Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Interview: Jewel Posse

When I came across the instagram account for local jewelry, Jewel Posse, I was immediately drawn to the fact that it is about both Ethics & Style (as it states on her website as well). 
Not to mention, as I read more it said that it was for "Stylish Boss Babes" and well, I mean.... :)
So - yes- I was hooked immediately.

Round Marble Necklaces

I met with owner and creator Nikki last week at Order & Chaos in Federal Hill (right next to my marketing "crush" agency Planit, where she also works full time!). It was my first time there and it's such a great shop to get work done, but also have awesome food & drinks.

I couldn't wait to hear the story behind this unique handmade jewelry!

Nikki in her cream Lace Choker

How It All Started
When Nikki was younger, she was faced with an illness at the age of 9, that would be hard on anyone but especially a child. Her mom knew that, and encouraged her to try different things to get her mind off of it. One of those things ended up being jewelry making! 
It started as just making gifts for friends and family, but there started to be so much demand, that she then decided to form a company. 
It should be noted, that her mother is also a creative, which is a trend that I see often in creative entrepreneurs!
With an undergrad degree in Public Relations (and Theatre) from Penn State and a Grad degree in Management from Wake Forest, she had both the business side and the marketing side, so she was definitely prepared. 

What Does It Mean to Have Sustainable Jewelry?
One of my biggest questions was "how do you make it sustainable?"- right?
Was anyone else curious? Just me?
So basically she said that for it to be sustainable/eco-friendly, it all depends on the source. So when she buys her materials, she makes sure that it comes from a sustainably sourced background.
One of those materials is marble. 
Guess how she learned to cut it?
This girl is amazingly self taught.

Hexagon Necklace in White Marble

Where She Gets Ideas For Designs
Something really awesome that Nikki told me is that she recently took a trip to Ghana. She was so inspired by the culture, cloths, and style, that she brought several ideas back with her. It is the vision behind her new designs!
 Nikki gets her inspiration from literally any and everywhere — architecture, fashion from various time periods, found objects (such as the Zipper Earrings), universal symbols (such as the Round Marble NecklaceHexagon Necklace and Concrete Ring Necklace) and more. 
Something else awesome that Nikki told me about the inspo behind her newest designs, is that she wants to inspire people to live mindfully. Her mission of a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle is all encompassing, and goes beyond just what you are wearing. She wants the aura to be reflected that we are connected to nature, and that positivity can make a difference as well. 
Basically you are wearing things that inspire a healthy life, but you are living that life too.
This extends to so many things- and her jewelry is just the start of it!

NEW Agate bracelets in rose gold (not yet avail)
Price Ranges
Of course this depends on the pieces but the general range can be anywhere from $15-$75 for the more intricate and pricier jems and marbles. 

Side Note: her jewelry is very light! If you look at her pieces and envision them being heavy, they aren't. In case you were curious.

Plans and Planning
I am always interested in the process of different companies, and she told me that when deciding on seasonal merch, she works one season ahead, and some of the designing and fabrication can take an entire month to plan. Also, she does alot of testing to make sure that the jewelry will be exactly like she wants it- a true perfectionist!
Nikki is currently doing a 5 "Keys" Content Series where she invites experts to talk about different topics of Wellness and Mindfulness.
That's right up my alley- and I'm sure it will be interesting for you guys as well!

Australians Geode Necklace (almost sold out!)

Also, if you want to be the first to hear about new launches and discounts, make sure you check out her mailing list and sign up. 

How amazing is this jewelry?
Another fantastic local business. 

Let me know which pieces you buy, it will be hard not to!

Friday, June 22, 2018

County Sweet Treat- Small Cakes in White Marsh

Many of you know that I live outside of the city 
in Baltimore County.
I generally still spend most of my time in the city but it's always fun to find little 
local county gems here as well. 
One of them that I had heard of a few times was the new Small Cakes in White Marsh.
Now, I'm aware it's not their only location, but it was my first time at any Small Cakes!

So many decisions to be made here.

I often go into dessert places apprehensively. For some reason, I have very high expectations of desserts. Maybe I figure if I'm spending calories- I'd hope it would be good.
But then I think, I never skimp on dessert, so it's not about the calories.
As a child I hated cooking (love it now) but ALWAYS enjoyed baking.
So maybe that's why. 

Regardless, I was happily surprised to find cupcakes that were not at all dry and extremely tasty. 

As you can see, cupcakes are not the only option. 
There's ice cream, milkshakes and more!

I can never turn down any dessert with the name "birthday cake" so naturally I ordered the birthday cake cupcake but also the hot fudge cupcake (with fudge in the middle- what?!).
Both were delicious. 

Hot Fudge

Birthday Cake

Not only that, but the service was exceptional (this is always a big deal for me). Alexa who helped us, was very informative, and helpful when making choices. She gave recommendations and told us all about the different flavors and options. 
She told me when I continued to comment about how delicious, that they are baked fresh every day and the ice cream is home made.
You can tell. 

If you are looking for an amazing dessert option in the White Marsh area this weekend, check out Small Cakes on the Avenue at White Marsh

(not a sponsored post)

Have a great one!


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Paris Guide!

Paris, my favorite city abroad.
This post was so nostalgic to write! It's been a little over a week since I've returned and this was by far my best adventure in Paris yet. 
Notice I didn't say France, that will always go to my 2008 exchange student trip when I studied in Rouen about 90 minutes outside of Paris (by train). 

