By Mary Katherine Leslie-Van Hook
Photos by Kendra Jones
A memorable Saturday is: eyeing adornments and garments conceived by kick ass designers while snacking on cotton candy and sipping champagne.
That’s me. I’m quietly freaking out over how beautiful the WHIT collection was whilst enjoying orange cotton candy because, Saturday.
The SCFD Happy Hour at the Martine Chaisson Gallery, commencing BrandShop’s first New Orleans visit was the perfect finale to a weekend of speakers, wellness, and of course, shopping. The crew at SCFD was tickled by the opportunity to unwind after the festivities and spend time with some of the amazing women behind the weekend’s brands.
I loved chatting with all the vendors but was especially taken by the women of Fernweh, an artisan jewelry group with designs inspired by travel. Amelia and Rachel are incredibly passionate about their pieces and recognize the responsibility of incorporating culture into their designs. Their latest collection pays homage to Mexico with bold colors and splashes of rich textiles.
We ooh’d and ahh’d over so many of their pieces. Show-stoppers. BONUS: 2.5% of each sale is reinvested back into a microfinancing program for the women who crafted the pieces in Mexico.
Speaking of textiles that made me swoon, I seriously enjoyed talking to Sara Rossi of Beau & Ro who shared stories of her shoes and accessories that are constructed from European tapestries. It doesn’t get more one of kind than that.
“These are great conversation starters,” said Sara. I’ll say.
Next, I visited with Jane of Jane Pope Jewelry who is a recent transplant to the town of Spartanburg in South Carolina. Not only is she an artist in her own right (not to mention featured in Vogue, Refinery 29, Matchbook Magazine and on The Today Show), but a mover and a shaker in the fine jewelry world who manages to maintain boss babe status all while supporting and loving her husband and kids. I have a 14 karat gold crush on her.
By this time the champagne bubbles were making me sleepy so I took a seat next the ladies of Rothy. They shared the good news of their ridiculously comfortable, chic, and environmentally friendly flats. Founded by men who were tired of hearing their wives complain about their footwear quietly crushing their souls with each step (sounds familiar?), the shoes were created to fill a void in the market. I’m probably going to order 3 pairs this afternoon because their comfort level is basically a practical joke.
Another lady we all just loved is Brooklyn-based Alexis Mera. Her athleisure and activewear label was spotted on quite a few of the most fashion forward girls in the room and immediately we all agreed she's figured out how to make workout attire extraordinarily hip.
Cheers to a fantastic weekend, new friends, and incredible finds from around the country and world! We loved sharing our Saturday with you, BrandShop!