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 Monday Maven Erin Robertson

Interview by Allison Daroie

Erin Robertson is the the creative and quirky Project Runway season 15 winner with a passion for the slow fashion movement. Erin wants consumers to be aware of how and where clothing is produced, while not compromising style. Her goal is to bring sustainability to the clothing industry through the integration of fashion, art, and technology. Erin's pieces have more depth as you discover the intelligence and ingenuity that make her a badass maven.

(Erin shown wearing the Heron in Light Blush & Allison shown wearing the Sparrow top and Albatross as a skirt in light blush. Video credit Lindsay Daly.)

Monday Maven Sanaa Jaman aka LadyDork

Interview by Allison Daroie- February 15, 2016

Sanaa Jaman aka Ladydork, is certainly a versatile lady. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering and is on a tour following her passion as a yoga instructor, spreading her practice far and wide. Sanaa has attracted the attention of aspiring yogis all over, with an instagram following of over 70k. What I love most about Sanaa's practice, aside from her incredible flexibility and mastery of inversions, is that she invites women to celebrate their bodies. She presents routines that encourage women to keep their curves and to strive to be fit, strong and healthy. It's absolutely refreshing, especially with the long limbed waif like bodies some strive for, which may never be achieved. It's important to embrace and love our bodies for all that they are. Sanaa admits she worked hard to attain the current level of her yoga practice and influences others to work hard to achieve their goals. She's clearly no stranger to hard work... please enjoy. 

AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.
SJ: I am Sanaa Jaman, a recent Ph.D. graduate in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida. I am currently pursuing my passion in teaching Yoga.

AD: Where are you from originally? 
SJ: I am originally from Kuwait. Born and raised for 17 years.
 
AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate? What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?
SJ: My passion for yoga started when my friend showed me an IG yoga challenge and I was amused with the poses. I didn’t have a clear understanding of what yoga was so I was intrigued with it. I practiced for a whole year and then enrolled myself into teacher training. After deepening my knowledge for yoga from teacher training, I decided that this is what I want to do. I have seen how it changed me physically, mentally and emotionally and I want to give people those same benefits through teaching.

AD: What is a typical day like for you? 
SJ: This is an interesting question because I am not a fan of routine, my days tend to be different. But, all my days have something to do with yoga. Whether, I’m practicing or teaching. 

AD: Who's your favorite artist, musician or fitness professional? 
SJ: My favorite artist is The Weeknd.

AD: What was your largest life lesson?
SJ: To live in the present. I have realized that I spent most days dwelling on the past or planning for the future and not enjoying life as it comes. Once I made the decision to live in the present, my life has became so much more beautiful. I am less stressed and much happier.

AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
SJ: Again, I don’t like routine so you won't catch me doing the same things. But I love working on my core, abs and legs. Any workouts that help with those areas, I am willing to try.

 

   

AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
SJ: I don’t think I have any besides showering every day (haha). Maybe I need to start some.

AD: What's a go to place in your area? 
SJ: If you’re in the Gainesville, FL area, make sure you stop by civilization and botanical garden.

AD: Who inspires you more than anyone else in this world? 
SJ: My mother. By far the smartest and strongest person I know. I am a pure reflection of her.

AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier? 
SJ: Because they save time and your pockets. :)

AD: Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to leave with us?
SJ: Choose to be happy. Many people don’t realize that happiness is their choice. You make the decision to what controls your mood and what doesn’t. Accept the good and the bad that comes along with it. You decide how to react to both. It’s all about balance. Life is beautiful; enjoy it as it comes. 

