Lesson I’m Always Learning | Nikki and Erica of Yes Way Rosé

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Nikki + Erica

Since starting Yes Way Rosé we have learned countless lessons, but the one we both continue to learn is that anything is possible so it’s best to dream big.  As best friends we have been able to experience the magic that’s happened with our business together and both serve as witnesses of what can be accomplished when you don’t set limits and maintain a positive approach. Three years ago we could of never imagined that our involvement in wine would have gone from casually drinking it over dinners to having a bottle of our own. Of course there‘s a lot of hard work that goes into it, and there are going to be naysayers and unexpected obstacles along the way (nothing is perfect…another lesson!), but it’s all part of this beautiful experience. The only way to know what’s possible is by going for it, so believe in yourself and be open to where your creative mind can take you.

Nikki Huganir and Erica Blumenthal are the founders of Yes Way Rosé, everyone’s favorite wine lovin’ brand. They make totes, tee’s and now, their very own rosé, Summer Water

Lesson I’m Always Learning | Olivia and Nicole of Waiting For Saturday

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Olivia:

The lesson I’m always learning…this is a tougher question than you’d think because of course I’m learning lessons everyday, but I guess the one that seems to be a thematic, recurring one is to slow down. Ironic seeing as this project, Waiting For Saturday, is all about finding balance. Somehow more work DOES seem to balance me, especially because the work we do for WFS is a true passion project.

So maybe when I tell myself to slow down, I don’t mean it in the “do less” sense, I mean being more present, not looking at the clock every 15 minutes, taking a step back and lending uninterrupted focus to a task. It’s so hard, takes so much discipline — but the people I admire most, the work I really aspire to create, is precisely that: calm and confident. I haven’t gotten there yet. 

Nicole:

The lesson I’m always learning… is to trust my intuition. For me that means trusting I have access to a way of knowing something that doesn’t always have to be rooted in reason. You know those moments when later down the road you discover that you actually had the right idea from the very beginning? I do…and I’m beginning to understand that a large portion of my creativity and inspiration seems to come from a place of knowing that’s closer to my bones rather then somewhere in my head. This is my lesson, and takes both learning and an unlearning at the same time (easier said than done, so I’ll keep practicing). 

Olivia Villanti and Nicole Benuska are the founders of Waiting for Saturday, a website dedicated to off duty style. Olivia and Nicole meet with awesome and inspiring women when they’re OOO and get to know them through their weekend rituals. It’s one of our favorite blogs to peruse on a lazy Saturday morning (or any day of the week!). 

Mother Wisdom

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Barbara Justiz

When I was in 4th grade we learned about the suffragettes and the women’s right-to-vote movement, and I was PISSED. Not at the suffragettes, of course, but at the fact that this inequality existed and that it existed in the not-so-distant past. Nothing in my 9 long years of life experience had suggested that such a thing was even possible. I did not take it well, nor quietly, and my vocalizations earned me a swift trip to the principals office. But this utter shock of mine was testament to the way my mother raised me. I was taught that women are strong, powerful, and, I guess if I am honest, were in fact the superior gender. It was something I was brought up knowing, and to find that there was a time when this was not common knowledge deeply affected me. And this is the narrative I ascribed to that experience for nearly 20 years. But over the past few years, when I really reflected, a deeper and more intimate and personal lesson has begun to occur to me: a lesson about the woman who raised me, and her bravery and courage in the face of impediments, and  the world-view that she passed on to me, her only daughter.

In her mostly male-dominated, stressful, high-powered career, my mother worked hard to ensure a level of abundance and security for her family, an indefatigable drive that began when she was 15 years old, and her father died suddenly, leaving her own mother alone with four children to care for. My mother, in seeing the difficulty and struggle my grandmother went through to provide and to ensure stability for her children, determined to become self-sufficient. She worked her way through school, didn’t shy away from taking on responsibility in her career, and earned the admiration and respect of her peers. Truth be told, as a result of this ambition, for much of my life she was incredibly stressed. She put enormous pressure on herself to never let any aspect of life slip, and to be everything to everyone: a perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, and employee. She rarely stopped to ask herself what she really wanted, if she was happy, if maybe she needed a nap.

But lately, I am witnessing her go through a renaissance, seeing her release fears, and gravitate to what really inspires her. The pain that she felt from that sudden shock so many years ago, that tremendous impact that influenced so many of her subsequent choices, is loosening its grip. Now talks of greenhouses, opening a restaurant, and cross-country moves are regular. There are new recipes to try every time I go home, daily journaling, and gardening. Watching her transition into a grandmother is monumental; I see a new life emerging for her, a beauty and a happiness that is radiant. As an adult, now with a family of my own, as I try to navigate the uncertainties and stresses of life, I find myself learning from her more now then ever before. She is giving me strength to be brave and to take risks, and is showing by example that there are many acts in life.


Beverly Duckworth

‘You are responsible for your own happiness.’

When I came to my mother with a problem, she would offer me a sweet cup of tea, look me in the eyes with love and support and then clearly state that it was my responsibility to change anything that was making me unhappy. I could not look at people with sadness and expect them to change. I could not complain about a problem and expect it to disappear. I could not admire my joyful friends and expect to catch their happiness like it was contagious. It was my job to find my joy — and it would likely be lifelong effort. I’ve come to realize that not everyone was raised with same level of encouragement for the pursuit of happiness and I am eternally grateful to my mother for impressing on me that not only did I deserve happiness, but it was my duty to create it.

