Friday, December 19, 2014

Link Love

TGIF! Like many of the weeks preceding, this week seems to have felt impossibly long, likely because I've been counting down to this weekend in my head pretty much since I got back to London. 
Why, you might ask? Because I'm heading home for the holidays on (a very very early flight) Sunday morning, which means three things—sleep, LOTS of Netflix, and cuddling with my dog. Most of the adults in my family, a.k.a. everyone but my cousin who's in college, are in serious relationships/married/with children, leaving me to be the lone single adult in the family (obviously my response is "Yeah but I live in New York City"). This means it's totally excusable for me to barely get dressed over the week I'm home except to hit up old haunts at night with friends in town—and I totally own it.  

My theoretical plans include getting some more things together for this little blog, as I've got some thoughts and reflections on 2014 along with goals and things I'm looking forward to in 2015. But, first, I'm going to set no alarms for a few days and have already booked an end-of-year massage at a favorite little spa in Des Moines as a treat to myself! We'll see how far I get on all of that, but I'm looking forward to hitting the *reset* button after a great but long year. Now, for the good stuff—links to browse, read and shop while you're procrastinating at work (because hey, it's Friday, and it's almost Christmas).

I could totally relate to Victoria's post on real life vs. instagram—many of my feelings are the same!

If you're a total last-minute gift shopper but hate going to the store...Zappos has free two-day shipping! Confession: I purchased several gifts from my family from their pretty amazing selection.

Did you watch How It's made in college? It was a procrastination favorite of mine...this is a great read on How It's Made is made.

I'm moving bedrooms in my apartment soon (doubling my space!), so I'm pinning TONS of interior inspiration right now.

I recently discovered The Financial Diet and spent an afternoon reading every. single. post. If you're a 20-something who needs to get your financial sh*t together (*raises hand*), it'll be like a friend cheering you on—and giving you a serious wake-up call. 

Jonathan Adler just added tons of new markdowns to their sale section (up to 50% off!). Great gifts & little pick-me-ups galore.

I've made it a goal to read more this year, especially classic literature I missed out on growing up (I just finished a George Orwell book and am currently in the midst of some Hemingway!). The NY Times also released their 100 Notable Books of 2014—I only made it to a handful! How many did you read? 

Anthropologie is offering 20% off selected gifts right now—including that heavily 'grammed monogram mug.

Hallie celebrated a birthday recently and shared some great reflections...wisdom much-needed since I'm rapidly approaching my late 20's (seriously, how is my ten-year high school reunion in just over a year?).

I usually find these posts pretty sappy, but this one's worth a share: why you should move to a city where you don't know anyone.

Hitha always has the best travel tips, and this is one to bookmark—eating healthy while traveling! I always pack snacks, especially since it can be tough to track down relatively healthy veggie-friendly meals in airports.

*images 1,2 4 via image 3 via

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Photo Diary: The Glass House

