What projects are you currently working on/will be working on?
I have so many projects and ideas that I hope to bring to life within the next year: a line of essential oils, custom hand-made guitar straps, a dreamcatcher art installation, and a blog where I talk about my travels, design process, inspirations, muses, musical obsessions, art, etc. While I will continue to freelance fashion and floral design locally, my newest and most exciting project is my first collection of clothes and accessories inspired by Linda Perhacs' 1970 album, Parallelograms (Incredible, life-changing album—if you haven't heard it, change that right away), due to be completed and showcased, I hope, next Spring! I'm also working on some exciting collaborations with my wonderful and talented friends, Allie ( https://www.etsy.com/shop/moonaquarian or moonsiren.tumblr.com) and Rawan (http://rawanrihani.blogspot.com/). And then, of course, there's my Etsy, Wadulisi, where I'll continue to hunt down groovy vintage pieces and create jewelry and accessories inspired by my Native American roots, dreams, and the elements!
My grandmother, definitely. I used to dig through her closet and jewelry boxes as a child and dress up in all her 70s and 80s garb while dancing to Prince and then set aside all the things I wanted for when I was older. I've always been fascinated with anything old; worn out materials, tarnished silver, dusty rings, the smell of old leather, faded photographs... My love has only since flourished.
My work schedule is like_______
Always different depending on the amount of work I have and how inspired I feel. I work from home whether I'm freelancing for a company/client, or just working on orders for my store or collection, so I have sort of my own schedule. I like to work all late afternoon, through the sunset, and up until sunrise only breaking for tea and to flip the current playing record over. I sometimes hole up in my office for 24 hours straight with the right dosage of inspiration and green tea, and other days I'm completely unmotivated and spend hours on wasting away on Pinterest and Netflix. I'm a total nocturnal night owl so I love creating at night and using the daytime for gathering inspiration with mellow walks in the park to the Prospect Park lake where I like to sit and sketch, write or take pictures, and just totally zen out.
How do you go about finding perfect items for your shop?
As far as vintage goes, I have a code; it has to be something I could imagine my grandmother, a 60s/70s groupie babe, or Stevie Nicks wearing. For my creations, I like creating pieces that are one-of-a-kind, made from the heart, and have an element of nature running through them.
Care-free, un-planned, crazy, and constantly changing. I spend most of my days daydreaming, playing with flowers, searching for answers in a deck of tarot cards, writing, creating something that did not exist in the previous day, studying nature, watching things grow (people, flowers, hearts, etc), breathing in the earth and taking each day as it comes. I also like to follow Stevie Nicks around the country and have monthly escapes from city life to places I've never been or places with my memories rooted deep in the soil. I have beautiful, talented, and inspiring friends all over the country that I'm always visiting—My friends mean the world to me and keep me sane and grounded so when I'm not working or on the move somewhere, I'm most often with them having deep, long talks pondering the complexities of life, chatting about how much dating sucks, and discussing goals and aspirations over margaritas. Life is crazy-beautiful and I'm so blessed to be doing what I love surrounded by really amazing people, but I always try to remember to not take anything too seriously, stay true to myself, be kind to others.
Beyond vintage items, you also hand-make really beautiful accessories and wall decor (flower crowns/dreamcatcher/jewelry) - what inspired this/ who do you create/curate for
I grew up making little accessories and dreamcatchers for fun. I would dig up arrowheads and crystals, pick gardenias, and collect fallen feathers in the mountains and valleys in North Carolina or the Southern countryside. When I moved to NYC and got caught up in the fashion industry, I ended up making these things that I once loved and cherished for companies and selling out my work and it wasn't fun or fulfilling me creatively anymore. I like the idea of creating items that are one-of-a-kind and special for the flower children, music bums, artists, nomads, and lovely people of our world that appreciate the heart, story, and work behind each piece.
Is it true you met Pamela Love?
Yes, I did! She was in a couple of photo shoots I worked on with Stone Fox Bride and I also photographed her in her studio for this blog post (http://stonefoxbride.com/blog/?p=1099). Her aesthetic, work and studio are all just as beautiful as she is.
