spotlight: katelin sisson

katelin sisson

On the first day of spring in downtown NYC, I met Katelin Sisson at the cool and cozy restaurant, The Smile for a coffee and some chat.  Waiting outside, I spotted her walk down Bond Street looking relaxed yet super stylish.  Her 8.5 month baby bump was barely noticeable.  A testament to Katelin’s wellness and balanced lifestyle, she looked radiant.  After catching up on typical baby and mama-to-be talk, we discussed yoga, Katelin’s long-time commitment to the practice and her yoga retreat based company, Yoga for Bad People.

Katelin joined the Jivamukti yoga training program in 2006 out of a passion to further understand the mind and body connection and support her already established relationship with sports.  She has been a dedicated athlete her entire life.  With yoga’s foundation rooted in mind and body, she was hooked immediately and recognized how athletics and yoga effectively compliment each other, producing results that nurture both inner and outer selves.  Her focus is on helping others through physical ailments, connecting them back to mental and emotional issues.  “Katelin’s classes work to combine the mechanics of an athlete and the grace of a yogi.”

In 2012, Katelin and co-founder Heather Lilleston whom also trained at the Jivamukti school, launched Yoga for Bad People (YFBP).  Unlike typical retreat programs, YFBP  “seeks out locations around the world that lends itself to quiet time and reflection as well as a multitude of physical activities, athleticism and nightlife.”  The goal is to provide a retreat with no strict set of rules, less rigidity and one that, “our friends are actually going to want to go on”.  The structure of a yoga retreat exists, but without the extremes.  Katelin and Heather are both very “of this world”, recognizing that although yoga is the focus, individuals have their own method to achieving balance in the mind, body and soul experience.  If after taking a yoga class, you’d like to kick back with a margarita while discussing mindfulness and awareness, so be it.  No judgements on this retreat.

Katelin is especially flexing her mind and body connection these days since her first baby with fiance Marcus Antebi, founder of the popular NYC based company Juice Press, is due on May 2nd.   Embarking on the biggest adventure of her life, Katelin’s commitment to a healthy and balanced lifestyle has left her oozing with beauty, strength and grace.  While her body has been going through changes over the last nine months, I wanted to know about her soul, her style and how the relationship between both have been affected by her entrance into motherhood.  Here’s what she had to say…

DSC_0590

Katelin, what is Your Soul Style?

Though I have lived in NYC for a bit of time now, I am a New Englander through and through.  NYC has certainly helped me to evolve in terms of my personal style, but I like to keep my childhood and family traditions (blue collar meets the  beach) alive, as well as my background in athletics.  I am a pretty even keeled person but my twelve years in New York has allowed me to gain a healthy edge for lack of a better term.

How do you describe your style?

I think I would describe my personal style as a combination of high fashion mixed with the ever evolving street style. Because of my profession, I am constantly wearing more performance based apparel.  I think the trick is finding the balance between all those different avenues.  So all of that combined?  Mostly I like high quality, comfort and class.  Usually pairing up classics with something new to keep it fresh.

What does your style say about you?

I think it says, “she is laid back, but she cares”

 
DSC_0542 2
 

Since you are a yoga teacher, is your style reflective of that?  Does yoga influence your style?

Gosh, I hope not.  Just kidding.  By that I only mean that I try hard not to.  I do like a fair amount of high quality athletic gear and if I have to teach multiple classes in a day it’s helpful to have a very versatile outfit so I don’t have to completely change my clothes ten times per day.  My business partner (Heather Lilleston) and I have been talking about and working on developing a line of day to night, work to dinner yoga gear.  It gets old walking around in black stretch pants all day long. Time to reinvent the “yoga uniform”.  Mostly you have to become a master of layering.  But not it in the weird draping cotton/spandex blend kind of way.  I guess that’s what I meant by, “Gosh, I hope not”.

Did your style evolve over time or has it stayed consistent?

Of course all things evolve.  Earlier in my life I was influenced by my musical tastes, as well as regional relevance (New England winters can be harsh).  But now that I have come into my own here in New York, I think my style has really stayed consistent, depending on the season of course.

You’re expecting a baby in the coming months.  Has your style changed while your body has transformed?

