moving image, Nicole is buzzing with possibilities to experiment with short form video through the collective.

Read Nicole's q+a below:


What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?

Beauty is a feeling to me. It’s something that registers instinctively and as a gut reflex. Beauty appears in moments and makes time feel like it’s moving slow. It’s up to us to be able to recognize these flashes of beauty and interpret them how we will. To me beauty is born from the genuine and moments that follow. Honesty captivates my attention. Honesty in oneself, in movements, in being and understanding. The ease and comfort that comes from sincerity that is refreshing.

 
 

In what ways have you become the women you've always wanted to be, in what ways are you still improving?

I think I’ll always be improving on the women I want to be. It seems unsettling to think I could already be her and feel content. I’m always learning new things about myself and those around me. Some ways I am still improving is by studying qualities I admire in others, new adapting to newly acquiring skills and considering how to be kinder and gentler to myself and those around me all at the same time. Some days I wake up and can’t believe I’ve made it this far. I live in New York City, have co-founded a business rooted in supporting female creatives and my own endeavors. It’s very empowering and dreamlike at the same time. I think this is who I’ve always wanted to be and what I’ve always wanted and didn’t even know it until it happened. I’m proud of being fearless when it comes to taking risk but I’m also working on balancing my passion with logic. I think I still have a long way in being comfortable in my own skin and the women I’ve always wanted to be but it feels like I might be onto a good start.

A low-brow essential: A high-brow essential:

Twizzlers, Linen Sheets

 
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What are some cultural touchstones you consider a part of who you are today — i.e.: what films, books, artists, places, etc., have been most influential in shaping you?

Being from an immigrant family who choose the Midwest as their home has definitely shaped who I am. From my voice, work ethic and family values to my perspective on the world, my family’s Mediterranean and Eastern European influence has hugely influenced my being.

I am also greatly influenced by French new wave cinema. I love Eric Rohmer and Jean Luc- Godard films.  I also love his muse Anna Karina. Her mix of ultra feminine and often melancholy demeanor is something I relate to. I love the detail, beauty and grandeur that is Fellini films and old Hollywood style glamour in general. One of my favorite films of recent is Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind because it made me feel a way I haven’t felt in years and something I’ve yet to understand at the same time. For books I love Anais Nin for her unapologetic yet gentle stream of conscious writing style. Her words are strong and steady without ever losing their softness and curiosity. How a Person Should Be by Sheila Heiti is a great contemporary read and interesting look into modern female friendships and how people interact with one another. I've always had in strong interest in learning about people in general which is what makes the idea of storytelling so appealing.

What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned?

Don’t oversell yourself – It’s okay to be selfish – Boundaries are healthy

 

Photography & Creative Direction | Jenna Saraco & Nicole Steriovski 

Clothing provided by | Hunter The Label


 
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Local Creative: Anna Gray

 

There is something about Anna Gray’s touch that swiftly draws our attention to an emerging label. She’s worked with a range of talented designers such as B sides jeans, OAD handbag, Datura collection, Nikki Chasin, Basic Rights, and modeling skills aside, we admire Anna’s eye.

Basically we want to buy everything she puts on, which works out conveniently since she has decided to pen a brilliant newsletter Things I Would Buy If I Didn't Have To Pay Rent. As a writer, Anna is letting us into her internet rabbit hole to find out what she would buy if it wasn’t for those pricey New York City expenses. Formerly a contributor to another inspiring website Girls I Know and editor for HomePolish, Anna is using her insightful wit to entice us to see the internet from her perspective. Her new newsletter cleverly offers things you can indulge in (depending on your salary) between work.

Anna’s casual and relaxed approach to living is contagious and makes it always lovely to visit with her. We caught up with Anna at her East Village apartment where she shared with us that being nice is always the best policy and some of her current obsessions. Learn more about the effortless congeniality that is Anna Gray.

 

What's the first thought that comes to mind after waking up for the day?

Unsurprisingly, coffee. 

 

What most captivates your attention?

A good book, entertaining conversation, Wikipedia. 

 

If a stranger stumbled across your Instagram account today, what would they be most interested to know about you?

Imagined inner monologue of stranger finding my Instagram: “Who’s this Anna girl? She sure posts a lot of photos of herself. She’s cute. I guess she’s a model? She’s kind of funny sometimes. Oh I like this shirt she posted. Should I follow her? Nah.” 

 

As a writer is there a time of day when you create your best work?

I wish I could win a prize for procrastinating. I finish everything last minute and do my best work 30 minutes post-coffee. 

 

One long term and one short term goal.

Also, terrible at setting goals! Short term: Finish this interview. Long term: wear more sunblock, drink less beer, go to Iceland. 

Any exotic travels plans for end of summer if you didn't have to pay your rent? 

I’m heading to Cape Cod next week with my family (an annual tradition!) and Topanga at the end of the month for my best friend’s wedding (that’s going to be wild, I’m sure).

 

Who are some of your favorite media creators, photographers and artists?

Brie Welch, stylist. Nikki de Saint Phalle, artist. Swaim Hutson, creative director. Helen Frankenthaler, artist. Matthew Frost, director. Fred Sandback, artist. Rihanna...

 

A very low-brow essential? Something not essential and very refined in taste?

Low-brow: a good pen. High-brow: copy of Infinite Jest I’ve been trying to read for five years. Or a solid gold letter opener. 

 

What is the most valuable lessons you’ve learned so far?

Be nice to everyone!!!! 

 

What are some of your favorite neighborhood spots?

C&B Cafe, the deli on 6th and B, Thompkins Square Park at 930am when all of the preschoolers are on their way to the playground and they’re holding hands. 

Visit Anna Gray’s Insta  | Sign up for her Newsletter


 
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Local Creative: Kayten Schmidt

 

An eye for detail is a useful habit when it comes to those in creative professions. As an artist and creative consultant, Kayten Schmidt has refined her viewpoint of imagery and conceptualizing ideas to extend well beyond her projects. She exudes a sense of self in almost everything she touches.

We have long admired Kayten’s ability to dig further than what’s offered on the surface. In terms of research Kayten is a pioneer, constantly reminding  us that there were poignant books, magazines and other print publications long before the archiving of images on social platforms. Through her personal work, she offers guidance and inspiration to delve a little deeper when it comes to pushing our own creative limits and expectations. A muse herself we are captivated by her relaxed and naturalistic approach to her own work that often ties in a love for the objects we choose to surround ourselves. These objects when chosen with intent and consideration inevitably become dear parts of our life and are often a reflection of how we choose to live that life.

As a Local Creative, we asked Kayten to share some of her personal works and she offered Situations, a collection of photographs alluding to a piece of clothing that signifies some situational significance. Never one to take things to preciously Kayten was kind enough to share her own favorite low brow and high brow essentials, things she cooks when she is alone and what beauty means to her.

 

What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?

Regarding humans - I have a very slim and narrow idea of beauty, but not in the way one might think. I think the closest to natural you can possibly be is the goal. No makeup (unless for fun like a red lip or statement eye). Natural hair. Flats. No pushup bras, actually no pushing or pulling of anything. I am captivated by people who wear clothes well, any size. Regarding surroundings - I tend to like soft, muted, balanced spaces. Light is so beautiful, especially in California. Regarding art - I want to stay away from anything garish, but I have an open mind and will consider art that I don't find beautiful, its important.  

 

"Nothing is new, everything's been done.
It's ok though."

 

When you are home alone what's your favorite thing to cook for yourself?

Green cabbage with garlic wilted in coconut oil. Or a ton of olives. I go through phases where I eat a lot of one particular thing for a few weeks and then move on.   

