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KAYU x J.Crew

jcrewsttropez

When I think of summer I think of breezy nights, sand in my toes and easy simple outfits. I have a white shirt from J.Crew that I bought many years ago. I love wearing it with the sleeves rolled up, denim cut-offs and worn leather sandals.

If I had to pick a dream collaboration I’d be hard pressed to pick one more perfect than J.Crew. Easy, classic and fun – I’d like to think our bags embody the same qualities.

You can find us in their stores, online and in their catalog. Proof that dreams really do come through.

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Inside KAYU, Kayu Styled, Uncategorized |

Momtrepreneurs get real on Mother’s Day

I love being a mom but have to admit sometimes it’s tough juggling work, mommy duties and family obligations. I was curious how other moms do it all, so sat down with other Bay Area momtrepreneurs to find out what they love about being about a mom, their favorite kid stores and what they really want this Mother’s Day. I also share the best mom advice I’ve ever received and my mommy must haves.

Jamie Lim of KAYU

Jamie on vacation with her son Kyson

On vacation with my son Kyson

Nickname for your kid/kids?

Monkey. Pumpkin. Grumpy Moo.

Best mom advice you’ve ever gotten?

The days are long but the years are short.

What is the best and worst part about being a working mom?

Being able to do the work I love and also have a happy smiling face to come back to every night.

The worst part is leaving him in the morning – it’s heart wrenching to see him cry and call for Mama.

Mommy must have (i.e. blowout, date night, instacart, wine) ?

Netflix. I’m currently addicted to Girl’s Guide to Divorce.

Fashion mommy must have?

Kayu Pinata Tote – it’s a great alternative to the usual diaper bag and fits everything!

One thing you really want this Mother’s day?

I’d like to clone myself. Maybe then everything will get done!

Meg of Margaret Elizabeth

Meg and her little man Tate

Meg and her little man Tate

What is your favorite time of day with your kid(s)?

I love bedtime! There’s nothing like rocking Tate and reading stories before bed. He’s just starting to talk more and more so his mumbled “I wuv you mah-mah” as I’m leaving the room melts my heart!  

Nickname for your kid(s)?

“Tate-tate”

What is the best and worst part about being a working mom?

The best part for me is the balance that I have each week. With my schedule, I’m home with Tate two days a week and working at our office/store the other three days. I love that I still have a career and a passion that I get to work on every day. I also love my team and getting to spend time with them when I’m in the office. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days when I was ready to scoot out that door and into the quiet tranquility of work 😉 And on the flip side, I love getting to spend full days with Tate exploring the city and getting to see life through his little eyes.

I constantly feel like something or someone isn’t getting the attention it deserves. When I’m zooming home to be with Tate I feel guilty that I’m not getting those extra two (or 10) things done at work and when I’m at work I feel awful that I’m missing what he’s up to all day!

Kid snack you can’t help but eat?

Goldfish!

Favorite place to shop for kids clothes?

Zara Kids

Fashion mommy must have?

chic accessories! My wardrobe consists of washable fabrics that I can wear anywhere with Tate…so I like to have fun accessories to make my t shirts and jeans combos feel a little more fun!

Cristina of Freda Salvador

Cristina with her little boy Luca

Cristina with her little boy Luca

 

What is your favorite time of day with your kid(s)?

Right when Luca wakes up! He has the funniest sense of humor and mornings are definitely his favorite time to be a jokester.

What was the number of kids you thought you wanted before having kids? What is that number now?

4! I have one and another on the way. I think we are keeping to 2 :)

Kid snack you can’t help but eat?

Animal Crackers!

Favorite place to shop for kids clothes?

The Podolls and Sprout Mill Valley

Fashion mommy must have?

Denim shirts! It’s my go to when I have to run out the door. I am not an activewear person so my version of easy is a denim shirt, jeans, and boots!

One thing you really want this Mother’s day?

Our little girl is due around then so really just a happy and healthy baby!

Ryan Stern co-owner of Collectively

Ryan with her family

Ryan with her family

Nickname for your kid(s)?

Bug

What is the best and worst part about being a working mom?

The best part is I that I have a super rewarding career; the worst part is after a really rough day at work and coming home tired–when I really want to have the energy to play.

