5 Questions for Brenda Bogart, Artist

I still remember the first time I saw Brenda Bogart's work. I was just 6 years old and staying at my friend Rachel's house. Rachel and her sister - who is just a year older than us, shared a wardrobe filled with an enviable selection of B's T's. If you aren't familiar, B's T's was "THE" clothing line to wear as a kid growing up in Dallas in the 90's.

Fast forward fifteen years and I was in the gorgeous home of  B's T's founder, Brenda Bogart, preparing for a joint holiday trunk show - showcasing her art and my jewelry. After a successful run with B's T's, Brenda experienced a long-running interior design career under Trisha Wilson & Associates and eventually started her own interior design firm, Bogart Design Group, Inc. Eventually, Brenda decided to try her hand at painting, and when she did, she never looked back.

Brenda Bogart

Over the years, Brenda has become a source of inspiration to me as someone who doesn't just conform to what is expected, but instead, pushes the boundaries to produce what she loves.

Brenda's passion for creativity is evident through the work she produces and the life she lives, for this reason it's such an honor to feature her as part of our 5 Questions Series. 

I hope Brenda's outlook will inspire you as much as it has inspired me!

1. The inspiration behind my art...

The human face and its story constantly inspire me. Reading biographies have been a passion since I was a young girl and I often listen to the stories of the people I am painting.

2. The best advice I ever received...

Eliminate unnecessary drama from my life.

Studio

3. Success looks like...

Making money doing the thing I love to do the most.

4. Happiest when...

I'm happiest when I am in my studio creating, and I am simultaneously up to date on my desk work. This almost never happens so I spend a great deal of time torturing myself, feeling like there is something else I should be doing instead of being in my studio. Each day starts in my studio, looking at my current work while waking up to my first cup of tea. The day ends, looking over what I created that day. Somewhere in between, I rationalize how I don't need to do my desk work that day. 

Faces

5. One thing I wish I could tell my younger self...

Pursue your artistic self. Be who God created you to be, not whom you think everyone else wants you to be. 

For more of Brenda's work, follow her on Pinterest, Instagram or check out her blog here. Also, If you're in the Dallas area, be sure to stop by Blue Print - along with Brenda's art, you might just fall in LOVE with the entire store!

 

Designer Spotlight: Dezso by Sara Beltran

A couple of years ago, I worked for a boutique Public Relations firm in New York that specialized in lifestyle, fashion and healthcare PR. One of my favorite clients to work with was an amazing non-profit organization called Project Paz. Based in New York, Project Paz's goal is to raise money to help promote peace in Juarez, hosting annual fundraising events where 100% of profits support community development programs for Juarez's future. 

Designer, Sara Beltran

Designer, Sara Beltran

Born in El Paso, many with families still in Juarez, the founders of the organization are extremely passionate about the cause and use their individual talents to raise awareness and funds for the organization. One such member is Sara Beltran, who I worked closely with on a Project Art fundraiser we organized in 2012. As part of the fundraiser, Sara designed a collection of Project Paz jewelry that we sold in conjunction with ShopLatitude to raise funds for Juarez. 

As someone who is constantly inspired by beach, sand and surf, I couldn't help but immediately fall head-over-heels in love when I learned more about Sara's line called Deszo, which translates from Latin to mean "Desire." 

Fossilized Shark Tooth Necklaces, Dezso by Sara Beltran

Fossilized Shark Tooth Necklaces, Dezso by Sara Beltran

Sara Beltran started her career over a decade ago as a stylist in New York, but her childhood romance for beach life and seashells was never far off. Eventually, Sara decided to take a seashell necklace she made for fun and turn it into a business, her unique beach-chic designs quickly garnering an international cult following.

Today, Dezso is a constant fixture on the pages of Harper's Bazaar, W Magazine and ELLE for the polki diamonds, fossilized shark teeth and shells that Sara handpicks from beaches around the world and then casts in 18K pink gold.

Earrings, Dezso by Sara Beltran

Earrings, Dezso by Sara Beltran

You can shop Dezso by Sara Beltran online at Net-a-Porter and Barney's or at high-end retail boutiques internationally. 



The Denim Duo: Emily Current + Meritt Elliott

Emily Current and Meritt Elliot, self-professed "hippie chicks," met in the late 90's as students at UCLA where they quickly bonded over a mutual love for vintage denim. On weekends they took the bus to thrift stores and flea markets in Santa Monica where they shared their finds with each other. When graduation day arrived, the girls sat next to each other wearing long vintage dresses under their graduation garb and discussed what they should do with their lives.  They knew they complemented each other well so they decided to "stay in touch and at least hang out, and eventually do something together."

Emily and Meritt in Los Angeles, ELLE Magazine

Emily and Meritt in Los Angeles, ELLE Magazine

Both girls were quickly hired to work in house for different brands - offering their styling assistance for editorial and celebrity. Eventually, their work came together and they realized that it made sense to join forces. 

Eventually, the girls became the go-to style consulting duo for a whose who of LA based fashion brands and celebrities and while they worked, they wore their vintage denim finds. Eventually while on shoots and ad jobs, people started asking to shoot the girls vintage jeans. The demand got so high that they started buying up every pair of vintage jeans they could find and kept them at the studio with a tailor. 

According to the duo, "fashion needed an ease, and denim was the perfect place for it. We just happened to be there at the right time and everyone unanimously agreed with us." 

Emily and Meritt, photo by  Because I'm Addicted

Emily and Meritt, photo by Because I'm Addicted

One of their clients, Serge Azria of Joie, was interested in investing in the girls denim concept so they hired a few friends who knew denim well and started printing their own tags and ironing on Current/Elliot patches to show to Serge. Serge showed the line to the buyers and they loved it. When Meredith Melling Burke was caught wearing a pair of Current/Elliot vintage bellbottoms, Vogue researched it and tracked them down and then Barney's jumped in and wanted to launch the brand first. 

After Vogue, it seemed that Current/Elliot was everywhere overnight. Most of the designs were made from men's vintage jeans because they had character and the silhouettes were different. The debut collection was only 22 pieces - the designs ranging from Skinny Leg Elephant Bell to Boyfriend.  The celebs favored the Boyfriend Jean so the press ate it up, but to the girls what really mattered was the whole story as a whole, not just one design. 

Inside Emily Current and Meritt Elliott's design studio

Inside Emily Current and Meritt Elliott's design studio

Today, operating under the alias of Maude, you can hire the celebrated Los Angeles based duo for styling, art direction, branding, merchandising, marketing and advertising.

Click here to purchase their book, A Denim Story: Inspriations from Bellbottoms to Boyfriends