We get to know this Los Angeles style maven as she tries on her favorite Erstwhile rings.
After many years of living and building a business in NY, you transitioned to LA, how did that come about?
I lived in New York for almost ten years - most of my twenties. It was wonderful and chaotic, and the competitive energy of the city definitely pushed me to succeed in starting a business. I thought I would never leave until one day I realized I'd built something that I could run from wherever I chose. I was ready to slow down, have more space, access to nature, and more temperate weather. I was pretty sure about the move and felt like LA was home as soon as my plane landed.
Owning your own business requires a level of discipline, are you an early riser? And how do you stay motivated?
I just finished reading The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron, which is a 12 week program to get rid of creative blocks and take a look at each part of your life to make sure everything around you is contributing to your happiness and creative well being. She recommends starting your day with a few pages of handwritten stream of consciousness "brain drain". You just write whatever comes to mind without thinking about it. For me, writing those pages empties a million thoughts swirling around in my mind when I wake up and lets me get clear on the day.
I'm not an early riser or morning person by nature, so I like to schedule meetings first thing to get the day going. And then I create blocks of time to work creatively, answer emails, etc. In general though, knowing that everything comes back to me as the owner of my business is extremely motivating.
You have such a unique style that is all your own, who and what inspired it? Can you share a tip for developing personal style?
So kind, thank you! I think it's as simple as getting to know who you are, what you love, and what makes you feel good. I love subtly retro, feminine, classic pieces and spend a lot of time hunting for them. It's difficult for me to find clothes that fit my hourglass figure, so I tailor almost everything I buy. Pretty much every pair of pants gets taken in at the waist. I also crop things, sew shut or remove pockets entirely. I'll have side vents sewn shut on shirts. If there's a nip or tuck that would create a more flattering silhouette Susan at Hans the Tailor is my gal.
People are always surprised to see how small my closet is. Only things I really love stay there. When I'm unsure about something I always take a picture. It's so much easier to be objective that way. And I ask Clare Mukherjee what she thinks A LOT. If you have a friend you trust, ask what he/she thinks.
Have you always liked vintage jewelry?
Vintage has always appealed to me - clothes, furniture, jewelry. I love hunting for special things and mixing old and new.
What about these particular rings stood out to you?
I gravitate toward classic, subtle, understated pieces. I've never shopped for diamond rings (!) so was fun to see what I am drawn to: streamlined designs with square or circular cuts. I like rings with flush settings that aren't super raised. And those rubies! I love pink :) I definitely gravitate towards the delicate Edwardian and modern Art Deco settings most.
You share so many amazing and nutritious recipes on Instagram. Have you always been passionate about healthy food? And what are your favorite farmer’s market finds. Can you share one of your favorite recipes?
Elimination diets have led me to determine a laundry list of things my body doesn't process well (dairy, grains - including gluten free ones, sugar, etc). I cook most of what I eat, and when I cook, it's with things that make me feel good: mainly fresh produce from the farmers market, meat, and fish. When I'm at a dinner party or a restaurant, I don't stick to such a strict diet. If I feel like having a chocolate soufflé or something I have it.
Potatoes have kind of replaced grains for me. I'm obsessed with Japanese sweet potatoes. They're the small ones with creamy white meat. I just cut them lengthwise and roast with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper (cut side down) at 400F until golden. You can add thyme, rosemary, or any herbs too. Or cook with cinnamon and have for dessert.
My favorite is herb salad. I have different versions all the time, but here is my go to (makes 2 heaping portions): 1 bunch flat leaf parsley (leaves only), 1 large bunch mint (leaves only), 1/3 bunch dill (fronds chopped), 1 avocado sliced. Mix together and drizzle olive oil, squeeze a half lemon or so, add big pinch sea salt and pepper. From there, you can have it as a salad straight up. Or add a warm element (roasted potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, etc). You can mix the herb salad with warm quinoa or rice. It's great with roasted almonds or any type of nut.