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Etsy Obsessed | Woman Shops World

We stumbled upon Carter Seibels Singh's Etsy Shop Woman Shops World, and fell in love with the vibrant colors of the African Vinyl Record Beads, Tassels, Vintage African Aso Oke Textiles, Ankara Batik African Textiles, and beads from India and Nepal. Her shop is beautifully curated and the photos make us want EVERYTHING! Not only is she bringing us amazing things from far off places, but she also donates a portion of her proceeds to human-rights organization around the world. She is currently donating to V-Day, a global organization dedicated to ending violence against women worldwide. Everyone can use a little color in their life, so do yourself a favor and check out her shop here!









Fem Friday | Zoë Sundra

We are so happy that the beautiful and incredibly talented Zoë Sundra has taken the time to answer a few questions this week, her music and style will blow your minds, like it has ours!

KSD: First things first, we love your music and your personal style, it is so distinct to you and your music.  Who are your music and fashion influences?

ZS: Oh man! Ani Difranco was my savior from ages 8-22. Literally couldn't get enough of albums like Dilate, Out of Range and Little Plastic Castle! Neko Case and Neil Young really influence my sound, but Stevie Nicks and Patti Smith both play a huge role with their lyrics and incredible style.

  "bringing sequins back to folk music"

"bringing sequins back to folk music"

Fashion wise it started at an early age.  My dad has always been a stylin' dude, and watching shows like Clarissa Explains it All and Roundhouse on Nickelodeon played a huge part in shaping my sense of style. I lean red to sew in 5th grade and started creating genius one of a kind pieces that I would wear to school with some rad day glow pink saddle shoe, but unfortunately I was way ahead of my time and wasn't received well amongst my Connecticut peers. I've been heavily influenced by the work of Leigh Bowery, Frida Khalo's wardrobe and eyebrows, Klaus Nomi's signature stage costumes, and the culture of Patricia Field. I am a drag queen at heart.  Once I found her store on Bowery, my mind has been consistently blown ever since.

KSD: When and why did you start playing and what made you decide to get into the world of fashion?

ZS: Well I would say making music was in the stars, while fashion and wardrobe styling was a happy accident. I started playing trumpet when I was 8, singing in choirs around the same time and eventually I got a guitar at 15. It was really just a hobby and even more so once I went to art school. I didn't trust my songwriting ability and had a major case of stage fright. I took this incredible class at MassArt called Sound Performance that basically taught me everything I know about commanding an audience's attention, being in charge on stage and creating a powerful performance. After that I move to Brooklyn and couldn't stop writing songs and performing!

Fashion was just a series of lucky meetings. I got an internship my first week of living in NYC in the wardrobe department of this makeover show (which was cancelled after like, 6 episodes) but I got a ton of experience in a short period of time. After that show ended I started getting paid jobs assisting really great stylists and one thing lead to another. I guess a certain amount of hard work went into it, but I was also very lucky to meet the people I did!

KSD: What was the first tune you learned, and is there a tune you are dying to learn?

ZS: I can still play the first tune! Overlap by Ani Difranco baby, and I'm proud of it! Literally that was all I could play for like two years, until I started taking guitar lessons and finally learned proper chords, scales, etc. I am currently practicing Whole Lotta Love by Led Zepplin and let m tell you, it's gonna RAWK!

KSD: We Know you juggle being a musician and stylist, do you find that the two worlds influence/inspire the other creatively?

ZS: Absolutely! I like to say I'm bringing sequins back to folk music (despite them never really being there in the first place) and injecting the scene with a much needed dose of swag. The first thing anyone looks at when a musician takes the stage is their look! So many musicians don't know what their look is or how to achieve it (worse they deny that is matters at all) and become stuck with this generic image of "folk" or "rock" or "pop". I try to make it clear that my style is not tied to how my music sounds. It's the energy of my performance, the honesty of my lyrics, the message I'm trying to communicate. People like Grace Potter, David Bowie, Bjork, and Florance + the Machine really utilize the fashion world to their advantage and always have a dynamic wardrobe to match their stage performances. The stage is a vehicle to showcase my style and i love using every opportunity I get to bridge these two worlds!

 #swag

#swag

KSD: What are your fondest musical memories, and is there a styling gig that you are most proud of?

ZS: Musically it had to be going on my first national tour with Laura Ganci of  American Echoes. It was a perfect 5 weeks spent traveling this great nation with one of my best friends and OH MAN did we have a good time!!! We even kept a blog.

With styling it has to be my work with Stacy London from TLC's What Not to Wear. I worked with her in various capacities for 5 years and each experience was so diverse and fun, it was definitely the best learning experience I could ask for.

KSD: What songs/artists are you obsessing over right now? What piece of clothing/designers are you obsessing over right now?

ZS: HAIM!!!!! Guys if you aren't listening to Haim then you are truly missing out. Those ladies not only write a great song, but they are incredible musicians and performers. Check out their live show as soon as you can! Also Danny Schmidt, Shakey Graves and Jessie Ware.

I'm loving the loudness of Prada, Pucci's fringe and Saint Laurent's general bad-ass-ness. But lately, the fashion world has been annoying me with their shapeless bags in these stiff fabrics that a curvy lady like myself simply cannot wear! In those cases I skip over to my favorite thrift store (which will remain a secret) and dig for perfectly worn sweatshirts and kaftans a la 1978. I love living in New York because the street style keeps e inspired and constantly evolving my personal style.

KSD: You are playing shows all over the NYC area, what upcoming show are you most looking forward to and what your you going to wear?

ZS: March 31st Im playing Rockwood Music Hall, it will be a glorious affair! I am hoping for weather slightly warmer than 17 degrees, in which case my look will be inspired by Givenchy's latest campaign with Erykah Badu. Tribal realness through the lens of Keith Haring. Before that I'll be touring Massachusetts March 14th - 20th, playing some really great venues and cleaning out every Salvation Army in my path.

