Guest interview 3: Inspirational Women

Aug 26, 2012

As a continuation in this series,
I would like to introduce you to
the lovely Sharon 

We have only known each other
a few months, but again it's one of 
those connections that just felt natural.

(Wait til you read about an act of kindness
Sharon performed; it will blow you away).

Tell us a little about how you got into event design consulting?
When my kids were little I needed a  creative outlet 
so I started volunteering for their school events and fundraisers. 
I built up a reputation over the years of being a 
super creative hard worker

You also do fashion consulting. Which of the two do you prefer?
            I enjoy both but I still mostly do event design just because 
there’s more of a need for that here in my community. I just love helping people come 
 up with creative ideas and helping them feel really good about their decisions.

Sharon, earlier this year you showed the ultimate 
act of kindness to a stranger 
that really shook me to my core. 
Can you tell us a little about this; 
how it came about and what moved you to do this? 

I was added to a friend’s group, someone who had kidney disease 
and was using Facebook as forum for awareness and talking 
about what she was going through.  When she wrote a comment saying
 ‘if more people would understand how horrible life on dialysis is,
 more people would be willing to donate their kidney.” 
Something just clicked in me and I decided to look into doing it. 
Seven months later I was a kidney donor. Once my mind went there 
everything just kind of fell into place. Read more about this journey to kidney donation

As a “yummy-mummy” of FIVE, and such an active consultancy business, 
what is your strategy for not neglecting yourself? Tell  us one of your beauty secrets ;-)
Well, I’ll tell you a secret. I don’t really officially work that much. 
I focus first and foremost on my family, then my blog and then if I have time I’ll do some jobs.
 Prioritising and knowing what’s important without feeling guilty and is key to finding balance. 
I’ve learned to say no and give up on things if they will interfere with 
my family or stress me out too much. 
Here’s a weird beauty secret that I do:
 Every morning after coffee, I make myself a cup of green tea. 
Once the tea bag is steeped I squeeze it out and rub it all over my face before I put my makeup on. 
Then I drink the tea. This way I get all those anti oxidants inside and out!

if you've seen Sharon's picture on her blog,
you know this tip works!

If you get to play “hookie” for the day, 
what is always on your fun-list to do?
I’d love to go sailing or just hang out on the beach with a group of close friends. 
I love the water and the sun and making wonderful connections with people!

Which celebrity would you just LOVE to style, and why?
Jennifer Lopez because she is so hot and I can relate to her body type. 
She is a super star, she is gorgeous and she is 
smoking hot without being a stick. I love that!

What’s one common style mistake women over 40 always make?
I’m going to say the opposite of what so many others say. 
Don’t start dressing matronly just because of the number of your age. 
Dress the way you feel and wear what makes you happy. 
It’s the inner beauty that shines through anyway. 
Just because a magazine editor officially says something is silly on a 
40 something doesn’t mean it doesn’t suit you and your personality. 
I am young at heart and will wear my hair long as long as I 
like the way it looks and it makes me feel great. If you have great legs, 
go ahead and where your skirts to your knee. 
If you like color, go ahead and where it in a fun yet sophisticated way.
 It’s all about balance at this age.

Which celeb do you think has the best style/look at the moment?
 Olivia Palermo and Blake Lively always look super stylish. 
Kate Middleton is the best for classy and ladylike.

How would you describe your style? 

I like sophisticated style with a bit of an edge. 
I also like rocker chic but I would tone it down and make it a bit more classy. 
I’m currently having a love affair with vibrant color blocking!

The  place currently in first place on your travel “wish-list” ?

I was recently in Italy which was my dream, 
but I didn’t get to see enough! 
I would love to travel along the Mediterranean 
and visit the Southern coasts of France, Italy and Greece!

Book or Kindle? 

What are you reading at the moment? 

Umm I don’t have much time to read...but I should definitely try to read more! 
I started Fifty Shades of Grey a while back but decided 
I really disliked the book a lot. I found the book to be a completely 
unrealistic female fantasy and the female character was just very unappealing to me. 
I like a strong woman who needs a lot more in her life than 
just exciting sex and the need to convert a man!

Who do you consider to be one of the most inspirational women and why? 

Diane Von Furstenberg hands down. 
I’m a young at heart woman in her 40’s and I find her to be an amazing role model. 
She has aged so gracefully, is still so full of life and remains 
relevant and successful with the younger generation in her fashion business.

What a fabulously inspiring woman.

Here's my thoughts on Sharon's interview ;-)

What did you think?
Could you give your kidney to a stranger?

Share your thoughts about this lovely woman.

