01 May, 2015

Take a Summer Road Trip!

Written for the Prescott Courier - Kudos Arts and Entertainment Section
Fashion Critic @ Large: Go on a road trip with someone you love
Lauren Woltman

Roooaaaaad triiiiiiip! Get in! We'll figure out where we're going when we get there. The journey will be the destination!

Far into the past, road trips were reserved for only the wealthy. It wasn't until after World War II that the road trip became a common vacation in the United States. The men were coming home from Europe and families were celebrating. Cars were the most affordable they had ever been in history. The highway system was quickly expanding to make the entire country more accessible to curious travelers. Since that time, road trips have remained a symbol of the many things Americans hold near and dear: freedom, adventure, family time, a rite of passage and so many more things. 

My husband and I love to just get up and go on open road adventures together! And there is no other season that can closely compete with a summer road trip, for ease of packing light and enjoying fragrant, cool early morning starts or for just plain wandering! 

Ever since the Ricardo family took the "Lucy" show on the road - road trips have remained in style! So go ahead, grab your favorite person, a weekend bag, toss in few t-shirts, swimsuits, and a pretty dress (just in case...). 

Make a snap decision on a divided highway, go left or go right, just go! See what the yellow stripe might reveal about your past, present or even the future. Sometimes it's a soul searching message, sometimes it's a peaceful cruise down memory-making lane! Take a lesson from the great travelers like Steinbeck and Kerouac, and let spontaneity lead you toward exciting, romantic and memorable destinations unknown! 

Bring poetry, pillows and a blanket. Nap beneath the trees, beside streams, lakes and meadows or spend a romantic evening driving with the top down, under the stars! Dress cute! Wear scarves and sunglasses! Drink lots of water, eat healthy snacks, and map out unusual places to explore along the way. Oh, and don't forget to take lots of fun pictures! The open road is good for the soul! 

Lauren Woltman is the owner of Hop Sing Trading Co. 

in the Bashford Courts, 130 W. Gurley St.

23 April, 2015


I just love a girl with Salt water in her veins and willing to rock my fav-o-rite clothing item ever... OVERALLS and worn in the funky-cool not farm-y way they should be worn!  M'Lynn is that girl! She arrived at Hop Sing for her photoshoot in vibrant living color, with fun pastel pink ombré curls ready to play dress up! What a great time we had, and the images speak for the warm season ahead...  Hello Summer! Hello Road-trips! Hello Sand! Hello Music Festivals!!! 

NAME: M'Lynn
PLACE OF BIRTH: Sierra Vista, AZ
OCCUPATION: Neurophysiologic Intraoperative Monitoring (I monitor nerves during brain and spine surgery)
AGE (if you'd like to share): 23

Describe your "signature look"... 
"Boho chic, relaxed, practical. I want to look fabulous but also be ready to ride my bicycle wherever or go hike in the woods with my dogs."

Who or what inspires you? 
Any woman who takes a new trend or fashion, makes it all her own and rocks it.  Confidence makes or breaks every outfit.

What makes you feel beautiful? 
"When I get to lounge with my dogs and loved ones after a long day of saltwater, sand, and waves. Sun-kissed skin and salty hair will always make me feel gorgeous."

Name an item of clothing you can't live without... 
My black fringe Minnetonka moccasin boots. Amazingly versatile.


The biggest splurge in your closet...
Let's not talk about it...(looking at you, thigh-high black leather boots)

The biggest waste of money in your closet... 
Crappy flats and cheap blazers. Contrary to what your parents tell you, business wear does NOT have to be conformist or boring.

What's the most memorable piece of clothing you've worn, and what made it special? 
My father gave me a stunning black lace dress for Christmas one year. I wore it to ring in my 21st birthday and many times afterwards and I always feel completely gorgeous yet ridiculously comfortable in it. I haven't yet found a dress that classy and that much fun to dance in.                            
What's your guilty pleasure/something you can't resist?
"Sea salt dark chocolate, lavender biscuits, and a perfect cappuccino. Decadent, simple, perfect."

Do you have a style icon? 
Please describe: 
My mother. Our styles are radically different but she taught me how to love clothes and to love the game of putting them together unexpectedly to look fabulous. I know no woman with better style.

What is your beauty/skincare routine?
Wash twice a day with organic face wash, moisturize with rose hip seed oil,  apply mascara, maybe some eyeshadow, swipe my lips with some hazelnut oil and boogie out the door! 

What has been the biggest surprise about the age you are now? 
How young I feel, but how mature everyone seems to perceive me. I'm an adult! What?!

The best advice you've ever received? 
"Letting emotions guide your decisions for love, work, clothes, anything, is not weak, but the only way to love and live authentically."