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Monday Maven Tai Jimenez


Interview by Allison Daroie- July 11, 2016

We took a bit of a hiatus from our Monday Maven series, but who else to get inspired by, but the one and only Tai Jimenez. Tai was a principal dancer in the Dance Theater of Harlem, as well as the Boston Ballet. She was also a guest artist in the New York City Ballet and other companies across the country before making her Broadway debut. She was also featured on the Academy Awards and in Prince's Rave Unto the Year 2000. Tai acted across from Patrick Swayze in the the film One Last Dance. She now teaches at both the Boston Conservatory and Harvard University. She has been an inspiration to some of the top dancers today, most notably, ballerina rock star Misty Copeland. Misty mentioned Tai as an inspiration and groundbreaking black female dancer who paved the way for future dancers like Misty. Tai has a truly beautiful presence and magical aura. It's no wonder why she experienced such immense success! 
AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.
TJ: My name is Tai Jimenez. I am a mother, dancer, choreographer, teacher and blogger.
AD: Where are you from originally? 
TJ: I am from Queens, New York
AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate? 
TJ: Dancing was always, from the time I was very young, innate in me. It was something I did as a natural form of expression and I remember dancing whether anyone was watching or not. Eventually, others noticed and insisted my mother enroll me in lessons. I heard a calling to dance before I had any expose to seeing it on television or on stage and this was many years before youtube. Professional dance was not so easily accessible as it is today. 
AD: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?
TJ: My biggest obstacle was very poor self-esteem. I would go so far as to call it self-hatred. I always felt different and was afraid of not being accepted. I adopted an aloof attitude as a form of self-protection. I developed disordered eating, which, because of its secretive, shameful nature, further alienated me from others. It took me a long time to even open up to the idea of loving myself. Real self-love is not delusional. It doesn't mean you're great and happy with yourself all the time. It means you accept yourself, including your flaws, your limitations, your shadow, your beauty, your gifts and your power. 
AD: What is a typical day like for you?  
TJ: A typical day starts with getting myself ready, my two-year old ready and taking care of my dog before I can leave the house. It's no less than a miracle that I can make it to teach my morning ballet class on time. Lately, I've been trying to walk everywhere. It's great for cardio and easy on the earth. It's also a great way to clear your head and set your intentions for the day, or to just be with the Is-ness. I teach from 9-10:30 at the Boston Conservatory and then I'll walk back home or take a yoga class. I meditate. Read and sometimes write. And after the first two years of motherhood, with my daughter just recently attending pre-school, I find that I need some time to just Be and do nothing. I pick her up around 4 and then I have to teach another evening class at Harvard.
AD: Who's your favorite dancer and why? 
TJ: I have so many favorite dancers of various disciplines, shapes and sizes. For ballet, one of my icons is Gelsey Kirkland. To me, she elevated the art form. Her expression and characterization were deeply investigated and authentic. Also, her footwork was sublime. In contemporary dance, lately I've been watching Shen Wei. His mastery of Chinese caligraphy has informed his movement. He moves with great fluidity and grace. It's hypnotic.
AD: What was your largest life lesson?
TJ: My largest life lesson has been to learn how to let go, to stop fighting, to flow, to be grateful for what arises and to stop beating myself up for the past.
AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
TJ: My typical fitness routine consists of walking about 5 miles 3 x a week. Yoga practice 3 or 4 times a week, either in class or at home. I don't perform as much as I used to, but I still dance, usually at home a few times a week.
AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
TJ: I'm not sure if this is a beauty ritual, but I love to take baths. Sometimes they are quite elaborate with candles, crystals, flowers, incense, music, etc. I do this at least 3 x a week.
AD: What's a go to place in your area? 
TJ: One of my favorite places in Boston is The Museum of Fine Arts. My husband works there so I can go for free. I love seeing faces and objects from the past. And I love to be surrounded by beauty. I find it so inspiring. Our favorite restaurant is Myers and Chang on Washington Street in the South End. We also love the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown.
AD: Who inspires you more than anyone else in this world? 
TJ: Spiritual teachers inspire me the most: Osho, Malidoma Some, Jane Robers/Seth, Martin Prechtel, Eckhart Tolle, Bashar, Ken Ludden, Deepak Chopra and others.
AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier? 
TJ: I need versatile pieces that will help me look pulled together while teaching and easily transition to meetings with students or to a lunch or dinner date.
AD: Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to leave with us?
TJ: I will leave you with an African proverb that Malidoma often quotes, "If you go forwards, you die. If you go backwards, you die. So go forwards and die."
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Monday Maven Carolina Curtin