I have actually really enjoyed working my pregnancy into my look.  I feel like the trends worked in my favor.  Cuffed ankle slacks (basically fancy sweatpants) are everywhere.  That said, my style was never very restrictive to begin with (meaning I don’t wear a ton of tight clothing) so I don’t really feel like I have had to change it up too much.  Towards the end, all your shirts, even the long ones become belly shirts so that was/is something to work with, but totally manageable.  I never had to dig too deep into the maternity fashion world.  Though there are a couple decent options.  Hatch is great.

 
DSC_0568

Any advice to women on how to embrace style throughout a pregnancy?

Stick with what is comfortable and don’t be afraid to show that you are pregnant.  That does not mean wear clothes that are too small, but it is certainly no reason to wear a tent!  Have a few things on hand that make you feel great and lock down your shoe game for whatever season you are dealing with.

You’ve lived in NYC for quite some time. Where are your favorite places to shop?

VEDAReformationCreatures of Comfort.  American Two ShotJ.crew and Zara for basics.  And online.  I love some online shopping.

Where do you draw inspiration from?  Do you have a style icon?

I generally get inspired by what I see in the streets, from the construction workers to the Upper East Siders (UES).  For me confidence goes a long way.  My brother Grahm is inspirational as well.  He has a certain ease about his style (he actually is the style example of construction worker meets the UES).  In terms of style icon, I say I don’t have one, but am lucky enough to have very successful friends in the fashion industry, so I tend to wear what they are coming out with – lucky for me.

Do you have any style challenges?

I would say that liking high quality, well made clothes has it’s price, along side the cost of living in a major metropolitan city.  But the good stuff lasts longer. The ole verbiage ” you get what you pay for” rings very true when it comes to clothing and accessories.  Honestly, the greatest challenge is keeping up with the ever evolving fast fashion culture in New York while remaining true to myself in terms of what works for me.

DSC_0602

Do you have  favorite fashion/style moment?

I honestly can’t remember my favorite moment or most amazing outfit.  But I do think there is a specific feeling that comes when you are wearing something that suits you perfectly on a particular day, in a particular moment.  A feeling of confidence and comfort.  That is the style moment I aim for. 

And your worst?

That day when all you can think about is going home to change your clothes.  And the year of my life that I wore raver clothes, oops.Must have item in your wardrobe?My VEDA leather sweatpants.  No brainer.  And my black slip on vans. 

Three things people don’t know about you….

I am a soccer (football) super fan.  Manchester United, specifically.  I am also really looking forward to the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

The girliest thing about me is that I get my nails done without fail, once a week.

I am extremely competitive no matter what it is, a road race or controlling the TV remote, I like to win.

 

DSC_0620

 

Katelin is wearing, sweater: VINCE // leather pants: VEDA // jacket: ZARA // hat: SOFIA CASHMERE // scarf: MADEWELL // sunnies: ILLESTEVA // sneakers: VANS // bag: J.CREW

For retreat schedules and more information on Yoga For Bad People (YFBP), hop on over to their website and follow along on instagram, facebook and twitter for your daily dose of inspiration.  Find Katelin directly on instagram, facebook and twitter as well.

shine on

metallic home pic

I have no idea where i am going in this outfit but I hope it’s somewhere fabulous, and hope that time is sometime soon.  I’ve been obsessed with it since the try on session and instagram snap over a month ago.  Spring is a buzzing here in NYC and as far as seasonal trends go, metallic is high up on the list of must-haves. Who says sparkle is just for the holiday season?  Rules are made to be broken, clearly.  The best part about this ensemble is not the mere fact that I was able to find a coordinated top and bottom in the coveted silver metallic color.  It’s that both of these pieces from H&M, together were $65!!!  I swear this may be the best investment I’ve ever made.  I appreciate a luxury item no less then the next person, but when finding exactly what I want for a steal – you can sign me right up, STAT!  The weather is warming here in NYC and this head-to-toe look is begging for a night out, along with other metallics I found on the interweb like this rose gold option from Topshop, an effortless high-low maxi dress from Alice & Olivia, this wear-with-everything cami by Parker, and this green (be still my heart) cropped, embroidered beaut from Zara.