Early last month, a friend and I took the train up to New Canaan, Connecticut to see Philip Johnson's Glass House with Fujiko Nakaya's fog installation, Veil.
I first spotted the house & the installation on Whitney Hayes' instagram feed (an incredible one to follow, if you don't already!) over the summer, when The Glass House arranged for an amazing group of instagram photographers to tour the grounds—search #emptypjglasshouse on instagram to see all the photos. I made it a priority (which I talked about here) to make it there before the installation ended in late November and they closed up for winter. Naturally, things kept coming up weekend after weekend—this year was a busy one—and we finally settled on the first weekend of November.
As luck would have it, the day we picked ended up being cold and rainy, but it also made for a serene visit. We did a guided tour despite first wanting to do the self-guided tour, where you get about an hour more to wander the grounds as you please (all of those were sold out—they're only offered about twice a month, and only once on a weekend). In retrospect, the guided tour is a great idea if you've never visited and especially if you're only vaguely or not at all familiar with the grounds, as we were. 
The train from NYC out of Grand Central takes just over an hour and drops you on the main street of New Canaan, right across from the visitor center for the Glass House. Once you check in, they give you a little time to wander the visitor center, where they have a selection of mid-century modern home goods for sale, along with architecture books, and a wall of digital photos showing the Glass House at various times of year over its 65 year history, before a small bus takes you on a short scenic trip to the grounds (make sure to look out the windows on the way over—there are a lot of amazing houses in New Canann, including several more minimalist, modern home from the 50's and 60's.)
Now, for a little bit about the house...Philip Johnson was an architect who first studied at Harvard after high school and became best known for his post-modern work, particularly with glass, in the 40's and 50's. He built the Glass House as a weekend and summer retreat for himself and his partner, David Whitney (yes, from that family) and spent much of his time here. What I loved most about visiting was how comfortable the house felt, despite its minimalist vibes. It doesn't feel like you're visiting a museum, but rather a home where the owner has maybe just stepped out for a bit. It's obvious how much he loved the property and the home, which he called his pavilion for viewing nature (and what a view there is!). Frequent summer guests included renowned artists, dancers and musicians—Andy Warhol was a close friend, and some of his work is on display in the Painting Gallery.
Over the 50 or so years he spent there (Johnson passed in 2005), he purchased surrounding land and added on—first with an all-brick guest house not far from The Glass House, along with a Pond Pavilion,  the aforementioned Painting Gallery, Sculpture Gallery, Study, and very surreal-looking property at the front called Da Monsta (it reminded me of Beetlejuice—I didn't get any great pictures of it, though!). Several art installations are scattered about, too, but our tour didn't cover the full grounds so I only spotted them from afar. There are low-lying stone walls throughout the property and at the front near the road, many of which date back to the 1800's. There's also an old farmhouse (pictured up top) that Johnson restored and used for laundry, storage and a few other amenities. These days it's been converted in office and storage for events and the like, but it stands in sharp contrast to the other buildings on the 40+ acres.
Post-tour, we decided to hang out in New Canaan a little longer, so we wandered down the main road to Elm, a cute restaurant with a solid brunch menu, and clearly inspired by the postmodern reputation about town (they've also catered several of the parties that take place the the Glass House over the summer!). The main drag had a cozy, comforting feel, and had it not been raining and we hadn't had plans in the city that night, we probably would have stayed a while and wandered around. Regardless, I'm already planning to bring my mom up next summer when she visits.
Now, about the fog...unfortunately, the installation was just for this year—though I wish they'd make it permanent. There's a nice video from the opening here that gives you a better idea of the layout of the property and effects of the fog when you're visiting. It was pretty easy to get completely lost in! Melissa Hope also has some amazing photos up from shortly before I visited.

The Glass House re-opens on May 1 next year.

*all photos shot by Rose Mayo for Blonde in this City

Friday, December 12, 2014

Young & Able

Last month, Rachel over at The Style Line reached out to see if I'd like to participate in a project with Young & Able, an online shop that supports emerging designers and currently has a pop-up in NYC at 345 Broome Street in SoHo.
I was happy to say yes, since one of the things that first drew me to blogging was the ability to discover all things new and exciting, from designers to shops to artists and more. They paired myself and a few other bloggers up with some of the designers, asking us to style a piece from their collection for the season. Mind you, it was a tad bit warmer out when we took these photos in November, so I shunned tights (I've since caved, but I'd like to take this moment for a PSA: spring is only 98 days away). It's also a little weird to look at these photos and realize just how long my hair got this year—I had about five inches chopped off last weekend!

