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our finest :: meet kelly kuhn


One of the most rewarding parts of opening our doors everyday is meeting new faces and welcoming back old friends who’ve supported the shop since its early days! We all have a favorite neighbor and Kelly Kuhn, co-owner of Blue Gallery, is no exception. With chic curls and a warm, glowing smile, Kelly's style exudes a lovely rarity of high-fashion sensibility with comfort and ease. She agreed to do a quick interview with us about her very first piece she took home from Finefolk, what it's like to run an art gallery and who her favorite style icons are.

How did you initially become acquainted with Leslie and the shop?

A friend who knew Leslie recommended I check out her store, Finefolk, when it was in Leslie's first location. I hadn’t had an opportunity to go in right away. I kept seeing several of my friends wearing beautiful, envy-inducing pieces from her shop, so I finally made a point of going in.

When did you open Blue Gallery and how would you describe your day to day there? 

I opened Blue Gallery with my partner/husband, David, September 2000. My days are only somewhat predictable and usually involve meeting with clients, artists, and frequently taking artwork out on approval or to be installed (which I perform) in a private or corporate collection. Or I am usually immersed in installing the next exhibition at the gallery. The gorgeous setting implies ease and glamour, but there’s a lot of physical work required to have it all flow.

Where did you grow up and did you study art as a student? 

I grew up in Grand Rapids, MN, one hour south of Canada. I studied Art History at Graceland University and University of Kansas City, Missouri.

What led you to opening the gallery? 

While at UMKC, I had the opportunity to work at a commercial art gallery, which I did for eight years. During that time, it was dawning on me that  I possessed a very unique skillset required to operate an art gallery. However, it took clients, artists, and the director of the Kemper Museum at that time, to point out that I should open an art gallery, that I had everything needed to make it work.

Do you remember your first piece you took home from Finefolk?

Oh yes! It was on my first visit that I saw several things I loved. I ended up purchasing a gorgeous REALITY STUDIO tunic in shades of reds and charcoal gray. And after 3 years it is still the most interesting piece in my wardrobe, and I love it!

Do you have favorite designers at the shop? If so, what about these designers resonate with you?

I love the luxe bohemian vibe of Isabel Marant. And am passionately in love with the gorgeous sculptural apparel by SCHAI. I’ve worn my SCHAI dress at art openings and cocktail parties and feel effortlessly chic.

What kind of pieces do you look for when shopping for yourself?

I really need my clothes to represent my profession, yet also be comfortable so I am not fidgeting while working with clients. In a perfect world, I want my clothes to be innovative, comfortable and timeless. I also really want my clothes to surprise and delight me.

Who are your style icons?​  

I love Lauren Hutton, Audrey Tautou, Maggie Gyllenhaal, China Chow, Tilda Swinton and Leslie Fraley.

What is your favorite piece in your closet?

I LOVE the Gary Graham winter coat I purchased a couple years ago. The silhouette is so fascinating, I feel like a walking sculpture when I wear it.

What is the most rewarding part about your profession?

Having been in the art industry for 25 years, you can safely say I’m a lifer. And there are so many rewarding things that have occurred in the 17 years with Blue Gallery. But my favorite part are the clients who have worked with me before I opened Blue and continue to collect from me. I also have clients who come in to celebrate their birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions by going to Blue Gallery and buying themselves a work of art! That is such an honor for me to be a part of their lives in such a personal way.

How does fashion and your personal style influence you as a gallery owner?

I have always loved fashion and art. And it’s been a challenge to find clothing that is stylish and yet can allow you to do the manual aspects of running an art gallery such as installations, packing, etc. On occasion, when I don’t have any art installations on the calendar, I will wear a dress or something fussy. And almost every time, without fail, I unexpectedly need to run a painting to a client’s home and then install it. I’ve climbed a ladder in a dress and heels, and it feels so awkward. Therefore, as of late, I don the gallery ninja uniform; skinny jeans, heels that do not exceed 2” and a top that doesn’t impede movement. Openings and cocktail parties, I get to have a little more fun with clothing and show more of my truer fashion self.

What about Finefolk continues to draw you back? 

I know, without a doubt, that I will see fashion that is truly beautiful, innovative and haunting. I am always fascinated and enlivened with Leslie’s curation of clothes and accessories. It truly is my favorite store in the Midwest.
 