Interview by Allison Daroie- November 16, 2015

Beauty, talent and charisma certainly describe Carolina Curtin, one of the most hardworking ladies in the Boston culinary scene. She’s worked in the kitchens of Menton, Toro and Journeyman, just to name a few. Carolina is petite in stature, but has a large presence in the kitchen and beyond. She’s covered with tattoos and has exceptional style. She walks a fine line between being sweet as pie and sassy as hell. Watchout! Carolina is also my closest friend. We’ve actually been best friends since we were 5. I’m so lucky to have her… especially when I’m hungry! Please enjoy…

AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.
CC: My name is Carolina, I’m currently a chef in the city of Boston. I’ve been very lucky to work at amazing places like Menton, Sycamore, Liquid Art House, Toro, Journeyman and was recently on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen.      

AD: Where are you from originally?                                                                                                                CC: Originally I’m from Boston, Lived in Maui, Hawaii for 9 years and have been back in Boston for 3 ½ years. 

AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate? What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?
CC: Honestly, a big part of my motivation came from growing up with a hard working single Mom, always eating take out and wanted a home cooked meal. I have always loved cooking and excelled at it, I am a very hands on visual learner. So it seemed to come naturally to me.
One of the biggest obstacles in the food industry is the long hours, hard work and dedication. It’s a hard lifestyle to get used to, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

AD: What is a typical day like for you? 
CC: A typical day for me consists of waking up, making yerba mate, getting ready on the fly and preparing myself for a long day in the kitchen. When in the kitchen it’s preparing my self for a perfectly executed service, while hopefully having fun all at the same time.

AD: What was your largest life lesson?
CC: Work hard and stay focused and the hard work will pay off.

AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
CC: I’d like to say running, yoga, biking, going to the gym, but the truth is in my career, I don’t have much time ( I know, not an excuse) So, mostly I get my exercise running around in the kitchen all day, pushing to stay ahead of myself and all of my cooks.

AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
CC: It’s pretty simple. I wash my face, moisturize, throw on a little bronzer and mascara, hair up in a bun and I’m out! Oh and burts bee’s lip balm, can’t forget that!

AD: What's a go to place in your area? 
CC: I don’t go out much, cause I’m often working, but if I had to pick a couple I’d say Toro and Coppa.

AD: What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
CC: Joe Bada$$ - My Yout ( feat. Maverick sabre)

AD: Who inspires you more than anyone else in this world? 
CC: My momma – She’s my best friend, mentor and the hardest working woman I know. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her guidance and support.

AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier? 
CC: Takes up less room in my closet! ;)

AD: Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to leave with us?  
CC: Just put one foot in front of the other. 

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Monday Maven Heather White

Interview by Allison Daroie- November 2, 2015
I had the pleasure of interviewing my super cool gal pal, the one and only Heather White. She's a marketing genius and the founder of a unique fitness and hip hop hybrid model "Trillfit". Her first event featured Ms. Boomkack, Laurieann Gibson, and I had the pleasure of teaching a soulful yoga sesh at the last event. Heather is sweet as pie and savvy as hell when it comes to mixing all things cool. Please enjoy this maven's words of wisdom! 

AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.

HW: I’m Heather White, I oversee men’s lifestyle marketing for PUMA and I recently launched a hip-hop fitness event series called trillfit, here in Boston.  

AD: Where are you from originally?

I was born in the Bronx, and my parents are Caribbean immigrants from Jamaica and Belize.

AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate? What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?

HW: My parents and family have always been my greatest motivation. Growing up, my father would tell my brother and I stories about going to school at Kingston College (the best all-boys highschool in Jamaica) and even though we never saw the place, he made sure we knew and believed its motto back and forth. Fortis Cadere Cedere non Potest, “The Brave May Fall, but Never Yield.”

I think the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome is understanding that not everyone likes me and wants me to succeed, and to be okay with that, and to not let that slow me down or doubt myself. There are so many people in this world that get pleasure in seeing you fail, the trick is to fuel that energy and prove them wrong. One of my best friends Brittany constantly quotes that Katt Williams “Haters” skit to me….I’m so lucky to have a small circle of champions without whom I wouldn’t be here.