KSD: Can we expect a new album from you soon?

ZS: Nothing is being recorded now but Im going to drop a sick album Beyonce style and blow the competition out of Brooklyn!

Thank you Zoë Sundra for an awesome Q+A, we can't wait to catch an upcoming show.  You can check out upcoming show dates and her music here!  Trust us when we say, a live show from this chick will not disappoint. 

White on White on White

We love the way these white on white rooms look, it is all about use of shape, texture, and finish that provide depth and interest.  Our only issue is keeping it clean, and where to keep the gallons of bleach ;) Here are a few of our faves!









And here are a few accessories we think would look amazing paired together to achieve an all white look. Click on the pic to find out where you can buy.









Fem Friday | L. Kate Interiors

To Celebrate the end of the week (when are we gonna get some warm weather here in in NYC already?!) we are psyched to share this week's Q+A with our good pal and fellow NYC-based interior designer, Lindsay Feldman of L. Kate Interiors!

Lindsay's story is quite similar to ours.  After graduating from school and honing her skills working for other high-end firms, she decided to put those skills to use and open up her own shop! We totally dig her effortlessly yet tailored style, and her use of modern, timeless classics layered with pattern and color - basically our dream! She's someone we both admire as a woman in the biz, and envy for all of her amazing projects that we've been secretly stalking on her website and Facebook page daily :) After checking out her Q+A and website, we know you'll be right there with us  Enjoy!

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KSD: Hi Lindsay!! A project of yours was recently featured on Stylemepretty.com congrats! It looks fantastic! That must have been so exciting!

LKI: Yes, I was thrilled! It was my first blog feature ever, and my client initiated it. It was so flattering and such an unexpected compliment that she wanted to showcase her new home.

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KSD: So Tell us a little bit about your path to this point, like did you jump right into design immediately after school or explore any other similar avenues? Tell us about some of your experiences that led you to become the amazing designer that you are!

LKI: I have loved Interior Design forever! I was the kid who would go to friend's houses for a play date and redecorate their bedrooms for fun!!! It has always been something I naturally loved to do. I went to Syracuse University and studied Interior Design. After many late nights in the studio - and honestly loving every minute of it, I moved to NYC and worked for a high-end furniture showroom, Maurice Villency. There I worked on floor plans for design presentations.  I then worked for two amazing Interior Designers who taught me the ropes. I received first hand experience in residential design, working one on one with clients and learning the ins and outs of the industry. The experience I received with Stephanie Wolf of Interiors by M&S and then Amanda Nisbet from Amanda Nisbet Design gave me the invaluable knowledge I needed to confidently take it to the next step, opening my own design firm.

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KSD: Break it down for us - how scary/exciting was it finally taking that leap and opening up your own firm?!?

LKI: Terrifying. In order to make this decision confidently I decided to take a part time job as a sales consultant at Jonathan Adler. This gave me the ability to build up my client base while knowing I wasn't completely on my own yet. I also improved my sales skills while working there and before I knew it the part time hours were taking away from the attention I wanted to be giving to my clients. This was the best-case scenario and this was the point at which I knew I was ready.

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KSD: So what's been your most exciting project so far? How about the most challenging?

LKI: Each and every project is both exciting and challenging and that's why I love what I do. I love meeting with the new clients and then working collaboratively towards creating their dream homes. I love that each and every day is completely different from the day before!

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KSD: Can you tell us a little bit about some of the projects you're working on now?

LKI: I'm working on a multitude of different types of projects. A contemporary town house in Brooklyn, an Upper West Side Pre-War apartment, a two-bedroom renovation in Midtown, a dental office in Midtown, and homes in Westchester. I really enjoy how each project is very different in scale and budget. There is no job too small or too large, and that's what keeps me energized and continuously inspired!

KSD: Like us, you're probably always on the hunt for new, exciting and inspiring goodies - anything you've recently discovered or fallen in love with that you can share with us?

LKI: Of course! Let me dig into my vault!!!!

Workstead Lighting is amazing and so innovative. I just used their Bent Wall Lamp upside down as a Kitchen Island Pendant.

PELLA Design is another fun furniture manufacturer, their pieces are very sculptural and become a real focal point in any room!

C. Bell is a Go To for me when I am looking for that perfect piece to add glamour or whimsy to any space! They are located on Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach, and specialize in 20th century pieces - LOVE!

Stray Dog - Anyone designing a kid's bedroom should know about Stray Dog! Their lighting and mirrors are a dream and are the perfect finishing touch to any children's space!

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KSD: You featured a Bergere chair restoration on your page a little while back - you took an old armchair you found at Housing Works, lacquered the frame and re-covered it all by yourself - that's crazy!! The chair looks so great - do you DIY often? Where is the chair now? (AND CAN WE HAVE IT?)

LKI: The best $75 I ever spent!!!!! It's in my apartment! I love that chair…I wish I could do more, but unfortunately I live & work in a studio apt. so there are only so many square feet to house my miscellaneous furniture and accessory addictions! However, I absolutely loved refurbishing that chair and if anyone finds a vintage gem that needs some TLC, you know where to find me!

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Before

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After

KSD: Switching gears a bit - you have an amazing, close-knit group of family and friends that you document on Instagram and Facebook, how do you juggle work and family life to make the most of both? It's a real challenge!!

LKI: As much as I get joy every day by my work, it would be nothing if I didn't have people around me to share it with. They truly are my cheerleaders. Watching my parents growing up taught my sister and I what it means to be motivated. Both of us are constantly working and trying new things, bouncing ideas off of each other! My friends are the same, so when we all get together it is a nice break, we really enjoy each other's company and cherish the time we have.

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KSD: OK, saved the best one for last - we talk about this all the time at our office when we're feeling sassy - tell us all about your dream project! Obviously it starts with no budget...