5 Things that Heal me/help you relax
Bodies of water
What was your favorite show?
This is so hard!! I have seen Stevie Nicks upwards of 15 times, but Stevie at The Fillmore San Francisco in 2011, is definitely one of my favorites—if not my favorite of all time. I was right under Stevie's mic at one of the most enchanting and hauntingly beautiful and historic venues... She winked and smiled at me during her song "Love Is" and for a moment I felt more connected to her and that song than ever before.
Runner Up: Grace Potter and The Nocturnals' set on the last night of Grand Point North fest in Burlington, Vermont last year. The final song was a cover of "All You Need Is Love" which is a song I've always cherished. I felt at ease, happy, and complete while drenched in love in a swarm of kind and beautiful people all drinking in the last of the festival and the crisp September air...just singing, dancing, and loving on Lake Champlain.
Who inspires you/where do you seek inspiration?
I have a deep, abiding love for nature and it inspires me daily; The way the sky bleeds purple and pink during sunsets, blooming flowers, the bubbly crest of the ocean waves, glistening, wet rocks on the riverbank, pollinating honey bees, the glow of the moon, swinging tree branches, the way the wind speaks before a storm...The world is a spiritual and beautiful place.
I'm inspired by people. People of foreign cultures, musicians, writers, artists, my incredible friends, people in their truest element—when they are vulnerable and honest, or in love... We're all such complex, beautiful, and different beings. Some people can make you feel more than you ever thought possible. They can make you think in new ways and show you new tricks. The people you surround yourself with help build you, complete you, teach you, and pick you up when you've fallen—what is more inspiring than that?
Above all, my late grandmother inspires me. She was the quintessential Southern woman—full of grace, gentle, stronger than anyone I've ever known, and kind. Everyone who met her fell in love with her and she spent her life helping others, giving away everything she had, and teaching and inspiring me daily. She had this fire burning inside of her and a passion for travel, nature, fashion, art and beautiful things that I most definitely inherited. She's no longer with me, psychically, but I feel her with me everyday pushing me to pursue my dreams. She taught me to travel as much as I can, be kind to everyone I meet, and create and pursue the life I dreamed despite anyone that tells me that I can't. I would not be where I am doing what I love if I never had her love and support.
Favorite books/reading material?
Books: White Oleander by Janet Finch, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventure In Wonderland (which I've re-read and re-read every year since I was a kid), and random little poetry books I pick up on street corners and flea markets—I love reading love stories and the words of strangers, dead poets, and anonymous lonely souls.
Music: I'm an avid vinyl collector weekly concert-goer. I listen to anything from Led Zeppelin to Waylon Jennings to Karen Dalton to Neko Case and everything in between. While I'm in love with many genres and eras of music, I am a serious Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks aficionado who spends way too much time explaining the complexities of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham's relationship on first dates and yelling at strangers for not knowing that Fleetwood Mac existed well before Rumours.
I travel ALOT and and I recommend these places (to check out/visit)
Savannah, GA. I went to college in Savannah for a bit and it still remains one of my favorite cities. There's so much haunting history and beauty there between ancient gravestones, dripping spanish moss, and historical architecture Savannah is the perfect blend of deep south hospitality and artistic inspiration. Plus, the lack of an open container law rules.
New Orleans, LA. I grew up here for a few years as a child and try by best to go back at least once a year. It's a beautiful and exciting city that has been through a lot but the people are humble as ever, the food is some of the best I ever had, and the music runs down every street, into your veins, and forces a smile on every face. And again, street drinking.
Burlington, VT. I never spent much time in Northeast until later in life but after I discovered Vermont, I pretty much decided I would end up settling there later in life. Burlington is beautiful and inspiring and full of the some of kindest and most inspiring people I've ever met. There's festivals, amazing local art and music, farmland, water, mountains, and Burlington also has a chocolate factory—really, what more do you need?
