i remember when i first went overseas my mom bought me a leather backpack. i was obsessed and wanted one so badly. after about 2 hours of sitting at LAX my friend spilled her coke all over my new bag. there was that split second of 'OMG' but then i thought this is the first of many stories this backpack will tell... i couldn't wait for it to be 50 years old. it's almost 29 now....
i love this straw basket purse that she continually used. can you imagine where this basket traveled?
i loved that most think of a straw basket as a summer bag.... not jane...
it was season-less and i love that!
straw with fur and a bakery box....well how does one pull that off? confidence and loving the piece so much you can't NOT wear it. love that even more.
wear your 'things' and let them live & travel with you....we all have many stories to tell
ok, so i read this interview in porter magazine with elle macpherson and enjoyed the questions so much that i thought i'd interview myself for you.....
wake up time? 6:45am. i love the early start to the day and getting outside for playtime with jack before working out. plus, the smell of the mountains early is perfect.
morning routine? 20 minutes in bed to talk to my man, check emails and upload an instagram. play with jack & then work out for an hour. breakfast is 99% of the time oatmeal with berries & chia seeds, a homemade smoothie & half an english muffin with almond butter. then feed jack & bodhi & run to shower because i am now always running late now that i take the time for this routine...ritual?
working day? high season i am in the store 10-6 monday - saturday so that is working with customers, photos of new merchandise and then uploading to web & social media, working on blog, researching new designers & collections, answering many, MANY emails and texts and avoiding the phone. i am a fan of email. in the off season i am only open wednesday thru friday so that i can knit the other days to start making my inventory for high season. on these 'knitting days' i start at 10am and generally finish at 11pm....yes, it's crazy. but i do take my time in the morning for a hike or run and get outside for a few minutes every hour. plus, i get to indulge in an actual lunch break which doesn't happen while working in the store.
one activity you do every day without fail? put on lipstick.......
your most overused phrase? .......coolio or hot stuff......
how do you stay in shape? my new life changing addiction is jumping rope. i do it at least 30 minutes everyday but generally 45. i recently started weight lifting to build some muscle as i get older...nobody wants a bony butt! i also love hiking and trail runs.
how do you unwind? getting outdoors with jack will cure any mood. weekends it's a hot tub with a glass of wine or cocktail with my man while just 'being' in the backyard looking at the beauty around us. it really is a magical backyard.
on your desk? ...um, i envision it with some cool mugs with colored pencils in one, pens in the other. a stack of read magazines that i have already put post-it's on for inspiration.....this has yet to happen. usually, piled with post it's of messy sketches of sweater ideas, stacks of unread magazines & art books i had to have..... one day.
guilty pleasures? homemade oatmeal spice cookies....i am addicted to a recipe and make them every week. it really is a problem.... and warm bread with butter & salt........ahhhhh
computer screensaver? sunset over the caldera in santorini...perfect.
how do you cure creative block? get outdoors and go on a hike/run to clear my head. then hit the computer and research something other than fashion to stimulate the brain.... interior design, painters, ceramics, music.... anything that gets me thinking about anything else but what i am blocked on.
strengths? i consider myself a driven, hard working, risk taking woman without an ego. ups and downs happen all the time...my business is me but it's not about me.
weaknesses? take on more than time allows for sure. and, personally, i can over analyze with the best of them...
what advice would you giver your 20 year old self? to accept and appreciate your body as it is only going to get lower! i think women are so hard on themselves and it starts at such a young age. truly ridiculous! at 15, 20, 25, 30 (you get the point) i thought i was fat. insane! i think at 40 i realized i need to just shut up and enjoy what my body could do. shift the perspective and you realize how amazing it is. then the fog clears and you realize you're not fat. it's sad and funny. i still hear the beat down every day in the store with women who have beautiful bodies. we need to stop.
fictional figure you most identify with? i have never thought of this so at the top of my head i'd say pippi longstocking. she was a strong, fearless kid, a bit scrappy, who always figured things out. a bit wacky on style and the red hair and freckles was totally me. loved pippi...
favorite quote? can't remember the book i read it in but, 'i'd rather a life full of mistakes than a life of regrets'. i have often considered this as a tattoo but haven't done it...yet?
what can women learn from men? to say what you mean in as few words as possible.
what can men learn from women? that sometimes, more words are necessary. and, to choose those words carefully as we will analyze them :)
personal motto? be nice and life will bring you good people and a lot of happiness.
