Frockstar™: Alison Stewart

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Your Name:  Alison

Age: Born on the 4th of July and I’ll turn 48 in 2014

Location: New York and sometimes Woodstock, NY

Online homes: @AlisonStewart & my homepage

What are your every day, must-reads, online or off?
My must reads are for my brain:
 NewYorkTimes.com, 10things to know by the AP, Fastcompany.com,NYMag.com For my life: Facebook because my friends are hilarious and post really interesting things. They are my own private curators of the web. Also my 5 year old son’s kindergarten work folder. For fashion:ThePearshape.com, aintnomomjeans.com, Lesleyevers.com For fun: Buzzfeed, Jezebel

What’s you most recent awesome accomplishment?
My book was published! I worked for seven years on a book about the first black public high school in the US. The book is called FIRST CLASS:The Legacy of Dunbar.  This high school produced the greatest generation of African Americans including the first black general, the first black presidential cabinet member, the first popularly elected black senator, the first black federal judge…you get the idea. This all happened during segregation. It is an amazing story of perseverance.  I wore many, many Karina dresses during my book tour b/c they travel so well.

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Who is your hero?
My dad. He’s gone now but I think about him and his wisdom and his great sense of humor every day. He came of age during segregation and he ( and my mom too!) never let it get them down or hold them back.

Who are your style inspirations?
I love the fashion 1940s and early 1960s. In both eras women were feminine with an edge. There was a go-get ‘em attitude during the 40s as more women went to work during the war ( and stayed working). In the 1960s I love all the different shapes and graphics that seemed to bring alive fashion.

Why is it important to love our bodies?
Because it really feels good.

If you could give your 16 year old self advice, what would you say?
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and/or need.

Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it?
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

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Favorite Karina dress (if you have one)
I really like the neckline on the Lauren but I think the Megan might look best on me.

How did you discover Karina Dresses?
Darling store in NYC.

Your perfect day.  What would it look like?
The urban version: 
My son would wake up later than 6am (which he does every day!). We’d play before my husband takes him to school. Once I had I’d take a long shower before heading out to La Maison Du Macaron, where I would sip coffee, eat a macaroon and read the New York Times.  And then I would probably just pick a neighborhood and wander around.  The outdoor version: A hike in the Catskills or near Sedona, AZ.

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Karina Love Letter From Kristin

From: Kirsten M
Date: Mon, Mar 31, 2014 at 5:05 PM
Subject: Your dresses are magic, apparently!
To: lovemykarinadresstore@gmail.com

Hi Karina team–

I recently bought my first-ever Karina dresses–the Rosebloom Gala wrap and the Ruby in navy with large white dots. Now, I have worn a lot of clothing in my life, and I can tell you that almost nothing has gotten the reaction these dresses have gotten.

“You look like a Hollywood movie star!” my acupuncturist said when I showed up in the Ruby on Thursday. This is not a woman given to gushing.

Today, I flew from Denver to Boston in the Rosebloom gala wrap. Two TSA agents, one flight attendant, and one Boston police officer all stopped me to compliment my dress. A woman working at Sephora wanted to know exactly where I had bought it and what it was called: “I need to have it,” she said. Another woman who worked there watched me walk by and said: “The pedicure, the lipstick, the sundress? Yes! More of that!”

Probably 10 other people either looked at the dress and smiled, or said something nice about it. Three different woman (including the woman at Sephora) told me how much they loved the neckline.

As I say, I’ve worn a lot of clothes in my life and I’ve never experienced anything like this. There was something about the dress that seemed to make people genuinely happy–like they were glad it existed in the world.

So, apparently, people love your dresses.

On a personal note, this was an especially nice experience for me. I’ve been dealing with some medication/thyroid issues over the past year, and in the last 12 months I have gained 18 pounds, lost it, gained it again, and am now slowly losing it once more. I bought your dresses because I’ve grown out of most of the clothes in my closet, but yet don’t want to commit to a bigger size. (I’m also hoping to get pregnant as soon as I get my health in order.)

I had no idea it was possible to make a dress that fit multiple sizes…..AND make it flattering at any of those sizes. I love that, no matter what size I am 6 months from now, your dresses are going to be able to take the journey with me.

Plus they pack easily, don’t take up much space, are comfortable and look presentable….they’re an all around hit.

Thanks for making these beautiful, practical things–looking forward to collecting more!

