Whurl Gurls: Andi of @ouiwegirl !

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Q – Congrats on your new book! All the photos I’ve seen of it so far are S T U N N I N G! Was there any particular stop on your travels while writing Wanderful that was the most fun or meaningful?

A- Merciiii! So, the book covers 9 road trips, each trip features a destination that’s well traveled (like Santa Fe and San Francisco), one that’s more of an artistic hideaway (Ojai and Marfa, for example) and then a truly off the beaten path destination. Several of the chapters include deeper dives into certain regions and others skip along two line highways making lots of little stops. Choosing the most meaningful or the most fun is hard! There were destinations that I expected to blow me away, to have a sort of sensory overload … like Big Sur, the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree and Flathead Lake in Montana to name a few – and wow they didn’t disappoint! And then there were places I didn’t expect and couldn’t believe were in America and much less driving distance from the cities that we’d started from.
If I had to choose I’d say the most fun was traveling the PCH with Allister Ann and equally as fun was the Eastern Seaboard from NY up the coast of Southern Maine with Keiko. The most special was unexpected: Terlingua, Texas. It’s a good example of a place I couldn’t believe existed and that whole journey was pure magic. Ben and I had departed from Austin, traveled through the artistic utopia of Marfa and then finally arrived in Terlingua. It offered up a different type of creative collective: it’s a Mexican border town – a stone-cold silent desert mixed with a vibrant little ghost town community. That trip was my first true desert road trip – Ben and I were on the road for a month on that outing and I felt so connected to the wildness of it all.

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Q – I know you’re originally from New Orleans. Without stealing too much from your book, can you give a few little tips or your favorite things to do there? I’ve never been but hope to go this year. The city seems so magical!

A – Much of the world’s knowledge of New Orleans is overshadowed by Mardi Gras one one side of things, and then that epic natural disaster Katrina, on the other. However New Orleanians have always known their city holds a much deeper magic. I love that city more than any other place on earth. The architecture and people exude a subtropical Gothic vibe and I’ve filled pages upon pages with recommendations of how to spend time there. In the book I’ve included a “can’t miss” list depending on what you might be into: love music? – don’t miss going to Preservation Hall in the French Quarter; love vintage fashion? (which I know your people do!) take a day to shop the Vieux Carre’s indie boutiques; art aficionado? walk the length of Royal Street to explore gallery after gallery interspersed with Parisian-style cafes. If you’re more of a nature lover there’s a whole list of recommendations including parks and botanical gardens too, and of course there’s jazz clubs, music halls and food recs for days.

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Q – I saw your eclipse party last week and couldn’t help but feel envious of your local pals. For someone who travels so much, you seem to be able to settle in to homebody life pretty easily too. How are you adjusting to your new life in Nashville?

A – Aw, it was the best! You’re coming in 2024! It’s a bit of a strange thing: I’m a nomadic girl at heart, I find incredible energy in travel. However my home is the place that rejuvenates me and Nashville has been awesome for that. Ben is a touring musician and often we coordinate our travel schedules, however once we’re home we settle in so easily. Astrologically I’m a Leo, Capricorn rising, Taurus moon. My Leo-ness drives me to get out and chase new adventure, there’s a want in me to go conquer the world, haha – however, my Capricorn and Taurus inner self have a need for structure and grounded-ness. I consider myself so lucky to have a partner and friends that have a bit of this same spirit, and Nashville has allowed me to connect with some seriously creative entrepreneurial people that I love coming home to.
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Q – How on earth did you take something as fun and rewarding as traveling with your friends and family and turn it into your job? I think that’s the million dollar question everyone wants to know.

A – I ask myself that same thing sometimes, do you want the whole answer? Ha. it is so wild and I’m so grateful to do what I do! Here’s how it started I suppose: I spent the summer of 2014 working on my first book “New Orleans Style.” I was living in New Orleans and had decided to spend 4 months in Spain to write, kind of weird I know – to leave the city I was writing about, however, I decided to immerse myself into a new culture while telling the story of the one I was so used to.

In the meantime, I’d started to rework my blog to reflect these new travel experiences. I love the mindset of artistic survival and for the first time I’d have to live that way – I’d left my corporate job and felt a kinship to people that live their lives on the hunt for the next gig. I’d read an article in Vogue, it was a fun insider look at fashionable travel – a hip hotels and decadent designs sort of thing, peppered with packing & beauty tips – it was the type of info you can’t find in travel guides. As I transitioned Oui We into a wanderluster’s travel site I took initial inspiration from that article, but rather than designers with yachts and private islands (Miuccia Prada and Dontella Versace were on the list) I looked to my own friends, creative muses that have the notion of gypsy traveling down to a science.

