Archive for ‘FASHION & BEAUTY’

March 16, 2015

Austin Adventures T-Minus 48 HOURS

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I’m going back to Austin! Before my road trip in October I had hardly traveled anywhere out of California in my adult life. Except for mini road trips to Arizona and Nevada. My trip to New York last summer was the first time I bought a plane ticket as an adult. Not my first time on a plane, but the first time I looked at a flight schedule to figure out pricing and what worked best for me. Anyways, Bowerbird is playing SXSW and it’s one of those experiences I want to share with him. A craziness I could experience firsthand and not just through road stories. So with a little encouragement and the help of a credit card, I booked my flight to Austin. Bonus, I have friends in Austin, friends flying out to Austin, and Under the Radar throws their own party (former intern). SIDENOTE: I suddenly I have the urge to watch LOSER.

I fly out on Wednesday, just as the music portion of SXSW kicks off. When Bowerbird and I went to Austin on our road trip we felt like we didn’t have enough time to explore. The city seemed to be overflowing with good food, adorable window shopping, and of course great music venues. It will be nice to get ROUND TWO in. I’ve been using the one music venue we went to, Cheer Up Charlies, as a point of reference in figuring out the distance of my hotel to where Bowerbird will be playing and the rest of the SXSW madness. p.s. Bowerbird’s band Flaamingos will be playing a showcase at Hotel Vegas presented by Levitation.

Flaamingos SXSW

AUSTIN HIGHLIGHTS FROM OCTOBER 2014:

Cheer Up Charlies – is an eclectic space, a colorful music venue with a back patio that seems to be carved out of a rock. We totally ended up with an epic Cracker Jack box prize when we went there, as Ted the Block, a side project of musician Winston Goertz-Giffen happened to be playing. Ted the Block is totally weird in a hypnotizing way. He and his girlfriend were also road-tripping, and we made instant friends with this set of creatives. We later met up with them in Marfa, total coincidence so more on that later.

cheerup charlies

FLASHBACK – a vintage clothing store. It’s inside a purple house, and we wandered in while waiting to meet up for lunch with a friend nearby. Being from LA and in a new town, we tended to be extremely early to places.  The clothing and merchandise weaved throughout the rooms of the house. Flashback had really amazing finds I had to fall in-love with and walk away from, like dresses fit for June Carter Cash. I wanted them all.

Flashback Vintage Clothing

MICKLETHWAIT BBQ – One of the well-known and highly recommended BBQ establishments in Austin. It’s a trailer with a smoker next to it! We weren’t very aggressive when it came to the BBQ game in Austin, so we really lucked out in getting some BBQ at Micklethwait. We had gone around 5:00pm for an early dinner, and were met with a sign that read SOLD OUT till 7:30pm.  Later we found out the only reason they had any meat for dinner was because they were hosting a movie night.  We camped out in their parking lot for a few hours patiently waiting.  But the wait was totally worth it! Especially for Bowerbird as he can’t eat anything with refined or added sugar. While on the trip Bowerbird had to miss out on Memphis BBQ, and we avoided most Southern BBQ places because 99% of them use sugar in their rubs or sauces. But Micklethwait rub was all spice and flavor!

Micklethwait Craft Meats BBQ

This time around, I really want to get a picture with the Hi, How Are You alien aka the Daniel Johnston mural. We drove by it in October, but forgot to go back for a photo-op. This time I’m sure there will be a line of tourist trying to snap their picture with the iconic wall. I used to intern at a gallery that at one point represented Daniel Johnston, and there were tons of photocopies of Daniel Johnston drawings in boxes, random boxes. I wish I would have nabbed some – I’m sure no one would have noticed. It was a strange place. Guess I can keep the karma points. Plus, I should just buy a t-shirt and help support Daniel.

I’ll be vlogging, instagraming, blogging (maybe) – we all know how blogging and traveling works for me, and tweeting. So hope you enjoy exploring Austin with me.

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October 27, 2014

I Love the United States : Kris Nations Interview

krisnation_interview

Aside from blogging my own stories; I really love to interview small business, designers, people pursuing and sharing their passion. For my birthday 2 years ago Bowerbird gave me “The United States” necklace by Kris Nations, it was supposed to help keep me focused on my dream. And look now, I’ve made/making that dream a reality. The chain on the necklace broke about a year ago, and a month before the trip I sent it back to Kris Nations to be fixed. They were great about the repair, and even answered the list of question I sent along with the request. I’ve worn my United States necklace every day with out fail, I’m not a huge selfie person, but if you see a glint of gold on my neck on Instagram that’s the necklace.