Guest Interview 2: Inspirational Women

Aug 19, 2012

This "Inspirational Women" series was inspired by
some of the wonderfully creative bloggers I follow.
I wanted to showcase women who I felt were
inspirational in one way or another; however
big or small. One thing they all have in 
common is that they all 
followed their dreams. or 
lived their life authentically.

First up is the the lovely Catherine Robinson
who started her wonderful cashmere company

 Here's our interview:

 How and when did you get started in business?
 Once I had decided on what I wanted to do I had to find a 
supplier/manufacturer to make my products for me; 
it took awhile to find the right company, a lot of research, 
endless samples and negotiations. When that was all 
in place I worked with a web designer to create my website…
my business started in January 2010.

What was the inspiration for working with cashmere?

I adore it ;-) I wanted to work with a luxury product and 
specifically knitwear. It was also important as a small business 
to work with one size products and my first product I designed 
and had manufactured was the cashmere poncho; I wanted to design 
a product that was versatile and could be worn in a 
number of ways and would be an essential garment 
in a woman’s wardrobe.

What was one of the biggest obstacles 
you faced when you started your biz?
 I don’t think I necessarily had any obstacles…
it was very new to me and all consuming and 
I realised quite early on for something to actually happen 
you had to be consistently telephoning, 
mailing and meeting people…nothing would get done 
unless I was pushing for it; it took a lot of discipline!

What did you want to be when a young girl?
 Perhaps, like a lot of young girls, I wanted to be an air hostess…
it seemed so glamorous, I think by the time I was 14 I had changed 
my mind and it was always fashion I was interested in…
and I have worked in fashion most of my life.

If you get to play “hookie” for the day, 
what is always on your list to do?
 I live just outside London so I would definitely be driving 
into town for the day….
visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum, 
having lunch in Hyde Park 
and then a little shopping in Harrods with my daughter 
who now lives in London…a perfect day.

Which celebrity do you think epitomises your brand?
Yasmin Le Bon…I know she likes wearing poncho’s 
and she would wear it simply or add her own twist and style to it…
she would look absolutely beautiful in my chocolate cashmere poncho!

Your favourite perfume at the moment?
Allure Sensuelle by Chanel

 Your fav app?
I don’t really have a favourite one.

 What’s playing on your iPod at the moment?
 I’ve just recently begun to enjoy listening to classical music 
and on my iPod at the moment is…
Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto…
it simply takes my breath away.

Book or Kindle?
Book…I adore books!

What are you reading at the moment?
The Art of Happiness by The Dalai Lama…
I’ve read this book a few times and it’s 
just a book I enjoy to read again and again.

The one beauty item or beauty brand you can’t live without?
I’ve been wearing Clarins since my early twenties, 
so I would be lost without that!! 
Their Beauty Flash Balm is always in my make up bag.

 The place currently in first place on your travel “wish-list” ?
 It would be Italy…my favourite country and 
it would be beautiful Florence with my husband 
for a wonderfully 
romantic few days before driving 
to the Amalfi Coast…now that’s two places!

Amalfi coastal road

 Who do you think has the best look/style today?
 I know I’ve already mentioned her but I love Yasmin’s style and flair…
she always looks fabulous whether modeling, 
on the red carpet or out walking her dogs…
she has an innate grace and elegance and she looks as beautiful today 
in her forties as she did in her early modelling days.

Which piece from your collection would make a great gift ?
I think my cashmere socks make a wonderful gift to a girlfriend…
a little bit of luxury… and for a more expensive gift 
my cashmere poncho is the perfect gift to wrap yourself in…
sheer indulgence.

Who do you consider one of the most inspirational women and why?
 For me, Audrey Hepburn has been an inspirational lady…
not as an actress, although I admire her talent but for her way of being, 
her humanity and serenity, her kindness and humility 
and her passion and work and deep love and 
concern for the welfare of children. 
Through her role as ambassador 
for Unicef she raised the world’s consciousness 
to the plight of children in the Third World and inspired 
others to continue her work. A lady of such refined elegance 
and grace and inner beauty…she inspires me to be a better person.

Thank you SO much to the lovely
Catherine for her inspiring insights.

Here's one last word from me, taking
inspiration from this interview ;-)

I would love to hear your thoughts on this interview
+ dreams. Are you dreaming big?
Are you living your dream?
However big or small, tell us?

Guest Interview 1 : Inspirational Women

Aug 12, 2012

The first interview in this short series 
of women/bloggers that inspire me, is
with the lovely Sandy. Sandy was one
of my first supporters when I started 
my blog, and has always been a 
wonderful cheerleader. She is super-talented
as you will see from her images below.