real life figure you most identify with? again, i have never thought about this. oddly, the first person i thought of was diane keaton. she's a success in her field, strong, smart, funny, has a look/style that is consistently her, witty and never been married. but, i don't wear gloves and rarely a turtleneck....
people are surprised that i.... am only 5'2
one thing you would change about your profession? i would make it a criminal offense punishable by a year of working in retail if you walk into a store & decide to purchase something and then ask for a discount or my favorite 'is this the best you can do?'. it's not nice and it's tacky.
what was your dream job as a kid and why? flight attendant. i thought it was amazing that you could fly for free anywhere in the world. second, was to be a writer and travel the world living in random places writing stories. i still hope for option 2.
who is your greatest mentor? personally, my grandmother. she was unbelievably kind and generous with a gentle, patient heart. never did i hear her say something negative about someone. and, she was always optimistic and happy. business mentor would be my man....so driven and a problem solver who has the best disposition for calming situations.
what one meeting changed your life? the day i walked down the street for basalt's block party and was introduced to david...... my life is still changing everyday....
biggest risk that has paid off? on a whim i packed up and moved to colorado. it was suppose to be a 6 month escape. but 3 weeks in i knew i was staying. i didn't know anyone and i had only been in aspen once for 24 hours. the BEST decision ever.
proudest moment? ....a tie..... getting a call from nina garcia's office when she was at ELLE saying she'd like to see my spring '99 collection. she was incredible and then put 2 of my pieces in ELLE as 'one to watch'. still can't believe that. the other, getting a call from vogue magazine in the summer of '99 saying they were doing a story on san francisco designers and i was chosen to be featured in the magazine. a stylist and writer would be out the following week.... that article was featured in the september issue 1999. BOTH, still bring a smile to my face....
hardest piece of criticism you've received? i'm not sure this was the 'hardest' but it most certainly was the hardest to take. 'well, you were just lucky....' no, i wasn't lucky.... yes, amazing things have happened but i worked hard for everything and have taken lots of risks and given things up to make them happen. luck doesn't have anything to do with it. luck is winning the lottery.
many women come to souchi while they are visiting and ask me how to dress in aspen. it's one of my favorite questions to answer since merging my own style with how to dress in Aspen was an adjustment when I first moved here. as most of us do, we pack our favorite things when going on a trip. however, aspen's style is unique so usually the ladies are needing something that they didn't pack. the perception is that this 'billionaire's playground' is fancy. hate to break it to you but, it's not. keep reading for the good news....
WHERE PERSONAL STYLE MEETS THE CITY
i have my own personal style of course, like everyone. however, i love an alter ego when traveling. i like to pay homage to the city, town or island i’m in by letting the local attire inspire how i dress while visiting.
when going to nyc, i am packing MANY of my sky-high stilettos, slip dress and cocktail rings (shout out to my treats from elliott yeary gallery) for sipping Cosmopolitans (yes, i am drinking them again) after a long day at the trade shows.
when in LA, i seem to always buy white and colorful, eccentric accessories to work with my favorite jeans. perfect for a road trip to santa barbara with friends.
but back to the lovely little mountain town i call home....aspen.
ASPEN IS NOT NEW YORK OR LA
aspen is a casual cosmopolitan hub whose population expands and contracts with the seasons. and, there is a heavy emphasis on sports (winter & summer) and being outdoors is our way of life.
however, i spend most of my time in my shop with locals and travelers. as some of the travel blogs might lead you to believe most don't spend an inordinate amount of time in cabins....as i said we are outdoors being social. so my interpretation of aspen fashion goes way beyond parkas and ski boots.
DRESSING LIKE A LOCAL
the things to remember when you’re deciding how to dress in sspen are the following: casual, cozy, and something eclectic like this souchi hand loomed hooded poncho or fringe poncho. you can choose the colors!
save your mcqueen bias dress for another amazing city – not this mountain town....aspen style isn't “formal.” trade your stiletto's and dressy dresses for cashmere, denim and cool boots you can actually walk in while you’re here (cobblestone, ice & snow will destroy your heels and most likely an ankle). top with a fedora or cashmere beanie and you’re ready for lunch or dinner and shopping on mill street. *i LOVE heels...so go for a stacked chunky heel if you must...
aspen locals do not dress provocatively. it’s more about showing off your form than your skin. sexy is showing a firm bum in denim or great arms in a tank top....locals aren't choosing the less clothing on is more option. that said, fitness is one of the most important values/goals here, and with endless options for hiking, biking, yoga (mountaintop from shakti shali is a must), pilates, barre, and more, aspen is one of the few places you may visit and actually lose weight. cheers to that! or, with our great food (bosq, cache cache & meat & cheese are musts), you may just break even on the calories burned vs calories consumed.....so room for one more cocktail to toast this amazing town.
