5 life lessons from The Sartorialist

I may be one of the last people out there to discover Scott Schuman, aka The Sartorialist.  He’s considered one of TIME magazine’s Top 100 Design Influencers and has one of the Best Blogs of 2010.  Where have I been?  Thank goodness for @TIME and @designmilk on Twitter or I’d still be in the dark.

I’m drawn to The Sartorialist because it’s a great place to watch creativity in action.  It’s interesting to see how “real” people choose to express themselves for the day. It also makes me want to put more thought into what I wear… to occasionally reach beyond the Uggs, yoga pants and hoodie.

However, what sold me forever, is this video capturing Scott’s philosophy on creativity.  His path offers insight for anyone questioning their career path or favored form of creative expression.

Here are 5 things that inspired me about his life:

1. He could never have predicted the way his life would unfold. After 9/11 he left 15 years of sales and marketing in the fashion industry to focus more on photography.

“I always felt that there was a disconnect between what I was selling in the showroom and what I was seeing real people (really cool people) wearing in real life.”

He started taking pictures and started a blog.  His photos and style insight are now covered by media around the world.

2. He’s confident despite his lack of formal training. He didn’t grow up dreaming of being a photographer so he never had any formal photography training.  With practice and experience, he’s become comfortable with his ability and says,

“The way I do it is just the way I do it.”

3. Childhood curiosity fueled his interest. He started getting into fashion, looking at magazines in junior high. (It was a way to get with the girls.)  From this, he picked up a “visual understanding” and became curious about the world outside the Midwest.

4. He trusts his instincts. He’s says his lack of training has helped him remain instinctual.  He doesn’t over-think the shot, wondering if it’s fashionable enough. Something catches his eye and he reacts.

5. He designates time in his day for inspiration and execution.  He spends part of his day on his computer just getting the blog going. Then, he spends about  4-5 hours outside, walking, waiting for possibility to catch his eye.

Can you imagine the people who probably told him to get a real job, or that he needed formal training to be a photographer?  Thank goodness he kept going or the world would be missing a very intriguing, telling snapshot of today’s culture – a “digital park bench” as Scott calls it.

Blogs like this will also provide a unique historical perspective.  Not only will we we have a record of real-life, unstyled street shots, reader comments will offer a record of real-life attitude right along with them.

I hope you’ll watch and share what inspired you…

Luv-filled shop uses shirts & social media to spread vision

Chances are, if you’re a girl and I’ve given you a gift in the past couple of years, it’s been from Its a Luv Thing.  This small, beachy shop in Leucadia, California has become my sure thing for thoughtful gifts.  Even though I’m a regular customer, I did not know the story behind the shop until I read the blog article posted on their Facebook page.

Now that I know it I feel more connected to Kami. (See how this works? It’s like I know the owner now).  I was so touched by her story that I’m writing about it and sharing it with my friends.

This is exactly how a business broadens its opportunities beyond its local community and deepens relationships within it. I’m happy to see her taking her business online and using social media to spread her vision and Luv story.

Kami started her career as a young men’s sportswear buyer for Nordstrom. She got to know the world of surf T-shirts pretty well.

After discovering her daughter had leukemia, she made a vow with God that she would do her best to spread love if her daughter was spared, and she was.

The store became Kami’s outlet to not only share her creative ideas, but also some of her spiritual ones.   The shop is known for t-shirts with inspiring messages, in unique styles that fit really well and are reasonably priced (most are under $50).

Check out Kami’s new collection of tees called 10 Tees to Change the World. I can’t think of a better place to start holiday shopping (they’ll be here before you know it.)

And while you’re there, here are some more any-occasion gift options:

Love and peace on your sleeve – I’ve bought this in different versions.  It has perfect, just a little too long sleeves, cozy fit and fabric.

My friend Lori and I gave each other the Karma bracelet. I wear it with my Moments bracelet and sandalwood mala beads almost everyday.

I just happened to be wearing the Camo Heart cap when I found her story. Sometimes Facebook diversions can be productive.











I might have to check out the Motorcycle Twill Skinnies and her new knit bikinis.   Not for me necessarily but, now that I’ve taken up knitting, maybe it will inspire me to make them for my friends …  more exciting than socks, right?



P.S. If you happen to be in the area, she’s offering 15% off for bringing in a painted or heart shaped rock for her garden.  I know this because I found it on It’s a Luv Thing’s Facebook page. “Like” it and you’ll know stuff like this too.



Was I Diane Von Furstenberg in a past life?



Yes, I still have a Feb '09 article on DVF. But really, I'm not obsessed, I just save stuff like this.

Or, maybe we were sisters… Not sure. It”s just kind of uncanny how much we have in common (outside of bank accounts, of course).  Past lives aside, there”s a connection there, I”m sure of it.  The universe seems to drop little doses of DVF into my life on occasion. Here are a few:

When I read her interview in Feb 09″s Town & Country, I connected with:

Her comeback story – “Every rejection is the fuel for what you will be…You need to feel small in order to be big.”

