Creative Retreat: Journey to Discover

Surfers Journey at Jade Retreat

I don’t surf. I play tennis and run religiously. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love the ocean. I dream dream of endless summer days full of waves and sunsets.

Two years ago my life changed forever after a trip to Jade Retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica. Created by architect Donald Loria Prendas, the five free standing master suites are arranged around the covered Yoga pavilion and large swimming pool which also serves as a soothing water feature.

I have not started surfing (yet…). This past week we designed a creative retreat at Jade with Dr. Don Kennedy author of the Surfers Journey. What an incredible week of discovery.

The Surfer’s Journey is a personalized symbolic book melding the sport of surfing, Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, and Bass and Burn’s principles of transformational leadership into a mythological story that teaches readers, students, educators, and leaders how to become and develop others into transformational heroes; individuals who are cause-driven, who inspire followers to achieve beyond their present capacity, and whose life purpose is to improve the human condition.

We were lucky enough to wake up and play tennis every morning on the red clay courts, just a few minutes down the jungle path from Jade.

One of the highlights for me was the art therapy session with Belle. The principle of the Surfers Journey addresses the need for mentors, those that see who we are before we do.

Working out while I am away from home is always a priority. Our custom itinerary was complete with daily workouts and wellness in mind. Long walks at sunset, foundational training, tennis and pilates, fresh coconuts courtside, tumeric tea, plus private chefs.

As they say in meditation, when the thoughts & distractions come in, begin again. “Changing places, changing time, changing thoughts, changing future.” -Peggy Guggenheim

Here is to a new beginning…

For more information on how to design a creative retreat email info@jaderetreat.com

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Kindred Skincare Facial

Before we started working with Kindred Skincare, I was already a huge fan. Our client Houppette, a cosmetics and accessory boutique, introduced me to the line several years ago and after one use of the brand’s Body Oil, I was hooked.

When Houppette said they were offering a Kindred Skincare organic facial in their newly launched spa, I was one of the first to sign up!

Kindred Skincare Organic Facial at Houppette in Greenville, Delaware - Social Stylate

I was immediately relaxed as I stepped into Houppette’s newly launched spa room. I laid on the warm, plush table and enjoyed the subtle scent of lavender and lemon while calming instrumental music played in the background and the facialist, Vivian, prepared to begin the Kindred Skincare routine.

Step 1: Cleansing
Vivian massaged a generous amount of Kindred’s Blemish Cleanse onto my skin for several minutes before slowly removing it (and all the day’s stress) with a hot towel. *insert relaxed sigh here*

Step 2: Exfoliating
She then applied Polish Cleanse and massaged it onto my forehead, chin, nose, and cheeks for a full five minutes. A gauze mask was placed over the exfoliating cleanse and, using a soft bristle brush, the pre-warmed Clay Mask was applied. Then, Vivian (who’s now my new favorite person) used a Gua Sha Tool to press the clay into the gauze to stimulate the lymphatic system.

Layering the products like this allows the willow bark oil and other botanicals in the scrub continue to work in combination with all the lovely fruit acids, plants, and clays in the mask. The cotton gauze allows the mask and fig seeds to be more efficiently removed, and it holds the clay in when you use the Gua Sha Tool.

While the mask worked its magic, Vivian gave me a soothing hand, arm, and décolletage massage. She started with Oil Cleanse, then exfoliated my skin using Polish Cleanse, and finished up with nourishing Body Oil. You can choose between Kindred’s signature Body Oil or La Femme, which has a light floral tone and a touch of illuminating mineral powder.

Vivian then rolled up the gauze mask and used warm and wet washcloth mitts to gently remove the Clay Mask.

Step 3: Toning
A spritz of Kindred’s subtly fragrant Shinrin Énergié Mist was applied, which is pampering and refreshing on its own but also removes any remaining fig seeds or clay from the skin.

Step 4: Moisturizing
Warm Morning Moisture Oil (you can choose between Morning Moisture, Nightly Nourish, or Intense Moisture) was brushed on my face and décolletage and gently massaged in, making sure to completely condition the skin. This part was so thoroughly relaxing, I didn’t want it to end.

Step 5: An Extra Treat
Vivian made sure to wipe away any excess oil, then blotted Under Eye Treat beneath my eyes to protect against unwanted wrinkles.

Step 6: Pop Of Color
Before my hour of bliss came to an end, Vivian applied Kindred’s Baton Rose onto my cheeks and lips to give my skin a pop of color.

This was a wonderfully pampering and relaxing experience that I would be more than willing to repeat until the end of time. My skin felt rejuvenated and was glowing when I walked out of Houppette. It was the perfect addition to my day, and brightened up my skin during this cold winter weather!

x, Lauren

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Boss Lady: Elissa Bloom

Elissa Bloom, executive director of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator - Boss Lady - Social Stylate

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week, we chat with Elissa Bloom, the executive director at The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator, where newly emerging fashion designers grow their brand in a designers-in-residence program. Elissa “brings a unique and fresh understanding to the world of fashion and business.” 