That summer, while I was taking writing breaks, I’d travel through Spain (on a serious budget, btw!) and the idea to write a book about bohemian traveling came to life there. Once I returned home to New Orleans the travel bug had me. I’d meet artists, musicians, and style mavens that spend so much of their time living out of a suitcase and studied their ways.The more I wrote about what I was finding on Oui We, the further the fashion travelogue concept for the book developed.

It was a real leap of faith, I remember Ben reminding me at one point, right before I signed with my publisher and just as Oui We was starting to gain real traction, that I needed to give up having any back up options and follow my intuition, because if I kept a back up plan, it would allow the self doubt to seep in. So I saved just enough money to get things fully underway and off I went.

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Q – At what point did you start shopping vintage and why? What’s your fave piece you’ve scored? What’s the best city for vintage?

A – Well – speaking of Vogue, I remember coming across the magazine when I was so young – I’d pore through my mom’s and my aunt’s copies – it was a dream world that I wanted so much to be in. I began a style obsession that was never a “study” in the way most people do it…I was forever collaging and mood boarding just for fun. I was also the kid whose parents weren’t willing to buy mall clothes. To me Gap jeans were a sign of being in the “in crowd” – (omg really, I had no idea!). I was never going to have that “what everyone else is wearing” option so instead I dug through flea market and Goodwill bins (my mom was a serious flea market goer) and developed a style that was my own. While I knew it was all I could afford, it also became a serious form of self expression!

A favorite piece? I actually had a vintage studio in New Orleans for about a year, and I bought and sold so many killer pieces, however I have a white YSL Tuxedo Suit that I found at an estate sale in Houston and I will never, ever part with it.

In regards to favorite vintage shopping cities: there’s so many amazing ones! Nashville has a kick ass vintage scene, Missoula, Montana has some of my favorite vintage too – LA has amazing finds of course and New Orleans too!

​ Small towns thrifts however, sometimes that’s the very best.
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Whurl Gurls: Interview with @mintkarla

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I can’t believe I only recently realized you went to school for film and production. It makes so much more sense now that your photos are all cinematic masterpieces! How do you feel your background overlaps into your life & instagram?

Aw, thank you for the compliment!  I’d say it comes from having a terrible memory combined with a love of storytelling.  I’ve always kinda been an overdocumenter anyway (you should see the shoeboxes of film negatives in storage chronicling my life from ages 16-27, before I got my first digital camera), but when I had my first baby it went into overdrive, as it does for most people.  I think memories are essential, and I strive to document them in a way that feels emotionally real looking back, which is a balance of real moments manipulated into a fake composition.  It’s definitely life creating art creating life but some of the best things are.  I don’t really care to be just absorbing rather than making something, because I feel that I do both absorb and create when I am documenting, which helps me experience certain events in a more heightened way.  Shooting is almost how I process what’s happening to me, if that makes sense.  I’m sure it’s rooted in control issues somewhere, lol.

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Do you ever feel pressure to pose / be super cute and vintagey? If so, how do you deal with that pressure?