whether you’re here for vacation, business or looking for a permanent place to escape, live, love & let go to celebrate the bohemian spirit of the natural beauty, fresh air and incredible local cuisine with expressive style that shows reverence for color, texture, and the free-spirited feeling of being in the mountains away from city life.
enjoy your trip.
here are my favorite #onlyaspen items for mastering local style. and, today thru august 5 use code: aspen and you'll get 15% off these items on-line. shop here
hi. i’m that souchi dress you bought a year ago.
i’ve been patiently waiting in your closet ever since. every time you swing the closet door open with your hair wrapped in a towel and a cup of coffee in your hand, i hold my breath and wait. and wait.
i see you text your love and tell them that you’re running late. i see you pawing through the same clothes that you always wear. i watch you try them on, change, sigh, try them on again, and, after growling at the mirror, strip, throw them on the floor, and sulk out.
i see you. but you don’t see me. i would shake my head at you…but i don’t have a head. i’m....just....a dress.
just a dress that you saw that made you stop in your tracks.
i remember when you first laid eyes on me and touched my lovely fabric. you gently took me off the rack and walked up to the mirror, tentatively. held me up and immediately your eyes widened. you saw all of the fun we would have together. i saw it too.
i saw the dinner parties that we would host, the look that would be on your love's face when they saw us for the first time, and the compliments that your girlfriends would give us at lunch. i saw us being a team.
i was a little insulted when you handed me back and said, “i have to think about it.”
i tried not to take it personally. i accepted it.
however, i wasn’t surprised when i saw you come through the door a few hours later. i knew you’d come back. as suzi rang me up a few hours later and wrapped me in tissue and put me in a bag, i saw our future together. and, i was excited.
you hung me up in your closet so lovingly. put me on one of those fancy hangers and gazed at me for a few moments before shutting the door. i waited. and waited.
we almost went out for tapas that one night, but then you wore jeans instead. we almost went on a weekend in palm springs, but then you left with your weekender bag...(filled with jeans) and never said goodbye. i forgive you. but, i love palm springs too.
i overheard you on the phone with suzi. she was telling you about some new dress that had come in. i heard you mention me...
“i still haven't worn the dress i got last time. yes, i love it. it's so pretty that i am waiting for an occasion to wear it.'
i overheard her say, “um, the occasion is that you own it!”
i saw you nod. i always liked her. she took good care of me in the store. my vote is that we wear your turquoise suede heels with the tassels and go get us a cocktail. it’s our first night out together, after all.
from the amazing piece sitting in your closet
next time you think you need an 'occasion' think of these two fashion ladies. i am in awe of their style and LOVE that their occasion is it's in my closet! ladies, wear your clothes because they are meant to be enjoyed.
top row: the incredible jane aldridge from sea of shoes
bottom row: the amazing giovanna englebert w magazine fashion editor
Shop dresses that will love you back here:
these are my favorite dresses available at souchi aspen and on souchi.com
clockwise top left: lena medoyeff, souchi, rachel comey, sita raiter, souchi, souchi & loup charmant or click the collage below to take you direct to these dresses. 15% off for one week only....ending july 31.
everyone travels for different reasons. for some, it’s escape. for others, it’s wanderlust. for me, my only intention: inspiration.
an old adage states that “the world is a book, and those who do not travel only read a page.” can you imagine understanding everything, let alone, getting what an author says by reading one page?
i, often find myself driving the same route to work, going to the same place for lunch (even eating the same thing....yes i do this often!) and driving the same route home. don’t get me wrong, i am grateful for where i live and what i do, but i know that routine can stifle creativity. my immediate surroundings are absolutely breathtaking but they are just one page of the book i want to write.
in my mind, input defines output. in order to remain inspired, i prioritize taking a few trips each year that take me out of my usual surroundings and allow me to become immersed in an environment drastically different from my home.
last summer, i went to greece. in santorini, the stunning juxtaposition of the sapphire and stark white of the architecture never ceased to inspire. the landscape is breathtaking, the air rejuvenating, the sights and smells exquisite.
some like to plan out their vacations down to the hour. i like to keep my daysopen, and allow myself to wander, to experience a new place without an itinerary. i like to walk through the city early in the morning and lose myself in people-watching. i like to get the locals recommendations on where to go, eat & what to experience. the feeling of sitting in a café that isn't listed in a travel guide so far away from home is perfection.
