DUCHESS AND LION + PHOTO SHOOT

Okay so first off…I had the amazing privilege of being asked to  coordinate and style this awesome photo shoot with Duchess and Lion! Putting together the outfits and styling their hair is one of my favorite jobs in the business.

So today my very dear friend Stacie Lucas, of Duchess and Lion (a hip on trend kids clothing line), joining me today.  This lady is just simply amazing and as kind as they come!!  Stacie and I have been friends for over a year now, and I feel like we have known each other forever.  She’s just that kinda person + we know you are going to fall in love with this creative + inspiring women as much as we have!!  Enjoy.

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Hi Friends.  What an honor it is to meet you over in this space today.  When I started Duchess and Lion, LLC in 2013, I could have never imagined it where it is today, and that is because of you.  People who are committed to supporting small businesses.  Businesses that operate completely stateside, completely ethical, and with such a passion and joy that we hope it is reflected in our designs.  So before I go any further – THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

We are so excited to bring you our Spring line officially launching on Tuesday, February 17th (however, you might want to sign up for our newsletter here, as we often offer early access and great deals to our mailing list).  We as a company, and specifically me as a designer, have poured our heart and soul into our S/S ’15 collection.  It was inspired by everything I remember about my childhood summers—beach days, camping trips, and creating masterpieces as a little artist, and I hope it will inspire you to go out a create some of those memories with your own kids.

In my eyes, Duchess and Lion is way more than being the latest fashion trend.  This is my art.  Nothing thrills me more than seeing pieces for 3-4 seasons ago still being worn and loved on.  Or when you email me telling me it is wrapped in tissue + stored for your babies/baby.  That is what I dream of during my late night work.  I also dream of providing more and more amazing woman in my community with the opportunity to work from home with flexible schedules (that they set) in order to see these collections come to life.  This season we expanded our contractors (all woman, lots of moms, some grandmas, and many very talented crafts(wo)men) to 16 contractors!  To help provide jobs in our local community, to interact with these woman on a daily basis, and to build great friendships with each one, has all perhaps been the highlight of having our own production team that keeps our work out of factories.  Each piece has a story to me (and hopefully that story will be evident to you).

-How do you balance life and running your business?  Keeping a schedule.  I try to keeep my work days kid free, not cluttered with errands or other things/distractions…Basically trying to respect my work time.  I also don’t take texts or calls from friends.  Work time is work time.  I do take 2 days off a week, and do the same thing for the kids.  Respect that time that is theirs.  I can be fully engaged and not take on any work task (unless at nap time).  But my time with them sweet and work does not interfere.

-What inspires you creatively? Not Pinterest.  Haha just kidding.  I pick up inspiration everywhere.  I like to watch the street fashion.  I like to watch womens’ fashion and then modify to fit kids fashion. (I Kailee can vouch for this…Stacie can pick inspiration anywhere she is.  It seriously amazes me!!)

-Any tips for other ladies who are looking to turn their passion into a business? As much as you can be willing to step out of the box.  Let  your business grow organically and don’t try and push anything.  Give yourself some grace time.  You can’t just sit but have patients to grow organically.  Start with what you know and as you grow you can always expand.

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-Also, what are your 5 must haves: I am a jeans and a white tee girl and these are my go to, day in and day out!

1 – Definatly a must is my Rag and bone Skinny- Rock w/hole in Black

2/4/6 – I can’t live without my coffee and my favorite thing to brew it on is my Mette Duebahl Push Coffee maker and to drink it out of it my Tall tumbler in Onyx from Health Ceramics or my Mason Bar Tumbler for my iced- coffee to go.  Oh and if you haven’t had Blue Bottle Coffer A.) you aren’t local to Oakland or you live with your head in the clouds. B.) you need to get on bluebottle.com and order yourself some.  Thank me later…or send me a package while you are at it.

3 – I like simple, minimalistic jewelry.  My latest crush is my La Terre Gold necklace from Junlia Zendrei.  Such timeless pieces, great prices, and independent designer.

5 – I did just mention I am a white tee girl right.  This one is my latest obsession: The Tensel Longsleeve in natural from Vege Threads.

6 – Lastly, and most importantly is my kids.  You can’t buy them but you can find me over-gramming their mugs on Instagram.

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NOW ENJOY THE FIRST SNEAK PEEK OF THE DUCHESS + LION S/S15!!

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VALENTINE’S GIFTS FOR THE MEN

What better time than Valentine’s Day to show your guy how much you care. Sometimes it’s hard to think of the perfect gift, especially with only 9 days left. Today we are making it simple for you. Pick from 10 great gifts in three categories. Check out our Valentine’s gifts for your man below.
Valentine's gifts for your man

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SOMETHING TO WEAR

1. This scent is amazing and is as much for you as it is for him.
2. A timeless shirt for dress or casual wear.
3. Every guy needs a new tie. This one is great for Spring
4. The perfect shoe to relax in and watch a game.

COOL GADGETS

5. He can play his tunes anywhere with this BOSE bluetooth speaker.
6. Stay connected with this portable phone charger.
7. Purchases from this sleek digital watch provide treatments for cancer patients.

ON THE GO

8. Great for gym to office: this duffel has a special shoe compartment.
9. Give him a new wallet for his back pocket with a love note.
10. Keep all his travel essentials in one place with this nylon case.

