She So Stylish Feature: Romina Ramos Doing Meaningful Work Abroad In Style

There are many, many women out there doing important work in various places of the world, and most of the time they're out of the spotlight because 1. They prefer to remain free of outside validation of their purpose and their life choices, and 2. Capturing every second of their lives on social media (to show how amazing their lives are) isn't simply their thing. The fact that they alone know it to be true is the only authenticity they want/need.  

These women are freelancers, advocates, ambassadors...they are underground leaders making environmental impact one healthy turtle at a time, and are doing all of that while creating their own narratives. I mean...how inspirational, right! 

Last December I had a wonderful time working with one of these smart + driven women, Romina, as her personal shopper + stylist. If you're a frequent visitor of my blog, you may have noticed that sharing my client's stories is one of my favorite things to do. And this one is definitely worth reading...

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Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your work with turtles and the organization?

I work with endangered leatherback sea turtles in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands. This year marks my third season with the project team at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. I patrol a beautiful beach from evening to sunrise to collect scientific data from nesting female turtles. The work is intensive and fun if you like wildlife and aesthetic views. 

Q: What prompted your desire to work abroad? 

Since middle school, I've had an obsession with maps. My favorite class was geography and I told myself that I would discover other countries one day, because I wanted to see how different cultures live day by day. Being American and growing up in a Cabo-Verdean household, I'm naturally drawn to the island life, natural foods, sleepy towns, and beaches.

Q: When you came to me, you were very intentional and decisive about where your personal style was going, can you talk about your style evolution and why this was important to you?

In St. Croix, I travel and work outdoors so a lot of my clothes are basic jeans, shorts and tees with a few nice pieces for outings. Because I'm active, I look younger than my actual age. I was particular about upgrading my wardrobe because I wanted to learn how to dress for my age and body type. There's a different response you get from people when you are and look 26 as opposed to when you look 18. I'm at a time in my life where I'm building on my ideas and networking, so investing in a fresh, new wardrobe seemed right. 

The right outfit for me has to say outgoing and authentic because I'm very grounded to my roots. I'm surrounded by tropical plants, fruit trees, farm animals, and the ocean, very similar to Cabo-Verde (where my family is from). I realized that's where I'm the most happy. For my style evolution, I wanted to play with ocean and desert colors because I'm very attracted to those environments where I live and work in. It's amazing how adding a few essentials such as dressy pants, cute blouses, simple and elegant dresses and jumpsuits can really transform how you feel and carry yourself. 

When I returned to the U.S. for the holidays, I had a budget in mind and knew I needed to stock up on basics and invest in pieces to last me all year long. It made sense to work with you because 1. I needed styling expertise, and 2. My one-week stay was going to be limiting and it was crucial for me to spend most of this precious time with my Rhode Island family, rather than in stores.

Q: What do you like about your wardrobe now? 

It's speaks feminine and maturity! 

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in StCroix on your off time? Your favorite food?

My favorite thing to do in St. Croix is to snorkel with my GoPro Hero4. My favorite food on the island are mangoes. I live on a lush property surrounded by the best mango trees in the west side of the island. 

Q. Do you have any advice for the nomad life seeker out there on where to begin? How to make the leap?

Always be kind to yourself and to others in all situations. Being kind and respectful pays off (especially if you are traveling). You learn to appreciate more and you will receive more. I made the leap when I quit my job, applied abroad again, and traveled on a tight budget for 8 months before I returned to St. Croix. I didn't know where I was headed, but that was okay for me because I felt confident, and I attracted this life that I am living now.  I've gone through so many challenges that I know myself a lot better now and I love that. Be fearless or else you will limit yourself.

Touring Rhode Island Jewelry Landscape

A few months ago I joined my friends Brittanny Taylor of Brittanny Taylor Photography, Patsy Culp of AndCelebrate, and other bloggers to meet and talk with jewelry designers working right here in the state of Rhode Island.

The #RIJewels tour was part of an initiative led by Visit Rhode Island to connect influencers and bloggers to industry leaders and experts to broaden the visibility and exposure of the talent within our little state.

The tour kicked off with a coffee + pastries breakfast meet & greet with three designers: Meghan Devinat of Duo & Duet, Loren Barham of Loren Hope, and Nicole Romano of Nicole Romano. 