When I was younger, I saw being responsible for my own happiness as a way out of any problem. It gave me control and agency in situations where I felt powerless and sorrowful. It was the boost I needed to gather my courage and leave that job/relationship/class/apartment that was causing me angst and stress.

After graduating college and entering the ‘real world’, I realized that being responsible for my own happiness was about more than freeing myself from the negative influences in my life. It was about my commitment to self care. Slowly but surely, I learned to invest in the big and little things that were good for me. As I embraced self-care, I took more and more responsibility for my own well being and the ways in which I failed to supply myself with the opportunity for happiness.

I’m still discovering the many layers that this lesson has to offer. Most recently, I’ve been inspired by what it teaches me about choice. Sometimes, life throws things at you that you simply cannot escape or change. Hardships that no amount of therapy or exercise or self care will cure. When those things happen, how can I be expected to take charge of my own happiness? When I’m faced with a deep, dark, unchangeable sadness, how can I be held responsible for something as far out of my reach as joy? During these times, I look to my mother and I see just how much I have to learn. I admire how she has taken this mantra to its highest height. How she has taught herself to find joy and value in every moment. How she has instilled in herself the ability to come to each day and choose happiness time and time again.

Lesson I’m Always Learning | Rawan Rihani of Aurora Botanicals

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As Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham say, “Go your own way!”

Don’t compare yourself to others because everyone’s experience is unique and totally different and there are different roads and paths for everyone. It’s ok to have muses/people to look up to and role models for inspiration, but it’s also important not to compare yourself to others. You are unique and everyone has there own time, their own unique experience, unique beliefs, unique mantras. And your individuality is important. To be original and authentic means you’ll have authentic relationships with your work and the people around you. 

Also, do your best work, no matter what it is! 

Also, surround yourself with authentic and positive people. 🙂 

Rawan is an artist, designer and the founder of the dreamy floral design company Aurora Botanica. She makes a flower crown like no other, teaches incredible workshops and she is the floral guru for Stone Fox Bride.

 
(P.S. See our interview with Stone Fox Bride founder, Molly Guy, here!)

Lesson I’m Always Learning | Maya Jankelowitz of Jack’s Wife Freda

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“Every day you get a reminder to never take anything for granted, that you have to work even harder than yesterday, and that everyday someone will surprise you in the most unlikely way- for better or worse, learn lessons, grow, and just keep going!”

Maya and her husband opened the cozy, cool and truly delicious restaurantJack’s Wife Freda, in SoHo in 2011. Their second location opened on Carmine Street this year. She is a mama of two and an awesomely stylish lady boss.  

Lesson I’m Always Learning | Katie Deedy of Grow House Grow

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“I think, when you’re young, you tend to believe you’ll grow up to “make it” in some way.  Whatever it is for you–a successful career, an ideal family, the house of your dreams…it can manifest itself in so many different ways.  When I started Grow House Grow in 2007, my idea of “making it” was to be big.  I wanted to be the next Marimekko (and I still do!).  But the one thing I’m always, always learning is that life doesn’t travel in one straight line between hope and reality.  There are kids, recessions, fallbacks, and hiccups.  It doesn’t mean you won’t hit that end goal, but it forces you to change your perspective on what it is you really want and when you want it.  It’s not always easy, but I’m happier now that I’m able to find peace and appreciation for exactly where I am, and not where I want to be. “

<3 Katie 

Katie Deedy is the owner, illustrator and designer of Grow House Grow, a Brooklyn based company specializing in handprinted narrative-inspired wallpaper design . @growhousegrow

Lesson I’m Always Learning | Ophira and Tali, The Astrotwins

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“Let desire be your guiding force. Does it light you up? Does it turn you on? Forget the deprivation mindset. If something excites you, it’s probably worth pursuing — even if pulling that thread simply unravels the illusions you have about your limits.” 

 

Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are identical twin sisters and professional astrologers. Their spot-on predictions reach millions of people through their website, Astrostyle.com & their web series “Astrologica” on Refinery29.com.

Lesson I’m Always Learning | Latham Thomas

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The lesson I stay in awe of is surrender and embrace of the darkness. You know…the soul and the soil mirror each other. What’s beneath the surface and intricate in composition. Dwelling in the darkness and giving rise to the light. I come from a lineage of people who trusted the soil like they trust God, a people who could grow anything. My grandfather taught me how to grow my first plant in a little plastic cup and told me that faith is what makes it grow. And we know all things grow in the dark- visions, dreams, babies, plants, star system, galaxies…everything grows in the darkness of yin, that power of Shakti reigning in eternal dance with Shiva. That is my constant lesson- trust the deep divine darkness. So I keep myself engaged in a spiritual life that allows me to explore the recessed and hidden dimensions of life’s miracles through birth and other sacred pathways of power.

Xo

Latham 

Latham Thomas is a maternity lifestyle maven, wellness & birth coach, and yogi on the vanguard of transforming the maternal wellness movement. A graduate of Columbia University & The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, Latham is the founder of Mama Glow– a holistic lifestyle hub for women to explore their creative edge through wellbeing. Her practice provides support to pre/postnatal women along their journey to motherhood offering culinary and nutritional services, yoga, and birth coaching services.