LKI: No Budget!!! I can hardly imagine what that would be like, but here goes. I have always been infatuated with stories of the Catskills and everyone living in small bungalows but being part of a bigger community with that "I'm on vacation" mind set. To be able to design a contemporary version of these would be the ultimate. A high end, luxury style bungalow colony with small homes that are beautifully designed and curated but still casual. A place where families return year after year and traditions are built. Where beds feel like clouds, and two rocking chairs sit at every doorstep. My goal has always been to design homes where families can live and grow amongst spaces that are comfortable and stylish, and represent those who are living there. To be able to design an entire vacation community like this would definitely be my dream!

Thank You Lindsay for taking the time to talk with us, and we cannot wait to see more from you.  Stay warm, Winter Storm Titan is coming!  :(

Fem Friday | Thumbs Cookies

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! Today is the perfect day to feature our Q+A with Miss Robyn Frank of Thumbs Cookies. She has been working her tail off getting all of her V-day orders out and not only are her cookies super delish, they are made with lots of L-O-V-E!

Read on to hear about how this amazing lady took a leap of faith and started her own, uber successful business.

We really love this chic!

 

KSD: ok full disclosure, we go way back. heeey girrllll! thanks so much for takin the time. how busy are you with v-day coming up?

RF: It has been nutty with Valentine's Day. It's not just a holiday for love birds. Everyone wants to show their love for family, friends etc..and that means lots of cookie making!

 

KSD:  let's start at the beginning. a girl from minnesota treks out to the big apple to pursue her acting dream, does it amazingly well for many years and now makes delicious cookies in honor of a family tradition. are we getting this right?

 RF: Yeah. I am and will always be an actress. Now I just happen to be an actress who bakes and shares cookies with the world. I had just gotten tired of waiting for the "phone to ring" for movie roles and wanted to take matters into my own hands. I started baking a lot while I was thinking about my career and I realized how happiness "thumbs" brought people. I would bake them and have people try them and I realized how good it felt to do something so close to my heart and to the baking traditions of my family. Acting isn't going anywhere, so I thought...why not share this part of myself and right now. I think you can have multiple dreams and find ways to pursue them all in some fashion.

KSD: being a business woman, in NYC no less, ain't easy and it's all about the hustle.  what tips can you give future female entrepreneurs for how to go out and get what they want?

RF: Start with your friends and the people who believe in you and want to see you succeed. That's you're community. Those people matter most to you on a daily basis and in the larger picture. They will have answers, connections and encouragement for you. That's the first thing. Secondly, reach out to people that know more than you and ASK FOR HELP! You'd be amazed at how people like to help other people if you just ASK. My mom always says, most people don't get where they are without help and she's right. I think sometimes we just over think this step, when it can be the shortest and easiest route to getting what you want. And then, you must pay that help forward as you gain your own momentum.

KSD: we are pretty shameless here, so indulge us by sharing a business moment that didn't work out the way you wanted it to. knowing you, it'll be a pretty funny story- no pressure ;)

RF: Well, let's just say, if you saw me and my "production" up close, you'd think I was a hot mess. There are usually pans and flour and lord knows what else flying around my work space as I try to keep it all together and organized but it usually looks like a sh-t show.  But there was a time I was making Thumbs in my first professional baking space. The kitchen was in the back of a bar and I would bake late at night after the kitchen had closed but the bar was sill full of people drinking. Well, I proceeded to bake a huge batch of cookies and after about 12 minutes, it smelled of what was almost the smell of burnt hair or toast! Yes, I turned to look at the oven only to see a cloud of SMOKE which then flooded into the bar area. I opened the oven only to see about 140 black burnt cookies. Followed by the smoke alarm going off and everyone having to leave the bar for a minute. My hands are sweating as I tell this story because it was BEYOND embarrassing! Turns out that I didn't notice that the oven was at 500 degrees as opposed to 350. Oy. Now, I'm in a different kitchen. So far so good. 

KSD: you're a strong, smart, beautiful, independent woman- you're basically Beyonce.  how the hell did you get like this?  

RF: Haha! I just laughed really hard when I saw this question. I do have a little ways to go before reaching Beyonce status but I'll take the compliment for the sake of the interview. Truly, I'm just trying to keep up with what the women in my family ARE and WERE like. My great grandmother opened her own dress shop after her husband left her unexpectedly with two kids. My grandma had her own business and taught me how to play black jack and cook. My mom is one of the most compassionate and quietly strong women that I know who taught me how to bake and build relationships and my sister runs her own business and reminds me every day of the importance of making your own mark on the world around you. These are my teachers and my inspiration. And I love that when I'm in the kitchen, I'm constantly reminded of the things they have taught me. I also know they would laugh at me in my chaotic moments which helps me to laugh at myself when things don't go completely right. 

KSD: everyone always asks, what’s your 5/10/20 year plan, and it can be maddening at times, but seriously, what do you hope for yourself and Thumbs in the years to come? any short term/long term goals you have in mind?

RF: Well, sometimes I have to just take a minute and smile at the fact that Thumbs exists at all! It was just a thought in my head and it's nice to get any sort of brand recognition from strangers or people in my network. I think it's important to appreciate the little things like that along the way. Ultimately, I would LOVE to have a THUMB BUG! Yes, a little VW bug that drives around and gives Thumbs to people. It will be purple and full of love, creativity and cookies! That's definitely part of the dream. I also just hope to be in some larger stores and ultimately be a product that consumers recognize and get excited about. I have also been thinking about doing a little show sponsored by Thumbs. You'll see. More to come on that.

KSD: finally, if you had to do this journey all over again, would you change anything, or are you a believer in things happen for a reason?

RF: Haha. Oy. I just think about how obvious it was that I had no idea what I was doing when I first started! And, I still feel that way on a daily basis, but for the most part, I really don't think I would have changed much. I feel pretty lucky for having the support I have had around me so that's been a huge part of the journey. But some days, I do wish I would have invented the cronut. That guy is killing. But, I'll stick to mini cookies full of love for now. There definitely can never be too many of those in the world.