What was the number of kids you thought you wanted before having kids? What is that number now?

I always thought it was two; and now it’s two!

Mommy must have (i.e. blowout, date night, instacart, wine)?

A great facial.

Fashion mommy must have?

Spanx

One thing you really want this Mother’s day?

An day of adventure with my daughter that involves the park, some ice cream, and a good snuggle, followed by a date night with my husband for some adult conversation and a yummy meal.

Spotlight, Uncategorized |

Exploring Palm Springs

Our Dallas Tote is the perfect carry-all for a weekend in Palm Springs

Hi there! Last month, we hit the sandy shores of St. John for some serious R&R. This month, we’re headed to Palm Springs with Dulci Edge  for another installment of our #travelwithkayu series. Located just 2 hours from Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a desert oasis and Mid-Century design lovers paradise. Here’s our round-up of can’t miss spots…

Grab a cabana and prepare to lounge at L’Horizon

Grab a cabana and prepare to lounge at L’Horizon

Where to Stay

A crowd favorite, The Parker  features bright and kitschy interiors by Jonathan Adler, with a lobby full of Instagram-worthy nooks and crannies. Tip: Book in advance; it’s popular for weddings and events.

L’Horizon Resort & Spa  is the former residence of Hollywood Mogul Jack Wrather, where Marilyn Monroe was a frequent guest. Guests are treated to extras like complimentary poolside foot massages and chauffeur service to nearby restaurants, but the cherry on top is the personalized engraved brass nameplate on each bungalow door.

Under the palms in Palm Springs.

Under the palms in Palm Springs.

The Ace Hotel  has a rocking pool scene, so if you’re looking for peace & quiet, this might not be your cup of tea. Otherwise, enjoy the daily yoga classes and karaoke in the Amigo Room. Tip: Check out the photo booth in the lobbby!

Where to Eat & Drink

Don’t arrive to Cheeky’s  hungry; the line is long and service can be slow. But. the wait will seem worthwhile after digging into their buttermilk waffle with salted butter and a flight of bacon, featuring quirky flavors like jalapeño and apple cinnamon.

Getting our fill at King’s Highway

Getting our fill at King’s Highway

King’s Highway  at The Ace Hotel may look like a diner, but their menu (curated by Five Leaves of Brooklyn) offers more than just fried eggs and pancakes. The BLAT (bacon, lettuce, tomato, delicious) sandwich really hits the spot. Wash it down with creamy date shake (a local speciality you’ll find on menus all over town).

Situated on a cozy patio, Birba serves up Italian fare in a comfortable setting. Skip the pizzas in favor of standouts like the homemade pasta and chicken pesto meatballs.

The cocktail menu at Workshop  reads like poetry and the roasted chicken with North African spices feeds a crowd. The industrial space feels modern and caters to the LA set.

Enjoying a nightcap at The Parker

Enjoying a nightcap at The Parker

Dinner al fresco at Norma’s  is a Palm Springs rite of passage. The menu features comfort food classics with a twist, like apple pie milkshakes and lobster pot pie. Tip: Breakfast is served all day!

What to Do

How to beat that desert heat? Pack light colored, flowy dresses and add color with accessories, like our Akumal Bag in orange.

How to beat that desert heat? Pack light colored, flowy dresses and add color with accessories, like our Akumal Bag in orange.

The Aerial Tramway is a great way to see the entire valley and the gorgeous San Jacinto mountains. Tip: There’s a cocktail lounge at the top; time your trip with sunset for a truly stunning view.

The Fine Art of Design is located about 20 minutes away in Palm Desert, but boasts some of the best vintage in the area.

Check out Moorten Botanical Gardens for an up close look at cacti and succulents native to the region.

For a peek inside fabulous homes like this, plan to visit during Modernism Week when tours of iconic properties are offered.

For a peek inside fabulous homes like this, plan to visit during Modernism Week when tours of iconic properties are offered.

Rent a bike and cruise around for a look at some of the best Mid-Century architecture and design. Or, time your trip with Modernism Week  for a peek inside these incredible homes.