The first designer was Nicole Lenzen, who makes beautiful, simple and incredibly flattering pieces that I could see myself wearing just about anywhere, from the office to drinks to holiday parties and into spring. It should come as no surprise that I gravitated towards a pretty blue silk number, which paired up pretty perfectly with my velvet Bionda Castana boots I scored at 70% off a few months ago (you can find 'em almost as cheap here).
Fun fact: we shot these photos right outside my apartment in Queens! That's my building on the left in the photo below—we're up on the second floor.
The other designer I paired up with was Shana Luther, a Brooklyn-based leather goods designer. I particularly liked her cross-body bag, a style I've been drawn to lately as I look to downsize the amount of sh*t I'm carrying around daily (at minimum, I always have my wallet, phone, keys, a small makeup bag with hair ties, hand cream, lip balm, an eyeliner and lipstick, a book to read and a notebook to jot things down in, plus headphones and a charger cord). Cross-body bags are becoming a favorite because I've also found they lessen the strain on my shoulders...I carry my purse on the right side, and my neck/shoulder are always, always stiff and sore.
This is my "Am I doing weird things with my feet?" look. Cute, no? 

Make sure to check out the full project over on The Style Line, and stop by the Young & Able pop-up at 345 Broome in NYC if you're in town! 

wearing: Acne Dania sweater || COS wool skirt || Vince slip-on sneakers (size down 1/2 size!)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Gift Guide

I don't think I can avoid it any longer, you guys. The holidays are officially here—I'll be back in (chilly, snowy) Iowa in two short weeks!
Despite how much I complain about winter (I still don't like it) and avoid acknowledging the arrival of the holidays, I'm pleasantly surprised by how far along I am in my gift planning and buying. I usually get ideas around late summer for the bigger gifts—my mom, close friends—so that I can include any bigger purchases in my budgeting for the last few months of the year. I use Google Docs to track holiday gifts, making a list of who I'm buying for this year and what, along with any other notes. It's also super helpful to make sure I don't get someone the same thing or something similar twice (I'm often pretty terrible at remembering what I've gifted after the fact). 

So far this year, I'm just over halfway through my gift buying, and all the bigger ones are out of the way! Since my budget is a little tight this year for friends, I'm doing some DIY gifts like infused simple syrups and homemade sugar scrubs. I stocked up on holiday cards from Rifle Paper Company, and did the rest of my shopping at several of my favorites, from local shops to online, including Zappos, who has a killer selection of gifts for most anyone, and incredible shipping & customer service. Anything major for people at home or that I need to ship, I order online and send to my mom's house—she has a ton of great wrapping paper, and sometimes I can bribe her into wrapping a few for me (she's an expert, seriously…thanks Mom!). 
I've been working with Zappos each month this year, and I have to say they've become one of my favorite sites to shop. If you haven't visited in a while, check 'em out—they have a killer selection of brands on Zappos and Zappos Couture, with incredibly fast shipping times (I usually get my purchases the day after they ship!) and quick, responsive customer service. For December, I was paired up with Lorianne Lacey; we were each given a budget to shop for the other person, and I have to admit, I was a little nervous at first. Gift shopping for friends and family comes easy to me, but I was afraid of picking out something that wouldn't fit Lorianne's style! Thanks to a few helpful hints from the Zappos rep and some serious digging around the site, I was pretty satisfied with the classic heeled boots, sparkly necklace and luggage tag I picked out for her (all pictured above, at top). In return, Lorianne selected a slouchy blue sweater, patterned wristlet and colorful accessories for me (pictured at bottom). I've already been living in the sweater, especially when running around on the weekend, and the pouch has made a few trips to the gym!

top image via; all collage items via Zappos

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Photo Diary: London, Part I

In case you missed it, we kicked off December with a lovely high in the mid-50's here in NYC. My first though was if winter keeps this up, we might actually learn to be amiable, if not quite friends, but then I left my apartment today and it smelled like winter.
Work is slowly winding down for the remainder of the year (of which there isn't all that much, but there's also only 108 days until spring…not that I'm counting), and I'm trying to convince myself I'm going to get my sh*t together and make some more frequent appearance around here, but as always, it remains to be seen if that will hold true. 

