Interview & Photographs by} John Russo
Makeup} Rachel Ness
Hair} Monica Lee Saint
Styling by} Taylor Jacobson
Q: You have been a model, an actress a businesswoman and mom. Which do you think has been the most challenging and why?
A: The most challenging and the most rewarding is without question being a Mom. With four children between the ages of 2-10 I am constantly in the thick of it all and enjoying every bit of it. Although it takes every part of your physical, mental and emotional self, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in this world.
Q: You were the creative force behind your brand Naked Princess. How was the experience of having a concept, seeing it thru and building a successful brand?
A: At the time of launching Naked Princess back in 2011, I was a brand new mother and a first time business owner. In the beginning, I was juggling my new identity as a Mom while also starting Naked Princess from the ground up with little knowledge of the fashion and beauty industry. It took a lot of perseverance, but I learned that the most important part of building a successful brand is truly understanding who your customer is and also surrounding yourself with a team that trusts your vision. What started as an idea expanded over the years to become a sought-after brand at five-star resorts and spas around the world.
Q: You relocated full time to Montana to raise your family. What made you leave Los Angeles and what do you love about Montana living? I wanted to raise my children in a smaller, family-oriented town while also being able to enjoy indoor/outdoor seasonal activities. I love Los Angeles, but Whitefish Montana is so community driven and the beauty of nature is just outside our door every single day.
Q: If you could go back 10 years what advice would you give yourself?
A: “Slow down!” Throughout my career I felt like I always had to be juggling 6 balls up in the air at once or I wasn’t being productive enough. The truth is when I pace myself I actually get much more done without putting pressure on myself.
Q: You have watched the apparel industry evolve over the years. Are there any more things that you would like to change in the future?
A: As far as the fashion world goes, lately I have been a big fan of brands that have positive messaging and give back to causes they believe in. There are so many new clothing brands coming out, but the ones that stand out to me are those that care about where their products are made, how they treat their employees and how they give back to causes they believe in.
Q: With the dawn of Covid-19 more people are rethinking their careers and outlooks. Are there any things that you have changed in your life as a result of the current situation?
A: I have a big quote written on my kitchen chalkboard that says “Relax, nothing is under control!” Since COVID-19 this quote sits so well with me because it is exactly how I’ve had to look at my family and work life, which is not the mantra I normally live by. I get very uneasy with the unknown, but I think we have all had to take a backseat with COVID-19 and just take life day by day.
Q: Your new brand LBLC is launching this Fall. What is the overall philosophy of the brand?
A: My dear friend and business partner Jen Hardy is a lifelong animal advocate with 20+ years in the fashion industry. She noticed a huge void in the fashion world for fully vegan clothing lines that were fashionable and effortlessly chic. One day over breakfast, we discussed combining her passion for animal advocacy and giving back to causes that support animal protection. Since day one, we have made a commitment that LBLC the label would be a 100% cruelty free, vegan brand using no leather, fur, skins or any animal-derived byproducts.
Q: What advice would you give to young girls who dream of starting their own fashion brand on day?
A: Fully understand your vision and don’t allow people to dictate what your company or products should be. Once you fully understand and embrace your vision, understand who your customer is.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in life?
A: My children without question.
Q: Finish this sentence…
A: In ten years I want to be traveling the world with my family while learning new cultures and tasting new foods ?