The World Is Your Canvas

It’s like a dream, inside a dream, inside a dream.

2020 was a challenging year on many accounts.

We returned from Jade Retreat in Nosara, Costa Rica on March 15th, 2020 in Newark, NJ, and were welcomed into customs by the CDC, an awakening of our new reality. Toilet paper was now a commodity.

On the beach in Costa Rica - The World Is Your Canvas - A Trip to Jade Retreat in Costa Rica

– My mother turned 90. She still plays pickleball and is an inspiration to all — we are blessed.
– My two boys have managed to navigate and adapt to us all living under one roof — we do argue over wifi speed and Xbox.

– I got engaged to the most incredible man in St. Barths on Bastille Day. The fireworks in the night sky confirmed that timing is everything.

2020 was spent taking daily walks in the Brandywine Valley, playing a lot of tennis, and cooking and eating a lot of healthy food. We had a small but beautiful Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family and Rhys, my mother’s first great-grandson. It was a time of pure joy and love.

The day after Christmas we were fortunate enough to return to Jade Retreat with another family: 5 teens and 3 adults. Jade is located in a blue zone, a destination where the energy feels pure: the perfect place to reset.

I have never been great at meditating. As anyone that knows me will tell you — I have a hard time sitting still. But I have learned this year that meditation can actually make you happier. According to a fascinating article about mindful eating via The Well, research has shown that daily meditation can shift brain activity toward positive emotional states…that make us more likely to engage with the world rather than to withdraw from it.


Watching the kids unwind at sunset the first night was all I needed to know the week was going to be the perfect medicine for all of us. We woke up to tennis, surf lessons, zip lines, quad tours, fresh coconuts, and daily walks in the jungle and on the beach. There are no words to describe how great it felt to watch them all unwind and start to relax.

My dear friend Cindy Pettinaro wanted to give back to the community. She took all the kids to the local grocery store and handed out chicken, rice and beans to 10 families. Seeing the smiles and feeling the love was priceless.

Watching everyone reset from the past year was like a dream, inside of a dream.  The first Jade ping pong tournament, laughing, learning how to open a coconut with a machete, seeing monkeys, practicing Spanish, and learning how to make beans and rice with Mau. It reminded us all to appreciate the simple things and to be mindful.

Just breathe. I am grateful for my family and friends.

x, Carroll


Coffee Talk with Jill Bauer

There are few things better than coffee and conversation, which is why we try to set up coffee dates (in-person or virtual) as often as we can. It’s a great way to catch up with clients and friends and chat with people we’ve been dying to meet.

Today we’re talking to Jill Bauer, your go-to gal for all things home. She’s a phenomenal baker, gorgeous decorator, and one of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet! (Side note: we started working with Jill several months ago on an exciting new project that we can’t wait to share!)

What got you started as a TV host and personality (on QVC, the Today show, and more!) and what major decisions did you make to evolve your career into what it is today?

From the time I was in high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in journalism. I asked my high school journalism teacher which schools had the best programs, and he told me that the University of Missouri had one of the top journalism schools in the country. So, I left the sunny skies and beaches of my home in southern California after high school graduation and attended Mizzou. Once I started taking classes, I realized that I loved telling stories on camera, and pursued broadcast journalism as my major. While I was at Mizzou, I worked for the local NBC affiliate station as a morning and weekend news anchor and reporter.

From there, my first “real” job was as an anchor and reporter at WLFI-TV in West Lafayette, Indiana. While there, a colleague took a job at QVC and suggested I send in a resume. I was contacted for an audition, but I had to cover all of the travel expenses, which would have maxed out my credit card! It was my Dad, who upon hearing me say, “what if I run up all this debt in trying to pay for this audition and then I don’t even get the job?” responded with, “But oh my dear, what if you do?” And so, I auditioned with about 500 other applicants, made the next 2 cuts, and with things down to just me and one other was told I was too young and didn’t have enough life experience to relate to the customers. Luckily, a few months later, a change in management led to another look at my audition tapes and I was offered the job. At the time, I was the youngest program host they had ever hired.

I loved my years at QVC. 25 years is a long time to do anything and I basically grew up on the channel! It was a wonderful ride and I have nothing but fond and happy memories of my time there. What I loved most about being a host on QVC was the ability to simply be myself. I think that’s one of the reasons why what I do and my brand resonate with people…I don’t try to be anything other than just Jill. When I left QVC in 2019, I wasn’t really sure how my “second act” was going to evolve, but I was excited about having some creative freedom to start something new.

I never imagined that after just a few months of leaving QVC I would be featured as a lifestyle expert on the TODAY show. I was lucky enough to meet a former executive producer at TODAY who now works as an agent, of sorts. She introduced me to a producer on the Hoda and Jenna show, and well, the rest is history. I thought I might be on once in a while, but it’s become pretty regular. I’m usually on at least once a month, sometimes 2 or 3. I’m flattered they like the segments I put together and that when a topic comes up in their brainstorm meetings, the producers reach out to me because they think I’ll do a good job.

As a young journalism student, I had dreams of one day making it big and being on the TODAY show. I never would have guessed I’d be making my debut at the age of 50.

Share your advice for someone who wants to curate their personal home style and decorate their space on a budget?

The first place you should shop? Your home! Using things you already have in a different way or in a different room is such an easy way to change things up. Don’t be afraid to spray paint things to make them look updated and fresh.
Your home is your sanctuary, so make sure the things you display and are out in view are things that make you smile.

Textures and colors are easy to play with and change up each season in throws, pillows, and flower arrangements. Those are often how I refresh my space season to season.