In the meantime, though, I've been culling my favorite snaps from my trip to London (no outfit photos here, mostly because my jeans-sweaters-boots/sneakers look was pretty repetitive and boring, albeit comfortable), so today is the first of a few photo diaries to come!
I'd never been to London before, and to be honest I didn't really expect to like it much—I've always dreamed of visiting Paris, Provence, the Côte d'Azur…places where I could put the language I studied for ten years to good use. Plus, London is basically NYC in Europe, right? I made the trip to see a friend of mine who's studying there right now, because when you basically only have to pay for airfare and not accommodations, it's hard to turn down a chance to visit Europe. 

She lived in NYC for a few years before taking off for London, so we spent a good amount of time telling all the Londoners how great NYC is and all the things it has over London, from cost (London is ridiculously expensive) to late-night bars and restaurants, plus that good ol' fashioned forward to 24 hours after I got back, and I found myself in a cab coming up Sixth Avenue at 11p, looking at the window, thinking how everything here looks so new and boring and the same. European architecture will always, always win over America, especially when we keep tearing beautiful old buildings down to build ugly glass monstrosities
Anyway, back to my travels. I left NYC around 10:30p and arrived in London shortly before 11a the next morning. My friend had to work at noon, so I had an hour to get out of the airport, figure out the underground (piece of cake when you live in NYC!) and meet her near Leicester Square. Thankfully, I only brought a carry-on and my Lo & Sons bag (more on that here). She gave me a brief little tour of the area, which spanned between Leicester Square and Covent Garden, and pointed out which directions would take me towards different neighborhoods and also across the river. I swapped some stuff into my Sole Society bucket bag, made plans to meet her once she got off, and set out exploring. 
First on my agenda: coffee and a croissant. Flying always messes up my stomach's schedule, and I'd eaten pretty much everything available to me on the plane, so I didn't need much other than caffeine to get me going. Since I was near the beautiful little covered market, I popped in there first. The land around Covent Garden has gone through a variety of phases since it was first claimed in the 1500's (!) and became best known as an outdoor vegetable market before turning into the somewhat tourist-y shopping area it is today. I didn't spend too much time here in anything here, as most of the shops were ones I could find elsewhere and I have a rule about only shopping/buying things I can't find back home (which, since I live in NYC, rules out a lot). Re-fueled by coffee, I headed out to see what else I could find for the day and make some sort of plan to cross a few things off my list. 
I did have one specific purchase on my mind, though—a new scent. I'm an admitted beauty junkie, but in particular I love experimenting with new scents and perfumes. I also had to skip packing one of my usual perfumes since I was carrying on and needed to fit all my liquids in one small bag, and I feel naked without perfume. I'm planning a post to elaborate more later, but I've become particularly drawn to niche, harder-to-find and indie-boutique brands and scents. I did a little research before leaving and ended up stumbling across one of the stores within a few hours of landing. Fate, no? 
Penhaligon's is an English perfume house, founded in the late 1860's, making it one of the oldest perfumeries in London. I visited the shop on Wellington Street (there's a smaller one inside the Covent Garden market as well), and after a few rounds of questions and tester strips with an incredibly helpful member of their team, zeroed in on a few scents to try on my skin. I've been experimenting a lot with scent layering over the last few years, usually pairing a more woodsy, warm scent under one a little more light and citrusy, both with a masculine base. I finally settled on Lothair, a newer addition developed by renowned French perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, but was incredibly tempted by Opus, a peppery, citrus-tinged fragrance that I happily discovered is sold at their only U.S. stockist, Saks Fifth Avenue! Each bottle is like a work of art itself, too, with a beautiful shape and label, wrapped in a satin ribbon.
A few other snaps from my morning wanderings above—the Christmas tree at Covent Garden may not be quite as big as Rockefeller Center, but it certainly rivals several others you can find around NYC this time of year. I'd forgotten about the lack of Thanksgiving celebrations in England, so most shops were already quite well set up for Christmas by the time I arrived in early November...which really screwed with my head when I got back to NYC and the temps were still near 60 most of that week. 