These are good questions!  You know, I don’t really feel alot of pressure to be cute!  I’ve just always really enjoyed clothing.  It has such a transformative power over your mood.  I was just talking with a friend about this recently but I vacillate constantly between these extreme modes—productivity / laziness, sleeping all day / not sleeping at all, eating whole foods / surviving on garbage—and I’ve always been that way for some reason. For me it’s either extremely gross marathons of not showering in disgusting food-covered rags or wearing coordinating vintage ensembles with my kids to the grocery store, just because.   I have no idea why but there’s very little in-between, haha.  But one of the great things about clothing is its ability to elevate you to where you want to be mentally;  how we adorn ourselves can be a healthy form of expression and creative control when perhaps we need it the most. Moms reeeeeeeally need to feel good about themselves.  I’m even more thankful for vintage after having kids; the cuts and the fabrics make you feel fantastic the way new clothes just can’t.  I will say though that I do feel pressure when shooting in public, but only if I am the subject—it suuuucks being on display, right? So of course like many I prefer be behind the camera most of the time.  But I guess to be a character in your own story, sometimes you have to do things that intimidate you, you
know?
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How did you get into vintage? And when did you start collecting vintage clothes for your future children to wear?
I got into vintage in sixth or seventh grade—we couldn’t afford new clothes much anyway, and I mainly had hand-me-downs as the youngest of five daughters.   There was this great thrift store called D.A.V. in Lynchburg, VA where I’m from, and I used to go and find the most amazing pieces.  Just…nothing like what was in stores.  In the 90s when the 70s was cool I was thrifting for boys bellbottoms,old man plaid pants, and polyester button-up shirts (though as early as ninth grade I started to dabble in dresses) and now that I’ve embraced my feminine side I wish I could go back in time to the golden era of $1-fill-a-bag thrifting and actually thrift all the amazing vintage dresses that I missed at that store!  Good grief, little Karla didn’t know what she could have had!!!
I was newly married when I bought my first-ever kids vintage piece.  It was a Lacoste tennis dress for a 2-year-old.  I didn’t even want kids at the time, because I’ve never been one of those maternal types (though I was surprisingly open to the idea after becoming engaged—I think that has more to do with your partner being awesome than anything, because you can actually see it working when you’re with a dude who’s enabling and selfless and awesome), but I could’t resist!  How lucky it ended up that not one but TWO little girls get to wear that Lacoste dress. ❤  Kids vintage is really so much fun, like dangerously fun…it takes your collecting to a whole new level.
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What obstacles do you face as a woman director / editor in the industry? And doing all of that in Atlanta, GA?
I think most creative folks learn that to have any sort of life outside of what they do, they have to combine things.  The desire to document is compulsory but the desire to make things amazing for no reason probably has to do with frustrated creativity.  There’s so much I want to do and don’t have time for right now, professionally and otherwise, that I just end up using myself and my children as subjects in my own story.
Women face so many obstacles in the film industry!  Honestly the mom struggle is the hardest, especially when we have half-formed careers.  You just can’t do it all below a certain pay grade.  I can do little films and video projects here and there but I can’t get to where I want to be right now and be the primary caregiver for my children (James works full-time).  The school schedule complicates things, as well.  I’m happy to freelance from home, it is important for me to connect with my girls….and James has a very understanding work which is great when I can pick up shoots and take off for a few days.  Child care is one of the fastest-growing industries in this country because women are starting to get out there and kick ass, which is great, but our society isn’t set up to help families to find the balance between personal and work life, and it falls on womens’ shoulders the most to suffer in one or both of these areas.  I want to figure out how to get out there and kick ass as a mom of small children but real talk it is HARD, production work is so all-consuming.  I don’t want to have to wait another five years before taking the plunge on a big project. But I’m dying to make another feature film or work on a series or the next big thing.  It’s SO encouraging to see incentives for female directors making headlines with companies like Netflix.  Makes me think that I will be starting back into a more open world than the one I left.  Maybe I can actually get some meetings, haha.
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Do you have one very special piece of vintage? Either for you or Olive? Tell us the story!
I have a little polyester house dress that I have had since ninth grade and I still wear it all the time!  It is cream with dogwood branch printed on it and I love it because it reminds me of my home state of Virginia, whose state tree is the dogwood.  For whatever reason keeping pieces like that for so long brings me so much joy.  I’m already buying vintage that I feel like I can wear as I transition into old-lady-Karla, whose look I’ve already planned: I’m going to dye my hair black and cut it like Louise Brooks and dress every day like I’m going to an art gallery opening.  You know, when I’m not wearing wine-covered sweatpants.  It’s going to be fabulous.
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Whurl Gurls: Interview with Keiko Lynn!

