Tag Archives: decor

Meet Christina Graci

Today is the last installment of our inspiring women series with Pandora Jewelry. From San Francisco with Courtney Klein to Charleston with Helen Rice, this has been an incredible experience for me, being personally inspired by these amazing women all over the country.  I feel so lucky that our roles as women have become so open to any of our hearts’ desires and I have truly loved seeing what these women have chosen to do with their lives. What has been truly meaningful as well is to see the choices each of these women make within the Pandora Essence Collection, selecting charms that are chic and stylish, but also representative of their core tenets. Speaking to them about what beliefs they hold dear has told me so much about each woman, and I have treasured the friendships made through this lovely collection. And so here we are now with the beautiful Christina Graci

Christina is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana. She studied in Baton Rouge and abroad in Denmark, worked for two major interior design firms in New York City, and then came back to New Orleans to live and work. What makes this the city to be in?

“New Orleans has a special place in my heart.  The city is so rich in history and culture that you don’t find everywhere.  It’s such a diverse city that is so full of life.  The people here are also truly unique.  Never a dull moment in this city to say the least!”

With her brother Chad, Christina runs Graci Interiors, an interior design firm known for having exquisite and classic tastes, mixing vintage and modern styles with ease. Christina said her passion for interior design showed before she even knew it could be a job: “Growing up my mother and I would re-decorate my bedroom yearly.  We would get new draperies, bedding, change the wall color, etc.  It was so much fun doing that with her that I guess it just grew on me.  It wasn’t until I went off to college that I had the epiphany that I could do that for a living!”

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Christina describes her personal style as “classic traditional but fresh and modern.  Keeping with traditional interiors is important to me but bringing it into our era and how we live today makes is so interesting and fun.”

When I first heard this, I knew Christina and Pandora Jewelry made the perfect pair…classic jewelry with a fresh and modern perspective on the inspiring woman who wears it!

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Christina on what her Pandora Essence Charms mean to her ~

Hope and Confidence - I chose these because they primarily have a lot of meaning to me in reference to my career.  I’ve had to have a lot of hope in my career along the way in order to keep moving forward.  Also, in my career you’ve got to have confidence in yourself and in your work to be successful.
Health - A healthy lifestyle is so important to me.  Being healthy is living life to the fullest for me – mind, body, and soul.
LoyaltyStability, and Love - These all relate to me personally in my relationships with friends and family.  I feel as though all three are interwoven.  You can’t have one without the other and vice versa.

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Southern Charm

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While in Charleston shooting Helen Rice as part of our “Inspiring Women” series, we stayed at the most beautiful historic boutique hotel you could ever imagine down south, Zero George. Just a short walk from the thriving shops and restaurants of Meeting & King streets and perfectly renovated to balance the original wood floor planks to our much needed modern amenities, it’s just the kind of place you would call a home away from home

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Meet Courtney Klein

Growing up, I had a dream to become a successful fashion photographer in New York City. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be running my own photography studio in Manhattan today, but I know that dream may not have been possible even just a few generations ago. It is so different to be a woman now, the opportunities presented to us that were never available for our grandmothers or mothers. I feel so blessed to be alive now and able to do what I love, and I know that comes from the courage of the women before me, my own determination and faith in myself, and the love and support of many other inspiring women around me.

I think it is important to take time to commend these inspiring women – both because of how far we have all come and also because of the incredible things they are doing. And I’m not alone in this – Pandora started an Inspiring Women Initiative in order to honor the incredible women in each of our lives. Part of this celebration is their new Pandora Essence Collection, a series of beautiful, stylish charms that helps women express their inner beliefs – love, wisdom, balance, courage. We presented this idea of photographing three inspiring woman across the United States as a new series in partnership with Pandora, in celebration of inspiring women.

One such woman is our friend Courtney Klein, someone I met in New York but who has now moved to the city of San Francisco. She came to the city with the intention of being a modern dancer (so gorgeous!) but fell into the world of digital production and eventually became a partner at Hard Candy Shell, a digital product agency focusing on making excellent websites, applications, and other digital media. You may have seen their work: Of a Kind,The New Republic, and Rent the Runway are among their many clients.

Now that she’s in a new city, she’s busy starting her own company, Storq, one that’s focused on empowering women through fashion during pregnancy. How does one get from partner in a digital product agency to maternity fashion?

“When I moved to San Francisco, I had the option to keep doing what I was doing or to do something completely and totally different. I was fortunate enough to be able to take a couple months and really think about what’s next, what kind of things interest me, what do I want to work on? It was a little weird to not go to a 9-5 job, and I felt a bit lost for a little while, but then I found a lot of different types of things I could potentially work on, and I ended up with this idea called Storq.”

We started the day by walking her dogs, who were getting very excited. “Today is their ‘beach date’,” Courtney explained. “They get to go to a special dog beach called Fort Funston!” How cute is that!

Above & Below: Courtney wears a hat from Amazon.com, jacket from All Saints, sweater and pants from Rogan, shoes from Dieppa Restrepo, Balance Charm by Pandora Jewelry

 

On the Balance Charm she chose by Pandora: 

“Part of moving to San Francisco was about reclaiming a more balanced life…doing lots of different types of things, like the garden, and a career that supports not being in the office 70 hours a week. It’s hard to have a balance in New York…there’s always something going on, so you’re working and working or you’re out all the time, so it was really hard to carve out a space for myself. Here, it’s about taking a step back and allowing myself to slow down. It’s definitely something I’m working on.”

Located in San Francisco’s colorful Mission District, their house was built in late 1890s and was most recently a bar before Courtney & Zach bought it. Their bedroom was where they used to store beer! I asked Courtney if she was afraid of earthquakes after living in New York for almost a decade…she explained, “The house survived two of the largest earthquakes in modern time without any structural damage so that makes me feel good. However, when we signed the papers you have to acknowledge it’s on a particular fault line, which means your house could end up in the ocean…which is unsettling.”

All the beautiful plants inside their home were found at the S.F. Flower Market

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The Aubrey Hotel

Having just come off a plane from Paris, I had no idea what to expect from South American accommodations…As we know so well, hotel rooms in Europe are TINY (and this from a New Yorker! And you know we know small). By the time we got to Chile, all I knew was I wanted a good bed to rest in as we started our #onlyinsouthamerica grand tour of Chile.

At first I was so surprised – the exterior of The Aubrey Hotel looked German! How can this be? Come to find out from our Santiago Adventures tour guide, a couple of Australian men saved this building in Santiago from complete ruin from years of abandonment and turned it into one of the best boutique hotels I have ever experienced. The original facades, built in the 1920s for influential Chilean politicians and their families, have been kept and restored while the interiors have been brought up to modern times and modern luxury.

The fresh floral scent of the room, the spaciously designed but simple decor, the surprising pops of color in the art and textiles… it was a perfect balance. From hospitality to ambiance, location and room size – I never wanted to leave. Just scroll down to see what I mean…


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