Kelly's 1st look is made up of: 
A Detacher Carrick Cape 
Isabel Marant Etoile Fang 
Martiniano Glove

Kelly's 2nd look:
First piece ever taken home, her
color-block Reality Studios tunic

Kelly's 3rd look:
Raquel Allegra Dreamer Blouse
Quarry Classic Roo Collar

Kelly's 4th look:
One of her favorite orginal finds from
the shop,a Nomia cocoon dress
Isabel Marant Pekky heels


We love you, Kelly!
xx, the finefolk team. 

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M. Patmos :: Trunk Show Interview


We are so thrilled to be having Marcia Patmos back in the shop for another pop-up trunk show this Saturday, December 2 from 11am to 6pm! This time around, she'll be bringing some of her latest pieces from the M. Patmos F/W & holiday collections AND offering an exclusive, in-store opportunity that Marcia will unveil in our interview below. In addition to this surprise, read on to find out what Marcia's favorite pieces are from the collection in tow and about her recent awards in wool and eco-conscious designs! 


1. Your designs focus on carefully-sourced, natural fabrics and knitwear. What about working with knit/wool initially inspired you?

I love working with knits and handwoven textiles because I can create the exact item I want, because it is 100% custom-made. These pieces are also essentially zero waste because there is nothing cut away, as in the normal sewing process. I love working with natural fiber yarns because they're so beautiful and each takes stitches and drapes differently. Merino wool is more “sturdy" in a certain way, because of the natural crimp in the fiber and really stands up to stitches. Cashmere, alpaca, cotton and silk blends also take stitches nicely, but all in their own particular ways. I love using the natural colors of the yarn – all of the animals come in wonderful natural shades that do not need to be dyed at all. I have also been doing more with vegetable dyes and indigo on the Peruvian cotton, etc. - which has it’s own lovely range of softer color.


Nicole fringed shawl scarf

2. This is your 2nd trunk show at Finefolk! How did you and Leslie meet?

Yes! I am excited to come back! Leslie and I initially met in Brooklyn a few years ago at dinner with our mutual friend, artist and owner of Birdie’s in Kansas City, Peregrine Honig. Leslie and Peregrine were both in town for fall market and Leslie ended up coming to see me for an appointment later on that week and ordering the line that season or the next. 


Leiboweitz double-faced merino wool/cashmere coat

3. What are your favorite pieces you'll be bringing to the trunk show this time around and why?

Some of my favorites are the Peruvian hand knits, like the Nicole fringed shawl scarf, Leiboweitz double-faced merino wool/cashmere coat, Passport blazer and the Cashmere Funnel neck tunic.

I am also bringing something fun and new that we haven’t done before – custom monogramming for the holidays! I have some suggested cashmere styles I sampled as examples: henley, crewneck, cardigan and little mini sachet ornaments that I think it’s perfect for. But it can be done on almost anything. We are working with a super talented New York based artist / textile artist who will be doing them for us.


Sagaponack 

4. Set the scene for your perfectly curated work space. What music is playing? What's the weather like? What are you snacking on/drinking? Are you alone or amongst others?

Well, the great thing about design is that it can happen anywhere. I have been doing it for so long at this point that most of it just happens in my head and in my sketchbook and laptop. It happens all over the place. I prefer spaces that are quiet, open, light and airy, ideally outside in pleasant weather where I ideally just walked to. In Peru, there was a lovely courtyard where I stayed that had tropical plants and flowers growing all over the place. That was nice. There is a very zen and spacious café near my Dumbo office where I like to work sometimes. They always have nice mellow music. I work at home a lot, which is sunny and light and full of plants. This very minute I am writing you from a friend’s VERY OLD (1600 or 1700’s) farmhouse in Sagaponack. No matter where I am, I subsist on healthy drinks and snacks – good coffee in the AM or not too late into the afternoon, hearty morning smoothies, green juice, matcha lattes or green tea in the afternoon, snacks / light lunches like edamame, miso, nuts, rice cakes or celery and peanut butter.

5. You were awarded the Woolmark Prize in Womenswear in 2015! How did winning this particular award affect your professional life?

It was a great honor and for sure gave a boost in international recognition. I also finally got to visit Australia, which was wonderful. 


(The Five Finalists for the 2018 CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative with Rachel Espersen of Lexus.)

6. You publicly discuss and practice sustainable sourcing and manufacturing for your collections. Why is this conversation important to you and the fashion world today?