AD: What is a typical day like for you? 

HW: I wake up at about 7:15, check my emails and Instagram, then get ready for the day. I drive to work and drop off my boyfriend at his job downtown every morning. I love it. Then my day is typically filled with back-to-back meetings on upcoming product launches and strategy sessions. Then I drive back home, workout, and make dinner.

AD: What was your largest life lesson?

HW: I have two: the first is, education (formal or informal) is so important. The moment you think you’ve learned it all is the moment that you’re done. I believe you have to constantly push yourself in order to succeed. The moment I feel like I’m not learning, I feel like I’m moving backwards. The second is: you meet people for a reason! Put time and effort into staying connected to the people who inspire you.

AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?

HW: I’m 100% a class person so ClassPass is my best friend. I’ll work out a couple of times during the week – at night when I get home, then I’ll go Friday, Saturday andSunday. I’m drawn to fun Cardio classes. Dani’s Core Fusion Cardio class at Exhale Back Bay is a favorite of mine, I love FlyWheel too, and then for toning it doesn’t get any better than Meagan Fitzgerald’s Pilates classes at Equinox and Asana Charlestown. Her soundtrack is always on point and she has amazing energy – which is why she was the first person I approached to lead a trillfit session.

AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?

HW: I don’t get too crazy during the week! I wash my face with the Fresh soy face cleanser from Sephora, I’ll put on some eyeliner, attempt to tame my eyebrows, and I’m off. I never leave without perfume though, I’ve been wearing Chanel Mademoiselle forever – I just love the scent so much.

AD: What's a go to place in your area? 

HW: I live in Coolidge Corner but my favorite Brookline spots are closer to Washington Square… I love Ribelle and The Fireplace, from a Taco perspective, Lonestar is out of this world but there’s nothing like breakfast at Zaftigs.

AD: What’s the top song on your playlist right now?

HW: My friend Mick re-mixed Leon Bridges’ album Coming Home – honestly and objectively, it’s one of my favorite things he’s ever done. I’ve listened to his Smooth Sailin remix probably a thousand times since he released it. It’s so good. You can DL it here: http://cominghometotexas.com/  Also What a Time to Be Alive, the whole mixtape is amazing.

AD: Who inspires you more than anyone else in this world? 

HW: My family!

AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier? 

HW: I’m always running from a day of meetings to an event, or to the gym, or somewhere…I hardly get a break so versatile pieces are essential so I’m not running around with a weekender of different outfits. They also encourage spontaneity! which I think everyone needs a large dose of.

 AD: Are there any words of wisdom you’d like to leave with us? 

HW: Be yourself! Be kind! Help others when you can. Tell the people that you love “I love you” every day. And of course, remember the KC Old Boys’ motto: Fortis Cadere Cedere non Potest, “The Brave May Fall, but Never Yield.”

 

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Monday Maven Jeannie Vincent

Interview by Allison Daroie- October 19, 2015
Jeannie is Boston's go-to beauty babe!  Just this year she won the Improper's "Best of Boston" title.  She makes anyone who sits in her chair feel and look gorgeous.  Her positive attitude, slight sass and magical demeanor make you fall in love instantly.  I absolutely love this sweetheart and so does Henry (dog in charge).  
AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.
JV: My name is Jeannie, I am a makeup artist and Boston-based beauty whiz.
AD: Where are you from originally? 
JV: Originally from Southwest Florida, I have called Boston my home for over twelve years.
AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate? What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?
JV: Since I was a kid I devoured magazines and always knew that I needed to be a part of "that world" in some way.  The glossy, beautiful world of models, actors, and the like.  I was a little too shy myself to pursue a career in front of the camera, so I found my home behind the camera helping to perfect the already beautiful.  The biggest obstacle I faced to get where I am now is letting go of the fear of failure and knowing that I won't always be everyone's favorite.  In the end, worrying less about other's opinions and instead making myself happy has helped my career to soar.