I want to give you the low-down on:
 +which restaurants/bars we loved
+where we stayed
+what activities to do
and some tips for travel in Paris!

Before you go:
(1) Check with your phone provider about your plan. I use ATT, it was $10 a day to have the same plan abroad as I have at home, which (lucky for me) was unlimited everything! Basically ATT towers connect you to local towers when you arrive. Easy!
(2) Check your ATM plans with banks and credit cards.
Capital one charges NO travel fees.
My bank reimburses for any other ATMs and there was no fee on top of the regular fee.
Because of this, I waited until I arrived, and used an ATM at the airport for euros. 
(3) Make sure you have a converter for your plugs.

I HIGHLY recommend using the smallest suitcase possible if you plan to take trains and metros to get to Paris (cheapest method) or honestly just in general. Paris is not built for large pieces of luggage. You'll get stuck in the metro exits (I witnessed this happening), and even the walkways are very small in many places. The lighter the better. Some metros either just have stairs or the escalators tend to often be broken. Plan on being able to carry whatever you have up and down stairs! Most places (air BNB's) have a washer (but be warned, no dryer, so they do usually provide a drying rack). I loved washing my clothes halfway through to save room!

How to get to Paris from CDG Airport, the CHEAPEST way:
You will want to look up where you are staying ahead of time to see which metro stop is the closest. We stayed in Bercy Village first, so our stop was right by the village. You will take the RER B train direct from the airport to a connecting train stop (with several metro connections), the easiest for us was Gare du Nord. 
However, it was also the only way we could go, as there was a SNCF strike that day. 
By the way, in the event of a strike, you can still take trains, but it will be a bit more delayed. It's worth saying, as there are strikes pretty often in Paris. 

Side note: How I feel about UBER in France- Unless you have a good grasp of the french language (fluent status) and Paris...avoid and take a taxi. Taxis in France are actually cheaper than Uber. We found this out on the last day...oye. 

Metro Pass:
Recommend (if you are staying a week or more) getting the week long unlimited metro pass. 
It's about $27 and is unlimited metro stops so you can go everywhere you want as many times as you want. If you stay more than a week- no problem- just reload!

OK! Which "touristy" sites are worth seeing:
I avoid most tourist places like the plague. I'm not a fan of touristy spots in different countries, and prefer to live and see like a local. However there are some places that are a must for your first time in Paris, so I'll give you the low down. 
+Notre Dame Cathedral 
-See the architecture and take a photo in front of it.
+ Tour d'Eiffel/Eiffel Tower
-don't recommend paying to go up. 
Who wants a view of Paris in photos without the tower?
Plus, it's shakey at the top. Yikes!
+Sacre Coeur/MontMartre 
- Beautiful town and cathedral, great views of the city.
+Arc de Triomphe
- also conveniently shows you the way to Champs-Elysees, the Rodeo Drive of Paris.
- shopping, more shopping, in winter = amazing Christmas Markets
+ The Louvre
- Mona Lisa, among other amazing works of art.
Plus Bey & Jay vibes. I mean...what's better?
+ Versailles Palace
- the gold, the mirrors, what's not to love. 
it's truly amazing.
+ Mont Saint Michel
- just make sure you don't go at high tide, it becomes an island!
Home of the best Croque Monsieur in Paris. 

When to go:
Springtime or Summer
Fall starts getting cold, winter is VERY cold.

Where to stay:
Want to live like a local? Stay in Marais.
We went to all of the arrondissements in Paris (I'm still tired) and by far my favorite was Marias.
It's trendy, not overly expensive, hardly any tourists, and amazing food and bars. 
There were plenty of cute stores, it's close to all major stops by metro, and there is so much to do!
I really miss the fact that there was amazing coffee, pastries and food on every corner at any given time. 
Also recommend an air BNB, it was the coolest thing to stay in actual Paris homes/apartments.


Le Mary Celeste
L'Ilot (oysters)
Chalet des Iles Daumesnil
Pink Flamingo Marais
Les Chouettes 
Les Funambules 
Muesli's Bar 

Au Petit Fer A Cheval 
La Belle Hortense (library bar)
Cafe la Perle 

Pierre Herme (Marais)

Type of Coffee to ask for:
Cafe au lait 

Square du Temple (for a picnic)
Parc Zoologique de Paris
Parc de Bercy
Places des Vosges
Jardin du Luxembourg

Juice Bar:
Wild & Moon (Marais)

Nature et Decouvertes
La Maison du Savon de Marseille
Petit Bateau (kids)

Bike Tour - Promenade Plantee 
Walking Tours (free online)

A few last things:
Grocery store tips:
There are several - just look for an "Intermarche".
We are partial to Carrefour but most of them are great. 
The electric GREEN CROSS signifies a pharmacy and they are on just about every corner. They have several of the same products from home!

Currently on trend in fashion:
Still flats for shoes, but also some sandals.
Plain white sneakers. 
High waisted, tie shorts. 
Simple ankle length pants with blouse. 
Yellow rain coats.
Scarves as shoulder covers in the evenings. 

Let me know if you are planning to go- I will tell you where the secret speakeasy was...maybe :).


© sarahbethramsey. Made with love by The Dutch Lady Designs.