Thanks, Robyn, for taking the time to answer our questions, and Happy Valentine's Day to you and all of our loved ones!!!

xx

KSD

 

 

Fem Friday | The Lacquerie!

We are SO FREAKING excited about our Q+A with Stacy Haskell, founder of The Lacquerie, a beautiful blog that if you aren't following you should...like now (well, after your read this post).  Stacy has the coolest, most effortless style vibe, is an incredible artist and amazing graphic designer.  We'll get to her Q+A in a minute, but just take a look at few pictures she snapped while on a recent trip through Italy.  Do you get why we're slightly obsessed?

Ok! Now that you're just as in love with her as we are, here's our Q+A with Miss Stacy:

KSD: stacy! you and your awesome blog have been on our mind. thanks so much for taking the time to answer a few questions. hope they aren't boring!

SH: Of course! This is so fun, thanks for thinking of me!

KSD: you recently went on a trip across europe. what was your favorite place to visit (not a fair question, we know!) and why? was it the culture, the people, the beautiful landscape?

SH: As cliché as it may sound, Paris was actually my favorite city. In the months leading up to this trip, I was pretty sure that I’d like France the least but it turned out to be inspiring in every way. From the classic muted gray and cream colored buildings to the Parisians’ effortless sense of style, I was in love with it all. There’s just something so perfect about the light in Paris that made me want to take a million photos. And I had no problem settling into that cafe culture of espresso and people watching.

KSD: having recently traveled abroad, we came back full of fresh design ideas and were overwhelmingly inspired by the rich history that europe + asia have to offer. what inspired you the most during your travels?

SH: This is a tough one, but I’d have to say color. I’ve always been so fascinated by color palettes and how much they impact our mood. While traveling from country to country, I noticed how each city had such a distinct color story of it’s own. It’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think back to each place; vibrant Barcelona, moody Paris, candy-coated Nice, etc. So when I work with these colors today, they almost transport me back to that exact time and place.

KSD: something very exciting happened while you were there- you got engaged, congrats! we are so happy for you and have already been stalking all of your wedding posts. even though you are an east coast gal living on the west coast, your aesthetic feels very cali (which we love!) you have an obvious love for soft palettes and a relaxed but sophisticated vibe, will we be seeing that in the design for your wedding?

SH: Absolutely! No matter which way I turn it, I find my personal style sneaking into everything I do. So I should probably apologize to my fiancé in advance as this wedding is beginning to look very Lacquerie-esque!

KSD: if you could describe the design elements of your dream wedding in 5 words, what would they be?

SH: elegant, vintage, beachy, timeless, ivory : may sound a little contradictory but somehow they make perfect sense together in my mind...

KSD: you recently did a post on mixing patterns in fashion. in interior design, it can sometimes be difficult to sway clients to throw caution to the wind and mix + match. what makes for a successful pattern combo?

SH: Well, I don’t have any rules or secrets but I love playing with scale when it comes to texture and pattern. I try to choose a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes where the largest pattern design stands out as the main focus and lets the smaller, more subtle patterns act as afterthoughts. And as always, color is a big player, so I look for a common hue to tie everything together.

KSD: radiant orchid was 2013's color of the year. what is your 2014 color of the year?

SH: Since I’ve been looking into all kinds of floral arrangements lately, I’ve noticed that I keep coming back to Dusty Miller. I think it’s actually a weed, but that cool shade between sage green and pale mint is perfect. Of course, it’s soft and subtle and adds to the long list of neutrals that I always go for… Surprise, surprise!

KSD: you have a big year ahead of you and we can't wait to follow along via the lacquerie.  what are you goals for the new year, personally + professionally?

SH: I guess my goal for 2014 falls under both personal and professional as I’m still searching for my “dream job”. I want to find a way to combine my passion for all things creative beyond graphic design. Photography, interior design, style, music, and now even the crazy world behind event planning inspires me on a daily basis. I want to be able to switch gears often and explore endless possibilities. Ultimately, I just want to get paid to do what I love. Who doesn’t?

We know we should end it here because her final answer was perfection, but we just had to show you some of her artwork, which you can find on her Etsy shop, TheLacquerie

Thanks Stacy for being such awesome inspiration and taking the time to answer our questions- now go plan your wedding!! ;)

xx

KSD



Minted.com Love

We have long been fans of Minted.com for their fresh and creative stationary ideas. Having personally used them as our paper source for announcing awesome life moments, we are psyched about what they're doing over at their blog, Julep, which highlights super fun DIY + home inspiration for all facets of your life.  Here are a few of our fav posts:

perfect post about lighting that is effortless, a bit industrial and all really striking.

with all the snow we've been getting, this is the perfect DIY for a wintery day.

lonny mag NEVER gets it wrong and we are obsessed with this bedroom shot. from the headboard, to the handira blanket, the mosaic mother-of-pearl flooring- it's a dream that we never want to wake up from.

We've also been keeping our eye on their art prints and the collections just keep getting better. they are whimsical and fun and the color palettes are pretty much the best. It's impossible to choose which ones we love the most, but we'll try :)

They also do custom art prints that are just too darling for words- perfect for the kiddos.

xx

KSD



Source: http://www.minted.com

Fem Friday Kick Off

A while back we mentioned we were going to start a blog post every Friday featuring inspiring ladies who are doing their thing (or should we say thannng)!  We are surrounded by women who have taken the leap to starting their own business and for semi-new business owners ourselves, we like to see how they do it, and what tips they  have to share.