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To celebrate the launch of Keiko Lynn’s closet sale (live now on Whurl!) I sat down and asked the OG blogger a few burning questions. Enjoy and be sure to check out her sale before it’s all gone!
I’ve been following your adventures for what feels like a decade and consider you as the first wave of blogging. How did you get started and what compels you to keep sharing today after so much of the industry has changed? 
I started blogging at the age of 15, when I needed an outlet. There’s no such thing as a private diary when you’re living with sisters, so having an online [semi] private diary was exactly what I needed. I had a small audience — some of whom still follow me today — and that carried over to livejournal. For someone as anxious and shy as I was, it was nice to have this built in support system. It’s very different today, but I love that I can still post something super personal and there are these longtime readers who will engage with me on a different level. I feel very lucky to have a unique readership.
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I adore your fashion posts (especially featuring your drool-worthy closet) but I think the travel posts are some of my favorite. Do you have any factors that help you decide where to adventure next? Any fun upcoming travels you’re planning? How do you balance your travel time with your life in NYC?
My best friend and I take big trips together every year, since we live on opposite coasts. We are the queens of crowd sourcing and last minute decisions. We take everyone’s suggestions into consideration, then look at costs to narrow it down. We are planning a trip for September and have it narrowed down to a few places, but that doesn’t mean we won’t end up somewhere totally different. Last year we planned on going to Tulum and ended up in Thailand. NYC is a hub, so traveling feels like second nature. I do mostly domestic travel so that I can bring my pup along — she especially loves road trips — but international trips require a lot more planning when it comes to my animals. But the key to my staying in love with NYC is to get out of the city and explore as much as possible, no matter if it is for a quick day trip or an international excursion.
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One thing I absolutely adore about following you, is seeing the work you’ve been doing with animals. As a fellow dog-lover person it just genuinely warms my heart to see you dedicate not only your social media real estate, but your actual time and energy to constantly helping animals. What made you decide to take your love of animals front and center?
All of my animals were adopted, and it’s the only thing I ever really considered. I never understood why there were people buying from pet stores when the shelters are overflowing. The only logical answer to me was that people just don’t know enough about it, or don’t want to confront it. I believe that people are generally very good and want to help, but need that extra little push.
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Do you remember what first drew you to vintage clothing? Or even the first piece you bought?
My mom has a consignment shop, and she often bought out entire estates. She doesn’t sell much clothing, so I would end up rooting through it (and the photos!) for my own collection. My mom fostered that love of vintage, but it was born through a combination of fascination with my great grandma’s old photos and good ol’ Nick at Nite when it was all classic television shows. I grew up with shows mostly from the 50s and 60s, so I was obsessed with those eras in particular.

Guide to Phoenix / Scottsdale + Hotel Valley Ho!

Hey all! I’m so excited to share more details about my weekend in AZ! I had been craving a vacation and decided to finally stay at the Hotel Valley Ho after dreaming of it for months. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a gorgeous mid-century hotel that opened in the 1950’s, remodeled in the 70’s (you know, when the 50’s aesthetic felt so out of date *eyeroll*) and then restored to its original aesthetic in the early 2000’s. Other than looking like a retro-chic palace in photos, the Valley Ho checked off a few other important boxes for me as well. Colorful decor, check. Dog-friendly, check. Multiple swimming pools, check. Delicious on-site restaurant, check. Massive bathtub in room, added bonus! Anyway, you get the idea.

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When we arrived after the quick 5 and a half hour drive (yes, it’s quicker to drive here than to get to San Francisco from LA!) I was actually in awe. Every single detail in the lobby was an actual dream to me! From the furniture used, to the decor to the Supremes playing on the speakers. I really felt like I was in some sort of tropical time machine! Next stop was our beautiful room, with patio doors that opened to the pool area; not bad! They even left a water bowl for Mochi in the room! I immediately felt relaxed and like I was actually on vacation, which to be honest, is a hard feeling to achieve when you’re constantly working from your phone.

After a nice swim and a nap, we checked out their restaurant and I was genuinely impressed. Let’s be honest: not all hotel restaurants are created equal! The service was impeccable and the food was divine! If you happen to stop by, you have to get the lobster and grits for dinner and the red velvet waffle for breakfast!

After the obvious food coma that ensued, we woke up on Saturday feeling refreshed and ready to S H O P. One of my favorite stores to pop by in Phoenix is Antique Sugar. The selection is incredible, the shopowner is so nice, and most importantly they have a 50% off storewide sale the last weekend of every month! Was it a coincidence that we happened to be here the last weekend of the month? You decide. After picking up a few new pieces, I popped over to Retro Ranch. Another impeccable store that’s about half clothing and half amazing mid-century decor and furniture. I walked away with a vintage pillowcase and a doll case that I’m going to use as a purse! Probably the biggest surprise to me was how much I scored at Buffalo Exchange! A few people had recommended it to me and I was pleasantly surprised with how much vintage they had and how most of it was on sale.

Can I also just say how impressed I was with the food in AZ?! I had the most delicious vietnamese tofu salad at Flower Child, delicious matcha latte from Songbird Tea & Coffee, a fresh poké bowl from Chula seafood (apparently they take half the week off to drive to San Diego and go fishing to source their fish!) and a milkshake at the Sugar Bowl.

 

Next up we headed to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art to check out the submergence exhibit. So cool and open until 9/24, I highly recommend it!

Once Sunday rolled around, it was finally time for the Whurl Sip ‘N Shop with Luxie Vintage, Lauren of Mint Hair Studio, and Lisa from Colortheoryshop and I really had the best time! The atmosphere was great and every girl that came by seemed so excited about the event. I’m looking forward to coming back for more events!

Thanks to everyone who showed us a good time In Arizona (especially Hotel Valley Ho for inviting us to stay!) and we can’t wait to come back again soon!