Back At It: JORD's Wood Watches (Contest!)

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I've never been the best with accessories. I typically stick to the same earrings, several necklaces, and a bandana here and there, but I know there's always room to up the ante on my accessory game. Everyone seems to be jumping on the smart watch train, but for me, I've decided to stay a little more traditional. A couple years ago, I teamed up with JORD for the first time, but they've since expanded their offerings, and have even more stylish options. I'd been thinking about looking into a dark or black watch to wear, and with perfect timing, JORD reached out to see if I'd like to do another collaboration! This time, I'm also able to offer a little contest, so that you could win a gift card towards your own watch as well. 

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The watch I'm wearing here (and will have more photos to share of soon!) is the new edition of the Frankie watch. You can find more about it and get a closer view HERE.

With JORD's help, I'm sponsoring a little contest! One lucky winner will receive a $100 gift card to spend on JORD's site, and all other entries receive an automatic $25 off. Enter from now until 11:59pm on 10/22! Contest link: https://www.woodwatches.com/g/bl128906ig

Both the $100 and the $25 codes will expire on 11/30/2017.
Best of luck! 

Photo c/o Roach x ReprsntSTL

In The Studio With Designer Ryan Moore

When I first met designer Ryan Moore, I was running around, haphazardly dressed and perfectly panicked in the bowels of the Boo Cat Club. It was the day of Pins & Needles, the annual local designer challenge put on by Brainchild Events. We ended up speaking about his music selection during the hours before the show, and we clicked over his choice of Glitch Mob. I was able to mix in a song of my own suggestion to his pick, and thus our collaboration friendship was born! I had already decided to have something custom-made this year for Saint Louis Fashion Week, and Ryan seemed like just the person to do it. 

We met initially over coffee, chatted about my vision, and went from there! I stopped by one day a few weeks ago to check out the progress, get a final fitting completely, and see where all the magic happens.

Ryan loves working with leather, and he allowed me to borrow a few of his pieces to take to NYFW with me! See this snapshot here of a handbag he stained and painted, as well as a stunning cuff he crafted. Above, he demonstrated how he softens and thins leather to make it more supple and wearable.

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I donned my muslin, or mock-up, and Ryan checked the fit. A few trims here, a couple tweaks there, and voila! We were in business. He made the mock-up of a denim material so that it had weight and would lay more like the final piece, which is made of silk. Instead of a solid color, Ryan and I had agreed on a paint splatter pattern, done by hand, to make the piece truly one of a kind. 

I picked up the final piece on Monday night, and it fits like a dream. Here's a quick shot of it in action last night at the first night of STLFW, complete with a leather bag and leather/rabbit fur cuff also by Ryan.

Stay tuned for better images of the dress soon!

Black and white photos by Abby Gillardi. 
Runway snapshot graciously taken by Yasmin of Bangles & Bungalows

Saint Louis MADE: A Maker's Pop-Up Shop

Saint Louis is a city of opportunity.  The city is growing, expanding, and is already getting a reputation for being a hotbed for startups, crafters, and creators. Some of the best and brightest start small and stay smart. If you're looking to get to better know some of the more under the radar or up-and-coming artists in Saint Louis, you ought to make a point to clear all of your Thursday night plans. 

This Thursday, March 12th, downtown Saint Louis and ALIVE Magazine are bringing together a group of highly skilled and creative artists and companies into one night. Saint Louis Made: A Makers Pop-Up will feature over 25+ St. Louis Makers, Innovators and Entrepreneurs. The best part of the night for many? Attendance is free of charge! 

Although there will be a multitude of makers available for you to peruse and get to know, I've chosen a few of the makers to highlight for you! I can't wait to get to know them better in person, and spend some time familiarizing myself with their work in person on Thursday. 

SAHGOL Jewelry & Apparel Co

SAHGOL Jewelry & Apparel Co is created by Elle M.  In her work you'll find elements of raw nature, powerful and untouched, mixed with human-altered findings. The term mixed media applies perfectly, as Elle's work varies from metals to rocks to feathers to screen-printed tees. I'm especially drawn to her necklaces that involves slabs and slices of crystals, gemstones, and mineral specimens. I've been following SAHGOL on social media, but have yet to been able to meet Elle and see her work in person. I might pick up a pair of her earrings, particularly these half moon drop earrings. Did you know I have a tattoo of the moon phases? Anything moon-related piques my interest!

Legacy Chutney

If Legacy Chutney's Facebook location (Yummy Ville, St. Louis) tells you anything, it ought to be that this quirky and fun local company likes to have fun with their flavors. Founded in 2012, the company uses a recipe handed down from a grandmother - one who cooked well but spoke little English. I don't know about you, but I believe food is a language that needs no words. Their Sweet Fruit Chutney is calling my name. It has peaches and apricots. Lemme put that on some brie, please!