Interview with Kim of Kris Nations

Kris Nations is run and created by two sisters, Kim and Kris. With my own sister, my strengths are her weaknesses and vice-versa. Do you find that in your own partnership? Is Kim stronger at one aspect of the business, and Kris stronger at another?

KIM: Kris started the business on the side while we were both living and working in SF. Kris was the real risk-taker, giving up her “real job” first. I’m more conservative so our personalities balance each other out in a lot of aspects of our business.

What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made? Was it for yourself, or did you give it to someone else?

KIM: Kris is the jewelry maker. She used to make jewelry for herself and then make some for friends once they saw what she was wearing.

I found my Kris Nation piece at Letters From LA located in Eagle Rock, CA. Did Kris Nation start as an etsy or online store first, and then grow to retailers? Or was it a simultaneous effort?

KIM: We had our website first and then grew the wholesale side of the business. My background is in web design so I designed and programmed our first website.

Running your own business has ups and down, plus there is more emotional investment. For other small business owners, what advice can you give for pushing through the self doubt?

KIM: As long as you remain passionate about your work, the highs outweigh the lows. But the lows can be low. It’s usually about money, and lack of it! Just hang in there, work smarter, stay focused on your long-term goals.

Your jewelry is well made, stylish, adorable! It’s no surprise it’s received great press. Does Kris Nation work with a PR group or has it all been in house hustle and flow?

KIM: We have a PR firm based out of SF. We also work closely with the firm. When we have ideas, we share and ask them to follow up on our ideas. You need to work closely with a PR firm, the more effort you can put in, the better. It’s hard when you are always putting out fires, but it’s important.

My dream is to have an epic road trip across the country. It’s why I was given the United States necklace as a gift. Do you have a great sisterly road trip or vacation memory you can share with us?

KIM: OMG! Yes! Kris and I used to travel from San Francisco to Las Vegas for our very first few trade shows. I’m not sure why we didn’t fly? Probably because we had a quite elaborate booth setup that needed to be hauled there. On one trip, we ran out of gas (duh?!) and spent a few hours waiting for AAA to save us. It was dark and we passed the time guessing flavors of Jelly Belly’s. I’m remarkably horrible at guessing flavors. We have fond memories of visiting our Aunt and Uncle about half way to Vegas. They are the sweetest couple ever. Our uncle passed away over a year ago and we have very fond memories of our visits and their encouragement during this very early stage of our business.

KrisNaions_selfie

Our country is really beautiful, and filled with good hearts and talented people. Thankfully I had the opportunity to experience a sliver of the it this month. If it wasn’t for my lack of clothing options and unpredictable sleeping accommodations, I might stay on the road forever. Make meeting new people and visiting new places a regular routine.

I’ll be going home with a confident direction, new ideas, an outline of a plan, and a need to write a lot of emails. People like the woman of Kris Nations inspire me to commit to myself, take a gamble on myself. I hope these interviews encourage others to trust in themselves to be able to achieve anything they desire.

June 27, 2014

“Cool Girl” Style Conspiracy

The fashion world created the “cool girl” style and I will forever be grateful. Bed-head hairstyles, or quick top knots with bold lips and an excellent hand at liquid eyeliner. The women of New York realized they needed a solution to looking chic with as minimal effort as possible, because the women of New York are exhausted!

Yes, I am calling out the editors, assistants, associates, and the ambitious mothers of invention who work all-day and then network all night. Alarm clocks set to the last possible minute before being late to work, buzzing to wake up hard working individuals, desperate for at least 6 hours of sleep. There is no time for a beauty routine longer than ten minutes when you need to get ready quickly. Throw on a simple ensemble of stylish black pants, an effortless tailored top, and maybe a jacket, if the weather calls for it, and it’s out the door. Presentable, but not haggard at their day jobs, because under those stylish glasses, below the perfect cat eye, and covered by a Nars concealer are their “bags of honor.”

Puffy and dark, the bags under one’s eye indicates a lack of sleep due to the drive and determination one has to succeed, all while not giving up their social life. By Thursday, I am rocking my own “bags of honor”… with a full time job, freelance projects, passion project, and happily the supportive girlfriend of a musician, my body and beauty routine has learned to cope on 5.5 hours of sleep.

