This month we chat with Danielle Noel, founder and creator of Starchild Tarot, an intuitive tool that connects with your innermost realms and higher self.Read More
This month we chat with Amber Fillerup Clark the founder of Barefoot Blonde and creator of Barefoot Blonde Hair. She’s sharing how she builther business and following of over 1 million (and counting), her newest venture and giving us a serious case of #hairgoals!Read More
This month we chat with Lauren Williams of Boho by Lauren. The artist behind the modern-bohemian, dip dyed fiber art that is adding beauty, texture and interest to walls throughout the world. With a passion to design inspiring, peaceful and artful settings, the self-taught painter wanted to create an alternative to canvas art for her own home.Read More
Solstice started out of my own selfish need for pretty lingerie. I have always been obsessed with underpinnings. I am one of those “jeans and a tee” type of girls but I put much more effort into my underwear than my outerwear. I wanted something that was going to be comfortable yet sexy under that tee shirt though. I wanted to create something that was sexy but still classy. I started making the classic design just for myself.Read More
We caught up with Justina Blakeney, Founder and CCO of The Jungalow to learn more about her expertise with plants and to hear what it really takes to build a successful holistic brand utilizing all the Internet has to offer: collaborations, social media, blogging, and more!Read More
You are a fashion blogger and journalist living in Copenhagen, tell us how you got started in the industry?
That is a long story. Everything started around 7-8 years ago when I was a journalism student in Brazil. It was the year 2008 and blogs were not popular like today while fashion was not an important topic in my home city, Fortaleza. In my class I was the only one with a dream to have a career in fashion. My teacher knew this and encouraged me to start a blog, so I could begin practicing how to write interesting text about fashion and trends. I followed her advice and just began to write about things that I like, e.g. vintage styles from previous decades, artists, musicians and designers that changed the fashion industry. In the beginning I think it was just my parents and closest friends that knew about the blog.
After a while, people started commenting on my site and sending me emails about my posts – the positive feedback made me even more excited about working on the blog. Suddenly, I won an award for the best fashion blog and I was asked to give interviews for TV, magazines and newspapers. It was getting serious and I knew it was time to change some things, for example the layout and the type of posts I made. In the beginning, funnily enough, I did not post my own outfits, I was too shy, seriously! But when people started asking for pictures of my outfits, I gave in and posted some of my looks, which was very nice. Not only my followers liked the posts, also brands started contacting and asked if I was interested in wearing their clothes, everything was so new and so exciting for me. It’s fun to look back on now! A few years later, I travelled to New York, where I met my lovely Danish husband and, after some time with a long distance relationship, I moved to Denmark. So here I am and all I can say is that I love this country!
You are currently studying sustainable fashion design, what is it about sustainable fashion that interests you?
My interest is two-folded, first clothing is one thing that the world cannot live without and I believe it is extremely important that there is a focus on producing clothes in a way that has the smallest footprint on our beautiful nature. Second, when you are trying to produce in a sustainable way, it requires a large degree of innovation and this really excites me. For example, I love the idea of using old materials with no other use and turn it into a functional and beautiful piece of clothing. When I work with my passion for fashion and can do it in a sustainable way, I believe I am doing my small part in making the future a little better.
What should every woman try at least once in her life?
It is very difficult to choose, but I would say that one thing I tried which made a really big impression on my life was when I did volunteer work in a poor neighbourhood in Brazil. The idea was to introduce fashion to some of the girls there in a fun and alternative way. Seeing how much they enjoyed the days and their excitement with our small workshops was incredible and we all learned so much from each other.
And for the day by day, I think every woman should try to be free of rules and be/wear whatever she wants without caring about what people think.
What brings you the greatest joy?
There are three things that always bring me great joy and these are: being with my husband, the amazing feeling of being creative and traveling around the world to see and experience new places and cultures. When I am able to combine these I feel like I am in heaven.
What is the best advice you've been given?
That you should never give up on your dreams. My mom always told me this and I try to keep it in the back of my mind in whatever I do in life. I know life is sometimes tough but in these moments it is important to stay strong and believe in your own ability. So believe in yourself and never give up even when everything seems impossible, because one day you can become an inspiration for a lot of people.
What is on your bookshelf?
Fabric for Fashion - a great guide to learn about the behaviour and properties of different fabrics. If you are interested in knowing a little more about what you wear, it is a good place to start. Please Kill me - The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil, Gillian McCain - the coolest book ever. It is about the 70’s punk rock: the history, style and craziest stories of the famous people at that moment. From the moment I picked up the book I was addicted. Lolita – Love Vladmir Nabokov literature – a must-read classic. Dom Casmurro – I love Brazilian literature and this book is written by a Brazilian writer I think everybody should know: Machado de Assis. Taking Woodstock – I am crazy about music and it is my biggest inspiration source, so I am always very curious to read about the 60’s and 70’s to get new inspiration and understanding of that period.