Describe a turning point in your career.

Unchaining myself from the culture of email and over emailing. Email ruins lives. 

 

"Feelings are not facts.
Feelings are facts."

What are some cultural touchstones that may have played a role in shaping who you are today — i.e.: what films, books, artists, places, etc.,?

George Michael videos. Bauhaus. Fiber Art. Joni Mitchell's Blue. Prada. John and Yoko. Paul and Linda. Alan Watts. F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Beautiful and the Damned. Koto Bolofo. Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage. Mazursky's An Unmarried Woman. Godard's A Married Woman (Une femme mariée) Mikael Baryshnikov.  

 

What is the most satisfying aspect of the creative process for you?

The initial thought, the excitement stage where you are figuring out the nuances of an idea. It's all downhill from there.  

Separating work life from personal life can be difficult, have you set any rules for yourself?

I've gently eased into a more balanced work and personal life. No hard rules, just allowing myself to forget about work and reminding myself that not every second needs to be productive. I've been trying to take in stimuli that fall outside of my work like music, food and science, which are all good distractions. 

 

A low-brow essential: A high-brow essential:

Perrier and Donna Karan Cashmere Mist Deodorant. I'll let you decide which is which. 

Please describe your last month in a word.

Tepid. And tumultuous. Never simple enough for one word.  

 

Periods of feeling uninspired can be difficult. What do you do to feel rejuvenated during periods of creative stillness?

I try not to stress about it, I've learned it always comes back. If I'm uninspired it usually means I'm overloaded (introvert) so I sleep. I sleep and stay home and don't expend any energy talking to anyone. I usually feel refreshed and optimistic after some time alone, with some mental space around any project I'm working on. Also dancing is an immense help. 


What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned so far?

Feelings are not facts

Feelings are facts

Sugar is deadly

Joan Baez was famous before Bob Dylan

Nothing is new, everything's been done. It's ok though.

The Secret isn't as totally insane as I thought it was 


Visit Kayten’s Instagram / Tumblr

 
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Local Creative: Margaret Williamson Bechtold

stylist & high court design advisor

 

Design and wellness are often two concepts discussed separately to satisfy different levels of well-being. When merged the two can cohabit a digital or physical space in stimulating ways to inform, create new experiences and serve as a pleasing voyeuristic approach to new creative content.

If you want to break the gym/office/home routine , consider High Court a third space, outside of work and home, for offline pursuits and single-tasking. The social wellness house wants to help you improve your quality of life in a workday. It is an an urban oasis for intelligent leisure and refreshing ways to socialize. The flagship location has an opening planned for 2017 in Lower Manhattan, but before then, they are doing a short-term experience High Court Happenings in Tribeca running from July 13-17th. Here they will host yoga and meditation, healing workshops and speaker series Healthy in Design in which we will be in conversation with Alissa Wagner of Dimes on ways the modern health scene is brought forward through design.

High Courts design advisor and Stylist  Margaret Williamson Bechtold is a freelance stylist and art director whose imagery understands that wellness is becoming a new status symbol amongst other trending behaviors that define us as modern a society. Pulling the plug on digital dependency, redefining traditional gender roles in parenthood, female tribing and slow fashion are all topics she handles with grace and well-rounded insight that comes with an extensive background in writing, consulting, creative and styling. After making the recent move from NYC to Austin, the present day multi-hypenate woman is not slowing down anytime soon proving the interconnectivity of wellness and design everyday through her work.

We had a moment before our discussion Healthy by Design to catch up with Margaret and learn about when she is most productive, her beautiful Instagram gallery and her favorite creators.

 
 

If a stranger stumbled across your Instagram account today, what would they be most interested to know about you?

They’d definitely see my styling work first. I’ve been using Instagram as a sort of gallery for my projects lately. I used to be (and maybe still am…at least a little bit) a very, very shy social media user. But now that I’m shooting again and making my own work, I find it so fulfilling to be able to create something and share it pretty immediately thereafter.  

I didn’t know that Austin would have a need for a stylist, but I got asked to do a project pretty soon after we moved there and it’s snowballed from there. I was in that world a lifetime ago both as a freelance shoot assistant and when I assisted the creative director of Lucky magazine. I thought that chapter of my life was closed, but it just goes to show that things have a funny way of coming back around. 

Also re: Instagram, I’m convinced that it’s made plugging in to a new city 1,000 times easier than ever before. Especially when it comes to plugging in to a new creative community. I’m a prolific DM’er. I find photographers to collaborate with on it, and brands find and contact me for work on it too. I do a lot of casting on Insta as well.  

 
Photography by Katherine Larson
 

Do you think there is a time of day when you create your best work?

I’m pretty productive in the mornings. Nothing feels better to me than having crossed off most of my list before 11 am. 

But in general, since going freelance, I’ve been really lucky to be able to get in touch with my own creativity clock and work off of that. I make my own schedule, and my time is super fluid now. No two days are alike. I try to have a mix of projects going on each day so that less fun stuff like invoicing gets balanced with something more crazy and conceptual. 

I used to be so schedule-driven – on time was late to me. And that’s very possible to maintain when you’re doing one thing. But juggling multiple projects has actually made me let go of that a bit. I’ve felt myself loosen up. I think more about the day and week ahead of me rather than the month. I’m much more present these days. 

What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?

I’m most enamored with quietude. I like for my work to feel slightly voyeuristic, full of awkward, uninhibited moments that someone would be more likely to do in private than in something as public and permanent as a photograph. I tried to capture that in the campaign I did for my friends at High Court. They’re architecting a space that gives its members reprieve from the grind, so we created languid, stretchy, sleepy images that helped to land that feeling. 

 
 

Do you have any mentors or people who have guided you throughout your career?

So many! Starting with the journalist Curtis Wilkie, who mentored me in college. I credit him for planting the idea in me early on that your interests don’t just have to have to be hobbies if you play your cards right.  My little sister is my always-and-forever hero. I’d like to establish an official Sue Williamson fan club just so I can be the president. My friends from my Lucky days continue to be great sounding boards for career advice. Everyone’s gone on to do such great things! Leslie Ghize at TOBE is another great one. She’s the most empathetic boss a girl could ask for, and it shows in the business she’s built.  

Who are some of your favorite media creators, photographers and artists?

Media-wise, I listen to an outrageous number of podcasts every week. I love origin stories, career dirt, long-form interviews, all of it. Girl Boss Radio and the WW Club and You Made It Weird are among my favorites. My online reading follows that same conversation line. Local Creative of course, plus The Working Pair and OK Real. I could go on and on…

On the imaging side, I’m really into Gillian Garcia and Mikael Pudelka at present. Teeth Mag and Coeval are always good for inspiration gathering. And artists: William Eggleston, Leroy Grannis, Ed Ruscha, Mark Rothko, Richard Serra, Alice Neel. There are so many more!

 
 

One long term and one short term goal.

Long term: Hang loose. Trust that what you’re doing now will lead to great things, and don’t hem yourself in so much that you miss an unexpected opportunity. 

Short term: Take time. Building mental lists and To-Do-Tackling strategies doesn’t get the job done. Rest more, worry less. You got this. 

Travel and exploration are, in many ways, a state of mind. What’s a favorite recent discovery?

That’s so true. As much as I’ve chilled out since moving to Austin, I haven’t shaken my tendency to overwork myself. And I know better than that, too. I know that I need time to daydream, recharge and explore, but it’s easier said than done. I’m one of those people who have to get away to unwind. 