Her need for space –  “I just need  a little space. If I can”t be alone a little bit, then I lose myself – and I cannot lose myself.”

Her desire to empower –  ” I don”t care about fashion, I care about women.”

After watching her on The Sundance Channel”s The Day Before, I also realized:

1) We both do yoga.



"I woke up feeling 120, now (after yoga) I feel liberated." - DVF

photo via Inside DVF

2) We both have big, brown, slightly unruly hair.

3) We both design wrap dresses.
I”ve always thought the DVF wrap dress was the perfect, timeless, anytime, anywhere dress. But, I”ve never bought one. My lifestyle is more jeans and boots than $500 dresses and heels. However, if I can justify reasonable cost-per-wear mileage, I”ll gladly pay more for something I love and will enjoy for casino online a long time.   I just didn”t realize just how much I”d wear a wrap dress.

When I walked into a fabric store in India, I took one look at the beautiful silk sari prints and thought, hhhmm, these would be great wrap dresses.  I dug through piles of fabric (because that”s what you have to do in India:), sketched a few ideas and handed them over to a tailor who, assured me, “No problem, madaam, I  make for you.”
(He”s probably made thousands of them for westerners like me.)

I”ve worn these dresses with jeans, leggings, over swimsuits, with boots, flip flops, to the beach, on the plane and out to dinner.  Even though my version was only $40 ( for fabric, tailoring, for all 3 dresses), I love them as much as I”d love the real thing.  Maybe… this was “Diane”s” way of introducing me to the experience of spending $500 on a dress. Although, looking back, when you throw in the cost of flying to India, it”s probably cheaper to buy a couple of the real things.


4) We both hang with pretty people.

photo via Full Frontal Fashion



Although, I'm sure my people are nicer.

5)  We both want you to “Be proud to be you.”
(what she says to each model before they walk down the runway and what I wish for every one I know)



Hanging backstage at the DVF fashion showphoto via Full Frontal Fashion


P.S. While I”m sure she has a social media team and I have little old me, hers is doing a great job. They caught my “Be proud to be you” tweet and sent me a personal reply with a link to a DVF picture gallery, which inspired this story.



If I only had… Stinky Boots

I love boots.  I don”t go too crazy… but I do like to add one or, in a good year, two pair each year.  My favorites are Frye, Uggs and my 20-yr old Justins.


These fancy Uggs are made for walking! They comfortably carried me all over Paris during the city's longest public transportation strike (basically my entire trip). After all of that walking, I thought my sister and I deserved a special souvenir - our first Hermes scarf. This was a happy moment!


At the moment, I have my eye on black biker boots. I”ll probably buy Frye, but these Jimmy Choo Biker boots caught my eye ( a girl can dream, can”t she?)



Maybe, if it”s a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good year, I can check out the new オンライン カジノ 2010″ target=”_blank”>Ugg & Jimmy Choo collection debuting this season!


Now, what I REALLY need are Stinky Boots… If I had these, Boot Barn would give me a discount.  I wonder if they carry Jimmy Choos?

P.S.  A clever way of engaging their audience, Boot Barn makes us proud of a somewhat smelly problem.  Now, if only Havaianas would have a Broken Flip Flop promo, I could replace the pair that broke just as I was walking into the grocery store!




such a bummer







Spring color trends and boho, sexy must-haves

Pink is my favorite color … But, when contemplating color choices for my ThoughtfulContent logo, I was drawn to turquoise.  I”m sure it has some sub-conscious girlie-affiliation with Tiffany”s.  For whatever reason, to me, the turquoise/black combo exudes grace and simplicity…   It turns out I wasn”t the only one drawn to turquoise last year. Pantone,the global authority on color named it 2010″s Color of the Year.

For 17 years, Pantone has surveyed the designers of New York Fashion Week to determine the most important color trends. Fashion Week kicks off September 8th and with it, the Pantone report previewing the most prominent hues for spring 2011.

Even if you”re not interested in fashion or color… reading about the inspiration behind the colors is insightful:

“Citing exotic destinations like Africa, India, Peru and Turkey as inspiration for spring 2011, designers continue to satisfy consumers” need to casino online escape everyday challenges with intriguing color combinations that transport them to foreign lands.”

If you are into fashion and color… you”ll enjoy each designer”s must-have item for the season. I”m digging Cynthia Steffe by Shaun Kearney”s “modern take on boho – a sexy, silk laser-cut off-the-shoulder dress in a vibrant shade of Pink” (or, Honeysuckle as we”ll soon be calling it….)

P.S. From a marketing perspective, this is a clever e-book. It”s packed with interesting, useful and entertaining info for its target – designers of all kind (I found it via lifestyle expert, Kelley L Moore).  If you scroll to the end, they”re selling Pantone products, Pantone for the iphone… and Pantone credit cards for the truly passionate color-istas.


How about you, what color are you drawn to at the moment?

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