Have a Nice Afternoon: A Goldyn x Kristen Hatgi Sink Project

We are so excited to present our latest art collaboration with photographer Kristen Hatgi Sink, a stop motion video entitled Have a Nice Afternoon.

Enter the world of Daria and Alex, the modern-day pair. Featuring music by Jeff Cormack of the band South of France, we get to peek as Daria and Alex dress, undress, and go about their day with irreverence and playful nonchalance. This special project highlights clothing from designers Mara Hoffman, Rachel Comey, Helmut Lang, A.P.C., 6397, Shipley & Halmos, Raleigh Denim, Lauren Nevada, and more, paired with jewelry and accessories from Loeffler Randall, Jerome Dreyfuss, Amy J. Metals and Native & Nomad; all available for purchase at Goldyn.

Shot in Denver-based fine artist Laura Krudener’s studio, and featuring her original artwork, the stark contrast between the vibrant clothing and the bare white walls, sleek cement floors and brightly hued paintings makes for the perfect backdrop: a true artist’s loft. Jeff Cormack of South of France was tapped to create music for the project, bringing an additional element of lighthearted pop energy, which was an obvious fit for this whimsical piece. Jeff’s group South of France, a Denver-based indie pop band, has always been a Goldyn favorite. As always, it was incredibly important for Goldyn to support the local Denver arts and music scene by working with and featuring locally based artists and musicians.

Teaming up with renowned photographer Hatgi Sink for this project was also a natural choice. Hatgi Sink and Goldyn owner Vanessa Barcus came up with the idea to use stop motion animation in order to add another level of dimension and sense of movement to the clothing. Using hundreds of shots put in sequence, Have a Nice Afternoon captures a special moment that expresses Goldyn’s essence. Hatgi Sink, a Denver-based artist and photographer, has worked with Goldyn on a variety of projects, including last season’s first-of-its-kind wet plate lookbook, entitled Crowns. Always trying to innovate and create new ideas, this season Goldyn decided to step away from the wet plate technique, a specialty of Hatgi Sink’s, in order to try something more modern, cutting-edge and personal.

Goldyn has decided to stray from the traditional seasonal lookbook approach that most designers and retailers do every season. Rather than developing lookbooks, Goldyn is instead teaming up with high caliber artists, such as Hatgi Sink, to develop art projects that are far more advanced and conceptual, proving further that Goldyn is much more than just a clothing store – it serves as a cultural hub for Denver and the greater creative community, with a huge focus on art and music in addition to fashion – all of which are perfectly balanced in Have a Nice Afternoon.

Business Profile: Zoe Twitt

Name: Zoe Twitt, Beauty, Denver

For this Business Profile, I talked with Zoe Twitt, creator of her own self-titled clothing line and, more recently, the natural-wellness lifestyle website Shop Zoe Life, which is part blog, part e-commerce store. Evident almost immediately during our chat is an earnest integrity that translates into how she approaches her businesses, and it gives her a down-to-earth, effervescent demeanor.

Zoe met Goldyn’s founder and buyer Vanessa Barcus when Zoe lived in New York and Vanessa was visiting the city on a buying trip. Says Vanessa, “Zoe and I met many years back because we actually had the same publicist in NYC. We all got drinks one night and she and I hit it off.  Later on we found out that her now-husband actually went to college with me in California, which was so funny. It’s a small world!”

Zoe launched her eponymous clothing label at the end of 2009 with a collection of basics, seeing a meteoric rise with distribution in 60 stores in the infant line’s first year, including New York City’s exclusive Henri Bendel. (Click here to shop Zoe’s clothing line at Goldyn.)

Zoe relocated to Denver when she got engaged, closing the gap in a long-distance relationship. The move resulted in a hiatus from her label, because like so many other fashion moguls, she discovered that Denver largely lacked the infrastructure to support a growing collection. “I’d been trying very hard to live part-time in New York and part-time here, and I realized I couldn’t run my business from here,” she explains.

 But out of the void came Shop Zoe Life. This latest project is truly a labor of love, born out of Zoe’s personal experiences with the differences that natural and organic health regimens have made in her life. “I can incorporate all of my skill sets…I’m really into natural beauty and wellness,  so I spent about eight months researching the most amazing, most effective organic and natural products around the world. Then I started to buy after those eight months and build my site. My vision for the brand was very clear: basics. Basic skincare, hair care, beauty, body, and apparel basics.”

