model karolina babczynska, who appears in our september catalog, looks stunning even when she’s off duty!
in honor of yoga month, please enjoy the first in a series of guest posts from one of our awesome fp girls :)
Hi there! I am former blogger “fp girl” and now I work on the accessories buying team. This spring I got certified to teach yoga, and being that September is Yoga Month, thought I’d share a bit about my yoga journey.
I first started practicing yoga about 5 years ago as a way to stay in shape and decompress after work. I hear a lot of people get frustrated finding a studio they like. I was very lucky to find a studio right away that I connected with. The teachers were knowledgeable, friendly and caring. The space was simple and beautiful. The regular students that went there seemed to really enjoy their practice, and that enthusiasm helped me to instantly feel at home. I continued practicing there in the Jivamukti style for the duration of my time in Philadelphia.
I later moved to New York and have tried several different types of yoga. Some classes feel like a tough strength-building workout you’d get at a gym, some feel slow paced and peaceful, some concentrate on stretching and flexibility, and others require more thought, meditation, and reflection. And sometimes, when I’m lucky, a yoga class perfectly blends exercises of the body and mind that leave me feeling alive, creative, peaceful and full of energy all at the same time.
My favorite thing about yoga is how curious each new learning and experience leaves me. This curiosity sparked my desire to complete a 200-hour Yoga Alliance Certified training in New York. Training taught me a little bit of everything including the history of yoga, Sanskrit, anatomy, meditation and how to practically instruct a class. Over the next few weeks of Yoga Month, stay tuned for more posts from me including inspiring web sites, people, and products. And feel free to ask questions!
we’ve posted about the amazing jewelry designer sarah lewis on the blog before – as a former member of the fp team she is a part of the free people family and we love carrying her designs. she also has an adorable store in philly called adorn. read on for a brief interview with sarah and to see photos of her beautiful store and jewelry!
How did you get started as a jewelry designer?
I’ve been making jewelry for as long as I can remember! When I was really young, I did a lot of beadwork and macramé, and then started working with glass when I was in high school. I started working with silver and stone while living in Arizona. I have only been focusing all of my energy on my jewelry business for the past year, (before that, I was working for Free People!), but so far it has been going well. I guess the way that I got started was just making the initial decision to go for it!
Where do you draw inspiration for your work?
I draw inspiration from everything around me. My mind is always going, thinking of new jewelry designs. I also am really inspired by the natural beauty of the materials that I work with. Because so much of what I do is based on the materials that I work with, I really love going to gem and mineral shows to search for material. I often can pick up a piece, and immediately picture what I will make out of it. I am also inspired by the past. I find a lot of materials and design ideas by shopping at flea markets, and vintage and thrift stores. While staying true to my own earthy and bohemian style, I also draw inspiration from fashion. I try to create pieces that are beautiful and timeless, but also stylish and on trend. I also think of jewelry styles as how they relate to apparel, what they could be worn with, and how they could be used to complete an outfit.
What are some of your styles that you’re really excited about right now?
I am really excited about some of my recent ring styles. I’ve been doing a lot of rings with drusy quartz, amethyst, and crazy lace agate. I also really like my new gemstone fringe bib necklace, and my concentric circles crystal necklace. I also am currently working on a new collection of jewelry and handbags for FP for holiday that I am really excited about – so watch out for them in November!
What are some of your other hobbies?
I really love to travel, and hang out with my friends, and I live for seeing live music – so I usually combine the three! Also, even though I live in the city, I love the outdoors. I try to go hiking, snowboarding, and make trips to the beach as much as I can.
center, rocking the sequin slip at phish!
How would you describe your personal style? What are some of your favorite free people items?
I would describe my style as earthy and feminine by day and rockstar by night – so I am a total Free People girl! I am obsessed with all of the versions of the birds of paradise dress, and I could not live without my fp intimates. I wear my bandeaus and halter tops all the time, and .I own two sequin slips that I have probably worn hundreds of times! They are so great for layering, I can always find new ways to wear them. I also have a few FP sweaters that will probably stay in my wardrobe forever, because they are so soft and comfy, and I love the FP beach styles too!
What is your motto?
Work hard, but play hard too. I am a total workaholic, but I love what I do so much, that it doesn’t really seem like work. My business keeps me so busy that I often have trouble breaking away. But I know that it is important to take breaks and go out and have fun!
What does free mean to you?
To me, freedom means being able to be creative everyday, making a living doing what I love, staying connected with nature and spending time with the people I love.
in the time i spend searching the web, i find a lot of really amazing artwork… but every once in a while i stumble upon an artist who really blows me away. this is one of them. i am completely in love with eibatova karina‘s work… not only are the images beautiful and exquisitely detailed, but the messages behind her work make it even more meaningful to me. plus i’m a sucker for pretty much anything that has to do with john lennon…
the last two are from a series called “trees make us feel better.” they really do make me feel happy! view more of her work here.