I will not look in the mirror and judge myself for not looking like a well rested teenager, my skin a little sallow and eyes possibly glazed. No, I will see my puffy, dark circles and declare them my “bags of honor”; for my week has been filled with new connections, tending to old friendships, accomplishing fabulous projects, and being an essential member of my 9-5 team.  All while running on B-vitamins, lots of coffee, water and whatever I can remember to feed myself.

New York is a city fueled by ambition, and the fashion publishing industry. With an increase in easy hairstyle and quick beauty stories, I’m happy they dubbed what was previously known as “the rushed look” the “cool girl” style. No longer does this California girl have to look polished by spending hours on her hair for an at home blow out.  All I need is dry shampoo and a good concealer. Covering my “bags of honor” only to make every one wonder… how does she do it!

cool girl style collage

May 31, 2014

5 Real Talk Steps To Clean Out Your Closet

anxiety attack prevention

My name is Bekka, and I get anxiety attacks when I have to clean out my closet and donate the clothes. I’m not a hoarder. I just have an intense love of nostalgia, a wicked good memory, and a very creative sense of style. The rule, “if you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in a year, then donate it” has never applied to me. There are three hundred and sixty five days in a year and some days call for a wardrobe change. If my t-shirt has a stain no worries, it can be covered with a cardigan. If my sweater has a hole, well it goes great under my jacket. If it’s too old to be worn in respectable company, keep it to work out in or better yet paint the house! As you can see, getting rid of clothing is not easy for me.

Last year my boyfriend moved into the house I’ve lived in my entire life. In the midst of my twenties, I had yet to do a massive purge and now I had to fit another person’s belongings into my life history. Even more, I had to now share my closet!

Queue the anxiety and irrational panic, but in the meantime, I had to make room for my guy. If you have a hard time getting rid of clothes or items that are attached to memories, things you don’t use and take up more space than what can be easily stored in a shoebox, then I bestow my wisdom, gained from 5 big black bags of donated clothes, purses, and shoes, to help you through a purge- in 5 easy steps!

1) Put your donated clothes in a big black trash bag, and don’t open it! Whatever you do, avoid the second look. Trust that whatever is in there, you decided to put in there for a very valid reason. Like a bad relationship, don’t revisit the good memories and know it’s time to let go.

2) If there is a hole, stain on the clothing, or it does not fit that well: get rid of it. Remove the clothing item from your closet, even if a sweater can hide the stain or the hole isn’t even that noticeable. If you’re in the position where room must be made then hard decisions will need to take place. There were some pieces that I had worn through the best of times, great shows and fun nights out, but in the end it was good to have adeal breaker in place.

3) Hold on to the memory in a picture.  I took a lot of pictures of purses, team sweatshirts, dresses, etc. The pictures were a way of me being able to hold on to the item, without it physically taking up space. Admittedly, I haven’t looked at those pictures and probably never will, but at the time it was my way of holding onto a little piece of that possession, so I could remove it from my life, because I refuse to let my possessions possess me.

donate to salvation army

4) Make up a story about the new owner. Yup, this might sound nutty but it worked! I had a green purse with a leather butterfly on it that I had never really used. I thought it was really cute, but it wasn’t my style. Yet it could be my style one day… see where the crazy talk starts kicking in? So, I had to beat crazy with crazy and I imagined a free spirited, thirteen year-old girl who purchased my cool purse.  She’s super excited to bring it to school Monday then, she gets compliments from all her friends. This imaginary girl was going to have way more fun with this bag, than I ever would… into the black donate bag it went!

5) Tailor your style. Just because it fits, it doesn’t mean it’s you. Pick a style icon and ask yourself, “Would Audrey Hepburn wear this? Could I zip around on a moped in 1960’s France like Francoise Hardy in this outfit?” A perk of getting older is knowing yourself better.  Don’t just keep clothes because you have them, but keep them because they still reflect who you are today. I used to be angry, jaded, and had lots of punk style clothing; but that’s not who I am anymore. I said goodbye to my pink plaid pants and made room for cute ankle cut slim fit trousers.

francois hardy iconic style

 

classic audrey hepburn street style

Now these rules didn’t take away my sinking feeling or accelerated heart rate when removing these bags from my car and into the donation box. I was still uncomfortable and irritable, not a happy camper but, I also know it was all for the best.  I took a few deep breaths and let my rational brain talk to the emotional and irrational part, because I know how silly and superficial all that anxiety is.

Good luck on your purge and I hope my tips help you the next time you’re moving or have to make room for someone else. Until then, enjoy that t-shirt with the pit stains no one can see under your adorable cardigan. If you like it, then VIVA!

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