10foot2

10foot2 is a local design and craft studio, run by two young women named Bekah and Cat. The company's name comes from their combined height - both ladies clock in at 5'1". What a clever idea! And speaking of clever, their humor comes through in their eco-conscious and often recycled products. For instance, the tag line on their page for their Pabst Blue Ribbon note pads says "PBR rhymes with beauty." 21 year old Jill would agree whole-heartedly. 10foot2's screenprinted items caught my attention too, especially their adorable pillows . I did just get a new couch... 

I hope you're ready to join me on Thursday! Since admittance is free, it means you have no excuse not to come out! Seeing as two of the partners that are helping make the event possible are Maker's Mark and Pinnacle Vodka, I can bet you that there will be some tasty libations to indulge in, as well as promised pulled pork sliders from Pappy's. DJ Billy Brown will be spinning tunes to keep us hoppin' and shoppin'.

For more information, or to RSVP:  http://bit.ly/1HwEOpY

Find more vendor teaser photos on the Facebook event page: http://on.fb.me/1NFReQB

I'll see you Thursday! Don't forget to tag #MakersPopUpSTL, #DowntownSTL and @ALIVEMagSTL whenever you talk about the event on social media!

Tune Tuesday: Taking Leaps - Lizzie Weber

This Tune Tuesday is a special one! I'd like to introduce you to friend and local musician, Lizzie Weber. This lovely little songbird and I have known each other for about ten years, but really haven't had a chance to get to know each other. High school was a funny time and you didn't always make friends with people you probably should have in the first place. Luckily, Lizzie has put down some roots in Saint Louis for the time being, and we were able to catch up over coffee. 

We both love Rise Coffee, which you may remember from a previous post where I gushed about it being my home away from home, so it was the perfect spot to sip an amazing pour-over and talk about what miss Lizzie Weber has been up to. One recent highlight is Lizzie gracing the cover of Riverfront Times in January.

But before we get into her budding fame, let's get to know Lizzie a little more! 

What’s in a name when it comes to being a performer? Lizzie chose to use her middle name as her last name while on stage for its meaning in German - “to weave.” Being a songwriter, she understands what goes into weaving a tale - especially a tale that typically only last 3-4 minutes. What’s surprising to discover is that Lizzie didn’t start out crafting songs at all. Music was not a primary focus in her life until what most might consider a fairly recent date. I was pretty astounded to find this out as I clearly remember (as did every other girl in our high school at the time) her performance at one of our school’s talent shows. She sang “Konstantine” by Something Corporate, which is a doozy of dizzing length at about 9.5 minutes. I think we all sat completely in awe while the song seemed to last forever in the darkness of the auditorium. I am not quite sure that many of us knew at the time that Lizzie could sing, let alone with such a crystal clear, wonderful voice.

Lizzie says that her original intention was to become an actress, and she took a big leap by moving out to LA to pursue that passion. In her off time, she would pick up small gigs here and there to play her guitar and sing original work. One such gig was playing softer music during yoga classes at a nearby studio, which she said was frequented by “industry professionals.” Occasionally, a class participant would ask her whose songs she had been playing. Soon after, Lizzie began focusing more on her own music, but her endeavors were stopped short when she was ordered to wear a mouth splint to address her TMD. The splint restricted her ability to move her jaw, and caused her to have an awkwardly open-hanging mouth. She decided the best option was to move home during recovery. Saddened by this setback, she mentioned that this counted as one of the most difficult decisions she’s had to make, as she would much prefer to leave a city on her own terms.

Back home in Saint Louis, she was able to move forward with her musical pursuits, and began recording her first album at Sherpa Studios in Brentwood. Her self-titled debut album was released in January of 2014, and she already has a new record in the works. Her creative drive doesn’t stop with just the album, however. The music video for her song “Falling Like Fools” won the merit award at the Best Shorts Competition in La Jolla, CA, and a second merit award at the Women's Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles, CA. In September of 2014, the video was screened at the prestigious Raindance Film Festival in London. Tomorrow, February 4th, “Falling Like Fools” is being screened as a finalist in NYC's One Screen Film Festival in the music video category. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that Lizzie’s video is standing up against big names such as Skrillex and SBTRKT. I’ll have my fingers crossed all day tomorrow for her!

While performing live in Saint Louis, Lizzie enlists the help of a full band to bring her music to the stage. Her live band consists of John Hussung on bass, Tony Lamacchia on drums, Katelyn Hamre on violin, and Sean Hamre on cello. Lizzie describes her live band as a team, and that “you are your team.” I’ve only ever played sports in a team setting, but I understand that each member supports the other in pushing towards success. 

And success is definitely what I wish for Lizzie, and believe she is headed towards. Please find links to all things Lizzie Weber-related at the bottom of this post. 

Blogger Breakfast at West Elm

Good evening, lovelies!