VALENTINE’S GIFTS SHE’LL LOVE

Valentines…Where do I begin?  Some people love it and some people…well not so much.  Over here we are pretty big fans.  I feel like it’s a pick me up holiday.  You know, after Christmas and if you live somewhere where there is still snow on the ground; I feel like this little holiday is just fun and simple.  We always love to get our kids  a little something to brighten their day.  Here are a few items I have been looking at for my girls.  Of course my oldest loves to dress up in either pink or something sparkly on Valentine’s Day + this time of year there is plenty to choose from.  Haha.  Enjoy, and we hope this might give you a few ideas for your little girls.

 

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NENA & CO.

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It was so fun to meet Ali, owner of Nena & Co back in December and have loved her company from the start! Her bags and products are designed and created by the women of Guatemala. Maya families have transformed their traditional huipils (shirts) and cortes to be the decorative exterior of their bags laced with hand cut leather to make them more durable for your everyday use. The intricate and colorful designs are absolutely beautiful! Ali is Guatemalan herself and I loved learning all about her history and purpose on her website (read HERE).

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We love supporting brands with a philanthropic purpose. From totes, to camera straps, to backpacks, boots and everyday bags, Nena & Co offers one-of-a-kind items that we adore. I have loved using my Day Bag II (shown above) as my everyday diaper bag as I tote all sorts of “treasures” around for my kiddos. I love how multi-purpose they are. Everyone needs one of these!

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BOYS SNOW STYLE

There couldn’t be a better time to stock up on some great winter accessories + coats + gloves + scarfs for you and your little people.  There is always so many great sales going on right now on winter items + today we are showing you a few of our favorite snow looks for boys! We are loving bright colors + mixed patterns like stripes and polka dots!  Check out our favorite snow looks for girls here!

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GIRLS SNOW STYLE

Okay, so I know in Southern California we are more then likely never to get snow, but a girl can dream right?!  My family has a cabin up in Utah and we always stock up on snow gear for snowmobiling trips we take during the holidays and spring break.  Today we are sharing a few of our favorite snow fashion pieces for girls that are not only warm but stylish/cute as well! The best part is that at this time of year so many of our favorite stores have almost all of their winter items on sale or clearance!!  Happy shopping!

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VALENTINE’S GIFTS HE’LL LOVE

Here is a little round up of some of the items I ended up getting my little guy for Valentines.  He’s not as big a fan of dressing up for the day as the girls are, but the girls kinda rub off on him.  So we goes with it.  He’s really into the color red right now so I think anything we got him (red) he’d be more then ecstatic.

I don’t know if anyone still does the whole leave the gift/thought + ring the door bell + run off?  My little people absolutely love this part of Valentines.  We make cookies every year and then drop them off to neighbors and friends.  The most enjoyable part for me is watching the kids light up as they leave a little surprise for the people they love and run away.  We hope this might give you some ideas for your little men in your life + maybe you can door-bell ditch for your kids.

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WISHLIST + HELEN FICALORA GIVEAWAY

What is on your Christmas list this year? Kailee and I put our heads together to give you this round-up of things we want and/or things we love! If you are looking for ideas, we’ve got some here for ya. Parker Smith Jeans is a fellow Los Angeles based company that we have had our eye on – we are excited to get our hands on some of their denim! And then the booties at #3 are a must-have! I got the Oxblood and then Kailee got the black and they are some of our favorite boots this season! I NEED that coffee table from West Elm like I need 8 hours of sleep every night, ha! Oh and then this is fabulous Helen Ficalora “xox” charm that is TOP KNOTCH! We love it. Helen Ficalora makes timeless, high-quality jewelry that we drool over. We both feel like the personalized necklace charms are classic and we both own them. It has been so fun working with the Helen Ficalora team and are so grateful that they are GIVING AWAY a chain and an “xox” charm to our fabulous friends and followers here at STAY + Co. We wanted to show you how much we “xox”  (LOVE) you by hosting this giveaway with them and help spread the word about their amazing company. Please enter by filling out the Rafflecopter below and have yourself a merry little Christmas!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

miss j design work + photo shoot

This was one of my favorite baby lines I have designed!!  All the golds, black and turquoises were just to die for.  I designed and patterned the leggings and dresses by hand…I wanted the fit to be perfect.  With help of an old high school friend I was able to find my amazing printer in LA who did a fabulous job with the gold foiled fabric.

Chelsy with B Couture Photography was the photographer at this shoot.  Her work is amazing!  Styling + doing hair + directing 14 little ones was kinda crazy on my part, but as you can see we got some amazing images that we are proud of.  1402MISS J HANDMADE NEWBORNS283-Edit

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THE LITTLE BLACK DRESS

It’s that time of year, with winter and the holidays coming up, we all need a LBD (little black dress) to be our go-to for nights out or holiday parties, right?  Check out my favorite LBD.

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If you are headed someplace a little more dressy, this black dress is a great option! It has ruching on the tummy area to hide what we all know we want hidden (thanks to those babies), and the 3/4 sleeves are super flattering as well. Grab your favorite heels or boots and you are ready to walk out the door. I don’t know if there is anything that needs to be said about these amazing heels other than that they are just plain HOT! They go with everything and are a great staple.

[DRESS]   [HEELS]   [NECKLACE]   [WATCH]