DSC_0569

DSC_0617

DSC_0520

DSC_0595

DSC_0517

 

minding your body

IMG_8783 4

Have you ever had days where you just feel off?  The past few have been that way for me.  It kicked off on Wednesday night while styling out my ensemble for a shoot yesterday morning.  Even though I’m a stylist, I don’t over think my own clothes on the daily.  I have my uniform and I tend to stick to it.  Like most of us, I’m a creature of habit.  When being photographed though, it can certainly amp the pressure and disrupt the usual ease of getting dressed.  Alas, Wednesday night was the dreaded, “nothing looks good” catastrophe.  As the clothes piled up on my bed, my blood pressure continued to rise and like a ball of yarn unraveling, so was my closet.  I began to sweat, pacing from mirror to mirror expecting the other one to miraculously change how I looked, thus felt.  That never happened.  I’m certain that Dina thinks I’m crazy during these times, but thankfully she’s a saint and if so, keeps it to herself.  After over an hour of trying to put one (yes, one!) outfit together, I retired to a look that I was relatively happy with.  After the hang bar in my closet then decided to collapse, I was beyond done for the evening and needed to relax my mind and figure out why the f*ck I couldn’t get my sh*t together.

After some soul searching and processing about my stressful experience, I recognize that the clothes had nothing to do with how I was feeling.  Other things were on my mind and let’s just call it the ripple effect of mind and body teaming up together.  They are besties and when one is off, so is the other.  For starters I had gone on the scale that morning (something I have been dreading for a while) and like expected, gained a good five pounds.  Nothing that should turn my world upside down but an indicator that my usual habits have been compromised.  For the past three months, I have maintained my diet of healthy, whole foods, but let’s just say I have been eating a WHOLE LOT MORE of them.  My body has been going through some changes as Dina and I embark on the baby making journey (more on that later) so while I’d like to be gentle with myself and forgive the recent binge eating, I also know how important it is to feel comfortable in my skin and body. This week I am back to it (hence the weigh in), but it’ll take some time for things to normalize.  The recent up and down fertility cycles coupled with three weeks of travel have thrown me off in more ways then just physical.  Dina also started her new job on Monday and although I could not be happier and prouder of her, change is occurring and I’ve been unknowingly affected by that too.  I realize that while being a supportive wife and accepting her focus be on the new job, I do miss her.  I’m aware the shift is temporary until she finds the next routine, but until then we are in a transition period and that isn’t always the most comfortable place to be.

Although I woke up yesterday still feeling heavy, the shoot worked out amazingly.  My friend and photographer Candy, is the sweetest and made me smile and feel natural all morning, which is not always easy when you’re standing in front of a camera for hours.  And then I unexpectedly saw the feature I did last summer for Italian brand Ivories was posted on their facebook page and instagram feed which was super exciting.  I’m honored to be a part of their spring/summer 2014 story telling campaign of “women of strong character and individuality, to communicate what is happening now.”  And just as things were starting to look brighter, the mother of annoying things happened when I got home.  As Your Soul Style e-mail subscribers already know, while working yesterday afternoon I accidentally posted an incomplete spotlight interview, not once but two times!  Instead of hitting “save draft”, I hit “publish” TWICE!  It has been well over a year since starting Your Soul Style and this has never happened before.  All in all, another indicator that I’ve not been myself which has resulted in a bit of mindlessness.  Horrified, I sent out a quick message to my subscribers explaining the error.  I know that we all have moments of technical difficulty, but this just added insult to injury after an already rough few days.  I’m praying it’s the first and last time this ever happens.

Life is constantly tilting the scales and the true test is having the ability to recover and get back to the space where things become balanced again.  There will be days where you feel physically off and others when it comes from your head, but regardless of where issues are rooted, our whole system is compromised when a part of us is struggling.  The mind, body and soul are part of a larger machine which needs to constantly work together in order to be as efficient as possible.  The key is not only being aware of the cause of our discomfort, but recognizing like a domino effect, every part of our being is affected by the other.  It is only when we arrive here and accept that, that we can find a place of resolution, growth and evolvement.