there’s no “goal” for me when i travel – i never set out to get a certain photograph or accomplish a designated amount of sightseeing. in fact, i have been known to not see the 'sights'. instead, for me, the journey is the destination.
every night when i get back to my hotel, i look through all the pictures i took throughout the day, arrange whatever trinkets i’ve picked up along the way, gaze out the window, and allow myself some reflective creative time. i grab my journal/sketch book & write notes on the colors, photos, textiles, etc that i saw & quick brainstorm of what they make me think of. sitting with pencil, pen & cocktail on a deck (ideal but sometimes indoors) and just sketch to see what happens. later these sketches & notes will either become something else or exist as i first envisioned them. shifting my perspective while in a new place will forever influence my work. i work a ton but when 80% of your work week is creative.........that's perfect balance to me.
inspiration comes from every direction when traveling.
Shop what’s in my suitcase:
these are pieces that can pretty much take me to any destination..... add bikini for beach.... add a leather jacket for rome.... add heels for NYC.... but the elements can remain the same for a summer trip.
a timeless casual look
a gorgeous cjw cashmere wrap that is featherweight and not bulky
the perfect leather clutch with minimal, yet awesome details.
a cool brass cuff
an awesome wood bangle with turquoise. *turquoise always makes me happy
cashmere fringe tank....day to evening
beautiful necklace with earthy neutrals and pops of gold
walking shoes that are sexy, fun and can keep me on my feet for hours.
what I love about aspen & the roaring fork valley the most is the air. cool, crisp, almost sweet from the flowers, grasses, animals, etc. you always want to be outdoors when you're here.
i have a crazy, fast paced life which means a chaotic schedule & never enough time in the day. i KNOW i need to meditate to take it down a notch and live in the moment. it's against my nature to relax, sit and just breathe. crazy, i know!
i figured i could ease into meditation which is why i call it my 'chill time'. it's not quite meditation yet, but it will be. i love my mornings and don't mind getting up very early to get my workout in, some play time with jack, healthy breakfast and now my 'chill time'.
our upper backyard near the tall grasses & aspen trees is my favorite spot because i can hear the wind move through the leaves. learning to take the time to enjoy sitting, deep breaths and the sounds of nature. the crisp morning air means i get to wrap myself in a cashmere poncho.
it's not about having the time – it’s about making the time. i am always busy with the store, knitting all the stock & high season always arrives too quickly. soon enough long nights turn into early mornings and mornings become afternoons and the cycle continues to fly by.
it’s easy to allow myself to get swept up in stress and exhaustion, but in order to stay happy & fun under pressure, to remain laser-focused on my goals, I find that this new chill time helps clear the mental stuff that can clutter my thoughts and stand in my way.
the plan is to go to that space outside at least a few mornings a week to sit & breathe in the lovely aspen air, and try to turn my focus inward. inhale & exhale focusing on the moment & being grateful for it. i can appreciate the silence, the stillness, and allow my racing thoughts to slow down. i keep breathing and soon the moments are pure bliss leaving me feeling relaxed and happy.
i find i’m always smiling afterwards. which makes me more willing to take time to notice the colors around me, wrap myself a little tighter in my souchi, and appreciate the quiet before the days adventure begins. soon enough, jack is up and licking my feet with wet kisses, my peaceful moment replaced with sloppy expressions of love from my sweet boy.
it's the perfect way to start the day and then as i head back inside to make breakfast everything seems easier and i think “let’s go see about this day”
shop my favorite 'meditation' outfits below & use code: xo10
to receive 10% off
souchi fringe poncho cozy cashmere and big enough to really wrap yourself up
commando control legging the best leggings you will ever own
enza costa bold long sleeve crew truly the softest cotton and long body
krewe du optic conti sunglasses so light weight that you don't know they are on
fiji water - my favorite
assorted mexican sarape blankets - love love love the colors
the lovely jane aldridge of sea of shoes blog...
if you haven't seen her blog...go now...
incredible styling and inspiration.
so here i love the simplicity of this look and thought our super sale
leather zingara belt looks like this.
and, it's on sale for $80! if you purchase by january 17 then you can get an additional 40% off which makes it $48!! use code: celebrate
at check out.
you can get a similar look with this corey lynn calter joan dress $100 less 40% if bought by january 17.
or the catia flannel dress with the zingara belt would be great.