Vanessa Barcus was eager to continue collaborating with Zoe, so the two put their heads together and created a permanent Shop Zoe Life pop-up beauty shop at Goldyn. For Vanessa, the introduction of beauty products to Goldyn was a natural move. She explains, “The fashion and beauty industries are so interrelated. I had been thinking for a while about adding a few beauty lines to Goldyn, so that we could be more of a one-stop shop for customers, so the timing of this collaboration with Zoe really was perfect.”

 Zoe’s genuine passion for the lifestyle she advocates, and the beauty products she curates, has made Shop Zoe Life as earnest as Zoe herself. She came into her belief in all-natural remedies through her personal health struggles. “Most of them were undiagnosed, but the crux of it was inflammation. I started studying qigong and became interested in wellness. I didn’t have a lot of information from my conventional practitioners. I had to go out and do my own research, and I started realizing that what I put on my skin made a huge difference in my health and well-being, and also to the inflammation. I had to go on an anti-inflammation diet; I had to use a lot of natural and quite simple products. And unexpectedly, I found that it was far more effective in clearing up my skin issues as well as health issues. So I became way more passionate about [natural and organic products].”

 But Zoe is reluctant to pigeonhole the beauty products on Shop Zoe Life with highly connotative labels, even those associated with the forefront of her products’ construction. “I don’t even like to call my site an ‘organic wellness’ site, because that doesn’t do the products any justice – the packaging is really beautiful; [the companies’] mission statements are world-changing; all the skincare that I’m carrying is made in America. It’s been really hard because I’ve not really known how to brand it – it is organic, but I’ve just branded it as the best of what’s out there, because it is. Organic doesn’t need to mean ineffectual.”

 Zoe’s commitment to advocating products she strongly believes in makes her highly discerning about what she chooses to feature. She handpicks every product, recipe and beauty ritual on Shop Zoe Life. “I’ve tried every single item. I’ve spent a lot of time doing the research because I wanted to make sure the selection was absolutely perfect and that there was a little bit of something for everyone. But not too much, because you don’t want to get lost in a sea of products. I asked “What do we all basically need? For skincare, haircare, [etc.]?’ I thought it would be great to have a site that people could just go to and know that everything there is safe to use…not just a for-profit corporate business.”

 She loves every product she carries on the site, but the Morihata Binchotan charcoal soap has proven itself a star of the collection, a cleanser among cleansers. By Zoe’s testament, “it cleared out my skin to the point where I don’t have to wear any makeup whatsoever.”

Vanessa Barcus also sings the praises of the charcoal soap, and has a few other Shop Zoe Life favorites of her own. “I honestly have loved all the products I’ve tried thus far! And I do try to test it all out, so I know what I’m selling. My favorites, though, are the RMS Lip2Cheek pots – I use them daily on both my cheeks and lips, as well as the RMS Un-Coverup. All their products are organic and based in coconut oil, which I am a huge fan of. Oh, and I am a big fan of the Rodin body oil…that jasmine oil – so yummy! Zoe really has done a fantastic job of curating the best natural beauty brands.”

 The May Lindstrom “Clean Dirt” cleansing clay is also a favorite. “[It’s] the most incredible mask I’ve ever used. It literally brings everything to the surface, and removes everything from under your skin. It comes in a powder form, and you scoop a little out and add a few drops of water, and it foams up. It looks like dirt – my five-year-old niece was like, ‘Why are you putting dirt on your face? That’s disgusting, you look dirty!’” Zoe laughs. “It smells incredible – [May Lindstrom] puts things like marshmallow root and cayenne pepper and fair-trade Tahitian vanilla.” Her enticing descriptions of the products would tempt any skincare junkie, and they have me pulling up their pages on Shop Zoe Life while we chat. I have a feeling I’ll have found a few new beauty-regimen obsessions before long.

 Our conversation turns to Zoe’s love of beauty fads; I point to this year’s facial oils and last year’s BB and CC creams as the of-the-moment superfoods of skincare. “I’m obsessed with anything to do with trends, and anyone who knows me knows it,” Zoe gushes with a chuckle.

 “But I’ve got to tell you, the only route to good skin is through diet. Nobody talks about this. I know that I’m pushing products here, but it’s about what you put into your body, first and foremost. Secondarily, what you use on your skin. It’s complementary.