To kick off Fem Fridays, we thought what better way than to feature someone who seriously DOES IT ALL.  Her name is Gina Fay, and she is the founder of DanceFIT Studio + Virtual DanceFIT Studio.  With our crazy work schedule, we religiously take her virtual classes + they are amazing!!  This post would go on for eternity if we kept writing about all the awesomeness that she encompasses so we did a lil' Q+A with her.  Check out what Gina has to say about being a female business owner, a mom + wife (to an incredibly supportive husband!) and how she does it all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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Meet Gina! 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  What was the path leading up to starting your own small business?  How did you finally decide to make that leap?

Thank you for featuring me! My name is Gina and I am the owner of DanceFIT Studio, which is located in Brookline and Natick, MA.  Our dance studio is a warm, friendly and unique dance community for kids and adults! Our first and foremost goal is for our young dancers to fall in love with movement and ballet.  I am also the founder of Virtual DanceFIT Studio a unique online fitness studio.  I have always dreamed of owning my own studio, but after taking an inspiring business class with Donald Mitchell at Brookline Adult Education, I was ready!

How long have you had your own business + what has been the biggest learning curve in that time? 

I was young, 24 years old when I opened the doors of DanceFIT Studio. We have been open for 6 years. I took the leap very cautiously holding only 3 classes a week my first month in business. Now, we have a big schedule of more than 40 classes per week.  I feel like I am learning and embracing new things every day.

While you have a great in studio following, a big part of your business is virtual- why do you think virtual appeals to such a large audience?

I love our virtual fitness world! It feels like an actual studio...almost more personal than a studio! I get to see, hear and be a part of your actual homes! I get to unite amazing women from all parts of the US.  When I started the virtual program I was hesitant that it wouldn't work- that clients would want more from the concept. I think the women in our virtual classes have propelled the program to its success. Many virtual clients take more than 7 classes a week and are comfortable chatting before and after class.  Everyone is so welcoming and encouraging-it is an atmosphere that you want to be a part of.  And yes, I think the workouts are pretty amazing too ;)

How does social media impact your business and have you seen a significant change in the past year or so with social media becoming a sort of epicenter for how people communicate?

Social media has helped DanceFIT in so many ways.  Not only is it used for my staff and I to communicate with clients, but also it is a wonderful way for our clients to communicate and get to know each other. We are so lucky to have Katrina Sloan as our social media manager engaging our clients, creating fun contests and networking with other fitness and dance communities. I feel incredibly flattered when a client tags me or DanceFIT in a status update or comment sharing how much they enjoyed their workout or daughter's ballet class.

What do you see as your biggest success to date? Any future goals that you'd like to share?

My biggest success....truly?!?!.....surviving the first year of having my children 14 months apart. Hahaha....I have two amazing boys that are now 3 & 4 years old.  They keep me on my toes, literally ALL DAY! I feel a big success at the end of every day :)  Professionally speaking, I am very proud of my staff and the business we have grown together.  Future goals....DanceFIT Studio is opening its second location this December in Natick, MA! My new studio is only 5 minutes from my house so I am very excited about the day-to-day hands on involvement and a lot of teaching. 

Something we've noticed + admired about what your business has created, is a sense of community amongst women from all around the world.  Why do you think it's important for women to support other women?

I love this question! Women supporting women have driven DanceFIT! As women we all go through many similar issues in which we can help each other cope, boost someone out of a negative mood or even push someone off the couch to get a workout in. At our studio the clients support each other with high fives, smiles and sweaty hugs. In our virtual studio our clients support each other with a Facebook post, positive quote, a funny story about their kids and yes, lots of virtual hugs on difficult days. 

Do you have any advice for the ladies out there who are thinking of going out on there own?

When anyone asks me about owning their own business I remind them that you learn as you go.  Get help from professionals and experts when you are lacking a skill and as long as you are doing something you love, your passion will drive your business's success. 

A wife, a mom to two cutie pies, an owner of a super successful business- how do you keep it all together? When do you find time for yourself?

I don't always keep it together. As I write this, my house is a mess, I am tired and my to do list is on its 3rd page. Meltdowns are common in my house and I am not just speaking of the children.  It is very important for me to make time for myself and eat healthy, which is exactly why I created 6FIT.  I know the importance of eating healthy and how clean eating keeps me happy, energized and full!  I love getting massages, manicures and taking naps during my "free" time, which is cherished when it comes! My husband, Chris, is my rock. He holds the family and me together and gives me time for myself. Most importantly he knows how much sleep I need to function and gives me a chance to sleep in when I need it.  Although he isn't plastered all over DanceFIT, he helps a LOT with my business. Every single constant contact email you have ever read has been revised and revised by him.  He is a very hands-on dad and takes the kids on adventures when I need a break, a quiet house or need to get work done. DanceFIT is my 3rd baby, so I don't feel like I am doing work all the time...I love what I do!

What/who inspires you the most- what drives you to keep going on those days where nothing seems to be going right-please tell us we aren't the only ones with horribly crazy days!? :)

My mom!!! She is my guardian angel looking down on me!  She was such an amazing mom who put my sisters and I before everything in her life. She gave us such a beautiful childhood and I have no idea how she held it together on rough days, and I know she had them because my sisters and I weren't the easiest ;)  I will give you a glimpse....imagine 3 sisters sharing a bedroom.  Yes, that was us for our entire childhood and teenage years.  Imagine the fights...clothes stealing and overall drama.  When days are rough I think about my mom and how she kept a smile on her face!

How would you describe your personal style?

Anything that looks dance-like and that I can run after my kids in!  My style has certainly taken a hit the past 4 years. I used to shop A LOT.  Now I hit up Nordstrom once a year and the majority my clothes come from Target (they have cute stuff!).  I love Lululemon clothes and they last forever! You will find me in leggings, legwarmers and off the shoulder sweatshirts quite often. My style has sort of an 80’s vibe hahaha. I also love headbands and wear one for every workout. I wear a lot of berets and colorful scarves too.

What do you think makes for a comfortable home/work space? Is it the lighting, a cozy blanket, the color of the walls etc...?