AD: What is a typical day like for you? 
JV: A typical day for me includes checking email, hopefully thoughtfully responding to all of them, either a photoshoot of some sort or a wedding, or checking on one of my many retail friends.  In free time I like to practice yoga (with you and Henry!), cut and arrange flowers, hang out with my cat, see a movie with my boyfriend, and spend as much time as possible on Pinterest.
AD: What was your largest life lesson?
JV: My largest life lesson has been that everything in life is right out there for the taking.  Right time and right place, sure.  But if you are afraid to try something, you'll never get anywhere.  Dream big and surprise yourself.  Truly anything is possible, even things you've never conceived.
AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
JV: Typical lately for me has been embarrassingly lazy.  When I am on my A-game, I enjoy a good barre class and yoga session.  At the very least I do some stretching at home and a push up here and there.
AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
JV: My beauty routine can be exhaustive, but lately I've been focused on natural and organic treatments for my hair.  Currently loving the Yarok line (available at Follain) to feed my ends and curls.  Believe it or not I keep my makeup pretty simple -- a little base and concealer (I have a wayyyy lot of sun damage), blush, mascara, and a tinted lip balm.  On true days off I don't even bother with makeup.  My skin is always, always hydrated though.  It's the key!
AD: What's a go to place in your area? 
JV: My favorite place for coffee in my neighborhood is Render--amazingly strong cold-brew iced coffee and dangerously delicious breakfast sandwiches.  I love Coppa for a decadent dinner, My Diner in southie for unreasonably good breakfast, K.O. Pies in that same neighborhood for salad and potato wedges...I guess I have a lot of favorites.  :)
AD: What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
JV: I love music of all sorts -- the only non-negotiabe is that I have to be listening to *something* at all times.  Lately I have been super into Abra, Purity Ring, Drake, and any Hip-Hop/R&B Top 40 (sorry, yeah) and this week I have been replaying Kanye West's Graduation (arguably his best!).
AD: Who inspires you more than anyone else in this world? 
JV: Two people inspire me an insane amount on a daily basis, the first is my mother and the second is my guy.  My mom is one of the strongest people I know, kicks ass and takes names, and maintains an incredible sense of humor all while facing all kinds of situations throughout her work and personal life.  She has been my biggest support my entire life.  My boyfriend is an astoundingly hard worker and equally and if not more humble.  His hard work and dedication inspire me on a daily basis.  
AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier? 
JV: Versatile pieces make all of our lives easier because they eliminate the need to think.  Having to think about what I'm going to wear is one stress I really don't care to deal with, so if I am covered with a piece that takes me from one time or location to another, I am happy.  Easy is key in this busy life of ours; convenience is everything.
AD: Are there any words of wisdom you'd like to leave with us? 
JV: Wash your face before bed!  Always moisturize.  Laugh as hard and as often as possible.  Always say yes to more coconut cake.  Meet new people and experiences with a warm and open heart.  Be silly.  Do your best.  And always, always moisturize.

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Monday Maven Marjolein Brugman

Interview by Allison Daroie- September 14, 2015

Any lady who hopes to inspire should definitely check out play book, from world renowned entrepreneur to health guru who never seems to age. She's truly a magical human with boundless wisdom. An accident that would have crumbled most gave her inspiration and allowed her to follow her dreams. Please Enjoy! 

AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.                                                      

MB: I am worldwide spokesperson for Aeropilates and the innovator of the first portable home Pilates reformer 

AD: Where are you from originally? 
MB: Born and raised in Melbourne Australia of Dutch parents

AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate?
MB: An accident that required serious and transformative rehab on a Pilate’s Reformer inspired me to make it possible and affordable for everyone

AD: What is a typical day like for you? 
MB: Early rising, lemon water, exercise, breakfast, work, children, dinner, early to bed

AD: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?
MB: Trusting my partners

AD: What was your proudest moment?
MB: Selling 24,000 machines in one weekend on QVC with laryngitis

AD: What does being successful mean to you?
MB: Changing lives everyday 

AD: What advice would you give your younger self?
MB: Don't give up, trust yourself, believe in what you know

AD: How do you relax? 
MB: Read, meditate, laugh with friends

AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
MB: 40 minutes of cardio, 30 mins of full body stretching and toning

AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
MB: Lemon water, salt scrub, hyaluronic acid, magnesium, greens

AD: What's a go to places in your area? 
MB: My Acupuncturist and MFA (Museum of Fine Arts in Boston)

AD: What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
MB: Quedate by Paolo Vargas 

AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier? 
MB: Less packing, efficiency, less decisions

AD: Is there any last comment you would like to leave us with?
MB: Women rock the world!

