18 November 2014

Make It Matter

Our little world needs to see some change and the quickest/easiest way to get to it, is adjusting our daily and seasonal habits.

Over the next month those in the western world will whip wildly through a list of loved ones, excitedly purchasing delicious and delightful declarations for them as part of the traditions that fall during this season.

There are a multitude of beautiful things which result from these celebrations, many revolving around Love and kindness, which is why it seems slightly ludicrous that we express our positive feelings for others by spending money on items produced with the opposite emotions and intentions.

There are many suggestions to be made about how we can change our daily lives to improve the social, economic, political and ecological situations we’ve found ourselves in, and I don’t pretend to have the answer to any of them, but I would like to challenge myself, my loved ones, and the world at large to make the choice to #MakeItMeanSomething, through our actions, purchases and beyond.

This challenge is an easy one to commit to, to close your purchasing scope a bit by committing to adhere to one, a few, or all, of the suggestions below while exercising your purchasing power, this Holiday Season, and (if it suits you), in the year(s) to come.

*#MakeItMeanSomething #Top20*

If you're gonna buy:
1. buy less
2. buy something with meaning
3. buy local
4. buy handmade
5. buy ethical
6. buy sustainable
7. buy organic
8. support a small business / musician
9. Buy vintage/second hand
10. Recycle, upcycle, repurpose

Or don't buy it at all:
1. adopt a pet in need of rescue
2. volunteer time
3. donate money
4. hold out a helping hand
5. write a letter/poem
6. paint a picture
7. build a sculpture
8. bake something
9. make something
10. find a cause to care for

To partake in this challenge - just do it - and hashtag #MakeItMeanSomething if you find a moving moment.

Big Hug x

17 October 2014

Eco Français-ly

As an eco-friendly clutch 'designer' I'm doing my best to live my daily life in a way that reflects the sustainable lifestyle I promote.

And, since moving to Paris, I've been doing my best to engage in the culture and language I'm blessed to be surrounded by, in an attempt to immerse myself in this experience.

There are some days when I feel that if I were to put my actions on a rating scale I'd get a gold star sticker for practicing what I preach. That said, there are just as many days when old habits creep in and I fall off the proverbial eco boat and end up swimming in the swamp.

Today, was one of those days I was sailing smoothly. I woke up and read a book I’ve been meaning to read, printed on recycled paper, written by a Vietnamese monk living in France (if you ever have the chance to visit Thich Nhat Hanh’s mindfulness practice centre, do, it's magical: Plum Village)

Feeling clever, I geared up and went for a run in my favourite Parisian park (Parc des Buttes Chaumont) wearing my eco-friendly, ethical, fair trade sneakers, made by a French company here in Paris (Veja).

With my brain and body jazzed up after the run, and an honestly healthy juice in my belly, I sat down and got creative finishing the tassel on the eco-friendly Leotie Lovely Souk Soiree clutch which was ordered by a French customer

Creatively, physically and mentally fulfilled, I hopped on the metro down to the Canadian embassy to take care of some logistical loveliness and on the way… found myself wandering into a Starbucks, standing zombie like in a line full of North Americans, and, after a day of using French ferociously, ordered a 'soy latte' in English. 

With one sip, my eco francais-ly day melted away in a haze of vanilla flavoured consumerism and that gold star I'd been eyeing floated out of my reach.

I mentally scolded myself with a quick "Dagnabbit, Holly",  and smiled at passers by, doing my best to enjoy this guilty pleasure, knowing tomorrow I'd (probably) do better. 

x Holly 

13 October 2014

Nifty Newbies: Rare Breed Cashmere Turban and Bobble Hat

After a slight 12 month delay, I'm pleased (and relieved) to announce the arrival of these two winter warmers to my shop.

The turn of events which lead to their creation was a lovely one, beginning as most things do, with a kind introduction. Knitwear designer Edina Ronay, my former boss, introduced me to Lesley from Devon Fine Fibres who had provided her with beautiful rare breed cashmere produced, for the first time, in the UK (normally cashmere is produced in Mongolia and then sent to Scotland for washing and spinning).

I was so inspired by Lesley and her husband Roger, who escaped city life to build a beautiful farm down in Devon and create a heart lead business, the first of its kind, where rare breeds of Sheep and Goats live their lives in a lush loved up environment, cared for by people who ensure they are treated with the highest ethical and welfare standards, or in Lesley's words: "like family".

The love shared with the animals who produce these fine fibres shows in the quality of yarns produced, after the goats and sheep are sheered Lesly hand washes and spins the fibres into yarn herself, sending each ply off un-dyed, in the natural colour seen in the hats above, alongside a lovely personalised note filled with blessings and encouragement for the creative process to follow.