Kirsten

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5 Things to Know About Heirloom Veggies and Heritage Breed Meats

by Laura Parker Roerden

farmheadshotLaura Parker Roerden writes, consults, and speaks about kids’ connection to themselves, each other, and the earth. She directs Ocean Matters, a nonprofit that helps save threatened marine resources. She believes good food can connect us to the earth and one another and thinks today’s young people are reason to be hopeful about the environmental problems facing us. She lives on Jo-Erl Farm, a fifth generation family farm with her husband, three boys, and an assortment of fruit trees and farm animals. You can find her online at Salt from the Earth and on Twitter @LParkerRoerden. Recently she has been looking for the perfect gardening hat to wear with this favorite blue paisley Karina dress.


tomatoessmallerDo you have fond memories of your Grandmother’s chicken soup? Or perhaps it is those tomatoes fresh off the vine from her garden, which you’d eat like an apple, that you pine for?

Somehow it seems nothing we eat today quite compares to the food of yesterday. But bite into an heirloom tomato or have some soup made from a heritage breed chicken and just like in that TV crime drama Cold Case, everything seemingly turns black and white and you are instantly transported into a time in the past, when all food was local and you looked forward to each season’s romantically named tomatoes like Amish Paste, Banana Legs, Box Car Willies, Jersey Devils, and Yellow Stuffers as if they were old friends coming for dinner.

Why Heirlooms and Heritages?
The words heirloom and heritage have become part of high-end food parlance, rolling off waiter’s tongues paired with farm names as shorthand for local, sustainable, and delicious; and often expensive. But what exactly is it we are purchasing?

heirloom seed packetssmaller

1. Heirlooms and Heritages refer to varieties used in the past; now endangered by factory farming, which focuses on single varieties or breeds to the exclusion of others.

Definitions of heirlooms and heritage vary, but essentially both heirloom varieties and heritage breeds refer to varieties from the past that are endangered for extinction because of disuse.

haywagonsmallerWithin the past 15 years, 190 breeds of farm animals have gone extinct worldwide, and there are currently 1,500 others at risk of becoming extinct. Almost 96% of the commercial vegetable varieties available in 1903 are now extinct. Of those that are left, lists are maintained to tell farmers which varieties and breeds are in most danger of extinction and therefore most needed to be grown. But no one regulates this. It’s all up to the farmers and their good will to take up the charge of bringing back these options for our table. And this comes at a premium price for the farmer, as well, which must translate into premiums at market for the consumer.

2. Growing heirlooms and heritages restores diversity to our food supply.
Commercial farmers’ over reliance on one variety or breed exposes our food supply to the risk that a single pathogen could single-handedly wipe out an entire season’s yield. By adding diversity back into the system, as nature intended it, heritage breed and heirloom variety farmers are spreading that risk over many different varieties.

carrotssmaller3. They are more disease resistant and vigorous.
Heritage animals were bred over time to develop traits that made them particularly well-adapted to local environmental conditions. Breeds used in industrial agriculture are bred to produce lots of milk or eggs, gain weight quickly, or yield particular types of meat within confined (and thereby removed from environmental factors) in factory-like facilities. By focusing on heritage breeds or heirloom varieties, farmers help to preserve valuable traits within the species so that future breeds or varieties can endure harsh conditions.

4. They benefit the environment.
Heirloom farmers tend to grow organically, so you’re more likely to support a sustainable agricultural process, while also keeping pesticides out of your diet. And by growing different varieties of vegetables, for example, minerals and other nutrients in the soil are maintained at optimal levels.

“It was like eating meat for the first time.” — Jo-Erl Farm costumer

Eggs from our heritage breed chickens come in colors that bring to mind paint chips.

Eggs from Jo-Erl Farm’s heritage breed chickens come in colors that bring to mind sea glass.

5. They’re tastier and more nutritious than newer hybrid varieties.
Breeding to increase production and yield most often comes at the trade-off of other qualities such as flavor, texture, nutrition, and even aesthetics. You might even find you eat less as your true hunger is more completely satiated and your senses awakened by the look, taste and feel of food grown the way nature herself intended it.

So the next time you’re given the choice, give heirloom vegetables and heritage breed meats a try. And let us know what you discover at Salt from the Earth!

 

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Offering Delight: A Simple Rule For Living

Photo-of-Rosie-KKW-luncheon--125x125Author, Speaker, and Educator Rosie Molinary empowers women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world.  She is the author of Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance and Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina.  You can find her at RosieMolinary, on Twitter, and on  Facebook.  These days, she’s showing up in classrooms and meetings in her Karina Megan dress in Rosebloom.


offering delight

I was in college when I learned one of the principles that still guides me today. Visiting with a friend down the hall, I commented on a beautiful piece of artwork she had framed on her desk, a delicate rendering of flowers with an inspirational saying woven in between petals.

“Oh, thank you,” she answered, looking at the piece as if for the first time.

An hour later, there was a knock on my door. My hallmate came in with the framed work in her hands.

“I want you to have this. I’ve enjoyed it for a lot of years, but I had forgotten about it until you said something. I think it is meant for you now.”