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Monday Maven Nadia Manzoor

Interview by Allison Daroie- August 31, 2015

Nadia Manzoor is one of the most talented woman I've ever met! She has a one woman show where she discusses encounters that are often left behind closed doors and plays over 20 characters. She's a serious change maker and certainly one to keep tabs on! Producer, storyteller, dancer and so much more. So much talent and inspiration - always blown away. 

AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.
NM: I'm a storyteller. I write and perform and produce stories about truths that are rarely discussed and in ways that are larger than life and smaller than the heartbeat of a hummingbird.

AD: Where are you from originally?
NM: I was born in Chicago and raised in London. My parents are Pakistani and my heart is universal. 

AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate?
NM: My life! I grew up in a world of internal contradictions, and was often conflicted about who I was and who I was supposed to be. I worked through my existential questions through writing, and thinking, and questioning social norms, and eventually all these questions pushed my writing into other forms--improv, street dance, social work. In a grand, synergistic mashup, I started creating my own one-woman show Burq Off!. Through it I continue to discover the power of storytelling in creating important conversations and change.

AD: What is a typical day like for you?
NM: A typical day involves exercise and a lot of creative work, like writing, rehearsals, and research. As a content creator, much of my work involves discovering what else is out there and finding meaningful ways to engage with what's happening in the world at any given moment. I also work closely with my team, my production company Paprika Productions, to organize events and find new ways to engage our community and fans.

AD: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?
NM: My own internal contradictions. I am constantly engaging with how to embody and live with my multifaceted and sometimes conflictual sense of self. 

AD: What was your proudest moment?
NM: When my father surprised me after my first show by presenting me with flowers on stage. It was so special to feel the pride of someone who I've made a show about bringing shame to.

AD: What does being successful mean to you?
NM: Sharing my story and having it heard by people all over the world. Having that story inspire others to tell their stories and change their lives and the lives of the people around them.

AD: What advice would you give your younger self?
Trust yourself, and trust that life has a plan and that everything that you care about and think about, is eventually going to lead to something powerful. Trust that what you are here to do is already in you.

AD: How do you unwind?
NM: Cooking, walking around Brooklyn with my beau, biking, and dreaming.

AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
NM: I am totally committed to Pilates and also do a lot of strength training. Some yoga, lots of stretching, strong cardio, essentially: balance. 

AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
NM: Sleep, lemon water every morning, and creating a peaceful environment at home.

AD: What’s a hidden gem in your area? (It can be a cafe, store, studio, etc.)                                                           
NM: L'Albero dei Gelati, all locally sourced foods, and amazing gluten free desserts! 

AD: What’s the top song on your playlist right now?                                                                                                  
NM: Matisyahu -  AYEKA (teach me to love) 

AD: Who is the most inspiring person in your area and why?
NM: My mother. Ammi. She lived every day for others, and I continue to hold myself to that standard as much as I can.

AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier?
NM: I love versatility because essentially, it's adaptability. And if you're adaptable, you can be ready for anything. Improv has taught me to roll with the punches, so anything that helps me do that is great. 

AD: Is there any last comment you would like to leave us with?
NM: YES! Check out my web series Shugs&Fats for some solid laughs. Live boldly, don't be afraid to ask questions that challenge the status quo. Take space and time in your life to slow down so you can begin to hear what your body and spirit is trying to communicate to you. Trust yourself.

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Monday Maven Gina deWolfe

Interview by Allison Daroie- August 24, 2015
I sat down with one of my best friends, Gina deWolfe this weekend. Who better to feature as this week’s Monday Maven than this beautiful, kind and inspiring little lady. You might recognize her as the leading role in the Paridaez “Behind the Brand” video :) or noticed her strutting around Boston rocking one of her gorgeous leather bags.  She's a business owner, teacher, yogi and an altogether breathe of fresh air.  Love her!  