 “Some of the trends are right on the mark, but the truth is, they’re unsustainable for our bank accounts and our bodies. We need to use simple products and eat better. There are products you can use that are very inexpensive, such as coconut oil, that are fantastic for your skin…I think simpler is better. Our skin gets really overworked with all of the beauty products that we’re using. Also, we don’t always know what’s going into them. Some cause a toxic buildup over time.”

 Zoe brings her holistic approach to health to readers in the form of favorite recipes and DIY beauty regimens. She also hopes to expand the e-commerce section beyond skincare. “I’m going to be adding more things to the site, such as gluten-free alternative flours for baking, and some supplements.”

 A big reward of Zoe’s labor lies in knowing that Shop Zoe Life has had a positive impact on some women’s lives. “It’s simple things like hearing people’s reactions after using the products, hearing how it’s made a dramatic difference with their skin and confidence. I’ve had people say that after using the Binchotan soap, they stopped wearing foundation and feel more liberated. I also have a friend who had a really negative experience at a dermatologist with a procedure, and it has damaged the texture of the skin. She started using the May Lindstrom products, and it’s really evened out her skin.” Call it skin deep, but when that skin is beautiful, Zoe’s work is pretty fulfilling.

Zoe & Vanessa’s Top Beauty Picks:

Click here to browse ShopZoeLife’s full collection of addicting skincare products and other tempting goodies (and discover some new favorite recipes and beauty tips), and shop Goldyn’s selection of Zoe Twitt clothing here.

Goldyn’s Summer Sale: Our Top Picks

The Goldyn summer sale is in full swing! It may seem hard to believe since it feels like summer is just getting started, but pre-fall and fall deliveries are en route to Goldyn. In order to make space for new arrivals, we have marked down spring and summer merchandise. There are so many great pieces currently on sale, our favorites are as follows…

CFDA Awards 2014 Favorites

Whereas the Met Gala is often thought of as the Oscars of fashion, the CFDA Awards are the industry’s Golden Globes. Just as important, but a little more casual and fun. The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) Awards celebrates style in all forms. Congrats to this year’s winners, which included Joseph Altuzarra, Public School, The Row, Creatures of the Wind, Tim Coppins, and more. One of the most noteworthy moments of the evening included Anna Wintour herself presenting Rihanna (in an ultra-daring, sheer, beaded Adam Selman frock, of which you can preview below) with the 2014 Fashion Icon Award.

We had quite a few favorites last night, ranging from the uber-glamorous Solange Knowles to the always–gorgeous Jessica Stam. Here is our full list of favorite looks from the evening… Which were yours?

Olivia Wild in Decades / Getty Images

Olivia Wilde in Decades / Getty Images

Jaime King in Calvin Klein Collection / Getty Images

Jaime King in Calvin Klein Collection / Getty Images

Sophia Bush in Marchesa / Getty Images

Sophia Bush in Marchesa / Getty Image

Solange Knowles in Calvin Klein Collection / Getty Images

Solange Knowles in Calvin Klein Collection / Getty Images

Coco Rocha in Christian Siriano

Coco Rocha in Christian Siriano / Getty Images

Jenna Lyons in Public School x J. Crew / Getty Images

Jenna Lyons in Public School x J. Crew / Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson in KaufmanFranco / Getty Images

Jennifer Hudson in KaufmanFranco / Getty Images

Jessica Stam in Giulietta / Getty Images

Jessica Stam in Giulietta / Getty Images

Pamela Love / WireImage

Pamela Love / WireImage

Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen / Getty Images

Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen / Getty Images

Rihanna in Adam Selman / Getty Images

Rihanna in Adam Selman / Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Designer Profile: Katrina LaPenne

Katrina LaPenne

Katrina LaPenne

Katrina LaPenne has an artist’s eye for jewelry, which means that her designs transcend trends and expendability. Her penchant for tangible luxury gives Katrina’s fine-jewelry line a staying power that will keep the pieces in your jewelry box long after you’ve disposed of the Lucite bangles and wannabe-Tiffany necklaces.

This Artist Profile takes me to Brooklyn again, this time to a decidedly industrial section of Greenpoint, on the first sunny day that really breaks free from winter’s stubborn grip. Katrina meets me outside her studio, red hair clamped on top of her head and spilling curls in every direction.

During our chat, she speaks with animated passion about her work, jumping from her seat often to show me different details of her process. She’s incredibly personable and has the quintessential down-to-earth manner of a small designer.