More photos to come—I'd love to hear what you think of London! Have you visited? Where should I have checked out that I might not have made it to? I'm hoping to make another trip back in the spring and can't wait to explore more. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Travel in Style

In keeping with the travel theme I've sporadically had going on this month, today's post is about being (style) ready to hop on an airplane. 
I can count the number of times I flew before the age of 18 on one hand—two fingers, really—once to Florida around the age of 10 and again on a school sanctioned trip to California when I was a freshman in high school. I'm going to go out on a limb and say I likely wasn't terribly stylish, as I never put much thought into how I looked growing up (more on that here). In college, I finally started to get the hang of flying somewhat sporadically, with three trips in consecutive years to Vegas, another trip back to LA, a spring break in Florida and my first time abroad in Italy. I like to think my travel style improved, but really, college is about comfort over fashion—although I can guarantee I was at least in jeans, since I've never been a big fan of sweatpants outside of frigid weekends I spend on my couch. 
Now, I fly at least three or four times a year, on top of train and bus travel around the East Coast. This year alone has included a trip to Phoenix, London, two visits to D.C., several trips to Long Island and multiple flights back home. 2015 is looking just as packed, as I'm hoping to squeeze another European visit and Phoenix trip (where my best friend lives) in between a few trips home, a bachelorette party in the Ozarks and a wedding in Illinois. Racking up those frequent flyer miles has also helped me work on my travel style game, narrowing in on what works and what doesn't when I want to zip through security quickly, since I'm one of those people who shows up maybe an hour before my flight leaves. 
Since I frequently fly between different climates (ahem, winter in Iowa), and it can get pretty hot hauling your luggage around the airport but cold on the plane, I focus on layers, usually a t-shirt or light sweater layered with another sweater or pullover. Once I'm in the airport I tend to carry my coat til I get off the plane because I hate the extra bulk, so I always have a scarf within reach in my bag. Keeping the outfit hue neutral or dark makes it easy to look chic, and I usually wear heeled ankle boots because they're both awkward to pack and easy to style. Since I usually travel late at night or early in the morning (looking at you, 6a flight home next month!), I keep my makeup minimal as I'm sure you can tell by these photos. Light BB cream/face powder, a coat or two of mascara since my eyelashes are naturally half blonde, and a bright lipstick. I stash a small makeup bag with non-liquid essentials in my purse and tuck the rest that I'm traveling with in my liquids baggie or suitcase! I also keep a pair of sparkly earrings or a necklace on hand in case I need to look more put-together once I'm off the plane. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Link Love

Kicking the week off in reverse with a link love post I never got finished in time for the weekend, which is pretty much the condensed story of my life right now (other condensed version: I fell asleep on my couch with my computer open. But that's a story for another time). 

Between travel, work and the official start of the holidays this week, I've not had much time to focus on my personal life (or blogging, as you can easily guess). I've got a lot of great content planned out, so one of my goals for the rest of the year is to find ways to execute it!
This past week has been all about prepping for the holidays. We always do a Friendsgiving, or "Baby's ___ Thanksgiving" (this year'll be the 6th my roommates & I host!) with anywhere from 15-20 guests at our apartment. I currently have four and a half pounds of butter, five pounds of sugar and about ten pounds of flour on hand, and will be spending a few hours each of the next few nights prepping pie crusts and gathering ingredients for the homemade dinner rolls I make each year, along with desserts and side dishes. I never used to be big on Thanksgiving, probably because my family usually gathers at Christmas, I don't eat turkey and by my teenage years usually had to go to bed early so I could work retail when the mall opened at 3 or 4 a.m.  In recent years it's really grown on me since it presents an opportunity for a large scale adult dinner party (read: we drink a lot of wine and usually wind up playing a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity), so needless to say I'm already looking forward to Thursday! There's also been some re-decorating in my apartment going on leading up to this, and I hope to share some behind-the-scenes and decor photos with you soon while we change some things up. My coffee cup is empty and it's time for me to get ready for work, so on to the good stuff—what I've been loving, readying and favorite-ing lately!

A great read on an institution of a bookstore, Shakespeare & Company in Paris.