TGIF, seriously!  Hoping you have a restful weekend filled with tons of soul, style and love.  xx jenny

photo via candy kennedy

staycation: NYC

sincerely jules

Despite the return back from our southwest adventure last Monday, today feels like my first day back to it.  Getting into the swing of things has been difficult since Dina was off all last week too.  I’d been vibing off her extended vacation and using it to my advantage.  With that being said, I decided to put off reality for a few more days and we lined up activities chock full of art, culture and cuisine for our remaining time.

And so our staycation began in our home city on Tuesday with a leisurely brunch at Lafayette, one of my new favorite spots to dine.  A Paris meets New York City vibe, the food is right-on.  I had the brisket burger which is not my typical mid-day light fare, but figured why not since we were still in vacay mode.  Dina had the steak tartar, roasted carrot salad and mouth watering deviled eggs that I will surely be ordering in the future.  I’m looking forward to the (hard to find in this city) outdoor space for those inching closer warmer days.  For a quick latte and a scone, the restaurant houses a small french bakery for take-away.  We got last minute tickets to the opera La Sonnambula for that evening.  I’ve never been, but have always wanted to.  Lucky for us, orchestra seats became available and we scooped them up.  Grateful for the experience, I can’t say I’ll be a buying a membership at the Metropolitan Opera House anytime soon.  What’s a stayacation without visiting the spa?  I scheduled a massage at Great Jones and Dina checked out the new thermal baths at AIRE.  Both relaxed, decompressed and unwound, we met up later that evening and took in an early movie.  The Grand Budapest Hotel was a visual feast!  Wes Anderson is a creative genius and the attention to detail with cinematography, storyline, wardrobe, props, etc. was next level.  A quick bite after at Ribalta, a local joint with a gluten free pizza option!  Rare find.  On Friday we hit up the Museum of the City of New York to see the “City As Canvas” graffiti exhibit, featuring Martin Wong’s collection.  A quick train ride up to 103rd street, I recommend the visit.  Such an authentic exhibit which represents much of what the street culture in NYC felt like in the late 70’s and 80’s.  The museum had other worthy to visit exhibits including “Rising Waters” which documents via photographs the events before, during and after Hurricane Sandy.

Over the weekend, we spent time with family, hung-out in Washington Square Park and took in one more delicious meal at Perla on Saturday night to celebrate Dina’s new job.  Today is day one at Google and I am the proudest wife on the planet.  No doubt she is going to kill it.  Although I’m going to miss our endless days of adventure, I’m feeling EXTRA EXTRA grateful for the time we’ve had.  I know how lucky we are.  It’s not often that you get to spend this type of uninterrupted time with the person that you love.  It has been an epic three weeks from Utah to Telluride to exploring our home turf in New York City and I’ve cherished each and every single moment.  The reality of getting back to work is off and running and both of us are ready to dive back in, feeling more rested, replenished and inspired.

Never forget to take the time you need to breathe and reboot.  Sometimes we’re all are on autopilot, and allow ambition and the pressure of success and making money to take the focus away from other important aspects of life.  But by stepping away and giving yourself the space to gain perspective, you will always come back with a new level of appreciation, loving yourself and the people around you (and even your job!) more than before!  Happy Monday!  xx jenny

NEXT UP:  A recap of our adventures through Utah & Colorado + an epic spotlight of Katelin Sisson, co-founder of Yoga for Bad People!

photo via Sincerely Jules

passion 101

IMG_7777

A few weeks back, I took an all day photography class at the International Center for Photography with my friend Adela whom you may remember from here.  As a visual person, I’ve always loved capturing images that convey the deeper message of a moment and photography does just that.  Being an adult student is a far cry from my college years of ditching typically required classes and getting by.  I am now a committed learner because I only invest in the topics I am passionate about.  My successes have been driven by doing what I love.

Sometimes I think about the next thirty years of my career and wonder how it will all play out.  It continues to transition and evolve through working on this blog, freelance styling and expanding on the Your Soul Style brand, but there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about another project I want to tackle.  There is so much that I want to do, but at the risk of not spreading myself too thin, I recognize all will happen in due time!  It doesn’t matter how old or how established you are in any area of your life.  If you thirst for something new, indulge yourself and do it.  There is no time better than the present to embrace the life you want.  Find it, do it, create it, live it and love it.  What’s it gonna be?  Happy weekend!  xx jenny

IMG_7768 2

IMG_7793

photos via Adela Capova