My husband and I did just spend some time in Ojai though, and I highly, highly recommend it. My favorite trip tip is to buy or take a new scent while you’re on vacation, use it every day that you’re away so you’ll associate it with the place, then continue to use it when you return to your routine. My sister made a scent package for me to take on my honeymoon, and I’ve done it for every trip since. Right now mine’s the Ojai Vibes roll-on I bought in the lobby of the Ojai Rancho Inn. Instant chill. 

 
 

We haven't visited Austin yet! What are some of your favorite neighborhood spots?


Austin is THE BEST. You have to visit immediately. Ok, shopping: vintage at Monkies, Friends & Neighbors, Prototype and Garment. Designer scores for less at MOSS and UAL. Las Cruxes and Catchtilly for mega-creative retail. End of an Ear for vinyl. Food-wise, Torchy’s for tacos and croissants at Café No Se. Grabbing a juice at JuiceLand before taking a dip in Deep Eddy pool makes for a magical afternoon. Heaven is happy hour by the pool at Hotel San José and dinner at Elizabeth Street Café. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. DM me for more ;) 

 

Visit Margaret’s website // insta

 

Photography by Kayla Snell, Parker Thornton, Katherine Larson, Jessica Pages, Vashni Balleste, Evan Boutte, Will Mederski


 
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Local Creative: Rachael Yaeger

 

With all the hoopla that is city life it can be difficult to maintain that all important glass half full mentality. Rachael Yaeger is a human being whose encouraging optimism and relentless work ethic is a rare find amongst all the noise. 

Her kindness and generosity are felt by many, as she is a natural connector for friends and similar-minded kindreds looking to collaborate on cultivated projects that develop community. Her own project, appropriately titled Human NYC, is a storytelling agency that uses narrative design to improve and cohesively tie together a digital and IRL human experience through website development and brand strategy. 

The 3 C's of curating, creating and collaborating are always insight for Rachael whether she is spearheading a project for Human or planning her own exhibit, Clavicle which opened at XXXI gallery in the East Village this past May.

Always looking for the opportunity to share a local discovery or friends newest endeavor, Rachael is a champion of her creative community, selflessly spreading love and good cheer.

On our visit with Rachael she showed us her new office digs she shares with RoAndCo's studio in Chinatown.  If your like us you want to know which which independent designers she is currently crushing on (her Sandy Liang denim jacket is dream and Sandy is also a satisfied Human NYC client!) Read on to learn about her other passion project The Working Pair, an online editorial showcasing creative couples and which mentors have helped her achieve what she has today.

 
 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What's the first thing that comes to your mind when it's time to wake up in the morning? 

I am originally from upstate New York. I grew up camping, hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, being outdoors all of time. First thing in the morning I would say, I'm excited, when I wake up I am looking at my phone thinking, what do we have going on today!? New York City is intense, I mean in an ideal world I would wake up, make fresh squeezed orange juice, french press coffee and eat some avocado toast on a balcony reading a book. 

In 2013 I founded Human NYC, LLC. we started out as a gallery in Greenpoint, curating shows and creating zines, something I still would like to do more of. Now we're a small creative agency based out of RoAndCo's studio in Little Italy, mainly working on websites with brands. We launched Basic Rights, we work with Saturdays NYC, Sight Unseen, Know-Wave radio, Sandy Liang. 

I am the creator and editor of The Working Pair an online editorial (one day a biannual print mag) showcasing creative couples, their lives, love, work and the balance of it all. 

 
 
 

"My dad always said, a little faith in humanity will get you a long way. I take that with me everywhere I travel."

 
 
Rachael Yaeger, from Clavicle

Rachael Yaeger, from Clavicle

 

Background and upbringing can play such an important role in creative work. Would you please share some of your most significant memories? 

Picking green beans from the garden with my parents singing "beans beans the magical fruit the more you eat the more you toot..." haha! I played outdoors every day growing up, we would wander around and make up games. I love lilacs, the smell still makes me so happy. I remember deer hunting with my dad and we were sitting in the tree stand and I was chatting his ear off while he was nicely trying to tell me the deer would never come if I kept talking. Canoeing around Rainbow Lake with my Grandad. Building campfires. 

Please describe your last month in a word.

Intense. 

 Are there any dream destinations on your “to visit” list/ Is there a next trip you have planned?

Maybe driving across the country, I have been dreaming about going to Egypt on a scuba diving trip, maybe Finland.

 
Rachael Yaeger, from Clavicle

Rachael Yaeger, from Clavicle

 

What are some cultural touchstones that have been most influential in shaping you today? — i.e.: what films, books, artists, places, etc., 

I am very lucky to have traveled a lot, snorkeling and scuba diving in Fiji, Australia, Mexico, The Caribbean. My dad always said, a little faith in humanity will get you a long way. I take that with me everywhere I travel. I visited Monet's house in Giverny and my favorite museum is Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris. I studied abroad in Italy and then did my Master's degree program in London—I didn't know anyone, traveled around Europe whenever possible and loved it. I had a cool apartment near Edgware Road, read a lot of Bret Easton Ellis. Most influential trip would be to Morocco and Essaouira, the colors, rugs, tea, people, adventure of it all. My favorite book is Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived. For movies: The Fall, it's so visually stimulating. I have an appreciation for photography when it comes to art and books. For "work" books we created reads.nyc :)

Do you have any mentors or people who have guided you throughout your career?

Emmett Shine, I wandered into Gin Lane over seven years ago and he has been a constant inspiration since. I remember this really proud feeling of having my name on our business cards. He's particular so that level of perfection and standard of excellence is still something I think about. We worked with Terence Koh, Jason Nocito, Tim Barber, Aurel Schmidt, Baron Von Fancy, Susanna Howe; Emmett taught me the value in working with "culturally significant" clients and doing meaningful work. I met all of my dear friends and now partners and collaborators at Gin Lane. 

What’s your mantra?

Keep it simple, stupid. 

 
Rachael Yaeger, from Clavicle

Rachael Yaeger, from Clavicle

 

What objects have been most significant to you lately?

This cream white and bright red blanket I got at Brimfield, my dad's jackets, a Timex watch my brother gave me, I love photos and framing things, a bowl I brought back from Morocco filled with pinecones from upstate.  

Where are you local (food/galleries/venues/ bars, etc)?

I live in Chinatown so I frequent Kiki's and Mr. Fongs

I love Film Forum, Nitehawk

Galleries: David Zwirner Gallery, we built Paula Cooper Gallery's website so I am biased there, The Hole, New Museum, and my friends have http://fortnight.institute/ and also xxix.co!

In Greenpoint, River Styx and Little Dokebi.

Visit Rachael's Website / Insta

 

 
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Spring comes in like a lion and out like a lamb they say. Whomever announced this idea must have lived in New York. The most miraculous and long-awaited season for us city dwellers is the one that begins with first tulip sighting and ends with our first excursion to the beach. In about one day it seems the trees go from naked and bare branched to a full on wave of green. If you blink you’ll miss the short lived and precious season.

As we celebrate the start of summer let’s take a moment to celebrate the beauty and bounty spring brought us along the way. We travel through the season by the work of the brilliant minds of our most recent Local Creatives: Yasmine Ganley of AnyoneGirl, a site that feeds us steady and unswerving inspiration and Greta Van Der Star a graceful photographer whom we continuously find ourselves viewing the world through her lense.

Yasmine generously offered us a timeless passage from muse Joan Didion along with fresh photographs contributed by friend and colleague Greta. We love nothing more than a beautiful working pair of friends and enjoyed learning about their cultural influences and what they find most captivating this moment. We hope you feel a sense of renewal as we say goodbye to Spring and hello the months ahead.