Also a veggie? Well & Good is making the holidays easier with these vegetarian recipes for Thanksgiving (or any holiday, really).

If you buy one boot this season, I really think it should be these ones from Loeffler Randall.

Fascinated by this New York Magazine article where women were asked to draw their own breasts. Everyone is different—and many have a story of love, dislike or even breast cancer (warning: probably NSFW).

If you love ballet even a little bit as much as I do, Racked went behind the scenes at NYC Ballet and captured some beautiful photos of the Nutcracker costumes before the shows begin!

As someone who feels like I'm constantly trying to do too much, this essay on burnout hit close to home.

Need wine glasses for the season? Crate & Barrel is always one of my favorite places to shop—tons of (super affordable) options!

Planning to get more into some of my favorite gifts later on, but this set of Tom Dixon candles is the perfect luxe gift for friends or family.

The Everything NYC twitter account recently shared this great night shot I captured of the Empire State Building. Every time I look at it, I love NYC a little more.

Already eyeing easy, breezy dresses for next spring and this one is top of my list.

images: one || two || three || four

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

10 Questions for: Briar Winters of Marble & Milkweed

Kicking off a new series (of sorts—we'll see how often I can pull it together!) on the blog with this post. One of my reasons for starting a blog was because I wanted somewhere to catalog things. An online diary, of sorts, from what's going on in my head and my life to the way my style is evolving, while also acting as a shopping wish list and place to share new products and companies—which brings us full circle back to today's post, on local organic & analog apothecary Marble & Milkweed.
I've been trying to simplify in life this year, from gutting my wardrobe (swapping college clothes for adult ones has started a never-ending donation pile in my apartment) to eating cleaner and healthier (more on that another time), which has most recently stretched to re-evaluating my beauty and skincare routine. While I'm an admitted product junkie who likes trying new brands, I'm actually pretty loyal to the majority of my beauty products and brands—just like you are, I'm sure! 

There's been a wealth of reports in recent years about the ingredients in beauty products that are unhealthy for your skin, and while some of the claims may be over-exaggerated, there's definitely no harm to putting natural products on your skin. Once I started this search, I stumbled across Marble & Milkweed, an apothecary studio based in TriBeCa that hand-makes disarmingly simple skincare products, using organic and fair-trade ingredients. Founder Briar Winters was kind enough to let me drop by her studio to shoot some photos and asker a few questions! Read on for ten questions with Briar,  from how she got started to her favorite ingredients and how to incorporate natural skincare into your current routine. You can check out her online shop here, and her products are also available on Etsy! Some products change seasonally based on ingredients that are good for the weather and readily available. I'm a huge fan of the Cardamom lip balm (get the tube instead of a tin), and just ordered a facial serum and cardamom butter this week.
What inspired you to start Marble & Milkweed?
After years of working in pastry kitchens here in New York City, I felt ready to begin exploring some of my favorite flavor and scent combinations from a new perspective. There’s a real kinship between the apothecary and the kitchen, and much of my work with Marble & Milkweed is informed by my culinary training, especially the intense focus on beautiful, pure raw materials.

Have you always been interested in natural and organic products? 
I grew up in rural Washington State, playing outside and having a small garden of my own there. These early experiences have absolutely inspired a continuing desire to live in harmony with nature. When I moved out on my own and began to make more of my own purchasing decisions, I began to educate myself about the provenance of the foods and products that I bought and used. I began to feel uncomfortable with many of the industrial ingredients used in my skincare and household products, so I began researching other options. Eventually, I started creating all of my own products from the highest quality food-grade ingredients.
When you first started making skincare products, did you follow recipes you’d already found or was there a lot of experimenting until you found things that worked?
I did so much research when I first began getting interested in crafting skincare, on everything from clays and botanical essences to cold-pressed oils, and I began experimenting from scratch. I’ve also found a lot of inspiration in ancient skincare traditions and rituals, including those of Ayurveda. I knew what I wanted my products to feel and smell like, and I began from there, allowing myself to be guided by the innate qualities of each ingredient.