I think this is really important for so many reasons – but in a nutshell, it’s better for people (the growers, makers, wearers) and the planet. I am actually newly apart of the 2018 CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative in which 5 designers will do a deep dive into increasing sustainability within their business in many facets. I am excited for a big refresh.

We hope to see you this Saturday from 11-6p!
xx, finefolk team

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what we're grateful for :: 2017

 

Leslie  
This year, as always, and since the day she was born, I am first and foremost grateful for my amazing daughter, Leyna.  She inspires me daily, pushes me to be the best version of myself and has taught me more about love than anyone or anything else.  I'm grateful for having a wonderful mother who continues to teach and guide me.  I have an immense amount of gratitude for the incredible community of friends, near and far.  I'm very grateful for the wonderful, creative and inspiring staff at Finefolk who know how to create a perfect balance of work and fun.  I'm grateful for my sweet golden retriever Daisy, who is our little Zen master.  I'm grateful for some incredible collaborative opportunities I've had this year.  I'm grateful for the amazing arts community in Kansas City - there is never a shortage of incredible performances and exhibits and shows to attend.  I'm grateful for the last bits of farmers' market treasures, the beautiful Kansas City autumn and so much more...! 

Gina
I'm thankful for today, that my kiddos and I are at the park and the leaves are blowing and they're using their imaginations! I'm thankful for a husband who is supportive in every sense of the word and loves with his whole heart. I'm thankful for a home filled with sunshine, creativity and laughter. I'm thankful for every moment of my healing journey, even the worst days, because it's the worst days that have fueled my passion to learn and spread the knowledge. I'm thankful for my community, my ldeal co-workers that have become family, the @oldppldoingthings Instagram account, Led Zeppelin, magnesium oil spray and podcasts.


Alex
I’m grateful for the community that has welcomed me to Kansas City with open arms. I’m grateful for late nights with the best company. I’m grateful my parents are only 20 minutes away and that they’re only becoming cooler with age (I caught on to this a little late). I'm thankful for my little sister being my best friend and one of the only people that can bring me back down to Earth. I’m grateful for vintage jeans, drizzly mornings, berets and having friends that support my love of all these things. I’m thankful for my health, my mind, my youth. I’m grateful I’m surrounded by people that motivate and encourage and listen. I’m grateful I can be present, right here and now. I’m also grateful for dogs (Daisy, that’s you!!!) I wouldn’t cover all my bases though if I didn’t mention ~Frank Ocean~ and, as of recently, Post Malone. Thanks for being you, boogie boys.

Leslie K
This year I’m grateful for so many things, as I’m in my saturn return! Personally I’m grateful for my loving family, especially my niece and nephew, my boyfriend Nick, my new friends and old. I’m grateful for my electric guitar, my records, my vintage collection, coffee, film, John Coltrane, Kansas City’s vibrant art/music world and the people who support it. I’m especially grateful this year to have the opportunity to grow Wunderhub Vintage and work alongside such compassionate, driven souls at Finefolk! Oh and pasta!


Stuart
I’m grateful for a supportive and loving family, an amazing group of co-workers and friends, the best freelance clients a photographer could ask for, the budding art scene in Kansas City, sunny weather in November, restaurants that have a vegan option, being able to spend time in nature, all of the podcasts, free museums!, organic farmers markets filled with smiling faces and beautiful produce, my health, the roof over my head and the food in my kitchen, and last but not least cats! 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU AND YOURS! 
Make sure and check our social media platforms and email blast on
Thanksgiving day for some limited-time sale items!

xx, the finefolk fam

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holiday morsels :: mushroom cacao tonic

Nothing is more comforting during the holidays than sipping a warm beverage around the fireplace. If you're looking to mix things up and try something new this year, Gina Ciaccio-Holmberg of Within Apothecary created a delicious mushroom & cacao recipe to try out!

"Life can be stressful! One of my go-to's at the end of a stressful day is a warm tonic with adaptogenic herbs. Adaptogenic herbs help you "adapt" to the stressors of life, boost your immune system, regulate your mood and relax you. I cannot "stress" (ha!) enough just how life changing they have been for me. Around the holidays, I like to make my tonics extra fancy by incorporating cacao and spices. And let's be honest, the Cap Beauty coconut butter makes everything better. If you're caffeine sensitive, I recommend omitting the cacao in the evening!"