Duo & Duet

Duo & Duet was born out of a couple's mutual passion for designing and creating. Made from ultrasuede (which is often described as an artificial substitute for suede leather), their pieces are delicate and whimsical, and push the traditional belief of what accessorizing means in this day and age, particularly for the ready-to-wear art lover and/or fashion aficionado! 

I, for one, appreciate thoughtfully-made accessories because i know the quality will be up to par. Amidst all the pretty shapes and ruffles, my eyes were set on the red wing-shaped earrings (below), and I couldn't help myself but visualize pairing them with a LWD. How ever you choose to wear your Duo & Duet item, my advice would be to let it be the statement piece it is meant to be by opting for a minimalist outfit. If you'd rather stick to your glitzy side, commit to making your Duo & Duet piece proud by going in 100% from head to toe!

Loren Hope

Aaaah the joy of finally meeting in person Loren Barham, Founder and Designer of Loren Hope! Her business is one of Rhode Island hidden gems from my perspective. I adore the way she injects visual flavor and vibrancy into her pieces --- I mean... see for yourself

There is a piece for every taste, and every style. If you prefer your necklaces to have that WOW factor, opt for something like the one below. Or...

You may select a more subtle piece like the Eden Y Necklace or one of her popular Sarra cuffs (as seen below). 

Nicole Romano

Recently I was at a partner shop, pulling pieces for a client's upcoming branding photoshoot. As I was making my jewelry selections and placing the earrings, bracelets, and necklaces on the counter, the boutique owner began to log the items on a sheet of paper.  Then she turned to me and said: "All great selections! You know all of these are from designer Nicole Romano, right?" And my reply: "Ha! I had not idea but I am not surprised at all! I love her stuff so it's natural attraction."

Nicole Romano's pieces are not conversation starters; they are conversation dominators. They are bold and fierce, and one thing's for sure...they are not for the timid-don't-want-to-be-noticed type. I dream of wearing these pieces with a sweet body-con dress and a killer leather jacket. That's how much of an impact they've made on me. 

Kiel James Patrick Factory

I remember the collective "OOOOHHH" and "AAAAHHH" from the tour group as we entered the offices of Kiel James Patrick (also known as KJP). If you are familiar with the brand, the nautical ambiance and feel of the interior design will then come as no surprise! The New England ocean-inspired vibes are strong and yet feel breezy...relaxed even. As a lover of RI waters myself, I am in awe at the commitment, passion, and thoughtfulness that the company and brand exude.

Our group's conversation with KJP and his team was intimate. He spoke genuinely and openly about how it all began; the influence of social media in terms of global connections; and shared moving anecdotes. His fiancée, Sarah Vickers of the popular blog, Classy Girls Wear Pearls, also made an appearance as she was wrapping up an interview in the next room. It was nearly impossible to leave the factory without feeling inspired! 

Jessica Ricci Jewelry

I have told myself that in my next life, I will be a jewelry designer and travel to beautiful places all around the world, in search of gorgeous, unique stones and beads, just like Designer Jessica Ricci. Seriously. 

Every piece made by Jessica Ricci has a story. And it's personal and meaningful; and you will find yourself connecting to those human emotions. I, for one, could relate to the free-spirit element reflected in her pieces as I am in constant search for experiences that bring personal fulfillment, cater to my desire of creative freedom, and nurture my love for cultures. Jessica Ricci's pieces are inspired by her travels to various corners of the world - such as Mumbai, Nepal, Paris. Just the thought of me walking into a bazaar in one of those places make my stylish heart melt. I am not kidding - I will melt! 

Definitely check out her pieces, and when you do pick out a little treasure for you, know that you will have my stylist approval - 100 percent! 

Providence Jewelry Museum

The Providence Jewelry Museum was our last stop and brought everything full circle. I appreciated this visit immensely because it provided historical context to the jewelry industry in Rhode Island, and emphasized the crucial role it played in past years (and still plays now).

The good news is anyone can tour the museum. The staff is welcoming and encourages everyone to call and inquire about scheduling a visit. It is certainly a great way to get to know a part of Rhode Island history - you will not be disappointed

And then there was...the goodie bag with pieces from Kiel James Patrick and Lemon & Line

As always, thank you for visiting our blog! 

~Olivia