What product would you recommend to start with to someone who’s just discovered your line and isn’t using a lot of natural or organic skincare products yet? 
I would begin with one of the serums. They showcase the incredible healing power of botanical oils in their purest form, and they absorb easily into the skin. A few drops after cleansing and before bed will completely change the way your skin feels in the morning. Coming of age, the conventional wisdom said that using oils was bad for oily skin, but now that I understand more about the different types of oils and the way our skin works, the balancing effect of a well-crafted facial oil seems inevitable. Cold-pressed oils are full of nutrients and help protect skin in such a deep way, while the scents of the botanical essences soothe the spirit. 
Marble & Milkweed represents more than just a desire to take care of your skin, you also promote environmental consciousness with reusable/recyclable packaging and minimal ingredients. Is this something you’ve always been passionate about, or have you grown more aware yourself year after year?
Both - it’s something that has long been a priority of mine, but I continue to educate myself about how I can do more. Washington State has had comprehensive municipal recycling programs for much longer than New York City, and so I grew up sorting things carefully, and developing an awareness of our impact on the earth. After learning about the irreversible environmental damage our overuse of plastic causes, I felt inspired to avoid it as much as possible. The deeper I get into my work, the more connected I feel to the natural world and that’s something that I hope to share with my customers through the conscious choices that I have the opportunity to make when it comes to philosophy, packaging and ingredients.
You’re running a small and successful company on your own. Tell me what a typical day looks like at the Marble & Milkweed studio.
I’m not a very early riser, probably thanks to many years of working dinner service hours in the pastry kitchen. My partner, Michael, still works nights in the kitchen, so I feel fortunate to have the freedom to dovetail my schedule with his to give us quiet mornings together. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to my studio in TriBeCa from our home on the Lower East Side. Each day at the studio is different, depending on what must be done. Some days are reserved just for packing and shipping orders, and quieter days are spent crafting products. I’m lucky to have a post office with late hours just nearby, and trips there are a nice way to stretch my legs during the day. I often work quite late into the evenings, and I try to always leave the studio as orderly as possible, so that the next day begins smoothly. Somewhere between all of that, of course, lies ordering and sourcing supplies, bookkeeping and administrative duties, and keeping up with my social media accounts. I love doing it all myself, it gives me the chance to create exactly the situation I want across every area of my work.

Tell me a little bit about your creation process. What inspires you to make a new product? What’s the testing process look like?
The seasons and their corresponding raw materials are my main source of inspiration. The sensibilities and needs of our skin change throughout the year, so it makes sense to look toward the cycles of the natural world as muse.
What’s one of the trickiest things you’ve found about owning and running your own business? The most rewarding?
Balancing all of the different facets of something that often feels like its own being can be a challenge. It’s impossible to be very good at all of it, but it’s important to me to get good enough at the business side of things to support the creative side. And to know when to ask for help. It has been a wonderful learning experience. The most rewarding part is helping my clients discover the endless potential for beauty and harmony in the relationship between skin, spirit, and the natural world.

What are your favorite ingredients to work with? Do they change each season?

Some of my favorites in every season include rose, cardamom, sandalwood and chamomile, as well as so many others. As winter approaches, I begin to focus on the coniferous oils and essences, as well as the richest of the nourishing cold-pressed oils, which are perfect for protecting the skin as the weather becomes cold and dry. Focusing on the gifts of each season helps to give us a sense of place, and grounds us in the moment. 
What are your long-term plans for Marble & Milkweed?
Marble & Milkweed has evolved very organically from the beginning, and I intend to allow that to continue. More seasonal offerings are always on the way, as well as collaborations with a few carefully selected local farmers in sourcing raw materials. I’m also currently learning the ancient art of distillation in order to more deeply understand the process of creating hydrosols, with the hope of eventually distilling my own from locally sourced botanicals. 

Shop Marble & Milkweed online here and on Etsy here.