If you’re heading back to LA, leave some time for a pit stop at the Cabazon Outlets , with high-end shops like Barney’s New York, Prada and Valentino.

Lazy Sunday essentials? A sun hat and our Cactus clutch!

Hope you enjoyed our time in the desert! We’re hitting the road again next month for another stop our on #travelwithkayu world tour! Come back to see where we’re headed…And check out where we’ve been!

City Guides, Spotlight, Travel, Uncategorized |

My day with Oscar

 

Mohawk clad mannequins sporting luxurious ballgowns was a must-see for this exhibit.

Mohawk clad mannequins sporting luxurious ballgowns was a must-see for this exhibit.

This past weekend I was lucky enough to get a little bit of time away to explore the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Situated in Golden Gate park, this beautiful Museum founded in 1895 was updated in 2005 into a modern masterpiece. I was set on going to the de Young to see the highly anticipated Oscar de la Renta- Retrospective exhibit.

We had already purchased tickets for the exhibit which opened several weeks ago. I had been seeing press and commercials for this installment and was excited to get in there! The organization of the whole exhibition was timed to a tee. We had a 10:30 ticket time and were told to come no earlier than that. You are corralled into lines and released exactly at your ticket time.

At the entrance to the exhibit- platforms of mannequins wearing De la Renta's early work.

At the entrance to the exhibit- platforms of mannequins wearing De la Renta’s early work.

The rooms were dimly lit to preserve the gowns which spanned every part of Oscar de la Renta’s career. Born in 1932 Oscar de la Renta started his career in Spain as a sketcher for Balenciaga. From there he moved to Paris and then New York, which he called home until his death in 2014. Through the years he has dressed everyone from the First Lady to Carrie Bradshaw. Her famous pink dress in the last season of Sex and the City is an image that I will never forget.

image courtesy of People Style Watch

image courtesy of People Style Watch

It was interesting to see how the styles evolved in to what we know as the Oscar de la Renta ‘signature look’ today. Streamlined bohemian gowns morphed into the chiffon, embellished gowns we know and love. 

The crowd started to grow heavier with each fifteen minute interval as new ticket holders were released into the exhibit. We finally turned a corner into a beautiful light filled room. The walls were made to look like leaves and I snuck in a little touch to find they were actually fabric! This section really made the exhibit for me. It’s beautifully curated and if you have any interest in fashion; a must see.

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The light filled room filled featured Kirsten Dunst’s gown from the September 2006 issue of Vogue

Some advice for those who want to go check out the exhibit before it’s gone on May 30th.

  1. Buy tickets online – https://tickets.famsf.org/public/
  2. Buy ticket times for very early or very late to avoid the crowds
  3. Try going during the week
  4. Do the audio tour

XoXo KAYU

Uncategorized |

St. John Travel Diary

Spring Break is around the corner and to get you in the spirit we’re putting together a new monthly travel series highlighting some of our favorite destinations. This month we’re headed to the island of St. John with Dulci Edge, a travel blogger and photographer, (check out her Instagram feed, @ladulcivida, for some serious wanderlust). Check back to see where we’re headed next month. Bon Voyage!

Hello there! I’m Dulci ( www.thefarandnear.com), and I’m partnering with Kayu to bring you curated travel guides to some of our favorite destinations. We’re kicking things off with a quick trip to St. John, just in time for Spring Break. You’ll need a panama hat, the perfect beach tote (I’m partial to the Kayu St. Tropez tote), a great cover-up and not much else. Let’s go!

Guests arrive to Caneel Bay Resort via ferry, rum punch in hand.

Guests arrive to Caneel Bay Resort via ferry, rum punch in hand.

Where to Stay

Caneel Bay Resort is the first name in hospitality in St. John. The beachfront property was formerly owned by the Rockefeller family and boasts gorgeous white sand beaches. Guests arrive to the hotel via private ferry, but don’t let that stop you from booking a sunset sail (complete with appetizers and cocktails, of course). A massage in an oceanfront cabana is truly relaxing experience.

A herd of wild donkeys call Caneel Bay Resort home.

A herd of wild donkeys call Caneel Bay Resort home.