Ingredients:

8 oz hot water
4 oz coconut milk (warmed)
1 packet of Reishi Hot Cacao
1 tbsp Cap Beauty Coconut Butter
1/2 teaspoon Sun Potion Ashwagandha
1 tsp of maple syrup
1/4 tsp of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of powdered ginger
1 dash of vanilla extract
1 pinch of Cap Beauty salt

Instructions: 

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend on high for 30 seconds. Enjoy!

*Cap Beauty Coconut Butter, Cap Beauty Salt, Four Sigmatic Reishi Hot Cacao and Sun Potion Ashwagandha all carried by our all clean and natural house apothecary, Within

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Staff Picks :: Cozy & Comfort



In true midwestern fashion, winter has abruptly arrived here in KC. This past week, the Finefolk team styled each of our favorite cozy and comfy outfits we want to live in until spring! We hope these pieces give you inspiration for the coming months of cold!

Leslie's pick 
Lauren Manoogian New Wide Cardigan Dark Charcoal
Martiniano Bootie Black
Erica Tanov slip dress 

"For me, there's nothing that says cozy & comfort better than a sweater coat or oversized cardigan.  Lauren Manoogian does "cozy" so well!  The brass Quarry choker and Erica Tanov slipdress add touches of romantic and intimate.  The Martiniano flats will carry you out the door to a dinner date or drinks.  While I’m not a huge fan of winter, I look forward to this look being one of my uniforms in the coming months!"


Alex's pick  
Chimala Selvedge Denim Wide Tapered Cut Used Ivory
Common Projects Chelsea in Leather Black
A Detacher Tiara Wrap Sweater Bordeaux

"For 15 years of my life, I spent every season in the ballet studio. As soon as it got colder I relied on comfortable, warm knits when tights and a leotard couldn't quite get the job done. This A Detacher sweater is an ode to those memories in the lilac studio I spent so much of my childhood in. The Common Projects chelsea boots add a little edge and toughen the look, while the ivory Chimalas are proof that whites shouldn't be forgotten after Labor Day."


Leslie K's pick: 
6397 Stripe Kurt Cardigan (in-store/phone order only)

"For me, getting dressed in the winter is a chore and challenge. So generally, I'm staying in bed as long as possible and therefore throwing together an outfit as quick as possible. By necessity, the classic jeans, tshirt and cardigan look is my standard go-to and I think this look is effortless and chic! 

Stuart's pick
"Having lived all over the world, one of the tried and true styles is an oversized coat in an oversized pattern. After Halloween, it's acceptable to wear anything that alludes to the following holidays and Isabel Marant does a killer job of dropping hints. A classic pair of blue jeans and wearable boots tie everything together. My favorite part of this outfit, though, is the sweater underneath. It's a sweater vest's older sibling, slightly more elevated and effortlessly cool."

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musical pairings :: november


 

So much of any artistic medium is intertwined and inspired by other forms of expression and art. Many of our designers we supply at the shop regularly share their musical inspirations and playlists while they work, so we thought we'd create a sample of songs every month that bring us nostalgic feels and influence us daily here at the shop! Moving into the holidays, we've selected four albums that remind us of cozying up by the fire or celebrating with friends in town for the season! 

Neil Young - Harvest

With notes of smoke, whiskey and rose, small batch Saint Rita Parlor signature parfum couldn't be more perfect a match with Young's classic 1972 record, Harvest. Neil Bardon designed the unisex scent around a memory of his grandmother trimming her rose bushes while sipping a whiskey and smoking a cigarette. We think Young and Bardon's grandmother would be friends, for sure.    



Prince - Self-Titled


Bold and flamboyant, Prince was the master at incorporating furs and platforms with feminine blouses and leather. We love imagining Prince strutting flawlessly on stage in these Rachel Comey wooden clogs. The Phair slingbacks are the perfect day to night clog for the holidays. With handsewn, butter soft leather and plush alpaca fur-lining, they're a perfect fit with jeans, wool socks and a cozy sweater.

Fleetwood Mac - Tusk

Any good hearted woman has at least one Fleetwood Mac album and MUST have at least one Stevie Nick's-inspired ensemble. Enter the Isabel Marant Etoile Lyin dress in black. This boho chic mini is the perfect little black dress to add to your wardrobe and can be easily worn year round by adding some bright tights or stockings. The Lyin dress paired with some red wine and Tusk blaring on the stereo is the perfect combo for any holiday gathering.