Katrina hails from Brooklyn and is a Big Apple lifer, having returned to the city after studying at the Rhode Island School of Design. Like so many college kids, she had no idea what she wanted to do at first. “You get to school and you’re like, ‘Oh, I need to get a job…I don’t know how I’m going to pay off my student loans with this,” Katrina reminisces about her fine-arts education, with an on-point bemused lilt to her voice.

She ended up taking a jewelry-making class. “I had a little bit of experience in steel sculpture and metal smithing, but not in small-scale jewelry stuff. So I took a class and it was fantastic; I loved it. I loved the scale of it and working with a blow torch and all that kind of stuff. So I just changed my major almost immediately, and I’ve been making jewelry ever since.”

For someone who claims she had no idea which direction to take at the beginning of school, Katrina has forged an arguably focused path for herself. She worked as a goldsmith for swanky Reinstein/Ross, a jewelry store in Manhattan’s Upper East Side that makes all its pieces in-house, for five years after college. Katrina started her own line two years into that gig.

She gives me a quick overview of the impressively labor-intensive process of making each piece by hand: “I make all the pieces myself, either directly in metal or I carve them in wax. So the latest collection I did, I carved all the pieces in wax first. And then I get them cast and make multiples from the mold.”

Carved wax models

Carved wax models

“I can show you,” Katrina replies readily when I inquire about the consistency of the wax she works with, hopping from her chair to retrieve a few impossibly fragile-looking carvings, a ring and a model cat. “It seems really delicate, but it’s really hard wax, and I use really sharp little tools. It’s a reduction process; you just take away the wax. Once it’s done, I get a mold made and then I can make it in different materials.” She demonstrates shaving away the wax (incredibly) tiny bits at a time with her precise tools, a process so painstaking it’s a wonder she can sit still long enough.

The conversation turns to Katrina’s inspirations, often pulled from architectural details or patterns in nature. “I guess people say that a lot,” she concedes. Maybe, but I point out that everyone has their own way of relating to their subject and seeing something different in it. For her “Twist” collection, she looked to ancient Viking and Nordic jewelry. “To make it” – she motions to a few bangles and rings on the table – “I forged the silver by hand here in the studio. I tapered it – you start out with a wire, hammer out the edges and then twist them, heat it all up and twist them again.”

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I ask whether she separates her work into distinct seasonal collections. No, she explains with a sigh, because it’s too fast-paced, with too many costs involved. “It takes me a while to decide what I want to make and then do it…It’s a lot of production work. I like to make everything by hand. Even when I get stuff cast, I bring it back [to the studio] and finish it myself.”

"Talon" pendant

“Talon” pendant

For much the same reason, Katrina isn’t one for trendy jewelry either; I point out that we’ve seen a lot of edgy fine jewelry lately. She’s much happier doing what interests her rather than trying to follow trends. “When I love what I’m doing, [it’s because] I’m just making stuff that I want to make,” Katrina explains matter-of-factly. Because of the longevity a piece of precious jewelry has and the craft it requires, she brings up an interesting point of dichotomy between it and fashion trends. “I also came to it through the art aspect, so the whole idea of seasons was a new thing to me. It didn’t even occur to me to follow trends and make disposable stuff, [because] I didn’t come into making jewelry through the fashion aspect of it, so I had to learn all that. And really high-end fine jewelry doesn’t really do seasons.”

“I do a lot of engagement rings and custom work too, so for me it doesn’t seem to make sense to do it that way. I think a lot of jewelry designers, if they’re not doing just seasonal fashions, do a lot of engagement rings and things like that.” Katrina likes doing such custom pieces – it’s a steady way to sustain her business, because as she puts it, “everyone gets married.”

In fact, Katrina just tied the knot herself last summer, flushing a happy pink when she tells me. I ask (only half-jokingly) whether she made her own ring. She didn’t – not the engagement ring, at least – but rather chose an exquisite antique art-deco-style sparkler and made a delicate band to complement it. She generously hands me both rings, and I reach for them greedily, examining them in envious awe before snapping back to reality.

Deco-style rings inspired by her own vintage engagement ring, from left to right: "Gatsby", "Ella", "Sunrise", "Flapper"

Deco-style rings inspired by her own vintage engagement ring, from left to right: “Gatsby”, “Ella”, “Sunrise”, “Flapper”

The pairing inspired her to design her own collection of art-deco-inspired rings. “I made all of these so you can wear a ring flush next to it,” she explains, referring again to her engagement and wedding bands. “I recognize that a lot of people really want to wear their band right next to their ring.”

