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Caravana Land

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CARAVANA – The adventurer’s spirit who ventures into the unknown only to discover their true essence.

 

The retail market is beyond competitive, therefore many brands lack that uniqueness that we are all looking for in such a saturated field. And that unique factor can easily translate into a WOW factor by exceeding expectations through a fair balance between cost and (1) quality, (2) design and (3) uniqueness. Truth is that there are not many brands encompassing all of the above, especially not when it comes to beach wear. The cost can be too high, the quality low or the design patterns too common.

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What if  there was a beach wear brand that comprehensively includes fair prices, impeccable quality, bespoke designs and on top of everything all styles are 100% made of organic cotton fabrics?

I have been in the search for summer beach dresses for a long time now, that above all could also provide high quality and comfortable fabrics and yesterday I stumbled across a fascinating boutique store in one of the corners at Scorpios Mykonos, located at  Paraga, Mikonos 846 00, Greece. Its magnetic vibe, friendly staff and one of a kind visual merchandising layout pulled me right in despite my urge to explore the venue, sunbathe and a swim in the sea.

 

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I was impressed visually and tactically. That cotton made me feel like waking up in the morning in a super king bed and cuddling up in the perfect crisp bed sheets. The unique aesthetics and brand philosophy caught my attention further.

Caravana represents the beat and spiritualism of the modern globetrotter. A person who appreciates the finer things in life but who enjoys adventure, new discoveries and roads less travelled. It features a distinct bold spirit, a certain rhythm, curiosity and freedom, inline with an explorer’s natural lifestyle and disposition for all things magical and stimulating.

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I’ve tried on style after style and each one seemed to fit perfectly with my personality and travelling lifestyle. Meanwhile I wanted to know more and more about this magical label.

Caravana was born in 2012, by the founders of Mexican award winning luxury womenswear label, Hacienda Montaecristo. But the Mexican based Italian design duo Francesca Bonato and Jacopo Janniello Ravagnan, had long been dreaming of a new way to reinterpret and revitalize local craftsmanship with a new alchemy and respect. Caravana thus arises from the passion of the adventurer’s spirit who ventures into the unknown only to discover their true essence. In 2015 Janniello Ravagnan took the lead, now heading up the label as both the creative and business director, steering it towards exciting new territories that call to the brand’s philosophy and aesthetic.

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Indeed, a fashion label that encapsulates a philosophy to which I can fully relate to.

What’s more, as stated by designer Jacopo Janniello Ravagnan, Caravana believes its artisans, thread makers, fabric knitters and seamstresses are family. The  community works harmoniously to give each piece a life, a story, a soul.

I have constantly highlighted the importance of a story, a personal touch in a brand’s marketing trajectory for its success and I was happy to hear that this is another main factor in Caravana’s strategy. There is a real sense of respect for the fabrics and materials we use. The mastery of the brand’s artisan lies in the ability to transform the fabric into a work of art only using their skilled hands by pulling threads and creating intricate patterns. This dogma is the impetus to lead and organize ground breaking collaborative partnerships that create truly sustainable clothing and accessories.

Caravana is drawn to places with energy and magic that culminate in the symbiosis of natural connections, using local craftsmanship and artisanal techniques. The label prides itself in bridging a communion between diverse cultures, their traditions and beliefs with the ones gathered through out this continuous journey.

As presented on www.caravana.land, the Caravana wearer is confident, inquisitive, expressive and soulful. With a rhythmic sense of approaching life and travel – someone who lives with the freedom to pick up or set down roots, whenever, or wherever they choose, always in the constant pursuit of magic. Such a bohemian, progressive existence is the manifestation at CARAVANA’s core, gathering these souls in order to coalesce into a unified mission.

You will be pleased to hear that the concept line is on its own journey, setting up stores in the global community, including online and via the luxury retailer giant Net A Porter.

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Lifestyle

Cathias Edeline

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Get lost into a world of bold colours, intricate details and must have designs!

Amongst all the sadness and anger produced by the UK referendum today, I thought of an insightful and inspirational story both from an entrepreneurial and creative perspective that it is most likely to cheer you up! Ever since I have entered into the self employed world I have come to appreciate more and more those who exercise initiative by organising and leveraging their own opportunities and making decisions despite the high probability of life changing risks.

I have said it before and I will say it again, stepping out of your comfort zone is the key to success and a life that will take you beyond any monotony boarders.