Patti Smith - Horses

Patti Smith is the quintessential of cool - no ifs, ands or buts. She's a pioneer musician and activist. Not only has she released over 13 albums in her lifetime, but she's an established poet and writer; her relationship with the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe being her muse and inspiration more often than not. 6397 has continued to push out thoughtful rock n' roll tees and sweaters and we love this cashmere homage to Patti's book, "Just Kids." 

 Stay tuned for next month's musical pairings, holiday edition! 

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Meet the Team :: Stuart Heidmann

 

House photographer and KC native Stuart Heidmann joined the Finefolk family a little over a year ago, after going to school and living in Chicago for the past eight years. With a detailed, artful eye and thoughtful disposition, Stuart and his talents seamlessly fit right in with the overall Finefolk feel. Here's a little interview with the photographer, where he dishes about style influences and living back in KC.

1. How long have you worked at Finefolk and how did you get connected with Leslie? I got in contact with Leslie through my stepfather, Ken Petti, who knew I would be a good fit for her team after working for two years in Chicago for the clothing company Trunk Club. I've been working for Finefolk for just over a year now. 

2. What is your educational background and what got you into photography?
I studied Photography at Columbia College Chicago where I got my BFA. It all started for me with a photography course the summer before high school. Once I got all my gen ed art classes taken care of my freshman year,  all I wanted to do was photography. It's the one medium that I really connected with and I ended up taking six photo courses throughout high school, even though they technically only offered two at the time. My passion for photography started with shooting film and printing in the darkroom, a more fine-art based practice, and has now evolved into a more commercial/digital realm. 


3. What are your likes and dislikes about shooting fashion photography for a living? I really enjoy seeing how designers use their garments to express their points of view; its an art form in itself. I'm not the biggest when it comes to fashion or what's trending, so sometimes I think it's weird that I've been shooting fashion for the last three years. But at the end of the day, I really enjoy all the people I've been able to work with within this industry. There are some many passionate and dedicated people. 

4. What is a current passion project you're working on or planning?
Lately, I've been trying to devote more time to the fine art side of my work. During college, I was working on a lot of conceptual work based on science fiction narratives, so I've been brainstorming new ideas to continue that work. That and getting back out and shooting nighttime scenes again. I've also been thinking a lot about childhood and memories now that I'm back in KC, so I'm developing some work around that. 


5. What do you wish you had more time to do?
The biggest thing I'd like to have more time for is to travel and see more of the world. Some of my greatest life experiences so far come from living and traveling in Asia and a bit of Europe when I was younger. I get so inspired seeing different ways of life and having a greater sense of this world as a whole. I think travel is one of the most rewarding aspects of life and everyone should make time for it. As the Dahli Lama says "once a year go somewhere you've never been before".

6. Describe your personal style of photography.
My love for photography began with shooting black and white and my early work was based in the traditional aspects of photography: clean lines, rule of thirds; very calculated imagery. I had a very "documentary" approach and I think that has stuck with my work as its progressed. I like to make work that tells a story or provokes a sense of mystery or wonder. I'm drawn to scenes that you don't see every day, little moments of life that are extraordinary. 


7. Who are your influences and heroes?
As far as influences within the photography world I would say Kahn and Selesnick's "Mars" and "Apollo Prophecies" series. I love the way Nadav Kander, Annie Leibovitz and Yousurf Karsh use lighting in their work. Richard Misrach is a big influence as well. Todd Hido's night photography is one of the biggest influences on my personal work. 

Outside of photography; Carl Sagan has had a tremendous impact on my life philosophies, I wish he was still around today. Ram Dass and Alan Watts have profoundly changed the way I see the world and the skateboarder Dylan Rieder has been a big influence on my style. 

8. What do you like most about KC? Dislike?
I like that KC has a very laid back atmosphere and people are more open and friendly. It's been a nice break after eight years in Chicago. I love that the local art scene here has grown so much since I was a child. It's great to see KC getting a lot of attention on that front. I love all the parks and hiking trails around KC too. That was something I always missed in Chicago. 

I think the one dislike I have is that the city is so spread out and you pretty much have to drive everywhere. Whereas in Chicago, they had a really great public transportation system and I could often walk to my favorite spots.  