Do you believe in destiny? 
I don't. I believe each person carves their own path and can change it as they please.

What's next for you? 
Getting out of the country as soon as possible and getting under the waves! 

Thank you M'Lynn! You inspire us! ❤️

13 April, 2015

HOP SING VIBES with Michelle

       The title of this page should be... "OMG! I'm actually in the fitting room with Michelle!

When I met Michelle I was intrigued by her "never try it on" policy. She has an uncanny ability to successfully purchase just the right size. At least I hope she's always been successful! Nevertheless, I'm a true proponent of the whole fitting room experience! So when Michelle offered to participate in this lookbook project, I was really excited to see her try something on! I chose some easy-to-wear tunic style pieces that she could easily incorporate with her self proclaimed favorite clothing item- "jeggings"!  But honestly, one of my favorite looks from her personal style session were the Hard Tail tie-dye baby fleece capri leggings, pocket tee & military jacket. That look, in my opinion, really showcased her active lifestyle and the obvious success of her Buti Yoga practice.  The fit of the look was a bit outside her comfort zone, but I think she looked amazing!  - Lauren


                              Name: Michelle 
                              Place of birth: San Antonio, Texas
                   Occupation: Stay at home mom and professional volunteer!
                              Age: 50 

           "I feel beautiful after a hike out with my two dogs. Fresh air and sunshine!" 

Describe your "signature look"
My signature look is a mixture of "sweet" and "tough". I love mixing something lacy with a jacket that has a little bit of edge to it.

Who or what inspires you?  
I'm inspired by women that are ageless. Those that own whatever age they are and make the most of it. 

Name an item of clothing you can't live without:  
Good question! Denim jeggings!

What makes you feel beautiful?
I feel beautiful after a hike out with my two dogs. Fresh air and sunshine.

 What is your beauty/skincare routine?
Beauty routine is all or nothing. Full on makeup some days and nothing on hiking days.  I am fastidious with my skincare however- regular facials and good products.

                                           Kimono-sleeve tunic dress, Free People 

What's the most memorable piece of clothing you've worn, and what made it special?     
My most memorable piece of clothing is a one piece nylon fitted dress from Vivienne Tam. Timeless, never goes out of style and when I wear it I feel awesome.

What's your guilty pleasure?           
My guilty pleasure is Pomegranate Oil and perfume from Jo Malone London.  LOVE!!!

The best advice you've ever received?  
The best advice I have ever received is in regards to being a mother- "The days are long but the years are fast." 

Do you have a style icon?  I like Nicole Richie and her bohemian 70's style.
The biggest splurge in your closet?
My biggest splurge is a leather jacket that I purchased in Florence, Italy.  Incredibly expensive and worth every penny.

The biggest waste of money in your closet?
Expensive jeans that do not fit!

Do you believe in destiny?
I absolutely 100% believe in destiny. Some things are meant to be!

What's next for you?   
I love this question!  This past year has been a time of change for me. My boys are getting older and I have more free time. I have finally said "No" to most of my volunteer obligations and I am figuring out what is next for me. Even my circle of friends have changed. I no longer pursue people that do not have time for me. That brings up another great piece of advice, "Don't cross oceans for those that won't cross a puddle for you."  I have learned this over and over again. Since I have started Buti Yoga I am feeling more centered, at peace with myself and confident. I do not know yet what is next but it probably involves Buti Yoga in some way. 

                           Thank you Michelle! You inspire us! ❤️

06 April, 2015

HOP SING VIBES... with Breanna!

Silk embroidered tunic - Odd Molly, cutoff shorts - Free People • hand-rubbed vintage distressed boots - BedStÜ
I haven't known this stunning and ethereal beauty for long, but her "beyond-her-age fashion savvy" is what drew her into my world. At only 18 years old she exudes an honest, fluid and natural self-expression that many woman twice her age lack. In this day and age, so many young women are buying into cheap and disposable trendy fashions; Breanna has an appreciation for high quality and design that belies her age.  She chooses wisely and invests in truly special pieces when she can afford the opportunity.  

She is remarkable! 

- Lauren

Graphic tee by Chaser, denim cutoffs by Free People

Name: Breanna Burkizer
Place of birth: Glendale, Arizona
Age: 18

Describe your "signature look"...
My signature look would have to be messy hair, winged eyeliner, and red lipstick.

Who or what inspires you?
Surrealism, music, photography, and nature inspires me most to be who I am.

What makes you feel beautiful?
I feel most beautiful when I have my makeup the way I love it, and when I'm wearing things that make me feel confident and cute.

Name an item of clothing you can't live without...
I cannot live without cute summer dresses and denim shorts.

