All posts filed under: Culture

Finding Solace at The Osthoff Resort’s Aspira Spa

This article was originally published on and written for Insider’s Guide to Spas. It seemed like a perpetual summer, and Elkhart Lake was my liberator. There are some getaways you just know will stay with you forever, and for me getting to experience Elkhart Lake was one of them. I’ll start at the very beginning: Back in the spring I found a lump in my breast. As you can imagine worry set in, but worry took a back seat to the frustration of attempting to find accessible care for women under 40. I can tell you now, that is no easy feat. Someone out there was looking out for me because I did find help, in the form of an organization called PROJECT RENEWAL . Their mammogram Scan Van was parked right in front of the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, a patron saint of poets. The universe was speaking in signs, but this did not ease my worry. An elderly woman in the waiting area noticed my nervousness and held my hand while I waited. She touched …

The Giving and Natural Creations

This article was originally published in 2009, on the Organic Spa Magazine blog. The Andean Collection is now Faire Collection. There is no better way to spread happiness than providing the opportunity for others to enrich their lives. The Andean jewelry collection, founded by the multi-talented Amanda Judge, is not only eco-conscious but is also a humanitarian effort. Amanda’s story and her collection started in Ecuador. Amanda holds a degree in International Law and Diplomacy, which she has decided to put to use by studying the survival strategies of women in extreme poverty. The study ended up being a path to a new life for both Amanda and the women of Northern Ecuador. The Andean Collection was born. How did you meet the women that you work with? AJ: I met the women of The Andean Collection when I was in Ecuador doing research for my Masters thesis, which was going to be on the survival strategies of rural indigenous women in the face of extreme poverty. To set up the project, I had to go …

Spark Pretty Pop-Up Shop, Step Into Their Happy Bubble

This story was originally published for Hob Nob Magazine Editors Note: Spark Pretty is now open all year at 333 East 9th Street in the East Village, New York. What the world needs now is more 90s. It was a simpler time—and if you grew up then this 90s pop-up shop will certainly make you smile. The owner of Spark Pretty, Amanda Dolan and her business partner Meagan Colby, have settled into an East Village location for the month of May. Shop your vintage heart out because everything you could ever need for a fun summer is in this shop; platform shoes, smiley face accessories, sexy bodysuits, 90210 inspired dresses, band t-shirts and of course there is the gorgeous display of Tony Alamo’s hand-painted denim jackets. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity. We stopped by to ask Amanda and Meagan a few questions. Step into their happy 90s bubble for good energies and knowledgable minds at 333 East 9th Street (btw 1st/2nd Aves). How was Spark Pretty born? Spark Pretty was born about five years ago. I had …

Cara Marie Piazza, Magic & Sustainability Over Fast Fashion

This story was originally published for Insider’s Guide to Spas. To view all of my contributing articles, visit Insider’s Guide To Spas. I was in the midst of New York Fashion Week, but all I truly cared about was finding time to meet with Cara Marie Piazza. I had long envisioned what her creations and workspace would look like. Mostly, I was curious about the designer herself. A treasure among the chaos of fast fashion, she is succeeding on her own terms. The natural dyer and textile designer launched her brand nearly right out of college. Besides hand-dyeing storytelling creations for her own label, c a l y x, Cara teaches workshops on natural dyeing and continues to join forces with exciting brands. Everything is naturally dyed through alchemical dye sessions, ancient shibori techniques, and bundle dyeing. The designer’s sustainable creations and well-thought-out collaborations are sold at spa resorts, such as Amanyara Turks & Caicos, and cities all over the world. As a fan of carefully curated Parisian shops, I was happy to learn that the …

Interview: One on One with Ralph & Russo’s Tamara Ralph & Michael Russo

This story was originally published on March 3, 2009. It was written for a fashion blog. Ralph & Russo serves up mystery and interest. This is not because of their famous clientele, but because there are not many brands out there who refuse to give up their exclusivity to the masses. Considering today’s state of economy, it is especially intriguing to see an exclusive brand thrive and inspire. Ralph & Russo’s dreamy designs seem so out of reach, yet wonderful to observe and admire. I instantly fell in love with the brand as it represents pure class and glamour. There is no question that it is different. The designs allow you to step back into a time of elegance, reminding us of fashion history and its celebrated fashion icons. I imagine wearing Ralph & Russo gives you a feeling that you can accomplish anything. The one-of-a-kind dresses are both demure and empowering. It is no wonder Ralph & Russo caters to women in high positions and class. The brand has gotten in touch with me because …

A Slavic Beauty Story

When I was a little girl, the winters were white and harsh. Spring meant lending a hand with working the earth. There were potato fields that seemed as long as my wide eyes could see. The first blooming spring flowers were like a breath of fresh air. They were Snow Drops. Summer was always welcomed, for it meant healing your body and soul while visiting the hot thermal spa resort, near the border of Hungary. As kids we looked forward to it all year. The importance of spa was instilled in us early on. Autumn, my personal favorite season, brought great big colorful leaves falling down gently, creating a great big blanket below each tree. My sisters and I would paint them with every color in our watercolor box and make art. We lived in a small village right out of a fairy tale in the heart of Europe. I was born in Slovakia: bordering with Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Ukraine. At times when I think back to my hometown, the nagging …