Style Stop with Maison DNA - Interview Recap

Jesse Stuckey and Beth Loomis are the brains behind Maison DNA, a vintage boutique located in Newport. Last month they welcomed me into their treasure-filled world and answered a few questions for our Style Stop FB live Interview. 

Watch the video here or read our recap below!

What surprises people the most when they visit the shop for the first time? 

What surprises people most upon visiting the shop for the first time is our unique atmosphere. Our historic building, eclectic decor and curated clothing collection all work seamlessly together to make for a magical shopping experience. First time visitors and regulars alike love that everything in our store has its own personality, energy and story. From the clothes, to the decor, right down to our price tags, everything we do and carry has a sense of intention, purpose, uniqueness and fun attached to it.

How do you decide that an item is worthy to grace the racks of Maison DNA? 

The process for deciding whether or not to carry a specific item on our racks starts with the surprisingly simple question of "Do we love it?" It may seem unorthodox but instead of carrying inventory that we think people will like, or based on trend, we purposefully do the opposite. Instead, our philosophy is to carry product that inspires and excites us first and foremost. Then, if almost by magic, this energy is subconsciously picked up by our customers and in turn they become inspired and excited by what we carry.

On a side note, I feel like this process is based on intuition or instinct which also inadvertently leads us to picking specific styles or fashions a few weeks or months before they become a trend on the runway.

Once we give the initial OK to an item, but before bringing it "home", we meticulously check for quality, condition, craftsmanship and overall visual impact. 99% of the time, even the tiniest flaw on a piece is a deal breaker and although we loved the piece initially, it does not make the cut and we leave it behind. Such strict guidelines not only allow us to deliver a product of value and quality to our customers but allows us to take pride in what we do.

Where do you source pieces from?

After being in the vintage fashion industry for almost 20 years, we are fortunate to have made invaluable contacts in the business. For the first time, without giving all the magic away, we can say that our inventory comes from professional buyers who have inside access to collections from certain New England "homes" that otherwise the public does not have access to.

The most flattering comment you have ever received...

That'd be from a well dressed gentlemen from Milan visiting Newport for the Summer who told us that Maison DNA would be a big hit where he lives.

To stay connected with Maison DNA, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.  And on your next visit to Newport, be sure to stop by their boutique located at 64 Spring Street!

She So Stylish: Lindsey Catarino, Fitness & Lifestyle Coach

When people ask me how I came to know and work with Lindsey, my reply is "...through the power of Instagram!" 

It was around the summer of 2015 when photographer Olivia Gird and I met for the first time at one of my favorite spots, Wildflour off of Hope Street, to learn about each other's work. She and I found out we were both located in New England while commenting on a Hilary Rushford's social media post, and started DMing each other. A few months later, there we were, drinking iced tea and chatting up potential collaborations. 

Fast forward a year later. When Lindsey Catarino uprooted her life and businesses to Newport last summer, she knew she was going to need an on-site team to assist with her branding project and photoshoots. She did some research and found Olivia Gird on Instagram (hahstags people! They matter), liked her work and decided to connect with her. Long story short...a few months later Olivia Gird and I had teamed up and were planning for Lindsey's branding shoot.

Below are a few of my favorite shots, and scroll down a bit more for my mini-interview with Lindsey herself, who shares her thoughts on style, self-care and wellness! 

Do you have an elevator pitch? 

You know I've been to a lot of conventions that say I need one. When people ask me what I do, I often say "I help women become their best self". For me, fitness is not about a size or a weight, but a feeling inside of you that says you feel fabulous. The women I serve tend to be a little lost with how to go about getting their life and body on track and that is where I come in and give them the support, plan, and accountability they deserve.

Why was it important to you to have your website reflect your recent move to New England?

I've found that my website is like the calling card of my brand. While I was living in Nashville, I adopted a lot of the local style which many think is "cowboy" but it's actually very hipster or rocker. I knew this would not really work with a seaport, Newport like style. So it was time to make the transition both personally and professionally.

When is the launch of the new website?

We are in the final stages of re-launching the fitness page in February. My coaching page will be next which should be out this Spring. Lots of exciting things in the works.

Let's talk style...What does it mean to you and your brand?

I struggled with finding my personal style again when I hit my 30s. I was watching my own self image struggle as I was gaining weight and starting to show signs of aging from my stressful accounting job. I started to wear what was comfortable, convenient, and bland. My week days were the same couple of black, navy, and tweed suits and my weekends were jeans, sweaters/tshirts/sweatshirts, and flat shoes. I felt really drab. 

For me, fitness had to come first. When I started to see my body change, I wanted a bit more from my style. Still, I don't think anyone would have called me a fashionista. The big transition for me was getting divorce. I remember standing in the Nordstroms dressing room (a place I had never shopped before!) saying "I just don't want to FEEL like I'm old and worn out". I found my first personal stylist that day and she was like my fairy godmother! Within a few weeks, I was dating a very handsome man 10 years younger than me and I was a lot more confident - inside and out. 

Now, I am someone that feels my personal style is my business brand. I once had a mentor say "If your customer doesn't want to be like you, they won't buy from you". I think she was absolutely right and I remember that when I want to run out of the house in my old sweats and I turn around and put something a bit more polished on.

What is the one thing from your closet you can't live without?

I have a pair of Jimmy Choo suede booties that I would probably knife fight someone if they tried to steal LOL. They go with everything. I get compliments on them every time I wear them. I can seriously put them on with jeans and a white tshirt or a sexy dress and they work just as well. They are fantastic for travel because they are comfortable, fashionable, and work with half of my packed bag.

Advice for those of us who have fitness + wellness goals in mind in 2017?

First, I would start with nutrition. Many women come to me and say they have no time to work out, you can still make a huge different in your body fixing what you are putting into it first. Your motivation will come as you see the scale start to drop, I promise! Focus on eating whole foods - lean meat, veggies, fruit - and avoid starches, dairy and sugars at all cost. Eat healthy fats for energy - avocado, olive oil, ghee, and unsweetened coconut. Make sure you are taking a vitamin or ideally a supplement, my favorites are Shakeology, Vitamin D, and a Probiotic. When you do add back fitness, don't over do it. My best transformations (like losing 20 pounds and 20 inches in 60 days!) came from working out 15-30 minutes a day, not long overdrawn sessions at the gym. You have to find a workout that is productive for your body type which is usually best to ask a coach for some advice. As always, I am happy to give my free advice to anyone that reaches out to me.

Share your favorite thing to do in Newport so far...

I feel like Newport is for strolling. I absolutely love leaving my car at home and exploring on foot. When the weather is temperate, I adore the Cliff Walk. I've met a lot of very sweet new friends here and getting out and enjoying the restaurants and sites has been wonderful. I'm looking forward to my first Spring and Summer, I have my sites on finally learning to sail. 
 

Photoshoot Credits

Photography: Olivia Gird

Hair + Makeup: MAW Beauty

Retail partners: 

Domaine Designs

Feminine Fancies

 Shoppe Pioneer

Zuzu's Petals