Backless maxi dress & bralette by Free People 
"...anything from Wildfox- so worth it because nothing makes you feel as cute and comfortable!" - Breanna

The biggest splurge in your closet
The biggest splurge in my closet would have to be anything from Wildfox- but they are so worth it because nothing makes you feel as cute and comfortable!

The biggest waste of money in your closet...
The biggest waste would have to be these very unflattering sparkly jeans I bought in Chicago. I didn't really want them, but the sales associate pushed me into getting them.

What's the most memorable piece of clothing you've worn, and what made it special?The most memorable piece of clothing I've worn is the dress I wore to my graduation.  It was so beautiful and vintage, I felt like a 40's pin up girl in it- which is one of my favorite looks.
Sheer Knit Graphic Top by WILDFOX ,Silk Jogger Pants by Chaser

What's your guilty pleasure/something you can't resist?

My guilty pleasure would have to be the amount of candy I have.  I actually bought a 4 pound tub of redvines for myself yesterday. Oops!

"The biggest surprise about being 18 is realizing that being 18 does not make you a grown up."
                  - Breanna
Delicate embroidered blouse by Timo

What is your beauty/skincare routine?
The most important part of my skin care routine would be making sure all my makeup is off at night. I use the clarisonic brush to get everything off, and then follow it up with toner and moisturizer.

What has been the biggest surprise about the age you are now?
The biggest surprise about being 18 is realizing that being 18 does not make you a grown up, unlike I always thought when I was younger.

Print henley shirt by Odd Molly, cotton cardi by Pure Handknits
"Everything you have ever done has brought you to the moment you are in right now." - Breanna

Please share the best advice you've ever received?
The best advice I've received is being told to truly live in the moment. To clear the noise in my head, look at everything that is around me, and take it all in and be completely aware, because you only get one life and if you aren't enjoying every second you'll end up regretting it.

Do you believe in destiny?
I do believe in destiny, I believe everything happens for a reason, and that everything you have ever done has brought you to the moment you are in right now. That is truly something to appreciate and recognize.

What's next for you?
What's next for me is to continue doing the things that I love and to immerse myself in everything that inspires me.  I know that will take me somewhere great.

Thank you Breanna, you inspire us! 

03 April, 2015

Spring musings for the Prescott Courier...

4/3/2015 6:00:00 AM
Fashion Critic @Large: Whether glamping or camping, make it fun
Lauren Woltman
Kudos Columnist

Hi Kudos Fans! How about this gorgeous Spring weather??? It surely evokes the desire to live outdoors! Which leads me to share this fun camping post! Camping has taken on a whole new meaning! Glam-Camping aka "Glamping," is the High Fashion version of camping! 

The question is.... Are you a happy camper? My darling daughter is NOT a happy camper! Today I'm sharing her very fun story about a planned family camping adventure! Enjoy!

"... Wanna know the truth about me? I'm not a good camper. In my everyday life, this really isn't an issue. But... (oh the "but") My husband Jeffrey and his family are camping folk. The real kind. With long drives to campsites, tents, and cooking over fire... Lord, give me strength. 

Ok, I freely admit that this isn't the end of the world. I'm not proud of the fact that I have such an aversion to smelling like smoke, that I avoid entire blocks of my local Farmers Market that sell BBQ'd meats. That smell wafting through the sky is as close to camping as I care to get. No, really. Really. 

Here's the dilemma... 

The Folks have planned a family camping trip and I have been instructed to "suck it up, and do it for the kids." Urrghhh... Really? Do kids need camping? I think my distaste for the great outdoors came about from my own dad's enthusiasm for it. I've slept through a storm at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and sat on the side of the road watching him fix a Winnebago through numerous states. I'm not sure that he needed to do that for me, but thank you regardless, dad. 

I'm trying to get my head into camping-mode - and yes, trying not to be such a panty about it all. In this period of mental preparation, I'm thinking about the things that will make me happy and comfortable on the trip (in hopes of sparing others of my woe-is-me face). I even have a camping inspiration board.

I AM SO SERIOUS, you guys.  

I imagine myself smelling like peppermint soap (not campfire), and wearing my Hunter boots with vintage dresses...  and my hair is inexplicably way longer too.  And wavy.  Yeah.  Totally wavy.  NATURALLY, wavy though.  And I subsist on marshmallows, perfectly toasted over an odorless flame.  I sit in my Cath Kidston teepee surrounded by cushy pillows with jingly pompoms on the corners, journaling about my experience in nature.  Am I forgetting anything here?  

AH!  I also fly-fish like a pro.  But, you know, in a gorgeous Free People-y kind-of way.  Duh."

What's your take on camping?