Katrina says she really likes working with rose-cut diamonds, using them for clients who want more unusual engagement rings, because of their variety of colors, shapes and sizes. She shows me a few rings set with the stones, flat on the bottom and faceted on top, in an array of subtle hues.

"Old World" rings using rose-cut diamonds

“Old World” rings using rose-cut diamonds

Like so many modern entrepreneurs, Katrina makes sure her materials come from ethical sources, and mainly uses stone dealers in the city. “Most of the rose-cut diamonds come from India, and you can buy the regular diamonds from conflict-free sources too. The metal for stuff that’s custom I buy from Hoover and Strong, an environmentally-friendly refiner. So almost all the metal I use is recycled, and the caster I use uses recycled metal too, so they aren’t being mined.” These types of possibilities in a fine-jewelry line further the emerging revelation that socially-conscious manufacturing isn’t merely a trend, limited in scope to unwieldy hemp textiles and impactful but unglamorous recyclable plastic bottles.

Interestingly, Katrina doesn’t wear a lot of jewelry herself, a common thread I’ve noticed among jewelry designers as of late. “I like doing a lot of outdoor stuff,” she explains. “So I end up not wearing jewelry a lot of the time, like when I’m hiking. I have a small backyard and a garden, so I’m out there a lot in my free time.”

Showing just how much I have to learn about New York yet, I’m admittedly a little surprised at this tidbit – such interests seem more characteristic of those in my native Colorado. Speaking of which, I finally get around to asking Katrina how she got connected to Goldyn. “Vanessa had contacted me when she was doing the drop-ship before the store opened. I’m not sure how she found me, but it seemed like an awesome opportunity, and I really liked everything she had picked out otherwise in terms of stuff in the store. She’s great to work with – everyone at Goldyn is really nice. Which I value.”

"Snake" ring

“Snake” ring

"Snake" bangle

“Snake” bangle

I ask the inevitable question about her business’s future growth. “I think I’m always trying to take it as it comes,” she says with a laugh, but overall she prefers small, independently-owned boutiques. “I find that it’s a much more pleasant experience than trying to deal with bigger retailers. Not to say that if that opportunity came along I wouldn’t do it, but right now, this is working for me.”

Click here to shop Goldyn’s collection of Katrina LaPenne jewelry, including styles featured in this piece.

What to Wear: Summer Weddings

shopgoldyn:

Check out The Every Hostess’s guide to what to wear to summer weddings, all in Goldyn attire!

Originally posted on :

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Wedding season is among us and the biggest question (other than are they meant to be.. Just kidding! ) is “what am I going to wear??” Different venues means different attire but whether you are attending a wedding in a church, outdoors, or in an art gallery have fun with your outfit! These looks are all from Goldyn, my favorite boutique in the Highlands.

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Business Profile: Ian Kennedy of Ruby + George

In anticipation of the pop-up store launch event this Thursday the 15th, we chat with Ian Kennedy of Ruby + George, purveyor of Native American jewelry and homewares. Since the inception of Ruby + George, Ian has kept both hands in the brand, researching and traveling extensively to handpick the collection, ensuring that each piece will speak to the new owner as much as it speaks to him. Take a look at Ian’s thoughts on Pinterest vs. Instagram and pairing Native American styles with the likes of Chanel, as well as a few of his favorite stories from the road.

Tell me about the event you have coming up at Goldyn.

It’s the launch of the pop-up [shop] I’m going to be doing at Goldyn for about a month. I’m installing the window on Monday and then we’re having the reception on Thursday.

How did you end up selling at Goldyn?

Basically, my friend Gretchen was trying to get her line into the store, so I knew [Vanessa and Courtney] through her. I ended up cultivating a business relationship with them separately. Not many people have had the experience of being a small business owner, so it’s great to relate to Vanessa on that level.

Zuni-carved owl totem

Zuni-carved owl totem

What about the Native American aesthetic speaks to you and made you want to do it for a business?

I was raised in my grandparents’ Native American and antique shop, so that’s where I really learned that side of the business. They had a mix of Navajo rugs and silver & turquoise jewelry and pottery. And then they also carried Americana. So I learned from early age to mix the two. 

I like how it mixes with modern lines and contemporary designs; it really gives an earthy and warm feel to sometimes colder designs, so it can help balance out a more contemporary look, is how I see it. I like to mix it with more contemporary looks to give it a new feel, instead of just doing, say, an “Aspen lodge” theme. I like to sprinkle the Native American pieces with higher-end pieces.