Last Thursday I had the chance to attend a really lovely breakfast at West Elm in the Galleria Mall. When I arrived, Melissa Zensen from West Elm's Visual Design and Merchandising team and West Elm Associate Manager David Blakely greeted me with a hot cup of Starbucks coffee. We were offered tasty scones from a local shop and fresh fruit. I can't get enough of strawberries this summer, so I was happy to snack on those! I joined just in time for the second tour of the morning, starting by the shop's super cute succulent table. I regret to say that my first go-round at being a succulent mommy didn't turn out so well - my little baby kicked the bucket about two weeks ago. I'd love to try again! I probably over-watered it, just like everyone else... 


Melissa and David invited us to sit with them in their midcentury home section and told us all about West Elm's direction, especially what to expect for Fall 2014. I loved the description of "handcrafted yet elevated" for that more sophisticated yet still very home-y feel. 


I dream one day of having a gorgeous wood bar cart for entertaining visitors in a future home. Did you know that West Elm does collaborations with artists to bring you more exclusive designs? This cart was designed by James Harrison. Another collaboration that David mentioned is with Steven Alan, who is known for his mens and womenswear designs. For West Elm, he takes his background with those and worked with artisans in India, Nicaragua, and Haiti to bring West Elm a home collection. I adore his Golden Gate design for the bedding. I think I am developing a love for dusty yellow colors in the home!



You can look for very gender-neutral and classic autumnal colors, such as the colorplay combinations of White/Goldenrod, Cayenne/Chocolate, and Brass/Charcoal. I would personally love to see the white/goldenrod and cayenne/chocolate palettes all in one space! Light and dark together, so lovely. I noticed that the current colorplays in West Elm are also fairly gender-neutral, and appealing to many tastes. For instance, two current bedspread displays feature a lovely chartreuse yellow, and the other a gorgeous gray tone.



More to look for this fall will be rustic yet luxe furnishings. This sounds like something I can get behind because I have a deep and old love for wood cabin homes. My family has friends that we used to visit with a few times a year, and they live in a stunning wood cabin home in the Eureka, MO area. I could definitely see their space being described in the terms of rustic yet luxe, as they have an amazing bar on their lofted second floor! I'm also excited to have peeped a few of their lighting designs that will hit stores in the fall. There was one heavy, industrial-looking metal lighting fixture that would look right at home in a downtown Saint Louis loft with exposed brick walls. Oh, to dream! 


I'm a lover of trinkets, and West Elm does not disappoint in that category. I think that the items that sit around in on your surfaces help add character to your living space. These little owl bookends piqued my interest. I spied two perched in the midcentury section.


Some of the other topics that really caught my attention during breakfast include West Elm's interest in local vendors via pop-up Etsy events, DIY events, collaborations with local businesses, their new wedding gift registry, and their in-store Style Rescue. Style Rescue is an event that occurs the last Sunday of the month from 10-11am, where customers can meet with a home style expert free of charge. I'm hoping to move into a new apartment in the fall, so you KNOW I will be attending one of these events! How handy! There is also a small section of the store for design services for customers, too. I'd love to see that in action. 


After our chats with Melissa and David, we were able to bop around the store and shop a bit. One of the other attendees during my session were Sarah from The Wicked Wallflower. You might remember me mentioning her in my post about her Wicked Pop-Up Shop. She's such a sweetheart and I'm so happy for her - she recently took a new position as Fashion Editor at ALIVE Magazine! Congrats, girl! Two other lovely ladies at the breakfast were Suzie Osterloh, Publisher/Owner of St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles, and Melissa Mauzy, Managing Editor at St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles. They mentioned hopefully doing an article about West Elm's fall collections in their upcoming issue - I can't wait to read it! 




I perused the goods and picked up a few things for myself and others. I had two birthdays to shop for, which I can't post what I picked up for, because of course that would ruin the surprise! For myself, I actually shopped off the bench right inside the front door. West Elm sells off its display pieces after they've changed their POV. 


They had photo-printed boards with different flora and water images, so I grabbed two with pictures of ferns on them. Get it, my last name is Firns... I'm a nerd, I'm sorry! I hung them up over my bed just the other day, which I would like to show you, but right now my bed is unmade and that'd be just silly. I think they were both only $15, which is a cheap and neat way to decorate! 

Sarah was gracious enough to snap a picture for me of my outfit! I am wearing the dress I mentioned picking up in Weezie's in Branson. It's a trapeze-cut dress, which I can say I've honestly never owned before, but this one fit too well to pass up. Because the front of the dress is so low, I knew I needed to layer a bandeau underneath. Luckily, while shopping in Branson Landing, the Francesca's there was having a buy two for $12 sale on their bandeaus! My clutch and necklace are thrifted but I can't recall from where. The sandals are Ivanka Trump and were a gift from a friend.



Melissa and David invited us to a follow-up breakfast in July so that we could see some of the new items start to roll out. I can't wait! And I am very thankful for their hospitality. West Elm will definitely start to see more of me in its store! Thank you so much!