In the spirit of the love filled process Lesly began, and to express my complete admiration of  Katie MeylerHolden M Warren and the rest of the team down in Liberia, I've decided to donate 25% of each hat sale to More Than Me Foundation's Ebola-Free West Point Coalition. You can follow their emotional fight against Ebola on Holden's instagram account and/or donate to the foundation/coalition's causes HERE

x Holly

15 September 2014

Romping Around: Gypsy Queen

CLUTCH: Leotie Lovely - PLAYSUIT: Spell Byron Bay - BOOTS: Ash - FLOWER CROWN: DIY here

This month marks the second month on the move as my guy and I, having given up our shoebox abodes in London and Paris, Airbnb our butts around Europe like caravan-less gypsy's in an attempt to complete the post production of our short film.

For the editing phase, we're living in magnificent Madrid, getting a glimpse of the sweet summer we missed between work bound lock downs indoors.

I could embark on a dreamy dictation of all the magic Madrid holds, but I'll begin with just the simplest of salutations to the walls, doors and buildings, painted all the colours of the wind, which greet us each day as we emerge from our modest flat sniffing for coffee and carbs.

I'm lucky as a leprechaun my partner in crime's milkshake of professions includes photography, which means some days he'll capture pictures of our prancing.

We came across one of Madrid's elusive flower shops the other day, located across the street from this gorgeous green wall which just happened to be painted the exact colour of the beautiful Gypsy Queen Romper by Spell Byron Bay I bought from lovely Frankie at The Native State around summer's solstice.

I was in the midst of designing my clutches when I purchased this floral frenzied frock and, inspired by Spell's pretty playsuit, combined a piece of driftwood I had found on the beach in Morocco with a hand died one-of-a-kind upcycled piece I'd made earlier on to create this ONE-OF-A-KIND GYPSY QUEEN CLUTCH named after the romper it was inspired by.

What I'm Wearing
PLAYSUIT: Spell Byron Bay


17 July 2014


I have another project, completely unrelated to the clutches and eco friendly fashion in general, which my partner and I are desperately trying to raise money for.

Last fall I met a dank Texan grit in Paris and we shared the most magical, romantic, universe winking weekend – a few weeks later we travelled to Madrid and filmed a screenplay he and I had written in the weeks the followed our Parisian Preamble. It too turned into a magical Love story. http://igg.me/at/churrofilm

We’re in the last few weeks of our CROWD FUNDING campaign on INDIEGOGO to raise money for the post production of the film (editor, colourist, composer, sound engineer, film festival entry fees and pr)

We've created PHILANTHROPIC PERKS for each of the levels of giving to ensure your donation will DO GOOD TWICE (Stuff like this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1504806206400232&set=vb.1501828953364624&type=2&theater ) 

Lots of €10-€25 DONATIONS will get us to our goal. So no need to stretch yourself thin financially with hefty contributions. We just appreciate so much any help you can give! http://igg.me/at/churrofilm

Thank you to everyone who has shared and/or donated to our project thus far, it means a lot to us and we are so very grateful for all the support we receive!

The project can be found here: http://igg.me/at/churrofilm
Facebook is here: https://www.facebook.com/churrofilm
Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/churrofilm

Hope you are all having a love and laughter filled day!


Xo Holly (and Shane)

(Pic above from our first date!)

10 July 2014

Thankful Thursday: Kristina Dimitrova

There are so many talented wonderful people in the world to celebrate, many balancing full time jobs alongside their artistic expression. I admire so many people for so many things and always feel lit up to see others flourishing in well deserved success as they conduct the 'business' side of their expression with love and grace.

From bloggers and press, to artists and jewellery designers I've been so lucky to be met with such positivity and support in what has been a beautiful exchange of energy.

Last year my artist friend Kristina who runs Dimi Gallery and I collaborated to create a limited edition Halo print (http://bit.ly/1mJgg62) which raised nearly $1,000 (http://instagram.com/p/iUBMWIH6Fu/?modal=true) for Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Prairies/NWT. It added a new layer to my and Kristina's personal friendship, created cosy connections with those that purchased or shared the art, and provided us with a sense of positive achievement working together philanthropically.

As a token of our friendship and expression of her art, Kristina just sent me this beautiful hand painted version of the Leotie Lovely logo, originally designed by another talented artistic friend, Kristin McPherson (https://www.behance.net/kristinmcpherson).

I can't express enough how happy and lucky I feel in this moment to have such beautiful connections.

Big Thank you and Big Hug to everyone who has shared their talents with me and supported this little project in one way or another.

I'm so very very grateful.

xo Holly Rose (Leotie Lovely)

9 July 2014

Wednesday's Words: Belle of the Blue

[Belle of the Blue] 

dressed ever so delicately 
she blushed blue with humility 
amongst her beloved ones 
dancing in the purple haze 

strengthened by constancy 
she smiled joyfully 
laughed spontaneously 

serenely self assured 
wondrously wild 
finally free

words: Holly Rose
image: Annie Forest