Ian's living room showing touches of Southwestern decorating, including cowhide rug & Native American powwow photographs

Ian’s living room showing touches of Southwestern decorating, including cowhide rug & personal Native American powwow photographs

So for my window [at Goldyn], I’m planning on doing a “Chanel-meets-the-Southwest”-type theme, kind of like what Karl Lagerfeld did in his collection recently. I have a Chanel table I’m going to be using, as well as some vintage pieces from Givenchy and Chanel and some others. I have a Louis Vuitton suitcase I want to use.

So do your grandparents have Native American heritage, or is it just something that spoke to them as well?

No, they don’t. My grandfather started in the ‘40s trading with Native Americans. I guess he had a neighborhood friend who took a trip down to New Mexico and [my grandfather] joined him, and just fell in love with northern New Mexico; he’s been buying and selling in that genre ever since. My grandmother never really knew much about it [before they met] but fell in love with it as she came into contact with it more.

From your love of mixing different aesthetics and high with low, describe the ideal woman who wears your jewelry.

Silver & turquoise bracelet

Silver & turquoise bracelet

Just someone who’s stylish and knows her own personality; I think as long as you’re confident and know your own aesthetic it’s pretty easy to mix these pieces in. Often someone with more of a boho vibe or an eclectic look. But things like turquoise and silver typically go with anything.

Where do you source the jewelry and home pieces from? That, and the vintage designer pieces for the window display?

A lot of the designer pieces I have to actually source out of state; Colorado never really had a lot of access to those pieces because we didn’t have the retail structures. The women traveled a lot and bought out-of-state, and a lot of it didn’t come back here. I do find some of those pieces occasionally at estate sales around Denver, but often I have to go to national auctions and online. An auction house in Chicago I work with called Leslie Hindman has had a lot of nice couture sales recently, so a lot of the pieces I just acquired came from there.

It can be challenging a lot of the time, because these pieces are so highly desired and it’s difficult to get them for resale prices. So I really have to hunt and put a lot of bids out there, and hope that one or two of them are high enough to win the piece.

Are the Native American finds much the same sort of thing – going to shows and auctions?

It’s a lot easier to get locally. There’s more of it here in Denver, so I can find Native American pieces much more easily at estate sales and auctions. However, I still often have to look elsewhere too, [like] national auctions. I’ve looked in other places where [the style] wasn’t as popular maybe, and people aren’t as aware of the value.

In all the searching you’ve done, have you found any pieces that had a really cool story behind them?

Alice Quam bracelet; turquoise & 14k gold over silver

Alice Quam bracelet; turquoise & 14k gold over silver

I bought a bracelet from a guy that had contacted me because of a blog I had done. I had blogged a while back about some of my grandfather’s personal collection by a famous maker, a husband-and-wife team called Robert & Bernice Leekya. Basically, Bernice’s sister is named Alice Quam, and she makes similar jewelry, and so I was contacted about that 14-karat gold-over-silver and turquoise cuff you might’ve seen me wear sometimes. I bought that through the Internet [when] I was approached about it.

The original owner bought it for his wife, and she never ended up wearing it because she passed away very soon after he bought it for her. The original price tag was still on it by the time I bought it, which was about thirty years after it was sold to them. So it’s interesting how sometimes things don’t even get to be worn the way they were intended; they just get stored away in a drawer, for decades in some cases. It could be a really beautiful piece that should be out there seeing the light of day.

On the business side of things, I know you’re very active on social media. I feel like there’s a challenge for business owners because people can re-pin and re-gram things you put up, and feel like they’re a part of the brand without actually buying anything. In your experiences of social media being such a big part of running the business, how to you go from getting people to pay attention to Ruby + George as a brand to actually buying your pieces?

With Pinterest, the research I’ve done is that it has the best conversion rate in terms of people seeing something and following through to actually buy it – better than what Facebook or Twitter generate. Of course a lot of people are just using [Pinterest] for aspirational and inspirational purposes, but a the same time, the more someone pins a product I put on Pinterest and the more it gets re-pinned – it can basically go viral – the better you chance you have of selling it. Eventually the right person will see it, who can both afford it and wants to purchase it.

I see Instagram less so as a place for conversion. It’s more just a place to showcase your brand and get the awareness out there. Perhaps the person who is drawn in by that will go to the link in your profile and purchase something, but a lot of times [Instagram] is just for the look. Whereas Pinterest is a lot more viable for getting goods sold and having them show up in web searches and that kind of thing – the more times they appear out there, the more Google seems to like them, and you’re likely to rise to the top instead of being buried.