Colors of the walls are huge for me! I love light grey-blue because it is so calming. I personally love colors that are mimicked in nature, green, blue, grey, brown.....I hate bad lighting!  Soft lights are beautiful.  We moved into a new house last January and I am still anxious to start painting and remodeling.  I would love a virtualFIT studio makeover!

And of course, we have to ask, what would your dream dance studio look like?

I am in the process of designing it. DanceFIT Natick is beautiful. It is a small studio but it has cork floors (yay for our knees), beautiful adjustable lighting and high ceilings.  The studio is painted a pale yellow and our lobby is a chic grey. I’d like the dance studio furniture to be white and clean and glossy! :)  I will have inspiration quotes, beautiful photos and personal touches to make it feel like a home away from home for anyone who enters.  Our big project right now is installing a large viewing window for parents to watch ballet classes from the lobby.  I can't wait to show you pictures!

Thank you, Gina, for being so open + honest with us!! You truly are an inspiration!  

For more information on DanceFIT Studio or Virtual DanceFIT studio, their class schedule, 6FIT program etc, check out http://dancefitstudio.com/new/home/

They also have an awesome Facebook page and Pinterest Account

Happy Friday everyone + have a beautiful weekend!! 

xx

k+s

Source: http://kroesserstrat.com

Kid's Bedrooms Galore...

Typically the design world comes to a halt in the summer time, leaving us loads of time to beach it, pool it, vacation it.  This summer, not so much, but busy is good and as a year old company, we are not complaining!

The past few weeks we've been bouncing back and forth between two really fun projects- both for the client's kid's bedrooms!



Color blocking built-ins. shocker! we can't get enough of it!


Walls: Benjamin Moore- Polar Ice.
We cut the color in half for the crown + the beams and painted the ceiling in BM's Super White 02.
Windows: Missoni
Ceiling Fixture- Solaria Bubbles Chandelier.  It's ok to be obsessed with it, we are too!
Dresser- Our client found this at Jonathan Adler- totally perfect fit.
Floors: NuSilk carpet.  Not silk, but looks + feels like it!
Bed: Kid's Supply. We used a great ostrich vinyl to upholster the headboards + footboards.
Somebody had a really hard time with this vacuum.  She swears it wasn't her first time using one.

Across town, we're working on two bedrooms. Installation of the furniture + floors isn't until after Labor Day, but here's a sneak peak of one of the rooms...





This room is small and used primarily when the eldest son is home visiting from college.  The furniture we're installing is all white and will take up most of the room, so we went dark, really dark on the walls ceilings and floor, matching the doors + trims with a corresponding paint color.  Our wallpaper installer kept insisting he could wallpaper the crown molding. We said, "No. It'll look crappy, please don't."  He really wanted to prove us wrong so he did a sample of it and, well, we were wrong. It looks FAB!

Walls + Ceiling: Phillip Jeffries: Juicy Jute Grasscloth


xoxo
a+a

just FYI

this is amazing...i want it in every color!!!  Espesh pink..

Zack Morris would wear this surfing......Zinka Nosecoat.  buy buy buyyyyyyyyy!!!  And it's like $6/tube ps so super cheap.



xxoxoxoxoxoxo
a+a

DIY Nakashima Table Inspiration..

OK, so most of you design-obsessed out there (like us!) have heard of the design world icon George Nakashima, designer and craftsman of beautiful free-formed, hand made wood furniture.  Where most furniture and design is created by the designer, their approach is to allow the beauty of the grain and form and shape of the wood pieces available dictate the design of the piece... truly revolutionary.  And creates a beautiful relationship between designer and material in a time of mass production when everything looks the same.  The result is a piece of furniture that is equal parts form and function - art and everyday usable furniture, aaahmazing.  His studios are still up and running to this day, headed up by his daughter, Mira, in New Hope, PA..it's a must-visit-before-i-die kind of place, truly inspiring just to walk around the grounds and explore the studios. 

Original Nakashima Trestle Table, 1965, via here

Orig Minguren III Dining Table from '78..via here
 

Now, if you've heard of Nakashima, you must also be familiar with the price of his pieces...crazy and wayyyyyyyy out of our budget!  And now that we're hopefully moving to a bigger place, I dream of my own Nakashima-esque dining table in our apartment, and there's some great stuff out there..but we want it to be unique! and hand made! and CHEAP!!!  CB2's Dylan Dining table is a great option just sooo.. CB2...so...that said, here's our inspiration combining Nakashimaness + CB2ness..and a fun idea we're psyched to try out soon and let you know how it turns out...

TheLumberShack on Etsy is an amazing shop with gorgeous free-form wood pieces sold as a matched pair as a "DIY Table Top", finished or unfinished, assembled or unassembled, ready for you to do with them what you please!  They offer coffee table top sizes, bench sizes, dining table sizes, and custom as well!  the possibilities are endless!  This pair is giving me heart palpitations as we speak...and what about legs you say?  We're loving hairpin, and they're so inexpensive!!  Just a quick google search and we came up with a few good options...namely Ian MacLean, but there are etsy shops out there who sell them as well, among other online retailers.  So...


+

+
a little hard work 
=
 my new dining table at a fraction of the cost of the real thing!  we'll keep you posted with pics!!

xxoxoxo
a+a

solid gold baby...

so, totally obvious to everyone who's ever read this blog previously or met us or spent time near and/or around us or anyone we knowww, a + I loooove all things brass and gold and shiny.  the shinier the better.  we love!

During a little eBay shopping trip for vintage modern brass anything last night I somehow managed to contain myself and not bid on eeeverything, but instead thought i'd share with you some fun finds we thought might inspire...