Concordia Eco-Resort is a bit more rustic and off the grid, but offers sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea. Yoga and meditation classes are offered and the on-site restaurant has a spectacular view.

Where to Eat & Drink

The Longboard in Cruz Bay is a must try; their cocktail list is long and inventive (try the Heart & Sol for a quirky take on a margarita). And don’t miss the fresh fish ceviche and spring rolls. Tip: Come for happy hour when the dangerously delicious cocktails are $6.

Zozo’s at Caneel Bay is housed in a renovated sugar mill, set high on a hill with stunning views of the bay. Tip: Book a table at sunset near the window.

Miss Lucy’s has a waterfront location and serves a delicious brunch (with live jazz!). Try the poached eggs with sweet potato hash…and ask for a side of local hot sauce.

St. John is home to Trunk Bay, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

St. John is home to Trunk Bay, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

What To Do

Trunk Bay is a part of the national park system and requires an entry fee of $5.00…a small price to pay to access one of the world’s most beautiful beaches! Tip: There’s a small snack bar selling concessions, but coolers are allowed. Pack a picnic and stay for the day.

Essentials for a day at the beach.

Essentials for a day at the beach.

St. John is all about sailing. Kalina Charters offer sunset and day sails (with stops at snorkeling spots)

This Kayu Star Pouch makes the perfect companion for a sunset sail.

This Kayu Star Pouch makes the perfect companion for a sunset sail.

Charter a sailboat for a day of snorkeling, or at dusk for incredible sunset views.

Charter a sailboat for a day of snorkeling, or at dusk for incredible sunset views.

If you’re keen to explore the island, renting a Jeep is essential. St. John is small, but points of interest are spread out. Otherwise, there are open air taxis that do pick-ups and drop-offs at some of the more popular spots.

Cooling off in the crystal clear waters of St. John.

Cooling off in the crystal clear waters of St. John.

Hope you enjoyed this mini-guide to St. John. Be sure to check back to see where we’re off to next…

xx Dulci

Uncategorized |

Spotlight on: Nicole Mohrmann of Nimo With Love

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One of our latest discoveries is the bohemian resort line Nimo With Love. Created by Nicole Mohrmann, Nimo With Love offers fun and flirty kaftans, dresses and cover-ups all handmade from the finest silks and cottons. From the colorful prints to the intricate bead detailing, every piece is finely crafted by artisans in India.

We had the opportunity to get to know Nicole a bit more as well as a chance to go behind her brand. Check out what what inspires her and the meaning behind her cheeky flamingo logo!

Life before nimo with love?

Life has always been good to me, but now it’s a bit more  colourful!

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Meaning behind the flamingo logo?

I simply like the animal and the colour.

Finding Inspiration

I love to travel and to see the world with my eyes wide open.

Favorite color?

As Aerosmith sang: Pink is my favourite colour.

Words to live by?

Be yourself!

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Vacay spot?

Any place where the sun shines and not too touristic.

Top 3 must-have travel items?

Nimo Kaftan, Pashmina scarf and beautiful earrings.

Current obsession ?

Vintage bags and everything from Astier de Villatte in Paris!

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You can check out Nicole’s whimsical line here.

Inside KAYU, Spotlight, Uncategorized |

Sparkle into 2 0 1 6

Still don’t know what to wear on NYE? We’ve got you covered! Take a look at some of our styling tips to shine into the new year!

NYE

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MARIONARNETTEANDREA

We hope you have a wonderful start to 2016. Cheers! xo

Inside KAYU, Kayu Styled |

Introducing our Resort collection

From our Piñata fringe tote (one of our favorites) to our whimsical cactus embroidered clutch, our Resort collection was inspired by colorful, vibrant Mexico. The weather might be cold outside but we hope you’ll be transported somewhere warm with these images from our latest photoshoot. After all, it’s always sunny somewhere…

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Inside KAYU, Uncategorized |

Let’s Get Personal

If you haven’t already heard we’ve brought back our monogram shop. It’s amazing how adding one’s initials to a bag can make it that much more special. But just when you thought your tote couldn’t get any more personal here’s a little read on how your monogrammed tote is extra meaningful.