…and i’ll play you some songs :)
a playlist made by our interns featuring their favorite tunes of the summer :)
i’m not sure what’s better, their performance of “airplanes” or the guy who chases down a robber to get a girl’s purse back.
the other day another fp girl told me about the LA Ladies Choir, her current obsession. i had never heard of them before but i was immediately intrigued. they are a group of 30 women with careers ranging from music, fashion, art, literature and theater, and they sing covers of old folk songs and wear beautiful vintage dresses. how can you not love that? founding member becky stark (front woman of groups kavender diamond and the trio the living sisters) says the one rule of the choir is to sing joyfully, and she doesn’t care if you sing off-key. the ladies perform at venues around L.A., sometimes joined by flea of the red hot chili peppers, whose wife, model frankie raydar, is a member of the group (and her sister missy modeled in our march catalog!).
check out this video of them performing john lennon’s “happy xmas (war is over)” at space 15 twenty:
images from their myspace page.
this questionnaire will give you a little bit of an idea of who our vintage buyer is, but it doesn’t paint the full picture. just like the items she works with, ali is one of a kind. in the time that i’ve known her, i’ve learned that ali: 1. has an amazing cocllection of vintage rock tshirts, 2. has an adorable bulldog, named chloe, who is blind, 3. left her car in arizona, 4. has a fisher price record player at her desk, 5. records her vintage purchases in a leather bound journal from the 1800s.
here’s a little more about ali :)
what is your theme song?
“sunny day sweeping the clouds away…” – sesame street!
if you could go anywhere in the world, free of cost, where would you go?
if you were stranded on an island, what 3 things would you want with you?
a bacon egg and cheese mcmuffin, an ipod and a satin eye patch.
how would you describe your personal style?
east meets west…old school urban cowgirl hippi crunchy.
what is your biggest fear?
winter, spring, summer or fall?
all you have to do is call.
what color are you?
what is your motto?
peace love happiness
what is your favorite hobby?
if you could spend a day with anyone – dead or alive – who would it be?
i know some of you have been wondering about our wanderlust winner :) the lucky girl is andrea from fairfax, california! i asked her some questions to learn some more about her, and it’s clear she’s a real yoga lover and free spirit – it’s great she was able to experience wanderlust!
What is your theme song?
Breathe Me, Sia
If you could go anywhere in the world, free of cost, where would you go?
I’d sail the Caribbean (and the Mediterranean!) with my dad.
If you were stranded on an island, what three things would you want with you?
Since we’re speaking purely in hypotheticals… an eco-friendly, self-sustaining prefab dwelling; an old typewriter with the longest piece of banana paper imaginable; and an extensive supply of vegan pizza.
How would you describe your personal style? What are your favorite items from free people right now?
I’d say I’m kind of a boho badass, rocking torn jeans, oversized beanies and tight tops with draping jewelry and windswept hair. I’m really digging all the boots and the Ruffled Layers Maxi Skirt at Free People right now. And all the rough cut crystal jewelry is awesome (got me some of that).
What is your biggest fear?
Something bad happening to someone in my family.
Winter, spring, summer or fall?
Summer love… salty hair, tan skin, bikinis, booty shorts, fresh coconuts…
What color are you?
I am chartreuse.
What is your motto?
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu: May ALL beings EVERYWHERE be happy, free, and fully expressed, and may each of us live our lives to that end.
What is your favorite hobby?
Yoga! Though it’s much more than just a hobby…
If you could spend a day with anyone – dead or alive – who would it be?
A dinosaur (preferably not of the carnivorous variety…) or Pattabhi Jois
What was your favorite thing about Wanderlust?
Live music during yoga classes, especially Chid Rasa with Janet Stone and Hareesh Wallis. So decadent. So galvanizing to the soul. One word: yum.
here she is getting an adjustment from yoga instructor janet stone at wanderlust :)
our beloved customer service manager is pictured on this year’s eagles season tickets! to show their appreciation for their biggest fans, the eagles put their photos on the tickets, saying “we reached out to you to share your eagles stories with us and we were touched by the depths of your passion for eagles football. all ten of this year’s tickets feature fans with a unique perspective on what it means to be an eagles fan.”
bob’s story? “i painted E-A-G-L-E-S on my neighbor’s roof for the planes flying overhead. now did she know about it? well…”
i love it! bob will also get to be on the field at game one to start off the eagles chant :)
…to one of our beloved fp girls. you rock!!!
fp jemma made this sweet collage :)