Tuesday
Apr212015

Who's That Girl? Women You Need to Know: Interview with Sophie Hughes

 

Welcome you to 'Who's That Girl? Women You Need to Know'. A semi regular series profiling women doing fantastically cool things, sharing cool ideas, inspiration, and looking pretty damn cool, doing it all. 

You know these people. They are not mythical creatures, they are real people, running life like a boss. The pal who has a retail site, a day job, travels to exotic locales, writes a blog, and plans parties on the side. Or the lawyer, who is designing a house, attending fashion shows, and launching a second career as a stylist......with twins riding shotgun. I swear, they exist. Here. In this very city, no less.

Maybe we just glean a few pearls of wisdom on how they manage the juggling act....career, family, and day to day life. Perhaps one of them will be the catalyst, inspiring you to try that {insert your lifelong goal, new passion, or latest obsession here} you've always wanted to do. Or maybe you come away with a new trend to try for spring, simple as that.

Last year was a good year for Sophie Hughes. She was named Best of Boston Jewelry Designer 2014 by the Improper Bostonian and her shop, Ore, was awarded Best Everyday Jewelry 2014 by Boston Magazine. After a mere year of being open. A year! I was lucky enough to meet her a few years ago, in a "I knew her when" type situation, popping into her SOWA studio to preview some jewelry (and walk out with a few items, I confess). But these are the kind of accolades I would expect of a talented, bright, and humble woman like Sophie and I could see even at our first meeting that she would soon have all these honors listed next to her name.

What do you need to know about this seemingly charmed designer? She has logged the hours of hard work to back up all her success. She has the talent to produce her own line- known for it's focus on recycled metals and ethically sourced gems, and likewise, support other women in the industry by sharing her commercial space with talented peers. You'll find the wares of Hannah Blount, Diana Mitchell, Elizabeth Woll, Lauren Passenti, and Laura Jalitsch all stocking Ore's shelves and cabinets. Women helping other women, what we SHOULD be doing and another reason the two of us vibe so well.....the sole reason I started this interview series. To quote that badass Madeleine Albright, "there is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women". Fact.

Sophie is New England talent, home grown in Maine, refined in town at MassArt, though you would be hard pressed to guess at her coastal roots that from her casually chic look and polished-pulled together layers of jewelry. First guess would likely lean more towards the NYC-cool girl school, and you wouldn't be far off since she does spend a lot of her time between the two cities, but more on that later.

What does a typical day hold for this budding entrepreneur? A juggling act of store management, staff oversight, custom design, customer meetings, and time in the studio creating, crafting, and producing the line that has made her so well known. She is straight up winning at this balancing act, stiking the right mix between the creative and business sides of her brain with grace. Sophie wisely listens to her customers and customer feedback, moving the business forward incrementally, one step at a time, using her instinct.  The pay off? Getting to witness the emotion of a customer as they glimpse their one of a kind engagement ring for the first time- her favorite part of the gig.

How does this designer stay inspired? The feedback of her studio mates & staff is a great start, along with a subscription to nearly every stylish magazine out there. Hughes will often tear scraps, reference books on ancient and tribal jewelry, obsessively screen shot items online, tear editorials she is drawn to, file them, hang them, register them, and ultimately "sense a beat" for something she is drawn to, but rarely ever goes back to them. The images and design sense is absorbed, as if my osmosis, pouring out when she sits at her work bench. What has caught her eye lately? Keep your eye out for interesting diamond shapes (a kite shaped diamond? Why not?), layered with stacks of dainty yellow gold rings.

The best perks of her new role as shop owner? Ironically, freedom. Freedom to work remotely, craft on a set schedule thanks to her team of support, to take more trips to NYC, and conduct the customer meetings herself. New York seems to be calling Sophie more often as of late- shows, conferences, buying, meeting with clients, and maybe even scouting spots for a second space in "all" her spare time. While Hughes is open to expansion, she wants it to happen organically, and not have an impact on the current work/life balance she has worked so hard to achieve for her and her employees. She initially opened Ore "without totally realizing what [she] was getting into.....which is why I was able to do it". Refreshing honestly too folks. 