9. What is your favorite designer or pieces to shoot at the shop?
I love shooting shoes and apothecary items. My favorite right now is the Saint Rita Parlor parfum, because it's unisex and I can actually wear it! As far as designers, Black Crane is minimal and sparse. I always enjoy shooting those silhouettes. 

Stuart is our jack of all trades and we're so lucky to have him as our shop photog!  To see more of his professional and personal work, visit his website.

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Introducing :: Within Apothecary at Finefolk

Photo by Kaley Kocinski

Gina Ciaccio-Holmberg, owner and creator of Within Apothecary, thinks clean. A devoted mother, wife and makeup artist, Gina has dedicated the past 10 years diligently researching and providing organic, natural and sustainable products for her and her family in Kansas City.

Now Gina wants to extend the family by opening her wellness boutique apothecary, Within, offering carefully-curated beauty, skincare and pantry items from vendors around the world; all clean, all natural, all organic.

Tucked perfectly inside our Finefolk space, Gina is excited to offer her wellness expertise and invite customers onto her makeup chair for a one-of-a-kind pampering experience!

Learn more about Gina's makeup background and the products she'll be providing in our exclusive Finefolk Q&A:

1. What are the common characteristics your customer will find among the products you've curated?

Clean. Effective. Elevated. Current. I wanted to create a space for clients to take advantage of my experience learning what is good and what is harmful in beauty and wellness. The clean beauty world can be misleading and confusing, so I carefully curated honest lines that carry the performance of mainstream brands. New products and terminologies are hitting the market constantly, so it was also important to create a safe space for those that love to discover and learn or simply try a new lip color.

2. What brands will you carry? How did you discover these brands?

For makeup: Kjaer Weis, Ilia, Gressa, RMS, Kosas; skin: Hannes Dottir, Julisis, In Fiore, Max and Me, Native Atlas, Linne', Dani Kenney, Poppy and Someday; wellness/pantry: Sun potion, the beauty chef, Alexis Smart flower remedies, CAP beauty wellness products, Zen Bunni chocolates. Hope Gillerman oils, Four Sigmatic mushroom blends.

Foremost, I am a customer, and I have personally used every brand in my daily journey towards health. My passion for beauty and wellness leads me to constantly research articles, stay in touch with the progress of others on their journey, and seek advice from doctors. It's amazing how quickly new discoveries are shared in the health community, but you have to be very careful to weed out trendy testimonies and products.

3. What product are you personally most excited about to carry?

Honestly--all of them. I adore Kjaer Weis cosmetics, the quality and packaging are exquisite. Julisis skin care will transform your skin. I call it the La Mer of clean beauty. I'm concerned how I will keep Zen Bunni chocolates or CAP beauty's coconut butter on the shelves because I inhale those items. And call me dramatic, but I may have teared up when my Walter water vessel arrived. It's such a stunning piece of art that cleans your drinking water with a Berkey filter.

4. In addition to your retail items, what other services will you be providing?

I will continue to do what I've loved for over 23 years: the role of a makeup artist. That includes appointments for applications, lessons, and my cosmetic bag clean-out service. Clients love to bring in what they're currently using, and we replace what is no longer working, keep what is and add what is missing. We are also planning on collaborating with Finefolk to offer workshops and events, so stay tuned!

5. What does your daily skin and makeup routine entail?

I truly believe in less is more. I have narrowed it down to products that are effective, and I have mad love for products that multi-task. For skin care, I start each day with Julisis gold wash day and face oil, Josh Rosebrook nutrient day cream and Oculus eye treatment. At night I love the entire ritual from In Fiore--it's incredible. I love finishing everything up with a few spritzes of the antioxidant toning mist by Native Atlas and their muscle rub concentrate on my neck and shoulders. I stand so much at work and that product is essential. My makeup changes depending on the day. For errands or time with kiddos, the tinted nutrient day cream from Josh Rosebrook and a little RMS uncoverup is enough to even out my skin. For more coverage, the cream foundation from Kjaer Weis is lovely, and I'm obsessed with the corrective serum foundation from Gressa. I finish with the multi-sticks from Ilia, RMS volumizing mascara daily, and any and every lipstick from Kjaer Weis and Kosas.

6. When did you discover your love for makeup and how did you transition it into a career? Is this something you've always had a passion for?