 
 

Lilac and Garbage.

"I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume..."

Arriving with a sense of 'the first time', spring is familiar yet new; this time; another first time; last year’s forgotten. Our senses are alive. Something is about to happen. There’s that fizzing feeling, a zing in the air, potent and heavy with possibility and adventure and absolute liberation.

Inspired by a section from Joan Didion’s Slouching Towards Bethlehem, describing the sensory experience of her first days of spring in New York City, here in New Zealand, we find our first days of spring in the taste of tart stone fruits, in the feeling of cold sun on our shoulders, and in the smell of the salty coast.

 
 

Greta, when did you know you had an attraction to the lens?

I got my first camera at 16, it was a film SLR that I still use as my primary film camera. I grew up in a sleepy beach town, with not much happening, so spent alot of time moving objects in the sun, seeing how they photographed and how the shadows fell.

What captivates your attention?

Light, colour, movement, energy.

Please share with us some of the films, books, artists, places, etc., that have been most influential in shaping you.

When I was studying photography, I was obsessed with Georgia O'Keefe's landscape and flower paintings. I wanted to achieve a painterly softness to my film landscapes and images. I also loved Irving Penn's still lifes and portraits. I still find them very modern.

I'm endlessly inspired by the landscape in the US. It changes so dramatically, and can feel surreal. We spent a day climbing over endless dunes at White Sands Monument last year, and it felt like walking through a painting. Watching the shadows of clouds skim over the dunes was captivating.

Where do you go for renewal and to re-energize?

To the beach. Submerging in saltwater, or being grazed by strong salty winds is the most energizing thing I can think of! Any dip into nature, which we are so spoilt with in NZ, I find calming and balancing.

 
 

Yasmine, how did you find your way into writing?

I have always kept notes. I actually trained as a contemporary dancer, which was, perhaps, my initial exploration in pace, rhythm, repetition and concept. But I am still very much learning.

What captivates your attention?

It could be something I instinctively question, or a clashing of sorts, or reviving something forgotten.

Please share with us some of the films, books, artists, places, etc., that have been most influential in shaping you.

Harmony Korine's film Trash Humpers made my whole world spin. Speedboat by Renata Alder and Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion are two books I could read over and over and over, always finding something new, something brilliant. Walking through Donald Judd's home and studio in Marfa was an experience I'll never forget. And I can't go past the work of Pina Bausch.

Where do you go for renewal and to reenergise?

The bush or the coast — whatever the weather.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY GRETA VAN DER STAR @GRETAVANDERSTAR, WORDS BY YASMINE GANLEY  @ANYONEGIRL


 
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Local Creative: Jesse Kamm

 

A woman as naturally at ease as her clothing conveys, Jesse Kamm is influencing us not only in our style but ways to live a more simple, fulfilling life. Her collection is classic and lasting with shapes that are clean, minimal and handsome, a word she so brilliantly uses to describe the consistency in her designs. Even though you may find strong traces of ‘homme’ throughout her line, the soft touches of ladylike details is what truly makes her collection so coveted.

A true uniform for smart, informed and stylish women, Kamm is constantly referencing a montage of great Hollywood and literary works to draw inspiration for her collections. If you are fortunate enough to spend a moment with Jesse, her cinematic style of creativity is captivating and will leave you mesmerized with not only her latest collection but the women behind it.

Creating “strong clothes for strong women” is not only a tagline but a mantra in all her endeavors. Jesse’s support, admiration and gratitude towards all the exceptional women in her life is something we could all see a little more of in our own friendships.

Poetic and straightforward, Jesse shares with us her most creative time of the day, what beauty means to her and valuable lessons in shaping a life you love.

 
 

What is your most creative time of day?

The time of the day I am most creative is dead in the dark of night.  It is a sad sad tale, but it gets the job done.  I wake up because I hear the little voice from the room next door... "mamma!", it calls.  Nothing more.  All is quiet.  But my heart, my heart is now racing.  I can not fall back to sleep.  I roll over, and pull up my socks. I adjust the pillow.  I sigh deeply again and again.  I press my eyelids tighter.  It is no use.  I am wide awake.  I let my mind slowly fall over the to do list that is unrolling for the day to come.  Then I think about random things.  When I lay there long enough, something starts to happen.  Ideas come.  Sometimes great explosions of ideas.   On special nights this goes on for hours.  When I finally wake in the morning, I am manic. I yell to husband, "it hit me!" The next 5 days are dedicated to whatever the spark was.  Fabrics, shapes, researching a particular time, or place or person.  And then, like that, a new concept is born.  Whatever it is, it happens in the dark.  It hurts when it is over, because I am so very tired.  But then I sleep.  And I am happy.  

 

We love that you create “strong clothes for strong women”. Please share 3 words that describe how you hope a Kamm girl feels in your clothing?

Handsome. Relaxed. Ready

 
 

What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?

I love an individual.  Something unique, out of the ordinary.  I also am really drawn to the individual that is confident enough to cultivate their own style, and really dedicate themselves to it.  A uniform, a hairstyle, something that says, I am me, get used to it.  I dress the same nearly every day, and have done so for years.  I think about my heroes, and they are all the same.  Different shades and textures of the of the exact same thing, year in and year out.  I heard something hilarious once....  It was an interview of Karl Lagerfeld, (one of my favorites).  He was talking about how he hates when there is consistency in a collection, and if it is not fresh every season he is bored.  Yet every time I see him, I know EXACTLY how he will look.  He gets to wear a uniform.  Why should women have be different characters in the circus every passing season.  I love consistency.  I love the dedication to one's own declaration of who you are.

 

Since creating your line in 2005, what are some valuable lessons you’ve learned throughout the years?

Oh heavens.  The list is so long.  The overarching sentiment is included here in my daily mantra:

 

Only work with people you respect.  

Trust your gut.  

If something feels off, that is because it is.  

Grow slow, so that you do not grow out of business.  

Do not take on more than you know you can handle.

 

...And as William Burroughs taught Patti Smith, and what I know to be very true but Patti says it best... Keep your name clean.  Don't make compromises, don't worry about making a bunch of money or being successful.  Be concerned about doing good work.  Protect your work and if you build a good name, eventually it will be its own currency.   I know this to be true.  It is how I have run my business from the start, and that will never change.

 
 

Background and upbringing play such a significant role in shaping us for who we are today. Can you share a significant memories that helped shape you?

 

I had a very picturesque childhood.  I grew up in the country, in a home that my parents built.  They are amazing human beings, and they taught my brothers and I to trust ourselves and to go where our hearts wanted to take us.  My parents are very talented artists.  My dad came home from work every day at 5:15pm, and never worked on the weekends.  He gave up great job opportunities, so that he could be home to experience life.   We built rooms and furniture, painted, fished, camped, chopped firewood, and spent all of our time in nature.  Everything they did shaped me.  Watching their relationship taught me how to be a great partner, and a great parent.  Watching their work ethic taught me how to shape mine.  Knowing that if they wanted something, they could just build it, taught me to be a doer not a consumer.  I hope to pass on the same gifts to my young person, and to those who are close to me.  The gift of simple living.

 

After a long day, what is your remedy to feeling re-energized for the next day?

As soon as the sun starts to set, I light all of the candles.  I keep some classical playing in some room of the house.  I put on long johns and soft socks.  We do the whole homework, dinner bath time routine, and then we watch an episode of The Cosby Show or Fresh Price of Bel Air. When junior is finally in bed, I read or watch old films. And then I make lists.  Lots and lots of lists.

 

How do you style your Kamm Pants to go?