 

AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.                                                                         GD: I own deWolfe Leather Goods, and I teach apparel design classes at Bay State College.   

AD: Where are you from originally? 
GD: Boylston MA, a small town about an hour west from the city. 

AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate?
GD: I've always known that I would pursue a creative path. My background is in clothing design, but after searching for the perfect backpack and coming up empty, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I made myself a backpack and it received so much positive feedback that I began taking orders and soon realized that I could create the lifestyle that I'd been looking for.  

AD: What is a typical day like for you? 
GD: Usually it starts with some coffee or tea and a quick walk, then I sit down and review orders and tasks for the day. We still have a little bit of summer vacation left at Bay State, so I've been able to focus solely on deWolfe. If it's nice out, I like to take my work outside and sew in a park nearby while soaking up some sun. I always make some time for some yoga, whether it's just a few minutes or a full practice. My days aren't structured on a normal schedule, which means I work a lot more but am able to express myself creatively on a daily basis, while enjoying freedom and flexibility.  

AD: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?                                      
GDFour years ago I was diagnosed with a severe case of Lyme disease. I was very sick for a long time and it was a life changing event that taught me many valuable lessons. During the time, hand sewing was one of the only things I could do while lying in bed, and creativity became an important form of therapy for me. The entire experience gave me the drive and ambition to create my dream job when I began to feel better.  

AD: What was your proudest moment?
GD: I've worked extremely hard in so many ways, and I'm proud of my company every day. 

AD: What does being successful mean to you?
GD: It means finding a way to sustain a lifestyle that you love. 

AD: What advice would you give your younger self?
GD: I would tell my younger self to practice patience! And never ever compromise your vision. 

AD: How do you relax?
GD: I live right near the Esplanade on the Charles River, so I try to make it over there to see the sunset when I can. It's always relaxing and breathtakingly beautiful. Otherwise I'll play some music and make a pot of tea. 

AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
GD: I live a pretty active lifestyle and I'm also a yoga instructor. I make time to get on my mat every day, but I don't have a set schedule. 

AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
GD: Before I shower I dry-brush and do an Ayurvedic practice called Abhyanga. It basically means rubbing oil (I use coconut or sesame) all over your body before hopping in the shower. It helps clear toxins, gets your blood flowing, and leaves your skin soft and glowing. Then I let my hair air dry, swipe on a little mascara, and dab patchouli or amber oil on my wrists. I keep it pretty simple, and if I'm feeling fancy, a dark red lipstick is my go-to. 

AD: What's a go to places in your area? 
GD: There's a little French bar/restaurant called La Voille a few blocks away from my apartment. It's a quaint and cozy neighborhood spot so I always see a familiar face when I go there. Not to mention the food is authentic and amazing, and the drinks are great too! 

AD: What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
GD: My friend recently gave me a self titled album by White Eyes and I've been listening to it constantly from cover to cover. 

AD: Who is the most inspiring person in your area and why? 
GD: All the women around me who are able to be delicate and strong at the same time inspire me every day! 

AD: How do versatile pieces make your life easier? 
GD: Chic comfort is key for my day-to-day life, so having beautiful basics that are convertible gives me options and makes me feel put together when I'm on the go. 

AD: Is there any last comment you would like to leave us with?
GD: Keep an eye out for a deWolfe x Paridaez collaboration in the future! ;) 


Gina deWolfe wearing our Albatross as a skirt and Bird of Paradise Tank!

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Monday Maven Noe Carmichael

Interview by Allison Daroie- August 17, 2015

Noe Carmichael aka Saucy Lady is a local Boston favorite.  She’s a woman of many hats (and wigs).  By day she’s a Senior Project Manager for a global e-commerce company and by night you can find her strutting around the city as a DJ, singer and model.  Brains, musical creativity and beauty encompass this Monday Maven!  And style… she’s so damn groovy!  Enjoy… 

AD: Please explain who you are and what you do.                                                                                                    
NC: During the daylight hours, I work as a Senior Project Manager for a global eCommerce company. After 5pm, I transition into what the city may sometimes refer to me as, the Beantown Disco Queen, aka Saucy Lady. There are times I may DJ, some evenings I may perform with my Honey Sauce Band, or record original vocals in a sensual studio environment.  I also started a music label with Audio Chemists LLC, so I manage that. Once in a while, I may strut through a make-shift fashion runway. 

