Recently I got back from a 'real' vacation.

What does that even mean? Basically just that most trips are at least somewhat work related in one way or another. So to be able to make my way down to Florida and turn off the work mode for a bit was pretty nice. I can't always turn it 'off' completely - I'm constantly listing out in my Moleskine what needs to be done or thinking about the next thing. So there was some of that goin' on but for the most part I ignored my phone and everything else.

Part One of vacay was South Beach and since I haven't been before I found the hotel architecture, and the signage especially, to be really interesting. It's not very similar to any other city that I've come across.

I got lucky and randomly came across this book store that is sort of tucked away from the heavy traffic area. I later found out that this place, Books And Books happens to be listed in '36 Hours in Miami'. So that was pretty cool - glad I'm not the only one that thought this was a 'must see' spot.

Local jewelry brand

I think one of my favorite parts of the trip was going to the Wynwood Arts District. Basically this place is made up of old abandoned warehouses that have been transformed into galleries, restaurants and creative spaces. Artists from all over are invited to come in and contribute. The Wynwood Kitchen + Bar had art from artists like Shepard Fairey, Futura and Invader right outside their doors on the 'Wynwood Walls'. Anyway, needless to say, if you're really into art and food then this is your spot.

Retna wall



Who doesn't like a good a road trip - I made my way down to Tucson, Arizona recently and stopped in at Avenue.

I had actually done some prior stalking a few days earlier and immediately fell for the boutique while scoping them online. I could tell right away that this store was legit. When I stepped foot in their brick + mortar, I noticed right away that owner Alexis DeMaio does such an incredible job curating the space in a super creative way. I could easily get a sense for her own personality since it was so obvious throughout the whole shop - that's when you know you're doing things right - when people can feel you in the branding and merchandising.

Alexis has been running her own boutique in Tucson since she was 18 and about 3 years ago she moved into her current space in a historic building that was built in 1939. To have the opportunity to do her own thing at such a young age is pretty cool - she's realistic about everything though. She mentioned that she has definitely learned a lot along the way but in some ways 'ignorance is bliss' in the sense that she maybe would have talked herself out of doing it if she knew some of the hard endeavors that she would encounter. She needed to learn to evolve with the times - creating a website that was able to capture the vibe that her physical storefront gives off. Alexis is super hands on with everything that goes on with Avenue - obviously with the buying and merchandising but she has also taken up photography and shoots all of her lookbooks herself. With all of these talents she's been running her store successfully for about 8 years now.

When I was at Avenue chatting up a storm with Alexis, I learned that she also makes her own jewelry and even creates art pieces that are sold in the store as well. I really love the enlarged prints of her and her fiance's thumbprints - such a cool idea. It then made even more sense as to why I could get a good idea of her personality etc. when visiting the store. Needless to say, if you find yourself in Tucson stop by and say hey to my girl - in the meantime, you can browse the Avenue site.

Lucky for you guys, Alexis and myself are giving away one of her original jewelry designs, so make sure to enter on Instagram. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 1st so good luck!



I guess I have a weird obsession with various types of Boneyards.

Not really sure why exactly - it's sort of sad that all these abandoned objects just sit in a yard. On the bright side at least they all of have a home. These random airplanes from throughout the years live in Tucson, Arizona. I've visited a pretty rad one in Vegas too that I highly recommended - it's a Neon Sign Bone Yard. There are stacks of signs from the early days in Las Vegas.

I kind of wanted to play around with the photo edits a little bit with these. I usually edit with a lot of the same photoshop actions, etc. So instead, I played around with this airy sort of mystical vibe - maybe even a bit eerie? Sort of 'end of the world' looking? Random note, I also have a very strange obsession for 'end of the world' movies.

In this little impromptu shoot, everything I'm wearing happens to be something that I made by hand. The romper is made of a rayon fabric and feels like butter. And of course the poncho is part of the new 16th Colony Fall collection that just released on the site. This one is called the Indio. It actually comes in a bunch of colors and seriously has such a soft hand to it.

Poncho - 16th Colony, Romper - random one-off that I made, Shoes - Steve Madden



Listen, I don't know exactly where the time has gone but I'm going to tell you about the Unique LA event from July.

First of all, if you're unfamiliar with Unique LA, then, become acquainted: it's an independent design show that highlights Made-In-America products and I honestly feel like the event's in a league of it's own. A little back story - this rad chick Sonja Rasula had the concept to help local small businesses have a space to show their goods to the masses. Her and the Unique USA team have grown so much in the last few years while putting this concept into action. And the reason why I feel like they're different than any other type of design show is because of the way they market the shows and become directly involved with their vendors. Also, not just anyone can exhibit at these events - the Unique USA team hand picks each vendor from a field of applicants.

Anyway, I first checked out the Holiday show that was held in Downtown LA last December and at that point I was in the process of developing 16th Colony. I sort of figured that I would eventually showcase my collection at one of the 3 annual events - I just didn't think it would happen so quickly. I'm actually pretty excited/amazed that I've already designed 3 seasons since that December and how fast things are moving along.

There was definitely a lot of prep that went into that weekend - I went into the show with basically zero sleep since I ended up hand-making extra ponchos the days prior (and good thing because the Obsidian sold out!). It all came together though - even with new hang tags and finding the antique clothing rack of dreams. Oh, and of course I added an extra project and printed up 50 tabloid size flyers and littered the streets and palm trees of Santa Monica with styled photos - duh.

Anyway, I think the part that sticks out most in my mind when reminiscing back to that weekend was all of the feedback. The comments I received about the product, the branding, etc was seriously beyond rewarding. Sure, it's definitely great to sell the ponchos, that's rewarding too, but to hear such genuine words - which echoed a lot of what I already felt all along - made me feel pretty great. Starting a brand isn't easy and it doesn't just happen overnight - so a lot of times all I'm left with is my own personal intuition and that I love what I'm putting out there. At the end of the day I'm doing it for myself first anyway.

By the way, the next Unique LA event is in December so mark your cal's.



When I was out in Vegas attending ENK/MAGIC I lounged around at Social at the Palms for a bit.

It's not 'all work and no play' when I'm out there - so a glass of Chardonnay and some Craps are okay :) I'm all for a strappy heel, cute dress and some type of badass jacket. I'm definitely a neutrals kind of gal when it comes to my wardrobe but I was really loving this dress that's perfectly red. The fit was amazing being that it's a textured knit and surrounds you like a glove. And the studded details of the jacket give it even more dimension.

Anyway, this is another Vegas fave and definitely kind of fun to experiment with some deeps colors as we trudge into Fall.

Dress - c/o Others Follow, Jacket - c/o BB Dakota, Shoes - Lulus.com