I wear them everyday with everything.  I hike in them with my dorky trail shoes and wool socks.  I wear them with ballet slippers, or ankle boots, Vans, or sandals.  For the SS16 lookbook I paired them with 70's style strappy heels, and that looked hot.  Oversized sweaters, or slim fitting tops that are tucked in, it all looks good... that is why they are so wonderful.

 
 

Each season we look forward to your thoughtful lookbooks and campaigns. Who are some of your collaborators on these and how does the concept come about?

Well thank you! I have a lot of fun with the lookbooks.  Because I do not have to answer to a showroom, I can make the books a little more editorial. Because the shapes are consistent, and my stores have all carried my collection for so long, they understand the shapes, and I do not have to shoot every single angle and detail. That really bores me.  My dear friend Katrina Dickson and I have collaborated on the past 8 lookbooks. She and I shot the band Haim for a campaign early on, and we fell in love with how our styles jived. I am super organized from the get go. We discuss ideas and inspiration, as I always have this long elaborate story about where the collection came from and what it means. She takes all that information and puts it in her own percolator.  When the day comes and we have the collection, the girl, and the location, then I let go of the reigns, and Katrina works her magic. I just hang back in the shadows, and shout out a casual idea for the model... some kind of reference point or another. When the day is complete, we edit together, and then I design all of the layouts for the book. I get to be an art director and graphic designer one week each season, and that is really fun for me. It is good to exercise that part of my brain. It requires a completely different skill set from designing the collection.

 

Favorite neighborhood spot to grab a coffee or tea?

Cafe de Leche in Highland Park is our local hang. We bring coffee home from Panama every summer, and stock the freezer. I really get my fix at home.

 

We are thrilled for the launch of your SS ‘16 collection, #theanniversaryparty. What are you feeling most inspired by for this collection?

I love this collection so much. When I designed the SS16 pieces, I wanted to do something that bookmarked the past decade of my work. I went back to my roots, which were far more ladylike silhouettes. I was very inspired by Halston, Jean Muir, and Zandra Rhodes back then.  Going back to those original shapes has affected the way that I am dressing myself.  For many years I have been dressing very "homme", but all of the sudden I am channeling my inner Lauren Hutton... and it drives me to bust out the curling iron and put on a lady shoe. It is a nice change, but don't get me wrong...  My uniform hasn't changed... just the accessories. I promise.

 

Visit her Website / Insta


 
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Local Creative: Isabella Killoran

the storyteller

 

When we first met Isabella Killoran at our collaborative exhibition ‘Waist’ with AnyoneGirl last fall we were completely mesmerized by the movement of her tall, willowy figure wrapped in a classic trench. She was only preparing for her performance later that evening and surveying the room to begin constructing her thoughts regarding props and marking the space.

After gaining the courage to finally speak to the mysterious figure in trench we learned the routine was decidedly thrown together and impromptu for the special event. What Isabella considered spontaneous permeated so much emotion that is was obvious the audience was left captivated by not only her striking beauty but her gentle, delicate motions that conveyed such strength. All while maintaining a playful air that she let us all take in. With a bit of flour and simple tap water, Isabella projected pushing the limitations and boundaries of domestication and at the same times the joys that we feel by those same defined roles. The performance proved complicated and liberating all at once.

Isabella is a muse to many and her work is matched by few. She experiments with media in the form of live performance, video and photography. We’ve chosen some of Isabella’s past shorts and imagery that we felt spoke to the certain homebound feelings that come to us in the winter months to share with you. Isabella is always pushing the boundaries of her art and we can hardly wait to see what she dreams up next. We hope you love her work as much as we do, enjoy her thoughts on an uncomplicated glass of wine with bread and cheese, and what beauty means to her.

 
 

Background and upbringing can pay such an important role in creative work, would you please share some of your most significant memories?

I am the fourth of five brothers and sisters. We grew up without television and without many of the computer games and toys our friends had, so we were just forced to make our own and continuously come up with new waves of having fun with whatever we had available. Dressing up was always my favorite, I remember turning one same outfit into so many different characters only by changing details here or wearing it the other way round. My three older brothers were closer in age and my little brother was too young to follow some of my games, so I also got used to playing alone, although always counted with this invisible friend, Gala. I am very grateful to my parents for the simple upbringing they gave us. I know it has become part of my way of doing things, discovering the hidden possibilities in the most ordinary things. It is a fun challenge and somehow manages to always keep me motivated. 


If a stranger stumbled across your Instagram account today, what would they be most interested to know about you?

Hmm.. I don’t know. I think IG is like having a peek into someone’s life, may it be more about their personal everyday, or just an insight into their aesthetics and style. In my case I like to confuse and never reveal too much who I am or who my friends are, so I guess most people wonder what is it I do in my everyday. 

 
 

What kind of foods do you find yourself preparing + cooking at home when spending time alone? 

I am a very practical cook and never spend too much time preparing any dish, but I do like to play around and invent new recipe combinations. My formula is good quality ingredients and keep it simple. A freshly toasted piece of bread with cheese and a glass of wine will make wonders to me. I love vegetables in their endless cooking possibilities and, coming from Spain, seafood is a favorite, although NYC is not easy place for that! 

 

Do you think there is a time of day when you create your best work?

Maybe in the mornings? Not sure, I can create anytime of day I guess, although if it is something I want to shoot lighting is important. I have surprised myself being most inspired after positive interactions with other people: a conversation with a friend, some good news. Music often sets me in the mood to create too.

 
 

Who are some of your favorite media creators, photographers and artists?

Oh my, this list could go on forever. Too many! Chantal Akerman, Yvonne Rainer, Helena Almeida, Ban Jas Ader, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Trisha Brown… followed by a long list of strong female characters throughout history. I am very inspired by cinema too. By the stories as much as by its photography, Pasolini, Antonioni, Varda, Bergman, Victor Erice, Louis Malle… 

 

What does beauty mean to you? What captivates your attention?

Beauty is balance, harmony, equilibrium. To me, it is something that is intriguing too, that takes me somewhere else with my mind that makes me want to keep on looking, keep on searching, so I learn about myself and the world and reality surrounding me, and hopefully, this way, keep on attracting more beauty to my life. 

 
 

Do you have any mentors or people who have guided you throughout your career? 

I have had many mentors along the way, some I don't even know their names or can even remember their face, but with their advice, support, feedback or just with their solid consistent example, have helped me give shape to the person I am today. I am a firm believer that most people you encounter in life are there to show us something. 

 

New York can become a bit of an energy drain at times. Do you have a quiet place where you can re-energize? 

I find the Lincoln centre library to be a perfect spot for this, just being in the space relaxes me. Otherwise walking alone by the river or sitting on a bench in Washington Square Park and just observe. I love wondering alone the streets in the city at nighttime too, with no direction. 

 

Separating work life from personal life can be difficult, have you set any rules for yourself?

No, I am pretty bad at that. I wish my personal and work life were even more blurred! I would love to see them as one in a way. 

 

Visit her on insta

 
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Local Creative: Jenni Kayne

 

It's rare you meet a woman and so many of the words to describe her way of living, embody her work so effortlessly. West coast designer Jenni Kayne's timeless and classic personal and professional pursuits do just that. Her trained eye, and warm minimalist style lend themselves to both her namesake collection and her lifestyle blog Rip & Tan, affectionately named after her two children. Through entertaining, home, design and style, Jenni has shaped an all-encompassing lifestyle that speaks to the women of today. Her chic yet livable approach to modern California living is the inspiration behind her refined essentials for your home and closet.  