It seems like you’ve seamlessly blended your career and life passions. Do you have any words of wisdom for how to achieve that?

I think there’s a tee shirt out there that says, “Do what you love. Love what you do.” I’ve been very lucky to be able to make a career out of what I love…which is essentially being at home and making our home living a place of comfort for my family. However, there’s nothing wrong with having a little side hustle that allows you to do what you love…you just have to be willing to make the time. You hear a lot about self-care. Self-care for me is decorating the house, preparing a new recipe, painting a table. And then I make myself vulnerable and share it with my followers. I make the time to do it and then I take the risk in sharing it. Once you do that, you may find that sharing what gives you joy is joyous to others too…that’s when you can look at making the shift and turning that passion into a career.

What are some of your goals, both personally and professionally, for 2021?

We have some really exciting things on the horizon with the Just Jill brand. My goal for the new year is to solidify the website as a go-to destination for all things home and continue to build on the authentic following on my platforms.

Personally, my goal is to spend as much time at the beach as possible. 🙂

Tell us one impactful thing someone has said to you.

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. I try to be mindful of this every time I open my mouth to speak!


Boss Lady: Gabrielle Mandel

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we talk to Gabrielle Mandel. Gabrielle is the owner and creator of Supra Endura, an arts and accessories collection designed to incorporate color, modern prints, and joy into everyday life.

1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your career.
I grew up in a suburb outside of Philadelphia. Growing up I was always really curious and creative. I studied fashion design at Syracuse University and for the last 12 years, I have been working as a designer in the fashion and home industry. I started Supra Endura about six years ago, it is an art and accessories brand for a creative life.

2. What inspires you and fuels your creativity?
Running my own brand and doing freelance work on other brands keeps me energized and thinking about new things. I always like to try new ideas with my art and see what different directions I can push it in.

3. Your scarves are gorgeous and the tutorial for how to style them is super helpful! How did you land on creating scarves and encouraging wearable art in general?
I have a background in fashion design and when I first launched my brand I designed seasonal women’s wear collections. That was really hard to pull off as a solo entrepreneur so I made the transition to accessories and homeware, this was a bit easier and I did not have to reinvent the silhouettes each season.

4. We think it’s awesome that you donate a portion of your proceeds for every product sold. Why is giving back important to you?
I wanted to give back. As I worked more in the industry I began to better understand the negative effects of the fashion industry: material waste, pollution, rampant consumerism, unrealistic beauty expectations. I feel that giving $1 back for the items I sell to a cause that I believe in is a small way to counteract some of these negative actions.

5. What draws you in about Cool Effect and how did you choose them as your selected nonprofit to partner with?
Since I make some of my products overseas and with the pandemic, I was shipping a lot of my items so I wanted to work with a non-profit that helped to fight carbon emissions and worked on projects to end global warming. Also this year I did end up donating a lot to Philabundance as well, to help families in need during this tough time.

6. What sparked the idea to start a creative podcast?
I love podcasts; I love listening to long-form dialogues with people I admire. I felt there were so many inspiring people around me and I wanted to share the conversations I was having with them with a larger audience.

7. Share one piece of advice for a budding creative!
Just keep going. Give yourself time and space to explore your idea. Don’t be afraid to try something out of your comfort zone. We are all afraid of failure but don’t let that fear keep you from something that could change your life.

8. Who is a Boss Lady who inspires you and why?
I know so many awesome boss ladies who are killing it, but one I have deep admiration for is Antoinette Marie Johnson. I had never met her and e-mailed her on a lark to see if she would be on my podcast, I interviewed her and it was amazing, she blew me away with all she has accomplished. Since then it has been so great to watch her grow her marketing agency Cohere and her other amazing businesses. You can click here to listen to the podcast.

Just for fun…
My favorite color at the moment is: I like so many colors but I end up using Ochre a lot
Tea or Coffee? Tea! I can’t drink coffee it makes me very jittery
My favorite creative medium: lol, Photoshop?
Song I’m currently loving: a few: Walter Murphy – A fifth of Beethoven, Dirty projector – Overlord, Nilufer Yanya – In your head—- so good!
To me, self-care means: Self-care is listening to yourself and your body and understanding when you need to take a break and nurture yourself. I don’t think you have to spend money on products to make you feel like you are taking care of yourself. For me, self-care is a walk, taking a bath or a shower, eating healthy, and trying to get enough sleep.

More on Gabrielle
Website | Instagram | Facebook


The Monthly Round-Up

Adorn Goods and our team have collaborated to launch a welcoming and intuitive ecommerce site! We’re so excited to be working with them to bring their thoughtful and delicious goods directly into your home. On the site you’ll find a shopping experience focused on blending the old with the new, antique with contemporary, mixing beauty and community.

We’re looking forward to working with Jill Bauer on a new project…but we can’t tell you very much yet! You may have seen Jill on QVC and The TODAY Show; she’s also a lifestyle expert, documentarian, and author…just to name a few of her incredible achievements. The Social Stylate team is beyond excited to welcome Jill into our group and can’t wait to see and share what we can do together!

New Client Alert! Introducing Beauty Little Secret. We’re so excited to join the BLS Beauty Tribe and help their team build the brand’s online presence. We recently launched their revamped website where they offer a curated selection of luxury beauty products and sell them at seriously discounted prices!

Our co-founder, Lauren Golt, wrote an article for Out & About Magazine featuring Wilmington’s hit pop-up Christmas bar, Blitzen. Lauren interviewed fashion illustrator and visual director Dallas Shaw, who (for the second year running) brought to life Blitzen’s den, giving us an engaging and personal look into the reindeer’s life outside of Santa’s roll call.