Gina Moyano and I first crossed paths six months ago. Just as I was gearing up for a balmy summer in Atlanta, she was beginning to dream up fresh handbag designs for her luxe collection of sustainable accessories, Chakanu, which she creates in collaboration with a selection of hand-picked artisans in her home country of Ecuador. Through Chakanu Gina combines sustainability and ethical working conditions with modern, high-quality accoutrements. Like Rose & Fig, Chakanu is a labor of love born outside of working hours — Gina is a fellow brand manager with an affinity for sustainable practices, and, like me, she cares an awful lot about making things that are good for people and for our planet. We originally planned on collaborating on a brief post sharing a review of her gorgeous shawl scarf but the more we talked, the more important I felt it was to share the broader picture of Gina’s story.
As I crossed the threshold into the warm kitchen of Sweet Selma Farms a couple weeks back, I had a sense that I was in for some serious Southern hospitality. As my eyes soaked up the cozy and colorful decor, sweeping past pegboard utensils rack and an antique jadeite sink, my ears tuned into the soft pa-pock of backyard hens hunting for bugs, while my nose took in the sleepy scents of a Sunday breakfast in the making.
I can’t go a few days of wearing these without someone asking who made these beautiful shoes by Sevilla Smith, so I’d like to share a little review: Know that each pair is made according to your exact specifications, from leather type to width to the occasional Midas touch. When these flats arrive they should feel very tight for the first couple of wears, but won’t leave a single blister — scout’s honor. Give them two days to loosen up and they’ll melt into the softest, buttery leather socks that have ever adorned your sweet feet. Since they’re made-to-order it will take around two to four weeks for them to arrive at your doorstep — it’s worth the wait. Every pair arrives with its own little hand-stamped shoe bag. There’s also a sling-back style as well as a lace-up ankle boot. Unless she’s on the road, Faye Sevilla Smith’s shoes are hand-hammered within ringing distance of The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sevilla Smith ‘The Sandy’ D’Orsay Flat in black pebble grain leather …
Kirsten Kjær Weis has a certain magnetism about her. You can tell she’s a woman who has thought a lot about what she’s going to say — that words are important to her. Soft-spoken and eloquent, her manner makes you want to lean in, be quiet, and listen. When she dropped by green beauty spot Fig & Flower last week, Caroline and I pulled up a couple of chairs, sat down, and did just that.
Three years ago I woke up early one morning, gazed deeply upon the sparkly baubles of my colorful closet and foggily pondered three questions: Who am I, what am I going to wear, and why is the theme song to “Reading Rainbow” stuck in my head? In retrospect the answer to that last quandary was obvious (and if RR is now stuck in your head, might I offer a soothing classic that will effectively obliterate anything else on your mind).
Fall has a way of washing over me like a warm bath after a long day. Swirling around in greens and golds, teasing candle flames with its gentle airs, soaking the senses with firewood and scotch and apple pie — fall is the warm, caramel refrain of your favorite jazz song. The coltish delight of learning something new. The onomatopoeia of uncorking a juicy Willamette Pinot, bone-dry leaves underfoot, the final seconds in a tied football game, yelling out deep breaths of wonderfully cold air. And while there’s much ado about the effervescent month of December — the parties and the lights and the snow and the thought of January 1st, of Chapter 1 of 365 — I find myself more invigorated, creative, and balanced each and every September equinox. Over the past couple of months I’ve been tinkering away and settling into the cadence of this new season. Last January I picked “balance” as my word of the year for 2016 (“no” was a tempting albeit less constructive option). I rolled up my sleeves …
All you really need in the summertime is a tall iced coffee, a mountain to climb, waterfalls and forests to explore with your favorite people and pups, and a few solid outfits that will breathe with you through the afternoon breeze. For a recent weekend getaway wandering the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee, I packed a few trusty wardrobe staples along with some new favorites I’ve picked up this season.