My love for makeup started early with Maybelline kissing coolers. They were mini lip balms that smelled like heaven and I had every one. (To this day, I must have something on my lips, even if it's just a balm.) The love continued to grow as did my love for the arts, and it sort of just fused together. I was fortunate to land a job at a cosmetic counter because in the 1990's getting a retail job in cosmetics was tough. Those were the days when Francois NARS and Bobbi Brown would come to the stores for events and provide incredible training. I gained a lot of experience understanding cosmetics and customers, and expanded to weddings, photo shoots, and agency commercials. I'm extremely thankful for the opportunities to work in this field.

7. You talk a lot about healthy lifestyle options and diligently research these issues on your Instagram. What do you hope to achieve with your customers by sharing this research?

Both awareness to the harmful impact of poorly sourced products and the wellness lifestyle can be easy attained without getting overwhelmed. Sometimes when people hear that I don't eat gluten, grains, dairy or highly processed food, they assume I'm left with nothing on my plate, but the wellness community thrives on sharing recipes that my whole family enjoys. In the same way, the more knowledge I share, the more eyes can be opened to the reality of living healthy.

8. Tell us how the Within storefront landed at Finefolk?

I'm still pinching myself about this one. A few years ago, I walked in to Finefolk and was blown away. The attention to detail, the way Leslie curated that space, and what she chose to fill it with was so intentional, inspiring and beautiful. Leslie asked if I would be interested in doing makeup for a fashion show she was doing at the Haw Contemporary gallery and that show was, hands down, one of my all-time, absolute favorites. Her attention to detail and taste level was on display, and the entire night was magical. Fast forward a few years, I shared my love for wellness and realized Leslie and I were very much on the same page. Those casual conversations turned into a friendship. Leslie knew that I had been looking for a location for my concept and asked if I wanted some space at Finefolk. I was honored, humbled and excited. From the store, to her home (that I never want to leave), Leslie is reflected in everything she does. It's been great developing this concept with her, and I look forward to spending time with her at the store.

9. In your own words, how would you describe Within as a concept and lifestyle? 

I came up with the idea of the store years ago and had an entirely different name. After much thought and prayer, I literally heard the word 'within.' I immediately loved it and it made so much sense to me from an inner/outer beauty level. The night Leslie asked if I wanted to collaborate, I got in my car and heard the word again. I think that's part of the concept and lifestyle. I had to take the time to listen, and I was steered in the right direction and given a name. I think when changing a lifestyle, one needs to take the time to listen and discover what is right for them. It truly starts within.

Please join us in celebrating the Within grand opening this Saturday, October 7th at 7:00pm!

Photos by Leslie Kinsman and Stuart Heidmann

 

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Saint Rita Parlor :: a living memory

Photo by Daniel Johnson

Neil Bardon, founder and creator of Saint Rita Parlor, has always known he was a maker from a young age...and spending time with his grandmother became one of his favorite pastimes as a boy. The special relationship they garnered over his lifetime would become a way of life and business dedicated and designed around the memories he created with her. Each creation, whether it be eyewear, Neil's handsewn exquisite leather bags or the SRP signature parfum is a time capsule and nod to one of the most meaningful people in his life: Rita. 

With notes of of rose and smoke, Saint Rita Parlor signature parfum found its way through the Finefolk doors this early fall. After an in-person visit from Neil, who grew up in St. Louis but now calls Los Angeles home, Leslie (and the rest of the staff) couldn't get enough of it!

Here's a little Q&A with Neil, where we flesh out the concept behind SRP and he explains the detailed, methodical and awe-inspiring process behind the line.


1. You have many talents: fragrance maker, leather worker, clothing & eyewear designer and more! Which came first and when did you know you wanted to become a creator?  

 
Eyewear came first and is my staple, each of the other components and accoutrements lend rich context as well as content to the concept within Saint Rita Parlor.  I knew from a very young age I was different in the sense that I was always creating from concept through execution which helps immensely with running every aspect of a brand/company.

 
2. Your signature parfum has notes of whiskey, rose and smoke. How did you decide on this profile and what intrigues you about unisex fragrances?