We were drawn to the Mid-century Modern architecture and design of the Jenni Kayne West Hollywood storefront while in Los Angeles. Visiting the store feels like stepping into a version of the designers simple and thoughtfully curated home. For us, it's the love of this modern luxury offered through the sunny lens of California living. Jenni has all her bases covered from wellness, home goods, stunning jewelry, signature shoes, coveted handbags to a dreamy wardrobe– take a visit to Rip & Tan to fill the inbetween.


Read on as Jenni shares with us how her full lifestyle brand evolved,  her favorite local spots in LA, and how she brings people together through entertaining.

 
 

What is one thing that you find essential to everyday?

I can’t do without daily quality time with my family. I love to end the day with a home cooked meal and bath time with the kids!

 

Where do you tend to draw inspiration from lately?

Travel and nature. I love being outside and find places like Tahoe and Topanga endlessly inspiring. 

 

Can you share more insight on your background and how your experiences have helped define who you are today?

Growing up in California, I have always been inspired by the distinct lifestyle, culture and landscape we enjoy. I definitely think the varied experiences I’ve had over the course of my life have shaped who I am, my interests, my aesthetic and how I approach business. 

 
 

You have such a beautiful way of bringing together friends and family - what’s your go-to when preparing family style gatherings?

I love entertaining and coming together with friends, and I do it often! No matter the occasion, I think great food and drinks are key. I also like being prepared. If you're relaxed, it keeps everything light and fun for your company; if the host is stressed it trickles down to your guests!

 

What local spots are currently at the top of your must eat at list in L.A.?

I love Gjelina, A.O.C., Tavern, Rustic Canyon, The Butcher’s Daughter and Kye’s. 

 

How did the Jenni Kayne lifestyle evolve? You merge style, design, food and home so effortlessly!

Both my collection and business have evolved as I've grown up. I started it at 19 with no kids—I was only interested in fashion then. Now I have two kids, I’m married, I’m in my early 30s. My interests these days also focus on cooking, entertaining and decorating, which is why I started my lifestyle blog Rip&Tan. I needed a creative outlet to support all these other passions. That being said, I think fashion, entertaining and decor are all equally important and build off each other.

 
 

Separating work life from personal life can be difficult. Have you set any guidelines for yourself?

I strive to find balance and leave work at the office, especially when I'm with my kids. That said, the times I’m not focused on them I spend working. I do make time for myself as well, so I don’t get burnt out and overwhelmed. One of the ways I do this is by riding horses every morning. It’s my time out in nature—I’m not at work, not with my children. I need it to stay grounded, centered and relaxed. 

 

Travel seems to have a strong influence in your aesthetic, what’s a dream vacation you would like to take?

I do find travel extremely inspiring! Los Poblanos Farm in New Mexico, Manka’s Lodge in Inverness, and The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana are on my bucket list right now. 

 

Are there any specific films, artists, places, etc, that you feel have made a significant impact on your life and career?

There are far too many to name! 

 

Visit Jenni's Website / Insta


 
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Local Creative: Caroline Z. Hurley

 

Caroline Hurley is a gal of many talents. Through honest exploration of herself and her interests she found herself designing and producing one of the most coveted home textile collections in Brooklyn, Caroline Z Hurley. You might recognize Caroline's playful neutrals where she experiments with shapes, lines, draws ideas from her favorite artist and translates them to home. Hugely inspired by travel, Caroline shoots each collection in an exotic location around the world, partly to give her line a global feel but also to satisfy her own personal need to explore (smart to mix business and pleasure!)

Not only is Caroline a talented designer but she blew us away with her series of new paintings she had been adding to her repertoire. Unable to resist the the call of canvas and paints, Caroline was moved by the subtly beauty of everyday home occurrences. Often times she can pull colors and shapes out of something as simple as the piling of laundry, and transform the thought into unrecognizable art

Caroline has just settled into a gorgeous new gallery storefront in Greenpoint where she plans to organize community events and sell her works. We could hardly wait to welcome Caroline's passionate and free flowing creativity to our hood. 

if you wanna see the new space/paintings/textiles in the flesh, visit Caroline's studio on November 19th from 6-9pm for a little opening party! She will be opening her studio as a shop with fun designers and events through the holidays! Keep updated via her Instagram. 

Read on for more from our inspiring morning with the artist and designer. 

 
 

Location:

155 freeman, Brooklyn, NY 11222

 

First of all, tell us about your gorgeous new gallery space.

My old studio in bushwick changed over to a different kind of space so all of the artists in that building had to move. I loved that studio and the neighborhood so much, I wasn’t planning on leaving anytime soon. When things like that happen I have to believe it’s the universe telling you to do something different - so I did. I wanted either a larger space or a place on street level where I could create more brand awareness and host fun things that help create a feeling around my brand. I looked for 3 months and nothing really felt right until I walked in to the studio I ended up taking. It was definitely not within my studio budget (!!) but everything about it felt right so right then and there I basically just signed the papers and put a deposit down. when my body tells me something feels right I always listen.

 
 

How did you find yourself surrounded by textiles?

I have always been attracted to textiles. When I was at RISD I spent a year in rome and outside my studio window was this laundry line that changed every week and there was something about that cycle that really inspired me. I painted that laundry line every week both abstractly and realistically. still to this day the idea of the cycle of making things clean and then dirty again is a huge part of my paintings.

But my CZH textile company started sort of out of the blue - several years ago after a trip to bali, my paintings took the form of block printed textiles. I was working on large abstract paintings (on linen) and the block printing just sort of happened on the side as I was painting. Also I was teaching preschool at the time - teaching the kids about these super basic shapes which obviously filtered through to my work because its now the theme of my brand! Those kids really inspired me. they had this ability to be so present and bold about everything they made because it was the first time (for most of them) that they created art at all! I love that curiosity and openness and I try to bring that into everything I make, both paintings and textiles.  I was in my studio a lot during that time. I started making blankets for my home and my friends homes and then it all just sort of happened as I got more requests for throws and pillows.

 

What is the best part of the creative process for you.

The collecting of things. I am a scavenger. I travel to find interesting textures and I always bring back things and use them in my collages, paintings, and textiles. I explore to find new colors, cultures, and little shapes or motifs. Travel really opens me up, I see things more vividly, I absorb things from a new perspective and I understand myself and the world more fully. Oh! my other favorite part is the sample making for my textiles! Its so exciting making a spec sheet and then seeing it in the flesh. Every time a new sample comes its like Christmas.

 
 

Your paintings are just what we want to see hanging around our apartments. Where do you draw your inspiration for these things of beauty and how do they live with your other collections?

My paintings are inspired by color and the cycle of laundry. I have been collecting fabric for as long as I can remember. I have literally 7 bins in studio, just pounds and pounds of fabric I have collected over the years and I use that in most of my work by collaging layers and layers together. But inspiration comes in all forms sometimes it’s a conversation, sometimes it’s a feeling, sometimes it’s a physical thing.

 

Travel plays a huge role in your designs, tell us about the next adventure you have planned.

I am currently headed home from a trip I took to Italy! that’s the country I chose to base my spring summer collection on (each season at CZH is based on a city). Super excited to pull everything together when I get back.  The next trip I have on the docket is mexico. I am working to develop a system of production there for all of my woven goods – super excited about that! I will be working with several different families there and the goal is to have a system in mexico for all the rugs and wovens that is similar to the system we created in New Bedford, MA which is where all of my block-printed textiles are made.

 
 

What is the most memorable trip you've taken.

