Inspired by Design

I was date raped in high school. As I read the news of Jeffery Epstein (and thousands of other stories) unfold, I find myself thinking why have I never had the strength to talk about my experiences. I realized I there have been countless times for decades that I have been a victim. I found myself wondering why I have never had the courage to speak up.

I no longer feel powerless. As a single mother raising two boys, teaching them respect and accountability for their actions has been my top priority. The feminist writer Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object, has some valuable advice: “It’s important to normalize a healthy reaction to the rejection of affection.

Thank you Leigh Ann Barnes for inspiring me to find my voice. Leigh Ann who was a victim of date rape in college found her passion designing handbags.

Let’s rewind….
Leigh Ann Barnes was sparked by a challenge from her family: create a transparent stadium-approved bag that is stylish, functional and fun. What came to be: a dynamic accessory collection providing jobs for women in-need.

Hit play….
Emboldened by the challenge, Leigh Ann harnessed her ingenuity and created a chic convertible handbag. During the creative process she realized a sense of purpose was needed that went beyond the Gamechanger Bag.

The Aha Moment: connect ideas with action, need with purpose and, ultimately unite women of all ages. The smaller leather goods could be made by survivors of abuse. Creativity, kindness and compassion through hands-on manufacturing.

Fast forward…..
Leigh Ann Barnes is defined by transparency, creating joy and making change happen. Her long-term goal is to introduce other brands to the Cottage Manufacturing Model in Los Angeles and Georgia.

The end [but really, it’s just the beginning]…..

Leigh Ann Barnes business model is more than a handbag or an accessory; it’s about recognizing and embracing that we are all equally important and deserve the same opportunities. Though Leigh Ann Barnes is only one step in the journey to these women restarting their lives, it connects ideas with action, need with purpose and ultimately unites women of all ages.

From this game changing foundation, Leigh Ann Barnes partners exclusively with accredited factories when manufacturing overseas to ensure women working abroad have a safe work environment.

In the U.S. company aspirations include growing the Survivors Cottage Manufacturing Program in Los Angeles and Athens, Georgia. The goal is to incorporate brands and manufacturers into the Program as a resource for reclaiming and repurposing their own excess materials. A duality of doing good as they support work for women in need of reclaiming and repurposing their lives.

image: @photo_flo

You can buy her bags at Neiman Marcus, via her website or her pop up shops {where you can find Leigh Ann telling her story and inspiring other young women}.  Cast your vote for Leigh Ann via the Accessories Council Design Excellence Award.

Game on.

  • Bonus for all readers. Save 25% off your purchase through September 30th, 2019. Use code #sostylate at check out.

 

 

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Tennis Travel Heaven: Monte Carlo + San Remo

Completing a Grand Slam dream tour in 2018 was beyond my wildest dreams. This was our plan when we started this journey. We would dream about it, make visions boards – and watch them play out in real time.

We decided to design the most epic tennis retreat. We had some help customizing the itinerary around tennis in Monte Carlo and San Remo Italy {during the Monte Carlo Open of course}. Playing and watching epic tennis = the most incredible adventure.

Working alongside Harry Hamilton (we have been designing tennis retreats at Jade with Harry) we incorporated the Monte Carlo Open + playing tennis in San Remo, Italy. Home to Djokovic, Cilic, and Fognini, who have all played here as teens. This is also home to Bob Brett tennis academy. Pinch me – a dream come true.

Fun with Harry Hamilton and Laila Lazdina at a local vineyard in Provence.

The last Italian to win the Monte Carlo Open was Nicola Pietrangeli in 1968. The 85-year-old Pietrangeli, a two-time French Open winner, watched court side as history was ,made. I am dreaming of next year’s return.

 

 

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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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A Mindful Meditation for Parents: Coping with This Chaotic World

Looking to help their kids navigate the pressures of social media — without pulling the plug on the positives we spoke to Dr. Michelle Maidenberg who maintains a private practice in Harrison, NY, and is the president and clinical director of Thru My Eyes Foundation. She is an adjunct graduate professor of Mindfulness at the Silver School of Social Work at New York University and author of Free Your Child From Overeating.

Is social media really the cause of all this anxiety? It’s complicated. Recent studies have noted a significant uptick in depression and suicidal thoughts over the past several years for teens, especially those who spend multiple hours a day using screens.

Twenge’s research found that teens who spend five or more hours per day on their devices are 71 percent more likely to have one risk factor for suicide. And that’s regardless of the content consumed. Whether teens are watching cat videos or looking at something more serious, the amount of screen time — not the specific content — goes hand in hand with the higher instances of depression.

A Mindful Meditation for Parents: Coping with This Chaotic World

I have read articles recently describing how we are becoming immune to all the chaos. Although coping by way of cutting off my feelings could come in handy right about now, I’m finding it impossible to ignore or distract from them. Just as an atrocity passes, it seems like another follows soon afterwards. In the past several weeks our news has been flooded with attempted terrorist attacks, mass murders, hate crimes, raging forest fires, among other things. I find myself and my patients relying on a combination of coping skills including ignoring, distracting, or being dismissive of our feelings. Along with feeling profoundly saddened and mournful, and becoming considerably anxious about the possibility of these atrocities directly impacting us, our families and those we know and love. Read more.

Have a mindful and Happy New Year. Guided Meditation For Mindful Parenting (click to listen). Sit comfortably and gently close your eyes. Mindful Meditation

Dr Michelle Maidenberg

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