What item in your closet do you wear the most?
A pair of very comfortable black pants that I have had for some time. It is usually my choice in the day-by-day when I need to wear something quick before going to a meeting, classes or something else. They never disappoint me and match with everything.
Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?
I have many idols and inspirations that I would love to meet and have interesting conversations with, for example talking to Jim Morrison about the Doors of perception and Iggy Pop about how to be a real punk rocker, also I would love to meet Bowie, Vivienne Westwood, Paul McCartney and Kate Moss. They are all invited to my ideal dinner party! haha
However, if I want a night where I am sure I will feel completely comfortable and cry of laughter all the time it would be with my husband, friends and family.
What quote do you live by?
“I read somewhere how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong.” (Christopher McCandless – Into the Wild) The secret of life is how you feel and this is going to reflect who you are and how you face the world. So find your talents, believe in them and you will feel happy and strong.
What is one of your beauty secrets?
I try to drink a lot of water, because it cleanses both your body and skin. Another thing I do to keep my skin nice and fresh is to wash my face with cold water (at least when it is not freezing cold outside, haha). This was actually a tip I got from a make-up artist and it works perfectly. Of course, I also always keep a good skin cream in my bag.
Where did you two meet and how did you decide to travel the world together?
Josh first saw me at an event he was playing guitar for. He added me on Facebook- at the time I wasn’t sure if he was one of the many people I’d met, so I accepted because he was holding a camera in his profile picture. We started chatting and when my wifi wasn’t working, he hunted down my phone number and texted me. I normally would have been totally creeped out, but something about talking with him felt so natural! He spoiled me rotten and texted me all day every day. It was very easy to go with the flow with him!
After a couple years of marriage, we took every penny we had and road tripped across the country, from Cleveland to California. We wanted adventure, and we slept in our jeep and cheap hotels so that we could experience the west coast. It was after that experience that we realized how much we loved the nomadic life, and road tripped around like total vagabonds several times. It became a dream to do it full time in a tiny house of sorts. After our several road tripping experiences, I knew I required a few simple creature comforts to keep up with it- a shower, a bed, and a place for all my clothes and shoes. We settled on the idea of a vintage airstream, decked out like a gypsy caravan on the inside.
When did the idea of creating Ready Gypset Go as your primary means of living come?
It was with our road trips that that blog came to mind and was born, and it all happened to come together through my creative ideas as I grew as an artist. I knew I wanted to chase my passions, and do what I loved for a living. The blog took some different aspects from those things and became what it is now- a creative space for other to find inspiration, and a place for me to pour out my creativity in fashion, travel, photography, writing, film, and the Gypset lifestyle.
Do you two have a plan of your travel destinations and length of stay, or are the places you go more spontaneous?
It’s a little bit of each. We’ve learned the balance that’s required for this type of lifestyle. You have to have enough of a plan to get you through, but be open minded and let the road take you where it pleases. Sometimes we let go and find out that not planning is even better. Sometimes we want the comfort of knowing what to expect.
Do you two plan on ultimately settling down in one destination one day? Where would that be?
After living the “tiny” life, I know I will never ever settle down like most people do. After tasting this freedom, we don’t want to be weighed by things like a house, bills, ordinary jobs, or get stuck in one place. I’ve learned that there is so much to be had when you let go of a lot of the things you think you “need”. We only need the necessities, and then we can have so much more room for experiences and freedom.
Your brand and lifestyle incorporates many different aspects and forms of expression, do you each take the reigns on certain parts or is it all a joint effort?
We definitely do almost everything together. We are attached at the hip. I do a lot of the creative conceptualizing. I’m a go-getter and very straight forward with my dreams and passions, and self-expression is like breathing to me. So I think I take the reigns when it comes to the creative aspect of everything. Josh is the guy who knows how to do everything, or if he doesn’t, he learns. He keeps our vintage trailer rolling, builds all the renovations I design, built and coded the blog from scratch & runs the back end, and he shoots 90% of the photography and video when I’m modeling. I am a photographer primarily, so it really in a team effort when shooting. I'm mostly DOP (director of photography) as much as I am the subject. I do all the photo and video editing, too. I learned my videography skills from him, though!