Yokohama, Japan. I think Japan is often overlooked by people wanting to travel to other countries. Most everyone I know has been all over Europe but never set foot in Asia. Japan is a vast and amazing country and culture with so much to offer and I'm so lucky to have spent 4 summers in various Japanese cities throughout my life. Yokohama is one of my favorite cities and the second largest in Japan by population. It lies right on Tokyo Bay (water!!), has a little theme park, amazing local shopping, a plethora of gardens, parks, museums (one dedicated entirely to Ramen noodles, another solely to dolls, and also a killer art museum with the works of Dali, Matisse, René Magritte, and some amazing Japanese artists too), and temples, and is overflowing with things to do and see.
Where else would you like to travel?
Greece! I've been dying to go for years. I found old photos a few years back of my grandmother on her honeymoon in Greece that flooded back all these memories of stories that she told me about her travels there. She looked so happy and free and her surroundings were so incredibly beautiful—like a painting. I also would love to spend some time in India, Ireland, and the Italian countryside. I still have so many places I want to see!
Crystals - moonstone and amethyst are my favorites for traveling.
An open mind and heart- traveling to new and unfamiliar places can be a scary and knock you off-balance, but with a free spirit you can discover parts of yourself and the world that you never knew existed.
Coconut oil - because flying and climate change can totally wreck your skin. Also, coconut oil is the work of goddesses and can be used for literally anything and everything from a cooking oil to a makeup remover, skin hydrant, daily energy supplement, or a personal lubricant!
A journal/notebook/sketchbook - take it all in, write it all down, document every adventure and inspiring moment. The places you discover and the people you meet along your journeys will only continue to inspire over and over again.
Dreams - to keep you going
Guilty pleasures? (dark chocolate, wine, etc it doesnt have to be food wise )
Margaritas, karaoke, musicals, Rom-Coms, and cheesy tell-all books by rock star groupie girlfriends.
In 5 years I want to
Be more established as a designer—whether that means I'll be working on my 5th collection, have my pieces in local stores, or establish Wadulisi as a brand, I want to be creating and loving what I'm doing. I also hope to be living somewhere new, fresh, and inspiring...somewhere green and beautiful but not too far from the resources I need in NYC as a designer.
Ideal dinner ritual
A sunset dinner on a river dock on a warm July evening with all my loved ones. We'd eat fried green tomatoes, veggie dumpling soup, collard greens, and drink Bloody Marys and sweet peach tea. Talks about life and art would be soundtracked by Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul. And key-lime pie and strawberry shortcakes for desert :)
Dream vision board, what would your ideal day consist of
In a dream world, I would awake somewhere new, yet with a familiar comfort, feeling fresh and well-rested. I'd write down my dreams and morning thoughts while breathing in the break of day with a cup of tea in the company of dew-soaked flowers and honey bees. After some yoga, I'd pack a small lunch and a pitcher of tea and get my creative juices flowing with a writing/sketching session by a nearby lake or river. The late afternoon would be spent outside drinking margaritas, and BBQ-ing fresh veggies with all my best friends. After watching the sunset we would dance the night away to Fleetwood Mac around a fire, followed by some late night talks about life and astrology, just before passing out under the starry sky. A perfect day leaving me feeling sun-drenched, happy, fulfilled, and loved.
Make a wish
I wish there weren't so much sadness in our world...I just wish for everyone to be happy. I find myself surrounded by beautiful, amazing, and talented souls who do not see or feel their worth. I want gather up these sad souls in a bundle tied with the softest velvet around and heal them all with laughter and crystals and flower crowns and tea and love.
Keep searching until you find that something that makes you feel alive, but never settle or give up if you don't find it right away. Always have patience—It's one of the most difficult skills to master. I wholly believe that good things come when you least expect them. Blessings don't come in fancy boxes on your doorstep, or granted by magic genies, or with the light of a candle and a sobbing prayer to your god or goddess of choice...but everything happens for a reason and things fall into place when they are meant to. With patience, a full heart, and hard work, great things will flourish.