And bear in mind, whatever's hanging around your house and isn't gold already can always (inexpensively) become gold...

gold + antlers...my dream.  such a cool wall hanging, would look amazing over a bed or sofa..kiinda pricey for eBay but it's so unique!  via here

gorgeous.  a vintage brass + patina ashtray/bowl from israel with hammered interior, via here

love vintage hardware!!  there's so much of it out there to choose from too, and at a good price!  Slap these on a plain old ikea set of drawers (This is perfect!  and such a fun new color, especially with the brass hardware!) and for around $100 you have a beautiful and unique piece of furniture!  via here

an iconic piece of mid-century modern design, set of ben seibel for raymor bookends.  no reserve so they can possibly sell for way under value!  6 days left on the auction, keep an eye on them here 

beautiful mosaic porcelain lamp with brass base, lots of warm tones with texture to spare.  would make a great addition to a modern space, or add a modern touch to a more traditional space.  put on a tailored linen drum shade and you're good to go!  via here

you can't have brass without a hint of modern regency, now can you?  these mid-century sconces are gorgeous and unique, and scream modern hollywood glamour.  I'm sure they give off the perfect amount of romantic ambient light too..made of solid bronze the finish needs a little tlc as you can see from the pics, but otherwise they're gorgeous..auction is for one so keep an eye on the pair! via here

and finally, my new obsession - super skinny candlesticks.  and their super skinny holders.  and this vintage one is such a good price starting at $9.99 with no bids and only a few hours left!  someone buy pleaaaaase????  via here

have fun shopping!!!

xxoxoxo
a+a

Etsy obsessed..

new day, new etsy obsession, eh?  Honeywell home is a fun new shop with lots of yummy vintage finds recently opened by owner/designer/master chef extroardinaire/bff Stephen Honeywell.  With amazing finds from estate sales and thrift shops and everywhere in between, everything he has to offer is pretty, and perfect and ready to transform your space!

personally, a+i love all things gold and shiny and glassy and lucitey and, well, Honeywell Home has it all.  and damn good pricing too!  peep some of our favs below, and check out his shop here!

a pair of woven ceramic trivets..love the black and white/yin and yang of it all.  via here

pair of chunky glass bookends with a creepy little bird inlay..love it, so unique!  would add such depth and character to a shelf full of books, via here

brass? check.  peruvian alpaca?  check?  love this little figuring, plop it on a coffee table with a bunch of big art books, it will be a conversation piece to say the least!  via here

more brass, this time with turquoise.  and it's an ashtray, but perfect size for a jewelry dish too...  need i say more? via here

these are amazing!  vintage set of hand carved ivory toothpicks with amazing and dainty detail, each appears to be unique! gorgeous.  via here

a+i obsess over unusual scale, and the teeny size of this little artichoke lamp is our dream.  can someone please adopt it and give it a good home?  via here

this vintage slag glass dish is killing me...reminds me of my grandfather's ashtray.  so heavy and beautiful.  via here 

finally, agate.  every girls dream. chunky, gorgeous little dish/ashtray.  i'll say no more.  buy.  via here

xxoxoxo
a+a

Lets trade clothes..

getting a little nytimes reading in this past sunday i came across an article on the launch of a new website for clothes horses like a+i.  we both like to shop, shop and shop some more, and are loath to rid of the real goodies we love out of fear of wanting to wear it again sometime in the next 40 years.  everything comes back into style again at some point!  But let's be clear: we're not hoarders and we do clean out our closets (at gunpoint) from time to time, but everybody knows only H&M and Forever21 things are reaaaaally disposable because..well..they're made that way.  But this site is opening our eyes..and our minds and our closets........................and of course our wallets who are we kidding?

Threadflip.com was just launched this week, it's an amazing site to shop for pre-loved goodies including clothing, jewelry, bags, shoes and more.  Simply log on, register your style, your sizes and everytime you check back all the goodies that fit with your style description and sizing are laid out before you like magic!  Here's the best part: they also make it super easy to list and sell your own items, even going so far as to mail you the pre-paid packaging!  it seriously doesn't get easier than that.  and for lazy bones like us, that means there's no more excuses.  So get to listing people!  This site seriously has everything, from designer duds to vintage, to everything in between...it's all there and i want to buy it all.

some of our recent favs are below, but be sure to check back often there's always something new out there!

in looove with this vintage leopard print fur coat...yum.  via here

i'm a sucker for vintage lanvin. obv.  someone please buy this so i stop spending money it's such a good price only $145! seriously similar styles sell on ebay for hundreds more.  someone take advantage quick! via here

some cutie pie vintage oxfords..love the exaggerated tassel. via here

alex wang. wah. via here

some purple prada?  with jewels? yes pls.  via here

karen walker sunnies yum! via here

finally..a vintage sailboat locket because i wish i was sailing somewhere beautiful right now...  love.  via here

xxoxoxo
a+a

A Modern Bathroom for a Pied a terre

While yesterday we lamented over our difficult relationship with our previous contractor, today we are giving a nod to our clients.  We have been extremely lucky.  All of them are incredibly kind, eager to see what we dream up for their home and trusting in our designs.  A sweet couple we met years ago called on us to renovate their Pied a terre bathroom.  They come in on the weekends and so we were excited to hear they wanted to go all out.  We called on the usual suspects (waterworks, ahem, etc.) and turned a not-so-contemporary bathroom, into a sleek, modern space for them to really enjoy. 




since it's a small bathroom, we wanted a monochromatic look.  smoky blue walls, white ceiling + floor with nickel finishes.
waterworks repose glass tile
 davis + warshow fittings + trims
toto toilet.


custom white glassos vanity top.
vanity drawer fronts made out of the same waterworks repose glass tile.




hard to see in this pic, but we had our friends over at plexicraft make us this custom lucite towel holder above the toilet.  the sliding glass door (originally wood. see below.) is a white opaque back painted glass. not easy to get right and not cheap either. but well worth it!


before



we've got some exciting news coming up regarding this project and can't wait to share!
stay tuned!