 
The signature fragrance is an elaboration and sentiment of a specific memory I was fortunate enough to share with my grandmother. The notes are reminiscent of her from my childhood and inspired by a few of the things she enjoyed. Her favorite drink was whiskey and water, paired with a hand-rolled cigarette, of which she would enjoy whilst tending to her rose garden. Whiskey, tobacco, and rose are the notes that make up my signature unisex parfum with a subtle smokiness and ever slightly sweet finish.  Deciding on this wasn't difficult as my brand is 100% tied directly to her life and our relationship.  Developing the fragrance took about 1.5 years as it needed to be perfect and match the nostalgic aroma I had envisioned.  It was natural to make a unisex fragrance as well.  Rita being my muse I treat everything in SRP as unisex.  Also my fragrances that articulate a memory are rather complex which call for using essential (organic/natural) oils of which have an honest finish that easily perform as a unisex parfum.

 
3. The name Saint Rita Parlor is an homage to your grandmother. What was your relationship like with her and what characteristics about her translate with your brand?

 
I was extremely close with my grandmother, we just had a really special bond.  Having her in my life for 23 years prior to her passing in 2010, I inherited a plethora of sentiment, knowledge, and heirlooms
from her that will stay with me forever.  The entire brand is the story of my grandmother's life told through my design and visual language which results in limited one-off hand made artifacts that I share across the world with like minded individuals.  Everything from the names of the eyewear (surnames of my grandparents prior to marriage), to the antique brass coin embedded behind the right temple of each pair of eyewear from my debut collection (used to trade coins with my grandmother), to the signature fragrance are just a fraction of the portion of the characteristics that live within SRP.

 
4. You single handedly batch, bottle and label each of your parfums. What is it like being your own boss but also, for the most part, the only person running a small business?

 
I intentionally do this for many reasons.  First, being that, as a designer, I feel a severe lack of honesty and disconnect especially in the design/fashion realm and this is how I create an intimate bond between designer and consumer that I feel used to exist but do to the current climate (fast fashion/greed) we've seen a constant disregard for integrity, especially within concept design.  Secondly, in order to maintain a slow organic, yet successful business this is how SRP stays an exclusive/limited brand that cannot produce in mass volume, hence allowing the brand to naturally find its way to the most coveted ateliers in the world.  Being my own boss was also intentional as I have a very specific regiment in my design, building, and concept process.  To answer this more directly, I wouldn't have it any other way as it constantly pushes me to ascend to my maximum capabilities and beyond, the business is only as good as I am and as I make it to be.

 
Photo by Daniel Johnson

5. Tell us about your showroom and workspace in LA, where you reside. Do you hope to expand the brick and mortar shop in the future?

 
The Saint Rita Parlor showroom and studio is also a by appointment only concept store, a distinctive luxury destination and intimate experience specializing in limited batch eyewear and accoutrements. As previously stated, my approach to the current fashion climate is to bring intimacy between designer and consumer, as they have a choice of who and what to surround themselves with and it’s important to me that transparency is disclosed. My intent with SRP is sincere. It’s imperative to understand and cherish what you hold dear, such as an heirloom passed on to you from someone you admire. These are the ideals we live for. Presented with an unparalleled design palate, we create highly regarded products and experiences that surpass the mundane and that’s what I hope for visitors' takeaway.  With that said, I will open a brick and mortar shop in the future.  The singular show will be run by myself and again will be an intimate experience into SRP as intended.  The interior aesthetic is a distinct collection of mid-century modern and industrial design pieces on a strict color palate. Focusing on the honesty of artifact is apparent when you look about the showroom. Everything you see throughout the parlor has it’s own importance and history reciprocating that of our own. I have numerous essential pieces that, through strict research, patience, and knowledge, provide an unprecedented sense of continuity by means of interior design.

We can't wait to see what else Neil has up his sleeve and invite you to come in and sample this special small batch parfumerie while our supply of 5 ml bottles last!

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M.PATMOS x Finefolk Get Cozy Giveaway

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In honor of our M.PATMOS Trunkshow featuring the designer Marcia Patmos in our shop on Saturday December 10th at our Crossroads shop - we are co-sponsoring a giveaway to get you cozy as we move into these cold winter months. The total prize for one lucky winner will be worth over $1000!

 

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One winner will be chosen at random. Winner will be given: one (1) M. PATMOS Mariposa Poncho, one (1) M. PATMOS Jones knit hat and one (1) gift card for Finefolk worth $500. Must be 18 years or older. By entering into the contest you will be subscribed to both M. PATMOS and Finefolk newsletter list. Occasionally, you will receive a newsletter regarding store promotions, new items and deals. One entry per person. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Promotion begins 12/6/2016 and ends 12/13/2016 11.30 PM EST. Winner will be announced week of 12/20/2016.

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