Probably to Antigua Guatemala. I love that country. I based my collection on that city two seasons ago. I went there to meet the weavers we work with for my lightweight rugs. I loved the feeling and the people there. Oh! and the food - they hand make all of their corn tortillas SO delish and in these little cobble stone streets you hear them clapping the corn meal together to make them into thin little patties.

 

After talking with you we learned you have a serious fine arts background, who are some artists that move you in your search for inspiration.

 

Anges Martin, Dana Schultz, Sheila Hicks, Richard Diebenkorn, Ty Twombly, Richard Tuttle, Picasso, Yoko Ono,  Landon Metz, Shara Hughes, Megan Petras, Ivin Ballen, DeKooning, John Chamberlain, Sol Lewitt. I could go on and on..

 

Describe a perfect day off.

Wake up, do yoga, walk around the city, get brunch with pals, and obviously go to the beach (when that is an option!)

 

Visit her website and Instagram here.

 
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Local Creatives: Frances Palmer & Lisa Przystup

 

Collaboration is a concept we hold in the highest regard. The sparks that fly through a meeting of the minds is invigorating and the process is always inspiring. People that compliment one in other in personality or skill create the most thoughtful end results.

We had the pleasure of sharing the day with two of these kinds of very special people, Frances Palmer and Lisa Przystup. The talents of these two ladies are endless. Potter, gardener, and the most gracious host, Frances invited us to visit her gorgeous grounds in Westport, Connecticut. Her gardens are just teeming with excitement to bloom in the upcoming crisp weather. We invited the lovely and gifted florist/writer Lisa Przystup to join us at France’s garden to create the most whimsical, heart breaking arrangements (in France’s unique ceramic creations of course!)

We spent the entire day frolicking through Frances courtyard turned garden and fields of dahlias, sunflowers and marigolds (don’t be jealous, you can do the same at the upcoming Garden Conservatory Open Days). Weaving through aisle after aisle of precious blooms, we were enchanted by the perfect afternoon (just enough clouds to capture the magic) and these ladies expertise when it comes to the garden, flowers and home. We were happy to do a little styling with France’s stunning ceramics and Lisa’s completed work.

It may sound silly but our little hearts skipped a million beats while watching these women work. Awe-inspiring magic from these two! At the end of our shoot Frances treated us to a homemade plum torte and fresh verbena tea (picked straight from her garden) which just put us into a happiness coma for our ride home. Enough from us, take some time to get know these skilled women, their process and how they found themselves surrounded with flowers!

 
 

Frances Palmer:

You have your hands in quite a bit of creative mediums. Walk us through a day in the life. 

Making pottery, gardening and cooking are connected and sympathetic to each other.  I think the underlying link is that ultimately, the process itself moves beyond my original intention. The work that I produce is more of a collaboration.  Meaning, the clay and firing transforms the thrown form, the planted seed in the garden grows as it will in a hopefully fertile bed and the food that I cook changes by virtue of the stove/oven.  I embrace these changes that occur beyond my control.

How did you find your way into gardening?

I grew up in New Jersey and my mother always had a flower and vegetable garden.  Also, NJ is known as the garden state and we had dairies and farm stands quite nearby.  When we moved out to CT, I was excited to have the opportunity to create a garden and especially grow flowers to use in conjunction with my ceramics

We love the idea you had to repurpose your tennis court into a garden! Please tell us more about that transformation.

The tennis court, which had been originally constructed in the 1930’s, was in disrepair when we purchased the house.  Our children were then young, so we restored the court.  In fact, none of us played tennis.  I had wanted more space to garden and my husband suggested the court, as it was already fenced.  I started with a few raised beds and am now up to quite a number.  It gets full sun all day and the flowers and vegetables are very happy there.

 
 

Favorite time of day to shoot ceramics and fresh flowers?  

First thing in the morning or last thing at night.


Your ceramics and fresh flower gardens speak beautifully to one another. Your handmadeceramics are so elegant yet whimsical in nature. As a potter, where do you find the balance inform and function?

I am a functional potter, so the first consideration is how the piece will work.  I often make pots to hold a particular flower or food and so will throw the form accordingly.  When I am at the wheel to finish the pot, it often guides me in the direction to follow to complete it.


So thrilled for your stunning gardens to be a part of The Garden Conservancy Open Daysprogram. Can you share some more details on this event? 

Yes, this Saturday, September 12th, my gardens will be open from 10-4 PM to benefit the Garden Conservancy Open Days Program for Fairfield County CT.  I believe that there are two other local gardens open that day.  Then, also on the 12th from 4:30 - 6 PM there is a Digging Deeper event, which is a cocktail party.  Details may be found at the gardenconservancy.org/opendays.

 
 

Best baked good to pair with a fresh arrangement while entertaining?

For an early morning, I often make a blueberry coffee cake to serve along with the flowers.


Thoughts on foraging?

My idea of foraging has greatly expanded this summer.  I took a workshop in June with Erin Benzakein of floretflower.com and she opened my eyes to all of the wonderful flowers/fruits that already are blooming on my property and on the roads.  Then, I was recently at a friend’s pollinator garden in Rhode Island.  Many of the plants that I once regarded as weeds are actually great pollinators for the bees and butterflies.  It amazes me how one can perceive something familiar so differently.  Now, I love using everything in my arrangements.

Visit Frances Palmer’s website // insta

 
 

Lisa Przystup of James's Daughter Flowers:

 

 

Studio location. 

Greenpoint.

We hear the early bird catches the worm, but seriously how early do you wake up as a florist?

Ugh. I’m terrible at this part. Guiltily not that early (I always set my alarm with the best of intentions though). Today was the exception to the rule: I woke at 6:00 am. It was still dark out. Just terrible.

What are those mornings like?

Regardless of how late or early I wake up the morning always looks the same: roll out of bed, make coffee, procrastinate, head out the door without breakfast, get to the market, buy a bunch of stuff, overestimate my capabilities and try to carry the impossible down to the subway (I don’t have a car). That usually ends two ways: 1. I actually make it to the subway and manage to take it back home (feeling self-conscious and neurotic the whole time that I’m pissing people off) or 2. I give in and take a cab.

 
 

We love that you are a slashie–A total multitalented queen. Tell us more about your day to day as a very talented florist and writer.

I’m a freelance copywriter for part of the week, I’m a freelance beauty writer another part of the week and I do flowers everywhere in between. This usually means that I really don’t have a day off but the nice thing is that I’m always doing something different.

 

Take us through your arranging thoughts (also known as your "process").

I know this sounds like a cop out but I don’t really have one. I usually do the whole “establish a base with greens, add in filler and top it off with some showstopper blooms” thing.

 

Florist babes all have a certain way with their blooms. What are three words to describe your arrangement style? 

Wild. Rambling. Unstable.

 
 

Favorite moment from frockling in Frances's garden wonderland. 

There’s something outrageously thrilling about being in a garden and just having flowers there to clip and use—it always feels like I’m somehow getting away with something.  Stumbling upon that creamy beige dahlia that looked like it was lit from within was also a pretty great moment.  Oh and of course plum cake and lemon verbena tea (we all can’t stop talking about it).

 

As a florist/writer with some serious style, which local designers are hanging in your closet? 

Ilana Kohn. Some Tocca from when Emma Fletcher was designing for them. But mostly a lot of vintage and Zara.

 

Saying goodbye to summer is so bittersweet, what are some things you are looking forward to about the fall season.

I’m still in denial about summer ending and answering this question would totally ruin my carefully constructed delusion.