Here at Kayu we value and believe that every woman has the right to develop to her fullest potential and earn a living wage. Most of our bags are made by women in the Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia. These women are mothers and weaving allows them to work from home, look after their children and also provides them with a source of income. I’ve been wanting to take some of our production local for a while now, and am so happy to say that we’ve teamed up with the San Francisco YMCA to offer monogramming on our straw totes. The women we work with are new immigrants who do not speak English and as a result have difficulty finding jobs. Unfortunately this means that they are often underpaid and work menial jobs like dishwashing and mowing lawns. Our initiative provides them with practical training and an alternative source of income.

We recently offered a series of trainings on the art of embroidery and also had the privilege to learn more about the women and their personal stories.

We worked with Annalee who trained at the Royal School of Needlework in the UK. Here she demonstrates a sewing technique to the women. 

Coco and Kit Ling working together on their first project. Coco enjoys crafting projects and has a 6 year old daughter. Kit Ling moved to San Francisco less than a year ago. She has some experience machine sewing in Hong Kong and is excited to learn hand embroidery.

Mother and daughter, Jing Jing and Ting, practice embroidering the alphabet together. Jing Jing, the mother, recently moved to San Francisco to spend more time with her grandkids. She previously worked in a restaurant but was abused by her co-workers. Ting decided to be a part of this initiative so she can be by her mother’s side and also earn extra income. 

One of the greatest things about the program is seeing how quickly the women picked up the skill of embroidery and the looks of satisfaction on their faces at perfecting the alphabet! We’ve started by only offering monogramming on one tote but as the women learn more techniques hope to expand the service to other pieces in our collection.

From now until November 29th receive free monogramming on any St. Tropez tote purchase here.

Inside KAYU, Uncategorized |

Spotlight on: Shoshanna

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The Shoshanna line is bold, unique, and innovative, just like the founder behind it. Shoshanna Gruss is the power-woman who continues to change the way women’s fashion is defined through her feminine and playful designs. We had the opportunity to have a 1-on-1 chat with Shoshanna and here’s what went down.

Business

What is your favorite part about being a creative director?

It’s such a wonderful outlet for all of my energy. I don’t think I ever come into the office without an excited feeling. I get energized by the colors and fabrics and trims, and seeing my fantasies come to life in the form of our sample never loses its specialness.

What are some future goals for Shoshanna?

I have always grown the Shoshanna brand organically, never pushing us in a direction that didn’t feel right. We are seeing a lot of growth in our new evening collection, Midnight, and I am excited to expand on that area.

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Photo Credit: Shoshanna.com

You can check out Shoshanna’s latest collection here.

What can we expect to see from Shoshanna in the coming months?

Innovative, beautiful, celebratory clothing that fits women like it was made for them, that is what you will always see us striving for.

Any news on introducing a boy’s collection to your line?

Ha!!! Now that I have a son, I think about this all the time…don’t be surprised if we add a boy’s element to our swimwear collection…

If you could give one tip or advice to someone entering the fashion industry, what would it be?

To stay true to your gut, and to maintain your creativity. Determination is as important as is talent.

 Shoshanna

Creativity


What inspires you?

I am inspired by the strong and determined women I see every day in this great city. I want to make beautiful clothing for them that fits well, and makes them feel like they are presenting their best selves while looking strong, celebratory, powerful and beautiful.

Does the Shoshanna style replicate your own style?

The Shoshanna style has always represented my style, and has evolved as I have grown and evolved.

 Family & Thanksgiving

What are some of your favorite family time activities?

We are ALL so busy these days, especially now that the school year has started; one of my favorite things is all sitting around on the couch, reading, snuggling, and even watching a Disney movie. Just the deliciousness of us all being relaxed and together, with no schedule. That’s my favorite family time.

What is your family’s favorite dish to share and enjoy?

My father makes the most amazing sausage stuffing. It’s what I look forward to every year.

How do you give thanks?

I honestly feel thankful every day.

How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is an all-day affair at my place in Sag Harbor. We eat around 4pm, and then all watch the kids play until it’s time to go home.

KAYU Favorites

Which is your favorite Kayu bag?

Absolutely LOVE the St. Tropez tote!

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Spotlight, Uncategorized |