AD: Where are you from originally?
NC: An intergalactic space, where staying on groove is a requirement for survival.

 

AD: Where did your motivation to pursue your passion originate?
NC: Inspirational funk, boogie, jazz, hip hop, and disco tunes gave me my mojo. The music brought me life. I’ve grown up surrounded by jazz records, listening to Mingus, Sun Ra, Ornette, Sonny Rollins, Monk, to Miles. Trained in classical piano and voice, I’ve enjoyed how elegantly detailed and intensely architectural jazz and classical music arrangements and compositions can be.  The music transports you through unimaginable mental, spiritual, and physical adventures.  The passion that my musical predecessors have expressed motivates me to continue pursuing further musical learning and exposure to new sounds.

AD: What is a typical day like for you?
NC: A typical work day would start with feeding my cats Meenah and Dora, watering my plants, then establish my day’s outfit. I would beautify my tresses, and head out the door with a fresh face, and greet the day’s adventures with open arms. I’m not always in the best of moods, but I try to be anyway.  That’s just the morning.  During the daytime, I’m “boss-lady” and when time’s up, you may find me doing yoga or pilates and flexing my muscles.  I climb stairs every day, I dislike elevators unless I have to go up to floors of double digits. I love to cook, and in the summer time I may pick some garden vegetables from my yard, or cook some odd looking organic squash from the farmer’s market. I try to make it to a party or two on a regular basis if I’m not doing a gig or recording. My day consists of some form of creative work.

AD: What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome to get where you are today?
NC: Shitty people.  They’re everywhere.  Ignorant, unsympathetic, assholes.  I dislike them extremely, and they are the biggest impediment to my living a healthy, creative life.

AD: What was your proudest moment?
NC: I find proud moments all over the place, almost on a daily basis.  Getting through each day, makes me proud. 

AD: What does being successful mean to you?
NC: Having a balanced life, and being happy.  Success should be a shared universal experience where ultimate happiness would be making myself happy AND making others happy at the same time.  I can’t be too selfish, I rather share that when others are willing to accept.

AD: What advice would you give your younger self?
NC: Don’t be so stupid. Appreciate your wrinkle-free face and stop tanning so much.

AD: How do you unwind?
NC: Beach in the summer.  Party all seasons.

AD: What’s your typical fitness routine?
NC: I work out regularly almost daily. As mentioned earlier, yoga and pilates are my go-to work-outs and meditation regimens.

AD: What are your daily beauty rituals?
NC: Wash, tone, moisturize.  Repeat. To be specific, I love my rosewater glycerin toner. It smells great.  I also wear the Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Color + Correct Sheer Nude SPF 30.  That also smells great. I’ve dabbed on eye creams since I was 13 years old and it seems to have made a difference. I read labels to make sure there are no parabens so I don’t expose myself to the potential of getting certain cancers.

AD: What’s a hidden gem in your area? (It can be a cafe, store, studio, etc.)
NC: Paris Street Gallery on 101 Paris Street, Everett, MA.  The location offers events, art gallery, music studio, and my business partner and I have our Audio Chemists office and music studio there.

AD: What’s the top song on your playlist right now?
NC: Boy Toy by the Honey Sauce Band (officially releasing in September.)

AD: Who is the most inspiring person in your area and why?
NC: Yuki “monolog” Kanesaka. He helped unleash my musical potential.  He’s also the musical director for my band, and a multi-instrumentalist/producer/b-boy extraordinaire. Plus, he’s quite a sweet man.

AD:  How do versatile pieces make your life easier?  
NC: Less to carry.  I have a diverse façade, so it is convenient in that sense.

AD: Is there any last comment you would like to leave us with?
NC: Advice to humanity.  Have an open mind.  Don’t stress so much.  Most likely, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal.

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