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Part of my inspiring group of like minded people is my old friend Adeline Catinas who adventured into the unknown pushed by her childhood passions – art and fashion design.

In December 2011, when she was working at an architecture and interior design firm she realised that she doesn’t want to keep wasting her talent working for others. A well conducted research on existing market gaps and a couple of sleepless nights led her to create the one of a kind brand Cathias Edeline. In less than six years, Cathias Edeline has been brought in front of the light reflectors and generated a strong interest from press and local celebrities, due to the high quality and innovative designs.

The collections contains leather shoes and bags and divide into Spring / Summer & Autumn / Winter, the actual collection featuring a strong mix of blossoming flowers, called Flower Addiction.

Embrace yourself, you are about to enter a wonderland adorned with intricate designs, powerful detailing and a bold palette of colours.

Lifestyle

Totem Adornments Launch

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As consumers, we always describe our relationship with brands in a very personal manner. We ought to feel truly connected to a brand to be able to develop a long lasting and trusting relationship. This connection is usually generated by personalisation, a direct reach to each and every potential customer.

The most important question that a brand, company or agency should always ask themselves is how can we deliver more memorable customer experiences? The answer is simple – by delivering a bespoke service / product, a feature, a STORY that people can relate to. The humanisation of brands is the key to building a genuine relationships with customers and developing high levels of loyalty and engagement.

Combining experiential marketing with true passion, hard work, storytelling and furthermore enable others to create their own story, evokes real audience emotions, interest and excitement.

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This is exactly what happened earlier this week when I attended the launch of Totem Adornments held at a breathtaking location – The Balcony room, Shakespeare’s Globe. Totem Adornments was born when Paddy Dickinson, founder, designer and wife of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, was involved in an experience called kismet in Bali, Indonesia (a power that is believed to control what happens in the future) and understood that seeds and stories were both methods of healing and rejuvenation.

Totem Adornments is a high end jewellery brand based on Paddy’s love for storytelling and the urge to help others conserve their own through bespoke jewellery.

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The collection is beautifully detailed, featuring necklaces composed by hand woven rose gold and recycled silver and divided in 4 main designs, respectively the Sacred Seeds, Story Keeper, Story Leaves and Story Weaves. My favourites are the personalised necklaces adorned with unforgettable stories and messages.

As highlighted by Paddy herself and Push PR, the Totem Adornments aim to disrupt the luxury jewellery market, challenging society’s perceptions about what is valuable by repositioning and re-evaluating global storytelling. The brand and its collections, will work to preserve such stories as a legacy for generations to come bringing together the old and the new.

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Every piece and all packaging is created using recycled and sustainable materials from sacred seeds sourced in Bali, recycled silver and rose gold, handmade paper from eco plants in the Himalayas through to wooden packaging manufactured in UK renewable forests. All pieces are cast, assembled and hallmarked in London.

In keeping with Totem Adornments’ conscious consumerism and its desire to design bespoke keepsakes, 10% of profits from each item will be channelled into the Totem Foundation, an initiative which invites individuals, businesses, community organisations, libraries, schools, museums etc to suggest their own unique proposal for projects that support the preservation of stories. Projects will be chosen on individual merit, relevance, charitable history and transparency.

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Lifestyle

5 things I can’t travel without

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5 Things I Can’t Travel Without

I might adventure into a 2-days road trip, choose a get-away of the nautical type, spend a week at a luxurious resort or go for an exploratory trip in the middle of nowhere. Regardless of what travel sets my imagination alight, there are 5 things that help me meet my technological needs as traveller and keep me connected to be able to share and inspire people all around the globe at anytime. This goes out to all type of travellers, may it be leisure or business.

Pro Travel 4-Port USB Adaptor, LIFETRONS €49.00

Rather than packing a different adaptor plus charger for each country (of course, IF I remember to always pack one), I switched to a worldwide applicable option. This 4-Port USB adaptor provides 35W power and can charge 4 devices at the same time. What’s more it can be used in over 150 countries thanks to the interchangeable AC plugs included. Available to buy here.

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2. Juice Pack Air, MOPHIE €115.00

Speaking of keeping my phone alive, there’s nothing better than a Mophie Battery Case for an incurable nomad. Forget about all the wire power stations, they always run out when least expected and are difficult to carry around. The new juice pack air is unexpectedly light-weighted and far more protective than any other cases I had before. Available for purchase here.

3. QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, BOSE from €200.00

You will only be capable of truly understanding their slogan once you’ve tried them on – Headphones ON. World OFF.

When I am both on work or relaxation mode I block any distractions with the noise cancelling headphones from Bose. They don’t even require you to play your music, as long as you have them switched on you can kick back, relax and transcend into your own peaceful world. Highly important details are (1) the ear cushions that fit perfectly. Don’t be surprised if you end up walking into a meeting with your headphones on, as their presence on top of your head is barely noticeable. And (2) surprisingly not even mentioned in the product description, the airplane adaptor provided within the case allows you to get rid of the unpleasant on-flight headphones. Buy them from in airports or from here.

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4. Nikon D5300

The world is full of unique destinations, powerful landscapes and picturesque views. They ought to be remembered and furthermore shared so we can inspire and leverage the travel community.

User friendly yet professional, encompassing endless features yet compact, the D5300 Nikon camera is perfect for both professionals and not so experienced photographers. Imperative to mention the built in Wi-Fi, which means that you can download the pictures straight into your phone through the Nikon app. Available here.

5. MacBook Air 11’’, APPLE from €950.00

By far the best performing and most light-weighted laptop I have ever carried around with me. My bottomless pipeline is always overflowing with thoughts and ideas. Being able to write everything down or conduct research on my next projects wherever I am is essential. No more post-its! Available in Apple stores and online here.

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Share below your can’t-travel-without top 5 list and inspire the travel community!
Lifestyle

Do What You Love

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Do what you love and love what you do!

We read endless quotes on social media platforms and buy multiple books on self-help and personal development matters. Some of us even take a step further and hire life coaches to help us become masters of our own lives and put our ducks in a row. And despite our efforts we feel that we’re going around in circles and end up at the start line again and again. One of the most important journeys I embarked on since stepping out of the 9-to-5 race, has been rediscovering myself and what I love to do.

Travelling has been and continues to be essential for me in the development of a SWOT analysis on myself. Allowing myself to emerge in different cultures, understand contrasting perspectives on life and connect to different people, things and places has redefined who I am today. I have come to discover that it is OK to encompass several what I call self-entities. And I am not referring to having a multiple personality but to the open-mindedness and receptiveness to new and different across technology, art, philosophy, politics or any other realms of both civic and personal life.

I don’t recall the number of how many times I brainstormed on what the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are of several brands and companies I worked for. But I never stopped and wondered what the outcome would be if I’d apply the same exact analysis on myself. Although I appreciate the guidance provided by industry experts, life coaches and self-help book authors on how to set long time goals and maximise our potential, I find that the generalisation with which this subject is treated and lack of personalisation remove any potential relevance for the reader.

It is said that personal development is a lifelong process. I agree from the perspective of an always-changing self, however I find that a statement as such brings with it the idea of a tunnel without any lighting at the end, an eternal battle of becoming the quintessence of perfection.

Why look for stereotypes? Why embody saturated characters? Why let ourselves influenced by apparent role models? Are we not looking for self-efficacy?

As highlighted by psychologist Albert Bandura, one’s sense of self-efficacy can play a major role in how one approaches goals, tasks, and challenges.

Here are my 5 steps that I have climbed to discover what I love and start loving what I do:

IT IS OK TO CHANGE – what you love, what you do, your company’s prospects or your business strategy. Consistency is not defined by conforming to what the society says, but by adapting to the changes that will lead you to a better result.

BE A BETTER SELF NOT A COPY OF SOMEONE ELSE – believe in your own capacities and stop trying to be someone else. Each one of us is unique and good at conducting some activities better than others.

BE WILLING TO FAIL – for a week, for two months or a year if necessary, but never ever give up. Progress is not only measured in profitability, understand that building up a new project also involves long term intangible costs, mainly emotionally.

NO EXCITEMENT NO GAME – if you loose the excitement at your workplace, as an entrepreneur or for a project then drop it. Look for something else that can keep you eternally challenged and passionate. It is acceptable to feel exhausted, furious or annoyed but when you start doing what you love the passion and eagerness to succeed will always be there.

SET SHORT TERM GOALS – having long term goals is good, furthermore it is essential. But if you haven’t set short term goals than the journey to success will seem never ending and the likelihood of giving up halfway is much higher. It might sound silly, but every step forward should be celebrated and seen as an achievement.

Yes, it might sound easier to say than do but you will never know if you don’t give it a GO.