 

Visit Frances Palmer’s website // insta    /     Visit James’s Daughter Flowers website // insta

 
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Local Creative: KT Smail

 

KT Smail is a Scottish illustrator living in New York. She has officially captured our hearts with her dreamy portraits and enchanting flower patterns. Delicate lines with intentional color, each stroke setting a new scene whether it’s a character, feeling or mood. It’s a love story made out of line and color and we could literally live in a KT Smail illustrated world for days.


KT herself is as much of a delight as her illustrations. Anything flowers and we are weak, but KT has used her art to create inspiring work for fashion, children, brides to be and to draw up of our favorite literary heroines. Have you seen her astrology inspired images? You must. (Nicole’s sign is Cancer, Jenna is Virgo if you are curious ;) ) For KT’s morning ritual and details on her sweet Scottish twang keep reading and excuse us as we float into a KT Smail dreamland.

 
 

Studio location.

The Bakery, South Williamsburg.

 

It’s always interesting to learn about a ladies morning ritual. What’s yours like?

I wake up around 7,  make myself warm water with lemon and try not to immediately check instagram and email (usually fail). Most mornings I light some palo santo or sage and do my yoga practise. Sometimes I go for a run instead. I have a tendency to rush around and get very anxious about things, so taking the time to wake up gently and move my body in the morning is really important to me, and makes me feel so much better for the rest of the day. I shower, make something yummy and healthy for breakfast and sit and read for ten minutes. This might be one of my favorites parts of the day. Then I take the subway to the studio, make a cup of tea and tackle emails before starting on some work.

 

How do your travels affect your work?

Travel is my favorite luxury; I really suffer from itchy feet if I am in the same place for too long. One of my favorite things to do in a new place is visit the botanical gardens, or some kind of wild and beautiful outdoor space, to see the local flora and fauna and find new ideas for color combinations.

I think that time off and travel are so important for resetting the creative brain, for allowing gaps for new things to grow. It is also really important to me to travel home every year; I love living in New York but sometimes I really miss Europe.

 
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Day you knew you were an illustrator.

Gosh, I might still be waiting?! The thing about working for yourself is that no one is going to give you the job title except you, and on bad days that feels kind of tricky. But I believe that thoughts become things, and once I started calling myself an illustrator the work came and I did feel more professional. Having said that, the day that my agency, Kate Ryan Inc, took me on was very validating for me, and most of the time I feel so proud to tell people what I do.

 

We love all the floral patterns in your work (such a dream), can you share the flower ladies whose arrangements move you to create?

Thank you! Painting flowers is my favorite thing. My darling friend Ariel Dearie has been a huge inspiration to me. Her floral arrangements are so pretty and painterly, but beautifully wild. We used to share a studio and it was heaven to be surrounded by her gorgeous flowers every day.

 
 

How do you find these beautiful faces to draw? We are enchanted by the melancholy but also cheery nature of your girl portraits.

I have always been drawn to tragic heroines in books and paintings; I think there can be something very beautiful in the melancholy. I also think that the image of womanhood which is often imposed upon us can seem so bloody perfect and sunny. It’s exhausting! I try to capture something a little more emotional in the girls that I draw. Not that I think that everyone is actually miserable, just that all the women who inspire me are a little more complicated.

 

Dream project?

I would love to travel the world, drawing local flora and fauna to compile into a book and exhibition.

 
 

Astrology prints! We just love them, so we have to ask what’s your sign?

Thank you. I’m Aquarius! I love astrology and feel very connected to my sign. I can gossip about astrology and the stars with people forever. My prints are available to buy, just send me an email :)

 

Favorite collaboration so far?

I am working on a collaboration at the moment with my husband, Fidel, who takes beautiful photographs (https://instagram.com/thecannykids/). We are planning a shoot where I will paint large abstract backdrops and I am really excited about it. It’s a little scary to work large scale, but I am trying to be brave and push myself! It will be fun to use my paintings in a new and different way.

 

 

Visit KT's website / insta

 
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Local Creative: Julia Zangrilli

 

What lovely lady wouldn’t want their own custom fragrance? None!!...exactly. That’s why we diligently did our research and discovered the super talented (and gorgeous) perfumer, Julia Zangrilli. This girl is the brainchild behind NOVA, a custom fragrance and retail collection that uses only the highest quality ingredients in her scents. We are 100% behind Julia’s particular style of fragrance composition. We did our best to play it cool when she introduced us to woodsy, exotic notes but we were loving on the lingering scents long after our visit.  

If you have been desperately struggling to find your perfect aroma (we’ve all been there), do yourself a favor a book a custom formula appointment with Julia. We are also all about her new custom fragrance parties! What amazing way to spend some time with your girl gang.  Keep reading for more details about this smart, savvy local lady. (SPOILER: we are crushing hard on her advice for creative women entrepreneurs.)

 
 

Studio Location.

292 New York Avenue #1 Brooklyn NY 11216

 

Tell us about your journey to making fragrances.

I graduated from college in 2008 with a Theater Performance degree. I waited tables and did plays/auditioned/played music around the city for a few years, which worked out quite happily for a time. I decided to switch directions in 2010/2011 and began floating from admin job to admin job, trying to figure out my next move. I worked for great companies but it was unsustainable given the randomness of my landing at each place. I was a new broom that swept great for a few months, maybe even a full year if I was around people I liked, but I’d continually begin to feel anchorless and then things would slide downhill from there. One day a friend (knowing I loved smelling / talking about fragrances) forwarded me info for an “Introduction to Perfumery” class. Something clicked, I’d even say snapped, and I became driven (far more driven than I was with performing arts) to learn and experiment more. After studying at a handful of places in and around New York City, and doing independent studies, I went to the Grasse Institute of Perfumery for an intensive certification program in raw materials. This for me was the peak of traditional learning, after that I proceeded with the next level - creation. I couldn’t find institutions in the states that were easy to access where creation training was concerned, so I taught myself based on my basic knowledge of formula structure from previous studies. There was a whole lot of trial, error and wasted materials - but the progress came faster than I had imagined. I developed my own understanding of materials dynamics / structure and ran with it. I began building custom fragrances for close friends as a way of live learning...what did people want? What were they drawn to? How could I learn from anyone? This mode of thinking helped me to refine my style in an interactive way and became the launch of my business.

 
 

Day to day of a perfumer?

Some days I’m chained to the computer, others I’m working at the scale or having meetings. I run errands, meet with business partners, handle menial tasks / big tasks. I like taking field trips and lunches with friends, I spend time hugging my dog. One thing I have been doing everyday is just meditating for 20 minutes. Helps to clear the brain and relax the body.

 

Scent you can’t live without.

I have two! The smell of my husband and the smell of my dog.

 

Love the concept for a scent party!  Please walk us through the details..

http://hello-nova.com/products/nova-scent-bar

 
 

Favorite place to grab breakfast? (a real satisfying breakfast)

Not a breakfast person but if I was it would be Mogador.

 

Earliest perfume memory?

My earliest memory would be of the bottles on my mother’s vanity - totally cliched but true. The first strong memory was when she came to pick me up from summer camp and she was wearing Jean Paul Gaultier for Women (I think it’s called Classique now).

 

Astrology sign? Do you think your sign enhances your sense of aroma?

Capricorn sun, Scorpio rising, Pisces moon. Hmm that’s a really interesting question! I’m sure on a creative/emotional level the answer is yes. On a physical level I think I have to thank my Dad for passing down his schnozz.

 
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3 words to describe your ideal fragrance.

Sensual. White. Luminous.

 

Best piece of advice for creative women looking to get entrepreneurial?

One bit of advice, which really kept me going on a creative level in the first stages of NOVA, is a quote from Ira Glass: “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

 

Visit Nova Perfume's website / insta

 
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