Travel: Santa Barbara Sept. 2012

While Dustin was busy (I mean BUSY) on the physical installation of the current interiors, I went away with my family to the beaches and always perfect weather of Santa Barbara.  Ever since I had my baby two years ago, Dustin has been the anchor of the boutique’s physical transformation.  No longer are we alone painting until 4:00 am only to be back at work for the day at 10:00 am.  This is partly a function of our growth (we can hire it out now) and the fact that I’m a mom and family time is sacred.  Needless to say Dustin, Hitchcock Madrona’s co-owner and my cousin extraordinaire, was working ’round the clock for a solid week.  Dustin managed a cast of painters, carpenters, videographers (yes, we filmed it!), and electricians who worked to bring our current concept to life.  I am working on the blog post tracking Dustin’s inspirational road trip, as well as the new concept.

For now, here are some images of me off duty.  Why is this interesting blog fodder?  I thought it might be a good time to talk about the concept of “second skin jewelry”.  This is a term I came up with to describe jewelry that you can live in comfortably.  It stays on your body and becomes a part of you, like a second skin.  A classic example would be the Cartier love bracelet.  People wear those (they don’t come off easily) for years and years – remarkably, even decades.  I love that concept!

Butterfly Beach.  Men’s Gap shirt bought on sale and white shorts purchased at a consignment store.

Me and my baby!

We visited Underwood Family Farm in Somis, CA to play in the sandbox, feed some animals, and stock up on fresh food for our week.  As you can see, I relied on my vintage red polka-dot bandana for easy mornings.  Do I look authentic?  Fooled you – I’m actually a city-girl-farm-poser.  I am wearing a Target t-shirt and Double RL jeans (aka paid a lot of money for those holes!).

YUM

You can classify a piece as “second skin” jewelry if it fits one or more of these requirements.  Can you 1) sleep with it on? 2) swiftly pass an airport metal detector? 3) shower, bathe or swim with it on? 4) wear it to the gym?  All of these requirements can be met if the piece of jewelry is stylistically small and unobtrusive.  It also needs to be made from genuine materials, such as gold, sterling silver, and precious stones.  Precious stones usually rate high on the hardness scale and are quite tough.

Above are my second skin necklaces: Gold #2 by Code Lulu Frost (you can hardly see it in this photo) and gold, diamond and sterling silver heart by Hitchcock Madrona (see detail below).

Yellow gold filled bangle cuffs by hitchcock Madrona.  Literally, I have not taken these off for months.  We are sold out of the first shipment but more are on the way!  Sterling silver, rose and yellow gold filled available.

Delicate 18K gold ring by hitchcock Madrona (middle finger).  I am also wearing my faux diamond wedding ring I like to take traveling.

A new version of my heart necklace (from first NYC post) – I added a little diamond on the top left corner (when right-side-up) to symbolize the position of your heart.

Goats in the sky!  It was amazing how the goats negotiate the 15 foot high ramps crisscrossing the farmyard.

XOXO

Erica


Hitchcock Madrona in NYC: Day 1

Here are some photos from our September adventures in New York. Technically we were there to look at spring/summer 2013 collections and place our orders. We did that, don’t get me wrong, but we also stopped at our favorite NYC boutiques. There is no place in the world to shop like New York. Thankfully, we only go there once or twice a year!

Dustin and a colorful wall a la NYC.

Erica lounging on the street waiting for Comme des Garcon to open. Classy!

Fabric details inside Comme des Garcons. Can I have one of each?

Our first meeting was with a new artist (to us) the expert milliner, Lisa Battagila. We are so excited to carry her hats next spring.  Watch the blog – we may be able to get a few fall/winter styles in time for holiday. She hand makes all of her hats in her Brooklyn studio. We have been looking for the perfect hat designer for some years now! Lisa’s marketing team contacted us a few months ago. We really wanted to see the line in person so we set up a meeting while we were in NYC. After seeing the quality craftsmanship and classic (with a twist) designs of her hats we felt her line is a great fit for our boutique.

Erica, Lisa, and Dustin. We are wearing Lisa’s hats, of course!

We happened upon a button/trimmings store after our meeting with Lisa. The garment district is full of these supply houses open to wholesale only. This is Dustin’s idea of heaven! Everything in the store was made in Italy (yum, yes please!). We picked up a few button styles for the cardigans and blazers we are launching this fall.

Dustin buying buttons and buttons and buttons and toggles and buttons and webbing and webbing and buttons.

Then it was off to visit our friends at Lulu Frost jewelry. Lulu Frost Jewelry = friendly people, an inspiring environment and gorgeous jewels. We have been working with them since the very beginning (remember the original Plaza Hotel numbers!?) and it is a pleasure to stop by the showroom/studio every time we are in New York.

Dustin with Lisa, owner and designer of Lulu Frost Jewelry.

Lulu Frost Showroom/Studio.

Erica wearing new spring styles from Lulu Frost in the showroom. I need this, right??

Dustin working with Sandra (she is such a doll!) on our spring/summer order.

Our last appointment on day one was at w29showroom. W29showroom represents clothing and accessory lines that are progressive and hip.  Susanne, the showroom owner, is so cool and Swedish! We bonded over our Scandinavian roots and love for fashion. I wish I got a picture of the sequin jeans she was wearing! We worked for about three hours writing orders for IOSSELLIANI, IOSSELLIANI fine jewelry (yes, that is coming!), and Michael Spirito.  Luckily, Susanne offered us amazing “Justin’s Peanut Butter Bars”, grapes, and water.

Dustin and Susanne.

Spring/Summer 2013 by Michael Spirito in w29showroom.

Dinner day 1.

Three meetings, a little Comme des Garcon, and button buying for day one in New York!

XOXO

Erica