xoxoxo
a+a


A Beautiful Result

as with most things in life, they don't always go the way you want them to.  in our world, it's very rare to have a project run perfectly from start to finish.

exhibit A.  a wonderful, incredible client of ours hired us to design + renovate their bathroom.  we brought in a contractor who we knew and trusted and the project got underway.  for the first few weeks all was well, but as the project dragged on, we realized we were quickly losing control over the progress and quality of the project.  our contractor, for whatever reason, went AWOL.  impossible to get a hold of, pulling his workers from our project to put onto another of his own...the list goes on. our clients, while incredibly patient, wanted their bathroom back.  of the many lessons learned during this period of time, rushing to get the job done in the time frame promised vs. making sure it's done properly is a tough balance.  in the end, we know it's better to tack on some extra time to ensure the work is up to snuff and something we are proud of. 

as the project neared the end, and just a few days before christmas, we knew we were walking away from something that wasn't right.  sure it looked beautiful from afar, but it was 90%.  it wasn't 100% and it wasn't what we wanted to put out there with our name on it.  we also knew we had to end our relationship with our contractor. with a heated and rage-filled goodbye, we sent him on his way and began our search for someone who could come in and fix this- a task we knew wouldn't be easy.  we got lucky, and found a wonderful tile guy recommended to us through our new contractor (and saving grace!). it took months to re-order new custom made tile, resubmit insurance requirements to the management company and to coordinate a schedule with the clients, building and contractor, but finally he got in there and went to work. 

today we finally finished and while it's hard to say it was worth the wait, we actually think it was.







specs.

carrera marble field tile, white ceramic subway tile, bathtub, toto toilet, recessed medicine cabinets, wall sconces, all sink and shower fittings, towel hooks, towel bar and toilet paper holder

vanity + carrera marble vanity top

herringbone marble floor



xoxo
a+a

The flyest candles you ever saw..

sooo a and I met with one of our amazing clients the other day who is just back from a quick trip to Paris and she introduced us to THE coolest candles you have ever seen.  Cire Trudon is a french company which dates back to the 1600s with ties to versailles and Marie Antoinette..all of which kills us of course, not to mention the fact that this old old old company makes THE most amazing candles you have ever seen.  Barneys and Bergdorfs sell their scented glass candles + tins, but their neon cameo pillars are to die for, and for some reason tough to find here in the states except through a select few online vendors.  They're not cheap, but nothing special is.  And besides, you only need a few to make a statement.  check em below..available via here + here




sorry charlies...

sooooo in the midst of pulling together 3 big new projects, tying up loose ends on recently completed projects, possibly moving to BK and the torturously loud renovation going on next door, we've neglected to post anything new in foreverrr!!  new, fun stuff is coming soon so stay tuned!  we promise we'll never go away like that again :)

for your brief entertainment, some orig instagrams from mom's wedding shower + wedding.  Let me set the stage...it's 1978 and there's a lot of really old ladies...






xoxoxoxoxoxo
a+a

studio design love

soooo the other day a trip to the local hoarder/vintage shop down the street turned from the usual allergy fit into a magical experience..I came across an amazing (and creepy) mosaic art piece that I simply had to have.  plus it was like $40 so..even better.  5 seconds later I paid the guy for it and 30 minutes later my wonderful fiancee and I were dragging it down the sidewalk together arguing about who was walking too fast/too slow causing the other to be uncomfortable.  Normal.

Now that it's home, it's even more perfect and I will love it always and we've been staring at it non-stop trying to figure out what the hell it is...someone's interpretation of the last supper? (bearded guy, 2nd from the left is obv Jesus).  Transformer's Thanksgiving Dinner?  Whose weirdo hand is that in the upper left hand corner?  Questions the world will ponder for years to come...

Well, all this aside, it's truly been inspiring us more and more since it arrived in our lives and sparked a renewed interest for us in the American Crafts and Studio Design movements.  It's no secret that history repeats itself, the DIY era we're currently in also happened decades ago in the 1950s, 60s and 70s and there is some ahmaaazing vintage design out there to prove it.  Nakashima, Wendell Castle, Phillip Lloyd Powell, Paul Evans, just to name a few...  1stDibs.com has a Studio Design section, it must be perused..

We've clipped some of our favs for you below..find some of your own too and, if nothing else, be inspired!! And who knows, maybe some of the amazing DIY creations you're making now will be important vintage pieces in years to come :)

a sick plywood 70s plywood floor lamp, so iconic..via here

fantastically colorful 70s fused art glass mobile by Michael + Frances Higgins, via here


Mr. Nakashima..of course, the epitome of Studio Crafts via here

more iconic studioness, doing collabs before Opening Ceremony made it cool, Phillip Lloyd Powell x Paul Evans small cabinet via here


Marguerite Antel Tile top table via here

and finally, a lovely little pinecone pot from the 60s..via here.  gorgeous!

xxoxoxox

Etsy Obsessed..Continued

soooo...whilst checking emails this morning we came across some cast concrete items on fab.com, from there our online search took some crazy turns (doesn't it always??) and somehow we ended up on etsy searching for more and more and more cast concrete...until we stumbled across the incredible shop known as Impure Vessels.  

The organic shapes of their super unique cast concrete bowls and dishes are our dream, the colors are to die for, and the patterns are an amazing mix of mid-century modern pattern, textures, stries, it really runs the gamut and we can't wait to get our paws on one or five of these bowls for our own apartment!  and PS - the photos of the bowls are so fun, love the items they use for scale....Check out the shop Impure Vessels and peep some of our favs below:


Concrete Plate in Melon + Grey - loving the subtle coloration and random design

Red, White + Grey strie soap dish..we love a strie.  i can't deny it!

Green, Grey, Brown + Blue Oblong Bowl - such a fun pattern!  and the color combo is great.


Caramel + White Bowl..looks just like the birds nest in the pic!

Many Red + White Polka Dot Dish...how cute is this?

xxoxoxoox