On your travels to curate the collection, have you had any standout experiences that made for a great story?

Yeah, it’s amazing where you can find something, just because of context – what a seller will sell you. I was on a trip to Taos for my birthday, and I stopped at this junk shop on the way, in a small town just off the highway. I bought about $300 worth of items; they had a bunch of great little pieces that I liked. And then as I was leaving, I saw a piece of white marble on the ground. I looked up, and it was attached [as the base] to a 1960s arc lamp. The shop owners were using it to light their glass display, which was a bunch of dusty glass cases up on a high shelf.

They [obviously] just thought of this lamp as just a display piece that only had value to light their glass. So I asked them if it was for sale, and they said, “Oh no, we need it to light our glass display.” So I said, “Well, would $200 knock it loose?” They apparently thought that was an impressive price, and they were more than happy to sell it to me for $200 – a retail price is probably closer to $1,000 for a lamp like that.

Ian's dining room with arc lamp displayed

Ian’s dining room with arc lamp displayed

What gives a lamp like that its value?

Mostly that it’s actually old; lamps like that have been reproduced extensively since the 1960s, and this one had its original old ‘60s gold cord, and there were just some [other] details that made it obvious it was an older piece, rather than a newer reproduction. Because [the shop owners] were outside of a metropolitan area, they weren’t really aware of its value in the current market; that midcentury pieces, especially iconic lighting like that has really gained in value and interest. Currently I’m selling my condo in Denver, and I’m using that lamp to stage the dining room. It just looks amazing – white marble base, and the beautiful arc over a chrome dining table; it looks like a million bucks. So I was more than pleased to get it for $200.

Click here to shop Goldyn’s collection of Ruby + George, and we’ll see you at Thursday’s pop-up launch!

Met Gala 2014 Favorites

Each year the annual Met Gala brings together the worlds of Hollywood and fashion for a star studded red carpet event that is, simply put, awe-inspiring. This year’s event, which celebrated the opening of its show dedicated to couturier Charles James, was heavy on old-world glamour, with many attendees in classic black and white. Our favorites from the night included a wide range of looks, from the ever-glamorous Beyoncé in Givenchy Couture to Goldyn-favorite Kirsten Dunst in a Star Wars-themed starry dress by Rodarte. Here is our full list of favorite looks from the evening… What were yours?

beyonce

Beyoncé in Givenchy Couture, with husband Jay Z also in Givenchy Couture / Getty Images

rihanna

Rihanna in Stella McCartney / Getty Images

emma stone

Emma Stone in Thakoon, with boyfriend Andrew Garfield in Band of Outsiders / Getty Images

naomiwatts

Naomi Watts in Givenchy Couture / Getty Images

michellewilliams

Michelle Williams in Louis Vuitton / Getty Images

zoekravitz11

Zoë Kravitz in TopShop / Getty Images

NicoleRichie11

Nicole Richie in Donna Karan / Getty Images

marykateashley11

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in vintage Victorian dresses / Getty Images

kirstendunst

Kirsten Dunst in Rodarte / Getty Images

leightonmeester

Leighton Meester in Emilio Pucci / Getty Images

Dear Denver :: Local Natives Review

Deb Lastowka is best known as the Dear Denver blogger and will be contributing as a Lifestyle Guest Blogger for Goldyn, reviewing concerts, restaurants, bars, etc. In her first review for Goldyn, Deb checks out band Local Natives at the Ogden on April 26, 2014, along with pre-show drinks at 1up – Colfax (Dry Dock Apricot Blonde) amongst the Colfax hippies and post-show pizza at Slice Works (Grandma slice and two garlic knots) amongst the drunken post-show revelers.

Quote of the evening: I love see shows. I love. (My Chilean boyfriend)

In 2008 the Democratic National Convention rolled into town, along with my best friend Bridget. I was going through some hard times; involved with a cheatin’ man, working a job that wanted too much, and wondering how I was going to make ends meet. In modern terms, I was stressed.

Bridget, being a cool girl, had purchased tickets to see Willie Nelson & Family that weekend at Red Rocks. Early on during the eve of that concert, I was complaining to Bridget about all the junk that was happening in my life, when she cut me off, saying, “Deb! Deb! Deb. Willie is a healer. He is a healer, don’t worry.”

