Under The Sea

model | Han Hye-jin
photo | Lee Gun-ho
   stylist | Seo Young-hee
 issue | Vogue Korea

This month's issue of Vogue Korea is absolutely breathtaking. This innovative shoot makes me want to put on 'The Little Mermaid' soundtrack and then go for a swim. Han Hye-jin is gorgeous and super fierce in this shoot. Be sure to check out Vogue Korea whenever you have a chance, they have sooooo many interesting editorials. 


Sand Art

images via google
Location: Vancouver, BC

Meet the Talented Sisters Behind karenjess

I recently got the chance to interview the lovely ladies that are behind karenjess. I wrote an article on the up-and-coming brand for DISfunkshion magazine, but there was so much information I was unable to add! Here's the uncut interview. These girls are talented, extremely rad, and super nice. They've accomplished so much and I really can't wait to see the amazing things that they're going to accomplish in the future!

How did the name karenjess originate? 
The original name was tiki tiki treasures … way back when Karen was making a lot of beach inspired beaded jewelry. Once she started focusing on shells she wanted a name that was simple and not corny sounding! Karen is her first name and Jess is her middle name. 

Have you and your sister always been world travelers with a love for the ocean? 
Yes! We both started traveling right out of highschool. We had the amazing opportunity to travel the world as fashion models. We lived and worked in Japan, Australia, Italy, New York, LA and our hometown Vancouver, BC. Years of being exposed and influenced by the fashion industry really sparked our desire to create our own brand and make it true to who we are. We love the creativity it sparked, as well as the networking opportunities. 

Growing up on the West Coast in beautiful Vancouver, we have been so lucky to have the ocean right there. Love the sand in our toes and ocean wind in our hair! Karen currently lives in Kitsilano blocks from the beach and I (Heather) am in Tofino, living the summer surf dream! We have also collected quite the collection of seashells from our travels!

Who would you say that your target audience is? Who are you trying to appeal to most? 
Beach lovers! Free spirits! We appeal to all ages of women because the pieces are timeless and are not driven by fleeting trends. Anyone with a connection to the ocean loves our pieces. There is a bit of an emotional connection for people and where the shells come from and their memories of these places. 

What is the mission of KarenJess? Do you wish to hope, to inspire?
The mission of karenjess is to create timeless pieces of jewelry that channel our love and passion for the sea and sand and have them connect with women around the world. We will always stay true to the core of the brand and never be swayed by fleeting trends. We wish to inspire women to cherish simple moments like dipping your toes in the ocean and living a full life full of dreams and adventures! 

Did either of you go to school? If so, what did you major in and why?
Karen studied Retail Marketing and completed two Diplomas in Business and Publishing. She has always been the creative twin and has held jobs such as merchandising, window display design and currently is the Retail Marketing Coordinator at TOMS shoes. Karenjess is worked on the weekends and evenings whenever she has a spare minute to head to her studio. 

I completed by Business Administration Degree and Marketing Communications Diploma. My background is fashion/action sport marketing and have held jobs such as events manager, marketing manager etc. I currently left the city behind and moved to Tofino to focus on the brand and be inspired! 

How do you explain the balance of taking something so organic as a shell and using metal to replicate that image? 
Each piece is pretty bold, weight and size but it carries a whimsical feel from being created from a fragile shell. The original form of the shell is so beautiful once casted and you can still see every imperfection! The pieces make people look twice because it has not been done and is such a rare yet simple idea. 

What made you want to cast shells? 
Love for shells. Karen played around with making jewelry out of real shells for a bit but then wanted to have something that was more sturdy to last longer and a sleeker look that required more advanced skills. A piece that would last forever and carry that memory. Not like string a shell on a piece of rope, that you would eventually lose or forget about. 

Would you say that each shell tells a story?
Yes, each shell tells a story of where it came from and what caught the eye to make you pick it up and take it home. We have been lucky to have friends who travel to beautiful beaches and always bring us back some treasures! It is so natural to beachcomb and take a piece of the beach home with you to remember your toes in the sand and sun on your face! 

Obviously you guys have had some pretty amazing opportunities all across the board. What was it like working with Mila Franovic?
Mila is amazing! Such a talented girl and a big personality that you instantly fall in love with! We worked with her years ago on a fashion shoot we were modeling for and knew her through the Vancouver fashion scene. She recently contacted us to style our latest shoot, which was flattering! She is so creative, smart and a riot to work with. So stoked she was eager to help and be apart of this dream. It’s so cool to work with people who believe in you so much! Matthew Burditt was our talented photographer on the shoot and was able to perfectly capture the karenjess brand. Even experimenting shooting through beach glass! 

What work did you do with Ocean Gybe? 
Ocean Gybe was a great partnership because it allowed us to give back and support a rad cause. These guys circumnavigated the world to raise awareness and report back on the state of the beaches. They beachcombed along the way and brought back a beautiful shell from South Africa which we casted in bronze to give as a reward for their kickstarter.com campaign. We are always looking for opportunities to help protect our oceans and beaches. 

What was it like working with Rip Curl? Do you have any images of the trophies you made? and 
So cool! It was our second year in a row. The idea of making trophies for the women winners of surf competitions came to Karen way back when she first started experimenting making shell jewelry. I just thought it would be so unique for the athletes to receive a shell necklace from an actual shell beachcombed off the beach where the competition was taking place. It was a huge milestone for us! Such a strong brand and to be apart of the leading surf competition in Canada was pretty insane! We also created the trophy necklaces for an all women’s surf competition in Tofino called Queen of the Peak! Would love to continue to expand our involvement in surf comps around the world! 

Lastly, do either of you surf?
Yes! We love it! Still rookies but we're getting out there and committing to improving! It has been incredible living in Tofino and going out each day and just loving being out in the water! Especially sunset surfs at Cox Bay it's beautiful! 

Be sure to "shell out" for karenjess by liking their Facebook page

images via karenjess

Good Daze

model | Maggie Vitelli (IMG)
photo | Ben Cope & Derek Perlman
styling | Sydney & Jessica Bracho
Holy hell.
Unif just released their "Good Daze" lookbook  and I am in love! The 90's elements really tie the 
whole book together and I can definitely see myself wearing this entire collection all summer long.
And I'd really like to be spinning in that egg chair while wearing it all haha. 


Buttermilk Vanilla Pound Cake

image via Danielle Kartes
Just in time for the fourth this wonderful lady has done it again! Danielle Kartes has come up with a delicious recipe for pound cake. It's light and delicious  so it's perfect for this holiday! Hopefully you have the opportunity to share it with your friends and family. I'm off to a little get together with some co-workers. Happy Fourth!

  • ¾ cup canola or light olive oil
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 ½ Cups Sugar or evaporated cane juice
  • 5 eggs
  • ¾ tsp. Sea salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 2 ¼ cups All Purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder

Pre Heat oven to 350 F
Mix all wet ingredients until they just come together. Slowly add the 
flour, salt and baking powder until the mixture just comes together, 
don’t over mix.
Bake in a buttered and floured Bundt or Loaf pan for 45-55 minutes
 or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean when 
inserted in the deepest part of the cake.
Serve with fresh cream and berries.

Location: Vancouver, BC

My first article for DISfunkshion!

I recently started writing for DISfunkshion Magazine! I was initially attracted to them because of the publications free spirited vibes. They really support innovative individuals and their site has nothing but inspiring content. Each one of their articles make me want to sing to the world about these indie designers and businesses. They're all doing so many amazing things!

The first article I wrote was about the super amazing company called Karen Jess. I'll post the interview I did with them later, but for now check out my kick ass article by clicking here!