Now, where does this taste maker shop and dine when she does emerge from her studio? I'm going to take her advice soon and try out Takahachi (sushi) and Little Dokebi (Korean BBQ), next time I make it to the NYC. Any spot dubbed the BEST SUSHI EVER (where she had sushi for dinner and then ordered more for dessert) is worth a visit in my book. Locally, she sticks close to home in the South End with Beehive, Picco, and B&G Oysters. Late night style?? Sophie keeps it real at JJ Foleys, or kicks back for cocktails in the shop with some of her close circle of pals. Likewise, Hughes sticks to the South End when shopping as well, voting Olives & Grace number one for gifts of every kind, Hudson for home decor, and maybe an odd shop display item or accent for her own store, and Follain, just around the corner from Ore, where she stocks up on Ilia lipstick. 

Want to see Sophie Hughes Jewelry and learn more about Ore? Check out her site: http://sophiehughes.com/store-ore/ and look for her goods in the much hyped shops Love Adorned (NYC) and Roseark (LA). 

 

Five Questions with Mon Petit Chou Chou

 

One word that describes you?

No-bullshit ;)

Actress who would play you in the movie of your life?

Marion Cotillard

Your ultimate guilty pleasure?

Macaroni and cheese. As in: straight Kraft, from the box.

If I came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find?

Amazing Grass Green SuperFood mix, fresh peppers in all colors, carrots, kale, cheese, champagne, and almond milk.

Your daily beauty routine:

Hair goes up in a french twist or braid. Coconut oil for moisturizing my face. Light makeup (like Ilia lipstick and RMS cover-up from my neighbor Follain) and mascara. And when I get to the shop, I throw on a spritz of one of our fragrance "testers" - I get to pick a new scent every day!

 


Check out more Interviews here:

Luke Aaron

Tina Burgos

Hannah Blount

Elisha Daniels

 

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Thursday
Apr162015

Mini Rodini Home Debuts

 

Images: Mini Rodini

 

Mini Rodini, Swedish purveyor of all things cool kid's clothes has launched a home line.

New to the cult of Mini Rodini? Think organic, smart design (launched by illustrator Cassandra Rhodin in 2006), and ethical production. Cooler than about 3/4 of the stuff in my own closet.

Let the frenzied buying begin, and I mean it, cause when I tried to snatch up a baby blanket....boom, already sold out.

 

 

Tuesday
Apr142015

Five Questions with Avra Myers of A Ruby & Michelle Willey Pop Up

 

 

Welcome A Ruby, a line of French inspired basics from Avra Myers, one of the many inspiring founders of Club Monaco (a name you may be familiar with.....). Think sleek essentials, your wardrobe building blocks, all at one site that makes it easy to shop and coordinate- perfect for us new mom-types.

You can see the line in person this week at Michelle Willey, where they host Avra herself, as well as the line, in a special Pop Up shop Wednesday April 15th, from 6-8.  You'll also be able to shop the collection in store all weekend long if you can't make the festivities.

I got a sneak peek at the look book, which is killer, and nabbed a quick five questions with Avra herself, lover of white denim, reformed stylish hippie, descended from a long line of creative types......knitters! All the goods below:

 

What did you want to be when you were 15? 

I wanted to be the most stylish hippie, so I took my favorite pair of ripped Levi's and embroidered them in my spare time. Joni Mitchell and Janice Joplin were my idols.  I always thought I’d be a creator of something when I grew up.

Did you always want to design?

I came from a long line of knitters, including my mother, so I started designing and knitting outfits for my Barbie dolls at 8 years old. My favorite look was a pale pink sweater and skirt set - with a matching scarf of course!

What fashion rule do you shamelessly break?

I love wearing white jeans in the winter. 

Your ultimate guilty pleasure? 

Chocolate, White Russians and home shucked oysters from J Hook.

Your three best purchases: 

My vintage Balenciaga bag, my A Ruby Denim Knit Jean and a 1940’s Argentinean pony skin desk chair.

The last book you read:

I just finished reading The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. Right now I’m reading Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. It is one of the most inspiring fashion books I have ever read.

 

 




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