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
I grew up in Boston and am an alumnus of UMASS Amherst.  I always had a love of travel and have lived in London, Los Angeles, Paris, and New York before moving to Philadelphia in 2008.  While in New York, I worked in product development at Bloomingdales and traveled on many international buying trips to Asia and Europe to finalize samples and attend trade shows.  Once I learned about manufacturing and production, I launched my fashion brand – Elissa Bloom New York, a line of colorful and functional accessories that sold in departments stores, boutiques, spas, and museum gift shops.  When I moved to Philadelphia I started teaching fashion entrepreneurship at Drexel and Moore and I was amazed at all the fashion talent in Philadelphia and became inspired to help women build their fashion companies in Philadelphia.

2. What is The Fashion Incubator and what is your role there?
The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator is a one-year residency that teaches the business of fashion to six emerging fashion designers.  Throughout the program we offer space at Macy’s Center City, dynamic workshops on the business of fashion, selling opportunities, business resources, mentors, trip to NYC along with exposure in the fashion eco-system of the city…all to support designers in building and growing their businesses to the next level of sustainability.

3. Last year marked Philadelphia’s first Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and also the city’s first WED conference. As the WED Philadelphia Ambassador, what changes do you hope to see in the women’s entrepreneurial community?
It is an exciting time for female entrepreneurs in Philadelphia.  There are more business resources (co-working spaces, mentorship, education) available to support women in launching and building their companies in the region.   What I would like to see more of is investment opportunities for women-owned companies.  In addition, more networking opportunities for women from various sectors to connect and collaborate together.

4. As a woman passionate about supporting other women, what do you think of the conversations happening in our culture right now?
There is a strong paradigm shift taking place with women becoming more fearless in speaking their truth, strong in standing up for others and themselves along with being courageous in stepping in their power to lead themselves and others.

5. Who is a Boss Lady you admire and why?
My favorite boss lady is Donna Karan.  I recently heard her speak and she is the ultimate female entrepreneur – combining her extraordinary talent passion and vision to build her Donna Karan empire, sell it and then reinvent herself by launching Urban Zen and giving back to the global community through teaching and showcasing talented artisans from around the world.

6. What advice do you have for those looking to go from employee to entrepreneur?
Develop your product/services, do extensive market research and launch as a side hustle before leaving your day job.  Know that entrepreneurship is a roller coaster of a ride and you will have many highs and lows along your business journey, to create an advisory board and support yourself and your goals with a strong team. Focus on the next three months, build slowly and if you love what you are doing it will never feel like work.

Click here to read more boss lady interviews

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A Color Story: A Guide to Building Color Palettes

Julie Johnson here, Social Stylate’s Graphic Designer. This month I’m taking a break from spinning scary tales of online advertising click trackers in favor of some good old-fashioned color theory. When I approach a project one of my first three questions will be about color. Color selection gives your piece its identity. Naturally, when the question of palette comes up, the response is often emotion based. We tend to know “what” we want our colors to say. Over my career I’ve had plenty of these exchanges:

Designer: Do you have a color palette in mind?

Client: Something punchy! Va va voom! Like, pow! You know?

I’ll never hold it against a client for coming to a graphic design project meeting without a composed palette. After all, as a designer, that’s what I’m here for! Whether it be a logo, an event poster, a pamphlet, a business card, or a website, our color choices give projects their personality. I’m here to help bridge the gap between “what” we want our colors to say and “how” to get them to say it! Here’s a basic guide to working a color palette for your piece:

Step 1: Get emotional – define the “what”

Define that vibe! In the exchange above, the Client is well on their way. Most folks know intrinsically “what” they want their piece to say. If you’re not sure, write down a list of words to describe your event/piece/business that the piece is for (e.g. cheerful, holiday, joy, comfort, warm, cozy, family).

Step 2: Choose your hues based on the “what”

Take that “what” and assign some color hues to it. Was your “what” energetic and exciting? Let’s do warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows! Were you going for something serene and relaxed? Go for greens and blues! You don’t have to be specific at this stage – focus on hue, that is, simply the base color. We will get into tones in a bit.

Step 3: Apply some theory

Now that you have some hues picked out, refine them by applying some theory! You may be wondering “do these hues work well together?” Good news! Someone has already done that work for you! You can decide to create an analogous palette (colors that are adjacent on the color wheel), complementary (opposite sides of the color wheel), or another configuration. There are many possible configurations in color theory (we’re sticking with simple here), and they will help take the guesswork out of color harmonizing. Get started with the examples below:

Step 4: Tone it up (or down)!

Now that you’ve finalized your base hues and configuration, go back to those “what” items you defined in step one to inform your tones, shades, and tints. This is a fancy way of saying adding white, black, or gray to your existing hues. Keeping it bright? Maybe you don’t need to add any neutrals to your hues at all! Want to soften things up? Tint it up by adding some white to the hues to get a pastel palette. To go for something deeper and moodier, add in a little shade with black. If you want to desaturate or “muddy up” your colors a bit, add gray. Keep it uniform though!

Keep in mind that this is a simplified, high-level guide to get you started. We could fill a book on color theory and palettes (and plenty of talented individuals have!). Hopefully, these steps will give you some confidence to approach your next project!

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