You probably gain plenty of cultural inspiration for your fashion, photography, and music- what would you say is the biggest contribution to that?
I take inspiration from so much- movies, cultures, other people I find inspiring, history, and Pinterest! In fashion, I mostly just wear what I feel like wearing. It’s my biggest form of self expression. My photography has been developed since I was 16, and has become something unique to my own artistic style. I’ve been inspired by nature and have included it in my work since I can remember. So I lean towards shooting in amazing outdoor locations, with all natural light. I also love architecture, and when traveling, like to spotlight that to give a taste of the places we visit.
So far, what's been the biggest milestone in your guys' life, whether it's together or separately?
The biggest milestone has probably been achieving full time life on the road, completely self sufficient and somewhat free to do and go where we please. Obviously there will always be limitations, whether from people and places, or income, but I’ve never been this free and happy in my life! It was a lot of work to get to this point, and I’m so very proud of our courage to chase our passions. I want to inspire everyone to take the same leap.
What's the toughest part of living a nomadic lifestyle? The most rewarding?
The toughest part can be the constant movement. Things break down, rules for full-timing can complicate what you just want to be easy, and living outside of the society standard can be tiring in some ways. But I’m glad to say what was scary and tough in the first 5 months, has become very natural and even preferred now. Like any lifestyle, you just have to learn how to do it- how to survive, what is comfortable for you, and what’s not. I really think it’s so rewarding to be this free. When we are this self sufficient, I don’t have to worry about anything except for what we are capable of. If we need to work harder to provide more, we can. If we want to take it easy, we can. We are in charge of our lives, from work to our location, etc. So I think that is the reward.
Where do you see yourselves and your brand in the future? Any big plans?
We are prepping for the next big things that are coming in the near future! We plan for international travels, sharing more of our lives and our art, and really sharing who we are. And some other exciting projects will take us into new areas that I’m really excited for!
Besides each other, who is your biggest support system? What's the main source of getting your story and brand out there?
We really play by our own book, having created such a unique life and business. We rely on each other mainly, for support, to bounce ideas off each other, to learn what is needed and teach each other. We are do-it-yourself kind of people, and learn whatever we need to get the job done. Social media is our main outlet, namely Instagram and the blog, and I am amazed at the way I can reach out and inspire people online. As an artist, I love and even need that fulfilling aspect of reaching people with my work, and hearing from them. It in turn inspires me and gives me a reason to keep creating, for myself and for them.
So far, where's been your favorite place to live?
I feel like as we visit each place, they are each different chapters, wether is a whole state, or a town. Each offer something different, which can be equally good, better, or worse. But when we’re used to changing it up so much, we have gotten good at making ourselves at home anywhere. Which makes anywhere feel comfortable. But of the places we’ve been so far, I really loved most the coast in Orange County, CA. There’s so much to see and do there, and I wanted to explore every beach and cove. I really desire to always be near the coast. We both love the ocean and the boundless feeling of being near it..
When did you develop your uniquely styled brand?
I don't see myself as having a "brand," mostly because what I do is truly a reflection of what I love: my passion for design and my addiction to the hunt. But I'd say that when my home was featured two years ago on a popular design blog, things really kicked off for me in a bigger way. It was at a time when I was ready to make some big changes in my home as my kids all left the nest, and I was finally able to dig into my vintage collection that had been steadily growing in my basement for years. I probably could have been recruited to be on that TV show Hoarders, I had so many piles of treasures. But these were all finds that were special to me, and I had never felt safe pulling them out when the kids were around because I was worried that one of them would throw a ball, or drop something, and then ruin them all. When I started transforming my home, I decided to document the whole process on Instagram. At the time, I never could have imagined that I would connect with so many people, or grow my audience to where it is today.
What’s been your most successful method of getting your brand name out there?
Social media really started to take off at the time I started transforming my house. I have always tried to stay true to myself by sticking to my beliefs and own style, while keeping things focused. I have learned, especially over the past year, that you can start to lose yourself a bit when you immerse yourself in all the different styles being posted every day on Instagram. Even though it has evolved through the years, I have really tried to stay consistent with my own style. This has allowed me to use Instagram to connect with people all over the world, build amazing friendships, and grow an awesome community. Teaming up with these new design friends has given me a major support network that I am beyond grateful for. Instagram has really done amazing things for me and my brand.
Since I have started my second account, @shopfleamarketfab, It has grown so fast that it takes up all of my time at this point. I have stayed focused on doing the Instagram sales and being consistent with it. I have such a passion and love for the people of Morocco, I was inspired to design my own line of cushions and pillows made from vintage rugs. I have been lucky enough to forge relationships with the families that make my products for me, and it means so much to me to make something that has never been out there before. Yes, we all have seen pillows but when you create them and set yourself apart from others in the way you do it, it's extra special.
