By now, I’m sure all of you have recognized that I’m deeply in love with Charlotte Stone’s unique and groovy shoes. I live in the Marlo and Morely (as seen here and here on my Instagram). And I find myself popping on the Cassidy heel during these cooler evenings - for the perfect casual or fancy feel.
But it’s the brilliant holistic designer behind these magnificent creations that deserves some serious highlighting. Her simple and chic, beachy, surf lifestyle in Ventura leaves me wishing maybe I should have settled down up there instead. With frequent visits to her local refill station (zero waste goals anyone), to the simplicity of riding her bike to the Ojai Farmers Market, I couldn’t resist sharing an insider peek into this designer’s holistic lifestyle with you all!
I love that you ask that question. I’m a Cancer with Libra rising.
I’d always been interested in shoes. I never thought in a million years that it would be an option as a career, but one fateful day a friend told me to give it a shot and helped me find a school to learn the process. I moved out to LA, studied like a maniac, graduated and got a job working with an apparel brand designing their shoes. Two weeks later I was on a plane to Italy working directly with the factories and tanneries I’d only ever heard about. It was heaven. I never looked back. Starting Charlotte Stone Shoes was hard though. It was obviously so personal, and I was really afraid of failing, I still am! But it’s really nice to be able to explore ideas and techniques that I couldn’t before, it is completely liberating.
INTENTION & CREATION
Well, usually I start with a big idea or concept and design into each construction, but Fall 16 was different. I was feeling like I needed essentials - wardrobe basics. Maybe it was because my husband and I were moving and I had to pack hundreds of pairs of my personal shoes! But I thought, ok, what am I REALLY going to need and how will I make those timeless and effortless. I found some gorgeous Italian materials and came up with some great shapes, and that was that.
Surfing is a very grounding experience for me. It relaxes my mind. When I have stress and panic, nothing in my life works, so I try very hard to maintain that part of my life. Even when there’s no surf, we’ll just get in the ocean and swim.
Sage Smudging – we just moved into a new house so we’ve been smudging to clear the energy.
Organic Gardening – we’ve got a nice big garden again! I can’t wait to get my hands in the dirt. Oh, and my new neighbor gifted us three laying hens!
Clean-Slate Neutrals – we are determined to declutter our new place so we’ve whited-out the walls, ceiling fans, and wall fixtures, and are starting with a clean slate. We’re only bringing in furniture and art that fit with our minimal approach now. It’s very hard!
The Refill Shoppe – this place is absolutely chock full of biodegradable and organic beauty and home products that can customize in a million ways. They’re in giant tubs and you bring in your containers to refill. We haven’t bought any plastic containers in a year and a half since we started going there. Every neighborhood should have one of these.
Stargazing – we don’t live in a big city anymore and now we can see the stars at night.
Black fitted tattered denim, big giant cotton button down shirts, and my Drea Leopard slides.
Super baggy 90’s pleated pants, a body suit, and my Samia’s in Slate Velvet.
I love camping. My husband and I have an 87’ Volkswagen Vanagon, and we’ll be taking her up to Big Sur in a few weeks. I can’t wait!
The Pacific Ocean – For so many reasons and in so many ways.
Baking – Baking is meditation for me. I think it’s all the steps and precise measuring. I find it very relaxing and obviously rewarding. Yum!!
Jungmaven Hemp T-Shirts – my husband and I are a little nuts for them. They feel amazing.
Biodara Organic Skincare – I’ve been hooked on these products for a while. They feel so luxurious and smell amazing.
Riding My Bike – my friend built me a bike from an old French frame. It’s one of my prized possessions. I ride it to and from my office everyday.
First thing Saturday morning you’d get on your bikes and ride to the Farmers Market to get all your organic fruits and vegetables. You’d wind your way through the stalls and end up at the Tomal Cart for breakfast. I’m sure these are not organic or natural but they’re SO delicious. We can’t be good all the time, right? Then you’d ride out to Main Street to We Olive to fill up on organic California olive oil. They have giant barrels of it and you can bring your own containers to fill. Then you go down a couple doors to The Paradise Pantry. A small restaurant with a tiny shop next door that is brimming with luxurious local and imported wines, cheeses and charcuterie. This is the stuff of picnic basket dreams my friends. Now you’d take all your goodies down to the boardwalk and ride for The Jolly Oyster, where you’d spread out your picnic and order a couple dozen sustainably raised Oysters to shuck yourself. Climb over the dunes and jump in the surf to cool off if you want. Lay out a blanket and watch the sunset.
Next day, you’d get up early and hop on your bikes again. This time for a ride up to Ojai. The path takes you from Ventura into Ojai through some areas you’d never see otherwise. It’s so peaceful. You’d end up at Kneed Baking Company for ridiculously delicious pastries and coffee. You’d have to go across the street to shop In The Field. Their meticulously curated lifestyle shop is so inspiring and carries my husband’s Palapa Lounge chairs that he hand makes right down the road. Then you’d check out Libbey Park. If there wasn’t a pottery festival or concert happening, you could just kick back and watch the locals. And on your way out of town, you’d stop at Cattywampus to pick up some yarn for your weaving project, or some amazing Japanese indigo fabric because you can’t resist! You’ll fly back down to Ventura on your bike, and on your way out of town, you hit all the thrift shops lining Main Street.