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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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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