My goal is to see everyone with an FMF exclusive piece in their home. I want to continue to sell pieces that are one-of-a-kind and can be passed down as heirlooms to other family members. I use all of the pieces I design in my own, and wouldn't have it any other way. I would never sell something I wouldn't use myself.
Between your flea market sales and your different levels of interior designing, which one requires more time?
We all know my heart skips a beat for textiles and interior details. I am a stylist by trade. I am so passionate about creating rich comfort on a budget, while still making your space completely unique. Each one of my pieces help others to do that, because they are all one-of-a-kind.
I am always ready to change the game, and create something new that isn't out there. I already have so many plans and tricks up my sleeves for my next ventures, 2017 is going to be even more fun for me! I am beyond excited to share it all--as I say, "stay tuned," wink wink!!!
When you’re at flea markets, do you typically have a pretty good idea of what you want in mind or do you go in waiting for something to catch your eye and go from there?
I always think when I am going to a flea market I am going to be prepared with a list and behave with my purchases. BUT it just never happens that way, I always find the best things, none of which I actually need, but I still buy them (this is where the basement hoarder pile comes in). Even if I'm not exactly sure what I will do with something, I hang on to it until I am ready to introduce it to the "family"--haha!!! I feel, if you go to a flea market you have to have a open mind as you just never know what is going to be around the corner. If I have a client that is looking for certain pieces, yes, I go with a list...you have to. But when you keep an open mind, you really strike gold! Being a Midwesterner living in Ohio, we only get the fleas for a few months, so I tend to venture out far to get what I want, get my fixes or just to travel. It's always so interesting to go to other states and flea.The best pieces I have in my home are flea found, and I wouldn't have it any other way. My friends always say "teach me your ways," but I have come to learn, it's deep in my veins. I was just born this way.
When working with clients, do you have a system in place to determine what is it they want? Are they very involved in the process?
I always go for a comfortable budget with my designs, as there's nothing I love more than creating something amazing from items that only cost a few bucks. I think this is something that really sets me apart. It also means that I have the freedom to go back and make changes. And true confessions: I like to change things up. Every year or so, I make changes in my own home....I guess that's a side effect of being creative and having an artistic eye.
I love vintage items so much because each piece comes with its own story...and that really speaks to me. Because each piece is so unique, using vintage in my designs also allows me to spread my wings a lot more. I don't follow design rules, and always like to go against the grain...this is what I have become known for. While most people seem to be embracing minimalism with a "no clutter" rule, I do the opposite. I'm a maximalist who believes that the more the better. And the crazier, the better. Each design I create is like a quirky love story for all my finds...and their history is part of the magic that I hope people people take away. This is what really makes me happy.
I have been fleaing, junking, and thrifting for many years. It's been in my blood since my very young childhood with my mom. She would take me EVERYWHERE--up driveways for yard sales, into homes for estate sales, and down the streets of many Antique rows. Today I smile when I think back to those days, because if not for her and her passion for her own style and love for junk, I wouldn't be who I am today.
What’s the hardest part of being an interior designer with your style?
Being a interior decorator // interior stylist always comes with its challenges when I am asked to incorporate my own style in someone else's space. I will hunt for days to make sure the vintage pieces I find work together like peanut butter and jelly. I treat every space as if it were my own, so there always has to be plants, texture, warmth, and comfort. I like to keep my brand and style, yet I always make sure the homeowner still feels they are part of the design process, because in the end, it's their home they are coming to. I always want my client to feel when they walk in the door they can drop their bag or purse and sit down with a glass of wine and feel relaxed.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone looking to build their interior design brand?
I get asked quite a bit about how I got started. I can only say be confident, believe in yourself, and stay true to you. Because you are making long term decisions for people when you help to design their space.When being hired you have to be confident in your choices for them and be true to yourself...this will allow you to create your own style, and separate yourself to from others while staying consistent.
I have come to realize that what I really love is inspiring others. It makes me so happy to know I have given someone the motivation and drive to create or change their space. When people contact me and share with me the photos of what they have done in their home, a pillow they have used, or a painting they have created, it gives me life. I believe nothing makes you happier then finding your place in the world. With that comes a feeling of relief, love, and self worth. I want people to know that you can do anything you set your heart to--just stay focused and be true to yourself. Everything happens when it is supposed to, so don't give up on your dreams. Be inspirational to others, and all will fall into place.