Here's our chat:

Did you always want to have your own business?

I always thought that one day I might, but wasn’t sure when. 
What I’ve discovered in the art field over the years, however, 
is that I thoroughly enjoy the creative freedom that 
owning my own illustration business affords.

Coco Chanel-Sandy M

What or who was the inspiration for the illustrated girls 
of Ooh La Frou Frou? 

I started my company two years ago by creating 
a collection of fashion illustrations of 
eight city girls and placed these illustrations 
on a variety of cards. 
That was, obviously, just the beginning 
because exciting changes are in store soon! 
With an ever-growing list of custom illustration clients 
(I so love to see what my clients are 
dreaming up for me to create) and plans for making my fashion
illustrations, and my illustrations of lots of 
other beautiful things I love, available for purchase 
on a variety of items. 

Your Fabulous Thank You Cards
Sandy M

A new website reflecting this growth 
is coming and it will be called: SANDY M ILLUSTRATION. 
The website will contain a link to my illustrated blog, 
“Ooh La Frou Frou” on the new site, 
as well, and this fall, the blog will reflect the 
exciting changes too with a brand new look

What was one of the biggest obstacles you faced 
when you started your biz?

Deciding which direction I wanted to go. 
When you love to create like I do, 
it’s hard to pin down what you want to create most … 
because you want to create everything! 
But it becomes necessary to focus on what it is you love best. 
Sometimes that takes a while to figure that out. 
For me, I love painting and illustrating beautiful things 
and fashion illustration … in fact “ooh la frou frou” 
is my word for the chic things I love to draw.

If you get to play “hookie” for the day, what is always on your list to do? 

I keep a list of “Favorite Things” … a handwritten list. 
I’m constantly adding to of things that make me happy … 
to choose what to fill a day with. 
I could easily close my eyes and run my finger down it’s pages … 
selecting a handful of the handwritten entries to fill up my day! 
A favourite day might include morning coffee and shopping in the city,
 roaming through a gallery for inspiration (and lunch al fresco, of course!) 
with a friend. 

Ending with a lazy afternoon at the beach 
with a favourite novel … hmmmm, just talking about it, 
I’m getting excited for that day!

Who’s your favourite style icon? 
Don’t have just one. Like many. 
I love and am inspired by the uniqueness and sophistication 
that was the style of both Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. 
As for modern-day icons: Olivia Palermo. 
Sometimes it’s also fun to wear a long skirt, sunglasses and a big hat 
and be Rachel Zoe for a day.

Which celebrity do you think has the best look/style at the moment? 
Again … I’d have to say Olivia Palermo’s style.

Your favourite perfume at the moment? 
I’m drawn to woodsy, citrusy or spicy and 
peppery perfumes rather than flowery or be achy. 
I’ve loved the sexy sophistication of Opium for ages 
and have to say it’s my favorite.

 Your fav app? 
Since I’m thinking about decorating my new place, 
I’m having fun with the new HB app from House Beautiful … 
each House Beautiful magazine issue has a little HB icon 
throughout its pages. You just click on the app 
and hold your phone up to the HB icon in the magazine 
and the app allows you to read much more design info 
on a specific article or photo .. like peeking behind-the-scenes.

Book or Kindle? 
Book so far, but I’m not against Kindles, 
I just haven’t felt ready to make the change yet because 
I love books so much … the whole visual and tactile thing, 
the illustrated cover, the smell of the pages, 
easily going back and rereading the last few pages and, 
of course, slipping in the bookmark!

What are you reading at the moment? 
I’m simply pouring over a variety of design books, 
like Mary McDonald’s “The Allure of Style,” at the moment, 
as it’s difficult to concentrate on anything 
but the vast amount of interior design choices I have ahead of me!

The one beauty item or brand you can’t live without? 

I like Laura Mercier foundation primers .. 
they have a variety of primers for different needs 
and they provide a great base (the website suggest placing 
them in the refrigerator so they feel refreshing in this hot weather). 
This is the link: 

The place that is first on your travel “wish-list” ?
Paris. Then Italy. Then London. Then Greece.

Paris Party-Sandy M

Who do you consider one of the most inspirational women?
My mother.

What is your ultimate goal for your company/brand? 
To be picked up by brands that will carry my 
illustrations on products worldwide.

Thank you to the lovely Sandy.
How inspiring is her art?
I urge you to visit her blog.
It's my perfect time for 
Monday morning girlie

Is there an artist/creative angel
in you bursting for expression?

If you could have your own creative
biz, what would you love to have?

Share your thoughts, you
know how much I love them.