Bridget is not by any means a hippie dippy girl, but I do believe she was right. We went to the Willie show; ate veggie sushi in the parking lot; swilled Tecate; hid organic Cheez-its in the trees, which we successfully retrieved after the show; and then peed off of a hill while we waiting for the gobs of traffic to dissipate.

And I did feel kind of healed.

Experiencing live music is good for the soul, and seeing Local Natives this past Saturday was another good reminder of that.

Yesterday was one of those days when you wanted to do EVERYTHING. It seemed that spring had officially sprung, and the air was filled with social amphetamines.

Everyone was out, trying to suck the marrow from the day and most folks’ social activities easily blurred into the night, with just enough time for a quick costume change (or perhaps not).

By the time we headed out for the show, we had had a long day of running, biking, picnicking, and socializing, and I had an awkward face sunburn that told the world, “it’s been a long, cold winter”.

After a quick pre-show beer with some fellow Philadelphian transplants at the 1up-Colfax , we assumed our position in line outside of the Ogden.

tAueF2PKXsEXsBLDnMqgUS0mlEbOfWIlQsWi48Dkx7gWhile waiting in the line that snaked down Colfax, we caught a few minutes of a performer in Angelo’s CDs, who could be seen through a smudged store window that was littered with bongs #highschool. Shortly afterwards we received the usual gruff and overly assertive greeting by the security guards, making me wish that they could just be cool.

Once inside, the Ogden was quite warm and overcrowded, yet everyone seemed happy. After grabbing canned beers, we quickly surveyed the remaining open viewing areas (there weren’t many), before Nibo luckily spotted a space for 1.5 people on the second level of the upstairs balcony – score. We all waited, watching the foggy set-up of instruments in eager anticipation.

I love the moment when a band takes the stage and people just burst with excitement. The sound is almost something you’d hear in a movie: a pause of silence before a concerted cheer: WE ARE SO HAPPY YOU ARE HERE.

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Local Natives opened with Breakers and the crowd was palatably stoked. If you have yet to see Local Natives perform live, they are a band that reminds you why you go to live music shows. They seemed genuinely excited to be there, and even their most mellow songs were infused with such passion and longing, that you couldn’t help doing that repetitive air humpy thing. Plus their multiple transitions between instruments and positions on-stage made it difficult to decide which formation you actually liked best.

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The band efficiently moved through their two-album catalog of songs with the audience being
quite pleased to hear Wide Eyes, World News, Black Balloon, You & I, Airplanes, and Who Knows Who Cares, among others.

They rocked out the Talking Heads’ cover Warning Sign, which involved mild crowd participation, and Out Among the Stars, a previously unreleased song by Johnny Cash.

About three quarters through the set, the band announced that after this tour they would be headed back into the studio to record their third album, but reassured the crowd that after that, they wouldn’t be neglected (the last time Local Natives performed in Denver was in 2010).

Shortly after the band picked up again, a young kid made his way through the row of people just in front of us, and announced that he was on mushrooms. He then overheard my Chilean arm candy telling me something about Salida (I actually forget what the story was) and then turned around while shouting, “Salida, bro!” After they chitchatted a bit about where Nibo was from and their common appreciation for Nicolas Jaar, the young kid asked for our roach and then left us (and everyone around us) with the parting words, “Only love in this place. It’s all we have.”

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I then turned my attention back towards the show, where I noticed a tank-topped bro, heart-achingly mouthing the words to a song, another couple next to us cuddling in closer for the night, and a boy over to the left of us, searching for just the right emoticon include in his Facebook status update.

Nibo then leaned over to me and said, “I love see shows. I love.”

Me too Nibsy; me too.

The band continued rocking out through the Local Natives three-song encore, where we then
spilled back out onto Colfax, re-invigorated, still somewhat sunburned, but also kind of healed.

Parting thoughts: Local Natives singer/guitarist Taylor Rice has some of t
he sweetest dance moves I have ever seen; smoking pot at concerts will forever make me feel 19

Born in the magical town of Springfield, PA, Deb Lastowka moved to Denver in the summer of 2007 and now happily calls it home. Deb currently runs a blog called, Dear Denver, which is a blog devoted to the mile high. When she is not blogging her face off, she can be found watching movies at the SIE FilmCenter, riding her bike, riding the bus, going to stand-up comedy shows, making soup, hanging with her adorable nephews, and/or hanging at City O’ City.