Speechless, I hugged her and found the perfect spot for it in my room. I read it every morning for years.  Those words just felt like they were meant for me.

photo[2]That offering ended up creating a practice I follow today.  We e experience joy when we see something we once loved or used being loved or used by someone new. Now, when I am no longer enjoying something as much as I once did, I give it to someone else who might find joy from or a need for it now.  Now, for every item that comes into my home, I make the commitment that at least one item has to go.

For almost twenty years, I have followed this one in, one out rule. For clothing, I keep a bag hanging on the back of my closet door to collect items that I am giving away to make room for what I have purchased or have been given. When a fair amount has been collected, I go through the pieces to see if there is something that someone in my life would enjoy having and then divide up the other items for drop-off at my usual donation sites. Occasionally, I’ll consign some items if I am feeling a little guilt about not having worn them too much.  For household goods and toys, I keep a box in the hallway closet. As it fills, I load it in the car and make the pertinent drops.  It is a process that keeps me mindful of not over-consuming and of sharing, values that are important to me to be living.  Moreover, it’s a process that helps me to keeps things organized and in order as I go.  Nice lessons learned, yes, but perhaps what my hallmate’s generosity most concretely taught me is that the greatest delight available to us very rarely comes when we receive.  Delight, she modeled, is maybe even more amazing when you share.

 

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xojane.com Feature: Spring Essentials Include Karina Dresses

Well, xojane.com spilled the beans! Karina loves to make real women feel beautiful! Now, that wasn’t much of a secret, was it?

“They are legitimately my favorite dresses in the entire world — I probably own 20 of them. Karina is a local Brooklyn designer — I buy her stuff at Flirt Boutique in Park Slope, but you can get some styles online, and she recently started selling a few pieces on Modcloth.

The dresses are made of a stretchy fabric that is extremely flattering to curves, and since it’s wrinkle-free, you can just toss these dresses in a suitcase and go. The shapes are basic and the prints are gorgeous — she’s doing a lot of florals for spring and there are always polka dots, which I’m drawn to like a moth to flame. My favorite style for warmer weather is probably the Penelope, which is sleeveless WITH POCKETS…Karina also shows her dresses on lots of different body types and age groups, which is rad. She really loves to make real women look beautiful.”

We are thrilled to have been featured on xojane.com by the lovely Emily! There’s no denying that “The Easy Dress” should be considered a Spring essential. Who doesn’t love a dress that packs well, doesn’t need to be ironed and has bonus pockets? Emily is crazy for Spring prints and polka dots. She has featured Penelope, Megan, Ruby and Nora among others! We couldn’t agree more, Karina Dresses are the ultimate “Easy Dress” Spring must have!

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Frockstar™: Jennifer Suter

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Your Name:
Jennifer Suter

Age:
How old do you think I am? (It’s more fun this way)

Location:
Currently Tallinn, Estonia. I enjoy traveling whenever the opportunity arises.

Online homes:
Sincerely Suter, @SincerelySuter, My Facebook Page, My Blog and on Linkedin

What are your every day, must-reads, online or off?
E-mails and scripts aplenty! For leisure, I grab whatever is of interest to me at the time, currently Dr. Richard Carlson’s You Can Be Happy No Matter What before that it was Tess Gerritsen’s The Bone Garden.

What’s you most recent awesome accomplishment?
Moving to NYC a month ago on a quasi-whim

Suter_Theatre-How_I_Became_a_Pirate

Who is your hero?
Anyone who has faced adversity and keeps living life to the best of their ability (a.k.a. almost everyone who chooses to get up in the morning and actively appreciate the people around them as well as the life they’ve created with the cards they’ve been dealt)

Who are your style inspirations?
No one in particular, I’m a cute and comfortable style gal—if it fits, feels good, and looks good then it’s a go.

Why is it important to love our bodies?
With the everlasting pressures and influences building up over a lifetime of exposure to the “ideal” body type, it is important for men and women to accept their body and learn to love it because each body is a beautiful and marvelous creation. Bodies take one heck of a beating over a lifetime; they should be loved and appreciated.

If you could give your 16 year old self advice, what would you say?
It’s going to be okay. (and) Listen.

Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it?
I have many, but one of the pillars is: “All I know is that I know nothing” –Socrates

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Favorite Karina dress (if you have one):
They’re all fabulous, but right now: Nora!

How did you discover Karina Dresses?
Initially through Craigslist

Your perfect day. What would it look like?
Waking up next to the person I love, getting up early to see the sunrise over the ocean; cooking/enjoying delicious food with family and friends, dancing in partly cloudy sun-showers midday, watching the sunset in the evening, walking through the middle of the street to look up at the stars at night; exploring the world around me.

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